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Post by Sonshine Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:09 am

Got this from the yahoo group "surviving the chaos"


Let's talk food storage. How much food
do you have stored in your home? How long
could you eat without going to the grocery
store should store shelves suddenly go empty?

Food storage should be at the top of everyone's
surviving chaos list, and we have discussed the
subject here previously. However, it's good to
keep this subject at the fore front of discussion
for several reasons. One: Many know they should
stock up on food supplies but don't do it. Two:
We have many new list members who are just now
becoming aware of future trends.

2010 promises to be a year of drastic change
due to our failing economy. Lives will forever
be changed. The last thing anyone wants to wake
up to is a food shortage. However it comes about,
regardless of politics or weather related influence,
a food shortage would create havoc. This is why
it is prudent to stock up on food in your home.
So how much food should you stock? My personal
opinion is you should have at least a 6 month
supply of food stored in your home. Many people
who practice food storage keep a one year supply
of food.

However much food you store, here are few tips
to help your food storage program. Buy large
white peel off labels you can adhere to packages
and cans. On these labels write in bold easy
to read print the "Best Used By" date of each
item. Rotate your food to always keep the oldest
"Best Used By" date at the front of the shelf
so those items will be used first. And that
brings up another tip...Eat the food you store!
Do not hoard it, eat it. The idea is once you
have a supply of food to replenish it as you can.
In this way you will always have a supply of fresh
food to eat.

I'd like to hear from you how you store your
food. What kind of variety do you keep on hand?
Where do you buy bulk food? Do you slowly build
your supply or did you go out and buy $$$ of food
at once. Let's talk about it.

Prepare for the worst, and pray for the best

Jim
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Post by OldGrouch Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:11 am

Along these lines... (at the request of several of our neighbors) we have started a, at home, study of proverbs and "living prepared" for lack of a better term/wording. The groups vote/request for a first topic is "pantry"....

--Dwight
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Post by Sonshine Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:05 pm

I would love it if you could do that study with us here. Smile
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Post by OldGrouch Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:38 pm

Not quite sure how to accomplish that but will try to post updates on progress and what works and what doesn't... We discussed some types of home food storage methods and the group wants to base the study on the type of pantry several members are already working on, the Store what you eat and Eat what you store type/concept/management plan (whatever the correct name/word is).

After some web searches I am starting with several freely available documents as primary references. # 1 A Management Plan for Home Food Storage by Rebecca Low and Georgia C. Lauritzen with Utah State University Cooperative Extension (extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/FN_500.pdf) and # 2 Alan T. Hagan's Prudent Food Storage FAQ (http://athagan.members.atlantic.net/PFSFAQ/PFSFAQ-1.html). To save money and also not overwhelm everyone I only printed out the Home Management Plan to pass out. I plan to get the FAQ printed for my reference and also am looking for a copy of his book "The prudent pantry".

That's about all I have for now, we won't be gathering until next January.

--Dwight
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Post by Sonshine Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:10 am

The LDS has a good system too. I'm not sure if you had looked into it or not. They have a method to calculate how much of what you need depending on the family size. I really like Alan's site and have referred to it a lot in the past, but had never heard of the management plan by Rebecca Low and Georgia Lauritzen. I'll have to check that out. Thanks Dwight. BTW, tell Kitty we miss her posting on here.
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Post by Deena in GA Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:58 am

That's wonderful that you have neighbors who are interested in this, Dwight! It's kinda weird where we are, the neighbors don't really have anything to do with each other. You might wave in passing or speak if you run into them in town somewhere, but it's not like you think of neighbors being. And we've lived here for 30 years, lol.

It's been really funny the past few months because my f-i-l had been telling us that we need to start storing up food and that things are looking bad. He's totally forgotten or ignored the fact that we've been saying this for about 12 years now. When they came over for Thanksgiving (one of the two times a year they come to see us - we're always expected to go to them in town), Wade showed them our pantry. To say they were shocked is an understatement, Wink We've been trying to gently, and not-so-gently in the beginning, get them to open their eyes to what's been going on, but apparently it took Glen Beck to get through to them. Whatever...I'm just glad they're listening and acting now.

I have a copy of Alan Hagan's book - bought it from him when he said he only had a few copies left. Also, "Making the Best of Basics" by Stevens. They're a good place to start, but really people need to look at what they eat now and just start buying extra of that if it's something that will last. We built up our pantry by simply buying extra when it's on sale, so it didn't up our food bill much and actually has saved us lots of money. We've been at the point for quite some time now that we don't have to shop the way most people do. We already have such a stock of items we use that we only buy what is on sale (along with milk, eggs and some produce) each week - and buy as much of it as we can. Our weekly food/paper goods/health & beauty aids budget is only $55. You'd be surprised what you can do with that, although admittedly it is harder now that things have gone up so much.

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Post by Sonshine Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:03 am

I think the wisest way to go is to do what they use to do, grow as much as you can and buy what you can't grow yourself. Remember to save seeds, which is why I am always looking for heirloom seeds. Learn to forage, God gave us so much that grows wild, it's a shame not to learn what and where they are. Stock up on canning jars and such. Then, if you are concerned about not being able to grow enough, buy extra cans of what you would normally eat. Be sure to rotate it though. We also stock up on flour and things. I put them in the freezer for a month to kill off any critters that may be around, then I vacuum seal them into bags and place them in a storage bin.
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Post by OldGrouch Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:55 am

Keep the comments/ideas/live examples a coming.... I'll print them all out for our next get together in January.

--Dwight
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Post by OldGrouch Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:54 am

well... northing to report today as all parties figured it was too cold to get out and about, hopefully we will get started again next week.

Some discussion on the phone about the use of oxygen absorbers and
the merits of storing flour in 1/2 gallon canning jars as one of the persons involved is gluten intolerant and has to get the spelt flour already ground. Anybody got any thoughts to share on MissW's question?


--Dwight
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Post by Sonshine Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:44 am

I don't know much about spelt flour, but we take regular flour and freeze it for 30 days, then put it in our vacuum sealer. It seems to last quite awhile that way. We haven't done it for a year yet, but after 7 months it was still good and bug free.
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Post by OldGrouch Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:17 am

Well... some of us managed to get together today... Passed out a worksheet I had referenced above but discussed storing "items" in canning jars using oxygen absorbers more than the worksheet. Hopefully I helped, if even a little...

--Dwight
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Post by Deena in GA Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:39 pm

I don't know about spelt either, but do keep all my flours in the freezer and they last for years there.

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Post by OldGrouch Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:03 am

Thanks for all replies. A little more background on how this topic came about:

- MissW's buys spelt flour in 50 pound bags, has for years, and currently keeps it in a freezer in zip lock bags. Lasts well. Used to keep a several year supply in the freezer but recently had a freezer fail and they don't want to replace it so they are a looking for other ways to store it long term.

- They are wanting to reduce utility (electric) usage for several reasons... not the least of which is that they are located at the end of a power line pretty far back up the side of one of our Ozark mountains and outages are "not unheard of"... and have lost "items" during power outages in the past.

- at one of our meetin' Sleep days she asked about storing the flour, and other items, in canning jars using oxygen absorber packets. MissKitty and I have stored some beans and grain this way so I brought a few jars out and had a "show and tell" as part of meetin' Sleep

- since this time several who attend meetin' Sleep have found and/or brought a couple short references to storing both store bought flours and home ground flour in the canning jars but no references have been found, so far, to storing the spelt flour this way. Not really many references to storing any type of flour/meal using this method, most store the grain in whole kernels instead. (We currently store our buckwheat flour in the freezer so I probably should have been a looking into this for the buckwheat also)

We just may have to be the "test" case for this Shocked. Would really like to hear from anyone who has stored any kind of flour or meal in the jars this way.

thanks so much,

--Dwight
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Post by squeezinby Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:55 am

Dwight, I don'e see why she couldn't store the flour in jars w/O2 obsorbers.
It might be even better if she could Vaccum seal the jars. I'm going to do this with my oat flour.
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Post by Sonshine Fri Feb 05, 2010 2:42 am

What we do if freeze the flour for 30 days to kill any critters and their eggs, then we vacumn seal them and put them in a bin with a lid that seals. Seems to work pretty well for us.
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Post by OldGrouch Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:00 am

Time to provide an update. Passed out the answers provided here and also I had asked Alan Hagen (from another homesteading forum) for his suggestions.

What we came up with is: Buy spelt berries and grind yourself, like other wheat and grains, as the top choice. Freezing is the 2nd choice. Freezing for 30-45 days then storing in a vacuum sealed bag or in a sealed jar using oxygen absorbers is the third choice. As part of our group study several of us plan to freeze both some homeground and store bought flour for 30-45 days then seal it in 12 canning jars. Then open one jar a month, for a year, and see what we find.

Lots of interest expressed in grain mills/grinders. We picked up a CS Bell# 2 on it's way to the local flea market last summer (www.csbellco.com/hand-grist-mill-2) and it works well even if it doesn't produce the finest flour but it's still plenty fine for baking/pancakes and such. I still have the Grainmaker (Grainmaker web site) on my wish list as it is easy to convert to electrical power.

Thanks all who have provided thoughts/answers...

--Dwight
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Post by Sonshine Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:56 am

Joe and I have been freezing and then vacuum sealing for over a year now. I've never had any problems doing it that way. In fact, I think I got that idea from Alan Hagen. He has a lot of good information. For those who don't know who he is, you can usually find him on homesteading today forum in the prep section. There's a lot of good information to be found there.
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Post by OldGrouch Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:22 am

More to update/share, don't know why I didn't remember/think of adding this in my last update... so I guess this could be called part 2.....

We came to realization that just talking about a lot of these subjects isn't enough so now we are planning to incorporate a lot more hands on experience. One of the things that caused that awareness is we, MissKitty and I, were given a jar of sourdough starter by Mrs W. last week... even though we have read plenty on sourdough starter... we haven't had any luck on our own so what with still moving and all... it was still sitting on the kitchen counter. Lesson learned. So, we discussed sourdough starter and fed ours as part of the meetin'. Plan to demo our grainmills and sealing foodstuff in canning jars with the oxygen absorbers (the 12 jars of flour, dry beans, oatmeal, whatever is brought...) next week along with a follow up report on the status of our jar of starter. BTW, it's doing fine this evening, will feed it again tomorrow morning.

We read a chapter of Proverbs each week as the part of the study and have had some discussion as we read along. This week we did that different also, we had three different english versions of the Bible so we read first from King James, then New King James followed by the New Century version. That side by side comparison really "fed" the Bible study part of the weeks meetin.

--Dwight
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Post by Sonshine Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:03 am

I LOVE sourdough bread and was given some starter from someone on homesteading today. It worked great! Unfortunately when I started getting sick I forgot about feeding it. So, now I'm out of starter. Like you, I had tried doing my own starter and never had any luck with it. Oh well, guess once I get done with the surgeries and whatever else the doctors are planning for me I'll try again to get a starter going. Where are you at in your Proverbs study? Maybe we could do it here too in the Bible study section, since I haven't been able to do as much in the forum lately I could use some help in that area. What do you say?
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Post by PATRICE IN IL Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:41 pm

Just giving this thread a bump up too! It is definitely a relavent topic with today's economic turmoil.

So how are you all doing on your supply stocking? Have you slacked off? Used and not replaced anything you will need in the future?

Now would be a great time to revisit your lists of preps and make certain everything you need is there and still usable.

The rising cost of fuel will begin to force the costs of everything up very soon. You may find there are shortages due to the fact the trucks aren't rolling to replenish your local store's stock. When it costs too much to fuel up the 18 wheelers, they stop delivering, and the stock isn't going to be replenished. Then what will you do? Are you prepared?

Do you have everything you need to plant a garden and preserve the bounty? You better gather what you need now while you can still afford your supplies!
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Post by Sonshine Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:55 pm

I agree, it's time to take measure and make sure you're ready. Smile
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Post by Cotton Picker Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:26 am

Freezing flour will not kill the weevil eggs, it will however keep them dormant.

Storing under vacuum will accomplish similar results as no oxygen breathing vermin can survive in an anerobic environment.

Here is a link for an inexpensive vacuum packaging system that allows you to reuse jars that have a rubber gasket in the lid. i.e. spagetti sauce, pickles, jelly, etc.

Pump-n-seal


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Post by Sonshine Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:41 am

Cotton Picker,
I was under the impression, although not sure where I had heard it from, that freezing will kill the eggs. We vacuum seal the flour, etc, after we freeze them. Can we stop the freezing step and just vacuum seal them? If so, that would sure free up my freezer for other things.
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Post by OldGrouch Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:40 am

I probably should have posted the info on the manual canning jar vacuum sealer here instead of in preserving the harvest.... Please forgive this forgetful old man.

To follow up on the question MissW had me post for her about storing Spelt flour: Most of the folks in our group either have or are acquiring both electric and manual grain manuals in some sort or fashion and we are storing the whole berries/groats etc. and grinding as needed. MissKitty bought this old man a NutriMill and we already had several manual grain mills.
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Post by Sonshine Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:01 am

Want to sell one of your manual grain mills. Smile

Do the wheat berries keep longer than ground flour? If so, how long are they good for?
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