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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Guest Post: acquiring preparedness skills - #1 gardening

MooMama over at http://moosaidthemama.blogspot.com/ is graciously sharing a series of articles with us beginning with this one. 

Thank you, MooMama!

Bax
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photo credit - Library of Congress

This post is part 1 of our series on acquiring preparedness skills. What I did was adapt handouts I had created for our ward (congregation) preparedness fair last year and re-write them into blog posts. I've tried to make the information more general than our local community, but international readers will still find that it's probably localized to the US.

These posts won't be comprehensive as that isn't the intent. I hope, though, that you are able to begin your journeys toward acquiring skills that allow you and your families to be more prepared and self-reliant.


Where to Learn about Gardening:


Print Resources

1. University of Wisconsin Extension Service Publications (free PDF downloads or you can purchase printed materials)







Person-to-Person Resources

1. Your local land grant university extension service - most have master gardeners available teaching workshops and answering gardening questions

2. Work with other experienced gardeners

3. Seek out an internship opportunities with a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm



Guest Post: One Year Supply of Food Storage Under $300

SciFiChick
http://baconandeggs-scifichick.blogspot.com/

 A years worth of food storage for under $300! Yes, you read that right.  How does expanding your food storage with literally hundreds of meals for around $300 sound?  I think I may have found one of the best kept secrets around for pumping your food storage up REAL FAST and REAL CHEAP.

Scotch Broth is  is a combination of grains and legumes and it provides a balanced and nutritious meal on the cheap!  "This particular combination is said to provide a balance of ALL of the appropriate amino acids required for a person."

This is really easy recipe to "change" in countless ways.By adding left over meats or vegetables or adding dried vegetables to the mix you could totally change it up. It wouldn't have to be "the same ol' thing either!
The following is an excerpt from the forums at Timebomb2k. This recipe has been floating around the internet for several years but I don't think it has gotten nearly enough attention.


This is what you will need
4 x 22lb (or 10kg) rice. (Any kind will do).
2 x 11lb (or 5kg) kidney beans
2 x 11lb (or 5kg) barley
2 x 11lb (or 5kg) lentils (yellow)
1 x 5.5lb (or 2.5kg) green split peas
1 x 5.5lb (or2.5 kg) chick peas (garbanzo beans)"


( You will also need a total of 30 pounds of bouillon. You will add it to each batch as you cook it.  I think I will store both chicken AND beef bouillon. I added this into the cost and it IS reflected in the $300.)

"Method:
Put the rice in a mixing container.Then add each of the other ingredients 5kg at a time, mixing as you go. (Use surgical gloves or you'll have no nails left, LOL!).
When you have all the other ingredients mixed in with the first two bags of rice, add the last two bags of rice and *REALLY* mix well or you'll get all rice on the bottom of your mixture."

"MAKING SOUP.
Take 16oz of the dry mixture and put in about 6-7 quarts of water (with a nut of butter or a tsp. of olive oil to prevent soup boiling over) and add 3 tablespoons (or to taste) of powdered soup stock. We like to use chicken stock.
Then add any veggies, meat, & seasoning you like (if available). (We like to also put in lots of garlic) (DO NOT USE ONIONS - they'll spoil the mixture).
Bring to a boil and let simmer for two hours and you have enough soup for two days for 4 people.

On the second day you'll need to add some more water (it thickens in the fridge overnight) and another tablespoon of stock. Make sure to boil for at least 10 minutes the second day to kill off any potential bacteria, - especially if you are not storing in fridge, but just in a root cellar or like that in the event of no electricity in summer.

We make our own bread and have a thick slice fer dunkin' with a large bowl of this delicious soup and it serves as a main meal. You are FULL after just one (large size) bowl of this stuff.

Kids will usually only be able to eat half a bowl w/bread, or a small bowl, whichever you prefer. Adults will likely want a nice big bowl.

If there is any mixture left on the third day, just add the new mixture to it. You will need less of course, but you'll get to know how to gauge things as you go along catering to the requirements of your own little family."
"ONIONS>>>Re: onions... They ferment too quickly, and cut down the amount of time you can safely store already cooked soup.

Assuming there are no refrigerators etc., it's best to err on the side of caution and not use them in the soup. If you want to waste fuel and make your soup daily, then onions aren't a problem.

We LOVE onions in our house, and cook them by wrapping them in tinfoil, and putting them in the ever-burning wood stove for an hour. We put in some potatoes too usually, and have a meal of tatties & onions. They taste wonderful prepared in this way, particularly if you add a little butter or olive oil and some herbs when you take them out of the fire. This and some greens is all you need to exist except for vitamin B12.

The recipe calls for the following ingredients by weight
88 pound(s) or 40 kilogram(s) rice
22 pound(s) or 10 kilogram(s) kidney beans
22 pound(s) or 10 kilogram(s) barley
22 pound(s) or 10 kilogram(s) lentils, yellow
5.50 pound(s) or 05 kilogram(s) green split peas
5.50 pound(s) or 05 kilogram(s) chick peas
165 pound(s) or 80 kilogram(s) Total weight

These parts are converted (by weight) as follows to arrive at one pound of broth.
08 ounce(s) rice
02 ounce(s) red kidney beans
02 ounce(s) pearl barley
02 ounce(s) lentils (yellow)
01 ounce(s) green split peas
01 ounce(s) chick peas (Garbanzos)
16 ounce(s) Total Food"

Along with the basic recipe there are also other suggestions to make this truly an excellent source for your long term food storage.  One thought that I had was that this would be a good way to have some "charitable" foods on hand.  You could package it into smaller containers (1 or 2 pounds)  and have a few meals on hand for the less fortunate.   Another idea would be to make up a batch and dehydrate it.  You would have a fast and tasty "Instant Soup". 

If you were to do this over 12 pay-days, and if you are paid weekly, - you would have a10-year food supply in just 3 months.  What a super way to "pump up" your food storage!         
       ~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...~~~