Goldenrod and Asters Help our Bees Prep for Winter

You could consider bees preppers. They stock up nectar (carbs) and pollen (protein) to help carry them through the long. cold winter.

The goldenrod and several varieties of aster have been blooming for a couple weeks, but I haven’t seen bees on them until this week.

Both flowers are known for providing bees with critical nectar and the pollen they need to bulk up their stores and get prepared for the winter. It’s possible last week’s rain washed out some resources, and they weren’t worth gathering from them until things dried up. It’s also possible that the Jewel Weed, the Iron Weed, and other flowers were a bigger draw for the bees. Now these plants have gone to seed, so the bees are focusing on the goldenrod and asters, which are among the final blooms of the season.

Just another sign that fall is here. Time to get the hives prepared.

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How to Shorten Your Personal Supply Chain

As the supply chain crumbles and threatens to collapse, you can take steps to ensure your personal supply chain is in better shape.

It’s all over the news: supply chain problems are causing delays of car parts, appliances, Christmas presents, meat, apparel, toilet paper, and other common goods we rely in our everyday lives. The just-in-time economy, where you can run out to a big box store and buy whatever you need with no waiting, is failing us.

Getting your car repaired takes longer due to the wait for parts. Your tractor might be laid up for days because the dealer needs a component. If your refrigerator stops working, you might wait weeks to have a new one delivered. I have friends that are getting their bathroom renovated. The wait for new cabinets is 30 weeks. Last time I was in Dollar General, I heard one employee say to her boss:

“It was supposed to be here Thursday, but now they are saying Friday.”

Her manager said, “Or Saturday, or Monday, or never.” They both sort of laughed in dismay.

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Yesterday was “Eat like a Prepper Day” at our House

It’s important to test your preps so you know what to do when the SHTF. I recommend holding an “eat like a prepper day” a couple times a month.

I try to “eat like a prepper” at least once a week. This not only helps us use up and rotate our stored food, it allows us to test our stored food to make sure it is still good. For example, last week I ate a lentil stew MRE entrée that was made in 2014. Yep, it was fine.

For breakfast today, I made eggs over easy and served them over a can of corned beef hash. We usually buy and eat the Mary’s Kitchen brand of has from Hormel, but today I opened a can of Great Value hash I had bought from Walmart. We’d never eaten their brand of has before and I wanted to try it.

I had high hopes for the Great value hash because it has the same ingredients as the Mary’s Kitchen brand, and they are in the same order on the label. More importantly, the nutritional information is identical, from calories to grams of protein to the percent of vitamin RDA. This made me suspect that Walmart’s brand of hash is made by Hormel.

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Prepper News Update September 28

It’s a Global Energy Crisis Flashback

Just like we’re experiencing inflation at rates last seen in the 1970s, it appears that the world is experiencing a global energy crisis as well.  This Reuters column reports that natural gas futures are up 140 percent in the U.S., more than 500 percent in Europe and 600 percent in parts of Asia.  If only president Biden hadn’t tried to shut down the oil and gas industry here in the U.S. we’d probably have more jobs and lower prices for coal, natural gas, oil, and all their derivative products.

Container Ship Backlog Sets New Record

If you thought the number of container ships waiting to off load in California was bad, wait until yo see the number of ships in China waiting to be loaded.  According to freightwaves.com, more than 150 ships were waiting to load as of last Friday.  That points to multiple points of failure in the supply chain.

The Supply Chain is Buckling Globally

Rabobank, courtesy of ZeroHedge, has done a better job than I in connecting the dots and confirming that the supply chain is collapsing, our leaders are going bonkers, and the result will be no fun for anyone.

Britain Fears another “Winter of Discontent.” Will it Strike Here?

Inflation, gas shortages, and supply chain disruptions make British fear the 1970s are returning. Will this be our winter of discontent as well?

According to Reuters, British politicians are telling citizens not to panic as BP closes gas stations and rations fuel deliveries due to a truck driver shortage. They claim Britain is not “heading back into a 1970s-style ‘winter of discontent’ of strikes and power shortages amid widespread problems caused by supply chain issues.”

Up to 90 percent of stations in some areas of the UK are out of petrol due to panic buying, and the government is considering having the army deliver fuel to depleted stations. It has also issued 5,000 emergency visas to foreign truck drivers. However, it may be too little too late.

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Inflation Numbers Don’t Look Good

When business report their costs are rising between 3 to 11 percent, you know you are going t be paying more soon as the inflation cycle continues.

I’ve written about limits on limits on toilet paper at the big box stores at least twice in the past month, but Fox Business is finally catching on, running a story on the topic Thursday. However, the article did have some useful data relating to inflation:

“Both Costco and its suppliers are paying two to six times more for containers and shipping, 4% to 8% more for pulp and paper goods, 5% to 11% more for plastic and resin products such as trash bags, cups and plates and 3% to 10% more for certain apparel products. In addition, Costco has seen single-digit price increases for aluminum foil and cans for soda and other beverages and mid to high single-digit price increases on fresh foods, with meat leading the way with high single to low double digit price increases due to feed, labor and transportation costs. Commodities like oil, coffee and nuts are at five year highs, according to Costco’s buyers.

“He also warned that an ongoing chip shortage impacting Costco’s electronics and appliances will likely extend into 2022.”

Those figures, and other data from big corporations, are probably far more accurate than anything reported by the government.

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Taking Advantage of the Cooler Weather on the Homestead

We are working to make fall plantings, clean up the homestead, stock up, and generally make sure we are ready for winter.

We are enjoying the break from hot summer weather and the end of the rain to get some work done and enjoy ourselves around the homestead. The chickens are benefitting as we are throwing armfuls of weeds and uprooted garden plants into their run.

Weed Whacker Upgrade

I was using 095 string in my string trimmer, but the larger plants would just destroy the string. It would break it off so close to the hub that new string would not come out. I’d have to stop, flip the string trimmer upside down, disassemble the spool of string, and re-string it. After three or four times, this got annoying.

I finally upgraded to a metal blade. I was looking for the big three-point blade, but no one had one locally. Instead, I installed one of the four-point “grass” blades. What a difference! I am now mowing down thick woody plant stems, green and dried grass, and small trees (about half an inch) with ease. It works so well, I may never return to sting. It also looks like the blade will simple to re-sharpen with a file, although I only hit two rocks, so far. You definitely don’t want to use the metal blade close to your house or a fence line.

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Concealed Carry Gives you Options in a Mass Shooting

Without a gun, you can run and hide. With a gun, you can run, hide, or choose fight back. Give yourself a fighting chance.

The shooting Thursday at a Kroger grocery store in Tennessee is an example of why anyone concerned about their personal safety should have a concealed carry permit and carry daily.

While information is still coming in, the shooter, who may have been a disgruntled employee or former employee, shot 13 people, killing one, and then killed himself.

People in Kroger had a few options, namely run or hide. People hid in the freezers and in offices. Others ran from the store. If you were carrying a weapon, you’d have the option to shoot back. You could save yourself and potentially others.

I’m not suggestion you have to run towards the gunfire. That’s the job of law enforcement, but you have that option. If the gunfire is moving towards you, then you can engage. If you have trained and stay calm, you can shoot the bad guy, possibly catching him by surprise, before he can get you in his sights.

Prepper News Update September 24

Rising Fertilizer Prices to Boost Food Costs

Fertilized prices are reaching a point not seen in a decade, which could translate to higher food costs as farmers seek to recoup their spending by raising prices. Because soy beans and grains are used to feed livestock, this will impact meat prices, too. This article on Yahoo News, which originally appeared in Bloomberg, details the many things that are driving up the cost of fertilizer, from storms in the Gulf Coast to government sanctions.

UK Faces Multiple Problems Due to Natural Gas Shortage

The UK is experiencing an energy crisis, high natural gas prices, gasoline rationing, rising fertilized prices, and a CO2 shortage, and it is caused by bad political decisions. This is important to U.S. readers because the same thing could happen here. For example, laws designed to generate green energy could cause power outages, gas shortages and other problems.

When government interferes with free markets, there are always unintended consequences.

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Prepper Diary: Autumn Arrives in a Deluge

Autumn is bringing us rain, but also apples, hunting, and before long, fires in the wood stove to keep us warm.

If there was any doubt, nighttime temperatures in the 40s have announced the arrival of fall, which officially took place on Wednesday the 22nd. We have been experiencing rain and cooler temperatures much of this week.

I moved some firewood into the basement, but we are planning to hold off using the wood stove as long as possible. For now, I am wearing a fleece. Yesterday, I put on my wool socks for the first time since early spring.

This is the time of year when your electric bill drops. The AC doesn’t run, the heat doesn’t kick in. With any luck, our dehumidifiers will stop. (If not, they certainly will when we fire up the wood stove.)

Apple Season

Another sign of fall is trees filled with ripe apples. I’m looking forward to cider.

The tree in our main image is less than half a mile from our house and is growing at an old homestead. There’s nothing let of the homestead except the chimney, the spring, and five apple trees (the sixth one died) in drastic need of pruning. The neighbor who owns that land, which is on a bigger parcel, said half the apples are for eating, half for baking. We spotted at least three varieties.

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