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 Fallout will not be a massive, universal phenomenon as some of the outdated fallout pattern …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 …




Patio Herbs, Spices, Peppers, and Tomatoes – Part 1, by MonkeyMan

Introduction This is a collection of thoughts encompassing the last twenty years of slowly growing our patio garden of useful plants for our location northeast of Houston, Texas. We are located in Zone 9 that has long hot and humid summers, with maybe, a night or two each year below freezing. We sometimes cover or protect the pots or plants from freezing temperatures. Maybe the solar minimum will change all that, I don’t know. As all SurvivalBlog readers do, I will continually adapt and modify my approach for my location. I do not claim expertise on any of the topics …




Garden Architecture, by R.B.

It’s always surprising how much “stuff” gardeners need and can use in order to grow the simplest crops. My son always shakes his head at the number of T-posts, sticks, concrete blocks, strings, wires, fences, plastic sheets, bedsheets, etc. that appear in and around my gardens from time to time. Here are some of the “architectural ideas” that help me produce a widely varied harvest. Plastic Jugs Ya ha ha! You an’ me, Little Plastic Jug, How I Love Thee! Farmers and gardeners have always had to rely on their own ingenuity when confronted by surprise conditions that threatened their …




Editors’ Prepping Progress

To be prepared for a crisis, every Prepper must establish goals and make long-term and short-term plans. In this column, the SurvivalBlog editors review their week’s prep activities and planned prep activities for the coming week. These range from healthcare and gear purchases to gardening, ranch improvements, bug out bag fine-tuning, 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 your e-mailed letters. We post many of those –or excerpts thereof — in this column, in …




Jerusalem Artichokes for TEOTWAWKI Gardening – Part 2, by Soli Deo Gloria

Consideration # 4: Pests & Diseases Pests and diseases are a concern for any crop. They can drastically reduce your yield or even destroy your plants completely. Most people who grow corn plant special hybrid varieties that are resistant to many diseases and then they also spray their fields with various treatments throughout the season. This is because crop diseases are a huge problem when it comes to corn. The huge fields of it that are grown across much of the country every year mean that diseases can rapidly spread across vast swaths of land. Of course, the hybrid varieties …




Jerusalem Artichokes for TEOTWAWKI Gardening – Part 1, by Soli Deo Gloria

A lot has been written on this blog and elsewhere about the importance of gardening in order to grow your own food in a post-TEOTWAWKI world. When you think about a survival garden, the first question you need to ask is “What should I grow?” I’d like to suggest that most people are missing some important factors when they try to answer that question. I’m going to walk you through some serious ideas to consider when it comes to survival gardening. If you are new to the whole idea, I hope this will get you started in the right direction. …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 5, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 4. This concludes the article.) Spare Electric Motor The motors used in the Dankoff slow pumps are of the highest quality and would not need service except for brushes. However, it would be nice to have a spare motor just in case an armature fails, or a bearing fails, or if the original motor is lost to theft. If the spare pump motor was stored in an alternate location with a spare pump head and coupler, then we could eventually fabricate the missing parts.  A recent quote from the owner, Kenny at Dankoff Solar Pumps: $539 for …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 4, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 3.) Delivery Line Pressure Specifications Water pressure per foot of head, in the Dankoff chart indicates 60 PSI static pressure at 140 feet.  When water is pumped, if my gauge is accurate, 60 PSI was reached at about 100 feet. Note that 60psi is the maximum pressure rating of most 1/2″ drip irrigation that is the least expensive black poly pipe. As a quick reference when designing a system, download the PDF of this chart.  To save money, you can use inexpensive black poly pipe rated for 100 or 160 PSI for lifts above 120 feet. To …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 3, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 2.) If a 100-watt panel is used, the voltage could be 17.5 to 19 volts at its peak amperage, which is too high for long-term operation. As tested, I use two 100-watt panels, that have one cell covered with duct tape to reduce the voltage at the pump. Voltage is confirmed using a multimeter, and output measured with a one-gallon container, and a tachometer confirms that the pump head is turning at less than 1,725 rpm. Output should be slightly less 2.50 gallons per minute (GPM) if the Dankoff Model #1303 is used, and slightly less than …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 2, by Tunnel Rabbit

(Continued from Part 1.) There are clear advantages with the addition of electronics, and a battery-based pump system.  However reliable they may, or may not be, both of these options can fail at a future date.  As it is, if there are not the microchips to produce it today, so I would not expect it to be available during or after TEOTWAWKI. If we know how to work around a complex device normally used to run solar pumps, then we can also avoid the expense of either the pump controller or perhaps even a PV system altogether. Simplicity is better …




Using a Dankoff Solar Powered Water Pump – Part 1, by Tunnel Rabbit

The Mission: To “Survive and Thrive” In my opinion, the ability to irrigate crops is not covered adequately.  Few have a plan, or the ability pump water for decades without electricity from the grid.  And fewer still have a contingency plan that includes relocating with this critical ability. Not only is our currency at risk, at the same time, so is our food supply and the ability to grow it.  Famine could soon be in the land. What is occurring in the world today has no equal in modern history books, but has been foretold in the Book of Revelation. …