The May Meeting of the Big Bottom Self Reliant Community will be called to order Saturday,

May 19, at 2:00 in the Mt. Adams Cafe in Randle.

Please bring a list of “do it yourself” books in your library which would be available to loan to other members.

Featured this meeting will be a report on a local medicinal herb.

We will have an interesting guest telling of his recent experience installing a unique water wheel
 locally,  which took  several adjacent homes off the grid.
 Open discussion will follow.
Bring a guest who might be interested in joining our self-reliant group.
along with your stories of local happenings and  projects.
 Looking forward to seeing you all again,


ASPARAGUS  PICKLES    (3 or 4 pints)

May is the month to put up the first pickles of the season…… asparagus.

Expensive pickles to buy,  but so easy to do at home yourself.

Select large asparagus to pickle.


2 cups boiling  water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups white vinegar.

Method:   Wash asparagus, remove scales, if desired,  cut into lengths

to fit standing up in the jar.   Blanch or steam for 2 to 3 minutes and

immediately remove and submerge in ice water to stop the cooking.

Do not overcook.

Heat jars, caps, and lids in boiling water.    Fill jars and adjust caps and

lids.    Tips should not touch lids.  Pour vinegar mixture over.

Place jars into large kettle of hot water and process 15 minutes, counting time from

when water returns  to boil.  Remove, tighten  lids  and cool.

Recipe from Washington Asparagus Growers  P.O.Box 757, Sunnyside, WA


The more people in our Big Bottem area that are prepared for any eventuality,  the better off all of us will  be.

This link is posted in the hope that serious thought and consideration will  be given to  preparedness  measures in the event  of  a natural or social disaster.



Meeting will be held in the Mount Adams Cafe  at 2:00 (back room)on April 21st.     There will be a discussion  concerning the idea of a  ‘TIME BANK’  Read the following and click the links,  particularly the  UTubes  taken in Portland ME.Message below was sent to me from my daughter on Bainbridge Is.  WA.  Try to attend this next meeting.    S.S.

Mom…..I just heard of a new bartering system called a “Time Bank” or “Hour Bank”.  (You may know all about this already). One has started in my area and there are many more around the country (in at least 42 states). Below is a link to West Sound Time Bank’s web page.  At the very bottom of the page be sure to click on the youtube piece about the  “Hour Bank” in Portland, ME.  It’s an excerpt from a nightly network news profile and explains it very well.  Intriguing!



The following is  the definition of two types of government: DeFacto and DeJure.

DeFacto  Government:    is a government that operates like a government,  but in reality  is operating under “color “ of law.     Example of “Colorable” It looks, acts, and quacks like a duck, but it ISN”T a duck.

De Jure Government:  A government of Laws, as in the U.S. Constitutional Republic.  (Constitutional Republic……nowadays referred to as, “The house nobody lives in”) In other words its here but not being used .

UCC : Uniform Commercial Code.   Rules for commerce and credit currently being used  for the commercial Corporate government.  In court, it is a statutory  jurisdiction.    Statutory government is not under  the Constitution;  “Congress shall pass no expost facto laws or bills of attainder.”         (Google:    Clearfield Trust vs. U.S. (1942 )

One of the important links between the Constitution and the U.C.C.  governing systemsis the fact that:     Statutes not in conformity with the U.S. Constitution,  are null and void and are as if never written down.

Another reason to study your Constitution.   Find out for yourself if a law is valid.


….. one way to put empty egg cartons and shells to good use.
Carefully crack each egg,  take both halves of the shell and rinse under faucet; then put  halve together and return to the  plastic egg carton.  When you have a carton full of empty shells,  fill each shell with  planting soil  and plant a seed.    Water, cover with plastic wrap and set in a sunny window.     After they sprout, transfer to larger pot.
The shells contain calcium for your plant, so can be crushed and left in the soil.
MARCH GARDENING  TIPS……..a good time to study your seed catalogs and decide which varieties of open pollenated to plant:   Heirloom Solutions,  Seed Savers Exchange,   Abundant Life Seeds, all have websites you can check out.     Some other  companies like Territorial have some non hybrid  seeds that are  not genetically modified.   Be careful.  Check out their system of marking.    You want to buy be sure to buy  non hybrid  heirloom type seeds so you  can get out those seed catalogs and  start making plans for this year’s garden.   If you plant non hybrid seeds,  you will be able to save the seed progeny from your plants and participate in the local seed exchange being planned for this fall.   BBSRCwill be  holding some sort of a social occasion to exchange seeds,  where  your cost of admission will be  non hybrid seeds .
 We welcome helpful gardening tips from you……….

The Old Days in Randle


“Grandpa,  can we go down by the river where the purple grapes grow?” Asked the little boy hopefully.  “No, not today,  Son. But on Sunday we will go that way when we walk  to Sunday School.”
“OK Gramps”,   said the small boy who was just about 4 years old.
The young boy’s  real name was  Alan Gaylord Wasson.   Even as a small child he hated  that name.    When he was old enough to talk well,  he announced to his Grandpa, 
“I don’t like my name, and I want to change it” His Grandpa,  being a very  tolerant and understanding  man , answered cheerfully 
“Fine then  what would you like to be called? ”Without hesitation the little boy replied,“Jack,   I want to be called Jack,  like Jack Frost” .remembering how  people were always saying,  ‘Jack Frost came last night and turned everything white’.
 “All right ,  from now on you will be called ‘Jack”    And so it was.
Each Sunday Grandpa  who had a farm on the Cline Road, and little Jack, who lived with him ,  would walk through the huge potato field behind their house, and down toward the Cowlitz River .   Turning East they walked along  the bank toward the morning sun  until they came to the home of a kindly woman , Mrs. Anderson, whose home was near the Cora bridge .  She was one of the Pioneer Hampton’s  daughters.   She taught the little ones Bible stories. Daniel in the Lions Den, Samson the strong man, and David the giant killer were Jack’s favorites.   She would give each  child a little colored card depicting the day’s lesson to take home.   It was a real treat for a lonely child like Jack. 
It was a beautiful golden autumn day now and the Grandpa , along with the happy little boy who carried a small colored memorial card in his pocket, started for home.   
There were the wonderful wild grape vines growing helter skelter along the bank .  The vines  were climbing the trees and bushes  in wild abandon, with the abundant dark purple grape clusters hanging  down from everywhere.   They were absolutely delicious.   They  picked all they could, ate a great lot of them, filling up their shirts,  and then started for home.
Now you are asking how can grapes grow wild along the Cowlitz.   Many years before, the pioneers probably planted them and they just kept growing.    Over on Stretch Island is a town called Grapeview,  where some French people settled around 1850, bringing their grape vines with them.  I have seen those same grape vines today, growing wild everywhere.  I would venture to guess those grape vines little Jack  saw as a child are still there in the same place, watered by the Cowlitz River…….and he is now 81 years old!

When you prune your grape vines this year,  why not take some starts from the prunings and  plant them out in the woods along a trail just for fun. The birds love grapes and  perhaps some hungry people who pass by would also enjoy them.     That kindly woman who took the  time and effort to teach these small children the Bible stories was planting a seed or a vine that took root.   Little Jack  grew up, but never stopped reading his Bible.   The roots grew deep and he was sustained through the war times and other bad times.  
 May God Bless that kindly woman and the good seeds she planted.
And may  the good seeds in our gardens and those planted in each of our   lives both flourish and bring forth much fruit.