Working towards a sustainable future.

I think deep down inside everyone wants a sustainable future. The term sustainable future can mean many different things depending on who you ask. the general definition of described the use of natural resources when this use is kept at a steady level that is not likely to damage the environment. It is important to find a balance that both supports the needs of your family without damaging the area in which you get the resources from. You don't want to kill off everything on your farm and have to move in a few years. That isn't very sustainable.

Food and water are your number priorities. There are several ways to grow crops without damaging the environment or polluting the water. You can create your own compost, this avoids the use of harmful chemicals. Hydroponics is an option, yes this does use chemicals, but they have a very minimal impact compared to traditional fertilizers. The option I am using is aquaculture, this combines fish and plants and has zero chemicals introduced. The plants are provided nutrients from the fish waste. It may sound dirty but I promise you would not know the difference if you bit into a better grown in a field or through aquaculture. The other benefit of aquaculture is the protein you produce from the fish as they mature.

Power is another priority that can be produced without a major impact on the environment. Many homesteads are completely off the grid and produce their own power through solar panels or wind turbines. Advances in technology has greatly improved the production and lifespan of solar panels. Many panels are guaranteed to produce power for over 25 years. Wind turbines are very efficient and can produce power with as little as 5 mph winds. The hydrogen power market is growing also. You can produce power with a small stream on your property. All three of these methods are cost effective and will help keep you off the grid.

As I said earlier, a sustainable future has many different meanings to many people. The bottom line is to live a healthy life with minimal impact to the environment around you. As always, I would love to hear your comments and see how you may be using some of the methods mentioned.

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Are we safe anymore?

In the wake of so many shootings in America, one has to ask if we are safe anymore in America. Being prepared for a shooting is a hit or miss, literally. You can carry a sidearm everyday, it only takes that one time when you have to go into a place that does not allow weapons or you could be in the corner of a store and the first shot hits you in the back. Saying this isn't an excuse to just throw your hands up and not prepare for an active shooter situation, it is reality.

Everyone should be allowed to carry a gun, once they are properly trained. That is my thoughts on weapons in public. Again, every situation has its own parameters that will determine the outcome. I do agree with some people that say to many weapons could be detrimental to a situation. For example, everyone in the store has a weapon, a lone gunman enters and opens fire. Next thing you know, five legally armed good Samaritans are shooting at each other because they don't know who fired the first shot. This would be a sketchy situation for anyone.

All I can say is, be prepared, be aware of your surroundings, and train. Don't just go to a static shooting range and shoot at a stationary target 10 feet away and think your good to go. You need to practice the basics and then move onto more advanced target engagements. Once you comfortable drawing your weapon and firing. Practice magazine changes from multiple positions like stand, kneeling, crouching and laying on the floor. Practice shooting around corners, through objects or barriers, and shoot at varying distances. Your opponent is not just going to stand still and wait for you to get proper site alignment.

Practice the run, hide, fight scenario because not every situation will allow for immediate action. You may need to run for cover first to get situational awareness. Hiding isn't about laying down in the fetal position and hoping the shooter doesn't find you. You are hiding to protect yourself and others until the opportunity to escape opens up or the shooter gives you a chance to fight back. Once you start to fight back, commit to the action, in most active shooter cases we have seen so far, once someone engages the shooter they will most likely run away.

All I can say is be prepared for any situation. A shooting can happen anytime or any place. We are no longer safe in our churches, we can't get a cup of coffee without the chance of getting shot in the back, and our kids aren't safe at school. Read about past events and how it ended. Talk to people around you and rehearse some drills, get your family involved. There are many great articles online talking about different active shooter survival tactics. Please educate yourself.

Surviving an Active Shooter Situation by www.offgridsurvival.com

Active Shooter Survival by www.legallyconcealed.com

 

 

active-shooter-run
Hide option
fight option
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Raising Catfish for food

Raising catfish is fairly easy once everything is setup. Catfish are fast growers compared to most other fish, that is why they are so popular as a homestead food source. Channel catfish can be ready for harvest in as little as four months. The best temperature for growth is between 60 and 70 degrees.

Varieties of catfish

Catfish are very hardy and can be raised in just about any container. Some common tanks for channel catfish are aquariums, small backyard ponds, food grade plastic barrels, and plastic storage containers. The method for keeping the fish alive varies from each container and we will attempt to cover all the options.

Feeding channel catfish is pretty easy. They eat just about anything you put in front of them. A diet of commercial pellets and earthworms work the best for growth. You can save money by raising your own earthworms. I will post a article about that later.

Cleaning

Cooking

 

Ready to find out more?

Raising Catfish in a Barrel

Visit: The Survivalist Blog for more great articles.

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Make your garden last longer

Gardening isn't just for the summer months anymore. With the advancements of technology and techniques we can now grow more crops and extend our growing seasons. Survivalists have the option to grow their food inside or outside. New gardening techniques have allowed us to grow crops longer into the cold winter months. This article has some great examples on extending the growing season. As the seasons change, it is great to know we can still produce the food we need.

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Planning a vegetable garden for survival

Planning a vegetable garden can be a overwhelming task for a beginner. This article is great for anyone wanting to start a sustainable garden. The article covers what type of plants to grow and where to grown them. The free garden planner will help you layout your garden in the most efficient manner. Survivalists come from all types of backgrounds, it is not safe to assume everyone knows how to plant a garden to sustain a family of any size. The prepper insider looks for educational articles from prepper sites across the internet that can be used by anyone. I hope you find this information useful.

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What do we know about EMPs?

There are many different warnings and EMPs hitting the states. Some people wonder if is possible for an EMP to do the damage described in many posts. Others are planning for a direct hit in the states. I believe it is better to be prepared for a hit and know how to protect yourself and your family. The way our countries are trying to show who has bigger armies, better tanks, and advanced technologies, I have no doubt something will happen in our lifetime.
Rather than sit around and through conspiracy theories out there, lets just see what needs to be done. There are a few articles of interest. While I don't personally know what an EMP detonation would do, I try to educate myself everyday on possible scenarios. I have been reading books and watching videos on survival situations. I am practicing these lessons with my family so they understand who has what role in a situation. I look at it like this: We are making a cake, each family member has certain ingredients. If the ingredients don't work together, our cake is a mess.

 

One good article I recently read was:

Life After An EMP Attack: No Power, No Food, No Transportation, No Banking And No Internet

This article was written several years ago but it just goes to show how long some people have seen the threat of EMP attacks.

 

 

Another article that is more up to date is:

How to Make A Faraday Cage: DIY

Protection For Devices Against EMP.

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The Easy Greenhouse: Triple Your Food Production

Source:  on August 17, 2017                                      http://thepreppingguide.com/greenhouse/

 

Growing in a greenhouse

Putting food on the table for yourself and your family was once a challenge, especially through those winter months. But with a gardening greenhouse you can create the perfect growing conditions all year round and your veggie patch is going to thrive.

 

I have always laughed at the concept of a greenhouse, but as I am growing more experienced in dealing with fresh food production in different temperatures I am becoming ever-so-more impressed with the yield of produce a greenhouse can bring.

A big part of prepping is planning for the uncertainty of the future. It is why a lot of people, and families or communities, make a concerted to move towards the ‘off-the-grid’ lifestyle. That is to say, to remove themselves from the reliance upon the mass production of life’s necessaries such as food, water and power. Going off-the-grid is a great way to save money and become more self-sufficient in your resource gathering. Essentially the idea is to eat what you make and use the power that you generate.

Going off-the-grid can be difficult in some stages such as power generation, but when it comes to food, nothing is as easy as putting a seed in the ground and watching it grow. It can be very therapeutic and satisfying as well. And hey, at the end of it, that once small seed could now bear produce to eat, like a ripe, red tomato, or a great big eggplant to fry. To live off it, we just need to multiply our effort into more than one seed. Oh, and it’s still free.

Producing your own food can save money

When we’re going into production of food, we can look at the savings we make on a regular shopping bill. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables so this is a big component of my spendings. But to live off that produce, we’re going to have to do a little more than just plant a seed, and you’re going to need to support that growth all year round.

Growing vegetables as a test is easy, growing them as a source of food requires some skill. But none that you should be fearful of. All it comes down to is timing, weather, and manipulating those conditions with a greenhouse.

Hacking food production with a greenhouse

A greenhouse is your best tool to use to smash produce rates as it can recreate the perfect temperate environment for plants to grow. This can be for fruits, vegetables and obviously flowers too. Most people start planting seeds during the start of summer to take advantage of the sunny season. A greenhouse allows you to get a head start on that growth and start growing in early spring right up through until late autumn and even the first day of winter. Building a greenhouse

With a good rotation of produce you can cultivate your own crops of tomatoes, peas, peppers and eggplants (just to name a few) and then introduce some winter greens to last through your very short winter. As soon as the last day of winter hits you can start planting tomato seeds and get a head start on the summer crop again.

There are some hardcore planters using various methods to sustain their crops throughout winter. One owner I know who also enjoys the produce of small greenhouses like this uses an electric heater to regulate the temperature in the greenhouse with a power timer. They step in during the beginning of the day to water the plants and the rest of the time the greenhouse is kept sealed to ensure the warmth is kept it. The timer comes on for 20-minute durations towards the colder part of the day and night to keep the warmth regulated.

What type of greenhouse you need

There are so many types of greenhouses to choose from, and for good reason too. Some people are at the beginning stages or just experimenting in the garden with fruits, flowers and vegetables, while others are putting the food on the table. But no matter which end of the gardener spectrum you fall under, a greenhouse can work for you. So let’s go through a couple.

The one that I prefer the most is the small walk-in greenhouse shed. These ones generally measure about 7-ft high, 6-ft deep and 5-ft wide, once it’s packed it’s enough space for me to get in, turn around and search for tomatoes. It comes with three shelves as well (one is a floor rack) so there’s not too much overcrowding or limitation for tomato growth (sometimes they like to get very tall). These things are very easy to set up and the cover is very durable. 

If you’re a beginner and getting used to the dynamics and monitoring of a box, these previous greenhouses are a great idea but I would also consider, or as an alternative, a greenhouse garden box. They are a bit smaller and just have a fliptop supported glass or hard plastic lid so they can still soak in the sunlight and heat. You can also use hot water bottles in these or warming lamps as a way to keep them warm in colder climates.

For the more experienced gardeners, large garden hot-housesare definitely the best way to organise and maximise food production. While they are the same 7-ft height as the first one mentioned, they are 20ft long and 10ft wide, so there’s enough space to have deep shelves on each side, or smaller ones on the outside and a middle aisle for saplings. Surprisingly, these things keep their heat in very well and during the summer months their doors zip up all the way on both sides to allow a thorough flow of air through the middle.

If you have the space, I would recommend getting this one as it is a great project place (if you have the space) and should be able to yield produce for a family. These are also grossly underpriced at $100$199 which is much less than the money you save in grocery bills each month. These are a little more difficult to set-up however, so it might help to get the other family members or friends to help.

Where it should go

Greenhouses need optimum sunlight to work at their full potential, so an open spot is the best one. If you can manage it, a narrow greenhouse like the last one mentioned would ideally sit on an east-west orientation. It should go without mentioning that you need to keep this away from trees or buildings that may cause a shadow effect over the house. This is why it would be good to mark your spot out early and check how the sun progresses over the day on the potential position.

If you’re growing straight into the soil that you greenhouse is located on that’s great. But keep in mind you can also build raised beds for saplings and smaller crops that don’t need as deep soil to grow.

What You Should Be Planting

The magical question is what should you grow. If you are a beginner, start with tomatoes and see how easy they are to grow. These are really just a stick in soil and watch type of plant, although like most youngsters, when they get a bit older they need a hand to stand up straight, using bamboo sticks or wire fixes this. Aside from those you can look at growing:

Greenhouse vegetables

Peppers in a greenhouse

  • Small baby greens like beet, peas, bak choi and little radish.
  • Spinach, another easy one to grow and a great green to eat
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers/paprica/capsicum
  • Herbs such as basil and cilantro
  • Aubergine or eggplant
  • Squash
  • Fruits from the citrus family – melons, orange, lemon
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
    Growing in a greenhouse

    Eggplant in my greenhouse

For winter crops, hard greens are the best and most suitable to grow. For a good winter crop you can easily rotate the space of some of your summer crops and plant things such as: carrots, parsnip, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, turnips, leek and spinach.

Temperature Moderation

Every greenhouse needs some sort of temperature regulation. Generally the sun helps with this. The prime time for regulating temperatures is just after winter to get the most growth out of your summer crops.

As mentioned before, things such as warm water bottles or warming lamps can provide the necessary heat to the smaller greenhouses, but when it comes to the large ones more advanced heating methods are needed. External portable heaters like the Mr Heater, the Honeywell or a Lasko heater does a great job at keeping the space in the greenhouse warm at a very minimal cost. You can also find cheap, quality electronic thermometers like a Thermopro to regulate your temperatures. Sometimes there can be a need to increase airflow around plants, cool rooms and remove stagnant air from around the plants. You can fix this by picking up easy-to-use Hurricane wall-mount, or an AC Infinity.

Growing in a Greenhouse

Mount Pleasant Granary

For the most part, it is very simple to use a greenhouse to regulate and create the perfect growth environment. It’s a structure that is widely used and while its benefits are huge, they still remain ridiculously cheap. Depending on your space you have to work with, these can be turned into great production stations to feed you and your family all year round, removing the need to buy produce from the supermarket.

If you do decide to get a greenhouse, or if you already have one, send in a comment and share what you grow and some hacks you use to boost your growths. The prepping gardener is a hobby as much as it is a shift to becoming self-sufficient, so enjoy.

 

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