The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 115

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Welcome to this week’s Sunday Survival Buzz – a roundup of preparedness news, tips, articles and recommendations from around the web. But first, an update on my own preps.

Without a doubt, the most important thing I did this week was study up on strategies to combat a serious infection cased by the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or MERS.  This is scary stuff; the stuff that pandemics are made of.

I don’t want to be overly evangelistic about essential oils but at least in my own household, we will be salving up more frequently with essential oils with antibacterial and antiseptic qualities.  For now that will be oregano essential oil and a blend called Shield that I purchase from Spark Naturals.

What the heck is “salving up”?  In simplest of terms, that is where I take a few drops of essential oil and blend them with a carrier (such as my Miracle Healing Salve) and rub them on our feet before going to sleep at night.  Here at my house this has become a ritual.  Shelly gets his arthritic hands salved up and massaged while I get my calves and ankles done to scare aware any lurking charley horses.  I also put my Sleepy Dreamy salve on my feet and at the base of my neck (brain stem).

Mind you, I have not taken the time to research the precise science of all of this; I just know that it works for us.  Here is a link to a page I created with more information about essential oils that will help you become Pandemic Ready.

Cast Iron Soft Soap Blooper

Other preps this week included making a fresh batch of Dirt Cheap Soft Soap.  It came out brown not white.  It was so bad that I wrote about it in today’s blooper section.

The garden went to heck this week.  There are some lessons to be learned with every failure and most certainly, this years garden is turning out to be a travesty.  I hope that telling you this brings a modicum of comfort to others who are also dealing with limited space and limited sunlight.  What I am going to say about this will probably shock you but I will say it anyway:  I am reversing my stand on the need for everyone to grow their own food!

Now that I have opened up THAT Pandora’s box, I will tease you with the promise to write more about my dismissal of the universal vegetable garden later.

Okay, enough about me.  Let’s get on to the Sunday Survival Buzz.

SURVIVAL NEWS & ARTICLES FROM AROUND THE WEB

Here is this week’s reading list.

CDC announces first case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus infection (MERS) in the United States

The Soap You Should Never Use – But 75% of Households Do

Feds Creating Gasoline Reserve To Prepare Against Future Shortages After Storms

Are You Ready For The Price Of Food To More Than Double By The End Of This Decade?

Study finds Fukushima radioactivity in tuna off Oregon, Washington

Do Homemade Waterproof Matches Work?

Introduction to Aquaponics: Growing Fish and Vegetables Together

Number Of Middle Age Californians Living With Their Parents Soars

BACKDOOR SURVIVAL MAIL BAG & READER TIPS

From Jacque in Arizona by way of Oregon:

Just found a great link to cooking with cast iron in a campfire setting.  This guy gives recipes and tips on moving the heavy pots and other fun stuff:  Derek on Cast Iron – Cast Iron Recipes.

Karl had a great tip for storing the cord on your Cen-Tech (or other) portable power pack.

The power pack I currently use does not have a place to store the charging cord either. What I did to resolve the problem was to roll up the cord, use a twist tie to keep it rolled up, then use a longer twist tie to attach the cord to the handle of the power pack. Never a problem of losing the charging cord.

From Papa J:

Suggestion – For those that have whistles, (Which should be everyone). Have several pairs of ear plugs with the cord attaching the two. put them around your neck. If you are ever trapped somewhere, you will want them when you blow your whistle.

The last one for today is from Jim:

Something that I didn’t consider to be prepping related, but then realized that, in some ways, it is related. I went to the local public library looking for a book. I found that they have a bookcase with books for sale. I’m not sure about your library, but here they were charging 10 cents for paperback books and 25 cents for hard backed books. A really great and inexpensive way to stock up on books to give some relaxation and entertainment in a grid down situation. I bought two hard backed books and one paperbacked one. Total cost was 60 cents ( I gave them a dollar and told them to keep the change).

Oh – you don’t need to have a library card to buy the books.

CURRENT GIVEAWAYS

The following two giveaways are currently active and are awaiting your entry:

Cen-Tech 5 in 1 Portable Power Pack Review + Giveaway
Spring 2014 Book Festival: Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness + Giveaway

So how do I come up with all of these giveaways?  I am asked that a lot so here is the deal.  Instead of accepting advertising dollars, I will often ask a vendor for a giveaway item instead. It is as simple as that!

Of course many of the BDS sponsors do both so they deserve your support. You will find the sponsors listed in banner ads on the right hand side of every page.  Be sure to give them a visit and if you see something you need, make a purchase!

AND THE WINNER IS . . .

I am thrilled to announce that the winner of  a copy of  Flight of the Bowyer is “Uncle Phil”.

Question: What best describes you feelings about the current economy?

A – Depression
B – Recession
C – Recovery
D – Stuck

Answer:  “A. Depression, or maybe I’m just depressed 🙂 LOL”

Okay, humor aside, the responses to this poll were quite telling.  Here is the final tally:

A – Depression – 12
Between A & B – 11
B – Recession – 11
C – Recovery – 1
D – Stuck – 14

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I am equally thrilled to announce that the winner of the AquaPod emergency water storage kit is Franka.  Here is here response to the giveaway question, chosen at random (the winner, not the question):

Question:  Why do you want to win an AquaPod?

Answer:  What an awesome product and a great price! This would give our family such peace of mind in an emergency. And I’d definitely like to see how it would work in a shower stall too 🙂 Is it recommended to use the liner only one time or can it be reused?

And yes, the liner is good for a one time use. On the other hand, replacement liners are available and at $10 or less, they are quite inexpensive.

NEWS FROM OUR SPONSOR

This week I welcome our newest sponsor, CB Mint.  Let’s give them a warm welcome by visiting their website and checking out the options they present for adding precious metals to your survival stash.

With summer on its way, I have been thinking about cooking outdoors and more specifically, firing up my Sun Oven – which after more than a year, is still sealed in its box!

Sun Oven_Im-Prepared_200x200

Here is a thought.  According the feedback from the folks at Sun Oven, many preppers have found that when they use their SUN OVEN® regularly for non-emergency cooking they save enough on their utility bills to help fund additional food storage. That sounds like a plan to me!

As with all of my sponsors, please pay them a visit and let them know you saw them on Backdoor Survival.

ALMOST FREE FROM GEORGE & GAYE

Here is what my friend George (Urban Survival) had to say about the e-book we wrote that is only 99 cents for a few more days.

Islands of Self-Sufficiency

Next item on our discussion list this morning is the 99-cent sale on the book Gaye Levy  and I wrote a while back, 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: A Guide to Survival During Uncertain Times.

This book is something I’d call “Comfort food for the brain.”  It gives a list (and details) about 11 specific things anyone can do, scaling to your circumstance in life, to be prepared for the big whatever.

Like, for instance….

Say Ukraine blossoms into mushrooms this weekend.  Or, say there’s a banking failure that’s so big that the whole economic system has to shut down for a couple of weeks.  Those kinds of things leak out from behind the headlines every morning.

If you don’t have a strategic plan (which we’re huge fans of) any one of those headlines (20-inches of rain, remember?) can leave you and your tribe stranded with little or no warning.

A lot of people are “addicted to the news” but they don’t get off their personal lard storage units (PLSU’s) and actually DO something about the stress that is media.

We do…and that’s what the book is about.  Metric to think about: if you couldn’t unplug for two weeks to a month without having any major disruptions in y0ur life, then you are (hate to break this to you) never going to be CEO material.

Prepping is something “C-level people” do.   Think ahead, game it out, action plan, becoming personal survival specialists.   CEO types think of their families (and companies) all the time and are always fine-tuning ways to make themselves “islands of self-sufficiency.”

If you haven’t set about building your island yet, believe me when I tell you the money you can save on Tums and self-medication will pay for a good part of prepping.

Interested?  Come on, it is only 99 cents.

ESSENTIAL OILS – MORE SHAMELESS PROMOTION

Celebrate Mother’s Day!  I purchased these gifts for myself, using my 10% off code, of course.  What do you think?

Spark Naturals Gift to Myself

The shameless promotion part is that yes, I do earn an affiliate commissions on Spark Naturals sales.  But even if I didn’t, I adore my essential oils – so much so I purchased a second diffuser plus that cute little travel case so my e.o.s can go everywhere with me.

And just a reminder:  Spark Naturals is offering free shipping on all US orders through May 5th.  If you have been waiting to try essential oils, they start as low as $6.99 and with free shipping, you have almost nothing to lose.  Just be sure to include the code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout to get an extra 10% off.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

I have a couple of announcements today.  First of all, I want to alert you that the latest version of The Preparedness Review has just been released.  The Spring 2014 TPR includes 17 articles plus one downloadable template, all 100% free.

Each of the previous versions of TPR have been fabulous and this is no exception.  While you are at it, also be sure to check out Todd Sepulveda’s Prepper Website for all the latest in preparedness articles from around the web, published daily.

In case you missed it, I also want to share with you the really neat infographic that was made featuring the article 44 Fantastic Uses of Paracord for Prepping and Survival.

Here is a link:  10 Ways Paracord Can Help You In A Pinch

BACKDOOR SURVIVAL BLOOPERS

Is this a blooper or is this one of those “I am only human” moments?  Anyway, when I decided to make up a fresh batch of Dirt Cheap Soft Soap this week, I thought, humm, I think I will break out my new cast iron Dutch Oven and give it a go.

Did you catch the blooper?  Cast iron and soap?  Oops.  Not only that, I did not clean the manufacturing oil off off the Dutch Oven first so the soap turned out ca-ca brown. Then, thinking it needed more water, I added more H2O then went upstairs to work.  Four hours later, my soap was reduced to a hard brick.

Lesson learned?

  1. Do not make soap in a cast iron pot.
  2. Whatever vessel you do use, make sure in advance that it is spotlessly clean.
  3. Pay attention.  Just because it is easy does not mean it is set it and forget it.

THE FINAL WORD

That about wraps things up for today.  I am yearning for the end of May when I embark on a two week adventure, again, to Alaska.  I can’t wait and hopefully, this time around I won’t be spending my vacation on the computer wondering why my website is down.  Have you noticed that since moving to a new host and increased security that the denial of service attacks are all but gone?

So what about you – what did you do to prep this week?  Until, next time, remember to make every day a prep day!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye

Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Facebook which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.  You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ and purchase my book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage from Amazon.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Bargain Bin: Today I bring back some reader favorites.

AquaPodKit – Emergency Drinking Water  Have you considered storing water in your bathtub?  The AquaPod is a bladder that you can use in your bathtub to store water if you know that a storm, flood, or hurricane is brewing. (I call these “disruptive events”.)

BaoFeng UV-5R  Dual-Band Ham Radio: The Baofeng UV-5R is a compact hand held transceiver providing 4 watts in the frequency range of 136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHz. It is a compact, economical HT that includes a special VHF receive band from 65 – 108 MHz which includes the regular FM broadcast band. Dual watch and dual reception is supported.  Here is the antenna I ordered along with the programming cable: NAGOYA Antenna for BAOFENG UV-5R and USB Programming Cable for Baofeng UV-5R UV-3R+.

Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I now own six of these little gems. There is a similar flashlight called the Pak-Lite (which is more expensive) but it does not have a high-low switch like this one. Less than $10. These little flashlights just go and go, plus, they make good use of those re-purposed 9V alkaline batteries that you have recharged with your Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger.

FordEx Group 300lm Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp:  Here we go with another flashlight.  At the time of this writing, this one is only $3.55 with free shipping.  It is super mini sized, bright and waterproof.  Plus, it uses a single, standard AA sized battery.

Morakniv Craftline Q Allround Fixed Blade Utility Knife: Also known as the Mora 511, this is now my favorite knife.  It is made of Swedish steel and is super sharp.  I paid $12 for this knife last week and today it is $8.95 so I ordered another one.  It was worth $12 and of course is a steal at $8.95!

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out.  It weighs only 2 oz. making it perfect for the prepper. There is also a larger sized LifeStraw Family currently available with free shipping.

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Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.

These days, when I use shredded cheese I use freeze-dried.  There is no waste meaning no moldy cheese languishing in the refrigerator.  I especially like the mozzarella and cheddar on my pizza.  This month, Emergency Essentials has a combo of freeze-dried cheese on sale at 27% off.

The Freeze-Dried Cheese Combo includes 2 cans of Sharp Cheddar, 2 Mozzarella, 1 Colby, and 1 Monterrey Jack.  And by the way, these make great snacks right out of the can.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

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Comments

The Sunday Survival Buzz Volume 115 — 41 Comments

  1. I got all 100+ strawberry plants in the ground – they are looking great! Also planted a couple of thornless blackberry bushes, a red and a yellow Apple tree. Put together a henhouse kit and moved my hens to it. And my sister got a call from her daughter in Florida – “Mom, I’ve ordered 7 baby chickens for uncle Jim!” Now I’ve gotta get busy and fix a place for them before the 19th of this month!

  2. ” I am reversing my stand on the need for everyone to grow their own food!!!!!!” 40 lashes with a wet noodle to you girly. Everyone has bad years in their gardens, but don’t give up. I wasn’t able to can the first jar of tomatoes last year. People say “heirloom, heirloom, heirloom.” There is a reason that hybrids were put on the market. They are more disease free. Now is the time to learn, not when the crap hits. You know I say this with love.
    What did I do this week? Rounded up the goats that got out when a 5 foot thick tree feel over their fence. These wind storms seem to be getting worst and worst. This is the second 5 foot think tree that has fallen in the past few years.
    I am expanding my raised gardens this year. I have put in 4 more 4ft x 12 ft beds. In the past I have never grown beets, turnips, and kale. I am this year for their greens.

    • You might also try radish greens if you haven’t before. They grow fast and sure add to the salad to make up for the non-nutrition that iceberg lettuce has (I love the crunch of iceberg, so this allows for another healthy green). 🙂

      • Dee, it seems the light bulb in my head went off a few months ago on eating healthy. I gave up a lot of bad habits,(coffee, booze, soda pop, artificial sweeteners) and I am now trying to eat more greens. I have bought romaine lettuce (having given up on iceberg) and cut the stalk about 2 inches up and placed it in a cup of water for a few days until it starts to grow. Then I take it downstairs to my indoor aquaponic setup, and shove it down into my growing media. After transplanting 6 or 8 of these stalks that grow back, I always have romaine lettuce. I have done the same with boc-choy. I am getting turned on to kale also. I put it in my morning smoothie and defiantly in my salad for lunch.
        I use to grow radishes, but if you leave them in the soil to long, they get so strong, I quit growing them. But, if you say the greens are good, I will try them again. Do the greens get hot and strong if you let them grow to long?

        • If you’re just growing for the greens, then pick them when young. I admit I don’t really know about when to harvest, hoping it comes with practice because I’m still in the guessing phase for many plants, but if just for the greens I like young plants.
          I believe the greens would be in the bitter taste category. I’ve been doing research in how we digest foods and seems many of us have what’s called ‘bitter deficiency syndrome.’ I’ve learned that eating a salad of greens containing some bitter greens ‘revs’ up our digestive system which may be why we start meals with salads. We have a lot of those bitter taste buds which send the message to the brain to get those other digestives parts of the body ready for the intake of food. So to answer do the greens get hot or strong…I don’t know, I just mix them in my salad full of greens. For now, I don’t have a blender so I couldn’t tell you how they would be in a smoothie.

          • I’ve not heard of the “bitter taste” being good for you. I am reading on whether or not to cook your greens before eating them. Some say “raw”, some say “cooked”, and some say to “juice”. What’s your take on this? I steam many of the cabbage family veggies, but I like my raw salads.

        • Radishes get hot and bitter when they don’t get enough water. Cucs will also get bitter without enough water. My experience with radishes being in the ground too long is that they split and get woody.
          I tend to plant my radishes a little at a time. When one short row is up with good leaves then I plant another. So this extends your harvest and you aren’t overwhelmed with them. I also like to plant each row a different variety.

          • Good grief Dee. If what that web site says is true, everyone should be eating radishes and the greens from radishes. It is a great site and with links to other sites, I could spend all day there. Thanks.
            Deborah. This is good info for any gardener to know. Most of my cabbage family is grown in my aquaponics, so they get plenty of water. It is naturally cool in my basement, so that is where I grow them. Thanks for the info. I will be planting some radishes.

    • Not really giving up, but letting others know that it is OKAY not to have a garden when your circumstances are working against you. With only 4 hours of filtered sunlight in a 3 x 6 area, you are limited in what you can grow. You certainly can not grow enough to feed yourself for long.

      I will be suggesting that instead of browbeating yourself, spend the time and money learning to excel at something else that will help you sustain yourself if the stuff hits the fan. Learning a skill that can be bartered just might have a better ROI in the long run.

      • How about starting a list of skills that will be needed, that can be bartered for food/water/or whatever?
        One thing some may want to consider is knife shapening. Learn how to put a razor edge on cutting implements and many will gladly trade a few eggs and maybe some tomatoes for you to sharpen their knives. I can semi-sharpen a knife, but also know that it could be sharper!
        Other things I can think of at present are:
        Gun smithing
        Pot mending
        Sewing (making clothes)
        Shoe cobbler
        Natural veternarin (heal animals without big pharma – which may not be available)
        First aid – homeopathic (again no big pharma)
        Story telling! Travelling bards used to be welcome everywhere!

        There are thousands of other things and if you put your mind to it I’m sure you can find something you would love to do and earn lively hood from doing it!

        • Jim – Now you are talking! I posted an article about having these skills awhile back but it is time to bring it back within the context of exchanging skills for food.

          Story telling, singing, harmonica – anything to entertain and keep boredom at bay will be valuable. Also child care – another important skill.

  3. I have to weigh in on your change of heart on gardening. I have no problem with it for several reasons. Not everybody can grow their own food due to physical condition, lack of space, money, etc. In fact, not everybody who gardens or keeps small livestock can be totally self sufficient. It is important, however, to know about and patronize local farmers markets, get to know fellow gardeners who are willing to share/barter, etc.

    • John – Thank you for your thoughts on this matter. I agree with you 100% and then some. And you are right, having chickens, cows, and huge garden do not in themselves, make you self sufficient. They are simply a part of a much larger picture that includes mindset and spirituality, among other things,

      One of the problems I see with prepping is that there are those that seem to have it all: the land, the resources and the physical capability to do what needs to be done. This frustrates the heck out of those that do not have “it all” and makes their road all the more rocky.

      I hope to become a champion for those that may not have the space, time, money or physical stamina to garden. There are so many other things that can and should be done.

    • I agree John, I’m not that good at gardening, so I’m learning more about local plants and trees to be able to use them as needed. I’m also learning about the medicinal properties of local plants for when that’s needed as well. I visit the local farmers’ markets and am getting to know the local vendors, with the hope of making enough connections there to barter or otherwise fill in what’s lacking on my part or theirs. I’m also taking that ‘preppers’ motto and extending it, when looking for people to survive with, I’m doing not just one with a certain ability but 2 who have similar abilities.

  4. I have a recommendation for you & other folks trying to garden with minimal space & a lack of gardening skills. Mel Bartholomew’s first book “Square Foot Gardening” has been my go-to book for decades. It’s fun reading & breaks everything down to make it easy. I recently found his updated version at Dollar General for only $5. It’s a bargain at regular retail price too though. Also, go for quality, open-pollinated or heirloom seeds. I have personally used the companies Territorial & Seed Savers Exchange but there are other fine companies out there. Best of luck!

  5. The weather has been so good, I’ve just been enjoying getting out and working in my little garden. I’m learning about seed saving so I can become self sufficient and don’t need to buy seeds/plants each year. I’m also learning about gardening the ‘natural way’.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ft0ylk4sU5M

    I suspect someone walking nearby or coming across this type of gardening might walk on by since they won’t recognize it as a garden full of food. I do like this idea if I have to bug in place.

  6. I begged a little space from my landlord and planted a few vegetables, made my favourite bread using only stored ingredients (finally found some powdered buttermilk) and have been eating almost exclusively from my food storage. April is always a tight month due to income tax (approximately 14% of my yearly income and that is the lowest bracket here in Canada) and this year I had an unexpected $400 expense which about wiped out my food budget for the month. Just goes to show that preparedness isn’t just for catastrophes.

  7. As soon as I saw the picture with the cast iron pot with soap I thought ‘oh no’ never do anything to do with soap in cast iron or something porous, it can off color or react with the soap, it can also soak in the oils/scents & affect other things you make in the pot. I use an old 5qt coated pot or my crockpot which has an enamel liner.

    I hear you on the gardening, IMO it’s like everyone saying you need to store beans. Not everyone has the space or sunlight or savy to grow their own food, just like some people don’t like beans. I don’t store beans because no one in my house will eat them & I only have enough space & sunlight to grow a few things (2 pepper plants, 1 tomato plant & some herbs). I agree with what others have said having tradable skills is a huge part of being able to exist in any post-emergency situation

    • Andrea – I have a cast iron kettle. I got this from my mother after she passed away, she got it from my older brother (also deceased) who was involved in making illegal drugs. I put some water in this pot and placed it on my wood burning heater. The fumes from this caused my eyes to burn and smelled terrible! I moved it to the back porch and have left it there. I don’t know if my brother was cooking drugs in it or what. Can you suggest any way to clean this odor out of the pot?

      • Jim – Do you have a self-cleaning oven? If so, stick your kettle in the oven during the cleaning cycle and take it down to bare metal. At that point you will have a brand new kettle and can begin the re-seasoning process.

        If you do not have a self-cleaning oven, you can use effective (but toxic) oven cleaner or steel wool and elbow grease. My best guess is the smell is embedded in the seasoning.

        — Gaye

      • If you don’t have a self cleaning oven, but have a bbq grill. Prepare your charcoal or gas as if you’re going to grill a meal, then just place your kettle on upside down. If the lid will cover it even better. I’m thinking if you have fumes coming from that kettle when its heated, having it outside might be better. Lacking a bbq grill? Take it to an open fire and burn it. After you can’t smell anything coming from it…take and season it well. My guess is they may have tried ‘cooking’ something and it did about as well as Gaye and her batch of brown soap. lol Sorry, Gaye, just had to have an example. 😉
        One time should do it but if not, repeat the burning.

        • Don’t have a BBQ grill, about the best I could do at present is a charcoal smoker. Maybe it will get hot enough. I was thinking about the smell and oders inside the house too. If the smoker don’t work I may buy a cheap BBQ grill, just to get this usable again.
          Thank you and Gaye for the suggestions.

  8. My landlord does not allow us to dig up the yard for gardening, not even flowers. He has “landscaped” it (looks like crap, I could have done it better)and doesn’t want it ruined by a veggie garden! So I have several containers on the patio, but not enough space for a lot. I have a few tomatoes and cukes and herbs, enough for us. For any other veggies, I go to the farmer’s market. I don’t stress about not having land or space for true self-sufficiency, because I am as self-sufficient as I can possibly be for my circumstances. I tell others who ask me about prepping that they don’t have to be extreme, or even be completely ready right away. Building up is okay, and every little bit counts!

    • @Karen R,

      I liked your post, especially this part: “and every little bit counts!”

      I’ve been reading, ‘The Hunger Games’ series. It’s amazing how art imitates life and vise versa.

      Did you read about how ‘they’ outlawed gardening and having livestock for certain people in Michigan, and how Michigan is a test bed for a national ID for goberment services? Funny coincidence, that.

  9. Today, from time to time, I thought about Gaye’s space outside which only received 4 hours of Sunlight a day.

    I kept thinking how that’s the perfect spot for leaf lettuce and arugula. I also thought about how keeping up with watering is The toughest task with container gardening.

    This week I set out my rain-barrel (which is not connected to a rain gutter, just to a garden hose, we stage the water in the barrel in order to allow the chlorine in the city-water time to evaporate before we water the plants, if SHTF I’ll hook it up to a gutter) and, we planted some seeds.
    I also live trapped some squirrels, which Love to dig in our containers, and relocated them to a nice park. It’s amazing how they eat the peanut butter right away after getting trapped .. But I digress.

    I facilitate this project of container gardening, To Learn – to be familiar with things – and as a reason to Get Outside when the body says to stay put, esp. when the geo-engineering trails are heavy.
    Gardening is not always about just The Eating and The Harvesting. Imho, it’s right up there with mowing the lawn, it’s what helps to keep people alive, young or old.
    Plus, there’s something that is lost in produce such as arugula when it’s bagged and shipped to the grocery store. I have yet to taste anything which compares to freshly picked arugula in a salad.
    Rosemary & thyme are right up there, too.

    P.s.
    My garden only gets six to four hours of Sunlight.
    You’ve just got to find what grows best there.
    An automatic watering system would be a big plus, too. I know it’s easy to forget to water, or not want to.
    I have the stuff I hope to setup as a gravity fed auto-watering system. It’s on my other list of things to do.
    [Ha! I hope it doesn’t turn into one of those $700 projects the woman on the other thread was saying about her husband. It. Will. Not. Beat. Me!]

    Anyway, instead of flowers, I plant arugula and sage. It’s a big plus that sage comes back every year like rosemary, and the arugula drops enough seed to re-seed itself – and – feed the birds in the Winter.
    I’ve been working on changing over all the indoor plants in my house into either editable or useful plants that don’t draw bugs. So far, thyme, rosemary and aloe fit that bill. Basil, tomato and lettuce do not.

    My parting thought is: If you have indoor plants or outdoor flowers, why not try to make them all be editable or useful? I have two rose bushes, but I’ve yet to taste them.

    Now, if I can just find a use for mother-in-laws tongue.

    • I actually do grow greens successfully on the little deck outside my office. They thrive in that location. Down on the patio or in my little garden, the critters get to them. The deer, especially, love greens.

      Other critters (most likely the raccoons) have already dug up my cucumbers and the birds got to my peas. The only thing left are my tomato plants that are in pots I can move around to catch the sun and a lone zucchini plant I started in a large Rubbermaid tub.

      When I get back from Alaska, I am going to the nursery to pick up some herbs and flowers so at the very least, I will have something to enhance my food plus something that is pretty to look at.

      So I have not given up 100% LOL.

  10. I saw this bit on L.R.C, and thought of your blog, and the many other prepper blogs:

    “The Burden of Truth and Knowledge”

    … Then I was reminded of a line from a Western film, “It’s The dying that’s easy. It’s the living that’s hard.” [Ha! Originally from “General Hospital” (1963)?]

    For whatever that’s worth.

  11. I have planted 6 tomato plants this week, Not enough by far. If I made all the pasta sauce, salsa, and crushed tomatoes that I would need for one year, I would have to grow at least 700 pounds of tomatoes. Last year I made and canned 15 lbs of tomatoes, I made pasta sauce. Out of those 15 pounds I only got 4 jars of sauce.

    • While it is nice to have some fresh tomatoes for consumption, I do believe that in order to grow enough to preserve your bounty, you need space and time (not to mention a decent growing season and at least 6 hours of direct sun a day).

      The time factor is often ignored but it is an important consideration.

  12. Ha. Last night I only read the title of the link to your article, “The Burden of Truth and Knowledge” I didn’t know you wrote it until this morning. Some kind of Jungian Synchronicity or something?

    Anyway, it was a good read (the comments too) and so was this:

    “Forward Thinking – The Coming Tipping Point”

    @Barbara, I think parts of your post would make for a good song. “700 pounds… 15 pounds… I only got 4 jars”

  13. I just preordered Pacific Northwest Foraging: 120 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Alaska Blueberries to Wild Hazelnuts By Douglas Deur (comes out on 6/3/14). I am already familiar with a lot of wild edibles but to have a really good book to take with me by an author who also includes ways to harvest responsibly will be a handy way to stay safe, protect the environment AND perhaps eat a bit better in the SHTF times. I also replaced the foodstuff and water in my BOB, went through my camping gear and replenished a number of things. I am now ready to BO if needed and certainly to go on my first (probably very wet) camping trip!

  14. Today I decided to give Spark oils a try and used the code, BACKDOORSURVIVAL to get a 10% discount and it came back with invalid. Can you explain where I went wrong? Thanks Gaye for all the good information!

    • Connie – Was your order for Oil of the Month? If so, those are already discounted and the 10% does not apply. Otherwise, something is wrong. You can call them or send them an email and they will apply the discount for you. They have excellent customer service.

      Let me know because I will want to follow up as well.

      — Gaye

  15. I have tried twice to use the BACKDOORSURVIVAL code with Spark Naturals and both times it said it was not valid. What am I doing wrong?

    • Jo – I have received a couple of emails about this. Let me call my rep at Spark Naturals to see what is going on. I will get back to you today. Thank you for letting me know.

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