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Can A Home Garden Produce Enough Food To Live On?

Can A Home Garden Produce Enough Food To Live On?

Have you ever wondered why you should start your own garden when food is readily available at grocery stores?  What about those who would love to be self-sufficient to the point of living off the food they can grow on their own land? The simple answer is yes, this is possible, but it will take hard work and dedication.

Most Americans firmly believe its impossible to be self-sufficient, and those values are all but permanently engrained into their minds from a young age. Even people who know that organic agriculture is just as productive as industrial agriculture often think you need to have acres and acres of land to grow all of your own food. But that simply is not true.  According to the Small Footprint Family, applying certain techniques and principles can get you set on the lifetime journey of potentially being able to grow all your food on as little as a quarter of an acre!  Even people in most suburbs could give this a try!

Obviously, how much food you need and can grow will depend on a variety of factors, space being just one of them.  You will also need to take into consideration the size of your family and how much food they actually require. A large man will eat quite a bit more than a 5-year-old girl, however, that girl will also grow to consume more.  These are a few factors to keep in mind when beginning to consider self-sufficiency. You should also consider the climate in which you live.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Hurricane Expert Warns: “Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenario”… U.S. Could See Up to 5 Major Hurricanes in 2018

Hurricane Expert Warns: “Prepare for the Worst-Case Scenario”… U.S. Could See Up to 5 Major Hurricanes in 2018

Before 2017, there was a relatively quiet period for hurricanes. In fact, a decade went bywithout a major hurricane. But all of that changed in 2017, when monster hurricanes Irma and Harvey hit. Due to their unprecedented damage, the 2017 hurricane season became one of the most expensive on record. With nearly 200 billion dollars worth of damage, many were hoping for another quiet lull for this year, but forecasters say otherwise.

Two primary factors are critical for determining how active the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season will be. One is whether El Niño develops and the other is the configuration of North Atlantic sea surface temperatures. When El Niño conditions are present and ocean temperatures in the tropical Pacific are warm, the Atlantic hurricane season tends to be less active.

Increased sea levels could also be indicative of more severe storm damage. “Higher sea levels mean that deadly and destructive storm surges push farther inland than they once did, which also means more frequent nuisance flooding. Disruptive and expensive, nuisance flooding is estimated to be from 300 percent to 900 percent more frequent within U.S. coastal communities than it was just 50 years ago.”

The U.S. Could See as Many as 5 Major Hurricanes in 2018

When combined together, these indications could create a conditions perfect for hurricane formations. AccuWeather Atlantic Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski is predicting the United States will see 12-15 tropical storms, 6 to 8 are forecasted to become hurricanes and 3 to 5 are forecast to become major hurricanes.

2018 atlantic hurricane season forecast

“According to Kottlowski, conditions are ripe for early season development in the Gulf of Mexico due the warm water already in place in that part of the Atlantic basin.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Everything You Need to Know To Grow a Big Crop of Cucumbers

Everything You Need to Know To Grow a Big Crop of Cucumbers

Nothing beats the summer heat like a fresh cucumber from the garden. These sun-loving vegetables are great for first-time gardeners and easy to grow.

Pickling cucumbers, like Boston Picklers are prolific when they get going and are perfect for canning, but slicing cucumbers are best for salads. Did you know that cucumbers have electrolytes and are high in potassium? So they’re a wonderfully refreshing snack to help you beat the Summer heat!

Here are some cucumber growing facts:

  • For one person, plant two to three plants in the garden.
  • On average, one cucumber plant produces two to three pounds of fresh cucumbers.
  • For square foot gardeners, all you need are two plants per square foot.
  • Did you know you can grow cucumbers inside for year-round cucumbers? Planting in a greenhouse or area of the home where cross-pollination cannot take place is best.

Growing Tips for Lots of Cucumbers

There are two methods you can use to grow cucumbers:

Starting cucumbers indoors

Cucumbers can be started indoors in peat pots or small flats and transplanted in a few weeks to the garden. The best time to start seeds is three to four weeks before the last frost. Plant 1 seed per pot in moist soil and place in a sunny window. Seeds should emerge within a few days. Give cucumbers plenty of sun and lots moisture until 3-4 true leaves grow. Begin hardening off cucumber plants by setting them outside for a few hours each day until they are used to extended hours of sunlight.

When young plants are ready to be moved to the garden, wait to plant in the ground until soil temperatures reach 70 degrees F and take extra care to protect young cucumbers from frost.

Directly sow seeds in the garden

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Want All the Green Beans You Can Eat? Get the Best Harvest With These Growing Tips 

Want All the Green Beans You Can Eat? Get the Best Harvest With These Growing Tips 

When I was growing up, I was lucky enough to have a grandfather who grew lots of vegetables (this is where my passion for gardening started). Without fail, every summer he would drop off bags of green beans and we would spend an afternoon breaking off the ends and putting them into a pot. I loved about green beans – the color, the texture, the flavor… Now that I have my own family, I’ve carried on that same garden tradition and green beans are always an addition to the garden.

Green beans are one of the easiest and most popular summer vegetable varieties to grow in your garden. What makes the green bean so easy to grow is because once planted, they require little attention other than a drink of water now and again. One reason that green beans are favorite choices among gardeners is that they have high germination rates of 70 percent and the seeds can remain viable for 3 years. Therefore, they are great for storing long-term garden plans. As well, bush beans, in particular, are a great cover crop for warmer climates.

We prefer growing the Blue Lake Bush variety of green beans because of their many uses. They were originally developed as a canning bean, but quickly became a fresh food favorite and are now commonly served along with salads or steamed as a healthful side dish.

One drawback to planting bush beans is they tend to take up precious space because they do not grow tall like pole beans. But, what they lack in height, they make up for in production. In addition, they require less work planting, staking, weeding, and watering. Another incentive to grow more beans in the garden is they have a symbiotic relationship with soil-dwelling bacteria.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

10 Gardening Tips for Growing Market-Worthy Tomatoes

10 Gardening Tips for Growing Market-Worthy Tomatoes

There is nothing like seeing clumps of repining super-sized tomatoes on the vine – That’s the sign of a happy, growing garden. But tomatoes can be problematic and prone to certain issues. Blossom end rot, nutritional deficiencies, blight, and invasive hornworms are just a few of the problems a gardener may have when growing tomatoes. Many of these issues can be corrected early on by giving the tomato the right growing conditions.

10 Gardening Tips for Growing the Juiciest Tomatoes

Some of the most popular types of tomato varieties planted are the beefsteak tomato, Celebrity, Early Girl, and the Cherry Tomatoes. The tomato plant can grow up to 6 feet tall and requires trellising or support. Tomatoes typically take about 85 days to harvest. And to get those big, delicious red orbs to grow, it requires a lot of nutrients.

Choose a fertilizer that has a balanced ratio of the three major elements, such as 10-10-10, or where the middle number (phosphorus) is larger than the first number (nitrogen), such as 2-3-1. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and usually do need fertilizer unless your soil is very rich.

Use some o these gardening tips to ensure your tomato harvest is the best one yet!

1. Choose the right varieties. 

There are many types of tomato varieties to choose from. One that I always recommend is the heirloom varieties. These seeds have been around for generations and were bred for flavor, adaptability and growing performance. As well, many of these seeds are open-pollinated and the seeds can be saved for the next harvest. This ensures you have plenty of tomatoes to eat fresh, preserve or make delicious sauces with.

2. Location, location, location!

Tomatoes love bright locations where they receive 10 hours or more of sunlight. Full morning sun is always the best location, but tomatoes will do well with some afternoon sun too. As well, ensure that you have properly spaced your plants.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

11 Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime

11 Emergency Food Items That Can Last a Lifetime

flourandspoons

Did you know that with proper storage techniques, you can have a lifetime supply of certain foods?  Certain foods can stand the test of time, and continue being a lifeline to the families that stored it.  Knowing which foods last indefinitely and how to store them are you keys to success.

The best way to store food for the long term is by using a multi-barrier system.  This system protects the food from natural elements such as moisture and sunlight, as well as from insect infestations.

Typically, those who store bulk foods look for inexpensive items that have multi-purposes and will last long term.  Listed below are 11 food items that are not only multi-purpose preps, but they can last a lifetime!

1. Honey

Honey never really goes bad.  In a tomb in Egypt 3,000 years ago, honey was found and was still edible.  If there are temperature fluctuations and sunlight, then the consistency and color can change.  Many honey harvesters say that when honey crystallizes, then it can be re-heated and used just like fresh honey.  Because of honey’s low water content, microorganisms do not like the environment.

Uses: curing, baking, medicinal, wine (mead)

2. Salt

Although salt is prone to absorbing moisture, it’s shelf life is indefinite.  This indispensable mineral will be a valuable commodity in a long term disaster and will be a essential bartering item.

Uses: curing, preservative, cooking, cleaning, medicinal, tanning hides

3. Sugar

Life would be so boring without sugar.  Much like salt, sugar is also prone to absorbing moisture, but this problem can be eradicated by adding some rice granules into the storage container.

Uses: sweetener for beverages, breads, cakes, preservative, curing, gardening, insecticide (equal parts of sugar and baking powder will kill cockroaches).

4. Wheat

Wheat is a major part of the diet for over 1/3 of the world.  This popular staple supplies 20% of daily calories to a majority of the world population.  Besides being a high carbohydrate food, wheat contains valuable protein, minerals, and vita­mins. Wheat protein, when balanced by other foods that supply certain amino acids such as lysine, is an efficient source of protein.

Uses: baking, making alcohol, livestock feed, leavening agent

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A Step-By-Step Guide for Starting Seeds Indoors

A Step-By-Step Guide for Starting Seeds Indoors

While the weather outside is still on the chilly side, many are making use of their time indoors and get a headstart on the upcoming gardening season by starting seeds indoors. Doing so results in earlier and longer harvests. This economic gardening method doesn’t require special equipment – just some moist soil, comfortable temperatures, and some TLC!

Seeds need perfect growing conditions to grow healthy: water – allows the seed to swell up and the embryo to start growing, oxygen – so that energy can be released for germination, and warmth – germination improves as temperature rises.

Starting longer growing varieties like herbs, broccoli, cauliflower, and onions can greatly benefit from indoor growing methods. This gives the gardener a headstart and helps to control the growing environment.

A Step-By-Step Guide for Starting Seeds Indoors

Home gardeners can start vegetable and flower seedlings indoors between 4 to12 weeks before the last average spring frost in their area, which means it’s time to get started! Above all, start with good seeds. At Ready Gardens, we prefer time-tested heirloom varieties. These plants have been shown to have outstanding flavor and good harvests. Heck, if these seeds were good enough for my grandparents, they’re good enough for me. As well, you want to ensure that your seed starting mix has nutrients to feed young plants when they start growing their true leaves. Adding perlite and vermiculite can do wonders for emerging seedlings.

  1. Fill a flat or other container with moist, sterile germination mix. Add enough mix to fill the container within an inch of the rim. Gently pat the soil down for even distribution.
  2. Plant seeds according to their growing instructions. Some seeds can be planted in rows or scattered onto the soil’s surface. Typically, seeds need to be planted at 1/2 inch below the soil surface and covered with soil.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How To Grow Vegetables Year-Round in Container Gardens 

How To Grow Vegetables Year-Round in Container Gardens 

For many of us, our jobs dictate that we live near a city and, as a result, our yards are smaller and may not provide adequate space for a large garden. As well, those that are renting homes may also be limited to what they can do with a yard. For a short time, I lived in the sprawling outskirts of Houston, TX where my yard was not very big. I had to get creative in terms of where to grow my plants. I started dabbling in container gardening and got pretty good at it.

I utilized my lack of space with a patio garden where I had herbs, vegetables, and berries growing. As well, I had pots of fruit trees started and vertical gardening systems hanging so I could make use of as much space and lighting as possible.

When we don’t have the option of moving out into the sprawling countryside to live off of the land, we have to make use of what we have. Urban and suburbanites can garden in their small spaces using some of the most popular vertical gardening and small space gardening techniques:

Container Plants Prefer Lots of Drainage

Ensure that your pots and containers have adequate drainage holes at the bottom. Plants do not like to sit in soggy soil and will quickly develop root rot, as a result. Plant shallow-rooted plants such as small herbs, green leafy vegetables, strawberries, and green onions which can be grown close to one another and will help plant roots stay shaded from the hot sun. This is a principle of xeriscaping and will also help to cut down on watering.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Michigan Faces ANOTHER Water Crisis

Michigan Faces ANOTHER Water Crisis

 An emerging new water crisis for Michigan

Michigan residents are staring down a new water crisis as the state is scrambling to combat potential health risks in water sources that stem from chemicals long used in firefighting, waterproofing, carpeting and other products.

In December of 2017, toxic chemicals have been identified at 28 sites in 14 communities across Michigan. Nearly half are on or near military installations where the source is believed to be from firefighting foam.” (Source)  The main affected area is near Van Etten Lake. Other areas near WAFB are also being investigated.

“Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have been detected at military bases, water treatment plants and, most recently, an old industrial dump site for footwear company Wolverine World Wide. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies them as ’emerging’ nationally. They have sparked enough concern that Gov. Rick Snyder created a state response team and approved $23 million in emergency spending.

What We Know So Far

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says private well testing results coupled with a site history that indicates not only that sludge was used as fertilizer, but there may also have been waste dumping in a nearby gravel pit necessitates the well testing. (Source)

Map shows initial study area and expanded "buffer zone" testing area for PFAS chemicals around an old Wolverine World Wide tannery sludge dump site at 1855 House Street NE in Plainfield Township.

Image Source: http://www.mlive.com


  • Levels of PFOA and PFOS in the groundwater at Wurtsmith Air Force Base (WAFB) in Oscoda Township, Michigan are up to 10,000 times higher than the LTHA.

  • Groundwater with high levels of PFAS might be moving off-base toward local resident’s drinking water wells.
  • We know that the PFAS from WAFB are found at low levels in some private drinking water wells. We don’t know if the PFAS in the drinking water wells will stay at low levels. Also, we do not know how long PFAS may have been in the drinking water wells.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

New Flu Strains Threaten Public as CDC Admits to Flu Medicine Shortage 

New Flu Strains Threaten Public as CDC Admits to Flu Medicine Shortage 

In what may be one of the most severe flu seasons in recent history, the CDC has warned more is to come.  This week, CDC officials say due to the influx of the widespread flu season, there are shortages of the drug used to treat the flu. While the CDC is working to address the “spot shortages”, it does not bode well for the public who are already dealing with a severe flu season and one that could potentially get worse with new flu strains emerging.

“Even if the hopeful assessment by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bears out, there will still be an additional 11 weeks to 13 weeks of flu circulating across the country. “In general, we see things peaking right about now, but that means there is still a whole lot more flu to go,” Dan Jernigan, [director of the influenza division at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases]  said. ‘In addition, there are other strains of influenza still to show up that could be a major cause of disease.’

That may already be happening. The CDC is starting to see infections caused by the H1N1 strain of the virus in states grappling with high levels of the H3N2 strain, the predominant version this season. In addition, Jernigan said, yet another type of flu caused by influenza B viruses is expected to show up later in the season.

H3N2 has compounded the damage usually wrought by the annual flu outbreak. It’s known for both its severity and ability to evade the protection provided by vaccinations that are typically more effective against the other types of flu.” (Source)

Hospitals Scrambling to Limit Exposure

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4 Food Sources You Can Find in the Dead of Winter 

4 Food Sources You Can Find in the Dead of Winter 

ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is a down-and-dirty guide to finding food for yourself during the wintertime.  Most people view winter as a cold, bleak, and lifeless period of the year.  In actuality, it is just a state of dormancy: everything is not really dead, just slowed down and slumbering as a part of the natural cycle and order of things.  During the wintertime, it’s not that there isn’t any food: there is not as much of it available, yet it is still there if you know how to look for it.  Let’s get started!

Wild Game

Firstly, let’s cover wild game.  Most hunting seasons are over with, so the info we’re covering here has to do with a survival situation and a “grid-down, collapse” scenario.  Keeping that in mind, there is quite a good deal of animals that do not hibernate.  Deer, elk, rabbits/hares, the migratory birds (ducks and geese), wild boar/pig.  I’m not advising eating the wild cats: the bobcat, lynx, or mountain lion, as they have a host of different parasites and not much yield on the meat.  Stick with your herbivores, unless you have no other way.

Migratory Birds

Migratory birds (believe it or not) still hold a high number that do not leave and migrate with the rest.  Besides shooting them with a shotgun or rifle, there are other methods to get them if you have no firearm…not nice or socially-acceptable, but we’re going to list them: snares, nets, and the fishhook method.  This one involves taking a fishhook and tying it off with nylon line and covering the hook with a ball of bread.  I think you can get the picture, and as I mentioned, it’s not the preferred method but it works.  You or them: you’ll have to weigh it for yourself.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

6 Critical Tips You Need to Know In Order To Survive Being Stranded in Your Car in Freezing Temperatures  

6 Critical Tips You Need to Know In Order To Survive Being Stranded in Your Car in Freezing Temperatures  

With the unusual winter weather that many parts of the country are experiencing, driving conditions will be harsh and potentially dangerous. Moreover, getting stranded in your vehicle could become a very real threat, especially if you are traveling in isolated parts of the country. If this happens, you have a potentially dangerous survival situation on your hands.

Most people’s instinct will tell them to leave the car and go for help. If you are in a desolate area, you may not know how far help is and leaving your car will expose you and could get you lost in the wilderness if you don’t know where you are going.

6 Critical Tips You Need to Know In Order To Survive Being Stranded in Your Car in Freezing Temperatures


OK, let’s put your survival know-how to the test. Here’s the scenario:

At 3 p.m., a last minute work order has requested you to deliver some equipment but you must drive through a remote area where the road’s elevation is between 4,000 and 4,500 feet. The road is infamous for people who don’t know the area to take in the wintertime and get stuck, but you’ve driven it a few times and feel confident you can make it before dark. Before you set out, you turn on your GPS on your cell phone just in case. You’ve also checked the weather station, which turns out is calling for unexpected snow flurries in the area, but you’re on a deadline and will drive very carefully. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What the Prepper Needs to Know About the Usefulness of Chainsaws 

What the Prepper Needs to Know About the Usefulness of Chainsaws 

As I’ve told you in previous articles, most of my woodcutting I do with a bowsaw and my ax.  They give me a great workout, as well as being economical on fuel.  Well, for the most part, as Mrs. JJ would tell you, I eat like a horse at the end of a day!  I keep a couple of chainsaws handy, though, because you never know when you might need one.  Not just for cutting wood, but in an emergency.

The situation I’m describing is nothing “covert” or where noise discipline is required post SHTF.  The times I’m referring to are such as when a tree falls on your house or vehicle, or you have a bunch of downed trees blocking the road that you can’t drive by.  A chainsaw can be a great tool that will save you time and maybe bail you out.

On a personal note, I’m using mine this season, because we had wildfires in Montana and for the better part of a month, everyone had to stay indoors most of the time and when we were outdoors we needed to wear masks.  Yes, that is one of the disadvantages to living in Montana during fire season.  The other disadvantage is that you’re not allowed to use a chainsaw when the fire danger is either high or extreme.

Buy the Best Equipment You Can Afford

Naturally, this placed a damper on my woodcutting, so I’ve been a little bit behind.  Time to break out the chainsaw.  Firstly, allow me to say that I don’t receive any money from any companies (chainsaw or otherwise) for my recommendations.  I believe that the two best types of saw are Stihl and Husqvarna, bar none.  In the case of chainsaws, the old adage “Cheap you buy, cheap you get,” although grammatically heinous is wisdom wrapped in brevity.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Prepare for Extreme Winter Weather: Forecasters Warn of Bomb Cyclone 

Prepare for Extreme Winter Weather: Forecasters Warn of Bomb Cyclone 

If you aren’t dealing with extreme winter weather, consider yourself lucky. 90% of the 48 continental U.S. states started off 2018 below freezing (32 degrees or lower). For weeks, severe winter weather has pounded many parts of U.S. and Canada with no end in sight.

Currently, a winter cyclone is projected to bring much of the East coast to a screeching halt where forecasters are warning to prepare for heavy snow, hurricane-force gusts, and blizzard conditions. With these types of frigid storms, expect schools to be canceled, flights to be canceled and utility companies to have widespread outages. Given the record-breaking low temperatures, hospitals could see a record number of cold weather injuries from the grid being down.

How to Prepare for Extreme Winter Weather

The primary principles for preparing for these types of extreme weather is to concentrate on the basics: heat, food, water, and first aid. Keeping the core warm by layering clothing is your main priority. Exposure-related injuries such as frostbite and hypothermia could occur quickly with this type of weather. This will be discussed further in the article.

In an article on winter preparations, writer Jeremiah Johnson outlines the fundamentals.

Heat

The wood stove (wood burner, if you prefer) is the answer to keeping the abode heated when the temperature falls.  This is crucial to keep your pipes from freezing.  The problem being when you heat the place up too much (you should see mine…it’s only about 3’x2’x2’ but can heat the place up to 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit in nothing flat).  Too much heat and your food in your refrigerator is going to go bad faster.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Top 10 Prepper Articles of 2017 

Top 10 Prepper Articles of 2017 

This time of year takes me into deep contemplation. Have I accomplished all that I set out to do this year? Was I the best person and example I could be? Was I a good friend? How can I strive to be a better in the coming year? While I know the answer to some of these questions, I can honestly say that I did not accomplish all that I set out to do.

A friend wrote to me the other day saying that “2017 was quite the year, almost impossible to summarize and filled with many successes and many challenges.” I can so relate! In the blink of an eye, 2017 went by and although I had goals of my own, there were times they had to be put on the back burner so that my family could grow into better versions of themselves.

My Greatest Blessings

One of my greatest blessings is my sweet husband, Mac. While many of you know him as the man behind SHTFPlan who gives his take on economic and financial happenings, he’s my amazing husband (of almost 15 years!) who works tirelessly and will bend over backward to make sure his family is cared for. I gotta say, I’m such a lucky lady!

My children are also counted as some of my greatest blessings. I am so lucky to have these little kids in my life. I have overwhelming pride in the individuals they are growing up to be and thank God for blessing me with them.

am also blessed that my dear friend, Jeremiah Johnson has been writing so much for Ready Nutrition this year. As a veteran and long-time prepper, he offered valuable, out-of-the-box wisdom that no doubt helped you in your prepping endeavors.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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