Why isn’t someone helping me

Every time I hear someone say, “Why isn’t someone helping me?” I cringe and think, why aren’t they helping themselves? Nobody owes them anything, and the sooner they realize this, the better prepared they will be.

In today’s world, people stand at Soup Kitchens, talking on cell phones, wearing $100 dollar sneakers, waiting for free food someone else took the time to grow. Why? It is not hard to plant a garden. People do it all the time, so get your hands dirty. And while you’re at it, learn how to preserve for the winter.

Fishing is another way to obtain food for your family, If you live near a lake, river, or ocean, you have no excuse for not taking a day to fish. If small children can catch fish with nothing more than a can of worms and a pole, you can too.

If you have kids, take them with you. Kids love to do things with their parents when they are young, and fishing is a lot more fun than standing in line at a Soup Kitchen.

Today is the day to stop acting helpless.

How long will a can of food last

How long will a can of food last?

The USDA will tell you high-acid canned foods, like tomatoes and citrus fruits will keep for up to 1½ years, and low-acid canned foods like vegetables, meat, and fish will last for up to 5 years.

But the truth is they can last much longer if stored properly and are free of any damage such as dents or bulging.

Canned foods are sterile, so they do not host bacteria, but eventually, the taste and texture of the food will deteriorate.

Case in point, a 40‐yr old can of sweet corn found aboard the sunken U.S.S. Monitor, was opened in 1974 and the nutrient content of the canned corn compared favorably with reported values, except for lower amounts of ascorbic acid. Meaning you could eat it. 

Now that will not be the case for all can foods, but the point is they will last a very long time. The best way to tell if a can is bad is by looking for bulging, which would indicate the food inside is terrible. If no damage is seen, you should open it and inspect the food yourself.

I don’t recommend keeping your can food longer than five years, but if push comes to shove during the apocalypse and you find some old cans, don’t pass them by. There is a good chance they’re still edible.

Note – “Use-By” or “Best Buy” labels on foods are for consumers as a directive of the date by which the product should be eaten for the best quality, not because the item will make you sick if eaten after that date. However, after that date, product quality is likely to go down.

The “Sell-By” labels are for retailers and inform them of the date by which a product should be sold or removed from their shelves. This does not mean the product is unsafe to consume after that date.

Microgreens are miniature greens, herbs, and other vegetables

Microgreens are a year-round source of vegetable greens, harvested after sprouting as shoots.

The edible young greens and grains are produced from various kinds of vegetables, herbs, or other plants. They range in size from 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 cm), including the stem and leaves. A microgreen has a single central stem that has been cut just above the soil line during harvesting. It has fully developed cotyledon leaves and usually has one pair of very small, partially developed true leaves. The average crop-time for most microgreens is 10–14 days from seeding to harvest.

Some popular types of microgreens include Arugula, Chives, Mizuna, Chard, Cabbage, Beets, Cilantro, Mint, Garden Cress, Sunflower, Kale, Parsley, Dill, Orach, Carrots, Celery, Basil, Chia, Mustard Greens, Fennel, Amaranth, Radish, and Watercress.

To grow

Fill a container with soil, making sure you don’t over-compress, and water lightly.

Scatter seeds over the surface.

Cover with a thin layer of soil and mist with water.

Place the container under a grow light or near the window.

Check daily and mist with water if needed.

Greens are usually ready to harvest in 2-4 weeks, depending on the type of seed used.

Below is an excellent video showing you how to do it.

If you need seeds, check out this non-profit seed exchange.

Seed Savers Exchange is a community of gardeners and seed stewards, sharing and swapping rare seeds you might not find anywhere else.

Gardeners like you, from around the country, offer seeds they’ve grown (“homegrown seeds”) through the Exchange facilitated by Seed Savers Exchange, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and sharing heirloom seeds.

Participants in the Exchange have saved thousands of rare heirlooms from extinction by connecting with new seed stewards to carry on seed saving traditions to the next generation. You can help preserve America’s gardening heritage for future generations by joining. The more people that participate, the stronger it will be.

Anyone can browse the Exchange, but you must create a free account on the Exchange to request or list seeds. Exchange community members offer thousands of homegrown, heirloom and open-pollinated seeds to other members. And all of the seeds provided by listers are open-pollinated and non-hybrid. If you grow these seeds into mature plants, the plants will produce seeds that you can harvest and plant again next year.

Beelining is a skill used to locate wild bee colonies

Beelining was a serious occupation in Appalachia back in the day, where it was used to obtain honey, and sometimes to capture wild colonies for domestication. 

Today people still practice this skill, and I think it would be a useful skill for preppers to have as well.

The word “beeline” comes from the belief that nectar-laden bees return to their hives in a direct line, and the definition of the word means: to go quickly in a straight direct course.

To find colonies, one has to capture and mark foraging worker bees in a box. Then release them from various points to establish (by elementary trigonometry) the direction and distance of the colony’s home.

If you would like to learn more about beelining, I suggest listing to the free audiobook “Bee Hunting” by John Ready Lockard (1858 – 1925).

You can also watch this video by Charles Wascott.

Powdered milk, great for long-term storage

Powdered milk is a dairy product that has been evaporating to dryness and includes such items as dry whole milk, nonfat (skimmed) dry milk, dry buttermilk, dry whey products, and dry dairy blends.

The resulting concentrated milk is then sprayed into a heated chamber where the water almost instantly evaporates, leaving fine particles of powdered milk solids.

It becomes nonperishable in powder form and makes an excellent long-term storage item. No refrigeration needed.

Milk powders contain all twenty-one standard amino acids and are high in soluble vitamins and minerals.

Below you will find a conversion chart for using non-instant powdered milk in recipes calling for milk.

1 cup of milk equals 1 cup of water + 3 tablespoons powdered milk

3/4 cup of milk equals 3/4 cup of water + 2 1/4 tablespoons powdered milk

2/3 cup of milk equals 2/3 cup of water + 2 tablespoons powdered milk

1/2 cup of milk equals 1/2 cup of water + 1 1/2 tablespoons powdered milk

1/3 cup of milk equals 1/3 cup of water + 1 tablespoon powdered milk

1/4 cup of milk equals 1/4 cup of water + 3/4 tablespoon powdered milk

With powdered milk, you can make yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, buttermilk, and more.

So what is the difference between instant and powdered milk?

The main difference is in the way powdered milk is made?

Instant milk is as its name suggests – instant. You add water to the milk, and it “instantly” creates a milk product.

Powdered milk, on the other hand, needs more time to reconstitute, thus giving it a much better taste. It also keeps much more of the desirable vitamins and minerals.

What’s wrong with YEW

The yew tree can kill you. All species contain highly poisonous alkaloids known as taxanes. Its yew berries are edible and sweet, but the seeds are dangerously toxic and must be removed before eaten. Birds can eat them, but we cannot, our stomachs break down the seed coat and release their taxanes into our bodies.

The name yew is common to various species of trees but is most prominently given to any of the various coniferous trees and shrubs in the genus Taxus: European yew or common yew (Taxus baccata) Pacific yew or western yew (Taxus brevifolia)

It is sometimes called the tree of the dead due to its poisonous nature, and was sometimes planted in church graveyards in the past to keep the cows out. It worked becuase the tree’s leaves are more toxic than the seed.

Symptoms of yew poisoning include an accelerated heart rate, muscle tremors, convulsions, collapse, difficulty breathing, circulation impairment, and, eventually, cardiac arrest.

But It’s not all bad. The yew’s wood is good for making bows and spears. One of the oldest man-made weapons in the northern hemisphere is a spear made from yew.

It is also a slow-burning wood that produces a good level of heat.

Medically, cancer drugs from the bark of the Pacific yew tree have been used to expand treatment options for patients with breast and ovarian cancers.

In America, the Pacific Yew is found in the west coast states and Alaska. It grows between 20-40 feet, occasionally up to 75, 1-2 feet in diameter. The Bark is reddish-purple and flakes off in irregular, thin patches.

And in Florida the yew is a small, bushy tree or shrub usually less than 15ft tall but sometimes up to 25ft. It has a short trunk with numerous stout, horizontal, spreading branches. The purplish-brown bark is smooth when young, becoming separated into thin, irregular scales with age.

Throughout history, the yew has been a treasured resource, so what’s wrong with yew? Nothing, as long as you know how to use it.

The Pine Tree, nature’s lifesaver

Over one hundred spices of pine can be found around the world. Its parts have many uses, and you can eat it. Native Americans did this in the past to get through the winter months.

The process of stripping a tree’s bark to eat is not good for the tree and can kill it if a complete ring is taken, so only cut strips off of one side.

Due to the Algonquin’s tribe’s practice of eating bark, early settlers in the Adirondack area would often report finding acres of pine trees with missing bark. And it was not long before the settlers themselves learned how to take advantage of this year-round food.

By cutting off a strip of the hard outer bark and its greenish middle layer, you can get to the inner layer of soft white bark that is closet to the tree’s wood. If you peel this soft fleshy layer (cambium) tissue off, it can be eaten raw.

You can also boil it if you shred it up into small pieces. This will help to remove some of the pitch flavor.

Drying strips over a fire will make potato chip-like pieces that you can also eat.

And pounding it into flour will allow you to mix it with other foods.

One pound of bark will have 500 to 600 calories, contain digestible starches, sugar, vitamins, and fiber.

I doubt most people will enjoy eating pine bark unless they are starving. However, if you find yourself standing in the middle of a pine forest hungry. It’s your own fought because now you know, nature’s lifesaver is a pine tree.

Most pine needles can also be used to make a tea full of vitamin C, and their nuts can be eaten as well. The fatwood from a pine tree also makes an excellent fire starter.

Check out this video to see a tree being stripped.

Black pepper and Dr. Scott’s old-time medicine show

Black pepper is the world’s most traded spice and is one of the most common spices added to cuisines around the world. Its spiciness comes from the chemical piperine, not to be confused with the capsaicin characteristic of chili peppers.

As of 2016, Vietnam was the world’s largest producer and exporter of black peppercorns, producing 216,000 tonnes or 39% of the world total of 546,000 tonnes.

Peppercorns were a much-prized trade good in the past, often referred to as “black gold” and used as a form of commodity money. It was so valuable that it was often used as collateral.

So what can you do with the amazing black pepper that many considered a luxury item in the Middle Ages?

Well, flavoring food is the number one use for black pepper, but there are other uses for it. So let’s get this old school peddler show started and talk about its AMAZING applications.

Gather round folks cause I’m going to introduce to you the black pepper, cultivated in the far lands of Asia. 

Friends this black substance can cure cancer and other health issues due to piperine, an alkaloid that gives black pepper (Piper nigrum) its pungency. Studies have shown that piperine exerts protective activity against numerous forms.

Got high blood pressure? I got the answer for that as well. Reports have shown that piperine can lower blood pressure in animals, so why not you?

Have you put on a little extra weight? Piperine can take care of that too. Yes, that’s right, studies have shown the very compound that makes you sneeze, also fights the formation of fat cells.

But that’s not all folks, there’s more! The ancient Chinese used pepper to alleviate coughs and congestion. This multipurpose powder stimulates circulation and mucus flow. Combine it with honey, and you got yourself an excellent natural cough suppressant. Simply mix a teaspoon of powdered black pepper with 2 tablespoons of honey in a cup. Then fill with boiling water, cover, and let it steep for about 15 minutes then strain. Do it three times a day, and your congestion and sinuses will be clear.

And I’m not done folks, this show is just getting started so step in a little closer. This product can also help fight infections and has superb antioxidant effects, Antioxidants fight disease-causing free radicals and boost immunity. In Indian, a study showed that rats induced with oxidative stress showed considerable improvement in their condition when administered with black pepper. Yep, I said it, rats.

Another test conducted by the National Institute of Nutrition in India found that black pepper had the highest concentration of antioxidants in all of the foods they had analyzed.

You got to get you some of this stuff folks because it can also improve your oral health too.

Just make yourself a messaging mixture, and relieve from toothache and other oral infections can be had due to piperine’s antibacterial properties. Simply mix equal amounts of salt and pepper in water and rub on your gums. For a toothache, you can mix black pepper with clove oil and apply it to the affected area.

Now, I know you’re saying to yourself, “Dr. Scott, that’s amazing, sell me some right now!” And I will, but I don’t want you to walk away without knowing about all of the uses for my pepper.

Did you know it can enhance your brain health? Who knew, right? And ladies, if you got a man that needs a little help in the fertility department, then pepper can help you out. It is known to increase testosterone levels as it is rich in zinc and magnesium – two minerals critical for male sex hormones. The zinc in pepper also helps in the development and movement of his little troopers. But go easy with it unless you want one of those big farm families.

Want to stop smoking? It will cure that too. Believe it or not, studies have shown that inhaling the vapor from black pepper can reduce smoking withdrawal symptoms. How’s that for a fix, my friends.

Dang! I’m about out of breath talking about all the benefits of pepper, but I can’t stop now because it also fights wrinkles, dandruff, and a lot of other things.

Its essential oils have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that work to reduce muscle injuries, tendonitis, and symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism. It may even help ease the discomfort of constipation, diarrhea, and gas. Now, who doesn’t need help with that? I know I do cause I might just be full of myself today.

So I’ll end this show right here and tell you to take a look at the four pages I referenced for this little post so you can make up your own mind as to what will and will not work.

As for me, I like it on my eggs and grits every morning, and that’s about it.

References WikipediaDraxeHerbpathy and Stylecraze

How to store eggs for eight months without refrigeration.

How to store eggs

If you want to add eggs to your food storage plan, follow these steps.

Number 1 – Buy a bag of lime; there are two types, quicklime and hydrated lime. You want, hydrated. Hydrated lime, sometimes called slaked lime, is quicklime to which water has been added until all the oxides of calcium and magnesium have been converted to hydroxides.

Number 2 – Get a food-grade container big enough to hold the number of eggs you want to preserve.

Number 3 – Spread a thin layer of lime in the bottom of the container.

Number 4 – Pre-mix 1 ounce of lime into 1 quart of water.

Number 5 – Fill the container with eggs.

Number 6 – Pour the pre-mixed lime solution into the container.

Number 7 – Pre-mix another quart if the container has not filled to the top.

Number 8 – Pour a thin layer of olive oil on top to help with water evaporation if your container is not airtight.

Number 9 – Seal the container with a lid, and you’ll have eggs for a least 8 months.

This method of preservation was used before refrigeration and will keep almost all of your eggs good for eight months.

Here’s another way

Just place your eggs in a bucket and cover them with wood ash. The eggs may take on an ash taste, but 80 percent of them will still be edible after eight months in storage.

And finally, just in case you were wondering, eggshells are porous, which allows bacteria and mold spores to get in and spoil the egg. The porous shells also let moisture out, which ruins the egg over time. All preservations methods are trying to prevent this from happening.