Today a friend and I went to the local hardware store to buy seed starting kits and I was able to get my spinach and broccoli started indoors. I’m wondering when Spring will arrive this year. The seasons seem a bit off lately.
I’m currently reading, ‘Just in Case: How to be Self-Sufficient when the Unexpected Happens‘, by Kathy Harrison
This book is easy, informative, practical and fun to read. I’m realizing how little I know about food storage and preparation for emergencies, especially long term ones. I’m only about half way through. The review below is helpful if you’re interested.
Editorial Review from Publishers Weekly: With the assumption that many of us have a false sense of security… assuming that technology will prevail or that some government agency will bail us out in a crisis, this extensive guide gives detailed, down-to-earth advice on what to do when disaster strikes, be it a house fire, an ice storm or biological terrorism. Aided by charmingly retro illustrations vaguely reminiscent of a 1940s air raid brochure, Harrison (Another Place at the Table) presents her OAR system for preparedness—organizing, acquiring and rotating supplies—and techniques to safely and even comfortably survive any kind of emergency. She shows how to prepare for a short-term crisis: building a supply of food and water; preparing first aid and evacuation kits; planning communication and a family meeting place in times of crisis. She also presents long-term strategies for self-sufficiency: eliminating debt and securing a supply of cash in your home; planting a garden, canning food and making cheese; replacing an inefficient fireplace with a woodstove; building a solar oven. Harrison shows that learning to do it yourself, besides providing some security in an increasingly insecure world, brings less obvious but perhaps equally important benefits: an incredible sense of self-sufficiency and independence. And pointing out that family preparedness can build community, she reminds readers, crisis can bring out the best in people, or the worst. Strive to be one of the good guys.
- *My Emergency Preparedness Plan (This plan is designed to prepare us for short and long term emergencies)
- *If you’re wondering why we are doing this, check out the Crash Course and this article and video on Peak Oil.
On The Health Food Front
Lately, I’ve been soaking my beans instead of using canned ones (which incidentally, should be rinsed before cooking to help eliminate BPA and excess sodium). It takes time to get used to living without the convenience but planning ahead helps.
For the past few months I’ve been purchasing my organic chickens whole (it’s cheaper than just buying the breast meat) and roasting them on a bed of potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic. Then I simmer the bones for 8-24 hours to make bone broth which I use to cook vegetable soup the next day. This way I get several very healthy meals out of one chicken and the bone broth is excellent for my husband’s joint problems and building our collective immunity. Read the ‘Health Benefits of Bone Broth’.
There’s a fabulous documentary on food that I highly recommend entitled, ‘Food Matters’. I was reminded of it today when my friend posted the trailer to it on facebook. So I’ve decided to post it here for you to see. ‘Food Matters’ is available on Netflix if you have it.
‘FOOD MATTERS’, – This film has been seen by hundreds of thousands of people in 9 different languages.
‘Food Matters’ discusses:
- How to use food as medicine
- Who needs vitamins?
- Is organic better?
- How safe is our food?
- Natural treatments for lowering Cholesterol
- Foods that fight Anxiety and Depression
- Natural therapies for Cancer
- Which drugs might do more harm than good?
- The best ways to detox, lose weight and keep it off!
Another documentary that blows my mind in the area of food and health is Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days. This film is an independent documentary that chronicles six Americans with ‘incurable’ diabetes switching their diet and getting off insulin.
Preparing for Emergencies
I’ve added some items to my emergency kit wish list. I’m still hoping to be prepared before we face a crisis like the folks in Texas and New Mexico did this past week with prolonged water shortages, rolling blackouts and for some, days without any electricity. I’m not entirely ready for that yet. We have stored a good bit of water and food (three days worth) but that’s about it. We are definitely in the market for a good generator. Let me know if you have one to recommend. Here’s a few items that are on my wish list:
- The Ambient Weather WR-088 Weather Band provides assured access to news, weather information and illumination whenever and wherever you need it. The rubberized finish makes the WR-088 splash-proof. This robust and dependable radio, with integrated LED flashlight, offers a choice of self-charge, solar and external recharge power options.
- The WR-088 delivers complete independence from wall power or disposable batteries, ensuring sustainable access to vital information and the peace of mind that you’ll never be without power. Ambient Weather’s self-charge technology means unparalleled playtime performance, and the compelling design makes the WR-088 a great everyday radio, as well as the perfect companion in emergencies.
- The WR-088 will play for approximately 20 minutes at normal volume per 1-minute wind, and can be rewound at any time for as much playtime as you want. An LED charge level indicator tells you the best speed to wind. In direct sunlight the WR-088 will charge itself and play continuously – the internal Ni-MH battery can be fully charged from both the solar panel and an external USB charging adapter. Order ASIN: B0049J2FIS or B0049J43EW optional AC adaptor or DC car charger converter.
- A must for any emergency toolkit or your everyday portable radio, the compact WR-088 is an AM/FM NOAA Weather Alert Radio and a powerful 3 LED flashlight, with cell phone, MP3, MP4, Amazon Kindle (TM) and USB charger, all in one tiny package. The WR-088 is a five way charger – charge from a USB device (computer), AC or wall power (with optional converter), DC or car charger (with optional converter), hand crank, or solar panel. The Ambient Weather WR-088 is a radio that you and your family can depend on, anytime, anywhere, any weather.
- The WR-088 sets itself apart from other crank chargers – you can fully charge the WR-088 through the USB/AC/DC adaptor, and when you need it, charge the cell phone/mp3/mp4/USB with no cranking. Other crank chargers require continuous hand cranking to charge a device. Optional adaptors are available for AC (house) and DC (car) charging. Includes mini and micro cell phone adaptor cables, which cover about 90% of the cell phone market. EXCEPTIONS: Does not charge Apple IPhones and Ipads. Some cell phone adaptors sold separately.
2. Camp Chef Explorer Series EX-60LW 2-Burner Modular Cooking System, Black – The Camp Chef Explorer Series EX-60LW 2 Burner cooker is more than just a camp stove, this modular outdoor cooking system allows you to create easy gourmet meals at home, camp or at the game. Includes a 3-sided windscreen ,Clover Leaf cooking surface and appliance-style temperature controls enable easy adjustment of output, making cooking fast and easy. 2×30,000 BTU
3. Wonderwash – -This is a hand-cranked, non-electric mini washing machine that washes loads clean in only 1-2 minutes using 90% less water and detergent. No maintenance required.
4. HYBRID SOLAR POWERED FLASHLIGHT WITH EMERGENCY BATTERY BACKUP BLACK (*2-pack*) – Hybrid Solar Powered Flashlight! Doesn’t Need To Be Left In The Sun! Once Charged It Can Be Stored Anywhere And Holds A Full Charge For Over 3 Years! The Hybrid Solar Light uses revolutionary technology that generates power from sunlight and stores it. When fully charged the Hybrid Solar Light can hold a charge for years. It is environmentally friendly, durable and guaranteed for life*
5. Mini Countertop Spin Dryer Clothes Spin Dryer Portable Clothes Dryer – Works in only 2-3 minutes 2.2 lb capacity for dry laundry (about 1-2 pairs of jeans per load) 1600 rpm spin speed Portable, only weighs 11 lbs Compact, measures 13.5″ x 13.5″ x 15″ Very quiet Perfect for use with our Wonderwash 110V, uses 82W Important: please note that this is a spin dryer, not a regular tumble dryer. It extracts much more water from the clothes than a regular washing machine spin cycle, they come out slightly damp. (this is more for energy savings that a black-out since it does require 82 Watts of electricity)
6. Global Sun Oven® – World’s Best Solar Oven – The Global Sun Oven? is the world’s most widely used solar oven. Solar cooking has been around for centuries, but up to now, not many people have had the opportunity to try cooking with the sun. Using the most advanced materials, the Sun Oven takes all the hassles out of solar cooking to create the ultimate solar appliance.
- Rust-proof, highly polished, mirror-like anodized aluminum reflectors
- Sets up in minutes
- Lightweight with carry handle
- Easy temperature monitoring
- Will reach temps of 360 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
The sun oven can be used in the winter as well as summer. It has been used very successfully at below zero conditions at a base camp on Mt. Everest. Measures 19″ x 19″ with an average depth of 11″. The total weight is only 21 pounds. You can bake bread, make cookies, pizza, muffins, or anything you could prepare using a conventional oven.
- 3000 watts, 120V
- Power for your furnace, fridge, microwave, most 13,500 BTU RV AC units, and more
- Super quiet
- Convenient electric start
- Fuel efficient – up to 20 hrs on 3.4 gals of gas
- Inverter – stable power for computers and more