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Dandelion Greens Salad Recipe

Dandelion Greens Salad

April 21, 2015 – 8:54 am

Did you know there’s food right under your feet? You’ll never go hungry when you know how to find it! Dandelions are an easy wild food for beginner foragers. Here’s a yummy recipe to get you started with wild edibles.

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Off Grid

The struggles and freedom of life without electricity.


How-to’s for beginners, and lots of good tips on raising food to sustain your family.

Canning Recipes

Canning Recipes to help you put up all your favorite foods!


Food storage, emergency preparedness, survival skills, and more.

Natural Remedies

Herbal recipes, essential oils, and old-fashioned remedies for supporting your family's health naturally.

Preparedness »

Emergency Preparedness Part One: Food Storage

April 26, 2015 – 8:29 am

Get Up To 30% Off Thrive Freeze Dried Foods

Those of you who aren’t too caught up in the trivialities of life or Hollywood, and are actually paying attention to what is going on in our economy are hopefully coming to the realization that things just aren’t right in our country. There is a feeling of impending turbulence, whatever form that may come in.

More and more people are beginning to wake up and realize how fragile our system really is, and how dependent and they are upon it for their most basic needs. Many are starting to think about what they can do now to get prepared for an unexpected disaster. I have found myself answering a lot of questions and lending a lot of advice to those considering food storage, and I am encouraged to know that so many others are getting their houses in order. The more people who can feed themselves without outside assistance, the better off we’ll all be.

Since it seems I’ve been giving out a lot of the same advice and information to those who are asking (and maybe even loved ones who aren’t asking), I thought it would just be best if I wrote an entire series on the subject for everyone to read, and you can ask me any other questions you may have as we go. I’ll have to write in several parts, as there is a lot to cover, and I will probably miss some stuff but will do my best to be thorough.

Today, we’ll talk about Food Storage.

Emergency Preparedness Part One: Food Storage. What to store, how to store it, where to store it... all of the info you need to get started building your emergency food supply.

How Do I Begin Storing Food?

If you are new to food storage and don’t really have anything set aside as of right now, I understand how overwhelming this can feel. Especially if you feel a sense of urgency, like you need to have it all right now! Try to take a deep breath and build your home store a little at a time, as your budget allows. Here are some baby steps to help you decide what to buy first.

Baby Step One: 2 week’s worth of food.  This is bare minimum of what you should have in your emergency food storage. If you don’t have enough food to get your family through at least 14 days without going to a grocery store, this needs to be a priority.

Put together a menu for two weeks worth of meals, and buy shelf stable ingredients to make them. Think of stuff you and your family would normally eat. This is especially true if you have children, as it’s extremely important that they maintain nourishment during a crisis. Now is not the time to be introducing strange new foods to kids.

Here are some simple meal ideas for 2 week’s worth of shelf stable foods:

The following suggested meals are designed around items you can grab at your local grocery store. You can find organic or natural versions of each of these foods. Be creative to supplement for food allergies.

Day 1: Oatmeal (packets), freeze dried fruit*; canned tomato soup; canned chicken salad on crackers

Day 2: Granola bars, applesauce; mac ‘n cheese and beenie weenies; chili

Day 3: Pancakes (just-add-water mix), syrup, fruit cocktail; beef jerky, instant rice; canned beef stew

Day 4: Instant grits, trail mix; canned chicken noodle soup; spaghetti (noodles and a jar of sauce)

Day 5: Breakfast bars; canned tuna salad and crackers; Ramen noodles

Day 6: Granola and milk (dried or canned), canned mandarin oranges; beef and noodles (just-add-water); black beans (canned), instant rice, seasonings

Day 7: Powdered smoothie mix (something like this); peanut butter or cheese crackers, freeze dried veggies; just-add-water meal


Don’t forget to include drinks: powdered drink mix, tea bags, coffee, etc.

*Freeze dried foods last MUCH longer than dehydrated foods. We’re talking years vs months.

Baby Step Two: A month’s worth of food. You can follow the same basic idea as above and buy shelf stable foods from the grocery store, or you can buy raw ingredients in freeze dried form and create your meals from scratch. Buying raw ingredients (onions, potatoes, carrots, corn, diced chicken, apple slices, etc) is the most cost effective way to store food, and gives you the greatest flexibility in the meals you prepare. Plus, you can avoid preservatives, additives, and unnatural ingredients this way.

Freeze dried foods are very simple to cook with. Look at your favorite recipe, make an ingredients list, then buy what you need in freeze dried form. When it’s time to make the meal, soak the dried ingredients for a few minutes, then cook just as you would if it was fresh. No other special treatment or preparation needed!

Baby Step Three: 3 month’s worth of food. At this stage I would recommend that you move beyond the basic staples and start adding some comfort foods. If the emergency has lasted long enough that you’re into 3 months of food storage, you’ll be grateful to have some special treats mixed in with your regular meals.

Some comfort food ideas:

Baby Step Four: 6 month’s worth of food. Now you’re getting serious. A membership to a buying club, such as Sam’s or Costco… or taking advantage of their ‘open to the public’ days… will help you buy in bulk at premium savings. Start thinking about buckets of shelf stable foods you can store.

Some items that you can buy in bulk and store well in buckets are:

  • rice
  • beans
  • lentils
  • instant milk
  • TVP (soy based) meat
  • sugar
  • salt
  • whole grains (wheat, quinoa, millet, spelt, amaranth, pearled barley)
  • pasta
  • cornmeal
  • oats

Do some price comparisons before buying in bulk. Some food co-ops can get these items for less than buying clubs. When buying in bulk like this, you’ll need to store these foods in food safe plastic buckets with oxygen absorbers to prevent weevils from hatching. (You can read more about storing food in buckets here.) Mylar bags are optional, but ensure safer storage.  I’ve started using mylar bags after several of my buckets got cracked in storage.

Thrive Life also carries all of the above mentioned foods in buckets with gamma seal lids (easy on/off), mylar bags, and oxygen absorbers for 10-20 years of storage.

Baby Step Five: A year’s worth of food. This should be everyone’s goal- to have enough shelf stable food stored up to sustain every member of your family for an entire year. This might sound crazy in our day and age when convenience reigns supreme and all of our needs are just a grocery store away. Our modern mindset hinges on a dangerous illusion that it will always be this way. It was only two generations ago when the average household had cellars packed full of home grown foods- plenty to get by during the “lean times”. You would have been thought a fool if you didn’t have provisions stocked away in those times. That wisdom was lost with the Industrial Revolution, as more and more housewives traded their skills for convenience. We need to get back to that survival mindset so that we don’t have to depend on somebody else’s (or the government’s) generosity when times get hard.

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16 Delicious Flower Jelly Recipes

April 22, 2015 – 7:28 am
16 Delicious Flower Jelly Recipes

You won’t believe how many edible flowers can be made into a delicious flower jelly. You just might have some of these growing in your yard right now!

Solar: Installing A Power Transfer Switch

April 2, 2015 – 8:13 pm
breaker box and transfer switch

Connecting a transfer switch to our breaker panel was one more thing we had to do before we could disconnect from the grid. It enables us to run our home on either a generator or solar power, alternating between the two forms of power as necessary.

13 Condiments You Can Make From Scratch

March 29, 2015 – 7:53 am
Barbecue Sauce

Here’s a list of the most popular condiments you can make from scratch, with simple recipes using ingredients you can grow and harvest yourself!

How To Can Chicken On The Bone: Hot Pack and Raw Pack Methods

March 27, 2015 – 2:42 pm
two ways to can chicken legs

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on TWO ways to can chicken on the bone: hot pack and raw pack methods.

My Interview With Tammy Trayer

March 27, 2015 – 1:45 pm

I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Tammy Trayer of Trayer Wilderness on her Mountain Woman Radio Show. We had a great time talking about life as homesteaders, what it’s like living off …

Seed Potatoes and How To Plant Potatoes In A Raised Bed

March 25, 2015 – 8:14 am
colorful seed potatoes

What’s A Seed Potato?
The first time I ever heard someone talking about planting potatoes from seed, I wondered to myself, “Where are the seeds in potatoes? I’ve never seen seeds.” I was completely serious. I …

March 2015: Garden

March 22, 2015 – 10:40 am
underneath row cover

The cold weather crops are planted. Here’s what the start of our 2015 garden looks like.

How To Can Ground Beef In A Pressure Canner

March 18, 2015 – 5:08 pm
How To Can Ground Beef

Learn how to can ground beef for longer storage than a freezer, and quick meal prep!

Testing Out The New Hand Pump on Our Well

March 11, 2015 – 10:20 am
Jerry using hand pump on well

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here yet, but a few months ago we were finally able to afford to get a hand pump installed on our well. We went with a Simple Pump, because …


February 27, 2015 – 5:52 pm

It’s not so bad being stuck at home. There are so many beautiful things to enjoy!

Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie

February 25, 2015 – 5:17 pm
Old Fashioned Lemon Chess Pie

From-scratch lemon chess pie uses simple ingredients you probably already have on hand. An old fashioned favorite you’re sure to love!

23 Things You Must Know To Can Meat Safely

February 25, 2015 – 10:49 am
23 Things You Must Know To Can Meat Safely

A detailed list of everything you need to know to can meat safely. Many of these precautions are never mentioned in canning recipes. Get familiar with them before beginning to can.

Homegrown Popcorn

February 19, 2015 – 11:05 am
Homegrown Popcorn- tips and experiences! via http://newlifeonahomestead.com

Homegrown popcorn is an excellent snack food you can grow yourself!

How I Helped My Speech Delayed Toddler

February 13, 2015 – 10:56 am
How I Helped My Speech Delayed Toddler With Essential Oils

My son was over 3 yrs old but still using one-word sentences. After one week of consistently applying this oil blend to the back of his neck, he said his first complete sentence!! We were in shock.

A Vegetarian Homestead?

February 4, 2015 – 8:37 am
garden produce

Could there actually be benefits to running a vegetarian homestead? This couple believes there are many. Maybe even for non-vegetarians.

Grow Your Own Tea Garden

January 30, 2015 – 6:33 pm
tea plant

Here are a few plants I’m growing in our tea garden, to provide us with a variety of herbal teas to enjoy hot or cold.