What did you do to prep this week?

Wow! I can’t believe it’s been a week already since our last “what did you do to prep this week’ blog segment… Well one this is for sure, and that is that we are a week closer to disaster than we were then. I think that is the most depressing thing that I’ve ever said here, but true nonetheless…

Okay, before we get started today, I would like to give a shout out and a big thank you to Melody H, Joe D, Pamela T, Richard G, Jeff B, Brad C, Tactical G-ma, Michael B, Kelli M, Willard N, and Donna S for their generous donations this week and for their support of this blog and what we do here.

You folks are at the top of the pack…

I’m happy to announce that our Alexa Traffic Rank is now at 33,038 – the only other prepper type blog that I know of, with a better traffic ranking is SHTF Plan at 18,308. Thank you for making TheSurvivalistBlog.net the most read how-to-do-it prepper blog currently on line.

Now let me see… what did I do to prep this week?

Added organic material to my raised beds, to give the soil a boost for the coming growing season.

Added organic material to my raised beds, to give the soil a boost for the coming growing season.

Added a Stanley FatMax drill and some bits to my tool kit.

Added a Stanley FatMax drill and some bits to my tool kit.

And I started reading A Government of Wolves.

And I started reading A Government of Wolves.

trust government

Well folks thats it for me this week… what about you? Yes YOU! What did you do to prep this week?

Comments

  1. JP in MT says:

    Just finished up with my friends funeral. His wife wanted someone to stay with him last night at the church so I was there, and spend the service/reception time at their house. It takes a special kind of low life to rob someones house while they bury a loved one, so I took a special kind of shotgun load with me (‘nuf said).

    Found a slightly used Kel-Tec Sub 2000 that uses Beretta mags to go with the DW’s pistol. It was an online auction so it will be in Thursday. I picked up a rifle I was looking at for me. The price was right plus availability has been poor, I a raided the bank and brought it home.

    Cooked up some more chicken breasts (sale price is up $.10/lb). Got distracted when cooking the last batch, so the dog got chicken jerky (which she dearly loves). We’ll get it cut up and dehydrated this week. DW dehydrated kyle this week; that will make you loose weight. I’ve never had anything that I wanted in the house smell that bad!

    Our oldest, ex-husband has a coffee disributorship. It has a short “shelf LIfe” and he needed a place to disposed of his “excess”. So I ended up with about 35 – 12 oz packages of gourmet coffee! For FREE! Multiple flavors, decaf, and some whole bean. We’ll be working up a long term storage solution for that (considering I was hoping I’d get maybe 5-6 per month).

    Took advantage of some local sales. Got gravy mixes, instant oatmeal, generic mac & cheese, tuna, pasta, corn bread mixes, and Bear Creek soup mixes. I posted a note about how excited the DW was when she was able to “surprise” me with this prep stuff.

    Got in the parts to finish my Tactical Over/Under Shotgun project. Also 2 scopes for 22 LR’s that were on sale, 2 pounds of reloading powder, a bunch of sheap disposable lighters, and 2 LifeStraws.

    Busy week. I heard that #44 called Putin and asked him to put his estimated 100K troops back from the Ukrainian border. Seems the only people who have read their history books are the Polish, they are under full mobilization. Things could get nasty really quick. Then the Chinese, N Koreans, and finally the Iranians will probably make their moves. “Things are going to get out of hand real quick” (from The Hunt for Red October – at least close).

    Looks like a good time to keep on, keepin’ on!

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      JP
      Good preps dude. I hope you got some flesh while house-sitting. It makes me sick what some people won’t do.

      You would think mankind would learn from the past but we don’t. I don’t think anyone wants to get into it with Putin. The one thing I feel very strongly about is that we need to keep our military and pocketbook at home.

      • JP in MT says:

        TGMa:

        I was fully prepared to give them the option of explaining what they were doing to the Sheriff or Jesus, my personal preference would be the latter. But all was well, listened to their car snore (I didn’t know they did that), and watched the snow fall.

        The house will be up for sale soon and it has a lot of potential with 3 fireplaces (I currently have NONE).

    • TrailGuide says:

      I think you are a very special kind of someone for keeping the watch…. humbled!

      and very sad for your loss!

    • Schametti says:

      Sorry about the loss of your friend JP. *Hugs*

      The news articles that I’ve been reading as of late have talked a lot about other countries getting brave once Putin finishes making a mockery of our already laughable dear leader. China for example.. is projected to dump the dollar this time around, and when and once they do.. everyone else is sure to follow suit, and our dollar is sure to have that collapse people have been fearing. I can only imagine and guess what changes may come after that. It definitely isn’t looking pretty.. so I am holding my preps tight, and hoping I have enough.. :/

    • JP,

      It takes a lot to really get my hackles up. But robbing someone while they are saying “good-bye” to a loved one really, REALLY pisses me off. I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but damn that pisses me off. If you need or want some help from an old, fat, motivated, military working dog handler… get in touch with me.

      I come with dogs and “other” things.

      My prayers are to your friends and their family, and to you.

    • axelsteve says:

      JP in Mt I spent my friends Dad and Mom funeral services in there living room watching the place also. I feel good that I was able to provide security and peace of mind for the family.Sucks having to do it but that is the world we live in now.Like the times of Noah.

    • Guys,

      I wanted to say “Thank you” for your support. I’m truly humbled.

  2. samkoger says:

    I cleaned out my chicken coop and put new sawdust in it. Got my 1957, 801 Ford tractor to purring again, fuel line problem. Sold a ton of my free range eggs an had 20 chicks hatch off healthy, should have turkeys and ducks hatching next week!! I hoarded some more reloading stuff, cleaned my shop up, planted some onions and 20 cabbage plants, got my garden spots ready to roll for next couple of weeks of planting. Worked on my spring coming off the hill, running a good 100 gallons an hour of sweet cold water! That is it!

  3. Patriot Farmer says:

    This has been a very good week. Thanks to coupons and store discounts I added 17 cased of canned goods, 3 cases of water, 2 dozen freeze dried meals, 3 boxes of shotgun shells, 3 boxes of rifle shells and I spent a couple of hours at the range. I began working compose into my garden, I should be planting in a couple of months. I helped my aunt stack 500 bales of hay and stocked 300 lbs of chicken feed. My chickens have really started laying in earnest this week and I was able to sell 10 dozen eggs.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Patriot Farmer,
      You gotta lay off the 5-hour Energy! Or come live with me 🙂
      I got tired just reading your preps.

  4. hvaczach says:

    Well had a good week the dw ordered 10 lbs of strawberries from fruit club they were nice berries. We ate till we didn’t want any more then I dehydrated a couple pints, also dehydrated 6 lbs of oranges. Then today we made strawberry jam out of the last of them. We got 20 1/2 pint jars of jam. Also got a screaming good deal on a 1/2 hog, 90 cents a pound hanging weight! It is being processed right now, thought about curing and smoking my own but really short on freezer space so the extra couple weeks of bought time may make it worth the 65 bucks for processing.

    I have been saving up some containers for water storage do most of you put in a drop of bleach when you put it up or would you add it when you would want to drink it?

    • Sw't tater says:

      8 drops per gallon, put in as it is filled, keeps it from getting slimey…can use it by boiling and filtering but no use making extra work. If you have city water, no need to add more bleach.

      • hvaczach says:

        I do have city water so I assume rotating every 4-6 month’s it should be good with no extra bleach?

        • Back in the good ol’ bomb shelter days (when I was about 7) I filled wine bottles with tap water and put them in our pump room. After a few years they got little brown swirly stuff in them.

          My guess is if you keep the containers in the dark—and sterilize them beforehand— you should be OK. Still, adding a few drops per container doesn’t cost much.

          I just checked my records and they say I sterilized the 55 gallon drum with a quart of water and a capful of fresh Clorox, then added 3 tablespoons of bleach to the barrel when filled. I also covered it with a couple black contractor’s trash bags to keep out light and keep it clean.

          I have stored the 5 gallon water fountain jugs (commercially filled) in the dark and opened them after three years and the water was just fine.

          • Schametti says:

            I have 12ish.. seven gallon, teal colored plastic jugs in my prepping pantry filled with bottled spring water, that I bought by the jug from walmart when I bought them about a year ago now, I think. I didn’t add any bleach to them, and I always worry about it. I hate to dump it, and buy all those jugs again, but I can if I need too. Should I add bleach to it now? Or should it be okay as it is? Water prepping always freaks me out a little….. lol.

          • Penrod,

            I used to fill wine jugs with water too when I was a little boy. Lord knows my step-father left enough empty ones. My mom found them in my room and lost her mind. They were emptied and thrown out. At that age, I had no idea you were supposed to add bleach.

            Now a days, I’m looking for a larger water storage solution. I think I found one. Almost 600 gallons that will fit in my garage. The problem is, it’s going to cost me close to 800 dollars.

            That said, with the drought in California, I think I know what my next purchase is going to be. I truly thing that the water is going to get shut off here soon. Hell, after that WSJ article link that was posted a few days ago… if they’re cutting off the farmers, then the people are next.

            • Sirus
              I am not sure where you priced your water tank at, but if you have a TSC, or farm outlet check with them. Yes, the smaller tanks cost more, but I have found shopping around then going back to the original place and saying I found it here at this price. What will you do for me on the price might work for you. We live in CA, and I am wanting another tank, so I priced them on line a 1550 gallon was $800.00. That gave me a price point in which to work with. There are low profile tanks that hold more water(5-6,000 gallon for around $2,500).
              Yours must fit in your garage but you might find a low profile that will give you more water storage for what they are asking for the 600 gallon.
              Just thought of this, if you can find the stacking 250 gallon tanks with the metal cages, they can price out from $50.00 to $180.00, depends on who has them and for which price range they will sell them. That might work out better for you as you can stack them 3-4 high from what I have been told. Good luck.

              • Becky,

                Do you have a link for that 1550 gallon tank? The one I mentioned above was from surewatertanks dot com.

                I’d like to avoid the tanks in the wire cages unless I get them new. I’ve seen too many of the used ones that have had toxic chemicals in them before they are sold off.

                • k. fields says:

                  Sirius, the Tractor Supply nearest me usually has 1,500 gallon tanks for around $700 but I just checked the website tractorsupply.com and found they are out of stock at my local one but one near you may be different.
                  Once on the site do a search for water storage tank then click the view details link and put in your zip code.

                  • Thanks K. Fields. The closest TSC is over 60 miles away. Not to mention I’d have to rent a truck to get the tank home. Not impossible. I’ll work something out. Thanks again.

  5. Lets see: I got 5 =3 and a half gallon bakery buckets from the local grocery store. We found coffee on sale for 3.99 a pound and bought a bunch. Stocked up on peanut butter. Found chicken thighs on sale for .77 cents a pound . Hubby has been making buffalo chicken brats and chicken dijon mustard brats with those and have put a couple of family packs in the freezer as well. Paid off a 401K loan from a couple of years ago. Another bill is down to $50 dollars so that will be paid off next month. When our tax return comes back we will be significantly richer ( adoption tax credit) although it doesnt cover anywhere near what an adoption costs. Ive been going through”stuff” in the basement. Also started seeds for our garden IF it ever gets warm and stays warm. Winter has been tough here in MN. We are ready for summer!!

    • I should have said 3.99 a can instead of a pound on the coffee!

    • Nsaneprepper says:

      Hi Lisa…on the adoption tax credit did they send you a refund or just reduce your tax liability? We are completing the adoption of two grandkids this summer…four looooooong years cuz its through CPS….thanks.

      • Nsane: it’s a credit that reduces your tax liability. We didn’t use it all up this year but I’m pretty sure it will roll over into next year. 4 years Is a long time. I’ve heard horror stories in regards to our foster care/ adoption system and its partly why we chose to go outside of the US.International adoption is crazy expensive and we are FAR from rich monetarily but in our experience it was smooth sailing…. step one, two, three etc without issue. 14 months later, we spent 2 weeks abroad. I loved the entire experience.

        • Nsaneprepper says:

          Thanks for the reply Lisa. Our tax preparer said she has seen the IRS send a refund check after two years of not owing so we are hopeful. The wait has been terrible but at least the state is covering all expenses. Never thought we would be raising kids again. We have two we are adopting from one DD and two we are guardians of from the other DD. All under seven years old. Drugs and mental issues.

          • Nsane:

            Wow. Im so glad you are able to take care of the grandkids. I dont know your age but we arent exactly spring chickens ( ages 46 and 48) Our other kids are all grown( 27, nearly 25 , 23 and 22) Most everyone thinks we are crazy. We saw a picture of our daughter, found her special need to be something we can deal with and went with it. Expensive? tremendously. Worth it? a million percent.

            Lisa

    • How is the peanut doing Lisa?

      • Hi Shai: She is doing fantastically well. She has a good grasp on the English language and has basically forgotten all her native language, Mandarin, which is both good and bad. She makes friends everywhere she goes…. including the greeters at walmart and the deli lady, the meat counter guy and several cashiers at our local grocery store. Id love to adopt again!.

    • Lisa,

      God Bless You for adopting a child. I was adopted at a month old. I was a U.S. adopted baby and have no chance to ever communicate with my natural parents. This was back in the 60’s.

      If I ever did get a chance to talk to my natural parents, the only thing I would like to say to them would be, “Thank you. Thank you for giving me a chance.”

      If your adopted child ever expresses an interest in finding their natural parents, don’t fret. They aren’t dismissing you, they are just curious. They aren’t loving you any less.

      And when that child becomes a teenager and screams at you, “You don’t love me, you never loved me” tell them what my mom told me… “Yes I do, you weren’t an accident, WE PICKED YOU!” My mom told me that when I was 12, having a meltdown, and I’ve never forgotten it to this day.

      God bless you.

      • Sirius:

        Thank You very much for your wise words. I am sure that time will come. It does with all kids at some point and time. I am sure my daughter will have questions but it would be very difficult for her to find her biological parents. She was abandoned at 7 days old in a hospital emergency room in a city of 10 million. We are blessed to have a baby picture of her but very little other birth information..

        Lisa

  6. Overhill says:

    Bought another 7-gallon Aqua-tainer from China-Mart for $14.97, filled it and stored it away. Got more mags and ammo in from CTD. And lastly, made a two-day, 680-mile round trip to a lifetime close friend’s farm in another state to visit, talk prepping and help with an ongoing farmhouse remodel there. My friend is not a prepper but has always had a preparedness mindset. Friend said I am welcome anytime and can use his farm as a possible BOL. I wish I didn’t live so far away.

  7. Got my garden in! For the last two weeks I’ve been up grading by adding garden mix soil and then Mel’s mix on the top 6 inch’s my tomatoes and peppers are loving it right after this weekends rains. My beans and some of potatoes were sprouting this morning. I’ve also added two 8 by 3 beds to make a total of over 400 square feet of garden. I still have two beds to amend, but onions and garlic are growing in there right now. Next on this weeks list to put together my sand filter now that I have the activated charcoal. My blog with pick is gardenforyourlife.blogspot.com.

    That whole buying from someone and then reselling pissed me off this week. I sold a guy two American chinchillas last week. He told me that he was going to raise them for breeding and selling the babies. When I added my new crop of babies to Craigslist I searched just to see if any were also for sale. I found those does for sale. Just irritated me. I let him know he shouldn’t respond to the new add. I don’t mind selling them, but lie to me and your gone.

  8. stoneoak says:

    Hello everyone, I would like to introduce myself to the pack. I’ve been reading and lurking for a couple of years and it’s about time I came out of the closet. Yes, I’m a closet prepper, I confess. Shhhh, nobody knows, not even the DH. I have learned so much from all of you and I want to say Thank You for all you sharing and teaching.
    I love to do home canning and dehydrating, which of course is not a big secret in my home, but ohhh little do they know. I have my own business and income so I’m very fortunate in that respect.
    This week I canned mushrooms, chicken thighs, and beef cubes. I also dehydrated 1 carton of sour cream as a test. It came out great, so I’ll be doing more. Untill next time,,, grow that bacon high.

    • TrailGuide says:

      Welcome to the light… a mushroom no more – Ha!
      Dehydrating sour cream… come back with the results.
      And great job on the canning.

    • Welcome to the Pack!!

    • axelsteve says:

      Hello stoneoak. Welcome to the forum. You are doing good with opsec since your dh does not know that you are prepping.Kinda typical husband though as long as he gets dinner everything is ok as far as he knows.I would like to dehydrate, canning is a bit too much for me to do.Welcome to the forum!!!

      • axelsteve,
        “Kinda typical husband”? What a sexist remark. In my case at least 4 of our MAG families started with the husbands dragging the wives along, with a few still dragging.

        • axelsteve says:

          Ohio Prepper. I was using a soft form of humor,I did not mean to offend.I am a prepper who is married to a non prepper.

          • axelsteve,
            No offense taken. It’s just that we often make brash statements that aren’t always true. Been known to do it myself on occasion, LOL.

    • hvaczach says:

      Welcome, have you ever brought it up the dh he may be more receptive than you think. With these times we are in and the uncertanty at every corner more people are openning their eye’s.

    • Speak! Tell us about the sour cream!!!! Please!

    • Petticoat Prepper says:

      Yes, welcome! Please do come back with the dehydrated sour cream. Would love to know what you did and how it came out.

    • Sw't tater says:

      Welcome stoneoak!…I like to dehydrate mushrooms, then crumble some of them, they can be added to other small amounts of assorted veggies for a soup base.. potatoes, corn mixed veggies baby spinich…etc..

    • Welcome, stoneoak!

    • Schametti says:

      It’s about time you got out of that closet Stoneoak. Now you should have more room in the closet for preps. :):) Welcome to the pack.

    • Curley Bull says:

      You won’t find a better bunch than this pack,IMHO.
      Bull

      • HiPlains says:

        Welcome stoneoak….there…just smell that non-closet air…..mmmmmm…..just a hint of bacon! 😉

  9. MD, you are right. Getting uncomfortable about the state of affairs. I have to wonder about the concept of the straw that broke the camel’s back. It may not be a big thing to tips the future. He may be something very small. I was discussing this concept and the concept of the swinging pendulumn. The pendulumn always swinging. Right now it is about to hit its limit. We can feel change in the air. Something is about to happen or several things are about to happen because of interrelatedness. Hang on. The ride could get rough.

    Right now, I am staying focused on the garden, orchard, and organization of the home and outside area. I am new to raising laying hens. I do not eat eggs or chicken, but I want the skill to produce eggs and meat for family, friends, and for trade without using an incubator. We may not have dependable source of electricity. My first hen has produced her first 5 chicks and so far they are thriving with her. I will keep any little hens she has for the genetics of brooding. I want broody hens. Also thinking about buying a new batch of chicks and raising out. My head count may be too low when things go bad. Sure wish the other hens would show some interest. I may need to develop infrastructure to manage brooders separate of general laying hens. Brooders will never be up for trade.

  10. CountryVet says:

    Busy week here. DH and friend cleaned 4 of our pigs (3 still to go)on Monday for processing. Loins and ribs and some ham vacume processed and in freezer. Bacon and balance of hams in sugar/salt brine to cure a couple of weeks in fridge before smoking. Now working a large tub of grind into meat sauce. 14 qts in cookers right now with lots more to go. Tomorrow we need to move potted citrus trees and blueberries off porch to patio.

  11. Had snow on tues-prepping my beds today. Raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries have all survived this winter. Planted snow peas, sugar snap peas, salad greens in the one bed that was ready. To whoever mentioned Sav A Lot thanks, went there and picked up case of asst veggies and case of asst fruits. Added another 55 gallon drum for water storage. Signed up for gun permit course. At the flea market found spackle bucket tool organizer and organized my toolkit. Somewhere between basic and what I need. Learned to use a chainsaw. Baked bread from scratch and learned how to can veggies ( ok asparagus but it’s a start) went through my sewing and needlework supplies added some “spare” knitting needles, crochet hooks and a quilting hoop. Hit the thrift stores and found Rodales cookbook, an Amish cookbook and a bread book for $1 each. Also got red cross first aid book and encyclopedia of natural healing. Added to candle collection and 6 more cases of water (35 bottles each) made inventory list of food preps – feeling so much better now that I have some. I know I can eat breakfast and lunch for the next year, still working on dinners for a year. Almost forgot-scored 3 dozen pint canning jars and 4 more wool sweaters at my favorite thrift store all for less than $10. After reading some comments from this site, used up the rest of my barnes and noble gift card and bought “Country Wisdom know how” and Ball canning book.

    I am unsure if this is allowed, but I would like opinions as to the order that I should purchsse my next preps. Pressure cooker, food saver or dehydrater. Budget for preps mandates that I can only buy one of these every two months. Thanks in advance, any advice is appreciated.

    Oh – almost forgot I bought BACON JERKY and CANNED BACON

    take care everyone

    • axelsteve says:

      I see pressure cookers at the local thrift stores from time to time.I never see food savers or dehydraters though.

      • Axelsteve- don’t see them often and I am leery of buying a pressure cooker used- want the All-American but it will take a big hunk of my prepping budget next month. If you could only get one before SHTF which one?

        • JP in MT says:

          themem:

          Remember there is a big difference between a pressure COOKER and a pressure CANNER.

          • JP thanks got it-started thinking about deep-fried chocolate covered bacon wrapped oreos and mis-typed. LOL

    • Since you need a pressure canner to can vegetables/meat that would be where I would start. Next would be the dehydrator and than finally the food saver.

      A pressure cooker is a different kitchen gadget (a pressure canner can be used as a pressure cooker but not the other way around as a rule). If you already have the pressure CANNER than I would probably get the dehydrator next than the pressure cooker and finally the food saver. The pressure cooker can save time and money cooking dinner. While I have a food saver I don’t use it all that often.

      • Suzy q-thanks for your help- I meant canner not cooker; I appreciate the info on which eould be most useful and how often you use-have a great week.

    • hvaczach says:

      Well i can tell you what my order of opinion would be. Pressure “CANNER” not cooker, their is a big difference in price and what they do. Canner first it allows to easily and rapidly put up meat, soups, tomato sauces, chili, any none high acid veggies you grow or buy on the cheap. Also home pressure canned goods will last a very long time (five years minimum on meats) This allows you to take advantage of sales etc. Second food saver, prevents freezer burning and also allows freezer space permiting for sales etc. Then the dehydrator, this is an awesome tool don’t det me wrong but the canner allows great versatility for longer storage.

      • Thanks-pressure canner is next

        • Petticoat Prepper says:

          I agree with the pressure canner and if you don’t have it get the Ball Blue Book for canning. Their chicken al la king is wonderful and can be used in so many different ways! Also the beef in red wine sauce. Plus the raw pack of pork loin is really easy and makes pretty good pulled pork with some bbq sauce on it. Not to mention it’s all shelf stable!

        • Kat's Tale says:

          You might also pick up the “Ball” canning book. It’s pretty good. Neither of my girls were interested in learning how to can when they were young and lived at home. My youngest has jumped on the prepping band wagon and is learning among other things how to can. I started her with this book to use when I am not around to answer questions. She also was given a great video At home canning for beginners & beyond. My DH & I watched it tonight as he wants to help me can and there are meats (wild game mostly) that he wants to try canning. I learned to can from my mom & Gma as a kid. I also took 3 years of home-ec and still have my Kerr canning book from way back then. Gosh it’s over 40 years old and not much has changed since it was new.
          Our local Grange is gearing up to start giving canning classes. If you are lucky to have a Grange in your area, they are a great place to learn about farming and all sorts of things. We also have a pretty good extension office in our county. They offer the gasket testing for pressure canners as well as being a great resource for gardening and food preserving information.
          You might also watch for canning jars at yard & estate sales. My daughter and I scored a couple hundred that way last summer.
          Good luck.

          • Kat’s tale -thank you for the advice we have a grange and I wii check out what the cooperative extension offers have to admit that I go for the gardening classes and not much else. Need to change that -also appreciate thr info on the books ; have a great day

    • CountryVet says:

      themem
      If you can afford an adequate number of jars, the pressure cooker for sure. I would only buy a new cooker unless I knew who had it previously very well (POSSILE THAT COOKER HAS AT SOME TIME BEEN ABUSED AND COULD BE A REAL SAFETY ISSUE!) . Amazon has an EXCELLENT cooker than will do a 2 tier of 18 pts for around $79. Your real expense is when you start putting in enough jars to do any good. It takes a LOT. (side note- AVOID WALMART JARS LIKE THE PLAGUE! I have had the bottoms come out of them as have 2 other friends, the glass appears to be thinner even on the Kerr labeled jars. ) Buy an overabudance of replacement lids as well. Lids run about .17ea for regular mouth and .26ea for widemouths.
      Dehydrators are great, but foods kept this way require a lot more prep time when you are ready to use them and may in some cases be more difficult to store. I have found that if I do not vacume process my dehdydrated food, they do not store as well. They can pick up moisture even thru good quality ziplock bags that have had most of the air removed. (Recycled jars work reasonably well for small batches.) I then store the vacume packed bags in large plastics tube to protect the packaging from damage and potential vermin.
      Hope this helps and did not confuse you more.

      • Thanks-I appreciate your sharing and the heads up on walmart jars -I have friends among the Amish community here so I may ask them to order some for me with their orders. Good info on the dehydration; Iove fruits and veggies so I am looking to preserve as many as I can.

      • Ball puts out buy 2 get 1 free cupons every spring for their lids. You usually can find them online if you use the cupon sites however my local paper carried them. Use and abuse your friends gather all that you can and stock up like mad. In my area lids and jars are generally cheeper in the spring that they are in the fall anyway.
        Support on the avoid Walmart jars, even the name brand ones I have had trouble with.
        PS I accidentally hit the report button instead of the reply button MD pls don’t hate me.

        • anthat,

          No problem – it takes three reports to send the comment to moderation…

        • anthat – I’m a serious coupon shopper and get coupons from a few different online places, but have never seen a Ball coupon for anything. If you see one, will you share the link with the pack? It would be VERY much appreciated. Thanks!

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      themem,
      I’m gonna throw in my two cents worth. If you have a deep freeze, I say get get the Food Saver with the cannister and jar top accessories so you can pick up meats on sale and freeze meal size portions. Vegies can be blanched and frozen too. Then next pick up a dehydrater at Amazon for $35. Then upgrade as you dehydrate more and more. Then in 3 mos. you can buy that All America canner and you’ll be ready as all the crops come in and can can what you’ve stashed in the freezer.

      • TGma-thank you for the advice; I do not have deep freezer here and live in an area subject to nor easters and the occasional hurricane. Generators attract lowlife vermin so when electric goes out I do without. I appreciate the input and as soon as I can get to my dream land I will get a huge chezt freezer like we had when I was a kid. Have a blessed eeek.

        • themem,

          I just read your comment about no secondary freezer. This changes my opinion–I would get the pressure canner. (I have three freezers, a pressure canner and enough jars to can all the meat we have.

          Without a deep freeze, I would get into canning soups and meat. A quart of soup and a loaf of homemade bread will easily feed two hungry adults and the bread scraps are like doggie treats for Fido.

          • BamBam, thank you for taking the time to help. I am prepping for one although I have been “sounding out” a DB and SIL. I like soups and stews and REALLY liked the bread this week – so I sm going to go pressure canner and hit the yard sales hard for more canning jars-if I can’t score them I will ask the Amish to get in on a bulk order. Thsnks again hope you have a great week

            • themem,

              When you get your pressure canner, but enough jars for this season. In the Fall, jars will go on clearance. I’ve picked them up for half price at Lowes and Tractor Supply.

          • Tactical G-Ma says:

            Well, if Bam Bam is gonna change her vote, I’m gonna change mine too.

      • Another thing you can do with a freezer and a food saver is preserving fruits like cherries and berries. Place them on cookie sheets in the freezer until they’ve frozen solid as individual fruits, then bag and seal in a food saver. We have some blackberries in the freezer that are 2+ years old, and still as good as new, plus they don’t all come out of the package in one lump.

    • themem,

      That’s a difficult call. With the food saver you can put up meat in the freezer and buy large amounts when on sale. With a pressure canner you can can your own soups and meat. For me personally, I would get the food saver, then the pressure canner and then the dehydrator.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      I vote pressure cooker, then food saver. Dehydrator last (can dehydrate in oven, or on racks in sun, in the car or even on top of fridge).

      • Urbancitygirl says:

        I meant pressure canner, assuming that’s what you meant.

      • UrbancityGirl-thanks that seems to be the way to go am going to look into building solar dehydrator to hold me until funds are better. I am ‘catching up’ and feel that with everything that is happening with Putin I need to be much more prrpared than I am. Thanks for taking the time to offrr advice -appreciate your doing so. Take care

      • I did it a completely different order. I got the food saver first (about 10-12 years ago), then I got the dehydrator, then the pressure canner. The canner is still in the box because I’m still learning how to use it…Ball Blue Book and all. I did it in that order based on my knowledge of cooking.

        If you get a dehydrator, I would recommend a quality one first like an Excalibur… if you’re serious about it. If you want to experiment first, then get one of those 20 dollar stackable ones from wally world. First figure out if you can handle the smell of dehydrating food in your house. If you’re doing jerky, you’ll wake up with your mouth watering. If you’re doing onions or garlic… when you wake up to that smell, it’s entirely different. Just my humble opinion.

    • k. fields says:

      Definitely the canner. You can build a solar dehydrator for very little money and you can use a cheap manual vacuum pump to do much of the work of a food saver, but there is no substitute for a good pressure canner.

      • HiPlains says:

        My little vote goes with canner too….that way no electricity needed like a freezer.

  12. Babycatcher says:

    Had to cover 6 10×3 beds this week, as we ended up with 4 days straight of below freezing weather( in the twenties) but it was worth it when we took the covers off yesterday and everything is doing great! This is the earliest I have ever had a garden, usually something comes up and I can’t get it turned over before spring rains hit. This time, with the raised beds, I had my daughter help clean them out of last summers leftovers, and amended and planted. That was 2 weeks ago, and the peas, kale, broccoli( plants) and cabbage are fine. I don’t see any carrots yet though, or parsnips. But other than that, cooking with my stored food is my big learning curve right now. Then we have to finish the downstairs room…prayers for all the pack members healing….

    • Schametti says:

      I started far too early last year. It was my first season attempting a garden as it was, so I didn’t know what I was doing. I had to cover plants nightly for weeks, and it was brutal. I swore, never again, lol… so this time I’m taking my grandma’s old sage advice.. nothing int he ground before the fifth of May. I don’t know if this is GOOD advice, but hopefully by getting a later start this year, it won’t be quite so back-breaking.

  13. JeffintheWest says:

    It’s been raining pretty much non-stop here since Tuesday, which has put everything on hold for a while. At least we got the leach field fixed before the rain hit!

    You can’t even prune trees before or during a rain period (or even after for a day or two) because if you do, you’re opening them up to firblight here. Ah well, guess I needed a couple more days to relax and play games or watch movies on the computer…. 😉

    At least the apple trees are blooming out nicely — and I managed to get two of them trimmed of dead wood and suckers before the rain returned.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      Uhm, that should be “fireblight” vice “firblight.” *sigh*

    • k. fields says:

      Was thinking about your leach field last night when the storm blew through. Glad to hear you got everything covered in time.

    • Jeff,

      Would you be able to use that spray on prune sealer to help your trees out? I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking. I used it on my trees and hedges when I bought my house. Granted it wasn’t raining, but no new growth came out of the pruned parts and that was three years ago.

  14. Schametti says:

    What did I doooOOOoooo toooo prep this week.
    Well….. not a lot. :/

    It’s been a series of unfortunate events for me this week. Our dishwasher broke, and we’ve been browsing for a nice energy efficient brand and model to replace it with. Our car started vibrating when we brake, took it in for a doctor’s appointment.. and turns out, she needs new shocks, struts, and ball joints. That’ll be almost a grand after parts and labor. She going in for repair on Monday. 🙁 Our amateurishly built backyard privacy fence has had whole sections fall down twice this week.. and my stefather has the fence held together in five places with ratchet straps.

    My Aunt got some unpleasant news, she has pre-cancerous uterin cells.. and has to have a full hysterectomy in a couple weeks. I’m planning a trip up there to distract her for the week before her surgery, to keep her mind off things. She’s a lot like me, and stresses and obsesses about things like that. Meanwhile, my mom has been seriously considering knee replacement surgery on both knees. Oi.

    After a couple weeks this these, I just want to hide inside and not do or say anything to anyone….

    Prepping-wise, I made a pretty bone headed move that I’ll never do again. Just a little tip, never assume that ANYthing MUST be cheap, just because it’s paper, lol. I decided that it would be a great idea to copy the two eBooks I bought on survival skills, and water cleaning for the prepper slumber-expo event I have coming up this weekend. Three color copies of the two fairly small books… was EIGHTY dollars. *Gulp* If I would have had a spine I would have said, nevermind, no thank you.. that’s INSANE. haha.. But I asked for it, so I hung my head, paid and slunk away. I will never copy anything ever again. Needless to say, that was a good bit of my prepping budget for the month. I was so mad. I’m going to tell my girlfriends that they have to read EVERY WORD, and then STILL keep the paper for toilet paper, or fire fodder…… lol.

    The Bestie and I made a trip to her workplace after hours and picked up about eight pallets for expanding our raised bed pallet garden. We still need about TWELVE more of them, to expand as large as we’d like to, so we’re planning another trip to cart home a few more tomorrow night.

    I bought a few hanks of army spec paracord and a paracord crafts book this weekend, so that we can make bracelets with a prepping purpose as one of our planned events this weekend. That should be fun. I also bought a twenty dollar emergency lantern, for the prize for our Survival Fire challenge. (Whoever makes fire the fastest with just some flint and a magnesium strike stick takes home the lantern).

    I also picked up four six ounce mason jars so I can make Michelle’s Cheletin Detox Pesto for the prepping expo. My grocery list for entertaining, food, and the pesto is growing quite outrageous, so I’m afraid any and all spare money I MIGHT have had.. will be going toward that this week, and no new preps are likely til next payday…

    Aside from the above, I bought a few more chocolate bars for the prepping pantry.. milk chocolate and almonds. Mmmm. Sadly, that makes up my week, the good, the bad, and the ugly.. haha.. I hope you guys had a better week than I did…. *Hugs* Stay Tough, Pack. Love ~A.

    • Sending prayers

    • Noooooooo, she did it again! Took me two weeks to get that out of my head!!! Hi, Ames! ;-D

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Schametti
      Girl, you are having a time. I’ll tell you what I think you should do.
      Run yourself a tub of hot water. Add 1/2c each pwdrd milk and oatmeal to a knee high stocking or thin sock. Tie it off and throw it in the tub. Get a full 8 oz glass of tincture of elderberry and the chocolate bars you were going to store and give yourself a mini va-ca. Just let calgon take you away! You deserve it!

      • Hmmmmm, sounds like a good idea… Now where is that jar of bath salts I put together.. Oh! I can break open that bottle of salted watermelon vodka and make a watermelon martini… Ummmmm…see y’all later….

      • Schametti says:

        Oh my goodness, TG-Ma, that sounds so much like Heaven on Earth. I just might have to try getting one of those in this weekend. :):) Thanks for the idea.

        And Shai, OMG, share some of that watermelon vodka pretty pease! It sounds AMAZING..!!

        • Ames, I got it at the liquor store. It’s one of those flavored vodkas. Salted watermelon is the flavor, 2 oz with 1 oz. of watermelon pucker, splash of cranberry juice. Shake, strain into glass. When I have midori that makes a floater, but not required. Had a couple with dinner tonight as a matter of fact.

    • Noooo! Not the song!!! lol

    • Schametti,
      When you stated, “Our dishwasher broke” I had to laugh at my semi-evil thoughts. In my case that means the DW is ill and I have to do the dishes. Hand washed dishes and hand operated can opener has always seemed easier and less complicated, and that is actually her attitude also.

      • Schametti says:

        lol.. this is the first dishwasher my husband and I have ever had. We definitely went many, many years without. But when we bought this house, it came with, and I don’t think my OCD could handle a hunk of hole in the counterspace, or a block of machine that doesn’t work, so it will be replaced. Might as well live with the finer things in life while we can, eh? 😉 I hope your wife doesn’t break.

    • Schametti,

      I did a fire challenge a lifetime ago when I was a boy scout. We were given two 2X4 that were 12 inches long. We had to build our fire out of those and what we did couldn’t be more that 24 inches high. There was a piece of hemp twine that gave us our height limit. Our fire had to burn another piece of hemp twine that was 36 inches above that. We were given two “strike anywhere matches” to light it. The whole process was timed. My troop won that competition, so I guess that proves that we were a bunch of pyros.

      Since you are using the magnesium and the striker, here’s a tip I’ve learned… Don’t hold the striker firm and use your steele to strike down on it. Instead, hold the steele firm and pull the striker upwards. You get more sparks that way and it’s easier to place them into your kindling.

      Just a tip from an old boy scout who’d had to make fire in the rain.

      • Schametti says:

        Great Tip!! Thanks Sirius. Not a one of us have ever tried to light a fire the boyscout’s way, so I’m sure it will be entertaining to watch, haha.

  15. Almost nothing this week. Been busy around the house fixing things. I did stop by an Amish market and bought more grass fed ground serloin. Made hamburger patties out of it and put in freezer. I was going to buy another jar of local Michigan honey but the shelf was empty. Last month it was full. Oh well, try again next week.

  16. axelsteve says:

    Got my marlin 60 back together,the lower receiver was in pieces for the past couple of weeks.I cut a coil off of the hammer strut spring and polished misc and etc pieces and got it back together. It did not lower the trigger pull that I could not notice any difference in pull. So I am saving up for M Carbo springs.It is still nice to know some stuff is smoother though.I will do more polishing on the sear next time it is apart.

    • k. fields says:

      axel, I got back some motorcycle parts from a powder coater this week and a friend really loved the way they looked and asked if I thought a handgun could be powder coated. Well I had no idea but I thought you might be able to tell me. What do you think?

      • Don’t know about powder coating but I did a cheap handgun with DuraCoat and was very pleased with the results. I’ve got a video of it if you’d like to see. It was my first attempt ever at refinishing a gun and it came out great.

      • axelsteve says:

        I would not powder coat a firearm. I would use other coatings though. I am not sure that it would hold up to the heat very well.

    • axel:

      Been thinking along the lines of getting a used Marlin or preferably a Glenfield Model 60 and working it over. I want to shorten it up a bit and thread the barrel. I’m thinking that if I can find one with a walnut stock it might look good at 16″. With the recent “acquisitions” I have enough scope options.

      • axelsteve says:

        JP in MT If you wanted shortend m60 I would go with a m 70 . The 70 is magazine fed and if you shortend a 60 that much the tube would not hold much at all.Marlin made a 15 round magazine for the 70 they are kinda rare but might not be hard to find online.

  17. About the only thing for me this week is my fish got sick so I had to get some antibiotics for them. Poor things, but they are doing better now…

    Been doing a lot of reading lately. A bunch of random stuff really, but put all together, it raises the hair on the back of my neck.
    Perhaps we are all reading the ‘energy’ off of each other, but my instinct is to really start pushing at getting certain things done.

    Blessing to everyone, and hope you’ve all had a good week.

    • That’s what happens when oil spills happen, TG..fish and birds get sick.

      • Shai, so true…. I think my birds may be sick too. Lol.
        The oil spill actually really irritates me as I was looking forward to some beach time this summer.

    • Texanadian says:

      Noticed my guppies had the sniffles so I ordered some medicine for them as well. Hope they feel better soon.

  18. Got a pineapple dehydrated and have potatoes dehydrating now. Haven’t picked up anything at all this week so I guess I saved money. Best prep of all…. made a final payment on one of the cars! Yeehaaaaaaa!

    • Forgot I also strained my first batch of elderberry tincture!

    • hvaczach says:

      Do you blanch the spuds before dehydrating or just put them in the machine and let it go to work?

      • Sw't tater says:

        hvaczach, the spuds should be blanched, at least. I find it easier to wash them, boil them until half done, skin them after they cool and cut them in dices, be sure to rinse them after peeling..their color will be better..the smaller peices you cut them in the more will go in a quart jar.pop in an oxygen absorber , good lid and they are good.

      • These potatoes were actually an experiment. A couple weeks ago I picked up some cans of sliced potatoes to try dehydrating. Something in potatoes really irritates the heck out of my skin. I didn’t have to do anything to the canned ones except drain them. They dehydrated beautifully and all the prep work was already done! They now take up a lot less space and weigh almost nothing. I do plan on dehydrating the real thing when dh is around to do the prep work for me.

  19. Sw't tater says:

    just Keeping on!
    Buys.. Food.
    .tuna/oil pack,
    instant oatmeal,2 box in pouches(don’t usually get these)(found for 99c, other local store had the same for 1.59)
    16 oz pasta’s,and cheese sauce;
    tomatoes prepared with green chili’s
    instant rice 3 lbs. canned mix veggies,
    frozen mixed veggies, corn and string beans, mushrooms. (total 8 lbs )+5 lbs thru dehydrator and utilized to top several partially containers then sealed. Dehydrated 6 lbs of baking potatoes.
    5- 32 oz bags of assorted cereals..(constant rotation). Splurge/treat items,
    DH’s favorite lemon drops,Three favorite jams and jellys, sugar free /low sugar syrup.Sugar, splenda., peppermint and sugar free hard candies.few 2 and 3 liter colas.. (on sale and I wanted the bottles.)
    5 lbs beef sliced and in marinate for Jerky.
    Supplies: Garbage bags of three sizes, and ziplock bags in 3 sizes. TP and paper towels,
    Medical, stomach medications of every kind…diarrheal, enzymes,prevacid, prilosec, rolaids, tums,senna, fleets suppositories, fiber additives,magnesium and Milk of magnesia. Vitamins, calcium replacers, garlic caps, vitamin A, D and E, and zinc, L-lysine. Bandaids, cough drops and zinc losenges, femine care/incont pads options for wound dressings. Paper tape, x6; Baby powder X3..Body lotion x2, bath soaps x3, shampoo x 3. favorite dish soap x3.Zote x 3.disinfectant for laundry x5..Put together small first aide kit.with supplies already on hand.
    All these items used regularly, placed in rotation. made up container of laundry soap, time short@ times, so bought 5 lbs of two different kinds to see if products give acceptable performance. Placed these in recycled disinfectant bottles.
    Picked up several heirloom seeds over last few weeks, getting anxious to get something in growth..tried grafting these last week total of three limbs of Apple tree taken over by wind and alive by few roots. limbs are beginning to bud on plum tree that has begun to bloom.
    Been reading this book on 31 days to survival, re-figured needs (family and diet changes) and re-evaluated family changes, that are in works. Need to finish inventory of bulk , have some bulk items on order. Have materials for solar cooker, but have not decided what will be first entree.Continued to store water (10 gallons) and other members working on protection devices- mostly unconventional.and gathering materials for two filtering devices.
    Made purchases of replacement stove and freezer for defective ones.
    Take care and keep alert . Know that you are the key to protecting your family from what ever the coming crisis MAY be.What ever you do today will have you a step closer to where you wish to be. People I know are trying to “get ready for the other shoe to drop” as someone told me yesterday… Keep on Keeping on!

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Sw’t tater,
      You are one preppin fool. Your tummy preps are awesome. I added several other things you may already have. Immodium AD, kaopectate,the old style hot water bottle with hanger , deuche, and enima attachments, mineral oil, epsom salts, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and large puppy pee pads (they can be used as peri pads and adult diapers). Also either buy the little electrolyte pouches you add to water or make up your own, and make up sealed pouches for saline and ringers. I’m assuming you already have a IV set up. I also keep Preparation H, witch hazel, hemorroid numbing cream, and flushable wipes. Unless you are really into baby powder, think about using cornstarch instead and desitine cream. Just sharing my stomach otc preps. Then there’s antibiotics, antiparasitic, and antifungal medications and lots and lots of mucinex!

      • Sw't tater says:

        T g-ma, Thankx for your response.. I have most of what you posted, just didn’t get this week. But these are good items for us to have on the check list for our home care…I Have adult diapers and incont pads..the incont /kotex like things absorb huge amounts, and are individually wrapped..for different wounds, size matters..like using a king size sheet to cover a baby crib…bigger is not always better so I purchased a variety to find the needed one…I .have recipe and all on hand for electrolyte preps…sugar and potassium salts, magnesium..and it can be given rectally., should distress get that bad..also have phenergan suppositories. .Having a prescription for them has saved trips to the Dr more than once when caring for family.
        Mom likes the baby powder scent and I needed the containers to put our 15-20 boxes or corn starch in, we bought last year, for skin care.. that butt paste/zinc oxide cream do work well. Sensitive skin and dressings are a hard balance to strike, so I am still searching for the right combination….My antifungal , antiparascitic, is oil of oregano.it is well tolerated even by children when added to a plate of spaghetti.. and can be used topically without worry.
        Got several herbals over past months..Bought muscinex on sale a month ago…we went thru about 250 in Dec and Jan…so I have replaced +some. again essential peppermint oil works wonders on the respiratory tract.by taking a tablespoon of olive oil, add 6 drops of peppermint oil, rub liberally into chest, front and back…apply warm hot moist towel…breaks up bronchitis….you may need a suction machine to get it all out tho..and that is no laughing matter!

      • AZ camper says:

        Sorry, I hit report by accident. I wanted to ask about what OTC to buy for use against parasites…thanks for your wealth of info, T G-ma.

        • HiPlains says:

          There are many types/lifecycles of intestinal parasites. In general, garlic, wormwood, grapefruit seed extract, cloves, black walnut, coconut oil , apple cider vinegar and diatomaceous earth are some common ones.

    • Sw’t tater,

      Have you planted those Maringa seeds yet? I’m dying to know. I got 4 out of five to germinate. Out of the 4, one didn’t make it. Considering what I’ve been told of how well they grow, none of mine are over 6 inches tall and it’s been months.

  20. IndianaAli says:

    Not to much this week, did not get to post last week. Was able to pick up some mushroom slices on clearance so into the dehydrator they went. Have been doing some reading online about recycling/restyling clothing, ready to break out my sewing machine and give a few items a try, especially some practical grandmother aprons to wear doing chores, gardening, etc. Ordered some essential oils to add to the medical supplies along with some free decongestant and antacids. Also ordered some dried herbs and doing some research on their uses. Planted peas, potatoes and some onions in the raised beds. Attended a local beekeepers meeting, discussing catching swarms for our hives, now just have to wait for a bit warmer weather and my husband will be putting out the catch boxes he has prepared. Also attended a chicken meeting last week to learn more about meat birds, will be ordering some in the next week or two. Still getting tons of eggs from our layer chickens, selling some and giving some away to family as well. Not much purchasing this week. Watching the world events and worrying as everyone else is.

  21. Hi all
    I’m so jealous of all of you that have plants in the ground. We planted seeds today & have them in a shelf in the house until it’s warm enough outside for them (hopefully soon!)

    I inventoried and organized the basement. I ordered some essential oils for our health kit.

    I also dug out some soap recipes. I used to make it all the time when the boys were little & it really helped with their eczema. So I decided it was a something I wanted to get back into.

    Also made some laundry detergent and dryer balls.

  22. -added a little to our food stores
    -rec’d a few things I’d ordered off ebay for get home bags.

  23. Indiana joe says:

    Hey all. It’s been a long cold winter. Getting ready to prepare the first garden and don’t know what I am doing.
    I also want to get into ham radio and was looking for advice on how to get started or where to get quality info on the subject
    Well happy prepping.

    • hvaczach says:

      The first garden is the hardest don’t get discouraged and when you hink you tilled the souil up enough go over it another couple times! Every year our garden gets better as we learn more and more.

      • Babycatcher says:

        Go to http://www.arrl.com ( American Radio Relay League) and there should be a search box to find the nearest Amateur Radio Club. I think you can also search by zip code. You can get a copy of the Technician class study book( http://www.bestwebbuys/books) may have it pretty cheaply, and you can ask around and find a local ham operator thru the Emergency Management guys….many of them are closet preppers.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          Indiana and Babycatcher,
          I downloaded my study guide from Amazon Kindle and saved a load. But the ARRL will tell you where and when the tests are and it costs $15 per test. My first radios are the baofeng UV-5RE dual-band walkie talkies from Amazon. Be sure to order the program cable. If you don’t have a nearby friend who can teach you about programming the repeater frequencies into the radio/s then attend the club meetings and learn more about the radios. And you only need a license to transmit and to transmit in an emergency you don’t need a license. I know people who have them in their preps but aren’t licensed. DH and I are and we have 4 CB walkies in our preps also.
          Good luck.

          • Tactical G-Ma,
            Those Baofeng radios are pretty nice. I have a couple, and know of nearly a dozen people who now have their licenses because the cost of entry has gotten to be so inexpensive.

        • Indiana joe,

          There are lots of free resources available for getting into Amateur Radio. For a list of the current question pools for each license, refer to:
          http://www.arrl.org/question-pools
          Selected questions from these pools make up the actual test, with the current pool running until the end of June.
          For free practice tests, with scoring, look at:
          http://www.eham.net/exams/
          OR
          http://www.qrz.com/hamtest/
          The QRZ site requires free registration, and once you have your license is someplace you’ll want to be able to access any case.
          Finally, to find a testing session in your area, go to: http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session
          Additionally, there are numerous hams who frequent this forum, so feel free to ask questions.

    • Joe, the best place to go ask advice is a smaller local nursery. Learn what you can by hitting the gardening boards on Pinterest, ask questions. Check wildflower.org for tons of regional gardening info, including vegetables. Once you get a better idea of what you’re doing, it will all be good, because you’re making an effort. I also do veggies in containers on the porch.first lesson: keep sweet peppers away from hot peppers. They’ll cross pollinate and you’ll end up with hot bell peppers and jalapeños that are just wrong. Especially if you want to save seeds.

  24. Ordered and received 2 black Berkey filter elments and a spare spigot

  25. Texanadian says:

    We are kinda in reverse prep mode. Having sold our place in Texas and (foolishly) heading back to Canada we cannot take a lot of stuff across the border so we are eating our preps. Gets scary opening the pantry and seeing holes and gapes in there. Going to be a major resupply when we get settled. Tell the end of the world to wait a few months please.

    Thank you.

    • Sw't tater says:

      If it’s the end of the world..it won’t matter anyway…but the world as we know it …now that’s a horse of a different color..I’ve been telling it to wait a bit..Like you I’d like it to wait a bit.

  26. k. fields says:

    There was a huge turnout at the memorial service for the murdered deputy sheriff that I wrote about last week. Community really came together to honor him.
    Finished up the new water tank in between the rain storms – guess my thought that the winter rains were over was a bit premature. More rain, here at least, is always good though.
    Not a prep, but a big deal for me – I was finally notified that I’ve got tickets for the Bayreuth Festival in Germany this summer! I’ve been trying to get tickets for a long time so the news was like a second Christmas. Ah, hours upon hours of sitting on uncomfortable wooden chairs reveling in the finest operas ever written. Can hardly wait! It’d just be my luck though, that the balloon goes up just as I get ready to leave.

    • K. Feilds, are you talking about the deputy sheriff in northern cali? If so I have family up in that area and they have been posting pics, and that service was huge.

      As for your trip, better the balloon goes up as you are getting ready to leave ratherthen already there…..

    • k. fields:

      If it is going to go up, much better that it is before you leave than after you get there. Our little “walk 1200 miles” exercise this week will look like a picnic.

      • k. fields says:

        So true. But on the other hand, listening/watching the 18 hour Ring cycle while the world falls apart around me would be a beautiful way to go.

  27. Kat's Tale says:

    Didn’t get a lot done this week. Our accountant called on Wednesday to tell us the happy tidings that we owe the government a wad of money. That was the day after I learned that I have an issue with my heart. I was advised by my Dr. to stay calm & don’t stress myself. Ok no problem.
    We are getting ready to build a no frills home on a piece of property that has been in my family for generations. We plan to be able to live off grid if we need to. But to build it with out a bank loan I need to sell a house on 20 acres that I received as part of a divorce settlement. (It’s a great house, just to close to the ex.) It’s been stressful trying to sell it. I have had good offers on it, just no buyers that can swing the deal. I feel the SHTF day breathing down my neck and I get stressed. I would almost move up to the property and live in a wall tent, except for the weather. Late spring through mid fall would be ok. Just to much cold & wet for the winter. Anyway am debating whether to go ahead & get a construction loan and get started on the house or wait. I don’t want to have any debt if possible when things go to c%*p.
    I try not to listen to the news lately because it’s to depressing and I start stressing over not being ready for what ever is coming down the pike.
    I don’t like being caught unprepared. My sister says I gave the Boy Scouts their motto. My kids swear that I am related to Mary Poppins because I can pull just about anything out of my bag that they need. But life issues the last 6 years have left me not as prepared as I want to be. And I hate to sound like a pity party, but it’s stressful. I am a blessed woman. And I am further along than I was a year ago. Thanks in part to this blog and all the wonderful folks that are part of it. This last year I was able to grow a garden and start canning again. My new hubby and I took an inventory of what things we did have to survive on and with. It really was pretty good. We were able to add a few things like a super awesome lantern and a newer propane camp stove. I have a great supply of fabric and patterns. I was able to add a bunch of sewing notions for not very much. My big addition was a new treadle sewing machine that I put in an antique sewing table that I found on Craigslist. It has been a challenge learning to sew on it. I have been sewing for over 45 years, but this takes a whole different hand eye coordination. But I know that I could make new things on it or mend the things we already have.
    I tried the recipe I found here for Elderberry tincture and cough syrup. Both my DH & daughter swear by them. Also have started laying in a small supply of essential oils. Have learned to make my own laundry soap. However it requires store purchased items and have been reading up and watching videos on making lye soap. Just wish I had great grandma’s giant cast iron soap kettle.
    Even though I am limited physically right now I am trying to keep learning new things or brushing up on old skills that haven’t been used in a while.
    Thanks all for being a sounding board. You are appreciated for your insights, wisdom, humor and generous willingness to share your preparedness journeys. I even find value in your disagreements. Viva la difference.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Kat’s Tale,

      I would be concerned what future inflation will do to the cost of the build. Maybe it would be better to do it now instead of waiting because our dollars are loosing purchasing power every day.

      • I agree it is never cheaper to wait! With food prices soaring eventually wages and everything else have to follow (assuming the ballon doesn’t pop first) my guess is in next 18 months inflation will likely add 22 percent to the price of a build I only say that because where I live in the last 4 years prices have risen 20 percent and wages are stagnant. So if the wage catches up things will get out of hand expensive just because people will see some disposible income, this also all ties into the new minimum wage trying to be pushed thru lets say they settle at 9.50 thats a little better than 30% increase of current so other wages and product prices will quickly follow suit.

    • Kat’s Tale,

      Don’t stress too much about the heart thing. When I was 36 my doctor told me I had had a “walking heart attack”. I had no idea what that meant. After the tread-mill test and the nuclear tread mill test it turned out that my doctor “forgot” to shave my chest where the ECG leads were supposed to go. I had over three months of unnecessary stress over nothing. Bottom line, if it’s still beating, it ain’t that bad.

      On the Craig’s list thing… be vary, vary wary. I got my last girlfriend off of Craig’s List. That turned out to be a nightmare. However, I did get a fire hydrant from CL also. That’s now in a corner of my back yard. Right above it is a sign that say’s “Men’s Room” for when I have BBQ’s.

      Stay strong. I know how that “heart problem” notification from the doctor can send you spinning sideways.

      • Kat's Tale says:

        Sirius,
        Thanks for the encouragement. If my Dr. needs to shave my chest, I have bigger problems than I thought. 🙂
        I am pretty confident that everything will be ok. I trust my Dr. and he is good about referring me to experts when he needs to.
        I am just not used to being side lined. Up until the end of January I was working full time and then helping my husband on the ranch in the evenings and on the week-end. Going from being able to stack 35-40 bales of hay to not being able to lift a saddle on my horse or pick up my two year old grand-daughter is a big loss for me. Right now I just do what I can just to keep moving.
        I keep my Dad as my example. He had a massive heart attack at 55. The Dr. gave him little hope of living much less of living the active life he was used to. A year later Dad bought a new horse and taught himself how to rope cattle off of it. Today Dad is 75 and although he’s not roping any more, I’d double dog dare a person in their 40’s to try and keep up with him.

  28. This week I learned two things about goats!
    #1. Build a good fence!
    #2. Build a REALLY good fence! 🙂
    My DH and a friend were reinforcing the existing fence when the two goats we got last week got right by them and jumped right over the fence! 🙂 We got them back and got an additional one. Now they seem to be content to be here. The 2 does are sisters from a litter of 5 that were born at the same time. It killed the mother to give birth to so many. They were all bottle fed and the guy we got these two from got attached to them so he has made sure that these five were going to homes where they are going to be pets and not eaten. They are going to be our beginning brood stock.

    After my pruchases last week I realized that some things I have will last at least a year. I also have a couple of other things that will last almost a year. All of this is in the category of toiletries. Soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, etc…

    This week I have worked on how to better organize stuff so that I can have more storage. The DH really wants a king size bed, that is what we had when our house burned and we cannot seem to get use to a queen size. Our bedroom is small and storage is limited. I have worked out a plan to reorganize our closet and bedroom so that he can have the bed his wants and we will have more storage than what we have. This week we totally redone the closet and now I am going thru the bedroom stuff and tossing stuff that is not needed or used.

    Oh yeah I may have a new job that I just learned about. I will be able to work from home too! I will be able to set my own hours so that will help on being able to work in the garden and taking care of the animals. Please pray that I will get it!!!

    Prayers to all. I have to finish making a potato salad now as we are having dinner after church today for our friends day at church.

    • Hunker-Down says:

      Brenda,

      If you get a bed with long legs you can stuff more preps under it. 🙂

      • HD,
        We plan to build a bed frame like you find in RV’s. Where the mattress and all lifts up. IKEA sells them but their largest size is queen. I think that our dresser and chest of drawers take up too much space and not enough storage. After living in an RV for several months you tend to look at storage ideas a little differently. 🙂

  29. Hello pack, this week I located a 200 amp main service panel from a guy who got taken advantage of my an unscrupulous contractor. He sold it to me for less than 1/2 price and It has what we need for the farm service which was raided by copper thieves. Built our new main service entrance panel with meter panel attached and wired my feeders into same. Now we need to get out to the farm and take down the conduit, install new feeders from the weather head to the meter panel (expensive) and wait for the electrical inspector to “bless the installation”. The wire feeders will run around $300 and I will be glad to have it finished so we can begin to work on the pumping system for the well. Didn’t do much else this week with the weather not cooperating in the southeast. We need it to warm up so we can continue to work on the fence around 1 of the pastures and finish it up.

  30. I have very limited space to put my prepping supplies, so I had to make space and get creative.
    I got some more walmart bags and stuffed them in my coffee can with some other stuff and made them as small as I possibly could.
    took some stuff and put them in my lock box and put that back under my bed to make room for more stuff.
    added 2 pounds of rice and 2 pounds of beans to the cabinet.
    added some snacks to my BOB and made that one mostly for food.
    went digging through a closet and found some pads and a small bottle of lotion for the pile. I also added a plastic spoon.
    I collected some books that I could sell for decent money, and I`ll use that money to buy some vitamins on clearance or some matches or something I really need for my preps.
    added some old papers to my BOB and cabinet to fuel a fire.
    that’s about it. I want to get my $5 gift card I got for walmart to buy something. what should I get? I want to use it as wisely as possible and stretch it as far as I can. I might get some water purification tablets or matches because I have no way of boiling water if the electricity went out. I also want to get some stuff for a first-aid kit. what would you get if you had $5 to spend at walmart?

    • Hunker-Down says:

      If things get bad our diets will be out of control. Stomach upset will follow. Think about getting laxative or Pepto Bismol tablets.

    • Urbancitygirl says:

      Madison, I think you are right on with matches and water purification tabs. If you don’t have one, keep an eye out for good stainless steel water bottles. You may have some fun going to garage sales this summer. Candles are great cheap items to get at a garage sale for example. Last summer I was able to pick up partially full kerosene fuel, camping gear, a solar shower, oil lamps, tea light holders, wool blanket, etc. I don’t think I ever spent more than $5 or $10 for any one item. It’s also great practice for bartering, just be fair though.

      Also, right before moving into and out of dorms there are always things people don’t need.

      • great idea! I`ve been wanting to look at garage sales for prepping items. my church does one huge one every month but they haven’t done it in a while. I cant wait to sell those books and get the money for preps.

    • Madison,
      If IHad $5, I’d think about these items for medical kit:
      – small bottle of alcohol and/or hydrogen peroxide. Both are <$1, or a box of anti bacterial wipes in the small individual packets are <$2/box.
      – go to the aisle where they keep the travel stuff. You can get a small pack of band-aids for <$1. They may also have aspirin or antibiotic ointment in travel size too. If not I'm sure you can find aspirin/ibuprophen at the dollar store.

      That's a good exercise. I'm having to really think. 🙂

    • Happy Camper says:

      Madison, again great work. If you are able to, ask at a pharmacy if they have any samples to give you. The pharma reps give heaps of free samples. My daughter works in a pharmacy and gets to bring heaps of stuff home.
      If I had $5 to put towards a first aid kit, personally I would start with a triangular bandage or two.
      Pharmacies often throw away good stuff also because they are past date, even band aids, energy bars etc have dates on them.

      • wow. I`ll ask my pharmacy about it and let you all know what I find out during the next “what did you do this week”. I got a CVS card yesterday and sometimes you get free stuff and discounts. last week, they had free paper towels and I wish I had a card then so I could put that into my preps.

  31. Tomthetinker says:
    • Can you get a little closer to South Dakota! Starting to think I am the only prepper in the state.

  32. JP in MT says:

    I just checked my email and found this notice of the next “299 Days..” book:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JC5DJ4I/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00JC5DJ4I&linkCode=as2&tag=preppres-20

    If you are going to order it, make sure you use MD’s link!

  33. Brearbear says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26814651
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: “We have absolutely no intention of, or interest in, crossing Ukraine’s borders”. (to me it sounds pretty much like hitler)!

    This is how i see it…

    Russia has stated they have the Crimea. “Russian military spending has surged 92 per cent in just four years and will rise by 18 per cent this year, according to the authoritative Janes Defence Weekly military publications and Russian state figures.”

    Will not take another step further….

    Bulls**t. (china has already set the precedent with her ADIZ…no fly zone crapola too begin with)!

    russia is sabre rattling…

    china has been sabre rattling.

    iran is…

    north korea has always been!… (my South Korean friends are so used to things but are freaked)!

    …(and the “TERRORISTS”…(whomever “THEY” are DEFINETLY SABRE RATTLING…)!

    …i can go on…and on…and on…

    The world is getting to be a VERY dangerous place.

    My advice…prep like you have never prepped before!…starting NOW!

    This advice goes to N.A.T.O. and ALL HER PEOPLE…

    (sounds crazy)?…well…

    If i am wrong…then you will be/are/should be way…way…ahead of the game.

    I prep not so much for myself as for future generations. I will fight for freedom.

    What is freedom?

    WHAT IS FREEDOM?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ukraine-crisis-can-a-weakened-nato-stand-up-to-putin-1.2589288

    “Breedlove would contest that description, and NATO remains, after all, the largest and most successful military alliance in history. The problem with history, however, is that the 28-nation alliance has seen better and certainly more coherent days.”

    “From a military standpoint, the Ukraine crisis hits Europe at a time when its European members have slashed $45 billion from their militaries in recent years (the equivalent of the entire German defence budget).

    Those cuts have left the U.S. to carry 75 per cent of the NATO burden, and they are coming at a time when Washington has been showing much less interest in European security, as it “pivots” its military strategy to the Pacific.

    By contrast, Russian military spending has surged 92 per cent in just four years and will rise by 18 per cent this year, according to the authoritative Janes Defence Weekly military publications and Russian state figures.”

    …and unfortunately…(and this is a Canadian speaking /writing…people/folks/friends…
    And unfortunately…the U.SA… is in so dang much debt…is absolutely NOT FOLLOWING
    HER CONSTITUTION…(one of the GREATEST DOCUMENTS EVER WRITTEN)!

    …yes i said …in so much dang debt…and dare i say…militarily OVER EXTENDED?

    Well then…little ol’ me…

    Today..and the past few days…My PREPS?

    Daily pushups…leg raises..chin ups…shadow boxing…(bought a damn police baton…learning to
    defend with it)…
    Packing/re-packing my dang web belt/bugout bag…etc stuff!…
    re-organizing my next set of cache items…(to hide)!
    And getting my freak on! (?lone wolfs die?…wish i had an ARMY BEHIND ME)!…

    So yes i am one heck of a scared prepper…

    Damn it N.A.T.O get a civil defense/militia plan going…

    Yes i am pissed off.

    Oh ya N.A.TO.! … and learn from history dangit..!…and keep your dang armies strong!

    SI VIS PACEM PARABELLUM!

    Brearbear

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Brearbear

      This will probably make me very unpopular but I say put the wall back up and let them slug it out. They didn’t want to come over to the light so let them deal with the dark. I am all for isolationism returning to N.A. and work on self defence forces only. None of the treaties are binding with countries and regimes that no longer exist.

      • TGMa:

        I’m not sure that a wall will help anymore. The only place it was really enforced (that I saw) was in Germany. Farther south it was fenced but we had a group cross over accidentally.

        Poland ALWAYS takes it in the shorts with a strong Germany and a strong Russia. History has shown they loose, and they can read! Right now they are hoping (my guess only) that the problem stays south of them. There’s really nothing there. Who’s going to stop the Russians south of Poland if they come west? Most of the Balkans are too busy killing each other (for the last 300 years) than they are worried about something outside their country.

        The latest news seems to indicate that Russian now wants a diplomatic solution (sound like late 1930’s Munich to me. Who would be our Chamberlain?). And the West will give it to them. It only hurts the Ukraine and Europe in general cares less for them than anyone, especially themselves. As in the 1930’s, Western and Central Europe will do what is in their best interests, and let others pay the cost (that’s why we are paying 75% of NATO’s bill, European stability is more important to us than them it seams.)

        This is all speculation on my part, so take it for what it’s worth. I am an amateur historian, I know enough to be dangerous. But it seems to me that I learned more than those at the State Department.

  34. M.D., You just got Instalanched! Congratulations! Getting linked to by Glen Reynolds/InstaPundit should be good for thousands of hits.

    Here is his post: http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/186045/

    Anyone who doesn’t read InstaPundit: It is a very good site for current news and commentary from a libertarian perspective, by a law professor at University of Tennessee. He’s a good guy. Gives good plugs for guns & shooting, and from time to time plugs prepping. His site was where I first heard about Bill Quick’s new prepper novel, Lightning Fall.

    • Penrod,

      Glenn is a fellow Tennessean and has linked to us several times – he has a good site (sort of like our Miscellany section) that everyone should take a look at daily…

      • ” everyone should take a look at daily…”

        I agree. I look several times a day. He doesn’t do commentary as long as he did some years ago, but he links to some very smart and very informed people who do.

        I would vote for him for any office at all, including Supreme Court or Prez.

  35. We just came back from doing some sale shopping.

    Since we are losing another major retailer, J C Penney, here, we stopped by so the DW could maybe get some new “Job Clothes”. She found a few, but I made the haul! I wear a 9 1/2 4E shoe. Finding them is just a major pain, and if I mail order/internet them, I send 70% back. I found 3 pairs at the markdown sale! 2 Nike and a Avia! Cost under $100 for all 3. Usually I have to pay $65/pair. I’m just jacked!

    The we went to Albertson’s. Got pasta, sauce/gravy mixes, frozen vegetables (for the dehydrator), bread mixes, etc. Saved $63, only paid $53! It just shows again how you can save big time by eating out of your pantry! (This is a hint for those who are having trouble with their spouses on stocking up. Feel free to use this as an example.)

  36. Curley Bull says:

    Howdy,

    Recon I’ll miss all this here palavering next weekend. It’ll be Monday at the earliest before I’ll get a chance to see what’s cooking with ya’ll. Jack and I leave Friday morning for Pleasant Hill Louisiana (15 miles South of Mansfield). We’ll be representing the 19th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry in a Civil War Reenactment. I’m the Chaplain and Cook these days. There will be two battles; one Saturday and one Sunday. Ya’ll come on down and see us, ya hear.

    Bull

  37. Hi all.

    So little occurs each week it just has to be saved up for one report. Anyway, picked up more heirloom seeds. Put a little more in long term food storage. And got 3 rolls of contractor grade duct tape really cheap.

    Found out that one of the new people at work is a beginning prepper. The more the merrier.

    The transmission went out on the wife’s car while she was away. She found someone to pull it home (30 miles), and he refused payment. She got it taken to the local transmission shop. They gave an estimate of $2300 for a rebuild with a delay of 2 weeks before starting. Got a local shade tree mechanic to locate and put in a used transmission, plus rear main seal, for $1200. The car runs so good now that she is having to learn how to handle it.

  38. HiPlains says:

    Hey all, glad my ISP is working now! Stocked up on items to make laundry soap…I should be good for at least a year’s worth now. Tried making homemade ketchup from tomato powder, not bad. Realized it is time to reorganize and double check dates on some things – try to make more shelf space. Decided to order a pallet of canning jars. Deals here are rare! Enough interest so I think I can sell enough to recoup cost and pay for my jars in the process. Have any of you canned your own fish with success? What do you put in with them?? I’m looking at mostly trout. Prayers for safety, health and encouragement to all.