Neighbor S. gave me about a half full paper grocery bag full of hops she picked. I’m going to try a sun drying idea I have been thinking about using my canvas drop cloths and the south side of the house. S. thinks she has a Cascade hops, which is a nice all-around beer hops that is not very acidic but gives a good flavor to a beer without being overly hoppy in flavor. I like using this hops in my amber ales and lagers. I prefer a simple clean tasting beer and I’m not much of a hop head like some home brewers. I tend to be like that with a lot of my cooking and baking as I prefer a few simple ingredients but trying to hit the combination that makes it perfect, at least to my taste buds. I don’t like complexity for it’s own sake. There seems to be something perverse about the human race that tends to make life more difficult than it needs to be and most people I have met seem to confuse simple with easy.
With winter looming in the forecast it’s time to think about some new skills to add during those long dark winter nights. It’s hard to add new skill in the fall though it is a great time to practice your preserving techniques. You might be a hunter and will camp out during your hunt and practice quite a few basic survival skills. I see Fall as a season to practice what you already have learned but winter usually has a bit slower tempo and it is a great time to learn a new skill. I like planning out at least couple of skills to learn before September hits as it is “National Preparedness Month” and you can find a good sale or two for whatever you would like to learn. Another great sale that happen in September is the leftovers from “back to school sales. So getting some educational stuff is usually cheap.
What you choose as a skill is up to you but don’t just think in terms of survival but learn a skill for you mental and spiritual health. You might want to learn to play a musical instrument or take a cooking or baking class, learn a second language. Whatever you choose pick something that inspires you as a person. Heck you might want to learn welding, being a blacksmith or woodworking or more first aid. It does not have to be directly transferable to prepping though I tend to think most knowledge and skills will have that affect in some way. I always thought origami as a very cool skill but I did not think of it as something that people do for a living. Alienware is a company that builds high end gaming computers and would hire people proficient in origami to fold the computer cables to create a smooth air flow for their high end gaming PCs. I bought a low-end Alienware PC and the cable runs are a work of beauty and function.
I think it is good to start thinking ahead because most hobbies or skills need some equipment to do the hobby. This give you a couple of months to figure out the budget you can afford and also double check to make sure you got your holiday shopping done.