Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Seed Saving Is Neither Difficult Nor Complicated

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by Ken Jorgustin, Modern Survival Blog:

Seed saving is not difficult. The hardest part of seed saving is knowing when and how the particular crop produces seeds.

Some seed in the spring, some in the fall, some the 2nd year. Some have seed pods, some have fruit.

If seeds come from inside the edible fruit (like tomatoes, squash, and peaches), let one fruit ripen on the plant and harvest the seeds from that. This may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve lost track of how many times someone’s said “Wait, I can plant that?” The fruit will have to be fully ripe, so don’t try saving seeds from a soft, “edible” squash, for example. Many varieties of squash will be so hard when they’re ripe you may end up breaking them open with a sledgehammer, but by the time a tomato is ready to eat the seeds are fully ripe and can be harvested. Viability goes down considerably if seeds are harvested too soon.

Mature and immature squash from the same plant:

It’s best to let the seed fruits dry on the plant. If that’s not possible, harvest them at peak maturity and let them continue to ripen in a protected place.

Carefully separate the seeds from the flesh, but don’t worry about the fragility of the seeds—these seeds WANT to survive, and they’re hardened for abuse. Many can travel through the digestive system of an animal and come out unharmed, so a strainer and kitchen sink aren’t going to hurt them. If they seem unnecessarily fragile, you may have harvested too soon.

Clean and dry your seeds. They must be completely dry or you’ll get mold in storage. Some seeds, such as tomatoes, have a protective layer over the seed that keeps them from germinating, so cleaning is especially important with these. Keep your seeds in a cool, dry place to plant the next spring.

Harvest seeds from the best. Part of seed saving is making sure that your plants fill your needs for the foreseeable future, and not just for today, so you want to save the seeds that will pass on the best traits. Lack of pollination and insect damage aren’t desirable traits.

If you like the taste of one plant over another make that your seed plant. Mark it so you don’t accidentally harvest and eat your seeds. And yes, I have done that.  If you really don’t like the taste of another, cull it. A little privation of your favorite flavors now will assure those flavors will be available in future years. If one plant wilts in the morning sun while another stays strong, cull the weak and do not save seeds from it. If one plant turns yellow or doesn’t thrive under your conditions, pull it.

If seed longevity is your goal (as it should be for long term survival), wait a few years before you plant to make sure you harvest only from seeds that have that trait. If you want drought tolerance, plant in dry conditions and harvest seeds from the best that survive. Over time you should get plants and fruit that best suit your needs.

Of course, this implies that no other pollen is getting into your seed plants. If you plant more than one variety of the same species (such as 2 different kinds of summer squash), they’ll cross and you may get a hybrid the next year. If this isn’t desirable, consider only planting one variety each year–even if they are biennials and seed the next spring, only one will seed at a time.

For further isolation, such as for plants that have been approved for genetic modification, I make small bags of light gauze and yarn to put over the flowers. When I isolate in this way I pollinate with a paintbrush so I have complete control over which plants cross.

SEED SAVING

The following is basic information for a few of the more common garden plants. Longevity relies on storage and growing conditions.

SQUASH / MELONS

Male and female squash blossoms:

Read More @ ModernSurvivalBlog.com

Peasant Communities Survived On This Simple and Nutritious Food For Centuries

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by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

Peasant food, while simple and frugal, has been around for centuries – in every culture around the world. Using fresh roots, herbs, and foods available to them, households would whip up a soup the family could feast on for days. Soups such as pot-au-feu, minestrone, cawl, and Acquacotta would give the family sustenance during hard times. But why is this simple meal so nutritious?

The Health Benefits of Soup

During the winter months, one of the things we neglect is taking in an adequate amount of fluids.  This is understandable, as cold doesn’t make you feel thirsty the way hot weather does.  Nevertheless, the fluid dynamics and balance requirements are the same, and sometimes more: we expend more energy in the winter trying to stay warm.  Guess what?  We still need about a gallon of water per person, per day.

That being said, let’s discuss some facts of digestion.  Shunting is the term where, when you’re digesting, all of the blood in your periphery (arms, legs, and such) shunts inward to your thoracic cavity…where you’re actively digesting your food.  The term “food coma,” is a humorous description of lack of mental alertness while your body digests the meal.

Then again, we make it hard on ourselves.  The best time to eat a large, sit-down meal is for dinner when you’re able to be home and to digest your food and then turn in for the night.  During the day?  You’re running around and active…then you turn into a “stone” after that huge meal of chimichangas or gigantic beef brisket sandwich and fries.  Then you don’t understand why you feel as if you’ve been hit head-on by a train.

Take the Anguish (and guesswork) Out of It

Soup is a must from a dietary standpoint.  It is more easily digested, and the ingredients you need (protein and carbohydrates) are broken down faster without taxing your system as hard.  In addition, vital electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium) are more easily taken in.  In other articles, we discussed the thermogenic factor of food: how protein takes more energy to break down, but with greater return.  We also discussed how 10% of your intake is spent digesting the food.

Soups and broths make it easier on your body by giving you the nutrition you need in a form that is more easily digestible.  Do you remember that piece I did on the Thermos, and how it is worthwhile to pack your own lunch from a practical/economic standpoint?  There was more to it than dollars and cents.  You can give yourself the best of food, in a form that it is easier to handle.  Let’s talk about some steps to it…maybe I can give you some good ideas that you can use.

5 Tips for Making Soup as Nutrition-Packed as Possible

  1. If you’re going to buy your soups, then invest in high-quality material: organic, non-GMO, with some actual good statistics to it. Look for protein, look for your electrolytes, and stock up on these.
  2. Next, pick up some good meats…what is your favorite, in a high-quality (look for leanness, no additives, and organic if you can swing it financially. Grill them or broil them, and store them in your fridge. Here’s a tip: If you grill meat with garlic…as in fresh, sliced cloves, the garlic neutralizes cancer-causing agents in the meat that affect your colon…and garlic lowers your risk of colon cancer and stomach cancer substantially.
  3. Take your meats, chop them up nice and small…and add them to your soup, along with extra vegetables and herbs to your liking…such as onions, garlic, fresh carrots. Heat up your soup, and then add these after you’ve taken it off of a boil.  Throw it in your thermos.
  4. If you make your own? Stick with high-protein legumes, such as lentils, kidney beans, and such.  Legumes also lower cholesterol.  “Batch” up about 5 gallons at a time to make it cost-effective, break it down into quart containers, and freeze your excess.
  5. The Blender is your Buddy! Yes, you can go back to that article I wrote about using the blender to make that hamburger into a “puree,” then adding to the base, or just throwing it in some tomato juice.  Hi Ho Lycopene and Protein!  You’re only limitation is your imagination.

Not to mention the fact that if you’re packing it around with you, this decreases the travel time to obtain food, eat, and go back to the grind.  That thermos can be your best friend: pack it with good, reliable proteins, fluid, and electrolytes in the form of a hearty soup.  Who knows?  You might start a trend in your workplace.  Then after the winter, you will be able to start the spring in better shape, as eating healthy will prevent that transformation into the Michelin Man.  Bon Appetit, and stay in that good fight!

Read More @ ReadyNutrition.com

What Would Actually Happen In a Magnetic Pole Shift?

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

What would happen if the Earth’s magnetic poles literally flipped upside down? If north was south and south was north? Would it just be our compasses going awry or would this result in a catastrophic end for the citizens of Planet Earth? Would a pole shift be the end of humanity?

It depends on who you ask.

For example, the UK Daily Mail describes this horrific scene:

This sounds like the plot for a disaster movie: an invisible magnetic force-field that defends life on Earth against killer rays from space goes awry. Blasts of radiation destroy our satellite communications and bring the world’s electricity supplies crashing down.

Chaos reigns. Human cancer cases multiply as unshielded radiation from the sun devastates people’s DNA. Billions of creatures the world over die because their ability to migrate becomes fatally confused by changes in our planet’s magnetic field.

Ultimately, Earth’s atmosphere itself could be blown away by fierce solar winds, as happened long ago to our sister planet Mars when its magnetic field dissipated.

But hold the popcorn. This is not a sci-fi movie. Leading scientists warn that this may really happen, because of an imminent revolution at the Earth’s core. (source)

Meanwhile, Science 20 rebuts the doomsday scenario.

If we get a magnetic pole reversal, then from studies of previous reversals and modeling, the main risk is increased UV as a result of the ozone layer damaged by repeated solar storms. It would mean that you need to wear more sunblock cream on sunny days…

…The risks from solar storms are always present, whether it’s a magnetic reversal or not. The main risk of a solar storm is of GPS satellites glitching for hours, recovering once it is over – and of power cuts. We used to think that the power cuts could be severe and cost getting on for a trillion dollars and risk power cut for months or longer. 

However, the grid is more resilient than those early studies suggested. It is now thought to be similar to a major hurricane in effect, perhaps up to $100 billion in costs for the US and only local short-term power cuts…

…Some people get scared that it would lead to climate effects like ice melting at the poles, earthquakes, etc. This is a magnetic pole shift, not a geographical one. All that happens is that your compass starts to point in a different direction and eventually it points south instead of north. (source)

There are many signs that the poles are indeed going to flip.

When a pole shift occurs, it is a temporary phenomenon – it always shifts back. The problem is, we don’t know precisely when this will happen. But the signs that it is imminent are present.

Geophysicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado at Boulder noted that over the past 200 years the planet’s magnetic field has weakened by 15 percent, it can be a sign of the imminent geomagnetic inversion. (source)

EarthSky provides other clues about an impending shift.

What currently has geophysicists like us abuzz is the realization that the strength of Earth’s magnetic field has been decreasing for the last 160 years at an alarming rate. This collapse is centered in a huge expanse of the Southern Hemisphere, extending from Zimbabwe to Chile, known as the South Atlantic Anomaly. The magnetic field strength is so weak there that it’s a hazard for satellites that orbit above the region – the field no longer protects them from radiation which interferes with satellite electronics.

And the field is continuing to grow weaker, potentially portending even more dramatic events, including a global reversal of the magnetic poles. (source)

NASA is even more specific.

“The latest satellite data, from the European Space Agency’s Swarm trio, which began reporting in 2014, show that the battle is raging at the edge of the core.”

During the reversal, a magnetic field transforms into a weaker and more complex form. It can lose a tremendous amount of its present-day strength. Researchers claim that changes within the Earth have already weakened the field over the South Atlantic to such an extent that satellites in the region have experienced memory failure.

“The north magnetic pole is on the run, a sign of enhanced turbulence and unpredictability. A cabal in the Southern Hemisphere has already gained the upper hand over about a fifth of the Earth’s surface. A revolution is shaping up,’ reads the magazine.

“If these magnetic blocs gain enough strength and weaken the dipole, even more, they will force the north and south poles to switch places as they strive to regain supremacy. Scientists can’t say for sure that is happening now — the dipole could beat back the interlopers. But they can say that the phenomenon is intensifying and that they can’t rule out the possibility that a reversal is beginning.” (source)

When it does happen, it won’t be overnight. It could take 1000-2000 years for it to occur, which is good news. The shift would be gradual, which would give us time to adapt – and survive.

Precisely how gradual is it? According to NASA, “The magnetic north pole has been creeping northward – by more than 600 miles (1,100 km) – since the early 19th century, when explorers first located it precisely. It is moving faster now, actually, as scientists estimate the pole is migrating northward about 40 miles per year, as opposed to about 10 miles per year in the early 20th century.”

A pole shift has happened many times in the past.

Historically, pole shifts happen approximately every 200,000 years. The last pole shift was 780,000 years ago, so we’re quite overdue.

Reversals are the rule, not the exception. Earth has settled in the last 20 million years into a pattern of a pole reversal about every 200,000 to 300,000 years, although it has been more than twice that long since the last reversal. A reversal happens over hundreds or thousands of years, and it is not exactly a clean backflip. Magnetic fields morph and push and pull at one another, with multiple poles emerging at odd latitudes throughout the process. Scientists estimate reversals have happened at least hundreds of times over the past three billion years. And while reversals have happened more frequently in “recent” years, when dinosaurs walked Earth a reversal was more likely to happen only about every one million years.

Sediment cores taken from deep ocean floors can tell scientists about magnetic polarity shifts, providing a direct link between magnetic field activity and the fossil record. The Earth’s magnetic field determines the magnetization of lava as it is laid down on the ocean floor on either side of the Mid-Atlantic Rift where the North American and European continental plates are spreading apart. As the lava solidifies, it creates a record of the orientation of past magnetic fields much like a tape recorder records sound. The last time that Earth’s poles flipped in a major reversal was about 780,000 years ago, in what scientists call the Brunhes-Matuyama reversal. The fossil record shows no drastic changes in plant or animal life. Deep ocean sediment cores from this period also indicate no changes in glacial activity, based on the amount of oxygen isotopes in the cores. This is also proof that a polarity reversal would not affect the rotation axis of Earth, as the planet’s rotation axis tilt has a significant effect on climate and glaciation and any change would be evident in the glacial record. (source)

This wasn’t the only shift in our planet’s history.

A temporary reversal, the Laschamp event, occurred around 41,000 years ago and lasted less than 1,000 years with the actual change of polarity lasting around 250 years.

Our planet’s history includes at least several hundred global reversals, where north and south magnetic poles switch places, and take a weaker and more complex form that may fall to 10% of the present-day strength with magnetic poles at the equator, or even the simultaneous existence of multiple “north” and “south” magnetic poles.These geomagnetic reversals occur a few times every million years on average. However, the interval between reversals is very irregular and can range up to tens of millions of years. There can also be temporary and incomplete reversals, known as events and excursions, in which the magnetic poles move away from the geographic poles – perhaps even crossing the equator – before returning back to their original locations. (source)

How do you prep for a pole shift?

Like most epic disasters, prepping for a pole shift would be about the following:

  • Sufficient shelter (including shelter from a possible uptick in harmful solar rays.)
  • Food and a way to replenish it (growing indoors could be necessary)
  • The ability to live without power (similar to EMP preparedness)
  • A way to defend your supplies
  • A safe water supply

Read More @ TheOrganicPrepper.ca

Growing and Using Barley at Home

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by Tess Pennington, Ready Nutrition:

Barley is a high-yielding cereal grain that can be adapted to many parts of the homestead. It can be used as a tasty cereal, ground into flour, sprouted for super food, grown as fodder for livestock (which can save you lots of money when using homemade fodder in winter time), and last, but not least, grown for beer and different types of alcohol. One aspect of growing your own barley is that it doesn’t require a lot of water to grow and can be planted as a green manure to revitalize any overused soil.

The barley sold at Ready Gardens is an organic variety adapted for pearling, malting, and food grade. It has been grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, strictly adhering to the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) organic gardening practices.

Barley is rich in dietary fiber, niacin (Vitamin B3), thiamine (Vitamin B1), selenium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and copper. And it has all the nutritional value of wheatgrass. So it’s a healthy alternative and is easy to grow. As well, the high fiber content present in barley makes it a great digestive aid.

How to Grow Barley from Start to Finish

Barley prefers cool, dry growing areas and could easily be considered a cool season crop because it flourishes more in the Fall or Spring. It prefers growing in temperatures no higher than 55 degrees F. In fact, many prefer growing barley is the Fall because they see a higher production rate. This cereal crop is very adaptive in terms of where it is grown and can be sown in a container or in the ground.

One of the reasons people don’t grow barley is because they don’t know how much barley they need. To put it into perspective – 200 square feet of barley can get you 40 pounds at harvest time. That’s a lot of barley!

Growing

(40-50 days to ripen for harvest)

  1. Prepare garden beds with a rake to create small furrows or prepare garden containers.
  2. Scatter seeds on the ground or in a container. Aim for about one or two kernels per inch. Another way is to use a broadcast seeder, which has a hand crank and throws the seed in a twenty-foot cloud.
  3. After seeding, use a rake to rake in the grain, to get better soil contact and cover at least some of the seed. If you are using a container, use a hand leaf rake to get grain seed into the soil. The ideal depth for planting barley is 50-75 mm. Germination takes 3 days.
  4. Moisten the growing area until sprouts occur.
  5. Water as needed. Barley is fairly drought-resistant, so you don’t usually need to worry much about watering it if you are getting a reasonable amount of rain. If you experience an extended period without rain, water as needed.

Harvesting

There are three stages to look for when growing of barley:

  1. Milky: press on a grain and see milky liquid ooze out.
  2. Dough: liquid hardens inside the grain and the grain will show a dent when pinched.
  3. Mature: grain is hard and the heavy heads often bend forward.

When the barley grains begin to mature, it turns from green to a golden brown and is ready to harvest with milky liquid is not released. Cut the grains with pruning shears or a scythe near the base when most of the green color has turned brown and the seeds are hardening (no longer milky). As you cut the grain, lay it in bundles all going the same way, and then tie these into sheaths. When you have about eight or ten of these, stand them up into small piles with most standing up and a couple laid across the top. Leave these out in the sun and wind for one or two weeks to thoroughly ripen and dry. This reduces the chances of the barley molding in storage.

Threshing

Threshing the grains refers to separating the heads of the stalks from the stalk. This can be done three ways: rubbing with your hands, hitting the stalks with a wooden stick, or banging seed heads inside a clean metal trash can. We typically use the latter and bang the seed heads in a trash can.

Winnowing

The last step of harvesting barley is the winnowing process. Winnowing helps to blow away any impurities of the barley. The easiest way to winnow your harvested barley is by throwing it into the air and allowing the wind or a fan to blow away small particles.

Storing

Now that you have successfully harvested your barley, you want to ensure proper storage so it stays fresh. Keep your grain fresh when you store it below 60F, free from oxygen, moisture, and pests. You can do this by bagging and freezing it, or placing it in food-safe, airtight buckets along with oxygen-absorber packets.

Read More @ ReadyNutrition.com

Selco: The Reality of Barter and Trade in an SHTF Economy

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

Barter is a hot topic in prepper circles, so I thought we should ask someone who has a lot of real-world experience with trade in a dangerous situation.

If you don’t know Selco, he survived a year in Bosnia when his city was blockaded. Supplies were not allowed in or out, and residents were left without utilities and services. This interview is in his own words.

How quickly did people turn to barter once your city was locked down?

It was a matter of a few weeks.

Actually, for ordinary folks, it was a matter of few weeks because we did not get the new reality right at the beginning of everything.

Later when I remembered that period, I realized that even right at the beginning of SHTF there were people who did not want to take money for goods. They asked for valuables like gold, jewelry, or weapon for goods that they had.

Some of them were smart enough to realize that money was gonna become worthless really soon, and even gold and jewelry were only good in the first period, and then only if you had a connection to outside world to exchange it for something useful.

Ordinary folks needed few weeks. It was a process that went from buying goods with money, then buying goods from people who still wanted to take money (at outrages prices) to the moment when money was worthless, and only goods for goods were accepted.

It was rare, but sometimes you could find someone who would sell you something for foreign money but at the 20-50 times bigger prices.

For example if pack of cigarettes cost around 1,50 German Mark (outside of the war region) we could buy that pack for 40 German Marks.

US dollar and Canadian dollar had even worse value.

Obviously, people would accept that money had connection to the outside world, and some of them ended up as millionaires because of that.

Same ratio was for precious metals and jewelery.

For small and quick trades, the usual currency were cigarettes, because of the percentage of people that smoked.

Even values were expressed often like “Oh, that’s worth 10 cigarettes.” In other situations it was ammunition-bullets.

How were trade items valued? If someone wanted to make a trade, who set the terms?

Nothing was fixed.

Through the whole period, the value of goods went up and down based on a lot of things.

For example if a UN food convoy managed to enter the city and some local warlord (usually) took it all, and the majority of the food was cans of fish, you could count on the fact that that month those types of cans gonna be cheaper then the month before. Or if that day’s US airplanes managed to “hit“ with airdrops in our area then MREs were going to be bit cheaper to find.

Sometimes a simple rumor (planted by rival groups) for example about “poisoned“ cans of cookies meant that people did not valued it so highly anymore.

Some things did not change value too much during the whole period, like alcohol, simply because it was available.

Other things’ value was a matter of the situation.

For example, if you had a sick kid at home, and you needed antibiotic and you spread that word, you could expect high price simply because you give that information that you need something really hard and fast.

But usually, we knew the value of things (goods) for that week for example, at least approximately.

What were the general rules of trade during this time?

The value of things and trading “rules on the ground“ were similar to trade rules at normal life flea markets.

A few of those “rules on the ground“ during the trade were:

  1. If YOU need something then the price is going up. (Do not look like you desperately need something.)
  2. Do not offer all that you got in “one hand“ or on one try. (Do not go to trade with your best shots all together, it looks desperate, and you are losing all the advantage then.)
  3. Do not ever give a reason for someone to take the risk of attacking you because you have way too cool stuff (or way too much stuff) with you. (Have some amount of food, or ammo, or whatever, do another trade at another time with more of that. Remember people will take chances if they calculate it is a risk worth taking.)
  4. Never give info how much of the goods you actually have at home. ( The reason is same as above.)
  5. Never do trade at your home (unless you trust the person 100%) because you never know to who you are giving valuable information about how much you have, what your home look like, how many people are there (defense) etc.
  6. Doing the trade in other trader s home might mean that you are at his “playground“ (or he is stupid) so you are losing the edge. You are risking of being on unknown terrain. Always try to choose neutral ground somewhere that you can control the situation, giving the opponent the chance to feel safe. (But not safer than you).

It is most important that you understand when SHTF (for real) system is out, and only thing that protect you from losing everything is you.

Trade is gonna be a matter of carefully planning. It starts with information about who has something that you need, then checking that information, and rechecking, and then sending information to him that you want to trade, then setting the terms about the place and number of people where you’re gonna do the trade.

Usually, there was a rumor or information about who was safe to trade with. There was information about people who like to scam other people during the trade. If you did a good and fair trade with a man you could “save him“ as a safe trader (to some extent) for future trade.

Everything else is matter of trust and skills.

Maybe, just maybe, if you are living in some nice small town there is gonna be something like a market, where people freely gonna exchange their goods between each other.

I never saw anything like that because it needs some kind of system to back it.

Trade when SHTF is a high-risk situation simply because it is about resources, and there is no law, no system.

Are skills or products more valuable?

In the long run, skills were more valuable, simply because you can not “spend“ your skills.

If you had medical skills you could expect that people over the time (through the word on the street) will hear that, and that you simply will have opportunities to get something for that skill.

I pointed out in an earlier article that when a serious collapse happens, things fall apart around you fiscally, there are no services, so skills for “repairing“ were valuable, and so were technical skills.

Read More @ TheOrganicPrepper.ca

Selco: The Reality of Barter and Trade in an SHTF Economy

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by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

Barter is a hot topic in prepper circles, so I thought we should ask someone who has a lot of real-world experience with trade in a dangerous situation.

If you don’t know Selco, he survived a year in Bosnia when his city was blockaded. Supplies were not allowed in or out, and residents were left without utilities and services. This interview is in his own words.

How quickly did people turn to barter once your city was locked down?

It was a matter of a few weeks.

Actually, for ordinary folks, it was a matter of few weeks because we did not get the new reality right at the beginning of everything.

Later when I remembered that period, I realized that even right at the beginning of SHTF there were people who did not want to take money for goods. They asked for valuables like gold, jewelry, or weapon for goods that they had.

Some of them were smart enough to realize that money was gonna become worthless really soon, and even gold and jewelry were only good in the first period, and then only if you had a connection to outside world to exchange it for something useful.

Ordinary folks needed few weeks. It was a process that went from buying goods with money, then buying goods from people who still wanted to take money (at outrages prices) to the moment when money was worthless, and only goods for goods were accepted.

It was rare, but sometimes you could find someone who would sell you something for foreign money but at the 20-50 times bigger prices.

For example if pack of cigarettes cost around 1,50 German Mark (outside of the war region) we could buy that pack for 40 German Marks.

US dollar and Canadian dollar had even worse value.

Obviously, people would accept that money had connection to the outside world, and some of them ended up as millionaires because of that.

Same ratio was for precious metals and jewelery.

For small and quick trades, the usual currency were cigarettes, because of the percentage of people that smoked.

Even values were expressed often like “Oh, that’s worth 10 cigarettes.” In other situations it was ammunition-bullets.

How were trade items valued? If someone wanted to make a trade, who set the terms?

Nothing was fixed.

Through the whole period, the value of goods went up and down based on a lot of things.

For example if a UN food convoy managed to enter the city and some local warlord (usually) took it all, and the majority of the food was cans of fish, you could count on the fact that that month those types of cans gonna be cheaper then the month before. Or if that day’s US airplanes managed to “hit“ with airdrops in our area then MREs were going to be bit cheaper to find.

Sometimes a simple rumor (planted by rival groups) for example about “poisoned“ cans of cookies meant that people did not valued it so highly anymore.

Some things did not change value too much during the whole period, like alcohol, simply because it was available.

Other things’ value was a matter of the situation.

For example, if you had a sick kid at home, and you needed antibiotic and you spread that word, you could expect high price simply because you give that information that you need something really hard and fast.

But usually, we knew the value of things (goods) for that week for example, at least approximately.

What were the general rules of trade during this time?

The value of things and trading “rules on the ground“ were similar to trade rules at normal life flea markets.

A few of those “rules on the ground“ during the trade were:

  1. If YOU need something then the price is going up. (Do not look like you desperately need something.)
  2. Do not offer all that you got in “one hand“ or on one try. (Do not go to trade with your best shots all together, it looks desperate, and you are losing all the advantage then.)
  3. Do not ever give a reason for someone to take the risk of attacking you because you have way too cool stuff (or way too much stuff) with you. (Have some amount of food, or ammo, or whatever, do another trade at another time with more of that. Remember people will take chances if they calculate it is a risk worth taking.)
  4. Never give info how much of the goods you actually have at home. ( The reason is same as above.)
  5. Never do trade at your home (unless you trust the person 100%) because you never know to who you are giving valuable information about how much you have, what your home look like, how many people are there (defense) etc.
  6. Doing the trade in other trader s home might mean that you are at his “playground“ (or he is stupid) so you are losing the edge. You are risking of being on unknown terrain. Always try to choose neutral ground somewhere that you can control the situation, giving the opponent the chance to feel safe. (But not safer than you).

It is most important that you understand when SHTF (for real) system is out, and only thing that protect you from losing everything is you.

Trade is gonna be a matter of carefully planning. It starts with information about who has something that you need, then checking that information, and rechecking, and then sending information to him that you want to trade, then setting the terms about the place and number of people where you’re gonna do the trade.

Usually, there was a rumor or information about who was safe to trade with. There was information about people who like to scam other people during the trade. If you did a good and fair trade with a man you could “save him“ as a safe trader (to some extent) for future trade.

Everything else is matter of trust and skills.

Read More @ TheOrganicPrepper.ca

Prepping tip: How to hide your valuables in plain sight

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by Frances Bloomfield, Natural News:

Let’s face it: stashing away your valuables in a conventional safe just doesn’t cut it anymore. Burglars and home invaders know to make a beeline for big, metal safes to get the goods. So, how else can you hide your family heirlooms, your guns, and whatever else you hold near and dear to your heart? Fortunately, there are many places around your home where you can stash your most prized possessions, and here are some for you to consider. (h/t to BioPrepper.com)

  • Hidden doorway bookshelf: If your home is a bit on the large side, you should invest in a hidden doorway bookshelf. The extra space means that you can squirrel away a wide variety of supplies. You can even transform it into a secret panic room that nobody but you and your family knows about. Should you opt for a hidden doorway bookshelf, be sure to pick a style and color that will allow it to blend with the rest of your home décor.
  • Bed safe: As per the YouTube channel Survival Know How, a bed safe is a “must for any gun enthusiast who’s just running out of space to store his guns.” But far from just serving as a good spot to hide your guns, a bed safe is suitable for other valuables too. The size and durability of a bed safe deliver solid protection, while its location (under your bed, of course) offers superb camouflage. (Related: Prepper 101: How to find the perfect stash spot on your property)
  • Vent safe: Thieves rushing through your home won’t bother to open every vent to check if it’s a secret compartment. A vent safe is great for hiding a handful of personal items in plain sight. Wall vents and floor vents can be used for this purpose.
  • Outlet safe: Similar to a vent safe, nobody is going to go through the effort of checking every outlet. Although an outlet safe can’t hold as many possessions as other hidden safes, it’s relatively easy to install and is suitable for jewelry, keys, and small wads of money.
  • Floating shelf gun case: This is a must for people who want maximum security. The beauty of floating shelf gun cases is that they can be placed all around your house, and no one will be any wiser. You, on the other hand, can rest a little easier knowing that your most trusted guns are just a few feet away from your person at all times.
  • Wall clocks or picture frames: Simple yet effective, wall clocks and picture frames are great for hiding cash. Just put your money inside of an envelope and secure it behind the clock or picture frame of your choice with some tape.
  • Toilet water tank: Who’d ever think to look inside the toilet water tank for valuables? Most burglars won’t, and that makes this disgusting yet handy makeshift cache suitable for cash, precious metals, and even your important documents. Just remember to use a waterproof bottle or zipper bag. The last thing you want is to open up a case of waterlogged possessions.
  • DVD cases: Another decent place to stash your money or important documents, though this trick only works if you’ve got a “decent-sized DVD collection,” as ModernSurvivalOnline.com put it. Choose the most innocuous-looking DVD cases, such as those for documentaries or those for family videos. For extra security, you can glue the DVD case shut. Avoid positioning the case in the middle of your DVD row to make it less conspicuous.

Read More @ NaturalNews.com

What To Do and Not Do When a Pandemic Starts- Part 2

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from Survival Blog:

In part 1 of this article series, I explained the difference between a pandemic and an epidemic as well as virus transmissions. We also went through some basic biosecurity measures, including items to have on hand and how to use them, including some detail on various disinfectants. Now, let’s move forward in our discussion on dealing with pandemic-causes viruses.

Vaccination

Vaccinations have gotten a bad reputation, unfortunately due to the occurrence of some rare issues such as allergies to vaccines, autoimmune responses, et cetera and a whole lot of misinformation. Generally, if you had regular vaccinations, you might have some protection against any other flu, but it most likely will not be enough to prevent disease; however, it might give you a leg up in regards to dying. The reason for this is in the biology of the virus and the biology of your immune response.

Vaccinations against the seasonal flu are typically weakened or mostly killed influenza virus strains, with the vaccine companies trying to guess which strains are actively circulating next winter. They guess by looking at what is emerging in other parts of the world, particularly the southern hemisphere where winter and flu season is in June, July, and August. They then produce the vaccine against those strains and hope for the best. Obviously, that does not always work, which is why you sometimes have low rates of protection.

 

How it Works

The way a vaccine works, generally, is that your immune system identifies the killed vaccine strain as a foreign invader. Specialized cells can then recognize different parts and for example produce antibodies, which are specific for just that strain. The mutations that make a virus more virulent or better at infecting usually are in the genes of proteins that the virus uses to enter the target cell. In other words, if any mutation happens in the genes of these proteins, the virus might be able to infect a human. Those proteins are also the parts that antibodies are effective against, because they bind to it and prevent the virus from entering, until other cells simply take care of the invader.

Another way how vaccines work is through a different cell type of the immune system, which can actually recognize additional parts of the virus and kill infected cells directly. These viral parts often are more conserved, because they make up the structure of the virus and are usually not changed much in different viral strains. Researchers currently are trying to develop more effective vaccines against those structural proteins, hoping they will give more general protection against different flu viruses.

Other viruses, such as SARS and MERS-like viruses, are even more difficult regarding vaccine development. We are not even close, especially considering that similar viruses can arise anytime but might be different from what we have seen previously. They can be really nasty buggers.

Treatment (and What Does Not Work)

You did stick to biosecurity, but unfortunately you came into contact with an infected person before people realized what was going on. How do you know you are infected?

You might be starting with feeling either general weakness or the typical signs of a cold or flu, including sore throat, sneezing, runny nose and eyes. Later you potentially develop a cough, fever, soreness, et cetera. The common flu is bad enough and can knock you down significantly, especially if you were not vaccinated. A pandemic flu has the potential to cause a high rate of mortality, so hope for the best. Of course, you should try to go and see a doctor, but in case of a pandemic that might be rather challenging. You might want to go directly to the emergency room, if they have the capacity. Fluids and medication will be important.

Antivirals

There are currently several antivirals on the market, Tamiflu and being the most widely known. They are effective against both Influenza type A and type B viruses, but the big drawback is that you have to take them the first 48 hours to be really effective, and they might not work against the pandemic virus. Also, they might run out, but it is worth a try. If you get really sick though, it might be too late.

Unfortunately, that is kind of it. I know that some people put a lot of stock into herbs/alternative medicine, et cetera. As a scientist, I would not exclude plants that can have antiviral effects, but the problem is that we developed drugs because plant extracts are often not potent enough. They might have some effective component, but which ones and if they are strong enough is a guessing game. Most herbal medicines or extracts won’t hurt anything, but I would not expect wonders in case of an aggressive virus. However, if you are out of options, you should certainly try. There are several books on herbs used in medicine, so if you are interested I would look up a comprehensive book.

Garlic Fun Fact

I have a fun fact from more recent research on the antimicrobial effects of garlic: It works best if you chew the garlic, not take a pill. The reason has to do with enzymatic activation of the effective components of garlic in the mouth when you chew, so just taking a pill does not result in the same effect. Only use it if you are in a truly dire situation and your significant other does not care that you really stink!

Homeopathic Anti-Flu Medications

One of the anti-flu medications from the holistic/homeopathic side sold is Oscillo. I am sure people swear by it, because they took it during a case of “the flu”, which might have been just a cold, and they felt better or thought they did. I do not want to go too much into a rant about homeopathy, but I will give you the facts and leave it at that.

First of all, homeopathy was invented in 1796, well before medicine was developed as a science. It is based on the belief that any substance that causes a disease can also cure the disease. You just dilute the substance in the water until none of the substance remains and only their memory remains in the water. If you want to give it a try, I challenge you to take a large quantity of a toxic substance and then use the homeopathic dilution of it as a remedy. [Editor’s NotePlease folks, don’t do this. The author is using satire to make a point.]

Of course, there are people that swear by it, but in large studies it has become quite clear that this mostly is due to the placebo effect. That is a completely different story and utterly fascinating, but you have to believe in the effect for it to work, and it is certainly not fool proof.

Oscillo

The kicker with Oscillo is that it is made from duck liver and heart. Now why is that used to treat influenza? Funny you should ask: the doctor who came up with it misidentified the causative agent for the Spanish Flu as a bacterium, which he named oscillococcus. The thing is, he claimed he found it in ducks. To summarize, not only is the agent causing influenza a virus, not a bacterium, but said bacterium oscillo, which does not exist or cause the flu, was found in ducks and is diluted to 10400 to treat a viral infection. I rest my case. If you still want to try it, good luck. You will need it.

Read More @ SurvivalBlog.com

The Flu Is FAR WORSE Than We’re Being Told: Tens of Thousands of Americans Are DYING

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by Cat Ellis, The Organic Prepper:

We all know that this year’s flu season is bad. I have been pouring over numbers and reports over the past few days, and it’s actually even worse than we’re hearing about. Tens of thousands of Americans are dying. It’s now worse than the 2009 swine flu outbreak and is on track with the 2014-15 strain. And it’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

Despite this, the media is downplaying the severity of the flu and the government makes the statistics pretty difficult to find. Are they trying to avoid a panic? Do they know something we don’t?

Here’s what you need to know about why this year’s flu is so dangerous.

This Year’s Flu Strain Is More Deadly

The dominant Influenza strain this year is H3N2. This particular strain has a history of causing more hospitalizations and more deaths. According to the CDC:

In the past, H3N2-predominant seasons have been associated with more severe illness and higher mortality, especially in older people and young children, relative to H1N1- or B-predominant seasons. Between 1976 and 2007, for example, CDC estimates that an average of 28,909 people died from flu during H3N2 seasons, compared to 10,648 people during non-H3N2 predominant years.

That’s a difference of 18,261 adults each year. And that’s in a good year.

In addition to H3N2 producing a more serious infection in general, this year’s particular H3N2 influenza virus is particularly virulent. The number of deaths due to influenza or complications to the flu, such as pneumonia (a secondary bacterial infection following influenza), varies from year to year.

An August 27, 2010 MMWR report entitled “Thompson MG et al. Updated Estimates of Mortality Associated with Seasonal Influenza through the 2006-2007 Influenza Season. MMWR 2010; 59(33): 1057-1062.,” provided estimates of the range of flu-associated deaths that occurred in the United States during the three decades prior to 2007. CDC estimated that from the 1976-1977 season to the 2006-2007 flu season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.

The Current Flu Has Already Killed 44,116 People

In comparison, the current flu has already resulted in 44,116 deaths this flu season. To give that number some meaning, this year’s flu has already led to more deaths than the average for H3N2 years.

Furthermore, we aren’t even in the middle of cold and flu season yet. At 44,116 deaths and counting, we are already nearly to the high end (49,000 people) of the normal flu-associated deaths range.

Fun With Numbers

You would think the CDC would publish an easy-to-find running tally of influenza mortality. They don’t. They only post that information for pediatric mortality. Currently, that number stands at 37.

A total of 37 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported for the 2017-2018 season.

Additional data can be found at: http://gis.cdc.gov/GRASP/Fluview/PedFluDeath.html.

They do, however, provide the information for you to do the math for yourself. On the same page as the above graphic, the CDC provides a chart with the mortality rate presented as a percentage. 

Read More @ TheOrganicPrepper.ca