Edible Wild Plants: Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella Bursa-Pastoris)

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Shepherd’s purse (Capsella Bursa-Pastoris) is a lover of waste grounds, roadsides and old fields. It bears flat, heart-shaped seed pods and is similar to peppergrasses. The basal leaves are dandelionlike, while the stem leaves are clasping. It produces white flowers that are found on spikelike clusters.

Shepherds Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

The vigorously growing new foliage is sometimes cooked like spinach and, although its turnip-like odor and flavor are disagreeable to some, it is relished by many people.

Survival Edible Wild Plant - Shepherds PurseBarton, in 1818, writing from Philadelphia, said: “The young radical leaves are brought to market and sold for greens, in the spring of the year” and Correa de Serra in 1821 wrote to the Horticultural Society of London: “The Capsella bursa pastoris, or common Shepherd’s purse… is an esculent plant in Philadelphia, brought to market in large quantities in the early season. The taste, when boiled, approaches that of Cabbage, but is softer and milder. This plant varies wonderfully in size and succulence of leaves, according to the nature and state of the soil where it grows. Those from the gardens and highly cultivated spots near Philadelphia come to a size and succulence of leaf scarcely to be believed without seeing them. They may be easily bleached by the common method, and certainly in that state would be a valuable addition to the list of delicate culinary vegetables.”

By 1837 Darlington, writing from neighboring West Chester, Pennsylvania with special emphasis on “domestic and rural economy,” did not know of the phenomenal plant of the Philadelphia market and spoke of Shepard’s purse, as others have ever since, merely as “a troublesome weed.”

Chestnut states that by California Indians the seeds are sometimes gathered and ground into meal.

Shepherd’s purse flowers from mid-spring to mid-fall, and is found throughout the United States.

Edible Parts

  • Leaves
  • Seeds
  • Oil

Uses

Leaves – raw or cooked. The young leaves, used before the plant comes into flower, make a fine addition to salads.

The leaves are a cress and cabbage substitute, becoming peppery with age. Leaves are usually available all year round, though they can also be dried for later use. The leaves contain about 2.9% protein, 0.2% fat, 3.4% carbohydrate, 1% ash. They are rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C. A zero moisture basis analysis is available.

The young flowering shoots can be eaten raw or cooked. They are rather thin and fiddly but the taste is quite acceptable. They can be available at most times of the year.

Seed – raw or cooked. It can be ground into a meal and used in soups etc. It is very fiddly to harvest and utilize, the seed is very small.

The seed contains 35% of a fatty oil. This oil can be extracted and is edible. The seedpods can be used as a peppery seasoning for soups and stews.

The fresh or dried root is a ginger substitute.

Shepherds Purse Medicinal Properties
Medicinal Uses

Shepherd’s purse is little used in herbalism, though it is a commonly used domestic remedy, being especially efficacious in the treatment of both internal and external bleeding, diarrhea etc.

A tea made from the whole plant is anti-scorbutic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, haemostatic, hypotensive, oxytocic, stimulant, vasoconstrictor, vasodilator and vulnerary. A tea made from the dried herb is considered to be a sovereign remedy against hemorrhages of all kinds – the stomach, the lungs, the uterus and more especially the kidneys.

The plant can be used fresh or dried, for drying it is harvested in the summer. The dried herb quickly loses its effectiveness and should not be stored for more than a year. Clinical trials on the effectiveness of this plant as a wound herb have been inconclusive. It appears that either it varies considerably in its effectiveness from batch to batch, or perhaps a white fungus that is often found on the plant contains the medically active properties.

The plant has been ranked 7th amongst 250 potential anti-fertility plants in China. It has proven uterine-contracting properties and is traditionally used during childbirth.

The plant is a folk remedy for cancer – it contains fumaric acid which has markedly reduced growth and viability of Ehrlich tumor in mice.

A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh plant. It is used in the treatment of nose bleeds and urinary calculus.

The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Capsella bursa-pastoris Shepherd’s Purse for nose bleeds, premenstrual syndrome, wounds & burns.

Other Uses

The seed, when placed in water, attracts mosquitoes. It has a gummy substance that binds the insects mouth to the seed.

The seed also releases a substance toxic to the larvae. ½ kilo of seed is said to be able to kill 10 million larvae.

Plants can be grown on salty or marshy land in order to reclaim it by absorbing the salt and ‘sweetening’ the soil.

Where Does Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella Bursa-Pastoris) Grow?

Shepherds Purse (Capsella Bursa-Pastoris) Growing Area

How To Identify Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella Bursa-Pastoris)

Shepherds Purse Identification

Shepherds Purse Leaves
Leaves

Shepherd’s purse basal leaves grow to 10 cm long. The leaves are stalked, and the first leaves are usually rounded, while the later leaves are usually deeply toothed but may be rather variable. Smaller, slightly toothed, alternate leaves clasp the flower stalk.

Shepherds Purse Flowers
Flower

Flowering takes place mostly in late winter or spring, but can take place year-round under favorable conditions. Flower stalks grow erect or slightly horizontal and are mostly 2/5 to 3/5 of an inch (10–15 mm) long. The four white flower petals are sometimes tinged pale pink, and narrow toward the base (clawed).

Shepherds Purse Fruit
Fruit

Fruit consist of flat, heart or triangular-shaped pods making this species easy to recognize when mature and distinguishes it from other plants in the mustard family. Each pod has two chambers divided by a narrow ridge (septum). The pods attach to the stem on long stalks. They are peppery in taste, and eventually open to release many seeds from each chamber.

Shepherds Purse Seeds
Seeds

Seeds are oblong, slightly flattened, a dull, reddish to yellowish brown, and tiny—about 1/25 of an inch (1 mm) long.

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Organic Fertilizer & Pest Control For Your Garden

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Organic Garden Fertilizer Recipes
Fertilizer

Energizing Earthworm Elixir

  • 2.5 pounds earthworm castings
  • 1/4 pound Epsom salts
  • 2 tablespoons instant tea

Combine and put 1 cup under each transplanted tomato or melon before planting.

Organic Fertilizer Recipe

Mix uniformly, in parts by volume:

  • 4 parts seed meal
  • 1/4 part ordinary agricultural lime, best finely ground
  • 1/4 part gypsum (or double the agricultural lime)
  • 1/2 part dolomitic lime

Plus, for best results:

  • 1 part bone meal, rock phosphate or high-phosphate guano
  • 1/2 to 1 part kelp meal (or 1 part basalt dust)

Organic Gardening Pest Control
Pests

Are you struggling with cabbage worms, spider mites, and aphids? Here are a few solutions to these common problems:

Spider Mite Fighter

  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 2 quarts water

Combine and apply with a spray bottle. This suffocates the spider mites.

Cabbage Worm Killer

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

Combine and sprinkle on cabbage. After they eat it, the flour expands and kills the worms.

To fight aphids, I plant a little basil nearby. I have 10 times less aphids on my lettuce when I do this.

Orange Peel Spray

This is another mixture that can target the bad bugs destroying your plants.  It will work great against soft-bodied bugs suck as aphids, fungus gnats, mealy bugs and will also repel ants.

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • Peelings of on orange
  • A few drops castile soap

Take the boiling water and pour it over the orange peels and allow to sit for 24 hours.  Take the mixture and strain it into a container and add the soap.  Spray plants completely.

Disease

There is nothing more frustrating than watching your plants suffer and die from disease. Even though I live in an arid climate with almost no humidity, my zucchini and squash always suffer from powdery mildew. I think it’s because the leaves get watered by the irrigation from the lawn and nearby park. This concoction works, but you have to be regular and diligent about applying it.

Powdery Mildew Manager

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon Murphy’s Oil Soap
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda

Combine and apply with a spray bottle. Catch it early or you might need to resort to stronger chemical methods.

Happy gardening everyone!

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Edible Wild Plants: Burdock (Arctium Lappa)

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Edible Wid Plant BurdockBurdock (Arctium Lappa) has been traditionally used as a skin remedy for acne, boils, abscesses, eczema and psoriasis. It can be taken alone or mixed with other herbs such as dandelion root or yellow dock root, to balance its strong cleansing action. Burdock can occasionally worsen skin conditions initially due to its strong detoxifying action. To avoid this, build up the dosage gradually.

Historically burdock root has been described as an “alterative” and a “blood purifier” and was believed to clear toxins from the bloodstream and restore liver and gallbladder function. It is considered an immune system stimulator and relieves gout symptoms. Ancient Chinese medicine combined burdock root with other herbs to treat colds, measles, sore throats, and tonsillitis. The Japanese consume burdock root as a vegetable.

As a food-plant the usually common, throughout southern Canada and the more norther United States, and much despised Burdock (Arctium Lappa) has greater possibilities than the neglected Pigweed.

Edible Burdock Plant Weed

In fact, in Japan an esculent garden variety has been developed and, according to some authors, it is in that country “as important as potato is here”; and a century ago the great French botanist, Poiret, expressed astonishment that Burdock was not generally found in French kitchens.

In many parts of Europe Burdock-roots, young leaves and young stems have been much used for food. The roots, at the end of the first season, are described as tender, nutritious, of excellent flavor, in this as well as in form and size resembling salsify, like which they are cooked.

Medicinal Uses for Edible Wild Plant Burdock

Our experiments, following this suggestion, have been surprisingly successful. The tender pith of the root and the leaf-stalks when young, before the stem has begun to lengthen, boiled in two waters (with a little soda in the first water, to break the tough fibers, salt in the second water), make a really palatable and unusual potherb.

Edible Wild Plants of North America: BurdockThe young stems, which are often an inch or more in diameter, are gathered before the flower-heads are well formed, in late spring or early summer, and carefully peeled, great care being taken to remove every shred of the tough, strong-smelling and bitter rind. The remaining pith is a half-inch or more thick, tender, and succulent and, when cooked in two or more water (to remove the strong taste), makes a superior vegetable, in flavor like salsify.

Surely, when our sophisticated tastes have been trained to favor the Burdock (Arctium Lappa), there should be no trouble in exterminating this now obnoxious weed from many back yards.

Edible Parts

  • Leaves
  • Root
  • Seed
  • Stem

Uses

Root – raw or cooked. Very young roots can be eaten raw, but older roots are normally cooked. They can be up to 120cm long and 2.5cm wide at the top, but are best harvested when no more than 60cm long.

Old and very long roots are apt to become woody at the core. Although it does not have much flavor the root can absorb other flavors. Young roots have a mild flavor, but this becomes stronger as the root gets older.

The root is white but discolors rapidly when exposed to the air. Roots can be dried for later use. They contain about 2.5% protein, 0.14% fat, 14.5% carbohydrate, 1.17% ash.

The root contains about 45% inulin. Inulin is a starch that cannot be digested by the human body, and thus passes straight through the digestive system. In some people this starch will cause fermentation in the gut, resulting in wind. Inulin can be converted into a sweetener that is suitable for diabetics to eat.

Young leaves – raw or cooked. A mucilaginous texture. The leaves contain about 3.5% protein, 1.8% fat, 19.4% carbohydrate, 8.8% ash.

Young stalks and branches – raw or cooked. Used like asparagus or spinach. They taste best if the rind is removed. The leaf stalks can be parboiled and used as a substitute for cardoons. The pith of the flowering stem can be eaten raw in salads, boiled or made into confections. A delicate vegetable, somewhat like asparagus in flavor.

The seeds can be sprouted and used like bean-sprouts.

Medicinal Uses

Burdock is one of the foremost detoxifying herbs in both Chinese and Western herbal medicine.

The dried root of one year old plants is the official herb, but the leaves and fruits can also be used. It is used to treat conditions caused by an ‘overload’ of toxins, such as throat and other infections, boils, rashes and other skin problems.

The root is thought to be particularly good at helping to eliminate heavy metals from the body.

The plant is also part of a North American formula called essiac which is a popular treatment for cancer. Its effectiveness has never been reliably proven or disproven since controlled studies have not been carried out.

The other herbs included in the formula are Rumex acetosella, Ulmus rubra and Rheum palmatum.

The plant is antibacterial, antifungal, carminative.

It has soothing, mucilaginous properties and is said to be one of the most certain cures for many types of skin diseases, burns, bruises etc.

It is used in the treatment of herpes, eczema, acne, impetigo, ringworm, boils, bites etc].

The plant can be taken internally as an infusion, or used externally as a wash. Use with caution.

The roots of one-year old plants are harvested in mid-summer and dried. They are alterative, aperient, blood purifier, cholagogue, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic and stomachic.

The seed is alterative, antiphlogistic, depurative, diaphoretic and diuretic.

Recent research has shown that seed extracts lower blood sugar levels.

The seed is harvested in the summer and dried for later use. The crushed seed is poulticed onto bruises. The leaves are poulticed onto burns, ulcers and sores.

Other Uses

The juice of the plant, when used as a friction, is said to have a stimulating action against baldness.

Where Does Burdock (Arctium Lappa) Grow?

Burdock Arctium Lappa Growing Area

How To Identify Burdock (Arctium Lappa)

Burdock (Arctium Lappa) Leaves
Leaves

Rosette leaves are broadly heart-shaped, 6-18 inches long, 4-14 inches wide, with hollow petioles and wavy and toothed margins.  The undersides of these leaves are loosely hairy and light green.  Stem leaves are much smaller, alternate, and egg-shaped.

Burdock (Arctium Lappa) Flowers
Flowers

Occur in clusters at the ends of branches (terminal racemes) or in clusters that arise from the region between the stem and leaves (axillary racemes).  Flowers are purple to lavender, occasionally white, with outer bracts that are “hooked.”  Flowers dry to a bur, and the hooked bracts are often confused with a thistle.

Burdock (Arctium Lappa) Fruit
Fruit

An achene, mottled dark-gray to black, 4-7 mm long, with a pappus of short bristles.

Burdock (Arctium Lappa) Stems
Stems

Produced during the second year of growth.  Stems are erect, branched, hollow, hairy, and ridged. Stems may reach 5 ft in height.

Burdock (Arctium Lappa) Seedlings
Seedling
Cotyledons are egg-shaped and widest near the apex (obovate) with a waxy surface.  Young leaves are also egg-shaped, except at the truncated base.

Burdock (Arctium Lappa)
Roots

Large taproot.

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Importance of Salt in Civilization for Survival

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Salt is a valuable commodity that could become hard to come by in a long term disaster situation.  In Ancient Rome, salt was used as a form of currency because of it’s importance in preserving food.  In fact, it is still used today as a form of currency in some parts of Africa.  It was a  prime mover of both economy and war.  The importance of having a good supply of salt is commonly overlooked but very well may be the highest commodity after a societal collapse or survival situation.

Importance of Salt for Survival

Salt has been an integral part of civilization dating back as far as 6050 B.C.

Salt has been such an important element of life that it has been the subject of many stories, fables and folktales and is frequently referenced in fairy tales.

It served as currency at various times and places, and it has even been the cause of bitter warfare.

Offering bread and salt to visitors, in many cultures, is traditional etiquette.

Using Salt For Survival

In the CBS apocalyptic series, Jericho, there were towns that literally went to war over salt. And in the Pat Frank book, “Alas, Babylon” the community in Florida were heavily involved in the collection of salt.

Everyone knows that salt is a necessity in food preparations, but it has many other important functions around a homestead environment as well.  Animals, as well as humans cannot live without some salt in their bodies.  On a physiological level, salt is a requirement to sustain a body.  Specifically, salt assists in regulating the functioning of the digestive system and the kidneys, as well as helps conduct electric signals in the body.  Additionally, farmers have also used Epsom salt to heal scratches and rashes on their livestock.  This type of salt suppresses muscle aches and inflammation.

Ways to Use Household Salt
Ways to Use Salt Around the Homestead

  • Food preservation – Table salt is the most important ingredient in curing food.  According to Wikipedia,  salt kills and inhibits the growth of microorganisms by drawing water out of the cells of both microbe and food alike through osmosis.
  • Medical Purposes– Modern medicine has recently rediscovered the healing effects of salt on the body.  Salt provides antiseptic and bactericidal qualities when ocean salt is used.  A way to treat chronically inflamed skin is by bathing in salt (Dead Sea salt or normal salt can be used).  The salt helps to regenerate the skin.  Therefore, it would be effective in the use of psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and chronic eczema, inflamed mucous membranes, as well as arthritis.
  • Tanning hides is another way that salt can be used on the homestead.  The salt preserves the hide.  Experts suggest that for “Hair on tanning,” spread fine granular salt (table salt, canning salt or solar salt) on the hide to completely cover it.  The hide should be salted for 1-3 days.
  • Soaps can get an added boost when  adding salt, specifically sea salt to the soap making process.  The added benefits are that the salt will exfoliate skin and naturally heal the skin from it’s natural antiseptic factors. There are different methods to the soap making process, and research should be done as to which process is right for you.  Additionally, a person can add 1 cup of finely ground sea salt to 1 cup of liquid soap to make a daily exfoliating soap.
  • Livestock – Mineralized salt blocks are a supplemental feeding that can be fed to livestock such as horses, sheep, and goats.  Not to mention, salt blocks can be  used to attract wildlife.  Deer will go the distance to find salt blocks.  Luring wildlife to the homestead would be a beneficial way to hunt without wasting much needed energy when searching.  The wildlife will literally come to you.

Salt is a multipurpose, low cost prep that will be highly desirable if a long term disaster were to come around.  Prepping calculators suggest having 25 pounds of salt stored for one year.  With all of the uses that salt can provide, perhaps we should think about stocking up a little more on this worthwhile prep item.

Modern Marvels – Salt Mines

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Preparing For a Pandemic Influenza Outbreak

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The Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918,lasted over a period of three years occurring in waves, one in 50 people died. A total of 50 Million people perished from it, more than had died in the World War that had just ended.

How to Prepare for Pandemic Flu

The current flu that shows pandemic potential, the H7N9 strain, has a death rate of one in 5, about ten times more deadly than the Spanish Flu.

Human to human transmission has not been sustained yet, but scientists are saying this particular virus mutates at an astonishing rate, so human to human transmission may occur soon. If it does, this should immediately raise the red flag on your bug out plans. Exposed individuals can get on a plane and be anywhere in the world in 22 hours.

Remember during the Spanish flu, the new wonder drug aspirin was just being popularized. Many people took it when they got the flu, and because their fever broke they laid down to get comfortable and never got up again. If you get this flu, do NOT try to break the fever unless it gets to 104 degrees. Do NOT lie down. Stay upright, move around if you can. Tolerate the fever even if it’s making you a little delirious, the fever kills the virus.

What to have on hand for pandemic flu
Items You Should Have on Hand Before a Pandemic Influenza

  • 1 Gallon of Liquid Bleach per Person of the Household
  • 4 boxes of latex gloves (different sizes for every member of the household)
  • 2 boxes of 20 of N95 masks for every member of the household
  • Anti-bacterial soap (for quick hand cleansing)
  • Styrofoam “Take Out” containers (minimize dishes and germ contact surfaces)
  • 100′ roll of clear 4 mil plastic (for setting up an isolation room)
  • 10 rolls duct tape (for setting up an isolation room)
  • More HEPA filters (if you have a central air system)
  • Several Boxes of Borax (for provisional toilets)
  • 25 lbs. of lime per person (for provisional toilets)
  • 50 “yard waste” black garbage bags per person (for provisional toilets and garbage)
  • 100 “kitchen” bags per person (for garbage)
  • 50 “Trash Compactor” bags (for provisional toilets)
  • 25 lbs. of kitty litter per person (for sick people’s body fluids clean up)
  • 100 rolls of toilet paper per person (for personal sanitation)
  • 20 rolls of paper towels per person
  • Several boxes of straws (for sick people so you don’t contaminate drinking cups too much)
  • Clothesline (for washing clothes by hand)
  • Laundry soap (for washing clothes by hand)
  • Good dish soap like “Dawn” or other aggressive anti-grease formula
  • Water filtration and purification devices
  • Water collection, storage and carrying containers
  • Water, water, and more water
  • Portable radio (hand-cranked or battery powered)
  • Walkie talkies (hand-held, two-way GMRS radios)
  • Batteries

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Protecting Your Food Storage From Pests

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Clean, cool, dry storage areas are preferred. Avoid storing food in open containers on shelves. Keep food storage areas free from spilled food and food particles. Good housekeeping helps prevent insect infestations. To prevent or at least minimize insect infestations in stored food products it would be ideal to store them somewhere between 35°F and 45°F. Realistically, if they can be stored below 65°F it will be helpful.

Insects and Animals

In the best interests of the family budget, food conservation, clean food and health, stored food items should be protected from contamination and damage from insect pests.

Small flour beetles, dermestids, weevils, larder beetles, several kinds of moths and other stored food pests readily infest, contaminate, destroy, and consume accessible food supplies. It is important to prevent or reduce these kinds of losses whenever possible.

Protecting Your Food Storage From Pests
Prevent Insect Infestations

To prevent insect infestations in bulk foods, keep all stored foods in tight, clean, metal, plastic, or glass insect-proof containers that have tight fitting lids and no open seams or crevices. Store food off the floor and away from damp areas.

Fumigation with Dry Ice Prior to Storage

To fumigate home stored wheat or similar products, spread about 2 ounces of crushed dry ice on 3 or 4 inches of grain in the bottom of the container, then add the remaining grain to the can until it is at the desired depth. If fumigating large quantities use 14 ounces for 100 pounds of grain or 1 pound of dry ice for each 30 gallons of stored grain. At approximately 75 cents a pound for dry ice the cost of fumigating is reasonable.

Since the fumes from vaporizing dry ice are heavier than air, they should readily replace the existing air in the container. Allow sufficient time for the dry ice to evaporate (vaporize) before placing the lid on all the way (approximately 30 minutes). The lid should not be made tight until the dry ice has pretty well vaporized and has replaced the regular air. Then it can be placed firmly on the container and sealed.

Should pressure cause bulging of the can after the lid has been put in place, remove the lid cautiously for a few minutes and then replace it. If using plastic bags in the can, don’t seal the bags until the dry ice has vaporized. Carbon dioxide will stay in the container for some time, provided the container lid is tight. When practical, follow the above procedure in a dry atmosphere to reduce the condensation of moisture in the bottom of the can.

Dry ice tends to control most adult and larval insects present, but probably will not destroy all the eggs or pupae. If a tight fitting lid is placed firmly on the container after the dry ice has vaporized, it may keep enough carbon dioxide inside to destroy some of the eggs and pupae. After 2 to 3 weeks another fumigation with dry ice may be desirable to destroy adult insects which have matured from the surviving eggs and pupae.

If properly done, these two treatments should suffice. Yearly treatments are not indicated unless an infestation is recognized.

Caution: Dry ice should always be handled with care. It should not be accessible to young children or to adults who are not aware of its vaporizing properties.

Dry Ice to Prevent Insects
Chemical Control in Insect Infested Areas

If the infestation is extensive, dispose of the contaminated food. If the infestation is light, you may be able to salvage the product, but in most cases it will be to your advantage to dispose of any insect infested food you have in storage, including spices.

Remove all food packages and containers from the infested area. Clean the shelves, and as appropriate, remove the lower kitchen drawers and clean the areas behind and underneath the drawers with an extension to the vacuum. Then spray the area with a household formulation of an approved insecticide such as pyrethrum or Malathion. If an aerosol formulation is used, the dosage should be no problem. If mixing a concentrated insecticide with water, follow label directions. Spray cracks and crevices under shelves and along mop boards. Do not spray the insecticide directly on food, food preparation surfaces, such as bread boards, or on any food equipment or utensils. If appropriate, once the spray dries, cover the
shelves with clean shelf paper or foil before returning food packages to the shelves.

Kerosene-based sprays should not be used around flour since the flour may absorb the kerosene. If treating an area where flour is stored, remove the flour before treating and place it back on the shelves after the kerosene odor is gone. Do not spray oil-based insecticides on asphalt-tile floors.

Household formulations of Diazinon, Baygon (propoxur), Malathion, or Drione, may be used for crack and crevice treatment behind radiators, under sinks, and in ant runs to destroy ants, roaches, earwigs, silverfish and roaming flour- infesting insects.See label directions for information on insects controlled by these chemicals and the appropriate uses.

NOTE: Most insecticides are poisonous to man and animals. Follow instructions on the label. Do not store pesticides near foods or medicines. Keep all pesticides out of the reach of children, pets, and livestock.

Physical Methods of Controlling Insects in Food

Clean, cool, dry storage areas are preferred. Avoid storing food in open containers on shelves. Keep food storage areas free of spilled food and food particles. Good housekeeping helps prevent insect infestations.

Deep Freezing Grain & Beans To Prevent Pests
Deep Freeze Control for Grain

Small quantities of grain, 1 to 10 pounds, can be put in medium to heavy food grade plastic bags and placed in a deep freeze for 2 to 3 days. This will usually destroy all stages of any insect pests which are present.

As a check spread the deep freeze treated grain on a cookie tray at room temperature until thawed. If live insects are present they will probably be seen crawling about. If they are present, repeat the process. If not, remove any insect fragments, put the grain in an  approved container and store it in a cool, dry place.

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Heat Treatment – Air

When packaged goods such as beans, cereals, whole grains, nut meats, and similar dried foods become infested they may be “sterilized” by heating in an open oven as follows.

Spread a shallow layer of wheat in a cookie tray or large pan. Pre-heat the oven to about 140° to 150°F. Put the tray in the preheated oven and leave it there for 30 minutes or more. The oven door should be left slightly open to avoid overheating. This treatment should destroy all stages of the insect if the layer of grain on the tray is not too thick (1/2 inch). Next, remove the tray and cool the wheat thoroughly before returning it to a clean, dry storage container. As necessary, use a fan to blow off any existing insect fragments. Where large quantities of dry food are to be treated, this method is not practical.

Heat is detrimental to the proteins in wheat and may reduce the ability of the bread to rise properly. Some reduced loaf volume and heavier texture may be apparent when using heat treated grains.

Dry Ice

Food may be fumigated with dry ice as previously described.

Bay Leaves, Chewing Gum, Chanting Words and Phrases

We receive numerous inquiries asking about exotic treatments to prevent insect infestations in stored grain. In unofficial experiments we have conducted, it was noted that some insects will continue to feed when enclosed in containers with tight fitting lids, even in the presence of these exotic suggestions. We have also concluded that chanting words and phrases fall upon deaf ears. Some consumers have reported on the effectiveness of many exotic treatments. Our investigations have shown these instances to only be effective when no insects were initially present in the food.

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How Much Food Should You Store?

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Food Storage For 1 Year
So you have a pantry full of food saved up after months of work, but is it enough? How much food should you really store?

If the food supply lines collapse then you have little choice but to obtain food locally. Whether you start a survival garden yourself or local farms start springing up – you’ll need to wait at least two months before anything will be ready to eat. And only lettuce grows that fast. You’re looking at 90 days until you can start feasting.

So you need enough food storage to last AT LEAST 90 days. And that’s only if a crisis happens not too late into your local growing season.

Experts at the FDA have said that the average adult will consume the following amounts of fresh food per year.

Meat – 150 to 200 pounds per year
Flour – 200 to 300 pounds
Sugar or honey – 60 pounds
Fats or Oils – 60 pounds
Salt – 5 pounds
Powdered Milk – 75 pounds
Vegetables and Fruits – 600 to 700 pounds
Water – 375 gallons

How Much Food Should You Store?

The figures above are nice guidelines, but they need to be considered from the technical angle of preserved foods rather than fresh foods.

Meat – Under adverse conditions, people can easily get by with less protein than 150 pounds of fresh meat per year, as that averages to almost a half pound per day! A canned, cooked one pound ham, for example, would be a real treat once a week, and easily feed a family of four. For weekday meals for a family of four, a 5 ounce can of tuna, canned chicken, 12 ounce can of luncheon meat, or 12 ounce can of corned beef can be used in a casserole (or whatever) and provide the required protein.

Flour – The listed amount of 200 to 300 pounds of flour per year is fairly realistic, as in catastrophic conditions people would be making their own bread and pasta, for example. Using a hand cranked mill to produce flour from whole wheat is a sure way to limit the amount of flour required, as it is hard work!

Sugar or honey – The recommended 60 pounds is the absolute minimum needed, in reality far below the actual amount desired, as sweeteners are the carbohydrates needed for energy, and survival is hard work. The 60 pounds listed by the FDA does not take into account home canning, for example, and people will need to make jellies and jams and can fruits, all of which require a considerable amount of sugar or honey.

Fats or oils – Again, this is an absolute minimum amount needed, as 60 pounds of fats or oils does not go far when used in baking, frying, and other uses. In hard times, people actually require fat in their diet in order to do hard work. In every country in which food is rationed, cooking oils are one of the first items of scarcity. Indeed, in Russia last fall cooking oils were almost impossible to find, even though not specifically rationed. Corn oil stores for years, and so does plain, inexpensive hydrogenated lard.

Salt – Whoever at the FDA dreamed this up must have been a nutrition Nazi. Five pounds of iodized table salt would be the recommended minimum per person per year, but what about making kraut, salt preserving meat, or preserving fish in a barrel of salt? For those needs, a family should have at least 50 pounds of fine grade, non iodized salt, available for less then $5.00 from a feed and seed store. Salt is essential to life! Remember the salt caravans from the old days in Africa and the middle East? Salt was worth more than gold!

Powdered milk –  The 75 pounds recommended per person is fine, but for cooking needs a couple of cases (48 cans) of canned, condensed milk is an absolute necessity.

Vegetables and fruits – In hard times, greens and fruits can indeed be a vital food item, as they provide the vitamins and minerals our bodies require to remain healthy. Storing vegetables and fruits is where a food dehydrator really shines. Combine the dried veggies with fresh greens from a garden and canned fruit juices and sauces, and the 600 pound per year amount becomes far more attainable.

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Edible Wild Plants: Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota)

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Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota)

Wild carrots, also called Queen Anne’s Lace, is Daucus Carota, which you may recognize is the exact species of cultivated carrot. They are exactly the same plant, differentiated only in the subspecies. By the time the carrots are wild, they are white rather than orange and are much smaller (though the greens are still full and lush.) Some people are sensitive to these greens and can have a rash reaction on their skin. The greens are edible, however, just as cultivated carrot greens are.

Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota), which is such a pest in many old fields, belongs to the same species of garden carrot but its root is small and tough and there are conflicting traditions which indicate that it is scarcely edible, some people stating that it is actually poisonous.

The main reason there are conflicting reports is that there are poisonous look-a-likes that are often mistaken for Wild Carrot, please be familiar with all the characteristics of this wonderful wild edible before you enjoy them.

Wild Carrot Edible Wild Plant
Wild Carrot is a variable biennial plant, usually growing up to 1 m tall and flowering from June to August. The umbels are claret-colored or pale pink before they open, then bright white and rounded when in full flower, measuring 3–7 cm wide with a festoon of bracts beneath; finally, as they turn to seed, they contract and become concave like a bird’s nest. The dried umbels detach from the plant, becoming tumbleweeds.

Similar in appearance to the deadly poison hemlock, Wild Carrot is distinguished by a mix of bi-pinnate and tri-pinnate leaves, fine hairs on its stems and leaves, a root that smells like carrots, and occasionally a single dark red flower in its center.

Mrs. Morrell, who writes from a large experience with edible wild plants in Maine, states that the roots raised from the seeds of the Wild Carrot are remarkably sweet.

Edible Parts

  • Flowers
  • Root

Uses

The root cooked. Thin and stringy.

The flower clusters can be french-fried to produce a carrot-flavoured gourmet’s delight. The aromatic seed is used as a flavoring in stews etc. The dried roasted roots are ground into a powder and are used for making coffee.

Medicinal Uses

Medicinal Uses of Wild CarrotThe wild carrot is an aromatic herb that acts as a diuretic, soothes the digestive tract and stimulates the uterus. A wonderfully cleansing medicine, it supports the liver, stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys.

The whole plant is anthelmintic, carminative, deobstruent, diuretic, galactogogue, ophthalmic, stimulant.

An infusion is used in the treatment of various complaints including digestive disorders, kidney and bladder diseases and in the treatment of dropsy. An infusion of the leaves has been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed.

Carrot leaves contain significant amounts of porphyrins, which stimulate the pituitary gland and lead to the release of increased levels of sex hormones.

The plant is harvested in July and dried for later use. A warm water infusion of the flowers has been used in the treatment of diabetes. The grated raw root, especially of the cultivated forms, is used as a remedy for threadworms.

The root is also used to encourage delayed menstruation. The root of the wild plant can induce uterine contractions and so should not be used by pregnant women.

A tea made from the roots is diuretic and has been used in the treatment of urinary stones. The seeds are diuretic, carminative, emmenagogue and anthelmintic.

An infusion is used in the treatment of oedema, flatulent indigestion and menstrual problems. The seed is a traditional ‘morning after’ contraceptive and there is some evidence to uphold this belief. It requires further investigation. Carrot seeds can be abortifacient and so should not be used by pregnant women.

Other Uses

An essential oil obtained from the seed has an orris-like scent. It is used in perfumery and as a food flavoring. The oil has also been used cosmetically in anti-wrinkle creams.

Where Does Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota) Grow?

Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota) Growing Area

How To Identify Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota)

Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota) Seedling
Seedling

Cotyledons are linear, and may be mistaken for an emerging grass seedling. Cotyledons are without hairs, do not have petioles, and taper at both the base and the apex.

Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota) Leaves
Leaves

A rosette of lobed, deeply dissected leaves are produced during the first year of growth. Leaves have long petioles, are without hairs on the upper surface, and may have hairs on the veins and margins of the lower surface. Leaves on the flowering stems produced during the second year of growth are alternate, oblong in outline, with lobed segments.


Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota) Flowers

Flowers

Many white flowers occur in a cluster where the stalks of each flower (pedicels) all arise from a common point (an umbel). However, this gives the appearance of a single, flat-topped white flower. A solitary purple flower often occurs in the center of the umbel. These umbels may curve inward at maturity producing a ‘bird’s nest’ effect.

Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota) Stem
Stems

Produced during the second year of growth, hollow, with hairs.

Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota) Root
Roots

Slightly thickened taproot.

Poisonous Look-a-likes

Wild carrot seedlings are similar to Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) seedlings, however the cotyledons of common yarrow are egg-shaped unlike the linear cotyledons of wild carrot. Additionally, mature Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum) plants closely resemble this weed but have purple spotted stems without hairs, unlike the stems of wild carrot which are hairy and lack the purple spots.

Wild Carrot vs Hemlock

Wild Carrot (Left) and Poisonous Hemlock (Right)

Wild Carrot (Daucus Carota) Videos

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Android Phone Apps For the Outdoors

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Smartphone Apps Outdoors & Hiking Camping
In this day and age of technological advancement, we recognize that while certain situations can occur where your smartphone battery dies or you drop it and gets destroyed, it is best to have a few quality apps on your phone in case you need them during your outings!

Below are just a few quality apps for your Android-based smartphone that you should have on your phone.

Radar Now
http://tinyw.in/ZRJH

RadarNow! provides National Weather Service (NWS) Enhanced Radar “Base” (N0R) images from the NOAA WSR-88D NEXRAD Radar sites located around the US. Radar images are downloaded directly from NWS servers so are always the most current available. When you start the app, the radar images are from the site closest to your location.

Scanner Radio
http://tinyw.in/QTkq

Listen to live audio from over 3,600 police and fire scanners, weather radios, and amateur radio repeaters from around the world (primarily in the United States and Australia, with more being added daily) on your phone.

WeatherBug
http://tinyw.in/USlH

Benefit from the most advanced early warning system, powered by the largest nationwide commercial-grade weather and lightning network, and get the industry’s most accurate pinpoint forecasts for your neighborhood and around the world. Know Before™.

S.O.S.
http://tinyw.in/KcvK

Be safe, prepared and informed when a medical emergency strikes with the American Red Cross’s S.O.S. App for Android.

The American Red Cross has teamed up with Dr. Oz and Sharecare to create the ultimate emergency care application. S.O.S. provides step-by-step instructions on dealing with a variety of emergencies, including choking, broken bones, strokes, allergic reactions and more. Not sure what the problem is? We’ll help you figure that out, too.

Smart Compass
http://tinyw.in/L8fv

Smart Compass is in the 3rd set of the Smart Tools collection.

This compass is a tool to search bearings(azimuth) using the built-in magnetic sensors. It has 3 significant features.

1. Although you may turn the phone into portrait or landscape mode, the heading is fixed.
2. The Camera’s view is used for reality.
3. Metal Detector(magnetic field) is included to verify the sensors.

GPS Essentials
http://tinyw.in/G369

The most complete GPS tool on market: Navigate, manage waypoints, tracks, routes, build your own dashboard from 45 widgets.

ScreenLight/Strobe
http://tinyurl.com/dxzh9n7

Use your screen as a flashlight, night light or strobe light.

ScreenLight Flashlight & Nightlite/Strobe Lite controls the brightness of your screen, keeps it turned on. Perfect as a night light.

Mountaineering
http://tinyw.in/uZE6

Mountaineering or mountain climbing is the sport, hobby or profession of hiking, skiing, and climbing mountains. While mountaineering began as attempts to reach the highest point of unclimbed mountains, it has branched into specialisations that address different aspects of the mountain and consists of three areas: rock-craft, snow-craft and skiing, depending on whether the route chosen is over rock, snow or ice. All require experience, athletic ability, and technical knowledge to maintain safety.

Survival Guide
http://tinyw.in/Y3uT

Survival Guide is completely based on the U.S. Military Survival Manual FM 21-76.

SAS Survival Guide Lite
http://goo.gl/aQL76

SAS Survival Lite is the FREE version of the complete SAS Survival Guide, available now in the app store. Based on the million-copy bestselling book, this fantastic free app provides you with a bare bones guide to wilderness survival. Jam-packed with basic survival tools, you’ll be equipped for any expedition to the outdoors with this entry-level guide in your arsenal.

Knots Guide
http://tinyw.in/7NCZ

Knots Guide is a SIMPLE quick reference collection of different knots.

– 92 knots.
– 10 categories: Bend, Binding, Climbing, Decorative, Fishing, Hitch, Looping, Running, Stopper, Whipping.
– Click knot image to get a zoomed in view of the knot.

Earthquake Alert
http://tinyw.in/CDH0

Disaster Alert
http://tinyw.in/m10f

Disaster Alert (by PDC), Active Hazards on an interactive map and in a list as they are occurring around the globe.
Additional hazard information can be viewed and shared.

The term “Active Hazards” refers to a collection of current and real-time incidents (compiled from authoritative sources) which have been designated “potentially hazardous to people, property, or assets” by the PDC DisasterAWARE™ application.

Tapatalk
http://tinyw.in/LFXh

TIKL Walkie Talkie
http://goo.gl/i9vZC

You can use your smartphone as a walkie talkie for one or a group of people.

Night Vision Camera
http://goo.gl/GZwRV

Actually works by adjusting your cameras settings to let you see with very little light.

iTriage
http://goo.gl/PbRZs

Backpacker GPS Trails Lite
http://goo.gl/B0fnw

Awesome GPS app for your android. Uses OFFLINE maps to navigate in the back country. No cell signal needed!

SOS GPS
http://goo.gl/uR2Wo

Very useful tool for sending your GPS coordinates to a predefined list of people in case you need help in an emergency.

Wild Edibles Lite
http://goo.gl/lJOaS

Wild Edibles offers a massive compendium of foraging knowledge suitable for beginners and experts alike. Use this app at home as a quick reference, or in the field as a replacement for cumbersome field guides. Providing the most comprehensive resources on the subject in a compact digital form, this app takes wild edible plants to a whole new level of accessibility.

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6 Best Turmeric Powder Brands

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So you’ve read about all the health benefits and you’ve decided to buy some, but which is the best turmeric powder?

Here are the 6 best turmeric powder brands according to Amazon.com reviews.

 

Indus Organic Turmeric (Curcumin) Powder Spice Pack 1 Lb, High Purity, Freshly Packed
1. Indus Organic Turmeric Powder

A 100% USDA certified organic turmeric powder from southern India, Indus Organic Turmeric (Curcumin) Powder gets the top billing from Amazon reviewers. It is non-irradiated and does not contain color additives, preservatives, salt, chemical pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. Things that reviewers liked included the freshness, vibrant color, flavor, aroma, and the convenience of the size and design of the 1 pound container.

Simply Organic turmeric

2. Simply Organic Ground Turmeric

Simply Organic ground turmeric root takes the second place spot. It comes in 2.38 oz jars and is certified organic and kosher.

Simply Organic is easier to find in health food stores than some other organic brands, but you will probably get better prices by buying online. Reviewers liked the price, the quality, and the reliable quality of the the Simply Organic spice line.

Spice Hunter turmeric

3. The Spice Hunter Organic Turmeric

Third on the list is The Spice Hunter organic ground turmeric. This brand is USDA certified organic, non-irradiated, and free of artificial colors, artificial flavors, chemical preservatives, and MSG.

Reviewers liked the flavor, with one person saying it was “tasty” and “strong” but “not bitter.” Another reviewer liked the price and freshness of this brand.

Spicy World turmeric

4. Spicy World Turmeric

Spicy World Turmeric Powder is not organic but is valued in reviews for its low price for the amount of turmeric in the bag. One reviewer said she uses this turmeric for beauty purposes rather than cooking and the low price certainly does lend itself to such uses.

The fact that it comes in a bag is a bit of a downside since it is easier to store spices in jars.

Frontier turmeric

5. Frontier Ground Turmeric Root

Number five on the list, Frontier Ground Turmeric Root, comes in a resealable foil pouch. It is organic and contains a minimum of 5% curcumin.

12 out of 17 reviewers of this product give it five stars, saying that it is fresh, well priced, and well-packaged.

Marshall's Creek Turmeric
6. Marshall’s Creek Spices Turmeric

Marshall’s Creek Spices Turmeric Powder is not organic but appears to be a good quality product at a reasonable price. It got five stars from 11 out of 15 reviewers.

Things people had to say about it was that it was “great quality,” “good value,” and “very inexpensive.”

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