Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by monkeyman, Sep 20, 2005.
Yeah, I mean if you have the money and storage space then you can stock up on a few years supply of cooking oil/Crisco, but keep in mind that once the 'open can put in pan' and prepacked nukeable foods run out and folks start having to actually cook/create every meal, you will use a LOT more of things that you currently either don't use at all or use only very little. Aside from oil think of things like yeast, baking powder and baking soda. Unless you already bake most if not all your own bread products then the only one of these you are likely to use is maybe some baking soda here and there to absorb odors but if your making your own biscuits you need soda and/or baking powder (depending on the recipe if its one or both), think about how much bread products you use, unless its unleavened or dense traditional sour dough then you need yeast for all the bread you use and especially out of a fridge it will become useless in a year or so and looses some effectiveness even in the fridge after a year or so (and that's assuming it was fresh when you got it from the store). A lot of the things one would need will be impossible to buy at toes times and cant really be practically stocked up enough to last a lifetime (unless you die pretty early ). I know in our house we bake maybe 1/2 to 1/3 of our breads and cook about 3/4 or a little better of our food from scratch (with the exception that we eat a lot of spaghetti's and such where we don't make the pasta from scratch) and we go through about 4 or 5 pounds at least of yeast a year and buy cooking oil by 5 gallons 3 or 4 times a year at least as well as most of our seasonings by the pound(s) 3 or 4 times a year. So while a good stock of stuff is an excellent idea, and especially for folks who don't live extremely basic by current standards (nearly Amish or something) it would save lives by softening the learning curve but if you think you can stock enough to make it say for 10 years even (without a full blown warehouse) I would challenge you to try going to the store, stock up, use only things you could still do with no power and then don't pick up ANYTHING at the store again for a minimum of say 6
Although packaged yeast is the most simple to use, you can make a "started" from a simple mixture of flour and water. The natural wild yeast in the flour will begin to ferment in about 10 to 12 hours. Your starter is will continue to 'live' as long as you feed it at least weekly with flour. Use some of the starter as the basis of your bread but never completely deplete your starter or you have to start over. A good starter can continue for years and years and years.
Sorry for the abrupt ending to my previous post, had keyboard probalems all of a sudden. Now as I was saying...
...for at least 6 months. This will give you a lot better idea of how much of what you use since most of us buy a lot of foods that are already heat and serve (even if the 'heat' part still has to cook it) like say breakfast sausage, breaded fish sticks and so on that will use a lot of spices and flour and sugar most of us never think about, or like for instance spagetti sauce in a jar. I know untill we started doing most of our cooking (we still buy some of the preprepped stuff but not much) we never realy realized for instance how much flour, sugar, pepper, yeast and so on that we actualy consumed that were just in what we bought, but even if what you stock up on is all just the same stuff you normaly use (assumeing like most of us you still buy lots of convenience heat and serve stuff) it can give a LOT clearer understanding of how much food your family will go through in say 6 months and how much storage space you would have to use to even store up say 5 years of realistic food (as opposed to thinking you would live off little or nothing but beans and rice like a lot of folks laying in preps do especialy when starting out).
This isnt meant to down grade anyone by any means, storeing up stuff how ever much you can is a very good idea and at least enouph to provide for a year is pretty escential since it may be as much as a year or even a bit more before you can have crops and such to replenish fully your stores, its just that I see a lot of folks who think they dont need to worry about how to make thier own food from gardening and or raising it and so on since they think they can stock up for anything that may come. While stocks are what would get you through any short term things (from a few days to a year or so) but if SHTF to the point that things are going to take a decade or a generation or more to normalize then I just see that mind set as being potentialy very dangerous and this seemed like a good place to mention it. Knowledge on what you need and how to do the tasks you would have to to make your own food (as well as many other things) will put you far ahead of the learning curve and if you already have a working knowledge of this stuff AND stores then those stores will carry you through the rest of the learning period.
Very valid point monkeyman...
Ive been seriously prcaticing the preparedness thing for quiet some numbers of years. At first I thought I was doing great just buying a few extra can goods when going to the store. I thought I was doing better when I started to keep more than a few pounds of beans and rice on hand. Then I thought I was doing even better when I started drying some produce that was on sale at the local market. Then I was unemployed for about 4 months and got a major reality check. There were a few short comings in my game plan. No show stoppers but it did put things in a little better perspective. There are a lot more things I keep on hand and in way more quanities that I ever dreamed I would need to.
But alsas this is a learning curve. The city/suburan life has really made me see how vulnerable I really am these days to disasters and other issues. Im doing a few things different these days needless to say. I found out I need a heck of a lot more food than I was keeping on hand. I found out that I needed a lot more of the basics too things like spices salt and sugar , oil and such. I now have a garden! I now have a few rabbits and chickens on the down low. I now have a couple of fruit trees as well. There is a killer thread suposedly on Frugal Squirrels forum by a guy in Argentina. Dont know if its true or not but it sure hit home in a number of ways...you should read it if you havent and think about it a few days...
Not being satified with the little I do have Im getting ready to purchase 5-10 acres and really ramp things up another notch. Considering the events such as 9/11, Katrina, Rita and the riots in France, I cant see taking anything for granted anymore. Gotta look out for "Big Number 1" more these days...
That along with a few months of food stores is a REAL big move in the right direction. One thing I might mention if you havent already thought about it it on the garden is to try to do as many heirloom plants as possible as opposed to the hybrids, and then save seeds. If your garden is all hybrids then the seeds wont produce new plants and if they do they wont be thew same as the parent plant but with heirlooms you never have to buy seeds again if you dont want to...or cant. By haveing a few months of food and a few rabbits and the chickens along with the garden and fruit trees, the stores can carry you through long enouph to get a couple litters from each doe and breed the oldest of the new does before you have to fall back on them for food, so 4 or 5 bunnies could turn into over 100 bunnies with at least a dozen more litters on the way in about 5 months or so and 80 or more ready to butcher while the eggs from the chickens would help to make up for the fat lacking in the rabbits and by that time you should also be able to be getting at least some kind of crops from the garden and or fruit trees.
I noticed you mentioned you are suburban, just for curiosity, if you dont mind me asking, what size is the property you're on? I know that one common misconception is that a lot of folks think you HAVE to have several acres in order to produce any food for your self, and while it can be helpful for haveing more food and variety I've found even though we have 13 acres we only realy use about 2 or 3 acres most of the time even for the animals and garden.
Fallow land is good for crop production.
Yeah, as money and time (haveing both at the same time ) permit I want to cross fence the place so we can run a few more cattle (3 or 4 maybe) and improve the fence on the small pasture where they are now (about 1 acre) to turn out our 3 goats and a few more), put in a small orchard add a pond and stock it with fish and make a few other improvements that would allow us not only to feed ourselves from our land but also pay us at least enouph to pay the taxes if nothing else.
With the uncertain economic times, many of us are returning to raising our own. This is a great discussions. Anyone have any thoughts they would like to add?
I recently relocated close to 300 lbs of ornamental koi from their pond for a spring cleaning. Koi don't taste very good but the catfish I am about to replace them with will be just fine. We just completed our spring planting that included in addition to the vegetable garden, a new bed of asparagus and a small arbor of muscadines. We recently put in several blue-berries and two varieties of strawberries. Last year, we had a small crop of apples and pears but the peaches did not produce. I am hoping that my latest endeavor will assit that; bee-hive. Icompleted a study of bee-keeping and ordered two starter hives. I lost my lemon trees to frost but the oranges and grapefruits seem to be doing well. Ihad a good crop of kumquats this winter. My two New Zealand does each had litters of 12 but we lost one from each litter. The little ones are now opening their eyes and following moma out of the nest box. I have seven more does that will be mature enough to breed by June.
Another member of our group is raising beef and poulty and we have a huge community garden that we all contribute to as well. We are investigating a small herd of bison and have recently had the lake stock checked and found to be quite healthy. I also expect that as usual, we'll have a number of alligator in the lake and the deer are looking very healthy and well-fed. Our little group is taking preps quite seriously with a focus on being able to tend many of the needs of those that are too grass-hooper related to concern themselves with the nut-hiding squirrels. Worms are next on the list.
Good going SC. I look forward to hearing progress reports. I love rabbit myself so I know you've got some good eating coming your way.
We've been getting a steady soaking rain since around 14:00 today and I think most of tomorrow as well. It nearly canceled our USPSA match today but we managed to get through all five stages with just a little rain shower or few. With the warm weather we're having, I expect a major bit of weeding in the coming days.
This may be a shocker but I think that goats are NOT a good long term post SHTF animal to have. There are several reasons that I say this. First and foremost, most people in the US that raise goats treat them as pets and not livestock. They will keep any POS that comes out of "good blood lines" and breed it. It doesn't matter if it's born a runt, is blind in one eye and can't see out of the other, has got 6 legs, and gets mastitis everytime it's bread, it came from good blood lines. Secondly they get internal perisites way to easy and have too much trouble fighting them off. Fencing is a major issue as well. We have a very high dollar fence charger and it keeps them in. What happens if the electricity goes out or it breaks post SHTF??? By by goats. We will likely be getting a dairy cow or two as soon as we can. We have had cows in the past and didn't have near the problems with worms like we do with the goats.
Chickens are great to have. They will eat anything a possum will, and keep the bugs in check. The only breed that we have found that will reproduce on it's own is buff orphingtons. They lay well in the winter without a light, and are good foragers.
Gonna have to protect the chickens from the fox.
One idea my friend gave me is to buy some grouse (or was it pheasant? cant remember) chicks from the local feed store, raise them to a survivable age, then release them on my property. My friend says that the covey will reproduce, and not stray far from home. For years, they'll hang around for good hunting stock.
I am glad someone brought this back to the top as I was thinking about it. Shetland ponies enough of them could pull a cart, they are small, give milk, meat, leather and poo to put on the garden.
They are also some of the meanest little SOB's you'll ever see!!! I would go with donkeys myself. They eat like a goat and will defend other livestock against yotes/dogs.
But which one taste better donkeys or Shetland ponies?
I haven't eaten either one, but my grandfather claimed that donkeys milk is sweeter than condinsed milk.
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