Tornadoes Wreak Havoc: How To Prepare Yourself For One

No one is exempt from disasters like the tornado that hit the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, Okla., last week. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who lost their loved ones and those who lost their homes, personal belongings and businesses to the storm, which had winds of more than 200 miles per hour and which was 1.3 miles wide as it moved through the town. Many people lost their lives, and hundreds of people were injured.

Make A Plan

You must always have a plan for any emergency situation. Write down all the different scenarios that could possible happen to you in an emergency. Plan out the supplies you may need, purchase them and store them so they will be safe and waterproof. A plastic sealed bag will keep your supplies waterproof. Below ground is the best place to store your emergency supplies, if you have a basement or a storm shelter of some kind.

Implement your plan and practice your skills. Become certified in first aid. Become a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member. You really need some training in search and rescue so you don’t endanger yourself while helping others.

Prepare A Medical Kit

It is important to have an up-to-date medical kit with everything you can possibly anticipate needing to help others with wounds and trauma. In a disaster first responders are needed everywhere. Your skills will be very valuable in helping bandage wounds and calm down people in an emergency.

Emergency medical teams can take hours to respond to minor injuries, so plan on helping out with your own supplies. I suggest you store enough medical supplies for your own family as well as several other people.

You can purchase a pre-made medical kit, or create one of your own by going through your home and collecting the following items and putting them in a backpack, medical bag or suitcase:

  • A tourniquet.
  • Pressure bandages.
  • Assorted sterile gauze.
  • First aid tape.
  • Sports tape.
  • Antiseptic.
  • Neosporin or other antibiotic ointment.
  • Hydrogen peroxide.
  • Rubbing alcohol.
  • Instant cold and hot packs.
  • All sizes of bandages, including triangular, butterfly and ACE bandages.
  • Scissors.
  • Tweezers.
  • Thermometer.
  • Splints for broken fingers.
  • Cotton balls.
  • Cotton swabs.
  • Wet wipes.
  • Washcloths.
  • Towels.
  • Water.
  • Lightweight blankets.
  • Pain reliever such as Ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin.

Your medical kit should be loaded with everything you could even anticipate needing in an emergency. I keep one medical kit in my home, one in my car and one at my business where they are protected and I can get to them easily.

Along with the medical kit, you will need a clean change of clothing, shoes, warm socks, a blanket, gloves, a hat and a jacket or coat.

ION (Stabilized Oxygen)

ION Stabilized OxygenI use ION (stabilized oxygen) for any kind of injury where the wound needs to be clean and free of bacteria. ION will kill bacteria on contact and can be used to clean the wound. It can be used on scrapes, puncture wounds, burns and infections; and it can be taken internally to kill bacteria in the body from colds, flu or infections.

Clean Potable Water

Clean water to drink is more important than food. ION treats water that has any kind of bacteria in it. If you are using dirty water, strain it through a dishtowel, T-shirt or cheesecloth to get the dirt and impurities out. Boil the water and then mix 20 drops of ION in each glass of water before drinking. ION kills many bacteria immediately externally and internally. ION is non-toxic and won’t hurt you in any way. It oxygenates the blood and helps the body fight its own battle against bacteria.

Redmond Clay (First Aid)

Redmond Clay First AidI keep a product called Redmond Clay First Aid in my medical kit and even in my purse. Redmond Clay First Aid is a premixed clay that takes the pain and inflammation out of any injury immediately. It looks like mud. You squeeze it onto the injury and cover it with gauze and tape. It works extremely well for bruises, broken bones, injuries and for burns of any kind, including sunburn. But if it’s a severe injury, you should seek medical help as soon as possible. Redmond Clay also comes in bulk, which can be mixed with water and used as a compress to pull inflammation, toxins and pain out of the body. I mix the clay like mud, put it on the injury, place plastic wrap around the injury so the clay does not dry out and leave it for 24 hours. It is an amazing product that can be mixed in water and you can drink it to pull toxins out of the body.

Prepare To Save Your Important Documents

In emergency disaster situations you must be prepared ahead of time for any situation where you may lose everything valuable. It is important to keep important documents and records in a waterproof bag or, if possible, in a waterproof and fireproof safe. This includes important paper documents such as photos, deeds, birth certificates, money, family scrapbooks and any digital records on your computer. It is important to have several copies of your will and other valuable documents. Keep them at another family member’s house in another State or area in case yours are destroyed.

Have a backup of all digital photos and documents on your computer. I have an external hard drive to back up all my documents. I switch off between two external hard drives, so I have an extra one in a waterproof storage container. Once a month, I back up to the one in storage.

This will help you to have a record of all your valuables for insurance claims. If your home was demolished and you had to prove what you owned, this would come in really handy and could determine whether you receive reimbursement from your insurance company.

Insurance

If you live in an area where tornadoes hit, get the right kind of insurance that covers natural disasters, on your home and vehicle. Medical insurance is also very important to have for any kind of emergency situation. Your entire life savings and all you have worked for could be wiped out in a few minutes in an earthquake, tornado, tsunami, snowstorm, etc.

During A Tornado

People in tornadoes have no time to even grab anything and run. Taking cover is the most important thing to do. Keep all valuables in a waterproof bag and in a place that is waterproof and preferably lower than ground level, such as a basement.

If you live in an area where you can have a root cellar, bomb shelter or safe room in a basement, you will be protected more than a room above ground.

If you are above ground, find a closet or a small room such as a bathroom in the middle of the home. Outside walls can collapse around you, and flying debris can hit you.

The safest place above ground is in the bathtub. It is best to cover yourself with a mattress or something soft like pillows to protect yourself from flying debris. It is safer to stay away from windows.

Vehicles are not a good place to be in a tornado. Depending on the category of the wind, cars may be lifted up and thrown into buildings and trees. If you have to abandon your vehicle, the safest place for you to be is in a ditch below ground level or try to find a building with a basement or storm shelter.

Anticipate Utility Shut-Off And Power Failure

Utilities such as electricity, gas and water and everything that is run off them will be affected. The refrigerator, freezer, garage remote, security systems, stove, lights, heat and water will all be affected. If your home is demolished to a point where it is unsafe to stay, you must make decisions about where to go and what to do. A generator can come in handy for temporary solutions, but ultimately you will need to relocate.

It is good to have an alternate set of keys to your home, car and business stashed somewhere below ground so you can find them easily if the first set are lost.

It is important to have emergency tools in a waterproof place also. You will need a gas shut-off wrench, a shovel, an axe, a hammer, gloves, a helmet, pliers, screwdrivers and a chain saw with fuel. You may need to help rescue people or animals trapped under debris.

Emergency Food Storage

As a business owner in the emergency preparedness industry, I keep close watch on these incidents that are happening and I am hopeful that families have prepared themselves for these tragic events. Many of our customers live in areas that have been hit. We hope their emergency food and water supply will sustain them in the aftermath of the tragedy.

If you call me before May 29, you can get a special price of $500 for a five-month supply of delicious meals ready to just add water and cook. That’s four servings per package and 635 servings total, which works out to be .79 cents per serving. Plus, I will give you a free wholesale membership so you can purchase food later at the wholesale price. The food is highly nutritious, with no GMOs, added MSG or trans fats. It’s compact and lightweight, too, making it easy to store. And it will retain its flavor and nutrition for up to 25 years.

To order online, go here and click on “sign up.” On page one of the sign up, there is a place for a promo code at the bottom. Use promo code SUCCESS500. This promotion won’t last, so take advantage of it today. Please call me, Peggy Layton, at 435-851-0777 if you have any questions or need assistance with this amazing offer.

–Peggy Layton

Use Baking Soda In The Kitchen And Beyond

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a chemical compound in a powdered form. It is mined and pulverized into a powder. It can be purchased at any grocery store or health food store. It is one of the most useful and safest substances on this Earth.

When mixed with water and an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice, baking soda releases bubbles of carbon dioxide. Baking soda is a staple in many homes for baking. It acts as a leavening agent in baked goods, helping them rise and hold their shape. Baking soda also can also be used in a multitude of ways to replace household cleaners made with chemicals. In addition, baking soda has medicinal uses, as I discussed in my last article.

Cleaning With Baking Soda

Oven cleaner

5 tablespoons baking soda
5 drops dish soap
4 tablespoons of vinegar

Mix all ingredients into a paste. Spread the paste all over the oven. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then scrub it and wipe it off.

Dishwasher

1 tablespoon baking soda

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of baking soda on the dishes before running the dishwasher. It degreases and makes the dishes sparkling clean.

Clothes Degreaser, Whitener And Deodorizer

1 tablespoon baking soda

Use 1 tablespoon of soda along with the laundry detergent (per batch of clothing) in the washer to remove grease from clothing.

Carpet Deodorizer

Sprinkle dry soda onto carpets or over pet stains and vacuum it up.

Carpet Cleaner

1 quart warm water
4 tablespoons baking soda
4 drops of dishwashing soap

Mix the ingredients into a solution. Scrub the solution into the carpet to remove stains. Rinse with clear water and use a towel to remove the excess moisture.

Refrigerator And Freezer Deodorizer

Open a small box of baking soda and leave the whole box inside the refrigerator or freezer. It will absorb unwanted odors and will last for up to a year.

Drain Cleaner

½ cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar

Pour ½ cup baking soda followed by 1 cup vinegar into a plugged or sluggish drain. Let it sit for 20 minutes and form bubbles. After it stops bubbling, rinse with hot water.

Here are other ways you can use baking soda to clean:

  • Clean the bathroom: Make a paste that can be put on a scrub brush or toilet brush. Clean toilet bowls, tubs and sinks with soda paste. Rinse it and wipe dry. For fiberglass, use a mixture of soda and dish soap. Wipe it on with a sponge so it does not scratch.
  • Clean the refrigerator: Use a paste on a scrub brush.
  • Clean barbecue grills: Use a paste and generously coat the grill with it. Let it sit for 10 minutes and scrub the grill with a scrubbing pad. The soda will remove baked on food.
  • Clean greasy garage floors and remove grease from anything: Sprinkle baking soda on grease spots, and it will soak up the grease. Remove it with a paper towel, then use more baking soda with a scrub brush and clean the cement. Rinse with warm, clean water.
  • Freshen kitty litter: Sprinkle baking soda in the kitty litter box to deodorize and freshen it.
  • Remove burned on food from pans: Make a solution of baking soda and water by mixing 4 tablespoons of soda to 1 quart of water in the dirty pan. Heat it up and let it set for 10 minutes then rinse it out.
  • Wash dishes: add ¼ cup soda to the wash water when washing the dishes.
  • Wash fruits and veggies: Soak vegetables in a bowl with a solution of 4 tablespoons soda per quart of water. This cleans the vegetables and removes dirt, sprays and chemicals. Rinse produce before eating.

Medicinal And Personal Care Uses Of Baking Soda

Baking soda has myriad medicinal and personal care uses, including:

  • Antacid to relieve heartburn and acid reflux: Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to a small glass of water. It will bubble and fizz up. Drink it down two to three times during the day on an empty stomach, and it will neutralize the acid in the stomach and stop heartburn and acid reflux. Work up to 1 teaspoon of baking soda and ¼ cup vinegar mixed with 4 ounces of water. If it upsets your stomach, then back off on it.
  • Athlete’s sore muscles: Athletes can take 1 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 4 ounces of water to relieve them of muscular pain from strenuous physical activity.
  • Cancer: People are raising the PH level of their bodies by using baking soda. Cancer and other diseases may grow more slowly in a more alkaline environment. The healthy range for PH of the saliva and urine is 7.4.
  • Canker sores: Put a dab of baking soda paste on the canker sore and leave it there as long as you can. It takes away the pain and may help heal the canker sore.
  • Deodorant: Use straight by applying powder to underarms.
  • Insect bites: Put a dab of paste on the bite and cover with a Band-Aid.
  • Facial scrub: Mix equal parts of soda, salt and water together into a paste and scrub the face with it. Rinse it with warm water. This removes dead skin and blemishes.
  • Mouthwash: Swish a soda solution made with 1 teaspoon soda to ½ cup of water around the mouth and gargle with it.
  • Rashes, skin irritations, sunburns, bee stings: Spread a thin layer of soda paste on these. It relieves the itching and burning on contact.
  • Stuffy nose: Put a solution of soda water in a humidifier and run it all night to help clear the sinuses and relieve a stuffy nose.
  • Sore throat: Gargle with warm salt water (one cup warm water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda).
  • Tooth decay: Taking a pinch of baking soda into your mouth and moving it around your teeth and gums with your tongue minimizes tooth decay.
  • Toothpaste: Make a paste of soda and salt in equal portions and use it as toothpaste.

Household Cleaning With ION And Baking Soda

Because ION (stabilized oxygen) kills bacteria on contact, it can be used to disinfect countertops, clean vegetables and kill germs on cuts and wounds.

Soak vegetables in the following solution in a bowl: mix 3 tablespoons baking soda and 20 drops of ION in a ½ gallon of hot water. It will kill bacteria on the vegetables. Rinse before eating.

The more I use ION, the more uses I find for it. It is one of those amazing products just like baking soda.

ION Oxygenates The Blood

I talk about ION in my articles because I believe in this product 100 percent. Baking soda and ION together will give a person a real boost to his immune system and general overall health.

I take 20 drops ION and 1 teaspoon baking soda in a cup of water or juice (except lemon juice) every day. Lemon juice is the only acid that will neutralize ION, so do not mix lemon juice and ION together.

ION floods the body with lifesaving oxygen and raises the PH to an alkaline level which boosts the immune system so the body can do the job of healing itself. When the bloodstream is fully oxygenated, it fights disease.

–Peggy Layton

Baking Soda Helps The Body

It is wise to stock up on baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). Every home should have plenty of it on hand. This article is the first in a two-part series about the miracle of baking soda for cooking, cleaning and medicinal uses. There are multitudes of uses for it. And it is so effective in balancing the pH of the body and allowing the body to heal itself that it won’t be long before the American Medical Association, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Big Pharma and the powers that be will make it illegal to get baking soda without a prescription.

It is now being used as an alternative medicine for trying to prevent cancer, kidney disease, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. No wonder the pharmaceutical companies don’t want you to know about it. There is no money to be made with this preventive treatment.

When the body is too acidic, it creates a perfect environment for disease. Rather than addressing the causes of cancer, the doctors choose to cut, poison and burn the body to rid it of the unwanted tumors after they start growing. What if it was as simple as raising the pH of the body to a normal level (7.4) so cancer cells have trouble getting started? And if they were already present, would they actually shrink in an oxygenated, alkaline environment? Mainstream doctors say they don’t.

Recipe For Baking Soda Water

The following alternative treatment is being used to try to keep the body alkaline and disease free. By flushing the digestive tract with soda water, it will get absorbed much faster than if you ate alkaline foods and waited for them to digest and make it to the bloodstream. Soda water is the first line of defense against acidic conditions.

Start out by taking ¼ teaspoonful of baking soda mixed in ½ cup water before bedtime then gradually raise it until you can take 1 teaspoon in a cup of water. Some people add a teaspoon of molasses to the soda water because it activates the soda faster. Continue the treatment for one to three weeks at the most, then stop the treatment.

It takes only about a week for the pH to rise to a normal level and boost the immune system so it can fight off diseases. Baking soda helps maintain the pH balance in your bloodstream. A pH level between 7.2 and 7.4 is ideal. If you are facing any kind of surgery, take soda water for one week before surgery to raise the pH in your body to a normal level. (Discuss this with your doctor, though, to be safe.) Some alternative practitioners claim that surgery goes much better if your pH is at 7.4.

When purchasing baking soda, make sure it does not have any additives such as aluminum in it. It will say “pure baking soda” on the label. It should be mined from all-natural deposits of mineralized sodium bicarbonate and extracted by a water process that uses no chemicals.

pH Test StripsMonitor Your Own pH

If you want to monitor your pH, you need to go to a pharmacy or health food store and get pH strips for the tongue and urine. Test your saliva and urine in the morning and again at night to see if the morning reading is more acidic because of the toxic waste dumped by the liver during the night. If you don’t want to take soda water, you can purchase sodium bicarbonate tablets that can be swallowed easily. Sodium bicarbonate tablets and digital pH meters, as well as pH test strips, can be purchased online. Digital pH meters can be purchased here.

Continue the soda water until your pH is consistently in the 7.2 to 7.4 range. Keep it there for an internal alkaline environment. If you become too alkaline (7.5 or higher), stop taking the soda water because you can get sick to your stomach and feel bloated or even throw up. Your body will tell you if you have had enough. By monitoring your pH every day, you will know if your pH is going down into the acidic range (below 5.0) then you will need to start taking the soda water remedy again.

I read an article by a woman who added a teaspoon of black strap molasses to her baking soda water to make it more palatable; it also activates the soda to form carbon dioxide gas bubbles.

The body kills off invading bacteria and viruses by automatically raising the alkalinity level. Alkalinity is vitally needed, especially when the immune system is suppressed or destroyed (from surgery or chemical toxins). The body will automatically try to raise its alkalinity level more frequently than in a healthy person to accomplish a balanced pH. If the acid level is overtaking the body, it will not be able to raise its alkalinity without help.

Alternative health people sometimes claim that cancer and other diseases cannot live in the presence of oxygen. As you are working on raising the pH of your body, you need to get oxygen into the bloodstream. Exercise, walking, yoga, meditation and deep breathing will help. It brings more oxygen into the bloodstream. They say that cancer cells and other diseases cannot survive in an alkaline environment or in the presence of oxygen. Bicarbonate is found in the blood naturally for the purpose of neutralizing acids.

ION Stabilized Oxygen
ION (stabilized Oxygen) Will Oxygenate The Blood

I talk about ION in my articles because I believe in this product 100 percent. I take 20 drops in a cup of water or juice (except lemon juice) three times a day. It floods the body with life-saving oxygen that boosts the immune system so the body can do the job of healing itself. When the bloodstream is fully oxygenated, it fights disease. Baking soda and ION together will give a person a real boost to his immune system and general health.

Eat A More Alkaline Diet

You can do an online search for the total list of foods that are alkaline verses acidic. Do a little research and start eating better. If a person is sick and wants to restore his health, his diet should consist of 80 percent alkaline foods and 20 percent acidic foods. Once you are feeling better, you can maintain a balanced pH by eating 60 percent alkaline foods and 40 percent acidic foods.

These Are The Best Alkaline Foods To Eat

  • Beans and legumes such as lentils and (sprouts).
  • Celery, all green leafy vegetables.
  • Peas, watercress, onions, sweet potatoes, parsley.
  • Sea vegetables such as seaweed and kelp.
  • Fruits such as lemons, limes, watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, papaya, raspberry, tangerine, pineapple, seedless grapes, nectarines, persimmon, dates and figs.
  • Spices, herbs, seasonings, baking soda, sea salt, seeds and nuts especially pumpkin seeds, taro root and lotus root.

Avoid These Highly Acidic Foods

  • All meats such as pork, fish, seafood and poultry.
  • Dairy and eggs.
  • Grains and some legumes.
  • Artificial sweeteners, alcohol products, sugar, carbonated soft drinks.
  • Cigarettes and tobacco, coffee, black tea.
  • Breads made from white and wheat flour, processed foods such as pastas, pastries and cakes, and processed cereals.
  • Jams, jellies, processed maple syrup and sweetened yogurt.
  • Pickles, vinegar, processed cheese and fried foods.

–Peggy Layton

Everyone Should Know The Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack

Being prepared for any kind of a disaster is important. What about a survival situation with your health?  Most people know that chest pain or angina and numbness in the left arm are the classic signs of a heart attack. But in reality most of the warning signs are much more subtle than that, especially in women. They are easy-to-ignore symptoms, such as indigestion, breathlessness, pain in the shoulder blades and arms, profuse sweating, fatigue, and trouble sleeping.

Heart disease is becoming more common in younger people now even in their 30s. I have two cousins from the same family that both had stents put in their arteries while in their mid-30s. With the standard American diet, full of sugar, trans fats and processed foods, combined with genetics, it is no longer an old person’s disease. This type of diet clogs the arteries, causes inflammation and triples the risk of heart attack.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer today, along with cancer and diabetes. Women have a tendency to take care of everyone else but themselves. Symptoms in women are much more subtle than in men. Women are less likely to visit a cardiologist. And when they do, the cardiologists are not as aggressive at treating women compared to men. And women are less likely to call for help until it is too late.

Smoking and breathing secondhand smoke raises the risk of heart attacks. If you do smoke and quit, your risk reverts back to normal after 20 years of not smoking.

Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

If extreme fatigue when doing the simplest things causes you to need to rest, it could be a sign of a heart attack coming on.

  • Flu-like symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness and dizziness.
  • Shortness of breath, for no obvious reason.
  • Upper-back pain and pressure in the chest area, or muscle strain.
  • Sleep deprivation can bring on heart palpitations. Chronic lack of sleep and trouble falling asleep or unexplained insomnia could also be a sign of a heart attack.
  • A grayish-colored skin tone along with cold and clammy skin and sweating could be a sign.

What To Do

The main thing is that you know your body better than anyone else. If you do not feel right, do not just hope the symptoms will go away. Trust your instincts and pay attention to your body signals. Be proactive and take preventive measures.

In the case of a potential heart attack, every minute counts.

  • Call 911 first.
  • Chew an aspirin.
  • Lie down.
  • Administer CPR (if necessary and if you know how to do it).

Aspirin

It is very well-known that a baby aspirin a day helps thin the blood and is prescribed by doctors for people who have had heart surgery or problems with blood clots. Aspirin is a blood thinner.

Cayenne Pepper Capsules

In a previous article I wrote about taking cayenne capsules or cayenne tincture if you feel like you are having a heart attack. Cayenne pepper, aka Capsicum, dilates the blood vessels and improves circulation. Cayenne also shocks the heart into beating again if it has stopped. I have been taking cayenne capsules to see how I react to them, and I get sick to my stomach when they start to dissolve. I have been sipping on milk to soothe the burning, which seems to be fine. If someone is having a heart attack, they may not feel like taking cayenne; but if they can get it down, it will help. A small bottle of hot sauce such as Tabasco will help also. Just take a swig of it if you feel chest pains coming on.

Keep it in your purse unopened in case you need it.

Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium is very good for the heart. Magnesium calms the nerves and is powerful in prevention of blood clots. Magnesium has strong blood vessel-dilating properties and is effective in blocking dangerous heart rhythms.

I keep magnesium/calcium tablets, aspirin and cayenne capsules in my purse at all times because I have tachycardia. My heart will race every so often, and I start to black out. I breathe deep and get oxygen into my lungs, and I come back around quickly. When this happens, I take magnesium/calcium, an aspirin or cayenne capsules. They are all good for dilating blood vessels or thinning the blood.

Things You Can Do To Lower The Risk Of A Heart Attack

  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you need to drink 75 ounces of water per day. That is about nine 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
  • Walking every day for 30 minutes or other equivalent exercise may reduce your stress level and help your heart.
  • Quit smoking or breathing secondhand smoke.
  • Reduce the inflammation in your body, especially if it is from an infection or arthritis.
  • Eat only small amounts of red meat. Eat fish such as salmon. Do not eat fish or animals that have been grown in fish farms or farms where they are fed genetically modified foods.
  • Cut out sugar, fats and modern processed foods. These include pasta, chips, white bread, potatoes and anything that is prepackaged such as cake mixes, cookies and any foods that come in bags or boxes. Sugar and fat together do the most harm.
  • Eat more oats, beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits, especially berries.
  • Strawberries and blueberries, eaten three times per week, may lower the risk of a heart attack.
  • Eat more fish such as Alaskan salmon that provides omega-3 fatty acids. If you do not like fish, you can supplement with fish oil in capsules from the health food store that have been cold pressed and are certified to be mercury-free.
  • Increase intake of nuts and whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet and amaranth.
  • If you are gluten intolerant, cut out all wheat, barley and rye products and make sure the oats you eat are pure oats that have no cross contamination with wheat (certified GMO-free). You can get them from the health food store.
  • Eat only oils that are cold pressed from plants, seeds and nuts such as olive, coconut, grape seed, avocado and palm oil. Eat Smart Balance, which is a non-dairy butter substitute that is made from palm fruit oil. It stays solid at room temperature and allows for better shelf life without additional trans-fats. Palm oil is loaded with tocotrienols (vitamin E) and beta-carotene, which are potent antioxidants. Use these oils as a salad dressing without cooking them.
  • Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that strengthens the function of the heart muscle.
  • Grape seed extract improves circulation and blood vessel flexibility.
  • Aged garlic extract is a great supplement for heart health.
  • Taking a probiotic twice a day helps digestive health. Eat plain yogurt that contains acidophilus because it builds up the friendly flora in the digestive tract, which helps build a healthy immune system.
  • If you are diabetic, it is imperative that you eat right and exercise every day. Diabetes that is not taken care of properly can lead to heart disease.
  • Image (2) ION_product.jpg for post 18542ION (stabilized oxygen) is a product I highly recommend. It is important to get more oxygen into your blood every day. I take 50 drops of ION per day in a glass of water or juice to boost my immune system and get more oxygen into my blood. This helps the heart function better.

–Peggy Layton

Gluten-Free Food Storage

What is gluten? Gluten is found in anything made with wheat, barley or rye. It is the ingredient that makes yeast bread dough stretch like elastic. Without it, the ingredients would not bind together into dough that can be kneaded and stretched in that way. Gluten-free dough does not stretch, so the dough tends to be thicker — like batter rather than dough. Most bread made from gluten-free flour tends to be more like a quick bread rather than a yeast bread. You can substitute the flour called for in any recipe with other grains that do not contain gluten. There are hundreds of gluten-free recipes for breads and other food items on the Internet.

What Is Gluten Intolerance?

Gluten intolerance means you react to gluten, either with celiac or gluten sensitivity. If you suspect that you are gluten-intolerant, you must be prepared to cut out all products containing gluten. Gluten comes from three different grains that are cleverly hidden and disguised in everyday foods. Wheat, barley and rye attack the intestinal tracts of innocent consumers unaware of the hidden grains.

Symptoms Of Gluten Intolerance

Our nation has seen a rise in the number of people that are being diagnosed with diseases directly related to the consumption of breads, cereals and other items containing certain grains. The gluten in the grain triggers a reaction in the intestinal tract that causes inflammation and results in a very painful bowel disease. If you suspect that you have an intolerance to wheat, barley or rye, do not store these grains.

The following are symptoms potentially caused by gluten intolerance, celiac disease or gluten insensitivity:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Anemia.
  • Anxiety.
  • Bloating.
  • Brain fog.
  • Constipation.
  • Depression.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fatigue.
  • Heartburn.
  • Joint pain.
  • Rashes.

Avoid The Foods That Contain Gluten

A crisis is not the time to discover that you have a problem with gluten. You could have a double crisis if you are not prepared for a situation where you cannot get to the grocery store and you need foods that are gluten-free. You must be a label reader to make sure grain flours containing gluten, as well as hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, are not hidden in the mixes.

Avoid anything that contains wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, triticale and all wheat products such as bulgur wheat, durum wheat, cracked wheat cereal, farina, wheat bran, bran cereals, wheat germ, couscous, wheat starch and any packaged meals that contain the flour from these grains. Also avoid semolina flour, panko, surtan, udon, faro and orzo.

Check the labels on prepackaged bakery products such as cake, pancake, pizza, muffin and biscuit mixes, or any pasta dishes with sauces that contain flour. Wheat pasta contains gluten, too. Watch out for products such as soy sauce, thickeners, bread coatings, mustard, salad dressings, sauces, gravies and anything that contains natural flavors. Flour is added to other items that you may not even be aware of such as toothpaste, lipstick, chutneys, relish, curry powder, white pepper, hard tack candy, licorice, cheap chocolate and even some cheap brands of supplements and pharmaceutical products.

Oat groats and oatmeal have been known to trigger a reaction in some people because of cross contamination of oats and wheat in farmers’ fields and storage been. If you have a gluten problem, you will need to make sure that the oats you purchase are pure oats that are organic and have not been cross contaminated. They should be certified gluten-free.

Gluten-Free Foods That Can Be Stored

Vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, corn, green peppers, mushrooms, peas, potatoes, onions, spinach, tomato powder, vegetable stew blend and zucchini.

Fruits: Apple slices, apple crystals, banana slices, mango, papaya, pineapple, raspberry, raisins and tropical fruit blend.

Fats and oils: Vegetable oil, olive oils, shortening, mayonnaise and some salad dressings with oil and vinegar in the mix.

Canned and bottled fruits, vegetables, beans, soups and tomato sauces: Plain canned fruits and vegetables, canned beans and lentils, spaghetti sauces, and organic pre-packaged vegetable soups are all a great addition to a gluten-free food storage program.

Snacks: Popcorn, gelatin and dried fruits.

Canned and freeze-dried meats: Canned fish (tuna, salmon and sardines), canned ham, chicken, beef and other meats. Freeze-dried meats packed for long-term storage.

Grains, seeds and thickeners: Acceptable gluten-free grains are amaranth, millet, quinoa, brown and white rice, rice bran and rice flour, teff, and buckwheat. Flax seeds, arrowroot flour, cornstarch and potato starch can be used to thicken gravies and sauces and are also gluten-free.

Condiments: Apple cider and white vinegars (but not malt vinegar), mustard, ketchup, horseradish, jams, jellies, honey, maple syrup, relish, pickles and olives.

Cereals: Cream of rice, millet, pure organic oats (certified gluten-free) and gluten-free cereals.

Baking Items: Sugar, salt, pepper, herbs, spices, evaporated or condensed milk, corn meal, tapioca, baking soda, baking powder, gluten-free flours, high-quality baking chocolate, and cocoa.

Beverages: Coffee (some flavored coffees contain gluten), tea , soft drinks, fruit juice, powdered protein and other drink mixes.

Dairy products and eggs: Powdered milk and dried eggs are a great addition to a gluten-free food-storage program. Dried dairy products include dried butter powder, buttermilk, cream cheese powder, cheddar cheese powder, sour cream powder, scrambled egg mix, and whole egg powder. Dried dairy products can be used in baking as well as substituted in any recipe calling for the fresh product.

Beans and legumes: Dried beans are all gluten-free. Beans can be dry or canned. Dried beans can be ground into a bean flour and used as a thickener in gravies and sauces. Dried bean flour can also be cooked with boiling water until it is the thickness of refried beans. Refried beans can be used in any Mexican dish or made into a bean dip.

The following varieties of beans and legumes are available and will store for many years: 16-bean mix, baby lima beans, butter beans, large lima beans, black-eyed peas, black turtle beans, lentils, small red beans, small white navy beans, split peas, red kidney beans, refried beans, garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas), great northern beans and pinto beans.

With the rise of diseases due to gluten intolerance or allergies to wheat, it would be a good idea to stock up on these gluten-free products.

–Peggy Layton

Sugar And Spice Could Save Your Life

There are some pantry items that I believe are very important to have on hand in any emergency situation. They are sugar, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. I strongly advise you to store these items and get used to using them so you will think of them in a crisis situation. They could save you a trip to the emergency room and possibly even save your life.

Sugar Stops Bleeding

Sugar in the pantry may not be good for your health, but it will heal wounds and stop them from bleeding. My grandma told me that she learned this method from her grandmother. It has been passed down from generation to generation that sugar heals wounds and burns as well. It is totally amazing to note how fast wounds heal when sugar is applied.

When I was a child and any of us children got wounded, scraped with nasty cuts or if we bit our tongue, my mom would grab the sugar jar and pack our mouth or wound with sugar. When I was young I fell on a barbed wire fence that was partially lying on the ground, and the barbed wire cut my leg almost to the bone. It was bleeding profusely. My grandma and my mom packed the wound with several tablespoons of granulated sugar, wrapped it with gauze and taped it. The sugar instantly absorbs the blood, miraculously makes it clot and stops the bleeding. It also absorbs any dirt or debris that might be in the wound. It is thought that sugar draws the moisture out of the wound, depriving bacteria of the moisture that is a perfect environment for infection.

I have known for years that honey is a great salve on wounds and does about the same thing. Some people like to combine honey and sugar (white or brown) together into a sticky poultice and put that on the wound.

Some Third World countries use this method because there are no doctors for miles. It has worked so well for them that they report a reduction in the level of pain and inflammation associated with leg ulcers and wounds.

Sugar will stop the pain within minutes of placing it on the wound. It can be put deep into any gaping wound and it will dissolve on its own and stop the pain associated with the wound. I like to use pure cane white or brown sugar that has not been processed and bleached; however, in a pinch any sugar will do.

History states that sugar was used in ancient Egypt on the battlefields where massive wounding has occurred. There were no antibiotics available at that time because antibiotics had not been discovered yet. As modern medicine became more available, this old-time remedy fell by the wayside.

One good thing about sugar is that most people have it in their pantry cupboard and food storage. As a diabetic prepper, I avoid personal consumption of sugar; but I am willing to store it to use topically to stop bleeding and help fight infection. Sugar may come in handy when antibiotics and modern medicine are unavailable. It could very well save someone from bleeding to death.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne is an amazing spice that should be in every medical kit. Cayenne is a hot pepper that has been prized for its healing power for thousands of years. Many herbalists believe that cayenne is one of the most useful and valuable of all herbs not only for the entire digestive system, but also for the heart and circulatory system. It acts as a catalyst and increases the effectiveness of other herbs when used with them

In an old-time remedy book that I read, cayenne was described as a cure all for every health problem imaginable. The company called Nature’s Sunshine started with one product, which was encapsulated cayenne pepper, and sold it as the most valuable medicinal spice on the market.

Stops Bleeding

Cayenne pepper works similar to sugar in that it also stops bleeding. It absorbs moisture and kills bacteria on wounds. Pack equal parts of cayenne mixed with sugar onto a wound.

Digestion

Cayenne aids in digestion and has been known to rebuild the tissue in the stomach and intestines. It aids in assimilation and helps the body to create hydrochloric acid, which is necessary in digestion of protein and other foods.

Heart And Circulation

If you want to carry something in your first aid kit for a heart attack, carry a cayenne tincture. Even a bottle of Tabasco sauce will help if you can get the person to take it. Tabasco sauce is loaded with cayenne pepper. I like to store cayenne extract as well as the pepper for that purpose.

Cayenne has been known to stop a heart attack within a few minutes. It is claimed that cayenne will get the heart beating again after it has stopped. Taking cayenne capsules or drinking cayenne tea every day will prevent a heart attack. At the first signs of a heart attack, take droppers of cayenne extract or a glass of cayenne tea. John R. Christopher, N.D., suggested giving the following every 15 minutes until the crisis has passed: either a teaspoon of cayenne extract or a teaspoon of regular cayenne pepper in a glass of hot water.

You can purchase cayenne tincture at any health food store. Keep a bottle of tincture in your car, purse, medical kit and kitchen or medicine cupboard.

Cinnamon

Historically, cinnamon was also one of the most widely used spices for medicinal purposes. Cinnamon was described as comparable to gold and frankincense. The best cinnamon to purchase is in a stick form called Organic Ceylon Cinnamon. Look for it in health food stores.

Medicinal Uses of Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been used to relieve tension headaches, stimulate appetite, improve memory and relieve anxiety and depression. It has been used to relieve menstrual cramps, reduce excessive bleeding during menstruation and improve the contractions in labor. It has been used to clear up acne and improve the skin.

Cinnamon is known to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal activity. It has the ability to kill bacteria associated with respiratory infections. Studies show that oil of cinnamon is very effective at combating 21 foodborne pathogens.

Diabetes

Cinnamon may be a great option for diabetics who are looking for a more natural way to control their blood sugar. Cinnamon is safe and inexpensive. It can be made into a drink by using cinnamon bark steeped in hot water to extract the oil. The Mexican cinnamon bark called organic Ceylon is known to be the most potent for making tea. I purchase it in cut pieces, and I add a few pieces to my hot tea and let it steep.

I was on pills that my doctor gave me to lower my blood sugar. After I had blood sugar readings in the low 30s to 40s, I went into a coma and was lucky to wake up. I was afraid I would be one of those statistics from properly prescribed medication. My father died when he was 54 years old when his blood sugar went into the low 30s and he slipped away into a coma. No one could revive him. I threw those pills in the trash, and I went searching for something more natural.

I use cinnamon every day in my tea, and I sprinkle it on everything I can before I eat it. I also take cinnamon capsules. It seems to be leveling out my blood sugar in a more natural way.

Ways To Get More Cinnamon Into Your Diet

You can add cinnamon to any baked goods: quick breads, such as banana bread, cakes and brownies. Add it to oatmeal, hot cereals, cold cereals, yogurt, applesauce, French toast, grains such as quinoa and rice, vegetables, stews, soups, squash, carrots and rice pilaf. My favorite way is to make a tea using Mexican or organic Ceylon cinnamon. Steep it in boiling hot water or add it to any other tea you are drinking.

Recipes For Cinnamon Tea And Paste

Cinnamon Tea: Mix 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon powder into an 8-ounce glass of hot water. Add 1 teaspoon honey and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper and stir. This is a tea that will help you fight a cold or digestion issues.

Mouthwash: Mix 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon in 8 ounces of warm water and use as a mouthwash.

Headache: Mix a paste of cinnamon and a few drops of water until it is a paste. Apply it to the forehead to relieve a headache.

Acne: The same paste can be mixed with a small amount of lime juice and used on acne to kill bacteria and clear up skin problems.

Coughing: Cinnamon oil can be been mixed with carrier oil and applied to the chest to calm coughing and allergies. Cinnamon oil straight will burn the skin, so always mix it with carrier oil like olive, almond, grapeseed or vegetable oil.

Mood Swings: Inhaling the aroma of cinnamon oil has been known to lift depression and improve irritability and mood swings.

With all of these wonderful things cinnamon does medicinally, I encourage anyone who has blood sugar problems to increase their intake of cinnamon. I encourage you to increase your intake of cayenne pepper for heart and circulation problems and to store these three items for the future to have on hand in case of situation where they in short supply.

To learn more about the medicinal uses of herbs and old-time remedies as well as ION (stabilized oxygen) check out my book, Cookin’ With Home Storage.

–Peggy Layton

Make Your Own, Old-Time Herbal Remedies And Household Cleaners

Many of my ancestors came from England where they were converted to the Christianity. They came to America in ships looking for a better life. They were promised freedom of religion and their own piece of ground in the wide-open spaces of Utah, and they were given a new hope and vision for their future.

My ancestors were willing to live in extreme poverty and to walk thousands of miles to reach their new home. They traveled in covered wagons filled with food supplies and minimal household necessities. Many of them pulled handcarts with small children in them. They encountered harsh winters, lack of shelter, illnesses, lack of food and water, and problems with snakes and wild animals. Many of the people moving west died along the way and were buried in shallow graves.

The pioneers used the food items they brought with them and what they could scavenge from the land for food and for making medicines. Foods such as berries, mushrooms, flowers, weeds, dandelion root and herbs were gathered and dried. The pioneers knew which plants were edible and which plants were not, and they knew which ones were medicinal. They were fishermen, hunters and trappers. They would kill deer or other wild animals and dry the meat to preserve it for future use.

The settlers moved in groups that functioned as one big family. They had many things in common and made sure the entire group was fed and taken care of. They walked together, ate together, sang together and prayed together. They relied upon the Lord for their very existence.

Wild Herb And Berry Tea

In pioneer times, people had to rely on the herbs and berries they found growing wild in the mountains or along riverbanks and streams. Simple herbal tea was a staple for any illness. They made soothing herbal teas by adding boiling water to five or six berries along with a spoonful of honey or molasses. This was their medicine when a doctor was not available.

Stomachache

My pioneer ancestors found many medicinal herbs growing wild along the trail to Utah. Spearmint or peppermint was a real find. They would dry these herbs and take the leaves to make tea to soothe an upset stomach.

I harvest peppermint leaves in the summer from my peppermint plants. I dry them and save them for my own peppermint tea.

To make peppermint tea, place five fresh or dried leaves in a cup. Add hot water and let it set for a few minutes. Add sweetener such as ½ teaspoon of honey, molasses or stevia to taste. Drink it to settle an upset stomach. It works great.

Sore Throat

To sooth a sore throat, pioneers gargled with a mixture of salt and water. It seemed to work quite well. Even my grandmother used this as a remedy for sore throats when I was a child.

Make a salt-water gargle by mixing ½ teaspoon salt and ½ cup of warm water. Gargle with it and spit it out after 30 seconds. This will help a sore throat.

Soothe A Cough

As my ancestors settled into their homesteads and the Wild West was tamed, they were able to get items like lemon juice and glycerin brought in from California on wagons or by train. They would make their own cough syrup using everyday simple ingredients that they had on hand. These recipes were handed down from generation to generation until over-the-counter cough syrups were available.

Cough Syrup

1 cup honey
Juice from two lemons (about ½ cup)
½ cup warm water
1 tablespoon glycerin

Mix together all ingredients and take 1 tablespoon at a time to soothe a cough. Glycerin can be purchased in a drug store or pharmacy.

Relieve A Fever

Rubbing alcohol was a staple in my grandmother’s medicine cabinet. When we had high fevers, she would soak a cloth with rubbing alcohol and rub us with it. Every few hours, we took a cool bath and had another rubdown with rubbing alcohol. She made sure we had plenty of water, chicken soup and lots of bed rest. That would break a fever instantly. If we were coughing, then we also got our chests rubbed with Vicks VapoRub.

Emergency Toothpaste And Mouthwash

Baking soda mixed with salt in equal parts works well for cleaning teeth. Swish mouth with warm water to remove all the paste. If you have any gum problems, you can rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide. After 30 seconds of swishing it around in the mouth, spit it out.

Cleaning Products

Cleaning products were made from scratch using items that every household had on hand: alcohol, dish soap, vinegar, cream of tartar, soda, salt, ammonia and even wood ashes from the fireplace. The pioneers were so innovative. Our generation has become dependent on the grocery store for every type of cleaning product. We have dish soap, hand soap, laundry detergent, oven cleaner, stovetop cleaner, floor cleaner, glass cleaner, degreaser, car wash, shampoo, body wash, face wash, baby wash and dog wash. My grandmother just made an all-purpose household cleaner and used it for everything.

Window Cleaner

1 pint rubbing alcohol
1 tablespoon liquid dish detergent
4 tablespoons ammonia

Mix together all the ingredients and add enough water to make 1 gallon of cleaner. Shake the mixture well and transfer part of the cleaner into a spray bottle. Use it to clean and polish windows.

Household All-Purpose Cleaner

½ gallon water
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup of ammonia
¼ cup soda

Mix all ingredients together and add enough water to make a gallon. Shake it well and transfer some of the cleaner to a spray bottle. Use on all surfaces as an all-purpose cleaner.

Drain Cleaner

1 cup baking soda
¼ cup cream of tartar
1 cup table salt

Put ¼ cup of this mixture in a clogged drain. Add 1 cup of boiling water and let it stand in the drain for a while until it loosens up the clog.

Jewelry Cleaner

¼ cup concentrated lemon juice

Soak tarnished jewelry in concentrated lemon juice. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the jewelry. Be careful not to get the lemon juice splash on your clothing, because it causes bleached-out spots.

Silver Polish

Take the ashes from a fireplace where you have burned wood. Mix the ashes with a little water to form a paste. It is the best silver and copper polish; it will really shine them. Wood ashes and water form lye, which is one of the ingredients in homemade hand soap.

Furniture Polish

1 quart hot water
1 tablespoon of turpentine
3 tablespoons boiled linseed oil

Stir all ingredients together and keep in a glass jar with a lid. Heat a small amount in a metal can on low heat just until it softens to warm it up before using. Rub it on, wipe it off and polish with a soft cloth.

Turpentine and linseed oil can be purchased at any hardware store. This polish is better than any commercial furniture polish available today.

ION (Stabilized Oxygen)
ION photo

I keep ION on hand for medicinal purposes. Just like my ancestors could not live without their household staples, I feel the same way about ION for modern times. I keep it in my purse, medical kit, vehicle and grab-and-go bag.

  • Ion will kill bacteria on contact, so I use it as a mouthwash. Mix 20 drops of ION into about half a cup of water. Use as a gargle or to swish around in the mouth to kill bacteria that might be causing gum disease, tooth decay, etc.
  • I also put 3 drops of ION on my toothpaste and brush my teeth with it.
  • Ion can be used to disinfect countertops, floors, toilets, sinks, etc. Mix 20 drops in ½ gallon of warm water. Use a clean cloth and wipe down countertops, sinks, etc. This will kill bacteria on contact.
  • I drink 20 drops per day in a smoothie, glass of water or juice. This oxygenates the blood and boosts the immune system by killing off any harmful bacteria in the body. To learn about the many uses of ION (stabilized oxygen), click here.

Cookin With Home Storage168
These recipes came from my book Cookin’ With Home Storage, a fascinating cookbook with more than 500 old-time recipes, remedies and household cleaners as well as recipes using dehydrated food and shelf-stable pantry food.

–Peggy Layton

Making Simple Flat Breads From Food Storage Staples Can Sustain Life In An Emergency

Everyone loves fry bread, tortillas and pita bread. All these breads can be made from a few staple ingredients.

If you get caught in an emergency situation, these breads can be made and eaten to sustain your life. Add canned meat, beans, rice and rehydrated vegetables and you have a meal.

Wheat Grinder Or Grain Mill

A wheat grinder or grain mill is very important to have. If you have a wheat grinder, you can make whole grain flour that is much more nutritious than white flour. I suggest you have an electric grinder for everyday use and a hand-operated grain grinder for emergency use if the power goes out. I really like the Wonder Junior Hand Grain Grinder and the Wonder Mill Electric Grain Grinder.

Food Storage Staples For Making Bread

Everyone should store the following staples for making simple breads:

  • Wheat and other grains to grind into whole-grain flour.
  • White flour (has no nutritional value).
  • Shortening or olive oil.
  • Sweetener such as honey, sugar or agave.
  • Salt.
  • Baking powder.
  • Dry yeast. (Keep it in the freezer.)
  • Powdered milk.
  • Potable water.

Wonder Junior Hand Grain GrinderWith these basic ingredients you can make just about any flat bread, tortilla or pita bread. Try practicing making these simple breads so that if you ever need to make them in an emergency, you will feel confident that you can.

Pita Bread Recipe

2 packages dried yeast (4 ½ teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ cups lukewarm water
4 cups  flour (white, whole wheat, multigrain or a combination)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Dissolve the yeast and sugar into 1½ cups of warm water, then set it aside for 10 minutes so it can proof. This means it starts to grow and form bubbles.
  3. Mix the flour, salt and oil together in a bowl and then add the yeast and water mixture.
  4. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary until it is no longer sticky.
  5. Place the dough in a warm, oiled bowl, turning the dough around to coat the surface with oil. Cover the bowl with a dry cloth and set it in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise until it is double in volume. This takes about two or three hours.
  6. Punch down the dough and knead it for about two minutes. Divide and roll the dough into 12 little balls.
  7. Place the dough balls on a dry cloth in a warm place, then cover with another cloth and let them rise for about 30 minutes.
  8. Roll out the balls into circles about 1/8-inch thick.
  9. Bake the pita bread on a preheated cookie sheet in the center of the oven for six to seven minutes, watching them so they don’t burn. When the bread cooks, it will puff up like a balloon. It will collapse when it cools.
  10. Once the pita bread is cooked, remove it from the baking sheet and cover it with a dish towel with plastic wrap on top of the towel. Repeat with each loaf until all the pita bread is cooked. If you do not cover with the towel and plastic wrap, the bread will harden and not be as good.
  11. Store the pita bread in a zippered baggie. You can eat it immediately or freeze it.

Pita bread can be eaten with any meal. A staple in many Middle Eastern countries, pita bread can be used as a spoon or scoop and is eaten with olive oil, hummus, dips, soups, sauces, meats and vegetables. When cut in half, pita bread can be opened up like a half-moon pocket that can be filled with meats and vegetables.

Old Indian Fry Bread Recipe

2 cups white or whole-wheat flour
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons shortening or lard
¾ cup milk or (½ cup powdered milk mixed with ¾ cup warm water)
Vegetable oil for frying

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Rub the mixture with your fingers until it forms coarse crumbs. Push all the shortening and flour crumbs to the side of the bowl.
  2. Add the milk and mix this together in a circular motion with your fingers. Knead the dough until it forms a soft dough ball. It usually takes three to five minutes to knead the dough by hand. It takes practice, and you will get a feel for it. Continue to add a little extra flour to the countertop and continue kneading the dough until it is no longer sticky.
  3. Divide the dough into six portions and shape them into balls. Flatten each of the balls with your fingers from the center outward until it is round like a small pizza. Pull it back and forth and form it into a 6-inch tortilla. You can roll the dough with a rolling pin to flatten it as well.

Basic Dough

This dough can be used for making into tortillas or flat bread. The difference is that tortillas are cooked in a cast iron skillet without oil and flat bread is cooked in a frying pan with oil. How you cook it depends on what you are making.

Tortillas are usually filled with meat and ingredients such as tomatoes, onions and cheese and then rolled into a burrito or soft taco. Fry bread is used flat and topped with meat such as shredded beef, hamburger, chicken or pork, then topped with black beans, pinto beans, rice, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, minced onions, cheese, sour cream and guacamole. If fresh food is unavailable, use canned tomatoes, canned beans, canned meat and whatever else you have on hand.

Tortillas

To fry tortillas, the pan must be hot with no oil in it so that the bread dough does not raise and puff up like fry bread. It stays flat and soft.

Fry Bread

To fry the flat bread, you will need to prepare a frying pan with vegetable oil in it about 1/8-inch thick. Heat up the oil in the pan and place the fry bread in the oil. When it turns golden brown, turn it over and cook it on the other side. Take it out of the oil and place it on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

Bread Cooked Over Hot Coals Or On a Stick

Use this same recipe and method of preparation as for fry bread and tortillas. Shape the dough into a circular piece of flat bread and cook it on a wire rack that has been placed above the hot coals. Turn the bread over several times to make sure it is browned on both sides and has thoroughly cooked.

You can cook flat bread on a stick by wrapping the dough around a willow-type stick and securing it by pinching the dough together so it won’t fall off the stick. Hold it over the warm coals and turn it often so that all sides will brown evenly and cook all the way through.

Cookin' With Home StorageThis recipe came from the book Cookin’ With Home Storage.

This book has more than 550 food storage recipes as well as:

  • Emergency food storage instruction and tips on survival.
  • What to store and how much to store.
  • Reconstituting charts for dehydrated and freeze-dried foods.
  • Authentic pioneer and early settler recipes using basic food.
  • Fascinating historical pioneer information.
  • Natural beauty and personal care.
  • Natural household cleaners.
  • Grandma’s home remedies.
  • Emergency baby food.

–Peggy Layton

How To Add 10 Extra Years To Your Life

When I was a young girl, my grandma taught me many things. When she was a young mother, she raised her children during the Great Depression. My grandfather worked for $5 a day and their mortgage was $25 a month. My grandma was very frugal; she used up everything she had. Nothing went to waste.

Fresh, homemade yogurt was always brewing on the counter near Grandma’s stove in her warm kitchen. When my mother would take us for a visit, Grandma would tell us that if we ate yogurt every day it would help us to live 10 years longer. I believed her and never questioned my yogurt consumption.

If any of us grandchildren got cut, had a sunburn or a burn of any kind or even an upset stomach, Grandma gave us yogurt to eat. She even plastered it on us like salve. It felt so good on the sunburn and soothed the pain right away. I am following in my grandma’s footsteps by making my own fresh homemade yogurt.

Yogurt & BerriesI found out with a little research that my grandma was right on. Yogurt lowers cholesterol, boosts the immune system, helps with lactose intolerance and is rich in calcium and protein. If we have friendly flora in our intestinal tract, it boosts the immune system and helps fight infections, which help us avoid getting those nasty flu bugs that are going around. Yogurt returns friendly flora to our bodies that are killed by antibiotics. Eating yogurt boosts the immune system without any side effects. Eating yogurt can spare many trips to the doctor and, like my grandma said, add 10 extra years to life.

Yogurt Is A Natural Antibiotic

Yogurt is just fermented milk. You can make it by adding the active cultures Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus (L. bulgaricus) to heated milk. This produces lactic acid, which gives yogurt its strong tart flavor and its thick consistency.

Yogurt is not just a breakfast food anymore. Some cultures use yogurt in their everyday cooking. My grandma put yogurt on top of warm rice with fresh fruit cut up into small pieces on top. It was delicious. I like to make a dessert out of yogurt. I put frozen strawberries, peaches or apples chopped up on top of a bowl of yogurt, and then I sprinkle homemade granola on top of the fruit. This is the best dessert for me because I am diabetic and I can still enjoy dessert without all the sugar. Yum, yum!

Yogurt Starter

A yogurt starter is a must. You can purchase a plain unflavored yogurt with a live culture at any supermarket. You must read the label to make sure it has the active culture in it. Believe it or not, there are some yogurts in the supermarket that do not have the cultures added. They are loaded with sugar and are not that healthy or good for you.

One way to store yogurt culture for an extended period of time is in the powdered, freeze-dried form, which can be purchased from a health food store or a cheesemaking-supply website. The freeze-dried culture is best kept in the freezer or refrigerator.

Making your own yogurt is much less expensive and better for you because you can control what is put into it. You can add fresh fruit and stevia or other healthy sweeteners. Knowing that there are no preservatives or additives will give you true peace of mind.

YogurtMaking Grandma’s Homemade Yogurt From Powdered Milk

Most people have powdered milk in their food storage. This is a way that you can use up your powdered milk and make something yummy from it.

Mix the powdered milk according to the instructions on the package to make half a gallon of milk. If you want to double the yogurt, you can double the recipe. The first time you make yogurt is the only time you will need to purchase fresh yogurt. After that, you can keep it in a jar in the fridge and use 1/2 cup of plain yogurt to make another batch. This is much more economical than purchasing yogurt from the store. Use your own and keep it going like sourdough starter. I like to add fruit to my homemade yogurt. Just mix it into the pint jar and enjoy.

Homemade Yogurt

Ingredients

½ gallon of fresh milk or (Mix powdered milk and water together to make ½ gallon of milk)
1 extra cup powdered milk (to thicken the yogurt)
1-1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin or pectin (to thicken the yogurt)
½ cup plain unflavored yogurt (with active cultures)
¼ cup sweetener such as honey and agave or 1 teaspoon of stevia (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Clean, sterilized glass pint canning jars
Candy thermometer (optional)

Instructions

  1. Warm the oven on the lowest setting for about 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and keep the door closed so it remains warm. Place the clean glass canning jars on a cookie sheet.
  2. Mix the powdered milk and gelatin into the ½ gallon of milk.
  3. Add the milk to a stainless steel stock-pot and cook on high heat until it barely starts to boil. Get it to 200 degrees but no higher. Keep checking the thermometer. When you see little bubbles on the surface, hold it at 200 degrees for 20 minutes and then remove it from the heat. This is to kill any bacteria in the milk. This is especially important if you are using fresh cow’s milk or goat’s milk that has not been pasteurized. It also allows more time for the milk proteins to denature and bind together better to create a thicker yogurt like the store-bought kind.
  4. Let the milk cool to about 150 degrees (on the candy thermometer) or until you can comfortably place your hand on the side of the pot (or dip your clean finger into the milk) for at least 10 seconds without it being too hot. Placing the pot in a sink with ice will help cool down the pot, and it will chill faster.
  5. Once the milk has cooled down, put the yogurt into a bowl. Scoop out about ½ cup of warm milk and add it to the starter yogurt. Whisk it up until it is mixed well and then return the mixture to the pot with the rest of the milk.
  6. Add the sweetener and vanilla to the mixture. Stir gently two to three times to make sure it’s all mixed well. Then pour (or ladle) the milk and yogurt mixture into clean glass pint jars.
  7. Carefully move the cookie sheet of jars into the oven. Turn the oven light on (very important) and set the timer for four hours.
  8. Remove the jars from the oven and rest them on the counter until they’ve cooled to room temperature. Then, cover the jars with canning lids and rings and store them in the fridge. The yogurt should be set after eight hours in the fridge, where they’ll keep for up to 10 days. You can put the yogurt in an insulated ice chest or cooler with ice in it for the eight hours it takes to set.

Add ION (Stabilized Oxygen) To Yogurt

ION stabilized oxygen keeps the yogurt from going sour. Just add eight drops of ION to each pint of yogurt right after filling the jars with the yogurt and milk mixture. Stir it up and let it set in the fridge for the remaining eight hours while it thickens. ION is very good for the intestinal tract; it kills all harmful bacteria and actually enhances the friendly flora in the body.

Yogurt MakerCommercial Yogurt Makers

There are several commercial yogurt makers on the market if you feel safer doing it that way.  They are inexpensive (usually less than $40). The jars rest on a warming plate that keeps the temperature controlled at the right degrees to grow the yogurt culture and help it set up.

Add Toppings To Your Granola

When eating yogurt, add fresh or dried fruit and granola to the top. I especially love frozen strawberries stirred up into the yogurt, which freezes it and makes it into a frozen dessert. I also like to use yogurt and fruit in smoothies and salad dressings as well as sauces.

Homemade Yogurtsicles

YogurtsiclesI remember as a child we made homemade Popsicles. You can do the same thing if you have Popsicle molds. Just mix the yogurt and berries together and put the mixture into the molds, then pop them in the freezer. I have even made these in the snow. Our weather in Utah gets below 0 degrees F in the winter; these yogurtsicles freeze outside as well.

Cookin' With Powdered MilkFind this recipe and other recipes for making yogurt, several types of cheeses, cottage cheese and buttermilk using powdered milk in my book Cookin’ With Powdered Milk.

–Peggy Layton

Are You Prepared For Basic Survival?

What if a natural disaster, food and water contamination, or any other type of emergency disrupted your life? Do you have the essentials for you and your family to survive? Do you have a plan in place in the unlikely event that the power, telephone, water, gasoline and food supply were cut off for an extended period of time?

The start of a new year brings resolutions and new commitments. I challenge you to evaluate how prepared you really are and recommit yourself to getting more prepared in the year 2013.

Understanding basic preparedness concepts and ideas, as well as practicing those skills, will help you develop confidence in dealing with any disaster or emergency situation that might arise in your family or community. Preparedness is the ability to take care of your own physical needs, as well as those you are responsible for and anyone else in need, during a crisis. You will be the one helping others rather than asking others for help.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the media hype about the end of the world, natural disasters and the problems we are all facing with the pending economic collapse and problems with the government. I advise you to take it one step at a time and concentrate on basic, short-term needs first before you move on to long-term needs. Getting prepared for anything is a journey. It takes thought and preparation. It may even feel like a step back in time as you learn the skills your grandparents knew and practiced on a daily basis.

Basic Survival Needs Include Food, Water, Shelter

Basic needs are those things that are necessary to sustain life. In your preparations you will be maintaining enough food, water, clothing, bedding, fuel and other necessities for warmth and shelter. This is a very simplistic way to look at preparedness, but it is a starting point. And it must be achieved first before moving onto other more complicated preparations.

Food

I keep on hand ready-made meals that are simple and easy to prepare. In any short-term emergency, no one wants to fix anything complicated. I also store food such as canned meats to add to any packaged meal, as well as dehydrated vegetables that can be reconstituted. Soup and premade mixes are great for quick-fix meals. Store anything easy that you can open and eat right out of the can or is simple to prepare by just adding water.

Water Storage TanksWater

One gallon of water per person per day is recommended for drinking, making meals, bathing, etc. The water can be stored in large containers in your home or garage. I own a water tank, and I keep it in a shed. It has never frozen in the winter, and it stays relatively cool in the summer. I really like the 185-gallon and the 250-gallon tanks because they are tall and do not take up much room in a corner. They fit through any standard-sized door and have two spigots on them to dispense water, as well as a hole in the top with a cap for filling the water-storage tanks. The water can be drained quickly into smaller containers, if necessary. I also keep many small containers of water on hand that I could grab and load into the vehicle if needed.

Stabilized Oxygen Water Treatment

I always use ION (stabilized oxygen) as a water treatment in my water tanks, as well as in any contaminated water. It keeps the water safe for five to 15 years, and it will treat 110 gallons of water. ION kills all harmful bacteria in the water on contact.

Shelter, Lighting, Fuel

A lightweight tent and tarps are important to have in a handy place. My husband and I have an entire shed dedicated to camping and evacuation equipment. Everything is in backpacks and totes that we could grab and load into the vehicle if we needed to. Sleeping bags and wool blankets are in duffle bags ready to go as well. We have lighting equipment such as solar flashlights and kerosene lanterns on the shelves, along with medical kits, lots of food and the equipment to cook it with.

Make A Preparedness Plan

The first thing to do is get out a notebook and start planning your list. If the power, water, gas and other vital municipalities were disrupted, what would you need to have on hand to meet your family’s basic needs of food, water, clothing, bedding, shelter and warmth?

Staying in your home is the first option. Plan a list of skills that you would like to learn that would help you be more self-sufficient.

An example could be:

  • Learn new gardening methods.
  • Learn how to filter and purify water in the event of contamination.
  • Learn how to cut and chop wood using a chain saw and an ax.
  • Learn how to build a fire with a bow or flint and steel.
  • Learn how to build a temporary shelter using a tarp and rope.
  • Learn how to build an outdoor kitchen to prepare food without power.
  • Learn how to cook using the staple foods like beans, rice and other dehydrated foods.

Turn Off Your Power, Water, Gas, Computers And Cellphones

The term “shelter in place” this means stay home and weather out the disruption. If you really want to find out how prepared you are, you can take a specific weekend and turn off the power, water and gas to your home. The rules of this drill are that you cannot go to the grocery store for food or gas station. Conduct this drill as if it were a real-life situation. You must survive a 72-hour period of time with whatever you have on hand in your home and vehicles. You can use only the gasoline that is in the vehicle at the time you start the drill. When the gasoline is gone, then you do not drive anywhere else. You can barter with friends and family, but make no purchases.

Keep a journal of what you learned from the experience. Note things such as how much water you needed and how hard it was to make meals or food of any kind. What did you have too much of and what did you wish you had more of? This will help you more than anything if you are serious about being prepared.

Once you know what it takes for a 72-hour emergency, you can multiply that by 10 for a month and then by three for three months. This will help you know exactly what you will need to survive a long-term emergency where the utilities are disrupted.

Bugging Out

Bugging out to another location is the second option. If you live in an area where there are hurricanes, tornados or super storms, you will need to plan differently. Bugging out might be the best scenario for you. Every region of the country is different, and every family is different.

Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook by Peggy LaytonThink of what you would need to survive a 72-hour period of time. Plan for a camping trip, keeping in mind that you can take only what fits in a backpack and in your vehicle.  This is where a bug-out bag (BOB) comes in handy. BOBs are also called 72-hour backpacks or grab-and-go bags. Take into consideration your entire family and all their needs as well. You may want to have backpacks with water bladders built into them. Again, this becomes a matter of preparing properly. If you have your planned-out list and proceed to purchase items from that list, you will fare much better than if you haphazardly purchase items without a plan.

If you are just beginning a preparedness program or if you are well on your way to being self-sufficient, you might like my book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook. With this handbook by your side, you and your family will learn how to plan for, purchase and store a three-month supply of all the necessities, including food, water, fuel, first aid supplies, clothing, bedding and shelter. This book includes many lists for putting together different kinds of kits.

–Peggy Layton

Prepping For Cold-Weather Holiday Trips

If you are traveling to a relative’s house this holiday season, be sure to have a car kit ready and safely tucked away under a seat just in case you end up in bad weather and need extra items to stay safe and warm. Having such a kit will give you peace of mind when you drive long distances, since bad weather, breakdowns, accidents, flat tires, running out of gas and unexpected delays can occur at any time. In addition, your car kit can double as a bug-out bag if you need to evacuate or leave your car for any reason.

Emergency Car Kit

This Emergency Car Kit fits most emergency situations while traveling. All items are packed in a heavy-duty backpack. You can purchase the car kit separately or gather your own supplies and make one in a small bag or backpack. I suggest that if you purchase a pre-made car kit, you evaluate it and add to it according to what you and your family will need. It should be as compact as possible so it can be stowed away under a seat in the vehicle. The larger items will need to be kept in a weatherproof container in the trunk of the car or in the back of a truck.

A car kit should contain:
Emergency Car Survival Kit

  • Two 30-minute high-intensity light sticks and flairs
  • Solar spotlight and solar flashlight
  • Solar blanket
  • Waterproof poncho
  • Swiss army knife
  • Leather gloves
  • Whistle
  • Duct tape
  • Utility knife
  • Emergency instruction booklet
  • Reflecting triangle
  • Help sign or distress banner
  • First aid kit
  • Toilet paper and wet wipes
  • Drinking water and water bottle
  • Emergency food and snacks
  • Emergency money

In addition to the emergency car kit, keep the following items in your vehicle also:

  • Ice scraper
  • Heavy-duty tow rope and smaller rope
  • Jumper cables
  • Fire extinguisher (small)
  • Waterproof matches or butane lighter
  • One gallon of extra gasoline and one can of motor oil
  • Tire pump or aerosol tire inflator
  • Jack and lug wrench
  • Spare tire
  • Extra fan belt, radiator hose and fuses
  • Small shovel and basic tools
  • Warm socks, gloves, extra clothing and a coat
  • Warm blanket and tarp

 

Water

Take extra water for everyone riding in your vehicle. Realistically, we can survive about 72 hours without water and much longer without food. Staying hydrated is important for proper brain functioning and staying level-headed in a crisis. I always carry ION Stabilized Oxygen (water treatment) in my vehicle to treat contaminated water to make it potable. It kills and destroys harmful bacteria on contact. It takes 8 drops of ION to an 8-ounce glass of water. Stir and drink. A 2-ounce bottle will treat 110 gallons of questionable water on contact. ION is non-toxic and has an indefinite shelf life. You will need a water bottle to use in case you have to get water from a lake or stream.

Solar-Powered SpotlightSolar–powered spotlight or flashlight

I love my solar-powered spotlight and flashlight. I keep them in my car at all times. They charge with sunlight, natural and artificial light. The Solar Flashlight works in extreme temperatures, hot or cold. You never have to purchase batteries. It works for more than 100,000 hours, and it holds a single charge for three years without exposure to any light. It is unmatched in durability due to its one-piece construction. It withstands a strong impact and has a lifetime warranty.

If you are traveling with babies or toddlers add these extra things to a child’s pack:

  • Baby carrier, such as a backpack or front pack
  • Diapers and wet wipes
  • Water and juices
  • Baby food
  • Rice cereal, plastic bowl and spoon
  • Bottles, formula
  • Toys
  • Blanket, extra clothing, warm coat, hat and gloves

Add these things for your pets:

  • Pet carrier and warm blanket (if needed)
  • Pet food, treats and water for three days
  • Collar, leash and toys

Wishing you a safe and enjoyable time with your loved ones during the holiday season.

–Peggy Layton

Give The Gift Of Preparedness This Christmas

Christmastime is approaching once again, and another year is coming to an end. It has been a long-standing tradition to give gifts to friends and loved ones to reflect on the birth of Jesus. The wise men came bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. I know that Christmas has been so commercialized that it has lost its true meaning; however, Christmas does give us a reason to reflect on the season and how grateful we are for friends and family. Gift giving is a tradition, so why not give practical gifts that our loved ones can use year-round.

I give practical preparedness items to my friends, family and loved ones every year. As my children get married and have families of their own, they appreciate these types of gifts more than they used to. I have three married children, several who are single and live in apartments and some who are going to college. I worry about them venturing out into the big world. I want to make sure they have some preparations that could make them safer and even could save their lives in times of crises.

One year, I gave my husband and my children sleeping bags that would keep them warm at 20-30 degrees below 0. They were very expensive, and I wondered if it would be practical for everyone. My oldest son volunteers at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, every January. The frigid 20-below weather would surely freeze the faint of heart. My son slept in his sleeping bag in the back of his van for the entire week, and he had no problems. He was very happy that I had given him such a practical gift.

The Following Items Are My Favorites For Gift Giving:

3-Cheese Alfredo Pasta with ChickenEmergency Food Storage (Pre-Packaged Meals)

Last year, all my children got a large assortment of Go Foods™ prepackaged meals that serve four people. I loaded each one of them up with a large box of food. These meals are so easy to fix that even my daughter in college can boil water and cook them. I like Go Foods because the meals have no genetically modified organisms, no MSG, no trans fats, no illegal fertilizers and no chemicals or harmful preservatives. The shelf life is 15-25 years. You can eat these meals tonight, store them for a rainy day or share them with others. Go Foods has a Christmas special this month that is a great deal.

Hybrid FlashlightSolar-Powered Flashlights 

I love my solar-powered flashlight. I keep it in my car at all times. It charges with sunlight, natural and artificial light. This is one of the gifts my children are getting for Christmas.

The Solar Flashlight works in extreme temperatures, hot or cold. You never have to purchase batteries. It works for more than 100,000 hours, and it holds a single charge for three years without exposure to any light.

It is 100 percent waterproof, and it floats. It is made of 50 percent polycarbonate and 50 percent plastic. It is unmatched in durability due to its one-piece construction. It withstands a strong impact and has a lifetime warranty.

American Harvest Food DehydratorFood Dehydrator   

I love my food dehydrator, and I use it all the time. My married daughter wants one of these for Christmas because she has several fruit trees in her yard and she loves to snack on dried apples, peaches and pears.

NESCO®/American Harvest® has been the leader in food dehydrators for more than 30 years. The Converge-a-Flow® airflow assures even drying from top to bottom, without the tray rotation required by other dehydrators.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced “pro” making beef jerky, drying fruits, vegetables, herbs or flowers, NESCO®/American Harvest® offers the best units available. These make great gifts for preppers.

Grain MillWondermill Junior Hand Grain Grinder

The Wonder Junior is the highest quality most versatile hand grain mill available. You can create super-fine flour or coarse cracked grains for cereals. By simply swapping the stone heads for the stainless steel burr heads, you can make delicious peanut butter or other nut butters and grind flax or any other oily or wet grains, herbs, spices, soybeans and legumes. You can even grind fresh coffee. In all these applications, you are assured to always have the perfect fresh nutritious ingredients for your family — even if the power is out.

Car Survival KitDeluxe Emergency Car Kit

This kit fits most all road emergency situations. All items are packed in a heavy-duty backpack. Each kit contains:  one 30-minute high-intensity light stick, a tow rope, an auto spotlight, jumper cables, a first aid kit, a flashlight with batteries, a fire extinguisher, a solar blanket, a waterproof poncho, a Swiss army knife, a flat tire fixer, drinking water, leather gloves, a whistle, duct tape, a utility knife, emergency instructions, a help sign, wet wipes, a reflecting triangle and a distress banner.

Deluxe 72-hour 1-Person PackDeluxe 72-Hour (Grab And Go) Backpack For 1 Person

This pack contains one oversized backpack with the following items: a flashlight that takes D batteries, two D batteries, four eight-hour light sticks, one emergency AM/FM radio, two AAA batteries, a solar reflective blanket, an emergency rain poncho, one tube tent, 3,600-calorie food bars, six 4.2-ounce water pouches, 50 water purification tablets, 30 bandages in two sizes, two sterile sponge dressings, six alcohol pads, two antiseptic towelettes, two butterfly closures, 10 cotton-tip applicators, one iodine pad, four masks, a multi-tool knife, one five-in-one survival whistle, one 50-foot rope, work gloves and an emergency preparedness guide.

Sun Oven BakewareSun Oven With Bakeware Preparedness Package

I own one of these Global Sun Ovens, and I use it all the time. I even bake bread in it. The Global Sun Oven bakes, boils or steams any kind of food with the power of the sun.

The Sun Oven basic package includes: one black, round, covered enamelware cooking pot; a built in thermometer that reaches temperatures of 360 to 400 F; attached one-piece collapsible reflectors; a spill-proof levelator; and a self-contained focusing leg.

The Sun Oven weighs 21 pounds, folds up in seconds and comes with a carrying handle.

The preparedness package includes: one additional round, covered, enamelware cooking pot for stacking; one water pasteurization indicator; one set of two loaf pans; one set of two stackable cookie sheet/brownie pans.

ION Stabilized OxygenION Stabilized Oxygen (Water Treatment)

Discounts apply to multiple orders of ION Stabilized Oxygen (water treatment).

  • A 2-ounce bottle will purify 110 gallons of questionable water on contact.
  • ION is non-toxic.
  • ION has an indefinite shelf life. It will not go bad sitting on a shelf.
  • ION can be used in water storage barrels or containers. It will keep the water safe for up to five years.
  • ION can also be used for medicinal uses. If you are feeling sick, take 20 drops in an 8-ounce glass of water three times a day and you will get better.

Cookbooks By Peggy Layton

Cookin' With Home StorageCookin With Home Storage includes:

  • Charts on what food to store and how much to store.
  • Charts on how to reconstitute dehydrated and freeze-dried food.
  • Fascinating historical information on how the pioneers really lived.
  • Authentic pioneer recipes using basic foods.
  • Emergency food storage and survival tips.
  • Great Grandma’s home remedies and household cleaners.
  • Natural beauty and personal care.
  • Homemade baby food and pet food.

Cookin’ With Home Storage is a fascinating cookbook with more than 550 recipes for using basic food storage to make meals. If you purchase in quantities of six or more, you will receive a 25 percent discount.

Emergency Food Storage & Survival HandbookEmergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook contains a timely and practical six-step plan for storing a three-month reserve of food, water and survival supplies. It’s perfect for the millions of families who, in light of lingering safety threats, are re-examining their preparedness. This book includes plans for the do-it-yourself crowd. How to put together a 72-hour emergency kit, a medical kit, a car kit and a baby kit. This book is a workbook with charts on what foods to store and how much to store. It walks you through getting prepared step by step in an easy-to-follow format. If you purchase in quantities of six or more, you will receive a 25 percent discount. Giving the gift of preparedness will help everyone you love be better prepared.

–Peggy Layton

De-Stress During The Holidays By Being Thankful In All Things

The holiday season is upon us once again. The holidays are a time to be with our families and reflect on how thankful we are for our many blessings. I believe that life is perfect in everything we experience. Whether it seems, looks or feels painful in any way, there is always a silver lining. If we look deeper, we will find the positive and discover what we have learned from the experience.

Every time my family has a holiday dinner, we go around the table and each person tells what he is thankful for. As we recognize the value of every experience in our lives, our thankfulness will increase. Having an attitude of gratitude is the first step to living a fulfilled life. It’s not what happens to us in life that matters; it is how we handle what happens to us.

Write In A Gratitude Journal And Watch Your Life Improve

Developing an attitude of gratitude toward every person, thing and event in your life is an effective way to strengthen your emotional resilience and reduce stress during the holidays. A gratitude journal makes it easy to focus on the positive especially in any given stressful situation. It is also a tool to help us recognize that we are blessed. Here’s what to do:

  1. Get a blank notebook or journal and start writing every day.
  2. Gratitude journal writing is more effective at the end of the day. Simply list at least three things (per day) that you are grateful for in this journal.
  3. Take each of the things you are grateful for and write a sentence or two to expound on them. Do this consistently each day, and your life will improve. When you have written about all the obvious things, then dig deep and write about the subtle small things you have noticed such as young children, nature, flowers, bumblebees, garden vegetables and any other amazing thing you are grateful for.
  4. Extend yourself beyond the journal. Start telling people in your life that you are grateful for them and the little things they do to bless your life. The response may be so great that you will do it on a regular basis.

Emotional Survival Is As Important As Physical Survival

If someone or something outside of your control harms, triggers or upsets you, look at it as a blessing so you can learn something from it. Be grateful and thank God for the experience and what you have learned. Know that you might be playing a role in someone else’s life lesson. Practice the art of not taking it personally and allowing the other person to learn what they need to as well from the experience.

Don’t be a rescuer in someone else’s life lesson. Never jump in and fix it for someone, or he will become weak and dependent on you. Be kind and listen, but let him know that you trust him to make the right decision and that he is very capable of making correct decisions. Then, lovingly support him in that decision. If his choice is something you cannot live with, then you must do what is right for you and allow him to learn from his mistakes.

If you are having trouble with a spouse or child or any in other relationship, make a list of all the things you are grateful for about the person involved. Your relationship with that person will improve. Let go of negative energy, releasing hard feelings and replacing them with love. Go one step further and share the positive list you made with him.

If you have unresolved negative feelings toward anyone in your life, write a letter to that person explaining yourself very clearly. Get it all out of you. Seal the letter and address it to him. Go to a backyard fire pit or fireplace where you can burn the letter with a match. When it goes out, light another one. Keep lighting one match after another until the letter is all burned up. Count how many matches it took to burn the entire letter. That is how many issues associated with this person that you let go of. Let it burn up all the negative feelings. You will feel much better and you never have to mail the letter to the person or talk about it with them.

My husband has a question that he likes to ask people who are having struggles: How do you know that you are in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing? The answer is: Because you are doing it.

As we recognize the value of every experience, negative or positive, in our lives, our thankfulness will increase automatically and we will be wise enough to receive all experiences with thankfulness.

Practice The Golden Rule

Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. The power of unconditional love and acceptance is what will help us get through an emotionally stressful time. One of the biggest problems I see in society is the lack of respect and tolerance for human differences and beliefs.

We all think we have the best religion, the best beliefs and the best ideas. We think that if others would just do it our way, they would be happy. Every person on the face of the Earth walks to the beat of his or her own drum. All drums are not alike, and they play differently. The uniqueness is what makes diversity. We are all on this Earth to gain an experience in a different way. That is why it is so important to let people be who they are.

I am not talking about letting people harm us or violate common laws that we all live by. But honor the uniqueness in everyone. Do not expect them to think like you do or fit into any kind of box that you, religion or society has set up. Do yourself a favor and accept your own uniqueness as well.

I believe we were all put on this Earth to experience the craziness of an upside-down world. Nothing is as it should be in an ideal situation. It gets confusing and we must figure out how to survive. The first step is accepting what is instead of fighting against it; just say, “I accept this situation as it is.” If you think something needs to be changed or someone needs to act or be different, turn it over to God and ask through prayer for that persons heart to be softened and changed. My experience has been that the only person I can change is me,and most the time that is very difficult to do without Gods help.We must be a light and not a judge.

Practice Forgiveness Therapy

We must forgive every person who harms us in any way or does evil to our loved ones or us. It is hard to forgive someone who has truly done us harm. We must reach into the deepest part of our souls to do this. This is where mighty prayer comes in real handy.

So many people are angry with the government, the President, the politicians, their neighbors and their enemies. The only way to fight someone evil is with God and his angels helping us. Forgiveness of ourselves for even thinking mean thoughts is as important as forgiving others. Anger, hatred and an ego-based desire to be right will destroy us. Surrender to “what is.” Instead of fighting against it, pray for the situation to be solved in the best way for all people involved. Prayer is more powerful than any other weapon we can use. We can find solutions to our problems this way.

You might be thinking that I am an idealistic person with fantastical ideas, but I have lived long enough to know that this is the first thing to do in any bad situation. We waste so much time and energy being angry and fighting against something we want to change but have absolutely no control over. If someone offends you, just take a deep breath and know that the mirror is on him. He is seeing in you something he doesn’t like in himself. People who have learned to accept and forgive usually do not see the flaws in others. They love unconditionally and live a much more peaceful life with less drama.

Do not retaliate and try to harm others who have offended you in any way. Send them blessings and prayers. The easiest way to do this is to ask God to take care of the situation for you and trust that he will, stand back and watch Him do it and thank Him for what he has done. Miracles really do happen.

I am a licensed massage therapist and hypnotherapist, and I have used these techniques for my own life as well as to help others. Emotional survival is important in everything we do. If we are emotionally stable, we can reach out and light a path for others.

–Peggy Layton

Lessons Learned From Superstorm Sandy

In an emergency evacuation, there will always be people who stay behind to protect their personal belongings. People who ignored evacuation warnings had to be rescued and some lost their lives in one of the worst storms in the history of natural disasters in the United States.

The biggest challenges were hunger and cold because of electrical outages. More than 8.1 million homes and businesses lost power.

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, city leaders across the country are asking how their city would respond to a similar disaster and examining their preparedness and self-reliance needs. Sandy would have resulted in much more damage to property, loss of lives and overall disruption of basic infrastructure and utility services had rapid response, timely evacuation warnings and accurate decision-making not been implemented.

People affected by Sandy reported the following frightening issues:

  • Neighborhoods were completely homeless.
  • People had no place to go.
  • People had no power.
  • Many vehicles were under water.
  • People were waiting in gas lines only to find gas rationing at the stations.
  • Relief help was nonexistent. The Federal Emergency Management Agency promised to get to victims as soon as possible. The Red Cross was delayed in giving help.
  • People were caught without shoes and had very little warm clothing.
  • Older people trapped in high-rise apartments with no power in the dark could not leave because of electrical wires broken and the threat of electrocution.
  • Subways, buses and public transportation were all shut down.
  • People were walking to get food and supplies.
  • Some had no cash and could not use their credit cards.
  • There was no potable drinking water, because it was contaminated.
  • There was a shortage of food in the grocery stores.
  • People with food stamp cards could not use them because the grocery stores were accepting only cash due to the lack of power to run the cash registers.
  • People were afraid of looters, so some stayed behind to protect their property.
  • Some people watched helplessly as their neighbors were killed or drowned.
  • Many people had to be rescued from their homes.
  • There was only spotty cellphone service and nowhere to charge the cellphones.
  • Some people were told that they could not return to their homes because of the extensive damage and contamination.
  • People who did return reported that the water had ruined everything. Some people’s belongings had been looted.
  • Insurance companies were overwhelmed.
  • People’s work schedules were completely disrupted. Even getting to work was a huge problem.

Perhaps the most valuable lesson to be learned from the storm is: Don’t mess with Mother Nature (just get out). But Sandy taught us other lessons, too.

Buy Flood Insurance

Many people did not have flood insurance and, as a result, are financially devastated. That is why it is so important to check your insurance policy to make sure you are covered by storms related to Mother Nature. It is worth the extra money to get a better policy that covers weather-related incidents and flood insurance.

Plan An Evacuation Route

Carefully plan your evacuation in advance. Figure out where you’d go if you had to leave your home in an emergency (the home of a friend or relative, a shelter or an evacuation site). Map out how to get there and share this information with all close family and friends. Appoint an out-of-town relative or friend as a contact person your entire family can reach if you become separated. Make sure every family member has the phone number memorized and understands what to do in an evacuation or any other true emergency.

72-Hour 1-Person PackPack A 72-Hour Bug-Out Bag

Keep an easy-to-carry backpack full of the most important essentials that you would need if you had to evacuate your home in a hurry. Prepare one for every member of the family. Leave room for important items such as your wallet, credit cards, checkbook, laptop and hard drive with all the cords, as well as your cellphone and charger.

The following items should be included in your grab-and-go backpack:

  • Bottled water
  • ION (stabilized oxygen) water treatment to kill bacteria in contaminated water.
  • Non-perishable food such as meals ready to eat, just-add-water and easy-to-fix meals.
  • An alternative lightweight portable cook stove for heating food such as a Jet-Boil.
  • Solar-powered or battery-powered flashlight with backup batteries.
  • Solar-powered or battery-operated radio with extra batteries.
  • Emergency Mylar® blankets as well as lightweight blankets.
  • Personal medications.
  • Personal hygiene items.
  • First-aid kit.
  • Several hundred dollars in small bills and coins.
  • A change of warm clothes and shoes.

A backpack for a baby should include diapers, baby wipes, baby food, shoes, clothing, medicines, small toys and a blanket.

ION Stabilized OxygenION (Stabilized Oxygen Water Treatment)

I would not be without ION in my bug-out bag. It is non-toxic, has a long shelf life, kills all harmful bacteria and will treat 110 gallons of water safely. You can use rainwater or take water from a stream and treat it. If you are getting sick, you can mix 20 drops of ION in an 8-ounce glass of water and drink it. It will knock the flu or diarrhea bug out of your body quickly. I take ION on all my trips to Mexico or other countries where the water is questionable. I put it in all liquids such as soups, juices, drinks and water. It keeps us from getting sick. 

Important Photos And Documents

Have another container with easy-to-grip handles that hold family photos, CDs with photos, scrapbooks, important documents and anything else that is irreplaceable.

Buy A Portable Generator

A portable generator is nice to have on hand in case you have to keep your refrigerator, freezer or any other appliance going. You can charge your cellphones and laptops if you have power from a generator. Don’t use gasoline motors in enclosed spaces because of carbon monoxide gas.

Prepare For Your Pets

In the aftermath of Sandy (as is the case in all major storms), many pets were lost, displaced or killed. Most people consider their animals as members of the family. They cannot bear to leave them behind. Many residents would rather stay behind with their pets than to leave them behind. Plan ahead for their safety by assembling a bug-out bag for your pets. Include the most important things you would need for them in an evacuation — things such as pet food, water, a leash, a collar, a blanket and a portable cage. Research all pet-evacuation centers in your area just in case your pet has to go to a designated pet shelter. Make sure your pet is properly tagged so it can be returned to you in case it is found stranded somewhere.

Prepare To Take Care Of Yourself And Your Family

Help may not arrive for at least three days. That is about how long it takes to get help in an emergency situation. Having a two-week supply of essentials will make life a whole lot easier. Think through the entire situation and plan your strategy. Find out if any of your neighbors are senior citizens, disabled people or families with young children. If so, get to know them. The lives you save might be theirs. With extra emergency supplies on hand, you can help others instead of waiting for help.

–Peggy Layton

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 next year.

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

3 Cheese Alfredo Pasta with Chicken
Tenness Cornbread Muffins

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.

–Peggy Layton

Emergency Survival Supplies To Buy Used

There are all kinds of places to get survival items such as Goodwill Industries, Deseret Industries, thrift shops, estate sales, yard sales, garage sales, fundraisers, pawn shops, flea markets, moving sales and Internet sites such as Craigslist, Half.com, eBay and Amazon.

Every Saturday during the good-weather months, I sneak off in the mornings to see what I can find at the local yard sales. I am always on the lookout for things like camping equipment, sleeping bags, wool blankets, backpacks and medical supplies.

I am also stockpiling emergency supplies, canning supplies, medical supplies, lighting, garden tools, hand tools, fishing equipment, warm winter clothing, bedding, fuel, guns and ammo. Whenever I find a bargain, I add it to my stockpile.

You can find myriad useful survival items at garage sales and thrift stores. I love garage sales, and I always find good stuff — like the time I found a Vitamix for $25 and a Champion Juicer for $50. My last great find was 10 oil lamps still in the package for $3 each; I bought them all.

The following categories include a list of items that can be found secondhand and will save you money.

Emergency food storage and survival books. People sell books cheap. Look for cookbooks that have recipes for using dehydrated foods, canning, cooking with a Dutch oven, and making simple pioneer and outdoor-cooked meals. The recipes should include simple ingredients that almost everyone would have in their pantry. Half.com, eBay and Amazon all have many books to choose from that would be a great resource for emergency and survival. I have written several books on the subject, check them out at www.peggylayton.com.

Camping, hiking and fishing equipment. Be on the lookout for camping items such as backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, heavy-duty cord, tuck tape, a propane camp stove, charcoal grills with charcoal, foam bed rolls, cots to sleep on, coolers and kitchen equipment such as Dutch ovens, cast-iron pots and pans, military mess kits, good knives, utensils, and a hand-operated can opener. I look for 5-gallon buckets because they come in handy for all kinds of situations. Portable toilets are nice to have, too. Duct tape serves many purposes and should be in every stockpile of emergency supplies. Look for fishing equipment such as: tackle boxes, fishing poles, reels, lures, flies, nets, an ice cutting auger, ice fishing tent, chairs and equipment. And a good sharp knife is also a great find.

Canning equipment and jars. My latest find was two water bath canners for $10 each. One was a smaller canner for pints and the larger one for quarts. Other canning items include jar lifters, funnels, tomato juice extractors, juice cookers and big pots.

I usually pick up canning jars at garage sales for 25 cents each or less. Canning jars come in half-pint, pint, quart and half-gallon sizes. Look for jar rings to go on the canning jars to hold the lids on tight.

Emergency radios.Wind-up emergency radios, battery-operated radios with batteries, ham radios and scanners will help tremendously in an emergency. A radio or scanner is your link to the outside world. What is happening in any emergency can be heard on these types of radios. Look at pawn shops for this type of equipment.

Garden and hand tools. I have a hand cultivator for my garden. I got it secondhand. It is at least 50 years old and is still in good working condition. Look for garden tools like rakes, shovels, manual lawn mowers, loppers, hoes, pitchforks, crowbars and wood-splitting tools like sledge hammers, axes, hatchets, wedges, etc.

Hand tools you can look for include hammers, manual screwdrivers and any other tool that would be nice to have in a survival situation. If you can find a chain saw, get it along with the oil and fuel to run it. Also, look for a gas-driven generator along with gasoline storage containers.

Guns and ammo. Most pawn shops carry guns and ammo at a reasonable price. People get down and out and need quick cash, so they pawn their guns. You can get hunting rifles as well as handguns this way. Look for gun cases, gun-cleaning kits, clay targets and decoys. Other hunting items to look for include crossbows, arrows and insulated camouflage clothing.

 Kitchen equipment

I look for food dehydrators, bread makers and wheat grinders because sometimes people are getting rid of things they haven’t used for a while. These items are very valuable and can be found at bargain prices. There are solar food dehydrators as well as hand wheat grinders. My bread maker has an attachment for a hand crank so if the power goes out I can still make bread. Many other kitchen items can be found secondhand.

Lighting and fire-making equipment. Look for battery-powered flashlights, solar-powered flashlights, lanterns, spotlights, oil lanterns and candles. Don’t forget the batteries, matches, butane igniters and lighters. Be sure to get the fuel for the lanterns, wicks and mantles. Flint and steel can be found in my purse at all times.

Medical kits. I am always on the lookout for medical supplies. I found a complete suture kit at a yard sale once. This summer I picked up medical-kit bags that were empty but brand new. I will fill them myself and keep one in my car, home and business. Items to look for are new boxes of bandages, butterfly strips, sterile gauze, first-aid tape, surgical scissors, unopened boxes of Depends, waterproof sterile bed pads, walkers, wheelchairs, crutches and medical scooters. I have even seen unopened first-aid medical kits for sale. If it is an estate sale and the person was being attended by an in home nursing program, there will most likely be medical supplies at the sale. Just ask for what you want, and they might have it.

I keep ION (stabilized oxygen) in my medical kit at all times and in my purse. It kills bacteria on contact and treats 110 gallons of water per bottle.

Warm clothing, winter boots and warm blankets. I look for warm winter gloves, socks, scarves, jackets and coats of all sizes. I get larger-sized items so if the grandkids grow, they can still wear the items. I store winter boots for everyone in the family as well as good shoes to walk or hike in. Just in case we had to walk a long way, I make sure they are comfortable and heavy duty.

I look for wool blankets because they are so warm. You can use them inside a sleeping blanket or on top. They are getting hard to find, so you might have to ask whether any are for sale.

These ideas came from the book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook by Peggy Layton. Check it out at www.peggylayton.com.

–Peggy Layton

The 12 Most Important Food Items To Stockpile

Building a comprehensive food stockpile is a daunting task, to say the least. For that reason, I recommend you begin stocking your home grocery store with basic foods that will enable you to survive during a relatively short-term (two weeks to three months) emergency and then gradually expand your inventory to enable you to survive a long-term emergency (one year or longer) that includes a full array of food and non-food items necessary and tailored to your family’s needs and likes.

When considering what to store, keep in mind young children, babies, elderly family members and your pets. Keep special needs items on hand also such as baby food, formula and pet food. Don’t forget the toilet paper.

The following 12 categories of food items (stored somewhere in your home) could very well save your life and the lives of many others in an emergency situation.

1) Garden Seeds

I suggest you purchase non-hybrid garden seeds. The seed can be harvested from your own garden and saved from year to year. If we have a situation where garden seeds are not available, you will have your own. Garden seeds are a great barter Item. Garden seeds have a shelf life, so check the package for the expiration date.

Basic garden seeds to have on hand that will grow in most climates are: asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, beets, cabbage, cantaloupe, cucumbers, eggplant, endive, green onions, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, melons, mustard greens, okra, pole or bush beans, parsley, parsnips, peas, peppers, pumpkin, radish, rutabaga, spinach, squash, sweet corn, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnips, and watermelon.

Alfalfa Sprouting2) Sprouting Seeds

Many different whole grains, beans and legumes, as well as seeds, will sprout when soaked overnight. When you sprout these foods, they provide an excellent source of enzymes and nutrients that you would normally eat if you had fresh vegetables. After sprouting these seeds, grains and legumes, their vitamins and minerals increase by 75 percent. Sprouts can be used in place of salads and in stir-frying.

The most common seeds and legumes for sprouting are alfalfa; broccoli; lentils; radish; red clover; salad blends; sprouting peas; sunflower; wheat; and legumes such as adzuki, garbanzo, kidney, mung, pinto, red, beans and soybeans.

3) Grains

Wheat is the most common grain and the main constituent of bread. In many cultures, whole grain bread is considered the staff of life.

If you are allergic to wheat, there are other grains that you can use such as barley, buckwheat, amaranth, Kamut®, millet, quinoa, rye, spelt, triticale corn, farina, germade, oats and rice.

White rice stores much longer, but brown rice is much more nutritious. Brown rice can be stored in the freezer to extend the shelf life.

4) Beans And Legumes

A wide variety of beans are available, such as black beans, great northern beans, lentils, navy beans, pinto beans, or dried split or whole peas. Beans are a great source of protein. When combined with rice, they become a complete protein. They can be cooked whole in soups, stews or by themselves. They can also be sprouted. Beans can be ground into flour and used to make refried beans or thicken soups. Dried beans and legumes last at least 15 years if kept sealed and in a cool storage area.

5) Spices And Bouillons

With grains, rice, beans, pasta and other staples, you will need spices to make the bland food more palatable. Dried or granulated bouillons, gravy mixes and dried soup bases are very important and can be mixed with canned meat to flavor any rice or pasta dish.

6) Canned And Dried Soups

Canned soups that your family enjoys should be part of your emergency food. These soups are easy to fix and ready to eat. Canned soups can be great starters for a larger pot of soup or stew. Cream-based soups can be used as a gravy or sauce. Purchase soups you normally eat and rotate them.

Dried soup mixes will last much longer than canned soup. They are very important to store. And let’s face it: In a stressful situation, anything that’s easy to fix will be great.

Butter Powder7) Dried Eggs And Dairy Products

Dehydrated eggs are considered a protein food. Dried eggs are great for long-term storage because you can add a small amount of water to the powder and it reconstitutes into the equivalent of fresh eggs. They can be used in scrambled eggs and omelets or in any recipe calling for fresh eggs.

Dried dairy products are also great to store because they last a minimum of five years and can be reconstituted to the equivalent of fresh milk, chocolate milk, butter, buttermilk, sour cream and cheese similar to mac and cheese sauce. Dried dairy products last a minimum of five to 15 years if kept cool.

Tomato Powder8) Canned Or Dehydrated Fruits And Vegetables

I suggest you store dehydrated, freeze-dried and commercially canned fruits and vegetables.

Dehydrated food weighs less and is much easier to store than wet-pack food. It requires far less space than wet-pack canned food. Dehydrated food will yield at least double and triple its dry weight and is less expensive. Add water to restore it to its natural state. The taste is still great, and the food value is excellent. Dehydrated foods store from five to 20 years, depending on the product. Dried fruits and vegetables are great for snacks. These dehydrated or dried foods are available here.

9) Protein Foods And Canned Meats

Protein foods are one of the most important foods to stockpile. Canned meats are an excellent food to store. I suggest you store tuna, salmon, Spam, beef dices, beef stew, chicken dices, beef, ham and sausage. Canned meats with a canned cream soup for the sauce are great over any rice or pasta dish. I stockpile canned ham so I can add it to my beans along with some dehydrated vegetables. It makes a great ham and bean dish.

Freeze-dried meats are available on the market and come in gallon-sized cans as well. They can be rehydrated and used in any dish calling for meat.

10) Baking Ingredients

Basic ingredients for baking include things like wheat for grinding into flour, powdered milk, whole dried eggs, baking powder, soda, salt and yeast. Sweeteners include sugar, honey, maple syrup and stevia. Fats and oils include butter powder, shortening, olive and vegetable oil.

11) Fun Foods

Fun Foods are foods such as canned juices, drink mixes, jams, jellies, condiments, olives, pickles, popcorn, pudding, salad dressings and anything else that would be considered extras. You might not consider putting these items in your storage, but they are a nice supplement to the food you already have. It makes a meal more interesting if you have some fun foods on hand. I keep several gallons of popcorn in my food storage.

3-Chees Alfredo with Chicken12) Pre-Made Meals (Just Add Water)

I’ve been testing a line of nutritious fast-and-easy gourmet meals by GoFoods Global that will store for a minimum of 15 years. You just add water, cook for 15 minutes and eat. It reminds me of the pre-packaged food from the grocery store like soup mixes, Hamburger Helper® and Rice-A-Roni®.

Some of the features of GoFoods pre-packaged meals are:

  • The food is dehydrated from premium-grade, fresh raw fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains, beans and legumes.
  • All meals are complete with everything in them. All you do is add water.
  • These meals can be used every day for fast, convenient and healthy food.
  • There are no genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in GoFoods.
  • There is no added monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  • No ingredients are imported from countries using illegal fertilizers and insecticides.
  • They contain no hydrogenated oils.
  • They are packaged for long-term storage in Mylar® pouches.

The company lets you try before you buy; simply go to www.peggylayton.mygofoods.com. Click on “sample” to receive three packages of sample meals that will feed two to four people per package. All you pay is $9.95 for shipping.

Emergency Food Storage & Survival HandbookMeals include soups like cheddar broccoli, Italian chicken, vegetable beef, tortilla, corn chowder, minestrone, chicken noodle, chili and potato cheddar. Entrées and other baking items include chicken pasta Alfredo, cheesy chicken rice casserole, beef stroganoff, au gratin potatoes, instant seasoned potatoes, pancake mix, corn muffin mix, cornmeal dumplings, granola, powdered milk, wheat bread mix and buttermilk biscuit mix. Check it out at www.peggylayton.mygofoods.com or email me at splayton@sisna.com.

This information came from the book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook. To purchase any of my seven books or other products including dehydrated food, water storage, water purification and preparedness products, go to www.peggylayton.com.

–Peggy Layton

Dehydrating Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

Food dehydrating is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. Drying fresh fruits and vegetables is quite simple. You will need a food dehydrator, or you can use your oven.

Fruit and yogurt leathers, dried fruit, beef jerky, herb seasonings, tomato powder and many other great dried foods can be made at home and stored for use at a later time.

The advantages of drying your own foods are:

  • None of your excess garden produce goes to waste.
  • Dried foods take up much less space.
  • Dried foods can be eaten as a healthy snack.
  • You will know that the food is organic without chemicals, pesticides or additives.

Garden Master Pro Food DehydratorUsing a Food Dehydrator

I use the Nesco American Harvest Garden Master.

If you are planning on drying your harvested produce, you will need one or two of these machines. I keep two dehydrators going at all times in the fall. The food dehydrator takes the guesswork out of drying foods. If the food is cut uniformly, the food should dry in about 12 to 24 hours. The Nesco American Harvest Garden Master dehydrator has good circulation.

The trays have plastic screens that come with them to keep the dried food from falling through the trays. The plastic mesh screens pull up easily which aids in getting the dried food out much easier. The American Harvest Garden Master comes with stacking trays so you can dry several different foods at one time.

ION

ION Stabilized OxygenI soak my vegetables in a solution of 20 drops of ION (stabilized oxygen) per gallon of water. ION (stabilized oxygen) will kill any bacteria on the vegetable. This is especially helpful if the produce is from Mexico or other countries. Using ION (stabilized oxygen) ensures that the vegetables will be free of harmful bacteria, and it helps the produce stay fresher longer as well as helps it retain its beautiful color.

Fruit Roll-UpsDrying Fruits And Vegetables

To prepare fruits and vegetables for drying, wash and remove all dirt. Peel, trim and cut them evenly, making sure to cut away any bruises or decaying parts. A food processor can be used for more evenly cut pieces.

Blanching is necessary for most vegetables, but not fruit. Blanching is a process of heating the vegetables to a temperature high enough to kill all bacteria. It also stops the enzymes from breaking down the food, which can cause color and flavor loss in the drying process.

Vegetables are more alkaline and, therefore, must be dried until brittle. Fruits are more acidic and do not need to be blanched because of high sugar and acid content. Tomatoes are also very acidic, so they do not need to be blanched either. They will go mushy if put in boiling water.

  1. To blanch vegetables such as zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots, corn, peas and potatoes, use a wire basket to hold them and dip them into a pot of boiling water for about three minutes depending on the thickness of the vegetable. Take the basket out of the water and place the vegetables on the drying trays. The heat from the boiling water helps them dry faster.
  2. Optional: Add salt, sugar or spices to flavor the cut up produce.
  3. Load your fruit and vegetable slices single file onto the dehydrator trays, being careful not to overlap them, as this will slow the drying time. Keep fruits and vegetables on separate trays as to not mix flavors. Turn your dehydrator on immediately after loading to start the dehydration process. Most foods can be dried at about 140 to 200 degrees F. Consult the owner’s manual for recommended drying times, but expect the process to take between eight to 12 hours on average.
  4. As you reach the end of the drying time, check your produce frequently for dryness. To do so, simply remove a slice of food from the dehydrator, allow it to cool and then feel it with your fingers. If the slice feels dry to the touch, it should be adequately dried to the brittle stage. Allow your vegetable slices to cool to the touch before packing them in jars or plastic bags.
  5. To further evaluate the dryness of fruit, cut several fruit slices in half and check the cut edges for moisture. If any wet or sticky spots are present, the fruit is not yet dry enough and needs to be returned to the dehydrator until it passes inspection.
  6. Dried fruits need to go through an additional conditioning period before they are ready for storage. Place them in loosely packed jars and shake once a day for one week to ensure the remaining moisture is evenly distributed between the dried. Then store them away for a rainy day. You don’t want any moisture in the food, because it will mold.

I like to keep my dried foods in glass jars with lids and store them on my pantry shelves where I can see and use them.

Dried vegetables will last about six months and fruits will last one year. To extend the life of your dried foods, place in airtight plastic freezer bags and store them in the freezer until ready to use.

Dried foods can be eaten dried as a snack or reconstituted in water to use in recipes calling for fruit. Even dried bananas can be reconstituted and used in banana bread.

Tomato powder, dried onions, herbs and all other dried vegetables can be added to soups and stews without reconstituting to add extra flavor. They will soak up the water in the soup as they cook.

Fruit LeatherFruit Leathers

Dehydrated Plastic Food TrayFor fruit leathers you can purchase plastic liners that fit over the trays in the Garden Master Food Dehydrator. These trays hold fruit leather and dry it evenly so it can be peeled off the plastic and rolled up. The liners are pliable so the fruit leather rolls up easily without having to use plastic wrap.

How To Dry Zucchini

The end of the season means lots of zucchini. Instead of giving them all away, why not dehydrate them to use later in zucchini breads, cakes, muffins and soups.

Zucchini cut up to dry

  1. Slice up the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. If they are too large, cut the rounds into halves or quarters.
  2. Blanch the pieces as explained above.
  3. Place the rounds onto the dehydrator trays and dry at 140 to 160 degrees F for 12 hours or until brittle. I call these zucchini chips, and I eat them like potato chips. Before drying them, I like to add seasoning salt.
  4. If you are grating the zucchini, blanch it the same way you do for rounds. The drying time will be about six hours instead of 12.
  5. If you are reconstituting the zucchini for bread, you must rehydrate it by adding 2 cups of water to every 1 cup of dried zucchini. Let it set and soak up the water before using in a recipe. Drain any excess water that is on it. Use it in any recipe calling for zucchini.
Tomatoes to dry

 

Tomatoes And Onions

  1. Tomatoes and onion tops do not need to be blanched.
  2. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and larger tomatoes into slices. I put a little salt and pepper on them for flavor and dry them at 140 degrees F.
  3. Tomatoes can be used in any recipe calling for sun-dried tomatoes, as well as soups and stews.
  4. I like to blend my vegetables into a powder and use it as a seasoning salt. Tomatoes can be pureed and dried like fruit leather, then used in soups and stews to add extra flavor.
  5. I also dry the tops of all my onions then blend them into onion powder. It is delicious and adds onion flavor to meats, soups and stews.

This information came from the books Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook and Cookin’ With Home Storage written by Peggy Layton.

–Peggy Layton

Emotional Survival And Stress Relief In A Disaster

We live in a very unpredictable world. There are so many wars. And there is so much hatred (especially among religions), so much violence, so much rage, so much fear of the government, so much fear of the future, so much fear of losing our money and materialistic possessions, and so much fear of losing our loved ones. How do we make it through tough times? What is it going to take to make mankind realize that we are destroying our planet and the very societies that live on it?

How do we find peace within ourselves and stop animosity between races, religions, cultures and relationships? How do we live in a troubled world and make it a better place? If we revert to living like our forefathers, who lived off the land and promoted peace, we could do our little part in reversing the negative energy and make this world a more peaceful place. If this thought went viral and billions of people read it and caught the vision there would be a new harmony that could save mankind and the planet.

It sounds too good to be true; but if we start now to do our part, then future generations can live in peace.

Personal Responsibility

Taking back our power means taking total responsibility for our own lives. We must never allow ourselves to become victims and blame someone else because something happened to us. We must all be self-reliant, self-sufficient and responsible for ourselves first. We cannot control what others do — only what we do.

Do not make the mistake of thinking the government, the church, your neighbors or family will save you in a crisis. I like to live by the motto “if it is to be, it is up to me.”

How is this done? It starts within every human being. We have no control over anyone other than ourselves. We must be balanced emotionally so we can handle life’s challenges and disasters. If we are balanced within our own selves, we can help others who are in need.

Disasters Happen To Good People

Fear of the future based on the past is what holds us back from moving forward.

Emotional trauma can be caused by any number of events in our lives. It’s not the event that gets the best of us, but how we handle it after it happens that matters.

  • What would you do if a tornado ripped your house apart, and all that was left was a pile of rubble?
  • What if you lose a family member to death?
  • How would you face divorce or a breakup of a relationship?
  • How would you face an economic crash, not knowing where your next meal is coming from or how you will pay your bills?
  • What if the government went bankrupt and no one got their Medicaid, Social Security checks or welfare?
  • What if you had an emergency medical condition that leaves you thousands of dollars in debt and unable to work?
  • What if you or your spouse loses your job or one of your children loses his job and moves home with his spouse and children?
  • What if a fire burns up all our worldly possessions?
  • What if someone harms one of our family members?
  • What if your bank closes its doors and you can’t get out your money?
  • What if your retirement money gets lost in a stock market crash?
  • What if? What if?
  • Can we find it within ourselves to start over?

There are so many unforeseen disasters. Many people I talk to every day are in fear. At least one or more of these things probably will happen to each of us at some point in our lives. I know the government is doing many things that are harming the people. I know there are evil people conspiring to do harm at all costs. We may fall victims to these evil designs, but we will not remain victims.

We can face the future better because of the emotional trauma we have already been through in our lives. We need to know how to handle situations like this. So what do we do when faced with these overwhelming emotions we have inside of us? I am going to give you some simple techniques or processes that will help balance your emotional state in a crisis situation.

Techniques To De-Stress

I am a licensed massage therapist and hypnotherapist, and I have learned many different processes that can calm someone down if they are in stress. Fear is the No. 1 cause of stress in any situation. I believe that if we practice skills of peace and calming that we can face any situation that may occur in our lives.

Take A Deep Breath

Take a deep breath into the lungs and release it. Continue it again and again until you feel the pressure-relief valve letting off steam and releasing the stress. I like to do it lying down in a comfortable position. With every breath I take in, I visualize the pressure of the negative feeling; and as I release the breath, I visualize the stress releasing. Doing this for five minutes straight will bring a peaceful, calming feeling to our souls that will help in a time of crises. It also helps children to calm down when something unpleasant has happened to them. It is a simple form of self-hypnosis. This skill is invaluable in a crises situation because remaining calm is very important. If we can keep our wits about us when others are suffering, we can help others instead of looking for someone to help us.

Tapping PointsTapping To Relieve Stress

There is a tapping technique called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). Try this stress-relief technique for any issue that comes up. Use the breathing technique while tapping and repeating the affirmations three times on each part of the body stated.

  1. First state the negative feeling or belief. Write it on a piece of paper, then turn the negative feeling into a positive thought and write it down also. For example: “I am stressed out” turns into “I am calm and peaceful.
  2. Repeat the words “I am calm and peaceful” three times, tapping with your middle three fingers above each eyebrow. Use your right hand above the right eyebrow and your left hand above the left eyebrow. Continue tapping as you repeat the phrase “I am calm and peaceful.” Move to the side of the eye and repeat the process.
  3. Move to the bone just under your eye socket and tap again repeating the same message three times.
  4. Move to the bone under the nose and above the upper lip. Then to the chin bone, tapping under the lower lip. Use both hands as you tap.
  5. Move to just below the collarbones on the chest and tap on both sides. Continuing to repeat “I am calm and peaceful.”
  6. Tap under both armpits and repeat again.
  7. Tap on the inside of each hand, on the side of the palm and below the little finger. By the time you are finished with tapping each position, the message you are repeating will be imprinted in your subconscious mind. You will be amazed at how the stress releases out of the body.

This diagram of the tapping points is courtesy of ThrivingNow.com and joy-connection.com.

If you are interested in any of the books I have written on food storage, self-sufficiency and survival, or if you are interested in ION (stabilized oxygen water treatment), check out my website.

If you are interested in receiving three free sample meals from GoFoods Global to test out the quality of these simply delicious emergency food storage meals that serve four people and require only water and 15 minutes of cooking time, click here.

–Peggy Layton

Intensive Vegetable Gardening In Small Spaces

Are you interested in gardening, but you have limited space? Don’t despair; get creative. With imagination and determination, you can find ways to grow vegetables even in the smallest of spaces.

How To Grow Lettuce In A Rain Gutter

Plant salad greens in rain gutters. Rain gutters provide an ideal space for growing salad greens since lettuce, spinach and other greens have shallow root systems. Fall is the perfect time to plant because lettuce, spinach and salad greens love the cooler weather.

You can mount rain gutters the same way you would along the eves, on the side of your house, shed or any other building, on the side of a fence, along a deck railing or under a windowsill as a small planter. All you have to do is cut the rain gutter to size, cap the ends and drill holes for drainage. You can purchase the supplies to hang them at the same place you buy the rain gutters.

Supplies needed

  • Rain gutter, any length you desire
  • Rain gutter caps (2 per length)
  • Rain gutter hangers (3-5 per length) mount every 3 feet
  • Drill and 1/8 inch drill bit

Instructions

  1. Place the length of rain gutter that you desire on a work surface. Clip one rain gutter cap on each end and lock them into place.
  2. Turn the rain gutter upside down on a workbench. Drill 1/8-inch-diameter holes through the rain gutter every 6 inches along the entire length. The holes will allow the rain gutters to drain.
  3. Position the rain gutter hangers along the surface where you want to hang the gutter every 3 to 4 feet. Drive the included screws through the mounting holes in the hangers into the surface with a screw gun to fasten them in place. Slide the gutter into the hangers to lock it into place.
  4. Add potting soil to the gutter and fill it up so that it is level with the top edges of the rain gutter.
  5. Water the soil with a watering can filled with water. With your finger make a furrow in the center of the soil down the length of the gutter. Plant the lettuce seeds into the furrow, planting approximately 20 seeds per foot. Cover over the seeds with potting soil and gently pack it down with your fingertips.
  6. Water the lettuce often as it grows, keeping the soil moist at all times.

Cinderblock GardeningCinderblock Herb Garden

If you live in a place that has limited space for a garden and you want to try your green thumb, this cinderblock herb garden might be the answer for you. It doesn’t take up much space and can be a creative project along the side of a building or home.

Design the cinderblocks in a way that you will get the maximum amount of growing space. Fill each hole with potting soil and plant your favorite herbs in each open block of soil.

Cinderblocks come in many decorative styles can be purchased at places such as Lowe’s, Home Depot or any outdoor garden store where they sell brick and block. You can get started now and have a fall crop.

Pallet Grow BoxPallet Gardening

Pallets can be recycled and used in a whole new way. Simply find a place to put a pallet and fill it with potting soil. Use the wood openings to plant in. You can grow your salad greens in a small amount of space, and it is a good way to recycle old pallets.

Window Herb Garden

A fresh herb garden can be grown outside a window in any home or apartment. Anytime you want fresh herbs, just open the window and cut them. This type of herb garden can be easily watered and maintained. Each year, it can be taken down and replanted, or it can be moved to the inside of the house in the colder months. It is very nice to have fresh herbs year-round.

Starting Seedlings In 2-Liter Soda Bottles

Save your 2-liter bottles and cut them so the top half fits down into the bottom half. Drill a hole through the center of the lid of the bottle. Put string or wick through the hole and tie it so it will absorb the water from the bottom of the soda bottle. Fill the bottom of the bottle with water. Invert the top of the bottle and fill it with potting soil. Plant your seeds in the bottles and watch them grow. Keep enough water in the bottom of the soda bottle so it will water itself.

2-Liter Bottles Gardening

Old Windows HothouseOld-Window Hot Houses

These easy-to-make old-window hot houses can be made from recycled materials. Collect old windows, place hinges at the top so when you are finished with the windows you can fold them up, and save them for the next spring. Secure them inside a raised bed in the shape of a tepee. These windows warm the soil and keep the plants from freezing on cold mornings. It gives vegetables a head start in the springtime.

Milk Jug Scoop For The GardenMake Your Own Handy Potting Soil Scoop

A handy potting soil scoop can be made from a half-gallon milk jug. Just trace the design you want and cut it out with scissors or a utility knife.

Use Tires And Culverts As Composting Bins

The tires can be used as a compost bin by simply cutting the sidewall completely out of the tire.  This is done with a very sharp utility knife or a chainsaw.

Turn the soil under the first tire before you place it on the ground. Once placed, fill it with kitchen waste and other organic compost materials. When the first tire is full, add another tire on top of it and proceed to fill it up. And keep doing this until you have four or five tires full of composting material stacked on top of each other.

Culvert For CompostTo rotate the composting material, simply take the first tire off and place it on the ground. Dig out the organic compost material and put it back in the tire. One by one, turn over the composting material and fill the tires back up, stacking them on top of each other until the bottom tire is now on the top of the pile. When you want to use the compost, take the tires apart and use the organic material to mix with other soil. When the compost is all used up, start the process over again.

This same process can be used with the culvert plastic water pipe. Each piece must be cut with a heavy-duty saw or a chain saw to make them the right height (about 2.5 to 3 feet tall).

ION Stabilized OxygenION (Stabilized Oxygen) Can Be Used For Soaking Vegetables

ION is such a versatile product. I like to use 20 drops of ION mixed with 1 gallon of water for soaking my vegetables. ION will kill any harmful bacteria that might be on the vegetables. Just mix it up in a large bowl and soak the vegetables for about 20 minutes, then rinse them well.

I also use ION to water my plants. I mix 20 drops of ION with 1 gallon of water. It kills anaerobic bacteria, fungus and some viruses that might be causing the plants to deteriorate and not be as healthy as they should be. ION will help build the friendly flora, and it oxygenates the plants. Vegetables will grow so much better with stabilized oxygen in the water.

There are several chapters on alternative gardening methods in my book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook. Check it out here.

–Peggy Layton

Use Old Tires, Culverts To Grow Vegetables

I attended a community garden tour about a month ago. I was very impressed with a garden that was completely made from used tractor tires and culverts cut to the 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 share what I learned.

Recycling Old Tires And Culverts

Using old tires and culverts is a great way to recycle. It is a way to have a raised bed garden in a small space. Tires can be put anywhere that there is an empty space in your yard or flower bed. The tires are not pleasing to look at but can be hidden into dirt to make a small garden plot that will increase your vegetable yield. Think of the tires as rubberized hotbeds. Because they are black, they hold the heat and warm the soil. This gives the plants protection as well as a jump-start on growth. Some seeds such as garlic, onions, spinach, lettuce and Jerusalem artichokes can be planted in the fall; they will come up in the springtime.

Tires propose little risk when used as a raised bed. Because tires are made of a rubber compound that is tightly bonded, they do not leach poisons into the soil. This is great because it takes a tire that otherwise would end up in the landfill and uses it for a much higher purpose, that of producing food with a minimum of effort. Rubber is much safer to use in your garden than railroad ties or treated lumber that may have chemicals such as copper and arsenic soaked into them. Rubber will not rot, which makes tires very durable; once you get them in place, they will last for decades.

Rubberized Hotbeds

It is good to get started on the tire hotbeds now because it takes time to prepare them with soil and compost. If you prepare the tires in the fall, they will be ready for the next spring. Planting fall crops that come up in the spring gives you fresh greens as soon as the snow melts. It is so exciting to have fresh greens after a long winter of eating canned and frozen vegetables.

Container GardeningPlanting In Culverts

A culvert is a drainpipe that allows water to flow under a road, railroad, trail or similar obstruction. If you can find used culverts from construction sites or from your local city or county, you can get them much cheaper than new ones. Once you find a length of pipe, you will need to cut the culvert 2.5 to 3 feet tall. This is the perfect height for planting herbs such as chives or onions or any other plants.

Container GardeningPlanting In Tires

Before placing the tire on the ground, dig up the earth beneath the spot to loosen the soil, then place newspaper in thick sheets under the tire. Once the tire is filled, the weeds will not grow where the newspaper is laid. The newspaper will naturally compost itself. It is best to use only the black ink newspapers and not the colored sections. Put a circular wire cage made of fencing material on the plant so it can climb. Attach it to a pole on each side of the tire.

The Benefits Of Raised-Bed Gardening In Tires And Culverts

  • One of the best ways to grow an abundance of organic vegetables is to grow them in raised beds. The tire method takes up less space and is great for cooler climates because it acts like a hothouse with the black rubber warming up the soil.
  • The black, heat-absorbing compounds in the tires will raise the temperature at least 10 percent to 15 percent. This extends the growing season by about an extra two months by warming up the soil.
  • You can add to your soil each season by filling the tires with better soil mixed with compost and other organic matter.
  • Tires and culverts are tall and provide deeper soil for the roots. They drain the moisture much better than traditional gardens.
  • Tires are raised up off the ground so that people with knee or hip problems can sit on the edge of the tire and do their gardening and weeding without bending down, stooping or kneeling. This is great for older people because the plants are within easy reach.
  • Raised-bed gardening produces more vegetables in a smaller area.
  • You can plant earlier and harvest later in the fall. Wire cages can be placed around the plants and a heavy plastic covering put over the plants similar to a little greenhouse, which will extend the growing season. Just tape the plastic in place and take it off when the danger of frost has passed.

Preparing Tires For Raised-Bed Gardening

The sidewall can be removed by using a chainsaw or a very sharp utility knife. Cut the top and bottom sidewall off the tire. Drill holes in the bottom of the tire to allow water to drain properly. After you have removed the sidewalls of the tire, place the tire where you want it to go and proceed to fill it with prepared soil mixed with a little sand and compost material. Make wire cages to fit around the inside ring of the tire after the plants start growing. This will prevent the deer from eating the plants inside the tires.

Sidewalls Can Be Very Useful

Keep the sidewall that has been cut out from the top of the tire and use it to plant squash, melons or other plants that get large and spread. The ring will keep the weeds from growing and the black rubber will produce heat so the plant will grow faster.

Container GardeningGrowing Potatoes In Tires

First, take the seed potatoes and cut them into quarters, making sure that there are at least two or more eyes per quarter. I like to cut them up and spread them on the patio table and let them sun cure for at least 24 hours before planting them. They turn dark and scab over as they dry out.

Fill the first tire with soil and plant the seed potatoes about 6 inches apart. Let them grow until they are about 8 inches tall. Then place another tire on top of the first one. Add more dirt until the plants are covered up to two inches from the tops.  Let them grow again until they are 8 inches tall. Add another tire and put soil around the stems up to 2 inches from the top. The potato stalks will send off roots and grow more potatoes in the tires. One plant will produce four times the amount of potatoes it would normally in a regular garden row.

A stack of four tires on top of each other filled one by one with soil and planted individually with 2 pounds of seed potato, cut into quarters and planted about 6 inches apart will produce about one 25-pound sack of potatoes per tire stack. Four stacks of tires will produce about 100 pounds and will feed a family of four for the winter. When harvesting the potatoes, take each tire off one by one and find the buried treasure inside each one.

Container GardeningRecycle Large Tree pots

Any large plastic pot can be used to plant herbs. This is a good way to recycle the pots that trees and shrubs come in. These can be moved indoors or to a greenhouse when the weather turns cold. Herbs as well as vegetables can be used and enjoyed year-round.

ION Stabilized Oxygen ION (Stabilized Oxygen) Can Be Used To Help Plants Grow

I like to mix 20 drops of ION stabilized oxygen with one gallon of water and water my plants with the ION water. It kills anaerobic bacteria, fungus and some viruses that might be causing the plant to deteriorate and not be as healthy as it should be. ION will help build the friendly flora and it oxygenates the plants. Vegetables will grow so much better with stabilized oxygen in the water.

Some of the information in this article came from the book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook by Peggy Layton. Check it out here.

–Peggy Layton