Skip to comments.Home gardening offers ways to trim grocery costs [Survival Today, an on going thread]
Posted on 03/23/2008 11:36:40 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny
Americans finding soaring food prices hard to stomach can battle back by growing their own food. [Click image for a larger version] Dean Fosdick Dean Fosdick
Home vegetable gardens appear to be booming as a result of the twin movements to eat local and pinch pennies.
At the Southeastern Flower Show in Atlanta this winter, D. Landreth Seed Co. of New Freedom, Pa., sold three to four times more seed packets than last year, says Barb Melera, president. "This is the first time I've ever heard people say, 'I can grow this more cheaply than I can buy it in the supermarket.' That's a 180-degree turn from the norm."
Roger Doiron, a gardener and fresh-food advocate from Scarborough, Maine, said he turned $85 worth of seeds into more than six months of vegetables for his family of five.
A year later, he says, the family still had "several quarts of tomato sauce, bags of mixed vegetables and ice-cube trays of pesto in the freezer; 20 heads of garlic, a five-gallon crock of sauerkraut, more homegrown hot-pepper sauce than one family could comfortably eat in a year and three sorts of squash, which we make into soups, stews and bread."
She compares the current period of market uncertainty with that of the early- to mid-20th century when the concept of victory gardens became popular.
"A lot of companies during the world wars and the Great Depression era encouraged vegetable gardening as a way of addressing layoffs, reduced wages and such," she says. "Some companies, like U.S. Steel, made gardens available at the workplace. Railroads provided easements they'd rent to employees and others for gardening."
(Excerpt) Read more at dallasnews.com ...
It is that bad already for so many people.
We do not realize what it is to be homeless or how many people are homeless today.
I had a close call, when I got sick and could not work, before I could sell my place and have an income to live on, in another old mobile that I owned.
It is easy to loose it all, just do not pay your property taxes.
I listen to the San Diego Police scanner, the homeless people are now living in the same area that we did, when we came to California, the river bottom, at the south end of Linda Vista Road.
The police have many calls a day to incidents involving the homeless, they sleep on the streets, under bushes and in your car if you leave it unlocked.
So many in America, live on credit cards and have no real worth, even though they are dressed to the hilt and drive a new car.
It is easy to hit the bottom, and harder yet to get up again.
I hope that you never know that world and I do not want to know it either, I worked hard all my life, to stay away from it.
We are not that far from a full depression now, watch the price of gold, the higher it goes, the less your dollar is worth, it is a good gage of the real value of our money.
LOL, been there and done that.
Any place in the house is a danger, due to fire and theft.
So I buried it.
And water got in and it all turned to a lump of mold.
The bank refused to take it.
The gov took 2 years to send a check for half of it.
So after that, I buried coins, only problem is that I was not looking when Bill buried it and am convinced that I never found it all..............
Years ago, Mother Earth had an article on what to have on hand, for real emergencies, when we are reduced to barter and the dollar is worth nothing.
Good /not fine, just drinkable Brandy was the top of the list.
For trading stock.
For medicine, and that I can agree with, Bill had a lung of scar tissue, from a German bullet that went through it in WW2, a simple cold would almost kill him.
So would the medicines a doctor in Portland treated him with for 5 months, finally the doctor asked him if he would drink, as we were never into drinking and the doc knew it.
He had Bill drink a shot of Apricot brandy, just before he laid his head down, it killed the days germs and coated the throat and if Bill did this every night, he rarely got a cold.
Of course, you can use it on wounds and I would not be surprised to find that if you rubbed it on aching joints, it would help with the pain.
The other items from his list were, gold and silver, of course.
And a collection of big needles........for repairing coats, shoes, and tents.
Dental Floss works well for those tough repair jobs.
I have a couple needles that will work as daggers, they are about 6 inches long. Had them so long, that I have forgotten the name, may have been to sew up burlap bags and the bags that we dragged behind us, when picking cotton in the field.
LOL, tonight it takes 2 posts to say what I thought of first.
When we still lived in San Diego, one year we had 5 teenage kids, ours and foster kids.
Our change kept disappearing.
Our bedroom had a walk in closet, with a regular hollow core door.
Bill took it off, used a skill saw, and cut a slot at the top that would take silver dollars and re -installed it.
LOL, of course you had to take the door off, one had to hold it upside down, while the money jammed and you needed a butter knife to break the jam.............lots of laughing and cussing, cause the kids could not find it.
Until one day my daughter had a tizzy on, and slammed the door, stopped cold and said “so that is where you hide your money”, she knew the sound of money, even at 15.
We took out $120.00 a couple times and other amounts as needed......all in coins, no bills and no effort, other than taking the days change and poking it in the slot.
Yes, the frozen bottles are excellent for food storage on camping trips, or just to set on the counter, for kids and company to drink as the days goes by, saves opening the refrigerator.
I went a step further, I filled them with water and lined the wall around the wood stove.
They absorb the heat and give it off, when the stove is not going.
I do / did the same with them when I could still garden, the sun warms them all day, to keep tender plants warm at night and they cool off, to keep the temperature down in the sun, sure it is only fractions of degrees........but it felt good to do it.
And it was a lot cheaper than the ‘wall of water’, you see in ads to put around your plants to protect them.
I also use them for bug catchers, beer is best, but old colas, juice or anything that will attract bugs, a couple inches, with a half inch of stale cooking oil on top, the bugs go after the beer, and get in the oil, which makes sure that they cannot crawl out again.
Most herb books will tell you that the small ant does not like the citrus juices.......but they will crawl in and drown in a bottle of 7up, that is at a slant, with the mouth at ground level.
I was curious and there was a couple inches of 7up in the bottle that had gone stale, so I put in in the greenhouse and found it later to be black with ants.
My mobile sits in the middle of an ant townsite, or so it seems.
During the summer, I keep a spray bottle of about 2/3rds of it being vinegar, the rest being water, with a few drops of either Peppermint or Orange essential oil added. This feels good if sprayed on bites, or will stop the ants from crossing the wet trail until it dries, handy when typing and not wanting to vacuum them up, this instant.
And it is a good cleaner.
This is Arizona, and we have more and bigger bugs than any other state. or so it seems.
Thanks for the bump.
Pick your subject, and join in, we need all the brains we can find.
Instant Potato Soup
2-1/2 cups instant mashed potatoes
3/4 cup powder coffee cream
1/2 cup powder milk
1 package McCormick Chicken Gravy mix
1 package powdered cheese sauce
2 teaspoon dried minced onion
2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Blend all in a large bowl. Makes 4 cups of mix.
Directions for mix
Place 1/2 cup mix in soup bowl. Pour one cup boil water over mix. Stir
well (a whisk blends it better.). Let stand 3 minutes.
I bought a blended cheese powder at the place I buy all of my storage and much of my day to day food supplies:
Found them by accident and checked some of the food groups and they all spoke highly of them, so I ordered and am always so very pleased with what they ship, in cans, or the bags of grains........wonderful and so much fresher than we buy in the stores here.
On the catalog page, near the top, they have a link to “Read our Labels”, I learned more about food from their labels, than all the books that I had read.
I have forgotten which vitamins I was after then, B of course and others.........they said Lentils were high in many of them so I ordered a 25 pound bag, LOL, talk about a gamble, I had eaten them over the years, but never cooked much with them.
Discovered that I like them, if cooked just as I do the beans with spices.
3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup quick oats
1 1/2 Cup brown sugar
2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t cloves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 Cup butterscotch chips (optional)
1 Cup chopped pecans (optional)
Mix all and store in a gallon ziplock bag or 2 quart jars.
For cookies: Mix 1 cup softened butter, 1 t maple flavoring, 1 15 oz
can of pumpkin and 2 eggs. Add pumpkin mix, and mix just until
combined. Drop by teaspoonful onto greased cookie sheets and bake at
350 for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 5 dozen cookies.
These muffins are wonderful.
Mix 1/2 C butter or yogurt, 4 eggs, 1 t maple flavoring, and 1 15 oz
can pumpkin. Add pumpkin mix alternating with 1 C milk. Fill greased
muffin cups nearly full and bake at 400 for 15 to 20 minutes. Or
until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Makes 2
1 stick butter, melted
1 c. nuts, chopped
1 c. flour
1 c. Cool Whip from 9 oz. carton
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
1 (3 oz.) pkg. instant chocolate pudding
1 (3 oz.) pkg. instant vanilla pudding
3 c. milk
1 (5 oz.) Hershey’s bar (or chocolate sprinkles)
Mix together 1 stick butter, nuts and 1 cup flour and pat in bottom
of 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool
layer 1: Mix together 1 cup Cool Whip, cream cheese and 1 cup
powdered sugar. Spread on top of cooled crust.
layer 2: Mix together 1 (3 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding,
1 (3 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding and 3 cups milk. Spread
on top of first layer.
layer 3: Frost with rest of Cool Whip and top with shavings from a 5
ounce Hershey’s bar (or chocolate sprinkles). Chill 24 hours.
This article underestimates the necessity for potable water. If you
store enough then at least have a means of filtering or purifying it.
Stockpile food for flu crisis
December 16, 2007 12:00am
EVERY Australian household should stockpile at least 10 weeks’ worth of
food rations to prepare for a deadly flu pandemic, a panel of leading
nutritionists has warned.
World health experts now agree a pandemic is inevitable and will spread
rapidly, wiping out up to 7.4 million people globally and triggering
rapid food shortages.
Australia is expected to be among the first countries hit because of
proximity to Asia and high levels of international traffic.
But Woolworths and Coles, the nation’s two major supermarket chains,
will run out of stock within two to four weeks without a supply chain
or even faster if shoppers panic.
This has prompted a team of leading nutritionists and dietitians from
the University of Sydney to compile “food lifeboat” guidelines to cover
people’s nutritional needs for at least 10 weeks.
Their advice published in the Medical Journal of Australia would
allow citizens to stay inside their homes and avoid contact with
infected people until a vaccine becomes available.
The lifeboat includes affordable long-life staples such as rice,
biscuits, milk powder, Vegemite, canned tuna, chocolate, lentils, Milo
Jennie Brand-Miller, professor of human nutrition at the University of
Sydney and co-leader of the study, believes it is common sense to
stockpile food before a pandemic strikes.
“It’s really not a question of if: it’s a question of when,” she said.
“We are going to have an epidemic. Chances are it will be avian flu
(bird flu) but it might be something else.
“It will spread very rapidly just like flu does normally because it’s a
highly contagious organism, except this will be a really lethal one.
What we suffer from is a false sense of security that someone else is
looking after all this.”
While there are emergency plans within governments, hospitals and the
food industry, individuals will still need to take personal precautions
in a disaster, she said.
The most important message for the Australian public is to avoid going
out in public when the pandemic hits, the research found.
“We know that once it becomes a highly transmissable virus it will
probably fly around the world within three weeks,” Prof Brand-Miller
“We know it’s got all the right conditions to start in Indonesia or
and there have already been human transmissions.
* The full food lifeboat guidelines are available at
A Survival Manual for Hostages
l. Remember that time is on your side. The longer the
duration of the incident, the more likely the chance
of successful rescue.
2. Cooperate in every way possible. Do whatever the
hostage takers tell you to do. By the same token,
beware of the Stockholm Syndrome where the hostages
become sympathetic with and eventually join their
3. Locate yourself away from windows and doors and as
far as you can from the hostage takers.
4. Take notice of all furniture or other objects or
walls which might offer some protection, should there
5. Inform your captors of your medical condition if
you have any special disabilities. You may even
consider making one up about yourself or one our your
family, IF you can be convincing. They may let you go
and/or not execute you.
6. Note everything about the hostage takers - their
numbers, their weapons, their physical appearance and
characteristics, their apparel, their behavioral
traits, their manner of dealing with each other. Try
to remember any unusual words or accents. Determine
who is in charge.
7. Avoid abrupt movements.
8. Converse with the terrorists. Make them treat you
like a person. Make them recognize you as a person who
also has problems. Do not let them put any item over
9. Maintain yourself to the fullest extent possible.
Give close attention to personal cleanliness, clothing
repair, physical exercise, mental activity such as
reading, writing, memorizing, and even give close
attention to spiritual needs.
10. Keep in touch with outside reality as much as
possible. Do not lose touch with external guideposts.
Set up a pattern of behavior and establish goals.
11. Make every effort to remain aware of the time of
day. Even without a watch you can be alert to clues
that signal the passing of time changes in
temperature, meal patterns, outside sounds, cyclical
behavior of your guards. Establish some kind of crude
calendar which can be used to celebrate holidays,
birthdays and other special events.
12. Maintain control over your own space. Consider
personalizing it by rearranging things, designate
specific places for your various activities, keep the
place clean, add to the furnishings if possible.
13. Remain alert at every moment to the possibility of
an opportunity for escape, but be absolutely certain
that you can succeed.
14. Bear in mind that the hostage takers are
unpredictable and it is unwise to engager in a
physical struggle with them or attempt to retaliate.
15. Keep calm and have faith that you will be rescued.
from Irving Goldaber, A Survival Manual for
Hostages, Assets Protection, Vol 4(4), l982, pp.
Tiger, I’ve gotten the feeling that you kinda see me as the “crazy old uncle” when I talk on other threads about ‘subsistence farming’ and ‘investing in trade goods’...
Well, maybe I am — but it appears that I’m not the lone voice in the wilderness, after all....
My standard soup recipe for busy people. You can substitute fresh for canned - we may all be doing that LOL.
1 pre-cooked chicken from Sam's club, (they are seasoned with Lawry's)
1 single garlic clove, minced
1 small yellow or white onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
In a Dutch oven or stock pot, saute the garlic and onion over medium high heat until onions begin to brown slightly. Remove from heat.
At this point, remove the skin of the chicken from the chicken in pieces as large as possilbe - don't bother with the chicken leg areas. To the pot, add 3 cans chicken broth and the chicken skin. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook without stirring too much for 10 - 15 minutes. Remove the skin and discard. Now add
2 cans Veg-all, drained
1 can finely diced tomatoes
1 small bag Mahatma yellow rice
2 cups of the pre-cooked chicken, cut into cubes
Emeril's seasoning to taste
Simmer on low for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Aren’t you up awfully early for Arizona? It’s not 6 a.m. yet here.
No, you are the trendsetter.:-) I also believe that some form of subsistence farming would emerge as a necessity to battle back economic downturn. I don't think it is far-fetched. Besides, it may be good for your health and mind if you do it in good conservative way, not in snobby liberal greenie or veggie way.:-)
bttt for later
[I have heard others talk about these buckets of survival food and was curious as to their real worth, this about explains it, useful, but maybe not....If you can get them for $100. less than normal, it would be worth having them, as I paid about $5.00 for the food grade empty 5 gallon buckets... and on this page, is info on storing ammo......granny]
Saturday March 22 2008
Letter Re: Ark Storage Food Buckets as Sams Club (and formerly at COSTCO)
I think I made a great purchase today. A division of Inn on the Creek FoodsÂ makes a six 1 2 gallon plastic bucket of instant food. The bucket is called an ARK and can be purchased at www.getyourark.com for $119 + $25 shipping and handling. Each bucket has 90 meals inside in 285 individually sealed pouches. The shelf life for this kit is listed as 15 years, and the buckets have a ÂStore until 2022Â label on them. I saw on their web site that SamÂs Club was a sole source distributor of them if you didnÂt want to pay for shipping, but only a few participating SamÂs had them. Fortunately one of the SamÂs was here in Tampa . I went down to the store to check them out, and perhaps purchase one or two. Imagine my surprise when I found a pallet of them marked at $19.81 each. A whopping $100 discount per kit! I asked a clerk to scan the item to confirm the price, and she confirmed the price at $19.81 claiming it was a discontinued item that they were no longer going to carry. So, being a Preparedness Oriented Person, and having read your novel twice, I purchased all I could afford which was 36 buckets! I paid $713 for 36 kits. I would have paid $5,184 for them if I had bought them on the Internet. I plan on keeping 12 kits, giving 12 kits away to family and close friends, and selling 12 kits either to friends or co-workers, or on E-bay. So, what do you think, good buy or not?
JWR Replies: This was covered in SurvivalBlog back in August of 2006. This productor one remarkably like itwas originally marketed as a three month food supply for one person. There was at least one lawsuit over their claims which focused on the number of meals and caloric content. It might be a product worth buying, but realistically, consider each bucket just a 15 to perhaps 20 day food supply for one adult. This product is not some miracle Lembas Bread out of a Tolkien novel. Survival requires calories, and calories require volume. If you were to believe their claims about X days supply, you would quickly find that the caloric content per meal would put you below the starvation level of the 1940s Nazi death camps. So take the manufacturers Days supply estimates, and divide by six. Be sure that you re-label the actual number of days supply before you distribute these for charity or for sales.
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