Petersons Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants

On the net on 8/28/2012 there was some discussion about edible plants. Harley suggested “Petersons Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants”. An Amazon search turned up this:

I don’t have any experience with this book but I will get a copy.


Wise Storage Foods

I ordered a sample from this company and tried it this weekend. The sample request got me one pouch of Fettucini Alfredo. The food is freeze dried and very light and packed in a fairly heavy foil pouch. Instructions are easy and printed on each foil pouch.   I didn’t measure the dry volume but would estimate about 2 cups in a heavy foil pouch that would fit in a cargo pants pocket. Instructions say to bring 4 cups of water to a boil, stir in contents of the envelope, cover and wait 10 minutes. The result is 4 servings and was pretty good. It wasn’t Fettucini Alfredo that was prepared with fresh cream and butter but was good. My guess is that in an emergency when you may not have eaten for 18 hours it would be great. You can order your own sample on the website. I’m trying to get a few dozen samples to give away on meeting night. These folks package their freeze dried foods in heavy foil pouches and package the pouches in plastic buckets that are about 1/2 the size of a 5 gallon plastic bucket. SHELF LIFE OF THIS FOOD IS UP TO 25 YEARS WITH PROPER ROOM TEMPERATURE STORAGE. This allows you to grab them and go for camping or a bugout to a safer location. I have 2 of their 84 serving buckets stashed for an emergency. 168 servings may sound like lot but it amounts to 2 weeks for 3 people with 3 meals and one snack per day. If you are just sitting in a shelter that may be fine but you might need to allow for more calories if travelling on foot or doing hurricane cleanup/repairs at home.  DON’T FORGET YOUR PETS. Our dogs are valued members of our family and even a small dog can alert you to a prowler outside. Buy ahead for your pet and rotate the stock. Also talk to your doctor about your medication needs during an emergency when you may want to shelter in place in your home. Some of us are used to buying daily at the grocery store. Think ahead, buy ahead just in case. There are plenty of reasons to stay off the streets for a week or two, local hurricane/tornado damage with roving gangs of looters, a disease pandemic, rioting due to an unpopular election or court decision, economic uncertanty etc. Think about having food/water/medication to wait out the emergency. You can also check your local supermarket and buy normal supermarket food for emergency storage. Look at best by and expiration dates, buy the food you normally eat and rotate your stock.

Drill your own Water Well – 2 Methods

Method 1 – Wash Down instructions are in the attached PDF File. For this method you need a good flow of water do do the drilling. I did it with two hoses one two different city water meters but a portable tank and gasoline powered water pump would probably give a higher volume flow and do the job quicker. My daughter and I washed down a well a couple of years ago and I was pleased with the result. I didn’t get a great flow of water but it was in the middle of a long term drought, it was only 19 feet deep and it was our first try. Still, we have enough to live on if we had to and our primary source went out

Method 2 – Driven Well

This method requires no water but a bit more intense labor. Basically you drive a well point and pipe down into the earth with a sledge hammer. The part of the pipe you are hammering on is protected by a drive cap. A well point is a section of pipe that looks like a giant sharpened pencil about 4 feet long. Pipe is added as you go until you get to water. My grandfather, and most area farmers did this when they cleared ‘new ground’ for tobacco beds. Tobacco beds were ground recently cleared from the woods where tobacco was planted and allowed to grow until transplanted into the larger fields. These were moved every year to avoid parasites in last years bed and you needed a close source of water. This was the 1960’s method. Now gaseous pesticides do the job so moving to avoid disease is not needed.

If you are on your own well with an electric pump I would encourage you to add a human powered hand pump as a backup. If you have a generator to run you pump during grid outages then a hand pump would be a backup to your backup. Electric water pumps draw a lot of current and would use a lot of your generator “bandwidth” so a plan B with no fuel consumption would be good. ALSO think about Noise Discipline. Running that generator announces to the neighborhood that 1. There are people here. 2. They have a high value generator AND Fuel!. That running engine seems to say “Hi Neighbors, we thought ahead and so now we are living much more comfortably than you. Drag an extension cord on over and help yourself.” Or to the thugs “Come and steal my generator”. My point is this. If you only need 5 gallons to pour in the toilet tank for a flush, why not do it nearly silently with a hand pump. HINT: for a free source of labor tell the kids that if they’re good you’ll show them how to get water right out of the ground. Wait a few hours, let the anticipation build then let them try the pump dry for half a minute. When that fails tell them there’s a secret, prime the pump and let them see the water flow. Let each kid pump about 5 times then tell “let it rest, don’t pump too much”. This will make them want to pump for half an hour. “lets see who can get the most water” Be sure to have a catch container waiting for their output.

When you buy your hand pump get 2 or 3 extra sets of ‘leathers’. One is the cup that goes on the piston and the other is the flap valve.These are the parts that will wear out and stop the pump.

Something for the Shooters – Homemade Bore Cleaner

This formula has been around for years. I’ve never gotten around to trying it but it keeps turning up so I thought I’d pass it on. Be safe with chemicals!

CONTENTS: Ed’s Red Bore Cleaner
1 part Dexron II, IIe or III Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF), GM Spec. D-20265 or later.
1 part Kerosene – deodorized, K1
1 part Aliphatic Mineral Spirits, Fed. Spec. TT-T-2981F, CAS #64741-49-9, or may substitute “Stoddard Solvent”, CAS #8052-41-3, or equivalent, (aka “Varsol”)
1 part Acetone, CAS #67-64-1.
(Optional up to 1 lb. of Lanolin, Anhydrous, USP per gallon. It is okay to substitute Lanolin, Modified, Topical Lubricant, from the drug store)


[JWR Adds This Warning: All of the usual precautions for handling caustic and flammable solvent fluids must be taken, such as wearing goggles and rubber gloves.]

Mix outdoors, in good ventilation. Use a clean 1 gallon metal, chemical resistant, heavy gauge PET or PVC plastic container. NFPA approved plastic gasoline storage containers are also okay. Do NOT use a HDPE container, which is permeable, because the acetone will eventually evaporate. The acetone in ER will also attack HDPE, causing the container to collapse, making a big mess!

Add the ATF first. Use the empty ATF container to measure the other components, so that it is thoroughly mixed. If you incorporate the lanolin into the mixture, melt this carefully in a double boiler, taking precautions against fire. Pour the melted lanolin it into a larger container, rinsing the lanolin container with the bore cleaner mix, and stirring until it is all dissolved. Divert a small quantity, up to 4 ounces per quart of the 50-50 ATF/kerosene mix for optional use as an “ER-compatible” gun oil. This can be done without impairing the effectiveness of the remaining mix.

Label with necessary SAFETY WARNINGS: RIFLE BORE CLEANER, CAUTION: FLAMMABLE MIXTURE, HARMFUL OR FATAL IF SWALLOWED. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN. Flammable mixture! Keep away from heat, sparks or flame. FIRST AID, If swallowed DO NOT induce vomiting, call physician immediately. In case of eye contact immediately flush thoroughly with water and call a physician. For skin contact wash thoroughly.

The lanolin can be found at better pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens. Ask the pharmacist, they usually have it in the back, not out on the shelves.

Ed’s Red will not dissolve copper fouling, so have some copper remover solution on hand. Be aware that the ammonia in the copper remover can damage stock finishes, and will dissolve brass bore brushes. Have some extra brushes on hand, or use a stainless steel brush.

Silver Coin Info

If you are interested in silver as an inflation hedge, for barter or sale then check out: has great info based on recent silver prices to figure silver coin values. If you are new to silver then remember this. CHINA CURRENTLY MAKES COUNTERFEIT MORGAN SILVER DOLLARS THAT ARE WORTHLESS. They have fooled lots of people and a personal friend of mine lost hundreds of dollars buying the coins and then paying for appraisal. Money Wasted.  I’ve seen these fakes for sale as genuine in North Carolina Pawn shops. Ebay used to allow the sale of these if they were sold as replicas. Don’t get burned. If you are a rookie then buy only from trusted sources. Some auction companies will bring a supply of coins to local estate auctions giving the impression that the coins belonged to the estate.