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pictures_with_words copy 6I LOVE growing my own food.  I’ve been gardening and canning my produce for a few years.  As I learn and journey through self-reliance, I’m always open to and looking for ways to expand my options.  Sprouting seeds is my newest experiment and I am thrilled with the ease and outcome of it.  Now I know I will be adding more seed varieties to my long-term storage.  These are great for sustaining life in a SHTF world.  They are quick to grow and add a punch of nutrition when food might be scarce.

I will assume you are reading this article because you, like I had done, are researching to learn how to grow them yourself.  So I will address the simplest and basic’s for sprouting.  But I must lay out a couple of important points to give you some understanding.

What is a sprout?

Sprouting is the practice of germinating seeds to be eaten raw or cooked. Sprouted foods are a convenient way to have fresh vegetables for salads, or otherwise, in any season and can be germinated at home or produced industrially. They are a prominent ingredient of the raw food diet and common in Eastern Asian cuisine.

Eating sprouts is said to date back over 5,000 years.  Chinese physicians prescribed them for healing many ailments and disorders.  Even in the bible, sprouts are written about in the Book of Daniel.

 

Bigl Parrots Sprout Blend Day dry0001

What seeds to use

About any dry seed will sprout.  Dry seeds are not dead, they are simply dormant.  Soaking your seed will bring it to life and offer you some very healthy and delicious food in just 3-5 days.

 

 

 

E coliCaution & Care

If not properly disinfected, all seeds have the possibility of carrying E. coli bacteria or other foodborne pathogens.  I was taught to disinfect my seeds prior to sprouting them by using a 2% bleach solution (1 tsp. bleach to 1 cup of hot tap water) for 15 minutes before allowing them to sprout.

 

 

 

 

pictures_with_words copy 14This is how I started my seeds.  Because I was doing it for the 1st time, I opted to use a seed blend that was pre-packaged.  Now I know that I can use about any kind of seed and will never spend $3.50 again.

You might have different equipment to use, but this is how I grew mine.   I used a 1 quart canning jar, ring and a nylon screen.  You can use cheese cloth or any other type of pourous top, but you will need to be able to rinse your seeds several times every day and they will need to be drained.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bleach water on seeds

 

This is where I added 1 teaspoon of bleach into 1 cup of hot tap water.  I swished it around and allowed it to sit for 15 minutes.  (Note the cloudiness of the water) This protected us from growing seeds with E coli.  After 15 minutes, I ran clean water over it until the bleach was completely removed.  Then I started the sprouting process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here are the rinsed seeds, which are now covered in clean water.  The water is about 3 times the depth of the seeds and there is about 1 ½ tablespoons of Funugreek sprout seeds.  Allow the seeds to soak overnight or a minimum of 8-12 hours.  At this stage, keep the seeds away from direct sunlight.

 

 

 

 

 

RINSING

pictures_with_words copy 12After soaking your seeds, you must now begin the rinsing and draining process.  You do not want your seeds to sit in water, but they must be kept very moist.  After rinsing the seeds well several times, I carefully poured out the water and gently spread the seeds out into this layer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I then placed the jar at an angle to make sure the seeds were not sitting in water.  I’m still keeping the seeds out of direct sunlight.   From this point until harvest, you will need to rinse and drain your seeds this way four times a day.  Remember, the seeds need to be kept moist but not allowing them to soak in any pooled water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is a close up view of the seeds beginning to give up their delicious sprouts.   This is only about 15 hours after I began.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Continuing rinsing and draining, you see the quick growth only 24 hours after beginning the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day two after rinsing and draining four times each day.  You can see how it grows so quickly and it is exponentially larger than in the beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

pictures_with_words copy 4Closer look after I drained and laid them out on their side making sure they are not in standing water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day 3 and they are perfect!  They are firm, crunchy and full of flavor.

 

 

 

 

 

pictures_with_words copy 2This basket is the full yield of the 1-½ tablespoons of seeds I began only 72 hours ago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will do another good rinse that will remove the woody hulls.  I allowed them to drain completely and placed my sprouts in an airtight vegetable container.  They can be stored in the produce drawer in your refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

So you see how easy it is.  I now look forward to experimenting with many varieties of seeds and will expand it to be able to grow them from my 3 hens, too!  I hope this pictorial explains the ease of growing wonderful food on your counter right in your own kitchen.  Sprouts are great in soups, salads and sandwiches.  This variety has a strong flavor that I am going to use on my pizza this Friday!

 

Benefits of Sprouting

Sprouting Seeds for Food – Types of Seeds

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Providence SupremeIn breaking down your preparedness goals, the first step is to determine exactly what you want to accomplish. If you plan to set aside a little money each week or month to go towards your family’s preparedness, you will be surprised what you can afford. Now is the time; make the goal to be prepared.

To start, you could plan a budget for buying emergency supplies that deal with water. A reliable water storage system, such as a 55 gallon barrel or smaller buckets throughout the house, is essential. Water is something that people often forget to store or procrastinate, perhaps because it’s usually so accessible; we have a hard time imagining what life would be like without a working, clean water supply, and it’s also hard to estimate how much water we’re actually using. In fact, water should be the first item on your list of goals, because it is the most crucial item to have available during an emergency. Evaluate both portable and stationary water sources. You could also plan out a budget and save up to buy a great portable water filter or purifier. There are also different types of prepackaged water you can purchase, such as water in pouches or foil-lined cardboard “juice boxes.” These small containers are excellent for small children and babies.

Another step to reach your preparedness goal is to set up a schedule of certain things you want to buy each month Maybe you want to be prepared by having 72-hour kits for everyone in your family. Perhaps you want a total preparedness package consisting of 72-hour kits and a year’s supply of food storage for each member of your family. These kits and packages can cost a pretty penny, but when broken down into “baby steps,” the cost becomes quite manageable.

One month, you could focus on researching and buying emergency preparedness items that deal with on area, such as warmth. This might mean looking for emergency blankets, sleeping bags, hand and body warmers, and wool blankets. Another month you could focus on purchasing items that deal with emergency lighting, such as 100 hour candles, kerosene lamps, light sticks, matches, or flashlights. It seems like a lot, but purchasing these items in stages will help ease the stress on your pocketbook and your time.

Once you’ve gotten to a comfortable place with emergency items, the next step is saving enough money to build up your food storage. You can accomplish this by setting aside a weekly amount and using the save money to buy canned food and cooking essentials at the end of the month. By rotating your food storage into your daily recipes, you can eat the foods you enjoy without worrying about expiration dates. One good way to rotate food is to buy 2 or 3 cans of canned goods, especially when they are on sale. This way, you stock up gradually rather than in one big splurge. If you actually use your food storage, the cost will never exceed the original investment. Remember, normal canned vegetables and fruits come in smaller cans, have a shorter shelf life, and can only stack so high. They are also packed with excess water, which makes them weigh more while also reducing shelf life. Freeze-dried or dehydrated #10 cans of food are packaged compactly and efficiently, and they can be stored over 5 to 30 years (compared to the 1 year shelf life of store-bought canned food). There are also plenty of resources that can teach you to preserve and can fresh food for use when it isn’t in season. Check out your local library or an internet search for some pointers.
Another goal could be to encourage your neighbors and family members to start preparing for their own families. When figuring out gifts for holidays or birthdays this year, consider gifts of preparedness to help your family members and loved ones plan for the future.

Think about setting goals for food storage and preparing for emergencies. If you make a plan and a budget, it will be easier to get the things that you need without added stress and worry. Now is the time to get prepared. You can do it!

Visit my THRIVE Life Store to see all that the above-mentioned food and emergency supplies that are available to help you.  As a THRIVE Independent Consultant, I’m here to help and support you.  Leave a comment below with any questions you might have. Or email me at prepperpenny@gmail.com.  Be sure to visit my FB Page at http://www.facebook.com/prepperpenny.  You can also follow me on Twitter or Pinterest at PrepperPenny.

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VasalineNo petroleum or harsh chemicals in this all natural vaseline.   Use it just as you would commercially produce, chemically latent vaseline. I added tea tree oil to mine for it’s antibacterial qualities. This is completely optional. If you want to scent yours with you favorite essential oil, that would be lovely, too.

 

 

 

RECIPE

1/2 Cup Olive Oil
2-3 Tbsp. Bees Wax

Ingredient

Melting Vasaline

Gently and carefully melt these two ingredients together. I do mine in the microwave on 30 second intervals. It will take 60 – 90 seconds.
Tea Tree Oil

Add your optional essential oil and allow it to cool.

This will safely keep for up to one year.

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Woman with Migraine

I suffer with chronic migraines.  I have been in this battle for 23 years.  I know exactly because I remember my 1st one like it was yesterday.

I picked up my son who was in kindergarden at that time.  I walked to the school because it was such a pretty day.  He and I played all the way home.  Barely over the threshold, it hit.  I felt like I just had an aneurism burst in my brain.  I literally crawled to the bathroom and began throwing up uncontrollably.  My little boy was crying until the vomiting subsided a little.  The whole time, I was in a panic mode.  However, I was trying to reassure my son “I was fine” but barely able to speak because of the excruciating  pain and agony.  So in my dark bathroom, I laid down on the cool floor next to the toilet in case the vomiting started back up.  The next thing I know, my little 5 year old little boy came into the bathroom with a blanket and a doll pillow.  He lifted my head and put this little pillow under it to make it softer, draped my torso with this little baby quilt and curled up against my back and took his nap like he was so accustom to doing at that time.  It lasted for several hours, but while I was in the midst of it, I was scared that I would actually die.  After all, I really did think it was an aneurism.

Obviously, I survived this terrifying and painful event.  After I realized I wasn’t dying, I concluded it was in fact a migraine.  My father suffered terribly from them for a period in his life when I was little.  A subsequent visit to my doctor confirmed it.

At first, the migraines came about every year, then every six months, then every month then and on and on until I was faced with a life consumed and destroyed by this curse.  Through the year, I have seen more specialists than I even knew where out there.  Lot’s of test, surgeries, hospital stays and too much caustic narcotics later, not one specialist could determine the triggers.  Even with all the meds they tried on me, nothing got them under control.  I was so medicated that I feel I lost several years of my life from living in my bed.

Then one day, I guess it was my Irish temper and pride rose up from inside and I took control.  The first thing was to get myself off of all the medication.  And guess what?  As fearful as the doctors were that I would become dependent, I wasn’t!  Did I suffer?  You bet.  Just getting all these chemicals out of my system was horrible.  I had as many headaches and suffered, but I wasn’t intoxicated.  After a few weeks, I started coming out of my room more and eventually suffered less.  After months, it got better.  Now years later, I’m doing pretty good.  I still have headaches, just not as bad or often.  I have injections for Imitrex and a non-narcotic pain reliever as a rescue, but even this much progress is leading me to do more.  That’s why I’m transitioning to herbal remedies for many health issues my family experiences.  Now I’m ready to tackle natural remedies for these headaches.  In doing a lot of research,  I found this information that I want to share with you.

My self-reliant life can’t help but anticipate a future that may or may not include access to professional, medical intervention.  I want to get back to the ways my grandparents did it.  Natural.

Here are some things I have and/or will be trying until I find what will work for me.

 Remedies

Ginger 

Traditional Chinese herbal medicine recommends ginger for headaches. Eat a small piece of fresh ginger root or make ginger tea from the fresh root or tea bags.

Coriander Seeds

An Aryuvedic treatment for sinus-related headaches is the steam inhalation of coriander seeds. Put the coriander seeds into a small bowl. Pour on some boiling water, drape a towel over your head and the bowl, and inhale the steam.

Celery

Celery contains phthalide which helps you to relax and be less anxious, which helps with pain. It is also rich in potassium which many headache sufferers are deficient in. Celery seeds can be used in smoothies/juices or soups. Taking 2 oz of celery juice and then laying down for 30 minutes has proven to be a very effective remedy for headaches.

Herbal Tea

Sitting down with a relaxing cup of mild herbal tea is often good for a tension headache. Good choices are peppermint, spearmint, chamomile, rose hip, lemon balm, or valerian root (may induce sleep). Additionally, adding cayenne pepper to your tea can help.

Vitamins and Minerals

Frequent headaches could be a sign that you are low on some important vitamins and minerals. Low levels of niacin and vitamin B6 can cause headaches. For example, all the B vitamins are needed to help combat stress and avoid tension headaches. The minerals calcium and magnesium work together to help prevent headaches, especially those related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Good sources of calcium are dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale or broccoli, and beans and peas. Magnesium is found in dark green leafy vegetables, cacao, nuts, bananas, wheat germ, full spectrum salts, beans and peas.

Aromatherapy

The relaxing qualities of lavender oil make it a good treatment for a tension headache. This essential oil is very gentle and can be massaged in your temples, the base of your neck, or the base of your nostrils. Taking a bath with relaxing oils such as chamomile or ylang ylang will also help to soothe and relieve pain.

Emotional Freedom Technology (EFT – a.k.a Meridian Tapping)

The EFT tapping points align with particular acupuncture points along the meridians. EFT tapping techniques can help to remove emotional blockage in our body’s electrical or subtle energy system. EFT is referred to as ‘acupuncture without the needles’. For more information on EFT and where to find your meridian points, please visit The Tapping Solution.

Breathing

In order to learn how to relax and cope with headaches, you need to become familiar with your own breathing patterns and change them in ways that will help you relax. We tend to hold our breath when we are anxious, stressed, or in pain. Below are a few relaxation exercises:

Rhythmic breathing

If your breathing is short and hurried, slow it down by taking long, slow breaths. Inhale slowly then exhale slowly. Count slowly to five as you inhale, and then count slowly to five as you exhale. As you exhale slowly, pay attention to how your body naturally relaxes. Recognizing this change will help you to relax even more.

Deep breathing

Imagine a spot just below your navel. Breathe into that spot, filling your abdomen with air. Let the air fill you from the abdomen up, then let it out, like deflating a balloon. With every long, slow exhalation, you should feel more relaxed.

Visualized breathing

Find a comfortable, quiet place where you can close your eyes, and combine slowed breathing with your imagination. Picture relaxation entering your body and tension leaving your body. Breathe deeply, but in a natural rhythm. Visualize your breath coming into your nostrils, going into your lungs and expanding your chest and abdomen. Then, visualize your breath going out the same way. Continue breathing, but each time you inhale, imagine that you are breathing in more relaxation. Each time you exhale imagine that you are getting rid of a little more tension.

These are just a few natural remedies. There are many more. However, prior to any of these recommendations, we should always ensure that we are getting enough pure water throughout the day. It seems simple, but dehydration is the leading cause of headaches. By simply drinking more water during the day, we may reduce the frequency of headaches and their debilitating effects.

Please note that some of the food items mentioned, such as bananas, cacao, and nuts can actually trigger headaches in some individuals. If this happens to you, don’t give up. With a little research, you will definitely be able to find the remedy that works best for you.

Trusting in our Natural Ability to Heal

Our bodies are an amazing design. If we allow ourselves to trust our bodies’ ability to heal itself, the results will be astounding. Let’s treat our body with the respect and loving care it deserves. If we do, symptoms such as headaches will occur much less frequently.

Via: Wake-Up World

Sources:

1. Prescription for Nutrional Healing; Phyllis A. Balch
2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies; C. Norman Shealy

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Homemade PectinAny prepper with their salt is always looking for ways to produce everything possible from our own land, our own homes.  Here is a very frugal way to use fruit to make you own pectin.  It can even be made with citrus peels!  It’s free pectin because it’s made from scraps.  Now is a perfect time to start making and canning your own pectin, before summer harvests start coming in.  JoeandZack on youtube offer many way to help you be as self-reliant as you can be.

 

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pantryWhen MrPrepper and I built our home, we were both working professionals with successful career.  I wanted a home where I could entertain.  It was ~ and is ~ a lovely home that I am proud of.  That was 17 years ago.  To drive up to my home today, it presents itself much the same.  But cross the threshold and you will see the extreme change from that point back to the fence that surrounds a once picture-perfect landscaped backyard.  The room which once housed an antique dining room set now has no table.  The china hutch that use to display my beautiful ornate dishes, now is used for more practical purposes.  The antique cabinet beautifully displays a growing supply of my own canned and dehydrated food.  There is a set of industrial-style shelves that hold my canning supplies, bread machine and other food processing equipment.  There are two sets of Martha Stewart cabinets to hold the children’s toys and a computer which I use to teach my pre-schooler.

Walk further down the hall to the kitchen, and you will see an amazing set of even larger industrial shelves FULL of dehydrated and freeze-dried food that I use every day.  Things like powdered milk, eggs and sausage.  I won’t even go into all the things that are there, but it is one of the most impressive home stores you will ever see.  My once elegant kitchen is now filled with canning supplies, dehydrators, shelves and other supplies to support my new role.  You will notice the large antique crock fermenting cabbage or maybe a large batch of pickles I grew in the yard.White Pantry

Turn right and enter the family room where I took a very old TV cabinet and converted it into something cute and functional.  This cabinet has a strong sentimental value because it measures the growth of the children.  Inside, you see the valuable amount of storage it provides.  (Note the inside right door is where I keep inventory of these food supplies written in chalk)

Walk out to the patio to the once well-groomed flower-filled landscape and you realize you have just entered into another world.  My backyard chickens with their lovely coop and raised garden beds emphasize the seriousness and commitment I have to being as self-reliant as humanly possible.  There are containers that grow medicinal and culinary herbs dotting open spots on the large, covered patio.  Once in awhile, my little chaweenie, Gracie will be there romping with the chickens.  Here I stand in rubber boots, coveralls and a pair of leather gloves on.  I’m either working in the garden or cleaning the chicken coop.  I gather fresh, brown eggs and bring into the house.  I may be turning the compost heap I started last year or any number of other chores associated with a suburban home transitioning from a place where career professionals came home to unwind to a sanctuary filled with wonder and life.  My 3 year old girl and 5 year old boy play with toys on the patio or climb and play on the swing set.  Their playful giggles and sometimes spats are a joyous sound to my ears.  The BBQ or smoker will be fired up and cooking dinner that we will serve with fresh food from the garden and eat on the patio.

Go to the side of the house where MrPrepper erected a barn-style shed.  In there, you will find emergency supplies of equipment and food.  Things like fuel, generators and other equipment to

It is work.  More labor intensive than going to meetings and writing reports.  But this work is peaceful and rewarding.  Nothing like any job I have ever had.

This has become my life.  I’m so proud that I left my “career” in order to have this amazingly gratifying and rewarding life.  A life that is sure to keep my children balanced, regardless where life takes them.

Yes, MrPrepper still works.  I feel sorry for him that he misses much of these great days filled with serenity.  But we are a team.  He will retire in a couple of years and will slide right into his roll as my farm-hand.  I count my blessings every day having moved into this much better life.

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Aquaponics is combining fish cultivation with hydroponics, i.e. growing plants without soil.  This Barrelponics System is designed by Travis Hughley as in inexpensive introduction to aquaponics.  All the materials can be purchased locally at most hardware stores.

Download the plans by clicking on the graphic.
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