My new perennial plants are all arriving at the same time. In the past few days I’ve received hops, currants, quince, bamboo, 6 new blueberry bushes, mushroom spawn, 3 plum trees and 25 strawberry plants. A pecan and a butternut are due any day now as are my potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions. I think my enthusiasm might have gotten the better of me as I ordered all of this without preparing homes for them. I could find spots for everything but the strawberries. I think I am going to have to make a whole new bed.

Bruce and I have a day ahead of us without any obligations until late in the afternoon so we are heading for the hills. We’re searching for a butternut tree that we remember being on a hill behind the homestead we used to live on. I’m bringing my gloves, a knife, a plant identification book and a collection sack with me as you never know what you will find. The first of the nettles are up already and will be ready to harvest in a couple of days. Nettles are excellent in both flavor and nutrition and dry in a couple of hours. I use them to make soup and tea and I add them to stock.

I am rereading Sharon Astyk’s book, Independence Days. If you want to give a book to friend or relative who is not on board with preparedness, this is the one. She’s a wonderful writer and this book is particularly accessible.

A friend from our sustainability group suffered a puncture wound while out in the woods a few days ago. His wife realized that she was really not prepared for a medical emergency and that has gotten us all interested in finding a speaker who will do a training on putting together a medical kit. We have a CPR class scheduled but we really need advanced first aid. I think my task for today, after butternuts, is to call the Red Cross and see what’s available. Our local fire department may be able to offer something too.

On a sad note-Last night we ate the first meal in months that came from a store rather than our pantry. I had picked up wild caught salmon, peas and frozen french fries. I had coupons for the fries, the peas were organic and the salmon was on a buy one get one free sale. It was just awful. The kids likes the fries but I could hardly stand them. I overcooked the salmon and the peas were mealy. I am literally scraping the bottom of the barrel for my meals. Another task for today is to make up some menus from the little I have left in my pantry.

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