Building a Garden Dome to Increase Food Security, by K.R.

The pandemic has interrupted supply chains worldwide. Combine this with rising fuel costs, government crackdowns on fertilizer use, and suspiciously frequent fires at food processing plants, and people start talking about reductions in our society’s ability to produce enough food. While it is helpful to be able to store food, real food security comes from being able to grow enough food on your own indefinitely– in all situations. In this climate, and with inflation heating up, my wife and I felt that the best tangible investment we could make was to increase our ability to grow food. We already have …




Front Yard Pharmacy: Your Herb Garden, by B.W.

Introductory Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Use medicinal herbs under direction from your own doctor and with your own discretion. Always do your research before taking any medication, herbal or otherwise. Does the world as it sits right now have you feeling overwhelmed and more than a little nervous about the future? Maybe you’re prepping like crazy, putting back food and water. Maybe you’re rearranging your investments and starting some of the projects you’ve been wanting to do for years. In all of your preparation, have you made considerations for what you will do if modern medicine takes a …




WIN: Whip Inflation Nonconformably

In recent months, I’ve had several consulting clients ask me about how they might protect themselves from the ravages of inflation. The official rate of inflation is now at 9.2%, but everyone knows that the real-world rate is somewhere north of 14%. I’m offering some concrete suggestions that I will relate in this essay, but first, let me digress into some history: According to the Wikipedia article about the WIN campaign: “[President Gerald] Ford had taken office in August 1974 amidst one of the worst economic crises in US history, marked by high unemployment and inflation rising to 12.3% that …




Apple Tree Care 102: Thinning Fruit, by T.S., Ph.D.

When I see clusters of apple trees in box store parking lots, I wonder how many of them will actually become productive. The trees are usually clones of great varieties, like honey crisp and golden delicious. But for many well-intentioned homeowners, coaxing quality fruit on a consistent annual basis from these trees can be a challenge. This how-to article will describe how to thin fruit to increase reliable apple production. Warning, thinning fruit is very counterintuitive (see Figures 1 and 2). This article will describe cutting seemingly healthy “baby apples” from your tree. But, anyone would agree, one healthy apple is better …




Alternative Ways to Source Food, by SaraSue

I was thinking how different my shopping habits are now than what they used to be. I used to go grocery shopping once a week, and didn’t think twice about running into a grocery store during the week for something I forgot or ran out of or needed for a new recipe. Now? I rarely go to a grocery store. Last year, I was popping in once every week or two just to grab a gallon of milk or a pound of bacon, but I don’t even do that anymore. Part of the reason is that I stocked up on …




Zone 3 Vegetable Gardening, by HollyBerry

My husband and I have been residing in the north woods of Maine for 17 years now. The USDA map shows that we are Zone 3b but we are situated in a low pocket that is Zone 3. Keeping a gardening/homesteading journal is the best advice I can give. You might think you will remember what types of plants did well last year and when that 1st frost was but in reality…. Gardening is very humbling. One sneaky frost or good hail storm can destroy weeks or months of hard work. Never take the weather for granted. Keep track of …




An Ex-Pat Homesteading Croatia, by Robert S.

I have moved to Croatia from Israel to join a self-sustaining farmer in building an organic permaculture homestead. I would love to share with you today my homesteading experience in a few categories. I hope something of this can help somebody with something, I am young and learning all the time so forgive me if the info is not relevant. Health The usage of organic foods as preventive medicine is a key but nevertheless when overstated in any direction can be overused. We produce our own meat eggs cheese and vegetables. Consume Curcuma on daily basis mixed with oil and …




First Year of My “Self-Sufficient” Farm – Part 2, by SaraSue

At last count, there are approximately 72 animals on my farm. Of these, 22 meat birds will be butchered very soon bringing the count down to 50. I learned that each type of animal needs their own type of shelter from the elements. I didn’t quite understand that when I got animals and have been scrambling ever since. I have lots of crazy stories of me trying to cope due to my lack of knowledge and experience. Farm Infrastructure Regarding outbuildings: When I bought the place there was a small barn and an oversized “shed” the size of a one-car …




First Year of My “Self-Sufficient” Farm – Part 1, by SaraSue

Whewboy! What a year this has been. It feels like just yesterday that I got the keys. I can confidently say that I haven’t worked this hard since I had four babies, in quick succession, to care for. And even then, I don’t think I worked this hard. I did finally “crash and burn” recently and was sick as a dog for over two weeks and had to call for help just to keep animals alive. I think it’s interesting and helpful to take the time to review the year and make decisions about how things should go moving forward. …




Update: The Big Picture — Grid Up Versus Grid Down–Oil, Soil, and Water

The following is an update to an article that I posted in SurvivalBlog back in September of 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast: — Before selecting a retreat locale, It is crucial that you decide on your own worst-case scenario. A location that is well-suited to surviving a “slow-slide” grid up scenario (a la the deflationary depression of the 1930s) might not necessarily be well suited to a grid down situations. As stated in my post on August 15, 2005, a grid down situation will likely cause a sudden onset variation of TEOTWAWKI with a concomitant mass …




Homemade Household Products Using Bulk Ingredients, by Mrs. Alaska

When people jokingly refer to Whole Foods as “Whole Paycheck” to indicate the price points, I wonder if they conclude that all organic products and foods have to be expensive. It is indeed more expensive to raise meat on a small homestead than to buy a rotisserie chicken at Costco. But so many pricey organic foods and value – add products are quickly and cheaply made at home. A frugal person can save thousands of dollars per year by combining ingredients for tasty or useful products. Put that cash to other purposes less easily accomplished. In addition, making products from …




Gardening in a Post-Nuclear Fallout Environment, by Don Shift

Several weeks ago, Reader L.E. asked how seeds would fare after a nuclear war. That got me researching about growing food after the nukes fly would be complicated. It turns out, not much. After a nuclear war, fallout and higher radiation counts worldwide will be a fact of life. The remnants of the fallout will remain acutely in our food chain for a century. Consuming radionuclides (radioactive isotopes or radioisotopes) will be unavoidable, but not as catastrophic as some think, and it can be mitigated. Fallout will not be a massive, universal phenomenon as some of the outdated fallout pattern …




Grow Food in Summer That Lasts All Winter – Part 2, by J.T.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) — Cabbage: One cabbage plant only produces one head weighing about two and half pounds. We like coleslaw, cabbage rolls, cooked cabbage with potatoes, and stews with cabbage. One cabbage each week should be sufficient for eating. Like broccoli, cabbage will not survive after year end, so we will plan to harvest only about 8 heads. (I harvested one cabbage in December. It lasted in our refrigerator until it was eaten 8 months later). These plants will need an area 5′ by 6′ of garden space for 8 plants placed 2′ apart …




Grow Food in Summer That Lasts All Winter – Part 1, by J.T.

Gardeners: You can grow crops in your summer garden that will feed your family during the non-growing season. It’s all about the proper timing for starting your seeds and knowing which plants can make it through the winter. When summer comes to an end and you no longer have those wonderful veggies that came from your garden, what are your options? Well, for many of us gardeners, we are at the mercy of shopping for produce at Safeway from November until next year’s summer crop which won’t become available until June or July. Therefore, through winter and spring you will …




Patio Herbs, Spices, Peppers, and Tomatoes – Part 2, by MonkeyMan

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Thyme – unknown plants About three years ago, while my son was in college for forestry he would bring me leftover plants from the horticulture department. The horticulture departments from the local schools around you are an untapped goldmine of inexpensive, quality grown plants of all types. I encourage you to explore the markets these departments put on each year. I have two different types of thyme. I do not know the history of the plants. They each have a different look and taste. The seeds from these plants are so small …