food gardens

The Green Suite Of Chicago Offering Window Farming For Beginners, DIY Solar Electricity Classes In March

Nick Conrad and The Green Suite of Chicago (first blogged about here in January 2014) will be offering instruction in “window farming” and solar electricity next month. From their website:

DIY Solar Electricity
Thursday, March 2, 2017
7:00pm -9:00pm
Green House Loft (map)

Class Info

Wouldn’t it be awesome to harness your own electricity from the sun? Solar energy is green, silent and a lot easier to build than you think.

This DIY class will cover the basics of electricity as well as how to design, build, and install your own solar panel system. In addition to solar electricity, we will discuss other sources of renewable energy such as wind and geothermal power. The class concludes with hands-on experience assembling part of an actual solar panel.

You will walk away from this course with the basic knowledge needed to start generating your own solar energy at home…and for a lot less money than you thought!

As I type this, 11 spots are still open for the class. Cost is only $30.

Regarding that window farming class:

Window Farming for Beginners
Sunday, March 5, 2017
3:00pm-5:00pm
Green House Loft (map)

Class Info

Have you always wanted to start a garden but don’t have the space or knowledge? Window farming is inexpensive and easy way to grow your own food right in your window! Constructed from recycled materials, window farms are perfect for small apartments with limited space.

The class consists of a 1hr introduction to the basics of hydroponics, window farming and seed cultivation followed by a thirty-minute workshop. In the workshop you will make a small hydroponic planter to take home with you. Each student should bring one empty plastic bottle. (12-32oz is best)

Anyone can learn how to grow fresh, organic food, hydroponically. Enroll today and you’ll learn how to grow your own food, save money and turn trash into treasure!

What to bring

Each student should bring one empty plastic bottle. (12-32oz is best)

As I type this, 11 spots are still open for the class. Cost again is only $30.

For more information about the instruction and how to enroll, head over to The Green Suite website here. You can also register for classes on the Dabble Chicago website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about any instruction is not to be construed as being a recommendation from this blog and its editor, unless specifically indicated. I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 Agriculture, Energy, Farming, Food, Preparedness, Training, Utilities Comments Off on The Green Suite Of Chicago Offering Window Farming For Beginners, DIY Solar Electricity Classes In March

Project Prepper, Part 41: 2016 Status Report

Last week in the “Project Prepper” series of posts I recapped what the series is all about for those who didn’t already know.

Today, I’m going to talk about where the project stands a little over three years in the works.

Originally, I decided my preparedness education and activities would focus on a prioritized list of six “innate survival needs” (hat-tip Jack Spirko @ The Survival Podcast). That included:

1. Security
2. Water
3. Food
4. Shelter
5. Sanitation and Health
6. Energy

In May 2015, I split up “Security” into “Physical Security” and “Financial Security” (following Spirko’s lead). The revised list now looks like this:

1. Physical Security
2. Financial Security
3. Water
4. Food
5. Sanitation and Health
6. Energy
7. Shelter

After its adoption I blogged on May 20, 2015:

“Physical Security” is still priority number one because I predict the push for more gun “control” will continue while crime simultaneously gets worse. “Financial Security” breaks into the list at number two because the most likely disaster I see on the horizon is an economic one. “Shelter” now brings up the rear as I’ve completed that move from my Chicago apartment to a house in the suburbs (plus there’s my family’s place in Wisconsin where I spend time).

In my last “status report” (December 10, 2014), I wrote:

Decent strides have been made in the area of security… Physical security on the exterior/interior of the new house has been improved, particularly with landscaping, lighting, and locks. Personal safety gear, supplies, and tools have been acquired, with training having commenced a few years back.

Concerning water, the foundation for an emergency water supply is now in place. While utilizing some water storage containers I had prior to this project, I’ve acquired additional containers. To maintain the quality of the water for an extended period of time, I purchased aerobic stabilized oxygen. I’ve also kept a couple of cases of bottled drinking water on hand, along with an emergency water containment system that holds up to 100 gallons of fresh water in a bathtub standing by in the wings. At present, my girlfriend and I have close to a week-and-a-half supply of emergency water each (based on federal government guidelines of one gallon per person per day). Even though this is significantly more than Uncle Sam’s 72-hour recommendation, I’m not comfortable with this amount.

Concerning food, the foundation for an emergency food supply is also in place. Taking advantage of price drops and gift cards, my girlfriend and I scored a relatively-inexpensive 1-week supply of high-quality freeze-dried meals each. Like with the water though, I’d like to increase that amount commensurate with the potential emergencies I’ve identified.

Concerning shelter, purchasing that house last spring was a pretty big “prep.” And it was certainly an improvement over the multi-family housing arrangement where my girlfriend and I used to live. As much as I love the city of Chicago and would have liked to stay in our northwest side neighborhood, my girlfriend and I are much better off here in a close-by suburb, all things considered.

Concerning sanitation/health, not much work has been done in this area yet. As health is concerned, I’ve acquired a good deal of basic first aid supplies and instructional material in the last couple of years. But it’s been too long since I’ve had any training in this area. It’s one of my goals in 2015 to complete an American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED class and build a comprehensive first aid kit- as well as having the knowledge/skills to use it. In addition, while working around the house has been good for the body, I really need to improve my physical fitness. Not only will it help me cope with the difficult times I see coming down the pipeline, but hopefully it will keep me from having to rely on our floundering health care system as much as possible.

On sanitation, an unforeseen (and somewhat costly) improvement was carried out late last year on our sewer line going from the house. I’ll spare readers the details, but a new cleanout was added on the front of the home, and with it, a check valve. Should the city’s sewer system fail for any reason (extended power grid failure?), the valve should prevent sewage from backing up into our house and through the toilets. At least, that’s how I understand it should work. When it comes to people having to “go to the bathroom” in an extended grid-down scenario and dealing with the waste, I’m already researching a number of possible solutions.

Finally, as energy is concerned, for short-term blackouts I’ve been looking at portable generators to use at first until my girlfriend and I can afford a standby generator that can be hooked up to the natural gas line coming into the house. I’m also exploring if we can’t utilize renewable sources of energy somehow. I really hope so, because it’s probably what we’ll be forced to turn to in a long-term grid-down situation. That being said, we are limited by what we can use due to our location in a major metropolitan area.

So that’s where I stand with “Project Prepper” as 2014 draws to a close. Decent progress has been made in tackling those “innate survival needs,” but there’s still a lot more work that needs to be done. Hopefully, time and money will be on my side in the new year.

“Hopefully, time and money will be on my side in the new year.”

Regrettably, “time and money” were not on my side. That being said, I was able to make some progress on “Project Prepper.” Going down that revised list of “innate survival needs”:

1. Physical Security: Additional lighting has been added around the property to illuminate the exterior of the house. More personal safety tools and gear have been acquired, along with training material purchased from affiliate marketing partner Paladin Press.

2. Financial Security: No progress, although efforts have been ongoing since 2004. More on this another time.

3. Water: Additional water storage containers have been purchased and acquired. I bought one Reliance Products Aqua-Pak 5 Gallon Rigid Water Container
via Amazon.com to try out (review forthcoming), and have been stockpiling empty 2-liter plastic bottles.

4. Food: Nothing’s been added to the existing emergency food supply. Although regular readers of Survival And Prosperity might remember the “experimental” food garden my girlfriend and I grew last year using heirloom seeds from My Patriot Supply’s Survival Seed Vault.

Cucumbersaurus Revisited

Cucumbersaurus Revisited: It was DELICIOUS, by the way

ANY CHARACTER HERE

Despite a number of rookie mistakes and other challenges, I’d say it was a success, and I can’t wait to grow another, more expanded one this year.

5. Sanitation and Health: I wasn’t able to take that American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED class and build a comprehensive first aid kit in 2015 like I wanted to. I have started a new workout regimen though in an effort to improve my physical fitness. I blogged back on August 26, 2015:

As for the standards I’m shooting for, I’m leaning towards those embraced by Blackwater, Inc. Founder and former CEO Erik Prince talked about them in his recently published book entitled Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror:

Our employees may have been retired from the military, but Blackwater didn’t hire your typical “retiree.” After the eight-week Moyock training programs that turned those veterans into diplomatic security professionals, our final physical fitness test standards required men to run one and a half miles in less than ten minutes, forty-five seconds; execute twelve pull-ups in a row, seventy-five push-ups done in two one-minute sets, and seventy-five sit-ups in two one-minute sets; and drag a 175-pound dummy eighty feet in under one minute

(Editor: Bold added for emphasis)

6. Energy: No progress.

7. Shelter: No progress. But to be fair, the house in the Chicago suburbs was a pretty substantial prep.

I’m disappointed I didn’t accomplish more since that December 2014 status report. Particularly as I believe time is ticking before the “balloon goes up.” From this point on, I’ll need to get “time and money” back on my side to keep “Project Prepper” moving forward. I’m up to the challenge.

More next week…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 Emergencies, Energy, Firearms, Food, Gardening, Gear, Gun Rights, Health, Medicine, Preparedness, Project Prepper, Sanitation, Security, Self-Defense, Shelter, Supplies, Training, Water Comments Off on Project Prepper, Part 41: 2016 Status Report

Project Prepper, Part 39: Food Garden Latest

Last time I published a “Project Prepper” post, I discussed how I planted a small food garden back in late June using some non-GMO heirloom seeds from Salt Lake City-based My Patriot Supply. I was pleased the seeds from the Survival Seed Vault were actually germinating, and the food garden producing. In that September post, I noted cucumbers had already been harvested, and “everything else looks well on its way (fingers crossed!)”

Well, here’s what’s transpired since then…

The weather’s been pretty decent except for a cold spell that lasted a couple of days (ended yesterday) and not much rain (I’ve been pretty religious about watering the food garden however). Even nicer weather is supposed to be headed our way.

As such, a good portion of the raised bed behind my garage has become a tangled green “mess.” I wrote on September 23:

I planted those cucumber and watermelon seeds in 2 different “mounds” (12 inch diameter) with 3 seeds per mound (a couple of inches apart). Based on the significant growth that’s taking place, I’m pretty sure the size of those mounds and spacing between the seeds should have been quite a bit larger.

Now I know for sure that the size of those mounds and spacing between seeds should have been larger. I fear I “suffocated” growth in that area of the food garden as a result.

A couple of watermelons were growing pretty rapidly in the raised garden bed. The local wildlife claimed two of them. Two more were really beginning to fill out when I did something stupid. In an attempt to raise them off the ground a little bit to protect them from critters, I must have bent the joints (where the melon attached to the vine?) too much, causing them to break completely off the plant shortly thereafter. I was left with two small, unripe watermelons as a result.

Small Watermelons

As these Crimson Sweets were supposed to reach 24 pounds on average, looking at those tiny melons I couldn’t help but think of that scene from the 1984 film This Is Spinal Tap where the rock band commissions a Stonehenge set but mistakenly asks for a model with a height of 18 inches instead of 18 feet. Comical stuff.


“This is Spinal Tap- Stonehenge scene”
(Warning! Language)
YouTube Video

Now, I have had further success with the food garden. Particularly in the sweet corn department. Last week, I harvested a couple of ears of corn. They were delicious- even thought I suspect they may have been just a tad overripe. I usually eat sweet corn with butter slathered all over it. Not this time! It was great plain.

First Sweet Corn

Alas, certain inhabitants of our “wildlife refuge” (my guess is the squirrels) also have discovered how good garden-fresh corn is, and the remaining unripe ears are now history. Along with the stalks. Vicious bastards.

One last thing. By late summer I noticed a good deal of discoloration among a number of corn stalk and cucumber leaves. It’s especially more pronounced with the cucumber plants, where leaves turned yellow to brown, dried out, and eventually shriveled off- but the actual cucumber wasn’t affected. I’ll definitely be looking into why this is going on.

That’s it for now. I like to refer to the small food garden as the “experimental” garden. I knew from the onset that there would be ups and downs associated with it. And sure enough, that’s been case with this project. Still, it’s producing (would have liked a watermelon however) and the knowledge I’m gaining from actually growing a food garden has been substantial.

More soon…

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 Agriculture, Food, Gardening, Preparedness, Project Prepper Comments Off on Project Prepper, Part 39: Food Garden Latest

Project Prepper, Part 38: Food Garden And Survival Seeds Update

Back on March 30, I blogged about starting a food garden. From that post:

I hope to achieve a number of things from this food garden:

• Better nutrition
• Better health
• Improved food security

I went into more detail about that garden on April 27. I wrote:

I purchased heirloom seeds put together by My Patriot Supply, an affiliate marketing partner of Survival And Prosperity (discussed here). In particular, I purchased a flagship product of theirs called the Survival Seed Vault. From the website of the now Salt Lake City, Utah-based “Patriot Owned Survival Store”:

The Survival Seed Vault contains only the highest quality heirloom vegetable survival seeds. These Patriot Seeds are 100% Non-GMO, open-pollinated and placed in specially sealed packets allowing for long term storage…

• 20 varieties of hardy heirloom survival seeds passed down from our forefathers.
• Survival seeds rated for 5+ years of storage at 75F, longer at lower temperatures.
• No hybrids, GMOs, or outdated survival seeds. All harvested seeds are reusable.
• Each seed bank is hand-inspected and packed by our American staff to ensure quality.
• Includes detailed survival seed saving guide.

Survival Seed Vault contents

Survival Seed Vault contents

ANY CHARACTER HERE

In that April post I mentioned “I plan on starting small with the food garden.” And that’s what I did. In June, my girlfriend and I prepped two areas in our fenced-in backyard which receive lots of sunlight. The first consisted of an existing raised bed along the east-facing rear wall of our garage, while the second was originally part of our lawn, in which grass was removed and transplanted elsewhere. In both areas, my girlfriend and I mixed in Dr. Earth-brand organic soil to the existing soil, along with some peat moss.

On June 27, the following went into this concoction within the raised bed:

• Scarlet Nantes Carrot- about two dozen or so heirloom seeds of over 800 provided in the Survival Seed Vault
• Marketmore Cucumber- 3 heirloom seeds of over 150 provided
• Golden Bantam Sweet Corn- 8 heirloom seeds of over 250 provided
• Crimson Sweet Watermelon- 3 heirloom seeds of over 60

Ringing this all in was a plastic safety fence donated by my girlfriend’s sister stapled to several scrap wood “posts,” with a few marigolds strategically placed within to help deter rodents (or so I’m told).

Into the other garden bed (not raised) went two blueberry and two raspberry plants, also with a number of marigolds “protecting” them.

Food garden- July 2015

Food garden- July 2015

ANY CHARACTER HERE

Here’s how everything’s been working out so far:

• We initially lost a number of seeds/seedlings to the “wildlife refuge” on our property. That includes a bunch of carrots, 3 sweet corns, and 1 cucumber. I only replaced those 3 sweet corn seeds (about 2 weeks later).
• Animals managed to chew several openings in the plastic safety fence and take 2 small watermelons (as far as I can tell). Chicken wire is a better fencing option.
• The marigolds have been doing great. So good I think they’re interfering with the growth of the raspberry plants.
• I planted those cucumber and watermelon seeds in 2 different “mounds” (12 inch diameter) with 3 seeds per mound (a couple of inches apart). Based on the significant growth that’s taking place, I’m pretty sure the size of those mounds and spacing between the seeds should have been quite a bit larger.

Despite all the above, the food garden is producing. Right now, only cucumbers have been harvested, and they’re delicious!

Cucumbersaurus

Cucumbersaurus- when you let these babies grow!

ANY CHARACTER HERE

While there’s been nothing from the blueberry/raspberry plants, everything else looks well on its way (fingers crossed!).

Food garden- September 2015

Food garden- September 2015

ANY CHARACTER HERE

Hopefully, The Old Farmer’s Almanac forecast of above-average warmth for the area in September and October holds.

I’ll report back on the food garden in a later “Project Prepper” post.

In the meantime, I’m pleased to know I can grow something else besides that lima bean plant from Mrs. Muldoon’s 3rd grade class.

In all seriousness though, I’m grateful for the knowledge towards achieving food security this experience is providing me.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 Agriculture, Food, Gardening, Preparedness, Project Prepper Comments Off on Project Prepper, Part 38: Food Garden And Survival Seeds Update

The Green Suite Of Chicago Offering Window Farming For Beginners, DIY Solar Electricity Classes

Nick Conrad and The Green Suite of Chicago (first blogged about here in January 2014) will be offering instruction in “window farming” and solar electricity in the coming weeks. From their website:

Window Farming for Beginners
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
7:00pm-9:00pm
The Green Suite (map)

Class Info

Have you always wanted to start a garden but don’t have the space or knowledge? Window farming is inexpensive and easy way to grow your own food right in your window! Constructed from recycled materials, window farms are perfect for small apartments with limited space.

The class consists of a 1hr introduction to the basics of hydroponics, window farming and seed cultivation followed by a thirty-minute workshop. In the workshop you will make a small hydroponic planter to take home with you. Each student should bring one empty plastic bottle. (12-32oz is best)

Anyone can learn how to grow fresh, organic food, hydroponically. Enroll today and you’ll learn how to grow your own food, save money and turn trash into treasure!

What to bring

Each student should bring one empty plastic bottle. (12-32oz is best)

As I type this, 10 spots are still open for the class. Cost is only $30.

Regarding that solar electricity class:

DIY Solar Electricity
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
7:00pm -9:00pm
The Green Suite (map)

Class Info

Wouldn’t it be awesome to harness your own electricity from the sun? Solar energy is green, silent and a lot easier to build than you think.

This DIY class will cover the basics of electricity as well as how to design, build, and install your own solar panel system. In addition to solar electricity, we will discuss other sources of renewable energy such as wind and geothermal power. The class concludes with hands-on experience assembling part of an actual solar panel.

You will walk away from this course with the basic knowledge needed to start generating your own solar energy at home…and for a lot less money than you thought!

As I type this, 10 spots are still open for the class. Cost is once again only $30.

For more information about the instruction and how to enroll, head over to The Green Suite website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: Posting of information about any third-party instruction is not to be construed as being a recommendation from Survival And Prosperity and its editor, unless specifically indicated. I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein.)

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Thursday, September 10th, 2015 Agriculture, Energy, Farming, Food, Preparedness, Training Comments Off on The Green Suite Of Chicago Offering Window Farming For Beginners, DIY Solar Electricity Classes

The Green Suite Of Chicago Offering Window Farming For Beginners, DIY Solar Electricity Classes In May

Here’s the latest instruction being offered by Nick Conrad over at The Green Suite in Chicago (first blogged about here back in January 2014). From the Dabble website:

Window Farming for Beginners with The Green Suite
Gardening Classes in Chicago

Class Info

Have you always wanted to start a garden but don’t have the space or knowledge? Window farming is inexpensive and easy way to grow your own food right in your window! Constructed from recycled materials, window farms are perfect for small apartments with limited space.

The class consists of a 1hr introduction to the basics of hydroponics, window farming and seed cultivation followed by a thirty-minute workshop. In the workshop you will make a small hydroponic planter to take home with you. Each student should bring one empty plastic bottle. (12-32oz is best)

Anyone can learn how to grow fresh, organic food, hydroponically. Enroll today and you’ll learn how to grow your own food, save money and turn trash into treasure!

What to bring

Each student should bring one empty plastic bottle. (12-32oz is best)

What will be provided

Hydroponic Supplies

The class is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, from 7 to 9 PM at The Green Suite (3958 N. Fremont, Apt. 3, Chicago). As I type this Tuesday morning, there’s still 8 spots left. Cost is only $30 to attend.

In addition to window farming, The Green Suite is offering instruction on solar electricity. From the Dabble website:

DIY Solar Electricity with The Green Suite
Sustainability Classes in Chicago

Class Info

Wouldn’t it be awesome to harness your own electricity from the sun? Solar energy is green, silent and a lot easier to build than you think.

This DIY class will cover the basics of electricity as well as how to design, build, and install your own solar panel system. In addition to solar electricity, we will discuss other sources of renewable energy such as wind and geothermal power. The class concludes with hands-on experience assembling part of an actual solar panel.

You will walk away from this course with the basic knowledge needed to start generating your own solar energy at home…and for a lot less money than you thought!

The class is scheduled for Wednesday, May 13, 2015, from 7 to 9 PM at The Green Suite. There are 10 spots left as I type this. Cost again is only $30 to attend.

If you’re interested in this instruction, head on over to the Dabble website here for more information and to register for a class. You can learn more about The Green Suite on their website here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 Agriculture, Energy, Farming, Food, Gardening, Preparedness, Training Comments Off on The Green Suite Of Chicago Offering Window Farming For Beginners, DIY Solar Electricity Classes In May

Project Prepper, Part 34: Food Garden And Survival Seeds

In the last “Project Prepper” post, I blogged about starting a food garden. Progress has been slow (then again, frost warnings are still going out around here in the Chicago suburbs), but at least the fruit and vegetable seeds are on their way. I purchased heirloom seeds put together by My Patriot Supply, an affiliate marketing partner of Survival And Prosperity (discussed here). In particular, I purchased a flagship product of theirs called the Survival Seed Vault. From the website of the now Salt Lake City, Utah-based “Patriot Owned Survival Store”:

The Survival Seed Vault contains only the highest quality heirloom vegetable survival seeds. These Patriot Seeds are 100% Non-GMO, open-pollinated and placed in specially sealed packets allowing for long term storage…

• 20 varieties of hardy heirloom survival seeds passed down from our forefathers.
• Survival seeds rated for 5+ years of storage at 75F, longer at lower temperatures.
• No hybrids, GMOs, or outdated survival seeds. All harvested seeds are reusable.
• Each seed bank is hand-inspected and packed by our American staff to ensure quality.
• Includes detailed survival seed saving guide.

As for the kinds of seeds contained in the “Vault,” My Patriot Supply says on their site:

Included Patriot Seeds

• Blue Lake Bush Bean – over 150 heirloom seeds
• California Wonder Bell Pepper – over 70 heirloom seeds
• Marketmore Cucumber – over 150 heirloom seeds
• Scarlet Nantes Carrot – over 800 heirloom seeds
• Parris Island Cos Romaine Lettuce – over 900 seeds
• Golden Acre Cabbage – over 530 heirloom seeds
• Detroit Dark Red Beet – over 260 heirloom seeds
• Lincoln Shell Sweet Pea – over 100 heirloom seeds
• Black Turtle Bean – over 70 heirloom seeds
• Beefsteak Tomato – over 180 heirloom seeds
• Champion Radish – over 320 heirloom seeds
• Green Sprouting Broccoli – over 500 heirloom seeds
• Waltham Butternut Winter Squash – over 100 seeds
• Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach – over 260 seeds
• Yellow Sweet Spanish Onion – over 145 heirloom seeds
• Golden Bantam Sweet Corn – over 250 heirloom seeds
• Hales Best Cantaloupe – over 70 heirloom seeds
• Snowball Cauliflower – over 285 heirloom seeds
• Black Beauty Zucchini – over 50 heirloom seeds
• Crimson Sweet Watermelon – over 60 heirloom seeds

As I mentioned in that last “Project Prepper” post, I plan on starting small with the food garden (remember- I’m new to all this). As such, I doubt I’ll be using many of the varieties of seed at first, let alone every seed contained in a pouch. Which is one of the reasons I chose the Survival Seed Vault. Their pouches are mylar, triple-layered, and resealable, where I should be able to use a few seeds at a time and put the rest back in storage.


“My Patriot Supply, Survival Seed Vault”
YouTube Video

I’ve had my eye on the Survival Seed Vault for a few years now in case the poop ever hits the fan. By purchasing one and trying to grow some of the seeds now instead of just socking away the unopened container for long-term storage, I’ll be able to evaluate the quality of these heirloom, non-GMO seeds from My Patriot Supply, start my food garden, and have the remaining Vault seeds at my disposal should a SHTF-scenario arise.

In the next couple of days, my girlfriend and I will decide which fruit and vegetable seeds from the Vault to plant this spring, taking into account their specific requirements and our ability (inability?) to meet them.

(Editor’s note: Product added to “Gear And Supplies” page)

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Monday, April 27th, 2015 Emergencies, Food, Gardening, Preparedness, Project Prepper, TEOTWAWKI Comments Off on Project Prepper, Part 34: Food Garden And Survival Seeds

Home Grown Food Summit 2015 Starts Today

Last Wednesday, I blogged about the Home Grown Food Summit 2015 being held from April 6 to 12. For those who are just learning about the free online event, from the Summit website:

30+ Leading Experts In Backyard Food Production Will Help You Become Free Of Supermarkets and Drugstores…

Here’s What You Can Expect to Learn During this Empowering FREE Global Event:

• The 6 laws of plant growth
• The easiest food source to grow
• How to know if a chicken is a good egg layer just by glancing at it
• 3 gardening techniques for those with back problems or limited mobility
• Which fish are so hardy they come back to life even after being dried out
• How to recognize the signs that a plant wants to communicate with you
• Why beginning hunters should never use a tree stand
• How to be able to identify wild plants while driving 60 mph down the road
• The 3 easiest vegetables to save seeds from
• Why the jungles of southeast Asia affect what you feed your chickens
• The health benefits of eating fermented foods
• How the size of the chicken’s comb determines if it will survive your winter
• Which plants you should never plant in an aquaponic system
• The 7 ways we change the world when we grow our own food
• How safe is pressure canning for preserving food
• The 13 weeds that can ensure you never go hungry
• Why growing heritage breeds of livestock is vital for your grand children
• How many gallons of water you need per pound of fish in a tank
• The 3 most irresistible plants that kids love growing
• The difference between pressure canning and water bath canning
• How many eggs one hen can lay in a year
• The best age to start giving children significant garden responsibility
• The biggest mistake most people make in designing permaculture guilds
• 8 reasons you’re insane if you’re not growing some of your own food
• How free compost can destroy your garden; what to watch out for and how to avoid costly mistakes
• The importance of resilience in today’s world
• How to overcome problems with walnut trees in food forests
• Why you should always start at the top of a hill when designing your water systems
• The secret to a green thumb
• What percentage of food in grocery stores is actually toxic to the human body
• 17 techniques for irrigating without piping or tanks
• An ancient indicator of true health that is still valid today
• The 7 most useful hand tools in a backyard homestead
• How to remove heavy metals from your garden soil
• What the healthiest people in history ate for dinner
• How a bowl of soup increases by $25 when you top it with this gourmet insect
• How to grow a secret garden of survival
• How many pounds of potatoes a beginner can grow in 200 ft.²
• Why the most effective form of pest-control may actually be hiding in your compost pile
• The 3 ways a rooster helps your flock of hens
• And much, more more!

Whew! Lots of good information to be obtained in the coming days at this year’s Summit.

As I’m on the verge of starting a food garden for the first time (blogged about in my last “Project Prepper” post), I was excited to learn about the Home Grown Food Summit and anxious for April 6 to finally arrive.

Early this morning, I saw an e-mail from event host Marjory Wildcraft in my inbox. From that message:

Hi Christopher,

All the presenters and myself are thrilled that you’ve chosen to take more control of your nutrition and health.

You’re here on Day 1 of The Home Grown Food Summit to learn to grow your own organic food.

The Summit, over the next seven days, will deliver practical knowledge for growing and preserving nutrient rich meat and vegetables. Food that will help you and your family grow strong, healthy and less dependent on supermarkets.

Todays Topics:

Mike Adams shows why growing your own food is vital knowledge and a skill to have. Our grandparents lived this wisdom daily.

Toby Hemenway explains a simple technique for increasing the yield of your garden by growing certain plants together.

Paul Wheaton demonstrates how to build your garden beds to save time not needing to water during the growing season.

Joel Karsten shows how to guarantee a fast start to setting seedlings out with a convenient, easy to setup straw bale container garden.

Learn more about of the highlights of what you will learn when you attend today’s events, here. The presentations will be available until 9AM EST Tuesday April 7th.

The presentations are packed with information so be sure to have a notepad handy…

A link was provided in the e-mail so I could access Day 1’s presentations.

Later this morning, I viewed two of five presentations available (Ms. Wildcraft put together one as well). The one by Mike Adams of Natural News-fame entitled “8 Reasons You Are Insane If You Aren’t Growing Some Of Your Own Food,” and Marjory Wildcraft’s “How To Produce Half Of Your Food In Your Backyard In Less Than An Hour Per Day.” I thought they were both pretty good. I already had some ideas of why I wanted to start my food garden (better nutrition, more outdoor exercise, and improved food security). Adams pointed out additional reasons why growing one’s own food might be wise in this day and age.

Wildcraft’s presentation provided me ideas for achieving food self-reliance at the Wisconsin homestead I’ve envisioned down the road. However, only that bit about a food garden is applicable in my current situation in the Chicago suburbs. That being said, Wildcraft showing how she was able to produce half her family’s food in her “backyard” in less than one hour a day was incredibly motivating.

It’s not too late to sign up for the free online event. Day 1 presentations can still be viewed until 9 AM EST Tuesday morning.

I’m finding the Home Grown Food Summit 2015 to be full of relevant and useful information. You might too. To find out more about the event and/or to register, click on the banner ad below. Please note that I receive a commission for products purchased via the event.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Higher Food Prices From California Water Restrictions?

After hearing about the new water restrictions in California, I wondered if Americans wouldn’t be seeing higher food prices (particularly on items from that state) at the grocery store as a result. Marco della Cava reported on the USA Today website yesterday:

California farmers and winemakers are not likely to feel the pinch from Wednesday’s new statewide water restrictions. Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandatory push to cut water use by 25% in the coming year is aimed largely at water-hogging homeowners and businesses.

“Water allocations to farmers have already been set for the year, so these new measures won’t really impact them,” says Doug Parker, director of the California Institute for Water Resources. “But the new rules will require increased reporting on water diversions and water use.”

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

della Cava noted:

Roughly 80% of California’s water is used by its vast network of farms. More than half of California’s agricultural crop value comes from fruit and tree nut production (around $5 billion annually) and about a quarter from commercial vegetables ($6 billion annually), representing more than 60% of total U.S. fruit and tree nut farm value and 51% of vegetable farm value, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

That’s an awful lot of agriculture that’s getting punished by the ongoing drought. The food garden I’ve started to put together is starting to sound that much better in light of what’s happening.

Adam Nagourney added on The New York Times website Wendesday:

Owners of large farms, who obtain their water from sources outside the local water agencies, will not fall under the 25 percent guideline. State officials noted that many farms had already seen a cutback in their water allocations because of the drought. In addition, the owners of large farms will be required, under the governor’s executive order, to offer detailed reports to state regulators about water use, ideally as a way to highlight incidents of water diversion or waste.

Because of this system, state officials said, they did not expect the executive order to result — at least in the immediate future — in an increase in farm or food prices

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Heesun Wee chimed in over on the CNBC website on March 30:

Sectors that will be hit significantly include agriculture and food processing, said Troy Walters, a senior economist at IHS. Beyond those two categories, the impact will be minimal in the near term. “We’re not going to see any food inflation into 2015 beyond normal as a result of the water situation,” Walters said.

Looking at some California crops specifically, 2015 regional hay prices may not soften as they are expected to in the rest of the country. There’s a good chance there will be less rice acreage overall. And tree nuts including almonds will feel more of the drought’s impact, said Brandon Kliethermes, a senior economist at HIS…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

The consensus seems to be no food price spike due to the new water restrictions.

But considering the enormity of California’s agricultural output, should arid conditions keep dragging on…

It might not be a bad idea to plant more fruits and vegetables than I originally envisioned.

Next week’s Home Grown Food Summit couldn’t have come at a better time.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

della Cava, Marco. “Farmers not as impacted by Brown’s new drought measures.” USA Today. 1 Apr. 2015. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/04/01/california-drought-measures-governor-jerry-brought-farmers/70786968/). 2 Apr. 2015.

Nagourney, Adam. “California Imposes First Mandatory Water Restrictions to Deal With Drought.” The New York Times. 1 Apr. 2015. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/us/california-imposes-first-ever-water-restrictions-to-deal-with-drought.html). 2 Apr. 2015.

Wee, Heesun. “Amid drought, some California farmers in near ‘survival mode.’” CNBC.com. 30 Mar. 2015. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/102527195). 2 Apr. 2015.

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Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 Agriculture, Farming, Food, Gardening, Government, Natural Disasters, Water, Weather Comments Off on Higher Food Prices From California Water Restrictions?

Free Online Event: Home Grown Food Summit 2015 From April 6-12

Next week, I’ll be attending the Home Grown Food Summit 2015- from the convenience of my home. From an e-mail I received this morning from Marjory Wildcraft,the “Martha Stewart of Self-Reliance” best known for her Grow Your Own Groceries DVDs:

Christopher

Welcome to Home Grown Food Summit

Thank you for registering for The Home Grown Food Summit being hosted April 6-12.

Get ready to learn the essentials of food cultivation, harvesting and storage that will prepare you to grow your more organic life.

The Summit offers 30+ presentations to help you get home grown food on your dinner table.

The Summit features the worlds leading experts in backyard food production. These people have dedicated their lives to help you re-establish the skills of organic living as the foundation of good health and environment.

The Home Grown Food Summit is free to attend.

Because we all deserve healthy food.

And while organic food is often unavailable or too expensive at the showcase displays of supermarkets, we are all capable of greater self reliance. A little bit of knowledge –tips and tricks learned from experience– will short-cut your path to being more self reliant.

Like the times that you tried to use a new app on your cell phone… Apps that were explained by a friend were so much easier to pick up.

The presentations of the Home Grown Food Summit are like that.

Here is what you can expect

Starting Monday April 6th and going through to Sunday April 12th, starting at 6:00 am EST four or five presentations will be posted.

The presentations will be up for a full 24 hours for you to watch and enjoy.

An email announcing the presentations for each day will be sent to your email inbox early each morning.

Growing food is more fun in community!

Please spread the word about the “Home Grown Food Summit” to your neighbors, co-workers, friends, and family…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

Consider the word spread.


“Home Grown Food Summit 2015 – Welcome!”
YouTube Video

Like Ms. Wildcraft said, this year the Summit is free to “attend” (view).

In addition, when you register for the event you receive four bonus e-books (.pdf format) by e-mail:

How Much Land You Need To Grow All The Food You Want
6 Ways To Keep Chickens And The Best One For You
How To Make Homemade Shampoo
Saving Seeds And Living Free

I already took a quick peek at my copies and they appear to have some pretty useful information.

Interested in attending the Home Grown Food Summit 2015? Click on the banner ad below for more information and to register. Please note that I receive a commission for products purchased via the event.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 Agriculture, Essential Reading, Food, Gardening, Livestock, Preparedness, Training Comments Off on Free Online Event: Home Grown Food Summit 2015 From April 6-12
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