I went to the hardware store to see about the gasket for my pitcher pump and they had one but it was larger than the old one I brought in to match up. Since the gasket is made from leather, I figured I'd just make my own.
I had a sheet of leather, so I traced around the old one and cut it out after making some adjustment for the distorted shape. I punched a hole for the center bolt and punched holes where the check valve hinges. When I went to install it, it looked like maybe I should have made the OD bigger. In fact the hardware store gasket might have worked. I'm going to make up another larger one for a spare before I put all the tools away. I should be set then for as long as I'm going to be living here. Never occurred to me to have a spare until this one failed. I suppose if you were going to be homesteading or living "inside the wire" you'd put a little more effort and planning into what you'd need for spares and tools than what I've done. Since I've got all kinds of tools and a hardware store is only about 5 minutes away, most of my disaster planning has been food, water and shelter. However, if it's not prudent to leave the house or transportation isn't running, things could get very bad in a very short period of time.
While continuing the clean-up campaign in the big barn, I broke down a couple of bike tires. The three small spoons/levers in the photo are store bought. They're handy enough to pack along if you were touring but they don't offer enough leverage to make it easy to get that initial bit of tire over the edge of the rim. The two longer ones are a couple I made up from 1/2" cold rolled that I hammered out on one end. Not real handy to pack along on the bike but they sure make the job easier. The length was determined by the tool box I used to carry along for my race bike. The other little gizmo in the photo is a tire tool that is used to bleed the air out, remove the valve core and hold the valve stem in place when changing a tire. Everyone should have one of these in their kit. The county usually has a recycling day when you can take in old tires but that didn't happen this year. Maybe I'll set the old tires out behind the shop and start a mosquito farm until I can recycle them. Making progress on the clean-up at least.
I had to replant a couple of the mounds for the cukes and cantaloupes. My seed was stuff left over from a couple of years ago. I didn't want to leave the shack to get new seed, also, all I really needed was about four seeds of each. It's still early enough I should be able to harvest a couple of things from these as long as they germinate. If not, a couple of the cantaloupes did come up so I should get some melons one way or the other. The tomatoes and peppers are looking good and I'll be getting some strawberries soon. Gooseberries are looking good, so there should be a pie in my future.
I did read something the other day concerning gardening that I found interesting. Even though you may have a large garden with a variety of vegetables, the caloric content in these is probably not going to be enough to support you. As a half-assed vegan, I can tell you man does not live by garden vegetables alone. If you add in some some cheese, pasta, rice, or potatoes, you can make it through the day alright but long term living off veggies is not going to sustain you very well. However, fresh garden veggies and fruit are a great way to balance out your diet and supplement your food stores.
This pandemic has been pretty interesting from a scholarly point of view. The Missus and I have been doing quite well, fortunately. However, just about every day I come across something I had never considered as far as disaster preparations are concerned. Hopefully we'll never have to go through something like this again but it has given me the opportunity to see a few weak spots in my quest for self-sufficiency. The cost of freedom is eternal vigilance, after all.