Entries Tagged ‘food’

Digging potatoes

Nothing brings mankind closer to the earth than digging potatoes. There is a certain joy in working the soil, planting seeds, watching the plants grow, taking care of the plants, then harvesting the fruits of your labor. This is especially true with potatoes.

Digging potatoes like opening a present, you do not know what it is until you open the box. The same is true with potatoes. You do not know what is in the ground until you start digging.

There are other options besides digging potatoes by hand.

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Random thoughts on prepping October 2013

This past weekend I did some soul searching and prioritizing for my SHTF survival plans. I asked myself a serious question. The questions was, “which is more important, food, water, or security?”

Like a lot of people who are prepping for a long term TEOTWAWKI situation I have limited resources. I would love to have a few million dollars to dump into land and an underground bunker. But I do not have that kind of financial resources. But I was lucky enough for my family to own some land in a rural area. While not what some people may consider a perfect bug out location, I have decided to set down roots and start a farm.

I lived in a town with a population of less than 8,000 people, and I lived just north of Houston Texas, and I am now living in a rural area of southeast Texas.

Once you move out of the city to the suburbs prepping plans change a little bit.

Once you move from the suburbs to a rural area prepping plans change a lot.

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Calories After TEOTWAWKI

Something to think about, Potatoes produce around 9 million calories per acre.

Corn produces around 7.5 million calories per acre.  If we want to store corn in bulk, we can stockpile canned corn or store dried corn in mylar bags.  A 14.75 ounce can of cream style sweet corn has 60 calories, a 15.25 ounce can of whole kernel corn has 60 calories – at least that is what the labels say on the cans of corn.

Rice comes in third with an estimated 7.4 million calories per acre.  Rice is also a popular item to store in mylar bags.  If we wanted to break it down to the details, a cup of rice contains about 216 calories.

Soybean 4th with around 2.8 million calories per acre. However, soybean leads the pack of all four in protein production per acre.

Source: Foods & Nutrition Encyclopedia, Volume 1

With a daily intake of 2,000 calories a person will consume 730,000 calories per year.

2,000 calories per day X 365 days in a year = 730,000 calories.

3,000 calories per day = 1,095,000 calories per year.

Lets just say 1,000,000 calories per person over the course of a year.

For a family of 4, a 1 acre plot of land planted with corn could possibly provide all of the calories needed by that family over the course of a year.  But who wants eat corn everyday for a year?

There is a lot of discussion in the survivalist community about getting enough calories after SHTF.  If all we wanted to focus on was calories then lets grow nothing but potatoes and corn.  Hell yea, lets just stockpile canned corn and canned potatoes by the truckload.  But there is this little thing called “nutrition” and “food fatigue.”

If we focus on growing the right crops after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI, calories should not be a problem.

State Of The Nation February 2013

While shopping at the local wal-mart here in Jasper Texas, I noticed a couple of things that made me stop and think.  One issue was the availability of ammunition, or rather the lack of ammunition.  The other issue I am deeply concerned about was the price of a whole fryer chicken.

Ammunition – Everyone and their brother and sister is panic buying all the ammunition they can get their hands on.  If civilians can strip the market of all available ammunition, where would this leave the United States if we entered a real war?  Iraq and Afghanistan are not “real” wars, they are minor conflicts.  The Iraq military is not bombing New York, L.A., Houston or Dallas, tens of thousands of US citizens are not dying every week, its not like in World War II when food and fuel were being rationed,,,.Speckled Sussex, Australorp, Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red

The United States has some minor conflicts going on, but for some reason the store shelves have been empty of ammunition for close to a month and a half?

How would this translate if/when we have a major war with China?  The conflict does not have to be with China.  Lets replace China with <any major world power>.

Over the past few decades firearm manufacturing has been consolidated to a just a handful of companies.  there are a lot of companies out there, but very few of them manufacturer all of their own parts.  the situation is much worse with ammunition manufacturing.  Part of our national security depends on our ability to produce weapons of war.  The question I am asking myself is if the manufacturing base can keep up with demand.  Since the Sandy Hook shooting demand has been outstripping supply.

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How Can People Justify Wasting Food

Walking through walmart today, saw a pack of ground meat and steak sitting on a shelf. The shelf was in the canned goods section, and not the cold foods section.

I picked up the meat, checked to see if it was still cold, then took the two packs to the freezer section.

Is this what humanity has come to, that we can waste enough meat that would feed a family for a day, maybe 2 days, or even 3 days?

The person that left the packs of meat on the shelf, have they gone hungry a single day in their lives?

The person that left the meat on the shelf, were they on food stamps or welfare?

Did the person give a single thought to the animal that had to die to put the meat on the shelf?

What about the cost of raising the animal? The cost of butchering, packing and shipping the meat, did the person give a single thought to all of that?

Sometimes I am ashamed of the human race. How can we justify wasting food while others starve?

If you had seven days notice before SHTF

Lets say the public was given a 1 week notice before the start of a major global conflict. Rarely does that kind of advance knowledge leak out to the public. For the sake of discussion lets say for once the public knows what is going to happen a week ahead of time.

One of the incidents I am referring to is the leak that Israel may attack Iran during Yum Kippor.

I have been hearing various rumors for over 2 decades, so I take them with a grain of salt and keep living life.

The word has leaked out, you do a review of your survival gear stockpile, now what?

What does your water stockpile look like?
What does your ammunition stockpile look like?
What does your fuel stockpile look like?
What about seeds for your long term survival garden, communications, livestock, livestock feed, firearms, propane,,, and other preps.

Firearms

Ruger 10/22 and Marlin model 60 side by side

If you do not have your firearm and ammunition stockpile ready before SHTF, do not count on accumulating supplies after SHTF.

Lets say you had a 1 week notice, what would you buy? Would you buy ammunition, and sacrifice resources to buy food, water, livestock feed, fuel,,,?

Even if you have money to buy ammunition, what makes you think there is going to be anything on the shelves?

Would you rather buy ammunition, food, water, food for the livestock?

My 13 chickens (hens, no roosters) go through a 50 pound bag of laying mash every two weeks. For the price of 200 pounds of laying mash (4 – 50 pound bags), which would last around 2 months, I could buy 100 rounds of Federal 223 Remington.

Would you rather have 2 months of eggs, or would you rather have 100 rounds of 223 Remington?

Then there is the waiting period and permits that some sates have setup. Even if you wanted to buy a firearm, would you have enough time to go through the waiting period, background check, and permit application period?

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Excess food supply

Over the past 2 days I have given away 2 dozen eggs.  Some people might be saying “so what”?  To give food away means that my wife and I have an excess food supply.

Think about that for a minute.  My wife and I bought our first chicks February 25, 2012.  In all we ended up with 13 chickens.  The chickens started laying when they were around 5 months old.  At close to 6 months old we are getting 6 – 7 eggs a day.

Home grown yard eggsWe are dealing with a couple of topics here, the time required to get your food production up and running, and being able to grow more food then you need.

I see a lot of survivalist saying that if SHTF they are going to get some chickens, goats, maybe a couple of cows,,, the usual stuff.  I see those types of planes as being unrealistic.  You think you are going to be the only person looking for farming supplies and livestock after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI?

Lets say you have a buddy that knows a friend whos second cousin has a few chickens they are willing to trade for 1,000 rounds of 223 Remington.  After some bartering the two of you finally agree on 500 rounds of 223 Remington and 500 rounds of 7.62×39 for 2 laying hens.

You get your hens home, now what?  Where are you going to keep them at?  Do you have an enclosed yard to keep your chickens in, do you have a coop?  Or do you plan on keeping the hens in your garage? Hopefully you will be lucky enough to find some hens that are already laying.  If not, you are going to have to wait several months for the chicks to grow and start laying.

Its not just livestock, what does your seed stockpile look like?  Do you have tools to work the field?  Do you have access to a tractor, tiller, hoes, rakes and manpower needed to get a field ready to plant?

After you get your squash, cucumbers, zucchini, turnips, snap beans,,,,etc planted, you are looking at 60 – 90 days before you are going to harvest anything.

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Peanut butter sandwiches

survivalistPersonally, I think peanut butter sandwiches can say a lot about someone. More exact, the way someone fixes their peanut butter sandwich, what ingredients that someone puts on their peanut butter sandwich, what they drink with it, whether or not they read the labels,,,, it all adds up to say a lot about someone.

Just for the fun of it, lets talk about peanut butter sandwiches.

How do you make yours?

Peanut butter on both pieces of bread?
Whole wheat bread?
Jelly, jam, honey, or something else?
Milk with that sandwich?
Natural peanut butter, or with partially hydrogenated oils?
Crunchy or creamy?
1, 2 or 3 pieces of bread?
Banana or extra stuff?
Fold over?
Do you buy peanut butter mixed with the jelly?
Spread with butter knife or spoon?

Personally, this is the way I see some of this:

People that add extra stuff like bananas may like spice in their life.
Buy peanut butter premixed with jelly, might be a little on the lazy side, or like things easy.
Straight peanut butter and jelly may like tradition.
Read the labels may be health conscious

I like mine with creamy natural peanut butter (no partially hydrogenated oils), on both pieces of whole wheat bread, honey instead of jelly, and a tall glass of milk.

My wife and I only buy the creamy natural peanut butter with no partially hydrogenated oils; the only ingredients are peanuts and salt.

I like to put or blueberry jelly or honey on my sandwiches. Blueberries are supposed to be good for you, and I like the trace minerals in honey.

Post your comments in this forum thread about peanut butter sandwiches.

Wasting food

There are few things that chap me worse then wasting food. Food is life – we have to have food to live. To waste food is to waste life.

September 19, 2010 my wife and I get up early that Sunday morning and go to wal-mart. As we are walking around the store, we turn down an isle that is mostly canned foods. Sitting on top of a stack of cans is a pizza. What is a pizza doing in a canned good isle? Its supposed to be in the frozen section. Anyway, I pick up the pizza, bring it to one of the meat displays at the end of the isle and set it on a stack of cold lunch meat. The pizza was still cold, so it should not have been spoiled.

Is this what our society has come to? That we can just waste food with little regard to where our next meal is coming from?

Another example – several months ago my family and I were having a birthday party. My wife and I decided to spend the money and buy some baby-back ribs, which are not cheap. I fired up the pit and smoked something like 4 racks of ribs. When it came time to serve the ribs, I divided them up to 1 rib per slice. We probably had 12 – 15 people over to share in the celebration.

After everyone had left, I was walking around the yard cleaning up and found a couple of ribs that had one small bite taken out of it, and then thrown on the ground. Lets just say I was not a happy camper. From the size of the bite mark, it looked like one of the kids had gotten the rib off the platter, took one bite, and then thrown it down. So who do you blame? The kid is not old enough to know how much food cost, so where is the parent?

During the same bar-be-que I saw several plates in the garbage half full of food. Some of the people there had gotten a sausage, might have taken 1 bite, and then threw it away. A couple of the plates in the garbage were loaded down with beans or potato salad.

I wonder if the guest had to pay for their food, would they still have wasted it? Or was it because the food was free to them that they were less inclined not to waste?

There have been times when my family and I have gone to Ci-Ci’s pizza, only to see other people leave plates full of food on the table.

I have been guilty of wasting food. There have been times when my family and I go to a buffet bar, and I got more then I can eat. And I feel bad about wasting that food. But for some people, wasting food does not seem to be an issue.

Ways to boost morale

A disaster has hit, your family has been forced to leave the home, morale is down. Now what? There are a few subtle things that people can do to get the morale of the group back up.

1. A good hot meal – Not a cold meal, not a cheap meal, not a quick and easy meal – a good, hot, meal. When your belling is empty, everyone will be in a bad mood.

2. Comfort foods – This usually includes stuff like chocolate. When we eat chocolate, our brains release endorphins, which makes us feel good. Chocolate contains anandamide, which activates certain pleasure zones in the human brain – the more we eat, the better we feel.

3. Personal Hygiene – Simple stuff like being able to brush your teeth, take a shower, clean clothes, can improve a persons outlook on the situation. When people feel dirty all over, their overall mood can deteriorate.

4. A place to sleep – This is especially true for children. Having a place they can call their own, their own bed, their own little space, is important. Even if its an air mattress on the floor, providing people with a place to sleep is very important for their overall morale.

5. Socialisation – Letting people know that they are not alone, and that they have a support chain can improve their overall mood. Humans are social animals, we are designed to mingle wither others, to talk, to herd, to share experiences and thoughts with each other.

6. Give people room to move around – When chickens are bunched too close together, they will start pecking at each other out of boredom, people do the same thing. Instead of pecking, we get irritated and start picking fights.

If you want to reduce tension between people, give each person their own space – space to eat, space to sleep, space to bath, space to brush their teeth, space to relax,,,.

Post your comments in this forum thread about ways to boost morale.

Food supply chains

During outbreaks of the plague in Europe, there was one major problem that faced the rich and poor alike – and that was the availability of food.

The more moving parts a machine has, the more likely it is to break. The supply lines that feed the world are fragile. Before the crops are ever planted, there is fertilizer that has to be made, seeds harvested from the previous year and both of those sent to the farmers. The farmers then spread the fertilizer, plant the seeds, apply water and hope for the best.

In some parts of the world, crops are only grown because modern technology allows them to. Examples of this are water pipelines and irrigation systems that span hundreds of miles. It is only with water that crops can be grown.

Before the first sprout ever breaks through the soil, there are already several “moving parts” or factors. Some of these factors include:

Seed supplies

Manufacturing of fertilizer – either organic or commercial.

Transportation of seeds and fertilizer to the farmer.

Water – either through rain or irrigation.

Pesticides and / or herbicides

Harvesting the crops.

Transporting the crops to either market or to a commercial processing plant.

Processing of food into canned goods.

Transportation from manufacturing to warehouses.

Transportation from warehouses to stores or other outlets.

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2009 food prices

An article posted on MSN should be great concern to everyone that eats some kind of food.

Nothing but worse for Texas drought

According to that article, 97% of Texas is in a drought. Some people might be saying “so what?” Well, there is a lot to be worried about. Texas is the 2nd largest agricultural state in the nation. Everything from beef to zucchini is grown in Texas. That means, if Texas has a bad drought, and crops fail, the price of food goes up nation wide – maybe even on a global scale.

With so many people out of work, high food prices is the one thing we do not need right now.

The concern should not only on on Texas, but other states and nations.  If the crops from one state fails, the markets will have some degree of flexibility.  But, if crops fail in several states, or, if the crops fail in several nations fail across the world, things could get bad.

This is the kind of stuff that can cause panic buying.  Whether there is actually a food shortage or not, really does not really matter.  There will be people out there that go into a buying frenzy at the slightest mention of “shortage”.  The panic buying, coupled with a slight food shortage can equal a moderate to large major food shortage.

If your concerned about the future price of food, consider planting a home garden.

On a personal note, I am not too worried about the food supply, I am more worried about the panic buying like what happened in the summer of 2008.  Some large discount stores had to limit the amount of beans and rice that people could buy.  Mainly because of people buying 100 – 200 pounds of rice at a time.  There was a small shortage that turned into a moderate shortage and nation wide panic – partially due to crop failure and partially due to panic buying on a massive scale.

  While driving around East Texas, it looks like more fields are being plowed this year, as compared to 2008. Hopefully more families will be planting a garden this year.

How to feed a family

These days people are not only worried about this house note, or their electric bill, they are also worried about something much more basic – and that is food. There is hardly anything that grieves a mothers heart more, then to open a kitchen cabinet, and it be empty.

An economic report from February 2009 said that around 700,000 – 800,000 people lost their jobs in that one month. Less people have jobs, so less bills get paid. But the one thing that must be bought is food. But what if someone told you that you do not have to buy food? That you can grow your own.

Its true. Regardless of what people have been told for the past 30, 40 or 50 years, food does not come from a grocery store – it comes from the ground. At first I did not believe it. I honestly thought that the grocery stores used some kind of magic to make the food appear out of thin air.

We have been enslaved to the grocery store for decades. People have paid others to do their work for them. Its time to break those chains.

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Are you going to plant a spring garden?

In these uncertain times, growing your own food makes good financial sense. There was a news report today that around 7% of the US population is now out of work. With money having to go to pay the house bill, electric bill, insurance and other expenses, having a home garden could free up some money to go to other expenses.

At a few minutes to drop by the gardening section of the survival forum and read what other people have to say about this topic.

Identify this fruit tree

One of the purposes of this site is to not only inform, but to provoke thought.  One of the ways this is done is to ask a question.  In the question, there lies the information.  Now then, let us begin.

This shrub or tree grows to be about 20 feet tall, but rarely gets over 10 feet tall.  To keep the tree at a reasonable height, it can be trimmed.  The cuttings from the trimmings can be transplanted to sprout new trees.

This tree produces a fruit that is edible, and can be used to make jelly, jam and preserves.  Just a few of these trees can produce a large amount of food.  This might be the reason why these trees were popular with early settlers in the USA.

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