Friday, September 23, 2022

State of the Small-Hold Final

There were of course a few issues I did not mention in yesterday's post that I will soon have to tackle. Luckily my solar set up is still producing above the 60% or so range. Not that I have ever planned on using it for more than battery recharge duties and a short back up for my wood furnace anyway. The panels are still over half good and producing at about 65% while one of my batteries in the storage bank is now barely storing 10%. It is still allowing the flow through the chain however. 

Aside from a water issue I also will soon be facing a wood issue. Frankly all my available sources of wood are now drying up. I have probably enough between what I have stored and what is left on this property to cut to last this year but after that it will be over unless I can find a new source area. I can alleviate the problem a bit by switching from the full house wood furnace to my old backup wood stove, which I have always planned on doing if a full collapse happens anyway. The wood furnace has always been way overkill regardless in my opinion but I had the time to cut and it made the Wife happy to run the furnace. She may have to get used to temperatures I find comfortable rather than the one she prefers this Winter however.

My largest complaint about the Small-Hold has always been the lack of trees. It is a good thing I started planting and allowing trees to grow almost 20 years ago or we would not have enough available for this Winter.

I am seriously thinking about selling off all my hay equipment. Frankly I am not physically able to square bale the entire place and store it anyway and hiring local help could be turned into a MEME these days. If things get so bad that the only way we can get hay is by me doing it myself with my 1950's equipment. Well I would just cut it and store it loose in that case while leaving all the fields open for year round foraging. 

With the horses now gone and only 11 sheep and 3 goats left I think I could get away with loose cutting and emergency only storage for years.

Speaking of sheep. If it came to it I still have probably a year or more worth of mutton on the hoof if needed. Probably 2 years now that I think on it. I may have stopped facilitating the breeding of sheep but sometimes as the old saying goes "Life finds a way". I still have five sheep out there less than three years old and 2 less than 4 years old. If nothing changes the Small-Hold will still have sheep for several years yet. 

Most of my stored preps are still good and have several more years before they should require switching, rotating or removing. 

To be honest as long as it doesn't get too cold or too dry I could close my front door and last a couple of years without leaving the place. Water would only become an issue if we keep watering livestock and wood if I want to keep the wife from complaining about being cold. 

One serious issue, that I seem to be the only one who understands just how serious it is, happens to be another water issue. The county water that is piped into the place does not completely turn off. Even if I take my special wrench for turning it off at the main by the road, the water will continue to seep in at a slow pace, maybe a gallon a day or so. I put my own turn off inside the house (actually I have two in a row in case one fails) BUT it is possible for the line to still freeze where it actually enters the foundation of the house outside. One year it got so cold here during one of those special arctic blasts (I am no longer allowed to call them Alberta Clippers) that I had to break out the inside of the foundation to fix the leak. I have mentioned the faulty shut off valve to the water people and they simply do not care so I am forced to keep the lines open no matter how cold it gets to keep them from freezing at certain points.

I may have to dig out the main line and install my own shutoff if things look like they are going to get that bad.

I am not going to start putting up links right now but with half the world preparing for or already in a conflict. Every world leader and government it seems screaming warnings of this Winter, what is already known to be an extremely bad harvest this year. A brain dead Democrat PoTUS AND Congress (I know redundant). I am also seeing memos and changes business-wise that are very worrying etc. I don't think I have ever seen things go this bad this fast before. In many ways this is worse than even the Obummer years. I am worried and we have very little time.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. Just a thought if I understand your water thoughts. Insulating the earth above your pipes with straw bales or even blue board insulation is a vast improvement over the insulation value of a few inches of soil.

    I dug up and placed 18 inch wide slices of blue board then backfilled to protect a too shallow water line from my well to the house years ago. Neighbors have had frozen pipes (and came to my place for water) but so far not me.

    1. Michael - My real issue with county water piped into the house is not it's depth into the ground it is really foundation issues. Issues I thought were fixed 20 years ago but I found out about 2 years ago were not fixed. This old house was built in parts some of them in the 1800's. I found a bit of newspaper used for insulation that had a print date of 1875 in one wall while renovating. In the early 1900's they put in electric wiring, sometime after that someone dug a basement and installed a foundation, later a septic tank. You get the idea but the foundation is sinking. I had it jacked up and a new foundation wall poured but now it is sinking and cracking as well. When we discovered this problem I have used those rafter jack things but nothing is working. We decided to build a new house and even with cash able to pay for everything right now all I ever get is put on a list. A list that never seems move. I am actually looking into buying my own backhoe now and doing it myself. Looking like it is coming to that.

  2. Yep - your Alberta Clipper is actually “the Siberian High”. We used to have a ridiculous old stubfart weatherman who always said in winter, “keep your eye on the Siberian High!” It’s a high pressure air mass that drives all kinds of lesser weather carnage like your Alberta Clipper.

    I wonder where the Siberians get it from?

    1. Filthie - If it wasn't for those damnable cold snaps we are far enough South water for the animals would not be an issue. Frozen over water that stays more than a week is pretty rare, staying more than 2 weeks is almost unheard of. I have lived in places where it was common and people walked on ice etc. Only a fool would walk on ice down here but even still 3 days of frozen water tanks can kill an animal. It is easy to keep my tanks from freezing but if the pipes freeze and I cannot get to water then I would have issues and storing water with the refreeze heaving that break the storage containers is what I really need to deal with. Especially with a collapsing basement. Until I can find a contractor willing to take on my excavator needs I am kinda stuck... I hate being stuck.

  3. Yeah, water, energy, and heat are major concerns. It's always something, isn't it?

    1. Leigh - Yep or more relevant here. Things always change and require more work. The older I get the more I hate changes lol.


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