First it was a tornado watch, then yesterday I felt the earthquake and today it looks as though we are possibly going to get some effects from Hurricane Irene. So much for living in the safest place on earth. Actually, none of these weather events had, or is likely to have, much effect on us but there are certainly good for getting us to refine our preps and update our plans.

Thank you all for the good ideas. We are putting many of them into place, including the seating in the basement, preplacing supplies in vacuum sealed bags and making a list of the things to grab and keeping on the basement door. The shoes are such a small thing but they really matter. We are people who spend a lot of time barefoot, hence the name of our little farm, and who wants to be shoeless in a crisis. Knowing where one’s footwear is should just not be that hard for otherwise intelligent people.

It is pretty busy around here. My grandkids are here for a visit so, naturally, all of the other kids and grandkids are coming by to see them. We are feeding 10 to fifteen nearly every night. Can I just say that this takes a lot of food. I think that most people underestimate just how many calories it takes to get through a day of even medium work. Maggie has been working on our food inventory. She created a spreadsheet for the first of the three places we keep our food storage and, when finished with the rest of the food, will then tackle the non-food items. Our web site work has come to a halt as we spend time with family and get the canning down.

We sustained a lot of damage from the last two storms. I think we will get no corn at all. The squash was pretty severly damaged as were the cucumbers. I will end up buying corn for freezing although, time running short. I may just look for a good brand of organic frozen corn, buy a case and call it a day. Corn is hard on the soil and I may just buy it from now on. I have also decided that I will no longer grow peas. I get so much more bang for my buck with beans and cukes. As I get older, I have to garden smarter. We love pickled beans. I need at least one hundred jars to be happy. That sounds crazy, even to me.

Today is the final class in my food preservation series. I am going to teach root cellaring. I had such a good time teaching. I love the opportunity to connect with other like-minded folks and teaching is always good for me. It makes me pay attention and it keeps me from getting sloppy.

I know I have been terribly negligent about getting to all of your questions. I can’t promise to catch up until after my family leaves and the garden is out to bed. Until then, as the hurricane approaches and the earth stretches, I hope all of you remain safe.