Things are pretty Quiet here on the Permies and IPN board at this time of year. That's a good thing. It means people are actually prepping. My house is a complete mess. Chaos reigns. There is food everywhere. Not the Martha Stuart version of Thanksgiving but a food production season slowly working its way towards it end. Food is everywhere. I thought of doing a photo binge but it would only show how messy it is. I thought I would describe it instead. The dining room table will not be hosting feasting people. On it are some of the scruffier last tomatoes, not quite ripe, but sitting with apples for there final go. Dried or drying bean sit on trays and plates waiting to be packed away. Bowles of molding tomato seeds...are left out to mold as part of the tomato seed saving process. A dozen random jars of home preserves sit by a bowl of assorted colorful peppers. Random bags of collected seeds crowd room with a couple zucchinis and a juicing pot. That's only the table. There is more food packing the place than I thought possible for one family. If total TEOTWAWKI happens tomorrow...we're good. 5 trays of drying beans, peas and asparagus seeds tenuously balance on the stereo. There are jars of home canning everywhere. Mrs C5 took up the challenge of doing farmers markets this year and a big part of it was doing value added products. Pickled asparagus. Spicy beans for cocktails, salsas, brachiates, sauces, and applesauce like grandma made. Assorted foodie porn made up of a lot of food items that would be waste product we have too much of. Until it sells...its choice food storage. The shipping container has got a few hundred canning jars ready to go...we are good for canning jars if things go south. They sit by a few dozen bags of pig and chicken food we don't want to haul in once it snows and blocks the road in. Mice cant get in the shipping container. Any spare container is filled with apples. They are by the door, in the hall and in the greenhouse. We may process more but its manly for pig food. The pig is big. He eats a lot of apples. Its been a big part of his diet. I tether him under the trees to eat the ground fall and till the ground under them. Five buckets of carrots got put in the mud room today waiting for processing. They are small because we were too busy to thin them...lesson learned. Apples cover the spare bed and onions are seasoning on the floor buy the battery bank. Potatoes are balanced by the eggs. Bags of coffee beans are sticking out in od places because we got a fantastic deal at a clearance outlet. Same with the boxes of juices. We deal shop. We only deal shop. If something is less than half price, we by the years worth. One greenhouse is packed with assorted squashes that are sun hardening for storage, safe from the frost. Most will go to pig food. Out last butternut squash from last year was finally used last night in a pound cake. Same goes for sunflower heads in there final ripening for chickenfeed. The pig is being used to till some weedy garden space for garlic bulbs to be put in. One greenhouse is still growing peppers and tomatoes while I have been putting a last round of non seasoned firewood in to dry as backup. Speaking of which, this is my first year of cutting all my own firewood from my own property. Mainly birch since its what I have in abundance and I want them thinned so the rest will get bigger. Also speaking of which, it daunting that my harvest year is not really over. Now I need to start cutting down more trees for next year so they can begin to dry. Knock em down and retrieve then in the spring. The dry stuff is in and some sits next to the extra year supply of hardwood I keep in reserve. A Friend Of The Club moved out of the area, leaving us a few hundred pounds of dry goods, a couple scythes, loads of books of self sufficiency and about 20 extra laying hens so we can thin out our aging flock and eat a chicken a week for a while. Way to many chickens. Lots of eggs. Extra Gas storage filled all our questionable gas containers because prices are low and it will get used. The last of the cabbages were put in a recycled cooler with the roots in soil do they will continue to grow for a while. As of today, the garden is finished...but there is still more to go. Fall raspberries were almost a complete loss though I might get one more picking. Our grapes aren't ripening fast enough. I think I will just give them all to the pig and chickens. Broccoli seed pods are hanging from the rafters to be processed. tomorrow I will wrestle three large containers into the house that are growing beets, carrots and cabbage. These are biannual seed producers so we must keep them living, where they wont freeze if we hope to harvest seeds next year. The freezer is full. no room in the fridge. A dead fridge is full of green tomatoes and apples in an attempt to ripen them. Sunchoke harvest will wait till after the first ground freeze. When all that is done we can think about cleanup and reorganising the house and outbuildings. The pig gets to live for a few more years because a prepper team member talked me into breading him. Instead, we get half his pig and he bought a sow. It looks like we are becoming pig breeders. I didn't see that coming.
This chaos is what prepping looks like.
And for this I am Truly Thankful.
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