Where is the Best Place to Live When Things Fall Apart? And how will you make an income to feed your family if your job is gone? Jerry Robinson, author of Bankruptcy of Our Nation, and founder of Follow the Money Daily, enlightens us with the guiding principles to find that perfect secure home location or bug-out spot, and examines how to provide for your family with your own fresh & favorite foods and multiple streams of income both before and after the collapse!
There’s no other way to say it- losing your job is a traumatic experience for everyone in your family. The effects can be felt everywhere- both financially and emotionally. Although your financial outlook may look bleak, but there are ways to ease the burden and still provide for your family.
Feeding a family of four on $80 is a challenge. But, for many families, it’s a reality. And, although it is hard, it is not impossible.
Begin by checking your resources. You may have more resources available than you think. What do you already have in your pantry? Probably not a lot, but when you’re struggling every bit counts.
Growing Enough Food For Your Family In Small Backyards
This page explains how to grow enough food for your whole family in small spaces, without any pest problems. With the right solutions, it’s very cheap and easy. You only need to dedicate about 5 minutes each day to ensure a productive garden. The alternative is perhaps 8 hours of work each day to buy food that’s loaded with unhealthy artificial preservatives.
The Best & Easiest Vegetables to Grow
Below is a list of the best vegetables to grow. We consider various factors including how easy they are to grow, the nutrients they provide, and the amount of space you need. Click each link for detailed instructions.
Warragul greens (also called New Zealand Spinach): This may be one of the most important plants on Earth. It grows well in almost any conditions, is highly pest resistant, and quite nutritious. Once you plant it, you can forget about it and just harvest the leaves whenever you want. The only problem is it has high levels of oxalates as any spinach does, so you need to blanch the leaves (put in boiling water for 30 seconds then in cool water). If you are looking for great survival plants, this plant is a must. Unless you regularly harvest, it will grow out of control. That’s not such a bad thing if you want a constant food supply. Step-by-step instructions on how to plant over 125 plants inside your permaculture garden. Plus, special instructions on choosing the right ones for your climate. From Arizona to Alaska, you can do this anywhere…
Broccoli: Easy to grow and super nutritious.
Garlic: Just plant and forget it. Very healthy and unique health benefits. You can just buy garlic from your supermarket, then split and plant each bulb. They’ll grow into full bulbs.
Spring onion: These have similar health benefits to garlic. They grow quickly and have barely any pest problems.
Silverbeet: Quick growing and hardy. It grows well in a wide range of conditions.
Kale: One of the most nutritious foods. A leafy green that grows quickly, but is vulnerable to insects and needs proper care.
Lettuce: Quick growing and nutritious. But pests loves them too, so they need close attention.
Tomatoes: Very productive summer fruit
Cucumbers: Quick growing and very productive
Beetroot: Productive and grows in the ground with very few pest problems.
Peas: Easy to grow. There are lots of varieties. For winter, grow snow peas.
Beans: Great source of protein. Easy to grow and spread. There are a lot of different varieties, so choose what grows well in your region.
Spinach: Very easy to grow. I suggest the “Warragul greens” variety as it’s quite hardy.
Potatoes: Loads of energy, filling and very easy to grow. You can easily grow them in buckets or even bags. The soil should be light and loose.
Peppers / Capsicum: Highly nutritious.
Carrots: One of the most productive vegetables. Space them out or you’ll get lots of smaller carrots instead of large ones. In either case you will get lots of food for little work.
Mushrooms: Easy to grow and excellent nutrition. They are a great source of protein and grow in the dark.
Food Preservation Techniques Smoking Meat & Making Jerky
Let’s say that you have just acquired a fresh kill. But it is a large animal (i.e., deer) and there is no electricity, so your refrigerator and freezer are not options. You could build a fire and have a huge barbecue for your entire neighborhood. But you would rather preserve some of this meat to feed your family during the coming months. Well, you can cut the meat into thin strips and dry it or smoke it making jerky. Or if you have a pressure canner and a heat source you can pressure can it. But first you will have to dress it!
Before refrigeration people relied on salt and smoke to preserve their meat. Most people lived on family farms and the “smoke house” was as familiar as the outhouse. Refrigeration changed the way we did a lot of things, but one thing it did not change was our taste for the flavor of smoked meat. Consequently, smokers are readily available today and recipes abound, including those for smoking your meat in your backyard grill. But one thing that nearly all of these recipes have in common is: the meat is cooked and so the end product will require refrigeration.
To preserve meat that will not require refrigeration a process known as Hard Smoking is required. Hard smoked meat is similar to jerky. It contains a lot of salt, and it is smoked at a low temperature until there is very little moisture left in it. It is kind of like the dehydration method used for fruits and vegetables, but done with smoke and the addition of salt and usually other spices as well. The salt helps preserve the meat by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. Sometimes the meat is so salty that you may even want to soak it for a few hours before eating it to remove some of the salt. (People used to save this water and reclaim the salt by allowing the water to evaporate.)
The smoked meats and jerky that you buy in stores today contain preservatives called nitrites, so their moisture content may be slightly higher and their salt content slightly lower. Their recommended shelf-life is one year. The jerky that you make at home, if preserved properly, should keep indefinitely even without nitrites, but as with any preserved food its quality will deteriorate over time. It would best be best to consume it within six months to a year.
Spices have been highly prized over the centuries, with certain spices at times being worth more than their weight in gold. You might recall, from your American history class, that when Christopher Columbus discovered the New World he was actually looking for a shorter trade with India, primarily for spices. We enjoy spices because they impart interesting flavors to our foods. But before the days of refrigeration they were also highly valued for their ability to preserve food. By using certain spices that have strong antimicrobial actions, we can reduce the amount of salt needed to preserve our meat, making it more palatable and healthier at the same time.
Spices with antimicrobial action include garlic, ginger, black pepper, clove, oregano, thyme, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, bay leaves, mustard, rosemary, bishop’s weed, chilli (also called cayenne or red pepper), horseradish, cumin, black cumin, pomegranate seeds, onion, celery, geranium and many others. Some spices by themselves have weak antimicrobial effects that become much stronger when combined with other spices. (These combinations are said to be synergistic, because the combination is greater than the sum of the individual parts.) Chili powder is a synergistic combination typically consisting of red pepper (cayenne), onion, paprika, garlic, cumin and oregano. Five-spice powder is a synergistic combination of pepper, cinnamon, anise, fennel and cloves. Most people think that the combination of spices known as curry powder originated in India. But curry is actually a Western blend devised during colonial times combining the best spices from India. Curry powder recipes vary slightly, but turmeric is always a key ingredient in the blend. The usual recipe for curry powder in the West consists of turmeric, cardamom, cumin, fenugreek and chilles. Other herbs that are commonly included in curry blends include ginger, garlic, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, mustard, black pepper, fennel, and others.
We can extend the shelf-life of our homemade jerky with the judicious use of spices. Salt and pepper, either black or red, are key ingredients. The other spices that I prefer include garlic, ginger, and turmeric. I also like the spice blends mentioned above, curry powder, chili powder and five-spice powder. If a liquid marinade is to be employed soy sauce may be used as the source of salt.
A grand encyclopedia of country Meat4All , weather wisdom, country remedies and herbal cures, cleaning solutions, pest purges, firewood essentials, adobe making and bricklaying, leather working, plant dyes, farm foods, natural teas and tonics, granola, bread making, beer brewing and winemaking, jams and jellies, canning and preserving, sausage making and meat smoking, drying foods, down-home toys, papermaking, candle crafting, homemade soaps and shampoos, butter and cheese making, fishing and hunting secrets, and much more. Meat4 All : Traditional Skills for Simple Living
There are a lot of opinions regarding ideal drying/smoking temperatures. Some differences of opinion are the result of safety concerns, and some have to do with what you intend to do with the meat. Those who plan on storing their dried meats in a refrigerator or freezer tend to cook their meat as well as dry it. It is important to remember that cooked meat is not suitable for long term storage and must be stored in a refrigerator or freezer or else eaten within a few days. When properly cured and dried, without cooking, meat will keep indefinitely, (although its quality will begin to deteriorate after a few months so it should probably be eaten within a year.)
Because of the natural preservative nature of smoke, smoking meat can be safely done at a lower temperature than that used when drying meat without smoke. Also, meat properly cured with salt and spices can be safely dried or smoked at a lower temperature. In general, I believe that it is best to use the lower temperatures, by using the smoking process rather than drying alone, and being sure to cure the meat with salt and spices beforehand.
The USDA recommends drying/smoking temperatures of 145o F for 7 hours or 155o for 4 hours. Care should be taken not to exceed 155o F or the meat will get cooked rather than dried. Lower drying temperatures of 125o F for 10 hours or 135o F for 8 hours are recommended by some, and I have even seen recommendations as low as 95o to 130o F.
I recommend that you begin the drying process at a lower temperature, say around 125o F, and then gradually increase it each hour until the maximum temperature of 145o to 150o F is reached for the final hour or so. This will insure that the meat is thoroughly dried through and through without getting cooked. Check the meat for doneness by allowing a piece to cool down and then bend it.
The Drying/Smoking Process
Smoking the meat is not an absolute necessity, but in my opinion it is highly desirable—not only because the smoke imparts a nice flavor to the meat, but more importantly because the smoke is a natural preservative. Jerky can be made in an ordinary oven by leaving the oven door open slightly to allow the moisture to escape. It is important that the temperature does not exceed 155o F because you want to dry the meat rather than cook it. Cooked meat is not preserved. You should set an oven thermometer on the oven rack toward the back to monitor the heat. Obviously this is best done in the cold months of the year when the heat escaping from the oven can be used to help keep your house warm, rather than increasing your air conditioning bill.
Drying jerky can also be done in a food dehydrator. Again a thermometer may be advisable to monitor the heat. Even if your dehydrator has a temperature setting, these are often inaccurate. A solar dehydrator is also an option. The Native Americans (who taught the European settlers about jerky in the first place) used to dry their meat in the open air and sun. In some cultures the meat is actually hung in the sun on the thorns of shrubs. So, despite all of these seemingly complicated instructions, never forget that making jerky is not rocket science!
As I have mentioned my favorite way to make jerky is in a smoker, using the natural preservative nature of the smoke to help preserve the meat. Ordinarily smokers contain a pan of water, which helps keep the meat moist. However, the end product of most smoking recipes will require refrigeration. Our intention is to use the hard smoking process to make jerky, with a very low moisture content, that will keep indefinitely without refrigeration. So skip the water! I also recommended that you monitor the temperature, keeping it below 155o F, so that your meat will be dried rather than cooked. Many commercial smokers are available, using gas, charcoal or wood. They can also be easily made using inexpensive materials.
Pressure Canning MeatCanning meat in mason jars is also an effective way to preserve meat. Unlike tomatoes and fruits, which may be canned in a boiling water bath, meats must be canned at the higher temperatures that are only achievable by a pressure canner. Any pressure cooker can be used for pressure canning, but many pressure cookers are too small to be of much use in canning. A pressure canner is simply a pressure cooker that is large enough to hold a practical number of mason jars. It is certainly a good investment if you are interested in pressure canning. Instructions for pressure canning can be found with any good pressure canner and in many cookbooks as well. I will discuss pressure canning in further detail in a later section of this chapter.
The recipes and directions that come with most smokers, like the one pictured above, will result in the meat being cooked rather than hard smoked. The end product will require refrigeration. Our intention is to make jerky that will not require refrigeration, so we want to use the hard smoking process which is accomplished by using smoke at a lower temperature.
I have seen a very effective homemade smoker made by a deer hunter. He used his smoker to process his entire deer into jerky in a matter of a couple of days. It consisted of a large wooden box with screened shelves that would slide out. (If you make your own smoker or dryer don’t use metal screens. They are galvanized with zinc which is not suitable for contact with food.) He would dig a fire pit about 6 feet from the smoker. On top of the pit he put a 6 foot length of 6 inch galvanized vent pipe (the kind you use to vent your furnace) on a slight incline leading from the fire pit to a hole in the lower side of the smoke box. He would start a fire in the fire pit and then cover it with a piece of sheet metal to keep the fire smoldering and to direct the smoke through the vent pipe and into the smoke box.
Another ingenious method suitable for the cold months of the year makes use of a wood burning stove in your house, with the stove pipe running to the outside of your house and into your smoker. Since smoke rises, the smoker must be at a higher level than your stove. Sufficient stove pipe should be used to insure that the smoke cools enough before entering the smoker, otherwise the meat could get cooked rather than dried. A heat reclaimer on the stove pipe inside the house can also increase the efficiency of such a unit, further reclaiming the heat for the house and cooling down the smoke sufficiently for the smoker at the same time. This is the procedure that I use (illustrated in the photograph above) using a wood stove in my basement with the stove pipe running through a basement window and into my smoker on the outside. Needless to say great care should be taken to avoid setting your house on fire. Never leave such a unit unattended!
There is a variety of opinions regarding the best wood to burn in your smoker. I don’t think it matters a lot, so use what you have available. Any hardwoods will do. Fruit trees like apple will do very nicely. When I prune my fruit trees I save the trimmings to use for my smoker. I have never used pine but I have heard others say that it should be avoided.
Select the leanest cuts of meat for making jerky and remove all visible fat. Fat does not preserve well and can adversely affect the taste and quality of your jerky. For a product that does not require refrigeration you are going to want to remove as much moisture from the meat as possible. This can be accomplished more easily by slicing the meat very thin. Slice the meat across the grain (at a right angle to long muscles) for the most tender jerky, or with the grain for a more chewy jerky. Cut it into strips no more than a quarter of an inch (6 mm) thick. This is more easily accomplished if the meat is slightly frozen.
Basic Brine recipe:
Two cups of salt, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp. ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder and 1/2 tsp. of turmeric powder. Other herbs and spices may be used according to availability and tastes. The only ingredient that is absolutely essential is the salt. To make a liquid for cold marinating or for a boiling marinade add this dry mixture to 2 quarts of water. The mixture can be made slightly weaker (more water) for a boiling marinade. For a dry marinade mix the dry ingredients without any liquids.
Soak the strips of meat in the marinade in a refrigerator overnight, or for at least three hours. This is most easily done in a plastic bag. At least once during the marinating process shake the bag and turn it over to insure that all the meat comes into contact with the marinade. After the meat has been marinated, remove it from the marinade, shake off the excess and put it in the dryer or smoker. Some people are concerned about bacterial growth in the cold marinade. Certainly this step should be done in the refrigerator. If refrigeration is not available, alternative methods include boiling marinade and dry marinade.
As an extra precaution, the USDA recommends that meat be precooked to at least 160o F before drying. This is accomplished by skipping the cold marinade, and instead, the raw meat is dipped into a boiling marinade until the it turns gray (one to two minutes.) Then it is dried or smoked as usual. Care should be taken not to cook the meat too much. No other marinating is necessary because the heat causes the marinade to penetrate the meat very rapidly. I don’t think that such a precooking step is necessary, but a boiling marinade may be a desirable alternative if your refrigerator is not working. I prefer the following dry marinating process instead.
During a prolonged emergency the dry marinating process may be the best choice, not only because it requires less energy, but also because it makes the most economical use of your marinade. The dry marinade is mixed well and sprinkled generously onto a large cutting board. The strips of meat are laid on the dry marinade, first one side and then the other, to coat both sides well. Then a wooden mallet is used to pound the marinade into the meat. If your refrigerator is working, or if it is very cold outdoors, the strips can be stacked one upon the other, put in a plastic bag or closed container, and put in the cold for a few hours or overnight to allow the dry marinade to soak into the meat. This step is not necessary, since you have pounded the marinade into the meat with the wooden hammer, so if the temperature is warm it may be best to immediately shake off the excess marinade and put the strips in the smoker or dryer.
Natural Healing Meat4All gathers useful and fascinating information on every practice of natural health and healing in one handy volume. This new edition, with a smaller trim, includes all the must-have information from the original edition including chapters on herbal healing, naturopathy, homeopathy, Eastern medicine, energy healing, mind-body healing, and healing with foods. Information within these chapters includes various methods and techniques for managing and curing hundreds of ailments, as well as for maintaining a healthy constitution year-round.
Books can be your best pre-collapse investment.
The Lost Ways (Learn the long forgotten secrets that helped our forefathers survive famines,wars,economic crisis and anything else life threw at them)
Survival MD (Best Post Collapse First Aid Survival Guide Ever)
Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )
Liberty Generator (Build and make your own energy source)
Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)
Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )
Family Self Defense (Best Self Defense Strategies For You And Your Family)
Survive Any Crisis (Best Items To Hoard For A Long Term Crisis)
Survive The End Days (Biggest Cover Up Of Our President)
Drought USA (Discover The Amazing Device That Turns Air Into Water)
One of your best articles, I got a lot out of it. I’ll be referencing this one…