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Preparedness Nuggets Part the Seventeenth

A Cyberbook of Practical Wisdom for Daily Living

gathered from internet discussion groups and edited for web publication by Robert Waldrop

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Page bookmarks for Preparedness Nuggets 17

100 useful items for emergencies/disaster relif

A food coop active in 30 states

A thread on cracked feed corn

A thread on stove top breads

Access to low-tech sustainable living information

Cleaning wheat

Coffee substitutes

Cooking and canning in a pressure cooker

Corona grain mill

Dehydrating spinach (plus some recipes and uses for spinach flour)

Dehydrating Swiss chard

Edible flowers

Excellent non-commercial site on drinking water

Gardening in bags of potting soil


How to can butter

How to survive a heart attack when you are alone

Instant refried bean mix

Kiddie wading pool garden

Make your own ranch dressing mix

Mom's famous old Russian sourdough starter

Natural insect repelling plants

Organizing your food storage as meals

Outdoor baking ideas

Planting potatoes

Recipes for making your own pest deterrents

Shoe repair links

Smithfield hams

Tobacco based insect control

Using sprouts

Warning label to be placed on all people who think for themselves


I thought I would share my recipe for hamburger rocks with you. You take your hamburger and fry in pan, then pour into a colander and rinse under hot running water. Wipe out the skillet you fried the hamburger in and pour the hamburger back into the skillet. (Make sure all the grease is off). I then fry it again (slightly) crispy add onions, garlic (powders are fine) ( you may also add chili powder in some and/or Italian seasoning in the other) then you can either put it in you dehydrator trays, or cook in your oven under low heat for a few hours until it resembles hard little rocks.

If you don't have enough fruit roll up trays for your dehydrator you can use wax paper and dry till they turn into hard hamburger rocks. Afterwards I store them in sealed bags or in canning jars. I have kept it successfully for 1-1/2 years so far with no problem.

To reconstitute:

When I need hamburger meat for: hamburger helper, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, Mexican casserole etc....I just boil 2 cups water to 1 cup of hamburger rocks and let set till it rehydrates, then drain if any liquid and add to my mix. My family laughs at my hamburger rocks, but they have been eating it for over a year and not knowing. I recently made a mock lasagna dish using it for a ladies meeting and they were surprised and impressed. So start dehydrating your Hamburger Rocks today

Miles Stair on hamburger rocks: We have tried it, and it works, but we ended up with more "sand and gravel" than was desirable. So I ground rump roast and pot roast in a #2 universal meat chopper using the 3-bladed cutter, and now we get almost all rocks, very little gravel, and no sand. About 6 lbs of meat will dehydrate to only 1 quart of rocks. Miles Stair


From the weekly email newsletter of the Frugal Living at site (which has tremendous links on frugal, prudent, and simple living. Http:// .

I bought a small package, 0.4 oz, of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix at the grocers today for $1.09. It was about 1 tablespoonful. I looked at their list of ingredients and looked at several recipes I had and came up with the following mix recipe which I think is very close to the original taste. I made up 5 tablespoons of the mix for about $0.25 total cost. Since I make my own buttermilk and mayonnaise the pint of Ranch Dressing costs less than $0.30 to make and I know exactly what's in it. Here is my recipe: Ranch Dressing Mix ----MIX INGREDIENTS---- 1-1/2 tablespoons salt 2 teaspoons monosodium glutamate; MSG, Accent 2 teaspoon garlic powder 2 teaspoon onion powder 3 teaspoon parsley flakes 1/2 teaspoon pepper, white fine ground ----DRESSING---- 1 tablespoon ranch dressing mix 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup mayonnaise To make the mix add all ingredients together and thoroughly blend in a spice/coffee grinder.Put in an air tight container and use as needed. To make the dressing blend buttermilk, mayonnaise and mix until smooth. Allow to chill for 30 minutes. Keeps well for about 30 days. *

Comment about Richard's recipe for Ranch Dressing dry mix. (From Frugal Living Newsletter-041299) Add powdered buttermilk to the base dressing then use water and mayonnaise to mix it. I don't keep buttermilk on hand as I don't use it a lot so it would spoil. With the powdered, it is excellent and no spoiling. Or if the amounts can't be calculated correctly for the mix, use the powdered buttermilk and water instead of fresh.


AN EFFECTIVE INSECTICIDE The most effective natural insecticide for flying and crawling insects, the least harmful to mammals or birds it is made from the dried and crushed flowers of the Dalmatian Pyrethrum. The brown powder will kill or stun the insects the moment it touches them. Safest pesticide to use on pets, sprinkled on their coats. This member of the daisy family is a beautiful ornamental and will compliment any garden or flower bed. While very effective, the dried powder only lasts for a few days. You can prolong its use throughout the year by freezing fresh flower heads in zip-lock bags and drying and crushing them as needed. Although this is the safest natural pesticide, please use common sense when handling.

------------------------ A SAFE MOSQUITO REPELLENT Mosquitoes are very sensitive to certain scents, Chamomile and Eucalyptus especially. Both are easy to grow and both are used in dry flower arrangements and potpourri. To make the mosquito repellent take one oz. of green leaves from both plants and boil in a gallon of water. Strain and place in the refrigerator. Before going outside, splash the mixture liberally over your face and exposed parts of your body. You will enjoy the fresh, citrus smell but the mosquitoes will stay far away.

------------------------- SNAIL DETERRENT: Place crushed egg shells around the base of plants in the garden if you are having a problem with snails or slugs. They don't like crawling over the sharp edges. The shells are good for the soil too. Don't use sprays to kill bugs in your home. Decrease the number of insects getting into your home by repairing holes in screens and doors and destroying nests of vermin in your yard. Powdered boric acid mixed with bit of sugar can become an effective and less dangerous ant and roach control. Choose organic fruits and vegetables. If organic is not an option, ask for produce that is locally grown it will thereby be treated with fewer chemicals to help it survive transport to market. Many other countries don't have restrictions on pesticides Shop at farmer's markets and food co-ops, try to buy produce grown in the U.S., the supermarket usually notes the origins on the price cards. Practice organic gardening. Avoid chemical lawn services; plant native plants that do well in your region without a lot of chemical intervention, and increase your tolerance for weeds and bugs just a little bit! Synthetic pesticides are more of a threat to man than the insects. As each generation of insects become more immune to the pesticides, stronger and more potent chemicals are developed. Meanwhile we are absorbing these chemicals as they permeate our homes, gardens and lawns. We are also depleting the quality of our lives and poisoning the world around us. We hope that most American gardeners will help reverse this trend by utilizing natural pest deterrents that have been used successfully for generations.


(P)=Perennial, (A)=Annual, (B)=Biennial

---------------- DALMATIAN PYRETHRUM. Chrysanthemum cinerarifolium. (P) A beautiful daisy that is hardy and blooms throughout the spring and summer. The flowerheads are used to make one of the best natural pesticides available. Will bloom in the summer of its second year.

--------------- ENGLISH PENNYROYAL. Mentha pulegium. (P) A small leafed herb that has spikes of lavender, fragrant flowers. Ground pennyroyal is one of the most effective tick deterrents available. Dust powder made from the leaves around areas where the pet sleeps and plays. Grows well in hanging baskets. Zones 6-10.

----------- EPAZOTE Chenopodium Ambrosiodes (A) Whole plant can be used to make a strong "tea" used for washing floors and porches to repel insects and larvae.

----------------- EUCALYPTUS CITRIODORA Beautiful, shiny, round silvery-gray leaves. Must be container grown north of zone 9. Mature height of 50' in the south. Zones 9-10.

----------------- FEVERFEW Chrysanthemum parthenium (B,P) A beautiful daisy that blooms midsummer through fall. The flowerheads are used to make one of the best natural pesticides available. Long used to relieve migraine headaches and pain from arthritis, fevers and menstrual cramps. Only 3-4 of the tiny leaves may be used daily mixed in with other foods or made into a tea. Take after consulting with a physician.

------------- LAVENDER Lavandula angustifolia (P) A beautiful aromatic herb that is hardy to zone 5 and can be raised indoors in colder climates. Beautiful flowers on long stems and narrow green leaves. Sow in fall or spring. When planted in the garden, it will deter pests with its fragrance. When dried and placed in closets and drawers with clothes, it will deter moths and lend its wonderful fragrance to the clothes. Usually flowers in its second year.

---------------- LEMON BASIL. Ocimum basilicum v. citriodorum.. (A) An aromatic herb with small pretty flowers and lemony fragrance. An attractive plant that is easy to grow. When planted in the garden close to tomatoes, it not only improves the taste of the tomatoes but deters white flies as well. Can also be used in salads, as seasoning, and in potpourri.

------------- MOUNTAIN TOBACCO. Attenuata ORGANICALLY GROWN (A) A graceful and ornamental species with white 1" flowers flushed pink outside. Very popular tobacco with the Navajo Indians. An all purpose plant, it can be used as an ornamental, filler and pesticide base. To make the perfect garden pesticide, mix 1 teaspoon of powdered dried leaves with one teaspoon of dish washing detergent in one gallon of water. Apply with a sprayer.

----------------- MUGWORT. Artemisia vulgaris. (P) Leaves are used to repel moths. An excellent women's herb used for menstrual and menopausal problems. An infusion made from dried roots at a rate of 1 ounce of herb to one pint of water makes a stimulating tonic. Doses should be 1/2 teaspoon while still warm. The infusion provides healing energy and improves memory.

---------------- OSAGE ORANGE. Maclura pomifera. A fast growing shrub often grown as a hedge. Pretty foliage with greenish flowers. The crushed fruits of this plant are said to attract and kill cockroaches. Can be raised as container plant in northern states. Both male and female plants must be present to produce fruits. Zones 5-9.

--------------- PEPPERMINT. Mentha piperita (P) Helps to repel ants, aphids, cabbage loopers, flea beetles, cabbage worms, squash bugs and white flies. Can be invasive so keep trimmed. Planted near others for protection or use a tea made from the crushed leaves. Zones 4-10.

----------------- ROSEMARY. Rosmarinus officinalis. (P)Evergreen aromatic shrubs from the Mediterranean. Grows 2-6' with pale blue 1/2" flowers and attractive foliage. Powdered Rosemary leaves are used as a flea and tick repellent. Simply dust the powder onto the pet or areas where the pet sleeps. A very effective and safe repellent. Zones 7-10.

---------------- SHOO-FLY PLANT. Nicandra physalodes. (A) 2-5' tall with sky-blue flowers, followed by unusual, papery wing pods that are excellent for dried arrangements. A beautiful ornamental often raised around greenhouses for its possible fly repelling properties. Said to attract and kill white flies. Zones 8-10.

------------- SAGE. Salvia officinalis Its use as a food seasoning, and its medicinal values have been known for centuries. In the garden, it should be planted next to cabbage, it will improve the taste of the plant and repel cabbage worms and moths.

--------------- TANSY. Tanacetum vulgare (P) Leaves are used to repel ants and moths. Can be used in sachets or strewn about. Small yellow button-like flowers are used in potpourri or dried for everlastings. Zones 4-9.

------------ WORMWOOD. Artemisia absinithium. (P)3-5' tall with gray, silky foliage and spikes of small flowers. Hardy throughout the US. Easy to grow from seed. Has many uses as a food seasoning and medicinal plant. Powdered dust made from the leaves when sprinkled on plants and soil will deter many insects. Not because it is toxic, but simply because they do not like its fragrance. Zones 4-6.


From Plants Around Us.

The American Beech Tree's nuts when taken out of the husks, roasted until dark and brittle, then ground, will make a fine coffee. Store this in an airtight container. They are best collected after the first hard frost when they normally drop to the ground. Once stored, they can be used all year round. You might have to fight the squirrels for them. Prepare normally.

Chicory coffee - remember that blue flower with almost leafless stalks that grow just about everywhere there's a road. They look like daisy's, but their petals are blue and are squared off at the ends. The white fleshy roots, roasted until dark brown and brittle, then ground, make an excellent coffee. Prepare like coffee. Use 1-1/2 tsp. per cup of water. Store in an airtight container. Use all year round.


This website is an experiment in global collaboration thru the internet to mine the ingeniousness of humanity. To make neighborhoods globally self-sustainable before 2000. Not only as the most responsible and intelligent answer to teotwaki and any and all future possible disasters, but to lay the groundwork for a non-polluting, non-toxic, mutually co-operative network of self-sustainable, non-sovereign/inclusive communities throughout the world. We are hoping that those who "pass through the bagelhole" will come out self-sustainable as well as their communities before 2000. We are hoping that individuals that have ideas to give will give and those who need to learn will take. Volunteers (which we all are) are needed to cull the links we have, check the ideas,constantly honing and improving the current list.Internet access is all that is necessary. We are also hoping that great new ideas for sustainable projects will be born, fostered, and designed here to be implemented there (wherever you are). That is what the projects section is for. Hope you enjoy and leave with some sense of fulfillment and realize that the human family does not have to be dysfunctional but thru our common interconnectedness can create a world with which we can, in all humility, be proud of. They say," When the entire Universe passes thru the bagelhole, that's when the Transformation will begin." I believe that time is now. Tom O (bagelhole1)


1. Use any butter that is on sale. {Lesser quality butter requires more shaking (see #5 below), but still turns out beautiful--and costs far less.} 2. Heat pint jars in 250 degree oven for 20 minutes, without rings or seals. {One pound of butter is a little more than one pint jar, so if you melt 10 pounds of butter, heat 11 pint jars.} 3. While jars heat, melt butter slowly until it comes to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. {Also put canning lids in pot of water and simmer for 5 minutes.} 4. Pour melted butter carefully into heated jars using a large ladle, stirring the melted butter before pouring into each jar. Use a canning jar funnel, then wipe the rim of the jar with a damp towel. Leave 1/2" to 3/4" air space, which makes shaking easier. 5. Add lid and ring and close securely. They will seal as they cool. Shake while the jars are still warm but cool enough to handle easily, because the butter separates and becomes white on the bottom of the jar. Shake again, and as the jars cool, shake again. 6. At this point, while still slightly warm, put the jars into a refrigerator. While hardening, shake again, and the butter will then look like butter and be firm. This final shaking is very important! Check every 5 minutes and give a little shake until hardened in the jar! Leave in the refrigerator for an hour. 7. Canned butter should store for 3 years or longer on a cool, dark shelf. Pax; Miles Stair (SW ORE) Miles Stair


Hope it won't come to this but if shoe repairs become necessary maybe we should learn a bit about it. Here are some sites on shoe making and repairs.


AMARANTHUS; aka "Love Lies Bleeding." Eat seedlings and tender young leaves of older plants fresh, frozen, steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or added to soups. Profuse seeds can be used as flour for flat breads. Drought hardy, grows without irrigation.

BURDOCK; plant top (young) eaten raw or cooked as salad greens. Root cleaned, then boiled. CALENDULA; Greens are tasty and flow petals are edible. CHICKWEED; Entire plant edible, raw or cooked. If dried can be used as stock base for soup. COMFREY; Young leaves good as cook greens, tuberous roots cooked like potatoes. DAHLIA; Edible tubers, with the added advantage of not looking like a food plant. DANDELION; Young leaves as salad greens. Roots boiled or roasted. Roasted and dried, then ground, roots may be used as a coffee substitute. DOCK; Young leaves as salad greens, seeds ground to flour to thicken soups.

FIREWEED; Young shoots cooked as asparagus. Young leaves cooked for greens, or dried and used for tea. The pith of fall stems used as soup stock. FLOWERING KALE; Salads, or cooked, steamed, or boiled. JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE; Large tuberous root can be eaten raw, better cooked or baked like potatoes. MUSTARD; Young leaves used raw or cooked. Seeds crushed, salt and vinegar added to make condiment called "mustard," of course. NASTURTIUM; edible leaves, quite tangy. ROSE; The hip is fleshy with pulpy center. Eaten raw or cook for jelly. Dried fresh hips used as tea. STRAWBERRY; Fruit used in pies, breads, muffins, and in jellies and jams. Bruise tender young leaves, add to boiling water for a fine tea.

THISTLE; Tender shoots used if outer rind removed. Cook as with asparagus. Root stock cleaned and roasted. If "retted" in water and the spines removed, the long and strong fibers can be woven for nets, clothing, etc. Pax; Miles Stair (SW ORE) <)))>< Miles Stair


I read a neat idea for a raised garden. It said to use a kiddie wading pool and fill it with dirt. I thought this might work for those of you in the city with lots of concrete. You could buy a collapsible wading pool to use next summer. This site also gives lots of other ideas - like where to get free dirt or compost.


You can also garden in individual bags of potting soil. Just lay the bag on its side. Punch a few holes in the side that now acts as the "bottom" of the "container". Create a small hole in the top for your plant. Tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, etc can be grown this way. Just be sure you choose varieties with very compact growth habits.


There are many books which provide detailed instructions for building outdoor bread ovens (Bread Ovens of Quebec, The Bread Book, etc.). As one who is still anxiously awaiting the completion of her bread oven (hubby began it last year...assures me he will resume the project :-D), I know how many of you are looking for simple solutions to outdoor baking, should your indoor ovens be non-functional. Here are a few interesting outdoor baking ideas (you will have to use your visualization skills!)

The first idea comes from a wilderness survival guide: You will need a large, thick-walled terra cotta pot (the kind you put plants in) and a round terra cotta tray (large enough to serve as a lid). "Large" would mean any pot big enough to accomodate a loaf pan, with pot laying on its side. Dig a narrow trench about 8 inches deep. Set pot (with its "lid" on) over trench. Ram a long stick (about 2 inch diameter) into ground at the pot's bottom end - this will make the "chimney" hole. Completely cover the pot with earth or wet clay, until you have a sizable mound. Wiggle stick to keep chimney hole free. Pat down earth to make the dome smooth and stable. Remove the stick - you will use it to keep the lid on the pot (kind of like a "prop"). Light a fire in the trench underneath the pot, and allow it to die down to embers. Remove lid, place loaf pan inside, and replace lid, using "prop" to hold lid in place. If you have an oven thermometer, you can check temp, to determine cooking time.

Idea #2 - "Cob" bread oven A fellow by the name of Patrick Newberry posted this on an alternative building materials site: To make a cob oven - First build a mound of sand the size and shape of the inside of the oven. Next - put a layer of cob without straw over this (use a form for the doorway). Add a second layer of cob with straw over this. I think the first layer needs to be at least 6 inches thick, and the second layer might not need o be as thick. Still, mass is good. When all this dries, pull the form for the door and scrape out the sand inside. I'd put a small fire at first as one should "fire" the oven slowly at first. Then, to bake bread, one builds a good fire inside for a couple hours...pull te fire out and put in your bread or whatever else you plan on baking. The heat radiates form the mss of the oven for several hours. Hope this is helpful!

Note from Robert: This Idea #2 seems incomplete, in that nothing is said about a floor for the oven. Think about a base of bricks.


According to an email received from the company, uncooked salt cured Smithfield hams will keep without refrigeration. Once cooked, they must be refrigerated.


My Pressure Canner / Cooker says Do Not fill Canner over 2/3 full when using for pressure cooking. For rice and dried vegetables, which expand during cooking, Do Not fill pressure Canner over 1/2 full. It also says, Do Not Cook applesauce, cranberries, rhubarb, pearl barley, oatmeal or other cereals, split peas, or foods such as noodles, macaroni, or spaghetti. These foods tend to foam, froth and sputter, and may block vent pipe.

My booklet says soup or soup stock should ALWAYS be cooked ready for serving, then poured into clean, hot Mason jars, allowing 1 inch head space. I have made clam chowder but I didn't add the cream or milk in it before I canned it. I really don't know how it would turn out other then curdled chowder. My grandmother canned everything. She was a LDS. She canned chicken and dumplings. All of the meals she canned were precooked, beef & barley, chicken & rice, chicken & noodles. I also would think that the noodles would become mushy but I'm going to try it and I'll let you know how it turns out. My canner booklet says it tastes better if you add cooked noodles when you are ready to serve your meal.

I've canned bean soup before ( beans, onion, ham, celery, carrot bits, water and seasonings) and it was pretty good, but I precooked it almost done before I canned it. It had a bit of a different taste but it was real nice not having to take the hrs. to make them. As with stews it is recommended for better taste to add all the ingredients separate. I apologize if my previous message was misleading, I got excited about the possibilities of some of the varieties of meals in a can we might be able to eat when we are hungry. Please do some checking your selves to be on the safe side.


As far as getting someone to eat the sprouts, they can be added to a stir-fry, made into juice, mixed with rice or soups and even added to bread. If adding to bread the rule is to substitute 1 cup of sprouts for 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup liquid. This is taken from the book "Making The Best of Basics". Enjoy your sprouts!


Here are some top-of-the-stove bread alternatives.

1. Tortillas. Make them on a cast iron griddle. Many other cultures have recipes and techniques for a flat bread baked on some kind of ungreased griddle.

2. Fry bread. If you have enough oil or shortening, you can make fry bread or scones. Many fry bread recipes can also be rolled out really thin and cooked like tortillas.

3. The oven at the place I am staying doesn't work, so I have been baking biscuits in an electric skillet. To get the top browned, I usually have to flip the biscuits. In the past, I have baked biscuits on top of a camp stove using a cast iron skillet with a lid. I put a little rack in the bottom of the pan, to elevate the biscuit pan a bit. Here again, flip them if you want a brown top.

4. Pancakes. These are not just for breakfast with sweet syrup! Try them with beans and bacon, or soup, or noodle casserole.

5. Build an outdoor wood-fired oven.


I have made Irish soda bread in an iron spider (the dutch oven with legs you're supposed to use in a campfire) on top of our woodstove. It worked well except that the top wasn't brown like in the regular oven...tasty though.


We have been camping for years, and bread is not an easy thing to keep, or heat in a situation where you only have a stove burner to cook on. We've given up on everything except tortillas. We have them for breakfast ( I think McDonalds owes me money, as we invented the breakfast burrito!), lunch (great roll-ups) and supper-terriffic with chili or stew. Add a shake bottle of margarine and you're covered. Wrap a stack in tinfoil, and nestle them near the coals of your camp fire. You can also heat them one at a time on a griddle. They're the absolute perfect camp food. You can buy tortilla flour and a press and make them yourself. The kids really like to do that. They're good with butter and cinnamon and sugar, etc.etc.


Webservant's note: Earlier this decade, Sarajevo endured the longest urban siege of the 20thcentury, more than 1000 days.

I lived through the siege of my city (Sarajevo) and experienced most of the crummy things that can happen in a war - death of parents and friends, hunger and malnutrition, endless freezing cold, fear, sniper attacks. It's odd to see many people concerned about things that aren't going to matter that much if something awful happens. So I offer my advice, free of charge:

1) Stockpiling helps, but you never know how long trouble will last, so locate near renewable food resources.

2) Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.

3) After awhile, even gold can lose its luster. But there is no luxury in war quite like toilet paper. Its surplus value is great than gold's.

4) If you had to go without one utility, lose electricity - it's the easiest to do without (unless you're in a very nice climate with no need for heat.)

5) Canned foods are awesome, especially if their contents are tasty without heating. One of the best things to stockpile is canned gravy - it makes a lot of the dry unappetizing things you find to eat in war somewhat edible. Only needs enough heat to "warm", not to cook. It's cheap too, especially if you buy it in bulk.

6) Bring some books - escapist ones like romances or mysteries become more valuable as the war continues. Sure, it's great to have a lot of survival guides, but you'll figure most of that out on your own anyway - trust me, you'll have a lot of time on your hands.

7) The feeling that you're human can fade pretty fast. I can't tell you how many people I knew who would have traded a much needed meal for just a little bit of toothpaste, rouge, soap or cologne. Not much point in fighting if you have to lose your humanity. These things are morale-builders like nothing else.

8) Slow burning candles and matches, matches, matches.

9) More matches. > >---- >


#1. Generator #2. Water Filters/Purifiers #3. Portable Toilets #4. Seasoned Firewood (About $100 per cord; wood takes 6 - 12 mos. to become dried, for home uses.)

#5. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps (First choice: Buy CLEAR oil.) #6. Coleman Fuel #7. Tents and extra blankets. #8. Hand-Can openers & hand egg beaters, whisks (Life savers!) #9. Honey/Syrups/white, brown sugars #10. Rice - Beans

#11. Vegetable oil (for cooking) (Without it food burns/must be boiled, etc.) #12. Charcoal & Lighter fluid (Will become scarce suddenly in emergencies.) #13. Water containers (Urgent Item to obtain. Any size. Small: HARD CLEAR PLASTIC ONLY- note - food grade if for drinking) #14. Mini Heater head (Propane) (Without this item, propane won't heat a room.) #15. Grain Grinder (Non-electric)

#16. Propane Cylinders #17. Emergency disaster manuals #18. Lantern Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult.) #19. Baby Supplies: Diapers/formula/ointments/aspirin, etc

#20. Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry) #21. Cookstoves (Propane, Coleman & Kerosene) #22. Vitamins ) #23. Propane Cylinder Handle-Holder (Urgent: Small canister use is dangerous without this item.) #24. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products #25. Thermal underwear (Tops and bottoms)

#26. Bow saws, axes and hatchets & Wedges (also, honing oil) #27. Aluminum foil Reg. & Hvy. Duty (Great Cooking & Barter item) #28. Gasoline containers (Plastic or Metal) #29. Garbage bags (Impossible to have too many.) #30. Toilet Paper, Kleenex, paper towels

#31. Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake liquid every 3 to 4 months.) #32. Garden seeds (Non-hybrid) #33. Clothes pins/line/hangers (A MUST) #34. Coleman's Pump Repair Kit: 1(800) 835-3278 #35. Tuna Fish (in oil)

#36. Fire extinguishers (or.. large box of Baking soda in every room...) #37. First aid kits #38. Batteries (all furthest-out for Expiration Dates) #39. Garlic, spices & vinegar, baking supplies

#40. BIG DOGS (and plenty of dog food) #41. Flour, yeast & salt #42. Matches ( "Strike Anywhere" preferred. ) #43. Writing paper/pads/pencils/solar calculators #44. Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime) #45. Workboots, belts, Levis & durable shirts

#46. Flashlights/LIGIITSTICKS & torches, "No.76 Dietz" Lanterns #47. Journals, Diaries & Scrapbooks (Jot down ideas, feelings, experiences) #48. Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage, water, transporting - if with wheels) #49. Men's Hygiene: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers,etc #50. Cast iron cookware (sturdy, efficient)

#51. Fishing supplies/tools #52. Mosquito coils/repellent sprays/creams #53. Duct tape #54. Tarps/stakes/twine/nails/rope/spikes #55. Candles

#56. Laundry detergent (Liquid) #57. Backpacks & Duffle bags #58. Garden tools & supplies #59. Scissors, fabrics & sewing supplies #60. Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.

#61. Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite) #62. Canning supplies (Jars/lids/wax) #63. Knives & Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel #64. Bicycles...Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc. #65. Sleeping bags & blankets/pillows/mats

#66. Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered) #67. Board Games Cards, Dice #68. d-Con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer #69. Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets #70. Paper plates/cups/utensils (stock up, folks...)

#71. Baby Wipes, oils, waterless & Anti-bacterial soap (saves a lot of water) #72. Rain gear, rubberized boots, etc. #73. Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave) #74. Hand pumps & siphons (for water and for fuels) #75. Soysauce, vinegar, boullions/gravy/soup base

#76. Reading glasses #77. Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers) #78. Evacuation kits (packed with 3 days supplies) #79. Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens #80. BSA - New 1998 - Boy Scout Handbook (also, Leader's Catalog)

#81. Roll-on Window Insulation Kit (MANCO) #82. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky #83. Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts #84. Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras) #85. Lumber (all types)

#86. Wagons & carts (for transport to & from open Flea markets) #87. Cots & Inflatable mattresses (for extra guests) #88. Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc. #89. Lantern Hangers #90. Screen Patches, glue, nails, screws, nuts & bolts

#91. Teas #92. Coffee #93. Cigarettes #94. Wine/Liquors (for bribes, medicinal, etc.) #95. Paraffin wax

#96. Glue, nails, nuts, bolts, screws, etc. #97. Chewing gum/candies #98. Atomizers (for cooling/bathing) #99. Hats & cotton neckerchiefs #100. Goats/chickens


From Bernadette at CatholiCity year 2000: Today I decided it was time to start drying the spinach. We have been having fresh spinach and spinach salads everyday for about 3 weeks. The results are as follows:

I picked enough spinach to heap onto the dryer trays (I have five very large trays) and started my spinach to dry at about 10 AM. Right now it is 6:24 PM and I have processed it all and have gotten 12 ounces of my spinach flour.

When you dehydrate the spinach you start with your fresh spinach leaves. Wash them and destem. Place the spinach leaves on your dehydrator trays and dry until crisp and brittle. At this point, since we have electricity, I use a food processor and process into flour (a blender works too). If you don't have a food processor, use a ziploc bag, insert the dried spinach, take out the air, zip and use a rolling pin to make into a powder. Takes a little longer this way, but it does work. Your dried spinach may have little flecks of dried spinach in it and this is fine. It does not all have to be a fine grind like flour.

I then pour the spinach flour into a jar and screw on the lid tightly. I use old pasta jars (any jar with a screw on lid will work fine). I place the jars on a shelf in the dark basement where it is cool all year long. These jars last a very long time. My test was I put items in these jars in 1982 and checked and used them this year.

Here are some recipes for using dried spinach.

Pasta Recipe - makes approximately 1 pound

> > 2 3/4 cups semolina or unbleached all purpose flour

> 1/2 teaspoon salt

> 3 eggs, extra large

> 1 tablespoon olive oil

> > In a bowl mix together the flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs. Gently blend with a fork or your fingers, drawing the flour from the sides toward the center. Add the olive oil and mix until dough cleans the sides of the bowl. (IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE SPINACH PASTA FROM THE DRIED SPINACH FLOUR NOW IS THE TIME TO ADD 2 OR 3 TABLESPOONS).

Place the dough ball on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough 5 minutes until it is smooth and does not stick to your hands. It should be one color. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces with a pasta scraper and let it rest for 5 minutes covered with a piece of plastic wrap. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, kneading gently and flatten with the heel of your hand. Feed the flattened dough through the rollers of a pasta machine, gradually decreasing the space between the rollers by adjusting the notches. I start at 1 and finish at 5 or 6. Roll to desired thickness.

Insert cutting roller heads into the machine and cut the pasta, being careful not to feed it through the cutters at an angle. It is easier to feed the dough through the cutter if the ends are squared off. Dry the pasta until it is dry but not brittle. For longer keeping twice the moist strands into loose loops to dry. They willkeep this way a few days in the refrigerator or up to a few months in the freezer. Cook the pasta until it is al dente or tooth tender in 7 quarts of rapidly boiling water to which 2 Tablespoons of salt have been added. Stir with a wooden fork to separate the strands. Test every 2 to 3 minutes for doneness since fresh pasta cooks faster than boxed. Drain pasta in a colander or lift it from the pot with a fork, shaking off the excess water.

================================================= Creamy Spinach Soup Make a thin white sauce (if you need a recipe let me know) add 3-4 tablespoons of spinach flour and stir Stir well, then let set 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes reheat and eat OR 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter 1 teaspoon onion powder 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (can be purchased whole at herb shop or any good grocery store) 2 chicken bouillon cubes 1 1/2 cups milk 1/2 cups half and half 1/4 cup dried powdered spinach Melt butter in saucepan. Add onion powder, nutmeg and bouillon cubes. Crush and dissolve bouillon cubes adding a little milk if necessary. Add remaining milk and half and half. Heat to 185 degrees (just below boiling). Place spinach power in bowl or blender. Pour hot milk mixture over spinach. Blend well. Serve at once. Yield: 3 small cups of soup as an appetizer or 1 large bowl (2 cups) as a main entree.

=============================================== Spinach Squares 4 tbsp. butter 3 eggs 1 c. flour 1 1/2 cups milk 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. baking powder 1 lb. grated cheddar 1/4 cup spinach flour 1 tbsp. chopped onion Seasoned salt (opt.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in 9 x 13 inch baking dish in oven. Remove dish. Beat eggs then add flour, milk, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Add cheese, spinach flour, onion and mix well. Spoon into dish and level off. Sprinkle with seasoned salt if desired. Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and cut into squares.

================================================ Spinach Feta Bread

3/4 cup spinach flour -- 2-1/4 teaspoons yeast -- 3 cups bread flour -- 1/3 cup wheat bran -- 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar -- 1/2 tablespoon salt -- 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg -- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper -- 3 tablespoons oil -- 2 eggs -- 1/3 cup feta cheese -- 1/2 cup water Bring all ingredients to room temperature and add to machine. Select white bread cycle.

---------------------------- Spinach Casserole 1 pint cottage cheese 4 eggs, beaten 3 tablespoons flour 1/4 lb. cheddar cheese cubed 1/2 cup spinach flour 3 - 4 tablespoons of butter dash of salt Mix together cottage cheese, eggs and flour. Add cheese. Cut butter into pieces and combined with mixture. Add salt. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

--------------------------------------- ----- Spinach and Mushroom Quiche 2 medium onions, white or yellow, chopped 1/2-1" size 8 ounces mushrooms washed ond sliced 1/2 to 2/3 cup spinach flour 2 or more cloves garlic, minced 3 or 4 eggs beaten with about 1/2 cup milk 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese 1 nine-inch deep dish pie crust 1-2 tbs butter Herb for garnish and flavor, such as Rosemary, Summer Savory, Marjoram Salt and pepper to taste

Bake at 350 F for one hour or until no longer juicy inside. Melt the butter over medium heat, saute onions and add garlic in a skillet. When onions are translucent add the mushrooms and cook out the juice. Then add the spinach flour and extra milk if needed and mix together. Add your salt and pepper. Place the pie crust on a cookie sheet or something similar. Transfer vegetable mixture to the pie crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top, then sprinkle on the cheddar cheese. Separately gently beat the eggs adding the milk. Salt and pepper can be added to the eggs, add the herb 1/2 tsp. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the cheese and veggies. Sometimes its too full so don't use all the egg. Clean any spilled egg off the cookie sheet and put the quiche back on the pan, sprinkle with additional herbs. Place pan in the lower part of the oven for the first 30 minutes and then transfer to the upper half to finish baking.

------------------------------------------------------------ ----- SOLAR VEGETABLE SOUP which serves about 6 3 medium chopped tomatoes 1 chopped red onion 1 chopped leek 1 chopped celery stalk 2 small chopped zucchini or other squash 1/3 cup spinach flour 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour basil to taste which is optional dill to taste which is optional, but good Combine vegetables in a bowl. Mix in water, basil and dill. Pour into your dutch oven and leave in the sun 4 to 6 hours before serving.

====================================== Cheese Tomato Omelet 1 Tablespoon dried parmesan cheese 1 Tablespoon chopped dried spinach 1 tablespoon dried broken tomato slices 1/8 teaspoon dried powdered onion To make the omlet use 1/2 cup powdered eggs 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup water and add 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, apricot oil or soy oil Mix together first four ingredients. Melt butter or oil in a 6 or 7 inch frying pan. Pour in egg mixture. Now sprinkle the above dry ingredients over egg mixture as it is browning in the frying pan.

=============================================== Carrot Salad 2 cups grated dried carrots, soaked about five minutes in 2 cups warm water 1 cup drained, crushed, unsweetened pineapple 1 cup raisins 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1/4 cup salad dressing or mayonnaise 2 tablelspoons unsweetened pineapple juice 12 to 16 lettuce cups, if desired 1 tablespoon chopped dried spinach leaves Mix carrots, pineapple, raisins and walnuts. Chill. Blend salad dressing or mayonnaise and pineapple juice; pour over carrot mixture. Toss and arrange in lettuce cups. Sprinkle with spinach leaves. 12-14 servings.

========================================== Creamed Spinach 4 cups chopped dried spinach 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground whole wheat flour 1 cup milk 1 1/2 cups half and half 1 teaspoon dried powdered onion 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper Pour hot water through spinach in a colander; set aside. Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour, stirring constantly; gradually add milk. Cook until thickened. Add remaining ingredients and spinach. Heat through. 4 servings.

============================================= Spinach-Cheese Pie 6 cups chopped dried spinach 2 cans (10 1/2 ounces) cream of mushroom soup, undiluted 4 eggs beaten Soy oil or apricot oil (any health food store) 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese To reconstitute spinach, pour hot water through spinach in a colander. Mix together spinach, soup, and eggs. Oil a 10-inch pie plate well: sprinkle oiled plate with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Pour in spinach mixture; sprinkle top of spinach mixture with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 375 degrees about 1 1/4 hours or until sharp knife inserted in custard comes out clean. (if using a dutch oven the time will be about 1 1/2 hour if your coals are hot enough). Cut into wedges to serve. 10 - 12 servings.

============================== Texas Yellow Neck Squash 2 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons chopped fresh onion 1 1/2 cups sliced dried yellow neck squash reconstituted in 1 1/2 cups hot water for 10 to 15 minutes, drained 2/3 cups grated cheddar cheese 1/3 cup cooked crumbled bacon 1 tablespoon dried crushed spinach, if desired Cook onions in butter in frying pan slightly. Turn off heat. Arrange squash in a layer. Sprinkle with cheese, bacon, and spinach. Cover tightly. Heat 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese melts and dish is hot. 4 servings


Try dehydrating swiss chard for adding to chicken soup in the winter. I wash the whole leaves and take the stems out then lay the leaves on the tray. The stems can be chopped and dried also. Then crumble the dry leaves into the jars. A lot sure fits into a jar!


Note from the webservant: I've had one of this inexpensive mills for many years, works fine, great aerobic exercise!

They come in either steel burr or stone burr, or with both. They are made all over the world...ours were made in Brazil. Cost, if I remember right, was about $40 for the steel burr, $60 for the stone burr, and $80 for both (Two bolts to exchange grinding wheels on each side). I've got the steel burr model packed in the motor home for emergency grinds flour, but not as fine as the stone burr I keep in the house, but it is exceptionally rugged. They take a lot of work to grind nice flour, about 3 passes through the grinder on progressively tighter settings, but they do work, and are certainly better than not having a grinder.

For normal use we use a Magic Mill stone burr model, but it is strictly electric (1 hp continuous duty motor!), and may be useless in a few months unless I want to waste gasoline on the generator. Don't know of a web site...never looked...hope someone can tell you that. Pax, Miles Stair


Another idea is to pick up cracked corn at the feed stores. When I was a bird breeder, I soaked this stuff daily, mixed it with vitimins and wheat bread along with millet and calcium for over 500 breeding prs of exotic birds. Cracked corn isn't considered the greatest but it could be ground a bit easier.

> >Feed corn can be stored using the same techniques as with wheat, and is > perfectly acceptable for human use, feeding chickens, etc. I always have > a 55 gallon drum of feed corn in reserve, and rotate it with another drum > of corn to mix with wheat for my fresh-ground chicken feed. And, of > course, there is always some for us to use too! > -

>> Feed stores also sell "corn fines" which is finely ground corn. We used this to mix into a porridge for our pigs. It is exactly like corn meal. They will grind it for you if you request it and they don't have it regularly available. The only barrier I see for feed corn being used for human consumption is you may have to sift it as sometimes there are inedible pieces of husk, dried cob etc mixed in.


Raymond asked for the tobacco based insect control. Here is one from Jerry Baker: 1cup shampoo 1cup antiseptic mouthwash 1cup chewing tobacco juice. These are the proportions to be put in a 20 gal hose end sprayer. (use @ 1T each for a single gallon.) A couple of other Jerry Baker tips: For ants - mix equal parts of borax and confectionery sugar with enough water to make a syrup. Put this mixutre in flat pans and place them in the area where they are crawling. One ant will eat the syrup and die. Another will the dead ant and die. For spiders - put cedar chips in the toes of old panty hose. Hang the hose from areas where spiders build their webs. To discourage spiders, spray rubbing alcohol on windowsills or leave perfumed soap chips scattered about. 1 tsp of vinegar for each quart bowl of drinking water keeps your pet free of fleas and ticks. The ratio of 1 tsp per quart of water is for a 40 lb animal.


"The man at the store told me the wheat was not as clean as the wheat that I would get in a health food store. I would like to know, is there any way to clean it?" When the feed store guy told you the wheat was not "clean," he did not mean that it was dirty. "Cleaned" in the vernacular of grains means that the screening process was not particularly efficient, and there may be some stray weed seeds, bits of chaff, a small rock, etc, mixed in with the grain. Some lots of feed wheat that are only single-screened, or "cleaned," have a lot of foreign matter included. Triple-screening usually results in the removal of virtually all debris -- and a price at least four times higher! The last three lots of "white wheat" I purchased were absolutely beautiful, and went into storage for us rather than the chickens, but the batch just before that looked like floor sweepings. It is common to purchase one bag of a particular "lot" or batch of grain, examine it, and if it is really clean, get as much of the rest of that lot as possible.

When it come down to cleaning your own grain next year, or grain for which you can barter, it is possible to employ third-world cleaning methods and do it yourself. While standing on a step ladder, pour the grain from a bucket into a larger bucket set on the ground. A slight breeze will blow away the chaff as the grain falls through the air. Some people make this process a group effort, with one person on each corner of a sheet, and the grain is bounced up in the air so the wind can blow away the chaff. The grain can then be poured into thin trays, such as cookie sheets, and heavier debris removed manually. Pax, Miles Stair


1-1/2 cup pinto or black bean flour

1-1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (opt)

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1-1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon dehydrated minced onions (opt)

Mix and store in an airtight container. To prepare: Whisk 3/4 cup above mixture into 2 1/2 cup BOILING water. Cook while stirring over medium heat for 1 minute, until mixture thickens. Don't worry about the lumps - they taste great too! Reduce heat to low, cover pan and cook for 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup salsa or picante sauce (or to taste) if desired. Mixture thickens as it cools and will stay thick even after heating.


Say you decide you want a 30 day supply of food, (not just MRE meals, but canned and dried goods,) etc. That means 30 days x 3 meals per day = 90 meals! (You can exclude breakfast, but might be better to figure it in so you have extra food for unexpected guests, etc.! First strategy is to plan these 90 meals and what ingredients you need to make each. Number the meals-- say, 1-90 and use sticker labels to identify what cans go with what meals, etc.

Example, If I wanted Dinty Moore Beef Stew as a meal, I would stick a #1 label on it, and if I wanted canned peaches with it, I'd stick a #1 on it also. It really is amazing when you try this (or even figure amounts/ look at your supply) and see how long it will REALLY last.

Our pantry looks really full, but often we can't think of what to eat for dinner... and we come up short ingredients for what we decide we are hungry for! I think this idea is also a good one to have ahead of time to keep track of your supply and help you function when shock of disaster sets in-- helps ease the feeling of being overwhelmed, and provides a little sense of control.


When I was a kid, Mom kept a crock of this starter behind the coal stove she had in the kitchen. She made bread twice a week, and, of course, as she used the starter, she replenished it by adding flour and water..... Try the same around your place.... It's hard to imagine a better midnight snack than some fresh-baked sourdough bread smothered in melted butter, and sprinkled with garlick salt and grated Parmesano or Romano..............

First, get yourself a large earthenware crock with an earthenware cover..............

THEN, INGREDIENTS: 1 tbsp. sugar 2-1/2 cups *warm* water a 1/4 oz. package active dry yeast 2 cups *unbleached* all-purpose flour You need UNbleached flour because bleached flour has taken out of the mix the stuff that makes the starter *really* "sour"dough.........

You can do it without the active dry yeast and simply exposing the stuff to the air, but you sometimes wind up with godawful taste, depending on the garbage in your air, and sometimes it just turns squishy......... It's easier this way, and a LOT faster...+

INSTRUCTIONS: Stir the sugar into a 1/2 cup of warm water (just above body temperature) and add the yeast. Let it set until it starts to get foamy on top - "proofing" the yeast. Then stir in the rest of the water and the flour and stir it until it's smooth. Loosely cover the bowl with several layers of cheesecloth, then drap a layer of Saran wrap over the top...but don't seal it. You need to let the gasses escape. Now this is the important part: LET THE MIXTURE STAND AT ROOM TEMPERATURE, STIRRING THREE OR FOUR TIMES A DAY, UNTIL IT'S BUBBLY AND HAS DEVELOPED A STRONG ODOR. Don't worry if the odor isn't pleasant...some folks don't like the just shouldn't smell *rotten*. Do this until it's all bubbly and has a strong "sour" odor. That should be in five to ten days.

You can keep the starter indefinitely, if you "feed" it regularly. Otherwise, it will keep for about a month if kept covered and refrigerated. You should have about a cup and a half of starter. Use half of it to make your first loaf, then double the recipe for the next batch and stir in the remaining yeast and let it cook again, until you have enough that each time you bake you can use HALF the yeast, and feed the other half to replenish for the next loaf. There are superb "strains" of sourdough, in fact, which are cultured and kept unique unto themselves for generations. There is a San Francisco sourdough which you can make by buying some fresh San Francisco sourdough bread (or having a friend ship you some overnight) and adding some of the bread to the mixture and breeding that strain into yours............. You can then share with your neighbors. Fr. Hal at CIN, who has two great cooking/recipe lists there.



CAUTION: Proper use of the brain is not endorsed by governments nor huge corporations involved in serious financial profit from a brainwashed and enslaved population. Mild discomfort may occur as confusing independent thought challenges popular views of the world.


Here's a practical way to help develop community food security: participate in the SHARE Program. If it isn't available, help get one started in your area. Share is a type of food co-op. A share costs $14, and typically consists of about $30 (retail price) of food, including meat, vegetables, and etc. None of the food is donated, all of it is purchased from growers, distributors, and processors. Participating in Share does not take food away from the poor, in fact, it helps build the network which helps everybody. For more information, try these links: /

The Share warehouses make deals directly with farmers and local processors and thus are able to get the food at a better price than retail (it is not >a subsidized program). Most of the labor is donated. You can >find out more about this program at > >


I would like to recommend a Drinking Water web site. In last months Water Technology magazine it received the "web site of the month" award. This award was based purely on content -- there are no flashy graphics, but there are a lot of links to more information. It is maintained by a Public Health Engineer in New York, William Ottaway, and is apparently how he has used the "free space" that comes with his internet connection. The real beauty of this site is that he is not trying to "sell" anything, is not promoting a product! His information is honest, accurate, and written in understandable terms.

About using water from a swimming pool, chlorine combines with any organics in the water to form THM's, trihalomethanes, and are a KNOWN cancer agent. Also algaecides and more may be present. He did say that in an emergency situation people will do whatever is necessary, even if unpalatable, such as drinking from a mud puddle, but generally, swimming pool water should not be a drinking source.

See also


Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, this article seemed in order. Without help the person whose heart stops beating properly and who begins to feel Faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness. However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a phone and, between breaths, call for help. Tell as many other people as possible about this, it could save their lives! --from Health Cares, Rochester General Hospital


If you are planting regular white (not sweet potatoes or yams) potatoes, you need to have potatoes that have begun to sprout from the "eyes". It is better (but not necessary) to get these sprouted "seed" potatoes from a commercial source, to ensure they are free of disease, growth retardants, etc. I have used potatoes that sprouted under the sink in our potato bin as well as "store-bought" seed potatoes and haven't experienced problems.

At any rate, plow your ground well and break up all dirt clods. Make rows about 3-4 feet apart. Create a trench in each row about 6 inches deep by raking or hoeing dirt out to each side. Put fertilizer in trench and mix into soil very well. Cut each sprouted potato so you have a chunk with at least one good sprout (usually a one- or two-inch piece). Put in trench SPROUT SIDE UP and cover with two to three inches loose soil. Potatoes will sprout in next two to three weeks.

As the plants grow, you need to rake soil at sides of trench up to cover the growing plant. BE SURE to leave at least four inches of potato plant above ground. Many people also use well-rotted composting materials, leaves, straw and grass clippings to cover the potatoes. As the plant grows, it forms the potato under the soil and mulch. By applying layers of loose soil, mulch, etc., you protect the growing potatoes and provide a place for more to grow!!

You can begin to dig potatoes after the plant blooms. Most people wait to harvest potatoes until the vine (potato plant) has died and withered. If you intend to store your potatoes, spread them out and allow to dry and cure in an airy place for several days before storing.

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For much greater detail about my plans for adapting my "urban homestead" to meet the looming challenges of peak oil, climate instability, and economic irrationality, see Gatewood Urban Homestead, the permaculture design for my home.