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 ...
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.
[Appears the prices are going up even faster than I thought, this link goes to a lot of good information, on all kinds of subjects.
Monday March 17 2008
Letter Re: Galloping Bulk Food Prices
Just a quick report on what I’ve learned about buying bulk grains and beans.
We have a local bulk food depot. I called to place an order. The guy checked with his wholesaler for prices, then called me back. He was aghast. He said everything was up around 25% since he had placed his last order two weeks ago. And up about 100% since the first of the year. The reason, the wholesaler reported, was demand from folks stocking up. The wholesaler was sold out of many items. Then I called an Amish bulk food store about an hour and a half away. Same story. (Yeah, I wondered about the Amish answering a telephone, too. Apparently the rules are flexible.)
Well, finding the prices a bit high, even for 50-pound bags (like 61 cents a pound for red wheat, 93 cents a pound for black beans, 53 cents a pound for white rice), I decided to check out the local “budget” supermarkets. Surprise, surprise. They were less expensive. Sometimes by a lot. For example, Sav-A-Lot had black beans for 70 cents a pound. ALDI had long grain white rice for 39 cents a pound. A further surprise, even Kroger’s beat the bulk food prices. Of course, these things may change when the supermarket’s wholesalers have to replace their stocks.
I’ sure things vary from region to region, even city to city. But, as always, caveat emptor. One shouldn’t assume that sources that should be cheaper actually are. And prices are unlikely to be any cheaper in our lifetimes than they are this afternoon. Best wishes, - Dr. Jack
EDIBLE AND MEDICINAL PLANTS
[Some of these I do not know, most do not grow here]
I could see that happening with a portion of the population. Some will just pay anyway, and those on welfare will demand that they get more money for food stamps.
As so as the ground thaws out, I'm rototilling up about 50% more garden space. We don't have a grocery store within 15 miles of us and I can't afford the gas to run out for any little thing. If we don't have it, we'll have to do without.
I think many of us are familiar with this subject :)]
(Thanks METMOM for the heads up)
We could go a few weeks, no problem. And we have friends who have farms for meat and milk.
Thanks, I missed that link.
I've always done that. I love it when they have to get the manager's key to unlock the register because it took so much money off. It's better than winning the lottery.
Mr. mm is always giving me a (little) hard time about all I have stocked up, but it's there when we need it and when there's a need, I can donate a bag of non-food groceries to help someone out. Food isn't always what's needed by people in financial straits. Toilet paper can be quite appreciated and doesn't spoil.
We bought one of those fire proof/water tight safes they sell at wally world to keep our cash and change in. Don't forget change. If there is no power or tower a pay phone my be your last option and they don't take paper money.
Just imagine having to live off the grid and prepare accordingly.
crazy old uncle<<<
I have not been called that, ‘yet’.
Have been the goat lady and bird lady and a few other titles.
I drive my brother crazy, he refuses to get in the rather large box of nuts and bolts that I have collected, amazing how many are there on the street. He wants to go to the store and get exactly the size, HE thinks will fit.
Farming, yes, I was born on a farm and being 3/4 Cherokee, it comes natural to me.
And it tastes so much better than the store bought foods do.
Please join in on this thread, so we can make it worth the space we are taking up.
You will know many things that I do not and there is an interest in survival, it is up to those who know to share their knowledge.
or maybe HUNTING meat? It’s been a long time...but not that long.
Thank you for the invitation to hang out and share with y’all — I think it may be strange, for a while at least, to talk of things like this and not get the odd - pitying - looks.... ;~)
” rather large box of nuts and bolts that I have collected, “
If, as is eminently possible, we end up in some form of barter economy, you possess wealth in your boxes of odds ‘n ends.... ;~)
Thanks for your recipe, I will have to try it, should do well in a crockpot and Scott does pick up the chickens that are cooked.
I haven’t been able to go to stores for 3 years, so Scott does all my shopping for me and brings it to me.
The price one sometimes pays for getting on down the old age path.
The soil here does not grow food, only stickers.
I added a solar greenhouse to the mobile, so many years ago, that it has now fallen down.
You can grow an amazing amount of food in one, year around.
Bell Peppers make a small tree, like a tall tree rose.
Tomatoes bear for 2 years and you will cut them out, to keep your path open.
In the past, I found that 2 gallon containers and a sunny window would grow peppers, tomatoes and greens for salads.
The Walmart potting mix is good, the Pro mix from Walmart is extra good. Just fill a pot and drop a seed in it.
I had planned on getting someone to fill a few pots and bring them in, last week, but the snow came and my brother went home early, so I will not plant this year.
It is impossible for me to do it, as I am attached to the oxygen generator and go only as far as the hose goes.
This is the first thread that I have ever started, so the night flew by, as I looked for more things to post, went so fast that I have not been posting on the World Terrorism thread, so will have to get that caught up.
I have always been a night owl, and now, that I am alone, I sleep when I want to and do not watch the clock.
If I have left over rice, I often open a can of chopped stewed tomatoes, throw it in and heat, and it is an instant soup, if you have cornbread or other homemade bread, it is a full meal for lunch.
Bump, for later
Here’s an interesting article, cached by Google. The original link seems broken, but the cached version will do. It concerns heirloom, or legacy, seeds.
Tobacco is a great bartering commodity. Just because you(collective you) don't smoke doesn't mean other people don't. You might be surprised what someone would barter for a cigarette.
1 cup corn meal
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Crisco
3/4 cup boiling water
mix all in a bowl and either roll into balls on cookie sheet or spoon into muffin pan. I put a drop of olive oil in muffin pan and smear around to prevent sticking. Bake for 15-20 mins in 400' oven. I use the broiler for the last 3 or 4 mins to brown tops. Goes good with my $.29 cent cabbage i fry in a little bacon grease. Cheap meal. (They can also be fried in grease, but I never have.)
I'm a guy and on my nights to cook, I keep it simple :-)
Another easy one is on sale pork chops or roast, tossed into Crockpot with can of cream of Mushroom soup, one onion, garlic powder and pepper. Cook on high for 4 hrs. mmmmm....(I never thought about it, but may take longer with higher altitude. I live at sea level.)
I also believe that some form of subsistence farming would emerge as a necessity to battle back economic downturn.<<<
You are correct, this downturn is coming faster than we expected.
Are you in an area that gardens for food?
Any handy hints?
Years ago, I tried to learn all that I could about Japanese gardening, short of using the honey pots on mine.
But now it is gone from my mind, unless I am using the knowledge and do not even know it.
” Tobacco is a great bartering commodity. “
I keep my tobacco for personal use — coffee is my bartering stock.. I also drink coffee, but at - until recently - some $4/can for Walmart house brand coffee, I’ve managed to accumulate quite a stock over-and-above personal use needs.....
The general principle you stated is a good one, though — it’s the small ‘luxuries’ - and, yes, minor vices - that will be in demand.....
Thank you, keep checking, as the many articles that I have stored, have not really been touched, as yet.
“Gee, grow your own veggies? Whod have thunk that?” I feel very fortunate that my landlord lets me have a few garden planters around my front door. Live in a small apartment complex and had to get written permission to do so as it breaks the uniform look of the complex. Am surprised at how much can be grown even though there is no full sunshine. Just love the taste of home grown veggies and herbs.
All you can eat southern fried food buffet - $5.64.
There are some who will just take out another credit card and go on........but many of us have already had to tighten our shopping lists.
I used a cheap food dehydrator from Walmart, one year for squash and other things in the garden.........it was on sale for about $30. about this time of the year.
I like squash and cabbage type vegs in my soups.
I also have a homemade dehydrator, cabinet style.
Due to health, I can’t garden, but I miss it and miss the taste of fresh foods that I grew.
Yes, grow a big garden and can or dehydrate all you can and win brownie points for all that you give away.
There are so many homeless people today, that donating it to the local shelters is a good way to insure that you will have a bumper crop.
When you drop the seeds in the ground, LOL, think of me, I always thought to myself that I was not ‘seeing’ tiny seeds, but that in my minds eye, I saw a full bearing plant.
I love seeds, they contain one of God’s miracle gifts to us.
We have been preparing for a couple of years now and when we rotate our supplies the food bank reaps the benefits. It's a win win situation.
We bought a wood burning cook stove about maybe two years ago, just encase. :)
Thank you for passing the word.
Now to see if we can make this a worthwhile information thread.
Good for you.
That nothing grows here and no one that I know owns a milk cow or even a goat.
Goat cheese is easy to make and good to eat.
When I was making the cheese, there were several other goat raisers that had me making the cheese with their milk.
Thank you for letting Gabz know of the thread.
” We bought a wood burning cook stove about maybe two years ago, just encase. :) “
Urban apartment dweller, here — so I have to be selective as to the types of supplies I lay in, with an eye towards being somewhat easily transportable if a bug-out becomes necessary...
That means that, for the most part, I stay away from canned goods and bulk goods, opting for 1# packs of beans and rice (stored in empty coffee cans) and other lightweight and portable items...
By the way, the other reason that I opted for small packs over bulk is that bulk goods pose a long-term storage problem, not being packed, usually, in water/moisture-resistant packaging... The smaller quantities, while a tad more expensive, are packed in sealed plastic bags, which can be opened as needed.....
Just imagine having to live off the grid and prepare accordingly.<<<
Excellent advice.........I will admit that I now have a wind up radio from the C.Crane Company, the Freeplay radio.
In the old days, you went to bed when it was dark and got up with the sun, or before.
Good advice on keeping a stockpile of coins, you are right, they will be needed.
Of course we can, and WILL!!!!!
Our neighbor plowed my field last week so I'm planning on getting peas and beans in this week. I'm also going to be getting a lot of seeds started indoors.
This week is Easter break and so we're playing host to a variety of 9 year olds, lots of free labor!!!!
We only drink goat milk. There’s a couple people around here who have goats so the last couple years we’ve had it about year round, which is a real blessing.
I figure the time will come when we can’t enjoy all the stuff we do now, so I take it as it comes and am grateful for what we have now.
Have you ever checked out mylar bags for long term storage?
If, as is eminently possible, we end up in some form of barter economy, you possess wealth in your boxes of odds n ends.... ;~)<<<
I should send you post to my sister and brother, it is mainly the sister, who does not see the value of my lifetime store of junk.
But she is the baby, was not born in Texas on a farm, but in a nice hospital in San Diego.
So has never lived with the little out house, a bucket dipped in the tank for water, etc.
They will inherit, and they can get rid of it, after I am gone.
She came this week, let me be clear, she is a fine woman, who came out of love and to help with the many things that I cannot do for myself.....
She really cannot understand all the odd things that I own, as she works and gardens and keeps a lovely home, I helped to raise her, most of her youth, so it is partly my fault.
You should have seen her, when I explained that the wool carding machine had cash value, as does the spinning wheel.
I should sell or trade them for something that i do need, as it is beyond me to use them now.
I traded my cream separator and a black powder rifle for the computer that got me on the internet, might not have been the best trade dollar wise, but I love the Freepers that I have talked to all these years.
It is a lifesaver today, and I am sure what keeps me going.
So God pulls the strings and we go the path he points to.
Ohh, yes do join in, some of the Freepers have known for a long time that I heard different music than they do and have been after me for years to start this thread.
The time was never quiet right, and all of a sudden, it feels like now is the right time.
If I seem dis jointed, I have the police scanner on for San Diego, the swat team or some team is arresting guys in a house, the bad guys have guns.
AND, an officer looked in a window and found a baby was laying on the bed, so now they are attempting to do a snatch and grab on the baby and get it to safety, before they enter the house for the bad guys.
I wasn’t paying attention, until the beeper started that says an officer is in danger, a stolen car maybe.
Darn it, they switched channels and I lost them.
Thanks, I made a note to me to check it.
If you see something there that should be here, please bring it over. Please.
This is not a rigid thread, what I think might be interesting, will bore some to tears.
Food, is food.
Survival is many things, from being so simple, that now is a good time to buy extra shoes and warm coats, to storing food and medicine.
Thanks for the bump.
” Have you ever checked out mylar bags for long term storage? “
I have — and, for better or worse, I made my choice as a compromise between cost and convenience...
And, parenthetically, I can afford a few bucks a week adding a few items to my shopping list, better than a large cash outlay all at once for a bulk-pack, even though I know that in the long run, bulk is a better bargain....
(Besides, I’m naturally lazy, and I’d much rather spend my off-work times here on FR than repackaging bulk goods... ;~))
We bought two. One is for a backup. This is where we got ours.
A good site.
That’s the way to do it. Just but say five dollars more each week and store the extra. I have a bunch of those 18 gallon plastic storage thingies full of you name it, Top Ramens, Knorrs soups, Oatmeal, crackers, whatever.
As far as gardens grow, I seriously doubt most folks could grow enough to live on (and I include myself in that), but there are a few things I would recommend:
Lettuce (it’s a freakin weed. a 3 foot by 3 foot piece of ground will grow enough to choke a goat)
Cabbage a very prolific plant. Quite hardy and very, very nutritious
Potatoes anybody can grow them. and they are the highest yielding crop there is, weight wise.
Tomatos another easy to grow item. Also high yielding
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