Monthly Archives: January 2013

How Horrific Will It Be For The Non-Prepper?

You have no doubt had your own set of issues dealing with friends and family members that simply don’t see the writing on the wall. The following article may serve to assist you in convincing those who simply don’t know, don’t want to know, don’t care, or have never even thought to contemplate. Some of the scenarios outlined below may be frightening, as they should be, because when it hits the fan millions of people will be thrown into desperation with no hope of a solution. Be Informed provides a variety of point-by-point details that may (and hopefully will) convince the non-prepared individual to at least insulate themselves with the basic necessities. The consequences for not doing so, as you’ll see, are severe and often deadly.

I have become personally so disenchanted with the way people fail to prep. People still don’t understand how important it is to put away. I have gotten into arguments over this and had cretins call me a fool because I put away food, water, and supplies. I thought about this and the frustration that other preppers have with this laid back idiotic attitude that there is no need for preparation. There are good people that just can’t/won’t start preparing. They have the money to do so, but just don’t want to. Many have only seen what happens to non-preppers on TV, but it still doesn’t make an impact.

In this article I detail some hard core realities to show just how awful it will be for those that don’t prep. Every one of these scenarios is something that has occurred to the non-prepper throughout history. While strong images come to mind, the purpose is to jar some people out of their inaction and into action before it is too late.

Preppers are good people and care much about those around them, and unless something does jar those around them that choose not to prep, their own survival chances could be reduced. For every bit of food, water, ammunition, or supplies you sacrifice to the non-prepper, the fewer irreplaceable supplies are left for you and your family in a crisis situation. It is hoped that the following can help certain people put into TRUE perspective just how horrific it will be for those that don’t prepare.

Here are the awful consequences for those refusing to prep.

As the world continues to decay at multiple facets, the common person has and continues to be lulled into a sense that everything is improving and will continue to for the distant future. After all, to them unemployment has peaked out and will drop until everyone that wants to work will easily be able to find good paying work, North Korea is no threat because all their long range “bottle rockets” fizz out, sanctions will eventually make Iran give up their nuclear program, oil prices will start going down after June or so, Europe will bail out Greece and Spain and everyone else, and U.S. debt will eventually come under control.

After 2012 everyone that has prepared themselves will go back to more “sensible” lives. “Good times are coming”, baseball season is here, let’s get back to watching some more crackerjack news.

It is amazing how people become good conversationalists with most others discussing all the gossip related news, while becoming mentally tranquilized into a totally deceptive state of denial of truly dangerous issues of the times. It’s the blind leading the blind… right off the cliff.

Rather than dealing with harsh reality, people surround themsleves with easy to digest material that can be talked about without directly influencing anyone’s lives. Meaningless chatter. Even for those unwilling to even think to prepare for a societal catastrophic event, there is also no desire to even face the extreme possibility of a sudden loss of one’s employment. A personal SHTF.

Look at some of the terrible personal pain experienced in America right now – and it hasn’t even hit the fan on a grand scale. Those people who have lived it up on credit, who failed to put much of anything away for a rainy day, who’ve lost their job, and who eventually lost their unemployment benefits are experiencing the first level of collapse. This is happening to millions of people in our own country, all around us, as we speak.

These Americans, who once enjoyed the luxuries that modern living had to offer, are now at their wits end, with very little hope for a return to their previous lives. They are no longer able to pay most or any of their bills. Many have to humiliatingly turn to others for help to pay for food, or worse, to obtain old, unhealthy and poor tasting food from locally funded food banks. Their credit cards are totally worthless. Many have been evicted from their homes and have uprooted their families to live either on the street, in tent cities, with relatives, or have been forced to live at homeless shelters, They’ve have had their vehicles repossessed, or simply can’t afford the gasoline anymore. Their living conditions often make it difficult, if not impossible, to look presentable for job interviews. For many, the life of stability they knew just a short while ago is gone, replaced with fear and a constant stress to the point of nervous breakdown.

A personal economic meltdown is confined to the individual or family, or at worst a few families. The human civilization remains intact and so do society’s safety nets.

With food assistance, rental assistance, homesless shelters, and family to turn to, even the most destitute are almost always able to find some sort of help – however menial.

It is no wonder with these known assistance programs, then, that people have forgotten or never thought to consider what happens IF and WHEN human civilization goes through a strong enough SHTF event. If that happens on a mass scale what happens to everyone that needs help that has not prepared ahead of time? What happens when governments are in such total disarray or destroyed altogether that they can’t help even if they wanted to?

The media and others have portrayed the good people that sacrifice much if not all “luxuries” of life to prepare themselves and their family and friends for extreme times, as chicken littles. Those who have made the choice to store up emergency food, water, and other necessities to avoid extreme life threatening risks, including suffering horribly during and after a widespread SHTF event, are laughed at and ridiculed often for “wasting” their lives on delusional paranoia.

But who is delusional? Those who see the signs around them and understand how vulnerable the system is, or those who believe that things never change, that politicians have their best interests at heart, and that if the worst happens the government will be there to provide everything they may need?

How many have considered the dire consequences of their failure to prepare in the event that the infrastructure and everything a country’s people depend on totally collapses?

The misery from long term unemployment and lack of money is like a walk in the park compared to the severe anguish and dangerous conditions that await those who have failed to prepare for the aftermath of a large scale cataclysm. The “minor” problems of unemployment that seem extremely major and painful to most today should serve as a wake up call to what life will be like when something much, much worse happens – when those proverbial safety nets are no longer there to catch us.

Many preppers have become deeply frustrated at those around them, especially those that truly mean something to them, because they simply refuse to put away anything at all for emergencies. The prepper is usually a person that cares a lot and it is often difficult for them to take a tough stance towards the people that they care about. However, unless someone changes the habits of those people that fail to get ready, decisions will need to be made, and they won’t be easy.

The choice of what the prepared prepper should do will boil down to either either adding these people to their own circle or survival group and reduce the group’s safety, supplies and self sufficiency, OR, they will have to let the non-prepper fend for themselves. This is a very personal choice, and each of us will need to decide based on our own morals, ethics and personal relationships.

As a last ditch effort, discussing the following scenarios with the non-prepper may help them understand what life will be like without what has sustained them so comfortably for so long.

This is the hard reality the non prepper needs to understand:

Without power the water company cannot get water to their faucets. Without water dehydration occurs within 24 hours. Dehydration causes much suffering before death.  Toilets in homes, unless they have an incineration toilet that still need power to work, don’t flush without water. Where will they go to the bathroom and then where will they dispose of human waste?

There will be no clean water available anywhere, especially in major cities, and they cannot live more than about three days without it.  Drinking dirty and polluted water will make them incredibly sick and accelerate the dehydration process.  Polluted water must be purified and that means having a good filter, bleach or other disinfectant, or fuel and something to boil water with.

Understand just how fragile the power and the infrastructure is that pumps water to the public. A breakdown in our power infrastructure or a cyber attack against utility systems will render them useless.

A single event can rapidly lead to a cascade of other events that would certainly collapse almost, if not, everything. This is why major snow storms, hurricanes or solar events in the past have affected millions of people in an entire region all at once.

A single, seemingly unimportant event may become quite terrible as its repercussions spread; this can include a far and away disaster.

Understand that the economies of the world are so interwoven that when one major economy falls it affects everyone.

Not having any food in the house means that if the stores are emptied suddenly in a bad enough situation that there will be no food available for a long period of time afterward. Recent history during disasters around the world has shown that stores can literally be emptied in minutes.

Think about how totally horrible the feeling of being very hungry is and what circumstances would cause one to be desperate enough to eat anything.

ALL stores can be closed instantly under martial law.

Understand that you may not be able to purchase anything after it starts, especially with any credit cards.

Understand the complexity of food and water distribution; breaks in these chains can stop anything from getting to the people.

What life will be like if no toilet paper is stored?

Understand that without light sources, the night will be pitch black, often with zero visibility.

There will be no communications, other than probably martial law type of instructions over the radio, that is if they have batteries for the radio.

Other than ham and shortwave radio, any information that is available will be sent out by the government as filtered propaganda that “they” want everyone to hear.  Without power consider what it will be like to not have any heat to stay warm, or air conditioned air to stay cooler – with no way of alleviating the situation.

Travelling will likely be by foot or bicycle, as their will be no fuel and roadways may be blocked.  Realize that ANY travel outside of the home or neighborhood will be extremely dangerous as ANYONE who moves becomes a target.

Non preppers will be pushed way beyond their limit because of lack of supplies.

The non prepper must realize their government does not really care about them individually, that they are a mere number and help will likely not come from them.

They have to figure out somewhere to get food. This can mean wild plants which they must know how to identify as safe, or risk poisoning themselves.

They have to understand that when we refer to “having no food” it doesn’t mean not having the food they are used to enjoying, it means no food to eat at all.

They have to understand that if they are fortunate enough to have any running water, they will probably have to bathe in cold water for lack of stored fuel to heat water.

They have to realize that the very strange and totally unexpected is going to be all around them, made that much worse because of lack of any reliable self defense stores or skills.

They might have to remain on the run constantly because of looking for water and food.

They must understand that bad will be magnified magnitudes to living misery because of lack of food, water, and other necessary items that they took for granted for so long.

Okay, now comes the “truly ugly and unthinkable” life that most, if not all, people that have failed and refused to prepare themselves will deal with. Clear vivid visualization is key here for anyone that ho hums the idea of prepping.

What horrors they will likely face after a cave-in of their nation’s economy, war, geophysical upheaval, or whatever crisis is bad enough to disturb or stop their nation from working and functioning? There are plenty of very potential SHTF events that are simply awaiting a catalyst to trigger them.

  • The Non-Prepper (NP) has to realize right off the bat that 911 and other emergency calls in will be met with silence or some recording telling the caller not to panic.
  • The (NP) that has no reliable self defense that can stop an attacker, will not get help from public services, and will become a victim of rape, assault, torture, or murder.
  • The (NP) that has no reliable self defense and will not only be at the mercy of criminal elements, but also have to contend with many desperate animals, some with rabies.
  • The (NP) that has no food will either have to find food or be ready to beg for food or worse, like sacrificing their bodies or other horrible acts or things to get a bite of food.
  • The (NP) will have to go through the worst, most rancid conditions of garbage to just maybe find what they should have stored up.
  • The (NP) will go through panic and near if not total psychosis looking for any water source right before their bodies begin shutting down during advanced stages of dehydration.
  • The (NP) will go through unbearable trauma when their children and other people around them are crying, screaming, and suffering with intense hunger pains in their stomachs.
  • The (NP) will have to deal with the awful stench of rotting wastes from many sources because they have not taken the effort to even store up waste disposal plastic bags.
  • The (NP) will have disease and pathogens everywhere, not only because they have no trash disposal means, but because they haven’t prepared how to deal with trash and waste.
  • The (NP) will have to live in very primitive conditions after things around them deteriorate rapidly, because they have neglected putting away anything to make life more bearable.
  • The (NP) and those around them will likely develop all sorts of infective skin rashes from the lack of insight of storing up toilet paper. Imagine the smell for a moment.
  • The (NP) will have to handle biting insects and other vermin that will collect amoungst the filth that will pile up. No pest control stored up along with no other supplies.
  • The (NP) will have no way of treating sickness certain to follow a SHTF event, no first aid and likely no training or knowledge about how to treat the ill on top of this.
  • The (NP) will have sick and dying people around them because of not being able to treat minor injuries. Didn’t even stock up on disinfectives. Unsanitary conditions lead to infection.
  • The (NP) and others around them will experience much grief as they watch helplessly as their family members literally die of starvation right in front of their eyes.
  • The (NP) won’t believe how desperate hunger drives them and those that mean everything to them to “trying” to eat food that taste so bad it gags them and comes back up.
  • The (NP) will likely have family and friends around them that have also not prepared committing suicide because they can’t take it any longer.
  • The (NP) will witness some of those people around them lose any sense of civilized humanity in them and behave like wild animals after some time from lack of necessities.
  • The (NP) and family members, maybe friends also, will at some point end up barbecuing or eating raw the family dog, cat, bird, any pet dear to everyone for food.
  • The (NP) will likely get into physical fights with other family members over any scrap of food available as rational thoughts are lost to wanton hunger.
  • The (NP) as many other (NP’s) will eventually go out of any safety of their home looking for food and or water, become disorientated and lost, and die a hard death somewhere.
  • The (NP) that is “lucky” enough to find some government help will likely have to almost sell their soul, probably all their freedom, to get tiny rations – just enough to keep them alive.
  • The (NP) will see widespread violence and barbarism that will shock them to the core and will wish that they had purchased some form of firearm and stocked up on ammunition.
  • The (NP) better get used to attempting to explain the children and other adults why they wasted all that money on junk, and didn’t buy any emergency food and other supplies.
  • The (NP), no matter how positive they are will drop quickly into depression and lose willpower as having nothing to hold on to does this, along with lack of any nutrition.
  • The (NP) will feel the worst guilt imaginable as they hear their family moaning in anguish from lack of anything to eat, knowing they could have done something to prepare.
  • The (NP) will most likely not see the rebuilding and recovery after A SHTF event. They will, like almost all NP’s, be statistics. Some will die hours or a day before help arrives.
  • The (NP) from lack of food, drinking bad water, no light at night, the horrid smells, no good self defense, the overall horror, will often be paralyzed with fear and despair, blank stare.
  • The (NP) is totally helpless after SHTF, will have to rely totally on charity of those prepared to live. They will take all sorts of desperate measures likely to get them shot. They’ll attempt to eat hazardous foods like an animal trapped in a house will do, and get sick and suffer much before dying.
  • The (NP) will likely die (ugly and hard) as they lived, unprepared for anything.

If we were to use one single word to describe the torments that someone who “chooses” not to prepare will go through after a true you know what hits the fan it would be “PREVENTABLE”.

Almost every single person, even a very poor person, has the capacity to put away emergency food and supplies. Even homeless people have stashes of something just in case things become so bad that the normal hand outs and thrown-away items dry up. Many people with good sources of income don’t even have an extra can of food or any water put away at all. This is stupidity beyond words.

Every day lightweight disasters happen in all parts of the world that disturb services enough that people are confined to their homes for a certain amount of time. While recovery is short, people are still uncomfortable during these times. Look what happens after a power outage at night and you will be mystified at how many homes are completely dark for hours. People have not even bought an extra couple of candles or any battery operated light sources. Even in well-to-do neighborhoods you may hear only a lone generator going after a blackout. This lack of preparedness is truly frightening and plays itself out again, again, and again every time services are disrupted for minor to major reasons. It’s as if there is something wrong with storing extra food, water, and supplies.

Even after “lessons” played out to what happens to those non-prepared, most people still feel that it just cannot happen to them, or won’t ever happen to them again. It should be proof enough to people what happens to those unprepared after disasters simply by looking at those that have gone through it firsthand. The difference, though, comes in that these disasters have had recovery periods and help from others. Even Haiti received some help and conditions remain putrid over there.

After a TRUE SHTF, it is presumable that government help and others coming to the aid of those in need WON’T happen for long periods of time. During that time those that have chosen to not put food, water, and necessities away are going to be in life threatening positions. Most people just don’t get that when the supermarket shelves are empty they will stay that way for an extended period. When the utilities go down, especially water, it may be weeks, months, or longer before they come back, if ever. Without what someone needs to survive each day, it is not going to magically appear, and depending on the goodwill of others to feed them and sacrifice their own family’s survival chances is a terrible choice.

People MUST know what life will be like after SHTF in mega fashion if they refuse to prepare. This is NOT new. Terrible events have plunged people into the deepest levels of desperation and hopelessness, and they will happen again and again.

While the above consequences to the non-prepper are extremely abysmal for anyone to read, the simple fact of the matter is they have already happened time and time again to those that have nothing put away. People have resorted to cannibalism and gone to levels of primitive savage behavior out of shear desperation and out of literally losing their minds to the physical depletion of food and water that keeps the physical body operating. Sometimes showing the extreme severity and results of a person’s lack of action, such as failure of the simple act of putting away extra food, water, and supplies, can be the kick in the complacency that they need.

It’s really easy to put away food and supplies. All one has to do is add a little bit of extra food to the grocery cart for long-term storage. Over time this adds up to a well stocked pantry of supplies.

There is something that is in a can of food that everyone can eat and enjoy the taste of, so talk to family members about their nutritional preferences and start stocking up. Toilet paper and other supplies that really don’t have any expiration date can be put away and forgotten about ’til needed.

There MUST be common sense and intelligence to see what happens IF they don’t stock up for the future. There has to be the DESIRE to get started, and this is the real problem with so many.

Once started, however, prepping becomes a type of life saving routine or positive lifestyle habit. It is easy and can and will save one from misery. It may save their life and the lives of their family from ruin when SHTF, which is almost inevitably going to happen someday. Every month and year that goes by without a true SHTF event, makes it more likely that it will happen. Basic statistical chance shows this to be the case, but people continue the same pattern of behavior that has led them to the same devastation countless time before.

For those preppers that have people around them that refuse to prepare, you can at least have some degree of solace knowing that you tried to show the non-prepping person(s) what not having anything will mean to them and their families.

All we can do is try. Once we’ve given it our best shot, all we can do is let those who have been warned about the direness of the possibilities live their lives the way that want to. They will, unfortunately, live in a world of regret and suffering if the nation and the world falls apart around them.

To every action there is an opposite equal reaction. Preppers will see their efforts have been more than worth it. Objects that are motionless tend to remain motionless and non-preppers will find there are horrific consequences for their lack of effort and motion to put away “life insurance” preps for themselves and their families.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

via:  Mac Slavo

Ways to Naturally Make Yeast

Where would we be without the discovery of yeast? Fresh, puffy bread would be non-existent, and need I not mention the fact that beer, wine and alcohol products would cease to exist. Of course, all yeasts were not created equal. Some yeasts are made for making bread and baked goods, and some yeasts are made for distilling spirits.

Knowing ways of making this essential prep would be beneficial to anyone trying to live off of the food supply they have. Grains, vegetables and fruits are three of the easiest ways to find yeast. Some have even used herbs to get their yeast.

How Does It Work?

Did you know that yeast is actually alive on plants? As long as it has warmth, moisture, and food to grow, it will stay alive. Fruits, vegetables, herbs, and all edible sources have yeast living on it’s surface.

As a result, using different produce will add to the flavor of the bread you make. Simply by soaking the produce in water, you can separate the yeast and use the water it is floating in. The water and yeast actually start the fermentation process that when mixed with flours creates that desirable baked good we love so much. This fermented concoction is also called a bread starter by some.

By using this method, however much water the recipe calls for is how much water to soak the fruit, vegetable, herb or grain in. Those that have used this method rave about raisins as being one of the best fruits to use for acquiring yeast.


In the book, The Little House Cookbook, Ma Ingalls explains how she ferments her bread dough using what she has on hand,”You start it by putting some flour and warm water in a jar and letting it stand till it sours…”Then you use it, always a little. And put in the scraps of biscuit dough…and add warm water, and cover it and just set it in a warm place.”

Because yeast is already present on grains, when combined with water, the yeast will separate from the grain. As a result of the soaking process, the combination will begin to ferment.

To create this starter you will need:

1 1/4 unbleached all-purpose white flour

1 cup of warm water

Glass jar with lid or piece of cheesecloth

Mix flour and water in the jar and let stand until the batter bubbles and rises. This may take anywhere

from overnight to a week!


Wild yeast naturally lives on potatoes as well, making this a popular choice for making alchols, such as vodka. According to the article,”Home Made Yeast: Making and Using Yeast For Bread,” the author states that using potatoes to make yeast starters dates back to 4,000 B.C.!

Yeast Starter 1

one medium potato (peeled)

4 cups water

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

Boil potato in the unsalted water until done. Drain, but save the water. Mash potato then add sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm, add enough potato water to make one quart of mixture. Cover and set in a warm place and let ferment. If you like, you can add a package of store bought yeast to speed up the process, but it will be just as good if allowed to ferment without the yeast. This recipe is about right for a large family requiring more than one loaf at a baking.

Yeast Starter 2

one potato (about the size of a large hen egg)

3/4 cup potato water

2 Tbsp. sugar


Boil potato, drain and save potato water (unsalted). Mash potato well, and then add potato water, sugar and enough flour to make a fairly stiff batter or soft dough. Keep in a warm place until well fermented.

Then put in a wide mouth jar and cover loosely–never use a tight fitting lid. In about five or six days it should be ready. Old-fashioned Light Bread from Everlasting Yeast Starter. In order to make bread from the starter first set the sponge. To do this, use the following ingredients:

Yeast Starter 3

1-1/2 cups potato water or sweet milk

1 Tbsp. sugar


Get a large bowl and put the starter, potato water or sweet milk (heated to a little more than lukewarm), sugar and enough flour to make a stiff batter. Beat well, cover loosely and set over night in a warm place.

The next morning the mixture should be nice and bubbly. If it isn’t, no use going any further. You’ll have a flop!

If the sponge is bubbly, take out of this mixture the starter you want to keep for the next time you make bread. Put it in a wide mouth jar and Put in refrigerator. You’ll probably want a lid on it because the odor will transfer to other foods but don’t put it on too tightly.

Fruit Yeasts

Many fruits can be used to make yeast for bread. Oranges, apples, grapefruits, grapes and even dried raisins all have traces of yeast on them. Using yeasts from fruits will create different flavors to the breads that you make. Skins of fruit can be used as well as cores of apples and even tomatoes. The only fruits that should be avoided are kiwi, pineapple and papaya. These fruits contain actinidin, an enzyme that breaks the dough down and it creates a sticky mess.

3-4 tbls. raisins (or any fresh or dried fruit), bottled water, clean jar

Place raisins in clean jar and pour bottled water into the jar until it is 80% full. Loosely cover the jar and leave at room temperature. This process should take a few days. You will notice small bubbles and “activity” occurring inside the jar. At this point, all the raisins should be floating at the top. The jar should smell like wine. Once it is done, store in the refrigerator.

Tip: Adding 1-2 tbls. of honey or sugar to your mixture speeds up the fermenting process and leads to a better result.

Potato Flake Sourdough Starter

This sourdough recipe is similar to the Amish Friendship Bread and is a really yummy starter that you feed like you do other sourdough. (For those of you who have the Dining on a Dime Cookbook, you can find this recipe on page 88.) These starters are fun to start and I have done them off and on over the years but, I must warn you, you must not become emotionally attached to them!

I’m afraid I treated mine too much like a family member. I even called him Herman. I got quite stressed if I forgot to feed him. Then, if I didn’t get a chance to bake him I felt so guilty if I had to throw part of him away. When I really couldn’t use him anymore, what was I to do with him? Should I let him die a slow death in the fridge or throw him in the trash to die an even more cruel death. I really was torn. : ) : )

Ever since I had to kill my first Herman, I haven’t had many others. It was too emotionally exhausting for me. Now you know I have gone off the deep end.

This recipe can be used to make not only bread and cinnamon rolls but also dinner rolls and pizza dough.


1 pkg. or 1 Tbsp. yeast
1 cup warm water (110°-115°)
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. instant potato flakes

To make starter:

Mix starter ingredients in a glass jar or container. Cover loosely and let stand 24 hours at room temperature. Put in the refrigerator for three to five days. On the fourth day, feed it with 1/2 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons potato flakes and 1 cup water. Stir and keep at room temperature for 24 hours. You will use 1 cup of the starter to make the bread. Store remaining starter in the refrigerator and feed every four days. (If you don’t make bread, discard 1 cup starter at each feeding.)


1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups warm water (110°-115°)
1 Tbsp. salt
1 cup starter
6 cups flour

To make bread:

Stir together all the ingredients except flour in a 4-quart mixing bowl. Add flour a little at a time to the other ingredients, mixing well. Knead 5 minutes. Put dough into a large, greased bowl. Turn dough to grease the top. Cover bowl with aluminum foil. Let rise at room temperature overnight for at least 8 hours. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a floured board and knead. Divide into 3 parts and shape into loaves. Put into 3 greased loaf pans*. Brush tops with oil. Cover with a paper towel and let rise 4-5 hours longer. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes. Brush with butter and remove from pan. Cool and keep covered. Cinnamon rolls, pizza dough and rolls can also be made with this dough. Makes 3 loaves.

*If you don’t have 3 loaf pans, place in 2 pans and make the rest of the dough into rolls or cinnamon rolls.

Without yeast, our lives would be void of many of our day-to-day products. Getting back to the basics and learning how to make yeast yourself will give you an invaluable skill to hold onto and share with others. Using different produce such as oranges, potatoes, herbs and grains is not only a great science experiment, but a way for you to play around with the flavors of your favorite bread recipes.

via:  readynutrition

Food Scarcity: A Ticking Time Bomb

According to the United Nations, world grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a major hunger crisis.

Check the labels on the food you buy the next time you’re in the supermarket; you’ll see that it has traveled a long way to get to you. The sad truth is that the majority of food products we buy are not produced locally. They came from countries such as China, Taiwan, Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Italy. This has significant consequences for us because it makes us dependent on these foreign countries.

If we don’t purchase our food locally, then we must rely on the world’s economic stability and the food transport chain sustaining us. As the price of fuel goes up, the price of food goes up along with it. Wages don’t go up at the same rate as inflation, so people must sacrifice in other areas just to buy food.

An alarming 17.2 million households are on food stamps right now. What good are food stamps if there is no food to purchase? These food shortages will be so extreme that the government won’t be able to bail out anyone. The food simply will not be available.

We Have Hunger in America

Fourteen million children in the United States already go to bed hungry every night. Families can’t pay their bills, and they have stopped spending money. This causes a domino effect in which businesses will be forced to lay off workers. Without enough jobs, food will be the greatest currency we have. If we have bulk food stored away, we can barter with it if necessary. In a time of crisis, food will be more important than money.

When the shortages hit our hometown grocery stores and we are paying double or triple for food, we will wish we had listened and squirreled away some extra food for hard times. This is why it is so extremely important to obtain a stockpile of bulk food. We can rely only on our own stockpiles.

Prepare For The Coming Food Shortage By Stockpiling Food

Grow your own food: You can do this in a very small space. I have heard of people growing enough food to feed their families on their balcony in an apartment. You need to get non-GMO seeds (those that are not genetically modified) so you can grow your own food and save the seeds each year. Learn how to bottle, dehydrate and preserve the food that you grow.

Buy locally grown food: We all need to know where we can get locally grown food. If you support local farmers, then they will not be forced to export their food to other countries in order to survive. Having good relationships with food suppliers is an asset in hard times. You can add to your own garden food by purchasing extra items from the farmers.

Stock up on food: You absolutely must start to stockpile reserves of food for your family. Fall is a great time to stock up on extra food because there are case lot sales going on in the supermarkets. Fresh apples, potatoes, onions, carrots and winter squash are available and can be purchased to stock up for the winter. Store these fresh foods in a cool place so they keep well.

The most important foods you should stockpile are things that have a long shelf life.

Foods That Store Well

  • Canned foods such as vegetables, fruits, meats, soups, juices.
  • Whole grains and rice (non-GMO).
  • Dried beans and legumes.
  • Pastas and cereals.
  • Dried foods such as powdered milk, dried eggs and dried cheese.
  • Dried fruits and vegetables.
  • Herbs, spices and seasonings.
  • Honey and other sweeteners.
  • Baking items like baking powder, soda, yeast and salt.
  • Olive oil stores the longest.
  • Water (1-gallon per person per day).

Non-Food Items To Store

Ready-To-Eat Meals (Just Add Water)

An emergency could last from three days to three months. I believe we need to have quick, easy meals that don’t require much effort to make. There are several companies selling premade meals. Meals that have all the ingredients in them and you just add water and cook them for 15 minutes. I especially like the ones called Go Foods. The name stands for On The Go Foods for families. The things I like the most about these meals are that they are healthy, quick to fix (15 minutes), and the shelf life is 15 to 25 years. There are no chemicals, additives, preservatives, dyes, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, GMO foods or MSG in their meals or food items.

Via: personalliberty

Root Cellar

We decided that our little farm needed a root cellar to store our produce in.  For those unfamiliar with the term, a root cellar is an underground room that acts like a natural refrigerator, maintaining temperatures in the mid 30’s F in the winter and mid 50’s in the summer.
Step one:  Dig a hole in the ground.  We are fortunate to have a local gravedigger who is a real artist with a backhoe. He can carve a hole with straight sides almost within an inch of what you ask for.

Step two, pour a concrete footer. Then start laying blocks.  About 320 went into this 8 x 8 foot cellar.

Almost finished here.  Now, for the fun part, pouring a concrete roof.  A simple flat slab wouldn’t do, for you want condensation to run off to the sides.  So, I created a plywood from with an arched top.  The arch would also create a stronger roof.  It also created a very strong form.

I built the form in the shop, then dismantled it.
The arches are 1/2 inch plywood pressed into dadoed grooves in the 2×4’s.  This created an extremely strong structure.

 Satisfied with the form I reassembled it on the root cellar walls.

A nice snug fit, supported by 3 vertical 2×4’s on each side. (Not shown in the picture are 8 pieces of 1/2″ plywood  approximately 6″ x 23″. These were installed after the plywood sheets were added.  They are used as extra reinforcing ribs by wedging them between the plywood sheets and the top of the 2×4’s.)  Next, the plywood, a sheet of plastic and lots of 1/2 rebar.  Lots of rebar.  Rebar is cheap, so why not?  If this were a flat 4 inch slab, the calculated load rating is around 250 pounds/square foot.  More then enough. But it is arched, and up to 5 inches thick. Also the rebar extends into the walls a foot, and are cemented in place. Not sure what the load rating is now, but it is certainly more than adequate.

18 half inch rebars on 8 inch centers. Strong enough!
Next, add a perimeter to the form and pour concrete.  About 4,000 pounds worth. I expected at least a little deformation of my form, for all that weight was being borne by my 5 arches,  but there was none!  Impressive.
Not taking any chances, I did not enter the cellar  until I was confident the concrete was fully cured.
Removing the form from inside was not difficult, for it was designed for easy disassembly and re-use.

A view of the top before the entrance was completed and the cellar covered with 2 feet of earth.  The wood at the rear is covering the ends of the rebar to prevent injury.  They will be part of the reinforcement for the entrance-way.
I poured the roof in 3 sections, for that is the most concrete I can handle working alone. The seams are nearly invisible from below, and are waterproof.  It was not difficult creating the arch in the top using standard concrete. The radius of the top arch is about 6 inches larger than below.

The arched ceiling is as glossy as a counter top, thanks to the plastic sheet I laid over the plywood.
See light reflecting off ceiling in picture below left.
    Below Right: Add stairs and doors at top and bottom, and you have a fine root cellar, ready for lots of fruits and vegetables.  Currently we are storing apples, carrots and potatoes, and we are pleased with the results.
One of the two 4 inch vents can be seen in the corner.  The other is in the opposite corner.

To save labor and materials, I built the stairway with half of it on a foundation at the floor level, and the other half of the foundation just below the frost line.  I felt that digging the entire stairwell to the floor level would have just created a large inaccessible space.

This project took a few months of evenings after work over the summer. It was cooler then, and the mortar did not dry too fast.  All concrete and mortar, about 8,000 pounds in all, was either mixed with a small mixer, or by hand.

Here is a drawing of the block layout.  In order to center my stairwell, I had to cut some blocks into two pieces, a 12 inch piece, and a 4 inch piece.  That is because my interior width is 88 inches.  If you make your width 96 inches, you will not have to do this.  A wet tile saw cuts through concrete blocks with ease.  I have used mine to cut many blocks, including the angled pieces that form the arched tops of the walls.  Since the saw can only cut about 1/2 inch deep, you make a cut on each side.  The blocks will easily split then by driving a chisel into the cut.  Make gentle taps, while moving the chisel along the cut and they will break cleanly.  You can see how good the cuts are in the pictures of the walls before the roof was poured.

Here is a picture of a very similar cellar.  He used a higher arch, which is something I would do if I had to do it all over again, for condensation does not readily run to the sides of my flatter arch.  He was very conservative and used 28 vertical supports. I used only 6.  His roof weighed 5,000 pounds wet vs. my 4,000 pounds, therefore his supports were holding only 250 pounds each, while mine were holding 670 pounds.  However, his ceiling was much higher than mine, and his 96 inch supports would be more prone to bending under the load than my 65 inch supports. His wood arches are on 16 inch centers, while mine are on 24 inch centers. However, I have a “backbone” made from a 2×4 running along the top, and 2 rows of plywood rectangles fitted in between my wood arches.  He tarred his sides, I did not.  To tar or not is determined by how wet your ground is.

via:  robertchristine

Pemmican: The Original MRE

Invented by the natives of North America, pemmican is the original MRE.

Pemmican was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers as an instant, ready-to-eat, high-energy food. It was light, compact and high in protein, good carbohydrates, and sustaining fats.

Given the incredible amount of concentrated nutrients and calories, pemmican would be a fantastic addition to any bug-out bag.

Based on personal experience, pemmican is very sustaining and I found it far superior to any MRE or other trail food out there. It not only provides a lot of energy in a small package, it will also keep for many years.

In this article, I’ll be showing you how you can make your own pemmican.

How to make pemmican

Traditional pemmican is very simple to make:

What you’ll need:

  • lean meat (beef, venison etc)
  • raw beef fat (I get this for free from my local grocer’s butcher)
  • (optional) berries (blueberries, cherries (no pits), cranberries etc)

Making pemmican step by step:

Pemmican is a combination of rendered animal fat, pulverized dehydrated meats, and if desired some dried fruits. Here’s the process:

Step 1: Dehydrate the meat and berries

Cut up the meat into thin slices and place the meat and berries on drying racks
Dehydrate until the meat and berries are brittle and break when bent (not rubbery)

In the photo above I used my home dehydrator. In college, since I didn’t have one, we would simply sandwich the meat and berries between two window screens and set them out in the sun to dry for a day or two. It was just as effective.

Step 2: Render the fat

For the fat portion of pemmican, you can use tallow (rendered beef or mutton fat) or lard (rendered pork fat). There are multiple methods of rendering your fat. Here’s the three most common (with my favorite being the Crockpot method) (I’ll be rendering beef fat in this example):

Method 1: How to render fat in a Crockpot

  1. Cut up your fat in small pieces and place the fat into the crockpot.
  2. Set the crock pot on low heat.
  3. Cook until you’re left with mostly clear or golden liquid (they’ll be bits of hardened stuff on top).
  4. Remove from heat and strain into a mason jar through a metal strainer lined with a coffee filter, paper towel or cheesecloth.

Method 2: How to render fat on the stovetop

  1. Grind or chop up fat in a blender/food-processor/meat-grinder
  2. Place a pan on the stove and add the ground fat.
  3. Set the heat on the lowest possible setting. Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally.
  4. Cook until you’re left with mostly clear or golden liquid with bits of hardened stuff on top.
  5. Remove from heat and strain into a mason jar through a metal strainer lined with a coffee filter, paper towel or cheesecloth.

Method 3: How to Render fat in the oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Cut up your fat in small pieces and place the fat onto a pan into the oven
  3. Cook until you’re left with mostly clear or golden liquid with bits of hardened stuff on top.
  4. Remove from heat and strain into a mason jar through a metal strainer lined with a coffee filter, paper towel or cheesecloth.

Step 3: Combine the ingredients

After dehydrating the berries and meat and rendering the fat you’ll be left with the following:

Before you can combine the ingredients though, you’ll need to shred the berries and the meat. In the old days they’d pound it with a rock to turn it into a “powder”. In our days a blender is a lot easier:

Blending the meat and berries:

  • Throw the meat into a blender or food processor and blend until it turns to a fluffy consistency
  • Repeat with the berries

Now look at the ingredients:

After you’ve dried/shredded your meat and fruit and rendered your fat, simply combine the ingredients as follow:

Pour the liquid rendered fat over the meat/berries until it becomes somewhat saturated (if your fat has already turned to a solid, be sure to slowly heat it until it turns back to liquid before doing this step).


You’ll want to combine enough of the liquid fat over the meat/berry combination until it is saturated

You’ll know when it is saturated enough when you can easily form a ball and it doesn’t crumble apart:

Some final comments if you don’t like all the fat

If you dislike the idea of using animal fat as a binder you can replace it with honey instead. It will keep for a long, long time just as normal pemmican will.

Just keep adding honey to the dried, shredded meat and berries until it binds enough to form it into a ball shape.

Although this option is a lot more tasty, personally I don’t like the sugar rush (and resulting crash) I get when eating this while out in the bush or on the trail.

Using fat as a binder seems to provide a lot more stable of energy throughout the day, but another option that seems to work is Peanut-butter.

For a little extra fiber try adding oats or other things.

Via: tacticalintelligence

How to Detox Your Home Naturally, 7 Ways

Researchers now say indoor air can be 10 times more polluted than the air outdoors. This is due to the many toxic products we have in our homes, such as formaldehyde and benzene released from furniture, rugs, plastic and paints. These products can then trigger headaches, fatigue, wheezing, allergic reactions, or a blue mood. Many people are buying air purifiers but not only are they costly to buy but they use electricity – another cost.

Of course eliminating products that out gas and using no VOC paint products is the best way to start. However, there are many natural ways to address the problems which are decorative as well as effective:


In Korea, you notice bamboo is used everywhere to clean the air. Not bamboo as a stalk in its green state. When bamboo is baked at ultra-high temperatures, it turns into absorbent charcoal. This charcoal becomes an odor magnet which then draws in bad odors and also hazardous chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia. People in Korea, as well as China and Japan have used bamboo in briquette form for hundreds of years to eliminate odors from kitchens, bathrooms, closets, shoes, etc. When I stepped into any school or business in Seoul, I always noticed large chunks of this kind of bamboo. Also whenever I purchased a green plant, a piece was stuck into the pot – perhaps making it doubly effective.

2) A SALT CRYSTAL LAMP – (see photo below)

When the salt gets heated by the low wattage bulb, salt crystals are released into the air and attach to impurities, weighing them down so they cannot circulate and you will not breathe them in. It will also neutralize pollutants and toxins, and it offers light therapy. I do find the glow very soothing – so perhaps that is light therapy at work. There are no longer any dust bunnies under my bed – and I am no longer aware of the endless amount of dust that used to float about in every ray of sunlight.

3) CINNAMON – (see photo below)

The photo that you will see is of real cinnamon. Unfortunately what we buy here in the USA is not real cinnamon – just something that looks a bit like it in quill form. It’s hard to say if the results will be the same. Studies show that the scent of cinnamon reduces fatigue, makes you feel happier, and increases your attention span. Simmer 1-2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon in a pan of water and the whole house will smell fresh and clean. Those scented air fresheners on the market actually create toxic air by releasing dozens of chemicals as well as carcinogens. Sometimes, I have to supplement heat on extra cold days by using a portable heater. On the top I put a pot of water, and crush a cinnamon quill (one is enough) and it does smell delightful!

True cinnamon quills

cinnamon quills from Sri Lanka

Source: photo by: BkCreative


Only real beeswax will do, and they should be made from 100% natural beeswax. Regular candles on the market are often made solely from paraffin with added chemical scents; this then adds smoke and toxins to the air – whereas the beeswax literally cleans the air by producing pollution clearing negative ions (like the salt crystal lamp). The initial cost may be higher but then they last five times longer. Make sure it says 100% beeswax on the label.


My cat loved my cactus. She would regularly rub against it – making it a great backscratcher or cat-scratcher. Scientist in Switzerland have discovered that employees who suffer from tiredness and headaches feel more energized if a cactus is placed near their monitors. It is thought that cacti have compounds that counter the effects of electromagnetic pollution and radiation emitted from the screen.


Once again it is the negative ions at play (or work), like the salt crystal lamp and the beeswax candles. The water fountain will wash away airborne germs. The flowing water will release negative ions – air molecules that have broken apart, that then attach themselves to air pollutants dragging them down so you cannot breathe them in. Researchers say the fountains are so effective at cleaning air – they work as well as a HEPA filter.


I think the most popular and most commonly used air cleaner is the house plant. Some work better than others. NASA scientists have found that houseplants, like spider plants, and flowers like mums and gerbera daisies can remove up to 87% of toxic indoor air all in one day; this includes carbon monoxide and cigarette smoke. Plants naturally have a built in filtration system that suck in hazardous particles and then neutralize them. Rooms with plants are said to contain half the amount of airborne microbes as rooms that do not have plants.

For much polluted environment like in New York City, I need all the help I can get and so far the items I have used I think have made a difference, e.g. plants, salt crystal lamp, and cinnamon.

Via: bkcreative

Make your Own Herbal Decongestant Salve

Most of us are familiar with the chest rub that comes in the little blue bottle.

You know…the super popular over-the-counter treatment for symptoms of cough and congestion!?!

But did you also know that it’s made — just as many commercially-prepared cosmetics — in a base of petroleum with too many artificial additives and chemicals?

For those who desire to steer clear of these types of ingredients, learning to make this common cold and flu remedy may come in handy this fall and winter.

Herbs with Decongestant Properties

The start of a cold usually includes a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, lethargy (the feeling of tiredness), muscle aches, headache, and possible fever.

In my house, as soon as any of us start showing signs of these type of symptoms…I immediately start administering frequent doses of vitamin C, my homemade elderberry syrup, and my herbal cold care capsules.

I also reach for herbs — those that have for centuries been known to possess powerful decongestant properties.

Herbs such as:

  • peppermint
  • eucalyptus
  • thyme

When combined into a salve, these herbs produce an amazingly effective alternative to the other stuff you can buy on the store shelves.

Herbal Decongestant Salve


-4 ounces good quality organic olive oil infused with dried organic peppermint leaf and eucalyptus leaf
-1/2-1 ounce beeswax
-1 teaspoon of each essential oils: eucalyptus, peppermint, thyme, and clove bud

Note: See this salve making video tutorial for additional information.

1. Prepare your herb-infused olive oil. Note: Follow the instructions for making herb-infused oils found in this video tutorial.

2. Using a double boiler or small pot, heat — over low heat – the herb-infused olive oil and beeswax until the wax is completely melted.

3. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.

4. Add the essential oils and stir until well combined.

5. Pour into a small glass mason jar — or these tins if you plan to share this salve with friends and neighbors — and allow to cool completely.

6. This rub is designed for massage application to the chest, back, soles of the feet, under the nose, or temples.

7. Store in a cool, dark place (your medicine cabinet is perfect). It should keep for at least a year. Add a bit of vitamin E and it may stay fresh for up to 5 years.

Relax and inhale deeply.

Please remember: That any time someone — especially a child – struggles to breathe, it should be considered a medical emergency and he/she should be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible.

Where Can I Get This Stuff?

Mountain Rose Herbs…they have everything (dried herbs, essential oils, and the cute little tins) you’ll need for this remedy! It’s your one-stop-shop!

The Bulk Herb Store also carries many of these ingredients if you’d like to price check.

Purchase beeswax by clicking this link.

Via: frugallysustainable

New Evidence on Expiration Dates for Drugs

Over the years, many have expressed opinions on the bogus nature of the expiration dates stamped on medications in pill or capsule form. They have cited the findings of the Shelf Life Extension Program, a program meant to investigate the possible usefulness of the millions of doses of various expired medications stockpiled by FEMA for use in peacetime disasters.

In an article, “The Truth About Expiration Dates” 2 years ago, It indicated these findings were no longer available to the public. Now, a breakthrough scientific article has been published in the respected journal “The Archives of Internal Medicine”. Below is the article in its entirety, with important sections in bold type:

October 8, 2012 — An analysis of 8 medications indicates that most of the active ingredients they contain were present in adequate amounts decades after the drugs’ expiration dates, according to results from a study published online October 8 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Lee Cantrell, PharmD, from the California Poison Control System, San Diego Division, University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy, and colleagues used liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry to measure the amounts of the active ingredients in the medications. The medicines, which had expired 28 to 40 years ago, were found in a retail pharmacy in their original, unopened packaging.

To meet US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards, an active ingredient must be present in 90% to 110% of the amount indicated on the label. Drug expiration dates are set for 12 to 60 months after production, even though many compounds can persist far longer.

In the new analysis, 12 of the 14 active ingredients persisted in concentrations that were 90% or greater of the amount indicated on the label. These 12 compounds retained their full potency for 336 months (Dr. Bones 28 years) or longer. Eight of them retained potency for at least 480 months (dr. bones: 40 years). Dr. Cantrell’s team was unable to find a standard for homatropine, 1 of the 15 ingredients.

Only aspirin and amphetamine fell below the 90% cutoff. Phenacetin was present at greater than the cutoff in Fiorinal (butalbital, aspirin, caffeine, and codeine phosphate, but was considerably less in Codempiral No. 3. The authors attribute the deficit in Codempiral to conditions that led to preferential degradation of phenacetin because of its amide group, compared with codeine, which is also in Codempiral but is more chemically stable.

Three compounds persisted in greater than 110% of the labeled contents: methaqualone (in Somnafac), meprobamate (in Bamadex), and pentobarbital (in Nebralin). These relatively high amounts may reflect degradation of other components of the compounded drug, the fact that the samples were produced before FDA-instituted quality control measures in 1963, or inconsistencies of the analytical techniques between when the drugs were compounded and now. The new findings are consistent with the efforts of the Shelf-Life Extension Program, which has extended the expiration dates on 88% of 122 drugs tested so far. Extensions range from 66 to 278 months.

“Our results support the effectiveness of broadly extending expiration dates for many drugs,” the researchers conclude. They also point out that extending shelf life can significantly lower costs to consumers.
Limitations of the analysis, the investigators write, include an inability to confirm the storage conditions of the drug samples, as well as imprecise dating of the samples. The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

JAMA Network | Archives of Internal Medicine | Stability of Active Ingredients in Long-Expired Prescription Medications

For the preparedness community, this information is very important, as it lends credence to what I have been telling you all along: Get your medical supplies together, and don’t throw out drugs in pill or capsule form just because they have passed their expiration dates. We are anxiously awaiting lists of the 122 drugs that the Shelf Life Extension Program has tested, but you can expect them to be medications that will be useful in the aftermath of a catastrophe.

Dr. Bones

Are you prepared to deal with medical issues when help is NOT on the way? “The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook” is 440 pages of medical knowledge written in plain English; put it in your survival library!

Here’s the trailer: SURVIVAL MEDICINE HANDBOOK – YouTube


Via: doomandbloom

Composting Toilet Plans

Use our free composting toilet plans to build a functional compost toilet, and start turning your waste into homemade garden fertilizer today!

The following plans will help you build a composting toilet that is odorless, incredibly easy to use, fully-functional, and portable. That last point is probably one of the most common reasons why people build a composting toilet in the first place; they’re looking for an inexpensive way to dispose of human excrement in a remote location (e.g. cottage or cabin).

Before You Begin Building…

Before you start tackling these composting toilet plans, we want to give you a heads up about a few things.

First, in order to use this composting toilet properly, you’re going to need an outdoor composting bin system. We’re going to go into more details about this system on the following pages, however, we wanted to introduce the topic early on in these plans.

Second, these composting toilet plans call for the use of cover materials. Cover materials are just that, they are the materials you will use to cover your waste once you have used your toilet. A variety of materials can be used for cover, including sawdust, peat moss, cured compost, leaf mold, and/or rice husks.

An ideal cover material is highly biologically active (i.e. high in microbial activity). The more active this material, the better it will be at absorbing odors from your compost toilet. Please note that we do not recommend sawdust from woodworking shops, since this material is completely dry and devoid of biological activity. Instead, when we say sawdust, we are referring to the waste product from sawmills. This type of saw dust is still moist, rich in microbes, and partially decomposed; all of which make it a great cover material.

What You’ll Need

To successfully use these composting toilet plans, you will need the following materials:

  • Source of cover material (see important notes above)
  • 4 identical 5-gallon buckets
  • 1 18″x18″ piece of 3/4″ AC fir plywood
  • 1 18″x3″ piece of 3/4″ AC fir plywood
  • 2 10″x18″ pieces of 3/4″ AC fir plywood
  • 2 10″x19.5″ pieces of 3/4″ AC fir plywood
  • 4 3″x12″ piece of 3/4″ AC fir plywood
  • 2 metal hinges
  • 1 standard toilet seat
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • 30+ 1-1/2 screws
  • Wood glue

What is AC fir plywood?

Softwood comes in a variety of grades (A through D). Each side of the wood is graded according to the number and severity of knots, splits, and other defects. Grade A is the best, whereas Grade D is the worst. So in this instance we are recommending one side of the plywood be Grade A (the fir side), and the other side be Grade C. This is one of the most common grades of fir plywood, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding it.


Step 1

Assemble the frame of your toilet. The finished frame will be 21″ long, 18″ wide, and 10″ deep. Begin by attaching the two 10″x18″ pieces of plywood to the two 10″x19.5″ pieces of plywood, using screws and wood glue. Be sure the 10″x19.5″ pieces fit inside the other two pieces for a total length of 21″. Also, be sure the fir side of the plywood is facing out.

Step 2

With the frame in the upright position, place the 18″x3″ piece of plywood on top, and line it up with one end of the frame. Again, be sure the fir side of the plywood is facing out. Now attach this 18″x3″ piece of plywood using screws and wood glue.

Step 3

Place the 18″x18″ piece of plywood on top of the frame in front of the 18″x3″ piece you just secured. These pieces will eventually be attached together using the hinges, however, you must first cut out the hole for the bucket. Be sure the fir side of the plywood is facing out.

Position the bucket 1.5″ from the front edge of the box, and center it from both sides. Draw a circle around the bucket’s edge to indicate where you will be cutting it. Remove the bucket, and use the jigsaw to cut the hole for the top of the bucket.

Step 4

Now that the hole has been cut, reposition the 18″x18″ piece of plywood on top of the frame. Using eight screws and the two hinges, connect the 18″x18″ piece of plywood with the 18″x3″ piece. Be sure to position these hinges close to the edges of the toilet, so that they don’t interfere with the toilet seat.

Step 5

You will now attach the legs (four 3″x12″ pieces of plywood) to each corner of the underside of the frame. It is very important to adjust the length of these legs, so that the top of the compost toilet is positioned 1/2″ below the top of the bucket. The bucket should protrude through the top of the toilet by 1/2″. This will ensure a tight-fit, and prevent any waste from missing the target. This is especially important if children will be using your compost toilet.

Step 6

The next step in these composting toilet plans is to attach the toilet seat. Before doing so, you will need to reposition the bumpers that are found on the underside of the seat. Typically, these bumpers point inwards, but this will interfere with the bucket, you so have to swivel them sideways (almost parallel to the toilet seat edge).

Position the toilet seat over the bucket, and mark where you will need to drill holes to attach it to the frame. Drill these holes, and attach the toilet seat.

Step 7

Your new compost toilet is now ready to use. Although, to make it’s appearance a little less rustic, you may want to stain, varnish, or paint it. Notice how well Jame’s compost toilet matches his bathrooms decor in the image below.

ATTENTION – The toilet is only one part of a larger three part composting system. This system will NOT work without all three parts in place. To learn more about the other parts, including the proper maintenance of your toilet, and how to properly compost your waste, please refer to the next section of these composting toilet plans. It is incredibly important that you understand this entire system, so that you eliminate all pathogens.

The previous composting toilet plans were adopted from Joseph Jenkin’s incredible book The Humanure Handbook. If you have any interest in learning more about this subject, we highly recommend reading his book (it’s free online).

This portable composting toilet is only one part of a three part system, as we mentioned.

This three part system consists of the following:

  • Toilet
  • Cover Materials
  • Compost Bin System

Next we will focus on the maintenance of your portable compost toilet, and also include a discussion on the best compost bin system to be used with it.

In the first section discussed the construction of the toilet, and the proper cover materials (e.g. sawdust, peat moss, cured compost, leaf mold, and/or rice husks).

IMPORTANT – Please be sure to check your local bylaws, and regulations, prior to implementing the composting instructions
on these pages. In most instances, composting human waste on site is allowed, as long as the composted product does not leave the site (please don’t attempt to sell this compost to your neighbors).

Composting Toilet Use and Maintenance

The building materials on page one call for four identical 5-gallon buckets (with lids). Begin by filling one bucket with cover materials, and placing it beside your portable composting toilet. Place the second bucket inside the toilet itself. Place the remaining empty two buckets somewhere near your bathroom or location of your toilet. These last two buckets will eventually be swapped with the bucket inside the toilet once it becomes full.

Before making your first deposit to your new portable composting toilet, be sure to add 1-2″ of fresh cover material to the bottom of the bucket inside your toilet. Now it is ready for regular use.

Once your first bucket fills up, remove it from your toilet, and replace it with one of the spare buckets. You now have a couple options: 1 – You can immediately take this full bucket out to your outdoor composting bin, or 2 – You can top it with cover material, put a lid on it, and wait until the next bucket fills up as well. This second option will save you time.

Whichever option you choose, you’ll want to be sure you empty the bucket’s contents into a pre-dug depression in the center of your compost pile. That is, you don’t want to just dump this material on the top of your compost pile. You’ll want to dig a small depression in the top of your pile, empty the bucket’s contents into the depression, and then cover it with more compost material (e.g. straw, grass clippings, yard waste).

The final step in the proper use of your portable compost toilet is to thoroughly wash out your buckets. Fill each bucket with a small amount of water and biodegradable soap. Then, using a long-handled toilet brush, thoroughly scrub the inside of the bucket. Assuming you aren’t using any harmful cleaning chemicals, you can then dump this soiled water on top of your compost pile. Repeat this process 2-3 times.

Your buckets are now cleaned, and ready to be placed back into your bathroom or near your compost toilet.

Can you urinate in your portable composting toilet?

Yes, of course.

If you happen to notice that the urine is filling up faster than the solid excrement, just add more cover material. The addition of adequate cover material is the key to avoiding unwanted odors, and pesky fly problems.

You’ll want to develop the habit of using your compost toilet, and then immediately applying a sufficient layer of cover material. No liquid, or solid, waste should ever be visible; you should only ever see cover material inside your toilet.

Should you use special toilet paper?

We recommend using only 100% recycled toilet paper. If possible, try to find varieties that avoid the use of bleaching agents.

Can you add food scraps to your portable composting toilet?

Yes, you may add food scraps to your compost toilet; however, most people prefer to keep their food waste separate. They just find it easier to use a kitchen compost container for all of their food scraps, rather than carting their scraps to the washroom all the time. Nonetheless, all of their wastes (food and human) go to the same compost pile in the end.

Compost Bin System For Humanure

The ideal compost bin system to be used with your portable composting toilet is the Three-Bin Composter. Not only do we consider this to be the best compost bin system for all gardeners, it is especially useful for individuals composting human waste.

When composting human manure, you typically use a continuous method of composting. Continuous composting refers to continuous addition of small amounts of composting materials to your pile. Compare this to batch composting, in which all of the materials to build an entire compost pile are added at one time; when this occurs, compost is said to be made “one batch” at a time. Due to this continuous method of composting, we recommend you build a three-bin compost system.

Remember, you’ll want to have this compost bin system in place prior to composting your human waste.

To begin the composting process, you’ll want to add 16″-20″ of coarse carbon material (e.g. straw, hay, leaves, sawdust, shredded newspaper, yard waste) to the bottom of the bin on the far left. This layer acts like a sponge, to help soak up any liquid that may try to seep from your pile. Next, you can add you first couple buckets of human excrement. Cover this waste with more coarse material.

Continue with this type of layering procedure until your first compost bin is full. Typically, this takes anywhere from 1-2 years, depending on how many people are using your portable composting toilet. Be sure to use all of the principles of good composting found here.

Once full, you’re going to want to leave the contents of this bin to digest (undisturbed) for an entire year. Allowing this pile to sit, undisturbed,
for one full year will destroy all of the potential pathogens.

Don’t You Need Heat to Kill Pathogens?

Yes, heat is a great destroyer of pathogens, but so is the passage of time.

Fortunately, even in continuous composting, the uppermost layers of the pile will typically reach temperatures of over 120 degrees Fahrenheit. To be sure this is the case for your pile, use a compost thermometer to monitor your pile’s temperature.

Once your pile has been fully built, and gone through its heating stage, we highly recommend adding a pound or two of composting worms (i.e. red wigglers). These worms will naturally find their way into your pile (if the pile is set on top of soil), however, the addition of extra worms will help ensure all pathogens are destroyed.

Next, you’ll want to repeat the same layering procedure for the bin on the right side of your system. Experts recommend alternating between the bins on the left and right (while stockpiling coarse carbon-type materials in the center bin). This will help to avoid contaminating your curing compost (in the left bin) with fresh human waste.

Once this second bin is full, the materials in the first bin should be fully composted, cured, and ready to be used in your gardens.

From the time when you first start using your portable composting toilet, it will take approximately two years before you have a usable compost for your gardens. This assumes one year to fill the first bin, and one year to allow it to cure.

Using this Compost on Your Edible Gardens

Avid composters of humanure, do apply this finished product to their edible gardens; however, if you have any doubts, only use it on your ornamental plants, or have a sample tested by a lab.

Via: compostjunkie

Top 5 Reasons Why Cast Iron Is The Greenest Choice For Non-Stick Cooking

Dependable, that’s what cast iron is. It will last for centuries if properly cared for, and it has a natural non-stick surface that’s eco-friendly.

When my friend was a bride, her Granny gave her two of her cast iron skillets. A tiny, 6 inch one for making cornbread for two; and a 12 inch skillet for everything else. She told her all she’d ever need to be a good cook was those two skillets, a sauce pan, a stock pot and a casserole dish. And in a pinch, she said, she didn’t really even need the casserole.

Cast iron has been around for hundreds of years. Before fancy teflon cookware was even a notion, cast iron was the standard for good cooks everywhere. Dependable, that’s what cast iron is. It will last for centuries if properly cared for, and it has a natural non-stick surface that’s eco-friendly. You can bake a pan of cornbread, scramble some eggs, make your favorite vegetarian black bean chili or sear a perfect steak. Cast iron cookware is the definition of all-purpose.

If you don’t already have a cast iron skillet, here are a few reasons to go to your nearest resale shop or garage sale and begin looking for one. You won’t regret it.

Top 5 Reasons Why Cast Iron Cookware Is So Green…

Cast iron is naturally non-stick.
Properly seasoned (see below) nothing will stick to it. Cast iron eliminates the need for the costly, toxic chemicals used to create the non-stick surfaces in modern cookware.

Eco-easy clean up. All cast iron cookware requires for clean up is hot water and a stiff brush, so you avoid any harmful chemicals in detergent or solvents.

Cast iron can take the heat.
It can withstand much hotter temperatures and will distribute the heat more evenly than traditional cookware. And since it holds heat well, you can use less energy to cook. Plus it’s perfect for outdoor cooking. Just remember that cast iron gets hot. so use an oven mitt when handling a hot pan.

It’s a great upcycling opportunity.
Don’t ever worry about buying a cast iron skillet or other cast iron cooking vessel—like a dutch oven—from a resale shop or garage sale. Even if it looks rusty and dirty, it can be cleaned and re-seasoned and continue on cooking, forever.

It’s good for you. Cast iron cookware leaches small amounts of iron into food, so you get a little extra iron each time you use it.  Almost anyone, especially women in their child bearing years, will benefit from this.

How To Properly Season Cast Iron Cookware

First, wash your cast iron cookware. This is the only time you will need soap to clean it, but you want to be sure you remove any dust or dirt. If you have a brand new cast iron piece, you will need to do this to remove the wax coating that is on it to keep it from rusting until it’s seasoned.

Coat your piece in some type of oil.
Cast iron has a porous surface. The seasoning process will fill and smooth the surface to make it non-stick. Some type of oil is used to facilitate this process. I use Crisco vegetable shortening. Traditionalists would use lard. You can use plain old cooking oil, too, but you will get better results with Crisco. You want to coat the entire cooking surface with the shortening.  Don’t glob it on, but every nook and cranny should have a nice, medium layer of shortening. Use about as much as you would use to coat a cake pan for baking.

Bake it in the oven.
Next, you just pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and put your cast iron pan in for an hour or so.  After heating, turn off the oven and let it cool completely while still in the oven. Then it’s ready to go!

Heating the cookware creates the oxidation that prevents rust and makes the surface non-stick. Some cast iron users advocate heating the pan slightly before applying the Crisco to ensure that the pan is completely dry and to open the pores of the pan before seasoning. Not a bad idea, but remember cast iron gets HOT.  Use oven mitts.

Newly seasoned cast iron will take on a dark brown coating. After long use, it will become glossy black. The non-stick properties of the pan will increase with time and use, so use your cast iron often. Remember, seasoning is a process. Even though cast iron can be used immediately after the first seasoning, your cookware will get better and better over time.

How do I re-season a used cast iron piece? If you buy a cast iron piece second hand, the process is still basically the same to re-season it, with one exception. First wash it in hot soapy water, as above. Then I put it in my oven on the highest setting (or on the self-cleaning setting if you have one) and let it bake for a few hours without any oil or shortening. This will remove any rust and the old seasoning. Let it cool, then follow the steps above to re-season.

Caring For Your Cast Iron Cookware

After each use, clean your piece with very hot water and scrub with a stiff brush to remove any particles left behind.  Don’t use soap, it will remove the seasoning.  After you scrub the pan, give it a light coating with some Crisco or vegetable oil and store it in the oven.  Why?  Because the oven will have less moisture, this will help keep your cast iron from ever rusting.  Plus, each time you use your oven is an opportunity to further season your pan.  Even if you take your cast iron pan out while using your oven, give it a light coating of shortening before putting it back in the warm oven.  Especially if it’s a new piece, this will help develop the seasoning further.

Via: greenopolis