Food storage is an essential part of being self-reliant. It allows us the freedom to be far less dependent on grocery stores in an emergency. Researchers believe that the average American goes to the grocery store 1.5 times per week. If there is a war, major disaster, crop […]
By: Tom Chatham As the world begins its next adventure in financial chaos and rolls over to expose its soft underbelly of lies and deceit that have been perpetrated on the public, those that see the truth have been warning the people once again. You can give people the truth but you cannot make them […]
Current Events and Bible Prophecy – Prepped & Aware!
This weekly post provides you with a select section of Current Events and Prophecy Update videos from current prophecy teachers. Be prayerful and line everything up against the Word of God.
But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near! Luke 21:28 HCSB
Disclaimer: I don’t agree with everything I post here. However, I try to keep an open mind and definitely don’t want to be like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day that had the Son of God right in front of them, but didn’t recognize Him because He didn’t come the way they thought He would come! Stay Alert!
In this week’s WW:
- John Haller’s Prophecy Update “We Interrupt This Update″ – 4/15/18
- JD Farag – Mid-East Prophecy Update – April 15, 2018
- Amir Tsarfati – A word from Amir April 16, 2018
- Jacob Prasch – This Week in Prophecy – April 13, 2018
- Calvary Melbourne Australia – TRUMP ORDERS STRIKE ON SYRIA – 4/15/18
- Jason A – This Shocking Video will Wake Up America!
John Haller’s Prophecy Update “We Interrupt This Update″ – 4/15/18
JD Farag – Mid-East Prophecy Update – April 15, 2018
Amir Tsarfati – A word from Amir April 16, 2018
Jacob Prasch – This Week in Prophecy – April 13, 2018
Calvary Melbourne Australia – TRUMP ORDERS STRIKE ON SYRIA – 4/15/18
Jason A – This Shocking Video will Wake Up America!
stock here—been meaning to write about this for quite some time, but it’s one of those things that to do it justice take hours at least.
So let’s talk about the “War On Solar”, starting with this first article.
If you have any good examples of the War On Solar, send them to me for inclusion
FOR A WHILE there, it looked like the biggest breakup since Prince Charles and Diana: The S.C. House, the most devoted of SCE&G’s many helpmates, voted by an extraordinary 64-33 Thursday to pass a bill that our embattled utility had worked tirelessly to sabotage.
But then the weekend came, and the SCE&G lobbyists turned on the charm, and one by one they wooed back their wandering representatives. And on Tuesday, the House reversed itself and voted 55-54 to kill the bill.
For an entire week leading up to the April 2011 storms and tornados that devastated parts of my town and Northern Alabama in general, the local weather forecasters gave us warnings. We were told to be ready for tornado survival because they saw the emerging weather pattern as it travelled across the country and how dangerous it […]
It is now ten years since I first published my first book “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse”.
About the same time I started with my website and adopted modern survivalism not as a hobby but a way of life. In my case it wasn’t the cold war or Y2k that got me into this. It was the economic collapse of 2001 in Argentina were I saw first-hand how things change, many of them fast, some much slower and what happens to people and the society they live in.
I guess I always had an interest in survival and preparedness but just didn’t call it that way. I’ve had a knife in my pocket from a very early age. Broke my first one when was about seven.
I found a little pocket knife in drawer and made it my own. After a few days no one seemed to notice so in my pocket it stayed. I can see now how to everyone around me it must have been a completely forgettable object, maybe something my grandfather brought from Spain during one of his trips and left it there. For me on the other hand… man! That little slipjoint pocket knife was as good as Excalibur for my young eyes.
I used it to cut everything I came across. Spent entire afternoons in the back yard, seeing what was inside everything. One day chasing after a particularly quick ant which I intended to chop with light taps of the blade the knife snapped in half. Today I understand that little knife was very hard carbon steel. Too hard and brittle to go around chopping ants with but probably perfect for years of use, used just for cutting as it was intended for.
So a knife lived in my pocket ever since. I started reading everything I could and jumped at every chance I got to be outdoors. But for me it wasn’t just that, my knife was indeed with me at all times, even in school. Some liberals may squeal at the idea, but back in the day… lets just say that if my teacher needed to cut something he just shouted out my name and I would proudly hand over whatever knife I had with me. The school itself had a .22 rifle target shooting range… next the playground. My, how the world has “moved” since then.
Back in those days a pitiful Maglite Solitaire was the best you could do for a pocket flashlight. The larger 2XAA Mini Maglite was a bit too big for pocket daily carry. The Maglite Solitare, how pathetic. Maybe 5 lumens top? About the same amount of minutes worth of runtime mind you. And the light bulb would burn itself out every few batteries worth of runtime so you had to keep spare lightbulbs around. Eventually I got a large 3xD Maglite which became my “big” light.
I still remember thinking even then: “one day technology will advance so much they’ll manage to make a flashlight that is brighter or has much better runtime. Maybe a new type of battery”. I would have been thrilled to even find a battery that gave me just one hour of good runtime in my Solitiare rather than dimming visible in front of my eyes by the minute.
And then one day reading a local gun magazine in Argentina I read about this revolutionary technology. A keychain light with a bulb that emitted a light visible two miles away, and it never needed to have its battery replaced. I guess that back in those days to have 10 hours of runtime must as well have meant a lifetime worth of light, which in some ways it was compared to the technology of the day. It emitted a blue light (LED technology wasn’t quite there yet) but who cared? For someone used to a Solitaire it might as well have been magic, better even. I convinced my folks to let me travel alone while in my early teens (a different, safer time) and went downtown to get myself one of these revolutionary flashlights directly from the importer. Since then I never stopped I guess. Then came the Tikkas, the shower of cheap Chinese (and poorly made) lights and a few years later here we are today.
What I’m saying is that I’ve always been a bit like this in one way or another, carrying certain tools, stashing food and water around the house like some lunatic, reading and learning about survivalism as much as I could.
2001 was the big wakeup call. There I got to see how a lot of what I had been doing had little practical use on a day to day basis. I kept doing the things that worked for me with the “Be prepared” mentality but also changing what needed to be changed and incorporating more skills. I had already started shooting by then but I got a lot more serious about it when crime became more of a problem and people around me got targeted, hurt or killed. I was lucky in having received realistic defensive shooting training by the time I was 15. I convinced my mother that if I got good enough grades she’d sign me up for the shooting classes this new range that had just opened in our town was offering. It was run my former military men and they had some pretty good idea of what they were doing, considering the time and place.
It has been an interesting decade so far. Now looking in retrospective, in a much safer place and living a much different life I can look back and see the road travelled so far.
Here’s ten tips, maybe the 10 most important lessons I learned:
1)Get yourself a Glock 9mm, Glock 17 or 19, and shoot it until you master it. If you can, get a carry permit and carry that same gun. Take defensive shooting classes, train as often as realistically possible and sign up for IPSC competitions to stay fast and accurate.
2)Rice and beans. Better yet rice and lentils. Buy them, stock plenty of them and learn to cook them in as many ways as possible. Its one of the best survival foods to stockpile and one of the healthiest too. Shelf life is outstanding when stored properly and bang per buck its hard to beat too.
3)Stay fit. Eat well, keep those portion size reasonable and stay as healthy as you can. Is this important for survival? You bet. Your body is your most important tool and keeping it in shape is crucial. Is this important if the end of the world never happens, if you don’t even have to suffer a serious short or long term disaster? Again, you bet. Purely talking about survival rates here nothing influences both your survival rate and quality of life as taking care of yourself, eat well, work out and basically staying as healthy as possible.
4)Stay happy/positive. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Don’t let the doom and gloom take over your life. I know of people that couldn’t keep it under control and ended up losing loved ones, ended up alone. Prepare to live, don’t live to prepare. If your life IS preparedness, then make damn sure you and the people around you are enjoying it. Besides, enjoying life is essential to preparedness itself. The sad, depressing mood is what gets most people in one way or another when times get tough. You have to be a pretty positive, cheerful SOB to survive when SHTF because there’s already too much negative to go around. When things get tough for real there’s not much to hold on to in terms of hope, but you better find it or else you’re done.
5) ‘Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.’ Neil McCauley, Heat (1995)
Besides being a great movie quote, it also happens to be the ultimate survival tip. The ability to move when you have to and the courage to do so.
You read about bugging out all the time… but who actually does it? Well, sometimes you do because of storms or other short terms disasters, but the idea of leaving everything behind and leaving your country for good freaks people out. Yet when that’s what you have to do, staying when you should be going makes all the difference in the world. Millions throughout history have escaped their countries from various disasters. The difference between being a refugee and expat or immigrant is in how well prepared you are.
I suppose for me its natural since my grandparents emigrated and my family travelled and lived in different countries too, but when shit really hits the fan, and I mean when it does BAD and everything gets splattered… yes, the ability to move. Having the resources and above all the mindset to do so.
This is one of the least favourite topics because it puts people out of their comfort zone. People know what they know, have a home with all their stuff and the idea of leaving it all behind and starting over elsewhere freaks them out. But when Venezuela happens, when east Ukraine happens, South Africa, Argentina and countless countries that have been torn by war or tyrannical governments, even natural/manmade disasters like the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Chernobyl or Katrina, bugging out and relocating is the only smart thing to do.
I like my stuff, my toys, but I do understand that stuff if just that and I can get rid of it, and just as easily get new guns and gear and various “junk” later on. Material things are easily replaceable. Loved ones not so much.
6)You don’t need a ton of gear or a ton of guns. Know what you need and keep it simple and well organized. Some folks think they are survivalists when they are actually hoarders just piling junk. Keep it simple, keep it organized and even if I often don’t follow my own advice ask yourself if you really need something before spending money on “preps”. Believe me when I tell you that in roughly 70% of the cases, you’re better off just putting that money aside for when you need it. It will be more useful than whatever you thought you desperately needed.
Learn the difference between “need” and “want”. You need a basic firearms battery for self defense. Buth that 9th pistol you bought, chances are you don’t really need it that much and falls more into the “want/like” category. And that’s just perfect, but do know the difference.
7)Savings are one of the most important preps. Cash is king and when SHTF that rainy day cushion saves the day. Cash, bank accounts and precious metals. Try keeping your eggs in a few different baskets. I find money to be, by far, the most valuable tool or physical asset people have in some of the worst situations. What if there’s a large scale disaster and you need to move to another state or another country entirely? Sure I want a nice knife if stranded on some tropical island… but what about getting fired, getting hurt or sick and needing expensive medical treatment? I know which one sounds more fun, but I also know which one is more likely to happen.
8)Make a realistic risk assessment. Be honest about it and make a contingency plan accordingly. If A happens, the what is step B, what do we do? Are you too fat? That will kill you faster than any zombie or looter, SHTF or not and probably sooner than you think. Step B should be eating healthy, working out and getting in shape ASAP. Are floods a risk in your area? Wild fires, social unrest? What do you do in that case?
9)Don’t treasure stuff, treasure the people in your life, treasure the skills and knowhow you acquire over the years and expand on it. That’s what matters the most.
10)Start with your EDC, this is your most important first line of defence, the tools you will actually have with you when you need them. Then work on your car kit, your home away from home and finally the supplies kept home so as to deal with different situations, from power outages, storms, home invaders, looters, etc. Keep in mind the basics and remember the Rule of Three (you can’t live three minutes without air, three hours of exposure, three days without water and three weeks without food).
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”
Christians in Syria can date the origins of their faith as far back as any group on the planet, and many Christians there still speak Aramaic, just like Jesus did. But since the escalated conflict in 2011, the nation’s Christian population has dropped from 30% to less than 10 percent of the populace. Many Christians are being pushed out of their homes, forced to convert to Islam or even murdered.
But westerners must understand that religious faith is a serious and significant motivation for Russian involvement in Syria. Western news agencies consider this a non-issue. Don’t be too sure. President Vladimir Putin seems to be following a course of action that caused a major conflict earlier in the 19thCentury.
An evident and historical reason for Russian involvement in the Middle East has been to protect Orthodox Christian shrines in Israel as well as Orthodox Christians that live in the region. Czar Nicholas I pursued a similar policy that led to a disastrous war between Russia, France, Turkey, and the British Empire – the Crimean War.
Nicholas triggered the Crimean War by asserting Russian authority over Christian shrines in Palestine, then part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The Turks objected to the violation of their sovereignty, and so did French Emperor Napoleon III, who wanted France’s Roman Catholic Church to control the shrines.
Eventually, the British intervened because they were afraid the Russians would conquer Turkey and establish bases on the Mediterranean. War broke out, and troops from all four powers got bogged down in trench warfare in Crimea – the same region seized from Ukraine by Vladimir Putin.
Is History Repeating Itself in Syria?
Two of the powers attacking Syrian President Bashir Assad, a Russian ally, are Britain and France. Both countries had fought Russia in the Crimean War 160 years ago. It seems as if that history might be repeating itself.
Interestingly enough, Putin is modeling himself on Czar Nicholas I, who ruled from 1825 to 1855. Like Putin, Nicholas organized a police state based on Russian nationalism and strict Orthodox Christianity. Nicholas administered a program of “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality.” Putin has expanded the police state, restored most of the power and authority of the Orthodox Church, and started flexing Russia’ s military muscle.
A key component in the Czars’ ideology was the belief that Russia was the successor state to the Greek Orthodox Byzantine Empire. Several of the Czars, including Nicholas I, Catherine the Great, and Peter the Great, believed they were ordained by God to recapture the Christian lands of the Middle East from the Moslems. Not surprisingly, the Turks did not agree, and the result was centuries of war between the Russian and Ottoman Empires.
Is Moscow the Third Rome?
A fundamental idea in Czarist Russia was that Moscow was the Third Rome, after Constantinople (Istanbul) the Byzantine capital and the original Rome. It was a city destined to be the seat of a new Orthodox Christian Empire. Putin seems to have inherited that idea and may believe that the modern Russian Federation is the current successor state to the Byzantine Empire.
A good case can be made that Putin believes he is the successor to the Czars and that he has a mandate from God to conquer the Middle East. Putin likes to appear with Czarist symbols such as the Imperial Flag, and with soldiers in Czarist, not Communist uniforms.
Is Putin trying to start a Holy War in the Middle East?
Putin has already waged two wars to reclaim Czarist territory, one in Chechnya and one in Crimea. Now he is conducting another war to make Czarist goals a reality in Syria.
Putin has also proven that he is willing to pit his forces against American troops to achieve those goals. News stories have relayed that U.S. forces killed hundreds of Russian mercenaries in Syria before the April 13 airstrikes.
That should worry everybody because it would lead to all-out war between Russia and Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia (a criticalAmerican ally). Such a war would drag in the United States, Israel, NATO, and possibly the People’s Republic of China. The People’s Liberation Army of China established a naval base in Djibouti across the Red Sea from Saudi Arabia in August 2017.
Czar Nicholas I’s Middle Eastern adventure led to a large-scale war that included naval battles in the Baltic Sea. Hopefully, Putin’s attempt to behave like a Czar will not lead to all-out war in the Middle East.
FEMA CPG1-19A Emergency Fallout Shelter Stocking Plan gives guidance to local and state preparedness officials to so that they can develop effective fallout shelter stocking plans. From 1962 to 1970 over 165,000 tons of food were placed in approximately 100,000 shelters across the country. In 1969 Congress stopped appropriating funds so the program stopped. In 1976 tests established a high probability that some of the food was rancid, and documents were circulated recommending disposing of the food but keeping the medical and sanitation kits. and restocking would become the local community responsibility.
The post Free PDF: FEMA CPG1-19A Emergency Fallout Shelter Stocking Plan appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.
By Staff writer – The Survival Place Blog
Training your body is hard work and it takes a lot of dedication, patience, blood, sweat and tears
to be successful. It’s all too easy to turn down the idea of working out or to pick up that packet of
biscuits, because the body will always favour the most comfortable option that you have in mind.
However, it’s important to keep yourself fit and healthy so that you can continue with your
training. It’s true when they say that only the fittest survive, so if you’ve gone off track a little with
your training, here’s a few tips on how to kickstart yourself again and get back where you want
Pack with protein
The whole idea of training is to bulk out and become the fittest, and in this case protein is your
best friend. Make meal plans and premake your food so that when it comes to meal time you
can cook it without being tempted to go for an easier option. Food that’s packed with protein will
help you build up the muscles that you want and also help your endurance levels too. Here are
some great ideas for meal plans that are packed with protein. Take a look and see if there’s
anything you could be doing differently.
Work out military style
It’s no secret that people in the military are among the fittest people in the world. The training
that they have to go through is intense and regular too. There is an exercise plan called Goruck
that can give you the secrets into training like the military, so why not take a look and take
advantage of these Goruck military discount codes that SGPT have to offer for their readers. It
will give you the chance to train like the professionals and also achieve your target so much
Challenge yourself to push even further
Normally in an exercise plan you give yourself a target to reach and have set days in which you
do this. Instead of making certain days where you’re training, why not force yourself to do it
more often so that you can reap the results even faster? Getting into the right mindset about
training is important too, so why not take advantage of social media groups that are made to
give people tips and tricks about how to stay on plan. You never know, you might make a friend
that will stay with you!
Do it with a buddy
Talking of friends, training is so much easier to endure if you’re doing it with someone face to
face. This works well because you can spur each other on and also pick eachother up when
either of you feels like quitting. Plus, it’s a great way to fit in time with friends at the same time
Try these four ideas to help kick start your training. Remember that results take hard work and
dedication, and that you can do this!
Originally published at The Survival Place Blog: How To Kickstart Your Training When You’ve Gone Off Track
The post How To Kickstart Your Training When You’ve Gone Off Track appeared first on The Survival Place Blog.
By Bill Heid – Off The Grid News
The lives and property of many Americas are in grave peril from new threats of historic fire danger this summer. In fact, drought is turning large areas of the country into a tinderbox.
The historic fire danger led to blazes that consumed more than 120,000 acres and forced hundreds of people to evacuate in Northwestern Oklahoma on Friday, April 13, CBS News reported.
Colorado might see one of the worst fire seasons on record this summer because of low snowpack the U.S. Forest Service warned. Low snowpack leads to dry conditions that create lots of fuel for fires.
by M. K. Matthews
The stock market has a short memory as Syria fatigue sets in and the U.S. markets rally on Monday morning. But is the volatility truly over?… Read the rest
The post Monday Market Looks Good But Is the Volatility Truly Over? appeared first on The Organic Prepper.
A big preparedness lesson from history is the summer of 1816 – the year without a summer. Apparently Spring seemed normal that year. But as the calendar progressed into summer, the temperatures & weather began rolling back. Cold temperatures and nearly permanent overcast was the new normal. The weather in North America and Europe during 1816 never turned into summer. The cold and lack of sunlight was severe. There were widespread crop failures as farmers lost crops and food shortages were severe across the northern hemisphere. One Albany newspaper reported “There have been hard frosts in every summer month, a
Original source: 1816 – Year Without A Summer – Massive Crop Failure, Food Shortages
by J.G. Martinez D.
The intention of this article will be to describe how the prices went wild, and what you could expect in a hyperinflation scenario. Perhaps softer, or … Read the rest
The post What Hyperinflation in Venezuela Really Looks Like appeared first on The Organic Prepper.
Lyme Disease Part 2
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player below!
This show picks up where we left off last week in a series on herbs and Lyme disease. We will talk more about various herbs for Lyme, as well as Lyme coinfections. Check out last week’s description (below) for more about this series.
This episode of Herbal Prepper Live part 2 of a series of shows on Lyme disease.
Frontier House Episode 6
These films are presented as an exception to the copyright act as fair dealing for the purpose of research, private study, education, parody or satire. See bill c-42 article 29.
Hello, my friend and welcome back! Old “Gunny” has passed away from complications of Pneumonia last weekend. We have lost a great American! He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Rest in…
How many of us Christians have been living our lives, feeling like we’ve got a pretty good handle on who we are, both in the physical and the spiritual? Then, all of a sudden, a situation arises that sends you to your knees, and you feel like you have been knocked off center? It can be a reminder of something from your past, an unjust accusation, or as in my case, a family secret revealed that has you questioning even the people you thought your parents were.
Whatever the case, it should be no surprise to us that the Enemy will do everything possible to stall this life of Freedom that Christ has brought us to. I have spent the last couple of weeks in a battle with my flesh, and after much spiritual introspection, I believe I have loosed the tethers that the devil used to keep my spirit tied to my flesh and this earthly realm. I hope that what I have discerned can be of value to you.
In my case, I learned that the circumstances of this life do not define who I am. Yes, in the physical sense, I am a product of my parents and all that has happened to them in their lives. But this physical identity is not my TRUE identity! Whatever lies the Enemy is using to try to tell me who I am is not how Jesus identifies me. It doesn’t matter what my parents might have done, or the mistakes I have made, or the accusations and judgments of others — that is not my real identity. The Word of God says Jesus chose me and joined me to Him before He created the foundations of the world. So He knew me before He combined my mother’s egg with my father’s sperm and knit me in the womb. And since man wasn’t formed into flesh until after the seven days of the creation of the world, it makes sense to me that Jesus knew me as a spirit. And with my rebirth into faith in Him, my spirit is now seated with Him in the Heavenly realm.
Whether you agree with me or not that Jesus knew me as spirit before I was born into this flesh, it cannot be disputed that He knows my spirit now, which is in communion with the Holy Spirit here, and with Him in Heaven. Again, whatever lies the Enemy whispers to my flesh does not change who I am in the Kingdom realm. At my very core, I am not who this world says I am!
Jesus declares [on my behalf] that I am a child of God; a Daughter of the King; a fellow heir of the Kingdom with Christ. I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him. I am chosen, holy, and blameless before God. I am God’s workmanship and I am complete in Christ. And more importantly, I am His light in this dark world. In essence, I am all the things the devil in not!!!
But what does he try to do? The Enemy tries to convince us we are a product of this world — our bloodline; our reputation; our past and present sins; the sins of our forefathers; what others think of us. We are none of those things! Our faith in Jesus has set us free from all that! Not just partially free as long as we can hang on to a sense of freedom — but wonderfully and completely free! And our spirit lives that life of freedom when we are united with the Holy Spirit. We shouldn’t use this spiritual freedom to set up a base of operations in this natural, fleshly realm. We should be living out of the spiritual realm where our new identity is. Remember, when we become joined with Christ, we are a new creation and the old order is gone. Since my flesh didn’t change when I accepted Christ as my Savior, the new “thing” created was my spirit. The old order of living through my flesh was replaced with living in my spirit.
But, oh how the devil tries to keep me earthbound! He throws up mirrors that reflect the darkness of my old self, or sound and light barriers that block God’s voice and Light to my spirit. If I am not diligent, he will try to keep my spirit restrained within this flesh, unable to be joined with Christ’s Holy Spirit and therefore subject to my human mind. Because here is what I have come to realize: The devil is afraid of us when we walk in our true spiritual identity. He wants us to think and act like a human, so he can remind us of what we were. But when we realize that our true identity is not found in these earthly circumstances, but rather, in who we are in the Kingdom realm, we shift our focus from this world and our spirit becomes engaged with Christ, and we begin to participate in His plan for our life according to the Father’s will.
The devil wants our lives to be impacted by our flesh; to keep us in this realm where he can influence our minds and hearts. But when we are walking in our true spirit identity, we are joined with Christ in His realm and the devil can’t reach us or touch us. I know this is easier said than done, because I struggle with it often, as do most humans! But I have determined that I will set this goal for myself: to engage with my spirit and to transcend this flesh, being willing and expectant of an encounter with God and Jesus. When my spirit is working with the Holy Spirit, I will not be affected by my circumstances in this world. I will be able to remain joyful, loving, patient, at peace, kind, gentle, good, faithful and my spirit will stand in strength as I wait to engage with the realm where my spirit abides with Christ. This is my hope and my desire, and I believe the desire of my Father’s heart. May it be so for you, too!
Galatians 5:17 For your flesh craves the things that offend the Holy Spirit and hinder Him from living free within you! And the Holy Spirit’s intense cravings hinder your old flesh from dominating you! So then, the two incompatible and conflicting forces within you are your [self-life of the] flesh and the new creation life of the Spirit.
Nominee: Linda Borghi
Fast Fact: In 2009, Linda spoke at the United Nations at a conference entitled “Food, Famine, and the Future of Food Technology.”
Marsha H. | Fayetteville, NC
Did you coin the phrase Farm-A-Yard?
Yes, indeed, we sure did. We even have a jingle, because every movement needs a jingle!
Can you describe the first stirrings of this movement and what inspired you and your co-founders to create it?
I was an urban farmer in the Hudson Valley of New York for 11 years. Farm-A-Yard co-founder Criss Ittermann was my designer and “fairy godmother,” and always helped me with my business. In the latter part of those 11 years, I taught live-streamed classes to five African nations and Australia, and met my first co-founder Marsha Howe when I worked with Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. At the end of my 2015 season (when I grew 300 pounds of garlic), I had to make a decision to either farm full-time or teach full-time. I picked teaching to get exponential results from my efforts. I decided to travel the East Coast in what I called the “Grow Food, Earn Money Tour,” and it took me from Orlando to Boston and back. When Marsha and I launched Farm-A-Yard online classes, it made sense to bring Criss in too.
You’ve said that the mission of the Farm-A-Yard movement is to start a food revolution by “localizing our food one yard at a time.” Can you explain the main tenets of this process?
Every one of us depends on this thin layer of soil that feeds us. But modern agriculture is stripping nutrients out of soil and trying to replace them with lab-grown chemicals while it also forces plants to grow where there are no nutrients or life in the soil. So the food we’re eating, even organic food, is more and more depleted. All because we’ve stopped growing healthy soil. Soil is the foundation of all land-bound life as we know it—which means humans, too. Why are we getting so sick? Because we aren’t really being fed.
So our first goal is teaching people to grow healthy soil. Stop letting grass pull all the nutrients out of the little bit of land that you own before you throw all those clippings away in a big plastic baggie headed straight to a garbage dump! Most people are throwing away all the nutrients in 65 million acres of lawn and using drinking water to water something they can’t even eat!
Seeds will grow if they have sun, water, and soil. But we teach people how to choose the right seeds for what they want to grow, and make sure it’s growing in healthy, rich, soil. Once you start growing—once you taste that food that you know you raised yourself—you won’t stop. Everyone will get the farming bug! Try some pea shoots for starters—10 days from plot to plate! Who can resist that?
We believe that everyone needs to take responsibility and grow a portion of the food that we are eating. Even if it is simply green garlic in the windowsill of a Manhattan apartment on the 56th floor. We need this movement for its multitude of benefits—physical, financial, and economic. There’s magic in growing our own food, and that magic ingredient is love! Put love into growing things, and you get more out of it. Cooking with love tastes better, and growing food with love has more health benefits for you and the plant, too. (Name one person on the 56th floor of a Manhattan apartment building who couldn’t use more love!) But when your broccoli comes from 2,000 miles away, there’s no love left in it.
My Farm-A-Yard team and I are connecting people with the skills and information they need to succeed in putting this magic back into their lives. This way, they can successfully grow real, nourishing food, right from the get-go. You see, It would truly bother me if anyone failed, because I know their chances of trying again are nil to none. We can change the world one plot-to-plate at a time!
Why do you feel it is so important for us to know where our food comes from?
Unfortunately, we live in a time when food can make us really sick depending on how it is grown. Our bodies require clean, better-than-organically grown, nutrient-dense food in order to function like a well-oiled machine. If our food is devoid of nutritive value, we suffer … every cell in our body suffers, and that suffering is the beginning of disease.
The more removed we are from where our food comes from, the less sure we can be of how it was grown. You can produce “organic” food that is grown in depleted soil. The seeds will grow, but they won’t have the nutritional value we really need. Organic methods don’t require taking great care of the soil—only that you abstain from using certain products. And the list of allowable methods and products that can still pass as organic grows all the time—including questionable products and methods. So we really don’t know. Meanwhile, your organic berries can come from Peru. And you may even see organic Washington state apples in stores found in New York apple country! It’s crazy! When these foods travel that distance, they lose vitality all the way to your mouth—they just don’t have the same nutritional density.
Also, due to the hardiness needed for what I call “stupidmarket” foods (yes, I coined that term as well), the species and varieties of our fruits and vegetables are more and more limited. The food has to be able to be picked before it’s ready or keep for weeks in-transit as it gets on a boat or is driven across country in a truck. These foods are not selected because they’re delicious or nutritious. They’re picked because they’re stubborn.
How can home gardens contribute to overall wellness?
Wellness has everything to do with the kind of relationship we have with food and where it comes from. Gardens open a new awareness and consciousness about the value of whole foods. The garden gives us a place and activity through which to hone a new relationship with food that is alive, accessible, and fresh. This experience invokes a deep joy and appreciation.
The foundational act of eating and the kind of food we consume on a daily basis are either our medicine or our poison. Making a decision to grow some of your own food is powerful. It benefits the body and the soul. Gardens can be places that support emotional healing and so much more. Food brings people together. It supports and nurtures healthy relationships with others, builds community connection, and can even provide new, local food entrepreneurial opportunities. Gardens are a place to learn valuable lessons from nature—for adults and especially for children—that can affect our wellness in every area of life.
Tell us about Abundant Life Farm—its start in 1988 and eventual reawakening in 2004—and your experiences with SPIN-Farming and bioenergetic practices.
Abundant Life Farm began on Old Mill Road, Block Island, Rhode Island, where I was the comptroller of the public utility Block Island Power. I farmed on a quarter of an acre, had 23 sheep, 50 chickens, a milking Jersey cow—and the only farm in the United States licensed to sell cheese to the public with a herd of only one. I invented a 5-gallon pasteurization machine to do this.
I was introduced to biodynamics in the late ‘90s when I was the first intern at The Pfeiffer Center garden in Chestnut Ridge, New York. This is the region where biodynamics came to the United States in the ‘50s. When Abundant Life Farm came back to life in Middletown, New York, in 2004, we embraced the SPIN (Small Plot INtensive)-Farming model using biodynamic practices.
When I began Farm-A-Yard, I came upon Evan Folds, the creator of bioenergetic agriculture, which uses biodynamic methods combined with other principles. Over the years, Evan and I have developed a strong relationship, and he is Farm-A-Yard’s official soil doctor. A soil test is the first step anyone who is really serious about growing nutrient-dense food would take. Visit Evan’s web page (be sure to tell him I said hi!) to get your soil amendment prescription and find out if you need a little of this or that—and don’t touch those chemicals! After all, all we need to do is grow the soil to grow healthy people, and Evan can show us how to grow healthy soil.
What are some tips for ensuring that our lawn soil is nutrient-rich and primed for crop production?
To take a page from Evan, who was studying marine biology before he studied soil—soil is a lot like an airy version of the ocean. A lot is going on under the surface when you look at it under a microscope and study it. We don’t know everything there is to know about soil. It is a miraculous and complicated system that, when healthy, delivers nutrition to plants. That may sound weird, but there are highways underground through which tiny microbes bring nutrients to plants. I kid you not! When you kill the soil, how do you replace this highways? You don’t! You fake it. You pretend. You make synthetic nutrients and give them to the plants so they grow, and the synthetics end up in the people and make them sick.
So how do you ensure your soil is primed for crop production? Compost your weeds, use worm poop, stir up some biodynamic preparations, and stay far, far away from those petrochemicals. We talk about this topic a lot on our podcast and have several hours of webinars that cover soil health. It’s difficult to put the whole process into words, which is why Evan is a guest on our podcast often!
How does the Farm-A-Yard movement encourage local food security?
NOTHING is more secure than food growing outside your kitchen door, and we need more of that. With just 100 square feet of growing space, you can shave about $700 off your stupidmarket bill a year.
And what you don’t grow may be grown by your neighbor. You can trade with friends or family. Or go to a farm market, look that farmer in the eye, and ask about the farm’s growing practices. See something you don’t recognize? Ask what it is and how to prepare it. They know!
With droughts threatening our food from California and storms threatening our food from Florida, we need to think more about local food and not be so dependent on just a few large areas of our country and imports. If everyone is growing something, canning something, and sharing something, then when the power is out, everyone can eat. When a storm comes through, people can send relief food—that’s not in a can—to their neighbors. It’s not rocket science to realize that if the food is in your yard, in your kitchen, or at your church down the street, then your food is more secure than if it has to go 2,000 miles by truck and make it from a warehouse to your market, and then you have to go to the market to pick it up.
How do your efforts stimulate entrepreneurial opportunity?
I teach how to grow food and earn money. For the home gardener, I STRONGLY suggest looking at the Seed Voyage web page. This is where the home gardener can easily turn to sell some extra produce. We want all communities to work with a venture like Seed Voyage and collaborate in the growing of food. We also have Wayne Roberts on board, teaching city planners some 30 benefits and billions of dollars of free public service by growing food everywhere. Yup … everywhere! This just makes more sense than allowing 40 million acres of turf grass—the largest cultivated crop in the nation—to use 40 percent of the drinking water on the East Coast!
In your wildest dreams, how do you see the Farm-A-Yard vision benefiting the world?
I see Farm-A-Yard being a major player in reversing the status quo of the lawn. This YouTube video says a lot. I dream of driving down residential streets called Lettuce Lane and Broccoli Boulevard. Yes, indeed.
Can you offer a specific piece of gardening, farming, or healthy living advice that would be of interest to our Grow Network community?
When we develop an intimate relationship with the soil beneath our feet, something happens. I can only describe it as joy. I would like nothing better than for everyone to feel this joy … then it will be Heaven on Earth.
This post is by Bernie Carr We talk about the shelf life of lots of things around here: food, medicines, liquor, but there is one thing we have not discussed, and that is the shelf life of ammunition. Manufacturers often indicate that properly stored ammo lasts for ten years. But in reality, that may be more of a guideline. Some may last for decades – we’ve all heard of people shooting ammunition from 40-50 years ago with no problems. Just […]
Do you have a place to go in case of an apocalyptic disaster? Most of us don’t. Now what if I told you that for a $1,000 a year, you could have a bug out location that is built to withstand doomsday, loaded with plenty of supplies, and populated by dozens of survival experts? It […]
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It’s about damn time that we begin to realize all that we’ve put out of whack in this great system we are part of. Using old hacks like planting by the signs in this modern world seems a little odd, but is it really? Our ancestors did it with great success and they left us … Read more…
It’s about damn time that we begin to realize all that we’ve put out of whack in this great system we are part of. Using old hacks like planting by the signs in this modern world seems a little odd, but is it really? Our ancestors did it with great success and they left us … Read more…