The winner of the Survival Mom of the Month (June) is Julie J. Julie wins a copy of Survival Mom, a $25 Amazon gift card, the DVD set of, “Grow Your Own Groceries,” and a PurifiCup Portable Water Purifier. Congratulations, Julie!
Each month there are great entries and it’s hard to pick just one! If you’ve nominated yourself in the past, give it another try! We do look for entries with lots of information, since our goal is to learn from each other.
What Possible Emergencies are You Preparing For?
Mostly a natural event like a tornado, drought or flood. I’d also like to be better prepared in case of a family crisis like an accident that might lead to loss of a job. Although perhaps it’s not an emergency, I see the rising prices of food at the grocery store and wonder how long I will be able to afford to feed my family the quality of food I am accustomed to providing.
What have you done to prepare your home and family for these possible emergencies?
Well, we’ve had our ups and downs!
We have started purchasing our beef locally, directly from a farmer. We store the year’s supply of beef in our deep freezer. It’s much cheaper and the taste doesn’t compare to the grocery store beef. I have trouble eating the grocery store beef when I’m at friends or family’s homes. I also planted a cherry tree this spring and have recently started a garden.
The garden taught me so much about preparedness. I learned that getting a head start now is not just good advice or an extra confidence builder, but is absolutely essential.
First, I wanted the garden where the previous home owners had a play area for their kids. So we tore down the rotted wood clubhouse and scooped all the gravel to the side. This took several weekends of serious effort. The ground was still frozen so I left the area alone for a few weeks until it warmed up and I could actually plant in the area.
In the meantime I started tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, watermelon and other plants indoors so they’d be ready to transplant after the danger of frost was past. The time came. The gentleman who was going to roto-till the garden area came. And this is when my plans all fell apart.
He took one look at the area and said there was no way the tiller would go through the area. There were too many tree roots. He could have tilled up a different part of the yard, but we had already had lawn chemicals applied and I didn’t want to grow food not knowing what exactly had been applied or what it would to to us if we ate the food grown in it.
Me, being the creative problem solver that I am, decided to plant my seedlings in an area away from home. My husband farms land just outside of town and there is space next to a pond where we have had a cooperative garden with friends in the past. I worried that my seedlings would be okay in this rougher environment, but it was the best I could do.
My concerns turned out to be valid. Within three days all the seedlings were demolished by the strong winds in their open and unprotected area. I only had a few medicinal herbs growing in pots in my windowsill and one watermelon plant that had been left behind.
But I was not dissuaded. I moved right along to plan C, raised garden beds. I ordered them from Amazon and eagerly awaited their arrival, while biting my fingernails, watching the days on the calendar slide by. Was it going to be too late to plant? The bed structures finally arrived and the family pitched in to set them up.
I was a bit dismayed when I figured up how much dirt I was going to need to fill them. We went to the local chain store’s garden department to price soil. I was surprised and dismayed to find that they didn’t even sell top soil. All they stocked was one type of potting soil and it was only available in small bags at exorbitant prices. That was not going to work.
My husband called around to local lawn service and landscaping companies to see if we could purchase dirt by the truckload. We found one that would! I was so relieved and excited! The end was in sight.
Then we had daily thunderstorms for a week. The dirt was too wet to deliver. I waited and tried to be patient. Finally 2 cubic yards of soil was deposited in my driveway. I borrowed a wheelbarrow from a friend and we started the arduous process of moving all that dirt into the garden beds.
It took my teenage son and me 6 hours and some very sore muscles to get it done. The next day we planted the seeds I felt had the best chance of producing in the now reduced growing time we have. If I had put those seeds into storage with the rest of the supplies until the situation was dire and we had to have that home grown food to survive, it could have been a very bad situation. We would have been trying to plant around the tree roots or we would have had to eat food grown in lawn chemicals and hoped for the best.
I have a lot of peace knowing for certain that I have a workable garden location. Hopefully the plants will do well. After this garden season I will know how much food the space can produce and decide if I need more raised beds. The process will be much faster and less stressful, now that I know what to do.
My husband isn’t 100% on board…
My husband thinks I’m a bit crazy. He doesn’t get in the way of my prep efforts, but he’s not really on board either. My teenage son was the one who suggested we should be getting our ducks in a row. He’s helped a lot, although I am definitely leading the efforts.
I purchased a grain mill and wheat. On the weekends we take turns at the hand crank until we get enough flour for the week. We tried making whole wheat bread, but it wasn’t very popular. We did find a great blueberry pancake recipe though. Now we make wheat pancakes on the weekend, enough to last for breakfast the whole week. They are filling, tasty and I really appreciate the ease of a nutritious breakfast that’s ready after one minute in the microwave.
We have also purchased other prep items, a weather radio, bottled water, food, a couple fixed blade knives, a new backpack for me, a better knife sharpener, a fire starter, rain ponchos, and other assorted gear. My son and I are attending wilderness survival school this summer. It will be three days of learning skills like purifying water, building fires, making shelter and other essential skills. We have really been focusing on the skill aspects of prepping. My son is very interested in cooking from scratch and has pitched in a lot in that area.
What advice do you have for New Survival Moms who want to prepare their families as well?
Just start. When I started only a few months ago, I was so overwhelmed. I wanted to do everything right, but had no clue. I read all sorts of blogs, bought a few books, read all of that and felt even more overwhelmed. It wasn’t until I got started doing something that I started to feel a sense of peace.
The first thing I did was to buy a case of bottled water at the grocery store. It’s a small thing, but a very doable step for absolutely anyone. My husband wasn’t so enthused in the beginning, but I think he’s coming around. Last week we had several tornadoes in the area. We lost power for a few hours and had some quality time in the basement. Because of our prep efforts, we had flashlights, the weather radio, water and snacks available in the basement.
There was no mad rush to grab what we’d need before going down there. It was as simple as walking down the stairs. This is not how it has been in past years during tornado season. I think my husband appreciated the difference. I hope he will understand a bit better why I am doing what I’m doing. BTW we had no major damage from the tornadoes. The closest was about a mile or two from here.
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