Wednesday, January 26, 2022

30 Sustainable Recipes from the Great Depression



The 1929 crash was exacerbated by the low prices paid for crops, steep increases in machinery costs, and one drought upon another, virtually forcing farmers to use submarginal land in a bid to keep enough money rolling in to pay their mortgages, and feed their families.

With the mass plantings of wheat, grasslands that had held the soil together for thousands of years was gone, and when the drought came, the impoverished soil with nothing to hold it in place developed into a dust bowl with cited figures of 35 million acres rendered useless for farming, and 125 million acres of top soil lost.

cooking 100 years ago

Many in the Midwest and Southern Great Plains areas lost their farms and moved to towns and cities where work was hard to come by. There are stories of professional people working with a pick and shovel constructing roads, just to get enough to eat.

Now, how did the Amish cope during the Great Depression? Pretty well, because they tended to live sustainably and close to the land.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

10 Portable Prepping Items

Long-term Food: Growing and Storing as a solution

Original Article:
http://mic-roland.com/long-term-food-growing-and-storing-as-a-solution/



by Mic Roland

Our approach to long-term food storage is two-pronged. The more active prong is improved sustainability — growing new food each year. Stored food eventually runs out. The only sustainable long-term food solution is to make new food.

That said, our less-active prong is to store bulk foods that we do not grow, like wheat and rice. These are intended to help stretch what our current gardens’ produce — which is not enough to live on alone at the moment. The other part of this second prong is having a fair pantry of grocery store foods — cans, boxes, bottles, etc. — to tide is over during a short-term isolation and to provide some variety during a long-term even when we’re cooking more with our bulk supplies.
Gardening With Long-Term in Mind

Seeing our gardens as a long-term food source guides what we grow. Generally, we grow what will keep well, time-shifting our harvest for eating during the winter. For the past many years, I’ve been working on making the Native-American companion planting — The Three Sisters — do well in my location. The hard-kernel corn (not a sweet corn) is a carb. The pole beans are a protein. The squash is a vitamin supplement. Those simple foods, while not exciting in the culinary sense, did sustain Native Americans for many centuries. I like being sustained.

We devote only a little space to ephemerals like lettuce and radishes, preferring crops that can be stored. We grow root crops such as carrots, beets, potatoes, and turnips as they keep fairly well in the right conditions. Onions and garlic keep well once dried off. Root crops can be kept “fresh” in the coolness of a root cellar.
Preserving Perishables

Some of our produce, like green beans, apples, and raspberries have a relatively short shelf life as “fresh” but can be preserved for later. We employ a variety of preservation techniques for the harvest of our gardens.


Hot Water Bath Canning — We make salsa out of our tomatoes, onions, peppers, and zucchini (as a filler). We also can just tomatoes and tomato juice. We slice up and can our pears and apples as just plain apples or pie filling. Cucumbers become pickles. We have canned up jams too, though we have about a hundred-year supply of jam already, so not so much of that lately. Our old canner actually had a hole wear through the bottom and had to buy a new one.
Using an old Mirror 22 qt.

Pressure Canning — Low-acid or low-sugar foods like green beans and beets must be pressure canned. When the green beans kick in during the summer, we can’t eat them all. We save them up for a canning session’s worth and put them away for winter. Usually, the flock has a few “retirees” in the fall, so we can up some chicken meat for winter meals.

Dry Storage — Shelled corn and dried beans are kept in mesh bags or, sometimes vacuum-sealed in quart jars. Hot peppers get strung up and allowed to dry for storage. During the very low humidity conditions of winter, dry storage in room air has been sufficient. Keeping things dry enough during the humidity of summer is more of a challenge.

Canned apple wedges

Root Cellar — Actually, it’s our garage. It’s a concrete-walled space that is mostly earth-sheltered. It stays moderately cool in summer and is our ‘drive-in fridge’ in winter, hovering around 35°. There, we store the garden’s squash, pumpkins, and some apples. Root crops are stored in a big bucket of sand. They stay good throughout the winter. Onions and garlic are kept dry and cool there too.

Fermenting — We grow cabbages, some of which get prepared into meals during autumn, but most gets turned into sauerkraut and stored in jars for winter consumption. The sauerkraut sometimes gets enhanced with carrot shavings and/or onions, for fun.


Dehydrating — As long as we’ve got grid power, we use our little Excalibur dehydrator to dry apple bits for winter cooking. We dehydrate eggs during the heavy-laying days of summer to compensate for the egg scarcity during the autumn molt and low-production winter. We also make fruit leather from our berries, saving them up in the freezer until there’s enough for a batch.

Mylar Bags — Thus far, the mylar bags and oxygen absorbers have been more for purchased bulk foods like the wheat berries. It is nice to have some longer-term foods protected for farther down the road, if need be.
An Eye Toward Long-Term

We also harvest seeds to ensure that we’ll have food next year too. By saving the seeds from things that did well in our garden year after year, we are (little by little) improving our harvests. Whatever grew well in our location, we want more of that and save those seeds. Whatever did poorly, we don’t need to devote space to that next year.

Long-Term food needs to look beyond storing purchased foods. If you can’t buy replacements, storage will eventually run out.

What do you do to preserve your harvest for later consumption?

Monday, January 24, 2022

Survival Tool Guide For Preppers (Part 2)

Places to avoid during/after a major SHTF event



Should the day arrive that we experience a major, prolonged grid-down event, you may find yourself having to take extreme measures to ensure your safety. Be it executing your bug in plans, getting yourself out of danger by bugging out, or implementing your security plans, you may have to go to extreme measures to protect yourself.

Part of protecting yourself should include avoiding areas that could be incredibly dangerous both during and after an apocalyptic type event. The initial chaos and the subsequent lingering danger at certain locations and areas means that you should bypass them altogether.

Some of this might seem counter-intuitive, but trust me, there is a reason why I believe you need to avoid these places, both during and after the SHTF. To me, the risk of going to these places significantly outweighs any reward that you might hope to find.

In a post apocalyptic setting, I believe that these areas could still be considered dangerous. And even if they are no longer dangerous, I believe they will not have any resources you might hope to find. For more on scavenging in a post grid-down scenario, please click here.


Click here

So which areas are these? Let’s jump in and get started!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

The Guide to Lacto-Fermentation: How To Ferment Nearly Anything

LACTO-FERMENTATION FOR BEGINNERS



Lacto-Fermentation is a centuries-old technique for both preserving food, and increasing its nutritional value and digestibility.  Learn how to make your own fermented vegetables at home with just a few simple ingredients.

Lacto-Fermented Pickles culturing in a pickling crock with ceramic weight

Image courtesy of Melissa Keyser

You’re probably aware of the many health benefits of eating fermented foods, but did you know how easy it is to make your own fermented vegetables at home? 

To make fermented vegetables, the only pieces of equipment you’ll need are a mason jar and a container for making a two-ingredient brine (water plus salt, that’s it!). 

The hard part is choosing which vegetable to ferment, but fortunately, the method is so forgiving you’ll have room to experiment with as many veggies as you’d like. 

WHAT IS LACTO-FERMENTATION AND HOW DOES IT PRESERVE FOOD?

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Comfort & Hardship

The Global Depression Of Our Lifetime Is Coming




 by RICH M.

 


Ever since the “Great Recession” of 2008/2009, financial gurus of all stripes have been predicting another great depression, perhaps one even greater than the one of 1929 to 1933. Actually, what they’ve talked about is the country “driving off the financial cliff” and they’ve mostly attributed it to Congress’ irresponsibility in driving up the national debt.

The thing that differs in these financial prognostications is the trigger that’s going to cause us to go off the financial cliff. That’s an ever-moving target, as it changes every time that another trigger passes us by, without bringing about the expected disaster.

But the underlying problem which is likely to cause the financial collapse, bringing us into the depression is still there. Essentially, our economy is on very shaky ground and it is ground that has never been trod on before.

Related: What Could Happen In One Year If The Economy Does Not Restart

Part of what has propped up our economy to this point, is that the US dollar is the world’s reserve currency. Pretty much all international business transactions are conducted in dollars. That simple fact forces every country and every international corporation around the globe to buy dollars.

Add to that the amount of money the Federal Reserve is releasing as “quantitative easing” essentially money created out of thin air.

While there is some need for increasing the money pool in response to population increase and a growing economy, this is mostly done to fund government commitments that are not funded by tax revenue.

In other words, it’s money made up to pay for things, because there is no money to pay for them.

It is this, not businesses charging more for their products, which drives inflation. Businesses increase their prices because the materials they need to buy cost more; in other words, they are reacting to inflation, which in turn perpetuates the cycle.

The Reality

The reality of what is happening is that every time the Federal Reserve creates more money, is that they are diluting the value of every dollar in existence.

The Global Depression of Our Lifetimes is Coming

Essentially each dollar is a percentage of the total value of our country’s economy.

Since they are constantly creating dollars faster than the growth of the economy, they are reducing the value of the dollar. It’s just happening at such a slow rate, that we can’t see it.

Surprisingly, the quantitative easing that the Fed has been doing hasn’t caused massive inflation, as it normally would. About the only place we see that massive inflation is on Wall Street, which economists look at as being good.

But that doesn’t mean that everything is okay. At some point in time, and quite possibly sooner than anyone expects, the house of cards is going to come crashing down.

Some economists are now trying to say that our national dept is actually “too low” and that our economy can support a whole lot more. What they’re really saying is that they think the world will support holding onto a lot more US debt, allowing out government to borrow even more.

Perhaps the scariest single event pointing to how far out on a limb our government is, was the Coronavirus relief act.

The Global Depression of Our Lifetimes is Coming

In a single stroke, Congress authorized an additional 2.2 trillion dollars of funny money to be produced and parceled out to various entities, including you and I, to try and keep the COVID-19 pandemic from turning into a major financial disaster.

What nobody seems to have figured out yet, is that now that they’ve done that once, there’s nothing to stop them from doing it again. The real question is, how many times will they get away with that, before it becomes the trigger to bring down not just the US economy, but the economy of the world.

Typically, when countries have a financial collapse, the rest of the world’s economy remains intact. That props them up and allows them to rebuild. But as the world’s biggest economy, when the US has a hiccup in our finances, it affects the world.

The Great Depression hurt not only the US economy, but the entire world’s economy. Likewise, the housing bubble bursting in 2008/2009 did so too.

Related: 50 Tips From the Great Depression

When we enter into this next depression, there won’t be anyone to bail us out; they’ll all be trying to bail themselves out, thanks to us.

What Should We Do?

With the certainty that another great depression is coming, even though we don’t know when it will happen, we need to get ready. While not everyone loses their jobs and has their lives destroyed by a depression, everyone is affected by it.

The Global Depression of Our Lifetimes is Coming The Argentinean collapse of 1999, which is used as a model of what we could expect in our own economic collapse, saw over 2000% inflation, with the peak months showing 200% inflation in one month alone!

During that same collapse, wages increased by less than 250%.

So those who made out the best still found their money not going anywhere near as far and their purchasing power greatly reduced.

The two categories of people who were hit the worst by that collapse were those who worked in industries which provided luxuries and those who were heavily in debt.

Luxury goods stopped selling altogether, not even to the wealthy. So factories and stores which sold those goods shut down. At the same time, those who were heavily in debt couldn’t make their payments and lost everything, including their homes.

Therefore, we don’t want to be part of either of those groups. On the other hand, people who lived out in the country, where they could live off the land, did well, with few of them losing their homes or going hungry.

Get A Secure Job

If you work in an industry where that’s highly affected by the economy, especially one which is selling luxury goods, then it’s time to get out. Find something more secure, such as working in the food industry or making repairs.

The Global Depression of Our Lifetimes is Coming

When the economy goes south people put off buying new products; they keep the old, spending money on repairing them. So some of the most secure jobs around are providing repair services, whether repairing computers, appliances or cars.

Many of the typically secure jobs will remain secure as well, such as jobs in the medical field and working for the government; although some teachers did lose their jobs in the 2008/2009 hiccup our economy experienced.

Related: 10 Expenses You Need to Cut Now for the Upcoming Economic Depression

Get Out Of Debt

Do whatever you can, to eliminate the debt in your life.

The Global Depression of Our Lifetimes is Coming

While there may be some dept you can’t get rid of, like your home mortgage, make sure that your mortgage isn’t any higher than it need to be.

If you can, downsize; selling your home and moving into a smaller one, lowering your mortgage payment. If not, then look at refinancing, to see if it will save you money.

More than anything, you want to get rid of other types of debt, as they will make it harder for you to make your house payment.

If the only debt you have is your mortgage, there’s a better chance that you’ll be able to pay it. But if you’re making payments on two cars, credit card debt and the living room furniture, you’re going to be in trouble.

Move, If You Can

The Global Depression of Our Lifetimes is Coming The safest place to be in the midst of a financial crisis is a farm. If you can’t buy a small farm or homestead, then living in a small rural community is a good second choice.

Not only is it cheaper to live in those places, but they tend to have lower crime rates.

Crime always spikes during a time of financial crisis, as people who would otherwise obey the law become desperate and turn to crime as a means of getting what they need.

While there were massive food shortages in the cities, during the Argentinean collapse, there was abundant food on the farms. The problem wasn’t production; it was the cost of transport and selling. Inflation was so bad, that stores couldn’t afford to buy the food.

Unless they could sell that food right away, they would be caught in a position where what they could sell it for, wouldn’t provide them with enough money to restock.

Moving to the country also makes it easier to do the next thing that we all need to do, become self-sufficient.

Related: The Best 5 States for Living Off-Grid

Become Self-Sufficient

Self-SufficientThe cheapest way to feed your family is to grow the food yourself. While you may not have as much variety and you may miss a lot of your favorites, at least you’ll have food to eat.

With the high potential for food shortages, as I mentioned above, that’s an important part of your family’s survival.

Historically, the people living on farms and homesteads were the least affected by any vagrancies of the economy. While they may not have had a lot of riches, those people always had enough to eat. There’s a lot to be said for that.

Be Ready To Defend Yourself

Finally, be ready to defend home and family. As I mentioned earlier, crime rates tend to increase during times of financial hardship. There was a lot of this which happened during the Argentinean collapse, as people fought to survive.

self-defense

People learned quickly not to open the doors of their homes, unless it was to someone that they knew.

Even then, they would check the area around their homes, looking for anyone who didn’t belong there, before opening the door.

There was always a chance of someone rushing the door while it was open.

Likewise, they learned not to stop at a red light, unless it was necessary to avoid an accident. Stopped cars became targets, with criminals breaking open windows to grab what they could or to try and hijack the car.

Kidnappings became a cottage industry in this time, with the children of wealthy people becoming prime targets. But they weren’t the only ones. To those who were desperate, anyone with a home was wealthy. Kids couldn’t play outdoors, without an armed adult standing by to watch over them and protect them.

Don’t Forget To Stockpile

Finally, we come back to the basis of all prepping, stockpiling. Food may very well become the best possible investment you can make, as the price of food will lead the inflation race.

Having a good stockpile, going into the depression, may just be what keeps your family eating, while everyone else is struggling to make ends meet.

Friday, January 21, 2022

Preppers Top 5 Fears After SHTF

The Best Homesteading Books (Is your favorite on the list?)






    We've picked out the best homesteading books to get you started on your homesteading journey. Our top three all have enough detail to take you from start to finish on many homestead projects, but deliver it in different styles.



homesteading books

Our Top Picks for Best Homesteading Books

Modern homesteaders range from those creating your off grid homestead to apartment dwellers looking to be more self reliant. These homesteading books provide practical advice to get you started.

How to Transform Your Garage Into a Survival Hideout



By 


Ask ten survivalists what the ideal shelter looks like, and you’ll get ten different answers. The perfect hideout won’t look the same for everyone, it’s true, but they’ll have the same purpose. Your primary goal is to keep you and your family safe in an SHTF scenario.

So, what would you need to know to turn your garage into the perfect hideout, regardless of your preferences? Here are some primary considerations to keep in mind.

Insulate and Reinforce the Room

The biggest problem with using a garage as a survivalist shelter is that these rooms aren’t insulated or attached to your home’s HVAC system. They’re also generally not the most secure room in your home. The door might close, but it’s not going to provide much extra security.

If you’re going to turn your garage into a shelter, start by turning your garage into a safe and secure room. Attach it to your home’s HVAC system — or hire a professional to do it for you — and take the time to insulate and reinforce the walls. You’re trying to create a bunker here, and that starts with a solid foundation.

Strengthen the Walls

Consider the kind of situations you might encounter once the world ends. Are you worried about zombies? Probably not. Are you concerned about your neighbor attacking your place to steal any supplies you might have? What about a violent insurrection or civil unrest?

These are a few possible scenarios you should consider. While you’re reinforcing your walls, consider making them bullet-resistant. It’s easier than you might think. If your home is already made of concrete or brick, it’s already got some bullet resistance built right in. They’re not bulletproof, but they’ll soak up more damage than other types of siding.

Sandbags are an option. Keep in mind they can be awkward and take up a lot of space if you’re trying to stack them to any significant height. You can also invest in bulletproof panels, the only downside being that they are expensive, costing anywhere from $13 to $50 per square foot. If you’re worried about someone shooting up your bunker and you want your best chance, start saving your pennies.

Going Underground?

Next, you need to make a decision. Are you planning on keeping your garage as-is and using it as an above-ground survivalist shelter, or are you going to use it as a launching point to build an underground bunker?

That will depend on your means, your location, and whether you feel like you need a full-blown underground survival bunker. Some places, like Florida, aren’t ideal for underground facilities because of a high water table. Others, like the midwest, may already have underground “bunkers” included because of the need for storm cellars.

If you have your heart set on an underground bunker, start researching what exactly that entails for your part of the world. Will you need construction permits? Most likely. Will you need heavy equipment like excavators? Unless you want to spend months swinging a shovel. Will you need to seal your bunker against moisture? Is it legal to build an underground bunker in your area?

It’s essential to get your ducks in a row before you break ground. Otherwise, you could find yourself with hefty fines and a hole in your yard that you’re not allowed to finish digging. An underground bunker can be a valuable tool in a survival situation, but it isn’t always viable or necessary. Do your research and make your decision. If you choose to opt for the underground facility, you’ll have a lot more construction ahead of you!

Stock Up on Supplies

Next, you need to worry about how you’re going to survive if you need to take shelter in your survivalist hideout. That means stocking up on supplies.

That can be an expensive undertaking, especially if you’re just starting. Don’t try to tackle this step all at once. Start small. Ideally, you’ll want a few months’ worths of supplies, depending on how much space you have to store things. Buying three months’ worth of supplies for a family of four — or even for yourself if you’re currently living alone — can be an expensive proposition.

Aim for 72 hours’ worth of supplies. That’s three days. Once you’ve got that in place, move up to a week, then two weeks, then a month. Before you know it, you’ll have a year’s worth of rotating supplies in your storage space.

Tackling this undertaking in small increments makes it less intimidating and less expensive and also makes it less likely that you’ll give up halfway through. Start with non-perishable foods, water, first aid supplies, and everything you’ll need to make your shelter self-sufficient.

Don’t Forget Fresh Food

Canned goods and non-perishable foods are the ideal choices for creating a survival bunker, but there are some things you’ll miss quite a bit once you can’t make a trip to the store or farmer’s market. You’ll want to make sure you can be entirely self-sufficient, which includes growing fresh food.

Stock up on heirloom seeds. If you’re worried about cultivating a garden outside your bunker, you may wish to also invest in grow lights. You can still produce a large crop indoors, as long as you’ve got plentiful water and grow lights on hand to replace the sunlight. Growing indoors gives you the added perk of tending crops year-round instead of relying on the changing seasons or being unable to grow food during the cold winter months.

If you have space, consider creating a separate grow room. Hydroponics — using nutrient-rich liquids to grow your plants — is also an excellent option for growing fresh food because you can pack many plants into a small space but don’t have to worry about soil. It’s also a lot easier to monitor chemical, pH, and nutrient levels in a hydroponics solution than to do the same with soil.

Protecting Your Survivalist Hideout

A survivalist hideout isn’t very useful if you can’t protect it. While you’re collecting supplies and fortifying your walls, you also need to consider how you’re going to defend yourself. Self-defense will be a serious priority when the world’s turned upside down.

Take some time to choose your weapons for home and hideout defense. First, what weapons are you familiar with? Familiarity and experience are going to help you outmaneuver and outfight your foes every single time. It’s an advantage you can trust to give you an edge.

You’ll also need to consider the amount of space you’ll be working with. The sort of weapons you choose to carry with you out in the world will be different from those you choose for working in an enclosed space.

An AR-15 or shotgun with a barrel longer than 16 inches might seem like a great choice, but you’re trading maneuverability in closed spaces for firepower, and that’s not a trade you generally want to make.

Make the Most of Your Space

Efficient storage is going to be a big part of your survival space, especially if you’re trying to keep everything confined to a single room. You’ll need to be smart with how you situate things.

Take a close look and make the most of your space. Don’t fill up your main living space with supplies. Instead, take advantage of every square inch of wall and ceiling space that you don’t need for comfort and survival. Shelving along the walls, hanging storage from the top, or storing things under furniture are good options for making the most of your space.

Things like murphy beds and other similar furniture can help you make your survival base livable while still making the most of your available space. You can find anything from beds to tables and even things like showers and toilets that you can fold away when they’re not in use.

Make It Comfortable

Surviving the apocalypse doesn’t mean you have to live a spartan existence, sleeping on cots with a scratchy burlap blanket to keep you warm. You’re likely going to spend a lot of time in this space, so make a point to make it comfortable. Personalize it. Make it an area you’re going to be content, if not happy, to be spending long periods.

No one wants to think about how we’ll survive after the end of the world, but we need to be ready for everything. If you’ve got a backup plan for everything, you won’t ever be surprised by anything. That’s the kind of mindset that will help keep you alive if everything starts to fall apart. You can’t take anything for granted, and you can’t expect that anyone will come to your rescue.

If you don’t have the funds or the space to build a massive underground facility, you can turn the garage that’s already attached to your house into a survival shelter that will protect you for years to come.