Survival News

Foraging for Plantain

Insteading - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 16:58

Children pick these leaves out of the lawn in idle fidgeting. The plants crowd edges of streets and sidewalks. Counselors fashioned tiny boats from them at summer camp — with an acorn cap as hull and the omnipresent leaves for sails. They’re at your doorstop, the edges of your garden, and in the park.

The commonplace appearance of this plant has made it all but invisible. Yet it is an abundant food more nutritious than spinach, easier to grow than lettuce, tough-as-nails in any growing environment, medicinally useful, and as a non-native species, impossible to overharvest.

There is probably no wild edible more ubiquitous than the one I want to share with you today, but I guarantee at least some of you have no idea what it is called.

Do you recognize this plant? I bet you do. I spent years of my life walking all over it without knowing.

wren everett // insteading

But I’ll tell you now. It is the lowly, humble, under noticed plantain. The members of the Plantago genus are everywhere, and offer many gifts.

Finding and Identifying Plantain

First off, we have to clear up some terms. The low growing herb that is the featured plant of this article is very different from the starchy, tropical, cooking banana that is (inexplicably) also called plantain. I have not been able to discover why these disparate plants were given the same title — if anyone has a clue, drop it in the comments below.

Plantain (the herb) is a plant that is common across Europe and Asia, and used widely in the associated medical traditions of those regions. It made its way to the United States along with colonialization. Though it’s not clear if it was planted intentionally or carried along in the droppings of livestock that were lugged across the pond, once it arrived, it was here to stay. Several Native American nations named this new-found plant “White Man’s Footprint” in a testament to its ubiquity.

Hard-packed soil? No problem, says plantain.

In the modern day, finding plantain is a cinch. It has spread across the United States in their entirety, growing from east to west coast, and from the frosty north all the way to the humid south. Needless to say, you can’t overharvest it. It grows readily in any disturbed soil it can find, and it isn’t picky about location or soil compaction, either. Shade, sun, fluffy loam, or hard-packed clay; plantain will happily set up camp and grow lush and green. You can easily find it in the garden in the spring and summer, or alongside any foot trail year round. It’s an evergreen perennial, too. In my Zone 6 homestead, there are plantain rosettes scattered across my land throughout the winter. I don’t disturb them then, though. They’re not actively growing, and they’ll provide a lot better harvest once spring weather gives them the go-ahead to grow again.

There are two main species of plantain that you are likely to encounter.

Broadleaf Plantain (Plantago major)Broadleaf plantain with green flower spikes

Probably the most common and widespread is Plantago major, or broadleaf plantain. It bears broad, leathery-feeling leaves that grow in a basal rosette. They are simple, untoothed, and can vary widely in size, from an inch long and wide to leaves bigger than my hand. Notably, for members of the species, the veins in the leaves are parallel. The base of the petiole often has a wine-red color that fades to green by the time it gets to the leaf proper. And notably, the leaves and stems are lined with distinctive, white, string-like veins that stretch when the leaf tissue is ripped apart (a great key identification feature).

The Maroon petiole and those distinctive, string-like veins!

From April to October, the flowers grow in underwhelming, nubby green spikes that shoot out from the center of the rosette. They’re commonly seen as a symptom of an unmowed lawn rather than a flower in their own right.

English Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)English Plantain and it’s not-that-ugly flowers

Plantago lanceolata, sometimes called English plantain, ribwort plantain, or narrow leaf plantain, grows in the same regions and with the same tenacity. On my land, the two species grow side-by-side, spoiling me for the choicest leaves.

Like broadleaf plantain, they grow as basal rosettes of leaves. Also similar are those distinctive, parallel veins and long petioles. Unlike broadleaf, English plantain is a bit hairy in both appearance and texture.

Wren Everett // Insteading

English plantain flowers are different than broadleaf plantain. They grow at the end of a long, green flower stalk, topped with a brownish, cotton swab-like head and ringed with tiny, white flowerets that bloom from April to October. They’re easy to overlook, but when viewed up close, I contend they have their own subtle beauty.

Plantain Look-Alikes

If you are new to foraging and have only begun building up your knowledge of plants and their traits, it is possible you could confuse plantain leaves with different species of domesticated lilies. Most lilies are toxic and should not be consumed, and plantain does have a passing resemblance to them when neither are flowering. Lilies notably lack the fibrous strings that are so distinctive to the Plantago genus, and a novice may not be aware of them. As I have said many times, and in our Ground Rules For Foraging Safely video, if you don’t have complete confidence in a plant’s identity, you’re not ready to eat it yet.

So, if you feel that you don’t have a good grasp of identifying plantain by the leaf alone this season, wait until the plants bloom. The underwhelming blossoms are a surefire way to distinguish plantain from any of the showy blossoms of the lily family. Take plantain’s long growing season to get to know and identify it in many settings, and you’ll be ready to harvest it at any point.

Harvesting Plantain

As you have already read, plantain has a knack for growing where little else wants to grow. It can often be found at the edges of sidewalk, paths, bike trails, and pretty much anywhere that feet have trodden the earth hard. As such, plantain is often growing in places that are awash with the toxins, pollutants, and poisons that we humans tend to leave on the ground in our high-traffic areas.

When you go out to harvest plantain, you should steer clear of the plants growing directly alongside high-traffic urban areas. It’s too likely for them to be contaminated. It’s far safer to pluck the perfect leaves rising freely in your backyard or in an abandoned field.

pass this one growing in the cracks at the parking lot

Flea beetles and their relatives like to nibble tiny holes in plantain leaves through the summer. It doesn’t affect the quality of the leaves if there are a few holes, but older leaves might be positively Swiss-cheesed. Thankfully, it’s such a prolific grower that you can still get fresh leaves from the center of the rosette in such cases.

wren everett // insteading

Now all that said, once you find plants good to pick (that shouldn’t be hard) you’ll have a wide array of kitchen possibilities open up to you. Let’s head to the kitchen and have some fun.

Cooking and Using Plantain

You can eat plantain as freely as you would kale or spinach, and with many of the same health benefits. Flavor-wise, it is mild, not bitter, green and vegetal, and somewhat unobtrusive to the palate. Some foraging books say that the young leaves have a lemony flavor, but I have never experienced this, so if you expect the same bright tang of a wood sorrel leaf when you chomp on a young plantain leaf, you’ll be disappointed. Likewise, a plate of boiled, unseasoned plantain leaves won’t wow anyone at the dinner table. But instead of seeing this as a detriment, think of the greens as a healthy, blank palette to spice up at your whim.

If you’re a fan of green juices or green smoothies, plantain is happy to become the cost-effective alternative to your pricey organic kale or wheatgrass. Just blend it or juice it, and mix it with fruit juice as you would other greens, and enjoy the health benefits.

Plantain leaves taste good sauteed like kale or spinach, but they will turn a somewhat drab, olive-green color when heated. Blend them with other greens or bright red peppers, and the dish will look livelier.

Many wild food cookbooks will say that you should only use the young leaves because they are more tender, but I honestly don’t listen to that. Instead, I pick leaves of all sizes and shapes and development. If you cut off the tough, wine-stained stem, then slice the leaves perpendicular to their thread-filled veins, they are all easy enough to chew.

wren everett // insteading

Now, if you would like a whole article worth of ideas on how to use plantain leaves, head on over to our earlier video/article on some inspiring ways to use wild greens. Plantain fits perfectly into any of the recipes listed there.

For a particularly plantain-perfect preparation, however, I have to add one more idea. Plantain leaves make absolutely excellent kale — er, plantain chips. I prefer them 100% to kale chips, as their veiny structure becomes a boon, rather than a detriment during the cooking process, and helps holds the leaves together. Plantain chips are melt-in-your-mouth crispy once completely cooked, and leaves of any size can be used. Here’s an easy recipe online — honestly, any kale chip recipe works.

Finally, plantain can be dried and used as a base for a wild tea as well. On its own, it’s a little vegetal tasting, but when combined with red clover blossoms, blackberry leaf, and wild bergamot, it’s particularly nice and offers balance. We’ll have a full article on wild tea blends soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Medicinal Uses of Plantain

Though we are largely ignorant of plantain’s identity nowadays, it wasn’t always so. About four generations back, it was well known as a healing herb in the United States. But you can go even further back and find it mentioned as a healing plant in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette (Act 1, Scene 2, for those interested). Plantain has been so widely studied in the past that it was placed on the U.S. government list of herbs that were labeled GRAS: Generally Recognized as Safe.

Now, before I go on, I suppose I’ll have to emphasize that, as with all online health advice, take my recommendations for what they are — tips from a stranger. You need to do research for yourself before depending on them. All the same, there are some notable uses for plantain that make it a bit of an on-the-go medicine chest for those who know how to use it.

Stomach Issues

Many folks have actually consumed plantain weed as an OTC treatment, but have no idea they have. The main ingredient in Metamucil is the seed of a cultivated variety of plantain, P. psyllium. The seeds of any plantain, however, can be used for their mucilaginous and mildly laxative properties. Strangely enough, a tea made from the leaves is astringent and has the opposite effect — it was used in the past as a mild anti-diarrheal.

Insect Bites & Stings

Now aside from stirring the seeds into orange juice, probably the most common first-aid use of plantain is as a field poultice for insect stings. If you’ve run into the unfriendly end of a wasp, yellow jacket, or bee, plantain is probably waiting at your feet, ready to offer up its leaves. Merely find two clean leaves, chew one into a gooey mess, spit it out onto the other leaf, and apply to the sting for relief. You would be surprised how much ouch this spit-poultice can soothe. I imagine this is due to plantain’s ability to draw out material when applied to the skin. Herbalists have used it to draw infection out of a wound, venom from a bite, even splinters from deep within the skin.

Wounds & Cuts

Old plant names often give clues to how they were historically used … and how they might still be used today. Plantain was once referred to as soldier’s herb, a nod to its past use as a wound-treatment on the battle field. The Omaha Indian Nation was known to crush the leaves in oil and apply the mixture to wounds to prevent scarring. You can also make an ointment in a similar tradition by infusing plantain leaves in oil and blending your own healing salve. We’ve got a whole article on the process over at Insteading, if you’re interested.

Happy Foraging

Now with all that shared, I hope I have given you a good introduction to this under noticed plant, as well as cultivated a desire to know it better. I can’t think of any better send off than this perfectly appropriate quote from herbalist Rosemary Gladstar.

“For anything to be this common, nutritious, safe, and effective, not to mention free for the picking, it truly is a gift to humankind. If Plantain put on a fancy name, donned an exotic blossom, and hailed from anywhere other than our own backyards and empty fields, we’d call it a super food, extol its virtues, and put a hefty price tag on it.”

I hope when you see this “weed” springing up around you, you are able to greet it as friend and aid, and not as an annoyance. I’ll be out there with you, plucking, drying, and eating plantain with gusto and gratefulness.

Missouri Wildflowers, Edgar Denison
Herbal Folk Medicine, Thomas Broken Bear Squier
Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide, Rosemary Gladstar
Thirty Plants That Can Save Your Life, Douglas Schar

Pomegranate: A Natural Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Nutrition Video - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 06:50
Pomegranates are put to the test for weight loss, diabetes, COPD, prostate cancer, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Bees Love Brassicas

David the Good - Wed, 01/19/2022 - 05:22

Even if we’re not saving seed, I like to let brassicas go to bloom so they can feed the bees during winter:

Broccoli, radishes, pak choi – let ’em bolt and bloom if you don’t need the space and you may be surprised by how many pollinators show up. The cool months are a hungry season for bees and those little bright yellow flowers are irresistible.

Incidentally, the brassica and bee photos are by my son RP Good.

RP on the right, taking the photos in this post

I think he has a good eye. He’s always out in nature, spotting something interesting. Now that he has a camera (a used Canon 30D), he is taking his creature spotting to the next level.

The post Bees Love Brassicas appeared first on The Survival Gardener.

Staying Safe from the Hidden Dangers of the Internet

Organic Prepper - Tue, 01/18/2022 - 11:47

In this time of change, more and more people have turned to the Internet. Many are working from home, more shopping is being done online, many schools are offering virtual options for students. Unfortunately, criminals are also taking advantage of these changes. There are hidden dangers of the internet that we need to be aware of.

How do we keep ourselves and our children safe in this context?

First and foremost, realize that sitting in the safety of your home while surfing the Net isn’t the same as being safe. While there are the minor inconveniences of trolls – bad enough and a total energy suck – unfortunately, there are darker elements at play as well.

Particularly, I’m thinking of child traffickers looking for victims. Many of these freaks hang out on discussion boards and in chat rooms. They’re very skilled at both lying and manipulation, pretending to be a friend as they seek to lure the child away from home without their parent’s knowledge. Once in their possession, the child is often used for slave labor and sex trafficking.

This is a sad reality but one which must be faced. Online scams are everywhere, from pharmacies that promise prescription drugs without a prescription to phishing emails. People can appear to be whomever they wish on the Internet, and sites can appear very legitimate despite not being so.

So how do we protect ourselves?

When it comes to getting our accounts hacked, we can do a couple of things.

One is to set strong passwords and if possible, use names that don’t identify us directly. Strong passwords are generally held to contain numbers, letters, and special characters with at least one uppercase letter. The longer the better! I use phrases that are 20 characters long for my financial accounts. I also put the uppercase character somewhere other than up front, ditto with the numbers.

Don’t use your birthday, SSN, pet’s name, or mother’s maiden name for your password! There’s a huge difference in safety between password123 and #ILove26Preppers! Check here for more information on password safety.

Usernames identify us online and can be used to research more information.

Social media sites such as Facebook (and others) have become notorious for data mining, and who writes those crazy name games anyway? What information are you giving out when you publicly state your Elf name using your month and approximate day of birth? What personal information are you giving out when you post answers to things like:

  • How many times have you been married?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • Have you ever been arrested?

If you’re curious as to just how far this can go, I suggest typing your own name into your favorite search engine. You might be very surprised at the results! I didn’t play those games when I was on social media.

Most certainly I didn’t cooperate when the random game generator asked for permission to access my photos and friend’s list. Why is that information even needed to generate a random result, such as who I allegedly was in a past life, and who is storing this information? Better IMO to not give it up.

Criminals are lawbreakers, not idiots, and every database is potentially hackable.

Another thing to avoid is accepting direct messages from people you don’t know.

Once the message is accepted, the sender can see if you’re online and when. This can be a pain if they’re stalking you. While we’re at it, why not check your privacy settings on your personal page?

At the very least, check these on your Facebook to ensure the general public can’t see photos and posts you thought were Friends only. And remember, your profile picture and page banner are always set to Public. Perhaps your house isn’t the best choice for a banner, nor is a recent picture of you or your child.

So we’ve covered usernames, passwords, and some social media behaviors. How about photos? What information is being given in the photos we post on social media?

Are you familiar with metadata?

If you’re not familiar with metadata, it’s time to start learning about it. Metadata is information encoded into pictures every time you take one. It can include boring stuff like what kind of camera and software made the image.

It can also include location data, in both map and GPS form. Your GPS coordinates can lead a criminal to your front door. Metadata is very easy to view. There are many Internet sites that allow viewing for the trouble of dropping your photo on the site. For more information on metadata, check HERE.

For more information on not only protecting yourself, but on avoiding some of these monster data collection agencies, check out our free QUICKSTART Guide to Starving the Beast.

Even online gaming can be a criminal haven.

So you really know who’s behind the usernames in your favorite group? I’ve yet to see an account that asked me to verify my identity, meaning I could type in any name and age I wish.

Many years ago I played a game called Kingdoms of Middle Earth, which had both alliance and global chats containing people from all over the world. Both Facebook groups and Google Hangouts have a wide variety of people as well. And yes, predators have been known to hang out here.

What kind of personal information are you giving out, and to whom? It’s easy to feel safe in your living room chatting online with a person you’ve chatted with before, but this sense of safety is a farce. That person may be very cool – I still have friends in Europe from playing Kingdoms – but I never truly knew them.

These friends have never asked for my address, birthday, where I go to school, or where & when my parents work. Such personal information can be used for any purpose, including kidnapping.

Criminals will watch their targets and learn their schedules, then set up the crime for success. Burglars will want to be in and out while the family is gone. Traffickers want to isolate their target away from anyone who might help. Personal information can aid them in this endeavor and should never be given out online, in any context.

Lastly, how about those phishing emails?

It’s easy to laugh when I receive an email from a company I don’t do business with, asking me to verify my login credentials. Those from companies I do transact with a bit more difficult to spot! First of all, never click on the link provided in the email! That’s a direct link to the site that’s trying to steal from you.

For example, if I receive an email telling me that my PayPal account has been charged $2000 for a new computer and if I have a problem click on this link or call this number, the first place I go is actual PayPal. I do this by commanding my browser and going to the site directly. Chances are, the transaction isn’t there. I wouldn’t call the number because the first thing they do is ask for your username and password. My PayPal account is in fact linked with my bank, and it would be very costly to give criminals this information.

Often, money that’s directly debited cannot be retrieved. The money is gone, like having your pocket picked. Remember, criminals are trying to steal from you. Never click on those links or call the number in phishing emails! If you can, report them to site security instead.

Internet safety is no small concern these days

From bank accounts to online gaming, there’s someone out there mixed in with the cool people who means us no good. On the Internet, a healthy paranoia can be just that: healthy! What experiences have you had with online trolls or worse? How do you protect yourself and your family? Let’s discuss it in the comments below.

About Jayne

Jayne Rising is a gardener and bookworm with a BS from the University of Wisconsin and a Master Gardener certification. She’s been growing food on her small urban lot since 2010 and teaching others how to do it since 2015. She’s involved in a number of local urban agriculture initiatives, working to bring a sustainable and healthy food system back into the mainstream.

The post Staying Safe from the Hidden Dangers of the Internet appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

SURVEY: Here’s What Your Fellow Americans Think Should Happen to the Unvaccinated

Organic Prepper - Tue, 01/18/2022 - 07:51

What happens next?

This is the question you need to be asking yourself as you monitor the world around you, taking stock of what it is that you are seeing, and making logical deductions with the data you have coming in.

What happens when the world around you is stating that it is alright to take away your children? What happens when it decides it is morally permissible to drag you from your home and take you away to a “designated facilit[y] or locations if they refuse to get” the jab? What happens when people believe you should be forcibly imprisoned in your own home?

While this may sound crazy, this is where we are at.

A recent study from the Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports has found just that, as on January 5, 2022, they conducted a telephone and online survey of 1016 US “Likely Voters” to determine if they could get a sampling of where Americans stood on these issues.

This is what they found:

Jab Mandates
  • 48% of voters want a jab mandate on both employees of large companies and government agencies
  • 78% of the Left support Biden’s jab mandate
  • 22% of alleged Republicans support it as well.
  • 55% of the Left endorse the notion of fines on unjabbed Americans
  • 19% of alleged Republicans support this position as well
  • 25% of unaffiliated voters stand behind this
Forced House Arrest
  • 59% of Democrats favor house arrest for the unjabbed
  • 21% of Republicans favor this policy
  • 39% of unaffiliated voters favor this policy
Forced Resettlement
  • 45% of the Left favor forced resettlement of the unjabbed to government-operated facilities
Forced Silence
  • 48% of the Left favor either/or fines or imprisonment for those who question the efficacy of the jab on social media, TV, radio, online, or in digital pubs
  • 14% of Republicans favor this policy as well
  • 18% of unaffiliated voters favor this policy
Kidnapping Children
  • 29% of Democrats want kids taken away from parents who are unjabbed
  • 7% of Republicans are ok with this
  • 11% of unaffiliated voters want the same
Big Brother Tracking Efforts
  • 47% of the Left favor Big Brother tracking program for those who are unjabbed
Thoughts on these numbers by the Heartland Institute and Rasmussen…

Consider the mandates.

We’re now witnessing the beginnings of a supply chain disruption that is (a large part of that which is) absolutely wrecking American economy. It’s not the only factor, but it is most certainly undeniable. When workers go the way of John Galt, what else can we expect?

And people are ok with this! People are ok with the notion of forcibly pushing their will onto somebody else in order for them to earn a living. Imagine the idea of telling somebody you had the right to name their firstborn son if they wanted to keep working at your store.

(Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide on how to prepare your food stores, so you can still eat.)

“You want to work here? That means your spouse must report to the Government Love Facility at least once a month, to improve the fertility of our nation. She will be assigned a partner when there.”

This is absolutely insane!

And yet, that is where we are at.

What about the fines?

Is it not odd that “conspiracy theorists” predicted the criminalization of the unjabbed over a year ago, and now that is not only what we are seeing around the world, but we’re now seeing it advocated for within the “Land of the Free” as well? If people are falsely led into believing that such an idea can mesh with the US Constitution or human rights, what will not be?

And do not forget we have people who are more than happy for us to push further than unjust fines as well. We have people who are actually willing to imprison you over this. Perhaps it is through house arrest (as mentioned in the study). Perhaps it is through your typical jail. Or perhaps it’s landing armed men at your front door who will take you to “temporarily live in designated facilities?”

Nazi propaganda poster claiming Jews are carriers of typhus.

Once more, it appears the “conspiracy theorists” were right. We now have people who are openly advocating for the forced resettlement of others. We now have people advocating the ghettoization of America in a manner that is eerily similar to the Jewish ghettos of World War 2.

And it’s not just you they’re after.

They’re scoping out your children.

In what is perhaps the most alarming aspect of this study is that there is a sizeable chunk of society that is seemingly ok with kidnapping your children if you don’t participate in the jab. Where will they take them? Do you think they have plans for letting you see them again?

Do you think your child would be the exemption to the rule? That they would be placed in a “family” that loves and cares for them anywhere close to the extent that you do? What values would they teach your children? Would they be your values? Or would they be evil?

This is where America is.

The seeds of communism – planted long ago – have been permitted to flourish into a repugnant field of briars, and it has every intention of tearing you (and your family) apart.

You may say, “that will never happen here,” but it already is happening here. Consider Washington DC or Washington state. Consider that we’ve already seen children being denied cancer treatments over this situation.

You may say, “I work for the police/National Guard. Our men would never do that!”

For starters, who’s to say it will be your men?

One of the things the Nazis in World War 2 was that it was easier for atrocities to be committed when the men didn’t know the victims. Men trucked in from elsewhere are able to detach themselves from the humanity of those around them.

The other thing learned in World War 2 was that the men were isolated from The Final Solution by specialization so that they could do The Final Solution.

“All I do is drive the truck. That’s not that bad.”

“All I do is go through the house. That’s not that bad.”

“All I do is get them checked in with the paperwork. That’s not that bad.”

To detach one’s self from an evil end result by specialization is already happening. Consider the dispatch centers which take the calls and send police to arrest those who are at a wedding. Consider the men who don’t actually enter the building to arrest anybody, but who are more than happy to drive their victims to the station for processing.

This is where America is at.

Secondly, don’t fall into the trap of believing that your men are the exception to the rule. If you are the leader of your men, and you are one of the good and brave, the system can easily replace you. Perhaps this will be done by a nationwide push to de-fund police which causes good and brave men throughout the nation to realize it’s just not worth the cost. Maybe this replacement can be made possible by making it illegal for you to stay unless you take a jab.

Men who are evil, cowardly, or without moral backbone are easy to find. And they can easily fill your slot.

While I wholeheartedly believe in American exceptionalism, and that it is our bravery in standing against evil which maintains our freedom, I also understand this:

Human behavior is fairly constant.

How is it that the average men of Police Battalion 101 (analyzed in Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men) were able to go from vomiting and suffering nightmares after their first Jewish action to becoming efficient killers by war’s end?

Police Battalion 101 at work.

How do average men, with families of their own, and a great sense of humor end up to a point where they can say, “I made the effort, and it was possible for me, to shoot only children. It so happened that the mothers led the children by the hand. My neighbor then shot the mother and I shot the child that belonged to her, because I reasoned with myself that after all without its mother the child could not live any longer.” – Police Battalion 101 officer.

Propaganda matters. It has influenced your friends, family, and neighbors into thinking that their fellow Americans are the enemy.

And this is where America is.

Are you surprised?

Are you surprised by the results of this survey? Do you think that it is an accurate assessment of American sentiment? Share your thoughts in the comments.

About Jeff

Jeff Thompson is an avid fisherman who likes to spend time sailing on his boat and reading while at sea.

The post SURVEY: Here’s What Your Fellow Americans Think Should Happen to the Unvaccinated appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Air Fryer French Fries – The Secret To Perfectly Cooked Homemade Fries

Old World Garden - Tue, 01/18/2022 - 07:23

One of the most popular reasons to purchase an air fryer is to make traditionally cooked, deep-fried foods like homemade French fries, a little healthier. An air fryer cooks by …

The post Air Fryer French Fries – The Secret To Perfectly Cooked Homemade Fries appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

The Best Source of Resveratrol

Nutrition blog - Tue, 01/18/2022 - 07:00

Is there any benefit to resveratrol? If so, should we get it from wine, grapes, peanuts, or supplements?

“Alcohol is a neurotoxin which can cause brain damage…[and] can cause cancer,” so perhaps the “consumption of alcohol…cannot be considered a healthy lifestyle choice” since it’s an addictive carcinogen. Cancer is only killer number two, though. Killer number one is heart disease, so what about the “French paradox”? Doesn’t moderate drinking protect against cardiovascular disease? I discuss this in my video Flashback Friday: The Best Source of Resveratrol.

As I’ve explained before, apparently there is no French paradox. It seems to have all just been a scam. That’s what started the whole “resveratrol fiasco,” though. During an episode on “60 Minutes,” it was suggested the red wine component resveratrol may account for the French paradox, and research took off. Even after it turned out there was no French paradox, research continued unabated, culminating in more than 10,000 scientific publications to date.

What did researchers find? “After more than 20 years of well-funded research, resveratrol has no proven human activity.” “One salient theme that consistently arises throughout this voluminous body of work underscores the fact that data from human studies regarding any biological effects of resveratrol is sorely lacking, despite its popularity as an over-the-counter nutritional supplement.” In fact, “the hype in the popular media regarding resveratrol…may indeed turn out to be nothing more than a slight-of-hand marketing device using…non-human research as a cover.” 

As you can see at 1:36 in my video, some studies are based on laboratory animal studies at massive doses—tens of milligrams of resveratrol per pound. If you do the math, this is how “various ‘experts’ claim that a daily dosage of 1 g/d is effective for treatments of diverse disorders in humans.” So how much red wine do you have to drink to get a gram of resveratrol a day? Why, just 5,000 cups a day. Not a fan of red wine? Don’t worry. You can just have a couple thousand gallons of white wine a day, 5,000 pounds of apples or grapes, 50,000 pounds of peanuts, a couple thousand pounds of chocolate, or nearly a million bottles of beer.

A million bottles of beer on the wall. A million bottles of beer. Take one down and pass it around, nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall…. 

It doesn’t help matters when a “leading researcher on the beneficial properties of resveratrol…has been found guilty of 145 counts of fabrication and falsification of data,” throwing the whole field into turmoil. “Wine is good for those…who sell it!”

The resveratrol fiasco is not the only time dietary supplements have failed to fulfill their promise. “Notable examples” include beta-carotene pills and fish oil capsules. Studies in the 1990s showed taking beta-carotene in pill form actually increased cancer risk, and, in 2013, the thinking shifted on fish oil supplements from “No Proof of Effectiveness” to “Proof of No Effectiveness.” “The main lesson we should learn is that what makes biological sense and works in test tubes and animals does not always operate in humans.” 

“Resveratrol is one of approximately 25,000 components identified from food to date,” after all. Thinking in terms of whole foods “may be a better approach for health and disease prevention.” Instead of consuming just one chemical in wine extracted from grapes, why not eat the whole grape? “[F]or the prevention of diseases, the [whole] dietary grape seems to be the best-case scenario.”

This is part of a four-part series, which includes my videos:


  • Alcohol is a neurotoxin that can cause brain damage and our number-two killer, cancer, but what about the so-called French paradox of moderate drinking protecting against cardiovascular disease, our number one killer?
  • During an episode of the television show “60 Minutes,” it was suggested that resveratrol, a component in red wine, may account for the French paradox, but it has been dismissed as a hoax. Despite that, research has continued and more than 10,000 scientific papers have been published to date.
  • Resveratrol has been found to have “no proven human activity,” and “the hype in the popular media regarding resveratrol…may indeed turn out to be nothing more than a slight-of-hand marketing device using…non-human research as a cover.”
  • Indeed, some animal studies used massive doses of tens of milligrams of resveratrol per pound to claim that a daily dosage of 1 g/d is an effective treatment of diverse human disorders, but you would need to drink 5,000 cups of red wine to get a single gram of resveratrol.
  • Other dietary supplements have also been found unable to fulfill their promises, such as beta-carotene pills and fish oil capsules. Beta-carotene in pill form has been found to increase, not decrease, cancer risk, and there is no proof of effectiveness with fish oil supplements.
  • “The main lesson we should learn is that what makes biological sense and works in test tubes and animals does not always operate in humans.”
  • Rather than consuming just one chemical in wine extracted from grapes, why not eat the whole grape?

Surprised about the French paradox? Learn more in What Explains the French Paradox?.

Can resveratrol supplements do more harm than good? Check out Resveratrol Impairs Exercise Benefits.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

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


What Do I Do With with Diseased Plants?

David the Good - Tue, 01/18/2022 - 05:39

JulieT asks advice on dealing with diseased plants:

“I purchased longevity spinach online a couple years ago advise from your book. It is wonderful and grows like crazy. Unfortunately my spinach recently became covered with black spots. What do you recommend? I pulled it out of that garden spot as I have other places that have not been affected as much.”

Some years are worse than others for disease issues. My general assumption is that the plants got too flooded or the air is too humid, or they are lacking in good nutrition.

Plants that are well-fed and less stressed seem to sail through disease. But plants that are weakened by stress do not. The disease organisms seem to work like clean-up crews, attacking plants that are already missing something or which are under stress.

The black spots are common – especially later in the year and in winter when plants are winding down and the weather is cool. When it’s warm and growth is active, they often outgrow problems. Later in the year, they tend to have issues.

Instead of trying to treat the problem by the elimination of a single disease-causing organism (i.e., whatever is causing the black spots), I would try to add /more/ organisms to the system. In the past I have treated sick squash vines by spraying them with a solution of unchlorinated water with a little yogurt or kefir in it, coating the leaves in the evening. The addition of the bacteria in the yogurt often wipes out the infection. Brewing and applying compost teas or adding more compost/humus to the soil around the plant may help as well.

The other prong of defense is nutrition. If I have plants that seem to suffer from spots or mold or weak growth, I will use a mineral solution as a drench to add nutrients fast. A good way to do this non-organically is with Peter’s plant food, Miracle-Gro, or, my main go-to, Dyna-Gro. Organically, just try compost tea.

There may also be an imbalance in the nutrients already in the soil. If nitrogen levels are too high, you get rank growth which is then attacked by insects and/or disease.

Just a few thoughts. I wouldn’t worry about trying to remove or destroy them. I would just add some life and see what happens. Even ignoring them might work. As the soil and weather conditions change in the spring, they may just grow back fine.

If they die, then that might just have been the wrong spot for them. Sometimes these things happen. I don’t fight them too much. Especially when we’re dealing with tropical plants during a cooler time of year.

As I write in Totally Crazy Easy Florida Gardening, I believe in growing the stuff that lives and letting Nature knock down the weaklings, unless I really, really, care about that particular plant.

I also just go ahead and compost them without worrying about the pathogen. Nature tends to balance things out just fine.

The post What Do I Do With with Diseased Plants? appeared first on The Survival Gardener.

16 Reasons Why Muscovy Ducks are the Perfect Homestead Bird – Epi-3017

Survival Podcast - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 14:25
After a 3 year absence I have brought Muscovy Ducks back to Nine Mile Farm.  And there is a reason; well, at least 16 reasons they are back.  I can sum it up this way though, they are the perfect … Continue reading →

Getting Professional Medical Care After an Economic or Societal Collapse

Organic Prepper - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 11:05

One of the main concerns of the responsible caregiver/parent is to protect the health and well-being of our loved ones. And a large part of our ability to do that derives from our ability to get proper medical attention. In a SHTF situation, this is even more important. Do you know how to get professional medical after an economic collapse? Do you know what to do?

If not, you’re not alone. This is a very thorny problem to work through. But we are not without a historical guide here.

There are lessons to glean from the collapse of Venezuela.

Please allow me to describe how the healthcare has been in my country the last 3 decades.

The healthcare industry started to become overwhelmed in the 1980s. Even though the percentage of doctors per 100,000 inhabitants was growing steadily (see Table 1, pag. 15), the economic happenings did not have a meaningful positive role in the world of healthcare.

Mind you, there is no recent data within the last 10 years that could be considered reliable enough to provide clear data on this issue.

This said, it would be unfair to not acknowledge the huge effort and money which was poured into the restructuring of the healthcare system. This was done with oil price over $100 per barrel, of course. Then things changed, and we’re still feeling the consequences of the ransacking. Previously, we had infirmaries all over the country, called “CDI”. These were announced with great fanfare and propaganda as one of the “achievements of the revolution.” Many of them now closed or almost empty.

Brain drain hit our country hard, and a large segment of the healthcare professionals decided to get out of dodge. This created a pressing need for trained clinicians, and now, those who decided to stay are making more money than ever.

This profession is one of the better paid ones down here, and not just in Venezuela (where an independent MD can make over $4000/year – enough to live like a king), but it is a very good salary in any country in South America. Even with outrageously high living expenses of $1500 (and I don’t even know anyone with such high life expenses), an MD here can live without lack of anything.

According to these 2008 statistics, the main death in Venezuela causes were heart strokes…and homicides. At this moment I can’t quote a reliable source on this with statistics for this past year, but what I can do is to provide a description of the general scenario about the health care process.

Let’s analyze the case of a close friend who twisted an ankle recently.

Living in a socialist state most certainly qualifies as placing this friend in a position of needing medical attention after SHTF.

There is an infirmary center nearby run by the Cubans which specializes in these types of injuries. Whether or not these people are qualified to treat patients is debatable. They just work there, imposed by the ruling socialist party, and that’s it. The astute patient will be cautious with such, but the poor, countryside woman with an injured child doesn’t care. She just wants some level of treatment. And “some” level is what she will get.

My friend went to this clinic, where they decided to do an X-ray. This typically costs 20-25$, and is a service not available in the public healthcare center “because of technical problems.” I’d estimate that around 80+% of the country’s healthcare centers are public ones. These types of problems are rife there.

After taking the X-ray in the private center (where another $20 was spent because the clinic demanded a Venezuela-certified MD to issue the X-ray order) a diagnosis was given. Medicine was prescribed, though it was not “free” like the meds so many people received back in the early 2000s when the system was working and fueled by the oil revenues. (Even then, most of these “free” medicines were unbranded products from suspicious countries.)

His physical therapy was free though. He just had to find a physical therapist. Most of them have fled to America.

What about a more severe situation though?

Many hospitals nowadays in Venezuela don’t have supplies. Patients without money for a private clinic, just go to the hospital mainly for a free diagnosis. For actual treatment of a condition, you only go to the hospital after you’ve purchased the needed medicines and supplies of your own accord on your own time.

This means that, after the SHTF, unless some sort of industry still remains (somewhere, somehow) producing things like antibiotics, antibacterials and painkillers, doctors won’t be able to do much.

Within the past 5 years period, there was a LOT of preventable deaths of children. The childhood mortality rate rose from 0,7% to 2%. Most of these deaths took place in rural towns, where the poor tried to beat some illness by treating it with “natural” remedies.

But please don’t misinterpret this! Natural medicine has been around for thousands of years, and much of modern medicine is derived from this ancient knowledge.

The thing is, desperation and lack of knowledge forced people to make poor choices. There are only vestiges of the ancient herbal knowledge of our indigenous ancestors. Many people thought these were harmless – something that is completely erroneous. Plants as common as chamomile and peppermint were named within those that the babies of the statistics mentioned ingested.

Again, it is not the plant itself: it was the high dose used that generated the unwanted effect.

Specialists will no longer exist post-SHTF.

MDs here go through a one-year specialization process. That’s it. One year. Those are the “specialists” we’re plagued with now. If you need a specialist on a consistent basis, things get rather thorny. And though this most certainly matters, it’s not this lack of specialists that makes receiving medical attention after SHTF the hardest.

It’s the lack of supplies that hurts us most.

Things as simple as an appendectomy could turn very bad post-SHTF if not treated fast. There will be general practitioners – people with knowledge – but the supplies and sophisticated kits won’t be there. Therefore, it’s much better to have some supplies, even if they’re not ideal, and a general doctor, than having someone who could find difficulties performing that surgery without specialized materials and instruments.

The catch is this: will you be able to afford them?

The tools, medicines, and the doctor’s services all sky-rocket in price post-SHTF. Do you have what it takes to barter/pay for this? Can you provide your doctor with the tools he needs to provide you medical attention after SHTF?

You need to think about this now. And after the crap hits the fan, you need to understand that emergencies must be avoided at all costs. I saw too many wounds become complicated which could have been avoided with basic precautions: wearing steel toes work boots, gloves or safety glasses, for instance.

What are the practical lessons I learned in the worst of the crisis?

From my experiences in Venezuela, I can summarize a few tips for the best preps based off of what people went through around here in the worst period: 2016-2021.

  • Getting a few glass non-disposable syringes with an assortment of non-disposable needles and an autoclave is  an excellent investment.
  • Elaboration of effective painkillers with natural products (Do thorough research. There is a lot of information on line about this but not being a specialist, I won’t dare to elaborate on this.)
  • Consumables like surgical tape, alcohol (of course!), iodine, and all sort of sterilization products were almost high-value commodities.
  • Getting a skin stapler, instead of the conventional needle and thread for wounds could be a great investment given the need. I witnessed people desperately looking for a sewing kit in every pharmacy, just to resource to the (extremely extended!) black market…and the resulting scares were nasty. I even knew people who got their wounds “fixed” with very thick thread.
  • A couple of crutches (or even some plans or materials to build them), a good neck immobilizer…maybe some appropriate printing materials for those with a 3D printer large enough to print a splint to immobilize a limb, all of these are things that someone could need after an accident.
  • Supplies like disposable scalpels and other surgical instruments.
  • Stocking up on cream for burns is a must. Especially the ones with silver sulfadiazine for 3th degree burns. The odds of suffering some sort of severe burn suddenly rise much higher if you have to do mechanic work in your own workshop. The solvents used for cleaning, if you’re welding, for instance, are highly flammable.
  •  Enough medication should be stockpiled up, or at least the base products to prepare the mixture, for those with the knowledge to do it. Researching about DIY burn creams could be a good idea.
Above all, be careful!

Given the lack of access to proper medical attention after SHTF, extreme precautions must be taken. It’s all about safety now, and it’s much better to be labeled as someone fussy about security, than to have an accident which could lead to severe consequences.

I’ve been in workshops all my life. I haven’t had an accident because purposeful patience and all the precautions I’ve taken.

Recently, I had to cut a nail with a wire cutter to remove some rotten wood, and one piece hit my safety glasses like a bullet. Should I not have had these, I could have suffered a nasty injury, being home alone, broken, and in a country where getting proper medical attention in the public health system is almost impossible. So, my best advice is, try, as hard as you can, to avoid getting harmed.

This is just scratching the surface of medical attention after SHTF…

This article merely scratches the surface of the intricate subject of healthcare in a devastated world. However, using common sense we can deal with many emergencies as they come.

Thanks for your sponsoring. It really helps me to keep pumping out solid, boots-on-the-ground material, and always remember to make questions in the comments about what you need to know and learn about the situation down here to improve your preps.

Stay tuned!


For more information on prepping, check out our free OP QuickStart Guide to the 4 Levels of Disasters.

Have you seen these problems yet?

Have you seen any issues with medical care in your area? Are prescription meds readily available? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.​​​​

About Jose

Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has an old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Jose and his younger kid are currently back in Venezuela, after the intention of setting up a new life in another country didn’t  go well. The SARSCOV2 re-shaped the labor market and South American economy so he decided to give it a try to homestead in the mountains, and make a living as best as possible. But this time in his own land, and surrounded by family, friends and acquaintances, with all the gear and equipment collected, as the initial plan was.

 Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on PatreonDonations: or the BTC address 3QQcFfK9GvZNEmALuVV8D6AUttChTdtReE

The post Getting Professional Medical Care After an Economic or Societal Collapse appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

The Best Film We Ever Made

David the Good - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 09:20


I was getting tired of doing normal stuff and decided to dive fully into making something funny, creepy and cinematic.

This is the best film we ever made. It took almost a week to create, from writing the script to getting the location to acting, editing, etc. My daughter Daisy did the makeup and acted as one of the pigs, my son PT played the other pig. Rachel filmed half of it and CJ filmed the other half, with me directing the shots (mostly while tied to a chair).

The views aren’t up to my normal range but I don’t think that matters. It’s art!

Wait until I release my next short film in a week or so (Lord willing). It’s titled “These Are The Birds of North America” and is going to be similarly high production.

I bought a new camera and a few new lenses. Gotta really give them a test, right?

I’m sure we scared a few people with this video. I lost 9 subscribers, then gained three new ones so far. BUT IT’S ART!

Every frame a painting. Of a scary kid in a pig mask!

What do you think?

The post The Best Film We Ever Made appeared first on The Survival Gardener.

Fighting the Ten Hallmarks of Cancer with Food

Nutrition Video - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 06:50
The foundation of cancer prevention is plants, not pills.

A Perfect Storm: Supply Chain Battered by Chinese Port Closures, Trains, Trucks, and Workers

Organic Prepper - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 06:44

The supply chain crisis isn’t just coming, it’s already here.

As Americans face empty shelves across the country, skyrocketing prices on everything, and a constant worker shortage, it’s impossible to ignore – the supply chain crunch is here. And it isn’t getting any better as a perfect storm gathers to decimate our inventory of goods.

Consider this: China is the world’s biggest trading nation. Anything they do market-wise reverberates throughout the world. Who is America’s largest trade partner? China. What happens when China decides to shut down some of its ports? Americans feel the crunch.

This is what has just happened, as China has shut down the busiest port in the world by shipping volume – the city of Ningbo. In addition, the port of Tianjin has also been locked down, with many people being completely barred from leaving their homes at all.

Port of Tianjin.

These aren’t the only cities in China which have been locked down – Xi’an has as well (where there’s recently been an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever) – but they are both major ports.

Currently, sailing schedules within China are delayed by a week, and cargo ships are being forced to divert to Shanghai with hopes of loading and offloading their cargo. We’ve discussed before here at TOP how there have been serious cargo ship holdups off of the Pacific Coast here in America. And this is most certainly a major problem. Cargo ships carry massive amounts of goods.

And then there are the trains.

Not only can we not get products into or out of these United States. Now, we’re having a difficult time transporting it about our own land as well.

This past October, 2021, one of America’s largest railroads, Union Pacific, began a legal battle with its union workers over Biden’s jab mandate. The CEO of Union Pacific wanted to force this mandate upon his workers, and in return, they threatened to strike.

It was then on October 15, 2021, that Union Pacific filed a lawsuit against the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Railroad, and Transportation Workers (SMART) – Transportation Division. Union Pacific asked the federal judge presiding over the case to find SMART guilty of violating federal labor law.

As of January 13, these workers, as well as others from other train-related unions have begun steps to go on strike. A recent attendance policy change has proven to be the final straw, and now, The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, which contains 17,000 members, and the BNSF have also joined the fray, with threats of strike.

According to President Ferguson and Pierce of the BNSF, “This new attendance policy may be the tipping point for what may be the ‘great railroad resignation.’”

BNSF pointed out that this movement is a trend as well. They stated, “As is the growing trend among all major rail carriers, the working conditions at BNSF have deteriorated to the point that there are many tenured employees leaving the railroad industry because they can no longer tolerate the treatment that they must endure on a daily basis.” [source]

The supply chain crunch extends to the trucks.

Not only do we have a container ship problem, but logistics workers are leaving their jobs. But perhaps we can rely on the truckers? Well, it appears that this industry currently has its own set of problems.

As of October 2021, there was an estimated 80,000 trucking positions that needed to be filled within America, a record high. Trucking companies are not able to find the drivers they need, and the product isn’t getting shipped quickly as a result.

This is even affecting the packages which should show up at your doorstep. USPS has pointed out that there is a shortage of mail carriers nationwide.

FedEx has seen similar staffing shortages, to the extent that they recently experienced a $470 million dollar loss. Things have actually gotten so bad for FedEx that they’re forced to reroute approximately 600,000 packages a day due to their labor shortage.

When cargo ships can’t unload at port, when trains aren’t showing up to the station, when there’s nobody to drive the trucks or deliver the packages, can we say anything other than that the supply chain crunch is already here?

And it’s not just logistics. It’s shop workers as well.

What happens if you own a small grocery store but can’t find anybody to put your produce on the shelves in time? What happens if your ground beef is left too long out of refrigeration because you were too busy stacking lettuce? You’ve likely felt the end-results of these staffing shortages at restaurants of late. Has the service recently grown incomparable to how it was even a year ago?

People are quitting in record droves. Washington recently lost 3% of its state labor force within a single day. America now has two consecutive months of record high quitting rates. From March to September 2021, we saw quits increase by 24.3%. Colorado recently broke its record for most number of employees quitting. (It appears people hate tyranny.)

This supply chain crunch is going to affect your daily life on a very personal level.

You need to get your preps in order now. This is a downward spiral.

If your business needs product that comes from overseas, do you have plenty of it in stock? If the medicines you need come from far away, have you built up your supplies to outride any “buffering” time? Do you have enough food to keep your family fed until you can get more?

It’s currently impossible to get chicken wings at any of the restaurants in my area. Gas is high, and food prices are rising. Have you prepared for this? Have you built your American Free Market Network?

The world is going the way of John Galt and things are getting crazy.

Please, get your preps in order. You’re going to need them.

Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide on where to begin. Then, read this book.

Are you prepared for the supply chain disaster?

How are you preparing for the perfect storm surrounding the supply chain? Do you have any tips to share with other readers? Let’s discuss it in the comments.

About Aden

Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to,,, and Along with being a freelance writer, he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.



The post A Perfect Storm: Supply Chain Battered by Chinese Port Closures, Trains, Trucks, and Workers appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

What Women Need to Know about Different Organic Protein Powders

Real Food RN - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 05:03

Protein powders have evolved significantly in the last decade, as people began dropping their processed fast food habits and reaching for something better as busy adults trying to live their best lives.

The post What Women Need to Know about Different Organic Protein Powders appeared first on Real Food RN.

How To Grow Cucumbers In Straw Bales – The Best Way To Grow Cucumbers Ever!

Old World Garden - Sun, 01/16/2022 - 07:48

When it comes to the easiest, most productive and best method to grow an incredible harvest of cucumbers, you simply can’t beat growing cucumbers in straw bales. What started out …

The post How To Grow Cucumbers In Straw Bales – The Best Way To Grow Cucumbers Ever! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

The Truth About That Army Drill Battling with American “Freedom Fighters”

Organic Prepper - Sat, 01/15/2022 - 07:49

The US Army is about to run its final test for aspiring Green Berets this coming January 22, known as Robin Sage, an unconventional warfare exercise put on by the US Army Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC). This field training exercise is a 19-day test across approximately 50,000 acres of privately owned land throughout rural North Carolina in which Special Forces must wage a guerilla war against an illegitimate government to free the politically unstable region known as Pineland.

The exercise runs four times every year, and the most recent exercise will last from January 22 to February 4. Should a soldier fail to pass Robin Sage, they fail to become a Green Beret.

What’s the scenario?

Pineland’s legitimate government, which was friendly towards America, has been deposed via a coup. Guerilla forces have now risen up in an attempt to fight against this occupying force, and the Green Berets are infiltrating the country to both assist and train the guerilla forces.

Soldiers start at Camp McKall, where they study as much as they can on their current mission and plan out how they’re going to infiltrate, their linkup plan, and more. To understand the region they are fighting in, soldiers study the history of Pineland through a pamphlet titled Atlantica: A Concise History (which unfortunately, we can’t find a PDF of).

Once this is all accomplished, they’ll be sent “behind enemy lines” deep into the mountains of Pineland. Students are typically dropped in behind enemy lines via parachute (though sometimes by helicopter or truck), where they must engage in a long-distance trek over rough terrain to linkup with the resistance forces.

Once the linkup has taken place, soldiers must then gain the trust and confidence of the local guerilla chieftains by “proving themselves.” Until this has happened, the guerillas are specifically instructed to avoid and distrust all American soldiers in the area. Once this trust has been gained, soldiers then go about training and assisting the guerillas in fighting against the illegitimate government forces (typically role played by the 82nd Airborne).

Prospective Green Berets will teach these guerillas how to conduct patrols, raids, and ambushes, as well as how to use comms tech and medically provide for their fighters. Upon successfully completing their mission, soldiers must safely exfiltrate the environment by helicopter or truck.

Green Beret teaching Honduran TIGRES.

Civilians are used extensively throughout the exercise to both act as role players and to add a sense of realism to the whole operation.

The History of Robin Sage

Some say Robin Sage has been around for approximately 60 years. Others say it started in 1974.

Either way, Robin Sage has been cited as being extremely useful in training soldiers for how to operate a proxy war in regions such as Somalia and Afghanistan.

Robin Sage simulated casualty

In 2002, one soldier was killed and another injured after they were shot by a sheriff’s deputy who had not been informed that there was an Army training program underway throughout a great chunk of North Carolina. The soldiers were in civilian clothes and driving a car when the officer pulled them over. Upon peering into the car, the officer saw a partially disassembled M4 rifle.

Believing he was in imminent danger, the deputy pepper sprayed the soldiers to subdue them. The soldiers resisted, thinking this was all a part of the exercise, and then the deputy drew his pistol and shot them.

Ever since then, police throughout the region are instructed when Robin Sage is underway, and all soldiers wear an armband designating them as Robin Sage students.

At the moment, Robin Sage currently spans the following counties: Alamance, Anson, Bladen, Brunswick, Cabarrus, Chatham, Columbus, Cumberland, Davidson, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, New Hanover, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rowan, Sampson, Scotland, Stanly, Union, and Wake.

What’s My Analysis of Robin Sage?

There has been a lot of speculation as to why this exercise is taking place, with the predominant theory that this is an exercise to train US soldiers in how to conduct operations against the American people.

The rural mountains of North Carolina aren’t similar terrain to Afghanistan, and it seems as if the arid West would be a more life-like location to train soldiers to fight in the Middle East. That being said, training principles are a rather broad brush, being applicable to a wide variety of terrains, regardless of where you learned them. If one learns how to “win hearts and minds” in North Carolina, the lessons learned will work in a wide variety of places.

There’s a bit of back and forth in the news media on who the bad guys are throughout Robin Sage as well. Some sources say that it’s seasoned “freedom fighters” that the Army is training on fighting against (such as HERE, HERE, and HERE).

Immediately, this raises the question as to why the military would be training troops to fight against those who are fighting for freedom?

However, the Army itself says that it’s the guerilla fighters who are the good guys.  Unless the sources which said soldiers are being trained to fight against freedom fighters were referencing the 82nd Airborne (the OpFor), their statements wouldn’t seem to make sense. The only other explanations I can think of would be that the coup members are those who call themselves the freedom fighters, or that Robin Sage had been restructured. I haven’t found anything attesting to this restructuring in my research though.

Personally, I’m of the belief that this exercise is training as usual. Our soldiers have been training for both sides of guerilla warfare for years, and the more one looks into this, the more I believe this is just standard training.

Are there scary things happening with our military? Absolutely. (See HERE, HERE, and HERE)

But at least right now, this seems like standard training to me.

The Organic Prepper will always do what we can to provide fair analyses of what is going on. We rarely trust the established narrative of just about anything. But that’s because we have a mountain of sources and information behind our position. We strive to do the same thing here.

What are your thoughts here though? Are there other factors we haven’t considered? Let’s discuss the matter in the comments below…

About Aden

Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to,,, and Along with being a freelance writer, he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.



The post The Truth About That Army Drill Battling with American “Freedom Fighters” appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Homestead Stories: Orchids That Look Like Birds

Insteading - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 15:00

I love my orchids. I have all shapes, sizes, and colors of orchids, and I know there are a lot more to consider adding to my collection. I’ve written about the more common orchids and I’ve written about some of the more unusual orchids. However, I think I’m most intrigued by the orchids that look like birds. There’s the moth orchid, the dove orchid, and (my favorite so far) the white egret orchid that really does look like an egret in flight. Mother nature has outdone herself with these orchids.

With 800 known genera, over 25,000 individual species, and 100,000 known hybrids and cultivars, orchids (which belong to the Orchidaceae family) make up one of the most diverse groups of flowering plants in the world. Orchids are definitely the largest group of flowering plants. They are found everywhere. Well, just about — as they can’t survive the climate in Antarctica. Therefore, it’s not surprising to find some orchids that appear unique in their shape, size, and color — even looking like birds. These are the orchids that intrigue me the most.

Here’s a few for you to consider, while I decide which ones to add to my orchid collection.

Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)Virginia McMillan // Flickr

This is probably the most common orchid. It’s sold almost anywhere and is prolific in indoor garden collections. With wide, flat, dark leaves, mostly positioned opposite to each other, Phalaenopsis sport tall stems of flowers with wide, flat petals. These flowers can last up to three months, sometimes longer. I know mine are prolific for months before going into a dormant stage.

The name moth orchid is interesting. When first observed, the naturalist who found them in their native habitat in Southeast Asia was looking at the flowers through his field glasses. He mistook the orchids to be a group of moths because of their large white petals. Of course, these moth orchids come in a wide variety of colors, but the initial sighting was of white moth orchids.

Duck Orchid (Caleana major)Boaz Ng // flickr

This is an interesting name for an orchid whose flower actually looks like a flying duck. Sadly, this orchid can only be grown in Australia. It has nothing to do with one’s ability to duplicate the growing environment in order to bring an outdoor plant indoors. The problem is quite simple: There is a special kind of fungus specific to Australia, and this orchid needs the fungus to survive. Symbiotically, the fungus needs the flower of the Caleana major. The orchid needs the fungus and the fungus needs the orchid.

The duck orchid grows to about 20 inches in height and supports a single reddish, narrow leaf (about five inches long), often with spots at the base of the leaf. A thin steam supports up to five flowers, also a shiny, reddish-brown, though there are rare instances where the flower is greenish with dark spots. With a labellum (less than an inch in length) which resembles the head of the duck on a thin neck, and the column with broad wings, the appearance reminds one of a duck. There are sites that offer for sale the flying duck orchid bulbs, but remember, this is a symbiotic plant that will only survive in a special ecosystem found in Australia.

Dove Orchid (Peristeria elata)John D. // flickr

Native to Panama (their national flower), Venezuela and Ecuador, this orchid is considered rare. It was given the name Peristeria after the Greek word for dove. The flower has the appearance of a dove descending from heaven, hence the other names: Holy Ghost orchid or flower of the Holy Spirit (flor del Espiritu Santo). It’s quite tall, with 3-foot spikes supporting 4-foot elongated leaves (usually four) and 1½-inch cup-shaped flowers, with the dove figure appearing in the center. The base of the bulb produces 4 to 12 flowers, all a pure white color with purple spots and yellow anther and pistil. The flower has a strong fragrance very similar to that of beer, and with its thick, waxy petals, these flowers last a long time.

The good thing is that the dove orchid is easy to grow. Pot it in a moist peat, moss-based soil in 4-inch pots. When the plant flowers, give it more water, specifically at the roots.

White Egret Orchid (Habenaria radiata)TokyoViews // flickr

As the name suggests, the white egret orchid is a very elegant and beautiful orchid. This orchid is native to Japan, Korea, and Russia and earned its name because it does look like a white, snowy egret in flight. Its feathery fringed flower petals add another level of elegance, earning it one of its many names: fringed orchid. Its Japanese name, sagisō, comes from its allocation as the official flower of Setagaya Ward of Tokyo.

The white egret orchid is a hardy orchid, found in wetlands and bogs, preferring full sun or part shade. It also does well in pots, so it can be a welcome and fascinating addition to one’s indoor orchid collection — which is a good thing because it’s an endangered orchid in its natural environment. It grows up to 12 inches in height with very large, 1½-inch wide flowers. It’s a late bloomer, but once it does, it’s prolific, often with more than 12 white blossoms on one flower spike. And, it blooms for weeks.

Bird’s Mouth Orchid (Orthoceras strictum)Saxon Vinkovic // Wikimedia Commons

The Orthoceras strictum orchid is native to New Zealand, Australia, and New Caledonia. Listed as a rare and endangered species in Tasmania, this orchid grows well in a wide range of environments including mallee scrub and shrublands, heaths, and open grassy forests. Like most orchids, it grows 2 to 5 straight leaves from the base of the plant and it can produce up to nine flowers at a time.

The flowers, yellowish-green to brown and sometimes black in color, have a central oval, hooded over tiny petals. The overall appearance of the flower suggests a baby bird with its mouth open anticipating feeding time. Hence the name, bird’s mouth orchid.

Western Bearded Greenhood Orchid (Pterostylis barbata)Gnangarra // Wikimedia commons

Another treasure of Australia, this orchid is simply labeled as a bird orchid, and it certainly lives up to its name. The single translucent white flower with dark green veins is also known as a bearded orchid due to its labellum which is just under an inch in length and feather-like with a few yellow, thread-like branches giving it the appearance of a beard. With a rosette of leaves at the base of the plant and up to 20 stem leaves, every stem supports one flower. In profile, this single flower looks like a bird ready to take flight.

And I’m sure there are more bird-shaped orchids. There are certainly other anomalies seen in orchid flowers: monkeys, lions, bees, and even ghosts. All we need is a little imagination and we can see almost anything in the shape of the flower, if we look more closely. Mother Nature enjoys playing around with her treasures.

So which one do I add to my collection? That is a tough decision. I’d have to say the white egret orchid is the most graceful and would definitely be a good conversation piece — I do like to talk about my orchids. The dove orchid would also be unique. Hmm! Decisions. I suppose the bottom line is which one can I import from the other side of the world and successfully integrate into my indoor orchid sanctuary. If you could choose any of the bird orchids, which one would it be?

Jackery 1500 Solar Generator: The PERFECT Generator for Apartment Dwellers and Small Homes

Organic Prepper - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 12:07

If you live in an apartment or another small space, you may think that having a generator is completely out of the cards for you. I move around a lot and certainly never expected to have one. But the Jackery 1500 Solar Generator is absolutely perfect for small space living.

Full Disclosure: I received this generator in return for an honest review. This article is about my actual experience using the Jackery in multiple situations.

Why is the Jackery 1500 Solar Generator so good for small spaces?

I live in a 600 square foot apartment in the city, and I’m currently working on a guide for small space and urban prepping. This is an addition that takes up very little space in your home or apartment. Here is a photo of mine in the morning. It was charging devices all night and running a lamp for a few hours while I was reading. It will be tucked behind my nightstand and remain plugged in for storage.

That’s the other super-cool thing: according to the instructions, you can leave it plugged in all the time. That means when an emergency strikes, it’s charged to 100% and ready to go. The solar panels fold completely flat and slide easily and safely into the back of your closet or under a bed. You want to make sure not to put anything on top of the solar panels, so take care if you’re putting them under the bed.

The panels are incredibly lightweight. They have a kickstand velcro-ed to the back, and a zipper pocket containing the cord that connects your panels to the generator. That means you don’t have to worry about losing essential equipment.

It’s safe to use indoors and completely quiet. While it’s charging you hear a little fan noise but once it’s charged, it sits there silently, waiting for your emergency.

3 ways to charge this generator

There are three ways to charge this little generator.

  1. Plug it into the wall
  2. Plug it into your car charger
  3. Use solar power.

Plugging the Jackery 1500 Solar Generator into the wall, it took about 3 hours to charge to 100%. Our weather hasn’t been super bright and sunny here but even in partly cloudy conditions, it charged in about 7 hours outside on my patio. I only used two panels, but it comes with 4, which would make it charge a lot faster.

I haven’t tried using a car charger, but it comes with the adapter to do so. My daughter said this would have been amazing to have with her when she was stuck on I95 for 16 hours. So I’m planning to make it part of my travel kit as well.

Using the Jackery 1500 Solar Generator

I tested Jackery 1500 Solar Generator in multiple ways, some for a real emergency, and some for comfort and convenience.

  • Charging devices: I charged my laptop and phone overnight and that took the battery from 100% to 96%. When I got up, my devices were fully charged.
  • Making coffee: (Yes, I also have a French press but I wanted to test this.) I made a cup of coffee from my little single-serving coffee maker. This used 4% of the battery. Running plain water through a machine like this would make it hot enough for instant oatmeal or instant noodles in an emergency.
  • Using the microwave: 5 minutes in a 700-watt microwave used 4% of the battery.
  • Running an air purifier: My daughter’s air purifier uses 40 watts. This was the closest appliance I could find that compared to a CPAP machine.  According to this, most CPAP machines use 30-60 watts. After 21 hours straight of running the air purifier, the generator went from 91% down to zero, so a full charge is definitely enough to power your CPAP overnight.

I don’t have a small bar fridge or appliance like that, so I couldn’t test that. However, I believe this would be good to run a bar fridge part-time, taking time out to recharge. An older bar fridge runs on 805 watts but a newer Energy Star bar fridge uses 100-200 watts. (source)

Other items we used with the Jackery were the TV, the internet router (YASSS to internet during a power outage), a fan, and a table lamp. The only thing it didn’t work with was my daughter’s ancient freezer – that sucker is OLD. I don’t know if it was incompatible or too much of a draw. The Jackery shuts off automatically if the draw is more than 1500 watts.

It has 3 three-prong AC electrical outlets, 2 USB outlets, and a c-type outlet.

Photo Credit:

The cons to the Jackery 1500 Solar Generator

I honestly found very few cons to this device. Because I don’t have any medically essential needs for electricity, for me this is more of a prepping luxury item but it would make a power outage so much easier to deal with. Just being able to run a fan in the summer would be an incredible boon to your comfort level. And because I work online, it would be nice to be able to still connect to the internet and keep my devices working.

For those with medical problems that require electronic solutions, I think a generator like this with a renewable power source is essential.

The solar panels are not waterproof. So if it begins to rain, you need to get your stuff inside ASAP and dry it off carefully.

Should you get a Jackery 1500 Solar Generator?

This is a big purchase, and I always recommend putting a lot of thought into large purchases. After testing this out in multiple ways, I would absolutely buy one if it was within my budget. It would be the difference between misery and moderate comfort during a power outage in hot weather. For apartment dwellers, alternative cooking methods are a little trickier than for those with independent houses and this would provide what you need for heating up some food.

Photo Credit:

So, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you afford it?
  • Do you or does a family member have a legitimate medical need for it?
  • Are you in an area with frequent power outages?
  • Will this provide enough power for your NEEDS? (Notice I said needs, not wants.)
  • Do you spend time off-grid regularly?

If the answers to these questions are yes, then I highly recommend the Jackery 1500 Solar Generator. I’m about the least techie person on earth and I found this incredibly easy to use.

It was effective, efficient, simple to use, and perfect for my little apartment. If you’re interested, go here to check them out.

What are your thoughts?

Have you ever used a solar generator? Is it something you’d consider? What needs would you want to fulfill with a generator? Let’s chat about it in the comments.



The post Jackery 1500 Solar Generator: The PERFECT Generator for Apartment Dwellers and Small Homes appeared first on The Organic Prepper.

Out Back with Jack – Epi-3016

Survival Podcast - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 11:16
Today we are back after our holiday shutdown with an episode of  “Outback with Jack”.  These podcasts will be generated though back porch (weather permitting) live steam sessions done early early in the morning.  That will be approximately 0730-0830 CST. … Continue reading →

Quebec Taxing Un-You-Know-What People At Least $100/Month

Organic Prepper - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 07:39

Quebec has now decided that if you don’t have the jab, you are to be treated like a criminal and fined on a per month basis.

It was January 11, 2022, that Quebec’s Premier Francois Legault made this proclamation, stating, “I think right now it’s a question of fairness for the 90% of the population who made some sacrifices. I think we owe them this kind of measure.”

Everybody else has sacrificed their future and their children. You must too. You know, for the good of the collective.

That’s quite a mindset, is it not? The notion that you and your cronies think you have some semblance of a right to force your will on a group of people you don’t like simply because you don’t like them? And all under the thin veil of “fairness” – because, after all, there’s an underlying theme of morality on your side, right?

Aldous Huxley said it best…

This is where sadism seeks a harvest of pleasure from the population at large.

Quebec’s Legault would go on to say, “We are working on a health contribution for all the adults who are refusing to get vaccinated.” A contribution? Are you serious? This is anything but a ‘contribution’. Yet this type of wordsmithing should come as no surprise to any who have studied the history of collectivism. “It’s just a shower.”

A thinly veiled guise of charity does not disguise the act of the robber.

Not all Québécois and Quebec residents are on board with this. The Canadian Civil Liberties Union says this is “an intrusion on bodily autonomy.”

If only the AMERICAN Civil Liberties Union felt the same way.

This is only going to escalate.

What happens when the $100 tax doesn’t work? Will it be a $500 tax? $1000? $50,000?

And what happens when freedom-loving Canadians refuse to bow the knee to tyranny and still won’t comply – regardless of the price of the tax? Mass arrests? What happens when mass arrests don’t work? Do you see the cycle here?

Collectivism requires totalitarianism to (pretend to) function by default.

Man naturally resists others’ attempts to bound him in chains. When the slave-policies of collectivism don’t work, severe punishments follow. And when those more severe policies don’t work, an even harsher punishment awaits.

This is the nature of collectivism – whether your flavor be socialist, communist, or fascist.

It is the brainwashing of society to believe absurdities, which causes them to be capable of committing atrocities. It’s this othering of other segments of society that causes people to believe that whatever they do is morally justified.

It’s this type of belief that’s leading to children being barred from receiving cancer treatments (also in Canada).

“What we’re doing is protecting the safety of everybody in the house.”

Sacrifice the innocent, the defenseless – those who can’t speak for themselves – in order to protect the collective. That is the message here.

When evil has taken such deep root in the minds of the Karens of the world, can we expect anything less? If refusing to treat cancer-stricken children is now an act of moral integrity, where do we go from here? What other acts can then be justified?

Keep in mind that within the short space of two years you’ve witnessed friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family members go absolutely insane. We’ve gone from a relative peace with one another to the above within two short years. Where will we be within the next two? How much further will we fall?

The goalposts will continue to move.

We’ve pointed this out before here at The Organic Prepper. About how you can play a tyrant’s game but you can never win. It’s worth pointing out that Quebec has already restricted peoples’ freedom of movement. They have a nightly curfew in effect that starts at 10PM and lasts till 5AM.

People complied. Now, they’re about to be fined at least $100/month. Now, their children are being kicked out of hospitals.

And, again, the goalposts will continue to move.

Canada is not alone in this type of thinking, by the way.

Many other parts of the world are facing similar policies. Consider Greece, where those over 60 are soon to be charged 100 euros/month if they aren’t jabbed. Italy has decided to top that with a fine of 1600 euros/month for those over 50. And once more, beloved Austria is not to be outdone in human rights violations. It is there that all those over 14 will soon be charged 3600 euros/month.

If you are an American, this is what is coming. Do not deceive yourself. The rumors are true. You will be forced to watch your children be barred from hospitals. You will be refused access to grocery stores. You will lose your jobs (if you haven’t already). Your insurance will be canceled.

What happens when your mortgage is called in? When CPS decides it’s their job to police your child’s inoculation status? Do you see how much more room they have to push this?

This isn’t about spewing doom and gloom. This is about looking at the hard realities around you, drawing conclusions as to what form of tyranny comes next.

And you aren’t going to like it.

(For information on how to get prepared, check out our free QUICKSTART Guide.)

What are your thoughts?

Do you agree with this “tax” on the unvaxxed? Do you expect to see similar actions taken in the United States? Do you have a plan for this? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

About Jeff

Jeff Thompson is an avid fisherman who likes to spend time sailing on his boat and reading while at sea.

The post Quebec Taxing Un-You-Know-What People At Least $100/Month appeared first on The Organic Prepper.