Sep 15, 2021

Preparedness 8.0/ Independence Days Challenge


Dehydrating spinach
Preparedness 8.0-
Autumn is in the air! It was 45 degrees this morning, nice and cool. Days are getting quite a bit shorter. I'm ready for fall after the 100-degree record-setting days that we had this summer. I've been watching quite a few different social media platforms in different areas of the country. Most everybody is seeing slow but steady shortages of foods and rising gas prices. I'm doing a few things here and there steadily. As someone said before "there's no downside to preparedness". I did hear recently that there is probably gong to be a paper shortage (if there isn't already) due to wood pulp material prices, up 50% over the last year. If you need paper supplies you might want to stock up now when prices are lower. 

I've been looking at more simple recipes for in the future. It's good to have foods like beans and rice on hand, they store a long time, and easy to switch up the flavor. Cheap too! One of the things to think about with preparedness is seasonings! I decided to start a spice basket, since I had an empty one. While I have lots of spices in my kitchen I don't really have any extras. I'm really lucky we live right near a WinCo store and they have a huge bulk section. So I decided to start stocking up and it is so cheap it's crazy! I decided to reuse some recycle glass jars with some canning labels-

bulk-  peppercorns, dill, cinnamon and onion powder

Great for meat and fish! 

Big container

I started thinking about what spices I use a lot of and for me it's oregano, thyme, basil, garlic, onion powder, Dill, peppercorns, and salt of course. This will stay near my pantry in the extra bedroom. Buying bulk spices is a really great way to save a lot of money and they're usually fresher!!!
We bought two extra bags of feed for the chickens and two bales of pine shavings for the coop. That should last us for quite a few months ongoing. Luckily our feed is made locally but there's never any guarantee of what their production will be.

Independence Days Challenge-
Here's the recent doings....

1. Plant Something-

Wrong time of the year we are in harvest mode. Too warm for fall crops. I may start growing microgreens indoors this winter.


2. Harvest Something-

We've been getting a nice steady supply of tomatoes, several kinds, eggs, cucumbers, peppers. I also have tons of Basil I'll be making pesto soon to freeze. Ready to freeze more eggs! 

Lovely apples! 

3. Preserve/Store Something-
I have canned pears, we had a smaller harvest, we think someone stole some. I only canned six Qts, since we had to save some jars for the peaches. Luckily we have seven Qts from last year. We like them fresh too, super sweet and juicy-

Fresh on the dining table! 

Froze apples slices too for baking. Will be canning some of the frozen peaches soon. We have several one-gallon bags of frozen rhubarb, I will turn into rhubarb sauce and can. I've frozen extra meats recently, like chicken breasts on sale and breads. I'll be making some fermented Curtido slaw soon. I love that stuff! For dehydrating I bought frozen spinach, frozen broccoli and blueberries. I learned you can save a lot of labor (since I don't grow those) by buying frozen, thaw, then dry. Little to no prep!  


I bought some Auguson Farms pancake mix, $8.00 right now, on Amazon. That will be for more long-term storage (freeze dried). I also bought some local pancake mix for using sooner. I'm hoping if the weather holds and the tomatoes ripen I may have enough to can, fingers crossed. I usually freeze them. 


4. Manage Reserves- Get a Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep-

I have been buying things I think may be in short supply in the not-too-distant future. I bought some holiday gifts. This is also where it's really good to do just an inventory of what's in your house that you might not be able to find later. What about dental floss? Toothpaste? Pet food? I bought some cheeses to freeze and a bag of Masa to make tortillas. Got to have cheese for the winter on top of soups and tacos. Also bought some mushrooms, dried and canned, those kinds of things are really good to flavor foods. They don't cost a lot of money, 50 cents a can and $4.00 for a bag of dehydrated (Natural Grocers).  Fresh mushrooms have a short shelf life. I had a yearly credit from REI, I bought some water purification tabs, just in case-

Got a big bag of Ricola cough drops at Costco, peanut butter powder, and smart wool socks for me!  I found two gallon buckets with lids (food grade) at Winco for $4.00, a rectangular one for $3.00, bought one of each. They are twice that at Amazon. Sugar will go into one of them-

has gasketed lid


5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipe-

I'm going to be trying some new bread recipes soon once all of the fruit is done being processed and I can catch my breath. I decided to get back into bread-making, some to save money, but also gain more expertise. Made my fave summer sandwich Sara Moulton Catfish BLT with home grown tomatoes! 

6. Build Community Food Systems-

We've been sharing eggs and pickles with our kids and haven't gone to the farmers market for a while. Might go again soon,  we'd love to get some pumpkins!


7. Recycle/Re-Use-

We use some of my glass jars I saved from some olives last year for my spice basket. Also using some small canning jars for those spices as well. We got several free ornamental grasses (1 gallon) from a local nursery. They were looking a little bit beat up, 75% off. When we decided to add a few more flowers to our front yard the sale person gifted us four grasses! Free, ka-ching! 


8. Skill Up-

Definitely learned a lot about food storage last few months, an interesting process. Do you use Mylar bags? Do you use oxygen absorbers? What do you never want to use oxygen absorbers on, like sugar? Thanks YouTube, now I know.

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something-

Fixed up my semi-broken birdhouse I got from the thrift store, came out pretty cute! 

Love the prim stars on both sides

Cute tin roof

Fixed a part of our front driveway area that was pretty beat-up looking with some sick shrubs. More photos coming. 


  1. Wow you've been very busy and productive. Love those storage bins you picked up what a great ideas. I to have stocked up on cat dog and chicken feed. Would be hard for them especially the cat we could eat almost anything. Even the dog cat not so much. Lots of good ideas here. The birdhouse is very cute. Enjoy your day.

    1. Thanks Judy! I really do love WinCo they have lots of great stuff. We did buy two extra bags of chicken feed as well with winter coming out or not too far down the line. Also bought a couple totes of pine shavings for the coop

  2. Nancy, I'm so impressed with your canning and preserving! I just posted about drying a few pounds of extra figs—I'm strictly small-scale! :D Your post is very helpful because I've just been looking at some storage containers and you've cleared up some of my questions.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and Gene! Great idea to try some figs. Glad to help on the storage containers it's always interesting to see what you can find around. Happy preserving!


Thanks for dropping by, and leaving a comment!