5 Low-Cost, Creative Ways To Build A Raised Bed Garden

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5 Low-Cost, Creative Ways To Build A Raised Bed Garden

With spring finally here, you may be considering putting in a raised bed garden. But if you’ve headed to your local garden supply center, you (and your budget) may have recoiled in shock.

Instead of crossing “raised beds” off your to-do list, consider some of these budget friendly ideas that can get your garden up and growing quickly.

Making the Bed

Often, the biggest expense for raised beds is the actual bed itself. Find ways to reduce the cost of your raised bed by thinking outside the box.

1. Lose the bed. Want to really cut costs? Don’t use a box at all. Build your raised bed by creating mounds wherever you want your bed to be located. Simply put down a layer of newsprint, followed by a two-inch layer of grass clippings or shredded leaves. Include a layer of manure, followed by a layer of top soil. The rounded edges help rain to run off, and the elevated bed helps prevent it from being trampled by mowers or walkers.

2. Use recycled materials. If your garden also doubles as a yard for small children or animals, you may need a raised bed with walls. Look for pieces that can be repurposed: old cribs, galvanized tubs, old fence rails or scrap lumber. A quick-and-easy bed can be made out of concrete blocks. For a natural look, use tree stumps, rocks or reclaimed concrete. Scour your local classifieds or Craigslist ads for free items that you could use to build a garden bed.

Need Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds? Get Them From A Company You Can Trust!

3. Build on the cheap. Really like the look of a wood bed, but don’t want the expense? Visit the fencing section of your local lumberyard. Purchase individual fence slats to build the walls of your bed. Cedar is weather-proof and makes a great raised bed. Look for untreated lumber if you’re planning on growing food. Pallets can be found easily and can be used to build your bed.

Filling the Space

4. Make your own soil. Bags of growing medium can add cost to the project quickly. For best results, and for maximum growth potential, create layers in the growing box. Not only will it cut down on the cost of soil, but it will give your garden the nutrients it needs to produce a bountiful harvest. Every gardener has their own “special sauce” of growing soil — a mixture of dirt, fertilizer and other additives that they’ve had success with. The basic formula I use, however, looks like this:

Start with a layer of weed block. (I prefer three layers of newspaper; it’s effective at stopping weeds and grasses from getting through and will break down over time.)

Add two inches of “green material.” Leaf clippings, grass cuttings and other yard waste is perfect here. A neighbor of mine swears by the fact that he adds a bag of Old Roy dog food to the raised beds. While I’m not sure what the dog food does, you can’t argue with his results! His garden overflows with food year-round! (Don’t have a lot of leaves to use? Ask your neighbors to save their grass cuttings; most people will be happy to have someone else dispose of their yard waste!)

Add a layer of mulch. This helps to hold moisture in the garden bed, and provides additional nutrients as the mulch breaks down. (Be sure to get “natural” mulch. Check with your local extension office for free mulch that may be available.)

Add a layer of dirt. I prefer to mix my soil with worm compost before adding it to my raised bed, to ensure even coverage. Add a few inches of soil to the top of your garden.

Seamazing: The Low-Cost Way To Re-mineralize Your Soil

For extra help with water retention, I like to cover my raised bed with hay or mulch after putting in my plants. It helps to prevent weeds from taking root, and holds in moisture, essential in the hot climate where I live.

Adding Your Plants

5. Don’t pay for high-priced seedlings. Start your own seedlings, using last year’s seeds or seeds you purchase.

Or visit local garden shows, small nurseries or other garden centers for inexpensive seedlings. Check with your extension office for “plant swaps” and other plant-sharing events that will allow you to share (and receive) plants from other gardeners. Make friends with people who garden – most gardeners love to share their plants and will offer cuttings or seedlings to get your garden started.

A raised bed doesn’t have to break the bank. You can find ways to garden “on the cheap,” giving you and your family access to delicious fruits and vegetables right outside your door.

Be creative – your garden can be as unique and individual as you!

What advice would you add on building an inexpensive raised bed? Share your tips in the section below: 

It Can Happen Just Like That – Real World Survival Story

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You can be placed in a real world survival situation in a flash!  And that’s why we prep!

I’ve been talking about gardening on the podcast, but I also know that many of my listeners are up North and are still dealing with cold and snow.  The cold and snow can be very unforgiving. An 85-year-old grandmother found that out just recently when she took a wrong turn and found herself stranded in her car on an old back road for 5 days!

Ruby Stein was on her way back home to Akron after visiting family on March 21 when she took a wrong turn near Gypsum, 50 miles west of Denver, and got stuck in mud and snow.

 

‘I was keeping myself very, very calm,’ she told the Denver Post. ‘I knew I either had to or it was over with. I have too many great-grandkids and grandkids. I didn’t want it to be over with.’

Source: Daily Mail

This little old grandmother found herself in a survival situation she wasn’t really prepared for. The good news is that she made it through.  There are a few lessons we can learn from Ruby Stein’s real life survival story!

Something to Live For

Ruby mentioned that she had great-grandkids and grandkids.  She didn’t want it to be over. She still had memories to make and kids to love.

Many people underestimate having a purpose to live for.  When you have a purpose, even if it is perceived purpose, you will push through and make an extra effort to not give up!  This is one common denominator in many survival stories.

Don’t Panic!

Ruby made an extra effort to not panic!  Panicking never does any good.  It causes people to make bad decisions and potentially get themselves killed.  What if Ruby started to panic and started walking down the mountain?  The cold and snow would have killed her and her granddaughter would be burying her instead of celebrating with her today.

It’s important to learn, NOTICE I SAID LEARN, to react in a calm manner during serious situations.  Learning breathing exercises can help.  Stopping and sitting for 10 minutes before making a decision can help.  Having skills and knowledge can help to take the fear and panic out of the equation too!

Be Resourceful

Ruby was resourceful!  She used safety pins to make a blanket for herself.  She was so layered when rescuers showed up, that they thought the car was abandoned.  It took a while to get to her.

Ruby was lucky to have clothes for donation in her car.  Her situation could have ended a lot differently if she wouldn’t have had all that extra clothes with her.  But nevertheless, she did have the clothes and she used them to stay warm!

Ruby also used snow to stay hydrated.  Many survival articles will tell you not to eat snow because it causes your body to lose its heat and work overtime as your body heat is used to melt the snow in your mouth.  But, we don’t know if Ruby allowed the snow to melt in the car or not?  Either way, she was probably pretty warm because of all the layers of clothes in her backseat.

Missing Preparedness

In this situation, a little preparedness would have gone a long way!  Some bottled water, granola bars (Datrex), a blanket and a little heater, made from a toilet paper roll, a tin can soaked with alcohol or even a few candles for heat would have been very helpful.

Here is a cheap heater that can be made and stored in your car using two tin cans, dirt, cotton balls and alcohol.

 

Take-Aways

One thing those of us who are prepared can do to help our loved ones who are not prepared is to ask them “what if” questions.  For example, “Grandma, would what you do if your car got stranded in a snow storm?”  Or, “Son, what would you do if your vehicle broke down in the middle of the dessert in the middle of Summer?”

Asking questions like these aren’t necessarily “prepper” or “survival” questions.  They are questions from one loved one to another.  They are questions that show you care and are concerned.  And hopefully, they would get the other person to think throuigh that specific scenario.

One last thing you can do is to provide a small survival kit for loved ones to place in their vehicle.  Of course, any kit needs to be tailored to the climate and season.  But a small kit, like the one I mentioned above, wouldn’t take up any room.

Final Thought

We never know when we are going to be in a survival situation.  We never know when our loved ones are going to be in a survival situation.  Things can turn in a flash.  That’s why we prep!

Peace,
Todd

Building Your Own Firearms (Part 1 – The Laws)

Click here to view the original post.

Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

4.71/5 (7)

[NOTE:  I am not a lawyer, or a representative of any law enforcement or government agency.  The information provided here is the best I could find, but must not be taken to be legal advice.  If you decide to engage in the described activity, you assume all responsibility of ensuring that this information is CURRENTLY accurate, and investigating the CURRENT state and local laws of your location.  Furthermore, you assume all legal and physical liability resulting from your engagement in this activity.] 

In the United States, if you want a particular firearm, and you are legally allowed to purchase that firearm by your Federal, State and Local governments, the easiest methodology is just to buy it.  This has some potential downsides.  If you buy it from a licensed dealer (a FFL – Federal Firearms License – holder), then you will need to go through a background check and fill out paperwork identifying you and the firearm, which is kept on file.  You can only buy what some company decided to make or what is left on the shelf.  Plus the price you pay will tend to be close to “list price” (or even higher if demand far outstrips supply).  Alternatively, you may be able to avoid the bureaucracy and possibly get a better price if you can find a private party with the desired firearm for sale.  Of course, then there is a risk of purchasing a stolen or defective firearm, or unintentionally violating some law with unpleasant consequences.

A third methodology is being pushed lately – making it yourself.  Most often, this is the AR-15 style firearm, although the parts for others, including the AR-10 (Armalite), AR-308 (DPMS), 1911 (Colt), 10/22 (Ruger), AK47 and even some Glocks, seem to be available.  Such a firearm is often referred to as a “Ghost Gun” because it does not exist in any firearms database.  Can you really do this?  Yes (most places in the U.S., as of early 2017 at least), although there are some potential “gotchas” which those pushing this methodology either don’t know or don’t care if you know.

Building your own firearms may be a pain, unless you like doing mechanical things like that, and might well cost you more than just buying the thing ready-made, especially if you have to buy the tooling.  The advantages (other than pride and any fun you have) are that you can get exactly what you want, you will know how to repair and modify it, and you don’t need to have the background check or fill out the paperwork, either of which could ease confiscation some day.  No, this is not paranoia; it is history.  Look at the places that used to have guns allowed but then no longer allowed them, and note that those places implemented registration first.  It is much easier to implement confiscation of something if the government knows where they all are…  “Oh, but that can’t happen here”?  Check out what happens in Chicago if you miss your yearly registration date.

The “Fine Print”

The receiver of a firearm (the main part which has or could have a serial number) is considered to BE the firearm.  Everything else is “just parts”.  Any item (in particular a partial receiver) which is in a condition where it “cannot be used as a firearm or readily converted into a firearm” is generally considered NOT a firearm and does not need to follow any  “firearm” laws or Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) regulations.  These not (yet) firearm receivers are commonly referred to as “80% receivers”, although this is not a “technical” term, merely a marketing term based on a BATFE general principle that if 20% of the major work to make it a firearm remains to be done, it is not a firearm.  It may seem silly to consider an AR-15 receiver as a “firearm” since by itself it does not look like and cannot be used as a firearm, but it does follow the principle since it is “easy” and “quick” to install the buffer tube, trigger group parts and attach the top part, and then you do have what is unquestionably a firearm.  And be glad this is the way it is, since you don’t have to go through any annoyances to buy or ship or install other parts of the firearm.

In the case of the AR style firearms, “80%” means that the cavity in which the trigger, hammer and other trigger-group parts are mounted cannot be already milled out or partially milled out or even marked, and no trigger group pin holes can be marked, or partially or completely drilled.  Since a legal 80% receiver is “not a firearm”, anyone can buy one (subject to State and Local laws) and it can be shipped (within the U.S.) by any method.  Note that a source of these which has not submitted a sample to the BATFE and had it validated as “not a firearm” could possibly sell you one which the BATFE then decides IS a firearm, resulting in unpleasant consequences (as happened with EP Armory’s earlier 80% which had the trigger group cavity molded in a different color).  Therefore, before buying an “80% receiver”, it is wise to ensure you are buying one which has been BATFE validated.

Anyone who meets all Federal, State and Local laws to own that firearm can “finish” an 80% receiver, and even mount all the parts to make it fully functional.  There are, of course, some conditions other than the possession and weapon type laws of your location.

Conditions under Which a Non-Licensed Person Can “Manufacture” An ALLOWED Firearm

An “allowed” firearm is one which does not violate any of the restrictions implemented by the NFA (National Firearms Act of 1935) or any later law or regulation.  “NFA” firearms include fully automatic weapons, “sawed off” shotguns, short-barreled rifles (SBR), and weapons with bores greater than 0.5″ which are determined to have “no sporting purpose”.  Yes, most shotguns have a bore greater than 0.5″ and are allowed because they have been determined to have “sporting purposes”.

The manufacture of firearms as a business requires a license from the BATFE.  In order to avoid any appearance of manufacturing firearms without a license, any firearm which is self-manufactured should be intended strictly for the personal use of the person making it.  It you do any part of the manufacturing for someone else, or have anyone physically help you make it or do part of the work for you, again, the specter of manufacturing without a license raises its head.

The BATFE has its benefits and a number of competent and diligent people working for it.  It is, however, a government agency, and sometimes a representative makes a statement they believe to be true (or wish were true), but which is not supported by the underlying laws and regulations.  As a result, a number of statements about restrictions on self-manufactured firearms are floating around out there, which are not supported by the actual regulations and rulings.  To get to the bottom of what actually is and is not allowed in three key areas (location and tool ownership, markings and transfers), I went to Richard Vasquez, former Assistant Chief of the BATFE Firearms Technology Branch, now a consultant to the firearms industry.  He has access to and knowledge of the statutes, regulations and official ATF letters and rulings, which are what is validly enforceable.

There are a number of claimed restrictions on ownership and location of equipment used.  Most appear to not be valid; that is, current regulations allow you to use any equipment you own or borrow or rent in any location as long as neither the equipment nor location is used by a licensed manufacturer of firearms.  Personally, I would err on the safe side and not use any commercial equipment or a commercial location (say a machine shop I owned or worked at or could get access to outside of business hours).  If this were ever questioned, it may eventually be decided that it was allowable, but the process to get that result could be annoying.

If you meet the requirements and laws to self-manufacture a firearm, then there are no Federal or BATFE requirements for a non-NFA self-manufactured firearm to have a serial number or any specified markings on it. As long as it is in the possession of the person who made it, and no subsequent laws say otherwise, it is legal for the maker to possess it and use it.

It is claimed that you can’t sell or transfer a non-serialized firearm, or even bequeath it to someone.  This is not the case.  Just be sure not to give even a hint that you are engaged in the “business” of manufacturing (that is, you have a valid reason why personal use of that firearm is no longer desirable or practical).

Note that because the receiver IS the firearm, any restrictions refer to the finishing and transfer of the receiver only, not the assembly or modification of the complete firearm, or transfer of any other part.

Warning:  California residents, make sure you check out AB 857.  It requires you to apply for a serial number from the CA DOJ before making any firearm after July 1, 2018, and apply for a serial number from the CA DOJ on any firearm without a serial number which you possess after that date, with possession of a firearm without a serial number becoming a crime in the state on January 1, 2019.  What this says to me, is if you want to make any, do it before July, 2018, and if you do make or have already made any, ensure you add your own serial number(s) before July of 2018.  What is not clear is what you need to do for a commercial firearm (probably pre-68) which legally never had a serial number.

The law mentions manufacture and assembling.  This is troublesome, since the Federal definition of a “firearm” is the receiver, so “assembling” would seem to be meaningless (if it is a firearm already, nothing you can do to it makes it “more” of a firearm).  But since California seems to include adding parts under this bill, then it would seem that not only the receiver, but the whole firearm has to be completed before July to avoid the state number requirement, and they might even be able to harass firearms owners who after the July date, change out any parts on their firearm legally completed and with a serial number prior to that date.

It also seems to require polymer receivers to have a specified amount of a specific metal in it, prohibits transfers which Federal law permits, and prohibits manufacture of “assault weapons”.  And CA interprets this to be “evil-looking” weapons such as the AR style.  Of course, check out all the other CA laws which seem to ban possession of magazines with greater than 10 round capability, redefine “bullet button” rifles which previously were “non-assault” weapons as “assault weapons” now, and require all “assault weapons” to be registered with the state.  Pretty much all you can do (besides move someplace saner) is build your AR-15 “featureless” (without adjustable stock, pistol grip or thumbhole stock, vertical forward grip or flash hider) and then it is not an assault weapon by California’s flakey definitions.

How a Legal Self-Manufactured Firearm Can Mess You Up

Ok, let us say that you carefully followed all the rules and regulations, and you are fully legal.  You are safe, right?  This is not necessarily so.  Let us say some busybody sees your legal firearm and decides it “looks illegal”, so they call the authorities.  Police or other officials look at it, and with no serial number, it doesn’t look kosher to them either.  They might treat you as if the firearm was illegal, and then you would have to prove it is legal.  That is, that you legally obtained all the parts and they were all non-restricted, that at that time you were allowed to build that type of firearm, that you intended it for personal use, that you did all the work yourself, and that the equipment and location used were legal for making it.  Oh, and that no State or Local laws were violated, and no import/export restrictions (use of foreign parts is limited to some degree, and ITAR – International Traffic in Arms Regulations – prohibits export of most firearms parts) were violated.

The first should be fairly simple, just keep the receipts, making sure they have the date, identify the seller and purchaser, and describe what was purchased.  Matching credit card statements or cancelled checks can be helpful.

Showing your intent is going to be rather more of a challenge.  There is a period of time, beyond which if you still have the firearm, a reasonable case of intent of personal use can be made, but that time period is not defined anywhere.  It might be wise to write a statement describing your intent, and get it notarized before starting construction.

A set of pictures or videos showing you doing each major step should be enough to show that you made it and identify the equipment and location.

It is important to keep good track of the significant dates when you manufactured the firearm, so the laws and regulations in effect at that time can be referenced.  To avoid any import or export questions, buy American and keep it in America.

Tune in next time for a way to reduce the risks and annoyances of owning a self-manufactured firearm and a look at the various ways you can complete a receiver.

If you liked this article, please rate it.

The post Building Your Own Firearms (Part 1 – The Laws) appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Building Your Own Firearms (Part 1 – The Laws)

Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

4.5/5 (2)

[NOTE:  I am not a lawyer, or a representative of any law enforcement or government agency.  The information provided here is the best I could find, but must not be taken to be legal advice.  If you decide to engage in the described activity, you assume all responsibility of ensuring that this information is CURRENTLY accurate, and investigating the CURRENT state and local laws of your location.  Furthermore, you assume all legal and physical liability resulting from your engagement in this activity.] 

In the United States, if you want a particular firearm, and you are legally allowed to purchase that firearm by your Federal, State and Local governments, the easiest methodology is just to buy it.  This has some potential downsides.  If you buy it from a licensed dealer (a FFL – Federal Firearms License – holder), then you will need to go through a background check and fill out paperwork identifying you and the firearm, which is kept on file.  You can only buy what some company decided to make or what is left on the shelf.  Plus the price you pay will tend to be close to “list price” (or even higher if demand far outstrips supply).  Alternatively, you may be able to avoid the bureaucracy and possibly get a better price if you can find a private party with the desired firearm for sale.  Of course, then there is a risk of purchasing a stolen or defective firearm, or unintentionally violating some law with unpleasant consequences.

A third methodology is being pushed lately – making it yourself.  Most often, this is the AR-15 style firearm, although the parts for others, including the AR-10 (Armalite), AR-308 (DPMS), 1911 (Colt), 10/22 (Ruger), AK47 and even some Glocks, seem to be available.  Such a firearm is often referred to as a “Ghost Gun” because it does not exist in any firearms database.  Can you really do this?  Yes (most places in the U.S., as of early 2017 at least), although there are some potential “gotchas” which those pushing this methodology either don’t know or don’t care if you know.

Building your own firearms may be a pain, unless you like doing mechanical things like that, and might well cost you more than just buying the thing ready-made, especially if you have to buy the tooling.  The advantages (other than pride and any fun you have) are that you can get exactly what you want, you will know how to repair and modify it, and you don’t need to have the background check or fill out the paperwork, either of which could ease confiscation some day.  No, this is not paranoia; it is history.  Look at the places that used to have guns allowed but then no longer allowed them, and note that those places implemented registration first.  It is much easier to implement confiscation of something if the government knows where they all are…  “Oh, but that can’t happen here”?  Check out what happens in Chicago if you miss your yearly registration date.

The “Fine Print”

The receiver of a firearm (the main part which has or could have a serial number) is considered to BE the firearm.  Everything else is “just parts”.  Any item (in particular a partial receiver) which is in a condition where it “cannot be used as a firearm or readily converted into a firearm” is generally considered NOT a firearm and does not need to follow any  “firearm” laws or Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) regulations.  These not (yet) firearm receivers are commonly referred to as “80% receivers”, although this is not a “technical” term, merely a marketing term based on a BATFE general principle that if 20% of the major work to make it a firearm remains to be done, it is not a firearm.  It may seem silly to consider an AR-15 receiver as a “firearm” since by itself it does not look like and cannot be used as a firearm, but it does follow the principle since it is “easy” and “quick” to install the buffer tube, trigger group parts and attach the top part, and then you do have what is unquestionably a firearm.  And be glad this is the way it is, since you don’t have to go through any annoyances to buy or ship or install other parts of the firearm.

In the case of the AR style firearms, “80%” means that the cavity in which the trigger, hammer and other trigger-group parts are mounted cannot be already milled out or partially milled out or even marked, and no trigger group pin holes can be marked, or partially or completely drilled.  Since a legal 80% receiver is “not a firearm”, anyone can buy one (subject to State and Local laws) and it can be shipped (within the U.S.) by any method.  Note that a source of these which has not submitted a sample to the BATFE and had it validated as “not a firearm” could possibly sell you one which the BATFE then decides IS a firearm, resulting in unpleasant consequences (as happened with EP Armory’s earlier 80% which had the trigger group cavity molded in a different color).  Therefore, before buying an “80% receiver”, it is wise to ensure you are buying one which has been BATFE validated.

Anyone who meets all Federal, State and Local laws to own that firearm can “finish” an 80% receiver, and even mount all the parts to make it fully functional.  There are, of course, some conditions other than the possession and weapon type laws of your location.

Conditions under Which a Non-Licensed Person Can “Manufacture” An ALLOWED Firearm

An “allowed” firearm is one which does not violate any of the restrictions implemented by the NFA (National Firearms Act of 1935) or any later law or regulation.  “NFA” firearms include fully automatic weapons, “sawed off” shotguns, short-barreled rifles (SBR), and weapons with bores greater than 0.5″ which are determined to have “no sporting purpose”.  Yes, most shotguns have a bore greater than 0.5″ and are allowed because they have been determined to have “sporting purposes”.

The manufacture of firearms as a business requires a license from the BATFE.  In order to avoid any appearance of manufacturing firearms without a license, any firearm which is self-manufactured should be intended strictly for the personal use of the person making it.  It you do any part of the manufacturing for someone else, or have anyone physically help you make it or do part of the work for you, again, the specter of manufacturing without a license raises its head.

The BATFE has its benefits and a number of competent and diligent people working for it.  It is, however, a government agency, and sometimes a representative makes a statement they believe to be true (or wish were true), but which is not supported by the underlying laws and regulations.  As a result, a number of statements about restrictions on self-manufactured firearms are floating around out there, which are not supported by the actual regulations and rulings.  To get to the bottom of what actually is and is not allowed in three key areas (location and tool ownership, markings and transfers), I went to Richard Vasquez, former Assistant Chief of the BATFE Firearms Technology Branch, now a consultant to the firearms industry.  He has access to and knowledge of the statutes, regulations and official ATF letters and rulings, which are what is validly enforceable.

There are a number of claimed restrictions on ownership and location of equipment used.  Most appear to not be valid; that is, current regulations allow you to use any equipment you own or borrow or rent in any location as long as neither the equipment nor location is used by a licensed manufacturer of firearms.  Personally, I would err on the safe side and not use any commercial equipment or a commercial location (say a machine shop I owned or worked at or could get access to outside of business hours).  If this were ever questioned, it may eventually be decided that it was allowable, but the process to get that result could be annoying.

If you meet the requirements and laws to self-manufacture a firearm, then there are no Federal or BATFE requirements for a non-NFA self-manufactured firearm to have a serial number or any specified markings on it. As long as it is in the possession of the person who made it, and no subsequent laws say otherwise, it is legal for the maker to possess it and use it.

It is claimed that you can’t sell or transfer a non-serialized firearm, or even bequeath it to someone.  This is not the case.  Just be sure not to give even a hint that you are engaged in the “business” of manufacturing (that is, you have a valid reason why personal use of that firearm is no longer desirable or practical).

Note that because the receiver IS the firearm, any restrictions refer to the finishing and transfer of the receiver only, not the assembly or modification of the complete firearm, or transfer of any other part.

Warning:  California residents, make sure you check out AB 857.  It requires you to apply for a serial number from the CA DOJ before making any firearm after July 1, 2018, and apply for a serial number from the CA DOJ on any firearm without a serial number which you possess after that date, with possession of a firearm without a serial number becoming a crime in the state on January 1, 2019.  What this says to me, is if you want to make any, do it before July, 2018, and if you do make or have already made any, ensure you add your own serial number(s) before July of 2018.  What is not clear is what you need to do for a commercial firearm (probably pre-68) which legally never had a serial number.

The law mentions manufacture and assembling.  This is troublesome, since the Federal definition of a “firearm” is the receiver, so “assembling” would seem to be meaningless (if it is a firearm already, nothing you can do to it makes it “more” of a firearm).  But since California seems to include adding parts under this bill, then it would seem that not only the receiver, but the whole firearm has to be completed before July to avoid the state number requirement, and they might even be able to harass firearms owners who after the July date, change out any parts on their firearm legally completed and with a serial number prior to that date.

It also seems to require polymer receivers to have a specified amount of a specific metal in it, prohibits transfers which Federal law permits, and prohibits manufacture of “assault weapons”.  And CA interprets this to be “evil-looking” weapons such as the AR style.  Of course, check out all the other CA laws which seem to ban possession of magazines with greater than 10 round capability, redefine “bullet button” rifles which previously were “non-assault” weapons as “assault weapons” now, and require all “assault weapons” to be registered with the state.  Pretty much all you can do (besides move someplace saner) is build your AR-15 “featureless” (without adjustable stock, pistol grip or thumbhole stock, vertical forward grip or flash hider) and then it is not an assault weapon by California’s flakey definitions.

How a Legal Self-Manufactured Firearm Can Mess You Up

Ok, let us say that you carefully followed all the rules and regulations, and you are fully legal.  You are safe, right?  This is not necessarily so.  Let us say some busybody sees your legal firearm and decides it “looks illegal”, so they call the authorities.  Police or other officials look at it, and with no serial number, it doesn’t look kosher to them either.  They might treat you as if the firearm was illegal, and then you would have to prove it is legal.  That is, that you legally obtained all the parts and they were all non-restricted, that at that time you were allowed to build that type of firearm, that you intended it for personal use, that you did all the work yourself, and that the equipment and location used were legal for making it.  Oh, and that no State or Local laws were violated, and no import/export restrictions (use of foreign parts is limited to some degree, and ITAR – International Traffic in Arms Regulations – prohibits export of most firearms parts) were violated.

The first should be fairly simple, just keep the receipts, making sure they have the date, identify the seller and purchaser, and describe what was purchased.  Matching credit card statements or cancelled checks can be helpful.

Showing your intent is going to be rather more of a challenge.  There is a period of time, beyond which if you still have the firearm, a reasonable case of intent of personal use can be made, but that time period is not defined anywhere.  It might be wise to write a statement describing your intent, and get it notarized before starting construction.

A set of pictures or videos showing you doing each major step should be enough to show that you made it and identify the equipment and location.

It is important to keep good track of the significant dates when you manufactured the firearm, so the laws and regulations in effect at that time can be referenced.  To avoid any import or export questions, buy American and keep it in America.

Tune in next time for a way to reduce the risks and annoyances of owning a self-manufactured firearm and a look at the various ways you can complete a receiver.

If you liked this article, please rate it.

The post Building Your Own Firearms (Part 1 – The Laws) appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Prepper Comic Books

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Instilling preparedness values in children is something that many parents take seriously.  It can be daunting to teach children about emergency preparedness.  If you were wondering how to expose your children to preparedness topics in a fun way, comics are a great avenue.  Comic books are making a comeback […]

The post Prepper Comic Books appeared first on Preppers Survive.

WWII Pilots Said It Boosted Vision. And Native Americans Insisted It Cured Heart Problems.

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WWII Pilots Said It Boosted Vision. And Native Americans Insisted It Cured Heart Problems.

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

It’s related to and often confused for blueberries, and has a time-honored role in both folk and herbal medicine.

It is the bilberry, a delicious blue fruit that can be distinguished from blueberries by looking at the flesh. The flesh of the bilberry is dark and juicy, while the flesh of the blueberry is white or pale green.

The pigment throughout the berry is what makes the medicinal qualities in the bilberry more potent than that of the blueberry. These plants are difficult to cultivate and are most often hunted and wild-harvested in the forests of Europe, northern Asia and North America.

Learn How To Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

Scientifically known as Vaccinium myrtillus, the bilberry is also commonly called a “huckleberry” or a “whortleberry.” Its most popular name, “bilberry,” comes from the Danish word bollebar, which means “dark berry.”[1] The wild plants are so common in Europe that much of the world’s supply is gathered in the mountains from Scandinavia to the Balkans. It is harvested in midsummer and found in woodlands and meadows. The berry is common in European cuisine — made into syrups, jams and desserts.

History of its Use

WWII Pilots Said It Boosted Vision. And Native Americans Insisted It Cured Heart Problems.Native Americans traditionally ate the fruit of the “big huckleberry,” and used its roots as a treatment for heart ailments and arthritis. In Europe, the bilberry has been used medically for nearly 1,000 years to prevent scurvy due to its high vitamin C content. [2] However, it was German physician H. Bock who first described bilberry’s medical properties, in 1539.[3] The berry continued to gain popularity and by the 17th century a mixture of honey and bilberries, called “rob,” was being prescribed in England to treat diarrhea.

During World War II, pilots for the British Royal Air Force found — rather accidentally — that eating bilberry jam before a night mission improved their night vision. The practice became standard for both British and American pilots flying at night for the rest of the war.[4] According to Nutritional Herbology, taking bilberry to improve night vision “…is so effective that a single dose is said to improve one’s night vision within hours.”[5]

Medicinal Properties & Uses

Since the night vision claims by the RAF pilots, extensive research in Europe has discovered that the fruit is high in bitter compounds, called flavonoids. These flavonoids or anthocyanosides are contained in the pigment of the bilberry’s skin and flesh and are responsible for the berry’s high antioxidant properties. It’s these flavonoids that are believed to help promote healthy brain and eye function. They also protect against heart disease, free radicals and inflammation.[6] The bitter compounds inhibit collagen destruction and are a standard ingredient in anti-aging remedies.

Beet Powder: The Ancient Secret To Renewed Energy And Stamina

Bilberry is known to affect the structural and circulatory systems.[7] Its tannins and flavonoids are responsible for its anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and antispasmodic properties. Consuming the berry also helps decrease capillary permeability. This makes the berry a common choice among the sufferers of varicose veins, poor circulation, macular degeneration and glaucoma. It works so well and has so many uses that bilberry is among the most popular non-prescription “drugs” in Europe.

The berry is sweet and tastes similar to a blueberry and is high in zinc, Vitamins C and A, phosphorus, manganese and iron.

The fruit is usually consumed encapsulated or added, as a powder, to smoothies. The dried berries can be made into a tea and administered as a treatment for diarrhea.

Have you ever eaten bilberry? Share your thoughts in the section below:

[1] Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs (pg. 16)

[2] 21st Century Herbal by Michael J. Balick (pg. 296)

[3] Guide to Medicinal herbs by Johnson, Foster, Low Dog & Kiefer (pg. 103)

[4] http://www.encyclopedia.com/sports-and-everyday-life/food-and-drink/food-and-cooking/bilberry

[5] Nutritional Herbology by Mark Pedersen (pg. 46)

[6] Guide to Medicinal herbs by Johnson, Foster, Low Dog & Kiefer (pg. 105)

[7] Nutritional Herbology by Mark Pedersen (pg. 46)

The Looming Pension Collapse: Chicago Collected $90 Million But Paid Retirees $999 Million

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The Looming Pension Collapse: Chicago Collected $90 Million But Paid Retirees $999 Million

Image source: Pixabay.com

The city of Chicago’s pension funds only generated $90 million in investment income but paid retirees $999 million in 2015, according to Chicago City Wire.

Chicago is just one of several cities or states facing a crisis in which pension funds are not generating enough money to cover obligations to retired employees.

An analysis by Chicago City Wire of the six pension funds provides a frightening picture of the city’s economy. None of the funds generate enough money to cover retirement obligations to employees.

“All six operate as government-sanctioned Ponzi schemes, paying retirees with contributions made into the fund by active city employees, as well as taxpayers contributing on those employees’ behalf,” Chicago City Wire reported.

Are You Prepared For A Downed Grid? Get Backup Electricity Today!

A Ponzi or pyramid scheme is a con game in which a fraudster uses money from new victims to pay previous suckers.

But it’s not just Chicago. According to Market Watch:

  • The Michigan Public School Employees retirement pension fund is $26.7 billion underfunded.
  • The South Carolina government employee pension fund is $24.1 billion underfunded.
  • The Social Security trust fund is on pace to run out of money by 2034.
  • The United Mine Workers of America pension fund is $6 billion underfunded.

Jeff Reeves of Market Watch wrote that “America is rapidly approaching a point of no return” in underfunded pensions.

“Say what you will about the solvency of Social Security, and the imperative of acting on admittedly imperfect calculations that still give us a good 15 to 20 years until the trust runs dry,” he wrote. “But the millions of Americans relying on underfunded pension plans have an urgent need for reform in 2017. And if they don’t get it, it could have serious effects on the American economy for decades.”

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Digital Detox: let your mind off-grid

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Digital Detox, phone, smartphone, social media, internet, camp, off-grid, technology

We need to stop looking down and start looking up!

Rising heart rate, a sense of panic, breathing becoming shallow and inconsistent. It is highly likely that you have experienced these very symptoms at some point during your life. Perhaps you were in a confined space, feeling claustrophobic, or you were in a large crowd feeling disorientated….or perhaps you misplaced or lost your smart phone. Maybe you hadn’t even lost it, but the battery symbol was flashing red – oh no my cell’s going to die! If this sounds like you or someone you know, chances are you have smartphone separation anxiety – a.k.a. “nomophobia”. This has led to the need for us to have a digital detox.

What is “nomophobia”?

This term was coined in 2010 and relates to the feelings of anxiety linked to losing your phone, having no network coverage or when your battery is running low. Researchers at Iowa State University have found that there are four main components to nomophobia. The first is the fear of not being able to communicate with people or being in contact; the second is losing connectedness in general; the third not being able to access information and the fourth is not having the convenience that a smartphone brings. Watch the video below from Iowa State University to find out more about nomophobia.

But why does this anxiety happen?

Smartphones and technology have many benefits, but it has also infiltrated every aspect of our daily lives. Let’s face it, we rely on our phones an enormous amount – because they can do so much! Need directions? Check a date in the calendar? Don’t know the answer to a question? Need to make a call? More often than not, we all reach for our phone. If we think about it, they organise and navigate our daily lives more than we think.

Research has shown that we rely on our devices as much as we rely on a life partner. That is a scary thought – surely a device can’t replace someone as important as a spouse or significant other? The psychology behind this subconscious thought process though is very interesting. If we have a reliable source of external information on a specific topic, then we are less motivated and likely to remember that information for ourselves. If we need the answer to something we go to our reliable information source.

Before now, these reliable sources of information would take the form of people, and to some extent still do. For example, my dad knows a lot about cars I however, live in blissful ignorance and know very little. But I know all too well I can go to him for help so I am less motivated to learn and retain information about anything car-related.  The exact same process happens in our brains except now we don’t turn to people for help, we turn to our smartphones. Why should we bother remembering things when we can ask Siri? This reliance has led to what scientists are calling “digital dementia” – reduced cognitive abilities related to the overuse of gadgets.

It’s not just Digital Dementia we have to worry about

Digital detox, online, technology, smartphone, off-grid, mind, mental

Even when we’re on holiday, we’re still connected to our phones and technology – no online detoxing happening!

There are plenty of other health impacts from the overuse of our devices. Staring at phones and screens for extended periods of time, especially in low light, can lead to eye strain and headaches. The blue light can also impact our sleep patterns, especially with use just before sleep. After all, who isn’t tempted to check your favourite social media site just one last time before you close your eyes? Plus using social media sites in place of social interactions with actual people, can also lead to depression and anxiety. Constantly comparing yourself to others through an Instagram filter or the selfies on Facebook can impact your self-esteem.

Decreases in physical activity are also common place. After a long day at work, it’s very tempting to veg out in front of the television, laptop, i-pad, or pick up your phone to keep connected.

We need a Digital Detox

So far it’s all sounding pretty doom and gloom isn’t it? But there is hope on the horizon, in the form of a digital detox. A study, funded by company Kovert Designs, observed 35 people with no gadgets in the Moroccan Desert. The results were astounding. After four days researchers observed improved posture with greater eye contact being made during conversations. Memory also improved as people were more present in conversations instead of having one eye on their phone, meaning they were better able to process and store more information from the conversation. Remembering finer details from conversations also helps people to build stronger bonds and relationships with each other. Improved sleep patterns were also seen as the participants weren’t checking phones before sleeping. Therefore, their melatonin levels weren’t suppressed, enabling them to have a more uninterrupted night’s sleep.

An off-grid mind set

The results of the study have shown that digitally detoxing can have health benefits as well as improving your relationships with those around you. It also helps stem your whirring mind and unplug from the world for a short while – which is no bad thing!

Companies like Digital Detox, offer retreats providing off-grid accommodation and workshops – no digital technology allowed! The idea behind these retreats is to disconnect with the online world and reconnect with your sense of self. Camp Grounded, Mendocino, California is set in a beautiful 2,000 acres of woodland and described as a pure, unadulterated camp for grown-ups! Hiking through the countryside, practising mindfulness and yoga, as well as art and writing workshops are all a part of this all-inclusive program. Testimonials from Digital Detox include it being a “rejuvenating time” and a “transformational experience”.

The next Camp Grounded retreat offered by Digital Detox is from May 20th to May 23rd with tickets starting at $695 based on options chosen.

 

What can you do day to day?

If you don’t have the funds to spend a long weekend detoxing from your smartphone device, there are some things you can do at home. Tania Mulry, a digital marketing guru gave some tips on having an immediate digital detox in a TEDx talk at La Sierra University.

  • Turn off your notifications to quiet unnecessary noise from all of those apps.
  • Get rid of toxic apps and pages that bait you into wasting hours of your life by dragging you into commenting.
  • Go into Airplane mode, just because it’s in the title doesn’t mean this has to be solely used for airplanes. This takes you out of the rat race of notifications until you’re ready to reconnect with the online world.
  • Set a time in the evening after which you don’t touch your devices and gadgets, this will help you settle back into a healthy sleep pattern without your melatonin levels being interrupted.
  • Occupy your free time with a new hobby instead of filling your time with scrolling through screens.
  • Deepen connections with those around you by interacting face to face rather than through an online device.

See the full TED Talk from Digital Marketer Tania Mulry about the need for a Digital Detox.

You might like:

Simplify Your Life: Disconnect to Reconnect

The post Digital Detox: let your mind off-grid appeared first on Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself.

9 Best Edible Plants You Can Grow Indoors

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Yes, we’d all love to have a sprawling garden full of fruits, veggies and magical beans that lead us up to a castle in the sky–but life’s not fair. Maybe you are working with a small space, or perhaps winter is coming and you want to actually give your crops a fighting chance. Regardless, it’s […]

The post 9 Best Edible Plants You Can Grow Indoors appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Nitrogen Toxicity: Understanding and Preventing It In Your Garden

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The post Nitrogen Toxicity: Understanding and Preventing It In Your Garden is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Hydroponic gardening is wonderful for so many reasons, but we growers still run into problems from time to time. In fact, as a beginner there can be more problems than gardening in soil! Nitrogen toxicity is one of these annoying problems. Nitrogen is one of the most important nutrients for plants, but too much can cause […]

The post Nitrogen Toxicity: Understanding and Preventing It In Your Garden is by
Kevin and appeared first on Epic Gardening, the best urban gardening, hydroponic gardening, and aquaponic gardening blog.

Sap, Resin, and Pitch. Differences and Applications for Survival

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Sap is where pancake syrup comes from, resin clogs your smoking pipes, and pitch is what you do with a ball, right? Well, not quite, close though. Sap is the lifeblood of trees or other plants, but usually when we refer to sap we are thinking in terms of a tree. Sap runs through the outer layer of a tree. If you were to cut through the bark and outer most layer of a tree, all the way around the tree, the tree will die.

Respect the Trees

This is why in survival situations if you are utilizing natural elements, you must consider the damage you are doing to the tree. A tree is a living, breathing organism. If you use it for materials needed for, say, making pitch to seal a vessel, or a canoe, or for affixing an arrowhead to an arrow, you must respect it and treat it as such so that it continues to live and breathe and provide materials for you.

birch use canoe

Look for Naturally Occurring Resin

If you must collect resin from trees, look at several trees and try to find an area that is already secreting sap and gather that, rather than injuring the tree yourself for the intention of gathering sap for pitch or other uses. It should be mentioned that the best time for collecting sap is in the early spring when the sap is running. It can be done at other times of the year, but with greatly reduced results.

The “V” Cut

If you find that you MUST wound a tree to collect sap for pitch, or whatever use you intend, one method for doing so is to use your hatchet or knife and cut a “V” into the tree. Then use another piece of stick that you have sharpened to a point and flattened, insert that stick into the bottom of the “V,” and the sap will run and drip off the stick into a collection vessel.

Tap Pine Resin

Collecting Naturally

If you find naturally occurring injury areas on the tree, you can collect the hardened resin from that area. If you were to collect that resin and mix it with charcoal dust, then it becomes a form of pitch. The terms pitch and resin are often used interchangeably.

 

 READ FULL ARTICLE HERE 

 

                  RELATED ARTICLES : 

 

 

 

 

The post Sap, Resin, and Pitch. Differences and Applications for Survival appeared first on .

Sap, Resin, and Pitch. Differences and Applications for Survival

Sap is where pancake syrup comes from, resin clogs your smoking pipes, and pitch is what you do with a ball, right? Well, not quite, close though. Sap is the lifeblood of trees or other plants, but usually when we refer to sap we are thinking in terms of a tree. Sap runs through the outer layer of a tree. If you were to cut through the bark and outer most layer of a tree, all the way around the tree, the tree will die.

Respect the Trees

This is why in survival situations if you are utilizing natural elements, you must consider the damage you are doing to the tree. A tree is a living, breathing organism. If you use it for materials needed for, say, making pitch to seal a vessel, or a canoe, or for affixing an arrowhead to an arrow, you must respect it and treat it as such so that it continues to live and breathe and provide materials for you.

birch use canoe

Look for Naturally Occurring Resin

If you must collect resin from trees, look at several trees and try to find an area that is already secreting sap and gather that, rather than injuring the tree yourself for the intention of gathering sap for pitch or other uses. It should be mentioned that the best time for collecting sap is in the early spring when the sap is running. It can be done at other times of the year, but with greatly reduced results.

The “V” Cut

If you find that you MUST wound a tree to collect sap for pitch, or whatever use you intend, one method for doing so is to use your hatchet or knife and cut a “V” into the tree. Then use another piece of stick that you have sharpened to a point and flattened, insert that stick into the bottom of the “V,” and the sap will run and drip off the stick into a collection vessel.

Tap Pine Resin

Collecting Naturally

If you find naturally occurring injury areas on the tree, you can collect the hardened resin from that area. If you were to collect that resin and mix it with charcoal dust, then it becomes a form of pitch. The terms pitch and resin are often used interchangeably.

 

 READ FULL ARTICLE HERE 

 

                  RELATED ARTICLES : 

 

 

 

 

The post Sap, Resin, and Pitch. Differences and Applications for Survival appeared first on .

12 Weird But Helpful Things Cornstarch Can Do

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12 Weird But Helpful Things Cornstarch Can Do

Cornstarch is great in the kitchen, but you may not know that there are a slew of uses for cornstarch around the house.

Let’s look at 12 such uses:

1. Window cleaner.

Cornstarch is naturally abrasive and granular, so you can add a tablespoon of it to any window cleaner. It will make cleaning your windows much easier and leave them streak-free.

2. Remove grease stains.

If you have grease stains on the carpet you can get rid of them by throwing some cornstarch on the floor and letting it sit for about 20-30 minutes. The cornstarch will absorb the grease, and then you can vacuum up the powder for a fresh carpet.

3. Soothe sunburns and bug bites.

A paste made of cornstarch and water will help soothe sunburns and bug bites.

“The Big Book Of Off The Grid Secrets” — Every Homesteader Needs A Copy!

Apply this paste over the affected area and let it dry. You can repeat this until the sunburn goes away.

4. Air freshener.

Cornstarch is naturally absorbent, so it also works well to remove bad smells from the air. Sprinkle it in shoes, let them sit overnight, and then shake the powder out in the morning. You also can apply it on a couch, leave it overnight and then vacuum it off the couch in the morning, giving it a fresh and new smell.

5. Custom body powder.

Stop buying body powder and make your own at home with custom scents. Mix one cup of cornstarch with a few drops of essential oils; shake it up.

6. Finger painting.

Need something to keep the kids busy during the summer or on the weekends? Boil cornstarch and water together for some homemade and non-toxic paint. Add food coloring in various concentrations to make different colors for the kids.

7. Clean furniture.

Some cleaners leave a build-up or residue on wood furniture; fix this problem by mixing equal parts cornstarch and water, and then lightly buffing away any marks or build-up. (But test this on a small unseen area first!)

8. Refresh your books.

12 Weird But Helpful Things Cornstarch Can Do

Image source: Wikimedia

If you have old classics sitting on your bookshelf that smell musty, then sprinkle some cornstarch on the books and leave them out for a day or two. Brush off the cornstarch and – voila – your bad smell will be gone.

9. Dry shampoo.

Sure, you may have seen advertisements for dry shampoo, but you don’t have to go to the store to buy a retail bottle. Make it at home.

Want Out Of The Rat-Race But Need A Steady Stream Of Income?

Dust some cornstarch along the roots of your hair, along the crown and around the base of your neck. Follow by working the cornstarch through your hair and brush it out. As a bonus, you can use it on your pet, too.

10. Fix that squeaky floor.

If you have an old squeaky hardwood floor, then sprinkle cornstarch on the floor, leave it for a bit and then sweep it up. Cornstarch will work its way into the nooks and crannies of the floor, which will stop the squeaking as it fills in the space.

11. Chafing prevention.

If you are a regular runner or workout enthusiast, then you might be familiar with chafing problems. To prevent that, dab a bit of cornstarch in the problem areas; it will absorb the moisture that causes chaffing.

12. Homemade deodorant.

If you’re looking for a natural deodorant instead of using a store-bought one, then cornstarch just might be your answer. Start by wiping under your arms with rubbing alcohol and then sprinkle on the cornstarch.

What uses would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:

Grow Salads in Pots & Tubs

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How to Grow Salads in Pots & Tubs. You can have fresh salad fixings within easy reach | PreparednessMama

For around $10 you can grow fresh salad fixings to harvest for months We are eating salads most every night now. They’re healthy and I love the variety I can get by having a different mix of greens each night. The fixings can get expensive, especially if I want to eat organic.  Here’s a simple way […]

The post Grow Salads in Pots & Tubs appeared first on PreparednessMama.

Mississippi Pot Roast Recipe – Flavor Heaven! Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Recipes

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The Mississippi Pot Roast craze is almost as big as the Instant Pot craze. If you haven’t heard of Mississippi Pot Roast, just take a moment on Pinterest and you will!   This recipe has gone viral and after taking one

The post Mississippi Pot Roast Recipe – Flavor Heaven! Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Recipes appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Best Ideas On Growing A Garden In 5 Gallon Buckets

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Container gardening – growing plants in 5-gallon buckets, for example – is usually discussed in the context of (not enough) space.

The idea is that if you don’t have a “real” garden because you live in an apartment or your backyard is too small, container gardening would make for the best option. And-5 gallon buckets are the ultimate containers both in terms of availability and shape.

Also, they’re highly mobile, meaning that you can put them in the best spots to catch the sun and so on and so forth. Due to their versatility, resilience and low cost, 5-gallon buckets are already famous in the prepper community and they’ve also captured the imaginations of home gardeners.

Now, if you have enough buckets and you’re ready to put them to good use, just keep reading folks!

Eeven if you don’t have them yet, just poke around a little bit and you’ll discover that 5-gallon buckets are the definition of “readily available,” “dirt cheap” items. Just go cruise your nearby stores and restaurants or check out Craigslist.

Getting back to business, gardeners are doing remarkable things with 5-gallon buckets, things that you can’t even imagine actually. This humble piece of plastic is a tool of a thousand uses, which makes it extremely valuable to a prepper.

However, keep in mind that you must stay away from secondhand buckets that were used to held toxic stuff, like paint or what not. The ideal 5-gallon bucket to use for gardening purposes should be made out of food grade plastic, at least in a perfect world.

Now, if you’re going to grow flowers (as in non-edible stuff), you can forget about the food grade thingy, but keep an eye on toxic materials just in case.

Speaking of bucket supply, you have 2 choices: to buy brand new 5-gallon buckets from building supply stores or hardware stores, or to go scavenging bakeries, local restaurants, grocery stores, and similar places. These buckets often come with plastic fitted lids, so remember–it never hurts to ask, alright?

Now and then, you may be asked to cough up a couple of bucks for a sturdy, clean, used 5-gallon bucket, but that’s definitely worth it if it’s the right type. Even if they smell a little weird (they are used often for storing pickles and/or frozen products), don’t worry – the smell will go away relatively easy if you clean them right.

This proven-to-work portable device provides clean fresh water 24/7! 

With all these considerations taken care of, let’s see about some projects involving 5-gallon buckets, shall we?

Project 1 – DIY Alaska Grow Bucket

If you’re already scratching your head, an Alaska Grow Bucket is the scientific term for a bottom watering container. There’s nothing complicated, just fancy talk. These are the easiest DIY watering containers anyone can make to grow their own food at home.

The materials required are cheap and easy to acquire. Besides the famous 5-gallon bucket, you’ll need a fabric shopping bag and a plastic kitchen colander – you know, that piece of gear used for draining rice or pasta.

You’ll have to drill some ventilation holes (the more the better) and another irrigation hole for the water feed line. Ideally, you should use a power drill, but you can always improvise if you’re a meat eater. The irrigation line should be drilled as low on the bucket as possible, and then you’ll insert a plastic, T-shaped connector.

Video first seen on devineDiY

Project 2 – The Hanging Bucket Planter

If you don’t have much space, e.g. you’re living in a condo, you can DIY a hanging bucket planter for growing organic tomatoes. Obviously, you can use hanging bucket planters for growing a large variety of stuff, not only tomatoes, those are just a suggestion because tomatoes are a popular choice.

Also, if you have a small yard, this type of project will suit you like a glove. Making the best of one’s available space is next to Godliness for a true prepper, right?

For making tomato gardening great again, you’ll need:

  • a hook
  • a 5 gallon bucket
  • steel cable (galvanized utility wire)
  • a wall (the bucket will hang by the hook hammered/drilled in the wall).

The idea is that hanging a bucket planter outside your condo’s wall will provide your plants with plenty of sunshine, which is a necessary ingredient for growing big fat tomatoes (along with water and carbon dioxide).

Video first seen on Peter P.

Project 3 – The Raised Bed Bucket

Here you’ll learn how to grow veggies successfully in a raised bed garden using the famous 5-gallon bucket, thus making for a garden within a garden or something along these lines.

With this cool technique, you’ll be able to grow more food in less space and that’s the definition of efficiency and sustainability (don’t worry, I hate Agenda 21 too).

Here’s an interesting video about the reasons for growing vegetables in raised bed gardens.

Video first seen on Learn Organic Gardening at GrowingYourGreens

The concept behind this project is that plastic buckets are used for providing more soil depth for the plants thus allowing for more nutrients, more space for root growth and less frequent watering. This technique makes for a cool hack which will enable you to grow deep-rooted plants in a shallow garden.

Project 4 – The Self-watering Planter

This DIY job makes for the easiest way to build sub irrigated self-watering planters using PVC pipe, a 5 gallon bucket, and a milk jug for practically next to zero costs. You’ll have to cut some holes in the bottom of the bucket that are large enough for the water to drain through, so you’ll not flood your plants. It’s easiest to use a drill for this.

The jug must be placed inside the bucket with the PVC pipe stuck on the top of the milk jug. The jug gets filled with water (you’ll have to drill some holes in the upper part of the jug too) and then the bucket must be filled up with dirt, then you put a plant in it. Pretty simple and highly efficient.

Video first seen on Growing Little Ones for Jesus

Project 5 – The Hydroponics

Finally, here’s a cool idea about how to build a hydroponic DWC system with a trellis-type system for growing cucumbers, and obviously it involves a 5-gallon bucket. This project is a little bit more complicated, but it’s doable with a little bit of research and elbow grease.

The supply list includes a 5-gallon bucket, a 6” bucket lid net pot which can be bought online or at a local hydroponics store, a small airstone and air-pump (from Walmart), black hose for the airline, vinyl tee fittings, clear vinyl tubing, rubber grommets and wire green border fence.

Video first seen on Jksax914.

Now that you know how to grow a garden in a 5-gallon bucket, you could learn how to DIY your own portable device for an endless water supply.

Click the banner below and find out how to build your own portable device which provides fresh water 24/7!

This article has been written by Chris Black for Survivopedia.

A Solar Energy System That Works At Night

Solar energy is power from the sun. But what about power during the night? Here’s how it’s done:   Batteries! Solar energy is radiant energy collected from the sun. Not only can it be harnessed and converted immediately to household electricity, but it can also be harnessed and stored in special batteries to be used […]

NATO is Preparing for War With Russia in a Very Unsettling Way

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As tensions between Russia and the West intensify, NATO forces are building up in Eastern Europe, and those units aren’t just in place as a bluff. They are actively training for war with Russia, and they aren’t hiding that fact. If you look closer at these training exercises, you can learn a lot about how NATO expects to conduct a war with Russia. You’ll see that they aren’t just engaging in simple maneuvers, and they aren’t just preparing for a strictly defensive war. In fact, they may be preparing to take the fight to Russian speaking parts of Europe.

Germany for instance, recently placed an ad on a government website, for actors to play a part in US Army training exercises. What’s so shocking about this, is that they are specifically looking for people who speak Russian. That may sound like common sense. If our military is going to prepare itself to engage Russian forces, then obviously they should have some experience dealing with Russian speaking people. However, these people aren’t going to be playing as Russian soldiers. According to Sputnik News:

The starting date is April 26. All participants must have good knowledge of Russian, English and German. It would be “A great advantage” if they also know Polish or Czech, the advertisement said.

“Candidates will play the role of civilians in conflict zones. This will help to create a real training scenario for servicemen and their optimal preparation for foreign missions,” the description said.

The exercises will be held continuously, including on weekends, in the Hohenfels training grounds between Nuremberg and Regensburg. There about ten villages will be built with 30 houses each.

“Performers will play small roles such as livestock keepers, shopkeepers or the head of the village in Afghanistan, who is constantly negotiating with the US military and takes part in the mediation.”

Of course it’s possible that they are only training to defend NATO countries in the Baltic region, which have a significant population of ethnic Russians. However, the fact that some of these actors will be playing “livestock keepers” is very telling. The vast majority of Russians living in Baltic countries reside in cities. Plus, these exercises are supposed to take place in multiple “villages.” Clearly the Army wants to train for combat in a rural, Russian speaking area.

Because of that, it seems more likely that these training exercises will be preparing our troops to fight outside of NATO. If not in Russia itself, there’s a good chance that they’re training to fight in Eastern Ukraine, a region that is hotly contested, heavily populated with Russians, and except for the city of Donetsk it is a very rural area with a high agricultural output. If this is true, then NATO is getting ready to play a very dangerous game at the doorstep of Russia.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

20 Strategies and Tips for Creating a Rainwater Catchment System

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20 Strategies and Tips for Creating a Rainwater Catchment System | Backdoor Survival

Living in the desert has taught me not to take water for granted. Unlike the Pacific Northwest, I am not footsteps away from streams, ponds, or a vast sea just waiting for me to collect and purify for personal use.

In a continuing effort to educate our readers on the finer aspects of self-sufficiency, I have invited Dan Chiras to share his best strategies and tips for creating a rain catchment system that works. Learn what you need to know about building a rainwater catchment system.

The post 20 Strategies and Tips for Creating a Rainwater Catchment System by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Your Own 72Hr Kit Plan Ebook (Product Review)

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In the past, I’ve posted articles on how to pack a bugout bag, but I’ve never fully addressed exactly what to put in a bug out bag or, as it’s also known, a 72hr kit.  Fortunately, for both of us, Misty Marsh from Simple Family Preparedness has taken the time to write a “by the

Forgiveness Really Can Be A Daily Choice

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How is your journey to forgiveness coming? I hope you’re finding my semi-daily musings helpful, but more importantly, I hope you’re making progress. Welcome to Day Twenty of 30 Days to Forgiveness!

Forgiveness is a matter of habit, as strange as that might sound. You need to practice it daily and consciously for it to become an ingrained, habitual part of your life.

Embracing forgiveness isn’t always easy. It doesn’t come naturally to us and it takes a while to learn how to turn feelings of anger and resentment into those of love and peace. We’ve already discussed how this a process that takes time and how we need to work to form those emotional habits.

New habits are a funny thing.

Bad ones seem to appear out of nowhere, with that occasional bowl of ice cream in the evening turning into a big bowl every night. How did that happen?

But when it comes to forming healthy new habits, we must actively make it a daily choice.

Forgiveness is a matter of habit, as strange as that might sound. You need to practice it daily and consciously for it to become an ingrained, habitual part of your life. That means reminders – daily reminders, preferably early in the morning – that you are choosing forgiveness.

I love quotes, especially those that are done in what they call word art. Just as I surround myself with photos of my beautiful children throughout the years, I also surround myself with inspirational words and quotes. They are on the walls around my desk, on my laptop screen and even on my bedroom mirror.

Coming up with a personal mantra or affirmation can be another great tool. This could be a Bible verse or simply a statement that you are a loving and forgiving person. By getting in the habit of reciting it every morning, or even several times throughout the day, you can’t help but stay on track.

While I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, I do love music, and I choose to fill my playlist with songs that remind me of my values and choices. It’s easy to get distracted by the world’s negativity and to get tied up in it. I’m pretty careful about my musical choices, by the way. Not the type of music so much, but the lyrics. Music seems to cement words into our brains very effectively – quick, sing the ABC song – so what we listen to matters a lot.

As we talked about before, keeping a journal is another great daily exercise that will help you continue your journey of forgiveness. Knowing that you will be writing about your thoughts and experiences later on in the day will keep forgiveness front and center on your mind. Of course, journaling first thing in the morning is another great option and a good way to focus on your mind on this important endeavor.

No matter what tool, technique, or gimmick you use, make it a point to remind yourself to work on forgiveness daily until it becomes second nature. This 30 Day Challenge is of course another helpful tool. With daily email reminders (provided you signed up for email reminders, which I hope you did) and these blog posts, forgiveness will never be far from your thoughts.

A short little reminder is often all it takes to continue to make the daily choice to forgive and build a brighter future.

Forgiveness is a matter of habit, as strange as that might sound. You need to practice it daily and consciously for it to become an ingrained, habitual part of your life.

Forgiveness Really Can Be A Daily Choice

How is your journey to forgiveness coming? I hope you’re finding my semi-daily musings helpful, but more importantly, I hope you’re making progress. Welcome to Day Twenty of 30 Days to Forgiveness!

Embracing forgiveness isn’t always easy. It doesn’t come naturally to us and it takes a while to learn how to turn feelings of anger and resentment into those of love and peace. We’ve already discussed how this a process that takes time and how we need to work to form those emotional habits.

New habits are a funny thing.

Bad ones seem to appear out of nowhere, with that occasional bowl of ice cream in the evening turning into a big bowl every night. How did that happen?

But when it comes to forming healthy new habits, we must actively make it a daily choice.

Forgiveness is a matter of habit, as strange as that might sound. You need to practice it daily and consciously for it to become an ingrained, habitual part of your life. That means reminders – daily reminders, preferably early in the morning – that you are choosing forgiveness.

I love quotes, especially those that are done in what they call word art. Just as I surround myself with photos of my beautiful children throughout the years, I also surround myself with inspirational words and quotes. They are on the walls around my desk, on my laptop screen and even on my bedroom mirror.

Coming up with a personal mantra or affirmation can be another great tool. This could be a Bible verse or simply a statement that you are a loving and forgiving person. By getting in the habit of reciting it every morning, or even several times throughout the day, you can’t help but stay on track.

While I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, I do love music, and I choose to fill my playlist with songs that remind me of my values and choices. It’s easy to get distracted by the world’s negativity and to get tied up in it. I’m pretty careful about my musical choices, by the way. Not the type of music so much, but the lyrics. Music seems to cement words into our brains very effectively – quick, sing the ABC song – so what we listen to matters a lot.

As we talked about before, keeping a journal is another great daily exercise that will help you continue your journey of forgiveness. Knowing that you will be writing about your thoughts and experiences later on in the day will keep forgiveness front and center on your mind. Of course, journaling first thing in the morning is another great option and a good way to focus on your mind on this important endeavor.

No matter what tool, technique, or gimmick you use, make it a point to remind yourself to work on forgiveness daily until it becomes second nature. This 30 Day Challenge is of course another helpful tool. With daily email reminders (provided you signed up for email reminders, which I hope you did) and these blog posts, forgiveness will never be far from your thoughts.

A short little reminder is often all it takes to continue to make the daily choice to forgive and build a brighter future.

Forgiveness Really Can Be A Daily Choice

How is your journey to forgiveness coming? I hope you’re finding my semi-daily musings helpful, but more importantly, I hope you’re making progress. Welcome to Day Twenty of 30 Days to Forgiveness!

Embracing forgiveness isn’t always easy. It doesn’t come naturally to us and it takes a while to learn how to turn feelings of anger and resentment into those of love and peace. We’ve already discussed how this a process that takes time and how we need to work to form those emotional habits.

New habits are a funny thing.

Bad ones seem to appear out of nowhere, with that occasional bowl of ice cream in the evening turning into a big bowl every night. How did that happen?

But when it comes to forming healthy new habits, we must actively make it a daily choice.

Forgiveness is a matter of habit, as strange as that might sound. You need to practice it daily and consciously for it to become an ingrained, habitual part of your life. That means reminders – daily reminders, preferably early in the morning – that you are choosing forgiveness.

I love quotes, especially those that are done in what they call word art. Just as I surround myself with photos of my beautiful children throughout the years, I also surround myself with inspirational words and quotes. They are on the walls around my desk, on my laptop screen and even on my bedroom mirror.

Coming up with a personal mantra or affirmation can be another great tool. This could be a Bible verse or simply a statement that you are a loving and forgiving person. By getting in the habit of reciting it every morning, or even several times throughout the day, you can’t help but stay on track.

While I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, I do love music, and I choose to fill my playlist with songs that remind me of my values and choices. It’s easy to get distracted by the world’s negativity and to get tied up in it. I’m pretty careful about my musical choices, by the way. Not the type of music so much, but the lyrics. Music seems to cement words into our brains very effectively – quick, sing the ABC song – so what we listen to matters a lot.

As we talked about before, keeping a journal is another great daily exercise that will help you continue your journey of forgiveness. Knowing that you will be writing about your thoughts and experiences later on in the day will keep forgiveness front and center on your mind. Of course, journaling first thing in the morning is another great option and a good way to focus on your mind on this important endeavor.

No matter what tool, technique, or gimmick you use, make it a point to remind yourself to work on forgiveness daily until it becomes second nature. This 30 Day Challenge is of course another helpful tool. With daily email reminders (provided you signed up for email reminders, which I hope you did) and these blog posts, forgiveness will never be far from your thoughts.

A short little reminder is often all it takes to continue to make the daily choice to forgive and build a brighter future.

Conceal Carry the SCOTTeVEST

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Conceal Carry the SCOTTeVEST Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps “ Audio in player below! As per my last show the grayman and concealment, this little invention is a great way to perform those acts with ease! If you are familiar with the company SCOTTeVEST you know they make vests, jackets, hoodies, pants, and shirts that … Continue reading Conceal Carry the SCOTTeVEST

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