Monthly Archives: July 2013

SP’s weekend foraging

I have been tracking some edibles growing in my yard this year, and wanted to show some simple things readers in the sticks might be able to find and enjoy. There is plenty of Sumac trees growing behind the dam of our pond. The small red berries have a coating on them that is very tart. You don’t need to eat them, as the flavor is just on the outside.

Sumac berries on the tree
Sumac berries collected

I usually will pick them in July, as they will lose flavor as the rain will washes off the tartness towards fall. Collect a couple of big berry pods, and put them in a container of drinking water to have a Sumac Lemonade.

I also collected some Amaranth seeds, but I was too late to catch them at the right time. I actually collected some seeds earlier in June, but thought they were not ready yet. the seeds in June were white and larger than the darker small seeds I collected over the weekend. Amaranth can be winnowed to just the seed, and milled to be an amendment to flour for baking. The smaller seeds would not winnow very well and will be spread out for a bigger yield next year.

Hopefully, foraging can include some jalapeños growing in the garden. My wife has grown them for a few years, but the yield didn’t seem to be enough to do anything with them. I used Simply Scratch’s Easy Homemade Pickled Jalapeños as a guide for my first pickling adventure. I only used a couple tablespoons of sugar, and the next time I will reduce it to one. The process was quick and easier than I thought it would be. Other than the sugar, the jalapeños came out tasting terrific, and were crisp.
Pickled Peppers

What do you have growing in your area that you have eaten? Please comment and share.


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SP’s thoughts on where we are heading…

I know I said this would be a positive site, but with a topic like prepping, you need some zombies in order to justify the effort. Zombies are jokingly used as metaphor for the events we prepare for, or those who have a survival plan to “shop” at Walmart when TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) happens. There are many reasons my family preps, but there are many reasons we have not thought of yet. Hopefully for all of us, the main reason we prep is if there is a small local weather event, or a possible job loss. The ability to have a few weeks of food, or other supplies on hand, will allow us not to spend needed cash unhand for basic needs, or keep us off the roads during bad weather to buy food.

Unfortunately I have to be sensible and look at other factors I see happening in the media. These events are occurring at an alarming rate, and much higher frequency. The dichotomy of our political system and the ineffectiveness of our so called leaders is shocking. It seems that rather than limiting the damage already caused economically and socially, they are piling on debt and infringing on our freedoms at an alarming rate. The seemingly local events are getting 24 hour nationwide coverage, and the division of us continues. The flames are fanned, the buses roll in from large interests on issues they feel additional support is needed. It’s sad to see where we were just a few years ago, and I don’t think the average person is paying attention, or at least cares where where heading as a society.

My biggest concern is the state of our economy and the fragileness of all interconnected systems that depend upon it. Civil unrest can be a cause or effect of a broken economy, and any motivated group can take their cause too far. If, or when, either the economy or the people break down, a cascading set of events unfold. Supply chains for stocking stores and gas station are severely disrupted, workers fail to go to work, utilities go dark or are under-maintained, businesses fold from lack of sales, and people take to the street to express their rage.

We likely have little effect on these macro issues we face. We are much better with trying to build communities and provide support to them. Local politics need to be closely followed and be sure the local politics reflect the needs of the community, as we have already lost the 535 reps and senators to the machine dividing us.

My priority for this blog is to get you to act now, to be prepared for the small events, as well as larger ones we may face. Times are good now to buy and plan for the future, to learn basic skills that could mean the difference between life and death. Any money you can comfortably spend now for long term food, water storage, creating energy for your home, is going to take much more later on if the paradigm doesn’t change.

Sorry for the rant, but please comment your opinions for our discussion.

Take care,
Sensible Prepper

Got Preps?

Not long ago, prepping had a negative stigma attached to it. Now all the mainstream outlets are cashing in on the idea with the reality based programs that don’t seem to realistically portray being prepared. The validity of the network and the participants are suspect, and the networks get the ratings they are looking for. The reality is, up until a couple generations ago, prepping (more accurately homesteading) was key to our existence. In many areas during that time, there was not a convenience store, or supermarket close, and likely a family may only get out to shop a few times a month.

Being prepared should be more of a responsibility than a hobby. Providing basic needs for your family, when they will need it most, is common sense.

There are also some basic skills every adult should know or learn. Even just some general knowledge about basic homesteading skills can go a long way to make an extended event manageable. There is a never-ending list of skills that would be helpful, or even profitable if normal day to day activities stop. If you are already a skilled mechanic, blacksmith, gardener, seamstress or hunter, just to name a few, your community would benefit from your knowledge, and you can use your trade to barter for needed supplies or services. For those of us whose current trade may be useless in an extended event (I manage computer networks, and won’t have much to do), then it is important to work on the most basic skills like: being able to start a fire using 3 different methods, gardening, foraging for food, fishing, hunting, building strong community ties and sewing. These skills will take time to become proficient at.

The time to start is now. Please comment on your view of prepping, and the mainstream media’s current biased view.

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