Author Topic: Wildwm's 13  (Read 2538 times)

Offline wildwm

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Wildwm's 13
« on: February 24, 2013, 05:08:26 AM »
I have been actively planning and adding skills necessary for sustainable and resilient living most of my life but have seriously picked up speed since “retiring” and living on 5 acres.  I review progress throughout the year, keep a journal and use a software package called Achieve Planner to lay out long term goals and all the tasks involved in accomplishing the goals.  This is just some of my efforts for 2013.

Herbal Remedies
I am completing Rosemary Gladstar’s herbal course.  I’m finishing up lesson 3 now.  The individual herb study and testing/assignments are pretty challenging in terms of time.  This has really helped me to study a variety of herbals and their usefulness for food and medicine.  I’ve gone through the Herbal Energetics course once already but feel the need to go back through it.  It is beginning to make sense to me as I work with herbs.  I am also viewing a series of videos from Gladstar on herbal remedies and a course from 7Song on herbal first aid.  This last series is very good.  I am adding about 12 more herbs to my property this year.  I am already very comfortable in making herbal remedies and teas.

First Aid
I've finished an online certification in first aid and CPR.  I kept both of these active for years so I felt I just needed to refresh my memory on both.  I haven’t started The Great Courses lectures on anatomy and physiology but I’m about a quarter of the way through Holistic Anatomy.  Again this is mostly a refresher for me but a good one.  I am also reading several books on epigenetics to better understand the influence of nutrition and environment on optimal health.  I would like to do an advanced first aid course but there aren't any around here that I've found so far.  I was trained as a corpsman in the Army and worked in health care for a number of years so this too would be a refresher.

Fruit Orchard
I started this new planting project with the following already in the ground: 2 figs, 3 apples, 1 plum, 2 pears, 3 Asian pears, 2 peaches, and 3 blueberries.  I had about 1.5 acres cleared last October.  The property has about a 25% slope so I had them put in two large swales across the acreage and I planted a fall and spring legumes mix and allowed the local grasses where the runoff appeared to be worse.  I put a large greenhouse on the east/south end of the acreage and on the west/north I’ve so far planted: 2 pecans, 1 apple, 1 crabapple, 2 elderberries, and 2 blueberries.  Each has a small trench and swale around the dripline of the mature tree and I've planted daffodils, day lilies, garlic and alba at the edges of the mini-swales.  I plan to add some daikon radishes and herbs in March and April.  I have a Mandarin Satsuma to plant that will go down near the greenhouse to provide some shade on the western side of the greenhouse.  I also have 2 olives, 2 mulberry bushes, and 2 tea (Camilla) bushes that I will transplant next Fall.  The greenhouse has some spring vegetables for transplanting, 12 hibiscus bushes for transplanting this spring and will be the home for the existing Meyer lemon, key lime and blood orange.  I will be adding to the citrus during the year and will be adding almonds, cherry and plum to the orchard in the Fall.  I have also laid out an area where I can plant my corn, beans/peas and squash/pumpkins and sunflowers.

I am working my way through studying for the ham radio license.  We have a small ham radio group here.  I’ve made contact with them and will take the test through them.

I’m pretty comfortable with making yogurt already.  I’m working through a fermenting course that covers all the possibilities for fermenting while I wait for some vegetables from the garden.

Alternative Energy
I’m in the process of finishing up weatherization of the primary building on my property.  I’m caulking around the baseboards and ceiling.  I’ve finished adding insulation in the attic, installing temperature activated crawlspace vents and a vapor barrier in the crawlspace.  We are making insulated curtains for all the windows, all of which are double pane.  I also need to caulk around the outside window framing after I finishing getting all of the ivy off the house (was there when I bought).  We have converted all our batteries for daily use and emergency back-up to rechargeables and have several solar panel charges for recharging.  I finished a free course on alternate energy recently and am reading on how to size solar panels and install.  I plan to add solar to the well pump, the greenhouse for electricity and as back-up power.  Inside we have LED lights throughout the house and in back-up lamps, as well as two large hurricane lamps that use lamp oil.  I monitor electricity usage from month to month and have for about three years so I can see my usage coming down.

Fiber Arts
I’ve not really started this yet.  I plan to learn spinning this year and weaving next year.

Water Catchment/Filtering
I have water barrels on all corners of my home except one and on opposite corners of my workshop.  I also have one under the corner where my carport attaches to the house where the water overshoots the gutter and two in the greenhouse.  I need to elevate all of them more so I can get more use from them with less effort.  And the ones on the house will be replaced with bigger barrels and I will take the smaller ones on install at the greenhouse and barn/storage.  Since I have a slope across my property I would like to add an underground catchment and maybe a stream/pond for temporary storage when we get downpours.  Gray water recycling is a year or two out.

Animal Husbandry
I’ve not added animals to the property yet.  This year will be chickens, and maybe bees.  I would like some Angora rabbits for fiber and manure.  I am exploring milk goats but my Mom really dislikes goats so this may be after she’s gone.  We do have local eggs, honey and milk available, as well as meat, so this isn't as high a priority as it would be if we didn't.

Mushroom Cultivation
Plan to add shitake mushroom production to the orchard/greenhouse area by the end of the year.  Wanted to start this last fall but just had too much going on.

Since I was raised around rifles I learned to shoot early in life.  I was pretty good 40 years ago!  I got way out of the habit in my years in the big city.  I also sustained a major injury to my right arm and elbow ten years ago that I suspect will be a problem as I get back into this so I plan to start with target shooting with a .22 handgun or a pellet handgun.  I’m still weighting options.  Any suggestions welcomed.  I have a target shooting range not too far away and a lifetime state license that gives me access at a small charge.

Beer Making
My primary interest right now is making herbal tonic beers.  I plan to get underway as soon as planting and spring fertilizing are done.

Wine Making
Like a number of the above, I’ve done this and got out of the habit many years ago.  I’m going to make a couple of cordials and then some wine.  I have elderberries and scuppernongs growing that I plan to use and will be adding strawberries and blackberries this spring for use in a little wine making.  I will have to share with the jelly/preserve making efforts.

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Wildwm's 13
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 09:16:49 AM »
That's a good list!

I'm in the same boat in regards to Marksmanship.

Offline wildwm

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Re: Wildwm's 13
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2013, 02:26:46 PM »
Orchard Update:

Everything I planted in the orchard is beginning to bud or bloom except for the Fuji apple.  And the Satsuma Mandarin and Meyer Lemon are budding as well.  Which is bad since after a warm and incredibly rainy winter, we have a forecast of two nights at 29!  Oh, well, probably best none of them produce fruit this year anyway.  I bought older pecan, crabapple and apple trees so I might see produce in a few years.

Herb Update:

Just purchased some Pleurisy root, or more commonly known as Butterfly weed, to plant in the orchard.  Great for respiratory problems.

Water Catchment Update:

Wish I had larger barrels installed this past two weeks.  We just got drowned in rain.  It was so hard it literally pulled down the guttering on the front of my craft house/workshop sooooo now I have to fix that too.  Two days after the last rain the rivers are still rising and my ground is still mushy in places.  But my large garden barrels are full so I should be able to stay ahead of the droughty weather come summer.

Animals Update:

Found a short course on milk goats at a farm not far from here.  No ready yet but think I will go and get some questions answered.  Already have a local place to purchase chicks once I get the coop up.  Now that the rain (hopefully for a while anyway) has stopped I have lots to do.