The Laws of Nature: A Touchstone for Gardening

As a rule, when we grow plants, we follow some known practices. The practices may be based on our own experience, on the wisdom of our parents and grandparents, or on scientific research. Whatever the source, it is useful to examine the practices through the lens of the Laws of Nature, sometimes referred to as ecological principles.

The Laws of Nature are broad and substantive statements for how nature functions.

So the question becomes, “Are our plant-growing practices in harmony with or in conflict with the Laws of Nature?”

What other criteria would we use for how we treat our lands, the soils, and all ecosystems, if not the Laws of Nature?

I think of this as a pyramid, with practices on the top, undergirded by Laws of Nature criteria. Then, the practices and Laws are undergirded by our personal land-use ethics.

9 Laws of Nature

Below, I’ve listed nine Laws of Nature.

This list is not fully inclusive; some may seem to be more pertinent than others; and someone else may choose to describe them in a different manner. Nevertheless, they are all statements that hold true, with rare exceptions.

In my garden, if a practice violates a Law of Nature, I look for a substitute practice that is in harmony with the Law.

This broad topic has deep implications and is worthy of further study. The more we understand and apply these Laws, the more we can grow healthier crops, become healthier ourselves, and more fully appreciate the magnificence of nature.

Calvin Bey - Harmony Gardens

#1: Everything in Nature Is Connected

It’s like a huge spider web. Every spot on the web is connected to the whole web. All the factors effecting growth and development—from the minerals in the air to the plant’s physiological processes to the soil microbes to hundreds of additional factors—are all part of the whole.

The implications of this concept are significant.

For example, apply too much nitrogen and the plants get a pretty green color, but at the same time produce an excessive amount of simple carbohydrates, which are ideal foods for the ever-present aphids.

Chemicals and other toxins that reduce soil microorganisms have impacts on soil mineralization and soil digestion processes, which all affect quality and quantity of production. For example, if your soil has a shortage of available calcium, a tomato plant is not likely to set fruit.

Laws of Nature - Mile-High Corn - Calvin Bey

#2: Plants Are Designed to be Healthy

Like humans and other living organisms, plants have an immune system that makes them resistant to insects and diseases that are native to their environment. Plants become weak and sick when they become stressed because of environmental factors, inadequate nutrition, and/or exposure to toxins.

Chemical pesticides and fertilizers create plant and soil conditions that are not conducive to the desirable bacteria and fungi in the soil. The soil microbiome is part of the plant’s defense mechanism.

#3: Insects and Disease Are the Appropriate Response to the Existing Conditions

Insect problems and disease are the result of plant weakness, not the cause of plant weakness. When we improve the conditions, we improve plant resistance. Diseases are nature’s demolition crew and insects are nature’s garbage collectors. Both are appropriate when plants are stressed. Unhealthy plants actually send signals to the insects so they can perform their meaningful designed role.

#4: Mineral Nutrition Supports Plant Immunity

When plant growth is supported with proper mineral nutrition, plants will create higher-order compounds—for example, plant secondary metabolites like essential oils. This and other enzyme developments can lead to optimum levels of health and immunity.

The thousands of enzymes needed in metabolic processes each require a mineral “enzyme cofactor” to function. Without the mineral cofactors, enzyme pathways collapse and plants accumulate soluble compounds in plant sap, leading to pest infestations as plant health begins to fall apart.

#5: Microbial Metabolites Are More Efficient Than Simple Ions as a Source of Nutrition

The ultimate level of plant nutrition and immunity exists when plants can absorb the majority of their nutritional requirements as microbial metabolites. In this model, the soil microbial community serves as the plant’s digestive system. A complex community of soil microorganisms digest and break down organic residues and plant root exudates. In this digestive process, minerals are extracted from the soil mineral matrix and released in a bioavailable form that plants absorb and utilize very efficiently.

Laws of Nature - Strawberry Harvest - Calvin Bey

#6: When Fruit Quality Improves, Yields Increase

When management emphasis is placed on plant nutrition to improve quality, the immunity of the crop increases, creating higher yields, longer produce shelf-life, improved flavor, and reduced dependence on pesticides.

This fundamentally different approach to plant nutrition can lead to yield increases ranging from 10–30 percent. Yield increases come in not only bushels per acre, but also in higher test weights, increased protein production, and increased nutrition per acre.

#7: Healthy Plants Create Healthy Soil—an Investment in Their Own Future

It is commonly understood that healthy soils create healthy plants. The reverse is also true.

Healthy plants create healthy soils.

Healthy plants with high levels of energy can, at times, send as much as 70 percent of their total photosynthates (manifested as sugars, amino acids, and other compounds) into the roots, and then out through the roots and into the soil. Those root exudates are the fuel that feed the soil microbial community and lead to the rapid formation of organic matter.

This process, called carbon induction, is the fastest and most efficient way to sequester carbon and build soil organic matter.

It is an advantage to the plants to invest in soil building. Root exudates rapidly build humic substances. Humic compounds last in the soils for many years. In the end, the entire process ends up rapidly building soil health. It’s another win-win for nature.

#8: Genetic Variability in Plants Serves as a Buffering System

Plant variability allows for selective fitting of plant genetics to specific qualitative differences in the environment. It’s like an insurance plan, with the goal of increased probability of improved plant survival and growth. There are positive synergistic effects, above and below ground, that result from creating diversity through the mixing of species.

#9: Weeds Are a Barometer of Soil Health

We know that different crops have different soil, mineral, and soil biology requirements. So, too, with weeds. When compared to healthy domesticated crops, weeds are usually pioneering (first to enter) species that thrive in soils with imbalanced microbial and nutritional profiles. As soil health improves, crops will improve and weeds will lose their vigor. The weeds are no longer needed to correct the soil imbalances.

Laws of Nature - Harvest Basket - Calvin Bey

Take-Home Lessons

To sum up how nature functions in nine Laws certainly does not do justice to the topic nor does it show the magnificence of nature. Still, despite the inadequacies, the nine Laws are sufficient to provide guidance as to which gardening practices fit the Laws of Nature model.

The following list of gardening practices, which I use in my natural/organic garden in Northwest Arkansas, respect the Laws of Nature. Furthermore, the practices fit my personal land-ethics values.

I do these things to eat healthy food, to teach others, and especially for the children and future generations.

I hope you will consider joining in the transformation.

  1. Use no or at least minimum tillage. Never use a roto-tiller. Besides destroying the natural soil structure, roto-tillers will seriously damage the beneficial fungi in all kinds of soil situations.
  2. Keep the soil covered with a vegetable crop, cover crop, or some type of organic mulch at all times. This practice will promote soil microbial life.
  3. Keep something growing on the beds for as long as possible throughout the year. Where you can, grow crops specifically for deep-root penetration and/or high carbon production.
  4. Wherever possible, encourage diversity of species. Use companion planting where you can.
  5. Use organic fertilizers, compost (sparingly), bio-pesticides (if needed), filtered or structured water, foliar fertilizer sprays, natural biologicals for organic matter decomposition, and natural amendments (like paramagnetic rock) for plant fortification.
  6. Among all things, “communicate” with your garden through positive intentions. Remember: “Thoughts become actions. Choose the good ones.”

Thanks to John Kempf of Advancing Eco-Agriculture (www.advancingecoag) for some of the ideas included in this article.

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PrepperPsych 101: The Big Three for Avoiding Prepper Burnout

PrepperPsych 101: The Big Three for Avoiding Prepper Burnout The subject of this article is so important. After Vegas, Houston and the wildfires of California, everyone is on high alert. 2017 would seem to be the year for the prepper. These are the easy times to prep. When the threats are close we can all …

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Dark Humor and Coping Mechanisms!

Dark Humor and Coping Mechanisms Micheal Kline “Reality Check” Audio player below So most of you out there love a good laugh. It makes us feel good. We can forget our troubles for the moment. Have you ever wondered if humor can go too far? What happens when humor crosses over into a darker area? … Continue reading Dark Humor and Coping Mechanisms!

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11 Important Comfort Items for Stressful Times

There are some tough guys out there who are going to read this article and think, “Books, blankets, hot cocoa? What kind of wimp needs all that?” But the fact is, everyone has comfort items they use to deal with stress. You might not be the type of person who curls up with a book […]

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Stress, Cooler Heads Will Prevail

Cooler Heads Will Prevail Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Listen in player below! All about calming, nervine and adaptogenic herbs. People underestimate the impact stress has on their health. People do not make their best decisions when under stress. Stress prompts us to act without thinking. If we are anxious, if we panic, if we … Continue reading Stress, Cooler Heads Will Prevail

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How To Build An Off-Grid Home Without ANY Construction Skills

Off-Grid Life In a $4,500 Converted School Bus
Each year, millions of Americans flee the cities — and the traffic and stress — for a more enjoyable rural life.

This week’s guests on Off The Grid Radio did that, too, and then went a step further by building their own homestead — even though they had no experience in construction. They have no electricity or refrigerator and they even ride a horse and buggy … but they’re not Amish.

They go simply by “Doug and Stacy,” and they have gained quite a large following on their YouTube channel, where they explain how they do everything they do.

Doug and Stacy tell us:

  • How they get water despite not having a well.
  • Why they abandoned a city life with well-paying jobs for an off-grid life.
  • How they built an 800-square-foot house without construction skills.
  • Why Doug chose to ride a horse and buggy, even though he formerly had ridden a Harley.
  • How they keep their food cold without the modern convenience of a fridge.
  • How they get Internet and charge up their computer and cell phones even though they don’t have electricity.

If you have always wanted to escape city life, of you are simply someone who enjoys stories about fascinating people, then this week’s show is for you!

What’s In Your Emotional Backpack?

What's In Your Emotional Backpack via The Survival Mom

All of us have dealt with a backpack at some point in our lives. Remember loading up that crisp new back pack in fall, with anticipation for another school year. Backpacks are used to pack up emergency supplies as demonstrated in this article, camping gear and they are even popular to use as a diaper bag.

One backpack we may not realize we carry is an emotional backpack. What is an emotional backpack? Picture yourself carrying around an invisible backpack, every day. Inside that backpack are all of your life’s experiences. Some of these items are positive and light, while others are negative and heavy. What is in your backpack and how heavy is it? This is a particularly important consideration when it comes to survival, since a big percentage of surviving is mental. This lesson really hits home in one of my favorite survival books, The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes — and Why.

If you picture life as a long journey, your emotional backpack is right there, hanging off the back of your shoulders every day, no matter where you go. Your responsibility is to keep the backpack light enough for you to keep moving and progressing. Easy enough right? Not always so. We encounter personal setbacks, illness and death of loved ones, difficult co-workers, rude neighbors, unforeseen disasters and struggles in relationships. These things tend to weigh us down if we do not handle them when they happen, as my family did a number of years ago when we hit rock bottom. It seems easier to stuff them down in the backpack and worry about them later. This makes our packs heavy and our journey slow and miserable. We are not able to help ourselves or others if we are overloaded and miss out on the everyday joys of life.

To keep moving and be prepared for anything life throws at you, a light backpack is a must. Let’s look at what you should have in your emotional backpack.

  • A good support system. Friends, a spouse, family or pastor. Surround yourself with people that share the same values that you do. These people should be someone you can confide in when needed. Their advice would aligned with your beliefs and they would have your back in a crisis. If you have a hard time making and keeping friends, this book by one of my favorite psychologist authors, John Townsend, may help. Making close friends isn’t an easy thing for most adults.
  • Healthy habits. Getting proper sleep and nutrition keep your body and your mind running in top shape. Find an exercise or activity that you enjoy doing. Some examples could be nature walks, biking or yoga. This will clear your mind and give you energybut are also vital components of being a prepared person. Get as healthy as you can and as quickly as you can before any type of disaster strikes. By the way, a sound night’s sleep is a vastly under-appreciated component of being survival-ready.
  • Uplifting books and music. Have some reading that is positive, educational, and enjoyable — not just survival and prepper manuals! Reading can be a healthy escape from the stressors of life. Science has proven that music can alter our moods and brain activity. Upbeat music can give motivation and momentum, tranquil music can calm when anxiety creeps up and the simple act of singing will lower blood pressure, reduce pain and give a boost to the immune system.
  • Develop an attitude of hope, in all things. Life may not work out the way you wanted it to, but it will work out and will get better. Many find hope in God and through prayer. Go back to the basics of your belief. Lean on your faith. Look at the positive things working around you. Focus on what is going right and the opportunities that are around, then build your hope on that. One wise pastor said, “When nothing in your life is making sense, go back to what  you know for sure.” Is that the love of your husband or wife? The close relationship you have with a friend? The fact that God loves you? Whatever it is, go back to what you DO know for certain and spend time deeply appreciating those facts in order to get grounded so you can move on. Spiritual resiliency is a huge factor in who survives and who doesn’t.
  • Have hobbies. Whether it is cooking, crocheting, shooting or fishing. Discovery an activity that relaxes you and makes you feel a sense of accomplishment. Not only will you have a skill to lean on, but you can teach others. Invite family, friends to do the hobby with you or join a group that participates in the same activity. The Survival Mom Skill of the Month page will give you dozens of ideas, if you’re not sure where to start with choosing a hobby that is both fun and practical.

You cannot avoid heavy items in your backpack from past, deep hurts, rejection, and traumatic events. They are a fact of life and will be dropped into your backpack, sometimes when  you are least prepared for them. If you do not put them there, someone or something else will. The goal is to not let them stay there.

  • Take any heavy item you are dragging around and analyze it. What do you need to do to make this light? Some things we have control over, others we do not. Be careful to only invest emotion and time in something you have some control over. After Hurricane Katrina, thousands of families moved to other states. Many of these families embraced this move as an opportunity to go back to school, learn a new trade, create a new start or be closer to extended family. In one instance, a refugee from Katrina founded an incredibly successful business in Houston, his new home. They could not control the hurricane, they could control how they viewed their opportunities. Show kindness to those who offer help you. Teach your family to look and acknowledge the good that is around.
  • Accept and adapt. Be willing to take a look around at your new reality and just accept it for what it is. This is where you are now. How can you make the best of it? Survival Mom liked this saying so much that she created a t-shirt just to remind herself how to handle tough situations!
  • Bless and release. There will be people and situations that bog you down because of a past experience. In one case, a former friend suddenly cut off her contact with me. I never knew what had happened, reached out once or twice but got very curt responses. So, I played and replayed in my head what I wanted to say to her and how I would defend whatever it was that had caused the distance. After a few months, I decided enough was enough. I wrote a short email, wishing her the best and letting her know, nicely, that I was moving on, and guess what? She hasn’t crossed my mind since — until I was writing this article! We can bless and release those in our lives who bring nothing but negativityand pain. We no longer have to be the monkey in their circus.
  • Dumping a heavy item might require you to mend a relationship, apologize or forgive someone. The relationship may not be as it was, but you have done your part to make it better. Just forgiving a person, even if it just in your heart, is healing. Sometimes the heavy item that needs to get dumped is a person. Toxic and negative people can be one of the heaviest items you drag behind you. They have little regard to your emotions and their influence in your life. In fact, one author calls them “emotional vampires.” If a person is continually causing emotional turmoil, it may be time to decide if that person should be in your life.
  • Bad experiences. We have all laid in bed at the end of the day and played out in our mind what we would do or say differently, if given another chance. Unfortunately we cannot go back in time, but we can learn. To lighten your load, take tough experiences and make it your best teacher. Learn everything you can from trials and stumbling blocks. Journal about it, share what you learned with a close friend, glean as much knowledge as you can from the experience. Try to compare it to other times in life where you have been given a lesson and did not learn it the first time. It is so much easier to learn from the mistakes of others, but if you are going to make your own, and you will, you might as well learn all you can from it. The knowledge you gain will be beneficial in your future, and you can pass it on to your kids. Maybe they’ll listen!!
  • We are all subject to stress, it is the overwhelming stress that does us in. Learn how to recognize it when it shows itself. Note the physical reactions you have and pay attention to the thoughts that go through your mind. Some people carry stress in their lower backs, some in their necks, shoulders, or stomachs. Most daily stress can be worked off at the gym or by other means. It is the larger stressors and circumstances in life that require more effort. When the big stuff happens, you will need to rely on the positive items in your emotional backpack. They are what is going to get you through. Call a friend that you feel comfortable talking with or read about people that have gone through a similar circumstance. Have your backpack full of “tools” to help you deal with the big pressures of life.
  • Develop a list of personal priorities. Determine what is important to you. Picture yourself on your death bed. What would your thoughts be about? Who or what would you want to be surrounded by? That is your priority list! If something isn’t on your list, it is probably not that significant. This list is a guideline for your and where your priorities are. The items on the list are where you put your time and energy. Don’t spend your effort on things that don’t give enjoyment or benefit back to you.

Remember, this backpack is yours, not anyone else’s. Protect yourself by protecting your pack. Do not allow anyone else to dump their anger or nastiness into it. Handle issues when they first happen. Look to others for help if needed. As you travel through life, if you keep your backpack light and care for it, you will develop self-reliance and a resiliency that will help you with the heavy items that will certainly come along.

What's In Your Emotional Backpack via The Survival Mom

Misinformation, Pride, & Jealousy. The bane of forums.

Misinformation, Pride, & Jealousy. The bane of forums.

Forums are good for sharing & learning, but unfortunately it is my experience that on nearly every forum there are people that for one reason or another make participating on the forum an unpleasant experience. In my experience there are three types of person which should not be allowed on a forum, 1) those that spread misinformation. These people have very little real experience in the field that the forum represents, yet they want people to think that they are very knowledgeable, so they make lots of posts which are mostly bullshit & misinformation. This not only poses a danger for newbies who are trying to learn the ropes, but it can also cause beginners to spend money on items that are not of any real use.

2) Prideful people who think they know more than they really do & are not prepared to admit they are wrong. These people will never learn anything new, because they hate being wrong to the extent that they will defend themselves by totally discounting any new information that contradicts their own beliefs. What is worse is that they will try to prove you wrong & make out that you don’t know what you are talking about. Whilst these types of people are pretty harmless, they can be annoying & stressful & are best avoided.

 3) Jealous people; these people think they know it all & will never listen to reason. If they come across a post that indicates that their own beliefs are wrong, then they will discount the information & post comments that are rude & often spiteful. They hate to think that anyone should know more than they do. Like the prideful person these people will never admit to learning anything new, especially if it contradicts their own beliefs.

What To Do.

There is no point trying to help these people, to try & educate them is a futile & stressful experience. The best thing you can do is go to your control panel on the forum & list these people on your “Ignore” list. In this way you will no longer see their posts or their replies to your posts.

Others that will not learn.

These are people who are totally harmless to others but do pose a threat to themselves. They are not really into the finer points of what the forum is all about, but they do find participation fun. They purchase gear that is not suitable & not sustainable & having purchased this equipment they are not about to admit that they have made a mistake. Again, they will defend their choices & beliefs by discounting any other advice or recommendations. You can simply ignore these people or you can add them to your “Ignore” list. These people rarely cause any problem on a forum, & are not usually the sort of people to pursue an argument or try & put anyone down, but occasionally some of them will!

Best of luck on your forums.
Incidentally, the ONLY forum I have come across to date that does not suffer this problem is one that I started & run myself. I have to date NEVER had to reprimand someone or cancel their membership. They are the best people I have ever come across & I am proud to have them all on my forum. This forum is an 18th century Living History forum & you can find it here:

9 Reasons Why Every Prepper Should Have a Stash of Alcohol (Even if you don’t drink)

prepper stash alcoholBottles of wine, beer, vodka and rum aren’t exactly what first comes to mind when preparing for emergencies, but there are several reasons preppers should consider having a stash of alcohol on hand, even if you don’t drink.

For those who do drink, that purpose is obvious. Yet, alcohol also has value and uses that go beyond personal enjoyment. Here are nine reasons why every Survival Mom should consider having a stash of alcohol.

1. Disinfectants in your stash of alcohol

Alcohol that is higher than 35 percent ABV (alcohol by volume), or 70 proof, can disinfect, but not sterilize, wounds and tools. Disinfecting an item eliminates many or all pathogenic microorganisms, except bacterial spores. Sterilization eliminates all forms of microbial life. To disinfect, you’ll have to look at having vodka, brandy, rum, gin or pure vanilla extract on hand. However, if a wound is disinfected with alcohol, it can also kill the good tissue around the wound, so it should be used as a last resort. You could also use this kind of alcohol to wash your hands to disinfect them, and in the absence of other cleaners, you could use them to clean surfaces, cooking tools and dishes. Surgery and childbirth are two scenarios in which medical tools need to be as disinfected as the situation will allow. In a pinch, alcohol could be the best way to minimize the possibility of infections.

2. Medicinal uses

In addition to the medical uses mentioned above, tinctures are created using an alcohol base. Tinctures are herbal remedies where herbs are concentrated in an alcohol and water mixture. For example, a cough suppressant can be made using whiskey, honey and lemon.

Alcohol does not help with hypothermia. You often see in movies and on TV a person who has come in from the cold get offered a stiff drink to help warm them up. They may feel warmer afterward, but ultimately, that drink will serve to lower the person’s core temperature because alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate.

Alcohol can also help calm an upset stomach, temporarily help with tooth pain, and help calm an anxious person. A little bit can help a person fall asleep faster. Poison ivy and bug bites can also be relieved by rubbing some alcohol on the affected area. Alcohol can be a muscle relaxant, too.

3. Barter 

Some people value alcohol more than others and it will fly off the shelves in several emergency scenarios (riots, power outages, impending snowstorms or hurricanes). Having some on hand might give you the upper hand when trading for food or household supplies. Consider stocking up on both large bottles as well as the tiny “airplane” sizes.

INTERESTED IN BARTERING? Barter may not be the simple transaction many preppers envision. Here’s what you need to know about bartering before planning on it becoming your survival solution.

Bottles of highly prized brands of alcohol have also come in handy as bribes. Not recommending this. Just making note of it!

4. Celebrations

Despite the situation or emergency, life will continue – babies will be born, people will marry and funerals will take place. Many of these occasions bring people together to celebrate or remember. Wine or champagne can add to the celebration and help give people a sense of “normalcy,” which can be a powerful element in who thrives during difficult circumstances and who doesn’t.

5. Religious

Some religions use alcohol as part of a religious ceremony or rite. Continuing these traditions can mean a lot to people of those faiths. During Prohibition, one of the only ways for a winery to stay in business was to make wine for religious reasons.

6. Fire and defense

As with wound care, alcohol is not the first choice in sustaining a fire, but it does work if needed. Much care should be used if using alcohol around any kind of fire. Do not pour alcohol on an active fire, but soak something and put it in the kindling/coals before setting the fire.

If you find yourself in a situation where your home or family needs to be defended, you could create a fire bomb using alcohol. Extreme care needs to be taken if alcohol is used in this manner and in no way are we recommending this!

LEARN MORE WITH THIS DIY PROJECT: Make a mini-stove with Altoids in alcohol.

7. Cooking/preservation

There are plenty of recipes that call for wine and other forms of alcohol, but one of the best reasons to have alcohol around is to preserve items from the garden. Soaking herbs or plants in vodka makes extracts, like vanilla, peppermint, and lemon. Fruit can be preserved in alcohol for long-term storage. Ginger and turmeric can be preserved in alcohol, too.

8. Stress relief

Alcohol can help a person relax a bit or “take the edge off.” There will be a lot of stress in most survival situations and having a small vice is one way humans deal with stress. The social aspect of having a drink at the end of a long day is often what helps people deal with stress the most.

9. Everyday emergencies (cooking/gifts)

Sometimes the emergency isn’t dire but is still stressful. Having a few bottles of wine on hand for recipes or for a hostess gift when you’re invited to a dinner party is a good idea. Even if the hosts are non-drinkers, they can still put the bottle to good use.

Tips for storage

Alcohol needs to be stored in a cool, dark place. As a liquid, it can evaporate if the bottle has been opened. The shelf life varies depending on the type of alcohol. Beer and wine will generally last about six months to two years depending on the way it was made. Liquors vary widely, but also tend to break down by the two-year mark. Spirits and moonshines do not expire due to their high alcohol content.

Learn To Make  Your Own Prepper Stash of Alcohol

Another option to having alcohol on hand is learning to make your own. Home beer brewing and winemaking are becoming the new fad hobbies with supply stores showing up in many cities, as well as online. Many of these stores offer classes and will help you on your brewing journey. You can also use a still to make distilled water, spirits and alcohol that can be used for fuel. State laws vary on home brewing and distilling so make sure to check what is allowed where you live.

MAKING HOMEMADE WINE: This is a handy skill and not as difficult as you might think. Your final product may not win the blue ribbon in a wine competition but can still be enjoyed for what it is — a DIY project you can drink!

Preppers with a stash of alcohol can only benefit in the long run. If you’re not sure about how much and exactly what you want to have on hand, start with a variety of small bottles. Make sure to keep them out of the reach of children or possibly hidden or locked up if you have teenagers. It’s an item that can have a multitude of uses and doesn’t cost a whole lot of money.

STOCKING UP TIP: You’ll often see grocery carts filled with bottles of alcohol in the liquor department of your grocery store. Browse through those and, if you aren’t sure where to start, pick up vodka, rum, gin, or whisky, as they have many multiple uses and longer shelf lives.

Want to learn more about prepping?

prepper stash alcohol


Stressed out by Prepping?

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Howard Overton. Some people who are preparing for the future get stressed out by prepping. It can be for many reasons. Maybe you feel you have too much to do to get ready. Maybe you don’t know where to start. You are […]

The post Stressed out by Prepping? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Holidays Got You Stressed? Try These Essential Oils

Holidays Got You Stressed? Try These Essential Oils

Image source:

The Christmas season is supposed to be a joyful time, filled with warmth, love and memories. But for many people, it can be quite overwhelming. All of the shopping, commitments, to-do lists and cooking can take a toll on us physically, mentally and spiritually.

For those of us who prefer to manage our health naturally, essential oils can help us keep our spirits up and maintain our energy during this very busy season of the year.

Here are some common conditions and the oils that have been found to provide relief:

Anxiety. Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed and anxious at one time or another, especially during the holidays? Rather than having an anxiety-filled season this year, why not use the following oils to help you stay relaxed even when the pressure is on?

Suggested oils for mild anxiety: Lavender, orange, lemon, roman chamomile, valerian, melissa, copaiba, ylang ylang, angelica, basil, bergamot, cedarwood, clary sage, cypress, frankincense, geranium, hinoki, hyssop, jasmine, juniper, lime, marjoram, onycha, patchouli, pine, rose, sandalwood, tangerine and tsuga (grounding).

The Hidden Secrets Of Making Herbal Medicines … Right At Your Fingertips!

Sadness. Many of us feel sad and overwhelmed with various issues at this time of year, such as relationship conflicts, loneliness and feeling socially disconnected. The following oils may help improve your mood and help you face the holiday season with greater joy and peace.

Suggested oils for mild sadness: Frankincense, lavender, lemon, orange, bergamot, ylang ylang, rosemary rosewood, tangerine, grapefruit, jasmine, neroli, sage, basil, clary sage, geranium, ginger, juniper, onycha, patchouli, pepper, ravintsara, roman chamomile and sandalwood.

Holidays Got You Stressed? Try These Essential Oils

Image source:

Stress and the holiday season often go hand-in-hand. The following oils may help you feel much less stressed throughout the holidays, and enjoy the activities that you engage in more: lavender, ylang, ylang, bergamot, lemon, basil, clary sage, cypress, elemi, frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, marjoram, neroli, onycha (benzoin), pine, Roman chamomile, rosewood, spruce and tangerine.

Lack of Energy. With all of the activity during the holidays it’s very easy to get tuckered out. While it is critical to prioritize and say “no” to unnecessary activities, the following oils can help increase your energy and get you through a busy day.

Suggested oils to help increase energy: Fir, peppermint, basil, black pepper, cypress, eucalyptus, juniper, lemon, lemongrass, myrtle, nutmeg (increases), orange, palo santo, rosemary, thyme and grapefruit.

Hangovers. Have a little too much to drink at the holiday party last night? Try the following oils to help revive you: lemon, grapefruit, fennel, lavender, rose, rosemary and sandalwood.

Headaches. Don’t let a pounding headache rule or ruin your day. Try these oils to halt a headache in its tracks: peppermint, rosemary, basil, calamus, cardamom, clove, cumin, eucalyptus, frankincense, lavender, marjoram and sage lavender.

Digestive system. Got tummy troubles from eating too much at your family holiday gathering? Try these oils to help with digestive discomfort and indigestion: peppermint, ginger, lavender, thyme, grapefruit, orange, angelica, cardamom, copaiba, coriander, cumin, goldenrod and ginger.

Sleep. Need some help getting to sleep and staying asleep while waiting for Santa’s arrival? Try lavender (apply on the spine), valerian (for sleep disturbances), marjoram, and roman chamomile oils.

When choosing an essential oil be sure to use only therapeutic-grade oils, which are the highest quality and the most effective. Using low quality essential oils may not only be ineffective for the results that you are seeking, but they also may be harmful because they can contain chemicals and solvents.

As always, consult with a health practitioner to determine if essential oils are right for you and for your personal health condition(s). Not all essential oils are right for everyone, and those with serious health conditions should work with a qualified healthcare practitioner to determine the best solution for them.

What essential oils would you add to this list? Share your advice in the section below:

Harness The Power Of Nature’s Most Remarkable Healer: Vinegar

Survival Stress- How to Cope

When in an urban survival scenario, many overlook the many possibilities of having to deal with stress. Not knowing how to deal with stress can mean the difference between life or death.

Weather you are in an urban survival crisis or a wilderness survival scenario, here is video produced in 1961 by the US Air Force that deals with survival stress. The information is 33 years old, but the information is still true and valid to this day.

Watch, learn and enjoy a movie from the retro era.  

~Urban Man

4 Reasons Everyone Should Live In The Woods (At Least For A Little While)

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life; living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”

― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

4 Reasons Everyone Should Live In The Woods (At Least For A Little While)

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live, just for a little while, in the woods? To become part of the intricate weave of nature, to live simply, eagerly drinking in all of God’s beauty around you? For many people, spending time living in the woods is a life-enriching experience that they won’t soon forget. But for nearly all people, just being in nature for a while has been proven to be highly therapeutic.

Here are just some of the reasons why leaving the hustle and bustle of city life behind for a while may need to be something you put on your “to-do list.”

1. You feel small

Yes, that’s right, I said small. Far too often we think too highly of ourselves and our neat urban lifestyle. A move to the woods where the trees are big, the moon is big, and you are somewhat vulnerable to the natural life teeming around you, makes you feel small. Feeling small helps remind you of your own natural state and be bigness of God. This is a very humbling experience to say the least.

2. You realize what you really need

Do you need your Dish Network with 170 channels to survive? What about your expensive Italian leather sofa or your 12-inch memory foam mattress? Chances are, these are nothing but luxuries that you have become accustomed to, and they certainly are not necessary for you to live a long and happy life.

New Emergency Lantern Provides 100,000 HOURS Of Light — And Stays Cool To Touch!

What about thinking about just what you need to survive, the essentials? When you spend time living in the woods either in a small cabin or even a yurt or wall tent, you begin to appreciate just how few things you need to live. This is another great wake-up call that keeps you humble.

3. You learn new skills

4 Reasons Everyone Should Live In The Woods (At Least For A Little While)

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If you are not accustomed to anything but city life, moving to the woods will require you to learn some new skills: whether it be building, growing food, hunting, fishing, building a fire, etc. Take time to embrace the opportunity to learn these new things and work with your hands and be creative while you are at it.

4. You de-stress

Many people living in busy urban centers carry with them a great amount of daily living stress. Running here and there, working long hours at work and keeping a busy social schedule leave little time for peace and quiet. A move to the woods demands one to slow down and be still. At first, this may be almost impossible, depending on how stressed you are. However, over time, the peace and perfectness of nature will begin to calm your soul, and you will find yourself more relaxed than you have ever been before.

Often, people recovering from illness retreat to the woods for solace and healing. Spending time apart from your busy life will help to put things into perspective and allow you to value each day for what it really is.

If you aren’t sure where to begin with your in-the-woods venture, be sure to do research before heading out. Perhaps you will rent a small cabin, build your own place or live in a yurt or a tent. The best thing is to be prepared and know at least a little bit about what to expect before you make the move. Then, simply enjoy it all.

What advice would you add? What would you put on the list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

Stress Relief: There’s an APP for that…

Stress Relief: There’s an APP for that…

In this fast paced world we live in, it is far too easy to consume every waking hour within the confines of our vehicles, offices, or homes. Sure it’s convenient to sit on the couch in the evenings and on weekends, staring aimlessly at our computer screens, televisions, tablets and smart phones, but how many […]

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