Self Defense: If You Don’t Train to Fight, You Cannot Fight.

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You played high school sports, you consider yourself athletic, you still hit the gym for some cardio and lift some weights.  Maybe you hit the punching bag hanging out in the garage too and oh by the way, that 6 month stint in Karate back in the day.  Guess what, it’s not enough.  Most trained folks would make quick work of those who are not, this of course unless you come across someone else with the same background, in which case its a bunch of wild haymaker punches and / or football tackles and headlocks.

So often in the world of preparedness we like to think of self defense in terms of using weapons, but guns (concealed carry or other) should be an absolute last resort unless in a life or death situation.  There exists a wide spectrum of possibilities where one might have to simply use some self defense techniques to tone down a situation, protect one’s self or a loved one.  Remember, lethal force is always last…solve it at another level.

This past weekend I had an unfortunate altercation with a drunk tough guy, someone who provoked and provoked while I mostly remained calm.  When I knew that the inevitable was going to happen I accepted it (I think I remarked, I’m standing right here man to the threat of “I’m going to beat your ass!) and sure enough, he bull rushed me with everything he had.  10 seconds (probably less) later, he was being choked almost unconcious, my hat never fell off, I never hit the ground and I passed him off to some folks and gathered my friend and left.  Nobody really hurt, no police called, situation resolved.

I’m not some great fighter, I’m rather subpar actually.   Combatives and such in the military and 5 years of Brazilian Jiujitsu, nothing amazing but still much more than chest thumping tough guy had.  It allowed me to assess the situation, remain completely calm and simply react to his actions via countless drills on the mat over years of training.

The reality of the situation is that most folks who actually know how to fight are NOT looking for one.  They will avoid, concede and walk away but when pressed…finish it.  You have to ask yourself, when considering your self defense arsenal are you prepared to defend yourself outside of using a firearm?  Adrenaline won’t help you, neither will being able to rep 315 on the bench 20 times when going against a practicioner of a solid martial art.  Think about it and seek out the appropriate training.  Good luck.

 

Self Defense: If You Don’t Train to Fight, You Cannot Fight.

You played high school sports, you consider yourself athletic, you still hit the gym for some cardio and lift some weights.  Maybe you hit the punching bag hanging out in the garage too and oh by the way, that 6 month stint in Karate back in the day.  Guess what, it’s not enough.  Most trained folks would make quick work of those who are not, this of course unless you come across someone else with the same background, in which case its a bunch of wild haymaker punches and / or football tackles and headlocks.

So often in the world of preparedness we like to think of self defense in terms of using weapons, but guns (concealed carry or other) should be an absolute last resort unless in a life or death situation.  There exists a wide spectrum of possibilities where one might have to simply use some self defense techniques to tone down a situation, protect one’s self or a loved one.  Remember, lethal force is always last…solve it at another level.

This past weekend I had an unfortunate altercation with a drunk tough guy, someone who provoked and provoked while I mostly remained calm.  When I knew that the inevitable was going to happen I accepted it (I think I remarked, I’m standing right here man to the threat of “I’m going to beat your ass!) and sure enough, he bull rushed me with everything he had.  10 seconds (probably less) later, he was being choked almost unconcious, my hat never fell off, I never hit the ground and I passed him off to some folks and gathered my friend and left.  Nobody really hurt, no police called, situation resolved.

I’m not some great fighter, I’m rather subpar actually.   Combatives and such in the military and 5 years of Brazilian Jiujitsu, nothing amazing but still much more than chest thumping tough guy had.  It allowed me to assess the situation, remain completely calm and simply react to his actions via countless drills on the mat over years of training.

The reality of the situation is that most folks who actually know how to fight are NOT looking for one.  They will avoid, concede and walk away but when pressed…finish it.  You have to ask yourself, when considering your self defense arsenal are you prepared to defend yourself outside of using a firearm?  Adrenaline won’t help you, neither will being able to rep 315 on the bench 20 times when going against a practicioner of a solid martial art.  Think about it and seek out the appropriate training.  Good luck.

 

The 2018 Assault Weapons Ban: Reactionary Gun Laws and How you are Left Unprotected

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Are you aware that the latest assault weapons ban has been introduced? It is not law and has not even been brought to the floor. Still, its here. Its strong. They are looking to really hammer down on the average gun owner.  What types of risks does that create for the average American. You will …

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Newly Expanded Australian Survival Forum.

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The Survival Connection.

This is a survival board on our groups forum. Many of our members joined our 18th century Living History forum because they had a strong interest in survival & prepping, so we also added The Survival Connection board.
This board is like a separate forum, it is not just for primitive gear & primitive skills, it covers anything & everything in regards to survival.

The Survival Connection Forum: http://neclhg.freeforums.net/board/18/survival-connection

South Africa votes to seize land from white farmers without compensation

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South African president Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Rodger Bosch/AFP

                                          South African president Cyril Ramaphosa

You don’t see this all over the news but you should.  It is happening and it’s very dangerous that in this day and age something like this is not only widespread practice in an entire country, spearheaded by South Africa’s president, but also not strongly condemned by every other nation in the world.

‘The time for reconciliation is over’: South Africa votes to confiscate white-owned land without compensation

The motion was brought by Julius Malema, leader of the radical Marxist opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters, and passed overwhelmingly by 241 votes to 83 against. The only parties who did not support the motion were the Democratic Alliance, Freedom Front Plus, Cope and the African Christian Democratic Party.

Malema said “The time for reconciliation is over. Now is the time for justice,”, “We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land.” http://www.news.com.au/

South Africa votes to seize land from white farmers without compensation

‘We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land’

South Africa‘s parliament has passed a motion to seize land from white farmers without paying them compensation.

Passed by an overwhelming majority of 241 votes to 83 votes against, the proposal to amend Section 25 of the constitution would allow expropriation of land without any financial recompense.

It was put forward by the radical left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party, whose leader Julius Malema told the country’s parliament: “We must ensure that we restore the dignity of our people without compensating the criminals who stole our land.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/south-africa-white-farms-land-seizure-anc-race-relations-a8234461.html

As for the news source, this is The Independent, if anything a rather liberal, left wing yet reputable news outlet.

We have been posting here about the various problems South Africa has been going through over the years. This seems like a breaking point of not only racial segregation but an openly apartheid State against non-black people.

It seems that every day we see world event some of us believed ended in the middle ages.

There are interesting times to say the least.

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”

Free PDF: An Attached Solar Greenhouse

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The designs shown in An Attached Solar Greenhouse can be owner built for under $2.50 per square foot. Most of the needed materials can be purchased at a local building supply store. The fiberglass and plastic glazing can be shipped to your home. The book, An Attached Solar Greenhouse shows how, for a small amount of money you can build a solar greenhouse attached to your home that will:   Lengthen the growing season. For instance it is possible to have fresh tomatoes from May l-January Add heat to the home. Allow certain plants to be grown all winter. Provide an area

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Free PDF: An Attached Solar Greenhouse

The designs shown in An Attached Solar Greenhouse can be owner built for under $2.50 per square foot. Most of the needed materials can be purchased at a local building supply store. The fiberglass and plastic glazing can be shipped to your home. The book, An Attached Solar Greenhouse shows how, for a small amount of money you can build a solar greenhouse attached to your home that will:   Lengthen the growing season. For instance it is possible to have fresh tomatoes from May l-January Add heat to the home. Allow certain plants to be grown all winter. Provide an area

The post Free PDF: An Attached Solar Greenhouse appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

No map? Charting a Course with only a Compass

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CHARTING A COURSE

USING A COMPASS ALONE


 [Nyerges has been teaching outdoor survival skills and preparedness since 1974. He is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Guide to Wild Foods,” and other books. He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041.]

Let’s say it’s dark, or overcast, or you’re traveling in thick woods.  You don’t have a map, but you have a compass. You’re not traveling in a straight line, but going here, going there, finding out what’s out there.

There’s a way that you can take records of your travel, and then chart a direct path back to your camp or car.  It’s not that difficult, but it does require a compass, and a pen and notebook.

Let’s say you’ve driven to a remote area in the forest and you want to explore a large area for possible camp sites. You set out at 27 degrees, and you walk for 20 minutes.  You make two columns in your notebook, and you record 27 in the degrees column, and you record 20 in the time column.

Then, you decide to change directions, and you head out at 150 degrees. You write that down in the “degrees” column.  You walk for 30 minutes before you pause, so you record 30 in the minutes column.

You continue this way for the rest of the day, always recording the degree in which you walked, and the amount of time you walked in that direction.

Now, before we get too far along, let’s review (for you beginners) how to determine what degree you are walking. With  your orienteering compass, you point the “direction of travel” arrow – which is the printed arrow on the housing of the compass — in the direction you are traveling.  So far so good?  Now, you turn the round dial until the printed arrow is directly over the north end of the needle.  OK?  That’s pretty basic compass use.  Sometimes we refer to that step as putting the dog in the house.  The printed arrow looks sorta like a dog house, and the magnetic needle (the “dog”) must be kept aligned with the “doghouse.”  As long as you keep the dog in the house, and follow your “direction of travel” arrow, you’re accurately traveling at whatever degree you’ve decided to walk in. 

Obviously, for this system to work well, you need to walk in fairly straight lines.  In fairly rugged terrain, this system might not be practical or possible.

So, let’s say you’re done exploring for the day, and your notebook contains 6 entries for degree traveled, and 6 entries for amount of time traveled.

With that information, you are now going to create a simple map to determine a straight path back to your camp or wherever you started from.

Let’s take a look at the notes  you took, in the example, and how to turn those notes into a map.

Here is an example of what your notes might look like.

DEGREE
OF TRAVEL
TIME TRAVELLED
27
20
150
30
240
20
180
20
285
30

Remember, this is just an example, and in the example, we have kept the units of time all divisible by 10 minutes.  In real life, your units of time would likely be much more diverse.

Using your notebook, or using sticks on the ground, you will turn the units of time into linear lengths. So, for example, each ten minutes of time traveled will be one inch.  It doesn’t really matter whether you make each ten minute segment represent one inch or five inches or the length of your finger or the length of your Swiss army knife – just be consistent with whatever unit of conversion you use. 

So let’s say you are going to use sticks to create a map. For your first 20 minute leg of your journey, you cut a straight stick 2 inches long (10 minutes = one inches).  Lay the stick on the ground and align it at 27 degrees, your direction of travel.

Your next leg of your journey was 30 minutes, at 150 degrees.  So you cut a stick that is

three inches long.  From the leading end of the first stick, set down your three inch long stick and align it at 150 degrees.  So far so good?  You are creating a map of your journey.

Next, you cut a two inch stick and align it at the end of the last stick at 240 degrees.

Next, cut another two inch stick and align it at 180 degrees from the end of the last stick.

Finally, you cut a stick three inches (30 minutes = 3 inches) and set it at the end of the last stick at 285 degrees.

OK? You have just created a visual map of  your journey using stick, converting time into linear lengths.  When you have completed your stick-map, you now place your compass at the end of the last stick (which represents where you stopped, and decided you wanted to go home), and point it to your starting point.  That is your direct line back to your camp.  Put the dog in the house on your compass, and simply follow the direction of travel arrow back home. 

And because you have chosen each 10 minutes of travel time to represent one inch, you can just measure your straight line back to your camp to get a good idea of how long it will take you to get home.

From my reckoning, it appears that you can now walk straight at 30 degrees, for about 35 minutes and you’ll be back in your camp!  Not bad, considering that your entire journey so far took two hours.

Now, we did not discuss the variables that come with uneven terrain.  That is, if you had a lot of uphill travel, you probably couldn’t cover as much terrain in 10 minutes as you could if the ground were flat.  So you should record these terrain changes in your notebook.  If you walked for 20 minutes, that would normally represent a two inch stick.  But if the terrain was very sharply uphill, you wouldn’t have been able to cover the same distance in the same time.  You would estimate, and probably use just a one inch stick for that leg of your journey.  You should also record any changes in the speed of your hiking, though this works best if your speed is more or less the same.

There’s a bit more to this, so please come to one of my Orienteering workshops when you can. 
See the Schedule at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com.
Also, get a copy of each of these following books:

The Green Beret’s Compass Course,” by Don Paul, 2006.  The technique described in this article was based on  his book, available from Amazon.

Be Expert with Map and Compass” by Björn Kjellströmis still one of the best overall guides to map and compass use. Available at Amazon.

 How to Survive Anywhere” by Christopher Nyerges includes a short section on navigation.

Why Preppers Have a Hard Time Building Community

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I received a good, thought-provoking comment from a reader earlier today. It really got me to thinking about building community. Rather than a quick  reply in the comments section, I felt it worthy of deeper consideration.

Here is the reader’s comment:

The most difficult aspect to me continues to be building community. I was electronically connected to local prepper groups for four years, and attended meetings over a year, mostly sitting off in a corner, before I felt comfortable enough to have a one-on-one coffee session with anyone. We’ve discussed “community” many times, but I just don’t see a “safe” way to bring in neighbors pre-disaster. I need a good plan to bring in folks almost immediately post-disaster initiation to hopefully avoid the community going bad.
Here are my thoughts:
Finding and building community is something that most preppers/survivalists agree is a good idea, but find it very difficult to do in reality. I certainly struggle with this issue, and I’ve heard from lots of others who struggle with it, too. Why is finding or building community so hard?
A large part of the reason it that we are looking at the issue in the wrong way, or at least in an incomplete way. We seem to focus on the external – Who should be in the group, who should be excluded, where to find group members, when/how to talk to them about preparedness, how can they be integrated into a group…
We largely ignore the other half of the equation, the internal. We ignore ourselves, and our own attitudes and problems. It is these internal issues that may be blocking our efforts to find/build community. It comes down to our inability or unwillingness to trust others.

Let’s face it: many of us are very independent-minded (I want to do things my way and only my way), cling to our own individuality, “compromise” is seen as a dirty word, and delegation of duties and responsibilities is difficult (what if they don’t do it “my way’). 
Most of us are not very trusting by nature, which is part of why we are preppers in the first place. After all, if we really were trusting, we would trust the government and other authorities to take care of us in an emergency. In fact, we are suspicious of others by our very nature.
A successful community requires we trust each other, but most of us are not wired to be trusting of others. Therefore, we end up looking for “perfect” group members, folks we can absolutely trust and feel extremely safe bringing into the community. Yet there are no perfect people, so we are doomed to look continuously without success.   
Perfect is the Enemy of Good
Understand that I am not advocating blindly trusting everyone and anyone. We do need to consider the character, trustworthiness, and compatibility of folks we let into our lives and community. But, if we are to be successful, at some point we have to be willing to say “This person isn’t perfect, but they are good enough.”  Hopefully, they will be willing to say the same about you. After all, you are not perfect either.    
—————–
You might like these other articles I’ve written on the topic of community:

SPRING GARDEN FESTIVAL: Gear up for gardening season

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Over the years, I have to admit, we have spent more money on gardening than we have ever reaped in an actual harvest. We don’t try to be spendy, trust me, but starting a garden from the dirt up can get expensive and buying high-quality garden gear and tools for women is one of my […]

Two Tiered Economy – The Haves and the Have Nots

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I will be curious of your opinion about this… Do you believe that there is an increasingly two tiered economy / society? The “Haves” and the “Have Nots”? If yes, are you increasingly concerned as it relates to your security and preparedness? To what extent might this two tiered society devolve and what are the impacts as we look towards the future? Has anyone seen the movie, “The Hunger Games”? Is that what we’re looking at?   The Haves Without a doubt many parts of the Tech Sector have been doing very well. Lots of that is concentrated in particularly

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You Know What’s Worse Than Smoke Alarms Going Off For No Reason In The Middle Of The Night?

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Last night at about 1:45 am, which is technically today, our interconnected house smoke alarms went off for no reason. You know, the smoke alarms where if one goes off, they all go off. Yeah, those. I make this distinction because we also have a handful of independent, battery-powered smoke alarms throughout the house and … Continue reading “You Know What’s Worse Than Smoke Alarms Going Off For No Reason In The Middle Of The Night?”

Dead Reckoning: An important navigation tool

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Dead Reckoning is a method used to determine one’s estimated present and future position. Dead Reckoning can be done during periods of darkness, bad weather, in featureless terrain (e.g., the desert, whiteout conditions) or equipment failure (e.g., dead GPS batteries.)

Economic Experts Are Warning of a Looming Financial Crisis But No One Wants to Listen

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by Daisy Luther

Recently, a lot of signs have been pointing to a financial crisis the likes of the Great Depression hurtling toward us, but no one wants to heed … Read the rest

The post Economic Experts Are Warning of a Looming Financial Crisis But No One Wants to Listen appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

How To Make Bread In A Can

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Bread provides nutrients and fills bellies. It’s been an important staple on the table for generations. If you have a few shelf-stable ingredients and a coffee can (or several smaller cans), you have everything you need to prepare bread.

Revelation = Spirit-Revealed Truths

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    I’d like to take one more try at discussing yesterday’s blog post and the idea of revelations from God. Sadly, I don’t think the Church teaches the difference between the Logos Word and the Rhema Word. Both refer to the Word of God, but with different implications. Logos is the revelation that the “Word of God” is Jesus Christ, who is the subject from Genesis to Revelation. When John 1:1 says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, we recognize that, here, the Word is specifically Jesus. And the term “Word” is Logos in the Greek.
     But Rhema is the revealed word of God, as an utterance from God to the heart of the receiver via the Holy Spirit, as in John 14:26: But when the Father sends the Spirit of Holiness, the One like me who sets you free, He will teach you all things in My name. And He will inspire you to remember every word that I’ve told you.  In this case, the term “word” is Rhema in the Greek. 

     To summarize, Logos is a theological term with a clear reference to Jesus as the Word in the Bible. Rhema is a spiritual encounter with the Word, whereby the principles of the Bible are communicated directly to the heart and spirit of the Believer. The problem is that much of the Church doesn’t recognize the Rhema Word or hunger for it. And of course, the Rhema Word must coincide with what is revealed about the Logos in the Bible. I do not believe God or Jesus will speak a word to our hearts or spirits that contradicts His Word in the Bible, but I certainly believe They have a desire to illuminate the Word to those who will receive it.
     I invite you to consider the following passage in the Bible. I think it expresses much better than I can, what I am talking about … For we did not receive the spirit of this world system but the Spirit of God, so that we might come to understand and experience all that grace has lavished upon us. And wearticulate these realities with the words imparted to us by the Spirit and not with the words taught by human wisdom. We join together Spirit-revealed truths with Spirit-revealed words.  Someone living on an entirely human level rejects the revelations of God’s Spirit, for they make no sense to him. He can’t understand the revelations of the Spirit because they are only discovered by the illumination of the Spirit. Those who live in the Spirit are able to carefully evaluate all things, and they are subject to the scrutiny of no one but God (1 Corinthians 2:12-15, The Passion Translation).
     To us in the 21st Century, this should tell us that there is a valid connection between revelation from God (Spirit-revealed truths) and the Bible (Spirit-revealed words). They are meant to work together to bring us into greater intimacy with the Father and to guide us to fulfill our purpose for the Kingdom Jesus came to establish.
     And I absolutely love what Paul tells us in this Second Chapter of 1 Corinthians. He is not shy about proclaiming his reliance on spiritual power that comes from God’s Holy Spirit. He makes it clear that the message he preached was not an attempt to sway them with persuasive arguments [to believe his particular brand of theology], but to prove to them the power of the Holy Spirit in him. We should all meditate on this statement in verse 5: For God intended that our faith not be established on man’s wisdom but by trusting in His almighty power. That means that the basis of our faith should not rest on the persuasive words of humans, but on what He reveals through His Spirit… what Paul calls “wisdom from God”, or what I refer to as God’s “revelation”.
     To bolster this idea of God’s revelation Paul says, However, there is a wisdom that we continually speak of when we are among the spiritually mature.  First of all, it should be clear to us that there is a growth process to our faith, and a wisdom that only comes from growing spiritually — not just from reading the Word or understanding its context and history; but a wisdom that comes from joining together “Spirit-revealed truths with Spirit-revealed words”, as he expressed in verse 13 above. But how many Christians even acknowledge that God’s truth can be Spirit-revealed? If they only rely on their own [or their favorite pastor’s] interpretations of the Word from their human wisdom, aren’t they denying the Spirit of God the opportunity to reveal the mysteries of God? Isn’t this what Paul is implying when he says in verse 7, “Instead, we continually speak of this wonderful wisdom that comes from God, hidden before now in a mystery”?
     Before Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live inside each of us, we were not privy to the revealed wisdom of God. We could understand a certain level according to the capacity of our human mind, but God is bigger than that! I’m going to say it one more time … we can now receive “Spirit-revealed truths” because we have the Holy Spirit in us and a greater capacity for communion with our God.
     I know that I will probably be unable to persuade anyone to see the reality of greater revelation from the Spirit. That has to come from trusting that God wants to reveal more of Himself through His Spirit. And as my husband is fond of quoting, “A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still”. And I don’t really want to convince anyone based on my own human argument. I want them to experience an encounter with the almighty power of God’s Holy Spirit and receive the revelations of God because they are illuminated by the Spirit, Himself! Just as Paul says, if we don’t live in the Spirit, then we live on the human level, and none of this will make sense. I praise God that my spirit has been able to evaluate His truth and I am subject to the scrutiny of no one but my God!
    
    

1 Corinthians 2:9    Things never discovered or heard of before, things beyond our ability to imagine—these are the many things God has in store for all His lovers.

 

is the
as in

 

How To Prepare Gardens For Spring Planting

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It’s all about how to prepare gardens today. There is nothing better than picking that first tomato, right? If you are lucky enough to have lots of land with really good soil, you rock! Where I live, which is in the desert in Southern Utah, it’s a bit trickier to grow a garden. It takes a few years to get your soil so it will give you a great harvest. I have to laugh, the last three years I have not been able to grow zucchini! You know that green stuff that anyone can produce and you are going door to door to see who can use some so you can give your excess away!

The first few years I had way too many zucchini growing and then I hit rock bottom. Yes, I planted the zucchini in different areas of my planter boxes. The soil here is rock hard clay, so I chose to purchase raised garden beds. They are 48-inches by 48-inches by 18-inches deep. You need at least 18-inches deep to grow most vegetables in raised garden beds.

prepare gardens

Prepare Gardens for Better Yields

Here’s the deal, each year you need to add nutrients to the soil. I confess I do not compost, I don’t have enough garden space to make it worth my while, so I buy organic compost. You can buy most of these products at your local big box store or a garden nursery where you live. I admire those who compost, but it’s not something I want to do under my local soil conditions and hot temps.

prepare gardens

Tools To Prepare Gardens

  1. Gloves: I try to buy them at the end of the season for the following year to get the really good ones half-price.
  2. Shovels: I always say “buy right the first time.” If you clean your garden tools before you put them away they will last forever. Plus, when you need to use them they are clean, ready to grab and take out to the yard. I have regular size shovels, square shovels, and short-handled shovels. I use the square ones for cleaning out the gutters in front of our home.
  3. Small garden tools, such as a small shovel, weed digger, a spade and claw tool. Here again, buy good ones that will last many years.
  4. Purchase non-GMO seeds and plants.
  5. Use Miracle Grow Root Starter in the holes where you are placing seedlings or plants. Trust me, this stuff works, I have used it every year in all of my gardens. Miracle Grow Root Starter or the liquid Miracle Grow Root Starter
  6. Watering can for mixing up your root starter or sprinkling your newly set seedlings.
  7. A good hose, one that doesn’t kink and has a good nozzle. That reminds me, I need to order one today. Here’s a Good Hose and a Good Hose Nozzle
  8. A pitchfork, I have a long-handled one and a short-handled one. I use these to turn the soil over and mix in the new nutrients I purchase each year.
  9. A rake to smooth and level the soil, oh my gosh, I can hardly wait to get my hands on the prepard soil in my raised beds.
  10. Tomato cages, the only place I can buy the ones I really like is at a local nursery in South Jordan, Utah called Glover Nursery located on Redwood Road. They are called Tomato Cages and last for years since they are so heavy duty. This is what they look like:

prepare gardens

My favorite items:

I start with Miracle Grow All-Purpose Garden Soil, you can’t go wrong with any Miracle Grow product. You can buy them just about anywhere like Walmart, Ace Hardware, Home Depot, etc.

Azomite Micronized Bag, 44 lb

FibreDust Coco Coir Block

Unco Industries Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer, 15-Pound

Miracle-Gro Nature’s Care Organic Bone Meal, 3 lb.

Espoma VM8 8-Quart Organic Vermiculite

If we plant and prepare gardens to feed our family, we become self-reliant and will teach our families how to survive a famine. Please be prepared with the skills you need to grow food for your family, it is a skill we must not lose. Yes, it takes practice, but the rewards are awesome! Thanks again for being prepared for the unexpected.

Copyright pictures:

Garden: AdobeStock_81068305  by hqualty

Cucumbers: AdobeStock_148720053 by Sea Wave

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Would Your Apartment Walls Stop a Bullet?

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com   A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine we shall call Jim sent me a text message he had to leave his apartment in a hurry as he heard about ten gunshots in quick succession from the apartment building behind his complex.  He thought they sounded like 9mm gunshots.  Jim lives a few blocks away from me, in a street that is dotted with large apartment complexes. He called 9-1-1 and […]

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Growing Arugula: The Rocket in Your Salad Bowl and Garden (With Recipe)

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One of my favorite things to do at the end of an exhausting and stressful day is go home, put on some comfy clothes, and pour myself a giant serving of … arugula. I know arugula might not be the most obvious choice for everyone, but those little rocket-powered leaves are exactly what my body needs to hit the reset button and transition from tough day to a relaxing evening.

Something in the peppery—but also creamy, buttery, and almost meaty—taste of those almost-impossible-not-to-grow little greens just gives me a rocket-like boost. And since “rocket” is actually the common name for arugula in the UK and France (actually, roquette in France—but that’s French for “rocket”), I suspect I am not alone in my appreciation of the power of these peppy plants.

The really great thing about growing arugula is that many of you will even be able to plant it right now for a really early spring crop of super-food-rated greens.

The Goods on Growing Arugula

Nutty Nutritiousness

If you are looking for a nutty-tasting, low-calorie snack option that offers a vitamin, mineral, and phytochemical power punch, you can eat one-third of a teaspoon of almonds at 5.4 calories. (Actually, this is probably not even the equivalent of a single almond.) Or, you can eat a cup full of arugula at only 5 calories.1)https://www.nutritionvalue.org/comparefoods.php?first=12062&second=11959

I can tell you from experience that you will feel a whole lot more satisfied eating the arugula than the caloric equivalent in almonds. Which is why arugula is a great option if you are trying to cut calories and simultaneously increase your energy levels. Arugula is high in fiber and water content, both of which contribute to your satisfaction level when eating it.

Like mustard greens (our Green of the Month for January), arugula is high in calcium and in vitamins A and K. In addition, arugula has lots of glucosinolates, which may help protect against cancer.2)https://guidedoc.com/arugula-health-benefits-superfood-cancer-prevention

Read More: “Mustard Greens: What You Need to Know Before You Grow (With Recipe)”

Like spinach, arugula also has high levels of iron. Calorie for calorie, arugula has more iron than beef … by a long shot. Just 25 calories of arugula will get you 8% of your daily iron intake. Meanwhile, you’d need to eat about 160 calories of grass-fed ground beef to get that same quantity of iron.3)http://superfoodprofiles.com/arugula-health-benefits

Just in case you are not totally convinced: In terms of calories consumed, arugula also contains high levels of folate, B vitamins, and trace minerals like magnesium, manganese, potassium, and chlorophyll (which is believed to be a good blood cleanser).

Delicious

Now for the best part. Arugula tastes amazing. It is so darn delicious that I am constantly snapping off leaves in the garden to pop in my mouth. And, as with potato chips, once you start you just can’t stop.

Arugula can spice up almost any meal. It can be used as a stand-alone salad with just a splash of oil, vinegar, and salt. You can mix it with other greens to make a mesclun salad. It is incredible wilted on top of omelets or pizzas, or made into a pesto and served over pasta or on crusty bread with mozzarella. You can even puree it and add it to smoothies, toss it in soups, and so much more.

Easy to Grow

Arugula is one of the easiest cool-weather crops you can grow. And if you don’t mind it being a little spicy and stemmy, you can even grow it all summer long. Giving it a little mid-summer shade will help extend your arugula season.

The wild variety of arugula, in fact, grows like a weed. You can grow arugula as an annual in the garden or as a self-seeding, short-lived perennial in your edible landscape. It’s even great for growing in containers. The plant is mature in about 40 days, but you can also cut baby greens earlier.

If you like great-tasting, low-calorie, high-nutrient-density greens that are as easy to grow as it gets, then arugula is for you!

Recipe

In case you need more convincing that you need arugula in your garden this year, then get yourself a box of it from the grocery store now and make your own homemade arugula pesto to spread on bread, toss with pasta, or use to dress up your chicken breast.

Easy Arugula Pesto Recipe

  • 2 c. arugula, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (or a tablespoon if you are a garlic junky like me)
  • ¼ c. finely grated Parmesan or other hard cheese
  • ¼ c. olive oil for thick, spreadable pesto, or ½ c. olive oil for saucy pesto
  • 2 T. chopped nuts (Pine nuts are expensive and don’t grow well in my region. I use almonds, pecans, or even sunflower seeds in my pesto.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Put all this stuff in a bowl and mix. Serve or refrigerate. (See, I told you it was easy!)

If you have a food processor, you can skip all that pre-chopping. Instead, throw your chunks of Parmesan, whole nuts, and garlic cloves into your food processor and pulse until they are finely crumbled. After that, toss in your arugula and pulse 2 or 3 times until the arugula is chopped. Finally, stir in your olive oil and salt and pepper.

Seriously, the hardest part about this recipe is waiting to sample some!

A Few Cautionary Things to Know About Growing Arugula

Now, in my opinion, there’s no downside to growing arugula. But, there are a few things you may want to be aware of before you plant.

It’s a Cole Crop

Even though most of us think of arugula as a lettuce, for the purposes of crop rotation, it’s actually a cole crop like cabbage. Avoid planting it after other brassicas like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, etc.

Self Spreads

Since we grow most of our food at home, arugula gets bonus points for its eagerness to spread itself around my yard. If it shows up somewhere that I don’t want it to grow, I just dig it up and move it somewhere else. But if you are one of those meticulous gardeners who hates to deal with unwanted plant volunteers, then make sure you do not let this plant flower (even though the flowers are great for pollinators, as well as being edible and delicious).

Short Shelf Life

Unlike many of the other cole crops—such as cabbage, which can keep for weeks, months, or even years (as sauerkraut)—arugula is best consumed fresh or, if kept in the fridge, within a couple of days after being harvested.

Flea Beetle Favorite

As the weather warms, my arugula leaves often have tiny little holes in them that evidence the fact that I am not alone in my love for this stuff. Flea beetles seem to munch on it almost as much as I do. Since the minuscule portions those pests eat seem to have no effect on the production of the plants, and since I’m an organic gardener, I just resign myself to share. But if it bothers you, you can use whatever organic pest-control method you use on your other cole crops to discourage flea beetles.

By now, I’m hoping that your mouth is watering and your inner gardener is begging you to grow some arugula. So let’s dig into the details of how to plant.

Growing Arugula

Soil Preparation

Like most cole crops, arugula likes well-prepared garden soil with a pH of 6.2 to 6.8. But, it will grow in less-than-ideal conditions, too. Just throw an inch or 2 of compost on your existing garden bed or row, water well, and get ready to plant.

If you are brand new to gardening and need some ideas for how to prepare your beds, check out this post.

Read More: “The Easiest Way to Prepare a Garden Bed”

Seed Starting

You can start arugula indoors under grow lights if you want to. But in my experience, it really does best direct planted. I just scatter the seeds on my soil, then cover them with about a quarter inch of compost and water. Seed guides say it takes 5-7 days for germination, but I usually see my little seedlings popping up in about 3-4 days.

If you like a more uniform appearance, you can also use your finger to make a little trench row to plant in. Make your finger rows about 3 inches apart and plant seeds the whole way down. Then push just a bit of soil back over the seeds.

Arugula will germinate best in soil temperatures of 40-55ºFKeep surface soil moist until plants have several true leaves.

Young Plant Care

Arugula will grow with almost no care so long as you get a little rain each week. However,  you will get the biggest yields with regular watering. Annual arugula has fairly shallow roots, so watering deeply on a weekly basis and shallowly every couple of days will help maintain consistent moisture in the root zone.

Also, if you live in an area that has big temperature fluctuations (like 40ºF one day and 75ºF the next), the best way to keep your arugula from bolting is to mulch around your plants and keep them consistently watered with cool water.

Mature Plant Care

Arugula is ready in about 40 days and can be used as a come-and-cut crop for a couple of months. But since it is quick to bolt and can get stemmy and extra peppery as it ages, rather than worry about long-term mature plant care, think about next-round seed starting. Arugula is one of those plants you want to start often. Some people plant more arugula once a week, but personally, I go for about once every 3 weeks.

Because arugula is so fast-growing, I tend to use it almost like a cover crop in my beds that will be primarily used for warm-weather crops. But you can also add more compost to your existing beds and sow in the spaces between your mature plants.

Harvesting

I like to start picking baby greens when the plants are about 2-3 weeks old. I’ll just take one or two leaves from each plant to snack on as I do my gardening chores.

Once the plants are growing well and have leaves that are about 3 inches in length, you can harvest about one-third of the plant about once a week. Trim off the larger, older leaves first.

If you want to eat arugula every day, then mentally divide your arugula patch into seven sections based on days of the week. For example, harvest your Monday section only on Monday, your Tuesday section only on Tuesday, etc.

If you are planting continuously, as your first plants begin to exhaust, you can start cutting from your next round.

Varieties of Arugula

There are two basic varieties of arugula to choose from—wild and common.

Wild arugula has smaller leaves and tends to be more flavorful. However, it is also more stemmy and is harder to harvest. It grows a bit slower than common arugula.

You can generally find two different kinds of wild arugula seeds for sale:

  • Diplotaxis tenuifolia, often referred to as wild rocket or Sylvetta, has yellow flowers and can be grown as a short-lived perennial in some areas.
  • Diplotaxis erucoides, also called wild arugula or wasabi arugula, is an annual with white flowers.

There is also a variety called Diplotaxis muralis, or wall rocket, that grows wild in poor-quality, disturbed soils. You probably don’t want to plant this one in your vegetable garden. But sometimes seed sellers will also refer to Diplotaxis tenuifolia as wall rocket. So, make sure you are checking Latin names on seed packets to get the variety you really want.

Common arugula, Eruca sativa, has much larger leaves and a milder taste than wild arugula. It is slower to bolt in the heat. It also grows faster and produces more leaves per plant than wild varieties. The flowers are white.

For heavy, consistent, and easy-to-harvest leaf production, choose common arugula. For effortless growing, spectacular taste, but more work on the harvesting end, choose wild arugula.

For either variety, you can find improved versions from different seed retailers that may have been selected over time for different flavor profiles and growth habits. So, feel free to try seeds from different distributors and then save your own seeds from your favorite plants.

Unconventional Growing Tips for Adventure Gardeners

Since I am a total arugula addict and really want to eat it year-round, I discovered a trick for germinating arugula outdoors, even in mid-summer. I interplant my arugula with buckwheat. The buckwheat comes up quickly, providing some shade and a bit of a microclimate for the arugula. I don’t know if this will work in extreme heat, but it has worked for me in 80-90ºF temperatures as long as I keep my buckwheat/arugula patch well watered.

When grown late in the season, the arugula will bolt and flower more quickly.

I usually only get a couple of cuttings before the plant sends up flower shoots. At that point, I just let it. Mixed in with the buckwheat flowers, it makes for great pollinator food. (In the photo above, you can see arugula growing alongside my lamb’s quarters—another great green that grows well wild and even better in your garden! I think the combination makes for a really pretty pollinator plot.)

I hope you let this wonderful little rocket plant take flight in your garden and on your plate this year!

We’d also love to hear your ideas and suggestions for using and growing arugula. Please leave us a line in the comments section below.

 

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References   [ + ]

1. https://www.nutritionvalue.org/comparefoods.php?first=12062&second=11959
2. https://guidedoc.com/arugula-health-benefits-superfood-cancer-prevention
3. http://superfoodprofiles.com/arugula-health-benefits

The post Growing Arugula: The Rocket in Your Salad Bowl and Garden (With Recipe) appeared first on The Grow Network.

Making A Proper Campfire In The Wild – 10 Campfire Designs To Build

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When you get stranded in the wild, nothing boosts your moral better than being able to build a campfire and a shelter. While improvising a shelter can be rather easy if you have the proper resources, things can get complicated when building a campfire. Starting a fire it’s easy, but building a proper campfire to … Read more…

The post Making A Proper Campfire In The Wild – 10 Campfire Designs To Build was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.