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Monday, February 11, 2013

Tapping Box Elder Trees: Video

Pin It Our first class of the year was on tapping box elder trees taught by Joseph & Dorothea Smith.  A big thank you to Joseph and Dorothea for a great class and for all who came and participated.  We will post the video here for those of you who missed it, but would like to watch it.  We hope you will find the information helpful and useful to you.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Class Schedule for 2013

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Free provident living classes at Basic Living
Sheriff Clingler teaches firearm safety (2012) 
As always, all classes are open to the public and presented without charge. They are still held on Thursdays from 12:15 pm to 1:00 pm. and are still broadcast live over the internet as well as archived for viewing at your convenience. All of last year's classes are still available by going to For classes earlier than last October click the More Archives link at the bottom of the broadcast list and select the month from which you wish to view prior classes.

Mark your calendars now because we are lining up an incredible year of classes you won't want to miss. While we very much appreciate knowing if you are coming so we don't run short on supplies, you are welcome without any prior notice to us. And remember, we have a wonderful play area right next to the classroom for your small children. Please feel welcome to bring them so you can learn with the rest of us and enjoy the social aspects of getting together is such an informal atmosphere. 

2013 Class Schedule
Feb. 7 - Tapping Box Elder Trees for Sap by Joseph Smith 
The Box Elder is a cousin to the Maple and produces a wonderfully sweet tasting sap that can be used for sweet teas, syrups, flavoring, etc. Because the sap starts flowing later in February, you need to learn and acquire the inexpensive tree taps now so you are ready when the time comes. Let Joseph teach you how to do it, how to use and store the sap. We will have sample tastes here during the class so you will know why you want to use this free resource.

Feb. 14 - To be announced
Feb. 21 - Growing & Using Sprouts by Aaron & Eliana Mackley
Aaron and Eliana are new to our guest presenters and we are excited for the expertise they bring. They will have lots of information and samples that each attendee can try. Then, learn how to use what you sprout. This is an amazing resource that is available year round at a very low cost.

Feb. 28 -  Juicing for Health & Pleasure by Aaron & Eliana Mackley
Long time juicers themselves, Aaron and Eliana will present their second class showing us how to take full advantage of natural fruits and vegetables in wonderful and delicious ways.

Mar. 7 - To be announced

Mar. 14 - Homemade Yogurt
 by Heather McPhie
Another new presenter for us, Heather has taught the simple, but ever so enjoyable art of making your own yogurt at preparedness fairs, conferences, etc. and is sharing her knowledge and skills with us.

Mar 21 - The Art of Whole Grain Bread by Jamie Ashcraft
You don't have to just make bread with one grain. Learn how to use many grains and make a wonderfully healthy (not heavy) loaf ofbread in your Bosch Universal mixer. Some of the grains we mightuse: barley, spelt, hard white wheat, hard red wheat, millet, and maybe some others.

Mar. 28 - To be announced
Apr. 4 - To be announced

Apr. 11- Walipini Gardening by Joseph Smith
Joseph is returning just in time to teach us all about gardening under-ground before the gardening season begins. We mentioned this last year and gave you a link to learn a little about it. Now, you can come and learn directly from someone who uses a Walipini. This is not only facinating, but also ever so practical. It can generally be started for little more than the cost of digging a hole. Come and learn with the rest of us how to out smart winter and enjoy fresh produce year round. IT REALLY DOES WORK!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Make Your Own Solar Oven (Guest Post)

Pin It Today, we welcome an exciting guest author, Agnes Jimenez.  Agnes is a professional blogger and writer who has written much on the subject of preparedness, food, and frugal living.  Her blog is a very popular blog filled with helpful information and advice.  We are very fortunate to have her provide some information on making your own solar oven today. 

If you have never considered how you will cook during an electrical outage or during an emergency, consider the benefits of making your own solar cooker. Of course, you can purchase a pre-built solar cooker, but why do that when you can make your own with common materials you probably already have on hand? A solar cooker can even come in handy when you want to keep the heat out of the kitchen and enjoy a hot meal.

For a simple, lightweight solar cooker you will need the following:

Image by "suphakit73"
• 2 cardboard boxes (two sizes that can nest) * 
• Shredded newspaper
• Black construction paper
• 4 pieces of cardboard
• Heavy duty aluminum foil
• Rubber cement
• Staples
• Heavy duty thread
• Tempered glass (optional)

*When selecting your cardboard boxes, be sure that the smaller box is large enough to accommodate any cooking vessel or pan that you will be using in your solar oven. The larger box should be approximately 1" to 2" larger in width and length. This will allow for a ½" to 1" gap on all sides. Additionally the smaller box should be the same height or ½" shorter than the larger box.

 Step #1

image by "mrpuen"
Cut the flaps off both boxes. Line the inside of the smaller box with black construction paper in order to help retain heat.

Step #2

Place the smaller box inside the larger one and fill gaps between the two boxes with shredded newspaper.

Step #3

Make flared reflectors by taking the 4 pieces of cardboard and cutting them at an angle. The bottom edge should be the same width as the side of the box where it will be attached; the top of each piece should be several inches wider than its base. Cover each reflector with heavy-duty aluminum foil; use rubber cement to attach the foil to the cardboard and make sure that the foil is not wrinkled or folded. Smooth it flat.

image by "TeddyBear[Picnic]"

Step #4

Staple each reflector to the outside edge of the solar cooker. Punch a small hole in each upper corner on all 4 of the reflectors. Use the heavy duty thread in tying adjacent corners together leaving the reflectors at a slight outward angle in order to reflect the sun.

Step #5

If you are using a tempered glass, have it cut to fit the inside dimension of your solar cooker and place it on top of the cooker. You are now ready to begin using your solar oven for baking bread, muffins, casseroles, and just about anything you can imagine.


About the Guest Author
Agnes Jimenez is a professional blogger and writer. She writes for many online establishments and supports those ones that offer practical lifestyles to consumers.  As a frugal living and emergency preparedness advocate, she recommends for families who are looking for high quality food storage and emergency kit supplies.  You may connect with Food Insurance in Facebook.