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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got done reading Alas Babylon and have to admit, it got me thinking about alot of stuff that I may be leaving out of my plans.

First two that came to mind is Coffee and Salt. Long term wise how do you get either? I mean I've definitely added both to my list (along with a descent stovetop coffee pot) for normal stockup. But what happens when you run out. Obviously coffee is a luxury so it's not my main concern. But salt is a necessity and I'm sure not everyone is as fortunate as the protagonist in AB, having a "salt field" within a day's walk/ride where they will have an unlimited amount to harvest.

Is there anything naturally that can be harvested in mountain areas like in WV that would contain salt?

-Ash
 

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Why not just store some away? Salt is cheap, easy to find, has an indefinate shelf life, etc. I have more salt stored away than I could use in a lifetime. It has a lot of other uses around the house besides food, and it might make good barter goods some day.

As for coffee, it doesn't store all that well long term unless you buy green coffee beans. Properly packed in mylar with O2 absorbers, they'll last for many years. You roast it as you need it. Roasting it is pretty easy to do.

Try a french press and you'll never go back to any other method of coffee making!
 

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MikeK beat me to it, but let me extend his thoughts:

I just recently bought 20# of Columbian Coffee in green beans. Stored it in mylar w/ O2 absorbers, about 3# per bag.

Over time, I'll probably add to that a bit, but that 20# cost me $120 plus tax, so it's not so easy to do.

Further, if you store such a thing, you'd better be sure you know how to not only roast it but also have a way to grind it (sudden thought: Wonder if the Country Living Grain Mill can grind it effectively...EDITED TO ADD: Checked website, yes it can with the corn and bean augur, which I have. Good news!).

Before I bought the bulk coffee, I bought a half pound to experiment with. I roasted some in a skillet, listening for first crack and second crack. I ground it up right away and made some coffee with it, not realizing that one should wait probably 24 hours before grinding and brewing it. Even so, it wasn't bad.

I did another batch in the oven, but as with the skillet method, realize that you will produce a lot of icky-smelling smoke, and inside a house is not the optimal place to roast, unless you can exhaust the smoke somehow.

I'm comfortable with the idea that I could roast my own, and I have no doubt I'd be much more careful in my consumption patterns post-SHTF. And I think I need to try that French Press....

W/R/T Salt: My gosh, it's cheap. You can get 4# of salt at Sam's for about, oh, $1.33 IIRC, and the nice thing about those boxes is they'll fit inside a stud wall.

You can also buy clean water softener salt, and there are bulk salt deals all over the place. It's so cheap that you can't *not* store a bunch.

I've got 67# in various forms, and I could use more. It's cheap!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. I'm planning on storing alot of salt. My question is how much can you expect to need during the period of a year? Broken down into two aspects:

1. Dietary requirements per person
2. Preservative purposes requirements

And "IF" my preparations fall short, is there a way to harvest Salt that could provide a practical "plan b" solution? Not saying I'd want to do it but since I don't live near the ocean the only option I have heard of is out the window.

As for Coffee, I'll have to do some more research. I've never thought of roasting my own beans. Of course I have a coffee grinder, unfortunately it's electric so I'll have to revise that plan lol.

Thanks again for the help.

-Ash
 

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I first read Alas Babylon back in the 70's . Nuclear war was something that permeated the thinking of my generation. It would be hard for the younger people to understand how much that affected our lives. I just re-read the book here a couple months back. One thing remarkable is how different Society is today. Not to mention the effects of inflation and technology. When they talk about prices in the story it brings both a chuckle and a grimace to me.

However in regards to salt. Personal consumption is rather minimum since most stored foods are salted. Now if you plan to salt meat for preservation that is quite another story. I have been looking into the subject this year myself after having re-read the book. I ordered and got about 2 lbs of saltpeter and I am stocking up salt as I go. In my area there is no bulk suppliers of salt so I am simply buying the round containers from Walmart, I think they are not quite 2lbs. I have 10 so far and I just add a couple each other week when I go shopping. I have also pickled up some pickling spices as well as vinegar. Morton makes a Sugar cure that can be used to cure meat but it is fairly expensive. I have a couple bags of it.

One thing I want to get is a large ceramic pickling crock. I have researched them but they are pricey. I can make do with the 8 gallon plastic buckets I have (used to contain chlorine) that have twist on lids.

At any rate good luck in your research. :cool:
 
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