Tag Archives: Environment

Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Supply of Food in 3 months

Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Supply of Food in 3 months / The DayOne Gear BlogDid you ever stop to think about what you would do if all of your preps were gone?  Heaven forbid such a misfortune might happen, but what if your pantry was wiped out in a fire or flood?  If you had to start over, how would you go about it?

As many of you know, my daughter and I have recently moved across the continent, from the easternmost part of Ontario to the Pacific Northwestern US.  Because we were crossing the border, driving through extreme heat, and then storing our belongings in a trailer for a month, I couldn’t bring our food supplies.  We still have our tools and equipment, but we are starting over as far as our pantry is concerned.  As well, we only brought a small trailer, so we are also starting from scratch for goods like toilet paper and laundry soap.

Being without my one-year supply of food makes me feel uncomfortable and very vulnerable, given the economic circumstances in the US today.  To make matters worse, because of the timing of the move, I won’t have a garden to rely on this year aside from a couple of tomato and pepper plants that my friend kindly allowed me to plant in her own garden.

We are fortunate enough to be staying with friends while waiting for our new home to become available, and much to our anticipation, we’ll be moving in this week.  I’ve gotten away from blogging about the day-to-day stuff, but I thought that it might be interesting, especially to new preppers, to see how we rebuild our food supply and get our little farm going on a very tight budget. (That move was expensive!)

Why do you need a one year food supply?

Simple. A one year food supply means freedom.  It means that you are less subject to the whims of the economy. You can handle small disasters with aplomb.  You aren’t reliant on the government if a crisis strikes.

Food is a control mechanism and has been for centuries.  I wrote an article recently about how governments around the world have used food as a way to subjugate people and bend them to the will of tyrannical leaders.

Here we are, just like at other times in history, right on the verge of losing freedoms to the government machine.  In question is our right to bear arms, our economy, our choices in health care and taxation without representation (via the Obamacare bill).  The offerings at the grocery stores are not just poor, they’re toxic, but growing your own food is frowned upon and made difficult.  Many people believe martial law is close at hand, and there is discussion in the US Congress about microchipping people and about requiring global ID cards.

We are being spied on, taxed, and silenced.  The sheeple don’t care – they just want that next refill on the EBT card, or the next paycheck that will go to pay the minimum payment on their maxed-out credit card. There will be different levels of resistance before it gets to the point of starving people into submission.

First, there are the liberal left-wingers, who don’t require persuasion or bribery – they are giving away their freedom with both hands for the greater good.

Then, you have the dumbed-down population on assistance by choice.  It would be an easy thing to persuade them to take a microchip or hand over their guns.  In fact, we’re seeing just that with the buy-back programs, where folks are trading guns for gift cards.

As times get more desperate (and they will, you can count on it) regular everyday people, like the ones you work with, will give up what seems like a tiny amount of freedom in order to have the “privilege” of putting more food on the table or keeping a roof over the head of their families for another month or two.

That’s when the real crackdown will begin.  When the majority of people are subjugated, tagged and inventoried, even more than they are now,  that’s when the rest of us will be targeted.  Suddenly, without an ID chip, we won’t be able to access our bank accounts.  This would mean that we can’t buy necessities or pay our bills.  If we won’t surrender our weapons, we won’t be able to send our kids to school or access our money to buy food.  Our children won’t be able to see a doctor if they’re sick.  The plan will be to make us so desperate that we will opt for subjugation over freedom.  And they’ll use food to do it.

But you can avoid all of this…simply by being self reliant. And that starts with a pantry full of food.

The Plan

The goal is to rebuild a healthy one-year food supply over the next three months.  I plan to do that using the following methods:

  • Shopping the sales
  • Buying in bulk
  • Buying from local farmers and preserving the harvest
  • Getting a fall garden going

Our budget isn’t big.  We are starting at square one – our cupboards are absolutely empty. Our journey is comparable to that of a family with a week-to-week budget who is just beginning to build a pantry.  Because we are concurrently shopping for groceries and all of those odds and ends which arise when you move into a new home, I won’t be able to blow an entire weeks’ grocery money on a 100 pound bag of sugar and a 100 pound bag of wheat berries – I have to also keep us fed, healthy, and in clean clothing. After a few weeks of building the pantry, I’ll be able to forgo a weekly shopping trip and put that money towards some large purchases.

pantry now 300x209 Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Supply of Food in 3 months

Today’s Shopping Trip

Today we took a small shopping trip to Big Lots and found some good sales.  Please keep in mind that the foods I purchased can probably be found cheaper than what I paid. However, I opt for organic and chemical free whenever possible. The good health we enjoy from our careful eating habits is well worth the added expense to me.

  • 2 boxes of organic granola $1.95 ea
  • 1 box of organic puffed wheat cereal $1.50
  • 1 box of couscous $2
  • 4 pounds of organic brown rice $2.80
  • 1 box of organic instant oatmeal packs (cringe) $2.50
  • 2 pound bag of sea salt $2
  • 2 cans of organic pasta fagioli soup $1.50 ea
  • 5 containers of spices $8
  • 1 bottle of extra virgin olive oil $6.50

Total with tax:  $33.72

Except for the olive oil, half of the above items will be repackaged and moved to the pantry for storage.  We also purchased

  • 60 rolls of toilet paper $15.00
  • 2 pump bottles of hand soap $1 ea.
  • 1 jug of laundry soap $4
  • 2 bottles of dish soap $1 ea

The laundry soap will last us until we gather the supplies to make our own homemade soap in a couple of weeks.

The dried beans and the peanut butter weren’t a good price, so I’m still on the lookout for those.  We’ll require some fresh items once we get moved in this week: fruit, vegetables, meat, and dairy products, and I plan to pick most of those up at the farmer’s market on Friday.

If you’re new at this…

Please don’t be discouraged when you see all of the doom and gloom out there.  You can take the most important step today…the step of getting started.  I invite you to take this journey with me – we’ll both have a year’s supply of food in no time at all!

Please take a moment and read the original article HERE The Organic Prepper

This article can also be viewed at Simply-Living-Simply

Bringing Beneficial Insects to your Garden

Bringing beneficial insects into your garden is another great way to help repel and deter pests from your garden without having to use harsh, chemical pesticides. There are many insects that can help!

I think the first thing you should do is look around your garden: what types of insects do you see?, do you know which ones are the harmful or helpful ones? Some helpful insects would be ladybugs, ground beetles, lacewings, praying mantis, and most types of wasps. For me, I think research is key to help you be successful in attracting the beneficial insects.

There are a couple things you can do to bring the beneficial insects to your garden. You can actually order insects online and have them delivered to your house! You can order ladybugs through Amazon here. How cool is that? Who knew! Another option is to create a garden insectary. A garden insectary is a  small garden plot of flowering plants designed to attract and harbor beneficial insects. These good insects prey on many common garden insect pests and offer the gardener a safer, natural alternative to using harmful pesticides. By becoming more diverse with your plants, you can provide habitat, shelter, and alternative food sources, such as pollen and nectar, to many beneficial insects. Your garden insectary area doesn’t have to be large, it’s recommending to be big enough to hold six to seven varieties of plants that will attract the insects. Once the plants have matured, you can sit back and watch beneficial insects do what they do best!

Here are some great charts I found online to help you with your garden insectary — Table A. states which beneficial insect is best for the pest insect and Table B. tells you what you should plant to attract certain beneficial insects.

Table A. Natural Pest Control by Insect Species


Aphids Aphidius
Aphids Aphidoletes
Thrips, spidermites, fungus gnats Beneficial mites
Eggs of many pest insects Damsel bugs (Nabidae)
Whiteflies, aphids, thrip, spider mites Dicyphus
Slugs, small caterpillars and grubs Ground beetles
Grubs Spring Tiphia wasp
Aphids, mealybugs and others Hoverflies
Scale, aphids, mites, soft-bodied insects Lacewings
Aphids, mites Ladybugs
Thrips, aphids, mites, scales, whiteflies Pirate bugs
Caterpillars; beetle and fly larvae Tachinid flies
Whiteflies; moth, beetle and fly larvae Parasitic wasps
Table B. What to Plant to Attract Beneficial Insects (Predator Insects)


Lacewings, aphidius, ladybugs Achillea filipendulina
Hoverflies Alyssum
Ground beetles Amaranthus
Spring Tiphia wasp Peonies, firethorn, forsythia
Ichneumon wasp, ladybugs, lacewings Anethum graveolens (dill)
Lacewings Angelica gigas
Ladybugs, hoverflies Convolvulus minor
Hoverflies, parasitic wasps, lacewings Cosmos bipinnatus
Dicyphus Digitalis
Lacewings, ladybugs, hoverflies Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s lace)
Damsel bugs, ladybugs, lacewings Foeniculum vulgare (fennel)
Pirate bugs, beneficial mites Helianthus annulus
Hoverflies Iberis umbellata
Hoverflies, parasitic wasps Limonium latifolium (Statice)
Aphidius, aphidoletes, hoverflies Lupin
Parasitic wasps, tachinid flies Melissa officinalis (lemon balm)
Parasitic wasps, hoverflies, tachinid flies Petroselinum crispum (parsley)
Pirate bugs, beneficial mites Shasta daisy
Pirate bugs, aphidius Sunflowers
Ladybugs, lacewings Tanacetum vulgare (tansy)
Dicyphus Verbascum thaspus

Planting a garden insectary within your garden should be a long-term permanent area. It will take some time to establish your insectary and results will not be instant. As your plants mature and the beneficial insects families are established, the need for chemical pesticides will diminish. Your garden will become a more balanced environment for the healthy production of your vegetables and flowers. This is something that I want to work on around all of our gardens. Becoming more organic and natural in our gardens is a big goal of mine, and I’m amazed at how Mother Nature can work in the best situations. I just need to get them create for it to happen! 


Thanks for reading!
Mary @ Homegrown on the Hill
Contributing Author

This post can also be viewed here:  www.modernhomesteaders.net

Composting 101

Composting is something that I believe is coming back to the everyday, backyard gardener. There are so many articles you can find on how to start your own composting pile, do’s and don’ts on what to put in, and tons of different items like composting bins you can purchase.

It’s isn’t something that has to cost you a fortune, or really anything! Composting is very easy to do, good for the environment, and even better, can be free!

To get started in composting, you first need to decide how you will keep it. Will your compost be right on the ground or will you purchase an enclosed bin, or even make one? We currently have both methods at the farm. We started with purchased an enclosed compost bin that sits right on the ground. Ours looks a little like the one here, but it’s much rounder instead of square.

This year, we had to start another compost pile from collecting all the chicken/rabbit manure and straw from their pens. Our enclosed compost bin was getting too full! So for our second compost pile, we just used timber posts to lay out a square right on the ground and dump our all stuff. Aaron turns it every week or so to mix it up well.

Once you’ve decided how you want to store your compost, you’ll need to start collecting all the material to throw in it. When composting, you want to try to layer your materials between the “green” and “brown” materials. This is best to help with the breakdown of the materials.

Green materials provide the nitrogen needed to make the enzymes to speed the process. Some green materials are fresh (green) grass clippings, fresh manure from horse, rabbits, chickens, and cows, kitchen scraps (fruit, vegetables, and coffee grounds) and lawn and garden weeds.

Carbon is found in brown materials and helps keep the compost nice and fluffy. Some brown materials are leaves, straw/hay, newspapers, and dryer lint.

NEVER put any meat, bones, dairy products, or fats into your compost. Adding these items can attract unwanted pests and cause your compost to smell really bad! You could add a layer of garden soil to your compost. This will help mask any odor you may have from your compost. Also, there should be micro-organisms in the garden soil that can help break down your materials.

After you make your layers, there’s not much left to do! Your compost may need some watering from time to time. You want to keep the pile moist but not soaked. You could manually water it or just wait for rain. If the compost pile gets too dry, it will slow down the process. Also, if you did not purchase a compost tumbler, you’ll need to turn it to mix it together. We **try** to turn ours once a week.

I hope this is something that you consider doing! There are many benefits to composting! Composting helps add nutrients to your plants, helps keep the moisture in the soil, loosen clay type soils (which is what we have!), recycles your kitchen and yard waste instead of throwing it away in the garbage which in turns helps reduce the landfills, and also can introduce microorganisms into your garden areas–another big plus! 

Thanks for reading!
Mary @ Homegrown on the Hill
Contributing Author

Can also be viewed here:  www.modernhomesteaders.net