How To Make Compost With Worms

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Vermicomposting (aka worm composting) is a great way to rapidly compost your food waste. They are hugely efficient at breaking this waste down into high quality compost.

A worm composting system is easy to build from scratch or you can choose an excellent commercial vermicomposting system.

The heart of the system is the worm bin. […]

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DIY Seed Tape: The Fast, Easy Project That Saves Time And Money

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DIY Seed Tape: The Fast, Easy Project That Saves Time And Money

Photo: Jacki Andre

I don’t know who invented seed tape, but that person deserves a gold star. If you’re not familiar with it, seed tape is tissue-thin biodegradable paper, usually about an inch wide, that has seeds embedded in it.

There are several benefits to using seed tape:

  • The seeds are optimally spaced for plant growth so that you don’t need to thin.
  • No thinning means less waste.
  • No thinning means less work.
  • It’s easier to plant tiny dark seeds since you won’t accidentally pinch extras out of the package, nor lose them in the soil, being unsure how many you actually sowed.

There are two downsides to using seed tape (or wanting to use it). There is a limited selection of vegetables — and varieties — that are available. Commonly, carrots, radishes, beets, and some salad greens (like lettuce and spinach) can be purchased in seed tape.

Need Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds? Get Them From A Company You Can Trust!

DIY Seed Tape: The Fast, Easy Project That Saves Time And Money

Photo: Jacki Andre

The other downside is cost. Naturally, since additional materials and work are needed to create seed tape, it’s pricier than loose seeds. For example, a well-known seed company has radish seeds listed for $5. But the tape with the radish seeds is $7 for roughly 22 inches of tape; and you’re getting only one-fourth the number of seeds!

But you can make your own seed tape for pennies. And you can use any seeds that you want. It’s a super-fast, easy, cheap and practical project.

There are lots of websites with directions on how to make seed tape. I relied heavily on the tutorial at learningandyearning.com.

Start by gathering your supplies together. You need:

  • Seeds.
  • Toilet paper (unbleached is best).
  • Flour & water to make a paste.
  • Measuring tape or ruler.
  • Toothpicks.
  • Marker or pen (optional).

Make the flour paste by mixing flour and warm water together in approximately equal parts. The paste should be thick and goopy. Adjust the flour or water if needed to achieve the right consistency.

DIY Seed Tape: The Fast, Easy Project That Saves Time And Money

Photo: Jacki Andre

Tear off strips of toilet paper. My kitchen table is about three feet across, so that’s how long I made my strips. Your own strips can be as long as you like. Keep in mind the row length in your own garden. I have raised beds with eight-foot rows. It would have made more sense to make seed tape in four-foot lengths, but I worked with what I had.

Fold the toilet paper in half lengthwise. The purpose is to make a straight seam down the middle to use as a guide, so press the seam firmly and then reopen the toilet paper.

Read the directions on the seed packet to find out the optimal distance between plants. Ignore the part where it suggests seed spacing, as this is often considerably smaller than plant spacing.

Seamazing: The Low-Cost Way To Re-mineralize Your Soil

You can use a pen or marker to indicate where the seeds should be placed. Marking dots is a good idea if you’re using a small ruler that you need to frequently move. If you’re using a yardstick or measuring tape, though, it’s faster and easier to just leave the measuring device on top of the toilet paper and plop the seeds down in their appropriate spots. Note: The seeds should be placed in the center of one side of the toilet paper.

DIY Seed Tape: The Fast, Easy Project That Saves Time And Money

Photo: Jacki Andre

Dump your seeds onto a light-colored surface. The tutorial I read suggested using a sheet of paper, but you don’t have to worry about seeds rolling away if you use something with a lipped edge, like a dinner plate.

Dip a toothpick into the flour paste and then use the gluey tip to pick up one seed. Transfer the seed to its spot on the toilet paper. Once your length of toilet paper has the correct number of seeds, put small goops of paste here and there on the toilet paper to act as a sealant. Then fold the toilet paper together and press. That’s it. Voilà. You have seed tape.

Once the glue is well-dried, roll or fold the tape and store it in a Ziploc bag. Whether you label the bag or not, I suggest sticking the seed packet in there for future reference.

I made about 24 feet of seed tape in less than half an hour, and that included gathering together all my supplies and taking photos. Once you get set up, you should be able to churn out the seed tape quickly.

When it’s time to plant, just make a neat furrow to the depth indicated on the seed packet and place the seed tape into the furrow. After you cover it with soil, all you have left to do is wait for your perfectly spaced plants to pop up.

Have you ever made or used seed tape? Share your tips in the section below:

Prepper Hacks – Jumpstart That Survival Garden

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

Spring Into Planting (Early & Anywhere)

Hopefully we’ve all sited or started making notes of where we want to plant, expand, shore-up and re-do our gardens, whether they’re beds or little containers, a string of tin cans or a tower of 2L soda bottles. Some of us are already sowing seeds directly, many of us have our tomatoes and peppers and squashes started for transplants, but some of us are likely lagging behind a little, whether it’s due to water, effort, space, weather, or time.

If planting is an interest – and it really should be for preppers – we may be itching to go ahead and start. Resisting those false springs and holding on through the last frosts and snows can be painful.

We can always do our germination testing, update our crop rotation plan or garden journals, or make up some seed tapes and mats with trash and a little glue, but sometimes we want to get those tasty edibles in the soil, no matter what the calendar says. The inclination for fresh food is likely to be even stronger following a winter of storage foods and with only dry and canned produce to get us through to mid-summer.

Happily, we can cheat the weather and time a little. We can get our survival garden ready indoors, with almost any amount of space and almost any budget and time available.

Digging Up Dirt

We may want to sterilize soil that’s coming from outside to do up some pots.

We may want to sterilize soil that’s coming from outside to do up some pots. It’s pretty easy, and can be done multiple ways.

We can add equal parts water and boil it for 10-30 minutes, or process it in jars in water-bath or pressure canners as we would tomato paste or meat. We can also bake it (350 degrees for 60 minutes, or 450 degrees for 30 minutes). Or, we can make sure it’s damp and then microwave it for 5-10 minutes.

Being able to use just about any soil means we can run out and scoop a couple of gallons from the yard, established beds, or – in small, polite increments – bits from a nearby ditch or park. We want to skip soil that may have been treated with a broadleaf herbicide, because most of our veggies are dicots.

Dicots – broadleaf plants; non-grasses (hay, corn, wheat and other grains are monocots).

Because we can sterilize our soil, we don’t have to worry about bringing any creepy-crawlies into the house.

Cheating the Calendar

We can start planting with our non-buggy soil right away, even if we live indoors with no windows, or if it’s going to be June before it’s safe to plant anything outside of a greenhouse.

A number of edible plants really don’t need much light. In fact, some of us are likely to grow a shelf worth of beets, radishes and lettuces indoors even if we have lots of yard space because we’re restricted by heat and too much sunlight.

Using just the ambient light from winter and early spring windows, some or many plants grow a little slower, but even doubling a microgreen, radish, or leaf lettuce that takes 14, 21, or 30 days means we’re munching in as little as 4-6 weeks, as much as 60 days in cool, very dim conditions indoors.

Any full-spectrum light bulb can go in any lamp in the home – we don’t have to get fancy there.

If we do get a specialty light for plants, make sure it’s for growth. (Those green-light bulbs make plants look better; plants will eventually die if it’s their only or primary source because they don’t absorb those wavelengths.)

Whether we use a window from across a room or a bulb in a “normal” stand, we’ll likely want to be able to spin our planters. It’ll help plants grow straight and tall instead of bending, and give them equal access to airflow.

Early Transplants

GrowVeg likes to promote the green pea-house gutter transplant method. You fill a shallow container 12-24” long with soil, plant out pea seed at high density, and then just slide the whole thing out when the seedlings and weather are cooperating.

The same can also be done for strawberries, spinach and baby lettuces.

Spinach and baby lettuces are ideal for it, because we can be harvesting the largest leaf of 3-5 leaves while they’re inside for weeks before we send them out to make bigger heads. However, they’re also fine just staying in that shallow dirt – especially if given some used coffee grounds or tea leaves now and then.

Beets can get the same treatment if desired.

A few leaves are sacrificed to salad, keeping it from producing a tuber. The seedlings are transitioned outside in stages, then the soil is slid out and into a bed. With the leaves less disturbed or undisturbed, the plant starts gaining enough growth to make that tuber for us.

Pots for Planting

We don’t have to spend a fortune on our planting containers. Depending on how “cute” we want them, we may not have to spend anything.

Some families are exceptions, but most of us use or can gain access to tins from canned foods, soda and juice bottles, milk jugs, and coffee cans (plastic or steel).

Even if our local fast food restaurants and delis no longer get or pass along food-safe buckets, we can get our hands on tubs the size gallon+ ice cream comes in, and giant condiment jars and tubs. The local humane society and ASPCA may not have kitty litter buckets, but we can cut down the giant plastic pour-bottles two different ways to buy some growing room.

Any plant that’s a candidate for soup cans (green onions, leaf lettuce, baby spinach, chickweed) is also a candidate for peanut jars and cashew tubs, peanut butter tubs, and bottles from bulk vegetable or olive oil.

A few holes for drainage in the sides and-or bottoms, and we’re in business. We may want to go easy on the pickle tubs for indoors, but it might not bother us on a porch or small balcony.

We can also line baskets of various types, or collect pretty lampshades to flip upside down and line, then add a fill like pinecones at the bottom for drainage and air space, and be very, very careful watering for the rest of the season.

Seed Selection

In keeping with this as an article for everybody, no matter their skill, budget or space constraints, I’m sticking with smaller plants that can be grown in anything and focusing on plants with cut-and-come-again convenience.

Cut and come again: You snip the tips or tops, or select-harvest larger leaves, but leave the plant growing; with the established root system and-or leaves still collecting sunlight, plants regrow faster than reseeding, allowing for more harvest total over a period of time even if each harvest is a little smaller.

I’m also mostly going to stick with plants that have low light needs. They can survive in a window, 6-8’ away from a window, or with the standard full-spectrum bulbs mentioned earlier – even the LEDs that burn so little energy. That keeps it open even for people with limited window space.

Using things like coffee grounds we get from Starbucks, McD’s, or our own pots, and tea leaves, we can keep even very small containers and “pots” fertile a pinch or two at a time, right on the surface of the soil to be watered in as we go.

A pinch or so of Epsom salt here and there will also keep our plants productive and flowering.

All of the leaf lettuces are excellent candidates for small “mini” pots and planters with shallow roots. So is spinach that will be harvested small.

Baby beet leaves are commonly included in field green mixes. Sprinkle or space at a half-inch, thin and eat the smaller sprouts to give a 1-1.5” spacing, and they’ll be fine.

Radishes, baby carrots, and even small beets or turnips for roots won’t work well in soup and small veggie cans – they just aren’t all that productive for the space used.

Radishes do work well with gutter sections, glass brownie and bread pans, and milk jugs and bottles that are cut to lay horizontally instead of stacked in a vertical tower.

Herbs go fifty-fifty. Some will stay smaller when grown in 20-oz., cans, and 2L jugs, but most will be fine.

Chives, parsley, thyme & basil especially have a lot of bang for the buck. The first three are also troopers with very long growing seasons, especially indoors.

Green/spring onions also pack a lot of flavor, and can have just a stalk harvested as well, so they’ll regrow from the roots like cutting lettuce.

Fenugreek has some restrictions, but is another tasty additive.

Mustards are salad add-in’s at our house, but can be grown larger and in more bulk for people who dig cooked greens.

Pea sprouts and shoots are an excellent spinach replacement. They can be harvested as “stems” with just little baby leaves, or allowed to grow larger.

Strawberries are happy with half a 2L, milk jugs, wider bean/fruit cans, and coffee cans & tubs.

They work for raw salads, cooking like spinach, or adding to Oriental noodles or lasagna. If you decide you don’t like the stems or if they get a little overlarge, just pinch off the leaves themselves to toss into meals.

Edible weeds are the real troopers of the plant world – which is how they become weeds in the first place.

Dandelion and plantain aren’t overly space efficient for small containers, but chickweed is fantastic, I love henbit, and I specifically abuse soil and find crappy dirt so I can grow purslane (which gets tossed in to roast with potatoes and autumn veggies). Pineapple weed is happy to grow in containers for us, as are wild garlic and onion to use as spicing.

Strawberries aren’t really successful in our soup cans or 20-oz. bottles, but they’re happy with half a 2L, milk jugs, wider bean/fruit cans, and coffee cans & tubs.

We can also start flowers so they’re ready for edible harvests earlier, or so they’re already blooming or established enough to serve as companions for our outdoor plants earlier in the growing season.

Spring into Sowing

We’re not going to feed ourselves off the contents of even a couple dozen small containers (or for that matter, 5-gallon buckets). However, it’s a good way to plan for disaster. Most of those cool-season, small-space, low-light herbs and greens are jam-packed with vitamins that can round out diets heavy in beans and rice or lentils and wheat.

It also gets our feet wet. Growing is both a science and an art, and very situational dependent. Even when we successfully grow one way, we may find switching to “easy” indoor plants – especially over winter – presents new challenges. Anything we plan to do “after”, we should go ahead and give a few tries now.

For a couple bucks worth of seeds, some trash, and some dirt (free or purchased) we can go ahead and start improving our diet, preparing for the future, and – for some of us – scratching the garden itch. They’ll take only a few minutes a day to care for, and using small plants and containers, can be grown in nearly any amount of space.

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The post Prepper Hacks – Jumpstart That Survival Garden appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Fertilizer Basics

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Proper nutrition is essential for proper plant growth. Unfortunately, most soils are imbalanced in some ways. This means that your garden vegetables, grasses, trees and flowers are not growing optimally. Worse, they may get sick if the soil is poor enough.

Fortunately even poor soil can be balanced with the proper mix of fertilizers. These […]

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Vintage Skills…..Modern Kids Need!

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This article was originally published by Tiffany Davis  on  imperfectlyhappy.com

You might be like me, a suburbs kid that grew into a love of homesteading and self sufficiency.  That’s ok, better to start late than not at all!  I had the opportunity to learn many of these skills from my grandmothers but didn’t master them.  My grandmother’s weren’t homesteaders but they came from a time when homemaking was done by hand.  It is a lost art my friends.

Maybe you’re asking yourself why we need to teach these vintage skills to kids. It isn’t just so the art of them are lost but our kids deserve to have the ability to care for themselves. We live in precarious times. Modern kids need vintage skills as a matter of survival, sustainability and self-sufficiency.

Here is my list of the vintage skills kids need for homesteading and beyond.  They are in no particular order. Keep in mind the age, maturity and readiness of your child before diving into this list. But keep in mind, also, that in a bygone time kids were doing many of these chores before heading off to elementary school. You know your child best but they also may be more ready than we give them credit for.

  1. Cooking from scratch.
    No boxes, no pre-cooked stuff. Just real, whole, food. Collecting some vintage cookbooks could help in this pursuit as well.
    Additionally teach them to plan meals, eat seasonally and how to follow directions in a cookbook.
  2. Tending and preparing animals for food.
    This may be as simple as tending laying hens and collecting eggs.  Or it may be teaching them how butcher and process a chicken for the table. Don’t shy away from teaching where meat comes from.
  3. Mending and Sewing Clothes.
    Being able to create an outfit from a pattern and cloth is awesome and definitely should be learned and taught.  But simply knowing how to mend/repair clothing and putting buttons back on is practically essential! I think everyone should have a portable sewing kit for these little mends.
  4. Gardening/Seed Saving
    Gardening is one of the easiest things to teach our kids; meaning there is usually very little resistance. Not only is it important
    for growing one’s on food but it teaches patience vs instant gratification.  It also shows them the importance of treating our planet with love and kindness. Furthermore, to paraphrase Ron Finley, kids that grow vegetables, eat vegetables.
    Now don’t forget to teach them about GMOs, heirloom seeds and seed saving.  This knowledge is imperative to their future!
  5. Basic Auto Care and Repair
    Yes, even the girls! Go over how to change a tire, oil, how to jump a battery and any other basic repair you feel comfortable teaching. And show them the time frame for maintenance like oil changes, tune-ups, filter replacements.  Knowledge is power – even if it just keep you from getting taken to the cleaners by a dishonest mechanic.
  6. How to make a budget, saving and paying cash.
    We live in a credit riddled society that constantly lives above its means. I am not pointing fingers, I too have done it and paid the price. There was a time when we saved for big purchases, put money away for a rainy day and never bought on credit.
    Teach your children how to make a budget that includes savings for emergencies, and saving for large purchases. If this isn’t something you’ve been taught can I recommend you find Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class in your area or at least pick up his book Total Money Makeover.
  7. Camping/Hunting/Fishing
    Can your kids split wood, start a fire, build a basic shelter? I learned these skills in girl scouts many moons ago and so thankful for them. But many kids are scouting anymore and still need to have a basic understanding of these skills! Even if you don’t want to hunt, at least take them fishing. Show them what bait works, how to put it on, how to reel in a fish and how to prepare it for the table. You could take this a step further and teach them wild foraging skills. You can’t be too prepared, right?
  8. First Aid/Natural Health Care
    Everyone, including kids, needs some basic knowledge of first aid. I am not talking how to put a band aid on! But how to make a sling. How to close a wound without stitches. What to do if someone goes into shock. CPR!!!
    I also think it is important to teach natural health care, herbal treatments and essential oils. My 9 year old will give you peppermint if you have a headache and lavender for bug bites and itches. She was taught from an early age about oils so it is her first thought, not pills. I’m not saying don’t teach kids about responsible western medicine but don’t stop there.
  9. Food Preservation
    Canning, dehydrating, even freezing. Kids need to be a part of preserving the harvest so they can preserve their own in the future. I don’t recommend little kids jump into pressure canning but they can help dry tomatoes or make their own fruit roll-ups. They can be in the kitchen when you sterilize your jars and pack them for canning. Gage their maturity and readiness for their own hands on lessons; but everyone can watch, listen and ask questions.
  10. Housekeeping
    *Laundry (sorting, cleaning, hand washing, ironing, line drying)
    *Bed making
    *How to fold clothes, sheets, towels, etc.
    *Daily cleaning vs seasonal vs occasional
    *How to clean
    *Basic home maintenance like when to change a filter, gutter cleaning, unclogging a toilet or drain, etc
    *How to make laundry soap and other household cleaners
  11. Taking it a step further! 
    A few other skills you may want to consider teaching your kids:
    *Bartering
    *Reuse / Recycle / Re-purpose
    *Finding bargains
    *Organizing (house, bills, calendar)

I hope this list gives you a jumping off point on vintage skills kids need.  I’d love to hear how you’re teaching your kids skills or others you think should be added to the list. Leave me your thoughts in the comments.

Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. To our ancient ancestors, we’d appear as helpless as babies. In short, our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones. Watch the video below:

 

Source : imperfectlyhappy.com

 

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How To Turn Ordinary Garden Soil Into Organic Potting Mix

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How To Turn Ordinary Garden Soil Into Organic Potting Mix

Image source: Jacki Andre

If you’ve been gardening for a while, you’ve likely heard that you shouldn’t use garden soil in containers or as a seed-starting medium.

But garden soil is free and it’s right there for the taking. So, what’s wrong with using it? The short answer is that soil used in any kind or size of container should be light, fluffy and specially formulated to provide optimal growing conditions. Specifically:

  • Garden soil, particularly if there is clay in it, may not drain well. Seeds and young delicate roots are prone to rot in excessively wet soil. Further, when soil is wet all the time, its oxygen gets used up, and microorganisms that require oxygen die. The lack of beneficial microorganisms opens the door for anaerobic bacteria and pathogenic fungi to move in and kill off your plants.
  • At the same time, soil in containers needs to retain some moisture since plants can’t grow without it. If your garden soil is sandy, it may have difficulty retaining moisture.
  • Loose soil provides good aeration, so that roots have room to breathe and grow. When packed into a pot, garden soil may hinder air flow.
  • Garden soil can contain weed seeds, which will be annoying to deal with; it also may contain pathogens, which are more serious as they are potentially lethal to your plants.

Still, garden soil is free, right? And sometimes it’s fun to experiment and try something you’ve never done.

Need Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds? Get Them From A Company You Can Trust!

If you’re up for it, you can make your own organic potting mix out of garden soil. To do it, you will need to sterilize the soil and gather some things to amend it with.

Sterilizing Garden Soil

How To Turn Ordinary Garden Soil Into Organic Potting Mix

Image source: Jacki Andre

There are three ways to sterilize soil . The fastest way, especially during early spring, is by baking it in your microwave or conventional oven. (In the hot summer months, you can sterilize it by spreading it on a plastic sheet in the sun, and letting it cure for 4-8 weeks.)

Microwave Method

I have not used the microwave method, so I can’t speak to it, but this is what you do:

  • Moisten up to two pounds of garden soil. Aim for a mud pie consistency; it should be thick and moldable, but not soupy.
  • Put the moistened soil into a heavy plastic bag and leave the top of the bag open.
  • Place the bag in the center of the microwave.
  • Run the microwave on high, and plan to do so for 2-5 minutes.
  • Periodically, stop the microwave and stick a meat thermometer into the soil.
  • Once the soil reaches a temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the bag of soil from the microwave and place it in a cooler or other insulated container. The insulation will hold the heat in so that the sterilization process can complete.
  • Leave the bag in the cooler until the soil has completely cooled off. It is then ready to be amended.
How To Turn Ordinary Garden Soil Into Organic Potting Mix

Image source: Jacki Andre

Conventional Oven Method

I have sterilized soil in my oven. This is what I can tell you: It takes a long time and it doesn’t smell all that lovely. It’s best to do this on a nice day when you can open some windows. And maybe light some candles.

  • Fill an oven-proof container with garden soil to a depth of about three inches. I used a foil roasting pan.
  • Moisten the soil thoroughly. Again, aim for a mud pie consistency.
  • Cover the pan with foil and stick it in an oven that’s been preheated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Bake the soil until a meat thermometer indicates that it has reached a temperature of 180 degrees. This likely will take 6-8 hours.
  • Once the soil reaches 180 degrees, let it bake for an additional half hour. Do not over bake.
  • Once it cools, it’s ready to be amended.

Amending Garden Soil Into Potting Mix

How To Turn Ordinary Garden Soil Into Organic Potting Mix

Image source: Jacki Andre

The University of Illinois recommends that garden soil be amended by mixing together one part sterilized soil, one part peat moss, and one part perlite or coarse builders’ sand. Peat moss is used to help your potting mix retain moisture, and it also creates the air space that roots need. Perlite also provides air space, and helps keep the potting mix light and fluffy, as it should be.

To mix my soil, peat moss, and perlite together, I lined a cardboard box with a heavy plastic bag and scooped the ingredients in. Once everything was in, I pulled the bag out of the box and gave it a good shake to mix everything together. And voilà! A healthy, well-balanced potting mix awaits seeds and plants.

What about you? Have you ever made potting mix at home? What method did you use, and what tips would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

5 Tips to Start Your Apartment Garden

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5 Tips to Start Your Apartment Garden What I like most about this article is that it addresses an issue that many frightened preppers deal with. I am talking about those stuck in condos or apartments that feel like they have no ability to grow their own food. These restrictions could be do to space …

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10 Natural Ways To Keep Ticks Out Of Your Garden

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10 Natural Ways To Keep Ticks Out Of Your Garden Ticks, as small as they are they can be incredibly dangerous. As many as half are infected with Lyme Disease which results in headaches and fever and if left untreated can cause joint problems, memory issues, reflux, and panic attacks. While you may not be able to prevent you or your child from being assailed by ticks in the woods or at the lake, you can protect your lawn. Here are ten ways to prevent ticks on your property. 1. Create a barricade Your barrier doesn’t have to be an obscenely

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Top 10 Barter Items Every Prepper Should Have

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Top 10 Barter Items Every Prepper Should Have Along with those items that you store for your own personal use there should always be a little bit stowed away for the purposes of bartering. You know the average American doesn’t have much cash stored in their home. Once that cash runs out, if the ATMs …

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The Struggle To Keep Our Bees. What Is Really Happening To Honeybee Hives?

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Our two honeybee hives at the farm provide us with so much more than just incredible honey. They also help to pollinate many of the fruit trees, vegetable crops and flowers in our garden and landscape. In addition, they are simply

The post The Struggle To Keep Our Bees. What Is Really Happening To Honeybee Hives? appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

How Cherokees Used Trees for Food, Medicine, and Craft

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How Cherokees Used Trees for Food, Medicine, and Craft There are those articles that stir ideas, that offer small smatterings of information often prefaced with a bold title. These articles are very important to the content of the community. This article is not that type. This is a well crafted and thoughtful article filled with …

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Growing Vegetables In Pots – Choosing Plants That Thrive

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Growing Vegetables In Pots – Choosing Plants That Thrive Not everyone has the chance of having a lush vegetable garden. Most of us have to deal with the lack of gardening space or arable land. Living in an urban environment requires for you to find alternatives to your gardening plans. However, there is always a …

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21 Tips for growing cucumbers

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Looking to add cucumbers to your garden? These easy tips and guidelines could have you knee-deep in cucumbers in as little as 2 months.

Growing cucumbers is among the most popular activities in backyard vegetable gardens across the country. In fact, almost half of the nation’s home vegetable growers – 47 percent according to Susan Littlefield, horticultural editor at the National Gardening Association – plant cucumbers. That makes cukes America’s No. 2 most popular homegrown vegetable. (Tomatoes, which should surprise no one, are the runaway favorite at 86 percent.)

There are two forms of cucumber plants, bush and vining. Bush selections form compact plants and are ideally suited for small gardens and containers. Vining plants, however, may be the better choice. They clamber up trellises and produce fruit that is straighter with less disease and insect problems than cukes grown on bushing plants.

Cucumber plants make two basic types of fruit, those for slicing and those for pickling. There are many varieties of each. Pickling varieties seem to reach their peak faster than slicing varieties.

Growing cucumbers is easy if you have a garden space that gets maximum sunshine. If you follow the few simple directions below from the National Gardening Association and don’t have unexpected late spring freezes, you should begin harvesting cucumbers in 65 to 105 days.

Planning and preparation

1. Select disease-resistant varieties.

2. Choose a sunny and fertile site with well-drained soil.

3. For an earlier harvest and to reduce the threat of insect damage to seedlings, start a few plants indoors in individual pots (or trays with separate compartments) about a month before your last spring frost date.

4. Set up trellises or a fence if you plant the vining form.

Planting

5. Sow seeds in the garden only after danger of frost has passed and you are sure the soil will remain reliably warm. Cucumber plants are extremely susceptible to frost.

6. Make a second sowing 4 to 5 weeks later for a late summer or early fall harvest.

7.  To seed in rows, plant seeds 1 inch deep and about 6 inches apart.

8. To seed in hills, plant four or five seeds in 1-foot-diameter circles set 5 to 6 feet apart.

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Care

9. Thin cucumber plants in rows to 1 or 2 feet apart, depending on the type (slicing or pickling), when 3 to 4 inches tall.

10. Thin cucumber plants in hills to the healthiest two plants when plants have two or three leaves.

11. Keep soil evenly moist to prevent the fruit from becoming bitter.

12. Side-dress cucumber plants about 4 weeks after planting. Apply two handfuls of good compost or a tablespoon of 5-10-10 or similar fertilizer per plant in a narrow band along each plant.

13. Apply a thick layer of mulch after applying the fertilizer.

Controlling pests

14. Monitor cucumbers and other vegetables for the buildup of insect pests.

15. Perhaps the best way for home gardeners to control insects, especially the destructive cucumber beetle, Littlefield advised, involve strategies to disrupt the insect’s life cycle and habits. These include covering young plants with lightweight row covers until they begin flowering and crop rotation, she said.

16. If you decide to use insecticides, consider trying natural, less-toxic pesticides first. The problem with this approach, said Littlefield, is that there are not many effective “natural insecticide” choices in the case of cucumber beetles.

17. The most effective of the “natural insecticides” choices, she added, is kaolin clay applied preventatively. It acts as a repellent.

18. There’s also a problem with using broad-spectrum contact insecticides such as malathion, bifenthrin, cyhalothrin, cyfluthrin, permethrin, carbaryl and pyrethrin. These kill beneficial predators and parasites of insect pests.

19. In the case of all insecticides, read package labels to be aware of whether you must wait several days before harvesting cucumbers after applying the insecticide.

20. Consider capturing the pest, placing it in a sealed plastic bag and taking it to your local garden center and asking the staff there what control method would work best in your area.

Harvesting

21. Once cucumbers reach pickling or slicing size, harvest every couple of days to prevent cukes from getting excessively large or yellow and to keep plants productive.

 

Source : www.mnn.com

 

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Grow a Bumper Crop of Basil in Containers

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Basil is one of the most popular herbs to grow for culinary creations and you can easily grow basil in containers. Find out how to get a bumper crop for pesto and cooking | PreparednessMama

Basil and containers go together Basil is one of the most popular herbs to grow for culinary creations and you can easily grow basil in containers. After all, who can resist a batch of fresh pesto made from basil growing in your own yard! As soon as the weather turns I begin growing basil in […]

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7 Effective Compost Bin Designs

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Composting is a proven method of generating rich nutrients for your garden from waste products. By definition, it is the controlled breakdown or degradation of organic material into a product known as humus.

To successfully compost, you must feed it the right materials and let nature do its work by letting the materials rot.

This […]

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12 Amazing Stepable Plants

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12 Amazing Stepable Plants I am not known for my patience. I enjoy the immediate gratification of instant messaging, fast food, and direct deposits. While not everything can be so simple, your lawn care can be. Whether you’re against mowing your lawn every week or need some filler between your flowers or stepping stones, you want something quick, you want something simple, and most importantly you want something effective. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest so you don’t miss any of our articles. Here are twelve plants to take into consideration when landscaping your

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How To Improve Seed Germination

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It’s that time of the year when gardeners can’t wait to get sowing. Starting off seeds is perhaps the most critical step when starting a garden. Failing to grow seeds means you will lose valuable time and buy expensive plants instead. To make sure everything goes as planned there are a few ways to improve … Read more…

The post How To Improve Seed Germination was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

10 Strange (And Common) Vegetables Your Ancestors Planted

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10 Strange (And Common) Vegetables Your Ancestors Planted

No matter how small a person’s yard was during the 1700s, there always was a need to plant at least some vegetables to help feed the family. Grocery stores were virtually unheard of, and seedlings or even packaged seed were not available until much later.

This is why almost everyone had some sort of vegetable garden outside the kitchen or back door. The family ate most of it, of course, the extras were canned or dried, and if you were fortunate, you had still more that you could sell at the market.

In the 1700s, almost everyone used seeds from the previous year — heirloom seeds — which were passed down from generation to generation, or seeds were sometimes traded within the community. Many seeds planted in “the new world” came from the native people who lived there.

This is why most gardens contained plants that gave you the most bang for your basket, if you will. High-yield plants that took little space were highly prized, although some people planted their favorites because, let’s face it, no one wants to eat squash all year long.

What kind of plants would you expect to find in an 18th century garden? Frankly, I was a bit shocked. I was certain I would see tomatoes and sweet strawberries, but I was mistaken.

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Let’s look at the top 10 plants that were commonly found in an 18th century garden,

1. Cardoon

These are related to the artichoke, but are not nearly as common today. Cardoon is native to Europe and was said to have been brought to the Americas by the Quakers. I must admit that this is a vegetable I’ve never even heard of. Speaking of artichoke …

2. Artichokes

I never imagined this one! But did you know that Thomas Jefferson loved them and grew a great many in his own gardens? Artichokes have been cultivated since at least the 1500s, but I never imagined them in the everyday garden.

3. Fava beans

Fava beans. Image source: Pixabay.com

Fava beans. Image source: Pixabay.com

I was certain that green beans would have been a favorite, but fava beans, sometimes called broad beans, beat out green beans by a mile. These were popular right into the 19th century. The most popular variety was Broad Windsor. Fava bean seeds are hard to find in today’s world, but they were an 18th century staple.

4. Pumpkins

A certain variety called Connecticut Field was the popular seed. These were grown for both human and animal consumption. Thomas Jefferson, again, had these in his garden after acquiring seeds from the native tribes.

5. Lettuce

That old gardener Thomas Jefferson loved lettuce, and he grew several different types. The most popular was at that time called Parris Island. Today, we call it Romaine lettuce. This is still as popular today as it was in the 1700s.

6. Cucumber

During this time period, it was white cucumbers that were favored over other varieties. One named White Wonder is listed in a 1727 book about gardening. Cucumbers are so versatile that it’s no wonder they are still used in gardens today.

7. Lemon balm

This herb has been cultivated since at least the 1500s. It’s a natural calming agent that was probably used often by the women of those times. The leaves can be used dried or fresh, and it has a delightful lemon taste when made into tea.

8. Leeks

You may have seen these in your local grocery store and wondered how they were cooked and who ate them. Leeks are something like a cross between a potato and an onion. They have a mild onion taste, but look like potatoes. Even the leaves can be chopped and used in salads. These were probably popular because leeks can be left in the ground over the winter and dug up in the coldest of months. Or, wait until they sprout again in the spring.

9. Cabbage

This is another staple that has stood the test of time. Cabbage is popular due to its ability to be stored for long periods of time. Even if the outside leaves should become moldy, they can be removed, with fresher leaves available underneath. Cabbage is also a cool-weather vegetable, so you can grow it late in the fall or start it very early in the spring.

10. Salsify

This is another vegetable that I have never heard of, but was very popular in 18th century gardens. Salsify is related to parsnip and was used about the same way. Salsify was easy to store and can be boiled, mashed or fried. Even the leaves are edible! This is another cool-weather vegetable that usually was harvested between October and January. In the dead of winter, some fresh leaves and roots must have tasted mighty good.

How many of these seeds have you planted? What are your favorite old-time seeds? Share your gardening tips in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

12 Best Bushes To Plant Under Trees

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12 Best Bushes To Plant Under Trees While not the easiest place to plant flowers, it is not impossible for certain plants to thrive beneath the canopy of a mature tree. While the tree’s shade and lack of moisture can pose challenges, this list of plants will overcome them all. We are not saying you need to be an expert gardener or know anything about tree care service but what you will read today will for sure add a lot of character and beauty to any yard! Planting bushes under trees can add a lot of depth to a garden.

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12 Best Climbing Plants for Pergolas and Arbors

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12 Best Climbing Plants for Pergolas and Arbors Jeepers Creepers, we have crawlers. I’m not talking about wriggly worms or drooling babies, I’m talking about your garden. There’s no rule that your garden must remain stagnant and rooted to the ground. Raise your roses and honeysuckles to the Heavens with these twelve flowers. If you have other plants you think belong on this list, please feel free to head on over to our Facebook page and leave us a comment. We will gladly add them to this list. Before you start reading this amazing article consider reading our other article

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5 Dumb Seed-Starting Mistakes That Nearly Everyone Makes

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5 Dumb Seed-Starting Mistakes That Nearly Everyone Makes

Image source: Pixabay.com

I’ve been gardening since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I grew up on a farm and we kids were expected to help in my mom’s large vegetable garden. Many of the gardening maxims that I still adhere to were picked up while working alongside Mom. But just because I’ve been doing things the same way for 40-odd years, it doesn’t mean those are the right — or best — things to do.

I was surprised last spring when a local friend mentioned that he had directly sowed peas in April. April?! Really?! Where I live, our last frost date is May 15, and most local people get their seeds in during the first weekend following that date. This guy, however, was totally new to gardening and, unfamiliar with conventional wisdom, he followed the directions on the seed package. Go figure. Since the package said to sow the seeds as soon as the ground was workable, that’s what he did. He got a terrific pea harvest, too.

Whether you’re just starting out as a gardener, or you’ve been working the soil your whole life, you might be making some of these common mistakes.

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Here are five dumb-but-common seed-starting mistakes:

1. Not reading seed packages

If you’ve been gardening for a long time, chances are you’re like me: just doing things the same way you always have instead of reading the seed packages. As my story above illustrates, that’s not always the best idea. Maybe you’ve been sowing seeds directly — seeds that would really benefit from being started earlier indoors (like broccoli, which needs to mature before the hottest days of summer or it will bolt). Or maybe you’ve been planting your seeds a little too deeply and as a result, your germination rate is low. Reading seed packages can save time and money. It’s worth it.

2. Forgetting to label

Many of us who are old hands at gardening can identify our vegetable plants even before they set their true leaves. But can we identify the different varieties? That’s unlikely. Keeping track of how different varieties perform can help us decide whether to grow the same ones next year; and if so, if there is anything that we can change that might optimize their growth.

Don’t forget to label!

3. Not watering properly

It can be hard getting the moisture levels right for those tiny pots. A slip of the wrist, and they’re flooded. A busy day where you forget to water, and they turn into little Saharas, complete with wilted seedlings. It happens to the best of us. But we should try neither to underwater or overwater.

5 Dumb Seed-Starting Mistakes That Nearly Everyone Makes

Image source: Pixabay.com

Start by making sure your potting mix is thoroughly wet, but not soaking, before you even plant. Purchased potting mix is often quite dry. Put some in a container, add water, stir, and let it sit for a little while to absorb moisture before you start planting.

Once planted, it’s best to water by misting the pots, rather than using a watering can, as a heavier stream of water can disturb the soil and dislodge seeds. Let the soil dry out just a little between waterings. If the soil is too moist, the seeds and seedlings will be more susceptible to mold, fungus, disease, and rot.

4. Starting seeds too early

In our eagerness to start gardening again, we might start our seeds too early. What could possibly be wrong with growing bigger, sturdier plants over a longer period of time? Well, particularly if you use seed flats or peat pots, you may need to repot large seedlings before the ground is warm enough for transplanting. Repotting means an increased cost to purchase more potting mix and larger pots; it also means more work. Also, some plants fare better if they are transplanted when they are smaller or less mature. For instance,   if they are transplanted before they start flowering.

The All-Natural Fertilizer That Doubles Your Garden Yield!

A general guideline is to start seeds 4-6 weeks prior to your local last frost date; however, some herbs and vegetables can be started 8-10 weeks prior. Refer to   at Off The Grid News for more information about when to start seeds indoors.

5. Not cleaning and sterilizing equipment

We gardeners are a thrifty lot, and we tend to adhere to the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra. However, when it comes to “reuse,” make sure your materials are clean and sterile. A quick rinse with the garden hose last summer was not adequate to ready your supplies for this spring.

It’s about more than just cleanliness; disease and fungi can lurk on dirty equipment.   is one fungal-borne disease that can kill off your seedlings. If you’re reusing any equipment this spring, start by sterilizing everything in one part bleach to 10 parts water.

Gardening is truly a lifelong learning process. There are often different and better ways of doing things. Always keep an open mind. You might learn better methods through trial and error, neighborly advice, written articles, or even seed packages. Go figure.

What seed-starting mistakes have you made? What did you learn? Share your tips with others in the section below:

Seamazing: The Low-Cost Way To Re-mineralize Your Soil

12 Gardening Hacks for New Gardeners

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With spring coming up in just a few weeks, it’s a great time to begin planning your garden. If you’re new to gardening, you’ll be glad to hear that there are many tips that can help make the process cheaper, easier, and more efficient. The great thing about the hacks in this article is that […]

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12 Easy And Fun Plants For Kids To Grow

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12 Easy And Fun Plants For Kids To Grow There are certain things parents are expected to teach their children; how to balance a checkbook, load a dishwasher, and cook a decent meal. Why not extend their knowledge? They shouldn’t just be able to cook food, they should be able to grow it. They should have fingernails full of dirt and baskets filled with tomatoes, potatoes, and corn. Not only will it save them money and give them valuable life skills, it will be a memory they can look back on and smile. So here are twelve plants that every

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Growing a Lavender Hedge Year 2

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There isn't much maintenance with my lavender hedge year 2, it's looking great. A bit of compost and a bit of cleaning and you’ll be enjoying a wonderfully fragrant summer harvest | PreparednessMama

Last year I put a new garden in my Central Texas yard. It’s a 30×50 foot experiment that’s been a lot of fun. I’ve had successes and failures a plenty as I learn to garden in the South. The biggest success is my lavender hedge. Year two looks to be even better than the last. […]

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15 Best Black Flowers To Add Depth And Drama To Your Garden

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15 Best Black Flowers To Add Depth And Drama To Your Garden “Black is such as happy color.” While some might not agree with Morticia Addams, black can certainly add some drama to your garden. While there are few flowers that are a true black, a mixture of dark maroons, purples, burgundies, and reds will certainly suffice. Adding black flowers and plants to your garden will add tremendous depth and drama. As soon as you plant some of the plants or flowers you will instantly have a beautiful, deep and dramatic garden. If you plant any of these in your

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The Bitter Melon Experiment, Part One

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Bitter Gourd (Japanese Variety), aka Bitter Melon

 I am trying an experiment this year in growing Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia), also know as Bitter Gourd. I’ll be posting updates on this experiment throughout the year, letting my readers know the progress, for good or bad. This article (Part One) will introduce people to Bitter Melon, and why I am conducting this experiment. If successful, Bitter Melon could be an important vegetable to include in survival gardens due to its possible medical uses.

If you haven’t heard of Bitter Melon, it is an Asian vegetable which looks similar to a large and very wrinkled cucumber. It is in the same botanical family as squashes and gourds. It has a somewhat bitter taste (the more ripe it is, however, the less bitter). 

Bitter Melons grow on vines that can reach 12′ to 16′ in length under optimal growth conditions, so it is suggested that it be grown along a fence or using trellises. Typically, Bitter Melon is gown in tropical regions of Asia and the Caribbean. It will be interesting to see if I can grow it successfully in North Carolina. 

As a vegetable, it can be eaten raw, added to salads, or cooked into  variety of dishes. It can also be juiced.

The traditional Okinawan dish goya chanpuru (photo by Nesnad)

Possible Health Benefits and Medicinal Purposes

As you may know, I am a diabetic (non-insulin dependent).  So I am always searching for possible natural and alternative treatments for diabetes. In any disaster or post-collapse situation, folks may not have ready access to insulin and other diabetic medications, and be forced to make do as best they can until access is restored. 

Bitter Melon may hold some potential as a possible emergency replacement for insulin or other diabetic medication. According to my online research, Bitter Melon contains a chemical compound (Polypeptide-p) that acts similar to insulin and appears to have a hypoglycemic effect that may reduce blood sugar levels. According to several articles I’ve read, this only works if the Bitter Melon is consumed raw or in juice form. According to those articles, the powdered Bitter Melon that you can buy in capsules at health food and vitamin stores is not effective in lowering blood sugar. 

In addition to  its potential benefits to diabetics, Bitter Melon also has other health benefits. It has significant amounts of Vitamin C, Folate, and Zinc, as well as smaller amounts of various other nutrients. Bitter Melon may also have certain anti-cancer benefits and may help protect against heart problems.

Please research these potential health benefits for yourself. You can check out the articles on Bitter Melon at WebMD, Wikipedia, Bonnie Plants, LiveStrong, Dr. Axe, and Dr. Andrew Weil, among others.

Last week, I received the Bitter Gourd seeds that I ordered through Amazon (for only $2.95 with free shipping!). I will be planting those seeds as soon as any chance for frost in my area has safely passed. 

NOTE: I am NOT a doctor or other medical professional. Nothing I present in this article is meant to diagnose any disease or to recommend any treatment. It is only meant as “food for thought” and a starting point for your own research and consideration. Please see your doctor for medical advise when dealing with diabetes or any other illness. 


Gardening for Preppers and Survivalist

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Gardening for Preppers and Survivalist Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! The “The Prepping Academy” and talking all things gardening. There’s not a single good reason anyone could give for not building a seed bank. In the eventuality of a grid down scenario, or even unemployment, a seed bank could be life saving. … Continue reading Gardening for Preppers and Survivalist

The post Gardening for Preppers and Survivalist appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

How To Feed Your Family Without Any Soil Or Space

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Growing hydroponically sounds complicated and expensive, but it’s actually neither. All that it means is that you’re growing your plants without soil. I’ve seen examples of hydroponic systems made out of our favorite tool ever – a 5-gallon bucket.

I’ve also seen systems that are exactly what you imagine – tables and tables full of fancy equipment and mysterious-looking tools and chemicals.

Just like anything else, it’s just a matter of how complicated you really want to get.

Let me give you a quick rundown of what it’s all about though, and why you should consider it, then we’ll talk about why it’s a great partner for vertical gardening.

As we already determined, you don’t use soil. The entire system is based on the concept that the roots are freely flowing in the water. They’re not packed tightly in soil. Hydroponic plants grow 30-50 percent faster than their soil-grown sisters, are generally healthier, and produce more fruit.

This is likely because the extra oxygen in the water helps the plant absorb nutrients better, and the nutrients are readily available in the water/solution and the plant doesn’t have to work to extract it from soil. It uses the extra energy to grow and produce.

Use it Inside

Hydroponic growing is also good to use inside because you don’t have the dirt mess and the plants don’t have to struggle so much to get the nutrients that they need, so it’s easier for them to grow in a semi-challenging environment. It’s a great way to grow food in small spaces.

Save Water

Vertical gardening and hydroponics also pair well because the drip-down system is an effective method of watering, and if you’re using a hydroponics system to catch the runoff, you’re saving a ton of water.

In a situation where fresh water is limited, that’s a huge benefit. As a matter of fact, in a world where soil is becoming depleted and water isn’t as plentiful as it used to be, vertical hydroponic gardening is seen by many as the method of future mass food production. Of course, their plans for world garden domination is a bit more complex, but it’s based on this theory.

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Stack it Up – The Foundation of Both Ideas

Also, and this takes us to our next point, hydroponics systems are commonly used in a stacked fashion so that the water is drawn up from  catch basin at the bottom and is released via drips onto the plants below. Then it drips from the top layer to the layer beneath, and so on until the water is back in the catch basin.

This makes hydroponics a great partner for vertical gardening.

Lighter and Portable

One problem that you often face with regular, dirt vertical gardening is that the wall is heavy and bulky, in large part because of the weight of the wet dirt.

With hydroponic vertical towers, you get rid of that.

There’s still some water weight, but unless you’re using gravel or sand to secure the roots, the weight is less.

This makes it more portable, too, especially if you use a well-contained system like Plug and Farm Towers. Portability is good for a couple of reasons.

If you need to move your vertical gardening wall or tower so that the plants are getting more or less light, or so that looters won’t know that you have food, then you want to be able to quickly and easily move the wall.

Know What You’re Eating

Another huge benefit is that you know exactly what’s going into your plant. Though you can buy bags of soil to grow your plants in, there’s no way for you to know what’s in that dirt. The same goes for using plain old yard soil. There could be residual fertilizers, pesticides, or acid rain in it and you’ll never know.

When you use hydroponics, you know exactly what your plants are coming into contact with. Enough said about that.

Best of Both Worlds

Finally, the “piece de resistance”, so to speak, about combining vertical gardening with hydroponics is that you get the benefits of the expanded growing space that comes with vertical gardening with the faster growth and higher yield of hydroponics. Bam! That’s what does it for me.

Vertical gardening and hydroponics are like peas and carrots – different, but when you bring them together, they’re a delicious combination that just works!

Start growing your own survival food without soil or space! You only need 10 minutes per day to take care of your fresh food.

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This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

How To Make A Wicking Bed Container Garden

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How To Make A Wicking Bed Container Garden Between the snow, the rain, and the droughts I never know when and what to plant in Nebraska. I mean seriously, I tanned in my lawn the same week my school canceled for snow. How the heck am I supposed to start a garden when Mother Nature seems so vehemently against it? I have found a way. So, for those of you who can’t trust your local meteorologist, (and really who can) or those of you like myself, who are renting and thus not allowed to tear up your landlord’s lawn, I

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Why Vertical Gardening Works for Preppers

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As preppers, we all share the common goal of being able to take care of ourselves and our families in worst-case scenarios.

Having a ready supply of nutritious food is most certainly at the top of that list. And since we don’t all have the acreage (or even the yard) to grow a huge, traditional garden, enter vertical gardening!

Vertical gardening is exactly what the name implies – you’re growing your plants vertically instead of on a flat surface (the ground). This is great because it allows for growing fresh produce even if you don’t have any space other than a wall or a porch. You can even grow a vertical garden inside!

Grows Anywhere

Whether you have a fence around your yard or you only have a space on the porch or even a wall inside your house, you can grow a vertical garden. Living in urban areas doesn’t mean that you can’t grow your own food – it just means that you have to get creative about it.

If you have even a little bit of a yard, you’ll be surprised how much you can grow using the vertical gardening method – the options are practically limitless. You can even grow plants out the top AND bottom of the planters!

If you only have a single closet or small wall in your apartment, you’re still in luck, though you’ll have to make sure that you have plenty of light either in the form of sunlight or grow lights. Herbs are great to grow vertically, as are tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, onions, and green leafy vegetables.

Can be Used for Privacy

If you have a porch or yard, build your vertical garden in such a way that you block vision of your house. If you use a solid back that faces out from your house, people won’t even know what you’re doing!

Of course, you may not want to advertise what you’re doing, so grow it somewhere that people can’t look over your fence.

Works Well with Hydroponics

Growing plants hydroponically is a great way to increase your produce yield while decreasing your water consumption. It also takes the guesswork out of what you’re exposing your plants to, and how many nutrients the plant is getting, because you control both of those conditions.

Plants grown hydroponically, such as in the Plug and Farm Towers we tested, and have been shown to be healthier, grow faster, and produce a bigger yield. This is likely because water is oxygen rich, which helps the plants absorb nutrients, and they don’t have to harvest the nutrients out of the soil, so they can use that energy to grow instead.

You can Grow without Sharing What You’re Doing

Because you don’t need to lay everything out in the yard, you can grow in places that your neighbors won’t know about. You can grow a ton of vegetables on vertical growing racks inside your house. If you decide to go with a hydroponics system, you won’t have a dirt mess, but you can grow them in soil just as well.

Other places that make good hiding places include old sheds or barns that back up to a place in your yard that’s out of site. Just remember that you need plenty of light no matter where you plant them.

Grow Year Round

If you decide to grow a vertical garden inside, you can have year-round fresh herbs, veggies, and fruits. They do well in greenhouses, too. This is yet another advantage you’ll have over your neighbors if stuff goes south in the winter.

You’ll have access to fresh produce right there in your guest bedroom. Don’t be shy about putting a vertical garden in your living room, either. They look beautiful and make the house smell good, especially if you’re growing herbs.

You can Grow a Variety of Produce

The good thing about growing up instead of out is that you can have 7 or 8 different types of plants in an area that’s only 8 feet long and a foot or so wide. Nearly everybody has that much space!

An advantage to this is that if you don’t have access to a good food supply, having several different types of plants growing in what space you have will allow for you to have a variety of nutrients. Go for different colors because each color has different nutrients – red, yellow, orange, green – they all provide different nutrients that will help keep you and yours well-nourished.

Easy to Care for by Anybody

It’s hard to get down on your hands and knees to root around in a garden, pulling weeds in the sun and making sure the soil stays loose. With vertical gardening, it’s all right there in front of you. You can sit on a chair to take care of your plants if you need to. And harvesting is easy, too. For that matter, if you plan it right, you can make your vertical garden portable.

Another way that vertical gardening is easier is that, especially if you’re growing hydroponically, there are minimal weeds and you don’t have to worry about squatting over to take care of your vining plants.

Less Waste

This is one of my favorite reasons to grow vertically – the plants aren’t dragging on the ground and the fruits aren’t sitting in dirt, so they aren’t as prone to disease and rot.

There’s nothing worse, in my opinion, than working hard to nurture plants all the way from seed to harvest just to lose part of it because it was tucked under leaves where we couldn’t see it, and rotted. That’s not a problem with vertical gardening.

I’m obviously a fan of vertical gardening because of where I currently live and have benefited from it myself.

Remember that every survival plan should have food at its core. With only 10 minutes per day you’ll never have to worry about feeding your family again.

Click the banner below to grab this offer and start growing your own survival food!

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

4 Key Tips To Create A Garden For Canning And Preserving – Grow Your Food This Year!

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More and more people are planting backyard gardens every year for canning and preserving! Beyond the simple joy of getting to play in the dirt and experience the great outdoors – gardening has become more popular than ever as people

The post 4 Key Tips To Create A Garden For Canning And Preserving – Grow Your Food This Year! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

What To Start Planting In March

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What To Start Planting In March I get a lot of messages asking what you can plant in March, so here are some great tips to help you along and get an amazing spring garden you have always wanted! It’s the perfect time to start working on your Spring gardening plans, even though Spring doesn’t …

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The post What To Start Planting In March appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Growing vegetables in pots – Choosing plants that thrive

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Maintaining a garden can be quite a challenge for the urban prepper. The lack of gardening space and arable land is a problem for most urban dwellers. However, you shouldn’t give up on your dream of having home-grown vegetables. There are always solutions and growing vegetables in pots can be done wherever you live. Having … Read more…

The post Growing vegetables in pots – Choosing plants that thrive was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Preppers and Survivalists Must Be Hunters and Gatherers

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woods_hunting_deer

empty_grocery_shelvesIt just isn’t realistic to think all of our prepping supplies will hold out forever. My family, friends, and I may have devised the best survival plan there is, even better than most of the selection of “you can make it” books at the big box book store.  But, as time dwells on, the supplies will dwindle. Maybe our Bug In survival scheme has enough food stocked for the millennium.  Good for us.  Tell me again how long that is?  Not unlike the Lord’s return if you believe in that survival book, we know not when the end comes.  So, how do you plan for it?  

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Likewise, my loved ones and I had the forethought and the financial commitment to branch out to secure a designated Bug Out backup survival location.  This comes complete with a farmhouse, water well, and rural power.  A backup generator with a 1000 gallon fuel tank surely ought to last long enough until stability returns.  Well, we hope so anyway.

At the Bug Out, our panty is chocked full of long term foods, a mix of food types, and tastes.  With the available water we can mix up just about any variety of menu concoctions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a few snacks thrown in.  We are among the lucky ones to have provisioned so well for the long haul.  

Time Bears On

We’re six months into the SHTF and doubt is starting to creep in.  The food stocks have gone past the first three rows in the cabinets, and now variety selections are waning.  Everybody is getting tired of canned meats, and if they eat another helping of tuna, they may start to grow gills.  Everybody’s eyes are not green with envy, but green from all the green beans and green peas.  Sure we are fine, but we all want something more, something different.  

Our Bug In residence is only two blocks away from a wooded area, and open sage fields teeming with natural life, both plant and animal.   The Bug Out escape house is near a huge forested area.   So far, neither area seems to have been approached by anybody else in the immediate area.  Scouting hikes provides good Intel that nobody seems to be using these available resources.  It’s time to take advantage of this situation.  

Hunting Becomes Necessity

squirrel_hunting_meatThis section is not so much about how to hunt, but more emphasis on the why we should.  Apart from whatever food supplies we laid by in store, we should be mixing in available game meat to supplement our diets.  Actually this should be done from the get go.  This makes our pantry supplies extend further well into a longer period of unrest or instability, or no new food supplies at the usual outlets.  We have to learn to supply some of our own food resources. The argument here too is for the value of this supplemental food source.  I am not a nutritionist, but everything I read about food recommends that protein is a good thing.  In a SHTF survival situation, adding meat to a diet would seem to be a very wise move.  

Read Also: Fallkniven Professional Hunting Knife 

What will you hunt?  If you have never hunted before and nobody in the group if there is one has never hunted, then you need to start to learn how now.  Books, videos, hunting television, seminars, and other participation activities can bring you up to speed fairly quickly.  I highly recommend a good library of hunting books, and everything to do related to the subject.  

Now, if you are an experienced hunter already, then you know what to do.  Generally this activity is initiated by on the ground scouting to inventory what game might be available to harvest.  This can be done by simple stealth hikes into prospective hunting areas.  Maintain as secret and as low a profile as you can.  Once you fire a gun to hunt, then you have given notice of your presence.  Archery is also an option to consider.   

Scouting can also be accomplished to a certain degree by observing via optics from a distance away.  You must have good binoculars and or a spotting scope to do this part well.  You are looking for obvious signs of game movement, tracks, deer rubs, and other game sign.  Visual confirmation of game in the areas is a really good start.  

hog_hunting_survivalWhat game might you expect to find?  Naturally this essentially depends on where you are in the country.  The United States is very blessed with a long list of wild game species available for pursuit via hunting.  The short list is white-tailed and mule deer, elk, antelope, goats, sheep, big bears, big cats, wild hogs and wild turkey.  Small game could be rabbits, squirrel, raccoon, and such.  Upland game will include all kinds of bird species from quail, dove, woodcock, pheasant, grouse, and the list goes on.  If water is around, you may find waterfowl in ducks and geese.  Find out what is normally available where you live and where your Bug Out site is located.  Your state wildlife agency will have a web site and likely pamphlets for this information.    

For hunting you will likely already have the necessary firearms including a decent, accurate, scoped rifle, one of at least .30 caliber, but a .223 or others can be used with the correct hunting type ammo.  Small game can be hunted with a rimfire rifle or handgun.  A shotgun will be useful for birds, waterfowl and small game.  Have a variety of shotshells on hand besides self-defense type loads. Certainly, you can add all types of hunting gear and accessories including hunting clothing, camouflage, knives, game bags, and everything else to help you secure the game meat you need.

Sport Fishing for Sustenance

fishing_survival_nutritionWhen we highlight hunting, we do not mean to slight or ignore the freshwater or saltwater fishing opportunities where you might reside during a SHTF.  As you have prepared for hunting, also prepare for fishing.  Fish are a high priority, good quality food to add to the menu. As with game animals, research what fishing opps are available to you and which types of fish can be caught.  I won’t list all the possibilities here, because the variety is so regional.  You should know your area well enough to know about fishing lakes, rivers, streams, and even small rural farm ponds, any water source that might hold edible fish.  Take the same advice on fishing as with hunting, if you do not know how.

Stock up on basic fishing tackle, rods, reels, line, lures, tackle supplies, hooks, weights, etc.  Have the whole shooting match on hand.  Again, a good book on general fishing will describe what to buy, and how to use it.  You may find also like hunting that fishing is a good recreational activity as well.  You’ll need that as well to support mental health during trying times.  

Gathering

survival_garden_forage_foodThis is my own weakness beyond knowing how to grow a garden.  By all means make plans and provisions for growing a garden of any size.  As you know Mother Nature also provides many sources of plant life that can be eaten raw, added to salads, or cooked. Again a good regional resource book will be valuable for finding greens, flowers, seeds, legumes, mushrooms, wild fruits, and other plant-vegetable life that is indigenous to your area.  This resource will be valuable so you’ll know what to gather and how to process it for food.  

Related: Tree Bark as an Emergency Food

So, obviously this was a quick treatise just skimming the bare essentials of food harvesting skills you will need to acquire and practice.  Ideally, you have stored up enough food stuffs to grind it out over a long period of time.  However, it is just smart to learn to supplement these supplies with fresh foods found in your local habitats.  Learn now what these resources are in your area, how to harvest or gather them as supplemental food sources.  

Photos Courtesy of: 

John Woods
OakleyOriginals

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How To Remove A Tree Stump Painlessly

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How To Remove A Tree Stump Painlessly So the tree needs to go; it’s ugly, it’s dead, it’s infested, you have a new chainsaw that you’re just dying to try out. Whatever your reason, the bottom line it you want that tree gone. This article will give you the basics of removing trees and stumps from your property with your own two hands. As stated earlier, you’ll need a chainsaw. Now with that chainsaw comes the obligation to use it responsibly. You like your arms, legs, and eyes don’t you? I thought so. So to ensure your safety and anyone

The post How To Remove A Tree Stump Painlessly appeared first on Mental Scoop.

Start Growing Your Own Food Using Hydroponics

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Hydroponics, the process of growing plants without soil, is gaining momentum throughout the gardening community for many different reasons.

The water requirements are stupendously less than growing in soil, you don’t have to worry about what chemicals have leached into your soil, and you can grow healthier plants that yield more fruit in less space, both indoors and out.

Though many people are vaguely interested in the concept, most people write it off as being too technical, difficult, or expensive. The truth is that none of those terms apply, or at least they don’t have to.

You can start a hydroponic garden for very little money and it takes practically no effort to maintain it, at least in comparison to a soil garden.

Start Your Seeds

Regardless of whether you are planning to grow your plants in soil or in a hydroponic system, starting them from seeds is basically the same process. You need to choose a medium to start the seeds. You can use just about anything that you want – rockwool, grow cubes, or even plain dirt. The important thing is that you get your seeds to grow to seedlings.

There are also mediums that support starting your plants right in the system from seeds. In that case, don’t worry about the seedlings! The only problem that I’ve heard about from folks that do this is the same one that I’ve experienced when starting my garden using only seeds – they’re not all going to sprout, so you may have dense areas and sparse areas.

Regardless of whether you’re putting seeds or seedlings in your system, it’s a good idea to start your own seedlings.

Seeds are cheap, you can choose what you want to grow instead of depending on what plants the store has available, and your system won’t be contaminated with chemicals, pests, or diseases that may accompany commercial plants.

Choose a System

You also need to choose a system. For your first time, it’s probably a good idea to start small so that you can make your mistakes and learn the ropes on a small, manageable scale. There are several different types of systems, but the one that we’ve found to be most efficient on a small scale is a drip system.

Drip systems use a submersible pump placed in a basin on the bottom that pulls the water up to an irrigation tube above the plants. The water drips down into the pan(s) and trickles back down into the catch basin and is then recirculated. It’s efficient and simple to use.

NOTE: Very few commercial hydroponics systems (or DIY ones for that matter) operate without electricity. In the case of an EMP or a complete grid failure, your system will require manual watering, so choose carefully if those situations are a concern for you. You’ll want to choose a system such as a vertical gardening tower that makes it easy to water without an operational pump.

We tested the Plug & Farm Tower system that’s great for both beginners and experienced growers and works well indoors or out, though it does require electricity. There are many different options out there, or you can build your own.

What Can You Grow Hydroponically

Well, just about anything, in theory. After all, you’re providing everything any living plant needs to thrive – water, nutrients, light.

However, there are some plants that are more challenging than others. For instance, root vegetables are a challenge and require a system that’s deep enough to grow them. You may want to get a bit of experience before you jump off that particular log.

Vining plants and light-weight fruits grow well hydroponically, too, and did well in the tower we tested. You can even start fruit trees, then plant them into soil when they’re big enough.

Now, for the system that we tested, vining plants, herbs and green leafy vegetables worked, but not root vegetables.

Transplanting Seedlings

If you’re starting your seeds outside of your system and transplanting it as a seedling, it’s a simple process. Germinate your seeds. You can do this by placing them in a grow cube or in a paper towel or baggy.

If you use the grow cube, just keep it damp with water or your hydroponic solution until your seedling pops through – anywhere from two to four weeks.

If you’re germinating the seeds before putting them in a growing medium, put them in a damp paper towel on a plate and keep the towel damp. Your seed will germinate in just a few days.

Now that you have your seedlings, you’re ready to transplant them to your system so that they can grow into delicious plants.

This process is going to be determined by the system that you’re using but will consist of placing the seedling so the roots are in the water/solution and the plant top is not.

A Note about Growing Mediums

You can use many different mediums in your hydroponics setup including gravel, sand, coconut shells (they don’t break down easily) or just about anything else that is food-safe and won’t decompose.

If you choose to use gravel, be sure to choose stones that won’t leech minerals into the water, because then you’re affecting the nutrients available to your plants.

The entire purpose of the medium is to support the roots in a way that water can flow freely around them, so don’t use mediums such as mulch that are going to break down to, well, soil.

Growing Your Plants

Now, your plants are in your hydroponics system, so what next?

Make sure that they stay hydrated and are getting the nutrients that they need! They should be watered thoroughly several times daily to prevent the roots from drying out, and the automatic drip system is great for this.

Once your plants begin to grow in earnest, you’ll need to provide support for vining plants. Trellises are great for this.

Keep your plants from dragging the ground in order to avoid rot and exposure to disease. Prune them properly and watch them grow!

Click the banner below to grab this offer and start your own survival farm!

This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia. 

How To Build A Herb Spiral

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How To Build A Herb Spiral Spring is just around the corner and winter is starting to wind down, for some of us anyway. Build one of these beauties and have plenty herbs for the rest of the year. I found an article that shows you how to construct these simple herb gardens in a …

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How to Use the Moon to Plan Your Gardening Season

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moon gardening season

Your best prepper resource may be hanging in the sky every night – the moon. If you’re a gardener, getting to know the moon and all its phases might give your garden a boost every season.

The worst case scenario that I try to prepare for is a long-term power grid failure. To help me prepare, I’ve learned to garden, cook over a fire and how to tell basic weather signs. However, when it comes to gardening, I’ve been planting using the first and last frost dates on the calendar. But in a long-term power outage, we might just lose track of time, days, and seasons. How will I decide when to plant if I’m not sure what day it is? Simple. I’ll look to the moon.

Learn the moon’s cycle

I am fairly sure that starting a journal to note events, weather, stars, and the moon cycle will be something I start on Day 1 of a power outage. At some point, if the power outage lasts a long time, I will probably lose track of what day it is exactly if I don’t keep a journal. Noting the moon phases will help me know a lot about when to garden in case I don’t know the exact last frost date.

The moon is constantly changing, but still has a very predictable cycle. There are 12-13 full moons per year occurring every 28-30 days. In the days before electricity, many cultures would give each moon a different name based on the season and nature cycles happening at that time of the year. Old-timers have long known the importance of observing nature for help with predicting weather.

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Native Americans in North America named the moons as part of their calendar. Different tribes had different methods for keeping track of the moon cycles and seasons but still used these observations to track growing seasons, animal behavior, and more. Many years later, several names of the moon were incorporated into the colonial settlers’ calendar when they settled on the continent.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac Web site says:

“The Full Moon Names we use in the Almanac come from the Algonquin tribes who lived in regions from New England to Lake Superior. They are the names the Colonial Americans adapted most. Note that each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred.”

Here are the commonly accepted names of those full moons:

Wolf Moon (January) — Wolves would typically howl at the moon most this time of year.

Snow/Hunger Moon (February) — Most snow fell at this time, which made hunting and gathering food difficult.

Worm/Sap Moon (March) — Worms and sap start appearing at this time as spring starts arriving.

Pink/Sprouting Grass/Egg/Fish Moon (April) — The first pink spring flowers and grasses appear, chickens start laying eggs, and fish can be found at this time.

Flower/Corn Planting/Milk Moon (May) — Spring flowers are in bloom, and it’s time to start milking animals and planting corn.

Strawberry/Rose/Hot Moon (June) — This is the time of year to pick strawberries and roses, but it starts getting hot.

Buck/Thunder Moon (July) — Bucks are growing antlers at this time, and there are often frequent thunderstorms.

Sturgeon/Green Corn Moon (August) — The Native Americans would find lots of sturgeon at this time in Lake Superior, and the corn is green at this point in time.

Corn/Barley/Harvest Moon (September) — This is the harvest time of year.

(Note – the harvest moon can be in September or October, depending on which month puts the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox.)

Hunter’s/Travel/Dying Moon (October) — The leaves are falling off the trees (dying) and game is fattened and ready to be hunted, which can require travel.

Beaver/Frost Moon (November) — Frost usually occurs at this time, and the Native Americans would set beaver traps at this time to be able to catch them during winter.

Cold/Long Nights Moon (December) — It goes without saying that this time of year is cold and full of long, dark nights.

Two special moons of note:

Blue Moon – A blue moon is the second full moon that occurs in a calendar month.

Black Moon – A black moon is the second new moon occurring in a calendar month.

By keeping track of the full moons and knowing their names, you can have a good guess as to what is going on during that time of the year where you live.

For example, if I start noting that the worms are becoming active again, the full moon around that time is probably the March moon. In my area, that is the time to start seeds indoors for pepper and tomato plants. Two to three full moons after that (May/June) would be time to plant. It might be a good idea to find out what Native Americans in your area called the various full moons, as nature cycles are much different in Arizona than Minnesota.

Plan your garden with help from the moon

During the gardening season, the moon can also be used to help with knowing when to plant. The first two quarters of the moon’s phases after a full moon are the waning phase where light decreases. The other phases are the waxing phase where the moon’s light increases. The moon also affects the gravitational pull and tides, so the argument is that the full moon also affects the water in the soil by drawing it up, helping with germination. The moon does affect groundwater tables, so the best time to turn over the dirt in your garden would be at the new moon when the water table is at its lowest.

“Dr. Frank Brown of Northwestern University performed research over a ten year period. His findings were plants absorbed more water at the time of the Full Moon,” according to the Ohio State University Extension Web site. “He conducted his experiments in a laboratory without direct contact with the moon, yet he still found that the plants were influenced by the phase.”

The Old Farmer’s Almanac suggests that root vegetables and bulb flowers be planted during the waning phase, as this time period has decreasing light from the moon. Above-ground crops and other flowers be planted during the waxing phase, as this time period has an increasing light from the moon.

Here is the easiest way to plant by the moon:

  1. Find your zone and your last frost date for the spring.

I’m in Zone 6 and our last frost date is around May 15. For the Farmer’s Almanac, I’m between areas 2 and 3.

  1. Find the moon cycles for that time of the year.

There is a full moon on May 10 and June 9 this year. The new moon is May 25 and June 23.

  1. Make a gardening plan.

From the new moon to full moon (May 25 to June 9) is the time to plant seeds for plants that produce crops above ground, such as peas, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and asparagus. These plants are helped by the pull of water up in the soil for germination and more light from the moon during this period.

From the new moon to the full moon (June 9 to 23) is the best time to plant root vegetables like carrots, onions and potatoes, along with bulb flowers. These plants do better with a lower water level in the soil and less light from the moon.

A shortcut way is to consult the Farmer’s Almanac, which has a list that breaks down each plant individually and when it is best to plant it according to the moon’s phases by area. I recommend the purchase of this book, since it has detailed charts that will help you make specific gardening plans.

Use this chart to help plan your garden. Click to download and print:

I have not used this method yet, but I plan to this year. I plan to take copious notes this year with my gardening journal. I want to note the phases of the moon as I plant and harvest to see how well it works. I’ve made my fair share of gardening mistakes, which I detailed in this humbling article.

There are many websites out there that can tell you how different people use the moon as their guide to planting. If you find one for your area, make sure to print it out and put it in your gardening journal or reference information. It would be good to teach the information to your children as well. We’ve lost many tips and tricks for surviving hard times because they haven’t been passed down through the generations. The moon will always be there, though.

Have you ever planted by the moon? Is it something you would want to try this year?

How to Grow Sprouts In A Mason Jar For You Or Your Chickens

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How to Grow Sprouts In A Mason Jar For You Or Your Chickens Sprouts are great for us and our lovely chickens. They are full of nutrients and much-needed sustenance. You can use sprouts in your every day foods, I prefer them in salads It gives the salad a great crunch and taste. For chickens …

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How To Change The Color Of Hydrangea Flowers

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How To Change The Color Of Hydrangea Flowers I love color and I love it because I know what it is to live without it for months on end as all Nebraskans know. So during those few months where color grows straight out of your garden, why not have some power in deciding exactly which color will shine in the summer sun. To achieve the color palette of your dreams, you’ll need a garden filled with hydrangea macrophylla also known as mopheads and lacecaps or just commonly known as Hydrangeas. These hydrangeas can be altered to your specifications by simply

The post How To Change The Color Of Hydrangea Flowers appeared first on Mental Scoop.

Prep Blog Review: Food Lessons For Survival

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It’s survival food time again! From how to grow your own vegetables, to how to stockpile correctly, this topic never gets old, and it’s one of my favorites, too.

Starting with a few food lessons from the Great Depressions, and continuing with some emergency food preparedness basic, for this week’s prep blog review I’ve gathered five useful articles on this topic.

  1. 10 Food Lessons From the Great Depression

“A time wracked with suicide and fear the great depression was a holly terror on the nation.

Many people exclaim that the crash of 2008 cost them everything. The truth is that the “everything” of 2008 was very different than the everything of 1930. Mothers left alone by their husbands to feed children while living in doorways. Losing children to disease or hunger and not having a dime to help them, nor a way to procure one.

All that terror aside the emulsification of cultures and despair in America during the depression created everlasting practices in the management and creation of food. The type of meals that remind you of your grandmother and her dinner table. Many of these meals are still popular today. Many of the methods are used widely as well.”

Read more on Ask A Prepper.

  1. Emergency Food Preparedness Basics Every Prepper Should Know

“Emergency Food Preparedness is essential for every prepper to have. In this video we will be talking about the 3 different types of emergency food preps that essential for survival.”

Video first seen on Smart Prepper Gear.

  1. 13 Direct Vegetables to Direct Sow

“To direct sow your seeds just means to plant your seed outdoors in the garden where it will grow instead of starting the seeds indoors in containers under lights.

If you live in a warm climate, you can direct sow almost any crop. Those of you who garden in colder areas either begin sowing seeds indoors under lights or purchase seedlings form a green house that can be transplanted into the garden after all danger of frost is past. If we don’t start some crops ahead og time, there isn’t enough time to produce a harvest before our first fall frost.”

Read more on Grow A Good Life.

  1. How to get Your Chicken to Lay More Eggs

“Does it seem that your egg collection is decreased or that your hens aren’t laying as they once did? Or the yolks are pale and lackluster, lacking the nutrients they should provide? When the chickens are part of a plan for independent living or as a structured food supply, this can put a damper on things and thwart being able to rely on them as a nutritional resource.

It can be a catastrophic event in a survival situation to have your chickens stop producing a crucial food source.”

Read more on Survival Sullivan.

  1. Perennial Plants that Produce Food Year After Year

“A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. Perennials, especially small flowering plants, grow and bloom over the spring and summer, then die back every autumn and winter, and then return in the spring from their rootstock, are known as herbaceous perennials”.

Below are a few of the more common food plants that are known to live and produce for over two years, and some like asparagus, for example, can produce for literally decades if the asparagus bed is well taken care of.”

Read more on Prep for SHTF.

 

This article has been written by Drew Stratton for Survivopedia.

How To Build A Drip Irrigation System For Under $100

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How To Build A Drip Irrigation System For Under $100 A drip irrigation system can save you time, money and conserve water. This drip irrigation system can be turned on and left to do its job without you having to stand over it to monitor its progress. Using water wisely with a drip irrigation system …

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10 Most Resilient Ground Covers For Your Garden

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10 Most Resilient Ground Covers For Your Garden Ground covers are perfect if you want a cheap, colorful beautiful garden. Ground covers are actually overlooked by most people because they have a bad reputation for spreading like wildfire and taking over other parts of gardens! This just isn’t true. In fact, this is a good thing because once established you can propagate and remove sections of a particular ground cover plant and place it somewhere else in your garden. This eliminates the need to buy more flowers which would add more expense to your garden budget. Ground covers actually help

The post 10 Most Resilient Ground Covers For Your Garden appeared first on Mental Scoop.

Easy DIY Pallet Greenhouse Or Chicken Coop

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Easy DIY Pallet Greenhouse Or Chicken Coop This multi-purpose DIY project can serve as a great greenhouse or chicken coop. Easy to build for a very frugal price! There are loads of garden DIY projects on the web, the difference between this and others is that this is a multi-purpose garden addition, You can add …

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7 Steps for Growing Your Best Crop of Onions

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7 Steps for Growing Your Best Crop of Onions Onions are on of the crops every self sufficient Gardener should be growing each year.  Even if you only have a small garden it is possible to grow and store enough onions each year so that you never have to buy another onion again.  Onions are …

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7 Simple Ways To Help Honey Bees

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7 Simple Ways To Help Honey Bees Did you know that you cold help save the bees in your own back garden? I found 7 Simple Ways To Help Honey Bees. I have been thinking about our poor bees for a while and I went hunting the internet to see if I could do anything to …

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70+ Preparedness Gardening Projects

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70+ Preparedness Gardening Projects Gardening has and always will be an important preparedness tool in aiding us towards self sufficiency and survival. With out it we wouldn’t last log in a SHTF situation. Having food stockpiled is great and will keep you fed but what would you do if the emergency you were in didn’t …

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Breakfast

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This is just a quick little post about what I had for breakfast yesterday. My cousin had posted a video of these baked eggs on toast and I just had to try it. It is nothing but a piece of bread you mash down in the center to make an indent large enough to hold an egg. Crack the egg into the indent. Then butter around the edge of the bread (I am not sure why it needs this but I did it anyway) and sprinkle with cheese around the edge. Then bake it for approximately 10 minutes. I used my little convection oven to bake it.

I added some green onion from an onion I have growing in my onion bin. These were pretty good and a nice change from regular poached eggs on toast which I usually have.

And speaking of green onions. I have added some onion bulbs to a large tub that hold my small rosemary plant and they are growing good already. I have never had any luck getting onions to grow large bulbs but I do like the green onions anyway. 

 And here is just a pretty pot on my porch. I am loving the little blue irises. 

February Seed Starting Schedule

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February Seed Starting Schedule February is the month when indoor seed starting begins for most gardeners.  Even those of you that live in some of the coldest parts of the country will be able to start a few seedlings in February.  A few basic supplies and a simple shop light are all you need to …

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A True Homesteader!

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A True Homesteader! Host: Bobby “MHP Gardner There is a lot of interest in being self-sufficient these days. People are looking for information on how to grow and store their own food, provide their own meats, go off-grid with solar setups… get out of the system so to speak. We see a lot of these … Continue reading A True Homesteader!

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Heritage vs. Hybrid Chicken Breeds: Which Is Sustainable?

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Heritage vs. Hybrid Chicken Breeds: Which Is Sustainable? Before you even decide to get a chicken coop and buy chicken supplies, it is important to have a reason to raise chickens. Do you want them as pets? Are you capable of providing their basic needs? Which breeds suit your requirements best? Do you think egg …

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The post Heritage vs. Hybrid Chicken Breeds: Which Is Sustainable? appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

How To Build a Gravity-Based PVC Aquaponic Garden

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How To Build a Gravity-Based PVC Aquaponic Garden Aquaponics, is a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In normal aquaculture, excretions from the animals being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing …

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Raised Row Gardening Grows – The Simple Growing Method Takes Center Stage!

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Raised Row Gardening has certainly come a long way! What started as a simple method for us to try to garden smarter, and not harder – raised row gardening has taken on a life of its own.  The advantages of

The post Raised Row Gardening Grows – The Simple Growing Method Takes Center Stage! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

How To Make A Rash Treatment Salve

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How To Make A Rash Treatment Salve If SHTF or you are trying to be more natural and you suffer with skin ailments this is a great treatment for you. When making salve, it’s always best to first consider what you are attempting to treat. Always get the ingredients from a trusted shop or even …

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Storing Vegetables Without A Root Cellar

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Storing Vegetables Without A Root Cellar Most people think that if you don’t have a root cellar, you can’t store vegetables long term. That simply isn’t true! Each vegetable can be stored for longer than normal with just a few tweaks here and there, depending on which vegetables you want to store. You really don’t …

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25 Reasons To Go and Pick Dandelions Right Now

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25 Reasons To Go & Pick Dandelions Right Now Dandelion, officially classed as a weed, is also a fantastically useful herbal remedy that contains a wide number of pharmacologically active compounds. Dandelion can treat infections, bile and liver problems and acts as a diuretic – which is probably where the popular myth that dandelion causes …

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Most Common Seedlings Problems and How To Fix Them

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Most Common Seedlings Problems and How To Fix Them To become self-sufficient, gardening becomes a necessary task. Seed starting is one of the most exciting activities of every gardener. However, it can also be the most critical one and failing to care for your seeds and seedlings can spell disaster. If your sustenance is directly …

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Survival Garden & Greenhouse

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survival garden tips

I am often asked, how much work is it to grow your own food?  The answer is, it is not that much work if survival_garden_survival_greenhouse you are worried about eating.  With a little planning and a little bit of elbow grease, you can grow food almost anywhere in the lower 48.  I live at 9,000 ft in the Rocky Mountains and I have found a way to supplement my family’s food supply in the spring, summer, and fall.  Of course, I have to do with with a greenhouse.  The weather is just to extreme where I live.

By Murphy

With a little bit of planning, this spring could be the year you finally plant your survival garden.  I found some free guides online that do not require you to enter you email address (click here) and here are some links to resources that are publicly available to you (click here).  My advice is to start small and start with a conversation with some of your neighbors who grow gardens.  Find out what grows well in your climate.

If you live in an apartment in the city, you can either find a meet up online, check out some youtube videos for apartment gardens or just search the web.  Of course, everyone is trying to sell something on most of the videos so buyer beware as you search the net.  Check out my video below (I do not sell anything!!!), like our channel when you have a chance and maybe stay tuned to The Survivalist Podcast as I am going to be a guest very soon with more survival gardening tips.

Video – Survival Garden & Greenhouse

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How To Grow Pineberries: Strawberries That Taste Like Pineapple

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How To Grow Pineberries: White Strawberries That Taste Like Pineapple I bought my first pineberry plants in May 2015. They seemed to take ok and then die off in the summer heat. To my surprise they popped up the next year. No fruit but lots of runners. We gave them some space and crossed our fingers. Then 2nd day of June 2016. I have berries, lots and lots of berries. I’m thrilled to see little tiny white pineberries developing. We’ve picked two little bowls worth and they are delicious. So now having proof of the final product I am happy to

The post How To Grow Pineberries: Strawberries That Taste Like Pineapple appeared first on Mental Scoop.

Cold Frames: The Easiest Way To Get A Jump On The Growing Season

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Cold Frames: The Easiest Way To Get A Jump On The Growing Season

Are you as impatient as I am, waiting for the frost-free planting dates to arrive? As the days get longer and spring inches closer, it’s hard not to get itchy fingers for gardening. Still, at this time of year, many of us need to wait for several more weeks, or even months, before we can start planting outdoors. But what if you didn’t have to wait that long? What if you could start gardening about five weeks prior to your traditional frost-free date? You can do it with a cold frame.

A cold frame is basically just a low bottomless box with a translucent top. It protects plants from the elements and provides solar heat to keep them warm.

Creating a Cold Frame

Cold frames are easy to build with found or repurposed items, and unless you want to, there is no need to use tools. It’s true that they’re often built from lumber, with distinctive sloping tops that are covered with clear poly sheeting, polycarbonate sheets or glass. It’s easy to find plans for these kinds of cold frames, like   or  . If you are recycling windows or other material to use as the lid, you can certainly modify the plans to fit the dimensions of the cover.

If you’re not handy with tools, don’t despair. Start by finding something that will work as the translucent cover, so that you know how large the frame should be. To create the frame itself, you can use things like straw or hay bales, cinder blocks, or bricks.

Need Non-GMO Herb Seeds? The Best Deals Are Right Here …

Although having a sloping lid is ideal, as it captures more sunlight and facilitates rain runoff, it’s not necessary. The cover can just rest flat on top of the frame. Make sure the lid fits well, though. To best protect the plants, there shouldn’t be any gaps between the cover and the frame. A well-fitted lid will also increase the humidity levels, which will keep your plants happy.

Choosing a Location

The weeks prior to your last frost date can be nippy. To keep your plants toasty and flourishing, position the frame so that it faces due south and gets full sun.

Traditionally, seeds are planted right in the ground inside the frame. However, the frame can also be used as a mini-greenhouse, if you prefer, where you can start seeds in trays or pots for later transplanting. In this case, the frame even could be placed on a deck or patio if necessary, but take care to protect the area underneath.

Best Plants for Cold Frames

Cold Frames: The Easiest Way To Get A Jump On The Growing Season

Image source: Green City Growers

Cold frames are widely used to grow lettuce, which are cool-weather crops that flourish in temperatures of 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Other greens work well, too, such as beet greens, chard, kale and spinach. If you want to branch out from leafy greens, give carrots, leeks, radishes, kohlrabi or turnips a try.

Managing the Temperature

Cold frames are easy to build with found or repurposed items, and unless you want to, there is no need to use tools. It’s true that they’re often built from lumber, with distinctive sloping tops that are covered with clear poly sheeting, polycarbonate sheets or glass. It’s easy to find plans for these kinds of cold frames, like this one at Better Homes and Gardens or this one at Popular Mechanics. If you are recycling windows or other material to use as the lid, you can certainly modify the plans to fit the dimensions of the cover.

If the outdoor temperature is consistently lower than 40 degrees, insulate your frame by heaping soil or mulching materials like leaves or wood chips around its perimeter.

Using Your Cold Frame Beyond Spring

Although most commonly used to start vegetables early in the spring, a cold frame can be used year-round. It provides a good home to heat-loving vegetables like peppers and eggplants until the extreme heat of summer hits. During the hottest days of summer, simply remove the lid to keep using the space. The fall growing season can be extended by replacing the cover at that time. Frames also can be used to overwinter plants.

For the minimal cost and effort needed to build them, cold frames provide a big payoff.

Do you use a cold frame in your garden? Let us know your tips in the comment section below.

Are You Making These Common, Avoidable Gardening Mistakes? Read More Here.

Container Gardening Secrets – 6 Tips For Gorgeous Pots, Containers & Baskets!

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Whether you live on a farm, in the suburbs, or the middle of the city, nearly everyone can experience the joy of container gardening.  Container gardening is a great way to grow your favorite flowers, vegetables, herbs and more. All you need

The post Container Gardening Secrets – 6 Tips For Gorgeous Pots, Containers & Baskets! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Growing Potatoes in Straw for Easy Gardening

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A few years ago, a close friend told me that I should try growing potatoes in straw. He pointed out that growing potatoes in straw or hay is much easier that planting them in dirt. Since I’m always trying to work smart, easier sounded just about right for me. Growing potatoes in straw is a … Read more…

The post Growing Potatoes in Straw for Easy Gardening was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

Grow Your Own: Winter Lettuce and Microgreens

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Grow Your Own: Winter Lettuce and Microgreens Winter is a tough time to grow food, we all know that. This article shows us how to grow winter lettuce and micro greens inside over the winter months. If SHTF this may be all we can gather, especially if you get a lot of snow and freezing …

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Comfrey The Knit Bone Herb

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Comfrey The Knit Bone Herb If you have no access to a doctor or in a SHTF situation, Comfrey has been known to heal bones and double cell regeneration. I have been asked a few times over the past year to find a great article about Comfrey, Comfrey is a common name for plants in …

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Perennial Plants That Produce Food Year After Year

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“A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. Perennials, especially small flowering plants, grow and bloom over the spring and summer, then die back every autumn and winter, and then return in the spring from their rootstock, are known as herbaceous perennials”.

Below are a few of the more common food plants that are known to live and produce for over two years, and some like asparagus, for example, can produce for literally decades if the asparagus bed is well taken care of.

  • Grapes
  • Mint
  • Lavender
  • Water Cress
  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke
  • Rhubarb
  • Lemon balm
  • Horseradish
  • Jerusalem Artichokes also Known as Sunchokes
  • Broccoli
  • Chives
  • Groundnut
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Strawberry
  • Oregano
  • *Peanuts

*Note: While the traditional peanut is considered a perennial, it is very fussy, or tender, if you will, and thus, is normally planted as an annual.

Why perennial food plants. We ask this question because the focus when it comes to survival articles, and disaster scenarios are often times on evacuations or seasonal survival gardens that people can plant with the thought that they may not be in the same place next year.

One very good reason for planting perennials is because after the dust settles, you and others if you have established a community or simply are surviving with just your family need a long-term food source, a renewable food source, and one that renews itself is ideal.

You need to be able to raise as much food as possible for daily consumption and for preservation. Gardening on a large scale is labor intensive, requires a certain skill set, tools, and materials, so anything you can do to keep plants coming up every year with little care and attendance helps to ensure your survival.

Less work when it comes to certain food plants means more time can be spent on growing annual food plants, raising livestock, and even developing edible marine life using aquaponics.

In addition to the vegetables and herbs listed above, there are of course, raspberries, blackberries,  blueberries and a host of others that may or may not be predominate in your temperate zone that does not need to be planted every year.

Fruit trees are obviously perennial, but they do take years in many cases to begin producing fruit. If you had to evacuate your home and community and managed to find your way to a rural area, you may very well find abandoned fruit orchards, which you can cultivate to increase the harvest.

Apple, pear and peach trees will grow and flourish for years without human intervention, but with a little care, such as pruning, and in some cases proper pollination techniques you could improve the harvest with little investment.

In some cases, beehives are placed near fruit bearing trees and plants to ensure pollination takes place.

In some areas of the country lemon, orange and lime trees, which are all perennial, flourish as do avocado, and certain nut-bearing trees, such as almond, walnuts, and pecans and so forth.

Plants like peppers and tomatoes are scientifically considered perennials, but as a practical matter in this country, they are not considered so. Tomatoes, of course, bear fruit with seeds lodged in the pulpy fruit mass. If left unattended and given the right conditions, almost perfect conditions, the fruits would drop from the plants, and the pulp would essentially nourish the seeds until germination. Thus, you could in some cases have tomatoes, certain squashes, and pepper plants along with cucumbers and other plants that carry their seeds in pulp coming up every spring with little to no help from you. However, cold winters, animals, and poor soil conditions usually prevent this from happening.

In addition to the list of the most common, there are weeds, yes weeds, edible perennial weeds in fact, which may very well pop up in your gardens and lawns every spring. Burdock, Indian strawberries, dandelions, and plantains, just to name a few are to be found in most areas of the country.

Indian berries have a yellow blossom, whereas the traditional strawberry has white blossoms. The Indian berry’s taste does not resemble that of a strawberry, however. They are considered a nuisance weed by many but the berry is edible.

We are not talking about the banana shaped plantains, but rather the medicinal plant that is, of course, edible and is very likely ready to populate your backyard in just a matter of weeks.

Plantain, also called “The White-Mans Footprint” is a small wild plant with leaves that grow mainly from the plant’s base. Flowers: tiny, greenish, in spikes. Native to: northern temperate regions. Family: Plantaginaceae

Once established and with a little care, you can create a perennial food garden that can be overlapped with your traditional annual food plants that are planted every spring, summer, and fall.

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Planning Your Potager – A practical and productive kitchen garden

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Let’s put together a potager this year! Practical and beautiful, a well-planned kitchen garden is a time-honoured way to add more fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs into your diet.

A well-planned potager, or kitchen garden, can be a beautiful and enticing way to incorporate more fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs into your diet. The following tips will help you plan a productive and practical potager.

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Tip #1: Pick the Perfect Spot

In my introduction to the potager, I mentioned that it is, first and foremost, convenient. When choosing a location for your kitchen garden, try to find a spot as close to your kitchen as possible. This is your personal culinary garden, intended to be used daily throughout the growing season. When you need an herb or a handful of baby green beans for the meal you’re making, they must be ready right now, not after a long stroll down to the other end of the property.

Take into consideration the plants that you are growing. Unless you are growing all shade plants, you will want a sunny location with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight every day. In really hot climates, you might want it positioned so the plants are shaded in the afternoon.

And finally, locate your kitchen garden close to water. Garden vegetables are very thirsty and you don’t want to drag a heavy garden house or buckets of water in order to keep your plants healthy.

Tip #2: Pick Your Plants

The easiest way to decide what you want to grow in your potager is to think about what you like to cook.

For example, if you use a lot of fresh herbs, you’ll want a big pot of your favourites, or perhaps several small pots nicely arranged. Husband can’t get enough of your homemade salsa? Plan to have a steady supply of fresh cilantro and juicy tomatoes nearby.

In other words, stock your kitchen garden with the fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers you use in your day-to-day cooking. These are the items you will want to have convenient access to throughout the growing season.

For the most part, the same plants will have a home in both your potager and your main garden, but what matters is the type and maturity of the plants. Here’s what I mean.

Pickling cucumbers go to the main garden, but seedless table cucumbers stay in the kitchen garden. Also – if you plan to grow tiny little immature cucumbers to make small batch gherkin pickles, you’ll want those plants handy.

Roma tomatoes for sauce are in the main garden, while cherry tomatoes remain close enough for nibbling.

Beans – both pole and bush – are fabulous in your potager. Any plants that you plan to leave into autumn for dried beans, though, stay in your main garden.

Even carrots can have a spot in your potager. Plant them thickly in a large container and harvest the sweet, tiny carrots throughout the growing season. Your keeping carrots, of course, go in your large main garden.

While most squash need to stay in a large garden, plant one or two climbing, or compact bush-style, zucchini in your potager.

Anything that needs to be tended or harvested daily needs to be in your potager.

Any of the foods that you plan to freeze, can, dehydrate or put into the cold cellar are best grown in your regular vegetable garden. Generally, you don’t need to check on potatoes, sweet potatoes, keeping carrots or storage onions constantly. They grow with minimal attention and are harvested at the end of the season.

Tip #3: Make the Most of the Space You Have

Because your potager is close to the house, it is probably confined to a relatively small space. If that’s the case, though, don’t be discouraged. In fact, look up! We’ll be discussing this in greater detail in future posts.

Using vertical growing space can maximize your growing area. Baskets of herbs can be hung on shepherd hooks. Many tomatoes grow well in upside-down hanging baskets, while others can be supported along a trellis. Pole beans and cucumbers also grow very well on a trellis or fence.

Don’t forget to keep hanging plants well-watered since they will dry out faster.

Take advantage of as much vertical space as possible to maximize your growing area. Consider growing juicy yellow pear tomatoes surrounded by creeping thyme in a vertical container or use hanging baskets suspended on shepherd hooks for your favorite herbs. Just make sure you keep them well watered as hanging baskets tend to dry out more quickly.

If you have a fence or a wooden wall with good sun exposure, eavestroughing can be fastened to it in order to make a vertical garden for plants with short roots, like herbs and lettuce. You could also add a ladder-like series of shelves to house a lot more plants than you could fit into the ground you have available. The Garden Tower operates on that space-saving concept, allowing you to grow 50 plants in a very small space. Plus, it composts in the same space, so it’s ideal for a potager.

Tip #4: Make It Beautiful

Although some may argue that beauty for its own sake is neither productive nor practical, I disagree. Your kitchen garden is an extension of your home and will likely be visible to your family and guests. So, making the area as attractive as possible just makes good sense.

Good garden design requires balance, symmetry and repetition.

To incorporate balance and symmetry into your potager, try adding two matching brightly colored containers filled with herbs and place them on each side of the entrance.

For repetition, add multiples of the same plants throughout the garden. For example, a group of 3 cherry tomato plants in attractive containers will have a stronger visual impact than a single plant. You can also create a sense of order by planting lovely borders of edible flowers or fragrant herbs along walkways.

Let’s face it – we like spending time in beautiful places.

One great thing about incorporating ornamental aspects into your potager is you may find you want to spend more time in an area that nourishes both your body and soul.

One book that I strongly recommend, if you are trying to design a kitchen garden – a potager – that is both beautiful and practical, is Gardening Like a Ninja. The author, Angela, is a friend of mine, and she has put together an amazing book about slipping edible plants into your landscape. The book is full colour and packed with gorgeous photographs and helpful charts. No matter how small the space or how much you need to make your garden look like landscaping, Angela will give you what you need.

 

Winter Prepper Project Ideas – Outdoors

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

There’s a lot that winter (or early spring) can tell us about our properties, both for planting decisions, siting various things around our property, and for mitigating some of the weather that comes with winter and spring.

The post Winter Prepper Project Ideas – Outdoors appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

12 Seed Starting Tips to Start Your Garden Right

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Gardening is a very productive and enjoyable experience, and when done well, it will produce not only a pleasing array of plants, but also useful herbs, spices, and veggies. Gardening is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to start becoming self-sufficient, and as such it is a skill every prepper should acquire. As your […]

The post 12 Seed Starting Tips to Start Your Garden Right appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

DIY Bottom Heat for Seed Starting (or pet bed)

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DIY Bottom Heat for Seed Starting Retail bottom heat is expensive – I saw one “kit” at a local garden center that was big enough for 2 flats and was $79 – wow!  You can buy a lot of tomato plants for eighty bucks!  A low cost alternative had to be possible for a dedicated …

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It’s Time To Build Your Raised Beds

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 It’s Time To Build Your Raised Beds! It’s nearly that time of year when you have to start building your raised beds and planning your garden. This is my favorite time of the year! Spring and gardening = Awesome. For space efficiency and high yields, it’s hard to beat a vegetable garden grown in raised …

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Most common seedlings problems and how to fix them

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Seed starting is the most anticipated task of every gardener. However, it is also the most critical one. If you fail to grow your seedlings and nurture them, you can lose your entire crop. There are a few common seedlings problems and we all need to know how to handle them. If you are self-sufficient, … Read more…

The post Most common seedlings problems and how to fix them was written by Rhonda Owen and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.

5 Things You Didn’t Want to Know About Gardening

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5 Things You Didn’t Want to Know About Gardening No one mentions the darker stuff about gardening. Gardening has been romanticized by the media so badly that the reality is lost in the message. Gardening is a lot of work that will cause you to sweat, bleed, want to rip your hair out, and just …

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The post 5 Things You Didn’t Want to Know About Gardening appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Stacking Functions: Increasing Efficiency with Multi-Function Spaces

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Written by R. Ann Parris on The Prepper Journal.

Analyzing homestead elements for multi-functionality and redundancy were covered in the first article. This time we’ll look at combining them into multi-function spaces.

The post Stacking Functions: Increasing Efficiency with Multi-Function Spaces appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Eight Efficient Food Crops to Grow

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Eight Efficient Food Crops to Grow Many families grow their own food in order to become self-sufficient. There is nothing better than home grown food. It’s cheaper, fresher and often better tasting than the one you buy from the supermarket. However, starting your own garden can be challenging. Things complicate even more if you decide …

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Growing Rice 101 – Free PDF

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Growing Rice 101 – Free PDF Knowing how to grow rice could mean the difference of surviving or dying … Rice is full of carbohydrates and Rice cultivation is well-suited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is labor-intensive to cultivate and requires ample water. However, rice can be grown …

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8 Best Vegetables for Small Space Gardening

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Most of us are forced to dwell in an very small space (which we call home) at one stage or another in our lives. The problem is that most of us also adore the idea of having our own little patch of land, or at least a small garden in some form, especially one from […]

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Suburban Micro-Farm (Book Review)

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What is the first thing that a suburban homesteader does?  I’m sure you guessed correctly – they start a garden.  It’s probably the easiest thing to do to start a self-reliant lifestyle because of many reasons. There’s a low barrier to entry – you just need some dirt and a few seeds – and it’s

How to Build a 50 Dollar Greenhouse

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How to Build a 50 Dollar Greenhouse See how to build this fantastic greenhouse for around 50 bucks or less if you can use your head! I live in Nebraska, so that means the last frost and cold evening may come well after may… That’s why I am going to build this myself this year. …

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Mary’s Heirloom Seeds Giveaway

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Mary’s Heirloom Seeds Giveaway

We LOVE Giveaways!!!! Mary’s Heirloom Seeds is sponsoring their first GIVEAWAY for 2017! PreparednessMama is pleased to take part in offering this great package. Are you ready??? This is a super simple giveaway with loads of seeds! This will run from Tuesday, January 31st thru Sunday, February 5th and is open to residents of the US […]

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Why Bamboo Could Save Your Life

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 Why Bamboo Could Save Your Life! Bamboo is cheap, awesome and invasive …. yet it could save your life in an emergency situation. I would consider planting some before it’s to late! Bamboo is one of the greatest finds in a survival situation and has been used by people for thousands of years to do …

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How To Stop Invasive Plants From Taking Over Your Garden

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How To Stop Invasive Plants From Taking Over Your Garden If you love lilies and black-eyed Susans, but hate the way they’re taking over your garden and choking out other plants, here’s what you can do: Many plants multiply by dropping seeds and by sending out roots that establish new plants. A layer of mulch will prevent the …

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The Top 5 Myths about Organic Gardening

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The Top 5 Myths about Organic Gardening Growing your own garden is great in itself, you get fresh fruit and vegetables for your family, you save money plus the satisfaction of self-sufficiency. You might have been considering organic gardening for the additional health benefits, but there are some naysayers out there that make it seem …

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How To Grow Ten Tons of Organic Vegetables!

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How To Grow Ten TONS of Organic Vegetables! If you’re homesteading or have a farm, you are probably always looking for ways to maximize your produce yield. Obviously, you don’t want to lose time or resources on a bad harvest, plus there is always the winter to stock up for. Just imagine, though, if you …

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DIY 5-Gallon Chicken Waterer

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DIY 5-Gallon Chicken Waterer For anyone who is homesteading or is just interested in having a chicken coop of their own, a convenient water supply can eliminate a lot of work. There is plenty to be done on a homestead, and one less thing to worry about can make a big difference. For a convenient, …

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