The Wicked Witch of the West could not have been more evil than the forces that are out to get our gardens this year. I went to get some potatoes yesterday and a good many did not hold up to storage. Then Bruce went to check the Delcata Squash and found that some #%^@#*(%rodent, rabbit or woodchuck probably, had taken one bite of each. One bite! We think they will heal but today I have to go out and get some thigh high panty hose to protect the rest. Here’s the question. Does it make sense to spend more money on the hose than the squash is worth? Of course not. Am I still going to do it anyway? Naturally. I can keep the panty hose about indefinitely and I will learn whether or not an injured squash will recover.  Next year we will protect them as soon as they emerge. I had saved some tomatoes that looked okay and set them to ripen on the window sill. Every one developed blight and hit the garbage pail yesterday.

I stopped in the market yesterday to refill my canned pumpkin supplies. We eat a lot of canned pumpkin and, as we are not going to have any pumpkins this year (the kids are going to have to paint faces on old soccer balls for Halloween I guess) I thought I should have lots of Libbys on hand. Wrong. Seems like I am not the only one with a failed crop. There were six cans on the shelves and the grocery manager said he had heard they might not get any more for a while because of the crop failure. Yikes! I guess I will have to work on a recipe for carrot bread.

I did have some good news about my canner. I called Lehman’s and they are sending out a new one right away, along with a shipping label so I can return the damaged one. Their service is so good. There prices are a bit higher but you can count on the quality.

Have any of you found your state’s prepper network. You can google it. I am anxious to hook up with mine. I would really like to find a group that meets a couple of times a year for a day of skill building and connection. I am supposed to meet up with some folks from the Massachusetts Preppers Network soon. I am looking forward to it as long as I have the time to pull from garden work.

Now that I have a good idea about what to expect to put up from my garden (great, heaving sigh) I am working on my updated inventory and shopping list. I also put together a list for my un-prepped sister about how to begin a food storage program. I am getting the distinct impression that she did not read a certain book that one would have assumed she has sitting on her bookshelf.

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