Friday, March 2, 2012

My Preparedness Challenge Progress



How I Met The Challenge!

Here's what I did this month in each category 
Food Storage: 
Like Amy, I added bulk staples like oats, wheat, pinto beans, and brown rice to my pantry this month. My husband has been reading survival literature that espouses the long term potency and efficacy of freeze dried foods, so we ordered a few samples. I am not sold on this idea yet. I stocked up on a few specialty items like coconut oil, wheat bran and germ (which I add to many things). I dehydrated some favorite organic fruits that were on a BOGO sale.

 Emergency Preparedness: I made two more batches of Amy's homemade firestarters this month.  I love them.  They work better than the store bought ones, in my humble opinion.   (Amy's fire starter recipe)  I dip them after they dry from pouring the wax into them so mine are completely covered in wax.  

They sure start wood quickly.  We got a good snow this week, and temperatures have dropped.  This prompted us to buy an extra cord of firewood, just in case...  It will be delivered Sunday.



I re-organized my garage/sewing room and de-cluttered it.  My husband built me a wall full of new storage shelves and made doors to make the existing shelves tidy.  I believe that organization and cleanliness are an important part of being prepared.  Now, I know exactly what I have, what I do not have, and how much space I have available for more storage.
 
Sustainable Living: I spent most of my time this last month working on this area.  The weather was mild and cooperative.  I rejuvenated my raised garden beds.  I added a berry garden that includes two rows of berry fences and canes, and two new blueberry bushes.  I planted raspberry, blackberry, and boysenberry in the beds.  



I completed an updated garden plan.  I have determined to grow only the things Jerry and I love to eat and accompanying herbs.  I used to grow lots of things recommended by others that we didn't really use.  That's a waste of resources, time, and energy.  I am determined not to do that again.  


I started heirloom tomatoes and indoors.  I planted strawberries into new strawberry pots and 10 small clay pots.  I started red, yukon gold, and white potatoes indoors for transplant outdoors into bamboo and wire cages.  I plan to grow them upward in 18" diameter wire circles.  I am hopeful that this will work and save lots of space.  

I also planted 300 onions, three varieties in starter mix.  They will be transplanted within a few weeks outside.  I added new organic compost to my fruit orchard and started a new seedless table grape fenceline 25' long, with 5 varieties.  I am getting tired writing this.  I am so grateful for the hubby.  His help  gets everything done.  Thank you Jerry...


The last thing I have completed lately is something I have been anxious to do for months.  

I made my first 3 batches of homemade laundry detergent.  I used Amy's Zote recipe and a few others. I plan to compare them this month.  I have an HE front loading washer, and a water softener so I am curious how well these detergents will perform.


That's what I have been up to in my quest to try to become more prepared.  Have a great month ahead everyone.  

24 comments:

  1. Wow! Let us know how you like the laundry detergent. I made some last spring and tried using it and wasn't at all satisfied. Kudos for growing only what you will eat! :)

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    1. I sure will Candy. I gave my kids a batch of three kinds too. They're my testers.

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  2. Heidi! Very impressive! I need to get off my farmgirl behind and get busy!!!
    You go girl!

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  3. I purchased Borax and a different bar soap for making my own laundry detergent as well, but I couldn't find the Washing Soda at my local grocery store. I now know I can find it at Walmart or maybe even our nearest B.J.s Where did you find Zote? I'm ready to get going on this one!!! Thanks for another fun post Heidi!

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    1. Happy Sunday Deb!
      I found the Zote at my local grocery store and like you, could not find the Super Washing Soda locally. I had to go down the mountain to Wal-Mart to find it. It's really inexpensive, I was surprised. I think I payed $3.50 per box so I stocked up for a while.

      I have washed three loads so far, a load of whites, a load of colors, and a load of My Hubby's super dirty yard clothes and I am happy to report that I am very pleased with the results.

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    2. You can use most any bar soap that you like from all that I have read online. I have read numerous articles and Ivory is popular too. I liked the Zote because it's a plant oil based soap. I am trying to convert to plant based resources when I can.

      I also made Amy's Fels-Naptha recipe, but I must admit I haven't tried using it yet. I just don't like the fragrance. Like she says, it is strong and permeates. I need to get an essential oil fragrance to add to it.

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  4. Wow! You have been really, really, really busy!

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    1. I am feeling it today. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and saying Hi. Have a great week.

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  6. Wow! very inspiring post! Thank you for sharing such wise tips and ideas :)
    Have a wonderful week!
    Allison

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    1. Thank you Allison. I hope you have a great week too.

      Heidi

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  7. Wow, you have been busy. I'm very impressed. I can really relate to your gardening issue. I have also always had a habit of planting things we end up not eating. I'm trying to break that habit too.

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  8. If your homemade detergent doesn't get rid of every stain' I've read and tried 2 solutions that work well. The first is put some of the detergent on the stain and let it sit there ~ then wash as usual. The 2nd is to buy a shampoo that is Clarifying (suave makes one and its cheap) and use that on stains, it also works really good. I've used the homemade detergent for 3 years and really like it. My mom uses detergent in the pour bottles and she saves her bottles for me to put the detergent into ~ its easier to use than dipping from the large bucket.

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    1. Thanks Donna. So far, so good. I will heed your advice if I get a tough stain. Thanks for stopping by and for leaving this helpful advice. Have a great week.

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  9. You have been really busy. But you always are.

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    1. I am ready for a vacation and it's only March. lol.

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  10. Hit wrong button. So had to come back and finish post. LOl I will have to try the detergent. Do you know if it gets out fuel? Rick always comes home smelling of jet fuel

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    1. LOL. We like the detergent so far. I made three different recipes, one is my own idea. I sent the kids home with a batch of each of them to test and I have made a batch for you too. After we use up the batch and compare we can share our thoughts on which works best on what...

      I have no idea about jet fuel. It's worth a try.

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  11. Wonderful post! To see your production puts me to absolute shame! Thanks for that little kick in the pants to get moving. I'm looking forward to reading much more of your simple country living. (It may be 'simple' to you, but this is absolutely not what I envisioned when I saw the name of your blog- no little-rocking-chair-sitting-on-the-porch-shelling-peas! LOL

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    1. Thank you for the kind sentiment Illoura. Welcome to the blog. I hope you find lots of helpful and fun things while you're here and I encourage you to check out all the links on our hops and meet other like minded bloggers. We are a fun bunch.

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  12. Inviting you the Carnival of Home Preserving on my blog every Friday. Hope to see you there. Laura Williams’ Musings

    The most recent edition - http://laurawilliamsmusings.blogspot.com/2012/06/carnival-of-home-preserving-13-come.html - open until Thursday 6/7.

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My email address is whitewolfsummitfarmgirl@gmail.com.