This Week ‘Round The Farm
Everyone prefers the middle of the bale. I’m guessing it’s the equivalent of the center of the cinnamon roll.
May, just living her best life 😎
Me, not so much 🥶
Sledding with sass 🛷.
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Just when we’ve gotten through 2020 and 2021, here comes a crippling snowstorm to start 2022. Downed Trees, impassable roads, and power outages for days on end. It’s hard to imagine that in this day and age of technology and infrastructure, that power would be out for any extended period. Yet, here we are. Our family has been through enough of these that we started looking at ways to mitigate these conditions because it’s not a matter of if, but when. Now we’re not doom’s day preppers or anything of that nature, but we do try to prepare for real world scenarios such as storms, snow, and even cyberattacks. Remember when gas pumps were empty a few months ago from a cyber-attack? Here’s a few things we’ve put in practice that have helped during these times.
Number 1, we purchased a generator. I acknowledge this can be expensive, but in my opinion, it’s like insurance in that you won’t need it much, but when you do, it’s invaluable. Now we didn’t purchase a whole home generator or anything that nice (though that would be nice and is on the wishlist), but a portable version that we can move to where it is needed. Ours is from Costco and has literally paid for itself in the food savings it’s provided in keeping food cold / frozen. We paid ~ $700 and it’s one of the best investments we’ve ever made. Of course you can put food outside with this much snow, but tropical storms, hurricanes, and the like we’re at risk for also create the same situations. Also running a business that requires food to stay frozen is non-negotiable. Other things we’ve used our generator for are portable heaters, lamps, TV (we have an old school antenna and pick up all the local channels), toasters / ovens, radio, charging phones / ipads, even running our computer (when connected using 4G from the phone). You name it, we’ve probably used our generator for it. If you are thinking of getting one, wait a bit till things settle down as I’m sure they’re scarce and pricey at the moment. Of course you can buy new, but Facebook MarketPlace and Craigslist will provide you with many options as well.
Water is something you can’t be without. When the power is out, the wells aren’t working. What we’ve done is save 2 liter bottles, water bottles, and really any plastic container will work. Fill up a number of them and put them in storage. We have a root cellar that we store ~ 50 bottles / jugs of water in. Once you’re done, it’s set and forget. This really doesn’t cost anything but a little time to plan, fill, and store. We try to use BPA free plastics and change out every 1-2 years. It’s been a big game changer for little investment. We have water to drink, make coffee (a must!), wipe off (not a shower but better than nothing), and keep the pets fed.
A new thing we’re implementing this year is fuel storage. It’s a life hack I heard from a podcaster (Jack Spirco) that sets you up for a good supply of gasoline. Most of us have cars and when things like this happen, it’s hard to get gas, and here in rural Virginia, it’s not uncommon for pumps to run empty. Gas also powers the generator we’ll need for extended outages, ATV for chores, chainsaws / power tools for down trees / repairs, and so many things. Here’s how it works. This January, buy a 5 gallon gas can, and fill it up. Label it #1 or January and store away. Next month, buy another 5 gallon can and fill it up, then label it #2 or February. Repeat this each month until December and you’ll have 12 cans (60 gallons)! These cans are kept seperate from our everyday use gas can for the mower / weed-eater, etc. These are strictly for storage / emergency. When January rolls around next year and you haven’t used it, put the January can in your car, refill the can, and place it back in storage. Do the same February on. Of course if you have periods like this, use what you need then refill and store. This ensures you have plenty of gas that’s no more than a year old and should get you through most any situation you’d experience in our area.
Another thing we do is try to use social media to your advantage. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a big fan of social media, primarily because of privacy issues, data collection, and misinformation, but it does have some great uses especially for times like this. Facebook has a group feature, and we follow “Scottsville Virginia Group”. Each City and town has one. These are our neighbors and friends posting pictures, road closures, updates, and more that help to keep us in the know when we can’t make it out of our home in times like these. Facebook MarketPlace has also been a great resource for some of the above items I’ve mentioned in addition to being a one-stop shop for a lot of our farm needs. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with family and friends should you not be able to contact them by traditional means. If you have satellite or 4G, these services still work sometimes even when the power is out.
These are a couple of things that have made our life easier during these events. There are many more such as black-out bags (bag of flashlights, batteries, etc), kerosene heaters, vehicle inverters, wood stoves / fireplaces, etc. Just google and follow some of the many rabbit holes the subject will take you. I’ve been down these holes many times and am better for it! We’d love to hear any suggestions you have about preparing for these events or how you’re dealing with this storm. Hopefully everyone has power by now if not soon and everyone is safe. Our thoughts are with all of you and wishing you the best.
January Farm Updates
A couple of updates with the farm.
Grassfed Beef Shares: We currently have a couple shares left. They are on the website as of today and up for grabs.
Delivery: We’re making a few changes to better serve you guys and streamline things. Deliveries will be moving to Friday (9a – 1p). Orders over $50 qualify for delivery ($6.00 fee) and orders over $99 get FREE delivery provided you’re within our Charlottesville / Scottsville delivery area (determined by zip code at checkout).
New Curbside Pick-up: Pick-up at the farm will be on Fridays and Saturdays from 11a – 4pm. We’ve tried to do every day of the week but unfortunately have to be off the farm at times making this difficult and the last thing we want is to get an order wrong or not be here to put it out. When checking out, you’ll have the option for which day you prefer. We’ll have the order out by 11 in our coolers with icepacks so you can pick-up anytime between 11am and 4pm. This way you can order and not have to wait for a confirmation response or schedule a time. Just order and know your order will be there between those times.
Key’s Corner Indoor Market: Starts Saturday January 15th. This will run until April. Mask will be required as it’s indoors so yay for some heat. Come see us every Saturday from 9 am – noon.
Grassfed Beef: We’re pretty much fully stocked so check out what we have at our Online store.
Stay warm and safe out there!
Thanks for following us and allowing us to serve you. If you have questions or would like to share your thoughts, give us a shout!
With Our Appreciation,
Jason, Lexi, and Family
Want to pick some Longbottom Farm beef, pork, poultry, eggs, and coffee as well as other locally produced goodies. These are the places to do it.
Key’s Corner Indoor Market – Every Saturday from 9 am – 12 noon. Now open to in person shopping. There is also a preorder drive through if you prefer to not leave your car. Just go to Charlottesville City Market To-Go.
A great way to stock up on some local food and treats while enjoying some fresh air. Thanks to all those that have come out to support local farms and artisans in our area. Hope to see you there!
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Wow Lexi! Great tips!!! I especially like the gas and water hacks . To you add any treatment to either(stabilizer or bleach)? Also, where do you store the gas? I still am on generator power. I have a whole house (which powers about 70% of my house, so dirty clothes after a hot shower 😄) but my propane is low- rookie move! I appreciate all the great tips from you and Jason. Pray you all and all the animals do well throughout the season. I suspect this will not be the only snow we get this winter. Your great tips will help make it easier. Thank you.
Thanks Janice! Wow, sounds like you’re still without power but glad you have a generator. I do use stabilizer but haven’t found a definitive answer on that. It seems some people swear by it and other’s think it doesn’t matter. Another gentleman (chemical engineer) commented above recommended changing seasonally vs yearly so that’s something I’ll likely do going forward. We store ours in our pole barn on shelves (off the ground). Best to you, your family, and farm and we’re just a shout away if you need anything.
I am a Chemical Engineer and was in the gasoline business for many years. It is designed to be consumed within a couple of months. Hot weather in particular makes it gum. You are correct in that the quality changes seasonally so the 12 month rotation insures that you are using the right gas at the right time of the year, but the stuff you are consuming after 12 months may foul your engine, or at least your fuel filter.
It would be more effort but cost no more to get rid of your winter gas at the end of each winter and buy summer gas, then get rid of that in the early Fall. I might even get rid of my early summer gas in July and replace it, since the likeliest time to need gas is Sept/Oct from hurricanes.
Other than that I like your suggestions for dealing with disruptions. Take care.
Thanks Dave. Sounds like a seasonal approach vs a monthly approach would be better. The extra effort seems minimal compared to going without. Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise concerning this as I’ll modify what I’m doing based on this. All the best!