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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Homesteading Update 12 March 2011

The weather is fighting back and forth between winter and spring. Today was winter.  Steve and I took off for Home Depot and rounded up a bunch of earthquake supplies.  It kind of feels funny to write earthquake supplies, because I want to write hurricane supplies.  A lot of them are the same, but there are also huge differences.  For instance, in Florida, I had a brand new, never used, clean plastic garbage can parked out in the garage.  If we got a hurricane watch or warning, I'd fill up the garbage can with water from the hose so that we'd have more clean water.  You can't do that in earthquake country, because it's more likely that an earthquake would knock over that garbage can and you'd lose all that water anyway.  Instead, I have extras of the big orange five gallon Home Depot buckets.  I have some never-used plastic sheeting in the garage; if necessary I can rig up a separate rain catchment system away from our asphalt roof, and we'd be able to drink it.  That's if we need it, and if this fictional earthquake were to occur during the rainy season.  If it happens during one of our hot, dry summers, we're screwed for extra water.

All in all, I feel a lot better just having the stuff in the house.  I need to round up all the old hurricane stuff and get it all together in a bin box so that I have one place to go for it.  I also need to put together an emergency plan.  I actually had a hurricane book in Florida that I'd put together for what to do if there was a hurricane and we could stay, and another plan for if there was a hurricane and we had to evacuate.  Everything was together in a binder, and I should probably put together another plan for eventualities for this coast. Having a solid plan and knowing where everything is really does contribute a lot to your peace of mind.

But back to the fighting weather.  Friday was a spring day, and it was high time to get some of my seedlings off the bench and into the garden, so yesterday I transplanted: Russian kale, Yugoslavian Red lettuce, Red Rubin romaine, Early Market Copenhagen cabbage, and arugula.  I sowed Cherry Belle radishes, Stuttgarter onions, Maestro peas, and a few sprouting radish seeds for quick greens.  I also sowed dill, Italian parsley, and cilantro in the herb bed.

Speaking of peas, guess what came up okay?

Little pea soldiers, all in a row


Miriam said...

I bet a lot of us were taking hard looks at our earthquake kits today. Me, I went grocery shopping and took advantage of some big sales to add to the food stockpile.

I've been looking at water purification systems, since we have a year-round aquifer at the back of our property. It's quite heavily contaminated with coliform, so we would need to treat it carefully. Have you ever looked into this?

The peas are beautiful!

Paula said...

Actually, I have Miriam. Take a look at the Berkey Water Filter, for table/counter top use. Reverse osmosis is the cadillac of water filtration I guess, and both Amazon and Overstock dot com have RO water filtration systems for not too much money. I haven't done a lot of research into it yet because we are a long way off from a rain catchment system for the roof, but it's in the plans. We have several years of life in the rood still and Steve doesn't want to replace it until he has to, which is understandable. I want to get it done earlier because I want my rainwater harvesting system, but that is still a project that is at least a few years away. So that was the long answer, I guess. With respect to earthquake preparedness, have you done anything about a toilet that doesn't use water? Or would you haul buckets from said aquifer and use that water to flush your toilets?

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

When you're finished with your emergency preparedness, will you come do ours? Despite having been in San Francisco for the 1989 earthquake, I have never had an emergency plan or supplies. Hurricanes are the emergencies in my part of the world, and when we're threatened with one I make sure we have cash, water, and gas -- and that's about it.

It's hard to think about preparedness, reading the news out of Japan and seeing the devastation that overwhelmed entire towns. How do you prepare for that? It's unfathomably sad.

Rae said...

I'm jealous of your peas. A mole ran right down my pea row, straight as an arrow, and I think it may have disturbed the row enough that I'll have to replant. :( LJ and I are working on getting our rain barrels set up so that we can at least flush toilets when the power is out. When I was a kid, we'd just bring in buckets of water from the pool. Yesterday's storm was definitely an adventure!

Paula said...

A pool is a great source of clean water- you guys were lucky to have one. Although, in a good quake, you'd lose a lot of water. I had a friend who was working out in the pool at her apartment during the Loma Prieta quake and she nearly got sloshed out of the pool! Luckily, she didn't hit anything.

I'm really sorry about your peas, Rae. That sucks.

Paula said...

It is unfathomably sad, Tamar. But think of it this way: preparedness is not for those times when an event is so bad it will kill you. Your worries are over. Preparedness is for times when an event is just bad enough to make life hell.

Part of our preparedness plan was to buy our house where there's great drainage so we don't have to worry about flooding. We're on a bluff, so hopefully, we'll never get so saturated that we'll slide down hill. It's a possibility, but not terribly likely. We definitely wanted to avoid steep hillsides where a landslide was more of a possibility. We avoided the east side of the Willamette River, reasoning that if Mt Hood ever blows, there is a very large ditch between us and the lava or pyroclastic flows that might happen. I told my realtor that I had a very long laundry list of what I was looking for, and rather than hating that, she really took it to heart to find us something that would work for our purposes. She said it was way better that we knew what we wanted.

Anyway, you're in luck; I still have my hurricane book, so if you'll send me your address, I'll send you the pages from it. It would be a good start for you.