Seed Harvesting Tips for Survival – Part 2, by R.B.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) How Do I Store Seeds Inexpensively and Efficiently? During the summer, save empty envelopes from mail received and carefully cut one end open to remove the contents. If it is an envelope with a cellophane window, slice open the end closest to the window. (There is now a reason to open some of that unwanted junk mail you receive.) Also accumulate empty pill and vitamin bottles and save any *tiny* jewelry-size zip-lock bags. Large mouth jugs with screw-top lids that held three to five pounds of food (parmesan cheese, dried onions, etc) …




Seed Harvesting Tips for Survival – Part 1, by R.B.

As I’m writing this, we are in the full swing of seed gathering here in zone 6 of the northern South. The purpose of this article is to help people in any section of the country learn some easy and inexpensive ways to gather and save seed for now and for harder times to come. Consider the following. Will seed always be available for each type of vegetable, fruit, grain, or flower that you want to grow? Truth be told there are already shortages due to skyrocketing orders following concerns about potential food production failures. What about current price inflation …




Tree Propagation Through Air Layering – Part 3, by T.S., PhD

(Continued from Part 2. This concludes the article.) The EU database listing for Salix states as a fungicide it is useful against leaf fungus and powdery mildews[EU]. The recipe for making a Salix solution: “30 L of natural or rain water is brought to simmering in a stainless steel tank with cover, at 80°C infuse 200 g of Salix spp cortex for 2 hours. After cooling down, and filtration with a stainless steel sieve, adjust pH to 6.2 and proceed the dilution by 3 with water. Use within 24 hours to avoid bacterial contamination [EU].” Some recipes refer to the …




Tree Propagation Through Air Layering – Part 2, by T.S., PhD

(Continued from Part 1.) How to air layer In this part of the article, I will describe the steps to air layering and then provide details and alternate methods to accomplish the same tasks for each. (see Figure 1 for a pictorial overview) 1. Identify where to make the air layer 2. Remove leaves, girdle, and make an incision near a node 3. Apply rooting hormone if you have it 4. Cover the incision with moist soil and protect from the elements How to air layer: Identify where to make the air layer Twigs/branches ideal for air layering should be …




Tree Propagation Through Air Layering – Part 1, by T.S., PhD

It’s summer and you find yourself in a TEOTWAWKI situation. You wish you had access to more trees or shrubs that produce food. You realize things won’t be back to normal anytime soon, so investing the energy and time now seems like a good idea for the payoff in calories of fresh fruit or nuts a few years into the future. Propagation by seed is one easy way to get more trees, but you’ll have to wait until late summer or fall to harvest seeds, and then let them cold stratify (i.e., simulate winter conditions via subjecting them to cold …




Herbs for the Homesteader and Survivalist, by P. B.

I know that SurvivalBlog has had pages and pages of articles on herbal medicine and such over the years. Honestly, I did not take the time to review them all to see if I am repeating information already posted. I will share what I have direct personal knowledge of regarding use and tips. I am a curious middle-aged woman. I do love those shows that demonstrate how things are made. I love going to living history museums and watching all the old-time skills being demonstrated. As mentioned last month, my husband and I like to do things the hard way. …




Winning The War On Weeds – Part 2, by St. Funogas

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Most of your weeds will be annuals which must grow from seed each year and tend to be easy to deal with. My handful of “good weeds” grow large, are easy to pull up even when mature, and remain supple without getting too fibrous or woody making them excellent composting plants. An example is the perilla seen in Photo 5. This is my best composting weed so I let them get large (36”) as long as they’re not obstructing any crop plants. Others in this same category are most of the tender …




Winning The War On Weeds – Part 1, by St. Funogas

We see it all the time: photos of blue-ribbon gardens with beautiful flowers and mouth-watering tomatoes, beans and squash. Everything is neat and tidy, well groomed, and not a weed in sight. People get all excited, visions of seed-catalog covers dancing in their heads, and decide they just have to start a garden so they too can have some of that fresh produce and flowers. A month later their garden more closely resembles an advertisement for Round-Up than anything they may have seen on the cover of Organic Gardening. How, oh how, do we make our gardens look like the …




Black Gold: Organic Matter – Part 2, by R.M.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.) Do you have access to sawdust? In most places where I have lived, I have had access to free sawdust. Sawdust is almost pure carbon = organic matter (yes I know it’s not quite that simple, but for the purpose of how to make your soil better, it really is). Put it on your plants and they will most likely die from lack of nitrogen as the sawdust absorbs it. For the best and fastest composting, you need a ratio of carbon to nitrogen of 7:1, and sawdust is all carbon, no …




Black Gold: Organic Matter – Part 1, by R.M.

Organic matter should be considered black gold. This aricle will describe why you need to work on it, now. Summary: Higher organic matter soils are just about drought-proof, need far less fertilizer, and the organic matter will balance out acid/base and many other conditions resulting in healthier plants that are more resistant to everything from too wet / too dry to insects and disease. I started gardening in the sand hills of Florida over 50 years ago. 78 feet of sand until you hit clay. My first garden was a total failure. For my second garden I followed the exact …




Survival Gardening: The Most Vital Prep – Part 3, by T.J. Dixon

(Continued from Part 2. This concludes the article.) Your crops should be started indoors 4 to 6 weeks before you’re ready to put them out. Since your space is small to start, you will only need one or two 72 cell starter trays; you can also use egg trays or make pots from rolled up paper. When you are selecting your seeds look for heirloom or “open-pollinated” seeds; they will be labeled on the seed packet. Since you will be harvesting next year’s seeds from your little garden, you do not want hybrid seeds. Heirloom and open-pollinated seeds will reproduce …




Survival Gardening: The Most Vital Prep – Part 2, by T.J. Dixon

(Continued from Part 1.) The planting process starts by seeding most crops indoors under artificial lights about 4-6 weeks before it is time to plant them outside; Here, refer to the USDA Hardiness information for planting times. Most crops need from 60 to 90 days to mature after you’ve transplanted. In Zone 5, I start spring seeds indoors in February, summer seeds indoors in April and fall seeds in July. Once things have sprouted, they need to be transitioned outside. You cannot just take a plant from the low light of the indoors into the full power of the sun …




Survival Gardening: The Most Vital Prep – Part 1, by T.J. Dixon

Many of us would regard someone with one year of freeze-dried food as a good example of someone who is prepared. They are ready to ride out the storm when a major Without Rule of Law (WROL) scenario comes along. The issue then becomes, what happens after that first year? Even if they escape mob violence because they have effective self-defense supplies and have trained both at the gun club and in tactical scenarios, they will be out of food in one short year. While they have may all the medical supplies to handle small and large emergencies throughout that …




Planting Productive Orchards, by David K.

When someone says the word ‘orchard,’ most people begin to immediately conjure images of fall and vast acres of fruit trees, hayrides, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apple harvests, making cider, and so forth. But to those with a preparedness mindset, the word ‘orchard’ also implies benefits like self-sufficiency, the attraction of wild game for hunting/trapping, diversified protein sources, fur for blankets, boots, hats, coats, and gloves, as well as bartering. The term ‘orchard’ can have broader connotations beyond your typical fruit tree acreage. For many, myself included, the term ’orchard’ stretches beyond fruit trees and includes nut trees, berry bushes, …




Growing Your Own Food in the Inland Northwest – Part 4, by D.F.

(Continued from Part 3. This concludes the article.) Harvesting I have tried several contrivances for hand harvesting grain or lentils etc., but each time I have been disappointed. Inevitably I have resorted to pulling a clean plastic garbage can behind me while I manually grab the grain heads and jerk or strip them off and deposit them into the garbage can. Surprisingly this procedure has been “perfected” such that I can harvest about a bushel worth of wheat per day. A bushel of wheat weighs 60 lbs. Because wheat and dry legumes have about 1,500 calories per pound a person …