Karen Smith with dehydrated greens from her garden.
My very healthy friend Karen Smith makes her own powdered green drink. I was so impressed that I asked her if she would teach me how she does it and let me take photos. She was kind enough to teach me, and now I dehydrate everything I can get my hands on to make a powder to use in the winter when homegrown organic greens are not available. In the past, I bought powdered greens to add to smoothies. Making my own will save a lot of money.
Smith dehydrates her greens, powders them and puts them in labeled, dated zip-top bags. Then she stores all the bags in a 5-gallon bucket.
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There are many reasons for stockpiling a one-year supply of food. The value of food commodities generally increases at the same rate as inflation. Money in the bank doesn’t do that. Investing in 500 cans of tuna or in dehydrated food that will last five to 10 years are better bets than putting $350 in the bank.
The most important reason to store food is that it comes in very handy in a crisis. It is comforting to know that you can use your home grocery store for an emergency and to help buffer lean money times. If you had to live on what you had in your basement for an extended period of time, you would wish you had a well-rounded supply of food.
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I own a 185-gallon water tank. I really like it, and it fits the needs of our family perfectly. This large, cylinder-shaped water tank is ideal for storing water. It tucks away into a corner of a room or garage. It easily fits through doors. It is gravity-fed and has an opening at the top to fill the tank. It has a drain at the bottom and a spigot-type faucet about a third of the way up from the floor to fill smaller containers.
I always keep several 5-gallon containers close by just in case I need them. I use a bottle and a half of the oxygen stabilizer ION for the 185-gallon tank and two bottles for the 250-gallon tank. I like to put the ion in at the beginning of the fill so it will mix properly with the water as it fills the tank. If you wait until the end, the ION will not get mixed in properly. ION is guaranteed to keep the water safe for up to five years and probably much longer.
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Naturally fermented foods have vitamins, protein and probiotics, or friendly flora. They are healthy and good for the body. Sauerkraut is a fermented food that has natural probiotics, providing friendly bacteria in the gut, boosting the immune system and assisting people in staying well.
Veggie kraut is another fermented food. It is easy to make and will keep well if sealed in a canning jar. Veggie kraut can be eaten all year, and it provides the necessary probiotics we need to keep our digestive tracts healthy.
Ingredients For Veggie Kraut
To make fermented foods, you need organic vegetables; sea salt; filtered, boiled and cooled water; a crock with a lid; any nonmetal pot with a lid that can be pushed down inside the pot to add pressure to the kraut; and canning jars with tight-fitting lids. I like to add three capsules of probiotics, such as acidophilus, from the health food store per gallon of kraut. It assists the bacteria in getting started. (This is optional.)
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I attended a community garden tour and was very impressed with a garden that was made completely from used tractor tires and culverts cut to such a height that the owner could garden standing up and did not need to kneel or stoop down. This garden was so impressive that I decided to write an article about it and share the ideas that I learned from these gardeners.
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Gardening season is upon us. Gardening is one of the more popular leisure activities in the United States. Gardening is great for mental health because planting and digging in the dirt relieves stress, and we feel better when we do something meaningful that makes us happy. Connecting to the Earth slows us down and grounds us. The soil, the worms and the living plants are fascinating to watch; and we become aware of the miracle of life.
Self-sufficiency is another great reason to grow a garden. With the cost of commodities rising rapidly, gardening can offset the high cost of food. This puts more money in our pockets to use for other necessities. We save money by going to the grocery store less often. It’s possible to save hundreds of dollars per growing season, which really helps with the food budget. For a small investment in seeds and potting soil, a backyard garden can yield more than $600 in fresh, organic produce.
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For people who love to garden, but have very limited space, container gardening is a great way to enjoy growing your own produce without all the work of planting a large garden.
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- Gather your containers. Make sure the pots have drainage holes so the plants do not get waterlogged. Tomatoes, beans, peas, carrots, potatoes and peppers generally need large containers, while lettuce, radishes, herbs and onions can be grown in more shallow containers.
- Purchase good quality potting soil. Do not use soil from your yard or garden. Potting soil is made for the best drainage and aeration for your plants. Minerals, Miracle Grow and compost can be added to enhance the soil and improve the success of the container garden.