Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Celebrating diversity and making lemonade...

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Working Prepper Pantry

 In the Home

Recent activities in the world have made me reevaluate our home pantry situation.  I have decided to start a "working" pantry.  This blog is not about how to start your own Prepper Pantry but just my own rambling thoughts on being prepared.  Just google "Prepper Pantry" and you can find lots of information for starting your own pantry.  Here is a link to a free checklist for Preppers on Prepper Website that I like.

My goal is to have 3 months of food stored in case of an emergency situation.  An emergency can be a power outage due to a natural disaster or a lock down due to a global pandemic (which I didn't even think was possible until a few months ago).  
Let me start by explaining what I mean by building a "working Prepper pantry".  Mostly, I am talking about food reserves.  Most people could go a week without a bath but it would be hard to go for a week without food.  I never did understand the panic buying of the toilet paper earlier this year...but that is just me.  Once I get our food stores figured out, I will get extra of toiletry/hygiene items.

Let me insert a special note about water.  Water is probably the most important item you can have when preparing for a disaster.  Most preparedness sites I have seen suggest a gallon of water per person per day.  We have a well so if we lose electricity, our pump does not work and we will not have water.  We have a good amount of gallon water jugs set aside but we should probably have a larger, drum to store more water.  I have been wanting to get another rain barrel so maybe this is a good opportunity to do something like that (see, I told you this would be a lot of my thought ramblings...).  

Okay, back to my definition of a working Prepper pantry.  I think it would be best to explain with an example.  We buy flour in 25 pound bags.  I usually only have one bag of flour at a time.  When the bag gets low, we put it on the grocery list and then buy another one to replace it.  Now, I am going to buy an extra bag of flour and keep it in our Prepper pantry.  Then, when we use up our current bag of flour, we would take the extra bag of flour out of the Prepper pantry and use that bag and then replace it in the pantry.  So, it is like always having a back up.  
Store what you eat


 eat what you store!

This is a common Prepper phrase that I ran across several times in my research.  The idea I had was to make up a list of simple meals for a week and then just buy enough to make that meal for 12 weeks.  For example, one of my dinner meals is spaghetti.  So, I bought 12 jars of spaghetti sauce and 12 boxes of pasta.  We have ground beef and ground pork in the freezer so I could add some meat to the sauce for protein.  I would maybe add some green beans as a side so I also stocked up on 12 cans of green beans.

Obviously, we are not eating the same meals every week right now.  This is just for a true emergency.  To keep the pantry items fresh, we will use items out of the pantry on a regular basis and then replenish them while always keeping a stockpile of 3 months worth of food.  I hope that makes sense.

I am putting most of my emphasis on storing lunch and dinner items.  Usually for breakfast, we have eggs (I hope that is not a big surprise to anyone) or muffins/pancakes.  Muffins and pancakes are made with sugar and flour.  Of course, we will have extra baking supplies (baking powder, baking soda, salt, etc.) in the Prepper pantry too.

You may say, "Wouldn't you get tired of eating the same 7 meals for 12 weeks?"  Well, as I mentioned earlier, we often eat the same thing for breakfast most days and we have pizza EVERY Friday evening!  Mark demands it!  I guess I had better stock up on pepperoni and mozzarella cheese.  Did you know you can freeze mozzarella cheese?  I think we will need to get a larger freezer...

Speaking of freezers...we have meat stored in our freezers but I also purchased some canned meat.  I also bought canned beans and we have dry beans too.  It's good to have a back up for your back up.  This makes me think of another common Prepper phrase:

Two is one


One is none!

Of course, I will keep working on freezing/canning items from the garden, dehydrating herbs, and storing items in our root cellar like I do each year.  I am actually working on the root cellar and turning it into a cold room.  I will have an update on this when it is completed.  

Here is a pic of some green beans that I canned yesterday.  Last year, I froze all our green beans but canning will make them more shelf stable.  I have also tried dehydrating green beans in the past but I did not care for the texture when they were re-hydrated...

I am not suggesting that everyone go out and start stockpiling food but maybe now is a good time to look at your preparedness and grab an extra can of food next time you go to the grocery store.  If you bought an extra can of food each week when you went to the store, you could also have an extra 3 months supply of food in 3 months.

Have an Eggcellent Day!



Sunday, August 9, 2020

Garden 2020 update

In the Garden

This blog is going to be short and sweet.  The garden did okay but last year it was better (insert sad face here).  Here is a video tour of the garden so most of the information can be found in that...

We had a bumper crop of onions.  I harvested them yesterday and laid them out to dry.  Last year, I kind of layered them on top of each other for drying and then they started to mold while in storage.  I think it is really important to keep them all separated so they can cure and dry out completely.
I like to store carrots and beets in our root cellar.  I pack them in damp sand.  
I also do a lot of drying.  I pick flowers and let them air dry.  These will be fed to the chickens and ducks as treats this winter.  Here is a pic of some nasturtium and yarrow flowers.  We also harvest lavender, marigold, chamomile, calendula, and probably some other things that I am forgetting...parsley, sage, dill and comfry foliage...
Pic of lettuce (saving for seed), eggplant and watermelon vines in the water trough raised bed...
I think that one problem is that we put new wood chips down on the garden and I did not dig down far enough to get things rooted in the soil below when I planted.  I enjoy the Back-to-Eden style gardening for some things (tomatoes, squash, and corn) but it seems that the raised beds did better this year.  We will be making some more raised beds this fall for next years garden.
Happy gardening!