It may not feel like it, but summer is almost over. Soon, you’ll be searching your closets for that thick blanket and flannel pajamas. One of the things I’ve learned about “Dropping Out” is you NEVER stop working. Summer is the time to prep for winter and winter is the time to plan for summer planting. Right now, firewood, LOTS OF IT, is on my daily agenda. So is picking up brambles and twigs to store for easy lighting.
If you choose to get a wood burning stove, make sure it has burners:
Like this gem. Then you can cook right on top of it when they turn off the lights. On Craigslist, I found a similar model for 75.00. Not bad for cast iron.
In this post, instead of focusing on large gardens with big pieces of land, I’ll focus on tiny spaces, budget ideas and maintaining food supply through the winter season. Up top are just a few pics from my veranda. As you can see, herbs play a large role in my diet. Not just for cooking, but for tea or to chew on when I need a quick and delicious pick me up. I grow mass amounts of herbs and sell them, as much as I can, to local buyers like nurseries, food shanties (also called ‘dives’ in the US) and to people looking to go organic at the farmer’s markets. I make sure that by October, they are washed, dried and ready to be store in containers.
Patio planting is a great and cheap way to grow food even for beginners. I highly recommend the staple foods, like herbs, tomatoes, beans and potatoes. Yes, potatoes:
This is called a Potato Grow Sac but you can build a Tater Box with simple plywood and two by fours. To save even more money, use discarded pallets.
This box is just the right size for your patio or deck and looks like a bench when closed. To insulate the box and grow potatoes even until December, paint the box black to absorb heat. Then wrap the box with a large wool or flannel blanket.
This is a simple yet effective Lard Fat Candle.
I make about 5 or so dozen of them to keep on hand for dire emergencies. Lard is simply pig fat. Us country folks render down the fat from any butchered animal and use the fat for candles and soap. Fresh lard from a healthy pig DOESN’T smell bad but I add droplets of lavender essential oil for a pleasing and light fragrance. Simply melt the lard til it’s runny then pour into a heat safe container along with your wicks. Allow to harden and your done. Store in a cool dry place or in the refrigerator til needed.
Wicks can be made out of tiny, skinny pieces of old cotton cloth if money is tight or you simply wish to “do for self.”
Did you know that dishwashing detergent washes laundry clothes super clean?
For roughly .99 you can stock up on dishwashing liquid and store them away for emergencies.
I make my own laundry soap from my own recipe:
When liquid is added, it gets thick and gelatinous. A tiny scoop will wash your entire load on a budget. My 5 gallon bucket of laundry soap lasts for about 4-6 months depending on load size and frequency.
Alfalfa Sprouts are not just great for eating, it absorbs toxins in water!
Simply place a handful in your ALREADY boiled water and leave overnight. When finished, your water is cleaner and safer for drinking. Discard the sprouts in your compost pile.
Did you know that Collard Greens come back each year?
This awesome super food is rich in vitamins and grows back each year by itself. In the islands, we grow and eat its “cousin”, callaloo:
We literally lived on this African Water Spinach! Great tasting, easily cooked and makes a great callaloo sandwich with coco bread, this was a staple part of our “poor man’s diet”.
I highly recommend this nourishing leafy green.
P.S. Squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, birds and deer LOVE this and will fight you for it. Put up easy chicken wire to ward them off.
When I found out how easy it was to make homemade crackers:
I make them now almost weekly. Easy as 1,2,3 and tastes MUCH better than the store, this goes great in soup, salads, as a snack or with peanut butter. Store in an airtight container and these will last. Make a lot by doubling the recipe and freeze unbaked dough. Then you’ll always have snacks on hand.
Prepare now, Black Family…
If you have anymore ideas, please list them here.
The more you prep, the LESS afraid and anxiety-stricken you’ll be. Those that panic won’t make it and Evil is hoping that you’ll panic.
NEVER DISCUSS YOUR PREPS WITH STRANGERS NO MATTER HOW TEMPTING IT MAY BE. ALSO, WATCH OUT FOR THE MAIL CARRIER IF YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE YOUR STOCK/ FOOD/ DELIVERED.
THEY KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE AND WHAT YOU HAVE DELIVERED. TRY TO PICK UP AS MUCH OF YOUR PREPS YOURSELF.