Preparedness & Pheathers – Self-Reliance and Feeding the Birds

Country Wisdom & Know-How
Country Wisdom & Know-How

Every household needs to have a book on how to live off the land, either by choice, or in an emergency situation. Country Wisdom & Know-How is just such a guidebook. There are many other fine publications that also give terrific tips, numerous how-to blogs, and other resources easily available through a search on any search engine.

Country Wisdom & Know-How is an oversized, no-frills guide on ANIMALS of all kinds through HEALTH AND WELL-BEING and the HOME. In between these headings are: Cooking, Crafts and Gardening, with dozens of sub-topics in each one.

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On page ten, under the topic of “Seasonal Feeding of Birds,” a tip is given on how to build up calcium in songbirds for better reproduction capability in the Spring. Starting right about now add some crushed eggshells to your birdseed to provide additional calcium. This little boost for your “pheathered” friends is very easy to do. Save your broken eggshells, wash in hot water, let dry, grind up in a food processor or shatter in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. Mix these small pieces of eggshell into your birdseed and feed regularly through the Springtime months.

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I love the songbirds that fill my yard with music throughout the year. Not only do they sing me a symphony, they also keep the bug situation in check. Going to a bit of trouble to provide them a little extra calcium is my pleasure. Happy Bird-watching!

Plant, Pressed Flowers and Preparedness – Wild Cress

I have pressed flowers for years. I usually begin pressing in late winter or very early spring. One of the first pieces of foliage I press is a feathery little weed, which for years I have called, “My favorite weed.” Imagine my surprise and delight when it suddenly began to grow in the terrarium I created months ago. Recently my happiness was doubled when I found “my favorite weed” on a preparedness site and learned its proper name, Wild Cress. It turns out this little gem of a plant is not only perfect for pressing, but also is a wild edible, full of vitamins and nutrients.

Here are a few examples of my pressed flower cards using “My favorite weed,” Wild Cress

Wild Cress was eaten by early settlers to ward off scurvy in the winter. It has a peppery taste and makes a great salad green.

Wild Cress is a natural home remedy for many ailments. You can read more about it’s medicinal properties here: Wild Cress in Home Remedies

Wild Cress gone to seed will pop into your eye. I’ve pulled it out of my flower beds and closed my eyes while I’ve done so many a time. Read about this fact along with how to feed wild cress to rabbits here: Wild Cress/Popping Seeds

Wild Cress is easy to identify and is one of the most edible weeds. I doubt I would ever mistake anything else for Wild Cress after handling it for over twenty years. Great caution must be taken when eating anything growing wild. Some wild plants are deadly poison. Don’t eat anything wild unless you are absolutely sure  it is edible. Here are a few other edible weeds: Edible Weeds

Preparedness and Pinterest – Gathering Knowledge

I’m using a cropped section of the sky before Hurricane Sandy struck to remind everyone to take stock of what you have and what you would do in the event of a crisis. On my Pinterest site I have gathered together quite a few good information sites. Click on the link below to be taken to this section of my Pinterest boards. To use the site, click on an block of interest. This will take you to another block, click on this block too. You should be taken to a blog or Internet site with the information you are seeking.

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Pressed Flowers and Preparedness – The Maple Tree

I have been pressing hundreds of Maple seeds each day. The trees are at peak production at this time of year, although some varieties produce seed in the Autumn. The proper name for Maple seeds is Samara. They are also known as whirlybirds, helicopters and keys. I press Maple keys by cutting away the seed, and gently heating them in a book with porous pages.

Maple keys come in a large variety of sizes and colors. I pull some of the keys from the trees to capture their bright green, pink or apricot colors. The seeds quickly fade in color after their whirling flight from the mother tree, but these muted colors also have great uses in pressed flower compositions. Pictured below are a few ideas for using Maple Keys.

Two halves make a pretty heart shape.

Combined with other flowers and leaves, the keys create interesting effects as butterflies and dragonflies.

Maple keys make great fairy wings.

Maples are amazing trees. They provide us with many products. Maple is used for fine furniture, the sap makes amazing syrup, and new to me was the fact that you can actually eat the fruit of the tree. Remove the husks from the seeds and they can be boiled, roasted and even pounded into a flour. Amazing! God has given us so many beneficial trees in our world, and I am very grateful for the beauty and resource of the common Maple tree.

Preparedness Tip: How to use Maple seeds as a food source.