Guest Article: The Best Oils For A Worst Case Scenario – Part 1, by Melissa Mink

I am going to lay out the very best oils in my opinion to have on hand in a “worst case” scenario or emergency situation. I have used (ran a business and used personally) essential oils for 17 yrs now. They are a part of my life, in home and business every day. I am giving my wisdom, gleaned from experience and much research on the uses and abilities of essential oils. Although there is no replacement for a well-trained medical professional, I realize sometimes life puts us all into situations where what we need isn’t always accessible. So here …




Something in the Water- Part 1, by J.R.

After years of dreaming, planning, saving, and sweating, you are finally ready to leave occupied territory and make your move to the American Redoubt. You have poured over maps, studied census data, consulted with real estate professionals, and talked to county planning and assessors offices. You now are down to your short list, but what about the water supply? Water can make or break your new homestead. “It’s no problem,” you say. You checked the well logs, and the general area has good producing wells of reasonable depth, or your selected property already has a well. What is a Well …




Pantry Building Basics for Individuals with Food Allergies or Sensitivities, by M.W.

More and more individuals today are diagnosed with food allergies and sensitivities, and the market for foods which contain alternate ingredients is ever-expanding, reacting to the increasing demand for tolerable foods. There is a definite difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity. Healthline.com describes the most common symptoms of a food allergy as hives, swelling, itching, dizziness, and anaphylaxis. Symptoms of a food sensitivity include bloating, diarrhea, constipation, cramping, and nausea. Regardless of the reaction, a person with an allergy or sensitivity to even common pantry staples must remain vigilant when shopping, cooking, and dining out. As one …




Tea for Two Hundred, This Year and Next- Part 3, by Sarah Latimer

Selecting Plants for Tea and Tea Flavoring Actual tea of the green and black variety is camellia sinensis. The tender new leaves of this plant are picked for tea. Drying and Storing Tea Ingredients Tea and tea flavorings require that we overcome the same obstacles faced in safely preserving nutrients, flavor, texture, and general health benefits of any food. The culprits are oxygen, sunlight, moisture, heat, and unwanted consumers, like insects and mice. Traditional tea, herbal tea, and flavorings must be dried, stored in containers (preferably air tight ones, under a vacuum), and in darkness (away from UV light) to …




Letter Re: Avian Flu Consequences

Hugh, Last July I sent out a warning about the duck population in Wisconsin. Last year, out of 40 hens only three hens reproduced and had 14 ducklings. The year before (2014), we had about 20 hens, and just about all had young, averaging 10 ducklings each. Avian flu pretty much wiped out reproduction last year and prompted my warnings about stopping the hunt that fall. Nobody listened! This year, the population of adult ducks is down about 75% from 2015 levels. So far, we have three hens that haven’t nested, five hens that have come off the nest with …




Tea for Two Hundred, This Year and Next- Part 2, by Sarah Latimer

While “tea” is technically reserved for the plant camellia sinensis, in common language we often call many herbs by the name “tea”, especially when they are capable of being brewed into a flavorful beverage all by themselves. Additionally, there a many plants whose fruits, leaves, and flowers can be grown to add a variety of enjoyable flavors to traditional tea. Here are some we grow and use at our homestead: Chamomile Chamomile is probably one of my top three flavors for tea, and it has health benefits as a bonus! It has so many wonderful benefits besides being a flavor …




Tea for Two Hundred, This Year and Next- Part 1, by Sarah Latimer

I grew up watching old movies. Doris Day was one of my favorite actresses. I loved her girlish bounce, playfulness, and the wink of her eye. So, I’m frequently reminiscent of her movie “Tea for Two” when I ask various members of the household if they’d like to join me in sharing some tea by asking, “Tea for two?”. I don’t really remember much about the movie since it has been such a long time since I watched it, but it became a common saying in my household, and it still is. However, we don’t just consume tea in individual …




Letter: Venezuela’s Health Care

Dear Editors, I saw this headline on the front of the “dead tree edition” of the paper this morning. Besides the coverage on your blog, this caught my eye because of a personal connection: A good friend of mine recently lost her mother in Venezuela. She was sent to the nearest hospital because of a problem with her heart and needed an operation to put in a stent. The hospital that she was checked into didn’t have all of the equipment that they needed to perform the operation on her. The nearest hospital with the equipment did not have all …




Maintaining Your Household in the Post-SHTF World- Part 2, by S.T.

Wood Stove Cooking The same recipes that you use in the summer with a wonder oven you can also cook in the winter on a wood stove. The Ice House Keeping Food Cold or Frozen in the Hot Summer I do not have ponds or horses and buggies to move large blocks of ice during the winter, so I must improvise. During summer, when cutting and splitting firewood, this will be done over a tarp so that the sawdust can be collected and saved in buckets. When winter is full force, I have 10 each of the 20-gallon Rubbermade totes …




An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure- Part 1, by L.W.

In 2007 the British Medical Journal polled doctors about what they considered to be the most important medical advance in modern history. While not necessarily a medical advance, clean water and sanitation—the number one answer in the survey—have undoubtedly prevented more early deaths than any other single advancement. The question for us is: What do we do to ensure we have clean water and to promote sanitation when TEOTWAWKI hits? The black plague killed over 75 million Europeans. Why? Rats and their fleas were the major source of spreading Yersinia Pestis– the cause of the black plague. Why were rats …




Letter: Self-Maintaining Mosquito Trap

With all the excitement about the Zika virus lately I thought I’d share my discovery of an effective low-maintenance mosquito trap. Take a 1/2 oak barrel. Line it with plastic to keep the leakage down. (Most gardening stores sell a plastic tub-like liner for this purpose.) You could just saw a plastic barrel in half I guess, but that’s not very pretty. Put it in a sunny spot and fill it with water. Add two goldfish. Put a bit of shade over part of the barrel for the “fishies” to shelter under. Top off with water as needed through the …




Thinking About Fitness and BOB, by S.B.

I like being prepared for whatever comes my way. That doesn’t mean I know what’s coming, but simply that I’m as well prepared as possible to deal with situations that may arise. In so doing, I pay close attention to my surroundings, whether they are immediate, in the micro sense, or globally in the broader sense. I consider this critical to preparedness and the ability to act when needed. Paying attention to myself is equally critical. Having the mental capacity to assess the situation and devise a plan is one thing. Having the physical ability to carry it out is …




Letter Re: Fitness for Success When the SHTF

HJL & JWR,I am writing to give a brief comment on whether crunches or sit-ups, are important or relevant to the back.  The spine is a series of over 50 joints.  Those joints are “capsular-synovial” joints.  (just like your knee, hip, and shoulder, just smaller)  To say that a  crunch, or sit-up is good or bad is way too generic… to the point that it is irrelevant.  It is popular, often repeated, but not correct as it relates to its benefit, or detriment to the spine.  Most joint pain is intra-capsular (within the joint).  It is often a result of …




Letter Re: Low-Carb Paleo and Primal for Preppers

Dear Editor, Regarding the article “Low-Carb Paleo and Primal for Preppers, By T.Z.”, there are a few points of this article that should be clarified. The low-carb diet can be used to great effect, however you need to be aware that you can overdue it and cause yourself harm. Symptoms of harmful ketosis are thirstiness, feeling tired, peeing a lot, feeling sick to your stomach, belly pain, throwing up, dry or flushed skin, trouble breathing, confusion, and fruity smelling breath.  The main benefit of the ketosis diet is the lack of hunger your body feels when on the diet, making …




Letter Re: Fitness for Success When the SHTF

Sir, I agree with most of what J.P.M. has said about fitness. But I think doing large numbers of sit ups are bad for the spine. Listen to what this guy says in this video. – Mr. Sport JWR Replies: HJL and I agree that “crunches” rather than “sits ups” are the more appropriate exercise for most people of all ages. Not only are they inherently less damaging, but they also tend to be better for your back and can target the abdominal muscles more effectively. (That is, depending on how you position your hands and feet during crunches.)