Tag Archives: farms

Freeze-Dried Fruits – Nutritious, Tasty and Easy to Take Anywhere

The use of freeze-dried fruits dates back to the 15th century, when the Incas discovered that leaving their fruits to freeze and then dry out at the high altitudes the Andes created a dried fruit that was tasty, nutritious and easy to store for a long time.

The modern freeze-drying process has allowed for a wide range of uses, including ice cream that that has been eaten in space, as well as fresh, flavorful fruits that have been enjoyed at the top of Mount Everest. Clearly, freeze-dried foods have numerous applications that are only limited by your imagination. Moms will be happily surprised when their kids request freeze-dried fruit for their lunchboxes, never knowing how healthy such a sweet tasting food truly is for them. And when added to their morning yogurt, they’ll leave the house full of energy and ready to take on the day.

Besides convenience, freeze-dried fruits retain their natural composition, ensuring that they maintain their inherent vitamins and nutrients, plus, they are low in calories and are great source of fiber and antioxidants. They also have a shelf life of up to 30 years, making them a great addition to any food storage program. Freeze-dried fruits can be rehydrated with warm or cold water, making them easy to prepare and enjoy. Some of the best fruits to freeze-dry are raspberries, bananas, blueberries, apples, mangos, pineapples, blackberries and strawberries, to name just a few.

In addition to food storage, freeze-dried fruits are a great way to add nutritious flavoring to cereal, oatmeal, muffins, pancakes, waffles, cookies, cobblers, smoothies and trail mix. Their versatility and light weight make them a favorite for hikers, mountain climbers, bikers, campers, fishermen, hunters and just about anyone who enjoys a healthy and flavorful boost to their meals and snacks, wherever they choose to enjoy them.

If you have never cooked with freeze-dries fruit, here are two great, easy to prepare recipes that will surprise you with their fresh taste and ease of preparation:

  • Berry Smoothie: take one cup of your favorite freeze-dried fruit and put it in a blender. Add one cup of non-fat milk and ½ cup ice. Simply blend until smooth and you’ll end up with the best tasting smoothie you’ve ever enjoyed.
  • Strawberries & Cream Milkshake: start with placing two cups of freeze-dried sliced strawberries into a blender. Add four cups of low fat milk and ½ cup of honey. Toss in 24 ice cubes and blend until smooth. You can share this rich tasting, low fat dessert with your family and watch how happy they’ll be with such a delicious treat.

 

Another added benefit to using freeze-dried fruits in your meals on a regular basis is the low to no waste factor. Studies have shown that Americans waste up to 40% of their food. That totals out to 1.3 billion tons of food per year, costing a combined total of over $680 billion annually, or approximately $1,600 per family. A vast majority of our wasted food is attributed to spoilage. That’s why using freeze-dried fruits that can last up to 30 years is a great way to conserve food and money.

Another way to enjoy freeze-dried fruit is to use it as a way to add a new spin to your old favorites. Experiment on your tried and true recipes—like chocolate chip cookies—by adding a cup of rehydrated blueberries or strawberries and you’ll pleasantly experience a whole new taste sensation. Not only will your meal be healthier and tastier, it will open your eyes to all kinds of future possibilities with other favorite recipes.

There’s one last use for freeze-dried fruits we haven’t mentioned yet. We would be negligent if we didn’t include a mention of how fantastic freeze-dried fruits are in beverages for grown-ups—with or without alcohol. Everything from Mango Margaritas to Strawberry Daiquiris can be made with rehydrated freeze-dried fruits. Everything from a tropical Mai Tai to a strawberry Margarita are easy to whip up year round when you have some freeze-dried fruit in your cupboard. All you’ll need is some Hawaiian music to make a November indoor beach party seem like summer.

As you have just discovered, keeping plenty of your favorite freeze-dried fruit on hand can open the door to fresh and fruity meals and drinks. The more you use freeze-dried fruit, the more ways you’ll discover their true versatility.

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Macey’s has teamed with Augason Farms to offer emergency food supplies and long term food storage to our valued customers for good reason. They’ve been in the business since 1972 and guarantee their products for great taste and superior quality. Maintaining a supply of Augason Farms products in your home is ideal not only for your emergency food supply but for everyday use as well. With Macey’s and Augason Farms, preparedness is simple and affordable!

Emergency Prep on a Budget with Augason Farms

Most people agree that creating a stockpile of emergency food storage and supplies is an important concept. However, once you start looking into detailed lists of all the recommended items, it’s easy to start feeling overwhelmed with the budget aspect. The good news is there are a lot of easy ways to cut costs to building your emergency supply plan. It may take a longer time to create your 3-month supply, but your bank account won’t take a harder hit.

First, set up a list of the most important items to collect in your stockpile. Your list should include the following five things: water, food, lights (like flashlights), medical supplies and household and hygiene products. How you prioritize collecting those things is up to you, and obviously your timeline won’t be the same for all of those items. For example, you’ll probably be able to stockpile a 3-month’s supply of household and hygiene supplies before you complete your food supply, so you can work on different items simultaneously. Here are a few other ways that you can emergency prep while on a budget.

Create a Monthly Budget

Sit down with your family members and determine how much money you can dedicate to a realistic prepping budget. Possibly consider making little sacrifices throughout the month (eating out less, limiting your disposable income) to supplement your prepping. When you look at your prepping budget the same way as you look at home insurance or health insurance, it becomes easier to find some money.

Watch for Sales and Coupons

This doesn’t mean that you have to become a full-time extreme coupon clipper, but instead take advantage of sales that come up on a regular basis. Watch for shelf stable food items when you’re shopping at the grocery store and remember to take advantage of Case Lot sales each spring and fall. When items that your family regularly eats goes on sale, grab a few extra units of whatever it is and throw it in your storage. You’ll be surprised how quickly your food storage grows.

Develop Other Survival Skills

Learning a skill set is great way to compensate for a lack of prepping funds. For example, you may not be able to build up big food storage right away, but you can learn how to garden and stock up on vegetable seeds. Or, study up and learn everything you need to know about keeping chickens or goats, both of which can also become sustainable sources for food.

Remember, it’s not a sprint. You do not need to do everything at once, which is good news, since doing everything at once costs a lot (a lot!) of money. Just build supplies as you can, based on what you determine to be the most important in your household. Don’t be discouraged or give up! You’ll be pleased to see how quickly you can build your emergency food storage on even the tightest of budgets.

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Macey’s has teamed with Augason Farms to offer emergency food supplies and long term food storage to our valued customers for good reason. They’ve been in the business since 1972 and guarantee their products for great taste and superior quality. Maintaining a supply of Augason Farms products in your home is ideal not only for your emergency food supply but for everyday use as well. With Macey’s and Augason Farms, preparedness is simple and affordable!

 

 

Camping & Summer Travel with Augason Farms

AS THEY SAY “KNOW BEFORE YOU GO” 

Carefree traveling doesn’t mean caution-free traveling. Emergencies can, and often do, occur while you are on the road and far away from home. Taking a small amount of time to do your homework before you set out may pay off in a big way if you encounter an emergency situation. Below are a handful great tips as well as links to go-to experts in the field of having fun…safely.

Going Camping?

Proper preparation and planning is half the battle when facing an emergency situation in the great outdoors. The US Forest Service lists “traveling with a companion” at the top of their list of outdoor safety tips. And, it’s a critical one. Emergencies can be as simple as spraining an ankle which can render a hiker immobile, especially on rough terrain.  Be sure to visit https://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/safety/safety.shtml to brush up on all of their excellent tips for outdoor adventures.

Heading to the Beach?  

Take time to scan the beach for critical safety information before staking a claim on your beach space. Most public beaches post beach rules, safety and warning signs, and/or color-coded warning flags.  Visit https://www.surfertoday.com/surfing/12814-the-complete-list-of-beach-flags-and-warning-signals to become familiar with the color coding warning flags, as they are not accompanied with explanatory text. On this site you will also find examples of safety and warning signs, many of which are universally recognized.

Traveling Overseas?

Here’s a tip that you may not have thought of: always take a business card from the front desk of your hotel. That way, if you ever get lost, you have the name and address of the hotel in the local language.  Great advice. It’s what Travel & Leisure listed at the top of their “12 Tips to Make International Travel Easier” blog. They also suggest checking the State Department’s travel warnings and alerts as well as printing out the address and contact information of the local embassy (don’t rely on having access to the internet). Check out their remaining tips here: http://www.travelandleisure.com/blogs/12-tips-to-make-international-travel-easier.  It’s well worth your time if you’re internationally bound.

Whether you travel far and wide, or a few hours away, take into consideration these additional tips:

Medical Services. Review your insurance policy ahead of time so you are familiar with service providers and medical facilities that are covered out of state or out of country. Be sure to find out where they are located, phone numbers, and hours of operation. It’s a good idea to write these down just in case internet service is compromised.

Water. This is arguably the most important commodity in an emergency. No matter where you travel, pack an empty, lightweight water filtration bottle in each of your family member’s travel bag. They’re easy to pack and are a wise alternative to plastic water bottles which, as you know, won’t make it past security checkpoints. Also keep in mind that drinking fountains are highly regulated in most places and can provide safe, clean sources of water. (Mobile apps have even been developed to assist you in finding nearby drinking fountains.)

Food.  This is tricky, especially if you’re traveling a significant distance or internationally. If you’re traveling in a vehicle, don’t leave home without an emergency food supply [link to 72-hour emergency pail]. This will keep you nourished if you have a breakdown or make a wrong turn.  If you are traveling by air, you can easily pack freeze dried fruits [link to freeze dried strawberry slices] and granola in airtight snack bags. You’ll have great tasting nutrition whether you get stuck in the airport, on the tarmac, or circling to land. These snack bags are also good to have once you’re on the ground and waiting for a taxi or trying to get your bearings in an unfamiliar city.

Staying Connected.  Since communication is all-important during emergencies, mobile phones are likely the best life-saving device you can own. Not only can they serve as radios and sources of information, you can load them up with apps from alert-services to shelter maps. Be sure to check with your mobile provider to see if you’ll have service in the country you’re traveling to. Roaming charges can be expensive, but a high phone bill is worth it if it keeps you safe. Don’t forget an extra phone charger.

Radio Access: Take a minute to go online and search for local radio frequencies that will provide critical emergency notifications and updates. Again, it’s wise to make a written note…just in case.

Documentation. Take written lists of your prescription medications, jot down insurance company contacts, and take copies of important documents such as passports and birth certificates.  Alternatively, upload them to your own secure cloud server as backup. Whether digitally or electronically, always keep these within close reach no matter where in the world you are. Don’t forget that an easy way to digitally store important documents is to simply take a picture.

We think it’s worth repeating the “Know Before You Go” adage as we wrap up this blog because…it just can’t be emphasized enough.

Happy and safe travels this summer!

Summer Planning with Augason Farms

THIS SUMMER ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS…WITH A BACK-UP PLAN

One of the most critical skills our ancestors mastered is one that most of us rarely think about; much less know how to do – building an adequate shelter in an emergency situation. You’ve likely heard in the news, situations that have cropped up when a simple afternoon adventure turned in to a serious emergency. As you plan your summer outings this year, keep in mind some of the situations that can—and do—arise when least expected:

  • Hiking – flash floods, sudden blizzards and becoming lost are just a few surprises that can turn a day hike into a serious overnight adventure.
  • Off-Road Vehicles – if it has an engine, it will eventually breakdown. Your ability to construct a safe shelter could make a prolonged breakdown a bearable—if not survivable—situation.
  • Hunting & Fishing Trips – many a hunter and fisherman or woman have found themselves stranded and lost after the adrenaline of maneuvering through the backcountry to pursue their game leaves them well off the beaten path.
  • Sightseeing – it’s easy to wonder away from your group when taking in the sights of an unfamiliar locale. Knowing how to construct a temporary shelter can buy you valuable time for rescue teams to locate you.

Constructing a survival shelter is an easy-to-learn and invaluable way to help you survive an emergency situation that arises even in the most unexpected situations.

Shelter Location

There are a few crucial points to remember when considering where to build. First, consider a location that will help you conserve energy. For example, if you are going to need natural materials like sticks and leaves for your shelter, make sure you choose a location near those materials. Also, try to position yourself near a water source but not directly on it (so you can avoid any possibly flooding issues). If you choose to set up under a large tree, make sure you avoid setting up under trees with dead branches. They can come down in the slightest of wind. Finally, consider factors like what direction the wind blows in your shelter site so you can avoid having smoke engulf your shelter. Following these few simple tips can improve your emergency survival situation. For more tips on choosing a survival shelter location, check out www.thesurvivalmom.com.

Shelter Materials

The good news is that there are many different types of survival shelters, so you can determine which type will offer the best protection to you based on your surroundings, the weather, and the materials available to you. Here are a few shelters to become familiar with:

  • Lean-To: A lean-to is one of the simplest and most frequently constructed primitive shelters. Meant to protect against wind and rain, it can be set up in less than an hour with a variety of materials. It’s a great option as a temporary shelter while you take the time to build a sturdier shelter.
  • Round Lodge: Part tipi and part wicki-up, a round lodge can block wind, rain, cold, and sun. It can also accommodate a small fire for light and heat, since it typically has a small hole at the top.
  • Ramada: A ramada is made with four posts, some lightweight beams, and some type of canopy to block out the sun. This type of shelter is most suitable for dry, hot climates, since it won’t protect against rain.
  • Wedge Tarp: With its 5 tie down points, the wedge tarp provides an aerodynamic shape that should resist even the most biting wind and driving rain. As an added bonus, this shelter can also serve as a water collector at the same time!
  • Tarp Wing: This unconventional tarp configuration is a great shelter solution that can, depending on the size of the tarp, give you great rain/sun protection over a large area.
  • Tarp Tipi: A tarp tipi only requires a bit of rope, some poles, and a tarp, and is one of the most versatile and mobile shelters. It’s so versatile and easy to put together that you may want to keep all of the supplies in a kit next to all of your other survival emergencies supplies.
  • A-Frame Tarp Shelter: A-frame shelters are a tarp design that go up fast and give great coverage against rain and wind, when built close to the ground.
  • Wickiup: A wickiup is similar to a tipi, but is made from poles, brush and vegetation, and is best used in climates with occasional rain or hot, dry climates.
  • Leaf Hut: A leaf hut is a two-sided, wedge-shaped lean-to with much better weatherproofing and insulating qualities.

Depending on the climate and environment you live in, it might be best to have some shelter materials assembled into a type of shelter kit that is easy to travel with, so you know you always have a way to construct a shelter, if necessary.

Shelter PLUS Food & Water

Knowing how to build a shelter to protect you and your family from the elements is invaluable in the face of an emergency. This summer, don’t take food and water for granted and make sure you are well prepared. Here are two light weight, compact, and easy-to-carry solutions: Augason Farms 72 Hour 1 Person Emergency Food Pail (weighs just 4 pounds, available at select Macey’s) and the Survival Spring Compact Water Filter (only 2 ounces, available through Augason Farms).

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Macey’s has teamed with Augason Farms to offer emergency food supplies and long term food storage to our valued customers for good reason. They’ve been in the business since 1972 and guarantee their products for great taste and superior quality. Maintaining a supply of Augason Farms products in your home is ideal not only for your emergency food supply but for everyday use as well. With Macey’s and Augason Farms, preparedness is simple and affordable!

Creamy Black Bean & Rice Soup

Three ingredients make this creamy and delicious Augason Farms soup.

  • 1 cup Augason Black Bean Burger Mix
  • 1 pouch Creamy Chicken Flavored Rice from Super Can (2 2/3 cups)
  • 8 cups water

Prepare black bean burger crumbles: In a bowl combine black bean burger mix with 1 cup water. Mix well and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Crumble the prepared black bean burger mix into a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat until cooked through (about 3 minutes).

Prepare soup: In a sauce pan, combine contents of Creamy Chicken Flavored Rice pouch with 7 cups of water. Bring to boil. Stir in black bean burger crumbles. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Makes approximately 8 servings.

Easy Breakfast Potato Bake

  • 2 cups Augason Farms Freeze Dried Potato Slices
  • 2 teaspoons Augason Farms Dehydrated Chopped Onion
  • 2 cups Augason Farms Dried Whole Egg Powder
  • 2/3 cup Augason Farms Country Fresh 100% Instant Nonfat Dry Milk, prepared
  • 1 teaspoon Augason Farms Freeze Dried Red & Green Bell Peppers
  • 2 tablespoons Augason Farms Bacon Flavored Bits, rehydrated
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup Augason Farms Freeze Dried Shredded Colby Cheese, rehydrated

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except cheese. Pour mixture into greased 9″x13″ baking dish. Bake 35 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with shredded cheese, and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is bubble. Makes 9-12 servings.

20 Tips for Emergency Preparedness

You may have noticed that the disastrous emergency events of 2017 felt like a dress rehearsal for Armageddon. First it was the horrific hurricane that flooded Texas and the Gulf States, before the second hurricane arrived and destroyed just about everything on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. And just when we were starting to get a grip on those massive disasters, the wild fires hit and burned thousands of acres of California. The fires were the most unexpected of our recent catastrophes, many leaving victims with only minutes to abandon their property before it was taken down in flames.

As tragic as these disasters have been and will continue to be, they have hopefully served as a lesson in making us all more aware of how important emergency preparedness is to our family’s security. Remember what the great statesman and inventor, Benjamin Franklin said about the subject, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” With that in mind, Augason Farms has compiled a list of 20 easy, yet crucial tips for making sure you’re ready for any emergency.

  1. Create a family emergency evacuation plan. Make sure that everyone in your family understands two things: how to vacate your house or apartment in a safe way; and where you are to meet after evacuation. Your meeting place should identify two locations – one near your house and one that is outside of your neighborhood.
  2. Make an emergency communications plan. Be sure that everyone identifies a person and their contact info that they can reach out to in the event of separation. Pick a friend, neighbor or relative that you all know and will all contact via phone or Internet to ensure everyone knows where all your family members are located.
  3. Don’t forget your furry friend’s safety. You should make a plan to ensure all of your animals are going to be safe in an emergency. Things like checking to see if nearby emergency shelters will accept animals; being sure that your Vet’s contact information is listed on your emergency contact card; and finally, proactively store extra food and water in anticipation of your pet’s emergency needs.
  4. Know your children’s school emergency plans. Obtain a copy of their plans and keep it with your emergency kit. Discuss the plans with your kids on a regular basis so that it is ingrained into their memory.
  5. Rehearse your children’s personal information with them. If your children are young, be sure that they know their full name, address and phone number. Teach them how to use the 911 system and explain how important contacting help in an emergency can be.
  6. Start and maintain an emergency food storage program. Regardless of your budget, you should start and maintain a supply of foods designed for emergency situations. You can start small and add more as your finances allow, but every home should have at least a three-day supply of food and water on hand at all times. For information about the kinds of emergency foods available and how easy they are to prepare, visit www.augasonfarms.com.

During March 2018, visit your local Associated Foods Store for a FREE CASE OF WATER with the purchase of any Emergency Preparedness Kit valued over $25.

  1. Make some “Bug Out” backpacks for quick evacuations. These small backpacks are filled with everything you need to survive for at least 72 hours. Emergency foods, water filtration bottle, duct tape, a premium First Aid kit, multi-tool, solar radio, cooking kit, emergency blankets, flashlight, toiletries and other items you deem necessary. Once you’ve compiled your kits, place them around your house in strategic places. Once you decide it’s time to evacuate, all you have to do is grab your bag and hit the road.
  2. Keep your car’s gas tank at least half-full at all times. Since you never know when an emergency situation could arise, you can never be sure your local gas station will be open and pumping. Often, major refineries are forced to shut down during hurricanes and floods, reducing the amount of gas that’s available nationwide.
  3. Keep some cash on hand to get you through the first week of a disaster. Some of the first things to go down during a hurricane or other weather related events are the ATM machines. And since most banks close during crisis situations, you cannot depend on them for your monetary needs. Experts recommend keeping at least $200 on hand (in small bills if possible) to cover your expenses for the first few days of any emergency event.
  4. Keep extra medications in your go bags. You should keep some extra over the counter drugs (aspirin, nausea and anti-diarrheal pills, etc.) as well as any prescription medications anyone in your family is taking.
  5. Learn where your utility shutoff valves are and how they work. Regardless of what type of place you live in, (house, apartment, condo, etc.) it’s important to know where your electric, gas and water shutoff valves are located. Be sure to keep any necessary tools required nearby and in a place that everyone in your family knows the location of in case they are the ones to turn everything off.
  6. Buy insurance and document your valuables. Since an emergency can strike at any time, it’s good to preplan by having an updated homeowners or renters policy in force at all times. You should also take the time to photograph your valuable objects so there is no misunderstanding of what you need to replace with your insurance company’s adjuster. It will definitely help when you file your claims for storm damage, etc.
  7. Keep your vaccinations up to date. From flu shots to tetanus, knowing your family’s vaccinations are up to date will give you piece of mind when you are facing the kind of conditions you may be forced to do during an emergency. Make sure you have a written record of all of your vaccinations. And, don’t forget your four-legged friends’ vaccines, either.
  8. Get to know your neighbors. Through neighborhood associations, school events, etc. it’s important to know your neighbors and to encourage them to be prepared for an emergency too. When a real emergency strikes, it’s neighbors who will depend on each other to get through the first crucial hours or days.
  9. Keep a pair of hard-soled shoes by your bed. You have at least a 30% chance that any emergency that hits suddenly will do so at night, so you need to get in the habit of performing some simple steps to help ensure your safety – hence, the hard-soled shoes. These will help reduce the chance of you stepping on broken glass or any other sharp objects you may incur when evacuating your home at night.
  10. Place an emergency kit in your car. In addition to a flashlight, you should keep a small emergency kit in your car that contains some food and water, a small first aid kit, an emergency blanket and some waterproof matches. You can make your car kit much more inclusive, but just including these few, basic items will guarantee your car will always be a source of emergency assistance.
  11. Take a first-aid/CPR class from your local Red Cross or YMCA. Knowing how to perform CPR or how to stop bleeding can be two lifesaving skills everyone should know. Don’t wait until you need to know these skills – be prepared by taking these classes now. Visit this site to find a class near you: http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr. You may also want to take the same classes for your four-legged friends too.
  12. Keep photocopies of all your important papers in one central location. Make copies of your drivers licenses, passports, birth certificates, social security cards, insurance information and medical histories and keep them all together for easy access. Be sure to place these in your bug–out bag so they’ll go with you during an emergency evacuation.
  13. You can never have too many working flashlights. By placing flashlights in different parts of your home (especially in your bedroom), you will always be able to see what you are facing and how to escape from immediate harm
  14. Practice, practice, practice. It may sound silly, but in order to consider your family “emergency ready,” you’ve got to practice and discuss all the ways you will face an emergency together. Rehearse evacuating your house and meeting in your pre-designated convening area. Check your bug-out bags regularly and make sure all your water and food and medications contained within them are not outdated.

Macey’s has teamed with Augason Farms to offer emergency food supplies and long term food storage to our valued customers for good reason. They’ve been in the business since 1972 and guarantee their products for great taste and superior quality. Maintaining a supply of Augason Farms products in your home is ideal not only for your emergency food supply but for everyday use as well. With Macey’s and Augason Farms, preparedness is simple and affordable!