If you have the skill to make bread at home you’ll reap benefits in cost, taste, and health. But, for most preppers the key benefit is having access to this staple food even when the grocery store isn’t open. Needless to say, we’re also preparing for a time when the bread-machine won’t be functioning. During a SHTF event, having warm fresh bread can be a huge morale booster, never mind a way to get calories, warm calories, in your belly. Bread will combine well with essentially anything else you’re eating. And, if you have leftovers, you can do what people used to do with tough bread: make croutons, bread pudding, crumb toppings, or throw it into a soup. Plus, unmilled grain will keep in your storage room for a long, long time. If you’d prefer not to mill your grain, a few bags . . . Read More
What are you going to do with all that rice and beans and other prepper foods that you have put back? This is a question that I think is important to address. A lot of foods all of us have in quantity are pretty plain. The good news is that you can do a lot with some plain foods used creatively and some spices. Good food can drastically improve morale during hard times. You can actually make some fairly believable copies of dishes you love to eat. It can take some time to get used to cooking with ingredients that are dry or well preserved rather than fresh. You may want to take some recipes and practice them or get creative and invent your own. Those on limited diets should be thinking about what recipes will suit their needs. Basically anything I have listed . . . Read More
While soft cheeses do not need to be pressed, or should be pressed only lightly, hard cheeses need to be pressed to expel extra liquid and allow the cheese curds to “knit” together to form a lovely texture. The beginner cheesemaker can avoid getting a press if they want to stick to the soft cheeses, but once they are interested in making some cheddar, or any of the other delightful hard cheeses, they have to buy a press. A press can be a big investment, some selling for almost a grand. Even if you’re looking at one of the cheaper models, you want to make sure you’re getting the product you want. There are different kinds of presses, different materials, sizes, and weight systems to consider. Sometimes, the combination of factors you’re looking for isn’t available on the market . . . Read More
I am always leery of any list that starts off with the word "best." The reason being is that "best" is a subjective term that may or may not apply to the unique situation that we each face. As such, the word "best" in this blog is applied based on circumstance. Let's get started. The Role of a Greenhouse A greenhouse is a tool. How you use that tool determines what kinds of foods will grow the best inside of it. Many of use our greenhouse to:
Start seeds before the last frost-free day
Grow and develop seedlings until they are ready to harvest
Shelter fragile plants that need a specialized environment
Extend harvest of plants that would either not survive the turn of the season from summer to autumn or from autumn to winter.
Rice has long been a staple food to put back. A lot of preppers have a considerable amount of calories tied up in the form of rice or rice based products.
While consuming rice in small amounts after cooking the way most of us in the United States do, it is not going to cause arsenic poisoning, it is worth learning how to cook it like those in countries where rice is the mainstay food.
If you are in a survival situation or long emergency then is is possible that you may find that you and your family are getting a lot of calories from rice. Women of childbearing age and children are particularly susceptible to arsenic poisoning and it can cause a myriad of problems in anyone over time.
Putting back food is an essential part of prepping. Spices may not have a lot of calories or nutritional value necessarily but they can go a long way towards making all those staple foods you have put back taste a lot better. I am sure that in a real situation we would just be glad to have something to eat but food that tastes better is going to help morale and mood. How many of us have ever had to live on the foods we have put back? While some of us may have tasty foods put back from canning or even some special treats, the majority of prepper food is the basics. Let’s talk about some tips for buying spices and which ones are the most useful in terms of versatility and availability. The links in this article are mostly to Frontier Co-Op bulk spices. I have found them to . . . Read More
My mushroom growing experience started many years ago when I learned how at the work college I attended. The Natural Resources Crew at Warren Wilson College had a Shiitake and Oyster mushroom project that allowed theme to make use of limbs left over from the forestry operations on the hundreds of acres of forest owned by the college. We would sell them on campus to students, faculty, staff, and sometimes a few restaurants. Naturally when Matt and I started clearing our overgrown property and thinning the woods we decided that it made sense to grow some mushrooms to eat on and maybe sell a few logs and mushrooms for added income while working on building the house. We did about 250 logs and some of them are still fruiting after 8 years. One reason they are still going is that . . . Read More
There are a ton of greenhouse kits available on the market but like everything else: which one is best for you? There is a lot more that goes into choosing a greenhouse beyond its price. As mentioned in an earlier blog, a greenhouse is a tool and its features are what define its ability to do that job. In this blog, we discuss how to choose a greenhouse kit and the considerations that go into that process. Considerations for Picking the Best Greenhouse for Your Project There are many considerations but the first should always be about what you need the greenhouse to do. For some of us, that means standing up to -40°F for a few months. For others, it might be about lighting and landscaping. Here is a closer look at what all of this means. The basics: Greenhouses should at the bare . . . Read More
Just because the weather is turning chilly doesn’t mean all foraging opportunities are over and you must wait for spring to be out on gathering foray’s again…. not by a long shot! Editor's Note: This article by Donna is a great complement to Eric's recent piece on Fall Foraging here. Wonderful to have two resources with different plants to target. For many plants, harvesting time is just beginning. Late August through October and November offer some of the tastiest wild morsels ever. At least that is true of the northeastern and southeastern United States and probably other climes as well. And those plants are well worth the wait. There are flavor bursts . . . Read More
One of the biggest chores that preppers face is the accumulation of an emergency food supply. Prepping is not a new adventure. Many cultures have lived a prepping lifestyle. The Mayan culture is one such people who could survive and grow a large empire thanks to their innovative means of storing foods. The Mayans had a method of storing sweet potatoes where the food would last for upwards of ten years. It was their insurance against drought and famine. Food security is certainly not new, but many of us in the modern world prepare for times when our plentiful bounties fade to slim pickings. In this blog, we address the question, "How long does canned food really last?" . . . Read More
There are a lot of good reasons to invest in a food dehydrator. Those include:
Increasing the shelf life of garden-grown foods
Easy way to dry meat and make jerky
Having better control food quality
Overcoming dependency on local food distribution systems
It is not dehydrated, freeze-dried or cooked in any way.
It will provide 182 generous servings.
It is inexpensive and easy to store.
It will all fit nicely into a quart canning jar.
It is a power packed green food source.
It will provide fresh greens daily for one person for six months.
It is tasty, crisp and fresh, year round.
Kids really enjoy growing these vegetables all by themselves.