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Friday, October 30, 2009

We Should Really Be Troubled

I know I just posted this two posts ago, but I was looking at this today while chatting with my brother, and had some powerful things I had not noticed before.

1) Did you know that our Navy is known as " The United States Navy?"---Not America's Navy. This is really bothersome to me.

2) Did you notice that Navy and Global are the lightest or appear like the light is shining upon them the most?

3) Taking the emblem away from in front of Navy and reading the words it reads Americas A Global Navy...

4) For Good can be taken a few different ways- for example, "I am going to take that for good"-forever. A Global force forever?

5) This speculation about the North American Union- or the Amero, seems plausible seeing this new tone of the Navy.

6) A Global Force---does this mean the the Navy will now be under the UN which our global united nations?

You know to me this is all just my thoughts, but I find this recruitment poster repugnant. I think that the constant bombardment of global this, global that, is just a way to lower our barriers when the Global Government does take place. It is going to happen- and this is just another way to prepare us.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Garden Gleaned

We knew that the other day we were going to have a drop in temperatures so we picked every plant in our garden clean! We had almost two bushels of green tomatoes still! Now we usually grow tomatoes until the mid to end of November range so this was a bit shocking, but we looked ahead and acted accordingly. This is a preppers mentality for sure. We actually had snow this morning on the mountain- which for us was a blizzard. Please click on the pictures to enlarge and squint your eyes to see the trace snow on the mountain.

In light of the weather I have so many tomatoes I wondered what I would do, with so many green tomatoes. Last year I canned the tomatoes for green fried tomatoes, and we really did not like it, as we are not a big fried food family. So this year, I am making green tomato salsa and a recipe for Mennonite Pickled tomatoes. I will post the recipes if anyone is interested.

This is a picture of the tomatoes soaking in the pickling salt and onions. It smells so good as is, I had to hold back from snacking throughout the day.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Time to Read The Book

Friends now is the time.
I cannot say that enough.
The signs are all around us.
One world government, global governing.
This has all been foretold.

(Click on the picture for more info on the new recruiting motto of the US Navy)
Cross posted on Double Nickel Farm

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Southwest Thoughts

To supplement the diets of our animals we harvest mesquite leaves. It is not easy, but it gives the goats and sheep greens. Now we raise Navajo Churro Sheep, and they eat the natural vegetation of the southwest. Goats will eat anything. It is important that you understand when you decide to raise animals to have animals that will work for you and the environment. Especially if you cannot get hay or afford hay(think crises or worst case scenario).

The mesquite bush has thorns like no other! If you click to enlarge the picture you can see for yourself the thorns! Oh to step on these thorns is horrible... These pictures are from when we went a few miles east of us to gather the leaves, because we try not to use the leaves from our mesquite in the winter and spring, until the mesquite comes in full bloom. Anyway, these leaves are so amazing to the animals. They love the leaves!(In the summer and fall- we tether the animals to clear the mesquite without killing the bush.)

Here is my daughter collecting some of the leaves. It does seem tedious- I need to be blunt here: if the world changes like many preppers believe this is how life will be. Do you understand that life may be hard-but the work is worth it? You should understand the realities of prepping. Being prepared must include the understanding that you will work probably like you never have before. America has been very good to all of us-same with our Canadian friends too. We have come very far and have distanced ourselves a good deal from the agrarian lifestyle. The agrarian lifestyle is what could save millions of people from starvation, right now- today. We need to learn skills that will afford us the opportunity to carry on.

First there is nothing wrong with hard work. Second, stop looking to the stores first, but your surroundings to meet some of the needs that you may have. Third, animals do not need all the stuff that the local feed store tells you. I posted on my farm blog, a woman pushing her dogs in a stroller! No kidding. Folks we have got to recommit to the realities of life.

Here is the lovely mesquite. We have about 300-400 on our property- which we harvest the mesquite bean and the leaves. The kids have made extensive trails throughout the mesquite- which someone unfamiliar with our land would struggle to navigate. You see the mesquite when it is bushy and grows close together is very difficult to walk through without getting poked. Many of my area neighbors clear this bush as waste. I guess I should not be surprised at how conditioned we as a society have become. Once the land is cleared the soil is left(a sandy style soil) that blows all over daily. You see like in the Dust Bowl era, we need to appreciate the environment we live in. You need to hold the soil down, and one way is via native vegetation. If you wish to clear the land go slowly. When we began putting up pens for the animals, we slowly removed and cleared a small amount of mesquite.

Please rethink your neck of the woods. Grow things that will grow there without an act of God to grow. Learn to harvest native grasses etc for your animals. Use your surroundings for you, and not what we have been taught all the while keeping up with the Jones's.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Great Link For Next Year's Garden

I love reading Granny Miller's Blog. If you have not read her blog, I highly recommend that you do so. While she no longer writes anymore she has left her blog up for us to enjoy and surely learn something new from.

I found this link the other day and thought "what a great help for next year's garden!"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

On the Shelves of the Pantry

1. Rice- what an easy and inexpensive way to fill up your pantry. To make your rice provide all the nutrients necessary read this, as it is very helpful and will ensure that the protein in rice will help you if you are shy of meats.

For my family a one year supply of rice is about 250 lbs according to this calculator. Rice is an incredibly easy food to prepare and there are far too numerous recipes to list...on the farm we eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner...just prepared a different way.

2. Brown sugar-this is such a great item to have. In the calculator above it suggest having 15 lbs for a family of five, but we use brown sugar much more than white sugar, as it is not refined. We do have white sugar, but I am thinning that out. We use this as a sweetener for drinks-yummy.

3. Store bought canned veggies- I try and buy veggies without anything but water...but sometimes I do buy because of a sale. We have an abundance of corn, peas, green beans, carrots, asparagus, and spinach. Did you know that combining a yellow vegetable and a green vegetable together will help reduce or lower your triglycerides? Did you know that you can make carrot cookies or carrot bread with canned carrots? We have a few hundred cans of veggies in the pantry-based on sales.

4. Condiments- mayonnaise, mustard, dressings, BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Kikomon, Parmesan cheese and Ketchup. I confess that these are loaded with corn syrup and sugars, but I like to have them sometimes. I buy these items totally on sale. For example I just bought 12 BBQ sauces for $3.60!Oh and they are Kraft! If you watch the sales and use coupons you'd be amazed at what you can do for your pantry.

5. Peanut butter- I am giving this its own separate number as it should be!! I love peanut butter, peanuts and any side on either! We buy this from Costco as it is still the cheapest place to buy peanut butter so inexpensive.

6. Pickles- we eat about a gallon to two gallons each month! Yep we love them so I have a variety of pickles in the pantry. I buy the gallons for about $3.50 at Costco, and then supplement the slices or variety when they go on sale. I think I have 8 gallons in the pantry and five medium jars of slices. Don't forget that you can drink the pickle juice!!

7. Canned tomatoes gets its own category also! I have never canned my own tomatoes as we eat them as fast as they come in. So I buy gallons of tomatoes from Costco. We have about 15 gallons in the pantry...I use this for salsa primarily as we use salsa pretty much every day with lunch and dinner. Try tossing salsa on top of white rice- yummy!!! By the way the whole peeled tomatoes are superb!

8. Drinks- no not alcohol, although I recommend having something like vodka in your storage as you can use that to make tinctures, and sterilize wounds. Now back to drinks, black tea to make sun tea, flavored teas to get you through sicknesses, coffee, Gatorade, punch mixes. We also buy one or two canned drinks such as apple juice or orange juice. They are pricey, but last a good while and are not exposed to sunlight which changes the taste of the drink. We have the generic V-8 too which is my favorite. (approximately 5 gallons of coffee, 70 mixes of koolaid, 3 tubs of Gatorade, 6 boxes of teas, 25 cans of fruit drinks 2 qts)

9. Powdered milk- I use this when I make oatmeal, arroz con leche and what ever. I have two 5 gallon buckets. I bought on sale the boxes, then filled up the five gallon buckets.

10. tomato sauce- this is such a good starter for your cooking, it can be made into tomato juice or as a soup base, or in anything. I buy salt free type. I have about 200 cans of tomato sauce.

11. Oils- olive oil, I use this exclusively in my baking and cooking. I also have lard and Crisco. I use both...and have several of each. I have three gallons of olive oil.

12. Canned meats- I have tuna, sardines, and ham. We have the beef, so I will be canning lots over the next few weeks so I can turn off the freezer.

13. Fruits- I have raisins, prunes(yep) applesauce, peaches, pears, pineapples, fruit cocktail...some I have canned and some store bought. I buy only fruits in natural juices- again I have been reducing the corn syrup in our diets. I have a couple hundred or more. I canned 70 plus applesauce, so you get the idea.

14. Pasta's- we are like most Americans I suppose, as we do like our pasta. I have lasagna, spaghetti, elbow, shells, fideo and three colored rotini. I have about 30 or so lbs.

15. Spices- this is important- so I have several containers to resupply my spice cupboard. Don't forget salt and pepper. I have 25 lbs of salt...and about 8 lbs of sea salt for home made toothpaste.

Well that is the peek for now- The key to a pantry is understanding that balance should be maintained. If you have three hundred lbs of flour, and nothing else you're are going to be in trouble. One must also rotate foods and replenish ones supplies.

I have not gone over the complete inventory- just a peek!
(c) Double Nickel Farm

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

No Tips Today

I saw the Kentucky Preppers topic and knew I would re post this picture. By the way I did post it on one of my blogs, I just cannot remember where, but it is appropriate, don't you think?

Here is what I wrote about having cloth napkins(aka cloth toilet paper)

On second thought, have you considered building your own outhouse? Here's a working one

No matter what consider all the options when prepping...thanks Kentucky Prepper for allowing me to share a goof pic of a serious prepper's bathroom!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

They Do Not Care So Why IS IT A CRISIS?(Updated)

Government does not really believe in nor care about the environment. It has always been about the money. Al Gore is raking in millions of dollars for his fluff. Eco Green companies are rolling in the dough, and we the folks are paying the consequences.

Our Hollywood
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he's going to sign an environmental exemption bill that will clear the way for construction of the LA Stadium.

Hmm, it brings in big money and a few jobs for a time period, so it is worthy to go around environmental concerns? Here is the flip side that is going to cost all Americans dearly, and for reference it is occurring in California
Farmers throughout this region echo the sentiment that politics, not the drought, is the problem. Most of California gets its water from a huge estuary called the Delta, where two big rivers join in the center of the valley. But so much water was being pumped out of the Delta that a tiny smelt there, an endangered species, is disappearing. So late last year, a federal judge ruled that the amount of water being delivered to the south had to be sharply cut back.
In April, in a sweltering tin shed in the middle of the Westland's water district, about 200 farmers gathered to hear what Tom Birmingham had to say about the crisis. Birmingham is the executive director of the irrigation district. Yes, the drought is a problem, he says, but he believes the much bigger problem is that court ruling.

We are witnessing how the environmental wackos are on both ends of the spectrum. Arnold "pretending" to be concerned for the environment, until bling heads his way, and the nutcases who deny water to the largest produce center of the United States.

Just so you can comprehend what denying water to some po' farmers will do, study the chart below:

Food Facts

California has been the number one food and agricultural producer in the United States for more than 50 consecutive years.

More than half the nation's fruit, nuts, and vegetables come from here.

California is the nation's number one dairy state.

California's leading commodity is milk and cream. Grapes are second.

California's leading export crop is almonds.

Nationally, products exclusively grown (99% or more) in California include almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, kiwifruit, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes, raisins, clovers, and walnuts.

From 70 to 80% of all ripe olives are grown in California.

California is the nation's leading producer of strawberries, averaging 1.4 billion pounds of strawberries or 83% of the country's total fresh and frozen strawberry production. Approximately 12% of the crop is exported to Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Japan primarily. The value of the California strawberry crop is approximately $700 million with related employment of more than 48,000 people.

California produces 25% of the nation's onions and 43% of the nation's green onions.

Gilroy, California, "Garlic Capitol of the World," has hosted 2 million at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival.

What do you think that this drought(man enhanced) will do to your belly? Will your grocer raise prices because he will have to buy overseas?Yes and while you get angry and upset, remember this, the green movement is an agenda to control the peons. Both you and I are just those peons. Enough is enough! Buying carbon offsets or making exemptions tell us all we need to know. It is not an emergency at all and THEY KNOW IT. When will we stand and stop the insanity? Remember this, if your children are in school they are being taught like good little children that man is the problem and that we should preserve mother earth. To stop the insanity means taking back the schools too.

Oh and for the record, if I were to take anything from this post, it would be this: if my food source is being compromised, I better learn how to adapt and provide some of my own foods, via gardens, animals and the likes as the government is too busy building stadiums and worrying about fish to end the crises they have helped create.

Update: I thought I would insert the actual percent of foods we get from California...and then you can see that the politicians are seeming to create a crisis of hunger...WHY?

California Crops

Artichokes - 19%
Bell Peppers-47%
Tomatoes -94%
Milk & Cream-21%

I put in bold those items over 50%...this is catastrophic folks. By the way, 1/5 of our milk comes from CA and nearly 1/3 of our onions...

(c) Double Nickel Farm


Simple Ideas to Save Money Part 2

1. Do not buy anything new. Make a list of what you are looking for and keep it on you and then hit the yard sales, thrift stores, and antique stores. Items are often so much cheaper that you will be shocked. Used does not mean trashed, not working, or in poor condition. We have been conditioned as a society to be consumers, and to be a good consumer, we have been indoctrinated to buy new. This is why we are a nation of people who are deep in DEBT. Another reason to buy used is that the item may not have been made by an exploding China, desperate to meet America's purchasing needs. What chemicals are in the items you purchase? China cheats to make items because they can and don't have the watchdogs we have in our nation, and they supply our biggest store with everything.

2. Reassess who you are as a person. Are you defined by what you buy? Are you worried what others will think because you are in a thrift store? Do you think that you will be considered poor, or cheap because you buy secondhand?? This is a big one, as even if you have money, buying new is crazy. Anyone who has purchased a new vehicle understands the incredible loss of value of the car the moment you drive off the auto lot.

3. Organize your tool shed, your supplies, and where you keep things. Organizing and being neat reduces purchases- because you can find the item you are looking for. How many times have you bought another tool because you could not find it? How often have you bought something at the grocery because you could not remember if you have it at home.

4. Make time for yourself- take up a simple hobby that cost no money but allows you to have some down time. For example, make a list of books that you would like to read, pick one up at the library and sit down and read. Learning to relax in ways that require no outside stimulation- bowling, movies, vacation, golfing, etc- is very important because the need to be entertained is a huge problem with our society. We cannot slow down and relax. We feel inadequate if we are not keeping up with the Jones' even in our play time. Do not think that 4 -wheelers and off road vehicles is a break either. Slow down, slow down, slow down- this will take time, but eventually you will learn that relaxing is all about reducing your heart rate and having down time...not filling up your free time with activities.

5. Cancel all magazine subscriptions, newspapers and other book/CD/DVD clubs that you belong to. This is another area of waste that is going to clutter your home and mind and reduce your money. As you are reading this, you can read the news on line. There are tremendous amounts of news organizations that are on every side of the political spectrum so you can keep up on the news. Magazines are a total waste- if you really need them wait one month past the date that it came out and go to the thrift store...and buy it for a dime. I would say not to buy it, but go to the library, as clutter is not the best. And for movies and music, how many is enough? Can you listen to all that you have now? Can you watch all that you have now? There is not enough time in your life to do everything that you should do anyhow...so stop this insanity now.

I will end my list for Part 2 here. This is a post about changing your perceptions. You are in control and need to stop the insanity.

(c) Double Nickel Farm

Monday, October 19, 2009

Simple Ideas to Save Money Part 1

If you have goats, chickens, etc:
1. Grocery stores(not big chains but locally owned) will give or sell a box of produce that is bruised, old, or not good enough for the public consumption. This will stretch your feed much longer. Often if they sell it, you may spend a dollar or so on 40 lbs of yummy slops for the animals. Sort the carrots and lettuce etc for your goats and sheep...they love it and the carrots for a milking goat reduce some harmful microbe(the vet told me)

2. Find a large family that has no animals and ask them to save their food waste for you. This is awesome for the chickens too. If you get an abundance freeze it. In the warm months the chickens love pecking the ice food(kind of like at the zoos). In exchange maybe you can give a tour to the family and share how the food that was waste now serves another purpose. Remove the green earth ownership, thrifty people have been green their whole lives...no need to buy carbon offsets(scam)

3. Goats love leaves! If you have an abundance of leaves rake into leaf mounds and cover. Give this as a mid day treat or as a way to stretch feeding. I don't understand how goats can eat everything and get the nutrients that they can, but God sure does. We traded raking at a pecan orchard for 5 trashcans full of pecans- and the 4 truckloads of leaves were a bonus! By the way the pecans can be crushed hulls and all and scattered for the birds. The sheep love pecans too!

4. Five gallon food safe water buckets can be picked up for free at any local McDonald's, Burger King or your favorite food place. These are tossed all the time. You can bleach them out and use for your food storage, and when you have enough use them for water buckets. We have on hand about 40 waiting, as I use them in many other ways too. Farm and buckets are a match.

5. Feathers can be saved to wash for pillows etc. They will not be the softest pillow(well they will be a bit pokey) but you can be assured that no toxins will be resting under your head(who knows what is allowed to be in pillows these days?)

That is enough for the animals which also save us money by providing milk, cheese(I make) sherbet(I make), eggs, chicken meat, goat meat, wool, turkey for a special occasion, duck eggs to bake with...wow, what an incredible way to live a simple life. Oh they also provide manure for composting!!!
(c) Double Nickel Farm

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Simple Way to Preserve Zucchini

I found this recipe on a blog that references this book "Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning" by The Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante. It was so easy! I grated the zucchini, skins and all in a bowl, then packed the gratings into sterile canning jars layering alternatively with zucchini and then salt. I used no more than 1/2 tsp per pint. I then filled the jars leaving 1 inch headspace with water.

Grated zucchini

The results!

It was very hard to not nibble while doing this, as it smelled so good, and well, I love raw foods!! I ended up making 4 pints and 1 quart yesterday. It took longer to grate the zucchini then it took to pack it!

I am going to let it sit for about two weeks before I bring it out to eat. I cannot wait, and I will give an update!
(c) Double Nickel Farm

Friday, October 16, 2009

Random Thoughts to Ponder

I think that those we have in our inner circle help define us- just as I believe that our community plays a role. I also believe that the local politicians play a role in defining their communities.

So when I read about a barbaric crime where teens kill another teen for walking out of his school in broad daylight...I begin to wonder. In fact last year 34 Chicago students were murdered.

I began to think a bit more about this article:

Why Did 1 In 7 Girls Get Pregnant At Robeson High?

What is going on? Well of course, I know what is going on, but Chicago seems to have some serious problems with its youth.

President Obama has been involved in community organization for Chicago for most of his career.

President Obama organized a Get out to Vote in Chicago in 1992...150,000 African Americans were added to the voter registration poles.

President Obama was on the Board of Directors for the Woods Fund of Chicago which had 67 million dollars in assets in 2004.This goal of the Woods Fund
is to increase opportunities for less advantaged people and communities in the metropolitan area, including the opportunity to shape decisions affecting them.

President Obama was on the Board to the Joyce Foundation which
supports efforts to protect the natural environment of the Great Lakes, to reduce poverty and violence in the region, and to ensure that its people have access to good schools, decent jobs, and a diverse and thriving culture. We are especially interested in improving public policies, because public systems such as education and welfare directly affect the lives of so many people, and because public policies help shape private sector decisions about jobs, the environment, and the health of our communities. To ensure that public policies truly reflect public rather than private interests, we support efforts to reform the system of financing election campaigns.

Center for Neighborhood Technology
Illinois Senate
Barack Obama on the issues:
  • Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)

  • Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
  • Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
  • Sponsored bill providing contraceptives for low-income women. (May 2006)
  • Ensure access to and funding for contraception. (Feb 2007)
  • STEP UP: summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged. (Aug 2007)
  • FactCheck: ‘Sex Ed for Kindergarten’ means ‘age-appropriate’. (Jul 2007)
  • Offer real hope-not blind optimism-to the American people. (Jul 2004)
Funny President Obama has had a career in his hometown on all kinds of boards and community organizing activies and Chicago is most notably one of the most corrupt cities in the nation, if not the world. He has spent over two decades in a community will millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars at hand and he can't even change his hometown, and now we hope he will change ours?

President Obama is all air. He could care less about the blacks or the poor or his people being discriminated(white, black, Kenyan, Hawaiian?). He has made no difference in his community except among the thugs whose pockets have been lined. His stance on issues are similar to the false fronts of the Old West, as he says a lot of good stuff with little foundation.

We are in trouble folks as he has left Chicago in ruins, and now is working on the nation. I must confess that I am anti all political parties. I think that we need real change by real folks. We need to rethink what our criteria is for electing someone. I understand why folks elected Obama, I really do. You see when a conservative wishes for the border to be secure and it is left open, then all the talk about protecting our nation rings hollow. And for the record, I stopped linking all the song and dance crap that Obama was involved in as it is all hot air. Feel free to google our president and look up all the community organizing that he has done. Chicago is not a better place- consider this Beijing got Olympics and Chicago didn't-- Beijing!

Now to pondering, what are you going to do? What can we do? How can we prevent fluff and hot air from being elected again? Now is the time to stop this train wreck of hope and change. Oh and who is President Obama? Who is in his inner circle? Where did President Obama come from? Well of course, I answered most of this with the post...now it is up to you to weed through the nonsense of nothingness.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Things I have Learned

I have learned that everything that we have seen or learned over the years can be modified or augmented into our new life of simplicity. The famous Andy Warhol 100 Cans is a painting that we all are familiar with. As I began walking this path, I began salvaging everything I could, to include the labels of the cans of food. At first I put the labels in the burn box. Then I started thinking, what else could I do with them? It was then I remembered Andy Warhol.

Here are some pictures of my pantry:

I used a decoupage type of glue- water with Elmer's glue...and then put the labels up. It took me a year to save enough labels to finish the small pantry. The other pantry may take lots longer;)Our small pantry is off the kitchen and was originally the furnace, but we took it out as it was old, broken, and wasted space(oh and we use woodstove heat). My sons built shelves and I thought for a while how to cover the drywall and old space.

This may seem like a post about home decorating, but think about this. Prepping is all about rethinking what we have been taught and to live and prepare with what we have available. It is a way for all of us to understand that NO MORE are we bound by fashion, style, and items that are brand new or off of the runway. Preppers are as much inventors and creators as those who are currently receiving patents for items. We take the wheel and see what else it can be. So keep on prepping for any scenario...

Thursday Thoughts On Prepping

Simple homemade shampoos can be made with relative ease.

Goat milk can make some wonderful cheese, sherbet, and even to drink.

This bar of Zote soap(price 99cents a bar) last 3 months for laundry. I use Zote for Whites for my white loads...same price, no scent, works awesome.

Living a simple life does not mean we are without culture. I am able to view beautiful murals each and every day.

The real watchdog has always been the cat.

You can make bread in all different shapes, depending on what pans you have. These two loaves were rootbeer bread!

A chicken coop can be completely salvaged.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Some More Things I Have Learned

It is lonely.

Some Things I have Learned

I have learned many things on my journey of simplicity. For example that all things in this picture are not only edible but very delicious. To be honest folks, I had no idea, as I grew up as a consumer and that the stores have all the things that we eat. Growing foods consisted of salsa gardens and quaint little beds of items common to the produce section in the grocery. I never considered growing foods to fill the pantry, or even to grow foods that will actually grow in my region.

This is one version of what I call squash stew. It has become nearly a daily staple as we have an abundance of these items and oh are they so yummy. If we adjust our diets to the foods we grow on our farms or homesteads or even apartments, our health would improve dramatically.*

I have learned how to bake all kinds of breads, rolls, and pastries from scratch. Oh and they taste good too! In this learning I discovered that the preservatives that go into the breads are pretty toxic. The lower the price of the bread seems to be the measure of the more preservatives that are in it. Think obesity as preserving the breads to last on the shelf= may then preserve the pounds on people.**

I have learned that I do not take a vacation, as I can sit on my front porch in the morn and witness breathtaking views, and on the back porch I can close the day with another mural. The difference in my life has been perspective. How could I have missed the sunrises and sunsets before? Were they as magnificent as they are in New Mexico? I have to be honest with you all, I do not know because I was busy keeping up with what I could buy, spend and do to be one of the Jones'.

I have learned that a clothesline, three five gallon buckets, a mop bucket, and a washboard is all one needs to do the laundry for the family. Oh and I do not have to buy detergents that provide that fresh outdoors-sunshine scent- duh, I have it for free!

I have reflected much more upon this flag and what it means to me. I have learned that I want to have the freedoms that generations before me have had. I want to be able to make do, make my own, grow my own, and take care of my own, without the government interference. I love this land. Sadly I feel as though I am witnessing the wind up of my nation as we have known it. Therefore my learning on this farm, has made all the difference, as I am ready for anything. I cannot imagine what will happen, but I know I will be able to roll up my sleeves, to work through whatever I need to.

I have learned to save containers, to reuse instead of buying Tupperware etc. I have learned to preserve foods in ways that use no utilities, require nothing but what I have on hand and turn out not so perfectly looking, but are tasty and will hold me through the winter and years to come.

I have learned to rethink new. New for me, is salvaging items and re purposing them has become the new new! This is my before kitchen sink. We found it on Craigslist for free and it is from the 1950's and has a lovely white enamel style sink. It took a few coats of paint and ta-da my old run down kitchen has a new look!!

I have learned on this journey that traditional items for farming and animal pens are only traditional as of late. One does not need store bought fencing or poles to make a pen. In this picture we are building a pen with tree posts and pallets that are free at nearly every business in town.
I have learned that beauty and things to make me happy are not what comes from the store anymore. I have learned that God is awesome and He sends me happiness in His creations. Look at this lovely heart pattern on our newest ram Obed.

Here is another tree pole to hold fencing. Yes, we do have fencing here and there...as sometimes we do have to buy new. I want to express to my readers that the savings listed above allows us to buy a bit when needed.

To live a simple life one needs to understand that it is hard. I will be honest with that. But it is rewarding and it is wholesome. Entertainment, money, foods, shelter, friends, love, and even clothing takes on a new image and thought process. Many times what is current or hip or what is going on in the world does not line up with our simple life, and we are slowly coming to terms with that(we are normal after all). We fall in bed each night tired yet fulfilled.

So my question is this: what have you done to prepare? Are you ready to live on less? What about on no utilities? What happens if your house burns to the ground? Prepping is more than thinking that the government is rogue...even though it may be. Prepping is thinking alot about who you are and how you will adapt to any scenario.
Think about that while you go through today.
(c) Double Nickel Farm

* I am not a doctor, so kehp in mind that one needs to live a balanced lifestyle to encompass exercise, water intake, and monitoring of any current diseases and or medical issues.
** I am not a scientist, just one who began to wondering how obesity has taken hold of children as young as 2...what is in the foods that could cause this?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Goodbye Electric(Internet)

Well the BIG vote is today.

If my family has to carve out $1,700 out of our income to have this insurance...we have to cut elsewhere.(or they will garnish it- you know from the turnip)

Goodbye electric...I have loved what Thomas Edison invented. I really have. sigh.

Which means goodbye Internet. I really love what Al Gore invented(smirk). I really have. sigh

So until then I will try and post as much as possible. It has been hard to reveal how close it is for my family to go closer to the bottom. I guess not. As all the help the president has provided has made it easier to reveal how the working poor are being treated. Remember all these programs are to help folks like me, right? Then why on earth will this impact us so negatively?

What else can I say today? Not much, but I will try and share as much as I have learned on this journey of simplification before lights out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Canned Bananas?

I had a surplus of bananas and wondered what I could do with them. The bananas were pretty old and I thought we may just end up giving the bananas to the chickens. Fortunately I found a recipe on line that I used to can banana butter. Turns out we really like it!

16 medium sized bananas-very ripe

very ripe bananas!
1/2 cup pear juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 cups granulated sugar
1 TBSP unsalted butter
1(3oz)pkg of powdered pectin
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1tsp ground cloves

Step 1
Peel bananas and mash them in a large pot. Add pear juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, stirring constantly. Simmer 30 minutes.

Step 2
Run the banana mixture through a sieve. Return the banana mixture to the pan. Now you want to add the butter, and seasonings. Stir until blended. Add lemon juice, and sugar. Bring the mixture back to boil, stirring constantly. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the pectin.

Step 3
Continue stirring and reduce the heat. Stirring is important because you don't want to burn or scorch the mixture. Simmer for another 30 minutes. Be sure to skim off any foam that appears. Mixture will begin to thicken, and become creamy.

Step 4
Water Bath Canner
To preserve the butter by canning, spoon warm butter into sterile canning jars and process 15 minutes(boiling water bath). This will make about 7 half pint jars. Any butter you want to keep can be refrigerated for up to 10 days.
banana butter

A few years ago, I would have tossed bananas that looked like what came from these peels! Who knew what I was missing?How sad was I that I wasted so much food? They look pretty sorry, but in the process of canning the banana butter, we on the farm discovered a new breakfast! Instead of doing anything beyond step one, stop and serve up in cereal bowls. This was so yummy!!

Notes :I ended up canning 4 pints and 1-1/2 pint with this recipe. I exchanged lemon juice with lime juice, and I got pear juice from a can of peaches that were canned in pear juice(it was exactly 1/2 cup).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ultimate Tire Garden

This was my inspiration for beginning a tire garden on my property. I saw it a few years ago in Las Cruces, New Mexico and have been incorporating it on my farm ever since. The local tire shop gladly donates the tires as they then don't pay to dispose of them.

Here is my tire garden early in the season. I made circle rows of tires with a walkway throughout.

Here is calendula...I had an herb garden along one side of my tire garden, and grew many herbs.

This was our surprise tire as we must have sprayed a seed from the cucumber plant into the tomato plant tire!! Both are still producing!

I grew peas in February-May in my tire gardens. Sadly for Bill no pea survived the weeding as the teens and I love raw snap peas off the vine!! Yummy.

I love this picture of my sunflowers in the shadow of an impending storm...quite amazing !!

Here are my green beans. The void spaces between the tires I filled with dirt and rocked it in and planted sunflowers. You can see the leaf of the sunflower to the left.

We even grew corn in the tire gardens. I planted five kernels per tire and most survived to be eaten by the family!

This was my experimental soil. I collected the pine cones that are crumbling and falling apart near the base of pine trees. The are almost all broken apart as you can see. I wanted to see how it would be to grow things in. I will be converting most of my garden to this soil, as it was marvelous!! You can see an onion peeking through.

Our tire garden had to be fenced in because of the varmints. We had no problems because of the fencing, except when I forgot to close the gate and a hen found her way in the garden and pecked one bite out of about ten zucchini and about 20 tomatoes. I wish she would have just ate one!!
Here is a snapshot from June. Ignore the weeds...for this former Ohio girl, I sometimes will take the green where ever I can.

My sharing this post is to let others know that no matter where you live you can have container gardening. If you live in the city for ascetics you may need to primp and paint your tires to have this set up. When time and money permit, I plan on painting the tires and adding the feminine cuteness factor to my garden. For now I just wish to share success! Even though we battled grasshoppers we have had a tremendous turnout from our garden. I am prepping to plant the winter garden in the next few weeks-and have modified some of the tires to three high to make it easier to grow squash and runner plants. The height gives more room than growing into the walking paths.

I know Kymber did a tire garden- did anyone else? Oh and just thought I would mention that my growing season is not over and we still have pumpkins, watermelon, okra, tomatoes, mint, acorn squash, butternut squash, zucchini growing---New Mexico does have an agreeable growing season!!

Some Links
Backwoods home- how to cut the tires and lots of info.
The Greenest Garden-neat link and interesting way to tire garden in cities.
Sustain Lane- great link making a tree ring out of tires.
Permanent raised beds out of tires link.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Often Overlooked

Birthday candles are an item that one often overlooks in prepping. In times of crises having some sense of normalcy is critical.(such as maintaining celebrating birthdays etc)

I have the above kind of candles and a few other varieties. I was reminded of what I have in storage because of this post.

Remember prepping for any situation is a lifestyle adjustment, not something that happens overnight. Steady pace is my mantra to build up the storage and skills that will see me through any crisis!

Happy Birthday to my brother UJ in addition to the person in the link!!
New Mexico Preppers Network Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. New Mexico Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.