Monthly Archives: October 2012
So the storm is knocking at our doors and a lot of people have been asking me what they should buy TODAY because they have nothing stored.
Here’s a short list to get you started::
Bottled water – you can also fill your bath tub and any containers in case the water gets shut off or contaminated. You need 4 L per person per day. Don’t forget your animals!!
Easy food – get stuff that doesn’t need to be cooked or requires minimal preparation. Crackers, peanut butter, ready to serve soups. Try and keep away from anything that needs to be refrigerated since we never know if the power is going to go out. Again, don’t forget your pets.
Flashlights – most people have one stuck somewhere in a drawer. Get it out and get extra batteries. Keep in mind candles are not safe if there is a gas leak.
Make sure you have on hand: first aid supplies, warm clothes, basic hygiene needs, books and entertainment (especially those with children).
Tea Tree oil is a great addition to your preps. The plant is native to Australia and is related to eucalyptus. It has been used for centuries as an antibacterial, anti-fungal and infection healing oil.
It can be used on almost any skin ailment including blemishes, wounds, dandruff, head lice, chicken pox and blisters. It is fairly effective at killing Candida, which causes yeast infections.
It has similar healing properties to lavender oil (which I wrote about here).
You can grow your own tea tree plant indoors in containers and potentially distill your own essential oils from it (article coming soon) but it requires a significant amount of the plant to make a small amount of oil.
It should not be ingested without supervision of a doctor as it can be toxic internally. Some people are sensitive to tea tree, so make sure you check for allergies before using. A simple skin allergy test is to put a drop or two on the inside of the elbow and wait for at least 24 hours to see if there is a reaction (ie: rash, hives or blisters). If there is no reaction, it may be safe to use it in greater quantities. If there IS a reaction, discontinue use.
I don’t know about you, but for me its hard to function without at least one cup of coffee in my system. If I don’t get that first cup…well, its just better that I do. This is technically an addiction to caffeine and going through a SHTF scenario at the same time as going through withdrawal, no thanks.
So I looked around for the best way to store coffee for the long term and found some contradicting information. I contacted a family friend, Dave Cook, who owns the Fire Roasted Coffee Company in London Ontario (Canada) for some answers.
In regards to the storing green (unroasted) beans versus roasted beans, Dave had this to say:
“Green coffee is a neutral grain which does not generally deteriorate at all in the first year but slowly degrades after that but most people would not notice especially if it is the only option. Coffee is very easy to roast over open fire…”
I have always been of the opinion that freshly ground coffee tastes much better than when it has been pre-ground and stored that way. Dave agreed: “For grinding there is a variety of hand crank compact grinders and yes, fresh grind is much better as whole bean retains much better flavour as it is one big particle as opposed to many small ones”
I asked Dave if storing in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers (like most of us preppers would be doing) is best”
“It is possible to store roasted coffee and in an oxygen deprived environment it will keep reasonable flavour but will degrade rapidly when opened. Heat is actually the biggest enemy to coffee as it oxidizes the naturally present oils and turns them rancid. If cost of inventory is a factor green unroasted coffee is half the price of roasted.”
What would Dave, an expert, store for himself?: “In a perfect world I would store both green and roasted coffee with the roasted filling short term need or if it is unsafe to go outside, with the green coffee offering longterm supply and the ability to enjoy world class coffee in potential world of chaos and social disorder.”
Dave closed by reminding us: “If your readers live in the area of the equator, there also is the opportunity of growing their own or harvesting wild crops.”
I love Dave’s coffees and fully recommend them to anyone! I’d like to thank Dave and the Fire Roasted Coffee Company for answering my questions.
Peppermint is a great herb that is easy to grow in most climates although it does best in shade with moist soil.
Homesteaders and preppers who keep bees are fond of this plant because it produces a lot of nectar that will attract the bees to the plant. For this reason, it is advised to grow peppermint away from the entrances of your home. It spreads easily and quickly so it is best to grow it in a container.
Dried peppermint leaves make an excellent tea that can help calm upset stomach, aid digestion and can treat flatulence. The essential oil of the peppermint plant can be used as a pest repellent. Mice, ants and squirrels do not like the scent and it can be sprinkled around your food storage or entrance points of the pests. For people, the scent can be used for migraines, stimulate the senses, and it has a cooling effect on the skin. It can be used for nausea and motion sickness but the oil should be avoided during pregnancy.