Tag Archives: learn

Food Storage: Prepper Style

Storing food for hard times, even the collapse of society as we know it, should be on everyone’s mind. There are more people living today than at any other 1 point in time, and there are more people now than all the people that have past, ever! With droughts, famines, severe weather, and cost of goods increasing, food will be hard to come by in the future.  How much should you store? How would you replenish your storage?

I like to watch different shows and videos talking about prepping for “doomsday,” extreme weather, collapse of society, civil unrest, and many other topics. Some of you reading the posts have experienced hard times and some have not. Those who have are more prepared to survive because of experience. Food is one of the necessary preps for other than ideal times to boost morale. But we have all seen the “preppers” that have gone overboard and ended up at the bottom of the ocean. Some individuals have stored food for 5-10 years or longer. Why? Are they using and rotating their storage so the food does not go bad or decrease in quality? I have been in houses where they owners bought so much food that they did not know what they had. Eventually, the jars of pickles turned white. Why? They bought too much, too often, and usually food they don’t even eat.

Many people say to have 3-6 months of food storage. This is fine depending on the situation. If it’s a hurricane, and you live in the coastal region that floods, then you are wasting your time and money. If you are in the midwest where tornadoes are prevalent and storing your food above ground, you are wasting your time and money. I laugh at the ideas that people have. If you are preparing for civil unrest and you live in an suburban or urban area and you are preparing to bunker in, then you better be well fortified. They riots in recent years have shown that the masses do not care if it is your property.

At any given time, we have  2-3 weeks of food. Our area is known for having wildfires and we will have to get out ASAP for that. On the other hand, the last tornado in our area has been more than 30 years.  Where we live is between a major Texas river and a ridgeline. It is rare for a tornado to hit such  spot based on geographical formations. I am not saying it will never happen, but it statistically low percentage.  Civil unrest would be the worst case for us outside a natural disaster. We do live in a neighborhood that houses are less than 150 feet apart. Also, we only have 2 ways in, not including heading out on the train tracks and crossing the train bridge. A river on the south and west sides, dense wooded area with steep terrain to our east, and a massive drainage ditch to our north,  it would not be hard to lockdown our neighborhood.  To stock up more than we could pack in our SUV and truck would be foolish.

When we leave during the initial stages, we would pick up supplies from various places that most would not think about. I do not share these ideas, nor have heard others ever mentioning these places on blogs or videos. Other preps for food we are doing is learning gardening. We are in our second year of gardening and doing quite well. We are making notes on how to improve on growing our crops, increasing the yield, and planting different vegetables that we will eat. You have to learn now to be able to have a chance later. Fishing and hunting are also ways we will be able to feed our family. I recently purchased a book, Wild Edible Plants of Texas. I will be using this book, finding the plants around us that we can pick to eat. I know this doesn’t seem that satisfying, but if it adds nutrition, then I will do it. I need to get out this summer and start looking for these plants and to try them. Remember, anything you gather, you definitely need to wash, just in case.

Now, if you are one of those that do have years of food stashed away, remember to rotate your stock so that you are not throwing money done the drain. Be aware of the possibility where you have to leave and you cannot carry all of your food storage with you. That goes for any preps.

If you have any thoughts on this, please reply to the blog to start a conversation.

Go, live life, and enjoy your freedom.

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Month 1 in the Books

I’ve had my blog up for about a month. I want to thank everyone that reads it and sends comments. It has been a learning curve to learn the layout of the page, what the jargon means, and just finding followers.

At the start, I had my sisters look at the blog to see if it is user friendly. After working some of the kinks out of it, I posted it to my Facebook page. I got an immediate increase in the number of followers.  During this last month, I have been working on the garden, some projects around the house, and my full-time job of teaching and coaching. Some have asked how do you do it all?

Teaching a subject I am familiar with (Geometry) helps a lot. I show my students different things I build or have built in the past. They keep asking me why do I teach if I can build? I enjoy the thought of teaching and reaching the minds of today’s youth. I believe they need someone who enjoys the content and can actually show them the use of the content. I use an online classroom for their homework and tests, so I do not have anything really to grade.

With gardening, I work on the weekends, when given a chance. My sons love the part of digging, but once that was done, they tended to stay away from the garden. They help plant a couple of my seed cups ( http://wp.me/p8pCsM-21 ). I wanted to plant a lot of different vegetables and wanted a good crop. I was trying to find a tiller to borrow but we finally just purchased one. I am glad we did because I planted 2 more beds because my seedlings did pretty good.

During spring break, I had a chance to scavenge some 2×6’s from a local construction site. I dug some out of the dumpster and also asked the foreman if I can take some out of the trash pile next to the houses. This is where my outdoor dining table came from ( http://wp.me/p8pCsM-bD ).  I had many people comment and ask questions on this table.

This past weekend I joined many different groups on Facebook. I think this is how my blog will explode with traffic.  I am trying to find new avenues of how to broadcast my blog, find new followers, and make sure my posts are interesting.

Thank you for your time. If you enjoy reading about gardening, woodworking, survival skills, or how to create things for the house,  please follow me by entering your email on the right.

Planting Day 3-25-17

 

 

IMG_0289Today was a beautiful day. Sun was shining and a breeze. I got in super late last night due to rain delay and lightning delay for our game. Weathermen said 80-90% chance of rain yesterday, but I think they may have meant  80-90 sprinkles at our house or we are in a geographical bubble. So, I needed to water today. I didn’t get my pump set up yet but I got another bed planted.

Today, I planted my okra, and most of my cantaloupes. I spaced theIMG_0285 cantaloupe and the okra in the row of 1 cantaloupe to every 3 okra seedlings. I found a companion planting chart (http://permaculturenews.org/2011/12/02/companion-planting-information-and-chart/) and showed that melons and okra have a symbiotic relationship. I planted 60+ okra and about 15 cantaloupe plants. If they all make, I guess I will set up a road side fruit and vegetable stand.

For the rest of the garden, the corn is coming in great, along with the potatoes. The potato box needs another level. The third picture is a close up of a potato plant. I believe those little guys in the middle coming off the stock are where the potatoes will be produced. I cannot find anything online to tell me for certain though. I need to get dirt around these if that’s the case. There are a lot on the 20 plants I have. I have cardboard lining the walking/picking rows. I am trying to find some mulch to lay over it. I also have paper to line what I could not cover with the boxes. We did this in our front flower bed as a weed barrier, and worked like a charm. It helps with moisture absorption and retention, worm food, and weed barrier. I will biodegrade and will add nutrients back to the soil. Since I am a geometry teacher, I took all the old worksheets and will be lining the garden. I will have the smartest worms in all of Texas.

The squash is coming along nicely. I have a few plants that are about 8 inches across. This IMG_0291guy here is pretty nice. His little brother not doing well but I will keep him because I am doing a trellis (field fence) with the all my vine growing vegetables. Melons will not be so lucky. I will just trim them once onset of fruit is showing to make the plant pump more energy in producing the melon.  I will be using some fish emulsion this weekend as well. I was waiting for the secondary leaves to sprout. Most postings I have read for fertilizing told me to wait until secondary leaves are formed. Next feeding will be at onset of fruit. I will double check the different plants to make sure I am feeding them the right thing.

Yes, I see the grass growing next to the fence, and I will handle that. I will be trying the vinegar and salt mixture to see if it will solve my issues. I have some ants invading, so I will use the sugar, borax and water to get rid of them. The harvesters stripped my peach tree last year and I will not let that happen this year. I think my peach tree never reached its required chill hours to produce. Not a single bloom or leaf yet. Wait and see on this one.

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Survival Multiplier

What does survival multiplier mean? Survival multiplier is a skill or characteristic that one possesses that gives him or her an advantage in a situation. In a physical fight, if one of the fighters had extensive hand to hand combat training, then that would be their survival multiplier.

How do we gain a survival multiplier? People enroll in many different courses to gain an advantage over an obstacle or an opponent. I wish I thought of this when I was in college, I would have signed up for some of the recreation and combat classes Texas Tech offered. I did not. Others sign up for courses in building and construction trade, cooking, botany, survival schools, and many other courses that allow them to learn a skill or a trade that one day will help them survive. Some people read books and watch educational videos.

What happens when you do not have time or money to enroll in all these different courses? What do you do?  If you are like me, I eat, sleep, and work. I don’t have much time outside the normal work day to do anything extra (until summer break). So, I take the time at lunch and my break to watch videos (mainly YouTube) to learn different things. You have to be wary of which videos you do watch. For instance, I recently watched videos on canning, so I made sure it was filmed or sponsored by a canning company like Balls or Kerr Jar Co. Many people out there have techniques and practices, but some of them don’t know their elbow from their earhole.

I believe many people forget one of the characteristics they need in order to survive, and that would be they need to be physically fit. You may not need to have 10% body fat, be able to run a marathon, or bench press 350 lbs but I do believe you need to be able to manipulate your body enough to get in and out of tight spots. For about a year now, I have been running. I am also starting Insanity Max. I am embarrassed that I have not done it much lately because I came down with the flu and tournament season in softball (I teach/coach high school students) got me off track. Spring Break starts this evening. I will try to get back on track with my fitness this coming week.

Other skills I believe are considered my survival multipliers are able to build and fix most things, cook, sew, fire starting from various methods, not afraid to scavenge for materials, and the ability to problem solve. My wife is one of my best survival multipliers because she comes up with ideas for me to try, usually from Pinterest. I play ‘podcasts’ while I am travelling to learn about things, or at least have a chance to spark ideas on how to improve items I already have.

Growing up, I had many different adults in my life, and I learned a great deal of skills from them. If you consider yourself a homesteader, a prepper, a survivor, or just an average person, there is one thing all of them need, and that is a teacher. I am not talking about a school teacher, but some do teach more than their content, but someone who you can listen to, imitate, and look up to in order to gain knowledge. Knowledge is the ultimate survival multiplier. Papa was a great teacher. Sometimes my brother and I would go fishing with him and learned different fishing skills, how to tie a knot on a hook, make our own fishing bait, or just watch our poles. He helped us one year roof our house and showed us how shingles were supposed be laid down. I wish I was able to spend a little more time with him, but he passed few years ago. I inherited some of his woodworking tools because he thought I would use them. I try to honor him by keeping his tradition of building gifts instead of buying them. I may have replaced some of the tools but it isn’t the tool, it’s the tradition.

I don’t think anyone is ever prepared for every situation, but I think with the proper training and learning, you can problem solve your way out of most situations. I tell the students in my classes, sometimes it is not the content we are learning, the teachers are trying to teach you problem solving skills through our content. I teach geometry, which I believe is a very relevant subject to know. Many industries and jobs require some level of geometric knowledge in order for the worker to be successful.

(Picture of a sword and shield I made for my sons.)

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