The Survival Buzz #181: How Not to Harvest Lettuce

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Jul 1, 2019
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Welcome to this week’s Survival Buzz with an update on my own preps plus news and announcements from the Backdoor Survival blog.

This week I get the idiot of the week award.  I had some romaine growing on my front porch and thinking that it better get harvested before it goes bad, I picked it early in the day and put the leaves in the refrigerator.  Come dinner time, I had a basket of limp lettuce.  Nothing would save it.

Harvesting Lettuce from the Tower Garden - Backdoor Survival

Later I learned from a knowing friend that I should immerse freshly picked romaine in cold water to keep it crisp.  Is that what you do?

Testing Your Tap Water

With this month being all about water, I wanted to touch briefly on the water that flows from the taps. If you are on municipal water, you are at the mercy of the water company for purity, quality, and whatever chemicals they opt to use for treating the water.

An interesting experiment is to test the water that comes from your taps. Inexpensive water testing that will test for bacteria, lead, pesticides, nitrites/nitrates, chlorine, hardness, and pH.  While this test won’t give you amounts of those contaminants, it’s a good way to see if you might have a problem or concern.

The kit tests your water to EPA standards, and you don’t have to send it to a lab to get results. You can do the whole thing right in your kitchen. By the way, if you have children, they might find this a fun science project.

Speaking of water testing, if you have a Berkey system that uses Black Berkey filters, please remember to perform the Berkey filter red dye test every six months.  If you flunk the red dye (actually, red food coloring) test, you need to scrub and back flush your black filters.  Then test again.  Seriously, don’t be complacent about checking to insure your black Berkey filters are viable.  To learn how to do it, click here.

One more thing.  Have you remembered to include red food coloring with your survival preps?


Free Stuff

These days it may seem as though every website has their hand out or if not their hand, a grip on your wallet.

Those of you on Facebook know that most days I post links to free eBooks that I have personally reviewed to ensure they are not fluff that is not worthy of your time.  Today I want to mention that most City, County, and States have websites with geographically specific information to help you prepare.

Since I live in Washington State, here is a link to this State’s excellent list of links and publications, all free.  Who says to you have to spend a small fortune to learn about preparedness?

Washington State Emergency Management Division Publication & Links – All Free

Current Backdoor Survival Giveaways

This was a bummer week relative to giveaways.  I had a nice giveaway package scheduled for Friday but I did not like the product.  Things like that happen sometimes. 

On the other hand, I have a bonus book giveaway coming up on Tuesday and have been working hard to put together a fantastic water-related product for you later in the month.  This is water month, after all.

So all is not lost.  Speaking of water, here is this week’s Book Festival interview and giveaway.

Prepper Book Festival 9: Prepper’s Water Survival Guide + Giveaway

With all giveaways, winners are notified by email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or an alternate will be selected.  Once selected, the names of winners are also displayed in the Rafflecopter on the original giveaway article.  This usually happens on the Friday following the end of the giveaway. 

Using Essential Oils to Foster a Good Night’s Sleep

For the longest time I was personally using the Spark Naturals Dream blend to help me sleep.  Then it stopped working.  So, a couple of weeks ago when reader John R. mentioned using Now Foods Peaceful Sleep Blend, I was all over it like white on rice.

So here is the scoop.  I mixed 30 drops into a 1 ounce jar of Simple Salve and starting rubbing it into my feet at night.  In addition, I have Shelly rub it down my spine and across my chest.  Okay, TMI.  Anyway, this inexpensive oil has done the trick for me and I am having peaceful dreams.  Really.

On the other hand, it does not do a thing for Shelly.  His potion of choice is Spark Naturals Roman Chamomile.  Applied in the same manner at the rate of 10 drops per ounce of carrier, he falls asleep within minutes and stays asleep.

Both options are worth trying.  Especially the Peaceful Sleep Blend which is a miserly for a full bottle.  Don’t get me wrong. I love Roman Chamomile, especially for stress release.  But for me, it does nothing for my sleep.

Remember, if making a purchase from Spark Naturals, you will enjoy an additional 10% off your using code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.

Other Announcements

The excellent and terrifying NOVA documentary, Nuclear Meltdown Disaster, is now available for free viewing online.  The documentary chronicles exactly what happened at the nuclear power plants in Japan during and after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami event.

Thanks again to Book Festival author J.A. Charnov for the tip.

The Final Word

That about wraps things up for this week. Before closing, I want to mention that I recently updated Month Eight of 12 Months of Prepping so if you are following along, be sure to check it out.

So what about you – what did you do to prep this week?

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites!  You can also SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Below you will find items related to today’s Survival Buzz.

Now Foods Peaceful Sleep Oil Blend: This budget priced oil has done wonder for my sleep.  It is a blend of Orange, Tangerine, Lavender, Chamomile, Ylang Ylang, and Sandalwood.  I am using 30 drops to 1 ounce of carrier oil.  My preference is BDS Simple Salve (that you can make yourself).  You could also try making a room spray by adding 30 drops to 1 oz. of witch hazel in a a spray bottle.

First Alert WT1 Drinking Water Test Kit:  Using this kit, you can test for nasty elements in your drinking water, including bacteria, lead, pesticides and more.  It includes everything you need; no further lab work is required.

McCormick Food Coloring, Red, 16-Ounce: The price for this huge bottle of red food coloring was just a dollar more than a one ounce bottle at the local grocery store.  If you have a Berkey Black filter system, be sure to include red food coloring in your survival pantry.

Earth Tower Vertical Garden: 4-sided Wooden Planter on Wheels:  So far I am impressed with my Earth Tower garden.  Even when filled with potting soil, it was easy to move around on my porch.  The real proof will be to see how my plants grow and thrive in my covered porch that only gets sun for 5 hours a day.

The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource:  Water Month on Backdoor Survival is focusing on free resources, this is the book that I recommend.

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items Backdoor Survival:  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. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System: Fans of the Sawyer water filtration systems are evangelistic in their praise.  Did you know they only weight 2 ounces and fit in the palm of your hand? The price is right.  Be sure to also check out the Family Color Coded Gift Pack which looks nice.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


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9 Responses to “The Survival Buzz #181: How Not to Harvest Lettuce”

  1. What has happened to the print able part , your articles are so good that I like to print them and add them to my collection of important things to know how to do if the shtf. Thanks ( printer friendly vierson )

    • I had moved it to the bottom temporarily when I installed those snazzy new sharing icons. I just put it back 🙂

  2. I live in the Bahamas and have tried to grow Romaine several times from seed with no luck. Then someone told me about just sticking the cut bottom in soil and I now have three growing on my porch beautifully…is that what you did? I am curious if you or anyone knows if you can then cut it off when ready to eat if it will keep re growing …also thanks for the tip, I will cut mine right before use!

    • I have tried to regrow romaine from the “stump” but all I get are a few spindly leaves. I am envious that yours is growing beautifully! When it comes time to harvest, snip off the leaves as you use them. When there are none left to harvest, cut it down and see what happens. As with replanting, all I get are a few leaves when doing that but my guess is that climate and care will make a difference. I get lazy and do not do much tending if you know what I mean.

      The romaine on my porch were starts from the nursery although I also grow romaine from seed. What is surprising to me is that it did not get bitter in the heat of summer.

  3. I dehydrated the last of the tomatoes from the garden. And I did something that I don’t really know if it will have any value or not, but figured it was worth a try. Hubby had left some radishes growing in the garden and finally picked them. They were the size of small melons! I had no clue what I was going to do with them as they were too tough to eat but had a really nice spicy flavor. So I sliced them and dehydrated them. Next I plan to grind them into powder and try it for seasoning. Wish me luck!

  4. Lettuce will last for weeks doing this. Clean lettuce, spin dry and place a paper towel in the bottom of a Tupperware type container. Add a layer or two of lettuce, add another paper towel then more lettuce and top off with a paper towel and refrigerate. The towel absorbs the moisture away from the lettuce, keeping it crisp.

  5. I didn’t get any lettuce started in the spring so I’m including it in my second season planting. Even there, I learned to stagger my planting (more work for me, but it doesn’t ripen all at the same time. 🙂
    This week…had some opportunities to talk about prepping since the NY article on the BIG ONE off our coast. Discussions started with that but turned to wildfires (with our drought) and those accidents whether by train derailment or semi trucks with what they carry. I sensed more and more people are beginning to awaken to the need for at least a 72 hour kit. Am also beginning my own circle of those to meet up with just in case.

    Just as important, with the harvest season underway, I’ve been learning more and more about the difference between fermenting and pickling along with how to do each and why? To that end, here’s some info about miso which supposedly saved live in Nagasaki in ’45, in and around Chernobyl in ’86, and Fukusima as well. Although I can’t do soybeans, I’m so happy to learn there are other foods which can produce the same MISO effects. 🙂

  6. Why should I include red dye to my survival bag? What would it be used for?

    • Red food coloring is used to test the viability of Berkey black filter elements so it is more of a kit/pantry item than survival bag item. You add the red coloring to the water tank and if the water comes out clear, you know the filters are working correctly.

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