The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods – a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”. Today’s focus is on Food Prep.

Food Prep and Storage

Reader T.J. sent in the link to this Canadian Prepper’s video on using the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer to produce long-term food that you can use as currency in SHTF. We’ve reviewed their machine before, and we have an update coming out next week on the long-term use of this machine. When you consider how expensive commercially-made freeze dried food is and the fact that you have to eat what they make rather than what you like, this machine makes a lot of sense.

Yes, it’s a big up-front cost (between $3000 and $4000), so it has to be considered a major appliance, but you can recover that cost in less than a year if you regularly use it. My favorite part is the low-sodium foods that we produce. I also have to say that Mrs. Latimer is a much better cook than any of the major freeze dried food producers.

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We just call it meatloaf, but reader H.L. sent in this article on Canning Amish Poor Man’s Steak. While meatloaf is a tasty way to extend the meat in a meal, I’ve never actually canned it. So, this may be an interesting article to follow. If any readers currently do this, I’d like to hear about it. If you try it following this article, I’d also like to hear about it.

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While we may just be planting and seeing the first tender shoots here on the Latimer homestead, reader Ken is already harvesting. You might like to check out his blog Garden for Your Life and see his article on dehydrating potatoes fresh from the garden.

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Reader K.W. sent in the link to this article on identifying the common breeds of dairy cattle. If you are considering getting a cow, this article gives a good overview of the different breeds and their characteristics to help you make a good choice for your particular needs. Even though we don’t have milk cows on our homestead, I found it to be an interesting read. There are lots of dairies in the area, and it’s good to know what the different breeds produce. It also brings back childhood memories. Buried deep in the article is this statement: “Jersey bulls are smaller than other breeds but extremely muscular. Jersey bulls are the least docile of all common breeds of cattle.” Yep. I can attest to that. Running from my friend’s Jersey bull was a great source of extreme terror and entertainment.

Family Finances

JWR was a guest on the X22Report Spotlight podcast. If you have about 40 minutes, you should listen to this one. We Are Going To See A Huge Crisis That Will Bring Down Currencies & Governments. Despite what the government tells you, our economy is in deep trouble. The only way out of the crushing debt is to destroy the economy with inflation.

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Reader DSV sent in the link to this article on how Civil Asset Forfeiture is just another stealth tax. Note that the government only has one source of real income– tax. Of course, if it develops other sources of income, they can do an end-run around the legislative action required to increase that income. No one complains when they steal assets of a criminal. But what about when they infer a person is a criminal without proving it? Civil asset forfeiture allows them to generate income while still being nothing but a consumer.

Fake Protestors

The Daily Caller ran an article on an organization called “Crowds on Demand.” Are you wanting to stage a protest but not sure that you can organize a crowd to underscore your point? No problem! They’ve got you covered. You can rent “fake” protesters to legitimize your cause. Your budget is the only restriction on how large a crowd you can source.

Fun Winter Project

Reader W.W. sent in a link to a neat project for those cold, snowy winter days, when you have nothing else to do: DIY Cardboard MP5 that shoots paper bullets. Rumor has it that the author is awaiting his determination letter from the BATF (Bureau of Action Tested Fun). Apparently the hold up is that the paper bullets can be considered armor piercing when dealing with single layer notebook paper armor and have been rolled with a high density core. Double layer armor can alleviate the issue.


  1. While we may just be planting and seeing the first tender shoots here on the Latimer homestead, reader Ken is already harvesting.”

    Here in South Texas, the heat has burnt most gardens to the ground. Most people plant in Feb-March.

  2. Make sure you do your research before investing in a freeze drier. We were shopping for one when I discovered the other costs involved over time that can really add up. If you have the time to invest then it is definitely one way to go, and I agree that many of the pre-prepared freeze dried are high in Sodium, but there are some out there that are more nutrient dense, low sodium, and clean label than what you would get from GMO foods from places like Wally World. [Wal-mart.] What we found is that for the $3-4k you would spend on a Freeze drier, and then add in the oil you have to replace, electricity to run it for 24 hours per run, and other incidentals, we could buy a 2 year supply of high quality freeze dried foods for 4 people. Not a lot of carbs and pasta or soups either, actual components that we can cook with. So as I said, do your research and find out the pro’s and cons before taking the plunge.

  3. I grow all year around here in SE texas. It’s barely busted 90 a day or two so far. My summer garden is doing great. I got green and hot peppers, Roma and slicing tomatoes ripening, three different crops of potatoes just harvested and replanted. Great onions harvested too. I’ll replant in another bed in the fall as well as garlic. WIth my winter crops of kale, lettuce, and broccoli dying out in are going the beets, turnips, and peanuts. That doesn’t include my permanent crops, like four kinds of citrus, two apple trees, peaches, no figs. Here on my corner suburban lot at We do a lot, even bees, rabbits and chickens

  4. Regarding the economy. If you are able, have cash on hand in small denominations. If we have a Cypress situation and there is still accepted value to our fiat money, you will be able to shop, and perhaps at deflated prices.

    More importantly, invest in hard tangible assets now. Go to garage sales and check craigslist etc. for items folk will need, and if you shop wisely you can purchase great stuff at great prices for later use or resale.

    Even more importantly, make sure you have your preps in order. A deep larder as a friend of our community often suggests.

    Most importantly, get right with God. Ruminate on Mark 12: 30-31.

  5. I’ve been canning meats, including meatloaf for the last 5 years and it works out just fine. I just mix up the meatloaf as if I were going to bake it, stuff it, uncooked, in the jars, and poke it with a chop stick to make sure I have most of the air pockets empty, then pressure can it. For a quick, easy meal when we’re strapped for time it is great. There are just the two of us, so a single qt. jar is more then enough meat for us. Add some smashed taters, some greens and fresh baked bisquits and it’s a meal fit for a king.

    1. I have that over my rabbits to replace a storm that took our my big mesquite tree. That, fans, and ice water bottles kept my rabbits going in the summer heat.

  6. RE: Dairy Breeds, I grew up on a farm that raised purebred Jersey cattle from the late 1890’s until I sold the herd in 2004. For a family cow the Jersey is your best bet, Here in WI the milk is sought after by the cheese plants for it’s high concentration of butterfat and protein. The cows are like puppies, they love attention, very inquisitive and just like your attention.
    Jersey steers produce a meat which is marbled just like Angus, although it takes a bit more grain to achieve this than Angus, keep in mind the article said the bulls are “muscular”.
    Now to the Jersey bull, these “animals” are evil, I think the article said “common breeds”, well having dealt most of my life with Jersey bulls these are the meanest of “ALL” breeds of cattle. We could not keep a Jersey bull beyond 18-24 mos. of age, never keep a Jersey bull

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