Mar 17

Spring Seed Planting Time

Spring Seed Planting TimeHey Preppers spring seed planting time is here. Winter is waning and it is now time to plant your spring vegetable garden. Our customers who have bought the Essential Seed Kit know that they have plenty of seeds to use now for your garden and many more to save for your survival seed vault in case of dire emergency.

Remember, for the best chance of success, be sure to plant them at the right time. Knowing when the last frost of the season will hit your area is vital … you can check the Frost/Freeze Data for your information here…. NCDC Frost Freeze Data. Make note of the temperature data for your area. Then check the seed packets. Plant outside AFTER the freeze. However, if you are planting indoors, go ahead and subtract the germination time along with a few weeks for the seeds to become seedlings indoors, before you transplant them outdoors.

While cold-hardy vegetables like peas and spinach,  can be planted as soon as the ground can be worked, other seeds will be killed by frost. Hold off on planting your squashes and cucumbers until the frost danger has passed. And be aware that warm season crops like tomatoes, eggplant and peppers will die in frosty temperatures.

One way to start early is to plant your seeds indoors in your home or greenhouse. There are special seedling starter kits that you can use for this (most of them are reusable, so they can be saved for next year, or for another crop). Start the seeds in a warm location (70-80 degrees), then move them to a slightly cooler location after they sprout (60-70).  After a few weeks indoors, the seedlings can be transplanted outdoors. Don’t forget to “harden” your seedlings by allowing them to spend a few hours outside every day for a few days. This will acclimate them to cooler temperatures, and insure your chances of success.

If you have the Essential Seed Kit, now is the time to really look at it, now that spring seed planting time is here. You want to sketch a garden lay-out so that your vegetables are planted in a practical way that makes sense for growth and harvest. It’s also time to schedule the planting of your seeds. Remember, the Seed Kit has enough seeds for an acre of land, so you can reseal any unused seeds, and store them for next year… or for an emergency.

Start this Spring off on the right foot, plant a garden. Save money, be more self-sufficient, and boost the health of your family by eating all those delicious vegetables!

Spring Seed Planting Time

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Dec 02

Joos Orange Solar Charger – Keep Your Gear Powered

joos orange solar charger
The Joos Orange Solar Charger by Solar is a portable solar charger that is super easy to use. You can use it to power your phone or other small electronic devices. It’s great for everyday, and essential for emergencies.

My son asked for, and received one, at Christmas. I was skeptical. What teenager wants a solar charger? He’s not really a techie… more of an average teen who is on his phone CONSTANTLY (text, video, games….). And then it hit me. His phone can’t possibly hold a charge all day… the Solar Joos Orange Charger fits neatly into his backpack and gym bag… so it goes along and gives his phone a top-up during the day. (He will even set it in the sun on the back seat of the car).

Great for a Go-Bag, perfect for campers, and overseas travelers, the Joos Portable Orange Solar Charger has a sleek modern design, and is certain to appeal to anyone who loves to use gadgets… but can’t be tied to an electrical outlet.
But the person who really needs this? The reluctant Prepper in your world. The guy (or girl) who thinks that the world is all rainbows and Thai Take-out. If something happens… make that WHEN something happens to rock their world, they won’t be able to function without power.

The Joos Orange Solar Charger can give them back some power (won’t help with the Thai food though).


What Can You Charge With the Joos Orange Solar Charger?

Any Small Device that You Have

Whether you are out on the town, camping in the woods, or overseas…. this solar charger will keep your gadgets going at the same speed that plugging in to a wall outlet would.

Warning… the charger is NOT strong enough to power a laptop computer.

  • Phones Comes with a number of adapters for different phones.
  • Kindle and Nook tablets Has adapters for your Readers.
  • IPad and IPod– Keep your tablets RUNNING.
  • Handheld Games If you keep games in the car or in your car or bag for the kids… use the charger to keep them going.

Joos Orange Solar Charger Specs.

The Joos Orange Solar Charger is fast and easy to use. One hour in the sun will give you 2 hours of talking power on your 3G phone! Or several games on your device. It’s 3 1/2 times faster than any other solar charging device!

The charger holds 5400 mHz of power…. that’s enough to charge your Iphone twice, with a bit left over for another device.

Because it’s not too big (only about 10 x 7 inches) you can easily carry it along with you in a backpack. You can even strap it to the outside of your backpack, to charge as you go!

You don’t even need bright sunshine to make the charger work. It will charge in low light, and even drizzle. AND the charger is waterproof! No worries about dropping it in the pool, or letting it sit out in the rain.

Can’t get outside? go ahead and plug your Orange Joos Charger into your computer with the USB connector, and you can draw power from there to take with you.

This is a Fairly Comprehensive Review of the Orange Joos Charger

Tigger Travels gives an honest assessment of the Joos Charger and how he used it. He also describes his interaction with customer service.

Joos Orange Solar Charger

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Nov 11

Prepper Videos

Sharing some Prepper list videos today.

7 Worst Rookie Prepper Mistakes and How to Avoid Them Survival Tips S1 E12. Snoman discusses the 7 worst rookie prepper mi…

Read more …

Another Prepper essentials list…

10 Items a New Prepper Needs

In this episode, we review 10 items (plus 1 for extra credit) that are essential to survival if something catastrophic happens. These are items we feel every…

Read more …

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Oct 09

Rosemary- Your Herbal Medicine Cabinet

RosemaryHere in California, Rosemary grows like a weed. You find in edging gardens or filling in spaces in public plantings. But, it is much more than an evergreen shrub that smells nice. Rosemary is a woody and fragrant herb useful for cooking and medicine. It’s straightforward and easy to grow, and looks nice most of the year. They even grow little flowers is white, pink or blue. You can harvest the herb year round.

Uses for Rosemary

Rosemary has so many uses, both culinary and medicinal, it’s practically a must for the garden. You can flavor meats with rosemary, or roast veggies and potatoes with sprigs of rosemary. It even acts as a cooking utensil…. strip the leaves off of the woody stems, and use them as shish kebab skewers! not only does it help the meat cook, it flavors the meat as it cooks.

In the Medicine Cabinet rosemary has a number of important uses. The latest medical news about this wonder herb is that it helps prevent memory loss… remember that saying, “Rosemary for Remembrance?”… it seems Shakespeare was on to something. Studies show that memory is increased just from SMELLING this herb.

But Rosemary does more. When it’s heated, this herb releases  anti-oxidents that attack cancer cells (so when you are cooking with Rosemary, the herb releases something to prevent the damage from carcinogens caused by cooking meat!)

The everyday uses of Rosemary make it even more extraordinary. Rosemary oil can be used for digestive difficulties,  like stomach problems, flatuance, and liver and gall bladder issues. It also helps with blood flow, so it’s good for menstrual cramps, as well as high blood pressure. Topically, the oil is used for toothache, skin issues like eczema, and even baldness.

Rosemary is a useful and beautiful herb that is the perfect addition to your Herbal Medicine Cabinet.

[notice]This article is just one part of the puzzle, many more Prepper information articles and product reviews are available on the Back40 Blog. Learn about essential Prepper Suppliesgardening (survival seeds)stockpiling toolsthe best goods for Barter, keeping your pantry up to date, and taking care of your family in an emergency. (Don’t be overwhelmed…. let Back40 help you survive.)[/notice]

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Sep 30

Don’t Just Prep During Emergency Preparedness Month

winter stormIt’s the last day of Emergency Preparedness Month… but don’t start thinking that you are DONE! This is a good time to make sure you have your house in order, and are set for Winter.

Some Things You Can Do….

Change out the Water in your Water Storage Containers

Check the seals on your jars and cans (look for leaks or bulges)

Rotate older jars and cans to the front of the pantry for first use

Make sure your generators work, and that you have enough fuel for them

Have you stocked up on Batteries?

Rotate the Food in your Bug Out Bag

Add Warm Clothes to your Bug Out Bag

Make sure there are extra blankets in your car

Check your chimney – blocked flues can start fires

Got your Boots and Jackets near the door?

If you live in an area prone to snow…. do you have the snow shovel where you can get it easily?

Have you stocked up on Animal food?

Is your garden mulched and put to bed for winter?

Can you build a fire? Have you stocked up on supplies for this?

Is your car maintained? Do you keep extra fuel on hand?

Plan next year’s garden


This is also a great time to think about learning new skills. If you are stuck indoors, might as well put that time to good use. (Watching game shows on TV all day is a waste of time).  Learn some self-defense moves, start working with wood, learn to quilt, try cooking new dishes with your stored survival foods, read up on animal husbandry, and learn some useful survival or homesteading skills.

Emergency Preparedness Month may be over, but the preparing lifestyle doesn’t just end because of the calendar.

[notice]This article is just one part of the puzzle, many more Prepper information articles and product reviews are available on the Back40 Blog. Learn about essential Prepper Suppliesgardening (survival seeds)stockpiling toolsthe best goods for Barter, keeping your pantry up to date, and taking care of your family in an emergency. (Don’t be overwhelmed…. let Back40 help you survive.)[/notice]


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Sep 29

The Dehydrator Bible Review

Dehydrator Bible
The newest addition to my kitchen library is the very complete “The Dehydrator Bible” by Jennifer MacKenzie, Jay Nutt & Don Mercer. I love my food dehydrator, but never felt like I was making the most of it. Sure, I dehydrated fruit for snacks and trail mix, and I make KILLER Beef Jerkey… but I always had a feeling I could do more to preserve the bounty from my garden, and actually make interesting and delicious use of the products of my labor.

The Dehydrator Bible starts out with basic explanations on how a dehydrator works, what things you need to look for in a good dehydrator, and what other tools are useful when prepping foods to dehydrate. There is also some great information on storing dehydrated foods.

Then next part details HOW to dehydrate various fruits, vegetables, herbs and even meats. How to prepare it, how long it will take, and how to test for doneness…. there are even special tips on making the preparation easier!

So, now you have this dehydrated stuff… what do you do with it?

Recipes for Dehydrated Foods

(This is my favorite part, because I love reading recipes.)
The authors share a few hundred recipes that use your dehydrated foods. Everything from Rice Pilaf to Fruit Leather to even more advanced recipes like “Tex-Mex Beef Fajitas” (made with salsa leather, beef jerky, dried beans, dehydrated peppers and dried onions…. just add water!)

You will find recipes for sweet treats, savory meals, healthy stews, salad dressings and more. There are even ideas for gifts and crafts! This really is a complete book.

You don’t need to fill your pantry with processed foods you buy from the grocery store? “The Dehydrator Bible” gives you the knowledge to create your own scalloped Potatoes, Stuffing, and Smoked Sausage Risotto.

Perfect for Camping or a Bug Out Bag

Why load up your pack with expensive purchased “pre-made” meals. You could easily assemble and bag these dehydrated meals (sealed air-tight they should last for ages) to take with you. They are light weight, healthy, and without the strange preservatives that mass produced foods have to include.

The Dehydrator Bible is a worthy addition to your Kitchen Library

[notice]This article is just one part of the puzzle, many more Prepper information articles and product reviews are available on the Back40 Blog. Learn about essential Prepper Suppliesgardening (survival seeds)stockpiling toolsthe best goods for Barter, keeping your pantry up to date, and taking care of your family in an emergency. (Don’t be overwhelmed…. let Back40 help you survive.)[/notice]

The Dehydrator Bible Review

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Sep 15

What Vegetables Can You Plant in September?

broccoliSeptember is a month on the cusp… some places are faced with Indian Summer, in other regions the leaves are beginning to change, and in South Dakota they were hit with 8 inches of snow. So, for some people, planting a new crop of anything is absurd… but for those in warmer climates, there is still a chance of harvest before winter sets in for good.

Lettuce– Lettuce grows quick. You can easily sow lettuce seeds, and within a month you will be harvesting a healthy salad.

Radishes– Radishes may not be anyone’s favorite vegetable, but they grow fast (harvest within 30 days, and are loaded with nutrients like Vitamin C, and are a fantastic digestive aid. Not only that, eastern medicine has used them as a detox agent for thousands of years.

Broccoli– Broccoli can survive some cooler temperatures. If you plant it now, you can expect to harvest through November (in milder climates… so maybe not in South Dakota). We all know how healthy broccoli is, and it can be quite delicious.

Spinach– Spinach is another cool temperature vegetable. This yummy green is LOADED with vitamins and fiber! You can eat it raw or cooked… I love it in a salad, but I have been known to cook it into pasta or stir-fries. It will even freeze well.  (But canned? Bleh.. slimey)

Garlic Bulbs– Plant those garlic bulbs now, and you will be able to harvest them in the spring.

Remember, the success of these plantings depends on your soil. Lots of mulch will keep it warmer, and give your veggies a better chance at success! If it looks like there will be a freeze overnight, protect your plants with a plastic sheet … and don’t forget to pull it off in the morning! Squeeze every last minute out of your garden before it’s time to put it to bed for next season.

[notice]This article is just one part of the puzzle, many more Prepper information articles and product reviews are available on the Back40 Blog. Learn about essential Prepper Suppliesgardening (survival seeds)stockpiling toolsthe best goods for Barter, keeping your pantry up to date, and taking care of your family in an emergency. (Don’t be overwhelmed…. let Back40 help you survive.)[/notice]

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Sep 12

How Connected Are You?

mediaI’m embarrassed to admit just how much time I spend online. Of course, it is my “real job” as a writer to be online…. but still…. I worry about time spent sitting on my butt and poking away at a keyboard.

Then there are the kids…. according to recent studies, kids spend on average of 7 hour per day working or playing with electronic devices. 7 HOURS! Doing what? Fighting electronic aliens? Looking at Cat videos? Sharing secrets with friends? Doing homework?

The world is changing, we are all connected. No longer are kids encouraged to write with paper and pen. My daughter’s 6th grade English Teacher let us know on Back to School night that most assignments will be done online. And no, they will not have to write essays out longhand first (I asked).

But, how far will it go? Where is the tipping point?

Just how invasive will electronics become? Today it’s a watch or glasses with web-access; will we be plugging ourselves in, or running our arms through a scanner tomorrow?

And then, what happens if things fall apart, and electronics are no longer usable? Will we be able to read, write, learn, communicate ideas or entertain ourselves without electronics? Will the next generation of kids be able to go out and play?

I guess I don’t really have any answers, just suggestions.

climb a treeBooks…. read actual books. Keep them around so your kids see them. Encourage them to read too. Discuss and share. The topic isn’t important… The ability to absorb knowledge, from the written page is important (and can be lifesaving, if you collect the right kind of library).

Write… letters, journals, postcards….Remember how wonderful it was to get an actual letter in the mail? Did you ever sit in a tree and write about your day? Even something as simple as journaling your garden efforts will pay benefits.

Play… go outside and PLAY! and work, plant a garden, and breathe in and out. Take the kids with you. Touch and smell. Build something, get dirty. Climb and explore. Let the kids explore. They will be fine. You were.

Get moving… don’t just sit tethered to an electronic device… walk, dance, get off your backside! A healthy body stands a better chance of survival than a sedentary one.

I’m not saying dump the electronics. I’m saying….use moderation, and be sure you able to survive without them.


[notice]This article is just one part of the puzzle, many more Prepper information articles and product reviews are available on the Back40 Blog. Learn about essential Prepper Suppliesgardening (survival seeds)stockpiling toolsthe best goods for Barter, keeping your pantry up to date, and taking care of your family in an emergency. (Don’t be overwhelmed…. let Back40 help you survive.)[/notice]

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Sep 10

Pandemic Protection

pandemic Sadly, trying to envision a world where a Pandemic Survival Kit is needed is no longer difficult. What do you do when diseases like Ebola or this new Respiratory Virus are in your neighborhood? Would you rather look foolish taking precautions? Or is it foolish to go out unprepared?

Everyone should have some Pandemic protection gear on hand. You want an N95 Breathing Mask (N95 indicates that it keeps out 95% of the particles 0.3 microns or larger. It has been cleared by the FDA for surgery, and should keep out the worst of the pathogens), gloves… either rubber or latex (unless you have an allergy), and goggles, to keep splatter or droplets out of your eyes.

The Pandemic QuickKits  from Contagion Survivor might just be the thing to keep in your car or home for emergency situations. It has what you absolutely need, and more.

What comes in the packet?

-Isolation coveralls that tape at the ankle and wrist

-2 pairs Gloves

-N95 Breathing Mask with Exhale Valve


-hair covering

-biohazard bag

-Hand Sanitizer

-Anti-Microbial Wipes

You get three individually wrapped kits with your order, which breaks down to around $10 per kit (plus shipping).  So, it’s a fairly reasonable deal.

Yes, you can buy all of these things separately, and assemble the kits yourself. I’ve slowly been adding gloves, masks and goggles to our home stash. But this kit makes it dead easy. It’s done for you, just pack one in the car, one in the BOB and one under the bathroom sink.

Remember, containment and prevention is the best way to keep these deadly viruses from spreading. Do your part to stay healthy. Invest in proper protection gear, stay out of crowds if possible, and use anti-bacterial wipes if you do have to touch things in public.

Keep yourself and your family healthy and safe, keep and use protective gear as needed.

Pandemic Survival Gear

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Sep 03

Is the Monstanto “Corporatocracy” running our country?

Foliage and seeds

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I learned a new word today, “Corporatocracy”. Broken down it means, a government run by corporations. Not a surprise, is it… our politicians have long been bought and paid for by wealthy companies. Politicians need money; companies have money… so politicians do what the corporations ask. It’s just a little favor, after all.

But now it’s sunk to a new level.

The “Right to Farm” act, which would create an amendment to the State of Missouri’s Constitution, seems like a great idea, on the surface.

“That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vital sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state, subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by Article VI of the Missouri Constitution.”

What’s odd is that no one ever disputed the right for farmers to farm or ranchers to ranch. Contrary to what some people may think, no one is taking away farmer’s rights. The idea behind the Act is to prevent “unnecessary litigation” against farmers and ranchers because of their practices. Basically, they are protected against consumer lawsuits should it turn out that what they do affects the environment or a neighbor’s health in a negative way. (Think about it like this… if in a few years your child gets cancer, and it turns out that the farm next door was spraying toxins, you can’t do anything against them. They are protected.)

Here is where it gets a little slippery. This Act is not designed to protect the Missouri family farmer. You see, the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution grants “corporate persons” ie. companies, the same rights as individuals. What does this means in plain English? Big companies have the same rights as individuals. Smithfield Foods has the same rights as the guy with 40 acres.

Now look closer, the wording on the ballot says “citizen of Missouri”, but nowhere in the Act does it say that those farmers and ranchers should be citizens of the State of Missouri. Foreign companies could own food producing land in Missouri, and be completely protected by the State of Missouri.

It boils down to this. The Right to Farm Act was written with the help of Monsanto to further their product and protect themselves from future litigation. Imagine… giant corporations can plant GMO seeds, use pesticides, and never have to face the music should it turn out that the pesticides are hurting the environment, or their GMO foods are affecting our health.

Don’t let the Monstanto “Corporatocracy” run our country. Take back our rights to real food and a clean environment!


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