Garden Lessons – Part 2, by R.R.

(Continued from Part 1. This installment concludes the article.) There are numerous videos on the web about this process in building your seed-starting set up. It’s simple and again a one-time effort and expense. I’ve never even had to change a bulb after three years. I also have a surge protector that the three lights and three seed mats are plugged into. I then plug that surge protector into a timer so the lights and mats turn on/off automatically for around 10-12 hours each day. The next thing you have to plan is: when to start what  seeds or seedlings. …




Gardening Lessons – Part 1, by R.R.

So… You think that you can garden? Got the books, got some seeds, and you grew something once. Sure, it’s easy! Well, good for you. It hasn’t come easy for this guy. I’m the so called green-thumb in my house. House plants, no problem. Landscaping around the home, got that. Garden as if our life depends on, not so much. I managed lawn and landscaping crews for seven years during and after college. We did some major commercial work and I know more than the average homeowner about these things. I have to admit that vegetable gardening has been a …




Life in the 12th Century, by Edge

The following article may offend some miserable gits with no sense of humour. If you are a miserable git, then you have been warned. Don’t come whining to me. To envisage a life after electricity, we must look back to a time without it. Most people can think as far back as the American Civil War for a lifestyle but that is modern history with Morse Code (1844), Railways (1804) and Steam Ships (1787) and not where we need to look at all. We need to go right back. In the 12th century there was a rural population of around …




Our Garden Produce Roadside Stand, by R.J.

For the past 10 years, my wife and I have been selling our produce out of a small (4 feet wide, 4 feet deep, and 5 feet high) open-faced vegetable stand which is located on our property next to a public road. The stand contains a variety of produce, priced to sell. It is unmanned, thereby relying on human honesty to pay the asking price. Our efforts have been most rewarding in more ways then just giving us a little extra spending money. We are eating better, have more meaning in life, are healthier, and often have discussions with our …




Growing Shitake Mushrooms on Logs, by Dave S.

My absolute favorite mushroom to eat is the shiitake. They are expensive to buy in the store, but the good news is that they are easy to grow at home. These flavorful and meaty delights are one of the most common mushrooms in the world and also the one with the most health benefits. Unlike any green plant, they have all of the essential amino acids. And they are  good source of vitamins. Shiitake mushrooms are great for building your immune system and are antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. They are a powerhouse of nutrients and contain about 60% carbohydrates, 20% …




It is Planting Time – Part 3, by L.R.

(This installment concludes the 3-part article series.) In Part 2, we discussed the variety of foods you may want to plant when vegetable gardening. Plant what you like to eat, but also be aware that different foods have different caloric content. If you want to preserve food as a hedge against a grid down, you may want to grow a variety of high calorie foods like corn, beans, potatoes and peas. We also looked at two popular methods of preserving food, freezing and canning (although you may want to experiment with dehydrating and pickling as well). Additional Thoughts If you …




It is Planting Time – Part 2, by L.R.

PART 2 In Part 1, my goal was to share with you the value in raising a home vegetable garden, especially if you consider food resupply in a grid down situation. Hopefully, I encouraged you to seriously think about raising your own food and to get started with learning valuable gardening skills. I also wanted you to be realistic in meeting your gardening goals and not to expect perfection especially with your first gardening efforts. In Part 2, I’d like to share some perspective on what vegetables you may want to plant and consider options on how to preserve your …




It is Planting Time- Part 1, by L.R.

PART 1 (Of 3) With the end of winter and the frost date for my area passed, my thoughts naturally turn toward my vegetable garden and this year’s crop. During the harvest last year, I saved a number of seeds for planting again this year, I also saved a ton of money purchasing seeds from our local Co-op left over from the end of last year’s growing season. Properly stored, I’ve found they germinate at very respectable rates and I have always had good luck planting them. I’ve been an avid home gardener for better than twenty years; that’s certainly …




Preparedness Lessons from the 1930s – Part 1, by J. E.

It’s one or two years after an EMP attack and you are safely tucked away in your retreat somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Your storage foods have mostly been used and your high tech electronics is useless. The really bad stuff is mostly past. Now it’s try to stay fed and alive and pray that civilization as you know it is coming back. You’re going to have to work your environment to live. Ever wonder what life might be like to Homestead? What would it really be like to have no running water, electricity, sewer, newspaper or Internet? No …




The Myth of Stored Food, by Pete Thorsen

Many preppers think if they merely store food then they are done–that they have saved their family. And that might be true if they experience a natural disaster in their area which does not allow shopping for a week or so. They have their stored food and just use that during the emergency. Later–if they remember they buy replacements for the food they used–they made their family much more comfortable during that emergency by having that stored food. Plus one for the prepper family. But what about a long term nationwide disaster? What if it is a total economic collapse, …




JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. This week the focus is on American-made gardening tools. (See the Gear & Grub section.) Books: Several readers have recommended this new book by Ben Shapiro: The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great. o  o  o A friend suggested this new release by conservative talk radio host Mark Levin: Unfreedom of the Press. o  o  o And speaking of recent releases, there is also this from noted political analyst and commentator David Horowitz: DARK AGENDA: The …




A Greenhouse for Your Homestead, by Ozark Redneck

“Breathe in. The air is rich, humid, fragrant and full of life, warm on your face. It’s comfortable. What is it about a greenhouse or sunspace that feels good to almost everyone? It’s more than just stimulation of the senses. It goes deeper, further back. The tropics were the womb of human life, and the greenhouse is a connection to our origins.” – Shane Smith, in Greenhouse Gardener’s Companion Having a greenhouse can extend your growing season, allow you to start plants earlier and perhaps allow you to grow food that couldn’t survive in your outdoor garden. We started our …




Family Preparations for Nuclear War

Today, I’m addressing a subject that I suppose should have had more emphasis earlier in SurvivalBlog: The risk of nuclear war, and how families can plan and prepare to survive it. The Risk The risk of nuclear war is now actually greater than during the bad old Cold War. Back then, there were just a handful of nuclear powers that were divided into two or three camps. But today, there are umpteen factions and even terrorist groups with potential access to nukes. Face the facts: We live in a dangerous world. Someday, one or more of hose nukes is going …




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! …