Thursday, June 30, 2011

Reaction to Doomsday Preppers, Month Thirteen in Review and July Preps

I hope you all got a chance to watch "Doomsday Preppers" on Monday night. I enjoyed the show a lot and was pleasantly surprised it didn't have more of a "preppers are crazy" slant. Not that it was perfectly balanced and truthful, mind you. Read the Survival Mom's take on her appearance on the show if you haven't already. Some things (such as the night delivery of food storage) were staged by the production company and/or edited for dramatic effect. If you wanted to watch the show but don't have the National Geographic Channel, here ya go. (If you're reading my blog in a feed reader, you may have to come to my actual blog site to get the YouTube box to show up.)

What I accomplished in June:

1. A whole lot of gardening. Gardening may be work, but it is so rewarding to reap the rewards from your efforts. We ate all of our radishes. Our lettuce and salad mix keeps producing and has yet to turn bitter. We've also been eating regular English peas and pod peas all month, though they are pretty much done. I made a few pickled beets from The Thinker's crop and they were d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! The Thinker also provided us with cabbage that I made into bierocks. Who knew homegrown cabbage was that much better than store-bought? It had such a delicate flavor and super-crisp texture.

Time to make hay while the sun shines!

2. Got a dehydrator and experimenting with drying garden produce and herbs. We bought an Excalibur 9 Tray Dehydrator and a ParaFlexx Non-Stick Drying Sheet (Yes, only one for now. I want to try it out on some fruit leather before I buy enough sheets for all my trays.) The only thing I have dried thus far is oregano, but I know I'll be giving it quite the workout over the next few months. I'll post more reviews as I try other applications.

3. Stocked up on canning supplies. I did go ahead and buy 6 dozen Tattler Reusable Canning Lids. I haven't needed to use them, so I can't really give an opinion about them yet. I did happen to buy some for my mom for Mother's Day (We're a practical family, can you tell?) and she seems to like them. I really need more jars, but they weren't in the budget this month.

Tattler Reusable Canning Lids

4. A bit more food storage, of course. I got some bottled lemon juice for canning purposes, a case of dry milk, and some spices.

5. First Aid. I picked up another box of nitrile gloves. I really was intending to buy more in this category, too, but you'll see that I spend the remainder of my budget on #6.

6. Added to our Survival Library.  I love books, real books. You won't find me anywhere near a kook Nook or Kindle. I selected these titles to add to our Survival Library:
Reviews are forthcoming. I have a review of Where There Is No Doctor that I'll post as soon as Hubby Dear finishes his contribution. Yes, Hubby Dear will finally get his say on my blog. :)

Oh, and the book about chickens? Let's just say there's something called a chicken moat in our future...

7. Hubby Dear and I also did a massive de-cluttering and reorganization of our storage room. We dropped off the kids for a weekend of candy-fueled hyperactivity with Grandma and completely filled our van with items to donate.

After: Glorious Floor Space!

I forgot to take a "before" picture, but it was bad. The middle of the room was pretty much covered with stacks of buckets and pieces of disused furniture.

Buckets tucked out of the way

Now the buckets are tucked underneath the stairs with my water storage. The process of taking everything out of the storage room helped me to update our inventory spreadsheets. Now we have a very good idea just what we have and what we need to purchase.

8. I also learned how to make yogurt from dry milk and had waaaaaay too much fun doing it. I've become such a food storage dork! Click here to read how to do it. It's easy and it really works.


I have changed my prepping plan for July about five or six times already. Originally, I had intended to split my budget between several categories (defense, first aid, food storage, and miscellaneous). Then I started watching the Sun Oven videos posted by Crystal from EverydayFood Storage.Net and so I wanted to buy one of those. I still do want to buy a Sun Oven and everything else on my list, but I feel Spirit's whispering to me to finish our food storage. It's never a good idea to ignore the Holy Spirit (remember what happened to Jonah?), so I think July will be one of those mega-food storage months.
  1. Add to our long term food storage. We're getting much closer to having a year's supply!
  2. Try to find an aloe plant. Not really food storage (though some people drink aloe juice), but something good to have on hand.
  3. Keep up in the garden.
  4. Eat, can, freeze, or dehydrate our garden produce. Stock up on canning supplies.
What did you do to prepare in June?


    1. You certainly have been busy! That's a lot done. I also found such a great amount of mental work done and list revamping when I organized all our storage space. Now that it's so beautiful, I remembered I shouldn't have all my eggs in one basket and should spread things around the house.

    2. I would love to learn how to make pickled beets! Can you post your recipe?

    3. The video was fabulous... I wouldn't have watched it otherwise... now I want a backyard pool!!

    4. Lisa - I used this recipe

      as the starting off point. I only had a few beets this time, so I just made a jar of refrigerator pickles. If you want to can them, you need to make a few changes. Don't dilute the vinegar since you need to use 5% acidity vinegar for food safety reasons. Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

      This was my first time making spiced pickled beets from anything other than store-bought canned beets and it was totally worth the effort.