With harvest wrapping up, it is time to start preserving your fruits and veggies. When you are going through the preservation process, make sure you save the seeds. Hopefully, you used heirloom seeds to plant and are now going to be reaping the joys of your hard work in buying the right seeds. All the stuff you would normally toss to the livestock during your preservation process needs to be gone through so you can pick out the seeds. Those seeds need to be dried and stored to use next year and the following years.
Storing heirloom seeds the right way is important in order to ensure they are going to be viable for years to come. If you bought heirloom seeds or a survival seed package, they need to be stored properly. Don’t waste your time and money buying seeds and then not taking the time to stash them away so they are going to be useful.
If you are going to dry your own, make sure you dry them thoroughly. Leave them in a sunny window for a couple of weeks, turning them every few days so they can dry evenly. Spreading them on a cookie sheet is one way to keep them in place while they dry.
Once the seeds are completely dry, you will want to put them either in a Mason jar or plastic bags. Add a silica gel packet to the container to absorb any leftover moisture. Store the seeds in the back of the pantry. If you can store them in the refrigerator or freezer that will work too. If you are going to store them in the fridge, put the container inside a paper bag to block the light from the refrigerator.
You can keep seeds for several years or more and they will remain viable. You may lose some viability, but storing a lot of seed ensures you will still have crops and those crops will produce more seeds.
This is the time of year to take advantage of bountiful harvests of apples, onions and possibly the last crop of corn depending on where you live. This is an excellent way to add to your food storage without spending a great deal of money. Canning, freezing and drying are all great ways to make the food you harvest or buy from a local grower, last for years.
If you haven’t learned how, it is time to start learning about food preservation. Invest in a dehydrator and pressure canner if you don’t already have one. Can those apples! You can make apple pie filling or applesauce fairly quickly and it is very easy. Dehydrate the apples for a nice snack to toss in the bug out bags. Onions and potatoes are excellent for drying, but not for canning. It is important you learn how to safely can before you ever try it. Home canning the wrong way can result in food laced with botulism, which is typically fatal.
Fall is also the time of year to start pulling up the root crops before the ground freezes. Root crops and things like apples can be stored in a root cellar for months before they spoil. You don’t have to do any kind of preserving at all. Carrots, potatoes and apples can make any meal great and will retain their freshness for several months after harvest. The trick is to keep them in a cool, earthy place like a root cellar. You will also want to leave the dirt on. Wash as you go.
Preserving your own food is rewarding and will save you a lot of money. You will have the satisfaction of knowing where the food came from and what kind of quality of food was used in the preservation process. It takes very little to get started in home preservation and the initial investment will pay itself off very quickly as you can up veggies and add soups and jams to your food storage.
If you are a hunter, this is also the time of year when you will be bringing in meat. Knowing how to can and dry that meat can save you a small fortune in processing fees while putting food into your emergency storage. Prepping for disaster doesn’t necessarily mean you go out and spend a small fortune on food and supplies. Learning skills like hunting, gardening and food preservation will be more important and something you want to learn today.
So, you have a stockpile of food and water that will sustain your family for a year. That’s great, but what happens when you want to eat something fresh. Raw veggies are something we take for granted in this day and age. When you are forced to live weeks or months on canned foods or freeze-dried foods, you will appreciate something as simple as a tossed green salad.
Learning what plants are edible and safe to eat will give you the option of munching on crunchy greens now and again. You don’t have to have a garden to get the greens you will be craving. Foraging is one way you can assure yourself you can survive, even if your food supply goes low or runs out. Often times, preppers get this idea in their head they will hunt for food to feed their families. That is a shaky plan. Hunting takes time and energy and there are no guarantees you will get something to eat.
Foraging may not fill your belly and roasting leaves doesn’t exactly give you that warm fuzzy feeling a roasted rabbit will, but it will keep you alive and it will give your body the nutrition it needs to keep going. Hunt for animals, but make sure you are munching on plants as often as possible.
Some edible plants that are found in the wild are often found in your own backyard. You probably don’t look at them like a tasty dinner. No, you look at them as intruders. Weeds that need to be eradicated. Before you grab the weed killer, check out what weeds you could actually be putting on your table.
These are just a few of the most common weeds found in nature. There are hundreds more, but these are some of the most familiar and recognizable. Do what you can to learn as much as you can about edible plants.
With the prepping movement picking up speed every time there is a new disaster or illness like we saw with ebola, people are reminded why prepping is so important. We just never know when the next catastrophe will strike. It will likely come without warning and we don’t want to get caught unprepared. The following reasons are why people prep. Maybe you have a different reason altogether, but these are some of the most common and plausible scenarios.
Earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes can be devastating. They strike with little warning in most cases. With winter upon us, severe winter storms are a real possibility. We are already getting a little taste of what winter has in store for us and if we are not ready to ride out heavy storms, our families will suffer.
The entire world is standing on shaky legs as far as the economy goes. We are a breath away from sinking into financial ruin. Citizens are aware of the tenuous situation and are doing what is necessary to stock up on essentials that will help them ride out a global financial collapse of the economy.
Terrorist Attack-Foreign or Domestic
History tells us we are vulnerable for an attack whether it comes from outside or inside. These attacks may not strike near you, but they do cripple the nation as people come to terms with their fear of another attack happening. An attack may leave an area in dire straits until aid can come in. During that time, people will be forced to live on what they have stored in their homes.
Power Grid Failure
Our power grid is vulnerable. A natural disaster, act of war be it a bomb or physical attack on our transformers or a computer virus could thrust the country into the dark. Without power, there would be major upheaval in our world. We would struggle to function and commerce would grind to a halt.
People are getting antsy about the economy and other acts by law enforcement and the government. We have seen rioting pop up for various reasons. In most cases, the rioting is contained to a small area. What if people across the country decided to voice their irritation with the government by staging massive riots across the country? The country would be paralyzed while the law attempted to set things right.
These are just some scenarios that we have already seen at some point. Being prepared to live through them again just makes sense. We never know what may happen tomorrow, but we can do something to prepare for it today.
Water is likely going to be your biggest challenge when it comes to creating a healthy emergency survival supply kit. Water is big and bulky and is just kind of obnoxious to store. But, it is absolutely crucial to your survival. You need to store at least 1 gallon of water for each member of the family per day. If you are building up a 30-day supply, things can get out of hand pretty quick. There are a few options that we will discuss here.
These are huge space savers! You can store a little or a lot with these individual containers that are constructed to stack together neatly. Each container holds just over 3 gallons of water. There are several different options to use when it comes to building up your supply. Start out with a few containers and buy a few each month to create a wall of water or spring for the large waterbrick container kit that holds 112 gallons of water. The best part about these containers is they have handles. Once a container is empty, you can carry it to a lake, river, stream or wherever to fill it up again. Carrying 3 gallons of water is manageable so you won’t have any trouble getting the water back to your retreat.
These look a lot like gas cans, but they are foodsafe, meaning you can carry water in them. Sometimes it simply isn’t feasible for you to store a month’s worth of water in your home. If you live near water, you can use it to supply your family with their necessary water. However, carrying it home can be a huge problem. Using pots or empty water bottles is inefficient. The jerry cans are perfect and since they have lids, you won’t have to worry about the water splashing out.
All water you collect or manage to draw from your tap after a disaster of any kind is considered dangerous. ALL water. You must filter and/or purify it before drinking. Deadly bacteria and viruses are hiding in most water sources. If you have collected water, you need to purify it by boiling it or using a chemical treatment (water purification tablets) or run it through a filter. Don’t risk your life by drinking tainted water.
Water is tough to store in the house, but using the proper containers can make it easy and keep you from having to walk miles to the nearest water source on a regular basis. Investing in water containers is one you won’t regret.
You are looking at your pantry or if you are lucky, your basement, and thinking, how much food do I really need to store? Only you can answer that question, but there are some guidelines for you to follow to help you plan a food storage to last as long or as little as you want. The absolute bare minimum for a healthy emergency food storage is enough food to last your entire family 30 days. Many preppers will shoot for three months up to a year.
The number of people in your family and the amount of calories each person needs to maintain a healthy body will definitely affect the amount of food you need to store. Obviously children need fewer calories than adults. However, an easy way to calculate the amount of food is by caloric content. Assume each person in your family needs 2,000 calories a day to maintain their muscle function and overall healthy body. A family with four members would need 8,000 calories a day. Check the labels on some of your canned foods and freeze dried foods. Identify the calories per serving of a particular food. For example, a freeze-dried stew mixture contains 500 calories per serving. If that was the only food your family ate on a given day, you would need 16 servings. How many servings are in the can? Typically, you will find the smaller cans of freeze-dried foods contain 16 servings. That means you would need 30 cans of a particular food to last your family of four one month.
Another formula you can use involves evaluating your family’s eating habits during a typical week. If you do the grocery shopping, you probably have a pretty good idea how much food and the kind of food your family eats. How many cans of soup do you typically open for your family’s lunch? Is it two or three? Multiply the number of cans of soup used for an average meal by the number of days you want to have on hand. That may be 30, 180 or 365 days. 2 cans of soup x 30 days would be 60 cans of soup for 30 days of lunches.
When you think about your food storage plans, it is important to keep in mind that a survival situation is not the time to be cutting calories and eating enough to simply stay alive. You will be expending a lot more energy, which translates to using a lot more calories than you normally would. In order to survive, your body needs to be in the best condition possible. You will likely have to walk everywhere you need to go, hunt for additional food, carry water and chop wood. These are major energy users. Don’t skimp on food storage and assume you can lose that extra 20 pounds you have been trying to get rid of for years.
For those of you looking to make your own greenhouse we just found this great tutorial. It’s a full 18 minute video on ideas for making a greenhouse. This is a great way to prepare your family for emergency by growing your own food. The ability to survive the extremes of life through growing your own food is very important to the modern-day prepper.
Typically, being in an emergency survival situation necessitates that things get a little low tech. After all, if you lose power you can’t get on the computer and if you lose your job, you probably won’t be spending money on cable. The events we prepare for are times when we expect to cut back on certain high tech luxuries.
But since you are smart enough to plan ahead, you should consider a few items that will make your life easier in an emergency situation. They may seem like splurges now, but when the time comes, you’ll be glad you purchased them.
Considering the season, you might also get a few of these gadgets as gifts for friends or relatives who need help with their preps, or who don’t see the value in prepping just yet. Maybe they’ll look at you funny, but when that gift helps them in a dire situation, you can bet they’ll be asking you to tell them more about being prepared. And that’s a good thing! Continue reading →