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Most Important Thing to Stock for WROL or for the Collapse

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7 comments to Most Important Thing to Stock for WROL or for the Collapse

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    Seeds seeds seeds. Every few years I buy more. But many or most seeds (if kept DRY), can still be planted (at reduced germination rates) for dozens or even HUNDREDS of years later.

    DRY is the key. I put all MY seed packs into ziplock FREEZER bags, and I SUCK OUT the air as I close the last bit of the flap. Best to store them in the deep freeze. (most seeds actually benefit from being frozen, somehow the freezing is part of nature’s process for the real world.)

    I’ve actually planted quite a variety of seeds from packs that are stamped (for 1987), and at least 50% of the seeds did germinate.

    I’ve planted “indian-decorative corn” that was over 30 years old, those attractive “Christmas decorative corn-on-the-cob” that are red, brown, black, etc, and I removed them from the cobs, and before planting, I let them SOAK in clean water for a couple of hour to give them a jump start, and many of them GREW OK.

    I’d strongly suggest buying some of the “survival seed kits” (as well as shopping for those sales at the Dollar stores, etc). But those SEED KITS? Have a BIG variety. Wonderful stuff.

    BUT, you’re gonna need HERBS & SPICES to make that food TASTE NICE. Be sure to find, buy order a nice variety of spices, herbs, etc.

    Even those containers of Picking Spices contain MANY SEEDS that you can GROW (great for spicing up your BLAND veggies, meats, drinks, etc)

    Even those bags of BIRD SEED has different edible plant seeds. Millet, Sunflower, and many others.

    You can just about forget about your spice rack because some years ago, the FDA required companies to PASTEURIZE all the spices (because they said somebody got salmonella or E-Coli from some, etc.) BUT don’t give totally up on them, because SO many (most?) of them come from ASIA and may NOT have been “killed”.

    Monsanto farmers HATE Roundup resistant PIGWEED (Amaranth)!!! But Amaranth is VERY important FOOD, both the LEAVES and the SEEDS that you use as grain (and these seeds contain the VITAL LYSINE!!!)

    The common weeds are often vitally important. PURSLANE contains Omega 3’s!!! It looks like some kind of “succulent species” and commonly grows between the cracks in the concrete, it has small, shiny leaves, thick, reddish stems, and often grows kinda flat to the ground.
    It contains MALIC ACID (this will THICKEN up soups, is a very important food thingy.) Gives a TANGY taste, but if you harvest the PURSLANE late in the day, the SUNSHINE makes the plant kind of “burn off” the tangy component (malic acid). So, time your harvest, depending on what you need more, thickener with tang, or less tang. The plant has a bit of a PEPPERY taste, is good on salads too.

    Plantain (another common weed) when CHEWED with added saliva, works as a BLOOD CLOTTING AGENT to stop bleeding from deep cuts, etc. It another wonderful edible weed.

    Go GOOGLE for edible weeds, wild foods, etc, and PRINT OUT a PAPER COPY (color) for your survival NOTE Book of helpful tips.

    Don’t forget about the “3 sisters” planting method!!! It sustained MILLIONS of American indians. THere are a couple of planting PATTERNS that work best, you can find the proper spacing & patterns on Google. Basically, you plant the corn first, then when it’s perhaps 8″ tall, you then plant the climbing beans or PEAS near the corn to GROW UP the corn stalk, and you plant SQUASH (or melons, etc) in between everything else to act as a GROUND COVER-MULCH to prevent the weeds from winning.

    You end up with a SELF-weeding triple crop all in ONE space (and the peas/beans/legumes help to “fix nitrogen” in the soil near the corn roots where the extra nitrogen is REALLY needed because CORN is a NITROGEN HOG.

    OK. That’s my life saving tips for today. 🙂

    • SweetHomeChicago

      You have excellent ideas for gardening and I appreciate the sharing.

      Quick question on the purslane, do you use the entire plant or just the leaves? Does cooking heat affect the Omega 3’s?

      I’ve tried growing Amaranth, and harvest went down the tubes. How do you harvest/dry?

      I grow a large garden for suburban Chicago. I have many plants, shrubs, trees that produce year after year which we love, and this year we started a lot of our heirloom and organic seeds in the greenhouse transferring them to the garden. We are experimenting with the greenhouse this year. We have decided to expand the greenhouse idea to one of our large gardens next year using a hoop house. We lost so much to deer! yes deer! and rabbits even though the garden was fenced. We feel that planting a 100 beets and only getting one to survive is not good enough odds.

      This is the second year of a no rottotil garden. Two years ago we put wood chips/horse manure/flattened boxes into the garden to encourage mycellium growth and worms. You cannot put seeds into a wood chip garden. So we got a Harbor Freight greenhouse and have started our seeds there transplanting to the garden.

      Successful crops this year: tomatoes, cucumbers, zuchini, arugala, herbs, horseradish, mint, corn (racoons have left it alone–yeah!), asparagus, basil, and an out of control hops vine. We are hoping that the butterbush squash have a good growing season this fall. Squash like butterbush and spaghetti can last over a year in storage. Pumpkins a little shorter. I know why they were so important to those pilgrims.

      Fruit trees have very little this year, but two years ago they went crazy wild. We canned like crazy.

      The only things that I can add here is how to store or utilize your harvest. Canning, drying, and if you have to freeze are all good options. You can reuse a store-bought jar with the rubber on the lid a second time for canning. You can freeze in reused jars. We can quarts of tomato sauce, apple sauce (when the trees cooperate). We add in our own herbs and garlic to the sauce.

      I take bowls of cherry tomatoes cut them in half, squeeze ginger juice on them with a spoonful of sugar. Stir, put parchment paper down on a cookie sheet with sides, and pour onto the parchment paper. Put in oven on low (under 200) before bed, and in the morning you have a supper delicious treat. Refrigerate in a jar.

      We save chicken or turkey bones in the freezer and when we get 8-10 the hubby starts up the stock pots. We can stock from lamb bones too. It is a two day process to cook everything down and then can the bone broth. Leftover meat is then made into dog food. The bones what few are left are dried pulverized and put in the garden or fed back to our chickens. We have a few egglaying chickens and those eggs are superior to anything you can get in the store. Nice orange yolks.

      I don’t drink beer, but the hubby has just started to brew and those hops from our garden will come in handy. Hops are easy to harvest, dry, and then I vacuum seal in 2-ounce bags and then freeze. The vines can grow 20′ each year. Fortunately our neighbor likes the look of the vine growing on our mutual fence. The spread by rhizomes. King Henry said that hops are a pernicious weed, and I agree. Can be invasive.

      It is amazing what the birds bring to the garden too. We now have some elderberry plants growing.

      Some plants propagate themselves. You only have to grow arugula, garlic, onions, tomatillos once and they will return each year. Same with herbs; like oregano, mints, chives, thyme, onions, garlic, horseradish–they will return yearly.

      What I learned this year. Never prune the grape vines late in the spring. Prune during colder February month. No grapes this year.

      Also order seeds, trees, and product from your region if possible. They are more acclimated to growing in your zone.

      I order from Seeds of Change, and Johnny’s Select Seeds. Good variety from both companies. In fact I order pretty soon and store the seeds for next year. When they’re out, they’re out.

      I am also a 2nd year beekeeper. As a novice, I’m still getting this down. Our severe winters are very tricky, and it seems new mistakes arise. But the honey is awesome!!

      I like the idea of foraging for food, but have reservations about what people are spraying on their yards, and the rain washing it to the creeks and forest preserves. I just don’t want to bring in any more toxins than I’m already exposed to.

      Thats about it for now, and what our experience is to date. We’ve been gardening here since 1982 and every year is a new story, but I have the feeling that the process and prep will be of utmost importance for next year.

      • Craig Escaped Detroit

        Wow. You guys are so far ahead of me & 99% of the world.

        Purslane leaves & stems are edible. I don’t know anything about the roots.

        I put steel fence posts around my garden and fence mesh (2×3 or similar), strong enough to prevent rabbits from chewing thru it, AND I only hung it vertically for about 3 feet up the posts, and the other 1 foot of left over fence-mesh, I LAYED it FLAT on the ground as an “outside skirt” around the garden fence, to prevent kritters from coming up to the fence, and then trying to DIG under it. They’ll be digging onto the flat piece of fence on the ground.

        DEER are almost impossible to keep out, as they’ll easily jump over a 6 foot fence, so my fence is for everything but the deer. (you could put up a driveway motion sensor & motion sensor flood light, or even a motion sensor lawn sprinkler, these can help kick out the deer, or alert you to anything stealing your food.)

        My plans for the desperate days, includes attaching some 2×4’s or other (pressure treated) lumber onto my fence posts as a vertical extension, and I can sting up perhaps chicken wire, or the heavier stuff, as a deer-barrier (and if I string up wires or BIRD MESH over the garden, I’ll be able to keep out many of the birds.)

        Before I put up my garden fence, I dug a 12″ deep trench all the way around (at the fence line), and inserted some of that galvanized wire “fabric”, as a below ground MOLE barrier. I pre-bent a couple of inches at the bottom AND the TOP of this mole barrier, to act as a 2″ wide LIP on top and bottom, so that when a mole or rat or rabbit is digging underground and comes up against my barrier, he will go up or down, and when he does, he will come up against that 2″ “LIP”, and be forced to make another turn (away from my garden).

        Yes, I know that moles, gophers, etc, make burrows even deeper than 3ft down, but their common foraging, worm eating outings, are just under the surface. Since installing that barrier, my garden (40 x 40) has NOT seen any moles or other burrowing critters. (yes, VOLES are super small and can always go above ground to enter.)

        Chicken wire is TOO thin, and many animals can chew right through it. Don’t bother wasting any money on such thin stuff.

        In the past, I’ve tried those “mole thumper” devices, and found them to be useless.

        No Till garden (also called “Lasagna gardening”, yes, I’ll be switching to THAT method myself.)

        Jerusalem Artichokes (sunchokes) is a type of sunflower relative with TINY flowers (nobody recognizes this as FOOD), but each plant produces up to several POUNDS of tubers (they look similar to a ginger root), it’s healthier than potatoes (but does not store quite as good).
        Expensive to buy, (up to $10 per pound). Get their name because when you slice and roast them, can have some similar taste to real artichokes. You don’t bother to peel the thin skins, just brush them off & rinse, then cook or eat raw. When I boil and mash them, with butter and salt, it tastes like real mashed potatoes.

        Plant them about 2-4″ deep, as the roots grow sideways and UP. It’s fairly well known to be able to control blood sugar, enough that many diabetics, get by each day, by eating one or two of them each day (one day raw, next day cooked.) When raw, they kinda remind me of “water chestnuts”.

        The leaves are FUZZY, so most pests don’t bother with them. These grow in almost all USA zones (except Alaska or southern Texas, etc.) These will spread (but hey, free food that spread and self propagates, who cares?)

        Egyptian Walking onions also spread. They are pretty cool.

        Bees are cool. If we lose the bees, we’re in deep doo-doo. Paw Paw trees (most USA zones), never needs any bees (because the deep red flowers smell like DEAD RATS and attracts beetles, wasps, etc to do the pollination. This is north America’s LARGEST NATIVE fruit. doesn’t ship well, that’s why it’s not a commercial crop. You can PULP these and freeze the pulp.

        Read up on it. (just don’t plant them near the house because the flower stench.), but the fruits are a prized possession. (buy they are ugly.)

        Greenhouse-hoop house. I’m preparing to do this myself. did some reading, AND my farmer neighbor has a big one. I learned that the normal hoop house plastic sheeting (singly ply), lasts about 7 years?, and will give your space about +10F of warmth.

        I also learned (here’s the GOOD part), that if you buy that HEAVY DUTY Swimming Pool Solar cover (Bubble Wrap), up to 16 mils thick (you could make car seats with this stuff), anyway, it gives you about +20F boost on those cold winter nights because the bubbles are self insulating.

        AND, it also lasts about 7 years. I see on Amazon, possible to buy the 18ft x 36ft sections, for less than $150. (put the delicate bubbles facing inward-down to the ground.) Put the thick, flat side facing the weather.

        In a “pinch”, you could put a couple (or more) of those big, DIETZ hurricane Lanterns (metal frame) out there on the extra cold nights (the biggest fuel tank is on the Jupiter model), burns up to 72 hours, and puts out nearly 1,400 BTU’s. some of these might save your delicate plants on a cold nite.

        But these lanterns, do pollute the air a lot more than the indoor, glass parlour lamps. The burner designs are just different enough to make all the difference. If the Dietz lantern burners were modified to burn as clean as the all glass lamps, then you could use them to warm your rooms during a power outage. I’ve tried it, 3 of them put out as many BTU’s as an electric space heater, but I was coughing and hacking half way thru the night and all the next day.

        I did not get the bad effects with the all glass parlour lamps. SO, if anybody is going to use a Dietz hurricane lantern to keep the chicks warm, you’d better find a way to modify the burner to prevent the pollution that can kill your delicate chicks. IT’s the opening of the burner and how the air flows. TINY changes makes a BIG difference.

        PS. I buy kerosene (about $3 per gallon), and it’s great, but I have to “trim” the wicks, about every 6-10 hours. When you buy new wicks, get the 33ft ROLL, and cut wicks that are 2-3ft long, and ROLL it into the reservoir.

        That’s because every trimming will lose 1/4″, and those standard, PRE cut wicks, (8″), will leave you with 3″ of TOO short wick to reach the fuel. That’s a big percentage of losses.
        I don’t mind about losing 3″ of a three FOOT long piece.

  • Sayldog

    Good info Craig.
    When it comes to my seed stash, I of course go heavy on the heirloom non-hybrid open-pollinated seeds whose seeds will follow suit, but I also have hybrids that I can expect to produce a crop under less than ideal circumstances so that I can get a crop out ASAP under duress. Same with a supply of chemical fertilizers and herbicides and pesticides. I could give a rats ass about the negatives regarding those products and practices in the long run, it will be the short term productivity that will be paramount in a SHTF garden initially.
    And those native plants like purslane that most sheeple wouldn’t recognize as anything but “weeds” will fill obvious areas where known garden plants might get cooned – stealth gardening.

  • AgShaman

    Fuel is gonna be big I think

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    I hope I make some useful contributions.

    Stealth gardening & wild foods may save some clever preppers.

    The great thing about Purslane (get out there and harvest those tiny green seed pods for collecting the super tiny black seeds`so you can grow this stuff), the fact that it is one of the few plants that will supply you with vital Omega 3, etc. (avocados also have it, but those are not common as is the purslane.)

    And growing the amaranth gives you a great grain substitute and Lysine (which is usually only found in meats)

    These 2 plants fill some mighty big gaps in the “vegetarian” diet.
    Fuel may become rare, but if so, then anybody still driving or running noisy generators will be everybody’s target. Best to have solar panels, deep cycle batteries etc for home or camper power without noise. Never play loud music (lets others know you’ve got energy) and never let your lights be seen at night.

    PS- when you must run a generator, put a car muffler on it to make it quieter, run it when it’s windy or noisy outside and CHARGE UP some deep cycle batteries while it’s running so you can have some silent battery power too (and ifyou have some dc-to-a/c “inverter” your battery will power the inverter to give you some 120vac.)
    gasoline generators typically burn thru 5 gallons every 10-14 @ 50% capacity. It’s easy to burn up 100-180 gallons in a single month. That’s why I’m so big on solar…you never have to find, buy or transport any fuels or fix a bad carb, clean the air filter, etc.

    siphoning will be useful, but for pumping out the underground storage tanks, you’ll need either a hand pump or 12vdc electric transfer pump for that. I see some of the electric gasoline rated pump with nozzle for as little as about $220.
    Here is one of them.

    you’ll need a longer suction pipe for those below ground tanks, the fuel may be as deep as 8ft, etc. But this rig will allow you to grab a lot of fuels.

    fuel meters are extra.

    some extra fuel stabilizer may be very important too. PRI brand is good for as long as 2 years instead of the stuff that only lasts for one.

    PS. Non alcohol gas stores much much better= the alcohol absorbs atmospheric humidity and that is BAD for the fuel and water is bad for all the moving parts, gaskets, and increases bacterial growth in the fuels. Diesel is famous for it.

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    Reusable canning lids with red, rubber gaskets. Tattler brand. About $12 per box (can’t remember if 10 or 12 per box.)

    Regular mason jar rings & lids, you back-up, what, 1/4 TURN? (OR WAS THAT 1/8 TURN), BUT THE Tattler, you back them off only 1/4 INCH rotation. Their website has the proper data. Can be re-used up to 100 times and you can buy extra gaskets.

    I put my extra gaskets in a ziplock bag in the freezer to preserve the rubber many more years until I need them.

    I also bought an extra gasket for each of my pressure cookers, put a thin coating of plumbers silicone lube on them and stored them in another ziplock. It only takes one nick or cut to destroy your pressure cooker gasket.

    PS. I hate ‘electric’ pressure cookers because they won’t work when the grid goes down.
    A regular stove-top pressure canner can be operated on a wood fire or BBQ grill.

    At Walmart, I buy the super big pickle jars ($3.55) and use the empty jars to store dry beans, rice, etc. If you buy the same size Mason jars, they cost $2 each.
    Best to have 2 or 3 pressure canners and get the job done quicker with less wasted fuel.

    Of course, all of us should have more than 10 gallons of vinegar, (I’ve got 25), and the BEST price for canning/kosher salt is $5.56 for the 40 pound bags of SWIMMING POOL SALT. it’s “secretly” FOOD GRADE. I get mine from Walmart or Lowes.

    You cannot substitute the “water softener salt” because it has other chemicals added.
    Each person should have the annual recommended pioneer-survival-Amish amount of 150 pounds per person.

    Sugar is also a preservative. I keep at least 14 pounds of the brown sugar, and no less than 80 pounds of white sugar. Amish survival says each person may require 150 pounds per person.

    Calcium chloride instead of ‘pickling lime’. buy in bulk to save money.
    D.E. (agricultural or food grade) for garden pests, house fleas, etc.
    best bulk price for pickling spices,…the 25 pound box at

    Local farm supply stores here, I found the garden fert (17-17-17), the big 30 or 40 pound bags of DE for $30, thirty or 40 pound bags of “wettable sulfur” for about $30. I also stock some garden lime, garden iron, calcium, and epsom salt (Magnesium Sulfate), and I keep 3 of the electronic pH meters and a big soil test kit.

    The sulfur not only adjusts the pH, it also works on many fungus and some pests (and will damage SOME plants.)
    You can also use Liquid Drain Cleaner (the Sulfuric Acid type), mix in a garden sprayer and spray on the soil, and water it in, to get a quick adjustment (but going more than 1 point per 2 weeks, can be bad.) For those who don’t know, that garden sulfur, gets converted by soil bacteria into SULFURIC ACID but it can take WEEKS to become activated. The liquid acid is instant (but you can kill everything too, if you’re not careful.)

    I got the extra meters, in case on breaks down. Hard copy garden books also pest books. I don’t want to rely on digital anything.

    I find great SOLAR panel prices at

    Good idea to plant some COVER CROPS, (Diakon raddish is cool), but the different legumes will fix nitrogen into the soil. (another suggestion is Sweet Blue Lupines).

    Good luck.

    (I was having a “GARDEN RANT”)

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