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Showing posts from July, 2014

How I Preserve Food: Vegetable Soup

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One of the greatest things about preserving your food is making your own food to eat later on! You can control the ingredients, use up what you have on hand, and make delicious food such as this Vegetable Soup. I also like that I can make this recipe in pint jars for work lunches and quart jars for a quick supper.

Vegetable Soup
based from a recipe in Ball Blue Book of Preserving

2 quarts chopped, peeled cored tomatoes (about 12 large)
1.5 quarts cubed and peeled potatoes (about 6 medium)
1.5 quarts 3/4-inch sliced carrots (about 12 medium)
1 quart whole kernal corn, uncooked
2 cups 1-inch sliced celery (about 4 stalks)
2 cups chopped onions (about 2 medium)
1/5 quarts water
Salt and pepper (optional, as you want)

Feel free to play around with the vegetables a bit. I would make sure to keep the tomatoes, but I think the other vegetables can be switched to taste. The original recipe called for 1 quart of lima beans which I did not add because I did not have any on hand. I also added 2 …

Chaos Scenario: Power Grid Failure Part 3

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Please read Part 1 and Part 2 if you have not already!


The neighborhood meeting was interesting. Very obvious some people had nothing. Not that you have much, but to have nothing would be bad. They wanted everyone to give them some food. You indicated you had hardly anything and was thinking about leaving. You did give some apples to the one neighbor, but the other neighbor didn't want anything like that. You think that is just crazy because if you are hungry, you should be grateful for anything you can eat.

Something that really worried you about the meeting was how forceful some of the neighbors were. They wanted to raid houses of people who were gone or had already left. They said they knew preppers and wanted to get their stuff. They actually have you very worried. Yes it is day three of the power being out, but that is really crazy. You aren't sure you want to stay here, but you aren't sure where to go. From what you understand, the power outage is very widespread.

Yo…

Chaos Scenario: Power Grid Failure Part 2

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If you haven't read Part 1 yet, please click here


The kids and you have been scavenging the house for emergency supplies. One of your kids found several candles in a box and with the candles around the house you have more than plenty or so you think. She also found some lighters and a box or matches. Another found some flashlights, but you only have one package each of C cell and D cell batteries. You have a 2-3 packages of AA and AAA batteries. The third kid found extra blankets to put on beds and to bundle up in.

You get the kerosene heater out and take it to the garage. You find two gallons of kerosene left in a container. You know that is not much, but again you hope this power outage is not going to last much longer. The heater doesn't start at first, but with a good cleaning you get it started. You decide to take into the house, but not to use unless you really have to.

Looking out the window, you notice your neighbors are starting to get together. You walk out to see …

Chaos Scenario: Power Grid Failure Part 1

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Recently I was talking to a friend about a scenario that we both thought was a little out there, but very plausible. What would you do if the power grid failed?


Some things you need to keep in mind while talking through this scenario:
1. Grocery stores only have 2-3 days worth of food on hand at all times.
2. Most gas stations have electric pumps - no power, no gas.
3. Most people will lose access to water if they have electric water pumps or if city water runs out.
4. A person will only live three days without water and three weeks without food.
5. A lot of people rely heavily on technology to get them to where they need to go and to entertain them.
6. Nothing happens unless you are proactive.

You are driving home from work during a nice fall day. Night is coming earlier now and getting a bit chilly too. The kids have already gotten home from school. One of them calls to tell you the power is out. They aren't able to do their homework. You tell them that the power should be back …

Things in Life Do Not Happen In My Time: Tales From A Frustrated "Homesteader"

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Today's post will be funny, a bit frustrating, trying not to be whiny, and wondering what decisions I should have made differently. Just for your own information. I do try to warn people. Sometimes.


I should have gotten more chickens. Before my family attempts to shoot me about that last statement, I mean I should have gotten meat chickens along with the layers. I am a super excited chicken owner who cannot wait to have her chickens start laying! Bring on the eggs! However, I wanted to start small and work my way into this. I now realize I could have handled 25-30 meat chickens in addition to 14 layers. Chickens, so far, have been really easy to raise and give me much amusement some days. Next years plans: 25-30 meat chickens. And maybe a couple of feeder pigs?

I should have also bit the bullet and started a few beehives this year. We love honey. I use it to replace sugar in a lot of things. Producing our own would have saved me much moola as raw honey is starting to creep up the …

Want To Save Money? Start Gleaning!

Gleaning is one of my favorite ways to save money! Gleaning helps supply our food stores, gives me more to can, and helps food not go to waste. Gleaning is responsible and helps one to be sustainable as well as economical.

But what is gleaning? Gleaning is gathering and collecting food from a field or a garden after someone else has harvested what they wanted. Historically, people would go into the fields after farmers were done harvesting and collect any grain that may have been missed or had fallen to the ground. This would help feed their families and livestock for another year.

For me, gleaning would mean keeping my ears open, listening for people who have extra garden produce, and putting out the word that I will take any extra garden produce. When someone contacts me about having extra produce they cannot use, I gladly pick any leftover produce. I have gotten lots of tomatoes, yellow squash, and cucumbers that way!

Keep your eyes and ears peeled for extra produce. I have seen ad…

Please Stop Advertising Your Whereabouts (A Lesson In Safety and Security)!

One of the great pluses and downfalls of social media is the ability to let everyone know what you are doing and where you are at at any given time. I personally think social media is very handy and find enjoyment in it. However, the downfalls of social media make me cringe.

One of those downfalls is the posting of your whereabouts. Many people think the option of "checking in" and "finding their location" is just wonderful so they can attract others that might be there or to draw attention to a great place or to themselves. However, I have a totally different feeling about these options.

I think they are a good way to attract burglars to your home.

Many burglary cases are now traced back to someone posting on a social media site that they have left for work, are at work, on vacation, out for dinner, at a friend's house and so on. Advertising your whereabouts makes you a target. Letting anyone besides your closest friends and family member know that you will be…