Wild Moon Cottage is a small working homestead in the pristine Ozark Mountains. We have dairy goats, poultry, organic herb and vegetable gardens, a start of a tiny fruit orchard, several black walnut trees, wild berries and fields of wildcrafting goodness. We raise our own milk, our own eggs, much of our own medicine and food. I do laundry by hand, make my own vinegar, candles, soap, bread, cheese ........ For a living I am an artist and herbalist. My goal for myself and our homestead is to be as self sufficient and self sustaining as possible.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

8.16.14 Winter is Coming

First, my reading glasses broke. The lenses are small and I can’t find frames to fit them. They will not make me new lenses in my prescription becayse it’s 8 years old and I do not want a stronger prescription nor do I currently have the funds anyway. So I’m tyoing without being able to proofread. This should be interesting 

Ebola  … the talk is everywhere and much too often I’m seeing people believing what they read as certain fact. Truly, the Only Certain Fact in all of this is that No One Knows Anything for Certain. They are giving their (mostly) honest beliefs based on what they’ve been told, learned, experienced, studied etc etc. No matter how many degrees a person has or how large their paycheck, how famous their name ….. They may be right and/or be wrong.

On top of that, Anything Is Possible. Things can change in the blink of an eye. Viruses can mutate ….

That is absolutely no cause for panic, chaos, lunacy. There’s plenty of that in the world as it is. Instead we should Educate ourselves. Read everything we can find and take the common facts from that to build our own knowledge of the situation. This is not just about ebola, it’s about life. Do the research, learn the actual facts and act responsibly.  

As for me, based on what I’ve learned about this and other viruses and bacteria etc. Is that our best defense is a strong healthy immune system and body.

Winter preparations ….  It’s that time of year. This wonter may be very hard or may be very mild but it’s the hard winters we prepare for.

My winter goal has always been to be able to sustain us through 4 months pf no outside contact or help.  That might seem extreme to some folks but so does 14 days with no electricity, heat or transportation during an ice storm in the middle of Springfield Mo. and yet that is exactly what happened one winter in the late 80’s. During that same ice storm people all around went much longer without. A great many people’s only source of water or heat was electric.

If we can be prepared for 4 months then winter is so much more enjoyable. It can be spent planning next years gardens, creating things for market, getting things done that didn’t get finished the year before, knitting, reading, sewing, painting so many wonderful things that get left out when I’m scrounging for firewood or food or to pay a bill.

High on my list of things to stock up on this year are…

Echinacea (purpurea or augustafolia) - Use ONLY as an antibiotic or antiviral
Vite C - immune booster
Pau D’arco – immune booster  (C and Pau D’arco work very well together)
Yarrow – internal and external blood stop (can stem hemorrhaging)

I’m looking to trade for one or two wool sheep.. I would like to have a soay but would take any. I believe the coarser long wool is the easiest for hand spinning but the fine wool makes the best clothing. Also a small loom and spinning wheel and any spinning supplies. I wouldn’t mind the loom before the sheep or the sheep before the spinning wheel. I can probably trade for wool to spin and weave and I can hand spin our own sheeps wool, so whatever and however.

I have pear chips in the dehydrator now and they smell wonderful! Some are just sprinkled with cinnamon for eating and some doused in lemon water for using in other things.  

Today’s harvests plus seed to sell and trade

Food and medicinals………
Sweet bells
Anise Hyssop
Horse radish root
Garlic hardneck
Sweet Onions

Organic seed ….
Anise Hyssop
Kentucky Colonel Spearmint
Garlics (hardneck and elephant)

Everyone is doing fine, we have plenty of fresh milk , fresh duck eggs. Hopefully soon fresh hen eggs too. At the moment we have -
Goat for milk, dairy, meat and fertilizer
Horse for transportation, hauling and fertilizer
Rabbits for trade/sale, meat and fertilizer
Chickens for eggs, trade/sale, meat and fertilizer
Ducks for eggs, meat and trade/sale

Poultrywise, we have
Barred Rock roo and 3 hens
Ameraucana roo and 6 hens
RIR roo
Australorp roo and 6 hens
Pekin drake and 2 hens
Rouen 5 too young to tell

7 roos for sale/trade or going to the freezer soon

Still wanting a few RIR hens, Orpingtons any color, Ruuner and Ancona ducks

I’m already trading/selling Pekin hatching eggs and hope to be selling/trading chicks, ducklings and hatching eggs from all the above soon. And have a hardy barnyard mixbreed as well. For our own meat and eggs. I've got 15 eggs in the incubator now to start hatching around the 28th and the duck hens may start sitting on thier own eggs soon.

I’ve actually been a bit sickly the last few days. Severe allergies and sinus, which is not my usual. I’ve talked to a few other people who have also experienced  the same or similar and not generally afflicted by allergies, at least npt this time of year. I’ve no iea the cause but am better and that’s what I need for now.

Homemade hazmat suit …  Here is a simple, easy to make version. It is NOT 100% secure  but can help when dealing with contagion, hazardous material, stinky dead cow carcasses  …

You’ll need –
Heavy rain coat with hood
Heavy rain pants or pant overalls
Heavy rubber muck boots
Heavy rubber gloves (2 pair)
Face mask that covers entire face
(ie motorcycle helmet with face shield, full gas mask, )
Duct tape

Improvise with what you have or can get but be sure to make it as airtight as possible.  Put on the outfit except face mask. Jacket over pants, pants over boots.  Tape all air holes with tape on inside and out. These are often found under the arms. Tape over all zippers, buttons, snaps and grommets,  and tape close all pockets. Use a separate bag for anything you have to carry.

Pull pant legs up a bit to give plenty of room for bending, kneeling down etc  and use duct tape to tape them to the boots.  If you can have someone else help that’s best but you can do this yourself too.  Raise your arms and tape the  bottom of the coat to the pants all the way around. Use plenty of tape and be sure. If you’re alone, raise one arm and hold the coat hem in place with the other hand, then lower arm and tape a little just to hold in place. Do the same with the otherside and then securely tape all around

If you have help do the gloves next, if alone do the face next and gloves last. Using doubled gloves, do the same with the sleeves over the gloves as you did with the boots. You can use single gloves but double are much safer. You can also use leather gloves over rubber gloves. Make sure you have some room to reach and extend. It could rip the tape loose if you fall or squat down without give.

For the face, put on whatever you’re using to protect your face (this is very temporary, you will be able to breathe but without a ventilator it is NOT ideal and you will want to move quickly). Use the jacket hood to cover all hair and head. If it has strings pull them to help close but leave room for movement. Tape over the string grommets and secure the strings themselves. Pull out the suit to draw in clean air then tape the hood securely to mask.

Double check everything and then move quickly to do what you have to do. I am not recommending anyone use such a thing for any reason. However, if I needed such a thing this is how I have done it and would do it.

1 comment:

Peggy Lineberry said...

Check out dollar tree for reading glasses. They have different strength and only cost a dollar. Got mine to use temporary and 2 yrs later still using them hope this doesn't post twice. First comment disappeared .