Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tutorial for Members-DIY Wine Bottle Tiki Torch

Total Cost for Supplies:  $9
Build Time:  20 minutes

*It would tickle me pink if you would click the button below and ‘like’ my facebook page! 

Read More of Tee's Tiki Torch. Nice Site.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Seeds for Survival

Author- J Ray
Prepper Handbook Blog

Seeds could be one of the best Prepper barter investments because they are low cost, but extremely high value in a total collapse. A $1.99 package of seeds could help feed a family for weeks. So this is something you should never be short on for your own Prepper Garden.

Heirloom varieties, that produce quickly, and grow nutritious foods that can be easily preserved (dried) are the best Prepper seeds.  Having hybrid seeds to use in the early stages is okay as long as they don't cross pollinate with the heirloom varieties and mess up your seed stock.

Foods that store for long periods like beans, peas, sorghum and corn
dry and preserve well so I consider these as essential. Rice, wheat and oats are good, but harder to grow and harvest.  Potatoes also preserve fairly well when kept in burlap type bag in a cool dark place.  Citrus fruits will last much longer than most other fruits if left on the tree (not picked).  Nuts like pecans will store for long periods if kept in a cool dry place.

Fast producing seeds like turnips are edible in about 20 days even in cool weather.  Plus turnip seeds are low cost. As a part of my charity plan, covered in the
Prepper Handbook, I have a lot of them and at the first sign of anarchy, I will plant them all around the church by the highway to help others have food. 

Foods that grow back year after year without re-planting are good. Asparagus returns each year, is very hardy, nutritious, delicious and insect resistant.  If I could only have one vegetable, this would be the one; just remember to cut it down to 2" above the ground in the fall when the foliage turns brown and only harvest about half of what grows up, leaving some to reproduce.  Do not harvest the first year.  Fruit and nut trees are some other good examples and nuts store very well. Nut trees take many years to produce so plant them soon and locate some wild ones in the woods and remove any vines or other plants that may be choking them or competing for the nutrients and sunlight. 

Seasonal plants are important too.  You want some foods that plant in the later winter or early spring and ripen quickly (like turnips), but also some that ripen late in the fall or winter like pumpkins and persimmons.  Having a
green house for year-round food could be a huge advantage.

While any food is better than starving, it is also good to select seeds that produce foods that you like to eat and would eat on a normal basis. This is good criteria to consider, but secondary to the others.  For example, most of the tender sweet hybrid corn that we enjoy cannot be used for seed as they will not grow or produce much corn if any. During the summer growing season, you can be eating fresh vegetables while you store most of the others for the winter.  Canning is a good way to store vegetables, but requires hundreds of jars and lids.  Drying is a more sustainable way but only works well for some foods. Beans, peas and corn are excellent for drying.

Part of a good Seed for Survival plan needs to include rotation.  Seeds get old and won't grow after a few years.  Keeping them refrigerated or frozen helps, but I write the date on them when they arrive.  Then everything more than two years old, I try to plant even if it is in a hidden garden in the country side, along the road or creek or in a meadow, by a lake. I even throw a few in the creek to wash down stream, to hopefully take root and grow.

Here is a list of seeds/foods that I prefer:
  1. Yellow Dent Corn (feed and meal)
  2. Yellow Bantam Corn
  3. Sorghum (chicken feed & good meal)
  4. Pinto Beans
  5. Black Eyed Peas
  6. Purple Hull Peas
  7. Cream Peas
  8. Blue Lake Green Beans
  9. Kentucky Wonder Green Beans
  10. Yellow Crook Neck Squash
  11. Beef Steak Tomatoes
  12. Mary Washington Asparagus
  13. Jersey Giant Asparagus
  14. Kale
  15. Broccoli
  16. Clemson Spineless Okra
  17. Red Potatoes
  18. Irish Potatoes
  19. Onions - Yellow Sweet Spanish
  20. Bell Peppers - California Wonders
  21. Cayenne Peppers
  22. Small Sugar Pumpkins
  23. Danvers Carrots
  24. Turnip - Purple Top White Globe
  25. Wheat (winter & summer varieties)
  26. Oats
  27. Rice
  28. Rye (good winter crop for early spring harvest)
It is important that you know the Planting Dates for your area and Days to Harvest for the varieties of vegetables that you are planning as this is a key part of a sustainable food plan. The Prepper Handbook (at $4.99) has a sustainable food model that will help guide you. In the end, it is better to over produce and have extra for barter than to under produce and starve.

For additional information see the following links: 
Blog Table of Contents;

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Crawfish Trap Pt3.

Crawfish Trap Pt3

The crawfish will be able to go in, but not out!

I then finished the other side by attaching the second cone to other end of the cylinder, the same way I did the first one

About 5 1/5 inches of chain was used to make a handle for carrying my trap, simply by bending open both chain link ends on each end of the chain…

…and clamping them to my trap

I had to make sure my handle was centered on the trap before securing so it wouldn’t be lopsided while carrying it…

For removing the crawfish I needed a trap door, so I cut a hole into the center of my trap…

The hole was 9 squares x 8 squares in size

With what was left of my excess chicken wire, I cut a door slightly larger than the hole I just made in my trap.  The door was 10 squares x 11 squares in size

The sides of the door overlapped the hole nicely

My door was then attached with more zippy ties

Trim, trim, trim those zippies!!

For keeping the trap door shut, I used a rubber band and a piece of chain link

The rubber band was slid through the wire on the door

…and looped through itself

I actually attached two of these that kept the trap door secured nicely 

Crawfish Trap Pt4.

Crawfish Trap Pt4

Simply stretch the rubber bands and hook shut!

My trap was done!  Woot Woot!!!

To keep track of my traps and for ease of retrieval from the water, I made some really FANCY ‘bobbers’ out of some rope, a plastic bottle, and a piece of wire….Teeheehee

Simply attach wire to the bottle

Make a loop with the other end of the wire, and tie the rope to it

Tie the other end of the rope to the trap handle

The best part about this is I can slip a note inside the bottle with my name, phone number, and date & time that I set my traps.  This informs any passers-by that I haven’t abandoned them and that I’ll be back later to retrieve my traps.

I was ready to go catch some crawfish!!! (yes I made two because one is never enough!)

I’d heard that hot dogs were good for bait so I decided to give em’ a try!

After tossing the traps into the water, my little plastic bottle ‘bobbers’ danced up and down like tiny water buoys, marking where the traps were…they did their job well!

My Sweetie and I then went for a long stroll to explore the breathtakingly beautiful scenery…

…as our pups rambunctiously romped through the water…Happy Dogs!!!!

After about an hour, we returned back to our spot to see if the new traps had any treasure in them.  I was excited to pull them up to see what was inside!!!

Score!!!  I caught three crawfish to be exact…One in one trap, and two in the other!!!

This little guy was happily munching away on his hot dog!

Next time I’ll try leaving the traps in for a longer period of time to see if we catch more!  

Did you try this project?  I’d love to hear about so make sure to leave a comment or pic in the comment section below!

Crawfish Trap Pt2.

Crawfish Trap Pt2..

To get that ‘cone’ shape, I pulled one end over the other…

…and kept pulling, making it tighter


I then slid the cone into the end of the cylinder, making sure the cone tip poked in about 3 inches

After making sure the cone was at the desired shape, I secured it with zip ties

…and trimed off the zip tie ends

The tip of the cone was then cut off, leaving a hole that was about 2 1/2 inches in diameter

You guessed it, zippy ties were used to secure the cone into the end of the cylinder

.and yes, I trimmed those zippy ends!!!

To finish this end off, the excess wire was trimmed away from the bottom of the cone