I have put off the Kerosene heater test until the conditions are comparable to the Mr. Heater and I’m certain it won’t kill me. I will get the carbon monoxide alarm and a new wick next week so it should not take long for another test.
I have been enjoying being in putter mode and getting a few things done that have needed my attention. I baked up a few loaves of bread and got some of the no-knead bread dough in the fridge to bake this week. Since it was so cold outside, 0 degrees F. I went ahead and put the oven on the self cleaning cycle. I had some spill over on my Mac & Cheese so it needed a good cleaning. I got a little smoke from the oven and my new smoke detectors worked great, so another real world test is done! Oh! this time I remembered to put down the foil for any new spills, instead of thinking of it after the fact.
I got my little hand grinder out and did a quick test on my malted barley for beer. For beer grains you need more of a crush rather than grinding the grains into a flour. It looked good to me but I’ll take my sample barley to the beer lady and see if this is okay “crush” of the grain or if I need to change the settings. I bottled about a case of the dark beer and I don’t mind using the bottle capper for just a case of beer. For a full size batch, I prefer using the flip-top bottles as it seems faster and easier!
I did a little internet window shopping to get an price range on the 55 gallon drum and what whole grains would cost. It’s looking like this could be a good option at least for the food items that last 20-30 years. I will be buying in 50 pound bags and then putting the grains in food safe bags with a bit of DE so I figure about 300 pounds per drum. My plan is for 2 drum dedicated to grain, One drum of red hard wheat and the other drum would be a mixture of barley, dent corn and oats. That will add a bit of variety to any future meals and help prevent food fatigue. The next 55 gallon drum would be white rice, while the forth drum would be a mixture of different kinds of dry beans. My cost would be about $23.00 for each drum and the 50 pound bags will cost from $14.00 for grains, about $20.00 for rice and up to $40.00 + depending on the type of beans. I think adding a variety of beans will be critical to fighting food fatigue. So spending a little extra money now will insure I have a nice variety in a few years! You can get tired of eating steak if you have eat it everyday.
This won’t cover all you need as a food plan. I think having these basics in place will allow you to spend more on the foods you can’t store long term such as fruits, veggies, fats, dairy and meats. Just thinking about having a pallet of four 55 gallon drums filled with another 3 + years of staples that will last for 20-30 years that you can use, or barter and share with others makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. It’s darn cheap way to have a good supply of staples on hand. You start with the cost of one 55 gallon drum of $25.00 then add food safe bags and DE are inexpensive multi-taskers for about $20.00 if you don’t have them yet. For food you just pick what your priority items are and start filling the drum in $20.00-$50.00 amounts. I’m going for 50 pound bags for the buying in bulk savings, but you could go with 25 or even 10 pound bags if that is what you can afford on your shopping list. I bet in a year you could have at least a couple of barrels full even if you just budget $30.00 per month! This idea feels like the right thing for me to do emotionally, spiritually and logically.
I want to thank Karen and riverrider for inspiring me to find a solution to long term food storage made me think about what if… and how would/could a person accomplish storage of long term staples. I forsee prepers with lots of tables, counter tops and very tall beds in the future 😉