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By Kylene and Jonathan Jones
The cold, hard fact is that it is almost impossible to store enough nutrient rich foods to survive a long term event. Yes, you might be able to stockpile 30 years-worth of wheat, rice, beans, dehydrated foods, and other foundation grains if you have enough room. However, you cannot stockpile fresh fruits and vegetables which provide optimal health, nutrition and go a long way toward improved immune function and disease suppression.
You might think that your next best bet would be to count on identifying edible plants in the wild to supplement your diet. After a taste-test tour eating wild plants, we immediately went and bought more food storage. Edible? Yes. Tasty and filling, not even close. We burned more calories finding the plants than we received by eating them.
According to Marjory Wildcraft of www.thegrownetwork.com, it is just too land intensive to realistically support a family on the hunter-gatherer system. She states: “Let’s start first off with the almost magical dream of the pure hunter/gatherer. I often hear this one from those concerned about a collapse of civilization. Just how much land does it take to support you without destroying all the wildlife and plant populations? How much area do you need in order to live sustainably as a hunter/gatherer? Since there are so few actual hunter/gathers left alive on the planet, and the few places where they do still exist tend to be jungles which look nothing like anything in North America, we will turn to anthropological data. The quick and easy answer is that traditional peoples used on average, about 10 square miles per person. Ten square miles is 6,400 acres – that is for one person.”
So what’s the answer? It just might include creating your very own self-sustaining food supply. Call it survival landscaping, permaculture, sustainable agriculture or whatever you like. The goal is to work with nature to create a truly sustainable system. A garden paradise that requires little or no human intervention once established. Due to the “natural looking” nature of this type of landscape most individuals would never suspect the amount of life-saving food growing in the tangle. Thus protecting your food supplies in plain sight.
The objective is to create an environment which requires very little human intervention once it is established.
The ideal permaculture design produces food year after year without weeding, pruning, tilling, fertilizing or using pesticides and herbicides. The system is perfectly balanced for the local climate. It is possible to accomplish permaculture landscape on a half-acre city lot as well as in a more spacious country environment. Permaculture takes many years to establish and become resilient to changing conditions.
Selection of plants is critical to take best advantage of local climate conditions, ensure natural balance and to extend the harvest throughout the entire growing season. There are a growing number of great reference books to guide you through the process. Many of the authors recommend a more “natural or wild looking” landscape which is perfect for a remote bug out location, but may not be welcomed in a gated community.
Delightful results can also be achieved by applying permaculture principles on a small urban lot that has a more trimmed and controlled appearance. Food does not have to be grown in an orchard or in neat weed-free rows. Even annual vegetables can be creatively interspersed with landscape to create a unique functional beauty. Limited space requires creative solutions. Consider vertical growing possibilities such as arbors, trellises and arches. Permaculture designs allow grapes or other vines to grow right up tree trunks. Container plants can extend your growing area to decks and patios. Use your imagination to produce a stunning, productive yard.
Strategically plant fruit and nut trees. Apple trees come in miniature dwarf, semi-dwarf and standard sizes. There is the perfect size to fit your landscape. Depending on the type and size of the tree, an apple tree can produce hundreds of pounds of apples each year to be stored, dried, or bottled as needed. A walnut tree is a wonderful large shade tree producing up to 150 pounds of nuts annually, providing needed fats, protein and calories. Fruit and nut trees are a long term investment and would supplement your diet and extend your food stores during a prolonged disaster scenario as well as enriching your diet today.
Consider what resources you currently have growing in your yard. Would it be possible to plant grape vines or berry bushes in with your current landscape? Remove a non-productive shrub and replace it with a life-saving nutritional plant? How about including some medicinal or culinary herbs? Those dried beans are going to taste a whole lot better with a few spices. If your current lifestyle does not allow time to harvest your bounty, don’t worry about it. Healthy soil is critical for a successful survival garden. Compost whatever you don’t use along with grass clippings and leaves to build your soil for a time when you might be dependent upon what you can produce on your own land for survival.
As you prepare for the challenges in our future, consider investing in living food sources in addition to your long term dry food stores. The security a full pantry and productive garden provide are worth the time and resources required to achieve them.
-Photo found at Google Images
Watch this story about Peter Larson (a good friend to TACDA board members) on National Geographic’s TV show “Doomday Preppers”.
Peter Larson is a recognized expert in the field of Prepping. His unique brand of planning, training and preparing helps Peter stand out as a voice of reason amongst conspiracy theorists, renegades, anarchists and all around crazies.
By Jim Rawles
We’re sharing an article from our Journal of Civil Defense a few years back – originally found on Survivalblog.com
A couple of years ago I was watching a commercial on television that showed two young men as they stood in a check-out line at a grocery store with a 6 pack of beer, a bag of chips and a package of toilet paper…when the young men found that they had only enough money for two of the three items, they chose the 6 pack of beer and the chips. When asked by checker “Paper or plastic?” the decision was unanimous, “Paper!”
This stark reality of such a simple decision led me on a journey that would involve many years and begin my search for the answer to the question of how much is enough toilet paper and where do I store it. I never really understood just how important TP was and the impact that it could have on our daily lives until that commercial was played out. Oh sure, like many deer hunters and fishermen or any outdoor type, we all have had our moment where our lack of preparedness has caused us great concern and given us an opportunity to experience the humility of mother nature without TP and all that it encompasses.
The necessity of toilet paper and the amount of storage room necessary for a one to two years supply and the quest to keep it dry, even in our homes, is sometimes a task that has caused me great concern and some sleepless nights to say the least. With a family of seven (who will most probably come home in an emergency) and no way to transport two years of their own TP supply plus their family and their gear, I had to find a way to simplify this dilemma. The one thing that I have learned in the past 28 years is that the simplest ideas most always end up being the best…with that being said, I find myself writing about one of the simplest ideas that my wife has produced for our family, and has ended my search for the perfect ending to the mystery.
Just a short piece of history, first: About five years ago, we were on a two-week camp out when a sudden and unforeseen four days of rain descended upon our group of 18 families, who were camped in a narrow canyon with restroom facilities about ½ mile from our camp. Even though we have our own toilet facilities, we decided to use the restroom facilities provided even though we knew we would have to plan our walks for the sake of nature very carefully. We found that in this situation of being away from these very useful luxuries (our portable outhouses), the trek of ½ mile in wet and cold conditions early in the morning or late at night, with a roll of TP tucked under our jackets was sometimes a daring adventure. I lost count of the times a roll of TP was dropped onto the wet ground or in a puddle of water making it completely useless, and of the nature walks that ended half way to the desired destination. And of the rolls of TP that were found early in the morning, standing silently alone atop the picnic table, dripping wet, after someone forgot that TP and rain don’t mix.
The use of toilet paper in very damp conditions led many of our group to wonder out loud about ways to solve this problem. The storage of large amounts of TP seemed to be a major concern for the whole group. Keeping it dry usually came up as well – the room necessary to store such was vast, to say the least, when you consider a one or two year supply of this basic luxury. I know that many folks on other blogs and survival sites are stacking phone books to use, or they are storing boxes and boxes of TP and to be quite honest, a phone book or a catalog is not quite the best choice of clean wipe tissue if you have ever tried it, and as my wife discovered, the cost of baby wipes was out of the question and our tries at making our own baby wipes (with environmentally safe soap) were discouraging simply because we knew that eventually we would run out of paper towels. We needed a solution to a problem that everyone will face someday – paper, plastic, a leaf, or well … let’s just say any port in the storm, whatever it came to, we still had a choice: find a solution or suffer someday.
They say that every problem is nothing more than a solution in waiting. Being born in the 1950s, I remembered what many of you may not – it was called the diaper pal and was as common as toothpaste for families with babies. A closed plastic container would hold about 10-15 dirty diapers and, if kept clean (which my mother and other moms demanded), would wait patiently until Saturday morning when the pal was drained into the toilet and the cotton diapers were placed in the washing machine, to be cleaned with bleach and Tide and hung on the clothes line to be sun dried and returned to the diaper basket where, once again, the cycle would continue.
The solution to my problem was as simple as looking to the past for an answer to the future. Why not use cotton diaper material, cut into 4 x 9 inch sections, and then sown around the edges of the material with a zig-zag stitch to prevent the edges from unraveling? My wife and some of her friends chose a Saturday afternoon, had the men load their sewing machines into the truck and carted them over to a local church where an assembly line soon formed; men setting up sewing machines, women cutting material, and other women sewing the edges, after which we men would then package them in bundles of 50 – a finished product that every man and women took special care not to lose. We all enjoyed the Saturday, we have a product that we are comfortable with now, and we have no fear of it being destroyed by rain or muddy puddles, left outside in the morning dew, or blown off of a table top. We can store 5,000 reusable sheets in a medium cardboard box.
My cost in time and material was around 20 cents per sheet if we figured $10 per man-hour to complete the task. Then again this was five years ago, but the benefits have outweighed our investment ten to one! The material was purchased at a local box store but as many of our women discovered, their mothers had a lot of diaper material stored in boxes in their basements and were grateful to have it put to good use. We have found that it took a few times to get use to not depositing the wipes into the toilet facility, but with practice and a few reminders the system works.
The results of our efforts became a very useful item that we now carry in all of our backpacks or bug out packs, stored in freezer bags (but we don’t care if they get wet, as they are still usable) and stacked neatly in our portable toilet’s cabinets in plastic containers right next to our regular TP that we still use while we can.
I have been able to find diaper pails at yard sales and in some stores, and I have found some that would have really made my mom sit up and take notice; they have two-way entries and are very insect proof. We have found that this cotton TP also serves as a wound dressing when two are sown together with a famine napkin in between, as a washcloth, a sweat rag, as a feminine pad (also when sown together with a sponge material in between) in an emergency situation, and other ways that we are finding each and every trip into the wilderness and around our home. As a student of outdoor survival and family preparedness for 28 years, I have found that each and every bit of information received, is another thread of the tapestry that will assist us in the days of uncertainty that lie ahead, and that will greatly add to our chances of survival in the world in which we will soon find ourselves.
Note from TACDA: Microfiber material may be an option to cotton. It dries quickly, and is very absorbent.
1 1/4 cups fresh ground whole wheat flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Spray skillet with nonstick spray. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with a mixer set on medium speed. Mix until smooth, but don’t over mix. Pour the batter by 1/4 – 1/3 cup portions into the hot pan and cook for 1 to 3 minutes per side or until brown. Repeat with remaining batter.
Seven Ways to Use Wheat Without a Grinder
1. Thermos Wheat
Bring 1 c. of wheat kernels, 2 c. water, and 1 t. salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Pour into a heated stainless steel or glass-lined thermos bottle. Secure cap. Place bottle on side. In the morning, pour off any water, add butter and honey, and serve hot.
2. Wheat Berries
Add some of your plain dry wheat kernels to a pot of water. Bring it to a boil and cook for a few minutes. Let simmer for about 45 minutes. Drain the wheat berries and stick them in a Tupperware in the fridge. These are delicious to add to yogurt or to use to replace some meat in recipes. You can also use it in place of brown rice.
3. Popped Wheat
Take 1 cup of your cooked wheat berries (see above) and add to a frying pan or pot with two tablespoons of oil. Cover with a lid and cook over a hot stove shaking the pan while it cooks. After about 4-5 minutes the kernels will be nice and toasted. Put the popped wheat on a paper towel to get the extra oil off, and sprinkle with your choice of seasonings. These are delicious on salads as a topping, mixed with trail mix, or as toppings for a desserts or just as a healthy snack.
4. Wheat Grass
Most people have heard how healthy wheat grass is for you, but most people DON’T know that you can make your own wheat grass at home for free with just a little bit of your food storage wheat. You can snip bits off and add them to some delicious fruit smoothies, or if you have a juicer you can use them in other healthy juice drinks.
5. Cracked Wheat
You can crack wheat in a blender or a coffee grinder. To do it in a blender you simply put in about 1/4-1/3 cups of wheat and pulse it until it looks like little cracked kernels. These kernels will cook much faster than regular wheat, and cook up in the same way that you cook rice on the stove. You can use cracked wheat to make hot cereal, add it into bread, or cook it up and use as a meat filler.
6. Wheat Sprouts
Making wheat sprouts is a different method than making wheat grass. You can sprout wheat just like any other vegetable seeds, legumes, or other grains. Most people like wheat sprouts to be very small, just barely sprouted. These are delicious to throw on salads or to add into your whole wheat bread for a little extra texture and flavor.
7. Blender Wheat Flour
If you are cooking a recipe for something like pancakes or waffles, you can EASILY use your whole wheat kernels, mix the whole recipe in your blender, and pour it straight from there onto a griddle or waffle-maker. Just make sure to add the liquid for your recipe into the blender, then add in your wheat kernels and blend for about 5 minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients.
By Jodi and Julie
Bloggers at http://FoodStorageMadeEasy.NET