JanMarie Kelly

Author, Animal Advocate & Homesteader

Category: Homesteading Prepper

50 Reasons To Prep

When people look at me as if I’m crazy for ‘preparing for what may occur’, as if I’m wasting my time or nothing could possibly happen that would justify all the work, energy and money put into preparing, I think of all the people that have suffered through the hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, fires, mud slides, bombings, mass shootings, car jackings, robberies, extended job loss etc., etc. and wonder if they felt the same way BEFORE their emergency happened.

 

 Below is a list of just 50 reasons you should be preparing TODAY before you are the one without power, without food, without a home: 

 

  1. Airplane Crashes
  2. Avalanches
  3. Biological Attacks
  4. Blizzards
  5. Boat/Ship Wrecks
  6. Car Crashes
  7. Careless Accidents (Falls)
  8. Chemical Spills
  9. Civil Unrests
  10. Comets/Asteroids
  11. Conventional Bombings
  12. Dam Breakage
  13. Dirty Bombs
  14. Drought (Water Shortages)
  15. Earth’s Magnetic Shift
  16. Earthquakes
  17. Economic Collapse
  18. EMP
  19. Famine
  20. Floods
  21. Forest Fires
  22. Gas Explosions
  23. Gas Shortage
  24. Grid Shutdown
  25. Heat Waves
  26. High Winds
  27. House Fires
  28. Hurricanes
  29. Ice Storms
  30. Invasion
  31. Job Loss/Personal Financial Hardship
  32. Lightning Strikes
  33. Lost in Woods
  34. Marshall Law
  35. Mass  Shootings
  36. Mud Slides
  37. Nuclear Power Plant Issues
  38. Pandemics
  39. Power Outages
  40. Revolution
  41. Sink Holes
  42. Solar Flares
  43. Storm Surges
  44. Street Crime (Robbery, Car Jackings, Mugging)
  45. Terrorist Attacks
  46. Tidal Waves
  47. Tornados
  48. Tsunamis
  49. Volcanoes
  50. War
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Review: Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less)

I received a review copy of “Backyard Farming on an Acre” by Angela England and was more than pleasantly surprised as I started reading through this jam packed book.

The book covers a multitude of topics and most everything you could think of when it comes to backyard farming (and what I call homesteading).

backyardfarm Review: Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less)

Here is a general overview of all the wonderful information you will find within the covers of this book:

Pros & Cons of moving/buying land vs. working with what you have — this is a topic I’ve pondered myself over the past year and Angela gives you lots of ‘food for thought’ when making your decision.

Tips on some of the important things to look for when searching for your land:
Soil quality (history of land use)
Taxes
Amount of work and costs to make property suitable to your needs
Climate/Weather of area (and the microclimates)
Length of growing season

Angela talks about the importance of planning (this can save you a lot of hassles, expense, time and frustration)

Of course she covers the garden (one of the central items of a backyard farmer):
What and how much do you want to grow (Angela goes over some things to think about in order to plan your garden).
Discusses types of gardening (square foot, raised beds, traditional plots, etc.)
Goes over maximizing space (with vertical gardening and/or container gardening for instance)
She discusses how to make more of your space productive while keeping ‘curb appeal’ with edible landscaping.

Then Angela goes over the tools and some of the skills that you may use in your backyard farming (spades, digging forks, pruners, hoes, tillers, shovels, rakes, post hole diggers (very handy), wheelbarrows, wire cutters, and on and on the list goes as far as tools go – even covering ‘cobrahead cultivators’, something I, myself, have never used).

Angela talks about different types of soil and how to feed the soil (composting, fertilizers, etc.)

She goes over climate zones for planting

Then she discusses how to get the most from your garden with things like:
Crop rotation
Crop succession
Extending your growing season
Companion planting

She moves into veggies and the best growing seasons for various types of vegetables (like beets being cool season and tomatoes being warm season veggies)

She doesn’t skip herbs – moving right into what she calls ‘Kitchen Herb Gardens’ where she discusses the different medicinal and culinary herbs.

Of course she doesn’t forget about the fruits and berries then many like to add to their ‘backyard farms’. Angela discusses many different plants, bushes and trees and how you can get your fruit fix on even an acre of land (or less).

Angela then talks about heirloom plants and saving seeds:
The savings in money vs a little extra work
Covers pollinated varieties
Regional variances available with heirloom varieties that allow the backyard farmer to choose plants better suited to their areas.
And goes into a pretty good depth of discussion on saving seeds

Angela then moves onto animals by discussing all things chicken:
Meat birds vs egg layers (and even dual purpose breeds)
Coops and the maintenance of your flock

Angela also covers rabbits, sheep, goats, and beekeeping with plenty of information on each.

She then covers how to manage your harvest and even includes a few recipes.
Canning and freezing
Dehydrating and smoking
Root cellars and basement storage
Preserving herbs

Then she moves into what she calls the ‘crafting’ of backyard farming – with things like:
Making butter, yogurt, and cheese
Soap making
Getting sweaters made from your sheep
Brewing cider and wine

To wrap things up Angela throws in a few simple plans of things like cold frames, chicken coops and a goat pen.

This is a wonderful book for anyone interested in or backyard farming, whether beginner or pro. There’s bound to be something in it that you didn’t know or think of before reading this book. With all the information packed into one convenient place, this book is well worth the ‘cover charge’ to access the knowledge within.

Pick up your copy today and start living a more self-sustaining, freeing, happier life.

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The Frankenstorm Approaches

One of the biggest combination storms to hit the east coast in decades is hours away from slamming into our shores. The grocery store shelves are empty as are most hardware/home improvement stores. Thousands are evacuating their homes and thousands are boarding up and hunkering down to ride it out.

This is one of the events I had in mind when I started prepping years ago. And now it’s here. Will I be ready? Well, I didn’t have to rush to any stores like hundreds of other people. I didn’t have to be disappointed, frustrated or worried because the shelves were bare and I didn’t have what I needed for my family.  I was confident in knowing that we had plenty of supplies on hand should there be a lengthy disruption in the grocery stores being restocked. I was also confident that we had the necessary backups in place to provide the needed power for heat, cooking, light etc. should the power go out and remain out for any extended amount of time.

The only last minute preps we made were to clear the property of things that could become flying debris in the strong winds and to take a few preventive measures to help assure any water overflow would not come into the home (or if it did have things at the ready to quickly stop the flow and/or clean up what did come in).

We made sure all the vehicles were full of fuel well ahead of time, rechecked/stocked our B.O.B.s, double checked the pets’ BOBS and threw a few things in the Bug Out Vehicle of choice just in case we had to leave at the last minute.

Then we closed things up and kicked back and relaxed going about things pretty much as we would normally be doing.

Being prepared, though it doesn’t negate the disaster or ease any destruction that may come as a result, it does give you an added sense of calm and confidence that helps get you through with much less stress.

10 30 12 backyard branches 300x177 The Frankenstorm Approaches

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Bridge Building (On A Rainy Saturday)

We built a bridge during the rain/storms Saturday. (Well got it started). We will have to wait until dryer days to finish it (adding the cement and the top part).

We did manage to get the drainage pipes in place and covered enough – just in time for the downpour… (the picture you see of Doug in the water is us after it lets up a bit, hauling logs to place on the dirt to keep in place until we can finish – man, I was covered in mud ’til we were done working in the rain & water.)

The dogs loved the new ‘pond’ they now have on the other side of the bridge where we dammed it up a bit (in hopes to slow the water flow and keep some of our dirt/banks from washing away like it had been). I will have to try to get a few pictures of that for the site as well (a little busy, barely had time to snap these to mark our progress).

Stay tuned for updates and the completion of our bridge/dam/waterfall.

 

8 04 2012 4 300x225 Bridge Building (On A Rainy Saturday)

8 04 2012 10 300x225 Bridge Building (On A Rainy Saturday)

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8 04 2012 13 300x225 Bridge Building (On A Rainy Saturday)

 

 

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Are We Already At The Survival Crossroads?

A nice little article by a fellow writer for APN helping those who are worried by the uncertainity of our times and overwhelmed by what to do to better prepare themselves for what is on the horizon.

Check out — “Are We Already At The Survival Crossroads

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The Year Of The Famine

It has been a rough year for our crops. Most of the fruit trees have dried up and not produced any fruit for us. The grapes barely got started when the extreme heat and lack of rain had them shriveling and dropping from their vines. We did get a few containers of blueberries before they surrendered to the intense heat and drought like conditions, but our other berry bushes did not produce but a taste or two in the early part of the season.

Our vegetable crops are doing a little better, with the onions seeming to be our best producers. Our beans appear to be surviving ok and we hope to at least get a few meals worth from their vines.

Our tomatoes, though they have had plenty on the vines, were not ripening in the beginning and then giving way to rot as they started to ripen because of being on the vines too long.  We are hoping the next cycle of tomatoes will produce better results.

Looks like there will be no canning to speak of this year. Thank goodness we have some in reserves, but our goal was to stock the pantry to ease the burden of rising prices. Looks like we will not be able to do that this season.

 

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My Little Romas

 

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The new batch of tomatoes are coming in…

 

7 27 12 Tomatoes Growing 266x300 The Year Of The Famine
Hopefully the new round of tomatoes will survive better than the first few.

How is everyone else’s crops/orchards doing this season?  Have you had issues due to extreme heat and/or drought like circumstances?

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American Preppers Network

 

I have been so side-tracked lately I let a love of mine slip to the wayside — Prepping and Homesteading.

While I have been engaging in activities in both of these areas in my personal life, I have not been putting out the articles related to these topics like I should have been doing (instead of wasting time with petpardons). 

But now I’m BACK! 

If you are interested in either of these two areas - or would like to learn more about the mainy subtopics in these areas, PLEASE go check out APN

If you would like to see my first article on the subject of Prepping you can do so at — Top 10 Tips For Getting Started Prepping (over 3000 views so far – cool). And check back often for future articles.

How many of you are preppers or homesteaders?

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Top 10 Tips For Getting Started Prepping

I was accepted as a guest writer for the very popular prepping site – “American Preppers Network”!

If you haven’t checked out this site yet, you should, it’s filled with lots of good (and interesting) advice and tidbits.

You can also check out my first article while you are there — “Top 10 Tips For Getting Started Prepping

 

Stamford Bridge Flood 300x212 Top 10 Tips For Getting Started Prepping

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Garden Preparation

It’s that time of year again when we are eager to get outdoors and start digging in the earth – at least I am. I dread winters, which to me means bitter cold weather, shoveling snow, most days spent indoors and the worst part —- short, dark days.

As the days begin to get longer, the crisp air a tad warmer and the critters more active, I am ready to get outside and start enjoying nature and all the wonderful things she has to offer — including her ability to help me produce food for my family.

 

3 18 12 Garden Preparations 300x200 Garden Preparation
It’s that time of year again!

 

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Prepping Tomato & Onion Bed

How about you — do you enjoy this time of year?

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Spring Is Nature’s Rebirth

While Autumn is my favorite season, Spring is a very inspirational and uplifting time for me. I am excited to get back outdoors, to dig in the earth, to be surprised by new blooms, to hear and see the wildlife come back in full force, and to know by the rebirth of all that surrounds me, that I too have the ability to be reborn, grow and prosper. The new sign of life, the freshness, the longer days – all give hope, joy and inspiration to what is possible and what is to come.

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Signs of Good Things to Come

What are your thoughts on Springtime? Is it your favorite season or do you have another preference?

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