Spring garden

It’s finally time. I fertilized and prepped the soil the best I could last fall. I’ve been picking rocks throughout the year. The dirt has been nestled under a blanked of grass clippings all winter.

The dirt was perfect this morning—dry enough to work but moist enough for a good till without dust. I spent several hours working the soil and picking more rocks. Finally it was ready to plow. The carrots and peas are planted. The lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, and tomatoes (under wall-of-waters) will go in Tuesday after the storm passes.

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Sustainable home heat

Two years ago, I wrote about emergency home heat. In the article, I compared various options, mentioned my desire for both short-term, convenient and long-term, sustainable solutions, and decided on propane and wood, respectively.

Since then, I have moved, built a new home, and done even more research. While my conclusions have not changed generally, my overall plan has. For the most part, I no longer see the need for two solutions. In my mind, there is now a single, universal solution that is the most efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable. Continue reading “Sustainable home heat”

Amazing deal on shelving

Need a way to store all your preps? Ready to get your food storage off the floor? I’ve been dreaming of shelves for a long time but have always had it on the some-day list. Well, today’s your day. I just got back from Lowe’s and if you hurry, there are still some left. They have 48′ x 24′ x 72′ steel shelving units on sale for $49. These are the same style as the famous Gorilla Rack shelves. These shelves are normally $100, but you also have to pay $50 to ship them. Amazon has them for $132 with free shipping. Sam’s Club currently has them for $72, but you have to have a membership and happen to live near one of their warehouses.

Anyway, today, Lowe’s is selling the shelves for $49 and there isn’t a limit on quantity. Don’t be confused by the website saying the brand is Edsal while the packaging says Muscle Rack. Muscle Rack is simply a trade name. You can find Edsal’s products packaged under several names, including Maxi Rack. I spent a lot of time researching and reading reviews about these shelving units yesterday and I’m of the opinion that they are all the same as the Gorilla Rack. Time to get organized!

Do it now (refilling water storage)

Moving into a new house recently required me to empty my water storage. I promised myself that refilling it would be priority number one once we were in and had the beds set up. That was three weeks ago. Reading about residents of Iowa City lined up for bottled water this week made me realize how much time had gotten away from me.

Do you have empty water containers that need to be filled? Has it been a while since you rotated your water? Don’t delay another day. Do it now.

The large, blue tank pictured above is a SureWater tank that holds 275 gallons. The green ones are Reliance Jumbo-Tainers that hold seven gallons each.

LDS Home Storage Center prices changing in January

The LDS Home Storage Centers will be changing their prices 16 January 2010. They will also be closed from noon on 19 December through 4 January. Prices will be going both up and down, depending on the product; so, depending on what you need, you might want to buy now, or wait until just after the new year.  Click through to see the summary, and to get a copy of the new pricing. Continue reading “LDS Home Storage Center prices changing in January”

SureWater high-capacity water tank review

With the high-capacity water tanks from our group buy delivered and installed, it’s time to publish a review. I am excited about the number of individuals that are now substantially more prepared with water for their families. Water storage is a difficult part of the preparedness puzzle. Water takes up a lot of space and most of us don’t have much. Considering shelf-life, convenience for access and use, ease of rotation, and best utilization of space, I know of no better solution for water storage however, and would strongly recommend the SureWater tanks as a foundation to your efforts.

This review will cover receiving, unpacking, assembling, and filling the tanks during which I will summarize the features and mention pros and cons. While some individuals ordered the 525 gallon tank, my review will only cover the 275 gallon.

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Canned butter and cheese group buy

I am organizing a group buy on Red Feather Brand canned butter and cheese. The price is $3.00 per can for the cheese and $4.50 per can for the butter and can be ordered by the can or the case of 36. These prices are a dollar less than anywhere I have found. Orders of twenty cases or more will be shipped to your home free of charge. All other orders will be available for pick-up in South Jordan or Lehi. Orders will be accepted until midnight Monday, 26 October and should be submitted by email. Payment must be submitted by midnight Wednesday, 28 October at by cash or check.

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Increase short-life supply with vacuum seal jars

As you work to build your short-life food storage, you should begin to consider techniques to help extend the shelf life of your food. The longer it will last, the more you can store. In addition to freezing, dehydrating, canning, smoking, pickling, and storing in a dark, cool place, simply removing the oxygen from food will make it last much longer.


Many are familiar with vacuum bag sealers that allow you to suck the air out and seal it shut. Freezing food this way can extend it’s life up to five times. It also dramatically reduces or eliminates freezer burn. Many aren’t aware of what else their sealers can do though. Many models come with a utility port where you can connect attachments, such as a jar sealer. An inexpensive but powerful addition to your preservation toolkit, vacuum sealing jars should become part of your cooking and food storage routine. Continue reading “Increase short-life supply with vacuum seal jars”

Food storage short-life supply

Jud Burkett, The Spectrum

I believe that there are two types of food storage: short-life and long-life. The difference is shelf-life. Note that it’s not short-term; the factor is how long the food can be stored, not the length of emergency it’s for. I believe that you should complete your short-life storage first because these are things that you are used to eating, used to cooking, are more interesting, and are generally more nutritious. Where the ratio between short-life and long-life falls depends on the length of time you plan to store against, the types of food you eat, and the methods you use for preservation.

The first step to improving (or starting) your food storage is to dispel the misconception that food storage is an emergency tool to be stowed away safely until the unforeseen day it is needed. A “2 person gourmet package” tucked away in the crawl space is better than nothing, but listening to your children cry because you can’t figure out how to rehydrate ingredients to make a meal or suffering from appetite fatigue isn’t what I called being prepared. Why store powdered eggs before real eggs? Potato flakes before real potatoes? MREs before peanut butter and jelly? Pinto beans before pasta sauce? You can’t just pour milk on a bowl full of wheat. Continue reading “Food storage short-life supply”

Organic red wheat at cost

A neighbor of mine just harvested red wheat on his family farm here in Utah and is selling it at cost. They had the wheat processed and bagged at Lehi Roller Mills. It is organic hard red wheat and priced at $10 per 60 lb bag. That is thirty-percent less than what you can get it for at the LDS Home Storage Centers. That’s 600 pounds for only $100! Contact Wade for more information.