Heirloom Seeds, Canning Jars + Lids

Have your ordered your Heirloom Seeds?

I spent time yesterday ordering seeds. I like a company called:  Anne’s Seeds.  It is a family owned operation. I noticed their seed potatoes are already gone.  I simply didn’t get it done in time. But you should be able to purchase them locally.

Anne’s Seeds has a list of her favorites as well as the tried and true varieties. I have been going through the medicinal herbs and adding to my collection. A good book on these would be a good addition to your library. I have not found one yet I would recommend so if you know of one pass it along. There are many companies selling heirloom seeds. I urge you to stick with Heirlooms as you can harvest the seeds and save them for next year.

Anne’s has a good explanation on how to save tomato seeds. It is worth taking a look at.

Side note: The government in England is trying to outlaw heirloom seeds. I guess the big seed corporations want to ensure people must buy from them every year because most of their seeds are sterile. I heard rumblings recently they want to do something like that in the US. It’s probably best if you begin to stock up now.

What about canning jars?

If you had to can all your own food how many jars would it take to feed your family for a year? I can remember growing up, my grandmothers spent hours canning. I can still see the rows and rows of filled jars of fruits and vegetables. Yet through the years, canning has been replaced by the convenience of canned goods from the grocery store. However, consider if you can’t purchase food at the store you’ll need to grow it and preserve it yourself. You will need hundreds of jars and lids. If you figure you need to open several jars for each meal…well you can do the math. Every family is different. But that’s a lot of jars…jars you will have trouble getting if stores are closed or supplies are gone. Pints, quarts and even half gallons are among our supplies.

What about lids?

Where canning jars can be reused, many lids cannot be. I found Tattler Reusable lids.  We used them last year and found them to work really well. They are a bit pricey, but the ability to use them year after year is a plus. I am still buying some the tried and true lids. They are in my storage room also.

Don’t forget extra rings.

Through the years the rings will get rusty so it’s a good idea to have extra rings on hand as well.  They make a plastic lid for the jars you can use after opening that are easier than using the canning lids and rings. They are not expensive and much more convenient.

Wax will work

I can remember my mom using wax to seal preserves. You can still do this, but it is not popular according to the research I’ve done.  However, having wax around to make candles is a good idea.

I would consider purchasing some of all of the above as you can afford them. It is always better to be ahead of the crowds and better safe than sorry. I know this is a repeat, but I think this is important to consider and start purchasing.

I invite you to visit my blog Flee to the Mountains

It’s my hope you have a blessed week.

A Prepper’s Dream: Zero Water Consumption Homes

Zero Water ConsumptionIt’s called “Zero Water Consumption”. Think about it.  What would it mean to your independence if you could permanently detach from the public water supply ad sewer system?   What if you didn’t waste any water sending it to a septic system?  Wouldn’t everyone like that?  This “Recycle and Reuse” article is second in the series.

What if you could process your own water to remove the pharmaceuticals from the water because you no longer have to worry about removing the farm and factory chemicals from the water?

Most people think this means drinking the water you flushed down the toilet.  Not true.  Consider this project from the University of Miami:

  • Alleviate the need to treat for 11 billion lbs. of pesticides and toxic chemicals that are released to the environment each year in the US;
  • Allow treatment to focus on permanently destroying the pharmaceuticals and cleaning chemicals that go down our drains, removing them from the environment where they cause endocrine disruption in animals and humans throughout the world. In fact, studies indicate that 20% of male black bass in the US are feminized by such chemicals (Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 10, 1499-1518, 2008), and girls in the US now often reach puberty by age 7 (Environmental Health Perspectives, 108, 2000); and
  • Save energy used for conveyance and desalination, and replace water rationing and low-flow fixtures.

The University of Michigan thinks its a great idea.  They are retrofitting a historical home with zero water consumption technology.  They posted this video:

Zero Water Consumption Home

Many people who think they are not preppers are preppers at heart.  Why else would these people consider zero water homes and other ecologically sound technologies?  Because to save the ecology is to be prepared.

 

References:

“Autonomous Net-Zero Water Dorm.” Autonomous Net-Zero Water Dorm. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.  

“Videos.” University of Michigan News Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.

“Net Zero Water.” 100K House Blog Net Zero Water Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.

 

Should Preppers be Keeping Bees or Insects for Pollination?

Pollination by BumblebeePreppers need to be aware of the pollination process in order to plan most effectively which seeds they will be putting in their seed banks for their Victory Garden.  As spring approaches and gardens are going in the ground and trees are budding, few people think about how the pollination process occurs and assume it will happen.  If only it were that simple.  It is important to realize there are several ways your garden and orchards will pollinate.  

The wind blows pollen which causes an allergic reaction for many people.  This process is important to pollination of plants that rely on it for reproduction.  We don’t have to worry about if the wind will stop blowing.  Aquatic plants rely on water to distribute their pollen.  If water is poisoned, the aquatic plants will likely die out as well.  But, that’s a topic for another post.  Lastly, the insects and animals.  While bees receive most of the press about pollination, preppers need to know that in nature certain plants are pollinated by honeybees, others by bumblebees, and orchid bees.  Lesser known is that certain species of plants are pollinated by butterflies, flies, wasps,beetles, birds, and bats.Pollination by Green Orchid Bee

The global honeybee population is declining.  Bumblebee species are meeting the same fate.  Orchid bees, only found in the Americas, are losing their habitat.  As preppers we can and should do what ever we can to add as many of the pollinating species of insects and flying creatures to our preps.

We can do this by keeping bees and releasing the beneficial beetles into our green spaces.  We can make bird and bat houses to attract these beneficial creatures to our homes.   We can plant species of plants to attract insects to pollinate.  But if we use pesticides and herbicides we will kill the very creatures we are trying to protect.  By protecting them we are protecting ourselves and the future food supply for our families.

 

Referenes:

 “North America’s Losing Its Bumblebees.” – Current Results. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.

 “Bumble Bee.” Bumble Bee. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.

“First Radio Tracking of Tropical Orchid bees.” First Radio Tracking of Tropical Orchid Bees. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.

“Fewer Bees in US a Threat to World’s Almond Supply – KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports.”  N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2013.

“Bee Jeweled.” Orchid Bees. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2013.