Edible Insects That Can Save Your Life

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Edible Insects That Can Save Your Life I read this article a while ago about a man who managed to survive for two weeks in the Australian desert by eating ants. It was an amazing survival story of human determination and ingenuity. It also proved that in a survival scenario, you could eat alternative food …

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4 Easy Recipes Canning Cherries

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Enjoy 4 of my delicious recipes for canning both tart and sweet cherries

I am very blessed to be the Canbassador for Northwest Cherry Growers in Washington. For three years now I have created exciting recipes with their freshly shipped fruit.

In years past, I have created Savory Cherry Chutney and Peach Pistachio Conserve using juicy peaches and gorgeous sweet cherries.  This year, I went a bit more of a traditional route creating a pie filling and salsa.  But do know, pie fillings make excellent dessert toppings for ice cream and fill more than just pies – they make excellent filling for cupcakes, scones and crepes.  And this salsa – YUM!

This year I was sent another batch of sweet cherries from Washington!  And for you tart cherry lovers, I had 10 pounds frozen from last years harvest.  Let’s just say I had a cherry festival in my kitchen these last few days!  It was so worth it though!  Enjoy my latest 4 cherry canning creations and be sure to share with a friend.


Pie Filling – Dessert

Sweet Cherry Berry Pie Filling  (makes approx. 5 quarts or 10 pints)

My family found its new favorite pie filling with this gorgeous blend of blueberries and cherries.  My daughter suggested the undertones of vanilla which really brought this filling to life.  Note, the vanilla extract is optional and can also be substituted with almond extract.


12 cups sweet cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped or halved

12 cups frozen blueberries, thawed

4 cups juice, from fruit

1 cup Canning Gel or ClearJel

4 cups raw sugar

2 Tbsp Vanilla extract

1/4 cup lemon juice


If using fresh cherries and berries, be sure to chop/halve the cherries and lightly mash the blueberries to break the skin to release their juices.

Place cherries and berries into a large colander atop a large bowl.  Drain juices from mixture for up to 2 hours or until you have captured 4 cups of juice. Cover mixture with dish towel while draining to keep pests away.

Measure 4 cups of juice in a large liquid measuring cup.  Add Canning Gel and whisk until dissolved.  Place into a large stock pot and whisk again.  Add sugar and vanilla extract.
Using medium high heat, whisk sugar until it dissolves, and continue to whisk mixture often as it increases in temperature.  As juice begins to bubble, add lemon juice and whisk well.  The juice will start to thicken quite quickly so continue to whisk to avoid scorching.  Once it begins to thicken, immediately add the cherry berry mixture all at once.  Turn off heat.

Use a large spoon and fold cherries and berries well so they are coated with the thickened juice.  Ladle into wide mouth jars (preferably) keeping a generous 1″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary.  Wipe jar rims with a wash cloth dipped in vinegar, then add lids and rings.  Water bath both quarts and pints for 35 minutes.  Remember, you timer doesn’t start until the water has come to a full rolling boil.



Jams & Jelly

Cherry Preserves (makes approx. 4 pints or 8 half-pints)

I love fresh berries in my preserves.  Chunks of yummy goodness with every spread is a jar filled with pure deliciousness.  Enjoy this cherry-filled preserve on fresh bread, sandwiches, a cheese tray and alongside any turkey or pork dinner.


5 cups pitted cherries, frozen or fresh

2 cups raw sugar

3 cups juice

1/2 cup Canning Gel

1/4 cup lemon juice, if using sweet cherries


Place cherries in a large colander atop a large bowl.  Drain juices for up to 2 hours or until you have captured 3 cups of juice. Cover mixture with dish towel while draining to keep pests away.

Measure 3 cups of juice in a large liquid measuring cup.  Add Canning Gel and whisk until dissolved.  Place into a large stock pot and whisk again.  Add sugar and whisk.

Using medium high heat, whisk sugar until it dissolves, and continue to whisk juice often as it increases in temperature.  As juice begins to bubble, add lemon juice if using sweet cherries, and whisk well.  The juice will start to thicken quite quickly so continue to whisk to avoid scorching.  Once it begins to thicken, immediately add cherries all at once.  Turn off heat.

Use a large spoon and fold cherries well so they are coated with the thickened juice.  Ladle into jars keeping a 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary.  Wipe jar rims with a wash cloth dipped in vinegar, then add lids and rings.  Water bath both pints and half-pints for 25 minutes.  Remember, you timer doesn’t start until the water has come to a full rolling boil.

Tart Cherry Jelly  (makes approx. 6 half-pints)

Typically when draining cherries for the required amount of juice to make pie filling there will be upwards of 3 or 4 cups of juice left over.  Especially if your cherries were frozen then thawed.  Use this easy recipe to make jelly with remaining juice.


4 cups cherry juice

4 cups raw sugar

1 cup Canning Gel


In a large stock pot, whisk juice and Canning Gel until dissolved.  Add sugar and whisk.

Using medium high heat, whisk sugar until it dissolves, and continue to whisk juice often as it increases in temperature.  The juice will start to thicken quite quickly so continue to whisk to avoid scorching.  Once it begins to thicken, remove from heat.

Ladle into jars keeping a 1/4″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary.  Wipe jar rims with a wash cloth dipped in vinegar, then add lids and rings.  Water bath half-pints for 15 minutes.  Remember, you timer doesn’t start until the water has come to a full rolling boil.



Tart & Tangy Cherry Salsa  (makes approx. 4 pints or 8 half-pints)

Fruity salsa is amazing!  There is something special happening on our palates when heat and sweet are combined.  Even more so, this recipe gives you a bit of tang expanding its uses and its flavors.  Enjoy on the end of a tortilla chip, stuffed inside a pork loin or create a delicious appetizer atop a brick of cream cheese.


8 cups tart frozen cherries, thawed

4 Tablespoons raw sugar

1 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 large jalapeno, finely chopped (keep seeds for more heat)

1 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup lime juice

1/2 teaspoon sea salt


Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Once at a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Using a slotted spoon, fill each jar 3/4 full of salsa.  Ladle remaining juice over salsa keeping 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace as necessary.  Wipe jar rims will a warm wash cloth dipped in vinegar and adhere lids and rings.  Hand tighten.

Water bath pints for 20 minutes and half-pints for 15 minutes.  Remember, the timer doesn’t start until water is at a full rolling boil.




Pitting Cherries

Be sure to head to your local cherry farm and purchase these gorgeous beauties while in season.  Do not shy away from using frozen cherries (or berries) as they were picked, prepped and frozen in the height of their flavor.  Especially if you are creating recipes where juice is a required ingredient.

Fresh cherries are perfect for any recipe!  Just be sure you properly pit them.  I used a Leifheit cherry pitter and was disappointed when almost half of the cherries still had their pits!  I had to hand cut each cherry to ensure not a single pit made it into my recipes.

The surefire way to ensure you remove each pit it to use chopsticks and physically hold each cherry in your hand to do so.  Now it all depends on the amount of time you have available so I leave it to you to decide which method is best.


Have fun creating one, or all, of these delicious cherry-inspired recipes!  Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram at Canning Diva for more recipes, tips and techniques.

Happy Canning!

Diane Devereaux, The Canning Diva®

The post 4 Easy Recipes Canning Cherries appeared first on Canning Diva | Canning Classes, Recipes and Supplies.


More Great Articles to Read!

The Importance of Proper Headspace When Home Canning
Three Main Elements to Safe Canning Practices
The Benefits of Pressure Canning
From prep to finish: The making of Canning Full Circle cookbook
BookCon 2017

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Missoula Cash and Carry opens

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I was knda excited yesterday. A new Costco-ish restaurant supply place opened up in town yesterday. Obviously, I don’t have a restaurant but what I do have is an interest in bulk food at low prices. So…off I went.

The biggest problem was that many things are in Costc-size packaging. Sure, it’s a great deal on ketchup but it’s in a 5-gallon bucket that, once opened, won’t stay good until I’m done with it. Lotsa that. But there were a few things that were of interest to the survivalist type. In a display that would make any homeless hardcore-alcoholic salivate, there was a bulk amount of Sterno products:

20170721_094010 20170721_094034There was also a huge amount of paper/plastic tableware…whcih is handy to have when you dont want to waste time and hot water in a crisis.

If you’re a beans-n-rice kinda guy, there was plenty of that as well:

20170721_094556The meat department had the huge cuts of meat all wrapped up in heavy plastic nad ready for cutting. That was a pretty sweet deal. They also had bulk italian sausage, which is always a staple in this household. (especially after this and this ).

All in all, the prices were okay. Some stuff was stupidly not-a-bargain (Coke for example), but other stuff was. There was also a great selection of frozen entrees and appetizers. For my needs, there were a few things in there that were worth making the trip. For a non-survivalist, convenience standpoint there was definitely some good stuff….for example, a few bags of frozen dumplings are nice to have for a quick meal.

If you’re in Missoula, check em out but keep in mind it’s geared more towards commercial kitchens, so you may have trouble with the product sizing.



How to Make Pemmican – 50 Plus Year Survival Super Food Recipe

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How to make Pemmican

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For Native Americans, developing the process of how to make pemmican was all about survival.

They created some of the most useful survival skills ever devised. Fortunately, much of their survival knowledge is still known today.

One such survival resource, invented by the Cree Native American Tribe, is what we call Pemmican. The word Pemmican stems from the Cree word for “fat” or “grease.”

Pemmican is one of the best survival foods you can make. It’s considered by many preparedness experts to be a survival super-food.

Why? Because it lasts for years, even decades, without spoiling. Pemmican is jam packed with proteins and good-fats to provide long-lasting energy. It’s easy to make. It’s made out of almost any meat. And on top of all that, it tastes pretty damn good, too.

Pemmican is a perfect survival snack to stash in your bug out bags, survival kits and survival food storage. Any serious survival food cache without an ample supply of pemmican is lacking.

But beyond just having pemmican, knowing how to make pemmican is a survival skill that could save you from starvation.

In any survival situation, if you have the knowledge of how to make pemmican, you’d weather nearly any storm. Just like the Native Americans who developed this super-snack so many ages ago.

A Brief History of Pemmican

Pemmican is a meat based food. The snack was popular among the Natives because it was so easy to make, easy to transport, and kept for so long. They traditionally made theirs from wild game such as venison, elk, and moose meat.

After Europeans arrived and tasted pemmican, they quickly adopted the recipe and began making it themselves.

Fur merchants also adopted pemmican. They helped make it famous as a hardy survival food, spreading its popularity.

Today, all these hundreds of years later, we are still using pemmican in much the same way – and for all the same reasons.

Any recipe that’s stood the test of time, without being changed from its original form, is good stuff.

dried meats trips croppedHow To Make Pemmican

There are more pemmican recipes out there than one could count.

It’s been passed down several generations, so it’s one of those recipes everybody makes a little differently. It’s an old world food, and everyone has their own special family recipe.

But no matter what you add to pemmican, the core process of making pemmican is always the same.

So for that purpose, what follows are the bare-bones instructions for processing meat into pemmican.

We’ll get to a few of the fancy additional ingredients in the next section.

The Step By Step Process To Making Pemmican

For those who would rather see how pemmican is made instead of having to read instructions, watch this excellent “how-to” video.

Lost Ways Video Image Number 1

1. First, you need to get your hands on some meat.

It could be caribou, venison, elk, moose, beef, or any meat that has natural fat.

Rabbit and fish won’t work because they are too lean and won’t provide the fat you need later on.

2. Dry your meat.

Cut off and save all the fat, and slice the leftover fat-less meat into thin strips.

Those strips can then be dried under direct sunlight, or in your oven on the lowest heat. Dry the thin meat strips until they’re brittle enough to crack when bent.

3. Grind the dried meat strips up.

Food processors work best for this. But without one, you can also mince the meat pieces with a knife and then grind in a blender.

If you are in an actual survival situation and do not have access to electricity, your best bet is a mortar and pestle. Or even just two rocks if you have nothing else.

The meat must be ground as fine as possible, into a fine meat dust.

4. Process the fat you saved in step #2.

Put it all in a pot over low heat. Once the fat has melted and begun to boil, strain it through a mesh strainer.

5. Mix dry extras and meat together in separate bowl.

We’ll discuss what dry extras you can use later. For now, this is the time to mix all those dry ingredients together in a bowl with your ground up meat dust (leaving room for the fat).

6. Add the fat to your bowl of dry ingredients and meat.

Simply pour it over the dry stuff and start mixing.

7. Mix in any wet extras (see next section for details).

8. Begin forming this mixture into larger pemmican bars.

One popular way to do this is to take a shallow pan and pour in the pemmican mixture in while it’s still soft.

Let the mixture settle and smooth it out. When the pemmican has dried, cut it into smaller bars for storage.

Again, here’s my recommended “how to make pemmican” video instruction.

Lost Ways Video Image Number 3

A Few Pemmican Recipes

As just meat and fat, pemmican bars are still pretty tasty. And more importantly for survival, ready to provide lots of energy and long term storage.

But it’s always tasty to mix things up. And if you can make your pemmican taste even better, with very little extra work, why wouldn’t you?

As mentioned in the previous section, there are two types of extra ingredients you can add to pemmican:

  • Dry ingredients
  • Wet ingredients

Unfortunately, you should never add anything fresh. That may sound odd to some, but adding fresh ingredients (like red ripe tomatoes for example) will compromise the shelf life of the pemmican.

Everything you add to your pemmican recipe must also have a long shelf life as well.

Dry Ingredients

Dry ingredients include anything that’s been dried. It opens the door for all kinds of pemmican recipes variations because you can dehydrate (dry) just about anything. Dry ingredients are mixed into your pemmican during step #5 above.

Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Dried fruits: mangos, blueberries, raspberries, bananas, apples, kiwis, pineapples, tomatoes, grapes, chilies, etc.
  • Dried nuts: peanuts, almonds, walnuts, chestnuts, pinion nuts, etc.
  • Spices: paprika, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, dried oregano, dried rosemary, etc.

Wet Ingredients

As the name implies, anything that is not dry falls into this category.

Wet does not mean fresh, though – do not get that mixed up.

Adding fresh ingredients to your pemmican will drastically shorten its shelf life. Wet ingredients are added during step #7 above.

Wet ingredients you might add to pemmican bars could include (but are not limited to):

  • Caramel, syrup, honey, molasses, vanilla extract, etc.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your pemmican. There are a lot of options to customize the pemmican bars you make. You can make them sweet and tangy, or hot and spicy.

Trying different flavors of pemmican serves three purposes:

1. It will increase the flavor value of the pemmican bars.

2. Lets you explore which flavors you like best in your pemmican (and how much of each).

3. Gives you a chance to practice making different batches of pemmican. Practice makes perfect. Your first homemade pemmican bars likely won’t taste as good as your tenth batch.

Storing Your Pemmican For The Long Haul

So, let’s say you’ve successfully made a ton of incredibly delicious pemmican bars. Now what?

Storage! Properly storing your pemmican is crucial to making sure it last for a very long time.

If stored incorrectly and carelessly, it may go bad relatively quickly. However, when stored with care and precision, it can last for decades.

One truth with food and food storage is this: food poisoning sucks and can be dangerous.

If you’re ever in a survival situation with nothing to eat but the pemmican you stored years ago, you better pray you stored it correctly. Getting food poisoning during a survival situation is like signing your own death warrant.

First off, pemmican must be stored in airtight containers. Vacuum sealing the pemmican bars in plastic bags is highly recommended. Vaccum sealing ensures the highest quality storage by removing as much oxygen as possible. But zip locks and Tupperware can also work well.

Mold needs only a few key ingredients to grow. One of them being oxygen. So by eliminating the oxygen, you remove the potential for mold growth.

The location you store your pemmican must be cool, dark and temperature controlled. Light and heat will negatively affect your supply of pemmican.

Basements and pantry’s work, but my favorite is an underground food storage facility.

Make sure the pemmican is stored off the ground, this keeps it away from moisture and hungry critters.

Pemmican Perfect Energy Bar

Top Reasons to Master The Art of How to Make Pemmican

Making pemmican is a good life skill to have. It’s extremely functional knowledge. It’s all about self-reliance.

You’ll know how to make more if you need it, but you can rely on it to store well over long periods of time. It’s lightweight and easily transportable, you can make it anywhere with relatively few ingredients. It’s a survival food you can rely on in the event of a serious emergency.

You do not have to use it for emergencies only, either. Pemmican is a great snack for all sorts of outdoor adventures:

  • Hunting trips
  • Backpacking trips
  • Fishing expeditions
  • Mountain biking
  • Day hiking
  • Camping
  • Road tripping
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain climbing
  • Etc.

No matter what you are doing – if it’s athletic, pemmican is a great snack to keep you going.

There are also economic benefits to knowing how to make pemmican. First of all, if you get great at it, you can start selling it.

Who knows, maybe you’ll break onto the market as the world’s finest pemmican chef. But also, if shit really does hit the fan, pemmican bars will be a valuable currency for bartering.

People will want them, that is for sure. So if you have a way to make them yourself, you could corner the post-economic market for pemmican bars. It would be like minting your own money right at home.

The Lost Ways – Pemmican Tutorial Guide

The Lost Ways website has an awesome step-by-step how to make Pemmican video. While having a written guide is important and helpful to a lot of people, watching a video guide is even better. They cover a few things I did not and demonstrate how to make your own pemmican.

This video is an excellent pemmican making resource.

Lost Ways Video Image Number 2

Do not hesitate to use it. Even if you have made pemmican before, it is helpful to watch how someone else do it. You might learn a few tricks you did not know prior.

For novices, I would highly recommend watching the video.

The video goes into detail about how much meat to use, how much fat you need and what/when to add to your pemmican.

He makes it all in his kitchen, which is good to see. You don’t need an entire meat workshop and drying facility to make tasty pemmican. All you really need is the will!

With everyday kitchen tools, he takes us through the entire process of how to make pemmican. If any of the instructions in the written How To section of this article were confusing, watch this video!

Plus they go a little deeper into the history and culture behind pemmican. So if you’re interested in knowing more about how the native Americans made pemmican, this video for you.

Lost Ways Video Image Number 3

The Final Word

I am going to go ahead and say it bluntly and not mince words – pemmican is the ultimate survival food.

Let’s recap:

  • If stored and made properly, it can last for up to 50 years and still be fresh and tasty.
  • It provides boatloads of protein and fat energy, which will burn long and last you all day.
  • You can make it from a large variety of wild game.
  • It’s lightweight and easily packable and transportable.
  • You can make it cheap and requires very few ingredients.
  • It’s incredibly easy to make and can be done in your kitchen right at home.

Any survival food cache without a supply of pemmican is incomplete. It’s such a useful and efficient food; every survivalist should be scrambling to get some (or to make some).

If you get a good supply of pemmican, at the ready, you’ll be ready for survival situations and food shortages – no matter what.

Knowing how to make pemmican is like learning how to fish – once you figure it out, you can feed yourself almost anywhere.

Give a man a pemmican bar, and he has energy for the day. Teach a man how to make pemmican bars, and he has energy for his entire life.

Will Brendza

The post How to Make Pemmican – 50 Plus Year Survival Super Food Recipe appeared first on Skilled Survival.

An 18th Century German Recipe

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This recipe for “Farina Soup” comes from a 1795 German Cookbook, the title of which translates, “Instructions Of All Kind Of Cookery And Pastry.” Thanks to Kayla and Karen at Old Salem Museums and Gardens, who are presently translating two 18th Century German cookbooks, we can finally bring you some delicious German food! Be sure to visit Old Salem’s website!

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How To Express Garden Gratitude

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(length: 3:30 minutes)

One of my favorite wild plants is the Farkleberry, or Sparkleberry. They are a native blueberry. If you cut out sugar from your diet…like I have…the berries can be really sweet! I always offer this plant what I call “Garden Gratitude” or “Plant Gratitude,” if you prefer.

I know this might sound kind of woo-woo. When I leave offerings and give garden gratitude to the Farkleberry that I’m harvesting, I see more and more of them. It’s almost like they call to me.

We know that plants give us air, food, clothing, shelter, and medicine—but did you know that these living beings are able to communicate, too?

Think of a beautiful flower. The beauty is what calls to us. This is that plant’s particular way of communicating with us. If you want to take it one step further, ask it why it called you over.

The Basics of Garden Gratitude

We tend to walk through the world without acknowledging that plants, animals, the wind, etc, are living things. If you walk through your life with awareness, you’ll be surprised how often plants communicate with you, and how they respond to you. We can choose to deliberately engage.

What It Is: Giving gratitude to plants, the elements, and animals is based on the premise that everything is alive, and that we are all interconnected. It is a two-way street in which the plant and the person achieve mutual understanding, each communicating in their own language.

Who Can Do It: Garden gratitude is natural and simple. Everyone can do it. It comes quickly and naturally once a person understands and practices it.

How to Get Started: There are two tricks to having garden gratitude for plants. The first is to believe it enough—even skeptically—to try it. The second is to actually speak to the plant. Third is to leave it an offering.

Ways to Give Gratitude to Plants

Offerings have been around for thousands of years. It is a practice that is found all over the world. However, modern-day society has forgotten the old ways.

Anytime I’m harvesting something I’ve planted, or even a wild one, I want to express my gratitude. My gratitude is for the plant producing the fruit and letting me pick and eat it, so I leave an offering. Plants also  exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen, helping us breathe, too! Some plants give us medicine, shade us, and clothe us.

There are many reasons to give garden gratitude!

garden gratitude

What Do You Have to Offer?

Anything can be used as an offering. I’m sure you’ll come up with a ton of them. Just make sure it comes from the heart.

Here are some offering ideas to get you started:

  • Hair (great source of protein, which turns into nitrogen)
  • Saliva (offers trace minerals and water)
  • Song (research has shown that plants grow larger with certain types of music)
  • Urinate beside them (it provides nitrogen for the soil)
  • Water (plants need water, too)
  • Tobacco (make sure it is additive and chemical-free, but is a source of decaying organic matter)
  • Cornmeal (stimulates and feeds beneficial micro-organisms)
  • Breathe on it (plants love carbon dioxide)

As you can see, there are some scientific reasons these offerings help the plant, too! Just making an offering of some sort is beneficial to your relationship with all wild plants.

Offerings do several things…

  1. It is an exchange of energy and a place of humility for you. We are all one and equal—You and the Plant.
  2. Offerings show you that we are all in the same world. All of us only get to be here for a short time, so be present and intentional with your time here.

It’s Not Magic!

Every couple of years, I grow tobacco. Tobacco is a plant that has been used for centuries by the Native People of the Americas.

It is believed that Tobacco offers its own gift of interpretation, which helps us with disputes.

Just a pinch, spread on the winds…with words of thanks and garden gratitude. Your words to the plant can be as simple or elaborate as you’d like.

Want to know more about working with nature spirits to grow more food? Check out this article.

Learning From Your Plants

What to Expect: Sometimes, in the same way that ingesting a plant affects our body, communicating with a plant will affect our minds. You can also communicate and have garden gratitude for plants when you’re dealing with strong emotions or difficulties. Different plants offer help in different ways. Which plant in your garden calls to you? Why has it called to you right now? What are you dealing with in your life that perhaps the plant is trying to remedy?

Why Some Plants Seem to Harm: Plants carry a level of energy that is very normal and safe for you to interact with. Even plants that can hurt you, don’t do it maliciously. In fact, once you accept that, you can work on understanding what else the plants are trying to communicate to you. For example, when people get a rash from poison ivy, often it is because there is an irritant or issue in that person’s life that they have chosen to ignore—something the plant is trying to get them to deal with. Once a person understands that, he or she can get a lot of help from that particular plant and others like it.

You can even give gratitude to animals domestic and wild. Here is a great article to get you started.


Be willing to communicate with your plants, animals, and the elements, means you say something and hear something in return.

Once you get over the doubt and skepticism, give it a try, and practice, it will become second nature.

Being in relationship means being nurtured by the plant and you nurturing the plant. Who doesn’t want that!

So tell us! Do you talk to your plants? Do you leave offerings? Inquiring minds want to know, so leave a comment below!



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Wise Preppers Don’t Just Stockpile Food. They Do This, Too.

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Wise Preppers Don’t Just Stockpile Food. They Do This, Too.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Most people are familiar with the old proverb, but not everyone has considered how its wisdom can be applied to disaster preparedness.

Food procurement and processing skills are more valuable than food stockpiles in the long term. I will not deny that a well-filled pantry is vital, for myriad reasons. Hurricanes, blizzards, job loss, interrupted supply chains, and dozens of other scenarios are perfect examples of why people always should keep plenty of food stored. Emergency management guidelines advise that every household keep at least three days’ worth of food, water and necessities on hand.

I admit that my own food storage room contains more like three months’ worth, and likely even more. The shelves are chocked full of jars of food, everything from green beans to tomato sauce to applesauce to chutney to barbecue sauce to chicken stock. There also are containers of dehydrated produce, jars of homemade maple syrup, and root cellar foods such as onions and garlic and pumpkins. The freezers contain berries and vegetables and meats.

If a short-term crisis occurred which prevented me from purchasing food, my household will not go hungry. At worst, we’ll be inconvenienced, or end up growing weary of certain foods and yearning for others.

The Problem With Stockpiles

But here’s the thing. If food suddenly became scarce for a long period of time, the food I have stockpiled would be nothing more than a good start. The same is probably true for many — if not most — people who store any volume of food.

Just 30 Grams Of This Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

In the end, however, no matter how much is stored, food supplies will run out. And long before the stocks are depleted by consumption, other losses can occur. Food can be stolen. Containers can break. The storage facility can become inaccessible. Floods, earthquakes, fire, insect or varmint infestation, mold and general spoilage can destroy stockpiles. Unexpected events happen — which is, of course, the entire premise for storing food in the first place.

Much of my food stockpile is comprised of food which I made myself. I planted, tended and harvested the vegetables and fruits and berries on my homestead, and then preserved enough of it to last my household through the winter. The meats come from animals I raised myself or bartered for with other homestead products, and the cheeses are homemade from my own goats’ milk.

Wise Preppers Don’t Just Stockpile Food. They Do This, Too.

Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

I keep a good supply of whole food staples on hand, as well, which I use for making homemade items. A variety of flours and grains, bought in bulk and stored long-term in smaller bags in the freezer, keep my household supplied with bread. There are other store-bought goods I cannot make for myself, such as cooking oils and nuts and sugar and leavening. Like all stored food, it would eventually run out, but being able to generate as much of my own food as I do still serves me well, both now and later.

The Solution Is Simple: Skills & Knowledge

The ability to rely on one’s own skills and knowledge is of real value in any situation, and certainly no less so when it comes to putting food on the table. Being at the mercy of whatever can be bought at the grocery store when our own supplies run dry is not a good position to be in — ever. Not in normal life today, not in a short-term crisis, and certainly not in the case of a serious catastrophe.

Having the ability to produce our own sustenance is a distinct advantage. Knowing how to raise a wide variety of both plant-based and animal-based food, having the skills to process and preserve those ingredients, and being able to create palatable nutrition from the basics are crucial components to feeding oneself.

Foraging skills are also useful. Depending upon the season and geography, the natural world often provides a buffet of edibles. Knowing how to safely locate, harvest and prepare wild plants and fungus could be crucial in a wide variety of situations, from getting lost overnight while out hiking or hunting to being completely destitute.

These skills will not be depleted, stolen, lost or destroyed. They will last forever and can be used not only to feed oneself and one’s own household, but can help serve communities or can be used to barter for other goods and services. Anyone who has invested time in learning how to do things like plant a garden, milk a goat, make cheese, can green beans, keep pigs from escaping their pen, keep pests out of the berry patch, boil down sap into syrup, churn butter, knead bread, identify edible mushrooms, dig up wild roots, and other food-related skills will always have that experience to fall back on.

Armed with know-how and practice, we are all better prepared for whatever comes along, whether it is everyday life now, a minor weather-related emergency or personal crisis later, or an earth-shattering event sometime in the future.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Build A $300 Underground Greenhouse “Walipini” That Grows Food Year Round

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Build A $300 Underground Greenhouse “Walipini” That Grows Food Year Round There is something about a good building project at a low price that gets the blood pumping! These greenhouses are incredible because they work off principals that are unchanging. So much so that greenhouses just like these would have been used in colonial American. …

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8 Steps to Evaluating your Food Preparedness for Power Outages

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8 Steps to Evaluating your Food Preparedness for Power Outages No matter your level of preparedness the power outage can catch anyone off guard. Now we may react and take the right steps quicker than the average person but there is still that sickening feeling with the power goes out. Have you covered all your …

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Outdoor Kitchens For Sustainability

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Summer Kitchen Revival

Before the days of electricity in the house or the air conditioner cooling off the living spaces from the heat of summer and cooking, there were outdoor kitchens.

It was an effort to keep the house as cool as possible. They are also known as Summer Kitchens.

The summer kitchen’s purpose was for putting up food for the year, canning, preserving, pickling, and processing. It all took place on a wood-fired stove, which created enough heat to chase everyone out of the house.

Outdoor Kitchens Still in Use Today

When I lived on a small island in the Caribbean, our tiny beach cottage had a kitchen on the porch. Why? So cooking a meal wouldn’t heat up the entire 400 sq. ft. house. Unlike summer kitchens of North America, this little work space was our main kitchen year-round rather than seasonally.

In the past, the food was often prepped in the kitchen, but it wasn’t stored there. Herbs would dry in the attic, flour and vegetables were kept in a cool cellar. You would walk all over the house to gather the ingredients for a meal.

When electricity started making its way into homes, the summer kitchen was abandoned.

However, these outdoor kitchens are starting to make a comeback because people want to get closer to their food supply. There is no better way to get closer to nature and the food we eat than having a summer or outdoor kitchen.

What do you need for an outdoor kitchen?

When planning your outdoor/summer kitchen, think about function, efficiency, and comfort. What do you need and what can come later?

An efficient summer kitchen space could be as simple as you want it to be or as elaborate. Oh and that pizza oven you want, is it necessary or is it a luxury?

Here are some questions to ask yourself about your Summer Kitchen:

  1. Do you want it to be seasonal or permanent?
  2. Does it need to be enclosed, partially enclosed, or open to the elements?
  3. Does it need shade?
  4. Do you need seating? A table?
  5. What will you need to store? Food? Spices? Cutting boards? Silverware? Plates & Bowls? Cookware?
  6. Is there a nearby herb or veggie garden?
  7. Do you need running water?
  8. What about a greywater catchment system?
  9. Is a compost pile nearby?
  10. What will you cook on?
  11. Do you need an oven? A Sun Oven? A dehydrator?
  12. Is the ground level where you want to put the kitchen?
  13. Do you need refrigeration?
  14. What will you do when it rains? When it’s windy? When it’s blistering hot?
  15. Who will be using the kitchen?
  16. Who will be in the kitchen, particularly at the same time?
  17. How do you spend your time in the kitchen? Cooking or baking? Entertaining? Dishes? 

Think triangular work space

The triangle is a great shape when designing an efficient kitchen workflow. No matter the location of the kitchen.

How do you work in the kitchen when you prepare a meal?

You take the food out of the fridge. Then it is taken either to the sink or the stove area, cleanup goes from the stove and prep areas to the sink, and leftovers get put in the fridge.

Have a plan before you create your outdoor kitchen. Take a good look at what will fit in the space that you’ve allowed for your summer kitchen. Two ways into and out of the space will help with flow.

Start with the Sink. That’s where you’re going to spend a lot of your time, cleaning, prepping, and doing dishes. You’ll also want a beautiful view while you’re doing your work, right?

In the Cooking Area, you’ll want to be able to socialize with family and friends.

You’ll probably want between 18 in. to 36 in. for a comfortable prep area. There’s nothing worse than not having enough prep area. Am I right?

Think about walkways and flow into and through your summer kitchen, too.

Set the kitchen up into 5 zones:

  • Food storage (fridge, cabinets, or pantry)
  • Dishes
  • Clean up (sink area)
  • Prep area
  • Cooking

Store items as close to their zone as possible. For example, knives, mixing bowls, cutting boards, and wooden spoons should be in the prep area. Cooking and baking pans should be in the cooking area.

Store your dishes close to the sink. Having a cabinet above the sink where your dishes dry and store all in one place is amazing.


Food preservation in your summer kitchen

When my grandmother canned her summer vegetables, outdoor kitchens were the norm, not a luxury. She’d set up her outdoor kitchen under a giant poplar with the chickens running all around the yard. If grandma did it, so can you!

Preserving your harvest is wonderful in the cold, winter months. It may take time and effort right now, but it is well worth it.

Life slows down a little bit, so you can enjoy family and friends.

There are three ways of preserving food that can be done in your summer kitchen: storage, canning, and drying.

The important thing is to start where you are. Check out this video for more tip.


A handful of vegetables can be stored, but only for a limited amount of time. Here is a great article about storing fruits and vegetables from the University of Missouri Extension Office.

You can store:

  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • beets
  • turnips
  • parsnips
  • carrots
  • leeks
  • radishes
  • horseradish
  • rutabagas
  • garlic
  • onions

Make sure veggies are firm. Remove any dirt, but do not wash the veg. Place the veggies in a box or bin. Air should circulate around the veggies. Slatted wooden boxes and wire baskets work great for this.


If you’re going to be canning, make sure you have all of your supplies handy.

  • Canning jars and lids
  • Water bath canner
  • Pressure canner
  • Funnels
  • Ladles
  • Pectin
  • Spices
  • Salts
  • Jar Lifter

Here’s a recipe for “Canned corn that’s sweet every time.”

Know which fruits and vegetables need to be pressure canned versus water-bath canned. The book, Stocking Up is invaluable for this purpose.


It’s super-easy to dry fruits and vegetables. You can even do it in a Sun Oven! Dried foods can be stored indefinitely, as long as they are kept dry.

You can dry:

  • root vegetables
  • beans of all kinds
  • cereal and grains
  • celery
  • herbs
  • peas
  • peppers
  • berries
  • fruits with high sugar and low moisture

Here is a great article with dehydrator recipes.

If you’ve ever thought of having a summer or outdoor kitchen, perhaps now is the time. Share your thoughts on how you would set it up. We’d love to hear from you. Leave your comments below!


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The Art of Fishing and How to Get Your Kids to Love It

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Image Source: Pixabay

By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog
The ability to fish is one of the most important tools in a survivalist’s arsenal. It pretty much guarantees that as long as they have access to clean water, they’ll be able to feed and hydrate themselves sustainably. Fish is a clean, tasty and nutritious food source and the act of fishing itself is a noble and therapeutic endeavour that rewards skill, wits, planning and patience.

It’s a really important skill to pass on to your kids too. Many fathers, sons, mothers and daughters have bonded throughout the centuries over the planning of the trip, celebrating the catch and preparing, cooking and eating the fish together as a family. It’s a great experience for any family, but the survivalist it’s doubly important because you’re imparting a skill that will ensure their health and wellbeing in difficult circumstances, giving you peace of mind and pride in their accomplishments.

But in today’s world of social media and video games, kids are finding it harder than ever to muster the focus required to fish. Here are some helpful tips to get them used to appreciating and enjoying the art of fishing.

Start Young

Kids are never too young to learn the value of nutrition and where their food comes from (more on that in a moment). You might think that your child lacks the patience or maturity to take an interest in fishing but the truth is that you can start laying the foundations for an appreciation of nature at a very early age. Taking them for walks in the woods and getting them used to the sights, sounds and textures of trees, dirt and water will predispose them for a love and understanding of nature so that they’re just itching with anticipation when the time comes to get in the water.

Many children lose interest in activities if they do poorly at the start so before they even get near the water, so make a game of practicing their side-arm cast in advance of their first fishing trip so that they’ll be gratified when their preparation pays off.

Kit Them Out

Your kids need to understand the importance of having the right equipment so it’s important not only to get them the right stuff but involve them in the process. Talk them through the different rods, fishing reels, lines and bait; their virtues and shortcomings. There are many starter kits on the market that vary wildly in quality. If they’re rushing for the kit that features their favorite superhero or Disney princess, just let them know that the kit contained within is likely poorly made and disposable and that they deserve better.

For Goodness’ Sake

Make sure your kids know the value of this activity for them. So few kids these days know where their food comes from and they might even struggle to see the correlation between the fish you catch in the lake and the fish they see on the plate. Be sure to sell them on the nutritional benefits of fish and the benefit that fishing will have on their lives.

The post The Art of Fishing and How to Get Your Kids to Love It appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.

Nutritional veggies for SHTF part 3

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Nutritional veggies for SHTF part 3 Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps“ Audio player provided! I have talked about some meat and some veggies and general nutrition for shtf in the previous episodes. I continue my last show in this series of nutrition with a few more veggies to talk about, what you should be eating … Continue reading Nutritional veggies for SHTF part 3

The post Nutritional veggies for SHTF part 3 appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Got the mister fans in time for the heat wave

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I’m tweaking the set up for the chicken’s mist and fan set up as there has been some puddling in the chicken pen. This weekend I want to try some different setups with the fans and mist stands to find the “sweet spot”.  If you get misting for cooling I would recommend getting a larger size mist nozzle if you are using a misting stands rather than a set up that relies on gravity.  My new Articcove has a 1.3 gallon flow and works much better for cooling compared to the older model with less than 1 gallon flow.

The exterminators will be in on Monday!  We are getting both the mouse and bug barrier package deal.  The company I selected are about mid-range in cost but does not require a contract.  I hate yearly contracts and this company had great ratings plus  good customer service over the phone.  Ironically with all the clean up done in the basement we drove the mice up stairs. Hopefully the exterminators will finish off the mice and bugs and Mom and I will have a vermin free home going into winter.

I bought the HDX shelving from Home depot on sale. The shelving units were is to put together and works great in the basement in places with limited height.  I liked the shelves so much I bought 3 more for the basement after the first purchase.  So that should tell you some thing about the product.  I have one more section to clean and work on making my preps easy to access, make rotation more user friendly and more rodent proof.  While it does not seem I’ll use as much lumber for new shelving, I think I will have more space that will be easy to use and much easier to clean.  Mom did an outstanding job cleaning up the kitchen and laid down some DE to take out the bugs.  Another treatment that is not fast but darn effective if you maintain it.

Last but not least I’m getting some siding estimates for the house.  While I hate the idea of taking out a loan,  the house’s siding is awful and must be replaced. I’m looking at the a system that adds insulation, insect and vermin resistant, so this is not a cheap job. Vinyl siding is cheap but it is also as flammable as wood so I’m looking at a cement board that is at least fire resistant if not fire proof.  We will see the quotes this week.  Thank goodness I have a small 1200 sq. foot house and not a McMansion.  Another thing, while I like a good looking home I want a home that is good for retaining heating and cooling.  Vinyl siding sucks on  insulation, wood siding is great but as a disabled person “painting a home” every few years  is just not happening. So we will see about the costs and how my wish list will get scaled back to affordability.

In summation: the pets/critters and us humans are staying cool.  The exterminators are coming on Monday and I’m getting bids for the siding that will not only add insulation value and fire resistance,  but stop the mice/insects chewing their way into my home.  Hopefully we will get back to maintenance rather than dealing with “Emergency” management.

Stinging Nettle

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Stinging Nettle, plant of many uses.

For many wild food and medicinal foragers alike, Stinging Nettle really has no equal and is one of the many native super foods.

Despite this nettle is most famed and often dislikes for the irritating sting that is appropriate for his name. The leaves and stems are covered with hair like spines that can penetrate the skin. These spines subsequently break off releasing a cocktail of chemicals. The stings are easily disabled in processing by crushing, steaming, boiling or soaking. My advice to you, wear gloves while collecting stinging nettle, you should be okay.

Stinging nettle can be found on almost any waste grounds, country roads or long hedges in and around the city or country. If you cut a patch of stinging nettle back to the ground it will grow back thick and strong within days during the growing season. Stinging nettle has creeping rhizomes which are very hard to contain, unless you replant it in a container.

Stinging Nettle has been used for food, fuel, medicine, and for making things for the household such as sheets and tablecloth. Romans used nettle to thrash themselves, knowing that the rush of blood would provide relief from cold conditions. In World War II the Germans had uniforms made and spun from nettle fiber. Nettle makes fiber that is stronger than linen, and once washed a few times, becomes very soft. As a fuel, any plant matter left over from other processing can be turned into a bio fuel.

stinging_nettle_male flowers

Goats will eat fresh nettle seemingly unaffected by their stinging. Cattle have been fed dry nettle to help improve milk production. Chickens also seem to benefit from dried or boiled or mashed nettle to their diet. Feeding dried nettle to your horses helps improve digestion trouble.

Try hanging a bunch of nettle in your kitchen to dry for infusions, you will have the added benefit of deterring flies! You can also make paper from the nettle fibers!

As a food crop, stinging nettle contains high levels of vitamin C, iron, vitamin A, potassium and trace minerals and proteins. After mid June however, some nettle become grainy, having developed a high level of oxalate crystals.

Medicinally an infusion of stinging nettle is very cleansing and so will improve all kinds of skin conditions. Also widely used and associated with a sluggish, body system. Nettle is used to clean out many toxins that accumulated over the winter. Stinging nettle has been used to clean the liver and blood, help relieve gout, arthritis, rheumatism, and kidney stones.

I should also mention that stinging nettle leaves provide you a green dye, and the roots provide you a yellow dye!

From food and medicine, to so much more, stinging nettle is a wonderful plan to have on your property or in your garden.

I hope you will explore more of stinging nettle and bring this wonderful plant, into your life and into your home.

Written by Rich – ATC 7/5/2015.

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How to Grill the Perfect Grass-Fed Steak

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How to Grill the Perfect Grass-Fed Steak What great news grass fed beef is? There were many great moments in my life but once people figured out that grass fed beef was great for your body and maybe even necessary it brought me back to red meat. Of course, the issue with grass fed beef …

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How To Cut Sugar Out of Your Life

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How To Cut Sugar Out of Your Life We are all aware of the issues that come from eating too much processes sugar. Whether you want to believe that your health and fitness are important to your preparedness or not is irrelevant. The truth of the matter is both health and fitness will come to …

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Make Dried Pineapple With Zucchini

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Make Dried Pineapple With Zucchini There are many exciting ways to manipulate the foods that we grow as well as preserve them. I have never heard this one before. For even the most run of the mill backyard gardener they know that zucchini is going to be coming out of their ears come summertime. It …

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Remote Cabins Threaten Norwegian Wildlife

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Luxurious cabins Vs. the environment

The proliferation of off-grid cabins in remote Norway is disrupting the wildlife

Norwegians love to unplug once in a while — disappear from civilisation into their remote cabins. Being in contact with the nature is one of the most valued factors for people with cabins. They enjoy the cumbersome, rural life without any power, water or toilets. Or so they claim. In the last years cabins have gotten bigger and with more facilities, and it is starting to affect the environment and the wildlife in the Norwegian forest.

Cabins a disturbing factor
According to the Institute of Natural Research (NINA) report on “Conflicts and Sustainability around Second Home Development”, the mountain huts can give an unnatural high access to food to small game such as red foxes. This gives red foxes access to bigger areas which threatens different species, like the arctic fox.

Much of the cabin construction takes place in areas that are particularly important for wildlife such as migratory roads, winter habitats or calving areas. These are areas where the animals are particularly vulnerable, according to forskning.no.

The research shows that development interferes more than previously thought. For example reindeers are located kilometers away from their permanent infrastructure. This means that large mountain areas in practice are not available as habitats anymore. When removing cabins and trails, the reindeer seems to quickly reuse the areas, says Senior Researcher Bjørn Kaltenbor who conducted the interdisciplinary project.

Not enough focus on environmental awareness

The degree of environmental awareness people have for their cabin life is not particularly high. On the other hand, the attitudes towards new developers are overall negative.

Kalterborn told forskning.no: ”The vast majority of cottage owners are negative towards major future changes in the cottage areas, such as infrastructure development and depreciation”.

Cabins are today one of the largest economic sectors in the rural municipalities in Norway. In many of the municipalities, construction is considered a rescue plan in relation to failing agriculture and relocation. Unfortunately, according to Kalterborn´s research, the majority of the municipalities in the Southern Norway region have insufficient capacity and lack of competence and overview to keep up with developments in the sector.

“This can create major conflicts for the government in the future if they have to return lost habitat for important species such as wild boar”, Kalternborn warns.

Want to capture wild animals on camera? See: Trail Cameras for hunters or animal lovers.

The post Remote Cabins Threaten Norwegian Wildlife appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

Cooking with the sun

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There are several different ways to use the sun in cooking, aka solar cooking or solar ovens. If you live in a sunny place, the desert, anyplace with unobstructed sunshine, you can use a solar oven to cook most meals.

There are parabolic cookers, these are like using a hot grill, you pretty much have to be right on top of it all the time to cook with these.

There are panel cookers, these use a silver (usually mylar) foil covered cardboard, the DIY ones are often made from a window shade made for vehicles. The nice thing about these are they are very portable, light and easy to set up. The bad thing about them is they don’t reach and maintain a very high temperature, and being light weight, they can blow away in wind.

The third major kind are box cookers, these work just like a small oven, they can be made of a cardboard box, or for a more permanent solution, made of wood or plastic. It is essentially an insulated box with a glass top and to make them work even better, reflectors are added to the top. This is the kind I like best.

I have scoured YouTube in search of the best build, I see many mistakes being made, mainly in the materials used in building them, you don’t want to use anything that will off gas or become toxic when it becomes hot, using styrofoam, some types of glue, some kinds of wood even will out gas toxic fumes when heated, I cringe when I see these being used.

I found one video that really jumped out at me, though I’m sure there are many more, I liked this one. The first video shows how it’s built, I will admit that my ADD struck and I had to move the video along a bit, but the build is solid. The second video shows a whole chicken being cooked in this solar oven. Enjoy!



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How To Make Money Off Grid: Making A Living From Your Homestead

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There are literally hundreds of ways to earn an income from your off-grid homestead, the trick is finding a way to earn income that still allows you time to enjoy

The post How To Make Money Off Grid: Making A Living From Your Homestead appeared first on Ask a Prepper.

Food Storage and Freeze drying!

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Food Storage and Freeze drying! Ray Becker “The Ray Becker Show” Audio player provided! On this show, I have a guest with me: Stephanie from Harvest Right. We are going to cover Freeze Drying food for long term storage. Along with freeze drying, I will address other methods of storing your food. Long term storage … Continue reading Food Storage and Freeze drying!

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Hoe Cakes

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Don’t Be Confused About This Simple Quick Bread “Hoe Cakes”

We’re back at George Washington’s Mount Vernon! Once again, we’re joined by Deb Colburn and today she has a recipe for “Hoe Cakes”. A delicious and easy Cornmeal Pancake that you have to try!

Hoe Cakes are cornmeal flatbread. An early American staple food, it is prepared on the Atlantic coast from Newfoundland to Jamaica. The food originates from the native inhabitants of North America. It is still eaten in the West Indies, Dominican Republic, Saint Croix, Bahamas, Colombia, and Bermuda as well as in the United States and Canada.

The modern johnnycake is found in the cuisine of New England,[3] and often claimed as originating in Rhode Island.[4] A modern johnnycake is fried cornmeal gruel, which is made from yellow or white cornmeal mixed with salt and hot water or milk, and sometimes sweetened. In the Southern United States, the word used is hoecake, although this can also refer to cornbread fried in a pan.

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Wild Edible and Herbal Plants: Cattails

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Wild Edible and Herbal Plants: Cattails The cattail is probably the easiest wild edible to spot and is the most referenced in paintings and pictures. It is also one of the best sources of food around a water body. For me there is nothing better than the young shoots of the cattail. They are almost …

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5 Forgotten Ways To Keep Food Cold Without Electricity

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5 Forgotten Ways To Keep Food Cold Without Electricity

We have a hard time even thinking about living without electrical power. We use it for everything, from powering our cell phones to running our factories. Without it, modern life, as we know it, would cease to exist.

That’s why the loss of the electrical grid is one of the most challenging survival scenarios that we as a society face. While electricity is not normally considered a survival priority on an individual level, it is for society as a whole.

Quite literally, the entire infrastructure breaks down without electrical power. Besides all the obvious things that would stop working in such a situation, we would also lose the entire distribution system. Without electrical power to run the computers and the machines, getting products from manufacturers and distributors to stores comes to a screeching halt.

But we’ll feel the pinch of losing electrical power long before things get to that point. Without our appliances, society would be set back by over a century. Actually, it would be worse than that, because our great-grandparents knew how to live without electricity … and we don’t.

Of all the domestic uses of electricity, the single most important one is refrigeration. We depend on it to keep fresh food fresh and frozen food frozen. Without that capability, those foods would spoil fast.

Yet refrigeration, in one form or another, existed long before electric power and the modern refrigerator. If we are going to keep foods fresh, once the grid goes out, we’re going to have to rediscover those methods and put them to use.

Here’s five ways to do that:

1. Go underground

Long before refrigerators or even ice boxes, people discovered that they could keep food cool by keeping it underground. Those who had caves on their property would use them for food storage. But even people who didn’t have a cave would take advantage of things being cooler underground, if they had a well.

Pitchers of milk, cheese, sides of meat and other foods could be kept cool, helping them to last longer. The further down in the well the item was hung, the cooler it would be. So, it wasn’t uncommon to see a number of ropes going down into a well, with each one holding something that the owner wanted to keep from spoiling.

Are Your Prepared For Blackouts? Get Backup Electricity Today!

This idea evolved into the root cellar, which was extremely common in the pioneering days of our country. Root cellars are nothing more than man-made caves, carved out of the ground to provide a cool place to keep food — especially root vegetables like potatoes and carrots – cool.

The home I grew up in had a concrete bomb shelter attached to it, a leftover from World War II. That became our family’s root cellar, giving us space that we could use when our refrigerator was already full.

2. Running water

There’s nothing better than fresh water from a cool stream, especially if it is fresh runoff from melting snow. While that might be a bit cool to bathe in, it’s great for keeping food cool. This is a trick that’s been used by campers and backpackers for years. But it’s one that we need to add to our survival arsenal.

Running groundwater stays cool due to evaporation. That’s why running water is usually cooler than standing water. The movement of the water exposes more of it to the air, increasing the amount of evaporation. In cases of whitewater, where the water is being thrown into the air by rocks and other obstacles, evaporation increases even more, making the water even cooler.

5 Forgotten Ways To Keep Food Cold Without Electricity

Image source: Pixabay.com

The one problem with using running water to keep food cool is that there is a chance of fish and aquatic animals eating your food. So, if you’re going to do this, you need the food in a container to protect it.

3. Evaporative cooling

Since evaporation cools water, we can use evaporation to cool food, as well. All we need is some means of putting the food in a place where it is surrounded by evaporating water. This is easily accomplished by wrapping fabric around a shelving unit and wetting it down. Food placed on the shelves will be nice and cool. Of course, you’ll need to add water from time to time.

A makeshift evaporative refrigerator like this works best if it is placed where a breeze is hitting it. The breeze increases the amount of air flowing over the wet fabric, thereby increasing the amount of evaporation.

Of course, for evaporative cooling to work, you need to be in a relatively dry climate. High humidity lowers the amount of evaporation you can expect, which in turn lowers the effectiveness of these methods of keeping food cool.

4. The zeer pot

The zeer pot is a primitive, but quite effective, evaporative cooler that is still in use in parts of the world today. It consists of two unglazed clay pots, one larger than the other. The small pot is placed inside the larger one and the space between the two filled with sand. Food is placed inside the inner pot and the sand is filled with water.

Since the pots are unglazed, the water will soak through them, making the clay wet. Water on the surface of the outer pot will then evaporate, cooling the pots and their contents. Covering the top with a wet cloth will increase the overall cooling, helping to keep the food inside fresh.

In tests, produce kept in a zeer pot will last four times as long as comparable produce kept at room temperature. These tests were done in a hot climate, so it’s possible that in a cooler climate, the zeer pot would be even more effective.

5. The ice box

The most recent means of keeping food cool, before the refrigerator came on the scene, was the ice box. I’m not talking about an ice chest that you’d use on a picnic here, but rather something that was in the kitchen and used to keep food cool.

An ice box, obviously, requires ice. This was delivered every few days by the ice man, who brought it from a warehouse called an “ice house.” This ice would have been harvested from lakes in the wintertime and stored in a well-insulated area – using straw and sawdust — until warmer weather. Anyone who has seen the movie Frozen should be familiar with this concept, as the movie shows workers harvesting ice and storing it away in an ice house.

While it would be difficult, you could build an ice house and harvest ice in the wintertime, for use when the weather is warmer. The best ice houses, of course, are underground.

What advice would you add for keeping food cool when it’s warm? Share your thoughts in the section below:

5 Morale Boosting Foods With a Long Shelf Life

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5 Morale Boosting Foods With a Long Shelf Life This is a very interesting article. Particularly, in a day and age where sugar has been turned into a demon. We are supposed to pretend like we don’t like delicious sweet treats but of course, in the quiet moments, we all indulge. This article looks at …

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The Overlooked Plant That Keeps Bugs Out Of Your Pantry

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The Overlooked Plant That Keeps Bugs Out Of Your Pantry

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Did you know you may have an effective natural insect repellent in your kitchen right now?

Often used fresh or dry as a way to add flavor and aroma to soups, stews and sauces, bay leaves can be your secret weapon against a variety of household pests. Even better: They are inexpensive and safe to use.

The term bay leaf refers to the leaves of several plants, including the bay laurel; the California bay leaf (aka California laurel, Oregon myrtle and pepperwood); the Indian bay leaf; the Indonesian bay leaf; the West Indian bay leaf; and the Mexican bay leaf.

The leaves of these plants contain essential oils, such as eucalyptol and other terpenes. The leaves have a strong fragrance and a sharp, bitter taste when eaten whole. When cooking, the bay leaf has a slightly floral aroma that is somewhat similar to thyme or oregano.

One easy way to deter bugs is by taping a few fresh (not dried) bay leaves inside cabinets or under shelves where you have seen insects. You also can place the leaves inside canisters or packages that hold pasta, rice, oats, flour or cornmeal.

Just 30 Grams Of This Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

When you use bay leaves in your kitchen to repel insects, the smell will not transfer into your food. But it will drive pests away.

Another option is to place bay leaves along baseboards, near trashcans and under appliances.

The leaves will lose their odor in a few days, so you will need to replace them with fresh leaves about once a week to maintain effectiveness.

Here are some of the insects bay leaves repel:


  • Wasps.
  • Flies.
  • Sugar ants.
  • Pantry moths.
  • Earwigs.
  • Weevils.

A recent look on Amazon uncovered some bulk deals on bay leaves that are easy on the wallet. For example, a six-ounce resalable plastic bag filled with Turkish Bay Leaves from Medley Hills Farm Gourmet is priced at $9.89.

A 16-ounce bag of whole bay leaves from Frontier Bay sells for $19.58.

Spicy World offers a three-pound bag with a $35.99 price tag.

Another way to have plenty of bay leaves on hand is to grow your own bay tree. The Internet offers several helpful videos if you would like to undertake this project. Here are two examples.

In addition, it is relatively easy to start bay plants from cuttings.

The use of bay leaves as an insect repellent is not backed up by scientific studies, but plenty of people swear by their effectiveness in keeping bugs at bay (pun intended). If you are plagued by insects in your pantry, what do you have to lose? It makes sense to give bay leaves a try.

Have you ever used bay leaves to chase away insects? Share your tips on using them in the section below:

Feeding Yourself the Self-Sufficient Way

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balance, beautiful, countryside

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By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog

When the world’s ending and there are no more manufacturing companies and farmers left to provide you with food, will you be able to survive? If the answer is “yes” because you’ve saved up tonnes of canned food, then there’s some bad news waiting for you: what will you do when it runs out? You can’t rely on the possibility of the world fixing itself after an apocalypse, and unless you’re going to hunt other people for their canned food then there’s only one way to feed yourself: being self-sufficient.

It’s easy to be self-sufficient, but you need to remember that there’s some skill involved and a lot of knowledge to pick up before you can really become self-sufficient with your food. So to help you get started, we’ve detailed four different methods of getting your own food so you can practice in the event the world is turned upside down.


Gardening is basically just farming on a smaller scale. Start by learning how to grow vegetables and fruits in your backyard. Remember that the climate makes a huge difference to what you can and can’t grow, so don’t expect to grow everything in your backyard. Start with easy things to manage such as salad leaves, potatoes or beans. They’re relatively easy to get started with and they don’t require much work to get started. Once you’re comfortable with your gardening skills, expand by stretching your backyard, buying more plots of land, or writing down some farming notes in a handy notebook so that you’re ready.


With so much water out there, there’s bound to be some fish in nearby lakes and rivers. If you’re lucky and live near a larger body of water, then the fish will be fresh and full of life. However, you may need to invest in a fishing boat or a similar device to get out further into the waters in search of more bounty. Check this trolling motor buying guide if you need a bit of assistance in picking the right motor for your needs. Remember that fishing requires a lot of patience and not everything you fish up is edible. Some fish might be infested with parasites and some might be covered in sewage and sludge from inner-city rivers.


Foraging is a key still for any survivalist. Living off the land is something that many in the prepping community speak about, but people usually don’t know much about what is edible or not. You need to know where to find edible plants and fruits, you need to know what is poisonous and what is edible, and you need to be able to stomach nutritious plants even if they taste horrible. If you find yourself in a survival situation in the future with nothing but the land to live off, then you’ll be glad that you studied edible plants.


Lastly, we can’t forget about hunting. While using a gun is the simplest method of hunting your prey, you may want to learn how to throw a spear, use a bow, or even create traps to get a hold of fast animals. Survival hunting, much like foraging, is an essential skill to learn but you need to be prepared to kill an animal for the sake of your own survival—something that not everyone can stomach.

This article was originally published at The Survival Place BlogFeeding Yourself the Self-Sufficient Way

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The Three Best Ways to Feed Yourself in a Survival Scenario: Hint – It’s Not By Hunting

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PlanandPrepared.com welcomes Ben Ayad to the site. Ben is an IT project manager and founder of a newbie blog called outdoorstime.com. Ben loves outdoors activities and the nature that God has created, as any human being does. He shares what he knows about outdoors and the passion of other outdoors’ lovers who pride themselves in […]

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Nutrition in SHTF Part 2

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Nutrition in SHTF Part 2 Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps“ Audio player provided below! Nutrition in SHTF part 1 I talked a bit about fat and cholesterol and the myths about it. This will be all about veggies and what a good diet can do for you during shtf. The need for veggies right now … Continue reading Nutrition in SHTF Part 2

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3 Backpacking Stoves Compared ——– Under $16

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Did you know there are a variety of compact cooking stoves for under $16? These miniature stoves are just the right size for an emergency kit, bug out bag, or for a backpacking trip, but how well do they work?  My husband and I are planning an overnight hiking […]

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The 2 Most Important Tenets Of Prepping

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The 2 Most Important Tenets Of Prepping

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“Someday it’s all going to come down to whether or not we can feed ourselves,” I told my son one day, not long after my husband and I began to realize the importance of being prepared for an uncertain global future.

“No,” my son countered, “it’s going to come down to being able to defend ourselves from those who can’t.”

We were both right, of course. In the several years since that simple conversation, I like to return to it occasionally just to keep myself on track and remind myself of why I do what I do. I am setting the stage for being able to both produce my own food and defend myself from those who are unable to do for themselves.

Nobody knows for sure how close we might be to the end — of our civilization as we know it, or our particular form of government in the United States, or the general world order, or the planet. But if we are indeed teetering on the brink of imminent disaster as some people believe we are, then those two questions will continue to be important to our survival as individuals and as a society.

There are plenty of other human needs, as well, in both present day and whatever the future may bring. Shelter, heat, clean water, clothing, medical care, tools, security and community are but a few of the things which most people consider vital to a desirable quality of life. While those are indeed significant, many of us preparedness-minded people focus on food.

Are Your Prepared For Blackouts? Get Backup Electricity Today!

In an era when so much food comes in boxes and cans, many Americans have little connection to actually producing their own food. They shop for it, carry it home, open the package, and perform finishing touches before eating it — or maybe just go buy it ready-to-eat at a restaurant.

‘Our Food Supply Is Precarious’

But if an emergency happens, what then? How many times have we all seen images on the news of people having to go without basic staples when a disaster rolls through their neighborhood — not just in Third World countries, but right here in America? And it’s not usually because of an end-of-the-world event, but more likely due to temporary power outages and severe weather. It is possible and advisable to store food, but no stockpile lasts forever.

Our food supply is precarious, and people who are aware of that reality know it’s valuable to be able to produce at least some of their own nutritional needs. Agriculture is one of the most common ways to do this, by way of growing vegetables, berries and other perennials, and fruit trees, as well as keeping poultry and livestock for eggs, milk and meat. Fishing and hunting are other effective ways to procure one’s own food, along with foraging for wild plants and mushrooms and tapping trees. Being able to grow, raise, catch or find food for oneself is not only a key component of a self-sufficient lifestyle in the present day, but possibly could end up playing a crucial role in survival one day.

The ability to protect one’s food also might be necessary someday. There always has been and always will be a segment of society who, for whatever reason, see stealing as their best option for acquiring goods. In the case of a major societal meltdown, there are likely to be more people than ever with fewer choices and more urgent needs, making the ability to defend one’s household and one’s possessions more crucial than ever.

Self-defense can be about weapons — from the latest in automatic rifles to homemade bows and arrows and sling shots — but it includes so much more than that. The ability to avoid exposure in high-risk situations, outrun danger, detect the presence of intruders, evaluate others’ intentions, and determine when and how to cooperate with others are all excellent methods of protection, too.

Conducting our everyday lives while being mindful of these two tenets — being able to provide for one’s own food and basic needs, and being able to protect oneself from those who cannot do for themselves — can be challenging sometimes. And when observing the relative ease of how others thrive without expending energy or resources today on preparing for the possibilities of tomorrow, it can be tempting to follow suit. But when food and other goods are in short supply, due to a hurricane or cyberattack or drought or one of hundreds of other possibilities, those of us who have been practicing the basics all along will be glad we did.

Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Parched Corn, The No-Meat Survival Food Pt. 2

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In last weeks episode we demonstrate several methods for preparing parched corn. Today is all about preparing our corn to eat in the easiest and most palatable ways.

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Parched Corn, The No-Meat Survival Food Pt. 1

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In today’s episode we demonstrate several methods for preparing parched corn, including methods from a pamphlet on maize written by Benjamin Franklin.

Another super food that predates early American history, parched corn was considered the original trail food by the pioneers. … Using dried corn kernels, parched corn is prepared in a skillet on the stove top much in the way that pop corn was prepared in the old days.

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Wild Edibles Wednesday: Lambsquarters

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Wild Edibles Wednesday: Lambsquarters If you really want to feel like Neo from The Matrix take the time to not only read these articles on wild edibles but also to fully understand and seek out the food in your local area. I always like to gauge my comfort level by my desire to eat certain …

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MASSH, the tool you need, to Survive

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The MASSH is created out of a solid piece of 3/16 mild steel, heat treated with a Rockwell between 48-52. The tool is 22 inches long and two pounds in weight. The MASSH is a fixed blade with no moving parts. It has a Machete Edge, Axe Edge, Shovel Edge with a convenient boot notch, Hammer head, Cross hatch saw that doubles as a rasp for making saw dust/wood shavings for ease of fire starting. This Survival Tool also has a Fire barring, for easier mechanical fire starting. A quick clip Carebeaner hole and the handle is wrapped with 550 parachute cord and includes a thumb grip for ease of use.

The MASSH is a great all around tool for hunting, camping, hiking, any out door activities including the dooms day preppers. Keep this survival tool on your back pack, in your camper, strapped to your side and it will replace your axe, hatchet, shovel & machete etc.

The MASSH is a great tool for a survival situation. It will handle all of your needs such as cutting, chopping, digging, making traps, constructing shelters, building fires, creating tinder, & splitting wood etc.

What can you use the MASSH for:

Using the shovel to dig your car out from snow.
Start a fire.
Create a snow shelter.
Dig a cat hole.
Divert water
Clear brush
Cut down trees
Secure your tie off
Create wood shavings to make a fire
Dig a hole
Making a Dead Fall trap
Create notches for any type of trap.
Grappling hook
When your up the creek without a paddle, use the MASSH
Brush hook
Home gardening
Removing roots
Tying up a boat
Creating a clothes line
Binding meat to a back rack pack
Fishing line
Prying tool
Construct a floating raft
Build a shelter

Mild steel was used in creation of the tool to bend and reduce chipping. It’s the same reason you don’t hit two hammers together. I provided 550 parachute cord for the handle for multiple functions.

What can you use parachute cord for?

Strip it down, take small cords for fishing line
Mending clothing
Quick build for shelters
Tying boats or rafts
Anchor line
Clothes line

Contact Jackly Gear
To contact Jackyl Gear please go to http://www.jackylgear.com/contact

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Are “Long-Term” Storage Foods That Important?

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This is going to fly in the face of a lot of what you’ve likely read or heard with regards to food storage but here goes: You don’t need to invest a ton of money into buying special “long-term” foods. Seriously, you really don’t. In fact, for many people doing so is just a bad idea all the way around.

A common prepper question is some variation of, “What foods store the longest?” There are some foods, such as dried rice, honey, salt, and sugar, which will last essentially forever as long as they are protected from critters and the elements. They’ve found jars of honey, still perfectly preserved, sitting next to mummies several thousands of years old. That said, kinda hard to survive on just rice and honey.

Here’s the thing, folks. Shelf life, while important, falls far behind a few other considerations when choosing what to store. First and foremost is taste and personal preference. It makes absolutely ZERO sense to store food you don’t like to eat. I don’t care if you found it at an incredible price. If you don’t want to eat it now, you aren’t going to want to eat it later. Choose food items that you enjoy. Honestly, there is such a variety out there today, it would be foolish to do otherwise.

I often hear comments like, “If I get hungry enough, I’ll eat it, even if I don’t like it.” That’s all fine and dandy but why in the hell would you voluntarily store foods you don’t like now? I mean, that just sounds asinine. You have a relatively free and open choice of what foods to store. Take advantage of that fact and store things you know you’ll actually want to eat.

Many of the foods we eat regularly also happen to have long shelf lives. The aforementioned rice is a great example. Dried beans and canned goods are also commonly found in kitchens and pantries from coast to coast. These types of foods will last a long time and you’re already accustomed to eating them. Add a few extra bags or cans to your cart each time you go shopping and build up the supply slowly.

Second, choose foods that agree with you. We all have things we dearly love to eat but we pay for later, right? I mean, I love bananas but even just a few bites of one will give me stomach pains. If you’re considering adding a new food to your storage plan, try it first. Make sure it doesn’t give you indigestion. Disaster recovery is stressful enough without adding tummy troubles to the mix.

Another thing to keep in mind is that many, though certainly not all, of these special “long-term” foods require water to prepare. Water might be in limited supply, depending upon the nature of the disaster. Do you really want to be forced to choose between drinking the water and using it to prepare the only food you have on hand? If you’re going to invest in these long-term foods, plan ahead and be sure to store extra water as well.

Many long-term foods aren’t the healthiest things on the planet, either. Frequently they are loaded with sodium, which not only isn’t very good for you but will make you thirsty, causing you to consume more water. Now, I will freely admit I’m far from the healthiest eater on the planet so don’t take this as a pot meet kettle situation. But, you need to go into a food storage plan with both eyes wide open. If you’re going to rely upon these long-term foods as a primary source of sustenance, you’re going to suffer from some nutritional deficiencies unless you also stock up on vitamins and such.

A lot of these products are also fairly expensive. For the cost of one case (12 units) of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), I could feed my family of five for several days. The food would be healthier, too.

Here’s one of my big issues with these special long-term storage foods. A proper food storage plan will incorporate regular rotation. Meaning, you use the food and replenish it as you go along. However, these long-term foods don’t encourage that practice. In fact, the whole point is that you can buy a few cases and they’ll be good for 25 years or more, right? This, to my mind, is the lazy man’s way to preparedness.

Now, with all of that said, I’m not suggesting you abandon any plans of buying these products. They have their place in some scenarios. You just need to determine for yourself if the long-term food option is right for you. What I suggest to most people is to concentrate their food storage plan on the things they already eat regularly but also have a stable shelf life, such as rice, dried beans, dried pasta, and canned goods. Then, add some long-term storage foods as a backup.


By Jim Cobb
You can find more from Jim at http://survivalweekly.com/

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Mid June Garden Planting Guide

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Check out this Mid June Garden Planting Guide. It’s mid June and you haven’t planted your garden yet.  It happens to all of us some years.  Or maybe you have had some crop failures, seeds planted weeks ago that never germinated.  The bugs or snails may have eaten a few plants to the ground and …

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Botulism and Canning – the Whys and Wherefores

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Botulism and Canning – the Whys and Wherefores When you are canning those delicious peaches you may add things like bourbon. You may be daydreaming about opening a jar in a few months and spooning them out over some delicious ice cream. I doubt you are day dreaming about a debilitation and even deadly fungus …

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What You Should Look for When Shopping for Food Storage

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What You Should Look for When Shopping for Food Storage Being prepared is big business and it is easy for the newbie to get completely overwhelmed. Each company claims they are the best value for your dollar, or the best priced, or the highest nutritional value; what about the things that are best for your family? Shopping …

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DIY Fire Pits, Grilling, and Barbecue Season

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DIY Fire Pits, Grilling, and Barbecue Season Backyards and cookouts are as American as hotdogs and apple pie, and who doesn’t love grilled food, roasted corn on the cob, a cold brew. Top this off with some roasted marshmallows… (you know, for the kids ;-)), while sitting around the fire. Sweet summer memories are in …

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The Prepper’s Guide to Making Homemade Baby Food (without a Blender or Food Processor)

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Making your own baby food is easy if you have a blender or food processor, but what if the power is out?

When my daughter recently had complications from oral … Read the rest

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Tools and stuff I using for cleanup. Another cheap solar solution

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This winter I bought a large 5 gallon shop vac for dealing with the flooding in my shop.  With the addition of some bags and some brush tools the vac works great for getting up the mouse droppings, plus we don’t have to worry about the dust or spreading anything via the shop vac exhaust.  I have a small 1.5 gallon Shop vac that has worked out great cleaning the laundry area and closets where the big shop vac is difficult to maneuver around in tight quarters.  My only complaint about the Shop vacs is the power cords are too short and I have to use an extension cord for almost every job. I don’t think using your regular vacuum to clean up a vermin infestation is a good idea.  Save that house vacuum for your everyday cleaning chores and get a cheap shop vac for around $20.00-$60.00 depending on the size and features.

Cleaning off the existing shelves I have been using a “Shop brush” ($2.00 Harbor Freight) and an oversized dust pan ($1.00) Dollar Tree.  These tools work great for cleaning  shelves that have open areas between the slats.  You can place some newspaper below the shelf and just sweep everything onto the paper or into the oversized dust pan.   I am looking into building some of my shelves with smaller 1×2 or 1×3 and painting all shelves with a semi-gloss paint so they will not absorb odors and will be easy to clean in the future.

Cleaning solutions:  The Clorox urine remover is working out great! I bought a spray bottle to try it out ($5.00 Lowe’s)  but I will be buying the large jug ($13.00 Lowe’s) for my cleaning supply.  What I like most is this cleaner works on all surfaces and has not bleached or discolored my furniture or carpets.  I’m using a mild bleach solution to clean the cement/concrete wall of my basement area. The mice don’t seem to care for bleach solution or it disrupts the scent pathways they establish.   Mom and I are cleaning the buckets with the mild bleach solution and so far we have not found any mouse dropping on those cleaned buckets.  The basement is smelling better overall and in the area we have cleaned still smells clean after 5 days.

Traps:  Tom, I have added one of those Victor Tin cat traps in the basement and using a bit of grain rather than peanut butter as bait. In the last four days we have caught 10 adult mice.  I’m using a lot of sticky traps in the house as Snap traps are difficult for me to set and use.  Heck even the local Dollar store has those sticky traps though it may take laying out the traps in groups of 2 or 3  traps to catch the mice, they do work.  One thing I have learned about sticky traps the more surface area the trap has the better it works for catching mice.   Over all I think the Tomcat metal re-usable traps are a better solution for a prepper.  I think adding sticky traps when you find them on sale are great and should be added to preps.

Last but not least clean up item, construction grade trash bags.  These bags have a heavy mil of 2-6 depending on on what you buy and are great multi-taskers.  This last winter we did not have trash pickup for over 6 weeks.   I do have a bit of an advantage with the wood stove to burn most paper trash.  While I had extra cans on hand for trash I was ready with those super thick bags to hold trash. I live in a small city and if my neighbors don’t contain trash properly the vermin will affect me and not just them.

Okay now the fun shopping stuff for the day.  I bought a small under counter LED light that runs on rechargeable batteries for $20.00 at Home Depot.  What is great,  is the light is recharged via a USB cable and all of my power packs and my fold able 15 watt solar panel has USB connection for power.  This a great way for me to start a solar powered light system for the kitchen via a solar panel/ power pack but still can be recharged via the electric company’s outlets.  No direct wiring is need to install  this little LED lamp. You don’t need a large solar array to take advantage of solar energy.  A small solar panel system that charges a small battery bank can be a great start.   I have a small power pack that that can jump a dead car battery though I have not tested it for charging via my little solar panel.  As soon as the sun comes out in SW Idaho I will test it out.



Goose as a Survival Game Meat

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You may remember from Dickens, and the stories of that era, what a big deal a goose was on Christmas. The goose is one of the most underrated meats in abundance. These creatures are made up of dark, succulent meat and a nice fatty skin that crisps up when roasted. If you have ever had …

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Thrift Tips for Stretching a Buck in a Tough Economy

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How to Survive a Layoff

Don’t panic. With a little “belt tightening” and a realistic plan, you will make it through this…

Being laid off, under employed or just watching your paycheck buy less and less at the store has become a reality in most homes. As businesses are downsizing, more and more work gets sent overseas and energy prices continue to sore, what can you do when you realize your income is not able to comfortably sustain your family?

Here are several practical tips…

Don’t Panic
First, in any survival situation, and trust me, being laid, under employed or broke half way through the month off can be a very real survival situation… Rule #1 is “Don’t panic.” So: step back, take a breath, sleep on it, pray and trust that you are going to make it through this.Store Up Some Food

Plan Ahead and Network
This is where having gone to the ant and observed their lifestyle comes in handy (Proverbs 30:25 & 6:6 – The Good Book).  It is a really wise rule of thumb to be prepared for what you think may never happen.

In our home, we have a decent stock of food that we lay by for the possibility of joblessness – which we actually have lived through multiple times.

Little Blessings From Others…
One winter, at the beginning of our years of wedded bliss, before we had  chance to think through anything wise, we wound up jobless with two little ‘uns.  That winter stands out in my mind as precious because we were fed almost entirely by a friend who was a delivery person for a food supply company…

People would reject a bag of flour that had a tear in it or cans that were dented.  He had a ministry of feeding many needy people like us with surprise deliveries of this food which would otherwise have been thrown away.

So, in our need, God supplied. Over the years, we’ve done a lot of networking and bartering.  Someone else might raise what you need and perhaps you have a skill you can trade for something. Or vice-versa.  Bartering is a great American tradition and it knits people together in a way passively forking over greenbacks can not.

Seek Out Local Resources and Encouragement
We have a wonderful Mennonite community and country store near us through whom we can order bulk foods.  They never look to profit on this, only to serve and it has been such a huge blessing in being able to order large quantities of food to stretch our budget and lay things aside at the same time.  Another place we are extremely fond of is a local surplus food store.

Bulk food is still affordable when you have a good source...

Bulk food is still affordable when you have a good source…

They resell those dented cans and just-expired foods at amazing prices so that we come home with a lot of food for not much output.  I’ve been to a store like ours in another locale and it was a rip-off.  So make sure you’re actually getting a deal.

Roadside Stands Can Be a Fun Surprise

Roadside stands are a great value

Roadside stands are fun and are often a great way to stretch a buck…

Folks who run roadside stand often go to produce markets and then bring their haul to reasonably resell. Roadside stands usually offer a great value when compared to grocery stores…

But better yet, find the wholesale produce market!  But be ready to process all the food you’ll buy there!  It’s an auction-like atmosphere, a lot of fun and a way to get semi-locally grown produce in bulk quantities.  Make sure you have your stamina that day because you may have to wait until the end for what you really want to get.

So search your area for resources like these.  Ask around…people who are thrifty are everywhere, you just have to find them!

I learned about the produce market from one of these folks!

Find Encouraging People in Tough Times
Look around  for people to whom the almighty dollar is in its proper place – at the bottom of their priorities.  These are the people who will keep your spirits from plummeting during hard times because they understand what is really important (people) and will reach out to help others.  This is where churches are supposed to shine, but unfortunately, impersonal, demeaning, mismanaged government programs have  usurped this privilege… and honestly, at times the church has fallen short, some being more occupied with things like “building programs” than building people.

But there are still some great, others-minded churches out there, and some wonderful loving folks who go to them. If you need help, seek them out.

Do It Yourself – Canning, Dehydrating & Freezing
Having a garden and canning, dehydrating and freezing what you grow is also an invaluable way to stretch a food budget.  It also allows you to have things laid up for that rainy day or week or month or year.

Our traditional way of “putting up” food for the future is a laborious but rewarding venture. However, as I learn more about nutrition (other posts to come), I am realizing that canning will give me food on my shelves, but its nutritional content is minimal, having been processed with heat for long periods.

Canning is a great way to preserve food

Canning is the traditional way to preserve food… but dehydrating is easier.

Dehydrated foods keep indefinitely if dried properly.  Dehydration uses a very low heat and air circulation to lock in nutrients and enable you to have what is called, “living foods” kept on your shelf.

So dehydrating is MUCH better than canning from a nutritional perspective.

Because you’re not dependent on electricity to preserve your “goodies” after they’re dehydrated, it is better than freezing.

  • Get my article on dehydrating – Coming SOON!
  • Here’s the food dehydrator that I use – Click Here

Freezing is also a better way than canning to preserve nutrients, but with freezing, you have a dependency on electric – which can go bye-bye at any time.

Make Your Own Laundry Soap!!!
Did you know that with a few basic very inexpensive ingredients you can make your own laundry soap?  I’ve been making my own for a few years now and it works great!

The Clothing Budget – What?
Well, we’ve been married about a quarter century and we’ve never had the prescribed clothing budget that you see in all the ‘how-to-make-a-budget’ books.  In fact, we’ve never had most of their categories!

Save money on cloths - go to a thrist shop

Going to Thrift Shops can eliminate the need for a clothing budget…

I can count on one hand the times I’ve purchased new clothing (excepting underwear, of course!).

I simply cannot bring myself to drop the amount of hard-earned money called for to buy things new.  Seems like bad stewardship to me for the purpose of vanity.

So, yeah – we shop at the exclusive places like Goodwill and Salvation Army.  I actually find it fun!  You can often find something that appeals to your fancy in a way you’d never imagined and it’s like a scavenger hunt/ surprise party every time you go!

Remember: Always try things on – even at a thrift shop, why waste money on things that don’t fit right?

Sometimes I look longingly at people who have wonderful store-bought clothes in just the right style I wish I could wear, but I really do pretty good at the thrift shops.  And if you’re clever with a needle, you can jazz up a simple second-hand tee shirt quite amazingly!

“My Secret” Resource For Everything!
I cannot write an article such as this without celebrating the age-old yard sale!

My “secret” resource for almost everything…

Oh my, if you look through my house, almost everything in it has come from a yard sale or was a gift.

You simply cannot tell that we have only two pieces of store-bought furniture. I have had many compliments on our eclectic décor and we have never been without what we need- in large part, due to yard sales.

Homeschool your children?  Yard sales offered us a plethora of low cost resources and teaching aids.

We always had a craft table full of fun things to make and do – compliments of other people cleaning out their craft supplies.

I still rely on my $50 23-cubic-foot Montgomery Ward deep freeze I got years and year ago when it was already old.

Outfits can be put together for a couple dollars. And one year I got a whole new wardrobe of brand new shoes that some lady who had a shoe fetish was getting rid of!

All of my canning supplies – yard sales.  Yard tools – yard sales.

Christmas, birthday, baby and bridal shower gifts – yard sales (think ahead!). I’m pretty sure people looked forward to seeing what would be in my shower bags because I always found such unique and wonderful things!

You don’t have to be a skinflint and can, in fact, be very generous, when you learn the art of yard saling.

One Last Tip – Take 21 Days…
Every time you go to spend any amount of money, no matter how small, ask yourself: “Do I really need this?”  If it is a need, ask: “Is there any other way I can meet this need without spending money?”

Resist impulse buys - wait 21 days

Resist impulse buys – wait 21 days

If it is a large purchase – a great rule of thumb is to wait 21 days to a month.  Sit on it.  Train yourself against impulse buying this way.

At the end of the time period, you will likely have moved on and your marriage may even benefit from this frugal, selfless practice!

Okay… Just One More tip: Leverage the Internet for Bargains…

And NEVER, EVER… purchase anything on the Internet without first doing a Google search for the name of the company you are going to buy from, followed by the words, “coupon code.” You’ll be amazed at how much you can save scrounging for a few minutes trying coupon codes.

Oh, and check Amazon before you buy online. We purchase most of our non-food necessities through Amazon because we get free shipping and find that we usually save 10% or more verse other online shops or local retail stores and we save gas and time shopping. Plus our credit card info is in one place and not spread about.

The internet is loaded with resources on how to do all sorts of things like make your own electricity,  find ways to fuel your car cheaper, heat your home for less, decorate on a budget, use simple ingredients like a gourmet, etc.,etc.  (I think my husband has some links to this kind of stuff around this site, too.)  And these are just a few of a plethora of ways to stretch what you have.

Just make sure you get all your info together in hard copies because well, who knows how long the internet will last?

Until next time…

~ Carin

300 a Month, Menu, Goals

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300 a Month, Menu, Goals I am always blown away by frugality and the ability to save money in ways that the rest of us think is impossible. There are families spending $300 a week on groceries and most of it is going towards stuff we shouldn’t be eating. Let me also say that you …

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The 6 Pillars of Preparedness

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The 6 Pillars of Preparedness When it comes to prepping, you need to start from the ground and work your way up. Rare is the person who can just go to the store and buy all they need in one shot! Even if you were able to, you still aren’t anywhere near prepared. Just because …

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‘Buy Local’ Isn’t Just For Left-Wingers. Here’s Why.

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‘Buy Local’ Isn’t Just For Left-Wingers. Here's Why.

Image source: Pixabay.com

Local sourcing for food and other goods is all the buzz nowadays, for a lot of reasons. Many people know about and agree with at least some of the reasons, which include supporting our neighbors, using less water and petroleum for processing and packaging and shipping, getting more personal service, and having a level of trust in the skills and ethics of the producer.

But there is another compelling reason for buying local which we might not always think about:  When we buy local, we are paying it forward to our own future.

Consider the possibility of a catastrophic event occurring which could interrupt conventional — that is to say, non-local — food supply lines. That isn’t hard to imagine, and it could include anything from sudden severe weather to a workers’ strike to infrastructure failure to power grid collapse to an oil embargo to war. When considering all the things that could possibly interfere with the global flow of food, it almost seems like more of a question of “when” than “if.”

Short-Term and Long-Term Disasters

It could be short-term — a superstorm taking out a major highway bridge or lightening damage to power lines — or isolated to one or two products, like a fungus that kills coffee plants or a killing freeze in orange groves. Many disasters could reverberate into secondary and tertiary repercussions, such as high oil prices resulting in expensive livestock grain which in turn raises the cost of meat and other animal products.

Longer-term disturbances could occur, as well. A terrorist attack or an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) could destroy a central distribution warehouse, food processing plant, railroad hub or even an entire city.

Other disasters could result in a long-term change in food as we know it. Diseases that make raising a particular breed of hogs or dairy cattle could mean the difference between meat and cheese on the table every day or just for special occasions. The fallout from a volcano or escalating effects of climate change could make certain foods harder or impossible to raise.

Be Prepared. Get The ULTIMATE Food Protection Plan

Whatever does happen, it is likely that our society can and will do whatever it takes to regain equilibrium. It could take days, weeks or even years, but we are survivors. Over the centuries, humanity has learned from the ground up. We have created tools, harnessed horsepower, cultivated the soil, and developed technology, and we can do it all again.

Back to the Future

People in 19th-century America acquired much of what they needed locally or regionally. Along with butchers and bakers and candlestick makers, there were farriers and millers and sawyers. There were midwives and lumbermen and gunsmiths and potters and herbalists. There were manufactories for wagon wheels and oak barrels, woolen mills and commercial carding and weaving machines, grist mills and sawmills. There were makers of cheese and soap and carriages and saddles, as well as repair shops for all kinds of goods.

‘Buy Local’ Isn’t Just For Left-Wingers. Here's Why.

Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

Whole foods were produced locally, too. Unlike today, where different areas of the continent specialize in certain crops — blueberries and lobsters in the Northeast, wheat in the Great Plains, citrus in the South, and salad vegetables on the West Coast — every region was diversified. They exported less and imported less, and were able to sustain themselves on food raised close to home.

In the event of a disaster, we would likely return to more regional and local sourcing, either as an interim step on the road back to the kind of global commerce we are currently accustomed to or as an end result itself.

Here’s Why Local Matters

But what about in the interim? Buildings and machinery and skills do not pop up overnight. It takes time and money and practice to develop a specialty business.

Are Your Prepared For A Downed Grid? Get Backup Electricity Today!

Imagine that your supply of an important food staple comes from a thousand miles away, and it is suddenly cut off. You would naturally turn to local possibilities instead, but so would all your neighbors. There would be a much greater demand than supply, and that is even if the foods were available at all.

If small-scale regional raw food producers were already up and running, it would greatly enhance the chances for survival and comfort for people around them. But the only way they can be up and running already is if they are supported before disaster strikes. Consider grain production, for example. If people on the coasts lost the ability get it shipped in from Midwestern wheat fields, there would be thousands of farmers from Maine to Arizona scurrying out to plant wheat. But first they have to acquire the seed — which may be challenging if supply lines are down — and then plow, plant, tend, harvest and mill it. The overall result could be very different if some of those farmers had already been growing wheat.

If there are market gardeners and grist mills and cheesemakers and charcuteries and small dairies and people selling backyard maple syrup and eggs from free-range chickens near you, I urge you to buy from them. Even if it costs more. Without the support of customers, they cannot stay in business — meaning that in the event of emergency, instead of being all set up to supply the community’s needs, the would-be local food producers might well end up standing in line and competing for resources with everyone else.

By investing in local producers now, we are all investing in our own future. It is about far more than supporting neighbors and appreciating artisanship and treading lightly on the planet, and could even turn out to be an integral component of our own survival. If we wait until the regional skills and infrastructure are our only choice, it could be too late.

Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Testing For Edible Plants.

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I will eat berries that are known to me, other flora I will test first before eating. Personally I would not bother testing for edibility unless (a) I was in urgent need of food, or (b) there was a lot of a certain plant around & I needed to find more edible plants to add to my diet.

Testing For Edibility: 

How to Prep for Your First Elk Hunt

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How to Prep for Your First Elk Hunt Hunting elk is a trip of a lifetime for many. There’s an art to hunting; finding that prized animal takes skill, patience and a little bit of luck. With the right preparation, you too can have a successful elk hunt. Here is what you must do before …

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Backyard Survival Herbs – Meet the Powerful Plantain

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Survival Weed - Plantain

Did you know that there is an edible and almost magical “weed” which grows freely in backyards, meadows and along roadsides that has a history of use as far back as the ancient Persians?

Alexander the Great Used it for Headaches

Pedanius Dioscorides (40 BC-90BC), an Egyptian-trained physician in the Roman army counted on its varied healing properties for battle wounds.  It is documented that in ancient India, when a mongoose was bitten by a cobra, it sought this herb to neutralize the venom!

It has been used through the ages to heal everything from dog bites and scorpion stings, black spots, boils, carbuncles, swellings of the lymph gland, epilepsy, excessive bleeding during menstruation, uterine pains, headaches, coughs, fevers, flu, and sore feet and for the improvement of the eyes, gums, and bladder. And that’s just naming a few of the uses!

Shakespeare, Chaucer and Longfellow Hailed it in Their Works
Henry the 8th dabbled in medicine and considered it one of his foundational herbs.  It was a very commonly used medicinal throughout the ages.  Today we call it a weed…the title given to a plant which really indicates that we just don’t know what amazing properties it has!

So What is this Amazing Plant?


Well, it’s plantain – an herb, not the banana look-alike, and there are nearly 200 varieties of it that are found in many places around the globe.

A Brief American History of Plantain
Its history in America is that it was brought over by English and Europeans, when it was coined “White Man’s Foot” by the Indians because it seemed they scattered it wherever they went…which they did – purposefully.

The American Indians were soon using it for wounds, bruises, boils and to reduce the swelling of rheumatic pains by mixing it with clematis.  They would also heat the leaves and place them on wounds.

Plantain was also used with yarrow to stop hemorrhages of the lungs and bowels. Supposedly, the Assembly of South Carolina gave a reward to the Native American who discovered that plantain would cure the bite of a rattlesnake.

So the two most common types we’ll see around the U.S. are ribwort plantain (plantago lanceolata) and greater plantain (plantago major).

Great for Salads
You need to know that you can go right out in your yard and pick off those leaves for salad or steamed greens.  Seriously!  It’s amazing how many nutritious greens there are all around us.

Plantain is Great in Salads

Plantain is great in salads. Best of all it’s nutritious and free!

Before you pick, make sure you find a pure spot to gather them where it’s not a dusty roadside or in an area that may have been sprayed or contaminated. Then prepare to have a boost in beta carotene, calcium, vitamin C and Vitamin K (important for celiacs – I know because I am one).

Nutty Flavored Seeds
You can even harvest the seeds for a nutty flavor to whatever you’re using them in.  The older the leaves, the tougher they are, so try to pick the younger ones.  The leaves, seeds and roots can all be used to make an herbal tea.

Good Chemistry
Here’s a partial chemical breakdown of plantain: allantoin (also found in comfrey, a popular herb for wound salves), apigenin, aucubin, baicalein, linoleic acid, oleanolic acid, sorbitol and tannin – all mixing together to create one amazing anti-inflammatory, anto-microbial, anti-hemorrhagic, expectorant substance! Oh – and it belongs to the same family as psyllium – the plant that’s sold by vitamin companies to “get you going”.

Herbal Oil
You can make an herbal oil by crushing some fresh leaves and filling a jar with them, adding a vegetable oil of your choice and letting the mixture sit out in the sun for a few weeks, where it will get a deep green color. Strain out the leaves and you have an oil you can use for any number of skin conditions.

Make a Salve
Go a step further and make a salve by simply adding some beeswax to a couple ounces of the oil in a pan, melting them together and then putting it into a container to cool. Do some research and add some other complementary herbs in too – like comfrey.

Save the Day with a Plantain Poultice
Another way to use plantain is just as a fresh poultice. A poultice is typically a moist mass of plant material that is applied to the body to relieve soreness, inflammation etc.

When your loved ones come to you with stings, bites, scrapes, and rashes, you will be a rock star when you pull out the plantain.  An easy way to crush the leaves is to just chew them up in your mouth some might find this distasteful, so we’ll let this be our little secret.

Of course you can simply crush them with a rock or rub between your hands to break them down.  The pain and any toxins will be drawn out, bleeding will be stopped and the edges of the wound will start to heal.  Replace the poultice as needed.

Plantain Infusion
Finally, another way to use the leaves is in an infusion – or a tea.  Just add clean leaves to water and bring to a boil.  Let them steep for awhile and then strain and cool.

As a wash, plantain is great for soothing sunburn or other skin chafing and rashes.  As a tea, (you can add the aerial parts of the plant, too) it can really help as an expectorant and in healing inflamed throat tissues for coughs and bronchitis.

In future posts we’ll talk about some other herbal “weeds” that you have around you, and teach you a few more things that you can add to such a brew!

Until next time…



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Disclaimer: Of course we claim no responsibility for your experience with these herbs.  Everything we share is for information purposes only and is not to be taken as professional or medical advice. Do your own research!  Always consult a professional. Be wise. Consider always the chance of an allergic reaction. We are all unique in body chemistry.  We are NOT a medical professionals by any means, however we have saved our family a boatload of annoyance and money by being resourceful and using what is right at our feet – literally.  See full disclaimer here.

Wild Edibles: Queen Anne’s Lace or Wild Carrot

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Wild Edibles: Queen Anne’s Lace or Wild Carrot This weeks is a great addition to your inventory of wild edibles. Wild carrot is a great little root that can be found in fields and this article and video offers some great advice on finding it.  When you are learning about wild edibles you have to …

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Finding the Best Wild Edibles No Matter Where You Are

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Finding the Best Wild Edibles No Matter Where You Are This article is part one of a four article woodsman’s course that offers some great information and hi res pictures. I liked this article because it breaks down not only what to eat but where to find it. This is a crucial part of foraging. …

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How to Make Homemade Jam Without Pectin

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  Nothing is more of a summer tradition here at our house than making enough homemade jam from fresh fruit to see us through the winter. Get some fruit, some sugar, and a box of pectin and you’re good to go, right? Not so fast! You can actually make jam without pectin if you use my …

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The Cheap And Easy Way To Build A 30-Day Food Supply

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The Cheap And Easy Way To Build A 30-Day Food Supply

Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

One of the first steps in prepping your family for an emergency is setting up a 30-day food supply.

This may seem like an expensive task, but it can be affordable – and east — if you do it the right way.

Store What You Eat

One way to get your 30-day supply of food going is to store 30 days worth of the things you already eat. Some people will get around this via the prepackaged route with a prepackaged 30-day supply of food, but this is a mistake. Your first 30 days should be made up of the food from your everyday pantry.

This takes no special ordering or online researching — just your normal shopping trips to the local store. Fresh food, of course, is so much better for you, but we are talking about storing food. Fresh food just doesn’t keep.

One for You and One for a Friend

Another way you can build your 30-day supply is through a “one for you and one for a friend” approach. That is, for each grocery trip, buy your regular groceries and buy a couple of the same things for your emergency food supply. An extra can of tuna, an extra can or two of veggies, and some extra oatmeal only adds a couple dollars to your bill.

Just 30 Grams Of This Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

If you are consistent about it, soon you will have quite a stash of extra food. Then, look at all your extra stuff, figure out where you are short, and concentrate on adding to that area.

Don’t Forget Comfort Food

The Cheap And Easy Way To Build A 30-Day Food Supply

Image source: Flickr / Creative Commons

How many of us lived on Ramen noodles when we were first out on our own? Ramen is cheap and stores well, but it has hardly any food value. But it can be used as a base for a large pot of soup with a couple cans of veggies thrown in.

Comfort food does have value in that it will help make things a little more normal in an otherwise stressful situation. Stress can keep people from eating when they need it most, so store up chocolate, candy, chips or other things that usually wouldn’t be on such a list. Just don’t overdo it.

Don’t forget condiments and spices, along with any special foods your family likes to eat.

How Much Water?

Experts tell us we need to store one gallon of water per person per day. I know from personal experience (during an ice storm) that I didn’t use nearly that much in the short term with no power to run the well. In the long-run, though, water usage would have gone up as more cleaning would have been necessary.

Most homes have at least 40 gallons of water stored in the hot water heaters. You can also buy a bladder that fits in your bathtub to fill when you think there will be an outage.

When you want store-bought water, be sure to buy the higher-quality jugs, since the milk-jug type will start degrading and leaking in a short time.

Record Keeping and Rotation

If you are truly storing what you eat, then rotation will be a simple thing. Get a Sharpie and write the month/year on the top of each can as you put it away. Do the same for any boxed dry foods that you use on a regular basis.

When you cook your daily meals, just use the oldest date first. Then your “storage” food will always stay fresh.

A 30-day supply of food can be yours with just a little thought and planning. A small effort now can mean 30 days of food security for you and your family.

What advice would you add on storing 30 days of food? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About MREs, And Then Some

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Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) seem to make it into the stockpiles, bug out bags, and trunks of many preppers.  Yes, I have a few cases of them, too. Unfortunately, few people do the leg work to fully understand MREs and whether they are a wise decision for themselves. Below are some tips to help if you have considered buying these meals as part of your food storage and emergency plans.

Purpose of MREs

You should consider the source and purpose of MREs. Most of us are familiar with MREs as military food. Uncle Sam created them to fuel fighting soldiers in combat situations. The taste has to be decent enough to avoid revolt from the troops and to encourage them to eat the whole thing.  If the the troops aren’t eating, it is a waste of money, weight, volume, and more importantly, calories/fuel.

Equally as important as what goes into MREs, is what doesn’t get put into them. Uncle Sam does not want troops to have gas, loose stools and lots of bathroom breaks on the battle field.  You can expect a certain amount of constipation to be “built-in” to MREs.  Ingredients are not added to increase constipation, but they definitely remove any items or contents that would encourage a regular or loose stool. The objective with the MRE is to fuel the troops and for that fuel to be 100% eaten and converted into energy.


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Savings: 5 Ways to Get Fruit Trees For Cheap!

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Savings: 5 Ways to Get Fruit Trees For Cheap! Fruit trees are nearly mythical in some settings in America today. To happen across a tree that food grows on in an urban setting is absolutely amazing. We all have those stories of people who had an apple tree in their backyard. Its magic thing to those …

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Food Rationing: Only one pack of sugar per family permitted

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I was going through some of my old photos, found this one from back in Argentina when there was shortage and rationing of certain staples in stores.

1 kg of sugar per family group. 1 unit.  And it cost almost the equivalent of 2 USD back in the day. For a country in which the average person was making well under 500 USD that was insane.

It’s amazing how close we came to ending up like Venezuela, in a country that produces food to feed ten time its own population.


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

Hunting vs Buying Meat: The Traditional Hunter in the Modern World

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This article was originally published by J. Townsend  on harvestingnature.com

This whole thought process was derived from a conversation about the sustainability of hunting in modern times. Many people feel that hunting for food has outlived its use in modern America. Well, with the recent changes in our eating habits, as in searching out fast food instead of fresh food, hunting had been surpassed. There is still an emerging group which believe we should kick the fast food and revert to the traditional “Farm to Table” way of eating. I agree with much of this philosophy and wish to take it a step further. I am here to represent those who feel that a family can sustain a portion of their diet with game meat. I know many of you see this and think you would have to spend your every day hunting and fishing in order for that to work. Simply not true.

In thousands of rural areas (and some non-rural areas) there are people who either are supplementing their diets partially or fully with game meat. I have to admit that when I was younger there were many things that I though you could only shoot or catch to obtain. It wasn’t until I got to college when I realized that you could buy catfish from the store. I had believed, due to my outdoor upbringing, that if you wanted catfish, you went to the river/lake/pond to catch it.

I have also heard the argument that many people could not live a lifestyle where you sustain yourself on wild game. They say that they prefer to not see where their food originates. They cannot stand to eat food with bones in it or eyes staring at them. My only advice to these people is that they trust too much in the grocery store to get their food. Those same people have not seen the cramped dirty feed lots or the packed chutes of a slaughter-house. They could not handle the sights and many would revert to vegetarianism. Me, I prefer to get my meat from the wild.

I offer up hunting and fishing as an alternative to the dependency upon store-bought meat to those people who don’t mind processing your own animals or eating a fish that looks up at you from the grill. Simply put, hunting and fishing is a healthier and more economical way of providing the necessary proteins that you need for your diet versus going to the store and buying a package of ground what-ya-ma-call-it.  I don’t wish to deceive anyone, it is certainly a lot more challenging to track and kill and animal then it is to go to the super market. But where is the independence in that?

In the end, the total cost of hunting and fishing enough meat for a family of three will be substantially lower than the cost of buying a somewhat equal product at the store. You can sustain yourself by simply securing a selected amount of five different game animals (Deer, Elk, Turkey, Rabbit, and Wild Pig) and three different fish (Tuna, Catfish, and Trout). The animals you choose to hunt can be changed to suit your specific region. Let’s break it down.

The USDA recommends the average person (children, women, and men) consume 5 – 7 ounces of protein a day broken down into 2-3 servings. So we will use is 6 ounces of protein a day for the average person. This gives us 2184 ounces of protein consumption for the entire year. Converting this to pounds will make it easier for our calculations. The average human should consume 136.5 lbs of protein a year.

Here is an average breakdown of the yield from my selected game animals.



Live  Weight

Edible  Yield


Deer (Buck)









20lbs each




3lbs each



Wild Pig




Yellow Tail Tuna

30lbs each




2lbs each




5lbs each


Total = 435lbs of meat

435lbs of meat is enough to sustain three individuals for a period of about a year. As an alternative, if the choice to hunt an elk is not reasonable then you could exclude this from the equation. You would then have 85% of your total protein consumption for two people from game meat. The other 15% would include the consumption of other sources of protein such as eggs, nuts, and beans or the addition of another fish or game animal.  There is certainly room to play around with the figures. This model serves merely as a base line for the sake of debate.

Deer and Elk would take the place of beef in your diet. Turkey and Rabbit would replace chicken. Wild Pork will substitute store-bought pork and hand caught fish would replace that fresh/frozen purchased or canned. Average prices for the store purchased meats will be combined with the total yields of wild game and fish.




Edible  Yield

Total Game Yield


Deer (Buck)






Store Bought Beef (Average price $4.71/pound) x 255lbs = $1201.00




Edible  Yield

Total Game Yield








Store Bought Poultry (Average price $1.37/pound) x 40lbs = $54.80




Edible  Yield

Total  Game Yield


Wild Pig



Store Bought Pork (Average price $3.15/pound) x 90lbs = $283.50



Edible  Yield

Total  Game Yield


Yellow Tail Tuna









Store Bought Yellow Tail Tuna (Average price $18.00/pound) x 30lbs =  $540.00

Store Bought Trout (Average price $6.50/pound) x 5lbs =  $32.50

Store Bought Catfish (Average price $3.99/pound) x 15lbs =  $59.85

  Total: $ 632.35


Total Store Bought Meat for one year for a household of three = $2171.65

I know, you are thinking to yourself, that’s not that too bad for three people. Here is how we will figure the benefit of landing your own meat. This example works for me here in California. For others it may be cheaper or more expensive depending on where you live. There will still be a substantial difference in the totals.

The total for all the necessary licenses and tags for the state of California equals $164.53. The cost of a deep-sea fishing expedition out of San Diego is $46.00. California hosts a random drawing for the Elk tags so I chose Washington for my Elk meat because the state allows an open purchase. In Washington, a Non-Resident Elk Tag is $497.00 and a Resident Elk Tag is $50.00. So that gives us a Grand Total of $260.00 or $707.00depending on how you play your cards. That is a savings of $1688.00/year on average.

There are really only two variables present in the equation. If you do not have the necessary equipment then you would have to purchase such equipment prior to hunting or fishing. This would be an upfront cost which would diminish over time as you acquired the equipment. The second would be your success rate. This model is based upon a 100% success rate. Each year you would be hunting for your food for the following year. If you failed to meet the quota for a specific season then you could modify your plan to encompass other game animals or supplement the remainder of your diet with other sources of protein depending on the time of the year.

The health benefits are certainly present. Game meat has been proven to be leaner and more beneficial to your body than domesticated livestock. The condition from which wild game is harvested is much cleaner, environmentally safer, and healthier than its domesticated counterparts. As an added bonus, the general worry about injected hormones, toxins, steroids, and additives are eliminated. What you harvest is safe for your body. Now your food is as organic and local as it gets. Not to mention, the pursuit of game requires some level of active participation which forces you to live a more involved lifestyle as you pursue your food.

So, in the end, it is more sustainable, healthier, and more economical to hunt and fish for your meat versus purchasing them from the store. What are you waiting for? Grab you pack and get outside!

The Lost Ways is a survival book that shows you how to survive using only methods that were tested and proven by our forefathers for centuries. The best way to survive the next major crisis is to look back at how people did things 150 years ago. This book is a far-reaching book with chapters ranging from simple things like making tasty bark-bread—like people did when there was no food—to building a traditional backyard smokehouse. Watch the video below:


Source : harvestingnature.com


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Tales from the Turkey Woods

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Tales from the Turkey Woods Austin Martin “Homesteady Live“ Audio in player below! This week I spent some time chasing turkeys through the woods and fields. The last eight years I have been on a mission, to kill a turkey. The last eight years I have failed. Eight years ago I started hunting. After watching … Continue reading Tales from the Turkey Woods

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How To Grow 90 Pounds Of Tomatoes From 5 Plants

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How To Grow 90 Pounds Of Tomatoes From 5 Plants Are you short on space in your garden? Do you want to grow more tomatoes in a smaller area? Do you want more tomatoes to sell, store, can or eat? This method of growing them could see yields up to 90 lbs from just 5 plants. …

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Survival Gear Review: Back Packer’s Pantry Multigrain Buttermilk Hotcakes

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2_shtfblog-survival-cache-best-survival-backpackers-pantry-multigrain-buttermilk-hotcakes-pancakes-spatula-organic-lodge-cast-ironThis past weekend, I had a bit of cabin fever – I needed to get out of the house, tromp around in the woods, start a fire in the snow. So I bundled up my 3-year-old boy, filled a backpack with a thermos of hot chocolate, a small container of olive oil, a Lodge 12” cast iron skillet, a liter bottle of water, a spatula, a bit of Maine real maple syrup, and the coup de grace – a package of Backpacker’s Pantry Multigrain Buttermilk Hotcakes. We gathered up the dog and stomped out into the woods, leaving Mrs. Drew to enjoy a few minutes of precious peace and quiet, sipping her coffee.

By Drew, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

I’ve been starting my lil’ dude on making fires in the woods (never too early!) so I had him find a birch tree and peel some bark while I collected dry twigs and branches from the myriad white pine trees in the area; I scored and found a recently fallen small sugar maple to get some nice hardwood coals in the fire for cooking.

We set up the birch bark and dry twigs, and I showed my son how to scrape a firesteel for a small pile of ferrocerium shavings, and with one healthy blast on the Firesteel GobSpark Armageddon, we had a toasty little fire going. Once the fire was healthy and happy, I let him poke around in the coals with a long stick – an irresistible fireside hobby that comes to us while we’re young, apparently. The fire danced and snapped, my son slurped hot chocolate, my dog searched for squirrels, and I started looking into breakfast.

Pancakes in a bag?

I dug the package of Backpacker’s Pantry Multigrain Buttermilk Hotcakes out of my pack, and set to reading the instructions. Pretty simple: open the pouch, dump in ¾ cup of cold water, seal the bag up, shake until mixed. I could handle that. Probably.

3_shtfblog-survival-cache-best-survival-backpackers-pantry-multigrain-buttermilk-hotcakes-pancakes-organic-hemp-add-waterI opened the resealable bag of mix, and looked inside. First order of business was to locate the little oxygen absorber packet so it didn’t accidentally become hotcake ingredients and then remove all the oxygen from my stomach through a probably very unappealing chemical process. I dug around through the mix and located the errant hitchhiker, then poured my approximation of ¾ cup of cold water in the bag. I sealed the bag up, folded it over, and shook the shit out of the package. For good measure, I let my son shake it up, too. You can never be too careful.

Read Also: The KISS AR – 15

I opened up the bag and peered inside at its goopy contents. It looked pretty runny to me even after a couple good hearty shakings, so I used my spatula to mix things up a bit, scraping the sides of the bag to make sure I got all the mix. No improvement: I came to the conclusion that either my water-measurement eyeballing skills were far below par, or the mix was a little on the soupy side when properly made. No worries, though – I was committed at this point, and lil’ dude was giving me toddler hell about not having pancakes, so I oiled up the cast iron skillet and let it sit over the two wrist-sized hardwood logs I’d placed atop the campfire cooking coals we’d cultivated and poked at. In a few minutes, a sprinkle of water danced on the surface of the skillet, so I knew it was game time.

The Magic Of Campfire Cooking

Ahh, the beauty of a fire in the woods – pine smoke, crackling branches, clothes that retain that sweet smoky eau de campfire scent that drives the women crazy. However, when it comes to cooking pancakes on cast iron, that campfire becomes an evil beast that makes one jump to grab the spatula like a man who just sat on a rattlesnake that’s having a bad day.

4_shtfblog-survival-cache-best-survival-backpackers-pantry-multigrain-buttermilk-hotcakes-pancakes-spatula-organic-lodge-cast-ironI poured the batter from the pouch onto the oiled, heated cast iron skillet, and the batter practically baked on the spot; bubbles (a sure sign that pancakes are done) burst from below in seconds, shocking the hell out of me and ensuring that breakfast would be a bit quicker than intended. I lunged for the spatula, shook off the residual batter left from stirring, and hastily scraped the poor scorched hotcakes from the pan. A quick flip for the two pancakes I’d made, and I let the pancakes sit another fifteen seconds or so before popping them off the skillet onto a paper plate. Round one went to the skillet.

I pulled the skillet back off the volcano to let it cool, and thankfully the next round of pancakes was a little bit easier on me. I was a nice dad and gave the better-looking pair of hotcakes to my son, lest he hate campfire cooking for the rest of his life. I’m sure he’ll thank me for it later when he’s burning bacon and eggs over campfires for years to come.

I drizzled on some real maple syrup (that fake Mrs. Butterworth stuff is for commies) and gave the Multigrain Buttermilk Hotcakes a whirl.

The Verdict Is In

I know it’s hard to make something taste bad when it’s covered in the delectable nectar that is Maine maple syrup, but these Hotcakes were actually pretty damned good. They tasted very similar to whole wheat or buckwheat pancakes (if any of you have ventured into that territory), very rich and a little dense. These hotcakes were meant to provide a bunch of protein for the backpacker or camper, and they taste the part. They weren’t like scratch-made griddle cakes like grandma used to make, but considering they will give you honest long-lasting energy (plus a nice sugar boost if you put syrup, honey, or jam on them), with four 4-inch pancakes providing 15 grams of protein.

Related: Making Maple Syrup

My three-year-old son requested seconds, so I happily obliged. The hotcakes were pretty filling, and we sat in the sun next to the fire, recovering happily from the unexpected need to make fast food and sipping hot chocolate. The hotcakes were winners.

The Company

5_backpackers_pantry_logo_smBackpacker’s Pantry – just so you know – pride themselves in offering organic foods to their customers, and these hotcakes were no different. The ingredient list is comprised of all food, no preservatives or chemicals. The spelt flour, evaporated cane juice, baking powder, and cornstarch are all listed as being from organic sources. A good FYI for people with allergies: These hotcakes include milk,  eggs, wheat, and gluten – so keep an eye out. Nobody likes dealing with food allergies, especially out on the trail.

I wouldn’t throw this hotcake mix in a Bug-Out Bag or emergency bag – the hassle of needing large cookware and a spatula would be too much. However, keeping a couple packages of Backpacker’s Pantry Multigrain Buttermilk Hotcakes in a Bug-out camper, or in your house pantry in case you need a just-add-water breakfast, would be a great idea, especially if you have kids and need some calming comfort food. While I didn’t try it, the addition of berries or nuts would be a fantastic locally-sourced addition. Baking this mix in a dutch oven probably wouldn’t yield bad results either…I’ll have to try it out, now that I think about it. The Backpacker’s Pantry Multigrain Buttermilk Hotcakes are definitely a welcome addition to anyone who might want a kick-start to their day but not carry around the whole refrigerator.

Aquaponics- Growing Food with Fish

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Aquaponics- Growing Food with Fish We often get much of our aquaponics information from first hand users that enjoy the benefits of this method of growing food and fish everyday. That is a great source. There is an incredible cohesive relationship between the fish and the plants in a well run system. Imagine producing fish …

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Barter will become the new economy after the global financial collapse, so make sure you have plenty of these items

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Following the global collapse of the world’s financial system, which no one knows when will happen but many believe is inevitable given the massive debt held by the world’s biggest economies, the concept of “money” will change virtually overnight.

Like post-World War I Germany, when hyperinflation made the currency – the mark – so devalued and worthless that German waiters in restaurants had to climb on tables to announce new menu prices every 30 minutes, the world’s currencies will similarly collapse, since they are all based on the U.S. dollar.

Five years ago an MIT study noted that an earlier analysis predicting a “global economic collapse” by 2030 had not changed and was “still on track” to occur. But the key is the dollar.

And more recently Natural News founder/editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, predicted that should President Donald J. Trump fail to convert to the Church of Globalism, like the Deep State and the global elite want him to, they are more likely to crash the economy on purpose and blame him for it, in order to retain their own power and prevent him from draining the swamp.

While that reasoning is certainly sound – and most Americans probably would blame him – in many ways it won’t matter who is responsible, only that the economy as we knew it no longer exists. Which means what we typically used to obtain goods and services – money – is no longer valuable.

But our needs won’t change. We’ll still need food, water, shelter, clothing, personal hygiene items, ammunition, firearms, and other things in order to carry on with our lives as best we can. And though money might be obsolete, the things we need to live will still retain value.

How will we obtain them? Through a barter system.

Barter is a system of exchange where goods or services are exchanged for other goods and services. If you have something of value – even a skill – you can use it to trade for something you need that someone else has.

Here are some of the most popular items that you’ll need to obtain to use as currency in a post-collapse world so you can still get what you need:

— Precious metals like gold and silver

— Alcohol – believe it or not, this will be in high demand; buy small quantities though, like half-pints and single bottles

— Tobacco – even stale, someone will want a smoke

— Ammunition – all popular calibers like .22LR, 9 mm, .45 ACP, .223, .40 cal (Read : Top 5 Ammo Types for Your Survival Guns )

— Over-the-counter meds like Tylenol/ibuprofen, aspirin, allergy medications and antibiotic ointment (Read : 17 Natural Antibiotics Our Grandparents Used Instead Of Pills)

— Bandages/band aids

— Bar soap

— Individual sanitary wipes

Water (in individual bottles); having your own water supply will become invaluable – and something you’ll have to guard day and night

— Hygiene supplies, especially for women

— Gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene

— Cooking oil

— Fishing gear and tackle

— Batteries (9V, AA, AAA, C)

— Food – individually packed like military meals ready to eat (MREs)

— Nails, screws, bolts, nuts, lumber

— Paper

— Books and magazines – yes, it will get boring during the apocalypse without electronic games, Facebook and Netflix

— Plastic sheeting and trash bags – for shelters and waterproofing

— Board games and playing cards will come in handy

— Tooth brushes

— Any prepper items like fire starters

— Disposable lighters, flints and steel

— Plastic storage containers (think Tupperware ®)

— Ziplock bags

— Zip ties


These skills will also come in handy to use as barter:

Medical skills – like EMT/Paramedic, nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors

— Construction skills – builders, carpenters, masons, electricians

— Military and former military professionals and veterans

— Farmer and expert gardener

— Automobile mechanic

Homesteader – someone who knows how to make soap, candles, and other consumables that you will need and use over and over again

— Gunsmiths and ammunition reloaders

There are others but these suggestions give you an idea of what will come in very handy in a post-collapse world, when things we take for granted now because we can drive a few miles to a store and get them with ease become very scarce – yet just as necessary for our comfort and survival.

One more tip: You should learn one of the valuable skills mentioned above or perhaps even a combination of them, to give yourself more barter value.

Source : naturalnews.com


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Bowhunting: For Food and Survival

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Bowhunting: For Food and Survival There is definitely an enigmatic mystique and awe when it comes to archery. Most people know what archery is, but few truly appreciate it. The amount of skill, dedication and practice that it takes to become a good archer is definitely underrated. Many people, when they try to shoot an … Continue reading Bowhunting: For Food and Survival

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When White Rice becomes a Luxury

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The Dias family welcomed us to their home, as Jennifer ate their first rice in a week.

Are you getting complacent with your preparedness? Not putting aside as much food as you used to?

Then you need to watch this short clip, its just one minute and ten seconds people, but it says so much more than I can in this post.

Venezuela: Where supplies are few and pain is everywhere

Check this video as well. The guy at 3:02, literally showing how many new holes he has made to his belt.

Yes, Venezuela again. A country destroyed by corruption, communism and downright stupidity. How on Earth do you turn a tropical, fertile, oil rich country into a hellhole where everyone in it is starving?

Food is key. So is knowing your politics, knowing when to escape these death traps in time.


Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”