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Old 09-01-2011, 08:20 AM
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1. I second the notion you don't need to spend $200-$300 on a pressure canner. Yes, it might be cheaper in the long, long run...I've priced gaskets, etc for the canners I own. I started with a 16qt Presto (with the old fashioned rocker on top). Then I found a 2nd one with an end-of-season-mark down price at Wally World. I've used mine about 3 years now....and actually like the rocker style - reminds me of childhood summers, grandmothers, spitting watermelon seeds, playing in the hayloft.

2. Price out canning jars in your area...and put that amount in the grocery budget. Each week (or whenever), put a case of jars -and- 2 packs of replacement lids in your buggy. You can find jars on craigslist, etc......but beware, what some folks call canning jars are not actual canning jars <<my own inexperience with craigslist combined with folks who didn't really know what they had has left me with a few boxes oddball jars & some ?antique? canning jars.>> And an FYI, a “couple dozen jars” won’t be near enough.

3. I pressure can potatoes because I don’t like the taste of commercially canned ones.

4. I also can most of our meats (beef, pork, chicken, ground sausage). It started out as a *prep* thing……but I’m such a huge fan of the heat-n-eat lifestyle that I keep doing it to avoid cooking as much as I can.


Best of luck.....
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:39 AM
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Most of us have a similar problem; I have seeds stored in a tin box in the basement. Sometimes I look around my neighborhood, with its acre or more yards, and imagine it growing tidy rows of beans and potatoes.

Don't disregard the lowly onion for one reason: it's so good for seasoning other foods. Eight generations of Southern living have taught me that the way to cook beans is put them in a pot with a big piece of bacon or ham hock and cook for at least two hours. But what if I have no bacon? Then I can season with minced onion. I'm afraid if SHTF we'll be left with very boring meals; onions, as well as other spices, can help.

Not long ago survivalblog had a link to a site which demonstrated cooking in different ages (ancient Roman, Norman England, Tudor, Victorian, etc). I found a gem in the Tudor section. It's called pottage and is basically like a stew or thick soup cooked in a single pot. The Tudor cook put in what she had: cabbage, leeks, etc. Then she added fresh herbs from the garden. Of course I had to try it out, but I added some things Madame Tudor didn't have, such as potatoes and carrots. My first pottage was okay but bland. Next time I added lots of parsley; after that marjoram and basil. Finally I put in peppercorns, and that did the trick. I don't ever remember my mom or granny using peppercorns, but apparently they were popular in Tudor times and I love them. Last night I had a pottage of potatoes, carrots, rice, cabbage, broccoli, minced onion, garlic, and assorted spices. It was quite good.
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Old 09-01-2011, 08:45 AM
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Think 'fruit trees'.

Plant once, harvest for decades.

When we go to church it is in a nearby city, we go through a residential district. Right now there are many rings on the ground of fallen apples. People planted apples in their yards years ago, but today nobody cares. So the apples fall to the ground and make a round little carpet around each tree. No body cares. no body picks them. They are too busy with video games and eating KFC.

When starvation hits, they will begin to eat those apples. But surely they have no stock-pile.

We eat every fruit we produce [or else we sell it]
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Old 09-01-2011, 01:52 PM
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Another great thread Kev. This is also my greatest fear. I have a son, daughter and daughter in law and two grand kids. I have food stores for all them for 2 years. It is a lot of food. Most are basic staples and we add things to spice those up every week. This is the main reason I moved to a lake(house on a lake) that has no public access. This little lake is shared by 6 families and all of us except one family are prepping. We have a pressure cooker made by presto. Its a 23 quart. It does 7 quarts at a time hot water bath or pressure canned. Right now Im canning tomatoes in quarts and freezing Butternut squash.

W e also planted 24 Apple, pear,peach and cherry trees on our property. We have a huge garden and food plots for the chickens and rabbits we raise. Cat tails are abundant and we seem to be the only ones who know they are edible.

Our 10 acres is loaded with wild grapes, raspberries, blackberries and most of all a huge mulberry tree. We have ample natural bees that pollinate everything real well. Fish , ducks and geese and even some deer come on to our land.

For us just having a garden and some rabbits was not enough. Rabbits require food so we grow it. Chickens require food so we grow it. In a long term disaster everyone will be required to work keeping the garden weeded and properly watered and fertilized. Living in Michigan winter heat has to be addressed as well. Cutting wood is a top priority in our household. W e keep three years supply at all times cut split and stacked. This way we can cut green or dead and just cut one seasons worth every year now. Ill be cutting 5 cord over the month of September.

You have more to feed then we do.You need a pressure canner and I would not go with a cheap one. Ours is ok but I wish we would have got a stainless steel one instead of aluminum. But good luck. Kingfish
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Old 09-02-2011, 10:57 AM
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In many places fishing with throw nets is illegal, but nothing says you cant own the throw nets. Another thing to consider, as you can see where Im going, is fishing. Get some good tackle going in your BOB and BOL and use Google Earth to locate your home and all water sources visible within a 5 mile radius and scout them for springs as well as fishing sources. Many over look fishing for some reason and is rarely mentioned on the boards as part of survival other than having some hooks and line in your survival kit.
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Old 09-02-2011, 11:41 AM
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Kev ... it sounds as though you were looking at the All-American pressure canners. All I can say is ... do not let the price scare you. They are worth every penny. As far as jars go ... "a couple dozen" is not going to cut it. Build your inventory of canning supplies over time, just like everything else. I have found that ordering online from Ace Hardware is most cost effective, because you can have your order shipped to your local store at no charge; then you just swing by and pick it up.

Be sure to buy a considerable number of extra lids. I have 15 dozen wide-mouth jars ranging from a half gallon to a half pint. Since the gaskets on the lids are only good for one canning, you need a ton of lids for long-term. Buying one or two packs of lids each week at the grocery store will go a long way quickly.

With your wealth of land, I would certainly raise a few hogs ... as well as chickens and possibly rabbits. Chickens for sure, if only for the daily egg production. Lots of good fat and needed cholesterol in eggs that will not be had from your garden in times of peril.
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patriot101 View Post
First of all, I wouldn't spend $200-$300 on a canner. Here is a great one. Ive had a lot of success with this one and can do large batches all at once.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Presto-2...item3f0d75115f

What I'd like to know is where do you get your seeds from? And the larger brown bags of seeds, what do they cost and how much do you get in them? Here all you can buy are the small envelopes that have maybe 50 to 100 seeds in them (Like the burpee kind
). Some envelopes cost over $3.00.

Thanks to the pointer towards that unit! I just picked one up on Amazon Prime at $81, after verifying how good the reviews are for it across multiple sites.

Here's the link to the Amazon deal: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000BYCFU cover
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000BYCFU

Last edited by VekTor; 09-02-2011 at 01:11 PM.. Reason: Added Amazon link
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Old 09-02-2011, 12:56 PM
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==> If I had a couple of dozen mason jars and a pressure caner, storing food would not be an issue.

You need to think long and hard on this one and do some simple math. "a couple dozen" ain't gonna do it. The wife and I (and there's only 2 of us) have 600+ jars and it's not enough to get through a single year's use. We buy more every canning season.

A family your size would, to store your produce for a year or more, would likely need a couple of thousand - call it 2,000 jars.

Seriously.
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:12 PM
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==> Fruit trees are very, very labor intensive, prone to many diseases and insect pests and have a limited lifespan in harsh environments. They would be my absolute last choice in any climate. They require, pruning, regular spraying, constant monitoring for pest and disease, irrigation in dry climates, warming in the event of early frosts, netting from birds.......on and on. I'll leave the fruit to the large well established and equipped farms.

Do not listen to this tripe.

I have over 40 fruit trees at the moment (only my way to a planned orchard of over 110 - but it's slow going with trees)

I spend one day summer pruning. I spend one day winter pruning.

I spend less than a day (total) to spray the 4 times a year that I do spray. Total cost in spray is less than $30.00 and I have a 5 year buffer (w/ rotation) laid up in the shed.

Frost hits? So what. So I don't get any peaches this year. I've still got my apples. Still got my pears. Still got my sweet cherries. Still got my sour cherries. Still got my mullberries and elderberries. Still got my pawpaws. Might not get my plums, either.

Birds? Yeah. That's a problem if you've got one or two trees. They'll pick a cherry tree clean. Put up 15 or 20 cherry trees and there aren't enough birds in a 20 mile radius to pick them all clean. Just plant more than you know you'll need, knowing you'll lose a lot - and I mean a lot - to birds/bugs/pests/fungus/etc.

For that effort (3 days work) I get hundreds of pounds of food. Hundreds. And they're just starting to produce these last 2 or 3 years. When they're in full production, that will eventually be *thousands* of pounds.

Yes, you have bugs. Yes you have birds. Yes you have disease. Doesn't matter. Fruit and nut trees, in my opinion are your biggest bang for your buck: the absolute most calories you can generate for the absolute least amount of work.

Everything you state is exactly right - for the commercial growers. Let's take an apple tree - the commercial farmers try to crank out 15 to 20 bushels of perfectly shaped, perfectly colored, perfectly textured, perfect specimens per fully developed apple tree. You are absolutely correct - it is a royal pain in the arse to do that, but ya know what? You don't have to do that. So you get 6 to 8 bushels of less perfect, blemished, spotted, off color fruit. It tastes damned good and if food is a serious concern, you will do it 'cause you can't get any easier calories.
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:21 PM
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==> Potatoes can be stored for months, but you need seed potatoes to plant potatoes.

Your seed potatoes are nothing more than last years leftover potatoes. I have a spot in my field that I burry 'em in - nice loose soil that's easy to dig up next year, kinda hard to come by in my clay acreage. No need to bring them in to storage. Just bury 'em over the winter. Dig 'em up in early spring and there you have your seed potatoes for next year. It really is that easy.
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt.Sausage View Post
==> Fruit trees are very, very labor intensive, prone to many diseases and insect pests and have a limited lifespan in harsh environments. They would be my absolute last choice in any climate. They require, pruning, regular spraying, constant monitoring for pest and disease, irrigation in dry climates, warming in the event of early frosts, netting from birds.......on and on. I'll leave the fruit to the large well established and equipped farms.

Do not listen to this tripe.

I have over 40 fruit trees at the moment (only my way to a planned orchard of over 110 - but it's slow going with trees)

I spend one day summer pruning. I spend one day winter pruning.

I spend less than a day (total) to spray the 4 times a year that I do spray. Total cost in spray is less than $30.00 and I have a 5 year buffer (w/ rotation) laid up in the shed.

Frost hits? So what. So I don't get any peaches this year. I've still got my apples. Still got my pears. Still got my sweet cherries. Still got my sour cherries. Still got my mullberries and elderberries. Still got my pawpaws. Might not get my plums, either.

Birds? Yeah. That's a problem if you've got one or two trees. They'll pick a cherry tree clean. Put up 15 or 20 cherry trees and there aren't enough birds in a 20 mile radius to pick them all clean. Just plant more than you know you'll need, knowing you'll lose a lot - and I mean a lot - to birds/bugs/pests/fungus/etc.

For that effort (3 days work) I get hundreds of pounds of food. Hundreds. And they're just starting to produce these last 2 or 3 years. When they're in full production, that will eventually be *thousands* of pounds.

Yes, you have bugs. Yes you have birds. Yes you have disease. Doesn't matter. Fruit and nut trees, in my opinion are your biggest bang for your buck: the absolute most calories you can generate for the absolute least amount of work.

Everything you state is exactly right - for the commercial growers. Let's take an apple tree - the commercial farmers try to crank out 15 to 20 bushels of perfectly shaped, perfectly colored, perfectly textured, perfect specimens per fully developed apple tree. You are absolutely correct - it is a royal pain in the arse to do that, but ya know what? You don't have to do that. So you get 6 to 8 bushels of less perfect, blemished, spotted, off color fruit. It tastes damned good and if food is a serious concern, you will do it 'cause you can't get any easier calories.
That is right on about the fruit trees. W e dont even spray and get tons of apples and pears. Way more then we can eat. Those less desirable looking apples are used for deer bait. KF
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Old 09-02-2011, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VekTor View Post
Thanks to the pointer towards that unit! I just picked one up on Amazon Prime at $81, after verifying how good the reviews are for it across multiple sites.

Here's the link to the Amazon deal: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000BYCFU
That is the exact one we have. 23 quart Presto. It works great and we got it new in the box for 40 bucks from one of my wifes co workers. It was a yard sale item to her.
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Old 09-02-2011, 04:08 PM
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H ere is my take on Canning jars and lids. We have 7 total people. It is my contention that we can get by on around 500 quarts and 300 pints. We also eat fresh out of the garden so we dont need jars for 365 days a year. also lots of fresh meat so we dont need to can much of that. Does anyone realize how many hours it takes to can 7 quarts? An hour prep and 45 minutes for tomatoes. I can maybe do 35 quarts a day. so it would take times 10 days is only 350 quarts. To can 2000 quarts it would take a couple months working every day. The way I see it you need two meals per day. That is 735 meals per year. 735 servings of protein, carbs and some veg or fruit. We had to plan every meal out to the ounce for our two year stored food. For example we have 96 boxes of mac and cheese which we doubled into zip loc bags and stored in 5 gallon buckets. That is 48 meals at two boxes per meal. Add fish , rabbit or other meat and a canned quart of veggie. That equals for instance 48 rabbits, 48 packs of mac and cheese and 48 quart jars of veggie. That leaves 687 more meals . 40 pounds of pancake flour equals about 40 meals of pancakes. That leaves 647. As you can see this is a lot of food.

Canning can only supplement your fresh gathering which needs to account for at least a third of your meals.

Eggs are a real good source of fresh protein. My 8 hens lay about 4 eggs per day. We need about 12 for a meal with 7 people. 365 times 4 is 1,460 eggs divided by 12 is 121 meals of protein. Add a can of potatoes or a pound of cat tail roots and an apple each or a jar of canned apples. almost halfway there. The only thing I can say for sure is if it all ends it is going to be real hard to feed lots of people. Growing large fields of corn would be a real good way to feed both people and chickens. Fruit trees are a must. Crops like squash, pumpkin , and tomatoes yield large amounts of food for the area planted.

People can survive on one meal a day if it is rich in fats or sugars. We started there. 365 big meals. Meals big enough to feed all 7 of us. Then we added to that. Good luck to everyone of this very important endeavor. Kingfish
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:57 AM
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For Christmas and birthdays of your adult children buy them food and supplies. If it's their birthday, take a picture, put it in a card and send it to them saying 'For your birthday I bought you 1 week of life' or whatever it is. For the children, buy fun things but things what will help ie whistle, gardening tools to help mommy and daddy, seeds to plant for their own garden, compass to go hiking with granddad, fishing gear etc.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:05 AM
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Folks can't live on pork all the time nor rice.......putting in a couple of acreas of crop by hand is a chore too.....then you have to maintain it and then protect it from bugs, critters, weather and people.......

Our neighbors and us have a co-op set up right now, for that reason...we raise chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, pigs and dairy goats....we grow no crops. Our neighbors grow crops and we barter our stuff for their stuff....it works out good and is something we can sustain PSHTF.


MY biggest fear is the weather destroying everything, then fire, then human predators.....
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:43 AM
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Perform an inventory of all of the nut trees, fruit trees, and edible wild plants growing within walking distance. You may be surprised at just how much food is already there, waiting to be harvested. Since space is limited at my location, my garden is devoted primarily to food items that can natrually keep overwinter, or can be easily prepared for storage ... with 20 acres to farm on, you can maintain a small army with a little bit of planning (make sure to set up a resivoir and means of irrigating your crops ... my grandfather did during the dust bowl, and he fed EVERYBODY for miles around).
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Old 09-03-2011, 05:50 PM
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Three apple trees, three pear trees, three cherry trees, three plum trees, three Japanese plum trees (loquat), three pecan trees, three hazlenut trees, three oak trees, etc. I always plant trees in three's - two to cross pollinate and 1 extra in case I lose one. Once a year I spray them with water and dust them with DE. If I get an infestation, I retreat with DE, prune twice a year, more fruit and nuts than I can eat or store, regardless of birds, squirrels, possums, racoons, deer, etc. Plus, my property adjoins a state forest and it attracts the deer, rabbits, and an occasional hog. Can't hunt in the state forest except the twice annual public hunts, but can hunt anything that crosses over to my land.
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Old 09-03-2011, 06:22 PM
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I had a neighbor in Arkansas whose wife was from rural Phillipine's. They had a small garden and raised a couple of pigs each season. They would feed the pigs leftovers and scraps the grocers couldn't use. The next season they would move the pigpen over about 200 feet. The ground where the pigs were would be rooted up, fertilized, and preplanted from the seeds that survived the pigs digestive systems. No it wasn't in pretty rows, but it over produced my carefully tilled garden. No tractor, hand pumped water, 3 acres, only electricity in the house, and surviving on $750 a month US Navy pension. A lot to learn there.
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt.Sausage View Post
==> Fruit trees are very, very labor intensive, prone to many diseases and insect pests and have a limited lifespan in harsh environments. They would be my absolute last choice in any climate. They require, pruning, regular spraying, constant monitoring for pest and disease, irrigation in dry climates, warming in the event of early frosts, netting from birds.......on and on. I'll leave the fruit to the large well established and equipped farms.

Do not listen to this tripe.

I have over 40 fruit trees at the moment (only my way to a planned orchard of over 110 - but it's slow going with trees)

I spend one day summer pruning. I spend one day winter pruning.

I spend less than a day (total) to spray the 4 times a year that I do spray. Total cost in spray is less than $30.00 and I have a 5 year buffer (w/ rotation) laid up in the shed.

Frost hits? So what. So I don't get any peaches this year. I've still got my apples. Still got my pears. Still got my sweet cherries. Still got my sour cherries. Still got my mullberries and elderberries. Still got my pawpaws. Might not get my plums, either.

Birds? Yeah. That's a problem if you've got one or two trees. They'll pick a cherry tree clean. Put up 15 or 20 cherry trees and there aren't enough birds in a 20 mile radius to pick them all clean. Just plant more than you know you'll need, knowing you'll lose a lot - and I mean a lot - to birds/bugs/pests/fungus/etc.

For that effort (3 days work) I get hundreds of pounds of food. Hundreds. And they're just starting to produce these last 2 or 3 years. When they're in full production, that will eventually be *thousands* of pounds.

Yes, you have bugs. Yes you have birds. Yes you have disease. Doesn't matter. Fruit and nut trees, in my opinion are your biggest bang for your buck: the absolute most calories you can generate for the absolute least amount of work.

Everything you state is exactly right - for the commercial growers. Let's take an apple tree - the commercial farmers try to crank out 15 to 20 bushels of perfectly shaped, perfectly colored, perfectly textured, perfect specimens per fully developed apple tree. You are absolutely correct - it is a royal pain in the arse to do that, but ya know what? You don't have to do that. So you get 6 to 8 bushels of less perfect, blemished, spotted, off color fruit. It tastes damned good and if food is a serious concern, you will do it 'cause you can't get any easier calories.
Exactly. Don't think you will get perfect fruit. Get the most disease resistant varieties you can get for your area and get them in the ground, NOW. I'll have 17 apple, pear, and peach trees in the ground this fall. I've got 7 bamboo varieties in the ground right now (all the phylostachys genus is edible). Blackberries, raspberries, figs, plums, grapes, muscadines, almond and pecan trees all in the ground.

Don't stop with just one tree. Learn how to propagate what you have and grow more. Plan on feeding the birds, bugs, and animals and eating what they leave for you. This means you have multiple plantings of everything. I will be layering muscadines this fall and taking dormant cuttings from grapes in the spring. I'll take apple branches below the graft point and try to get those cuttings to root as well, then graft on the variety that I want.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:13 PM
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My biggest fear during a SHTF/disaster is coming across somebody who can shoot back, with accuracy, when I'm try'n to take their stuff!!
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