Three Letters Re: The Winter Salad

Just sending a note to remind your readers that the time to plan and plant a fall vegetable garden is right around the corner. Check out the USDA Hardiness Zone Maps for your area to find out what generally grows well in your area. Even better, check with your local Land Grant College Extension office for specific varieties as well as gardening tips and techniques for your area. In Oklahoma, mine is the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. See their home page for the Fact Sheets. For example, see the Fact Sheet for Fall Gardening.

Here is a quote from that Fact Sheet – “Some of the best quality garden vegetables in Oklahoma are produced and harvested during the fall season when warm, sunny days are followed by cool, humid nights. Under these climatic conditions, plant soil metabolism is low; therefore, more of the food manufactured by the plant becomes a high-quality vegetable product.”

BTW, an excellent source for open-pollinated gardening seeds is Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. I do not have any financial interest in the company but I am a well satisfied customer.

God bless you for all you do, – Tom B. in Oklahoma


Thanks for keeping up Survival Blog. It’s been an invaluable resource.
Just a note on the referenced article based on long experience in the lighting industry
and in growing stuff here in the Frozen North

Save some money by not falling for the “Full Spectrum” lamp nonsense. 6500K refers to the apparent whiteness of the light output when compared to a THEORETICAL chunk of black iron heated to 6500 Degrees Kelvin. This is called Colour Temperature. It has no bearing on plant growth. It is an attempt to quantify a subjective individual perception.
“Full Spectrum” is a meaningless term that conveys no information other than the light source emits light in the full range of the visible spectrum. Almost all lamps do this especially fluorescent lamps.

A more appropriate measure is “Colour Rendering Index” (CRI). This is a measure of the apparent rendition of colours from a standard chart called the “Munsel Scale” They show colour samples to people within normal colour vision range and record the results. If a majority of subjects report seeing colours within the acceptable range, the CRI rating is applied. Roughly. 81% reporting of “accurate” color judgment gives a CRI of 85. Thus a Lamp whose catalogue number ends in 735 has a Colour Rendering Index of 70 and a Colour temperature of 3,500 Degrees Kelvin. This is useful when lighting my wife’s make up mirror but useless in the growing area.

A few years ago I worked with a physician who was treating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) with Light Therapy. After I got him Fixtures for about one tenth of the cost of the usual advertised scam units I asked him if he wanted the fancy “Full Spectrum ” lamps to go with them He laughed at me. Then he told me that the cheap .99 cent ones did the same job as the $12 ones.

The advertised “Full Spectrum” Lamps almost never reference the CRI and are touted on the basis of the higher Colour Temperatures being somehow better. This is all part of the scam.

The real determination of the effectiveness of artificial light in home winter growing is the amount and positioning of light & the photo period. (How much light for how long)
Just get around 100 Foot Candles on the growing plants for the same length of light that they would get in a normal summer growing period
Note that a foot Candle is one “Lumen” per foot or the light of one candle. You can buy a meter to read this level at most photography supplies
They are usually available in an inexpensive model that does very well. The growing of an indoor garden is not Rocket Science.

Use the cheap lamps (light bulbs) & spend the extra money on ammo. With Regards, – George, Casa Frejole


Thanks for your blog and what you do. I’m not just a 10 Cent Challenger, but also a fan your books, “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It”, “Rawles Gets You Ready” preparedness course, Rawles on Retreats and Relocation”, “Patriots”, and your earlier writings before this. I’m a retired [U.S. Army] 11B [infantryman] mostly active duty, but did tours in Somalia and Kuwait among other. I appreciate the content and comments of your blog.

In “The Winter Salad” the author gave some great information and alternatives, and your OPSEC comments are valid, one small thing was perhaps omitted and that is sprouts, this may be a good alternative as well as sprouts do not require as much energy input to get good nutrition. Granted there are some precautions to take, some plants are okay to eat of the seed or fruit, but not leaves or roots and the like, Consulting your local county agricultural agent may be a good place to start.

I mention this more for a “grid down” situation where one has a static location and is not in movement or the like.

Also the addition of multivitamins with minerals may be a good addition to a nutrition issue.

Thanks again for an excellent blog. – T. in the Pacific Northwest