How To Prep For the Worst

I’m going to write a new series of articles based on my idea of how to prep for the worst short term, and even long term emergency scenario’s. We live in an uncertain world and it’s only prudent to consider and even make emergency preparations for a bad case scenario.

I’m going to cover the basics, food, , water , fire, heat and cooking sources,  and basic shelter. I’m also going to cover other topics like first aid, transportation and direction, power and fuel, bugging out and long term survival.

As I write each article or section of the coming ebook I will post here for your perusal and input (feel free to offer any input or insights you might have, or just like if you do 🙂 ) When I’m finished I will mash it all together with the appropriate photo’s and diagrams into the ebook titled “How To Prep For The Worst”

If you are interested in prepping for the worst or you just want to learn to live more simply, sign up for email notifications and tell any of your friends who are interested in prepping and simple living ideas and follow me for new stuff coming soon!!

Batten Down The Hatches For Winter 2014 / 2015

Farmers Almanac Predicts The Winter Of Winters.
Farmers Almanac Predicts The Winter Of Winters.

Farmers Almanac has predicted this to be the winter of all winters and expect it to be colder with more snow than in recent years. There is also a chance it will last longer into the spring than any of us would prefer. The winter of 2014 already well upon us and 2015 is getting very close now. I hope you have taken the necessary steps to protect your family and other interests this year.

It seems there’s never an end of things to do when you have as many projects as we do. We’ve done a ton of winter prep including turning the garden plots under and piling the compost high to bake through the winter. When spring comes we’ll have a nice pile of rich soil to plant our spring starts in.

The rabbit hutch and chicken sheds have been equipped with heated lights and filled with nice piles of straw bedding for them to snuggle in. Our other outdoor projects and accessories have been neatly tucked away for the winter and the adults and dogs have retired into the house to enjoy a roaring fire and a cup of hot tea while old man winter does his thing.

A Hot Fire, A Hot Cup Of Tea And warm Socks Yaay!
A Hot Fire, A Hot Cup Of Tea And Warm Socks Yaay!

In house we’ve sealed all the windows with plastic and we spent weeks going over the place looking for every crack and cranny that might allow the slightest trickle of cold air to get inside. So far it has been cold and wet outside but the house has been snug and warm. We have prepared a stockpile of basic supplies in case things get really bad and have a water storage as well as emergency power station available should we need them.

Lights Will Make Emergency Situations Easier To Deal With. Be Sure To Have Plenty On Hand.
Lights Will Make Emergency Situations Easier To Deal With. Be Sure To Have Plenty On Hand.

Batteries for flashlights, lamp oil and candles, a camp stove with a few small bottles of propane and a manual water pump made of PVC are a few of the supplies we have in case of an emergency. We also have a stockpile of food and wood for the stoves and are sure to be warm and fed through the worst winter can bring.

This is the time of year I focus on my writing business and making crafts for gifts and for sale during the holiday season and on through the spring and summer months. There’s a ton of things to do and a lot yet to finish. With Christmas getting very close now my schedule will be as hectic as it could be, probably more than any other time of the year.

I’ve decided on a couple of new projects this year and will be busy making them happen. Wooden toys and other handmade wooden gifts, PVC bows and compound bows, some wood burning projects along with writing a ton of online content is my full time schedule from about November 1st until New Years.

Wooden Toys For My Nephews
Wooden Toys For My Nephews

You would think I could catch a short break at the beginning of the New year, but that’s actually when things start picking up. I have some new ideas for fresh irons in the fire and am not yet down the list of projects already made.

This spring I’ll be extra busy trying to further myself and my family with a broad variety of new projects like soap making, candle making and maybe even some wine making(I’m looking forward to that).

What Better Than Home Made Wine?
What Better Than Home Made Wine?

I hope everyone can stay snug and warm this winter and wish you all Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. May you and all your families be blessed this season and bring you a wonderful and Happy New Year.

Merry Christmas!!! May You Get Your Wish  😄
Merry Christmas!!! May You Get Your Wish 😄

Winter Gardening

Wouldn’t it be great if you could eat fresh salad out of your garden all year round? You can, with a less effort and smaller budget than you might think. For years people have tested and used various winter growing techniques using large and small greenhouses, cold frames and cold boxes. This year, I plan to give it a try.

If you’re thinking a greenhouse or winter growing cold frame is out of your budget range you might want to take a closer look at your options. You can build a small greenhouse that will shelter your winter crops for less money than you might think. Cold frames can be put together with only a few materials and in some cases can be entirely free requiring only the effort necessary to put them together and implement their use.

There are a number of food plants that are hardy enough to grow and bear fruit during the colder winter months. Greens like spinach, kale, lettuce and chives grow well enough. Bulb or tuber plants like garlic and onions, radishes turnips and potatoes can do surprisingly well during the winter.

There are more options that you might think for winter vegetable growing that will supplement your food supply through the winter. Winter growing can take you one step further in gaining control of your family’s food supply.

Winter Garden Plant Options

Garlic: Put your garlic out (separated but not peeled) four inches apart without watering them. Garlic doesn’t take up that much room and needs little attention. Wait until you see small shoots growing before you water them or just wait for the rain to do it.

Onions: Onions need good soil and plenty of water to do well any time of the year. Plant onions in well amended (fertile) soil from seed or you can use onion sets which many people find easier. The harvest time for onion sets is about 6 weeks where onions from seed can take nearly twice as long. The best time to plant onions is January or February. You can harvest the tops after only a few weeks.

Radishes: There are many types of radish that will do well during the winter. Most of the grow to maturity in or near thirty days. They can easily become a plentiful source of winter garden food.

Lettuce: Lettuce is similar to onions in the sense that it does best in rich, fertile soil and needs plenty of water to thrive. Some lettuce variety’s do better in cooler weather. Leaf lettuce variety’s will do well during the winter and with short harvest times will go a long way towards maintaining a stable food supply. Best to plant during January or February.

Peas: Snap peas, snow peas and poke shelling are all good variety’s of peas to grow during the winter. The best time to plant peas is November and February and they can be grown all year round.  Plant pea seeds and inch or two in fertile soil and give them something to climb on and they will soon be producing tender little pods. The birds really like peas too, so take precautions and cover them with something that will keep them out but let the sunshine and rain in.

Potatoes: Potatoes are a great supplement to many family meals. They can be grown during the winter with the best time to plant being in February. Potatoes will be ready to harvest around three months after planting. Potatoes are usually grown from tubers or pieces that have grown eyes (small beginning roots). Consider growing your potatoes in a large pot or in a stack of two old tires. Using old tires is a good recycling idea, also the black tires will draw and radiate heat from the sun, helping to keep the soil warm for your growing tasty tubers.

Greens: Spinach, kale, swiss chard and bok choy are some of the green variety’s that can be grown during the winter. Most green variety’s prefer cooler weather and will go to seed quickly in warmer weather. These greens can be used in soups, salads and can be a refreshing source of free food during the winter.

Now that we have a list of great garden veggies to plant, we need to consider where we will put them. Mini greenhouses or cold box’s  are probably the most effective and inexpensive options and there are more than a few ways to put them together.

Cold Box: Cold boxes can be made of a wood frame, placed on the ground and filled with fertile soil for growing your plants. It needs to be deep enough to provide enough room for the plants root system and well as give it plenty of room to grow without choking it out. Cold boxes are made with a glass top so when the sun beams in, your plants are rewarded with heat and light that is amplified by the glass roof of the cold box and trapped inside. A simple cold box could be made of a sod earthen wall frame or stacked bales of straw, or even a hole in the ground with an old window that will neatly cover the top.

Hoop Houses: Hoop houses are a great and inexpensive way to build a mini greenhouse to help shelter your crops during the winter. They can be easily made with an existing raised bed grow area or you can put together a raised bed or grow box to use for your hoop house (mini greenhouse cold frame). They are generally made by bending pieces of 1/2″ pvp pipe to make the frame over your raised growing beds.

Walipini: Bigger versions of cold boxes can be made using earth or sandbags for insulation or even digging an in ground growing area and covering it with greenhouse panels or plastic to make an earthen insulated winter greenhouse. A Walipini is a greenhouse that is built in a hole with a plastic or plastic paneled roof. A Walipini is suitable for year round growing and can be built fairly cheaply.

Many garden variety greens and head type plants, Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and head lettuce, will do well in winter cold boxes, mini greenhouses, walipini’s or hot houses. Leafy greens like kale, mustard, spinach and leaf lettuce variety’s will do well. Tubers like potatoes and turnips, beets and radishes all can be grown during the winter along with the bulb edibles like onions and garlic. You could grow a small a small organic spice garden in your kitchen windowsill or make plans for a bigger harvest. The sky really is the limit.

Winter growing is not only possible, it can be fairly inexpensive to get started. You can benefit from growing edible food in the wintertime with little out of pocket, and ensure healthy meals that are free from corporate additives for you and your family. With a little time, hard work and investment you can get control of your food supply. Take another great step to ensuring your family’s survival and well being and plan a winter garden.

Be Self Sufficiant

Being truly self sufficient encompasses much more than working a regular job and putting food on the table. Paying bills and keeping up with a nine to five job and family lifestyle are things that have become commonplace in our daily lives.  While they can be cause for stress, bills and jobs are not something we would ever consider not having. Grocery stores for instance are largely taken for granted. Consider in your grandparent’s and parents youth that grocery and department stores being available and not far away is something they hadn’t experienced. Back in those days, families were self reliant. They grew gardens, raised rabbits and chickens for food. They made their own soaps and washed their clothes without electricity. Oil lamps or candles were used at night. They didn’t have the luxury of flipping a switch for electric lights or flushing the toilet of the indoor plumbing. A person would have to go outside to do their bathroom business, even in the dead of winter.

To us that all might sound dreadful but those people got a certain satisfaction knowing that they provided for themselves. At that time they didn’t give the lions share of their earnings to big government and corporations the way we do today. Even if they were dirt poor, our ancestors were much better off than we are in the twenty-first century in the sense that they could truly provide for themselves. Over the past fifty or so years Americans have become dependent upon convenience and easy living compared to those who came before us. Many people around the globe still live in this fashion. Most people in America would be in big trouble if they were flung into this sort of situation today.

Companies like Monsanto wouldn’t be a problem if somewhere down the line we hadn’t stopped paying attention to what was and is being done to our food supply. As important as our food and water supply is to our health and well being, I find it hard to believe we have become so lax in paying attention to where it comes from, what’s in it, and how it is managed. Some of the things we’re being sold for consumption are laced with poisons, genetically modified and harmful to our bodies. If you do a little snooping online you can easily find some disgusting reports about the daily foods many Americans enjoy on a regular basis.

It has become painfully obvious that the corporate and other entities that are in charge of making sure our food is safe to eat has become more concerned with higher profits than public safety. Taking control of your food supply now will ensure that in the event of a disaster you and your family will have something to eat. It will also help you regulate the amount of hidden poisons you are consuming on a daily basis. Sure it’s not the easy way, being self reliant never is, but in the long run you will save money and your whole family will be healthier for it.

Growing and raising your own food will be a huge benefit in the event of an economic collapse or other disaster that may leave you and your family without transportation to a grocery store, or in the event that the shelves at the store are suddenly empty and there is nothing to buy. Having a stockpile of the basics supplemented by your garden and or food animals will likely keep you alive. It is also a good idea to make sure you have a solid clean water source and way to filter dirty water for cooking and drinking purposes. Being self reliant in the old days meant you carried water from a stream or well to the house in a bucket. In today’s world, any water you might get from a stream, river or open well needs to be checked to be sure it’s sanitary before drinking it.The odds any water from public sources outside of a bottle or natural spring may well be polluted and will need filtered There are a few methods for doing that I’ll discuss in a later post, but having a source of clean water is detrimental for your survival though bad and emergency situations. My point here is that self reliance entails providing the needs of you and your family far beyond paying bills and working a regular job.

Here’s another hypothetical query. What if the power grid went down tomorrow? Would you have lights? Would you have a way to cook food? Would your water work? A local power outage can cause all kinds of issues and is normally only an inconvenience for a short time. After a bad storm it may be out for 2 weeks or more but then everything goes slowly back to normal. But what if the power wasn’t coming back on in a hurry, or at all? How would you power your heaters in the winter? How would you keep your food in the refrigerator from spoiling? A back up power system is vital in survival instances even if it’s only a small source for lighting, radio for news and other small items but a generator or a decent solar system with good power output would be more suitable. A wood stove for heat and a good supply of seasoned wood will help to ensure you can stay warm and cook during the winter. In the event of a utility outage, wood may be your only option for heat and cooking. You don’t need to convert your home entirely to wood heat but having a working stove installed somewhere, a garage, shed, back porch or other suitable area can provide a safe warm place during the winter if the power goes out.

Being  truly self reliant means providing the needs of you and those around you. Society has tricked us into becoming dependent upon convenience and big corporation for most if not all of our needs. Each day they find new and interesting ways to get more and more of our hard earned money, all the while paying us less and less of fair market value. Becoming self reliant may not only save your life in the event of an emergency or disaster, but it will save and potentially generate money in the sale of excess items you can sell or barter with your neighbors and friends.

The basics of life we as humans need are food, water, shelter, fire and clothing. There are many more things you may feel like you cannot live without but our ancestors lived sometimes with these very basic needs. In the event of a terrible situation we may also be reduced to this sort of living. It’s not something we like to think about but it’s better to be somewhat prepared than caught totally unawares.

My overall intent on this blog is to share the basic living, self sufficiency and sustainable ideas I know of and am currently researching with anyone who is interested in traveling the road with me to real self reliance. Not the kind where you run down the the corner grocery and buy dinner and a movie for the family. This is the kind of self reliance your family will know they can depend on when the going gets tough. How to make tasty food from scratch, how to clean and prepare animals for food, how to use basic materials to build comfortable shelters and how to grow and raise food, even in the winter. There are a ton of topics I plan to cover on this blog. Many of them will save you money now and put you on a steady road to self reliance. You don’t know what tomorrow may bring and that’s all the more reason to get yourself in the right frame of mind and begin preparing immediately.

Make your own things, save money, prepare for hard times, These are the ways of true self reliance.

The following video was made for 2012 viewing but its message is as much true today as it was 2 years ago, if not even more so. The ideas portrayed in this video are hypothetical but not impossible and it is full of good information and tips for self reliance and survival in the event of catastrophe.

There has never been a better time to prepare for the worst. It seems the worst may be right on our doorstep.