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FLU, EBOLA, ENTERO, AND OTHER VIRUSES


Between regular seasonal flu/influenza, the ebola virus, the entero virus and others, it’s even more important now to get your immune system up and running at maximum speed.

Here are a few things you can do:

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EXERCISE: Your body needs to be working as efficiently as possible.  Make an effort to exercise at least 15 minutes a day, twice a day. Get your heart rate up.

WASH YOUR HANDS: Don’t be obsessive about it, but be sure to wash your hands with soap (NOT antibacterial) and water several times a day. As you wash, sing the happy birthday song … THAT’s how long you need to wash. Be sure to use a clean towel to dry your hands. Don’t use the hand sanitizer because that’s just creating super-bacteria.

CLEAN YOUR HOUSE AND WORKSPACE: WORK: As soon as you get into work, put on gloves and get out the chlorox wipes (or use vinegar). Wipe down your phone (ALL parts of it), your desk, writing utensils, computer keyboard , and everything else you touch.  Do it all again if someone uses your desk at lunch, or borrows something. Don’t be paranoid but do be smart. HOUSE: Keep your house clean. Wipe down all doorknobs, toilet flusher handles, sink and faucets, and every surface you can. Change the furnace or a/c filters often. Use Hepa filters if you can. Open windows for fresh air.

VISITORS: Ban ALL visitors to your home during this critical time, except those absolutely necessary. When someone, even your children, enter the house, have them wash up, keep outdoor clothing at the door, and maybe even use a mask and gloves while they are there. Be very aware of people with sniffles, headaches, sore throats, etc.

OUTINGS: You don’t really need to meet the girls for lunch out, do you?  Stock up on groceries now so you won’t need to do it later. If you absolutely want to keep some of these viruses from spreading, and IF you know there are people in your area that have tested positive for it, stay home!

IN-HOME SECLUSION: Assume that a lot of people in your area get sick. People will stop going out, not even to work. No one to repair telephone or electric lines. No one to make sure the water/sewer treatment works correctly. Water and toilets stop working. Electricity goes out so there also goes your means of heating the house, keeping food in your freezer/fridge, and cooking. Find alternatives for these situations, and make sure you have at least one to three months’ supply of these items:
-toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, baby wipes for instant baths
-chlorox wipes, bleach, other cleaners
-F95 respiration masks, nitrile gloves, flu medicine, ibuprofen
-candles, matches, liters
-2 ml heavy-duty plastic and duct tape to seal up house or a sick room
-trash bags for human waste
-flashlights, batteries (for flashlights AND games, toys, DVD player, etc)
-vitamins, supplements, herbs, essential oils, probiotics
-water (to drink, add to soups, clean home and body, and do laundry)
-soups, stews, canned fruit, canned veggies (shelf-stable)
-instant and bottled tea and coffee, juice boxes, V8
-canned ham/turkey/chicken/tuna, Vienna sausages, spam, peanut butter
-seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, chia) and nuts (almonds, brazil, pecan, walnut, hazelnut)
-candies, crackers, snacks, yogurt-covered fruit, dried berries, dark chocolate and more.
-cards, games, books, and other ways to alleviate boredom

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YOGURT: Get your digestive tract in place with real yogurt with natural ingredients and sweeteners and Kefir. Most illnesses start with problems in your GI, so help it out with probiotics.

OATS/BARLEY: People who eat these regularly have fewer infections. Eat at least one serving of one of these per day.

GARLIC: Garlic has been proven to boost immunity and all around, take out the bad guys in our bodies. Take 1-2 raw cloves (or capsules) each day, and add garlic, crushed, to as many of your meals as possible. I prefer the capsules with my evening pills so I won’t be tasting it all day!

SELENIUM: This nutrient helps to clear infections from our bodies. Eat as many as possible each day. Here are a few good sources: brazil nuts, fish, poultry, sunflower seeds, shellfish, beef, lamb, goat, eggs, mushrooms, whole grains, onions, garlic, asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, yogurt, milk, fortified cereals.

Make a yummy chicken noodle soup with whole grain noodles, organic chicken, garlic, onion, broccoli and mushrooms. Sounds tasty, doesn’t it!  Or an omelet with farm fresh eggs, mushrooms, asparagus and broccoli.

BLACK TEA: Several cups daily will get lots of antioxidants into your body.

ZINC: This enhances your T-cells and helps enhance other actions of your immune system. Sources: oysters, wheat germ, liver, seeds like pumpkin, winter squash (like pumpkin, butternut, acorn, spaghetti), summer squash (like zucchini), watermelon, beef, dark chocolate/cocoa powder, lamb, peanuts, garlic, garbanzo beans/chickpeas, mushrooms, ginger root, broccoli/cauliflower/brussells sprouts, red bell pepper (I prefer red!) and use lots of oregano.

BERRIES: Most berries are full of antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients. We make sure that we get a daily dose! Suggestions: elderberries, strawberries, blueberries, goji berries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.

HONEY: While not on most people’s list, we need to take a closer look at honey. It is one of the few foods that will NEVER spoil (unless it’s not pure honey) and is good at killing bacteria.  Great for rubbing into cuts to speed healing, so it stands to reason that having it working in your digestive system would be a good idea too! Best way to take it is in a cup of hot tea (black or green or herbal), with lemon or lime juice, and honey.

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I like going to Vitamin Cottage / Natural Grocers to stock up on bulk dried vegetables, herbs, tea-fixings, and fruit. Get lots of freeze-dried berries (I get them from www.justtomatoes.com).

Don't wait to stock up / prep until these viruses actually hit your town or nearby. Do it NOW so you will be ready to shut your doors and ride it out.

Stealth Animals

As you know, we need to move closer to town (doctors, physical therapy, etc), which  means we have to follow city rules. Limited chickens, no roosters, no turkeys or ducks, and certainly no goats.

At first, I rebelled. I can’t imagine buying milk again. Not with how much my son goes through! And I prefer goat milk, raw, from our own antibiotic- and hormone-free goats. And goat baby meat.  Turkeys and chickens producing delicious orange-yolk eggs and free-range meat.

I just can’t imagine doing without these.

But I’m getting the feeling, as I speak with zoning and planning commissions, that unless we suddenly get rich, we will not be able to have farm animals of any kind, in town.

There might be a way around it. Well, for poultry.

Quail. Maybe we can buy a big enough house with a super-large garage where we can have 50 or so quail to produce eggs and meat.  We can sell the extra eggs (just got a call last week from a customer asking about buying quail eggs) and if we hatch out eggs once every couple of months, we will have lots of replacements.

But chickens … they walk around and poop, are more personable, and keep weeds and bugs down.

Quail … have to be kept confined so no weed or bug control, and poop needs to be cleaned more often. Not much personality.

Chickens … larger eggs.  Larger meat. Processor charges $3.00 per bird to butcher.

Quail … smaller eggs so we need to have 3-5 to equal one chicken egg.  We could butcher inside our home. Meat on one quail is just enough for one person.

Chickens … outside with fresh air.

Quail … inside a garage with hopefully air from a window.

What a conundrum.

How can you stealthily raise meat / eggs for your family?

Pets vs Survival

What would happen if you need to bug out, or if you don't have enough food to feed your pet? Would you find a way to provide for them? Would you eat them?

I know, this isn't a favorite topic for anybody, but it's something you need to think about.

Dogs:
As much as I love my dogs, I wouldn't keep both of them. The chihuahua is too noisy and loves to dig.  The lab is my son's autism service dog-in-training, and would help to mitigate his meltdowns, so I'd keep K-Dog.  I have already begun to feed them home-grown food: chicken, veggies, and store-bought rice or oats. They don't get a lot of treats so it won't be a big deal to eliminate them. Plus, any extra animals we kill that I wouldn't be able to force my family to eat (squirrel, prairie dog, etc), I'd give to him!

Cats:
We don't have any. Yet. But if we did and the cat was a good mouser, we'd keep it at home. Traveling would be a different story. Can't see myself carrying a travel-kennel with a yowling cat inside. Not when I could be carrying more food, clothing and water.

Chickens/Turkeys/Quail:
Chickens can be noisy, especially the roosters, so I'd have to slit his throat if I wanted stealth. I'd keep as many hens as possible, both of chickens and turkeys.  Turkey toms (boys) aren't noisy at all so if I can hide them, I will.  As far as quail goes, while they can be very noisy, I could hide them in a sound-proofed bedroom or garage. They are rapid producers of eggs and the fast gestation period means edible poultry in just a few weeks.  Not sure I'd want to carry a cage of quail and their feed if I need to bug out.

Rabbits:
Generally quiet, this animals reproduces rapidly and is a great source of lean protein. Great for hiding in the house. Again, not so great for carrying around breeding stock and their feed.

Goats/Sheep/Cattle:
These are very very hard to hide!  Not good for a stealthy source of protein or milk.


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What are your pets? Would you kill them before bugging out? Depends on the situation, huh? Yeah, us too. But as callous as this sounds, animals/pets can be replaced. People can't.

Fruit Trees on your Property

If you have a spot of land, you really should have planted a fruit tree or 20 by now! Why?

  • Long term food source
  • Food for the bees to keep them around
  • Apple trees, once they die or are no longer producing, are great for firewood
There are even miniature fruit trees that you can grow inside. Look for colonnade trees at the Starks Brothers Nursery. Several different kinds of apples, and one peach that I know of.  Grow in a pot, and have it on your deck or balcony in good weather, or start an inside garden where the tree is prominently featured!

If you have even .25 of an acre, what fruit trees have you planted? What fruit tree can you just not live without?

  • Apples: so versatile, from fresh eating, long-term storing, dehydrating, juicing, canning for apple butter or pie filling, and even making vinegar for pickling, digestion and cleaning.
  • Pears: delicious fresh, dehydrating or canned. Have you tried pear raisin pies?
  • Cherries: very expensive in the store so try growing either pie/sour cherries or sweet. We love the Ranier cherries (yellow and red). If you don't want a tree, Nanking cherries grow on a bush.
  • Plums: very healthy but highly sprayed from the stores. Great to eat fresh, dehydrated or canned. I make an amazing spiced plum jam that I use for Winter holidays.
You get the idea. What fruit tree do you absolutely need on your property? And why?

Halloween...now and future

Halloween is coming soon.  Sure you  might be almost ready for this year, with house decorations, candy and costumes, but what if the SHTF? What will you do?

No matter the situation, most children will expect trick-or-treating, or at least donning costumes for a party. They will miss the candy and treats, and have a hard time accepting that their traditional Halloween won't happen at least that year.

First, take advantage of dollar stores to stock up on hard candies NOW. Store out of reach of children, roaches and rodents. Use only for super-special occasions, which will make it last a long time.  Then start new traditions that don't rely on spending money money money!

Have you considered what to do? Here are a few suggestions:
  • Keep old costumes and face paint. Dress up!
  • Instead of loads of candy, have them search for a few pieces of hard candies (non-perishable, like dum-dum suckers or hard mints) around the house. We hide them like Easter eggs!
  • Have a few close friends over for a meal with easy-to-make dishes and a costume contest.
  • Observe the real meaning of "All Hallows' Eve" and remember those who have died ... friends, family and saints (hallows). Have the kids draw pictures of these people, gather natural items like sticks, rocks and leaves, and create a special altar with all of this in remembrance of them.
  • Make this day your harvest festival! Gather neighbors and family to harvest. Start the preserving whether by canning or dehydrating. Having many hands to slice makes quick work! The kids can bob for apples after collecting them for storage.
What do you think your family could do to celebrate Halloween if there are no sources for costumes or candy, and trick-or-treating is not safe?

Grab and Go Cooking Bucket

Gallon Bucket With Lid – Want a Free One?
If you are planning to bug-out in case of an emergency situation, do you have all of your cooking equipment gathered together? Suggestion, get a 5-gallon bucket (like the one to the right, or a bright-orange bucket from Home Depot IF you don't mind being bright and visible!) and store these items:
  • Cooking pot with a lid (pot first in bucket, rest of items nested in and on top of it. The lid will be on top of all items in bucket)
  • Mixing bowl (nested in pot)
  • Aluminum foil (for easy clean-up from cooking)
  • Matches, lighters, fire-starters
  • Can opener (test it to make sure it won't fall apart!)
  • Utensils for eating and cooking
  • Dishes for eating: bowls, mugs, plates
  • Pot holder(s)
  • Dish towels
  • Soap for washing dishes
IF you have any room leftover, nestle into corners small packages of dehydrated fruit and veggies, protein bars, bacon pieces, SPAM or tuna singles, etc. Use every bit of space, but don't weigh it down too much so you can easily carry it for a long period of time.

Thanks for the notes, Shayla!

Dehydrated Foods like fruit

While I do dehydrate a lot of fruit for our snacking, desserts and oatmeal, there are certain things I buy ALWAYS from www.justtomatoes.com.  Have for many years!  Order soon, and use my discount code “BACK-TO-SCHOOL” for 15% off. And if you order over $100 worth of product (after the discount), then you get free shipping (ground).

So, yesterday, I made a bunch of oatmeal breakfasts for my husband. Enough for at least 3 ½ weeks for him. That’s when I noticed that I was running super-low on fruit powders. Today, I ordered some more, including a couple of fruits that I have trouble dehydrating.

Mango, whole
Raspberry, whole

Banana, powder
Blueberry, powder
Mango, powder
Peach, powder
Pineapple, powder
Raspberry, powder
Strawberry, powder
 
I didn’t order whole blackberries or blueberries because we still had plenty of those. I also usually order peas but when I was going through my storage, I found some.  I sometimes order tomato slices but I still have plenty from what I dehydrated last year.

They used to do mushrooms, scallions and others (I think they still do garlic) but they discontinued some things several years ago because of lack of interest. Join me in asking them for more vegetables. That survival and prepping for emergency people really need a good source of HEALTHY (no additives) vegetables, fruits and other ingredients. I just called and put in my request. Do the same! (800) 537-1985

What do I use all of the fruit for? My son needs more fruit in his diet, so he (almost daily) gets mango, blueberries and blackberries, and usually munches on peas as a snack. I munch on their “fruit salad” and raspberries , blue/blackberries, and mango, and, of course, what I dehydrate (plum, nectarine, peach, apple, banana, pineapple and grapes).
 
I use the chunks and whole fruit to make delicious crumbles and other desserts.

As far as the powder, we use that to flavor oatmeal. We particularly love tropical oatmeal (powders – banana, mango, pineapple, plus coconut flakes), raspberry and cocoa (so yum), peach, and PB&J (peanut butter powder with raspberry, peach or strawberry powder).

Give some of these a try. Trust me, they make DELICIOUS foods. And so healthy.

p.s. I do not get any compensation of any kind from Just Tomatoes.

Bees for your homestead

I just love what bees do! Not just honey bees for their honey and pollinating abilities, but also mason bees (pollinating), bumble bees, and more. If you don't intend to collect honey and just need pollinators, invite other kinds of bees onto your property.

From the website page: http://csweeney00lm.hubpages.com/hub/bee-types, here is a bit of information to get you started.

Bee Types Introduction

There are many different bee types. Some bees sting, others don't. Some live in trees, and some underground. On this page, I will talk about the 7 most common bee types and their habits as bees.

Bumble Bees

Bumble bees are known to fly around the flowers in your yard and garden in the spring and summer months. They spend most of their time pollinating plants and gathering nectar to make honey. However, they do not make anywhere near the amount of honey that honey bees do. Although bumble bees are not overly violent bee types, they will sting you if they feel threatened by you. Bumble Bees tend to make their nests in soft fluffy materials, like old patio furniture cushions, insulation, dried up leaves, etc.

Yellow Jackets

Yellow jackets are one of the bee types that you usually find flying around near your ice cream and lemonade outside during the spring and summer months. They are a hassle at barbecues too! They are named yellow jackets because of their distinctive yellow and black stripes. They nest in a football or teardrop shaped nest constructed by a grayish paper substance, which is actually created by the bees themselves by chewing little pieces of wood. Yellow jacket’s nests are usually found in trees, hanging under your deck outside, and sometimes even in the roof of your attic. If you hear any sort of rustling sound, be sure to have it checked out!
     
 

Yellow Jackets/Ground Bees

Another type of yellow jacket is the ground bee types. Like their name states, they live in a nest between 2 inches and 2 feet underground, many times in abandoned mole or mouse holes. You really need to watch out for these guys, especially when you’re mowing the grass. They do not like loud mowing sounds and can become angry very easily!
     
 

Wasps

Wasps pack the most painful punch when it comes to a sting. These bee types are known for their very thin body center and hanging legs when flying. They love nesting in attics, however, they nest anywhere, including shutters, grills, light fixtures, and mailboxes too.
     
 

Carpenter (Mason) Bees

Carpenter bees, often confused with bumble bees, are the bee types that chew through wood in a perfect circle, as if a carpenter had actually taken a drill and drilled right through. Inside the wood, they nest and lay eggs. Carpenter bees aren’t known to sting at all. However, the damage they can do to wood is outstanding, so if you think you have a carpenter bee problem, make sure you get that checked out.
     
 

Honey Bees

Honey bees are involved in the pollination of not only honey, but several other fruit and vegetable crops, and they are extremely important to the production of these crops. Honey bees nest many times with tens of thousands of other worker bees, gathering honey and bringing it back to honeycombs in their hive.
     
 

Hornets

Hornets are certainly the most easily-agitated of all the bee types. Not only will they sting you, they can spit venom at you too, which is very painful when the spit it in your eyes! Hornets nest in hives just like those of yellow jackets.


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Another good source is: http://www.bumblebee.org/OTHERbees.htm

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We do so love fresh raw honey. Good for cooking and eating, but also good for allergies, as medicine for abrasions, and digestion.

When we move to our new place in a year or two, we plan to have a "hive" of mason bees and a hive or two of honey bees. The fruit trees, brambles and veggies will be so happy!

Snow Last Week!

Today is September 15. Not even Autumn yet, and still, this past Friday, it snowed. Yes, snow. Here in the Denver, CO area.  Big fat flakes, frigid temperatures, long johns, the works.

Were we ready?  Let's see:
-Propane for hot water and furnace? Check.
-Firewood for fireplace? Check.
-Water stored in case of an outage? Check.
-Food? Check.
-Extra feed for the poultry? Check
-Winter clothes? Check
-Vehicles gassed up? Check
-Batteries for flashlights and lamp oil/wicks for lamps? Check
-Potted tomatoes and other moveable veggies inside? Check
-Hoses for watering drained and inside? Uh, ooops.

See...we did almost everything we needed to do. Yeah, we could use more water and food, and probably batteries, but for the most part, we were ready for Winter to start in the Summer.

Alas, the cold weather lasted only two days (Thursday and Friday).  Yesterday, Sunday, we were back in the high 80's.  The tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and other garden veggies that I couldn't bring inside did NOT die so we're hoping to harvest still more before the next round of cold weather.

The Farmer's Almanac says we're going to have a horrible, cold, wet and long winter.  Do you know yet what you expect for your location? If it is going to be rough, are YOU ready?

Survival for a Disabled Me

I just found out yesterday that my horrible leg and back pain, the tingling, burning, aching, etc.... are caused by severe arthritis in my back. 

The plan is to lose weight (a LOT of it!), eat healthy, exercise, go through physical and water therapy, and if need be, steroid shots.

Chances are thought, because it is so advanced, I might end up in a wheel chair in a few years. While we do only have two acres, it is just too much for me. We live on top of a ridge, so I need to walk down the hills to get to anything, especially the chicken and goat pens.

After a long family discussion last night, we decided to move. Why?
  • Closer to town means closer to doctors and therapies.
  • Being in a less-spread out means we might find some friends for my son. He has none.
  • Maybe we can find a house near a YMCA so I can continue water therapy on my own, and my son can get exercise in the pool too! Maybe there might even be a rock climbing wall..
  • Maybe we can find a house near a library so my special needs son can get a job shelving books. He is obsessed with things being in the right order.
  • Even if we just 1/2 an acre, we can still have chickens, turkeys and maybe 2 mini-nubian goats.
  • If I have 9 4x8 raised beds for annual veggies, that's 288 SF of veggies. Plenty of room. Doesn't count tomatoes (in pots), fruit and nut trees, berry brambles, a raised bed herb garden, and raised beds for rhubarb and asparagus.
  • I prefer dehydrating so as long as a I have my choppers, dehydrators, seal-a-meal and so forth, I will do just fine putting away food.
  • Assuming Hubby or friends can help, I might still be able to can jams, salsa, pickle relish and on and on.
  • Hoping to make a decent profit on our current farm to install solar panels on our new home.
So many other things to think about. Yes, we're giving up our privacy and will be surrounded by people AND will be easier to get to for raiding, but, well, let's just say I'll convince robbers with a bit of lead.

Can you think of other ways I can prep as a person who won't be able to walk for too much longer?

Homemade Healthy MRE Recipe - Finnish Turnip Casserole

I love this recipe for Finnish Turnip Casserole. (Hubby is Scandinavian.) This is a single-serve dish, best baked in a dish over a campfire, in a toaster oven or a kitchen oven. BUT combine the dehydrated ingredients ahead of time so it's ready any time. Place the bread crumbs in a tiny 2 oz plastic cup with lid (I get them at Wal-Mart), and put that in the bag of mixed ingredients before you seal it.

Note: You'l have to dehydrate the turnip yourself.

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup dehydrated shredded raw turnip
3 tbsp whole egg powder
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch ginger powder
pinch ground nutmeg
salt/pepper to taste
4 tbsp breadcrumbs

DIRECTIONS:
Combine in small baking dish (ramekin) with 2 cups of boiling water and mix to a thick consistency. Top with breadcrumbs and bake until casserole top is brown.

Usually served with special meals, like for holidays.

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This is not the typical recipe. For my Homemade Healthy MRE recipe cookbook, I am including the usual soups, stews and so forth, but also am branching out to the unusual. Please comment below with any unusual recipe you would like me to write, using dehydrated ingredients.

Research Livestock Before Buying

I can't walk, sit or even exist without constant excruciating pain. No cause determined but hopefully by the end of the week. 

Hubby fell down a flight of stairs 2 weeks ago and still has so much dizziness (and a swollen leg) that he went back to the ER last night.

Because of our health problems, we're selling off bits and pieces of our farm.  Goats, chickens, turkeys and things like a hay rack.

I have to mention that I am bowled over with how LITTLE people understand about the livestock they are calling about!

  • A lady bought two chickens from me this morning, and expected to take them home in a tub, with a tight fitting lid. With no air holes.  Huh?  Made her take one of my boxes.
  • Young lady called yesterday asking about the two goats we have left (buck and a wether), then because she couldn't get her dad to commit, she told me to call them when he decides.  Again, huh?
  • Questions I've gotten recently: "How do you milk a goat?" "What do I feed them?" "Why do you say your buck is stinky and in rut? What does that mean? Can we eat him anyway? Why not?"
ARGH! Seriously, people need to actually research goats BEFORE considering buying them. They are NOT a house-pet, they are livestock. They breed. It's called sex. There are stinky pheromones involved. Bucks attract mates by their stinkiness, and to get the best of them, will spray their stinky urine all over themselves, in their mouths, on their faces, and on you!  If you butcher them while in rut, the stink is into the meat and will be too disgusting to eat.  Yes, you COULD bath the buck IF you can get him to stay still, but as soon as he pees, he will be stinky again.

And...yes! A 2 month old buckling can get any girl goat above 4-5 months old pregnant!

TERMINOLOGY:
  • Oh, and a boy goat is a buckling or buck (NOT a billy) unless he's castrated, then he's a wether (not whether or weather). And a girl goat is a doeling or doe, NOT a nanny! People who say billy and nanny drive me crazy. Do you call a female deer a nanny?
  • No, chickens (come on people...HENS) don't need a rooster to lay eggs! Brooding hens (chickens or turkeys) means they want to brood (i.e. set [not sit] on eggs and hatch them).
  • That big bovine animal group is called CATTLE. A female that has given birth to (and that we get milk from) is called a COW. A female less than 1-2 years old that has not gotten pregnant is a HEIFER. A baby is a CALF. A boy that has all of his working parts is a BULL.  A boy that has been castrated before maturity is a STEER. There are other subcategories, but how about we start referring to them as ... "Look Mom, I see a herd of cattle in that pasture!"
OUR RESEARCH:
We bought this place 4 years ago, but before we did, we researched ALL farm animals (except horses because we never intend to get them...no food value). Goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, guineas, quail, rabbits, sheep, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. We raised quail and rabbits in our apartment, had a garden on our balcony, and I learned how to make bread and other goodies.

Sorry, just a pet peeve. I've been dealing with these idiots for weeks now, and I am sick of people calling at 9 p.m. asking to come right out and get the boy goat to take for processing the next day. Or saying they will be right out, so we cancel our plans to an epilepsy picnic (my kid) only to have them show up on the third day.

Please please, before you decide to call someone to look at their farm animals, do a little research.
  • Will your property sustain the animal and babies?
  • What will you feed them? What about in Winter?
  • How to house them? Forget about the fancy smancy ... do basics for warmth, shelter, and a little comfort.
  • What diseases does the animal get? What regular health and maintenance things will you need to do?
  • Correct terminology.
  • How to milk the doe, ewe or cow, even when your hands are tired.
  • ... ... so much more.
Get some books, even if just from the library, and read read read! Visit working farms or urban homesteads. Ask if you can try to milk their animal, or help gather eggs.

I'll shut up now. Just had to vent!

Nutrition for Bibb or Butterhead Lettuce

My tiny garden has a HUGE amount of bibb and butterhead lettuces, much more than we can eat right now. I began to wonder if these lettuces have any nutrition in them, as I know iceberg lettuce does not.

Research shows these do have nutrition! So much so, that I plan on harvesting everything I can today, and after our dinner salad tonight, placing the rest in the dehydrator. Will add to dips, soups and other dishes this Winter.

Will also be harvesting my chocolate mint and flat leaf parsley, both to dehydrate.

But I digress!

The following the info for 1 cup shredded greens (bibb and butterhead lettuces). Doesn't include all of the MANY minerals in it!  Source: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2474/2#.




Update: 8/29/14
I have harvested big bunches of our greens and dehydrated them. Last night I had scrambled eggs (from our chickens!!) and sprinkled 2 tablespoons of my dehydrated bibb lettuce powder on top, along with some parsley.  Talk about a bang of nutrition!



Radishes for Good Health

Hubby and I were watering our tiny garden this morning. We picked a radish each, a teeny not-even-as-big-as-a-toothpick carrot, and nibbled on some parsley. Why only one radish? I researched radishes this week, and found out they are super-good for prostate (hubby's problem), anti-cancer, and they fight free radicals.
French Breakfast Radishes
from www.rareseeds.com

 
Radish (Raphanus sativus), Fresh, raw,
Nutrition Value per 100 g,
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
PrincipleNutrient ValuePercentage of RDA
Energy16 Kcal1%
Carbohydrates3.40 g3%
Protein0.68 g1%
Total Fat0.10 g<1%
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Dietary Fiber1.6 g4%
Vitamins
Folates25 µg6%
Niacin0.254 mg1.5%
Pyridoxine0.071 mg5.5%
Riboflavin0.039 mg3%
Vitamin A7 IU<1%
Vitamin C14.8 mg25%
Vitamin E0 mg9%
Vitamin K1.3 µg1%
Electrolytes
Sodium39 mg2.5%
Potassium233 mg5%
Minerals
Calcium25 mg2.5%
Copper0.050 mg5%
Iron0.34 mg4%
Magnesium10 mg2.5%
Manganese0.069 mg2.5%
Zinc0.28 mg2%
Phyto-nutrients
Carotene-ß4 µg--
Carotene-α0 µg--
Lutein-zeaxanthin10 µg--
 

Health benefits of radish (from: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/radish.html)

  • Since ancient times, Chinese believe that eating radish and other brassica group vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, and napa-cabbage would bring wholesome health.
  • They are are one of very low calorie root vegetables. Fresh root provides just 16 calories per 100 g. Nonetheless; they are a very good source of anti-oxidants, electrolytes, minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber.
  • Radish, like other cruciferous and Brassica family vegetables, contains isothiocyanate anti-oxidant compound called sulforaphane. Studies suggest that sulforaphane has proven role against prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers by virtue of its cancer-cell growth inhibition, and cyto-toxic effects on cancer cells.
  • Fresh roots are good source of vitamin C; provide about 15 mg or 25% of DRI of vitamin C per 100 g. Vitamin C is a powerful water soluble anti-oxidant required by the body for synthesis of collagen. It helps the body scavenge harmful free radicals, prevention from cancers, inflammation and help boost immunity.
  • In addition, they contain adequate levels of folates, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, thiamin and minerals such as iron, magnesium, copper and calcium. 
  • Further, they contain many phytochemicals like indoles which are detoxifying agents and zea-xanthin, lutein and beta carotene, which are flavonoid antioxidants. Their total antioxidant strength, measured in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC value), is 1736 µmol TE/100 g.

We decided to eat at least one radish a day for as long as they will grow. BUT we are also going to harvest extras, slice thinly, and dehydrate to powder. They are super-hot when they grow large, so we plan to use them when we want heat in a dish, like instant turkey taco meat.

Also great to make "horseradish" sauce or cocktail sauce!

Suggestion: grow some!

Homemade Healthy MRE Recipe: Instant Pancakes

Easy to mix in a mug!
I love pancakes! Such a comfort food, not just for me, but also a lot of other people. My son prefers them with chocolate chips. You might like powdered bananas in them. Experiment!

Ingredients:
4 cups all-purple flour
1 cup instant powdered milk (goat, cow, rice...your choice)
3/4 cup malted milk powder
1/2 cup powdered buttermilk
1/2 cup butter powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbls whole egg powder
2 Tbls baking powder
1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
1 tsp baking soda
dash of cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

Instructions:
Measure and sift the ingredients. Combine well. Store in an airtight/moisture-proof jar or baggie until needed. When ready to use, measure out 1 cup of dry mixture and add a little over 1/3 cup of water. Combine. Remember, it's ok to have lumps! Cook on a hot and sprayed griddle or frying pan as you would any other pancake, flipping when the first side bubbles and the edges become a little dry, about 2 minutes on each side. I like to top mine with instant or ho
memade jam.

Homemade Healthy MRE Recipe - Cajun Gumbo

Here is another recipe to make from your dehydrated or freeze-dried ingredients.

Cajun Gumbo

Many years ago, I had the pleasure of driving through Louisiana. I made a point to stop in the French Quarter, and tasted my first gumbo. So very yummy.

This recipe is so delicious and super-easy to make. Add freeze-dried cooked shrimp if you'd like. Spice it up or tone it down. Your choice.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup instant rice (brown or white)
2 Tbs dried diced sausage
2 Tbs dried diced chicken
1 Tbs diced onion
1 Tbs diced bell pepper
1 Tbs diced celery
1 tsp powdered chicken broth (or 1 chicken bouillon cube)
1 tsp Creole seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Combine all and store in water-proof air-tight container/bag. When ready to eat, add 1-2 cups of boiling or very hot water. (Amount will depend if you want it soupy or quite thick.) Stir. Cover. Let sit approx 20 minutes, or until all ingredients have reconstituted.  Stir and enjoy!

Note:
If you can't find a freeze-dried or dehydrated version of your favorite sausage, do it yourself! Just thinly slice, cook, then drain/pat away every bit of fat, and dehydrate at a high temp. Check regularly to see if any more fat is accumulating, and if it is, pat it off.  When the sausage is super crispy and dry (not greasy), it should be ready.

Another Note:
Lots of people put okra in their gumbo. Finding dehydrated okra is impossible (if you know a source, please please let it in the comments below!). So, here's a tip about dehydrating okra: freeze it. That way, it won't get all oooey goooey. So... freeze till almost solid, slice thinly, place on dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate at around 115 degrees F till crispy.  See:  frozen to dehydrated, with a brief stop in between.

RAIN IN COLORADO

Colorado is WET!!  Flooding in towns, major cities like Denver, and the burn scars from wildfires are causing ash and mud slides. 

It seems like this is the first wet summer in many years. Last year...dry and hot. The year before...dry and hot.

My plants initially loved the rain, but after days of continuous downpours, I can practically hear them saying ... "no more!"

Not sure how much I will harvest this year. Honestly, not much. Between the rain and our very late start, not much is growing.

And our chickens and turkeys are dropping like flies.

We will have about 10 turkeys and 10 chickens to process and dehydrate/can. I am buying tomatoes and other veggies/fruit from farmers markets to dehydrate and can.

Tells me what I need to do to give us more of a secure supply of food.

Is anyone else struggling with growing food this year?


Note: I have several survival and prepping books that will be released soon.
-Survival and Prepping for Emergency Situations
-Preparing Homemade MREs from Dehydrated Ingredients
-Windowsill Meals
-Survival Cooking

p.s. I have been asked to consider public speaking. If anyone wants me to speak about prepping and survival for your prepping group, please contact me. 

Prepping book

My survival and prepping for emergencies book was done, then I realized I had forgotten to add sections on prepping for...
...health care crises
...man made disasters
...personal disasters
...accidents
...financial problems
...political / military disasters
and
...culture disasters

Now, please bear in mind that I am certainly no expert. Just a simple woman with a tiny farm and a special needs son, who wants to help people through her writing.

I am researching the above, and will write as much as I can about the subjects (although the topics I know the least about may only have a paragraph or two of info).  Then I will edit, polish, then publish.

Suggestions?

Homemade Healthy MRE Recipe - Asian Beef with Snow Peas

Here is the next recipe for a homemade and healthy MRE:

Asian Beef with Snow Peas

We love oriental food, and I don't think I would be happy in a long term survival situation (heck, even short term!) without Asian food. I have devised quite a few recipes that satisfy our taste buds. Hope you like this one!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup instant rice OR 1/2 cup dehydrated cooked noodles
1/2 cup ground beef bits OR 1 cup beef chunks / dices
1/4 cup snow pea strips
1 beef bouillon cube
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp brown sugar

Directions:
Combine all and store in water-proof air-tight container/bag. When ready to eat, add 1-2 cups of boiling or very hot water. (Amount will depend if you want it soupy or quite thick.) Stir. Cover. Let sit approx 20 minutes, or until all ingredients have reconstituted.  Stir and enjoy!

NOTES:
-Noodles: rice, whole wheat, kamut, quinoa...your choice
-Add more veggies if you'd like...water chestnuts, strips of red bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.
-I couldn't find freeze-dried or dehydrated snow peas, water chestnuts or gluten-free noodles, so I dehydrated them myself. So can you.
-I avoid soy whenever possible. Feel free to add soy sauce if you would like.

Homemade Healthy MRE Recipe - Apple Pie Oatmeal

Since I am writing a book of creative and healthy recipes for making MREs using dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, I thought I would start posting some of the recipes here for your experimentation and comments.

All recipes in the book are single servings.

First up...

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Ingredients:
1/2 cup quick oats
3 tsp apple dices
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
1 tsp raw sugar (our preference ... use what you want)

(If desired, add 1 tsp cheddar cheese powder)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients and seal in a small air-tight/watertight bag (I use jars or seal-a-meal or mylar).  When ready to make, rehydrate with 1 cup of very hot water, stir, let sit covered 10 minutes, stir and enjoy.

I make this and other quick oatmeal breakfasts in large batches!  Very yummy.  For a burst of protein, add your favorite nuts, flax seeds or chia seeds. 

Prepping for Emergency Situations

I was nearly finished revising this book (I took it down from Amazon while I did so) then the wonderful ladies at a FB group for Family Preparedness mentioned, oh, 15-20 more scenarios I really need to address!

Love the cover! Do you?

Hoping to release it by the end of July. Shortly thereafter, I will have the audio book released on Audible.com and iTunes.

While I do that book, I am still working on my Healthy Meals from Dehydrated Foods book. (No cover yet). I have approximately 150 recipes but requests are still coming in. I love writing the recipes but it takes time to test all of them!

Stay tuned!

Impending Book Release

I am re-working my Survival in Emergency Situations book, and will be publishing that in the next week or so. Here's the cover!

It includes prepping for:
-fires
-tornadoes
-floods
-long term confinement / when the SHTF
-and more!

...and info about bug-out-bags (BOBs / 72-hour evacuation kits).

Just working on the last edit or two, then I will be uploading the file for Kindle downloads. Once I am happy with it, I will publish hard copies.

I hope you bookmark this blog! I am working to provide lots of detailed information in this book.


Meanwhile...


The vampire short story series begins!

FATHER:

Driven by a need for human blood and a love for modern technology, Jovan and Ivana opened a diner. Humans enjoy made-to-order fast foods in a funky atmosphere with free wi-fi and complimentary drink refills, with techno music lightly drifting from the jukebox. And after Jovan clinically draws blood from the healthiest of the humans, the vampires drift in for their feast. Who will they choose next? The solitary man gnawing on a turkey burger, or the arguing father and son?

LINK: THE VAMPIRE DINER: FATHER

Download it to your KINDLE or KINDLE APP today!

Yellowstone

A few weeks ago, the impending eruption of the super-volcano at YELLOWSTONE was forfront on most people's minds. Yes, even us. We live in Colorado, where we would be in the fall-out zone.

But it got us thinking. And thrusting even more into preparing to survive should the volcano actually erupt.

We always assumed that no matter what, we'd stay at our little farm. Here, in on the eastern plains of Colorado, we could weather almost any kind of natural disaster.

But the Yellowstone story changed our thinking.

Should the volcano erupt, we would HAVE to move. Er, bug out.  I mean, we couldn't stay underground for 10-15-20 years, now could we? Because it would take that along for the ash to settle and wash away, bringing back first plant life, then animals.

What have YOU done differently since you got the news that Yellowstone could go ka-blooey?

Vitamin D

We all hear about Vitamin D. We need it to be happy, to help calcium work in our bones, to move muscles and most important, to help our immune system work properly.  It is IMPERATIVE that we get enough Vit D, whether we are in normal situations, or living off of stored foods.

How Much Vitamin D do you need?
The amount of vitamin D you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts from the Food and Nutrition Board (a national group of experts) for different ages are listed below in International Units (IU):

Life StageRecommended Amount
Birth to 12 months400 IU
Children 1–13 years600 IU
Teens 14–18 years600 IU
Adults 19–70 years600 IU
Adults 71 years and older800 IU
Pregnant and breastfeeding women600 IU


How Do You Get Vitamin D From Foods?

Vitamin D is only in a few foods and often in very small amounts. Foods that provide vitamin D include:
  • Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon
  • Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals
  • Beef liver (a little)
  • Cheese (a little)
  • Egg yolks (a little)
  • Mushrooms provide some vitamin D. In some mushrooms that are newly available in stores, the vitamin D content is being boosted by exposing these mushrooms to ultraviolet light.
  • Almost all of the U.S. milk supply is fortified with 400 IU of vitamin D per quart. (Except milk you get from the farm, like our raw goat milk!) But foods made from milk, like cheese and ice cream, are usually not fortified.Vitamin D is added to many breakfast cereals and to some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and soy beverages; check the labels.
 Getting enough vitamin D from your diet isn't easy. Studies show that typically only about 20% of our vitamin D comes from the foods we eat.
 
Get Enough Sunlight
  
Your body can make vitamin D on its own. When you walk out into the sunlight with exposed skin, your body naturally produces vitamin D. Just 10-15 minutes a day, like a nice walk around your property, should be enough. Please don't overdue it; you don't want skin cancer. If you will be outside more than a few minutes, wear a long sleeved shirt and sunscreen with an SPF of more than 8.

Dark skin, cloudy days, shade, and sunshine indoors through a window will not produce Vit D in your body.

Special Cases

My son is autistic with epilepsy. Because of his health problems, his epilepsy doctor (epileptologist) recommended he take 1,000 IUs of Vit D each day. This helps to bump up his immune system.

Since I have an autoimmune disease, I also increased my Vit D to 1,000 IUs.

We take a little liquid gell supplement to make sure we get at least 1,000. Then 10-15 minutes outside doing farm chores gets more Vit D into us.

Does it help? With our immune system?

Well, neither one of us have had the flu this year.  WITHOUT the flu shot, which we avoid like the plague.

Your call. 

Calcium: Lactose-Intolerance Living on Stored Foods

My husband is lactose-intolerant. He can take pills like "dairy digest" and it helps a little with cooked milk products, and can handle goat and sheep milk, but for the most part, he can't handle dairy. Believe me! He can NOT handle dairy!

Brings to thought, if we were to get rid of the goats and just ate stored food, how would he get enough calcium? Not just calcium, but Vitamin D also. (Vit D is in the next post.)

Why do we need calcium?

We need to consume a certain amount of calcium to build and maintain strong bones and healthy communication between the brain and various parts of the body.

Calcium strengthens the bones of humans until they reach the age of 20-25 years. After then, calcium helps bone maintenance and helps slow down bone density loss. It also regulates muscle contractions (including the heart, which is a muscle), helps normal blood coagulation (clotting), and with blood movement throughout our bodies. Calcium also helps with hormones and enzymes, and adequate levels early in life could protect against obesity later on.

Almost all of our calcium is stored in our teeth and bones, where it supports their hardness and structure.

How much calcium do you need?

I've seen these guidelines:
  • Young children 1-3 years old should get 700 milligrams (mg) per day.
  • Children 4-8 years old should get 1,000 mg per day.
  • Children 9-18 years old should get 1,300 mg of calcium a day.
  • Women younger than 51 and men up to age 70 should get 1,000 mg per day.
  • Women 51 to 70 should get 1,200 mg/day.
  • Women and men 71 and over should get 1,200 mg per day.

How does this translate into your daily diet?

A 45-year-old could easily get her recommended daily 1,000 mg of calcium by eating:
  • 1 packet of fortified oatmeal (100 mg)
  • 1 cup of skim milk (305 mg)
  • 8 ounces of non-fat yogurt (452 mg)
  • ½ cup of spinach (146 mg)
Hubby can't have milk (unless it's goat or sheep, or raw cow), but he can have yogurt. Something in the processing and enzymes.

But still.


Here are some foods that are high in calcium:
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Okra
  • Collards
  • Soy beans
  • White beans
  • Some fish, like sardines, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout
  • Foods that are calcium fortified, such as some orange juice, oatmeal, and breakfast cereal
We dehydrate as much spinach and other greens as we can. Plus we like okra (gumbo...yum!), white beans of all kinds, and we have several #10 cans of freeze-dried salmond. We do also have powdered goat milk and "better than milk" powdered rice milk, both of which have calcium.

Coconut milk doesn't have calcium. Not that I have seen.

Unless you raise the soy beans yourself from non-gmo seeds, I wouldn't recommend them as a source. Do your best to not only provide alternatives, but make sure those alternatives are as healthy as possible.

Of course, you could always store calcium tablets!

Book research for Homemade MREs, Gluten Free Cookbooks, and Medical Marijuana



I sent a gluten-free gnocchi recipe to some tasters/testers yesterday. I am still working on lots more recipes for the gluten-free cookbooks, so input is greatly appreciated. 

I still have another 75 recipes or so to test for my homemade MRE cookbook using dehydrated ngredients we are storing. I need more testers!

Now, to the medical marijuana book...

I started a fb group (  https://www.facebook.com/groups/EmbracingCharlottesWeb/ ) initially about Charlotte's Web to gather info for a book I am writing about using medical marijuana to help with health problems. Decided to cover all strains of med mmj. (As you know, my almost 18 year old son is autistic with epilepsy and will be getting a med mmj card soon).

I am asking for everyone's help to get people's stories about using medical mmj, including the ailment, strain(s) they use, success or failure, how it has changed them, etc. Stories should be 3-5 pages long. They need to include contact information, and permission for the story to be in the book.

People can comment here, join the above mentioned Facebook group, or email me at vikkibooksatyahooperiodcom.

Thank you so much for your help.

Vikki

P.s. Today is epilepsy awareness day! Did you wear purple? Help people know if they have a lot of de ja vu episodes, they COULD be having simple partial seizures!

Pet Food

You know those metal trash cans I mentioned in the last post? That would be a good way to store a few bags of your pet's favorite food.

Or you could make sure to put cans of wet food in your pantry.

What about snacks?

But the dry would go stale and the wet is in a can lined with BPA. Neither of which are good. Your cat is a hopefully a mouser, very necessary, and your dog barks are people coming up the drive, also very necessary. You need to take care of them.

I will be working on a book with pet food and pet snacks recipes this summer, but meanwhile, here is a few tips:

1a. Store pre-made when you can.

1b. Store toys, rawhides (NOT from China!), etc.

2. Make your cat work for its food. Lots o mice!

3. Make your dog work for its food. Guarding, alerting, and helping you hunt.

4. Raise rabbits. Great source of protein, and if you can't stand the thought of eating them yourself, let your dog and cat. Never give the whole live rabbit to your pet or one day you will go into your rabbitry to find all of them dead and eaten. Kill it and skin the rabbit (keep the hide to tan for muffs or whatever). THEN give it to your pet somewhere where it is ok to get blood everywhere.

5. Learn how to make snacks, like dog biscuits.

6. Slowly, gradually, change your animals over to food you can make yourself. For instance, we are changing our dogs from regular dry food to foods from our kitchen, garden, and farm. Chicken or turkey or eggs, rice or oats or millet or quinoa, and vegetables.

That's it for now. Give it some thought.

If you have suggestions or questions about feeding your pet, including those other than cat or dog, please ask in the comments below.

Thank you.

==========================

For more information about Vikki or to find out about her current and upcoming books, please visit the website: www.vikki-lawrence-williams.blogspot.com . Meanwhile, subscibe or visit this blog often because I will be updating it on a more regular basis. THANK YOU!

Storing Food Against Pests

First, I was supposed to have knee surgery yesterday, Friday, but didn't. I had a lump in my mouth that needed a biopsy. Taking that piece out gave me a bad infection on top of what turned out to already be an infection (not cancer, thank god). So, to avoid the infection going through my bloodstream and into my newly sliced knee, we post-poned the surgery until two weeks from now.

Can hardly wait to be able to walk again!

But... this post is about storing your foods.

On Tuesday my son informed me that he was out of cereal. Oh no! Tragedy! I vaguely remembered that I had packed some stuff downstairs, so we clumped down where I had two metal trashcans (with lids) tucked away. The first one bore four packages of cereal, two of which he would eat! SCORE! No mice had attacked because the lid was on tightly. But boy howdy it was stale!

Lesson 1: Remember where you store your food, and what is there.

Lesson 2: Rotate your food!

Lesson 3: Metal trash cans with lids are a good storage system, for some things. We have quite a few in our garage that we store our livestock's feed in. Mice do not get in those either.

Lesson 4: Glass jars.

So, you bring home food, like packages of beans and peas and pasta, and you place the package intact in a tub or bucket. Close a lid on it, and your done.

That could be good for long term storage, but what do you do when you bring it out to use? Keep it in it's original packaging and place it on your pantry shelf?

Please don't.

Go to your local ACE Hardware Stores and ask where the canning jars are. You should be canning anyway. Get as many half-gallon jars as they have, and order more. My kitchen pantry is filled with half-gallon jars, with the Ball plastic lids. Easy to open yet bugs canNOT get in there. Neither can mice.  Keeps the pasta, beans, peas, cereal, grains, etc safe and you can easily see how much is left.

PLUS...

...doesn't the plastic packaging bother you? What is that stuff anyway? Do we really want the plastic leaching into our food and into our bodies? If we are in an emergency situation, we need every morsel of food and every drop of liquid to be super-healthy for our bodies.


==========================

For more information about Vikki or to find out about her current and upcoming books, please visit the website: www.vikki-lawrence-williams.blogspot.com . Meanwhile, subscibe or visit this blog often because I will be updating it on a more regular basis. THANK YOU!

Winter Weather in the Spring, and Gardening

Here it is, March 13, and season Spring is only 7 days away. Yet, we are recovering from more snow from Tuesday, and still have more snow on the way.

We live near Denver, CO, on the eastern plains. Technically, this is desert area, but don't tell Mother Nature that! While our summers are usually very hot and dry, we can have super cold winters with precipitation. Snows have been known to fall as late as May, which gives us a really short growing season, about 90 days.

I am itching to get into the garden.

My 17 year old autistic son had two brain surgeries last May for epilepsy. A lot changed about him afterwards. He is 1/4 blind in each eye. He talks slower. And his appetite changed!

For the first time ever, he likes raspberries (hence, we are planting more bushes this year, including yellow raspberries). And he tried snow peas last month. At the time, he said he didn't hate them. But on Monday, when I asked him what one vegetable, besides carrots, does he want us to grow in the garden thsi year, he said snow peas! Who knew!

So I ordered from my go-to heirloom seed place, Baker Creek (www.rareseeds.com) three peas: snow peas, fresh-eating table peas, and blue peas that dry on the vine to store for dry-use.

Just (im)patiently waiting for the seeds to arrive.

So... what are you planting in your garden?



==========================

For more information about Vikki or to find out about her current and upcoming books, please visit the website: www.vikki-lawrence-williams.blogspot.com . Meanwhile, subscibe or visit this blog often because I will be updating it on a more regular basis. THANK YOU!

Meals from dehydrated foods

Hiya. 


Quite a few months ago, my husband asked for more varied quick lunch. Had been making him soups, sandwiches, etc.  He needed more substance. Store-bought MREs have too much sodium, preservatives, and are boring. So are shelf-stable things from Dinty Moore and Hormel, or frozen dinners. Ick.

Browed through our dehydrated and freeze-dried foods, and my wheels started turning. I got out a bunch of half-pint jars, instant rice, tiny pasta, potato flakes, and other ingredients. Lined up the jars. ach got a starch, a protein, veggies, spices/herbs, and some got tomato powder.

He loved them!

So did his co-workers.  Gimme gimme.

Every month, I create a month's worth of breakfasts and lunches, each different from the others. My mother-in-law has also tested for me, as well as friends. One thing led to another, and I started this book about how to make healthy MREs (still working on the title ... stay tuned!). For work, camping, backpacking, prepping/preparedness, everyday use, long term food storage/survival, etc.  I even started a FB group for people to help me test recipes ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/Mealsinjars/ ).

I have sections for lactose-intolerant people (like my Hubby) and gluten-free (me). One person suggested the need for vegetarian and vegan recipes, so I am trying to include a few of them too.  Sections for entrees, side dishes, desserts, beverages, and more.

All kinds... oriental, Indian, Tex-Mex, and many others.

Have somewhere close to 200 recipes but I want a few more.

Hope to (someday!) start posting a few recipes for you to try and comment, so stay tuned! 

NEED YOUR SUGGESTIONS!

This blog needs updating...don't you agree? So help me to help you!

What do you want me to write about?

More stored food recipes?

Homemade cleaning supplies?

Homesteading?

Homemade MREs?

Just a little update on us. We have a tiny farm, just two acres, outside of  Denver, CO.   I am disabled, and awaiting knee surgeries. My hubby works an hour away for pittance. My 17 year old is autistic and ADHD, with epilepsy. He had two brain surgeries in May 2013 but still not sure if they successfully treated his epilepsy.

We have two dogs. We raise chickens (meat, eggs, income, fertilizer, pest control, weed control), royal palm turkeys (meat, income, feathers), and Nubian-cross goats (milk and its products like cheese, income, meat). We have a few fruit bushes and trees but are adding more this year, along with nut trees, oak trees (for when we someday {next year?} get pigs), and sugar maple trees.

We are adding more rhubarb and asparagus, because my asparagus quiches sell like hot cakes! We have a mid sized garden that produces enough for us (fresh, dehydrated, canned) and to sell. Just a tiny storefront by the front door, for when people pick up their eggs, milk and cheese. And other things!

I dehydrate for us (working on a cookbook for homemade healthy MREs) and also sell my homemade MREs. 

Learned how to can last year.  Made some amazing jams with waterbathing, and did meats and veggies with pressure canning. Even did bacon! Yum!

Experimenting with different kinds of homemade bread. Different kinds of goat cheese. Living a cleaner life. A more self-reliant life.

Guess that is about it. 

Be sure to comment below on the things you want he to write about.

Thanks, and be safe.