Two Letters Re: Gardening and Seed Saving, by Carolyn W.

Dear JWR
The article by Carolyn W. on gardening and seed saving was fantastic. Having gardened all my life (60+) and converted to open pollinated seed at the urging of the Holy Spirit in 1992 I know that she has covered this subject very, very well. The one problem for most just now starting is that it will take time to learn all that is necessary to put food on the table. When I first started to grow tomatoes from seed it took me three years to be successful. I pray that others learning curve will be much shorter. Get and read the books and seed catalogs she has recommended. I have used the same sources and can tell you the info is priceless. I will add a book that will help on companion planting called “Carrots Love Tomatoes” is top of the line. It will also help when … Continue reading

Letter Re: Seeking Advice on Rainwater Catchment and Filtration

I am an environmental engineer. You posted a letter that inquired as to whether a ceramic water filter was capable of removing chemicals that leach from plastic containers. The answer is no, a ceramic microfilter will not remove the chemicals. Aside from reverse osmosis, which requires pressures that are too high [for treating large volumes of water] in a survival situation, the best choice for treating water with chemical contaminants is to use activated carbon. Activated carbon is very cheap, widely used by municipal water treatment plants, and is highly effective at removing many organic contaminants (through adsorption). I am not sue about the specific compounds leached from plastic containers, as some compounds are not removed well by activated carbon. In general though I would highly recommend it. A simple web search for activated carbon will yield some suppliers. Please note that the starting material the … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Glenn in Arizona mentioned that Bill Ray of The Register, draws some good practical conclusions after watching the remake of the British television series Survivors.

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The Chartist Gnome mentioned that he expects a breakdown in the current strength of the USD Index in the next few months. He wrote in a recent e-mail: “The [US] Dollar strength we saw was based on the relative weakness of the Euro, not any inherent strength in the Dollar. (Because here [in Europe] funds managers use more leverage than [is] used in the States, the [banking] crisis has hit Europe harder than it has the US.) In summary, I expect the USDI to plunge back to the low 70s, shortly. Sell Dollars, and buy gold.”

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Walter C. mentioned a thought-provoking article over at Daily Kos: The Famine of … Continue reading

The Coming Great Depression, by Charles Hugh Smith

I have been asked to address the coming Great Depression which is slowly but surely enveloping the globe. The irony of doing so in Thanksgiving week is not lost on me, and I want to preface my commentaries by saying that I do not tackle the subject cavalierly. There will be great suffering, on many levels, and the entire point of analyzing the situation is to lay the groundwork for alleviating the suffering by getting to the root causes of the financial, social and environmental disasters which are unfolding globally.

Let’s start with the view of the U.S. from orbit. The first thing you notice from actual orbit (as opposed to “the long view” metaphor) at night is all the bright lights. In the daytime, you would see thousands of contrails from all the commercial airliners in the air.

The one key fact about all this energy usage is that … Continue reading

Letter Re: Grab-and-Go Soup Mix for Bug-Out Bags

Hello Jim,
First let me say how much I appreciate your site and how much I’ve learned from it. I visit it usually a couple times a day as I’m trying to fill in gaps in my preparedness plan. I thought I’d share a few tips.

Over the past couple years, I’ve bought about a dozen Nesco American Harvester food dehydrators and have set up an assembly line to dehydrate several cases of fruits, vegetables and meats every week. In the off-season when fresh produce is relatively expensive, I switch gears and buy cases of canned vegetables and proceed to dehydrate the contents, then put the dehydrated product in Mason jars with oxygen absorbers. As one example of the space efficiency of this, eight 29-oz. cans of diced tomatoes fit into a one-quart mason jar after dehydration–a great way to go if you don’t have much storage space. (I … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Reader James M. sent us this safety note: If making a smoker conversion to a discarded refrigerator (as described in a recent posted link), “make sure to use only chrome-plated racks. The-zinc plated racks will react with the acids in the food and toxify the food being smoked.”

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I found this at Fleet Street Daily: Introducing Gideon Gono, a Proven Deflation Fighter (“Zimbabwe’s inflation estimated at 89.7 sextillion percent”.) And now, from Cheryl, our volunteer Economic Editor: Black Friday Shoppers Out in Force, But CautiousWal-Mart Employee Dies as Shoppers Stampede (A Wal-Mart employee died as Long Island bargain-hunters stormed the doors as he was opening them. A witness said that the shoppers “were savages.” Imagine what will happen with the grits really start hitting the fan.) — RBS to be Taken Over by British … Continue reading

Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 19 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The contest prizes include:

First Prize: The writer of the best contributed article will be awarded two transferable Front Sight  “Gray” Four Day Training Course Certificates. This is an up to $4,000 value!
Second Prize: A three day course certificate from OnPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses.
Third Prize: A copy of my “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, from Arbogast Publishing

Round 19 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry for Round 20. Remember that articles that relate practical “how to” skills for survival will have an advantage in the judging.

Gardening and Seed Saving, by Carolyn W.

I see some people making choices that concern me because these choices may cause them problems if they really have to survive on the food supplies that they have stored for TEOTWAWKI. I am no great expert, but my husband and I have been concerned about the possibilities of having an economic disruption since the early 1970s when a friend let us borrow some tapes by Robert Preston. We have learned quite a bit, but still have a long way to go. If this article can at least encourage people to actually try to grow a garden and save seeds from one or two plant varieties this summer then I will feel that the time spent writing this article will be well spent.

I see some people writing to this blog saying that they have their MREs stored and it sounds like they figure the food … Continue reading

Letter Re: Seeking Advice on Storing Guns and Magazines

Mr. Rawles,
I have taken your good advice and purchase a few rifles and a number of full capacity magazines as an investment,. Now how do I store them for the long term? Should I spray them with something first? Please continue to help. – James B. (a “Ten Cent Challenge” participant)

JWR Replies: The precautions that you need to take depend a lot on where you live. If you live in a high humidity climate, then you need to be particularly vigilant with your guns, magazines, and other tools. In essence: the higher the humidity, the greater the degree of protection required, and the greater the frequency of inspection for rust.

I generally recommend wearing lightweight cotton gloves when you do your gun maintenance. This is particularly important if you have sweaty hands. My college roommate was notorious for inducing rust on guns because of this, … Continue reading

Odds ‘n Sods:

Tim in Baltimore found a great web site that shows how easy it is to make a variety of cheeses, as well as your buttermilk and yogurt.

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Experts call for global network to prevent asteroid disasters

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From the Economatrix comes some post-Thanksgiving reading to digest: For Stores, the Holiday Season May Already be OverChina’s Banks to Pump Billions into EconomyTorrent of Gloomy News Gives US Little to be Thankful ForEurope Needs Big Bailout to Put Economy Back on TrackUK Car Industry Chiefs Beg Gov’t for HelpUK Chain Stores Crash Threaten 31,000 JobsCitigroup Says Gold Could Rise Above $2,000 Next Year as World Unravels

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Reader Ron H. suggested this … Continue reading