Thursday, July 22, 2010

Survival Seeds

What prepared household would be complete without seeds.  I have a friend who buys her seeds a year in advance so that she always has seeds for this year and for the year to come.  I have online friends who save seeds from plants last year.  I believe it would be a good practice to save seeds.  You never know what might happen to cause you to not be able to obtain seeds and seeds are the basis of human life after all. 

Kendra with New Life on a Homestead is hosting a survival seed giveaway.  Contests are always fun, so go on over and learn about survival seeds and join the contest.  Have fun.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Please welcome my guest blogger, Anne Marie of Survival Homesteading

While I have been so busy in the garden this summer, and busy putting things up in the kitchen, I wanted to still keep my Prepared Household prepared.  So, please give a Prepared Household welcome to Anne Marie of Survival Homesteading.  Anne Marie is very knowledgeable in survival skills and homesteading, so I will turn it over to Anne Marie.

Thanks MJ.  Today's timely topic is food storage.  I know in the past that MJ of Prepared Household has blogged about how important it is to have a fully stocked pantry.  Who can afford a fully stocked pantry?  Where in the world do you store all that stuff?  Let me show you a couple of photos of my fully stocked pantry.
First of all, I stock my freezer sparingly, because I know that when the storms hit and my power goes out, it might not be in the winter when my food can stay frozen.  But if my local grocery has a clearance on orange juice that is about to go bad, buy it up and throw it in the freezer.  You can get 1/2 gallons of milk or juice for as low as .25 cents this way.  At Easter and Christmas, you will find hams and turkeys on sale cheap.  What doesn't get put in jars, gets put in the freezer.  The bag with the white things in it is onions.  Don't ever let an onion go bad.  Chop it up and put it in the freezer for later use.  Freezers can be a great way to store food if you don't rely on it only.
As you can see by this freezer, we buy meats when they go on sale or clearance.  Great way to get good prices on meat.  Also, the corn was grown on the homestead this year and we have one other freezer full of it.  Under the corn are bags of strawberries we purchased cheaply and froze to eat or make jams with this coming winter.  When the house is cold, that is the perfect time to make jams.  You warm the house up with your efforts, instead of overloading your air conditioner this summer.
Before prices got so high at the grocery store, we stocked up on can foods.  I purchased these when they were .39 cents a can.  According to "Kendra and New Life on a Homestead", these are now .59 cents a can.  Always stock up on the cheaper canned veggies like corn, peas and green beans.  Not only can they feed you, but they are full of water and can supply some of your water needs.

The bottles of All detergent that you see, were purchased for .99 cents a bottle.  A local store had them $2.99 each and there were coupons for $2.00 off a bottle.  I would love to have had tons more of those.  A great deal.  The lamp oil shown, I purchased for our oil lamps, two bottles at a time.  At a local hardware store, they were priced $12.00, at Walmart, $3.97 and by the end of the season, they had clearanced them to $2.00 a bottle.  The sleeping bag is a zero degree weather bag, that will keep you warm.  These were about 1/3rd the price they normally are and were clearanced even cheaper ($19). 

Just stocking up when things are on sale will help build your supply.  The large #10 cans are from the LDS Home Cannery Center.  You can check with members of the LDS or Mormon church about where a cannery is near you.  They will allow you to go in and purchase and can food for yourself.  You don't have to be a member of the LDS church.  They sell basics such as flour, sugar, wheat, oats, macaroni, spaghetti, beans and other things, in bulk, most of the time cheaper than you buy in the store.

Here are my bulk items in plastic buckets.  They are sealed to keep rodents out.
I also store home canned goods that I grew in my garden, in my storage room. 

So, now that you have taken a tour of my pantry, let me assure you that we do eat.  So, this food is on a rotational basis.  You buy your food a little at a time, here and there.  When ketchup is on sale buy 10 bottles.  When eggs are on sale, buy 10 dozen.  When peanut butter is on get the idea.  If it is only to pick up one extra item each grocery trip and designate it as "food storage", just begin.  You have heard the old saying, "How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time."

Where to store it?  Convert a bedroom, store it under your bed, stash it in corners under tables, in closets, just do what you do.  Get creative.  You can do it and it is important, so get prepared.  Thanks for having me at the Prepared Household.  Come over to see my blog sometime:  and be sure to check out my Facebook page: 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sand Plum Jelly

Nine jars of plum jelly to go on the shelves. All we had to do was pick them up off the ground. Too bad we didn't get to them sooner, could have had a lot more. This was from about twenty small plums about the size of a quarter. And it is yummy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Garden Update-2

The potato patch is doing nicely.  Old wives tale says that if the tops are doing well, then the roots are not.  This photo is from a couple of weeks ago and the tops are beginning to lay over and die.  An indication that the potatoes are ready.  We dug a bit in row number four and were finding only about one large potato and one small potato per plant.  Row number three had a few extra, but if we get a potato per plant, I suppose that will be a lot of potatoes from our four rows.  There are around six rows showing in the above photo, two of which belong to my brother.

The potatoes we dug were very large, some were bigger than my fist and some were small.  We plan on making a cellar type storage bin by digging a hole and placing a garbage can in it and layering the potatoes with hay.  I hope it works well.  The small ones, we will probably just can. 
Hope you enjoy the photos.  I will update more later.  I can't wait to share the salsa/tomato photos with you.  I am afraid we are eating the salsa as soon as it comes out of the canners.  Tell you more later.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Garden Update-Beans

We have been working really hard trying to get a good harvest and I am fairly pleased.  It has been a lot of hard work, but it is paying off.  Here are some photos.

This is a view of the Indian Corn, onions, beans, tomatoes and cabbage.  We grew eleven varieties of beans:  White Half Runner, Pink Half Runner, Christmas Lima, Gold Rush Yellow Wax, Yard Long, Missouri Wonder, Scarlet Runners, one I can't remember the name, Greasy Beans, Tenderettes, and Roma II, two varieties of corn, a couple different tomatoes.  My favorite bean is still the white Half-Runner, but we wanted to experiment and several people had shared their beans with me. 

The first planting is finished, with the exception of the Limas, the Missouri Wonders and the bean I don't recall the name of.   We planted a second crop about a week ago and with the rains, they are already well on their way.  The second planting is another round of White Half Runners, Greasy Beans, Tenderettes and Roma II.

I decided with all the work of white half runners, I will grow me some to eat and can, but not a lot, because my family doesn't like beans too well.  We will plant a string less, bush variety to cut down on the work.  It was an all day job to pick, string, break and then can the beans. 

Also, we liked Gold Rush Yellow Wax beans.  They had a taste that was as good as the White Half Runner, and we got a bushel out of a five foot row.  They are string less and pretty in the jars.  Here is a photo of some of green beans in the jars with a jar of the Gold Rush in front.  Aren't they pretty?
These were the oddest bean in the garden.  I was given a small bag of seeds and it was very prolific.  I got a bushel and a half of these beans, but because I knew nothing about them, they had mostly dried up before I realized it.  (I was waiting for them to get  a yard long.  LOL)  They seemed to be a bush bean with some runners.  The beans grew on top of the plant like spiders.  The pods were long and dark.  Someone told me these were yard longs, but photos of yard longs online were actually about a yard long.  These only got to be about 8 inches long.  The blossoms came out one day and were a beautiful blue and wilted after that.  The plant smelled very sweet and it was constantly buzzing with flies, bugs and moths.  I don't know what they are, and they didn't really appeal to me either.  I may not know what I missed.  This was the most unusual bean in my garden.

The most beautiful blooms in the garden was on the Scarlet Runner Bean.  It's beautiful red blossoms attracted a lot of attention.  I probably should say too much attention, as I didn't get to eat the first bean.  I don't know if someone picked them, they didn't make (although I found five hidden, hanging at the bottom) or animals got them.  Any way it went-I didn't get to try them.  Probably just as well, the beans that did make had fuzzy pods and didn't appeal to me either.

We are really enjoying the fruits of our labors and I will update about the other good things from the garden tomorrow.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Importance of Discretion in Preparedness

I watched a couple of Youtube videos last night.  It was a three part series from "The Twilight Zone".  The Twilight Zone was filmed back in 1959 while our country was first developing nuclear bombs.  It was an age of innocence really.  Rod Sterling, the show's creator stretched the bounds of the human mind at that time.  But the show, "The Shelter", is probably pretty true to what would happen and what has happened in true emergencies.

The show opens with several couples celebrating Doc's birthday at his home.  They toast Doc and tell him how much they hold him in regard.  They tease him about the noise he made while creating his "shelter".  These couples have been friends for years.  Suddenly, the party is interrupted by an announcement telling people to go home and prepare, unidentified objects are heading toward the USA and they think it is bombs. 

The remaining 20 minutes or so of the show, show the uglier, deeper side of human beings with faced with the possibility of death.  Where friends will turn on you.  Watch these three clips at Youtube.

Discretion in your preparedness efforts could be vital to your survival.  In an emergency, others could take what you have so carefully prepared.  So, my prepared household, go about your daily lives and prepare for the worst, but don't share specifics with even close friends, unless you are preparing for them as well.