We Just Completed Two Raised Beds in the Garden

We added two raised beds as we continue to build infrastructure to support a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

I just finished building the two raised beds we planned for this year. We plan to use this next spring and then build more, incorporating any improvements we think of after our first year of use. We still need to fill these, which should take about 160 cubic feet of dirt. More on that below.

The cost of wood is still so high that we used 2-foot by 8-foot sheets of corrugated galvanized steel for the sides and ends of the beds. I built the roof of the chicken coop from the same material.

Inside each bed are 4×4 posts in each corner and at 4-foot intervals. The corrugated roofing panels are screwed into the wood. I used the table saw to cut away parts of the wood, allowing the corrugated steel to next flush against the wood. This worked well and prevents any sharp corners. The wood protects us from getting cut while working in or around the bed. On the top, I added 2x6s and screwed them into the 4x4s posts. This resulted in a very stable platform you can sit on and lean over. Like the wood in the corners, the wooden ledge will also protect us from the sharp edge of the metal.

post in a raised bed
But cutting half an inch into the 4×4 post, we created a space for the corrugated roofing panel to fit right in. This makes the corners snag free.
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40 Million Americans are Ready to Take up Arms

Americans are more ready than ever to pick up their arms and fight for their rights. The gun grabber would do well to remember this.

According to a survey taken earlier this summer, 47 percent of republicans believe a time will come when patriotic Americans will have to take the law into their own hands to preserve our traditional way of life.

Some 25 percent of Americans identify as Republicans, so you are talking about 12 percent of the country, or close to 40 million people. And that doesn’t count the independents that lean Republican.

If I was a liberal Democrat or a socialist, that statistic would scare the living daylights out of me. That’s why they are so intent on taking our guns.

As long as 12 percent of the country is armed and willing to fight, there is no way that a tyrannical government can succeed.

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Prepper News Update August 2

Shortages, old and new, are in the news again. You wont’ believe what they predict will be the next thing that’s running low.

Like we said Yesterday:
They are Losing Control of the Narrative

This CNN story gives specific examples where the Biden Administration has lost control of the COVID-19 narrative, as we wrote yesterday. The article seems to blame the media, but the administration does not have a cohesive message and is not communicating effectively.

Ammunition Shortage Continues, Affects Law Enforcement, Too

Despite seeing a fair amount of common calibers for sale on my trip to Virginia last week, we are still experiencing an ammunition shortage. This article gives several examples of law enforcement agencies that have cut back on ammo consumption during training because of the shortage. It’s enough to make me want to become a commercial reloader.

The Next Shortage

Although it seems like a craft distillery or two is popping up in every city, ZeroHedge reports that there have been liquor shortages in the Carolinas and Midwest. Wow, maybe I should crank up the still in addition to reloading ammo.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics: Government Loses Control of the COVID-19 Narrative

Conflicting data, changing stories, and the politicization of science are resulting in a wave of confusion and mistrust when it comes to this latest wave of COVID-19. messages,

COVID-19 is once again out of control in the United States. But that’s not all the bad news. The U.S. government has also lost control of the narrative, and no one knows who to believe, what to think, or whether to mask up.

I think the government, with support from social media, is trying very hard to prevent the release of any data that shows vaccination does little or nothing to prevent infection. That idea runs counter to their narrative and may prevent people from getting vaccinated, which they still consider to be the Holy Grail of COVID prevention. They don’t want to give people who resisted vaccination over safety concerns another reason to avoid it: Ineffectiveness.

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Chickens at Eight Weeks: An Update

Our first experience at raising chickens continues to go well. These ladies are about halfway to early adulthood and should be laying in a couple months.

Our chickens are now eight weeks old and still growing rapidly.  They were fuzzy balls with legs and beaks when we got them, they grew to look like badly feathered miniature dinosaurs, and finally  became recognizable as birds when they were about the size of a pigeon.  Today, they are obviously chickens.  Half size, yes, but clearly identifiable as chickens.  They are also developing distinct personalities. Happily, all 17 have survived.

At this stage, they have little red nubs where their combs will be, and the nubs are more prominent on the bird we assume are the males.  One roosters goes around chest bumping other birds.  I don’t think they are celebrating touchdowns, so I have to assume he is trying to establish his dominance and position in the “pecking order.”

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Is the Sh*t Hitting the Fan Yet?

Sometimes when the news is bad and it seems like every elected official is violating their oath to uphold the Constitution, you have to wonder how close the poop is to the impeller.

My mind is somewhat boggled. So much stuff is happening at once and very little of it is good. I have to ask myself, how far away is our SHTF moment?

When you have a parabolic curve, it climbs slowly, but before you know it is shooting straight up. I can’t help but wonder if we are at that inflection point. I hate to be an alarmist, but some days it seems like we must be approaching it.

There are protests in countries all over the world, including the U.S., France, Iran, Cuba, Guatemala, Tunisia, Australia, and South Africa. I expect they will get worse as shortages increase, prices rise, and we go into more lockdowns. In the U.S., I expect we will see protests as the end of the rent moratorium results in upwards of 12 million people unable to pay their past-due rent and now subject to eviction.

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Prepper News Update July 30

Vaccines Less Effective Over Time

The FDA has found that the effectiveness of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine drops by about 19 percent to 84 percent over six months.  That’s far better than the Chinese vaccine, which apparently drops below 50 percent after six months.  The news may worry the vaccinated, but Pfizer’s shareholders are probably celebrating.  This news could mean they get to sell booster shots.  According to the wall Street Journal, Pfizer expects to make $33.5 billion selling the vaccine this year.

The Best Places for Survival

A study published in the journal Sustainability rated the top places to survive the collapse of society are island nations in this order: New Zealand, Iceland, the UK, Tasmania, and Ireland.  These countries were chosen for their ability to grow food, protect their borders from mass migration, and maintain their electrical grid.  My guess is that the U.S. failed on the second point, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your retreat a “collapse lifeboat” within the U.S. 

The article is an interesting read for the serious prepper while the actual journal article goes into detail on the problems of a complex society and says it has determined “human civilisation that is in a perilous state, with large and growing risks developing in multiple spheres of the human endeavour.”  While I do not agree with many of the assumptions and predictions of the paper, it is still worth reading and provides many ideas worth considering.

Flashpoints and Future Wars

We’ve talked previously about rising tensions between China and Taiwan and its allies, and how this could result in a war. Here’s an interesting article on flashpoints for World War Three, and Taiwan ranks at the top.

The Slippery Slope: Where do the Mandates End?

First it was mask mandates. Then it was business closures. Now the government is forcing people to get the vaccine. Wher does this pattern of abuse lead us?

Webster defines mandate as “to officially require something; make (something) mandatory” and by Dictionary.com as “an official order to do something.”

America was founded on freedom and liberty and the concept that the powers of government are limited. Nowhere in the Constitution is the president or the executive branch given the power to force people to get vaccinated, and the CDC is part of the executive branch. Yes, in 1905, the Supreme Court allowed fining someone $5 for not taking the vaccine, but it also allowed reasonable exceptions. Citizens have a fair bit of leeway in deciding how they behave, and forcing someone to get a vaccine is probably illegal.

Most Americans don’t like to be told what they must do. It sticks in our craw and causes people to resist. It would not surprise me that there are people who would have taken the vaccine if made available but who chose not to do so because they felt they were being forced to do so.

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We Shop 7 Gun Stores Seeking Better Prices

I’ve heard ammo prices are dropping and the shortage is over, but is that true? I stop by gun stores during a road trip to check it out.

I have been watching YouTube videos and reading articles online saying that the ammunition shortage is abating and gun supplies are back.  I decided to check this out myself, so I made a list of the following items I wanted to buy:

  • Premium .22LR rounds, preferably in nickel cases.  I would look for Federal Punch, CCI MiniMags or CCI Stinger rounds.  
  • Any good 9mm FMJ under $16 for a box of 50 rounds and/or a box of Critical Defense 115 grain bullets.
  • .300 Blackout rounds, preferably 110 to 120 grain or 220 grain subsonic.  I don’t want the 150 grain bullets.
  • A takedown Ruger 10/22
  • A lever action .357 carbine, preferably with the tactical set up, meaning black furniture, a rail for an optic, and a rail at the front.  Henry makes a model like this, as do several other companies. 
  • AA1680 and H110 powders

List in hand, I set out to go shopping.

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In Search of Meat for my Survival Stores

I don’t want to live on grains an greens alone. I am a omnivore unless given the opportunity to be a carnivore. But that’s difficult to accommodate when prepping.

I priced rabbits today at Rural King and they were about $42 each.  Yikes!  After buying chicks for just a few dollars each, I was shocked at the higher cost.  Of course, rabbit pens would be cheaper and easier to construct than the chicken coop and run.  I think three does and a buck should generate enough bunnies to butcher eat at least one per week.  I figure my start-up costs would maybe $300 plus food. 

I’m not ready to take that step yet.  I want to get the chickens laying and butcher and eat a few birds first.  They are my proof of concept, so to speak.  Can we breed and raise enough chickens to help feed us during a collapse or food crisis?  Will my chickens survive the weather and the predators long enough to lay eggs?  Will they become broody enough to hatch their own eggs and raise their own chicks?  Can we feed them if there is no commercial feed available? 

Maybe I will consider rabbits next year.  In the meantime, a dog is probably ahead of them on the list. (Don’t worry, the dog is not for eating. If I want to eat dog meat, I’ll just kill a coyote.)

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