Author Topic: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria  (Read 261466 times)

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #480 on: August 18, 2013, 10:37:20 AM »
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?  TIME TO THINK ABOUT NEXT SPRING – YOUR OWN FRESH FOOD IS GOOD!


Let’s see, how to explain what is necessary to grow food plants.  These are my observations as to what works for me – you may use another method that works for you.

1.  Soil (also known as dirt): 
There are two kinds of soil/dirt.  There is soil/dirt that is ground.  I don’t like ground dirt.  I can’t physically bend down to the ground over and over.  I can’t physically fertilize ground.  Ground has insects/pests in it that murder my plants.  Squirrels and birds easily get to my ground and murder my seeds and early delicate plants.  There are too many despicable, gross, disgusting, murderers of seeds and plants in ground dirt and around the ground dirt.  A pox on ground dirt and the pests in it and squirrels and birds.  I know probably most of you plant in the ground and have success.  Good for you – I’m not doing it.

Mistakes:
All my mistakes happened with ground dirt.  I have two long wood planters that sit on top of the ground dirt.  I planted one with one kind of lettuce seed and the other with another kind of lettuce seed.  The first planter I planted had tiny lettuce coming up and squirrels and birds ate it all in one evening, plus all the seed still remaining in the ground.  The other planter had none come up as the seed was eaten before that happened.  That taught me any seed or young plant sitting in the dirt garden area must have a net over it or row cover over it.

Another mistake: I had two beautiful squash plants planted in dirt and moths, the mother of borers got to the plants and the children, the borers, destroyed the plants.  Net or row cover would not have saved these squash planted in dirt.  They were murdered.  I found squash is a very delicate plant that is easily murdered.  But now I am planting today, in a container, a squash that doesn’t attract these moths or other tiny killers.  Later, in this article, will describe this squash.

Another mistake:  I started studying and planting late, think it was March when I decided I had to learn to grow food.  It was so late, I bought tomato plants, Romas, and cherry tomatoes.  Romas are determinate, I found.  That means they only produce once and that’s it.  I had them in smaller pots than they needed and I planted a cherry tomato directly in a bag of potting soil mix.  That cherry one in that mix grew like crazy and produced large cherry tomatoes.  The others in too small pots, made small Roma tomatoes.  I will have indeterminate tomatoes and right now have 6 heirloom indeterminate tomatoes in proper size containers.  I’ll give the name of these later in this article.

Another mistake:  I planted beans next to a wall that had lattice on it so the beans could climb that lattice.  All those bean plants were cooked to death by the sun beating on that area and that lattice.  I learned the sun here is so vicious, it will cook the plants.  No more plants that need lattice will be planted there.  I have containers now that come with lattice on them for vining plants.

In conclusion about mistakes:  Growing plants is individual according to your situation, your own dirt ground, the varmints you have that get in your garden, and how you have to deal with sun where you are.  The seed envelope may say that plant needs 8 hours of direct sun.  That is not true, it is only an estimate.  Eight hours in direct Texas sun where I am, will murder that plant.  In my case, four hours of direct Texas sun and the rest of the time in shade, saves the plants.  This is especially true with lettuce as it is delicate.  You have to determine what sun will do in your own area.

2.  Potting soil mix and containers:
The other kind of soil is potting soil and potting soil mix.  I use potting soil mix since it has fertilizer in it and feeds the plants for six months.  Where do these bags of potting soil mix go?  In containers.  One has control of containers – can move them around in the sun and in the shade when that is needed.  There are no pests in bagged potting soil mix.  I have a deck and these containers go on the deck and I control where they are.  I have solid plastic large containers that will hold several plants and there is a trellis included so plants that need trellis have that. 

I put netting over all the containers which keeps out squirrels and birds and they are less likely to come on the deck anyway.  They have been on the deck but never got to my plants.  I also use fabric grow bags for smaller plants.  These bags come in one gallon up to very large multi-gallon bags.  I use the five gallon ones mostly.  I buy these on Amazon as well as buy the solid plastic ones there.  I would buy them locally, but they are not here.

Next spring, all the plants will be in containers on the deck, in both grow bags and solid plastic ones.  The large plastic containers with the lattice, have wheels on one side and a handle on the other side, so the container can be rolled.  That allows me to put it in the sun and then roll it into shade when it has had enough sun.  A barrel one with lattice for one tomato plant or other vining plant, like squash, is on a dolly that a nice friend made for me to move that one around.

I have a small space in my garden area – not acres of land like some of you may have.  You may also be married and therefore have two people to share the work of the garden if you are planting in ground dirt.  You have likely made all your mistakes and have a plan that works for you in a large garden.  My objective is to have enough fresh food to add to stored food if I need to use that stored food.  It is also to have fresh veggies now instead of buying at the grocery when I don’t know what was used in the making of those veggies.  I know mine are all organic from the seed to the final veggie product.  No one has touched those plants except me.

I’ll post this, then write about plants I have growing now in containers and what is soon to be planted or ordered for spring.






Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #481 on: August 18, 2013, 01:34:40 PM »
FOOD PLANTS NOW AND READY FOR SPRING


Why don’t I troop out onto the deck and plant gobs of plants for a fall garden?  Because I could have a stroke due to the Texas heat and it isn’t going to get any better until probably October. 

What to do?  I’m going to fill containers and grow bags right inside my house.  I have a wood floor, so won’t ruin carpet if potting soil mix gets on the floor.  I will avoid that as I’ll put an old sheet on the floor and do the filling of containers and grow bags on that sheet so I can take it outside and dump the spilled soil back in a bag.

Need to take time here to explain how I have been sprouting food plant seed and why that was a poor method and how I have a better method to start next week.

I have a tiny greenhouse outside but it is too hot to put any seed in there right now to grow.  I was using organic seed starter in small paper cups for the seed, then put the cups outside to get a little sun, then moving them back to the lower deck under the roof.  While they were in the sun, covered them with net to keep the birds and squirrels from eating/murdering them.  In the evening, made sure I had them covered and on the lower deck with the roof so no critters would get them during the night.  This method required constant care.  In early spring, before it was warm enough to put a plant outside, it would be a problem to sprout seed since it would be too cold outside for the seed to sprout and grow to the size it needed to be before planting in its permanent container. 

I fixed this problem this week.  I ordered a four foot grow lamp on a stand.  This is a good set-up as the grow light can be lowered and raised.  Put the lamp close to the potting soil where the seed is, to warm it, then when it sprouts, raise the light as the plant grows and this prevents spindly plants by having the grow lamp too high.

All seeds will be sprouted inside under the long grow lamp.  There are no squirrels or birds in my house and if there were, my little Yorkie would have a fit chasing them down.  :o)

I researched grow lamps until I found this one was the best for my purpose (or anyone’s purpose, actually).  It’s on Amazon but I ordered it from Walmart where it is cheaper.  If you want one, get it now before they realize they have made a mistake on the price.  It is selling for eleven cents more than the two foot long one. You get a four foot long one instead of a two foot long one with just eleven cents difference.  What a deal until they figure out the mistake.  Also, the two foot one has a size bulb that can only be bought from Hydrofarm.  The four foot one light is a standard size you can get where florescent bulbs are sold.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hydrofarm-Jump-Start-4-Foot-Grow-Light-Kit-54W/17435096

All seeds for the fall and spring garden will be started under this grow light.  Once the plants are strong enough, they will be planted in their permanent container with net over it so the tender plants are safe.  Pre-spring, I can put them in the little greenhouse when they have sprouted to get strong before planting them.  I can’t do that for the fall garden ones as it is too hot in the small greenhouse so they will grow under the grow light until they are transplanted.

No more constant watching and moving of seed in paper pots before and when they sprout.  Wonderful.

What’s growing now and what seeds to sprout for the fall garden:
I have three heirloom Mortgage Lifter tomato plants in one of the big containers for tomato plants.  I have six more, each in a 5 gallon grow bag.  I gave another one to a friend.  Me – I actually grew these tomato plants from seed – me, I did that.  If I can do it, anyone can as I didn’t know jack when I started months ago.

I have four sweet potato plants in a ten gallon grow bag.  The leaves look super.  When the leaves die, the potatoes are ready to dig up.

Today, I am planting a Tromboncino Italian Squash plant I GREW FROM SEED, in a barrel that is 14 inches in diameter, that has rings of support four feet tall so a vine can have support.  This squash is resistant to moths/borers and other insects that would murder it.  This is the only squash plant I will grow from now on.  It can be eaten almost all year.  In the spring it is light green and green and grows very long.  It can be eaten in this light green/green stage.  If one leaves it in the container, it will gradually turn tan and become a winter squash to eat then – like a Butternut winter squash except this one won’t be murdered by insects.  If I were planting in ground, this would also be the only squash I would plant as ground insects tend to leave it alone.  If you want this wonderful squash, you can see it growing and buy the seeds and it’s at

http://www.bountifulgardens.org/prodinfo.asp?number=VSQ-5469#.UhEHc4wo5jq

If the squash is growing on the ground, it curls up.  If it is hanging, it grows straight.  You get an envelope of 25 seeds for $2.50.  Unless you plant a large area, you might give a few seeds to a friend.  I have found it is a good feeling when you can share your seeds or plants.  I ordered two envelopes and sent an envelope to a friend who has to watch her pennies.  I sent her food and she can keep seeds from one or more of the squash and plant it again and again after the original seeds are gone.

As far as what plants to grow for a fall garden, that is specific to your region.  At some point, I put “Houston fall growing plants”, something like that, in search, and up popped a list of food plants for a fall garden in that area, and there was a spring list, too.  Try that search using a city close to you and see what comes up.

I have just ordered Chandler Strawberry plants shipped in tiny pots.  I believe pots are better than just receiving roots.  The transplanted pots won’t stress the plants like just roots would.  I ordered these from Garden Harvest Supply, gardenharestsupply.com .  Twenty five plants were $24.95.  Strawberries are to be planted now, so they will be ripe in spring.  That is too many for me so I will give some to a friend who wants them.  I believe I saw Chandler is good for most growing regions, it certainly is for the south.  These are big strawberries, not tiny ones.  I found by researching, ever bearing  strawberries do not do well in the south at all and wild strawberries are the same, not recommended for the south.

I have decided on Ouachita Blackberry Plants for this area, the south.  These can be ordered in November.  The spring shipping starts in March.  I will get them from Greenwood Nursery on line.  If you go there, look at the regions recommended for these plants.  They are recommended for the south and I don’t know if that continues up north.

I will soon receive Egypt Walking Onion plants.  I think they grow most anywhere and remember they do walk and reproduce so don’t plant them directly in your regular garden as they will take over the garden.  Give them a place of their own to walk around and reproduce.  You will always have onions if you get walking onions.  I found the best place to get them is below and they are shipping now:

http://www.egyptianwalkingonion.com/photogalleryonionpatch.htm

More about the grow lamp:  The four foot grow lamp is most important to me to grow from seed easily instead of running back and forth outside and inside trying to protect seed and get them to germinate.  I will pick that up at Walmart (save shipping if sent to the store to pick up) this week and likely kiss it.  :o) In the case of the SHTF, if power is off, one would not have this working.  However, at that time, I would eliminate, as in shoot with a pellet gun, the squirrels and birds in order to protect seeds and young plants outside, if I had to.  Killing them is the last option.  I don’t have a recipe for cooking squirrel – yet.

I’ll start seeds for fall planting immediately under the grow lamp as soon as I get the lamp.  For the Houston area, these food plants are possible for fall planting (I won’t grow all of them):

Beans. Bush seed
Beets, seed
Broccoli, transplant
Brussels Sprouts, transplant
Cabbage, seed
Carrots, seed
Cauliflower, transplant
Collards, seed
Cucumber, seed
Garlic, clove
Kohlrabi, transplant
Lettuce, leaf and seed
Mustard, seed
Mustard, transplant
Regular onion, transplant
Peas, snap, seed
Potatoes, Irish, seed potatoes
Radish, seed
Spinach
Squash, summer, transplant – I’m only planting the Italian Squash
Tomatoes, transplant
Turnips, seed
Turnips, seed

Some of you in other areas, feel free to list what fall plants are right for your area.





Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #482 on: August 21, 2013, 12:27:48 PM »
THE GRID GOES DOWN


How do you mend/repair/make clothes?  Will have this on by the end of today, Wednesday.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #483 on: August 21, 2013, 08:03:03 PM »
THE GRID GOES DOWN – HOW DO ‘YA REPAIR CLOTHES?


If the grid goes down for a large section of the country or the whole country, for whatever reason, it is a long term event.  I just read today, August 21, 2013, the government has scheduled a training exercise to happen in November approximating what will happen in an event the entire power grid goes down.  Power companies and other companies across the country are part of this exercise.  In reading the article, they are assuming items needed for everyday living will cease to work or cease to be available for purchase.  In other words, they will practice what to do when nothing works, including water and food delivery, medical care, everything you must have to keep living. 

If what they assume happens, you won’t be buying replacement clothes.  I’ve got a fine Singer Sewing Machine in a beautiful French turned leg desk.  You wouldn’t know this lovely desk has a sewing machine in it.  Well, the sewing machine would be worthless without electric power.  Your fingers and a needle and piece of thread only goes so far, if you even have a needle and thread.  For actual repair, you need a sewing machine.  A sewing machine to repair someone else’s clothes might be a way to have income and maybe that income would be food or water or whatever you needed.  I guarantee you, almost no one will have a working sewing machine unless they have an old treadle machine – that works.

I went on a search looking for a battery powdered small sewing machine that would sew clothes to repair them or sew together fabric for other uses.

My Mom taught me to sew on a Singer treadle sewing machine.  I knew how to follow a pattern and make clothes.  She then sent me to a Singer class at the Singer store in town and I used an electric machine to make a dress from the beginning of the fabric and the pattern to the completed dress.  The electric machine I have was bought in the late 1970s.  I know how to sew and make clothes and mend clothes.

If you have experience with a sewing machine, transferring to a small battery one won’t be difficult as you know the basics of a sewing machine – how it works.

I read about every sewing machine on Amazon that uses a battery.  Unfortunately, all of them (except one) has an internal battery that recharges by plugging it in.  Can’t do that if power is out.  Had to find one that uses regular batteries so rechargeable batteries could be used and recharged using my solar panel. 

Before I got the solar panel, I had several types of chargers that were a box to sit in the sun and charge the batteries inside the box.  These are cheap and will work but it takes a long time to recharge batteries but if you have no other way to recharge batteries, buy the box kind.  The more rechargeable batteries you have for the solar box kind, or solar panel kind, the better off you will be.  I have AA, AAA, C, D, and 9 volt rechargeables.  If you have the solar box kind charger, be sure it will charge the type you have.  I don’t think the box kind will charge 9 volt batteries, however not much runs on 9 volt.

I have settled on one regular battery run sewing machine.  Why?  Because it is the only one I could find and it works.  It runs on 4 – AA batteries and an AC adapter is included.  The Amazon price is $29.02 with free shipping.  It is a “Continental Portable Mini 2-speed Sewing Machine”.

This Continental sewing machine does this:
“Makes Fast Quality Stitching. Light Weight and Compact. Fix Mend or Repair in Seconds. Dual Speed Control. Batteries not Included.  Product Features 2 Speed Double Thread Foot pedal Operation Battery Operated, Uses 4 AA Batteries. Accessories Included Technical Details Model: CE10131.”

It has a bobbin winder and will take a full size spool of thread and it uses a full size bobbin.  You cannot make a suit with this sewing machine.  We are talking no power and we need to mend or make something simple.  It does not do a reverse stitch to seal your beginning or ending seam.  Just raise the sewing foot, keeping the needle in the fabric and turn the fabric 180 degrees and sew a few stitches, then turn the fabric back to its original position and proceed.

You must read the directions even if you are an experienced seamstress, as this light machine could get out of whack, such as the bobbin might get tangled or out of place and you would have to get it seated properly again.  Don’t pitch the directions.  The machine is here:

http://www.amazon.com/Portable-Mini-2-speed-Sewing-Machine/dp/B002VY4WXE/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1D70WWXB7EG23&coliid=I3O7MD3IX355B2

If you look at this machine on Amazon, go to customer comments and read  “Fantastic Machine for 2 Years Now” comments.  She explains very well how to get the bobbin and needle working together when you begin sewing.  This is important to know if you are a beginner or need refreshing about this.  Also, if you are using good thread and it breaks, check the tension to see if you need to release it a bit.  Don’t forget to release the sewing foot before you begin to sew.

Machine needles:
I will wait until I get this machine before I get more machine needles.  Need to be sure it uses regular machine needles.  If you break a needle, you need extras and if power is gone, you can’t buy them then.

Thread:
I have lots of spools of thread but they are really old.  They are no good now.  As thread ages, it become weak, actually rots, and breaks.  I went looking for a package of spools of thread that had a collection of colors so I would have the color I needed to mend fabric.  Guess what?  Most thread is now made in China and it breaks – it is the pits according to customer comments on every collection of thread I read, except one.

We have a delicate, light weight, battery operated sewing machine.  It needs every bit of help we can give it to function properly.  If we use this Chinese thread, we have defeated our purpose as the thread will break.

After researching, I found quality thread is made by Coats and Clark.  There is a collection of Coats and Clark threads on Amazon.  It is $37.99, plus shipping $4.89, for total of $42.88.  Here is the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Coats-Clark-Purpose-Assortment-9000/dp/B0062UB2TA/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1D70WWXB7EG23&coliid=I4GT8IBHHIZF8

Now, that is a lot of money for good thread.  You could go to a fabric store and just buy a few spools of Coats and Clark, the colors you would use most to mend clothes.  Black, white, tan, brown, and a color of blue that matches the color of blue jeans at your house and whatever other colors are prevalent in clothes in your house.  Walmart sells Gutermann which isn’t cheap, either, but I just read it tends to have lint on it and that lint will get in your sewing machine and the machine will stop working.  I’d stick with Coats and Clark, several spools from a fabric shop.

Bobbins:
If you get the machine, see what type bobbin it uses and if there are not extras in the box, get some bobbins so you can have various colors of thread on bobbins.  I don’t know if they are plastic or metal – could not find that.

Consider this inexpensive sewing machine.  What are the salesman “pull ‘um in” words?  Oh, yes, “Be the first on your block with a battery sewing machine!” 

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #484 on: August 21, 2013, 11:05:57 PM »
STUDY SAYS CHINESE DUCKS RESPONSIBLE FOR FLU EARLIER THIS YEAR


Yes, I said that before it happened.  Remember that?  There are a couple of articles on here about my experience seeing ducks everywhere in rural China.  I knew  ducks have to be the factor that starts an epidemic of flu, including the deadly bird flu.  About the time I wrote about that, the H7N9 virus started.

Now, there is a study that proves ducks spread that virus.  Chinese scientists tracked the evolution of this virus.  Birds migrating through the area gave it to ducks.  Why not?  White ducks are everywhere out in the open, acres and acres of them – they looked like snow on the countryside.  The ducks then gave it to the chickens who are not so much out in the open countryside, but they mix with ducks where the chickens are raised on farms.  Then, the chickens are at open air markets.  I’ve been there and seen that.  Live chickens for sale are at the open air markets along with the ducks wandering around.  The live chickens are bought and taken home for food.  The H7N9 virus goes with the chickens to that person’s house where they are handled by the people who live in that house.

Their report states: "Domestic ducks seem to act as key intermediate hosts by acquiring and maintaining diverse influenza viruses from migratory birds.  This probably led to outbreaks in chickens resulting in the rapid spread of the [virus] through live poultry markets which became the source of human infections."
You may read how the scientists traced this virus back to the ducks at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23778709

China is not a healthy place to be, and leave the ducks and chickens alone.


Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #485 on: September 02, 2013, 09:43:26 AM »
YOU GREW MORE FOOD THAN YOU CAN EAT – NOW WHAT?


You have more tomatoes, beans, peppers, squash, other veggies plus fruits than you can eat right now.  You need to preserve your extra food some way.  What way? 

1.  Dehydrating and packing for the long term.
2.  Water Bath Canning.
3.  Pressure Canning.

I’m writing about these three methods of preserving food for the future.  Some people I know who are dehydrating foods are confused with packing the food after dehydrating – does one use a certain type of plastic bags and a vacuum sealer and what are those packets of oxygen absorbers and desiccants for, and do they work and do you need them for preserving dried food in bags?

I’m finding numerous opinions about dehydrating food.  I’m going to do it but I want the facts of doing it properly and storing it safely without the use of a fridge or freezer.  I’m not going to use directions written by Bubba who only makes jerky out of a poor dead Bambi. 

What foods can be canned using the water bath canning protocol?  What equipment do you need?

What foods must be canned using only the pressure canning protocol?  What equipment do you need?

I haven’t completed the research for dehydrating food so I can’t give you a date the article will be posted.  Give me two days, okay?  Foods right for the water bath method and pressure cooker method are easier to determine and write.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #486 on: September 03, 2013, 11:38:45 AM »
YOU GREW MORE FOOD THAN YOU CAN EAT –  CANNING - THE REST OF THE STORY


I listed three ways to preserve food:
1.  Dehydrating and packing for the long term.
2.  Water Bath Canning.
3.  Pressure Canning.

When I said you grew more food than you can eat, I’m thinking of a long term emergency, not today’s living.  You’re in the long term emergency and have grown food and need to preserve it.  Any preservation method that requires electricity is out. 

DEHYDRATING:
I said in my prior post I would use dehydrating as a method for preserving food.  After extensive research, I have dumped dehydrating as a method because it requires an electric dehydrator.  You can tell me you can dry food inside a hot car or dry it in the desert, or some other method, but then you need to store it so it will last four to six months, and a year is iffy, which brings me to another reason I dropped dehydrating.   The dried food, if it is stored properly, requires vacuum sealing which requires electricity to do that and money to buy a vacuum sealer and should be eaten within four to six months and it might stay good for a year.  “Might” is the operative word.

The National Center for Home Food Preservation reports this:  “The Dried foods should be stored in cool, dry, dark areas. Recommended storage times for dried foods range from 4 months to 1 year. Because food quality is affected by heat, the storage temperature helps determine the length of storage; the higher the temperature, the shorter the storage time.  Most dried fruits can be stored for 1 year at 60ºF, 6 months at 80ºF.  Vegetables have about half the shelf-life of fruits.”  If you have no power, your house won’t be cooled to 60 degrees unless it’s winter in the north part of the country.  In the summer, the south will be hot up to 105 and higher.  Inside the houses would be in the 90s or more.

If you want to dry food now that will last only four to six months, maybe a year, while we have power, you need to buy an electric dehydrator, and I suggest the best one without spending $200 or more, is the “Nesco/American Harvest FD-80 Square-Shaped Dehydrator” for $59.94, free shipping at Amazon, found here:

http://www.amazon.com/Nesco-Square-Shaped-Dehydrator-Frustration-Free-Packaging/dp/B0090WOCM6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1378219551&sr=8-2&keywords=dehydrator

In order to keep the food good for four to six months, possibly longer, you have to store it correctly and that requires a food vacuum sealer and heavy duty plastic sealer bags made for the vacuum sealer.  This is more money to spend  for the sealer and bags, and you can find numerous food vacuum sealers on Amazon that suck out oxygen and seal the bags.  Some say put these bags into Mylar bags and put in a desiccant (removes/prevents dampness) and seal the Mylar bags with the food vacuum sealer.  You wouldn’t need oxygen absorbers in the Mylar bag because the food in the plastic bag has already had the oxygen removed.  A desiccant removes moisture and an oxygen absorber removes oxygen.  You can put these bags in your freezer for longer life but you won’t have a freezer if there is no power and your vacuum sealer will be gathering dust due to no power.

PRESSURE CANNING:
I have dumped pressure canning if there is no power.  If you have used a pressure canner, you know the heat source has to be steady to keep the pressure canner at the right amount of pressure and you have to keep an eye on it throughout to make sure the pressure stays at the level you need it.  Unless you will have a regular kitchen wood stove, you couldn’t keep the heat steady on any other emergency stove.  Pressure canners are also expensive, starting in the $70s and up on Amazon.

WATER BATH CANNING – THE WINNER FOR NOW AND IN EMERGENCY:
A water bath canner costs $19.97 with free shipping over $25.  It is here:

http://www.amazon.com/Granite-0707-1-2-Quart-Porcelain-Water-Bath/dp/B0001UZL8A/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1D70WWXB7EG23&coliid=IRDJ80GJ8O3ZP

In an emergency and now, the canner needs to keep water boiling for maybe 20 minutes at the most and most foods only for 10 minutes based on the type food – that’s it.  In an emergency, most any emergency stove could keep water boiling in this canner, even a camp fire would do it.

Shelf life of water bath canned food:
Food canned with a water canner are good for two years, and best for a year.  See why I dumped dehydrating – even if one had power, four months to six months to a year and a year is iffy, is the limit for storing and it requires another piece of equipment, the vacuum sealer.

What is the difference between canning with a water bath and canning with a pressure canner?  The difference is, foods with lower acidity must be canned with a pressure cooker.  Foods with more acidity may be canned using a water bath.

I got around this low acidity of veggies such as beans and carrots, broccoli, whatever, by finding recipes at one source, “National Center for Home Food Preservation”, for pickling all veggies.  Anything pickled can be canned using the water bath.  If I wanted them to taste less pickled, I’d rinse them after taking them out of the jar, and put some kind of sauce on them or sprinkled with Molly McButter or Molly Cheese sprinkles – any way to bring their taste back to more plain veggie than pickled veggie.  Any more acid foods, such as tomatoes and fruits are canned now using the water bath. 

What is pickling?  Basically, adding vinegar is pickling.  Vinegar has an acid content (5% vinegar), so adding it raises the acidity of what’s in the jar and that makes it able to be canned using the water bath.

Water bath canning of tomatoes:
There is a controversy about canning tomatoes which are normally canned using the water bath.  Recipes today include adding a bit of bottled lemon juice to the jar before canning.  Why?  Because we have bred tomatoes into hybrids that have lowered the acidity of the tomatoes so they would taste sweeter.  There is no reason to argue with the two sides of this issue.  Just put the required amount of lemon juice and it’s not much, into the jar and that’s it.  Don’t use juice from fresh lemons, use bottled lemon juice.

To pickle veggies with lower acid to up the acid in the jar and use the water bath canner, use these recipes from the “National Center for Home Food Preservation”:
http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/veg_pick.html

What equipment do you need to use a water bath canner?
Go to the Ball website at this page: http://www.freshpreservingstore.com/
1.  Buy the Blue Book Guide for Preserving, for $6.49, tells you everything you need to know about water bath canning (also covers dehydrating and pressure canning), and canning in general.  There is no better book anywhere than their book.  It’s the bible of canning.  Recipes are there for canning foods.  This is one time you don’t want to take short cuts or change a recipe.  These recipes are made for canning and changing them might affect the safety of the food.  Read the safety precautions about canned food there.

2.  Buy the Canning Utensil Set for $9.99.  The utensils are a jar funnel, a jar lifter, a lid lifter, and a bubble remover & headspace tool (Slide into the side of filled jar to release air bubbles and measure headspace).

The canning utensil set will prevent your burning yourself with the boiling water.  Using the funnel to get your food into the jars prevents spilling the contents, the jar lifter lets you safely put the jar in the boiling water and out of it, the lid lifter is magnetic on the end so you can get the lids safely out of the hot water, and the plastic “stick” is used to put it down the sides of the jar to remove air bubbles and to measure the distance from the top of the jar to the liquid/food so the jar isn’t too full -  the stick has a ruler on it for that purpose.  I would call this set the “safety set” to prevent burns and make the jar safe by removing bubbles and have a safe amount of space from the top of the jar to the contents.

Canning jars: 
I plan to only can in pint jars, not quarts, and smaller than a pint for fruit preserves.  If you have no fridge, you want to be able to consume the food in one or two meals in a day.  A quart is a lot of food.  If you need to eat more than a pint at one time, open another pint.  You might want to can fruit preserves in jars made smaller than a pint for preserves.  Look at all the possibilities for canning jars and make the selection right for you.  You will use these over and over so you need to have plenty of lids.  Once you use a lid that seals the food, you cannot use that lid again.  Buy plenty of lids if you plan to can in emergency times.

Labels for canning jars:
You could write on top of the lid with a black Sharpie type pen, or you could get removable labels to write on and stick on the jar.  I did research on labels and don’t buy the Ball labels on their web site.  When you take the label off the sheet, the sticky says on the sheet and your label has no glue to stick on the jar.  Customers have repeated this over and over on Amazon where they are also sold.  The best labels I found for the best price for the amount of labels and they stick and can be removed, are these:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HJ9AB4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Examine the canning recipes you are going to use and store what you need for them if power is out and one of those is gobs of vinegar (5%) and it’s cheap, and bottles of lemon juice.  There will be other ingredients you will want to have and those are individual choices.

To “boil” down this article into one sentence is: A WATER BATH CANNER IS INEXPENSIVE AND DOES THE JOB NOW AND WITHOUT POWER.  THE FOOD IS PRESERVED FOR AT LEAST TWO YEARS.

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #487 on: September 03, 2013, 11:58:30 AM »
I made biscuits and gravy yesterday morning using some elk meat we canned over 14 years ago.  It was delicious.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #488 on: September 03, 2013, 12:05:25 PM »
"I made biscuits and gravy yesterday morning using some elk meat we canned over 14 years ago.  It was delicious."

Canning wins out over dehydrating every time.  I'm sure it was delicious as I sit here with my mouth watering thinking about it.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #489 on: September 03, 2013, 12:28:17 PM »
 :popcorn:

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #490 on: September 03, 2013, 12:36:33 PM »
thewarriorhunter, hmmm, how do I respond to eating popcorn?  You want to can popcorn?  :D  You are so bored reading the article, you eat popcorn?   :(   You are offering me popcorn?   :)

Thanks for the post, warrior.   :)

Offline Shadowrider

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #491 on: September 03, 2013, 05:42:30 PM »
Labels for canning jars:
You could write on top of the lid with a black Sharpie type pen, or you could get removable labels .

Victoria, I just started using a Sharpie pen to write directly on the jars. I can easily clean off the writing from the glass when washing and use olive oil if it is stubborn. Yes, if the food inside is dark, it is more difficult to read. But for something like canned pears, it is perfect for me.

I reuse the lids for sealing my dehydrated foods in jars with my Foodsaver, so quit writing on the lids. I was just making work for myself removing the writing. I have removable labels that look great and are so easy to remove, but I do a lot of canning, so they get expensive. I save those for home canned gifts I give to family & friends. I've trained them to return my jars, so the removable label is perfect for those. :)

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #492 on: September 03, 2013, 05:52:08 PM »
Shadowrider, your methods of labeling gives us more choices we might not have thought of.  Thanks for telling us your method. 

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #493 on: September 04, 2013, 12:43:59 PM »
Victoria - i cant thank you enough for this thread. I love it and read it every time you post. We may not all comment but we are all reading, lol.  Thank you for doing all the endless research, for getting our minds going and for words of encouragement when some of us feel like we are at our wits end.  I love you!


Admins - can we get this stickied some how?

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #494 on: September 04, 2013, 08:45:56 PM »
ShannonB, you're very kind to say that and I LOVE YOU BACK. 

When I need to solve a problem, I beat it to death until I know it all, then fix the problem.  I've done that all my life.  I started reading when I was three, don't know how that happened, but I read the encyclopedia and two big thick dictionaries that came with that set.  I thought words were wonderful. How nuts is it to read dictionaries?  I know thousands of useless facts just because I like to learn.

I don't have to go to work now like most of you do, so I can write what I learn when I research and you don't have to do it.  It would be selfish of me to know all this and not tell others.  Organizing the material and writing is no big deal for me.

I am also concerned more and more each day as it seems the whole world is tumbling into chaos.  On November 13 and 14, Homeland Security along with the military and hospitals and companies across the nation will have a drill as though the electric grid has gone down.  They will assume water and food delivery, and medical supplies to hospitals, and the availability of gasoline, stops.  I wonder what such a drill will look like.  I saw a list of the cities that will concentrate on this, and I don't remember them - should have kept that list.  Dallas, Texas, is the only one in Texas I believe.  I need to find that list again.

What they assume won't be working anymore, is what happens after a hurricane.  Before a hurricane comes through my town, it takes two days for everything one would need that is in stores, to clean out the stores and buy all the gasoline.  Then, the hurricane comes through and there is no power and nothing to eat in stores and no gasoline and if water gets contaminated, it has to be boiled and water can also stop coming through the faucet.  You are stuck where you are.  That is what happens when the grid goes down.

What you thought would still work when there is no power, isn't guaranteed to work, either.  The regional hospital here certainly had generators, but they didn't come on.  The workmen who could have worked on the generators weren't there - they were home with family to get through the hurricane.  Critical patients had to be driven to San Antonio, a 5 hour trip.  Noncritical patients were stuck in the dark, hot rooms.  No operations to save a life could happen.  Never depend on any public service working after power stops.

The only service that will keep working is what you put together yourself.  That is why I have my own country and I am "President for Life" of my country.  My country is my house and small back garden.  No one runs my country but me.  I am the water company, the heating company, the cooling company, the grocery company including the canning company, the drug company, the light company, the communication company, the clothes repair company, the human waste company, the garbage company, the gardener company, and last, but not least, the security company.  My big complaint is, I don't get paid for doing these jobs!  I will live, however, so that is the big payoff.

I recommend everyone have their own country in these perilous times.  I forgot, I am also the entertainment company. 

Thanks for your post, Shannon.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #495 on: September 08, 2013, 12:29:38 PM »
TOAST GOOD FOR THREE MONTHS +


I found this toast by accident.  Happened to be in Walmart, went to bread aisle.  At the end of regular type bread, I saw a package of toast – yes, toast.  Picked it up to examine it and noticed the date on it was three months in the future.  Say what?  It doesn’t say “best until” or “use by”,  just has that date.  It is  toast – 14 slices of toast.  This package was “Regular”, blue and clear cellophane.  The company was BIMBO. 

Being by myself and being in a fairly humid area, regular bread begins to have mold by the 5th/6th day.  A three month plus toast life was terrific for me.   The Regular does have a tendency to break easily.  That was a few weeks ago.

I was back in Walmart this week to get more potting soil mix and after sweating outside to get it (was 100 degrees), went to food side to bread again.  No Regular toast, but their other toast, Double Fiber, was there.  The package is green/clear cellophane.  I got several as the date is December 11, a little over three months from the day I got it.  This toast is stronger and doesn’t break easily.  It’s not going to break if you spread peanut butter or jam/jelly on it or something else.

I found BIMBO on the net and sent a message asking what is the entire shelf life of the toast.  The email required my phone number so I put it in.  The next day, I got a call from a member of their staff at their home office in New York City.  We had a nice conversation and she may call me back after she checks with someone else as to the entire shelf life from the time it is made.

You may know these facts about BIMBO, but I didn’t.  I asked where it was sold, that I got mine at Walmart.  She said it is in stores that cater to the Spanish population.  This toast has been used by the Spanish for a long time.  A store near her in New York City that carries it is, “Fine Fare”.   Besides Walmart in this area, I’m sure the big Fiesta stores carry it and I will check at HEB when I am near there, several blocks from me.  This is a large company and if you have a store in your area that has Spanish customers, this toast is likely there and the Walmart store likely has it there.

I think this toast is an excellent emergency bread.  I have one package open, and three more not opened.  I intend to keep a supply and I haven’t figured out how many I want yet.  If I knew an emergency was coming, I’d buy a bunch.  If a hurricane was on the way, I’d lose power, and having this toast takes care of having bread – put the tuna salad on the toast and munch away.

I must tell you how to pronounce BIMBO, as the lady told me how to pronounce it and it seemed important to her that I said it correctly.  Say it as though the “i” is a “ee”  - Beem-bo. 

The toast here at Walmart, is $2.08 a package.  If power goes out today and stores can’t open, I’ve got bread – toast - and it isn’t going to spoil for months.

BIMBO  TOAST – A GOOD EMERGENCY BREAD   :)   :D

Offline LvsChant

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #496 on: September 11, 2013, 08:01:14 AM »
Good stuff on the food preservation, Virginia... I think I would have to have a small disagreement with you on a couple of small points. Pressure canning can easily be done on a gas or propane stove without electricity... all you need is a flame thrower to light the gas when the electricity is off.

At my house, we do actually have a propane stove (natural gas lines weren't available here), so we have a large tank of propane that won't go bad ready to go. Now this won't necessarily be the case for everyone, but for many, the pressure canning option still is a good one. Pressure canning is an absolute necessity for preserving protein long-term, so I'd definitely want to keep this method in my skill set.

Also, I love dehydrating... granted, we have power now, but there are many different ways to make a solar dehydrator that work very well... I believe there are plans for some of them here on the forum from the early days of the forum's existence. I'm thinking Cedar made one out of a piece of discarded furniture... Many of us have been spoiled by using our Excalibur dehydrators, but realize there are other non-power options.

Vacuum sealing does, indeed extend the life of your dehydrated foods, but you don't really need a vacuum sealer. You can use oxygen absorbers very well. And... even without either, dehydrating veges is a great way to extend the life of the food beyond harvest time. So... I would say you shouldn't give up on dehydrating as a means of preserving food if the S*** hits the fan.

Love your post on the sewing machine, Virginia... I have a treadle machine promised to me by my in-laws... just need to pick it up. I plan to get it serviced and ready to go.

I'd add that hand mending can be done for most small jobs very well... but you do need to have a good thimble. Especially for thicker materials, I think hand sewing may work better than the little battery-powered machine.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #497 on: September 11, 2013, 09:54:21 AM »
Lvs,
In writing about preserving food, I assume there is no power.  I agree with you if you have a big propane tank and propane stove, use a pressure canner if you want.  If one doesn't have that type fuel and stove, or can't afford the cost of a pressure canner, use the water bath canner and pickle veggies with lower acid so don't have to have pressure canner.  If one cans meat, must have pressure cooker.  I'm depending on bought canned meat and bought sauces with meat in them and soup with meat.

So, in making decisions which direction to go with canning/dehydrating, one has to consider what power source one has for heating the water bath canner and/or keeping up the pressure in the pressure canner if one can afford a pressure canner, and determine how local weather conditions would affect dehydration. 

Dehydrating food this far south with our humidity, makes it more difficult to dehydrate using natural means such as a solar dehydrator than it does farther north where the humidity is lower.  Without power, I wouldn't use it this far south and I don't think it would last very long if there was no power, not only due to humidity, but due to our intense Texas heat with no power to lower the temp.  where the dehydrated food would be stored.  I'll can veggies by water bath, not dehydration, if there is no power.  Farther north changes what one could do.

Hand mending works until one reaches a certain age, then the eyes have problems with hand sewing.  Although I've had cataracts removed from both eyes, hand sewing is not good for me, would be tedious and cause eye strain.  I did get the battery sewing machine, and that fixes my problem and would allow sewing together something new as well as mending.  It uses metal bobbins which is good and has one loaded with white thread and four extra bobbins.  It works with plugging it in now with power and also using batteries.  Customer comments includes some who say they have sewed together two pieces of blue jean material and that is a heavy material.  Certainly one should have hand needles and thread and a thimble in case there is heavy material the machine couldn't handle.  Having the machine also allows for bartering that mending/sewing service to others for goods needed - maybe a jar of canned meat preserved by pressure canner.   :D

I think that treadle machine you are getting is worth its weight in gold.  I wish I had the one my mother used.  Can't imagine what one would cost in an antique store.

Thanks for posting, I'm always glad you are here.



Offline TexDaddy

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #498 on: September 11, 2013, 04:51:39 PM »
BTW. Victoria, Bimbo now owns Mrs. Baird's.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #499 on: September 11, 2013, 05:05:53 PM »
A friend of mine told me that a few days ago.  They own a long list of companies.  I didn't know any of that when I found this toast.  I thought it was totally strange to be able to sell "toast".

Thanks for your comment - got toast?

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #500 on: September 18, 2013, 10:47:36 AM »
RECOMMENDED TWO BOOKS FOR WATER BATH CANNING


“The Joy of Pickling” Revised edition, paperback, $13:06 (Amazon).
 250 Flavor-Packed Recipes, by Linda Ziedrich.

 http://www.amazon.com/The-Joy-Pickling-Flavor-Packed-Vegetables/dp/1558323759/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=1D70WWXB7EG23&coliid=I35RM50E13N7W0

Linda began to pickle cucumbers in a water bath, then she branched out and started pickling various kinds of vegetables and some meats.  She could find many cook books about cucumber pickles, but pickling veggies and meats and fruits were scarce, so she wrote this book.  No pressure canning is in this book – it is all water bath.  This is an excellent book to have to can most of what you grow using these recipes.

I did some other research about the taste of pickled veggies – was there a way to remove the vinegar say, from pickled green beans, after opening the jar?  I did find a way, take the beans out of the jar and rinse them well.  Put them in water to cover and add a bit of soda, leave them overnight, and that will take away the vinegar taste.  It was also suggested to put a beef bouillon cube or 1 tsp. of beef bouillon granules in the beans when they are cooked.  So, you can remove the vinegar taste from veggies you pickle by following the above directions.  If you want to do this to get your beans/other veggies to taste fresh rather than pickled, using this method, don’t put other spices in the jar – just use the water, salt, and vinegar – leave out peppers, garlic, dill, etc..

Linda wrote another book, this one is canning all types of fruits using a water bath.  If you have a fruit, she has a recipe to can it.  She also explains the difference between jelly, jam, preserves, conserves, etc..  You can choose which one of those choices you want for your fruit.

“The Joy of Jams, Jellies, and Other Sweet Preserves”: 200 Classic and Contemporary Recipes Showcasing the Fabulous Flavors of Fresh Fruits Paperback – $12.76 (Amazon).

http://www.amazon.com/Jams-Jellies-Other-Sweet-Preserves/dp/1558324062/ref=bxgy_cc_b_img_b

I am getting both of these books and that gives me choices for canning veggies and some meats, and all fruits, in my water bath canner.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #501 on: September 20, 2013, 10:11:48 AM »
Wow! that pickling book looks great. I'm going to add it to my wishlist.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #502 on: September 20, 2013, 12:05:48 PM »
Lvs,

I saw your post and was starting to answer it and my internet went off.  If a disaster stops my internet, I'll go into a major funk.  It's like the world just left me.

I'm waiting for those two books to get here.  I think they, along with the Ball Blue Book (so I don't poison myself), will be my bibles for canning.

I have all manner of food plants growing in containers on my deck and I'm hoping with my long growing season up to December, they will produce food.  If they don't, or some do and others don't, I'll know which ones can make it through a fall garden.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #503 on: September 21, 2013, 11:22:27 PM »
I love canning... always interested in learning more. It's funny... one of my sisters was here visiting and I was pressure canning freshly picked green beans... she told me she had no interest in learning to can b/c she doesn't like canned food... prefers to eat only fresh, emphasizing the fact that her kids won't eat that stuff either.

Not much to say to that... I just told her I hoped she would always be able to get fresh veges for herself and family and left it at that.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #504 on: September 22, 2013, 10:45:56 AM »
"she doesn't like canned food... prefers to eat only fresh, emphasizing the fact that her kids won't eat that stuff either."

That is my sister-in-law, too.  There is no canned food in her house, she won't eat it and he doesn't, either.  They have nothing stored and it the SHTF, they would have to come here, her and her husband.  They could only come if they agreed I was the "boss", the "leader".  I'm not going to argue about what is done since I have studied this for years and they know nothing.  They will eat canned food or they will die - their choice.

They will also have to learn "use only exactly what you need" of something.  She will have to learn she can't use any amount of anything she wants.  I think surviving will be very difficult for her, she isn't going to be happy.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #505 on: October 06, 2013, 07:25:45 AM »
WHAT ABOUT THE POTTY?


Let’s say you contacted a company and they put in a tornado shelter underground somewhere around your house and it will easily hold ten to twelve people.  You stock it with water and food and a first aid kit.

A tornado has been sighted somewhere in the area and the people rush into the underground tornado shelter.  This is swell, EXCEPT, with that many people, one or more people will need a potty before this is over.  Now what?  I have an idea – pitch them out into the tornado weather and they are on their own.  Nah, that’s not a good idea as you like these people or you wouldn’t have invited them into your shelter.

I have a friend who is in this situation; he’s getting that tornado shelter.  We discussed the potty situation and at that time, I didn’t think about the potty solution.

The next day it dawned on me there was a simple solution.  I think somewhere in these articles, I told about Restop 1 and 2.  Restop 1 is for urine and Restop 2 is for solid waste. 

Restop 1 is made to accommodate women and men.  Urine is trapped in the bag and the product inside the bag removes odor and completely seals and is approved to drop the bag in a trash collector of any kind.

Restop 2 is designed so solid waste is trapped and deodorized immediately and seals completely and is approved to drop the bag in a trash collector of any kind.

I have these bags in my “Bug Out Bag” and a set in the trunk of my car.  The solution for the underground shelter is to have a way to attach a shower curtain somewhere in the shelter and that provides privacy and the waste packages are there for people to use.  The website below also has a portable potty for use with these bags or one can use the bags without the potty.

If you want these bags and maybe the portable potty, you can find the bags and the portable potty at the links below at this website:

Disposable Urine Waste
http://restop.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=1&idproduct=2
 
Disposable Solid Waste
http://restop.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=1&idproduct=4

Portable Potty
http://restop.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=1&idproduct=8

If you have these bags, you don’t have to worry about having a potty wherever you go.   :)













Offline LvsChant

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #506 on: October 10, 2013, 05:09:46 PM »
I bought a toilet seat that will attach to a 5-gallon bucket (called a Luggable Loo) and the waste bags (Double Doodie) similar to those you mention a few years ago for just such a need. Now that we have our own septic system and well for water (and generator in case the power goes out), it isn't such a concern. But I still think it is a good thing to have around.

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #507 on: October 21, 2013, 12:44:21 PM »
IN THE NEWS – ELECTRIC GRID AND WATER


ELECTRIC GRID

Within the past few days, a group of engineers have determined the entire US power grid is so vulnerable, a simple hacker can bring it down.  They developed a program to find weakness in computer programs that run our power grid and found one very simple to bring down the whole grid.  It took two months before computer types at Homeland Security/FEMA acknowledged that weakness was there.  Nothing has been done to date to fix this problem as it would be very difficult to fix but it must be fixed.  There is a link below to read about this problem with the power grid.

We are living on borrowed time when it comes to having grid power in our home.  We are depending on someone else to produce power for us.  I don’t do that anymore.  Relying on someone you don’t know to provide what you need for life is risky.  In older days, people made their own power, didn’t depend on anyone else.  They had oil lamps, candles, wood stoves and hand tools.  They made their own food and raised animals for food and transportation and for tilling the soil.  Most of us cannot raise food animals or transportation animals.  We have to use another method.

If you haven’t done anything to make your own power, you should.  Rechargeable battery power is the cheapest way to go.  The batteries and a solar panel with connected charger will give you power.  That is discussed in articles here with recommended panel and rechargeable batteries.  Because I have these items, power going out doesn’t affect me very much.  The only thing I can’t reproduce is air conditioning, but I have battery fans and approved indoor propane gas heater as a substitute.  It doesn’t get terribly cold for many days in Texas so the propane heater would seldom be used – winter clothing is usually enough inside.  If power goes out, I can’t reproduce gasoline.  Frankly, if power was out, I wouldn’t be going anywhere anyway as nothing outside my house would work, including stores.  If you did venture out, perhaps you could have a bicycle for travel.

I don’t think generators are the answer but batteries as described in the above paragraph, will be the answer.  You see, if the whole grid goes down, it’s not coming back on for a very long time.  Unless one stored massive amounts of fuel for a generator, when limited fuel runs out there won’t be anymore.  A solar panel uses sun, not gasoline or gas.  Also, people around you would hear the generator but they don’t hear a solar panel.


WATER

If the grid goes down and your water comes from a utility company, your water is going away as soon as the company’s generator stops.  In Texas, utility companies must have a generator to provide a certain number of days of water, and I don’t remember if it is one week or two weeks.  You must have a way to get water for an extended period, likely a year or more, if the whole grid goes down.

New Terrorist Water Threats
In the last couple of days (today is Oct. 21, 2013), we have this new threat about water:
 “Reuters reports that the FBI and other agencies are in the process of investigating multiple threats to Midwest Water Supply Systems. Specifically, the FBI has named Wichita, Kansas as a target, but utility facilities have also been put on alert in other Midwestern cities.” 

The link to the rest of that report is below and should be read.  Water could stop or water could be polluted with dangerous substances and people die before the water was cut off.


FEMA ELECTRIC GRID DOWN DRILL

Get ready for an entire country electric grid down drill on November 13, 14.  I just told you about the possibility of the grid going down and some of you may have dismissed that as just hysterical writing.  Well, the feds at a number of levels know it is a real possibility/danger/threat and this drill proves that.  Note Canada and Mexico  are also involved in this drill.   I have read about this drill and it will be assumed loss of power causes all services to go down including water, food supply, critical supplies to hospitals, transportation, it all goes down.

“November 13, 14, an electrical grid joint drill simulation is being planned in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Thousands of utility workers, FBI agents, anti-terrorism experts, governmental agencies, and more than 150 private businesses are involved in the November power grid drill.”

Think about what is written here and make your house as prepared as possible for no power which means no water and nothing being sold in stores.  Prepare.


Vulnerable Power Grid link:

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/report-massive-vulnerability-detected-in-national-power-grids-there-is-no-way-to-stop-this_10202013

Water Threats link:

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/alert-fbi-investigating-threats-to-midwest-water-supply-systems_10192013






Offline LvsChant

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #508 on: October 21, 2013, 09:48:37 PM »
sounds like the beginning of the plot in Heavy G's book series...

Offline Victoria

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Re: After years of prepping and still going - by Victoria
« Reply #509 on: October 22, 2013, 10:42:46 AM »
Lvs,

If we boil down the power and water problem to its essence, it is our technology that has, in effect, killed us.

When power was made individually by a person’s own lamp oil, candles, wood stove, you might run out of lamp oil, but it was only you with that problem and only you could fix it.

Then, our technology began to develop and we strung electric wire from one house to another.  That has become our first step to a disaster in 2013-2014.  If that first electric wire broke or went off for some other reason, no house connected to that wire had power.  That was the catalyst to our future destruction.

We learned more and more and then came the internet and electric power companies hooked the commands to their substations through the internet.  That was the crowning blow to our destruction through loss of power country wide.

If you owned a company, would you put the controls to your company through the internet?  Have you heard of identity theft all over the internet?  Have you heard of master hackers?   According to the engineers’ reports, electric companies’ code going through the internet is nearly impossible to correct due to all the connections there are.  A tweak by a hacker in that vulnerable spot, and we are all down.

I believe technology happened so fast and power companies fed into that so quickly, they didn’t consider the long term possible consequences – “Gee, what could go wrong?  This is great, makes it easy to control our substations – no more trips to each substation – just punch a link on the computer, just swell.”

The more one adds to the mountain of technology, the more ways there are to go wrong.  We now have many ways to screw up power and it will happen accidentally or by someone’s hand.  Connection to connection to connection – ankle bone connected to the leg bone connected to the thigh bone, connected to the hip bone, connected to the – what happened to the back bone, it isn’t there!  Someone punched a computer button and the back bone is gone, so the whole bone system does not work.

In other words, we have killed ourselves with technology and those that live will have their own manual technology producing what they need to live.  Make your own bone system – which means make your own power system and - time is running out.