The compost pile is beginning to heat up again after big drop off of grass clipping from one of the neighbors. The pile is getting to be a good size, about 1/2 way up the pallets (2 feet high) and 4 feet x 4 feet length and width. My friend Gallo says once the pile gets that big you don’t have to mix it quite as often. I’m changing the order of my compost bins and making one of the bins for the completed compost/soil holding area for next year’s raised beds, pots and buckets. The potato bucket that had good drainage was just chock full of earthworms and I’m hoping the worms will migrate to the compost pile an assist in breaking it down.
I was very surprised how critical water is in the composting process, so adding more rain water storage is a big to-do project. I have the spot picked out for the large (500 gal.) rain water cistern, but I’ll need to redirect the gutter downspouts on my shop in order to feed it. I’m taking some extra time on the cistern because wherever I set it up, it will be to heavy to move, plus saving up with the money to purchase it will also take a few months. Then there is the choice about burying it in the ground for insulation or placing it on a platform so gravity can help with water flow. I’m sort of leaning towards burying it for insulation value and then looking at getting a good 12 volt DC pump that could be powered via solar panels and batteries in a “Grid Down” situation.
I started moving some of the firewood to the front porch. I’ll tell you that little garden wagon I got is super handy for that job. I figure I can stack about 1/4 to 1/3 of a cord of wood on that wood rack I got from Big Lots. I have four of the party buckets for the “mill ends” and a lot of kindling already saved in a rolling garbage can. I’m much better prepared for winter heating via the wood stove this year. I have not burned elm in my stove as I used mostly apple and cherry wood from the local orchards last year along with the mill ends. I don’t think the elm will any dirtier or leave as much ash than the mill ends, but I will give a report as I burn. From what I have read elm will put out about the same BTUs as the apple and cherry wood. That should cover all the heat and some of the cooking needs for my place if the power goes out for a few days.
Ebola is still in the news and I was correct that I have a better plan for containment and Isolation compared the the PTBs. I can’t believe that Spain put a few sheets, some cloth “privacy partitions” and some tape with Bio hazard sign and considered that good enough for Ebola. There is possible a new Ebola infection in Texas via one of the deputies that served the quarantine notice with no protective gear at all! Not even gloves and a mask! I wonder how all those reporters feel right now, that attended the “News conference” given by Judge Jenkins after he entered that apartment with no protective gear and did not even change his clothes and actually seemed proud of his actions! Educate yourself and take at least some basic precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones.
It is not difficult or all that expensive to set up a sickroom, for $5.00 spent at your local dollar store you can get masks, Safety goggles, gloves, bleach and either a tarp or plastic sheeting to isolate the room. Heck I spent about $100.00 in all, but I got 9 Tyvek suits 3 different types of resuscitators, lots of jello, pudding snacks and freezer pops for fevers. Plastic sheeting for tables, cups and utensils that are disposable. As well as plenty of OTC meds to treat symptoms. I’m still thinking about a full face type shield and I will add a couple of I.V. bags of saline and Ringer’s Lactate for hydration but overall I feel darn confident I can handle any sort of infection and have a great start for any Bio/chemical setup to deal with any NBC hazard.
For me the whole point of prepping is that you have the basics on hand to meet any threat/disaster. I have found that getting your basics of water, food, security, 1st aid and sanitation gives me a great start for any disaster. As things happen in the world and the USA I do tend to build up based on that particular disaster even if I’m not affected by it. That gives me confidence in reacting to whatever happens, at least so far… If you have the basics you can shift gears quickly to deal with a new threat without putting yourself at risk financially.
Power outage or water is shut off for a few days to a few weeks. Not a big deal, I know I can handle it because of my tests. Have a plan, test it and learn from others. That has really helped me prep.