It's Friday! This means it's time to encourage everyone to post what things they did during the week -- big or small -- to become more prepared or self-sufficient.
It was a week of busy stuff for us, but not necessarily preparedness-related. Or is it? I would argue anything that encourages self-sufficiency is by default preparedness-related.
Here's our roundup:
• All week, Don has been making progress on the fence for the garden expansion. What he's doing is fencing in an area that will essentially double the size of the garden. It won't all be for vegetables, however. Most of the extra space will be for fruit trees (which, regrettably, we won't have time to get this year). We may also use one of the spots for a dedicated corn patch. Most importantly, the pond will be enclosed. The makeshift fence we've had around the pond all these years (to keep the cows out) is falling down and ineffective. Our biggest fear is a cow will slip and fall down one of the steep sides of the embankment and drown, so we're anxious to keep them away.
He's worked hard putting in poles, making spacings for gates, bracing the poles, pouring concrete, and other tasks to ensure the fence will be sturdy and attractive.
• We moved and filled four tractor tires into the garden, and planted the 24 new blueberry bushes.
• The girls and I took the afternoon off on the weekend and attended the Moscow Renaissance Faire (which is more like a hippie fest, really) and enjoyed ourselves. This is our yearly "birthday tradition" for Younger Daughter since it falls near her birthday. I would argue that traditions and family togetherness contribute to a prepared family (smile).
• Did some cleanup on a cluttered corner by the chicken coop where stuff tends to accumulate. How is this preparedness-related? Dunno. It's just nice to get rid of junk.
• Spent the week milking Polly. And milking Polly. And milking Polly. Since it was a busy week, I didn't have time to do anything with the milk, and by the end of the week the fridge was comically stuffed with gallon after gallon of milk. I finally pulled it all out, skimmed the cream, and (gasp) dumped the skim. Criminal, I know, but I didn't have time to make cheese so the excess milk was just taking up room. I'll make butter with the cream. (If you look closely at the photo, you can see the line in each jar between the cream at the top and the skim milk at the bottom.)
• Don and I fed the bees and noted with pleasure they're busy building comb.
• I worked in the garden, pulling weeds and prepping beds, getting things ready. It's far too early to plant around here (smart gardeners in north Idaho avoid putting anything in the ground until at least June 1) with the exception of potatoes and peas, which I hope to get planted this week.
• I watered the seeds I planted indoors. The broccoli is starting to sprout, as are a few of the peppers. I'm going to confess a deep dark secret, though: I'm going to (gasp) BUY pre-started tomato plants.
• We got a load of topsoil in. Since we're trying to avoid using the heavy clay soil under our feet for planting, all garden tires are being filled with a mixture of topsoil, sand (to keep it friable), and compost. So far this combination has worked beautifully.
• The girls and I went in for our "city day" yesterday and, among other things, did some grocery shopping. It's the first time in four weeks we went grocery shopping. It's what we bought -- and didn't buy -- that is preparedness-related, and I'll expand on that in a separate blog post.
As you can see, nothing earth-shattering this week, just small steps toward self-sufficiency. Much of what we did is either maintenance of existing projects, or continuation of ongoing projects.
Now it's your turn. What did you do this week?