Mid-Scale Grain Gardening in Alaska- Part 3, By Alaskan Gardeners

My wife and I are convinced we need to pursue self sufficiency, and a large part of that is food self sufficiency, including providing our own protein, vegetables, and grain. I’m writing about our family’s grain gardening and am in the midst of detailing our crop operations. We’ve gone over soil preparation, planting, and reaping. Let’s now continue with drying.

Reaping and Drying (continued)

Mild fall weather during harvest time as shown in Figure 3 is unusual in the Copper River Valley, Alaska. It’s usually cold and sometimes wet; we had three inches of snow on the ground during our first harvesting year. So it is frequently necessary to dry the harvested grain before threshing. Also, peas harvested for shelling must be dried before threshing.

Constructing Drying Trash

I constructed 43 drying trays to accomplish this purpose. Construction details are shown in Figures 4 and 5. The wood is finished … Continue reading

Letter: Neutron Shielding for Fallout Shelters

Hugh and Jim,
I was recently reading a book on nuclear reactors. I learned that iron can be used in concrete to provide neutron shielding. The iron slows the fast neutrons down to thermal levels that can be easily absorbed in the concrete. I also mine my own gold. As a byproduct of my mining, I have buckets of magnetite and hematite iron ore sand. The magnetite ore I sell to a local blacksmith for making steel. The hematite I’ve found no use for until now. I can use this black sand in place of silica sand in the concrete to provide neutron shielding for the temporary bomb shelter I’m building at my primary residence. Magnetite is Fe3O4 and is magnetic, and hematite is Fe2O3 and non-magnetic. Both comprise the black sand in the gold pan. So talk to your local gold miners about obtaining their black sands. – … Continue reading

The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”. California fires are continuing to flare up. The latest is the Skirball Fire, that caused a grid-down event in West LA.


Brad Schaeffer, over at The Daily Wire, has started a series on a front of World War II that shaped Russia and created a paranoid, meddlesome nation that President Ronald Reagan called evil. Most Americans seem to think World War II started on December 7, 1941 and reached its pinnacle on June 6th, 1944. (Europeans tend to remember rather more.) To put the Battle of Stalingrad in perspective, even at the height of the the West’s war on Germany (including North Africa) we faced 175 Wehrmacht Divisions. The Red Army faced over … Continue reading

The Editors’ Quote of the Day:

“Today I am delivering. I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process. And to work towards a lasting agreement.

‘Israel is a sovereign nation with the right, like every other sovereign nation, to determine its own capitol. Acknowledging this is a fact is a necessary condition for achieving peace. It was 70 years ago that the United States under President Truman recognized the state of Israel.

‘Ever since then, Israel has made its capitol in the city of Jerusalem, the capitol the Jewish people established in ancient times. Today, Jerusalem is the seat of the modern Israeli government. It is the home of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, as well as the Israeli Supreme Court. It … Continue reading