How to Get the Most Calories per Foot Out of Your Homestead Garden

In order to provide high-quality food for your entire family throughout the year using your garden, you have to plan well. If you grow the majority of your food at your homestead garden, this guide will help you in achieving a successful and plentiful produce. With the correct planning and use of the garden; you may yield a big amount of calories per foot to ensure food sufficiency at your home.

How to Have a Successful Yield

You need to take the following activities into consideration if you want to get enough supply from your garden.

  • Establish your goals and work towards them.

You may start by making a list of the foods which you and your family prefer while also noting the quantities. You may use a chart to make your plan better. It will guide you on how much of each of the food crops you need to grow. This also helps you to organize the garden.

  • Choose an appropriate gardening method.

It is advisable to choose an appropriate method for your gardening. The following is a list of gardening methods which will help you in yielding a great amount of calories. You may choose any that suits the nature of your garden.

  • Deep soil preparation
  • Intensive planting
  • Composting
  • Companion planting
  • Growing crops which offer sufficient calories from a small area
  • Use open-pollinated seeds
  • Growing crops for grains and carbon
  • Choosing the right food crops to grow

The following are examples of great food crops that will do well in your homestead garden with brief explanations about their benefits.

  1. Potatoes

Potatoes are a good source of both proteins and carbohydrates. They provide more carbohydrates per square foot than any other common vegetables. Potatoes also yield more protein per square foot than all other vegetables, except for beans. They can be stored for many months without any need for electricity or processing which adds to their benefits.

  1. Beans

Legumes such as beans, peas, cow-peas and lentils are nutritious, rich in protein and easy to grow. They can be stored for long periods during winter without need for electricity or processing. Different legume species do well in different conditions. It is recommended to grow many different species for a better calorie per foot yield.

  1. Corn

Corn is the most perfect grain for growing and processing on a small scale garden. The harvesting process is easy and they do not require threshing. Fresh corn is rich in vitamins C, B1 and B5. It also contains plenty of dietary fiber, manganese and phosphorous.

Sweet corn provides delicious and fresh cobs during summer and a crop of dent corn provides you corn flour.

  1. Squash

Squash are another great source of carbohydrates, vitamins C and A as well as antioxidants (carotenoids). They thrive well in most gardens.

Final Words

Staple crops are very ideal if you rely on your homestead garden to feed your family. The best staple food crops for ensuring food self-sufficiency are easy to harvest and store. They return great yields and are calorie-dense to offer your entire family the food energy they need each day.

About the Author

Jack Neely is a fitness expert, survivalist, and world traveler. He’s been in several life or death situations, and he’s making an effort to spread his knowledge around the web to help others survive these situations as well. He’s also on the content team at The Tactical Guru.

Self-Watering Seed Starter – DIY

DIY Gardening Tip

Reuse old bottles to make this clever seed starter! A great way to start off your seeds now and be ready to plant soon.


No Gutters On Your House – Create a “Drain Barrel” (Rainwater Collection System)

Picture of Gutterless Rain Barrel - DIY
DIY rainwater collection system
make your own rain collection system
water containers
drain  barrel steps
This is a great idea for capturing rainwater for your home, garden or even at your bugout location. It comes in handy in places where you may not be able to tap a well or water source directly.
I wanted to share instructions on how to build a “drain barrel” for those of you who may not have gutters on your house.  This project is most useful for those of us who have a clearly-defined gouge in our wood chips where the water pours off the roof.

Step 1:

Step 1 to build your own rainwater collection system
Purchase three cedar decking boards and screw them together in the shape of a trough. Seal all joined edges with a clear silicone caulk.

Step 2:

Step 2 to build your own rainwater collection system
Obtain containers in which the capture the rainwater; it would be best to find containers with about a 2″ opening.

Step 3:

Step 3 to build your own rainwater collection system
Line up the containers and measure the distance between the center of the containers’ openings. Leave about 1/2″ per container for expansion.  Measure the diameter of the container’s opening and use a hole saw (attached to the drill) to make holes in the trough.

Step 4:

Step 4 to build your own rainwater collection system
Purchase a 10′ length of PVC pipe. It should be slightly less in diameter than your hole. Count the number of holes and divide evenly. Cut the PVC into equal lengths.  Purchase a narrowing PVC conduit to glue to the top of your pipes.  Drill two holes in the widest part of the conduit and use a miter saw to remove the material between the holes. This will make a slit to help drain the water into the pipe and ultimately into your container.

Step 5:

Step 5 to build your own rainwater collection system
Construct some simple “feet” to attach to the ends of the trough. If you drill a hole in the middle of the end of the trough, you will be able to swivel the trough up-side-down on the lag bolt to prevent snow from weighing the trough down during the winter.  Dig a hole on both ends for the “feet”, level the trough, and add concrete to prevent the structure from moving during a hard rain.

Step 6:

Step 6 to build your own rainwater collection system
Rake the area under the trough so that you can remove the containers easily. Insert the PVC pipe, and add metal menders if you like to ensure the container’s slit stays level with the trough. When it rains, the water will be directed from the trough, into the PVC pipe and then into your container.  When the container is full, lift the PVC pipe out of the mouth of the container, remove the container, and water your plants.  When the container is empty, put it back under the trough and slip the PVC pipe back down into the mouth of the container.  If you like, you can purchase a rain barrel with which to pour the full containers.

 

Gardening Top Tip From YZS

Gardening Top Tip: Tomatoes need calcium to achieve their full flavor potential, and calcium is often greatly lacking in our soils. 95% of a dry eggshell is calcium carbonate.

When planting your tomato plants crush up (to powder) about 4 or 5 egg shells and put them in the bottom of the hole. Then plant your tomato on top. They’ll provide calcium and prevent blossom end rot.

egg shells for your garden

See Which Vegetables to Grow During Summer : Click Here

If you are looking for vegetables to grow during summer, these should be the ones you must consider. Plant Heirloom Seeds : Survival Seeds

How To Make Your Own Vertical PVC Planter

Short on space for your garden? Go vertical. Upright planters let those short on space still experience the joys of gardening. I’m so glad that there are options out there! The Owner Builder Network has put together a fantastic tutorial on how to make one of your own from PVC pipe.

Do It Yourself, How to make your own vertical garden in a small space.

Here’s a step by step guide on how to make your own vertical planter.

DIY Vertical Planter

Materials:

– Any length 100mm-150mm (4″ – 6″) diameter PVC or any other kind of pipe
– Potting mix and compost
– Plants (not large plants or bushes)
– Large pebbles of about the same size for added support/stability
– A drip irrigation pipeline (or you can simply water from the top and it will trickle down) *

Tools:
– A drill and circular drill bit OR
– A jigsaw if you don’t own the above
– A hacksaw (if pipe needs to be cut down)
– Marker pen

Materials and Tools

Important:

A minimum of 25% of your above ground height needs to be below ground, to ensure stability. e.g. if you want your planter to be a metre high then the overall length of your pipe must be 125cm (or more).

How to:

If you are using an off cut or leftover material from a previous job, then the size and height of your project have already been determined for you.

If you are buying the materials you need to decide on the height and width of the pipe. For a 100mm pipe it is recommended to have only one hole in a horizontal row so the plants have enough room for their roots to grow. For 150mm pipes you can have up to 3 holes in each horizontal row depending on which plants you choose (three holes for flowers only, the rest either one hole or two).

Using a marker pen, mark out the holes you want to cut for your plants using the guidelines above. The size of the hole directly depends on the plants type and size.

Using the markings, cut the planting holes using either a hand drill with circular drill bit or a jigsaw.

Cutting the holes...

Set up the pipe in a large pot or directly into the soil, using the pebbles for additional stability.

Set up the pipe in a large pot or directly into the soil.

Finally, put the compost and soil into your pipe and start planting.

Keep the water up to your plants and sit back and reap the rewards.

* Because the planters hold only a limited amount of soil, it is essential you keep the water up to your plants. If you are relying in watering only at the top of the pipe, you’ll find that the plants at the top will get plenty of water but those at the bottom will get a lot less dry. That’s fine if you plant accordingly, but the best solution is to insert a weeper hose into the main pipe. This can be purchased or simply made by using 1″ conduit drilled with weep holes down it’s length. Wrap this inner conduit in geo-fabric or weed-cloth to prevent it getting blocked over time.

[source]

Survival on the Cheap: Preparing for an Emergency without Losing your Savings

By Guest Blogger –  Survival Life

Being prepared for any eventuality is one of the keystones of being a survivalist. However, if you’re just starting out, it can be a little overwhelming thinking of all of the supplies you need to be ready for three days, a week, a month or even more living on your own. Being prepared doesn’t have to cost a fortune though. In fact, re-using items and finding alternative (and affordable) sources for food, clothing and other essentials goes hand-in-hand with being a prepper. It’s a more modern variation of “living off of the land.”

How to stretch your prepping dollars

If you’re looking to start building your survival stockpile, below are a few hints to help you gather everything you need without breaking the budget. (And, remember: you don’t have to buy everything at once; a better plan is to build your stockpile gradually and thoughtfully. Your ideas about what you need will evolve over time.)

Tips for preparing for an emergency on a budget

1. Learn from the couponers. Although you may be buying different items (they’re buying baby food; you’re buying beans), there’s a lot to be learned from the extreme couponing crowd. Combining coupons with store specials can net you regular savings of 30 percent or more on non-perishable food items and toiletries. Take it a step further and join the grocery and drug store reward programs and you can find things like hand sanitizer, toothpaste and a host of other items for free that you can use in your survival kit. To learn more about couponing, check out sites like the KrazyCouponLady.com.

Surplus stores, stores that sell dented cans or half lots of boxed items, can also be good places to find non-perishable food items.  Learn how to create a price binder.

2. Be a regular at estate and garage sales. Estate and garage sales are other good places to find gear and supplies. Estate sales are especially good hunting grounds, since they feature an entire house full of goods. Some sales may require that you dig around in the attic a little bit, but there are often treasures to be found at cents on the dollar. Good things to look for at such sales are water containers, camping equipment and kitchen items. Some people also find good bargains on food at such sales. (I prefer to buy food directly from the grocery or market.) If you do look at food items, be sure to check the sell-by dates.

3. Shop off-season sales. Off-season sales are another good place to find seasonal gear like camping equipment and gardening supplies at prices that are 50 percent or even 75 percent off of their original price.

4. Host your own swap meet. If you know others that are interested in the survival life, you can combine preparing your stockpile with a social night by hosting a swap meet. Have everyone bring something extra from their stockpile and let the trading begin.

Review these 70+ survival items that cost less than $5!

Being prepared for any emergency or situation doesn’t have to be expensive or all consuming. Like other aspects of life, it’s all about smart shopping and always keeping an eye out for a bargain.
About the Author
At Survival Life our mission is to provide vast array of knowledge, tactics, and skills in the survival and preparedness fields, to any and all who wish to become more prepared for whatever may come. We strive to maintain a truthful and unbiased compendium of knowledge, both in original content, product reviews and survival tips, as well as curated articles from other top survival websites. Click here to visit our site and learn more.

Researcher Find That Plant Has Water Purification Properties: Cilantro

A simple illustration of why we should keep trees and plants living on our soil…

Why we should keep trees and plants living on our soil…

Researcher Find That Plant Has Water Purification Properties: Cilantro

Commonly found in Mexican and Asian dishes, the leafy, bright green leaves of the cilantro plant might not only be tasty, but also help to purify polluted water. Scientist have recently discovered that, in developing countries, cilantro might actually help to absorb some heavy metals found in contaminated ground water.

Students, along with Professor Douglas Schauer of Ivy Tech Community College, were searching for a cheap and accessible way to filter ground water. They dried and crushed numerous wild plants while conducting their research, and found that cilantro was the most effective.

“And then we put that into a solution that has a known amount of lead in it,” Schauer said. “That’s the metal we used as our test metal. Shake it up for a little bit, and then we let the particles settle out, and then we test the water to see how much lead is left behind.”

The researchers found that their cilantro filters were successful in removing many of the pollutants, especially nickel and lead.

Biosorbents are used in environmental cleanups, and help to remove contaminants like lead, arsenic, and other harmful metals. According to the research, the outer wall structure that makes up the cilantro plant is what makes the plant perfect for absorbing the metals.

“The organic toxins we can take care of pretty easily with a number of different methods, but the only way to really get rid of those heavy metals is to treat them with filtering agents like activated charcoal (like what’s found in a Brita filter), but those types of materials are kind of expensive,” said Schauer to CNN. “They are a little expensive for us to use, but they are very expensive to the people living in that region.”

One method of purification using the cilantro filtering method is grinding up cilantro and passing water though it using a tube, which allows clean water to trickle out of the opposite end of the tube, ultimately leaving even cleaner water. Another method involves drying cilantro and putting it in tea bags, which are then placed in a pitcher of water, helping to take out some of the toxic metals.

Culinary Herb Garden Preparedness Seeds

Buy and Plant Non-GMO Heirloom Seeds

Schauer believes that, since cilantro is a common herb in poor countries, it could substantially and positively affect access to water in many developing nations.

“Our hope is for somebody who lives in that region to simply be able go in their back yard and grab a handful of cilantro, maybe let it dry out for a couple days sitting on a rock in the sun, and then maybe a handful of that would purify a pitcher of water,” he said.

 

 

[source]

How To Build Your Own Aquaponic System With Garden Scraps

You can turn a small yard, a corner in a community garden or an unused space in your home (or Bunker) into a thriving vertical farm for vegetables and fish. A household-sized vertical aquaponic system can fit into a 3ft by 5ft (1m x 2m) area and feed a family year-round.

diagram

Sean Brady, the aquaponics projects coordinator at the Center for Sustainable Aquaponics and Nourish the Planet in Loveland, Colo., showed us how to build a system from scrap he found around the greenhouse.

This is how to build Sean Brady’s low-cost vertical aquaponic system. All the photos are his, and if you have questions for him, you can contact Sean Brady here or email him at 

Materials:
You can use the following materials or swap out anything for whatever you have on hand. Brady built this system from scrap he had around the greenhouse. We’re including pictures of other, fancier systems that he built out of similar materials to show the diversity that this kind of build affords. Measurements are in feet and inches. Sorry, rest of the world.

*Pipes
15-20 ft. of 4-in. diameter PVC or ADS
Four 4-inch elbows
Four 4-inch T connectors

*Two 50-gallon drums
*15-20 ft. of pex tubing, or aquarium tubing
*Plastic cups
*Strips of cloth, such as burlap sack, cable ties or another fastener
*Scrap wood
*Two rolls of electrical tape

*Pumps
One water pump – the size depends on how much flow it would need. An aquarium pump is enough to keep the flow going.
One air pump (optional). The system can aerate itself but it can produce more if it has an air pump.

Tools:
*Power drill or hand drill
*1-in hole saw
*3-in hole saw

Build time: About two hours.

Recommended plants and fish:
Leafy vegetables, tomatoes and herbs do well in these systems. So do flowers. You can experiment to find which do well and fit your needs.
Tilapia and trout do well, they grow quickly and they’re delicious.

 

diagram

Cut the pipe into six 1ft. sections for the sides and two 14in. sections for the ends.
Drill two 3in-diameter holes in each of the 1ft side pieces.
Drill a 1in-diameter hole into the side of one of the end pieces.
Tip:You can use any kind of durable plastic or pipe, not just what’s pictured.

diagram

Assemble the pieces with electrical tape.

diagram

Cut the vertical pipes to the length that suits you. Drill 1in-diameter holes in the vertical pipes, evenly spaced. Insert the vertical pipes as shown.
The photo on the right shows the mostly finished structure to give you an idea of how it looks.

diagram

Perforate the bottoms of the plastic cups and place them in the holes you drilled in the side pipes. Cut a piece of 1in-diameter pipe to insert into the 1in hole in the end pipe to make a drain. The drain should pour into one of the 50-gallon drums.

diagram

You can use two 50-gallon drums like these or any other kind of container that holds water for fish. You could even scale this down and put it on top of an indoor aquarium.

diagram

Cut the tops off below the rims.

diagram

This is the assembled garden structure on top of the drums, seen from two slightly different angles.

diagram

Adjust the structure’s balance and support its joints with wooden boards. You could tilt the structure slightly toward the drainpipe to improve the water flow. Most systems will have vertical columns of equal height, but these are cut at different heights to show the range of options available.

diagram

Seed the plants in these. Put them in the cups and the holes in the vertical columns.

The final steps are not pictured, but easily explained. Cut strips of burlap or some other material, fasten them to the tops of the vertical pipes and drape them down the inside of the pipes. Stuffing the pipes with cloth like this will give the plant roots something to latch on.

Next, cut and assemble the tubing so that you can pump water from one barrel up to each of the four vertical pipes. You could also pump water from the barrel that receives drainage to the barrel that feeds the system.

 

diagram

These systems can scale up to commercial size, too. Brady and his colleagues at the Center for Sustainable Aquaponics set up this greenhouse for leafy vegetables, herbs and fish.

diagram

Another view of the commercial greenhouse.

diagram

This arrangement portrays some of the creativity and even the beauty possible with an aquaponic system. Among its features, there is a rocky waterfall into the fish tank and a drip-irrigation system watering soil-free plants in a rock bed.

diagram

These are different views of the above system.

diagram

Our guide Sean Brady shows what these systems can produce. He’s holding a trout here.

Now go plant your own survival garden.

Heirloom Preparedness Seed Pack of 5

Description

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Old Price: $198.99

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