My wife and I love wheat. But we greatly appreciate Carol's perspective. She has focused on corn, which for the home grower much easier to process. Being a plant breeder, Carol has actually developed some varieties of corn, special for the homesteader type. Also, we know a number of families with celiacs in them. We couldn't resist, we had to send them copies. We can't send out more now.
But this book is very high on our list as a "must have," for several reasons. Do look at the link below. There you can download the table of contents and first chapter of the book for free. You'll probably have to order it after reading that ;. Here is a link that might be useful: Carol Deppe dot com. George reminds me of something I forgot completely, regarding a hearing I attended about permitting chickens in the city. Someone spoke that said pretty much just what George said about ducks, and ducks not only should be permitted but are superior to chickens and if people raised ducks instead there would be no fuss over the issue of urban 'poultry'.
I just downloaded and read the first chapter. While it looks like a really interesting book, I'm not sure personally I would find a lot of useful information in it that I haven't already gleaned from trial and error and the school of hard knocks. It might be worth a purchase just for a "preaching to the choir" kind of feel-good read for me. I love the idea of self-sufficiency, and I really do try to practice it as much as possible. I'm not really sure what comments I could make that I haven't made before in many threads, so I'll just share some pictures:. Late spring view of part of my garden taken in This area was brassica crops, potatoes, but it's hard to tell from the photo since they're small.
I know of several residential areas which have a stream or pond inhabited by ducks. The ducks in those places are considered an asset to the community because they are entertaining to watch and lend charm to the landscape. Feeding the ducks is a fun activity.
I am enjoying watching the water fowl this winter -- ducks, geese, swans and cormorants. How they swim and dive in that frigid water for hours at a time is hard to believe. Their feathers provide amazing Waterpfoofing, insulation and buoyancy. Jim, you're right about how it doesn't make sense how people complain about poultry noise. When we lived in Mexico I could hear easily roosters at almost any time. Everyone, including me, thought that was a beautiful sound. I suspect it's our media like cartoons, etc.
Denninmi, I'd be surprised if you didn't learn something. I've been on this path for about 40 years and I learned some things. Carol, being a plant breeder, gets into quite a bit of genetics, especially in corn. Still, it is a good "preaching-to-the-choir" book ;. I loved my ducks, and i liked their eggs fried, but the hard-boiled ones had, i don't know, this weird texture and kinda fishy taste that i just couldn't get over.
But boy, they DID lay alot of eggs!! They were definitely hardy, i never found a randomly dead duck like i do chickens. Either something got them usually owls or the males drowned the females in the mating process I could butcher if i HAD to I love my roosters crowing, and i'm looking forward to getting my first peacocks this spring, that'll teach those rich SOBs who built their McMansion right up against my property line!
I would love a couple runner ducks, though The same goes for seed saving. Carol Deppe makes the point that all seed saving is plant breeding. I used to use T-tape drip irrigation, but I quit a few years ago because I had a tremendous problem with voles chewing into the lines to get water.
The black line you see snaking down the plastic goes to overhead sprinklers -- that is the thicker flexible PVC pipe, and nothing has chewed it, although I can't say it resists puncture from garden tools or lawnmowers too well, as I've come to find out. This results in a nice, uniform series of holes in the plastic large enough to let rain through, but small enough that virtually no weeds pop through them. The yellow and white look on the hive bodies is because I slacked off and only got part of them repainted last spring before I needed to use them.
Oh well, better luck this upcoming spring. I have enough left to finish the job someday. Runner ducks are surprisingly good eating. I understand that sailing ships, stopping in Indonesia or Malaysia used to load up on them smoked for eating on their journey. But the last ones I had apparently were not a very good strain. I'm going back to Muscovies! The only equipment I need for butchering birds is a bucket with scalding water, a machete or hatchet, a couple of knives though I could do everything with just one knife , and a bowl. Well, I can't eat mine. I turn everything into a pet.
I guess it's the Ellie Mae Clampett syndrome or something. Too bad I don't have the multi-millionaire father to go with it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against it, I just personally can't bring myself to "do the deed". Cooked a turkey yesterday, as a matter of fact. But, it came from the store. Glad to see I'm not the only one with trouble eating the critters in my care.
My hubby has wanted to get chicken or ducks for eggs, but hasn't figured out where to retire them when they outlive their productivity, since I told him I would not eat them. No problem with store-bought, just a personal internal thing with the gag reflexes, for those that have made me smile. I suppose ducks could be used as 'tractors', same as chickens? And also, is it so that ducks are superior to allow loose amongst garden plants to eat bugs? George, I always enjoy an enthusiastic recommendation.
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I bought the book last night and it's on it's way. I was surprised that my library system didn't have it. I've always been interested in sustainability and would like to try to move toward that direction more. LOVE your photos Dennimi. I would also never be able to eat an animal I raised. Definitely couldn't harm a hair on their head. I would be in big trouble I suppose if I had to live off the land. Do you take care of all your gardening and livestock yourself? Pat, I've seen recommendations for using them in gardens.
But my personal experience is that they don't belong in the garden. Remember I mentioned that they are "exuberant? Later that year, when it was early winter, I let them back into the garden. Well, when I went back to check on them they were pulling up Eygptian onions and swallowing them like a cartoon character slurps spaghetti! I did build a duck pen into one corner of the garden. Later I rotated its location, letting the ducks enrich the spot. I just dug into the section of this book on potatoes.
It is rich on info on the different kinds not varieties but kinds, such as for baking, mashing or boiling, etc. Plus Carol goes into great depth on how to save your own potatoes for growing from year to year. There is more to it that I would have thought. I've never had duck eggs and I would like to try them. I also want to get ducks on my farm eventually. I don't have a house built yet so the critters would probably get my ducks if I didn't have a couple big dogs to protect them and I can't have a couple big dogs if I'm not there to take care of them because of no house.
Oh well. Hey, I love goose eggs. They were HUGE! And they were rich. I'm a big eater but I made an omelette out of two goose eggs and I could barely finish it. After that, one goose egg was plenty for breakfast and the yolks were orange and very, very good! FYI, I ordered both books from Amazon today. Am looking forward to reading them, especially on seed saving. When I read a book like this one, first I check out the acknowledgements, intro and table of contents. Then I jump around in the book to different parts that especially catch my attention. Finally, I settle down and read it cover to cover.
I'm about two thirds through this last step now. Most recently I discovered that Carol Deppe explains how to actually let ducks help in the garden without destroying it. Also, in this book she goes into detail with instructions on producing and cooking the best flavored duck eggs. Cooking them for optimal flavor and texture requires a slightly different technique than that used for chicken eggs. You might possibly find that it makes a difference if you thank the animal instead of apologizing.
Ducks are excellent bug control, but they will eat small plants. So maybe not so good for the veggie garden. Duck eggs have a very good and high priced market because people who are allergic to "eggs" are most often allergic to chicken eggs and can eat duck eggs. There is also a strong market for oriental cooking. So if you are looking for self-sufficiency, duck eggs have good cash generating or barter value. George now you've done it, I was going to paint walls but they can be done anytime right :.
I'm putting an order in today for both of these books. They'll come at a time when I can't do much in the garden so it looks like I'll be spending some very enjoyable evenings sitting by the fire reading, looking at the all the rain we're getting now there'll be a few afternoons too. Maybe I can get some painting done before the books come, maybe not I need someone to give me a jump start. Many people who are allergic to chicken eggs can eat Coturnix quail eggs safely.
It takes about 4 to 5 of those to equal one large chicken egg in volume, so it is more cracking to get a serving of scrambled eggs. Carol is a great writer. Wonderful reading her words. I really loved her book on breeding veggies.
The Resilient Gardener by Carol Deppe
One of my best ever books for reading. Here is what I found on the web about the book. Hope this helps. This is most likely written by the publisher. In "The Resilient Gardener," Deppe extends these principles with detailed information about growing and using five keystone crops that are especially important for anyone seeking greater self-reliance: potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs.
In the end, though, this is a supremely optimistic as well as realistic book about how resilient gardeners and their gardens can flourish even in challenging times and help their communities to survive and thrive through everything that comes their way - whether it's tomorrow or in the next thousand years. I have a question for those of you keeping ducks -- is it feasible without pond or stream? I had crossed ducks off the list since I don't have year-round water anywhere. I despise duck meat but I prefer their eggs compared to chickens, and I think a big bodied duck would be too much of a challenge for the occasional hawk I get when there are squirrels and rabbits everywhere.
Plus, I think 2 or 3 ducks would be more palatable to my suburban neighbors than chickens. I'm allowed to keep anything I want Thanks for this post. Now I want this book even more! I already have "Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties" and have read what articles she's put up on her website, and it's all good. I rent my house, and I doubt my landlord would allow poultry. We had enough trouble getting him to allow our pet cats would I need to pay a pet deposit for each chicken?
Also, I did ask if I could plant a veggie garden in the backyard, and he said it was fine, but I do wonder if he was thinking the "couple of tomato plants" type of veggie garden, or what I ended up doing, which was digging up every bit of the yard that wasn't too shady! Which turned out to be about a thousand square feet of growing space. But considering that I'm pretty poor right now, darn that recession! It seems almost foolish and wasteful to me to not try and grow as much of my own food as I can, especially during these tough economic times.
I love Deppe's attitude about gardening for self-sufficiency and resilience. It's all "doing the best with what you have", rather than expecting you to have ideal conditions. It's starting to look like it might be a lot. Alabamanicole, to answer your question, yes. You can. I know folks who do it by setting out numbers of buckets. But even with our pond out back, I still set up a kiddie pool near the coop. The main thing is that they have to be able to submerge their heads, in order to clear their nostrils from dust, etc.
I believe that it is best to have something large enough for them to jump in and splash around in. But you can do this without a pond or stream. I do have two caveats on this. First, if you keep ducks together with chickens, be sure that you keep waters clean by frequent changing. Chickens can really suffer by not having clean water and ducks love to dirty it.
Second, beware when introducing ducklings to the waterers or kiddie pool.
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Sometimes they manage to jump in, but are not able to get out. Then they drown. I always have a really shallow pan for them and place ramps in the other waterers, so if they do get in, they can walk out.. Neohippie, I feel your pain. There is a lot you can do. She herself is not a large land owner and has passed periods of time as an apartment dweller. Even if one could not garden or raise anything, there are ways to better cope and be prepared. Carol Deppe deals with a number of the things these authors write about.
But this other book is written more from the perspective of one purchasing what they need. Alabamanicole, you are probably right. We've had very little problem with hawks and Muscovies. Of course Muscovies are real survivors. They even have claws and know how to use them. But any larger breed would probably be more hawk resistant. When the alien life-forms come, and view us as a handy food source, and we could understand their enlightened thanksgivings to us for being their food, would that make being slaughtered more acceptable?
Or would we still seek ways to avoid it? Neither thanks nor guilt on the part of the slaughterers make a bit of difference to the slaughtered. How they live before the slaughtering does make a difference to them, of course. But at the moment of destruction, that's all in the past. I consider it one of the most interesting and important features of the book for home gardeners.
For example, she wrote about strategies for dealing with isolation distances in seed saving and plant breeding when space is limited, as it is for many of us. Most other seed saving info just states "50 feet" or "half mile" and leaves it at that. Pat, I hope I haven't offended you. I respect what you're doing. Earlier I wrote: "But I know that I'm doing what is right. I'm a Christian and find biblical support for this as well. If you'd like to "converse" about it, we could do that via e-mail.
I just believe that debating the concept of animal vs human life is too wide for this thread. We hatched our 3 black east indian duck eggs under a banty hen. After they hatched we gave them a small dishpan for a pool, they loved it but it sure freaked their mom out when they jumped in. Then we hatched a pekin under the same hen, mom had a hard time covering it up at night when she started to grow :. We bought a kiddie's wading pool for her and the others, the only trouble was the pekin emptied it out after doing a couple of fast laps.
We lost our ducks when a mink got into their pen one night, didn't have the heart to get any more. Well, I don't know if I would consider it a staple by any means, but I've made dried summer squash and cucumber chips many times. When dry, dust them with a flavoring like ranch dressing type herbs.
Makes a nice crispy snack. George, thanks for the info. I used to have semi-wild Muscovies at my old house They were tough, but not very bright. Not tough enough to win versus a speeding car, but tough enough to stare down my dog and make her back away very confused. Denninmi, Carol Deppe dedicates a page or so to making chips from summer squash. But she spends more time on drying it for use in soups and other uses, which are more substantial then snack food.
Turns out the Hidatsa and Mandan tribes, at least, actually used more of the green squash, in dried form, for cooking meals, than they did the mature squash. For us it was laundry detergent. DE, baking soda, bentonite clay, tea tree oil, oil of oregano, peppermint oil, lavender oil.
Learn to do own appliance maintenance,and how to check for proper function and dysfunctions. Make all gifts for B days, weddings,graduation,baby and housewarming showers, and Christmas. I was the youngest member of a large family. I married a woman that grew up an only child. The differences in the way we spend and save money is stark and scary some times. She sees some of my behavior as hoarding. I see some of her behavior as wasteful. There is one habit I picked up that has served me well as far as attending church and eating the free meals offered there: Networking.
I talk to people and answer questions when asked where my wife is more stand-offish. When people get to know you and observe you seeking to repay debts and talking to others, opportunities tend to come your way. It was through church that I got into the US Forest Service, Church folks also connected me with people that worked in the other agencies I eventually joined. There are several conditions that must be addressed first: 1. There is no real way to prep if a person is living a hand-to-mouth existence. Are you healthy enough to work? How about overtime or a second job? You may be poor now, what are you doing to change that?
Prepping is a lifestyle as addressed by NRP. Living frugally is a lifestyle as I learned as a child of a large middle-class family. Some folks will never learn. I just referred to this process as a continuous chain of bad decisions. In my younger years, I referred to it as being stupid butt that phrase made many people angry so I had to rephrase my previous statement.
As a person that worked their way through college to major in Economics I have this to say regarding diet:. The cost is in your time and labor. The resulting meal is also better for you and will be balanced nutritionally. This makes fast food look pretty bad and this is the core of what I teach patients about good decision making when they leave. It requires mastery over impulse control. I grew up listening to stories about what my relatives did during the Great Depression. They make for good stories today butt I would not want to go back to those days again.
Suffice to say that hunger makes for good marksmanship. The Great Recession of led to my relocation to another state and another job.
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I was not able to sit back with a bowl of popcorn and watch. I was filling out job apps and phoning the moving company when I was not working. It was a busy time and it sucked during those days. All consumer grade generators are made to a certain spec and MTBF. I cannot divulge any more, but you DO certainly get what you pay for. Among my many daily duties is overseeing call center operations. The overwhelming call volume is people who bought cheap generators, typically through a third party on a payment plan.
Typically a very, very entitled attitude.
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They are homeless in most cases. But we stay far away from it, not entirely sure why, probably a liability issue. They probably work OK; not so sure on the overall quality. A licensed, local gas contractor can probably answer this much more accurately. This is only my opinion, based on experience, within the limited scope of my work. But if you want my opinion, on a best bang for your buck ratio, take a look at the Ford Power Equipment line of generators.
I can also assure you the customer support is top notch. Frankly, they are a very decent machine for the price. Worlds away from their old cruddy line. That makes three of us. Oh gosh… UST. That is a stalwart of generic Chinese generators. They keep it simple, apparently only offering a few sizes of open-frame generators, bone simple, loud, boxy, but they do tend to work longer than one might expect. I had a conversation on this a few days back.
I wish I could copy and paste the whole thing. Hundreds of comments. Find a big bottle of good liquid handsoap and clean out that foaming handsoap bottle you were going to throw away. Make your own dish detergent. Baking soda, salt and citric acid those little packets of lemonade powder work. Rinse and repeat. It is often cheaper to eat fresh than to eat prepackaged, regardless of what the marketing says.
Use your car as a dehydrator.
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Scrounge for what you need. Ask neighbors and friends. Look around. Really look at what you have and what you need. Can a torn sheet be repurposed into a bandanna, bandages, and other supplies? Can the tree you just cut down go to someone who has a fireplace and has bottles you could trade for? A dehydrator can be made with old window screens too. Just need to keep out bugs. Green beans can be strung together, dried on the porch in something like cheesecloth. Big Trash Day in the city can be a resource. When you work in construction, you often have to re-locate for work. It is a hard choice when you have to pull the kids out of school, leave friends, … but, if there is no future where you are and you do not want to depend on the government, move.
It can be as simple as moving from urban centers, to growing suburbs to get into the mix and reduce travel time. It is always easier if you can networked with others in a new area before you move. Some other areas of the country are raising property taxes or initiating income taxes to cover there overly generous pension commitments of the past — if you stay, you will not be able to avoid the financial burdens of past corrupt administrations — best to walk away. Good grief if I pass away my kids are gonna shake their heads at some of the things I have back.
Lauren is right look at what we throw away. So much can be repurposed. He understands the concept of prepping. If DH and I pass away before said event, well…. Some things i found glass broken held sentimental value duck plantar. It did not hold any for me…. Plan is to put those to use. Sale or gifts, does not matter if i make and give, has saved me money by crafting it myself.
Society may be a throw away society, but we have the ability to choose to make our imprint as small as possible by re using…. Businesses have incoming freight on wooden pallets the they have to pay to dispose of. Mostly made of pine, but there are some of nice heavy oak. Either refurbish the broken pallets and resell or construct wooden projects. Most business will just give them away for the asking. Joe ,.. Lol Luv ya, gal. Keep on keepin on! Thanks, I think…. I did have help doing it , but was really hard work salvaging … DH carried chainsaw and cut part apart… There are days I let my mouth overload whole self and i suffer for a few days but always go right back at it.
JoeC Pallets burn pretty good too,, Can be stacked up to make fences etc, a friend cut a bunch up and built his kids a playhouse. Joe C, yes, we obtain the pallets that the trek repurposed plastic material wood comes on to a local Amish family that makes furniture with the product. Some are 12 ft. These pallets are super heavy duty…nice, thick wood.
They are great for placing farm implements and firewood and even making into fencing for pigs. Including deer blinds. We have the timber on our land to do that though so we are good. We have used pallets to build compost areas and a turkey shed area also. We love pallets and especially love the heavy duty ones we get now. Must have been Modern Throwback. Spent time at the cabin today doing this and that. I easily get distracted by the creek that runs by.
Too many breaks….. Be careful with pallets if they are shipped internationally. They are required to be treated with some pretty nasty pesticides to prevent insect migration. Never seen an oak pallet, must be for some really special freight. TMac Oak pallets come out of missouri and surrounding areas, pretty common a while back, now i think most are from farmed pine, i agree on the foreign crap though. So many in fact that a couple years back. I got so many from where I worked. That I could strip down and cut down to wood stove stove length, a 10 or 12 foot pallet, on a 10 minute break.
We get coiled steel on oak. And yes, those imported pallets are nasty. And the enclosed shipping containers they come in are worse. Makes ya wanna vomit. Steel is shipped on heat treated oak pallets.. Ken, if people are that poor, work another job. I have worked 3 jobs to take care of my family before. Defcon, second and third jobs are ok only if they are gainful monetarily, have watched people work them selves down, use up their resources, such as their vehicles and when a good job comes about they were unable to chase it.
Myself, when times are hard I just squat down like a quail and watch for the best time to fly. Your health and transportation are hard to replace when on the down side, one has to be careful not to run the horse down. Defcon, be there, done that! Learned from experience taking on jobs. Taking on 2 and 3 jobs is relevant to where and how you chose to live. I live remote and secluded and selective whom I work for, cost me work and advancements but by my own doing.
No regrets. TXDAN, agreed one has to weigh the cost of buying lunch out vs carrying own. Many people that have trouble making it on one or two jobs…can not make it on 3. It is in spending control. Sounds like your family is mine. It sounds like you got the Memo that money can not buy everything. It can make life easier…. Our family paid dearly for DF being gone on construction work, and we knew to put up extra groceries because of weather and etc stopping work for 3 months at a time….
Yes, he ran bull dozer, track hoe, scraper, tractor trailer, cut and hauled pulp wood. I watched, and learned to try to work hard, and smart. Not buying thru regular chanels, barter, trade, with work and needed items…. Tommyboy Yep Come winter those oak pallets are hard to come by. All sorts of things to do with those thow a way pallets. One of my first additions to a prepping type pantry was rice and beans.
I figures they could be used to extend meals, make soups, and together they form a complete protein. I remember how much better I felt after I packaged to few extra pounds of food. Both are fairly inexpensive to purchase because not many people actually prepare food from scratch anymore. And even cheaper when on sale. Always double check the ethnic section of your grocery store because they often carry the same items found in other areas of the store, but they are priced lower.
As the old saying goes, we had everything but money. My Grandma did a lot of our raising. My parents both worked during the day so my Grandma kept us kids and cousins. Everybody helped everybody. She had a huge garden. We traded things out of that garden for honey, ribbon cane syrup, berries, or fruit. So we traded. Everyone in the area traded.
If someone was hurting you just left stuff on their front porch. One uncle worked in the morning and fished the rivers in the afternoons. He sold catfish filets to people. We always had plenty to eat because we worked with what we had. Save every jar, coffee can, or container. Use it up, wear it out, or find another one that is used. Shoes, clothes, tools, whatever. Learn to save food by pressure canning or dehydrating.
Grow as big of a garden as you can handle. Find people that are willing to trade with you. I read free books and write down the things I need to remember. I find the act of writing them down on paper helps me to remember. I mean plates, bowls, cups, saucers, everything.
I get accused of being a packrat by my kids. I was taught by grandparents that made it through the Great Depression. I guess that learning makes me the way I am. I am trying to cut down expenses. I am getting healthier so I make less doctors trips and less medicine. Lost weight on keto and now no diabetes meds and 45 pounds lighter. Sold my too big clothing and bought smaller clothing at resale stores.
I am not going to spend a fortune on clothes. I am trying to make do with what I have. On food storage, trying to buy a little at a time. Needless to say some of what I had stored is useless. I will put it aside for family that comes. Rice, pasta, etc. Now I store only what I can eat. We have a garden planted. We love yard sales. So that means I usually eat 1 meal a day in the evening. Apparently that is a thing now. Only eating one meal a day. I did it just because I figured out I was eating just because it was breakfast or noon.
Now be advised I do eat breakfast and lunch if I really am hungry. Sometimes I might not eat to 9 at night and sometimes I might eat at 2 pm. I just let my body tell me to eat. For whatever reason I am hungrier when I am on duty. I already eat a lot of meat from my hunting and fishing. So I store flour, beans, rice, pasta and a few canned items I enjoy.
My garden is growing well. I should have a good haul of tomatoes, squash, corn, peppers, and okra this year. I hope your and yours are doing well this year.