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Five Natural Garden Pesticides That Really Work

Wed, 04/14/2021 - 16:30

Natural Garden Pesticides That Really Work

Nothing’s worse than watching pests munch through your garden like it was planted for them. While we try to avoid pesticide use through companion planting  and attracting natural predators , sometimes it’s not enough and we need a targeted and limited application of natural pesticide.

The right pesticide for those living off the grid is a combination of two things. First, it has to be easy to produce from readily available materials. Second, and most importantly, it has to be safe to your family and to the carefully balanced ecological system in your garden. The pesticide mixes below meet these criteria. (Some of them aren’t technically pesticides; they’re deterrents, but the effect is the same — keeping the bugs of your plants).


Before getting started, please remember the following:
  1. Many of the plant extracts below can irritate your skin. Make sure to wear gloves and eye protection when mixing, handling and spraying. Keep them away from children and pets.
  2. These are not industrial-strength solutions designed to eradicate any and everything in their path. They are natural, and therefore need to be applied more frequently than commercial pesticides, and after rain as well. They won’t be effective if you frequently apply water to the top of your plants.
  3. A couple of the mixes call for natural-based detergent. This means detergent without dyes or anti-bacterial agents added (which can harm the plants). If you’re a diehard homesteader and make your own soap, you can use that instead.


1. Chili Peppers

This mix works against aphids, grasshoppers and other larger insects that love to devour your plants. Put three or four halved chili peppers, a coarsely chopped large onion, and a bulb of garlic in a food processor. Add 1/2 cup of water and mix until finely shredded. Cover the mix with one gallon of hot but not boiling water.

Use This As A Potting Medium, Insecticide, Or Even A Household Substance…Without Dangerous Chemicals!

After 24 hours, strain and spray on where needed. For areas where need is greatest, follow the same directions, but blend everything to a fine purée and then work it gently into the soil surrounding the affected plants.


2. Basil

Aphids are a constant source of irritation in my garden. If you have the same problem, try a basil pesticide. Bring three cups of water to a boil, and then add a cup of fresh basil. Let the mix cool and strain. Then add a teaspoon of natural-based dish detergent. Spray onto affected plants.


3. Tobacco

While much maligned for other reasons, nicotine is a natural pest repellant. Aphids, caterpillars, and other pests avoid it. Mix one cup of tobacco in a gallon of water. Let it sit for 24 hours. Spray the solution sparingly where needed, but don’t use on members of the Solanaceae family (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and others) or on potatoes. Nicotine is lethal to these plants.

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4. Chrysanthemum Flowers

Pyrethrum is a commercially available, natural insecticide used by organic gardeners. It works by destroying the insects’ nervous systems. Pyrethrum is particularly effective against aphids, spider mites, and cabbageworms (which is why chrysanthemum flowers are a great companion plant for broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage).

To make your own, boil four or five ounces of dried flowers in a quart of water. Strain and let cool. Spray where needed.


Get Rid Of Unwanted Insects Without The Use Of Dangerous Chemicals


5. Horseradish

This mix deters many common garden pests. Take a handful of spearmint leaves, two horseradish roots (with tops), and a few scallions. Chop roughly and cover with water. The next day, strain the mix and add a tablespoon of cayenne pepper and two tablespoons of natural-based dish detergent. Spray where needed.

Insect pests are a natural part of the garden, but with healthy plants, companion planting and using natural predators, they often are not a problem. However, if you do get some bugs helping themselves to a free dinner, try these natural pesticides.

Do you have any all-natural pesticide tips? Tell us in the comments section below.



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12 Different Types of Farms

Tue, 04/13/2021 - 06:29

Nowadays, few business people decide to create a farm thinking that it is too expensive and unprofitable. However, this is wrong logic: today, farming is one of the most promising areas of entrepreneurship. To take the first step towards creating your farm, you need to choose a niche. So, we invite you to study the different types of farms in this article.

Is It Profitable to Farm?

The growing demand for goods ensures the profitability of farming. For sure, animal farming needs significant investments, especially for breeding cattle. However, with the right approach, the payback time will be no more than six years. Eggs and poultry are the products that are always on the daily menu. However, bird breeding does not require too much investment and area. While with the right approach to the maintenance of your equipment and acquisition of spare parts with tractor specs. The payback time is 2-4 years.

Growing fruits and vegetables is a seasonal business that requires special equipment and skills. However, herbs, cucumbers, strawberries, or tomatoes can be grown in greenhouses all year round. This business will be even more profitable in winter when the price for fresh vegetables increases. With such a farm, you will get back your investments in around two years.

Different Types of Farms

One shouldn’t forget that all branches of agriculture make a single mechanism. And the types of agricultural enterprises are associated with the forms of activity and general specialization. In particular, farms can be of the following types:

  1. Dairy and meat;
  2. Pig breeding;
  3. Milk and vegetable;
  4. Vegetable;
  5. Poultry;
  6. Seed-growing;
  7. Greenhouse vegetable growing;
  8. Fur farming;
  9. Winery;
  10. Fruit tree seedling;
  11. Fruit-canning;
  12. Flour-milling, etc.

About 90% of farms in the United States are family-owned. Family farms are closed organizational and legal forms controlled by the owner of the farm. Therefore, the production process on such farms depends on the effectiveness of the daily decisions of the owner and the work of family members.

Except for the above-mentioned, eco-farms are getting more and more popular. This is a profitable enterprise that provides farmers and their consumer audience with high-quality, healthy, environmentally friendly and natural food that is grown in the most humane, natural, and even “happy” conditions. In general, an eco-farm is a complex of buildings for various purposes for keeping animals, ensuring their health and reproduction. However, this type of entrepreneurship requires significant investments.

In Conclusion

Whatever type of farming a business person will choose, they will need the initial capital. If you do not have your funds, then you can attract investments or use a loan. Finding an investor is a very good option. Such a person can be involved with a competent business plan and a good presentation. If you show all the benefits of a business, then your funds may not be needed.


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The Many Health Benefits of Beans

Tue, 03/30/2021 - 14:00

The Health Benefits Of Beans Will Amaze You

Left to my own devices, I would be a vegetarian. This wasn’t difficult for my husband and I when we lived in California. However, where we live now, it is not without its challenges. An island whose cuisine revolves around meat, for me oftentimes means substituting beans for the preferred sources of protein: pork or chicken. Prior to moving here, I had no clue there were so many beans in the world. I could name and cook maybe five or six of them. Today, I am thrilled to say, it’s a completely different story.

Beans don’t need to be something you think of as sloppy seconds to meat. Far more versatile than meat, it might surprise you how much you can dress up beans and how well they can complement any meal. As I have said in previous articles, open your mind and your taste buds will follow.


Health Benefits Of Beans 101

Beans are a type of legume, the large seeds of leguminous plants. There are dozens of varieties of beans in the world that grow naturally or through cultivation. People have been growing them for food since they first began farming, many a millennia ago. Today, with the exception of grains, people around the world get more of their calories from beans than they do from any other food.

Beans may not really be magic, but they can have seemingly magical effects on your health. Adding to their versatility and taste, beans are also one of the healthiest foods around; they are a low calorie, low sodium source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and myriad other important nutrients. This means that a diet containing beans can promote everything from healthy weight loss to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease prevention, which continue to strike Americans at alarming rates.


A Dose of Dietary Fiber That Packs a Whopping Health Punch

Dietary fiber comes from plant foods, and is an important part of healthy eating. Beans are some of the best sources of dietary fiber in the food world, along with many vegetables, whole grains, some fruits, and other legumes.

Dietary fiber is divided into two groups consisting of fiber that is soluble in water and fiber that is not soluble. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance as it passes through the body. It also provides health benefits connected to cholesterol and blood sugar management. Insoluble fiber is the fiber that makes it easier for ingested matter to make its way through the digestive tract.

Fiber is often most closely associated with bowel regularity. It also serves other functions as well in maintaining our overall health. Besides regularity, fiber promotes the health and integrity of the bowels by preventing the development of hemorrhoids and diverticular disease. Fiber may also help to prevent other diseases of the colon. However, definitive research has not yet established an incontrovertible connection.

Grow A High Protein Garden With An Heirloom Bean and Pea Bundle

Soluble fiber is helpful in reducing cholesterol levels in the blood, specifically the levels of low-density lipoproteins. That’s “bad cholesterol” to you and me. Soluble fiber also causes the body to absorb sugar more slowly. This can help diabetics manage their blood sugar levels and lower the risk of Type II diabetes for people who do not yet have the disease.

Dietary fiber is defined as the parts of a plant that the human body is not able to digest and absorb as nutrients. This indigestibility is what makes insoluble fiber so beneficial to the bowels. It is also what makes fiber a good tool for weight loss. Fibrous foods tend to take longer to chew and swallow, and eating slowly allows your body time to register when you are full. Meals with large amounts of dietary fiber also tend to make you feel full faster and stay full longer so that you will eat less over the course of a day.


Peas Have Many Of The Similar Health Benefits As Beans.

A Great Source of Protein

Protein is part of every single cell in the human body, from those that build our muscle tissue to those which form our vital organs. When we eat foods that contain protein, our bodies break it down into amino acids and use the amino acids to replace the proteins in our cells. Although our bodies are able to produce some amino acids on their own, a group of amino acids called essential amino acids must be taken in as food. When our diet contains insufficient amounts of protein, our bodies will begin to break down its own tissues in order to supply necessary amino acids elsewhere.

Since every single cell in the body contains protein, insufficient protein can lead to a very wide variety of health concerns. These health problems can range from minor problems such as alopecia and brittle hair, to serious concerns such blood disorders, muscle weakness, and impaired immune systems.


An Alternative to Red Meat

Unlike low calorie and low fat beans, many types of red meat contain a large amount of saturated fat. Saturated fat raises cholesterol levels in the blood. Excessive bad cholesterol is one of the most significant risk factors for heart disease.

Many people assume that it is necessary to eat a diet with large amounts of meat in order to get sufficient protein. However, ¼ cup of most beans contains the same amount of protein as an ounce of red meat. Some beans, such as soybeans, contain an even larger amount of protein than that slab of steak you were considering for dinner. Vegetarians, vegans, or just people who prefer to eat a minimum of red meat, will have no problem eating a healthy amount of protein if they include beans in their diet.


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Best Foods for Antioxidants

Beans are a tremendous source of antioxidants. Antioxidants can give an incredible boost to your health by battling free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals that damage cells and genetic material by robbing them of electrons and causing them to become unstable. This weakens cells’ defenses against foreign invasion, and can result in more harmful mutations that might lead to cancer.

Antioxidants provide electrons to free radicals, and may help destabilized cells to heal themselves. Like amino acids, our bodies produce some antioxidants naturally, but rely on the food we eat to provide more. Each type of antioxidant has a different chemical composition. Therefore, it is necessary to eat a variety of antioxidant-rich foods in order to get the most benefit from their properties.

The United States Department of Agriculture analyzed the antioxidant levels of a wide variety of foods, and produced a list of 20 common foods with the highest levels of antioxidants. Red beans appeared first on this list, while kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans came in at numbers three, four, and eighteen. Combining these varieties of bean with a range of the other antioxidant rich foods on the list will help ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit that they have to offer.


Other Health Benefits of Beans

Beans contain a compound called inositol hexaphosphate, which has shown promising results as an agent in the fight against cancer. The American Cancer Society provides an overview of inositol hexaphosphate, which claims that the compound inhibits tumor formation and shrinks existing tumors. Beans also contain another compound known as inositol pentakisphosphate, which early evidence suggests may also have cancer-fighting potential.

Beans are a good source of several important vitamins and minerals that our bodies must obtain through diet. They are a great source of folate, a vitamin that helps with cell function and new tissue growth. Beans also contain significant amounts of iron, the mineral that carries oxygen from our lungs to our cells. Magnesium is a mineral that aids in muscle contraction and relaxation, protein production, enzyme function, and energy transportation. Many people fail to get enough magnesium in their diets. Beans are one of the best sources of this mineral. Manganese is also found in beans, and is a component of many enzymes in the body. Finally, beans are a source of the electrolyte potassium, which aids our metabolism and many important body functions.


Life Doesn’t Offer Many Better Guarantees than This

There are no downsides to eating beans. And if one doesn’t float your boat, try another and another. With so many varieties, surely there must be at least half a dozen types of beans that excite you. Providing the protein, antioxidants, fiber, and amino acids that your body needs, without the fat, cholesterol, and elevated risks of myriad diseases that meat offers, what are you waiting for? What magic can beans do for you?

If this article was helpful, please let me know. In a future article I can offer some yummy suggestions to incorporate them into your diet.




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Are The “Biden Food Shortages” On The Way?

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 16:02

Food Shortages

As the new case count for COVID-19 patients decreases and then increases according to media needs, we need to realize that the pandemic is far from over. In fact, some medical “experts” now predict that we will be dealing with COVID-19 well into 2022. With that being the case, chances are pretty high that we’re going to see shortages in the grocery store once again.


Here’s why:

Our grocers are better prepared for the next run on the stores, with food already palletized and pre-positioned in distribution centers and the back rooms of grocery stores. But that’s merely a stopgap measure, as the amount of food that fits in the back room of a grocery store is, by necessity, minimal.

While they are in better shape than they were last spring, we can expect some shortages. As with the last go-around, the most likely food shortage will be meat and dairy, as the meat packing industry seems to have been pounded by the disease. We can expect that to be followed by canned goods, snacks, baking supplies and soup. How long, or how bad it is going to be, is something we’ll have to wait to see.


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A lot of this hinges on whether there will be another wave of lockdowns. Many Democrat governors seem to be okay with that idea, while Republicans are fighting against it. There are many, especially in Republican camps, which argue that the first batch of lockdowns didn’t do us much good, so it’s doubtful that another round will do much better. As with everything else associated with the pandemic, it’s being politicized.

Of course, there’s also the theory that many conservatives have floated, saying that the pandemic, or at least the hysteria associated with it, was 100% manufactured as a weapon to use against Trump. As that theory tells it, the lockdowns should have ceased when Biden was sworn in as president.

Interestingly enough, troubled Governor Cuomo of New York had reportedly come out saying that it’s time for New York businesses to open. After that, he changed his mind. Now, he’s created a sort of “lock-down” for himself. If I were a suspicious man, and I am, I would see that as an indicator that those who came up with that theory are right. But I’ll reserve my judgment until I see a more general movement in that direction.


What About The Campaign Promise?

This is in total contrast to what the President-elect said. During his campaign, Joe Biden promised that if he was elected, he was going to order a nationwide lockdown. That sounds like he either believes the pandemic is real or he believes there is some other political reason to continue hurting the lives of people who are still out of work and whose businesses are closed down.

Of course, there’s just one problem with that campaign promise. He didn’t then and doesn’t now have the authority to do it.

Job loss and food shortages just add to the stress.

The only authorities who can order such a thing are the governors of the various states. That became clear when the first round of lockdowns were discussed. People were calling for then President Trump to lock down the country. He couldn’t do so legally, so he encouraged the governors of many states to do so instead.

The full cost of that first round of lockdowns has not yet been discovered. Close to 100,000 small businesses closed their doors for good. Over 40 million people lost their jobs. Billions of dollars of profits were lost. But those aren’t the real costs; what about mental disorder, suicides and children who will never fully realize their true potential, because of how the lockdowns affected their education?

Another series of lockdowns will obviously make the situation worse. Without a control group to use for comparison, it’s hard to prove that any such measure works; and the only possible comparison is with Sweden or South Korea. Neither of those really work, because of other factors they instituted to deal with the pandemic.


Will Biden Pull The Trigger?

But as we’ve already seen, it doesn’t take a lockdown to cause a run on the grocery stores. All it takes is fear. The first run on the stores came about because of fear of the potential lockdown. Remembering the effect that had, it wouldn’t be surprising in the least to see another run on the stores. Most of the people who had stocked up on food back then will have already eaten that food in the ensuing months, so they’ll need a fresh infusion to get through the next lockdown. Once they start the run on the grocery stores, others will follow.

As before, once the run on the stores begins, it won’t take long to empty them out. Oh, it might take a little longer this time, because of the actions which our big grocery chains have undertaken to mitigate against more shortages; but that won’t be able to stop real supply chain shortages; it will merely slow them down. We’re probably in for just as rough a ride as before; maybe even more so.


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With the experts saying that COVID will last well into 2022, there’s no saying how many more shortages we might have. Since these shortages are caused by panic rather than anything tangible or systemic, it all centers on public opinion and what they are being fed by the news media. We are only beginning to see how the media will report things now that Democrats have control over everything.

Should a new pandemic or new COVID variant come along before this one is even over (a very real possibility, especially if this was even somewhat intentional on the Chinese government’s part), then we might go into and out of “spotty food shortages” for years to come. Worse than that, it might affect the farms growing the food and the manufacturing plants turning raw food items into the myriad of foods that we find stocking the supermarket shelves.

Bottom line: I’m not depending on what the system can do to take care of me. While I may still shop in the stores, I’m working on increasing my food production as much as I can. That’s the only sure way I know to make sure my family will be able to eat. Make sure you have supplies in times of calm. That way, you’ll always have what you need and you’ll never be labeled a hoarder.


The post Are The “Biden Food Shortages” On The Way? appeared first on Off The Grid News.

Keeping Warm “Off-Grid” Without A Wood-Burning Stove

Tue, 03/16/2021 - 08:18

Keeping warm during a winter power outage can be difficult.

The recent polar vortex hit Texas hard. While the entire country suffered with unexpectedly cold temperatures which lasted for days; no other state had as many people without power, without water and dying from the cold weather.

But why should this be so?

First, no other state in the 48 continuous states reaches as far south as Texas does, except Florida. But Florida was left out of the fun and games that the rest of the country was facing. Had the polar vortex and freezing rain reached them, like it did Texas, it’s possible they would have suffered a similar fate. However, the one big difference is that Florida doesn’t have its own power grid.

Texas just isn’t prepared for such cold weather; and the combination of cold weather with freezing rain made it worse. Don’t believe those who say that Texas has a freeze like that every decade; that’s bending the facts considerably. Texas has freezes, but they’re overnight things, not something lasting four days. Nor do they usually come with freezing rain.


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So water pipes aren’t buried as deep in Texas, and home HVAC systems don’t have as much heating capacity. It’s not uncommon for homes to get chilly on the two or three nights of freezing weather that actually hits south Texas. Most people just put up with it, not knowing what else to do.

The standard prepper solution is to install a wood-burning stove in the home for use as an alternative heating method. That’s a good solution for those who own their homes. But people who are renting a house or apartment aren’t able to do that one.

Those who aren’t preppers face the problem of trying to keep their home warm, without having prepared for it. Some turn to using their stove, oven, or barbecue grille for this. That’s dangerous, because of the risk of carbon monoxide buildup in the home. Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves don’t create this sort of buildup, even though they produce carbon monoxide, because of the chimney. Whatever carbon monoxide is produced, goes up the chimney and is vented outside the home.


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So, what can someone do for heat, while maintaining a safe environment in their home?

Before answering that question, we need to define something. That is, what is survival heating? If you’re thinking that you need to have your home at 75°F to survive, then good luck. The so-called “comfort zone” is just that—comfort. But comfort is unnecessary for survival. All that’s needed is enough heat to help keep your core body temperature where it should be; anything else is actually a luxury.

I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico, where few homes have any sort of heat at all. Those people aren’t accustomed to the cold, yet they make it through every winter. Up near the border which connects to south Texas, they have freezing temperatures every time south Texas does, yet they survive without central heating or a fireplace.


Warm Clothes and Blankets


The most basic way of keeping warm is to wrap yourself in several layers of warm clothes. While it may not be all that comfortable to eat dinner at the table with a winter coat and hat on, it’s really not a problem. We’re just so used to the idea of having a warm home, that we expect our home to keep us warm, rather than utilizing our body heat.

During the freeze, I wore heavy knit sweaters every day. That may not seem all that unusual to some people, but I rarely wear them, unless I’m going to be out in the cold. I just get hot too easily and I don’t want to be perspiring all over clothes that are hard to launder. But I was sure glad I had those sweaters available to me that week.

If you’re going to be sitting on the sofa, watching TV, what’s wrong with covering yourself with a blanket? We all do that at night to keep warm, so there really shouldn’t be a problem doing so during the day. Just about the same could be said about wearing a hat… which is the fastest way to warm yourself up. Make use of your body heat, rather than complaining that it’s cold.


Propane Burners

One of the safest heaters any of us can use in the home is a propane one. I normally don’t recommend propane heaters for survival situations; but that’s because of the problem coming up with enough fuel. However, that’s a non-issue in a short-term survival situation. Just make sure you’ve got an extra tank or two of propane on hand.

If you buy a propane heater, make sure that it’s rated for indoor use, not outdoor use. There is a difference in how they are made and the outdoor ones are not safe for the home.



In olden times people heated soapstones in the coals of the fire, to have portable heat. That could then be carried in a cloth carrier for providing heat in their wagon or set under the family pew in church. With their laps covered by a blanket, the radiated heat would help keep them warm.

Soapstone was used because… of all types of stone available for this purpose… soapstone and marble have the best thermal conductivity. Therefore, they absorb heat well, holding more than some other types of stone might. Then, when it’s time to use that heat, they radiate it out well. Metals, on the other hand, may absorb heat well, but they radiate transferred heat out too fast to be used as an effective heater.

The idea here would be to use the barbecue grille outside to heat up the stone, then bring it indoors to take advantage of that heat. At the same time, the stone could be replaced with another, so the cycle could continue.

But what if you don’t have a soapstone? Then use some other rock. While soapstone and marble are the best possible choices, other types of stone will work too; they just won’t work as well. That’s okay; whatever heat they produce is more than you have without the stone.


Terra Cotta Pot Heater

Finally, people have been using terra cotta flowerpots as a makeshift heater. The pot is placed upside-down over a can of the fuel that is used for chafing dishes. That’s safe to use indoors, because they don’t produce that much carbon monoxide.

The flowerpot is an essential part of this, because it keeps the heat from just rising to the ceiling. Rather, the heat warms the pot which then radiates the heat outwards, where it will do some good. The trick here is that the pot needs to be propped up in a way so that air can come in under the rim and then exist out the hole in the bottom (or top, since it’s upside down), of the pot.

If you have any other useful heating tips, please share them in the comments below. 

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Power Outages and Cascading Problems

Fri, 03/12/2021 - 16:00

Power Outages Create Havoc.

The arctic blast of February 2021 has proved two things. The first is that the disasters of 2020 haven’t ended. Rather, January and February 2021 might as well be the 13th and 14th months of 2020. The end of the problems that many people were expecting hasn’t gone away. Sadly they seem to be increasing in magnitude, even if not in frequency.

While this isn’t the first time our country has been treated to unusually severe weather, it was unique in one thing… how it affected Texas. This once in 100 year weather event caused massive problems across the state and I had a front-row seat to watch it.

Texas is unique because it has its own electrical power grid. That was done intentionally, to avoid federal regulation. The authority for much of what the federal government’s regulatory agencies do comes from the interstate commerce clause, which gives those agencies and Congress an open door when business crosses state lines. But when the business is solely within one state, their ability to meddle and mandate is severely curtailed.

This is coming under scrutiny right now. Some are saying that this lack of federal oversight caused the blackouts in Texas. But then, there has been a lot of finger pointing going on, ever since the freeze started and ERCOT, the state’s grid operator, is the biggest target anyone can find.

But did ERCOT really mess up? That’s the question. Could they have prevented the mess in the first place?


The Loss of the Texas Grid

While much of what happened was due to freak weather and the decisions made in an instant, there are two things that were done by ERCOT’s board, before the freeze came, which added to the problem. The first was to move more towards renewable energy, specifically in the form of wind farms. Texas produces more wind power than any other state in the Union, accounting for 20% of the state’s electricity usage. This move is partly in line with national and even worldwide goals to “go green” and do away with fossil fuels, specifically coal. Roughly 48% of Texas electricity is now produced from natural gas, which fed into the problem as well.

The second decision that ERCOT’s board made, which fed into the problem, was that they adopted the strategy of maintaining a low level of reserve capacity, the lowest in the country. The plan was to buy electricity from neighboring states, should the need exceed the grid’s capacity to produce.

One last piece fits into setting up this puzzle; that of some power plants being down for scheduled maintenance, something that is normally done during the winter, because Texas used more electric power in the summer. So, when the cold weather hit, the margin between what was needed and what was being produced disappeared.


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As cold weather moved in, home use of electricity increased, because of the need to heat homes. At the same time, wind turbines started having ice form on the blades, putting them out of balance. Wind turbines in Texas don’t have built-in de-icing systems, because of the low probability of freezing and rain together. So, in order to prevent damage, the control circuitry of those turbines took them offline, sending production below consumption. This was the beginning of the crisis.

Apparently ERCOT couldn’t rely on their backup plan, as other states were seeing increased electrical usage as well, because of those states experiencing unusually cold weather. It was necessary to institute rolling blackouts, the normal way of dealing with this situation. Unfortunately, perhaps due to lack of experience, that didn’t work out as it should have.

One of the big problems with the rolling blackouts, which really didn’t seem to be rolling, was that electric power was shut down for much of the Permian Basin. This included natural gas wells that were necessary to provide heat for homes and power plants. This caused a further reduction in electric power availability, as gas-fired power plants were stuck without enough fuel, causing some to go offline. A domino effect began, as the load required of remaining power plants increased. More and more went offline, as their safety systems kicked in.

At this point, ERCOT had to make some hard decisions and make them fast. According to a spokesperson, they were within minutes of the entire grid collapsing, with a prognosis of months to get it back online. This left millions of people without electricity for some of the coldest days in Texas history.


Cascading Problems

The next problem to occur was the loss of water, pretty much statewide. While there was still some water flowing, it was a trickle in most places. Water pipes are only buried about two feet below ground in Texas, because of the rarity of freezing weather. Some of these pipes froze, causing them to break. But that wasn’t as bad as all the pier and beam constructed homes, which had open pipes in the crawl spaces. This made it harder to get the water back online and some people are still without water a week later, waiting for the plumber to make repairs to their home’s pipes.

Purchase Necessities Before A Power Outage Hits.

But the bigger problem wasn’t broken pipes, it was the loss of pressure in municipal water systems. Unfortunately, caused by a lack of sufficient electrical power to keep them running. Almost the entire state was under a water boil advisory, due to low water pressure.

Water purification plants are required by regulation to have backup power and even backup to their backup. That’s a sensible precaution. But in the city where I live, all four diesel-powered generators, any of which should have been enough to keep the city’s water running, all went down. They haven’t figured out the reason all four failed at essentially the same time yet, but I suspect it’s because the diesel wasn’t treated for cold weather. Again, it’s not an issue here in Texas, so there’s no reason to treat it for the cold. Yet, when they break down those generators, I suspect they’ll find a lot of injectors blocked by paraffin.


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With little water available, people rushed to the grocery store, buying them out of water on the first day. While stores tried to keep up shipping water in, there was never enough to meet the demand. Most people had to get by with minimal water for three to four days.

That brought about the next domino to fall, as people bought out the grocery stores again, just as they had in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bare shelves abounded, as people were panic buying everything they could, just in case they needed it.

Finally, after all this, the temperature rose again. Which meant, after five days of freezing weather, Texans were back wearing T-shirts and turning their air conditioners on. Fortunately, ERCOT got things sorted out just in time for those air conditioners, or the whole thing could have come crashing down once again.


Avoiding the Cascade

One thing this whole scenario really pointed out was how easy it is for problems to cascade, growing with time; very little time. We all tend to look at disasters as isolated incidents; but they’re not. Even something as simple as a hurricane tends to cause cascading problems, but we lump it all together as a hurricane, not thinking of what the actual elements of the disaster entail for our survival.

Fortunately, most of us are preparing for some cataclysmic event, such as an EMP; so we’re ready to lose much of the infrastructure we depend on every day. But we should never forget that even something that seems like it really isn’t a major problem, like some unusually cold weather, can cause us to lose those things.

The other thing that’s fascinating about this particular disaster is the cascading nature of it. Everything that happened after the first loss of wind turbines was cascading effects. While the loss of water was a serious problem, it wouldn’t have happened, has not the grid encountered a situation where there was insufficient capacity.

Finally, this serves as an excellent example of how disasters grow. From what I’ve seen in the prepping community, we’re all expecting a sudden disaster that shuts everything down. Yet that’s not what happened in this case. While it all went down rather quickly, it took a day for that to happen. With that being the case, it could be very easy for any of us to not recognize a TEOTWAWKI event, just because it manifests through the same sort of cascading series of systems breaking down.

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Everything That You Need to Know About Off-Grid Insurance

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 05:17

Over the past decade, the desire for a simpler existence has become a popular lifestyle. Off-grid living in many forms is now the goal for many families. Each living situation in the off-grid style is different. However, living off the grid essentially means that you are leaving behind much of the technology that aids in daily life, like grid-provided electricity, water, and sewer services.

People looking to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle are moving off the grid in record numbers. It begins with the purchase of land, building an eco-conscious home, and creating your electricity and utilities. This type of lifestyle can be both rewarding and challenging.

Although living off-grid comes from the desire to separate from many of the modern facets of life, there are still elements that need to be secured, like home insurance. Let’s take a look at how homeowners insurance works for off-grid homes and what the challenges are in obtaining the protection that you need.

How Off-Grid Home Insurance Works

Getting home insurance for your off-grid property could be a challenge. When leaving behind many of the modern conveniences of home ownership, you may also be putting yourself at higher risk for property damage.

Many off-grid homes are reliant on wood-burning stoves or fireplaces for their heat rather than a modern furnace. Although convenient and reliable, this type of heating also carries a higher risk of a fire starting in your home. Many off-grid homes are located in remote regions, making it harder for fire rescue teams to help if there is an emergency, resulting in more severe damage.

Before you start building your off-grid home, it’s a good idea to speak to your insurance agent. They will be able to give you a list of restrictions to follow so you can improve your chances of getting the right coverage for your home.

Insurance Considerations

Choosing to leave the electrical grid behind means that you will need to find an electricity source on your own. Many off-grid homes are reliant on solar power collected on panels. If you plan to have solar power for your off-grid home, make sure that you have a professional do the installation and wiring. Your insurance broker will want to see that your system is done properly and correctly certified.

If you are relying on wood-burning for your heat, you will need to take every precaution to make sure that it is safe. Having your stove or fireplace professionally installed is a wise move. Make sure to install proper ventilation, heat shield protection, and proper fire fighting equipment like multiple extinguishers onsite.

How to Lower the Cost of Off-Grid Insurance

Qualifying for homeowner’s insurance with your off-grid property can be a challenge, but it’s possible to reduce your rates with these strategies:

Rental Unit

  • If your off-grid property is only being used recreationally, you could rent it out when you are away. Locations that are rented out regularly could qualify for different insurance coverage that is easier to obtain.

Multiple Owners

  • Sharing your off-grid property with multiple owners makes it easier to ensure that your broker knows that there is always someone onsite to ensure safety.


  • Make improvements to your off-grid home to ensure safety by listing close neighbors that are available in an emergency, proximity to rescue teams, security systems installed, and fire prevention.

The off-grid lifestyle can be fulfilling and rewarding. Making the right moves as you get settled is the best way to ensure that you will qualify for a homeowner’s insurance policy that will keep you and your dreams protected.


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Lost Remedies Found; a Closet of Strange Tales and Ancient Medical Curiosities

Tue, 01/26/2021 - 13:00

Lost Remedies Found

Often, our grandparents’ medicine worked more effectively and faster compared to the conventional, traditional treatments. These lost remedies found a way to obliterate diseases and improve ailment conditions. Regardless of whether you have a sore throat, headache or stomach upset, you can find something to relieve the pain.

When you compare conventional medicine to traditional medicine, you’ll learn that there are numerous advantages to using traditional medicine. These lost remedies found a way to save you money and avoid unpleasant side effects at the same time. Modern medicine, rather than curing diseases, more often than not shifts symptoms. These lost remedies found a way to restore health in this post-disaster era.


The Lost Remedies Found

Claude Davis wrote the book “The Lost Book of Remedies” that is action packed with simple remedies for day to day ailments.

He writes,” In our modern world, herbal remedies have mostly been forgotten. We see a movement back to natural healing and a renewed interest in medicinal plants, but I fear that many remedies have been lost already. My grandfather’s book, the very book you now hold in your hands, is one of the last and most complete repositories of our forefathers healing knowledge left.”

My admiration for this masterpiece of compression is unfathomable. The book encompasses texts from both modern scholars and ancient studies. Claude Davis has summarized the current scholarship applied in ancient medicine and showed remarkable courage in presenting us with his views on diverse aspects of medicine.

The Lost Book of Remedies is the closest and most complete examination of medicine in the ancient world. Claude Davis, a diligent student of his grandfather “Doctor Davis” pays particular attention to natural medicines, remedies, and cures that people employed in the past.


Grab Your Copy Here!


Some Ancient Remedies

Our ancestors did not have the luxury of advanced prescription drugs, sterile treatment environment, and sophisticated machinery. They, however, used what they had and boy were the results magnificent. Not so much has changed between then and now. Below are some of the remedies discussed in the book.

1. Aloe Vera

Despite the reveling and disputing of ancient civilizations, they all agreed on Aloe. This plant was known as the “plant of immortality” and was used to heal wounds, skin conditions and as a laxative. The writer also used the gelatinous substance for sunburns and soothing heartburn.

2. Honey

Well, what else could be sweeter and double up as a medicine at the same time? Most of the ancient civilizations in these lost remedies found a cure for intestinal diseases and external wounds. Other than treating infected wounds, honey treated pain and fever.

3. Stinging Nettle

An encounter with stinging nettle is almost always unforgettable. Well, I learned to avoid the plant unless I certainly need it.
The plant is perennial. The leaves are edible with a flavor similar to spinach when cooked. Other than its nutritional values, stinging nettle stimulates blood flow, treats arthritis, rheumatism, gout pain, and inflammation.


Check Out More Ancient Remedies Here


How did Claude Find Out about these remedies?

Well, by now, this question must be ringing in your head. Combined with the tireless efforts of his grandfather, “Doctor Davis,” Claude has searched ancient manuscripts throughout the world. He also followed the antique book market for more insights into ancient medico-pharmaceutical literature.

In the practice of medicine in any culture, the terms “disease” and “health” are distinctively discussed, and Claude’s book carries the marks of this debate. The Lost Book of Remedies attempts to incorporate the particulars in medicine, and the lost remedies found a way to achieve greater success compared to modern medicine.

Claude’s volume on The Lost Book of Remedies is the first in undertaking the enormous task of laying out detailed summaries on the narrative of ancient medicine. The cacophony of approaches signals intellect fused with empirical observations, history, and expertise. The most innovative aspect of the book is the nature of folk medicine. The new drugs and new techniques emerge in the “popular lore,” but the rigid traditions of the ancient medicine underpin what the foundation of our modern pharmacology is.


Closing thoughts

The achievements in the Lost Book of Remedies are striking in the view of the numerous flaws in modern medicine. Claude has accomplished compaction of an enormous body of evidence. Both graduates in any aspect of medicine and members of every household will enjoy the pieces of evidence presented in this book. The prose has too many examples giving literary evidence dissected for the use of generations to come.

Doubtlessly, future authors can use this book as a foundation of their studies. The Lost Book of Remedies is a large quarry for exploitation by anyone with the right vision.


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Why Christmas Is Empty Without Context

Thu, 12/24/2020 - 12:09

We all know there’s a lot going on in the Christmas story. And we’ve heard it all before, right? Well maybe. True, there is something for everybody in the Christmas story. But the deeper you go, the better it gets. You can play in the shallow water and have a lot of fun. You can also put the scuba gear on and do a deeper dive. Warning though: Deep dives require a trustworthy air supply.  You’ll need full tanks for this one. All set? Onward. Let’s review a few deeper truths that Christmas needs… to be fully Christmas.

For He Shall Save. . .

“You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). That’s what the angel told Joseph.  “Jesus” means “Yahweh saves.” The secular Roman world at the time was indeed weary and very much in need of salvation, no doubt. But the salvation Jesus came to accomplish was not first political or sociological or economic. Jesus came to save sinners from their sins which includes not only sin’s power, but sin’s penalty. This was a mission only God could accomplish, of course. But it was also a comprehensive mission that could afford no shortcuts. To understand why this is so, we need to learn more about who God really is. So first…

God Is One

There is only one God, and He is simple in His essence (Deut. 6:4). This means He isn’t made of parts and pieces. Nope, He isn’t “partly this and partly that.” For example, He isn’t mostly love with a smidgen of justice thrown in. He is Love. He is also Justice. We, from our finite perspective, often distinguish between or among God’s attributes as we see Him act in our history. That is, sometimes we see His mercy with more clarity than at other times. At other times, His wrath gets real clear to us and so on. As humans, our perspective is always limited in scope.

This much is true: in all of God’s divine acts, we find ”triune” harmony, congruity and consistency. Everything God does is full of love, justice and wisdom, for example. But more than that, the Father and Son don’t “go their own way” as Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks would have them do. Otherwise, God would in fact be more like the famed rock-and-roll band… a bit schizophrenic, never satisfied and there would be constant conflict… inside the band.

Or, what if God was forever trying to “find himself.” This God would be constantly evolving, changing from this to that… as He becomes aware of His limitations and failures. That’s the “Plan B” God. But Scripture tells of a God who is infinite in His perfections, immutable, and wholly self-conscious. He “is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). This means within the Trinity you won’t find variation, incongruity or “Platonic” shadows whatsoever (Jas. 1:17) as form and substance match up quite nicely. That’s an important thing if you think about it a while. Now secondly…


God Is Triune

Though God is one, God is also Three. Not three parts of a whole, or three members of a band or club, but three inter-related Persons sharing the same essence. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. These Three are distinct in that they bear specific relationships to one another:  The Father begets the Son and breathes forth the Spirit to the Son (John 3:16; 15:26).

The Son is begotten of the Father and breathes forth the Spirit to the Father (Gal. 4:6). The Spirit is the divine Breath, the eternal Love, who eternally proceeds from the Father to the Son, and from the Son to the Father. And so the Father loves the Son, and the Son loves the Father (John 14:31; 17:24). Each makes promises to the other that the Holy Spirit brings to fruition (Titus 1:2).

Despite these real distinctions among the three Persons, Jesus tells us He is “in” the Father and that the Father is “in” Him (John 14:10-11, 20; 17:21). This means on some level, at least, that we never encounter one Person of the Trinity in isolation from the other two. We can’t meet the Father without meeting the Son. We can’t meet the Son without meeting the Father. In the Trinity, distinction never means separation. Even as Jesus goes to the cross, He says, “I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16:32). Here is perfect communion, perfect unity and perfect love.

But we also fail to see Christmas properly if the doctrine of justice is missing. So we must consider the fact that…


God Is Just

Some background: God knows His own perfections. Even more, the Father delights in the Son (Matt. 3:17), and the Son rejoices before the Father (Prov. 8:30). The Holy Spirit glorifies the Son (John 6:13-14); the Son glorifies the Father; the Father glorifies the Son (John 17:1-5). After all, we read the “chief end” of God is to glorify Himself and to enjoy Himself forever (Isa. 6:3; Hab. 2:14).

Now here’s a thought. What if one of God’s creatures rages against this glory? What happens if a creature lashes out against God’s perfections? What happens when each Person of the Trinity sees the others offended? Well, God who is love and holiness, but also justice… responds. In fact, He responds in wrath. Scripture bears eloquent witness to this. Hundreds and hundreds of examples. Here are three:

“For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity” (Ps. 5:4-5).

“God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? And who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him” (Nah. 1:2-6).

“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name” (Rev. 14:11).

Ouch. Hell is real. Hell is eternal. According to God then, hell is the holy and just punishment due all those who hate and rebel against Him and His law. The good news of Christmas is that…


God Is Love

Yep, even though God is just… God is love. Boy, that is good news! He is infinitely wise and infinitely creative in expression too. Most importantly, representation and “image bearing” seem to be keys to His expression.  So God, who is Triune, exists and presents Himself to us in terms of representation. Big take-away alert. The Son is the image of the Father (Col. 1:15) and the eternal Word spoken by the Father (John 1:1). The Son always does the Father’s will, and the Father is infinitely pleased with Him (John 8:29). Remember, the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father.

What we see here is infinite harmony. God, in His wisdom found a way for divine love and justice to join hands without a smirk. No classical dialectic. No abstract opposites either. Instead, a divine “way out” for sinners.  The reasoning? Any justice that requires the death of the sinner, simultaneously recognizes the validity of covenantal representation. A proper substitute, a Kinsman-Redeemer, for example, can lawfully take the place of another. And so, under the proper terms, God could punish another, a representative, for our sins.

But the dilemma in human terms is this: Man’s offense against God is infinite. Which means any substitute would also have to bear “infinite wrath” to save even one sinner, let alone to save some great multitude.

So what are the options? Well first, the Trinity can’t die, so we should probably throw that one out. And second, since no mere creature can bear God’s eternal, infinite wrath either…

Who then could be man’s Savior? Well, as you know, that’s the Christmas story.


The Elegant Reality of Christmas Story

God’s solution was profound and elegant. God became man so He could be man’s Savior. In the womb of the virgin Mary, the eternal Son of God became human. He took to Himself a true human nature without giving up in any measure His divinity. A real big deal. The virgin’s baby was God in the flesh (John 1:14). And so the angels called Him “the Savior, Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

In Jesus, God became our legal “law abiding” substitute. As a true man, He obeyed the law that we had broken and bore the punishment that we deserve. Jesus died for sinners, the Just for the unjust, so He could lawfully deliver His people to God (1 Pet. 3:18). He bore our sins on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24). He was made a substitute “sin offering” (Isa. 53:10) and so accomplished reconciliation between God and man (2 Cor. 5:18-21).

In other words, God bore His own wrath against sinners. The Son freely gave Himself as a sacrifice for sin. Interestingly, this made him a Hero in the Hebrew sense, not in the Greek “victim of circumstance” sense… because he paid an actual price. He gave His life to save His people (Eph. 5:25). After that, He rose from the dead. He overcame death so all of God’s wrath was satisfied. He was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification (Rom. 4:25). He then ascended into heaven and sat down on the right hand of God as our Advocate, our Propitiation, and the Lord of heaven and earth (1 Jn. 2:1-2; Eph. 1:19-23).


Good News of Great Joy

Here is the Christmas message in full color. Something joyful and profound for everyone here. What Augustine said of scripture… is most certainly true of Christmas… shallow enough for kids to play in… but deep and profound enough to blow an angel’s mind, let alone a mortal’s.

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners and we’re all sinners. But please understand that the eternal Son of God died to satisfy the lawful claims of God’s wrath. We simply can’t miss that. He rose from the dead in history… in real time and space and is alive today offering forgiveness to all who will trust Him. This has big implications for all of life and should be cause for great rejoicing.


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Top 7 Best Honeymoon Destinations

Wed, 12/23/2020 - 05:18

The culmination of the marriage of two loving people is a wedding trip — a moment of relaxation and recreation after such a grueling and intense preparation for the wedding celebration. A honeymoon is a journey that almost all newlyweds dream of.

What is Honeymoon

The first few weeks after marriage is the time for young spouses. Nowadays, it is difficult to talk about 30-day trips in an era of lack of time and constant rush. That is why it has become customary to travel for several weeks, usually for one or two. Therefore, the notorious honeymoon was replaced by the beautiful phrase — honeymoon trip. For many guys, such a short rest after dating a Slavic woman from is enough. Hardly anyone can afford a longer trip and leave their professional duties.

The Best Places for Honeymoon Travel

Are you thinking about how to spend the money? It’s best to go on an unusual wedding tour! To help you find this unique place, we want to give you some ideas on where to go on your honeymoon.

1.   Koh Tao, Thailand

Imagine a small tropical island with crystal clear waters, amazing snorkeling, and diving, a wild jungle in the center of the island, romantic beaches decorated with palm trees — these are the benefits of Koh Tao, a small gem on the southern coast of Thailand. It is also worth wandering around the island and discovering the real jungle. If you want to combine beach holidays, diving, and hiking — this is the island for you.

2.   London, The United Kingdom

A London vacation can be as tempting as Bora-Bora if you are a couple who love enchanted walks through picturesque parks, visits to world-class museums, dinners in famous restaurants, and discover numerous cultures.

3.   Santorini, Greece

Why travel there? For amazing sunsets and white houses with blue roofs. Besides, the red and black sand beaches and the surrounding wine cellars will impress the newlyweds.

4.   Positano, Italy

The Mediterranean coastline of Almafi is associated with fabulously colorful cliff-top buildings and blue waters around them. Besides, the best pizza and Italian coffee are served nearby the charismatic town of Naples! In this country, even the most experienced tourists will spend the most romantic and truly amazing honeymoon in their family life.

5.   Tulum, Mexico

Wonderful beaches, Mayan villages — here you can combine cultural activities with relaxing on the beach. If you want to see Cancun, you can get there in less than two hours. Cave and diving fans will also be attracted to Tulum — the Gran Cenote Cave is a must-visit if you like the atmosphere and the incredible energy of the sacred ruins.

6.   Kyoto, Japan

Japan is beautiful any time — especially in autumn when the trees shimmer in color. Kyoto impresses with temples and beautiful gardens, tea-houses, and canals. It is definitely a scenic honeymoon.

7.   Iceland

The Icelandic landscape is so diverse and picturesque that no one can leave this place disappointed — volcanoes, green or lunar landscapes, amazing waterfalls, geysers, lagoons, hot springs, and Icelandic horses!

Choose one of the destinations and get ready for the most memorable trip in your life!

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How To Keep Your Compost Pile Churning … All Winter Long

Wed, 12/16/2020 - 13:01

Keep your compost pile churning all winter long.

It can be a struggle to maintain your compost bin or pile over the winter. Whether you’re dealing with severe cold and/or heavy snow in northerly regions, excessive moisture in the Pacific Northwest, or desert conditions in the American Southwest, your compost pile may need a little extra help during the winter months. It’s worth it, though. By the time spring rolls around, you’ll be rich in black gold.

There are two basic composting methods. With any waste material, microorganisms (aerobic bacteria) naturally work on decomposition, and you can speed that process along by doing things like maintaining the correct ratio of green to brown waste and turning the pile regularly. Vermicomposting relies on worms to eat organic matter and then cast (poop) rich soil as a byproduct. If you keep your organic waste on bare ground, your pile likely hosts both vermicomposting and composting processes.


Hot Composting

As bacteria break down waste material, they generate heat. That heat is crucial for the bacteria to keep growing, multiplying, and just generally doing their job. While most people refer to this process simply as “composting,” the more technical term is “thermophilic composting” or, more informally, “hot composting.” And “hot composting” it is: Compost piles can reach internal temperatures of 150℉!

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Even though compost naturally generates heat, cold weather, of course, brings the temperature of the compost pile down. That affects the ability of the bacteria to do their job, particularly on the outside edges of the pile. If the temperatures dip too far — and especially if the compost isn’t tended to — microbial activity will cease completely. If you’re willing to wait for warmer spring temps for the decomposition to resume, then that’s not a big deal. But if you would prefer to keep generating compost over the winter months, there are a few ways to help your compost’s microorganisms chug along.


If You Build It

Help your compost stay toasty by enclosing it with three walls and a roof. (Leave the south-facing side uncovered, so that it can absorb warmth from the sun.) This can be as easy or as complex as you make it. Stack cinder blocks or nail together scrap lumber for the walls. For the roof, you can just balance a loose piece of lumber on top or throw a tarp over the whole thing. Even easier: Buy a compost tumbler. Enclosing compost not only helps trap its heat, but also to moderate the effects of wind and excessive moisture.

If your region experiences extreme cold, adding insulation is a good idea. Again, this does not have to be done at great cost or effort. Surround your enclosure with straw bales, line the walls with several layers of cardboard, or pile snow, straw, or leaves around it. Don’t forget to insulate the roof, as well.


Go Bigger

The bigger your compost pile is, the more bacteria it will have, and the more heat it will generate. According to the University of Illinois Extension, compost piles that are at least one cubic yard in size will weather Midwestern American winters best.


Fuel Up

Adding new waste material regularly is crucial — but you need to be careful about what kind of material you add and its size.

Maintaining the ideal proportion of green to brown waste (a.k.a. the C:N ratio) is especially important in the winter, when we want our compost piles to work at maximum efficiency. Check this site for detailed information about the C:N ratio to shoot for depending on which brown waste you add.

If you bag leaves in the fall with the intent of adding those to your compost over the winter, bring a bag inside overnight before dumping it in, so that the cold leaves don’t bring down the temperature of the pile.

It’s also a good idea to shred waste before dumping it in. Waste that’s roughly two inches in size will break down more quickly, keeping heat levels consistently high.


Not too Wet, Not too Dry

Ideally, compost should be just lightly moist. If it’s too wet, the bacteria can’t get the oxygen they need to survive. But if it’s too dry, the bacteria can’t do their job, either.

If you live in an area that experiences heavy moisture in the winter, plan your compost enclosure accordingly: a South-facing opening so that the sun can warm and dry the waste; and a roof or other covering to keep moisture out. If your compost pile unexpectedly gets too wet, stirring it up with a pitchfork should help dry things out. Additionally, adding more brown waste will help soak up excess moisture.

If you live in a desert area, keep your compost uncovered. Make a crater (or craters) in the top, to catch all the moisture you can. If worst comes to worst, you can always break out the hose.



As might be expected, vermicomposting can be problematic during cold winter months. That said, a simple workaround is to keep your vermicompost bin indoors. If the thought of a bin full of worms under your kitchen sink grosses you out (and I’ll admit I’m in that camp), the bin can be kept in an insulated garage or outbuilding, or elsewhere in your house, such as the basement or laundry room.

Depending on your location, it may be possible to keep your vermicompost box outdoors during the winter. Keep in mind that the worms will die if they get either too cold or too hot. You’ll need to experiment to find a balance of insulating the bin enough to keep it warm, but not so much that the insulation along with the heat from the hot compost process plus any heat from the sun fries your worms.

Do you keep your compost pile active all winter long? If so, share your tips and tricks in the comment section below.

The post How To Keep Your Compost Pile Churning … All Winter Long appeared first on Off The Grid News.

What Flowers to Plant in Autumn: Tips for Beginner Gardeners

Mon, 08/31/2020 - 04:34

Spring is the time for flower planting, but autumn can also be a convenient time to plant flowers. Today, we will discuss the options for beginner gardeners that are suitable for autumn. For those who have any doubts — below are considered the benefits of such a decision. So let’s start!

Benefits of Planting Flowers in Autumn

When the spring comes, in addition to flowers, people are busy with planting vegetables and other farming tasks. Therefore, autumn is a perfect time to pay your whole attention to planting dutch-bulbs from the online garden centre or beautiful daffodils. Here are some arguments in favor:

  1. At the end of summer, you can buy seeds or other planting materials for sale at a lower price;
  2. The cool temperature in the fall makes the transplant easier for plants. In autumn, pests and diseases disappear or decrease in numbers. The soil is still warm; the roots grow until the ground is frozen. In the spring, plants don’t appear until the soil warms up;
  3. Plants take root better and adapt to weather conditions. If a part of the crops dies, the strongest ones remain.
  4. In spring, the flowers start growing faster, they begin growing and flowering earlier.
  5. In autumn, it usually rains, which saves us from watering the bulbs.

Planting Bulbs in Autumn

The first candidates for fall planting are bulbous plants. First of all, because spring-flowering bulbs need a period of cold rest for flowering. From late August to mid-September, you can plant crocuses and daffodils, and at the end of September, the turn of tulips, lilies, and daylilies comes.

Make sure you buy bulbs from trusted sources — a garden center, farmer market, or a reputable online store. Do not buy unsold bulbs that show signs of rot, mold, or drying out. Second-class material will not sprout at all.

The planting depth of the bulbous is determined by the specific species, if there is no certainty, then the layer of soil should be equal to three diameters of the planted bulb. If the soil is heavy, be sure to add sand to the planting hole, but do not greatly reduce the planting depth.

If the weather is dry, the flower beds covered with the earth should be watered abundantly and then mulched.

Hyacinths and tulips are planted in late September — early October, preferably no later than the first decade. Specific dates may vary depending on the region and weather, the general rule is to plant when the average daily temperature is not lower than + 5C.

In Conclusion

Many garden flowers reproduce by seeds that require stratification — they need to lie in the cold at the temperatures close to zero. So, we often buy seeds in the spring and keep them in the refrigerator for 2-3 months. However, you can sow the same seeds collected from your flowers in autumn and enjoy the result. Good luck!

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Moving to a New House Quickly: Tips and Tricks

Fri, 07/24/2020 - 06:55

Moving is a large-scale and extraordinary event that can become not just a change of residence, but a new stage of life. It is important to carefully plan the transportation of things to a new house and also take into account many unobvious moments before and after the move. Therefore, we have prepared several tips for you that will help organize the process correctly and simplify the preliminary preparation.

Things to Do Before Moving

Before you start moving, make in advance a detailed to-do list with a timeline in a relaxed atmosphere, so you can keep track of what has been done and what has not. In this way, you won’t miss anything:

  • Decide on the moving company that will help you with the relocation. For instance, Gentlemen’s Moving Company offers A to Z moving services within California.
  • Do some general calculations. Packaging materials, car rental, cleaning, necessary household services – all these expenses should be calculated in advance.
  • Make a complete audit of things and furniture in advance. Do not regret getting rid of unnecessary things. For this purpose, you can arrange a “garage sale” or just eliminate things that you are unlikely to use.
  • Draw up a scheme for the furniture arrangement in the new house. Think about the order, so a sofa in the middle of the living room does not interfere with the installation of the wardrobe.
  • When packing furniture, be sure to indicate the top and bottom of the things. If you still have assembly instructions, do not pack them separately, but attach to one of the parts. So the assembly of furniture in a new home will be easier and faster.

Take care of everyone’s comfort. Moving is not only a fuss but also a truly important event for all family members. If the move includes young children, prepare them for the upcoming changes, think in advance about how the child will participate in the move.

Things to Do After Moving

Once all the things are in the new house, check all the stuff according to the pre-compiled list and make sure everything has moved safely. Organize your unpacking wisely. It is worth starting with the assembly of furniture. After assembling and placing large furniture, determine where the essentials will be located. Then, unpack the remaining boxes in a relaxed atmosphere.

If you haven’t purchased new furniture yet or haven’t had time to deliver or assemble it, organize a temporary storage system. For convenient placement of clothes on hangers, special wardrobe boxes are optimal.

Even if things have not yet been unpacked, and the furniture has not been assembled, try to arrange life for all households as comfortably as possible. A favorite book for a child, the usual cups at breakfast, a bed for a pet – these small attributes will help a family feel at home.

Finally, you should celebrate a housewarming! This special holiday will help you forget about the worries and start a new life.

The post Moving to a New House Quickly: Tips and Tricks appeared first on Off The Grid News.

Pros & Cons of Using a Construction Cleanup Service

Thu, 07/23/2020 - 05:35

Final cleaning after construction is not easy and requires a lot of effort. To ensure that expensive repairs will not be spoiled by your attempts to remove dust and spots, it is better to involve professionals in cleaning. Having spent a lot of money on your home repair, you have probably come up with a question of whether it is worth cleaning your house yourself or hire the cleanup team. Let’s consider all the major pros and cons of using a construction cleanup service.

Key Advantages

If you live in a large city like Spokane, it will be easy for you to hire personnel to clean your house. The construction cleanup service in Spokane will guarantee the high result in the shortest possible time. With professional help, your home transformed by the renovation will become not only stylish and comfortable but also cozy and clean. After all, the arsenal of a cleaning company has special means and technical equipment for proper cleaning, moreover, this work requires skills and careful approach.

As you can conclude, using the services of the cleanup company has its obvious advantages:

  • The specialists of the cleaning company are able to provide an excellent cleaning result within a strictly agreed time;
  • The work is carried out in strict compliance with hygienic and technological requirements;
  • They can use professional, high-quality cleaning products that are hypoallergenic and safe for the environment;
  • The staff of the company is usually experienced and well trained;
  • You can make sure that the company provides high-quality services by reading feedbacks of regular clients;
  • You can always take advantage of promotions and favorable conditions for regular customers.

However, there is always a reverse side, which makes some people doubt when making a decision.

Any Disadvantages?

If you consider the key disadvantages of using the cleanup service, you will primarily think about the following points:

  • You can do the cleaning on your own. Well, this is, of course, true, but you should also think if it is worth your time and effort.
  • It may cost you a fortune! This is not always true, because there is a competition in the market of cleanup services, so the companies are trying to compete in price with their competitors.

As you can see, even the disadvantages have their own counterarguments. With a decent cleanup service, you will get rid of exhausting and time-consuming work, entrusting it to specialists, and use the free time at your disposal.

In Conclusion

Repair is a test undergone by almost every family. However, upon completion of the repair, the house is still to be cleaned. To simplify this task for your family, you can use the professional cleanup services and enjoy the result as soon as possible. Anyway, now you know the main pros and cons of this decision. Good luck!

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If I Could Own Only 5 Guns …

Tue, 07/14/2020 - 12:04

Walther PPQ M2 is one of my top five guns.

If you could own only five guns, what would they be?

I recently asked myself this question and the task proved surprisingly difficult, because there are a lot of different guns that I like — and it’s not easy making sacrifices.

In the end, though, I was able to narrow my selection by first determining the five basic types of guns that I would want to own before choosing the specific models for each of those types.

So what are the five types? They are:

  1. 9mm semi-automatic pistol
  2. .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol
  3. .22 semi-automatic rifle
  4. 12-gauge pump action shotgun
  5. .308 semi-automatic rifle

I’ll explain my reasons for choosing these categories below, as well as the specific make and model of gun I chose per category.


9MM Pistol (Walther PPQ M2)

I believe the pistol is the most important firearm you can own, simply because you can conceal it on your person and travel with it. I also believe that if you could own only one pistol, it should be a 9mm because it’s the most abundant and the cheapest to shoot.

While some may expect me to say the Glock 19 or 17 is my pick for a 9mm pistol, the truth is I would opt for the Walther PPQ M2. The ergonomics on the PPQ are incredible and it melts into my hand seamlessly. The trigger is also a wonder in its own right and is much more light and crisp than any other striker-fired pistol I’ve used. Reliability, of course, is excellent.


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The fairly compact size of the PPQ means I easily can hide it on my person for concealed carry, while the 15+1 capacity (or 17+1 with the extended mag) offers plenty of firepower in a self-defensive situation. For these reasons, I find it to be equally as versatile as it is pleasurable to fire.

Granted, I am fully aware of the PPQ’s shortcomings as a survivalist sidearm. Because it has a short track record, spare parts and accessories are not nearly as available as, say a Glock or a Smith & Wesson M&P.

Nonetheless, the PPQ is one of my favorite handguns and one I have found great use and enjoyment out of over the years.  It would be my personal pick for a 9mm pistol if I could only have one.


.45 ACP Pistol – Colt Mark IV Series 70

If I could own five guns, two of them would need to be handguns (at least for me). I was very close to making my second handgun a .357 Magnum revolver (likely a Ruger GP100), as it would be very versatile in that I could shoot both .357s and .38s through it.

Ultimately, though, I decided if anything were to happen to my PPQ as my concealed carry gun, I would want another semi-automatic pistol that I could use as an alternative. I also wanted this pistol to be in .45, so that I would have a slightly greater variety of calibers instead of just 9mm.

Many people will disagree with my choice here, but I pick the 1911 (and specifically the Colt Mark IV Series 70) simply because it’s one of my favorite guns to shoot. There is no other handgun that balances as well for me as the 1911, and it’s the pistol I find myself enjoying the most each time I visit the shooting range.

The Series 70 I own, in particular, has proven to be very reliable, with only one malfunction during the break-in period (as most 1911s require) and none since then. Even though magazine capacity is limited at 7-8 rounds, the trade-off is that the 1911 is slim and easily concealable on my person.

Beyond that, the 1911 is endlessly customizable with no shortage of spare accessories and parts on the market, something that contrasts heavily with the PPQ, where aftermarket options are more limited.

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.22 Rifle – Ruger 10/22

The Ruger is must have type of gun.

No gun collection is complete without a .22 of some kind, so I knew immediately that one of my top 5 guns to own would have to be a .22 semi-automatic rifle. A .22 is perfect for small game hunting, pest control, plinking, and for introducing new people to shooting. The ammunition is also so small that I can carry literally hundreds of rounds on my person without really noticing the weight.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, my pick for a .22 rifle is the Ruger 10/22. The very first gun that I ever owned was a Ruger 10/22, so it’s a weapon with which I have much experience. I have found the 10/22 to be a robust, accurate and dependable weapon. I could easily use it for tactical purposes if needed.

Another reason that makes the 10/22 my choice for a .22 rifle is how spare parts and accessories are literally everywhere. During a disaster scenario, this would be an advantage where I would have a greater chance of finding spare magazines or other parts in the event that anything broke over other .22 rifles.


12 Gauge Shotgun – Mossberg 500

I’ve heard many arguments supporting the idea that the pump-action 12-gauge is the most critical gun to own. No one can deny that the 12-gauge shotgun is highly versatile. When loaded with buckshot it’s devastating for home defense. With birdshot you can use it for bird hunting or clay pigeon shooting. And with slugs you easily could use it for big-game hunting.

My preferred shotgun is the Mossberg 500. The controls are convenient for me (more so than the Remington 870) and the fact that this was the only pump shotgun to pass the U.S. military’s brutal Mil-Spec 3443G torture test says a lot about its quality.

The specific 500 that I would choose would be a Mariner model with a 6+1 capacity. The Mariner, coated in Mossberg’s trademark silver Marinecote, has much greater rust and corrosion-resistant capabilities than standard bluing does. I would also pick the 6+1 version so I could alternate between a 28-inch vented rib barrel for hunting and a shorter 18.5-inch barrel for home defense. This option essentially gives me two shotguns in one.

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.308 Semi-Auto Rifle – Springfield M1A

Finally, I need a center fire rifle to top off my five favorite guns. It makes perfect sense to choose a .308 semi-automatic in this scenario, as I can use it for both big game hunting and tactical training.

My choice here would be the Springfield M1A, over the AR-10, FAL, and G3/C308. The M1A first entered U.S. service in the 1950s and continues to be used by some marksmen in the military today. There’s good reason why: It is a very well-built, rugged, and accurate rifle that will do everything you ask it to do.

I fully understand the M1A is heavy (and long with the full-length version) and that .308 ammunition is not as cheap as 5.56x45mm NATO. However, a rifle that fires the 5.56 like the AR-15 is simply not as multi-purpose for me, as the 5.56 round is far too light for elk hunting (something I do each fall). Ideally I would own both, but since I have only one gun left to choose in my list of five, I would settle for the M1A or any .308 semi-auto rifle over a rifle that fires a lighter bullet.

What would be in your top five? Let us know in the section below:


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Regaining The Blessings of Liberty by “Appealing To Heaven”

Fri, 07/03/2020 - 12:02

John Knox taught resistance to tyrants was essential to the blessings of liberty.

The Blessings of Liberty

. . . appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions. . . .
—The Declaration of Independence (1776)

…and to Him as the Supreme King and Judge, we commit the maintenance of our cause, casting our cares upon Him and firmly trusting that He will inspire us with courage and bring our enemies to nought.
The Declaration of Arbroath (1320)

“Blessing” is God’s favor or goodwill towards His people. In Adam mankind fell from blessing and righteousness into sin and death. But Jesus Christ in His death bore the wrath and curse of God against sin and so purchased righteousness and life and the blessing for all who trust in Him.


Christs Atoning Death And The Blessings of Liberty 

The central blessing that flows from Christ’s atoning death has two critical dimensions:
Forgiveness of sins (justification) and the gift of God’s Spirit (Acts 2:38; Gal. 3:7-14). Anyone blessed of God has the “right” legal standing before God. Sins are forgiven, and the individual is now legally righteous. Further, the person now has the indwelling of the Spirit of God and is united with Jesus Christ in resurrection life (Rom. 4; 6; 8).

The believer now has the Spiritual power to overcome sin and obey God. Every other blessing has as its source and framework this central blessing of the gospel, the forgiveness of sin and union with Christ through His Spirit.

This is true liberty, and it is the root of all other kinds of liberty. The man enslaved by guilt and bound by wickedness can never truly be free. He will be captive to the sins of his past. That means slavishly serving his appetites and lusts. It means running from responsibility and commitment. And booking more time with his psychiatrist as well as asking for more prescription drugs. For some, it means looking to alcohol as a way to forget. And perhaps most importantly, deep inside, his life will inwardly be characterized by fear.

But the man who trusts in Christ is free from the spirit of fear. Instead, he has the Spirit “of power, and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). He is no longer a slave to sin but an adopted child of God and “free indeed” (Rom. 8:15; John 8:36).


Blessings of Liberty And The Civil Impact Of The Gospel

This new liberty is more than a private matter of the heart or of a man’s right relationship with God alone. The promise of the gospel was always that of blessing for the whole world (Gen. 12:1-3; Gal. 3:8). God plan is to bring gospel blessings upon all the families and nations of the earth.

In terms of these promises, Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, foretold the redemption that Messiah would bring. The consequence of that redemption, he said, would be that God “would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life (Luke 1:74-75).

This is Scripture’s conception of civil liberty. The freedom to serve God within the sphere of His blessing and under His law without fear of violence or oppression.

There is a direct relationship, then, between the spiritual freedom brought by the gospel and the civil freedom and peace that God wants His people to enjoy. The second depends on the first. Civil liberty flows out of spiritual liberty and out of redemption through Christ.


Liberty As A Divine Blessing

Liberty is a divine blessing. This means it can’t be bought and sold. It can’t be seized with guns or legislated into existence. It flows out of the covenant life of those who trust in Christ and obey His law in the Spirit’s power. The Bible in 2 Corinthians 3:17 says …

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

No constitution, form of civil government, or set of laws can secure the blessings of liberty where God’s Spirit is absent. Sometimes God restrains tyranny as an expression of His common grace.

Only the gospel secures liberty. Only faith in Christ can lay hold on the gospel blessing of spiritual freedom. It starts with freedom from guilt and sin and then the gospel sows a future harvest of civil liberty, peace, and productivity under God’s law.


The Blessings of Liberty From An Appeal to Heaven

Of course, as the gospel brings the blessings of civil liberty, it becomes the responsibility of free men to defend that liberty by all means lawful. Paul writes, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Gal. 5:1). The apostle is speaking most directly to those false doctrines that tear at the gospel and lead men into superficial moralism and carnality.

But a broader application follows: God wills that His people serve Him without hindrance. Once He has broken our chains, of whatever sort they may be, we fail in His service if we don’t maintain our freedom. This includes our freedom to serve Him. And when we see our liberty slipping away, we sin if we don’t do something about it.


The Tools God Gives Us To Achieve The Blessings Of Liberty

We must begin with true repentance and it starts with the individual. (our own personal repentance) We must turn from our own private sins. It’s imperative that we turn from our sins. So, we cast off all forms of infidelity, pride, self-righteousness, hatred and fear, greed and materialism, drunkenness and drug abuse. We must repent of our own idolatry. And we must turn with our hearts and all that we have … time, energy, strength, intellect, and passions … to the God of heaven. We must confess our sins to God and ask for His forgiveness through Christ.

In every age God’s promise to His covenant people holds true:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land (2 Chron. 7:14).


Revival And Reformation

Once we have made our own peace with God, we need to pray for revival and reform. This is both a personal and collective thing. In our private prayers and with our families we must pray that God will move. And that He will change the hearts of senators, presidents, and judges. That God will protect and free the persecuted church. That He will reform His churches in doctrine and practice. We must pray that God will raise up preachers who will declare His truth without equivocation or apology. We must pray that He will strike down all those who persecute His Church and try to subvert His law/word. Our churches need to do the same.

Then we must continue to act. God is not just providential concerning “ends.” God’s providence involves “means.” He uses us. He uses His people. We must evangelize and learn to defend the faith. Our churches must evangelize and defend the faith. Churches must preach the gospel of free grace without dilution. As churches and individuals, we must learn to apply God’s word/law to real-world issues. We need to cut back our screen time as we educate ourselves and our families in history, economics, and the principles of civil government from a Christian worldview. We need to involve ourselves in civil government according to the gifts and opportunities God gives us. Voting in terms of God’s word is essential. Understand, this is responsibility and not just a privilege.


The Blessings Of Liberty That Come From Resistance To Tyranny

Finally, if all this fails, if the enemies of Christ raise bloody persecution against the churches, if they try to take our children, if they forbid the preaching of the gospel, God’s people may need to take further steps. From the Scots’ War for Independence to our own Declaration of Independence, those facing extreme tyranny have argued that the people have the right before God to offer resistance to tyranny: petitions, civil protests, appeals to higher courts, the sanctions of church courts, refusal to submit, as well as flight from persecution.

In the most extreme of circumstances, the people may even take up arms under the leadership of lesser legitimate magistrates. There’s an essential qualification here. God doesn’t sanction anarchy or revolutions of chaos. The Scottish War for Independence, the English Civil Wars, the Glorious Revolution and our own War for Independence were all appeals to God, but they were all led by lawfully established rulers.

The struggle to maintain or regain liberty is a serious business. It requires vigilance. It’s also a long-term proposition. That means it’s a multi-generational, investment and commitment.

Above all, it requires faith in Jesus Christ, who is King of kings and Lord of lords.

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How to Purchase Land to Live Off The Grid

Thu, 06/18/2020 - 05:32

There are two major categories you need to consider before making any final decisions when looking to buy land for off the grid living. On the one hand, you need to determine if the physical aspects of the property suit your needs; on the other, you have to see what legal or financial issues you might encounter.

Physical Considerations

What it comes down to is sustainability. There’ a lot of empty land out there to choose from, but not all property has the same amount of resources necessary to sustain life off the grid.


Is there ready access to water? Moreso, will your water source be one you can have come to you rather than having to carry water each day? We might be talking a well. We might be talking about a river, stream, or lake. Whether it’s for drinking, cooking, or cleaning, you need to have consistent, reliable water access. The cleaner, the better. While you may have some filtration and purification methods already in hand, you’re going to want to be prepared for instances when they won’t be so available. Clean water is a must.

Building materials

Are there plenty of trees around suitable for converting to wood for construction? How about clay, gravel, or build-worthy stone? Being able to source your building materials yourself will save you time and money in the long run. While you may cart in some building materials for initial construction, as you grow, you’re going to find nearby building materials a boon.


Do you plan to keep a garden? How about animals that need to graze? How suitable is the soil on the land you intend to purchase for sustaining crops for yourself and any animals you keep? Test the soil to make sure it’s fertile and rich. Also, examine if there any potential erosion issues that may come up during heavy rains or snowmelt.

Year-round weather

Speaking of erosion, what’s the weather going to be year-round? Check government-recorded data for the area on average rain and snowfalls, high and low temperatures, wind speed, and sunlight averages if you’re planning on powering your homestead with the wind, solar panels, or a combination of both.


Finally, for physical considerations, do you have access to the land? We’re talking more than just being able to reach your property via snowmobile or horse or even 4×4. Can you legally access the land, or are there properties hemming it in that restrict travel? And how remote is your land? People who live off the grid prefer remote areas, but sometimes an area can be too remote, particularly in medical emergencies, communication needs, or natural disasters.

Legal and Financial Issues

Depending on where in the country you’re planning to settle, you’re going to want to look at what sort of legal or financial baggage your land might have. Are there liens or encumbrances?

In other words, is the land genuinely free and clear for you to own? This is where a property dispute lawyer will come in handy in assisting you in finding out what ownership issues and encumbrances are going to be a problem for you. They can even get you started at looking at zoning ordinances and land covenants that might restrict what you can build and where.

Living off the grid can be an exciting adventure, but it requires careful planning. The frontiersmen who settled the West back in the day didn’t just ride out on horses, pick a spot, and call it a day. They engaged in a lot of planning, preparation, and expert research before committing to the perfect place for them.

You should do no less

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7 Reasons Why the Best Relationships Start With Friendship

Thu, 06/18/2020 - 05:25

Romantic relationships with your best female friend — what could be more stupid? In comparison, even the idea of friendship sex doesn’t seem so absurd. And yet, according to statistics, more than half of the happy couples were good friends at first, and then discovered something more.

1. She Knows What You Like

Most likely, you are constantly discussing men and women, so she knows for sure that you value straightforwardness, personal space, and evenings spent together watching movies or hockey. This means that she will not flood you with messages if you decide to spend the evening online for Russian women dating on or simply chatting with your friends, will immediately tell you if something does not suit her, and will not forget to buy a double portion of pistachios before an important match.

2. You Have Shared Memories

Pleasant and not very ones, but always amazing and incredible. How that time at the country house you crawled to your neighbor for strawberries, how you rested on the seaside, how you took her home after graduation, and how you laughed hysterically at a completely unfunny joke. All this will become a part of your common future and will make the relationship even stronger.

3. You Know What a Person She Is in Relationships

You gave her advice about guys, help her to prepare for a couple of first dates, and became the person she could trust after a painful breakup. So her behavior in relationships, as well as the methods by which she shows her affection, are familiar to you. And if you are considering going over the line, then it seems that all her qualities are quite suitable for you.

4. You Already Know Her Parents

And her friends. And all the people the first meeting with whom could theoretically make you nervous. Just think, you don’t have to pray that her father and best friends like you because her parents already adore you.

5. You Are Aware of All Her “Terrible Secrets”
As well as she, by the way, is aware of yours. How many guys she had, why she is afraid of clowns and cockroaches, where and why she goes every summer for two weeks. Due to this, your relationship, even if you are at a friend zone stage now, will be at a level higher than that of other couples in the same period.

6. Your Social Life will Hardly Change

Because you already spend enough time together. Add to this the fact that you will be spared this painful anxiety: how to explain to your girlfriend that the best friend is just a friend, not a pretty girl who is always nearby.

7. You Are Comfortable With Each Other

This is a girl who has seen you in any condition, so now there is little that can surprise her. She went through the best and the worst with you and then promised to keep it a secret (we are talking about the worst) and kept her word.


One question remains: do you still think that a relationship with your best friend is a bad idea?

The post 7 Reasons Why the Best Relationships Start With Friendship appeared first on Off The Grid News.

Summer Tricks For Blue-Ribbon Tomatoes And Record Harvests

Thu, 06/11/2020 - 14:00

Your best crop of tomatoes yet!

Now that your vegetable garden is planted and off to a good start, you need to stay vigilant if you want to have a productive crop this summer. Here are some steps you can take to get the most out of your garden this year.



Your tomato plants need frequent and deep watering. Add a thick layer of mulch around the base of the plants to help conserve moisture and to help regulate soil temperature. When you see the fruit beginning to form, work some additional all-natural fertilizer into the soil around the base of your plants.

Because tomato plants are basically vines, they require support. Purchase tomato tripods from your nursery or make your own out of wire or bamboo stakes. Make sure the supports are strong enough and provide enough tension to support the growing plants.

You will be able to pull a ripe tomato easily from its vine. Take hold of the fruit, gently twisting to remove it and taking care not to break the main stem.



Consider lightweight row covers for your carrot seedlings to help them retain moisture while allowing sunlight to pass through. When you notice your seedlings beginning to sprout, remove the covers. Carrots do not grow well when they are too close together. After the young plants reach two inches in height, thin them to one plant every four to six inches or so by gently snipping the foliage at ground level. Pulling them up can disturb the plants you want to keep.


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Carrots like damp soil and need about one inch of water each week. A generous layer of mulch around the base of the plants will help them stay moist and help prevent weeds. Protect your growing carrots by mounding soil over them. You can also make a liquid fertilizer by mixing one tablespoon of fish emulsion with one gallon of water.

Most carrots are ready for harvest 60 to 80 days after sowing. Check the carrot’s color; usually the brighter, the better. To harvest, loosen the soil around the root with a small spade before pulling it up by its greens. You can harvest carrots as needed, since they will be fine in the ground for weeks.



When your bean seedlings sprout, thin them to one plant every six to eight inches for optimum growth. As with your other plants, add a layer of mulch to retain moisture and to prevent weeds.  Water your bean plants early in the morning so that the foliage has plenty of daylight time to dry.  Don’t harvest or work around your bean plants when they are wet, since disease can spread more quickly when the plants are damp.

Apply an organic fertilizer every two weeks for the first six weeks, then about once every four weeks after that. If you notice bean beetles, you can pick them off by hand and dispose of them.

Since beans are vining plants that need to climb, be sure to offer them poles or other tall objects to wrap around as they grow. Bush beans are ready to harvest in 50 to 60 days, and pole beans are ready in 60 to 90 days. Harvest beans when the pods are four to six inches long. For best flavor, harvest beans frequently. Frequent harvesting also encourages continued production. Gently pull the pods from the vine, taking care to avoid knocking the blooms off the plant.


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After your cucumber plants germinate, add a generous layer of mulch to conserve moisture. Be careful to avoid the stems of the plants, however, or they might rot. Feed your cucumber plants every two weeks with liquid fertilizer and keep the soil moist throughout the growing season.

To protect your plants from bugs and beetles, cover the plants with floating row covers until they start blooming. If you notice cucumber beetles, you can hand pick them off.

Cucumbers grow fast — seemingly overnight – so keep a close eye on them. Harvest them when they are still dark green by holding the fruit in one hand and snipping the vine about a half-inch above the fruit.


Bell Peppers

Give your peppers about an inch of water every week and fertilize them when the plants reach about half their full size, and again when they begin displaying fruit. Once again, mulch will help with retaining moisture and with limiting weed growth.

You can harvest and eat peppers at just about any stage, but most gardeners wait until they are fully grown and their color is fully developed. You can pull a ripe pepper easily from the plant, but use pruners to remove fruit at an earlier time to avoid damage.



Onion seedlings need daily watering until they get established. A thick layer of mulch will help keep the ground moist.

Onions develop in two steps. During the first stage, the top leaves fill out, and then the plant uses the energy from those leaves to nourish the bulb. You can pull and eat green onions at almost any stage. Larger onions are ready when their tops begin to bend over. Use your hands to harvest onions, garlic and shallots so that you don’t damage the tender bulbs. Let the newly harvested onions set outside in a dry, shady place before bringing them inside.



You will need to “hill” your potatoes – or pile soil around the stems — about five weeks after planting or when your plants reach eight to 10 inches in height.  By bringing soil up around the vines on all sides, you force new potatoes to grow above the seed potatoes you planted earlier.

Potatoes usually mature in about 70 to 100 days. When potatoes are about ready to harvest, their leaves will yellow and their foliage will begin to droop. Leave them in the ground for several weeks so that their skins will toughen. Then carefully dig them up using a pitch fork and your hands. Wash and eat or store for later use in a dry, cool spot.

No matter what you are growing this summer be diligent in watering, mulching, weeding and harvesting for best results. When you pick your produce as soon as it is ready, you allow the plant’s energy to go into growing and supporting more fruit.

What tips would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments section below. 



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How to Choose a Double Oven

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 05:06

Offering to help you prep the most extensive of feasts, a double oven doubles up your cooking space, so you can work on more than a single meal component at a time. Save time by checking out the list of the best double ovens available today.

Any modern kitchen would benefit from these nifty meal prep wonders. And if you’re hoping to double the convenience for that upcoming get-together, here’s what you need to know about choosing a double oven.

Size Considerations

Most double ovens feature two ovens of the same size, but there are others that combine one full-sized oven and a microwave oven or a half-sized oven. The half-sized oven can be significantly smaller and may have limited features compared to its full-sized counterpart.

To find out how much space you need, consider the kinds of meals you want to prepare with your oven set-up. For households that see lots of guests throughout the year, going all out with two full-sized ovens should be a smarter choice.


There are three different types of double ovens based on placement. Choosing the right one depends on the kind of space that you have in your kitchen and the purpose that you intend to use your double oven for.

  • Built-in – The built-in double ovens are often the most expensive for residential kitchens, fitted directly into your kitchen space for easy accessibility. They come with either two full-sized ovens, or with one that’s slightly smaller than the other.
  • Freestanding – Freestanding ovens are those that quite literally stand on your floor, making them easier to install and more affordable. They work just as well as built-in double ovens, but they can feature a range top as well. However, they are also a little more difficult to access especially since the lower oven can be particularly close to the ground.
  • Side-by-side – You won’t usually see a side-by-side double oven in a residential kitchen. Typically found in commercial kitchens, these heavy-duty models come with a full range of features and cost a bit more than built-ins.

Double ovens can perform all the various functions that your average, run-of-the-mill oven might do. But what you need to consider is whether you need both ovens to be able to execute all of the same functions. For instance, a full-sized oven capable of baking, broiling, grilling, roasting, drying, heating, and everything in between might become your go-to workhorse if it’s paired with a limited half-size oven.

Then again, there are households that need the force of two fully equipped ovens operating simultaneously. In this case, a half-sized oven might not be enough to satisfy your meal prep needs.

Added Features
  • Pyrolytic ovens are fitted with a system that allows the appliance to reach exceedingly high heat, turning any residue into ash for easier cleaning.
  • Fan forced ovens use heated air that pushes through the interior to achieve a more even, consistent roast.
  • Warm and hold is another intuitive feature that lowers temperature down to a suitable warmth to keep food hot and ready to serve after it’s done cooking. Consider which features you’ll find most helpful, and try not to be persuaded by functions that look nice on the surface, but won’t really be practical later on.
Double-Check Your Choice

A double oven is no simple purchase. So, before you take the leap, make sure you consider all of the features that can make or break your brand-new kitchen addition. Know your needs and go for a double oven that matches your unique dynamic to guarantee your satisfaction.

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