Storing Wheat, part 2
If you live in the city, driving around incessantly, you might find food grade plastic buckets you just need to wash. My best finds used to be at a BBQ joint, cleaned with lid for a $1 each. Don't get too hung up just on “free”. Lots more folks sell them than toss them. Chinese places might be good, as everything seems to come out of a can there. Bakeries used to have them, although I don't know if the supermarkets will give you the buckets.
Mom and Pops are obviously more accommodating than corporates ( at one time, Albertson's bakery was required to send the buckets back, one imagines for a recycling bribe. This was the height of the plastic prices, though, so this may no longer be a practice. Plus, Albertson's changes hands about every other year, a zombie store, so you never know ). One thing I noticed the few times I got free buckets was they seemed to be bizarre sizes. If you didn't get its companion lid, other's didn't seem to want to fit. I still have a couple dozen buckets I can't use because of that.
I used to advocate two liter soda bottles. Then a minion told me how they started making them a LOT thinner. I didn't disbelieve him, but I sure had no idea how bad they had gotten. One of the neighbors tossed some recently, and I was simply amazed how flimsy they now were. They are complete crap-do NOT count on using them. You are barely better off than with a Zip-Lock plastic bag. The closest you are going to get to free are those restaurant buckets. The only question is, will you find enough. You can use juice bottles. But those are just as hard to find.
One idea I'm particularly fond of is the junk refrigerator. A five gallon bucket that is now $5, if you can't find any free ones, has 0.67 cubic feet of storage space in it. A standard home fridge has 10 to 20 cubic feet. That means you replace 15-30 buckets by using a fridge, at a savings of $70-$140. If you can buy a junk fridge for a fraction of that, even after buying Mylar bags, you are WAY ahead of the game. I understand that Big Mamma might not approve of such an unsightly addition, so this might not be feasible. But just one, in the man cave, and you have up to near half a ton of wheat.
You can use other metal containers, obviously, such as filing cabinets or the like, but as they are now making refrigerators to die far from the decade mark, there should be plenty of that junk around. On a fridge, you don't even need Mylar. Add plenty of DE, set the unit on its back ( don't set directly on concrete ) to take pressure off the door once filed with wheat. I would have extra seals to the motor access and over the rubber casket to be absolutely sure pests cannot access it. Throw a couple of cushions over as a bed or couch and there you have it, at least one years food supply.
You can buy a thirty gallon galvanized metal trash can for less than the price of buckets holding the same amount. Six months supply of wheat in a $25 metal can ( I consider one pound of wheat a day's food. Obviously, you want more than just that-but we speak of times when that might be all you have. They are a baseline calorie ). The difference between a fridge and the can is you must beware condensation if the metal gets cold. In the fridge, there is insulation.
There are food grade plastic totes, the IBC units, sold almost everywhere. You can buy used ones for under $100, but even new, they are a pretty decent way to store food, with a great container left over for rain catchment, for a relatively low cost. Yes, I prefer smaller units myself, avoiding placing all my eggs in one basket, but it is an option ( and you might need more than one anyway, with family. After a certain number of people, this becomes the most compact and cheapest option ).
Even if you think you don't need wheat, you need wheat. Just because the rate of overpopulation has dropped doesn't mean the number of people around has done the same. The planet has far too many people. Even the 2 billion we had in 1900 ( before oil was used in much of anything ) is WAY too high. Yes, that was prior to artificial fertilizer, but coal had done a pretty good job industrializing, to include mechanizing farming ( which would have stripped the fertility sooner, had it not been for the Haber-Bosch process of ammonia from carbon fuel ). There had already been issues with importing bird crap from islands to keep the farms producing.
Two billion was already placing pressure on the surplus from colonization. Go back prior to coal, and rely just on wood, and half a billion is a pretty good guess on the globes carrying capacity. Not “sustainability”, per se, as that is with civilizations crashing regularly, local forests and fields denuded. But about as much as you could hope for. Humans have ALWAYS, even hunting and gathering, been just like insects. Breed past the carrying capacity, die-off. Just because the INITIAL die-off this time has been orderly ( slow decline ) and hidden ( war, local famines ) doesn't mean that will be the case once oil supplies diminish.
No matter how many Happy Place Plans you dream up, farmers treating their land better than in the past to continue its productivity, no matter how many organic or permaculture fixes you seek, without oil we cannot feed billions of people. If we had made a globalized effort to do so, WHILE we still had decades of oil left, to subsidize those areas with recovering soil or experiencing mishaps, yes, we could be feeding billions. But that didn't happen. We are far too tribal, and noncooperation is the norm.
And no, we do NOT have decades of oil left. We might have centuries left of SOME oil, but we don't have decades left for billions of people. Malthus will have the last laugh, and all you unbelievers will help fertilize the fields for those that listened to him, may statues of his revered likeness soon grace the land to warn future idiots that their idiocy will also soon be rewarded. Fracking Fields Forever will never trump Malthus, your pathetic democratic empire will fold under the weight of the human tidal wave of diversity, and soon the tractors and trucks will no longer deliver you calories.
Baby Jesus prefers to help those who help themselves. You are two junked refrigerators and $400 away from FIVE YEARS OF FOOD! If you cannot manage that, the price of ONE middlin quality AR-15, to have a half decade of food security, you will be judged harshly by those you pathetically cry to in times of hunger, your god smiting you to cleanse the gene pool gone horribly wrong. That pool is HIS, and your contamination is not appreciated. Act accordingly.
( .Y. )
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“I used to advocate two liter soda bottles. Then a minion told me how they started making them a LOT thinner.”ReplyDelete
Worth mentioning, is that anything stored in such a container, must be additionally stored in something that is rodent proof. I know this from personal experience, living on a farm. My mother bought a few of those Rubbermaid plastic trash cans of the 32 gallon variety, for feed storage. The mice chew right through them. Metal, no problem. Now I did notice that there is a heavy duty version (Linked below) of these cans, and those just might be okay, but I can’t vouch for them, since we have the standard variety. The thick, round, heavy duty plastic feed barrels, no problem with those either. The mice don’t even bother. I saw a bunch of those at the feed store the last time I was there. I asked the dude working there about them, but of course, they do not part with them. I don’t know the technical name for these, but they’re the one’s that sportsman’s guide sells (Also linked below) for storing/burying/caching stuff, for around $70. They used to be free, but often, they came from paint or dye factories.
The Sportsman’s guide version:
One gallon less, but steel, at Home Despot, $7 lessDelete
Beware Amazon and shipping costs. Even free, some items bulk or weight is added into the prices, which is cheaper locally
Right. An aside note that I have been considering and must contend with is the man portable aspect of preps and storage criterias. Although I lust after multiple ibc totes of grains and pallets of catalog and internet purchased crap stacked in the barn in a sleepy redoubt hamlet, other concerns then will arise.ReplyDelete
I or a tribe member may or probably will be a solo operator for whatever circumstances, be an elder geezer, and may have to move or transport items solely with limited mechanical aides. (With no smoke jumper forest fire warriors post collapse to save your redoubt locale, probably gonna be burned out or such as simplistic examples) disburse locations of things, and have mobility factored into your grand plans, to limit loss potentials. Hand cart, ramps, ropes and pulleys for loading of manageable sized units into trucks, donkey carts, mormon hand carts etc is forward thinking while engaged in P.E.E. preps. Like a MASH unit that is actually kinda mobile, if and when likely necessary.
The shingles, stucco, and sheetrock of your domicile is not a guaranteed protector of you or your kit forever. Watch the news or purview history examples for clue bat examples.
Think long game.
Think REALLY long term-bury that wheat. Best slightly removed from home. More than one location. Invaded or burned out, you can return. And beware-know how far down the heat can effect storage.Delete
Yes, thermally deep enough, away from water infiltration i.e. rain, floods, water tables, manmade causes pipe bursts, overflows from someone's sources, etc. sealed well, and located deeply secretly.Delete
An update on my bulk wheat pursuits, for those also tackling this learning curve...ReplyDelete
I found wheat seed (soft winter red) at our local feed store. $18 per 50 lb. From what I've read, that seed needs heavy cleaning and de-husking to be ready to eat. School me if not.
I also found a local branch co-op that orders from a grainery about 5 hours away. Pricing is $26 per 50 lbs, hard red winter. I'm looking into that.
Also found a b2b only miller about 4 hours away. Relevant because they store their unground wheat in a shipping container, which is my option here at the house. Given we are in the deep south, this pleased me to no end as I assumed the heat inside a container would rapidly spoil everything I put in it.
Still investigating two things pertaining- grinding and nutrition. Clearly need an on and off grid solution to grinding. I appreciate your guidance on the manual mill, Jim. That will be half of my 2 is 1 solution.
The nutrition of fresh flour is compelling. We've been primal and keto long before it was cool. But the anecdotal evidence of commercial flours damaging effects (hello Diseases of Civilization / Omnivore's Dilemma) forces me to look deeper into my assumptions about flour. But for backup calories, NO BRAINER. Check this out https://efficiencyiseverything.com/calorie-per-dollar-list/
Note calories per dollar, Wheat is king.
Thanks for your work, Jim. Karma for you is flowing I'm sure.
de-husking? NO! All you need to do is throw that grain up in the air on a windy days, and the stems and other crap fly away, just leaving the kernels. De-husking is what you do with rice, not wheat. Leave wheat as-is and it will store forever protected from heat/sun/vermin. It IS a learning curve, but a very short one.Delete
Have minions considered buying in conjunction with a local craft beer brewery? They receive 50# (?)sacks of grain pretty often. Ask if you could prepay for a few sacks at small premium.Delete
Personally, I really like barley porridge and soup so getting barley is a standard item for them.
Some breweries make "wheat" beer at certain times of year (summer, iirc).
Bonus is the grain will be super super clean.
Just tossing it out there...
Not a bad idea. Of course, if you live in an area that has craft beer, you might be in too Blue...:) I wonder about restaurant supply jobbers. Unless they've all gone out of business to SyscoDelete
I buy barley from a local feed store that is more of a glorified pet shop. They generally carry a little barley for livestock, but filled with things I don’t want to ingest. I told the manager that I wanted it for home brewing so needed a grade suitable for human consumption, but didn’t want to pay what hobby brewing stores charge. He was happy to oblige and ordered 400 lbs for me at $19/50lb bag. Inexpensive, with about 1,550 cal/lb and 12% protein. Fat content is about twice that of wheat.Delete
You want hulled barley, not pearled barley. Hulled has the hull removed, but the germ is intact. Pearled barley has the hull and the germ removed so is less nutritious.
If you sprout your wheat first, it can be ground easily in a hand crank meat grinder. Even the little plastic ones that cost less than $30 work well since they never see much stress. Mine is an antique metal one that was my grandmothers. Its over 100 years old now and still going strong.Delete
I make sprouted bread with it (Essene bread). More nutritious after sprouting. Just don’t let the little sprout tails get longer than the grain or it will start tasting grassy.
You must use only grain from the feed store designated as feed. Anything designated "seed" could be coated with pesticides or fungicide.Delete
Nicus-what is the storage life of barley? Sounds too good to be true. What's the catch?Delete
Jim - Not sure about storage life of hulled barley. I've read that it's over 20 years, but having more fat than wheat has me slightly concerned. On the other hand, wheat is not fat free either, yet it lasts practically forever if properly stored. For reference, barley usually has more fat than wheat, but less than brown rice. I vacuum packed my barley in Mylar with oxygen getters, and store it below 60F, so who knows? I'll be cycling through it over the next 5-6 years, so I'll let you know if I find a problem. I've kept brown rice for 5 years using the same approach and its done pretty well. FYI - the reason barley has a bit more calories than wheat is due to the extra fat. Also, I found out after I bought it that the de-hulling process causes enough damage that very little of it will germinate and sprout. Bummer.Delete
Yeah, I might be overly paranoid about brown rice. I just think your primary calorie grain should have a LOT more shelf life. Five years goes awful quick if your old ass has to keep digging the stash up.Delete
Smiling at the thought of an unused chest freezer in someones man cave full of wheat. Surprise! If you have plans for building a wood shed, have the first item in as your unused chest freezer. Fill it full of wheat, then paint it brown, the same color as your firewood. Home Depot/Lowes/etc. will customize the color for you.ReplyDelete
Stack the firewood on the tops, sides, and front, completely covering and concealing it. You MUST have security for your firewood. It will get stolen like any high-value asset does now, after the grid goes down. I know a family right now, in a decent neighborhood, that needs the firewood for winter warmth, and it keeps getting stolen by unknown persons.
Yeah, most folks need to reevaluate their levels of trust. They must be living under the "economy is SUUUPER!" Trump propaganda.Delete
Be careful with used IBC units and know your seller. Many units used in agriculture have contained toxic chemicals. While you will use mylar bags, remember Murphy's Law. "You are what you eat."ReplyDelete
one good thing to store with your wheat is a book folks can get thru your amazon link: it's Passport to Survival by Esther Dickey. It was written around 1965, has a green cover, amazon has lots for under $10 each. The whole book is about using the basic four foods she recommends storing: wheat, salt, honey, and dry milk. She has more ways of fixing wheat than you can imagine! If I remember right, she is a Mormon, but the book is not preachy. It's well worth getting. I've had it for years. Her daughter wrote a follow-up which is ok, but not as good.ReplyDelete
Great book, but personally I got more information out of "how To Live On Wheat". Regardless, both are on my blog as Amazon ads-so make sure to buy through those ( shameless plug )Delete
tell the guy losing his fire wood.. drill out the end of a few pieces add black powder then plug the end back up....you will soon find who stole it by following the fire trucksReplyDelete
What if it was your buddy, and you are over at his house watching football, on the couch, next to the fireplace?Delete
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Does galvanized steel hold up to direct exposure of wet dirt? And, how many pounds total would you say fit in there? Any issue with the weight of the top Mylar splitting open bottom Mylar? This is a new one on me-please advise.Delete
No, galvanized will rust like anything else. Line the hole with ample visqueen. Drop the barrel in, pull the visqueen up and over, twist and fold over, zip tie.Delete
Jim - I use 31 gallon galvanized steel garbage cans. Picked up a dozen for $11 each about 12 years ago at an Ace Hardware sale. Each holds 180 lb of wheat in vacuum sealed Mylar bags so two hold a year's wheat. The bags are tough and are undamaged even though I've moved and repacked the cans several times. I also use a couple as mini root cellars in my garage to hold potatoes and onions mostly.Delete
20lb sacrifice for Mylar bags-10%-is not bad at all.Delete
Lord Bison, nothing wrong with a little sumptin', sumptin' put up as a small safety issue but to store away YEARS worth is....strange. Just imagine yourself strutting around 2 years post apocalype looking all fat and sassy. That would make you a menu selection at local Chinese restaurant (special #7 "Dong Hong Lo" or is it "Sum Ting Wong"?). Sorry, no fortune cookie for you, Round Eyes.ReplyDelete
Second, if said collapse occurs the metro areas would decamp for hinterlands, but over multi-year time frame. (cascade, not cliff). Enough time to get VAST majority of folks out to boonieville so as to provide 50% of caloric requirements. Gov would bring in grain from flyover country for other 50% (think "work" battalions). Fewer than 15% dead first 3 years.
Your scenario of economic or political collapse won't wipe out USA from food standpoint.
You folks better get straight cause the real issue is some asshat releasing a pathogen. The genetic base of all grains is so narrow that VAST swathes of near identical varieties stretch from horizon to horizon. BAM!! Double BAM!! 90% crop loss in weeks. Pestilence, disease and persistent famine, those are the civilization destroyers.
No crop next year or year after as pathogen overwinters.
Which minion is doing the acorn hustle, "Demented Guy"? He is the example to learn from.
Me, personally I'm a pecan & cattail root kinda guy.
Do you really think you'll be "fat and sassy" on 1500 cal a day wheat? Your faith in the competency of the gov is touching. It is also at least 50 years out of date. And lastly, acorns and pecan are only good in a hunter/gatherer population level. So, you ARE agreeing with my 99.9% die-off figures? I call for famine by lack of oil, you call for the same by a pathogen. Okay. Where is the disagreement? You still need to store a metric butt ton of grain and ammo. Got both?Delete
I dug my hole in a small hill and put a tarp inside and then placed the can in the hole. Kind of like a lazy mans root cellar. Then backfilled around the tarp. So I have a tarp layer around the can. The can actually sticks out of the ground a few inches so the lid can be put on or removed for access. The plywood is square just bigger than the trash can lid with 2 by 4 around the edge to fit over the lid. The plywood lid wrapped in a camo tarp and then a little dirt and a lot of leaves conceal. I would guess I have around 200 lbs. in one can, plus some beans and rice. I pack the mylar bags kind of loose so they pack into the can better. I have checked and haven't seen any rust yet, inside the can or breakage. This is a experiment to see if it works because I plan on digging a actual root cellar. I have stored my dried acorns the same way, but still in the shell without mylar and they also seem fine. At the new land I plan on storing wheat and other supplies the same way, but might coat the outside in tar first. I really don't know how long the trash can will last but it was ok around October. Been in the ground for about 20 months.ReplyDelete
Most excellent. Sorry, I didn't catch the part about the tarp around the can. Honest Injun, I actually did read it twice.Delete
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I swear the totes use crappier plastic/are thinner than prior.Delete
Kyle - Survival Prepping For Normal People - just posted a related video with a few succulent tidbits. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pIBENz6IGcReplyDelete
I loved that guy, but I think he started toying with jumping the shark ( over extended ). I'll check out the above. ThanksDelete
In my area I can get feed wheat at the farmers CoOp but it is only spring wheat. I guess I have to settle for biscuits,cakes and muffins. Jiffy mix mills is just up the road. Lake Erie PirateReplyDelete
Used to love Jiffy Mix-added it half and half to whole wheat for flavor and variety. Not sure why I stopped...just now thought of that, like eight years later.Delete