Nov 17

Antiquing Food Preservation

By Naomi Broderick

No one can see into the future, but we can prepare for all eventualities. Living in unsure times as we do, safety and foresight top the “to do” lists. Living in a home equipped with a state of the art security system such as those offered by ADT Billings, Montana, makes us feel securer in regards to unwanted guests, but we also have to be prepared to face catastrophes like severe weather conditions, terrorist attacks, war and any number of other things that can lead to Armageddon. That is why the methods of preserving food and storing it in a way to give it a longer shelf life is becoming more and more important.

Seeking new methods and technologies and having ready-made freeze dried food options, has let us forget about our ancestors. They didn’t have a refrigerator or a freezer, they didn’t have electric stoves to do their canning; they didn’t always have canning jars either. Yet they managed to travel across this immense country by horse and wagon, through festering heat and bone-chilling cold, without starving. I think it’s time to find out how they did it and how we can adapt some of their very efficient methods in our modern times. After all, if we are forced to start over, our so carefully horded supplies will only last for a limited amount of time. Then what? We are going to have to be savvy to survive.

Chuckwagon Dinner - Cowboy Festival


Cowboy Bricks

When herding cattle across the plains, cowboys were surrounded by “fresh meat”, but it wasn’t meant for their consumption. They had trail cooks following them with the chuck wagon. Trail cooks were feeding hardworking, hungry men, the type you don’t want to upset with unsubstantial grub. Without refrigeration, there are not a lot of preservation options for the long haul. Drying was the best method. Some cooks mixed dried beef, grease, chile peppers and salt together and then formed them into stackable bricks. This was a great way to keep meat from spoiling and it was easy to rehydrate them in water. They used this concoction to make savory, hot stews, adding beans or rice as fillers. This is an easy method for conserving a meal and is easy to portion and to prepare.

Drying apples too


Dehydrating Foods
If the worst-case scenario comes to pass, you won’t be able to rely on your oven or electric dehydrator. However, you can use mother-nature to help you accomplish the task at hand. To dehydrate meat, it’s important to cut it into very thin strips. The thinner you cut the meat, the better it will dry. For the next step you can go two ways here:

A) If you still have salt, rub the salt into the meat strips, this will help preserve it longer, or

B) If you’ve run out of salt, leave the strips as they are and continue with the process

Thread a sewing needle with thin string, best is fishing line. Using the needle, thread the meat onto the fishing line, leaving at least 1” spaces between the slices, and plenty of room on both ends. Make sure you choose a dry, well ventilated spot to hang the meat for drying. Since the meat, (and any other food you plan on drying) will attract insects. Make a protective cover, using mosquito net, to protect your food from insects. The net should not touch the meat, because that would allow the flies to land and lay their eggs on the exposed food. The meat is ready when it is brittle to the touch. The cooler and darker the place where you store the dried meat, the longer it will be preserved. Avoid sunny areas.

Fruits like apples, pears and peaches are best cut into wedges or rings, with skin, and strung up on the line, just as the meat was. The procedure is the same. The smaller the wedges or rings, the faster the drying process will be completed.

Peas and beans are best dried spread out on a flat surface and exposed to the sun. Turning them over every few days will make for easier and evener drying.

The best storage containers for your dried goods are cloth bags. You can easily make these out of cheesecloth. This way they don’t collect humidity, because they can “breathe” through the bag and insects will have a harder time getting in. Hanging the bags in an aerated, dry area will also help avoid the forming of mold or condensation, extending the shelf-life.

These are just a few examples of old food preservation methods you can apply in an emergency. There are many more and they are definitely worth looking up. Another great source of information is talking to your seniors. Some of our grandparents have seen tough times and had to make due with very little. Pick their brains, they’ll enjoy the company and you’ll learn more than you might think.

B.W. Richardson said: ”Preserve and treat food as you would your body, remembering that in time food will be your body.”

Sep 16

Meat Rabbits for the Homestead

RabbitsMeat rabbits for the homestead. Beyond chickens, probably the “next best”, most productive animal for the homestead is the meat rabbit. Rabbits are inexpensive, easy-to-raise, prolific, quiet, and take a minimal amount of space. And, they produce the leanest meat of all domestic animals as well as usable pelts and incredibly-rich garden fertilizer.

Of course, many people are put off by the idea of eating what they consider a pet animal and can’t picture themselves being able to dispatch “those cute bunnies”. But the reality is, if times Rabbitsget tough(er) and you need a delicious protein source for your hungry family, you will quickly get over your apprehensions and be grateful you have a ready source of meat. (Quite frankly, 3 month old rabbits – which is prime butchering age — aren’t nearly as cute and cuddly as what you are imagining.)

A breeding trio of rabbits, that is, two females and one male, could easily produce 42 babies a year. If these youngsters are butchered at 3-4 pounds, this translates into approximately 150 pounds of meat per year.

Meat RabbitThere are many breeds of domestic rabbits but for many meat producers the New Zealand white and Californian are two of the more popular. Fryers, bakers, roasters, and stewers are the names given to meat rabbits. Their age and weight will determine their title. Want to learn more? Then tune in this Thursday, September 12, to the Homestead Honey Hour where we will dive into this subject to help you get started raising rabbits!

Listen to this broadcast on “Meat Rabbits for the Homestead” Go Here!

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Mar 24

Yellowstone Park Is Closed! Really?

One of our readers sent this article about the delay of regular park services.

The Daily Prepper News

Yellowstone Park Is Closed! Really?

by Mike Bogden

Park ClosingThe other day Sheri and I loaded up one of our grandkids and made the pilgrimage to the West entrance of Yellowstone Park. We wanted to share a silent prayer for those who are dependent on the park for their livelihood and what they are about to endure. The decisions to forgo snow plows this spring and push back the opening of the park by at least three weeks leaves one scratching their head is disbelief.
The assertion is that the sequester has made this decision necessary. Really? With the increased spending of federal government over the past four years, our elected representatives couldn’t find enough waste to offset the minor amount that was cut in this act? How can one accept the assertion that this train had been approaching for some time and adequate planning wasn’t done? I’d be willing to bet that if our Washington friends had cabins up here, they’d start cutting firewood in December. Here are a few things we could have done without lately, any one of which would have allowed the park to open on time.

$325,000 for a robo-squirrel that tests the interaction between squirrels and rattlesnakes
$45,900 to help people attend an annual Michigan snowmobile competition for the next two years
$516,000 for scientists to develop an ecoATM that gives out cash in exchange for old cell phones
$349,862 for a study that looks at the effects of meditation and self-reflection for math, science and engineering majors
$123,758 for a new position at the Department of Education promoting “Education Excellence for the African-Americans” (which was filled post-sequester)
$450,000,000 to Egypt in aid, promised this month

You get the general idea, no cost-benefit analysis. It is always essential services that are cut. The worst fear of a politician is that if spending is reduced and no one notices, taxpayers will accept the reductions. Spending is power in Washington. Children’s visits to the White House are cancelled and National Parks are closed to family vacations because reductions in spending cannot be tolerated.
The government will lose money from this decision. Entry fees and concessions in the park will decrease. Income tax payments from the residents who make their living from the tourist trade will be reduced as incomes decline. Merchants and their employees will have to make do with less because their incomes will have been diminished by this decision. What must they cut in their own personal sequester? Will it be utilities, house payment or will they cut something they can do without?
The government should prioritize their mission and spending priorities. Maintenance of the National Parks should move a little farther up that list! Really!!


Mike Bogden
Bogden Outdoor Equipment


Jan 21

Five Cheap Root Cellers You Can Build

Five Cheap Root Cellars You Can Build
JAN 15
Posted by sierra2one
By: Tom Chatham
Reprinted with Permission from Tom Chatham

There are many people that have the ability to grow some vegetables during the summer. Many of these are eaten at the dinner table while at their peak of freshness and taste. Those that are thoughtful enough to plan for extra production and have a place to store it can enjoy their bounty for many weeks after the harvest providing good food and a secure food source for their family. Most people will either store their excess in the freezer or can it. Both of these ways are good but require either a constant supply of electricity or the time and resources to can.
This is fine when everything is going fine but the day may come when these resources are not available or are intermittent and undependable. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 13

The Fifth Branch of Government

The Fifth Branch of Government
DEC 28
Posted by sierra2one
By: Tom Chatham
Posted with permission from Tom Chatham

With all of the discontent with the establishment in Washington, this should be a time to reflect on the type of government we have and why it works the way it does. We should also reflect on the reasons our government is set up the way it is. Far too many people have abdicated their power and let the government run free of the constraints initially placed on it and we are now paying the price for that lapse of judgment. A young child may not understand or care about the repercussions of health and tooth decay and when allowed to run free in a candy store can do a great deal of damage to himself if it is allowed to continue every day for years. These repercussions will be felt by the child over time but will also exact a price from the parent in medical costs and disrespect to authority over time. We as a country have let the public servants run free for so long that they now consider it their right to do as they please and we will have to pay the price for it.
Our nation was set up with checks and balances to insure no one branch would get out of control. Each branch, Executive, Judicial and Legislative, acts as a regulator on the other branches and stops any blatant abuses of power before they cause irreparable harm to the nation. At least that is how it is supposed to work. But, what happens when the three established branches of government are all corrupted and act in unison to usurp power and take actions that will ultimately cause great harm to the nation and its people? Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 13

Enemies Foreign and Domestic

Enemies Foreign and Domestic
Posted by sierra2one
By: Tom Chatham
Posted with permission from Tom Chatham

While this article is a little long and confusing – if nothing else you should read the first 4 and last 3 paragraphs.

The last few years have seen some very confusing actions coming from the leadership in Washington that has made people question what exactly is going on. The war on terror has suddenly been turned on its’ head with little explanation why. Suddenly, Al-Qaida fighters are allies and U.S. veterans and patriots are the enemy. It makes no sense until you learn what has actually been going on in the land of the free lately.
Thanks to an FBI discovery of a key Muslim Brotherhood document, which was entered into evidence during the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial, we now know what they are up to and who some of the players are. The document presents the Brotherhood plan for “civilian-jihad” against the U.S.
The internal memo said Muslim Brotherhood members “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and by the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
Evidence presented at the trial of the Texas-based Muslim charity Holy Land Foundation, convicted of funding Hamas, exposed CAIR, ISNA and others as front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States
Egypt’s Rose El-Youssef magazine in a Dec.22 story said six men turned the White House “from a position hostile to Islamic groups and organizations in the world to the largest and most important supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood.” Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 10

Sheep Dogs & Wolves

Sheepdogs and Wolves
Posted by sierra2one
By: Tom Chatham
Posted with permission from Tom Chatham

Anyone in this country that has been watching events unfold the last few years and has a realistic view of the world knows that a big fight is brewing in this country. It may not necessarily be a shooting war but it will be a battle of ideas and lifestyles.
When the people of a nation become so diverse that they no longer hold the same values in life, it is only a matter of time before a conflict arises. Diversity can work only as long as the idea of live and let live is practiced by everyone, but once a segment of that population attempts to force its ideas on everyone else, the peace and tranquility of the nation will be destroyed.
When conflict arises in a nation, it is not the whole nation that will fight the battle but only a small percentage of it. A small percentage will fight for the values as they were and a small percentage will fight for the values as they want them to be. The vast majority of the population may hold opinions that lean one way or the other but they will not engage in the battle themselves. These poor timid spirits will await the end of the battle and embrace whatever values prevail. These people are sometimes called sheep.
This is something that many do not grasp in this nation. Only a chosen few will take sides in this coming battle. Everyone will be affected but few will participate in the decision making. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 10

It’s Almost Time To Panic

It’s Almost Time For Panic. Five disasters that can push humanity off the cliff.
5Jun Project Chesapeake

This Article is reprinted with permission from Project Chesapeake.

So much is happening these days that it is hard for the average person to keep up. There are a number of situations developing around the world that we need to pay attention to.
Water aquifers and surface supplies are rapidly dwindling in the U.S. and are causing potential shortages in the southern mid-west and Californias’ Central valley. These two areas produce most of our vegetables and grain. Weather patterns are changing and seem to be reverting to patterns seen in the 1930’s which caused the dreaded dust bowl. Many of our rivers and lakes are now so polluted they are permanent dead zones for sea life. This potential water shortage is becoming more of a reality every year. Without water, nothing lives or grows, it’s as simple as that. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 13

Why You Absolutely Must Have Food Supplies, Hard Assets and Reserve Cash

Why You Absolutely Must Have Food Supplies, Hard Assets and Reserve Cash
Mac Slavo
June 11th, 2012

This article has been reprinted with the permission of the author, Mac Salvo.

While many refuse to believe that it can happen, evidence for why it is absolutely critical to stock up for hard times and worst case scenarios is and has been staring us in the face for the last several years (never mind the thousands of years of historical precedent).
The latest warning signs are, once again, popping up in Europe and should be taken seriously, as it is only a matter of time before such events play out in the rest of the world, including right here at home: Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 13

Collapse At Hand

Paul Craig Roberts
Institute for Political Economy

Collapse At Hand
June 5, 2012| Categories: Articles & Columns| Tags:,

This article has been reprinted with the permission of the author, Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Ever since the beginning of the financial crisis and quantitative easing, the question has been before us: How can the Federal Reserve maintain zero interest rates for banks and negative real interest rates for savers and bond holders when the US government is adding $1.5 trillion to the national debt every year via its budget deficits? Not long ago the Fed announced that it was going to continue this policy for another 2 or 3 years. Indeed, the Fed is locked into the policy. Without the artificially low interest rates, the debt service on the national debt would be so large that it would raise questions about the US Treasury’s credit rating and the viability of the dollar, and the trillions of dollars in Interest Rate Swaps and other derivatives would come unglued. Read the rest of this entry »

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