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Ozark Lady
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Survival

I came across something of great interest to me...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090225161422.htm

Both of these are talking about volcanic activity that lead to poor agricultural crops, famine, riots, etc.

And there are links on the second page talking about super volcanoes.

So many things, disasters can affect our crops, and our very lives.

Whether a disaster is man-made or naturally occuring... it can affect our gardens, and our food supply. If it affects our gardens then it will surely affect the commercial suppliers of food.

After reading about the Year without a Summer, I have decided to:
A- get some quick growing seeds, normally meant for northern climates, so they can mature quicker.
B- look more closely at growing food items inside my house.
C- resurrect the old cold frames.
D- make my fishroom an atrium and have lots of food growing there, hydroponics, aquaponics, and some in pots of soil.
E- I may even break my 'no hybrid' self imposed rule... because I may need the disease resistance during a really bad weather year, whether I can save seeds from them or not.

I know that many here already grow inside, so not a far stretch for you.
But, if disaster limited the food available at the store or made it really expensive... could you survive on what you have, on what you can grow?

I have heard alot of survivalists say... Stock up on food items, and get lots of garden seeds. Plant a garden.. but if the ground is not prepared, or if the weather doesn't cooperate. This may not be feasible.

I am not opening up politics, or religion here... I just want to know...
If the weather goes bad, and food goes expensive or in short supply or both... Are you prepared? What would you do?

Your answers now, and giving folks time to set up what they need to: Could actually save lives. I hope to learn some things here to help me save my life and my family's lives.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

a0c8c
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My brother inlaw has been saving up stuff for a while now. Just put in a heavy duty steel building to store everything. Too bad he doesn't know how to garden.


I'll eventally do the same, but you can't rely on hydroponics when things get real bad. Electricity can easily go out for a long period of time, and then you'll have nothing but dirt to rely on. Generators only las so long, especially if they need gas/diesel.
Home Gardener from Austin, TX; by way of Iowa.

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rainbowgardener
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I will do what I can to prevent the disasters I can see coming and in the process of growing things and living closer to nature, I learn good skills.

But I refuse to live a fear based life worrying about worst case scenarios. We all gotta go sometime! :) If "the big one" (of whatever variety) hits, I guess my number is up. Oh well, I had a good time, while it lasted! :)

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Kisal
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I live in a valley surrounded by volcanoes. Although none in my immediate vicinity has erupted recently ... certainly not in my lifetime ... more than one of them is heating up and shows frequent earthquake activity from lava and steam movement. It's been going on for years and years ... decades, even.

I quit worrying about it long ago.

I live hundreds of miles from Mt. St. Helens, in WA state, but that eruption deposited about 1/8 inch of ash inside my home, even though all our doors and windows were closed. Our vehicles outdoors were coated with an even thicker layer of the stuff. It's a royal pain to remove it, too.

I have some great photos of the sunsets we had that year, though! :D
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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Please, don't live in fear. The survivalist types have been scaring people into building bomb shelters, stocking up on ammo, being afraid of the year 2000 and now it's about hoarding seeds.

I'm almost fifty years old and I'm already seeing patterns and events repeating.

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Zapatay
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No fear but I find the topic of self sufficient living / survival so interesting. No harm in having contingency plans...

I have 5 brothers (I'm the only daughter) and we'd camp for weeks up in the northwoods - Amazing how my father/mother taught us survival skills and discussed what it would take to live w/o electricity, running water etc... Camping in the snow, bathing on a few cups of water...

This year:
Better garden - Additional concentration on disease resistance and heirloom qualities
Preservation of food (learn more on dehydration - pressure canner)
Learn more on herbal /natural remedies
Would love a fully rotational 3 month pantry

The subject makes me think of people who live off the grid ... How do you TOTALLY disappear? Up in the mountains and to be completely independent of other people and communications... quite interesting.

Suppose they wouldn't get their info on the mainstream media from newspaper deliveries...

Don't think I could be self sufficient to that degree but I would like to say I'm "in the world and not of this world".

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I thought saving seeds was about preserving diversity and thumbing our noses at the vultures who try to sell you seeds that after months of time and effort growing them, you can only harvest what you'll use, but cannot collect their seeds to grow usable plants in the future. :evil:

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Ozark Lady
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I am not talking fear. I do remember Y2K and even then, I only had a few extra cases of food on hand. Normal food, not the fancy stuff.

I am talking about preparing to take care of yourself.

About once a year, we have a power outage, and sometimes it can last up to 2 weeks. So, I have a generator. Is this fear? No... this is preparing for what will surely happen.

I lived almost 10 years... off the grid. We set up a 12 volt system, gas refridgerator, etc. I can do it. But, at the moment, I am not set up with a 12 volt system, and I would lose the food in my frig and freezer.
And I would have computer withdrawal... I don't run my computer on the generator, concerned it would damage it.
I think it would be a very good idea to have some 12 volt appliances, and items set up... for convenience and boredom... ha ha
Is this fear? I think this is simply planning ahead.

And I bring the same power outage mentality to gardening.
I want to learn to grow wheat... That will be interesting, wonder what it tastes like fresh... Can I do this... all the way to bread?

And learning to do this... does help me have confidence, no matter what is happening... I can help myself through this... Whether it is unemployment, underemployment, bad weather, disasters affecting the crops that I eat, or something worse.

Our house burned down, nothing left. But, we had a mobile, that we were in the process of remodelling, we owned the land, we had jobs, we could recover, it would simply take time.
The day of the fire, the issue was: buy shoes, socks, toothbrushes, brush comb, undies, clothes for work.
We had another mobile, no power there, no water, no septic... the power came from the house that burned, and when it went it killed power to everything. We had a roof, but no furniture, no bedding, no clothes, no food. And so, temporarily we were dependant. One daughter in law, brought me shoes to get to town, another took her coat off and put it on me. Two sons kept watch on the fire, to keep putting it out as it relit. One son, went to get supplies to get the mobile liveable... power, water etc. And the 4th son, went shopping for bedding, dishes etc. They were all busy boys that day.
It was hard to accept help. We needed help, just to get through the first day... I mean, you can't go shopping in your wet, smoky nightgown!
We had to sleep at night, and Red Cross offered us a motel for a week.

Am I living in fear? No. I faced minutes between myself and death... and managed to finally get the back door open. And we got out, mostly undamaged. But, I am realistic... we will all face issues in our lives.
Does it hurt to have a box, somewhere in the barn with clothes, shoes, a toothbrush, comb etc. in it? Is that fear? I don't cower from lightning even though it was what changed my life for about a year.
What if a tree fell on my roof and got my clothes all wet... that box at the barn, could help me be more comfortable, as I dealt with the wet ones in my bedroom. What if I got sprayed by a skunk... that box at the barn could help here too! ha ha What if I fell into the mud... that box...
You get my point.
Not fear, just a bit of planning ahead... I really need a box at the barn.. ha ha
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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Zapatay
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I really need a barn.




*Glad you hear you made it thru okay - Thanks for sharing Lady Ozark :)

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Ozark Lady
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I need a new barn... I have a tree across my barn... It fell during a storm, the top is in another tree... no access to it. It is not actually touching the barn, just across, over it. Can't reach it at any point but the base... and if you cut that... wham!
And the crazy tree is still alive, and it turns all green in season.
But, it is a huge tree, I could not span the trunk, and when it finally goes... so goes my barn. We keep looking and trying to figure out a way to take it out, or prop it up... ha ha
We can't find a safe way to remove it, no matter what you do it will get the barn.

So, I simply need to begin constructing a new barn... and make that one off limits. ha ha. If I do that, the tree will live on for 10 years, if not, it will fall. ha ha.

But, you could keep a small suitcase in the trunk of your car, with shoes, change of clothes, night clothes, and toothbrush and comb... You would be amazed what a clean outfit, and grooming aids will do for ya... in times of great need.

I was in the garden working, as the heavy equipment cleaned up the remnants of the fire. You know gardening is therapeutic (sp?).
Then, I realized... my seeds were lost! Oops not so helpful.

Okay, include seeds in your suitcase.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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Fortunately, I have natural gas for my stove and oven, furnace, and hot water heater. On those occasions when we have lost power, we were able to have it restored within 24 hours, unlike many this winter (and last) who've lost their power for days and days, and we could cook and stay warm in the meantime.

A truly minor inconvenience, believe me.

I have already survived what I sincerely *hope* is the worst that will happen to me, barring the last eventuality.

When I lived in Atlanta, I came home one Friday night after getting up early that morning to work out, go to classes, go to work in the afternoon directly *from* classes, and then to the symphony that evening. I was also fostering a litter of kittens. I came home after the symphony and was juggling textbooks, work materials, kitten toys, a heating pad, my handbag, workout clothes, and I don't remember what else. Then...

...as I got out of my car,...

...someone walked out from behind the very large tree in front of the house where I lived. Someone with a gun. A short-barreled gun which he held to my right-side ribs.

For 45 minutes.

As he edged me down the street (a not very well lit street, might I add), I talked to him, listened to the little he had to say, warned him when a car was approaching so that we could look "normal"; it was as if someone else were doing these things for me and I was an instrument of such action. My conscious self juggled the toys, clothes, and whatnot, and I never did get a clear look at the gun.

Eventually, my roommate realized (duh!) that he had heard my car drive up "quite a while ago" but I hadn't come in. He had heard voices outside (YES! I had been throwing my voice in the direction of the house--it's called "projection"--without shouting or even raising the volume of my voice). But eventually ... after a long while ... he came out onto the porch and called my name.

At that moment, the gun-holder took off running, away from the house.

Only then did I discern, from the sound of his footsteps, that he was...bare-footed.

No one can outrun a bullet. I am so relieved to have out-talked one.

Cynthia H.

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rainbowgardener
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Wow, what an amazing story! I do believe that frequently people like that can be talked out of it, if you stay calm and talk to them one human being to another. There are many such stories around. My great aunt was a missionary in India and China in the early 1900's. She used to tell a story of going to see the TajMahal by moonlight and someone coming up with a knife to rob her (she was 4'10" and this was in the days before telephones or anything). She talked to him lovingly about God's plan for him and how much she cared for him and talked him out of it.

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Zapatay
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The power of having grace is amazing.......

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Ozark Lady wrote:I want to learn to grow wheat... That will be interesting, wonder what it tastes like fresh... Can I do this... all the way to bread?
Fresh wheat has a slightly sweet nutty flavor. Chew roughly 6 to 12 grains of it for a few minutes, and as the gluten develops, it takes on a texture very much like chewing gum. We did it all the time when I was a kid. :)

A good friend of mine built a stand for his bicycle, so he could attach the back wheel to turn a flour mill. (I still have the mill, in fact.) I don't know whether he grew the wheat himself, but it wouldn't surprise me at all. He would ride the bike and grind flour as he watched TV in the evening. On Saturdays, he would use the flour to bake bread. Very tasty bread, too, I might add! :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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Without going nutso, I think OL raises an interesting topic.

Without even throwing disaster into it, we can still see places that might cause us to rethink out food security...

What if oil depletes considerably over the next few decades? Prices for shipping skyrocket; antything from less tha a few miles away gets exorbinant. How will you do?

Climate, whether you are a believer or not, does seem less stable than the preceding decades. Cooling or warming, there will be more instability. How are your crop mixes reflecting that?

The power of grace should be finding us in our gardens too. I will be growing more native food crops this year, and trying new/old techniques with some new/old crops. While uncertainty is a part of any season, we are going into some strange days, I think. My Boy Scout training tells me to Be Prepared...

HG
Scott Reil

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Not fear, just a bit of planning ahead...
True, point taken. ;)

I have canned food, flashlights, batteries and supplies of water ready for the next big earthquake.

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That's all good stuff Rog, but I am looking at a deeper malaise, one we might not come out of instantly or even after a few weeks or months. As we are showing no signs of slowing our oil dependency, and as we haven't discovered enough oil to cover what we are using ever since the early 80's, and with many nations around the planet revisiting their strategic reserve numbers and drastically rounding them down, it seems entirely possible that humans are going to come to an energy crisis that we are denying exists for the moment. So we will likely come to it in a wholly unprepared and abrupt fashion.

No one is able to predict with any certainty when that crunch might occur, but considering that the two best years ever for worldwide oil discovery, 1948 and 1966, both around 57 gigabarrels of oil, could be swallowed up by four years of CURRENT production (which no longer keeps up with nominal demand), it seems we will not have oil for very much longer. Certainly it will dissappear in the lifetime of most everyone typing away here now.

So what does that world look like? What does OL's world of suddeen ecological climate shift look like? Not just a few weeks without electricity or water, but a descent from global civilization to local economy? How are you prepped for that transition? Assuming that these things cannot happen may be comforting, but I think it may be shortsighted...

So how is your food security?

HG
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rainbowgardener
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That's what I meant by trying to prevent/ prepare for the disasters I can see coming. I don't know if we will ever be hit by a giant meteor, have a nuclear war, have another Krakatoa. I do know we are planet wide living unsustainably, have passed the peak of oil production, and are at least very close to some tipping points where dramatic global climate shifts will no longer be preventable.

I'm doing the best I can to try to work on the prevention end of all that while at least learning skills that will help in the brave new world. How's my food security? Between my local CSA and what I grow, we can live pretty well DURING THE GROWING SEASON. I'm not even close to putting by enough to feed us through 6 months of nothing much growing. I think I just need to move somewhere with a longer growing season.

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Another climate refugee? :lol:

I don't think we need run around with heads cut off, but we do need to examine our future on a planet that is showing increasing signs of distress from behaviors we do not want or are not able to curtail.

Talked to the young ladies at the Seeds Of Change booth at NE Grows, and they said they are seeing seed hording by the survivalist types really ramping up this year. Seems 2012 fever has gripped the hunker-in-the-bunker crowd, and they are wiping out some varieties. Seed sales are at unheard of highs; last years records are being easily eclipsed by this year.

Economic uncertainty, ecological uncertainty, and a huge educational uncertainty about the other two means we cannot predict the future with any degree of accuracy. In that scenario, worst case planning seems a smart idea...

HG
Scott Reil

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Seems a little commercial as we don't all have the cryogenic systems they are installing in Norway to house the survival bank there. Need a new survival pack every year or lose about ten percent of fertility every year you don't replace. :?

I suggest that we start collecting seeds ourselves every year, but guess what? About everyone here does that already! (I am a last lazy hold out, still buying plants at the garden center or local farm, but this is my last year, I swear it). So maybe rather than using it all every season we leave a third of the seed in the envelope and throw it in the freezer. Perhaps we leave some of our crop to go to seed to get more, for trading or a back up currency (tell me food crop seeds wouldn't be a commodity if the current picture goes haywire).

Our record warm spring is not just here or there, is it? Warmest recorded winter ever in Canada. Another fast melt has folks in Fargo sandbagging again this year. Things are changing there, and here and we are still burning more oil not less, which is what we have every year now, less oil...

So I agree with SSB that seed saving is smart, but I don't think more commercialism is the answer; more self sufficiency is the answer... grow your own!

HG
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Ozark Lady
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I think we will all do well, to look at what we are currently eating.

What do you like? What do you need to remain healthy? What is your favorite, and most comforting snack or meal made of? Can you make this all on your own, if for whatever reason you can't buy it?

I know alot of wild foods, and I grow alot of foods, and I am blessed with a long growing season. I am forever, finding new raspberry patches, new mulberry trees, etc. But, if I had to live on what I have here, with no outside resources, folks I would starve, or be pretty malnourished.

If I plan on living on foods in my pantry, and freezer, I would get bored, but live quite awhile, but, sooner or later it must be refilled, how, unless, I make a conscious effort to make sure that my food is renewable resource too!

I checked out some links about permaculture, and in those are many references to building, an old fashioned root cellar. That would go a long way towards saving food, and the advantage? It isn't processed, so you could possibly plant some items there for another harvest.

I have even seen references to perennial grains. Apple has the right idea with her espaliered fruit trees, for the space used, she is maximizing her food harvest. This is great, then the mushrooms, the rice.

I did look up oats, and seems that they are hard to hull unless you grow hull-less ones. But, they would still feed animals, who in turn would help to feed us, I am thinking eggs and milk here. But also the manure from the animals help our food to grow, and the straw would be great for mulch.

My cousin, has cages with rabbits, and chickens in town. The neighbors protested the roosters crowing, so she had to go with only hens. But she still has her livestock, manure and fresh meat and eggs. She built a series of runs for her chickens and rabbits to exercise in.

A few years back, in a goat journal, I read of a lady who kept a dairy goat in her garage, daily she cleaned her garage, and the neighbors never knew she had her goat there. Once a year, she took the goat to visit a buck, and got new kids, which she sold soon as weaned, then she had milk for the next 8 months. Not a bad trade off, and goats are every bit as sweet and loving as a dog. And by the way, females have no odor, if they are cared for properly. Any animal including humans left in filth will reek.

We raised quail for awhile, you can get alot of birds in a very small cage, and they will provide you with meat and eggs also. Okay tiny eggs, but my 5 year old used to brag of eating 2 dozen eggs for breakfast! And they are quiet!

My son has baby pigeons, in a cage at the moment, I have never tasted pigeon, but isn't it a delicacy some places? Here is a note from Wikki:
The practice of domesticating pigeon as livestock may have come from the Middle East;[6] historically, squab or pigeons have been consumed in many civilizations, including Ancient Egypt, Rome and Medieval Europe.[3] Texts about methods of raising pigeons for their meat have been dated back to AD 60 in Spain

And with these "mini" livestock, you would still get bedding and manure to add to your garden.

We just need to get creative, I am now looking at my cockatiel, her cage, and the cleaning of it, could quite well add to compost.
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MMM, cockatiel... :twisted:

Cockatiel stuffed in a squab, stuffed in a duck stuffed in a chicken, in a turkey...

A whole new level of turducken!

:lol:

But I think OL is right about making your space count (and how AS is on the right track, I continued to be amazed at how much food comes out of that space :D ). Annual food crops are great, but if you want real food security, perennial, and woody crops, from artichokes to hazelnuts to paw paws, have got it all over year to year seed.

Knowledge of wild food is about the smartest thing you could study on; I try to pick up at least one new food forage a year; this year will be Chenopodium, or lambsquarters; I am both growing my own and looking for native at the same time (I thought this would educate me on a moment to moment scale of the plant). I have also planted fiddleheads in the yard (last year's forage plant), bluberries and serviceberries and chokeberries (three of the highest antioxidant plants on the planet). Raspberries got planted last year by me and at least three blackberries planted by the birds the year before. Volunteer food is good...

Some of my natives I can't do (wild rice, sea pickle) some I just haven't tried (chicken of the woods mushroom is probaby doable). But it's not just interesting to watch somebody's face when you grab a plant out of the wild (or your lawn) and say "Eat this"... (not that that isn't fun :lol: )

It's my food security...

What's your favorite forage, OL?

HG
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Can I come out of my bunker now?

I need a generator system so I can run my well pump.

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That's a thought I've been having lately my self, but what about when oil gets scarce?

Bio-diesel? Alcohol? Biomass?

Hmmm, a bunker... :lol:

HG
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My favorite forage, oh that is hard.

My largest quantities of forage would be berries: blackberry, raspberry, mulberry, elderberry. I have enough of these that the animals can't eat them all!

Then I like it when I find plums, paw paws, grapes, and persimmons. Often the critters beat me to these.

Oh and wild strawberries, they are so tiny, but each tiny morsel, is heaven on earth!

I am ecstatic when I find morels, or oysters, bear head, or even coral mushrooms.

Oddly, I have black walnuts and hickory nuts, and just don't forage them, we did crack one black walnut and ate it last year... one nut! And I even like both, but, they are just so hard to get into! And they are everywhere!

Poke Sallet is always on the table at least once a year. Maypops are tasty on a hot summer day.

Oh and I noticed the Sassafras is getting green stems, earlier today, in the early season, it smells like lemons, the leaves are the filet used in filet gumbo soups, and the roots are always a treat for tea, or even just to boil to scent the air.

I did try lambs quarters, perhaps they should be eaten when young? They are tough and taste, like a stem of a weed when you chew on it! I also tried dandelions, and they aren't worth preparing. They are strong tasting, and not appetizing to me, at least, again, perhaps they should be harvested younger. I tried the little fiddleheads on ferns, not much food value there for the effort of getting them. They tasted just okay to me, I didn't harvest them a second time. I tried May Apples, they are abundant here, they are bland and tasteless.

I munch on oxalis, or rabbit grass as we call it, whenever I find it.

My favorite, wow difficult question. And most of what I listed, I could get with only a 5 minute walk, if at the right season.

I am about to take some Elderberries out of the freezer, mush them up and try to remove as many seeds as possible, then make some elderberry syrup. The seeds have not been cooked at all, and won't be cooked. I am going to try germinating some of them. Then if anyone wants some, just pm me. But, give me a few days to see if they will germinate. I won't be ferminting them, not sure what should be done, I will just remove the pulp and juice, then try drying some.

Elderberries are a bush type tree, not tall, that is pretty easy going, they have big blooms in spring, some folks use these in pancake batter, and then they have berries. You have to get the seeds out of them, and then, you really can't tell the difference in elderberry syrup and blueberry syrup. The small buds of the flowers, before they begin to turn from green to purple, can be made into very good capers.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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Ozark Lady
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Oh, before I forget, my husband and my son are in a challenge.

Their challenge to each other is: build a generator that does not use any gas at all, and can be run on naturally occuring items, the one who makes the most electricity, gets free dinner from the other one.

My hubby is looking at a version of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhwQt1tJYa8
But beefed up to do alot more than just run itself, and a light bulb. And his diagram, does not use electricity to start it in the first place.

My son apparently is considering a version of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U60JvoOA1t4
I am not quite sure how his will work, I haven't seen his diagrams as of yet.

But, both are busy gathering materials, and planning out their systems.

Have any of you seen this? : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3ECaYPQxK4 Food for thought, huh?

So, while I am hard at work learning about our foods, they are hard at work, figuring out our heat, light, etc.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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