emergency food

Northwestern Chicago Survival Expo In Grayslake On March 18-19

Any Chicagoland readers interested in attending a local prepper/survival expo next month? I spotted the following on the RK Prepper Shows website this cold Friday morning:

Northwestern Chicago Survival Expo

Tickets Now on Sale!

Are you ready for a natural disaster? Could you survive for days, weeks or months without power? If you have thought about what it means to prepare for the worst, the RK Prepper Shows Survival Expo is for you. Vendors will be on-site March 18th-19th at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake, IL. Long term food storage, solar power, bug-out kits, tactical gear and so much more will be available to purchase.

Hours:

Saturday Hours: 9-5pm
Sunday Hours: 9-4pm

Tickets:

Adults: $12, VIP: $14.50 – no line, no wait
Kids: $5, VIP: $7.50 – no line, no wait…

A “Medical Preparedness Workshop” headed-up by two authorities in the field of survival medicine will also be held in conjunction with the event:

Medical Preparedness Workshop*

Learn how to provide complete wound care with hands-on suture training, as well as stapling with Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, medical preparedness experts from http://www.doomandbloom.net/.

*Extra Charge, class limited to 30, does not include tickets to the Prepper Show…

Joe Alton, M.D. (“Dr. Bones”) and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P., (“Nurse Amy”) are authors of the Amazon “Best Seller” The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way, now in its second edition.

I own a copy myself. It’s chock-full (588 pages) of terrific information for dealing with most medical issues one might face in a survival situation.

Interested in checking out the Northwestern Chicago Survival Expo? Head on over to the RK Prepper Shows website here for more information.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about survival expos and instruction is not to be construed as being a recommendation from this blog and its editor, unless specifically indicated. I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Friday, February 3rd, 2017 Emergencies, Energy, Food, Gear, Health, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Supplies, TEOTWAWKI, Training Comments Off on Northwestern Chicago Survival Expo In Grayslake On March 18-19

Signs Of The Time, Part 112

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know that I’ve been covering “prepping” on this blog for some years now.

And recently, I’ve been curious about the specific activities “preppers” have been carrying out in the run-up to Election Day.

Apparently (and not surprisingly), acquiring (more) emergency food has been a priority for these forward-looking individuals.

Ben Popken reported on the NBC News website this past weekend:

In case of an election night Doomsday, preppers are running up sales of emergency survival food.

While sales for “long term food” typically see an increase around natural disasters and elections, “this is more intense than what we saw in 2012,” said Keith Bansemer, VP of marketing for My Patriot Supply, a manufacturer and seller of survival food. During the previous election his company saw sales double. This time it’s triple.

“We have everyone we can on the phones,” he said. “We are overwhelmed.”

Purchases at other long term food supply companies are up as well. Emergency preparedness online store TheEpicenter reports a 6 percent uptick in year over year sales.

Another company, Legacy Foods, predicts they’ll see a 1-2 week spike in sales after the election — if Hillary Clinton wins, said owner Phil Cox…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Popken pointed out what’s spurring preppers to purchase “long-term” food:

Survivalist consumers say they’re preparing for post-election unrest that could involve everything from massive riots, to power grid outages, to the total collapse of the financial system where a can of food becomes currency

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Post-election unrest”

Talk of such an event has increased in the months leading up to today, so much so that the Oath Keepers, “a non-partisan association of current and formerly serving military, police, and first responders, who pledge to fulfill the oath all military and police take to ‘defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic,'” (first blogged about here back on August 12, 2011) just conducted a webinar “that went over strategies for avoiding and surviving social unrest in the streets including rioting and police reaction to that possible unrest. We talked about family preparedness plans if there were God forbid be a terrorist attack on our soil. These included communications, bug out bags, medical considerations, recognition of tactics that various terrorist organizations may use in that scenario and many more topics spoken on by several expert speakers.”


“Civil Unrest Post Election Scenarios & Preparation”
YouTube Video

Popken’s article was an insightful read- and not a “hit piece” either- which you can view in its entirety over on the NBC News site here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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DHS, FBI Launches Nationwide Program Warning Electric Companies About Cyber Attacks

While most of Main Street might not have a clue about the threat to the nation’s power grid from cyber attacks, it sounds like the Feds may be starting to take it seriously. Bill Gertz reported over on The Washington Free Beacon website last Friday:

Three months after a Department of Homeland Security intelligence report downplayed the threat of a cyber attack against the U.S. electrical grid, DHS and the FBI began a nationwide program warning of the dangers faced by U.S. utilities from damaging cyber attacks like the recent hacking against Ukraine’s power grid.

The nationwide campaign by DHS and the FBI began March 31 and includes 12 briefings and online webinars for electrical power infrastructure companies and others involved in security, with sessions in eight U.S. cities, including a session next week in Washington.

The unclassified briefings are titled “Ukraine Cyber Attack: Implications for U.S. Stakeholders,” and are based on work with the Ukrainian government in the aftermath of the Dec. 23 cyber attack against the Ukrainian power infrastructure…

The briefings will outline the details of the attacks, the techniques used by the hackers, and strategies to be used to limit risks and improve cyber security for grid organizations…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Those who have been sounding the alarm over the cyber attack threat for some time now have found a high-profile ally in American broadcast journalist Ted Koppel. Graham Vyse reported on the website of InsideSources, a non-partisan news organization, back on March 19:

On Monday, ABC News legend Ted Koppel sat down at a conference table at the National Press Foundation in Washington, accepted the mug of coffee he was offered and proceeded to describe a national security threat greater than 9/11.

The longtime “Nightline” anchor told reporters about the danger of a cyber attack on the United States power grid — an unprecedented event that could mean months of blackouts affecting tens of millions.

Koppel sees this scenario as a likelihood, not just a possibility, for which the country is woefully unprepared. He worries it would reduce America to a kind of Hobbesian state of nature, with conflicts over food, water and other dwindling necessities. It’s all the subject of his latest book, “Lights Out.”

“What happened on 9/11 is nothing compared to what a cyber attack on the power grid would do,” Koppel said…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Vyse added:

Koppel doesn’t think America can actually prevent a cyber attack, so he argues the focus should be on minimizing damage. The trouble is, he’s doubtful Congress would respond well to a request for $100 billion to buy enough freeze-dried meals to avoid food riots

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“The trouble is, he’s doubtful Congress would respond well to a request for $100 billion to buy enough freeze-dried meals to avoid food riots”

Yikes.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

Gertz, Bill. “FBI Warns of Cyber Threat to Electric Grid.” The Washington Free Beacon. 8 Apr. 2016. (http://freebeacon.com/issues/fbi-warns-cyber-threat-electric-grid/). 12 Apr. 2016.

Vyse, Graham. “Ted Koppel: Homeland Security Chief ‘Ignorant’ on Threat to Grid.” InsideSources. 19 Mar. 2016. (http://www.insidesources.com/koppel-homeland/). 12 Apr. 2016.

Ted Koppel’s power grid cyber attack book…

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Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 Civil Strife, Emergencies, Energy, Europe, Food, Government, Infrastructure, Main Street, Mainstream Media, Preparedness, Public Safety, Technology, Terrorism, Utilities, War Comments Off on DHS, FBI Launches Nationwide Program Warning Electric Companies About Cyber Attacks

Project Prepper, Part 41: 2016 Status Report

Last week in the “Project Prepper” series of posts I recapped what the series is all about for those who didn’t already know.

Today, I’m going to talk about where the project stands a little over three years in the works.

Originally, I decided my preparedness education and activities would focus on a prioritized list of six “innate survival needs” (hat-tip Jack Spirko @ The Survival Podcast). That included:

1. Security
2. Water
3. Food
4. Shelter
5. Sanitation and Health
6. Energy

In May 2015, I split up “Security” into “Physical Security” and “Financial Security” (following Spirko’s lead). The revised list now looks like this:

1. Physical Security
2. Financial Security
3. Water
4. Food
5. Sanitation and Health
6. Energy
7. Shelter

After its adoption I blogged on May 20, 2015:

“Physical Security” is still priority number one because I predict the push for more gun “control” will continue while crime simultaneously gets worse. “Financial Security” breaks into the list at number two because the most likely disaster I see on the horizon is an economic one. “Shelter” now brings up the rear as I’ve completed that move from my Chicago apartment to a house in the suburbs (plus there’s my family’s place in Wisconsin where I spend time).

In my last “status report” (December 10, 2014), I wrote:

Decent strides have been made in the area of security… Physical security on the exterior/interior of the new house has been improved, particularly with landscaping, lighting, and locks. Personal safety gear, supplies, and tools have been acquired, with training having commenced a few years back.

Concerning water, the foundation for an emergency water supply is now in place. While utilizing some water storage containers I had prior to this project, I’ve acquired additional containers. To maintain the quality of the water for an extended period of time, I purchased aerobic stabilized oxygen. I’ve also kept a couple of cases of bottled drinking water on hand, along with an emergency water containment system that holds up to 100 gallons of fresh water in a bathtub standing by in the wings. At present, my girlfriend and I have close to a week-and-a-half supply of emergency water each (based on federal government guidelines of one gallon per person per day). Even though this is significantly more than Uncle Sam’s 72-hour recommendation, I’m not comfortable with this amount.

Concerning food, the foundation for an emergency food supply is also in place. Taking advantage of price drops and gift cards, my girlfriend and I scored a relatively-inexpensive 1-week supply of high-quality freeze-dried meals each. Like with the water though, I’d like to increase that amount commensurate with the potential emergencies I’ve identified.

Concerning shelter, purchasing that house last spring was a pretty big “prep.” And it was certainly an improvement over the multi-family housing arrangement where my girlfriend and I used to live. As much as I love the city of Chicago and would have liked to stay in our northwest side neighborhood, my girlfriend and I are much better off here in a close-by suburb, all things considered.

Concerning sanitation/health, not much work has been done in this area yet. As health is concerned, I’ve acquired a good deal of basic first aid supplies and instructional material in the last couple of years. But it’s been too long since I’ve had any training in this area. It’s one of my goals in 2015 to complete an American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED class and build a comprehensive first aid kit- as well as having the knowledge/skills to use it. In addition, while working around the house has been good for the body, I really need to improve my physical fitness. Not only will it help me cope with the difficult times I see coming down the pipeline, but hopefully it will keep me from having to rely on our floundering health care system as much as possible.

On sanitation, an unforeseen (and somewhat costly) improvement was carried out late last year on our sewer line going from the house. I’ll spare readers the details, but a new cleanout was added on the front of the home, and with it, a check valve. Should the city’s sewer system fail for any reason (extended power grid failure?), the valve should prevent sewage from backing up into our house and through the toilets. At least, that’s how I understand it should work. When it comes to people having to “go to the bathroom” in an extended grid-down scenario and dealing with the waste, I’m already researching a number of possible solutions.

Finally, as energy is concerned, for short-term blackouts I’ve been looking at portable generators to use at first until my girlfriend and I can afford a standby generator that can be hooked up to the natural gas line coming into the house. I’m also exploring if we can’t utilize renewable sources of energy somehow. I really hope so, because it’s probably what we’ll be forced to turn to in a long-term grid-down situation. That being said, we are limited by what we can use due to our location in a major metropolitan area.

So that’s where I stand with “Project Prepper” as 2014 draws to a close. Decent progress has been made in tackling those “innate survival needs,” but there’s still a lot more work that needs to be done. Hopefully, time and money will be on my side in the new year.

“Hopefully, time and money will be on my side in the new year.”

Regrettably, “time and money” were not on my side. That being said, I was able to make some progress on “Project Prepper.” Going down that revised list of “innate survival needs”:

1. Physical Security: Additional lighting has been added around the property to illuminate the exterior of the house. More personal safety tools and gear have been acquired, along with training material purchased from affiliate marketing partner Paladin Press.

2. Financial Security: No progress, although efforts have been ongoing since 2004. More on this another time.

3. Water: Additional water storage containers have been purchased and acquired. I bought one Reliance Products Aqua-Pak 5 Gallon Rigid Water Container
via Amazon.com to try out (review forthcoming), and have been stockpiling empty 2-liter plastic bottles.

4. Food: Nothing’s been added to the existing emergency food supply. Although regular readers of Survival And Prosperity might remember the “experimental” food garden my girlfriend and I grew last year using heirloom seeds from My Patriot Supply’s Survival Seed Vault.

Cucumbersaurus Revisited

Cucumbersaurus Revisited: It was DELICIOUS, by the way

ANY CHARACTER HERE

Despite a number of rookie mistakes and other challenges, I’d say it was a success, and I can’t wait to grow another, more expanded one this year.

5. Sanitation and Health: I wasn’t able to take that American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED class and build a comprehensive first aid kit in 2015 like I wanted to. I have started a new workout regimen though in an effort to improve my physical fitness. I blogged back on August 26, 2015:

As for the standards I’m shooting for, I’m leaning towards those embraced by Blackwater, Inc. Founder and former CEO Erik Prince talked about them in his recently published book entitled Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror:

Our employees may have been retired from the military, but Blackwater didn’t hire your typical “retiree.” After the eight-week Moyock training programs that turned those veterans into diplomatic security professionals, our final physical fitness test standards required men to run one and a half miles in less than ten minutes, forty-five seconds; execute twelve pull-ups in a row, seventy-five push-ups done in two one-minute sets, and seventy-five sit-ups in two one-minute sets; and drag a 175-pound dummy eighty feet in under one minute

(Editor: Bold added for emphasis)

6. Energy: No progress.

7. Shelter: No progress. But to be fair, the house in the Chicago suburbs was a pretty substantial prep.

I’m disappointed I didn’t accomplish more since that December 2014 status report. Particularly as I believe time is ticking before the “balloon goes up.” From this point on, I’ll need to get “time and money” back on my side to keep “Project Prepper” moving forward. I’m up to the challenge.

More next week…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 Emergencies, Energy, Firearms, Food, Gardening, Gear, Gun Rights, Health, Medicine, Preparedness, Project Prepper, Sanitation, Security, Self-Defense, Shelter, Supplies, Training, Water Comments Off on Project Prepper, Part 41: 2016 Status Report

Glenn Beck: ‘Something Bad Is Coming Our Way… Here’s What I Would Suggest You Do’

Echoing what Damian McBride, a former special adviser to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, tweeted Monday was Glenn Beck. The American television/radio host and producer, political commentator, author, and entrepreneur told listeners yesterday on his radio program:

I believe there is something in our collective conscience, I believe there is something that is telling people all around, all around the globe, something bad is coming our way. And I think everybody feels it. So here’s what I would suggest you do. I would suggest that you have, you pay attention to what is in your 401(k). You make sure that there is some sort of stop on your 401(k) so you can’t just lose everything on your 401(k). That if you do have stocks you call your broker today and make sure that you have some sort of stop at 5 percent or 10 percent or whatever else you’re ready to risk. I would highly suggest that you have enough cash for a week. This is not the big crash. I just don’t believe that. Maybe it is- I don’t believe that. I’m always bad on timing, so seeing that I feel like it’s not, it probably is. However, there is going to come a time when things just stop working and they shut everything down. And they stop a run on the bank and everything else. And I don’t think we’re there. But, I would suggest that you have a week’s worth of cash on hand. And the only reason why you should have a week’s worth of cash on hand is in case they do at some point close the banks just to be able to stabilize the situation. Because that will happen at some point. I don’t think it’s happening today, but that will happen at some point. So you should have a week’s worth because what happens is, we have seen this happening now recently in other countries where they just limit the amount that you can take out. And so everybody just gets $200, you know, every couple of days you can have $200, but that’s it. I would just make sure that you have looked at your food storage, and your 72-hour food storage. If you’ve had gold or silver or whatever it is that you feel good about, you have those things on hand. Have you replenished your ammunition in your guns? How are you doing with God? Those are all the doomsday things to do, but if you have any of those unchecked on your list, I would make a point to start doing them today, because we are headed for trouble.


“Something Bad Is Coming | “The Glenn Beck Radio Program”
YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

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Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 Ammunition, Banking, Commodities, Crash Prophets, Currencies, Emergencies, Europe, Firearms, Food, Investing, Man-Made Disasters, Precious Metals, Preparedness, Religion, Retirement, Stocks, Supplies Comments Off on Glenn Beck: ‘Something Bad Is Coming Our Way… Here’s What I Would Suggest You Do’

Chicago Magazine Article On Area Preppers

This morning I read an article on the Chicago Magazine website that focused on Chicago-area preppers- particularly those in the suburbs. Rod O’Connor spoke to preppers residing in Downers Grove, Glenview, and on the North Side for his piece, in which he observed:

The prepper movement has climbed out of the bunker and established itself, quietly, along affluent streets in Chicago, its suburbs, and beyond…

The article is a pretty good read. Finding it difficult to get a suburban prepper to interview, O’Connor wrote:

Preppers are, not surprisingly, a paranoid bunch. Locating people willing to speak with me about their habits was more challenging than finding vegans at a gun range…

Obviously, a little bit of discretion with such matters goes a long way in protecting preppers and their loved ones in a SHTF scenario. But O’Connor also needs to realize that preppers are only too familiar with the numerous hack-jobs perpetrated by the mainstream media at their expense.

From my experience, it’s rare that these individuals are given a fair shake by the press. Instead, ignorance, inherent bias, and sensationalism often shine through in the various MSM articles/segments.

By the way, if you do read the piece on the Chicago Magazine website, I penned the following comment in response to a blanket claim by another commenter that preppers are “selfish” and “paranoid”:

A popular misconception. As a regular observer of the prepping “movement,” there’s no shortage of preppers who have adopted a “give until it hurts” mindset when it comes to helping out neighbors/strangers in a poop hits the fan scenario. It’s discussed often in various prepper forums (“What should I be stocking up for my neighbors/others?” and “What’s the best way to get my neighbors/others food and supplies without putting myself and loved ones in danger?” are pretty common questions). In addition, those in public safety might disagree with the notion that preppers as a whole are “selfish.” In a neighborhood-wide or larger emergency, police, fire, and other public safety agencies might not have to aid citizens (preppers) that had the foresight and follow-through to prepare for such an incident, thereby freeing up responders to help others in the community who for some reason or another weren’t prepared. Selfish? How about carrying out their civic duty? Like “L O” points out, Ready.gov and other emergency preparedness-related government initiatives implore Americans to sock away at least 72 hours of emergency food, water, and other supplies. When it comes to prepping, plenty of practitioners look at it this way. Americans insure their health, their vehicles, their residences, etcetera. Why not insure one’s standard of living, at least as best one can in a significant emergency/disaster? Not such a “paranoid mindset” if you ask me.

Like I said, the Chicago Magazine article is a decent read- particularly if you’re from the Chicagoland area. You can view the entire article on the publication’s website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 Emergencies, Food, Government, Insurance, Mainstream Media, Man-Made Disasters, Natural Disasters, Preparedness, Public Safety, Supplies, TEOTWAWKI, Water Comments Off on Chicago Magazine Article On Area Preppers

Food Insurance: Sitewide Savings Up To 84% Off

This morning, I received an e-mail about a special sales event that’s ending soon over at the website of affiliate marketing partner Food Insurance (reviewed here). From the Kaysville, Utah- based vendor of emergency food and other items:

Sitewide Savings Up To 84% OFF
FINAL WEEK!
plus FREE SHIPPING on orders over $150
New Items Added!

Right now, save up to 84% on Food Insurance®’s most popular items with sitewide savings! Stock up now with these unheard of prices. Special pricing is limited to in-stock inventory only. Several new items have been added this week, including:

• close out and clearance items- up to 84% OFF
• 130+ cases including meals, fruits, veggies, & drinks- up to 65% OFF
• preparedness tools and gear- up to 70% OFF

While on the Food Insurance website putting together this post, I noticed under “clearance items” is the same backpack (“food insurance certified backpack”) I currently have in my possession. I really like it. Regular price $69.99. Now $19.99- or 71 percent off.

Needless to say, I just got done ordering another one, with plans for turning both of them into “bug-out bags.”

Backpack (Only) Now $19.99

Backpack Now $19.99

ANY CHARACTER HERE

Recently, I’d been running a Food Insurance banner ad along this blog’s sidebar that contained a coupon code for free shipping. When ordering that backpack online, I entered “SHIP2FREE” in the area for coupon codes, and the $4.99 shipping charge was history.

Total cost for backpack- $19.99 with free shipping. Love it.

Lots of sitewide savings going on in this last week of the promotion. Click on the banner ad below and you’ll be taken over to the Food Insurance website. Please note that I receive a commission for products purchased via the link.


Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Thursday, April 16th, 2015 Advertiser Specials, Emergencies, Food, Gear, Preparedness, Supplies Comments Off on Food Insurance: Sitewide Savings Up To 84% Off

Project Prepper, Part 33: Focus On Food

It’s been some time since my last “Project Prepper” post (January 5), where I reaffirmed security is at the top of a list of six “innate survival needs” I’m working on meeting as part of this series of posts. That list, as you may recall, includes:

• Security
• Water
• Food
• Shelter
• Sanitation and Health
• Energy

Today, I’m focusing on survival need #3- food. In particular, starting a food garden.

Regular readers of these posts may remember me mentioning I’ve already socked away a couple of buckets of high-quality freeze-dried food at very attractive prices.

In addition to freeze-dried food, I’m planning on turning to copy canning soon to grow my emergency food supply.

For those readers not familiar with the term “copy canning,” from stockupfood.com:

1. Make a menu of meals for the week. Include the meals that you eat most often for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner… and don’t forget desert!
2. Now make a shopping list based off this menu.
3. After looking over your shopping list choose an item that you can buy multiples of easily- or inexpensively if it’s been a tight month. (ex. a can of cream of chicken soup, or 10.) This method of buying multiple cans at once is called copy canning.

Furthermore, I want to transform a basement closet into a pantry capable of storing this emergency food, among other things.

Finally, as I blogged back on November 6, 2014:

This coming winter, I look forward to planning with my girlfriend a future food garden located on our property. I think I know of a good spot for it as well…

Now, I’ve been wanting a food garden since I lived in the “concrete jungle” that is Chicago’s Northwest Side. So much so, if I didn’t end up living someplace where I had my own private plot to grow one, I figured I might utilize a community food garden. I started looking into them a few years back , and loved the concept. However, I was put off about the potential for theft. Which turns out is a real concern in the Chicagoland area…

Winter is finally starting to release its grasp on us here in the Chicago suburbs. As such, my girlfriend and I have been discussing the future food garden. Since the last thing I grew from seed to plant was a lima bean back when I was in the third grade, I figure it might be wise to proceed slowly-but-steadily with this venture. To start, we plan on utilizing two areas of our backyard to attempt to grow a small number of fruits, herbs, and vegetables (if possible- I still have a good deal of research to perform here). This space behind our garage gets a tremendous amount of sun:

Food Garden Area Garage

And this setup in the middle of our backyard has already seen a number of herbs planted and harvested there (courtesy of my girlfriend’s mom):

Food Garden Area Mid Yard

The other night, I studied a resource I originally wrote about back on May 29, 2012. From that post:

Here in Illinois, we’ve got the University of Illinois Extension, the flagship outreach effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that offers educational programs to residents of all of Illinois’ 102 counties. Under the “Horticulture” area of their website are 57 extension program sub-sections chock-full of free information on gardening and more. Examples include:

• “My First Garden”
• “Successful Container Gardens”
• “Common Vegetable Problems”
• “Herb Gardening”
• “Backyard Fruits”

One feature under “Horticulture” that may be of particular interest to Illinois residents who desire to grow food but don’t know where to start is the “Illinois Vegetable Garden Guide.” It looks fairly impressive in terms of the amount of information provided.

That’s me! “Illinois resident who desire to grow food but don’t know where to start.” And the Illinois Vegetable Garden Guide (found here) is “fairly impressive,” providing me basic information and inspiration (courage, really) to start, maintain, and (hopefully) harvest a food garden. Topics covered included:

• Step 1 – Make Good Use of Your Location
• Step 2 – Plan Your Garden Layout
• Step 3 – Grow Recommended Varieties
• Step 4 – Obtain Good Seed, Plants, Equipment, and Supplies
• Step 5 – Prepare and Care for the Soil Properly
• Step 6 – Plant Your Vegetables Right
• Step 7 – Keep Down Weeds
• Step 8 – Control Pests
• Step 9 – Water Properly
• Step 10 – Harvest at Peak Quality

I also have two books my girlfriend picked up for this project- Month-By-Month Gardening in Illinois: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year and Guide to Illinois Vegetable Gardening (Vegetable Gardening Guides) by James A. Fizzell- that I’ll be studying carefully along with that guide.

I hope to achieve a number of things from this food garden:

• Better nutrition
• Better health
• Improved food security

Stay tuned.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, March 30th, 2015 Agriculture, Emergencies, Food, Gardening, Health, Preparedness, Project Prepper, Supplies, Water Comments Off on Project Prepper, Part 33: Focus On Food

The Green Suite Of Chicago Offering DIY Solar Electricity, Window Farming, Zombie Survival Training Classes In February

Here’s the latest instruction being offered by Nick Conrad over at The Green Suite in Chicago (first blogged about here in January 2014). From the Dabble website:

Window Farming for Beginners with The Green Suite
Gardening Classes in Chicago

Class Info

Have you always wanted to start a garden but don’t have the space or knowledge? Window farming is inexpensive and easy way to grow your own food right in your window! Constructed from recycled materials, window farms are perfect for small apartments with limited space.

The class consists of a 1hr introduction to the basics of hydroponics, window farming and seed cultivation followed by a thirty-minute workshop. In the workshop you will make a small hydroponic planter to take home with you. Each student should bring one empty plastic bottle. (12-32oz is best)

Anyone can learn how to grow fresh, organic food, hydroponically. Enroll today and you’ll learn how to grow your own food, save money and turn trash into treasure!

What to bring

Each student should bring one empty plastic bottle. (12-32oz is best)

What will be provided

Hydroponic Supplies

The class is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, from 7 to 9 PM at The Green Suite (3958 N. Fremont, Apt. 3, Chicago). As I type this Sunday afternoon, there’s 10 spots still left. Cost is only $30 to attend.

In addition to window farming, The Green Suite is also offering instruction on solar electricity. From the Dabble website:

DIY Solar Electricity with The Green Suite
Sustainability Classes in Chicago

Class Info

Wouldn’t it be awesome to harness your own electricity from the sun? Solar energy is green, silent and a lot easier to build than you think.

This DIY class will cover the basics of electricity as well as how to design, build, and install your own solar panel system. In addition to solar electricity, we will discuss other sources of renewable energy such as wind and geothermal power. The class concludes with hands-on experience assembling part of an actual solar panel.

You will walk away from this course with the basic knowledge needed to start generating your own solar energy at home…and for a lot less money than you thought!

The class is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 18, 2015, from 7 to 9 PM at The Green Suite. There are 9 spots left as I type this. Cost again is only $30 to attend.

Finally, Nick has brought back Zombie Survival Training in February. From the Dabble site:

Zombie Survival Training with The Green Suite
Disaster Survival Classes in Chicago

Class Info

If the zombie apocalypse happened right now, would you be ready? Do you even have a plan?

This course is designed to teach you how to survive the worst disaster imaginable, even a wide-spread pandemic of flesh-eating zombies. Using the zombie apocalypse as the worst case scenario, we will discuss survival strategies, food and water preparation and improvised weapons. Class consists of a one hour lecture followed by a thirty minute hands-on workshop. This unique experience is perfect for zombie lovers and survivalists alike.

After this class you will know where to go, what to eat and how to defend yourself when the unthinkable happens. Join us for good food, cold beer and life-saving survival tips.

What to bring

Two empty, uncrushed beverage cans. (Needed to make survival stove.)

What will be provided

building materials.

The class is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, February 25, 2015, from 7 to 9 PM at the Holiday Club, 4000 N. Sheridan Rd., Chicago. There are 11 spots left as I type this, and the cost is- you guessed it- a measly $30.

If you’re interested in any of this instruction, head on over to the Dabble website here for more information and to register for a class.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Sunday, February 8th, 2015 Agriculture, Emergencies, Energy, Farming, Food, Gardening, Preparedness, Self-Defense, TEOTWAWKI, Training, Water Comments Off on The Green Suite Of Chicago Offering DIY Solar Electricity, Window Farming, Zombie Survival Training Classes In February

Product Review: Daily Bread Freeze-Dried Food

As part of my “Project Prepper” series of posts, I recently mentioned that I picked up a couple of Mountain House Classic Buckets of freeze-dried food at some terrific prices.

I bought the Mountain House brand despite never tasting it. That being said, I did do a significant amount of research beforehand, and most reviews of that label were very positive.

Still, probably not the best way to go about selecting emergency food. After all, what if it tastes like crap? Kind of demoralizing if WTSHTF I’m stuck eating something I’d rather not.

I’ve decided to conduct some “product reviews” of freeze-dried food on this blog in the coming weeks. While taste is subjective, I’d like to see if I did okay in acquiring those Mountain House buckets, or if other “major-brand” foods of this type are more “tastier.”

First up is Daily Bread (offered by Food Insurance). I blogged on March 21, 2013 (Project Prepper, Part 11):

Now, some time ago, I was introduced to freeze-dried foods by the folks over at the National Geographic Channel as part of a “thank you” package for blogging about Doomsday Preppers. I received a sample of beef stroganoff from a well-known company that prepares and sells such food. Busting it out for lunch one day, I found it to be easy to make (open package, add boiling water, seal, and wait), and rather surprisingly, it didn’t taste all that bad. A little bland, but some pepper cured that.

More recently, I had the opportunity to try some different freeze-dried food samples from a company called Daily Bread, which according to their website is “nationally recognized as the leading brand in the emergency food supply industry.” I understand their products are recommended by Glenn Beck of TheBlaze TV and Sean Hannity of FOX News. I received samples of their beef stroganoff and lasagna with meat sauce and had them for lunch on two different days. Once again I found them easy to make. However, I experienced first-hand why Daily Bread received the recommendations it did from these two media personalities. Their beef stroganoff was considerably more tastier than the other brand (no pepper needed this time). And the lasagna with meat sauce was delicious.

Now, I noticed some of the noodles in each beef stroganoff sample were a little “crunchy” upon eating. I suspected that might have been because I poured the contents of each package into a bowl (which was permissible per the directions for each) upon completing their preparation rather than letting the food sit in their pouches and eating it from there. When I had the lasagna with meat sauce for lunch, I just ate it right from the pouch. And you know what? Perfectly “cooked” with no crunchy food.

Anyway, that’s been my experiment with freeze-dried foods to date. And I’m thinking they’ll probably play a major role in my emergency food supplies based on my experience so far.

Now, sometime after I wrote that, I decided to obtain another sample of Daily Bread freeze-dried food through Food Insurance. A 2.54 oz (72g) pouch containing “Freeze Dried Chicken Teriyaki with Rice” was sent to me. It was billed as “A Sweet Combination of Oriental Flavors.” We shall see…

Daily Bread Freeze-Dried Food Pouch

Preparing the meal was easy. I tore open the pouch, removed the oxygen absorber, added 1 cup of boiling water to the pouch, stirred the contents, pinched the pouch shut, let it sit for the maximum recommended time (9 minutes) to ensure it was perfectly “cooked,” and then busted it open. Here’s the final product:

Daily Bread Freeze-Dried Food Cooked

After bringing the freeze-dried entrée back to life, I grabbed a glass of water (will just be drinking water during this series of reviews to ensure my taste buds aren’t compromised) and carried the pouch plus water over to my front room so I could chow down on what was going to be my lunch.

By the way, the pouch had some heft to it (stirring in the boiling water makes one 10 ounce serving).

Verdict

The Daily Bread chicken teriyaki with rice was thoroughly-“cooked”- nothing crunchy- and was excellent tasting- not too sweet, and definitely not bland.

I was also pretty full after eating that single serving, with no immediate desire for a side dish or dessert.

On a side note, I actually found myself trying to scrape up any last morsel of the meal with my spoon while watching TV.

“Give us this day our Daily Bread.” That’s for sure.

Daily Bread freeze-dried food is sold through Food Insurance (one of this blog’s affiliate marketing partners- reviewed here), and right now the Kaysville, Utah-based company is offering a completely FREE entrée sample to the public- meaning no shipping and handling charges, and no obligation to buy. This free food sample pack is being made available for a very limited time only.

Interested in obtaining a sample or checking out the Daily Bread offerings? Click on the banner ad below and you will be taken to the Food Insurance website. Please note that I receive a commission from any purchases you make on the site.


Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 Emergencies, Food, Preparedness, Product Reviews, Project Prepper, Supplies Comments Off on Product Review: Daily Bread Freeze-Dried Food
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RSS Chris Hill’s Other Blog: Offshore Safe Deposit Boxes

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