In my opinion, these are the best of the best of survival and preparedness articles gleaned from the 'net.

Please visit the originating sites to see more like them.

Monday, April 14, 2014

27+ Ways to Use Dandelion

Original Article

by Angela
Hold off on the weed spray! Make dandelions your friends with these 27+ ways to use them!

Hold off on the weed spray!  That shining yellow flower that pops up all over creation in the spring doesn’t need to be eradicated.  Although dandelions are typically thought of as a pesky weed, they are entirely edible from root to bloom and have many other uses as well.  So if your world is being overrun by dandelions, check out some of these fantastic ways to put them to use for you!

Using Dandelion Roots:

How to Cook Dandelion Roots
Harvesting and Using Dandelion Roots
Dandelion Root Coffee Substitute
Dandelion Root Tea

Using Dandelion Leaves:

Put them in a fresh salad
Cook them like spinach
Try this Wilted Dandelion Salad
Use them in this Avocado Herb Sandwich
10 Ways to Use Dandelion Greens (includes a recipe for pesto!)
Another version of Dandelion Pesto
Juice them
Make a green smoothie
Dandelion leaf tea

Using Dandelion Flowers:

How to make Dandelion Wine and Dandelion Cookies
Another recipe for Dandelion Wine
Dandelion Jelly
Dandelion Syrup
Dandelion Bread
Dandelion Flower Cookies
Dandelion Flower Tea
Iced Lime and Dandelion Tea

Medicinal and personal care uses:

Dandelion Salve
Dandelion Oil for Arthritis and Joint Pain Relief
Dandelion Tonic for liver, bladder, and gallbladder cleansing (video)

Dandelion Recipes:

A roundup of Dandelion Recipes Includes recipes for Cream of Dandelion Soup, Dandelion Egg Salad, Split Pea Dandelion Bud Soup, and more.
Get cooking with dandelions with the Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook!
And if you don’t want to eat the dandelions, you can always use them to Feed your chickens!
More information on using dandelions in these articles:
Dandelions: The Weed You Need
10 Wild Plants You Can Eat
Who knew there were so many fantastic ways to use dandelions?  So when those beautiful yellow flowers pop up this spring, try some of these uses and make dandelions a friend instead of a foe!
The post 27+ Ways to Use Dandelion appeared first on Food Storage and Survival.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Growing Green Onions 8 to 9 Times Faster

Original Article

by Travis
Growing food fast is key to survival in any SHTF scenario. While growing most vegetables from seed takes anywhere from 50 to 125 days, re-growing certain vegetables from left over stems can take significantly less time in a very basic hydroponics system. Green onions are one of the easiest vegetables to re-grow in water. However, there is a little more to it than what most “Suzy homemaker” blogs claim. I have found that green onions will re-grow in a glass of water very quickly and successfully by adding just 2-3 drops of all-purpose plant food with each change of water, which should be done at least every other day. This addition of nutrient will help the onions grow fast and healthy. Without this addition, the onions simply won’t prosper because most drinking water if all but void of nutrients needed for plants to grow. However, it’s important to note that too much of a good thing can also be bad, so don’t add more than 2-3 drops of plant food or you will kill your onion.
So how quickly will they re-grow? I have found that it takes about two weeks to re-grow a green onion from the stem of one previously used. All you have to do is save the root and about 1-2 inches of the stem. Place the root and stem in a tall glass with the nutrient dense water coming about ¼ inch from the top of the stem.  Soon you will have a new set of healthy, nutrient rich onions to eat! Best of all, these stems can be used over and over again as long as you maintain the water and don’t allow any mold to build up on the plant.
Green Onion Hydroponics

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Q and A: what to grow in a shady area and storing canned goods with rings on them

Original Article

Under Pressure
by Jackie Clay
What to grow in a shady area
Our homestead is very small, and in a biggish city, Youngstown, OH. We bought a fixer-upper here about a year ago. The back yard is very small, and it’s on a hillside. Our back and side yard blends into a large park here, Mill Creek Park. I don’t mean a manicured garden park, I mean small lakes, at least one waterfall, wild critters, etc. It’s beautiful! But, while our yard is cleared of most trees, huge, towering maple trees, lots of them, are right on the boundary. So it’s a pretty darn shady hillside a large part of the day. It’s on the north side of the house.

Personally, I think we could grow some herbs there, since I have better luck with partial shade than full sun, which seems to burn my herbs up. I think green would grow well there. But what about fruit trees and bushes? When I was young, I found elderberries, raspberries, etc, in the woods, and on the edges of forest and meadow. So I am going to research what I might plant there, since fruit, in and out of season, is very expensive (to me).

Sorry I am so long-winded. I see in some catalogs trees that are grafted with a few different kinds of one fruit, such as apples, or even with 6 different fruits, like apple, pear, nectarine, etc. Do you know anything about this kind of tree? Are they a good idea? This would be fruit for the table, since I expect that I wouldn’t get a canning amount of any one of the fruits. Do they produce enough to be worth the space? Are they a hardy, long bearing kind of tree?

Barb Mundorff
Youngstown, Ohio
Yes, your herbs should work in your partially-shaded yard. Many other garden plants from salad greens to even green beans and tomatoes will often work. Yes, some fruits, too, will grow in partial shade. In Michigan I had a pie cherry that grew in the dense shade of a huge weeping willow in the front yard. It produced very well, too! Elderberries, plums, paw paws, and persimmons also grow quite well in shady areas.
The “fruit salad” grafted fruit trees can work well for many urban homesteaders. All varieties on the tree don’t ripen at the same time so these trees are quite useful. And you will get enough to can jelly, jams, preserves, or sauce (depending on the fruits!). They do eventually produce well and are as hardy and long-bearing as any other kind of fruit tree meant for your zone. They prefer a more sunny yard but I sure would give it a try. It’s amazing at how many things folks have told me I “couldn’t possibly grow” did very well, indeed. Homesteaders are an experimenting bunch! — Jackie
Storing canned goods with rings on them
I have been canning for about a year now, careful to follow all of your instructions, and those in the Ball Blue Book. Once I am sure my jars are sealed properly I have re-attached the ring to some of them as a sort of insurance & a way to “store” the number of rings I am collecting. I have recently read that this can be dangerous – that should a jar unseal the ring will hold it on and allow bacteria to grow and re-seal the jar. Is this cause for alarm? Do I have to discard any jars I have with rings on them?
Judith Almand
Brandon, Florida
Jars that have become unsealed will NOT reseal if you screw the ring back on a jar lightly. Once unsealed, a jar remains unsealed. As always, when opening a jar, first look at the contents, open the jar, being sure it IS sealed, smell the contents, then bring to boiling temperature for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes a “bad” jar will pop “sealed” and “unsealed” several times but when you open the jar, the lid comes off very easily and you can sure tell it isn’t normal. I frequently store my washed jars that I’ve taken the rings off and washed both then dried, with the clean rings back on, lightly, just to store them without clutter. — Jackie
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Friday, April 11, 2014

Essential Items for the Prepper First Aid Kit

Original Article

by Guest Author
firstaidA first aid kit is a sensible item which no US home should be without. Your basic kit can treat any number of ailments with just a few simple items, from cuts and sprains to insect bites and allergic reactions. A prepper’s first aid kit, however, is intended to help you stay fighting fit in a survival situation. You should therefore aim to obtain the majority of the following items, which will keep you safe in both a ‘bunker down’ situation and when you’re on the move.
Cuts and Abrasions
Minor cuts and scrapes may not sound like a big deal, but when you’re in the wilderness any kind of trauma to the skin can quickly turn into a much bigger problem. The first kind of items you should have in your kit include band aids, gauze and antiseptic cream.  Make sure to include sticking plasters which have some padding behind them, as these are ideal for when you develop a blister and are extremely easy to transport. Sticking plaster will also help you to secure a bandage.
Larger Wounds
Treating a larger wound is often tricky, particularly if you have no medical training. Having the right items in your first aid kit will, however, go a long way to ensuring that a large wound will heal on its own. Your first step is to clean the wound. Many preppers carry water sterilization tablets in their first aid kit for this purpose. Large wounds should be left relatively open in order for infection to drain, but this doesn’t mean leaving them exposed. Your gauze will come in useful here, as will sanitized medical-grade dressings.
Top Tip: Many experienced survivalists – both men and women – will often include sanitary towels in their first aid kits. Whilst this may sound distasteful, sanitary towels are super absorbent which makes them perfect for larger wounds. They’re also waterproof and make for excellent padding.
Good oral hygiene is vital in a survival situation. Your teeth can be used for a variety of different purposes, and if you end up with an infection in your mouth this can be incredibly painful and hugely debilitating. Dental medic kits can be pre-purchased and contain everything you’ll need to practice dentistry in the field. Make sure you don’t get to the point of needing it, by including a toothbrush and tooth powder in your first aid kit.
Bugs and Bites
A can of bug repellent spray and a pair of stout boots are vital items for any serious prepper. But being able to treat a bite once it occurs is also essential, which is why you should always include an EPI-pen, snake bite kit and inhaler in your first aid kit. Malaria pills are also recommended for anyone who lives in an at-risk area.

Author bio: Sam Butterworth is a writer and someone who likes to be prepared for any situation. He works for the UK Safety Store  – a favorite firm with preppers the world over, thanks to its comprehensive collection of first aid kits and emergency aid essentials.
The post Essential Items for the Prepper First Aid Kit appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

20 Inexpensive Ways to Safeguard Your Home

Original Article

by Code Name Insight
Protecting your home and property is a given.  You want the things that you buy and the home that you live in to be safe and secure which has made home security a multi-million dollar industry what with home alarm companies, home protection camera systems, and even private security guards/security companies.  Here's some simple, inexpensive ways to safeguard your home.

  1. Choose a reasonably safe place to live.  If you are moving to a new house or apartment, do a bit of sleuthing around and figure out which neighborhoods are safer than others (start here).
  2. Put up a "beware of dog" sign.  You don't need an actual dog as the sign itself can be a deterrent.
  3. If you like and want a pet, choose a dog.  I know that there are dog people and there are cat people but dogs make a better guard/alarm system for your home than a cat.
  4. Buy new locks (or re-key your current locks) if it has been a while since this was done, especially if you have lost track of who has keys for your place.
  5. See if your neighborhood has a neighborhood watch program.  If such a program is available in your area, join up.  If it is not available, start one.
  6. Get to know your neighbors.  Ask them to call you and report anything unusual they see happening at your home and offer to do the same for them.
  7. Make sure basic repairs are made ASAP, especially if it impacts your home security.  Make sure all window and door locks are secure.  Make sure the garage door is secure.  Make sure outbuildings can be locked down tight.  Replace outdoor light bulbs as soon as you notice them burned out.
  8. Landscape for safety.  Make sure your doors and windows are visible and not hidden by overgrown bushes and shrubs.  Plant roses or other spiky/thorny bushes beneath windows.
  9. Light up for safety.  Install motion detector outdoor lights around your property.  Add flood lights at various places around your property if needed.  Make sure you can light up all of the property around your home with the flick of a switch from inside of your home.
  10. Hold regular home lock down drills in which your family locks down your home as quickly as possible. 
  11. Before you leave your home or go to bed at night make a sweep of your home to make sure all doors are locked, necessary exterior lights are turned on, all windows are closed and locked, the stove is turned off, nightlights are turned on, etc.
  12. See if your local $1 store or hardware store offers cheap window and door alarms.  These are basically two plastic pieces that attach to the door and the frame or two parts of a window.  There is a battery which creates an electrical current and if the pieces are jarred or moved a shrill alarm is set off.
  13. Set up a fake video security system around the exterior of your home (this is the cheap option and is a slight deterrent).
  14. Set up a real, wireless video security system around the interior and exterior of your home (this is more expensive).  Many of these systems can be monitored via computer or smartphone.
  15. Don't make it easy for burglars/intruders to enter your home (make sure they can't enter through a dog door, can't pull out a window AC unit and enter than way, that you don't leave your garage door open unless you are actively coming or going in this area, that you don't leave your front or back door unlocked--both while you are at home or while you are gone, that you don't "hide" a key outside in case you get locked out, etc).
  16. Don't do stupid stuff (like posting your vacation plans on Twitter or Facebook, never changing your alarm system code if you do have an alarm system, leaving a stack expensive looking stuff at the curb on garbage day like a MacBook box, an iPhone box, a box from your new 60" TV, etc).
  17. Hide your valuables when you leave your home (ie: stick your MacBook air under the sofa when you leave the house instead of leaving it on the table where it can be seen through a window; if you do have a safe, don't just stick it in your bedroom closet, hide it in the attic under a blanket of fiberglass insulation, etc).
  18. Keep your wallet, cell phone, and car keys on your nightstand instead of sitting by the front door or on the kitchen table where someone can see these items through a window or door.
  19. Be aware of who you let into your home.  Your home can be "cased" for a future burglary by your teenage kid's friends, door to door salespeople, etc.
  20. Make it look like someone is always home (don't allow mail or newspapers to pile up, keep the radio or TV on when you leave to make it sound like someone is home, use timers on your interior lights to make it look like someone is home/awake at various times during the day and night, etc).

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