Category Archive: Gardening

Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival Kindle eBooks for 01-17-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

Free Homesteading, cooking, Survival, , and Prepping Kindle ebooks? Yes FREE Kindle ebooks!! Every now and then Amazon runs special offers on some of their Kindle ebooks, making them free for a limited time (usually just 24 hours).

I will check Amazon on regularly basis for their free Kindle ebooks in related subjects such as survival, homesteading and prepping etc. I will do all the leg-work for you so you don’t have to. You can just come back here regularly, so make sure to bookmark this blog.

These ebooks are only free for a limited time so if you are interested in one make sure you get it right away so you don’t lose out!

Remember you DON’T need a kindle to take advantage of these! There are FREE kindle apps for most major platforms!! iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android. You can find those apps here!

Always check price before engaging, to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price.

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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival Kindle eBooks for 01-16-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

Free Homesteading, cooking, Survival, , and Prepping Kindle ebooks? Yes FREE Kindle ebooks!! Every now and then Amazon runs special offers on some of their Kindle ebooks, making them free for a limited time (usually just 24 hours).

I will check Amazon on regularly basis for their free Kindle ebooks in related subjects such as survival, homesteading and prepping etc. I will do all the leg-work for you so you don’t have to. You can just come back here regularly, so make sure to bookmark this blog.

These ebooks are only free for a limited time so if you are interested in one make sure you get it right away so you don’t lose out!

Remember you DON’T need a kindle to take advantage of these! There are FREE kindle apps for most major platforms!! iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android. You can find those apps here!

Always check price before engaging, to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price.

 

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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival Kindle eBooks for 01-15-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

Free Homesteading, cooking, Survival, , and Prepping Kindle ebooks? Yes FREE Kindle ebooks!! Every now and then Amazon runs special offers on some of their Kindle ebooks, making them free for a limited time (usually just 24 hours).

I will check Amazon on regularly basis for their free Kindle ebooks in related subjects such as survival, homesteading and prepping etc. I will do all the leg-work for you so you don’t have to. You can just come back here regularly, so make sure to bookmark this blog.

These ebooks are only free for a limited time so if you are interested in one make sure you get it right away so you don’t lose out!

Remember you DON’T need a kindle to take advantage of these! There are FREE kindle apps for most major platforms!! iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android. You can find those apps here!

Always check price before engaging, to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price.

 

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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival Kindle eBooks for 01-13-18

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

Free Survival, Homesteading, and Prepping Kindle ebooks? Yes FREE Kindle ebooks!! Every now and then Amazon runs special offers on some of their Kindle ebooks, making them free for a limited time (usually just 24 hours).

I will check Amazon on regularly basis for their free Kindle ebooks in related subjects such as survival, homesteading and prepping etc. I will do all the leg-work for you so you don’t have to. You can just come back here regularly, so make sure to bookmark this blog.

These ebooks are only free for a limited time so if you are interested in one make sure you get it right away so you don’t lose out!

Remember you DON’T need a kindle to take advantage of these! There are FREE kindle apps for most major platforms!! iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android. You can find those apps here!

Always check price before engaging, to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price.

 

  image  image  image

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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival Kindle eBooks for 01-11-18

 

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

Free Survival, Homesteading, and Prepping Kindle ebooks? Yes FREE Kindle ebooks!! Every now and then Amazon runs special offers on some of their Kindle ebooks, making them free for a limited time (usually just 24 hours).

I will check Amazon on regularly basis for their free Kindle ebooks in related subjects such as survival, homesteading and prepping etc. I will do all the leg-work for you so you don’t have to. You can just come back here regularly, so make sure to bookmark this blog.

These ebooks are only free for a limited time so if you are interested in one make sure you get it right away so you don’t lose out!

Remember you DON’T need a kindle to take advantage of these! There are FREE kindle apps for most major platforms!! iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android. You can find those apps here!

Always check price before engaging, to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price.

image  image  image

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image  image  image

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


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Free Homesteading, Cooking, Prepper, Survival Kindle eBooks for 01-09-18

 

Free Kindle Survival Homesteading Books

Free Survival, Homesteading, and Prepping Kindle ebooks? Yes FREE Kindle ebooks!! Every now and then Amazon runs special offers on some of their Kindle ebooks, making them free for a limited time (usually just 24 hours).

I will check Amazon on regularly basis for their free Kindle ebooks in related subjects such as survival, homesteading and prepping etc. I will do all the leg-work for you so you don’t have to. You can just come back here regularly, so make sure to bookmark this blog.

These ebooks are only free for a limited time so if you are interested in one make sure you get it right away so you don’t lose out!

Remember you DON’T need a kindle to take advantage of these! There are FREE kindle apps for most major platforms!! iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac and Android. You can find those apps here!

Always check price before engaging, to make sure it hasn’t returned to full price.

image  image image

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Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.


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Growing Bath Loofah Sponge Plant from Seed

A beautiful loofa blossom

Luffa or Loofah?

Luffa, lufa, loofa or loofah? You choose. It’s spelled all kinds of ways but it’s most commonly ‘loofah’ in the US and ‘luffa’ in the rest of the world. So whichever way you prefer to spell it, it’s pronounced the same, (like loofah) and it’s a versatile vegetable worth growing!

First of all, I’ll admit it. For a long time I thought loofah sponges came from the ocean. After all, they had the skeletal framework of some creature perhaps kin to the sea cucumber or similar marine animal. And the sign at the store said natural loofah SPONGES.

How long did this misperception last? Well, the revelation came when browsing through a seed catalogue “one day” and in the squash/gourd section, appeared a photo of this “sponge” with a description saying “Grow your own sponge!” I’m pretty sure I made a shameless announcement to the rest of the family that loofas come from a gourd plant. Turned out I’d been a bit behind the curve on this one.

And they are also edible at a younger age. This makes sense being that they are members of the Cucurbitaceae family that includes melons, squash, gourds, and pumpkins! Very cool!

So that bit of revamped knowledge was catalogued and filed away for future reference until one day, a reader of GardensAll.com, Kathlyn Cairns, did what we gardeners love to do. She shared her joy of growing loofahs and sent us some seeds. We started them indoors and set two plants in the back corner of the garden.

Further down in the article we’ve included Kathlyn’s images of her loofah plants and processing.

This year we only grew two plants because loofahs are actually an alien species out to invade the planet! OK, that’s a bit exaggerated but have a look at our photos. The loofa we planted took over our cattle panel arch, a trellis at the back of the garden, and a trellis running parallel to the arch. Oh and BTW–this was just one plant! We think it killed and ate its sibling.

luffa plant

Young luffa plant – image by Coleman Alderson, GardensAll.com

growing loofah plant

Large loofahs in the GardensAll garden with Coleman Alderson

All Jurassic World references aside, the loofah is an amazingly robust plant. It alone survived the powdery mildew, the squash bugs, and the vine borers all of which devastated our squash, pumpkins, and cucumbers. It thrived into October until a hard freeze and a frost  knocked it out.

The big lesson learned about planting loofah is to do so early. Some varieties take 90 days to mature. If you garden in zones much above Zone 8, it’s a good idea to start them indoors to get a jump on the season. In retrospect, it took a while for the seeds to germinate indoors. That may mean more of a delay if you planted seeds outside past the last frost date.

These specific instructions come from our North Carolina Extension Service expert Jean Davis. Though she’s giving recommendations on commercial growing of “Luffa”, the basic cultivation methods apply in general.

Growing Loofah from Seeds

“[Loofah] seed germination is often slow and sporadic. To obtain good plant stands, luffa gourds should be produced from transplants. Soak seed in warm water for 24 hours prior to seeding. Sow seeds, two to three per cell, in flats. Thin to one plant per cell after the first true leaves appear. Grow for four to six weeks in a greenhouse at about 65-70 oF.[Loofah] should be transplanted outdoors after all danger of frost is past.

Site Selection and Fertilization – [Loofah] gourds require a well-drained soil in a location where they will have full sun and good air circulation. Conduct a soil test prior to planting and follow lime and fertilizer recommendations for cucumbers.

Planting and Trellising – To speed growth in the spring in cooler climates, [Loofah] gourds should be grown on raised beds with black polyethylene mulch. Irrigation is required with drip-irrigation being the preferred method. [Loofah] sponge gourds benefit greatly from being grown on a trellis system. If [Loofah] gourds contact the ground, fruit rot, discolored sponges, and misshaped gourds are usually the result. A vertical trellis, similar in design to ones used for trellised cucumbers and pole beans, is most commonly used. It must, however, be VERY STURDY!!. To support the weight of mature gourds, 4″ x 4″ posts set ten feet apart are recommended. The top horizontal support should be a heavy gauge wire or cable. Several other wires can be run horizontally between the top wire and the ground. To help train the vines to the trellis, string can be run between the top and bottom wires in a V-pattern, as for pole beans, or a nylon mesh can be used.

Space rows five or more feet apart to accommodate equipment. In-row spacing of 12-18 inches has produced the highest yields of marketable sponges. The plants need to be hand trained weekly until they reach the top wire. Try to keep all fruit off the ground and away from the trellis wires. Prune plants by removing the first four lateral shoots (from the soil line upwards). As for all cucurbits, [Loofah] gourds need to be pollinated. (GardensAll note: Look for ways to invite bees and other pollinators to your garden space)

Kathlyn Cairns Loofah Photos

loofah image, loofa plant, luffa

Growing loofah plant, image by Kathlyn Cairns

Growing loofah plant, image by Kathlyn Cairns

Loofah plant harvest, image by Kathlyn Cairn

Harvesting Loofah

Opinions vary as to the optimum time to harvest the gourds. Some leave them on the vine till they turn brown and the interior “sponge” separates naturally from the skin. Others take them earlier when they are just turning brown and find that they can “cure” them by placing them in a warm dry spot.

Peeling loofah plant, image by Kathlyn Cairns

Processing loofah – image by Kathlyn Cairns

Drying peeled loofah – image by Kathlyn Cairns

We opted for the latter timing mainly because we had a big freeze on the way and were wary of what might happen should the loofahs freeze. So, we picked and placed them in a dry warm place and allowed them to cure. Ours were “mummified in less than 2 weeks. You can see how to remove the outer skin with a simple putty blade.

 

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

 

via:  gardensall


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Make Coffee From Chicory Root

Here’s my story of how I discovered a simple, common weed can be used to make coffee from chicory!

For several years, I’ve noticed a beautiful blue wildflower lining the road during the summer. It starts out looking like a weed, but when it blooms, the flower is the color of a Tanzanite gemstone. I’ve noticed that it also grows well along sidewalks, in gravel, or any other harsh environment you can think of. The plant is a dark green and is about 12-24 inches high. The bluish flower petals are flat at the ends, and slightly “fringed”. The leaves closest to the ground look exactly like dandelion. If you are looking for it on a sunny day, they are easy to see. But, on an overcast day or late afternoon, the flowers close up, and it’s harder to spot.

I decided to take some photos and find out what it was.

To my surprise, I found out it was chicory. I remembered hearing that it can be used to make a beverage similar to coffee, but wanted to learn more about it. I also wondered if it had any medicinal properties.


According to Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants & Herbs, the root can be mixed with water to make a diuretic or laxative. It’s used homeopathically for liver and gallbladder ailments, it can lower blood sugar, and has a slight sedative effect. Chicory root extracts have been shown to be antibacterial, and its tinctures have an anti-inflammatory effect. You can learn how to make your own tinctures fairly easily.

Next, I wanted to find out what parts of the plant were edible and how to use it to make “coffee”. I learned that its root must be dried and roasted before making a hot beverage. Its’ leaves are good for both salad and cooked greens. The white underground leaves are great as a salad green in the spring, and the outer green leaves can be boiled for 5-10 minutes and eaten. I decided to go dig up some roots and try roasting them for coffee.

Make coffee from chicory

I found plenty of chicory right around my house and along my street. I thought I could just pull them out of the ground but I was wrong.

It’s had been dry for the last week and we have a lot of clay soil, so I went and got a shovel. Once I started digging, I found some of the roots are very long. Many broke off as I tried to pry them up with my shovel, but I got a decent sized batch quickly.

I soaked them for a short time, then scrubbed the roots clean, and chopped off the rest of the plant. I put those parts in my garden to add to the compost, which is an ongoing project. I patted the roots dry, and sliced them up. I did have to get a heavier chopping knife because some of the roots have a center that is like wood. The really tough stuff, I just added to my garden, and the rest I put on a cookie sheet.

I thought I’d try roasting it slow and low. I turned my oven on to 250 degrees and watched it for a half hour or so. It seemed to dry out but not really “roast” the pieces. So, I turned up the heat to 350 degrees, and about 20-30 minutes later, a wonderful smell came from the oven. The root pieces were turning brown and smelled like chocolate, caramel and coffee, all in one. The darker it got, the better it smelled. Once I thought the chicory root was dark enough, I turned down the oven to 300 degrees, so it wouldn’t burn but just roast a little bit more. I would say the total time was about and hour and a half. I took the roasted root pieces out of the oven and let them cool to room temperature.

I took out my blender, and used the “chop” setting to grind up the roots. I checked on them after several seconds and found it was still too coarse, but once again, the smell was incredible. I think the blades created enough heat to warm the grounds and send the smell wafting up in the air. I knew I needed a finer grind, so I set the blender to “liquify”, and that worked much better. I ended up with a finer grind that almost had the appearance of cigarette tobacco.

I was finally ready to brew a cup of chicory coffee! I added 2 teaspoons into my coffee filter and add enough water to the pot for one cup of coffee. I watched it brew, and it looks dark, just like regular coffee. By the way, in a power outage, a French Press is highly recommended for every coffee lover. You can get one for less than $30, and it’s worth every penny.

Now, the taste test. First, I tried it black. It tastes just like a strong black coffee (too much chicory?) but with a definite mocha, possibly caramel flavor. I may have used too much chicory, so next time I’ll use 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons per cup when I brew.

Since I don’t normally drink black coffee, I added a tiny bit of stevia and some Coffee Mate to this aromatic concoction. Oh, my, GOSH!!!!! This is like a fabulous cup of coffee from a pricey coffee house. I really thought it wouldn’t be this good. I can’t wait to go out and gather more chicory root! If SHTF, this will be priceless. There is no caffeine in this drink, so you can have a warm beverage, late at night. I had no idea how easy it would be to make coffee from chicory.

I highly recommend foraging for this wonderful and amazing plant. I can’t believe we’ve lost so much knowledge over the years about living off the land. We all should learn foraging skills. This coffee alternative is free, abundant, delicious, and a great barter item. Better yet, just try it now to enjoy, but save some for yourself for later!

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: thesurvivalmom


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10 Survival Uses for Blackberries


Summer is here, and so are the blackberries!

These dark berries are like sweet little gems from the wild. They are a delicious and nutritious source of food that we can forage almost anywhere, since they are found around the Northern Hemisphere. But there’s more to these berries than just a snack. Here are ten ways these plants can help you survive when times get tough.

1. Leaf tea

Blackberry leaves are a common herbal tea ingredient (particularly for the Celestial Seasonings company). Steep one teaspoon of dried leaf in one cup of hot water for 10 minutes, sweeten (if you have sweetener) and enjoy. This can boost morale, warm the belly and hide the flavor of an “off” water source.

2. Diarrhea remedy

The leaf tea can also be drunk repeatedly to help diminish the symptoms of diarrhea. Steep two teaspoons of dried leaf per cup of hot water. Start with half a cup every hour, and continue until the ailment improves. And if the leaf tea isn’t getting the job done, steep one ounce of fresh blackberry root in a cup of hot water and drink half of a cup per hour.

3. Flower petals

The fragrant white petals can be added to salads and other dishes. They don’t contain many calories, but they can make those bitter wild greens taste much better.

4. Perimeter alarm

Carefully tie up the thorn-covered strands of blackberry stalk to block the trails at night. This can give you a perimeter alarm around your camp. When any two-legged and tender-skinned predators hit the thorns in the dark, they’ll have a hard time staying silent.

5. Trap guidance 

Need to funnel a game animal into your snare noose or foothold? A wall or carpet of prickly blackberry stalks can direct their movement and guide them into the trap.

6. Pemmican ingredient

Dried berries are an ancient and traditional ingredient in Native American pemmican recipes. These “meatballs” are typically a blend of powdered jerky, dried berries and rendered fat. Rolled into balls and eaten as trail food, pemmican provides a massive amount of calories (thanks to the fat), and it supplies protein and carbohydrates, too.

7. Hand drill spindle

Need to make a friction fire? While de-thorned blackberry stalks aren’t the best hand drill spindle, they’re not the worst either. If it’s the best you can find, give it a try.

8. Juice

No food or water? You shouldn’t eat when you have nothing to drink, but you can squeeze blackberries in a cloth and drink the juice. This provides hydration, sugars, vitamins and minerals. It’s like nature’s Gatorade! You can even turn it into wine.

9. Fishing

Small slivers of blackberry stalk with the thorns still attached can be turned into emergency fish gorges, a hook style that works then the fish swallows a sharp object that sticks in their throat. Land them gently with a dip net, as it’s easy for fish to shake these “hooks” out.

10. Eat them

Eaten by the handful or bucketful, blackberries are good food and good for you.

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: outdoorlife


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The Many Uses Of The Mint Plant (And Why You Should Be Growing It!)


You are probably looking at the title of this article and thinking, “What do you mean, many uses of Mint? It’s just Mint!”

Whether you’re a hobbyist gardener or a hardcore survivalist, you should be growing mint, and this article will tell you why.

A Little More About Mint.

If you’re familiar with mint, it’s probably spearmint or peppermint, and it’s just a flavoring that you occasionally have. There’s a whole lot more to the mint family of plants than that – for instance, lemon balms are a type of mint. Even with ‘pure’ mint, there are various types – spearmint, peppermint, and the like, which all have different tastes and uses. Then there are bee balms and cat mints.

Essentially, you have a family of herbs which have variety and utility. We’ll talk about the utility and diversity of options next.

Why Do You Need Mint Plants?

The various types of mint have almost too many uses to list in a short internet article. However, if you’re reading this site, then you’re probably of a survival-mindset, and so we’ll skip some of the more decorative uses, such as pot-pourri and as a flavoring of cheese.

Firstly, and most obviously, mint plants are great to eat. You can put them in a salad, or you can make your own teas with them. Sure, it’s not going to feed your family on its own through winter, but few things are. Mint is easy to grow (we’ll get to that soon) and adds flavor to whatever it is you’re eating.

But that’s not all. Mint plants are medicinal. They are particularly good for upset stomachs and for the clearing of sinuses, as well as an anti-bacterial remedy and for general cleaning purposes. Hence their use in detergents and over-the-counter toothpastes and bleaches. Of course, if you grow your own mint, you can create your own cleaning materials and cures for ailments, without having to rely on commercial products which may or may not contain a cocktail of unknown chemicals.

For the rugged survivalist, mint works in other ways; you can use it to repel insects by burning some on your campfire, or you can use it to suppress your appetite, meaning that your food stores will last longer.

If you are a homesteader, then mint offers some additional uses for you; it’s great to plant for ground cover – protecting the soil from the elements. Because of its speed and ease of growth, it also makes a great plant to prepare the soil for a future season. It also attracts beneficial insects.

How You Can Grow Mint

Perhaps the greatest reason to grow mint is the ease at which you can grow it.

The reason we stated in the title that you should be growing it is that you can grow the plant in almost any circumstance. From a small herb garden on an apartment balcony to a dedicated plot on a farm for commercial growing, mint can be grown by anyone.

It will practically grow itself, so unless you have a dedicated plot, keep it in containers until you know more about the plant – it will propagate itself and spread like wildfire if you let it.

To start, grab some fresh mint from your local grocery store or plant nursery, and leave it in water until it sprouts roots. Then, plant it in regular soil in a small pot, and wait for it to grow.

You’ll have your mint farm in no time!

Start now to make sure you are staying prepared.

Via: survivalfoodgear


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