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Category: Prepared Lifestyle

You might be wondering what the “Prepared Lifestyle” means. You should be prepared for all types of forms of preparedness. This means being prepared for Active Shooter issues, Workplace Violence, weather, Stranded in your car, Power outages. There are someways to be prepare.

Candy Board for the Bees


It is that time of year to put a candy board to make sure the bees do not starve during the winter.

This is a simple process. What you need to do is dissolve the sugar in the least amount of water possible and then cook it to remove most of the water. some just use water while others add vinegar and other stuff. I just do the vinegar and sugar. You heat up the mixture to a hard candy temperature and then pour into a mold. Some make boards like I have while others just use baking pans to pour the mixture into. The foil in the middle is a hole for the bees to crawl into to get the sugar. I made enough for two to three hive but one can double this recipe to make more.


5 lbs. sugar

1/2 quart water

1 Tablespoon vinegar

Prepare molds by spray, covering lightly with oil or covering with parchment paper. I just pour on these bee boards.  Put the on a flat, heat proof surface.

Measure the water and vinegar into a large pot and bring to a simmer. Pour in the sugar, stirring until it dissolves.

After the sugar dissolves put the heat to medium high and stop stirring. Insert a candy thermometer into the pot. Boil until the thermometer reads 250º degrees. F.

Remove from the heat and carefully pour into your molds. Allow for it to cool completely and then store between wax paper until you put on the hive.

Quail and Sweet Potaotes



It occurred to me the other day that I had not seen any quail for a while around this farm. This is one the areas of primary range for the Bobwhite quail so I like to keep some areas for them. There have been reports of declines in numbers for this bird. These are delicate birds  need a variety of habitats. Today I looked outside of one window and noticed some around the carport. Elated I went to grab the camera but when I got back they were nowhere to be seen.

What do I do to help with habitat management

Nesting Cover

They like clumps of grass. Native prairie grasses with their clump-type growth form are ideal nest cover . They need clumps they can walk to but give overhead protection.

Brood Cover

Most quail dye during the brood period. Quail chick need to be able to move at ground level but still have overhead concealment and a variety of green plants or plant parts within pecking reach.  This is about two to three inches high. The ground cover needs to be very open with greens to also attract all types of insects they will eat. Beetles, grasshoppers and other insects are most of their diet for the first three weeks. This is why burned areas and just till areas are popular with the quail. The area I saw the quail I had just cleaned out  the day before. The garden area is next to the row of wild plum bushes giving cover.

Prescribed Burning

I do not do a while lot of burning but I just might burn the acre I am not using for agriculture. It is mostly grassland. Burning make me nervous so I will likely not do it but I have years ago done so.

Disking and Mowing

I just might do a path mow in the grassland area to give the birds an easy travel route. I am still in the process of deciding where a good place for a feeder would be. You want it accessible but in an area safe.

Legume Seeding

I am preparing the area of the garden for legume planting.  Korean lespedeza, ladino clover, white clover, red clover, and subterranean clover and alfalfa. These can be broad cast seeded in the winter.

Half Cutting and Shrub Planting

I have planted hedge rows in areas around my property for birds. In the future I plant to do half-cutting of cedar and other plants to create a living bush pile. You do this by cutting a tree 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through leaving a hinge of bark attached so that the tree falls. Hedging laying  is an old fence method used in europe to keep livestock in and has the added advantage of serving as a habitat for birds.


Sweet Potatoes

Learning to grow sweet potatos and potatoes are important for growing vegetables for calories.  I suggest everyone with a garden grow a few to have the skills needed to grow them.

My sweet potatoes were harvested yesterday and are now in the curing stage. Now the best harvest this year but with the potaotes I should have almost enough for the year. The soil was still very moist so the soil stayed on. When they get dryer I will clean them better.  I put them in a cloth bag in the car port to help the starches form into sugars.  As soon as they are dry enough to clean I will clean them better and bring insde to finish curing to avoid frost damage. If you live in an area that freezes you will want to harvest before a hard freeze. This can damage the potatoes if frozen and decay from frozen vines can affect the potatoes.

Curing can be done in 10 to 14 day.  It is best to have them in a warm area. The temperature should be around 80-85 F with high humility.  Afte curing you can put them in a cooler area with lower humility. 

How And Why I Garden The Way I Do



I answered a question yesterday on what two plants I would plant in my garden if I could only plant two. My choice was potatoes and sweet potatoes. It might seem like a really weird answer given all the knowledge of two nutritious vegetables such as tomatoes and kale are. They are also very delicious. However the are not very calorie and weight efficient crops. Of course, I am not taking about a garden for yummy vegetables but crops that can offer the total calories for a humans. It would likely lead to some nutrients deficiencies. No single vegetable or legume has all nine essential amino acids. Most will also experience appetite fatigue from eating the same every day. This is the reason I belive Americans weighted less before. We just did not have the choices we have now which helps us overeat. IMG_0721

It takes 15.7  100 sq ft. beds of potatoes to produce the 2,400 calories per day needed for the average person.  That is 1,600 square feet of growing space or 1/4 acre. I would think a lot of people do not have this much space. Still in some place if people worked together or found empty land to use they could grow their own.




I have enough land to grow my own and I am working on getting up to 8,000 sq feet or 80 beds for two people and 2,400 calories per day. In these beds I will grow 60% carbon and calorie crops (e.g.,  grains) This would amount to 40 beds. 30% would be high-calorie root crops (e.g., potatoes for maximum calories. This would be 24 beds. The remaining 10% will be vegetable crops (e.g. tomatoes, kale ) for vitamins and minerals. This would be 8 beds. I have not got even close to that amount but I am still getting practice growing different crops so if the time came and I had needed to grow enough to survive I would knowledge plus experience. 





Today I canned some whole berry cranberry sauce. I had some  Cranberry Sauce- jellied in the pantry. It is really easy to prepare and you make it using the water bath method so you do not do any pressure cooking a t all. It making jelly and preserves except you want the Cranberry Jelly thicker. The first recipe will take one and part of a second 12 oz bag. The Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce uses two 12 oz. bags. Sometimes when canning you do not get the amount in the recipe. This is usually the result of cooking the sauce beyond the minimal gel point. You can see I only got 4 canned pints. It ended up being 4 1/2 pints and I did not can the 1/2 jar.

This was not grown in my garden but someday I am going to try growing high bush cranberries. They are not a true cranberry  but are an excellent substitute for cranberries. Make sure you plant the true North American species,  Viburnum opulus var. americana because the European varieties are too bitter.


Cranberry Sauce Jellied

1 1/4 cups cranberries

1 3/4 cups water

2 cups sugar


Wash cranberries, drain. Combine cranberries and water in a saucepan. Boil until skins burst.Press mixture through a sieve or food mill. Add sugar to cranberry pulp and juice. Boil mixture almost to jelling point. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space, Adjust two piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

Yield 2 pints


Cranberry Sauce- Whole Berry

8 cups cranberries

4 cups water

4 cups sugar

Wash cranberries, drain. Combine sugar and water in a large sauce pot. Boil 5 minutes. Add cranberries. Continue boiling without stirring until skins burst. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars. leaving 1/4 inch head space. Adjust two piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner

Yield: 6 pints.




Dust Magnet Last Pour


Wine Rack


I have not used this as real wine storage since I purchased a wine fridge. The fridge keeps beverages at a nice temperature and wine bottles that are dust free. That is part of the hazard of living in farmland. You will get dust. Having good windows helps not only to keep out the cold and hot summer heat but also dust. This was in our breakfast nook area. Yes, I know it is wine but that is where is was but more for decor. It held some nice decor and bottle but it was such a dust and fur collector. For come reason all dog and cat fur loved it. All of the bottle also liked to collect dust. It was a hassle to dust and to keep the floor around it clean. It is gone now and so we have a cleaner area and more space for another diner. It is in the away room (parlor) waiting for the ride to the donation center. I will remove the corks and throw away the bottles.



Breakfast Nook


We did not get rid of the wine rack just to clean up the area but we need to place our Big Berkey water filer.  This is one of the best  filtration systems.  We use it to filter well water with a very low possibility of virus contamination. The CDC Guide explains this.  If I had to use pond or river water in an emergency I would boil or use another method to kill viruses. This filter can remove chemicals which concern us.



Food Crisis: What you can do now!

With recent rise in food prices and the world’s food crisis now is the time learn some skills that could be useful in the future. Although I am really not concerned at this time for a food shortage in the basic foods we will likely have to go without the varieties of food products due to the sheer costs and not being available. To be able to have a great diet with variety I suggest you take action in three ways.

1) Learn to garden. Start small now and in the future make your garden larger. Start buying seeds now. Many seeds will last for years in kept refrigerated or in a cold place. You will have the best growing experience with hybrid seeds but It is good to have some seeds that are open-pollinated seeds or heirloom seeds that so you will be able to save seeds in the future. One benefit with saving seeds is you can develop land race plants with will tolerate your climate better that other varieties. If you can start planting fruit trees do so. In some area it can be difficult to grow many of the tress but check state/local sources of what will be best to plant. Discover the native fruit trees/shrubs/vines that grow in your area. I have already planted wild plums and elderberries on my land and have some mulberries growing. Already the plums are producing and growing new plants that I will be able to start planting elsewhere or give to others.

2) Learn to can, dry and store your food. Even if you are not able to produce all you want or need you may be able to barter or buy fruit or vegetables that you do not want to got to waste. The Grand pappy information page has lots of articles and recipes. He was writing a website before all of the preppers started doing so with great advise. If you do not want to can or dry for you own family I suggest going to any of the many emergency supply companies or start stocking up on food your family enjoys eating.

3) Learn to cook. You can learn to make do and make great food if you learn to cook.

Emergency survival kit

It is a good idea to plan for at least a short-term survival kit. I found some web site to help you they types of kits needed. Generally you should have a large kit or emergency supply in your home with a carry away kit if you need to leave the area. Other suggestions are having a survival kit in your car. I suggest having some items in you office if possible.

Emergency survival kit

10-day survival pack to keep in your car for just $25

Water purifying straw

Red Cross

Doug Ritter’s Disaster Preparedness and Urban survival pages


Days, 3 Ways, Are You Ready?

Saving for a Rainy Day or Worse

Just a short note about the need for everyone to have a small emergency supply on hand. The least everyone should have is a 72 hour get away kit. This is enough food, water and medicine to last 3 days and hopefully you can get somewhere to get more food and water within that time. I have always had more than that. Right now at the top of my head I have about 50 pounds sugar, 50 pounds flour and about 30 pounds of rice but I usually have more rice. I also have an assorted mixture of juice, canned meat, canned fruit and canned vegetables and peanut butter. I only major survival people suggest 2 years worth. The only limiting factor is water for most people. Yes, I have two wells but without power they are for the most part useless because I would have to have a very powerful hand pump to get water the depth they are and if I had a generator you still have the fuel problem. So my suggestions is to have on hand as much food as you can store without it going bad. Buying in bulk as I do also save money. I usually buy my flour and sugar in 25 to 50 pound bags and the rice comes in 25 pound bags. Winter is coming and I want to be ready for the snow so I will have to inventory my supply again. I keep my rice in flour in food safe bags in unused metal containers and my canned supply on racks in the basement.
Are You Ready.
Disaster Kit in a bucket.

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