LINK:  6 Trees Every Survivalist Should Know & Why

Tree identification is not just for survivalists


Tree identification is not just for survivalists, it’s also part of a well rounded home school education, at least in our neck of the woods.  We use Peterson’s Field Guides to help teach the girls about the natural world around them.

Source: 6 Trees Every Survivalist Should Know & Why

Wouldn’t You Rather?

Wouldn’t you, too, rather eat fresh green beans than the canned stuff from the store?

This morning by 10am, I had a good many beans picked, snapped, washed and stored in the fridge for later use.  Tonight we had fried cod fish and chips (yes, fried potatoes, not the non-food kind from a bag), and with it said fresh green beans from our garden.  Simple food, simply delicious.

So here are the rhetorical questions for the day:

which rather green beans

Wouldn’t you, too, rather eat the fresh beans than the canned stuff from the store?

What’s keeping you from growing some in your own back yard, front yard, side yard, along your driveway, on your balcony, or wherever you can dig in the dirt or place a bale of straw?

Wheat prices jump on Montana drought news

“Wal-Mart Wheat” has more than doubled in price

UPDATE:  A quick call to the Amish (yes, they have phones and answer them) confirms that they have 50 lbs of red hard winter wheat for $25.95

I notice this morning that the “Wal-Mart Wheat” has more than doubled in price in the past month or so.  We usually buy wheat by the 50 lb. bag from the Amish.  The last purchase we paid $27.50 for 50 lbs.  The Wal-Mart Wheat (Augason Farms Emergency Food Hard Red Wheat) is currently selling at $36.99 for 26 lb.

A recent jump in spring wheat payments have been a light at the end of a tunnel for grain farmers, except in northeast Montana, where it’s become a drought-driven train.


Why We Grind Our Own Flour

Quoting from “Living the Good Life” by Helen and Scott Nearing, from the chapter “Eating for Health”.

The bread (pancakes, viking bread, biscuits etc.) we bake with the flour we grind ourselves is surely superior in taste and texture to anything made from store-bought flour.  But the more important reason why we grind our own flour lies elsewhere.

Quoting from “Living the Good Life” by Helen and Scott Nearing, from the chapter “Eating for Health“; the studies and government statements the Nearings are referencing are from the late 1940s and early 1950s, when food sold at the grocery stores was still a lot healthier than it is these days:

“The milling of grain is a case in point.  For a long time, humans stored their grains hole, as they came from the threshing floor.  The grain, if dry, kept indefinitely, and because of the hard shell which covered each kernel, lost little of its nutritive value.  Wholemeal flour, however, will not keep.  Oxidation alters its chemical character.  The oil in the kernel becomes rancid or evaporates.  In a comparatively short time wholegrain flour becomes sour and mouldy.  Therefore, under ideal conditions, when bread is to be baked, the whole grain should be ground.”

You can do that if you grind your wheat yourself, you know.  It just takes a little bit of planning ahead.

When big business corporations moved into the milling industry they took steps to ensure the profitableness of their investments.  Their first step was to find ways to cut costs, (…) ‘to make a cheaper product resemble a better one’.

Two, they undertook to ‘refine’ the flour, ‘to impart properties of softness and sales appeal’, to reduce it to smaller particles so that it could be swallowed with less chewing and would make lighter breads and pastries.  The germ and outer grain covering from the kernels were removed; with them went the oil, the protein and the minerals.

Three, they whitened flour, on the assumption that what is whiter is cleaner and otherwise superior.  This had the added advantage of removing every vestige of livingness from the flour which became inert and could no longer spoil.  Flour was bleached by using one of the caustic chemicals such as chlorine, which sterilizes and reduces to a dead white color.

Four, modern milling involved processing at high speed metal machines which heated the flour and deprived it of any possible remaining nutritional elements.

Five, flours are now ‘enriched’ by putting back substitutes, ‘synthetic chemicals’, for the essential elements removed in the course of processing.  To quote again (…), ‘Many of the flours and breads contain phosphorous, flourine, silicone, alum, nicotinic acid, potassium bromate, and a score of other poisonous drugs…  Bakery products, like so many of the processed foods, apparently offer those who would resort to chemicals and substitutes, a great opportunity for profit at the expense not only of the consumer financially but of the actual health of the customer.’

Milling may sound like a horrible example of food processing.  It is only one among many.”

Avoid poisoning yourself more than absolutely necessary.

Learned Something

Fasting can prepare your taste buds for bitter foods because you gut is what determines whether or not you like something.

swiss chard2

Ever since we looked into aspects of a less inflammatory diet as well as carb-free, or at least carb-poor food choices, we learned a lot about the benefits of so-called bitter greens, namely Swiss chard, kale, beet greens, dandelion greens and the like.  And so, following the rule that a healthy meal should be planned around 2-3 vegetables  (2 above ground and 1 below ground) and rounded off with 1 grain or legume and 1 protein, we started eating more and more “bitter” greens.

Come to find out, the bitterness of bitter greens, if you even think they are bitter, is softened if you throw a bland vegetable like zucchini into the skillet as well.  Thus, one of last summer’s staples was a bunch of Swiss chard sauteed with chopped zucchini and some green onion and garlic.  That covered the desired different veggies and took care of some of the overabundance of last summer’s zucchini and Swiss chard plants as well.

Now here’s what I’ve learned recently:  If you have a hard time with bitter as a taste, but have realized that it would be good for you to eat more bitter greens, you might want to try a day of fasting before cooking a batch of beet greens or kale.  Fasting can prepare your taste buds for something new because your gut is what determines whether or not you like/ crave something.  I find this to be quite convincing and a good place to start if you need to do something about your not-so-very-healthy cravings, and also to train your palate to be less delicate.

Other people are much better at explaining this kind of thing, so head over here for more info about all things bitter yet better.

And today, I’ll be a-fasting.

Images:  Young Swiss Chard

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