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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Make your own baby powder

1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch
essential oil - optional - I like lavendar

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Let stand a few days and then sift through a flour sifter. Pour into a powder shaker/container.


GMC hosts lecture on local food benefits


Green Mountain College will host a talk on Monday addressing how eating locally benefits the brain.

Nathan Hagans, a doctoral candidate at the University of Vermont's Gund Institute for Ecological Economics and author of energy blog "The Oil Drum," will deliver a talk titled "At the Intersection of Neuroscience & Agriculture: The Health & Behavioral Benefits of Relocalization."

The talk at 7 p.m. in Withey Hall is free and open to the public.

Hagans will draw a connection between industrial agriculture and serotonin deficiency, organizers said, then look at how those issues indirectly affect civilization's ability to adapt to oil depletion and climate change.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Do you have an older woodstove?

The State of Vermont has a program that allows people to apply for a voucher toward replacing an older woodstove with a new energy efficient woodstove. You have to buy it through certain dealers and the older woodstove has to be destroyed.

You need to get an application and fill it out & send it in with a picture of your current older woodstove. The State will determine whether or not you qualify & if you do, they will send you a voucher that will save you $450 off the purchase of a new woodstove.

There are other conditions but it's well worth the time if you have an older stove that you need to replace. Go here for more information. Act quickly since it is a first come first serve and it expires in June 2009.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Homemade Mouthwash Recipe

2 ounces of water
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda or sea salt
1 drop of pure peppermint essential oil
1 drop of pure tea tree essential oil

Mix ingredients together well. It leaves a refreshing minty taste in your mouth and prevents bad breath.

Essential oils can be purchased at your health food store.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Make your own lip balm for cold sores

1 oz. Emu Oil
1 oz. Almond Oil
1 oz. Avocado Oil
1/2 oz. Shaved Beeswax or Beeswax Pellets
1/4 oz. Aloe Vera Gel
6 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
2 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
3 Drops Lime Essential Oil

Mix the almond, avocado, emu oil and beeswax together in a microwave-safe bowl.

Microwave for a couple of minutes or until the mixture is completely melted.
(Bowl may also be heated in a pan of water on a stovetop).

Stir the mixture often until the wax is melted.

Add the aloe vera gel.

Remove from heat and stir in the essential oils.

Stir again and set aside to cool completely.

When cool, transfer into small portable plastic containers or tins.

I generally find my ingredients at our local health food store but if you cannot find them near you, I'm sure you can find them on eBay.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Make your own shaving cream

Now is the perfect time to learn to make some of your own personal care products.

1/2 teaspoon of sunflower oil
1/4 cup of unscented glycerin soap
Double boiler
A cup or mug for the cream

In your double boiler, melt chunks of the glycerin soap.
Stir in the sunflower oil.
Move the mixture into a mug as soon as all of the glycerin chunks are melted.

This formula will set quickly. When you need to shave, simply work water against the soap until a lather builds and use it the same way you would regular shaving cream.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Necessary Equipment & Supplies

We all know food and water are important, but what about the larger things? The non-consumable resources? What should we make sure we have in case of emergency?

1. A woodstove - In a cold environment like Vermont, you need some type of heat source that isn't tied to electricity, oil or propane. A fireplace is pretty but it doesn't heat a house worth beans.

2. A way to cook - solar oven, woodstove, gas stove without a glow bar, outside grill or fire pit. Either of these is good or maybe even several of them depending on the weather and the situation you're prepping for.

3. Light source - solar lamps, wind up lantern, flashlight, candles, oil lamps, etc. Make sure you have enough supplies to go along with them.

4. Tools - Non-electric, non-power tools just in case. Do you have the tools needed to make basic repairs in case of a power outage? Hand saw, hand drill, shovels, rakes, etc?

5. Cleaning supplies - vinegar, baking soda, felsnaptha, washing soda, borax, bleach, etc. Whatever it is that you clean with or use to make your clean supplies.

6. Personal care items - razors, feminine needs, soap, shampoo, deoderant, chapstick, lotion, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, gauze pads, first aid supplies, etc. How about non disposable alternatives for long term use? Do you have supplies to make the non disposable alternatives?

7. Pet food & supplies - How about food for the pets? Cat litter? Extra food for the farm animals? Extra hay? Bedding?

8. Extra seeds for long term use. Who knows how long the emergency will last? Do you have at least an extra year's worth of seeds just in case?

9. Reading material for your favorite topics? What happens if the internet goes out long term? All those bookmarked sites are great until you have no internet. Pick up a few good reference books just in case.

10. Entertainment - What happens with no tv, no internet, no electricity? What do you do on a long, cold, rainy day inside? Can you or the kids occupy yourself all day with no electricity? How about cards, games, art supplies, puzzles, craft items, marbles, jacks, etc.?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Attracting bees to your backyard

If you garden, it's very important that you attract bees and other polinators to your garden. If your plants do not get polinated, you will have flowers but no fruits or vegetables. While it's very pretty, it doesn't stock the shelves.

One way to attract bees to your backyard is to plant the types of plants they like. Here are a few examples of plants that bees really like and are good sources of pollen and nectar.

1. Basil
2. Rosemary
3. Marjoram
4. Globe thistle
5. English lavendar
6. Zinnias
7. Wallflowers
8. Lupine
9. Black eyed susan
10. Asters
11. Sunflowers
12. Blueberry
13. Lilac
14. Bee balm

Bees particularly seem to like purple, blue or yellow flowers. Bees also need to have a source of water. You can use a shallow birdbath for this if you like. They also need a place to live so if you have a fallen tree or large branch, consider leaving it there. A compost pile can also serve this purpose but I'm not sure you'd want a bee hive in your compost pile.

Don't use pesticides in your gardens if you hope to attract bees. You'll kill off the good bugs as well as the bad bugs. Plant a variety of different flowers in clumps instead of single flowers here and there. Bees like sunny spots with some protection from wind. Try to have some plants flowering in each season.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Make your own powdered laundry detergent

With prices increasing daily, it's good to know how to make some of your own household cleansers. This powdered laundry detergent works quite well for us:

Powdered Detergent

2 cups finely grated Fels Naptha soap
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing soda (NOT baking soda)
1 cup Borax

1. Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container.

2. Use 2 tablespoons per full load.

You may not see as many suds as you're used to but it will clean just as well. If you want to, you can add a drop of essential oil to the water as your washing machine is filling up. I like lavender the best.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Greens - time to get ready for spring

As the snow slowly begins to melt here in Vermont, we start seeing a few tiny patches of green grass. Now is the time to get your coldframes out and start getting the soil ready for spring planting of greens.

Clear away as much snow as possible from your planting site and lay your cold frame down where you want your greens to grow. As the sun shines through the cold frame, the remaining snow will melt and the soil will warm up. Depending on how much sun we have and the temps, you may have the ground warm enough to work up a bit in a week or two. Till the soil and remove any clumps of grass/weeds. Put down some potting soil on top of the tilled earth. Plant your seeds according to directions on the package.

Watch the temperature carefully. You don't want it to get too hot inside. That won't be a problem early on unless we get an unseasonably high warm spell but be careful any way. Make sure on very warm days that you vent the cold frame a bit. For more information on growing in a cold frame, go here:


Now that you have the basics, what can you grow? I like to start with various greens because they aren't as upset if it gets a little cold. Plus, everyone here loves salads so they are used up quickly. If we ever have excess, the ducks and chickens like salads too.

Here are a few options for different types of greens:

Lettuce - probably the most popular and the one we are most familiar with
Mustard - leafy green in the cabbage family
Endive - leafy green in the chicory family
Arugula - otherwise known as rocket or roquette
Radicchio - a variety of chicory with red or red spotted leaves
Cress - peppery green in the mustard family
Orach - colorful red or purple leaves - cook like spinach or eat raw in salads
Mache - otherwise known as corn salad
Sorrel - otherwise known as spinach dock or narrow leaved dock
Tatsoi - Also known as pak choy. Asian vegetable used in salads or stir fries. (picture)
Spinach - Can be eaten raw or cooked.
Mizuna - Japanese mustard green

Most of these greens can be eaten raw or cooked. Greens are generally most tender and least bitter when picked very young.

Friday, March 6, 2009

You are a slave to the government

Great video clip. Highly recommend you watch it.


Keeping cash on hand

Well the FDIC has said that it may go belly up in 2010. For those that don't know, the FDIC guarantees our money in the bank should the bank go belly up.

Picture this.... XYZ Bank goes bankrupt or whatever the appropriate term for a bank is. People start to worry and go to XYZ Bank to take out all their money. The bank of course runs out of money because banks don't keep our money physically there. They use it for investments and loans. So now we have a bunch of people with money in their accounts that want it back and cannot get it back. Normally the FDIC would guarantee these amounts so that people would get their money back up to a certain dollar value. But, if the FDIC goes belly up, how do we get our money back? We don't.

How much actual cash do you have on hand right now? How many of us use our credit cards month to month and then pay them at the end of the month? How many of us use our debit cards or checks instead of keeping cash on hand? So, now you can't pay your credit card bill when it arrives and your debit card or checks are worthless. Where's the cash? You should keep at least a month's worth of cash on hand in case you need it. Two months would be better if you can handle it.

Even worse, what happens if the company you work for has an account at that bank? Where does your paycheck come from? Does the company have any cash on hand to meet its obligations? Does the company go bankrupt now? Do you loose your job? In this economy can you find another one quickly? How do you live while you're looking?

If you can, try to have an alternate income source. Can you mow lawns? Babysit? Weld? Take a job 2 nights a week flipping burgers? Deliver newspapers in the morning? At least that way, you'd have some type of income coming in if you needed it. Right now I work several part time jobs. Even if one disappears, I have several more to fall back on if I need to.
VermontPreppersNetwork.com Est. Jan 17, 2009 All contributed articles owned and protected by their respective authors and protected by their copyright. Vermont Preppers Network is a trademark protected by American Preppers Network Inc. All rights reserved. No content or articles may be reproduced without explicit written permission.