Marjory Interviews Survivor of Argentinian Collapse

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Back in 2013, I had the privilege of interviewing Fernando Aguirre, who survived the Argentinian economic collapse that started in 2001. He tells a fascinating story of how quickly municipal water sanitation deteriorated in Buenos Aires after the crisis began.

Fernando’s brother came to visit him from Spain during the crisis—and the first thing that happened is that his brother got sick from drinking the water.

You see, as collapse unfolded in Buenos Aires, maintenance on the water and sewage utility systems deteriorated, and levels of sanitation plummeted among the general public. Illnesses and diseases that had never been seen before in Argentina suddenly showed up—diseases that were more common in places like India or Africa.

The primary cause? We now know that the increased incidence of sickness correlated with decreasing standards of public sanitation.

I haven’t made this podcast recording available to our community for some years, but I do believe that our country is once again edging toward economic crisis. If you want to hear the podcast where Fernando speaks candidly and openly about his experiences during the Argentinian collapse, you can listen to the full interview by clicking here.

 

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Remove That Tomato Debris … Or Is There A Better Way? (Homesteading Basics)

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Since our TGN Community is so spread out geographically—across the globe, really—I wanted to go ahead and post this Homesteading Basics video because there are certain climates where this question is starting to come up. And if your tomatoes are still producing (or maybe are just starting to produce if you’re in a colder climate!), it’s never too early to start thinking about this!

So, here’s my question: When your tomatoes have stopped producing, what do you do with your tomato debris?

I share my intention for my own tomato plants in the above Homesteading Basics video—but are my garden cleanup plans truly necessary? I’d really like to know what you think, so please let me know your opinion in the comments!

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Do You Know What to Do If Your Water Becomes Contaminated?

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Back in 2015, the EPA spilled millions of gallons of toxic waste into a river in Colorado. This single event turned an entire river system orange with over 3 million gallons of toxic water containing heavy metals such as manganese, copper, zinc, and cadmium. Wells and municipal water systems in 3 states were tested for possible contamination.

This was just another reminder about how vulnerable our water supply is . . . one of many reminders over just the past few years. There are a whole slew of threats that can compromise our water—natural disasters, industrial abuses, government accidents—the list goes on.

So that leads me to the question I want to ask you today: Do you know what to do if your water supply becomes contaminated during an emergency?

When disaster strikes and your water supply is disrupted or contaminated, safe drinking water will quickly become your #1 Priority. Who will make sure that your family has the water they need to survive? You, that’s who.

Plain and simple, you need to be ready to take care of your own.

The ability to turn nasty water into pure, safe drinking water in an emergency is an essential skill for pretty much everyone, so I’ve asked water purification expert Glenn Meder if he would update the TGN Community on threats to our water supply. He very kindly agreed, so if you want to learn how to take care of your family’s water supply in an emergency situation, I hope you’ll join us next week for this free online class.

In it, Glenn will teach us how to provide our families with safe drinking water independent of municipal sources or supply chains for long periods of time, and how to assess a water emergency and make smart decisions.

Here’s the important info:

It’s Been 4 Days Without Electricity. Now What?
(How to Provide Your Family with Safe Drinking Water in a Massive, Long-term Blackout) 

Thursday, June 28

7:00 p.m. CDT (8:00 p.m. EDT / 6:00 p.m. MDT / 5:00 p.m. PDT)

Reserve Your Spot Now

Glenn’s an expert on this subject. He grew up working in his family’s water-treatment business, and he has a better understanding of the details of water treatment than anyone else I’ve ever met.

So, needless to say, we’re pretty excited that he’ll be offering this class to our TGN Community. I promise you’ll be glad you took one hour to review this lifesaving information.

(Oh, and, when you register for next week’s free class, Glenn will send you Water in an Emergency, a simple, practical e-guide to water treatment after an emergency. It takes you beyond bottled water and shows you how to be prepared to produce your own safe drinking water for extended periods of time. You’ll want to print it out and have it with your emergency supplies as a quick reference.)

 

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Summer Kitchen In A Suitcase?

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During last year’s Home Grown Food Summit, the president of SUN OVENS International, Paul Munsen, very kindly donated not one, but two SUN OVENS for us to give away as prizes.

But it was a bit crazy: Nikki, who manages all of our incoming e-mail, was bombarded with inquiries about this particular prize.

Easy outdoor kitchen: cook with the sun using a sun oven!

(And about the Survival Still . . . but I’ll come back to that in another post.)

Anyway, people were asking Nikki so many questions about how the SUN OVEN works, that I contacted Paul and asked him to ship me one so I could create my own video review of it!

You can watch me unbox a SUN OVEN and cook with it for the first time here:

Once I tried it, I could immediately appreciate why SUN OVENS have been on the market for more than 30 years now.

This is a quality product.

And in the middle of a Texas summer, I gotta tell you, I really appreciate being able to cook outdoors with it.

Easy outdoor kitchen: cook with the sun using a sun oven!
Easy outdoor kitchen: cook with the sun using a sun oven!

If you’re interested in learning more about the SUN OVEN and how it can benefit your family, Paul will be hosting a really great workshop for our TGN Community next week:

Review of the Sun Oven

Spring Into Summer: Harness the Sun to Save Money & Live Naturally

Thursday, June 21, 2018

6:00 p.m. PST / 7:00 p.m. MDT / 8:00 p.m. CST / 9:00 p.m. EST

A 60-minute online class with live Q&A

FREE TO ATTEND . . . but you must register here:

https://www.sunoven.com/grow-network-registration

Hope you can make it!

Easy outdoor kitchen: cook with the sun using a sun oven!

P.S. Don’t forget . . . . Paul has spoken at the last two Home Grown Food Summits, so if you’d like to geek out and prepare some questions IN ADVANCE for him, you can always rewatch the presentations if you purchased lifetime access to these events (Lifetime access is no longer available, but if you already own them, you can rewatch them!):

  1. “Harnessing Solar Energy on the Homestead” was his presentation at the 2017 Home Grown Food Summit.
  2. And “Cooking With the Power of the Sun” was his presentation at the 2016 Home Grown Food Summit.

P.P.S. You won’t want to miss this webinar. Paul has promised to cover topics that will include how to:

  • Use a SUN OVEN in ways that go beyond just cooking, like pasteurizing water, dehydrating, and sterilizing potting soil.
  • Bake, boil, steam, and roast complete meals (that’ll never burn!).
  • Naturally dehydrate fruits and vegetables, or make jerky.
  • Reduce your utility bills (and keep your kitchen cooler!) while enjoying baked roasts and breads all summer long.
  • Naturally kill bug infestations in grains or dried foods.

And so much more.

Again, you can register for this FREE class here: https://www.sunoven.com/grow-network-registration

Plus, you’ll see on the registration page that Paul is giving everyone who registers a FREE COPY of his e-Book “Emerging from the Emergency,” a 120-page disaster preparedness guide that helps you plan to survive any tragedy or disaster.

So make sure you download a copy of that, too!

(This review of the SUN OVEN was originally published on July 17, 2017—but the 2018 workshop really is happening next week! 🙂

 

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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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June Question of the Month

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TGN Community members:

Do you have any favorite tools that you use around the homestead or garden that you just couldn’t live without?

Please leave your reply in the comments below, or in the Forums by clicking here: https://thegrownetwork.com/forums/topic/favorite-homesteading-tools-and-supplies/

We’ll compile your answers into an article soon!

 

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No More Disappearing Tools With This Simple Trick! (Homesteading Basics)

If there’s one ironclad rule of gardening and homesteading, it’s this: As soon as you lay that tool down on the ground, it will disappear! 😉 So, whether I’m heading out to the orchard to prune or trekking to the back 40 for fence repairs, I use a very simple trick to keep track of all the tools I need for the job.

Watch this 2-minute edition of Homesteading Basics to learn more:

https://youtu.be/jWQpYKBZwTU

Then, I’d love to know your tricks for keeping those tools handy on the job … leave me a note in the comments section below!

 

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No More Disappearing Tools With This Simple Trick! (Homesteading Basics)

Click here to view the original post.

If there’s one ironclad rule of gardening and homesteading, it’s this: As soon as you lay that tool down on the ground, it will disappear! 😉 So, whether I’m heading out to the orchard to prune or trekking to the back 40 for fence repairs, I use a very simple trick to keep track of all the tools I need for the job.

Watch this 2-minute edition of Homesteading Basics to learn more:

https://youtu.be/jWQpYKBZwTU

Then, I’d love to know your tricks for keeping those tools handy on the job … leave me a note in the comments section below!

 

The post No More Disappearing Tools With This Simple Trick! (Homesteading Basics) appeared first on The Grow Network.

May Question of the Month

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TGN Community members:

What successes have you had using information you learned in The Grow Network’s Home Medicine 101 course?

Please leave your reply in the Forums by clicking here: https://thegrownetwork.com/forums/topic/successes-using-information-in-home-medicine-101-course/

Thanks so much for letting me know!

 

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You Did WHAT To Those Farkleberries?! (Homesteading Basics)

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Today, I want to talk a little bit about plant communication, a little bit about gratitude, and a litle bit about one of my favorite wild plants: the farkleberry. It’s a blueberry that’s native to Texas.

Actually, some people call them sparkleberries, because apparently the Boy Scouts had too good of a time with the name farkleberry! But I still call them farkleberries. They’re just delicious little berries. They’re a little bit mealy, but a little bit sweet. If you cut sugar out of your diet like I have, you’ll find that it’s very nice to be able to enjoy some sweets like these.

Now, whenever I harvest anything—especially wildcraft—I keep in mind that this is a living plant that has produced things that I’m taking. In fair exchange, I want to express my gratitude to this plant for producing these berries and letting me pick and eat them.

The number one way to do this—the thing that plants would love the most—is to simply urinate at the base of the plant. You have a highly available form of nitrogen in your urine, and plants really appreciate that. Of course, that may not be passable in a lot of places, like public parks or maybe even your backyard. Or you might not be comfortable yet doing that kind of thing.

So, if you have a canteen of water with you and you’re living in dry country, another great thing you can do is use a small bit of water to express your gratitude.

Another thing I like to do every couple of years is grow some tobacco. Tobacco is a plant that has been used historically by the native peoples here in America. It can make a great fertilizer. Just take a pinch, sprinkle it on the soil around the plant, and say, “Thank you so much. I appreciate your fruits.” The plants don’t understand your words, but they get your intent.

Just making an offering of some sort is immensely beneficial in that relationship.

One of the kind of “woo-woo” things that I found out about this is that the more I do it, the more I’m suddenly able to see farkleberry bushes when I couldn’t see them before. It’s almost as if they know that I’m looking for them, and they call to me. Again, a little bit mystical, but isn’t plant communication in general?

I’d love to hear your experiences with this type of thing. Leave me a note in the comments! 🙂

 

The post You Did WHAT To Those Farkleberries?! (Homesteading Basics) appeared first on The Grow Network.

You Did WHAT To Those Farkleberries?! (Homesteading Basics)

Today, I want to talk a little bit about plant communication, a little bit about gratitude, and a litle bit about one of my favorite wild plants: the farkleberry. It’s a blueberry that’s native to Texas.

Actually, some people call them sparkleberries, because apparently the Boy Scouts had too good of a time with the name farkleberry! But I still call them farkleberries. They’re just delicious little berries. They’re a little bit mealy, but a little bit sweet. If you cut sugar out of your diet like I have, you’ll find that it’s very nice to be able to enjoy some sweets like these.

Now, whenever I harvest anything—especially wildcraft—I keep in mind that this is a living plant that has produced things that I’m taking. In fair exchange, I want to express my gratitude to this plant for producing these berries and letting me pick and eat them.

The number one way to do this—the thing that plants would love the most—is to simply urinate at the base of the plant. You have a highly available form of nitrogen in your urine, and plants really appreciate that. Of course, that may not be passable in a lot of places, like public parks or maybe even your backyard. Or you might not be comfortable yet doing that kind of thing.

So, if you have a canteen of water with you and you’re living in dry country, another great thing you can do is use a small bit of water to express your gratitude.

Another thing I like to do every couple of years is grow some tobacco. Tobacco is a plant that has been used historically by the native peoples here in America. It can make a great fertilizer. Just take a pinch, sprinkle it on the soil around the plant, and say, “Thank you so much. I appreciate your fruits.” The plants don’t understand your words, but they get your intent.

Just making an offering of some sort is immensely beneficial in that relationship.

One of the kind of “woo-woo” things that I found out about this is that the more I do it, the more I’m suddenly able to see farkleberry bushes when I couldn’t see them before. It’s almost as if they know that I’m looking for them, and they call to me. Again, a little bit mystical, but isn’t plant communication in general?

I’d love to hear your experiences with this type of thing. Leave me a note in the comments! 🙂

 

The post You Did WHAT To Those Farkleberries?! (Homesteading Basics) appeared first on The Grow Network.

How To Tie Shoes So They STAY Tied

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You know how much I love to walk around barefoot, so this probably won’t come as any surprise … but it took me 55 years to learn how to tie shoes so they’ll stay tied!

I want to share this method with you today, because it really is awesome:

  • It uses a simple knot that’s just a slight variation on the knot you probably already use to tie your shoes.
  • Your shoes will stay tied all day long (no more tripping over untied shoelaces or having to stop constantly to retie them!).
  • And, when you’re ready to kick off your shoes at the end of the day, untying your laces will be as simple as pulling on a string. (Really!)

I made a video of the process. I really think you’re going to love knowing how to tie shoes like this:

After you watch, give it a try and let me know how it works for you in the comments section below!

(Oh, and be sure to make your life easier by checking out my other time-saving Homesteading Basics tips here!)

 

The post How To Tie Shoes So They STAY Tied appeared first on The Grow Network.

Never Lose Another Garden Tool With This Super-Simple Hack

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How many times have I been out in the garden, needed my widger, and had to spend precious minutes hunting for it … and then even more minutes trying to remember why I needed it in the first place?!

The same thing used to happen to me when I needed to make a note of something—and then realized that the notebook I use to jot down my gardening records was half an acre away in my house! Between the urge to “just finish one more thing first” and the fact that one of my kids inevitably needed me for something the second I stepped foot in the door, I didn’t always remember to update my records after all.

But this simple gardening trick changed all that. I first learned it from one of my organic gardening heroes, John Dromgoole. (In fact, if you saw my TGN On The Road interview with John in the Honors Lab this month, you already heard this tip!)

It’s one of those “why didn’t I think of this?” hacks that will keep your garden tools and records high, dry, and—most importantly—right at your fingertips when you need them most!

Check it out here:

 

The post Never Lose Another Garden Tool With This Super-Simple Hack appeared first on The Grow Network.

300,000 People Are Joining This Online Event—Are You?

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The modern diet is making billions of people sick and fat.

If you’re fed up with toxic food, and hungry for a change, then I have wonderful news. My friends John and Ocean Robbins are getting ready to bring YOU one of the most powerful free events in the history of food. Have you signed up yet?

Learn the truth about food at the 2018 Food Revolution Summit.

Our current diet is leading to heart disease, dementia, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases.

But the truth is, you can beat disease, and step into great health — starting with the food on your plate!

From April 28-May 6, John and Ocean are interviewing 24 of the world’s top medical and food experts you can trust, including Joel Fuhrman, MD; Kris Carr; Michael Greger, MD; Vani Hari; Neal Barnard, MD; Dale Bredesen, MD; Mark Hyman, MD; David Perlmutter, MD; and many more.

During this weeklong, online event, you’ll gain the latest insights on food and nutrition. And you’ll learn about specific foods that can enhance brain health, prevent cancer, and put you solidly on the path to lasting wellness.

This isn’t time for fewer pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, added sugars, additives, colorings, and processing. If we truly want health, now is the time for a food revolution.

If you know that food matters, and you want to do the best for your body and your planet, then this is THE place to be.

Join the Food Revolution Summit and get the resources you need to stand up for real food.

I’ll see you there!

 

The post 300,000 People Are Joining This Online Event—Are You? appeared first on The Grow Network.

What Do YOU Think? (3-Minute Survey)

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The Grow Network is already the premier online Community for people who produce their own food and medicine — and we’re looking for ways to get even better!

Your feedback is really important to me and our team as we decide how The Grow Network can be most useful to you. Would you be willing to take a brief survey to let us know?

There are only 7 short questions which should take you about 3 minutes to complete. Just answer and click —  it’s easy!

Click Here To Take The Survey:
 https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CX2JR3N

Thank you so much for participating in this survey!

Big hug,

Marjory

 

 

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Growing Turmeric in My Favorite Container Gardening System

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Today, I want to show you a unique container planting system that I use to grow turmeric—one of my favorite home medicines.

This container gardening system is called the Urbin Grower, and it’s a small bed that has a trough bottom for water, creating its own self-watering system.

I’ve been growing turmeric in this Urbin Grower for several months now. I simply planted some turmeric root that I picked up from the grocery store. Turmeric is an amazing medicinal plant!

I have to say that I love this container. I just check to make sure that it’s always got water in the bottom. That water acts as a natural moat that keeps ants and other insects out. It’s also a buffer, so if I’m gone for a week, the planter is going to be fine.

If you’re growing in small spaces or on patios, or for those precious plants (like turmeric!) that you want to have by your house, the Urbin Grower is really working out well for me.

Want to read another article about how to grow turmeric? Check out Learning to Grow Ginger and Turmeric in the Midwest.

(This article was originally published on February 27, 2017.)

 

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‘The Antidote to Waking Up’

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In my recent interview with Dylan Charles of Waking Times, I explain that you really only need 2 acres to produce all the food you need for a large family … and you can produce half of the calories your family needs in an average backyard.

You can listen to the interview, titled “How Growing Food Can Diminish Stress and Evoke a True Sense of Security,” here: http://www.wakingtimes.com/interview-how-growing-food-can-diminish-stress-evoke-true-sense-security/

So, since my Texas homestead is quite a bit bigger than 2 acres, I cultivate the equivalent of a half-dozen backyards where I just try things out.

I test various growing methods, compare the usefulness of different products in the same category (self-watering planters or game cameras, anyone?), and strive for high-efficiency, low-work methods for food production. (I mean, I travel a LOT—my food supply has to be at least partially self-sustaining!)

In the interview, I also joke that growing your own food is the “antidote to waking up” in a country that’s bankrupt and still teetering on the verge of economic collapse.

I’m sure you agree—gardening provides such a sense of security and relief!

In fact, growing your own really nutritious food with as little work as possible is the focus of my new video, “Grow Half Your Own Food (in your own backyard in just an hour a day).” We actually just did a free 72-hour screening of the film this week, but if you missed it, or want to be able to refer back to the information in it, you can still buy the video here: http://thegrownetwork.pages.ontraport.net/growhalf

Then, let me know in the comments below: What benefits have you gained from growing your own food?

 

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Can you regrow a finger? (GRAPHIC)

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CAUTION: This article, and the photos in it, include graphic details related to losing and regrowing a finger. If you are disturbed by information and images of this nature, please use your own discretion when determining whether to read further.

In my own journey, I am working to heal my vision.  Many people don’t know that one of my earliest memories is of being in an eye hospital at about the age of three. There, I was declared legally blind.

Oh, I can see OK with a magnifying glass and can get around fine for the most part, but my vision is below 20/200 and I cannot drive a car.

I was told it was genetic, there was no medical procedure to repair it, and it cannot be corrected by lenses. So, for most of my life, I defined myself as a blind person.

But I decided a while ago that I would try to see if I could heal this condition. I have been making some amazing progress, which I’ll talk about later. And I’ve found the best way to do the impossible is to find other people who have done the impossible.

One of these is my friend Reneé Ainlay, who, at the age of 47, caught one of her index fingers in a grinder … and regrew it.

Here’s her story, as told in the Early Fall 2008 edition of “The Primal Diet Newsletter,” by Aajonus Vonderplanitz. He is the nutritionist who guided her in this regenerative journey.

“The following is a miraculously natural event from Mother Earth’s kitchen of therapies that I discovered through trial and error. Reneé, 47 years young at the time, caught one of her index fingers in a grinder. It was ground including bone. Not even one cell could be saved and reattached. I advised her to apply lime juice first to the open wound and surrounding area. Lime juice surrounds particles and dead cells of flesh, blood, lymph, and nerves so that white blood cells would not amass in the area that could complicate healing and regrowth. I suggested that she apply coconut cream over the lime juice, and apply unheated honey over the coconut cream, then lay a very thin slice of fresh beef or buffalo steak over her finger’s open wound. I asked her to cover the meat with a piece of coconut cream–moistened gauze to prevent the meat from drying and contracting her wound. I instructed her to place a piece of plastic the size of the gauze to cover the gauze and prevent the gauze from drying, then tape it all loosely with adhesive gauze. The following photos recorded her finger’s healing progress while Reneé adhered to my Primal Diet and followed my advice for her finger. The first 2 photos were taken within 3 days of injury on September 12, 2007. The third and fourth photos were taken November 6, 2007. The last 2 were taken September 22, 2008, one year after the incident.”

Here are the pictures he’s referring to (remember, they’re very graphic):

Renee's Finger 1

Renee's Finger 2

Renee's Finger 3

Renee's Finger 4

Renee's Finger 5

Renee's Finger 6

Isn’t that incredible? I know Reneé personally, and this event did actually happen the way it was written above. Stories like this give me continued hope for regenerating my eyesight….

By the way, if you want to learn a little more about Reneé, check out the interview I did with her on “Dissolving Kidney Stones Without a Doctor,” here:

https://youtu.be/MIJC8mL-gKA

You’ll notice that coconut cream is a common theme in both of these stories—in fact, Reneé believes in it so much that she cofounded Original Living Coconut, a Missouri-based company that processes and sells raw, organic coconut cream (as well as coconut oil, coconut cream-based desserts, and coconut kefir). You can check out the company’s website here: www.originallivingcoconut.com

Then, let me know your thoughts on Reneé’s story!

 

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Want a healthy body? Start with a healthy mouth!

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As you may know, I’ve dealt with a lot of dental issues over the course of my life because of a sugar addiction that started when I was very young. (Thankfully, I’ve been able to get this under control over the past few years….)

I learned a lot as I searched for holistic solutions to heal my teeth from the disease and decay brought about by years of constant exposure to sugar.

And, through my research, I came to realize not only how important the wellness of the body is to the health of the mouth …

… but also how important the wellness of the mouth is to the health of the body.

That’s why I was really thrilled when my friend and colleague Jonathan Landsman invited me to speak next Saturday, March 17, at his upcoming Holistic Oral Health Summit. The fact that you can so improve your general health by taking proper care of your mouth is something that people often overlook or misunderstand.

Holistic Oral Health Summit

For example, did you know:

  • It’s possible to reverse cancer by properly eliminating oral infections.
  • 90% of all heart attacks are caused by oral pathogens.
  • It’s possible to resolve some autoimmune disorders by getting rid of toxic dental materials.
  • Reversing gum disease can help you get rid of digestive problems.
  • Root canal procedures increase your risk of cancer and other degenerative diseases.

Pretty interesting information, right? And there’s a lot more where that comes from in the upcoming Holistic Oral Health Summit.

It’s completely free to register and watch, and what you’ll learn really could change your life.

Click on this link to register for FREE today. 

 

 

 

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Simple & Effective Worm Composting (VIDEO)

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While traveling in the Pacific Northwest, I met Peter Paul, who showed me the most amazing—and amazingly simple—idea for an outdoor worm composting bin. Using the help of worms to break down food matter (even meats!), Peter shows you a couple of simple methods for making great homemade compost.

Not only that, this method creates a vibrant compost tea that gave Peter 7-foot-tall tomato plants! He also sometimes trades his “worm juice” for different items … even once for iPhone (LOL).

This is a sample of the kinds of things you’ll learn when you take The Grow Network’s “Instant Master Gardener” certification class. Chock full of useful, doable information for taking your garden to the next level, “Instant Master Gardener” is available to our Honors Lab members as part of their monthly subscription. Click here to learn more!

(This article was originally published on May 19, 2015.)

 

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Planting Potatoes … the Easy Way! (VIDEO)

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Here in Central Texas, the rule of thumb for planting potatoes is to get ‘er done around Valentine’s Day. My TGN friends in colder climates tend to wait a little longer—say mid-April or even later—until their soil has warmed up to at least 45°F.

Since I spent this past Monday doing spring garden prep and getting my potatoes in the ground, it seemed like a good time to share this video with you:

In it, Paul Gautschi (of Back to Eden gardening fame) talks about:

  • His easy method for harvesting and planting potatoes in the same day, in the same place;
  • Why cutting potatoes before planting them is a waste of time and potential; and
  • A really cool way to get the biggest and best potato harvest possible.

He also gives his No. 1 reason why you should never buy root veggies from the grocery store.

(And, if you’ve got a little more time, you can watch Paul harvesting his potato crop without any tools in this video from Justin Rhodes’ Great American Farm Tour.)

After you watch, I’d love to know—what’s your favorite way to grow potatoes?

 

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‘7 Ways to Feed Your Garden for Free’

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Last year, David the Good filmed a fun (and funny) presentation for The Grow Network’s Home Grown Food Summit on how you can keep your garden fed and maximize the nutrition in your food without spending a dime.

Well, we’re a Community of sustainability-minded DIYers who like to find ways to turn trash into garden treasure, so is it any wonder that David’s video on “7 Ways to Feed Your Garden for Free” ended up being one of the event’s most popular presentations? (Plus, you know, David is just a likeable, funny guy, so that probably helped, too. 🙂 )

Read More: “Homemade Fertilizers—15 Simple and Inexpensive Options”

Anyway, David posted this video on YouTube on February 4, aaaaaand it’s already got more than 10,000 views. Translation? You should watch it now, too! 🙂

Here it is:

As David says, “The presentation clocks in at about 45 minutes long and should be a great inspiration for your spring gardening plans.”

Amen to that!

Then, let your TGN Community know in the comments: What are some other ways you like to feed your garden for free?

 

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Underground Walipini Pit Greenhouse Construction

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Here is an excellently written PDF document on how to build an underground Walipini pit greenhouse. These greenhouses are an excellent technique to use in arid Southwestern climates.

Click here to download the 29-page PDF document on “Constructing A Walipini Pit Underground Greenhouse.”

Deep appreciation is extended to the Benson Institute, which created the document. The Benson Institute was founded in 1975 at Brigham Young University as part of the College of Biological and Agricultural Sciences. It was named in honor of Ezra Taft Benson’s service as Secretary of Agriculture during the administration of United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The Benson Institute strives to teach families in developing countries how to become nutritionally self-sufficient and how to improve their economic circumstances. Participants learn techniques for food production, nutrition, diet, and home food storage. Families learn to grow vegetables and fruits or raise small animals appropriate to their circumstances in order to better provide for themselves.

Find out more about the Benson Institute here.

(This article was originally published on August 26, 2014.)

 

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Underground Greenhouse Produces Tomatoes Year-round (VIDEO)

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An underground greenhouse makes a lot of sense in the arid climate of New Mexico. I came across a super-effective and simple Walipini-inspired greenhouse that was homemade by Mark Irwin.

Check out this video where Mark shows you what he has been doing and how he is making a small side income by selling tomatoes to the Albuquerque market year-round.

I am a big proponent of lots of little side-income businesses. Diversity ensures there is always something coming in.

Note that I’ve put the reference Mark mentions down below the video.

Enjoy—and comment! We love to hear from you.

Here is the link to download the excellently written PDF on “Constructing A Walipini Pit Underground Greenhouse”

 

Access our growing selection of downloadable eBooks…

…. On topics that include growing your own food, herbal medicine, homesteading, raising livestock, and more!

Sign up for your FREE pass!

 

(This post was originally published on August 4, 2017.)

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WOW! Ultra-clean, ultra-efficient, ultra-sustainable winter heat!

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So I was going through some of my old YouTube videos and came across this video of me talking with Paul Wheaton about rocket mass heaters:

I had honestly forgotten some of the statistics on this thing, but it’s pretty incredible:

  • If you use a rocket mass heater instead of a wood-burning stove or fireplace to heat your home this winter, you’ll use 1/10th the amount of firewood.
  • Since the rocket mass heater captures smoke and uses it to produce heat, you’ll be releasing 1/100th to 1/1000th the amount of smoke into the atmosphere.
  • The core of this thing reaches about 3,000°F, versus the 600°F or so generated by a fireplace.
  • This is the perfect DIY project. You can build it yourself in a weekend.
  • It’s inexpensive to make. In fact, some folks build theirs out of cob, discarded pieces of ducting, and old 55-gallon steel drums … for less than $20!
  • And–here’s the kicker–many people heat their homes with a rocket mass heater using nothing but the branches that naturally fall off the trees in their yard. (In fact, one guy made it through the winter on just junk mail!)

Rocket Mass Heater 1

Because rocket mass heaters are so awesome in so many ways, I got in touch with Paul and worked out a special deal for you on the 4-DVD set you hear about in the video:

Better Wood Heat: DIY Rocket Mass Heaters
(Click here to buy now.)

In this 4-DVD set, Paul shows you:

  • DVD 1: “Building a Cob-Style Rocket Mass Heater”—Two separate designs using cob (one in a log structure, and one in a teepee)
  • DVD 2: “Building a Pebble-Style Rocket Mass Heater”—Three pebble-style rocket mass heater designs, including information on building on a conventional wooden floor
  • DVD 3: “Building a Rocket Mass Heater Shippable Core”—Covers building several different styles of shippable cores
  • DVD 4: 2014 Rocket Mass Heater Innovator’s Event—Covers the most difficult part of any rocket mass heater build (the manifold) and shows several new designs from the Innovator’s Event, including a rocket mass heater that doubles as a cooker and smoker; the cleanest rocket mass heater design ever; and an indoor rocket griddle, oven, and water heater

Rocket Mass Heater 2

As part of this special offer, Paul has agreed to give you instant online access to streaming of the 4-DVD set in HD

… plus access to 20 hours of presentations from the 2017 Wheaton Labs Permaculture Design Course (including the 5-hour tour of Wheaton Labs)!

If you’re ready to learn how to put this extremely efficient, ultra-clean, highly sustainable heating method to work for you, click here to buy the 4-DVD set (and get your bonuses!) for just $79, including domestic shipping. (This link will take you straight to PayPal, which is Wheaton Labs’ preferred payment method.)

Rocket Mass Heater: "Better Wood Heat" 4-DVD Set

Look what just arrived in the mail!

(And yes, I bought this set for myself … and actually for several of my team members, too! The information in it is just too good to pass up!)

 

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Is It Raining? Get Outside and Do THIS!

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Those of you who know me know I love to play outside in the rain … barefoot, preferably. 😉

But there’s another reason rain draws me outside.

Beyond just irrigation, rainstorms serve another incredibly valuable purpose on the homestead: They show you where the water flows on your property—and where you might be having some problems.

In this new edition of Homesteading Basics, watch as I walk my property during a storm (after making sure all the hatches were battened down first, of course!) and glean some really valuable information—from clogged gutters to the best natural location for a new pond.

You’ll also see a little part of my property that’s almost magical. When my kids were young, we built a gabion with rocks and chicken wire to help slow the flow of water in an eroded spot. We never did anything else to that area, but we still had something pretty cool happen there. You’ll see what I’m talking about when you watch the video.

Then, I’d love to know: What’s your favorite way to slow the flow of water on your property? Share your tips in the comments!

 

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The Kidney Wrap: Prepare Your Body For Winter

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Have you ever heard of a kidney wrap? It’s a simple but powerful technique to take care of your body during the winter months.

It soothes the adrenals and ensures your body will be ready to have a fabulous spring. This amazing health technique used to be well known by folks who lived in cold climates, and you’ll recognize the truth of it when looking at the fashions people wore in old photos.

Learn how to protect your own body with a kidney wrap in this video featuring Doug Simons (the master herbalist who teaches “Treating Infections Without Antibiotics”).

(This is an updated version of an article originally published in October 2013.) 

 

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Using Essential Oils: An Interesting Resource

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I came across an interesting resource the other day and thought I would share: If you have an interest in using essential oils, you may enjoy the site Oil-Testimonials.com.

It’s strictly an information resource—no sales pitches or multi-level marketing (although, of course, some people do mention particular products or brands in their stories). And it provides some pretty interesting anecdotal information about how people are using essential oils and which oils they’ve found successful in various treatments.

In fact, Oil-Testimonials has been compiling stories related to essential oils since 2004, and the site claims to have the most comprehensive list of these anecdotes on the Internet. After taking a look at the numbers, I’m betting that’s accurate. If I’m doing my math right, there are nearly 10,000 testimonials on the site (!).

Here’s a brief sampling of some of the site’s most popular posts:

  • Calming a Hyperactive Child: “A friend and coworker of my husband’s sent me some samples of Lavender, Cedarwood, Peppermint, and Peace & Calming essential oils. I was skeptical about how they would work, but after battling it out with a child with ADHD (and no medication because I had run out), I decided it couldn’t hurt anything. I put a couple drops of each essential oil in my son’s hands and had him rub them on his head and neck. Within the next few minutes it was as if I had given my son his usual remedy. This oil application completely changed the way my child acted within a matter of minutes. These essential oils worked better than anything else we have tried. My son now would rather have his oils than the side-effect-laden alternatives.” —Cassandra, Oklahoma
  • Lowering High Blood Pressure: “A friend in his 70s had a physical several weeks ago and discovered that he had high blood pressure (HBP). His blood pressure (BP) had been hovering in the 160/98 range. The doctor suggested monitoring it daily for a month and recording the reading. If it did not come down in a month with better food choices and exercise, medication might be recommended. Meanwhile, I suggested that my friend start using OmegaGize, Essentialzyme, and the NingXia Red juice. After a couple of days on this protocol, I was to meet my friend, but he was late in arriving. It turns out that he had been going from grocery-store pharmacy to grocery-store pharmacy getting his BP checked because he just could not believe the readings. He thought that the blood pressure machines must be broken. After two days on the three products that I had suggested, my friend’s BP was down to 138/78. Needless to say, he is very happy and confident that, by the time he returns to his doctor, his BP will be well within the normal range.” —Rebecca, Colorado
  • Alleviating PMS Symptoms: “My entire life I have had horrible cramps, breast tenderness, and bloating 2 to 3 days before my cycle would start, followed by very heavy, very long bleeding. I could not stand up straight! My mother had read that all of the commercial bath products we use have hormone disrupting chemicals in them. So she sent me Young Living’s shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and face wash. When I received them, I literally grabbed everything else in my shower in one fell swoop and dropped it in the trash. After replacing all of the chemical-laden products with Young Living products, I have not had a trace of any of those symptoms related to my cycle. My periods are shorter and not as heavy, too! In fact, most of the time I forget that I am even on my period.” —Katy, Texas
  • Restoring Feeling in Feet: “My mother-in-law has suffered with the loss of sensation in her feet for MANY years. She is very seldom without her walker. I asked if she would be open to trying something different, and she agreed. I mixed up a blend of Frankincense and Lemongrass essential oils in a base bottle of Ortho Ease Massage Oil and sent it down to her. (NOTE: I added about 35 drops of each to the bottle of Ortho Ease. When mixing up an additional batch, I also added 30 drops of Cypress essential oil.) After applying it twice a day regularly to her feet and calves—about 2 weeks in—she was in the grocery store with her walker. About halfway through, she said she had awful pain in her feet … AND SHE WAS SOOOO EXCITED! She has not had feeling in her feet in so long. The next day she brought her walker into the kitchen with her in the morning and left it there the rest of the day. Her feet felt so wonderful she didn’t feel she needed it!” —Kris, Wisconsin

Again, the Oil-Testimonials site is completely brand neutral, and if you’re interested in using essential oils, I do second its recommendation to “do your own research or ask a trusted friend to find a brand that is reputable.”

Let me know what you think about the site!

 

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Vandana Shiva talks ‘fake cheap’ food (VIDEO)

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Just saw this video of Indian scholar and sustainable-agriculture advocate Vandana Shiva talking about the true cost of cheap food and three keys to ending what she calls “the final stages of a very deceitful system.”

(By the way, Shiva is on our list of 50 Global Changemakers, here.)

She makes some excellent points, and I thought you might enjoy the video as much as I did.

Some of my favorite quotes from the video:

  • “We are living the final stages of a very deceitful system that has made everything that is very costly for the planet, costly for the producer, look cheap for the consumer. So very high-cost production with GMOs and patents and royalties and fossil fuel is made to look like cheap food.”
  • “Every young person should recognize that working with their hands and their hearts and their minds—and they’re interconnected—is the highest evolution of our species. Working with our hands is not a degradation. It’s our real humanity.”
  • “We are not atomized producers and community. We are part of the earth family. We are part of the human family. We are part of a food community. Food connects us—everything is food.”

I also love the way she defines “true freedom” in the video: “Never be afraid of deceitful, dishonest, brutal power. That is true freedom.”

And hey, let me know what you think about her solutions to the problem of high-cost “cheap” food! What others would you add? Leave me a comment below. 🙂

 

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Your Questions, Answered!

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Okay, so I’m not going to lie—I had a blast a couple of nights ago at TGN’s Ask Me Anything! podcast. This is the first time we’ve used this format (think homesteading meets Car Talk), and it really went well.

David the Good and I answered questions on no-till gardening solutions for heavy clay soils, what to look for in a permaculture design course, how to deal with underground hornets’ nests, what exactly you should and shouldn’t add to your compost pile (are all those rules really necessary?!) … the list goes on and on!

Being able to connect with David and me like this every month is a perk of our Honors Lab subscription, but there were so many good questions (and … dare I say it … so many good answers!!! 😉 ) that I thought you might enjoy reading the transcript!

Read the Ask Me Anything! Podcast Transcript Here

(Oh, and if you want to join the Honors Lab and get it on the fun next month, you can subscribe here. It’s just $9.95 a month … and you get so, so much more than just an invitation to each month’s Ask Me Anything! podcast!)

 

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7 Tips for Starting Seeds Like a Professional Grower

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There you sit, surrounded by seed catalogs. You have a head full of dreams about the best gardening season ever, flipping through pages of new cultivars to try and great new gardening tips to test out. Your seed is fresh, you have an ample supply of compost bursting with life, and you have more planting space prepared than ever before.

What could possibly go wrong?

Wait! You’ve been here before, excited about your spring planting, only to end up disappointed with your seed germination rate and the health of your seedlings.

Let’s slow down to take a closer look at some of the most common problems people have when starting seeds, and talk about some of the tools available to help you get the best possible results. With a little extra effort, your seeds and your spring garden will be the talk of the neighborhood!

seed packets

In my work advising gardeners and farmers, the number one problem I see is people starting out with weak seedlings. Gardeners often set out with admirable efforts to save money and be self-sufficient, but they can really shoot themselves in the foot before they even step out into the garden when they start with weak seedlings.

Weak, leggy, pale seedlings usually result in plants that are anything but vigorous. When these babies are transplanted into the garden, they are not prepared to face the world. Their pale foliage is likely to burn in direct sunlight, their thin stems have trouble holding up in the wind, and their delicate health sends a loud call out to tiny predators, “Come and get it!”

Pill bugs, which normally stick to recycling, will happily munch on your precious little seedlings even though they are not actually dead … yet.

Cutworms can endanger the best of your young plants, and they especially like the overly tender stems of plants that have had a poor start in life.

Whew! That is not how you want to start out this gardening season. So, let’s get some stocky, healthy, rich green starts going.

Tips for Starting Seeds Successfully

First, we want fresh, viable seed. A germination test can save time and material, but it doesn’t guarantee that your seeds are fresh. Have they been stored properly? Seeds are still the cheapest gardening investment. Be picky about who gets a spot in the seedling tray!

What about your germination mix? If you usually just scoop some soil out of the garden, stop before you kill again! Good garden soil is fine for direct seeding in the garden bed, but seeds sown in containers deserve an organic mix.

Read More: TGN’s Favorite Seed-Starting Equipment

There are some excellent mixes available for purchase, but it is so easy and fast to mix your own that it just makes sense to do it yourself. Many gardeners develop fancy secret recipes, but we are going to keep it simple.

I have had the best results using a mix made of half coir fiber and half fresh worm castings. It’s that simple!

If you don’t have access to either of those, use the very best, still moist, living compost or leaf mold. If you use compost, you should sift it before planting; you want the finest grains, not the sticky clumps.

Some gardeners sterilize their germination mix. I don’t agree. I always use ingredients with good, active biology. How would you like to be born into a little plastic cell, devoid of life? Trust in Mother Nature and use a mix with vibrant biology.

cucumber seedling in tray

When it comes to the container you use, the type of container is not important. I like the manufactured seed starting flats. They are cheap, reusable and recyclable. They drain well, and everything is contained in a well-fitted tray. If you don’t have these or don’t want them, use any well-drained container that you like.

  1. Fill the seed cells almost to the top with your starting mix. 
  2. In order to avoid tearing the young roots when you remove the seedlings from the container for transplanting, it is a good idea to tamp down the germinating mix in the cells now.
  3. After tamping, add chemical-free water to thoroughly moisten the starting mix. If you really want to be nice, use liquid or dry seaweed according to the instructions on the label. Seaweed is a great item to have on the shelf and it keeps indefinitely.
  4. When the starting mix is moist, you can plant your seeds at the depth specified on the seed packet.
  5. When the seeds have been planted, spray the top of the cells with water until the mix is well settled.
  6. After seeding, you can cover the cells with plastic. You can buy fitted plastic covers for seed starting trays, or just use some plastic wrap or a plastic bag.

Control the Light

Now, here is where the rubber meets the road: Light! You need a strong, reliable light source. You can compromise on many other aspects of gardening, but don’t cheat your green babies on the one thing they need most.

If you have a greenhouse, choose the brightest spot for your new seedlings. If you’ve been setting your seed trays on a windowsill, re-evaluate that choice. Remember: weak light = weak seedlings.  If you want husky, healthy seedlings, don’t gamble on the fickle winter sun filtered through a window.

Control the light and you control the outcome!

Setting up a grow light today is easy and inexpensive, and it doesn’t take up much room. Bulky shop lights and fiendishly hot tungsten bulbs are fading into history. If you have some empty space on a bookshelf or an empty shelf in a kitchen cabinet, you can easily install a couple of tiny T-5 light fixtures. There are also several LED offerings on the market. LED grow lights are powerful and super efficient, and they generate very little heat.

Simply attach a light or two to the bottom of one shelf to light the shelf underneath it where your tray will sit. If the shelf is adjustable, you are all set. If not, the tray can be elevated when the seedlings are started, to bring the surface of the soil within two or three inches of the light. That’s right! The light will be very close to the seeds.

If you have room to start seeds on a countertop or a table, there are several tabletop light stands that are designed for the space. The typical design is a simple metal stand that holds the light, suspended by an adjustable string or chain. Tabletop lights are small and easy to use, and they are available in a range of sizes.

The next size up is the shelf model. These resemble a regular set of utility shelves, with a grow light suspended from the bottom of every shelf. These lights offer enough space and power to grow starts for the whole neighborhood! These shelf units aren’t cheap, but they are very useful. In addition to starting seeds they can be used to overwinter plants indoors, and even to grow summer veggies and herbs all winter long.

Consider the Time

Now that you are in control of the light, there is one more important factor to consider: time. You need to transition the plants at the right times on their journey to the outdoor garden. Calculate the correct amount of time various plants need to develop to the optimum transplanting size to avoid holding the plants for extended periods. Begin your seeds based on that timetable.

When your seeds germinate, you will see cotyledons. They should be bright green and fleshy, standing on short stems. Now is a good time to remove the plastic covering, if there is any. At this earliest stage you should water the seedlings with a spray bottle, to avoid damaging the delicate young roots. Ideally, you will not need to water, but if the air is dry, the soil may require additional moisture.

Soon the tiny plants will develop their first true leaves. This is a great time for their first feeding.

Wait until the surface of the soil begins to dry out. Use a mild, natural fertilizer mixed at half strength. Fertilize every two weeks until the plants move outside.

Transplant Carefully

As the seedlings get larger, adjust the height of the light to keep it at least two inches from the top of the tallest plant, allowing for continued growth. When the root system begins to fill the cell, it is time to move up to a four-inch pot. If you transplant too soon, the seedling can break away from the germination mix, causing the roots to tear. If you wait too long, the roots can become bound and constricted in the cell, restricting optimal growth.

Wait to transplant until the soil is neither too wet nor too dry.

Now is the time when the tamping you did at the beginning is going to pay off. If the transplants are reluctant to pop out of their cells, you can give them a little push from the bottom drain hole using the eraser end of a pencil. If you are pricking out, you should transplant much sooner because a smaller root system is easier to remove intact.

Use potting soil as the growing medium for the four-inch pots, or just add a little perlite to the leftover germination mix. Remember the rule we discussed above: Garden soil belongs in the ground, not in containers.

After transplanting from the seed cells to the four-inch pots, give the plants a good drench of seaweed. You will still need to raise the lights periodically as the plants get taller. When the plants begin to fill the four-inch pots, you need to decide when they are ready to harden off.

In the case of very cold-sensitive plants like tomatoes, sometimes the weather will not permit you to begin hardening off even though the plant is outgrowing its four-inch pot. You can transplant forward again into a quart-sized pot to buy some more time. It is better to move the plants into a bigger pot than to let the roots become pot bound.

I find that potting forward to larger containers is easier than protecting young outdoor plants from late spring cold snaps.

When you decide it is time to begin hardening off, move the plants outside to a protected area and allow them to begin adapting to the outdoors. Filtered light is good for a day or so, but then don’t hesitate to move them out into the sun. These will be tough little rascals and they will transition to the garden well.

Following these simple steps will get you some of the strongest seedlings you have ever grown, and your spring garden will thrive as a result. After a few rounds of success, you will look at your seed catalogs through new eyes, confident that you can start any seed you want!

(This article was originally published January 29, 2015.)

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Meat Rabbits: Raise Half Your Protein in 10 Minutes Per Day (VIDEO)

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Back in November, the awesome Justin Rhodes and his family stopped by my Central Texas homestead to learn how to raise half of the protein requirements for a family of four in less than 10 minutes a day.

I showed Justin and his wife, Rebecca, my no-worry, low-work system for raising meat rabbits using paddock rotation, gravity-fed watering systems, and regenerating food systems.

Watch the video to learn how I do it!

In the video, I also share the No. 1 reason why it’s much easier to raise meat rabbits and other livestock than to grow edible plants. I produce both, of course, but I do think the livestock take less work!

(Btw, I made that hat myself – but I’m not sure I’m going to wear it on camera anymore! 😉

 

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Growing Lettuce From Seed

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Growing Lettuce at Home

When lettuce is mentioned, many people think of the standard iceberg lettuce found in supermarkets and restaurant salads. But that is changing quickly with the growth in popularity of different types of lettuces, mainly due to the flavors and colors that they offer. When you’re growing lettuce from seed at home, you can choose from the full spectrum of seed that’s available.

At farmers markets, health food coops, and organic food stores, a big variety of lettuce types have cropped up.  Their colors range from deep red to mottled greens, all the way to almost white.  And their flavors vary from noticeably sweet to tangy, and slightly bitter.

Iceberg lettuce, originally bred as a hybrid, is now offered as open pollinated varieties and has been around long enough to be considered by some as an “heirloom”!

Eating with the Seasons

We have come to expect lettuce year round. We’ve been educated by the supermarkets about what our vegetables should look like, what they should taste like, and when they should be available. And for most of them, we expect them to be available all year.

Many people are surprised to learn that lettuce is a cool-season crop.  It will bolt, or go to seed, readily during late spring and early summer months.

Where I live, it is best to plant lettuce early in the spring and then again in late summer or early fall when the temperatures start to cool off.

Infographic: Save Our Seeds

Better Lettuce Seed Germination

Lettuce seeds won’t sprout when soil temperatures are above 80° F.  But they will start to Freckles-LettuceWeb1-germinate as low as 40°F, making it ideal for early- and late-season planting.

When temperatures are too high, a plant hormone is produced that stops the germination process. This is called thermo-inhibition. This trait is a carryover from wild lettuce that originated in the Mediterranean Middle East, where summers are hot with little moisture. If the lettuce seeds were to sprout under these conditions, they would soon die out and the species would go extinct.

Choose Heat-Resistant Lettuce

Thanks to traditional plant breeding, several varieties of lettuce have been selected for heat-tolerant characteristics. And some of these are open-pollinated, meaning you can save the seeds from year to year.

Some examples are Saint Anne’s Slow Bolting, Summertime, Black Seeded Simpson, and Jericho. Just because these are heat tolerant doesn’t mean that they will grow through the summer. It only means that they won’t bolt or turn bitter quite as quickly.

Growing Lettuce from Seed: Tips & Tricks

Thanks to ongoing research on lettuce traits, there are some techniques home gardeners can use to extend the sprouting for lettuce seeds into the warmer months. The optimum soil temperature for most lettuce seeds is 68°F, with some varieties sprouting in the 40-75°F range. The temperature of the soil must be taken—not just the air temperature, which can be several degrees different.

Imbibing or soaking the seeds in cool water for 16-24 hours in a well-lit area before planting will increase the germination percentages greatly. Red light has been found to be the best color, but if you don’t have access to a non-heating red light, sunlight or full-spectrum light was found to be almost as good. In warm conditions, soaking the seeds in the dark can actually decrease their germination rates. And soaking for less than 16 hours has little to no positive effect on germination rates.

Read More: 7 Tips to Start Seed Like a Professional Grower

Extending the Lettuce Season

Successful methods of extending the season for lettuce in the garden include laying a thick mulch of straw or wood chips on the ground at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep. This insulates the soil from becoming too hot and helps to preserve moisture in the soil.

Lightly shading the lettuce plants can provide enough of a temperature drop to keep them from bolting, sometimes up to 3-5 weeks. Shade can be from a shade cloth or a row cover on a low tunnel, or by companion planting tall, wide-leafed plants such as some types of pumpkin.

The traditional rule of thumb of “plant early and plant often” can be adjusted for lettuce as “plant late and plant often.”  When temperatures start to drop, be ready to start more lettuce seed for a second harvest in the fall.

Read More: A Cheap and Easy Way to Extend Your Growing Season

(This article was originally published May 22, 2014.)

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7 Ways to Prevent Livestock Water Tanks from Freezing

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Winter. It’s that time of year when the livestock water freezes! Really, is there anything worse?

Members of The Grow Network Community, Jeff and Tracy, wrote to me looking for suggestions about how they can keep animal watering systems from freezing. And as always, our community provided quality advice—everything from tried-and-true products to creative brainstorming! Below is a sampling of some of the amazing responses The Grow Network received. (And be sure to check out the comments for some more great ideas!)


7 Ways to Prevent Livestock Water from Freezing

#1Cow Balls, wait … what?

Cow Balls Water Trough

Heidi knows of one solution that has worked well for her in the pastcow balls. That’s right: cow balls! They are large plastic balls that are used to cover the surface of the water tank. The balls decrease the amount of water on the surface that is exposed to the external cold temperatures. When ice does form, cows are able to break through the ice by pressing down on the balls with their noses. Genius!

#2Insulated Plastic Bucket Holders

Insulated Bucket Livestock Water

Patrick says that he has had success using insulated plastic bucket holders. These plastic holders are fastened to the wall and have an opening on the top that is the right size for a plastic 5-gallon bucket. Some of them even come with a food-grade 5-gallon bucket!

Foam insulation helps to keep the water from freezing! Patrick likes this solution, but he said that he does have some trouble when temperatures get very coldbelow about 15F.  When temperatures get below 15F, he said that he then resorts to using a submersible electric warmer.

#3Fish Tank Heater

Lyn wrote in and suggested that using a fish-tank heater in the bottom of a livestock tank might work.  She suggested using solar power, if possible, and also pointed out that cattle can be destructive, so it would be important to make sure that any cables are either buried or placed inside metal conduit and anchored to a 4″ x 4″ post. What a clever suggestion!

#4Creating Movement

Livestock Water Tank Deicer

DJ suggested that creating movement in the watering system would be a good way to prevent freezing. Basically, the idea is to copy nature and create a simulated brook. This idea should work in areas where the nighttime lows aren’t too terribly cold.

A small pump could also be used, or perhaps a simple water wheel device. There are a few products available online that do this, like the one below. You can also find these products available from any farm supply stores, like Tractor Supply. Usually, they are sold under the title of ‘water circulators.’


Protecting Smaller Water Troughs Using Innovation

Below are a few great ideas from the community that seem like good solutions for those of you trying to protect smaller watering troughs. Let’s take a closer look:

#5A Tire

Old Car Tire to Prevent Livestock Water from Freezing

Gerry knows of a tried-and-true trick that works to keep water thawed out in a 5-gallon bucket. Find an old tire that fits securely around the bucket, and fill the inside of the tire with rocks. Then, place the bucket inside the tire. Voilà!

Leave the tire and bucket outside in the sun so that they are able to warm up all afternoon. The black of the tire will absorb warmth from the sunshine and the rocks will help to retain some of that warmth. When night falls, the warmth of the tire and rocks will help to keep the water from icing over, and it should remain thawed until morning. Awesome idea, Gerry!

#6Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Lyn had an idea to experiment with—and she admits that while she hasn’t tried this yet, she is certain that the olive oil could work to protect a small watering trough from freezing.

Since the olive oil will not freeze, pouring a thin layer on top of the water’s surface could help to protect the water from developing a layer of ice. Olive oil should be safe for the cattle, and it just might be an inexpensive and simple solution!

#7Pure Innovation: Thinking Outside the Box!

Last but not least, DJ has an experimental idea that may help a small water trough. His idea is to submerge some sort of a grid into the waterpreferably something with a handle attached so that this device can be easily moved around to break up any ice near the top.

This idea, of course, would have to be done as the ice forms. DJ pictures something like an old ice cube tray or perhaps using black plastic to create a waffle grid. This sounds like an interesting idea … and I think it just might work! Might be a million dollar product for any of you aspiring inventors out there!


Well, I know there are a lot of other ways to prevent livestock watering systems from freezing that we did not cover here. But, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know of your favorite product or a tried-and-true method you use to prevent your livestock’s water from freezing! 

(This article was originally published March 26, 2015.)

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Homemade Shampoo Disaster

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So I’ve been working on researching plants high in saponins—which is a natural form of soap. And I was delighted to find that the roots of pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) are very high in saponins.

Pokeweed is also a fairly toxic plant. You can eat it if you harvest the leaves in the very early spring while the plant is young and before the stalks turn red. You have to boil it and discard the water at least twice (three times or more for those who worry a lot). So I probably should’ve been a bit more cautious.

By the way, the purple berries (also toxic to humans, but I’ve seen poultry enjoy them) make a really nice dye for cloth or buckskin.

Anyway, I harvested a big chunk of root and grated it up with a cheese grater. When I put that in water, I was delighted with how soapy the water got—it is soapier than yucca root. Let me point out that natural soaps like this never get quite as frothy as commercial stuff, but this was surprisingly soap like.

Between handling the pokeweed root and then washing my hair with it, I got a good dose of whatever else is in those roots. Oh dear, I got quite a headache and a bit dizzy! LOL. So let me be the first to tell you NOT to try this one at home!

Stick with baking soda and vinegar if that is what you are using. And my personal favorite to date is the egg/honey/lemon blend I wrote about in this post on homemade shampoo.

If you are wondering why I don’t just make soap using lye and fat … well, here is a short video that explains why not.

 

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(This article was originally published October 29, 2013.)

 

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Surviving A Cold Night With Nothing But The Clothes On Our Backs

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We greedily drank water, our cupped hands gathering it up from the little spigot on the “water buffalo”—which was an old army water tank mounted on a trailer. It held the main supply of water for the entire camp.

“No water bottles, no ChapStick, no flashlights—nothing but the clothes on your back” had been the directions. So we were all wisely filling up and carrying water the old-fashioned way: in our guts.

It was just after dark and already cold. I zipped up my jacket the last few inches and wished there was a hoodie on it. The clear sky told me it would get much, much colder before it was all over. The full moon was going to be helpful. There was nothing around for miles except chaparral bushes. Well, OK, there were some saguaros or barrel cactus, scorpions, and kangaroo rats, too.

Most of the plant and animal life here had the attitude of stabbing you first and asking questions later. So the bright moonlight would at least help keep the kids from getting punctured.

(Twice a year my daughter and I attend primitive skills gatherings, where we join other adults and kids to learn, practice, and trade skills from the Paleolithic era.)

The real guide of this group was David Holladay. Like many of the others from camp, David had been picked up and featured in some crazy reality show (for David, it was The History Channel’s No Man’s Land). Cody Lundin of Dual Survivor, George Michaud of Mountain Men, and Jason Hawk of No Man’s Land are all regulars at these gatherings.

The thing about these guys is they are the genuine real deal.

Sonoran desert

So when word got around camp that we needed a leader to take the teens out for an adventure, David jumped in.

I would have been quite content to sleep in my comfy tent and double-thick sleeping bag, but when teens go out overnight, you need to have separate boys and girls camps.

And you really need a woman.

While all the other moms thought this was a fantastic project, uh, apparently I was the only one who was up for the whole enchilada.

“Thousands of people are doing what we are doing tonight,” David said, setting the tone for the evening as we circled together before leaving the main camp. “Thousands of people have been suddenly awakened out of bed, grabbed what they could carry on their backs, and are getting away into the night as fast as they can. Their homes behind them are being destroyed by civil war, by fire, by oppressive governments, by any number of things. Like us, they are going to walk for a ways and then they will try to find a place to sleep. Unlike us, they will not be able to return back to camp in the morning for breakfast.”

“You will be miserable tonight. It’s a cold night, and we are taking nothing with us into a harsh desert environment. You’ll experience tonight a small piece of what is a very hard reality for many people all over the world.  But you are really lucky; we are not that far from the main camp with your parents who love you. And we will be back after sunrise.”

We walked out into the desert. We played games in the moonlight, picking out buddies for a buddy system. We ran some foot races. We talked about what makes a good camping spot. We set up systems so everyone would stay safe.

David had brought the materials for a hand-drill fire and showed us as a group how to make a fire, even though none of us could do it alone.  We spoke in circle around the fire, sharing our deepest fears and hopes.

Teens can stay awake so long into the night!

Then we tried to sleep. In the girls’ camp, we readily snuggled up into a big puppy pile to keep warm, which helped. The boys roughed it out in their own ways around a huge bonfire, roasting on one side and freezing on the other.

The cold, hard ground sucked warmth out of everyone, and no one was really comfortable.

How much longer could these kids bear this? Most of them had only minimal experience camping.

The warm afternoon with its enthusiasm for adventure seemed so far away now.

But the thought of the homeless in other parts of the world kept haunting us and no one complained. And not a single kid left camp. They all hung in there.

“You have deep survival in your genes,” David told us. “All of your ancestors were survivors or you wouldn’t be here now. Humanity has faced plagues, famine, wars, floods, and every other form of disaster you can imagine. In your lineage are people who fled, or fought, or learned, or adapted. The people who didn’t make it, died. You are direct descendants of all those who survived. You have it in you even if you don’t know it.”

In the morning, way before dawn (well, this is one way to get teens to rise early!), we got up to watch the moon set. And then turned around to see a spectacular sunrise.

It was so beautiful. And empowering. Each of us knew we would never be afraid of walking out into a cold night if we had to. It really helps to be prepared.

We felt like champions.

And we were.

(This is an updated version of an article that was originally published in April 2014.) 

 

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One TON of Food in 7 Months!

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I just got an e-mail from my pal David the Good, who shared a time lapse video of him growing 1 ton — yes, that’s 2,000 pounds! — of food in just 7 months. I thought you’d enjoy it as much as I did, so I’m sharing it here:

David says, “By far, the biggest gardening success of 2017 was hitting our goal of growing 2,000 lbs. of foodWe hit it in seven months — check out my time-lapse video above for the full countdown. That was just fun!

Much of our success was thanks to the many tree crops on the property we rented. I’ve been a fan of food forests and agroforestry for a long time.  Though the yields aren’t always as high for the space requirements as what you get from annuals, trees produce for years and require less work long-term.

We fed the jackfruit heavily in 2016 which led to great results in 2017. We also keep the bananas cleaned up and happy.

If we’d started with bare ground in 2017, though, it would have been tough to reach 2000 lbs.

Some things, such as the avocados and mangoes, basically grew themselves. Others, like yams and pumpkins, required plenty of work. Some things I planted simply failed, like sweet potatoes and beans. It was a very rainy year and the bugs were bad.

I love that David has his own song at the end of the video….

… and, whew! a lot of piña coladas to be made there, huh? 😉

 

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How To Stay Warm While Working Outside In The Cold

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As you start to live more sustainably you will be spending more time outdoors. And in the winter it can be tough to stay warm while working outside in the cold. Getting or cutting firewood, tending livestock, taking care of the orchards or greenhouse — all of these activities mean you’ll be outside, in the cold.

Sure, it may not be a full-on survival situation but, you are going to want to stay warm regardless! Here are my three best tips for staying warm and toasty during the winter months:

Cold-Busting Tip #1:   Wrap Your Neck! 

3 COLD-BUSTING TIPS How To Stay Warm While Working Outside In The Cold | The Grow Network

Your neck radiates more heat than any other area of the body. The head and feet are next on the list.  However, your neck is the most important area to keep warm. In my backpack (which also doubles as a purse), I keep a neck wrap. I’ve used it more times than I can count to stay warm during an unexpected cold front.

Have you ever started to get that scratchy feeling in your throat and you can feel the beginnings of a cold or flu coming on?  I like to wrap my neck while sleeping at night. I have found that this simple act seems to nip that sore throat in the bud! While I am no doctor, my theory is that by wrapping your neck, it creates a localized mini-fever, which possibly stops trouble before it has time to spread.

Check out this article on treating fevers — and when not to treat a fever.  The comments section of this particular article are especially amazing — click here to read how to assist a fever.

Cold-Busting Tip #2:  Stay Hydrated! 

3 COLD-BUSTING TIPS How To Stay Warm While Working Outside In The Cold | The Grow Network

For some reason, it seems harder to stay hydrated and drink enough fluids when it is cold outside. Of the many signs of dehydration, getting a bit chilled is usually one of the first to appear. Some other signs may be dry lips, dizziness when standing, and slower mental function. I find that making a quart of tea to sip on throughout the day helps me to drink more fluid. By using a quart sized mason jar I am able to easily keep track of how much I am drinking during the day.

I find tea helps to keep my body hydrated better than justing drinking straight water. My Grandmother was always drinking herbal tea that was nutritive. Good health is best achieved with gentle nudges! Sipping tea is a great way to help the process. Wildcrafting and/or growing your own teas is easy and can be a fun gardening project for the whole family.

Cold-Busting Tip #3: Prepare A Warm Space For Your Return

How to stay warm while working outside in the cold; gardening, chopping wood, or homesteading.

I picked up this tip when I got my permaculture certification. It is a lot easier to go out and brave the cold if you have a warm place to come back to! It doesn’t have to be a large room or even the whole house. But knowing that when you come back inside there will be somewhere warm gives you a psychological boost! I’ve relied on this for so many years that I don’t think about going outside without setting up my warm spot first!

Before you dress up and head out, throw a few logs on the fire and set the flue so you’ll have a warm spot waiting for you. If you are not heating with wood, perhaps you might run a tiny heater in a small room to have a “warm area” to return to.

Whatever you choose, knowing you have a warm place to come back to after working outside is vitally important. And you never know, if you have an accident outside, having a warm space to return to during an emergency may be crucial to your survival.

 

Do you have any tips or tricks to stay warm while working outside in the cold weather? Leave a comment — I’d love to hear them!

(This post was originally published on December 1, 2016.)


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DIY Hoop House: The Easy Greenhouse Alternative

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By popular demand, we’re offering our step-by-step, DIY Hoop House Plans — originally available only as part of TGN’s 2017 Home Grown Food Summit — for just $4.95

Click Here to Buy Today!

This is a short-term experiment … and please pardon the fact that our sales page is so crude. 🙂 But we got so many requests that we thought we would make this available as inexpensively as possible.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

This is Marjory Wildcraft. On this edition of Homesteading Basics, I’m going to talk about the lessons I’ve learned from several years of operating a hoop house.

The Easy Greenhouse Alternative

This is a hoop house that’s about 12-feet wide by 48-feet long. If you need a big greenhouse quickly and economically, a hoop house is definitely the way to go. In fact, for me, it was super easy. I actually built this thing with one finger.

Yeah, I said to my husband, “Hon, I want a hoop house right there.” He built it. He’s really handy, and he loves it. Actually, I did help some. Anyway, it really is pretty quick to put up, and it’s very cost effective.

My DIY Hoop House Plan

There are a couple of things we’ve learned about it. We’re growing here in Central Texas, and we get extremes of heat and cold. In the summer, we get a lot of intense sun here. What we found works really well is using a 70 percent shade mesh in the summer months. It provides a good amount of shade, yet allows a breeze to go through. We are able to grow things really well inside the mesh-only greenhouse.

In the winter, just taking the mesh off and having plastic on is the best way to go. The plastic definitely keeps the greenhouse nice and warm. We are able to grow fabulous plants all winter long.

The main thing about this is it creates a pretty big maintenance issue twice a year.

In the spring, we’re taking the plastic off and putting the mesh on. Then, in the fall, we’re taking the mesh off and putting the plastic on. We did operate it for a while with both the plastic and mesh on in winter, and we found that it just doesn’t work that well.

That maintenance chore twice a year is going to take about four people for a greenhouse this size. That means we get the whole family involved with that chore.

But you can use a greenhouse for all seasons if you’re willing to do that kind of work.

Plans For A Summer vs. Winter Hoop House

My other concern is that the mesh seems to be holding up really well, but I’m not sure what the lifetime of the plastic is going to be. I think taking it off and putting it back on adds extra wear and tear to it, and it may not last as long as it would if we just kept it in place throughout the whole year. I’ve spoken with different operators of commercial greenhouses, and it seems the plastic lasts anywhere from one to three years according to the different farmers you talk to.

Personally, I feel that that’s a lot of waste. But it does seem to be effective, and that’s the way it is.

This is Marjory Wildcraft on operating a hoop house. Again, if you need a big greenhouse really quickly and fairly inexpensively, this is a good way to go. We’re going to be doing a lot more about greenhouses and growing in greenhouses on future episodes of Homesteading Basics.

Stay tuned. I’ll see you on another one.

(This article was originally published on January 30, 2017.)

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[VIDEO] How To Make Fire Cider

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I make this Fire Cider (know in some circles as “Four Thieves Tonic”) each year just as the holiday season gets going. It needs about a month to set, and is ready by January when my immune system could use a good nudge.

Even though I don’t really like spicy stuff that much, I really do like this one.

There are numerous versions of Fire Cider circulating out there. Some are made to be used only externally—e.g., on the skin to ward against bacteria—while others are made out of essential oils. Since making essential oils is a trail I am not wanting to go on right now, I prefer this recipe, which is ingested.

Here are the ingredients I used, and a list of other possible ones you might want to add. Of course, be careful if you have any kind of allergies to any of these . . . .

  • Garlic
  • Hot Peppers
  • Juniper Berries
  • Rosemary
  • Ginger
  • Horseradish Root

And here is a “possibles” list.

  • Mint
  • Coriander
  • Cloves
  • Black Pepper

Please let me know in the comments section below if you have a favorite recipe for “Fire Cider.” Do you use any ingredients that I’ve neglected to mention here? I’d love to hear about them . . . . And do let me know if you try it this winter!

(This article was originally published in December 2013, but I decided it was time to revisit the recipe! Enjoy! I’m about to start a new batch myself . . . .)

taking-garlic-as-medicine-500x262

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Is This Organic Chicken Feed Good or Evil?

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A Funny Thing Happened at the Fair

A couple of years ago, I was invited to speak at the Mother Earth News Fair in Topeka, Kansas. I gave my talk about “How to Grow Half of Your Own Food in an Hour a Day.” The talk was really great and several people in the audience came up to me afterward to tell me how excited they were about starting to grow some of their own food and medicine.

I just love that energy when someone gets excited about working toward real food independence!

After my talk was over, I was walking around the aisles at the fair and chatting with all of the people there. There were some pretty cool products on display—heritage crafts and folk art, these awesome modular livestock fodder systems, local organic seed companies . . . you name it.

If it’s about sustainable living or traditional organic foods, it was there.

So I was walking around, taking in the sites and soaking up as much info as I could retain, when I had a chance encounter that I want to tell you about . . .

Read more: Grow Your Own Chicken Feed the Easy Way

Raising Meat Chickens_336x280

Strangers in the Crowd

This encounter didn’t exactly start out on a positive note.

To tell you the truth, we were in each others’ way. I was trying to round the corner on a crowded aisle, and I had identified a tiny little narrow pathway where I could just squeeze through.

But about halfway through, I realized that there was someone else coming from the other direction who was also trying to squeeze through the same narrow opening in the crowd.

We met in the middle and started trying to shimmy around each other, but the space was too tight. We were stuck there together, caught in the crowd face to face, and neither of us could get to where we were trying to go.

We were both a little embarrassed, and we both gave each other a slightly sheepish smile when our eyes finally met.

“It’s pretty crowded today,” I said, in an attempt to break the ice and relieve the awkward vibe that was going on.

“Yeah,” she said, “I can’t believe how many people came out.”

The crowd started to thin around us, but we had already struck up a conversation, so I decided to stick with it. “I’m Marjory Wildcraft. I just did a presentation over there at the stage in the back corner. Did you see it?”

“No, I’ve been in the booth all morning long,” she said. As she spoke, she pointed to a big booth across the aisle.

I had to do a double take, because the booth she pointed to had a huge logo on the banner that I recognized instantly. It was the infamous red-and-white checkerboard of Purina.

Read more: Ferment Your Feed for Happier and Healthier Chickens

A Fox in the Hen House?

I was a little bit shocked . . . .

There I was, surrounded by all of the latest and greatest products in the organic, sustainable, traditional living marketplace.

Purina was one name I definitely had not expected to see in this crowd.

I looked around a little bit to see if maybe she had pointed at the wrong booth.

And that’s when I noticed her name tag.

There it was, right in front of me the whole time—that same red-and-white checkerboard right above her name, “Jodi.” I tried not to be rude, but I simply had to ask…

“What are you doing here?”

“Excuse me?”

“I’m sorry,” I said, trying to take a step backward in the conversation. “I, uh, I’m surprised to see that Purina is here at the Mother Earth News Fair.”

“Oh. Ha, ha, yeah, a lot of people have said that to me today.” She smiled, and I knew that she wasn’t too offended by my surprise.

Read more: Are You Prepared for Peak Chicken?

Making a New Friendship

When Jodi laughed, we both relaxed. I could tell that she was used to getting responses like mine, and she could tell that I was happy I hadn’t offended her.

But I still had to know. I gave Jodi a gentle smile and took a second try at asking the same question . . . .

“So, really, what are you doing here?”

Jodi explained that Purina sees a lot of value in small-scale family farms. They recognize that homesteading is a growing movement; they think it’s important; and they want to make sure that they’re listening to those customers about what they need and want from the products they buy to feed their animals.

“Huh,” I said, still a little surprised. I was trying to tread lightly so I wouldn’t offend her again. “Have you gotten a pretty good response from the people here?”

Jodi lit up, “We have! We’re just here to listen to people, and I think that people really appreciate that.”

“I see,” I said.

My first instinct had been that the people at this fair would be somewhat hostile toward a company like Purina. But for a company like Purina to show up at a Mother Earth News Fair, just to listen to the people . . . well . . . you can’t really get too upset about that.

I looked over at her booth again, and sure enough, it didn’t look like they were trying to sell any products that day. I noticed that there was a small group of homesteader-type families standing around and talking to the Purina representatives, who were listening intently to what the people had to say.

All of a sudden it started to make sense to me.

“What are people saying to you?” I asked.

Jodi thought it over for a second and then replied, “Organic.”

Raising Meat Chickens_650x341_2

Is Organic Enough?

We talked for a while longer. Jodi explained that she had talked to lots of people with lots of opinions. Some of the people at the fair already purchased Purina feed regularly from their local farm supply stores. Others, like me, were just surprised to see Purina there at all.

But, one common thread that she heard a lot that day was that people want to give their chickens organic feed. It was a big deal.

And Jodi explained that Purina was already working hard to get a line of organic chicken feeds out on the market. It wasn’t a small task for them—they had to source all new suppliers, create a new production process, and find new distributors who were willing to stock the product.

I could see that Jodi knew all of the ins and outs of the project, and it sounded to me like Purina was serious about creating this new line of organic chicken feeds.

But still, even as Jodi was speaking, my mind kept wondering off. I was thinking about the Purina company that I already knew. The Purina company that supplies food to all of those big industrial chicken farms . . . . The Purina that formulated chemical changes in animal food to make eggs come out bigger and make hogs grow faster . . . . The Purina that has been passed around over the years—owned and operated by huge global conglomerates like BP, Koch Industries, and Nestle . . . . The Purina that has been blamed for poisoning thousands of cats and dogs with low-quality pet foods…

I was pretty confused.

Read more: Would You Eat Chicken-less Eggs?

The Benefit of the Doubt

After we had talked for a few minutes, I decided to give Jodi the benefit of the doubt.

“Well, I’m impressed that you’re here listening to people. And I’ll tell you what . . . If you ever get that organic chicken feed on the market, I’m going to buy a bag of it.”

Jodi laughed, “Oh, I hope you will!”

We parted ways, and I kept walking to take in the rest of the fair.

To tell you the truth, I didn’t even think about it again for the next few years. That is, until I bumped into Jodi again at the Mother Earth News Fair in Texas this past spring. This time, I was lucky enough to have Anthony—the Grow Network’s videographer—there with me:

I’m A Woman of My Word

Well, I’ve never been one to break a promise. After we shot this video, I asked Jodi where I could find Purina’s new organic chicken feed, so that I could buy a bag and let my chickens try it.

She said that my local farm supply should have it—if it wasn’t there, I should just wait a month or two and try again. Sure enough, I found it in stock at my local store.

I have been raising a big flock of meat birds for a project we’re working on for The Grow Network this summer. I gave this food to those chickens for a couple of weeks, as a test. Come to think of it, it wasn’t much of a test. I think these chickens would have eaten anything. But they did seem to like the organic Purina feed. They ate the whole bag and I didn’t notice any changes in their health or behavior while they were eating it.

But I’m dying to know. . . .

Would you buy organic chicken feed from Purina?

Some of the people I’ve talked to swear that they’d never touch anything made by Purina. Other people don’t have a problem with it, and they say their decision would just be made based on the price.

So, what do you think? Is Purina’s organic chicken feed good or evil? Drop a comment down below to let me know what you think…

Raising Meat Chickens_1200x6301

(This post is an updated version of an article originally published on August 9, 2016.)

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Product Review: Marjory Unboxes the UrBin Grower (a.k.a. Metro-Grower Elite)

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My family loves it when I do product reviews—but not for the reason you think. While I get excited about unboxing new equipment to garden with, they get excited because I have to clean off the porch for filming!

Anyway, today’s product review is for one of my absolute favorite products—the UrBin Grower (currently in the middle of being re-branded as the Metro-Grower Elite, but don’t let the name confuse you, it’s the same product).

One of the neat things about this product is that it comes with almost everything you need to start growing immediately. I say “almost,” because you will have to provide three gallons of high-quality compost per Metro-Grower Elite and a couple of gallons of water each.

Other than that, it’s a pretty turnkey growing solution.

In this video, I unbox my new Metro-Grower Elite, read the instructions for you, and show you everything you need to know to get started.

Plus I show you the surprising benefit of the water barrier — a plant protection advantage that you might not expect!

Want to get your Metro-Grower Elite?   I’ve worked out a wholesale price with the supplier.  You can click here now to get complete details.

The post Product Review: Marjory Unboxes the UrBin Grower (a.k.a. Metro-Grower Elite) appeared first on The Grow Network.

Grow Book: Table of Contents

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Marjory Wildcraft here! I’m writing a book …

… and because of the way my brain works, I’m writing it orally first … talking it out in a series of videos.

As each video is completed, it will be added to the list below. (To access it, simply click on the corresponding link!)

And then, leave me a comment?

Tell me what YOU think. 

Stories like yours will be essential to helping people interested in better health understand the true value of homegrown food and medicine.

Thank you, friends.

I can’t wait to read your comments and stories … .

Grow: All True Wealth Comes From the Ground

Table of Contents

Part I: Health

Part II: Family

Part III: Community

Part IV: Meaningful Work

Part V: Purpose — Coming Soon!

 

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Health Care Alternatives: A DIRE Need

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Remember last year when I ended up in the hospital due to an abscessed salivary duct?

I had tried treating it with home medicine, and finally got to the point where I knew I was out of my depth.

I was weak, in pain, and having more and more difficulty swallowing.

It was time to go to the hospital.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, my hospital experience wasn’t the best. (You can read about it in previous Inside Editions here and here … and if you’re not a sponsor yet, but want to stand shoulder to shoulder with us in spreading the word about the power of backyard food and medicine production to improve health and heal the planet, click here.)

The abscess was caused by a small stone that was stuck in the duct, blocking the flow of saliva. The hospital treated the infection, but wasn’t able to remove the stone while I was there because the inflammation was so intense.

My ear, nose, and throat doctor said I should give it a few months, then get the stone surgically removed.

I was about to start the process of scheduling the surgery this spring when, in the midst of prepping my garden beds and shoveling a bunch of compost, the same salivary duct got infected and abscessed. Again.

When it happened last fall, I had wanted to visit Shifu, a Chinese doctor who’s a genius with alternative medicine and who offices out in the forest near me.

He wasn’t available at the time—but thankfully, he was able to see me this spring. I told him I needed him to lance the abscess. Shifu examined me, and shook his head.

“No. Not going to lance,” he said. “I do acupuncture.” (His English is not nearly as good as his medicine!)

Well, my hospital stay was no picnic, and I wasn’t eager to repeat the experience later when the still-present stone decided to act up again. So, I argued with him.

“No. No. It needs to be lanced.”

But he insisted.

The long and short of it is that, 15 minutes and 10 acupuncture needles later, he sent me home with some herbs. Three days later, the whole abscess had just dissipated. It was gone.

My hospital stay was super-expensive. We have a high deductible insurance plan, so it was $5,000 out of pocket for me. And, honestly, I’m still paying those hospital bills. (Not to mention all the time it took me to recover my good gut flora after they killed it all off with antibiotics—and who knows what else they did to my body with that toxic, radioactive injection prior to the CT scan!)

Then, this time, I was able to visit this old Chinese man out in the woods. He charged me $95 … the abscess cleared up … and my gut flora are still intact!

Even more remarkable was what happened a few days later … .

I tell the whole story in my next video chapter of Grow: All True Wealth Comes From the Ground.

Bottom line? Industrial medicine has its place, but alternative forms of treatment can be just as effective nine times out of ten.

And the world needs access to them in a serious way.

What if you could provide them with that access, and achieve financial freedom at the same time?

You’ll learn more about that in this video, too.

Then, I’d love to hear about your experiences with alternative medicine, and your perspectives on the issue of redeveloping health care.

Would you leave me a comment below?

Huge thanks!

The post Health Care Alternatives: A DIRE Need appeared first on The Grow Network.

The Key To Reinventing Our Food System … Is YOU!

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When you need to clear thick brush or tackle masses of stubborn weeds, you can pull out the harsh chemicals, attack them with your brush knife … or rent a herd of goats.

That last option is becoming increasingly popular thanks to the ingenuity of Tammy Dunakin, founder and self-proclaimed chief goat wrangler at Rent-A-Ruminant LLC.

Unfulfilled at work?

Tammy founded her business after a career in emergency medicine left her feeling unfulfilled. She had some pet goats, noticed they looked bored … and decided to do something about it.

The goat-as-land-clearers idea has been catching on. Not only is Tammy making a decent living and franchising her business, she’s also built her flock almost entirely from goats she’s rescued.

By offering goats as an alternative to heavy machinery or noxious chemicals, she is helping to reduce the use of fossil fuels and the presence of toxins in our air, soil, and water.

And since her goats fertilize as they go, they also leave the soil in better shape than they found it.

As you might imagine, Tammy finds her work meaningful and enjoys running a business that promotes sustainability and the health of our planet.

She is happy to be making a living and a difference.

And our world needs many, many more businesses like Tammy’s.

Why?

Middle class malnutrition

We’ve got a lot of “middle class malnutrition” on our planet, in large part due to the centralization of agriculture. Crops have been bred for durability rather than flavor or nutrition, and they lose a lot of their vitamins and minerals during transport. People don’t want to eat them because they don’t taste good … and their bodies don’t crave them because they lack nutrition.

Then you have livestock, which have been bred and raised to produce unnatural quantities of eggs, milk—you name it—using unnatural feed in unnatural environments. The result, of course, is much less nutritious food.

For these reasons and more, our entire food system needs to be reimagined, redesigned, and rebuilt.

What’s the solution?

YOU are!

Making a living can be making a difference. Our food system is in a sorry state. The upside is that there are tons of opportunities for people like Tammy Dunakin, you, and me to create a living doing work we find meaningful.

If you’re not sure how to get started, you’ll want to check out my next video chapter of Grow: All True Wealth Comes From the Ground.

Then, leave me a comment. How do you earn money doing meaningful work? What advice would you give to people who want to make a living making a difference?

Did you see the last chapter? Click here to watch My Biggest Financial Mistake Will Make You Wealthy!

 

Click here to get your FREE pass!

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My Biggest Financial Mistake Will Make You Wealthy

If you’ve heard me say this once, you’ve heard me say it a thousand times:

True wealth has nothing to do with money.

Which is all good until you need to pay your mortgage, put gas in your car, or buy some groceries, right?

Because the cold, hard fact is …

… that we live in a world dominated by an economic system that runs on money. Dollars (or pesos, or yen, or pounds … you know what I mean) are the currency of transactions for almost everything. They’re how you buy and sell and get things done.

But what if you could improve your quality of life without spending more money … in fact, while spending less?

I show you how in this next video chapter of Grow: All True Wealth Comes From The Ground.

In it, I reveal:

  • Money—Good Or Evil?
  • How To Love What You Do And Still Pay The Mortgage
  • The BIGGEST Financial Mistake Of My Life

Then, would you leave me a comment below?

How has producing your own food and medicine saved you money?

What’s your advice to someone who wants to love what they do for a living?

Did you see the last Grow Book Chapter? Click here to read How To Leave A More Powerful Legacy!

Thank you so much!

 

Click here to get your FREE pass!

The post My Biggest Financial Mistake Will Make You Wealthy appeared first on The Grow Network.

My Biggest Financial Mistake Will Make You Wealthy

Click here to view the original post.

If you’ve heard me say this once, you’ve heard me say it a thousand times:

True wealth has nothing to do with money.

Which is all good until you need to pay your mortgage, put gas in your car, or buy some groceries, right?

Because the cold, hard fact is …

… that we live in a world dominated by an economic system that runs on money. Dollars (or pesos, or yen, or pounds … you know what I mean) are the currency of transactions for almost everything. They’re how you buy and sell and get things done.

But what if you could improve your quality of life without spending more money … in fact, while spending less?

I show you how in this next video chapter of Grow: All True Wealth Comes From The Ground.

In it, I reveal:

  • Money—Good Or Evil?
  • How To Love What You Do And Still Pay The Mortgage
  • The BIGGEST Financial Mistake Of My Life

Then, would you leave me a comment below?

How has producing your own food and medicine saved you money?

What’s your advice to someone who wants to love what they do for a living?

Did you see the last Grow Book Chapter? Click here to read How To Leave A More Powerful Legacy!

Thank you so much!

 

Click here to get your FREE pass!

The post My Biggest Financial Mistake Will Make You Wealthy appeared first on The Grow Network.

Let’s Go To The Fair! The Mother Earth News Fair

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Let’s go to the fair!

Remember the excitement of going to the State Fair? This is no different! At the Mother Earth News Fair, you’ll find amazing workshops and lectures to help you on your path to independence and self-reliance.  

So many things to do and see

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build a root cellar, create a green dream homestead, or see what new products are on the market, this is the fair for you. 

There is a whole selection of vendors and a bunch of hands-on workshops. There were too many great booths and exhibitions to list. The place was buzzing with alternative energy vehicles, traditional folk arts and crafts, heritage and landrace livestock, homestead-scale saw mills, and so much more.

Would you like to test drive a tractor? I think I could do some damage with the front-end loader.

Sawmill? If you want to fell trees from you land, the sawmill area is the place for you!

Livestock area

In the livestock area, you’ll find heritage breeds, like Rosie and her calf. They are Dexter cows, which are miniature cattle. I love this breed!

Inside there were hundreds of vendors with all kinds of things to see and do. It’s a great place to do a lot of shopping!

Expert Speakers

The speaker lineup is awesome, and I’m sure everyone who attended will agree that there wasn’t enough time to take in all of the information that was flying around. There were great talks on sustainability, herbal medicine, vegetable gardening, raising and processing livestock, alternative energy… you name it.

Joel Salatin was there talking about chickens, pigs, and cattle and how to create the deepest and best soil by choreographing the movement of ancient herds.

You even get to talk with these experts!

There is so much going on at these amazing events. I really encourage you to visit one.

These fairs are all over the U.S., so there should be one near you. If not, it is well worth the drive.

See you at a Mother Earth News Fair.

Did you see this Homesteading Basics? Keep your special plants close!

Have you been to a Mother Earth News Fair? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

 

Click here to get your FREE pass!

Save

The post Let’s Go To The Fair! The Mother Earth News Fair appeared first on The Grow Network.

Let’s Go To The Fair! The Mother Earth News Fair

Let’s go to the fair!

Remember the excitement of going to the State Fair? This is no different! At the Mother Earth News Fair, you’ll find amazing workshops and lectures to help you on your path to independence and self-reliance.  

So many things to do and see

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build a root cellar, create a green dream homestead, or see what new products are on the market, this is the fair for you. 

There is a whole selection of vendors and a bunch of hands-on workshops. There were too many great booths and exhibitions to list. The place was buzzing with alternative energy vehicles, traditional folk arts and crafts, heritage and landrace livestock, homestead-scale saw mills, and so much more.

Would you like to test drive a tractor? I think I could do some damage with the front-end loader.

Sawmill? If you want to fell trees from you land, the sawmill area is the place for you!

Livestock area

In the livestock area, you’ll find heritage breeds, like Rosie and her calf. They are Dexter cows, which are miniature cattle. I love this breed!

Inside there were hundreds of vendors with all kinds of things to see and do. It’s a great place to do a lot of shopping!

Expert Speakers

The speaker lineup is awesome, and I’m sure everyone who attended will agree that there wasn’t enough time to take in all of the information that was flying around. There were great talks on sustainability, herbal medicine, vegetable gardening, raising and processing livestock, alternative energy… you name it.

Joel Salatin was there talking about chickens, pigs, and cattle and how to create the deepest and best soil by choreographing the movement of ancient herds.

You even get to talk with these experts!

There is so much going on at these amazing events. I really encourage you to visit one.

These fairs are all over the U.S., so there should be one near you. If not, it is well worth the drive.

See you at a Mother Earth News Fair.

Did you see this Homesteading Basics? Keep your special plants close!

Have you been to a Mother Earth News Fair? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

 

Click here to get your FREE pass!

Save

The post Let’s Go To The Fair! The Mother Earth News Fair appeared first on The Grow Network.

I Don’t WANT To Grow All My Own Food. Here’s Why.

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Would it surprise you to learn that I don’t grow all of my family’s food?

(Well, maybe if I could get my teenagers to work a little harder … then I would? 😉 )

But the truth is, I don’t even want to.

I’d rather live in a gift economy—a core community of like-minded people who are so interconnected that they support, help, and give to one another … without any expectation of getting something in return.

It’s a joyful, stable economy—and it’s ancient for some wonderful reasons.

In fact, really, the deep satisfaction it brings is what we’re all aiming for when we talk about growing a community.

But how do we get there?

How do you go from no or little community to living in a gift economy?

That’s the topic of my next video chapter of Grow: All True Wealth Comes From the Ground.

In it, I talk about:

  • One Of The BEST Ways To Start Producing Food As A Community
  • 5 Ways To Give — And Which Offer The Most True Wealth
  • What’s In It For You? The No. 1 Reason To Pursue A Gift Economy

Did you see last week’s video Chapter of GROW? Click here to watch Build Community In 9 Easy steps!

After you watch it, I’d love to hear your story.

What type of giving brings you the most satisfaction?

How has giving created community for you?

I can’t wait to read your comments!

 

Click here to get your FREE pass!

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6 Homesteading Skills You Need To Know—And Where To Get Them

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In this edition of Homesteading Basics, let’s talk about learning homesteading skills you need if you’re going to be a modern-homesteader, and where the best place is to get those skills.

Watch the video here: (video length: 2:38 minutes)

A True Story

My son was using the mower the other day and ran out of gas. 

He left it in the south pasture with the key turned on, and the battery died.

Now he’s off on a trip, and I’m stuck with a dead battery.

This got me thinking about all of the skills you need to be a modern-day homesteader.

Do you have the skills you need?

Here are some basic skills that you’re definitely going to need on your homestead:

  • Basic electrical knowledge
  • Carpentry skills
  • Plumbing knowledge
  • Animal husbandry
  • Gardening methods and techniques
  • Home Medicine

If you don’t already possess this knowledge, these skills can take a while to acquire.

Where to gain homesteading knowledge

One of the best places to get the knowledge you need is to attend a Mother Earth News Fair. They are held all over the U.S. There are a lot of different workshops in a two-to-three-day period. They offer the basic skills you’ll need for your homestead.

Here are a few other suggestions to help you improve your homesteading skills:

Your local farmer
See if he or she will give you a few tips or pointers on something specific, like animal husbandry. Offer to pay him or trade him something that he needs, maybe even your labor.

Big Box Stores
A lot of the big box supply stores offer Saturday morning classes in home improvement skills, including basic plumbing, electrical, and carpentry.

Local Community College
Many community colleges offer nighttime and weekend classes in auto repair, small engine repair, carpentry, basic plumbing, and electrical.

Online Classes
There are thousands of online classes from home medicine to gardening. Choose the one that gives you the knowledge you need and works with your schedule.

County Extension Master Gardeners
Master Gardeners are a community of volunteers trained in horticulture by the County Extension Office. You can become a Master Gardener by learning valuable plant and soil information. Then volunteer 40 hours during the year and give your knowledge back to your community. Check your local or state extension office for more information, or call your local Master Gardener hotline for more information on the public classes they offer.

Local Master Classes
In many places, there are local classes offered by specialty groups. For instance, Master beekeepers, Master composters, and others often offer classes for free or a small fee to attend. Look online for groups near you.

YouTube videos
There are hundreds of thousands of videos online to help you gain the skills you need in just about any area of homesteading.

Let’s improve our skills together.

Where are you getting the homesteading skills you need? In the comments below, let us know what skills you have and which ones you need.

The post 6 Homesteading Skills You Need To Know—And Where To Get Them appeared first on The Grow Network.

Build Community In 9 Easy Steps … Even When You’re Raising Your Kids In A Barn!

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Are you ready to build community in your life?

You know that question parents ask their kids when they chew with their mouths open, track mud through the house, or something like that? That thing about being raised in a barn?

Yeah, well, mine actually were.

It was a lot of fun when the kids were little, but it sort of started backfiring on Dave and me as they grew.

Because now, when I ask them incredulously, “Where are your manners? Were you raised in a barn?”

… They look at me innocently and say, “Well, yeah, Mom, as a matter of fact we were!”

I kind of blew it on that one, didn’t I? 😉

Still, despite literally living in a barn for a while when we first moved to our rural property, I wanted to get to know like-minded people.

  • People who wanted to grow their own food.
  • Who were resilient and self-reliant.
  • And who wanted the same deep connections I was hungering for.

For obvious reasons, I didn’t have a living room. And, honestly, since I had small kids, I wanted to maintain the ability to screen the folks who came into my home.

How did I address these community-busting challenges?

Well, I wasn’t sure what to do at first. But eventually, it came to me: I started hosting monthly events.

That may sound intimidating initially, but I show you just how simple—yet incredibly powerful!—it can be in my next video chapter of Grow: All True Wealth Comes From the Ground.

It really is a complete guide to hosting community-building events.

You’ll learn:

  • How To Grow A Community In 9 Easy Steps
  • 6 Safe, Inexpensive Venues For Getting Started
  • My Failproof Technique For Ensuring You Always Have Speakers
  • 12 Ways To Get The Word Out
  • The MOST IMPORTANT Item On The Refreshments Table

… And lots more!

Then, I’d love to hear from you!

What’s your favorite way to build community? Tell us in the comments below.

Thanks so much!

 

 

Learn to Grow Your Own Food!

The easiest, most practical system to grow delicious, healthy,  and clean food.

Click Here To Get Your Copy

 

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10 Easy Ways To Take Care Of Your Teeth … Naturally!

Are you taking care of your teeth? It is one of the single most important preventative measure that you can do yourself. Poor oral health leads to gum disease, facial pain, infections of the mouth, and more serious health problems, including stroke, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney disease, diabetes, and oral cancer. According to the ADA, nearly 50% of Americans don’t go to the dentist because of fear, money, or the belief that their mouths are healthy. Here are some easy ways you can care for your teeth, naturally.

From the Inside-Out

A healthy mouth involves your entire body. Your body needs fat-soluble vitamins and minerals to keep your mouth healthy, too.

These minerals and vitamins support the body as a whole but also create more mineral-rich saliva, which is how your body protects your teeth.

Saliva and Oral Health

Saliva is how your body protects your teeth. On a practical level, teeth are remineralized as your saliva washes over your teeth. However, you must have appropriate nutrients in your body, or your saliva will lack the minerals needed to protect and strengthen your teeth.

Watch Your Diet

Eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy provide you with all of the nutrients that you and your teeth need.

Keep in mind that acidic foods increase the risk of tooth decay because it breaks down the enamel of your teeth and allows bacteria to get into your teeth. You don’t have to avoid acidic foods altogether, but knowing which foods are acidic will help you take control of those portions.

Fruit and Vegetables

Munching on apples, celery sticks, carrots, and peppers make your teeth strong and healthy.

Sesame Seeds

Use sesame seeds as a oral scrub. They gently remove plaque and tartar and don’t damage your teeth. Chew them up, but don’t swallow them.

How to care for your teeth and gums—naturally!

1. Brushing

Your brushing routine is super-important for your overall mouth health. You should brush at least twice-a-day. If you do it properly, brushing should take about two minutes. Do you have problems brushing that long? Set a timer for two minutes to make sure you brush for the appropriate amount of time.

  • Start your brushing routine in the back of your mouth. If you follow the same routine each time, it will become a habit.
  • In order to loosen food debris and plaque that builds up around the gum line, brush in a circular motion downward from the gums.
  • Don’t forget the backsides of your teeth! The back surfaces of all your teeth are just as important as the front. Food and debris can build-up there just as easily.
  • Brushing the biting surface of your teeth will loosen food particles that settle into the indentations.
  • Bacteria builds up on your tongue and the inside of your cheeks. Be sure to brush these areas to promote fresh breath.

2. Floss

There is a lot of controversy over flossing right now. For years, it has been said that “flossing is the most important thing you can do to protect your teeth and gums.” However, many people overlook this simple task or don’t do it correctly.

Now, there is mounting evidence that flossing doesn’t help prevent gum disease.

With that said, there are minimal risks and a lot of potential rewards. So, go ahead and floss!

Use an unwaxed, natural floss to get between your teeth and below the gum line where plaque, food particles, and bacteria hang out.

Note: Petroleum byproduct are used in waxed floss. Also, check the package for the cruelty-free label. You’ll know that no animals were harmed in the production of that floss.

How to Floss

  1. Cut a length of floss that you can wrap around your fingers and still have enough to hold and work in between your teeth with an up-and-down motion.
  2. Curve the base of each tooth in a C-shape and work the floss beneath the gum line. As you move from tooth to tooth, use a clean part of the strand.

Make Your Own Toothpaste

This toothpaste recipe has no fluoride, is safe for children, and those with thyroid problems. Oh and it’s YUMMY, too!

Get the recipe here!

 

take-care-teeth-naturally

3. Drink water

The average American drinks only 2 1/2 cups of water a day. To help you stay hydrated, you need to drink at least 8-8 oz. cups of water each day.

If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Besides keeping your body hydrated, water helps wash away food and bacteria left in your mouth.

Your saliva is produced from water. It neutralizes the acidity in your mouth that erodes tooth enamel and weakens your teeth.

Make it a habit to rinse your mouth or swish with water after every meal. This will help eliminate leftover bits of food and speed up the remineralization process.

Make your own Mouth Wash

In a glass jar, mix 1/2 cup of filtered water, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 2 drops of tea tree oil, and 3 drops of peppermint essential oil. Shake well. Store in your bathroom cabinet.

To use: Swish 3 teaspoons in your mouth for a minute or two. Try to avoid swallowing it.

Note: Double the recipe if you need a larger batch.

4. Chew xylitol gum

Bacteria love the sugar alcohol in xylitol, but bacteria can’t break it down. The bacteria starve to death. Chewing xylitol gum reduces gum disease and tooth decay successfully. It also promotes saliva production, which increases the antibacterial forces in the mouth. It also promotes saliva production, which increases the antibacterial forces in the mouth.

5. Oil pulling

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique to keep your mouth healthy. Both sesame and coconut oil have antibacterial properties that keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape. And you’ll also notice that oil pulling naturally whitens your teeth. Do this first thing in the morning.

How to oil pull:

  1. Put 1 tablespoon of sesame or coconut oil in your mouth.
  2. Gently swish it around for 10 to 20 minutes.
  3. Spit it out into the garbage. Avoid gargling or swallowing the oil.
  4. Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  5. Brush your teeth as usual.
  6. Repeat daily, first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach.

You may have to build up to the 20 minutes. At first, I had so much saliva in my mouth along with the oil that I could only swish for a minute or two. Start where you can and build-up to 10 to 20 minutes.

What oil pulling does:

Oil pulling draws out toxins from your body. It is primarily used to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and improves your overall health.

6. Tongue scraping

Get yourself a tongue scraper. Stainless-steel tongue scrapers, which you can buy online, are much easier to clean.

What it does:

Tongue scraping reduces and removes the bacterial growth on your tongue that leads to bad breath. Removing bacterial growth is good for you because it reduces the likelihood of tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease, and other oral problems.

How to tongue scrape:

  • Do your tongue scraping first thing in the morning.
  • Watch in a mirror. Place the tongue scraper at the back of your tongue. Pull it to the front edge of your tongue, and discard the build up.
  • Repeat this motion twice.
  • Be gentle! You don’t want to hurt your taste buds.

7. Drink herbal tea

Herbal, red, white, and green tea are excellent after-dinner palate-cleansers. They also have the added benefit of keeping plaque from developing.

 

take-care-teeth-naturally

8. Herbs & Spices

Herbs and spices have long been favored to clean and freshen the breath. Many herbs have antibacterial properties, which help keep your teeth and gums from getting infected.

Cloves
Suck on a whole clove to lessen tooth pain.

Aloe vera
Apply aloe vera gel in small quantities if you have gum inflammation. Be warned, natural aloe gel is extremely bitter tasting.

Turmeric
Keep your gums and teeth healthy and infection-free with turmeric, which contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Mix a ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder and a little bit of water into a paste. Brush your teeth a few times a week to control plaque and prevent gingivitis.

Licorice
According to a 2011 study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Natural Products, scientists discovered that two important compounds in licorice helped kill the major bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease.

Use a soft licorice stick like a toothbrush to remove plaque and tartar.

9. Add supplements

Minerals are very important to overall health, but especially for teeth and gums. Diet alone might be enough, but many foods lack nutrients from being grown in nutrient depleted soil, so supplements help fill the gaps. Check with a medical professional before adding supplements.

  • Vitamins A, C, D, K
  • Magnesium
  • Gelatin
  • Cod Liver Oil

10. Herbal breath fresheners

  • Chew on fresh parsley or mint leaves.
  • Rub your teeth with orange peel to help fight tartar build-up and whiten teeth.
  • Gargle with an old-fashioned solution
    1 cup of water and 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Combine and store in a glass jar. Shake well before use. Rinse and repeat every 2-3 days for maximum value.

Do you use any of these natural tooth care techniques? Tell us your story in the comment below.

Resources:

American Dental Association.
U.S. News & World Report. August 2, 2016. David Oliver. Health Buzz: Flossing Doesn’t Actually Work, Report Says. 

 

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The post 10 Easy Ways To Take Care Of Your Teeth … Naturally! appeared first on The Grow Network.

10 Easy Ways To Take Care Of Your Teeth … Naturally!

Click here to view the original post.

Are you taking care of your teeth? It is one of the single most important preventative measure that you can do yourself. Poor oral health leads to gum disease, facial pain, infections of the mouth, and more serious health problems, including stroke, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney disease, diabetes, and oral cancer. According to the ADA, nearly 50% of Americans don’t go to the dentist because of fear, money, or the belief that their mouths are healthy. Here are some easy ways you can care for your teeth, naturally.

From the Inside-Out

A healthy mouth involves your entire body. Your body needs fat-soluble vitamins and minerals to keep your mouth healthy, too.

These minerals and vitamins support the body as a whole but also create more mineral-rich saliva, which is how your body protects your teeth.

Saliva and Oral Health

Saliva is how your body protects your teeth. On a practical level, teeth are remineralized as your saliva washes over your teeth. However, you must have appropriate nutrients in your body, or your saliva will lack the minerals needed to protect and strengthen your teeth.

Watch Your Diet

Eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy provide you with all of the nutrients that you and your teeth need.

Keep in mind that acidic foods increase the risk of tooth decay because it breaks down the enamel of your teeth and allows bacteria to get into your teeth. You don’t have to avoid acidic foods altogether, but knowing which foods are acidic will help you take control of those portions.

Fruit and Vegetables

Munching on apples, celery sticks, carrots, and peppers make your teeth strong and healthy.

Sesame Seeds

Use sesame seeds as a oral scrub. They gently remove plaque and tartar and don’t damage your teeth. Chew them up, but don’t swallow them.

How to care for your teeth and gums—naturally!

1. Brushing

Your brushing routine is super-important for your overall mouth health. You should brush at least twice-a-day. If you do it properly, brushing should take about two minutes. Do you have problems brushing that long? Set a timer for two minutes to make sure you brush for the appropriate amount of time.

  • Start your brushing routine in the back of your mouth. If you follow the same routine each time, it will become a habit.
  • In order to loosen food debris and plaque that builds up around the gum line, brush in a circular motion downward from the gums.
  • Don’t forget the backsides of your teeth! The back surfaces of all your teeth are just as important as the front. Food and debris can build-up there just as easily.
  • Brushing the biting surface of your teeth will loosen food particles that settle into the indentations.
  • Bacteria builds up on your tongue and the inside of your cheeks. Be sure to brush these areas to promote fresh breath.

2. Floss

There is a lot of controversy over flossing right now. For years, it has been said that “flossing is the most important thing you can do to protect your teeth and gums.” However, many people overlook this simple task or don’t do it correctly.

Now, there is mounting evidence that flossing doesn’t help prevent gum disease.

With that said, there are minimal risks and a lot of potential rewards. So, go ahead and floss!

Use an unwaxed, natural floss to get between your teeth and below the gum line where plaque, food particles, and bacteria hang out.

Note: Petroleum byproduct are used in waxed floss. Also, check the package for the cruelty-free label. You’ll know that no animals were harmed in the production of that floss.

How to Floss

  1. Cut a length of floss that you can wrap around your fingers and still have enough to hold and work in between your teeth with an up-and-down motion.
  2. Curve the base of each tooth in a C-shape and work the floss beneath the gum line. As you move from tooth to tooth, use a clean part of the strand.

Make Your Own Toothpaste

This toothpaste recipe has no fluoride, is safe for children, and those with thyroid problems. Oh and it’s YUMMY, too!

Get the recipe here!

 

take-care-teeth-naturally

3. Drink water

The average American drinks only 2 1/2 cups of water a day. To help you stay hydrated, you need to drink at least 8-8 oz. cups of water each day.

If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Besides keeping your body hydrated, water helps wash away food and bacteria left in your mouth.

Your saliva is produced from water. It neutralizes the acidity in your mouth that erodes tooth enamel and weakens your teeth.

Make it a habit to rinse your mouth or swish with water after every meal. This will help eliminate leftover bits of food and speed up the remineralization process.

Make your own Mouth Wash

In a glass jar, mix 1/2 cup of filtered water, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 2 drops of tea tree oil, and 3 drops of peppermint essential oil. Shake well. Store in your bathroom cabinet.

To use: Swish 3 teaspoons in your mouth for a minute or two. Try to avoid swallowing it.

Note: Double the recipe if you need a larger batch.

4. Chew xylitol gum

Bacteria love the sugar alcohol in xylitol, but bacteria can’t break it down. The bacteria starve to death. Chewing xylitol gum reduces gum disease and tooth decay successfully. It also promotes saliva production, which increases the antibacterial forces in the mouth. It also promotes saliva production, which increases the antibacterial forces in the mouth.

5. Oil pulling

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique to keep your mouth healthy. Both sesame and coconut oil have antibacterial properties that keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape. And you’ll also notice that oil pulling naturally whitens your teeth. Do this first thing in the morning.

How to oil pull:

  1. Put 1 tablespoon of sesame or coconut oil in your mouth.
  2. Gently swish it around for 10 to 20 minutes.
  3. Spit it out into the garbage. Avoid gargling or swallowing the oil.
  4. Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  5. Brush your teeth as usual.
  6. Repeat daily, first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach.

You may have to build up to the 20 minutes. At first, I had so much saliva in my mouth along with the oil that I could only swish for a minute or two. Start where you can and build-up to 10 to 20 minutes.

What oil pulling does:

Oil pulling draws out toxins from your body. It is primarily used to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy and improves your overall health.

6. Tongue scraping

Get yourself a tongue scraper. Stainless-steel tongue scrapers, which you can buy online, are much easier to clean.

What it does:

Tongue scraping reduces and removes the bacterial growth on your tongue that leads to bad breath. Removing bacterial growth is good for you because it reduces the likelihood of tooth decay, tooth loss, gum disease, and other oral problems.

How to tongue scrape:

  • Do your tongue scraping first thing in the morning.
  • Watch in a mirror. Place the tongue scraper at the back of your tongue. Pull it to the front edge of your tongue, and discard the build up.
  • Repeat this motion twice.
  • Be gentle! You don’t want to hurt your taste buds.

7. Drink herbal tea

Herbal, red, white, and green tea are excellent after-dinner palate-cleansers. They also have the added benefit of keeping plaque from developing.

 

take-care-teeth-naturally

8. Herbs & Spices

Herbs and spices have long been favored to clean and freshen the breath. Many herbs have antibacterial properties, which help keep your teeth and gums from getting infected.

Cloves
Suck on a whole clove to lessen tooth pain.

Aloe vera
Apply aloe vera gel in small quantities if you have gum inflammation. Be warned, natural aloe gel is extremely bitter tasting.

Turmeric
Keep your gums and teeth healthy and infection-free with turmeric, which contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Mix a ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder and a little bit of water into a paste. Brush your teeth a few times a week to control plaque and prevent gingivitis.

Licorice
According to a 2011 study published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Natural Products, scientists discovered that two important compounds in licorice helped kill the major bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease.

Use a soft licorice stick like a toothbrush to remove plaque and tartar.

9. Add supplements

Minerals are very important to overall health, but especially for teeth and gums. Diet alone might be enough, but many foods lack nutrients from being grown in nutrient depleted soil, so supplements help fill the gaps. Check with a medical professional before adding supplements.

  • Vitamins A, C, D, K
  • Magnesium
  • Gelatin
  • Cod Liver Oil

10. Herbal breath fresheners

  • Chew on fresh parsley or mint leaves.
  • Rub your teeth with orange peel to help fight tartar build-up and whiten teeth.
  • Gargle with an old-fashioned solution
    1 cup of water and 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Combine and store in a glass jar. Shake well before use. Rinse and repeat every 2-3 days for maximum value.

Do you use any of these natural tooth care techniques? Tell us your story in the comment below.

Resources:

American Dental Association.
U.S. News & World Report. August 2, 2016. David Oliver. Health Buzz: Flossing Doesn’t Actually Work, Report Says. 

 

Save

Save

Save

The post 10 Easy Ways To Take Care Of Your Teeth … Naturally! appeared first on The Grow Network.

Community And Friendship, With a Side of Sauce

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Good community gives life and wealth. In fact, when it comes to living a long, healthy life, some research counts community and friendship as more valuable than eating your veggies!

“Give me an hour.”

When I got the call asking whether I could find a use for a trailerful of vine-ripened organic tomatoes, that was my reply.

Once I hung up the phone, I picked it right back up again. I knew exactly who to call.

By the time that trailer pulled up, three families (including mine) were standing at the ready, armed with a slew of canning supplies.

Together, in one day, we processed that whole load of tomatoes. And each family went away with better than three dozen quart jars of thick, rich tomato sauce.

Honestly, though, the best thing about that day wasn’t the sauce.

It was the stories we told …

… The laughing we did …

… The turns we took cutting the tomatoes and holding the baby.

In a word, it was the community and friendship

And that’s the theme of my next few video chapters of Grow: All True Wealth Comes From the Ground.

In it, I reveal:

  • How Good Is Your Community? 4 Ways To Find Out
  • Why The Ideal Of The “Lone Survivor” Is A TOTAL Myth
  • Tempted To Isolate Yourself In A Survival Situation? Answer This Question FIRST!

Did you miss last week’s chapter of GROW? Click here to see it.

Then, let me know…

What’s your favorite way to develop community?

How has being part of a community enriched your life?

Give us your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Access our growing selection of Downloadable eBooks…

… On topics that include growing your own food, herbal medicine, homesteading, raising livestock, and more!

Click here to get your FREE pass!

The post Community And Friendship, With a Side of Sauce appeared first on The Grow Network.

How To Grow Equisetum Hyemale

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Equisetum hyemale is commonly called scouring rush or rough horsetail. Equisetum is not a rush, fern, or reed. This horsetail is a non-flowering, rush-like, perennial, which is native to Europe, North America, and Asia, and is invasive in most places. It is very easy to grow Equisetum Hymale!

It is a single surviving genus that dates back 350 million years. Its name comes from the Latin word equus meaning “a horse” and seta meaning “a bristle.”

The stems

It occurs in wet woods, moist hillsides, and the edges of lakes, rivers, and ponds. This species has rigid, rough, hollow, jointed-and-segmented, bamboo-like, dark green stems that are about 1/2 inch in diameter at the base.

Photosynthesis happens in the stems of this plant. Fertile stems bear pine cone-like fruiting heads about 1-inch long, which contain a lot of spores.

If you live in an area that is frost-free, the evergreen stems are pretty in winter.

The stems are also high in silica and were used by early Americans for polishing pots and pans. (1)

The leaves

Tiny, scale-like leaves attached to the stem and fuse into an ash-gray sheath, which is a 1/4-inch long. The leaves end in a fringe of teeth marks at each stem node (joint). During the growing season, these teeth shed.

grow-equisetum-hyemale

Grow Equisetum Hyemale

This ancient plant spreads by rhizomes (underground stem that acts like a root). It is commonly called horsetail or winter scouring rush, but there are several varieties. This particular species is one that has been used for centuries for tooth and gum care.

In your landscape

Horsetail reeds (Equisetum hyemale) is a great addition to the edges of backyard ponds and water features. The reeds thrive where soils are moist, but the plant remains above water. Depending on where you live, it can be invasive. This species of horsetail multiplies in a “thicket.”

The reeds may stay green where frost is not a concern. The reeds are typically grown only as a potted plant, because they spread quickly via underground rhizomes. It grows to a height of 2 feet to 4 feet.

Soil

Equisetum Hyemale tolerates a wide-range of moist soils It will even grow in up to 4 inches of standing water. A large colony of reeds forms in the wild. Equisetum Hyemale is a very aggressive plant, which needs to be restrained by a pot. Once established, it can be challenging to remove because the rhizomes spread wide and deep. Any small section of rhizome left behind will sprout a new plant. In water gardens, plant in pots, or it will choke out other plants.

This horsetail species likes a slightly acidic soil with a clay, loam, sand mix. It particularly likes wet sites. It is perfect for a bog garden, containers, or water gardens.

Light

Grow Equisetum Hyemale in full sun, partial sun, or partial shade depending on your particular climate.

Climate

This species of horsetail grows well in Zones 4 through 9.

Click here to find your hardiness zone.

Maintenance

Indoors or outside, be sure to cut off any rhizomes growing out of the pot. This will keep the horsetail from spreading into the pond or surrounding soil.

Place the pot so the rim is above the water surface, near the edge of a pond or water feature is perfect.

Prune the dead stems after they turn brown in winter. Provide some winter interest by leaving the stems in place until new stems emerge.

Watering

Water horsetail reeds twice-a-week or more, so the soil stays moist, almost wet. Pots sitting in water need less watering. Water pond plants only if the potting soil surface looks dry.

Pests

Equisetum Hyemale does not have any serious insect or disease problems. The only problem is its very aggressive and spreading nature.

Fertilizer

When the reed is actively growing in spring and summer or every two months, apply a fertilizer made for pond or bog plants. Follow the recommended applications on the fertilizer bag.

Here are 35 Homemade Organic Fertilizers to try!

Grow Equisetum Hyemale Indoors

Although a bog plant, horsetail reeds are low-maintenance and do well in pots on your patio, too. Plant Equisetum Hyemale in a non-perforated, 1-gallon pot with drainage holes.

Lift the pot once-a-month to examine the drainage holes. Cut back any rhizomes that are trying to escape.

Indoors, grow Equisetum Hyemale in moist soil and with a lot of light. A sunny window is perfect.

Use a potting soil that works best for bog and water garden plants. Set the pot in water that is no more than 4-inches deep.

Will you be growing Equisetum Hyemale? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Research:

1 Missouri Botanical Garden. [http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=c670]

 

 

Beautiful, Squeaky Clean, HEALTHY Teeth
… Without Going To The Dentist!

Click here to get this holistic approach to caring for your teeth

The post How To Grow Equisetum Hyemale appeared first on The Grow Network.

How Well Do You Know Your Teeth?

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Do you know your teeth? Did you know that each one has a number?

Running your tongue across your teeth is probably the most common body movement you do. It’s important to know your teeth because it will help identify problems, give you the knowledge you need to be in charge of your dental health, and makes you aware of issues before they become problems.

But how well do you really know your teeth?

Imagine …

… Sarah’s tooth in her upper right jaw hurt. Can you imagine how much more respect, and probably better treatment, she would get from her dentist if she said, “I am having some sensitivity with tooth number 3, can I make an appointment?”

Really knowing your teeth is the first step to better dental health, and being in charge of what is used in your mouth.

A good way to start is to learn the numbers for each tooth.

know-your-teeth

© kaligula

Tooth Numbers

The adult human mouth is blueprinted with 32 teeth—16 on the upper and 16 on the lower.

Use a mirror or your tongue to identify each of your teeth and their numbers.

The first tooth is in the upper right. Then, go around to number 16, which is on your upper left. Most people no longer have their wisdom teeth, so often the first tooth in your upper right jaw is actually # 2. Number 17 starts on your lower left and goes around to #32, which is your lower right. Again, the wisdom teeth are often missing so usually the first tooth on the lower left is #18.

Get a dental mirror, and check this out for yourself!

Dental Language

If you’ve ever laid back in a dental chair and wondered what the gobbledygook the dentist was saying to his assistant, this article is the first step in unraveling that mysterious language.

Here are some terms you might hear at your dentist’s office, and what they mean:

Anterior describes things pertaining to your centrals, laterals, and cuspids.

Apex is the very bottom of the tooth’s root.

Aspirator is the little tube-like straw that sucks up your saliva.

Buccal is the tooth surface that is next to your cheeks.

Calculus is a hard deposit that forms when you do not brush your teeth and plague hardens, also known as tartar.

Caries are cavities or tooth decay.

Cariogenic is a decay-causing material.

Central means the two upper and two lower teeth in the very center of your mouth, also called Incisors.

Crown is the part of your tooth above the gum line.

Cuspids are the pointy teeth just beside the laterals. They have one point, and commonly called canines.

Dentin is the calcium part of your tooth below the enamel containing the pulp and root canals.

Enamel is a hard ceramic that covers the exposed part of your teeth.

First Bicuspids are the teeth just beside the cuspids. They have two points.

First Molars are the teeth beside the second bicuspids. These teeth have four points.

Gingivitis is reversible inflammation of the gum tissue, but does not include the bone.

Implant is a tooth replacement. The implant is different from a bridge as it is permanently attached to your jaw.

Labial is the tooth surface that is next to your lips.

Lingual is the tooth surface next to your tongue.

Lateral means the teeth just beside the centrals.

Malocclusion is misaligned teeth or jaw.

Mandible is your lower jaw.

Maxilla is your upper jaw.

Occlusal surface is the chewing surface of a tooth.

Periodontal disease is inflammation and irritation of the gums which if left untreated can cause the teeth and jawbone to deteriorate or fall out.

Plaque is a bacterial colony which has mineralized and attacked your teeth, causing decay.

Prophylaxis is a professional cleaning of your teeth by a dentist or hygienist.

Root is part of your tooth in your gums.

Sealant is a plastic coating used to protect your teeth from decay.

Second Bicuspids are the teeth beside the first bicuspids. They also have two points.

Second Molars are the teeth beside the first molars. They also have four points.

Third Molars are your wisdom teeth. Some people have them. Some people don’t. Often times, they are pulled so as not to cause problems in your mouth.

 

Have you seen this article: How Much Money Will You Spend on Dentistry?

 

know-your-teeth

© lisafx

What you need to know

  1. Being able to chew your homegrown food is essential for good digestion. Actually getting the nutrition that your body needs relies on your teeth being healthy and strong.
  2. You’ll impress the heck out of your dentist and get much more respect and possibly better care, if you know your tooth numbers.
  3. Knowing your tooth numbers and checking your own teeth regularly is very important to the prevention of tooth and gum issues.

You have more control over your dental health than you know. And healthy teeth and gums are important for a happy and healthy YOU!

Tell us in the comments below. How well do you know your teeth?

 

Your Teeth Are Alive and Can Heal Themselves!

I’ll show you how Doug Simons takes care of his dental
health with simple, easy-to-do, and effective methods.
You can too!

Click here for more information!

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The post How Well Do You Know Your Teeth? appeared first on The Grow Network.

24 Injuries and Ailments You Can Treat With Home Remedies

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(Length: 27:30 min.)

Snake Bite!

Many of you know that I got bitten by a copperhead snake late last summer, treated it with home remedies for snake bites, and lived to tell the tale.

What you may not know is that this was the second copperhead bite in my family in the last few years.

(Yeah, we have a lot of copperheads here in Central Texas!)

The two experiences could not have been more different.

Last time, it was my husband who got bitten.

When it happened, he chose to head to the hospital. I respected his right to make that choice—and you’d better believe I went with him and stayed by his side as his advocate the entire time!

His whole experience was very painful, very disruptive, and very expensive. But, within about a week, all of the swelling had gone, and he was back to normal.

Contrast that with my own snakebite experience last summer. My husband knows me well enough that, after I got bitten, he didn’t even mention going to the hospital. Instead, he asked, “What do you want to poultice it with?”

I’m not going to lie—there was still a lot of pain involved.

But in every other way, my snakebite experience was completely different from my husband’s.

I was in the comfort of my own home, being treated by my husband and daughter. And, honestly, while that snake venom was working its way out of my system, I had the most amazing spiritual experience I’ve ever had.

It was absolutely life-changing.

You can read more about it on our website—the first part of my blog post is here and the second part is here.

Perhaps most telling of all was my husband’s comment to me when it was all over … .

I tell the rest of the story in my next video chapter of Grow: All True Wealth Comes From the Ground. (above)

In it, you’ll learn:

  • My #1 Favorite Home Remedy
  • 24+ Injuries and Ailments You Can Treat at Home
  • 7 Simple Steps to Mastering Home Remedies

I also reveal the fundamental difference between home and hospital treatments, what home remedies are (and what they’re not!), and why treating illness at home can be such an abundant source of family wealth.

After you watch, I’d love to know:

What are your favorite home remedies?

What’s your most memorable experience with treating illness at home?

I can’t wait to hear from you!

P.S. If you’d like to take the Antibiotics IQ quiz I mention in the video, click here!

The post 24 Injuries and Ailments You Can Treat With Home Remedies appeared first on The Grow Network.

How To Identify Plants Quickly

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Would you like to be able to quickly and easily identify plants?

Even be able to recognize species while driving 60 m.p..h. down the highway?

Marjory Wildcraft discusses Tom Elpels classic book Botany In A Day. Botany is the most crucial skill for sustainable living—everything we need ultimately comes from the plant kingdom: Our food, medicine, shelter, clothing, heating, and so much more.

In this video, you’ll learn:

  • How related plants have similar characteristics
  • Identifying plants in the Mustard Family … and they are all edible!
  • How family patterns can teach you a lot about plants
  • Get a grasp on the seven plant families

Get Tom’s book, Botany In A Day by clicking here.

identify-plants

When you want to identify a plant, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is this a hazardous plant?
  • General question: Is this a flower, tree, succulent, shrub, or grass?
  • Is it a monocot or dicot?
  • How are the leaves arranged?
  • Are the leaves simple or compound?
  • What is the shape of the leaf?
  • What other leaf characteristics do you see?
  • What do the flowers look like? (shape, color, florets, petals, sepals, pedicel, stamen, etc)
  • What does the stem look like?
  • What type of root system does the plant have?

If you would like more information about plant identification, check out this publication.

 

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The post How To Identify Plants Quickly appeared first on The Grow Network.

Homegrown Spices and Seasonings For Your Living Spice Cabinet

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(Length: 1:16 minutes)

How old are the spices in your spice cabinet?

If you’re like me, some of spices and seasonings might be just slightly older than two to three years—the point at which they lose potency and should be discarded.
But what if you could have a continual supply of homegrown spices and seasonings that you use most, without having to worry about an expiration date?

In this quick video, I show you a quick solution—a living spice cabinet on your kitchen windowsill filled with homegrown spices and seasonings.

I grow basil, chives, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and sage.

These are all excellent choices for indoor container gardening. And you can add parsley, horehound, winter savory, dill, marjoram, coriander, and mint to that list.

Whether you’re a well-established gardener or your gardening skills are just starting to bloom (sorry, couldn’t resist! 😉 ), you’ll need a few things to get your living spice cabinet started.

Environment: Right Plant, Right Place

One of the most basic principles of successful gardening is “right plant, right place.”

Basically, if you grow a plant in an environment that meets its basic needs for sunlight, temperature, airflow, soil drainage, etc., you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor in the long run.

Your plant will be stronger, healthier, happier, and more productive; have fewer disease and pest issues; and create fewer headaches for you!

So, before you head to the garden center for pots and seedlings, take a few minutes to determine how you’ll provide the right environment for your herbs.

Here’s what you’ll need to consider:

  • Light Sources

Sunlight: Most herbs need six to eight hours of sunlight daily. You can usually provide this via an unobscured window with western or southern exposure. To ensure that the entire plant gets adequate sunlight, rotate it every three to four days.

Artificial Light: If you don’t have an indoor location that provides enough natural light, you can use two 40-watt cool white fluorescent bulbs. Place the plants 6 to 12 inches below the light source, and keep the bulbs lit for two hours per hour of required sunlight. For example, if your plants need eight hours of sunlight, expose them to 16 hours of artificial fluorescent light daily. And if you don’t want to mess with turning the lights on and off at certain times each day, consider buying a plug-in timer to handle the task for you. (Trust me, they’re awesome. Highly recommended!)

  • Temperatures

Herbs prefer moderate temperatures, so choose a location that reaches 65°F–70°F during the day and 55°F–60°F at night. Avoid temperature extremes by keeping your herb plants away from mechanical heat sources and out of chilly drafts.

  • Humidity

Herbs will grow best in a somewhat humid environment. So, if you live where it’s arid, you’ll need to get creative to provide supplemental humidity. You might fill a tray with stones, set your pots in it, and keep it filled with water just to the bottom of the herb containers. Alternately, you can keep a spray bottle handy and mist your herb plants with water as needed.

  • Airflow

Like many other plants, herbs do best with good air circulation. So be sure not to crowd your plants together, maintaining a bit of space between them. And, when possible, crack a window or turn on a fan to keep some air flowing in the area.

Materials: Four Essentials

Now that you’ve figured out the best spot in your house for your homegrown spices and seasonings, it’s time to go shopping—either in your potting shed or at your local garden center!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Fast-Draining Growing Medium

Look for a potting mix designed to drain fast and control moisture.

The main ingredient will be coir or sphagnum peat moss. These amendments have a large texture that helps the soil stay aerated and well drained, and their natural absorptive properties help keep the soil moist. (Interestingly, the more sustainable choice of the two, coir, is also the most useful. Not only is it a renewable resource produced from coconut husks, but it absorbs nearly a third more water than peat, is much easier to re-wet when it’s dry, is more alkaline, is slower to decompose … the list goes on.)

The ingredient list will also include some combination of water-holding minerals, such as vermiculite or perlite.

Many growing mediums will also include additions like compost, fertilizer, and wetting agents.

Or, you can be like Grow Network, Change Maker, David the Good and make your own!

Liquid Fertilizer

Think fish emulsion and seaweed. Make your own liquid fertilizers centered on these ingredients here, or find some premade options at your local garden center.

Recommendations vary on how often to feed your culinary herb plants. Some say to use low-dose liquid fertilizer every couple of weeks, while others recommend feeding them every four weeks, or even less often. If you’re concerned about overfeeding, let your plants be your guide. If they look lush but have poor flavor, it’s time to cut back on the fertilizer.

Plants

Many people prefer to plant seedlings because they get you to your goal of freshly harvested herbs that much faster. However, if you’re willing to wait a little longer, grow your herbs from seed. In either case, follow the planting directions provided on the pot or seed packet, and you’ll have homegrown spices and seasonings in no time.

Water: The Final Ingredient

Finally, remember to water your herbs—but just occasionally.

Almost all herbs grown indoors will do best if you let their soil dry out between waterings. You’ll know it’s time to water if, when you stick your finger into the soil to a depth of one-inch, the soil is dry. Rosemary is the exception to this rule. Its soil needs to be kept moist.

It’s Time to Spice Things Up!

With just a few simple materials, plus a careful choice of environment, you’ll have homegrown spices and seasonings in YOUR living spice cabinet, just like mine.

It will add visual and aromatic appeal to your home and your meals—and, perhaps best of all, help ensure that your favorite spices are always fresh and full of flavor!

 

What are your favorite spices to grow? Do you have a living spice cabinet? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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Sam Coffman Top 25 Herbs Chart

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The post Homegrown Spices and Seasonings For Your Living Spice Cabinet appeared first on The Grow Network.

Online Earth Day Summit – Register for Free

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Sustainable Solutions for Troubled Times

Wow, we’ve clearly got an ecological mess on our hands… global warming, species on the brink of extinction, polluted water supplies and more.

Yet, if we put the miraculous, collective power of our hearts and minds together, we CAN solve these problems.

Solutions DO exist and every day, more and more incredible people are rolling up their sleeves and finding creative ways to fix what we once feared unfixable.

Plus, we now have access to an abundance of cutting-edge technologies, effective community organizing platforms and revolutionary, life-giving ideas!

Join Me for the Earth Day Summit 2016

Join us to discover these solutions and more at Earth Day Summit 2016!  I will be one of the presenters, and I’d love for you to come show your support.  

Free Online Event
Earth Day Summit 2016
April 22, 2016

Earth Day Summit 2016

I’m honored to be among 20+ esteemed environmental leaders, innovators, activists, scientists and ecologists who are offering a renewed sense of hope, step-by-step solutions for local and global action – and restored reverence for Mother Earth.

Other experts who are taking part include Starhawk, Kenny Ausubel, Vicki Robin, Chief Phil Lane, Jr., David Crow, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and more.  They will share their visionary insights and inspired actions for a healthy, sustainable and thriving planet.

I hope you’ll participate in this special daylong gathering.

RSVP here for Earth Day Summit 2016 — at no charge!

What to Expect

During this inspiring event, you’ll discover:

  • Practical steps & innovative solutions for living in harmony with Mother Earth
  • Trusted resources & expert guidance for making sustainable life choices
  • A vibrant community of kindred spirits mobilizing globally to create a thriving planet
  • Ways to take action on local levels as well as national legislative action
  • The experience of activating global consciousness, weaving the world together
  • Engaging stories of those who are making a difference in the world, inspiring you to take action and create your own out-of-the-box solutions
  • Invaluable insights on grassroots organizing, citizen lobbying & community action

And much more!

With guidance from these leaders, you’re sure to come away from this global gathering deeply transformed — and part of the solution!

Join me and the other extraordinary panel of presenters for a FULL DAY of hope, inspiration, actions and discover your next step for personal and planetary transformation.

RSVP here for Earth Day Summit 2016 — at no charge.

The post Online Earth Day Summit – Register for Free appeared first on The Grow Network.

Animal Communications: It’s Not Magic

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Communicating with Your Animals

He was running at me full on.  I stopped him at arms length by grabbing his neck.  This was true one on one animal communications.

I then shook him; not hard enough to hurt him, but firm enough that he knew I could break his neck if I wanted to.

My two eyes looked into his one for a long moment and then I slowly released my hand.  The communication between us was absolutely clear and he understood.

Training Male Geese

I have a new young flock of geese and it is almost a rite of passage that the leading male would someday challenge me.  He was almost full grown and the biggest of the flock.  And now he was testing his boundaries and wondering just how much authority he had in the world.

I feed, water, and protect them and I am very clear about our relationship.  And now he and the rest of the flock were clear too.

I will sometimes sit very still and let the geese come and look me over very closely, and even do some exploratory nibbles.  Is that grass on her head edible?  What do her changing feathers feel like?  How does she make the long snake spit water?  They are very curious, but never aggressive.  Especially now that we’ve ‘talked’.

Another reason to raise geese: The Barefoot Friendly Project; Transforming Harsh Land

Animal Communications – More than Just Talking

There are many different levels of communication between species.  And in fact you are communicating with all of the plants and creatures around you all the time.  Although you are probably not as aware of your message as they are.

The phrase “inter species communication” normally conjures up images of specially gifted mystics.  Maybe some one who can hear something we can’t – it’s just out of our frequency range.  Or perhaps it is a magical ability like the psychics who can also conduct seances to talk with loved ones now past into the world of the dead.

But communicating with plants and animals doesn’t have to be supernatural.

I am not discounting the direct ‘knowing’ levels of communication.  And yes, if you were to focus on developing that ability over time, those intuitive levels of communication may very well open to you.  In fact, I think it happens quite naturally for anyone who spends enough time in their garden or working with their livestock.

But most inter species communication is much more practical and easy to understand.

It’s Not Magic, It’s Physical

Have you ever heard the saying “your actions speak louder than words”?  The physical level of communication is extremely effective and is within reach of anyone, without any training.  Not to mention, it is something you are doing all the time anyway.

There are estimates that some 90% of communication is non-verbal. These are studies referring to human to human communications, but it applies to plants and animals too.  Your body posture, the quality or cleanliness of your clothes, your hand gestures, and the expression on your face, the smell your body is emitting – all of this communicates your mood and intentions.

There is also some degree of reality to that “vibe” you put out that others pick up on.

Different Ways of Communication

There really are many ways of communicating.  And this is quite useful since most of the other life forms on this planet don’t quite vocalize the way we do.

For example, once I had shaken that goose, he stepped back quickly with his head slightly tilted expressing a bit of shock.  When he was a few feet away, at a safe distance away from me, he began to compose himself by preening his feathers.

Watching him made me laugh at the recognition of an almost universal response after an altercation; that of grooming.  Embarrass a cat and it will almost immediately start licking its fur.  And humans once separated will start straightening their clothes and smoothing their disheveled hair.  A hen getting up from the rooster’s rough attentions indignantly ruffles her feathers back into shape.

My laugh was not derogatory, but served as a peace offering sound and let everyone know all was well in the world.  The rest of the flock who had been watching this with interest now cackled back in response, and everyone started moving off to find something else to do like nibble at some nearby grass.

Learning from Your Animals

I had learned about the power of laughter between species from two ferrets.

Don’t ask me why we have two ferrets.  We certainly don’t need any ferrets.  And we don’t really want two ferrets.  I can’t honestly think of any good reason to have ferrets.  But I have a young daughter who gets money for working, and she was convinced that buying ferrets was the best use of her hard earned funds.  Sigh.

Since we have the ferrets (ah, the relentless pressure of children), I can’t help but be fascinated by them.  One thing that interests me is that when I let the ferrets run free in a new area where they aren’t normally allowed in, they get so excited.  They jump around and make a funny sound sort of like a cross between a grunt and a gurgle.  That sound is so captivating (I’ve been trying to catch it on video and when I do, I’ll get it to you).  But what was it they were doing?

Then one day it occurred to me they were laughing with joy!  The ferrets definitely share the playfulness of their cousins the otters.  They are amazingly good-natured creatures and love having fun.  “Mommy they exude cuteness,” my daughter explains.  (They exude a few other things too but I won’t go into that here.)

But the ferrets were so happy they would laugh out load as they ran and played.

Sometimes they playfully come up and nip my feet and then bound away – chuckling the whole time.  I stand there dumb founded at the audacity of these eight ounce bundles of silliness daring themselves to play with a giant.  It’s completely disarming.

My daughter is right, they do exude cuteness.

Read about my daughter’s other pet: The Perfect Natural Camouflage

Pay Attention to Signals from Your Animals

The ferrets got me in trouble with the chickens.  One morning I decided to let the ferrets run about with me while I was working in the garden.  And as the ferrets did their jumping and playing and investigating they naturally came across the flock of chickens I keep for eggs.  Although these ferrets are pets and probably would never consider eating anything but the store bought supplies my daughter gives them, they were recognized by the chickens for what they are; carnivores.  And the chickens were upset.

The flock is free range so they moved off to another part of the yard.  But later that day when I saw the chickens again the rooster rushed me.  I easily kicked him back.  But from the way he looked sort of satisfied and did not come at me again, I became ashamed of my earlier annoyance.  The rooster had been trying to get my attention in about the only way a rooster knows how.  I was mystified what he was trying to communicate.  And then it dawned on me, he was letting me know how upset the chickens were at the ferrets being loosed in their space.

Read more: Channel Your Mama-Energy for Healthy Homestead Animals

Tell Pests to Leave Before You Kill Them

Before we built our home, our little family lived in a 20×20 room above the barn.  Mice also had quite an attachment to that room.  My husband whom I don’t normally think much of a big communicator totally shocked me with his solution to the problem.  He started by stomping around growling at the top of his lungs in the meanest bad-ass animal sounds I’ve ever heard come from a man.  He did this for quite a few minutes making sure to visit each corner to insure his message was being received.

Then he set out some traps.  But I think the mice got the message from his growls for we didn’t trap many and generally weren’t bothered by them again.  From then on, if an occasional new mouse showed up my husband would repeat the warning and that usually took care of the problem.

We aren’t always successful with communications.  I’ve tried communicating with fire ants for many years without success.

Dealing with Predators – Livestock Guardian Dogs

As you start to develop systems for producing your own food, you’ll notice that lots of other creatures like your food too.  After years of losses of both livestock and plants I came to the see how extremely useful a pair of good dogs could be.  In no way am I a professional animal trainer, and I had never been a “dog person,” but using dogs to protect your food supply made so much sense I had to learn.

The dogs live to chase off deer, raccoons, squirrels, and other dogs.  They will harass snakes, bark at hawks, and hold off a pack of coyotes until I can get there to help.  They don’t mind working all night while I sleep.  And they consider themselves well rewarded by a bit of praise and the scraps I toss them.

In the Grow Your Own Groceries video set, I have a section that goes into detail of how to work with dogs – and of course, you can pick up a copy at this link: http://growyourowngroceries.com/.

Embracing New Relationships

Opening up my relationships with other living beings beyond humans is one of the many pleasures of growing my own food.  Let me know your interest level and I’ll write more about inter-species communication.  Talking with plants is not quite as direct and requires more sensitivity, but can definitely be developed.  As with animals, learning to communicate on the physical level with plants is the easiest way to get started.

Drop me a note in the comments section below to let me know if you’re interested in communicating with plants.  I’m sure you have some interesting stories to tell…

I am also intrigued with communication on even more subtle levels; working with energetics or nature spirits as was reputably done at Findhorn, for example.

And then there is that other topic to deal with; how can I love the creatures I am raising knowing their fate is that I will kill them and eat them?  It is a difficult question that I struggle with and would be delighted to discuss with you.  Again, let me know your interest by putting a quick comment down below.

3 Part Series about Ethical Meat: Have You Ever Been to a Hog Killin’?

marjory-wildcraft-how-much-land-do-you-need

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