7 DAY CHALLENGE 2017- DAY 7: PROCEED

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day7

Monday, September 25

Welcome to the LAST day of the 7 Day Challenge! We hope you have enjoyed your experience and learned new things. We have prepared, practiced, and prioritized … and now we are ready to PROCEED. We’ve come up with some resources you can use as you proceed on your preparedness cycle. Here are some things to do, to learn, and to buy. Lots of these items may be on your priority lists you worked on yesterday.


proceed

TO DO

Fill out or update emergency preparedness plan
Make or rotate 72 hour kits
Fill or refill water containers
Make or update emergency binder
Update/Inventory your three month supply plan
Update/Inventory your long term food supply plan
Create a sanitation kit
Build a powerless stove, grill, oven, or pizza box solar oven

TO LEARN

How to Make Bread: Bread Recipe, Bread-Making FAQ, No Electricity Bread
How To Deal With Long Term Water Loss (Water Saving Tips)
Water Filtration versus Water Purification
How to Shut Off Your Main Water Supply
How to Shut Off Gas Supply
Powerless Cooking Class

TO BUY

Wondermill/Nutrimill
All-American Sun Oven
Bosch Universal Mixer
Prepare My Life Planner
WaterBricks
HERC Tea Light Candle Oven
InstaFire Fire Starter
Laundry Hand Washer
Thrive Life Special Packages

SPECIAL OFFER TODAY ONLY

Great news:  The popular Prepper Bundle that contains over 30 digital resources all about emergency preparedness is back for a flash sale that ends tonight (Monday) at midnight.  It’s normally only available once a year but it’s back in honor of National Preparedness Month and because so many people are looking for this type of information after the hurricanes.  
 

The price will be $29.97 for online access, $64.97 for USB drive, and $69.97 for online access + USB drive.  This offer will be gone at midnight … no exceptions … so don’t procrastinate on this one.  We don’t have any control over this so we can’t help you if you miss out on it.  They are really strict due to all the author agreements.

As you PROCEED with your prepping plans we really think this bundle could be a valuable tool for you, and if you didn’t already purchase our eBook this month it’s included in the bundle as well!


MAKE SURE to visit the group page on Facebook to discuss your progress and share tips. It’s a great place to learn from other people’s experience and knowledge.

We will also be posting a lot on instagram (@foodstoragemadeeasy) over the next few days. Come join the fun there with hash tag #fsme7daychallenge

The post 7 DAY CHALLENGE 2017- DAY 7: PROCEED appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

Splitting wood and moving wood to the new racks.

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I cleared the wood off the first wood racks I built and now I see why the my wood stayed wet.  The rack system I used did not elevate the wood off the concrete and the untreated boards acted like a sponge soaking up water into the racks bottom layer of wood.   To fix the issue I have been splitting those chunks of now dry wood as I have physical energy and moving the rest of the wood to the new pressure treated wood racks that have a solid  4″x 4″  worth of clearance above the concrete slab.  Making the new wood racks from pressure treated lumber is much cheaper compared to using the metal brackets and untreated 2 x 4’s and the racks seem to keep the wood out of the water and helps with drying the wood out.  One critical thing I need to do is build more wood racks and get a multi-year/season wood storage system figured out.  Dealing with wet wood because of poor wood rack construction or I did not stock up  on enough wood could be very problematic.

I’m splitting the last year’s wood and most of it was stuff that was knotty or had very twisted grains like elm that was too tough to split and use last year.  Perhaps I have learned how to split wood better or even twisty grained wood is easier to split when dry but I added another 18 gallon bucket of kindling to the front porch.  One thing I can say for sure is dry kindling and dry wood takes a lot less effort than the wet stuff!  Last but not least my Chimney sweep will clean the chimney on Oct. 9th and with a little luck she will add another section of pipe to the top of stack so the wood stove draws better and runs cleaner during wood heating season.  My chimney is to city code but that does not mean the wood stove burns at it’s best potential.  Another 2-3 foot pipe addition is an easy and fairly low cost fix to make the wood stove to run clean and efficient.

That is not all I have been doing I have been shopping and stocking up.  Today I went to Fred Meyer/ Kroger and stocked up on a few odds and ends.  I have my “Shoppers card” set up for digital coupons with no personal data but my email.  I know I can be tracked via that address but the PTBs will at least have to go through a couple of steps to track me.  My gosh Tissue paper has become very expensive and the rolls are getting smaller all the time.  So Mom and I are stocking up on that stuff whenever we can afford to get some extra TP.   Coffee is is getting very expensive and the cans are getting smaller all the time in the stores.  Albetrsons is having a sale and I need to add at least 5 cans of mid quality coffee to get the sale price.  Getting 3 pounds/48 oz of name brand ground coffee for $5.00- $6.00 is long  gone. Oh, you can still buy coffee for $5.00-$6.00 a can but it has only 24 oz. or a pound and and half  can of coffee.  Well such is life and I expected it but I really hate being right about this sort of thing.

Okay this is not about prepping but I want to buy a 40 inch LED non smart TV and the new/old Nintendo game system for $80.00 at the end of September.  Sort of a Birthday present to me for me October.   While I hate to get rid of my German bought digital CRT TV that is over 15 years old with a great picture.  The lower power costs of an LED is too enticing.  Plus I want to play Star Fox 2!

 

How To Turn Bitter Acorns Into Delicious Nuts, Butter And Flour

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How To Turn Bitter Acorns Into Delicious Nuts, Butter And Flour

Image source: Pixabay.com

A variety of oak trees across North America produce acorns that usually mature in early to late fall. The size and shapes vary — and so does the flavor. There are basically two types of acorns: bitter and sweet. What makes an acorn bitter is a chemical referred to as tannins, or tannic acid. Certain oaks, like red oaks, have the highest amounts of tannins, while burr oaks and white oaks have less.

Any acorn should be processed to leach out tannins, regardless of whether they are bitter or sweet. The fundamental process involves either a boiling water bath or cold-water bath to remove the tannic acid. This process can take a couple of days up to a week or more, depending on the amount of tannins in the acorns.

The Hot-Water Bath

To leach the tannins out of acorns quickly, the acorns are immersed in gently boiling water. Only brown mature acorns should be used. Green acorns won’t work, and have on off-taste. The mature acorns are typically found on the ground, while those still on the tree tend to be green. The caps are removed from the acorn and a slit is cut in the side of the acorn. Sometimes you can peel the skin off the acorn after cutting this slit, but usually they need to be boiled for a while before the skin can be easily removed.

Finally, A Backup Generator That Doesn’t Require Gasoline!

To determine when the acorns have been sufficiently soaked, a simple taste will do. If it tastes bitter, then continue the slow boil and change the water every couple of hours. You’re trying to get rid of the tannins and without this water change you’ll simply reintroduce the tannins into the acorns.

The Cold-Water Bath

Some people feel that the hot-water leaching process removes much of the flavor from the acorn. The alternative is a cold-water soak, but this will take much longer. The acorns are again prepared by removing the caps from the mature acorns and cutting the slits. The acorns are then soaked for days at a time with water changes occurring at least daily if not twice a day. Here again, a quick taste of the acorn will tell you when they have been sufficiently soaked.

Drying the Acorns

How To Turn Bitter Acorns Into Delicious Nuts, Butter And Flour

Image source: Pixabay.com

After any type of soaking, the acorns need to be dried. This can be done by putting them on a tray in the sun or gently roasting them in the oven at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Once again, a taste test will tell you when the acorns are sufficiently dry.

Storing Acorns

The best way to store acorns after they are dried is in a canning jar in the refrigerator or a root cellar. The shelf life will vary from a week to months, depending on how well they have been dried and the variety. Keep an eye on them if you have stored them and if you see any sign of mold or notice a mildew smell, discard them.

Roasting Acorns

To roast acorns, I’ll usually give them a quick rinse in cold water and then roll them around in some salt. Place them on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for one hour. Taste them after an hour until they suit your taste and have the texture you want.

Chopped Acorns

Chopped acorns can be used as a topping on desserts, incorporated into baked goods or tossed onto a salad for some added crunch. They can either be chopped on a cutting board with a knife or in a food processor. The size of the chop is up to you.

Acorn Butter

To make acorn butter, continue to chop until the acorns begin to develop a smooth consistency. This can take a while depending on the acorn variety and the amount of oil in the acorns. You can easily combine different varieties to make an acorn butter blend.

Acorn Flour

The best way to make acorn flour is to chop them fine and then run them through a flour mill. You could also try to use a food processor, but the acorns will need to be very dry or you’ll end up with another batch of acorn butter. If you want to make sure the acorns are extra dry, take the chopped acorns and roast them on a baking sheet in the oven at 225 degrees for a couple of hours. Toss them from time to time on the baking sheet to expose as much of the surface area to the heat. You could also put them on a paper towel in a food dehydrator to dry them out for flour making.

Discover More Than 1,100 Homesteading Tips And Tricks!

To bake with acorn flour, use it the same way you would use conventional flour but the addition of some regular flours like all-purpose flour or bread flour will help with the consistency and rise.

Competing With the Squirrels

When harvesting acorns, look for the acorns that have no split in the outer shell or any sign of insect damage. It’s okay if the caps have fallen off, but avoid the ones with splits in the shell or green ones. You’ll also have some competition from squirrels when it comes to finding acorns on the ground. Squirrels love acorns, but they also prefer the relative safety of a nearby tree. If you see an oak standing out in a field un-surrounded by other trees, your odds of beating the squirrels will improve. Typically, a squirrel won’t travel farther then 30 yards from the nearest tree. An isolated tree is less likely to have any visits from squirrels and the acorns will be plentiful.

How do you prepare and eat acorns? Share your tips in the section below:

How To Turn Bitter Acorns Into Delicious Nuts, Butter And Flour

How To Turn Bitter Acorns Into Delicious Nuts, Butter And Flour

Image source: Pixabay.com

A variety of oak trees across North America produce acorns that usually mature in early to late fall. The size and shapes vary — and so does the flavor. There are basically two types of acorns: bitter and sweet. What makes an acorn bitter is a chemical referred to as tannins, or tannic acid. Certain oaks, like red oaks, have the highest amounts of tannins, while burr oaks and white oaks have less.

Any acorn should be processed to leach out tannins, regardless of whether they are bitter or sweet. The fundamental process involves either a boiling water bath or cold-water bath to remove the tannic acid. This process can take a couple of days up to a week or more, depending on the amount of tannins in the acorns.

The Hot-Water Bath

To leach the tannins out of acorns quickly, the acorns are immersed in gently boiling water. Only brown mature acorns should be used. Green acorns won’t work, and have on off-taste. The mature acorns are typically found on the ground, while those still on the tree tend to be green. The caps are removed from the acorn and a slit is cut in the side of the acorn. Sometimes you can peel the skin off the acorn after cutting this slit, but usually they need to be boiled for a while before the skin can be easily removed.

Finally, A Backup Generator That Doesn’t Require Gasoline!

To determine when the acorns have been sufficiently soaked, a simple taste will do. If it tastes bitter, then continue the slow boil and change the water every couple of hours. You’re trying to get rid of the tannins and without this water change you’ll simply reintroduce the tannins into the acorns.

The Cold-Water Bath

Some people feel that the hot-water leaching process removes much of the flavor from the acorn. The alternative is a cold-water soak, but this will take much longer. The acorns are again prepared by removing the caps from the mature acorns and cutting the slits. The acorns are then soaked for days at a time with water changes occurring at least daily if not twice a day. Here again, a quick taste of the acorn will tell you when they have been sufficiently soaked.

Drying the Acorns

How To Turn Bitter Acorns Into Delicious Nuts, Butter And Flour

Image source: Pixabay.com

After any type of soaking, the acorns need to be dried. This can be done by putting them on a tray in the sun or gently roasting them in the oven at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Once again, a taste test will tell you when the acorns are sufficiently dry.

Storing Acorns

The best way to store acorns after they are dried is in a canning jar in the refrigerator or a root cellar. The shelf life will vary from a week to months, depending on how well they have been dried and the variety. Keep an eye on them if you have stored them and if you see any sign of mold or notice a mildew smell, discard them.

Roasting Acorns

To roast acorns, I’ll usually give them a quick rinse in cold water and then roll them around in some salt. Place them on a baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for one hour. Taste them after an hour until they suit your taste and have the texture you want.

Chopped Acorns

Chopped acorns can be used as a topping on desserts, incorporated into baked goods or tossed onto a salad for some added crunch. They can either be chopped on a cutting board with a knife or in a food processor. The size of the chop is up to you.

Acorn Butter

To make acorn butter, continue to chop until the acorns begin to develop a smooth consistency. This can take a while depending on the acorn variety and the amount of oil in the acorns. You can easily combine different varieties to make an acorn butter blend.

Acorn Flour

The best way to make acorn flour is to chop them fine and then run them through a flour mill. You could also try to use a food processor, but the acorns will need to be very dry or you’ll end up with another batch of acorn butter. If you want to make sure the acorns are extra dry, take the chopped acorns and roast them on a baking sheet in the oven at 225 degrees for a couple of hours. Toss them from time to time on the baking sheet to expose as much of the surface area to the heat. You could also put them on a paper towel in a food dehydrator to dry them out for flour making.

Discover More Than 1,100 Homesteading Tips And Tricks!

To bake with acorn flour, use it the same way you would use conventional flour but the addition of some regular flours like all-purpose flour or bread flour will help with the consistency and rise.

Competing With the Squirrels

When harvesting acorns, look for the acorns that have no split in the outer shell or any sign of insect damage. It’s okay if the caps have fallen off, but avoid the ones with splits in the shell or green ones. You’ll also have some competition from squirrels when it comes to finding acorns on the ground. Squirrels love acorns, but they also prefer the relative safety of a nearby tree. If you see an oak standing out in a field un-surrounded by other trees, your odds of beating the squirrels will improve. Typically, a squirrel won’t travel farther then 30 yards from the nearest tree. An isolated tree is less likely to have any visits from squirrels and the acorns will be plentiful.

How do you prepare and eat acorns? Share your tips in the section below:

Viking Axe and Indian Tomahawk

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I know I’ll get some comments about a title of “Viking Axe vs. Indian Tomahawk”. Why am I not calling them Native Americans? Maybe the Vikings should be called Native Scandinavians? Come on, people!! There is no such thing as a “safe place” on this web site. But I will promise to be respectful to everyone and teach a little history today.

Viking Axe

If you watch the Vikings tv show on the History Channel, you see a lot of battles where the Viking warriors use axes in battle while wearing little to no armor. They fight against Englishmen wearing heavy armor, who depend on shield and sword. The Vikings had genetics in their favor, and were visibly taller and broader. Most Viking warriors were also farmers who built up their strength by working hard to grow food and raise animals in the harsh Scandinavian countryside. They were tough, determined people. Every year they came together and raided foreign lands for wealth, slaves and other goods for trade. Combat was a way of life. Taught to boys at a young age by their fathers, including the girls if they showed interest.

Viking Axe vs. Indian Tomahawk - Viking Bearded AxeThe axe was an everyday tool. Used for building, firewood, and most importantly ship building. The typical axe carried into battle was a version of the bearded axe (pictured to the right from Gransfors Bruk). Pointed at the top and blunt at the bottom. The blunt part was useful for hooking shields or legs in battle. A common tactic was to hook an enemy’s legs and drop them to the ground. While they were trying to get up, it was easy to deliver a killing blow. Most of the enemies that Vikings encountered in battle were not used to fighting against axes.

There are several organizations that teach Viking fighting styles:

Indian Tomahawk

One major difference between the Viking axe and the Indian tomahawk stems from the fact that there were no blacksmiths in North America before European contact. So the tomahawks that were used by the Indians were made of stone, wood, and bone. Metal tomahawks didn’t appear until boarding axes used by sailors were offered in trade to Native Amerians.

A boarding party would always include a complement of axe carriers to support the main body of marines and sailors armed with musket and cutlass. As the axes were generally stored in racks near each gun they were also handy for defence against enemy boarders, being quickly available to the gun crews to cut grappling lines or defend themselves. From: BoardingAxe.com

Viking Axe vs. Indian Tomahawk - Boarding AxeThe image to the right is a standard boarding axe design. Which is very much like the typical tomahawk axe head. The Indians modified them to fit their fighting styles, often wrapping the handles with leather and decorating them with carved designs, but the axe heads changed very little. The indian tomahawk had a small blade (called a bit) on the front, usually measuring four inches or less. The back of the head (poll) was shaped into a spike. Some ceremonial tomahawk polls were shaped into a pipe.

Like the Vikings, the Indians were strong, hard working people. They spent a lot of time hunting and battling between tribes.

There are a few organizations that teach Indian fighting styles:

Viking Axe vs. Indian Tomahawk Conclusion

A lot of preppers have an axe of some sort attached to their bug out bags. I think a nice felling axe is a good addition for its practical uses. But if you plan to fight with an axe, the tomahawk is the go-to right now. There are some really nice ones available on Amazon. With some serious training, an individual could be proficient and quite lethal.

But I don’t think enough people look at the Viking axe seriously. Though it is a little larger and heavier, it has a long brutal history. Plus with a larger bit it is easier to use for chopping wood, which is a chore that never seems to be finished.

If you found this article helpful/interesting, please Share it by clicking on the social media links. Thank you for helping us grow!

The post Viking Axe and Indian Tomahawk appeared first on Surviving Prepper.

On Half Baked Commentaries

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                If you read this blog frequently or even occasionally, you have probably noted that I haven’t been reviewing or posting comments to the posts very often. Because I am ninety-thousand words into a fourth book a lot of my time is taken by the research and continuing work on that project, so I have not been as present as I once was on all of my blogs.  Secondly, and please believe me on this, only a few of the comments are worth approving for post.

                   Most of the comments commend the blog for providing full information on a subject of which they approve, and then they provide a link to their business, which is usually completely unrelated to the subject of the blog.  My post on the importance of durable dog houses in winter does not relate in any way to your sale of refrigerators in Mumbai. I don’t think we have that many readers from India.
                    One post which gave very clear information on urinary tract infections and for strategies to avoid them, was accosted by a “spiritual doctor” who wrote a long comment.  May I suggest to you Sir, that if you spell vaginal as virginal, then you likely lack the education necessary in order to be providing medical advice, on my blog or anywhere else.      

                   Although I don’t need anyone’s political views to match mine, I certainly don’t want people providing half baked, unsafe or irresponsible medical advice, particularly when I go to so much trouble to make sure that the information provided here, is as safe and as responsible as is possible.  Some time ago, the government of Iceland referenced this blog as a good place for general medical information for the public, and I would like to keep it that way.

                 So, if you wish to make a comment, then do so, but understand that if you are advertising a gentleman’s club in Detroit that I am not going to be approving your comment to follow my post on strategies for safe emergency childbirth.

                     To those of you who are still commenting responsibly, I am sorry it takes me time to weed through the inane before approving your posts. I really do appreciate your readership and your commentaries.

Amusing notice

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Kinda amusing, and, of course, quite useless. It’s certainly no legal waiver, and no group of doorkickers is going to stand there long enough to read it, but I like the attitude.

tumblr_ow2rmzkLjw1qhfxapo1_540Interestingly, Googling ‘self defense police wrong house’ turns up a few cases where the homeowner wound up shooting a cop or two and was eventually cleared of wrongdoing. However, fully expect to spend time in jail awaiting trial and spending everything you have.

Anyway….

Entertaining image and I thought I would share.

North Korean Crisis Offers Russia Strategic Opportunity to Repair or Destroy Relations with United States

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The brutally oppressive regime of North Korea is a pariah state that exists both internally and externally by intimidation, extortion, and violence.  North Korea’s most recent tests of what appears

12 Ways To Conserve Water and Electricity

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As homesteaders (in all our forms), we seek to change our lifestyle to become more sustainable, and part of living intentionally is conserving resources. Striving to conserve water and electricity in your Apartment Homestead should be a top priority.

Why conserve? Because there are certain resources we absolutely cannot live without, and our homestead lifestyle is entirely unsustainable without them. For modern homesteaders, a key resource is water. We can’t grow food, raise animals, or survive without water.

Let’s talk about an awesome “s” word that defines these “lifestyle changes”:

Sustainability!

Many modern homesteaders have the option and ability to replace the source of their energy.

But when we rent our apartment or condo homestead space, we can only seek to conserve instead of replacing many of those necessary resources. We require water, but we need electricity also, and our power comes mostly from unsustainable sources—like fossil fuels.

I have yet to meet a landlord who is willing to switch us over entirely to solar or wind energy or install a gray-water system … though I hope that day is coming!

So as renters, we must learn to conserve water and electricity in our apartment homesteads through some simple lifestyle changes.

Water

Let’s start with water—the ever necessary and perhaps most wasted resource in our world today. Good ol’ H2O. We can’t live without it because we’re 60 percent made of it. H2O is a resource we can’t afford to waste!

First, a BIG tip for conserving water: Fix any and all leaks!

A drippy faucet can waste GALLONS of water a day. If you’re a renter, remember that your landlord is supposed to respond to your request for maintenance. That’s one perk of apartment/condo living! Ask your landlord to fix your leaky faucets and toilets.

Dishwasher vs. handwashing

What uses more water: running a dishwasher or handwashing dinnerware?

The answer depends on your machine efficiency. Do a little research to see how much water your particular dishwasher uses per load. If it uses more than six gallons per load, it isn’t efficient. Ask your landlord to change it out with a high-efficiency appliance. If that’s a no-go, use these tips to make your dishwasher more efficient:

  • Run your dishwasher only when you have a full load.
  • Turn off the heated dry to conserve energy.
  • Clean your dishwasher regularly to ensure it is working properly.
  • Use natural dishwasher detergent (Stay tuned for my dishwasher detergent recipe in another article of the Apartment Homesteader!)

But what about handwashing your dishes?

The average faucet dispenses two gallons of water per minute. Unless you’re a super-speed hand washer, you’ll probably end up using way more than six gallons of water, which means the dishwasher option uses less.

But if you don’t have a dishwasher or want to use even less than the average 6 gallons of water per load, you’ll need to get a little creative. Try the 2-sink trick.

The 2-Sink Trick

  1. Put a stopper in one side of the sink and fill it halfway (approximately 1-1 1/2 gallons) with warm water and soap.
  2. Stop up the other side of the sink and fill it just under halfway with cold water (if you only have one side of a sink, fill a five-gallon bucket 1/3 full with cold water).
  3. Scrub/wash dishes in sink 1.
  4. Rinse dishes in sink 2.
  5. Drain sink 1.
  6. Use the water in sink 2 to water plants in your garden, flush your toilet, or rinse out some laundry. Pour it into an empty milk jug for easy re-use.

A few notes about handwashing dishes:

  • Make sure to use natural, bio-friendly soap.
  • Use warm water instead of hot water. Hot water requires energy to heat.
  • Consider asking your landlord to install low-flow faucets.

Shower vs. Bath

Now that you have some ideas for conserving water when washing dishes, let’s talk about saving water when you bathe!

The shower versus bath debate is pretty easily won by the shower. Where a bath can use 35-to-50 gallons of water, a 5-minute shower uses more like 25 gallons of water with a conventional shower head.

But there are ways to cut down even more on your water usage while cleaning yourself.

First, ask your landlord to switch your current shower head to a low-flow shower head that uses only 2.5 gallons per minute—cutting your 5-minute shower usage in half.

Consider using the military shower trick: Turn off the water while you lather up.

Catch and reuse water

The shower is a great place to catch and reuse water. While the water is warming up, put a bucket under the faucet to catch the water that would usually go down the drain. Use that water for your indoor garden, flush toilets, or hand-wash some laundry.  Pour the water into an empty milk jug for easy use.

Ladies (and gents with long hair), another easy way to conserve water in the shower is only to wash your hair every couple of days. You know how long it takes to wash shampoo out of long hair, and we won’t even talk about conditioner.

Depending on the weather, you might even consider showering every other day—though if it’s hot outside, you should at least rinse off after sweating, so your body doesn’t reabsorb the toxins it sweat out.

Use homemade dry shampoo or pop on that baseball cap in between hair washings. Stay tuned for a future article on making and using your own personal care products to keep you feeling clean and fresh between washings.

Another tip for conserving resources in the shower:

Take warm or cool showers. You’ll get in and out faster, conserve more water and energy by making your water heater work less.

Ask your landlord to insulate your water heater and turn down the heating temperature slightly to conserve even more.

Toilets

Have you seen the MEME floating around Facebook? It is a photo of a kid in an African village saying, “Let me get this straight: You have so much clean water that you $hi+ in it?” Unfortunately, that’s too true …

Here are some ways to conserve water in your bathroom:

  • Fill a plastic bottle with water and put it in your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water per flush.
  • You could also use a brick for the same effect.
  • Check for a leaky toilet by putting food coloring in the tank. If the color seeps into the bowl without flushing, you have a leak. Ask your landlord to fix it.
  • If you need more water to flush after putting the plastic bottle in the tank, use the shower water or dish-rinsing water from the 2-sink trick to flush with more water.
  • Also, never flush anything other than toilet paper. Other things—like tissues or tampons—take more water to flush down, and they are not bio-friendly.

Laundry: Machine vs. Handwash

We’ve considered how to conserve water in every other form of washing, so let’s end this section with water conservation in our laundry.

Similar to the machine vs. handwashing debate above, machine washing your clothes is more efficient in general.

As long as you wash only full loads of your clothes in cold water with bio-friendly soap, you’re better off machine washing than washing by hand.

Here are some things to consider in your laundry cycle:

  • Only use the correct amount of soap per load and turn off the “extra rinse.” If you use the right amount of soap, the extra rinse will be unnecessary.
  • Only wash when you have full loads, and use your conserved shower water to hand wash anything you need in between loads.
  • Wash in cold water only to reduce the amount of energy required to heat the water.
  • Reuse towels multiple times before washing. Use a homemade fabric refresher to keep your clothes and towels fresher for longer. Stay tuned for an easy DIY fabric refresher recipe.
  • Pretreat any stains in your clothes, so you don’t have to continue rewashing stained clothing and to use more water in the process.
  • Also, conserve energy in the laundry room by hang or line drying your laundry. Consider asking your landlord to insulate your water heater and switch out your current washer and water heater with high-efficiency models.

8 Water-Conserving Quick Switches and DIYs

There are so many simple ways to conserve water in your apartment homestead. Try out these twelve simple lifestyle swaps and DIY projects.

  • Use the 2-sink trick for washing dishes
  • Cut down to 5 min showers every other day (or less)
  • Collect pre-shower “cold” water in bucket and store in empty milk jugs for use around your apartment
  • Ask your landlord to install low-flow shower heads and faucets (Or purchase them yourself and reinstall the old ones when you move out)
  • Put a bottle filled with water in your toilet tank
  • Ask your landlord to insulate your water heater
  • Only run your washing machine when you have a full load and use only cold water. Turn off the extra rinse.
  • Hang or line dry your clothes.

Electricity

Apartments are power guzzlers. We live in such close proximity to one another, but each of us is on our own power grid. Our air conditioning, heat, electronics, appliances, and lights all guzzle electric energy.

There are a bunch of easy ways to conserve electricity in your apartment homestead, and none of them take more than a minute to implement.

Try these energy saving switches at various times throughout your apartment tenure.

Immediately after Move-in:

  • Replace bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs.
  • Plug all your electronics into a power strip so you can turn the strip off when you’re not using it.
  • When not connected to a strip, unplug all electronic devices when not in use.
  • Insulate your windows and doors.
  • Don’t place any furniture over your registers. Make sure your air can flow freely.
  • Install sun-blocking curtains for the warmer months.

Throughout your Lease:

  • When not needed, turn the lights off.
  • Unplug chargers when they aren’t charging.
  • Turn off your electronics power strip when you’re done.
  • Use lids on pots and pans to heat faster and use less energy.
  • Run your furnace fan on auto, so it isn’t constantly running.
  • Turn your AC temperature up in the summer and the heating temperature down in the winter. Put on less or more clothes to keep you at a comfortable temperature.
  • In the colder months, open your sun-blocking blinds and use the sun’s heat to your advantage.
  • Turn off the A/C and open the windows.
  • If you choose to use your clothes dryer, clean your dryer lint trap after every load.
  • Ask your landlord to install an energy-saving clothes dryer, fix any drafty windows or doors, and insulate your water heater.
  • Replace your furnace filter regularly to ensure it is working properly.

When you move out:

Pay it forward: Make sure your landlord knows about anything that needs to be fixed so that it runs more efficiently and suggest that the landlord switch out any non-efficient appliances for future tenants.

You might even consider sharing this blog with your leasing agency! Ask them to share it with all their tenants so more apartment dwellers can make these easy lifestyle changes in their apartment and help conserve our valuable resources.

4 Electricity-Conserving Quick Fixes and DIYs

  1. Replace light bulbs with Energy-Efficient bulbs.
  2. Insulate windows and doors and install blackout curtains.
  3. Plug all electronics into power strips and turn them off at night and during the day when you’re not using them.
  4. Ask your landlord to fix or seal drafty windows and doors and insulate your water heater.

Using the water and electricity conservation ideas above, you can make some simple, yet effective lifestyle changes and be on your way to sustainability in your apartment homestead.

In the next article, we’ll discuss how to conserve fuel in your apartment homestead and explore ways to limit your trash production.

Sustainability, here we come!

If you like this article, you’ll also enjoy: Take The Plunge Into Apartment Homesteading

How are you being sustainable in your apartment or condo? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Resources:

[http://www.gracelinks.org/437/water-saving-tips-in-the-bathroom]
[https://www.treehugger.com/kitchen-design/built-in-dishwashers-vs-hand-washing-which-is-greener.html]
[http://wateruseitwisely.com/laundryroom/]
[http://mashable.com/2014/05/14/energy-efficient-apartment/#L2IG3qg2VGqB]
[https://www.energystar.gov/products/top_10_tips_renters]

 

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The post 12 Ways To Conserve Water and Electricity appeared first on The Grow Network.

How To Teach Your Kids About Bugs

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What is it about bugs that fascinates kids?

From a very young age, my two boys squished, squashed, and saved bugs of all kinds. They are curious knowledge-seekers always asking me questions about their latest bug find. Here is a quick way to teach your kids about bugs:

The questions you’ll get:

What is this bug?

Why is it fuzzy?

Can it fly?

Use this natural curiosity to teach them to observe the world around them. Expand these lessons to broaden their young minds and feed their curiosity.

kids-bugs

Look what I found!

Holding a kid’s interest can be challenging, especially when they are small and energetic. They constantly bounce from one subject to the next. But when they find something that interests them, they can obsess about it for days.

How to guide their interest

Similar to garden work, bugs are perfect tools to introduce science and biology to kids in a fun and engaging way. Grab an insect field guide or a laptop, and help kids identify the bug they found. They can learn so much, and you can tailor the information to their age.

  • Count the legs and talk about how all true bugs have six legs.
  • Identify the parts of the insect: head, abdomen, and thorax.
  • Discuss how bees and butterflies help plants grow and fruit ripen.
  • Ask them to sketch the bug they found or build it out of Legos®.
  • Give them a journal to write down a few interesting facts about the bug.

My boys love to catch butterflies. We spent one afternoon finding, catching, and looking them up on the Internet, and in a few field guides. We learned about pollination, which led to a mini-lesson on how fruits and vegetables ripen. Naturally, we picked some fresh berries to snack on when we were done.

kids-bugs

Do they bite?

Sometimes fascination can lead to fear if a kid touches a bug they shouldn’t or gets stung by a territorial bee. Teaching them to “look before they leap” is a great lead into a lesson about the social hierarchy of the insect world.

  1. Tell them why bees sting.
  2. Talk about the different kinds of bees in a hive.
  3. Did you know?
  • Worker bees are all female
  • Drones are all male and don’t have stingers
  • The Queen rarely leaves the hive

Talking about the dangers of some bugs will make kids more cautious and less afraid of being stung or bitten. Knowing what to do when a bee comes near takes the fear out of being stung.

Friend or Foe?

Just like kids, every bug behaves differently. Teaching kids to observe bug behavior is another great learning tool.

Through careful observation, we learn whether the bug is a friend or foe in the garden.

It’s easy to see that bees and butterflies are beneficial. They fly and flutter from plant to plant leaving no sign of damage. We don’t feel the urge to squish them because we know they help.

But what about the bugs we don’t recognize?

It’s important for kids to learn to observe before interacting, so they don’t harm a helper.

Ask them to be bug hunters

They can search the ground under a pumpkin patch for squash bugs and watch as they swarm all over the stems and leaves. They can hunt for eggs by turning over and inspecting the backs of the leaves.

Talk to them about the harm that these bugs do to squash plants and ask them to think of ways to combat them naturally. Squishing squash bug eggs is highly satisfying and fun for all!

Some damage is easier to recognize

Japanese beetles swarm and cover leaves and their damage are almost instantly seen. Grab a bucket of soapy water and give the kids a mission to get as many beetles in the water as possible. The little buggers can’t swim.

Where do they come from?

Life cycles are another topic we can introduce through bugs. Turn the study of life cycles into a research project and science experiment.

  • Ask the kids to find a caterpillar and put it in their bughouse.
  • Make sure they take notes on the habitat, so they know what to feed them. It is usually the plant they were found on.
  • Grab some field guides and do a Google search to identify the type of caterpillar.
  • Teach them the difference between a chrysalis and a cocoon.
  • Ask them to keep a journal of daily changes.

If you are lucky, the caterpillar will build a chrysalis or a cocoon, and a butterfly or moth will emerge after a few weeks. Raising butterflies is an amazing experience for the kids (and adults).

Life Lessons

By embracing the natural curiosity about bugs, we teach kids to work with nature rather than against it. We model “observing” before “interacting.” They learn that even the tiniest creature can help make a difference in the natural world.

I like bugs and squiggly things

Beetles with horns and moths with wings

Caterpillars and bumblebees

Dragonflies and ants and fleas

I love creepy crawlies

I love bugs!

kids-bugs

Did you miss the article on Kids and Gardening? Check it out here!

How do you teach kids about the natural world? Tell us in the comments below.

Resources:

*Songs about Insects Bugs and Squiggly Things

Holmgren, Dave, Essence of Permaculture

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The Dire State of America Part 2

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Ron Good, Author of the Grey Ham series joins me for the second half of our interview. We discuss our collapsing republic. Check out Ron’s latest book Justification.

 

 

The Days of Elijah, Book Three: Angel of the Abyss is now available!

Everett and Courtney Carroll have endured to the midpoint of the Great Tribulation. The previous Seal and Trumpet Judgments have left the planet in shambles. The western hemisphere is nearly uninhabitable. The prophet Elijah gives Everett a special mission, which will give him a unique role in fulfilling end-times prophecy, but he’ll have to survive the coming cataclysms first.

 

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I use JM Bullion because they have the lowest over-spot price of any dealer I have found for silver and gold bullion. JM Bullion now offers free shipping on every order!

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Trading Post in the Woods is ran by veteran crisis responders who know how important it is to be prepared. They specialize in comprehensive natural survival remedy kits, preparedness and homesteading supplies as well as skills training. Visit them online today at TradingPostInTheWoods.com.

Ready Made Resources is a trusted name in the prepper community, because they’ve been around for 18 years. They offer great prices on Night Vision, water filtration, long term storage food, solar energy components and provide free technical service. Get ready for an uncertain future at ReadyMadeResources.com!

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CampingSurvival.com has all of your preparedness needs including; bug out bags, long term food storage, water filters, gas masks, and first aid kits. Use coupon code PREPPERRECON to get 5% off your entire order at Camping Survival.

The post The Dire State of America Part 2 appeared first on Prepper Recon.

You Are Either A Prepper Or A Future Victim

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By: Tom Chatham The recent disasters around the world have shown most people are ill prepared for sudden disruptions to normal life. Just as there was a lack of imagination that allowed 9/11 to happen, the population suffers from a lack of imagination that allows them to suffer from sudden occurrences. Survival favors the prepared […]

Health in Prepping with Dr. Joe Alton!

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Health in Prepping with Dr. Joe Alton! Bob Hawkins “The APN Report“ Audio player provided! On this episode of the APN Report we have an important guest. Prepping’s own survival Doctor, Dr. Joe Alton (a.k.a. Dr. Bones) and Nurse Amy join us. Dr. Bones & Nurse Amy are true pioneers in survival medicine, imparting invaluable … Continue reading Health in Prepping with Dr. Joe Alton!

The post Health in Prepping with Dr. Joe Alton! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Health in Prepping with Dr. Joe Alton!

Health in Prepping with Dr. Joe Alton! Bob Hawkins “The APN Report“ Audio player provided! On this episode of the APN Report we have an important guest. Prepping’s own survival Doctor, Dr. Joe Alton (a.k.a. Dr. Bones) and Nurse Amy join us. Dr. Bones & Nurse Amy are true pioneers in survival medicine, imparting invaluable … Continue reading Health in Prepping with Dr. Joe Alton!

The post Health in Prepping with Dr. Joe Alton! appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

15 Vintage Kitchen Tools We All Must Have

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If we lose power we will need at least these 15 vintage kitchen tools at the very least. I love going to antique stores and checking out items that I consider very useful if we have zero electricity. Actually, even if we don’t lose power I still use these today in my kitchen. Plus, I think some of these items will bring back a few good memories when grandma was in the kitchen cooking or baking. I can still picture my great-grandma making Lefse, one of our favorite Norwegian family treats made with leftover mashed potatoes. Oh, my goodness, I better make some of that today, my mouth is watering for it. I like Lefse with butter and brown sugar. Let me know what traditional treats you enjoyed eating together as a family.

As a child, this is when I learned to cook from scratch. There were not many packaged items, except for bags of flour or sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and spices, how life has changed. We used the bags the flour came in for kitchen towels or made aprons out of them. Nothing was ever wasted, ever. I’m going to share some of my old family recipes while using these tools. Now, some of these items we use today, but some families have never used them. Let me know your vintage kitchen tools you love to use!

15 Vintage Kitchen Tools

1.Big Stainless Steel Bowl

I think I still have the two original ones I got when Mark and I were married almost 50 years ago. They are approximately 18 inches in diameter. Those bowls have been used for making bread, cookies, large salads, and cleaning the windows.

2.Potato Masher

I remember my mom having a pan like deal and we all took turns turning the handle to “mash” the potatoes. My grandmother preferred a ricer for her fluffy mashed potatoes. Even a few chunks are okay in my mashed potatoes. I’m fine even with the peelings on them as well. I just use this tool: Potato Masher

3.Ebelskiver Cast Iron Pan

I grew up on Ebelskivers, they are basically round balls of pancake batter. My mom had a cast iron pan. They are so yummy! Ebelskivers by Linda

4.Cast Iron Fry Pans

Did your mom save the bacon grease after frying bacon? I still do! I swear, cast iron pans make the very best scrambled eggs, cornbread and homemade pizza dough too! Wow, I love cast iron pans! Pizza by Linda 

5.Cast Iron Griddle

Who uses a griddle for pancakes, grilled cheese and so much more? I think I have three cast iron griddles. I love them!

5.Hand Mixer

I can still remember Mom having a SunBeam electric mixer sitting on the counter and she was so proud of that baby, no more hand mixing. But she still used her wire whipped hand-cranked mixer because it was easier to clean.

6.Whisk/Danish Whisk

Everyone needs a whisk to quickly stir those scrambled eggs, right? I can’t see any of the white stuff, I’m such a baby. Theresa reminded me about my beloved Danish whisk.

7.Egg Separator

I still remember my mom making seven-minute frosting after using an egg separator. I think I still have my yellow Tupperware one I’ve had for decades!

8.Can Opener

We can’t get by without a can opener. I love the hand operated ones which I still use sometimes today. But I also remember when the electric can opener came out. WOW, happy day!

9.Large Soup Pot

Everyone needs a soup pot for soup or boiling water for a large pan of spaghetti!

10.Pancake Turner

I can still picture the skinny silver pancake turners my mom had. Now we have larger ones to flip pancakes, fried eggs or grilled cheese sandwiches.

11.Wooden Spoons

I always have wooden spoons in the crock sitting on my counter top to grab when I need one.

12.Pastry Cutter

I wish I could say I make great pies, but I don’t, I buy them. But, I still need one of these for my biscuits to cut in the butter.

13.Biscuits Cutters

I’m like addicted to collecting biscuit cutters at antique stores. I love all the different shapes.

14.Canisters On The Counter

Do you remember your mom or grandma having canisters sitting on the counter with flour, sugar, tea, and coffee written on them? I even had some, but then switched to plastic buckets with Gamma lids. The plastic buckets certainly aren’t as attractive, but the contents seem to stay fresh longer.

15.Rolling Pin

I can’t get by without a rolling pin or two. I use them for my cinnamon rolls, pasta, and biscuits. Cinnamon rolls by Linda

16.Spatulas

Thank you to OhioPrepper, I have so many spatulas, how did I forget those?

17.Meat Grinders

Thank you, Kathy, she reminded me about the meat grinders, I love ham salad and my mom and dad made a pork sausage, how did I forget this one?

18. Terracotta Brown Sugar Bear

Theresa reminded me about this one as well: Terra Cotta Bear Sugar Bear – it’s terracotta and soaked in water. It’s then placed in the brown sugar canister to keep the sugar “moist”. Have one I’ve used for decades.

19. Coffee Percolators

Judy mentioned coffee percolators and popcorn poppers! Also, vegetable peelers.

This was a fun post for me to write today. Please share your memories of your vintage kitchen tools. I need to make a batch of cookies, what do you feel like baking this week?

Lodge Cast Iron Griddle

Lodge Pizza Griddle

The post 15 Vintage Kitchen Tools We All Must Have appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

15 Vintage Kitchen Tools We All Must Have

If we lose power we will need at least these 15 vintage kitchen tools at the very least. I love going to antique stores and checking out items that I consider very useful if we have zero electricity. Actually, even if we don’t lose power I still use these today in my kitchen. Plus, I think some of these items will bring back a few good memories when grandma was in the kitchen cooking or baking. I can still picture my great-grandma making Lefse, one of our favorite Norwegian family treats made with leftover mashed potatoes. Oh, my goodness, I better make some of that today, my mouth is watering for it. I like Lefse with butter and brown sugar. Let me know what traditional treats you enjoyed eating together as a family.

As a child, this is when I learned to cook from scratch. There were not many packaged items, except for bags of flour or sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and spices, how life has changed. We used the bags the flour came in for kitchen towels or made aprons out of them. Nothing was ever wasted, ever. I’m going to share some of my old family recipes while using these tools. Now, some of these items we use today, but some families have never used them. Let me know your vintage kitchen tools you love to use!

15 Vintage Kitchen Tools

1.Big Stainless Steel Bowl

I think I still have the two original ones I got when Mark and I were married almost 50 years ago. They are approximately 18 inches in diameter. Those bowls have been used for making bread, cookies, large salads, and cleaning the windows.

2.Potato Masher

I remember my mom having a pan like deal and we all took turns turning the handle to “mash” the potatoes. My grandmother preferred a ricer for her fluffy mashed potatoes. Even a few chunks are okay in my mashed potatoes. I’m fine even with the peelings on them as well. I just use this tool: Potato Masher

3.Ebelskiver Cast Iron Pan

I grew up on Ebelskivers, they are basically round balls of pancake batter. My mom had a cast iron pan. They are so yummy! Ebelskivers by Linda

4.Cast Iron Fry Pans

Did your mom save the bacon grease after frying bacon? I still do! I swear, cast iron pans make the very best scrambled eggs, cornbread and homemade pizza dough too! Wow, I love cast iron pans! Pizza by Linda 

5.Cast Iron Griddle

Who uses a griddle for pancakes, grilled cheese and so much more? I think I have three cast iron griddles. I love them!

5.Hand Mixer

I can still remember Mom having a SunBeam electric mixer sitting on the counter and she was so proud of that baby, no more hand mixing. But she still used her wire whipped hand-cranked mixer because it was easier to clean.

6.Whisk

Everyone needs a whisk to quickly stir those scrambled eggs, right? I can’t see any of the white stuff, I’m such a baby.

7.Egg Separator

I still remember my mom making seven-minute frosting after using an egg separator. I think I still have my yellow Tupperware one I’ve had for decades!

8.Can Opener

We can’t get by without a can opener. I love the hand operated ones which I still use sometimes today. But I also remember when the electric can opener came out. WOW, happy day!

9.Large Soup Pot

Everyone needs a soup pot for soup or boiling water for a large pan of spaghetti!

10.Pancake Turner

I can still picture the skinny silver pancake turners my mom had. Now we have larger ones to flip pancakes, fried eggs or grilled cheese sandwiches.

11.Wooden Spoons

I always have wooden spoons in the crock sitting on my counter top to grab when I need one.

12.Pastry Cutter

I wish I could say I make great pies, but I don’t, I buy them. But, I still need one of these for my biscuits to cut in the butter.

13.Biscuits Cutters

I’m like addicted to collecting biscuit cutters at antique stores. I love all the different shapes.

14.Canisters On The Counter

Do you remember your mom or grandma having canisters sitting on the counter with flour, sugar, tea, and coffee written on them? I even had some, but then switched to plastic buckets with Gamma lids. The plastic buckets certainly aren’t as attractive, but the contents seem to stay fresh longer.

15.Rolling Pin

I can’t get by without a rolling pin or two. I use them for my cinnamon rolls, pasta, and biscuits. Cinnamon rolls by Linda

16.Spatulas

Thank you to OhioPrepper, I have so many spatulas, how did I forget those?

This was a fun post for me to write today. Please share your memories of your vintage kitchen tools. I need to make a batch of cookies, what do you feel like baking this week?

Lodge Cast Iron Griddle

Lodge Pizza Griddle

The post 15 Vintage Kitchen Tools We All Must Have appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Aircrete!

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I’m certain that most everyone reading this is familiar with using concrete for building material, there are various ways to go about using concrete, from preformed blocks and slabs to pouring in place (forms). There are many different ways to buy and mix concrete, the two main types you will readily find in your local home center are Quickcrete and Portland cement. The Quickcrete and the like are ready mixed with everything in the bag, all you need to do is add water, it’s convenient but more expensive. Buying Portland cement is better IMHO because you can make whatever kind of mix you wish, we use sand and gravel from our creekbed to mix with our Portland, PB has a formula that he keeps in his head, mixing it by feel and consistency, it works great for us. There are other things you can add to the cement mix to strengthen it and/or make it lighter.

One type of mix is made with paper and cement, it’s called “papercrete”, we have some papercrete blocks that were made by a neighbor we never met out here, he had moved and a friend of ours was cleaning up the property and thought we might like the blocks. They are OK, not very structural though, some of the blocks are very spongy and crumble easily, other blocks are stronger, it was easy to see which ones were the first batches and which ones he had learned from. We are using them as the filler for a curved fence that is going around the front yard area of the SkyCastle. PB is encasing them in his own mix of cement to give it strength.

Earlier today I ran across a great instructional video showing how to make “aircrete”, essentially it’s just Portland cement, water and dishsoap. I was really blown away by how simple the whole thing really is. It makes very lightweight but strong cement, it can be poured into forms or made into blocks that can be made into structures. It looks very easy to work with and goes very fast.

Apparently, in the past, you could get aircrete but the process required large heavy expensive commercial equipment, it wasn’t something that the average DIY person could easily do, but with some ingenuity there are now ways for the non-commercial person to make their own aircrete.

Watch and enjoy!
https://youtu.be/b9Gmor0I3mw

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The post Aircrete! appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Life Throws Us An Unexpected Curveball – Keeping A Positive Perspective

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Today’s Sunday Farm Update provides a personal look into the life and the power of positive perspective of Jim and Mary at Old World Garden Farms. Every Sunday we write about what is happening at the farm and typically that

The post Life Throws Us An Unexpected Curveball – Keeping A Positive Perspective appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

How To Help Your Chickens Through Molting

It’s late summer or early fall. The days are getting shorter and the heat is finally starting to fade into the pleasant breezes of fall.

One morning, you go out to gather the eggs and notice that it looks like somebody ripped open a down comforter in the chicken coop – feathers are everywhere! Then you take a closer look at your chickens and they’re looking a bit worse for wear.

So what’s going on? Should you panic? Probably not. As long as your chickens are healthy inside and out, they’re probably going through the molting process.

What is Molting?

As you’ve probably noticed from the proliferation of feathers spread throughout your coop and barnyard, molting is when chickens lose their feathers in order to grow new ones.

They do it every year in the late summer or early fall and there’s a pretty obvious pattern that it happens in. They’ll start to lose their feathers around their head and neck, then the back, breast, wings, and finally the tail.

One point that we should touch on now: molting happens naturally at the end of summer but can happen at any time due to physical or emotional stress, dehydration, lack of food, or a sudden change in lighting.

Broody hens will generally molt after their eggs are hatched and they’re returning to normal feeding and exercise habits. If it happens at a time of year other than early fall or your hen hasn’t just hatched her brood, investigate to see what the problem is.

Molting can take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks, but 7-8 is about average, and the first real molt takes place at around 14-16 months old.

They’ll have two smaller juvenile molts – one at around 4-6 weeks old when they lose their chick fluff and again at around 8-12 weeks old when they get their second set, which is their adult set. It will be obvious, but it’s a little different process that actual annual molting.

What to Expect During Molting

There’s more to the molting process than just losing feathers, and there’s actually more than one type of molting. First you have soft molting, which is when they lose just a few feathers.

Most people wouldn’t even notice. During a hard molting, there will be a fast, massive drop in feathers, leaving you with a sad, deranged-looking, mostly naked chicken.

You’ll also notice a decrease in egg production, which is why many commercial egg factories force all of the chickens into a molt at the same time by starving them for a week or so.

Then they can get back to the business of making eggs in a controlled, orderly fashion. It’s barbaric, and it’s banned in the UK, but it still happens in the US, or it did as of this writing.

How to Help Your Chickens Through Molting

For those of us who love our girls and would never consider such a cruel practice, we just wait them out patiently.

We can, however, help them get back to producing eggs and help them grow better feathers at the same time. And just when you thought you’d made it past that hot summer slump!

Increase Protein

Growing new feathers takes up a tremendous amount of energy and protein, so help them along by meeting that need. Your layers feed is probably 16 percent protein, which is normally perfect, but while they’re molting, switch to broiler feed, which is 20-25 percent protein.

You can give them high-protein treats such as nuts, seeds, soybeans, meat, cod liver oil, boiled eggs, tuna fish, alfalfa, or bone meal. There are several different ways that you can meet their nutritional needs without spending a fortune.

I do want to add that you don’t want to boost their protein too much for too long of a period because it can build up in their systems and cause uric acid to deposit as crystals on joints, which causes gout.

Also, cat food isn’t the best thing in the world to give them because the methionine can cause Heinz-body anemia and death.

Make sure that feeders and waterers remain clean and in good repair, too.

Video first seen on LittleFarmBigDreams -Elizabeth.

Reduce Stress

Another thing that you can do to help your flock make it through molting as quickly as possible is to eliminate as much stress as possible.

Don’t make a lot of noise that they’re not used to (i.e. don’t choose then to put a new roof on the coop), don’t introduce new chickens to the flock, and don’t move them around during molt.

Turn off the Light

If you use a light in the coop to extend daylight hours, it’s best to leave it off for six weeks or so to let them molt completely. This is for the health of your chickens.

Old, brittle, broken feathers don’t insulate them properly, or help them shed water the way that they should. So, let them molt. Upping the protein will help with the egg production.

Don’t touch them when they have pin feathers

You’ll start to see pin feathers popping through the skin, and those are extremely sensitive and it may be painful for the chicken if you touch them, so avoid doing so if at all possible.

The pins are what will eventually be the quills so they have that tough, shell-like consistency. They’re rich in blood flow when they first pop out and will bleed like crazy even if only one is damaged and cracked a small amount. It’s kind of like a scalp wound for us because the blood supply is rich and close to the surface.

If one is damaged and you can’t get it to quit bleeding, you’ll have to grasp in close to the skin and quickly yank it out, then apply pressure until the bleeding stops. You may need to keep the chicken separate until the wound heals.

Once the pin feather has surfaced and matured, the actual feather will start to spin out from inside of the pin until it’s completely grown, but it’s actually a pretty cool process to watch.

Limit Scratch

By limiting scratch to 10 percent of their diets, you’ll help insure that the additional protein isn’t being diluted.

Protect your Flock One Chicken at a Time

Pay close attention to your chickens during molting time because their bare skin is sensitive and if you have a bully or two in the pen, the molting chicken can be much more easily injured she he or she has no protection.

Keep an eye out for them so they come through healthy and unscathed.

Molting is a natural, healthy part of a chicken’s life cycle and it’s critical to their health. Unfortunately, you may suffer in the form of fewer eggs because of it, but it’s worth it to get the plentiful amounts that a healthy chicken will provide throughout the rest of the year.

Didn’t our ancestors do the same?

Do you have experience or stories about molting, or do you have some funny pictures of your poor chickens in the middle of a molt? If you do, please feel free to share in the comments section below.

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.

7 DAY CHALLENGE 2017- DAY 6: PRIORITIZE

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day5

Sunday September 24

Well aren’t you glad THAT’S over with? It really is amazing how much you can learn when you “practice” preparedness. Now is a good time to reflect with your family, answer some questions, and prioritize what your plan of attack will be to go forward and improve on your preparedness plans.

To help you with prioritizing we have some checklists for you. Print 2 copies of these lists off.

untitled-2

  • COPY 1: BRAINSTORM– The first time through list ANYTHING you can think of from the last few days that your family needed to learn, to do, and to buy. Don’t worry about the order.
  • COPY 2: PRIORITY LIST– After you have listed all the things you needed to learn, to do, and to buy, re-write them on the second copy in order of importance. This will give you a prioritized actionable game plan moving forward.

Put these lists in a place you will see and be reminded of your goals. Consider asking for some of these items for Christmas or birthdays. Plan family nights around learning new skills. Use family time to do projects you have been putting off.


MAKE SURE to visit the group page on Facebook to discuss your progress and share tips. It’s a great place to learn from other people’s experience and knowledge.

We will also be posting a lot on instagram (@foodstoragemadeeasy) over the next few days. Come join the fun there with hash tag #fsme7daychallenge

The post 7 DAY CHALLENGE 2017- DAY 6: PRIORITIZE appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

7 DAY CHALLENGE 2017- DAY 6: PRIORITIZE

day5

Sunday September 24

Well aren’t you glad THAT’S over with? It really is amazing how much you can learn when you “practice” preparedness. Now is a good time to reflect with your family, answer some questions, and prioritize what your plan of attack will be to go forward and improve on your preparedness plans.

To help you with prioritizing we have some checklists for you. Print 2 copies of these lists off.

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  • COPY 1: BRAINSTORM– The first time through list ANYTHING you can think of from the last few days that your family needed to learn, to do, and to buy. Don’t worry about the order.
  • COPY 2: PRIORITY LIST– After you have listed all the things you needed to learn, to do, and to buy, re-write them on the second copy in order of importance. This will give you a prioritized actionable game plan moving forward.

Put these lists in a place you will see and be reminded of your goals. Consider asking for some of these items for Christmas or birthdays. Plan family nights around learning new skills. Use family time to do projects you have been putting off.


MAKE SURE to visit the group page on Facebook to discuss your progress and share tips. It’s a great place to learn from other people’s experience and knowledge.

We will also be posting a lot on instagram (@foodstoragemadeeasy) over the next few days. Come join the fun there with hash tag #fsme7daychallenge

The post 7 DAY CHALLENGE 2017- DAY 6: PRIORITIZE appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.