Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Cash After the Collapse: 6 Multi-Purpose Preps You Need in Emergency Supplies


by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

Hopefully, our readers will not suffer indigestion of their holiday meals or have a damper placed upon the holiday largesse of gift-giving and happy moments.  After all, a potential nuclear war or EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack should never interfere with the memories being collected in the new pages of the scrapbook album.  Still, if you have the time to tear yourself away from the “holiday treadmill,” you may wish to consider taking some actions that may benefit you later on.

Gathering supplies is one of the hallmarks of the modern prepper and survivalist.  We are going to suggest a few that have dual roles: for barter (primary) and for use (secondary).  That being said, many of us are short on storage space and are looking to find preps that serve multiple purposes will help you make the most of the space you have. Now, there are some of you that may not agree with adding these preps, but then again, that is your choice.  They are being presented here as another option for you to pursue.  We’re going to list those reasons behind each: primary will be “barter” with an explanation, and a secondary (your personal use) will be explained.

6 Multi-Purpose Preps You Need In Your Prepper Supplies

  1. Cigarettes: About 5 to 10 cartons, staggered between your most popular types (such as Marlboro, Camel, etc. You can also purchase tobacco in bulk qualitiesand repackage it in Mylar bags for long-term storage. Primary: For use as barter. Especially for those who do not smoke, they can be a “gold mine” to obtain something from those who do smoke. Secondary: Tobacco has medical use as an anti-helminthic (fights worms) and also a peripheral vasoconstrictor. It can be used as a bug repellant on plants when the nicotine is extracted by soaking it in alcohol and then sprayed.
  2. Alcohol: Stagger the amounts: minimum of (5) fifths of grain alcohol, (5) of Scotch, (5) of Vodka, and (5) of Gin. Many preppers suggest finding smaller bottles (Similar to the ones used on airplanes). As well, consider adding an alcohol still to your preps to make your own. Primary: For use as barter in small increments for those who need it for a responsible reason, or as a fifth for a “big” trade…something that someone has that you really need.  Secondary:All of these spirits can be used for tincturing, and the grain alcohol especially can be used as an emergency disinfectant. All can be used as an anesthetic as a last resort (and with patients who are conscious and not compromised from a respiratory or a cardiovascular perspective. Read more about the uses of alcohol.
  3. Coffee: Big “cash crop,” and your best bet is vacuum-sealed in metal cans or in aluminized bags of about a pound to half a pound at a time. I recommend picking up about a hundred pounds of it, if possible.  Don’t “X” out good instant coffee, either, as there will be many people who don’t have the time to brew it up. Here are some pointers on how to store coffee for long-term use. Primary: As mentioned, it will be in big demand about six months down the line, and you’ll never have trouble trading it for something. Secondary:Coffee has many advantages – including naturopathic and also helps to restore mental alertness, to help in cases of prolonged nausea and diarrhea, and (as you may know) it tastes great!
  4. SundriesThis would include soaps, deodorants, toothbrushes, and personal care items, such as razor blades, dental floss, and so forth. Good sources can be found in flea markets and thrift stores…especially with sundries from hotels…. individual small bars of soap and shampoo as are found in motel rooms …these are excellent to stock up on. Primary: They will be worth their weight in gold to barter, as they are of a pretty convenient size. Secondary: For your own personal use, they won’t go unused if never traded…they are excellent sizes for your own teams/units when patrolling and out in the woods for several days, or when conducting a reconnaissance.
  5. Fire starting materials: Matches, lighters, flints, wicks for lighters, and higher-end lighters, such as Zippos that can run off white gas or gasoline. Primary: for barter, just as has been mentioned. Secondary: you’ll always have a use for them
  6. Small First-Aid Supplies: to include Band-aids, alcohol prep pads, gauze bandages, medical tape, etc. Many of these items can be purchased frugally at discount storesPrimary: can be bartered effectively in small amounts. Secondary: for personal use.

We could continue, have fifty pages, and need a tractor-trailer to haul it all, but you get the point.  There is the potential to have in your supply room such items set aside dedicated primarily to barter and then able to be used by you in some capacity if the need arises.  I give you my personal rule on ammunition: I wouldn’t barter it or sell it under any circumstance.  Your “friendly traders” will trade for ammo, and then at nightfall, they’ll return and assault your position…and give it back to you the hard way.

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What Life Is Like for a Million People in Puerto Rico Who STILL Don’t Have Power


by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:

If you ever wondered what it would look like if the grid collapsed here on the mainland, the island of Puerto Rico is a tragic, real-life case study. These stories show us what life is like for more than a million people who STILL don’t have power and running water nearly 3 months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated their communities.

According to a website showing the status of utilities on the island, four months after two hurricanes wrought havoc, 32% of Puerto Ricans are still without power and nearly 10% are still without running water. However, even those who have running water must boil it.

But statistics don’t tell the real story.

At first, it was a war zone.

In the first days after the grid went down, chaos ruled. I vetted as many of the stories as I could and concluded:

…there is very little food, no fresh water, 97% are still without power, limited cell signals have stymied communications, and hospitals are struggling to keep people alive. There is no 911. Help is not on the way. If you have no cash, you can’t buy anything. As people get more desperate, violence increases. (source)


A friend wrote this post about her family on Puerto Rico:

“My family has lost everything. My uncle with stage 4 cancer is in so much pain and stuck in the hospital. However, conditions in the island are far worse than we imagined and my greatest fear has been made reality. The chaos has begun. The mosquitos have multiplied like the plague. Dead livestock are all over the island including in whatever fresh water supplies they have.

My family has been robbed and have lost whatever little they had left. The gang members are robbing people at gunpoint and the island is in desperation. People are shooting each other at gas stations to get fuel.

They’re telling us to rescue them and get them out of the island because they are scared for their lives. We’re talking about 3.5 million people on an island, with no food, no drinking water, no electricity, homes are gone. Family if you have the means to get your people out, do it. This is just the first week. Imagine the days and weeks to come. These are bad people doing bad things to our most vulnerable.

Imagine a few weeks with no resources and the most vulnerable become desperate. What are you capable of doing if your children are sick and hungry? We have to help.” (source)

Other outlets told the same stories. Jeffrey Holsman wrote a guest post for USA Today, sharing what he was witnessing.

The sounds of automatic weapons firing were audible Tuesday evening in San Juan. We were told the National Guard had arrived, but I hadn’t personally seen a Jeep or uniform in the streets yet.

Total darkness has swallowed Puerto Rico, as it has every night since the 12-hour monster Hurricane Maria roared across the island with more than 20 inches of rain and 155 mph winds. I’ve never experienced anything like it: wind and rain from every direction, pounding continuously.

Now, a war zone best describes what’s left of what was once an emerald green gem in the Caribbean…

…after Maria, we face hours upon hours of waiting in lines for gas that might not be there; hours waiting in bank and ATM lines for money that might not be there; hours waiting in grocery store lines for food that might not be there. (source)

It only took a few days before people began to become ill from the tainted water. There were many injuries related to the storm, as well as the aftermath, and these crises were compounded by the lack of medical assistance.

Only 11 of 69 hospitals on Puerto Rico have power or are running on generators, FEMA reports. That means there’s limited access to X-ray machines and other diagnostic and life-saving equipment. Few operating rooms are open, which is scary, considering an influx of patients with storm-related injuries. (source)

People were unable to acquire essential medications and treatments like dialysis.

And this was only the beginning.

One month after the disaster…

A month after Hurricane Maria, the situation was still very grim. Three million residents were still without electricity and one million were without running water. (source) Officials reported 54 deaths attributed to the hurricane but many said that the number was far higher. The mayor of San Juan said that the number of cremations had doubled and put the actual casualties at closer to 500 people.

She said: “It appears, for whatever reason, that the death toll is much higher than what has been reported. What we do know for sure is that people are being catalogued as dying…natural deaths”.

She explained that some of the deaths relating to the hurricane were being reported as “natural causes” because the storm was the secondary factor in their death. 

For example, some people reportedly suffocated after their respirators stopped due to the power cut…

…The bodies were cremated before the medical examiner could determine whether they should have been included in the official death toll.

Accurate information about the figure is particularly important in the US because if a person dies in a natural disaster, their family has the right to claim federal aid. (source)

Evelyn Milagros Rodrigueza librarian at the University of Puerto Rico wrote a first-person account of the aftermath during the first month post-Maria. She reported that the books, computers, and furniture at the library were mostly ruined and that mold had invaded the building. Here’s an excerpt from her story:

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Nationwide civil unrest coming… and city dwellers are the LEAST prepared to survive


by Mike Adams, Natural News:

As I reveal in this podcast, below, military contractors are being told to prepare for domestic deployment inside the United States to prevent cities from being burned to the ground by raging, lunatic mobs. Yes, mass social unrest is in our near future, according to the people who run military contracting operations.

We don’t yet know exactly what event might set off such widespread civil unrest, but it’s not difficult to make some informed guesses about possible scenarios: An EMP attackfrom North Korea (which is suddenly very real thanks to recent ICBM testing by the Norks), an attempted left-wing revolution to overthrow America, a deep state coup attempt to remove President Trump from office, the collapse of the global debt pyramid, mass arrests of left-wing pedophiles in positions of power, and so on.

The point is that military contractors — i.e. former military personnel who are hired back on as private contractors — are well equipped to operate as domestic “special forces” to carry out specific missions on U.S. soil without violating posse comitatus. For the record, I happen to know a lot of these men, and the ones I know are 100% pro-America patriotswho are upstanding citizens. They are well prepared to help defend America against those who are desperately trying to destroy it from within.

These “contractors” are courageous, highly capable men who are experts in hand-to-hand combat, land navigation, assault tactics and long-range target shooting. Every one of them is a survivalist by nature, and they are hardy, intelligent, dedicated individuals. Do not take my article as implying in any way that these are bad people. In fact, my belief is that you will beg for their protection against the out-of-control left-wing mobs and militant groups (such as Antifa) that are trying to burn this country to the ground.

As a quick example, check out this story about a Trump supporter who was viciously attacked and beaten almost to death just yesterday by left-wing Antifa terrorists in Boston.

Special missions, including rescue operations, guarding infrastructure and overwatch protection for police

These military contractors are capable of carrying out all sorts of special missions, including:

  • Guarding key infrastructure against terrorists (power distribution hubs, power plants, railroads, etc.).
  • Taking out terror cells (Antifa, etc.) and their leadership with precision assaults or sniper missions.
  • Manning key transportation checkpoints such as those leading in and out of cities.
  • Providing overwatch protection for local law enforcement who are attempting to quell crazed left-wing mobs.
  • Running rescue operations to retrieve individuals who have been kidnapped or trapped by left-wing terrorists.
  • Extracting people from live shooting scenarios, even while the battle is still raging.
  • Sabotaging infrastructure being used by left-wing terrorists for their anti-America operations.
  • Destroying supply hubs (ammunition depots, fuel depots, etc.) of domestic enemies.

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You’re Just Not Prepared For What’s Coming


by Chris Martenson, Peak Prosperity:

I hate to break it to you, but chances are you’re just not prepared for what’s coming. Not even close. 

Don’t take it personally. I’m simply playing the odds.

After spending more than a decade warning people all over the world about the futility of pursuing infinite exponential economic growth on a finite planet, I can tell you this: very few are even aware of the nature of our predicament.

An even smaller subset is either physically or financially ready for the sort of future barreling down on us. Even fewer are mentally prepared for it. 

And make no mistake: it’s the mental and emotional preparation that matters the most. If you can’t cope with adversity and uncertainty, you’re going to be toast in the coming years.

Those of us intending to persevere need to start by looking unflinchingly at the data, and then allowing time to let it sink in.  Change is coming – which isn’t a problem in and of itself. But it’s pace is likely to be. Rapid change is difficult for humans to process. 

Those frightened by today’s over-inflated asset prices fear how quickly the current bubbles throughout our financial markets will deflate/implode. Who knows when they’ll pop?  What will the eventual trigger(s) be? All we know for sure is that every bubble in history inevitably found its pin.

These bubbles – blown by central bankers serially addicted to creating them (and then riding to the rescue to fix them) – are the largest in all of history. That means they’re going to be the most destructive in history when they finally let go.

Millions of households will lose trillions of dollars in net worth. Jobs will evaporate, causing the tens of millions of families living paycheck to paycheck serious harm.

These are the kind of painful consequences central bank follies result in. They’re particularly regrettable because they could have been completely avoided if only we’d taken our medicine during the last crisis back in 2008.  But we didn’t. We let the Federal Reserve –the instiution largely responsible for creating the Great Financial Crisis — conspire with its brethern central banks to ‘paper over’ our problems.

So now we are at the apex of the most incredible nest of financial bubbles in all of human history.

One of my favorite charts is below, which shows that even the smartest minds among us (Sir Isaac Newton, in this case) can succumb to the mania of a bubble:

It’s enormously difficult to resist the social pressure to become involved.

But all bubbles burst — painfully of course. That’s their very nature.

Mathematically, it’s impossible for half or more of a bubble’s participants to close out their positions for a gain. But in reality, it’s even worse. Being generous, maybe 10% manage to get out in time.

That means the remaining 90% don’t. For these bagholders, the losses will range from ‘painful’ to ‘financially fatal’.

Which brings us to the conclusion that a similar proportion of people will be emotionally unprepared for the bursting of these bubbles.  Again, playing the odds, I’m talking about you.    

How Exponentials Work Against You

Bubbles are destructive in the same manner as ocean waves. Their force is not linear, but exponential. 

That means that a wave’s energy increases as the square of its height. A 4-foot wave has 16 times the force of a 1-foot wave; something any surfer knows from experience.  A 1-foot wave will nudge you.  A 4-foot wave will smash you, filling your bathing suit and various body orifices with sand and shells.  A 10-foot wave has 100 times more destructive power. It can kill you if it manages to pin you against something solid. 

A small, localized bubble — such as one only affecting tulip investors in Holland, or a relatively small number of speculators caught up in buying swampland in Florida — will have a small impact.  Consider those 1-foot waves.

A larger bubble inflating an entire nation’s real estate market will be far more destructive. Like the US in 2007. Or like Australia and Canada today.  Those bubbles were (or will be when they burst) 4-foot waves. 

The current nest of global bubbles in nearly every financial asset (stocks, bonds, real estate, fine art, collectibles, etc) is entirely without precedent. How big are these in wave terms? Are they a series of 8-foot waves? Or more like 12-footers? 

At this magnitude level, it doesn’t really matter. They’re going to be very, very destructive when they break.

Our focus now needs to be figuring out how to avoid getting pinned to the coral reef below when they do.

Understanding ‘Real’ Wealth

In order to fully understand this story, we have to start right at the beginning and ask “What is wealth?”

Most would answer this by saying “money”, and then maybe add “stocks and bonds”. But those aren’t actually wealth. 

All financial assets are just claims on real wealth, not actually wealth itself.  A pile of money has use and utility because you can buy stuff with it.  But real wealth is the “stuff” — food, clothes, land, oil, and so forth.  If you couldn’t buy anything with your money/stocks/bonds, their worth would revert to the value of the paper they’re printed on (if you’re lucky enough to hold an actual certificate). It’s that simple. 

Which means that keeping a tight relationship between ‘real wealth’ and the claims on it should be job #1 of any central bank. But not the Fed, apparently. It’s has increased the number of claims by a mind-boggling amount over the past several years. Same with the BoJ, the ECB, and the other major central banks around the world. They’ve embarked on a very different course, one that has disrupted the long-standing relationship between the markers of wealth and real wealth itself. 

They are aided and abetted by both the media and our educational institutions, which reinforce the idea that the claims on wealth are the same as real wealth itself.  It’s a handy system, of course, as long as everyone believes it. It has proved a great system for keeping the poor people poor and the rich people rich.

But trouble begins when the system gets seriously out of whack. People begin to question why their money has any value at all if the central banks can just print up as much as they want. Any time they want. And hand it out for free in unlimited quantities to the banks. Who have their own mechanism (i.e., fractional reserve banking) for creating even more money out of thin air.

Pretty slick, right?  Convince everyone that something you literally make in unlimited quantities out of thin air has value. So much so that, if you lack it, you end up living under a bridge, starving. 

Let’s express this visually.

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Prepping: 5 Key Things City Dwellers Should Do To Survive An Apocalypse


by Mac Slavo, SHTF Plan:

So far, 2017 has been full of all kinds of natural disasters.  But in the event of one of these apocalyptic events happening in your area, are you prepared? If not, have no fear; because the experts have come up with five key things a city dweller can do to survive an apocalyptic disaster.

According to one expert, a lot of the driving force behind large-scale evacuations is mass hysteria and fear. When in reality, most natural disasters don’t actually require an immediate evacuation because they can be predicted. One example of this is hurricanes, and to some extent, tornados. Weather-related events are much easier for scientists to predict in advance than geological events, like volcano eruptions and earthquakes.

But, in the case of those sudden apocalyptic events that are difficult to predict or give advanced warnings for, there are five key things experts suggest city dwellers take into account to survive impending doom. John Renne, the Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University, told The Week that while people don’t necessarily need to evacuate during disasters, they should be prepared for one.

The first recommendation of Renne’s will have those who created bug-out-bags a little confused.  Renne suggests that city dwellers plan to stay in their homes, actually, rather than attempt to flee. This is simply because there are not many reasons why an entire city would need to flee and for some types of disasters, such as chemical attacks, it’s safer to stay indoors rather than to leave.

However, Renne’s second recommendation is to be prepared to leave quickly.  This would be where a bug-out-bag would be useful. It’s better to have it an never need it, than to need it an not have it.  Renne suggests listening to reports on the radio or television for alerts and checking social media for evacuation plans just in case your area is affected.

The third suggestion is more common sense.  You should have the right supplies on hand.  Keep extra batteries and flashlights, as well as food and water stored so you can survive the days ahead. You should have enough water and non-perishable food for three days. Your emergency kit should also contain a solar charger for your phone, so you can stay up-to-date, and a first aid kit.  If cellular service goes down, a hand-crank generator radio would also come in handy to help you receive emergency alerts. You should also keep some cash and simply toiletries like toilet paper.

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Time To Make A Move


by Suzie Gruber, Peak Prosperity:

This next contribution in our new Resilience Spotlight series, featuring stories from Peak Prosperity readers, comes from reader suziegruber. She recounts here the process she followed in making the decision to relocate to a location better suited to her resilience goals — one of the topics PP readers express the most interest in receiving guidance on.

For the last 10 years I have lived in a very resilient although temporary living situation on a beautiful country property just outside Sebastopol, CA.  During my time there, I created water, heating, electrical, and food resilience, all without knowing how long I could stay.  I had also become part of a wonderful community of Peak Prosperity folks, meeting every Saturday morning for coffee, talking about everything from raising pigs to economic theory.  In many ways my situation was ideal, except for that small detail of being temporary, while the housing market around me went ballistic.  I had constructed “resilience” on a shaky foundation.

For many reasons personal, local and global, I became increasingly motivated to make a move.  I woke up one morning in June and realized that although I preferred to stay in Sonoma County to preserve the community I had built, I knew I could embrace moving to a new area where I could start over with a solid foundation under me because during those 10 years in Sebastopol I had learned a lot about my values and how to create family of choice, aka social capital.  Given the world scene, I decided I needed to move quickly to begin this reconstruction process.  I didn’t want to be a day late in making the move.  I had a nest egg sufficient enough to escape the uncertainty of renting in most other housing markets.  I’m also blessed by the flexibility to move quickly because I am single and I can work anywhere with a good internet connection.

In July 2017 I started by asking two dear friends of mine for strategic help.  One of them, an expert in finance and big picture thinking, helped me assess my finances so I could decide what I could conservatively spend on a home.  He also helped me sanity check how I was thinking about this huge decision.  The other friend, a real estate expert, helped me understand how to assess regions, specific neighborhoods and specific homes.  As a firm believer that dislocation looms sooner rather than later, I also read two books to help me assess specific areas: Rawles on Retreats and Relocation by James Wesle Rawles (out-of-print; I borrowed Adam’s copy) and Strategic Relocation by Joel Skousen.  These books offer a hard-core survivalist perspective.  While I decided that as a single woman, I wanted to live in a town rather than a defensible country property (too much isolation, work, maintenance cost), I value their diverse, detailed regional assessments including categories like sufficient growing season, nuclear threats, population density, distance to major metropolitan areas etc.  To this I added requirements of alternative healthcare acceptance (my line of work), a grocery co-op as an indicator of community cooperation (thank you Becca!), a good regional airport (elderly mom lives in Los Angeles), state fiscal health and a nearby REI (presence of outdoor loversàsocial capital).

I quickly eliminated being east of the Mississippi River due to urbanized population density and distance from my mom.  Using both the books I mentioned above, I began assessing specific areas by creating an Excel spreadsheet with additional categories like median home price, property tax rate, right to die allowed, snowfall (less is better for me), population etc.  I eliminated staying in California due to its poor fiscal healthcrumbling infrastructure, personally invasive policies and tendency towards taxation.  I quickly zeroed in on Southern Oregon and jumped in the car.

I learned two important things about myself on that first trip north.  First, as a 52-year-old single woman rebuilding my tribe, I realized that I want to live in the middle of my community rather than in the outskirts or in a nearby town.  As things come apart, I am trusting I will be able to barter skills for what I need.  Second, although I have the skills to manage a country property, I want to focus my life energy on my life’s work and my community and not on building a homestead by myself.  I also knew I would feel physically safer.  I chose to sacrifice significant physical resilience (water, power, natural gas provided by utility companies) for emotional resilience (physical security, community).

I synthesized all of this information together and chose Ashland, Oregon.  Why Ashland?  Ashland Co-op, REI Medford, good regional airport, strong & aware community, active local agriculture, housing in town I can afford, good distance from major metro – Check!  Downsides: fire danger, questionable water resilience, local economy dependent on tourism, Oregon’s fiscal troubles.  Yes, those are big downsides.

I bought a cottage with a small garden and moved to Ashland on October 18th in the middle of the Sonoma County fires.  Phew!  It turned out I was only a handful of days early in my decision to move. The housing market in Sonoma County has inflated even more over the last month. 

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God’s Perfect Bounty: Our Natural Survival Garden- Part 2


from Survival Blog:

I have been telling you about God’s provision for our survival through nature and specifically writing about the many uses of the American beautyberry. They are edible, medicinal, and decorative berries. In part 1, I shared a recipes for insect repellent, tea for skin ailments, and more using various parts of the American beautyberry plant. I also told how I made juice with the berries. Now, let’s move on to more culinary uses for the American beautyberry and take a look at another multipurpose plant as well.

American Beautyberry Jelly

After much experimenting with several jelly recipes (some twice), I kept getting glaze instead of jelly (due to the humidity, altitude, and other factors). Finally, I came up with one that actually jells. This pursuit is how I happened to experiment with the syrup and glazes. You can see now why it’s important to experiment!

Recipe for American Beautyberry Jelly

The following is the recipe that actually jells:

  1. Wash and sort berries
  2. Put berries into a pan (about 10-1t), add water, cover, and bring to a boil.
  3. Boil 20 minutes, mashing occasionally with potato masher.
  4. Turn off heat and cool for about 15 minutes.
  5. Run berries through a strainer, mashing remaining berries as you go.
  6. Run strained juice through three layers of cheesecloth into a clean pan.
  7. Add pectin and bring to a rolling boil.
  8. Continue to boil for 3 minutes.
  9. Add sugar and lemon juice.
  10. Bring back to a rolling boil and continue heating until candy thermometer reaches 220 degrees; then continue to boil for 5-6 minutes more.
  11. Pour into sterilized canning jars, leaving ¼” headspace (following the Ball Canning Process).
  12. Put on sterilized lids and the rings.
  13. Water bath can for 10 minutes.

Making Jalapeno Beautyberry Jelly

I experimented making Jalapeno beautyberry Jelly by adding five (de-seeded and membranes removed) jalapenos that I chopped and put in a spice bag and then added that bag to the jelly mixture while cooking. My family loved both types of jelly. I caution you to wear gloves while working with the jalapenos, because during this experiment I didn’t; my hands were on fire for over six hours. I tried soaking my hands in milk, running under cool water, and putting aloe vera gel from my plant on them. Nothing helped. That was one learning experience that I’m saving you from.

A Plant That Lives Up To Its Name

The American beautyberry lives up to its name. Its beaded branches make beautiful dry arrangements and decorations. Berries can also be used as a dye. What a great survival plant God’s perfect bounty supplied.

American Beautyberry Research References

I’ve tried to reference my research on the American beautyberry, but there are simply too many to list. These are some of my favorite sites:,,,,, and

Seminole Squash

Another example of God’s perfect bounty is Seminole squash, which is also known as Seminole pumpkin (Cucurbita Moschata). I was first introduced to it by a cousin in North Florida. She grew it in her garden and gave me what she called a Seminole squash. Then she told me to cut it in half, clean out seeds and strings, and cook it similar to a butternut squash. She didn’t say much else, only that it was a good squash that was drought resistant, pests didn’t seem to bother it, and they were easy to grow.

Cooking Seminole Squash

I cooked it by cutting it in half, scooping the string and seeds out, adding butter, and microwaving it until it was tender, about for 4-8 min. It had a buttery rich flavor, and I saved some seeds for spring planting.

Volunteers Came Up In My Garden

In March, I was getting my garden ready using our compost. A couple of weeks later, two volunteer squashes came up. At the time, I didn’t know what kind of squash it was. I’d forgotten about the Seminole, but I decided if God put it there I’d leave it. It turned out to be Seminole squash. By May, it had taken over my garden. So, I decided to do some research about it and found it to be another wonder plant, also known as a pumpkin.

Resistant to Problems and Superior to Other Squash

Seminole squash, like the American beautyberry, is drought-, disease-, and pest-resistant. Furthermore, it has multiple uses. This plant possesses qualities that make it superior to any of the other varieties of squash and pumpkin. It’s heirloom and non-GMO, almost extinct, and self-seeding. (

Seminole squash survives when other squash fail, due to winds from rainstorms and bugs. In my garden, it was the only variety of squash that produced well and survived the invasion of the bugs. I got very little zucchini, crookneck, or spaghetti squash this year.

Grows In Sun Within Zones 1-8

It grows well in USDA hardiness zones 1-8. Seminole squash likes full sun, although the leaves tend to wilt during the day, perking back up at evening time. Closer to a butternut squash, it’s shaped like a pumpkin, except more of a tear drop shape. Hence, its being called a squash or pumpkin. However, the shape can vary as much as the big green leaves do.

Colors of Green, Variegated, Yellow, or Buff

Young squash can be green, variegated, or have yellow spots on them. You may or may not have grey spots on the leaves. When fully ripe, the fruit is a buff color with flesh that’s a yellow orange color. It has a rich, buttery sweet flavor.


It takes about 95-120 days, and in warmer temperatures can be planted anytime except the dead of winter. The vines love to climb trees, fences, trellises, and upright objects climbing over other plants. A portion of vines that have produced fruit die back, but runners, which root at the nodes, will keep growing and producing. The vines grow up to 30 ft. I also planted seeds at the base of a 5 1/2 foot tall dead oak stump; it grew up and over the other side.

Flowers and Fruit Quantity

The yellow flowers are as big as your hand and have both male and female flowers. The female flower grows a squash on the vine before the flower; the male flower doesn’t. I got over 30 squashes off of those two volunteer plants.


You can leave the fruit out long after the vines have died, or you can harvest when the stems turn yellow. Cut leaving 3-4 inches of stem, and it will store for up to a year at room temperature. Leave sitting after you harvest for three weeks before eating, and it gets even sweeter. We date ours with permanent marker.

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Save the earth and better yourself: 8 reasons why growing your own food is the best decision you will ever make


by Michelle Simmons, Natural News:

Have you ever thought of growing your own fruits and vegetables? If not, now is the time to start considering it. It may seem tedious and overwhelming, but in reality it is actually easy and simple. You can start by growing them in your backyard, or if you do not have any yard, consider container gardening in your balcony, patio, or on a windowsill. Still not convinced? Here are eight reasons on why you should start growing your own food.

  1. Have a healthier family – Nothing can beat the freshness of fruits and vegetables that are homegrown. Serving your family fresh fruits and vegetables is one of the most valuable things you and your family can do to be healthy. Fruits and vegetables grown in your backyard are the best because you harvest them straight from your garden and eat them fresh. Another proven health benefit of homegrown produce was shown in a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Results of the study showed that preschool children who almost always ate homegrown produce were more than two times likely to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day than those kids who rarely or never ate homegrown produce.
  2. Spend less on groceries – Growing your own food will help you save money and ensure you food security as you will not have to buy fruits and vegetables from the supermarket. Most fruits and vegetables from the supermarket have already lost their nutritional value as they have been stored for a long time. With less than a dollar, you can buy a packet of seeds and start planting your own produce. (Related: Here are 8 seeds that are great for long term storage.)
  3. Help the environment – By growing your own produce, you are already helping the environment in different ways. One way is growing your food without using pesticides and herbicides. This lessens air and water pollution. You will also help reduce the use of fossil fuels. Moreover, pollution from the transportation of fresh produce from around the world to the supermarket will also be lessened.
  4. Increase your physical activity – Since you will be doing all the planting, weeding, watering, and harvesting, you are also exercising at the same time. Remember to warm up and stretch your muscles before and after gardening though! Exercising also helps you relax, de-stress, refresh your mind, inhale fresh air, and get vitamin D.
  5. Indulge in more tasty food – Nothing beats the freshness of picked out fruits and vegetables straight from the backyard. A study found that homegrown tomatoes are sweeter and richer in nutrients than those sold in the supermarket.
  6. Have a sense of accomplishment – Witnessing the seed you planted grow and become the food that you and your family can enjoy is satisfying. Home gardening helps you thrive, nourish your family, and improve health. There is a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction in growing your own food.
  7. No more worries on food safety – Because you know how your plants are grown, you don’t have to worry about food safety. With backyard gardening, you have control over the chemicals and products used during the growing process.

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God’s Perfect Bounty: Our Natural Survival Garden- Part 1


from Survival Blog:

When God made the heaven and earth, he made them perfect. He provided everything we need for our survival, from nutrition to medicine for both humans and animals, from knowledge and natural instinct to even giving us beauty to behold.

Knowledge of Survival Lost And Forgotten

The knowledge of survival using God’s perfect bounty has been lost and forgotten over time. While gaining new knowledge with the advent of modern grocery stores and medicine we’ve forgotten God’s natural survival garden.

There are many varieties of plants that grow naturally without any help from us. Many are disease-, drought-, and pest-resistant, and they have multiple uses.

Everything on Earth Put Here For Our Survival

Everything on earth was put here for a reason– our survival. God made those for us, and it is up to you to take advantage of it.

Do Research While You Still Can

I urge you to do some research as I have done, while you still can. Experiment now rather than later. Find out about native varieties of plants, bushes, trees, algae, lichen, and even the wildlife in your area. Talk to friends, neighbors, and old timers. Look on the Internet while we still have it, and read books. You can never have enough knowledge, especially when SHTF.

Then, pass the knowledge along so you can help others learn of the bounty and love God has for us. This is the reason I decided to write this article.



I saw beautyberries growing wild in our yard. we had heard of beautyberry jelly, but I’d also heard they were poisonous. I decided to do some research, because if God put them there then there must be a reason and his bounty should not be wasted. So, I’ll start there.

Not Poisonous

The American beautyberry (Callicarpa Americana) aka the French Mulberry is notpoisonous. In fact, the American beautyberry has multiple uses. It is medicinal, edible, and decorative. You can use all parts of it. Animals love it too!

Grown in Zones 6-10 West As Far As Texas

They are native in USDA hardiness zones 6-10 from Maryland to Florida and west through Tennessee, Arkansas, and Texas. Check to see if it grows in your area. A member of the Verbena family, American beautyberries grow on shrubs in clusters on long soft woody stems with green leaves.

Large Brushes Produce Bright Magenta To Purple Berries

American beautyberries are distinctive with bright magenta to purple berries (var. Lactea has white berries). They’re propagated by seed, tip cuttings, and soft wood cuttings, or they’re dug up and transplanted. They grow along roadsides, in pinelands, and hammock forests and like partial shade but will grow in sunnier locations if watered. You may even have a bush or two growing wild in your yard. The bush grows 6-10 feet tall and as wide, more often 6-8 feet. They grow well in a container and are both beautiful and decorative.

Hardy To Grow In Most Soils

They grow in most soils. You can prune them in winter or spring down to a foot from the ground for a bushier look. beautyberries are heat and drought tolerant, and cold hardy even in frost, freeze, and snow.

Ripe Berries Are Easy To Pick in Fall

Berries are easy to pick when ripe, during the period of September through November. I just put a basket underneath a branch, comb the berries with my fingers, and the ripe ones will just fall into the basket.

American beautyberries provide food for wildlife and your chickens will love them too! We give ours the mash leftover from making the juice, jelly, et cetera, but they also like the branches with leaves and berries on it right off the bush. Birds dine on the fresh berries, seeds, and raisins. Opossums, squirrels, raccoons, and other small animals eat the fruits, whitetail deer browse the leaves and bed down because the leaves have the ability to repel insects. (You can learn a lot from the wildlife. And imagine all this animal meat protein in your bushes when SHTF happens.)

Folk Remedy For Insect Repellent

The beautyberry has been a traditional folk remedy for repelling mosquitos, horseflies, deerflies, ticks, fire ants, and other biting insects. For over a century, the folks in Mississippi used to cut leafy branches, crush the leaves, and place the branches between the harness and horse to keep the bugs away. (

More recent scientific studies have been done to confirm the leaves contain compounds that definitely repels mosquitos and other biting insects. It’s as effective as DEET without the worry of chemicals. ( Crushing the leaves and rubbing them on your skin and clothes works. The following recipe is not only a great lotion for the skin but is also used to repel fire ants, though it doesn’t work as well on mosquitos as the spray repellent or leaves. My mom made this lotion, and we all have used it. It smells good too! I sent some to my step-mom in South Carolina, who says, “After putting on the lotion before going to work in the garden, the fire ants for the first time doesn’t bite me.” (

Recipe For American Beautyberry Repellent Lotion

American beautyberry Lotion

(Recipe makes three portions of lotion.)

  1. Put water into pot; add leaves; simmer for 20 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Then strain liquid into a canning jar.
  3. In another canning jar add wax, grapeseed oil, and set jar in a pot of water on medium.
  4. As soon as wax is melted, remove jar from heat and add vitamin E oil and 1\2 c. of beautyberry liquid into oil, stirring constantly with a whisk until it becomes creamy.
  5. Let cool, then add Citronella and Lemon oils.
  6. Cover jar and shake.
  7. Remove cover and cool.

(rev. from

Native American Indians Used All Parts of Beautyberries

All parts of the American beautyberries were used by many tribes of Native American Indians. They used roots, leaves, berries, and stems as a base for various teas. “Root and leaf tea was used in sweat baths to treat rheumatism, fevers and malaria.” ( Root tea was used for dysentery and stomach aches. Roots and berries were used for fevers, colic, and a wide variety of common ailments. “Bark from stems and roots were used to treat itchy skin.” ( Poultices were used to clean wounds, treat skin rashes, and may ease pain as well. (All About American beautyberry/

Beautyberry Tea for Skin Ailments

  1. Bring 8 oz of water to a boil.
  2. Mix in a mixture of dried bark from roots, fresh or dried leaves, and ripe berries.
  3. Simmer 20 minutes and then strain.
  4. Serve hot.
  5. Repeat daily until the skin ailment is gone.
  6. Note: (This tea can be refrigerated for up to a week.)

Beautyberry Tincture

Make a tincture with a mix of leaves and berries. American beautyberries are anti-bacterial and a detoxicant. The tincture is said to be effective for the treatment of piles, bleeding both internally and externally, burns, sore throat, and nosebleeds.

Some of the nutrients found are Flavonoids, Calcium, Carbohydrates, Hydroxyl C, and Magnesium (

Ripe Berries Off The Bush

The ripe berries are edible but not very tasty off the b
ush. However, I’ve found they make an excellent glaze for pork (especially ham) and chicken. I made a syrup for French toast, pancakes, waffles and over vanilla ice cream. It was a delicious with a distinctive flavor.

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Prepare for sudden, radical transformation at every level of society… “You may not recognize tomorrow”

by Mike Admas, Natural News:

When the Berlin wall fell, it was an “all of a sudden” phenomenon. The week before, there were no abundantly evident signs that such a monumental historical event was about to take place. This is how history often occurs: Slowly at first, then all at once.

Due to a multitude of factors — including the rise of independent journalism and the exposing of the failures of big government — the world is now poised for a cascading series of true revolutions involving everything from medicine to economics. The underlying conditions leading to these revolutions have been building for decades, often without any surface evidence of the tipping point that’s about to be tripped. Once these monumental changes take place, it will all seem obvious in retrospect, but looking forward from the present, it’s extremely difficult for most people to get past “normalcy bias” (which means they expect the future to be exactly like today).

Today I share a series of three podcasts that help explain the monumental changes that are coming. First, I cover “The Revolution of Everything” which discusses the wide-ranging transformation that’s taking place in medicine, technology and the political establishment:

In the next podcast, entitled “You may not recognize tomorrow,” I explain how the decentralization of information has led to today’s explosion of transparency, including the outing of sex abusers like Sen. Al Franken, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, etc. This decentralization has crushed the information monopolies that previously controlled all the narratives consumed by members of society. But now, people have a choice of where to get their information, and that choice allows a diversity of ideas to flourish.

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