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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Good Quote For Preppers

Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it.
Mark Twain

Pretty straightforward isn't it?

Thank You

I wish to thank all of you who have been praying for my family. Prepping is key in life because we never know what will happen today. Prepping has made all the difference in my life and the aftermath and cleanup of the flash flooding that hit my farm.

The good thing for us is that we have built up prep supplies to take care of farm issues too, and have assembled quick fences where we lost them. The animals are doing well and the garden is popping!

For all that live in the southwest we must never minimize the very real risk of flash flooding. I will take a moment and express to everyone that if you travel through the southwest you must NEVER go into arroyo's(ditches or canals). It may be as sunny and dry outside and the mountains may be having rain- the arroyo's are lethal. Seems like every year I read about a kid from a NM city that either ignored this warning or did not know this, and drowns.

Something else to mention...when we were assessing the livestock my husband and I had a stop action plan regardless of loss of animals. We planned ahead of this so we would not place any person at risk of harm or death. Sounds simple when one is rational, but in heightened emotional or physical duress reasoning is tossed out the window. This is one reason I believe that many would be civilian rescuers die in the act of rescuing another. It is important to act quickly, but planning is critical. For example, if someone is drowning, your first thought is to jump in- but the reality is that a drowning victim will use anything to get air...even standing on you. So a moment of searching for another method seems time delaying but in the end may allow everyone to go home at night.

Oh and back to the stop action plan, in case you are wondering. We had planned to save to lambs and kids as they are our breeding stock. All else we would have let fend for themselves if things were worse. Fortunately we did not have to do this!

Now to why my property became a flash flood site- north east of us, the county approved a mini rural development that is diverting an arroyo. With so many voicing concern the county still approved this and as a result the flooding just goes everywhere. Money instead of common sense has fueled this and will be a problem to us perhaps from now on. So prep work to raise barns is our new project as we can complain and go to repeat county meetings and wait for the government to resolve this(I am pausing for all of you to stop laughing) and resolve the problem ourselves. And for the record we only have an average of 7-9" of rain a year that comes during the monsoon season June 20- July 20(approximately) so this is not an ongoing problem and we have much time to mend fences!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pictures of the Flooding

I posted some follow up pictures on my farm blog Double Nickel Farm...Thank you Matt for being so uplifting 24-7 in the Prepper circuit, you are appreciated so much!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Remembering Why We Prep...Flooding on the Farm

This is what is happening on my farm...I am still amazed at the speed of the rising waters and how quickly our acreage was underwater. The prepping I have done and shared about is and will always be for every possibility. My husband and I play what if games on anything and everything and the kids join in also. I know with our economic crisis and current administration that we, as preppers believe that our biggest prepping will be for whatever results from that. But I can tell you now with probable losses of fences, corrals- that we had wellingtons and plans of action for each family member. Our teens know what to do and listen the first time. We moved all the livestock several hundred yards, to the horsetrailer by wading through water that for me was nearly to my waist.

Prepping is for every situation. Once again I am reminded of the importance of the prepping we have done . So here is what I wrote for my farm blog a few minutes ago...it gives you a window of what has happened.

The farm is flooded due to a storm that hit this afternoon. At 12:35 a.m.(we just came inside from the final securing of animals) we have about 16" in the back and in some parts 18". All pens and corrals underwater...

The sheep and goats are in a borrowed horse trailer parked on the road down from us, as it is not flooded. In fact we parked our truck and car there too...

My farmhouse is muddy and ugh...

Rescued all wet kitties and are inside...wet kitties smell...

The new chicks are in a coop that has water to the floor and all are on perches...(50 birds)

The turkeys are on the perches in their pen and the pen is under water...(6 birds)

The other two flocks are in their pens and on perches...wet feathers...(50 birds)

Farmer, sons, daughter and wife soaked to the bone after four hours of finagling and securing our livelihood...

Garden, due to raised bed tire method is perfect and plants enjoyed the nourishing rain...

The good news to all readers is this...the property has been washed from one end to the other and all the debris has floated to the neighbor down the way. It was stacks of possibility materials that were waiting for some unknown job...

Oh and the neighbors north of us, just sent us their debris which I am certain we can salvage...you know one mans trash is another's treasure...

I am in awe each day as we continue to stay on message that WE the Double Nickel Farm family are not in control and therefore must always rely on Him.

Praying that the rains that are forecasted for the rest of the week are not flood worthy.

I thought of one more bit of good news- my laundry that is still on the clothesline has been washed once more- and we all know that laundry soap that has a fresh rain scent costs just a wee bit more!!!
(c) Double Nickel Farm

Friday, June 26, 2009

Cap and Trade

Al Gore is going to be in our lives regardless of his missed presidential bid(insert he won, the election was stolen). Cap and Trade seems to be on track to pass today and as a result prices are going to go up everywhere!

I confess that the green agenda of saving the planet sounds so wonderful that I almost signed the petition*
"I support clean energy legislation that will create millions of jobs and help solve the climate crisis by closing the carbon pollution loophole."

Funny how simple this petition is, and how ignorant folks are if they believe it. The stimulus package was to create millions of new jobs, but so far, we have seen the closure of many auto dealers, and factories which have caused a ripple effect of jobs lost all over the nation...hmm...whenever the government says that jobs will be created you better count on double to triple the number of jobs lost.

What are doing to prep for extreme legislation against energy? Are you preparing to live with less? Can you live without utilities in the winter? How about the summer(especially in NM)?

While we have been directed to Health Care and the infomercial put on by ABC, the magician Mr. Government has been quietly working this Cap and Trade legislation through. It is a terrible piece of work, and in Europe the corruption is unbelievable. Did you know that you can sell your extra unused carbon? Do you see room for major con artists, selling their unused carbon credits??

I am sick and tired of the corruption and MONEY that rules the political class. So once again what are you doing to prepare for this?

Some things you need to ponder-what can you do to reduce your energy usage now? I am not promoting the Green plan as it is usually more pricey and toxic than common sense. Use the natural breezes that your region has- to allow air to flow through your home. Consider awnings or porches to reduce the heat in your home...we are currently building rustic porches to reduces the heat coming in, and I have been impressed with how effective this is.

*By the way I was kidding about the petition...I do not believe the green crowd- either live what you profess or BE QUIET. Can you imagine how gullible people are that those with money can buy offsets and that is OK? Really- if the earth is dying because of big bad ole man then they should live what they preach, but they don't. Why? Because they are making a ton of money selling the Sky is Falling in a totally neat package.

(c) Double Nickel Farm

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Using Your Food Storage:Challenge #2

When you have food storage it is important to rotate your food. When we use our food storage sometimes our meals become boring or mundane. This is a recipe to use your food storage and make a creative bread, that has the taste of a nutty wheat bread. This is a recipe for pinto bean bread. It is a favorite for my home, and I actually won first place in the Yeast Bread Division at my County Fair.

This recipe also promotes thrift, as it uses the liquids left over after cooking a pot of beans. I also listed the measurement of yeast in teaspoons because I do not buy the packets of yeast. I buy yeast in bulk. Making your own breads is not hard, and will reduce the preservatives in your diet. I have only been baking everything from scratch for a few years and it has become second nature to me. Baking is like anything else, the more practice you have the better you will become.

2 packets yeast(1 packet yeast =2 1/4 tsp.)
1/2 lukewarm water
1/2 cup evap.milk(I often use goat milk or powdered milk)
1 tbsp. salt
6- 7 cups flour
1 1/4 cup water(bean juice:) from making pinto beans
1 cup mashed beans
2 tbsp. shortening
2 tbsp. sugar

Soften yeast in lukewarm water. Warm bean juice on low heat take off heat- add milk, oil, salt, sugar, mashed beans and 2-3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add yeast and more flour until dough is easily handled. Knead until smooth(5-10 minutes). Place in greased bowls and let rise until double in bulk. Punch down and let rise again. Shape and place in 2 greased bread pans. Let rise again.

Bake 40-45 min. at 375 F.

Pinto Bean Bread

Rootbeer Bread- I am putting this picture up so you can see that I make bread in round pans too. I like the different shapes and how it changes the feel of a meal!

It is important when preparing for any situation that food brings comfort so do not minimize the need to learn to use your food storage in a variety of ways. It will make all the difference!
(c) Double Nickel Farm

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Using Your Food Storage: Challenge

Can you serve gourmet foods from your food storage? I challenged myself to make a nutritious meal with items from the home that both the teens and adults would enjoy. It is extremely important to know how to use all the items in your food storage and it is a bonus to be able to create delicious meals at the same time!

1. Flour, sugar, yeast, olive oil, water, salt
2. 1 gallon goat milk, rennet tablet
3. fresh spinach
4. tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion salt

1. makes a basic pizza crust
2. makes fresh goat cheese
3. shredded is a perfect topping
4. makes a pizza sauce
This is the finished product. A lovely pizza that was delicious and nutritious for minimal effort and maximum delight to all.

In stockpiling and prepping one sometimes forgets that life continues even in stressful situations, and that comfort items have and will always make the difference for the morale of the group. Please remember that the mental well being is very important, especially for the children, so take the time to compile recipes and store items in your pantry that will allow you to have a gourmet meal in mere minutes.*

* the cheese was made the night before- the pizza crust and fixing's were only minutes to prepare.

Here is the recipe I use to make pizza's.

Here is how I made the goat cheese.
I met an old man who also raises goats and he told me this way, and it is so easy...
~rennet tablet(can buy Junket tablets which are usually near the pudding in the grocery)
~1 gallon of goat milk
Boil the milk to 190 degrees F. Let cool to 90-100F, add rennet tablet, stir. Let sit for several minutes until the cheese starts to form curds. Place in cheesecloth bag, hang over bowl to allow for the moisture to drip(this is whey- save for other cheeses, etc) Let hang overnight cheese is ready the next morn(about 8 hours draining.)

Here is where I get the farm fresh spinach:
Have fun challenging yourself to use and rotate the items in your food storage. It is wonderful when the rotation is not a chore but a fun challenge to keep everyone content!
(c) Double Nickel Farm

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sensing the change?

I have been out of blogging for a bit. I have been busy with the garden and with getting our wood for the winter season(s) upcoming. We are noticing that others are seeming to wake up, albeit slowly. The local business in town that sells wood(not like us who go to the mountains and cut our own) has already filled his lot to the brim. I have never seen so much wood there in all the years I have lived in NM, and wonder if he too sees the way the wind is blowing.

With the Cap and Trade utilities are going to be very high in the upcoming winters and many will have to turn back to the old ways. I must confess my husband and I were startled to see the prepping that this business is doing. Nothing is pointing to NM having a bad winter, so I believe I am correct on what is going on.

Have you noticed that more and more people around sense something?

This is a load that we got last week. There are restrictions on using a chain saw past 10 am in the mountains due to fire danger so we have been cutting 8-10 foot trees and bringing them home to cut. The work crew is vegging on the top of the truck.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Herbal Spotlight: Dandelion

I have began to write about the medicinal values of herbs(and some beauty tips) because I believe that we absolutely need to get back to basics in all that we do as preppers. I am not saying that we need to go cold turkey on prescriptions and medications. Why I am writing about herbs is that so many synthetic medications have side effects that are often more toxic than the initial reasoning to take the meds.

As a prepper I have come to the conclusion that money has been a lead factor in why many products are made, and why we are lead to believe that natural or herbal remedies are not safe. If we can make a tea or salad that will heal us, then the pharmaceutical companies loose money.

Now that said, I will put a disclaimer in as the times we live in require this: I am not a doctor nor am I suggesting that I know all of your medical conditions. I am offering information to give you an opportunity to understand that you can be in control of making you a more healthy person, and that simple remedies may heal you.
My family and I went up to the mountains east of my home to bring home more wood, and I began to forage for the local plants for my herbal pantry. Do not gather dandelions where sprays and chemicals are used as YOU may be at risk for serious health issues. Gathering up in the mountains affords me the opportunity to collect herbs without any chemicals on them. There are many medicinal uses for dandelion, and this link has shared even a breakthrough for lowering triglycerides.

Dandelion is a natural diuretic that increases urine production by promoting the excretion of salts and water from the kidney. Dandelion may be used for a wide range of conditions requiring mild diuretic treatment, such as poor digestion, liver disorders, and high blood pressure. Dandelion is a source of potassium, a nutrient often lost through the use of other natural and synthetic diuretics.

Fresh or dried dandelion herb is also used as a mild appetite stimulant and to improve upset stomach (such as feelings of fullness, flatulence, and constipation). The root of the dandelion plant is believed to have mild laxative effects and is often used to improve digestion. Research suggests that dandelion root may improve the health and function of natural bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have also reported that dandelion root may help improve liver and gallbladder function.

Some preliminary animal studies also suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels and improve lipid profiles (lowering total cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing HDL, "good," cholesterol) in diabetic mice. However, not all animal studies have shown the same positive effect on blood sugar.
The site Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You, is loaded with more valuable information about dandelions and the vitamins they contain:

According to the USDA Bulletin #8, "Composition of Foods" (Haytowitz and Matthews 1984), dandelions rank in the top 4 green vegetables in overall nutritional value. Minnich, in "Gardening for Better Nutrition" ranks them, out of
all vegetables, including grains, seeds and greens, as tied for 9th best. According to these data, dandelions are nature's richest green vegetable source of beta-carotene, from which Vitamin A is created, and the third richest source of Vitamin A of all foods, after cod-liver oil and beef liver! They also are particularly rich in fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and the B vitamins, thiamine and riboflavin, and are a good source of protein.(source)

In my book, Rodales Encyclopedia of Natural Home Remedies, it is said that the milky substance that is on the stem of the flower can be used to cure warts. All one needs to do is rub the milky substance over the wart.

Drying the leaves is simple, just wash and place on the drying trays.
Here I am drying the flowers. I have used the flowers in home made shampoo for my family. The value of dandelions is almost unmeasurable. It is surreal to find that something that Americans spend millions of dollars to remove from their yards is more nutritious and healthy than most of the items we grow in our gardens. If you cannot find dandelions in your region, please go to my farm blog and click on the Mountain Rose Organics on the left hand column. Then at the site just search for dandelion and you can pick and choose which product may be right for you. All the products on the site are low cost.

Here is another post I wrote for Nunavut Preppers, on Herbal Spotlight: Caledula.

Here is the post I wrote for Double Nickel Farm on our trip to the mountains to collect dandelions and gather wood.

(c) Double Nickel Farm


Monday, June 1, 2009

Why Not Raise Your Own?

In my previous post I shared why we raise goats. As times continue to look less and less positive, it is a comfort as a prepper to know where much of my food comes from. When we originally began life on our farm, we wanted to raise animals to reduce costs, and eliminate all the hormones etc, added to everything.

We traded labor for 2 Black Spanish hens and found the tom on Craigs*list. So we began our flock of turkeys and have been excited ever since, as turkeys are huge compared to chickens and of course are yummy.

Here is our Tom in front of a Dominique rooster.
Turkeys are pretty neat creatures to raise as they are vibrant and plain all at once. As you see below the tom with the hen. The kids named the tom Krut which is turk spelled backwards. They have no problem with eating him, as he looks so full and well like Thanksgiving every day! We had 2 successful hatched eggs this year. Neither of the Black Spanish hens would set on the eggs, so we quickly switched the eggs under another turkey that we have- which is a midget turkey. She has been amazing as she set on 9 eggs and Black Spanish turkeys hatched and three chicken eggs hatched. The chickens that she hatched were a bonus as we ordered chicks this year from McMurray Hatchery.

See the Black Spanish Turkey? Here is a picture of Turk the hen that was our setter this year. It is so important to promote hens that set on nests. I have read how the commercial hatchery's are trying to breed this trait out of the hens. It is a sorry state, but everything in the world seems to be about the money. By having a setter you can carefully breed the lines you wish and increase your flock without having to rely on indoor incubator. As a prepper it is vital to be able to increase your flocks if McMurray Hatchery or others no longer are in commission.

Here is Turk last fall. You can see one of our simple perches that I made to resemble the southwest ladders!! Easy and free. Turk was a rescue from a young woman we know. Her dogs cornered Turk in her backyard and she saved her and gave her to us. It is amazing how our little farm has increased even though we live by the motto "low cost no cost".

Don't forget in addition to feed, that turkeys love the slops(leftover foods from your table). Our turkeys love rice of all things. The key to all the animals or birds that you may raise is one thing. Keep the pens and houses clean. It is amazing how simple this concept is and yet many neglect.

By the way the two hatched Black Spanish turkeys...one is a male and one is a female!! So we have a few options for food storage. Another important factor when raising specialty birds is that the feathers are a commodity too. Native Americans buy the feathers as well as crafters, so gather any that are around the pen and look on line. You will find someone that will buy them. In New Mexico the feathers sell for around $2.00 a piece!

Don't underestimate live things in your stockpiling and prepping. If you have any questions and wish to ask me privately I have added my email to the side bar. Have a wonderful day!
Black Spanish Turkeys wikipedia
Rare Breeds
(c) Double Nickel Farm
New Mexico Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. New Mexico Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.