Showing posts with label survivalist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label survivalist. Show all posts

Friday, March 16, 2018

Spring Foraging Survival Skills


When you think about sprint time, you may think of things like new wildlife being born or an abundance of new plant life popping up everything. Spring seems to be the highlight of abundance and new life, across the board. However, even though you might not imagine it, it’s just as easy to starve in the spring if you are completely dependant on wild food. In fact, spring is one of the leanest times of year.

In some areas, spring is known as “the starving season”, and for this very reason, the fall stockpile was laid up not only for the winter, but for the spring as well. There may be a great deal of plant life to eat at this time, but there aren’t many calories in what you might find. So if springtime survival becomes key for you, here are some important resources to keep in mind.

Dandelion

You can eat dandelion roots both raw and cooked, but they are incredibly bitter in the raw stage. This often discourages anyone from eating them. They are touch and are usually best used in stir frying, stewing or sliced and turned into snack chips. They are high in iron, boron, potassium, silicon, calcium and vitamin C.

Ounce for ounce, dandelion roots have even more beta carotene than carrots do. If you happen to have a craving for coffee, you can even chop and roast these roots into an alternative. There is no caffeine, but there is a bit of a coffee flavor. True coffee connoisseurs disagree on that flavor. Simply roast the roots beside your fire or in an oven, if you have one, until they become dark and brittle. They can be stored for future use, or you can use it immediately, soaking a teaspoon of the root in scalding hot water for about fifteen minutes. You can then strain it and sweeten it to your taste.



Thistle

Across the Northern Hemisphere of the United States and North America, you will find lots of different thistle species. There are none in the United States that are toxic to humans, but you will find some that taste far more bitter than others. Harvesting them is easy, as you’ll only need to use a shovel or some similar device to pull the roots up, then cut off the tops, which are spiny. The remaining portion of the root can then be washed, chopped up and eaten immediately, if you wish. Or, just like any other root vegetable, they can be fried, stewed or even simmered, and then eaten.

Wild Onion

There are about a dozen wild onion species in North America, some of which even grow well in the winter. They prefer sunny conditions, right out in the open, so you’re more likely to find them in meadows or fields, or maybe even in your very own yard. Some seem more like garlic, both in flavor and looks, while others more closely resemble and taste like chives.

However tasty these plants are to the general population, make sure you don’t just forage and eat everything that seems to be shaped like an onion. The fact is, they still belong to the lily family, and it’s one that does contain some toxic plants. First, make sure you’re really dealing with the onion class of the family by looking for the bulbous roots and round stem. Once you’ve verified the looks, then you can do the scratch and sniff test. Just bruise the bulb or top portion of the plant. If it’s the edible variety, you will immediately smell that familiar onion/garlic smell. You will be able to use these in the same way your would use onions bought from a store, cooked or raw.

Reasons To Consider Foraging

Even if you aren’t in a survival situation, spring foraging can be incredibly beneficial. There are as many economic benefits as there are survival benefits, and well worth knowing about. Consider these factors:

  • Foraged food is free food, and makes an excellent alternative to organic produce that is often overly priced.
  • Foraging is possible almost all year long, if you know what to look for and how to harvest it.
  • Foraging can add to the wealth you harvest from a garden, or replace it all together.
  • Foraging is a great way to get outside and get moving, so it’s beneficial as a means of exercise.
  • Foraging familiarizes you with the immediate surroundings of your location.
  • Food found through foraging is naturally higher in nutrients than foods you find in commercial settings, there is no genetic alterations of any kind, and the soil in which it is grown hasn’t been depleted by years of industrial farming.

Important Foraging Rules

The best way to learn to forage is to do so under the training of someone who is experienced in foraging. If you cannot find one, or a group in your local area, the next best advice is to get yourself a really good-quality edible plant guide book. Once you begin your foraging journey, be sure to adhere to these basic foraging rules:

  • Don’t pick anything you don’t readily recognize and most certainly do not eat it.
  • Take your guidebook with you – preferably a very good one.
  • Never pick a plant that looks as if it has a disease of any kind.
  • Wash everything well before eating it.
  • Keep an eye out for bugs, snakes and other dangerous creatures that often use plants as hideouts.
  • Wear gloves and other protective clothing in case you come in contact with poison ivy or other such plants.
  • Stay in areas you are familiar with, so that you don’t accidentally get lost.
  • Do not forage on private property unless you first get permission from the known landowner.
  • Do not forage in national forests or public parks unless you are sure it’s permissible to do so. Some foraging is banned in areas such as these.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

33 Recommended Books For the Prepper and Survivalist




By Karen Roguski


Being a prepper, farmer, or survivalist can be difficult for those that are not ready and prepared. It takes knowledge of just about every detail that one might have or didn’t realize that they will need.


To help one be as knowledgeable as possible we have gathered together our recommended 33 books. These reading materials are to help ensure accurate and hopefully complete knowledge for the all - the beginner to the proficient.


  • Prepper Handbook: Road Map to Advanced Disaster Preparedness by JR Ray
  • Living Well on Practically Nothing by Edward H. Romney
  • The Encyclopedia of Country Living – by Carla Emery
  • Country Living by Carla Emery
  • The Urban Homestead by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen
  • Just in Case by Kathy Harrison
  • Real World Survival by Richard Lowe Jr
  • Live Off The Land In The City And Country by Ragnar Benson
  • SHTF Prepping: The Proven Insider Secrets For Survival, Doomsday and Disaster Preparedness by Gavin Williams
  • Off The Grid Living by Oliver Stokes
  • The Self-Sufficiency Handbook by Alan Bridgewater
  • Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills by Abigail R. Gehring
  • Crisis Preparedness Handbook by Jack A. Spigarelli
  • Countdown to Preparedness by Jim Cobb
  • SAS Survival Guide: How to Survive in the Wild, on Land or Sea by John 'Lofty' Wiseman
  • Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Laurence Gonzales
  • Prepper's Homesteading by Nathan Chester
  • Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook by Peggy Layton
  • Prepping Made Easy by Terry Garreth
  • Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury
  • Little House on the suburbs by Deanna Caswell, Daisy Siskins and Jacqueline Musser
  • Prepper: Complete Prepper’s Survival Guide And Self Sufficient Living by Greg Adams
  • The Home Survivalist's Handbook by Christopher "BigBear" Eastin  and  Ryan Acker
  • Prepping: How To Survive Off The Grid by Martin Luxtonberg
  • The Prepper's Workbook Scott B. Williams and Scott Finazz
  • Survival Hacks: Over 200 Ways to Use Everyday Items for Wilderness Survival by Creek Stewart
  • Survival Theory: A Preparedness Guide by Jonathan Hollerman
  • The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way by Joseph Alton and‎ Amy Alton
  • Practical Prepping (No Apocalypse Required) by Randall S Powers and Steven Konkoly
  • How To Survive The End Of The World by James Wesley Rawles
  • Doomsday Prepping Crash Course Book by Patty Hahne
  • Barnyard in your Backyard by Gail Damerow
  • PREPAREDNESS NOW! by Aton Edwards

One will find hundreds of additional topics, handbooks, tips and tricks books and PDF’s. Keep in mind that with new books coming out on a daily basis one's library will never be totally complete. With this in mind, we at Family Survival Farm hope that you will list any additional recommendations below.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Foods You Can Regrow and Eat Over More Than Once




By Karen Roguski


Fresh foods, as we all know, lead to a healthy lifestyle. These healthy foods, however, are often some of the more expensive items on one's grocery list.


Today, we offer options and solutions to homesteading, survival, frugal living, and so much more. The following tricks will change the way you shop, cook, and even plan your next garden.

Herbs And Spices



Re-growing fresh herbs and spices are much easier than many might think and takes minimal supplies.


All that is needed is a medium sized container, fresh water, sunlight, and a fresh cutting of the herb or spice wanted or needed for your favorite recipes.


Trim all but the top two sets of leaves. Place in a few inches of fresh water. Now watch them grow. Once they have a nice new root base transfer them to a bit of soil. Soon you will have an all-new set of herbs and spices awaiting your use.




Below are some examples of herbs and spices that grow easily and are used frequently.
  1. Rosemary

  2. Chives

  3. Peppermint

  4. Sage

  5. Lemon Balm

  6. Oregano

  7. Thyme

  8. Basil

  9. Cilantro

  10. Garlic

Vegetables


Image result for Vegetable


Vegetables, much like the herbs and spices, can be grown again using the same materials. Some might also need toothpicks or dowels for best results. Below are some examples of the multitude of vegetables awaiting regrowth.

The primary difference, however, is the manner in which each vegetable must be prepped. Some require pruning, some just cut, and others yet deseeded. No matter which prep needed the outcome will be just as deliciously enjoyed.
  1. Carrot

  2. Bok Choy

  3. Turnips

  4. Onions

  5. Sweet Potato

  6. Celery

  7. Pepper

  8. Romaine Lettuce

  9. Potatoe

  10. Tomato

  11. Avocado

  12. Green Onion

  13. Leeks

  14. Pineapple

  15. Ginger

  16. Pumpkin

Saturday, September 30, 2017

SHARPENING KNIVES BY HAND

SHARPENING KNIVES BY HAND

Photos by Craig Woods
Article by Heather and Kevin Harvey, Master Bladesmiths with the American Bladesmith Society and members of the Knifemakers’ Guild of Southern Africa
Hardworking hands in the photos – Kevin Harvey – fulltime bladesmith
As a child you may have watched your granddad restore the edge on a knife, seemingly by magic.  His old oil stone with its swayback from years of use, the smell of the oil and his leather strop are the props you remember from his magic performance.  Years later you dug out the props and tried his magic, but it didn’t work.  You had seen it being done, it wasn’t magic, but a lost art.

Anyone with the most basic tools can sharpen any edged item easily when shown how.  There are many good gadgets out there that you can buy to help “set up the correct angle” for sharpening, but you can just as easily learn to sharpen by hand.  Sharpening gadgets limit what you can sharpen, whereas sharpening by hand has no limitations.  You can sharpen an axe or a cut-throat razor using the same basic tools.

The equipment we use to sharpen by hand are Arkansas stones which you can buy in different “hardness’s”, soft, medium and hard.  “Soft” will remove a lot of material where as “hard” will be used to just touch up an edge.  Diamond hones are wonderful and also come in different “grits”, if you only buy one, buy a medium grit.  We like to use water on the diamond hones and olive oil on the stones for kitchen knives, otherwise light oil or paraffin.  Remember to wash the stones/hones  after use with a little bit of dishwashing liquid and water to remove the steel grit that is left after sharpening.  A leather strop is important as the last step in sharpening is to remove the burr that you create during sharpening.  A makeshift strop can be an item as simple as a piece of firewood, your leather belt or the rubber sole of your boot, after all only you only need to flex the burr backwards and forwards, until it breaks off.

Other useful sharpening tools are tapered diamond rods for sharpening serrated edges and fold-up portable small diamond hones that you can carry with you on camping/hunting trips. 

Useful hints are to use a damp dishcloth to secure your stone to your kitchen table and protect the counter surface.  Carry a portable sharpener on your excursions and don’t be afraid to sharpen by hand.  Practise on a few of your cheaper kitchen knives until you master the skill, then you won’t be nervous about sharpening your custom made hunting knife.

People are obsessed with “keeping the correct angle” when sharpening, but it is not critical, so long as you are consistant with the angle you have chosen.  Sharpening angles differ depending on the type of knife and the work it is expected to do.  You should not put a razor edge on an axe, just as you wouldn’t put a chisel edge on a filleting knife.  You want your edge to match the purpose of the knife. 

Lubricate the stone/hone with water or olive oil (tastes nicer than paraffin!) and cut into the stone as if trying to shave off a slice of the stone.  Keep your angle constant and sharpen all areas of the cutting edge, from where it starts near the handle all the way to the point.  Repeat on the other side of the cutting edge.  Keep sharpening until you can see a “burr” (bright shiny ribbon of steel) on the entire cutting edge.  It is now time to strop off the burr on the back of a leather belt.  Your knife is only truly sharp once the burr has been removed otherwise the burr just folds over your sharpened cutting edge, making the knife feel blunt.  Stropping is done by dragging the cutting edge over the strop, (opposite to cutting into the stone) swapping sides, at a slightly steeper angle than you sharpened at.  You will only need to strop a couple of times before you see the burr break off. 

To test for sharpness, see if the edge will bite into your nail when gently pushed onto it at an angle.  Test the entire cutting edge and if any part of it “slides” off the nail and does not “bite”, you will need to re-sharpen that area of the blade.

CAPTIONS TO THE PHOTOS

Variety

Shows various different sharpening stones and diamond hones.

Showing the angle

This would be a good angle (15˚ to 20˚ ) to use for a general purpose knife.

Pushing into the stone

Sharpen by pushing into the stone as if trying to lift a postage stamp off the stone.  A diamond hone is used in this photo with water as lubrication.

Arkansas stone

A natural sharpening stone (not carborundum) is used with olive oil as lubrication.

Serrations

Serrations can easily be sharpened with a tapered diamond rod, one tooth at a time.

Portable diamond hones

Very handy to carry with you while camping or hunting to touch up knives.  Keep your angles the same as you would on the sharpening stone.  With these small sharpeners, the sharpener is moved over the cutting edge, as opposed to the edge moved over the stone as with the larger sharpeners.

The burr

After sharpening you will see the raised burr which needs to be removed by stropping to achieve a sharp edge.

Stropping

The most important part of achieving a sharp knife is the stropping after sharpening to remove the burr that you have created.

Testing sharpness


Carefully and gently push the entire blade, section by section, into your thumb nail at an angle.  Where it “bites” it is sharp, where it “slides” it needs to be re-sharpened.