The storms are still rolling through today but the forecast is drying out and into the 90’s this weekend. The storms have been inconvienent for planting though every day of “spring rain” helps extend the irrigation water. The first plants have gone into 3 of my raised beds and Mom got her plants in some big pots for her “garden”. Since it looks like the divorce thing will stretch into August, using pots is a way Mom can grow stuff she likes that can also be moved if she get a house she likes later this year.
This year I’m trying to plant smarter so my garden does not go berserk like it did last year. I added more celery plants, swiss chard, a winter squash as new plants. I recommend if you can grow celery and dehydrate it you will add flavor to your soups and stews compared to store bought celery. I’d say the difference in taste between store bought celery and home grown is comparable to the difference of home grown and store bought tomatoes. I have a few more plants to get but they are ones I have planted before and should not be as much as a challenge though I’m still working on growing melons. The local farm store has a Kiwi bush/dwarf tree this year that would be a unusual fruit tree to add variety to the perma-culture for the front yard. I haven’t worked out how to do all the front yard plants yet but adding to the food production as well as curb appeal is one of my goals.
Home depot was out of the brown mulch I wanted. It could be for the best since I want to add mulch in the alley way rather than all rock to cover up the weed patch. The wood ash that I dump this winter did a good job stopping weed growth in the places I got it an inch or two in depth. While wood ash mixed with water creates lye that is a caustic acid, I’d rather kill weeds using wood ash rather than a soil sterilizer like Roundup that kills everything. I got eight bags of rock to add to my drive way that should help slow the weed growth and not create water run off problems like concrete or black top as the water will permeate the soil. Concrete and asphalt screws up nature and covers the soil that could actually absorb the rain/runoff. Cities and states should be encouraging rain barrels and natural materials terraced landscaping that mitigate storm run off rather than fine people that store and release rain water in a controlled more controlled manner. Your water rights are not violated by a rain barrel! All that water will still enter an aquifer, creek and river it will just be a little at a time rather than a flood! I heard on the radio today that major Metro areas like Houston and Atlanta have a lot of concrete and asphalt that might contribute to “flash flooding”. Gee ya think? Yet who creates those mandatory roads and of concrete, outlaw rain barrels and codes for McMansions, postage stamp yards and only golf course type lawns that can’t absorb water. Sorry, I think I pushed my own button!
At Home depot I priced a few replacement windows and shutters. While not cheap, they were not as expensive as I thought it would cost for replacements. I’m sure most contractors mark up materials to pay for storage and other costs and I don’t have problem with that mindset. If I have the materials at hand I should be able to cut contractor costs by at least 33-50%. I think of it as sort of a lay away system for construction/home maintenance. Today I got my home value assessment from the county and my house is supposedly worth about $100 grand and about 5 years ago it was worth about $60 grand. While I don’t want to sell my home it is worth no more and no less than what some one is willing to pay for it. The county can claim any value for a home as they are not buying it. I think all government asses values of a home should be tied to the county or city buying a a home for the county or city declared taxable price and everyone may sell to the local PTBs and get the assessed price as a starting bid. If a person decides to sell, the tax authority must buy the house for at least the same amount as the tax assessment. I bet home values will drop like a rock along with property taxes. A home is only worth what another person will pay to acquire that property.
I got the 40 pounds of chicken quarter for $20.00 and add another 5 pounds of bacon for about $12.00. The kitchen trash bags not on sale were 200, 16 gallon bags for under $7.00. C & C had a new item, virgin coconut oil, cold pressed and GMO free in a gallon bucket for $48.50 per bucket. You need “good fats” in your food storage and coconut oil seems to have a 2-5 year storage life at least and it it is a healthy fat unlike many trans or hydrogenated fats. I recently saw an article that cooking white rice with coconut oil can reduce rice glycemic index by mitigating white rice starch. That would help many per-diabetic and most type two diabetics with blood sugar levels. If you rinse your rice before cooking to clean off the starch, I’m not sure if coconut oil will be a great help on making white rice more nutritious. Coconut oil is a great multi-tasker for making soaps, salves and even candles so it it might be a good choice for your pantry (fat/food oil) storage.
I think having a garden is a great way to augment your food storage. I think domestic farm animals and hunting is a great way to augment your food supply. But very few have the land, knowledge or physical energy required to homestead. I don’t think it is to late to start prepping and getting self-sufficient as much as possible. Start with a small herb garden in pots or a raised bed as many herbs are great flavor enhansers and often have medicinal value. Herb tend to be very expensive to buy in the produce aisle so you start saving money right away! Start preparing local starting with yourself, family and neighborhood and don’t try and DC or general politics. There is no collective good, only individuals doing the best they can each day.