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About Us

About Us

Our purpose is to inform, inspire, and motivate personal and family preparedness by teaching practical principles of self-reliance.

In 1974, shortly after giving birth to our first child, we found ourselves in difficult financial circumstances. Attending college during the day and working odd jobs at night, we were forced to minimize our food purchases. One morning we awoke to a box of groceries on our doorstep that was graciously given by a friend or relative familiar with our circumstances. To this day we are not aware of the giver's name.

Remembering those challenging days and that generous gift became a powerful incentive and driving force for us to become self-reliant. Circumstances change over a lifetime, but the principle of being self-reliant in order to provide for ourselves, our families, and hopefully for our neighbor in need, is an enduring principle worthy of our attention and commitment.

Our main focus is to help you prepare for unforeseen circumstances and teach you how to transform your favorite recipes into food-storage recipes. With that preparedness comes peace of mind and the knowledge that your family can eat nutritious meals that they actually like, even during an emergency.


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This website is being maintained to inform you and encourage food storage and emergency preparedness.  If there are changes or additions you would like to suggest, they are welcomed. Any opinions expressed are the opinions of the posting authors. We participate in affiliate marketing and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Meet Our Team


Ralph Armstrong

The first thirteen years of life, I served as an Army brat under the tutelage of my father, until he retired as a Major Colonel in the Finance Corp. I did not retire, but continued my education to become a full-fledged rascal. Moving around did teach me the importance of family, having had few friends and none that lasted more than a few months. That may explain a lot.

I married above my station and after three children finished a Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from San Diego State University. With twenty-eight years of engineering experience with Caltrans and the City of San Diego, I retired only to find retirement busier with activities, hobbies, technical courses, projects and a growing family clan. I enjoy photography, construction, family history, and new or unfamiliar experiences. A website sounds fun!

Deborah Armstrong

Hi! I'm Deborah, mother of seven incredibly talented children and grandmother of twenty-eight fun-loving grandchildren. I am a retired elementary school teacher, and have had the good fortune to teach some communication classes at the local university after retirement.

I am adventurous and love travel, hiking, camping, water-skiing, and doing the unexpected like hot air ballooning, para-sailing, and para-gliding. I also love learning new things.

Twelve years ago I began experimenting with food-storage meals so we could be more efficient in storing ingredients that we would actually eat and know how to cook. We also rented several garden plots at a community garden center with a horticulturist who helped us learn how to garden in desert heat.

I have taught others what I have learned through demonstrations and classes and received positive feedback, so I am pleased to have this platform to be able to share with all of you.

Melinda Ford

Hey there! I'm child #5 (daughter #4) and probably the rowdiest (and most wonderful and humblest) of my parents' children.


My hobbies include cake decorating, design, photography, baking, and art of any kind. I began gardening, canning, and preparing all of my family's food shortly after I got married. My exploration into self-reliance started early in my marriage since we had very little income and a growing family (5 children now - and I'm done!). I HAD to find ways to economize. While I finished my schooling, my husband owned his own business, and we had very little control over when (and if) we would be paid.

I am now an accounting professor, and though we left our dire circumstances behind, I still find that I love to make our own food and try new things. With our new home, I am beginning the process of creating a garden that will sustain our family's needs and provide us with a healthy lifestyle. I'm excited to share what I've learned and what I continue to learn through my experiments!

Miriam & Alex Hays

Hi! We are Alex & Miriam Hays, parents of three children and caretakers for two homes, several large fields, 336 acres of lakes and forested property in Washington State. We have a rustic home overlooking a lake and close to a stream. We have water from a well, septic system, and have the convenience of heating our home with a pot-bellied stove.

We are isolated from the surrounding community by a mile-long driveway and plenty of open space. We have had to live with bears, mountain lions, elk, deer, predatory birds, and other native wild animals. Experiences abound, including one winter when ice storms broke heavy branches and sent them through the windshield of our car, our living room window, and the roof of our home while cutting off power.

Besides working as caretakers, we both have full-time jobs. Miriam works as an Assistant Director of Finance for a popular lodge and Alex works as a manager in the Parks and Recreation Department. Between caretaking, gardening, and the years of beekeeping, raising goats and chickens, and having active kids who love crafts, sports, and music, there is never a dull moment.

Melanie Dalton

I grew up a sugar/carb-o-holic; I stashed cereal in my closet, stole Halloween candy from siblings, and filled my Thanksgiving plate with rolls, stuffing, and marshmallow jello salad. Luckily I still have all my teeth.

Fast forward a decade and I discovered I liked green beans. While in Greece I realized tomatoes weren't gross after all. With time and travel, I learned that veggies are great when tastefully prepared. Ethnic foods became a favorite, but my love affair with veggies happened after I found the love of my life.

I left an HR career in DC to marry Tyler, became an instant mom at age 39, and then gave birth to our 5th daughter at 42. Having young children later in life keeps me young at heart and exhausted to my bones. After our family was complete, I realized my diet needed a makeover.

Enter plant-based whole foods. Now I crave veggies as I once craved sugar. I have energy to run around with my toddler/teens while building and gardening with my husband. We learned to satisfy picky eaters, meshing vegetables and whole foods into tasty traditional and ethnic dishes. It's opened up a whole new world and I'm excited to share it with you.

Tyler Dalton

Hi, I'm Tyler...I'm your not-so-average nerd. I have seasonal allergies all year long. I have one leg that is shorter than the other, leading to a lifetime of backaches and muscle problems. To top it off, I'm a programmer by profession. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I l love sports and am an outdoor enthusiast. I grew up on a pear orchard in Southern Oregon driving tractors and pruning trees. I love woodworking, remodeling projects, and playing in the dirt.

I learned to be frugal from my money-wise mother whose home-made bread and canned goods filled my childhood with delectable delights. My father taught me to live in the present and act on things that will bring joy to my family.

Honoring the "act in the present" motto my amazing wife, Melanie, and I betrayed our frugality by purchasing a beautiful home on an acre of land to experience joy with our five daughters.

We recently discovered the benefits of a plant-based whole foods diet. With renewed energy and a desire to be more self-sustaining, we have embarked on our "CHEAP as possible" journey to gardening and emergency preparedness.

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Michelle Kuhn

I am Michelle Kuhn, married, mother of four, and currently employed with the Department of Justice. The work in law enforcement is challenging, sometimes heart-rending, but always rewarding knowing that I am doing my part to protect all citizens while preserving our constitutional freedoms. It is also really fun wot work with intelligent, committed, humorous, and trustworthy people.

I was brought up in an active home with two older and four younger siblings. We camped, hiked, white water rafted, water and snow skied, and enjoyed vacationing in the outdoors. I loved sports growing up, running on the track team, playing on the basketball team in High School,, and then playing soccer at the collegiate level. Sport injuries provided a segue into an interest and motivation to acquire an Occupational Therapist Assistant Associate degree. Later, I graduated from college with a bachelor's degree in business.

My love of crafts also kept me busy sewing, baking, cake decorating, and party planning. If there is a need for a clever, artsy project, I am all-in!


Informing, inspiring, and motivating individual and family preparedness by teaching practical principles of self-reliance.

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