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Camping With Jack – An Excerpt from GARDEN HEAT: A Jack Broccoli Novel

David the Good - Tue, 12/07/2021 - 11:15

“Even as vines creep upwards on a wall, so the heart of the Mung Fu warrior grips a challenge and removes paint like tiny fingers, as well as causing mold, leaks and inexorable structural damage in that which he conquers.”A State of Bean: Principles of Mung Fu

“Let’s light a fire,” Jack said as he surveyed their campsite.

“So you’re the one,” Pak said. “I never would have thought it, but all the pieces fit.”

“Excuse me?” Penny said, taking off her floppy camouflage hat. “Jack is the one? What do you mean?”

“Can I fill her in?” Jack asked. Pak nodded.

“Great,” Jack said. “I wasn’t sure about opsec. Though you said she could come, so I guess she’s fine.”

“Yeah,” Penny said. “I’m fine.” She did a little half spin like a fashion model in her well-fitting camo pants and olive-drab tank top.

“You’re ridiculous,” Jack said. “Did you go shopping at the LL Bean Army Surplus?”

She shrugged. “Tell me what’s up. I’m dying to know.”

“Arson,” Pak said.

“Right,” Jack said. “Someone has been starting fires all over the place and we think this is the next spot where they’re going to break out.”

“Cool,” Penny said. “I was making some guesses on the flight, but they were all plant related. I thought you might have discovered some new kind of corn or something boring.”

“Boring?” Jack said, stricken.

“No offense,” Penny said.

“Too late,” Jack said. “Why did you want to come if you thought I might be doing something plant related out here?”

“Because you’re here,” she said with a toss of her hair.

Jack smiled. “That works. I am glad you came. Anyhow, we’re going to see if we can catch the arsonists in the act and – wait – what’s that in your backpack!?”

Something was moving in Penny’s pack. Jack pulled his hunting knife expectantly – then saw the head of a small cat emerge from the bag.

“Dinglebat!” Penny said. “I thought I told you to stay home?”

“Lots of people inviting themselves along,” Pak said.

“Meow,” Dinglebat said.

“So, about that fire,” Jack said. “It doesn’t feel like camping without a fire.”

“True,” Penny said. “We could use some of the dry scrubby stuff to light a campfire. If we clear an area it won’t spread.”

“No,” Pak said. “They’ll see our smoke rising.”

“You’re right,” Jack said. “I forgot about that.” He looked around at the prairie stretching off into the distance. “This is crazy, though. We’re in the middle of nowhere. We drove two hours out and haven’t seen a single person in miles and miles. It would take a dedicated arsonist to come all the way out here.”

“The models don’t lie,” Pak said. “They may come in on a helicopter.”

Jack and Penny looked up at the blue sky, starting to turn pink and gold around the edges as the sun sank below the horizon. It was completely devoid of helicopters.

“They could also arrive in a balloon,” Pak said.

Jack and Penny looked up again. No balloons.

“Or a rocket,” Pak said.

“You’re joking,” Penny said, after looking up for a third time and failing to detect any rockets.

Pak shrugged.

“If we don’t have a fire, I can’t cook s’mores,” Jack said. “Look,” he said, pulling a paper bag out of the bed of their rented Ford Ranger. He reached in and produced bag of marshmallows, a few chocolate bars and a box of Graham crackers. “I picked up everything we need when we hit the grocery in town.”

“I saw you buy it,” Pak said. “I assumed it was your idea of a balanced meal.”

“No,” Jack replied. “It’s not balanced. It doesn’t have Ocean Octaves in it. S’mores are just a treat. You know, a ‘let’s reward ourselves for chasing Oklahoma arsonists’ treat. But you need a fire to make them.”

“You’ll have to wait for the arsonists to start one,” Penny said.

Jack looked up at the darkening sky. “I don’t see any rockets yet.”

“I was joking about rockets,” Pak said.

“I know,” Jack replied, then walked to the truck and popped the hood.

“What are you doing?” Penny said.

“There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

“Meow!” Dinglebat yowled indignantly.

“Have no fear,” Pak said to the cat, patting it on the head. “It is simply a statue of talk.”

“Do they have mosquitoes out here?” Penny asked Pak.

“Yes,” Pak replied. “But it has been very dry, and we are not near any piles of discarded tires where they might breed.”

“How did mosquitoes reproduce before we invented car tires?” Penny asked.

“They lived in horse troughs,” Jack said from the other side of the truck.

“I was just wondering about mosquitoes because we don’t seem to have any tents,” Penny said.

“Sleeping outside balances the qi,” Pak said.

“Oh,” Penny said.

“There!” Jack said, returning with the truck’s battery, some wires and a few parts. “We’ll be able to make s’mores later. I have a plan now.”

“Great,” Penny said. “But I think I want to eat something less sugary first.”

“Of course,” Jack said. “It needs to be way dark before you make s’mores. Ideally, your eyes shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between carbonized marshmallows and melted chocolate.”

Dinglebat disappeared into Penny’s bag and then remerged with a tin of sardines in his mouth.

“Ew,” Penny said. “Where did you even get those?” Dinglebat pulled the tab without gracing her with a reply, then delicately nipped at a fish – then pulled back as if he’d been bitten.

“What is it?” Penny asked. “Is one of them still alive?”

She picked up the can and read the side.

“Aw shucks. These aren’t real. They’re made of soy. It says ‘Soydeens – the taste of the sea, cruelty free.’ Oh Dinglebat, I’m sorry buddy. You picked up the wrong ones.” She shook her head. “That’s what you get for stuffing sardines in my bag. Not to mention your own silly self.” She sniffed at the open can and looked closer. “Yuck. Look, Pak – they even made little spines out of soy. Gross!”

Pak shook his head. “It is a misuse of a noble bean. Here, I have some food in my own pack.” He lifted a satchel and handed it to Penny.

She opened it and pulled out a few square packages. “Ramen? What is this, college?”

“They are a traditional food of my people,” Pak replied. “Long ago, in the Ming Dynasty, Li Ramen invented the first dehydrated-”

“Don’t listen to him,” Jack said. “Ramen came from Japan.”

Pak shrugged. “They stole it from China.”

“Do we have any water to boil?” Penny said.

“No,” Pak replied. “Adding water dilutes the Ramen’s energy. Here,” he said, taking a package from Penny and tearing it open. “You simply remove the square of compressed noodles, then open the seasoning packet, like so,” he said, ripping open the seasoning packet with his teeth and sprinkling part of it on the compressed block of dry wheat noodles. He rolled up the remaining half of the seasoning packet and put it back in his pack, then took a loud, crunching bite of the ramen noodles.

“Do you use all the seasoning packet?” Penny asked, taking a ramen square of her own and preparing it as Pak had shown them. Jack did the same.

“No,” Pak replied. “Some remains behind, like echoes of our provisions, meals tasted and untasted, culinary signposts on the road of life, a dusting of eternity, like stars of flavored salt in the front left pocket of one’s khakis.”

“Wow, that’s beautiful,” Penny said.

“Also, you can suck on the packets later,” Jack said around a mouthful of crunchy noodles. “When you crave more MSG.”

Pak shook his head sadly as he chewed the final bite of his meal. “I will not grace this nonsense with a response. I am going to sleep.”

“Now?” Jack said. “It’s what – 8:30 or something?”

“I have been awake continuously for 27.5 hours,” Pak replied, unrolling a sleeping bag. “Please watch for arsonists. I would not like to burn to death in my time of slumber.”

“How can you sleep when your bed is burning?” Penny said.

“And how can we dance when the earth is turning?” Jack said.

“Gravity,” Pak said, shutting his eyes.

Jack could see Penny’s outline in the moonlight a few feet away. He gathered up his s’more cooking supplies and set them up a dozen feet from Pak. Penny followed him over after a moment.

“Here,” Jack said, handing her his flashlight-enabled cellphone. “Hold the light for me so I can put this together.”

“Sure,” Penny said. “That looks complicated.”

“Not too much,” Jack said, running a pair of leads from the truck battery. “Not compared to rigging up my Mustang to burn vegetable oil. You’re supposed to do that with diesel engines, not gas engines.”

“I had to do some MacGyver style stuff back when I was little,” Penny said.

“Yeah?” Jack said, as he lit a portable acetylene torch and started working on the shaping of a crude cavity magnetron from the scavenged rear right hubcap of the Ranger.

“Yes, at the facility where they created us,” Penny said. “You see, it wasn’t like I had a normal upbringing, with a mom and a dad, in a place where…”

“Hmm,” Jack said, wondering if he was going to be able to properly direct the RF emitter or if he’d need to burn one of the truck tires in order to harvest the wires in the sidewall for a crude Faraday cage. No, that would involve lighting a fire, and if he was going to burn a tire, he might as well just cook the s’mores directly.

“…the intensity of the program would have destroyed normal girls, but we weren’t normal…”

“Right,” Jack said. Maybe aluminum foil would work, he wondered as he created a control circuit from parts of the truck radio. Though would s’mores even be good cooked with radiation? The burned edges were part of the charm.

“…over a thousand clones living their own lives right now. My sisters, my genetic…”

“Sure,” Jack mumbled, engaging the device and directing it towards a marshmallow. To his delight, it lit on fire almost immediately.

“So that’s the real story,” she said with a sigh, then looked at what Jack was doing. “And wow – you made a laser!”

“A laser?” Jack said, hoisting his first finished s’more proudly, then passing it to Penny. “You weren’t paying any attention. I made a microwave.”

“Same, same,” Penny said, taking the s’more and tasting it. “Ew.”

“Ew?” Jack asked.

“Yeah. The graham cracker is kind of stale or something. It’s like cardboard.” She licked her fingers. “I like the chocolate, though. It tastes kinda different.”

“What?” Jack said. “I bought a good brand!” He looked at the Graham cracker box, taking back his phone and shining the light at the small print. “No way,” he said. “I got the gluten-free ones. Ruined by trendy allergies!”

“Oh well,” said Penny. “We can just eat the marshmallows and chocolate.”

Jack sighed and looked at his crude and now worthless microwave. “Yeah, I guess so. If I knew the prairie plants better, I’d hunt for a Graham cracker substitute. On the east coast we have Buccellatum grahamii, with its wafer-like nutmeats. Out in Oregon there’s Panem meltuberculum. You have to roast the roots, but they’re great. Here, though, I’ve got nothing. Lost in the woods, so to speak. Or grasslands, as the case may be.”

“It’s okay,” Penny said. “I think it’s romantic that you tried to use a laser to cook me a s’more.”

“Thanks,” Jack said. “I’d better throw these bits and pieces back in the truck so the dew doesn’t mess them up.”

“Did you break anything reusing the bits like that?”

“Nothing serious,” Jack said. “I’ll put everything back together tomorrow.”

“Great,” Penny said. Jack loaded his microwave into the back seat of the truck, then sat down next to her. She leaned her head onto his shoulder and he slipped his arm around her waist. This could be the moment, he thought. Would it be weird to propose to her in an Oklahoma prairie? What if she said no? Maybe I should sing that “I’m just a girl who can’t say no,” song to her to kind of prime the pump. Like when a salesman asks a bunch of questions which all have yes answers, so you’re in a yes mood, then he asks ‘would you like to buy this 3,000 dollar vacuum with a built-in lounge chair on payments with 26.4% annualized interest’ and you automatically say ‘yes,’ then ruin your entire future. But it wouldn’t ruin Penny’s future if she said yes. In fact, it would give her the best future possible. Jack imagined the two of them raising a crop of little Broccolis. Maybe I’ll buy a station wagon. A station wagon would be cool. One of those huge ones from the 70s with the fake wood on the sides. I could refurbish the entire thing, he thought. A total restoration, and it would be awesome because everyone usually does that with muscle cars. And then-

“Well,” Penny yawned, standing up and patting him on the shoulder. “I’m off to sleep. See you on the flip side.”

She walked over to where Pak was and pulled out a sleeping bag, leaving Jack alone with his failed s’mores.

“Should’ve just asked her,” Jack muttered to himself. He looked at the box of pseudo Graham crackers, picked it up and hurled it off into the night. Nature could eat them. If they were even biodegradable.

Get GARDEN HEAT: A Jack Broccoli Novel in paperback here on Amazon!

The post Camping With Jack – An Excerpt from GARDEN HEAT: A Jack Broccoli Novel appeared first on The Survival Gardener.


Eat the Weeds - Tue, 12/07/2021 - 09:40

Pacific Silverweed, a traditional vegetable.

Pacific Silverweed gets around… mostly the top of the world: Siberia, Alaska, the Yukon, British Columbia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, Greenland… New Hampshire…( Mt. Washington is, after all, a mile high) western Long Island, Washington state, Oregon, California… And it has a long list of names: Silverweed, Pacific Silverweed, Greenland Silverweed, Eged’s Silverweed, Potentilla pacifica, Potentilla anserina ssp. pacifica, Argentina egedii ssp. ededii, Argentina egedii ssp. groenlandica and no doubt others. It was renamed in the 1990’s and not everyone is pleased. I think the nom de jour is Argentina egedii. What ever it is called many native groups ate it for a very long time proving botanists are not necessary. 

Pacific Silverweed roots. Photo by Radix4roots

Pacific Silverweed also has a lot of things we need. Per 100 grams of steamed roots it has: 132 calories, 3.1 grams of protein, 0.6 grams of fat, 29.5 grams of carbohydrates, 9.5 grams of fiber. No vitamin C reported and barely any Vitamin A, 0.2 RE. Te B vitamins are B1(thiamin) 0.01, B2 (riboflavin) 0.01 and B3 (niacin) 2.4 mg. The minerals line up: Phosphorus 109 mg, sodium 65 mg, magnesium 60 mg, calcium 37 mg, iron 3.5 mg, zinc and copper 1.1 mg each, and manganese 0.8 mg. 

One of the problems with the plant is it grows like crazy. But if you’re hungry that’s great. At least 12 native groups in North America considered it a staple. They also ate A. anserina the same way (Silverweed, Common Silverweed and Silver Cinquefoil.) It’s a smaller plant and is found in wet places inland distributed sporadically throughout most of North America except the Old South. 

As for the botanical names… What Argentina means is easy, “silvery.” “Anserina” is Dead Latin for “of the goose” either because it was fed to geese or the plant’s leaf shape reminded someone of a goose foot which is also what “chenopodium” means. In Sweden it is called Goosewort.  “Egedii” took me far longer to sort out. But, I had an inspiration one day and found the answer on page 813 of a 72-year old book, Gray’s Manual of Botany, edited by Merritt Fernal. (If you’ve visited my website I’ve mentioned Fernald here and there.) Egedii honors Hans Poulsen Egede (1686 -1758) “the father of Greenland” (or in new Dead Latin, groenlandica.)  

Green Deane’s Itemized Plant Profile

IDENTIFICATION: A low-growing perennial that spreads by creeping stolons. Leaves are pinnately compound, alternating, glossy green with very silver undersides. The five-petaled, five-sepaled flowers remind one of buttercups. 


ENVIRONMENT: Beaches, dunes, sand flats, coastal estuaries, high tidal marshes, at or above the mean high tide. (When you consider New Hampshire only has 18.57 miles of coastline that’s quite a feet… feat. If you count every tidal nook and cranny it’s 235 miles.)  

METHOD OF PREPARATION: The roots are always cooked — boiling or roasting — to remove bitterness. They can be dried before or after cooking for storage 

The post Silverweeds appeared first on Eat The Weeds and other things, too.

Why is China Using AMERICAN AIRCRAFT CARRIERS for Target Practice?

Organic Prepper - Tue, 12/07/2021 - 07:33
by Jeff Thompson

In yet another surprising and disturbing discovery from China, we now find that their military is practicing  destroying American aircraft carriers. This discovery comes about after recent … Read the rest

The post Why is China Using AMERICAN AIRCRAFT CARRIERS for Target Practice? appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Easy Christmas Fudge Recipe – A Festive Addition To Any Cookie Tray

Old World Garden - Tue, 12/07/2021 - 07:25

One of my favorite things to make for our Christmas Cookie trays is this Easy Christmas Fudge Recipe. Chocolate fudge topped with a layer of white chocolate fudge that has …

The post Easy Christmas Fudge Recipe – A Festive Addition To Any Cookie Tray appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Breast Cancer Can Grow and Spread for Decades Before “Early” Detection

Nutrition blog - Tue, 12/07/2021 - 07:00

“Early” detection is actually really late. Without mammograms, breast cancer may not be caught for an average of 22.8 years. With mammograms, though, breast cancer may only grow and spread for…21.4 years.

Critics of breast cancer screening claim that, on a population scale, mammograms have never been shown to actually prolong women’s lives on average. But, as you can see at 0:16 in my video Why Mammograms Don’t Appear to Save Lives, there was a clear drop in breast cancer mortality in both the UK and Denmark right when routine mammograms were introduced.

That didn’t appear to be the case in Switzerland, though, where breast cancer mortality had been declining for years before routine mammograms were introduced, so let’s go back and explore what happened in the UK. “It is tempting to conclude that breast screening was causal”—that is, caused the drop in mortality—but it’s a little suspicious that the drop happened immediately. You’d expect it to take a few years to manifest.

What’s more, if you split up the UK data by age group, the whole thing falls apart. At 0:54 in my video, I show a graph that illustrates how the numbers play out—rates of breast cancer mortality by age group over the years. Women in the 50 to 64 age group were the only ones who started screening around the same time, but there were mortality drops in other age groups of women who were not getting mammograms. This was true for the Denmark data as well. They had the same drop in breast cancer mortality with or without screening. What’s going on? 

As you can see at 1:22 in my video, the US data are similar to the UK’s. The United States experienced a beautiful drop in breast cancer mortality right when mass mammograms were introduced around 1990. We saw an even more dramatic drop, however, among women getting less screening, and an even greater drop in breast cancer mortality among women not getting mammograms at all. “In other words, there was a larger relative reduction in mortality among women who were not exposed to screening mammography than among those who were exposed.” What happened? The decrease in mortality “must largely be the result of improved treatment, not screening.” 

Breast cancer mortality started dropping all around the world at the same time, regardless of when mammogram screening started, as you can see at 1:59 in my video. There was “no relation at all between start of screening and the reduction in breast cancer mortality.” “The declines…are more likely explained by the introduction of tamoxifen,” an estrogen-blocking drug. As you can see at 2:15 in my video, breast cancer death rates clearly plummeted in the United States after the Food and Drug Administration approved tamoxifen in 1990.

This doesn’t mean breast cancer screening isn’t playing a role, though. In fact, randomized controlled trials have shown that routine mammograms may reduce breast cancer mortality by 20 percent. Now, that 20 percent drop represents the change from about five in a thousand women dying from breast cancer without screening during that time down to four in a thousand women dying with screening. So, the risk of dying for women who are invited for routine screening is practically the same as the risk of dying for women who are not getting mammograms. What’s more, this is assuming mammograms don’t increase deaths from other causes. In fact, “[i]f we take into account the cardiac and lung cancer deaths caused by radiotherapy,” the radiation treatments given to women who are overdiagnosed with pseudo disease and unnecessarily treated for cancer, thanks to mammography, “there appears to be no mortality benefit.”

Why aren’t mammograms more effective? It seems so simple. Just catch the disease early, right? It turns out that by the time breast cancer is caught by mammograms, it may have already been growing for decades. “It is therefore misleading to say that cancers are caught ‘early’ with screening. They are caught very late…” Without mammograms, breast cancer may not be caught for 22.8 years. With mammograms, however, breast cancer may grow and spread for 21.4 years. It’s not surprising that mammograms don’t do a better job at preventing breast cancer deaths since the cancer can spread before you can even cut it out. Concerns have even been raised that the trauma from surgery may accelerate the growth of any cancer left behind, which may would help explain why there isn’t more benefit to screening. 

Regardless, nine out of ten women may still be in the dark, “overestimating the mortality reduction from mammography screening by at least one order of magnitude,” by ten-fold or more. About the same percentage of men thought similarly about prostate cancer screening, vastly overestimating the benefits or simply not knowing. Only 1.5 percent of women surveyed were in the ballpark, choosing “the best estimate for reduction in mortality due to breast cancer screening.” Ironically, those who reported “frequent consulting of physicians” and reading health pamphlets did even worse, overestimating the benefits of screening programs even more. 

Decades ago, a director of a mammogram project, realizing even back then that routine mammograms may not actually be saving women’s lives, asked as she lay on her death bed before succumbing to breast cancer herself, “Are we brainwashing ourselves into thinking that we are making a dramatic impact on a serious disease before we brainwash the public?”


  • There appeared to be a drop in breast cancer mortality in the UK and Denmark when routine mammograms were introduced, but not in Switzerland. A closer look at the UK and Denmark data shows that there were mortality drops in age groups of women not getting mammograms, as only those in the 50 to 64 age group began getting screened.
  • Similarly, the United States experienced a drop in breast cancer mortality right when widespread mammograms were introduced, but a more dramatic drop was found in women getting less screening and an even larger drop was seen in breast cancer mortality among those not getting mammograms at all.
  • Breast cancer mortality began dropping around the world at the same time, regardless of when mammography screening began, thought likely due to the introduction of tamoxifen, an estrogen-blocking drug.
  • Randomized controlled trials have found that routine mammograms may reduce mortality from about five in a thousand dying from breast cancer without screening down to four in a thousand, so risk of death for women invited for routine screening is almost the same as for those not getting mammograms.
  • When cardiac and lung cancer deaths caused by radiation treatments given to women who had been overdiagnosed with pseudo-disease and unnecessarily treated for cancer, as a result of mammography, there appears to be no mortality benefit at all.
  • By the time breast cancer is caught by mammograms, they may have been growing for decades. Without mammograms, breast cancer may not be caught for 22.8 years. With mammograms, however, breast cancer may grow and spread for 21.4 years, nearly the same amount of time.
  • Nine out of ten women may still be unaware, overestimating the mortality reduction from mammograms by ten-fold or more, a percentage also seen in men who think similarly about prostate cancer screening.

Because “early” detection is actually really late, we can’t wait for a diagnosis to start eating more healthfully. Get going with these videos and tips: 

There is so much confusion when it comes to mammography, combined with the corrupting commercial interests of a billion-dollar industry. As with any important health decision, everyone should be fully informed of the risks and benefits, and make up their own mind about their own bodies. This is one installment in my 14-part series on mammograms, which includes: 

For more on breast cancer, see my videos Oxidized Cholesterol 27HC May Explain Three Breast Cancer MysteriesEggs and Breast Cancer and Flashback Friday: Can Flax Seeds Help Prevent Breast Cancer?

I was able to cover colon cancer screening in just one video. If you missed it, see Should We All Get Colonoscopies Starting at Age 50?.

Also on the topic of medical screenings, check out Flashback Friday: Worth Getting an Annual Health Check-Up and Physical Exam?Is It Worth Getting Annual Health Check-Ups? and Is It Worth Getting an Annual Physical Exam?

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live presentations:

Topic Roundtable for 12-6-21 – Epi – 2995

Survival Podcast - Mon, 12/06/2021 - 12:59
Time for another topic round table discussion. This one is from things I simply see and hear going on in the world around us today along with some emailed in questions and discussions on social media. We will start with … Continue reading →

A Wartime Economy: Tips for Financial Survival

Organic Prepper - Mon, 12/06/2021 - 07:36
by Jose Martinez

Navigating a wartime economy can be tricky. If you’re not able to cope, you’ll quickly that your financial emergency has led to a survival emergency.

For those … Read the rest

The post A Wartime Economy: Tips for Financial Survival appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Can Cholesterol Get Too Low?

Nutrition Video - Mon, 12/06/2021 - 06:50
Why might healthy lifestyle choices wipe out 90 percent of our risk for having a heart attack, whereas drugs may only reduce risk by 20 to 30 percent?

Gluten-Free Christmas Cornflake Wreath Cookies (Made Healthier)

Real Food RN - Mon, 12/06/2021 - 05:03

These are so much fun to make with the kiddos during the holiday season. Just a few simple ingredients are all you need to whip up a batch of festive wreath cookies.

The post Gluten-Free Christmas Cornflake Wreath Cookies (Made Healthier) appeared first on Real Food RN.

Building A Whiskey Barrel Wall – How To Create An Incredible Accent Wall!

Old World Garden - Sun, 12/05/2021 - 07:39

Who knew you could create an amazingly unique, attractive and stunning accent wall for next to nothing – all by simply recycling old whiskey barrels and lids! After we finally …

The post Building A Whiskey Barrel Wall – How To Create An Incredible Accent Wall! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

Australia Has Fallen. Is Our Nation Next?

Organic Prepper - Sat, 12/04/2021 - 08:03
by Jeff Thompson

Australia has fallen. 

Regular readers of world events have long since understood this fact – that Australia has turned into a fascist state reminiscent of The Children Read the rest

The post Australia Has Fallen. Is Our Nation Next? appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Introduction To Permaculture

Insteading - Fri, 12/03/2021 - 17:10

Interested in permaculture and not sure what to plant? This could be a great article to get ideas for unique and useful permaculture species!

Before we begin, let’s talk about what permaculture is. 

What Is Permaculture?

Permaculture is a land management or agricultural approach which aims at adopting itself to mimic natural ecosystems as closely as possible in a sustainable way. Therefore, permaculture aims to adopt species arrangements and placements to mimic what is seen in flourishing natural ecosystems as closely as possible. This can mean planting border species on naturally occurring borders like planting blackberries along roadsides or forest edges.

It can also reflect planting species along natural contour (topography) lines. Permaculture typically tries to avoid monoculture and monocrops (as you don’t often find this in natural ecosystems) and often utilizes companion planting or intercropping.

Bamboo // Elizabeth ButtramWhy Try Permaculture?

Permaculture is a more permanent approach to land care and agricultural systems at large. This minimizes replanting season after season, which further decreases personal maintenance and monetary costs.

Benefits of Permaculture

The ecological and environmental benefits of permaculture are nearly endless:

  • Contributes to a more stable habitat for wildlife
  • Decreases long-term soil disturbance,
  • Increases CO2 sequestering
  • Decreases your personal carbon footprint
  • Provides you with fresh foods
  • Improves your relationship with the land
Downside of Permaculture

Perhaps the biggest and only downside to permaculture (if you experience resistance to change) is it can be a learning curve to begin. If you’re patient, have a willing attitude to learn, and have the time to do it, it will be a rewarding challenge.

digitearte // flickrDifferent Permaculture Species

We’ll be covering 10 species here. It is important to note that individual research should be done on your end to determine if these species would be suitable for your area. Factors that may influence species success include soil type, local weather and climate conditions, and the presence or absence of shade. 

Another notable thing to add is that many prefer to do permaculture with native species to help keep natural ecosystems more intact and consistent. This, as with most things, is a personal preference and should be thoughtfully decided.

Moringa – Moringa oleiferaForest and Kim Starr // Flickr

Also known as the Tree of Life, moringa is a widely cultivated plant around the world. It is fast growing, drought-resistant, and able to thrive in diverse soil conditions. 

Nearly every part of trees can be used from the seed pods to the leaves. The leaves are rich in vitamins, and can be eaten directly as salad greens, cooked like spinach, or even dried and added to stews (the leaves taste delicious). The seed pods are used in homeopathic medicines to help treat parasites and other infections. Sometimes soap is made. 

These trees are easy to care for as you can simply allow them to grow to their full capacity, or cut them back annually to keep the leaves within arm’s reach. Moringa is resilient, and does well with repeated cuttings.

Pineapples – Ananas comosusPineapple // Elizabeth Buttram

Once established, pineapples do not need much attention. It is important, however, to note that in cooler climates, pineapples need a lot of sun, and in very hot climates, they need more shade. In both climate conditions, they need ample amounts of moisture to thrive.

Pineapples are usually grown for their delicious fruit, but they are also aesthetically pleasing, and can be used as an effective natural fence barrier if you are interested in live fencing. With that said, they are sharp and stout, which should be a consideration before planting them or harvesting.

Blackberries and Raspberries – Rubus spp.

For simplicity’s sake, I’ve included both species together here, as they generally grow and exist in the same conditions. 

Blackberries and raspberries are pioneer species, meaning they like being the first species to colonize open fields and forest edges. This trait is why you often find these species on the edges of roads, fences, and fields, and it is something to keep in mind when selecting a planting location. They generally prefer lots of sun, although they can do just as well in partial shade. They thrive in a wide variety of climates and soil conditions, too. My biggest suggestion with these species is to set up some sort of trellis system (or simply plant them along a fence line). It will make harvesting these thorny plants much easier if your end goal is food-oriented. 

Blueberries – Vaccinium sect. Cyanococcus

Blueberries need full sunlight and slightly acidic soil. They usually won’t produce fruit for a few years, but once they begin, they will continue for decades.

Blueberries are wonderful for their fruit and aesthetic appeal. Every year, they produce white or pink, small bell-shaped flowers. Annually, not much work needs to be done to maintain these bushes. Weeding can be beneficial to decrease nutrient competition, and trimming them back so they don’t grow out of arm’s reach can also be helpful. However, allowing them to grow to their full capacity is beautiful and can provide vital food for wildlife species, especially birds.

Blueberries // Flickr

Turmeric – Curcuma longa and Ginger – Zingiber officinaleDormant Stage of Ginger in Cultivation // Elizabeth Buttram

Like blackberries and raspberries, ginger and turmeric have similar growth requirements. I combined the two here.

Turmeric and ginger don’t require much aftercare once they’re established. However, they do have specific wants/needs to be successfully cultivated. Both of these species need filtered sunlight throughout the day. Planting them under trees can successfully achieve this condition. They also need a lot of moisture. If you’re in a very wet area climatically, this is perfect. If not, you may need to install irrigation such as drip lines. If you’re establishing them from a finger bulb, they often sit dormant for a while before any green offshoots begin showing aboveground. So it is important to know where you have placed them, and avoid any soil disturbance in that area, as to not injure any dormant finger bulbs.

Hibiscus – Hibiscus spp.

There are many different varieties and species of hibiscus. Because of this diversity, it’s important to do personal research to reach your cultivation goals. For example, if you want to grow hibiscus specifically for the flowers (which are beautiful), or you would like to grow hibiscus for the tangy tea, there are different species you may want to cultivate.

Once established, hibiscus will continue on its own with little to no aftercare. Although, this plant does best when regularly mulched or weeded. If growing from seed, you generally need to soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting to help encourage quicker growth. 

Bamboo – Bambusa spp.Bamboo Growing on Road Edge // Elizabeth Buttram

Like most of the species listed above, there are many different varieties of bamboo that you can choose. Some do better in colder climates and high altitudes, while others prefer warmer environments with more moisture. Some bamboo species are short and stout, while others grow tall and lean. Likewise, there are many color varieties of bamboo. For these reasons, bamboo can be a really fun species to cultivate (as you have many options). And because of bamboo’s diversity, it can be grown in a wide variety of locations. 

A note of caution if you decide to cultivate this species: It is prone to taking over! It is similar to blackberries and raspberries as a pioneer species that prefers open fields and forest edges. If given the opportunity to grow freely, it will.

Red Clover – Trifolium pratenseJohn Munt // flickr

Red clover is easy to establish and can be an excellent choice for both aesthetics and wildlife. Deer, rabbits, and other small herbivorous animals love red clover and forage on it when it’s available (excellent if you don’t want it to grow too high but do not like mowing). Also, butterflies and other pollinators utilize red clover. 

It is quite common to see red clover growing along scenic highways and in open fields with butterflies all over. Red clover grows easily once it has been propagated and needs virtually no maintenance or upkeep (unless you prefer it to be trimmed back to not take over areas). 

Red clover is prone to taking over areas and easily outgrows competitor species. This is a word of caution if you do not want that result. 

Another warning for red clover has to do with where you decide to plant it. Planting it alongside busy roads can be harmful for whatever wildlife may be utilizing the clover. Most butterfly death actually has to do with wind speed coming off passing cars. And of course, car collisions with wildlife are scary and sad. If you’re in an area that has a lot of wildlife, you should be particularly cautious about planting near roadsides. 

Final Thoughts on Permaculture

There are numerous permaculture species that could be discussed here, but hopefully, this short starter list will give you some ideas of the wide range of possibilities. Remember to do your research about native versus non-native species. Likewise, remember to check if the species you choose to plant is compatible with your geographic and climatic location. Although, it can be fun planting species that are said to be incompatible in your area — to see if you can get them established. Just be aware it may create a hindrance for you. Best of luck!

Red Four-Leaf Clover // Elizabeth Buttram

Out Back with Jack – Epi-2904

Survival Podcast - Fri, 12/03/2021 - 10:25
Today we we have our Friday show,  “Outback with Jack”.  These podcasts will be generated though back porch live steam sessions done early on Friday mornings.  That will be approximately 0730-0830 CST. These podcasts will are a lot like old … Continue reading →

The Printed Website: Volume III & The Comments

Low Tech Mag - Fri, 12/03/2021 - 09:55

The printed archives of Low-tech Magazine now amount to four volumes with a total of 2,398 pages and 709 images. All books are printed on demand. 

Low-tech Magazine Volume III

The newest Low-tech Magazine book collects 18 articles published between 2018 and 2021. At 368 pages it’s a thin book compared to earlier volumes. When we started the book series, the challenge was to unlock an archive of almost 12 years. It made sense to pack this content into as few volumes as possible.

However, looking ahead, we will publish more often, once every one to three years, depending on the number of articles written. From now on, the articles will be arranged chronologically, from oldest to newest, and no longer the other way around. This volume contains 184 images in black and white.

Low-tech Magazine: The Comments

We also launched a book which collects almost 3,000 comments on the roughly 100 articles which are published in the three other books. This volume has 688 pages and no images. We included all feedback up to November 7, 2021. Read more about the comments book here.

Over the years, readers have often stated that the comments on the website are (at least) as interesting as the articles themselves. We agree. Low-tech Magazine would not have been even half what it is now without the comments. You can even take this literally, because this is one of the thickest books we have published so far, despite the extra small font we use.

New Edition

Finally, we have published a second edition of the first book we published in 2019. This new edition has almost twice as many images and follows the same design as the other volumes. In contrast to the first edition, the images are not "dithered" and of higher quality. We use a smaller font to pack more content on fewer pages. This second edition also fixes some errors in the articles and the references.

The printed archives of Low-tech Magazine now amount to four volumes with a total of 2,398 pages and 709 images.

Contents Volume III How Circular is the Circular Economy? Keeping Some of the Lights On: Redefining Energy Security Heat your House with a Mechanical Windmill Reinventing the Small Wind Turbine How to Make Wind Power Sustainable Again Mist Showers: Sustainable Decadence? Too Much Combustion, Too Little Fire How Sustainable is a Solar Powered Website? Fruit Trenches: Cultivating Subtropical Plants in Freezing Temperatures Thermoelectric Stoves: Ditch the Solar Panels? How to Make Biomass Energy Sustainable Again How and Why I Stopped Buying New Laptops Vertical Farming Does not Save Space How Sustainable is High-tech Health Care? Urban Fish Ponds: Low-tech Sewage Treatment for Towns and Cities How to Design a Sailing Ship for the 21st Century? How to Build a Low-tech Solar Panel? Fascine Mattresses: Basketry Gone Wild

Name Your Price for Our Thrifty Christmas Book!

Organic Prepper - Fri, 12/03/2021 - 09:32

Of all the holidays, Christmas is the one that is the most magical for children…and often the most stressful for adults. It seems like every year, the wish lists get … Read the rest

The post Name Your Price for Our Thrifty Christmas Book! appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

How Governments Are Using Democracy to TAKE AWAY Freedom

Organic Prepper - Fri, 12/03/2021 - 07:16
by Fabian Ommar

Author of The ULTIMATE Survival Gear Handbook and  Street Survivalism

Can democracy be used to take freedom and liberty from a people? Last Sunday, the Swiss government … Read the rest

The post How Governments Are Using Democracy to TAKE AWAY Freedom appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Flashback Friday: Best Way to Cook Vegetables

Nutrition Video - Fri, 12/03/2021 - 06:50
Boiling, steaming, microwaving, air frying, and sous vide cooking are put to the test for nutrient retention.

Crypto Thoughts for 12-2-21

Survival Podcast - Thu, 12/02/2021 - 15:27
I don’t expect this will be weekly segment but there are times when I figure it would be good to give a short update on this subject.  May be once a month or every few weeks but no promises just … Continue reading →

Lobelia inflata

Smokable Herbs - Thu, 12/02/2021 - 12:51
Be aware that Lobelia Inflata is toxic and must be consumed carefully under the care of a medical practitioner. Overview The lobelia inflata is a tall, fuzzy-stemmed plant that grows native through the southeastern portion of Canada, down the east coast, and all the way into Alabama. Native Americans and 19th century doctors used the …

Lobelia inflata Read More »

Expert Council Q&A for 12-2-21 – Epi–2993

Survival Podcast - Thu, 12/02/2021 - 12:27
Today on The Survival Podcast the expert council answers your questions on voluntarism, omicron, trust, keto diet, rocket mass heaters, livestock, wood stoves, mobile homes, homeschool, life purpose and more. Make sure if you submit content for a feedback show … Continue reading →