Awesome Information Resources (Your Answers to the Question of the Month!)

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We’re guessing that, like us, you’re constantly striving to improve your garden and your gardening methods … to make your composting processes a little bit more efficient … to strengthen the microbial activity in your soil a little bit more … to improve your favorite vegetable variety through seed saving and experimentation … and the list goes on!

And while you can achieve those goals by yourself, no one would argue that getting a little help from others makes the process a whole lot smoother, faster, and more fun!

So where do our Community members turn when they’re looking for advice and information on gardening, homesteading, and home medicine (besides The Grow Network, of course!)?

We asked them recently and compiled the following list of recommended resources. (Many thanks to Fibrefarmer, Marcia, Mary Kathryn, Permies949, Scott Sexton, tracyWandling, and all the other TGN Community members who contributed their ideas!)

Wildcrafting, Foraging, and Plant Identification

  • Eat the Weeds (blog and educational resources about foraging and edible wild plants)
  • Plants for a Future (database containing the edible, medicinal, and other uses of more than 7,000 plants)

Gardening, Farming, and Permaculture

  • Acres USA (Marjory says, “Mostly geared towards small farmers, the in-depth articles on a particular crop are great.”)
  • Your local Extension office (Merin says, “The climate and wildlife here (SW Colorado) are so different from those where I used to live (SE Texas) that it has been really helpful to be able to speak to our Extension agent and fellow Master Gardeners in this area to learn how to tackle some of the differences. A lot of them are also a wealth of information on organic and permaculture practices that work in this area….”)
  • MIgardener.com (gardening products and information)
  • North Texas Vegetable Gardeners Facebook group (“I love this group because it’s focused on gardening in my region,” says TGN’s social media manager Ruth Reyes-Loiacan. “It’s nice to have a large community of local people doing the same thing. Currently, the group has 29,000 members!”)
  • Permies (Of this forum for permaculturists and homesteaders, tracyWandling says, “It has a category for just about everything, and a wide variety of contributors of all levels who share their experiences and expertise with readers. It’s a great place to ask questions and interact with others who are doing the same things you are and are always willing to lend a helping hand. Great site.”)
  • PermaEthos (educational and community-building site)
  • Permaculture Apprentice (permaculture-related resources)
  • Permaculture Design Magazinere (contains articles on eco-regeneration, broadscale farming systems, agroforestry, home garden design, and community action)
  • Permaculture Magazine (magazine for permaculture enthusiasts covers all aspects of life)
  • Praxxus55712 YouTube channel (Marcia says she also recommends the YouTube channel WisconsinGarden.)
  • Self-Reliant School (information on growing, cooking, and preserving food)
  • Stacey Murphy/BK Farmyards (offers educational training about backyard farming and real food)
  • Tenth Acre Farm: Permaculture for the Suburbs (information on micro-farming)

Homesteading and Sustainability

  • BackYard Chickens (Merin adds that, with nearly 100,000 members—many of whom are both knowledgeable and willing to share information—the related Backyard Chickens Facebook group is also a great resource for backyard chicken keepers.)
  • Food in Jars Community Facebook group (Wendy Meredith says it offers “great ideas and new recipes on how to can much of what I produce.”)
  • MelissaKNorris.com (information on raising, preserving, and preparing food; home of the Pioneering Today podcast)
  • Mother Earth News Magazine (articles on homesteading and organic gardening, with a focus on self-sufficiency and sustainability)
  • The Prairie Homestead (blog offering homesteading advice)
  • Starry Hilder’s Off-Grid Homestead (blog about off-grid homesteading)
  • The Survival Podcast (online talk show about modern survivalism, sustainability, and alternative energy)

Health and Herbalism

Finally, regardless of the category, remember that your local library likely offers myriad excellent, free resources. “My library is a tremendous source of inspiration,” says TGN Community member Fibrefarmer. “They have the best books for the best price (free), but I have to give them back after a few weeks :(.  But still, it saves money, and they let me borrow the books as many times as I need. If they don’t have the book, they can order a copy or borrow it from another library via interlibrary loan.”

What about you? Is your favorite resource on this list? If not, let us know about it by leaving us a note in the comments!

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The post Awesome Information Resources (Your Answers to the Question of the Month!) appeared first on The Grow Network.

A Personal Letter

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Dear Readers,

I thought I would start a new monthly feature on TimGamble.com: a monthly letter to my readers giving the “inside scoop” on my personal preparations and thoughts. Most of what I write is more along the lines of general advice. This monthly letter will give you a more personal glimpse into what I am actually doing and thinking. I hope you enjoy it, and find it useful.

An Update on My Health

As many of my readers will know, I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes last year after developing serious eye problems. Thanks to some good doctors, some good medicine, major changes in my diet and lifestyle, and lots of prayer, my diabetes has been mostly brought under control. I am already of one of the medications I was initially given, and under my doctor’s supervision, I will be trying to stop the other medication this fall. Things are looking good for being able to control my diabetes through diet and lifestyle only (not bad considering my initial A1C score was 10.1 when I was diagnosed last summer). 

My eyes, on the other hand, have proven more problematic. After nearly losing my sight last year (severe diabetic retinopathy with wet macular inclusions), much improvement has been made, but only after a series of six injections in my left eye, nine injections in my right eye, and laser surgery to seal bleeding capillaries in the retina of my right eye. In fact, I had my ninth injection in my right eye just last week. Hopefully, it will be my last injection, but I won’t know for sure until after my next follow-up exam in late August. My eyes are much improved. I can see to drive and read (with reading glasses). But I am still experiencing problems, and would greatly appreciate any prayers for healing of my eyes and restoration of my vision. Thank you to those of you who have already offered prayers on my behalf.

Gardening

I’ve had mixed success with my garden this year. My broccoli and peppers have been a huge success, as has the loose-leaf lettuce. In fact, I’m still getting lots of lettuce, which is surprising this late in July. Most of everything else has also done well – squash, zucchini, cucumbers, etc.  But what I am having trouble with is my tomatoes, which have been a  complete failure this year. I don’t understand why. I’ve never had problems growing tomatoes in the past. I’ve got three varieties planted, but about half the plants haven’t grown much and haven/t put out any tomatoes or even blooms. Those that have put out, the tomatoes are mostly staying small and green. Only a few have turned red. Usually by this time, my table is running over with tomatoes from the garden, but not this year. I’m at a loss, but am planning on testing the soil… Any ideas as to what might be going on?

Stockpiling Food and Supplies

I recently decided to double my food storage goals. This means I am going from a one-year to a two-year supply of food. Financially, I’m pretty drained at the moment due to medical bills, so I’m working on my food storage a little at a time. This month I decided to concentrate on stocking up long-term dairy – powdered milk, powdered buttermilk, powdered butter, and powdered cheese

I’m also working on increasing my stored water and ammo. 

What I’m Reading

I’ve gone back to basics this month and am re-reading a couple of James Wesley Rawles books: How to Survive the End of the World as We know It and his novel Patriots. Its slow-going, because it bothers my eyes to read for long periods of time. I used to have marathon reading sessions where I might read for hours in a single evening. Now, about 15 – 20 minutes at a time is the best I can do… 

What I’m Thinking

I’m thinking that things have gotten a lot worse, a lot quicker, than I expected. Anger, hate, violence, murder, terror… Major events seem to be happening weekly, or even daily. And our political leadership, both here in America and around the world, seem unable or unwilling to do anything tocorrect the situation. In fact, the political establishment seems determined to double-down on their failed policies that have caused this mess.  They are putting ideology and personal interests above all else, including commonsense. I don’t know how this election will turn out in November, but at this point I don’t think it matters. I hold no confidence in any politician or candidate being able to do anything positive. As I said when I started Patriots’ Prayers last year: “What is wrong with America goes well beyond politics & economics. It is a spiritual sickness which infects the USA. No politician, no election, no piece of legislation, will cure spiritual sickness. We must appeal to a Higher Authority for that kind of healing.”

Things are going to get much, much worse over the next few years, Get ready. 

Sincerely,

Tim Gamble

SurvivalRing News … Updates and Trends. New Year, New Everything

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Good evening my friends… I’m going to try to keep this short, because it’s been a very long day of training in Meat World (my day job for the state of Wyoming)…12 hours worth (1st aid, CPR, AED use, policy, procedure, etc…you know, basic in-service prison annual re-certification training)  Even had  a working lunch…which was […]

Book Giveaway Winners

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This is a repost from my main website:

Just an update to announce that the winners have been selected  for the ten  signed copies of Refuge that I offered to those signing up for my author newsletter.  If your email address was chosen, you should have received a notification through the newsletter.  Of the ten winners, I have received a reply back from eight and books have been mailed out to those eight winners.  I’m still waiting to hear back from the other two, so check your spam folders and inboxes carefully to make sure you didn’t overlook the notification, which should show up as an email from my address: scott (at) scottbwilliams.com
The eight winners who should receive their books soon are:
Khris – St. Petersburg, FL, David – Southport, FL, Gary – Mohnton, PA, Beverly – Kosiusko, MS, Kathryn – Canton, MO, Vivian – Mill Creek, WA, Devon – Ludington, MI and John – Kirksville, MO.
I will send out another direct email to the other two chosen winners soon and if no response after a few days, will select two alternate winners.
For the rest of you who have signed up for my newsletter, thank you for subscribing, and I want to make sure you have another chance at winning a copy of Refuge.  To that end, I will be giving away one free copy at random every Friday of this month from among my subscriber list.  Stay tuned as well to the newsletter updates for an announcement of my next book, which is in progress now and coming soon.
Refuge is available on Amazon and in bookstores now and I’ve gotten great feedback on it, including hearing back from some of the giveaway winners that they’ve already purchased and read it before learning they had won.  Review copies from the publisher are late going out as has happened upon the release of my last two books, so if you’re on one of those lists to receive one, I apologize for the delay and have word that they will be shipped out this week if not already.

Book Giveaway Signup Link

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Yesterday I posted an announcement of a book giveaway for ten copies of Refuge After the Collapse (the sequel to The Pulse).  Many of you who follow this blog have signed up for the giveaway using the embedded signup form I included at the bottom of yesterday’s post.

Some other readers brought it to my attention though, that this form did not work for them if they received updates to this blog through an RSS feed or email subscription.  If you tried to sign up for the giveaway and didn’t get a confirmation notice and an email from my newsletter service verifying that you indeed wanted to be added to the list, you were not added.  I apologize for the confusion but the newsletter service (hosted by MailChimp) is new to me and I should have posted a link rather than an embedded from so that those of you who subscribe to the blog rather than visit Bug Out Survival directly would be able to enter.  So if you didn’t get a confirmation, here is a link to the signup form:

Scott B. Williams Newsletter Signup

You can also enter by visiting the signup page on my main website here:

http://scottbwilliams.com/blog/newslettersignup/

After you enter your email address and click ‘submit’, be sure and check you inbox and SPAM folders for the verification email.  If you do not respond to it to verify that you wanted to subscribe, you won’t be added to the list.  This is a good thing as it keeps you from getting unwanted junk mail.

I also want to point out that this signup is for my newsletter and is not a subscription to updates here at Bug Out Survival.  The purpose of the newsletter is to let subscribers be the first to know about the next book giveaways and releases, and will also provide me a way of contacting you directly through email if you are a winner in one of these giveaways.  As mentioned in yesterday’s post, you will only get an occasional email from me through the newsletter and your email address will never be shared.  Remember too that you can unsubscribe at anytime.

Thanks again for all the interest in my new book and good luck with winning one of those free copies.  I look forward to staying in touch with my readers through the newsletter, and will soon have some news to share regarding the next books after Refuge.