Saturday, March 26, 2011

Excellant Video

A very thought provoking video. The thought is, which person are we? Are we one preparing and watching, or are we one that is too busy and ignoring? Hmmmmm........

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Who, What, When, Where, and Why of Food Storage

I have been planning my class for this week,  "Love Your Food Storage."  Been doing alot of thinking about it lately, and wondering how does one really learn to love their food storage and it all comes down to "Use It!"  If you use it on a regular basis, you will learn to love it.  I have really learned to love food storage.  It is kind of like any other principle of the Gospel or of the Lord, if you put it into practise, you will gain a testimony of it and learn to love it.
I want to talk today about the 5 W's of food storage......who, what, when, where, and why!
WHO should store food?  Absolutely all of us!  If there is any doubt in your mind, just take a look around in the world today and the calamities, wars, and commotion that is going on is absolutely every place that you look.  I think that the WHO of food storage, is each of us, and we have that responsibility to take care of ourselves and our families.  Your neighbor down the street does not need to store food for you.  Your government officials do not need to store food for you.  Your church does not need to store food for you.  YOU NEED TO STORE FOOD FOR YOU!!!
WHAT should we store?,11677,1706-1,00.html  This link will take you to our church site of provident living.  If you follow the links it will give you alot of information on the W's of food storage.  Here it talks about water storage, 3 month supply, long term storage, and links to other things like financial reserves and things like that.  For our three month supply, it should be foods that we are familiar with and that are easy to prepare.  Foods that will keep our normal diet as close to the same as possible.  If we have a disaster of some sort, it is important to keep our routine as close to normal as possible.  If in case of food shortages, pandemics, or other crisis situations, we will have the assurance that our families will have a normal diet of food in our homes, for at least three months.  For longer term storage items, we should store at least a one year supply of foods that will sustain life.  This will include things like wheat, beans, grains, other legumes, sugars, salt, powdered milk, and oil.  These are the basics, and anything else added to it is bonus, and will only make the experience more pleasant.  Again, go to the site to find out more details, or do a search on the blog here.
WHEN should we store it........well the prophets have been telling us to store food for longer term use, for over 100 years now.  I think that it is about time that we start right NOW.  I have a personal feeling that we have a short window of opportunity left to get our homes in order, including food storage, and that window is fast closing.  With the natural disasters, famines, crop failures, economic uncertainties, and so on, I feel that we do not have a large window of opportunity to take our leisure time to do this.  It is just my opinion and feelings, but I feel it keenly.  Do it now and do it quick. 
WHERE should we store it...........well, I think that we should store it in every available nook and cranny in our homes that is available.  Buckets and boxes can fit nicely under beds, and in many cases can even replace a bed frame.  There is alot of wasted space in closets that could be used for storing things.  I think the reality of it is, if we have the desire to follow the prophets and store food, we will find places to put it.  I read a quote once and unfortunately I cannot find it again, but it was by Wilford Woodruff who said that if we could see what he sees, we would pile our food storage in the middle of the room and walk around it.  He was saying this in reference to those who say that they have no storage space available.  I think it is rather important, and not having space to store it, will not be an excuse that will cut it in the end. 
WHY do we need to store food.........well I think that should be fairly obvious.  Really in our world today, how can one say that there is no need for food storage, and how can one think that our government or our church or family or friends will take care of us in any disaster situation.  Because really our own salvation comes down to you and me, and we can rely on nobody but ourselves.  Personally I never want to be in the situation that I have to tell one of my grandchildren, that Grandma has no food in the house, sorry.  I never want to see the look in their eyes of hunger.  If I can control that one thing, then I can feel like I can rely on the Lord to fill in the other gaps that I cannot fill in.  We have been commanded to store it, we have been warned time and time again of the things that we will face, and we need to have faith that if we keep this commandment, we will be blessed because of it.  FAITH!
I will post more about my class at the end of the week, and hopefully it will help you to learn to love your food storage too!  We know all about it, so now we just need to learn to love everything about it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

52 weeks to preparedness

I have had many requests for my 52 Weeks to Preparedness all in a zip file. I do have this available if anyone wants it. I must admit that I was passed these from someone else a few years ago, and changed and adapted them for my own ward use. I am willing to share. Email me if you would like me to send them to you.

What Can I Do?

My heart has been going out to those who have been affected by the devastation in Japan.  And I keep wondering what can be done?  All I can think is that we learn from this.  But then I have to say what can we learn?  What is it that the Lord wants us to learn?  And what should we do for ourselves?
Could we have disasters like this where we live?  I believe we could!  I have had people asking me what I think about where we live, and I have to say that perhaps the problems we might see here (locally - being Southern Alberta), are the ripple effects of these kinds of disasters. The shortages of certain kinds of foods, or the crazy high prices of certain kinds of food.  We will definitely see the high prices of gasoline!  The ripple effects will affect our standard of living and our economy, no doubt about it.  Are we ready for that?   Of course we could also have earthquakes here, we do have a few fault lines not too far from here, and we could see some flooding, but nothing like a tsunami, (we don't have water!).  We have tornadoes, we have extreme weather, we could see pandemics, we could see biological warfare problems (due to the army base close by), we have a couple of big plants here that produce toxic goods so we could see possible problems there, and the list can go on.  So could we have disasters where we live?  You bet!  Don't think we are exempt from these things!
So then what is our responsibility?  Well, my favorite subject to talk about is food storage, water storage, and just basic preparedness and self reliance in our homes.  In any disaster situation the immediate needs are usually shelter, water, food, and warmth, along with hygiene and medical supplies.   As we see from some of the most recent disasters, and what is going on right now in Japan, those who have survived and are living in shelters, they need medical supplies, they need water, heat, and food.  Those a little further out from the disaster areas are finding power shortages (due to controlled blackouts), they are finding empty shelves at the stores due to lack of available food, lack of transportation, due to shut down in dairies, loss of farms, factories that are not operating, and the list goes on.  There is a lack of fuel, many cannot get gas at the pumps because it just is not there.
We have been warned, we have been prodded, we have been pleaded with, for many years now within our church, and even through the governments, to be prepared.  Our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), has asked us for well over 100 years now to prepare for any disaster by storing food, clothing and fuel where possible.  Many government websites have disaster plans, and tell people to have at least a 72 hour emergency kit, and up to a 3 month supply of food in your homes.  Our church asks us to have a one year supply of food and supplies in our homes. 
So what can we do?  Get prepared in our own homes, for whatever may come our way.  Whether it is just high prices, or shortages, or disasters, or gas shortages, or whatever it might be................get prepared!!!  Don't think for even one minute that we are safe and won't be affected by what is going on out there in the world.  We will, we can, and we will!!! 
Our church has Bishop Storehouses that sell basic food supplies in bulk, cheaper than anywhere else, because they want us to get prepared.  Take advantage of these.  From what I hear in many places that people who are not members of our church take advantage of these more than the members - who have been warned.  So find out where the closest one is and head there.  We are doing a ward dry pack canning day on April 9th and I am looking forward to that.  It is always a great time to get together a group of people who want to get prepared and have a work day.
So again?  Could it happen here?  Definitely something could, and will at some time.  What can we do?  Get prepared for whatever may come.  We don't know what it will be, but it will come, no doubt.
D&C 88: 88-91. "And after your testimony cometh wrath and indignation upon the people.  For after your testimony cometh the testimony of earthquakes, that shall cause groanings in the midst of her, and men shall fall upon the ground and shall not be able to stand.  And also cometh the testimony of the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.  And all things shall be in commotion; and surely, men's hearts shall fail them; for fear shall come upon all people." 
In fact it wouldn't hurt to study out the whole section 88.  Study, ponder and pray about it. 
We have been warned!  What are you going to do about it?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Three Classes

I have three classes that I now have to teach within the next month. I will have help with the gardening class, so I am not too worried about that one. However, the other two have me thinking.

One is called "Frugal is Fun" and one is called "Using your food storage and loving it".

I have so many different ideas rolling around in my head, but the one that I am struggling with is, the FUN in Frugal. I know what Frugal is, and I live it.....most of the time. But I don't know how to really find the FUN in it. So if you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to share them. You can comment, or email me that would be awesome.

I will most certainly be posting about both of these classes, as well as the garden class, as the planning goes forward! I always love to teach classes, because it makes me study and learn as well.
Looking forward to it!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Farmer's Almanac and Gardening

I have been hearing mixed reports about the weather for the next couple of months.  So I decided to look up the Farmer's Almanac for our region.  You can find it below at this link.  And if you are not in my region, then scroll up or down for your own region.  Here is what it said for Southern and Central Alberta, Saskatchewan, and parts of Manitoba.

MARCH 2011: temperature 0 °C (2 °C above avg.); precipitation 5mm (15mm below avg.); Mar 1-7: Sunny, turning mild (yay!!!); Mar 8-14: Rain and snow showers, mild; Mar 15-19: Flurries, cold; Mar 20-23: Sunny, turning warm; Mar 24-27: Sprinkles, mild; Mar 28-31: Sunny, seasonable.

APRIL 2011: temperature 2 °C (4 °C below avg.); precipitation 30mm (avg.); Apr 1-6: Snow, then sunny east; snowy periods west; cold; Apr 7-10: Rainy periods east; sunny, cold west; Apr 11-13: Sunny, cold; Apr 14-18: Rain and snow showers, cool; Apr 19-26: Snowstorm, then sunny, cool; Apr 27-30: Sunny, warm.

So all in all it isn't looking to be wonderfully warm, but perhaps not quite so cold either!  So now you may ask, why do we really care about all of this?  Well, it is kind of important to farmers, thus Farmer's Almanac, because it will help them do some planning on when to plant and what kind of weather they can look forward to.  And for us, well we should also be thinking the same kinds of things.  We should have most of our seeds ordered if we are going to order from catalogues.  If not, do it soon.  And we should be planning what kinds of things we want to have in our gardens to have as fresh food for the table, and food to put away for the winter months.  Really, because of all of the scares of increasing prices on these fresh items, IF we can get them at all, I think it should be at the top of most of our lists to be planning our gardens and what we want. 

What if you don't have garden space?  Did you know that you can do wonders growing vegetables in containers?  If you have never done it, well just do a google search on container gardening, or small space gardening and the resources out there are limitless.  You can also check out your local library on these subjects and I am positive that you will find a ton of books with lots of ideas.  You may also want to check out square foot gardening  I know his books are at our local library.  Amazing information for getting the most produce out of small spaces.  This is one of my goals this year is to turn half of my back yard into a bunch of square foot gardens.  More produce per square foot, less water usage, less weeds, and less bending.  It is a win, win situation.

 I do alot of container gardening.  I plant all of my hot peppers (and that is usually alot) into gallon size pots and they grow awesome.  The only thing with planting in pots is that if it gets really hot you have to water at least once a day, sometimes twice.  The nice thing is if there is too much rain, well it will either drain out the bottom, or you can easily move the pots to a dryer location.  When I go away camping or something, I just set up a sprinkler drip system and they seem to survive pretty well.  If the weather turns too cold, I move my pots inside over night and out again in the morning.  There is also alot less weeds this way.   You can quite often find used pots, just ask around at greenhouses, farmers, or on freecycle, people are usually quite willing to give away their pots, but not me!  :)

So your goals should be right now to be planning on what you want to have growing for fresh and for storage.  Figure out the layout of your current garden space, or figure out which chunk of your lawn you are going to turn into garden.  (Remember you can't eat grass, well you can but Yuck!!)  Get your seeds soon so you can be starting the ones that need to be started indoors.  My kitchen over the next week will turn into a partial greenhouse for about the next two months.  I love it!  Don't wait, just be proactive and have faith that if you get creative in your planting, you can only be blessed with a bountiful harvest. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Some of my Favorite Things

It has been some time since I have posted here, but I feel like I need to get back into it. I thought I might share with you some of my favorite things that I have or have learned that have to do with preparedness.
My favorite books: Well there are quite a few, but I have recently aquired a couple of new ones that I am really enjoying.
One is called Marlene's Magic with Food Storage. It is not a newly released book or anything, but she has some great ideas and recipes in this book. I ordered it from which is her website, so check it out. It really is worth having if you really want to know what to use your longer term food storage for. It contains things like cheese making from powdered milk, making tofu from soy milk which you make yourself, alot about sprouting, cooking with all the basic food storage items, and even making food for babies from food storage. Well worth the money.
Another one is called My Whole Foods Kitchen by Tere Foster. It can be found at It is also well worth the price that I paid for it, right around $25. She goes through a whole system of setting up your kitchen to be food storage friendly, using all of your longer term foods, and her whole point of the book is to be healthier because of it. She shares a system of rotating by following menus, and planning ahead, and I really love the way she does stuff. She has a channel on YouTube as well if you just do a search for 3Dhealth, she has quite a few great videos not only on food storage but on survival in the Latter Days, and quite a bit of her stuff is LDS related. I have made use of many of her videos to help me organize and set up my rotation system. They are great so check them out!
Some random things:
I love my soy milk maker that I purchased not long ago. You don't have to purchase the most expensive ones, but they are a little bit pricy. Try checking out ebay if you are interested, you might find them cheaper. Shop aroung. Anyways, I have been experimenting with making soy milk, which is surprisingly not too bad. There are a few of us in the house that have lactose problems, and it actually works for us. Of course I have also made it with my milk maker, but it takes way longer and is much more work. So if you have lactose problems, or just want to get your family healthier, I would suggest getting one. I just searched google and found one that I liked. I also am experimenting with making tofu from my fresh made milk. I love tofu, and eat alot of it, because I don't care for meat, and haven't eaten it for about 20 years. So tofu and beans are great. I am still trying to find the desirable tofu, but will keep at it until I find it.
I don't love my hand wheat grinder. I mean it works great for what it is, but if I want to get enough flour for a batch of bread, then I have to grind for about an hour or more, and that is just not fun! So on the top of my wish list of favorite things to get will be an electric mill. I am grateful I have my hand one and someday, I will really appreciate it, however, for now, I really want an electric one.
I love my Cabella's commercial dehydrator that I purchased. I have used it to dry pretty much every thing that can be dehydrated. I am learning to cook with these dehydrated foods and they are wonderful. When they are reconstituted, they are almost like fresh. What a blessing a dehydrator can be. It is worth getting a good quality one, or you will not love it.
I also love my food saver. I have made many of my own meals, "just add water" meals, and then seal them up with my food saver, and voila.........light weight nutritious easy to make meals that taste soooooooo much better than some of the store boughten ones I have tasted. A friend of mine had me try some her meals similar to this that she bought in a 5 gallon bucket, because she said they were just horrible and she needed some help to figure out how to make them more palatable. Well I tried them, and............they are pretty much horrible. Sorry for any of you who have purchased these buckets of survival food. My suggestion to you, try them out and figure out what you need to do ahead of time to make them taste better! In my case, I am so glad that I have the dehydrated foods, TVP, other food storage, and spices in my store room, with the food saver, and I make my own meals.
Well, enough random things for now. I will come back soon because I have so many thoughts on my mind. Things like Gardening - since we are facing such grave food shortages - I think we can and should still be creative in our gardening ways, so that we can still provide and put away garden produce for our families. I will get back to you more on this one soon. I have to teach a class about it, so you will be hearing from me. I am also prepping a class called "Using your long term storage and loving it" So you will hear from me on that one too.