Friday, February 25, 2011

Free Survival Food!

To kick off my new online store, I'm giving away a 72 hour meal kit which retails for $69.35 when you include shipping.  My store sells it for $36.00 delivered! 

That's six pouches of Wise Foods' freeze-dried food- very similar to Mountain House's camping pouches.  I'm relying on word of mouth to get this started.

All you have to do are 3 things:

1) Go to and leave me a message in the Contact Us section about how much you'd like to win this drawing.
2) Respond to this post with why you think Wise Foods would be a good investment or why someone should buy from me (preferably after you check out the website).
3) Tell someone else! (links are provided at the bottom of the post to help you)

The drawing will be held in three weeks time to give everyone enough time to enter the drawing.  The winner will be announced on this blog and contacted by the e-mail provided in the Contact Us form on the website. This offer is good to U.S. and Canadian residents only.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Calorie Crops - Sweet Potatoes

Why plant sweet potatoes?

The data below was taken from John Jeavon’s book “How To Grow More Vegetables.” The most efficient calorie crop is the potato. If you have many acres, why worry about space? Crops need watering, weeding, fertility, protection from predators, etc. Managing smaller spaces is easier than large ones.  A mixture of peanuts, beans, and sweet potatoes are the best calorie crops for this area.
kCal per lb.
lb. per 100 sq.ft.
 kCal per sq.ft.
 Wheat, Hard Red
Beans, Pinto
Potatoes, Irish
Potatoes, Sweet

It is very difficult to grow the Irish potato sustainably in Central Texas due to the need for the potato to get below 55 degrees F to germinate, and having to store the potato during the hot summer. The sweet potato is similar in caloric and space requirements, it grows during the hot season, and can be stored easily (underground) in our climate through the fall and winter.
While grains are good sources of calories, the growing and processing of these is much more difficult on a homestead sized scale.
Several older Texas (75+ years) recall growing sweet potatoes and storing them in hand dug root cellars lined with hay.
How much to plant? Below are some sample calculations for the area required to grow a substantial amount of calories.

Possible Yield 100sqft.
kCal per lb.
Protein Content (g)
kCal per 100sqft.
375 to 430
31,875 -36,550

The different yields above are for various levels of experience and soil quality. Since these soils are poor and our experience low, assume 85 lb/100sq.ft. and 375 kCal/lb.
Assume 45% of diet will come from sweet potatoes. Each person needs a minimum of 2,200 kCal per day.
2,200 kCal/day * 0.45 = 1,000 kCal per day per person

For a year:
365 days * 1,000 kCal / day = 365,000 kCal from sweet potatoes per person.
365,000 kCal per person
375 kCal/Lb. = 973 Lbs. of sweet potatoes per person for a half-years worth of calories.

With bio-intensive plant spacing, you need 248 plants per 100 sqft. bed (plant on 9 in. centers). Sweet potato starts can be easily grown from saved potatoes. A rough estimate is that you can get 10 starts per pound of saved potatoes (based on one years trial . may be adjusted after more research).

248 starts per 100 sqft.
10 starts per lb. = 24.8 lb. per 100 sqft. needs to be saved for starts
24.8 lb. is approximately 30% of the estimated yield of 85 lb. per 100 sqft.
You will need to save approximately 30% for getting starts for next year, so you need to grow (973 * 1.30) = 1,265 lbs per person for a year.

1,265 lbs. .
85 Lb. per 100 sqft. = 1,488 sqft. growing space per person.
The 1,488 sqft. is only the growing space, and you need room for paths which can be estimated to add 30% to the area.
So the total space needed is:
1,488 sqft.* 1.3 = 1,934 sqft. total space required for one person, 45% of caloric need met by sweet potatoes. It would be wise to increase the planted area by 30%-100% for contingencies.

20 people requires 38,688 of space. For reference, one acre is 43,560 sqft.

Notes from the garden:
In 2007 we grew several varieties of sweet potatoes, most of which got predated by gophers. A purple heirloom variety was noticeably untouched. In fact, we saw one large tuber that was bitten into, and left alone. The purple variety was saved and grown for starts in 2008. The Sumor variety of sweet potato is white, not very sweet, and considered a good substitute for an Irish potato. We have grown Sumors twice with no yield, and we are still working to learn why.
In 2008 we grew several varieties with lush foliage and no tuber growth. Below is some of the lessons learned during the last three growing seasons.

The vines of sweet potatoes should be pulled up regularly (every couple of weeks) to prevent the vines from rooting and putting energy into new roots and foliage. Having the vines climb vertically to minimize this rooting and to increase yields is potentially an excellent growing method that needs to be experimented with.

Sweet potato plants do best when stressed for water. Butch Tindell of the Center For Essential Education recommends the plants get to the point of foliage wilting in the afternoon. Heavy watering tends to encourage foliage growth versus tubers.
Sweet potatoes leaves are edible and a good green during the hot summer months. They are a good rabbit food and green during July and August when fresh green grass is in short supply. Growing the leaves as a crop in themselves should be considered.
Sweet potatoes should be grown in very poor, sandy soils. Too much fertility will yield lots of lush foliage, but little or no tubers.

Butch Tindell of the Center For Essential Education recommends using sweet potatoes
after a long rotation when the soil is the poorest. In his experience they plant 2 years in alfalfa, then corn, then wheat, then sorghum, then sweet potatoes . before starting with alfalfa again. In trials where the sweet potatoes were planted earlier in the rotation, the yields were noticeably less.

Reflecting on our records, we confirm that our best yields were in the poorest, and driest beds in the garden. And our yields went down as the fertility in our beds increased.

Concerns have been raised regarding using slips from your own saved sweet potatoes for propagation year after year. If your initial stock of slips comes from a good quality heirloom sweet potato source then there should be no problems propagating from your own plants year after year. If you start using commercial sweet potato stock such as the common orange, Beauregard variety, then problems in tuber size and disease begin after the fourth generation of propagation.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Food Prices?

Due to the overwhelming response, (and my desire to limit e-mail coorespondence) simply e-mail me and I’ll send you the secret non-advertised price for the Wise Foods stuff (that way you don’t have to spend time checking the prices everywhere else).  I can’t give huge discounts on the lower priced items (there’s not that much mark up to begin with), but the buckets I can get to you at a very good deal.  Again, I can’t advertize these super-low prices online.  (I used to think this was a marketing ploy to get people to call- but I had to sign a non-disclosure statement and promise not to advertize below a certain price.)


I don’t want to be using this blog to be advertising my stuff- I just want to pass along a good deal to other preppers when it comes around.  I’ll provide updates from time to time.  Please spread the word.


In other news,  solar flares, volcano erruptions, rioting, war, rumors of war, inflation, corruption, snow storms, famine, drought, and more top the list on Drudge.  Can you think of any more reasons to prepare?   And man!  Did you see that photo of Gaddafi?  That’s one scary looking dude.



Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wise Foods - at deeply discounted prices

If you haven't already, checkout and see their food storage options.  This is the same product that readymade is offering.  They also have 72 hour kits and all levels of dehydrated and freeze dried foods available.
I have recently become a dealer/distributer for them and can offer my readers a VERY deeply discounted price. 
I am in the process of setting up a website (go daddy sucks- long story), and will let you know once I launch it.
Until then, if you'd like to place an order, pick out what you want on their website and then send me an e-mail with the order.
I promise that my prices will be the best you can find anywhere- if you find it cheaper I'll beat it by another 10%- shipping included.
The way I see myself using their foods is in supplementing my wheat, beans, and rice.  They specialize in gourmet-type freeze dried stuff.  
REALLY tasty stuff- try a free sample from their website.  I would use their meals once or twice a week in the event of an emergency as a comfort food.  Imagine lasagna, chicken al-a king, or stroganoff easily prepared by just adding hot water!  What a mental difference that could make in a high-stress situation where you would normally be reduced to eating wheat berries.  I'm adding at least 10 buckets to supplement my current stocks.
Anyhow, until I get my e-commerce site up, I thought I would pass this offer along to my readers. 
For example, they have a 1 month supply - 2 servings of food per day for 4 adults or 2 adults and 4 children. Also equals a 4 month supply - 2 servings a day for 1 adult. (Two 5-gallon buckets full of food)  They list it for $450 plus $40 shipping.  Not a bad deal.  But my price to you would be even better (e-mail for prices so low, I legally can't advertise them)- just put "wise foods" in the Subject with what you are interested in and I'll send you lowest the price, shipping included. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The buck stops here? Virginia eyes switching off dollar

Posted in February 4th, 2011 by Don in World and Domestic News


WASHINGTON – Virginia state Delegate Robert G. Marshall has introduced legislation to study whether the Commonwealth should make the preparations now to switch suddenly to an alternative currency in the event of an implosion of the Federal Reserve System and the destruction of the dollar.

House Joint Resolution 557 is another piece of a growing movement among state legislators who are concerned about the dollar’s demise. Ten states have considered similar bills, recommending a return to some form of a commodity-based currency, using either silver or gold.

Read more: The buck stops here? Virginia eyes switching off dollar

Article 1.

Section. 8.
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
Section. 10.
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

I hope they are only planning to make gold and silver coins.  Paper money printed by the state would be un-constitutional as is our current dollar.  I would love to go to a coin-based currency.  Private companies (banks) could hold the coins and chrage us to use debit and credit cards (assuming there was a silver or gold dollar behind every digital one ) or the banks (private ones) could print their own paper money backed by gold or silver.  We could withdraw our gold or silver upon demand from the bank.  Commerce would still go on in a modern fashion- but the currency would actually mean something.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

George Washington

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government." -- George Washington

I'm taking a government class at a local community college.  The professor is a liberal (not suprizing) but he claims to be a proponet of the 2nd Amendment.  He went on to explain that everyone should have the right to have a gun to protect themselves from robbers- but that they don't need assault weapons or high capacity magazines.  I quickly raised my hand in protest.  I argued that the whole point of the 2nd Amendment was not to protect ourselves against robbers, but to protect ourselves against a tyranical government.  That's pretty hard to do with a revolver.