Monday, September 26, 2011

Does banning chickens make sense?

Nr 1: The domestic dog: a wolf descendant whose bite is responsible for about 1000 hospitalizations per day (mostly facial injuries of kids), and 34 deaths in 2010 in the USA alone. Known for producing loud noise at all hours of the day, often roaming freely and leaving unsightly and smelly poop everywhere. Perfectly legal in Nelson.

Read More

Sunday, July 31, 2011

First Potatoes From the Vegetable Garden

Yukon Gold Potatoes
Our Yukon Gold Potatoes from the vegetable garden. This is our first attempt at growing potatoes and we're pleased with the result!

I made mashed potatoes from this batch and they were yummy!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Chicken Bone Chain Reaction

A man who initiated a four-car pileup by tossing a chicken bone across a busy thoroughfare in England was conditionally discharged. While standing on the sidewalk, Andre Varciana tossed the remnant of a KFC snack pack at his pals who waited on the road divider, prompting an unmarked Criminal Investigation Department police car to slam on the brakes. Other cars followed suit, causing a chain reaction of fenderbenders and minor injuries. One vehicle wound up on its roof.

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/chicken+bone+cross+road+cause+multi+collision/5176430/story.html#ixzz1TVc2DsAd

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yellow Pepper in the Garden

Yellow Pepper
Yellow pepper growing nicely in the garden! Not sure how much longer until it can be harvested but hubs is keeping a close eye on the vegetables.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bear breaks into car for chicken nuggets

Leroy Griego couldn't make the story any better even if he wanted to.
"A bear destroyed my car looking for Chicken McNuggets," he said. "I'm shocked."

When he parked his car in front of The Palace Hotel on Broadway -- after returning from a four-day excursion in the wilderness -- he didn't expect the reaction from passers-by.

"What happened?" asked one onlooker.

Griego told the person he thought his car had been vandalized when he first saw it.

"It looked like hooliganism at its finest," he joked.

But once he pointed to scratch marks and pulled out some brown hair from the passenger seat, the group of about five people that had gathered figured out what happened.



Read More

Monday, July 11, 2011

More space for hens

The Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers are joining forces to ask Congress for new federal standards for all commercial egg producers.

The proposed legislation would require that the tiny hen cages now used be phased out and replaced with cages that give each hen almost double the space they generally have now.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Bears Like Chicken

A black bear that had been making unwanted visits to chicken coops in a California neighborhood had to be killed as it was attempting to break into another coop. You cant really blame the bear as we all like chicken.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Would You Eat A Four Legged Chicken

A four-legged chicken is waiting to find out its fate. A slaughterhouse in Isreal is waiting to hear from a Rabbi to see if it is kosher to eat it. I dont know about you but I would not want to eat it.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Harvesting and Drying My Garden Herbs

Rosemary & Oregano
Today I harvested some of our herbs from the garden. Sage, Oregano, Rosemary and Thyme were growing well. In fact my Thyme is flowering!

I cut the herbs early in the morning. Not so early that they were damp from dew but a bit later after they were quite dry.

I love the smell as I cut them and placed them on paper towels inside my wicker basket.







Herbs on Paper Towels
Next I shook the herbs to get rid of dust and bits of debris, then I placed them all on paper towels. I wanted to be sure they were fairly clean and dry before bundling them for tying.














Herbs Drying on Racks
Herbs are tied together in small bundles, then hung upside down to dry on my antique towel rack in the kitchen.  You would not believe how good it smells in there!

The tea towel is placed to stop direct sunlight from hitting the herbs. It's a south facing window, not the best spot for drying herbs but it's the only place where I have the wooden racks that are perfect for drying.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Survival Planning: Vinegar, a Potent Food Storage Item

Vinegar the magical food item. That's what I call it. It's something you should have on hand for long-term food storage.

What can you do with vinegar? Vinegar can be used as a disinfectant. Put it on wounds, or with your laundry, or dilute it and wash floors and bedding with it.

Vinegar has medicinal properties and is useful for treating bedding in a sick room. In the 19th century vinegar was an important item for ships' surgeons to have on board. Entire ships were disinfected using vinegar and water to wash floors and bedding and clothing.

Vinegar was in use as a healing medicine and antibiotic in ancient Greece and during the Civil War. 

You can also make a salad dressing with vinegar, oil and sugar.

Indigestion can be treated with a dink of vinegar and baking soda.  Yes the old "Make a volcano for science fair" trick. But if you drink a bit, it helps a burp and thus relieves the indigestion. It works better if you use apple cider vinegar.

My father used to drink a small glass of vinegar after every meal. He claimed it helped him digest his food! And my grandmother swore that a tiny glass of vinegar daily helped thin the blood. Who knows, maybe there's some truth in these old home remedies!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Our Onions are Popping Up in the Vegetable Garden

The Onions we planted are coming up! Considering we've never done a vegetable garden before this is pretty cool.

Did I mention that I can't weed due to physical challenges, and hubs refuses to weed? So our garden is being left to nature and our crossed fingers!

Now if only we had a root cellar.... 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Yay for Chives!

The chives that hubs replanted for me are doing well in the new vegetable garden.

They'll come up every year and should spread nicely too. I don't use a lot of chives in my cooking but they do go nicely with eggs or baked potatoes with sour cream. Mmmmm...

Besides they look pretty and they smell good!

If you haven't planted chives, you might want to try. They're hardy, easy to grow and they survive even the harshest Canadian winter.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Survival Planning: Storage of Food Items

Storage of your food items for a crisis is very important. You want to keep them all together if possible and in a convenient spot. You also want to be sure your food doesn't spoil so you need a dry spot and it has to be rodent and insect free.


I keep most of my food stores in a basement room which has the heat and the overhead lights turned off. I protect the food items from insects and rodents and dampness by placing most of them in sealed tubs.

I label the tubs so that I know what I have on hand.

I also have curtains up for the powdered items, spices and other light-sensitive items. The curtain means  that they are kept in the dark.





I keep most of my extra spices in a pantry in my kitchen. This pantry has quite a bit of room for jars of day to day spices and extra jars.  Some extra spices are kept in my basement room in the dark.

I store many different spices as I want to be able to jazz up my main meal of beans, rice and tortillas with different flavors. So one day I might make curried beans and rice; another day I could do chili flavored beans in a tortilla.

The more spices I have, the more variety in taste I can provide to what would otherwise be some pretty boring meals for my family in a long-term emergency situation.

I also keep lots of boullion cubes on hand. They make a great taste addition to any soup or stew and are high in salt (a basic survival need). You can also cook rice in water with a boullion cube for a change of taste. And best of all you can toss one in some hot water and make a nice broth, flavorful and gentle on your stomach.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Sad Little Zucchini in the Vegetable Garden

This is the one and only zucchini plant that is growing in our vegetable garden.

I don't know why the rest aren't growing. Maybe the seeds were too old.

Yesterday hubs and I went and bought more zucchini seeds plus one plant and now they're in the garden. Fingers crossed.

We'll see how the new zucchini does. I'm looking forward to freezing it for winter zucchini bread!





Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Survival Planning: Food Storage - How to Master it

Okay you have a good start to your emergency food buying but where and how do you store it?

GRAINS
Store your grains in a cool dry place. I put mine in plastic tubs with lids or pails with lids, clearly labelled with the name of the food item and the date purchased. Then I store them on shelves in a dark cool basement and to be extra sure I'm keeping light out, I put up curtains across my food shelves.  If it's a food I might not be used to cooking, I also add instructions and recipes, plus a nutrition "label" that tells me what % of my daily nutrient requirements the food has and how much of it I need to meet those requirements.

FATS/OILS
Keep them out of the light for optimum storage

BEANS
I never buy canned beans because I don't want to rotate them every 3 years. So I buy dried beans in bulk which I store in their original bags and inside a plastic tub with lid. I label everything with its name, date of purchase, nutrional value and instructions for cooking. Dried beans have a shelf life of 25+ years if stored  in a cool dry place.

SUGAR & SALT
I keep my sugar and salt in their original paper containers inside sealed plastic tubs. Dryness is important for these foods. If you have honey just keep it out of the light. And be sure you buy pure honey for indefinite shelf life

POWDERED MILK, DRIED SOUP MIXES
Same deal as sugar and salt. Keep them dry and in a sealed container.


SPROUTING SEEDS
These will last twice as long if you refrigerate them. If you put the seeds in a freezer their shelf life is quadrupled. So most (but not all) sprouting seeds will last 25+ years in the freezer. I keep mine in  plastic bags and then inside a plastic tub (with a lid) which fits nicely in the freezer.

SPICES & HERBS
I've always grown my own herbs, and  this year I decided to only plant herbs that will come up every year. Since I garden on a deck in window boxes, I have to bring my herbs inside during our Canadian winter or they die. In the fall I harvest the herbs and let them dry, then I store them in green glass containers. Why green? Herbs lose their potency very quickly if exposed to light. So store any herbs in a dark and dry place. Don't put them in direct sunlight.

The worst thing you can do with any herbs or spices is open them over something hot on the stove. Spices and herbs don't like heat or humidity so open them away from that hot stove or oven.

I store spices and herbs in my pantry which has a door to keep out light. Extra emergency supply herbs and spices are stored in glass jars inside cardboard boxes which are sealed and placed behind curtains on shelves in my dark cool basement room. I could put the ones I'm not using on a daily basis in the freezer or fridge to store them.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Planting Tomatoes in the Vegetable Garden

Hubs is planting the one tomato plant we were able to buy.

You heard me.

We went out to purchase several tomato plants for our vegetable garden and to our dismay (and disbelief!) were told the store was sold out. Except for this patio plant which was not exactly what we wanted.

I mean c'mon... I know we were later than the traditional May 24th planting weekend but only by a week. Sheesh

Monday, June 06, 2011

Survival Planning: Water Water Everywhere...

Water Water everywhere and not a drop to drink? Hopefully you've planned your water storage for emergency situations. An adult requires 1 to 3 litres of water daily so for one month you need 30 to 90 litres! That's for ONE ADULT. Phew. That's a lot of water.

This past weekend hubby and I purchased several rain barrels. They hold 200 litres of water so a full one is good for the two of us for at least one month, perhaps longer. Hubs set one up yesterday on our deck and has gone to town to buy a spigot so I can have a tap and a hose to drain the water out. I'll use it for watering my herbs grown in window boxes on the deck. And it will be one of three that we're going to set up around our house and outbuildings.

We have a small garden shed which only needs a bit of eaves troughing and bingo we can set up another rain barrel. We have another larger shed which can be set up easily too. That gives us 3 200-litre rain barrels, enough water to last the two of us for 3 months or more.

Rain barrels plus large containers of water stored in your basement or closet are a good way to be sure you have enough water on hand for any crisis or emergency situation. 

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Survival Planning: Basic Survival Food Groups Choices

We've talked about the 7 basic survival food groups my family uses to plan and store emergency food for a crisis. I've also mentioned spices and dried soup mixes as an extra to provide more variety. But do you know what food choices there are within each group?

Grains
Rice, oats, wheat, pasta, cornmeal, flour

Legumes
Dried beans, split peas, lentils, dry soup mix (my fav!)

Fats/Oils
Vegetable & Olive Oil, Mayonnaise, Peanut Butter, Shortening

Sugars
Sugar, honey, molasses, corn syrup, flavored gelatin, powdered fruit drinks

Milk
Powdered milk, canned milk - evaporated and condensed

Remember that different foods have different shelf lives. So for example I only buy vegetable oil, not olive oil, because vegetable oil lasts indefinitely but olive oil does not.

Canned goods only last about 3 years then you must use them and buy new. So I don't buy canned goods, but that's a personal choice. I'm far too lazy to rotate my food supplies!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Survival Planning: Dried Soup Mixes & Pasta

I've mentioned my love for dried soup mixes in a previous blog post. I'm totally sold on these as a valuable addition to basic food supplies for emergencies. In our emergency planning we keep a 3 month supply of 7 basic suvival foods on hand.  To supplement these 7 basic foods, I also keep dried soup mixes, pasta, and other food items (more on those in future blog posts)

Why pasta? It goes on sale regularly and keeps forever. It can be used in a variety of ways to extend your meals, and it counts as a grain. You could use it in place of rice or other grains. If you have enough stored you can just consider it an "extra" to be used to extend a planned meal. You can make a cold salad from pasta - just cook it and let it cool then add a dressing (oil and vinegar or whatever else you can create) and some  of your lovely sprouts or onions or chopped vegetables from your garden or re-hydrated from dried vegetables.

Pasta & Chili
I can make a bean "chili" and have it on top of cooked pasta. Chili's a great thing to make even if you only have pinto beans to put into it. Add some ketchup (you do have ketchup stored I hope), lots of chili powder, cayenne pepper and paprika (remember those 3 spices were all high in Vitamin A), and other items such as parsley (hopefully you are growing your own or have it stored as dried parsley), onion flakes or dried onions or garden-grown, garlic - fresh or dried - and you've got emergency chili.

Mac & Cheese

With pasta and a couple of other items, I can use some of my powdered milk and powdered cheddar to make macaroni and cheese. Add my wonderful sprouts to that and I've got mac & cheese plus a salad. Pretty good for emergency cooking.


Pasta & Dried Soup Mix

With pasta I can break it into small pieces and add it to a big pot of soup - made from those amazing dried soup mixes! Remember that dried soup mixes are very high in sodium (salt) so you probably don't need to add more. But go ahead and add other food items that you have on hand - maybe you've got some dried carrots? Or some fresh from your garden if the season is right. Or some from your root cellar. Carrots are a powerhouse of nutrition so if you've got some, add 'em!

I tend to concentrate on stocking one soup mix which I buy in bulk, and that is beef vegetable. I buy that because it has that little bit of meat (for protein and flavour) and vegetables which are missing in the 7 basic food storage plan I follow (grain, beans, fats, milk, sugars, water and salt).

My husband accidentally bought mushroom soup in a dry mix in bulk so I plan to use that  to  create a mushroom sauce for pasta for a different flavour. I can also make soup from it but I'm not crazy about mushroom soup so that won't be high on my list.  I can add it to stew if we are lucky enough to have meat. It'll help the flavour of the stew and give us  more nutrition.

Bouillon Cubes
I also like to stock up on bouillon cubes when they are on sale. I buy vegetable, chicken and beef because they keep indefinitely and can be used to make soups if you don't have any dried soup mix, to add to dried soup mixes for more robust flavour, to toss into stews or chili or almost anything you can dream up that has water or some other liquid. They add salt and flavour to your diet. They do dry out over time but just chunk 'em up and toss them into your liquid and they'll dissolve.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Survival Planning: Additional Foods to Add to Basic Storage Foods

I've been working on our plan to buy and store enough basic foods for my family for 3 months. Our goal this year is to concentrate on the 7 basic foods I talked about in a couple of other blog posts.

But we also need other supplies to supplement our basic stockpile. Extra supplies include long-term foods that help give variety to meals and add nutritional value.

If I just had my 7 basic foods PLUS dried soup mixes (I didn't mention those before but I'm hooked on stockpiling as many dried soup mixes as I can!), I could make oatmeal with milk and honey for breakfast, a tortilla and soup for lunch, and tortillas, rice and beans for supper. That's pretty decent in terms of helping to fill someone up but let's look at nutritional value.

1 cup cooked oatmeal, 2 tortillas, 1 cup of rice, 1 cup of pinto beans and 1 cup of  beef vegetable soup made from water and dried soup mix provides one adult with the following % of my daily needs for these nutrients:

Fats 55%
Salt 95%
Fiber 83%
Vitamin A 5%
Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 59%
Iron 133%

It's pretty obvious that I need more of Vitamins A and C as well as Calcium. I can live without the fats but I'll start losing weight pretty fast. And more fiber would certainly help.

The question now is to find out what foods will give us those missing vitamins AND have a long storage life. Foods that are high in Vitamin C that my family likes are raspberries (1 cup = 54%) and potatoes (1 large - 37%). The problem is they don't provide enough and I'd have to lay in a stock of dried raspberries or potato powder and those are expensive.

Sprouts The Magical Powerhouse

But I have a solution. Sprouts. Sprouts are an amazing powerhouse of nutrition. They also give high yield of edibles compared to the small amount of raw seeds you start with. As an example, 1 cup of sprouted kidney beans provides 119% of your daily Vitamin C needs! So start sprouting right now. You want to be sure you know how to do it in case of an emergency. I'll talk more about how we grow our sprouts in future blog posts.

There is one caveat - kidney bean sprouts are toxic if eaten raw, so must be cooked. To be safe, cook all bean sprouts (mung, lentils, navy etc) before eating. Just toss them into stews or soups or stir fry them to remove the toxins. Soaking beans overnight prior to sprouting will also help neutralize the toxins present in them but better safe than sorry, especially if you are in a crisis (emergency) survival situation where little or no medical help is available.

You can eat most other sprouts such as alfalfa raw. Think about what a great "salad" you can toss together during a crisis - 3 or 4 varieties of sprouts and some homegrown herbs such as parsley make a tasty (and nutritional) addition to an emergency survival meal. Or stuff them into your tortilla with a few beans. Yum!

Vitamin A Foods

1 cup of dehydrated carrots provides 1013% of daily Vitamin A needs. Wow. So that means to have 100% all you need is 1/10th of a cup. Now dehydrated carrots are expensive but what a magical food!

This will blow your mind - did you know that you can get 44% of your daily Vitamin A needs from 1 Tablespoon of chili powder or cayenne pepper?  So why not stock up on one or both of these spices? There's another magical spice you might want to have on hand - paprika - it gives 71% of your daily Vitamin A needs in 1 Tablespoon.












Calcium

We need 41% more of our daily calcium needs.  How can we do that? Well, we could stock up on Calcium Pills but they are expensive and gradually lose potency over time. So let's look at foods rich in Calcium. 1 cup of cooked rhubarb gives us 35% so if you have rhubarb in your garden (as I do) you've got a great source of extra calcium when it's in season.

Those magical dehydrated carrots are helpful and if you're eating them to get their high Vitamin A, guess what - you've just given yourself an extra 16% of your daily calcium and iron needs too! They sure pack a nutrition punch in every cup. 

I'm going to talk about menus and recipes and dried soup mixes in another blog post so stay tuned. I'm also going to show you my successful sprouting of Alfalfa and share how I save and store my seeds.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Survival Planning; Providing for a Family of Four for 3 Months

Hubs and I have a lot of food stored for an emergency. We watch the grocery store flyers carefully so that we can stock up on needed food items when they are on sale. Every family should have at least 3 months of food on hand in case of a disaster or emergency situation.

Sometimes families want to start stockpiling food but they are overwhelmed by the challenge and don't know what to get and how to store it. We aren't experts but we've done a lot of research and a lot of trial and error so we have a pretty good idea of what nutritional value is in certain foods, which foods have the longest shelf life and which are best value for the money (in terms of shelf life, ability to extend the ration, variety of meals possible, and cost)

I've already given you the list of 7 basic essential foods which will keep you alive. I explained how much of each you need for one adult for one week. I know you can do the math but let's look at how much of these basic essential foods an average family of 4 needs for 3 months.

It is going to shock you. But it's doable! An important fact to remember is that any child over the age of 7 is considered a adult in terms of food storage.

I am using mostly metric measurements but you can convert for a fairly accurate measurement by using the following:

1 liter = 0.26 US gallons
1 kg = 2.2 pounds
1 US cup = 236.6 ml but you can convert using 250ml=1cup and remember that 1,000 ml or 4 cups is pretty close to 1 L



ITEM


1 ADULT 1 WEEK


4 ADULTS 3 MOS

SHELF LIFE

Grains

3.5kg

168kg

20-30yrs

Legumes

1/2kg

24kg

20-30yrs

Oils

3/4 cup

36c (9L)

forever if vegetable oil

Salt

2/3 c

32 c (8 L)

forever

Water

7-21L

336-1008L

forever

Sugar

1/2kg

24kg

forever

Milk

1c

48c

20yrs if powder

Friday, May 27, 2011

Using an Antique Coffee Grinder to Grind Corn to Make Flour

Hubs just used my double wheel antique coffee grinder to grind corn into flour. Very cool! 
But I'm not using the flour until he totally disinfects the grinder... the coffee grinder was patented in 1898... 
This is  one of the ways we store food for Emergency Survival Planning. Ground corn or other flours have a shelf life of 2 or 3 years. Hard corn, not ground, has a shelf life of 20 to 30 years.
We never buy and store flour. Instead we buy hard corn and whole wheat and store that. With our antique coffee grinder we are set if we need to grind wheat or corn to make flour during an emergency situation.
 
Here is the corn that we buy.  It costs $12.00 Canadian for a 25kg bag. For those who are metric challenged, that is just over 55 lb. 
Hubs adjusted the settings on my antique coffee grinder to grind the hard corn into a nice fine flour. 
1 lb of hard corn grinds into 4 cups of flour.  That's a bit less than 1/2 kg of hard corn to make 1000 ml  (1 L) of ground flour.

Hubs is holding a handful of hard corn and in the measuring cup beside him you see the corn after it is ground. 
What can I do with this? Make tortillas or flatbread or bannock every day. I can make 12 tortillas every day for almost 5 months using 1 25kg bag of hard corn. 
I need to stock up on baking powder, salt, vegetable oil and water to make those tortillas. To make 12 tortillas every day for 5 months I also need wheat or all-purpose flour. 
We have a plan for purchasing wheat which we will grind to make our own flour. I don't know how many bags I need for those 5 months of tortillas since I haven't got any wheat yet. As soon as it arrives (it was a special order) I'll let readers know how much it is going to take.
Most tortilla recipes use shortening or lard. But  the shelf life of shortening  is not as good as vegetable oil. Shortening is only good for about 3 years maximum. So every 3 years I would need to replace my old shortening with fresh. That's why I came up with a tortilla recipe that uses liquid vegetable oil which I never have to replace.

Doing this and labeling these specific food items as earmarked for tortillas means that I have guaranteed my family 12 tortillas every day for 5 months. Of course this  supply would last 10 months if we cut back to 6 tortillas daily which is enough for hubs and I to have one tortilla with each daily meal.

All in all it's a very cost-effective and easy way to store some of the food needed for an emergency survival plan. Remember that tortillas are versatile - you can stuff them with almost anything! Rice, beans, sauteed vegetables, cheese, eggs - all it takes is a little imagination.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Basic Suvival Foods to Keep You Alive

Let's start our Disaster Plan with learning what basic foods are needed to keep a person alive. The basic survival foods you should be storing are:

Grains (Rice, Pasta, Wheat, Oats, Cornmeal)
     One adult needs 3.5 kg or 7.5 lb of grains for one week

Legumes (Beans, Peas, Lentils)
     One adult needs 1/2 kg or 1 lb of legumes for one week

Fats and Oils (Vegetable Oil, Mayonnaise, Peanut Butter, Olive Oil, Shortening)
     One adult needs 3/4 cup of fats or oils per week

Salt
     One adult needs 70 grams or 2/3 cup of salt for one week 


Water
     One adult needs between 1 to 3 L of water daily which is 7 to 21 L of water per week.  Water requirements depend on the temperature,  the amount of exercise the person is doing (how hard they are working) and their body weight. 




I also include in my basic survival needs plan Sugar (sugar or honey) and Milk (powdered or canned)


Sugar (sugar, honey)
    For one adult you should have 1/2 kg or 17 1/2 oz. or just over 2 cups or 1 lb of sugar per week

Milk (powdered milk, canned milk)
     For one adult plan on 140 grams or about 1 cup of milk per week








These 7 essential basic foods will keep you alive for one week. You won't have very interesting or fun meals as you will mostly be eating such things as rice and beans but you'll survive.

Note that there are only 15 L of water (30 bottles) in this photo on the right. I personally store the maximum per adult per week which is 21 L. 

I've included oatmeal and rice as my weekly grains as that gives me more variety in meals. What meals can I make with these basic foods?

Not much! That's the reality. But I can make hot oatmeal every morning with a bit of sugar (or honey)

I can make beans and rice for supper. Lunch could be lentil soup. I think you get the idea.

Remember, these are BASIC survival rations. They will keep ONE adult alive for ONE week.

I'll show you how to expand your food rations and make more variety of meals cheaply and easily in future blog posts.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Preparing for Emergencies & Disasters

Do you have a plan in place for your family in case of emergency or disaster? Hubs and I decided long ago that we should always have a 3 month supply of food and water on hand.

Like many other families we began with saving  a 2-week food supply. Eventually that became one month of food, and now we are prepared for 3 months.  One month of food for your family is a realistic goal and I'm going to help you figure out what you need and where and how to store it.

We're not alarmists. We don't think the world is ending in December 2012 (or this weekend May 21st!) But natural disasters happen - floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, forest fires, earthquakes to name a few.

Ice storms also occur where we live and power can be knocked out for weeks. If it's winter and you have no power, can you survive? Do you have a plan for staying warm? What about cooking your food IF you have food stored - how will you accomplish this?

Disasters come in all shapes and sizes. Some are short-lived - perhaps a few days or a week or two of power outages and inconvenience. Some could be longer - even up to a few months. Do you have enough stored food on hand for your family for that long?

In a series of blog posts I'm going to share with you the plans that hubs and I have in effect. I'll show you what foods we have stored and tell you our reasons (mainly shelf life and ability to extend to feed many people)

There's so much to research and learn before you start buying and storing food. Hubs and I started as most families do - we bought in bulk whenever something went on sale. So we ended up with many cans of pork 'n beans and soup. But guess what - canned goods have a short shelf life (less than 3 years) so unless you're prepared to eat a lot of beans and soup when that 3 years is up, it's not the best emergency supply food.

So stay tuned, check back frequently, and follow the topic in the right hand menu bar "SURVIVAL FOOD STORAGE" or "DISASTER PLANNING" to read all the great tips I'm going to be sharing with you.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

How to Build a Chicken Coop for less than $400.00

Believe it or not, this will eventually be our new chicken coop.

Right now the chickens are in a very nice barn with an attached run. It has one half for chicken and animal feed, the other half has perches for the chickens and my guinea fowl to sleep.

Why are we going to use an old trailer instead? Because the chicken barn is really nice! So I want hubs to clean it out and use it for storage of such things as snowmobilies, lawn mowers and other large items.

The run can be moved and attached to this trailer. The trailer will be moved to the back corner past where the existing chicken barn is. We have 100 acres so space is not an issue.

Right now hubs is building a door for the new chicken coop. He's gutted the insides and it will make a nice cozy barn for our chickens and guinea fowl. Hubs tries to do everything for free or as cheaply as possible.


The only reason it is so near the house is because hubs needs electricity for his power tools.

If you are thinking of getting chickens you need to build a proper home for them. The book on the left is pretty good with ideas an photos to go with it.

So if you aren't sure where to start, this book might just be for you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Planting the Vegetable Garden

Planting Onions
Today we planted part of our vegetable garden. Hubby finished putting up chicken wire around the newly tilled land so that the pigs and chickens and guinea fowl could not get inside.

The new garden is about 25x30 feet and is close to the house. One area, defined by railroad ties, is our rhubarb patch. It's about 12x12. A second area about 12x18 is for zucchini.

Then we have a few rows each of spanish onions, cooking onions, green onions, garlic, red peppers, chives, mint and horseradish.

A final patch of tomatoes will complete the planting. Then we cross our fingers and hope!







Planting Mint
Most of the herbs we bought this year are planted in window boxes on our back deck but we wanted the mint and chives in the vegetable garden.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Plastic Made Using Chicken Feathers

Researchers have developed ways to substitute chicken feathers for petroleum in some plastic products, and at least two companies are working to bring items ranging from biodegradable flower pots to office furniture to market.



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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Planting Pommes de Terre (Potatoes)

Planted potatoes today.

We've never done that before so should be interesting to see if they grow. If they do, we'll have 350 lb (yes POUNDS!) of potatoes in the fall. Sure hope our friends and family can use some because we still don't have a root cellar.

We planted Yukon Gold and some other kind, hubs doesn't recall the name.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Putting in a Vegetable Garden

Started to dig a vegetable garden today. Got it dug. Now need a fence around it to keep the piggies out.

'Reen can see it from the back deck and the mudroom. She wants me to plant tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, two kinds of onion, bell peppers, and horseradish.

She can freeze the grated zucchini and make zucchini bread all winter. Yum yum! 

I tilled the soil to make the garden around the existing rhubarb patch so we hope it spreads now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Is that a chicken in your pants?

Peterborough Ontario Police say an employee of a No Frills grocery store watched as a man stuffed four packages of chicken down his pants. When the security guard at the store tried to stop him from leaving, the man turned violent and punched him. 31 year old Jessie Adam Johnson is charged with assault with intent to resist arrest, theft and breach of probation.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A number of cockerels have been found dumped in Dunnet Forest in the north of Scotland

The Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after 11 cockerels were abandoned in Dunnet Forest near Thurso.

The dumped birds were reported to the charity by a member of the public on Monday.

Senior Inspector Audrey Gunn said: "When we arrived the cockerels weren't keen on getting close to us so we had to coax them with some bird food.

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Pigs Leave Home

we found out I'm allergic to pig urine so we had to move the baby piglets out to the garden shed near our house. Hubs rigged up a heat lamp for them to keep them warm.

So far they're doing fine but poor hubs has to set the alarm to go out and feed them every 4 hours during the night.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Great PIg Escape

We took the baby piglets out of the ensuite jacuzzi and put them in a huge wading pool in our basement family room. The smell in the ensuite was bothering me and they were noisy all night long, fighting and pushing and snorting.

After a few days in the basement we discovered they had figured out how to climb out of the wading pool!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Operation PIg Rescue

We had to bring our baby pigs inside as one died overnight in the cold. So we are taking care of them inside and bottle feeding them

Friday, February 18, 2011

Baby PIgs Born Today

Six pot belly pigs were born today on our hobby farm. There are 2 black ones and 4 spotted. The mother and father are black so we aren't sure where the spotted genetic material came from.

Our last litter of 3 baby pigs were crushed by the mom because she buried them deep in the straw and then lay on them. She couldn't see them but we can't remove the straw or the pigs will be cold and the babies will die.

We will have to think about what to do with this litter

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Japan poultry farm begins chicken cull

A poultry farm in Japan has started culling about 150,000 chickens after confirming that chickens there had contracted the highly infectious H5 strain of bird flu.
The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry conducted tests on chickens that had already died at the firm. The dead birds tested positive for H5 bird flu in preliminary testing. This is the fifth outbreak of avian flu at a poultry farm in Japan this winter.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Scientists develop the first genetically modified chicken, engineered to prevent the spread of the H5N1 avian influenza virus

Scientists have developed the first genetically modified (GM) chicken, engineered to prevent the spread of the H5N1 avian influenza virus, and in the process have sparked a renewed debate about the development of biotechnology.

The researchers at the Roslin Institute of the University of Edingburgh and at the University of Cambridge bred the transgenic chicken to be unable to transmit avian influenza to other chickens.

Prof Helen Sang, from the Roslin Institute said she saw the development as a possible boon for farmers in areas where avian influenza is endemic.



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Sunday, January 02, 2011

“A chicken in every pot”

“A chicken in every pot” has been used as a political promise and a slogan of hope for a brighter economic future since at least the reign of Henry IV and as late as the successful 1928 Republican presidential campaign.

The lowly chicken symbolizes prosperity for everyman in such political pronouncements.
Well, the chicken has returned to the political arena. However, this time the egg definitely comes before the chicken.

City dwellers across the country are petitioning their various governing bodies to allow them to raise chickens. When we say urban chickens, we are not talking about the noisy males of the species, but quiet, brooding hens, and hens, as an ironic hipster once noted, are only an egg’s way of making another egg.

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