Staff Article: Rotation, Rotation, Rotation! – Effective Food Storage Strategies, by L.K.O.

“If you don’t use it, you lose it.” As any realtor will tell you, at least those who recite the cliché, the three most important factors in real estate are location, location, location. The three most important factors in effective and economical food storage might just be rotation, rotation, and rotation. Of course, there are other considerations, but rotation is often overlooked, and it can have consequences for both your budget and your body; spoiled food is not only costly economically, but it can make you and your family sick, or it can even be lethal, in some cases. It is worth your while, in more ways than one, to implement a rotation system, and it really doesn’t take much, if any, additional effort with a little forethought and a disciplined attitude toward applying common sense best practices. Any perishables– food, beverages, fuel, pharmaceutical drugs, or any other commodity with…




Letter Re: Healthy Eating and Food Storage Rotation

…Spaghetti squash will probably not be available after the SHTF so I’ll keep my rice on hand).   MREs: I don’t typically eat the MRE meals until near their expiration date.   An average MRE meal contains  1,100 to 1,300 calories.  While I haven’t figured out the WW point values, I’m sure that one MRE meal with all its extras would keep me sated for a full day.  For example a fruit bar I pulled out of an MRE recently measured at 4 WW points (equal to a reasonable breakfast), and a large cracker with jelly equals 6 WW points (equal to a reasonable lunch).  So there would be an easy way to split up the meal need be, although a nutritionist would probably balk at the quality of what is being ingested.  Of course, with the stress of a SHTF situation, I’d probably eat the whole MRE meal and extras…




Lessons Learned the Hard Way About Food Storage, by The Northern Prep

…recommended by the various publications. There is a tremendous amount of information, and this was a new endeavor for us. So our list would take the following into consideration: rotation of meals; caloric intake/nutritional value; pleasure value (is it something we enjoy i.e. pancakes vs. oatmeal); and last but not least, cost. Before we bought, we went to an Amish bulk store and Costco to look and compare prices versus what was available on the Internet. We have children, and when we started this endeavor we were a fairly typical suburban family. We tended to lean toward home cooked whole food meals. (My wife and I argued this point a bit as “home cooked meals” has come to mean something very different now.) We also favored organic, but we did not turn completely away from fast food and processed boxed meals. We had a small garden to grow vegetables and…




Scot’s Product Review: MRE Depot Foods

…have read those. On the other hand, if you didn’t, it might help you determine how valuable our comments are for your own needs. Please remember that everyone has different tastes, and you may love stuff we hate. That’s why I have tried a panel approach, though it is a limited panel. I am probably the closest to a tasteless barbarian of the lot. I like a well-prepared tasty meal with fresh ingredients assembled by a talented cook, but I can get by on far less as long as mushrooms, raw tomatoes, and kimchi are out of sight. I can handle most MRE’s, but do get bored with them. Mountain House freeze-dried meals are generally satisfying as a baseline meal, though they sure don’t compare to my wife’s excellent cooking. As long as I have a good recipe, I can prepare a decent meal, though I panic over judging whether…




Scot’s Product Review: Legacy Premium Food

…camping products, and it is a size that will feed my family a meal with little leftover. The #10 cans that this stuff is often found in can leave a lot of food that should be used more quickly than we sometimes want to repeat a meal. The packaging is a sturdy Mylar pouch, and Legacy says they are nitrogen flushed to protect the food during storage. An oxygen absorber is also included and must, of course, be removed before preparing the food. The pouches are well labeled with nutritional content and note that the foods are not genetically modified. They also indicate the date of manufacture and the plant where they were made. Preparation instructions are also on each pouch. They use sea salt and the meals are vegetarian with soy protein in place of meat. I’m personally not crazy about soy protein for flavor or nutrition and would…




Organic Gardening, by Delroy

…conserves moisture. Many swear by compost “tea” and use it regularly. Simply place some finished compost in a burlap sack and submerge in a barrel of water for a few days and let it brew. The water can then be poured on or around the plants to provide the nutrients that have been leached out of the compost. The compost in the sack can be returned to the pile or added to the garden. The backbone of good organic gardening is a crop rotation plan. Crop rotation reduces the pest and disease infestations by moving the food source to a new location and disrupting pest life cycles. Some crops like potatoes should be on a long cycle of at least three years, while others as little as three months. Setting up a crop rotation is pretty simple as most crops will occupy their space for an entire season. The exception…




Dietary Change To Fit A Post Collapse World- Part 2, By J.L. Augusta

…crop rotation and soil nutrient depletion. (Note: Kunekune pigs are graze animals, but they can also eat leftover fruit, vegetables, and sometimes meat). In addition to livestock, hunting and trapping would also be viable. Garden Having a garden for vegetables and possible feed is still a must. However, with livestock on hand or animal remains from hunting/trapping, replenishing the nutrients for the small amount of land is a much easier task. Storing blood from slaughtered animals to make blood meal will add nitrates to the soil, and processing animal bones from slaughtered animals to make bone meal will add nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium to the soil. Manure from your animal can also be used to add additional nutrients to your soil and improve soil quality. This reduces the risk of nutrient depletion and will help maintain additional food sources for the long term. Also the requirements for the amount of…




Garden Planning Tips- Part 1, by Sarah Latimer

…side before planting a low-growing plant, like bush beans or potatoes. Crop Rotation Some plants, like corn, extract a great deal of nitrogen from the soil while others, like beans, put nitrogen into the soil. Crop rotation is designed to prevent overcropping– exhausting arable land by excessive cultivation. Instead, rotating the crops to various parts of your garden allows regeneration of the soil through a variety of plants that enrich it where some plants withdraw. I understand that there are some who get by without crop rotation by using cover crops put in during the fall and grown during the winter and then tilled into the garden several months before the garden is planted in order to provide increase nitrogen into the soil, but I have not yet done this in any large scale. I have had a fair crop of dandelions, grass, and lettuce from blown-in and dropped seeds,…




Baking and Simple Cooking After a Disaster, by LCHS

…breath of normalcy in life. The family that has allowed everyone to ‘do their own thing’, eat whatever and wherever they like with no care for anyone else in the family, will have a far worse time than the family that has learned to cook, wash and dry dishes together, help each other, compliment good cooking and pitch in as things get hard. These traits are made, not born, and can be worked on now, before the need is critical. The scariest thing about life after TSHTF for me is not home invasions, it’s the homes already invaded by selfish, unskilled individuals used to having someone else stock the larder, who are allergic to work and worst, have no loyalty to the family or its well being. My first recommendation: start cooking now and learn to make breadstuffs especially. Then set a date with your family for a home-cooked meal




Preparing for Chaos, Theory and Application- Part 2, by DF

…got better and started eating again.) Introducing Crabapples to My Pigs When early autumn arrived, I tried introducing crabapples to my pigs. (How iconic is the apple in the pigs mouth, right?) They wouldn’t touch them. So I chopped them up into little pieces and mixed it in with their normal food. They would separate the apple bits with their snouts and not eat them. I almost gave up. Then I made them skip a meal, and the next meal I gave them only crabapples. Eventually they got the idea, and it became a favorite food. I’d bring a 5-gallon bucket down to them, and they would chase the apples all over the pen to get more than their siblings. They really are very similar to humans in that way. A PBJ is just wonderful, if I am really hungry. Summary of Section 3 In summary, there are a variety…




The Circle Of Life In The Garden, by S.M.

…and determine which spokes to work on next, attempting to have the same length and balance in all areas. Another way to look at this is the McDonald’s analogy. A few years ago a movie came out called Super-size Me. In it, a man spent 30 days eating only at McDonald’s, and if they asked if he wanted his meal Super-sized, then he had to say, “Yes”. After eating this way for a time, he developed all kinds of health issues and began craving the chemically-loaded food. In his case, Super-sized meals were harmful, but in preps, super-size is better. Less isn’t more in a survival situation. Items can be discarded along the way as they aren’t needed, but you can’t conjure up a solar oven just because you need one right now! You may be able to make one with a cardboard box and aluminum foil but only if…




Lessons Learned From a Decade of Food Storage, by Sandi

…a company located in Salt Lake City. They had a large selection available for immediate shipment, and the backpacking kit I ordered was delayed by 3 weeks-but they kept me in the loop the entire time. The food tastes great, the price is reasonable (for my budget) and I know that it will be there when I need it. Angie I was wondering about the Red Feather butter also. Thanks for asking! Cabot Nurse Kim, regarding what to store, complete meals or ingredients. I store some of both, with an emphasis on ingredients. Mountain house makes the best tasting meals, by far. Wise meals always seem slimy to me, with too much xanthan gum used as a thickener. I have also tried MREs. Most have a funky texture and not enough salt, except for the tortellini, which seems to be where all the salt went. My decision on what to…




Forming a Refugee Prepper Church, by ShepherdFarmerGeek

…Team Rotation Security will need to involve a large percentage of persons who might otherwise participate in the meetings. To accommodate these persons we could use a team rotation. Team A worships while Team B keeps watch, et cetera. Evacuation or Response Plan An evacuation or response plan for hostiles approaching during meetings will need to be explained and rehearsed. We might have to do this at every single gathering, considering that people may be coming and going frequently over the weeks and months. Hostiles will probably consider meeting times as prime opportunities for attack. Attend Armed Attendees should be encouraged to participate while armed. Community efforts to educate about safe carry and firearm courtesy should extend into the gatherings for worship and teaching. Ideas and Comments? Do you have some good ideas? Be sure to post them in the Comments section!! Trust God. Be prepared. We can do both!…




Learning How to Grow Food in the American Redoubt, by AJ

…and elderberry. When There Are No Fertilizers Or Pesticides There is a good chance, in a SHTF scenario, that fertilizers and pesticides will be unavailable. That means we will be growing our food au naturel. This is why adopting natural and organic farming practices is essential. I learned early in my mini-farming experience why the key tenant of organic agriculture is maintaining the health of the soil. I like to think of the soil as one huge energy outlet. The plants plug their roots into the soil and suck out the nutrients to produce crops. But in order to keep getting healthy, highly productive food, the soil needs to be replenished. Otherwise, each year your plants will be less and less productive. Crop Rotation Crop rotation is simply rotating crops to different areas in your garden or farm. This is done for many reasons, but it primarily helps dissuade plant…




Build the Plan vs. Test the Plan – Part 2, by T.R.

…grid outages (Hurricane Sandy or Hurricane Irma or other ice storms) and been a major focus of our efforts over the last few years. Furthermore, we have a food rotation plan with a paper log book coupled with a large propane tank for stove top cooking, fireplace heat and a water supply. Whilst we can always make improvements, this “A” plan of “stay at home” is the strongest and most resilient of our four-pronged flowchart. We add gear, test new ideas and share them with our grown kids on camping trips each year and then back-feed those ideas into each plan. However, not all of the gear could fit into a vehicle for the “B” plan for Get-out-of-Dodge, not even close. Around Easter/spring, we typically begin refrain from buying new groceries until we draw down some of our non-perishable food rotation to keep it fresh/cycle the stock and also because…