Fire Roasted Vegetables for Food Storage

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg Blend4At last week’s Monday Musings, I mentioned I was catching up on product reviews.  Therefore, in lieu of the scheduled posts, this week is Review Week!

I had the opportunity to test out the new Mountain House Fire Roasted Vegetables.

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg BlendLong time readers know we’ve tested a few Mountain House entrees, and brought them on camping and backpacking trips.

I was a little iffy about how fire roasted vegetables would turn out, as this is one of my favorite foods and some restaurants don’t even cook them properly.  But I gave it shot so here’s the result.

Here is what the vegetables look as you open the packet.  It contains freeze dried fire roasted bell peppers, onions with corn and black beans.

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg Blend2

As usual, I followed the instructions to take out the oxygen absorber then just add 1.5 cups boiling water.

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg Blend3Then mix up the contents to make sure the water has covered the vegetables.  Then seal up the bag and wait.  The directions said leave it alone 7-8 minutes.

I checked it after the 8 minutes were up and the vegetables were ready the the black beans were still a bit tough.  So I left it for another 7 minutes for a total of 15.  By now the black beans were perfect.

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg Blend5I tasted the vegetables and they were excellent.  They had a sweet, fresh taste and a firm, not mushy consistency.  The pouch contains 2.5 servings.  I had it plain for lunch and it was satisfying.

I think it’s actually better than some of the frozen fire roasted vegetable blends I’ve tried from the supermarket.  They would be great for camping, backpacking and long term food storage.  I highly recommend Mountain House Fire Roasted Vegetables.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Grow Great Vegetables in Containers with these 4 Tips

Grow Great Vegetables in Containers with these 4 TipsBy Mike Podlesny

Do not let the lack of space keep you from growing some great tasting fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs at home. Regardless of whether you have a balcony at your apartment or a small backyard in the city, it is possible to reap a bountiful harvest every gardening season.

CHOOSE WISELY

The first thing to consider when growing fruits, vegetables and herbs in containers is choosing varieties that make sense for the amount of space that you have. You might think there is nothing out there that fits your need, but that would be the furthest from the truth. There are plenty of determinant vegetable varieties that will work.

For example, if you love fresh home grown beans like I do, go with some heirloom bush varieties such as royal burgundy or golden wax, as opposed to pole beans that would require trellising and take up a bit more space.

If cucumbers are your favorite, you are in luck, because the determinant heirloom bush crop variety is perfect for your space, and grows very well in small containers. I am growing bush crop cucumbers this year and have nine plants in a three foot by three foot raised garden bed. You can squeeze plenty of these varieties of cucumbers in a small space and still get prolific production.

THE CONTAINERonions_growing_in_container
After you have decided what to grow, you now need something to plant your vegetables, herbs and fruit in. A good container will have a diameter of at least sixteen inches and a depth of no less than twelve inches, although much deeper is always better. If you can afford a bigger container for both price and space, I would highly recommend it.thyme_growing_in_an_herb_box

Because you are growing vegetables, fruits and herbs in containers, there are some things you have to remember.

Use a good potting soil that is loaded with plenty of plant food. The key here is potting soil.  Do not use a garden soil. Garden soil is too dense for a container application. There are a lot of great organic choices available, or you can make your own by combining homemade compost, a little perlite and some coir.

You will need to water your plants more frequently. Your container will dry out quicker, so watering daily will be a part of your routine, and if you are in an area with extreme high temperatures, twice a day is not out of the question. Just keep an eye on them.
Your container should have plenty of drainage. I would highly recommend drilling a few more holes into the bottom of your containers. This allows excess water to drain better. The last thing you want is excess water sitting around the roots of your vegetable plants. That will cause a condition called root rot.

pumpkin_growing_in_a_pot

LOCATION

Your plants should receive at least 8 hours of sun although you can get away with less if you are growing leafy veggies such as kale, lettuce or spinach. The beauty about containers is that you can move them around. So if you are growing a container variety of tomato, which requires a full day’s worth of sun, and the sun hits 4 hours on one side of your balcony, and 4 on the other, simply pick the pot up and follow the sun. It really is not that much work once you get used to it.

You may also want to consider adding artificial light, such as grow lights, if your apartment, condo, house etc., sits on the side that receives more shade than sun. They are very inexpensive, available at any giant home center, and do not cost that much to operate.

bush_cucumbersFEED YOUR PLANTS
Finally, don’t forget to feed your plants. Because your vegetables, fruits and herbs are growing in confined quarters, they are going to use up the nutrients in the soil much faster. If you start with a good potting soil as mentioned earlier, you can easily get away with feeding your plants once per week after the first month.

I would recommend a good fertilizer like fish emulsion or even adding some compost to the top of your container and allowing it to work its way down, which it will eventually do. You can also use that compost to make compost tea, which makes a great elixir for your plants.

Just because you have a small space to work with does not mean you cannot be big on growing your own food. With a few tips and a little work, you will be well on your way to filling up those pantries with plenty of fresh beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and more.

About the Author
Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts.

 

 

Forsaking Home by A. American – Book Review and Giveaway

Forsaking HomeToday we are looking at Forsaking Home, Book 4 of the Survivalist Series by A. American.  As you know, I am a fan of the Survivalist Series, having reviewed the books in the past.  As soon as I heard the fourth book was available for review, I jumped at the chance.

As a quick summary, Forsaking Home delves into what our main character, Morgan Carter has to do for his family’s survival in the aftermath of the failure of the electric grid.  At the same time, the book also covers the actions of Sarge, who plans to take down a refugee camp run by oppressors.

I enjoyed reading this book and was happy to find out what happened after we left off in the third book.  However, I the book felt divided to me, as about 1/3 of the book dealt with Morgan Carter and his family, and 2/3 dealt with Sarge and the planned take down of the camp.  I would have preferred more of the book dedicated to Morgan, as I was more attached to Morgan’s character than Sarge.

As in the previous books, you can pick up some great survival tips as you are reading Forsaking Home.  The story moves along at a satisfying pace, and keeps the reader interested in the unfolding events.

I like the books overall, and hope this is not the final book in the series.

Now for the giveaway…

If you have not started reading the books, this is a great opportunity!  One winner can win all four books in the entire series.

Going Home

Surviving Home

Escaping Home

Forsaking Home

To enter, please leave a comment below regarding:

What outdoor or bushcraft skills are you most interested in learning and why?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, July 26th at 8 pm Central.

*Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.

 

Off Grid Tip: How to Tell How Much Daylight is Left

How to Tell How Much Daylight is LeftThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I mentioned a while back that we “unplugged” from devices at our recent camping trip:  no GPS, no cell phones or laptops.  The kids felt strange at first, but eventually got used to it.

Apt Prepper son used this trick he learned watching Les Stroud, Survivorman – to find out how much time is left until the sky goes completely dark.  It was around 7 pm or so at the time, and he estimated around two hours and 15 minutes of daylight left.  He estimated it would be dark around 9:15 pm.  I had a solar watch and I checked the time to see if he was accurate.  I thought that seemed really late but I waited to see if it would really work.

After the sun finally went down and it was pitch black, I checked the time:  9:15.  The method was amazingly accurate.

Here’s how:

Hold your arm and stick  your hand out.  Place your hand between the sun and the horizon.  Each finger represents 15 minutes, and four fingers will equal one hour.   If you can stack your hands twice then that is two hours and so on.  In our case, at around 7 pm, Apt Prepper son was able to stack his hands twice plus one finger between the sun and the horizon, thereby coming up with 9:15 pm.

This method can be a lifesaver if you are out in the wilderness without a way to tell time.  You can gauge how much daylight you have left so you can return back to base camp in a timely manner.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Show young kids that being prepared can be fun!

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Monday Musings: 7/14/2014

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links as well as updates on the blog and preps.  Lots of things going on this week!

First the updates:

Wanted:  a natural mosquito repellant that works

This week we are being extra careful about applying insect repellant as we heard the Chikungunya virus has come to HoustonI told you about this weeks ago, and now it’s here.  This mosquito borne virus has no vaccine and can be quite miserable if you catch it.  I have spray on repellants containing DEET which are effective, but I’d prefer to use more natural repellants.  This week I will be trying some out.  I’ll post about it soon.

Giveaways going on

You can still enter to win a free Mega One meal replacement for Food Storage made by Legacy from Preparewise

As a requirement in the entry, please remember to follow @LegacyPremium and have them tweet about the giveaway using the hashtag #ilovepreparewise

Also, the Prepared Bloggers are holding a Titan Ready Water Giveaway starting today.

So many reviews so little time

My review pile is growing steadily, and they are scheduled several weeks in advance.  Being short on space, a corner next to my bed is stacked high with books and items waiting to be read and tested.  As you know I try out everything to talk about on this blog and these experiments take time.  Some reviews include giveaways, but some don’t.  I figure they would still be helpful to someone who is considering purchasing the item and looking for information before making a decision.  You may see a few additional review posts in the next few weeks, hopefully you will find them of value.

Prepared Bloggers Network Update

As you know I am a member of the Prepared Bloggers Network, a fine group of preparedness and homesteading bloggers.  Please visit the Facebook page, we also have a new page on Pinterest.

Now for the links…

New Adventure Show with Creek Stewart

I got an email announcing a new series featuring friend of the blog, Creek Stewart, who runs Willow Haven Outdoor.  The new show is called “Fat Guys in the Woods” and it premieres on Sunday, August 10 at 10:00 p.m. ET following “So You Think You’d Survive?” at 9:00 p.m. ET.

In every episode of “Fat Guys in the Woods,” Creek brings three average Joes to the woods to survive for a week, while teaching them the skills necessary for survival.

The premiere episode features three friends from California, with Creek’s guidance, who embark on a bitter cold survival adventure in the Smoky Mountains during record-breaking low temperatures…the same week where three hikers were airlifted from the same region after battling for their lives. After making a massive wikiup shelter and starting a fire with flint they find in the woods, the guys need to survive the freezing weather conditions and find food armed with little beyond their own two hands.

Click here for a link to the promo spot for the show.

Fat Guys in the Woods

“Fat Guys in the Woods”: Survival Expert Creek Stewart

Photo Credit: The Weather Channel

I have not seen the show, so I can’t do a review just yet, but I look forward to seeing it.

Ebola in Africa: Can we dodge a global pandemic?

Forgotten vials of smallpox found in storage room

Deadliest, Rarest Form of Plague Contracted Near Denver

One Of The NSA’s Original Whistleblowers Says The Goal Is ‘Total Population Control’

Breakfast takes a bigger bite out of your wallet

10 habits you should pick up from your grandmother

Small Batch Fruit Preserving

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

Save a Spot in Your Food Storage Shelf! MEGA ONE SHAKE MIX Review and Giveaway

MegaOneMealReplacementShake

I’ve been considering meal replacement and protein products as a supplement to my food storage and even contacted a few companies about information about their products in terms of long term storage.  I did not get a single response.  That’s why I as excited to hear when Preparewise introduced their  Mega One Meal Replacement Shake from Legacy Premium, which offers 10+ years of shelf life.

I had to try it. Here are MegaOne Chocolate Shake Features –

  • Total Servings: 15 Hearty / 30 Light Servings
  • Total Calories: 4,290
  • Total Weight: 2.59 lb
  • Hearty Serving Size: 3 Scoops (286 Cal)
  • Light Serving Size: 1.5 Scoops (143 Cal)
  • All Natural Ingredients
  • Made from 28 super foods including Chia, Acai, Goji & more
  • Incredibly Delicious
  • Long Shelf Life: 10+ Years
  • Just Add Water and Shake to Prepare
  • Perfect addition to emergency food storage
  • Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Non-GMO
  • Low Fat – Trans Fat Free
  • Complete Amino Acid Profile
  • Dairy & Soy Free
  • High Protein (30 grams per hearty serving)
  • Low Sugar
  • Complete Vitamin B Complex
  • Good Source of Fiber
  • Immune Booster
  • Cholesterol Free
  • Great for breakfast, weight loss, nutritional supplement
  • Great for hiking, camping, disaster supply & more

Here’s what it looks like right out of the pouch:

MegaOneMealReplacementShake_powderJust add water, and mix well.

MegaOneMealReplacementShake_mixedNow for the taste:

As I always do with taste tests, I share with another member of the family.  I liked the shake, but Apt Prepper son was not wild about the low sugar taste.  However, he does like the nutrients and protein provided by the shake so he still drinks it.

I also wanted to share a few recipes from Amy, my contact at Preparewise.

Recipe 1
2 cups water
1 full serving Mega One
1/4 cup flax seed
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
banana
4 cups spinach
1 cup frozen fruit
Mix all together in a blender or Nutribullet.
Recipe 2
Large Handful of spinach
Handful of frozen berries from Costco
Handful of frozen fruit from Costco
Water to consistency
Three scoops (one serving) of chocolate or vanilla flavored Mega Meal One
Mix all together in a blender or Nutribullet.
Additional notes:  Some replace the water with:
yogurt
almond milk
milk
ice chips
ice cream
Additional ingredients people have added:
various fruits, bananas, berries, pineapple
peanut butter
malt powder
frozen berries
spinach
I can vouch for adding bananas, berries and lots of ice.  It’s filling too.
Why I think Mega One Meal Replacement Shakes are a great addition to your food storage pantry:
  • Quick preparation
  • Just add water- does not require a lot of ingredients
  • Great source of nutrition
  • Occupy very little space
  • Long shelf life
Now for the giveaway!
Prepare Wise is giving a packet of Mega One Meal Replacement Shake (as pictured in the title above)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Please click here to vote for me at Top Prepper Websites!

 

Survival Tin Party Favor

Survival Tin Party FavorThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

I got this heart tin as a wedding party favor.  Originally it contained mints but after they were gone, I kept the container.

I thought it would be fun to use it as a survival tin, as I had done a while back with my pocket sized first aid kit.  Instead of giving out candy, why not include items that could one day help someone out in an emergency.  It’s useful, handy and can be stashed in a desk or purse.

Here are a couple of ideas:

All purpose survival tin

Secret Survival Tin 1Include:

  • Strike anywhere matches
  • A couple of safety pins
  • Paracord
  • Anti-bacterial wipe
  • Cash:  a few coins and a bill

You can also include a couple of water purification tablets, paper clip, rubber bands etc.

First Aid Tin

First Aid TinInclude:

  • A couple sizes of adhesive bandage
  • Sanitizing wipe
  • Pain reliever
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Diarrhea remedy (already inside the tin)

You can also add allergy medicine, a couple of cotton swabs, eye drops etc.

First Aid Tin 2

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Show young kids that being prepared can be fun!

Jake and Miller's Big Adventure© Apartment Prepper 2014

Please click here to vote for me at Top Prepper Websites!

Monday Musings: 7/7/2014

Monday Musings 07072014This 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:

Encore interview   I have an encore interview with our friend Gaye over at Backdoor Survival.  Check it out here.  Don’t forget to submit your entry.

Prepared Bloggers

Prepared BloggersJust a quick reminder to check out this wonderful group I belong to:  Prepared Bloggers for lots of great preparedness and self-sufficiency articles.

Thoughts on giveaways

As long time readers know, I have been doing giveaways on this blog for some time.  Sometimes they are sponsors, sometimes not, and sometimes I just team up with other bloggers to do them.  There have been some giveaways that have disappointing results, and I wonder why very few responded; other times, we have enthusiastic responses.

It is frustrating when a winner is chosen and they do not respond within a timely manner.  Don’t they check their emails?   The rules state the winner of the drawing must respond within 48 hours or another winner is chosen so we do.

I still do them anyway, and many readers have left positive comments about them.

Why do I like them?

I do them for the simple reason that a giveaway gave me a great start when I began my own preparedness journey.   I won the Cansolidator from Modern Survival Online.  I never won anything before and was so excited to win.  I did a review of the item and it helped me organize my small pantry.

Who won the Crafting with Paracord Giveaway?

Gary won the giveaway for Crafting with Paracord.

Now for the links…

18 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Accelerating As We Enter The Last Half Of 2014

Fear and Rumors Hinder Containment of Ebola Outbreak

Is this wise? Controversial scientist recreates pandemic flu virus that killed 500,000 people… except it’s WORSE

Why It’s Possible to Drown in a Dry Parking Lot

Prepping in an Apartment with an Eye to the Future

How Fast Food Providers Beat Inflation – Add Wood Pulp To Burgers

30 Everyday Products You Can Make Instead of Buying at Walmart


Source: Fix.com

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Show young kids that being prepared can be fun!

Jake and Miller's Big Adventure

Please click here to vote for me at Top Prepper Websites!

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Nite Ize DoohicKey Key Tool – Does it Work?

Nite Ize DooHicKeyThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Today we are reviewing the Nite Ize DoohicKey Key Tool, a little gadget that has multiple uses.

According to the package, it can be used as:

  • Carabiner
  • Box Cutter
  • Bottle Opener
  • Wrench
  • Ruler
  • Flat Head Screw Driver

The Nite Ize DoohicKey Key Tool is small enough to place in your key ring.

I tested out its uses and found it to be sturdy enough to perform its intended uses.  I also like that it does not take up a lot of space.

Here is one of the uses I found for it:

Nite Ize carabinerI hung up a collapsible water carrier to dry for several hours and the Nite Ize DoohicKey Key Tool held up well.

It also worked well for opening boxes, and is not sharp enough to cut yourself.  It came in handy as a bottle opener.

Priced at $6.71 on Amazon, it is inexpensive enough to buy one for everyone in the family.  I think it would also make a nice stocking stuffer, office gift even for people who don’t want to think about prepping.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

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What to Do If Your Partner Thinks Prepared = Paranoid

What to do if you partner think prepared equals paranoidThis post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

On a beautiful day such as the one pictured above, it’s hard to even imagine a natural or even a man-made disaster disrupting things.  If you even mention something about being prepared, your relatives or friends will say “you are just being paranoid.”  I have heard this so often among people who want to prepare; even one of our readers has brought it up in a comment.

Should you forget about being prepared because your partner and your family do not support you?  No!  I think there are a ways to get around this issue.

Understand the other point of view

We have to accept that the majority of the population is not concerned about preparedness.  Even when faced with facts and news about what happened to other people who had been in disasters, they refuse to do anything to prepare.  There are a lot of reasons for this:

  • Ignorance:  Many people are not aware of the threats to infrastructure, and what would happen if trucks stop delivering goods.
  • Fear:  Afraid to admit a lot of things can go wrong.  People do not want to feel threatened and may get turned off the idea
  • Consumerism:  Would rather spend money on shopping for clothes, gadgets, expensive vacations
  • Someone will save us:  Belief that someone (government, family) will be always around to help
  • Normalcy bias:  Belief that things will always be as they were before; refusal to admit something could go wrong even in the face of facts.

Once you understand the reasoning for their resistance, you can start working on your approach.

What NOT to do

Do not try to get preachy or argumentative.  If they are already resistant to the idea, getting into an argument isn’t going to change their mind.

If you get confrontational about it, the person may just “dig their heels” even more or become hostile about the idea.

Start slow

If you sense that your family has objections, you will need to start slowly, with baby steps to get them used to the idea.  Introduce the idea during appropriate times, such as while watching a zombie movie, TV show or hearing about a disaster in another state (that could happen in your location).

Approach the idea in a way that is not threatening but as a conversation piece “What would we do if that were to happen?”  The type of responses you get will determine your next move.

Regional disasters

The easiest things to prepare for are regional perils that your family may face.  It is easier to justify your efforts because of probable threats.

If it’s hurricane season and you are in a hurricane area, you have a good reason to gather supplies and set it aside “just in case.”  Then you can slowly build your stockpile.

Compromise

If your wife or husband loves to shop for the latest and greatest, but you’d rather spend money on emergency supplies, come to an agreement on spending.  Some couples agree on a certain amount of “fun money” per pay period that each one is free to spend without judging from the other.  He or she may want to spend “fun money” at the mall, but you spend yours on supplies.

Other non-threatening approaches

  • Convenience:  If you have supplies, you do not have to be constantly running to the store to restock.  Every new parent knows panic when their baby runs out of formula late at night and they have not gone to the store.  That is something to avoid.  Even running out of everyday items such as sugar or toilet paper is a big pain if you have to drop everything and go to the grocery store for one item because you left it out of your list one day.
  • What matters most   Everyone has things that he or she feels strongly about – , things they would not want to run out or lose access.  The wife or husband who feels you are just being paranoid won’t be so critical if you show you are “doing it for the kids.”  No one would want their kids to suffer in the event of an emergency.  Teens may be concerned about losing power on their smart phones – get them a solar charger.  If your teen daughter is concerned about never running out of tampons, then by all means, stock up on those items.
  • Cost-Cutting:  You can start your stockpile without raising a lot of eyebrows by using frugal techniques that help your household save money.  Start using coupons and taking advantage of “buy one get one free” offers.  When questioned about buying multiples of one item such as canned fruit or granola bars, emphasize what a great deal you got so you stocked up.
  • Hobbies and skills:   You can learn survival and self sufficiency skills like bread making, canning or wood-working without making someone feel insecure by labeling these activities as hobbies.   I once had a long conversation with a mom at church.  She was describing all her husband’s hobbies- gardening, archery, hunting, fishing, and even metal working.  The family, who lives in a nice neighborhood, even has a mini foundry in their garage where her husband crafts swords!  These sound like great survival skills to me, but no one had a problem with it in the neighborhood.  These activities are all considered “hobbies.”

If you feel strongly about becoming prepared and getting some degree of security for your family, it is important that you get started.  Don’t alienate your significant other in the process; instead, frame your activities in a common sense, practical light.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

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