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Is Recession Preparing a New Breed of Survivalist? [Survival Today - an On going Thread #2]
May 05th,2008

Posted on 02/09/2009 12:36:11 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny

Yahoo ran an interesting article this morning indicating a rise in the number of survivalist communities cropping up around the country. I have been wondering myself how much of the recent energy crisis is causing people to do things like stockpile food and water, grow their own vegetables, etc. Could it be that there are many people out there stockpiling and their increased buying has caused food prices to increase? It’s an interesting theory, but I believe increased food prices have more to do with rising fuel prices as cost-to-market costs have increased and grocers are simply passing those increases along to the consumer. A recent stroll through the camping section of Wal-Mart did give me pause - what kinds of things are prudent to have on hand in the event of a worldwide shortage of food and/or fuel? Survivalist in Training

I’ve been interested in survival stories since I was a kid, which is funny considering I grew up in a city. Maybe that’s why the idea of living off the land appealed to me. My grandfather and I frequently took camping trips along the Blue Ridge Parkway and around the Smoky Mountains. Looking back, some of the best times we had were when we stayed at campgrounds without electricity hookups, because it forced us to use what we had to get by. My grandfather was well-prepared with a camp stove and lanterns (which ran off propane), and when the sun went to bed we usually did along with it. We played cards for entertainment, and in the absence of televisions, games, etc. we shared many great conversations. Survivalist in the Neighborhood

TOPICS: Agriculture; Food; Gardening; Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: barter; canning; cwii; dehydration; disaster; disasterpreparedness; disasters; diy; emergency; emergencyprep; emergencypreparation; food; foodie; freeperkitchen; garden; gardening; granny; makeamix; nwarizonagranny; obamanomics; preparedness; recession; repository; shinypenny; shtf; solaroven; stinkbait; survival; survivalist; survivallist; survivaltoday; teotwawki; wcgnascarthread
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To: djf

Thanks for the link, I will need to read it later, have so much open now, the computer is complaining.

I do not remember eating cheese as a child, guess we couldn’t afford it.

51 posted on 02/09/2009 2:38:23 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: Melinda in TN

Cast iron skillets are my normal cooking pans anyway though. <<<<

Me to.

I love campfire coffee and keep a pot for making it in the front yard, or camping.

Glad that you came to read the thread, I have other articles to post, when I get caught up.

We hope you will continue to share your thoughts with us.

In the past, I have been asked about Dutch Oven cooking and I have not done that much of it, maybe you will share your experiences?

52 posted on 02/09/2009 2:43:06 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: familyop

If you simply wanted to argue, then there was no use replying.

If the SHTF, the least productive people will be those who insist on going on and on about who’s to blame and why ain’t the electric on and what do we do to get gas and do you think we can get to McDonalds...

Whiners are expendable.

53 posted on 02/09/2009 2:44:16 AM PST by djf
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To: djf

It is alkaline soil and water here.

And this lot has poor soil on it, the wind blows any thing you add to it away.

54 posted on 02/09/2009 2:44:31 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: djf

:-) I keep a small crock full of bacon grease. Also, if your iron skillets are cured properly they are pretty much no stick.

I live in the back hills of Tennessee and we were taught how to survive from birth. :-) No city girl here.

55 posted on 02/09/2009 2:44:40 AM PST by Melinda in TN
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To: Melinda in TN

Bacon grease is good. I save mine. Also, you can buy bricks of lard, the big advantage being it lasts almost forever, even near room temps.

I’m a rookie survivalist so I have some teflon set aside!


56 posted on 02/09/2009 2:47:47 AM PST by djf
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To: nw_arizona_granny

I had a look around and didn’t find much more than a lot of hints: berms (ridges built up from the ground), man-made shade, rows of wind-foiling tougher plants, containers of various kinds, more mulching, more roots and low spots. ...might be a hint or two in the following, but I reckon that you’ve already done much research.

Wind and Heat in Desert Gardens

57 posted on 02/09/2009 3:00:03 AM PST by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote,
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To: nw_arizona_granny

When I moved into my current house in the country, I got a propane cook stove, was thinking about what would happen if the power was out more than a couple of days. Sure enough it happened, and I was able to cook, and heat my stored water for bathing. It is also a little bit of light, and heat in colder weather. I just have to make sure I have plenty of propane, and be frugal about using it.

58 posted on 02/09/2009 3:09:12 AM PST by buckeye49
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To: djf
"If you simply wanted to argue, then there was no use replying."

I see. I only wanted to argue.

"If the SHTF, the least productive people will be those who insist on going on and on about who’s to blame and why ain’t the electric on and what do we do to get gas and do you think we can get to McDonalds..."

"Whiners are expendable."

...especially the men who've sworn to protect/defend our Nation, various states and cities, and only done the dirtiest and most dangerous of such work, for example. Go ahead. I'm accustomed to it, having been subjected to it by my superiors here (bosses, office chicks, government clerks, domineering, mouthy, drug-addicted neighbors, thieves,...) and in a few third-world countries.

It's something to joke about at work with the other men--most of them from Mexico, Jamaica and quite a few other places to our south. ...and some of them, recent commandos. They're pretty good, for young men, at swinging pickaxes into the rocks after the runoff.

59 posted on 02/09/2009 3:19:47 AM PST by familyop (Why am I suddenly reminded of volatile rich chicks in Central and South America?)
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To: All

Bread Baking for the Clueless but Curious

Contributed by Susan Gendreau
Sunday, 22 January 2006
by Susan Gendreau

Let’s assume you would like to bake bread. But it sounds like a lot of trouble, so you haven’t tried. Or you’ve tried and gotten a brick, not a loaf. The books – those gorgeous specialty cookbooks – call for equipment you don’t have and don’t want, and if you tried to follow their recipes nothing happened the way the page said it should. Bread seems so complicated. How do you know when it’s kneaded enough? How do you know when it’s risen enough? Uh, why didn’t it rise? You figure that if you aren’t a professional baker, you’re out of luck. But still you’d like to bake bread – if it’s not too much trouble.

Well. Bread baking can be a lot of trouble – if you want it to be. It can become an obsession. Some people (me, for instance) actually enjoy debating brands of flour or cake yeast versus dry yeast. Those same people buy the fancy equipment because it helps us make fancier bread. But people have baked yeasted bread for probably four thousand years and KitchenAid mixers have been around for only fifty. You don’t need one. You don’t need Calphalon loaf pans, a proofing box, the muscles of a linebacker or split-second timing. You don’t need to be an expert on kneading or rising to produce bread that’s much better than supermarket. And you don’t need to set aside a day to do it, either.

Here is what you do need: a one-cup measure, a loaf pan (supermarket Ecko is fine), flour, water, and yeast. Everything else is optional. The first time you bake, choose a day when you’ll be home a lot, so you can get a feel for the dough’s progress. But don’t be a slave to it; do your shopping, run your errands. Bread is not rocket science.

In the recipe below, almost anything not specified can be varied without wrecking the result — so relax.

Back to Basics Bread

First, wash your hands. You’ll need them.

3 cups flour

1 cup clean water at room temperature

2 teaspoons (most of one sealed foil packet) Fleischmann’s active dry yeast

1 teaspoon honey

½ teaspoon salt, if you like (most Americans will prefer this)

Check the expiration date on the yeast and make sure it’s still OK. It is? Good. Mix the yeast thoroughly with the flour (and salt, if any) in a largish mixing bowl. Dissolve the honey in the water. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the water into it. With your fingers, or a wooden spoon, stir the water so that the flour washes off the sides of the hole into the water mixture without lumping up; if you get lumps anyway, don’t worry; we’ll fix them in a moment. When the water’s not really liquid anymore, get aggressive and mix in the rest of the flour.

Hold the bowl with one hand. With the other, mix the dough for several minutes, working around the bowl and from the bowl’s rim toward the center, until it gets smoother and cleans off the bowl’s sides. Sort of peel the outer edge of the dough toward the center and flatten it down hard, then repeat with part of the new edge. (That’s kneading, and it’s that simple.) If your dough has lumps, squeeze them to break them up. Make sure you work every part of the dough. Exactly how you do this, and how long, really don’t matter much. (Really.) Find a position that’s comfortable for you (I like to kneel on the floor and grip the bowl between my knees) and work the dough until you start to get tired.

Pat the dough into a fat cigar shape, put it in the loaf pan, and cover the pan with a clean towel that’s wet but wrung out. Put the covered pan somewhere out of drafts (I use the microwave oven) and leave it there to rise. That will take a minimum of a couple of hours and maybe longer, depending on several things (see the FAQ below). Check on it now and then as you go about your business.

When the dough has risen to just below the top of your loaf pan, and the center of it is just reaching the top, put it in a preheated 450 oven for 35-40 minutes. Slip it (cautiously – it’s hot) out of its pan and let it cool on a rack for at least half an hour before slicing it with a serrated knife. (Don’t cool it in the pan, slice it hot, or try to slice it with a regular knife – trust me.) Slap on the butter – or eat it plain; it will taste that good.

Now you’ve made bread. This recipe produces a loaf that doesn’t rise all that much, but has a thick, chewy crust and a wonderfully tender interior. Yum.


Q: My dough didn’t rise.

A: Not at all? Did you add the yeast? (Really. People forget.) If you did, and the dough didn’t rise at all, then either your yeast was dead when you started or you somehow killed it – probably by using water that was too hot. How hot is too hot? Most bread recipes call for proofing the yeast – dissolving the yeast in warm water before adding it to the dough. For a beginner that’s tricky, because yeast dies above 110F. Water that only feels warm to you can easily be hot enough to kill your yeast. And as long as your yeast is alive you don’t need to dissolve it in the water; it will dissolve in your dough and do its job just fine. Fleischmann’s Active Dry is very reliable if you use a sealed packet that’s inside the use-by date.

If you’re curious, or you have an old packet, you can test to see if your yeast is alive by adding a half teaspoon to a half cup of tepid water with a teaspoon of sugar. Mix to dissolve the sugar and let the mixture sit for fifteen minutes. If it isn’t bubbly and frothy, your yeast has expired (or your water’s too hot). If it’s OK, there’s still two teaspoons in the packet for your bread.

Q: My dough took a very long time to rise.

Be patient; in a cool kitchen the rise can take hours. If you added salt, the dough will rise more slowly as well. If it goes all day, it will taste all the better for it. The warmer the dough, from the water or a warm rising place, the faster it will rise. But stick to room temperature for your first loaves; if the yeast is too hot it will die, and if it’s just short of too hot your bread will rise quickly but taste like cardboard. Slow-rise bread is tastier and less tricky to make; it just takes longer. If you let it rise at room temperature and by the time you have to go out it isn’t up to the top of the pan, leave it rising until you can get back to it. The bread will probably be fine. Don’t let it intimidate you.

Also, the more yeast you add, the faster the rise. But too much yeast will produce a distinct yeasty taste. I usually only use one teaspoon per loaf and let the dough rise all day, or start in the evening and let it rise overnight. Tastes much better.

Q: can I use Fleischmann’s Quick-Rising Yeast instead, or bread machine yeast? Or a bread machine?

Sure, if you like cardboard bread. The quicker the rise, the blander the taste. You don’t bake quality bread in 90 minutes. As for bread machines, any real bread baker will tell you they’re the spawn of the One Down Below. They produce lousy bread and they’re expensive. If you want to spend that kind of money, forget baking your bread and just buy from an artisan bakery.

Q: what’s the difference between white flour and wheat?

Wheat bread is better for you – a lot better – but white flour is easier for a beginner to work with; it needs a reliable one cup water to three cups flour and gives lighter bread than wheat with less work. Different batches of wheat flour need varying amounts of water, and you may have to tinker with quantities to get dough that feels right – though you will learn what feels right very quickly. Experiment with brands of wheat flour, too; their taste varies. You can also add oatmeal, rye, and other flours to the mix. The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book contains a lot of useful information on whole grain bread baking.

Q: where do I go from here?

Anywhere you want! Was there something about your bread that could be better – its lightness, taste, texture? Bake this recipe a few times; experiment with the effects of small changes. Most ovens don’t heat evenly; try different places in yours. More kneading will make your bread finer-textured and might raise it more; a little more or less flour can make a surprising difference. Most Americans are used to the taste of salt in their bread, but try leaving it out; you might like it. Your bread will be distinctly tastier if you use bottled or filtered water. You can try taking the dough out of the pan after it rises, kneading it a few times, and raising the dough a second time; that will produce finer-textured bread. You can experiment with things to add or leave out – my signature bread, the one everyone asks me to bring to parties, includes potatoes, eggs, milk and butter; it’s not health food but it tastes awesome.

Of course you can try those cookbooks now; you’ve got the basics. Some of my favorite recipes are in The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book. They use only whole-grain recipes – no white flour – and the book includes very detailed directions on every aspect of baking light, tasty whole-grain bread; it’s a good place for a beginner to go next. Pssst – the recipes work just fine with some white flour added to them, too. And of course there are many other books as well. Have fun! Copyright@Susan Gendreau 2006.

60 posted on 02/09/2009 3:28:18 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: All

Projects: Drying Foods With the Sun

Since antiquity, the art of dehydrating food has saved more than a few civilizations. To the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese, drying foods during times of plenty was a lifesaving hedge again times of famine. Today, it’s an easy war to preserve garden goodness.

Dried food is both convenient and nutritious. In fact, according to a study by the USDA, dehydrated foods are more nutritious than their canned counterparts. While the canning process can destroy up to 65 percent of vitamins and minerals, drying food retains most of the vitamins A and C, as well as thiamine and riboflavin. Best of all, there are no chemicals or preservatives necessary for wither the drying process or storage.

Another plus, especially if storage space is at a premium, is that dehydrated food are only one-half to one-twelfth the weight and bulk of the original.

Stored in a cool, dark spot, they should keep anywhere from several months to tow years, depending on the food stored.

Quoted from: Kim Erickson, Back Home Magazine July/Aug 1998


Photo showing our homemade solar food dehydrator. We followed these instructions from with a few, slight variations. Dryer Instructions »

Both the main box and the solar collector were insulated with recycled Styrofoam from packages.

For the solar collector, we used a extra piece of Plexiglas instead of glass or a clear plastic sheet. The inside bottom we painted flat black.

Recommended References

[On site, these are live links]

· Review of Solar Drying - A brief overview on how to solar dry your harvest

· Solar Food Drying - The art of drying food

· Food Drying - Article on how to dry fruit, veggies and meat using the sun

· Solar Food Dryer - Plans on how to build a multi-shelf solar dryer

· Solar Food Dehydrator - Site where you can purchase a solar dryer

· Barrel Dehydrator - Article and instructions on building gem from the past

· Small Scale Dehydrator - Resource list

· Drying Methods - Descriptions on different drying methods

more »

Related reading from

61 posted on 02/09/2009 3:34:48 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: All

Projects: Cooking With the Sun

You can cook using the sun’s free energy! There are many plans and designs for solar ovens/cookers (listed below in related links).

A sun oven can be built using simple, household materials. The ovens are safe and easy to use. Just place your food in the oven, point towards the sun and, in a couple of hours, you’ll have a hot meal.

The oven can cook and warm many meals: rice, beans, soups, bread, cookies, cakes... you name it! This oven offers clean efficient energy without using any of the earth’s resources or polluting the air.


The Answer Comes Up Every Morning....

Photo One: Here are the side panels of the inner box. We used pieces of 1/2 inch plywood, then framed the outside with 1x2’s. On the inner side we took metal cookie trays and screwed them to the plywood.

Photo Two: This view is the backside of ‘Photo One’. We joined the panels with screws, then cut Styrofoam (recycled from packing material) and glued them inside the frame.

Photo Three: The outer box is made from 3/4 inch plywood. We painted the entire outside with flat black paint.

Photo Four: After we had connected the panels of the inner box together, we placed it inside the outer box. We then stuffed Styrofoam down the sides and bottoms of the two boxes. Note: the floor of the inner box is made from aluminum sheeting glued to plywood and attached to the inner box. The bottom was placed on 2x2 blocks with Styrofoam placed underneath it.

Photo Five: This is one of the 4 panels of the sun collector. It is made from aluminum sheets glued to 1/8 inch particle board; the other side is painted.

Photo Six: The solar cooker top is made from two 1/8 inch plywood. Before we glued them together, each plywood had squares cut out of them. The bottom piece had a smaller square cut out while the top one had a larger one. When glued together, it provided a lip that the oven door (2 double paned glass pieces fitted into a frame), could close onto. Small hinges were used to attach the door to the top edge of the cooker. The top was then attached to the main box with screws.

Photo Seven: The sun-collector panels were attached to the solar cooker with braces bent at a 67 degree angle. The panels were bolted to the braces that were screwed into the main box. Note: The front panel was attached with wing nuts, allowing for easy access to the door. We also cut small panels to fit in the side gaps. They were attached to the main panels with little pieces of plastic as hinges and small bolts. This formed a complete sun collector around the oven.

Recommended References

[These are live links on site]

· Solar Cooking Archive - Information, pictures, links and many plans for building different kinds of solar ovens

· Solar Cooking - You can cook almost anything with the sun and a “low tech” solar oven!

· Sun Oven Plans - Offers many sun ovens plans so you can make one yourself

more »

Related reading from

62 posted on 02/09/2009 3:37:57 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: All

6 Ways of Creating Your Own Composting Machine
Written by Path to Freedom
Monday, 23 January 2006

Composting as everybody knows is not a difficult, costly and time consuming process. Even the equipments and tools involved can be made available by just reusing any of your unused items stored in your backyard. If you’re not into the build from scratch or crafting ideas, ready made composting items can be purchased quite easily and cheaply. I’ll show you 6 different steps on how you can start composting, with the least fanciest equipment you can find.

Method 1 : Pile

The most simplistic idea ever. The only thing you’ll need is an open area, measuring at least 3’ x 3’ x 3’ for best results. There will be no supporting structure whatsoever to accommodate your composting activities within the defined area. Just throw in your composting materials and let the nature do its work.

Method 2 : Pallets

If you can find abandoned pallets, then you’re in luck. But fear not, pallets can be easily purchased if you don’t have any. Get at least a minimum of 4 pallets to form a 4 sided, open-top box. You may call it as a composting well if you want. The existing structure of the pallets which have empty spaces will allow a better air circulation throughout your composting process. Install a hinge on one of the pallets to create a door for easier addition of materials and for extraction purposes.It’s a good idea to secure the 4 walls of the pallets together as well as to the ground for a better hold.

Method 3 : Concrete Cinder Blocks

The only drawback of this method is acquiring your own supply of cinder blocks, but this is probably a one time investment as this strong structure will get you going on for a long time. Start by stacking the blocks as high as you see fit. Air circulation is crucial, so stagger the blocks to allow proper circulation through the sides and back of the unit. To save excessive usage of the blocks, assemble a 3 sided composting unit. Provide a supporting wooden or iron posts to stabilize the overall unit structure. For a more organized structure, and provided if you have a lot of blocks to spare, you can create a considerably huge composting unit, divided into 3 areas of storage, for fresh, maturing and finished areas.

Method 4 : Wire (chicken wire or hardware cloth)

This method is relatively easy to implement. Get a galvanized chicken wire or hardware cloth approximately 10’ in length and 1/2 to 1 inch wide. This measurement varies depending on the size of your unit you wish to build. You don’t want to create a overly sized unit as the flimsiness of the wire structure might ruin your whole effort at certain point. Fashion the wire to form a cylinder or a well look alike structure. Get a couple of wooden or iron posts to hold the structure together. You can nail the chicken wire onto several posts on certain areas to give it a “backbone” before putting it up. Create a door with one of the ends so you’ll have easy access to the contents.

Method 5 : Wood bin (single or multiple bin units)

When it comes to any conventional wood architecture, you obviously will need nails and the hammer. This method will require some carpentry skills and other tools that you may have to purchase. These units of design typically end up being larger than the other methods, so you might have to budget your available space should you want to go with this route. A permanent structure of this kind usually will require a slightly higher budget.

Method 6 : Ready-made composters

The simple buy it and use it straight away method. Nothing beats this, as you can find complete ready made composters at your local garden center or any online stores. Pre-fabricated units include tumblers, rotating barrels and boxes for the home gardener. Selection is huge, so you should have most of your options right in front of your eyes.

Happy composting!

Article Provided by the Websition Article Team where you will find free gardening tips to use for your website, newsletter, or ezine, all with royalty-free reprint rights.

63 posted on 02/09/2009 3:40:32 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: meowmeow

bump to read later...

64 posted on 02/09/2009 3:41:08 AM PST by meowmeow (In Loving Memory of Our Dear Viking Kitty (1987-2006))
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To: nw_arizona_granny; DAVEY CROCKETT; Velveeta; KylaStarr; LucyT; Rushmore Rocks; PGalt; MHGinTN; ...

Thanks for the new thread granny :)

65 posted on 02/09/2009 3:41:45 AM PST by WestCoastGal (If we will hold the course, God in Heaven will raise up friends to help fight these battles.P Henry)
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To: Wneighbor

Did your greenhouse make it through the weather last night?

66 posted on 02/09/2009 3:44:46 AM PST by WestCoastGal (If we will hold the course, God in Heaven will raise up friends to help fight these battles.P Henry)
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To: All


We planted a Three Sisters bed last year as an experiment and it grew really well and we are again planting one this year.

This method is really easy and fun to do!

“The Three Sisters all work together. Critters will find it harder to invade your garden by interplanting your corn, beans and squash. The corn stalk serves as a pole for the beans, the beans help to add the nitrogen to the soil that the corn needs, while the squash provides a ground cover of shade that helps the soil retain moisture.” ~ Native ~


Here we have planted Black Mexican/ Aztec Corn, Corn Field Beans and a variety of Winter Squashes along with a cover crop/”living mulch” of mustard in a mound/circle pattern. Each available growing space is utilized.

Recommended References

[live links at the site]

· Native Tech - Three sisters gardening

· Eco Literacy - Ancient garden trio

· Garden Gate Magazine - Growing the three sisters

· Native Seeds & Search - Ancient seeds for modern times

· Appropriate Technology - Companion planting

· Native Net - Learning from the Ancestors

more »

67 posted on 02/09/2009 3:44:58 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: nw_arizona_granny
"This is a powerful and important article, TAC has been posting on thread #1 from a different Argentina’s blog and they do indeed understand what it appears we are soon to learn."

Thanks! I'll have a look at that thread. The government in Argentina, with help from advisors from all over the world, has been broadcasting for some time that Argentina's rich, fine and dandy again. Even most people in neighboring places like Chile are convinced of that.

"On the Police Scanners, I had noticed that there a more serious break in’s early the morning and way too many children being shot on the streets."

Ah. Is it because you're closer to the border, perhaps? ...lot of terrible things coming from the "trafficantes" down that way, as some of my coworkers call them. There's not much of that going on up here. The dangers here are mostly different (very remote area, extreme cold, dangerous high passes in winter, higher costs, lack of hospitals and the like).

"Thank you for the link, I am glad that I read the article."

You're most welcome! There's a long story behind that link but well worth the read for wiser people here. IMHO, things here won't be exactly like they are in Argentina, even if the economy goes that far down here. There are a few long term cultural differences between there and here. Granted, though, we've been headed that way a little bit for a while (some unwisely discarded old morals, too much materialism, more European-like culture, etc.).

As for survival in general, I believe that our most important assets besides our own levels of discipline are our better neighbors. It's wise to keep our eyes, ears and minds attentive to which neighbors are more likely to be genuinely helpful. ...few and far between, but they are around. Over the past decade or so, we've found a few relatively good, helpful and patient neighbors around here.

68 posted on 02/09/2009 3:46:20 AM PST by familyop (Why am I suddenly reminded of volatile rich chicks in Central and South America?)
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To: nw_arizona_granny
Could it be that there are many people out there stockpiling and their increased buying has caused food prices to increase?

I don't know abou the price increase, but nonperishables like canned vegetables and dried beans have been getting wiped out quickly here, whenever they go on sale, since early summer of 2008. If you want to get it, you'd better show up the day the sale starts. That's unusual.

69 posted on 02/09/2009 3:49:03 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: All

Grow Your Own Broom

Contributed by Jennifer Murphy
Sunday, 14 August 2005
by Pearl Sanborn

Many years ago, I purchased a beautiful natural colored wreath for my bathroom. Because I’ve enjoyed it so much, recently I decided that I needed to replace it with a new one. You see, after washing the old one so many times, I think it has seen better days ;) The problem? I wasn’t able to find the same type of wreath anywhere!

After searching at several craft stores and doing some research online, I finally had success with the mystery material! It was a plant that Ben Franklin first brought to the United States after discovering its beauty in the late 1700’s called “Broom Corn.” He found a small seed on a whisk broom that his friend had brought him from France, used for dusting his beaver hat. He planted it the next spring, and continued growing it from the harvested seeds.

The humble broom......

In today’s society, we have what seems like a never ending choice of cleaning supplies made from every type of material imaginable. There are even brooms that are supposed to be able to pick up dirt magnetically! However, the pioneers before us did not have the luxury of going down to the corner market to spend an hour or two picking out their favorite broom! Actually, they had to plan their cleaning day at least year in advance ;) Why so far ahead? Because they had to grow their brooms!

They grew what was called “Broom Corn” or Sorghum Vulgare - also known as Millet or Guinea Corn. The seeds are small, white, and round in shape. They are grown much the same as grains such as barley or oats. The stalk of the plant resembles a cane in appearance, and the heads are quite large and full of small grain - not actual ears of corn. Not only are these plants used for making brooms, but they are also grown for other uses as well.

The grain is milled into a very fine white flour which is wonderful for making bread, used to feed horses cattle and poultry, and is also said to be a diuretic. The fiber of the plant is used to make brushes, paper, newsprint, and fiberboard.

Although first thought to be cultivated in Italy, broom corn is still widely cultivated in the United States today - so you can plant & grow your own broom! And because broom corn is generally resistant to insect pests and mold, it is quite easy to grow!

Plant seeds approx. 1/2” - 3/4” deep in moist soil. The rows should be 3 ft. apart so the large seed heads have enough room to fully develop, but not so far apart that the stalks have room to bend over. You can expect seedlings to appear in 3-5 days. These plants will grow up to 10 ft., and be mature approx. 105 days from planting.

It is time to harvest when the seed heads are approx. 20-36 inches long. Flowering should be finished by this time, but the heads should still be green in color. This will ensure that the branches will not be to brittle for crafting. Remember to always cut your stalks in dry sunny weather.

Because you are actually growing a type of grain, you will need to thresh the seed (or remove seed) before you make the seed heads into brooms, wreaths, or other items.

To remove seeds; take several stalks in one hand, and hit them carefully against a large flat area. After you see that the seeds are mostly gone, lay tops on a dry flat surface to dry for 2 weeks. Don’t forget to collect the seed after threshing! The birds will enjoy it in their feeders!

Here is a good picture of what broom corn should look like when ready to work into your projects:

A wonderful picture of some folks harvesting broom corn many years ago:

An article on making your own broom:

A huge list of resources for the person who wants to start a broom business - or share brooms in living history settings: http://www.story

Broom how-tos from 1936:

Broom making still in progress today!

Rich in warm autumn colors including brown, mahogany, and amber, I know you’ll find yourself, as I have, in love with this 7-10 ft tall ornamental beauty. You’ll want to be sure to reserve a special place for broom corn in your cottage garden this year.

Pearl Sanborn © Copyright Lots of free articles like this one on topics such as; Homesteading, Cottage Gardening, and Frugal Living

Growing, Harvesting & Using Gourds

70 posted on 02/09/2009 3:50:33 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: All


Saving seeds from your garden is fun and easy! By carefully selecting individual plants each year and saving their seed, you can develop strains that are uniquely suited to your growing conditions.

SELECT: Seed saving is also an important way to perpetuate heirloom plants that are in danger of becoming extinct.

Only save seeds from plants grown from open-pollinated seed. Select plants which are vigorous, disease-free and outstanding in whatever qualities you wish to encourage. Mark chosen plants with a stake or colored string.

Some veggies such as tomatoes, peas, and lettuce are self-pollinated. Others, such as corn, pumpkin, squash, and cabbage families, are cross-pollinated and can cross with other cultivator of the same plant. To keep a strain pure, keep these plants by separated them by at least 200’. Or use bags to cover the blooms you plant to harvest seed from before they open and pollinate them by hand.

HARVEST: Pick seed pods when they have turned dry and brittle but before they break open and scatter.

Allow fleshy fruits like tomatoes, squash and cucumbers to get a little overripe on the plant before harvesting. Separate the seeds from the flesh and wash them clean in water. Tomato seeds are covered with a thick, jellylike coating. Clean the seeds by removing as much flesh as possible by letting them sit in water in a jar for a few days. The seeds will then sink to the bottom of the jar and the pulp will float. Pour off the pulp and dry seeds.

DRYING AND STORING: After gathering seeds allow to air dry for about a week. Label and then pack seeds away in airtight jars and keep them in a cool, dry place. Heat and dampness will shorten the seed’s period of viability.

This is just a brief overview, see books that cover saving seeds from different types of plants.



A. Harvest seed heads. We place them in shallow rubbermaids, boxes, or paper bags to dry.

B. Allow seed heads to completely dry. This make take a couple of days to a week. Keep the seed heads in a cool, dry place. We sometimes bring our seed heads out to dry in the sun during the day.


A. When seed heads are completely dry, some seeds may have already fallen out into the containers. For others that are still inside, we remove them by placing them in a metal sifter.

B. Crushing the heads helps bring the seeds out. Then the seeds fall through the wire mesh and into the container below. This is a quick and easy method for getting rid of much of the shaft.

STEP THREE: Store your seed in air tight glass or plastic container and in a cool, dark place. Seed should be viable for about 2 years.

Recommended References

[live links on site]

· The Seed Savers Network - Promotes and organizes the preservation, free distribution and exchange of open-pollinated seeds

· Seed Saving - A basic guide for home gardeners

· GardenWeb Seed Saving - A forum for the discussion of tips, techniques

· Seed Saving & Resources - Links and resources

more »

Related reading from

71 posted on 02/09/2009 3:54:21 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: nw_arizona_granny

What if fuel for heat for your home becomes too hard to get or expensive? Gary the retired engineer has a huge wealth of good information for very low cost projects and links to many others.

72 posted on 02/09/2009 3:56:32 AM PST by familyop (As painful as the global laxative might be, maybe our "one world" needs a good cleaning.)
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To: All

Shocked, that is what I am, this page has so many links for seeds, how to save them, trade them, find them and it covers the world, huge amount of work and information available and is a must see .

73 posted on 02/09/2009 4:00:28 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: RegulatorCountry
"I don't know abou the price increase, but nonperishables like canned vegetables and dried beans have been getting wiped out quickly here, whenever they go on sale, since early summer of 2008. If you want to get it, you'd better show up the day the sale starts. That's unusual."

...same here. It's been going on here for about a year, roughly. According to one manager at a local discount bulk food store, the people doing most of the truck hoarding are a little more affluent than most, and others, restaurant owners of Asian descent.

74 posted on 02/09/2009 4:02:22 AM PST by familyop (As painful as the global laxative might be, maybe our "one world" needs a good cleaning.)
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To: Brad from Tennessee
This spring will be even bigger.

Me too. I limed and turned over my garden spot yesterday after letting the leaves from the yard, some chicken litter and ashes from the wood stove sit on top for a while over the winter. We're currently getting tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, shallots, onions and carrots out of our greenhouse almost daily. It's been a bit of a challenge to keep the tomatoes going this winter with all the "globull warming" we've been having in SE Tennessee, but the rest has fared very well.

I've had trouble with peppers and tomatoes outside over the past couple of growing seasons, mostly due to fungus. My farm is located in a river bottom area and we're usually foggy and soggy every morning until late summer. I think that contributes a lot to the fungus problems. This year I'm going to try several raised beds with mushroom compost as the growing medium for tomatoes and peppers. I've used mushroom compost in my greenhouse and it has worked exceedingly well.

75 posted on 02/09/2009 4:14:04 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Government is not the solution to the problem. Government IS the problem - Ronald Wilson Reagan)
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To: All

Easy Apple Pie Rolls

July 23rd, 2007 by admin
Easy Apple Pie

I just love the smell of apple pie baking in the kitchen! But the one thing I like better than smelling it is eating it!

I came across a recent post that Kelli made, where she was sharing a recipe that she found in a cookbook from her local library. I like to think of the recipe as a mix between apple pie & biscuts. The cook book calls the dessert “Roly Poly Pudding”, although I might call it something more like “Easy Apple Pie Rolls” (I know - not nearly as exciting as Roly Poly Pudding :)

The recipe is basically a biscuit recipe (which might be familiar to you, if you already make biscuits in your kitchen), and a group of other ingredients that would be used in making an apple pie.

Biscuit Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk

1/4 cup softened butter
3 cups cored, peeled, and finely chopped apples
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

First lets make the biscuit part of the recipe.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together, then “cut in” shortening with a pastry blender
To cut in = using pastry blender, large fork, or clean fingers ;) to combine shortening with dry ingredients. You know you’ve properly “cut in”, when the mixture breaks apart into small bits that resemble a lumpy cake mix before you mix it ;)

Add the milk a little at a time while mixing gently. The batter does not have to be smooth, and is ready to work with as soon as it can be picked up & rolled out.

Then, on a surface dusted with flour, roll the dough out into a large rectangle (approx. 8X12). Spread 1 tablespoon of the softened butter over the dough.

Spread the apples over the dough, leaving about an inch on all sides. Then, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over apples.

Why don’t you go ahead & turn your oven up to 400 right now, that way it will be heated enough to put the rolls in when you’re ready.

Mix the granulated sugar, water, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the butter together in a pot & cook until dissolved. Pour this mixture into a shallow baking dish.

Starting with the longest end, carefully start rolling up the pastry. When you’re done, you should have what looks like a 12 inch long tube - not a VERY fat stumpy 8 inch log :) Slice the roll into 1 inch pieces, and place them in the baking dish with the sugar mixture - apple side up. Spread the remaining butter on top of the rolls, and then bake them for 30-35 minutes.

These would be great served with some heavy whipping cream or a spoon of vanilla ice cream!

You should take a minute to stop over & visit Kelli at: There is no Place Like Home

Kelli is a homeschooling mom, and she shares lots of great recipes, as well as other great tidbits from around her home. The picture above is how this recipe turned out in her kitchen! She also has some other pictures of the process as she went along. When you go visit, tell her Pearl sent ya!

Have a Marvelous day!

76 posted on 02/09/2009 4:14:49 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: All

Delicious No-Bake Orange Juice Cookies

August 4th, 2008 by admin

My mom & I had these tasty little treats at a recent baby shower that we went to. I had no idea what the little orange colored balls would taste like since I had never even heard of this no-bake cookie, but once I ate one, I knew I had to have the recipe! They are so simple to make, and give a real burst of flavor!

Once you try this easy recipe, I think you will add it to your list of favorites!

1 box of vanilla wafers - usually 12oz
1 6oz can of frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 box of powdered sugar - 16oz
1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 1/2 cups of coconut

Crush the vanilla wafers until fine. Mix vanilla wafers, orange juice, powdered sugar, butter, and chopped pecans. Shape the mixture into walnut-size balls, and roll in coconut. Store balls in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. Makes approx. 5 dozen cookies.

So easy - yet so delicious!

77 posted on 02/09/2009 4:16:34 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: All

Quick Dinner Recipes - Easy to Cook and Delicious to Eat!

July 18th, 2007 by admin
Country Farmhouse Kitchen

Don’t let the constant nagging question of “What’s for Dinner” get you down! For today… you shall conquer!
(sorry got a bit carried away :)

I wanted to share this quick dinner recipe that will give you that… cooking in the kitchen all day feeling - while only spending a few actual minutes of your time preparing your family’s evening meal ;)

This is a great “toss it & forget it” kind of comfort food, and it’s so easy & delicious! You could easily toss the ingredients together before leaving for work in the morning, and then you can think about other things besides running around the kitchen when you get home! It would also be a great choice for your Sunday dinner. Just toss everything in the crock pot before you leave for church, and when you get home, you’ll have a wonderful meal waiting for the family table.

Creamy Italian Chicken & Broccoli


1 packet of Italian Salad Dressing mix (usually comes in 1.7oz packets)
2 1/2 Cups of water
4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bag frozen broccoli (or 2 cups of fresh steamed)
8oz cream cheese
1 can of cream of chicken soup

Place first 3 ingredients in a crock pot and cook all day on low - or 4 hours on high.

One hour before you’re ready to eat, remove the chicken and add the cream cheese & soup to the liquid in the crock pot. Whisk everything together, then add the broccoli and chicken (can shred the chicken if you’d like) and allow to simmer for the last hour.

Ideas for Serving
If you have quick dinner recipes that you’d like to share, send them in!

- Serve over rice or your favorite type of pasta - (you can prepare a larger batch at the beginning of the week, that way you’ll have enough for 2-3 meals)

- Great with a fresh green salad, or some sliced garden fresh tomatoes on the side

- This meal freezes very well after it’s cooked, so you could make a double batch and freeze half for a future meal! This will help you save both electric and time, as well as help you keep the heat out of the kitchen during the summer months!

78 posted on 02/09/2009 4:19:12 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: nw_arizona_granny

I used to think of survivalists as kind of a kooky group of half to full paranoid individuals. But, during these times it has become more of a insurance policy to be independent in terms of shelter, food, and such. I purchased heirloom seeds for much of my garden this year. Heirloom seeds are not the hybrid varieties and therefore you can save the seed each year and plant again the next year. I also have purchased some chickens for eggs and meat, guineas for meat and protection of the chickens and rabbits for meat and fur. We live on a farm and have been accustomed to providing most of our meat from hunting in the fall. I am going to start learning more about subsistence living this year...just in case. But, also for the challenge of doing so. We will probably be doing more canning now and less freezing. If one were to lose electricity all frozen food has maybe a little more than a week before going bad. Canned food lasts for years. We drink our water from a well and I suppose I should probably figure out how to hook up the pump to my generator should we need. Anyway, I don’t think that people have been driving the cost of food up by stockpiling. There have been droughts in Australia, high fuel prices, increased demand from China, India, etc. caused by the huge increase in peoples wealth worldwide from free trade that President Bush pushed and now Obama’s gang wishes to destroy. All those things contributed much more to higher food prices. Good news for all is that food prices and indeed pretty much all prices will be coming down. Unfortunately for all, so will wages, earnings, etc. Keep liquid and refrain from buying large ticket items right matter how cheap they seem at present...todays prices will be expensive within a year.

79 posted on 02/09/2009 4:27:42 AM PST by Wpin (I do not regret my admiration for W)
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To: All

Delicious Summer Pasta - and new visitors to the cottage garden

May 31st, 2007 by admin
Salad Mix

This is a quick, easy, cheap, come back for seconds family dish!

Pasta salad is the perfect side dish for any summer meal! You can also change the recipe very easily by tossing in any of your favorite ingredients right from the cottage garden!

Cook your favorite kind of pasta while you’re making the sauce to save time! (we like using small pasta such as angel hair or bow-ties)

* Feel free to double the recipe - or add your own favorite ingredients ;)

While your pasta is cooking…

Mix together the following ingredients & let sit until pasta is done.

4 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
2-3 cloves pressed garlic
1 can sliced olives (I prefer mushrooms)
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. olive oil
Add salt & pepper to taste

Top your pasta with this delicious sauce & be prepared for seconds ;)

Some ideas for extra “favorite things” to add:

- Cheese bits (or freshly grated parmesan cheese)
- Diced green, yellow, red, or hot peppers
- Broccoli
- Beans
- Sugar snap peas
- Celery
- Onions
- Chicken
- Pepperoni
- Bacon

I know your family will enjoy this one!

LOL, one could use good recipes as a planting guide...granny

80 posted on 02/09/2009 4:28:09 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: All; gardengirl

How to Make Beautiful Beads From Recycled Newspaper

January 23rd, 2008 by admin
paper mache beads

I love finding ways to turn everyday common items, which would otherwise go into the garbage, into beautiful items that everyone can enjoy!

So… when I came across a gal who was making beautiful beads from recycled newspaper, I had to share the idea with you!

When I saw Helen’s beautiful beads, I asked her if she would mind sharing how she made them. After hearing from her, I realized that the methods used for these beads, were the exact same methods that I have used for several different projects including; costumes, handcrafted paper, and sculpted home decor items. I think what I love about her beads though… is the natural earthy look that they have. Please click on the pictures & visit Helen at her Flickr space!

What better way to pamper yourself than to make something so beautiful that costs nearly NOTHING! It would also be a great way to make some beautiful gifts for less than pennies - while recycling those pesky piles of old newspapers :)

Perhaps you could also earn some extra money by making a nice little business out of your beautiful new creations! I’m sorry… there I go again… always the business mind ;)

paper beads

Step #1 - Gather a small pile of newspapers from the recycling basket.

Step #2 - Rip the paper into small pieces


Step #3 - Put the pieces of newspaper in a large stock pot

Step #4 - Pour enough boiling water over the paper to cover

Step #5 - Allow to sit for an hour or so

Step #6 - Stir the paper to help break it down a bit

new beads

Step #7 - Drain as much water out of the paper as you can

Step #8 - Add enough glue to the paper to help it hold together in a ball shape (any glue that is clear when dry - such as Elmer’s, or PVA)


Step #9 - Roll the paper into round balls being sure to squeeze out as much moisture as you can while rolling (you can make any size you would like)

Step #10 - Let them dry for a few days - rolling them every several hours - until they are completely dry

Here’s a mix of paper & felt beads. I love the look of this mix!
felt beads - and paper bead necklace

Step #11 - Sand each bead down with a bit of sandpaper to remove rough edges

Step #12 - Drill a hole in each bead that is big enough for the material that you want to string them with

new bead necklace

Step #13 - Paint them with left over craft paint

Step #14 - Give them a coat of varnish

beautiful beads made from recycled newspaper

Think of all of the different variations that you could make with this technique! The colors & stringing material possibilities are endless! I think some pretty pink beads strung on black velvet ribbon will be my first pamering self indulgence ;)

And… don’t stop at just making beads!

How about…

- Little hearts for a Valentine’s Day banner, or to grace the front of your handcrafted cards

- Tiny beads to make earrings

- Little snowmen with a coat of cream paint - drenched in chunky glass glitter

- A nice chunky key chain made from beads & ribbon

- Snowballs strung on a ripped piece of homespun fabric - to make a snowball tree garland

Well, I think you will agree when I say that these little bits of recycled newspaper are some of the most beautiful bits I’ve ever seen!

[116 comments and good photos on site]

81 posted on 02/09/2009 4:31:44 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: All; gardengirl

Penny Rugs - How to make these great gifts for pennies!

August 29th, 2007 by admin

Vintage Style Penny Rug

Recently I received this email request from a dear friend. I wanted to share my response with you - especially since the holidays are coming up & this would be a nice gift to give - for very little cost!

Hi Pearl,

I was wondering if you had or know of a place where I can get some directions on how to make a Penny rug runner. I thought this would be an interesting project to make. I just don’t have a clue how they are made.

I love the look of the wool and the colors for fall. I’ve found places to buy them but I would like to try to make one.

Hope you had a great vacation.


Dear Lois,

Good to hear from you! Yes, we had a wonderful time visiting with family over the last few weeks. We spent our time participating in a youth conference at my parents church, resting, visiting, and a quick trip to Baltimore. We especially loved the aquarium! I’ll have to post some pictures here real soon.

I hope the information below will help answer most of your questions. I just love penny rugs, especially when they are made out of all of the vintage “prim” colors! I especially love to see them used during the Autumn season with all of the rich golds, browns, and reds!

What is a penny rug?

felt penny rug

As we all know, women are by nature extremely creative & very resourceful.

Ok…well, most women ;)

But back in the 1800’s most women had to make the best of the resources that they had, especially when it came to things such a “splurging” on decorations for the home. So, they would keep the small bits and pieces of the wool and felt that they collected from their clothing, hats, coats, blankets, etc., and then use these precious bits of fabric to make beautiful decorations for their homes.

When they had a nice basket full of little snippets of fabric to work with, they would sort them into piles of similar colors. Then, to form the desirable circular shapes, they would use a coin as the template to cut their fabric pieces from. Using something as small as a coin would insure that the smallest of scraps could be used in the project. This is how the term “penny rug” came to describe these little pieces of art.

What’s also interesting is, the penny rug was not normally used as a rug at all, but rather, as a decorative cover for a bed, shelf, wall hanging, or table runner.

Pink and black penny rug

After cutting all of the different circle shapes, each color was put into it’s proper pile, where it would wait for it’s turn to become a part of the finished design.

The finished size was determined, then a piece of fabric (wool or felt) was chosen as the base for the rug. Each circle was then placed on top of the base in the desired pattern, so the creator could decide what the final design would look like. Once satisfied with the design, each piece was then secured with a straight pin so it could be stitched together.

Although any style of embroidery stitch could be used, the one most commonly used to applique the individual pieces of fabric in the penny rug was the blanket stitch. Bright colors of thread, that were different from the piece of fabric being stitched, helped the pattern to stand out even more, and also added another creative layer to the piece. Depending on how intricate the creator wanted to be, the circles might also be stacked in several layers, each smaller and a different color than the one below it. Sometimes the rugs were backed with a piece of an old burlap bag or feed sack, and on special pieces, an actual penny was stitched under one of the circles to help weight it down.

Although circles were the main shape used in early designs, any shape imaginable could be used in current designs. I have seen some beautiful pieces made with shapes such as; stars, hearts, snowman, crow, and trees. There’s really no limit to the designs that you could come up with, you simply want to be sure that the pattern can easily be hand stitched around each edge.

snowman rug

Materials to use in making your penny rug

Most penny rugs were made using wool, and felted wool. Although felt was handcrafted in years gone by, we are blessed to be able to buy felt by the square (usually a 12X12 square) or by the yard in most craft/fabric stores. Last year, I picked up some wonderful thick felt yardage, which came in colors such as dark mustard, chocolate, deep red, and cream. Check the prices, but I found that buying my felt by the yard was much cheaper than buying it by the square.

If you’re an adventurous soul, you could try your hand at felting your own wool!
Have you ever thrown a wool sweater into the washer/dryer without realizing it? Then, when you took it out, wondered who the tiny cute little sweater belonged to - only to realize that it used to be a human sized version of YOUR new sweater? Then you already have all the experience you need in felting wool ;)

Simply go to your local thrift store, yard sale, or your own closet, and pick out a cheap wool sweater (I suggest 100% wool) of your color choice. Keep your eyes open for sweaters with small holes or other damage, as these will turn out to be real bargains for you. First, cut down the side seems, separating the front from the back. Then, remove the arm sections, and cut down the long seem. Throw these pieces into the washer, and wash on the hot cycle with a bit of laundry soap. If you’d like, you could also throw the pieces into the dryer as well. You can expect the pieces to shrink up to 70% in size! When the material is dry, you can cut it into the desired shapes for your penny rug.Penny Rug Pattern
Embroidery floss makes the best choice for sewing the pieces together, and you can buy nice large bundles of different colors at your local craft/fabric store.

Patterns for your penny rug

Here are a few how to articles to help you with ideas, but the best patterns come from your own creative ideas - just like the gals in the 1800’s ;)

Christmas Tree Penny Rug

Circle Table Runner Penny Rug

Autumn Leaves Pattern

[has photo]

82 posted on 02/09/2009 4:35:20 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: All

From A Better Home and Garden

Cottage Gardening
Fill Your Cottage Gardens With Free Plants!
© Copyright by Pearl Sanborn

I love to dream ~ and one of the things that I love to dream about is my cottage garden.

I pull out back issues of my favorite magazines, gardening books, and seed catalogues to add to the plethora of ideas already stored in my mind’s eye. There is one small problem however. When you start shopping at the garden centers & from all of the plant catalogues, you start to see a growing trend - all of these beautiful plants add up to lots of money!

I need to be honest with you for a second. You see, I’m not really good at waiting several years to add a plant here & a plant there to my garden. I’m the kind of person who sees something beautiful, then tries to find a way to make it happen in my own garden. Sometimes the ideas work out wonderfully, and sometimes I learn a lesson from the whole process. In any case, my garden is always better because of it.

We all live such busy lives, and we do our best to have our obligations taken care of. Sometimes, despite all of our work & effort, we just don’t have the extra amount of money that it would take to have the garden of our dreams. I know that feeling personally, and that’s why I wanted to take this time to share with you some of the ideas that I have discovered for finding free plants over the years. Soon, with a little bit of creative thinking, you’ll have to start giving plants away due to lack of any more space in your garden!

- Weekly Clean Up

In our village, the city trucks come around & pick up yard debris that is set out for pick up. You’d be surprised at how many plants are put out to the curb! I’m still not sure of the reason? Could be a change in color scheme, or perhaps they just got tired of taking care of it? In any case, I’ve found many nice plants just by collecting them before the debris truck does!

- Cuttings

Either from your own plants or from your friend’s, small clippings add up to lots of free mature plants! I know one gal who offers to tidy up the gardens in her neighborhood in exchange for the clippings and extra plants that she cleans up. Most plants will grow from cuttings, and a small section a few inches long is all you need!

Just cut a small piece of the stem of most any plant - pull off all but the top few leaves - insert it into some moist sand. In no time you’ll have roots & a free plant! Mint, tomatoes, roses, hydrangeas, holly, and butterfly bush are all examples of plants that will grow from cuttings.

- Discards From Stores

Become friends with the person in charge of your local flower department in the big super centers! When plants get a little tired looking, they may give them to you free! All you need to do is give the plants some TLC!

Example: Recently in our local grocery super center, they were selling spring bulbs. In a short while the flowers had faded & the plants were no longer wanted by shoppers. Most folks have no idea that these plants can be planted outside for spring flowers next year! Just ask if you can have the “old” flower pots after the flowers fade! *Keep your eyes open for Easter lilies, outside they can grow up to 4 ft. with lots more blooms than you see in that little pot!

* My poinsettia is also still doing great from Christmas! I pinch back the stems as the red flowers (actually leaves) dry out. New beautiful sets of leaves bud have budded out already! I will plant it outside as soon as the danger of frost is past, then bring it in for a new round of Christmas blooms. I also broke off a few of the longer stems & stuck them down in the soil. They have already grown roots! I know everyone throws out their poinsettia plants after Christmas, but when I went to Africa some years back, one of the most amazing memories I have were the huge poinsettia TREES!!! So I am going to see how far I can take this little beauty ;)

- Restaurants & Parks

Most businesses replace their plants as the flowers fade. This year, start a relationship with the businesses in your area. Let them know that you are willing to take the unsightly plants off of their hands after they are finished blooming ;) We don’t mind since we know they will bloom again next year in our gardens!

- Greenhouses

While walking around larger greenhouses, I’ve noticed all of the large garbage cans throughout the place filled with soil, clippings, and old plants. Ask for their clippings for your compost pile, then use what you can to make new plants by rooting them, and throw the rest into the compost heap!

* Remember, as in the case of an African Violet, it may only take one leaf to start a new plant!

- Garden Exchange

Get free plants & seeds by trading them for plants that you already have. You could do this by starting a garden exchange in your area. Newspapers are always looking for news to print, and since a garden exchange is an event, you can even get your advertising free of charge!

Do a quick search & you will see lots of websites that post listings for free plants & seeds. Lots of times you can get wonderful expensive plants FREE!

There are many, but some of the larger ones are:

Get free shipping supplies to ship all of your plants!

Call - 1-800-222-1811

You can get free boxes, mailing labels, tape, etc., from the post office. It’s great to have these items delivered right to your door free of charge! Take a moment to see what other items you may need, by going to:

With these great ideas, you’ll be frugal gardening at its best!

83 posted on 02/09/2009 4:39:50 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: buckeye49

Yes, propane stoves are good, it is what we use in the desert mainly, except in the cities or some of them.

Right now I am all electric and I hate it, maybe that is why the cook stove quit working.

Bill used the cast iron insides of a hot water heater tank to build a wood burning stove, it is about 3 ‘ long and 2’ wide.

He put a flat top of iron on it, welded in, where he cut out the curve and that works for cooking, except the wind pattern changed when they built the new freeway and it blows the stove pipe loose, even with guy wires on it.

I get freaky gusts, that take roofs off.

So it goes, survival is about all I can do right now.

84 posted on 02/09/2009 4:49:56 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: familyop

All good ideas, I have to laugh at the mulch, as it is gone from my yard by day break.

I solved my gardening problems with an attached solar greenhouse, which has over the years managed to blow away too, along with a roof or two and the stove pipe.

Yes, I would like to move, but I won’t I waited too long and am now a shut in, so no moving for me in this life.

Thanks for the link, I will dig around there for more ideas.

85 posted on 02/09/2009 4:54:54 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: nw_arizona_granny
I'm not a mormon, but they do have a calendar that can be followed as a reference to prepare all year long.
86 posted on 02/09/2009 4:58:36 AM PST by domeika
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To: meowmeow

Thanks for coming to visit, I hope you will join in the thread and help us learn, or return and read, you are always welcome.

87 posted on 02/09/2009 4:58:59 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: WestCoastGal

You are welcome, thank you for offering to do a new one, finding an article was the hard part, and no matter which is chosen, it does not really show the intent of the thread, which is EVERYTHING there is to learn.

Thanks for pinging some of them, I will try get out a ping later too.

88 posted on 02/09/2009 5:01:12 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: Wpin
We drink our water from a well and I suppose I should probably figure out how to hook up the pump to my generator should we need.

A generator transfer switch is your safest method here. I have an 8 circuit switch I installed in the house I built. Northern Tools has a decent selection of them. I can run my freezer and fridge, wood stove blower, well pump, a few lights and outlets for TV, microwave, etc., off of my generator without worrying about backfeeding into the grid. I'm in a fairly rural area, one house from the end of the line. We get power outages from ice storms and other foul weather at least a couple of times a year here. The transfer switch has more than paid for itself in the past 14 years. My water heater is an LP fired on demand type made by Paloma. Nothing quite like having a hot shower when everybody else is doing without....

89 posted on 02/09/2009 5:04:36 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Government is not the solution to the problem. Government IS the problem - Ronald Wilson Reagan)
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To: familyop

We may not be that different from Argentina, as we have so many people from other countries, that we have lost some of the will needed to see the country survives, in my opinion.

I listen to the police in Denver, Las Vegas and all over the west.

It is all shootings on the street, an amazing amount of them and they do not make the papers.

You are blessed if you know your neighbors, I don’t and I have owned this property over 30 years and lived in it 20 of them.

I do know that across the street, living in a travel trailer, is a family that has all been in prison, more than once.

Next to them, someone is building an almost mansion, the garage is started and it is over size with 3 doors, so the house will be something to see.

A misplaced investment, as my mobile is 50 years old and shows it and there is no way that I can make it pretty, as I can’t even go outside.

Whatever you do, don’t get old.

90 posted on 02/09/2009 5:07:55 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: RegulatorCountry

If you want to get it, you’d better show up the day the sale starts. That’s unusual.<<<

I haven’t been able to go shopping in several years and have to rely on a son to do it for me, he does not chase specials, he hates shopping, so I do not ask him to do more than he is already.

Without him, I would have to be in an old folks home, so I am gentle with him.

Prices, go up, so the sellers can make more profit, they raised them when the gas went super high, as their costs were more and did not lower them.

Or that is my guess.

91 posted on 02/09/2009 5:12:29 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: nw_arizona_granny
"All good ideas, I have to laugh at the mulch, as it is gone from my yard by day break."

Hmmm. There is a cheap, black, coarse cloth that I've used over foundation drains (over perforated pipe that goes around foundations--keeps silt from clogging the drains). Maybe something like that would help to retain outdoor soil around plants. I'm not sure.

I'm going to try polycarbonate glazing for greenhouses and some short solar walls under windows. The following site is the first one that I found, so the glazing (polycarbonite plastic) can probably be had for lower costs. It also appears that each price at the following site is for several sheets of the stuff (5 or so?). It comes in twin-wall...



...and another kind for roofing greenhouses.

...and hardware to fasten it together. I'll probably build far tougher framing than what they're selling for it, but the bar caps might be alright. Hopefully the panels will bend enough for me to build greenhouses in quonset hut shapes. ...and snow fences and berms (for slowing down the wind).

92 posted on 02/09/2009 5:18:43 AM PST by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote,
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To: familyop

That is a nice system, solar is a good way to go for a lot of our needs.

And if one can’t afford the fancy solar systems, there is always a fire in the front yard and a bucket with water to heat it.

Or as I have to do, as I can’t use my wood stove and be on my oxygen machine at the same time, and I pass out, so don’t play much with fire, you will wear 3 layers of clothing, wear a layer of plastic and keep your head covered.

If it gets too cold to sit up, the bed is there with its sleeping bag and a plastic bedspread [a good Walmart paint drop cloth] to seal the body heat in.

One survives, if one wants to do so.

My old wiring will not support electric space heaters.

93 posted on 02/09/2009 5:19:47 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: Thermalseeker

Welcome to the thread, your ideas are good and I hope you will continue to share them with us, there are several that are wanting greenhouses and a couple that have them already.

94 posted on 02/09/2009 5:22:34 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: Wpin; DelaWhere

We will probably be doing more canning now and less freezing. If one were to lose electricity all frozen food has maybe a little more than a week before going bad. Canned food lasts for years.<<<

Yes, can or dehydrate as much food as you can.

You are right, when prices come down, it will be due to less money to buy the product with.

When the electric is going to be off for awhile, wrap the freezer in quilts and it will help it last longer, that is what we did in Wellton, it was outside in the summer heat.

All of your post makes good sense to me, I hope you will continue to share your thoughts with us.

Dela Where is the most up to date on canning, he has answered and added links for several who had questions on the thread #1, on the last 2 or 3 pages.

95 posted on 02/09/2009 5:30:35 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: nw_arizona_granny

Shop only in sales tax free states or over the internet. We live on the eastern shore of Md. 20 minutes to great tax free shopping. WE save 6% on everything we buy...

96 posted on 02/09/2009 5:30:48 AM PST by primatreat (Just F'n fed up !!!!!!)
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To: AdmSmith; Berosus; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Fred Nerks; justiceseeker93; ..

Gun sales spike amid fears of federal regulation
mive | 2/6/09 | By Brian McVicar
Posted on 02/08/2009 7:50:16 AM PST by Flavius

97 posted on 02/09/2009 5:32:59 AM PST by SunkenCiv ( Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: nw_arizona_granny; Diana in Wisconsin; gardengirl; girlangler; SunkenCiv; HungarianGypsy; Gabz; ...

Heads up to the Garden Ping list.

You might just want to bookmark this, if the 1st thread is any indication, this one will rack up posts fast and furiously!!!

98 posted on 02/09/2009 5:35:25 AM PST by Gabz
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To: domeika

Thanks for the link, there is no better source of survival and frugal living, than what the Mormons publish.

When I found Walton Feed, I checked to be sure that the Mormon’s also shopped there and have been happy with their service and products, both the bulk and dehydrated, in cans and in bags.

The last time I shopped there, and all the times, it was cheaper than buying it in Kingman, even after paying UPS to deliver it to my front room.

Fresh, one forgets what fresh oats and beans look like, not like they do in the stores.

You are welcome here, I hope you will continue to share you good links and ideas with us.

99 posted on 02/09/2009 5:38:07 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny ( [Survival,food,garden,crafts,and more)
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To: nw_arizona_granny
"I listen to the police in Denver, Las Vegas and all over the west."

Oh! I didn't know about scanners with that kind of reach. Outdated, I am.

"You are blessed if you know your neighbors, I don’t and I have owned this property over 30 years and lived in it 20 of them."

We only know a few good ones. Most of the neighbors we've met in the surrounding 20 miles or so are the usual--spoiled, apathetic, impatient and wasteful.

"I do know that across the street, living in a travel trailer, is a family that has all been in prison, more than once."

There are a few of those around here but mostly from relatively petty misdeeds of the past and most of them with cooler dispositions due to aging.

"Next to them, someone is building an almost mansion, the garage is started and it is over size with 3 doors, so the house will be something to see."

"A misplaced investment, as my mobile is 50 years old and shows it and there is no way that I can make it pretty, as I can’t even go outside."

We're living small, cheap and will be building again soon. ...working all of the time on the code considerations and plans now for the little place before going back to work as a laborer on small projects for income (little income but okay).

"Whatever you do, don’t get old."

LOL! ...good one! :-) ...Army surgeon told me 20 years ago that I would be in a wheelchair about 7 years ago. But I keep moving around pretty hard to try to put that off long enough to do a few more things for loved ones.

...will try to remember to say a little prayer for you. IMYHO (in my young and humble opinion), it's what we do for others that counts...and learning about how we got here.

100 posted on 02/09/2009 5:42:41 AM PST by familyop (combat engineer (combat), National Guard, '89-'96, Duncan Hunter or no-vote,
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