Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

The aftermath of Monday’s devastating hurricane is another reminder about why being prepared is so important. It has nothing to do with fanatics worried about zombies. It has everything to do with being ready to care for your family if the unthinkable happens.

A friend of mine in New York commented that last year they had an earthquake a week before Hurricane Irene. This year they had an earthquake before being hit by Hurricane Sandy. She said these things used to rarely hit New York, and now they are becoming normal. Continue reading

Saving Seeds Part 2: Saving Dry Seeds

We already discussed the wet method of harvesting seeds from certain vegetables. Now we’ll talk about harvesting dry seeds.

Pods

Plants that produce a pod, such as beans and peas, make seed saving easy. These plants flower and then produce a pod that is often edible and the reason we grow these plants to begin with.

If you simply wait for some of the pods to dry instead of picking and eating them, you can then break them open to remove the seeds. Continue reading

Root Cellar Food Storage

Vegetables such as squash, cabbage, and various root crops can be stored to enjoy all winter, long after your garden is asleep. The key to long-term storage is the right temperature and humidity levels.

Years ago, most people had root cellars to store the produce that they worked so hard to grow during the summer and fall months. Today, root cellars are not a part of most homes, but you can still create similar conditions to store your garden bounty. Continue reading

Saving Seeds Part 1: Tomatoes (The Wet Method)

We have discussed the importance of heirloom, non-hybrid seeds, but in order to ensure you always have seeds to grow your own food, you need to understand how to correctly save seeds from the food you grow.

Seed saving techniques are a bit different for different types of plants. Today we’ll discuss tomatoes because most gardeners love to grow tomatoes and saving the seeds is relatively simple. Tomatoes are open-pollinated, so you don’t have to worry about them mixing with other plants and giving you something you weren’t planning to grow.

Tomato seeds are saved using the “wet method.” This method can also be used to save seeds from melons, cucumbers and some squash. Continue reading

8 Items for Bartering

In a widespread disaster or SHTF scenario, bartering could be a very useful tool. Are you prepared with items that would be useful for bartering? What are the best things to barter?

Skills

One item that you will never run out of is your skills. And you don’t have to worry about how you’ll store it, either. Whatever skill you have, you can be sure someone will appreciate it and be willing to trade something for it. This is something you can use now if you have a tight budget. It’s a great way to improve your skills through practice and get used to the idea of bartering. Continue reading

Who Are You Prepping For?

Okay, that may seem like a silly question. Naturally, you’re prepping to provide for your family. But how do you define family? And who do you close the door on if someone needs help?

For most people, prepping to take care of those that live under the same roof is a no-brainer. That’s probably why you started prepping to begin with – so you have peace of mind, knowing you can take care of your children if there is a disaster of some sort. Continue reading

How do You Feed Your Pets using Your Food Storage Supply?

How do you feed your pets using your food storage supply? That is the question Diana asked on the post How to Prepare Your Pets, and it is an excellent question!

Before I sat down to write the answer, I wanted to see what others had to say about it. Everything I found said pretty close to what I already mentioned in that post – have several days worth of food saved for an emergency, as well as water. This isn’t all that helpful, so let’s look at this question a little more in-depth. Continue reading

5 Reasons You Should Buy Heirloom Seeds

When you buy seeds for your home garden, make sure you are getting non-hybrid heirloom seeds. They are essential to your long-term food production goals. Here are 5 reasons why heirloom seeds are the best seeds for your garden.

Flavor

Most hybrid varieties have been developed for convenience. They provide fruits and vegetables that are durable and easy to ship without spoiling too fast. They are bred to be uniform and boring. If you’ve ever had a cardboard-tasting tomato from the grocery store, you know exactly what I am talking about. Continue reading

Food Preservation – Dehydration Basics

dehydrated pantryEven though you have a good start on your food storage with freeze-dried foods, you may also have an abundance of home grown foods that will spoil long before you can eat it all. Don’t let good food go to waste! You can dehydrate your overabundance and enjoy it for many months.

What Is Dehydration

Dehydration is essentially the removal of moisture from food to prevent spoilage. You can achieve this by using a dehydrator but it can also be done in your oven or with a dehydrator you build yourself.  Continue reading