Meeting Notes – September 2018

September 8, 2018

  • Colloidal Silver demonstration
  • Round-Table Q&A – Growing your own food: Gardens, Chickens, and Ducks, PART 1
Potatoes, Squash, Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Okra.
Mother hen and her chicks.
Baby ducks and geese.

Colloidal Silver – Scott gave a demonstration, including what you will need and how to get started. The program outline and links are in this PDF doc of the program.

Food Production Roundtable – Stephen and Scott led a question and answer discussion about gardening. This is planned to be a regular feature of the meetings.

 

Meeting Notes August 2018

August 11, 2018

  • Demo of Rogan Tools, by Mike Rogan
  • Tools for efficient vegetable gardening
  • Turning a lawn into a food-producing garden
  • Tower gardening and container gardening
  • Authenticating gold and silver coins
  • Group Radio Purchase

Rogan Tools – Mike Rogan gave a demo of the tools that he produces. These are very tough, made-in-the-USA, multi-use tools. Each tool is designed to do the four functions shown in the graphic below:

Mike Rogan (left) showing tools to John.

 


Tools for Large Scale Gardening

A well-stocked garden tool shed will make gardening far more efficient.
An American hoe and an African hoe – both of current manufacture, but a world of difference. Two lessons: 1) Quality matters, and 2) It is possible to improvise if you failed to plan ahead.
Gardening tools demonstrated at the meeting

 

Tools to Consider:

  • Note: Be sensible; you don’t need everything;
    start slowly; buy quality
  • Work gloves, leather and rubberized
  • Hat, long sleeve shirt, sunglasses, sweat band
  • Grubbing Hoe – breaking new ground
  • Broad fork – breaking new ground
  • 4-tine Spading fork – breaking new ground
  • Standard round shovel – “everything”
  • Short small shovel – transplanting, digging potatoes
  • Scuffle hoe / stirrup hoe – weeding
  • Wheel hoe – weeding, cultivating, planting prep
  • Earthway (or equivalent) Seeder – row planting
  • Jab seeder – large seeds, more control, slower
  • Landscape rake or iron rake – seed bed prep
  • Speedling trays – seed starting
  • Harvesting bucket – frees up both hands for picking
  • Garden knife – harvesting, general work
  • Pruning shears – pruning and harvesting
  • Garden trowel – planting and transplanting

 

Maintenance:

  • Wash tools after each use
  • Store in clean, dry place
  • Thin coat of oil if needed
  • Keep a file handy to sharpen tools

 

Tool Sources:

EasyDigging.com – excellent source for a wide variety of top quality hand tools for gardening.

Tools:
Meadow Creature Broadfork – as close to an indestructible tool as it gets. Manual tiller for breaking new ground and preparing ground for gardening. Expensive, but your great-grandchildren will probably still be using it.

Hoss Wheel Hoe – The key to weed control is to cut them down when they first come up, and then keep cutting them down. The Hoss Wheel Hoe is perfect for running down between the rows. In our sandy soil, you can weed almost as fast as you can walk.

ProHoe Scuffle Hoe – ProHoe tools are made from recycled disc blades, and are about as tough as it gets. All of their tools should last a life time (or more) if given reasonable care.

Push-Pull Hoe – similar to the scuffle hoe; used the same way.

Harvesting Bucket – An ordinary bucket or basket will work just fine, but these allow you to use both hands to harvest, it keeps the bucket close to you and not swinging around. Well worth it if you have a large garden or more than a couple of fruit trees. It’s also easier on your back since you don’t have to keep setting the bucket down and picking it up to move. Very heavy duty construction.

Earthway Garden Seeder – There are other seeders available, and for some applications, the Earthway might not be the ideal choice; however, for general garden use for average size seeds (most of what is planted in the Central Florida area), you can’t go wrong with the Earthway seeder. They have been around for a long time, replacement parts are readily available, and it is a simple design in a rugged package.

Speedling Tray (72 Cell) – One of the fastest, most efficient ways to start larger quantities of seeds. These are made from Styrofoam.

Seed Starting Tray (162 Cell) – Injection molded plastic from Hoss Tools.

Seed Sower – Easily handle small seeds.

 

Marilyn described how tower gardening works – the advantages and disadvantages. If you are away traveling, this might not be a good choice for you. If you’re usually at home, tower gardening is a good way to grow a lot in very little space. Marilyn does a good bit of traveling, so she is selling hers. Please contact her directly if you are interested (members-only email went out with details on this).

The local source is Living Towers in Eustis.

 

Authenticating Silver coins:

Fisch System – The “gold standard” (pardon the pun) for authenticating most mint-issued bullion coins. It checks circumference, thickness, and weight. If a coin falls outside the specifications for the coin, then it is most likely a fake.

If your plans include the potential for a currency collapse, then having some silver on hand would be a good idea. Keep in mind, though, that silver and gold are not an “investment” – they are simply hard currency.

Mint-issued bullion coins vs. “Rounds” – A “round” is a “coin” made by a private company. There is typically a lower premium on rounds, which is what makes them attractive. The initial purchase price is lower than a mint-issued coin. The problem is that this also means that the over-all value is lower than a mint-issued coin. When a coin is sold or used to purchase something, the added premium that was initially paid is still calculated into the value of the coin. The main point, though, is that a mint-issued coin can be authenticated, where a round can not without additional testing. This is less of a factor for silver than for gold, since the value of gold makes it a high-value target for fraud. Coins and bars sold as “gold” have been found that have a Tungsten core and a thin gold outer shell – yet another reason why gold is not the best choice for economic preparedness.

Summary: Having a means to authenticate silver coins would be valuable capability – even if you only have a small handful of it yourself. Authentication would be a valued service should hard currency become “the new standard”. While gold gets the headlines, it is far too valuable per ounce to be of much practical use – silver is far more useful, and silver coins are still quite recognizable to people.

 

Discussion went well beyond the topic of authentication. How and where to buy precious metal coins was a popular topic. One source that several members have had experience with is True Metals Group (located here in Florida). Others have purchased coins at gun and coin shows, and at store-front coin dealers.

Before buying bullion coins, check to be sure that your bank safe deposit box is currently paid up. If you will need a larger size, then it’s time to upgrade.

 

Gold and Silver Price History
[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com] [Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com] [Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]
[Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com] [Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com] [Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com]

 


 

Group Radio Purchase – Bud described the radios that will be purchased as part of the group order. This is the same radio as the previous group order several years ago.

July 2018 Meeting

  • Pandemics are in the news again – what really happened during the Ebola epidemic? Guest speaker is a missionary in Sierra Leone and was there during that time.
  • Living in very primitive conditions – Life in the African bush, not just “Off grid”, but “No grid”.

Photos from the Gather The Fragments missionary project in Sierra Leone, West Africa:

This program was videoed and posted on our YouTube channel.

June 2018 Meeting

June 9, 2018

  • Sanitation – How to stay healthy in a crisis
  • How to make lime

Distilled Water

  • Distilling water without electricity
  • Used for making colloidal silver, maintaining batteries, etc.
  • Demo of D-Stil Lite destiller

Sanitation

  • Luffa gourd scrubbing sponge. This plant is well suited to this area. It is a prolific vine that produces beautiful yellow flowers. Immature fruit can be eaten, and the mature fruit are used for scrubbing. Seeds will be available at the next meeting.
  • Soap nuts – used for soap.
  • Fly control – fly paper, fly strips.
  • Vinegar fly trap

Dealing With Death

  • A major disaster will, by definition, result in massive numbers of deaths.
  • Stages of death – temperature rises, then falls; pooling of the blood; rigor mortis.
  • Approach with caution – what caused the death? Don’t become a casualty yourself.
  • Burial is the most efficient way to safely dispose of a body. Cremation requires enormous amount of fuel.
  • Deaths must be recorded with witness signatures. Bury personal effects with the body.

May 2018 Meeting

May 12, 2018

  • Demo: Packing Dry Goods in Mylar lined 5 gallon pails with oxygen absorbers
    Bring 50# of rice or beans to store
  • Demo: Cooking beans in an Instant Pot for dehydration
  • Dehydrators
Five gallon buckets of rice packed in Mylar bags with O2 absorbers added – sealed and ready to be closed.
Heat sealer used to seal the Mylar bags. An ordinary iron can also be used, but these heat sealers are clearly better and easier.
Instant Pot – a high-tech pressure cooker being used to prepare dried beans for canning.
Beans canned as part of the demo at this meeting.

Also Discussed:

DAK hams – high quality, long lasting, available at CVS (review)

Sources:

Mylar Bags, 5 gallon, with zip lock closure – Discount Mylar Bags

What’s Growing in Volusia County gardens now? April 30, 2018

 
 
What are you growing to feed yourself and your family?
 

Peach (Florida Prince) Most have already been picked at this time.
Collard Greens (Georgia Southern)
Figs (Brown Turkey)
Pole Beans along fence (Blue Lake)
Sweet Potato (Centennial) planted along fence
Persimmon (Fuyu)
Honey bees to keep things pollinated and provide honey.
Pole Beans (Kentucky Wonder). Now on the third picking cycle.
Tomato (Homestead 24)
Green peppers (Carolina Wonder)
Eggplant (Florida High Bush)
Cotton (Red foliated) – just for fun.
Okra (Clemson Spineless, Heavy Hitter strain) For information about the Heavy Hitter strain of okra, click here. This is a great example of one man experimenting and developing a more productive okra.
Squash (Tromboncino)
Last, but not least – Zinnias. For no other reason than my wife likes them.

Click here to see what this garden looked like one month ago (March 28, 2018)

Suidlanders – Preparing for the Worst in South Africa

 

For most of us, preparedness can be fairly abstract. We have hurricanes, and the threat of other disasters, but they can often seem far in the distance. For the Boer of South Africa, the threat is immediate and very real. We can learn much from them and how they are preparing.

Their English web site is primarily an outreach program. Their main web site is in Africaans, but we can still glean good information without understanding that language.

The Suidlanders an emergency plan initiative officially founded in 2006 to prepare a Protestant Christian South African Minority for a coming violent revolution. We are non-aggressive and legal in our preparation. Constituted lawfully under Geneva Convention, with particular reference to Protocols I & II of the Protocols Additional, for the protection of non-combatant civilian Afrikaners (women, children, the elderly and the non-able bodied) in the event of a civil war.

This short video (published MAR 8, 2018) shows some of the preparations being made by White farmers who are facing the confiscation of their farms and very clear threats of genocide.

Maintaining Nutritional Adequacy

Seriously consider printing this out for reference at a future time when it may no longer be just a mouse-click away.

Office Depot will turn 100 printed pages into a nice coil-bound book with heavy front and back covers for about four dollars. If you don’t have a capable printer, they can do the printing also.


Maintaining Nutritional Adequacy During A Prolonged Food Crisis

  • August 1979, PDF format, 94 pages
  • Kay B. Franz and Cresson H. Kearny
  • Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Download this file

“Large and well-dispensed food reserves are a recognized essential part of the preparations to survive a nuclear war. The largest food reserves in a long-term survival situation would be the unprocessed grains, beans, and a few other elementary foods. There is a need for a manual on the efficient use of basic foods, both to inform persons accumulating emergency stocks before a possible food crisis arises and to guide those having responsibilities for the post-attack distribution and use of available foods.”

“This handbook is the first to assemble nutritional information and make recommendations on the efficient use of unprocessed grains, beans, and other elemental foods during the aftermath of a nuclear war. These basic foods would constitute the main resources to combat famine after a major nuclear attack. Such an attack would reduce and probably eliminate most commercial food processing for many months.”

Key Sections

  1. Nutrient Needs
  2. Application of Nutrient recommendations to Practical Rations
  3. Long Term Survival Rations in the United States
  4. Infants and Young Children
  5. Pregnancy and Lactation
  6. Radioactive Fallout and Food
  7. Nutritional Value of Germinated Seeds
  8. Some Suggestions for Using Wheat, Corn, and Other Grains and Legumes
  9. Radioactive Iodine and the Prophylactic Use of Stable Potassium Iodide
  10. Procedures for Obtaining Safe Water Under Emergency Conditions
  11. Method for Sterilizing Infant Feeding Utensils Without Boiling

Editor’s comments:
Cresson H. Kearny is also the author of the classic, “Nuclear War Survival Skills”.
Don’t assume that “the government” will be using this information to feed the people. Be prepared to organize, teach, and lead your neighbors in a local recovery effort. Food will be right near the top of the list of needs, so being able to efficiently use whatever is available is a top priority.
ꔷ No one is coming to the rescue
ꔷ You’re on your own
ꔷ Everything is local


April 2018 Meeting

April 14, 2018

  • How to install a well and/or well point
  • Different types of wells and the cost
  • Review of water purification methods and filters
  • BYO BOB (Bring your own Bug Out Bag) or Get Home Bag to display and share ideas
  • Things to carry in your car/truck

Water – and lots of it – is about as important as it gets.
While water storage is important as a buffer, it is not practical as anything more than that. We just use too much of it to store for the long term – although a swimming pool goes a long way.

We’re going to cover 3 areas here:
Putting in a well
Getting water out of that well
Alternatives to a well

2 kinds of wells: Shallow and Deep
Shallow uses ground water
Deep uses the aquifer

  • Shallow MUST be treated by using a good water filter or chemical or other means.
  • Shallow depends on rain to recharge.
  • Shallow is a maximum of about 28 feet, but 20 – 25 is a more practical depth
  • Shallow usually uses a suction pump where the pumping is done from ground level and pulled up. The pump is working against both gravity and atmospheric pressure.
  • Pump must be primed

 

  • Deep is pure and generally needs no treatment
  • Deep in West Volusia is about 75 feet to the aquifer
  • Deep uses a piston pump where the pumping is done from below the water level and pushed up.
  • No priming is needed

 

  • Another Option: Cisterns with a Berkey filter
  • A swimming pool can be used as a cistern. Not ideal, but most things aren’t.
  • 2017 – received 65 inches of rain at my house
  • If you are able to catch and save 90% of the rain on a 2000 square ft. roof, you will have 72,930 gallons of water per year, which is 200 gallons per day.
  • My 12×24 steel roof shed would provide 9,750 gallons, or 26 gallons per day.
  • Use a sand filter to remove any larger contaminants, then pour it through a Berkey filter. The double filtering is mainly to extend the life of the Berkey filter.

The restored house at Blue Springs in Orange City is supplied by a cistern even though it is located only steps away from the Blue Springs run.

 

  • Without electricity to pump water, do you have the means to store and move that water?
  • Buckets
  • Wagon to carry larger amounts of water
  • Water to your garden
  • Garden hose with manual pump / siphon
  • 5 gallon water containers (max. portable size)
  • 55 gallon water barrels from various prep dealers
  • Recycled juice barrels available locally from Craig’s List, etc.
  • Designs to dump the first several gallons washed off the roof before routing into storage barrel

Big Berkey Water Filter Demonstration


BOB/GHB (Bug Out Bag / Get Home Bag)

“Show and Tell” as members display and describe their kits.

Maxpedition Falcon II – Top view – Total weight, including water = 19.8 pounds
Side view 1
Side view 2 showing dump pouch.
Group 1
Vortex monocular, toilet paper, sweat band
Mosquito head net, knife, oven bag, energy drink, Chap-stick, water bottles with cup, note pad, butane lighter, gloves, first aid kit.
Latex gloves, Iodine tabs, Neosporin, pill vial with pain meds, splinter tweezers, nail clippers
Freeze dried packets, Lifeboat rations, cook stove, nylon poncho, Mylar sleeping bags, cap

 

5.11 Tactical Rush MOAB 6 bag. Total weight with ammo and water = 9.6 pounds
Opened bag with ASP collapsible baton. Not shown – pouch with filled 9mm magazines.
Vortex monocular, container with energy bar, toilet paper, Israeli bandage, band-aid kit, sweat band, cap, fire starters, water bottle.
Knife, pen, notepad, bag with gloves, ear plugs, face protection, Chap-stick, spare batteries, whistle, compass, DEET, poncho, Butane lighter, spoon, 550 cord, Sawyer water filter kit, Flash drive with docs, pill vial with pain meds, mini-multi-tool, handcuff key.

 

 

What’s growing in Volusia County gardens now? March 28, 2018

MAR 28 – Potatoes (Yukon Gold), Squash (Tromboncino), Tomatoes (Homestead 24), Peppers (Carolina Wonder), Eggplant (Florida High Bush), Okra (Clemson Spineless – Heavy Hitter strain).
MAR 28 – Romaine Lettuce (Paris Island Cos)
MAR 28 – Collard Greens (Georgia Southern)
MAR 28 – Sweet Potatoes (Centennial) growing along a fence line.
MAR 28 – Peaches (Florida Prince)
MAR 28 – Pole beans (Blue Lake Pole) planted along a fence, which will act as a trellis for the vines.