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PANDEMIC ALERT LEVEL
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Prepping September 2020

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Penham View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 01 2020 at 9:24pm

What's everyone working on for the month? I'm doing a little more stocking up on pantry items and paper goods. We planted our fall garden,  only 4 items: lettuce,  spinach,  zucchini  and squash. Everything started coming up within 5 or 6 days. We have been discussing building a green house to extend our growing season,  but haven't decided for sure. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiminNM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2020 at 8:09pm

I'm still trying to organize things. It's hard in a tiny place!  

I've been constantly ordering things like vitamins/personal care/ topical pain meds/nuts/cat supplies/etc to ensure a rolling 3-6 month supply, and the last couple of months a LOT of things are out of stock. And prices have gone up on a lot of things.

Biggest project for the month other than ordering (which because of stock issues takes 3-4 times as long) is to check expiration dates of the stuff I bought back in January and February. Stuff I don't normally use but bought 'just in case'. Some decisions to make about what else I want to have on hand. Also cat food and treats that I ordered when it was cheaper that is starting to expire, so have to decide how long past expiration dates I can go.

My gut feel is I want to have enough on hand to last through March. That won't be possible on everything, but I'm trying to get as close as I can.

And need to decide on whether to get another small freezer. Stock is really limited, and prices are high, so I keep delaying the decision. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2020 at 2:36am

A good guide is the difference between 'best before' and 'use by'.  The first is concerned with stock turnover, appearance and guaranteed levels of vitamins etc., the latter is going off.

Most fresh things, if treated sensibly, last about 50% longer than stated.  The difference is to cover the vendor legally in case someone is too stupid to store things properly. (leave it out of the fridge, take so long to freeze it it is partially thawed, let it get wet, etc.).

IN MORE DETAIL

Dried food, this pretty much keeps forever.  Obviously not if it gets damp, eaten by rodents or insects, or if it is oil-rich and is exposed to the air.  If oils oxydise, they will go rancid.  This is no longer a 'healthy' food, and will taste vile, but it will not poison you.  Store in original packaging (if that is sealed) and put the whole thing in tins or thick plastic boxes.  Some of us even fill boxes with nitrogen or CO2.  

Tins, bottles, jars,  This lot lasts until the packaging fails.  Keep tins dry, metal bottle tops and jar lids dry.  Relax!

Frozen food is hard to give details of.  In a commercial freezer, turned up, with things fresh-frozen, blanched, frozen cooked and carefully wrapped, things keep for years or even decades.  Frozen when 'stale', partially cooked, not frozen deeply enough, partially thawed because the power went out for a night, all drop the storage times.  (Cheese is an exception.  Defrost and re-freeze to your heart's content - it just gets stronger!  Don't do that with anything else.  Cheddar does not need freezing.  Dip it in molten beezwax and it will keep for 2 years on a cold airy shelf.  Inside a wire/wooden box is best - mice!)

Drugs, vitamins etc., keep cold as possible - BUT NOT FROZEN - at around 2-3*C and completely dry they last roughly double their official shelf life.  Some last far longer, but as time ticks over, a little potency is lost.  Organic molecules react over extended periods of time a-little-bit-each-day.  Eventually your 100mg pill contains 90mg.  Very few become dangerous (possibly tetracycline does - the jury is out)  in most cases the loss is insignificant.  For old vitamins take double, old antibiotics, use two types at once.  Other perscription drugs would need specific research, but that is a good rule-of-thumb.  OTC meds usually have huge margains-for-error in shelf life and keep for decades.  Often, the shelf-life pertains to the packaging.  Treat blister packs with kid gloves!

Finally, some contents 'settle' and they separate.  Give the bottle a good shake!

ERCD
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2020 at 11:33pm

Originally posted by Penham Penham wrote:

What's everyone working on for the month? I'm doing a little more stocking up on pantry items and paper goods. We planted our fall garden,  only 4 items: lettuce,  spinach,  zucchini  and squash. Everything started coming up within 5 or 6 days. We have been discussing building a green house to extend our growing season,  but haven't decided for sure. 

How do you grow zucchini and squash in the fall? They are very frost intolerant. What's your secret? Every autumn I plant up our garden with 3 types of kale, cauliflower, mustard greens, brocolli and purple sprouting broccoli, celery and broad beans. These all crop really well in the winter. It's spring here now and we're almost sick to the teeth of broccoli and i've still got about 20 heads ready to be picked. There's so much food out there.

You can't fix stupid.
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Penham View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2020 at 9:44am

As far as growing the squash and zucchini. Any information I have read says you can also plant a second crop in the fall, so we tried it. Also the lettuce is growing well but the spinach didn't come up at all.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Penham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2020 at 9:52am

I bought a food vacuum sealer last week. For sealing food. Was thinking about dehydrating fruit then vacuum sealing. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WitchMisspelled Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2020 at 12:24pm

Penham, do yourself and the environment a favor, if you're going to dehydrate fruit don't vacuum seal it the the bags.  Buy the mason jar attachment for your vacuum sealer, mason jars and oxygen absorbers if you feel the need.  Frankly with oxygen absorbers would be overkill, but with those, you don't even need to buy the vacuum sealer attachment.  Besides... it's cheaper than buying the vacuum seal bags.  They're expensive!

But you are going to LOVE your new vacuum sealer for freezer goods and flour.  Do not try to vacuum seal sugar though.  Unless you have an ice pick.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 25 2020 at 3:13pm

I just store dried apples and pears in large storage jars. They seem to keep fine even with my children dipping in to eat them all the time.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 25 2020 at 3:15pm

I'm stocking up this month on Christmas food. I'm concerned there'll be shortages and the one thing we as a family need at Christmas is our normal festive food.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WitchMisspelled Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 25 2020 at 5:31pm

I planned out some yarn art projects in case we are put on pause again or it's a horrible winter.  A horrible winter might be a blessing, though.  

I ordered yarn to finish a blanket for my niece, and yarn for a cardigan for me.  Another niece is "reminding" me that a grey couch blanket would look fabulous on her couch.  Yet another niece has requested a queen size blanket in Swedish flag colors, but the blue I need has been out of stock for six months.  My nephew put in his request since the requesting was good.  He wants brightly colored slipper socks so the actors can see and identify him when he's on stage (he directs).

The yarn came today so I'm stocked up.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ViQueen24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 26 2020 at 8:45am

Originally posted by KiwiMum KiwiMum wrote:

I'm stocking up this month on Christmas food. I'm concerned there'll be shortages and the one thing we as a family need at Christmas is our normal festive food.

I've been doing this, too, and actually started with Thanksgiving food about a month ago.  It's been a heck of an upheaval year, and some normal is nice about now.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 1:20am

I'm finally putting up my big polytunnel, filling raised bed #5 and hope to construct raised bed #6.  I too can see shortages and want to be ready.


Great minds think alike KiwiMum, I just started my Xmas shop.  Just bits here and there, as the real shop needs planning (done inside) and it is still just warm enough outside to continue gardening, - but not for much longer.  I really want to finish and load bed #6, so I can cover them with black weed-retardant fabric and then plant out early in the spring.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hachiban08 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 hours 17 minutes ago at 9:30pm

I am good on TP and pet preps. So I am gonna mostly work on non perishable foods and electrolyte drinks/supplements I think.

Be prepared! It may be time....^_^v
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 hours 8 minutes ago at 10:39am

WitcMispelled, what does the attachment look like and how does it work. We did some hamburger meat just to try it out. There's some type of tube attachment but absolutely no kind of instructions at all came in the box with the food sealer. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 hours 4 minutes ago at 10:43am

KiwiMum, I have also started stocking up on holiday food. I have a Turkey breast, ham, all the canned items, stuff to make cookies, cake and stuffing. 

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Penham View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Penham Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 9 hours 60 minutes ago at 10:47am

We have eaten the first lettuce out of the fall garden. The zucchini and squash are in full bloom with baby vegetables on them. We should have full size veggies in another week or so.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WitchMisspelled Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 9 hours 47 minutes ago at 11:00am

Originally posted by Penham Penham wrote:

WitcMispelled, what does the attachment look like and how does it work. We did some hamburger meat just to try it out. There's some type of tube attachment but absolutely no kind of instructions at all came in the box with the food sealer. 



Penham that's what the tube attachment is for.  You can find them all over.  But here's a link to Amazon to give you an idea what they look like. There are two ... regular mouth and wide mouth jar attachments.  


https://www.amazon.com/FoodSaver-FCARWJAH-000-Wide-Mouth-Regular-Accessory/dp/B016OL1AB6?ref_=ws_cp_ddc017a68c8d0e0ce254_p_1_t_p

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