In the Know in My AO

As the winter of 2014-15 was winding down, I identified a major gap in my preps. It started with a midday phone call from Brother Harold. That was strange right off the bat – we rarely communicate by phone, and almost never in the middle of the day. Turns out he was stuck in traffic with state and local police cruisers flying past him, and he wanted to know if there was anything big going on that he should know […]

A Good Generator Made Better

When my daughter Ginger had her Type 1 diabetes onset last March, one of the first preps I put in place was getting a backup to our backup generator. Insulin is life, and the supply must be protected at all costs, and since insulin must be kept cold, refrigeration is crucial. I can’t allow any single points of failure in my insulin supply and delivery system, so we have multiple stashes of insulin in multiple fridges with multiple sources of […]

1 + 2 = 1

I had a dramatic and disappointing illustration of the law of diminishing returns this weekend. It’s wood-butchering time on the homestead – actually, it’s well past the time that I should have been putting up next year’s firewood, but the woodlot was snowed in until only comparatively recently. I’m sure there’s still a snow pile lurking around here somewhere.

Controlling My Woodchips

I’m a huge fan of mulching, and living in the woods like I do, I have access to a nearly limitless source of mulching materials. The saplings that sprout up along the edges of clearings every year are perfect for making what’s called ramial chipped wood mulch, ramial referring to branches and other small diameter wood that’s still tender and soft compared to larger diameter parts of the tree.

I recently got a comment on the About page from a new reader. She made the escape from the east to northern Idaho back in the 70s, and as I wrote to her about that common bond, I was struck by the degree to which I feel like I’m at an inflection point in my family’s journey to personal freedom.

Too Mulch Information

I actually got a chance to get out into the garden yesterday. The snow pack has finally pushed back to just the remnants along the driveway that used to be six-foot piles tunneled with snow forts, the gardens are finally free and clear, and the ground has thawed enough to work a little. With yesterday’s nearly 70° high and bright sun on my back, it was like a little slice of heaven being out there.