Shelley Preparedness Fair draws crowd

The Shelley Preparedness Fair on Saturday offered a variety of classes and demonstrations. About 600 to 700 people attended.
Calvin Pirtle from Shelley displayed cooking methods without electricity.
“About three years ago, my wife, Helen, went to a preparedness fair that demonstrated some of these alternative methods of cooking,” Pirtle said.
One of the items on display was a Wonder Box. It’s also called a hay box cooker. The entire cooking operation was located in a bucket. The pan of cooking food was surrounded by a pillow or beanbag that insulated the pan, keeping it warm. 
Starting with boiling water in a pressure cooker, a roast beef dinner--meat, potatoes and carrots--was placed inside the pressure cooker which, in turn, was placed in the wonder box.
Within three and one-half to four hours, supper was ready.
A pressure cooker was used because it keeps the heat in, Pirtle said.
Other cooking examples on Pirtle's table were an apple box oven made from, of course, an apple box, paint can stoves with free paint cans for all takers,  examples of solar cooking and a buddy burner that uses a tuna can with cardboard and wax for fuel. (Use with a No. 10 size can.)
Reed and Lynn Cramer from Woodville displayed a solar collector that used pop cans—13 cans per row with 13 rows painted black. This solar panel warms a shop that measures 40 feet by 60 feet with a 14-foot ceiling.
“The driving force behind this was the size of my shop,” said Reed Cramer. “I have a big wood stove that heats up the shop; the solar panel helps maintain it.”
People could learn how to trim and take care of their backyard fruit trees. Tips on food storage, water purification and dehydrated foods were available.
Classes were also offered, including some on amateur radio operation, gun safety, home and property protection and tools available for job searching.
“This year we had 15 vendors; different faces, different classes and different displays,” said organizer Brian Anderson. “It was very successful. We’ll be back next year.”