Part of my SHTF prepping plans include looking several months ahead. Rather than waiting until spring of 2014 to make plans, I like to think about what I should do 4 and 5 months ahead of time.
I see no reason to wait until you are at the farm supply store to think about what crops you want to plant. Lets go ahead and think/talk about what you want to buy, what crops you want to plant, how you are going to store those crops several months ahead of time.
Planning ahead allows me to work out the fine details, such as type of fertilizer I want to buy, what kind of AR-15 magazines I want to get, what kind of new AR-15 I want to get,,, and so on.
As the end of 2013 draws close I would like to take a few minutes to talk about my prepping plans for the next 4 months or so.
Firearms, parts and magazines
Besides the magazines, now that 223 is back in stock a walmart I am buying the 100, and 120 round bricks of Federal.
My current 223 stockpile is about 1/2 steel cased, and about 1/2 brass cased. I am phasing out all of my steel cased ammo, except for target shooting. When my wife and I go shooting, we bring some brass cased ammo, but it is mostly steel cased. And that is due to cost.
I feel like I am starting over with my magazine stockpile, which can be a good and bad thing.
One one hand I had a bunch of GI surplus magazines, and now I have a bunch of brand new modern magazines.
As for my magazine count, if 30 round magazines were banned today, I would not feel “that” bad. I still want to buy a bunch more nhmtg and pmags, but I am at a comfortable phase.
As for slings and spare parts, I have a few spare parts and almost no spare slings. I would like to get some spare bolt carrier groups, and some spare springs.
One of the things I want to do is build a new rifle. And since Palmetto State Armory has some black friday sales, now might be the time. The though choice is do I buy a Colt 6920, or do I buy parts from Palmetto State Armory and build my own rifle?
My plan is to buy a new rifle, more magazines, ammo and spare parts through the end of January.
New chicken house
Come the end of January my focus is going to turn towards the new chicken house and a solar panel setup for the chicken house. Come the end of January and the first of February of next year, instead of buying magazines and spare parts, it will be 12 volt lights, batteries, solar panel, charge controller,,,,.
Because at the end of February and into the first of march my wife and I are looking at getting at least 2 dozen more chickens. Our current chicken house can only hold 12 chickens.
The current chicken house is 6 feet X 8 feet.
The next chicken house will be something like 14 feet X 14 feet, or maybe 20 feet X 16 feet.
I want the next chicken house to be able to support somewhere around 75, maybe even 100 chickens.
In a previous article we talked about how many chickens are needed for a SHTF event. According to my math my family and I would need anywhere around 75 laying hens to provide my family with meat and eggs. Add a few more chickens for a buffer zone, and we have a total of around 85 – 100 chickens.
While building the next chicken house I need to take a lot of factors into consideration.
I want to build a few isolation boxes for injured chickens, and hens that have gone broody. The size of the isolation boxes is going to be 4 feet long and 3 feet wide. This way I can set a broody hen on her eggs and the other chickens will not be able to bother her.
When my wife and I moved to the farm we brought our 10×8 foot shed with us. A flatbed wrecker moved the shed to the farm, and from there I pulled it into position with my truck.
On each side of the shed I have built a 10×8 lean-to. So now the shed is 30×8. The two lean-to sections provide cover for the lawnmower, tiller, tools, firewood and the soon to be built rain barrel system.
The shed runs north and south, with a lean-to facing the southern sun. That southern facing section is where I plan on installing the solar panel.
The plan is to have a rain barrel system to irrigate the garden, and then use a pump to pump water from a creek for when there is no rain. I am looking at installing two pumps – 1 pump to get the water from the rain barrels to the garden, and another pump to get the water from the creek to the barrels.
As of right now I am looking at a 100 watt solar panel. I had originally been looking at a 60 watt, but the shed is not in direct sunlight. So I need to make use to the light the shed does get.
I am thinking sump pump to pump the water from the creek, and jet pump / shallow well pump for the garden. This way I can get enough pressure to run a sprinkler system. The problem is figuring out how many batteries and the size inverter I will need.
Raised bed garden
Awhile back I started my wife a raised bed garden. The first section measures 4 feet wide by 6 feet long. The goal is to have 2 of those sections with a piece of 4 feet tall cattle panel running through the middle of them. The cattle panel is to be secured using t-post.
The cattle panel is so we can plant beans and cucumbers in the raised bed, and the runners will have something to climb on. Instead of picking cucumbers off the ground, just walk up to the raised bed and pick them off the cattle panel.
Over the past few weekends I have been clearing out some weeds so my wife and I can plan an orchard behind the house.
We planted a single grapefruit tree last weekend. My wife wants to plant some satsuma trees, and I want to plant a couple of peach and fig trees.
This is going to be a rather small orchard with only about 10 trees or so.
The fruit trees are close to the treeline, so chances are a lot of the fruit will be eaten by wild animals such as deer.
One of my goals this weekend is to finish clearing out for the orchard, and get some stings ran and stakes put out. With the strings and stakes my wife and I will know exactly how many trees we will be able to plant.
A few weeks ago a buddy of mine helped me put together a wildlife feeder, which has been working out rather well. It seems that all kinds of animals are eating the corn, except deer. Even my chickens are eating the corn.
But hey, at least the corn is not going to waste.
The deer feeder is a 35 gallon steel drum, with a timer and solar panel charger. The feeder is set to go off twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening.
I am hoping the feeder will attract wild hogs close enough so I can get some pork in the freezer.
Building a back porch on the house
One of the big goals for this winter and next spring is to build a 16 wide x 30 feet long porch on the back of the house.
The porch is where I want to do a lot of my canning during next springs harvest. Rather than heating up the house, I would like to use a propane stove on the porch.
This is going to be a covered porch so my wife and I can sit out there while it is raining.
When family members and friends evacuate to my house during a hurricane, the porch will give people a place to hang out during and after the storm. It is a place where people can go besides staying in the house all the time.
That is about it for now
I think that is enough rambling for now.
This weekend is going to be a rather busy one. I have to clear out some sweet gum trees that are shading the raised bed garden, clear some brush for the orchard, and burn a pile of brush.