Aug 18

20 Signs You Might Be A Cheapskate

Do you enjoy saving a buck more than most people?  Do you have a black belt in frugality? Around here, most of us consider “cheapskate” to be a positive word!… Read the rest

The post 20 Signs You Might Be A Cheapskate appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

from The Organic Prepper Click Here for full article

Aug 18

American Homesteaders Are Growing Rice. Here’s How They Do It.

American Homesteaders Are Growing Rice. Here’s How They Do It.

Image source: Pixabay.com

In the western part of the world when people consider growing their own staple grains, they generally think of wheat or oats. Rice is predominantly grown in eastern countries, but that’s largely due to historical preference. Rice can be easily grown on a small homestead, even in cold climates.

While rice is typically thought of as a tropical plant, there are actually two sub-species, one of which is hardy in cold climates. Long-grain rice varieties such as jasmine or basmati can only be grown in warm southern regions. Some varieties of short-grain rice, however, are cold tolerant and can be grown in short-season cold areas, all the way up to zone 4. It’s currently grown in cold climates such as northern Japan, Romania and the Ukraine.

Cold-climate rice strains thrive where average summer temperatures are as low as 68 degrees, though it’s ideal is 68 to 86 degrees. Still, farmers in areas where the average summer temperatures only hits the low 60s are having some success and harvesting adequate crops, even in the northernmost parts of New England.

This New All-Natural Fertilizer Doubles Garden Production!

Farmers in the Northeastern United States are beginning to cultivate rice on a small scale, and selecting for cold-tolerant strains.  At this point, the primary selection criteria are quick maturity and disease resistance. As more strains become available, farmers will eventually have the option to select for high yields and better taste.

To aid the plants’ survival, a few cold-climate adaptations have been developed, and cold-climate rice producers must take extra steps to ensure a harvest.  Rice is soaked to stimulate germination before being started in greenhouse flats well before the last frost date. At four weeks before the last frost, the rice is transplanted outside into paddies. Water levels are kept high during times of increased frost risk to provide extra protection for the plants.

While rice is grown semi-submerged in patties, it cannot be successfully grown in wetlands. Wetlands are protected areas in most places, and not available for cultivation. Beyond that, the water level needs to be carefully controlled, which is generally not an option in a wetland. The ideal soil is poorly drained, but not an actual wetland, like a soil that has a clay hardpan under layer that prevents full drainage. From there, runoff is controlled and a series of ponds are created to help manage water levels.

American Homesteaders Are Growing Rice. Here’s How They Do It.

Image source: Pixabay.com

Before the water gets to the paddy, it flows through a series of warming ponds that are shallow, dark bottomed and exposed to the sun. This pre-heated water prevents cold snow melt and rain runoff from cooling the growing ponds and helps accelerate the growth of the plants while at the same time buffering them for cold nighttime temperatures.

Quarter-Acre Patch Equals 1,000 Pounds Of Rice

Rice grown in marginal poorly drained agricultural soils that currently grow second-class hay can yield as much as two tons per acre. A small homestead quarter-acre patch could yield as much as 1,000 pounds of rice in a good year, or enough rice to supply a family of four with about half of their calories in a year.

In many parts of the world, rice is still tended and harvested by hand, making it ideal for a small homestead without specialized equipment. For harvest, the rice is cut and bundled by hand, and then threshed against logs to dislodge the grains.

Rice paddies also can be beneficial in other ways, by preventing flooding and managing runoff. With a series of ponds, water is held on the land, which prevents erosion, rather than quickly running off and damaging the topsoil.

Ducks are often incorporated into rice paddies to increase yields and add a harvest of meat and eggs from the same land. Ducks cannot consume rice or rice plants because they have too much silica for the ducks to digest. Ducks can, however, consume insects that infest the rice and weeds that compete with it in the paddy. Their droppings help to enrich the paddy and add fertility.

Most duck species are capable of feeding themselves and raising young independently in this environment, even without supplemental feed. By adding ducks to the operation, most farmers reduce their workload, increase their rice yields and add meat and eggs to their table. Ducks tend to fare better than chickens in cold climates, which is an added bonus.

If you want to grow rice on your land, try starting with a series of plants in 5-gallon buckets. This will allow you to monitor the progress of your rice and test viability before investing in creating a series of ponds and patties.

Have you ever grown rice? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

from Survival Gardening – Off The Grid News Click Here for full article

Aug 17

Reader’s Choice: High Value Knives Our Readers Recommend

Reader’s Choice: High Value Knives Our Readers Recommend

A few weeks back, Thomas asked you guys which knives you found to be some of the highest value on the market. This article is the result of that question post. In it, I’ve taken the time to compile your responses, grouping your specific knife recommendations into fixed blade & folder categories. Knife value is […]

This is just the start of the post Reader’s Choice: High Value Knives Our Readers Recommend. Continue reading and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments!


Reader’s Choice: High Value Knives Our Readers Recommend, written by Elise Xavier, was created exclusively for readers of the survival blog More Than Just Surviving.

from More Than Just Surviving Click Here for full article

Aug 17

5 All-Natural Weed Killers, Straight From Your Kitchen (No. 2 Will Kill ANYTHING)

5 All-Natural Weed Killers, Straight From Your Kitchen (No. 2 Will Kill ANYTHING)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Weeds — they creep up in your garden, sneak through the cracks in the sidewalk, and make it a point to grow everywhere that’s inconvenient to reach.

The easy-out, of course, is to reach for a bottle of store-bought herbicide. Readily available and modestly priced, it’s no wonder that many home gardeners choose it.

Unfortunately, many of these herbicides can be detrimental not only to weeds, but to humans as well. Studies suggest that the chemicals in these products can have a wide range of impacts. Some are relatively minor, such as the potential to cause skin irritations or allergic reactions, while others are more serious, such as nervous system problems and even cancer. In all cases, children and pets are especially vulnerable. Many of these products also have a long-term negative impact on the environment.

Seamazing: The Low-Cost Way To Re-mineralize Your Soil

Homemade weed killers offer the best possible alternative to manufactured herbicides. Inexpensive and made from common household materials, these natural weed killers can help keep unwanted plants at bay without unnecessary exposure to harmful chemicals.

Let’s look at several:

1. Boiling water

One of the simplest solution to weeds involves nothing more than water. To use this technique, boil water in a kettle, then, before it has a chance to cool, pour the water on the crown and roots of the offending plant. The hot temperature will scald virtually any plant it comes in contact with, generally dealing a mortal blow. Although plants with long taproots may require more than one treatment, this is an easy and completely natural way to combat pesky plants.

2. Salt

There’s a reason armies used to salt the fields of their enemies — salt has a powerful ability to render soil barren. Because it affects the ability of roots to take up water from the soil, salt effectively dries out existing plants and makes it difficult for new ones to take hold. While not an ideal solution for gardens and lawns since it can cause permanent damage to the soil, salt can be useful for treating pathways, sidewalks and other areas that are meant to be plant-free. For easy application, dissolve one part salt in eight parts water and apply to the desired locations.

3. Vinegar and lemon juice

5 All-Natural Weed Killers, Straight From Your Kitchen (No. 2 Will Kill ANYTHING)

Image source: Pixabay.com

Plants are picky when it comes to soil pH, and lowering the pH immediately around a weed will almost always cause it to wither. For this reason, it’s not unusual to find acidic ingredients in many commercial herbicides. Before resorting to an unknown chemical concoction, though, it’s worth trying a version made from common pantry items.

Need Non-GMO Seeds For Your Organic Garden? The Best Deals Are Right Here!

Vinegar and lemon juice both contain strong acids and can be combined for a pH-targeting weed treatment. Simply combine four ounces of lemon juice with one quart of vinegar and apply directly on the offending plants. This solution will kill most plants, but without causing residual damage to the surrounding soil.

4. Pickle juice

Finish off a jar of pickles recently? Don’t throw away the bottle without putting the leftover liquid to good use first! Pickle brine is full of vinegar and salt, making it a natural combination of these two weed-tackling substances. Apply directly to problem plants and pat yourself on the back for finding such a creative way to handle uninvited garden guests.

5. Soap

One of the most popular homemade herbicides involves combining two of the treatments mentioned above (vinegar and salt) with a third household product — dish soap. While not necessarily damaging to weeds in and of itself, soap contains surfactants which help the other ingredients “stick” to the plant, enhancing the weed-killing properties of the solution. To create this triple-whammy weed control, combine one gallon of vinegar (to lower the pH) with one cup of salt (to dry out the roots) and one tablespoon of dish soap (to help it adhere to the plants).

Controlling weeds doesn’t necessarily need to involve harsh chemicals and impossible-to-pronounce ingredients. Take advantage of these homemade alternatives to safely keep unwanted plants in check.

What all-natural methods would you add to this list? Share your ideas in the section below:

Bust Inflation With A Low-Cost, High-Production Garden. Read More Here.

from Survival Gardening – Off The Grid News Click Here for full article

Aug 17

Survival Gear Review: Helle’s New Folding Bushcraft Knife, the Bleja

folding blade knife

A first look at a beautiful Norwegian blade

The craftsmen at Helle have spent the last three years trying to design and perfect a new folding knife that holds up to their standards. The result of their effort is…

from Survival Click Here for full article

Aug 17

How Can We Learn from the Past If We Erase History?

 

 

 

Removing monuments from the Civil War to erase history is a mistake.

This won’t be a popular opinion, and I’m okay with that. Because for now, we … Read the rest

The post How Can We Learn from the Past If We Erase History? appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

from The Organic Prepper Click Here for full article

Aug 17

8 ‘Magical’ Vegetables You Can Regrow From Scraps (With A Little Help)

8 ‘Magical’ Vegetables You Can Regrow From Scraps (With A Little Help)

Image source: YouTube screen capture.

 

Vegetables typically get one go-round in the kitchen, and then we toss the carrot tops, sprouted garlic or celery bottoms in the compost bin or garbage can without giving it a second thought. Who would imagine that many kitchen scraps actually have the potential to regrow into usable vegetables?

Most vegetables won’t regrow indefinitely, and they probably won’t grow enough to feed your family for very long. However, re-growing vegetables can save you money and in the meantime, many are attractive, decorative plants that bring a bit of the outdoors into your kitchen. If you’re looking for fun gardening projects to inspire kids, this one is sure to be a hit.

Try these vegetables:

1. Celery, bok choy and romaine lettuce – Slice the bottom from the bunch and put it in a bowl of warm water with the cut side facing up and just the root end submerged. Watch for leaves to emerge from the center as the outer section gradually turns yellow and deteriorates. Once the celery bottom has several healthy leaves, plant it in a container filled with potting mix, with only the leaf tips showing above the soil.

Story continues below video

2. Avocado – This is an old trick that kids love. Unfortunately, the plant isn’t likely to bear fruit unless you’re patient and willing to wait a dozen years or so. In the meantime, enjoy the lush, green plant.

To grow an avocado plant, just use toothpicks to suspend a cleaned seed, wide end facing down, over a glass of water so only the bottom half of the seed is submerged. Place the glass in a warm spot where the avocado is exposed to indirect sunlight. Check the water every day and add more as needed.

Looking For Non-GMO Seeds? Look No Further!

Once the stem grows to about 6 inches, cut it down to about 3 inches. When you notice new leaves, plant the avocado in potting mix with about half the seed above the surface of the soil. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Story continues below video

3. Potatoes – Cut potato peels into 2-inch chunks, each with at least two eyes. Set the chunks on the countertop to dry for a day or two, and then plant them in a large, deep container with the eyes facing up. Cover the potato chunks with 4 inches of soil, and then as the plant grows, add an extra 4 inches of soil. The new, tender potatoes will be ready to harvest in a few weeks.

4. Onions – Slice the root end from the onion, along with about a half-inch of the onion. Plant the onion in potting mix, root side down, and water as needed to keep the soil moist. The onion should be ready to harvest in several weeks. At that time, cut off the root end and grow yet another onion.

5. Ginger root – Plant a small chunk of ginger root in potting mix, with the buds facing up. Water as needed to keep the soil moist, and then harvest the entire plant, roots and all, in a few months. Grow ginger root indefinitely by saving a small chunk from the new root.

6. Garlic – If you’ve left a garlic clove a little too long and it’s sprouted, don’t throw it away. Just plant the clove in a pot with the root end facing down. When the clove is well-established and displays new growth, trim the shoots so that energy is concentrated on the clove. You can grow garlic this way indefinitely; just start a new garlic clove from the newly grown bulb.

7. Carrots – Unfortunately, you can’t grow new carrots with carrot tops, but you can use the lacy tops as an attractive garnish. Put the carrot tops in a tray or dish with a little water, cut sides down, and place the dish in bright sunlight. Check the carrot tops daily and replenish the water as needed. Snip off small amounts as often as needed.

8. Cilantro – It’s easy to start this pungent culinary herb by placing a few stems in a jar of water. When the stems root, plant them in a pot. The new plant will be ready to use in a few months.

What advice would you add? What vegetables would you have placed on our list? Share your ideas in the section below:

Every Year, Gardeners Make This Avoidable Mistake — But You Don’t Have To. Read More Here.

from Survival Gardening – Off The Grid News Click Here for full article

Aug 17

Earthquake and Power Outage Experience in the Philippines

Earthquake and Power Outage Experience in the Philippines   Editor’s Note: This full article is a guest post submitted to us for use on the site.  This was my experience with a mild earthquake and a power outage, in the Philippines. Amazingly nothing was damaged by the quake.  I expected some things to tip over.  …

Continue reading »

The post Earthquake and Power Outage Experience in the Philippines appeared first on SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central.

from SHTF Prepping & Homesteading Central Click Here for full article
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Aug 16

Here’s Where Massive Alt-Right Rallies Are Planned Across the Country This Weekend

(Updated) Just in case the horrifying events in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend weren’t enough of a warning about the dangers of political extremism, it looks like we’re Read the rest

The post Here’s Where Massive Alt-Right Rallies Are Planned Across the Country This Weekend appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

from The Organic Prepper Click Here for full article

Aug 16

Items That You Can Barter When SHTF

Barter items for survival – What would you have to trade in a survival situation?

Items That You Can Barter When SHTFItems That You Can Barter When SHTF

Any conversation about prepping first starts with the “the best survival gun” followed by “bugging out vs hunkering down” and then on to “the best retreat location” and then to “what to have on hand for barter… well today, I’m going to answer that question.

The first thing to consider is what items do people need and use every day, followed by will they need these items after a long-term disaster and if so will those items be readily available when the…

Read the whole entry… »

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