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Chasing the Ark with my little row boat

Hey DP,

I'm one of the new people from that one day that the "Ark door" was opened and we were allowed to subscribe again. Believe it or not I have been following the site since at least 2011 during the run up to the 2012 republican primaries. The DP came up when I was searching for more information on Ron Paul and I've been coming back ever since.

Now I feel like I should explain myself a bit. It wasn't really my style to pay a subscription fee to chat it up with a bunch of people that were probably way smarter than me in the comments and to vote on posts. I may have tried to sign up once but registration was only open on Wednesdays and by the time I was serious about doing it the "Ark" door was closed.

When it was finally opened back at the end of July I was excited to finally contribute my part (intellectually and financially). That is when I learned that subscribing could be free anyway. The irony right? I could have been pestering you people for years! Anyway, I decided to go ahead and contribute some money anyway (maybe I'll make a post about contributing to causes you believe in later...?) and sure enough the paypal link was broken so I couldn't become a new member after all.

This may have happened to many of the 100 or so people that tried to make an account and couldn't. I just called the number from the email in paypal and got it figured out that way. Michael is pretty great for doing that. He said that I wasn't the only one with this problem so if you didn't make it in and you have that contact info then I'd go for it. I'm so excited to be here!! Thank you for having me!

ps. I'd bet an ounce of Platinum that there are at least 10,000+ unique individuals just like me that never bothered formally joining either ;)

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Raising Chickens

Hey RogueBeekeeper,

I'd be interested in hearing any of your experiences with Chickens also.

My wife and I visited a friend's farm a couple of months ago. We have a small Peach orchard (20 trees). We took the friend two bushels of peaches from our orchard on our visit. Our friend is from the old school. If you give her something, you will definitely get something in return. She gave us a watermelon, two cantaloupes, three jars of pickled beets, and three dozen free-range eggs in exchange for the peaches. After eating free range eggs for the next couple of weeks, my wife and I have decided that we are going to raise chickens for eggs. My wife will retire in about 2 years. We plan on building a chicken house and coop at that time. It surprised me that there was such a big difference in taste between the eggs we buy at the grocery store and those free-range eggs. I almost felt like I hadn't been eating real eggs before the free-range eggs.

Made that post today

In case you missed it. Do you can your peaches? We just started canning this year, chickens would eat up the fruit that falls off those trees before the yellow jackets get too crazy on them.


During your quest for happiness don't forget to take a few breaks along the way and just be happy :)

Peaches and Corn

We freeze peaches in the freezer. We use Fruit Fresh to keep them from turning brown and going bad. We have also used the addition of Sugar water to put a head on the bags in the past. Our peaches in the freezer stay good for about 2 years, which is nice because we seem to only make peaches every other year because of early frosts every other year in our area. We also make peach jelly and peach jam with the peaches. This year, we put up around 40 quart bags of peaches in the freezer and we made about 16 jars of peach jam. We canned green beans and tomatoes this year. We canned about 40 quarts of green beans this year. I'm usually just my wife's assistant, but I actually canned about 15 of the quarts of green beans by myself this year. We canned about 40 pints of tomatoes. My wife and her sister went to the farmer's market and bought a bunch of strawberries. They canned a big batch of strawberry jelly and also made some strawberry/peach jam which actually won an award two years ago at a peach festival. We like to give family and friends jelly and jam as presents.

We put up around 220 ears of corn this year. I grew Silver Queen variety corn this year. We ate a lot of this fresh and gave some to family and friends. We put about 100 ears in the freezer. My dad grew Kandy Corn (variety) this year. He gave us (I picked) 120 ears to put in the freezer.

Speaking of corn. We have the corn in the freezer thing down. We've been doing this for decades. Our corn from the freezer tastes just like it was fresh picked.

Here are the steps that we go through to put corn in the freezer:

1. We clean our kitchen sink (both sides) thoroughly, then we let the sink soak in bleach. Afterwards we rinse thoroughly.

2. We either purchase bags of ice, or we have ice saved up in our freezer. I like to put water in plastic containers in the freezer to give us larger pieces of ice that don't melt so quickly.

3. My wife places 2 large pots of water on the stove. She gets them started heating up.

4. I head out to pick the corn.

5. When I return with the freshly picked corn, she turns up the heat on the 2 pots of water.

6. I begin shucking and removing the silk from the corn until I get enough to fill the 2 pots.

7. We immediately take the shucked corn and rinse (clean) on one side of the sink.

8. We place the corn in the 2 now boiling pots of water.

9. We fill the other side of the sink (not used for cleaning the corn) with water and ice.

10. When the corn starts boiling in the 2 pots, we set our oven timer for 3 minutes.

11. When the oven timer goes off (after 3 minutes of boiling the corn), we use a set of tongs to remove the corn from the 2 pots and place them into a pan. Immediately, we dump the corn into the ice water in the sink. We add more ice to keep the water extremely cold. This seals in the flavor (blanching).

12. After the corn in the sink is completely cold. This takes about 10 to 15 minutes, we set the ears of corn on a set of racks beside the sink to dry.

13. When the ears of corn are dry, we place them in quart and/or gallon freezer bags, then label them with the current date.

14. We then place them in the freezer.

15. Another batch is already in process. I have already went back out to our porch to shuck another 2 pots worth of corn, and my wife keeps the 2 pots on the stove ready. If we are doing a lot of corn, we add water to the 2 pots. We usually have another smaller pot going which we use to add to the 2 bigger pots.

The whole point of all of this process (blanching) is to get the corn from the garden and into the ice cold water then into the freezer as quickly as possible. After picking the corn, the corn will start losing its sugar content. To get the best taste, efficiency and speed are necessary.

This is how my grandmothers and grandfathers preserved corn. I grew up in a family that had a large garden every year.

Sorry for the long post. We had corn for lunch today (from the freezer) and it was delicious, so it was on my mind.

Heading out to look at my pecan trees this afternoon. Pecan tree grafting is one of my other hobbies.

I'm just a weekend gardener, as my job is as an IT Consultant and I travel most weeks on Monday through Thursday.

Same thing happened to me

I had called the number on the paypal account and Michael's wife picked up. She said "hello" and I wasn't sure what the heck was going on so I asked if I could speak to somebody regarding my account and she handed the phone to Michael. I just about fell off my chair! It was an honor to speak with Michael! I set up a $10/month account and am aboard the ark. Thanks again for the help and a great introduction Michael!!!

"To ski powder is to waste it" - Jake Burton

Michael Nystrom's picture


I don't normally do that, but based on the positive experience I had with you, I'd consider doing it in the future.

Samantha put her cell number up on the PayPal account.

I've been reluctant, but maybe I should do that. I had a positive experience with you, and with mashley.

(On the other hand, some other guy from here is stalking me on my Google Voice number.)

Than you, and again, welcome.

He's the man.

I'm glad

you made it on the ark. Looking forward to hearing more personal anecdotes about beekeeping. I cobbled together a few links a while back about beekeeping to get people interested in the activity.

Backyard Beekeeping (Video Library)

Thank you!

I have a couple of stories :) I used to do chickens too and one of my friends just got me to watch the "Back to Eden" video on how to have a garden without doing so much work. We live in the city now but we are planning on buying some land next year.

During your quest for happiness don't forget to take a few breaks along the way and just be happy :)

The "Back to Eden" video

was a great video! There's something about primarily using wood chips over compost that I find appealing. I'm glad you've brought some practical experience and insights with you to the DP. So much of this knowledge is still theory for me. Someday, I'd like to put more of it into practice. Chickens are definitely on the list, though I think I'd enjoy beekeeping even more.

If your interested, I have video library which covers a lot about gardening and especially permaculture. There is also a section with the "Back to Eden" video and other related videos of Paul Gautsch.

Global Gardener Video Library

Also, here's a post on Joel Salatin's system of farming ... pastured chickens, pastured beef, etc...

Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm (Video Library)

Michael Nystrom's picture


You are amazing. You are an inspiration to me.

Your generosity in sharing your knowledge is an inspiration to me.

Thank you.

He's the man.

Thanks Michael ~

This is pretty much the first blog community I ever created an account for and became a part of long term. You've created an atmosphere of trust so that I felt the time spent creating these posts was well worth it. Though I'm not a big commenter, I've learned a lot from following the thought provoking posts and conversations on the DP over the years.


Glad to have you here!

Like Michael, if you keep bees, I would like to hear some of your beekeeping stories. I kept bees for about 8 years. My bees absconded the hives during extremely heavy rains and flash-flooding about 5 years ago. I really enjoyed keeping bees. My potential retirement plans include keeping bees again. I still have all of my hives and equipment.

I'll share one of my stories.

When I received my bees through the mail, I was pretty green on what to do. I put on my beekeeping suit and went to install the bees in the hive. The bees came in a small box with screening covering it. There was a small round cover on top of the screened box. I loosened the small round cover and took it loose, before realizing that there was a small queen cage attached to it. The queen cage contained the queen and a few of her attendants. The queen cage fell down into the box with the bees. I tried unsuccessfully to get the small queen cage out of the bee container with my gloved right hand. Without the sense of feel, I was afraid that I would crush bees. I had sprayed sugar water on the bees, so they were very calm. Finally, I took the glove off of my right hand and reached down into the bees to retrieve the queen cage. When I pulled the queen cage out, my right hand looked like a bee glove. They were coating my hand. To be honest, I was thinking that I would shortly be in the emergency room. I slowly laid the bee cage down. I then held my bee-coated right hand over the round opening in the larger bee cage/box. I took my gloved index finger on my left hand and slowly began raking the bees back into the bee box. I continued raking until most of the bees were in the box. I couldn't believe that I didn't get stung once.

Welcome! :-)

Glad you made it aboard.

Loved your post! Thanks for sharing. :)


Congratulations Newlyweds! :)

Wishing you a wonderful lifetime together.


Sorry to hear so many missed the Ark. Excited to get them on board! :)

Michael Nystrom's picture

That was a trip talking to you on the phone

Maybe I should do that more often. Sign up people manually, via telephone, like good old fashioned Customer Service. Every Friday or something.

This whole few weeks - with opening registration, doing the moneybomb, and hearing what an impact the Daily Paul has on people has really made me reconsider things.

At any rate, glad you made it aboard, and welcome!

- - -

So you keep bees, eh? I've been interested in that, but living in an apartment in Somerville, MA (second densest city in the US, after Manhattan) that hasn't really been possible. But moving back out to Seattle, that is about to change.

I really look forward to working with bees, and I'd love to hear some of your experiences.

He's the man.

You caught me!

That took me one second too long to figure out how you knew I kept bees. It's late. Yeah, I'll make a few posts on how to get started on beekeeping. Once you get going you would be amazed by how many people will let you keep a hive near their garden or in their field.

- - -

You're only hearing about how great of an impact the DP has from community members too I bet. I met this guy at church here in Utah... we found ourselves both arguing against six other people on how important the Bundy standoff was from the liberty perspective and I got his information afterwards. Believe it or not he also happened to be a regular non-subscribing visitor of the DP! That was about three weeks ago. There were 67,000 guest viewers just today. I imagine it will go up with the 2014 races getting closer.

During your quest for happiness don't forget to take a few breaks along the way and just be happy :)

Welcome aboard!