Wednesday, October 16, 2013


If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.—JRR Tolkien

ROOT CELLARING: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits and Vegetables

Authors: Mike and Nancy Bubel

Genre: Non-fiction, Prepping, Food Storage

I first checked this book out of the library to study it in 1999, I immediately purchased a copy after viewing the book to add it to my home library.  It has been a valuable asset to me ever since.

While there are many books on prepping they often say “store x amount of food per person” but give little or no information on the proper way to do it. 

Watching shows such as “Doomsday Preppers” can also be frustrating.  Many times they will show basements or garages lined with shelve full of glass jars and no information on how or why the storage is set up.  More over everything is in a glass jar.  Those jars cost money and quite frankly if you have an earthquake, a tornado, a blast or anything similar those jars will break. 

What if TEOTWAWKI does happen? Where are you going to get the glass jars in the future or the canning rings to seal said jars?  Good old fashion common sense and a knowledge of the old ways of food storage is essential.

Not a prepper, I know I’m not, but I do like having good nutritional food stored on hand in a proper manner to feed my family at all times. While I do can, dry and freeze foods, some foods can be stored for long periods with little to know preparation in a root cellar. 

No root cellar?  Then create one.  No don’t go rent a backhole and start digging, there are ways every person in the world can root cellar with little or no effort and no hole in the ground, but if you can dig one, so much the better.

In the book Root Cellaring Mike and Nancy Bubel take you through the steps of good root cellaring.  They start you in the very beginning with what to plant that will store well in a root cellar—a good thing to know.  Even if you don’t garden, you can use this info on what to buy in bulk on sale to store in your established dark cool place for proper storage results.

Once you grow the produce they tell you the proper way to harvest your produce (or pick it out at the green grocers) and prepare it for storage to get the longest life out of it.

This is followed up with the care of your stored foods over the cool winter months to help prevent spoilage and loss. 

In section four they tell you numerous ways to create a “root cellar” no matter where you live. Important tips like air flow are included in this section.

They then go on to tell you their own personal experience in doing cellaring and finally recipes are included for those wonderful foods you place in your root cellar. Because after all what is the sense in storing food if you aren’t going to eat it.

While I’ve had this book for many years I still find myself referring back to it periodically to refresh my memory on various aspects of it, or to check on a recipe.

I consider this one of the most valuable homesteading/prepping books on my resources book shelf.  Therefore it gets an A from me.

Jan who needs to tidy up her root cellar and start filling it up again in OK

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


A penny saved is a penny earned”

            -Benjamin Franklin


By: Amy Dacyczyn

Genere: Non-fiction, Frugal living

First off my confession.  I didn’t just read these three books for the first time.  I have read them over and over ever since the very first one came out.  I re-read them at least once a year because every time I read them I find another good helpful hint. 

While a few of the things in them are now out of date (like uses for film cans—who uses film any more?) and many things (like saving money on diapers) don’t relate to my family or lifestyle now I do still find a wealth of info in them.

From recipes, like her refrigerator dough potato bread that has a myriad of uses, to using wall paper samples to mat pictures the number of money saving tips in the three books is amazing.

Amy once wrote a newsletter that people from all across the nation subscribed to and sent helpful hints to.  In the beginning she included many of these wonderful ideas in the books.  As time went on she added more and more of her own frugal saving ways and three books worth of golden knowledge were the result. 

While there are some repetitions in the books, especially in book three it is worth your time to spend quality time with all three books if you are truly interested in saving money.

While she dropped pretty much out of the public eye after publishing her third book and appears to not have a webpage, that I could find, I did find an interesting article written about an interview with her in 2009

She apparently still holds the same core values she had when she and her family were in the public eye.  It also appears she listens to Dave Ramsey.  A huge plus in my book.

Anyway, this review is about all three of her books.  I rate them highly for their shared wealth of money saving ideas as well as the fact she gives credit where credit is due for the ideas sent to her by others.

I give this newsprint book an A.

Jan who has a long list of “economizes” she has developed from reading these books in OK