Monday Musings 10/13/2014

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Monday Musings 0132014This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links about all things preparedness, as well as updates on the blog.

First the blog updates…

As I write this, we are hearing about a nurse who tested positive for ebola in Dallas.  The articles state she was wearing protective gear during the time she had contact with Mr. Duncan the first ebola patient who has died, however there was a breach in protocols.  Seeing a lot of searches on the blog about this; I urge you not to panic but stay informed and read all you can about it.  If you haven’t already, read previous articles I’ve written here and here.  I am sure we will be discussing this more in the coming weeks.

Lot’s of giveaways!  Don’t forget to enter the Cox’s Honey Giveaway that’s going on right now.

We’re doing two more this month, so please check back.  Today’s Monday Musings is likely to be the last one for October, as we will be announcing those giveaways the next two Mondays.  I’ll still be posting my regular articles as usual.

Good deal on non GMO seeds.  We also have the great discount offer from Seeds of the Month Club for Apartment Prepper readers – 25% off their regular price if you sign up through our Link below:

Seeds of the Month ClubBook Tour at Survivor Jane’s  Check out the Book Tour over at Survivor Jane’s site.  I’ve already done one review, and plan to do another one soon!

Now for the links…

How to be a Prepper…But Not One of Those Crazy Ones

Practically Free Egg Carton Dryer Lint Firestarters

Hands-Only CPR and When to Add the Breathing

5 Lessons on Self-Reliance at The Pathfinder School

I want Christmas to be debt-free

21 Survival Uses For Dental Floss

The boiling bag

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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Discount Offer for Non GMO Seeds

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Seeds of the Month ClubI’ve always recommended using non-GMO seeds for any planting that you do, whether you are starting an herb garden in your balcony, of planting seasonal vegetables.  Now’s your chance to get non-GMO seeds at a great discount from Seeds of the Month Club.  They are offering Apartment Prepper readers a 25% discount by joining through this link or our banner ad.

Seeds of the Month Club

What are non GMO seeds?

Non GMO means these seeds are NOT genetically modified seeds.  They do not modify their seeds and do not obtain seeds from suppliers that sell genetically modified seeds.  These seeds are open-pollinated, heirloom varieties.

The seeds obtained from plants grown during the season can be used in subsequent seasons.

How does Seeds of the Month Club work?

When you join Seeds of the Month Club, you pay a set amount according to the set amount of time your choose.  Each month you will receive a packet of non GMO seeds.

The first month, you get eight packets of seeds; then every month thereafter, you get four packets while you are a member.

In addition, members get free shipping and 25% off any gardening products in their online store.

These seeds would also make a nice Christmas gift for the gardener in your gift list.

Now is a great time to start your collection of non GMO seeds at a great discount.

Now go check out the Seeds of the Month Club!

 

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A Sweet Giveaway from Cox’s Honey

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Coxs Honey-Shelley Idaho Giveaway

Coxs Honey-Shelley Idaho-Giveaway-raw, unfiltered, pure honey | via.www.foodstoragemoms.com
Are you a fan of using honey in your nightly tea, in baking or in cooking?

If so, you don’t want to miss today’s post. We’re giving away an incredible amount of honey to one lucky reader! We’re not just giving away any honey – Cox’s Honey is pure, unfiltered, raw honey; so rest assured, you will be receiving a premium product of the highest quality.

Cox’s Honey has graciously offered to sponsor this group giveaway. If you missed the opportunity to enter our last Cox’s Honey giveaway, be sure to enter for your chance to win a total of 30 lbs. of honey: 15 lbs. of liquid honey, and 15 lbs. of creamed honey-perfect for the family that wants the best of both worlds.

You will want to check out Cox’s Honey Website Premium Honey!

This Cox’s Honey Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Saturday, Oct. 11th at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Saturday, Oct. 18th at 5:00 pm (MDT). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!
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Eight Deadly Survival Myths About Water

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Eight Deadly Survival Myths About Water By “Just In Case” Jack

When things go wrong, the first item your average Joe citizen is going to stock up on is water.

It’s easy for Joe American to buy a five-gallon jug of water and assume the proverbial storm will pass within a day or two.

As preppers, we know better.

We know all too well the very real danger of complacency and, more, we know how easy it is for the water supply to become contaminated. Whether by act of God, foreign bodies, domestic terror or otherwise, the water supply is an easy target for The Worst Case Scenario.

Worse still, there are those unfortunate individuals who buy into the insidious rumors circulating around about what it means to purify your own water.

If there’s one thing worse than complacency, it’s the propagation of dangerous misinformation.

While the average Joe knows the myths, ultimately it’s the survivors who know better.

Here are eight of those dangerous urban survival myths that you would be wise to unlearn.

Myth 1: Boiled Water Is Boiled Water

One of the first things most everyone knows to do when he needs water is to boil it. After all, he reasons, boiling water will fully eradicate most, if not all, dangerous germs and microbes lurking just below that crystal-clear surface.

Not only is this categorically wrong, it could cost you and your loved ones everything.

While it’s true that boiling water is a simple and effective way to cleanse your water, it’s important to understand that the hotter the water gets the cleaner it will be. It’s all too easy to get that pot steaming and assume that the water is ready to consume.

The most important thing to remember when boiling water is that it is less about the duration of boiling and more about temperature.

Water fully boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to instantly cleanse your water of just about any common microorganisms. If bringing your water to a full boil is out of the question for whatever reason and you have a thermometer handy, you can alternatively heat it to 160 degrees for 30 minutes or 185 for three minutes.

Myth 2: All Boiled Water Is Not Always Created Equal

Another dangerous myth about water purification is that boiling is a cure all. Something you need to consider is how dirty the water actually is. While boiling will effectively cleanse standing water or rain water, it won’t do you any good to boil chemically contaminated water.

Simply put, you aren’t going to boil that pesky depleted uranium residue out of your water.

The same principal applies to dirty water.

If the water you are attempting to purify is visibly dirty or murky, you should filter the water before attempting to cleanse it. It’s all the better if you are in a situation where there are commercial filters available but, if not, you have options.

One easy way to get the muck out of your water is to filter it through a clean shirt or a towel. If a filter isn’t available, you can additionally just let the water sit until the sediment sinks to the bottom of the container and pour the clean water off of the top.

Myth 3: Eating Clean, White Snow Is Always Safe

So, say the world went to hell while you were up in the mountains surrounded by pristine, fresh snow. There’s a common misconception that fresh snow is ready for you to consume.

As an informed survivor, you know that nothing is that easy.

While it’s true that snow makes for a great source of hydration in those dire, icy scenarios, it’s as important as ever to boil your water.

While it’s always a good idea to purify the water you consume, snow presents a different set of problems for the intrepid survivor other than simple contamination.

Paradoxically, eating snow can actually lead to further dehydration and, given the climate you’ve likely found yourself in, hypothermia.

Even though the snow itself might not necessarily be dirty, the energy your body spends melting the snow while simultaneously dealing with your plummeting internal temperature is simply not worth the risk.

Your best bet is to collect the snow and melt it down as it will warm the water as well as kill any germs it may have picked up off the ground.

Myth 4: You Need To Drink 8 Glasses Of Water Daily

A classic piece of mom-advice is that we all need to drink 8 glasses of water every day. While someone in a life-or-death, survival situation will likely be aware of conservations necessity, it’s important to know that your body can operate just fine on less water.

While it’s massively important for your well-being to stay hydrated, don’t blow your stockpile because you grew up thinking you needed 8 glasses every day. Cutting back on salt, soda, sweets and many other perishable goods while upping your intake of fruits and vegetables is a great way of keeping yourself hydrated.

The other side of this myth is that it implies drinking 8 glasses is purely about intake. On the contrary, one of the most important aspects of hydration is output.

Hydration is as much about flushing toxins out of your system as it is about satiating your body’s need for liquid. Since the objective is to rid your body of toxins, diet, exercise and vitamins are just as important as gulping down your valuable stash of clean water.

Myth 5: Only Standing Water Is Dangerous

Another popular myth is that as long as your water source isn’t stagnant, it’s safe to consume. The ill-informed survivor will look at a stream gurgling through the woods and over rocks and assume that it’s naturally clean.

As with all water consumption, the name of the game is purification.

As is the case with any water, even moving water has a source and you can’t know what’s stewing around in that source. Unless you want to risk a run-in with giardia or any number of other water-born sicknesses, you need to make sure your water is safe first.

Myth 6: Drinking Small Amounts Of Salt Water Is OK

Salt water, even in minute doses will actually speed up the dehydration process.

It’s the idea of reverse osmosis that comes into play.

The salinity of the water you would drink from the sea is much greater than the natural salinity of the water in your cells. So as you drink the salt laden water, the water in your cells will move through your cell wall membrane to try and dilute the recently ingested sea water. This means your cells and body will lose water by drinking a glass of ocean.

However, it can be used to cool you down as long as you don’t swallow any.

Myth 7: All Cacti Are A Source Of Water

While it’s true that there is water in many types of Cacti, its typically not as abundant as most are lead to believe. Plus, the water tends to be acidic and bitter, which can lead to unpleasant side effects such as diarrhea and vomiting (both of which accelerate the dehydrating processes).

Myth 8: You Can Always Count On Urine In A Pinch

Yes and No.

In a very extreme situation you can drink urine once, possibly twice but it’s really not a long term solution. Urine is waste for a reason, and even though it does have some amount of water in it, if you continue to recycle it more than once then it’s going to become more and more toxic.

You’ll quickly realize this is happening when the color of your urine continues to get darker and darker as you get more and more dehydrated.

In the end, drinking urine follows the laws of diminishing returns. The more you drink the harder your body has to work to process the toxins, making you even more dehydrated, which then negatively accelerates your already limited survival time.

Potential Life Savers: Your Water Survival Tools

Now that we have covered some of the most deadly survival water myths, it’s worth a quick mention about some helpful solutions.

There are two primary survival tools that I keep with me at all times. A portable water filter and a bunch of water purification tablets. While these two tools won’t make sea water drinkable or make urine pure, they will open up a much wider array of water options, when options are limited.

While a portable water filter can’t locate water for you, it will greatly increase your chances of survival. A portable survival water filter protects you from most dehydration enhancing sicknesses caused by drinking bacteria laden water.

So don’t leave home, travel, backpack, bug out or stay home without one.

-“Just In Case” Jack

About the author:
Jack’s an expert survivalist and prepper with an engineering and military background. He’s a dedicated family man and a proud American. Jack wants to help you to be prepared for anything. Trust me, when TSHTF you’ll be happy you met Jack. Sign up now to win a free Life Straw at SkilledSurvival.com



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Tips on Avoiding Germs on a Plane

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Tips on Avoiding Germs on a PlaneThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

There was a news story about a man and his daughter being escorted out of a plane after he vomited during the flight.  Officials have not said what the man has, or what caused him to get sick.  Many people are already fearful of flying, and the added threat of picking up germs does not help.

Because of close quarters on a plane, it is easy to pick up germs while flying.  I am not even talking about the prevalent ebola scare these last few days – there are so many other diseases that can be picked up:  colds, flu,  enterovirus 68, norovirus…   And, flu season is almost upon us, and anyone who is flying should take a few precautions.

Here are a few general tips on avoiding germs on a plane:

  1. Disinfect your area   Airplanes are known to be full of germs- studies have shown you have a higher chance of catching a cold on a plane than other regular activities.  On any flight, by the time you board you don’t know who sat there before you.  Bring disinfecting wipes and wipe the surfaces around you:  tray table, arm rest, overhead bin handle, volume control etc.
  2. Be careful during bathroom use   After using the toilet, lower the seat cover before you flush to avoid having the water spray you.  After you wash your hands, use a tissue or paper towel to touch the doorknobs and faucet handles.
  3. Bring your own reading materials.  I used to always read the inflight magazine after boarding – it was part of the flight experience.  Until I heard how germ infested those magazines are.  I also witnessed other passengers stuffing dirty tissues inside the magazine carriers.  Now I just bring my own book or magazine to read  You can also read via tablet or e-reader as soon as devices can be turned on.
  4. Don’t touch your nose, eyes or mouth.  It is easy for germs to enter your body through your eyes, nose or mouth.  You may have picked up germs with your hands, and touching will just instantly infect you.  Be mindful of your habits and stop yourself.
  5. Wash your hands  Remember to wash your hands frequently, and do so again right after you get off the plane.
  6. Stay hydrated.  Your nostrils, throat and mouth may feel extra dry during a flight.  When they dry out, they less able to flush out irritants.  Help your body protect itself -drink water or juice to stay hydrated.
  7. What if you are sitting next to a sick person?   You could try requesting a different seat, especially if the plane is not full.  However, if all seats are completely booked then you are stuck.  Turn on the overhead air pointing from you to get some air circulation.  Wear glasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes.  Put on a protective mask if you have one.  Another option is putting a scarf around your face and turning the other way.
  8. Protect your nose  If your nose gets extra dry, use a saline spray for relief.  As mentioned in #5 above, the moisture helps your nose guard against germs.  I have not tried this trick, but at my last business trip, some of my co-workers swore by using a dab of Neosporin along their nostrils as protection from germs.  Of course if you are going to apply anything to your nostrils, you must have freshly washed hands.
  9. Bring your own jacket or small blanket.  I realize it does get cold on the plane and blankets are available.  To be really sure you have a clean one, bring your own and avoid using the ones provided.  I’d also avoid the pillow as there is no guarantee it has not been used before.  I usually roll up my own jacket and use that as a pillow.  As an added precaution, pack a face mask and wear it during the flight.
  10. Bring your own water and food  You can get ill by eating food that’s been sitting out too long or if not handled properly.  To be sure you know the source, buy a water bottle at the store after you clear security and take your water with you.  Unless you are flying first class, most flights no longer provide food anyway, and if they do they are usually sub-standard fare – you might as well bring food or snacks and avoid airline food altogether.
  11. Strengthen your immune system.  The best way to avoid getting sick is to keep your immune system strong:  eat a variety of healthy foods including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, exercise, avoid stress and get enough rest.

© Apartment Prepper 2014



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Monday Musings: 10/6/2014

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Monday Musings 10062014This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links as well as updates on the blog and preps.

First, the blog updates…

Preparedness Books Blog Tour

I’m participating in Survivor Jane’s Preparedness Books Blog Tour  There’s always a new one being added.  Check it out!

Now for the links…

Find out: Fun quiz to find out What kind of prepper are you? DailyPrep quiz  Mine came out to be First Responder type

Get your questions heard:  Take this survey:  Preparedness Questions for a Better Online Community

Here’s a great giveaway from Skilled Survival

9 Lessons Learned from Living without Running Water

6 Simple Auto Maintenance Jobs You Should Be Doing Yourself

Bugging Out With Limited Mobility

Talking to your Kids about Ebola

Four Ways to Increase your Survival Endurance

There’s been so much worry going around lately, I thought I’d end with something more positive:

“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer. Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God’s heart.”
-St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)

Take care and have a great week everyone!

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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Step into Herb Gardening

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DSC_5236-300x182Written by Janet Garman

This post originally appeared in Timber Creek Farm

I have said it before but I am glad to say it again. Life is a journey, and no where is it more of a journey than on the path to better health and a more sustainable lifestyle. I have grown herbs before but as time has passed, I am finding more and more uses for fresh herbs. I enjoy growing them and have been surprised by their resilience to the weather conditions. Growing fresh herbs may not be a large step in the journey to fresher food and better eating, but it is a step in the right direction. While I am certainly no expert in growing herbs, I have learned a few things and wanted to share these with you.

Herb Gardening: garden plot or containers?

I have planted herbs in both a garden plot and in containers. For the most part, I prefer planting herbs in containers. This way I can bring them in easily, if the weather warrants it. Some of my herbs have successfully overwintered because I can keep them in a protected porch area.

Growing several types of herbs together actually helps the plants do better. Be careful with herbs that grow and spread quickly like mint, oregano, lemon balm and tea balm because they may crowd out the other herbs in the container.

Plant the herbs seedlings in your container with good drainage and soil, leaving a few inches between each plant. As they grow, cut the tops of taller plants to encourage growth.

Allow the soil to dry out between watering, to avoid rot. Water every few days as needed, adding water slowly until water seeps out the bottom drainage holes.
Harvesting-

Harvest your herbs early in the day as the dew is beginning to dry. The flavor will be better at this point.

Rinse in cool water, shake gently to release the water and lay on paper towel. Discard broken, bruised or dead leaves and stems.

Drying

Tie in small bundles and hang indoors for best flavor retention. Do not dry in the sun because the herbs will lose flavor and color.

Good choices for tying herb bundles: Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Summer Savory, Parsley

Tender Herbs can be hung to dry also, but using a paper bag with holes punched in it will help keep the herbs from dropping leaves and seeds. Hang upside down in the paper bag in a well ventilated area. Use small bunches to avoid molding.
Examples of tender herbs are: Basil, Oregano, Taragon, Lemon Balm, and Mints.

Oven Drying Herbs

Lay the clean leaves on paper towels, layer another paper towel on top making up to five layers of herbs. Use a cool oven temp. Leaves will dry flat.

Dehydrator

Lay herb leaves in a single layer and dry on a low setting.
Using Dried Herbs – Dried herbs are 3 to 4X stronger than fresh herbs so adjust recipes calling for fresh herbs accordingly when using dried.

Tea/Infusions

Use 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried herbs per cup or 3 teaspoons fresh per pint of hot water for teas.  Steep 10 minutes.

Infusions are a deeper liquid. Steep for 20 minutes or more resulting in a much stronger brew. I was taught to fill a quart mason jar about 1/3 with dried herbs and the rest with the hot water. So, you can see how that will be a much stronger blend!

Basil

Examples of Herbs that can be used in teas

Basil, Chamomile flowers, Chives, Dill, Eucalyptus, Ginger Root, Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Valerian root, Verbena.

Other Floral Botanicals that can be used in teas:
Alliums, Bee Balm, Carnation, Echinacea, Hibiscus, Hollyhocks, Honeysuckle (avoid the poisonous berries!) Lavender, Marshmallow root, Red Clover, Nasturtiums (flowers and hips) and Violets.
Decoctions-

Stronger than an extraction

Made by boiling or simmering the herbs/plants, using the woody parts, bark and the roots, versus the leaves.

Tincture

Very Concentrated. Made by soaking the plant or parts of the plant in alcohol and water. Strain out the plant material and store.

Extract

Soaking in a liquid that extracts certain chemical properties. Strain out the plant material and store. Used as flavorings.

Vinegars

Making herbal vinegars is easy and a great way to use your culinary herbs. Place clean dry herbs in a sterilized mason jar, One cup of herbs combined with three cups of vinegar. Pour the vinegar over the herbs. Cover with a non-reactive lid, and let sit in a cool, dark place for a few weeks. Strain off the herbs, pour the vinegar in to a clean jar and label. For even more flavor, try using real vinegars such as white wine, red wine, apple cider, or rice as opposed to white distilled vinegar.

Using herbs can be good for your health and beautiful for your garden. Always consult your doctor for possible drug interactions with herbs and your prescriptions. Make sure you are using the correct part of the plant when making teas. Some plants have toxic parts but the flowers or leaves are ok if prepared correctly.

Foxglove and Lily of the Valley are always toxic to people and animals. Plant these carefully and never ingest any parts of these plants.

About the Author:  Janet Garman writes the Timber Creek Farm blog.  Timber Creek Farm blog has a mission to encourage others seeking to be more self sufficient in their lifestyle and food choices. We farm our family farm in Central Maryland, raising livestock, garden vegetables, eggs from our chickens and ducks and we make yarn from our sheep and goat fleeces. Our family is always looking for ways to become more sustainable in the midst of suburbia.

Timber Creek Farm
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The #1 Rule to Avoid Being a Victim of Sliders

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The #1Rule to Avoid Being a Victim of SlidersThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

This morning our local news reported that several women all over town have been victimized by the latest crime wave, called “sliders.”   I mentioned this a while back as a local crime, but the incidence of these crimes have become more widespread.  It is happening in cities all over the country.

What are sliders?

The crime happens in a gas station where many people leave their cars unlocked, thinking nothing will happen if they are just a few feet away from the car.  A thief parks his car next to the target, and, as she is filling up the tank, an accomplice slides across the small space in between, opens the targeted car door and steals whatever is on the front passenger seat.  A lot of women leave their purses, smart phones and tablets on the front passenger seat; some even leave the window open, making it very easy for the thief to grab.

All the victims who were interviewed were women who lost purses, electronics and cash, all while they were standing next to the car putting gas.

Why is this so common?

If you think like a thief for a moment, you will realize that although risky, the perpetrator of this crime can get away with a lot of loot for just a few seconds worth of “work.”  All they have to do is sneak up to someone’s car, grab whatever they can take and run away.  Then they sell purses, smart phones, tablets for whatever they can get, take the cash and use the credit cards for more stuff while they can.

At the same time, so many people are on autopilot, not bothering to lock up or even look up from whatever they are doing.  One of the victims in the news report didn’t even realize she had been robbed, until a bystander several cars away yelled that someone was taking off with her purse.  Unfortunately, it was too late for anyone to do anything – the thieves had already driven away.

In the same report, the police admitted it is very hard to track down the criminals because the camera footage is usually very poor quality, making it hard to identify anyone.

How to Avoid Being a Victim of Sliders

  1. Pay attention to your surroundings, wherever you are.  Situational awareness is the number one rule to avoid becoming a victim.
  2. Even if you are familiar with the neighborhood, never let your guard down.
  3. Don’t leave your purse, shopping bags or any valuables on the front passenger seat, where it attracts attention.
  4. Lock your car every time you step out, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
  5. If you are going inside the mini mart, hide your purse under the seat and don’t forget to lock your car.  Or, take your purse with you, and keep a tight hold on it.

This is a crime of opportunity.   If every car door was locked, the thief would not have such easy access to the goods.  And, if more people were paying attention to their surroundings, these criminals would be easily spotted.  Unfortunately, not everyone pays attention, making it easy for criminals to take advantage.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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Cox’s Honey Group Giveaway

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Coxs Honey Group Giveaway, raw, unfiltered, pure honey |via www.foodstoragemoms.com
Today we are hosting another Cox’s Honey Group Giveaway so our readers will have a chance to win some raw, unfiltered, pure honey. Cox’s Honey is sponsoring this giveaway today and we want to thank them for giving us this opportunity. Cox’s Honey is raw and unfiltered honey.

A bit of history…

The company was started back in 1880 in Orderville, Utah by Delaun Mills Cox. Mr. Cox produced enough sweet honey for the entire city before moving the operations to Shelley, Idaho. Delaun kept his beehives going more like a hobby. But after World War I he began making more money as a hobbyist than his previous holdings.

During the following years honey prices became depressed and in 1925 his son, Orville S. Cox took over his bee business. Orville made the bee business his tool of trade for his livelihood and raising his family. He produced, packaged and sold clover honey.

Details about Cox’s Honey Giveaway:

This Cox’s Honey Giveaway is open to any resident who is 18 years of age or older who lives in one of the 48 US Contiguous States. This giveaway starts on Wednesday, Oct. 1st at 5:00 am (MDT) and ends on Monday, Oct. 6th at 5:00 pm (MDT). The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If we do not hear back from said winner in the designated time period of 24 hours we will choose another winner and they will have 24 hours to respond from the time the notification email is sent. Please check your SPAM email folders. Good luck to everyone! Let’s be prepared for the unexpected!
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