Saturday, February 25, 2012

Preparedness Challenge #32

I know this may have sneaked up on some of you since February is a relatively short month, but it's already time for the monthly Preparedness Challenge and the give-away sponsored by USA Emergency Supply! But before I tell you about the give-away this month, I want to remind everyone that I have written many posts on what I believe "being prepared" means.

Because "Prepping" or being a "Prepper" can have lots of connotations and definitions (from being a survivalist to someone who cans and puts up a larder), I think it's important that I periodically point new readers to my posts explaining my stand on this topic. And as a Christian, we must be careful that we don't begin to think that it's our "works" that will save us in a pinch! The Lord determines the number of our days, not our oh-so-smart plans!

So why prep at all? It's way to complicated to put in one paragraph or to repost each time, so I encourage you to read these posts. I've provided a Prepping Basics Index so you don't have to scroll down through every post, but you can jump to each one directly. And hopefully soon I'll have it up on the side bar!

So, back to our wonderful sponsor, USA Emergency Supply, and their awesome prize this month, which includes...

• 2 food storage buckets
• a bag of oxygen absorbers
• 20 5-gallon mylar bags 

All three of these items are excellent for storing dry foods for extended periods of time. If you would like additional information on this topic, visit USA Emergency Supplies site for their article Storage Life of Dried Foods for some great information! 

How I Met The Challenge!

Here's what I did this month in each category (see category definitions near bottom of the post)...

• Food Storage: I added extra oats and wheat to my pantry this month. I want to make sure I don't get too low. I'm now at the point that I can rotate a bag from the co-op, to my freezer, then my freezer to the pantry (in a pail with a gamma seal), and my pantry to actually using it. This is at least a 3 month supply by my estimation. Next would be to go to a year long supply, but I want to shore up some other food areas first!

• Emergency Preparedness: I bought that fire extinguisher that I mentioned last month. And today, I'm off to the store to buy more matches and fire starters for the wood stove and an outdoor fire pit if we need to make one. I do make some of my own starters, but I want to have a lot more - just in case! I plan to make some more homemade ones as well, but I need to find some soy wax.

• Sustainable Living: Before February is out, I'll be attending another beekeeping meeting, but I also ordered my bees for April (two 3# packages with a queen each). However, I'm working on a source for some nucs instead. I bought a honey crisp apple tree, a new Nigerian Dwarf goat already in milk, bred my Kinder goat, and ordered my seeds and potatoes for spring. I also got on two lists for wood chips and spent two afternoons putting leaves through the shredder for mulching in my garden.

Now it's your turn to join the Preparedness Challenge.

Join the Challenge & Enter The Give Away

To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment on something you did this week to be more prepared in terms of food storage, emergencies, or sustainable living (or all three areas!) OR link up your Preparedness Challenge blog post (you only need to comment or post, not both). Posts not related to at least one of the three areas of preparedness will not be counted toward the give-away. Please be sure to clearly state in your comment or post what you did this month to be more prepared (see my example above as one easy way to do this). Again, the three areas we are focusing on include: 

• food storage for life's unexpected events whether related to long term effects from a disaster or a job loss and everything in between

• emergencies for times of power outages, natural disasters, and such

• sustainable living in order to be more independent, both physically and financially, and to live as close to the land as possible given each individual's situation 

Please be respectful of our challenge and only add a post on one of these three preparedness topics ONLY in order to retain the integrity of the link up event. If your post is just a general homesteading post, please save it for the Monday Homestead Barn Hop.

NOTE: This challenge and give-away ends Friday, March 2, at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Be sure to take the Preparedness Challenge picture and add it to your blog so others know you're participating and hopefully they'll join up, too! THANK YOU!!


  1. I started preparing my seed containers for seed starting the weekend!

  2. You have definitely been busy, Amy! congrats on the milk goat. My first hive seems to be surviving the winter intact. I ordered a nuc to start the 2nd hive. I gave up hope that I might be able to catch a swarm, but in some ways, a nuc is a better idea. If the bees have a three week head start building out the comb, they will be that much closer to a honey harvest. However, the nuc won't be ready at the same as the bee package so it almost works out evenly.
    Looking forward to hearing about your other projects.

  3. I have been following the challenge posts for a couple months and really enjoy all the ideas. I'm a single woman (not counting dogs and chickens) and I've begun storing a bit more food instead of living "close to the edge" and waiting until I run out of something, inc. dog food, before getting more. I have always canned so maybe I've been a prepper (even just a little). Would love the food storage items to help me on my way. Keep up the good work!

  4. This week I bought more dried goods (rice, beans) and I bought some oxygen absorbers to store with them. This is all very new to me so I am taking baby steps so I won't get overwhelmed :)

  5. This week i updated our first aid kits. We have one for our family plus our barn animals ;)

  6. I added more water to my food storage. I also cleaned out my chicken pen for good compost for my garden and I started my states master gardeners class.

  7. This month, I purchased two fifty pound bags of flour and obtained some five gallon buckets from a local bakery to store them in. I don't have the mylar bags or oxygen absorbers, so that would be a good thing if I won. Also, I transplanted cherry, plum, and apple trees, raspberry bushes, and blackberry bushes to a more accessible area of the homestead. Today, we are going to order bees! Yay, I've been hoping for this day to come! I don't really know how to prepare for the emergency we have here: tornadoes! I don't even like to think about it! The best thing to have is a storm shelter and we can't afford to do that at this time. Blessings from Bama!

  8. I started some tomato, pepper, spaghetti squash, watermelon, and ground cherry seeds about two weeks ago. I was also able to double the amount of flour, sugar and oats in my food storage area this month.

  9. I put 150 pounds of rolled oats, 100 pounds of Bronze wheat, 50 pounds of soft white, and 50 pounds of red winter wheat away in storage buckets. I also learned to sprout wheat and did my first batch.

  10. This week we ordered our first ever set of bees! So exciting! I also enrolled in a beekeeping class that will be finished before my bees get here.

    I started our second planting of cabbage and broccoli and put our first set of seedlings in the ground under milk carton greenhouses.

    I evaluated our canned goods from last years garden to see what we should plant more of this year.

    I attended a local garden show and got some ideas that will hopefully help me hava a successful herb garden this year.

    I tried my first attempt at making homemade soap using lye from wood ash. It was unsuccessful, this time, but I will try again!

    We are waiting for two 50 gallon barrels to be delivered that we will be converting into compost bins.


  11. This week I added to my food storage some beans and rice. I also bought some propane tanks. And finally; I have started my tomato and pepper plants and continued to buy seeds for my garden.

    Ps. Love your blog!!

  12. I've been endeavoring to store more dehydrated things via my Excalibur.

  13. This month I ordered the mobile washer from Emergency Essentials and a safety razor from Amazon. Those are more in the sustainable living area as the disposables are not good for the landfill, etc. The mobile washer looks like a plunger but isn't and it has gotten good reviews. I'm on a limited income so I'm taking baby steps here too. Next month will be stocking up on wheat berries again.

  14. I have created a "root cellar" pantry in my garage and am stocking it. I also stocked it with 2 month's of canned pet food. I think it's important we make sure there is enough food for these family members. I would never want to face the alternative.

  15. i started seeds indoors- peppers, 7 kinds of tomatoes for the food storage category.
    and for the sustainable living category- we are attempting to buy 10 acres and are practicing an off grid lifestyle in prepping for living that way on the land.

  16. Ordered and received our heirloom seeds...including extras for just in case!

  17. In the past month, I added 25 lbs of pintos, 50 lbs of oats, and an extra bag of chicken feed. I find it hard to keep much extra feed on hand as we live in a very hot climate for most of the year. I also was able to store a few more gallons of water.

  18. Ordered seed potatoes and heirloom seeds.
    Getting a milk cow early in March!

  19. I did better than I though I could. Picked up extra staples at the grocery store tonight. We didn't have alot of extra to play with but the store sales and coupons helped. Add to my stock.... baking soda, canned tomatoes, bleach and some other odds and ends.

  20. Let's see, this week I added to my food storage more dried milk, and several boxes of pasta. Tomorrow I will be canning 25 lbs of potatoes that I have waiting for me and cutting cabbage and spinach in the garden and preserving it as well (probably freezing both).
    I didn't really do anything for emergency part of it. I have lots and lots of candles, I do want to make more fire starters but haven't gotten to it yet.I did buy some batteries though.
    As far as sustainable living, I planted 30 strawberry plants, transplanted my peppers in my greenhouse which just got a new roof and plastic put on it. We got 2 pigs to raise last week and this week I am smoking my first buckboard bacon in our new smoker, plus we will be smoking a chicken. We haven't done either of these before.

  21. Amy, as always I am humbled by your activity, and in awe of your productivity! my best to you!

  22. wonderful blog, just recently found you! Thanks for sharing!

  23. MtWoman (N Central Texas)February 25, 2012 at 8:54 PM

    Hello! I am new to your blog....what a wonderful place! I have a very limited budget, so must be creative about adding to my stocks. What I have done lately is quite a bit of dehydrating of food stuffs, including: sweet onion, asparagus, spinach (to make spinach "flour" for pasta), Pippin apples with cinnamon sugar on the slices, some parsley & garlic, some celery, carrots and peas, and some mushroom slices with garlic powder on them. All were fresh produce, except the peas which were frozen, and all were 'extras' from meals, except for the spinach which a kind neighbor gave me...a whole plastic grocery bag full! The asparagus was a first time dehydration for me. I dried them as trimmed raw spears. I don't believe they will re-hydrate well, so I plan to eat them as snacks (they taste really good) or grind them for an ingredient in an instant soup mix. :)

  24. Finished the chicken coop, now ready for chickens. Canned a 25 pound bag of pinto beans for easy cooking, that way we don't have to soak them and then cook them for hours using precious gas/wood for cooking them. Plus I can heat them and then use a potato masher to make "refried beans" which my family loves either with shredded cheese or in our tacos/burritos. Also made some homemade firestarters and candles today.

  25. I am adding to my pantry, a little slowly because extra money is a problem. It would be good to add bulk grains to my stash. This week I added salt and bar soap to my regular extra food purchases. I need to also put on the list shortning and matches for the next shopping trip.

    Something I have been working on lately is downsizing. It's hard to have a simplified life when burdened by years of stuff that is not used. I am making progress and it feels good!

  26. We got the garden going - but that's about it. I fell seriously short on my prepping goals this month, hopefully next month will be better! I want to get some emergency meals put together and stockpile rice and oats.

  27. For food storage, this month we organized our freezers, moved the big upright freezer onto the back porch, cleaned it out and it is ready to be filled with more chicken.
    For sustainable living we added two new boer does to our herd and are just about to kid out our dairy doe and a boer doe, we will have goats everywhere! We are also looking for another dairy doe to kid out later so we have a continuous supply of milk.
    Have been hauling the compost out onto the garden.
    The only emergency purchase I made was a few packs of batteries.

  28. This month we added a few books to our preparedness collection about meat preservation methods, root cellars, and raising grass fed beef. I also started some of my seeds for this years garden.
    ☺ Celeste

  29. Food storage: canned 8 quarts of oranges and grapefruits
    Sustainable living: bought sourdough and piima cultures to start
    Emergency: grabbed a couple of rain ponchos to store away

    Brett @

  30. Love this post! It's fun to read what everyone else has done too.

    Well I bought 4 25lb bags of 1. Amaranth 2. Mung beans 3. Kamut 4. Adzuki beans and I will be canning them in #10 cans very soon. I ordered and bought them at Vitamin cottage.

  31. This month.... I added 5 pre-sealed bucked of beans, oat groats, and wheat to my food storage program. I also bought an oat roller (Flocino brand) and started rolling my morning oatmeal. Lots of extra nutrients to a freshly rolled bowl of oatmeal. But the biggest thing was putting our house up for sale = yikes. Hopefully this time next year we will be in our new little solar, wind powered home.

  32. This week we have added two raised beds for more gardening. We are also making them ready to have hoop coverings to garden year round. (That is the goal anyways) We also turned a broken trashcan into a compost bin.

  33. I bought 15 pounds of dry beans to add to my pantry. I keep trying to build up my dry bean storage, but notice we tend to move through them quickly since we don't eat a lot of meat here. I am trying to buy a little more each month though. At least I know that we will rotate this part of our pantry quite frequently!

  34. In the last week, we have planted 3 flats of seeds for our garden and will hopefully be able to transplant them into the garden this spring and freeze and/or can the veggies once they are ready. We've also started buying extra pasta, flour and sugar for the pantry, but it's small. We are working on baby steps for now.

  35. I have been doing a lot of re-thinking what prepping really means for me-food, water, all the little things you don't think of. Kleenex, cold meds, chicken meds, tooth floss, you name it! Re-evaluation is always a good thing...

  36. It's a small thing, but I finally put together our first emergency meal kit. Since there's only the two of us it fit in a gallon ziploc bag. I put in two cans of peaches, two cans of sardines, a pouch of crackers, napkins, plastic forks and individually packaged wipes.

    I'm hoping to do one of these a week for nine weeks until we have the three days supply of emergency meals ready to go.

  37. I've been busy. Living in hurricane country, I'm always prepared for short term events, but have been really working toward longer term self sufficiency lately. This month I have planted several vegetables in my raised garden bed. Purchased a "starter kit" and oxygen absorbers from the LDS. Done a lot of research on grain mills and hoping to order one before too much longer. Stocked up on 20 cans of soup, 10 boxes of pasta and 10 pouches of Uncle Ben's ready made rice on BOGO special at Publix last week. Purchased 10 lbs of flour and 10 lbs of sugar that I plan to dry pack in jars as soon as I can find some wide mouth canning jars (may have to order these on-line). Bought a few miscellaneous canned and dry foods to put away. Also picked up a case (3 - one gallon jugs) of water specifically for emergency. My son drinks the 16 oz bottles so fast I can't keep them around for very long ... maybe two weeks at best, and that's buying four cases at a time. But that's okay, much better than soda. Had planned to pick up some 9mm ammo, but my Walmart has been out for over a month now. Since I go to the range to practice at least once a month, I try to pick up a box every time I go shopping, it's a lot less painful that way. I charged up my jump-start battery, I like to have this ready for emergencies (like during a hurricane) to run a portable TV. It also has a light on it. I went to my storage unit and dug out my grandmothers old hand-crank meat grinder and her rolling pin, as well as my hot water bath canner and my pressure canner in hopes that my garden is more productive this year than it was last year. I have a very small house and am having difficulty finding places to store my preparations, so I have completely emptied (and purged) the closet in the spare bedroom and purchased some shelving to reorganize. I'll start that project this weekend. Hopefully it will net some extra space for next month. In addition to all of this, I have been reading A LOT! Found a couple of really nice sites with a lot of great information ... this one included. Very nice resource - Thank you.

  38. I am wondering when the winner of the challenge might be posted?

    1. Thank you for the reminder!!! Oh, I really dropped the ball. Sorry! I'm on it!


Thank you for visiting Homestead Revival™! Please feel free to contribute to the conversation by leaving your comments. "Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear." Eph. 4:29


Related Posts with Thumbnails