Nine Easy Recipes To Use Your Food Storage Every Day

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Today I have been digging out some old easy recipes to use with your food storage. Sometimes we need a few new recipes that we can use by grabbing something out of the pantry. I have declared myself a stay at home mom because I love eating at home. It’s awesome to grow a lot of my food in my backyard garden so I don’t have to go to the store to get tomatoes, lettuce or spinach.

Some of these easy recipes I used when feeding my daughters over 30 years ago. I have to tell you, my mouth is watering over these gems. My recipes have to be easy and not complicated or I won’t make them. You may know by now I love storing freeze-dried meats because they have a shelf life of about 15-25 years at optimum temperatures. Here’s the deal, most manufacturers state the products must be stored at 65-70 degrees, well that’s not going to happen with the price of my electricity bills here.

This is how I see it in my situation, they may last 10-15 years and that works for me. I do buy a lot of canned chicken, roast beef, and tuna. They typically have a shelf life of 1-2 years. Every manufacturer is different. I realize that tuna gets mushy after 2 years. I store more canned chicken than anything else. So let’s get started with some old standbys you may want to try for your family. These are my favorite easy recipes!

Easy Recipes Using Food Storage:

Linda’s Rigatoni

Linda’s Rigatoni

  • 1 pound ground beef (fried or equal amount of reconstituted freeze-dried hamburger)
  • 1 chopped fresh onion or equal amount of freeze-dried onions
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 8-6- ounce cans of tomato paste
  • 8-6- ounce cans of water
  • 3 ounces of parmesan cheese
  1. Put all of the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  2. Serve over cooked Rigatoni noodles.

Linda’s Chicken Salad

Linda’s Chicken Salad

  • 2 cups cooked diced chicken or 2 cans 12.5-ounces of canned chicken (drained or equal amount reconstituted freeze-dried chicken.)
  • 3/4 cup chopped apples or equal amount of rehydrated freeze-dried apples (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup chopped/diced celery
  • 1-8- ounce can pineapple chunks (drained)
  • 1 cup freeze dried grapes (do not reconstitute)
  • 3/4 cup Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed together. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Summer Zucchini Casserole

Summer Zucchini Casserole

  • 4 medium zucchinis or equal amount of reconstituted freeze-dried zucchini
  • Cook about 15 minutes or until tender.
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions or equal amount of freeze-dried onions
  • 4 tablespoons butter (save 2 tablespoons for topping)
  • 2-1/2 cups Stove Top Dressing (save 1 cup for topping)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or equal amount of reconstituted dehydrated sour cream
  1. Saute the onions in the butter.  Stir in the 1-1/2 cups dressing, soup, and sour cream. Pour the ingredients into a 9 by 13 inch greased pan. Saute the remaining 1 cup dressing in 2 T. butter. Sprinkle the topping on top of the casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Serves 6-8.

Poppy Seed Chicken

Poppy Seed Chicken

  • 2 cups cooked diced chicken or equal amount of reconstituted freeze-dried chicken
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1-1/2 cups sour cream or reconstituted dehydrated sour cream
  • 1-8- ounce box Ritz crackers (crushed)
  • 1 cube butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  1. Combine the chicken, cream of chicken soup with the sour cream. Mix the crushed crackers with the melted butter and poppy seeds. Combine 1/2 of the cracker mix with the chicken mix. Grease a 9 by13-inch casserole dish. Scoop the ingredients into the pan and top with the remaining cracker mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until warmed thoroughly. Serves 4-6 people

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

  • 1-12.5- ounce can chicken or 1 cup reconstituted freeze-dried chicken
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1-4- ounce can green chilies
  • 4 green onions chopped or equal amount of reconstituted green onions
  • 3/4 pound grated cheddar cheese or equal amount reconstituted grated cheddar cheese (save 1 cup grated cheese for the topping)
  • 12 corn tortillas cut into bite size pieces (spray with vegetable oil instead of frying them)
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl except the tortillas. Grease a 9 by 13-inch pan and alternate layers of the chicken mixture and the tortillas. The last layer will be the chicken mixture and top it off with one cup of reserved cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Serves 6-8 people.

Mexican Casserole

Mexican Casserole

  • 1 pound hamburger cooked or equal amount reconstituted freeze-dried hamburger
  • 1 chopped onion or equal amount of reconstituted freeze-dried chopped onions
  • 1 pound grated cheese or equal amount of reconstituted freeze-dried cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag of Fritos
  • 2-16 ounce cans of chili with beans
  • 1 small can of chopped or sliced olives
  1. Grease a 9 by 13-inch pan. Alternate layers with chili, Fritos, cheese, hamburger, onions, and olives. The last layer should end with the chili and top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees about 30 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serves 6- 8 people.

Chicken Rice Casserole

Chicken Rice Casserole

  • 2 cups cooked chicken diced or 3-12.5-ounce cans of canned chicken or equal amount of reconstituted freeze-dried chicken
  • 3 -4 cups cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion or equal amount of freeze-dried onion
  • 1 cup celery or equal amount of freeze-dried celery
  • 1 can of sliced chestnuts
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (sounds weird, huh?)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups sliced almonds (one cup for the top)
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and scoop the ingredients into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Do not cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Sprinkle the last cup of almonds on the top of the casserole the last 5 minutes of baking. Serves 6-8 people. The mayonnaise sounds weird but I must say this is truly one of my all time favorite casseroles.

My Daughter’s Enchiladas

My Daughter’s Enchiladas

  • 3-4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded or equal amount of reconstituted freeze-dried chicken
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1-8 ounce cream cheese softened
  • 1 can of diced green chilies
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese or equal amount of reconstituted cheddar cheese (save one cup for the top of the casserole)
  • 12 flour tortillas-cut into bite-size pieces
  • Combine the following and cover the casserole with this mixture:
  • 1 can “Old El Paso” enchilada sauce
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  1. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes covered with foil. Serves 6-8 people.

My Sister’s Meatless Lasagna

My Sister’s Meatless Lasagna

  • 1 large jar spaghetti sauce or 6 cups of spaghetti sauce
  • 1-8 ounce pkg. lasagna noodles (uncooked)
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese or equal amount of reconstituted freeze-dried mozzarella
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  1. Grease a 9 by 13-inch pan. Layer the sauce, lasagna noodle, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers twice. The last layer will be lasagna noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese melts.

I hope you enjoy some of my easy recipes and if you have some easy recipes I will add them to this list. Here’s to saving money using food storage and staying out of the restaurants and grocery stores. I know we are all trying not to use processed food, but sometimes my budget doesn’t warrant fresh meat, and I am okay with that. Life is good because I can cook at home and enjoy every minute of it.

One thing to consider, take half the cooked entree and put it in the freezer to heat and eat later. My husband and I certainly couldn’t eat one 9 x 13 pan of any of these meals, unless we had guests. We often will save part in the fridge to eat as a leftover, or we’ll freeze it and eat it at some future date.

Dinner rolls by Linda

My favorite lasagna pan

Copyright pictures:

Zucchini: AdobeStock_69886713 by Melima

Poppy Seed Chicken: AdobeStock_63645513 by Ginauf

Mexican Casserole: AdobeStock_37128292 by MSPhotographic

Meatless Lasagna: AdobeStock_66463062 by Bill

The post Nine Easy Recipes To Use Your Food Storage Every Day appeared first on Food Storage Moms.

Introducing the Harvest Right Freeze Dryer

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We have been asked our opinion on home freeze-dryers many times since Harvest Right came onto the preparedness scene. A few months ago I went and toured the corporate offices and was able to learn a lot more about the company and the home freeze-dryer machines. Harvest Right offered me the opportunity to test out one of the freeze-dryers to do a full review on it for our blog. I hope you enjoy following along with my adventures as I learn the ropes and determine how useful it is for long term food storage purposes!

To see my day to do journey please make sure to join our Facebook Group where I post about all of the different things I’m trying and my own tips and tricks.

To check out the amazing pricing we are able to offer exclusively for our readers please visit our Online Store.

Setting up the Freeze-Dryer

I am using the medium size unit. They are available in Small, Medium, and Large. Even the medium unit is BIG. It is not a one-person job to get in inside and situated. It is over 100 lbs and very bulky. Following the instructions in the manual I was able to get it set up on my own once it was in the house. Here is a video showing the whole process.

Filtering the Oil

I had a little bit of trouble figuring out how to change the oil in the pump. The freeze-dryer came with a filter that I have been using but I haven’t found it to be that great of a filter. A few of our facebook friends suggested an alternative home-made version that I think I will try.

I do the brita pitcher ($3 at thrift store) and I use Scott 1000 toilet paper. I used a serrated bread knife and cut down the roll of paper, peeled that off and rolled it and squished it in. I freeze my oil first so that all the water and particulants are frozen in a disc at the bottom. I pour the oil out, and throw away the frozen water disc. It takes a few hours to make it through the filter.

I didn’t tip the pump to get all the oil out of the bottom the first time, but I did that the second time and got a lot of nasty black stuff in the oil so make sure you tip it and empty as much as possible each time! Here’s a video showing how to do it with the pump and filter that I currently have.

First Batch of Food

I’ve been sharing some of the pictures of different foods we are trying in our Facebook group. My kids think it’s fun to just put random things in there and see what happens. A few things I tried that didn’t work were butter, hershey’s chocolate, and toothpaste (they wanted to make mints out of it). A few of our favorite things so far are yogurt drops, ice cream sandwiches, marshmallows, apples, oranges, cantaloupe, and cookie dough. Yumm! Here is a video of the whole freeze-drying process I captured throughout each step.

The Freeze-Drying Process

The Home Freeze Dryer uses a refrigeration condenser that freezes to a very low temperature (-20 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit); then, in combination with a vacuum pump that creates a vacuum inside the drying chamber, it makes freeze drying at home possible for everyone.

Freeze-Drying versus Dehydrating

Many people are curious about the difference between freeze-drying and dehydrating. I have done some of both and am loving having the chance to make some of my own Freeze-Dried foods. Here are a few key differences and a handy chart you can print out. The main downside listed here is that freeze-dried tends to be more expensive than dehydrated. This is true for the machines as well as for buying commercial food. But once you have paid for the machines the cost of the food is the same.

Order through Food Storage Made Easy

If you’d like to get your own Harvest Right Freeze Dryer, we have arranged for some AWESOME pricing for you. If you order through our store shipping is included and these are the lowest prices you will see online. Click here on the image below to grab your own freeze-dryer through us.

Follow My Adventures

As mentioned above, please join our Facebook Group so you can see more of what I am “cooking” up in the freeze dryer this summer. We also have tons of discussions on food storage, emergency preparedness, gardening, homesteading, and more. It is so fun to see what everyone is up to and learn from each other. We’d love to see you on the inside and get to know you better 🙂

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Amazingly High Radiation in Tokyo Bay — 131,000 Bq per Meter Squared

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Abstract

 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0193414

 A monitoring survey was conducted from August 2011 to July 2016 of the spatiotemporal
distribution in the 400 km2 area of the northern part of Tokyo Bay and in rivers flowing into it of radiocesium released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident.

The average inventory in the river mouth (10 km2) was 131 kBq⋅m-2 and 0.73 kBq⋅m-2 in the central bay (330 km2) as the decay corrected value on March 16, 2011. Most of the radiocesium that flowed into Tokyo Bay originated in the northeastern section of the Tokyo metropolitan area, where the highest precipitation zone of 137Cs in soil was almost the same level as that in Fukushima City, then flowed into and was deposited in the Old-Edogawa River estuary, deep in Tokyo Bay.

The highest precipitation of radiocesium measured in the high contaminated zone was 460 kBq⋅m-2. The inventory in sediment off the estuary of Old-Edogawa was 20.1 kBq⋅m-2 in August 2011 immediately after the accident, but it increased to 104 kBq⋅m-2 in July 2016. However, the radiocesium diffused minimally in sediments in the central area of Tokyo Bay in the five years following the FDNPP accident.

The flux of radiocesium off the estuary decreased slightly immediately after the accident and conformed almost exactly to the values predicted based on its radioactive decay. Contrarily, the inventory of radiocesium in the sediment has increased.

It was estimated that of the 8.33 TBq precipitated from the atmosphere in the catchment regions of the rivers Edogawa and Old-Edogawa, 1.31 TBq migrated through rivers and was deposited in the sediments of the Old-Edogawa estuary by July 2016. Currently, 0.25 TBq⋅yr-1 of radiocesium continues to flow into the deep parts of Tokyo Bay.

Amoxicillin As “A Just In Case” Off-The-Grid Backup Med

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amoxicillin

Amoxicillin is still a dependable antibiotic for many conditions.

Amoxicillin is one of the many different antibiotics that the market has a generous supply of. It’s part of the penicillin family along with nafcillin and ampicillin. The drugs work similarly in treating infections, but they differ in terms of the kind of bacteria each of them fights.

Amoxicillin Benefits

As mentioned earlier, amoxicillin is used in treating infections that are caused by bacteria. It works by stopping bacteria from multiplying. Most people refer to the drug as Moxatag or Amoxil. If you’re currently suffering from a bacterial infection, you would be very glad to know that there’s a generic version for sale in all local pharmacies, so you won’t have to trouble yourself with seeking a prescription from a general practitioner.

Also, amoxicillin comes in different forms, namely oral capsules, oral extended-release tablets, oral suspension, oral tablets, and chewable tablets. As for the typical duration of treatments, it varies based on the condition being treated.

What Amoxicillin Treats

The conditions that the drug is used in treating can vary. A physician may conduct a susceptibility test, which will find out the specific type of antibiotic that is better in treating the specific kind of infection you have. For the test, the doctor will collect a sample of bodily fluids like urine and saliva. The samples will then be sent to a laboratory to check the strain of bacteria that’s growing inside your body. After which, the doctor will decide on whether you will be given amoxicillin or not.

Below is a list of the types of infections that are often treated:

  • Tooth infections
  • Mild skin infections
  • Mild-moderate respiratory tract infections
  • Ulcers
  • Urinary tract infections

Some Simple Reasons Behind the Popularity of Amoxicillin

Have you ever questioned why amoxicillin is so popular among Americans? It isn’t just what we first think of when we have ear infections, but we also seek the drug to treat a strep throat and sinus infections. Well, here are the reasons why it’s a great antibiotic (but not perfect) that even children don’t find it revolting:

  1. The drug, as if magically, covers most common bacteria which cause sinus infections, strep throat, and ear infections. It’s even thought of a drug that’s capable of curing pneumonia.
  2. It’s fairly narrow-spectrum. This means it doesn’t kill off other bacteria that are essential in your body. These bacteria that amoxicillin spares keep your body healthy. By leaving out the good and helpful bacteria, you are less likely to suffer from yeast infections, diarrhea, and stomachaches. The drug, unlike other types of antibiotics, is less likely to cause the side effects mentioned.
  3. The pink kind tastes good! This is a fact as children frequently request for their “pink bubblegum medicine.” The reason why amoxicillin is preferred instead of penicillin is simply because penicillin is nauseating with its terrible taste!
  4. Lastly, the drug is surprisingly cheap. A 10-day amoxicillin course will only cost you $4 to $8 at Walmart.

Having a “just in case” supply of this antibiotic would be a great a idea. Anyone who’s had a long weekend with an earache will attest. Lots of natural herbal medicine to check out, but you shouldn’t discount amoxicillin as it has quite a few advantages.

Also, remember that liquid-based amoxicillin breaks down pretty fast, even in cold to freezing conditions which makes it fairly unstable and hard to store long-term. Potency degrades from 100% to 90% in 1 hour at thirty-two degrees. Pills can be frozen and have a much longer life. You might ask your doctor about storage. More and more doctors are understanding self-reliance and living off the grid and are open to at least the conversation.

 

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12 Yummy Meal In A Jar Recipes

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I got to thinking about my dry food I have stockpiled and how I could utilize some of that to save money. I searched high and low for great recipes but couldn’t find any decent ones my family and I would actually look forward to eating until I came across rainydayfoodstorage.blogspot.com. There isn’t many but the …

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Landscaping With Food To Save Money And Live Healthier

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It’s easy to go crazy buying flowers and shrubs to add beauty to your landscape. Curb appeal is important, especially if you’re planning to sell your home.  But by landscaping with food you can have a bit of both worlds: a beautiful lawn and food for the family. There are many benefits to edible landscaping. …

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Landscaping With Food To Save Money And Live Healthier

It’s easy to go crazy buying flowers and shrubs to add beauty to your landscape. Curb appeal is important, especially if you’re planning to sell your home.  But by landscaping with food you can have a bit of both worlds: a beautiful lawn and food for the family. There are many benefits to edible landscaping. …

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DIY Blacksmithing – Converting Your Barbecue Into a Forge Then Using It to Recycle Scrap Metal Into Tools

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We live in a world that is surrounded by metal. It makes up everything around us. Ask yourself how much do you know about metal. Can you look at metal and know if its iron or steel or bronze? Most people cannot. Though, without metal we could not live the life we live. Its time …

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Israel’s Coming War Won’t Be Against Iran or Syria

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You may be asking yourself why we are dealing with all of the this Israeli news. What is the purpose of knowing what is happening in the dusty, dirty middle east? Israel is up against a lot of pressure and there is no getting around that. So, why are we worried about who they are …

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20 Great Prepping/Survival Father’s Day Gifts For The Dad in Your Life!

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Just around the corner is the one day  a year that we all take a moment and thank Dad for all he does. If you were lucky enough to have a good Father, you probably look forward to this day each year. Its a reason to go and hang out with Dad. Its a reason …

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5 Birds (Besides Chickens) That Are Worth Raising

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Chickens are easily the most popular animal among homesteaders. Even urban homesteaders–who usually only have a small backyard–probably have some chickens running around. And why shouldn’t they? Chickens produce eggs and meat, and they’re fairly easy to take care of. But why should chickens get all the love? There are many other birds that are …

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Decline of Western Civilization

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WHY I WROTE MY BOOKS
“Testing Your Outdoor Survival Skills”
052213plants-HPmkt 045

I am often asked why I teach and write about the topics of self-reliance and survival. Here is part of my answer.

“The city” developed organically from the earliest times of human history, presumably for the mutual survival and upliftment of all those who became a part of it. The city because the locus for heightened social interaction, where farmers could barter and sell their goods to the far reaches of the domain, where the brightest and the best could answer your questions and resolved your needs, whether about technical, medical, or other issue. It’s obvious why cities developed, though it has not always so altruistic.

We know, for example, that the great Mayan cities most likely had theocratic rulers whose orders were law, and sometimes that worked out well for the people. But it could also spell the demise for the city if deluded self-important religious leaders saw themselves as more important than “the people.” Right here in North America, there was the great city of Cahokia in what is now Illinois, which emerged, dominated, changed and improved the lives of everyone it touched, and then, for various reasons, it disappeared.

Cities and civilizations arise out of the common interests of those it serves, and they seem to follow a pattern of growth, peaking, declining, disappearing (that’s the 25 cent version of what usually takes a full semester anthropology course).

Every school child has heard about the great Roman empire, and how it “fell.” We read the great details and shake our heads at the Roman stupidity that allowed such greatness to fall, and secretly, we believe it can never happen to us. Really? Well, we don’t want it to happen to us, of course, but consider that a “civilization” is a living, dynamic entity. It’s essence and character and health are all determined by the collective mindset and collective actions of all the participants, whether you recognize that or not. And it does seem to more and more of us that the collective mindset is too often about short-term gains, and not about the health and survival and vitality of the city, and the culture, and our civilization.

We aren’t sure exactly where we are as a people in the curve of the decline of a civilization, or whether or not we can affect that decline. However, there is always something that the individual can do – always.

To gain a higher perspective of what you can do, in your own life, in your own family and in your own town, I strongly encourage you to read Morris Berman’s “The Twilight of American Culture.” There are lots of good ideas there. Also, continue to read the publications that describe and promote the positive actions you can take every day in your own life to improve your survival quotient, in the city, and in the wilderness.

Everyone wants to make the wisest choices when our modern structures break down, either from the ravages of nature, or from man (war, terrorism, disease, etc.).

Sometimes we can feel like we are just a drop of water in the ocean, but as we network and work with like-minded others, we can move in the direction of living solutions.

When I began teaching about wild foods and survival skills when I was still a teenager, I did so to encourage others to think likewise, but mostly I did so to clarify my own thinking on the subject. You could call it enlightened self-interest. Plus, by teaching and writing, I was able to meet others along the same path, people that I would have never met if I were hiding out somewhere in a cave.

I taught field trips, and I taught in the classroom. When I taught in the classroom, I found it useful to organize each subject by topic, and to teach by constantly asking questions of the students. Those refined and edited questions became the basis for my “Testing Your Outdoor Survival Skills” textbook, which is still used by many today. (It’s available on Amazon, or from the store at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com).

Though I still use that “Testing” textbook, I have also written “How to Survive Anywhere,” which embodies most of the ideas in “Testing Your Outdoor Survival Skills.”

In “How to Survive Anywhere,” I mention Jane Jacobs, who is the author of “Dark Ages Ahead,” who attempts to offer solutions to anyone worried about the decline of western civilization. Her book is worth reading; at least read page 258 of “How to Survive Anywhere,” where I summarize her thinking. She explains some of the obvious causes of our decline, especially the idea of community. But she does not see “dark ages” as inevitable. Rather, she says that since culture is a living dynamic entity, we need to all become living examples of the best in society, and we need to think, we need to model solutions, and we need to teach, lecture, and write!

Video: Parasitic Worms, Pt. 1

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Video: Parasitic Worms, Pt. 1

VIDEO: PARASITIC WORMS, PART 1

It’s important to realize that infections not commonly seen today may become major issues if a disaster throws you off the grid. Knowing which disease-causing organisms exist in your area, even if they are not common problems today, will be important to keep your loved ones healthy.

The word “parasite” comes from the Greek word Parastos, meaning “someone that eats at someone else’s table”. When we think of parasites, none give us the creeps more than the thought of having worms.

In this video, Joe Alton MD discusses some of the basics of parasitic worm infections, including what to expect in terms of symptoms, and much more. Part 1 of a 2 part series.

To watch, click below:

Wishing you the best of  health in good times or bad,

Joe Alton MD

Fill those holes in your medical supplies by checking out Nurse Amy’s entire line of kit and medical supplies at store.doomandbloom.net. Our products are all eligible to be covered under health and flexible savings accounts.

Get your family medically prepared.  You’ll be glad you did!

Should You Plant on Mounds in Sandy Soil?

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Calen asks about planting on mounds in fast-draining, sandy soil:

“I’m a native Cracker from [coastal Florida]. I’ve been homesteading on ancestral farmland with a survivalist and traditionalist mindset for three years now. All heirloom and organic, etc. I own all of your books, and they, along with your blog and videos, have been the most helpful gardening advice that I’ve ever found anywhere. Last year I grew tons of Seminole pumpkins with great success using your “melon pits.” I passed that along to many friends who did likewise. I also plant the pumpkins in many “guerrilla gardens” in the swamp and backwoods on public land, and that’s worked out great as well. I never revisit them until harvest time, and they normally do better than my tended ones. Anyways, this year I want to give the three sisters a try. My plan is to use Jimmy Red corn, Cherokee black pole beans, and Seminole pumpkins. Pretty much everything I read says to plant on mounds. However, my place is high, dry, east-bank-of-Lake George sugar sand. Is mounding the way I should go? We didn’t even have standing water during the past two hurricanes. My thought was to maybe do these in slight pits like the melons and pumpkins but wanted to see if you had any advice on the subject? Thanks for your time.”

Fantastic. It’s good to hear from a fellow Floridian.

Mounds are what you always hear about. It’s even on the back of the seed packets. Calen is right to question the practice in his soil conditions.

For people who haven’t planted in “sugar sand,” it’s hard to explain how very hot, dry, and fast-draining the stuff is. It contains almost no humus and needier crops planted in sugar sand need almost constant watering.

Scrubland Sandy Soil

My old homestead in North Florida had large patches of almost sandy loam with smaller granules which would hold water for longer. There, I would double-dig and loosen the ground to plant, which would mound it up somewhat.

GardensFebruary2015-5

Those loose raised beds did very well, so it would be easy to say, “Oh yes, Calen, go ahead and plant in mounds—it works in Florida!”

But sugar sand isn’t the same as the soil above. Just because something works in one area of a state doesn’t mean it will work in another. And in his area, I would try to stay as flat as possible.

When you raise the height of the soil in one area, the water will drain out of it faster as it finds its level. You really can’t afford to let that happen. If he’s not holding onto water even after a hurricane, raised beds and mounds, unless amended with extra compost before every planting, are not the way to go.

You might want to go even further and grow in sunken beds, as is sometimes done in the Southwestern U.S.

Even across my old homestead, the backyard was loamy and the front yard was sandier.

This is how I used to plant melons and pumpkins in my fast-draining front yard:

Melon Pit

Those are sprouting legumes, by the way. In the winter I would plant melon pits with cool-season legumes like lentils, chickpeas, peas, and fava beans to feed the soil and pave the way for the curcurbits I planted in the spring.

Read More: “No Bare Soil! Vegetable Garden Cover Crops”

I would try planting in sunken beds, Calen, and see how it works. If you really want to see if it makes a difference, plant one area flat, one area in sunken beds, and one area on mounds, then compare how they did over the season. That would be a really good way to gain a bunch of data from one growing season.

I planted corn in flat ground when I had a sandy area:

Corn in Sandy Soil

And on mounds in clay:

Planting-on-mounds-1

You’re right to think outside the mound, and you get serious extra points for guerilla gardening Seminole pumpkins. The melon pit method is one of my favorite discoveries.

If you’re reading this and don’t know what Calen is talking about, here’s how to make a melon pit:

In sand, dig deeper and go for an indentation instead of a mound.

What about you? Have you had success planting on mounds in sandy soil? What about with using melon pits? Let me know in the comments below!

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The post Should You Plant on Mounds in Sandy Soil? appeared first on The Grow Network.

Free PDF: US Army Marksmanship Training Unit Counter-Sniper Guide

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This counter sniper guide from the U.S. Army Marksmanship Training Unit is designed to help a trained individual in the selection of equipment, training and employment of the countersniper. From the foreword: With the increase in civil disorders, the term sniper has come into common usage (particularly in the press) which is in general, erroneously used in that the term is commonly applied to any person who fires at a specific area or person with any type of firearm. Webster defines a SNIPER as “a sharp-shooter concealed to harass the enemy by picking off individual members, usually at long range,

The post Free PDF: US Army Marksmanship Training Unit Counter-Sniper Guide appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

The Decline of Western Civilization: Why I wrote my books

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WHY I WROTE MY BOOKS

“Testing Your Outdoor Survival Skills”

Christopher Nyerges

I am often asked why I teach and write about the topics of self-reliance and survival.  Here is part of my answer.

“The city” developed organically from the earliest times of human history, presumably for the mutual survival and upliftment of all those who became a part of it.   The city because the locus for heightened social interaction, where farmers could barter and sell their goods to the far reaches of the domain, where the brightest and the best could answer your questions and resolved your needs, whether about technical, medical, or other issue.  It’s obvious why cities developed, though it has not always so altruistic.

We know, for example, that the great Mayan cities most likely had theocratic rulers whose orders were law, and sometimes that worked out well for the people.  But it could also spell the demise for the city if deluded self-important religious leaders saw themselves as more important than “the people.”  Right here in North America, there was the great city of Cahokia in what is now Illinois, which emerged, dominated, changed and improved the lives of everyone it touched, and then, for various reasons, it disappeared.

Cities and civilizations arise out of the common interests of those it serves, and they seem to follow a pattern of growth, peaking, declining, disappearing (that’s the 25 cent version of what usually takes a full semester anthropology course).

Every school child has heard about the great Roman empire, and how it “fell.”  We read the great details and shake our heads at the Roman stupidity that allowed such greatness to fall, and secretly, we believe it can never happen to us.  Really?  Well, we don’t want it to happen to us, of course, but consider that a “civilization” is a living, dynamic entity.  It’s essence and character and health are all determined by the collective mindset and collective actions of all the participants, whether you recognize that or not.  And it does seem to more and more of us that the collective mindset is too often about short-term gains, and not about the health and survival and vitality of the city, and the culture, and our civilization.

We aren’t sure exactly where we are as a people in the curve of the decline of a civilization, or whether or not we can affect that decline.  However, there is always something that the individual can do – always. 

To gain a higher perspective of what you can do, in your own life, in your own family and in your own town, I strongly encourage you to read Morris Berman’s “The Twilight of American Culture.” There are lots of good ideas there. Also, continue to read the publications that describe and promote the positive actions you can take every day in  your own life to improve your survival quotient, in the city, and in the wilderness.

Everyone wants to make the wisest choices  when our modern structures break down, either from the ravages of nature, or from man (war, terrorism, disease, etc.). 

Sometimes we can feel like we are just a drop of water in the ocean, but as we network and work with like-minded others, we can move in the direction of living solutions.

When I began teaching about wild foods and survival skills when I was still a teenager, I did so to encourage others to think likewise, but mostly I did so to clarify my own thinking on the subject.  You could call it enlightened self-interest.  Plus, by teaching and writing, I was able to meet others along the same path, people that I would have never met if I were hiding out somewhere in a cave.

I taught field trips, and I taught in the classroom. When I taught in the classroom, I found it useful to organize each subject by topic, and to teach by constantly asking questions of the students.  Those refined and edited questions became the basis for my “Testing Your Outdoor Survival Skills” textbook, which is still used by many today.  (It’s available on Amazon, or from the store at www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.com). 

Though I still use that “Testing” textbook, I have also written “How to Survive Anywhere,” which embodies most of the ideas in “Testing Your Outdoor Survival Skills.” 

In “How to Survive Anywhere,” I mention Jane Jacobs, who is the author of “Dark Ages Ahead,” who attempts to offer solutions to anyone worried about the decline of western civilization.  Her book is worth reading; at least read page 258 of “How to Survive Anywhere,” where I summarize her thinking.  She explains some of the obvious causes of our decline, especially the idea of community.  But she does not see “dark ages” as inevitable. Rather, she says that since culture is a living dynamic entity, we need to all become living examples of the best in society, and we need to think, we need to model solutions, and we need to teach, lecture, and write! 

Spicing up Your Post-Apocalyptic Menu

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Spicing up Your Post-Apocalyptic Menu
courtesy of @nate_dumlao

Spicing up Your Post-Apocalyptic Menu

When you’re stocking up your post-apocalyptic pantry, gourmet taste probably isn’t the first thing on your mind. After a couple of months of MREs and non-perishable snacks, though, you may find yourself wishing that you had something to add a little bit more flavor to your meals. Growing and preparing spices isn’t tricky, and it can make a world of difference when it comes to the bland and the downright unpalatable. Some spices can even make your dishes healthier. Here are a couple of ways that you can continue to enjoy eating, even after the collapse of society.

 

Stock up on Spices

Powdered spices can last for years when stored properly, so it’s a good idea to stock up now on the essentials. This will give you plenty of time to establish your own garden of herbs, spices, peppers, and other flavorings. You should also learn how to dry and powder your own produce to make it last longer.

Not only do dried spices add flavor to your meals, but they can also make a good addition to your medical arsenal. Taking cinnamon as an example, it has anti-clotting properties, while ginger can help to prevent cold and flu symptoms. It’s a good idea to brush up on common medicinal herbs and their uses when considering what to grow or stockpile.

Grow Cold-Hardy Herbs

While some herbs need to be replanted each spring, others can withstand the cold. This makes it easier to maintain a healthy herb garden year after year without having to worry about transporting plants indoors. Some common cold-hardy herbs include mint, thyme, chives, oregano, sage, parsley, and lemon balm. If you have a feline companion to keep to rodents away from your grain stores, you can also grow catnip as a fun treat.

Make Flavorings from Bugs

While some may balk at the idea, eating bugs has actually been proposed as a healthy and eco-friendly alternative to meats, offering plenty of protein, good fats, iron, and calcium. In a post-apocalyptic world, it would be much easier to farm or hunt for a big population than for larger animals. In addition to being healthy, some bugs also have unique flavors that can help to add complexity to dishes. . Crickets have a subtle nutty flavor, while grasshoppers taste slightly of peanut. Stink bugs, while unappealing, can add apple flavoring when used in cooking. Many larvae also have unique characteristics–bee larvae are said to taste like chanterelle mushrooms and bacon.

When you’re stockpiling food for the worst, it’s important not to neglect taste. A supply of fresh and powdered herbs can turn an otherwise bland dish into an enjoyable experience and add a dash or normalcy to your post-apocalyptic lifestyle. You can also get creative and create flavors out of other natural materials such as insects.

 

Jenny Dawson is a freelance writer and editor. Before turning to freelancing she spent many years working in charity PR. When not working she loves getting outdoors, cooking and spending time traveling with her family.
 
 

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Battlefield America Part 4 The Classroom

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Battlefield America Part 4 The Classroom
Allen Getz ” Behind The Headlines ” Audio player below!

For this broadcast of Behind the Lines, we examine the battlefield called academia from a defensive vantage point. A short synopsis of the preceding episode will lead into how to combat the ‘pro-state’ mentality. This plan centers upon a re-examination of the coursework highlighted in the previous episode. This dissection will develop into the construction of a defense against the ‘collectivist’ philosophy inherent in the aforementioned curriculum (and apparently running rampant in higher education).

Continue reading Battlefield America Part 4 The Classroom at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

The First 10 Things Every New Prepper Should Do (Some of Them Are Free!)

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Over the past few years, here in America….

Contaminated water caused a complete loss of municipal services in both Ohio and West Virginia, resulting in almost a million people vying Read the rest

The post The First 10 Things Every New Prepper Should Do (Some of Them Are Free!) appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

The BEST Cucumber, Onion and Tomato Salad – So Refreshing!

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This classic Cucumber, Onion and Tomato Salad is a refreshing summertime salad that is served at most picnics and gatherings. It has the perfect balance of tang mixed with a little bit of sweetness that will have you eating this all

The post The BEST Cucumber, Onion and Tomato Salad – So Refreshing! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

How to Cope with a Psychological Shock While You Are Still in Danger

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: A guest contribution from Olivia to The Prepper Journal. For Preppers, the initial effect of a disaster/SHTF event will need to be processed as we try and cope with the everyday challenges of life and how it has changed. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and be entered into the Prepper Writing Contest with a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

Psychological shocks are the results of traumatic events. But how do you really know when a traumatic event has ended? People who’ve experienced psychological shocks agree that the impact of the traumas never stop being a burden. They will always feel susceptible to attacks, in a continuous state of alert, vulnerable and impotent in the face of danger. “When you are there, it’s all about surviving,” relates Lola Underwood, victim of sexual assault.

There are certain ways to cope with psychological shocks even when you experience the aforementioned emotions. Liberating your mind from that constant state of anxiety is challenging, and for irresolute individuals, nearly impossible. However, if you are determined to improve your life, this is a good place to start.

Take Your Time

After you’ve experienced a trauma, take some time to figure out your feelings. In case you are still in danger, it’s crucial to take a moment and decide on the next thing you must do. When we are trying to solve problems under pressure, the outcomes are worse than expected. Even when there is an imminent danger approaching, thinking about the issue and trying to find the perfect solution is the only smart thing you could do.

  • Be aware of what is happening and stay connected to the present
  • Don’t fight your feelings
  • Think of solutions rather than worry about the past
  • Focus on your breathing, and realize that the outcomes will be positive as long as you don’t freak out
  • Don’t let the situation control you. You control the situation.

In times of danger, structuring your thoughts is crucial. If your mind is haphazardly distributed, your brain will shut down. Make sure you breathe in, breathe out, and take everything step by step.

Write Down Your Emotions

People living with constant fear are usually paranoid, continuously afraid, and obsessed with taking revenge for what has happened to them. Even when they are not in an insecure place anymore, they might feel threatened by various sources, and act irrationally.

Dana Johnson, Psychologist at UniPsych Inc. and Writing Leading Specialist at CraveToWrite, a research paper writing company, shares her opinion. “Righting down your feelings and emotions after a traumatic event is crucial. Sometimes, we don’t realize how much writing helps us overcome different obstacles in our lives.”

A different approach:

  • When you are feeling down, take a pen and a paper and write down the reasons
  • For each feeling you’ve described, write down a number from 1 to 5 (1: the feeling is not that powerful, 5: the feeling can barely be borne)
  • Underline the most negative emotions, and write down what you feel when you experience those specific emotions
  • Ask yourself why you are afraid of those specific things (at least 7 times in a row)
  • Take a break, and come back to the exercise the next day

This exercise helps you realize what you are afraid of, and what is your level of anxiety.

Take a Look Behind the Curtains

It’s not enough to know what you’re scared of, you must know why too. Thus, try this:

  • Close your eyes
  • Breathe in, breathe out
  • Let your emotions flow
  • Imagine yourself in that place again
  • Even if it hurts, revive your emotions and let them flow into your brain
  • Now, stop right where your emotions are at their highest peak
  • Open your eyes, and write down exactly what you felt reliving that moment
  • What are the most vivid memories you have? What place or person do you recall the best?

If you review, pause, and write, it will be easier for you to identify the exact reasons behind your fears. Taking a look behind the curtain and understanding your own emotions and anxieties is crucial. That’s how we treat the causes, and not only the symptoms.

Educate Yourself

Educating yourself is truly important when it comes to your own safety, that’s why I am really glad that you are here. However, reading articles is not enough.

  • Acknowledge the fact that the same situation might happen again
  • Learn how to protect yourself and your family
  • Stay confident in your own defense mechanisms
  • Start taking self-defense classes
  • Always wear a pocketknife/paralysis spray with you

Remember: Better safe than sorry! Always.

Get Support

It’s truly important to recognize that we need help, whenever we do. Asking for therapy is not shameful, yet quite the opposite: it’s indeed very courageous. Taking about your problems with somebody else can be very challenging, especially when your experience has led to a burdensome trauma.

Reach out to the first person you trust, whether it’s a close friend, or a family member. If you don’t really trust anyone anymore, a psychologist is an even better option. They have worked with similar cases before, and they’ll know what type of support you need. And remember: if you feel uncomfortable, you can always leave.

Wrapping Up

In case of a shock, take your time to think about your next decisions, write down your emotions, understand your feelings, educate yourself on possible, future dangers, and reach out to a trustworthy person. It’s always good to know that somebody’s got your back.

About author: Olivia is a passionate blogger who writes on topics of digital marketing, career, and self-development. She constantly tries to learn something new and share this experience on various websites. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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The post How to Cope with a Psychological Shock While You Are Still in Danger appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Tomatoes – Growing The Garden Vegetable Prima Donnas

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tomatoes

Tomatoes are the prima donnas of the vegetable garden.

Tomatoes are a little different than many garden vegetables.

Throw lettuce or carrot seeds in the ground and they sprout within a week or two, grow rapidly, and you’re done. Ditto for broccoli, peppers, and onions. Sure, I’m simplifying, but barring disease and insect problems, these vegetable crops need little maintenance beyond watering, fertilizing, and weeding.

Not so with tomatoes. Tomatoes are the prima donnas of the vegetable garden. Of all the produce in my garden, tomatoes are the ones I prize the most. When grown properly, they produce abundant fruit, suitable for both fresh eating and preserving. They’re also the garden vegetable that, in my opinion, has the most to offer in taste over their grocery store counterparts.

They’re also the vegetable that I baby the most. Because indeterminate varieties continue growing until the first heavy frost on sprawling, robust vines, they’re more susceptible to diseases and problems than vegetables with a quick growing season, such as carrots or lettuce. Their fruits need plenty of sunlight – but not too much—to ripen properly.

Over the years, I’ve tried just about every method of tomato growing. Read on to glean from my experiments, failures, and successes and develop a plan for your own garden.

Old tires. My mother grew tomatoes in old tires, which offered some support, kept the weeds down, and produced heat, an important consideration in her northern garden. I don’t have access to free old tires and I worry a little about chemicals leaching from the tires, so I’ve never tried this method. Nevertheless, my mother’s garden always produced abundant tomatoes with this technique.

Cone cages. Early in my gardening career, I used the commercial cone-shaped tomato cages. Nowadays, you can find larger, sturdier cages that probably work well. Mine only stood about four feet tall and were pretty flimsy. I like the cages because they’re easy to store and easy to install. Minimal pruning is needed with this method, but the plants produce prolifically because they’re off the ground, which reduces disease problems and increases fruit production. Inexpensive cone cages work well for compact, determinate tomatoes, but they just don’t cut it if you’re growing heirloom or indeterminate varieties.

tomatoes

Staking makes it easy to pick your harvest!

Staking. I have on occasion staked my tomatoes. I pounded heavy metal posts into the ground and planted one tomato plant within a few inches of each stake. As the tomato plant grew, I secured it loosely to the post with strips of old cotton cloth. Nylon socks work well too. I kept one strong central leader and pruned out most of the other stalks. I also pinched out the suckers that grow between two strong, main stems. Staking has several advantages. The plants look tidy and attractive throughout the season, and they suffer few disease problems. Staked tomatoes also produce abundant quantities of good fruit. The downside to staking is the work involved. It is one of the most labor-intensive methods of growing tomatoes. Also, if you prune too heavily, the fruit becomes sun scalded.

Trellising. One year, I grew my tomatoes along a fence made of chicken wire strung between two metal fencing posts. This method is similar to staking because you must tie the vines to the trellis as the plants grow. Pruning is also necessary to keep the plants in check. Harvesting is fairly simple. Because the plants are secured against a flat surface, it’s easy to spot and pick the fruit.

Structure-free. The summer after my fourth baby was born, I decided to let the tomatoes sprawl on the ground. I was sleep deprived and short on time and ambition, and this seemed like an easier alternative to other methods. I had heard that tomatoes grown this way produce fewer, but larger fruits, but I was surprised by the results. My tomatoes produced significantly fewer fruits using this method, and the quality was quite poor. Even in my dry climate, I had more problems with disease and insect pests than I’ve ever encountered. I haven’t tried this experiment again.

Heavy-Duty Cages. After experimenting with all the various methods, I’ve settled on using heavy-duty cages. They take up space in my shed in the winter, but they offer the best chance of a disease-free, abundant crop with the least amount of effort. I made my tomato cages from concrete reinforcing wire. They’re very heavy and will likely last forever. If you’d like to make your own cages, Master Gardener Larry Kloze from the University of Maryland offers a video tutorial. Several manufacturers now make sturdier square cages, many of which are collapsible. Whether you use a sturdy homemade or commercial cage, ensure that the cages have a space of at least five to six inches between each wire for pruning and harvesting tasks. When growing tomatoes in cages, I keep pruning to a minimal, removing only the ancillary sprouts and occasionally topping the plant if it becomes too tall.

Old Time Tomatoes Are Easy To Grow…

Other Considerations

Once I figured out how to control my tomatoes, I started experimenting with mulches and cloches. In my cold, dry climate, summer doesn’t really arrive until June 1, which means a shorter growing season than I’d like. Once summer does arrive, dry heat and wind quickly parch my garden. I needed some strategies to warm up conditions in the spring and conserve moisture in the summer. Here’s just a few that I’ve tried:

Milk jug cloches. To keep young plants warm and protected, I cut the bottoms off gallon-size plastic milk jugs. I also removed the lid to allow air to circulate freely. I placed these milk jugs in the garden directly over young plants. The results: The milk jugs did an adequate job of protecting young plants, but they must be removed when the plants stand about eight inches tall. I liked the fact that they were free and I was reusing a resource, but my dog and my toddler kept playing with them. More than once, I found them somewhere else in the yard.

Wall-O-Water. I bought these plastic cloches at a local garden center and placed them over my tomatoes. They have tunnels, which, when filled with water, create a greenhouse effect. The results:  I’m not one for buying expensive gardening gadgets, but this item has paid for itself many times over. By using these cloches, I can plant tomatoes up to three weeks earlier, a huge boon in my northern climate. The plants grow faster and produce fruit faster, as well. They cost about $4 each, which adds up quickly if you grow a lot of tomatoes, but I’ve had mine for several years. They fold flat and take up almost no room in the shed during the winter. Just be sure to remove the cloches when temperatures rise above 75 degrees; otherwise, you’ll scorch your plants.

Black plastic mulch. My county extension office recommends black plastic mulches over tomatoes, so I decided to give it a try one year. I stretched a length of black plastic over a raised bed and stapled it down. I cut holes in the plastic to plant the tomatoes, and I ran soaker hoses underneath the plastic for watering. The results: I had almost no weed growth, which was fabulous, and the soil did stay moister. On the other hand, the plastic broke down over the season and I hated throwing it away at summer’s end. I also found it difficult to fertilize the tomatoes.

Untreated grass clippings. I spread one inch of untreated grass clippings over the soil every week. The results: I love grass clippings in my garden and don’t reserve them just for tomatoes. The grass clippings reduce weed growth, conserve moisture, and add low doses of nitrogen as they break down. Best of all, they cost nothing, and I’m keeping them out of the landfill. If you decide to use grass clippings in your garden, apply no more than one inch per week. Thick layers can’t decompose and instead become slimy, smelly messes.

To read more about tomatoes, check out  The Remarkable Health Benefits of Ordinary Tomatoes!

©2018 Off the Grid News

The post Tomatoes – Growing The Garden Vegetable Prima Donnas appeared first on Off The Grid News.