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Fruit Trees for Preparedness

I have a subscription to World Affairs Brief and often see great insights not only to the dangers in our world posed by those in high government positions who do not have our welfare in mind but also good preparedness tips. I’d like to share a portion of the most recent brief and I would encourage any of you who are peace loving and who recognize the damage being done by our governments to look up the World Affairs Brief and subscribe.


Fruit trees are an integral part of a self-sufficient homestead. Once established they will produce year over year with only a minor effort on your part. The hardest part is getting them established in a good location early enough that they will be producing when we need them.

Early spring is the best time to plant or transplant trees, so winter editions of seed and flower catalogs are full of fruit tree options. Don’t get so distracted by the pictures of luscious fruit that you ignore your climate zone. There’s a reason Georgia is famous for peaches and Washington for apples. Some fruit trees can be grown outside their ideal climate if they are sited carefully. Apples and pears need an area that gets cold (and preferably some frost) so consider a low-lying area where cold settles. Conversely, plant peaches and apricots on a south-facing slope or south side of a stone wall for reflected heat. Thanks to various hybrids there are varieties of fruit for USDA zones 4 and above (outside of citrus, of course). To see the most popular varieties for your area just check out the selection at your local garden nursery.

Many fruit trees (especially apples, pears and sweet cherries) need another tree of the same fruit but different variety around them to properly pollinate, so check with your nursery before you buy only one tree for each fruit. Your nursery should have a chart like this to help.

How many trees should you plant? Fruit trees are one of the easiest ways to grow a healthier form of sugar, but like any sugar you can have too much of it—especially when the whole tree ripens in the space of a few weeks. Fortunately, fruit’s sugar and acidity are natural preservatives and make almost all fruit ideal for canning in mason jars using just steam canning rather than the time and energy intensive pressure canning. For my part, I’d rather err on the side of too many fruit trees. There are many uses for extra fruit, but it takes years to grow another tree if you find yourself short in hard times. Fruit is one of the easiest things to sell or give away to neighbors and you can always turn surplus into pies, juice, jams or dried treats for more profitable sale and barter. Fruit is also one of the first harvests of the year, producing cherries and apricots when the tomatoes, peppers and corn are still growing.

Whenever you have too much of something on your homestead ask yourself “what will eat this?” Whether that be grass, weeds, bugs or fruit. Chickens and horses enjoy fruit and benefit from it in small quantities, but pigs can live almost entirely off of it for several months and get nice and fat while doing so.

You can store apples and pears fresh for a few months in a root cellar if you grow the right varieties. In general crispy and sour stores better than sweet and soft-skinned. Mike and Nancy Bubel in their book Root Cellaring recommend Baldwin, Winesap, Jonagold and Jonathan apples (among others) and Bartlett, Bosc and Anjou pears. Pick pears when mature but still green (hint of yellow) for best preservation. Bring them out of cold storage a few days before eating to ripen.

Space the trees in your orchard far enough apart or staggered so each tree gets full sun during the summer. Watch that other tall trees in the landscape don’t grow up and shade smaller fruit trees. Some people grow trees in rows of different heights to maximize the southern sunlight: a row of dwarf trees in front, semi-dwarf in the middle and full-grown trees in back.

There’s nothing better than ripe, fresh fruit off your own trees, so plant now and get the process started. ”

For more great preparedness information and accurate reporting of what is actually happening in our world see

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Photoshopping Animals

So I showed my kids some photoshopped animal pictures and they decided they wanted to help me create some. So we photoshopped (Gimp actually) our own fun animals and they had a good time. Here is what we ended up with:



Then they said, put a face on a blueberry and things really got crazy!

Behold the FaceBerry! (not edible)


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How Did Christopher Candless Die?

I’ve had several people talk to me about Christopher Candless after they have either read the book or watched the movie Into The Wild. People will often say something about how careful you have to be to not be poisoned by wild edibles. I think I feel a bit like Sam Thayer on this topic. There are some pretty severe problems with the book and movie and one should keep in mind that the truth is very seldom told in movies. The same can be said for fictional novels and Into The Wild is just that. It is not a report of the facts. It is fiction based on one persons theory.

Recently a friend sent me a link to an article written on this topic once again trying to prove the theory that Chris was poisoned and that is how he died. I feel it is important to take all factors into account when looking at this and any similar issues. The main thing I want to get across is that you can safely eat a lot of things from the wild if you just educate yourself and you should not be fearful of learning these things. There are a lot of good resources out there to help teach the topic and when you combine all the options for a proper education (books, resources and field experience) you can safely enjoy much from the wild.

Here are my thoughts:

I’d say there are several factors that killed Chris.

  • He was very small to begin with (Small stature, no reserves)
  • He went to one of the most barren places on earth (Foolishness)
  • He lacked the proper skills and knowledge to eat properly (He’d never been to this location and had mainly just book learning)
  • He had a limited diet (His choice of location limited his caloric intake)
  • Already weak and on a limited diet he ate mainly one thing that has potential in large quantities to make a weak person sick (The poisoning suggested will only effect a person near death already)

The recent article tried to tie his death to a poisoning that was seen in death camps during the Holocaust. The problem with this idea is that while he was sick enough already because of his foolish choices his account does not follow what was documented for Lathyrism. I sent my thoughts to Samuel Thayer and asked for his take and he replied with the following which I received permission to post:

I need to post a thorough reply to this. But your assessment is pretty accurate, in my opinion.
Lathyrism only affects people who are starving, so this info doesn’t change that assessment. The presence of the protein that causes lathyrism is not strong evidence at all–I eat three differeent wild plants known to contain that protein, and several more are domesticated and regularly eaten by hundreds of millions of people.
There are also some serious reasons to doubt the symptoms pointing to lathyrism: Chris was walking around 5 weeks after the supposed paralysis event, yet the paralysis from lathyrism is permanent and irreversible. Second, the time elapsed between consumption and onset of symptoms was not sufficient for the disease to develop, according to everything I can find about lathyrism.
Lathyrism is not a new idea. All people who teach about wild edibles should be aware of the disease and its basic requirements. That Krakauer didn’t think of this somewhat irrelevant idea right away indicates his ignorance.
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Donate to Help Compile More Wild Edibles Info

I have been working on creating Wild Utah Edibles for about 3 years now and it is my passion to learn about wild edibles and to share that information. It is a daunting task to do as one person however. I have spent several hours today trying to update my pages, add a blog post or two and write info and edit images to upload. I love the work and look forward to making WildUtahEdibles a real authority for edible plants and other survival details for Utah and the west.

I hope you are enjoying the information and I hope to continue to update the site for years to come. if you are able and so inclined I would ask for any donation you are willing to give to help me continue this work. Your donations will allow me to work more to provide this much needed information to those who seek it. It will also enable me to remove the ads from the site.

Thank you, Mike Wood

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Wild edibles of Utah and the west

Since 2010 I have been quite interested in wild edibles of utah and the west wehre I live. I started researching and found it difficult for a novice like myself to find the identification of the plants I was seeing. I set out to help with that identification and started this site as a resource for others seeking to identify wild edible plants. I try to offer resources that will be helpful to others to assist in the identification of wild edible plants in Utah and surrounding areas.

I also enjoy gardening and have done that for more years than I have researched wild edibles. The two go quite well hand in hand and so you will see many posts from me about my gardening in Utah desert soil as well. I enjoy writing and while my efforts are not focused on one area I will probably present much here so stay tuned for more of my personal insights.