Tag Archives: planting

Garden Update 5-6-17

The garden is growing. The squash and zucchini have already produced more than we can eat weekly. We just harvested our potatoes. Take a look at the garden and the veggies we have already picked.

 

(We already ate some of the potatoes before I even thought about getting pictures.)

Go. Live your life and enjoy your freedom.

Garden Update 4-24-17

This evening I picked 8 squash out of the garden.  I also started a YouTube channel and uploaded my very first Welcome to Freedom video… Its a little corny, but I am working on how to edit videos. Give me some time, and I will get better.

Please share your comments and subscribe to my YouTube Channel “Welcome to Freedom.”

 

Go, live life, and enjoy your freedom.

Thank you.

Food Storage: Prepper Style

Storing food for hard times, even the collapse of society as we know it, should be on everyone’s mind. There are more people living today than at any other 1 point in time, and there are more people now than all the people that have past, ever! With droughts, famines, severe weather, and cost of goods increasing, food will be hard to come by in the future.  How much should you store? How would you replenish your storage?

I like to watch different shows and videos talking about prepping for “doomsday,” extreme weather, collapse of society, civil unrest, and many other topics. Some of you reading the posts have experienced hard times and some have not. Those who have are more prepared to survive because of experience. Food is one of the necessary preps for other than ideal times to boost morale. But we have all seen the “preppers” that have gone overboard and ended up at the bottom of the ocean. Some individuals have stored food for 5-10 years or longer. Why? Are they using and rotating their storage so the food does not go bad or decrease in quality? I have been in houses where they owners bought so much food that they did not know what they had. Eventually, the jars of pickles turned white. Why? They bought too much, too often, and usually food they don’t even eat.

Many people say to have 3-6 months of food storage. This is fine depending on the situation. If it’s a hurricane, and you live in the coastal region that floods, then you are wasting your time and money. If you are in the midwest where tornadoes are prevalent and storing your food above ground, you are wasting your time and money. I laugh at the ideas that people have. If you are preparing for civil unrest and you live in an suburban or urban area and you are preparing to bunker in, then you better be well fortified. They riots in recent years have shown that the masses do not care if it is your property.

At any given time, we have  2-3 weeks of food. Our area is known for having wildfires and we will have to get out ASAP for that. On the other hand, the last tornado in our area has been more than 30 years.  Where we live is between a major Texas river and a ridgeline. It is rare for a tornado to hit such  spot based on geographical formations. I am not saying it will never happen, but it statistically low percentage.  Civil unrest would be the worst case for us outside a natural disaster. We do live in a neighborhood that houses are less than 150 feet apart. Also, we only have 2 ways in, not including heading out on the train tracks and crossing the train bridge. A river on the south and west sides, dense wooded area with steep terrain to our east, and a massive drainage ditch to our north,  it would not be hard to lockdown our neighborhood.  To stock up more than we could pack in our SUV and truck would be foolish.

When we leave during the initial stages, we would pick up supplies from various places that most would not think about. I do not share these ideas, nor have heard others ever mentioning these places on blogs or videos. Other preps for food we are doing is learning gardening. We are in our second year of gardening and doing quite well. We are making notes on how to improve on growing our crops, increasing the yield, and planting different vegetables that we will eat. You have to learn now to be able to have a chance later. Fishing and hunting are also ways we will be able to feed our family. I recently purchased a book, Wild Edible Plants of Texas. I will be using this book, finding the plants around us that we can pick to eat. I know this doesn’t seem that satisfying, but if it adds nutrition, then I will do it. I need to get out this summer and start looking for these plants and to try them. Remember, anything you gather, you definitely need to wash, just in case.

Now, if you are one of those that do have years of food stashed away, remember to rotate your stock so that you are not throwing money done the drain. Be aware of the possibility where you have to leave and you cannot carry all of your food storage with you. That goes for any preps.

If you have any thoughts on this, please reply to the blog to start a conversation.

Go, live life, and enjoy your freedom.

If you enjoy my posts, please follow me at https://welcometofreedomblog.wordpress.com . You do not need an account, just simply input your email to the follow field. I do not use your email for any other purpose besides for followers.

Stocking Up on Gold and Silver

 I hear many people in the Prepping World talking about you need to stock up on gold and silver for the post-apocalyptic world. Yes, over the history of mankind, people have sought out precious metals. Yes, it allows for a standard bartering system, if the system was only standardized though.

During the initial phase of the  post apocalyptic world, food, medicine, and basic survival needs will be the key focus and many will barter for them. One cannot eat precious metals. Gold and silver will not save the hungry. Stocking food, weapons, basic necessities of shelter will be the goal of survival, or at least the smart ones.

Investing in precious metals have its rewards, before the economy collapses. Bear and bull markets, I don’t understand derivatives and all the ways the market, but I do understand the bartering between two individuals of goods or services.

In Katrina, there were reports of looting for tvs, electronics, and other non-survival goods. Why? You cannot use a tv to save you from a wall of water. You cannot eat those $200 pair of Jordans. Yes, you need footwear, but that was not the purpose of the looting. People did loot for food and survival gear.

Ammo! Ammo is something that many people do stock up on for safety purposes, but so fail to see the bartering positives of it. Depending on how much you have, you can barter with ammo. Bullets are a dual purpose prep; you can use it for protection or to  hunt game. Back in the 1800’s, saloons would you ammo for drinks. How many bullets can fit into a glass, later coined a shot glass. The saloon owner, or the barkeep, would then sell the ammo for profit.

Alcohol, especially vodka, have many purposes. The obvious, to get drunk. It also can be used as mouthwash, antiseptic, insect repellent, and bartering, just to name a few. Items like this will be something  will be invaluable. With so many uses, it would be something worth it to stock up, or find early during the decline. Better yet, learn how to distill vodka. Knowing the process will be beneficial to save money now and after the stock is depleted  during the breakdown of society.

If you have any thoughts on this, please reply to the blog to start a conversation.

Go, live life, and enjoy your freedom.

If you enjoy my posts, please follow me at https://welcometofreedomblog.wordpress.com . You do not need an account, just simply input your email to the follow field. I do not use your email for any other purpose besides for followers.

Garden 4-2-17

Over the last week, we have received about 3 inches of rain. This was great since my rain barrel was down below half full. We had some plants really take off and some plants that are not.

 

I line my rows with cardboard. Has anyone used yard clippings for mulch? I am using mine for compost but looking for free material for mulch.

This is a quick update. I wasn’t  able to do much this weekend with a tournament, rain, and just being exhausted. Over the next few weeks, I hope to have some more updates showing the rapid growth of the plants. Please check my other posts in the different categories.

Go, live life, and enjoy your freedom.

 

If you enjoy my posts, please follow me on https://welcometofreedomblog.wordpress.com . You do not need an account, just simply input your email to the follow field. I do not use your email for any other purpose besides for followers.

Garden Update 3-23-17

Plants are looking good. I am waiting just a bit longer to plant the cantaloupe and watermelon. The okra is doing awesome in my seeding cups and will be transplanted to the garden bed. My cucumber plants are not looking great but they are growing. The squash and zucchini are looking good and the green beans are sprouting.

I still have plenty of jalapeno and bell pepper seedlings, but they are not growing much. My wife went ahead and bought 6 plants from the store and they are doing terrific. I am still going to try to get the seedlings to grow. You cannot have too many peppers. Salsa, pickled, and just eating them on everything.

The corn is doing fantastic. I have a few that are 10 inches tall, and the others are looking well. My potato plants are already needing another level built. I have seen blogs and Youtube videos that tell you to add dirt when they are 6 inches, but I am letting them get about a foot tall. I think the little buds are where the potatoes actually are produced. I am letting them develop before covering. I have to be cautious because potatoes exposed to the sun while growing are toxic.

I got a pump for my rain barrel, I am hoping to hook it up this weekend (and it works). I am still looking to get another water tote (or 2) in order to have plenty or water for this hotter than normal summer that is predicted. I wish I could dig a well, but I don’t have time or the money to do it. The best way for me to store water is using rain barrels hooked up to our gutter system. A cistern would be ideal, but with our septic system located in the worst spot in our yard, it would be impractical.

I recently put in the compost bin (3 x 3 x 3) and it is almost filled up. I need to make a few more so I don’t overfill the original one. I have plenty of space to put them at the end of the garden. They will serve 2 purposes; for the compost and a border of the garden.

I need to weed the garden. I want to wait so I can see if the seeds sown directly will be disturbed if weeding early. I have seen some natural weed killer, and I am going to try some of it on the fence line where I couldn’t get the tiller close enough to break apart the roots and rake them out. 1 gallon of vinegar, 2 cups of epsom salt, and a 1/4 cup of Dawn. I am probably only going to make a small batch to test out. I don’t want to waste more than I need.

I am sorry I do not have pictures. I get home at dusk and there is not enough light to get good shots. I will try to get some this weekend.

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Garden: 3-5-16

Raised rows are done on the main portion. The potatoes are coming in pretty good. I cut most of the seed potatoes in half because they had multiple eyes growing from them. The morning glory flowers are popping up at the end of my potatoes. I am leaving them just to add more color to the garden. For my trellises, I am using 2×4 field fencing held up by rebar. I had a small section of it last year that my cucumbers grew on and worked pretty well.

I planted my most of my squash, all of my zucchini, and all of my cucumber. The seedlings were too big for the grow area and needed to keep the lights low for the other seedlings that are sprouting. The seedling cups (picture right) did great! The paper cups held together long enough to be able to transplant the whole thing to the garden. The roots found their way through the bottom, which is fine because I know the paper will dissolve enough for the roots to grow deeper.  I dipped the whole cup into a bucket of water to help that process and to make sure it had enough moisture for the plant.

We had rain all weekend but it only rained about 8 tenths of an inch. Over the last month, we have had enough rain to fill 2 or more of the 330 gallon totes. I need to get at least one more to help offset the cost of watering the garden this summer.

I need to figure out how to do a gravity fed irrigation so I don’t have to hand water the garden. I think I could find something better to do with my time instead hand watering. If you have any suggestions or comments, let me know.

 

Garden 2017: Preparation Update

Seedlings are looking good. I have cucumbers, zucchini, 2 types of squash that will probably be put out into the garden this weekend. This past weekend, I built my raised rows, put in my fence for trellises, and planted my onions and the rest of my potatoes. I have 2 potato beds that I will be growing vertically. I have never done potatoes, so this should be interesting.

My mother-in-law was over for Saturday and wanting to know what I used as fertilizer last year (since she was jealous with the harvest). I said nothing, which was true. I burned some yard waste over the garden area and tilled in the ash but other than that, nothing. I have pictures of worms found in my garden, and they are MASSIVE.  She brought me 2 bags of rabbit droppings to add to my compost. I used one bag in the compost, and will use some of the other bag to fertilize around the peppers, corn and tomatoes. I didn’t do so well with peppers last year, hopefully they will yield this year.

I see the corn farmers about to start sowing, so I will get my corn going this weekend as well. I will soak them first and let them plump back up so they will be ready to plant. I will also do this with my green beans and okra. Letting them get that first little root to grow will help.

Next Post, I will have pictures of the garden.

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Thank you,

Richard

2017 Garden

I prepared my garden space by tilling and conditioning it with wood ash, sawdust, and leaves. I built the base for the potato box, since I want to build this up and not out. I have never planted potatoes but I wanted to try. I purchased some rolled fencing that has 2×3 inch rectangular holes in it for my trellis. I used a small section last year for my cucumbers, and it worked great. I was going to run rope for the plants to climb on, but as I  started with it, I noticed too much play in the rope and eventually would sag. I did not want to keep fixing it later so fencing was the next available option.

To water the garden, I purchased a 300+ gallon cube tote and hooked it up to the gutters we installed 2 years ago. We just got a couple of good rains, and the tote is overflowing. I am strongly considering purchasing at least 1 more. A couple of years ago, I bought 2 55 gallon barrels for our front flower bed. To keep them from being an eyesore, I broke apart some pallets and lined the outside of the barrel to make them to appear as wooden barrels. That was a great success. To the water tote, I will do something like that but create a “wellhouse” look to it. No one wants to look at a plastic tote that has a metal exoskeleton. Once I do this, I will document and do another post for your information.

I started my seeds 10-12 days ago. They are growing strong. I started with toilet paper rolls to be able to stick it straight into the ground without disturbing  the roots. I quickly ran out. So I improvised with paper cups I made from old bills and students’ work. I guess I could theoretically say, “I am sorry, but worms ate your work.” After seeding 300+ of them, I ran out. So I will be making more. I found bread delivery trays, and cut them shorter to fit in my grow area.

I bought a bag of strawberry plants, I have 4 viable plants growing. Hopefully the other 4 will survive (not looking good for them).  I have squash (2 variations), cucumber, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, zucchini, cantaloupe, and watermelon started. I will also plant okra, corn, green beans, onions, carrots, potatoes and tomatoes. I am getting seedlings from my mother-in-law. I may plant more, if I had time.

I haven’t decided yet, but I will more than likely line the area of the garden between the rows with old worksheets from my students to act as a weed barrier. Newspaper would be better, but who receives newspaper anymore? My school’s library don’t even receive it anymore. I have used cardboard in the past, but just don’t have enough. I will probably break them down and put in my compost. I figure if people are cardboard for worm castings, it should be fine in the compost.

I will try to find some type of mulch to use. I don’t want to use bag mulch since it is processed so much. I am looking at hay, pine needles(checking if it will make my soil to acidic) or just buy bulk mulch from a landscaping yard. If you have any suggestions, I would welcome your responses and ideas.