Nice, One Exactly for My Rural County
So, uh, one other fellow member. What are you up to recently? Know anybody else into this near by who just isn't computer inclined?
Heh, yeah, our ranks are not exactly numerous. I created this group hoping that people would pop out of the woodwork, but you're the first!
Haven't been up to a whole lot lately–feeding the cows, keeping the fruit trees alive, starting to pick up quilting as a hobby. I have also been trying to learn how to identify and use a lot of our local plants.
My neighbors are kind of into this sort of thing; we haven't discussed it a lot explicitly, but we've alluded to it in conversation, and they raise chickens and rabbits and do a lot of hunting/fishing and gardening; I taught her how to can pickles a couple months ago, and she is much more efficient at butchering chickens than I am since she has a little side business selling organic chickens and eggs. They are going to help Dad and me make sausage this deer season. But I don't know a lot of people around here who are explicitly interested in Peak Oil, prepping, etc.
What about you? Any interesting projects? Know anybody into the same stuff?
Ugh, somehow I logged in with my old account, but this is the one I actually use.
Just my mother and me. We moved out here around 2009, I hit full PO mode around 2006 and declared I was buying land, and my mom got in on the deal with me, really made me the very junior partner to be honest. We have a herd of sheep, 15 or so, mainly a tax write off, but they live and reproduce, in no way profitable. We can a bit, but mainly just end up making Salsa and Spaghetti sauce since too many tomatoes is what we end up with. This year's big science project was making fig wine, but my main contributions were picking a lot of figs and providing enough manpower to force the corks in. We have a few chickens too, honestly we lose so many to attrition we need a new set each year which isn't very comforting, but we don't really let them breed either. We had some potatoes going bad so I'm trying to grow them in a rotten hay bale, stuff like that. I have preps in place, but I can't say we're really trying to offset our food demands with local production in a big way.
The neighbors are just country folks as far as I know. I'm not the best network builder. I'm an introvert at heart and have my circumstances. The math says they'll make for fewer mutant zombie bikers than city folks anyway.
My dad lives back in Houston and is of similar mind, but hasn't gotten out of the city yet, though he's prepared in his own ways. He has a bug out trailer…makes one wonder if my stepmother and mom would get a long in a crisis. Hahaha…but I'd never turn away my dad, he got me into the stuff so I assume he's prepped to the hilt.
Hey, do you shear your sheep? What kind are they? I have been learning to spin yarn and would love to have a local source of wool.
We make wine from the local wild Mustang grapes, but I haven't tried fig wine. Let me know how it turns out!
Our chickens are totally free range, so we had a huge attrition rate as well, but now we have a core group of 8 (out of like 50) that seem to be fairly death-proof. We have not succeeded at getting them to go broody, however. It's a bit irritating.
I am thinking of putting in Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) this coming Spring, as an unobtrusive and low-maintenance perennial vegetable staple, and it's actually a native plant, so it doesn't take a lot of coddling. I already garden but I'm trying to put in more perennials besides just my asparagus and fruit and nut trees. I really want to step up my food production.
I feel you on the introvert thing. I'm the same. I am from here, but my dad is mostly the one who knows people, since I don't socialize much. It is nice that most of the people out here have at least some basic skills, though, like hunting/farming/ranching/gardening/etc., even if they're not actually prepping.
The sheep we have are Barbados sheep, which are meat sheep. Apparently the males get big enough horns that hunters will pay to get one to hunt once they are full size, so they aren't even really after the meat. We just have a bunch of females and 1 ram so we don't handle that side of the business though. I've only seen 1 wool sheep down here, might not be the right climate for them. Would be an neat skill to have. I bet there's some wild fiber crop that grows like a weed out here if we just looked it up.
So if it's perennial that means it keeps growing back huh? Sounds wonderful. We had an Asian cabbage of some sort that survived a couple of years, but that's about it. I'll have to look into it.
The fig wine varies in quality, but it's wine, and better than the cheap stuff from the store. Some is kind of tart but its all drinkable. Even the worst is just fine mixed with a Sprite, which is the way I prefer to drink anyway since I'm not usually trying to get sloshed.
We have had a few hatchling chicks…getting the chicks to survive is tougher. Maybe we should just steal them from mom and raise them inside like when we get them from the feed store, because we do okay doing that part, but the chickens are horrible mothers.
I responded earlier, I think my message got eaten by a spam filter or something. Anyway, no…our sheep are Barbados sheep which are meat sheep. Some hunters in the area will pay to go hunt one of the males with big horns, so that's where the little bit of money is. We don't handle that side of the business.
The wine is okay, a bit tart. Sometimes I mix it with a sprite zero, but it still works. Better than "wine from a box" and other cheap stuff I've had before.
I will have to look up sunchokes they sound like an interesting plant for a garden. Could be very useful.
Ah, too bad about the sheep.
Sunchokes are a great plant in practical terms, but a lot of people are not crazy about the flavor, so I'd definitely try them before planting a bunch. They have them in HEB in Columbus sometimes. Certainly edible, even pleasant in small quantities, but not something I just love to eat all the time. Still, it's a reliable perennial that can passed unnoticed as a food crop and basically takes care of itself.