Category Archives: FOOD

food production -seeds, livestock, gardening, hunting & fishing and storage systems & procedures go here. Hunting could overlap with defense / security too.

long term storage tip sealing

Long term storage tip

How to seal stuff air tight for long term storage. One of the better long term storage containers IF it is going to be kept in a dark space is plastic or Mylar. This will keep both air and liquids either in or out depending on what you want. The hard part is sealing the container. If you are using plastic bags or Mylar bags they will store for a very long time. If you are freezing something make sure that you leave a little bit of empty space for expansion BUT get as much air out as you can before sealing the bag.

How to seal the bag? You can spend and get a dedicated device such as a seal a meal or vacuum sealer which can be expensive when new which unless you are doing a lot of it can be cost prohibitive.

You can build a dedicated device out of wood and a clothing iron. This is more economical but can take up a lot of space. In essence you take 2 2x4s however long so that you have a bit of extra length to play with.

What you will need- 2 pieces of 2 x 4 about 2 feet long, 4-5 inch C clamp, a door hinge and screws, a drill, saw and a screw driver. How you build it – cut to length, match them up so that when constructed you will sandwich the Mylar or plastic bag between the 2 x 4s, place the door hinge so that the 2 pieces of wood will articulate like a door opens and closes, mark the spots for the screws and drill pilot holes. Place the screws.

HOW to use – fill the bag leaving enough empty so that the jaws of 2 x 4s can close AND leave about an inch of the bag sticking out, fold this over to the side with the sheet of aluminum foil over it which protects the iron when you seal the bag. Set the iron to medium heat and slowly run it along the flap. Test the seal to make sure it worked. You may have to move faster or slower or adjust the temp up or down depending on the quality of the seals.

Depending on what you are storing you can now toss the package in the freezer, on the shelf or take it out and bury it.

If you are only going to do a few packages you can use a hair curling iron and use it as above.

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Ready? Or Not, Things WILL Happen = Quick start survival guide
// series
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Turkey slow roasted

slow roasted turkey

I have used this fashion of roasting turkeys for many years. It consistently produces fall off the bone moist turkey every time AND it is hard to over cook or burn it. ;]

Preplanning the feast. Start a few days ahead of when you plan to have your turkey / meal. How big is your turkey? For this discussion we will say that it weighs 20 pounds and is still in the deep freeze. Do you have a roasting pan that will comfortably hold the turkey? Assemble everything that you need for the meal. Write down everything that you are missing and go buy it.

A day or 2 before the meal bake whatever pies you want. The day before make the bread, I would suggest Ezekiel bread. 21 hours before you plan on sitting down for the meal take the turkey out of the freezer. Dice 2 or 3 large onions and make a bed in the roaster pan for the turkey. Release the turkey from the wrapping while it is still frozen and put it on the bed of onions. Coat the turkey with olive oil apply seasonings which will follow. Add 1 cup of water to the pan. Cover & place into the oven. Set your oven to 200 degrees F [no preheating required] set an alarm for 20 hours from starting the oven. Here is the hard part…. Leave it alone, no peaking!

By taking the bird straight from the freezer and cooking it this way germs do not have time to multiply as the turkey spends very little time in the danger zone of 40 – 140 degrees F.

At the end of the 20 hours [1 hour per pound at 200 degrees F] remove the cover and turn the heat up to 350 degrees to brown your turkey. Carve and serve.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE RUB
• 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
• 1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
• 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried rosemary leaves
• 1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
• 1 teaspoon rubbed sage (crumbled between your fingers)
• 2 teaspoons coarse salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
+++
One year the stores had whole turkeys 20 pounds for $5.00— that year we put up [canned] 150 pounds of turkey [after skinning and deboning] .
What are your recipes for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals?

water storage 2L coke bottles

Clean water is one of the highest priorities for survival. Generally you could go for 3 days without water although that would not be wise.

It is generally recommended to store at least one gallon of water per person per day for consumption. This would be a bare minimum to have on hand. So for a family of 4 you would need 12 gallons of water for 3 days just for drinking.

What we have found to work the best for storing water are 2 L coke bottles. Coke bottles are rated to store 7 to 10 years with coke product in it under pressure. That is what a coke dealer told me. If the bottle will last that long with a corrosive agent under pressure without failing it should last for many decades holding water.

Our procedure is to gather several used / empty coke bottles and after removing the labels we wash them out with plan dish soap and water. Rinse well and fill with tap water & let them set over night. The next day empty that water out into the garden or flower pots [around here we do not want to waste water as we only get 10 to 14 inches of rain a year].

We the fill the bottles with either tap water or distilled water, leaving a one inch head space and then replace the cap hand tight. The filled bottles then go on selves for later use.

City tap water already has chlorine in it which will kill any bugs and for the distilled water there should have been enough chlorine in the rinse water to have disinfected the bottles and there should not be any bugs in the distilled water. If done properly there should be no reason to rotate this water for at least 10 years.

We have been storing water this way for over 30 years. One friend currently has 11 months worth of water stored in this fashion.

If you have to move your water from one side of the room to the other or from one floor to another, OR if you have to load some of it into the car for a camping trip, even a 3 – 5 year old can help carry it.

PS –NEVER use the ‘milk’ jug type containers as they are designed to fail within about a year.

Slow Roasted Turkey

Everyone has heard of defrosting a turkey in cold running water or in your fridge. This is a safety issue to keep the bird under 40 degrees F so bugs [germs] don’t grow. Then you have to cook it at, at least 250 degrees F to kill the bugs so they don’t grow while the bird is being cooked.

Burst the myth……

The danger zone for handling food is 40 to 140 degrees F is where the bugs grow and multiply, Right?

The next turkey that you cook, try this.

 

1 frozen turkey any size

Your favorite roasting pan with lid

Seasonings of choice [salt, pepper, sage, thyme ECT]

Your choice of carrots, potatoes, celery, onions, garlic, or fruits – whatever..

2 cups water

½ lbs butter

Take the still frozen turkey out of the packaging and place in the roasting pan.  Rub with the butter, pour water over turkey and add seasonings. Add cut up fruits and vegetables around the turkey. Cover.

Place into oven [you do not have to preheat] set at 200 degrees F.

Cook for one hour per lbs.  DO NOT interrupt cooking. DO NOT ‘check’ on the bird while cooking as this will lower the temperature.

So if you start with a 12 lbs turkey it will take 12 hours to cook. If you have a 22 lbs turkey it will take 22 hours.

At the end of the cooking time remove the lid, baste and brown the turkey at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Discussion – this process takes the turkey from a safe temperature [frozen] quickly trough the danger zone to 200 degrees F safe temperature [above 160 degrees F] COOKED.  This is the same logic behind a slow cooker or crock pot meal.

I have cooked MANY turkeys this way over the last 20 years without negative incident. The turkey ends up moist and tender. Take the juices in the pan to make gravy.

You can do stuffing on the side, as you should anyway.

BTW, I used to be a public health food inspector.

Seed storage

Your food storage should include seed storage and not just any seeds, but heirloom seeds.  Most of the seeds that are out there in our favorite box stores are hybrid seeds, which means that if you keep the seeds from year to year you will not always have the same kind of plant produced true to the parent plant. Only heirloom seeds are true to being able to keep the same product year to year when you save the seeds.  They produce hybrid seeds so that you have to buy seeds every year to keep the seed companies in business. And if a disaster is one that there will not be any seed companies afterward then you will not be able to replace the seeds.  Heirloom seeds are slightly higher priced in the beginning to purchase, but they will save you money later because you can save the seeds from your plant and grow year after year. It is best to start the process of growing plants early long before you have to, because you will learn by making  mistakes or the weather will not cooperate and you won’t be able to harvest or gather seeds. It takes practice and work to save seeds and mark them, so start now. Also go out into the forest and if you see a plant that you like take a cutting off or take a seed pod from the plant and try to grow in your yard, AKA wildcrafting. Look up plants in your area that you can eat and get cuttings or seed pods from them and save the information on your computer or on paper in a notebook. Also you will need seeds for spices and seeds for herbs for healing, not to mention any flowers that you want to save.  There are some flowers that you can consume and add to soups or salads like calendula and nasturtiums.

You can store seeds up in jars, plastic bags, Mylar bags or paper bags. Just make sure you let them dry well before you put them up so that they don’t mold.  This saves money on the seeds that you store.  There are a few large seed storage banks, one in Greenland and another in Norway that I have heard of that are trying to save all the different types of heirloom seed in the world. This is one of an estimated 1400 seed banks around the world that collect seed and store them. The largest is the one in a NorwegianIsland just 700 miles from the North Pole.  They claim to be able to hold 4.5 million samples and the building is suppose to be earthquake and flood safe. You can go to Wikipedia: Svalbard Global Seed Vault to read about it.  You can also go to www.goodfoodworld.com to read about saving seeds. You can get some heirloom seeds from your local big box store and you can also purchase heirloom seeds from a variety of nurseries such as www.ParkSeed.com, www.USASeedStore.com,, www.BakerCreek.com, are just a few. There is also a www.HeirloomGardner.com , and www.OrganicGardening.com to name but a few that focus on veggie gardening instead of flowers.

Some survival seed companies offer a package deal and offer a variety of seeds to be able to start a garden after a disaster. I prefer to pick my own seeds so I can get the variety that I want, it may be a little bit more expensive, but you can take more time to purchase them and know that they are right for your climate.  I take like $20.00 a month and go online and purchase that amount of seeds, then the next month I do the same.  Don’t forget to purchase spices and herb seeds also, this will make your food storage taste better by having spices to change up the flavor of the food.

800 year old seeds found! STILL viable ;]

New link added 2016-11-28 http://www.metaspoon.com/800-pot-seeds-gete-okosomin-squash?cat=shock&fb=8015M1n1r5565a0&utm_source=8015M1n1r5565a0

Rodents chew

A while back a friend, Cindy, discovered the mice / rats had chewed through several of her plastic and cardboard food containers. The rats had even chewed up her stash of bar soap! ‘Why would they eat soap?’

Rodents chew… it does not have to be food that they chew on, wood or soap, they just crew on anything regardless, even if they can not smell food on or in the object.

The best thing to do, is store your provisions and supplies in metal containers. Metal trash cans and wall lockers work well. Number 10 cans stack well and are hard for rats to chew through. The next best would be expanded metal lined walls configured such that the rat would have to chew through the mesh before they got to the wood structure of your stage closet. Yes, I know that is not practical. Another design is to have a room made of concrete or cement blocks and a well fitting metal door. While that would be nice on several levels, but most homes are just not made that way.

The most practical thing to do is keep the pantry area clean and tidy without hiding spots. Outside keep the grass cut and the hedge trimmed to limit hiding spots. Have a couple of cats around. Keep them well enough fed so they are tame and friendly with you, yet hungry enough so if one of those little varmints comes around that the cat will eat them.  If for whatever reason you don’t have pets [or if they will not hunt] you will have to rely on traps baited with peanut butter or poisons.   I don’t like poisons because pets, kids or adults may get a hold of some and that is just not a good idea. If you go the trap or poison route, I would wait to deploy it until you see sign of rats in the area.

So what system do we use? In our long term, dry pack, area we use #10 cans because they stack and travel well. Of course we have standard wet pack cans and jars too. In the semi active area we do make use of Mylar, 2 L coke bottles, other plastic and the store package it came in. All of it is either in cabinets or on metal shelves. So far we have not had any issues with varmints.

A side issue along these lines is to keep several rat sized traps on hand to supplement your food supply.  In many areas of the world rat meat is a staple in the diet. ;] As far as placement goes, place the traps near the wall as mice and rats travel along it. The traps do need a small modification that you have to make is to add either an eye or a hole to secure the trap to a heavy object so that if the rat, squirrel or prairie dog can not drag it off if the trap does not kill it outright OR so that another animal can not drag your trap off so you lose it. NOTE: while the system of  LAWS that we live under are still in effect fish and game enforcement officers, AKA game wardens, can arrest you if you trap anything other than mice and rats – YOU are responsible for staying within the laws of your land.

How we got started in Preparedness

How we got started in Preparedness

My husband and I have been married 35 years and we started from the beginning of our marriage putting extra food by for a “rainy day”. Then the more my husband taught me about preparedness, the more I understood the importance of it. So we ramped up our ‘rainy day’ storage to include material, larger clothes for the kids and camping supplies and clothes.  After we joined the LDS church we had the Bishop’s storehouse available to us, so we really started to increase our supplies by adding bulk grain and beans to the ‘rainy day’ storage.  At that time we did not have the money to buy the cans and boxes so we put the food up in 2 liter coke bottles and juice bottles.  We also added water storage at that time.  Then when job pays became more generous we started putting food up in #10 cans and 6 cans to a cardboard box.  At that time we started getting cramped in space and got more creative in our storage, which we will talk about at a later time. I did object to food storage for a little while until my husband informed me of the importance of it.  He said what would you do or give up to get food for our children when they are hungry?  Some good shows to watch were “The day after”, “Red Dawn” the older one, “Dante’s Peak”, “Enemy of the State” and “The Day After Tomorrow” were ones that I watched and helped describe to me what [and why] we needed to prepare for.

Growing up I had some exposure to preparedness, we always had a garden and put food up from the garden. Then we would go to the local farmer’s market and get more peas and green beans and pecans. We would fish and put that up and my Dad would hunt.  Mom would buy extra paper products, toilet paper and paper towels. I also remember my mother and me taking my Dad to work early in the morning and my mother was dressed in her housecoat and slippers and I had my pajamas still on.  Now that I think about that, what would have happened if we had been in a wreck or if the car would have broken down.

That was the extent of it growing up, but I did have some prior training.  My grandfather loved to put food by for the winter, we said it was the squirrel in him, but he said it was just common sense. I remember the family at barbeques when he would cook a whole goat and then everyone would take some of it home and every time mother would warm some of it up for dinner, I would remember my grandfather.

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guerilla gardener in South Central LA

Hopefully this video will be contagious and spread like  a pandemic…… There is no good reason for the hunger here in America. While we are about this, let us not forget all the wild food that grows—like dandelions, milkweed, purslane to name but a few.
BTW you can contact your local County Extension Agent at the court house, to find out about the Master Gardener program- in Cheyenne area that would be Catherine Wisner- JJ and I have had her classes before and I can not think of anyone who does a better job. If you are or will be traveling near Denver CO you can contact Kate Armstrong of www.WhatGrandmotherKnew.com for information on wild edible plants. AND you may consider this a personal recommendation for both of these ladies.
Guerilla gardening is the practice of growing food stuff in un-conventional ways or locations such as what is depicted in the video. This is of course from a modern civilized standpoint. Down through the ages this was actually the normal way of doing things. An example would be the American
Indians even as late as the 1970’s
Your kids and grandkids would benefit greatly from learning this sort of thing— and so will you.

Please comment in the comment section so that everyone can learn. To start a new topic you could use the contact us form on our main page at www.PrepareSurviveThrive.US or send an e-mail to Office@PrepareSurviveThrive.US