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Old 08-05-2011, 02:32 AM   #1
Mousehound
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Default Dusting off old ideas

I was thinking about what I would miss the most when TSHTF and the power goes off for good. No, my first thought was not the computer, although I will miss it too. I was thinking of my refrigerator. No refrigerator and the food goes bad quickly. My grandma used to call the refrigerator an ice box, left over from real ice box days. I was wondering where they used to get the ice from, so I Googeled it. They got the ice from the ice house, which was dug into the earth and insulated with straw or sawdust. The ice was cut and stored there in winter to last through the year.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...5130258AAhnMhs
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:10 AM   #2
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I absolutely agree , refrigeration is vital .

Solar powered portable coolers make a lot of sense especially if
you can use some of the power to charge batteries for continued
use after dark .
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Last edited by Ross; 08-05-2011 at 06:22 AM.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:26 AM   #3
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No refrigerator and the food goes bad quickly.
If there's no refrigeration, where are you going to get the food that will go bad quickly? If you don't have refrigeration, neither will anyone else. Fresh meat will be a rare treat. Use powdered milk and other freeze dried dairy products and mix only what you need. Plan meals so you do not have leftovers. Eat any leftovers so they do not spoil. If you don't have a well or deep stream handy to cool sealed drinks, use evaporative cooling - wrap wet paper towels or tissues around bottles and put them out in the grass. The temperature won't drop to 40 degrees but it will be cooler than room temperature.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:49 AM   #4
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It would be handy if the power would go away about this time of year. That way everything in the freezer could be gradually (over a period of about 10 gallons of gas in the generator) over a few days dehydrated in the sun and stored in whatever vacuum containers you could manage. We have tons of half gallon, quart and pint canning jars and lids and one of those hand pump vacuum sealers. But so far we've never come up with the stainless steel screen wire and frames to stack for the drying. The early pioneers did without refrigeration, but they used spring houses when possible. We've looked into a springhouse, but have no nearby year round spring to use for the project. It would have to be a springhouse with pumps and such and that would mean solar with low voltage low volume pumps. It would take some doing, but could be done with the right materials. So much to do and the not knowing when it needs to be done will drive you crazy.
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:04 AM   #5
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Max, how long is your winter freeze? Ice boxes ran off of ice that was harvested from ponds in the winter time, and kept cold in empty barns where they were stacked high and covered in several feet of sawdust. If your nights are cold into April and May, you can make ice in boxes in the winter, stack and store them, and have a really cold food storage room all summer long.

http://countrylife.lehmans.com/2009/...h-ice-harvest/

http://www.howellfarm.org/farm/crops/ice/ice.htm
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:10 AM   #6
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It varies flourbug. We seldom get a hard freeze and the ponds don't get a thick enough ice cap to walk on. We're like the sub-tropics here!
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:13 AM   #7
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Oh, well, scratch that idea then!

I grew up in a much colder climate... really turned all I knew on its head when I moved to a place where warm water came out of the tap in the winter. lol
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:06 PM   #8
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Back in the Day... the closest most folks could some to a refrigerator was keeping things cool in a creek or spring; if you were fortunate enough to have a spring, you put things in the "springhouse."

Everyone had a root cellar, but that's only a bit cool; you can store some fruits and vegetables ... for a while.

It was pretty much dry it, smoke it, salt it, jerk it, or eat it quickly while fresh. Canning has been around quite a while, as has making jam and preserves (of course, sugar may become pretty scarce).

When I think about living off of long term stored food, I realize that grinding the wheat to flour, making bread & biscuits, soaking & cooking those dry beans, using the rice, etc. - may keep body and soul together, but a few fresh berries, a fresh fish, some fresh small game would suddenly become one heck of a treat.

I wonder about vitamins. Right now it's easy to get them, so we take them. But I'm thinking to lay in a stock of multivitamins, keep in a cool dark place, and maybe take one every other day when TSHTF.
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:10 PM   #9
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Ham, you should take vitamins now. Food isn't what it used to be. There are several studies that show food produced 75 years ago had more nutrients than we see today. The soil is being depleted, fruit and vegetables picked before fully ripe, and livestock is fed all sorts of garbage (literally).

You're right about supplementing long term preps with fresh foods. Even in the winter you can grow herbs and greens in containers. A few leaves of fresh lettuce on that canned tuna sandwich, or fresh herbs in spaghetti sauce really perks up the meal.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:10 PM   #10
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Near here there's an old Inn built in the mid 1800's. It doesn't have a spring but it does have a springhouse. The house is dug into the ground about half its height and built from stone. You have to walk down steps to go into it. Inside it has a trough with a shallow end and a deeper end. The deeper end has a drain plug where old water was drained for use in the garden. Water was poured into the trough from the outside of the house where there is a well. This whole set-up is right next to the outdoor kitchen situated away from the main house.

It's quite cool in this springhouse especially near the floor. There are shelves under the trough which is made of concrete and there are shelves lining the walls along with a work table perpendicular to the trough.

As the water evaporates from the damp concrete it cools the room. Its a process called the latent heat of evaporation. In a situation where a spring is not handy its not a bad alternative.
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Old 08-06-2011, 12:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mousehound View Post
I was thinking about what I would miss the most when TSHTF and the power goes off for good. No, my first thought was not the computer, although I will miss it too. I was thinking of my refrigerator. No refrigerator and the food goes bad quickly. My grandma used to call the refrigerator an ice box, left over from real ice box days. I was wondering where they used to get the ice from, so I Googeled it. They got the ice from the ice house, which was dug into the earth and insulated with straw or sawdust. The ice was cut and stored there in winter to last through the year.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...5130258AAhnMhs
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_house_(building)

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It...Ice-House.aspx
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