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My interests include Amateur Radio, Message Traffic Handling, Disaster Preparedness, Space Weather,

Terrestrial Weather, APRS, Doppler Radio Location Direction Finding,  Emergency Communications, Packet-Radio,

Scottish Kilts, Smoking Pipes, Sustainable Organic Gardening, Composting, Worm Farming, Constitutional Rights,

Food Preservation, Microbiology, Soil Microbiology, Sustainability, Long-Term Food Storage, and much more.

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By Dr. Tamitha Skove

Updated:  09/02/2020

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#108 - Gardening Series Introduction

I have decided to start a garden back up and put my greenhouse back to use once again. I have a very small yard at my current house, so I have to garden a little differently than I have in the past. I know that a lot of other people live in cities and areas where they do not have a very big yard, so I decided to take you along with me on this journey so that perhaps I might be able to help someone else who has a limited garden area see that a garden can be acomplished just about anywhere. I will be using raised beds for my garden and utilizing high-intensity gardening methods to enhance the available harvest in a small garden. I will also be utilizing intercropping techniques where multiple

#107 - Which Canner Do I Need?

When someone is thinking about starting to use home canning to preserve their foods for long-term shelf-stable food storage they typically get overwhelmed with all of the various types of canners and styles available, but let me try to make ait a whole lot easier for you. Let's first start off with the different types of canners, and what makes them different from the others, and what they are used for. Water-Bath Canner The first style of canner we are going to look at is a water-bath canner. This is simply an inexpensive pot, with a rack or wire basket inside the bottom to keep the jars off of the bottom of the pot. They come in several different styles including stainless steel and enamel

# 106 - Can Canning Jars, Bands, and Lids be Reused?

I received a question from someone who noticed on a few of my videos that I use canning jars to store my tobacco in for long-term storage and cellaring. She asked if the jars, bands, and lids can be reused, or if they have to be replaced after each use. Her mother told her that she could only use them one time and had to keep purchasing new ones each time. This is actually a very good question that can cause some confusion because the answer is both yes and no. Basically it depends on what you are wanting to reuse them for, but let's break it down a little more than that so you can understand the theory behind the answers to really understand what is going on. For the jars themselves, absolu

#105 - Counting On Friends or Neighbors After SHTF.

A friend of mine made a comment on Facebook on one of my postings about what they were going to do when the grocery store shelves were bare. He commented that he would just come to my house because I have everything. While this was meant as a joke, it does bring up a very important point that needs to be discussed. After a major SHTF event happens, it is not advisable that you attempt to go to your frends or neighbors house for help for your family, unless this has already been discussed and agreed upon before hand. If you failed to store away food, water and supplies that your family will need after a disaster, and you know that a friend or a neighbor is a "prepper" so you know that they wi

#104 - Dehydrator or Freeze Dryer? What's The Difference? Part 2 - Freeze Dryer

In the last posting I discussed Dehydrators, so this time we are going to talk wbout Freeze Dryers and what makes them so different from the dehydrator that everyone is so used to using in theor homes. Where a dehydrator worked by heating the foods up to high temperatores over a long period of time to force the moisture in the food to evaporate, a freeze dryer accomplishes the same task by doing just the oposite. A freeze dryer takes the food down to a temperature of -30 degrees fahrenheit and once it is at that temperature is creates a very strong vacuum inside the chamber. Once the food has been subjected to the negative pressure of the vacuum the food is then dropped to -50 degrees fahren

#103 - Dehydrator or Freeze Dryer? What's The Difference? Part 1 - Dehydrator

Many people mistakingly believe that there basically is no difference between a food dehydrator and a food freeze dryer. Allow me to clear up some misconceptions that confuse a lot of people. Let's take a look at the food dehydrator first since it is the most common form that many people have used in their homes for many years. When it comes to emergency preparedness, dehydrated food is not considered long-term food storage becuase dehydrated foods only have a shelf-stable lifespan of between 3 to 5 years, depending on the type of food that was dehydrated. Foods that have oils or fat in them have a shorter shelf-life than non-oily or non-fatty foods. The longest that you can safely store deh

#102 - When The Shelves Go Empty, What Are You Going To Do?

Everyone believes that the convenience of being able to simply go to their local grocery store to pick up their food will never go away. But what the do not realize is how intricate the food supply system actually is, and therefore how delicate and suseptible to interruption it is. Grocery stores in your cities and neighborhoods have plenty of foods on their shelves because of one reason, they constantly receive resupply shipments many times a week if not on a daily basis. Throughout the United States grocery stores typically hold about 3-days worth of food. If they are not resupplied, within 3-days their shelves are bare. Here in Hawaii, a typical grocery store will go bare within 2-days wi

#101 - Adding a Freeze Dryer and Dehydrator?

The stainless steel Commercial Grade Food Dehydrator shown below arrived yesterday and I will be putting it to work soon. This upgrade will allow me to dehydrate much more food in the same amount of time and with the same amount of electricity as my smaller Nesco plastic dehydrator allowed, which will save me both time and money. I am also considering purchasing a matching stainless steel Freeze Dryer like the one shown below to go with it. This will keep me from having to purchase cans of freeze-dried meats and ingredients that don't work well just dehydrated. A Freeze Dryer works differently than a dehydrator to accomplish the same task, removing the moisture from foods to create shel-stab

#100 - Why Use A Bucket, and Which One Should I Use?

There seems to be a lot of confusion in the preparedness community over the reasoning for storing your long-term food storage items in buckets. This is an important topic that I want to try to touch on to clear up some confusion about. Vaccuum seal storage bags protect your food from oxygen when used properly, and mylar bags protect your food from both oxygen and light, but they do nothing to protect your food from other dangers. Rodents are a huge danger that we face when trying to protect our food storage. Neither vacuum sealed bags nor mylar bags offer any protection whatsoever against rodants. This is one of the biggest reasons that we tell everyone to store their vacuum sealed or mylar

#99 - Which Storage Method Is Best?

Whether you are using vacuum seal storage bags or mylar storage bags for your long-term food storage, be sure that you are including oxygen absorber pads in the bag, and that you are using the right sized oxygen absorbing pad. Many people have the mistaken belief that vacuum sealing their food with a machine like a FoodSaver removes all of the oxygen from the bag. While it does remove most of the oxygen from inside the bag it does not remove all of it. There will still be small amounts of air trapped in crevices around whatever you have sealed inside the bag. This trapped air inside the vacuum seal bag can still allow the food to deteriorate and spoil. Have you ever vacuum sealed a steak or

#98 - Preparing Dry Bulk Foods for Long-Term Storage

When preparing grains, beans, and legumes to be added to your long-term food storage plan, be sure to place them in the freezer for at least 72-hours to kill any pest and pest eggs which may be included inside the packaging. This freezing method also kills certain types of bacteria. Personally, I freeze mine for a full 7 days. You want to freeze these items at as low of a temperature as you can possibly do, so if you have a deep freeze, utilize that instead of the freezer above your refrigerator. If you have a chest-type freezer, place them as close to the bottom of the freezer as you can where the temperature stays the coldest. But use whatever type of freezer that you have, don't go out an

#97 - What Type of Rice Should I Store?

Ok, I just received a question from someone about storing rice. They wanted to know what kind of rice they should store as part of their long-term storage plans. They received a recommendation from someone else to store brown rice because of its nutritional values and extended shelf-life over white rice and wanted to double check that recommendation. Unfortunately, I have heard this same recommendation from a few others in the preparedness community, but it is completely incorrect. If you were to stock up on brown rice and a disaster or something were to happen and you needed to get into your long-term food storage you would quickly come to the realization that all of your brown rice had pro

#96 - Do It Yourself MRE Meal Packs

When starting to prepare for disasters or emergencies, one of the things that many people think about is stocking up on military MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) packs which contains a shelf-stable meal for one person that does not require refrigeration. Surplus military MRE's are convienent, however they are also expensive, costing on average around $8 to $10 each, plus the cost of shipping. There are even Heater Meals brand versions of the popular MRE's that have come out catering to the civilian market which heat themselves automatically through a chemical reaction once you add water to the heating pouch which average around $12 - $15 each plus the costs of shipping. MRE's are a good option for

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