Why Your Grocery Bill Will Double in 2011 and What You Can Do About It

This is a 40 minute presentation given to a standing room only crowd at “Brave New Books” in Austin, TX..We deeply apologize to those we had to turn away. But, we did video the presentation and the YouTube links are below.

Marjory Wildcraft presents::

– Real food price increases versus CPI fiction
– The vulnerability of the US food supply
– Debunking the US ‘Bread Basket to the World” myth
– The 3 biggest factors pushing up food prices.
– Getting started with backup food supplies.
– How much land do you need to be food self-reliant.
– How much water do you need.
– Getting started right now! Specific directions for everyone.

Here are is the 4 part series on YouTube:

Click here to get your copy of Backyard Food Production

Episode 14- A Cross Country Mountain Biking Primer

Today’s episode brought to you by Directive21.com – The Best Deals on Berkey Water Filters – Please tell them you heard about them on SOS!! That would help me out a lot

I neglected to mention: Always wear a helmet! I guess I thought that was too obvious!!

Today I’m taking a break from the self sufficiency articles you have come to expect. I was putting together a podcast on vermicomposting when my internet went down.

I’m sorry if this seems off topic for this website, but I hope some people find this useful.

I decided that I would give everyone a cross country mountain biking primer. I realize this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you have ever been interested in recreational mountain biking this might be worth a listen.

This isn’t a podcast about road biking, cadence, downhill, freestyle, rails to trails, etc.. this is about the basics of Cross Country mountain biking.

  • Bike Purchasing – Basic guidelines. If you want to know if a bike you found is a POS feel free to drop me a line
  • Before the ride – What are the basic things you need to check on your bike before every ride
  • Things you need to take with you – What goes in your camelbak?
  • What are the most common trailside repairs you will have to make
  • Skills – cover the most basic skills that will get you going through most basic park trails
  • Winter Night Riding – A very brief run down of some basic winter equipment
  • What is the most important safety upgrade on your mountain bike?
  • Group Dynamics – How not to be a jerk if you decide to go on a ride with a local club

Episode 13: Beneficial Garden Pollinators – the Mason Bees!

Today’s episode brought to you by : Directive21.com – the best deals on Berkey Water Filters

Mason bees are a great garden friend and their needs are minimal. They just need you to plant some nice herbs to pollinate and make a basic house to live in.

Today we talk about:

  • Great for people who can’t have honey bees, and also for those that do!
  • They don’t sting!
  • Great in cold climates
  • Order through mail or attract them from the wild
  • How to setup a mason bee house
  • How to build a mason bee house
  • Mason Bee House Plans using natural logs

Build a worm tower to fertilize your garden

While I was researching aquaponics I stumbled across this concept of building a worm tower. Basically you bury some pipe and fill it with compost worms and kitchen scraps, etc. The worms will crawl through your garden and leave their castings behind. It’s a pretty cool concept, one which I will be experimenting with this spring.

Here is a great source for composting worms. Red Worm Composting. I’ve been planning to make a few worm bins this year also.

Processing your own pork – how to kill, butcher, and cook a pig

A great thanks to Mark for sending this article in, what an excellent guide!

Processing Your Own Pork

By: Mark Shirah

When I told my brother-in-law that I was bringing my family back home for a visit over the week of Thanksgiving 2008, he asked if I’d be up to helping him slaughter a couple of hogs. I’ve skinned wild hogs, but these were some Yorkshires that he’d raised to their current 200-250# weights, and he was going to scald them and scrape the hair so he’d be able to get bacon. On the last one he killed, he asked my dad, who came over to help, just where the bacon was. He was a little let down when dad told him it was on the skin in the gut pile…learning usually has a curve to it. I volunteered to help…any excuse to learn a new skill.

First, kill the hog. It doesn’t take a large caliber, but just a .22 to the forehead. After they are down, cut the jugular vein by making a large slit behind the jowl and reach in…you’ll probably be able to tell what you’re after. Hang them up and let them bleed out for a few minutes.
It really helps to be cold outside. I think it was in the 40s when we processed these.

My BIL had set up a grate with a couple of 55 gal steel barrels on it, and had the water at 140 degrees…that’s real important so the hair doesn’t “set”, making it hard to scrape off. Using a gambrel, pulley, and pickup to raise and lower the hog, dip it in the scalding water. Then put it on a table about waist high to keep from killing your back. Looks like this:

It’ll take several dippings and a great deal of scraping with a sharp knife to get all the hair off, but once you do, hang the hog and prepare to gut it.

Cut around the anus (and if it is a female, the vaginal opening as well) and pull out enough to tie it off with a piece of string. You’ll pull this back through the pelvic opening once you’ve opened the hog up.

Next, cut open the belly and chest, being very careful not to puncture the intestines. Once he’s opened up, just pull the entrails downward to a bucket. Once you’ve removed the entrails, give him a thorough washing with clear water.

Then use a torch to sear off the remaining hair. Most of it will be real fine, but if you don’t want it on your bacon and “cracklins”, don’t forget this step.

Use a sawzall with a real coarse blade to cut the backbones. It also works well for cutting the feet off.

Place the halves on a clean surface to cut into pieces. Cut the ham and the shoulder off each side.

This ham is about 20 pounds…

Cut out the tenderloin, if you don’t have a meat saw. You’d need a bandsaw for meat to do porkchops. Then cut out the ribs, and save all extraneous meat for the grinder.

Crank up the BBQ and put a tenderloin in the oven with taters and carrots…fine eating!