May 31, 2008|Comments (none)
There’s a show on the Discovery Channel, The Alaska Experiment, that Josh and I have really enjoyed. The show is about several groups of strangers who are dropped off in a remote area of Alaska to navigate their way to their cabins. Keep in mind that these are urbanites/suburbanites who have never been more than a few miles from a Quickie Mart. They, like most Americans, think that surviving is staying in a motel that only has basic cable.
The cabins are stocked with a firearm, axe, saw, flour, sugar, salt, canning equipment, a cook stove, and other basics. The participants are followed by medics and camera crews. They are visited by hunting experts before winter sets in and go on hunting trips for goats and moose. They also fish for salmon and have the option of canning it. At any time, they can bail and say, “Give me a hotel room with a hot shower, microwave, and minibar.”
We couldn’t believe how well-stocked the cabins were and then several of the people still complained. One group was a father and two daughters. The father was terrific and somehow managed not to snap while his two spoiled whiny daughters complained incessantly about EVERYTHING. Interestingly, their family had the best cabin and the best location.
We decided that we would probably fare quite well in such a situation. Josh could certainly act as the perfect guide through the wilderness. I can’t think of a better partner for that particular marathon event. So we wouldn’t get lost. I can make sourdough starter and then keep us supplied with bread. I can also can up anything that is thrown at me — so we wouldn’t have to worry about that. Josh can hunt and track with amazing skill — so we wouldn’t starve. With the lard from his kills and the ashes from the wood fires – I could even make soap. And yet, there is always that fear factor because everything is harder in the Alaskan wilderness. One mile might as well be twenty and the weather changes are rapid. The dangers are ever-present and even the most experienced wilderness expert could fail.
Knowing that many people watching the show would want to know if they could hack it, The Discovery Channel created a quiz which tells you if you would become an ice sculpture or if you would make it. Would you? Take the test. Could you survive?
May 29, 2008|Comments (none)
(above) Oran, grandson of Judy from Tabletop Homestead
Congratulations, Judy! Ding dang, girl, you deserve a win after cleaning up that mess! Email me to claim your prize and many thanks to all of you who entered your messy children in this little contest. And don’t worry — we’ll have more contests so get ready because the chances are pretty good that you have the winning title or photo or whatever crazy thing to the next contest.
This here is our new rabbit (Thank you, Amanda!). We named him Gunpowder. Why? Because we already have a cat named Remington. It just seemed logical at the time. You know the best part? I get to say Gunny Bunny all the time!
VOTE today on the Messiest Kid Photo Contest! Winner gets homemade soap and other goodies!
May 27, 2008|Comments (none)
“Man is the animal that intends to shoot himself out into interplanetary space, after having given up on the problem of an efficient way to get himself five miles to work and back each day.” ~Bill Vaughan
We are all very concerned about the rising gas prices — we see the effects everywhere we turn. Our consumer-based society can scarcely afford to buy anything because the prices are up thanks to shipping and production costs. Shipping costs increased because of the gas prices. The gas prices increased because the demand for oil is so high and the oil companies enjoy owning our politicians. And why shouldn’t they? Everyone wants to get angry with the oil companies for cranking up the prices but no one seems to realize that we gave them that power over us.
Our government and our public needs to make some major changes because we are facing a much larger problem than rising gas prices: the farmers that feed this country cannot afford the oil or the fertilizer to produce the food. In Iowa alone, farmers spend $700 million each year on inorganic fertilizer. What does that have to do with gas? Well, those farmers use nitrogen fertilizer which is manufactured with natural gas. (Read the article here) Many farmers are turning to manure and green manure for fertilizing but have no idea how to combat ever-rising fuel costs. Their efforts to find and implement alternative farming methods are handicapped by a government that has simply not thought that far ahead. As a result, we will have a food crisis of epic proportions. And this is no doomsday-cliche: we’re headed for disaster if things don’t change.
Please check out the video below and watch it all the way through. I know, you are busy and the video is sort of long but Joel Salatin talks about the solution — a thunk on the head if ever there was one. His energy cost per sales dollar at his farm would allow the current fuel prices to triple and his farm would still be okay. How many farmers can say that? How many of us regular folks can say that?
Want to know more about Joel Salatin? Read “We are the Caretakers of Creation.” (another post in this blog)