How To Grow 6-Inch Tomato Plants In Only 1 Week

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How To Grow 6-Inch Tomato Plants In Only 1 Week

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I have a confession (one that I’ve made here before): I don’t start seeds indoors. If they can be sown directly, I do that. Most of my garden does get started from seeds. But I buy some seedlings, namely tomatoes and eggplants.

At the garden center, of course I’m drawn to the large and bushy tomato plants, already blooming, maybe even with a few tiny tomatoes growing. If I bring that plant home, I should have ripe tomatoes in about two months (depending on the variety). But those bushes are expensive, and I normally put in 8-10 tomato plants. I simply can’t justify buying the bigger, more expensive bushes when I can also get tomatoes by purchasing the 3-inch-tall seedlings. It’s the same result, after all. It just takes longer.

But, here’s a secret: you can get several small tomato plants off a single large bush. You can propagate tomatoes the same way that you start new house plants — with cuttings. If you do this, you can have multiple tomato plants and still eat your early tomatoes, too. Your mature (“mother”) plant will provide you with tomatoes until your propagated plants start producing.

Rooting only takes about a week. Within seven days, you could have a sturdy, tall tomato seedling, which is about 6-8 weeks faster than starting a plant from a seed.

Benefits to Pruning Large Tomato Plants

If you’re over visiting a friend or neighbor and they have some large tomato plants chugging along, they might allow you to snip a couple of cuttings off their plants. That way, you don’t have to splash out on a mother plant. It should be easy to convince your friend to let you do this. Removing shoots is effectively pruning, and pruning tomato plants is beneficial.

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As Louisiana State University’s Ag Center explains, pruning off the bottom branches encourages fruit production at the top of the plant. This way, heavy fruit on the bottom branches won’t pull those branches down so that the tomatoes rest on the soil, which can cause them to rot. Removing branches also improves air circulation, which can help with insect and disease control. Wet leaves can lead to problems like late blight. By pruning branches, the remaining leaves will receive more sun and air, and will dry faster.

Preparing Your Cuttings

How To Grow 6-Inch Tomato Plants In Only 1 Week

Image source: Pixabay.com

Typically, we root houseplants by placing them in water until roots form. Tomato cuttings can be started the same way. However, they will develop a stronger root system more quickly if they are rooted directly in soil.

Start by snipping off a side shoot (branch) that is at least 6-8 inches long. Be careful that you don’t lop off the top of the main stem by mistake. Once the shoot is removed, trim the bottom leaves off, so that there are only two leaves left at the top. If there are any flowers or buds on the branch, trim those off, too.

If you are rooting the shoots in water, immediately set them in a glass or jar of water. Make sure you don’t submerge the top leaves. Set the jar in a warm place, and top off the water as needed, if any evaporates. In about one week, roots will form. At that point, you can plant the shoots.

How to Plant the Shoot in Soil

If you are rooting the shoots in soil (or soilless mix), have your pots prepared before you snip the shoots off the mother plant. You should use clean pots, filled with damp soil. You can use a pencil or other instrument of that size (like a dowel or wooden spoon handle) to create a hole that the shoot can be quickly popped into.

The All-Natural Fertilizer That Can Double Your Garden Yield!

Bury the stem of the shoot up to where you snipped off the bottom leaves. For about a week, keep the potted shoots in a warm and sunny (but not hot) location. Also, make sure to keep the soil or mix damp at all times, to keep the shoot alive and help the roots form.

If your mother plant came from a garden center or greenhouse and needs to be hardened off, then you should harden off the cuttings, as well. If your mother plant had already been hardened off, then it’s safe to treat your cuttings as being hardened off, too. And, in that case, it’s also possible to root your cuttings directly into your garden. Just take extra care to protect them from the sun if it gets too hot and to make sure they get sufficient water.

Starting tomato plants with cuttings is a lot faster than growing tomatoes from seed. It’s also a cost-effective way to get a number of plants from one larger plant. Additionally, it’s a way to grow tomatoes year-round, on a serious budget. If you root cuttings into pots in late summer, and keep those pots indoors, you will have producing tomato plants over the winter. Those indoor plants, in turn, can provide cuttings for new plants in the spring. In this way, you can keep cloning your favorite tomato plant for several growing seasons, for free.

Have you ever propagated tomatoes this way? Share your tips in the section below:

Banana Split Energy Balls (Raw/Vegan/Deliciousness)

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You may have seen in a few recipe posts, that I’ve been working towards eating a more raw vegan diet lately. It’s a work in progress and I succeed about 85% of the time I’d say 🙂 I definitely try to minimize animal products and keep the rest of my diet consisting of whole foods including lots of fruits and vegetables. It’s not always easy to have healthy fresh fruits and veggies on hand every day, so I’ve been super grateful for my food storage foods (which I always keep upstairs for everyday use anyway) while I’ve been adjusting to this new way of eating. Sometimes I miss being able to have a yummy treat to just pop in my mouth when I need a little afternoon pick-me-up. Enter this recipe for Banana Split Energy Balls and my life is now complete. With a couple of little tweaks and using the Thrive I already had on hand, this recipe was easy to whip up and so so delicious!

Ingredients:
2 cups cashews (divided)
8 dates (divided)
2 T. almond milk
1/2 c. freeze-dried strawberries
1/2 c. freeze-dried pineapples
1/2 c. freeze-dried bananas
1 1/2 T. cocoa powder
1/2 T. peanut flour

Directions:

  1. Make four bowls of individually flavored mixtures as follows:

    Strawberry
    Pulse 1/2 cup cashews in a food processor until they turn to a coarse bread crumb consistency. Add 2 dates and strawberries and pulse until crumbly. Add in 1/2 T. almond milk and pulse until it holds together slightly. Move to a bowl and set aside.

    Pineapple
    Pulse 1/2 cup cashews in a food processor until they turn to a coarse bread crumb consistency. Add 2 dates and pineapple and pulse until crumbly. Add in 1/2 T. almond milk and pulse until it holds together slightly. Move to a bowl and set aside.

    Banana
    Pulse 1/2 cup cashews in a food processor until they turn to a coarse bread crumb consistency. Add 2 dates and bananas and pulse until crumbly. Add in 1/2 T. almond milk and pulse until it holds together slightly. Move to a bowl and set aside.

    Chocolate
    Pulse 1/2 cup cashews in a food processor until they turn to a coarse bread crumb consistency. Add 2 dates, cocoa, and peanut flour and pulse until crumbly. Add in 1/2 T. almond milk and pulse until it holds together slightly. Move to a bowl and set aside.

  2. Take 1 tsp. of each mixture and combine in the palm of your hand to form a ball. Each ball will taste like a banana split in your mouth! You can also form individual-flavored balls if it is taking to long to make the combined version. I made this one and tried to make it look like a real banana split shape. haha. I found the pineapple and strawberry varieties to be my favorite so it was yummy to have individual ones to snack on in my favorite flavors too.


The post Banana Split Energy Balls (Raw/Vegan/Deliciousness) appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

Movie – The Survivalist

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Mags, mags, mags………
—————————-
Someone brought this to my attention in email. Apparently yet another movie with the name “The Survivalist”. It seemes to harken more to a Cormac McCarthy sort of apocalypse rather than a jerry Ahern type. I am always amused by UK end-of-the-world films…mostly because their version of the apocalypse has the double-barreled shotgun as the pinnacle of firepower. American end-of-the-world dramas usually carry a tad more firepower.

These sorts of movies come and go pretty quickly…fortunately, Wikipedia, as it turns out, has a category “List of apocalyptic films“. hows that for convenience? As I was reading the synopsis for many of them I noticed a couple interesting trends – in a large percentage of these sorts of thing, the savvy survivalist type invariably gets killed and the unprepared noob winds up living happily ever after, the women often are rescued at the expense of the men’s lives, and no one *ever* gives credit to the survivalist dude for planning ahead. instead, the survivalist is always portrayed as ‘out there’ or ‘crazy’.

But, if you’re bored some evening this week, and Netflix or Amazon Prime isn’t down because of a ransomware attack, you’ve now got some viewing to look forward to.

Plants got frost nipped and today we got hail

My peppers got frost nipped and just for extra fun, they got pummeled by hail today.  I added some protection after the storm started but I think the peppers are probably toast. The weathermen are for casting possible snow here in the valley.  Not unheard of too me but Spring time in Idaho is a bit more “eclectic” than I prefer.   We are good here at Casa de Chaos as we are late planting many “starter plants”.  The cabbages and cole crops survived the cold/hail.  I also planted the plants in a “protected” place in the front yard.  Just a small garden planting set back at this time.  Springtime in Idaho!

I bought the lumber for the new compost pile.  I’m using pressure treated 4×4 posts at the corners.  2×4 pressure treated boards to tie the pile together and cedar wood fencing to cover/contain the compost.  I’ll have to layout and tweak the plan over the next week.  I’m not just trying to make my garden “pretty”.  Every element must have a use to make the garden better in the long run.

I have most of the materials for building a compost mound/heap.  I want it to be semi-attractive as well as a good compost pile that is somewhat easy to work. Good construction makes life easier in the long run.

I really dropped the ball on my basement storage.  The mice are berserk and all of it is because I did not store foods properly in containers.  So Mom and I are trying out a few different items to get rid of mice and I’m looking to build  proper shelves to fight the vermin problem.  So we will see how it works out.  I’m not getting all “butt hurt” just because I “screwed the pooch” this time.  prepping and getting self-sufficient is a journey and not about one screw up.

What to Do If You Are Caught Without Your Prepping Supplies

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I travel a pretty good bit for work. When I travel, it almost exclusively by air as it just so happens my co-workers or customers are spread all over the globe. In a perfect world I always have my EDC gear on me but when traveling, especially via plane, you have to make some concessions. When it makes sense I have basic survival gear that I pack, but my luggage has to be checked. I have flown with a firearm on multiple occasions, but what if you are unable to take any survival gear with you? What would you do if you were caught in a disaster without even your trusty survival knife?

In this article I want to go through some situations I personally have in my 9-5 life where I wasn’t as prepared as I know in my heart I should be, and discuss some alternatives when you are caught without your prepping supplies. When all hell breaks loose, are you doomed if you don’t have your full battle rattle on?

What should you be carrying everywhere you go?

EDC. Any prepper worth his or her salt knows that this acronym stands for Every Day Carry. This is the gear you have on your person virtually all the time. These are usually simple items like a folding knife, a flashlight, watch, Leatherman or multitool. Optionally, some people (like me) will add a concealed carry weapon to this list and maybe a compass, lighter or matches and spare cash. The items that make up your EDC are personal, should be appropriate to your daily routine and environment and vary greatly from prepper to prepper. I wrote a whole article about my EDC list some time back.

On any normal day, I have most if not all elements of my personal EDC on me when I leave my house. I have a knife in my pocket, handkerchief (only used it once to help a lady out) flashlight and lighter are housed on my keys and my concealed carry weapon. I have other elements in my work backpack and a ton of gear in my car. If I have nothing more than my car, I can probably live for a week very comfortably – assuming I couldn’t drive anywhere. If I only had my backpack and what’s on my person, that would be a little tougher, but I would have basic lifesaving tools or elements to help me improve my situation. If I only had what is in my pockets I would still be pretty much in the same boat. But when I am traveling, sometimes I don’t have any of my EDC Gear on me. It’s pretty much me betting that I will be OK.

How can you travel without any EDC gear?

I have written before about how to fly with a firearm legally and for most air travel I take, outside of work I still do fly with my firearm. I also keep a mini-go bag in my suitcase with a sawyer mini water filter, knife, fire starter, headlamp, first aid kit and mylar blanket. I have a stainless water bottle too so the basics are covered. But on most trips here recently, I don’t fly with my trusty Glock and if I am not checking bags, knives are out the window too. I can, and still do bring a small, but bright flashlight and hanky with me, but most of what I consider my must haves are left at home. Why?

Convenience.

Yes, Sheer convenience. I am admitting it now before the entire world that sometimes, it is easier to not check bags. If I am carrying my bag onto a plane, I have far fewer options on what I can bring with me but I have many more options with flights. If my flight gets cancelled and I have my bag with me, I can run to another airline. If some weather delays me mid-journey, I can take another route home, or make it to the car rental agencies before my fellow travelers. If any one of a number of hiccups happen with the airlines I don’t have to go into that important client meeting wearing the same outfit I had on yesterday. Which was designed for comfort. Not impressing clients. Convenience.

Lost luggage at Airport.

Now, many of you may be saying to yourselves: “How can Pat consider himself a prepper if he goes and leaves himself vulnerable like that for convenience” and I understand what you mean, but I look at things a little differently. Actually, major points of my philosophy evolve or change over the years. Here is what I know.

In this country, or even pretty much any country I would find myself in for business travel, if anything short of a nuclear bomb went off, I would be able to get the supplies I needed even if I wasn’t carrying them.

Obtaining survival gear in the wild

And by wild I am not talking about a jungle adventure with Bear Grylls. If that’s the place you are visiting, you better have your gear no matter what. What do I mean? OK, let me explain. Let’s say I am traveling in business to Boston, MA without any of the gear I normally carry as EDC and an EMP hits. Assuming, I would be better off with my regular EDC (and I do), where could I replace that gear quickly? Before I continue, let’s list off the basic items again:

Shelter

  • A means of keeping yourself warm, cool, dry
    • Tarp/Poncho/Jackets, Hats, Gloves, etc.

Water

  • A method of making water safe to drink
  • A container for holding water

Food

  • Enough calories to keep you going for the duration

Security

  • A means of protecting yourself from two-legged predators

The list above is only the most basic items for survival, but we can start there. Going back to Boston and an EMP hits. What is the first thing you think everyone will do?

Probably nothing.

That is your time to act. While everyone is complaining that they can’t check the weather or stocks or the latest snapchat on their phones you need to move.  As a prepper, you should be practicing situational awareness. That means a lot of different things depending on the situation you are in, but when it comes to a disaster like this where people aren’t dying immediately, your job is to act. My focus will be obtaining as many survival supplies as I can before the sheeple wake up.

In a situation like that, I would head out to the nearest store. If I was lucky enough to come across an REI or a Dick’s Sporting Goods or even a Walmart you would be all set provided you had cash with you and the store was accepting cash transactions. When I fly, I try to bring $300 in cash with me for emergencies. It won’t do everything, but it could help, especially in a situation like this. For that $300, you could easily get a knife, headlamp, tarp and just about all the other EDC basics I left at home.

But that’s too easy. What if you weren’t in Boston and couldn’t find a sporting goods store to save your life. Then what?

Head to the drug store, hardware store or grocery store but skip past the food isles, at least at first. Go to the smaller section they always have with light-bulbs and extension cords and toilet plungers. Go to the housewares section. They may not have knives, but they could have box cutters. You may be able to find tarps, but if not, trash bags connected with duct tape will keep you just as dry. If you don’t already have a backpack, you should be able to find one of those too that will fit your supplies.

The small local hardware store might be the last place people run, but a great place to find supplies.

Matches will be there too and usually so will lighter fluid. Together, if you keep the matches dry you should be able to make a fire. You will always be able to find some form of flashlight in these stores too but don’t forget to get extra batteries. Hopefully you have shoes that are comfortable to walk in.

We can’t forget food, but skip canned food and grab items that you don’t need to prepare or weigh a whole lot but still provide calories. Think energy bars or breakfast bars and be sure to check the calorie counts if you have time.

What about security? The box cutter or knife would be better than nothing, but you really have to get close in order for those to work. Man has been using clubs since the dawn of time, really, they are still being used all over the world as the post about handmade weapons demonstrates very clearly. You can find some implement and use it as a club. It isn’t what I would rather have instead of my trusty concealed Glock, but it beats (no pun intended) not having anything.

I guess the point I am trying to make is that survival can’t be distilled down to only who has the right gear because I know that many of you could survive if you were dropped naked in the middle of a jungle. Survival is about having the will to live above all else. Skills follow closely, but you can still survive if you have the right mindset. I don’t recommend leaving home without your EDC, but if you have to, or get caught on a late-night Walmart run, you usually will have options. Look for opportunities to give yourself and advantage and maybe you will find that you are much better off than you thought you were.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and stay safe!

The post What to Do If You Are Caught Without Your Prepping Supplies appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Summary of the Status Quo — Correctly Identify the Enemy Or Miss the Mark

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DUDe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpbM0ZXptkw

On your video posted above, “if we tolerate this”….

I would further that it is not just our children we have to be concerned about…but ourselves. You know as well as I that the battle drums beat hard for complete worldwide jack boot control, by the Bilderberg assholes that have been working on it for 40 years….Soros, Rotchilds, et al.
Also the meme of “most dangerous thing is ignorance”, I disagree. The tools of the internet as a means to instantly assess the effects of the controlled media propaganda is very strongly in the NWO and just plain evil people’s favor. Even non-ignorant people cannot stand up to a continual onslaught of propaganda.
People in my life that I love deeply are in this trap and even with my best efforts I cannot get them to open their eyes, many of them are plus 50 and plus 70. The 50 somethings have in their mind nearing the end of their lives (sad since I am 53 and my actuarial table predicts an average life of 98 for me). The 70 plus cloud is glad to get 10 to 15 years…they don’t want to open their eyes much, and certainly they are not ready to take up armed resistance.
The reality is that those with means, those with much to lose, are unlikely to get past being pacifists. Those without means are struggling so much it is difficult to organize. Hence the massive increase in foodstamp handouts and government housing…

basically to prevent mass protests and even revolution.   It is a “safety net”, for many criminals at the top.  

We see these blatant criminal activities at the top, that are never prosecuted.   Top politicians know that in the current system, that they too must undertake actions that if fully exposed, would be clearly illegal.  

Not to mention now that with the blatant deep penetrating espionage by the NSA et al, there would be very few not subject to full on blackmail if they don’t tow the establishment line.   For the few with integrity of sorts, they can often be captured with a “honeypot” a sexual setup.   

Beyond that anyone can be accused of rape or child porn (with the porn inserted into your computer by the powers that be).   Very serious offense.   Think Julian Assange, accused of rape because a woman who he had consensual sex, then did something the next morning that if I remember right, she said “broke my sexual integrity”.      hmmmm, set up ya think?   

This is the level the game is being played at.   So although we can educate on crucial issues like radiation and the danger of the nuclear industry, until we can get back to some semblance of fairness, justice, rule of law, and stopping insanely anti-constitutional invasions into our privacy, I think little of value will be accomplished.

Sorry for the rant, but some may not yet realize that all of the above is completely true, and very important.  

Tips on Purchasing and Maintaining a Chain Saw

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A chain saw should be durable. A chain saw that is not durable will likely not lead you towards success when you are trying to improve the look of your yard, a yard can make a difference when you are trying to sell a home or a property. When Purchasing a Chain Saw it is […]

The post Tips on Purchasing and Maintaining a Chain Saw appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Dandelion & Violet Jelly: It’s Delicious. Here’s The Recipe.

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Dandelion & Violet Jelly: It’s Delicious. Here’s The Recipe.

Image source: Pixabay.com

Jelly is a favorite food in our house. We eat it for breakfast, lunch and, yes, desserts. With three kids in the house, we could go through a lot of store-bought jellies. Instead, sourcing our front lawn for dandelions and violets give us a cheap jelly that I don’t mind giving away for gifts.

Dandelions and violets may not seem like the obvious choice for jelly, but as soon as you make them, you’ll love the beautiful colors. Dandelion jelly is a bright, golden yellow, and violet jelly is a bright, pink color. However, many people turn up their nose at the idea. Won’t it taste like you’re eating a mouthful of flowers?

Surprisingly, the answer is no, although there are floral hints to the jelly. After all, you are using flowers. Violet jelly does have a taste that will remind you of grape jelly, with hints of floral. Dandelion jelly, on the other hand, has a flavor that is similar to honey or chamomile. It’s like a delicious tea on top of your toast.

How to Make Violet Jelly

  • 3 cups of loosely packed violet blossoms.
  • Juice of large lemon.
  • 2 ½ cups of boiling water.
  • One package of pectin.
  • 3 ½ cups of sugar.
  • Jars, lids and rings.

1. The first step is to pick all of the violet blossoms. If you have kids, this activity will take them a long time and keep them occupied. Picking the flowers is the hardest part of making violet jelly, but if you have a nice day, it’s a great way to spend time outside.

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2. Next, make a violet infusion. Pour 2 ½ cups of boiling water over the top of your violets. You need to leave this alone and let it infuse. Soon, you will notice the water turning a deep blue, then into a deep purple, depending on the shades of the violets used.

3. After it is infused, strain out the violets, leaving you with the infused water. Add the juice of one lemon.

4. Now, it is time to make the jelly just like you would with anything else. The pectin typically has instructions included. Mix the pectin with the flower and lemon mixture. Then, stir on the stovetop until it reaches a heavy boil. Jelly needs to boil for one minute; then you add the sugar required based on the pectin you used. Keep stirring until it reaches a boil again for one minute. Remove from heat and place it into the prepared jars.

5. For violet jelly, you just need to water bath the jars for five minutes. Let the jars sit for 24 hours to cool and solidify before using!

How to Make Dandelion Jelly

Dandelion & Violet Jelly: It’s Delicious. Here’s The Recipe.

Image source: Pixabay.com

Yes, those yellow flowers dotting your yard are good for more than just honeybees! Dandelions aren’t a well-loved flower, but they make a lovely jelly for your breakfast toast. When you go pick the flowers, try to remove the stems as best as possible. Stems are bitter and will infuse an unpleasant taste.

  • 1 quart of dandelion flowers.
  • 1 quart of water.
  • 1 box of pectin.
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
  • 4 ½ cups of sugar.
  • Jars, lids and rings.

1. Fill up your quart jar with dandelion flowers, not stems. It is better to stay away from chemically sprayed flowers. When you get them inside, rinse off the flowers first.

2. In a pot, add the rinsed flowers with a quart of water. Allow them to boil for three minutes to infuse the water. Then, drain the flowers from the water. Cheesecloth or coffee filters work best.

3. Put the strained liquid into the pot again. On average, you want to have about 4 cups of infused water. Add the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice into the mixture.

4. Read your pectin instructions. Add the pectin to the mixture and bring to a rolling boil. Make sure you keep stirring! Allow it to boil for one minute and then add in the sugar. Depending on the type of pectin used, you will add between 3 and 4 ½ cups of sugar. Stir this mixture well and allow to boil for one minute again, as you stir. Remove from heat.

5. Ladle the jelly into the jars. Process in a water bath canner for 5 minutes.

6. Jellies are a family favorite. From grape and blueberry to floral jellies, using what you have around you is the epitome of homesteading. In most areas of the country, violets and dandelions grow around you freely. The cost of these jars will be minimal, making them a lovely gift for Christmas, if you can keep some away from the kids!

Have you ever made violet or dandelion jelly? Share your tips in the section below:

Freedom Lantern Review And Giveaway

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When lightning strikes your town and the power goes out at night, what do you do? Incredibly, most people still reach for candles, even though they’re the cause of nearly 2,000 house fires each year in America.

We’ve discovered the solution to problem, and it’s a light that won’t ever start a fire.

It’s called the Freedom Lantern, and for the next two weeks you can win one. But before we share the details on the contest, let’s discuss what makes this gadget so great.

First, it looks just like a kerosene lantern but is cool to the touch. The LED light won’t set the curtains or the couch on fire – or the toilet paper, for that matter. No more worrying about the kids getting too close to the candles.

Second, it’s easily rechargeable, thanks to the USB cord that’s included. And with the super-efficient LED bulbs inside, we’ve had customers tell us they’ve used it for days and days – with it still running.

Third, it has a dim switch, allowing you to use it for bright emergency light during a storm or simply as a faint bedtime reading light during normal times.

Here’s the coolest part: the light flickers just like a candle – and you can literally blow it out. (The kids and grandkids will love that part of it – watch the video to see it in action.)

This is one of our most popular products, and once you have one, you’ll see why.

If you don’t want to wait for the contest to end and want to buy right away, click here to buy your own Freedom Lantern.


 

Here’s What You Need To Do For Your Chance To Win

 

Please answer the following question in the comments section at the bottom of the page:
Tell us why you think this would be a great off the grid item in a crisis and why you think you should win it?
Sign up to win using the form below and share this video with your friends.
Every friend that you get to sign up earns you 5 points. The person with the most points at the end of the contest wins the Freedom Lantern!

 

Cold Steel Bowie Machete, still a great bargain survival knife

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Hi Fernando,

I am a subscriber of your channel on youtube. And have seen many of your videos.

I have a question about two knives.

The Cold Steel Bowie machete, and the Cold Steel Shanghai Shadow.

It reminds me a bit of the native American Beavertail dagger, or a Roman Pugio, although the tip doesn’t seem to be as accute as that of the Bowie machete.

Which of the two is best for self defense, house defense. Combat.

I really like to hear your opinion on this.

Hope to hear from you.

High regards,

Renato

.

Hi Renato, the Shanghai Shadow is a 7 inch dagger, the bowie machete is a big 12 inch machete blade.

Cold Steel Shanghai Shadow Knife with Secure-Ex Sheath $28.09

The Shanghai Shadow would be better as a carry knife for self-protection, mostly because it comes with a Secure-Ex Sheath and you can actually carry it somewhat concealed or at least on the belt while the Bowie machete simply isnt the kind of knife you are likely to have on your person all the time. That’s pretty much where the advantage of the Shanghai Shadow ends though.

Cold Steel 97BWM12S Bowie Machete with Sheath

Cold Steel 97BWM12S Bowie Machete with Sheath $24.96

 The Bowie machete is a bigger knife, with a lot more reach and power behind its swing.  A dagger stabs. A machete is like a sword, it chops body parts off. The tip of the Bowie is also a lot more narrow, so even in tight corridors bringing that tip down means anyone rushing at you get impaled. The two Bowie machetes I own required a bit of sharpening, but once that was taken care of they were wicked sharp. Like big scalpels. The handle of the Bowie is much better than the one in the Shanghai Shadow, a lot more comfortable for longer work sessions.
It comes down to that. The Shanghai Shadow dagger is more handy to carry, but for home defense the Bowie is the better option.

It’s also the better survival knife in general. For the price, the Cold Steel Bowie Machete remains a favourite of mine, one of the best deals in a survival knife. You can chop, cut, pierce, 1055 holds an edge well enough and takes one very quickly. It has a bit less carbon than 1095, but in exchange its tough as nails and not as brittle. While the blade is rather thin, just 2.8mm thick, there’s just a lot of it giving it enough rigidity. Even for some wood chopping and batoning this is a knife that can handle the task.

FerFAL

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”

How Does Your Garden Grow? Sunlight, Water, and Some Technology

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In theory, growing a garden seems like the easiest thing in the world to do. Just sow some seeds, make sure the seedlings get plenty of water and sunlight, and in a few months (or less) you’ll have a bountiful harvest of fresh produce.

Of course, anyone who has ever grown a garden knows that it’s not really that simple. An infinite number of factors can affect how well your plants grow and how much food they produce, from how much water they get to the average temperature over the summer. Of course, there are always the human factors to consider, such as remembering to water the plants and pulling the weeds. It’s all enough to make most people hit up the market or the farm stand to buy produce, rather than go to all the trouble to growing it.

However, commercially grown produce isn’t guaranteed to always be widely available, and there are legitimate concerns about the safety and sustainability of those products. Not to mention, for those who wish to grow their own food, the climate can present a significant obstacle. Thanks to technology, though, all these obstacles can be overcome.

Bringing Tech Into the Garden

Sensor technology is taking over virtually every aspect of our lives — and gardening is no different. Embedded chips and an internet connection can take a lot of the guesswork out of growing your garden, telling you exactly what’s happening out there and what you need to do, and even keeping pesky critters out of your plants to ensure that you actually have something to harvest.

Gardening technology ranges from simple apps that tell you exactly when to plant specific crops to fully computerized greenhouses that ensure perfect growing conditions at all times, and everything in between.

For example:

  • A new generation of garden stakes include sensors that will send information about soil, light, and moisture conditions directly to your smartphone, so you know when to water and feed your plants — and whether they are getting enough sunlight or not.
  • The idea of timed sprinklers is nothing new, but gardeners now have the option of using sensor-controlled watering systems that monitor real-time weather conditions via the internet as well as soil moisture levels to deliver water when necessary. This prevents both under-watering, as well as the issue of sprinklers or irrigation systems turning on unnecessarily — such as in the middle of a rainstorm.
  • Home gardeners have the option of growing plants without soil using consumer-sized hydroponic systems. From smaller models that fit on a sunny countertop, to larger setups that take advantage of vertical space and use either natural or fluorescent lights, the idea of growing larger plants in less space is very appealing to many gardeners.
  • Keeping animals out of the garden is a challenge for any farmer, but sensor technology is helping with that as well. Several different systems offer everything from a blast of water to harmless wireless fences that keep deer away, ensuring that your carrots and tomatoes won’t become a feast for woodland creatures.

Getting Started With a High-Tech Garden

The first thing to remember when incorporating technology into your garden is that you don’t want to rely on technology to replace you and the work that goes into a successful crop. Technology is a tool that can help you avoid certain common issues, but it should not replace your own real-world observations and care for your plants. In other words, you’re still going to have to remove the weeds yourself.

That being said, the best way to get started on a technology-enhanced garden is to begin with a sensor system that helps you tackle your biggest weakness. Since the majority of plants fail due to over or under watering, a sensor that helps you determine when and how much water to give your plants is a good starting place.

Or, if you live in an area where the growing season is short, a greenhouse might be a good option to help you expand your options. With a technologically advanced greenhouse, you can experiment with different crops as well, combining the data you collect from sensors with your own observations to create a garden plan that works for your needs.

Few things in life rival the pleasure of growing your own food right in your backyard. Incorporating technology can help that be a more successful endeavor, while also increasing yields and reducing the amount of time and money you spend cultivating your plants.

The post How Does Your Garden Grow? Sunlight, Water, and Some Technology appeared first on American Preppers Network.

12 Signs Your Survival Food Has Gone Bad

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Survival food can quickly go from the thing keeping you alive to the thing that does you in. No matter how desperate your situation is, you will want to avoid eating spoiled food at all costs. While good survival food is meant to have a long shelf life, there are many things that can destroy […]

The post 12 Signs Your Survival Food Has Gone Bad appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

How The NSA Started A Worldwide Ransomware Attack

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How The NSA Started A Worldwide Ransomware Attack

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The NSA is to blame for the ransomware that spread worldwide in recent days and hit Britain’s hospitals and even FedEx, Microsoft is alleging.

“The WannaCrypt exploits used in the attack were drawn from the exploits stolen from the National Security Agency, or NSA, in the United States,” Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith wrote in a May 14 blog post. “An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.”

Smith is referring to the Wannacry ransomware, which froze computers and disrupted service at several hospitals run by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS). The attack caused emergency rooms to turn away ambulances and led to the cancellation of some operations, The Guardian reported.

Wannacry takes over computers and demands that users pay $300 in bitcoin to get access to their own data. The NHS was simply one of many victims of Friday’s cyberwarfare attack. The attack is one of the largest in history and may have affected 200,000 computers in 150 countries, the Europol law enforcement agency estimated.

Are Your Prepared If A Cyberattack Cripples The Power Grid? Get Backup Electricity Today!

The ransomware took advantage of a weakness in the Microsoft operating system – a weakness that the NSA knew about but decided to keep to itself so it could use it to penetrate computers.

“We have seen vulnerabilities stored by the CIA show up on WikiLeaks, and now this vulnerability stolen from the NSA has affected customers around the world,” Smith wrote. “Repeatedly, exploits in the hands of governments have leaked into the public domain and caused widespread damage. … And this most recent attack represents a completely unintended but disconcerting link between the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today – nation-state action and organized criminal action.”

The NSA and CIA should alert software companies of weaknesses so they can be fixed, he added.

“The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call,” Smith wrote. “They need to take a different approach and adhere in cyberspace to the same rules applied to weapons in the physical world. We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits.”

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Teach your children well (Helping your children understand the importance of Prepping.)

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Hello, my friend and welcome back! Children, especially young children can easily become confused and sometimes even scared if they are not taught about prepping in a careful manner.  Having raised two boys, I…

The post Teach your children well (Helping your children understand the importance of Prepping.) appeared first on American Preppers Online.

5 Methods of Cooking Without Electricity

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When the power goes down and things are chaotic, there is nothing as comforting as a hot meal. Here are a few cooking methods that you can practice without using electricity. Gas Stove:  If you are fortunate enough to have gas appliances, you can still use your gas stovetop to cook with. Since most cooktops…

The post 5 Methods of Cooking Without Electricity appeared first on The Weekend Prepper.

Canning Equipment – The Must-Have Tools For Canning Season

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Whether you are new to canning or an experienced canner, having the right canning equipment is crucial.  As canning season approaches, we thought we would answer some frequently asked questions about what type of canning equipment that we use and

The post Canning Equipment – The Must-Have Tools For Canning Season appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

EMP Q&A: North Korea’s EMP Threat Explained

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The world we live in relies on electricity totally. The heating and cooling, the hospitals, and banks, the communications and transportation and even working land for food would go into chaos with only one killing EMP shot.

Humankind is working hard to make it possible, just take a look at North Korea. And before asking about Koreans’ capability to drop an EMP on US, remember the critics who mocked the Japanese before WW2.

History is prone to repeat itself. Prepare yourself in time to survive its lessons. Keep reading to discover how the North Korea’s EMP threat is explained.

This guide will help you survive more than an EMP!

A Threat Like No Other

Once people become aware of the threat posed by EMP, they naturally have questions about EMP preparedness. Actually, EMP is one of those subjects where the more you learn about it, the more questions you tend to have.

I was pleased to be invited back to PrepperCon 2017 to host EMP Survival Question & Answer Sessions again this year, on behalf of Survivopedia, and address some of these questions. Feel free to ask your own questions on EMP survival in a comment, and I’ll do my best to find the proper answer for each of them!

The types of EMP that present a threat to mankind are incredibly powerful pulses of energetic radio waves that can pass through the human body undetected, yet wreak devastation upon the systems mankind depends on to sustain life.

The electrical grid, fossil fuels, water, food, healthcare, banking, communications, internet and transportation are critical to our way of life. Even a temporary loss of any of these system is catastrophic.

When we consider how much these systems are interdependent, the loss of all of them at once would paralyze the nation to a degree which is difficult for most people to comprehend.

Why & How North Korea Can Drop an EMP On The US

Question: Is it possible that North Korea could pose a threat to the US?

I heard that they would need thermonuclear weapons, better missiles, bigger nukes or the ability to miniaturize them in order to be able to harm the USA.

Answer: Any country that has nuclear weapons and can orbit satellites has the technology and ability to carry out an EMP attack on the USA. I have noticed a great deal of ignorance on this subject in social media posts and blogs.

It does not take thermonuclear weapons, ICBMs or miniaturization to create a Nuclear High-Altitude EMP (HEMP). The USA created the first HEMP I am aware of with the Hardtack Yucca nuclear test. In that test, a small warhead was carried high enough to make use of the Compton Effect, resulting in a 1000-fold increase in EM field strength. The weapon does not have to be large, at most 10 kilotons, which is the size of tests North Korea has been carrying out.

To affect nearly the entire Lower 48 states with a single weapon, optimal height of burst would have to be 300-400 km, but still lower than the orbit of North Korean Satellites, which overfly the US. Dropping a nuclear weapon that would detonate lower in the atmosphere is certainly within the country’s capabilities.

The last two satellites have payloads sufficient to house a nuclear weapon. North Korea has committed a lot of resources to both satellite and nuclear programs. North Korea has also practiced launching missiles of cargo vessels just like Iran.

The US has few defenses to shoot down such an attack launched from international waters in the gulf coast unless we specifically station a carrier battlegroup there. Even a detonation at much lower altitude could affect a city or even an entire state.

North Korea’s latest test may have been a nearly 10 kiloton neutron bomb optimized for maximum gamma yield. This what we would refer to as a superEMP or enhanced radiation weapon. These points, taken together amount to quite a body of evidence that North Korea has been planning an EMP attack or to create the appearance of the ability of such an attack for over a decade.

Critics point to past failed launches, overlooking the fact that we also had failed launches early on and our first attempt to orbit a satellite also failed. They only need one to succeed. They also point to the fact that putting weapons in space is a breach of international law.

North Korea has a history of violating international law with abandon even when it has meant harsh sanctions so it puzzles me why anyone would see this as an obstacle. Miniaturization of nuclear weapons was not a serious obstacle to the US and was achieved within a couple of years even before we had microcomputers.

Critics mocking North Korea’s military capability sound very much like critics who mocked the Japanese before we engaged them in combat in WW2. History seems to be repeating itself.

Why Fixing the Grid Would Take Years of Survival

Questions: I heard it could take 3.5 years or longer to fix the grid. Don’t we have stockpiles of Large Power Transformers (LPT’s) that we could just swap out if they were damaged by an EMP? Why would it take so long to fix the grid?

Find out how to survive when the lights go out!

Answer: The 3.5 year number assumed that only the USA was affected, that the rest of the world was undamaged by cascading failure and that other nations would help us. In senate hearings, committees have the luxury of examining the question in a bubble.

In the real world, nations are highly interdependent and growing more so every year.  e.g. the loss of the US economy could bring down the world economy with it since the EU economy is closely tied to the US economy and without the US and EU, China would lose its consumer base.

Let’s say an EMP has knocked out the electrical grid and it is our job to fix our little part of it. We need a LPT (Large Power Transformer) to replace the one that was damaged by the EMP. An LPT at a power generating plant steps up voltage for transmission over long distances through transmission lines.

At the destination where the electrical energy will be consumed, another LPT then steps the voltage back down to a voltage that is useful to the destination city’s electrical grid, so we will suppose that our hometown needs a step-down LPT.

LPT’s are custom built, can weigh between 100 and 410 tons, can cost up to $10M each and take up to 2 years to build even in a fully functioning world. Considering the obstacles to obtaining a LPT in a post-EMP world demonstrates the difficulty of estimating how long it would take to get an EMP-ravaged grid running again with any degree of accuracy.

Ordering a New LPT After an EMP? Prepare to Wait!

Normally, we would create a request for proposals, evaluate the bids and award the contract to build our LPT. This will take longer with the phone system and computers down. The red tape would need to be sorted out somehow, and we would need to establish limited communications through radio operators.

The factory that would build our LPT would not be able to start production because they lack electric power to the run the factory, but we will imagine top priority is given to LPT factories and we are able to get power to build. Our order would normally sit in a queue, the factory would need incentive to rush our order past other orders just as urgent as ours.

The plant would want their $10M, but the world banking system could be paralyzed or even collapse. We might have to pay in gold or leaders might attempt to coerce cooperation.

The factory would have to get workers to leave their families in the middle of a protracted grid-down emergency. Even if it could, they wouldn’t work for funny money.

The workers would not be able to work without food, which could be a real problem because just-in-time inventory management virtually guarantees a food crisis. The world food system could collapse. But farmers would have no fuel to run giant tractors guided by GPS that also would not work.

Companies would likely have to pay workers in food.

A solar storm of this magnitude would also knock out satellites, meaning no satellite phones, communications satellites or GPS.

To build the needed LPTs, we would need vast stores of high grade electrical steel and copper which can account for more than half the cost of an LPT. The US produces no more than 20% of these raw materials annually.

Most LPT’s were built between 1954 and 1978. We would need to get the manufacturer copies of the schematics. While this might seem trivial with the aid of computers and telecom equipment, it would likely further delay replacement LPT’s.

Our LPT would probably be ready to ship between 6 months and 5 years after the order was placed. But even before the MHD EMP, special transport had to be arranged to ship a 410-ton After the MHD EMP there would not be enough fuel or functioning refineries. DoD would probably have to handle transport of the LPT, but most military bases are dependent on civilian power infrastructure.

The naval vessel transporting the LPT could run into bad weather or navigation problems because weather satellites would be down and GPS navigation inoperable.

With around 2,000 LPTs in service, the USA has more LPTs in service than any other nation, which also means the US grid has more major points of vulnerability than any other nation. The combined production capability of the entire world has never exceeded 600 units/year, even at its peak over 44 years ago.

The total combined LPT production of the whole planet has not exceeded 400 LPTs/year since 1973. It would take time to ramp that production back up.

Why to Fear the Power of Solar Storms Too

Question: How long could it take to recover from EMP caused by the sun?

Answer: The type of EMP that occurs due to solar activity can cause power surges in the electrical grid, overloading it and causing physical damage. This type of EMP is known as magnetohydrodynamic EMP (MHD EMP). Magnetohydrodynamics is the study of magnetic properties in electrically conductive fluids, like the hot, electrically conducting plasma the sun is comprised of.

Solar activity such as Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) can send a mass of solar energized particles toward the earth that can arrive in as little as a day, interacting with the earth’s magnetosphere and causing a geomagnetic storm. The result can be brilliant aurorae (Northern or Southern Lights), damaged satellites, disruption of radio communications and damage to the electrical grid.

Depending on the intensity and duration of the event, a MHD EMP event could affect an area as small as an Eastern state and the grid could be back up the same day. It is also possible that a severe MHD EMP could affect the entire planet.

Studies presented to the congressional EMP Commission estimated that the USA could have its grid back up in 1.5 – 3.5 years, but I am doubtful of this number. For starters, there is no manual on how to restart the grid. It has simply never been done. The electrical grid was slowly pieced together over more than 100 years. Fixing the grid will be delayed by a bit of a chicken – egg problem.

You can’t get the grid back up without Large Power Transformers (LPT’s) and you can’t build LPT’s without electricity, transportation, food, safe drinking water, security for the workers and their families and everyone who supports each of those systems, their families and so on.

Any way you look at it, recovery from a server MHD EMP event would be a process, not an event, and a long, non-linear process full of obstacles that we could not possibly predict, at that.

To Ground or not to Ground the Faraday Cage?

Question: I have heard conflicting answers. Should I ground my Faraday cage or not?

Answer: Yes … and no.

If your Faraday cage is the size of a refrigerator or smaller and is not wired with electric outlets and a breaker box like you have in your home, then, no, do not ground it. Grounding a small Faraday cage can do more harm than good.

You could think of it in terms that the ground could act like an EMP antenna, receiving the electromagnetic energy (radio waves) of the EMP, converting into power and possibly radiating into the space you are trying to shield.

If your Faraday cage is the size of a room or building or is wired for mains electricity (AC power), then yes, it should be properly grounded.

If You Still Have Questions About EMP Survival

EMP is one of the greatest threats mankind faces and I do not want you to leave your preparations on hold for lack of information. Please ask questions in the comments below or email them to us. Speak up, reach out and remember that imperfect preparations are better than none.

This survival guide is the perfect tool to help you prepare. Click the banner below for more!

This article has been written by Cache Valley Prepper for Survivopedia. 

Coral Bleaching and the ENSO (Southern Ocean El Nino)

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This is from NOAA, so it must be held suspect until dumpster dived fully.

https://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/analyses_guidance/enso_bleaching_97-99_ag_20140507.php

It is said by a colleague that 95% of earth temperature changes can be mathematically modeled using only 2 factors.     The Pacific Ocean Decadel Oscillation, and Solar activity, aka sunspots.

In this current age of politicized science, its hard to find facts in the chaff.

No, the Russians did not “hack the election”.  

And just today, the biggest global hack ever, and it’s blamed on North Korea.    Hmmmm, first I ever heard they were great at hacking.    Easy to get sick of the same old games with dumbed down populations staring into their little electronic toys.

120 people have read this likely more scientific write-up

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283512242_Coral-based_climate_records_from_tropical_South_Atlantic_20092010_ENSO_event_in_C_and_O_isotopes_from_Porites_corals_Rocas_Atoll_Brazil

Germany and An Existential Threat

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  Some years ago some friends of ours who were homeschoolers and in the military, were sent to serve in Germany. They weren’t able to homeschool there, even as Americans on the base, and they wound up sending their kids to a local German school. Our friends commented at the time that large amounts of the German school day were devoted to the study of “Ethics”.

                  This week, I was reading an article written by a German citizen in which they cited that “Americans hate too much” and that we could use a lesson from our German friends. The author cited that through a concerted educational effort, the Germans were able to end their collective “hate for the Jews” and become a shining example to the world of openness and tolerance.   This was interesting for a number of reasons. In school we were always taught that the German people did not know of the actions of the Nazis and therefore were blameless for it.  The article I read this week said that some did, and that the grandmother of the author of the article said that “The Jews had it coming”. The gist of the article is that human beings cannot learn not to hate without an organized academic effort.

                  I disagree.  The bulk of Americans actually take each person they meet as they come.  They know that we all need one another. Many of us have different faiths, creeds and colors in our own families.  There have been great changes in the US since the nineteen-sixties and it actually didn’t take hours of ethics classes to attain this.  Yes, there are a few crazies who pedal hate, but you will find that in England, France and Germany as well.

                 My concern about including formal classes which preach total acceptance for other colors, creeds, and races, no matter what their practices are as follows.  Just now, Germany faces an existential threat.  Large numbers of Muslim refugees from a number of places in the Middle East have poured into Germany. To their credit, Germany has been very generous in aiding them and helping them to get educations, jobs and housing.  In part, this is due to the German educational system.  However, I am concerned that with all the programming provided by German schools that the German people might not recognize an existential threat. When faced with some Muslims who might advocate the ritual genital mutilation of their young daughters, the murder of their own daughters who may have shamed them in some way, and gang rape of infidels, will the Germans have enough of an ability to express dismay and reject such practices or will they simply see these practices as “another flavor of the rainbow”?     I don’t have a problem with refugees. I do have a problem with those who attempt to take over towns as Muslim enclaves, and enact their own brand of Sharia Law. I do have a problem with Muslims who hold themselves above the laws of the nation in which they now live. I have a problem with refugees who attempt to convert their neighbors to their own faith, and when this doesn’t work out for them, beheads them.  Let’s hope Germany has enough independent thinking left to restrict, jail and/or deport those who would attempt to take advantage of their decent nature.

Germany and An Existential Threat

             

  Some years ago some friends of ours who were homeschoolers and in the military, were sent to serve in Germany. They weren’t able to homeschool there, even as Americans on the base, and they wound up sending their kids to a local German school. Our friends commented at the time that large amounts of the German school day were devoted to the study of “Ethics”.

                  This week, I was reading an article written by a German citizen in which they cited that “Americans hate too much” and that we could use a lesson from our German friends. The author cited that through a concerted educational effort, the Germans were able to end their collective “hate for the Jews” and become a shining example to the world of openness and tolerance.   This was interesting for a number of reasons. In school we were always taught that the German people did not know of the actions of the Nazis and therefore were blameless for it.  The article I read this week said that some did, and that the grandmother of the author of the article said that “The Jews had it coming”. The gist of the article is that human beings cannot learn not to hate without an organized academic effort.

                  I disagree.  The bulk of Americans actually take each person they meet as they come.  They know that we all need one another. Many of us have different faiths, creeds and colors in our own families.  There have been great changes in the US since the nineteen-sixties and it actually didn’t take hours of ethics classes to attain this.  Yes, there are a few crazies who pedal hate, but you will find that in England, France and Germany as well.

                 My concern about including formal classes which preach total acceptance for other colors, creeds, and races, no matter what their practices are as follows.  Just now, Germany faces an existential threat.  Large numbers of Muslim refugees from a number of places in the Middle East have poured into Germany. To their credit, Germany has been very generous in aiding them and helping them to get educations, jobs and housing.  In part, this is due to the German educational system.  However, I am concerned that with all the programming provided by German schools that the German people might not recognize an existential threat. When faced with some Muslims who might advocate the ritual genital mutilation of their young daughters, the murder of their own daughters who may have shamed them in some way, and gang rape of infidels, will the Germans have enough of an ability to express dismay and reject such practices or will they simply see these practices as “another flavor of the rainbow”?     I don’t have a problem with refugees. I do have a problem with those who attempt to take over towns as Muslim enclaves, and enact their own brand of Sharia Law. I do have a problem with Muslims who hold themselves above the laws of the nation in which they now live. I have a problem with refugees who attempt to convert their neighbors to their own faith, and when this doesn’t work out for them, beheads them.  Let’s hope Germany has enough independent thinking left to restrict, jail and/or deport those who would attempt to take advantage of their decent nature.

Logs to Lumber: Hand-Hewn Timber the Old Way

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by Todd Walker

Logs to Lumber: Hand-Hewn Timber the Old Way - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Technology, a modern marvel, keeps our hands clean and our hearts distant from the trees which built and furnish our homes. Very few ever experience turning a log into dimensional lumber with an ax and saw. Those days are long gone except for a few holdouts, myself included. While our production rate is dwarfed by modern milling methods, resurrecting  traditional skills is worth every ounce of effort, sweat, blood, and fears.

In 1969, we left the city and moved to the country. The old house at the front of our family farm rested on massive hand hewn timbers. Crawling between the stone pillars at age 7, I still vividly remember the ax-scarred wood, a signature left by men who carved out a living homestead from trees.

It was just an old dilapidated house. But those timbers told the forgotten story of the old ways.

And, like their story, my journey to preserving lost skills continues… in the old ways.

Hewing Timber by Hand

There are three basic steps in hewing timber: scoring, juggling, and hewing. There’s no complicated gear list required to turn round logs into square timber. Here’s what you’ll need.

Tools

  • Ax(es) – Start with what you’ve got. A dedicated broad ax (hewing ax) is not required.
  • Saw – Something to cut the end of the log flat. A chainsaw is not traditional but certainly advised if you don’t have a good crosscut saw.
  • Log Dogs – Two large metal staples to secure the log in place while hewing. A 2×4 nailed/screwed to the log works as well.
  • Marking Tools – Chalk line and carpenters pencil.
  • Level – To create plumb and level lines for the layout.
  • Measuring Device – Measuring tape or ruler for layout dimensions.
  • Cant Hook – Not essential but helps when moving larger diameter logs.

Tree Selection

Tulip Poplar grows fast, straight, and uniform. However, if you’ve ever split this wood, you’ve probably noticed that the grain tends to run off in a spiral fashion to one side of the log. My experience hewing, which is limited, Tulip Poplar caused me to change directions of swinging a few times to follow the grain orientation in such a way as to cut across the grain. This prevented my ax from following the grain deep in the stock.

I’m now experimenting with pine. Whatever tree is used, green wood hews easier than seasoned. A tree with clear grain and no knots (or not many of these rascals) is desirable.

Dog the Log

The first order of business is securing the round log to prevent movement in the hewing process. You’ll need two shorter logs which the longer log will rest on perpendicular. These supports are called cribbing. Larger cribbing logs will lift the work off the ground to a more comfortable working height. Your back will thank you.

Drive one end of a log dog into the long log with the other end driven into the cribbing log. Repeat this step on the opposite end. This process is called dogging the log.

Logs to Lumber: Hand-Hewn Timber the Old Way - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

A dogged tulip poplar at my fixed camp.

My crude log dogs are two pieces of rebar which I forged in my shop. This metal is not the best as it can be brittle and break under stress while forging.

Below is our video of the tulip poplar hewn above.

Lay Out Dimensions

Cut both ends of the log perpendicular with a saw. Now you have a smooth surface to lay out the dimensions of your timber on opposite ends of the log.

Logs to Lumber: Hand-Hewn Timber the Old Way - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

A 10 x 10 inch square layout on one end of the log.

Start the lay out at the top end of the log (smallest diameter). Measure and mark the center of the log with your ruler and pencil. This may not be in the pith of the tree. Place your level on the mark and draw a plumb line down the middle of the log. Measure over from that line your desired width and make a mark. If you’re finished timber width is 10 inches, this mark would be 5 inches from the center mark. Repeat this layout on the opposite side of the center mark. Use the level to mark both of these vertical plumb lines.

For a 10 x 10 inch square timber, measure and mark from the center line up 5 inches and down 5 inches. Draw the top and bottom lines level. All four lines should be drawn to the edge of the log.

Repeat this lay out on the butt end of the log.

Snap Chalk Lines

Strip or flatten the bark off the log where your chalk line will be snapped. I use my felling ax for this step. Cut a notch or slice on the pencil line at the top edge of the log. Secure your line on the end of the log and run the line through the notch, down the length of the log, and through the other corresponding line notch at the opposite end. Secure the line and snap the chalk line.

Logs to Lumber: Hand-Hewn Timber the Old Way - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Be sure to snap the line vertically to preserve the plane laid out on the end of the log.

Snap the line by lifting and releasing the string vertically. This will create a plumb line down the length of the log. This is the plane you will follow for a squared off timber. Note: If you lift the line out away from the log, your plane will not match your layout on the end of the log.

Scoring

The pine I’m hewing now is the largest diameter (18 inches) I’ve worked. This size is large enough to stand on to score. I’ve only done two types of scoring: slash and juggling (or joggling).

Slash scoring is done by making a series of overlapping ax cuts down the length of the log. These slash cuts are angled (30-40 degrees) into the log and about 3 inches apart down the side of the log. A sharp felling ax with a 36 inch handle is what I use. The longer handle makes reaching the bottom side of the plumb line “easier.” There’s really nothing easy about hand-hewing timber.

Logs to Lumber: Hand-Hewn Timber the Old Way - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

V-notches cut to the line create jogs which are removed in the juggling process. The notches don’t have to be super clean.

The other scoring method I’ve used is juggling. Also called joggling due the joggles protruding between the V-notches down the side of the log. If the log is large enough to safely stand on, step up on the top of the log and cut notches to the line about a foot apart the entire length of the log. Make your notches about twice as wide as the depth needed to reach the line. Standing on top the log gives me a better read on making my notch vertical down the entire plane of the log.

Logs to Lumber: Hand-Hewn Timber the Old Way - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

A view from above a V-notch. The blue chalkline is faintly visible to the left.

Slash scoring, in my experience, is best when there is not a lot of wood to be removed to reach the line. With more than a couple of inches to be removed, juggling works better for me.

Juggling

You’re now ready to remove the joggles or the slashes, depending on the scoring method used. For simplicity sake, I’ll describe the method for removing joggles. Either way, this step holds the most potential for injury. The reason being, if your juggling on the ground, is that your making powerful vertical ax strokes which are not backed up in your frontal zone.

There are ways to reduce the risk of an ax in the foot. The safest way is to swing from on top of the log to remove the jogs… that’s if the you’re able to stand on top of the log. Be sure to keep your feet behind the chalkline and the swings below your feet.

Logs to Lumber: Hand-Hewn Timber the Old Way - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Jogs removed with a felling by standing on top of the log. I tend to cut too close to line. About a half-inch of wood should be left for the hewing process.

You can remove jogs while standing on the ground. With the log to your left, place your right foot forward and about two feet to the right of the log. Your left foot should be well behind your body with the left leg braced on the log.

I’ve also removed joggles by standing on the opposite of the log. This is very safe but requires that you turn the log at an angle so you can reach the joggles with your ax. This also means the log must be repositioned to plumb before hewing. On smaller diameter logs, straddling the log is an option.

I like using my felling ax to remove joggles. I’ve seen some use a broad ax to do the job. And then again, Tim at Oxbow Farm (link to his YouTube channel) has demonstrated hewing beams using his felling ax only. Do what works for you.

When the joggles are removed, there should be about a half-inch of wood proud of the chalk line. This remaining wood will be removed in the next step.

Hewing

Hewing to the line transforms a round log into square timber. The hewing swing is not a full ax stroke. It’s mostly performed through forearm movement. Hewing is best performed with a circular slicing motion on each swing regardless of the style of ax used.

Logs to Lumber: Hand-Hewn Timber the Old Way - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Reverse this stance if you have a right-hand hewing ax.

Note: The pictures shows me using my broad ax which is hung left-handed. I’ve yet to re-handle it for right-hand hewing. However, when hewing with my felling ax, I hew right-handed, which is described below.

Stand with the log to the left of your body for right handers. Place your right foot forward and away from the log with your left foot back. Brace your left leg against the log for stability. Grip the ax handle right hand forward and left to the rear. The forward hand should be close (6-8 inches) to the ax head.

The traditional broad ax handle in America was short, in the 20 inch range. Handles were steam-bent into S-shapes or dog leg patterns to help the hewer’s knuckles clear the log edge on swings. My handle is straight and causes me to bark my knuckles from time to time.

Start from the top of the log and work towards the butt end. Begin with gentle strokes on the line to separate the remaining wood. Continue to raise and lower the ax in a controlled manner as you follow this kerf to the bottom of the log.

Logs to Lumber: Hand-Hewn Timber the Old Way - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Very thin shavings can be produced using a broad ax.

Each swing should end in a slicing motion. Some of the chips removed will be as thin as potato chips. When your forearms need a break, and believe me, they’ll be screaming, standup and sight down the log edge to check for plumb. I usually notice that my bottom edges have un-hewn wood proud of the plumb line.

The process described above is repeated on the remaining three sides of the log. To hew the opposite side of the log, remove one log dog and reattach it on the hewn side of the log. Removing both dogs at once may shift the log out of plumb. With two sides are hewn flat, the timber will lay steady on the cribbing. If the cribbing is level, the remaining two sides can be hewn plumb. Adjust as needed.

Logs to Lumber: Hand-Hewn Timber the Old Way - TheSurvivalSherpa.com

The hewn surface isn’t as smooth as I’d like on the first pass with the broad ax. It needs a another pass to help smooth out the side.

My journey in the traditional skill of hand-hewn timber has just begun. I’m rewarded with useable timber, rough to experienced hewer’s standards, and a deeper connection to simple technology and the old ways.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at our Doing the Stuff Network.

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Copyright © by Survival Sherpa: In light of the recent theft of all my content by a pirate site, my sharing policy has changed. I do not permit the re-posting of entire articles from my site without express written consent by me. My content on this site may be shared in digital form (200 words or less) for non-commercial use with a link back (without no-follow attribute) to the original article crediting the author. All photos, drawings, and articles are copyrighted by and the property of Survival Sherpa. You are more than welcome to share our photos and articles on social media for educational purposes as long as you link back to the original article/photo with credit to the author.

Home Canning Tips And Lessons Learned

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Looking for home canning tips? I thought one of the best ways to discover some of the lessons learned would be to hear it straight from others who have some experience with home canning and their own trial-and-error discoveries. Recently someone on the blog wrote the following comment, “Literally, everything we’ve ever canned is in […]

Home Canning Tips And Lessons Learned

Looking for home canning tips? I thought one of the best ways to discover some of the lessons learned would be to hear it straight from others who have some experience with home canning and their own trial-and-error discoveries. Recently someone on the blog wrote the following comment, “Literally, everything we’ve ever canned is in […]

These Simple Training Techniques Will Prepare You For Emergency Hand-to-Hand Combat

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So, Guys and Gals out there in ReadyNutrition Land, why not another primer on a tool you can use to develop the combat skills?  Yes, I’m referring to the heavy bag, that large, cylindrical/tubular “punching” bag with a slew of different uses.  As the name suggests, it should be heavy.  Such weight provides resistance for the training you will follow after, and it also gives a better chance for the longevity and durability of your bag.

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Here’s What You’ll Need to Start Training

A good heavy bag, like this one, can be made out of leather or canvas.  Avoid vinyl/plastic if you can.  The reason for this is manifold: plastic is subjected to changes in temperature that do not affect the leather and canvas bags, as well as a tendency to split/develop a hole more readily.  The leather and canvas ones can develop a hole, but it’s a lot harder.  That leather lasts a long time, and the canvas is durable.  The main thing is to keep both leather or canvas clean and free of molds that can eat through them if left untreated.  Wipe them down after training, and clean up the sweat and moisture.

Secondly, invest in a good pair of bag gloves and a good pair of kicking pads for the instep of your feet.  These can be found readily in your secondhand and thrift stores.  For gloves, I prefer the ones with the small iron/metal bar sewn in around the first joint of the fingers beyond the knuckle.  If you wrap the wrists (and you should), you tuck into the bag glove and go to work.  The leather gloves (again) are the more durable.  Wraps can be purchased (Everlast is a brand), or made from strips of cotton or linen sheets about 1 ½” wide and about three to four feet long.

These wraps come with a loop for the middle finger if commercial, and ties on the other end, to wrap the knuckles and wrist, protecting from broken knuckles or fractures of the wrist by giving support.  A good bag workout should be broken down into “rounds,” such as (for starters) 1-minute rounds with 30 seconds’ rest in between.  Three of these for starters, and if you’ve never done it before, it will “smoke” you.  With time, increase the number of “rounds,” and eventually increase the time of the round.

Training for Hand-to-Hand Combat

With the bag, you can concentrate on the body dimensions of a human.  Another way to improve this is to take either plastic/electric tape (1/2” wide) and “outline” a human head on the bag, and the torso, as well.  You can use masking tape, but this will wear out faster.  Then you practice boxing your heavy-bag man.  Kicking is the same.  The pads will protect both your feet and the bag.  You don’t want to strike the bag either with your unprotected fist or foot.

Watch These Videos

Beginner Shadow Boxing

Heavy Bag for Beginners

Adavnced Heavy Bag Training

A good bag will weigh between 40-50 lbs. on average, and can be obtained for heavier.  It is also possible to “load” your bag with other materials, such as sawdust, lead, or concrete dust.  Make sure your swivel is well-attached and sturdy.  Don’t hang a swivel on the doorframe of a non-bearing partition wall.  Use an outdoor area, such as a porch or balcony, or the inside of a barn or shed.  You must mount the swivel securely and then attach that bad boy preferably with a chain/chains.  This will prevent the bag from striking back.

You can also practice your knife-fighting skills with the bag.  If you do, don’t use a real blade.  Either purchase a “rubber” training knife, or make one of your own from a piece of rubber or plastic, and wrap it up with duct tape.  You want to protect your bag at all times.  Using that edged tanto will just butcher your bag and take the smile off of the would-be samurai’s face.  Perfect your motions for improvised weapons by using the bag as a simulator.  The more realistic you make it, the more effective you’ll be in the field.

Finally, as I’ve stressed before, keep regular and accurate records of your training, so as to vary it in the future and also to chart progress.  Think as a professional and you’ll perform as one.  The heavy bag is not just a bag filled with junk: it is a valuable training tool that will give you the opportunity to learn new skills and reinforce old ones in your repertoire.  It will give you a full workout if you will approach it in this manner.  Stay in that good fight.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Review: The Fantastic EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove + Giveaway

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Fantastic EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove | Backdoor Survival

When I first got an EcoZoom Versa rocket stove back in 2011, I barely knew how to start a fire, let alone keep one going. These days, I am pretty darn good at starting fires using my own DIY fire starter plus gathered biomass and kindling. I have even been known to chop a log or two. But most of all, I have become proficient at using the EcoZoom Versa, not so much because I had to, but because it is fun to use. Yes, I know. Preppers can be strange sometimes.

A couple of weeks ago, longtime sponsor EarthEasy.com asked if I would like to review the EcoZoom Versa and to share my experience with Backdoor Survival readers. After explaining that I already owned two EcoZooms, and was a big fan, they offered one up as a giveaway. How could I refuse?

Read a review of the EcoZoom and see how it is used to prepare chicken chili from food storage. Recipe included! Plus enter the giveaway to win one for free thanks to www.eartheasy.com.

The post Review: The Fantastic EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Review: The Fantastic EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove + Giveaway

Fantastic EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove | Backdoor Survival

When I first got an EcoZoom Versa rocket stove back in 2011, I barely knew how to start a fire, let alone keep one going. These days, I am pretty darn good at starting fires using my own DIY fire starter plus gathered biomass and kindling. I have even been known to chop a log or two. But most of all, I have become proficient at using the EcoZoom Versa, not so much because I had to, but because it is fun to use. Yes, I know. Preppers can be strange sometimes.

A couple of weeks ago, longtime sponsor EarthEasy.com asked if I would like to review the EcoZoom Versa and to share my experience with Backdoor Survival readers. After explaining that I already owned two EcoZooms, and was a big fan, they offered one up as a giveaway. How could I refuse?

Read a review of the EcoZoom and see how it is used to prepare chicken chili from food storage. Recipe included! Plus enter the giveaway to win one for free thanks to www.eartheasy.com.

The post Review: The Fantastic EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove + Giveaway by Gaye Levy first appeared on Backdoor Survival.

Prepper Dating

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Prepper Dating Highlander “Survival & Tech Preps“ Audio in player below! You hear about it, we get questions about it often but yet there is no good sources for it. This show is to be dedicated to those that already prep together and for those searching for another to share in the thinking, this life style … Continue reading Prepper Dating

The post Prepper Dating appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.