Tips for using your wheat

*Just getting our wheat up and out of the buckets from the basement is the first step!
*Find a container that fits in your pantry or cupboard to store some wheat. Commit to use this wheat in one months time.
*If you know that you will more likely use your wheat if it’s already ground up than DO IT! Just take a little time to grind it all up, put in a container and use it up!
*Use your wheat in recipes that your family is already eating.
*First try starting with desserts, they will most likely eat the cookies no matter what kind of flour is used!
*Stop feeling like you have to make everything 100% whole wheat every time you use your wheat. You don’t! Just add a cup here and there in your normal recipes.

A few things to know:

*Whole wheat flour has more substance that regular flour- this is why 100% WW breads are heavier/heartier. Try using a little more yeast or letting your bread rise a little longer to get a fluffier texture.

*Your other recipes where you will substitute WW flour, will need a little extra leavening.
This just means you will add an extra teaspoon of baking powder for every 3 cups of WW flour you use in a recipe.

*If you choose to grind up your wheat for the month, you can preserve the nutrients in your wheat by placing it in a plastic bag and storing it in the fridge or freezer.


Being Prepared for Pandemic and Natural Disasters

Here is an update for the recent pandemic- Click HERE

Self Reliance Reliance:

The art of taking care of one one’s self and family."

Preparedness and self sufficiency is

the key to individual and family


FOr FAmILy INforMatiOn

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another and review what you will do in different situations. After a major disaster, it's unlikely that emergency response services will be able to immediately respond to everyone’s needs, so it’s important to be prepared to take care of yourself and your family. Plan to be on your own for at least the first 72 hours and many experts recommend a 2 week supply for a pandemic.

It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members. Click here to download the Family Communications Plan.

Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.
You may have trouble getting through, or the telephone system may be down altogether, but be patient.
Make sure everyone knows where to find your Disaster Kit and Go Bag.
Be sure your gas tank is always at least half full.
Plan where to meet after a disaster if your home becomes unsafe. Choose two places, one just outside your home and one outside your neighborhood in case you are told to evacuate.
Determine the best escape routes from your home. Try to identify two escape routes.
Locate the gas main and other utilities and make sure family members know when and how to turn them off.
Practice your evacuation routes.
Teach each member of your family how to use a fire extinguisher.

I know that we have been taught to have a 72 hr kit ready however here are some ideas of what to have for a GO BAG
Put the following items together in a backpack or another easy to carry container in case you must evacuate quickly. Prepare one Go-bag for each family member and make sure each has an I.D. tag. You may not be at home when an emergency strikes so keep some additional supplies in your car and at work, considering what you would need for your immediate safety.

Radio – battery operated
Dust mask
Pocket knife
Extra set of car and house keys
Emergency cash in small denominations and quarters for phone calls
Sturdy shoes, a change of clothes, and a warm hat
Local map
Some water and food
Permanent marker, paper and tape
Photos of family members and pets for re-identification purposes
List of emergency point-of -contact phone numbers
List of allergies to any drug (especially antibiotics) or food
Copy of health insurance and identification cards
Extra prescription eye glasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items
Prescription medications and first aid supplies
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Any special-needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities. Don’t forget to make a Go-bag for your pets.
Copies of your important documents in a waterproof and portable container (insurance cards, photo IDs, proof of address, etc.)
Credit and ATM cards and cash, especially in small denominations. We recommend you keep at least $50-$100 on hand.
Bottled water and non-perishable food such as energy or granola bars
Flashlight, battery-operated AM/FM radio and extra batteries. You can also buy wind-up radios that do not require batteries at retail stores.
Medication and other essential personal items. Be sure to refill medications before they expire. Keep a list of the medications each member of your household takes, why they take them, and their dosages.
First aid kit
Sturdy, comfortable shoes, lightweight raingear, and a mylar blanket
Contact and meeting place information for your household, and a small regional map
Child care supplies or other special care items

In regard to Pandemics- Here are some basic ways to prevent:

Transmission control through proper hand washing
Respiratory illnesses, such as the flu, are spread by coughing, sneezing and unclean hands. Because of this, one of the most important things you can do to stop flu transmission is to wash your hands frequently with soap and warm, clean water for 10-20 seconds. If running water is not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used if your hands are not visibly soiled. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. As more information becomes available about the nature of the bird flu virus, alternative hand washing agents may be recommended. For now, however, follow these recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How Influenza Spreads

• Transmitted through respiratory droplets.
• Can spread 24 hours before the onset of 
• Healthy adults may be able to infect others 
one full day before symptoms begin and up to  five days after becoming ill.*

When to wash hands:

Before, during and after preparing food
Before eating
After using the toilet
After touching door knobs, computer keyboards, telephone keypads, etc.
After touching animals or animal waste
After touching the nose or mouth
After changing diapers
Whenever your hands are dirty

(No government document states that one should wash their hands after shaking hands, hugging, etc. but experts in the medical field think that this is worth mentioning.)

Although washing hands with soap and clean water is more effective and both The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend it as the first line of defense, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can significantly reduce the number of germs on skin and is fast acting.

There are concerns that the harsh anti-bacterial agents in the sanitizers may destroy helpful and necessary bacteria present on and in humans. However, any potential skin damage from sanitizers would be a minor concern in a pandemic situation.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends a concentration of 60-95 percent ethanol or isopropanol as the concentration range of greatest germicidal efficacy.  
Like Purell(click for coupon)
To use, make sure you rub the product over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands they are dry. However, if hands are visibly soiled, the visible dirt must be removed first with soap and water.

Cover your cough:
The simple actions described below can prevent the spread of the viruses and bacteria that are passed from person to person in the tiny droplets of moisture from the nose or mouth of an infected person when they cough, sneeze, or talk.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Put your used tissue in the wastebasket.
Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing by washing with soap and water or cleaning with an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
Be prepared to become completely self-reliant by storing enough food and supplies to last several weeks or longer:

Stock up on non-perishable foods (a 3 week supply is recommended).
Store adequate bottled water for drinking.
Have water on hand for household purposes, such as cleaning and bathing.
Be sure to have non-food items used on a daily basis such as:

Non-electric power radio
Toilet paper
Laundry detergent
Baby diapers
First-aid supplies
Over-the-counter medications
Extra months of prescription drugs
Clorox bleach
Disposable rubber gloves
Pet food
Consult with your personal physician and be familiar with your local hospital’s emergency response plan.

Dealing With a Pandemic

Practice social distancing.

Maintain a distance of 3 feet in social settings (elevators, public gatherings).
Use a facemask to help filter germs. >Read more
Be prepared for the possible closing of public venues (public transportation, schools, churches, shopping centers).
Prepare foods carefully.
Wash your hands before and after handling food.
Keep raw poultry and its juices away from other foods.
Keep hands, utensils, and surfaces such as cutting boards clean at all times.
Use a food thermometer to ensure poultry has been fully cooked.
For additional information on how to properly cook poultry, go to www.usda.gov/birdflu.

Regularly disinfect the surfaces in your home.

Clean visible dirt from surfaces with a detergent solution.
Use a Clorox bleach solution (8 ounces Clorox bleach to 1 gallon of water), to disinfect all surfaces where bird flu viruses are suspected or confirmed. For non-bleachable surfaces, use peroxide.
Using disposable gloves, wash tub, shower, tile, faucets, and toilet bowl. Use separate rags or paper towels for the toilet.
Discard disposable gloves after cleaning each room, and wash hands before proceeding to the next area. Use protective equipment and adequate ventilation.
Soiled rags should be laundered or disposed of. Never use sponges for sanitizing or disinfecting, as they are porous. Paper towels should be immediately discarded.
Stay home if you are sick.

Does a mask really help? click HERE

One of the instructions you may be given in an emergency is to shelter-in-place. This means you should stay indoors until authorities tell you it is safe or you are told to evacuate.

Select a small, interior room, with no or few windows.
Close and lock all windows and exterior doors.
Turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems. Close the fireplace damper.
Bring your family disaster supply kit and make sure the radio is working.
Bring your pets.
It is ideal to have a hard-wired telephone in the room you select (cellular telephone equipment may be overwhelmed or damaged during an emergency)
Use duct tape and plastic sheeting (heavier than food wrap) to seal all cracks around the door and any vents into the room.
Listen to your radio or television for further instructions or updates.
If you are in your car, close windows and turn off vents and air conditioning.


Storing Wheat Long Term

Wheat is one of the longest storing food items around. Whole wheat kernels will store longer and better than when ground up into flour. When storing your wheat at home, make sure it is in containers specifically identified on the label as food storage containers. Round containers are best when storing wheat since wheat gives off heat and square containers stacked closely together may not allow this heat to escape.
Storing wheat in a cool, dry place is the easiest way to keep moisture content low. 
A storage temperature of 40-60° F results in fresher wheat. However, 60° F and above is still acceptable. Food storage containers should not be stored directly on a cement floor to prevent rusting and pest contamination. Wheat should also be stored away from apples, onions, potatoes, etc., since the odor or flavor may transfer to the wheat.

The biggest enemy of wheat are weevils - A weevil infestation will completely devour and ruin a stock of wheat. However, weevils may be killed by freezing so you could put your sealed container of Grain into a chest freezer for a couple of days, which should eradicate them. Another option is to remove the oxygen form the container (Weevils cannot survive without Oxygen).

Store wheat berries in a cool, dry environment that is safe from insects. Insects love to eat wheat or whole wheat flour, but are not too thrilled with refined white flour. Many people have accomplished long storage life by keeping their wheat berries in dry sealed containers.

Using carbon dioxide (CO2) from dry ice to replace the oxygen before closing it protects the wheat berries even more. CO2 is heavier than oxygen and goes to the bottom of the container, pushing the oxygen out the top and killing any insects in the process.

With or without the CO2, store wheat berries in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. If you live in a warm climate, store them in the refrigerator or freezer where they can be safely kept for years. Do not wash wheat prior to storage, as it increases the moisture content and the keeping quality.

I think the easiest way is to get Mylar bags and place them in your food grade buckets. Then add 2-4 oxygen absorbers for a 5 gallon bucket, seal the Mylar bag, seal the lid to the bucket and there ya go!

Yes you can add all your wheat in one big storage unit like garbage can, however you can not move it easily and if one part of the wheat goes bad- it ALL goes bad. :(

Storing Wheat:

*Do not pack wheat tightly into a storage place
*Do not store wheat directly on dirt or cement floors. It will draw moisture from the surface
*Do not store wheat in container which holds more than 100lbs. Infestation or infiltration will contaminate the entire contents. Thats a lot of wheat to loose.
*Do not store near water pipes, heating ducts, steam pipes, washing machine, clothes dryer (vented or not)
*Do not store wheat in unheated garage or non0insulated space or a basement or underground space that is not completely dry
*Do not put salt in the wheat when storing it
*Do not use aluminum cans for wheat storage since an airtight seal is generally impossible to achieve. Even food grade plastic liner garbage cans are not designed to store wheat