Friday, November 27, 2009

Survival Gardening in Containers

You don't need a plot of land to grow fresh vegetables. Many vegetables lend themselves well to container gardening. With some thought to selecting bush or dwarf varieties, almost any vegetable can be adapted to growing in a pot. Vegetables that take up little space, such as carrots, radishes and lettuce, or crops that bear fruits over a long period of time, such as tomatoes and peppers, are perfect for container vegetable gardens.

What you can grow in a container vegetable garden is limited only by the size of the container and your imagination. How about a Summer Salad container? Plant a tomato, a cucumber and some parsley or chives all in a large (24-30") container. They grow well together and have the same water and sun requirements. By late summer they might not be very pretty, but they'll keep producing into the fall. This makes a great housewarming present, too.

Containers and Pots for Vegetable Gardens
Selecting Containers: Containers for your vegetable gardens can be almost anything: flower pots, pails, buckets, wire baskets, bushel baskets, wooden boxes, nursery flats, window planters, washtubs, strawberry pots, plastic bags, large food cans, or any number of other things.
Drainage: No matter what kind of container you choose for your vegetable garden, it should have holes at the base or in the bottom to permit drainage of excess water.

Color Considerations: You should be careful when using dark colored containers because they absorb heat which could possibly damage the plant roots. If you do use dark colored pots, try painting them a lighter color or shading just the container.

Size: The size of the container is important. For larger vegetables like tomatoes and eggplants, you should use a five gallon container for each plant. You can grow these plants in two gallon containers, however you need to give the plants considerably more attention.

Soil and Fertilizer
You can use soil in your container vegetable garden, but the synthetic mixes are much better. Peat-based mixes, containing peat and vermiculite, are excellent. They are relatively sterile and pH adjusted. They also allow the plants to get enough air and water. Mixing in one part compost to two parts planting mix will improve fertility.
Using a slow release or complete organic fertilizer at planting will keep your vegetables fed for the whole growing season.

Pots and containers always require more frequent watering than plants in the ground. As the season progresses and your plants mature, their root system will expand and require even more water. Don't wait until you see the plants wilting. Check your containers daily to judge the need for water.

Monday, November 23, 2009

How and Where you Start Getting Ready...

We always recommend that people start with a well prepared and possibly personalized 72-hour kit. This is a basic item that can be a starting point to prepare your family.

Each person in your family or home needs a 72-hour kit with food and water to last at least 3 days. You can personalize the kit by adding a change of clothes, and important documentation like birth certificates, a marriage license, or health records.

In a child's kit you can also add items that will keep them entertained, like a few of their favorite light weight toys, a coloring book and some crayons, or anything else that is lightweight and can easily fit into their pack along with the basic emergency preparedness items that should already be included.

Next is water. Water is one of the most overlooked items in emergency preparedness, but it is easily one of the most important. Water is one of the first things to become contaminated after a disaster, but it is essential to life.

How much water should you store? One gallon per person per day is the recommended amount. Death caused by dehydration can occur in 3 days or even less in hot weather.

Even if dehydration doesn't cause death it can have some serious consequences when you're vulnerable that will make surviving more of a challenge. Once those basic needs are efficiently taken care of, it is then appropriate to think about what would make your family comfortable.

You would not be able to hear newscasts or when emergency relief groups are in your area when your power is down. The perfect solution would be a hand crank or solar-generated radio. It would be impossible to use your cell phone when the telephone lines are down as well as power lines. In this case you would find a hand crank cell phone charger to be a life saver.

It would not be efficient to rely on scented candles to light your home in case of a black out. You might prefer light sticks for your children and a 115 hour ReadyCandle to light your kitchen.

Rotating your food storage is time consuming, inconvenient, and can add up after a few rotations. It's also hard to know exactly when to rotate which items, and making sure you use it all before the expiration date is pretty difficult to track.

All of The Ready Store's #10 cans of freeze-dried food last for 30 years and since they are freeze dried, that means they keep more nutrients, taste, and color than dehydrated food storage..The Ultimate Year Supply of Freeze-Dried Food covers all the basics and more, including breakfast, lunch, fruit, vegetables, dinner, and a side.

We have also recently added some dehydrated food to our menu if you wanted to add calories to your meal. These require cooking, more water, and take much longer to make, but they cost a little less.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

How Long do you Boil Water for it to be safe

I keep on hearing bad advice about boiling water to make it safe to drink. Having enough safe drinking water is of utmost importance to any survivor. Proper information is very important and for that reason I am writing this is to set the record straight.

Boiling Water is the Best Method

As some of us know, boiling water is surest and most effective method of destroying microorganisms including disease causing bacteria, viruses, protozoan’s, and parasites.

Modern filtering devices and the chemical treatment of water come in a poor distant second to the ancient and almost foolproof method of boiling water to make it safe to drink. And importantly to the survivor, the boiling of water requires no special apparatus, training, or difficult to find chemicals. The means to boil water for safe drinking are usually close at hand:

•A source of heat
•A vessel to hold the water.

How Long Should Water be Boiled

I am always hearing different amounts of time that water needs to be boiled to kill disease organisms. Recently I perused various publications put out by the government and trusted health organizations. What is glaringly obvious is they disagree on the length of time water should be boiled to make it safe to drink.
Common water boiling times that are stated include:

•“Boil water for 10 minutes” is a common statement
•“5-minutes of boiling” is also frequently heard
•“Boil the water for 20 minutes”. Would there be any left?
•“A rolling boil for 1 minute”. Is it enough?
•“When at high altitudes you need to boil water for twice as long”

Modern filtering devices and the chemical treatment of water come in a poor distant second to the ancient and almost foolproof method of boiling water to make it safe to drink. Which of the above statements are true? None. That’s right. Following any of the above advice for the boiling times of water is a big waste of fuel (and a waste of water if you are short on water cannot afford to lose any to evaporation).

Throughout the world whole forests have been cut down for firewood in order to boil drinking water. Hikers and mountaineers have used up precious fuel boiling water for inordinate amounts of time. In a survival situation you cannot afford to waste valuable resources and energy. With all the bad advice around, many thousands of trees and other fuels and a huge amount of effort have been wasted.

Correct Water Boiling Time:
The correct amount of time to boil water is 0 minutes. Thats right, zero minutes.

"According to the Wilderness Medical Society, water temperatures above 160° F (70° C) kill all pathogens within 30 minutes and above 185° F (85° C) within a few minutes. So in the time it takes for the water to reach the boiling point (212° F or 100° C) from 160° F (70° C), all pathogens will be killed, even at high altitude."

What is not well known is that contaminated water can be pasteurized at temperatures well below boiling. The fact is, with a water temperature of 160 to 165 degrees F (74 C) it takes just half an hour for all disease causing organisms to be inactivated. At 185 degrees this is cut to just a few minutes. By the time water hits its boiling point of 212 F (100 C) - plus or minus depending upon pressure or altitude - the water is safe. Even at high altitudes the time it takes for the water to reach a rolling boil and then cool means you can safely drink it.

Lacking a thermometer to measure water temperature, you only need to get your water to a rolling boil. By that point you know the water is hot enough and that the disease organisms in your water were destroyed quite some time earlier. End of story, turn off the heat. Stop wasting fuel. Let the water cool down. Your water is safe to drink!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

It’s time to get into Survivalist Mode

In today’s environment it’s hard to know what Emergency may occur and disrupt our daily lives. With the different kinds of challenges we may have to face, wouldn’t it be better to be ready just in case.

We hear on the news daily about some disaster happening in the world. From earthquakes, wild fires, flooding, tornados, hurricanes, terrorism. This is a slogan I heard a while back that goes, "It’s better to be years early than to be a minute too late". Because once something happens, you most likely will not be able to get prepared. It Will be Too Late. Are you willing to risk the safety of your family?

At American Survivalist we believe that it is part of our heritage to be ready and watchful for any kind of emergency in our Communities, our State, and our Country. This country has a lot of history that of which it was founded on and now the next chapter is about to be written. So what I say to you is how ready do you want to be. There is no getting ready when you are quarantined in your home.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

Today is a day of remembrance for all who have served and died for our country. And for those who are serving now in harm’s way. We should all stop for a moment and give thanks to those who enable us to live with the freedoms we still have.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


In emergency preparedness, a 72 hour kit is widely considered the first step in becoming prepared. Sitting in a closet or some other area close to the front door, it can be grabbed in a moment’s notice, should you have to depart your home with little or no warning. Two days ago, only a block from my house, a neighbor’s home caught fire at 3 AM. After getting everyone out, the fire hastily spread and quickly destroyed this family’s home. Everything inside it was totally destroyed. What did they have left? Only the pajamas on their backs. They lost literally everything. They didn’t even have shoes on their feet. They wish they’d had a good 96 hour kit. Fortunately, the whole community is pulling together for them. But not everyone is this lucky. Sometimes, whole communities are affected at the same time. This same tiny farming village back in 1978 had to be immediately evacuated for several days because of derailed and leaking butane cars. Before that, everyone here thought this was a place where disasters ‘never happened.’
Seventy-two hour kits would have been really handy then as well. It’s not necessary that you live in a tornado or hurricane alley to need a 96 hour kit. Every family needs one for the unexpected.

A deluxe “96” hour kit should contain all the essential things your family would need to take you through 4 days of being on your own. There’s a reason behind the length of time the kit’s contents should last. It generally takes the disaster relief agencies at least 3-4 days to move in and set up before offering assistance. Generally speaking, you’re on your own during this time. Depending on how bad the situation is, it could even be longer. Whether you start with our kit or put one together yourself from scratch, it’s important for your family’s welfare to have one. In any type of disaster things will be bad. Not having the necessities to sustain your life and the lives of your family members could turn an otherwise manageable problem into a personal cataclysm you could never recover from. Prepare now for life’s surprises.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Are You Ready For Unexpected Power Outages?

If you have ever wanted to have an emergency “backup” system that supplies continuous electrical power, There is a now a completely portable (and ultra-high efficient) solar power generator which produces up to 1800 watts of household electricity on demand when you need it most. News of this “solar backup generator” (it’s the first “off-the-grid” breakthrough in 50 years) is spreading like wildfire all across the country!

You see, this solar generator is extremely powerful and yet very simple to use. It produces continuous electricity and runs with absolutely no noise whatsoever. It emits no fumes. But the best part about the solar generator is that it Generates Free Electricity!

The unit then stores the power for your use when you need it. We all face natural disasters, with hurricanes, tornadoes, snow and ice storms cutting off electrical power to millions of Americans each year.

Then there are man-made disasters and outages. Blackouts and rolling brownouts are becoming common in many parts of the United States as our politicians herd us off into third-world status. And never forget the possibility of a terrorist attack directed at a few of our nation’s power plants. Since the nation’s power grids are all “connected,” crippling one plant starts a cascading downward spiral of darkness.

Your neighbors will be clueless when it finally does happen, expecting the government to “do something” to get their precious cable TV back on. The truth is, we are extremely vulnerable to all kinds of meltdowns that can create temporary or even permanent electrical outages. That’s why if you are one of the few Americans that have eyes to see and ears to hear with respect to the hard times ahead. In fact, you can also expect rising electrical rates very soon, as promised by the new administration. That's why you need to Have A Backup System In Place!

To find out more Click Here

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Learn how to do Canning at Home

To preserve foods by canning two things must be done. First, sufficient heat must be provided to destroy all microscopic life that will cause spoilage in food; and second a perfect seal must be made which will prevent the re-entrance of microorganisms. These problems of preventing spoilage have been practically solved by the improved methods of canning which are explained below.
Only the freshest of fruits and vegetables should be canned. Canning does not improve the taste of the product; it only preserves it for future use.
Methods of Canning

Open Kettle: This method involves cooking the product completely and pouring it into sterilized jars, using sterilized equipment throughout. The jars are then sealed and stored. The open kettle method is recommended only for preserves, pickles, and foods canned in thick syrup. For other foods use the following methods.

Cold Pack: Cold, raw foods are put into jars and covered with boiling-hot syrup, juice of water. (Tomatoes are pressed down in the jar so they are covered with their own juice.) Jars are partially or completely sealed, following manufactures directions. Jars are then processed in boiling water or in steam to simultaneously cook the food and sterilize the jars.

Hot Pack: Fruits and vegetables are preheated before packing causing shrinkage before food goes into jars. This is the preferred method as preheating the food before packing prevents “floating”, (especially with fruits) and assures a full pack. Processing time is also lessened when food is hot-packed.

To learn how click here