Pallet Wood Projects

5 Minute Pallet Table

Grumpy G’s 5 Min Pallet Table

Frequent Prepography contributor Grumpy G is nothing less than a pallet aficionado and has had me taking a second look at pallet wood as a low cost resource for building pallet wood projects.

I’d previously dismissed this abundant and low cost building material from an outdated worry surrounding introducing toxic chemicals into my immediate environment.  I can still hear one of my sergeants yelling at then Private Jackson…”Jackson, take that damned pallet off the fire, don’t you know they’re treated with toxic chemicals!”

Grumpy G and others over the years have shared pallet wood project stories with me and I’ve been concerned with their safety but have had my concerns brushed off by those in the know…that doesn’t mean every pallet is safe to build from (or burn nearby) but some of them certainly are and you can find out which ones by reading this short article from Instructibles or this article for expanded information.

Pallet Rabbit Hutch

Grumpy G’s Pallet Project Rabbit Hutch

…anyway, on to the purpose of this note to our readers…Grumpy G has shared a cool website with me called 1001 Pallets but would more appropriately be titled 1001 Pallet Wood Projects.  It’s a great place to view the possibilities for this most humble of recyclable materials.  You can see pictures of pallet wood projects for the garden, the workplace, the home or anyplace else you can imagine…check it out.

Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables

An Introduction To Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables

Dehydrating store brand frozen vegetables is a quick and easy way of creating inexpensive long term preps. They are less expensive than freeze dried, or prepared dehydrated vegetables and they are quicker and easier to prepare than fresh vegetables. They also offer more flexibility in your preparation schedule as well as providing a good, uniform quality in the end product.   There are certainly some negatives to using them but the benefits outweigh the negatives by a wide margin.

The Cost Saving Of  Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables

Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen VegetablesAnyone on budget or is cost conscience knows that freeze dried or prepared dehydrated foods can be an expensive choice for long term food storage. Recently, an online store had #10 cans of freeze dried sweet corn on sale for $12.95. The suggested 23 servings per can cost $.56 apiece. That is on the low end, as regular prices can be upwards of 50% higher. In comparison, I recently bought all the store brand frozen veggies pictured to the left  for $.89 each, that’s five bags for just $4.45. Each bag contained ten servings, giving me a total of 50 servings. Broken down, that is $.09 a serving. Sometimes, you can even find store brand frozen veggies on sale for as low as $.69 each; driving the cost down even more.

Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables Gives You Flexibility

I think almost everyone would agree that eating preserved home grown vegetables is preferable to eating store bought. The problem is that once most vegetables are picked, you have a very narrow window to preserve them in before they go bad. For someone in a time crunch this could be an issue. You are also limited by the amount of your harvest. If you have small garden, you may not be able to raise the amount of vegetables it took to get the 50 servings in my example above. Store brand frozen vegetables, on the other hand can currently be purchased year round and stored in the freezer until you have time to prepare them. The only limiting factors to getting the best price is the timing of sales at whatever stores you frequent.

Ease Of Preparation When Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables

The prep steps for dehydrating store brand frozen vegetables are dead simple.  There is no planting and growing. There is no harvesting. There is no cleaning and prepping consists of just 2 steps . Getting them ready is as simple as opening the bag and spreading them out on your dehydrator trays.

Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables Give You A Quality End Product

From the time the your frozen vegetables hit your kitchen, you have complete control over the quality of your process.  Don’t become complacent because you’re working with mass produced vegetables…keep a clean kitchen and start with quality veggies and you’re likely to have a high quality end product.

The Cons Of Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables

Dehydrating store brand frozen vegetables does have some negatives. The biggest drawback is not knowing the source of the veggies used and all the associated concerns. If it came from your garden or a local farmer you can feel safe with the product. If it came from a big industrial farm through a multi-state or multi-country distribution system you don’t have such reassurances. Let’s be honest, for most people buying freeze dried or prepared dehydrated foods this isn’t a primary concern. If it were, they wouldn’t be buying foods from the store to begin with. The other concern about using store brand frozen vegetables is shelf life. Dehydrated foods don’t have the shelf life of freeze dried foods. Still, homemade dehydrated foods when packaged properly, can last 10 to 15 years. If done with exceptional care, they can last almost as long as their expensive freeze dried alternative. Even so, you should still rotate your food stocks to assure that you consume your foods while they still contain most of their nutritional content.

The End Bit On Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables

Dehydrating store brand frozen vegetables is not being put forward as a complete replacement for freeze dried or prepared dehydrated foods.  Some items can’t be exposed to the heat used by most dehydrators, while others just aren’t practical. Trying to properly dehydrate something like broccoli, for instance, seems daunting to me. I am not even sure you can do it, let alone do it at home. Even so, when you weigh the positives and the negatives I believe that dehydrating store brand frozen vegetables is an inexpensive, quick, and easy way to bulk up your long term food supplies.

Check back with Prepography later this week for my Top 10 Tips for Dehydrating Store Brand Frozen Vegetables.

Williams on Bogus Rights – Today’s Quote

The way our Constitution’s framers used the term, a right is something that exists simultaneously among people and imposes no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech, or freedom to travel, is something we all simultaneously possess. My right to free speech or freedom to travel imposes no obligation upon another except that of non-interference. In other words, my exercising my right to speech or travel requires absolutely nothing from you and in no way diminishes any of your rights.

Contrast that vision of a right to so-called rights to medical care, food or decent housing, independent of whether a person can pay. Those are not rights in the sense that free speech and freedom of travel are rights. If it is said that a person has rights to medical care, food and housing, and has no means of paying, how does he enjoy them? There’s no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy who provides them. You say, “The Congress provides for those rights.” Not quite. Congress does not have any resources of its very own. The only way Congress can give one American something is to first, through the use of intimidation, threats and coercion, take it from another American. So-called rights to medical care, food and decent housing impose an obligation on some other American who, through the tax code, must be denied his right to his earnings. In other words, when Congress gives one American a right to something he didn’t earn, it takes away the right of another American to something he did earn.

Dr. Walter E. Williams via Bogus rights

H Clinton on the National Debt – Today’s Quote

…our rising debt levels…poses a national security threat…. And it also sends a message of weakness internationally.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, September 8, 2010

Veterans Day Discounts 2012

Veterans Day is tomorrow.  Here’s a list of Veterans Day 2012 Discounts and Freebies available to U.S. Military veterans and service members: (more…)

Don’t Follow the Judas Goat – a Tax Commentary

A ‘Judas Goat’ is a goat trained to associate with other herd animals, primarily sheep or cattle and lead them to slaughter.  By following the Judas Goat the unsuspecting livestock calmly walk right up to their own demise.  When it comes to taxation, make sure that you don’t follow the Judas Goat!

I’m consistently amazed at the stupid things that celebrities say and the questionable causes they support.  Just look at how many celebrities have been hoodwinked by the extremist group PETA into endorsing their agenda and even posing naked to support it.  I understand the need to ‘make a difference’ in the world but do your homework folks!  The worst of these celebrity ’causes’ is the recent rash of celebrity ‘tax the rich’ and last year’s ‘support Occupy Wall Street’ celebrity endorsements.

These tax-increase celebrities remind me of that Judas Goat…with their expectation that we will be so star-struck that we calmly follow them into taxmeggeddon.  Even seemingly rational businessmen like Warren Buffet have chosen to play the Goat.  My only guess is that if you’ve accumulated all the wealth you’ll ever need than it’s worth it to deflect the animosity of the class envy by saying “no, really, I should be taxed more” or maybe the motivation is just guilt.

The problem with the Judas Goat is that his or her approach doesn’t lead to the Goat’s slaughter…just the rest of us.  If you really believe you should pay more taxes it’s easy to do…just look how hard most U.S. citizens work to keep their tax burdens manageable. (more…)

Powell on the National Debt – Today’s Quote

I don’t think the defense budget can be made…sacrosanct…. But the real money [is] in the entitlements, it’s Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid. And unless we do something about those, you can’t balance the budget.

Former Secretary of State, National Security Adviser and General (RET) Colin Powell, January 23, 2011

Fisher on Central Bankers – Today’s Quote

Nobody really knows what will work to get the economy back on course. And nobody-in fact, no central bank anywhere on the planet-has the experience of successfully navigating a return home from the place in which we now find ourselves. No central bank-not, at least, the Federal Reserve-has ever been on this cruise before.

Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher in a recent talk before a Harvard Club audience

Top 10 Preparedness Uses of Diatomaceous Earth

What is Diatomaceous Earth:

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is the fossilized remains of waterborne diatoms and algae.  DE is mined product…wonder if the job description is “fossil miner?”  DE has the consistency of and looks like an off-white version of baby or talcum powder.  DE is non-toxic and is sold in both food and non-food grades (see warning below about pool filter DE).  While DE is mammal safe (even to eat if food grade) wear a mask while handling it as you wouldn’t want DE to get into your lungs.  WARNING:  Don’t use DE sold as pool filter media for any other purpose as the silica count is too high and breathing this DE in particular could create health issues).

DE’s primary use is for organic, non-toxic pest control.  I discovered DE years ago as a heaven sent solution to keep my wife happy…you see she went back and forth on whether she hated the ants invading our house or the poisons I sprayed to keep the ants out more.  The product works by scratching up the exoskeleton of insects so that they dehydrate and die.  Here are the Top 10 ways to use (food grade and only food grade) DE:

  1. Grain Storage:  Food grade DE has been used for centuries to keep stored grain pest free.  According to Diatomite Canada the proper mix is 1 cup of food grade DE to 50 lbs of grain.  It can even be ground with the grain into meal or flour and you’ll never notice it in the final product (bread, muffins, cereal, etc.).
  1. Construction:  Any time I build a wall I spread a good amount of DE along the 2×4 base before closing up the drywall for permanent, non-toxic pest control.  If I have to open up a wall or repair drywall I dump in a few scoops as well.  We’re fortunate that we’ve never had a cockroach infestation…and I intend to keep it that way.
  2. Ant Barrier:  My favorite use is as an ant barrier because it keeps my wife happy…and if the wife is happy, everybody’s happy.  Simply sprinkle your DE around the foundation where you see the ants trooping in and your ant problems are over.  You will need to refresh the DE periodically…I just wait until I see the little ant scouts inside the house again.
  3. Gardening:  Keep pests away from your garden plants.  You can dust your garden plants and spread food grade DE around the plant bases to keep bugs and slugs off. (more…)

Top 10 Items to Buy Before The Election

The economic, environmental, religious and political stressors on society are compounding in ways not seen since at least the 1960’s.  These forces will have an affect on the prices (and likely the availability) of a number of the goods and commodities you use regularly as well as those important for preparedness.  Of course, the big elephant (or donkey) in the room is the upcoming U.S. presidential election.  I urge you to consider Prepography‘s Top 10 Items to Buy Before the Election: (more…)

« Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: