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Thursday, August 3, 2017

PREPPER: Six Ways To Obtain Food After It Hits The Fan

PREPPER: Six Ways To Obtain Food After It Hits The Fan
Latest articles from the prepper world
Regardless how well-prepared you are and how you assume a SHTF scenario will unfold, food will still become a problem as time goes by. If the crisis scenario is not a short-term one, you will have to learn how to obtain food one way or another. Both Mother Nature and the remaining traces of civilization have something to offer if you know where to look for.Once you consume all your stockpiled food, you will need to find ways to become truly sustainable. You need to learn how to feed your family, full-time by hunting, fishing gardening and so on. While the following methods are not easy to follow, you still have the time to practice them now, when things go your way. You will discover the challenges you would have to face if you need to obtain food after the brown stuff hits the fan.



Six Methods To Obtain Food After SHTF:

  1. Hunting

I have to admit, I got tired how many times I’ve heard people say “I’ll hunt for my own meat when it hits the fan”. All I have to respond to that is “Good luck!”.  Besides the fact that there would be a lot of competition in the first months after SHTF, hunting is no walk in the park. It requires time and patience, but most importantly, it requires a lot of experience on the field.
Some people have a wrong approach when it comes to obtain food through hunting. They go for large game such as deer and bear, without knowing the amount of work required to bring home such prey. Large game requires much more work compared to small game. You need to know how to field dress the animal and how to make the most out of it. There’s no point in hunting large game if you can’t use it entirely.

Suggested reading: Ten Survival Hunting Essentials

Your best bet would be to try and bag some waterfowl and other small game like rabbits, raccoons and even squirrels. It might not seem much at first, but if you manage to harvest enough ducks and geese and other small animals, you will be able to sustain yourself.
Another thing most people forget is that winters are often long and cold in some parts of the country. If you live there or if you are forced to bug out in such regions, you have to think long-term. Chances are you will get snowed in and it will be difficult to obtain food without consuming a good amount of fuel and other valuable resources. Think ahead and try to stock up your pantry or freezer before winter comes. One deer alone or bear can feed an entire family through winter. Elk or moose are great targets because they will produce hundreds of pounds of meat.
No matter how you look at it, learn about what game is available in your region. Learn of the ways it behaves (when it feeds, sleeps, breeds, etc.) and how to preserve the meat once you caught said animal. If you want to obtain food through hunting, you need to practice as much as possible and learn from the experts.
  1. Fishing

Since hunting is not for everyone, fishing might be the best next thing to obtain food after SHTF. The good thing about this method is that you don’t need any expensive gear to bring something home. Even more, you will learn from your mistakes much faster and you have a much better chance of re-adapting your methods to outsmart your prey, compared to hunting. Fishing for food is not as complicated as some may want you to believe. Although most people tend to overspend on fishing gear, I often found that a simple setup like a basic rood and bait is all it takes to put protein on the table.

Suggested reading: Improvised Fishing Techniques For Tough Times

To obtain food through fishing you have to remember the golden rule, keep things simple and use what works. The goal here is to put food in the freezer and not to win a prize for the biggest catch. If you lack spoons or in-line spinners, or any other type of fishing gear, learn to set fish traps. These will never fail you as long as you follow the right approach. It may require some time to get some fish, but I guarantee you will catch something. This article will show you how to use various “out of the ordinary” baits for a successful catch. The best part about fishing is that you can do it all year round, and it doesn’t matter if it’s winter or summer.
Although ice fishing requires different gear and covering various safety measures, it can still be used as a goo method to obtain food after SHTF during the cold season.
  1. Foraging

In all my hiking trips, rarely I leave the woods and fields without bringing something back to camp. Like my ancestors, I like to try what Mother Nature has to provide and I seize every opportunity to obtain food. Since the dawn of time, human communities were divided into hunters and gatherers. It is one of the behaviors that helped humans survive through harsh time. That being said, if you’re not a good hunter, maybe you’re a good gatherer.  Nature could offer us a lot of food if we could only stop for a second and look around us.

Everything from wild berries to wild apples and grapes are yours for the taking if you know where to look for them. Learn to harvest, acorns, walnuts and beechnuts, just like your ancestors did. Obtaining food through foraging is not complicated and you can just stick with easily identifiable plants at first. Just like any other skill, this takes time to master. I recommend stealing some knowledge from the more experienced foragers.
And as an added bonus, besides edible plants, there are a multitude of medicinal plants you could gather. Make sure you bring a field guide with you, to make sure you don’t make any mistakes. As I always say, when in doubt, leave it be!
  1. Bartering

While most people think that a bartering system is a thing of the past, there are still many communities that are trading good and services for the items they need.  When it hits the fan, bartering could become tomorrow’s reality. To handle it, you need to have the proper barter items stockpiled if you want to survive. You could trade some of your items to obtain food and other goods you need.
If you lack the above skills that would help you obtain food when civilization collapses, your best option would be to stockpile as many barter items as you can. Once you manage to store all the items that will help you survive during an emergency situation, it would be smart to stockpile something extra that you can use for bartering.

Related reading: Barter Items You Should Have For SHTF

After all, bartering is the oldest form of commerce. We’ve all done it one way or the other. Bartering was always part of our life. When we were children, we used to swap lunch with our school buddies. We used to trade baseball cards with our friends and so on. By doing all of that, somehow we learned about supply and demand, value and negotiation and some of us even ended up being successful salesmen.
In a long-term survival scenario, bartering will not be dependent on luck as it would be today. People will need various items to survive and you don’t have to wait for that one person that has what you need. Bartering is already making a comeback in various communities, especially in the green-communities from around the world. It will become a reality for Americans when the economy crashes. When that happens you’d better be ready to trade!
  1. Gardening

This is another subject that is somehow misunderstood when it comes to emergency preparedness. Not because it isn’t a good method to obtain food, but because people think there’s not much to it. Like my good old friend Rhonda keeps saying “after years of gardening, I still feel that I have no idea what I’m doing”. And I couldn’t agree more, gardening is hard and it takes experience and a grain of luck to succeed. If you think that you could wake up tomorrow and start gardening to obtain food and become self-sufficient, you are delusional.
Gardening takes time, preparation and experience to fill a pantry to last over the winter. Sure, you will learn for your mistakes, but that won’t do you any good if your pantry is empty and your stomach is growling. A garden can be as large or small as you like it. However, the bigger it is, the more time and work it will require. The reward will all be worth it you may say and you are right. However, you have no guarantee that you will obtain a crop every season. Even more, you have to always think one step ahead, to prevent rather than repair or reduce the damage.  When your garden is decimated by pests or wild animals, it will do you know good searching online for solutions if there’s nothing left to save.

Suggested article: Pioneer Gardening – How To Start A Backyard Garden

The key to successful gardening is to grow crops that thrive in your area, have large yields and store well. Even urban communities began to develop large gardens to grow their own food. The examples in Venezuela are unbeatable proof that even the roofs of building can be turn into large gardens to obtain food. Some preppers are also relying on modern methods to produce their foods, such as aquaponics or old ones such as permaculture. It all depends on what works best for you and your family. You should try your luck with one of those methods now, before it’s too late.
  1. Scavenging

This is a topic that I’ve been discussed with my friends and shared it with my readers more than once. I truly believe that scavenging would become a great method to procure food after SHTF. People believe that most cities will be cannibalized by resources long before they manage to get their hands on something of value. While this may or not be true for big cities, things will be quite different for the smaller communities. Let me put it this way; it all depends on the nature of the SHTF event and the number of people that would survive.
For an entire city to be stripped of resources, it would be required for a good percent of people to survive. And in a world without laws, that’s highly improbable if not impossible. Most people won’t make it back home. Sickness and fear (stupidity) will claim a lot of lives long before the human factor comes into play. After the looting and killing stops, those who survive will be put to the test. They will have a hard time making it more than a few months. Most probably, they are not preppers and lack the skills to survive. They have no clue how to handle emergencies that would become a threat for their physical integrity. People will die eventually, but resources will still be available for the taking.

That being said, they remaining ones will still become a threat for you and your family. You would have to know how to handle every scavenging trip and put your safety first. You will need to learn how to move undetected, learn the behavior patterns of the remaining people and do a lot of recon before you go for the grabbing. Never go alone and have someone watch your back if possible.

My 2 cents

Being able to obtain food after SHTF is certainly no easy task. It will most probably become your main occupation during most disaster scenarios. You will have to face a lot of competition if you live in a densely populated area. Mastering all the above skills is only possible for certain type of people. Few “city folks “will be able to obtain food after it hits the fan. Long-term survival depends on how well you manage to become self-sufficient in the shortest amount of time. Being able to obtain food without grocery shopping makes you a provider. This lifestyle requires time and hard work, and it isn’t for everyone.

Other Useful Resources:

The Best EMP survival and preparedness guide available for the general public
Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation
Best 37 Items To Hoard For A Long Term Crisis
A Green Beret’s guide to combat and shooting

The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us

6 Habits of Highly Effective Preppers

In 1989, Stephen Covey published his timeless book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and launched not only a “7 Habits” empire, but changed countless lives.

I was reviewing his list of habits and was struck by how many of them directly apply to preparedness and survival, from everyday emergencies to worst case scenarios. Here are 6 of Covey’s habits and how they apply to prepping.

1. Be Proactive

To be frank, none of us have all the time in the world to get prepped. Even folks on vacation have to be concerned about sudden emergencies like this recent event in North Carolina. Even small emergencies catch most people unaware, and even fewer people are ready for the truly big crises that life has to offer.
It’s not enough to just know about impending catastrophes, such as a worldwide depression or the possibility of an EMP, and neither is it enough to spend hours researching survival topics. If you and your family are to survive and thrive well beyond any crisis, it requires being proactive right now, today. Steven Covey was right to have this as his first Habit.

2. Begin with the end in mind

What do you want your family and home to look like following a major catastrophe? Do you want to have enough food, water, medicines, and supplies to last at least six months? A year? Do you want to have cash, gold, and silver cached in case of a banking collapse? Do you want to be strong, healthy, and fit, able to do plenty of physical labor and take care of the family? Do you want your home to be the one in the neighborhood that survives because it is surrounded by sandbags that protect it from flood waters?
Develop an actual picture in your mind of what your optimal survival scenario will look like:
  • Who will be with you?
  • How will you all arrive at that destination?
  • How will you make sure that your survival situation is secure?
  • What will you have in terms of gear and supplies?
  • How will tasks be delegated?
  • What will a typical day and night be for the duration of this scenario?
With a crystal clear picture in mind, you can then set goals in order to achieve it. Without that clear goal in mind, you’re taking a gamble on something where every day counts.

3. Put first things first

The basics of survival are water, food, shelter, and warmth. Wherever you live right now is where you must begin. That off-the-grid survival retreat may or may not become a reality (and may or may not be desirable – but that’s the subject of a different article), so don’t put off becoming as prepared as you possibly can be right were you are today. Fully cover the basics first.

4. Effective preppers think win-win

Too often, survival minded people circle the wagons and include only their immediate family and, maybe, their very closest friends. But history has shown repeatedly that it’s groups of people who do best when it comes to survival. Neighborhoods and towns who band together following a tornado, for example, recover more quickly than someone trying to do everything on his or her own.
Look for ways to connect with others in your survival plans. No, you shouldn’t tell anyone everything, but sharing ideas, strategies and being supportive of others will increase the chances of your own survival, and that’s smart. If the people surrounding you also have plans and supplies for survival, it’s a win-win for everyone.
How to find those people? Well, as author Jim Cobb says, “Go places where preppers tend to hang out.” Gardening classes, prepper Meet-Ups, fishing and hunting clubs, and so on.

5. Seek first to understand, and then be understood

Not everyone has the same level of concern for survival as you. Some relatives and friends may even seem hostile when you mention food storage and being prepared for emergencies / disaster. Normalcy bias is the default setting for nearly everybody, and since our brains are already wired for that response, it’s no wonder that so many people cringe when “prepping” is mentioned.
There are many reasons why people are oblivious to impending dangers from health issues to hurricanes. Rather than try to force someone to change their mind, spend time listening and asking questions. You may discover that the reason they don’t want to hear about preparedness is because they are frozen with fear and your lectures force them even further into a fear-filled corner.

6. Sharpen the saw

It takes far more effort to cut down a tree with a dull saw than a sharp one. You’ll be able to set clearer goals, stay focused, and accomplish more when you take care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Always remember that you are a pivotal factor in the survival of your loved ones. When you don’t take care of yourself, they become more vulnerable. Who will protect them if you can’t or are untrained or unfit to do so?
Find time to decompress. Read a book just for entertainment, pray, get into a regular exercise routine, do some of the things you know you should do, but don’t. In a crisis, you’ll need to be prepared in every way to respond quickly, decisively, and with authority. That won’t happen sitting in front of a video game, regardless of what level you’re on in League of Legends.

35 Post-SHTF Career Choices

During the immediate aftermath of a SHTF disaster, the panic and carnage which emerges will leave most survivors hunkered down at the prepper retreat or any temporary place they feel at least somewhat safe. Eventually, the post-SHTF reconstruction phase will begin. This is America, the strong will survive and rebuilt. Advanced degrees will be as useless and paper money – unless the college education involved a still essential skill, such a medical or engineering training. Hands-on and off grid survival skills will once again be in high demand.
In a bartering or post-SHTF currency society, we will need to once again be able to use our hands and bodies as well as our minds to make a living. Preppers should be stockpiling not only water, shelf-stable food, and ammo to ensure readiness for a doomsday disaster, but useful knowledge and skills as well.
If a “career” was useful and lucrative during the 1800s, it will be again after the SHTF. You will not be able to simply “Google” something or watch a YouTube video to learn how to complete a survival project. Taking a hands-on training course now and perfecting a hobby or homesteading skill will not only enhance your chances of survival, it will allow you and your loved ones to thrive after disaster strikes!
Top 35 Post-SHTF Career Choices and Survival Skills
  1. Doctors, Nurses, EMTs, Veterinarians

Anyone with some type of medical training will be assured a valued place in a post-apocalyptic society. Diseases will spread even more rapidly during a power grid down or equally substantial SHTF scenario. Even a common cold could become deadly when you can’t call 911. Taking some first responders courses or advanced first aid training will give at least a modicum of skills for which to barter when a TEOTWAWKI disaster happens.
  1. Apothecary

Learning how to grow your own pharmacy and how to make natural remedies will turn you into a post-SHTF pharmacist. Begin making and properly preserving natural remedy ingredients now and stockpiling glass bottles and containers to house the items you will be bartering or selling during the doomsday disaster reconstruction phase. Print multiple copies of all your remedy recipes and leaf/plant/bark/herb, etc. identifying photos – making sure to store them in a portable fireproof safe to protect them.
Manual and inexpensive capsule makers should be added to your preps, along with varying sizes of the gel caps to ensure the proper dosage can be administered to both children and adults. A clever apothecary operator will also learn how to treat animal ailments naturally and work in conjunction with the veterinarian or pseudo vet – a seasoned farmer/rancher. The loss of livestock, especially if an epidemic like avian flu or swine flu breaks out, could thwart a community’s ability to survive.
  1. Blacksmith

There will be no more running to a big box store to get what you need. Horses will once again primary mode of transportation – increasing the need for at least one blacksmith in every community. In addition to merely making horse shoes, a blacksmith forges metals for weapons and tool making, makes and repairs farm equipment, and can work efficiently and skillfully with steel and wrought iron to make wagon wheels, sturdy doors and gates.
farmer
  1. Farmers/Ranchers

Although it still baffles me, not everyone grows at least some of their own food. Rural areas will be far better off after the SHTF when it comes to maintaining a sustainable food supply, but unfortunately some Americans have become too reliant upon modern machinery, tools, and commercially produced fertilizers/insecticides to be able to immediately maintain their current levels of crop production.
Learning how to grow and raise your own food the old-fashioned way, including the breeding and birthing of livestock, could make you a king or queen in a post-SHTF world. Begin learning how to farm/ranch the way the Amish do, there is at least one Amish community in nearly every state. Most Amish farmers are willing to share their knowledge for a price, and sell their equipment. Amish auctions, particularly the ones in Ohio Amish Country (Mount Hope Auction) and in Pennsylvania Amish County, are a must visit for all preppers who want to acquire horse-powered and manual farming and ranching tools and equipment.
  1. Engineers

SHTF survivors with engineering degrees or skills will easily be able to not only barter their services but play a substantial role in the rebuilding of their community. Their scientific knowledge will be put to good use when it comes to designing and building off grid utility and transportation systems. Creating power sources using solar, water, wind, and steam-powered machines will help reestablish essential services to the community.
  1. Mechanics

The engineer will only be able to get so far without the aid of quality mechanics. Keeping farm machinery running will be a top priority for not just the farmer or rancher, but for the entire community which depends upon the crops, livestock, and hay produced on their property. Once again, modern technology has made mechanics dependent upon high-tech gadgets and power tools. Mechanics and preppers inclined to enhance their survival skills in this area, should go old school and learn (or re-learn) how to make repairs using manual tools and how to work on antiquated equipment, like old tractors, wagons, etc. to position themselves as a true post-SHTF mechanic.
  1. Butcher

Meat will not be coming from the grocery store after a doomsday disaster. How to butcher and preserve beef, fish, and poultry will be an invaluable skill. An apocalyptic butcher must know how to slaughter an animal using low-tech tools, how to dress the animals to minimize waste – to ensure the essential protein will go as far as possible.
carpenter
  1. Carpenter

The safe maintenance and repair of homes, barns, fences, as well as the building of new structures will be an ongoing need after the SHTF. Retrofitting existing homes and buildings to they can utilize utilize alternative energy systems for heating, cooking, and water distribution will require a coordinated effort between carpenters and engineers. Designing defense barriers will also mandate the use of both carpentry and masonry skills.
  1. Masons

Skilled tradesman (and women) will be in high demand after the SHTF reconstruction phase begin and until the lights come back on – if they ever do. The stone and brick layers will wield their trowels, mallets, and chisels to build not just barrier and repair barrier and structure walls, but to build secure living quarters and fireplaces in homes so the residents can stay warm during the winter, boil water, and cook food.
  1. Farrier

Once the blacksmith makes the horseshoes, a farrier will be needed to fit and secure the hoof-protectors on one of the most valuable possessions a disaster survivor will own – his/her horse. Horses, when ridden or driven on a daily basis, will need to be shod ever six to eight weeks – sooner if the strenuous farm work cause a horse to throw a shoe – which is not uncommon. Road riding, traveling over pavement on horses, will also cause added wear and tear on shoes which would last a lot longer if the horse was merely hitting the trails for pleasure riding. A quality farrier can also float a horse’s teeth to prevent or repair tooth and gum issues which can prevent the horse from eating or drinking properly, leading to death.
  1. HAM Radio Operators

Information is power, that old adage will still ring through in a post-SHTF society. A chain of operators in various communities can serve as a warning system about approaching bad weather, disease, or marauding hordes – and call for help when communities and neighbors make a pact to band together in times of need.
  1. Firefighters

Blazes will both rage unchecked and become more prevalent after a long-term disaster. A bucket brigade and fire wagon will be necessary to prevent homes, barns, fences, etc. from going in flames on a regular basis. While being a full-time firefighter might not be lucrative enough to be a true post-SHTF career, since the service will be during emergencies only, firefighters will be able to negotiate some type of regular compensation from community members to keep them at the ready and working to reduce potential fire hazards to prevent fires from happening as much as possible.
  1. Leathercrafters

Leather shoes, boots, belts, saddles, straps of all kinds, knife sheaths, gun holsters, and a plethora of other items will need to be made and repaired after an apocalypse. Learning how to remove and tan a hide will become a necessary skill and one which can be repeatedly bartered after the SHTF.
  1. Seamstress

Few women routinely teach their daughters to sew anymore, a practice which once one commonplace and a cherished tradition in American families. Clothing, socks, and blankets will need to be made and repaired after a long-term disaster. A seamstress could also aide medical providers when the stitching of wounds becomes necessary.
Learn how to sew by hand and invest in an old-fashioned sewing machine – complete with extra parts for repair purposes. Stock up on parchment paper or cardboard for use in pattern making, chalk or markers, also for pattern making purposes, and plenty of thread and needles. Learning how to spin wool and make thread will be valuable skills for not just your daily post-SHTF work but so you can offer finished supplies for sale or barter as well.
potter
  1. Potter

Cookware and food storage containers will need to be replaced during the disaster rebuilding stage. Not only will a survival potter need to be able to work efficiently using a manual pottery wheel, he or she must also know how to harvest their own clay from the ground and built/use an off grid kiln for firing their creations.
  1. Cooper

Barrels will be used far more frequently for storing and preserving food and for the transportation of goods. The barrel-making process must be learned using only off grid tools to be of any use after the SHTF. Wood buckets will also be in high demand, especially for manually extracting water from wells which no longer function after the power grid fails.
  1. Beekeepers

Bees pollinate 70 percent of what we eat and have been experiencing a drastic population decline for the past decade. Once chemical pesticides are no longer available the bee population should stabilize, but there is no guarantee other environmental issues will not develop and cause irreparable harm to the little pollinators. Farmers frequently rent bee hives to help pollinate their crops, the need for that type of service will not evaporate after the SHTF. Honey is not only a sweet treat, but has a plethora of healing properties – making it a strong bartering item after a doomsday disaster.
  1. Gunsmith

An individual who can repair and manufacture guns will be in constant high demand during the SHTF reconstruction era – and beyond. A gunsmith should also learn how to reload ammo and make bullet casings to increase his bartering ability and level of services.
  1. Food Preservation

There are many ways to make a living offering food preservation services after the SHTF. Building both a smokehouse and icehouse to rent space in is an excellent idea. Being able to cut and haul the ice from a frozen pond will maintain an icehouse in many climates, if properly constructed and insulated.
A pond need not be handy if you build and maintain the ice house now by freezing water in 5-gallon buckets with secure fitting lids and layer sawdust or a similar type of insulating material between the rows of buckets stacked from the floor to the ceiling. Bartering the use of your canning and dehydrating skills and supplies will enhance the post-SHTF food preservation operation, as well.
  1. Nursery

Preserving and growing your own seeds for sale, along with other plants and gardening supplies is yet another post-apocalypse career option. If you build a greenhouse, or several greenhouses and use alternative or off the grid energy sources to heat them through the winter, you can grow most crops year around in even northern climates and cultivate dwarf fruit/citrus, and coffee trees, along with tobacco plants, for barter also.
  1. Wood Cutting – Sawyer

Being a provider of firewood and timber for furniture-making, structure building, and fence posts will be a lot of hard work, especially when using manual tools and horses/wagons to get the job done, but the service will be an invaluable one post-SHTF and provider the sawyer with plenty of bartering power.
cobbler
  1. Cobbler

The skills and supplies to make and repair shoes have almost been lost entirely in our modern society. Once the SHTF, cheap imports from China, or expensive ones from elsewhere, will no longer be available. Gone will be the days when folks simply throw away a pair of shoes or boots because they have a little wear – or even a gaping hole and the sole falling off. A cobbler should expect a steady flow of work when America being rebuilding after a doomsday disaster.
  1. Rope Maker

Rope making is yet another lost skill. Ropes of all types and sizes will be used to accomplish a host of daily tasks in an off the grid society. The rope maker could also use his skills to teach knot making or to travel to the farm, home, or business in the community and tie the knot necessary to get the task accomplished.
  1. Law Enforcement

The community will need defended perhaps from itself, but most assuredly from outsiders. A sheriff, marshal, police chief, and a staff of professional officers or citizens trained in self-defense and firearms, will be essential to maintain stability and safety in the months and years following a major disaster.
  1. Tinker

Repairing tin ware and crafting household items, especially cookware and utensils out of tin, and working with mechanics and engineers to provide small parts for projects, make this old-fashioned job a viable survival skills bartering options as well.
  1. Basket Weaver

Many of us have decorative baskets sitting about somewhere in our home, but the baskets needed to hold and transport supplies and for use during off grid chores, will need to be of a farm more sturdy variety post-SHTF. A basket maker or weaver might not have daily customers, but will still be an essential worker in the new society.
  1. Wheelwright

A person who has the skills to crafter wooden wheels that are bound together with metal fittings made by the blacksmith will not be sitting with idle hands after the SHTF. Wagons will be made and used in the reconstructed America just as they once were relied upon during the 1800s up into the early 1900s in rural areas.
  1. Brick Maker

A mason would have no materials to work with were it not or the brick maker. This individual molds and fires sturdy bricks so they can be used in the construction of structures, fireplaces, and other projects. A mason who can make bricks as well as properly lay them doubles his worth to the community and greatly enhances bartering opportunities.
  1. Moonshiners

Stills can be used for a lot more than manufacturing spirits – many of which hold medicinal properties. A moonshiner could barter not just his corn whiskey abilities, but make stills which can be used to filtrate water – a vital post-apocalypse skill!
  1. Water Haulers

Community members who have ponds or creeks running through their property, or live next to a lake, are sitting adjacent to perhaps the most valuable commodity of all – water. Hauling the water to market or down the streets of the town to barter for other essential or necessary items will not leave the property owner wanting for anything after the SHTF.
  1. Teachers

Children will still need to learn to read and write after modern society collapses. Formal education degrees to instruct children will no longer be necessary after the SHTF – and the school day and school year will likely be shortened.
Homeschooling preppers already know how to educate children of all ages and should have a stockpile of learning materials on hand to do so. The coursework in a post-SHTF world should include the basics and essentials – something most public school have abandoned over the past 20 years. Science, reading, writing, math, and American history should be focused upon, with a cross-over curriculum to maximize the time spent in class. Hands-on science learning and vocational training should be emphasized to ensure the students are truly prepared for the future they will be facing.
  1. Household Goods

A person who possesses both the skills and supplies to make body soap, detergent, cleaning materials to eliminate germs, and alternative fuel to power lamps and vehicles converted to biodiesel fuel will also have a sustainable bartering skill.
  1. Candle Maker

Candles will replace lightbulbs in our lives after the SHTF. A beekeeper who can also make candles, or who work in conjunction with a spouse on the post-disaster business will increase bartering power. Stockpiling wicks is a great idea, but eventually those will run out, so learn how to make your own!
  1. Sanitation

Garbage and human waste running in the streets will breed deadly disease quickly. Developing a garbage removal business and learning how to make composting commodes will not only give you a marketable survival skill, but help protect the lives of you loved ones and entire community after society collapses.
  1. Trading Post

The old fashioned general store will become the central hub for a post SHTF community. Stockpiling bartering item now will establish your inventory for after disaster strikes. The supplies will run out, unless you are also capable of making replacements for at least some of the items to restock the shelves. Bartering table space for other community members to sell their wares and advertise their services on a bulletin board should be a part of the trading post doomsday career choice plan as well.
In addition to the brick-and-mortar general store, you could host a weekly or monthly flea market/farm stand and barter space with those who want to showcase their items and services to the community. Networking with HAM radio operators to advertise the market and the service providers may bring survivors from neighboring towns to browse and sell as well. Morale booster events could become a part of the trading posts offerings, residents will yearn for some levity and once the area is safe enough, embrace the idea of a dance or similar event, especially around the holidays.

27 Preparedness Tips for Beginners

ust getting into preparedness? Getting ready for the zombie apocalypse?  Heard the Illuminati will be unleashing their full plan soon? Well – here are 27 tips that may just save you a bit of time, money, and frustration.

1. Don’t Freak Out – People have been predicting the end of the world for hundreds of years and unless you considered the canceled of the TV show Jericho in 2007 the end of days it still hasn’t happened yet. Chill out and enjoy life – and prep!
2. Canned Goods Are Fine – You don’t have to spend a ton of money on freeze dried food to be prepared. Stocking up on canned goods and other commonly purchased foods at your local grocery store is a great start.
3. Sam’s Club – A membership to Sam’s Club can cut food storage costs dramatically. Not only do they have large bags of beans and rice super cheap – but they do offer some commercial food storage products at heavily discounted rates(check out this link).
4. Have a Balanced Approach – All the food in the world won’t do any good if you have no water. Consider all the supply categories you want to stock up on and do a little at a time within each category.
5. Prepping Isn’t All About Stuff – Supplies are certainly an important part of prepping, however, your mindset and skills are critical as well. Visualizing those events which you are preparing and trying to experience them in your mind will help prepare you mentally should something actually transpire. Skills such as gardening, CPR, first aid, and canning can be learned and quite often for free.
6. Have an Emergency Fund – All the prep’s in the world will not help much should your teenage son get arrested and need to get bailed out of jail and you have no cash. Trust me – stuff happens and having an emergency fund will reduce the stress dramatically.
7. Shop the Sales: While you may feel a sense of urgency you have the time to shop sales. At the grocery store wait for items to go on sale before buying. Look for coupons to use and combine them with sales to provide more buying power. Look for sales on all survival products  – not just food. Ammunition, guns, backpacks, and numerous others items can be found discounted locally and online at such sites as Amazon.
8. Cover the Basics: Don’t make preparedness overly complicated. Start off with thinking about going on a week long camping trip. What would you need and make a list.
9. Buy Fire Extinguishers: One of the most common and unfortunate events that can occur is a house fire. They can get out of hand in a hurry. Buy more than one fire extinguisher and mount them on walls around the house. It is way too easy to forget where one is when you need it so mount them in the kitchen, the garage, and near the grill.
10. Make a Basic Communications Plan: This involves talking with members of the family and close friends. Come up with a plan on what to do if there is no communication. Who will go and get the kids from school? If the area must be evacuated where is the meet-up point? 
11. Get a Water Filter: Water is heavy and bulky making it difficult to store in large quantities.Having a water filter gives you an avenue to filter water sourced from questionable sources such as streams, ponds, and even puddles. A Berkey Water Filter is a fantastic system and considered the Caddilac of water filters. A less expensive alternative would be to purchase a Sawyer Mini Water Filter and then add a Sawyer Bucket Kit.
12. Re-Use Soda Bottles for Water: Like most Americans, you likely throw away several 2-liter soda bottles every week. Rinse them out(including the cap) and fill them with tap water. Store them in a cool, dry place in case of an emergency. While many may suggest to avoid drinking this water after years of storage – it would be perfectly fine for washing and various sanitation duties.
13. Freeze The Peanut Butter: When food is in short supply calories are what counts. Peanut butter is a fantastic food in that it is high in calories and protein. Typically peanut butter does not store much past 16 months or so. The solution? Throw it in the freezer! I have frozen and thawed dozens of jars of peanut butter with no issues. Once thawed the shelf life clock starts over.
14. Don’t Put All Your Preps In One Place: Think back to the mentioning of a house fire. If all your supplies are stored there and they are lost – you’re back to the starting line. Store supplies at a neighbor, relative, at work, or in a climate controlled storage space.
15. Don’t Emphasize Firearms: It is easy – especially for men – to allow prepping to take on an almost romantic existence and buying guns to save the family and the damsel in distress feeds that fantasy. While firearms are important, remember to keep a balanced approach.
16. Exercise: Look throughout history and almost any disaster involves people working their butt off trying to deal with the conditions and recover. Get out there and move and get in shape.
17. Create a Vehicle Kit: There is a good chance something could happen while you are away from home. Have a backpack with some extra food, a few bottles of water, flashlight, batteries, and other supplies to get you home in case walking is necessary. Consider that roads may be backed up and blocked.
18. Create a List: Going through and thinking about all the needed supplies and things to do can be a bit overwhelming. Writing it all down in list format will get it out of your head and on paper. This is a common practice among the most successful people in the world – making a list.
19. Get a Good First Aid Kit: It doesn’t take a full on zombie apocalypse to get a “boo boo”. Having a good first aid kit around the house is just common sense.
20. Get a Good Knife: A knife can be used in so many situations for so many uses. Forget the hollow handle survival knives from Harbor Freight or found on eBay. A solidly built, full-tang knife such as a Ka-Bar USMC or a high-quality utility knife such as the Mora.
21. Check Goodwill and Thrift Shops: A variety of survival supplies can be found at deep discounts at thrift stores. Tents, backpacks, and camp stoves are commonly found items.
22. Start a Garden: Seeds are very inexpensive and if you have any land at all putting forth some effort to turn the ground is a start. For those planning for a long-term situation, gardening is one way to provide food sustenance over the long haul. I highly recommend the book The Backyard Homestead.
23. Store Extra Gas: Pick up a few 5-gallon gas cans, fill ’em, and store them AWAY from the house. Even as little as 10-15 gallons could make a big difference in any kind of fuel shortage.
24. Refill Gas Tank More Often: Speaking of gas – don’t let your car drop below half a tank.
25. Stay Motivated: Getting burned out on prepping can happen. Life provides so many distractions prepping can fall to the wayside. Reading fictional accounts of SHTF events can provide good insight and peak interest. Two recommended series include American Exit Strategy and 299 Days.
26. Two is One and One is None: This prepper philosophy boils down to this – Have a back up for everything. Have one can opener? Then have two. The point is if you only have one of something with no backup and something happens to it your out of luck.
27. Know Your Neighbors: The time to know your neighbors – the good ones and the bad – is now. You do not need to tell them about your interest in preparedness however you need to evaluate which ones in a disaster could be called upon for help – and avoided.

Survival Stockpile: Top Foods To Preserve by Region

While it’s true that you can get just about anything to grow anywhere in the right conditions, those conditions sometimes have to be contrived to the point that it’s impossible for the average person to pull off.
Fortunately, these types of crops are rare. My goal for this article is to make a list of top foods to preserve by region.
Know that with just a few exceptions, you can  probably grow pretty much whatever you want as long as you make allowances for growth periods and temperatures.
Some things though, you’ll have to just have to break down and buy if you don’t live in say, a tropical area.
For instance, I live in Florida, so I can grow an orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit or banana tree right in my backyard. Same thing with pineapples and sugarcane. Tomatoes, cucumbers, and watermelon grow well here, too because of the soil and the practically year-round growing season.
That’s not the case in most of the rest of the country, with the exception of California (and even they don’t have sugarcane).
On the other hand, if I want a really good apple or peach, I have to pay $2.99/pound for them because Florida is just too hot, too sandy, and pretty much too everything that an apple or peach tree won’t grow in.
Each region has foods that grow particularly well, as well as unique needs that may need to be met in order to allow for long enough growth cycles. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Food to Grow by State

First, I’ll share a list that I found from the USDA Economic Research Service. These list the top grown commercial agricultural products, including meat and grains, so that you get an idea of what conditions you may need if you want to grow a particular crop. They only list a few per state, but it’s a start.
I also went through and added other crops that I found in my research, since this was just a sample of exports, not foods that grow particularly well in the state.
Alabama: poultry, cattle, eggs, peanuts
Alaska: greenhouse plants, hay, potatoes
Arizona: dairy, cattle, greenhouse plants, lettuce, barley
Arkansas: poultry, rice, soybeans
California: dairy, greenhouse plants, grapes, citrus, tomatoes
Colorado: cattle, dairy, corn, potatoes
Connecticut: greenhouse plants, dairy, eggs, apples, berries
Delaware: poultry, corn, soybeans, watermelon
Florida: greenhouse plants, oranges, tomatoes
Georgia: poultry, eggs, cotton, peaches, peanuts, blueberries
Hawaii: greenhouse plants, sugarcane, macadamia nuts, pineapples
Idaho: dairy, cattle, potatoes
Illinois: corn, soybeans, hogs, pumpkins
Indiana: corn, soybeans, hogs, tomatoes
Iowa: corn, soybeans, hogs, green peas
Kansas: cattle, wheat, corn, sandhill plums
Kentucky: horses, poultry, corn, watermelon
Louisiana: rice, corn, sugarcane, peppers, tomatoes
Maine: potatoes, dairy, eggs, blueberries
Maryland: poultry, greenhouse plants, corn, watermelon
Massachusetts: greenhouse plants, cranberries, diary
Michigan: dairy, corn, soybeans, cherries
Minnesota: corn, soybeans, hogs, Honeycrisp apples, potatoes, peas
Mississippi: poultry, soybeans, corn, sweet potatoes
Missouri: soybeans, corn, cattle, watermelon
Montana: wheat, cattle, barley, dry peas
Nebraska: cattle, corn, soybeans, dry beans
Nevada: cattle, hay, dairy, potatoes
New Hampshire: greenhouse plants, dairy, apples
New Jersey: greenhouse plants, horses/mules, blueberries, apples
New Mexico: dairy, cattle, hay, chili peppers, pecans
New York: dairy, greenhouse plants, corn, apples
North Carolina: poultry, hogs, greenhouse plants, sweet potatoes
North Dakota: wheat, soybeans, corn, dry beans
Ohio: corn, soybeans, dairy, apples
Oklahoma: cattle, wheat, hogs, peanuts
Oregon: greenhouse plants, cattle, dairy, pears
Pennsylvania: dairy, cattle, eggs, apples, mushrooms
Rhode Island: greenhouse plants, dairy, corn, apples
South Carolina: poultry, greenhouse plants, turkeys, peaches
South Dakota: corn, cattle, soybeans, oats
Tennessee: cattle, poultry, soybeans, snap peas
Texas: cattle, cotton, dairy, rice
Utah: dairy, cattle, hay, cherries, peaches, apples, apricots
Vermont: dairy, cattle, greenhouse plants, maple syrup
Virginia: poultry, cattle, dairy, tomatoes
Washington: apples, dairy, wheat
West Virginia: poultry, cattle, turkeys, apples, maple syrup, ramps, mushrooms
Wisconsin: dairy, corn, cattle, cranberries
Wyoming: cattle, hay, hogs, dry beans
Now, it may be good to find out what conditions certain common crops like, so that you can either choose ones that are best for your area, or make some tweaks in soil, or indoor starts in order to grow what you want.

10 Tips for Preppers with a Chronic Illness or Disability 

These days, it’s increasingly common to have a chronic illness or disability, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared.

We live in a toxic society and a land of chronic illness. Whether you blame this on the environment, chemicals in everything we ingest and inhale, or some other facet of American life, more and more people are becoming seriously ill for a long period of time. As I wrote recently:
133 million Americans are dealing with a chronic illness right now. That is a full 40% of the population of our country. By 2020, that number is expected to skyrocket to 157 million. (source)
With numbers like that, some of these people are bound to be preppers.
People are dealing with:
  • Physical disabilities
  • Arthritis
  • Endometriosis
  • Asthma
  • Celiac Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
  • Lupus
  • Lyme Disease
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Adrenal Fatigue
  • Mental health issues
  • Hypertension
  • Autoimmune disorders
Of course, this isn’t a complete list – it’s a drop in the bucket when you look at the declining health of Americans. Add to this, sometimes declining mobility is just a part of getting older.
With all of the talk in this niche about being fit, bugging out on foot, camping, and surviving when you have to do everything by hand, that has to be pretty daunting for anyone coping with a chronic illness or disability.
As someone who has been dealing with a debilitating condition for several years, I can completely attest to how discouraging it feels when you think about all of the things that you can no longer do.
But here’s the thing that I learned:

While you may not be able to do everything you’d like to, you can still be an incredibly valuable asset to your community.      

You can still manage disasters with aplomb. You can raise a garden, preserve food, and learn skills. You just may have to do these things a little differently than other folks who don’t have the same health challenges.
It is a brutal reality that there are some situations in which those who have infirmities truly won’t survive. But, in a situation so dire, many people who are perfectly fit and healthy will also perish. You can’t really sit around dwelling on this but you know that it is a basic premise of survivalism. Not everyone is going to make it. There is an element of luck involved. For example, if you are at Ground Zero of a nuclear blast, it doesn’t matter if you went to the gym 6 days a week for the last 10 years and ate a diet of rice bran, lean meat, and broccoli. You’ll be toast.
But, most situations you’ll find yourself in are not nuclear Ground Zero situations.
One thing I have written about time and time again is that no one has an absolutely perfect set-up. Just like no location is without its drawbacks, no person is either.
Not everyone is going to be a warrior, a carpenter, an engineer, an herbal expert, and a farmer. Not everyone has the capability to “live off the land.” (Actually, a lot fewer of us have that capability than are willing to admit it, but I digress.)
No matter who you are, you have to work within your own limitations. You must improve what you can and improvise what you can’t. 

10 Tips for Preppers with a Chronic Illness or Disability

The following tips are written with people who have a chronic illness or disability in mind, but, really, they apply to everyone on some sliding scale.

1) Be medically prepared.

If you are taking medication or require any type of special supplies or equipment, you must be somewhat ahead on this. Even a low-level crisis like a winter storm can turn into something major if you run out of essential medical supplies. Ask your physician to prescribe your medication several months at a time, and get your refills a month earlier. (You can cite the fact that it’s way cheaper to buy it in bigger quantities – and it is because you will save money on the pharmacy’s fee this way.)
Not having essential medication and supplies on hand means that someone you care about may have to put themselves at risk to acquire more for you in a situation in which they’d be safer staying at home. It means that you may require medical intervention when none is available. It’s so much easier to just stock up ahead of time. I keep an entire year’s worth of thyroid medication on hand for this very reason. When my dosage was changed, I went ahead and continued to fill my previous lower prescription to add to my stockpile.

2) Understand your condition.

Most people who deal with a chronic illness already know that you have to become your own physician to some degree, particularly when it is a lesser understood condition.
It is vital that you understand your condition. You need to know danger signs to look out for, behavioral modifications that can help you, ways to relieve symptoms without delving into your pharmaceuticals, and dietary changes that can help control your symptoms. Likewise, you need to understand the behaviors and activities that worsen your condition and avoid them if possible. Stock up on the things that will make you more comfortable, and keep reference information at hand in a hard copy format.

3) Stick as close to your regular diet as you can.

When stocking up food for an emergency, you’ll want to focus on the foods that make you feel better. If you control some of your symptoms with diet, an emergency is not the time to go eating things that will increase your inflammation or cause digestive issues.
If you generally eat a low carbohydrate diet to manage your condition, for example, you’ll want to avoid the standard buckets of rice and pasta based meals. They’ll make you sick in very short order. On the other hand, if you’re a vegan, suddenly gnawing on jerky or creamy soups won’t make you feel well either.
This really goes back to the prepper adage, “Eat what you store and store what you eat.”

4) Make accommodations for your condition.

Just because you can’t do things the way everyone else does them, doesn’t mean you can’t do them. The following accommodations may work for you, or they may get your creative juices flowing.
  • Have raised bed gardens built to a comfortable height. Raised bed gardens reduce the need to kneel and bend. If you are in a wheelchair, make sure there is enough space between the beds to maneuver and that the surface is smooth and maintained.
  • Get a gardening stool with handles to provide support when getting up and down. (I have this one.) These can be used in many more places than just the garden.
  • When repackaging your food, use smaller containers. If you are having pain, mobility issues, or strength issues, use one-gallon buckets instead of 5-gallon buckets.
  • Do the same with stored water. You won’t want to try managing 5-gallon water jugs, so go with 1-gallon jugs instead.
  • If you can’t walk (or can’t walk long distances) figure out how you could make a trek if necessary. Can you ride a bicycle? Do you need a wheelchair? Would a walker or cane be helpful in those situations?
  • Use a “reacher grabber” to get things off of high shelves instead of climbing around on stools and chairs. You don’t want to risk getting injured on top of everything else.
  • Use aids like jar openers and bucket openers if you have reduced strength. Pick these things up now to make your life easier.
  • Make your home user-friendlier with grab handles and other mobility aids.

5) Get some exercise if you can.

With nearly all health conditions, you can perform some moderate exercise, modified for your needs. In an emergency, the better your fitness level is, the better off you’ll be. If you are able, walk daily. If you can’t walk, perform some exercises at home that will increase your strength, cardiovascular system, and mobility.

6) Have a plan.

Consider what happened to many wheelchair-bound and elderly people when the levee broke after Hurricane Katrina – they drowned because they did not have a plan in place. This didn’t have to happen.
If you have decreased mobility for any reason, now is the time to make a plan. Bugging in should nearly always be your Plan A, but if the situation necessitates a Plan B, how will you bug out?  This is going to be different for every single person, but it’s essential to figure it out before an epic disaster gives you five minutes to be out the door.

7) Shop online.

Online shopping made the world a whole lot bigger for people with a chronic illness or disability.
If you have a mobility or fatigue issue, going out for a long day of stock-up shopping probably sounds like torture to you. Start making your purchases online and get them delivered to your door. You can often find better deals on the web than you can in your own area, which makes online shopping an even bigger win. But, even grocery stores and pharmacies now deliver in many places, which can be a bonus when you are making larger purchases because you don’t have to get them in from the car.
You can weigh this against any concerns about OPSEC and privacy, but so many people shop online these days that the mailman won’t think much about a few Amazon packages here and there. Break up your purchases instead of getting 50 boxes delivered in the span of a week and it will not even be notable to your delivery person.

8) Focus on knowledge and skills.

So, maybe you won’t be out there working in a field after some apocalyptic event but you can still be a valuable member of a group. What kind of knowledge and skills do you have (or can you learn) that will help others? Not only will this be helpful to your family, but often can be bartered to others in exchange for the things you are not able to do. Here are a few examples:
  • Herbalism
  • Foraging
  • Food preservation
  • Sewing/Mending
  • Medical knowledge – get as much training as possible
  • Repairing
  • Old-fashioned skills – how did people complete everyday tasks before the days of convenience and electricity? Your knowledge and abilities in this area can be invaluable.

9) Find a community.

This isn’t always easy or possible, but if you can at all, find a like-minded community of people who are on the same page with you. Maybe this will be your family or it could be friends and neighbors. Regardless, it’s hard to survive alone, even if you are in the best of health. If you have limitations, the aid of other people will be essential. Just make sure you have something to offer them in return, whether it’s supplies or knowledge.

10) Be prepared to protect yourself.

As horrible as this sounds, some people will see your disability or frail health and consider you an easy target. We can’t always wait for 911 to rescue us, so it’s imperative that you be able to rescue yourself.
In my opinion, a firearm is the best way to do this. If you don’t know how to shoot, find a gun range that is accessible for you and work with an instructor who can help you make accommodations for your disability or lack of strength.   A good instructor can help you to choose a firearm that will work best with your limitations. Remember, this is a perishable skill that you must continue to practice.
If someone sees you as a target, you will have no option but to use greater force to protect yourself.

You can still be prepared, regardless of a chronic illness or disability.

Of course, the list above is not comprehensive and will not be applicable in all situations. But the key is to improve your chances in every way possible. Regardless of your condition, you can still be a benefit to your family or preparedness group.
You have to think ahead and figure out how to work around your limitations. But, if you are tough enough to survive a chronic illness or a disability, you’ve got this.

60 Incredible Gardening Hacks

Nothing to see here, just lots of gardening tips, tricks, secrets and hacks!

1. Honey for rooting slips

Instead of buying hormone rooting powder use honey – when you cut your slip for planting, smear some honey on it. It will significantly increase the success rate of slips and give them a measure of protection from soil borne attacks. Just remember to keep all slips moist to encourage roots to form.

2. Never buy seed trays again

Save supermarket fruit and vegetable containers- the clear plastic is useful for starting seeds or small cuttings like thyme or rosemary before planting them out.

3. Sowing seeds with a rake

To get even spacing use a metal garden rake – push wine corks onto the ends of the tines and use this to make holes in the ground for your seeds. Alternatively, take a scrap piece of wood, a wooden dowel cut into 3-inch (7cm) lengths – drill holes into the wood the size of the dowel stick so it fits snugly at even intervals then glue dowel sticks into place.
Press this into the ground for even spacing – the harder you press the deeper the seed hole.

4. Never buy lavender plants again

Before you lavender bushes start dying off take lots of cuttings, smear with honey and root in small pots or a large tray to get new plants started to replace the bushes as they die off.

5. Egg cartons for starting seeds

Put the soil into each cardboard carton cup and plant one seed per cup. Stand on a tray and keep moist from the top. When you are ready to plant, cut the compartments apart and plant them complete in the ground. There will be no transplant shock for the seedlings and the cardboard will soon dissolve and enrich the soil.

6. Soak vegetable seed before planting

Make up a mild seaweed fertilizer solution and soak vegetable seed in it for a couple of hours while you prepare the beds for planting. It helps produce vigorous seedlings.

7. Crush cilantro seeds to encourage germination

Cilantro (coriander) seeds are hard little balls with a fibrous husk –crushing them underfoot helps before planting as often the seed battles to break through the hard husk – otherwise soak them for a day in water or the seaweed solution mentioned above.

8. Transplant on a cloudy day

Choose to transplant seedlings on a cloudy day – often the fierce midday sun can be too much for seedlings – this way they have at least have 24 hours to get established.

9. Propagating African Violets (saintpaulia)

Forget the tin foil over a glass and the leaf poking through – simply put your fresh cut leaves from your African violets into a good loamy soil in pots. Use a stick to poke a hole in the soil and then gently firm the soil around the leaf.
Stand the pots in a drip tray and make sure the drip tray is never without water – the soil will draw the moisture up. Just make sure the leaves are planted upright and do not touch the sides of the pot. Keep in a warm place that does not have direct sunlight but plenty of light and in a couple of months you’ll have new baby plants. Do not use honey or any rooting powder – the leaf needs is to be handled as little as possible. Never ever, water the leaves of the African violets unless you have a very fine misting system – water on the leaves spells crown rot.

10. Toilet paper seed tape

If you feel thinning out seedlings is wasteful make your own seed tape – use a two ply toilet paper, make a paste using a tablespoon of flour mixed with enough water to create a paste that’s of medium consistency.  Dab it on at the spacing interval suggested on the seed packet – and place your seeds – any extras that fall on the spaces between the dots of paste won’t adhere and can be used on the next piece. Keep your toilet paper piece no more than 3 feet long so they are easy to work with. Allow to dry, roll up and plant later, or plant immediately.

11. Cinnamon for seedlings

Shake ground cinnamon around seedlings to repel pests. It has anti-fungal properties.

12. Grow new plants from your purchased produce

Unless the plant has been genetically modified – and one shouldn’t be buying GM food anyway – the seeds when saved can be planted. Cut open chilies and save the seeds, the same with green peppers. Save a few fresh peas and beans to replant. Tomato gone squishy? Save the seeds and plant them. Buying the produce – which you can eat and get seeds from too, works out cheaper than buying packets of seed.

13. Allow plants to go to seed and reap the benefits

Let lettuce, cilantro and other vegetables go to seed so that you can harvest the seed and plant again for the next year. The beauty with this is that the plants have got used to the environment and nutrients in the soil in which they are growing so the seeds will germinate more readily than seeds introduced from somewhere else.

14. Easily grow avocados from seed.

Don’t throw away the large seed from an avocado.  Throw them down into a damp patch – they don’t need to be covered and as long as they soil is always moist they will soon be sprouting. Yes, they take 10 years to bear fruit but as the saying goes about planting trees the best time was 200 years ago and the second best time is now.

15. Ginger

When you buy ginger root at the greengrocer, reserve three pieces and plant them in a large pot with a good potting mix. Once the ginger has grown well you can dig out a bit of root when you need it and leave the plants to continue growing, meaning you probably won’t be needing to go to the greengrocer for ginger again.

16. One pineapple equals one plant

When you have fresh pineapples to eat cut the top off with sufficient flesh attached and plant in sandy soil that is kept moist – the tops will grow and produce plants that will give you plenty of pineapples.

17 Passion fruit vines from seed

Save and plant the seed from a fresh passion fruit. Ensure it is kept moist and soon vines will be growing – transplant carefully to a spot where they can ramble up a tree or have a trellis that has sufficient support. Soon you’ll have your own passion fruit to add to desserts.

Water

18. DIY watering can

You don’t need to buy a watering can. Repurpose a plastic milk container that comes with a handle. Poke holes with a large hot needle in the plastic lid. Voila – a watering can. Place one at each tap point in the garden so you don’t have to walk around looking for a watering can. If you want to control the spray then place the cone part cut from of a plastic soda bottle over the neck before screwing on the lid – then you have more control when watering patio and houseplants.

19. Automatically water plants

Keep those used plastic water bottles out of the landfill and in your garden. Dig a hole and plant a water bottle that has been poked with holes on the sides and bottom next to a plant – fill with water so it can slowly release water to the plant through the holes.

20. Create a vertical wall of plants from plastic bottles

 

See the rest here:

 http://www.survivalsullivan.com/60-incredible-gardening-hacks/