It seems that some of those adults charged with the “higher education” of America’s youth are hell bent on miseducating our children into perpetual toddlerhood. Not only are our children being taught that feelings are the only barometer of right and wrong but they are also being taught that there is no dishonor in trampling the rights of others. Additionally, sensitivities in these infantilized adults are intentionally being heightened to such an extent that they would have left our ancestors quivering in puddles of their own urine instead of carving the land of the [formerly] free and the home of the [formerly] brave out of a continent of wilderness. What follows are the Top 10 Examples of Miseducating Young Adults Into Children from the past few weeks.
Thanks to George Will for compiling the above list and more in his article, America’s higher education brought low.
When many people think of raising rabbits, the image of a cute and cuddly pet comes to mind. If that’s your only frame of reference for raising rabbits than beware as this article discusses a far more important reason for raising rabbits…raising rabbits for meat production. Raising rabbits is an inexpensive and potentially stealthy way to help your family become more food secure and self sufficient. Throughout mankind’s history, and in many cultures, domesticated rabbits have been valuable source of food. The following is a list of the Top 10 Benefits To Raising Meat Rabbits:
1. Rabbits are one of the most productive and economical livestock available. One rabbit can produce 6 lbs of meat on the same amount of feed and water that a cow produces only 1 lbs of meat. Think about that for a minute…600% more efficient than beef! The only livestock animal that can out produce the rabbit in terms of turning feed into meat is the chicken due to egg production.
2. Rabbit are prolific breeders. Because rabbits are prey animals; an animal that provides food for the higher level predators, they are biologically hard wired to be prolific breeders. Let’s face it, a rabbit’s primary functions in nature are to make babies and get eaten. Female rabbits are fertile 365 days a year unless environmental stress causes them to temporarily become infertile. Their gestation period is about 28 days, and a female rabbit can become impregnated again within 24 hours of giving birth.
3. Rabbits mature quickly. Again, genetically rabbits are hard wired to grow quickly. Baby rabbits, known as kits, wean at about 4 weeks. It only takes about 8 weeks for a rabbit to reach butchering weight. All this means that under an intensive and highly managed breeding program, a buck (the male rabbit) and 2 does (the female rabbit) can produce enough kits to give you almost 300lbs of meat a year.
4. Rabbits take up a relatively small footprint. Depending on the size of the breed, adult rabbits only need from 1.5 to 5 sq ft of space, each. Typical meat breeds need from 3-4 sq ft to be productive. Because of this small foot print, many rabbits can be raised in a given space that larger livestock, like say cows, pigs, or goats.
5. Rabbits can be raised where other livestock can’t. Even though there is a nationwide movement in the US, there are many places where raising livestock is prohibited, or highly regulated. Because of the small foot print and zoning laws in many municipalities, rabbits can be raised where other livestock can’t. Often rabbits are allowed even in places that ban chickens. Except if caught by a predator a rabbit is nearly silent…no noises to bother the neighbors into calling the authorities. If I was unlucky enough to live in a town that didn’t allow me to raise meat rabbits, I might just have to have a few rabbits as ‘pets’ and because they are also relatively clean, so they don’t generally raise any red flags with neighbors or city officials.
6. Compost. Rabbit create a prolific amount of poop. This by product is excellent for composting as it is high in nitrates. Composted properly you are left with high quality amendment that can be used in your garden, or sold to others.
Production Bonus Benefit: Raising Rabbits With Children. Home rabbit production provides an additional benefit to those with young children. By including your children in the rabbit production process your kids should come away with a greater appreciation of what it takes to put meat on the table and the fact that meat doesn’t really come from a Styrofoam package.
7. Rabbit meat is high in protein. In fact, out of all the readily available protein sources (store bought and farm raised), rabbit meat has the highest percentage of protein. A 3oz serving of rabbit contains about 24.7 grams of protein. The proteins in rabbit meat are also easily digestible.
8. Rabbit Meat is very lean. Rabbits do have fat, but unlike beef and other livestock, the fat is not distributed throughout the muscle but is primarily deposited around it’s internal organs. In fact, a 3oz serving of rabbit meat contains about 6.8 grams of fat which is about 1/3 of the fat that you’d find in a comparable serving of beef. Because of this, there is actually a risk of starvation if you eat nothing but rabbit meat but as part of a well rounded diet it’s a very lean, healthy protein.
9. Rabbit meat is low in cholesterol. If you suffer from elevated cholesterol, rabbit meat is a good alternative to other protein sources. 3oz of rabbit meat contains about 70mg of cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommend no more than 300mg a day, and no more that 200 if you already suffer from heart disease.
10. Rabbit meat has a very mild flavor. Unlike beef, rabbit meat does not have a strong flavor. This means that it makes a very good canvas for other flavors in the dish, much the same way chicken does. This makes rabbit meat a very versatile food to cook with.
Culinary Bonus Benefit: Rabbits have a high meat to bone ratio. Meat rabbit breeds have been developed to yield a high meat to bone ratio. This means that there is more edible meat on the carcass of a butchered meat than can even be achieved with chickens. A live 5lbs rabbit will dress out at about 3lbs.
I have been raising rabbits for meat production for about 5 years. I have learned a lot along the way. There is something fulfilling about knowing exactly where my food has come from and what is in it. I’ve also gotten a lot of enjoyment out of the process. I enjoy going out and spending time with my rabbits. My family makes fun on me, because I talk to them and interact with them but just because a creature is livestock doesn’t mean that it should be treated as, well…livestock.
While rabbit isn’t on the daily menu for most of us here in the U.S., rabbit recipes abound especially in the culinary traditions of Northern Italy and France. If you can’t find a rabbit specific recipe that sounds good to you, do not fret. Because of it’s versatility, you can substitute rabbit in many recipes that call for chicken. Low (temp) and slow (time) are the watch words when cooking rabbit.
I’ve gained a lot of perspective while raising rabbits both on my family’s nutritional needs and the mechanisms we use to fulfill those needs. When raising my rabbits, I endevour to provide them with a healthy and happy existence before they are butchered, dispatch the animal humanely and utilize as much of the rabbit as possible. The rabbits we consume are making the ultimate sacrifice for me and my family, and it is the least I can do for them. If you are looking for an alternative source of meat, during the good times, as well as the bad, raising rabbits is something you should seriously consider.
Providing better nutrition is always a concern, even in the best of times. In a SHTF scenario, it can literally mean the difference between life and death. Food security/preparedness is one of the 10 tenants of the Full Spectrum Preparedness Doctrine, and providing better nutrition is a key component of that. In the interests of helping you improve your food preparedness and security through good times and bad, Prepography presents the Top 10 Thoughts for Better SHTF Nutrition:
1. Think Chicken & Eggs – It doesn’t matter which came first as Chickens provide the cheapest animal protein, pound for pound, to produce. Their meat is low-fat, and high in nutrients. They also produce eggs, which provide additional nutritional benefits. Chicken meat and eggs can be prepared a variety of ways for consumption and storage. Even egg shells can be boiled and finely ground then added to food for additional protein.
2. Think With Your Guts – Actually, think about guts. Liver, kidneys, hearts and even blood are can be very nutritious. Many people turn their noses up at them for a variety of reasons and liver was considered to be dog food until the Great Depression but there are many ways to prepare them to make delicious meals. One of the axioms in food prepping is that if you don’t eat it normally you won’t eat it in times of crisis so give some of these other protein sources a try with the following recipes.
3. Think Beans, Peas, Lentils And Other Legumes – These provide a good, inexpensive source of protein. That’s why legumes are a key staple in most Preppers’ pantries. Not only are these inexpensive to buy but they are easily purchased in bulk quantities and if properly packaged they can last for decades. Also, don’t forget include legumes in your garden. They are easily grown and help fix nitrogen in the soil for the benefit of subsequent and companion plantings.
4. Think Green Leafy Vegetables – Kermit the Frog is famous for quipping “it’s not easy being green” but it also isn’t easy staying healthy without your greens. Green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin A, iron and other essential minerals. These veggies promote good vision, support regulating genes, help maintain healthy skin, enhance the immune system and help produce red blood cells. Eat lots of green leafy vegetables to ward off vitamin A deficiency which can cause impaired vision and increases susceptibility to infectious diseases.
5. Think Corny – Unprocessed corn (maize) is deficient in niacin, which is problematic when corn is used as a staple food in a diet. Soaking unprocessed corn in pickling lime, aka nixtamalizing, provides better nutrition by freeing up Vitamin B3 and reducing mycotoxins (a type of fungus that can be dangerous). Additionally, nixtamalized corn is more easily ground and has a better aroma.
6. Think Whole Grains – Rice, wheat and other grains are more nutritious without the outer husk removed. They are important sources of nutrients, minerals and dietary fiber. Whole grains can also help with reducing the risk of heart disease, gastric problems, weight management, and can help during pregnancy and fetal development. Since whole grains are less processed than other grains they also tend to be less expensive.
7. Think About How You Cook Your Food – Boiling meats and vegetables removes nutrients, decreasing their nutritional value. Steaming is a great alternative to boiling vegetables but if you must boil a food, use as little water as necessary and drink the water you used to recoup some of your lost nutrients.
8. Think About Wild Fruits, Berries & Nuts – Foraging for wild fruits and berries can provide you with a rich source of vitamin C and sugars. While this is a very seasonal method of finding a low-cost foods, it is a very good one and there are preservation methods to store your harvest. Nuts are a great source of protein that typically don’t take much energy to acquire. In addition to improving your nutrition, nuts, fruits and berries also provide variety to your diet and fruits and berries can be surprisingly satisfying to your sweet tooth if it hasn’t been spoiled recently by processed sugars.
9. Think Like An Iron Man – If you find yourself eating a diet deficient in iron, find ways to add iron back in like cooking your meal on/in cast iron. Some folks have gone to very creative, sometimes dangerous extremes to add iron to their diet by doing thinks like adding a horseshoe to the bottom of a non-iron cook pot or placing iron nails into water enhanced with citrus (acidic) squeezings to leach the iron out of the nails…this isn’t a recommended technique for obvious reasons.
10. Think Like a Baby – Baby food is nutritionally dense, well-balanced, portable and has a long shelf life. Adults and children of all ages can benefit from these foods if they can be purchased affordably. These also make a safer diet to use for a member of your group who has become ill and is unable to eat rougher foods. Mix with cereals or other ‘gruels’ as your invalid becomes more robust.
Bonus 1: Think About Your First Meal – Studies have shown that breast milk will help protect babies from a long list on illnesses. Additionally, it helps babies from developing allergies. In times of crisis, breast-feeding my also be the only option for providing proper nutrition for newborns and toddlers. If yours is a formula family…consider this more natural alternative.
Bonus 2: Think about Cassava Leaves – If your environment is tropical or subtropical think cassava. Young cassava leaves provide good nutrition due to high content of protein, minerals and vitamins. They can contain up to 7 times the protein as other vegetables. In addition to reportedly increasing stamina, they also contain vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin C, calcium, calories, phosphorus, protein, fat, carbohydrate and iron. Used as herbal medicine they are said to aid or relieve rheumatism, headache, fever, fester and diarrhea.
It bears repeating, at this point, that your brain is the most important tool in your preparedness and survival inventory. Creating and executing a proper nutritional plan is key to living a long and healthy life. The ideas listed above should not be looked on solely as emergency options. They should be looked at as practical, everyday ideas that can be integrated into your daily diet as well as your preparations. Not giving consideration to your nutritional needs as you develop your supplies could easily lead you to be missing key ingredients or components. Even if you are able to scavenge some of what is needed above, chances are it will be of inferior quality, or you will be fighting others for a limited resource. Plan and lay in your supplies now for better nutrition later and so that when the SHTF you aren’t left wanting and searching for other options.
As the mainstream media positively salivates over the anticipated civil unrest and rioting that’s expected following the release of the dual Grand Jury investigation and Department of Justice investigations that are expected to exonerate Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, a teenager of African decent we thought it might be a good idea to review tips on prepping for riots and civil unrest. According to a knowledgeable multi-juristictional law enforcement analyst the law enforcement community is more concerned about the aftermath of the Ferguson shooting information release than any event since 9/11.
A riot or period of riots/civil unrest is best avoided and the Prepping for Riots and Civil Unrest tips below should help you avoid or if necessary safely escape a dangerous situation.
I hope you never find yourself in a riot but if you do…I hope Prepping For Riots & Civil Unrest helps get you out safely.
Winterizing your garden for winter is a hot topic these days. In fact there are a slew of on-line articles coming out right on the subject and it is an important step in making sure you have a healthy, vibrant garden come spring time. The time and effort spent in the late fall/early winter in preparing your garden for winter will pay huge dividends come spring planting and harvest time. We’ve already had our first hard frost here at Grumpy Acres, so we may be a little late to the party but like the old adage says, though, “better late than never” and we have a unique take that we call the 10 Tips To Winterize Your Garden:
1) Prune: Trim back perennial plants, that’s a plant that lives for 2 or more years, to just above the soil with the pruning shears. Pruning back like this promotes a healthier plant come spring time, and improves the appearance of winter beds. Discard or compost the plant refuse.
2) Harvest: Harvest remaining frost-sensitive vegetables, before the first frost. Eat and store the edible food, and compost or discard the rest. Unripe tomatoes can be picked ahead of the frost and put in brown paper bags to ripen.
3 ) Pull Up: Pull up annual vegetable plants from the soil. Remove the entire plant, including the root system. Put healthy plants, which are free of insect infestation in your compost bin. Throw away any plants that have insects or are diseased.
4) Clean Up: Rake up leaves as part of general yard clean up. Dead and decaying leaves will smother your grass over the winter. By removing them you’ll end up with a healthier, greener lawn come spring time. Add them to your compost pile for use in the spring by your garden or shred them and use as mulch on your garden beds.
5 ) Mulch: Mulch any vegetables that are hardy enough to produce during colder temps; such as carrots, beets, parsnips and onions. Cover them with about 8 inches of mulch. These types of vegetables will keep producing well in to the winter if you keep them insulated.
6) Put Perennials To Sleep: Put perennials to sleep by mulching any perennial vegetables that will go dormant over the winter such as asparagus. Apply 2 to 4 inches of mulch to cover the plant crowns and the surrounding soil.
7) Cultivate: Cultivate the soil to a depth of about 6 inches. A spade, or rototiller will do the job. Cultivating before winter sets in will help aerate the soil and keep it from becoming too compacted.
8) Fertilize: Add fertilizer, if you use it to augment your compost. Putting it down in the winter will allow it to soak deep in to the soil, which will allow for better usage by your spring plants.
9) Compost: Spread a 2-inch layer of compost over the garden by raking it evenly into the soil. This will not only help protect the soil it will also add valuable nutrients to the soil which will feed you plants next spring.
10) Protect: Put barriers up to protect shrubs or young trees. Heavy snow can damage young trees and shrubs. Barriers that will keep snow from building up on them will help them survive the winter. Barriers and such will also help keep deer and other animals from eating them as they search for food in the winter.
11) Put Away: Do a general clean up of your garden, yard or homestead. Tools and equipment that won’t be used over the winter should be put away and moved to a shed or protected area. Finding something when the snow falls and everything is covered can be hard; even dangerous. If you need to find something in winter, move it now.
Food security, assuring continuous access to quality food, is an ongoing or rising concern for many people. Rising food prices, political instability, and the possibility of widespread disruptions to a fragile supply chain are justifiable causes for this concern. Since a majority of the people on the planet live in or near large metropolitan areas and the suburbs that surround them how does one approach the problem of assuring their family’s food security on a suburban lot?
One of the easiest and most common way to get started taking control of your family’s food security on your suburban lot is to raise a garden. Gardening is scalable to the size of your lot as well as your abilities. On the small side you can raise edible plants in containers to reduce your food bill. On the larger and more aggressive scale, you can use perma-culture techniques to raise 1,000’s of pounds of food every year in just a quarter acre. Some preppers, gardeners and permaculture enthusiasts have even been able to completely do away with trips to the grocery store for fruits and veggies all together…preparedness is a renewable food supply!
Unfortunately many municipalities have regulations limiting the size of gardens or where a garden can be located on your lot. if that’s the case or you’re just interested in something more aesthetically pleasing check out our second tip…Edible Landscaping.
Edible landscaping is a permaculture idea that is really taking off. Instead of planting purely decorative plant in flower beds around your home, you can plant edibles. The flowers on many edible plants are just as varied and beautiful as decorative perennials and annuals. The kicker is they produce healthy and nutritious items that go a long way in providing food security on your suburban lot. Another benefit of edible landscaping is that it’s less noticeable than a traditional garden giving you your own stealth food source.
Food security on your suburban lot does not just entail food. It also includes the water necessary to grow and raise that food. Even in arid climates a moderate rainfall can produce thousands of gallons of water pouring off the typical suburban rooftop. Most homeowners lose this water to the lawn or down the storm sewer. Building a water catchment system will capture that water for your use. Most of it will go on to your garden but in an emergency it can be purified for drinking and hygiene. For around $125 USD, you can build a rain catchment system that will hold well over 200 gallons a precious water.
Many suburban localities are beginning to amend local ordinances to allow people to keep small livestock on their property. Chickens and rabbits are the most common small breeds which are helping more and more people towards food security on a suburban lot but some cultures consider other animals like guinea pigs to be suitable for livestock. They can provide your family with much-needed protein and are a healthier and less expensive alternative to store-bought meat. As an example, a single rabbit buck, and three doe’s can produce over 190 pounds of meat every year, for just pennies on the pound.
Food security on your suburban lot can also be pursued by rasing fish, also known as aquaculture. Many people stock their fish ponds with edible species, instead of decorative ones but virtually all freshwater fish are edible. Perch, carp and catfish are popular in the more temperate climates. Tilapia is a favorite in more tropical climes but is likely regulated as an ‘invasive species’ so make sure you know the requirements. Think you can’t raise fish because you don’t have a pond…think again, fish can be raised in disused swimming pools, or even drums and tanks.
Aquaponics is the fusion of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (raising plants in a liquid medium). It is a system where the fish waste provides nutrients to the plants. The plants in turn clean waste harmful to the fish out of the water. It is a very symbiotic system. Done properly plants raised this way grow faster and produce more fruit than plants grown traditionally. Start up costs can be expensive but the pay off is well worth it. Aquaponics is another great way to build food security on your suburban lot. When building your system make sure to build one that isn’t reliant on electric power or develop a backup power source.
Andrew’s Note: In my own aquaponics experiments I found plant growth within the system to be three times the growth and vegetable output in my control group.
Even the traditional lawn which most homes still have produces a lot of waste in the form of grass clippings, leaves and branches. Suburbanites generally take this waste, stuff it in bags and set it by the curb for the garbage man. The suburban kitchen, gardening and raising small livestock also produce a great deal of waste. Instead of sending all this waste to the landfill you can compost it. Composting is the process of managed decomposition of organic matter. Compost provides fantastic organic fertilizer for your garden. Additionally, if you have chickens they can pick over the pile for bugs and food scraps, and rabbits love grass clippings and leaves. If you want food security on a suburban lot, composting is one thing you must do.
Beekeeping, also known as apiculture is a very specialized way to move towards food security on your suburban lot. The benefits of apiculture are two-fold. First it will provide your family honey that is not only delicious, but healthy as well. It is a product that will literally last for 1,000s of years. Locally raised honey has also been shown to help people suppress allergies. The other benefit is that as the bees search for food, they will pollinate your garden, making it much more healthy and productive.
The average American household throws away about 25% of its food. That is prepackaged, processed and store-bought staples, produce and meats. Home grown and home raised foods will spoil quicker because they do not contain all the added preservatives. That is a lot of healthy food going to waste. After you’ve reached a higher level of food security on your suburban lot you must now preserve it for storage. Learn how to can foods, study root cellaring, buy a dehydrator and a vacuum seal system for even longer term storage options. Organize your pantry with a can rotator. You can also learn how to smoke and preserve your own meats. There are so many food preservation and storage options available to help you keep the fruits of your labor edible longer. Try to learn, and practice them all.
If you have done any, or all of the first 9 suggestions for food security on your suburban lot and you have been diligent, chances are you’ll have more than you can eat. Use that excess to your advantage. You can sell it at a farmers market, making a bit of cash to offset your expenses. You can barter with others to get food items you can’t raise or items you may need or you can give it away. You may gain absolute nothing materially from this last act but in the long run you’ll be building family and community ties that may come in handy in the future.
‘ Be prepared!’ isn’t just for Scouts and campers. The Top 10 Camping Essentials is a good read for Preppers too.
ScoutMasterCG.com has developed a neat infographic on the Top 10 Fire Starters…really ten fire starting techniques and tools that should be combined to cook that food, purify that water or warm up that shelter.
Recently I talked with a fellow Prepper who was positively giddy over the purchase of his new ghillie suit. I held my tongue, for once, but all I could think of was the “10 Ways Your Ghillie Suit Will Get You Killed” if you try to play sniper.
Now, there’s no doubt that in the right hands a Ghillie suit is a phenomenal piece of kit but like many types of military tech, this particular piece of kit is better suited to use within a military campaign than a Preppers storehouse or bug out bag. That may seem like a strange thing for me to say…as I often talk about the use of or adaptation of military techniques or technology to the Prepper’s use, but this is one piece of kit that you should carefully before including in your preparations. Now, if your reason for wanting a Ghillie suit is to improve your hunting odds and that’s all you’re going to do with it than only some of these cautionary statements will apply to you and you can probably safely look like a big bush while out hunting.
If you’re not familiar with the term ‘Ghillie Suit’ it’s used to describe a type of camouflage over-garment designed to make a person blend in with heavy foliage. These suits were reportedly first used by Scottish units in British service during the Second Boer War and have earned their place on the battlefield, in the hands of highly trained and specialized soldiers.
Depending on the situation, environment and wearer I find Ghillie suits amazing, cool, ridiculous or comical…and sometimes the wearer just looks like some kind of sasquatch wanna-be. Now if you’re a school trained sniper with a trusty spotter and the discipline to take a half day moving fifty feet while adapting your suit on the move to match the foliage you travel through… keep in mind that this article isn’t meant for you…it’s meant for the rest of us… the amateurs who haven’t developed the skills, discipline and team that it takes to properly use this particular military tool.
A Ghillie suit is a great piece of military tech in the right hands but there are much better ways to spend time and money for the typical Prepper. If you want to dress up like a bush and go hunting…more power to you…that’s what the Scots used their Ghillie suits for before they headed to South Africa but leave the military/security use of the Ghillie suit to the trained professionals. I imagine there are more than 10 ways your ghillie suit will get you killed but these are the ones that came to mind. If you decide not to take my advice and want to get giddy over your own Ghillie suit… at least make your own!
Prepography‘s Firearms Editor, Infidel was kind enough to comment on an advanced draft of this article:
You are spot on. As you change environments, you need to change the suit and whatever vegitation you put on it. Just going 100 yards may make you stand out. I almost took first place in stalking at the FBI sniper course. 60% of the class had brand new ghillie suits. The others had standard military bdu, or marine corp stuff. Not me. I had a badly faded bdu top, bdu bottom, desert boots, a turkey hunting face mask and mesh gloves. All the guys that had ghillies, got busted because they came out of woods into a field and stuck out like a sore thumb. Using the terrain to mask myself instead of going straight in and using the previous paths of other snipers let me get within 60 yards of the objective…an easy shot but that would have neen dangerous in real life. So my point is be a sneeky mother*****r and you’ll be successful without the suit. Use terrain masking, bushes and large clumps of weeds instead.