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14 February 2009

Massachusetts CISA- Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture

This is a great local organization for western and central Massachusetts. I have posted the Mission Statement below, and also a link to the Events page. There are some upcomimg workshops and a "Cabin Fever" seed savers exchange in Greenfield on February 28th.

Our Mission
CISA links farmers and communities to strengthen agriculture and enhance the economy, rural character, environmental quality, and social well-being of western Massachusetts and partners with other organizations in its region and around the country to sustain agriculture.


another thought,,i'm bushed now

think this is from websters,,the definition clarifies the purpose of the concept...i think i chose to become a contributor in this confederation of state sites, wishing to inspire one or two folks to realise the necessity of rebirthing an attitude that seems to have died with the advent of teevee and the automobile....not only this nation,,but many for as far back into the shadows of history, people have put aside those items that would, by default, be needed later....food mostly, i would imagine, as free people always were armed,,gardens ended,,game got scarce,,we seem to have forgotten that,,actually,,few people in this country and time have ever known being without........yet now, as never before in this historical period,we are faced with a potentially catastrophic shakeup in the american dream,,,,food shortage/rationing/depletion....i'll try to contribute what i can in the way of information,,,but my communication skills need serious help...if you're a prepper,,you must have a tidbit or two worth sharing,,,think of the helpless kids
Main Entry: con·trib·ute
Pronunciation: \kən-ˈtri-byət, -(ˌ)byüt also & especially before -ed or -ing -ˈtri-bət; chiefly British also ˈkän-trə-ˌbyüt\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): con·trib·ut·ed; con·trib·ut·ing
Etymology: Latin contributus, past participle of contribuere, from com- + tribuere to grant — more at tribute
Date: 1530
transitive verb
1: to give or supply in common with others
2: to supply (as an article) for a publication
intransitive verb
1 a: to give a part to a common fund or store b: to play a significant part in bringing about an end or result
2: to submit articles to a publication
— con·trib·u·tor \-byə-tər, -bə-, -ˌbyü-\ noun

13 February 2009

"Canned Butter Warning"

I was tempted to try some of the directions circulating on some of the preparedness blogs for "canning" butter, until I saw this. I am not willing to take any risk of botulism.

From the National Center for Home Preservation:

Should I use directions for canning butter at home that I see on the Internet?Indeed, there are some directions for 'canning' butter in circulation on the Internet. Most of what we have seen are not really canning, as they do not have Boiling Water or Pressure Canning processes applied to the filled jar. Jars are preheated, the butter is melted down and poured into the jars, and the lids are put on the jars. Some directions say to put the jars in the refrigerator as they re-harden, but to keep shaking them at regular intervals to keep the separating butter better mixed as it hardens. This is merely storing butter in canning jars, not ‘canning’. True home canning is when the food is heated enough to destroy or sufficiently acid enough to prevent growth of all spores of Clostridium botulinum (that causes botulism) and other pathogens during room temperature storage on the shelf. Additionally, when you consider the economics of the process (energy costs involved with heating, cost of jars and lids, etc.), even if the butter is bought on sale, it may not be economically viable to prepare butter to store for years in this manner. Good quality butter is readily available at all times, if butter is needed for fresh use. If the concern is about emergency food supplies, there are dry forms of butter that can be purchased and stored, oils that can be used in an emergency, or commercially canned butter in tins (although we have only seen this for sale from other countries). Melted and re-hardened butter may not function the same as original butter in many types of baking anyway. There are a few issues with the common directions circulating on the Internet at this time (Spring 2006):
Physical safety and food quality: In the provided directions, the jars are preheated in an oven (dry-heat), which is not recommended for canning jars. Manufacturers of canning jars do not recommend baking or oven canning in the jars. It is very risky with regard to causing jar breakage. There is no guarantee that the jars heated in this dry manner are sufficiently heated to sterilize them, as we do not have data on sterilizing jar surfaces by this dry-heating method.
The butter is not really being 'canned'; it is simply being melted and put in canning jars, and covered with lids. Due to some heat present from the hot melted butters and preheated jars, some degree of vacuum is pulled on the lids to develop a seal. It rarely is as strong a vacuum as you obtain in jars sealed through heat processing. The practice in these 'canned' butter directions is referred to as 'open-kettle' canning in our terminology, which is really no canning at all, since the jar (with product in it) is not being heat processed before storage.
Although mostly fat, butter is a low-acid food. Meat, vegetables, butter, cream, etc. are low-acid products that will support the outgrowth of C. botulinum and toxin formation in a sealed jar at room temperature. Low-acid products have to be pressure-canned by tested processes to be kept in a sealed jar at room temperature. It is not clear what the botulism risk is from such a high-fat product, but to store a low-acid moist food in a sealed jar at room temperature requires processing to destroy spores. A normal salted butter has about 16-17% water, some salt, protein, vitamins and minerals. Some butter-like spreads have varying amounts of water in them. We have no kind of database in the home canning/food processing arena to know what the microbiological concerns would be in a butter stored at room temperature in a sealed jar. In the absence of that, given that it is low-acid and that fats can protect spores from heat if they are in the product during a canning process, we cannot recommend storing butter produced by these methods under vacuum sealed conditions at room temperature.
Some other directions do call for 'canning' the filled jars of butter in a dry oven. This also is not 'canning'. There is not sufficient, research-based documentation to support that 'canning' any food in a dry oven as described on this web page or any page that proposes oven canning is even sufficient heating to destroy bacteria of concern, let alone enough to produce a proper seal with today's home canning lids. In conclusion, with no testing having been conducted to validate these methods, we would NOT recommend or endorse them as a safe home-canning process, let alone for storing butter at room temperature for an extended period. We do know that the methods given for preheating empty jars, or even filled jars, in a dry oven are not recommended by the jar manufacturers or by us for any food. Aside from the physical safety and quality issues, and the fact that it is not canning at all, if there happened to be spores of certain bacteria in there, these procedures will not destroy those spores for safe room temperature storage.

major blunder

the other day while playing with the site, and thinking i was merely cleaning up new post page,,i deleted all previous postings...thinking a blog isn't a blog without them,,anyone got some extras?

yankeeprepper arrives

great to hear from you..please jump right in...

12 February 2009

worth considering

The world is probably closer to the use of nuclear arms in anaggressive manner today than it has been since the Cuban MissileCrisis. There's the possibility of a terrorist attack with nuclearweapons, the possibility that Iran has nuclear weapons, North Korea'sgrowing nuclear arsenal and the sorry state of security for oldSoviet Union weapons.So let's say the worst happens and you hear on the radio that anuclear device has exploded somewhere in the world. Here are CaptainDave's suggestions for what to do:Don't Panic. Those of us who grew up during the cold war have a gravefear of nuclear war and many are likely to assume that because one ormore nuclear warheads or device has exploded, the world as we know itwill end. This could result in all sorts of panic, especially sinceit will take some time for real facts and figures to be known. (We'llcover the effects of panic more extensively below.) So your firststep is to separate yourself from the masses by not panicking. Take adeep breath and remember that if you are not in the blast radius ordown wind from it, you are in no immediate danger form the blast. Socalm down and don't do anything foolish. Instead of acting out ofpanic, take a few minutes to make a plan or to activate an existingplan (which we can help you develop). Remember, just because thosearound you are losing their heads does not mean you need to do soalso.Keep Informed. Turn on the news and try to learn as much as you canabout the attack as well as local events. This will affect how yourplan. Later, you will need to monitor reports of fallout (see below.)The location, number and size of the detonations are important, asare the wind currents and weather patterns. How people around theworld and around your neighborhood react is also something you shouldmonitor, as it will effect your immediate well being more than theactual explosions will.Gather Your Family. During any period of unrest, it's best to haveyour immediate family around you. People who are traveling shouldreturn home on the first available flight or should rent cars anddrive home if flights are booked or grounded. Everyone will performbetter knowing that their loved ones are safe.If your kids are in school or day care, there is probably no reasonto get them immediately. They should return home safely throughregular means, such as the school bus or carpool. Remember Rule One(don't panic) and do nothing to panic your children. This will be astressful time for everyone, and getting young children panicky orupset will not help the situation. You will have to decided whetheror not to send them back to school the following days based on yourplan and what you have learned from Step 2. If your children are atan away camp or boarding school, you will have to determine if theyare possibly safer there than at your residence.Cancel extracurricular activities and plans outside the home untilyou can be sure (by monitoring the news) that the situation isstabilized and there is no danger or unrest locally.Lock Your Doors. Once you have all gathered at home, lock your doorsand secure your perimeter as best as possible. Then try to go aboutlife as you normally would. Have a good dinner and play a game withthe kids. Watch a video. Try to seek normalcy and be reassuring sothat the kids can sleep well. Don't bombard them or yourself withrepeated images of death and destruction on TV, as this is nothealthy. Don't do anything dangerous or risky as police, fire andambulance services may be responding to other emergencies. Butremember, unless civil unrest develops as a result of panic, anuclear detonation in the Middle East or Asia will cause no immediatedanger to people in North America. A detonation in the U.S. couldhave much more serious effects, but this really depends on the targetand your location. The closed you are to the blast radius, the moreimmediate the danger.Now, you may think it is foolish to watch TV and take it easy, but ifyou have planned and prepared and have ample supplies of food andsurvival gods, there is no reason to act otherwise. If you have notprepared, then going out to buy up supplies at the last minute willonly add to the panic and endanger you. So take advantage of what maybe your last day of calm and family togetherness.Understand What Panic May Do. If a large number of people learn ofthe nuclear exchange at the same time several things may be expectedto happen at once:Telephone lines will be clogged as people immediately call loved onesand decide what to do. The Internet will also grow much busier,especially news sites, as people at work look for breakinginformation.The stock market will crash until trading is suspended. And even whentrading resumes, prices will continue to fall. A nuclear exchangewill create tremendous economic disruption, and this will bereflected in the markets. Have some money available if the ATMs areempty and the credit card machines go down, and have some liquidwealth outside the market.Major roads will be jammed as people leave work and return home,creating a super rush hour. Other people will leave their homesfor "safer" locations, such as friends in the country, vacation homesor even campgrounds. Clogged highways will be especially bad incities and in areas with a limited numbers of bridges and tunnels,such as New York and Washington, D.C. This is a situation where civilviolence could break out.There may be lines or delays at gas stations as everyone decides tofill their tanks before it is "too late." Some stations could run outof gas. Others may rise prices or ask for cash only. This is anothersituation where civil violence could break out.People will shop for food and supplies, causing lines and shortagesof everything from bread and milk to bottled waterbatteries andtoilet paper. Most grocery stores rotate their stock so quickly theyhave only a two to three day supply of key items in stock. Thanks tojust-in-time production and distribution methods, if everyone panicsand shops at one time, we could well see empty shelves very quickly.There may be civil unrest as people panic, especially if there areshortages at the grocery store. If local police forces areoverwhelmed, this could escalate to riots and looting, especially indensely populated urban areas.Riots and civil unrest could cause general lawlessness, as lawenforcement is overwhelmed and unable to respond to calls. Dependingon where you live, you could be in danger form fires (arson), or youcould be targeted for home invasion robberies and other acts ofviolence. You could also get caught up in a riot or random acts ofviolence. Again, proper planning for this possibility will help yoube prepared. Remember that the Korean merchants in South Centraldemonstrated the value of firearm ownership in this type ofsituation.Having a plan can save you from getting caught up in the worst panic.Know where to go and what to do once you are there.Once all family members are at home and you know whether or not thereis local civil unrest, you can plan for the next few days or, betteryet, implement your existing plan. Your key concerns will beprotecting yourself and your loved ones from possible radiationdangers, making sure you are safe from local unrest and ensuring thatyou have enough supplies to live through the next few weeks or evenmonths.
stolen from HunkerDown06 : CODE RED: Economy in Collapse - and SurvivalCreed : Survival Creed

11 February 2009

seeds for life

been sitting here for a couple hours all kinds of thrilled..ordered seeds last sunday, they came in yesterday,,,being low budgeted in all things, i collaborated with several friends to get monies needed,,149$ for a truly impressive collection of seed,,this is totally unsolicited testimony from an overly satisfied customer,,,the collection and quantity together are amazing,, http://www.americansurvivalstore.com/Survivalist-Seeds_c_41.html ,i compared what i received with what i stored last spring,and i wished i hadn't spent so much then,,but hindsight and all,,,dividing them up to send out got me in that gardening mode...if you can afford it, THIS IS a seriously awesome survival purchase..given the coming food crunch,,and it IS coming,,.now to find more tillage,as the competition at local victory garden promises to be stiff this year,,and me being a newbie to the club and all,,,do crossed fingers really work?


knowledge is essential,,aside from basic supplements such as food,medical,defense,,one needs to consider a time when the possibility of self sustainability will be the flavor of the day..personally, i am capable in many survival oriented skills, tho not anywhere near enough for comfort,,also,i figure eventually i'll croak,,before being able to pass on what meager knowledge i have,,and for this reason i have been rebuilding my library as best i can with what paltry sums are available....i can't get beyond the concept that we are entering what will become a dark age,,,maybe generational in extent,,provided we as a species survives..leaving behind as large and diverse a repository of relevant survival skills is, to me, more important than present day enjoyments...if nothing bad comes to pass in my time, at least i'll leave real wealth,,,aka knowledge,behind.
not complete by any means..any suggestions for additions?

traditional bowyers bible,,1 & 2
back to basics,,readers digest
practical blacksmithing and metalworking(blandford)
(gingery books on list..$$)
bicycle maintenance and repair(rodale)
foraging new england(falcon)
the herb book(lust)
mushroom hunters field guide(smith)
edible wild plants(peterson)
medicinal plants and herbs(peterson)
herbal medicine makers handbook(green)
complete medicinal herbal(ody)
foxfire(vol 1)
down home ways(johnson)
make it don't buy it(warde)
deer hunting(smith)
handbook of garden insects(rodale)
beginning chess(pritchard)
lateral and critical thinking(sloane et al)
map reading and land nav(fm 21-26)
(also several topos of surrounding areas)
where there is no doctor/dentist(werner et al)
be your own doctor(wigmore/herbalist)
soap making and enjoying(bramson)
SAS survival(wiseman)
make it last(yankee)
ball blue book
book of woodcraft(4 & 5,,seton)
ID and harvesting edible/medicinal plants(wildman brill)
home workplace(organic gardening)
do it yourself gunpowder(mclean)
home workshop explosives(uncle fester)
earth sheltered housing design(mother earth)
root cellaring(bubel)
gardening when it counts(solomon)
in addition, for several years i have collected numerous pdfs and info sheets from various locations online,,which are presently being printed out and folderized..any info deemed relevant or potentially useful...refill kits for ink,,,,knowledge of location in library of necessary titles,priceless
that's my gem for today,,beautiful saturday(my schedule),,,gonna make up a slew of guerilla fishing kits,,,keep preppin,,have a good'un,,peace

wednesdays tidbit

Survival Things A few things that we have learned over the years....
Our 5 gallon buckets are full of plastic garbage bags, but were you
aware that strips of newspaper inside those garbage bags helps
prevent leakage of the fluids? One section of a standard newspaper,
shredded will provide enough material for 3 garbage bags,
additionally the newspaper will help compost the material... since no
one can tell how long we may be forced to hunker down that waste
material will pile up fast...keeping waste from leaking is one way to
increase ones santiation.
Another tip, using a solar
shower... you really don't need the sun, you can warm the water with
your body heat, using it as a back support or sleeping with it will
warm it up. An inflatable baby pool is an absolute if your planning
to shower inside your shelter/safe place. Not only will it catch the
water, but you can rinse out dirty clothes in that water. The pool
will let you dispose of the water without drenching the inside of
your shelter.
I am fastidious about washing my face I have learned that one way to
conserve water is to have 2 washcloths to wash my face with. One
usually a brightly colored will have soap on it, a small amount of
very hot water will be enough to suds up and wash my face, the other
usually white has no soap on it and using 1/4 or less of hot water
after I have rinsed will remove any residual soap in that cloth, If
you have to rinse the cloth that has soap on it to rinse your face
with you increase your usage to about 2 cups..... Since my well went
dry over a decade ago, and drought preventing the cistern from
filling I have learned many ways to conserve water... if you plan to
remain in your home the water from any bathing or washing of dishes
will flush your toilet.... we have learned that one gallon or less of
water will flush the toilet.... even with a low flush toilet there is
a lot of water waste... when SHTF water will be one of the most
valuable resources...
When my children were little they were unaware that KoolAid (any dry
drink mix) was supposed to have sugar added... I used the juice from
the fruits that I canned to sweeten Kool Aid. This trick will work
during an emergency as well. Jello will also make a good drink if you
add enough water.. the additional pectin will help slow down diharrea
and there is no need to add sugar, making jello a preferred drink mix
when saving sugar is important.(shine)
an online friend presently located in middle of KY ice storm