We gathered as group at the training room in the local fire station. This was great venue with whiteboards and plenty of room to spread out.
Participants – everyone introduced themselves
Plan for the morning
Go through the rules for brainstorming
Capture ideas as we go
No analysis or critiquing idea, instead just let the ideas flow. It is good to build on ideas
Looked at the buckets and challenge / specific questions
Review the brainwriting results – quickly went through all of the brainwriting ideas
Brainstorming session – after the first idea went out, this group really took off with ideas. We posted stickies with written ideas on the white board and grouped them by bucket.
Analysis – we ended the brainstorming session. The next steps:
Everyone voted on their favorite ideas, working to identify ideas that we should explore
Talked about the highest priority ideas and looked for themes (ideas that grouped together around a common theme)
Identified next steps and concluded the meeting
An enthusiastic group that really wants to find better ways to help out in the community during an emergency really made this morning a joy.
Here are some images of the ideas on the white board.
Between the brainwriting and the brainstorming, the team generated over 140 ideas! Many of the ideas were very high quality. There is lots of interest in pursuing those ideas in the wild and turning them into actionable plans.
Thanks to everyone who participated.
We’ll publish detailed results in a separate blog post, or 2 or 3, where we can look at them in detail. The ideas and the themes we discovered are all helpful.
Our local CERT team is working on a communications plan to cover 2 very different situations:
deployed in an emergency
not deployed, most likely in a longer term emergency or a grid down situation
CERT means Community Emergency Response Team. There are CERT teams across the United States.
We are going to document our work so others can leverage our work and make developing a communications plan easier for other groups. We hope to use standard innovation tools to use the knowledge within our local community. These tools include:
– brainwriting – brainstorming
Our approach, ideas, and research can help you develop a plan for your local community or other group. Maybe even your family emergency communications plan. We are looking at incorporating the communications elements that we have available to our members:
MURS, GMRS, and FRS radios
Ham frequencies, repeaters and digital technologies
Internet options such as Zello
Other options we haven’t even thought of yet
Join us on the journey. Just listen to the podcast to follow along!
This book helps families (or individuals) make that first foray into the woods and actually enjoy it. I share what I’ve learned in a lifetime of outdoor adventures. The book is not about extreme camping or anything crazy. I just talk about practical skills, knowledge and how not to spend a fortune on equipment on our way to a great weekend with the family.
If you want to see my handiwork and the campsite that I designed, checkout
This podcast was recorded in the car and there was more road noise than I wanted, but these are some important thoughts, please bear with me.
Lets talk about how rising food prices can lead to reduced food production. Also why the return on investment for buying a freezer full of beef might be better than putting your money in the stock market this year. I’m not giving financial advice, just a discussion of current events.
The last two days have been a blur. We have been busy. Even with 4 people on the farm working hard, we still have more stuff to do before everything is been planted.
We are on still on a rapid learning curve as we work hard. The garden area in the pictures below was pasture for decades so we had to work to plow up the grassy area and then build new beds.
Using the BCS Tractor
The BCS tiller was also a new piece of equipment for us. The biggest challenge we’ve had with the BCS is laying out beds so that the rows come out the width that we want. Our BCS tractor has the 5.5 inch extensions added to the the 749 tractor. This makes the tractor wider by 11 inches.
The vegetable garden beds are on a sloped face. To help minimize any erosion issues during rain events, we kept a 10 foot ribbon of grass between each plot. Each plot was laid out to have 2 rows per plot (30″ wide rows) with an 18″ wide walkway between each row. When I added up 3 walkways plus a quantity of 2 of the 30″ wide rows, then we should need a plot that is 9.5 feet wide. In practice, it just isn’t working out that way. I suspect we’ll have to till and hill a plot and measure to see where I’m off in my estimation of the total width of each 2 row plot. There is definitely a learning curve to becoming a better farmer.
We just installed rows of trellis for pole beans and tromboncino squash. We are using a curved trellis for the tromboncino squash and pole beans. I keep seeing videos and picture of the curved and over trellis configuration, so we wanted to see at try and find out if it works as well as we keep hearing. The curved trellis (when covered with tromboncino squash) should provide provide shade for the young rhubarb.
One of my projects for this summer is to install posts in the field, near the rows, where we can hang the cattle panels (used in the trellis) this fall after we take the trellis down and store it for the winter.
Tagging Each Fruit Bearing Tree and Bush
One of the projects this month was to map and tag each fruit bearing tree and bush. My wife took this project and ran with it. We now have a map that shows the location of each fruit bearing tree and bush, indicated by a unique tag number. The unique tags number are recorded in a spreadsheet. Information about each plant is recoded with the tag number, such as variety and date planted. This will also us to track historical data about each plant. This data is also useful when we propagate cuttings, allowing us to properly identify plants for sale.
It is the time of year where you never know if it is going to be an 80 degree day or a 40 degree day. We are still getting ready to start planting our summer garden. This was also the first time I mowed the grass for the season. More and more plants are starting to grow. The drip irrigation system is still a work in progress. Once we have the planting beds made then we can put down the drip tape and test the system.
We had a fairly mild winter so the weeds started growing early in the garlic beds. This year we put down hay twice to try and suppress weed growth. Hopefully we can avoid a lot of weeding this way. I was pleasantly surprised that our garlic beds survived our neighbors cows getting loose and trampling the plants earlier in the winter.
We have several patches of wild American Mandrake. It grows in the shady areas. I’m hoping that we can actually try some of the fruit this year. That would mean that we would have to time picking it just right. If we wait too long the squirrels and deer will beat us to the ripe fruit.