Happy Holidays, y’all! The passing of this year is quite welcomed for us. It’s been our toughest year on the wee homestead by far. There were even a few times we discussed giving in and packing up.
We moved here in 2009, after Hurricane Ike, having purchased raw land in 2006, after Hurricane Katrina. It’s the new normal, I guess, that our memory is set by weather disasters. Now 2019 will be marked as the year of the manufactured storm bombs: crazy tornado and giant hail.
Judging from the amped-up geoengineering agendas, who knows what next spring will bring—floods, fires, more ‘tornados’, unprecedented lightening storms, maybe a land cyclone or two—certainly continued weather whiplash will remain on the menu.
I don’t imagine it’s possible to prepare for every potential catastrophe, but still, we’re staying put. It’s not that we’re gluttons for punishment, or like to live dangerously, or are too stubborn to see the writing on the wall. It’s not even that we’ve come too far to turn back now, having learned so many of the essential homesteading skills, having devoted so much blood, sweat and tears, not to mention $$, into this lifetime project.
Some mice traps, a coat of paint, and voila!
More paint, new appliances . . .
It’s for love. Love of the land, the nature, the work, the critters, the learning, the lifestyle, and of course, love for each other. Where else would two such misfits fit except in the woods, I wonder?
When there’s no turning back, and as we’re too young yet to sit still, but too old to start over, the best option left is to up-skill. So, that’s what we’re doing.
Handy Hubby has transformed his butchering talents from mediocre to practically professional with the help of the Scott Rea Project. It is truly impressive, especially considering what big jobs he makes work in our very small space.
I’m following his lead by upgrading my own culinary crafts to include more traditional fare, like offal, which really isn’t so awful at all! This’ll be my last bad pun in this post, I promise, even though I find them offally hilarious.
I don’t really follow recipes, but I’ve been finding guidance and inspiration from Of Goats and Greens and Weston A. Price. I recently made a rather delicious Lamb Liver Loaf and an offal salad of heart and tongue. (FYI, it does not taste like chicken.)
I’ll also be doing more foraging with the help of The Forager Chef and a bookshelf full of expertise on mushroom hunting, wild plants and herbs, traditional cooking and healing. I’m more committed than ever in holding space for, and gaining knowledge of, the ancestral arts and crafts that were missing from my childhood, and indeed for most of us for many generations in this country.
I’m not going to share any lame platitudes about silver linings and growth opportunities, because that’s slave-speak socially engineered by the faux-authorities to assure the rabble don’t complain about their lot in life. I intend to continue my fair share of complaining, and then some.
But, I will offer this cliché instead—It ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings! And this lady’s got no plans to plump up any further, or join the choir.
“May all your storms be weathered, and all that’s good get better. Here’s to life, here’s to love, here’s to you . . .”
As the world continues to move in lockstep with the oligarchs of control toward their Global Gulag, we here on the wee homestead move from damage control after the spring manufactured weather terror toward our next steps in resistance.
Handy Hubby has been working hard clearing the uprooted and split trees from around the house, continuing on that momentum to clear a few more as well, optimizing our lovely views. Some cool weather and rain, at last, allows for a giant bonfire, and we contentedly watch the damage go up in smoke.
Since this setback made it impossible for him to finish fencing a second pasture this year, some hastily employed electric fencing saved the day, and the critters can now save me the task of pruning, mowing and weeding.
Maybe Mama Chop knew we, and she, weren’t up for a big litter this year. Now her remaining four piglets get pampered with her undivided attention and we will all have fewer mouths to feed.
The new guard gets to expand their territory. Tori gets to expand her dominance and spread the love.
We will continue circling the wagons, with a storm shelter moving to the top of the long list, because the writing is clearly on the wall, in neon, though the vast majority continue skipping their merry way to the guillotine.
Journal of Environment, Geography and Earth Science International July 13, 2018
“Conclusions: The U. S. military’s ongoing decision to weaponize the environment for national security purposes was accurately forecasted by MacDonald. But he failed to realize that national militaries could and would be co-opted by a secret international agreement the consequence of which, however unintentional, was to wage war on planet Earth, on all its biota, and on its natural, biogeochemical processes. Unless and until politicians, news media, scientists, and others in our society face the truth of what is happening before their very eyes and collectively demand a halt to these covert technological activities, we will march onward – to the first anthropogenic-caused mass extinction.”
Abstract: Fundamental Climate Science Error: Concomitant Harm to Humanity and the Environment
“The climate science community (CSC) has misrepresented climate change, falsely claiming carbon dioxide causes global warming, and developing computer models of Earth’s radiation balance without taking into consideration the tropospheric particulate geoengineering that has been taking place for several decades, thus rendering invalid those models and their interpretations. The CSC misunderstands the science underlying particulate pollution in the troposphere, typically maintaining that aerosolized particulates cool the Earth. As described here, pollution particles, including those jet-sprayed into the region where clouds form, reflect some radiation, but also absorb radiation and become heated. The heat is transferred to the surrounding atmosphere, thus increasing its temperature. The increased atmospheric temperature causes loss of heat-transfer efficiency by convection from Earth’s surface, and concomitant reduction of Earth’s heat loss. Climate science has been corrupted and coerced by military, commercial, and globalist political agendas.”
“I have been a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for 45 years. During that time I have published fundamental scientific advances in world-class science journals . In 2011 the AGU established its Task Force on Scientific Ethics and Integrity and invited input from its members. On February 2, 2012, I responded  with a fundamental statement on scientific ethics and integrity: “Scientists are persons of integrity: They stand for what is right. They tell the truth and ensure that the full truth be known. They do not lie.” In that response I gave specific examples of egregious ethical transgressions by such AGU “luminaries” as Medal of Science awardee Don Anderson. Two weeks later the chairman of that task force, Peter Gleick, resigned in disgrace over his own ethical transgression, nationally reported.
Numerous AGU members along with members of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the European Geosciences Union (EGU) have been involved in failing to tell the full truth about climate change. These scientists promote the claim that greenhouse gases, most especially anthropogenic carbon dioxide, are responsible for global warming. They remain silent about the consequences of the daily, near-global aerosol geoengineering that has been taking place since at least the 1990s with growing scope and intensity . Failure to discuss this massive global anthropogenic phenomenon not only negates the validity of these scientists’ assertions about climate change, but, I allege, makes those individuals, and their associated institutions, party to the biggest science scam ever perpetrated. And, as well, party to an activity many may consider to be a crime against humanity and the environment .
For 70 years the military interest in controlling the weather has been thoroughly documented . Military experiments advanced from causing rain and snow to inhibiting rainfall by emplacing pollution particles into the atmosphere where clouds form. Eventually, the atmosphere becomes too moisture-laden and torrential rains and storms result. The net effect of the now near-daily, near-global ongoing covert geoengineering activity of emplacing pollution particles into the atmosphere is to contribute to global warming. While some sunlight is reflected back into space by aerosols, the deliberately spread pollution particles also heat the atmosphere and impede heat loss from Earth . The albedo of snow and ice is lowered by certain particulates when they fall to Earth. There is, furthermore, evidence of a covert operation to deliberately melt ice by dispersing pseudo-cryoconite material .
Climate science that does not take into account the ongoing aerosol geoengineering activities can rightly be deemed immoral — by omission, lies are deliberately perpetuated. Such a dishonest effort to understand the climate is like trying to understand and predict ocean tides without considering the existence and gravitational influence of the Moon.”
Weather-Worlds of the Anthropocene and the End of Climate
“But set against this notion of the weather as immune from human agency is a long history of human actions altering the weather, of people in effect ‘cultivating’ the skies. Human capabilities to shape and re- make their environments have gradually extended from the forests, land and seas so that they now also encompass the atmosphere.
This ‘weather cultivation’ in the past commonly occurred on micro-scales, modifying local weather through tree-planting or irrigation. It has occurred both inadvertently and advertently. Weather cultivation has been undertaken often modestly and pragmatically but also, on occasions, with hubristic economic or military intent12. And increasingly it has emerged from human activities operating across larger- scales. These weather modification practices have included, inter alia, animal domesticating, forest clearing, swamp draining, dam building, city building, roof- whitening, fire burning, desert irrigating, cannon-firing, cloud seeding, coal burning, and so on. The frequency and scale of these human practices have grown alongside the rise of industrial capitalism and complex institutional structures. It has therefore become less and less possible to claim unthinkingly that all adverse weather is ‘an act of God’ (13). Rather than seeing the atmosphere as the domain of the gods, the weather must increasingly be understood as an extension of the human. People and their cultural artefacts and practices become weathered, yes; people continually find new ways of living with their weather and its dangers and bounties. But, conversely, the weather becomes cultivated; it increasingly bears the imprints of human cultural activity often reflecting powerful political, economic and technological interests.”
Question: Hail repression and Cloud Seeding are two of the oldest methods of weather modification boasted about widely since the 1960s. Yet, we have more and larger hail and more and longer droughts in East Texas. Why?
If you plan to join the growing number of hobby beekeepers the very first step should be to define your goals.I learned that the hard way.
It’s a wonderful thing to see the popularity of beekeeping keeps increasing.I love beekeeping for many reasons, but when I was first starting out the learning curve was very intimidating. And that’s coming from someone who usually adores learning.
Not only was there loads to learn about the bees themselves, but also about how to manage their colonies, which changes depending on your hive type, which is dependent on what your goals are as a beekeeper.
The first question to answer for yourself as a newbie is if you are interested in beekeeping as livestock or as habitat provider, or maybe both.
I had several mishaps in my first years because I hadn’t asked myself this most fundamental question.I hadn’t asked myself this because in all the books, forums, courses and club meetings I’d attended, no one asked this question.The general assumption is always that the beekeeper is interested in bees as livestock, because that’s what most want.
In this case, follow the commercial standards, using their Langstroth hives and peripheral equipment, their treatment schedules for pests and diseases, and their feeding programs and supplies, and you should be good to go.You can buy nucs (nucleus colonies) in the spring, and if all goes well you’ll have some honey before winter.This is by far the most popular route to take in beekeeping.
But it’s not for everyone, including me, which took me a few years to figure out.Honey, pollen, wax, propolis, royal jelly, queen rearing, and other processes and products from beekeeping are the main goals of this style of beekeeping and there’s lots to learn from the commercial operators who have mastered many of these skills for maximum efficiency and profit.
However, if you are interested more in providing habitat and learning from the bees, and creating truly sustainable, long-term, self-sufficient colonies in your space, following commercial practices is really not the way to go, and can lead to a lot of expense, confusion and frustration.
In the hopes of encouraging more beekeepers to become honeybee habitat providers rather than livestock managers only, here are a few tips and resources.
The conventional practice is to keep all your hives in a ‘bee yard’ for reasons of convenience and space.This is antithetical to bee colonies’ natural proclivity to nest far from one another. It creates problems of diseases and pests that spread rapidly in conditions of overpopulation, which is why so many treatments are needed, and then feeding when nectar/pollen flow is scarce, as well as being hyper-vigilant in your regular hive inspections to find issues immediately before they spread.Now that I have spaced my 6 hives out around a very large area I’m having far more success. But, only time will tell!
What else I’ve learned:
The typical Langstroth hive is made for easy transport and standardization purposes for the industry mainly, but they are not ideal for the honeybee habitat provider, because they are made with thin walls in order to be lightweight. This means they are poorly insulated and so not suitable for the long-term stability of the hive—getting too hot in summer in southern climates and too cold in winter in northern climates. Our top-bar hives and nucs have thick walls and insulated roofs.
If you want your bees adapted to your area and climate you don’t want to do the conventional practice of buying new queens every couple of years.Ideally, you’ll want your colonies to produce their own queens.Queen-rearing will remain an essential skill for a more advanced beekeeper, because occassionally you may still want to make splits to increase your numbers or to replace weak colonies, or to re-queen another hive displaying poor genetic traits.
When the colonies are weak, depending on the issue, they may need to be culled. This is rarely suggested by professional beekeepers who promote regular treatments on which the weak colonies then become dependent, while still spreading their weak genes on to subsequent generations and their diseases and pests to other colonies.
Just like the faulty logic of ‘herd immunity’ in the vaccine debate among human populations, many commercial beekeepers use the same complaint about those of us who want go au naturel,that is, treatment-free, with our bees.
Many scientists and researchers are trying to raise public awareness that this is not how herd-immunity works, not in livestock or in humans, and I applaud their efforts. I personally find referring to populations of people as a herd to be insulting. I think it actually trains individuals through neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to think of themselves and each other not as unique and separate individuals, but rather as cattle to be managed.
You’ll also want to mostly forgo the conventional practice of swarm prevention.The goal is for the bees to become self-sufficient, as in the wild, where colonies can live for decades with no hand from man to aid or to disturb.Some of these colonies are enormous, like one we found in an old oil barrel, there for over 15 years and thriving with multiple queens in the same colony, which most likely swarmed annually.
Swarming is a natural, bio-dynamic process performing many different functions for the colony, hygiene being an essential one. Everything the beekeeper takes away from their natural processes is a stress on them which must then be alleviated by other, most likely artificial, means.
Plant perennial and annual crops the bees like for your area and climate.Here in the south there are plenty of plants that bloom at different times most of the year, giving free bee buffets from early spring to late fall, like: bluebonnet, white clover, hairy vetch, wild mustard, vitek, morning glory, trumpet vine, yaupon, and lots of garden herbs and crops, too.It is my greatest pleasure to harvest cucumbers, peas, beans and arugula surrounded by forging bees—they love them as much as we do!
Experimenting and observing is the most fabulous feature of the honeybee habitat provider!
I know a homeschooling homesteader with an observation hive in their house that the children treasure.Not only do they learn from these fascinating creatures about how they operate in the hive, but how they are connected to the seasons and to their environment.They’re learning constantly from the colonies’ successes as much as from their failures.
I practice slightly different techniques with each hive to discover which methods work best here on the wee homestead: one hive has a screened bottom board, one I keep with a reduced entrance all year, one’s in full-sun and another partial shade, and so on.Not that this will necessarily solve the mystery of colony failure, but every bit of data helps!
Some unconventional resources:
The Shamanic Way of the Bee: Ancient Wisdom and Healing Practices of the Bee Masters by Simon Buxton (2004)
The Dancing Bees: An Account of the Life and Senses of the Honey Beeby Karl von Frisch (1953)
Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health by Les Crowder & Heather Harrell (2012)
Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture by Ross Conrad (2013)