Top 10 Ways to Use A Tarp

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There are various situations in which you might require a tarp as it can be very useful and there are numerous survival uses for it. It is adaptable to fit most of your outdoor needs. It can be like a good friend that you can always depend on. Now most houses do have at least …

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Emergency Preparedness Master Checklists

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I posed a question in our Facebook Group the other day asking for people to share ideas on what should be on a master emergency preparedness checklist or calculator. We got a TON of great responses! I categorized everything, added a bunch of my own ideas, and came up with a rough draft. I wanted to share it with you all before I make it into a final formalized document to send out to our newsletter subscribers.

Please download the list and leave a comment with any items you think should be added to the list. The more people help, the better a resources it will be for everyone. Thank you to everyone for being such amazing readers and contributors to our community. I hope you will join us in our Facebook Group for more great ideas like this!

Click here or on the image below to download the rough draft.

The post Emergency Preparedness Master Checklists appeared first on Food Storage Made Easy.

Glock Talk: Of Magazine Extensions, CCW and Glock ‘Generations’

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A couple of comments to the last Free Form Friday were worth replying to and it seemed to fit more as a post then a comment.

So here we go:

I actually happen to have some experience with the Glock 26. Having buddys who will loan you a gun for awhile to check it out is a pretty cool thing.

-Magazine extensions. I am pretty negative about these. For a concealment angle they make the gun print more. Yes they hold more bullets. Probably a bigger issue in single stack guns than the double stack baby Glocks. At 10+1 they are in a reasonable decent capacity group already. Also if an additional half inch or so of grip will be easily concealed I would probably be carrying my trusty Glock 19.

‘It gives you something to rest your pinky on’. If you are going to get into the subcompact range of handguns you have to get used to a pinky finger floating. It isn’t needed for accuracy. The benefit for recoil management is negligible in the cartridges (usually .38 special, .380 and 9mm) typically used for these subcompact CCW type guns.

Personally I might have a couple of magazines with an extension on them but would likely keep 3/4 of my G26 mags in their standard configuration. Since I would likely just carry a larger handgun if a larger grip would work in a situation I am inclined to carry a G26 with a flat bottomed mag.

-“Just carry a Glock 19 all the time.” Somewhere around half the time I carry a G 19 but that doesn’t work for the other half. It doesn’t fit with clothing I will be wearing and or non permissive environments where it is socially and/ or legally not acceptable to have a handgun printing all over the place.

In this area I own the Ruger lcp. I probably messed up getting it because its so convenient and not optimal. Buying it lead to using it a lot. If I had it to do over I should have bought something in the beefier end of the subcompact arena first.

Clothing and social/ legal situations as well as a perceived threat dictate which guns will fit. So to some degree it does depend on your own unique situation. I won’t strait call everyone who says they EDC a Glock 19 a liar. Some are certainly telling the truth. Some others carry a Glock 19 when they carry but they don’t carry that much. Carrying a Glock 100% of the time that you CC an average of 60 days a year isn’t the same thing as carrying one every day.

Other folks are strait bullshitting. Several years ago I heard an anecdote that “If anyone says they carry a 1911 every day ask to see it, right now. Almost without exception there will be a bullshit excuse about why their 1911 is in the truck or their nightstand. They are either carrying a little .380/.38 or nothing.” In fairness to 1911 guys the same can be said of other full sized pistols.

It is worth noting that concealed carry isn’t a binary thing, more of a range of grey. If on one side you have a gun that is covered (lets call that 1) but blatantly obvious and on the other you have one that is truly concealed such that it would escape a watchful eye (lets call that 10). The guy who says “Of course you can carry a full sized/ compact handgun every day, I wear it under a t shirt” is leaning pretty hard towards the ‘covered’ side of things. Me wearing the same t shirt with a subcompact handgun is leaning more towards the truly concealed side. So in many cases people are talking apples and oranges in terms of concealed carry.

-Of Glock Generations

Sticking to a generation for parts compatibility makes sense especially if you plan to have a few though I’m not super worried about it.

I am currently a Gen 3 guy. Honestly I sat out Gen 4 because it didn’t really change anything useful for me. Gen 5 on the other hand has some nice features and the redesigned barrel could be handy. After they get the bugs worked out in them I will likely buy a pair of them. At this point my trusty Gen 3 Glock will get a good cleaning then take the deep sleep in a cache somewhere.

So those are my thoughts on that.

 

How to Avoid Toxins and Radiation In Your Food — Grow it Yourself!

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Status of “interior garden”, there are many growing areas not shown in this set of pictures.

I am using a pro-grade weed mat this year, they say 20 year life, be really pleased to get 3 years.

And a ton of stuff in the old greenhouse.   New 250% larger greenhouse needs a concrete slab and about 3 days of assembly and some structural beef up.     Might end up being a fall project, LOL. 

Quote of the Day: Rifle Lubrication

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Shot my first 3 gun match recently. Our group was mostly Army guys (a mix of active and retired guys) with a couple other dudes. One of the other guys said something about the lubrication of my rifle. It was pretty well lubed. Not dripping but there was a good heavy coat of oil on it.

Co Worker “Well you don’t have to do some heavy desert style lube job.”

Me “I always lube my rifle this way, and it works….” (The kid who had criticized my lube job was having issues with his AR)

Co Worker- Laughter

Seriously the DI AR platform runs like crazy when it is lubricated. It can be pretty darn dirty and if there is still a good coat of lube it will run just fine. Not all malfunctions with the AR platform come from a lack of lubrication but a lack of lubrication is usually present during said malfunctions. To quote John Mosby “Its like a woman, the wetter the better.”

Free PDF: Hydraulic Tables

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The full title for today’s document is Hydraulic Tables, Coefficients, and Formula for Finding the Discharge of Water from Orifices, Notches, Weirs, Pipes, and Rivers.  It was written by Civil Engineer John Neville. This is the third edition and has additional material consisting of formula for the discharge form tidal and flood sluices and siphons; general information on rainfall, catchment basins, drainage, sewerage, water supply for towns, and mill power.That is a lot of material for the DIY Homesteader, the prepper, or the civil engineer.  Much of this is still useful to a landowner trying to deal with water issues

The post Free PDF: Hydraulic Tables appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Guatemala Volcano kills over 60 people: Why you should prepare too even if you dont have one nearby.

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Man, you go years without one and then all of a sudden you have Hawaii and now Guatemala in just a few days.

This is what you do if you prepare as you should folks. Serious risk assessment. Got a volcano nearby? You have to prepare for it. You DONT have one nearby? Doesnt matter! Even if hundreds or even thousands of miles away a volcano can affect your land, poison your water, kill your crops and cattle and just create havoc in the are affected by the ash plume.

Check out the ash plume caused by Chaitén volcano in 2008 in Chile. That’s Argentina to the right, all the way to the Atlantic coast.

Volcanic ash streams out in an elongated fan shape as it is dispersed into the atmosphere.

Have a contingency plan, your vehicle kit ready, a bug out location that isnt downwind from your residence and quality respirators for each family member.

Check out some of the lessons from the Calbuco Volcano Eruption.

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”

9 Ways to Store Meat Without Refrigeration

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Whether you’re preparing for an emergency or trying to live off the grid, you’re probably storing a lot of food without a refrigerator. Some foods are easy to store without refrigeration–rice, beans, pasta, sugar, and so forth. These foods will last for years at room temperature. But what about those of us who like to …

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Gun Control Latest “Prescription” From American Medical Association Doctors

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gun control

Many AMA doctors don’t believe you should be able to own a gun and support stricter gun control laws.

The American Medical Association (AMA), the nation’s largest physicians group, wants to prescribe gun control as an answer for America’s problems. The AMA’s prescriptions include a ban on semiautomatic weapons and mandatory background checks.

“Gun violence in America today is a public health crisis, one that requires a comprehensive and far-reaching solution,” AMA president Dr. David O. Barbe said. AMA members will vote on a number of gun-control measures at their annual House of Delegates meeting Chicago, Forbes reported. The Delegates are scheduled to meet in Chicago on June 9 through 13.

The AMA’s Gun Control Prescriptions may include:

  • Require background checks for all gun sales and transfers – including individual sales of used weapons.
  • A ban on all semiautomatic weapons. AMA delegates will vote on a measure that would make it a crime for a person to sell a used semiautomatic rifle. The same measure would make it a crime to manufacture semiautomatic weapons.
  • The criminalization of high-capacity ammunition magazines. The AMA does not say what a high-capacity magazine but it wants to make it a crime to sell a used clip.
  • A ban on the sale of a “bump stock” or any other device that can convert a firearm to fully automatic fire.
  • Increasing the legal age for the purchase of firearms from 18 to 21. If the AMA gets its way an 18-year-old will be able to join the Army and fire heavy artillery but not buy a hunting rifle.

Disturbingly these are just the measures published in press releases. Other more radical gun control measures are very likely on the agenda for the House of Delegates.

Fortunately, the AMA cannot make these proposals law but the sponsors of these measures want the organization to lobby Congress and state legislatures to make them law. The AMA may also campaign for gun control in the November mid-term elections.

The American Medical Association generated $347.6 million in revenues in 2017 and employed 1,033 people, according to the AMA annual report. The AMA had around $583.8 million in investments in reserves and $48 million in the bank in 2017 so it has a lot of money for lobbying.

As odd as it sounds, Gun owners might find their Second Amendment rights threatened by their family doctors. It is not clear how many doctors belong to the AMA because the organization does not print membership figures in its annual report.

The post Gun Control Latest “Prescription” From American Medical Association Doctors appeared first on Off The Grid News.

Growing Oyster Mushrooms

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Matt Heidrich with some of his home-grown oyster mushrooms 
Matt Heidrich is a man who loves oyster mushrooms.  He enjoys them so much that he has learned the intricate art of home cultivation.  I didn’t know what to expect when I visited him in his Highland Park home, but I certainly got a full tutorial.
Oyster mushrooms are a variety of mushroom that grows on old and dying trees throughout the nation.  They grow from the sides of trees with their gills that slope down to meet the stem.  The caps range from cream to dark brown. They are one of the simplest mushrooms to cultivate, and enjoyed by mushroom enthusiasts and foodies alike.  I always assumed they were called oyster mushrooms because the flavor (to me) is very much like oysters, though some say the name derived from the shape of the mushroom’s cap being similar to an oyster shell.
A child of Army parents, Heidrich spent his childhood in Indiana, and it was there that he first found and harvested some of another wild mushroom in the woods – the popular and colorful chicken-of-the-woods. 
In 2015 at Los Angeles’ eclectic EcoVillage, he attended a workshop led by Peter McCoy where he was introduced to the lifestyle of fungi. The workshop included the details for cultivating the oyster mushroom, and Heidrich was hooked.  Over the last several years, he has refined and perfected his technique for producing oyster mushrooms in his home. 
When I first visited Heidrich, I was given a tour of his small backyard, where he grows numerous herbs and vegetables in small upraised beds.  In one corner was a small compost pile covered with black plastic, which he uses mostly for the old medium of which his mushrooms grow.  He pulled up a corner to show me that oyster mushrooms abundantly grew from his little compost pile, the unexpected result from the leftovers of his cultivation.  He picked a few of the good ones for his meal later in the day.
Next, we went indoors for the tutorial.  It was quickly evident that growing oyster mushrooms were important to Heidrich, because it appeared that major portions of at least two rooms in his home were devoted to the various stages of oyster mushroom cultivation. 
We began by looking at some of the good textbooks that are available on the subject. Two of the best current books on mushroom cultivation are “Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms” by Paul Stamets, and “The Mushroom Cultivator” by Stamets and Chilton.   “Radical Mycology” by Peter McCoy and “Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation” by Trad Cotter are also very useful.  And for those who want to buy starter kits, Stamets’ company, called FungiPerfecti, provides supplies for beginner and expert alike.
There are many ways to cultivate mushrooms.   Understanding the difference between “spores” and “spawn” is key.  Spores are genetically diverse “seeds” that rain down from the gills of the mushroom.  The novice grower will not use spores, but spawn, which is genetically identical to the parent mushroom.  Most home growers use liquid culture spawn and grain spawn.  Liquid culture is simply mushrooms grown in sugar water.  Grain spawn is mushrooms grown on grain.  Heidrich cultivates his liquid culture using simple sugars purchased from the local homebrew shop.  (In fact, homebrewing and mushroom growing go hand in hand.)  For grain spawn, he uses organic wheat berries bought in bulk on Amazon.  The goals of these methods is to give the mycelium (the mushroom body) the nutrients it needs to form robust fruiting bodies (“fruiting bodies” are what most of us simply call mushrooms).  Liquid culture and grain spawn are readily available on Ebay or from mushroom websites.  The simplest way to begin cultivating is to buy liquid culture online and expand it at home in modified Mason jars.  But cleanliness is key.  
Heidrich created his own sterile environment with a 5 gallon clear Rubbermaid tub, onto which he has added two hole where his hands can enter with gloves.  Into this box, after has disinfected it with alcohol, he adds the starter medium, and several Mason jars of wheat berries which will be inoculated with the liquid starter medium. 

He carefully closes the lid of the box, and once everything needed is inside the box, he dons his gloves and his hands enter the box.  The lid of each jar has had two holes drill into it: one hole is stuffed with cotton for aeration, and the other is filled with high temperature RTV engine silicone.  With a hypodermic needle, he first sucks a measured amount of the liquid out of the starter medium, by pushing the needle through the silicone cover, and then he injects a measured amount into each jar of the wheat berries, again, by pushing the needle through the silicon layer.
This is all done very carefully, almost like a careful dance as Heidrich maneuvers into the limited space. But all this is necessary, otherwise the invisible contaminants in the air and environment which will infect the batch of mushrooms.
When done, Heidrich places these inoculated bottles of wheat berries onto a rack with an LED light to assist in stimulating the grown of the spawn. Temperature requirements vary depending on the oyster variety.  For example, there are blue oysters which prefer a cooler temperature, while the pink and phoenix oysters enjoy temperatures up into the 80s and 90s.

After a few weeks, if all went well, the bottles of wheat berries are covered in a white cob-webby material, which is the mycelium which will produce the mushrooms.
Heidrich took such a bottle to show me how he sets up the final stage of cultivation, which can take place in a plastic bag or bucket.  Today he demonstrated in a plastic bag.
Into the approximately gallon-sized plastic bag, he placed a layer of soaked cardboard.  (I had noted earlier that he had a few containers of old cardboard in his back yard, and this is what he uses to grow his mushrooms.). 
“Remember, these mushrooms like to grow on wood, and isn’t that what the cardboard came from?” smiles Heidrich.  He presses a layer of cardboard into the bag, and then adds a layer of used coffee grounds, a free recyclable material from a local coffee house.  Then he added about 5 tablespoons of the wheat berries covered in spawn. Then he added more cardboard, coffee grounds, and more spawn. He continues this way for several layers until the bag is full.  On his last, upper-most layer, he adds only spawn, then cardboard, then spawn.  Heidrich explains that the coffee grounds are most susceptible to infection, and by having no coffee grounds at the top where it is exposed, there is less chance of infection.
Once this is sealed, Heidrich punches a few holes into the bag so that each hole enters the bag at the cardboard.  Once the mushrooms get growing, they will grow out of the holes where they can be easily harvested.  This bag is again put on the shelf with the LED light, and allowed to sit until the mushrooms start to grow.
It all seems like a very mysterious process, but Heidrich is merely controlling in a scientific manner that which occurs naturally in the forest.
Heidrich’s favorite method of preparation is to sautee the mushrooms with his meals.
“How do you preserve the surplus?” I asked him, innocently enough.
“I eat them as quickly as I grow them,” he said smiling.  “There’s never a surplus!” 
Wow! He loves his mushrooms.  Nevertheless, if growers have a surplus, they can be frozen or dehydrated, and dehydration seems to be the preferable choice.
Heidrich has done some wild mushroom hunting on his own, but found that it was less than fruitful.  After all, wild mushrooms arise based on many factors, such as rain, weather, time of year, association of certain trees, humidity, and other factors.  Heidrich did find some turkey tail mushrooms, but generally prefers to grow his own oyster mushrooms. 
He’s not a vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic enthusiast, or a food faddist of any sort. “Yes, I eat meat,” with a smile that barely concealed a bit a guilt.  He’s a man who loves one of nature’s finest foods, and he’s found a way to have a constantly supply at home.
Heidrich does offer occasional workshops where he takes participants through the various steps involved.  His workshop participants walk home with an instruction sheet, and a bag of spawn to grow at home. For more information, he can be reached at mattheidrich@gmail.com

 [Nyerges continues to teach classes in self-reliance and survival. Go to www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com for the Schedule]

Christopher’s latest book: Foraging Idaho

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IMG_2211Some of you are aware that besides teaching classes, I have written several books. About 5 years ago, I started working for the Falcon Guides, and my latest is FORAGING IDAHO. It’s a great book, all color photos, and lots of information about Idaho and surrounding states. The book covers ferns to trees, roots to fruits, and the many introduced non-native plants. I had a lot of help with this book from some excellent botanists, and many excellent photographers.

Even actor Ed Begley Jr. wrote about the book: “Christopher Nyerges has been showing me how to forage for over 25 years, and now he brings that wisdom to a state I know and love — Idaho! This is a must-have for those interested in the bounty and wisdom of the land, wherever you live.”

I also wrote Foraging Oregon, and Foraging Washington, for the folks who live in the Pacific Northwest.

Closer to home, I wrote Foraging California, and Nuts and Berries of California.

There are other books too — you can see them on my web site: Guide to Wild foods and Useful Plants, Foraging Edible Wild Plants of North America, Extreme Simplicity, Self-Sufficient Home, How to Survive Anywhere, and others.

FORAGING IDAHO isn’t on my web site yet, but if you want to buy direct from me, you can send me a note and we’ll get one to you. Or just buy any of these books from Amazon. You won’t get an autograph if you buy from Amazon, but you’ll get it cheaper.

Raising Oyster Mushrooms in the Kitchen

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GROWING OYSTER MUSHROOMSIMG_1849Matt Heidrich is a man who loves oyster mushrooms. He enjoys them so much that he has learned the intricate art of home cultivation. I didn’t know what to expect when I visited him in his Highland Park home, but I certainly got a full tutorial.

Oyster mushrooms are a variety of mushroom that grows on old and dying trees throughout the nation. They grow from the sides of trees with their gills that slope down to meet the stem. The caps range from cream to dark brown. They are one of the simplest mushrooms to cultivate, and enjoyed by mushroom enthusiasts and foodies alike. I always assumed they were called oyster mushrooms because the flavor (to me) is very much like oysters, though some say the name derived from the shape of the mushroom’s cap being similar to an oyster shell.

A child of Army parents, Heidrich spent his childhood in Indiana, and it was there that he first found and harvested some of another wild mushroom in the woods – the popular and colorful chicken-of-the-woods.

In 2015 at Los Angeles’ eclectic EcoVillage, he attended a workshop led by Peter McCoy where he was introduced to the lifestyle of fungi. The workshop included the details for cultivating the oyster mushroom, and Heidrich was hooked. Over the last several years, he has refined and perfected his technique for producing oyster mushrooms in his home.

When I first visited Heidrich, I was given a tour of his small backyard, where he grows numerous herbs and vegetables in small upraised beds. In one corner was a small compost pile covered with black plastic, which he uses mostly for the old medium of which his mushrooms grow. He pulled up a corner to show me that oyster mushrooms abundantly grew from his little compost pile, the unexpected result from the leftovers of his cultivation. He picked a few of the good ones for his meal later in the day.

Next, we went indoors for the tutorial. It was quickly evident that growing oyster mushrooms were important to Heidrich, because it appeared that major portions of at least two rooms in his home were devoted to the various stages of oyster mushroom cultivation.

We began by looking at some of the good textbooks that are available on the subject. Two of the best current books on mushroom cultivation are “Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms” by Paul Stamets, and “The Mushroom Cultivator” by Stamets and Chilton. “Radical Mycology” by Peter McCoy and “Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation” by Trad Cotter are also very useful. And for those who want to buy starter kits, Stamets’ company, called FungiPerfecti, provides supplies for beginner and expert alike.

There are many ways to cultivate mushrooms. Understanding the difference between “spores” and “spawn” is key. Spores are genetically diverse “seeds” that rain down from the gills of the mushroom. The novice grower will not use spores, but spawn, which is genetically identical to the parent mushroom. Most home growers use liquid culture spawn and grain spawn. Liquid culture is simply mushrooms grown in sugar water. Grain spawn is mushrooms grown on grain. Heidrich cultivates his liquid culture using simple sugars purchased from the local homebrew shop. (In fact, homebrewing and mushroom growing go hand in hand.) For grain spawn, he uses organic wheat berries bought in bulk on Amazon. The goals of these methods is to give the mycelium (the mushroom body) the nutrients it needs to form robust fruiting bodies (“fruiting bodies” are what most of us simply call mushrooms). Liquid culture and grain spawn are readily available on Ebay or from mushroom websites. The simplest way to begin cultivating is to buy liquid culture online and expand it at home in modified Mason jars. But cleanliness is key.
IMG_1806
Heidrich created his own sterile environment with a 5 gallon clear Rubbermaid tub, onto which he has added two hole where his hands can enter with gloves. Into this box, after has disinfected it with alcohol, he adds the starter medium, and several Mason jars of wheat berries which will be inoculated with the liquid starter medium.

He carefully closes the lid of the box, and once everything needed is inside the box, he dons his gloves and his hands enter the box. The lid of each jar has had two holes drill into it: one hole is stuffed with cotton for aeration, and the other is filled with high temperature RTV engine silicone. With a hypodermic needle, he first sucks a measured amount of the liquid out of the starter medium, by pushing the needle through the silicone cover, and then he injects a measured amount into each jar of the wheat berries, again, by pushing the needle through the silicon layer.

This is all done very carefully, almost like a careful dance as Heidrich maneuvers into the limited space. But all this is necessary, otherwise the invisible contaminants in the air and environment which will infect the batch of mushrooms.

When done, Heidrich places these inoculated bottles of wheat berries onto a rack with an LED light to assist in stimulating the grown of the spawn. Temperature requirements vary depending on the oyster variety. For example, there are blue oysters which prefer a cooler temperature, while the pink and phoenix oysters enjoy temperatures up into the 80s and 90s.
IMG_1838
After a few weeks, if all went well, the bottles of wheat berries are covered in a white cob-webby material, which is the mycelium which will produce the mushrooms.

Heidrich took such a bottle to show me how he sets up the final stage of cultivation, which can take place in a plastic bag or bucket. Today he demonstrated in a plastic bag.

Into the approximately gallon-sized plastic bag, he placed a layer of soaked cardboard. (I had noted earlier that he had a few containers of old cardboard in his back yard, and this is what he uses to grow his mushrooms.).

“Remember, these mushrooms like to grow on wood, and isn’t that what the cardboard came from?” smiles Heidrich. He presses a layer of cardboard into the bag, and then adds a layer of used coffee grounds, a free recyclable material from a local coffee house. Then he added about 5 tablespoons of the wheat berries covered in spawn. Then he added more cardboard, coffee grounds, and more spawn. He continues this way for several layers until the bag is full. On his last, upper-most layer, he adds only spawn, then cardboard, then spawn. Heidrich explains that the coffee grounds are most susceptible to infection, and by having no coffee grounds at the top where it is exposed, there is less chance of infection.

Once this is sealed, Heidrich punches a few holes into the bag so that each hole enters the bag at the cardboard. Once the mushrooms get growing, they will grow out of the holes where they can be easily harvested. This bag is again put on the shelf with the LED light, and allowed to sit until the mushrooms start to grow.

It all seems like a very mysterious process, but Heidrich is merely
controlling in a scientific manner that which occurs naturally in the forest.
Heidrich’s favorite method of preparation is to sautee the mushrooms with his meals.

“How do you preserve the surplus?” I asked him, innocently enough.
“I eat them as quickly as I grow them,” he said smiling. “There’s never a surplus!”

Wow! He loves his mushrooms. Nevertheless, if growers have a surplus, they can be frozen or dehydrated, and dehydration seems to be the preferable choice.

Heidrich has done some wild mushroom hunting on his own, but found that it was less than fruitful. After all, wild mushrooms arise based on many factors, such as rain, weather, time of year, association of certain trees, humidity, and other factors. Heidrich did find some turkey tail mushrooms, but generally prefers to grow his own oyster mushrooms.

He’s not a vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic enthusiast, or a food faddist of any sort. “Yes, I eat meat,” with a smile that barely concealed a bit a guilt. He’s a man who loves one of nature’s finest foods, and he’s found a way to have a constantly supply at home.

Heidrich does offer occasional workshops where he takes participants through the various steps involved. His workshop participants walk home with an instruction sheet, and a bag of spawn to grow at home. For more information, he can be reached at mattheidrich@gmail.com

[You can learn about Christopher’s latest schedule at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com]

5 Methods of Home Food Preservation

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The following five methods of home food preservation will enable you to not only be frugal (obtaining and preserving bulk foods on sale) but will help you build a food storage inventory (along with your dry goods and other foods).   CANNING ‘Canning’ is a process in which foods are placed in jars or cans and heated to a temperature that destroys microorganisms and inactivates enzymes. The heating (and subsequent cool-down) forms a vacuum seal against the lid which prevents other microorganisms from contaminating the food within the jar or can. Most popular pressure canner: Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner Acid

Original source: 5 Methods of Home Food Preservation

Shelf Actualization

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I about twentyfive years ago, I built several really nice reloading benches. Really nice, solid, beasts made of 2×4’s and plywood sheeting. Problem is, I really only use one of them and the others take up space. So…..I chucked a screwdriver bit into the Dewalt and took the thing apart. What to replace it with? Why, more wire shelving of course.

As I was assembling the shelving, I took a few pics to demonstrate those wonderful S-hooks that I highly recommend for folks who use this type of shelving.

Notice that while one rack uses four uprights, the other rack will use only two. The S-cliips hung from the other rack will support the shelf instead of another set of upright.

S-hooks in place with shelf seated in them.

Finished unit. Still have another set of uprights (since each set comes with four and i only used six) so I could make a three-wide set of shelves using only two complete shelving sets.

Once the shelves were up, it was time to rearrange some things and one of those things was all the first aid and medical gear that had been in storage for…well…a while. Naturally, as I was doing this, I couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to make some changes. Biggest change is that a bunch of stuff got vacuum sealed to help keep the packaging clean, dry, and intact. Those paper pouches that hold the gauze and pads tend to delaminate after a while. I’m hoping that vacuum sealing them will prevent that.

And, while I was doing that, I figured I might as well vacuum seal the contents of the grab-n-go first aid kits. These are a couple milsurp medical bags I picked up off Sportsmans Guide or Major Surplus many years ago. Ideally, it’s not for immediate use, but rather a stash of items to take with you as you run out the door so that when you get to the Beta Site you can unpack them and have a full first aid kit on hand. All the contents of those went into the vacuum sealer too.

Seriously, gang…if you don’t have one already, go get one. It’s one of the most useful survival-oriented gadgets you can buy.

So, once all that was done, it was time to play musical chairs with all the crates, cans, boxes, and drums. Ideally, I’d like everything to be organized neatly and out of the way. The difference between hoarding and prepping is, I suspect, organization.

 

47 Easy DIY Survival Projects $0.99 Countdown Deal About to Expire

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If you haven’t yet had a chance to grab my latest book, , then now is the time to do so because I’m currently running a $0.99 Kindle countdown deal, but it’s about to expire within the next 40 hours as of this writing… which means you need to act NOW if you want to … Continue reading “47 Easy DIY Survival Projects $0.99 Countdown Deal About to Expire”

8 Classic Summer Jobs For the Industrious Teen

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Whether you consider yourself a prepper, a survivalist or are simply striving to be self-sufficient, the basic building blocks for all these are responsibility and dedication. We teach young children these things through chores, extra-curricular activities, positive reinforcement and most importantly, by example. As children grow older, it is important to encourage them to be […]

Uncleanness, Regeneration, & “The Internet of Things”

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    I’m going to tell you, right off the bat, that I’m not sure why the Holy Spirit is connecting these seemingly disparate concepts, but I’m going to just go where He is leading me, and pray that it makes some kind of sense at the end of this post…. and that you don’t think I’ve gone completely off the deep end!
     You know when a thought or idea comes from out of nowhere and you’re not sure why it is suddenly being brought into focus? Well, that happened to me when a dear reader began an email conversation about taking another look at Genesis 6:1-5. These few verses have caused perhaps more confusion and misinformation among the Body of Christ than any other Scripture — yet they are at the foundation of so much of what Jesus prophecies and what we see happening on the earth today.
    This reader was expressing her consternation that the Body of Christ overwhelmingly ignores these verses, and very often just skips over them without seeking to understand their meaning. As I was contemplating her thoughts and reviewing the implications of this Genesis passage, I recalled Jesus’s words regarding “unclean spirits”. In Matthew 12, He says, Now when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through waterless (dry, arid) places in search of rest, but it does not find it. Then in Mark, Chapter 5, Scripture tells us the story of the Gerasene demoniac [or as he is more commonly known, the Gadarene madman]. The Word specifically says, When Jesus got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him. 

     Various translations of the Bible use “demon” or “evil spirit” in place of “unclean spirit”. But my mind began connecting the dots as I discerned that what Jesus was seeing and speaking about was connected back to Genesis 6. Let me show you how I got there…. and for the sake of keeping this post focused on my original topic, I am not going to give my complete explanation of Genesis 6. And for the purpose of staying on track with this post, let me just say that based on the Septuagint (the earliest Greek translation of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew), Genesis 6:2-4 reads, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful and desirable; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose and desired …  The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them.”  Here, “sons of God” are not earthly men, but as translated from Hebrew (Bene Ha Elohim), it means “angels of God”. Therefore, I do not subscribe to the “Sethite theory” that this verse is referring to the offspring of Adam’s son Seth, who procreated with earthly women and bore the giants called the Nephilim. No! Scripture means what it says … “angels of God” (fallen angels) saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, mated with them and created a hybrid race of angel/human beings that were not what God designed or planned. [For a more detailed debate on the Fallen Angel vs. Sethite theories, read my blog post from 2014 by clicking here.] Furthermore, how does a normal human man and woman produce children that become “men of renown” (demi-gods)? And the extra-Biblical Book of Enoch [which is referenced in Jude, 2 Peter and John) states And the women became pregnant, and they bare large giants, whose height was three hundred cubits (450 feet tall)!
     Moving on … the Nephilim were the subsequent offspring of fallen angels and human women. Since these creatures were not made in the image of God, when they died they could not return to the Father [who is pure]; but rather their spirits were left to wander the earth in the form of demons, or evil spirits, or “unclean” spirits. The Holy Spirit made this so abundantly clear to me when I understood the meaning of unclean according to the Hebrew and Greek. “Unclean” in Hebrew means to be contaminated, polluted, foul, opposite of pure. In the Greek, it is interpreted as being filthy or impure. These same spirits are still upon the earth and present today; polluted and corrupted [impure hybrids] — perfect tools to be used by the Enemy to torment the true children of God.
      But, on the opposite end of the spectrum, what happens to us, as humans, when we accept Christ as our Savior? We are regenerated, just as Titus 3:5 says: He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we have done, but because of His own compassion and mercy, by the cleansing of the new birth (spiritual transformation, regeneration) and renewing by the Holy Spirit.  In essence, we are “re-gened”, if that makes sense. We are restored to the divine image of our Father; there is a new birth that takes place. And Christian scientists are now seeing changes in the DNA of people who have gone from Sinner to Redeemed! 
     Let’s continue … how are Uncleanness and Regeneration connected to this term, “The Internet of Things”? First of all, you might want to take a look at a post I wrote in 2015, titled “The Terasem Movement, Second Life, & The Rise of the New Nephilim”. I know, I know … it all sounds like a bad science fiction movie title — but it is all too real and being played out before our very eyes! And I do not write this to exploit radical conspiracy theories. On the contrary, I believe our God is greater than any of Satan’s diabolical plans. Rather, I am being prompted by the Holy Spirit to remind Christians not to take their eyes off these schemes, even as we grow in our knowledge and practice of Kingdom living. We must be aware of all the fronts we face in our spiritual battles.

     So…. just what is “The Internet of Things”? It is defined as follows: The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction. Sounds like a bunch of geeky technology language, right? But my spirit discerns that it is just the progression of Ray Kurzweil’s theory of “Singularity”, which is the point at which machines, intelligence, humans (and yes, animals) would merge — i.e., Transhumanism — or when machines, animals, and humans will have the ability to interface or interact (merge).  
     Does anyone else see the danger in that? Or can you hear the warnings of this present danger mirrored in the following Scriptures? In Matthew 24:37-39, Jesus says, “For it will be exactly like it was in the days of Noah when the Son of Man appears. Before the flood, people lived their lives eating, drinking, marrying, and having children. They didn’t realize the end was near until Noah entered the ark, and then suddenly, the flood came and took them all away in judgment. It will happen the same way when the Son of Man appears“.  Also, in Revelation 18, John reports hearing an angel thunder from Heaven, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a demonic dwelling place, a prison for every unclean spirit, unclean bird, and every unclean, detestable beast.All the nations have drunkof the wine of her immoral passion, and the kings of the earth have committed fornicationwith her, and merchants of the earth have grown wealthy because of her power and luxury.
     Both passages speak of the polluted, impure, foul, and unclean state of mankind in the Last Days. Jesus warns that the same activities that took place in the days of Noah before the flood will occur again before He returns. Heaven, itself, warns in the last Book of the Bible that mankind will become drunk with their power and wealth from the ability to create unclean hybrids. If you pay close attention to the news, they are already mixing animal genes in our vaccines, merging man and machine in Artificial Intelligence, and even exploring implantable smartphones and uploading our brains to the Cloud. None of this preserves us as being made in the image of God!
     So, while I do not advocate turning our attention away from our Commission of advancing the Kingdom, I clearly discern that the Holy Spirit does not want us to ignore these warning signals of “the days of Noah”. The direction the world is taking will surely affect the next generations and we must not abdicate our responsibility to war in the spirit for them.  So make sure you have your spiritual armor in place and ask the Holy Spirit for supernatural discernment of what is coming against us in the coming years. It has been several years since these “unclean” technological developments have captured the headlines, but do not be lulled into complacency. Yes, we are being directed to advance the Kingdom, but we have not been told to stand down from guarding against the unholy machinations and inventions of men. 
     I apologize if this topic seems out of character from my normal message. I do not feel called to make this a priority, but I will always listen to the Holy Spirit’s prompting and speak from my heart. So, just receive this warning and continue to listen to the Spirit in your own lives. He will not lead us astray. As the song from the Christian band, Mercy Me, says, “Lead me through the darkness. Lead me through the unknown. Oh, Lead me, Holy Ghost”! Blessings to you all, in the Mighty Name of Jesus! Amen!

Luke 21:28    And at last, when you see how the Son of Man comes—surrounded with a cloud, with great power and miracles, in the radiance of his splendor, and with great glory and praises—it will make you jump for joy! For the day of your full transformation has arrived.
    
     

Life Expectancy Is Dropping (But Not Because of Opioids)

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Have you seen that TV commercial where they ask people (actors) to put a mark on a wall that indicates the age of the oldest person they know?

We see lots of marks in the mid-80’s, a good number in the early 90’s, some in the mid-to-late 90’s, and even a few over 100.

Life expectancy has been increasing over the last century and it makes us feel good to see this graphical representation of how far we’ve come.

But I’ve been deeply concerned that this upward trend was going to reverse, and it looks like that is now happening.

Let me give you an example:

My friend Teresa (not her real name) is about my age (mid-50’s). Her grandmother recently passed away at 99 years old, just a few months shy of 100.

Teresa’s mom is 76 years old, but not in great shape. The nourishment to keep her alive comes through a feeding tube in her stomach, she can’t remember much, and walking is out of the question. She probably doesn’t have more than a year or two to live, at the most.

And my friend Teresa is also in pretty bad shape. Overweight, losing mobility, some auto-immune issues and probably more she doesn’t know about — and she doesn’t want to know.

No one can say for sure, but I think it is a pretty safe guess that all three women from these three generations will very likely die within a 5- to 10-year period of each other — each one passing at a successively younger age.

Unfortunately, Teresa’s case is fairly common. It has saddened me deeply to have quite a few more examples like this in my extended circle of friends and acquaintances.

After almost a century of increasing life expectancy, the numbers are starting to turn downward.

The reason?

In recent decades, we have not been taking good care of ourselves.

The National Center for Health Statistics Report Mortality in the United States, 20161) https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db293.pdf (the latest year for which numbers are currently available) shows that life expectancy in the U.S. in 2016 decreased about a tenth of a year since 2015. This latest report guesses that, on average, you are going to live to be 78.6 years old.

By the way, girlfriends, we can still expect to live about 5 years longer (to 81.1 years) than our menfolk, who are expected to live to 76.1 years old, on average.

A 1-year drop, although extremely rare, isn’t of true concern. But the CDC has reported numbers for both 2015 and 2016 that show your odds of living longer are dropping.

I suppose a 2-year drop isn’t really that disconcerting, either (the last time it happened was in 1962–63).

But what surprises me is how long it’s taken for the stats to show a drop. The level of health of our population has been dropping for decades.

The Official ‘Explanation’

As I was surfing the net researching this topic, I began to notice a very strange thing: almost every article that talked about the 2-year drop explained it away by saying it was due to the number of deaths caused by opioid overdoses.

Uh, what?

In the U.S. in 2015, there were approximately 2.7 million deaths from every cause.

Heart disease is the biggie at about 633,842 deaths per year; cancer is at 595,930; and then way below that is chronic lower respiratory diseases at 155,041. (Note that they never mention the number of deaths due to medical errors. I’ll be writing about that soon, but the estimate on that is about 253,000 each year.)

And the number of deaths from opioid overdose? About 20,000. Most of those deaths are by people who are between the ages of 35 and 50.

So how does this small amount of middle-age overdoses account for the drop in longevity?

Now I am not an actuary or a mathematician, but those numbers just don’t add up.

And they don’t pass the common-sense test.

We’ve just jumped off a cliff, so why aren’t we talking about the real problems?

I Predict That Life Expectancy in the U.S. Is Going to Plummet

What I see is not rocket science, nor am I gazing into a crystal ball. It’s simple “rocks are hard and water is wet” kind of logic. Our population is malnourished and overfed, and we are getting sicker much younger.

A while back there was a study (again published by the CDC) that estimated that 1 in 3 children born after 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime. Did you know that Type 2 Diabetes used to be called “adult-onset diabetes” because it was only seen in adults, generally over the age of 50 or 60? The name has been dropped now that so many younger people—and kids—are afflicted.

What kind of life will those kids have if they are getting diabetes in their 20’s and 30’s? They will be in the prime of life, at child-bearing age … and they will be dealing with complications from diabetes such as kidney problems, heart disease, blindness, and amputations.

This past November, Dr. Tara Narula spoke about the increase in child-onset Type 2 Diabetes on “CBS This Morning”:2)https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whats-behind-rise-in-type-2-diabetes-children

“What people don’t really think about with this disease, we see the complications not when kids are 50 or 60—we’re seeing this as early as 5 or 10 years down the road, when kids are now in the prime of their lives. They’re starting jobs, they’re in college, they’re having families—and what’s happening to them? They’re developing end-stage renal disease, leading them to dialysis, heart attack and stroke, neuropathy—big, big problems—retinopathy, blindness.”

Do you really expect that these kids will make it to 60 or 70 years old? And if by some miracle they did, what would their quality of life have been?

Can we quantify how much shorter their lives will be? In 2010, research indicated that diabetes cuts about 8.5 years off the lifespan of the average 50-year-old, compared to a 50-year-old without diabetes.3)https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20101201/diabetes-cuts-years-off-life-span-of-americans#1 The study also showed that the younger you are when you get the disease, the more years get cut off from your life expectancy.

Diabetes Is Only One of the Many Problems

I am not sure if you caught that interview I did with Sally Fallon in the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit. Sally is the founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I went off-topic on a rant about how mothers these days are so overprotective. Today’s moms make their kids wear helmets and all kinds of padding just to ride bicycles. We never had any of that kind of stuff when I was a kid.

Sally immediately came to the defense of modern moms. “Marjory,” she said, “kids these days are born with thinner skulls and are much more prone to concussions and skull fractures then we were.” Sally went on to talk about how the modern food supply has paltry levels of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals necessary for healthy bone and skeletal growth. “Children born these days are much frailer than earlier generations and really do need more protection,” she concluded.

Ignoring the Elephant in the Room

It continues to astonish me how the conventional medical system and the U.S. government are completely blind to the most basic pillar of health: nutrition.

The CDC resorts to excuses like opioid overdose to avoid the truth that the food supply is empty of nutrition and essentially toxic. Meanwhile, the population they are supposed to be protecting is getting sicker and sicker.

Bob Anderson is the chief of the mortality statistics branch at the National Center for Health Statistics (which is part of the CDC). Rather than discussing the real issues and the alarm that the drop in numbers represents, Bob said “I still don’t think you can call it a trend, because you really need more than two data points to call something a trend. But it’s certainly concerning to see this two years in a row.”

What Will Happen Next Year?

It’s obvious to me what is going to happen with the next set of data. The life expectancy will continue to go down.

I’ll be watching the data as it comes out.

And the CDC is already preparing us for more bad news—although they still are insisting on the opioid spin for an explanation.

Bob is quoted as saying, “We have data for almost half of 2017 at this point. It’s still quite provisional, but it suggests that we’re in for another increase” in drug-related deaths, he said. “If we’re not careful, we could end up with declining life expectancy for three years in a row, which we haven’t seen since the Spanish flu, 100 years ago.”

The Saving Grace in This World

There is one really beautiful truth that continues to inspire me and fill me with hope.

You can source what your body needs directly from the Earth. You have choices. You don’t have to depend on your government or large corporations to fulfill your needs. With a combination of your own gardens, working within your community, sourcing from trusted local farmers and healers, you can achieve vibrant longevity.

And, in fact, we need you to do that.

I would love to hear your insights, stories, and comments on this topic! Please express your thoughts below. I read all the comments, and will be doing my best to reply to as many as possible. —Marjory

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References   [ + ]

1. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db293.pdf
2. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whats-behind-rise-in-type-2-diabetes-children
3. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20101201/diabetes-cuts-years-off-life-span-of-americans#1

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Money Mondays: How to Cope with High Gas Prices

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Gas prices seemed to increase almost daily this past week.  The combination of tighter supplies by OPEC, lower U.S. inventory, high demand and the U.S. getting out of the Iran deal seems to have caused the highest gas prices since November 2014.  Texas has lower gas prices than many states, but even we’re seeing some drastic increases, causing a drain on the pocketbook. A firm that tracks gasoline prices, GasBuddy has predicted gas prices […]

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Will the Extinction of Bees Really Mean the End of Humanity?

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Feared at best and considered a useless, disposable nuisance at worst, bees are among the most underappreciated creatures on the planet.

That’s a shame because our very existence relies on the tiny buzzing creatures.

We’ve known for years that bee populations all across North America and Europe are collapsing at an alarming rate.

This is a huge threat to our food supply. One-third of all the food we eat comes from plants that are pollinated by insects, and 80% of those crops are pollinated by bees. It also has big implications for our meat supply as well: plants (like alfalfa) that feed animals are pollinated by bees.

The largest international survey of insect pollinators found that just 2 percent of wild bee species now account for 80 percent of global crop pollination.

Put bluntly, if all the bees die, humanity will follow.

Worldwide, there are nearly 20,000 known species of bees in seven recognized biological families. Of those, 4,000 calls the United States home. Bees exist on every continent except Antarctica. Wherever you find insect-pollinated, flowering plants you will find bees.

Native bees come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors, but one thing they all have in common is their important role as pollinators.

Here are just some of the fruits and veggies bumble bees help pollinate: Squash, pumpkin, zucchini, alfalfa, cranberries, apples, green beans, scarlet beans, runner beans, cucumber, strawberries, tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions, potatoes, blueberries, cherries, kiwifruit, raspberries, blackberries, plums, and melons.

According to a Cornell University study published in 2012, crops pollinated by honeybees and other insects contributed $29 billion to United States farm income in 2010.

As you can see, bees are a crucial part of our ecosystem. Our food supplies – and essentially, our lives – rely on them.

Unfortunately, last year, a species of bumblebee that was once a common sight across much of the US was declared an endangered species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in January of 2017. Endangered species are animals and plants that are in danger of becoming extinct. Identifying, protecting and recovering endangered species is a primary objective of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species program, according to the agency’s website.

The rusty patched bumble bee was abundant across 28 states from Connecticut to South Dakota and up into Canada just 20 years ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said, but is now “balancing precariously on the brink of extinction.”

The FWS explains why saving the rusty-patched bumble bee is so important:

The decline of the rusty patched bumble bee happened relatively recently and very dramatically. This insect was once common, widespread and abundant, but within only 20 years is now almost extinct. The causes of that decline are continuing to act across a broad geographic area, impacting other native pollinators. From the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Midwest north into much of eastern Canada, pollinators and other invertebrates are harmed by the same activities pushing the rusty patched towards extinction. Preventing extinction of this bumble bee will help address those factors and identify how they work together to harm native bee and other pollinator populations, such as monarch butterflies.

There are many insects and invertebrates that are less well-known and studied than the rusty patched bumble bee. Other species may be declining for the same or similar reasons but we have not been tracking them, so their loss is unknown. Conserving the bumble bee is likely to help conserve other animals.

Our native pollinators, including native bees, are important to the productivity of our farms and our natural areas. Pollinators are essential for the continued reproduction of many plants and the animals that feed on those plants.

The rusty patched bumble bee has declined by 87 percent in the last 20 years. The species is likely to be present in only 0.1% of its historical range.

This beautifully made video from bioGraphicMagazine shares the story of the rusty-patched bumble bee and its journey to becoming listed as endangered.

There are many potential reasons for the rusty-patched bumble bee decline including habitat loss, intensive farming, disease, pesticide use, and climate change.

Scientists believe the declining health of bees is related to “complex interactions among multiple stressors”:

  • Colony Collapse Disorder
  • Pests (e.g., varroa mite), pathogens (e.g., the bacterial disease American foulbrood) and viruses.
  • Poor nutrition (e.g., due to loss of foraging habitat and increased reliance on supplemental diets).
  • Pesticide exposure.
  • Bee management practices (e.g., long migratory routes to support pollination services).
  • Lack of genetic diversity.

“This bee’s dramatic decline is not the result of any one event,” GrrlScientist explained in an article for Forbes:

“Instead, it is the result of many human-caused factors that feed back on each other and amplify their effects. Both urban and agricultural sprawl certainly play an important role. Agriculture’s shift from small family farms producing a variety of crops to huge corporate monopolies that produce just one or two crops have destroyed vast stretches of available habitat fragments filled with native wildflowers and terrain that feed and house bumble bees and other native pollinator species.”

Sarina Jepsen, Director of Endangered Species and Aquatic Conservation at the Xerces Society, added:

“Of additional concern is the widespread use of persistent, long-lasting, highly toxic insecticides within the range of the rusty patched bumble bee, which pose a threat to its continued existence.”

Bumblebees are uniquely susceptible to extinction because unlike honeybees, which have large (>10,000 individuals) perennial hives, bumble bees produce smaller annual colonies (50-1,500 individuals). Their smaller annual population sizes, life cycle, and genetic makeup put them at higher risk.

While the endangerment of the rusty-patched bumble bee is generating a lot of buzz, it isn’t the only species that are facing some degree of extinction risk, according to the Xerces Society:

Alarmingly, recent work by the Xerces Society in concert with IUCN Bumble Bee Specialist Group, indicates that some species have experienced rapid and dramatic declines more than others. In fact, more than one quarter (28%) of all North American bumble bees are facing some degree of extinction risk. While some species have received considerable conservation attention, other species such as the Suckley cuckoo bumble bee and the variable cuckoo bumble bee have been largely overlooked.

Of the 46 species of bumblebee in North America, 11 are at risk. For more detailed information, please see this detailed guide from the Xerces Society.

FWS Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius said that the bumblebee, and pollinators like it, play a vital role in the lives of human beings, NBC News reported last year:

“Pollinators are small but mighty parts of the natural mechanism that sustains us and our world. Without them, our forests, parks, meadows and shrublands, and the abundant, vibrant life they support, cannot survive, and our crops require laborious, costly pollination by hand.”

Bumblebees are uniquely important pollinators – they are the chief pollinator of many economically important crops, according to FWS:

They are not picky about where they get their nectar and pollen – almost any source of flower will do. Bumble bees are able to fly in cooler temperatures and lower light levels than many other bees, which makes them excellent crop pollinators. They also perform a behavior called “buzz pollination,” in which the bee grabs the pollen-producing structure of the flower in her jaws and vibrates her wing muscles. These vibrations dislodge pollen from the flower. Some plants, including tomatoes, peppers, and cranberries, benefit from buzz pollination. Even for crops that can be self-pollinated (for example, some tomatoes), the plant produces more and bigger fruits with bumble bee-aided pollination. In natural areas, bumble bees pollinate plants that provide food for other wildlife. By conserving this species, other species of pollinators simultaneously benefit.

The good news is that there are things that can be done to help conserve bee populations.

Here’s what you can do to help the rusty-patched bumble bee and other pollinators.

Provide flowering plants from April through October (early spring through fall).

Plant native wildflowers that bloom throughout the year in containers on your windowsill, porch or deck, or in your garden. Since these flowers attract bumblebees and other pollinators, they will enhance pollination of your fruit and vegetable crops too. If you’d like to know more about which plants the rusty patch bumble bee really likes, here’s a very detailed resource: Plants Favored By Rusty Patched Bumble Bee

Fruit trees typically bloom early in the spring, which is a critical time for foraging bumblebee queens. Try to ensure that your new plants have not been treated with neonicotinoids or other systemic pesticides. Avoid invasive non-native plants and remove them if they invade your yard.

Because most queens overwinter in small holes on or just below the ground’s surface, avoid raking, tilling or mowing your yard until April or May. If you do need to mow, do so with the mower blade set at the highest safe level.

Many native bumblebees build their nests in undisturbed soil, abandoned rodent burrows, or clumps of grass. Preserve un-mown, brushy areas and do not destroy bumblebee nests when you find them. Reduce soil tilling and mowing where bumblebees might nest.

Avoid all pesticide use. In particular, steer clear of systemic pesticides such as neonicotinoids, which are taken up by the vascular systems of plants. This means bees and other pollinators are exposed to the poison long after a product has been applied when they feed on the plant’s nectar and pollen.

When purchasing plants, ask your garden supplier to ensure that they have not been treated with neonicotinoids or other systemic pesticides.

Instead of using pesticides, use a “companion planting” system to discourage pests from making an all-you-can-eat buffet of your garden. For more on sustainable pest management, please see this guide from Xerces Society.

For more information on companion planting for natural pest control, here’s an in-depth guide: The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control: A Complete Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Garden and Yard the Earth-Friendly Way.

Report the bees you see in your yard or community to Bumble Bee Watch, a citizen-science project sponsored by the Xerces Society and five North American partners.

Build nests for native bees. They are easy to make – instructions can be found here.

For more information on how to manage, restore, or enhance your property for the rusty patched bumble bee, please refer to this guide from FWS.

Create a “bee highway.” Several years ago, people in Oslo, Norway, created a route through the city with enough feeding stations for bumblebees. Organizers asked the public and local business owners to plant bee-friendly plants on their property, rooftops, and businesses along a route from east to west through the city. If you’d like to learn more about how to create a bee highway in your community, please read First Bee Highway Set Up in Oslo.

Here’s how to protect bee habitats during the fall and winter months: Put Down Those Pruners: Pollinators Need Your ‘Garden Garbage!’

 

 

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This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

8 Secret Gun Safes You Can Hide Around The House

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Previously, when it came to gun storage, you had to choose between keeping your guns secure (by keeping them in an actual gun safe) or keeping them concealed somewhere in your home. But as the firearms industry has grown, so has the number of firearm storage options, and today you no longer have to choose […]

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Digestion System and Complaints Part II

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Digestion System and Complaints Part II
Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player below!

This episode continues our series on the digestive system with a look at some viral and parasitic infections which are currently both common and generally easy to survive. However, in a post disaster scenario, could become far more serious. We will also discuss one more bacterial infection that will become a far more common, serious threat- cholera.

Continue reading Digestion System and Complaints Part II at Prepper Broadcasting Network.