Author Archive for Lisa Pappas

10 Weeds that Heal

I discovered a great article on healing "weeds" right in our own backyard. Thanks to Patsy Clark I have been motivated to learn more about what we can use, other than "traditional medicines". I hope you are able to learn something new from this article!

http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/2015/04/10-weeds-heal-theyre-right-backyard.html

 

This might come as a surprise, but many of you just might have a medicine cabinet right in your own backyard and you aren’t even aware of it. Yes, that is correct. As a Certified Master Herbalist I wanted to share with you some basic “weeds” that are known to have a profound impact on you or someone that you love health. Okay here we go!

 

Purslane

Purslane– Is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Purslane is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids for vegans, vegetarians, and other people who do not or cannot eat fish. In fact, purslane is said to be the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids among cultivated green leafy vegetables. However, some wild-growing greens, such as molokhia and stamnagathi, have been reported to contain omega-3 fatty acids in amounts comparable to those found in purslane.

 

How to reap the health benefits of summer purslane

Purslane starts to lose its nutritional qualities immediately after harvest. Therefore, the best way to maximize the health benefits of purslane is to grow your purslane and harvest it as needed. If you don’t have a big garden or if you fear that planting purslane will take over your entire vegetable garden (after all, purslane is a weed), consider growing purslane indoors as a microgreen. All you need is an empty container, some potting soil, organic purslane seed, and a sunny window sill. Simply sow the seeds, keep the soil moist (but avoid over-watering), and watch your micro-purslane grow!

Dandelions
Dandelions– Are rich in potassium which is often lost through excess urination. Dandelions are exceptionally high in vitamin A, vitamin, C and iron with more iron and calcium than spinach.

Almost all the parts of dandelion herb are  in various traditional as well in modern medicine. The principle compounds in the herb have laxative and diuretic functions. The plant parts have been used as herbal remedy for liver and gall bladder complaints. The herb is also a good tonic, appetite stimulant and is a good remedy for dyspeptic complaints. The inside surface of the flower stems used as a smoothing agent for burns and stings (for example in stinging nettle allergy).

Here are some serving tips:

* Young tender shoots, raw or blanched, used in salads and sandwiches either alone or in combination with other greens like lettuce, kale, cabbage, chives, etc.
* Fresh greens may also used in soups, stews, juices, and as cooked vegetable.
* Dried leaves as well as flower parts used to make tonic drinks and herbal dandelion teas.
* Dandelion flowers used in the preparation of wines, schnapps, pancakes; and are favored in Arab baking.
* Lightly roasted and grounded roots used to make wonderfully flavorful dandelion coffee.

Chickweed
Chickweed-Is rich in nutrients that nourish the lymph and glandular systems. Chickweed is best known for it’s ability to cool inflammation and speed healing for internal or external flare-ups. Chickweed tea is an old remedy for obesity. Herbalists like myself drink teas of fresh chickweed as one of the classic spring tonics to cleanse the blood. Chickweed poultices are useful for cooling and soothing minor burns, skin irritations, and rashes particularly when associated with dryness and itching. Chickweed is taken by mouth to treat stomach problems, intestinal complaints such as constipation, disorders of the blood, arthritis, lung diseases including asthma, kidney disorders, inflammatory conditions of the urinary tract, rabies, and scurvy or vitamin C deficiency. It is also used to relieve extreme exhaustion. Chickweed is applied on the skin relieve various skin conditions such as skin wounds, ulcers, burns, arthritis pain and symptoms of eczema.

How to Enjoy Chickweed

Chickweed leaves can be steamed or added raw to salads. You can also make a tea from the leaves by steeping them in a cup of boiling water for ten minutes.

Rosemary
Rosemary-Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease due to it carnosic acid.

Health Benefits of Rosemary:

The wonderful smell of rosemary is often associated with good food and great times, but it could just as easily be associated with good health. Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks.

Rosemary is used for digestion problems, including heartburn, intestinal gas (flatulence), liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite. It is also used for gout, cough, headache, high blood pressure, and reducing age-related memory loss. In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration. So, the next time you enhance the flavor of some special dish with rosemary, congratulate yourself for a wise as well as delicious choice. Some women use rosemary for increasing menstrual flow. If you’re pregnant please take care with consuming or eating Rosemary because it is also know to cause miscarriages.

Rosemary is used topically (applied to the skin) for preventing and treating baldness; and treating circulation problems, toothache, a skin condition called eczema, and joint or muscle pain such as myalgia, sciatica, and intercostal neuralgia. It is also used for wound healing, in bath therapy (balneotherapy), and as an insect repellent.

 

Milkweed
Milk Weed-Milkweed is useful for kidney problems, dropsy, scrofula, conditions of the bladder, water retention, asthma, stomach ailments, and gallstones, female disorders, arthritis, and bronchitis. It causes increase in perspiration, thus reducing fever. Some Native Americans rubbed the (latex) juice on warts, moles, ringworms; others drank an infusion of the rootstock to produce temporary sterility or as a laxative. A folk cancer remedy. Some milkweed species are highly poisonous.

White Clover
White Clover– has useful compounds to treat bronchitis & respiratory disorders. Herbalists revere red clover for several purported health benefits, including detoxification, decongestion and reducing inflammation. Red clover is also considered a rich source of isoflavones, an antioxidant associated in some studies with combating certain types of cancer, including breast cancer and prostate cancer. The isoflavones in red clover have also been found beneficial in reducing bone loss and menopausal symptoms in healthy women. White clover has not been found to possess the same constituents or health benefits. Remember that no herbs have been FDA-approved for medical use and you should always consult with your doctor before taking red clover tea for any health-related purpose. All clovers, including white, possess some amount of vitamins A, E, C, B-2, and B-3, calcium, chromium, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and silicium. Among other things, clover is a blood purifier, is antispasmodic, and an expectorant. The tea is good for asthma and bronchitis.

For medicinal wash or internal use of Clover:

Steep tea (This can be any part of the clover plant.) in water for 30 minutes, then take 1-2 oz. frequently or 4-6 cups daily.

Nettles– Are useful in arthritis, gout, asthma, hay fever, and Alzheimer’s disease and soft tissue conditions such as fibromyalgia and tendonitis. Patients with Lupus and other auto-immune disorders suffering from joint pain experience relief from drinking a cup of nettle tea or eating stewed nettle leaves daily. Nettle is high in iron making it excellent for combating anemia and fatigue. It supports the liver. Urinary tract support. A great herb for treating bladder and urinary tract function. Nettle aids in digestive issues as well. Nettle leaf is effective at reducing symptoms of the digestive tract ranging from acid reflux, excess gas, nausea, colitis and Celiac disease.

Lavender
Lavender-Has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Both the flowers and the leaves of the lavender plant are used in herbal medicine, usually in the form of an oil or as a tea. The compound linalool, found in lavender oil, is known to have an anti-anxiety, calming effect. Lavender oil is often used as a relaxant during massages, added to lotions for babies, children and adults, and used in soap. Lavender has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain killing) attributes.

 

Lavender health benefits are many: Lavender Reduces anxiety and emotional stress, heals burns and wounds, improves sleep, restores skin complexion and reduces acne, slows aging with powerful antioxidants, improves eczema and psoriasis, and alleviates headaches.

Preparation Methods & Dosage: Lavender tea can be made from the fresh or dried flowers. Lavender essential oil should only be used externally, and can be used in massage oils, baths and aroma lamps.

Lavender Side Effects: The volatile oils in lavender can be very hard on the liver and kidneys of cats and dogs so no internal use of the herb is suggested for our animal friends.

Burdock
Burdock-May reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. Besides its culinary uses, burdock root has long been praised for its healing properties. The rest of this article is dedicated to shedding light on the numerous nutritional and health benefits of burdock root (or gobo, as the Japanese call it). Burdock root contains insulin, a type of beneficial fiber with numerous positive health effects. Most of these health benefits are linked to the ability of insulin fiber to promote the growth of bifidobacteria in the large intestine. Bifidobacteria are health promoting microbes that are naturally present in the gut. These bacteria have been found to destroy harmful bacteria in the intestines, promote easy bowel movement, and improve the immune system. Some studies also suggest that bifidobacteria may be able to reduce the levels of certain colonic enzymes that convert pro-carcinogenic molecules into carcinogens (cancer-causing molecules).

Preparation Methods:

You can add it to soups and saute it in a stir fry with carrots and sesame seeds, yum! You can also throw it in some coleslaw, or even just add it to your normal everyday salads. Burdock can also be juiced for a delicious and refreshing healing beverage. I have also discovered that traditional Chinese medicine also has used burdock synergistic-ally with other herbs to treat cold symptoms and sore throats.


Sow Thistle-is useful for treating inflammation and digestive upsets. Nutritional info about sow thistles. Sow thistle leaves are said to be a good source of vitamins A and C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Young sow thistle leaves are wonderful in salad, adding substance and depth to the flavor of other greens. They have a slight bitter edge (just like some lettuces do), but they’re less bitter than dandelion leaves. The flowers are also delicious in salads.

I hope you really enjoyed reading up “backyard weeds” and their health potentials.

Disclaimer: Information contained on this website is for general information purposes only and must not be used to treat or diagnose dental/medical conditions. The products and statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended as dental advice. Should you have any health concerns please check with your medical doctor before self-administering any natural remedy.

**American Survivor Blog**

Welcome to our NEW Community Blog!

Let's make this a "Living" page and exchange our thoughts and knowledge freely!

Everyone has their specific skill set, therefore, we all have the ability to teach or learn something new. It is always a good idea to expand our abilities to enable ourselves to "live outside the norm". That is what emergency preparedness is all about!

What have you been up to this week??

Executive Order 13603 and What it Means for Preppers…

May 12, 2015 By M.D. Creekmore

Source: Executive Order 13603 and What it Means for Preppers...

Executive Order 13603 and What it Means for Preppers…

Police stateI’ve been going over “Executive Order 13603” today and thought that you might be interested in taking a look at the following provisions that I pulled directly from the document and pasted below.

What this all boils down to is that the President, can declare a national emergency and then take all resources, even privately owned resources, resources, like your preps and any other private property that they want…

Over the years I’ve read many articles and books which suggest that the biggest threat to your survival post collapse are refugees fleeing the cities or your neighbors coming to take your preps, and while they are a legitimate concern, as you can see by reading the excepts taken directly from executive order 13603, they probably won’t be the biggest threat to your survival.

After the president declares a disaster and enacts executive order 13603, the federal government will first concentrate on taking large commercial farms, fuel produces, fertilizer plants etc, in maybe your local state and county governments who are the first ones coming after the local resources of individuals and families within their state, county and city jurisdictions.

This is why it’s a good idea to have your preps well hidden and backup preps stored away from your home and retreat…

Baby Totin’ Busy Hand Drills

While the probability of us encountering a situation where we need to get our gun out WHILE we’re carrying our children is extremely low, it is worth thinking about how our gun handling would need to change and what we should practice. Since my son is too young to follow directions to run and hide and can’t understand how to use code words to enact a plan, I have to have repetitions of gun manipulations while handling him. This post isn’t about tactics, but just the mechanics of getting a gun into play while toting a small child.  I’ll lay out several practice methods and some props that will help you get more proficient.

Read More →

DIABETES DISASTER PREPAREDNESS

Personally, I would have liked to have just added the link to this article, as it is fairly lengthy. It is, however, very important for each person to read. We never know when this information can or will be pertinent.

I personally encountered a woman in a Diabetic crisis in a gas station last year. Knowing what to do, prevented her from going into s severe reaction and needing an ambulance. Sadly, everyone else just stood around. I was thankful I recognized the signs and was able to help her immediately. My Mother-In-Law is and Best Friend, are both Diabetic, so this information becomes especially important within our family. When this situation occurs, we have minutes to respond, not hours. It must be attended to immediately.

Posted by Prepper Ideas | Posted on 03-31-2014

diabpack

PATIENT INFORMATION

Modern media have made our world seem small. News about events around the world reaches us in minutes. We learn of hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, industrial accidents and terrorist attacks immediately. TV teaches us
that any disaster brings chaos to people and their environments.

As a person with diabetes, your daily routine involves schedules and planning. An emergency can seriously affect your health. It may be difficult to cope with a disaster when it occurs. You and your family should plan and prepare beforehand even if the event is loss of electricity for a few hours. The first 72 hours following a disaster are the most critical for families. This is the time when you are most likely to be alone. For this reason, it is essential for you and your family to have a disaster plan and kit which should provide for all your family’s basic needs during these first hours.

 

BE PREPARED LIST

You should safely store the following medical supplies or have them readily available:

0 Copy of your emergency information and medical list

0 Extra copies of prescriptions

0 Insulin or pills (include all medications that you take daily including over the counter medications)

0 Syringes

0 Alcohol swabs

0 Cotton balls & tissues

0 A meter to measure blood sugar

0 Blood sugar diary

0 Insulin pump supplies (if on insulin pump)

0 Strips for your meter

0 Urine ketone testing strips

0 Lancing device and lancets

0 Quick acting carbohydrate (for example, glucose tablets, orange juice, etc.)

0 Longer lasting carbohydrate sources (for example, cheese and crackers)

0 Glucagon Emergency Kit (if on insulin)

0 Empty hard plastic detergent bottle with cap to dispose used lancets and syringes

Other supplies:

Flashlight with extra batteries Pad/pencil Whistle/noisemaker Matches / candles Extra pair of glasses First-aid kit
Female sanitary supplies Copy of health insurance cards Heavy work gloves Important family documents Tools Water
Food Clothing and bedding

Radio with extra batteries Cell phone

Make sure you have enough supplies for 2 weeks.

These supplies should be checked at least every 2 – 3 months.

Watch for expiration dates.

HELPFUL HINTS ABOUT INSULIN, PENS, SYRINGES

o Insulin may be stored at room temperature (59° – 86°F) for 28 days.

o Insulin pens in use can be stored at room temperature according to manufacturer’s directions.

o Insulin should not be exposed to excessive light, heat or cold.

o Regular and Lantus insulins should be clear.

o NPH, Lente, Ultralente, 75/25, 50/50, and 70/30 insulins should be uniformly cloudy before rotating.

o Insulin that clumps or sticks to the sides of the bottle should not be used.

o Although reuse of your insulin syringes is not generally recommended, in life and death situations, you have to alter this policy. Do not share your insulin syringes with other people.

THINGS TO REMEMBER

  • Stress can cause a rise in your blood sugar.
  • Erratic mealtimes can cause changes in your blood sugar.
  • Excessive work to repair damage caused by the disaster (without stopping for snacks) can lower your blood sugar.
  • Excessive exercise when your blood sugar is over 250mg can cause your blood sugar to go higher.
  • Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes.
  • Check your feet daily for an irritation, infection, open sores or blisters. Disaster debris can increase your risk for injury. Heat, cold, excessive dampness and inability to change footwear can lead to infection, especially if your blood sugar is high. Never go without shoes.

 

HOT WEATHER TIPS

• Stay indoors in air-conditioned or fan cooled comfort.

• Avoid exercising outside.

• Wear light colored cotton clothing.

• Remain well hydrated (water, diet drinks).

• Avoid salt tablets unless prescribed by your physician.

• Seek emergency treatment if you feel: Fatigue, weakness, abdominal cramps Decreased urination, fever, confusion.

You should wear diabetes identification

AT ALL TIMES

FOOD ITEMS TO BE STORED

1 large box unopened crackers (saltines)

1 jar peanut butter

1 small box powdered milk (use within 6 months)

1 gallon or more of water per day per person for at least one week

2 6-pack packages cheese and crackers or 1 jar soft cheese

1 pkg. dry, unsweetened cereal

6 cans regular soda

6 cans diet soda

6-pack canned orange or apple juice

6 pack parmalat milk

6 cans “lite” or water packed fruit

1 spoon, fork and knife per person

Disposable cups

4 packages of glucose tablets or small hard candies for low blood sugar

1 can tuna, salmon, chicken, nuts per person

These supplies should be checked and replaced yearly.

FOOD CONSIDERATIONS DURING A DISASTER

1. Food and water supply may be limited and/or contaminated. Do not eat food you think may be contaminated. It may be necessary to boil water for 10 minutes before use.
2. Drink plenty of water.
3. Maintain your meal plan to the best of your ability. Your plan should include a variety of meat/meat substitutes (i.e., peanut butter, dried beans, eggs), milk/milk products, fruits, vegetables, cereal, grains.
4. Limit sugar/sugar-containing foods. These foods include:

• Jellies, jams, molasses

• Honey

• Syrups (fruits canned in sugar syrup, pancake syrup)

• Tonic (dietetic tonics with less than one calorie per ounce are allowed)

• Frosted cake

• Presweetened or sugar-coated cereals

• Pie, pastry, Danish pastry, doughnuts

• Chocolate

• Custards, pudding, sherbet, ice cream

• Gelatin

• Soda

• Cookies, brownies

5. Monitor your blood sugars frequently and record in diary.

LIMIT SWEETS

FOOD CONSIDERATIONS DURING A DISASTER

6. When reading labels, limit products with these sugar-containing ingredients:

• Sugar

• Corn syrup

• Dextrose

• Sucrose

• Corn sweeteners

• Honey

• Molasses

• Brown sugar

• Fruit syrup

7. Avoid greasy, fried foods.
8. Try to eat meals and snacks at the same time every day. Avoid periods of hunger and overindulgence. The quantity and frequency of your food intake should remain similar day-to-day depending upon your activity level.
9. Increase food and water intake during periods of increased exertion or physical activity by either eating between-meal snacks before activity or by eating additional food with meals.
10. Carry a fast source of sugar with you at all times:

• 3 glucose tablets

• 1 small box of raisins

• 6-7 small hard sugar candies

SICK DAY RULES DURING A DISASTER

1. Always take your insulin or pills on time or close to it. Never omit your insulin unless your doctor has told you otherwise. Insulin is still good if there is no refrigeration. A used or unused bottle of insulin may be kept at room temperature (59° - 86°F) for 28 days. Discard unrefrigerated insulin after 28 days.
2. Keep an extra bottle of each type of insulin you use on hand at all times.
3. Eat within 15 min. or no later than ½ hour after taking your insulin
(depending on insulin type) or diabetes medicine. Try to eat on time.
4. Never skip a meal. If you cannot eat solid food because of nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea, sip regular coke, eat hard candies, fruit or regular soft drinks instead of following your usual meal plan.

5. Most Important:

• Do not let yourself get dehydrated.

• Drink plenty of liquids.

• In between meal times, sip diet soda.

(This will not replace food, but can help you be hydrated.)

6. Rest.

7. Check your blood sugar. Notify your doctor if your blood sugar average is over 240mg or if you are ill for 2 days.

8. Test your urine for ketones when:

• Your blood sugar average is over 240mg.

• You are vomiting

• You have symptoms of high blood sugar (increased thirst or hunger than usual, quick weight loss, increased urination, very tired, stomach pain, breathing fast or fruity breath smell).

SICK DAY RULES DURING A DISASTER

9. Call your doctor if your ketone test is moderate or high and/or if you have symptoms of high blood sugar (as listed in number 8). You may need more than your usual amount of insulin on a sick day. Your doctor can guide you in this. If you need medical assistance / or are out of all medications, food, and cannot reach your doctor, immediately:

• Go to the nearest hospital; or

• Contact the police; or

• Contact the American Red Cross; or

• Go to an Emergency Medical Center

30 Uses For Wood Ashes

 

(Ashes from hard wood trees works best, and don't use ashes from treated wood)

  1. Make lye water out of ash. You can boil 2-3 spoons of ash (clean white/grey fluffy ash) with water and then filter it with a coffee filter. Lye water is a great cleaning agent and sanitizer for clothes, floors, windows, silverware, plates, and even rust in marble.You can also make lye by adding the fluffy white ash in a cheesecloth.  In a bucket with holes on its base, you add the cheesecloth and ash, and hang it somewhere high. Add the water. Underneath, place another clean bucket to collect the lye. The lye has a brownish color, so you remove the bucket when clean water starts to sip through. Test the lye by adding a fresh egg in the liquid. If the egg floats, the lye is good to go, if not, repeat the process.-For use in soap making.

    2. A paste made out of ash and water, can remove stains from furniture.

    3. If we want to remove a stain from clothes the moment they happen, we add a bit of ash and after about five minutes, we rub it with the crumb of a bread (not the crust, the soft white bit).

    4. Ash is a great odor repellent, just add a bit over the area that smells. eg, kitty litter.

    5. You can remove odors from a fridge, by adding a plate of charcoal ash inside. Change the charcoal over, until the smell is gone.

    6. You can use it to brush your teeth. (recipe here)

    7. You can wash your hair with lye soap  and rinse with vinegar. This is especially good for oily hair.

    8. Lye is used in many foods and sweets. Like grape must pudding (moustalevria),  honey cookies (melomakarona), and in bread. It makes bread fluffy and prevents it from crumbling. Lye is also good for the cleansing of the intestines.

    9. Ash was used for many years in farming. It recycles the natural nutrients back into the earth. It can be used as compost but does not include Nitrogen. It aids in the increase of the earths PH level which in return, aids in the growth of the plants. (But because of the ongoing increase of the PH level, not all veg and fruit thrive from it. eg potatoes).

    10. It strengthens plants that love calcium, such as tomatoes, vineyards, beans, spinach, peas, avocados, garlic etc. Even rose bushes. You can add 1/4 cup ash before planting.

    11. One spoon ash per 1000L of water, strengthens underwater plants.

    12.It prevents plants from frost in winter, if you add a layer of ash over them.

    13. Animals hate ash. You can rid your garden of insects and various parasites, such as slugs and snails.

    14. You can rid yourself of ants. If you throw some ash in their colony, they will be forced to relocate, as they can’t move the ash.

    15. Spread some ash in the corners of the house, or dark spots of your cellar etc. For as long as there is ash, no mice/rats, cockroaches or insects approach.

    16. It repels lice, ticks and fleas off animals. You make a thick paste of ash and vinegar and spread over the fur. It’s messy, but it works.

    17.  It repels clothes moths. You can add some ash on your stored clothes, and simply shake it off when you need to use them. You can leave them for years this way, and nothing will happen to them.

    18.  Lye is used to make soap (potassium hydroxide). It’s a bit of a lengthy process, but its worth it.

    19. Ash is used for “immortal eggs”. In a recipe used in the Middle East, they preserve eggs in a mix of clay, ash, salt, lime and rice rind for many months.

    20. Sodium Carbonate, can be made out of ash. It is known to be an excellent product, used as household cleaner. Boil water and ash, until it evaporates. The remaining substance is your Sodium Carbonate (Soda).

    21. Ash contains salt, and can therefore melt ice.

    22. The charcoal collected within the ash, can be used as a filter.

    23. You can use charcoal to filter blurry wine.

    24. You can use charcoal to filter water before drinking.

    25. Charcoal in metal containers can be used to remove humidity in cellars, cupboards and under sinks.

    26. You can put a fire out quickly by throwing ash over it.

    27. In the older days, they used to preserve seeds in large clay containers, by adding a thick layer of ash over them. This prevented insects from destroying their produce.

    28. It can be used in wounds, to kill bacteria and aid in faster healing. Melting hand made soap in lye water and rinsing a wound with it without rinsing over it with clean water.

    29. No fridge? No worries! You can preserve your fruits and vegetables for many days, even years, by digging a hole in the ground and filling it with ash. Add your veg and fruit, ensuring enough space between them, so that they do not touch each other, or the muddy ground. Seal the hole with a piece of wood, and you let it be.

    30. In the olden days, to preserve the fresh rennet, they added it in a bone animal horn, filled it with ash, sealed it with mud and hanged it from a tree. This ensured the rennet lasted for many many years.

 

Thanks go to Hank (From APN) who is the Author of this article. http://humblelore.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/30-uses-for-wood-ashes-you-never-thought-of/

 

Preparing and Sharing: Developing a Bartering Surplus

I think as Americans, we are blessed in being able to afford to buy items in bulk. But, at the same time I think we should learn about budgeting what we consume, along with some alternatives.

Are you willing or prepared to develop a ‘bartering surplus’ within the use of your everyday shopping habits?

I recently read an article on APN News about Sari-Sari stores. It occurred to me that we have the ability to develop similar ‘markets’ through our own everyday purchases. Sari-Sari’s are small community convenience stores (in a word) often found in the villages throughout the Philippines.

Preppers here in the U.S. often talk about purchasing food and supplies in bulk from warehouse stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, etc..  That's actually not a bad idea, but ONLY if you are disciplined enough to plan your meals and usage of your supplies, and not consuming any more than you actually need.

This stresses the importance of establishing thoughtful, regular food planning and meal preparations based on what we are accustomed to eating or would normally consume. Thus, allowing us that extra supply for emergency storage.

Well, what if we set aside a portion of what we purchase, and package it into smaller individual sizes? This could afford us the opportunity to maintain our own personal emergency storage, and begin to build a bartering system.

For example, a 25lb bag of rice is easy to come by today. But, in the future, who knows? Keeping 5lb for our regular use seems adequate. Most people don’t eat rice at every day, and since its volume doubles when cooked we really don’t tend to need very much dried rice for a single meal. By storing 10# for our coffer, we still have 10# left available to seal/store/package, into much smaller units. A 1/2 lb package (One Cup), doubles when cooked, into 2 Cups. Each of those smaller units now becomes a valuable bartering tool. We now have 20 smaller units available to work with.

Think beyond food items, as well. There are many, many items we use daily that can be separated and stored individually.

  • Laundry detergent (Tide has individual 1”x1” packets, in sets of 3 for about $1, or so)
  • Lighters
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Diapers
  • Toilet paper
  • Flour
  • Bars of soap
  • First aid items, many come in individual use packs (peroxide, alcohol, Neosporin etc.),
  • Spices (salt and pepper packages, like from fast food places)
  • I have seen on Amazon.com, multitudes of food items available in restaurant packaging intended for individual use (also good for less waste, when opened). Many are very inexpensive and worth the thought when considering reducing the load of our Go Bags.
  • Cigarettes, split up the pack and seal them.
  • (Some say small bottles of alcohol… Sprits – I don’t care for this idea but, to each, his own).

This list can go on-and-on. I believe this mode of thinking may take us one step beyond where we currently are. There may be something that someone needs, and vice-verse.

I personally draw the line at Ammo… You are not getting, what you can use against me!!

During the recent Tornadoes that effected the Coal City region, this is exactly what we did. In providing smaller package items for the families that needed supplies, they were not burdened with how to store them (for example 25# of rice).

Would I recommend “Hanging A Shingle”, NO! However, there are families of preppers developing that will be relying on one another for their survival. This can become a life saving or longevity tool for all of us, within the prepping communities.

This also leads into groups collectively making purchases at Bulk stores and splitting purchases amongst one another, both, the items and their costs. This would be another good way to develop our emergency supplies.

I hope this gives rise to a newer way of thinking for some, as, we do not know what the future holds for us. Each person’s idea of  SHTF means something different, and perhaps this will give rise to ‘thinking outside the box”.

-Lisa Pappas  -  April 2, 2014

7 Plants That Repel Insects

 

7 Plants That Repel Insects

 Springtime is just around the corner and many of us are beginning to put our garden/yard plans together.

A friend shared an article with me that I just had to pass on. I personally don’t like using chemical repellants in/on/or near the food I plan to eat. So why not use beneficial plants to do some of the hard work for us?

 The warmer months are on their way, and what does that mean? Bugs! If you are not into using chemicals to repel bugs, read on for some great plants that are natural insect repellents!

Think about it: repelling insects naturally, and sprucing up your space with beautiful plants- what could be better?

 You will find MANY more beneficial articles, such as this at the following website. Original article published from this website, with minor additions and corrections by myself. You will find the useful link at the bottom of this article

mintMint

Not only is it fragrant and beautiful, but mint has an added benefit: ants and mice absolutely hate it! Plant a few sprigs of mint around your house, near your entryways, to keep those pests out of the way. Added bonus: you will have fresh, home grown mint to  add to those summer recipes and drinks! ( http://allrecipes.com/recipe/the-real-mojito/ )

basilBasil

Basil is fragrant and is used in many different recipes, but also for medicinal purposes as well! Place some potted basil plants in areas where flies are common to help deter them. Basil is great to place near your outdoor grill or picnic tables, where flies like to gather. Don’t forget that basil needs to be watered at the roots and not the leaves.

bay-leafBay Leaves

The bitter plant is often used for its fragrance in cooking, but, bugs hate the scent. You can use bay leaves to repel flies, moths, mice, earwigs and roaches. It doesn’t even matter if you don’t have fresh bay leaf plants, you can use dried bay leaves to get the same results!  (Also very handy when used completely dried for your long-term storage grains and flours!)

catnipCatnip

Yes, that catnip, the same greenery that makes your kitten go crazy, can repel bugs as well! Talk about a multi-tasker! Some studies even show that catnip might be more effective at repelling insects than DEET (the powerful ingredient commonly found in insect repellents). You can take a few leaves of catnip, roll them around and press them onto the skin, and viola! Bugs won’t want to be anywhere near!

 CitronellaCitronella

One of the “oldest tricks in the book” when it comes to insect repelling plants, citronella is famous for making bugs hate it! Citronella is used in all sort of candles, torches, and insect repellents, but using the “real deal” a/k/a the live plant is much more effective. Citronella is a large clumping grass that looks great in flower beds and patio planters. Try to place your citronella plants near places where people gather for the best effect.

Lemon BalmLemon Balm

Lemon balm is a plant that is in the mint family, and produces a strong lemony odor that many pests hate. You can use lemon balm for a plethora of medical reasons, from cold sores to digestive issues. Plant lemon balm near your entrance ways or patios, and you can also crush it up and rub it onto your skin for an immediate effect. (I personally recommend keeping this in a container. It is very prolific and it will not take much time to take over any ground space it is given!)

LavenderLavender

Everyone loves lavender for its beautiful purple flowers and calm, relaxing scent. However, bugs don’t like it so much! Keep lavender growing in your patio planters or garden to keep the bugs away. You can also hang dried lavender in your closet, and you will never have to worry about moths eating your clothes!

As you can see, there are many different plants that repel insects. Whether you are looking to repel insects in your garden, on your patio, or even inside your home, there are plenty of choices out there. It is easy to repel pests naturally without using any chemicals! I have found that many of these plants are quite useful in flower boxes and are being used this year around my home entry!

http://www.selfsufficiencymagazine.com/7-plants-that-repel-insects/