Letter: Carpenter Bees and Boring Beetles

Hugh, My husband and I have purchased a log cabin, which we are moving into in a few months. This cabin is located in SW North Carolina, and the property is surrounded by a national forest. We are dealing with carpenter bees and boring beetles. My husband has been looking into all sorts of ways to deal with these wood-damaging insects. He just bought hypodermic syringes from the local farm store to put liquid borate in them for injecting into the holes we can see. We need a permanent solution, if there is such a thing, to keep them at …




Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also often share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready! …




Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. Steadily, we work on meeting our prepping goals. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities. They also often share their planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, property improvements, and food storage. This is something akin to our Retreat Owner Profiles, but written incrementally and in detail, throughout the year. We always welcome you to share your own successes and wisdom in the Comments. Let’s keep busy and be ready! …




Mid-Scale Grain Gardening in Alaska- Part 4, By Alaskan Gardeners

My wife and I have developed a mid-scale grain garden and have shared much of the crop operations earlier in this article series. We are in the middle of disclosing modifications to the Rodale Thresher as part of our Threshing and Winnowing operation. Let’s continue. Threshing and Winnowing (continued) Exit Modifications To Avoid Lost Grain I used ½” galvanized hardware cloth for the exit screen as shown in Figure 10. Most of the grain lost from the thresher is via sweeping out seed along with threshing debris. Counter this by installing finished 1” X 1” boards across the screen to …




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 …




Mid-Scale Grain Gardening in Alaska- Part 2, By Alaskan Gardeners

We are continuing on with this article about my wife’s and my journey in mid-scale grain gardening. Yesterday, I explained our reasons for believing it was time to build self-sufficiency, and now let’s move on to the food production part, specifically our grain gardening efforts. Definition of Mid-Scale Grain Gardening Grain plots may vary in size, ranging from, at the minimum, a small plot using a rototiller or shovel and rake for soil preparation, hand sowing the grain, reaping with a scythe or sickle, threshing with a flail, and winnowing with a kitchen fan or a windy day. The small-scale …




Mid-Scale Grain Gardening in Alaska- Part 1, By Alaskan Gardeners

Food sufficiency is a large part of self sufficiency, so my wife and I pursued mid-scale grain gardening, though our home was in Alaska. Here is our story and how we have done this. Breakdown of My Article My article will cover the following: Preamble: Why We All Should Become Increasingly Self-sufficient– The First Steps Definition of Mid-Scale Grain Gardening Crop Operations Reaping and Drying Threshing and Winnowing Scaling Up Harvesting Operations So, What To Do With All This Grain? Disclaimer Preamble: Why We Should All Become Increasingly Self-sufficient People’s outlook and actions are largely a product of their experiences, …




God’s Perfect Bounty: Our Natural Survival Garden- Part 3, by D.M.

Today, I’m finishing my article on some of the plants God provided for our survival. I’ve written on the American beautyberry and its medicinal, culinary, and decorative uses, including recipes. Most recently, I’ve been talking about the Seminole squash (or pumpkin, as it is sometimes called), which also has many uses. I’m currently sharing about culinary uses. Seminole Squash (continued) Ways to Eat Seminole Squash Young stems, flowers, and leaves of Seminole squash can be eaten as a green vegetable or added to soups. The squash can be eaten raw, stuffed, fried, baked, mashed, roasted, steamed, boiled, or dried. The …




God’s Perfect Bounty: Our Natural Survival Garden- Part 2, by D.M.

I have been telling you about God’s provision for our survival through nature and specifically writing about the many uses of the American beautyberry. They are edible, medicinal, and decorative berries. In part 1, I shared a recipes for insect repellent, tea for skin ailments, and more using various parts of the American beautyberry plant. I also told how I made juice with the berries. Now, let’s move on to more culinary uses for the American beautyberry and take a look at another multipurpose plant as well. American Beautyberry Jelly After much experimenting with several jelly recipes (some twice), I …




God’s Perfect Bounty: Our Natural Survival Garden- Part 1, by D.M.

When God made the heaven and earth, he made them perfect. He provided everything we need for our survival, from nutrition to medicine for both humans and animals, from knowledge and natural instinct to even giving us beauty to behold. Knowledge of Survival Lost And Forgotten The knowledge of survival using God’s perfect bounty has been lost and forgotten over time. While gaining new knowledge with the advent of modern grocery stores and medicine we’ve forgotten God’s natural survival garden. There are many varieties of plants that grow naturally without any help from us. Many are disease-, drought-, and pest-resistant, …




Potatoes—A Staple for Food Storage With No Refrigeration, by Back Yard Gardner

Growing and storing potatoes in the Northwest through the winter months always brought unsatisfactory long-term storage results. It didn’t matter how I stored the potatoes after digging, whether in dry sawdust, under a layer of newspaper, on a dark cool dry shelf, all had similar results of shriveling and sprouting potatoes before the stored crop was used up. An Experiment For Stored, “Fresh” Potatoes I tried an experiment with the 2016 potato crop. Once I dug the Kennebec potatoes in April of 2017, the results of wonderful plump potatoes spurred me to store the 2017 potatoes crop the same way. …




Our Family’s Garden Grain Experiment- Part 2, by Wild BillB of OR

Our family did an experiment to see how we could grow wheat and oats in a garden setting. In part 1 of this article series, we shared that we used two different garden plots, one that was well fertilized and one that had never been fertilized or used for a garden. Additionally, I told about our seeds and how we protected our growing areas from animals. We began describing the tools that we tested to harvest wheat and how we found, for us, that the sickle worked best. Also, because the naked oats we grew dropped seed more readily, we …




Our Family’s Garden Grain Experiment- Part 1, by Wild BillB of OR

This is an account of our family’s experience and learning while experimenting with growing oats and wheat in a garden setting. Storing food and preps are important; but, for us, the primary role of food storage is for the immediate emergency or to get us through the first year of a serious crisis. What then? No one can store sufficient food for a serious, long-term disaster. The Key Is Growing and Gathering Your Own The key is growing and gathering your own, and our favorite staples to grow are potatoes and corn. Living on the “wet” side of Oregon we …




Homestead Design from a Practical, Tactical, Agricultural Survival Perspective, by C.F

Let’s talk about practical, tactical, and agricultural survival principles and details that pertain to developing land in a way that will facilitate agricultural productivity, sustainability, and security. Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house. Prov. 24:27. Assessing the Land The Land First of all, we are likely to be constrained by property boundaries. Therefore, in selecting property, what are our priorities? Not everyone has the same priorities, and priorities change as the world around us changes. For example, a property that is perfectly usable today may become untenable if …




Letter: Storing the Right Seeds for Your Climate Zone

Hugh, I wish that seed storage recommendations touched on what agricultural climate zone they are best used. Seeds that work in Idaho might not do so well in Georgia. – R.V. HJL’s Reply: SurvivalBlog has long been a proponent of gardening now rather than waiting until TEOTWAWKI. This is a prime example of why this is important. You might live in an area where you can stick any ol’ seed into the ground and not care for it. But my guess is that you don’t. Gardening is difficult and you have to learn what works in your area and what …