The quest for fresh foods marches on!

Greetings SNH family, my pavement planted hands are finally healing up to where I could get a few things done in the garden this weekend. We had to replace the chicken water container as it broke when I was carrying it across the yard. The ladies were also laying a good bit under the roost. While technically edible, we did a cleanout and hopefully they will be back in the boxes today.

We had a great harvest of pak choi. I put 5 bags into the freezer for soups and save a fresh group for stir fry tonight.

about 20 heads of pak choi in that basket. A lot of work to prep them all.
Pak Choi stir fry with steak, peas, carrots and onions too.

Lastly, we had a mix of white globe turnips and another variety that I had some seeds of but have since forgotten what type. The greens were frozen and the roots stored in the fridge.

Turnip Roots
Turnip Greens, before cleaning.

I also took about 30 minutes to put our tomato volunteers into pots.

Get ready for spring, its going to come fast.

Brief Garden update

Harvested some more carrots today and looking forward to getting tomatoes growing again in spring.

Here are some pics from today.

A fresh Carrot Harvest, we served them in a crocpot with lemon pepper chicken tonight.
Buttercrunch and Pak Choi coexisting nicely
t Half a bed for Carrots, cant wait till a black nebula carrot is harvested.
Green Cabbages from Pine Tree Seeds. These have grown much smaller than the flat dutch variety last year. I don’t think I will re-grow this variety in my area.
I have higher hopes for this red cabbage than their green counterparts, but the grow time will take us into April for these.
Kale and Broccoli are coming along on schedule.

I may have planted too many mustard starts for our use, but the chickens will enjoy what we don’t eat.

The onion bed is weedy. 4 to 5 more months of growing for these to get big and bulb up. I did the weeding after the picture.
A couple of grocery store potatoes that sprouted eyes are now being made into more potatoes. These are russets.
I have pulled tons of turnips this year, the middle section still has a good number. There are also some sugar snap peas and some rutabagas in there.
We have tons of volunteer tomatoes popping up. I have a good spot where I will transplant them to some pots and then likely into a defined spot in a month or two.

The eggs have picked up this week from about 1 day. We have 2 days this last week with 2 eggs, and 4 today. They are like solid gold in the market right now.

We have now harvested about $400 from the garden this year in our database. I have till March to review the year tally and start again.

Rocket Stove Part 1

This is the rocket stove build, part 1. We started with a firebrick base and my *incredible* masonry skills.

  • Here are some things that I really need to practice:
    • Cutting blocks
      • These were cut with a chisel, so I only did the bare minimum and broke many blocks in the process.
    • Application of mortar and keeping things level
    • Taking my time to make sure things are square.
      • It took my all of about 2 hours to assemble. I was more excited to build it quickly than to build it well.
  • Upgrades to this stove:
    • Add an ash tray for easy extraction after cooking
    • Add decorative bricks on the outside to make the appearance more fashionable
    • Add a grill for cooking access
      • I have one that I can use temporarily from my barbecue grill
  • Notes about the first test:
    • This stove gets really hot at the top
      • This was the reason for the build, a reliable wood fired outdoor cooking surface.
      • Great backup if hurricanes hit my area and we can’t power our electric stove for a few days.
    • Using only a few sticks is sufficient for cooking in comparison to a pit fire which requires a massive amount of fuel. I may put a bin on the porch or the garage to collect the random sticks from the yard and have them convenient for use.
    • After initial lighting, the smoke is significantly reduced when the rocket stove is running at full power.
    • This will be great for marshmallows with the little SNHers without too much fuss.
    • Now we have to finish the stove to make it look nice, add a firepit as posted previously and add the pavers to form a seating area in the back yard. As they say, it’s a process, not a race.

Memorial Day and Federalist 46

This site aims to always do things smarter and not harder. We should not react with haste to things in our United States that would do irreparable harm to our values and founding. I am proud of my rich heritage of grandfathers and uncles fighting for our rights. I am posting Federalist 46 today not only to ensure that we have a place to remind ourselves of History, but to inform our thoughts about governance.

Our *mostly* god fearing founding fathers were wise. Here is some of that wisdom in the words of James Madison. Please take time to genuinely read and digest this. This is not a time for TLDR, but a time for deep reflection on how we are free and able to resist tyranny. Take the time to remind your local politicians of our founding and why and how our country is centered in freedom.

Without further adieu and un-edited:

The Federalist Number 46 [29 January 1788]

Resuming the subject of the last paper I proceed to enquire whether the federal government or the state governments will have the advantage with regard to the predilection and support of the people. Notwithstanding the different modes in which they are appointed, we must consider both of them, as substantially dependent on the great body of the citizens of the United States. I assume this position here as it respects the first, reserving the proofs for another place. The federal and state governments are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, instituted with different powers, and designated for different purposes. The adversaries of the constitution seem to have lost sight of the people altogether in their reasonings on this subject; and to have viewed these different establishments, not only as mutual rivals and enemies, but as uncontrouled by any common superior in their efforts to usurp the authorities of each other. These gentlemen must here be reminded of their error. They must be told that the ultimate authority, wherever the derivative may be found, resides in the people alone; and that it will not depend merely on the comparative ambition or address of the different governments, whether either, or which of them, will be able to enlarge its sphere of jurisdiction at the expence of the other. Truth no less than decency requires, that the event in every case should be supposed to depend on the sentiments and sanction of their common constituents.

Many considerations, besides those suggested on a former occasion, seem to place it beyond doubt, that the first and most natural attachment of the people will be to the governments of their respective states. Into the administration of these, a greater number of individuals will expect to rise. From the gift of these, a greater number of offices and emoluments will flow. By the superintending care of these, all the more domestic and personal interests of the people will be regulated and provided for. With the affairs of these, the people will be more familiarly and minutely conversant. And with the members of these, will a greater proportion of the people have the ties of personal acquaintance and friendship, and of family and party attachments; on the side of these, therefore, the popular bias may well be expected most strongly to incline. Experience speaks the same language in this case. The federal administration, though hitherto very defective, in comparison with what may be hoped under a better system, had during the war, and particularly, whilst the independent fund of paper emissions was in credit, an activity and importance as great as it can well have, in any future circumstances whatever. It was engaged too in a course of measures, which had for their object, the protection of every thing that was dear, and the acquisition of every thing that could be desirable to the people at large. It was nevertheless, invariably found, after the transient enthusiasm for the early congresses was over, that the attention and attachment of the people were turned anew to their own particular governments; that the federal council was at no time the idol of popular favor; and that opposition to proposed enlargements of its powers and importance, was the side usually taken by the men who wished to build their political consequence on the prepossessions of their fellow citizens.

If therefore, as has been elsewhere remarked, the people should in future become more partial to the federal than to the state governments, the change can only result from such manifest and irresistible proofs of a better administration, as will overcome all their antecedent propensities. And in that case, the people ought not surely to be precluded from giving most of their confidence where they may discover it to be most due: But even in that case, the state governments could have little to apprehend, because it is only within a certain sphere, that the federal power can, in the nature of things, be advantageously administered.

The remaining points on which I proposed to compare the federal and state governments, are the disposition, and the faculty they may respectively possess, to resist and frustrate the measures of each other.

It has been already proved, that the members of the federal will be more dependent on the members of the state

governments, than the latter will be on the former. It has appeared also, that the prepossessions of the people on whom both will depend, will be more on the side of the state governments, than of the federal government. So far as the disposition of each, towards the other, may be influenced by these causes, the state governments must clearly have the advantage. But in a distinct and very important point of view, the advantage will lie on the same side. The prepossessions which the members themselves will carry into the federal government, will generally be favorable to the states; whilst it will rarely happen, that the members of the state governments will carry into the public councils, a bias in favor of the general government. A local spirit will infallibly prevail much more in the members of the congress, than a national spirit will prevail in the legislatures of the particular states. Every one knows that a great proportion of the errors committed by the state legislatures proceeds from the disposition of the members to sacrifice the comprehensive and permanent interests of the state, to the particular and separate views of the counties or districts in which they reside. And if they do not sufficiently enlarge their policy to embrace the collective welfare of their particular state, how can it be imagined, that they will make the aggregate prosperity of the union, and the dignity and respectability of its government, the objects of their affections and consultations? For the same reason, that the members of the state legislatures will be unlikely to attach themselves sufficiently to national objects, the members of the federal legislature will be likely to attach themselves too much to local objects. The states will be to the latter, what counties and towns are to the former. Measures will too often be decided according to their probable effect, not on the national prosperity and happiness, but on the prejudices, interests and pursuits of the governments and people of the individual states. What is the spirit that has in general characterized the proceedings of congress? A perusal of their journals as well as the candid acknowledgments of such as have had a seat in that assembly, will inform us, that the members have but too frequently displayed the character, rather of partizans of their respective states, than of impartial guardians of a common interest; that where, on one occasion, improper sacrifices have been made of local considerations to the aggrandizement of the federal government; the great interests of the nation have suffered on an hundred, from an undue attention to the local prejudices, interests and views of the particular states. I mean not by these reflections to insinuate, that the new federal government will not embrace a more enlarged plan of policy than the existing government may have pursued, much less that its views will be as confined as those of the state legislatures; but only that it will partake sufficiently of the spirit of both, to be disinclined to invade the rights of the individual states, or the prerogatives of their governments. 1 The motives on the part of the state governments, to augment their prerogatives by defalcations from the federal government, will be over-ruled by no reciprocal predispositions in the members.

Were it admitted however that the federal government may feel an equal disposition with the state governments to extend its power beyond the due limits, the latter would still have the advantage in the means of defeating such encroachments. If an act of a particular state, though unfriendly to the national government, be generally popular in that state, and should not too grossly violate the oaths of the state officers, it is executed immediately, and of course, by means on the spot, and depending on the state alone. The opposition of the federal government, or the interposition of federal officers, would but inflame the zeal of all parties on the side of the state, and the evil could not be prevented or repaired, if at all, without the employment of means which must always be resorted to with reluctance and difficulty. On the other hand, should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular states, which would seldom fail to be the case, or even a warrantable measure be so, which may sometimes be the case, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. The disquietude of the people, their repugnance and perhaps refusal to co-operate with the officers of the union, the frowns of the executive magistracy of the state, the embarrassments created by legislative devices, which would often be added on such occasions, would oppose in any state difficulties not to be despised; would form in a large state very serious impediments, and where the sentiments of several adjoining states happened to be in unison, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.

But ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the state governments, would not excite the opposition of a single state or of a few states only. They would be signals of general alarm. Every government would espouse the common cause. A correspondence would be opened. Plans of resistance would be concerted. One spirit would animate and conduct the whole. The same combination in short would result from an apprehension of the federal, as was produced by the dread of a foreign yoke; and unless the projected innovations should be voluntarily renounced, the same appeal to a trial of force would be made in the one case, as was made in the other. But what degree of madness could ever drive the federal government to such an extremity? In the contest with Great-Britain, one part of the empire was employed against the other. The more numerous part invaded the rights of the less numerous part. The attempt was unjust and unwise; but it was not in speculation absolutely chimerical. But what would be the contest in the case we are supposing? Who would be the parties? A few representatives of the people would be opposed to the people themselves; or rather one set of representatives would be contending against thirteen sets of representatives, with the whole body of their common constituents on the side of the


The only refuge left for those who prophecy the downfall of the state governments, is the visionary supposition that the federal government may previously accumulate a military force for the projects of ambition. The reasonings contained in these papers must have been employed to little purpose indeed, if it could be necessary now to disprove the reality of this danger. That the people and the states should for a sufficient period of time elect an uninterrupted succession of men ready to betray both; that the traitors should throughout this period, uniformly and systematically pursue some fixed plan for the extension of the military establishment; that the governments and the people of the states should silently and patiently behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their own heads, must appear to every one more like the incoherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober apprehensions of genuine patriotism. Extravagant as the supposition is, let it however be made. Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the state governments with the people on their side would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield in the United States an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the late successful resistance of this country against the British arms will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprizes of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. And it is not certain that with this aid alone, they would not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the people to possess the additional advantages of local governments chosen by themselves, who could collect the national will, and direct the national force, and of officers appointed out of the militia, by these governments and attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmed with the greatest assurance that the throne of every tyranny in Europe would be speedily overturned, in spite of the legions which surround it. Let us not insult the free and gallant citizens of America with the suspicion that they would be less able to defend the rights of which they would be in actual possession, than the debased subjects of arbitrary power would be to rescue theirs from the hands of their oppressors. Let us rather no longer insult them with the supposition, that they can ever reduce themselves to the necessity of making the experiment, by a blind and tame submission to the long train of insidious measures, which must precede and produce it.

The argument under the present head may be put into a very concise form, which appears altogether conclusive. Either the mode in which the federal government is to be constructed will render it sufficiently dependent on the people, or it will not. On the first supposition, it will be restrained by that dependence from forming schemes obnoxious to their constituents. On the other supposition it will not possess the confidence of the people, and its schemes of usurpation will be easily defeated by the state governments; who will be supported by the people.

On summing up the considerations stated in this and the last paper, they seem to amount to the most convincing evidence, that the powers proposed to be lodged in the federal government, are as little formidable to those reserved to the individual states, as they are indispensably necessary to accomplish the purposes of the union; and that all those alarms which have been sounded, of a meditated and consequential annihilation of the state governments, must, on the most favorable interpretation, be ascribed to the chimerical fears of the authors of them.

End of May Garden Pics

Bean TeePee
Purple Sweet Potatoes wilted the first day out, but are recovering nicely.
Sweet Basil finally showed up!
The Green Zebra has become one of my favorite tomatoes.
Purple hull peas are starting to come in.
Just look at that Seminole Pumpkin!
Beefsteaks don’t typically do well for me, but this is in a shady spot. Looks like I will have a few slicer tomatoes this year.
Watch out for thrips, they destroyed the mustard.

Fishing Rods – a bug out bag guide

I thought it would be worth throwing my hat into the game to talk about fishing. The prepper community talks a lot about small fishing kits with a little bit of line and some hooks to throw into your bob (Bug out bag). If you are into serious survival tools, then read on. A fishing rod is one of the best tools you can have to put food into your belly if you had to bug out. Don’t skimp on this component of your mid length bug out plan.

Rod Selection is something I don’t see bloggers talking about. In fact, many simply tell people to use a stick. You will be much more effective if you have a good rod and reel to put into your bob. There are some ultra light to medium rods suitable for freshwater fishing and light inshore fishing that are collapsible or telescoping. Here are a few recommendations. I am not affiliated with any of these manufacturers.

Diawa Spinmatic ultralight rods – for small species like trout and crappie (Multi-Piece). I personally own one of these, it has been fantastic.

Diawa Procyon rods – spinning and baitcasting models suitable for bass/trout/walleye and maybe catfish. (Telescoping)

Diawa Ardito Surf Rods – for those near beaches, heavyweight options here if you are near big water such as a salmon river or the ocean.

Okuma Voyager – light rods for trout (multi-piece)

Kastking Blackhawk II series – many sizes and known to be fairly durable

Choose a rod that you can pack in a pvc tube to protect the guides. The pvc tube can be used to stuff additional fishing gear such as the following items: packages of hooks, split shots and other weights, swivels and a few choice lures. In a true survival scenario, bait will take you much farther than lures, but a few lures will help you start fishing immediately.

Choose a reel that is compact, typically loaded with 8- 10lb line for most bug out scenarios. If you are in big water, a braided line #30 to #50 might be appropriate, but your location would determine the best line/rod fit. Don’t forget to add an extra spool as well. This bug out bag exercise has to help keep you fed for several weeks.

Wrap your reel in a pair of socks or other clothing to keep it protected inside of your bag. If you use a spinning reel, collapse the reel handle to make it a bit more compact in your bag. With these few basic tips, you’ll have a much better solution for fishing than the tiny spool in a tin can.

Lastly, add a small rod repair kit with tips and rod eyes. This can be had for a few dollars on amazon. If you are using your rod, an eye or tip will break at some point. Be prepared to fix it in an shtf scenario. It would be the equivalent of carrying a wet-stone to sharpen your knife.

If traditional rod and reel is not your style, consider a telescopic tenkara fly rod of about 10′ in length. Keep a few tippets, leaders and flies available. This setup is a bit more compact than the above, but still more versatile than the hand line I see recommended on many sites.

Good night and good luck. I’ll add a few more articles about what I think composes a good bob in future posts.

Mr. SNH.

April 3rd Harvest

We had a good harvest today, taking a nice cabbage, the first of the golden wax beans, a few peas, finished out the carrots and 3 bundles of collards.

I also had a great time cleaning out the chicken coup (NOT). Still a bit of work to do in there, but much better than before.

Lastly, bed #2 is cleaned up and fertilized for the next crop. I also rearranged the grate to grow a few louffa gourds on the end.

Today’s harvest
More cabbage is ready
Trellis rearranged in bed #2.
Bed cleaned up for the next planting.

Food not lawns continues

We finally made good on planting up some new figs. This will help give us more fruit consistently in the coming years as they grow as discussed in a previous article about staggering harvest times with your perennial plantings.

I still need to finish up with some nice mulch and a decent ring around them. I found that the previous homeowner left the remnants of a plastic garden border buried. That is the thing sticking up between the figs in the picture. I planted the larger Brown Turkey in the corner to fill that area of the yard, leaving about 6′ of space between the fence. I plan to keep both trimmed to around a max height of 8′.

Yeah, they really are twigs at this point, but they arrived well packed from Isons Nursery.
Close up with the Celeste

We also did some harvesting over the last few weeks.

A little SNH’er with a great flat dutch cabbage!
More carrots from the regen bed. Very happy with how this bed is being reconditioned from the nitrogen poor soil it was growing in. Beans will be filling this bed next.
I started to keep track of the value the garden is bringing this year. $18. That more than covers the cost of the seeds planted for those harvests.

Get Growing!

Mr. SNH.