New Mexico Urban Homesteader

Hello, I am A 50 Something, Prepper ;-}; former 60's Flower Child, don't believe in taxpayer subsidized special interest groups (political parties), DO believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights (1st 10). Long time Independent & Informed Voter. Lover of the outdoors and firm believer that History Teaches - if only we will listen!

(No longer Urban or in NM. Now Rural in the mountains of Maine.)

This blog was started at the request of some dear friends that wish to become Preppers.

“No man who is not willing to help himself has any right to apply to his friends, or to the gods.”

Demosthenes (384–322 BC, Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Senate Passes S 510 – overhaul of Food System!!!

“Control the oil and control nations … control the food and you control the people.”
Henry Kissinger

Senate Passes S 510 today - 56 Dems,15 GOP,2 Ind; 25 nays (GOP) See just who voted how @

For those of you that are not quite sure what this means to us ...

Represents landmark legislation that will significantly increase the federal government's power to regulate intrastate commerce while hurting this country's ability to produce safe food and to become self-sufficient in food production.

Will also drastically increase the FDA's power over food and make it very difficult to obtain natural, unprocessed foods of any kind.

It gives the FDA completely power to irradiate, fumigate, pasteurize or otherwise destroy every item you consume, from fruits and vegetables to dairy products. The FDA would then have the power to destroy all small, local farming, gardening or dairy operations in your home town, even if your state expressly defends your rights to engage in such activity.

S. 510 is the final version of H.R. 2749, which was passed last summer by the House of Representatives. (;;

"WHAT IT MEANS: When you buy your food through local farmer's markets, community-supported agriculture (CSA) share programs, farm stands, or directly from a farm, you're avoiding opportunities for food contamination that come with mass-produced and processed food. Large food manufacturers receive ingredients from dozens of different farms, many of which are industrial operations that rely on the overuse of antibiotics to keep animals alive long enough to slaughter. Knowing your farmer, you can assess the cleanliness of the farm and workers, ask to see water-testing results to ensure harmful bacteria are absent in the irrigation systems, and hold them accountable quickly if there is something wrong with your food." (

Details of S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Passed Nov 30, 2010 @ 10:09 AM

Details of H.R. 759: FDA Globalization Act
Details of H.R. 875: Food Safety Modernization Act
Details of H.R. 1332: Safe Food Enforcement, Assessment, Standards, and Targeting Act of 2009
Details of H.R. 2749: Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009
Food Bills Q&A with attorney Mark Mansour, partner, Bryan & Cave, Washington, D.C.

Today is the Tomorrow that we worried about Yesterday


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week 22 - 24 Weeks of Crisis Supply Procurement

Week 22

Grocery Store

  • Extra hand operated or GI can opener
  • 3 rolls paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • Tooth brush and tooth paste

First Aid Supplies

  • Eye wash and patch kit
  • Splint sticks for fingers and toes

Hardware/Home Improvement/Sports, Misc Store

  • Wood
  • Extra Fuel for camp stoves, heaters, grills, lanterns, etc.
  • If needed: “Heatalter” fireplace grate (puts more fireplace heat into the house instead of up the flume)

To Do

  • Household practice drill
  • Clean the chimney
  • Complete another form to your Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Record the items you have purchased for crisis use in the Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Add any appropriate monies to your money jar.

** When quantities are listed that is per person in your household.

“If it is to be, it is up to me.” William H. Johnsen


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cell Phone Numbers Go Public this month (November 2010)

REMINDER..... ALL cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls.


To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222

It is the National DO NOT CALL list It will only take a minute of your time.. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.

31 days After registering call the number above to lodge a complaint or go to

HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON .. It takes about 20 seconds.

For more detail see:


Thanksgiving a Day of Abundance

As we get ready to stuff our bird and get all the side dishes and treats ready for our big feast, it pays to look back to that “first thanksgiving” and reflect on the past year. We may not think it at first glance that we have much to be thankful for, but we do!

Read a little history about this day and the Legend of the Five Kernels, take the trivia quiz and then be greatful for all we do have @

Thank you for all that grows,
Thank you for the sky's rainbows,
Thank you for the stars that shine,
Thank you for these friends of mine,
Thank you for the moon and sun,
Thank you God for all you've done!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week 21 - Ready Set Go! 24 Weeks of Crisis Supply Procurement

Week 21

Grocery Store

  • Un-ground, whole grain wheat (bulk)
  • 1 can baked beans (with meat if possible)
  • 1 sack beans

Hardware/Home Improvement/Sports, Misc Store

  • Heavy work gloves
  • Fireplace gloves
  • Disposable dust masks
  • Safety goggles
  • Thermal underwear
  • If being “mobile” plays a big role in your Crisis Plan: backpacker binoculars per go-bag

To Do

  • Plan a vacation for the household to a wilderness skill or colonial skills school/camp
  • Complete another form to your Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Record the items you have purchased for crisis use in the Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Add any appropriate monies to your money jar.

** When quantities are listed that is per person in your household.

“… The more you depend on forces outside yourself, the more you are dominated by them.” Harold Sherman


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Are Preppers Doomsayers?

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear — not absence of fear.” Mark Twain

I don’t know about anyone else, however I AM NOT A DOOMSAYER.

Yes I am a Prepper. Yes I do believe that there are multitudes of “crisis’s”, “disasters”, “emergencies” or “catastrophes” that can and will occur to each and every one of us. And Yes, I do think some of these may actually be quite large in scope and long in duration. However I do not see this as depressing or hopeless. I figure all these various crisis’s are survivable if we are preparedin case they happen. You know, just like people in Florida are more or less always prepared for hurricanes and their storm surges or people in Kansas are prepared for tornadoes and people living in California are prepared for earthquakes or how football teams practice how to minimize the effects of a fumble or interception. This is not being stupid or crazy; this is being smart and prepared. This is being in control of oneself!

Besides our own government, Homeland Security, FEMA and the Red Cross are all telling us to be prepared to take care of ourselves in a major disaster for at least 3-5 days. So to me it is just plain simple common sense that says I should be prepared to take care of myself and not rely on anything or anyone else.

I know that most of what may occur is not controllable by me, so I take control of what I can – being prepared. This lets me enjoy life and the world around me. I am not huddled in a “shelter” waiting for the end; I am living life to the fullest. I am prepared to take whatever action needs to be done to see to it that I survive and do so with the least amount of trial and tribulation. I may be more prepared for the unexpected than most other people around me but I am not a frightened, whimpering person hiding out.

Yep, being a Prepper does not make me sad, depressed, nor does it give me a sense of hopelessness. Instead being a prepper gives me the confidence that I will survive just about anything except an extinction level event.

My advice to the doomsayers that see no hope and the “rose glass” people that see no threat at all, is to get real and accept that there are way too many things that can “attack” us, large and small and cause great pain and shock, so we are better off being like Boy Scouts, so we can be in control of our own success, survival and fate. It is just plain smart common sense - It pays to Be Prepared!

“I am prepared for the worst but hope for the best”
Benjamin Disraeli (British Prime Minister & novelist 1804-1881)

Keep On Preppin’ ;-}


Are Preppers Doomsayers? @

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Food Storage Mistakes – Yikes!

Over the years I have run across various food storage mistakes, many of which I myself made when first starting out. These mistakes are often costly, not only financially but life-wise too, like when on the trail or snowbound and you find a good chunk of the food is no good.

For me food storage includes water, OTC (over the counter) and prescription medications, vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as, cleaning and hygiene items.

The best way to avoid these horrors is to plan in advance.

“Preparedness is not just about stockpiling, it's about having an actual plan.” Mike Ryan

Your food storage area needs to have:

  • Cool (45-70 degrees) area
  • Even temperature area. Temperatures should not change more than 10 degrees in a 28-30 hour timeframe.
  • Dry area, not even humid
  • Low to No light area
  • As insect and rodent free/proof as possible. This is on top of the container having this property too.
  • Be organized with everything within easy reach and easy to identify.
  • Some foods need to be refrigerated or at temperatures of refrigeration levels only. Some should not be that cold, like sweet potatoes. Check for food storage information on these specific foods. (See Shelf Life Information on Lots of Things for details on specific items at

Individual Containers

  • Should be airtight and sealed tightly. This will keep out moisture as well as insects.
  • Dating: Write the date in permanent marker where it is easily seen. Discard or compost when unused past this date.
  • Many foods, herbs, spices and medications should be in containers of no, to low light transmission quality.
  • Some foods may need oxygen packets, others may need to be in glass jars with tightly sealed lids. (See Shelf Life Information on Lots of Things for details on specific items at and the Resources tab for details.)

“If it is to be, it is up to me.”
William H. Johnsen, Depression-era realist/impressionist painter

If your storage area meets all of the above requirements read on for the common food storage mistakes @

Top Mistakes

Failing to rotate and just stockpiling.

The excuse: “I always cook from scratch with fresh items”. My reply: What is stopping you from substituting 1 to 2 ingredients from your food stores when you make soups, stews, casseroles and goulashes?” I got “well others might not notice it but I will”. This person has a decision to make; they can either run the risk of going to their food stores in a time of need and find out that it is spoiled; makes them sick or worse tastes OK but has no nutritional value –OR- they can be smart and use their food stores for a few ingredients in soups, stews, casseroles and goulashes to facilitate rotation and use.

Storage/Rotation Tips:

  • Be sure to date all stored food. (Manufacturers tend to hide the date codes in small letters and in out of the way places on their products which can make finding the expiration date rather difficult.) Once you do find the expiration or best used by date, use a large permanent marker to put this date in plain sight on the package.
  • Create a simple rotation method. I use colored sticky dots with the date (month/year) on the dot and have two shelving units. Green is “use now” and Red is “use later”. Green and Red items are stored on their own shelving unit. Always put the newest item to the very back or bottom and the oldest to the very front or top.
  • Use a Lazy Susan on shelves that hold small items.
  • Use shallow organizer shelving in tall, deep shelves to add layers for stacking smaller or shorter items.
  • Wire or plastic baskets to hold odd shaped or bulky items.
  • Stackable bins
  • Place similar food items together to make it easier to remember where that type of food item is stored.
  • Keep like food items together will make them easier to find. This works great in the frig and freezer too.

“The more you depend on forces outside yourself, the more you are dominated by them.” Harold Sherman

Purchasing a “Survival Food” kit

You know, those kinds that are good for X number of people for X number of months or years. There are two major drawbacks to these:

  • Meal in a Packet. Low variety of meals and are generally all of one type of food preservation method; freeze dried, dehydrated or canned. You are better off storing individual ingredients in various preservation methods and making your own meals.
  • These meals tend to have a higher quantity of alternate protein sources, of which many people are either allergic to or have a horrid dislike for that make them physically ill.

Purchasing large quantities of flour or rice

Flour has a very poor shelf life, no matter how you store it. This is because to process the grain to make flour you release the oil contained in the grain. This oil is what goes rancid and draws the insects and rodents.
  • You can get a little more shelf life for flour by vacuum sealing and then freezing, but not much more.
  • The un-processed, un-ground gain has a shelf life of 30+ years. You just need a gain mill, preferably hand operated.
  • If you purchase grain or rice in bulk, re-package it into smaller quantities. Use air tight containers and or vacuum seal it.

“God helps them that help themselves.” Proverbs

Lack of Variety

Only storing a few staples or too many “meal in a packet” foods is not enough to keep the average person psychologically well (a major ding to your survival ability quotient), on top of this it is NOT a nutritionally sufficient variety for a healthy body.

  • Purchase single ingredients in various preservation methods. For example potatoes (or just about any vegetable) can be freeze dried, dehydrated or canned; whole, French fried, steak fried, cubed, sliced, diced or riced (your own instant potatoes). Fruits can be canned, freeze dried or dehydrated; in jams, jellies and preserves.
  • Purchase more than one kind of grains, beans and lentils; nuts, vegetables, fruit and meat; in various preservation methods.
  • Don’t forget salt, pepper, spices, herbs and condiments.
  • Many items like: sour cream, butter, mayo, cream, milk, mustard, ketchup, peanut butter, chocolate, flavored drink mixes, Jell-O (try to find the unflavored and uncolored gelatin to make your own flavors (this can be used as a substitute for eggs in many recipes) and the like come in powdered form for long term storage.

Forgetting the staples to make sufficient meals

Things like: Cooking oil, shortening, baking powder, soda, yeast, and powdered eggs, herbs, spices and other condiments. Think of all the items that require refrigeration, are imported like cinnamon, or are too costly or time consuming to make yourself, like vinegar.

Forgetting Vitamins, Minerals, Food Supplements & other Medications

Vitamin C is especially important, children’s vitamins and items like calcium and Glucosamine and the like.

Many of us forget things like pain and fever relievers, swelling reducers, cold and flu treatments, laxatives, anti-diarrhea or fungus medications and the like. Never forget any prescription or hard to find medications either. Ask your pharmacist and physician for the optimum storage requirements and shelf life.

Discounting Water Needs

Way too many people in urban and suburban areas do not realize that if there is some kind of city wide power failure they will almost immediately lose water and natural gas, as well as phone (land line and often cellular) service to their home. If you have you own water well and it has an electric pump, you are SOL unless you have a backup power source or a manual pump too.

  • Water needs to be rotated too. So make sure you can maneuver your water containers. Look for ones that have wheels and or handles and come with gravity spigots.
  • Water is bulky and heavy to store, one gallon weights about 8 pounds.
  • Four items affect water needs: Age, weight, health and physical activity. (If dogs and cats are fed dry food, they will need more water than if fed wet pet food.)
  • The average human needs one quart of water for every 50 pounds of body weight. If you include hygiene needs, that is about 1 gallon of water per person per day.
  • Water has a tendency to absorb the flavor of the container it is store in, so it needs to be rotated just like the other food items in storage.
  • You can reduce water needs by stocking up on wet wipes, Clorox wipes and waterless anti-bacterial washing gel.

Forgetting “Comfort” or “Psychological” Foods

In order to avoid a solid whack to your survivability quotient we cannot forget things like Jell-O, pudding, cakes, brownies, cobblers, candies and of course chocolate. A few freeze dried, dehydrated, canned or MRE meals, for when you are just too tired psychologically or physically unable, will go a long way to keeping your survivability quotient high during tough times. Add a good assortment of flavored drink mixes too.

MRE’s are not recommended as the prime source of food for long term food storage as they are:

  • Are “Meals in a packet” thus lacking in variety
  • They are loaded with high calories of mostly synthetic origin. If people over eat these meals for an extended period, they tend to get either the “trots” or painfully constipated. Not to mention that they are wasting the calories by consuming more than the body needs or can utilize in one sitting.
  • They are “What You See Is What You Get”. With no rehydration, this means that the portion size is much smaller than we Americans are used to, both psychologically and physically. Our minds won’t grasp that we have eaten enough and neither will our stomachs.

Not Having a Purchasing Plan or “putting all your eggs in one basket”

It is not wise to go out and purchase say a 3 month supply of sugar, then the salt, then the wheat, etc. It is much wiser and cost efficient to purchase smaller quantities of various items during each purchasing trip. This not only facilitates rotating your food stores, it helps to insure variety.

“To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.” Buddha

Failure to Think Multi-Functional

I have run across way to many people that stock up on laundry soap, dish soap, body soap, toothpaste and a multitude of cleaning products. You can save money and storage space if you only stock up on basic essentials that allow you to make all of the other items yourself.

  • Baking Soda, Washing Soda, Borax, Olive Oil, Vinegar and some old time bar soaps (Fels Naphta, Ivory soap, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile, Zote, Lever 2000, Pure and Natural, Kirk's or Dr. Bonner's Castile Soap) will allow you to make just about everything listed and then some.
  • If you purchase food grade liner bags, either plastic or Mylar, you can turn a non-food grade plastic or metal trash can into a food storage can.
  • Place smaller quantities of food in food appropriate containers and then place them in another non-food grade container. As long as these outer containers are water and air tight you are OK.

There you have it, the most common mistakes people make in their long term food storage. Check out the links at the end of this “letter” for additional detail and some tips on keeping refrigerated and frozen foods tastier and healthier for longer periods of time.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Food Storage Shelf Life & Calculators

Just finished a rather tedious research task on Shelf Life for all kinds of things from foods, medications, paints, vitamins, air freshener, shampoo and much more.

Download the two Excel spreadsheet/workbooks at:

2 Food Storage Calculators
Shelf Life Information on Lots of Things

"When making your choice in life, do not neglect to live." Samuel Johnson


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week 20 - 24 Weeks of Crisis Supply Procurement

Week 20

Hardware/Home Improvement/Sports, Misc Store

  • Camping supplies (tents, stoves, fuel, lanterns)
  • Extra ABC: fire extinguisher for each floor and or room of your home, including garage
  • Hand powered kitchen tools: hand grain grinder, hand mixer, etc.
  • Fun Stuff: Travel board games, playing cards, harmonica, activity books, pleasure books, etc.
  • If needed: emergency escape ladder for at least one window in each second+ story bedroom
  • Miracle shammie (one per person to use as towels)

To Do

  • Learn how to make bread from scratch
  • Complete another form to your Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Record the items you have purchased for crisis use in the Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Add any appropriate monies to your money jar.

** When quantities are listed that is per person in your household.

“Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one's own person is its ultimate reward.” Patricia Sampson


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Emergency Lighting and Heating

Great How-To's Links on Emergency Lighting and Heating @


What is the Difference Between All the E-Kits & Preparedness Bags Checklist Compare

Check the "Downloads" in the right panel to take a look at this 4 month long research that I just completed.

What is the Difference Between All the E-Kits and Bags and What Do I Need? This goes with "Preparedness Bags Checklist Compare"

Preparedness Bags Checklist Compare (Must be downloaded in Excel format to see all tabs) Read "What Is The Difference Between All the E-Kits and Bags and What Do I Need?" for detailed explanations.

“On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.” Chuck Palahniuk


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week 19 - 24 Weeks of Crisis Supply Procurement

Remember to turn your clocks back today ;-}

Week 19

Grocery Store

  • Heavy duty garbage bags
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 package pasta
  • 1 can fruit juice

First Aid Supplies

  • Suture kit
  • Package “butterfly” bandages, various sizes
  • OTC medications – adult and child (Benadryl, Sudafed, Pepto Bismal, Cola and or Ginger syrup)

Hardware/Home Improvement/Sports, Misc Store

  • 1 box ammo for your rifle
  • All purpose axe-hatchet/hammer/crow bar tool
  • Folding backpackers shovel
  • 2- 5 gallon or larger water barrels with wheels, towing handle and gravity spout

To Do

  • Have a “weather” emergency drill (earthquake, flood, hurricane, tornado, landslide, etc). Include any family, neighbors or preparedness/safety group members. Utilize your rendezvous points and secret communication codes.
  • Learn something new: Orienteering, snowshoeing, making moccasians, etc.
  • Complete another form to your Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Record the items you have purchased for crisis use in the Documentation Book/Binder.
  • Add any appropriate monies to your money jar.

** When quantities are listed that is per person in your household.

“Depend not on another, but lean instead on thyself. True happiness is born of self-reliance. “
The Laws of Manu


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Make An Instant Improvised Lamp & Survival Food Scoring Comparison

Make An Instant Improvised Lamp

Great little How-To PDF downloadable from

“It goes without saying that when survival is threatened, struggles erupt between peoples, and unfortunate wars between nations result.” Hideki Tojo

Survival Food Scoring Comparison

I ran across this neat spreadsheet downloadable from at

This author (jpnkevin) scored the options for disaster survival food against the factors storage life, storage space, preparation time, taste, and cost (per meal).

Although this is an objective calculation the ratings are subjective but based on the facts and information the has been reporting on their blog . Author has also added a weight to each factor based again on their opinion of it’s relative importance. The weighted score total for the survival food options is out of 10.

It is also important to note that the scoring was done for a food supply that will last 6 weeks to 3 months. MRE will fair far better in an 72 hour survival kit rating.

This is really handy and well worth the read. Check out the author's blog too!

“In the future, instead of striving to be right at a high cost, it will be more appropriate to be flexible and plural at a lower cost. If you cannot accurately predict the future then you must flexibly be prepared to deal with various possible futures.” Edward de Bono