Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Still Harvesting and I am about done with Blogger

Luckily I have come out from my lethargic lack of motivation the last couple of days and actually been getting some other stuff done besides cutting Tomatoes every night. Blogger has been driving me crazy lately too. It seems I can make a new post and it takes it forever to begin showing up at linked sites. Sometimes taking a day or more and often not showing up at all if I make another post. I have tried all different settings and even asked on their help forums and nothing seems to work.

I did a post earlier today and after over 6 hours it still hasn't shown up anywhere. I find this happens more on Mondays and Tuesdays than any other times during the week but can be a problem ont he other days as well.

Oh well at least it's free I guess.

The dried Bean harvest is in full swing now. I got the first seed crop for each of the four varieties I grew this year put away so the rest is FOOD!!!

So far I have been working my way in from the back trellis and averaging about a full five gallon bucket of dried pods per trellis this year. Actually I think overall the pole beans produced less than average this year but the breeding experiment continues.

Bush beans and Cowpeas produced like gang busters but I have not begun picking the Cowpeas yet although several of them are ready. All in good time, the Pole beans come first and then once all the dried pods are picked I will begin shelling em and putting them in their storage containers for use all Winter. I can also get a more accurate production average per plant then as well. Some of the Pole beans are actually still producing new pods but this latest heat wave has carried them into the almost finished state for picking.

I used to pick the pods green and then dry the beans out in my solar box or the oven but a couple of years ago I decided to try growing them the same way they are done commercially and just letting them dry in the pods. It works great and I have stored some dried beans for years without any spoilage this way. After I shell em I just put them in canning jars the size I need for cooking and then soak em the day before I need em. It has worked beautifully so far.

The last of the Onions have been pulled, dried out and stored. I thought about putting in another bed full and I still might. I still have the third row of Potatoes blooming now and a bed of Sweet Potatoes do harvest once we get a cold snap I guess. I haven't been down to check on the Pumpkins in a while to see how they are doing so I need to do that soon.

This heat wave we been getting has sure slowed things down though and the grass is starting to turn brown while several of the early trees are now dropping their leaves.

Fall is just around the corner.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!

Mental Disorders and the Decline

Rev. Paul over at Way Up North has a post up showing a group of teens walking down the street all talking on their cell phones and asking the question Sheeple or Zombie?

While I commented that I often wonder if the loss of cell phone towers wouldn't prove as bad as the loss of EBT cards his post reminded me of another topic I been mulling over for a few months now. I am not sure I have sufficiently thought the topic out enough to do it justice but I will try.

We have become a society full of every type of mental disorder one can think of. Sometimes I feel that perhaps it's a scam and really as a society we are no different mentally than we were even 100's of years ago. It's just promoted more today. Makes me wonder if what we are seeing with all these mood enhancing drugs and mental health workers isn't just a move for money by those who benefit. Then sometimes I look around and realize in today's world there are just so many more mental traps for people to fall into that perhaps it isn't so much a scam after all.

I imagine that a post collapse world will not be an easy place for those with mental problems to live. It certainly isn't going to be easy for normal people but it's going to be far worse for those with behavior or social issues as well.

While an expert could write volumes about all the various mental disorders out there I personally seem to observe one particular type over and over again. Kinda a type of Autophobia that seems to be getting more and more prevalent as technology grows. A need to be constantly talking and visiting with others.

I couldn't tell you how many Ex Coworkers I observed being walked out and fired over the years because they couldn't leave their cell phones alone for even three hours. Mostly Women I will admit but a lot of Men as well. It was like being alone with their own thoughts for even a  few hours  was worse than  being unemployed or starving to death. Admittedly the job in question was loud and repetitious so their will power broke down much faster than if they were able to do something interesting but still if they couldn't make it two or three hours then I imagine in a survival situation they would drive themselves crazy in only a few short days.

It wouldn't be just cell phones and the internet. Without plentiful fuel supplies people would be stuck and most of them unable to walk even a  few miles for company.

Let's face it the post collapse world is going to become a much lonelier place than it is now. Might be best to deal with it and figure it out before the time comes.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Receding Tide of the Mega-Cities

For the last several decades cheap fuel allowed the constant expansion of mega cities throughout the world but the sprawl was more noticeable here in the United States namely due to the added incentive of White Flight as some have termed it and the housing bubble that allowed flipping to take place. It manifested itself in the form of suburbs more than direct expansion of the cities themselves. Since I had some in-laws with a direct connection to the government employment nipple who lived in the St. Louis area I was in a position to directly witness this phenomenon of suburban expansion first hand.

In the space of less than 15 years they had moved from the far Western edge of what is now Florrisant finally ending up in the little town of Marthasville which is some 40 miles or more away from Saint Louis and up until the late 90's was just a small speck on the map before the road graders began leveling it and dividing the farmland into lots. About every two or three years like clockwork they would move a bit further out and they certainly were not alone, thousands followed in their wake.

Behind this wave of suburban sprawl came the businesses. Strip malls, outlet centers, golf courses, you name it. I would say in one form or another St. Louis spread it's reach a good 60 miles to the West.

Sitting on the edge of what I call the high tide mark of this sprawl was a large outlet mall just South of I-70 on the Western edge of Warrenton.

during the early 2000's the huge parking lot was always full of cars. The stores were bustling and most spaces were filled. Not to say there wasn't some turnaround because there was. Seems like every time you would go by there one store would be out of business but another soon took it's place. There were about 50 stores in this mall during it's hay day.

Not so anymore however. While the traffic around St. Louis is noticeably lessened the last few years this Mall has suffered horribly. Changing ownership and finally going into receivership. When I drove past this weekend I counted less than three store fronts occupied out of the entire property and they were not name brand outlet stores.

Over the last three years or so I have read more than a few articles putting the blame in one place or another for the decline of this mall. Many of the businesses that were there of course went under nationwide which gives those with an interest in this location a shred of hope that it isn't just this one mall but the truth passes them by daily on I-70.

People are not traveling that far any longer.

Just as the businesses followed the housing as the wave washed across the land the housing will now follow the businesses as it recedes back.

Last I heard the now Ex in-laws even followed as well building a new house in St. Peters which is much closer to down town St. Louis than their last residence. Just as I witness out here the houses in close are selling much faster than the one's way out and as time passes this lag is making a difference.

I wonder how long it will be before we start seeing obviously abandoned houses to go along with these abandoned strip malls?

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cross Pollinating Apples

I always knew from reading that Apples needed cross pollinating trees to fruit out properly but it wasn't anything I ever really played around with because we had four large Apple trees that had been here longer than anyone could remember. Even some an old Local 70 year old I talk to occasionally who grew up in this house said they were big when he was a kid.

We always had Apples and they were always pretty much the same. They looked like the small yellow ones with light red streaks you see in the picture above. Some more yellow or greenish than red some less, some would be red on one side but less so on the other. I kinda thought they were some type of Breabern because they always had that look to em but they were never more than palm sized at best.

Then we steadily started losing trees. We lost one in 2010, one in 2011 and then the third one, and biggest best producing, in 2012 during the drought. We got no Apples in 2012 and although I planted some new trees around that year so we have twice as many now as we did, we got no Apples last year either.

This year however the last remaining old tree is heavy once again with Apples. The thing is we are seeing a brand new type with much less red and more greenish yellow....

And they are HUGE.

I mean twice to three times the size of anything I have ever seen that tree produce in 30 years of being around this property.

While I always believed what the experts said about needing cross pollinator trees for Apples I never knew the type of Apple you would get would also change depending on what type you had cross pollinating the other. I mean I figured it would  make a difference in the seeds but thought it would play out like say two different types of Watermelon. It would pollinate but not show a cross until the cross pollinated seeds develop fruit themselves.

I guess with Apples it shows up in the fruit as well although I have never seen any thing I read about it stating it would specifically. I read plenty that said different cross pollinating schemes would produce more Apples but never different types.

Or maybe I am wrong and it is simply something different about the climate or who knows what? All I know is that ancient old tree is producing Apples that I have never seen before after years of picking and mowing over them.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!

Sunday Reading - The Real Costs of Failure

For most of us life is generally a balance of spending time and resources to live or if we are lucky, to gain more resources. This is the way nature intended it and applies to pretty much all life forms. I know there are exceptions although they were rare until someone came up with the idea of FIAT money and deficit spending at which point the number of parasites on the system exploded. Parasites used to be avoided at all costs as a drain. Not so these days.

Pretty simplistic I know. The entire thing is bogged down by ideology in one form or another as one side or another believes they can make a better world. Yet for centuries ideology and greed never really mattered too much overall as resources kept the costs too high. No one lived on credit. At some point the entire natural law of resource use was turned completely on it's head and no longer seems to apply any more.

When such a basic natural law or order of things stops working many other basic truths become fiction as well.

Ability means nothing. Strength is weakness. Common sense becomes racism. Conservatism becomes sexist. You get the idea.

Just look at the up front costs of the recent riots in St. Louis.

How Much did the clashes in Ferguson Cost? Who will pay?

The cost of having police force present during protests and looting in Ferguson is estimated to be millions of dollars. But St. Louis County does not know how they will pay the costs because there is no protocol for such a situation.

 It isn't even those communities the entire state is on the line for the National guard troops as well.

These costs do not include the loss of business and other losses felt by private citizens.

The piece to the entire puzzle that no one seems to be able to find is how long can we continue spending more resources than we take in? It's not just these riots it's almost everything we as a nation or even the world continue to do.

At some point that final piece will fall into place and it will be time to balance the checkbook.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tractor Time : Headin South

Just got a call to make a run down South into Cotton Country. Should be fun I haven't been down that way in quite a few years. Just enough time to set up a couple of tractor pics and get my stuff ready.

Should be a pleasant trip. If I had more of a warning I might have tried to hook up with Swamp Dog along the way but it was a last minute thing.

Maybe the tractor girls will get some stuff done while I am gone.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Let the Goldenrod Flow Begin

Since I suddenly had this incurable need to flee the air conditioning and put on a bee suit in the 95 degree plus high humidity weather I got a few things done I been putting off. One of my new swarm hives down at the Orchard Apiary needed a new brood chamber and I had to mow around the Garden hives as well.

You just know it was an emergency bee operation or I wouldn't have subjected myself  to all that heat. It isn't quite as bad as running around in full military MOP gear. At least the bee suit isn't lined with rubber, but it's close.

Ya know what a bee suit needs? A rubber hose so you can use a gas mask ready canteen cap with it. Hmmmmmm.

Anyway the Goldenrod is blooming down at the Orchard hives. They are about five miles South of my other hives and the Goldenrod hasn't bloomed up here yet. It should be a good Fall flow this year.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!

Tractor Time : Ahhhhhhh

My Son has a friend visiting all next week starting Sunday. The wife is in a panic and has decided everybody must go into super housecleaning mode. She even took the day off to wield her whip.

Listening to the two of them banter back and forth about who did what and should do whichever is enough to make me revisit some old tractor pictures for a little serenity.

Why is it the the guy jobs are always exclusive but the other ones are always somehow a team effort? At least these operators are willing to help out with the tractor duties. I think I need to go check my bee hives as well for some reason.

As usual click for a larger image.