Friday, February 27, 2009
1 lb. lean ground beef
grated cheddar cheese
1 lb. penne pasta (or you could substitute macaroni)
1 jar prepared spaghetti sauce (26-32 oz.)
1 can Hunts basil, garlic and oregano tomato paste (6 0z.)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning spice blend
dried parsley flakes
garlic salt and pepper to taste
Brown the ground beef. Drain fat if needed, then season the meat very well with garlic salt and pepper. Add the spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, water and spices. Blend well then simmer on low heat while you cook the pasta. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Cook the pasta according to package directions in salted water, then drain and return to pot. Mix the sauce with the cooked pasta, taste for seasoning, and add more garlic salt and pepper if needed. Spoon into casserole dish and top with the grated cheese. Sprinkle parsley flakes on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on pan size and whether pasta has been refrigerated before baking. The penne pasta dresses it up a little bit but macaroni from your long-term food storage works equally well.
This recipe comes from my great friend, Bonnie, and I appreciate her sharing. She told me that she’s been making this penne pasta dish for years but never thought about it being a food storage recipe, until recently. “It’s a great Sunday dinner or company dish as it can be assembled a day or two ahead of time, it makes a lot so there are always yummy leftovers for lunches, and my kids love it.”
Bonnie is a highly trained, skilled nurse and mother of three small children, AND she really cares about the food she prepares for her family. Six months ago, Bonnie asked me to answer some food storage questions for her. She came to my house, sat on my couch, and let me walk her through the system that’s worked for me. Now she’s making regular trips to the dry-pack cannery, working on her food storage binder, and learning all the wonderful advantages of food storage. She’s designing what makes sense for her family.
Thanks again, Bonnie. You’re a great example!
1. Don't plant too much. Inevitably you will plant too much. I will too but at least if you try not to plant too much you won't plant waaay too much and find yourself harvesting squash in the dark or asking your in laws to fly from out of state to help you weed. They already think you're crazy enough don't they?
2. Plant your first garden close by. Try to plant your new garden in a location you'll see regularly or better yet walk past everyday. This might be outside your kitchen window or next to the garage where you'll notice that the tomatoes are infact beginning to ripen or that that the asparagus patch really does need more mulch to help keep down the weeds.
3. Plant what you eat. I am all for experimentation but if you're just getting started plant mostly vegetables you know you like and can cook. Or limit yourself to a few new vegetables. You want this experience to be as rewarding as possible for you and your family.
4. Set a schedule. Try to plan time to spend in the garden. Maybe it's 15 minutes each day after dinner or a half hour in the morning before work. Maybe Wednesdays and Saturdays will work best for you but if you have a set time for being in the garden you're more likely to go there and get things done.
5. Keep good records. This is a tough one for many people, myself included but it will help you be successful more quickly. Despite your best hopes you will not in fact remember when you planted peppers last year or which varieties you grew or how many each plant yielded.
6. Make mistakes. Here's your license to mess up. If you're not making mistakes you're not trying hard enough to "grow your comfort zone" as Van Jones suggests. Stop worrying about being perfect and get to work. You'll succeed in ways you couldn't have guessed and you'll fail some to. That's how you'll learn.
7. Get help. Especially for those big projects like building raised beds or planting trees get your family, your friends or other people in your neighborhood to help. The permablitz model isa great idea.
8. Grow good soil. I know on the surface this topic might seem boring. When I talk to people in person about the importance of good soil I can see their eyes glaze over. Resist the urge to take this lightly! Healthy plants and a sustainable garden are a productive first and foremost of good soil.
9. Share food. Grow a few extra tomatoes or zucchini specifically so you can give the produce away. Give it to your local food bank or to people in your neighborhood as a way to get them excited about growing food. Ultimately you're only as food secure as your neighbors.
10. Include the kids. Try to share this new experience with young people so that they may grow up with a better understand of where food comes from. This is the ultimate way to help make the future a healthier, happier, tastier place.
You’ve heard the announcement on the TV of a pending emergency. What’s your first reaction? Well, if you’re like 95% of the adult population it’s to go to the store and stock up. But if you already have key items on hand and know how to discern between that which is needful and that which is foolish, you’ll avoid the chaos that will inevitably be present at any store after such an announcement.
Want to know what to be sure you have on hand in the event of an emergency? Here is a list of items that typically were scarce or flew off of the shelves first in other areas of the country when a disaster hit. Obviously, if these items are the first to go when doom and gloom is forecast, then it is logical to believe that these are items that people will value most in an emergency. However, while I will highlight these items as those which individuals hoard in an emergency, I will also address why you may be smart to avoid the hoarding inclination.
NOTE: I don’t typically post blogs this long, though I realize people may want to print this off as a reference. This is a very thorough list, but if you read nothing else, read #58.
- Generator: If you must get one of these, do not skimp. Get a good quality one. However, I don’t recommend that you waste good money on this when you don’t have everything else ready. A generator should be the last thing you acquire because it is a luxury item. And worst case scenario, you can trade some of the many other valuable items you have for the temporary use of a generator. In order to use one of these, you will need to store gasoline which does not have a long shelf-life. It will also be a target of thieves and it makes its share of noise too. You will also need to be prepared to perform repairs on it as well.
- Water Filters/Purifiers: Iodine tablets, charcoal based purifiers, gravity fed purifiers, etc, are ideal. You can also use a solar oven to pasteurize your water. Also, store regular Chlorox to purify your water as well.
- Portable Toilets: This item has been increasing in price on a regular basis. You can purchase an inexpensive 5 gallon bucket and a “toilet lid” for it as well. Be sure to store lye or some other available products to break down the waste. Chlorox is useful for this as well. Also store plenty of heavy duty plastic bags to line the bucket with. It’s smart to have shovels on hand as well to provide alternative resources or to dispose of the waste as well.
- Seasoned Firewood: While it doesn’t necessarily need to be seasoned, that’s simply what hoarders go after. It usually costs about $100 per cord; Your regular wood can take between 6 to 12 months to become sufficiently dried. It takes a great deal of wood to use as a heat, light and cooking resource. I recommend that you store alternative types of fuel instead such as propane, kerosene, or Isopropyl alcohol. Obviously, whichever fuel you have you’ll want to make sure that you have the appropriate items which USE such fuel.
- Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps: Too often folks forget to have multiple wicks. I’ve read and seen situations where there were plenty of oil, but not enough wick. Considering they are inexpensive it’s a shame not to have the on hand in abundance. Be sure to buy clear oil. You will be happy to have as much of this as is legally possible to store. I store lamps which function on kerosene instead of the more traditional expensive lamp oil.
- Coleman Fuel: I’m not advocating this particular fuel specifically, it’s just the first to go in the event of a looming emergency. While this may not be important to you, it may be urgent for your less-prepared neighbors. The cost is between $2.69 to 9.00 a gallon, depending on where you go. Ultimately, Coleman fuel is white gas. It burns hot and clean. You can also purchase MSR fuel which is more expensive, burns hotter and cleaner. In fact, if you have a problem with a stove that’s not burning right you can burn MSR fuel through it and it do better. This is definitely something that I would have plenty on hand!
- Guns, Ammunition, Pepper Spray, Knives, Clubs, Bats, Slingshots, etc. Ok. If you’re going to store guns, then be sure you have stored at least 1,000 rounds of ammo for each gun. Yes, one thousand. If all heck breaks loose, your ammo supplies will be worth more than your cash! Whatever it is that you store to ensure you are not the victim of civil unrest or lawlessness, be sure you know how to use it properly (see www.womenofcaliber.com for more information on this topic)
- Hand-Can openers & hand egg beaters, whisks: If you’ve relied on these items electrically, be sure you have the skills to get the same task done without the electricity.
- Honey, Syrups, white and brown sugars Honey is your bet all purpose sweet item. It stores well longer then sugar and has a better glycemic affect on the body than sugars. Consider storing the sugar in a 5 gallon bucket, but use one of the stone sugar preservers (mine are all in the shape of gingerbread men). They keep the sugar soft and nice.
- Rice; Beans; Wheat: White rice is now $12.95 - 50# bag. Sam’s Club. White rice stocks in store all over are depleting often and then being replaced with the more expensive Jasmine Rice. So bottom line, when you see it on the shelves for a price that doesn’t feel like our national debt, get it. Rice, wheat, and beans will cook faster and with less hassle in a Pressure Cooker. I highly recommend you embrace this way of cooking. You may also want to consider adding flax seed or millet to your collection of grains as well as they are an asset to your digestive system as well.
- Vegetable oil: for cooking, baking, maintenance, etc. You’ve got to have oil so that your hormones and joints will function properly, so don’t try to skimp on using such a commodity. Peanut oil burns very hot and can store for a long time. We’ve stored ours for as long as 5 years, and that’s after using it. Olive Oil also has a good shelf life and is also good for you. However, the best oil to store is expeller pressed coconut oil. It doesn’t taste like coconut in your foods, and has a very, very long shelf life.
- Charcoal & Lighter fluid: While this may be OK for an immediate source of cooking, it’s unrealistic to think of this as a long-term solution. Being able to store enough is not likely and the lighter fluid is combustible, so not ideal to store either. Think in terms of more long-term solutions such as the fuels I’ve mentioned previously. However, these two items will become scarce very, very quickly if a news report breaks out of a coming catastrophe.
- Water containers: In my opinion, if you wait for the news report to try and obtain these, then you’ve waited too long. You should be acquiring these now. Only use hard clear plastic. Do not use milk bottles as they break down very quickly. It’s important to think in terms of all different kinds of sizes so that you can have portable water as well as primary sources. You can live without food for 3 days, but you cannot go very long without water. It’s necessary for the 200,000 gallons of blood your heart pumps through each day, and the several thousands of gallons worth of water than your kidney and liver go through each day as well.
- Fuel-based heater: It would be a shame to have plenty of food and water on hand but still perish due to cold weather. Cold weather will also compound any illnesses that you and your family may be experiencing as well. If you use a kerosene heater, you can use it inside in an emergency situation, but you will need to have ventilation as well.
- Grain Grinder: Yes, these get hoarded in an emergency situation. You need to have a non-electric one on hand. Flour will fly off the shelves with the right newscast. And it’s significantly more expensive than the whole grains of wheat, millet, etc. So start looking now for the ideal model while you have the luxury to do so in order to not have to do with whatever is left.
- Propane Cylinders: Another highly hoarded item is the grills that go with the propane cylinders. Be sure that you have a quality grill on hand now and some spare propane cylinders as well.
- Lamps such as Aladdin, Coleman, etc.: YOU will not successfully be able to light your environment without something more substantial than candles. A human being will function an average of 8 hours each day when there is no natural light on hand. You’re probably more reliant on light that you realize. So be sure to think in terms of long-term lighting solutions now. Be sure that you have appropriate hardware to hang a lantern someplace as well.
- Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula/ointments/aspirin, etc. These items were some of the most asked for items when the Teton Dam broke. I would suggest that if you have little ones in diapers that you at least store some cloth diapers and pins for an emergency as well. Even though we do not have children, we have put them in our storage as a great trade item should things come to that.
- Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer: Sanitation is critical in an emergency. And having clean clothes is a serious component of maintaining a sanitary environment. There are also small hand-cranked clothes cleaners you can purchase at emergency preparedness supply stores. Your biggest downfall will be if you think in terms of “short-term survival” and think that you won’t need clean clothes. Be sure that you have liquid laundry detergent on hand as well!
- Cookstoves: such as propane, Coleman, and kerosene. I would suggest that you get these now while you have the luxury of selection and also be sure that they operate properly. Having to live off of such a small cooking surface can be daunting. The use of a pressure cooker will help you conserve fuel as it takes less to heat them up and keep them hot. And you’ll still end up with very hearth and satisfying meals with them as well.
- Vitamins: I’m relieved that such an item is hoarded. Do not underestimate this asset. It is critical. Due to the lack of serious diseases in our culture so many of them are off our radar, but in an emergency when you are making your meals from what’s dead and processed on your shelves, supplementing that food with sheer vitamins is critical. Vitamins C, E, and B are the top of my list. If you’re involved with a nutritional network marketing company, be sure to store a year’s supply of the health product of your choice! (I prefer Reliv to everything else I’ve tried out there over the last 3 decades… Not only is it the highest quality of nutrition I’ve found, but I could live off of it too if I had to.)
- Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder: Small but important. The small canisters are actually dangerous to use without them.
- Hygiene products: such as feminine products, shampoos, toothbrushes and paste, floss, deodorants, and lotions. There is a reusable product called a menstrual cup made from either latex or medical-grade silicon. They work much like a diaphragm. They are sold at www.keeper.com. Also be sure you have combs and brushes on hand. For some reason there was a run on women’s hair bands after the Teton Dam broke as well. Guess when you don’t care what you look like, you just want to pull that hair back and get back to work. Be sure that you also have baby wipes also. Using them to “bathe” with will conserve your water and your energy. So will anti-bacterial liquids such as Purell.
- Thermal underwear: Remember tops and bottoms.
- Bow saws, axes and hatchets & Wedges: Remember the honing oil as well.
- Aluminum foil: If you have to select between regular or heavy duty, get the heavy duty. You can wash it and reuse it under many circumstances. (Great Cooking & Barter item)
- Gasoline containers: I completely disagree with this item, but if you’ve got to flee in your vehicle, it is smart to have on hand. However, for long-term survival, gasoline is impractical. It’s dangerous and it will only put a target on your back from looters who can’t think to survive any other way.
- Garbage bags: This is one item that you do not want to skimp on. If we fail to take care of sanitation, then everyone within a 50 mile radius will be dead within 90 days. It’s impossible to have too many of these.
- Paper products: such as toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels. Do you even know how long one roll of toilet paper lasts in your home? Better find out. Also paper plates and plastic cups and utensils will help to conserve your water supply as well as your energy.
- Milk: Think in terms of powdered or condensed milk. Be sure the shake the canned milk ever 90 to 120 days. You can make a whole lot of your ideal dairy products with powdered milk such as cheese, yogurt, sour cream, butter, etc.
- Garden seeds: (Non-hybrid) Do not buy canned seeds – they must be aerated.
- Clothes pins/line/hangers: This should be a “duh” item, but most of us take our electric dryer for granted.
- Canned meats: Thank goodness for the big wholesale warehouses that sell quality canned beef, chicken, turkey and tuna. Also, I’d rethink your negative stigmas of the canned “meat” Spam. I’ve made several great dishes with this recently. And Spam stores for a very, very long time.
- Fire extinguishers: Where there’s chaos, there are fires. Be sure you’re prepared. It would also be smart to have very large boxes of baking soda on hand for the same purpose as well.
- First aid kits: Ideally you can also have a military field surgical kit on hand as well. This is an area that is significantly underrated and will be used more times that a toilet in an emergency. Be sure to remember aspirin, ibuprofen, and cough syrup as well.
- Batteries: You’ll want to be sure that you have all different sizes on hand. In my opinion though, you’re best off if you have rechargeable batteries and invest in a solar battery charger. Be sure to be mindful of the expiration dates on the batteries your purchase.
- Spices and baking supplies: Be mindful of flour, yeast, salt, garlic, and other spices that you use on a regular basis. Be sure you have bouillons and soy sauce, plus mixes for soy sauce, vinegars, gravy mixes and soup mixes on hand as well.
- Matches: While matches are an asset, you’d be better off getting a magnesium stick with a striker. However, if you’re going to purchase matches, be sure to get the “strike anywhere” kind. Keep in mind that the boxed and wooden matches will go first in an emergency.
- Writing paper/pads/pencils/solar calculators: Don’t make me expound on this one. Just make sure you have plenty paper and writing utensils on hand J
- Insulated ice chests: Ice chests have a dual purpose in both warm and cold weather. In the warm weather they obviously can prevent items from overheating, but in the cold, they can keep items from getting freezer burn or just plain getting too cold. Think of them as an insulator for what ever temperature you want to maintain.
- Labor attire: such as work boots, belts, gloves, jeans, etc. You’ll find yourself much more active in an emergency. So your everyday clothes that you may wear for fashion as opposed to function just aren’t going to cut it.
- Flashlights, light sticks, and torches: Portable lighting will be invaluable in an emergency.
- Cast iron cookware: When you’re cooking on raw open flames you definitely don’t want to you use your standard cookware. Be sure you have cast iron cookware available.
- Fishing supplies/tools: While this is a resource for getting “protein” in your diet, the likelihood of fishing supplies really coming in handy during the initial phase of an emergency is slim. Waters could be poisoned in the event of an earthquake or terrorist attack, and you will be much more focused on taking care of your family right where you are rather than expending energy to forage for food in the lakes and streams. This is yet another reason why you need to have food stored that you can use in your home, and not kid yourself into thinking that you can fish your way through a disaster.
- Pest and Insect repellents: Consider sprays, creams, or lotions. The oil made by Avon, called Skin-So-Soft is actually a VERY effective mosquito repellent and obviously has multiple purposes. In the event of a disaster which requires you to live without your standard comforts, get ready to make friends with the bugs. Keep traps and bug sprays on hands as well. When all heck breaks loose, the varmints will come from everywhere they normally are foraging for survival just like you.
- Duct tape: You will NEED duct tape. And lots of it for a whole lot of reasons. We have purchased cases of it at the warehouse places.
- Shelter Materials: Be sure you have heavy tarps, stakes, and rope on hand to ensure that you do not go without shelter. You will also need the tarp to section off rooms in the cold so that you’re heating just small spaces instead of your entire home. You’ll want to be mindful of screen patches, glue (super glue, craft glue and fabric glue), nails, screws, nuts and bolts.
- Candles: While these do run in short supply very quickly in the event of a looming disaster, they are extremely ineffective as a source of light. See comments on lamps for more details. Spend your money elsewhere.
- Backpacks & Duffle bags: in the event that you’ve got to leave your home and travel with sufficient supplies elsewhere, backpacks are necessary. These are also ideal for a 72 hour kit if you choose to have those handy as well.
- Sewing supplies: Clothes will need repairs; fabric will need modified, so be sure that you have a really good quality of scissors. If you don’t know how to sew, it will serve you well to take a couple of basic classes. Regardless of what your financial circumstances are that may prohibit you from purchasing the preparedness items you need, you have no excuse not to hoard knowledge. You’ve got the internet, the library, and a whole lot of cheap or free classes available so that you can learn these types of necessary skills.
- Canned goods: such as fruits, veggies, soups, etc. Be sure to have your own canning supplies on hand as well such as the jars, lids, and paraffin wax. This makes plug #3 for a pressure cooker a wise investment so that when you do can foods, you ensure your jars seal properly.
- Knives: Be sure to have the foresight for sharpening tools as well. Obviously these are good as weapons, tools, cooking aids, etc. Don’t skimp on something so critical. My husband periodically takes solely a knife and hikes into the wilderness. It’s the most important tool he takes with him.
- Bedding: While you may believe your own bed is comfort enough, you’re very likely to be taking others into your shelter in the event of an emergency, or to need to flee elsewhere with transportable bedding. Think of having sleeping bags, cots, self-inflating mattresses, pillows, sheets, blankets, and ground mattresses on hand. You’ll be useless if you can’t get quality rest at night.
- Games: such as board games, cards, dice, etc. I love seeing that these are items that are in high demand in the event of an emergency. Many have the foresight to take care of the mental needs of themselves and their loved ones.
- Water enhancers: such as chocolate or strawberry powder, Tang, Kool-Aid etc. While it takes much less energy to add a flavor to stored water to make it taste good, it’s not the best way to intake your daily dose of water, especially in an emergency state. Your body even treats water with a simple lemon in it completely different than it does straight water. It has to exert energy to filter it prior to it being used by the kidneys and the rest of your body. Your body needs WATER. Just plain WATER to function properly. Try to avoid relying on flavors to get your necessary intake. Instead try pouring the water from one container to another to aerate it to make the taste more pleasant.
- Easy foods: Such as graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, trail mix, beef jerky, peanut butters, and nuts.
- Lumber: 2 x 4s and sheets of plywood are the first to go. Having a few of these pieces on hand will save you a great deal of stress later.
- And last, but definitely NOT least… Guns and Ammo: While many so-called emergency preparedness experts tend to shy away from discussing this need, it’s naïve and frankly derelict in my opinion to do so. If there’s an emergency, chaos will ensue. There’s no guarantee that those behind bars will stay there. And there are PLENTY of persons who are not prepared for such a disaster that will be desperate and highly motivated to get the resources they need—from your supplies. You can say to yourself that you would be willing to die if someone needed your food and other supplies that badly. That’s fine. That’s your choice. But are you willing to make that same choice for your children? It’s naïve to believe that only your supplies will be targeted by those who would harm you for what isn’t yours. Are you willing to watch idly by while those you love have their virtue threatened at the hands of violent criminals as well? In order of priority, get a handgun first, then a shotgun, and then a rifle. Be sure that you have at least 1,000 rounds of ammo for each gun type you have. And last but not least, be sure you get sufficient knowledge so that you can actually use a firearm in an emergency. Mark my words, there will come a time in which ammo is worth more than the currency you carry in your purse or wallet. So even if you have no intention of defending yourself, you may want to at least have something of value on hand to get what you need. If you don’t believe that these items will be important in the event of an emergency, understand that sales have increased over 40% from last year just because of an administrative change in our government. People will be more aware of this need in the event of a disaster. Having the supplies are one thing. Being assured that you get to benefit from them is another.
In many cases the use of dry ice works much better then placing oxygen packets into your storage containers. An example would be if you are storing food in one of the 5 gallon buckets and you do not make use of a Mylar bag to put the food in. You could in this case merely place dry ice in the bucket and it would seal the unit for you.
Often people are totally confused when it comes to using dry ice. For one they may not know where to obtain the product at. Secondly, many people are simply afraid of using it. They feel that the necessary procedures may be a bit complicated and thus they try to avoid using the method all together. They are honestly petrified of making any sort of mistake when using the ice.
Well, lets get to the meat of this article and you will quickly realize that there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of when working with dry ice. It takes only a tablespoon of dry ice for each gallon size container so you would require a small chunk of dry ice approximately the size of a one-third cup measuring spoon for each 5 gallon bucket you are sealing.
When sealing grain in one of your buckets the procedure to follow is to pour about three inches of the grain into the bucket. Next add the dry ice. The three inches or so of grain is to prevent the dry ice from freezing and cracking the bottom of the bucket. After placing the dry ice in the bucket you can then fill the bucket up with additional grain. Set the lid loosely on the top of the bucket and wait patiently for approximately one half hour. Now push the lid onto the bucket firmly. You can check it in another half hour for any possible bulging, In the event that there are any types of bulges you merely have to "burp" the lid. This is accomplished the same way as you would burp a Tupperware lid when you put one in one of their containers. You simply lift up on one small area to allow the excess air or CO2 to escape and then you push the lid back on.
The procedure is not complicated in the least and you can not make a mistake if you leave your buckets where you can watch them for the first few hours. Check them regularly to ensure that you are aware of any changes that may be occurring. After a few hours has past you can use a rubber mallet or perhaps a regular hammer along with a piece of wood held across the lid to tap the lid completely in place. Presto you are now finished.
Keep in mind that dry ice tends to evaporates rather quickly. If you were to purchase a pound of dry ice one evening there is a very good chance that it will evaporate by the next morning. It makes no difference if the ice is stored in a freezer or not as it evaporates rather quickly. The best procedure to follow in this case is to get all your buckets ready at one time and then go get your dry ice. When you return with it you can put it in the buckets and then finish filling them up.
Now you can readily see that there is no magic involved with using dry ice. It is simple, easy and does not take a rocket scientist to use it properly. Good luck in your storage goals.
Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish
For more information relating to survival visit us at http://www.survival-training.info
Yesterday, in Part1, I discussed the "safe" and counter-cyclical occupations for the unfolding economic depression. Today, I'd like to talk about one specific approach: self-employment with a home-based business.
I posted most the following back in late 2005, but there are some important points that are worth repeating:
The majority of SurvivalBlog readers that I talk with tell me that they live in cities or suburbs, but they would like to live full time at a retreat in a rural area. Their complaint is almost always the same: "...but I'm not self-employed. I can't afford to live in the country because I can't find work there, and the nature of my work doesn't allow telecommuting." They feel stuck.
Over the years I've seen lots of people "pull the plug" and move to the boonies with the hope that they'll find local work once they get there. That usually doesn't work. Folks soon find that the most rural jobs typically pay little more than minimum wage and they are often informally reserved for folks that were born and raised in the area. (Newcomers from the big city certainly don't have hiring priority!)
My suggestion is to start a second income stream, with a home-based business. Once you have that business started, then start another one. There are numerous advantages to this approach, namely:
You can get out of debt
You can generally build the businesses up gradually, so that you don't need to quit your current occupation immediately
By working at home you will have the time to home school your children and they will learn about how to operate a business.
You can live at your retreat full time. This will contribute to your self-sufficiency, since you will be there to tend to your garden, fruit/nut trees, and livestock.
If one of your home-based businesses fails, then you can fall back on the other.
Ideally, for someone that is preparedness-minded, a home-based business should be something that is virtually recession proof, or possibly even depression proof. Ask yourself: What are you good at? What knowledge or skills do you have that you can utilize. Next, consider which businesses will flourish during bad times. Some good examples might include:
Mail order/Internet sales/eBay Auctioning of preparedness-related products.
Blogging (with paid advertising) If you have knowledge about a niche industry and there is currently no authoritative blog on the subject, then start your own!
Mail order/Internet sales of entertainment items. (When times get bad, people still set aside a sizable percentage of their income for "escape" from their troubles. For example, video rental shops have done remarkably well during recessions.)
Burglar Alarm Installation
Other home-based businesses that seem to do well only in good economic times include:
Fine arts, crafts, and jewelry. Creating and marketing your own designs--not "assembly" for some scammer. (See below.)
Mail order/Internet sales/eBay Auctions of luxury items, collectibles, or other "discretionary spending" items
Personalized stationary and greeting cards (Freelance artwork)
Beware the scammers! The fine folks at www.scambusters.org have compiled a "Top 10" list of common work-at-home and home based business scams to beware of:
10. Craft Assembly
This scam encourages you to assemble toys, dolls, or other craft projects at home with the promise of high per-piece rates. All you have to do is pay a fee up-front for the starter kit... which includes instructions and parts. Sounds good? Well, once you finish assembling your first batch of crafts, you'll be told by the company that they "don't meet our specifications."
In fact, even if you were a robot and did it perfectly, it would be impossible for you to meet their specifications. The scammer company is making money selling the starter kits -- not selling the assembled product. So, you're left with a set of assembled crafts... and no one to sell them to.
9. Medical Billing
In this scam, you pay $300-$900 for everything (supposedly) you need to start your own medical billing service at home. You're promised state-of-the-art medical billing software, as well as a list of potential clients in your area.
What you're not told is that most medical clinics process their own bills, or outsource the processing to firms, not individuals. Your software may not meet their specifications, and often the lists of "potential clients" are outdated or just plain wrong.
As usual, trying to get a refund from the medical billing company is like trying to get blood from a stone.
8. Email Processing
This is a twist on the classic "envelope stuffing scam" (see #1 below). For a low price ($50?) you can become a "highly-paid" email processor working "from the comfort of your own home."
Now... what do you suppose an email processor does? If you have visions of forwarding or editing emails, forget it. What you get for your money are instructions on spamming the same ad you responded to in newsgroups and Web forums!
Think about it -- they offer to pay you $25 per e-mail processed -- would any legitimate company pay that?
7. "A List of Companies Looking for Homeworkers!"
In this one, you pay a small fee for a list of companies looking for homeworkers just like you.
The only problem is that the list is usually a generic list of companies, companies that don't take homeworkers, or companies that may have accepted homeworkers long, long ago. Don't expect to get your money back with this one.
6. "Just Call This 1-900 Number For More Information..."
No need to spend too much time (or money) on this one. 1-900 numbers cost money to call, and that's how the scammers make their profit. Save your money -- don't call a 1-900 number for more information about a supposed work-at-home job.
5. Typing At Home
If you use the Internet a lot, then odds are that you're probably a good typist. How better to capitalize on it than making money by typing at home? Here's how it works: After sending the fee to the scammer for "more information," you receive a disk and printed information that tells you to place home typist ads and sell copies of the disk to the suckers who reply to you. Like #8, this scam tries to turn you into a scammer!
4. "Turn Your Computer Into a Money-Making Machine!"
Well, this one's at least half-true. To be completely true, it should read: "Turn your computer into a money-making machine... for spammers!"
This is much the same spam as #5, above. Once you pay your money, you'll be sent instructions on how to place ads and pull in suckers to "turn their computers into money-making machines."
3. Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)
If you've heard of network marketing (like Amway), then you know that there are legitimate MLM businesses based on agents selling products or services. One big problem with MLMs, though, is when the pyramid and the ladder-climbing become more important than selling the actual product or service. If the MLM business opportunity is all about finding new recruits rather than selling products or services, beware: The Federal Trade Commission may consider it to be a pyramid scheme... and not only can you lose all your money, but you can be charged with fraud, too!
We saw an interesting MLM scam recently: one MLM company advertised the product they were selling as FREE. The fine print, however, states that it is "free in the sense that you could be earning commissions and bonuses in excess of the cost of your monthly purchase of" the product. Does that sound like free to you?
2. Chain Letters/Emails ("Make Money Fast")
If you've been on the Internet for any length of time, you've probably received or at least seen these chain emails. They promise that all you have to do is send the email along plus some money by mail to the top names on the list, then add your name to the bottom... and one day you'll be a millionaire. Actually, the only thing you might be one day is prosecuted for fraud. This is a classic pyramid scheme, and most times the names in the chain emails are manipulated to make sure only the people at the top of the list (the true scammers) make any money. This scam should be called "Lose Money Fast" -- and it's illegal.
1. Envelope Stuffing
This is the classic work-at-home scam. It's been around since the U.S. Depression of the 1920s and 1930s, and it's moved onto the Internet like a cockroach you just can't eliminate. There are several variations, but here's a sample: Much like #5 and #4 above, you are promised to be paid $1-2 for every envelope you stuff. All you have to do is send money and you're guaranteed "up to 1,000 envelopes a week that you can stuff... with postage and address already affixed!" When you send your money, you get a short manual with flyer templates you're supposed to put up around town, advertising yet another harebrained work-from-home scheme. And the pre-addressed, pre-paid envelopes? Well, when people see those flyers, all they have to do is send you $2.00 in a pre-addressed, pre-paid envelope. Then you stuff that envelope with another flyer and send it to them. Ingenious perhaps... but certainly illegal and unethical.
From all that I've heard, most franchises and multi-level marketing schemes are not profitable unless you pick a great product or service, and you already have a strong background in sales. Beware of any franchise where you wouldn't have a protected territory. My general advice is this: You will probably be better off starting your own business, making, retailing, or consulting about something where you can leverage your existing knowledge and/or experience.
In closing, I'd like to reemphasize that home security and locksmithing are likely to provide steady and profitable employment for the next few years, since hard economic times are likely to trigger a substantial crime wave. After all, someone has to keep watch on the tens of thousands of foreclosed, vacant houses. (If not watched, then crack cocaine addicts, Chicago syndicate politicians, or other undesirables might move in!)
The first basic resource that will be required is money.
You will need money not only to buy or purchase junk land but for property taxes, a title deed, property surveys, legal fees and numerous other miscellaneous costs and fees. These extras may even be a substantial part of the "cost" of your junk land. You will need to know these costs before you make your purchase so as to insure you have adequate funds available. Budgetary strains caused by large purchases can create a further burden if you fail to take these extra costs into consideration when making a land purchase. How much money you will need will depend on land prices in the area you decide that will best suit your needs and the needs of your family.
The second basic resource you will need are basic skills.
If your junk land is of poor quality from an agricultural standpoint, you will need to be knowledgeable in such areas as gardening and raising simple forms of livestock such as chickens, goats or pigs. Do you know how to grow crops in a raised bed? Can you make compost to improve the native soil? Can you build a cold frame in order to grow crops in the winter? In other words, you will need to be able to provide the skills to make it sustainable.
Are your carpentry skills adequate to build your own shelter? Will you need an alternate form of shelter (RV, trailer, etc.) till the weather is in your favor in order to have sufficient time for construction? Are your carpentry skills non-existent causing you to rely on the paid services of someone else? These are all serious questions that you will need to know the answers before you jump off the deep end and purchase junk land.
Will it need a well for a source of water? Is the water table high enough that you can dig one yourself if needed? Or do you have sufficient funds for that basic requirement to provide water if needed? Will you have to haul water till a solution can be found? You will then need a means to transport it and money for fuel costs! It may already have a basic source of water which will allow you to avoid these problems. Or it may not!
The third basic resource is time.
It will take time and lots of it to turn junk land into a thing of beauty. It will take time to find the "right" junk land. Will you need it to be close enough to an area where possible employment may be found? Will you want it to be close enough to family and friends so that you can avail yourself of their help and resources? Or will you need additional space to provide for elderly or handicapped family members that are a part of your group? It takes time to grow crops, manage the needs of livestock, or to build or maintain a shelter. You will need to put in a lot of time to make it work!
The fourth basic resource is patience.
You will need a great deal of patience. The "right" junk land for you may not be "right" for someone else. Although basic needs are the same for everyone, your situation will be different from someone else depending upon what those individual circumstances are. This is something that can't be rushed. If money wasn't an object affecting your decision, you could buy the best available property out there. Unfortunately for the average person or family, this is simply not an option.
Using good common sense and a little patience, knowing the limits of your abilities, and making sure you have the minimum amount of needed funds will allow you to be successful in turning your junk land into a jewel!
Staying above the water line!
1.) Sweet Corn
The sweet corn you usually find in the produce section of your grocery store or in cans is most often served as a vegetable. It is also referred to as “corn on the cob”. it is still a grain and consists of three fairly common types of sweet corn. These are white, yellow and a hybrid combination of the white and the yellow types. Sweet corn should be consumed rather quickly after harvesting due to its high sugar content which quickly converts into starch.
2.) Flint Corn
Flint corn is also known as red or blue corn. It has a very hard exterior and is most often used as an animal feed. It is also used in many processed food items made for human consumption, including such things as chips, drinks, sweeteners, and cereals. The more colorful varieties are also used as decorative corn. This is the type that is most often ground into corn meal but can be difficult to grind into a fine flour.
3.) Popcorn or “Popping Corn”
Popcorn is a special type of corn. It has an extremely high moisture content. When heated it causes the moisture content to heat up. Since the moisture can’t escape, it causes the corn to “pop”. Popcorn is a special type of flint corn. Popcorn can even be ground into cornmeal. It has a long shelf life if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry area.
4.) Field Corn (also known as Dent Corn)
Field corn or dent corn is also known as hominy and is found in the canned goods section of most grocery stores when used as a vegetable. It is also found in the form of “grits” as a dry product that is used to make a hot breakfast cereal. This is the type of corn that is used in masa harina. Masa merely means dough when translated. This is the type of corn used in traditional Mexican cooking to make tortillas and other products. This corn is low in sugar and high in starch.
5.) Flour Corn
This type of corn is grown specifically for making corn flour. It is softer and contains more starch than the other varieties of corn. Corn flour is generally made with white corn and is used in baked goods. It should not be confused with masa harina. Masa harina is dent or field corn that is boiled and soaked in water with slaked lime. This process lends a superior taste and texture to soft corn tortillas, crispy tortilla chips and tamales.
Corn meal, corn flour and masa harina are different products made with different types of corn.
Cornmeal is simply dried corn that is ground into a coarse meal. Grits are basically the same as cornmeal. Traditionally grits are a much more coarsely ground cornmeal but can be used interchangeably. If using it in baked goods you will need to add flour in addition to the corn meal. Corn flour is a very finely ground corn. It can sometimes be used just as you would wheat flour. You can substitute corn flour for masa harina but you will get less flavor and lack the texture of masa harina. Masa harina and corn flour can also be used to thicken sauces and soups. Masa harina can also be used to make pinole.
Staying above the water line!
Different enhancements are usually for a specific purpose and will not generally add to the overall function of your equipment. If the need for that function is such that you may require it, then by all means you should use it. On the other hand if your upgrade or enhancement is merely adding weight or cost without increasing its overall effectiveness, then maybe you should consider other options.
A charcoal grill or smoker will burn wood scraps or charcoal, but a gas grill needs gas to function and to have a fire for cooking. Charcoal, wood, or other combustible material may be readily available while gas may not be. Or will a simple alcohol stove be satisfactory for your needs? A barrel shroud on a shotgun or bipod on a rifle look great, but do you really need it? Or will a simple stick work? Perhaps an extra magazine with additional rounds would be handier and more functional? Do you need a custom first aid kit or will a homemade one be better suited to your needs? You can buy a kit in a fancy case or you can put together your own using a simple tool box instead and have room for more practical items that you may need.
It is best to remember that pretty doesn’t always mean it’s practical! From a survival and preparedness standpoint, you may be doing yourself a favor by choosing practical add-ons and upgrades for your equipment. Practical is a good thing.
Got pretty or practical?
Staying above the water line!