made naturally by bees, from the nectar of plants, for their own consumption. After collection, the bees regurgitate the nectar into hexagonal-sided honeycomb cells made of wax and stored inside a bee hive. The constant fanning by the bees’ wings cause evaporation creating the sweet liquid we call honey. The color and flavor of honey will vary based on the flower nectar collected. Beekeepers harvest honey by collecting the honeycomb frames and scraping off the wax cap made by the bees to seal the honey in each cell. Spinning the frames in a centrifuge extracts the liquid from each cell.
It is a versatile food staple and with a little care, can be stored indefinitely. Honey found in Egyptian tombs was still good after 2,000 years. Consider adding it to your emergency supplies.
processed with a minimal amount of heat, contains many phytonutrients which provide anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. There are three key health benefits: it is a natural energy booster, a great immune system builder, and a natural remedy for many ailments
When you use it in cooking instead of sugar, reduce the amount by 1/2, reduce liquid by 1/4 cup and reduce cooking temperature 25º.
As a remedy for ailments, it can be used for hangovers, sore throats, sleeplessness, and cuts and burns. Mix it with vinegar for a self-detox, with cinnamon for bad breath and hair loss, and with milk to improve digestion. Do not feed it to babies less than a year old because of the danger of botulism.
Recent declines in honey bee populations
have researchers looking for causes. Their results show a complex mix of pesticide and fungicide exposure and bee pathogens as the problem. Some regulatory agencies are considering stricter controls on agricultural chemicals used as part of the solution.
Sgt. Jesus M. Villahermosa, Jr interviewed by Eric Holdeman
Sgt. Jesus M. Villahermosa Jr. has been a deputy sheriff with the Pierce County, Wash., Sheriff’s Department since 1981. Villahermosa served 15 months as the director of campus safety at Pacific Lutheran University in a contract partnership where he worked on all security aspects related to staff and student safety. He has been on the Pierce County Sheriff’s SWAT Team since 1983, and he currently serves as the point man on the entry team. In 1986, Villahermosa began his own consulting business, Crisis Reality Training. He has primarily focused on the issues of school and workplace violence. In a recent interview with Eric Holdeman, he gave tips on how schools can be better prepared for an active shooter emergency. Reproduced with Permission
I truly believe that there is more school violence today than ever in the history of our country, especially in the area of school shootings. I believe that school violence is more publicized, but that is because it is so much more extreme than what we have ever seen. The first message that I try to get most schools to understand is that violence can happen at any school in the country. The next and most important message is that we have to have solid relationships with our students. In the 25-year study conducted by the Secret Service, 81 percent of school shooters told a friend that they were going to do the shooting, but no one came forward to warn the school staff or students. When the foundation of a school is built on trust and respect, I believe that students will come forward to report these incidents before they occur. One statistic that you won’t find anywhere else, as I discovered while writing my book, is that whenever a school shooting plot gets foiled, it is because it was brought to the attention of the school or law enforcement, no potential shooter has ever come back to commit a school shooting. That is a 100 percent intervention rate.
I teach the acronym LEAST (Lockdown, Evacuation and Survival Tactics). The two most used tactics that have demonstrated the best results are lockdown and evacuation. People need to remember that when a shooter has started a shooting spree, only those near the shooter are at immediate risk. That means in most cases, more than 90 percent of staff and students, depending on the school’s size, are not at immediate risk and lockdown is a great option. Again, this is depending on the location of the shooter and how many staff and students are present when the shooting begins. For those in lockdown, the first consideration is to make sure the door locks. If not, barricading or running, a.k.a. evacuating, are great options. Additional options include hiding, crawling, the power of your voice and, last but not least, fighting. All of these tactics have helped students and staff across this great country to survive these tragic shooting events, but they are not going to use them if we don’t talk to them about it realistically.
Teachers armed? Absolutely not and there are many reasons for this. To think you are going to put a gun in the hands of teachers, whether they practice at the range or not, and to believe that simply by doing that that will transform them and make them run toward a shooter when everyone else is running away from him is naïve at best. If I respond to an active killer event and I turn the corner while I am aggressively looking for the shooter and run into a teacher with a gun, I am very likely to shoot them immediately as I have no idea if they are friend or foe. If I don’t shoot them and they are a teacher, the fact that I have to take time to challenge them because they are armed and disarm them while I am trying to pursue an active killer will allow the killer to take more lives. If they are the bad guy but tell me they are the good guy, it might provide the suspect a chance to shoot officers before they can react, even if it’s a suicide by cop situation. As far as armed security, I would say yes. We need more, and the public should have the trained professionals in the schools whose only job is to protect their kids.
Teachers should teach, and cops should protect.
This article was contributed by Robert Nicholson of Rusty Buggy Enterprises, Inc.
We are slaves of electricity.
It might appear that Edison wrangled electricity into submission —giving us usable power. Almost every facet of contemporary society is dictated by the properties of electricity. Ever since the first commercial light bulb and the telegraph, electricity has ruled the lives of men.
The reach of electric-powered devices and machines is unbelievably vast. With modern robots, there is almost nothing that electricity can’t do. The amount of work performed by electricity is beyond belief. From growing crops to preparing food, from making computer chips to manufacturing cars, electrical powered machines do much work that would otherwise have to be done by humans.
What is an Electromagnetic Pulse?
Just for a moment, suspend your scientific beliefs and imagine that electricity suddenly ceased to exist. Waking up, your alarm wouldn’t work. Unless you have a gas grill, you can say goodbye to your morning toast. Your car wouldn’t start. Trains and busses would useless. Automatic doors at the entrance to your office, school, or favorite coffee shop would remain shut. Prison cells would spring open. Elevators would not operate. Your PC, your wireless router, your digital camera, your smartphone — all computers everywhere would be dead. No telephone, radio or TV. Forget cable. No batteries either. The list is endless.
Enter the “Electromagnetic Pulse” or EMP. An EMP event can be either natural, such as solar flares and lightning strikes, or an EMP can be man-made by the detonation of a bomb. Whatever the cause of an EMP, it can disrupt electrical communications and electric power. Also all people wearing pacemakers will be affected. Modern vehicles, full of electronics, will stop working. In the past, EMP events have ruined telegraph equipment, disrupted radio signals, and taken down the internet for short periods of time. Military EMP events can be used to disable enemy electronics causing power outages, water systems to fail, and communications to fail. An EMP may well be the method employed as a future attack on America.
How would you prepare to overcome an EMP?
There is a simple way to do this. Buy or build a Faraday box, named after Michael Faraday, who discovered electromagnetic induction in 1831. The Faraday box is a metal enclosure, like a galvanized trash can, with a tight fitting lid. This shields the contents from an EMP event. You need to line the interior of the enclosure with insulation, such as styrofoam, cardboard, or the like. You can also wrap each piece inside your Faraday box with bubble wrap. During an EMP the electromagnetic waves are absorbed by the metal case and not transmitted to the interior because of the installed insulation.
We have a surplus metal cabinet with tight fitting doors. We store a set of two-way radios, with batteries, a few solar battery chargers, a world band radio, a solar radio, radiation monitor and the like in our Faraday box. If I had a motor scooter, or old car, I would also store an extra condenser for the motor in my Faraday box. We also have outfitted a 15 gallon galvanized feed can as a Faraday box. You can get one at the local hardware store for around $20.00. Follow the same procedure, wrapping and insulating each piece of electronics you store. Be ready.
This article was written from notes taken at a webinar presented by Jason Matyas and Rob Wokaty
This is the time to begin planning your spring garden. Beyond Off Grid presented a webinar filled with answers to many questions you might have about growing your own food. There are four major constraints: planning factors, how much can you grow, how much can you expect to produce, and how to handle preserving the harvest. These things need to be considered before the first shovel of soil has been turned over.
Here are some things to consider:
- Get a soil test to determine the pH (acidity) and the organic matter content.
- Which way does the space face? Southwest facing beds get the most sun, warm earlier in the season and stay warm longer during the day.
- What is around the growing space? Is there shade? Is there nutrient competition?
- What about availability of water? How will you get it to your plants?
- The space available will determine the style of gardening you do: rows, square foot, vertical towers.
- What is the growing season length? The difference between the date of the last spring frost and the first fall frost is your growing season. This varies with elevation and latitude, and will determine which plant varieties you should grow..
- Do you know how to extend the growing season in your area? Cold frames help.
- How much harvest can you expect? Some plants are one timers, and others are multi-bearing. Does what you plant have more than one edible part? Did you know that sweet potato greens are edible?
This information packed webinar can be accessed at the website: BeyondOffGrid.com There are many others scheduled. Feel free to sign up to attend.
Thanks to Jeff at LPC Survival for contributing this article.
I have noticed a trend over the last few years when it comes to food storage, A lot of companies are claiming anything in order to get your business. I wanted to expose these things as food storage lies, whether intentional or not. At the very least, they are misleading claims, but having received many calls and emails from food storage companies, I had to share this list of what I see as food storage lies or misleading statements when it comes to purchasing long term food storage.
Lie #1: “Our dehydrated pouched Food Storage meals last 25 years.”
The most prolific of all the lies, this one doesn’t reveal the fact that the food must be stored at 55 degrees or less at all times. The chances of you storing it at 55 degrees is extremely rare. They don’t even put this on their web sites, and won’t even tell you on the phone. Once you get the bucket, you will see the fine print. Some may not even have this fact on the bucket when you get it. Also, one Food Storage company who claims a 25 year shelf life has even admitted to me that they use the claim just to be “competitive.” Integrity should be the first thing a company stands by. I have seen reputable companies offer Freeze dried food in pouches and only claim 10-12 year shelf life. That is what I look for.
Lie #2: “Our Food Storage is Non-GMO.”
If any company says that, I would specifically ask them for what certifications they have. Then have them email you the certifications. Don’t let them say I will get back to you, demand to see them before placing your order. If they have a USDA Organic Certification or another reputable GMO testing certification, then they have something to back up the claim. Buyer Beware on this Claim, be sure to see the evidence.
Lie #3: “Our Food Storage is Gluten Free.”
This is mostly done over the phone, but I have seen it on some of their web sites. This claim goes a long with the Non-GMO claim, ask for certifications and make sure they are from organizations that you find reputable. Ask for certifications before thinking about purchasing any of their food storage. I also recommend calling the certification companies, and talking with them about the process. Your health could be at stake, I recommend being extremely cautious of any food storage company that claims Gluten Free. Making Gluten Free food can be pricy, so if the prices are low or comparable to their regular meals, I would look elsewhere.
Lie #4: “Our Pouches are nitrogen flushed and have an oxygen absorber in them, which helps them last 25 years.”
While the first part of this claim is true, the 2nd part is not. They can also say they double or triple nitrogen flush the pouches, its all marketing. Also, check Lie #1 for their claim of 25 years.
(If you are unfamiliar with nitrogen flushing, here is a basic description of what it is:
Nitrogen flushing is a type of preservation method used with packaged foods such as coffee beans, nuts, rice cakes, snack crackers and chips. When you go to the grocery store to buy a bag of chips, you’ll probably notice the bag is puffed and filled with ‘air.’ But it’s not exactly like the air we breathe because the package doesn’t contain oxygen. When processed food is exposed to oxygen, it deteriorates – oils go rancid, discoloration occurs and the food spoils. Oxygen can be removed from the packaging by removing all of the air with a vacuum, which will increase the shelf life of the food packed inside.)
Lie #5: “We have Celebrity and Radio personalities that endorse our products”
These are paid endorsements and some of them are very costly endorsements. I wonder if these people have even tried the meals which they endorse, as they seem to mimic each other when the ads run. Don’t fall for the marketing, if there is a high profile endorsement, I personally won’t buy it.
Lastly, there are reputable food storage companies and organizations to buy food storage from. The ones I personally purchase are either 100% freeze dried, USDA Organic, or minimally processed. I avoid dehydrated Meals because I have seen that they are highly processed.
Be sure to check the list above before falling for what I call: “Food Storage Lies”. -Jeff
LPC Survival have helped thousands of people get better prepared. Visit them at LPC Survival Reproduced with Permission
Are you missing green plants this winter? We were and were wondering how we could solve this, when we saw a photo of green onions growing on a window sill. Since onions have been being used for years for health benefits, growing some seemed to be a win-win. Early American settlers, Chinese medicine practitioners, and even the World Health Organization have used onions to treat colds, coughs, and asthma, and to repel insects and maybe a few people, too. Recently, they have been noted to keep blood free of clots and to kill tumor cells.
Winter Window Garden Directions
Starting with a recycled plastic juice jug, we cut off the top and drilled drainage holes in the bottom. The plastic was tough, so we started holes with the drill. From the starter holes we used kitchen shears and trimmed out circles less than 1” in diameter. We made three rows, shifting positions so they were not all in a vertical line. A few pebbles went in first followed by planting soil, filling to the first holes. Onion sets (we used Snowball variety) were positioned with tips protruding out the holes. On top we planted a starter pot of thyme. After a good soaking, the jug took it’s place on the kitchen window sill. The last photo was taken 1 week later. Onions are sprouting and thyme is much happier, too.
Billie Nicholson 2014
As Shared by Francesca Dodge Taylor
Family Emergency Preparedness
Every year my family has a theme for family home evening. Our theme for 2013 was preparedness. Teaching our children the importance of being prepared, each week we would have an activity, like map reading, remembering directions with land marks, and packing go bags for a quick get away. Our four children range in age from newborn to 12 years old. We included the older three in our projects. For Christmas day, we planned a treasure hunt, which included their daily chores along with some fun.
To mark the clues along the way of the hunt, we cut out picture pieces of scrap wrapping paper and taped them at each location. the clues were drawn and listed by number on the treasure map that we created. The map had to be given a look of authenticity, of course, again adding to the fun of it (also making it harder to read) I tore pieces of the paper off and wrinkled it up to give the aged look.
Making Preparedness Fun
After breakfast, the kids had their choice of opening presents inside or going outside for the “Treasure Hunt.” Even though the morning was cold, they opted for the treasure hunt first. In their footed pajamas, they raced to get their boots on! Then ran to the front door to get their first clue, as they had to use the door to get outside to start the hunt! The second clue was a metal egg basket sitting in front of a bush where our hen likes to lay her eggs, the kids had to collect them. Next, they headed to the back yard chicken coup and let out the chickens and our duck. The fourth clue headed them through a course set up with cones. They all had to keep together and help one another follow directions and weave through the course.
We have a rock climbing wall attached to a tunnel. The next clue was to climb the rock wall together. Don’t you love the teamwork idea? Once at the top of the wall, they had to crawl through a tunnel (sometimes you may need to be brave making an escape.) The tunnel ends in the playhouse, where they found the last clue, a “Charlie Brown” Christmas tree. They were so excited, to my surprise, not even noticing the cold outside.
Inside the playhouse, behind the little tree were three brand new, loaded Go bags, customized for each child with survival items they can use. Our son (the twelve year old) got para cord, a tree saw and a head lamp. The girls got fishing poles, astronaut blankets and age appropriate activity books among other things they will need to spend nights away from home. Funny thing, of all the gifts they received for Christmas, they spent the most time playing in their Go bags. (Photos provided by Francesca Dodge Taylor)
The beginning of a new year is often referred to as a new canvas. How will you paint this year? It can also be seen as a time for personal re-evaluation, of goal setting, of creating new habits or rituals.
As you begin this new year, look at your situation. What changes do you want to make? Are you sure? You will need to really want to make these changes – change requires passion. Write them down. Look at your list.
Let’s take the first thing there. Most likely it will require several steps to accomplish. Now write down three steps needed to get you from ”here to there.” Repeat this process with each item on your list. Soon you will see that you have created an action plan for each change you want to make.
Is emergency preparedness on your list? Refer to the September and October issues of “Every Needful Thing” to get the basic needs list. Evaluate where your family is in relation to each of these needs. Make a list of three things that you can improve. Now write three action steps for each. Does this look like a “TO DO LIST?” What on this list can you achieve today?
Accountability is fundamental in life. If you approach each day knowing that you will some day account for your life’s opportunities, you can stay focused. “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” 1 Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination, you can do it, one day at a time. Any progress makes us greater than we were before. Incorporate accountability into your DNA – evolve to be better.
Pick what you can manage to do today. You have 365 days of pure potential in this new year. Create a revolution. Manage it day by day. Write down what you accomplish. Send me a note on how you’re doing along with any questions you may have. We love to hear from you.
Billie Nicholson 2014
1 Thomas S. Monson, Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast, June 2004
Has your mailbox started to be filled with seed catalogs? In addition to the regulars, like Burgess and Burpee’s, we’ve received lots of information about heirloom seed companies and organizations that are focused on saving and sharing rare seeds for biodiversity. I hadn’t thought much about diversity in plants, but it does make sense that different varieties might be better adapted for different locations. We are so dependent on plants for food, shelter and clothing, a diverse plant world could avoid food shortages. An estimated 75% of the world’s crop diversity has been lost since the 1900’s, estimates the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Seed Savers Exchange
One of my favorite online catalogs is produced by Seed Savers Exchange. A blog post at SeedSavers.org discusses the importance of food diversity and introduces the Ark of Taste, supported by the Slow Food Foundation. The Ark of Taste catalog contains seeds of over 200 delicious foods in danger of extinction. Each vegetable has it’s own story of origin and description. Since we can have a year-round garden in Pensacola, I’m always looking for plants that can be grown in cool weather, like Speckled Organic Lettuce, introduced from a Pennsylvania Mennonite family. I’m also fascinated by the Chioggia Beet, a pre-1840 Italian heirloom, named for a fishing town near Venice, Italy. It has alternating red and white concentric rings. Beets are good for lowering blood pressure, you know.
I’m looking forward to adding some unique plants to our garden in 2014. Which seed companies do you like? One thing I’ve learned about planting a variety of seeds is the importance of keeping a written record. Keeping a journal helps me remember what I bought, when, and where. Here are some suggestions for what information to keep:
Plant name and variety, where you got it, when you planted, germination date, and a very important: how did the seeds germinate (did a lot of them come up or just a few), how many plants, did you start them indoors, date of harvest and yield. One last thing, did you have any specific problem, like susceptibility to pests or fungal infection.
As a part of your preparedness program, now is the time to plan that garden. Spring will be here soon.
Billie Nicholson 2014
By Gaye Levy
For the past six weeks, I have been exploring alternatives to over-the-counter ointments, salves, and beauty products. Not only are these products expensive, but as I have learned time and time again, they don’t always work.
Starting with a basic formula for healing salve that I found on the internet, I decided to make my own all-purpose salve and to test it on various ailments to see how it worked. I added a bit of this, subtracted a bit of that and came up with I call my own Miracle Healing Salve. The funny thing is that when the final results came in, the formula that worked the best as an all-purpose salve was a version included the same blend essential oils I have been using for muscle aches these past ten plus years. Go figure.
As easy as this Miracle Healing Salve is to make – and it is easy – it just works. I will share some of the uses that I have become ecstatic about but first, the recipe.
Miracle Healing Salve – The Recipe
1 Cup Coconut Oil (not fractionated)
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5 Tbl. Organic Beeswax Pastilles
8 each 2 ounce jars or containers ** OR **
4 each 4 ounce mason jars
To each 2 ounce jar add: (double if you are using 4 ounce Mason jars)
5 drops Lavender essential oil
5 drops Rosemary essential oil
5 drops Peppermint essential oil
a few drops of Vitamin E (optional)
1. Put a pot of water on the stove to simmer. While the water is heating, put the coconut oil, olive oil and beeswax pastilles in a heatproof jar or measuring cup.
2. Set the jar filled with the coconut oil, olive oil, and wax into the water and leave it there until it melts, giving it a stir from time to time. You want a slow, gentle melt so take your time. It could take 15 or 20 minutes depending on the temperature of the water bath.
3. While the ingredients are melting, drop your essential oils into each of the containers.
Hint: I have found that it is easier to use a glass medicine dropper than the dropper that comes with the bottle of essential oil.This is optional and a matter of personal preference.
4. Pour the melted oils into each of the smaller jars containing essential oils. There is no need to stir unless you want to since the oils will mix up on their own.
5. Cover the jars with a paper towel or cloth and set them aside for up to 24 hours. Although the salve will start to firm up within minutes, it takes at least 12 hours to complete the firming process. (The purpose of the cover is to keep out dust, bugs and other nasties that may be floating around.)
Reproduced with Permission BackdoorSurvival.com Read More …