Sunday, October 16, 2011

Long Time

It's been a long time now since my last post. Things came up and this blog fell by the way side. There hasn't been a whole lot to write in it as far as the gardening plots go. Out of all that we planted, we got a few measly taters and a couple squash. The drought destroyed our plants and using city water to water twice a week did nothing but keep the plants alive.

The cantaloupe would start growing on the vine but would die before reaching a harvest-able size. I ended up just leaving them where they are to let them fertilize the ground instead of tossing them into the compost bin.

Speaking of compost bin, ours is doing fairly well. That is, with exception of the cracks in the ground which opened up around and in the bin. The drought has dried the clay filled ground so bad that its cracking and causing problems. Anyhow, the bin has become a collection of scraps that should be good for the garden next year. I'll toss most of it in whether its fully composted or not. The garden needs it I'm sure.

Lets go raaaaiiin, lets goooo.

Monday, May 9, 2011


The weeks have been crazy here. The plants are slowly growing and we're getting reports of others in the area about ready to harvest some items from their gardens. We water ours every 2 days to every 4 days depending on soil moisture content and weather but it seems we're missing something in the way of nutrients. When I built the raised bed I mixed manure in with topsoil in roughly a 1:1 ratio. The bag recommended 1 manure for every 2 topsoil but the manure seemed more like compost than manure so I increased the mix a little. I'll add that item to my notebook in case that is the cause of our slow crops.

The other factor is the heat. We have seen numerous 98deg days here. This temp is not good for our spring crops. They've shown signs of stress. My tater tires are showing stress as well. Could be tater blight or just could be the weather affecting them.

I noticed that the tater tire stacked two high looked bad for a bit and I stopped watering it. It looks much better and has begun to flower. Its catching up to the other two I planted round 2 weeks later. The difference is I kept if from growing by adding dirt and another tire to see what kind of harvest I might get. Here's a pick of the overall garden with the four test tater plants. Two in tires of differing height and two in the ground.
We're hoping for a harvest but we'll have to see. Really wanting to get a crop this year. If nothing else and the taters aren't affected with tater blight then we may get a good crop of them.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Second Degree Burn

These are the ones that go deeper damaging more layers of skin, the skin becomes red, extremely painful with blisters.

Identify Second-Degree Burns

1 Look closely at the burn to see whether the skin has formed round blisters that are filled with clear or red-tinted fluid. Blisters, even if they are tiny, are indicative of a second-degree burn.
2 Compare the color of the burned area with the color of the surrounding skin. If the burn is very red with white splotches in it, then it's a second-degree one.
3 Compare the burned skin with that of the surrounding skin to see whether the burn is swollen, which is another symptom of a second-degree burn.

How to Treat Second Degree Burns

1 Soak the burn. Immediately after the skin has been burned, it is important to soak the burn in cool water for at least 15 minutes. Keep clean, cool wash cloths on the burn throughout the day.
2 Put on an antibiotic cream. Creams or ointments will help to treat the burn and control the pain. Apply the cream as soon as the burn has finished soaking in cold water.
3 Cover the burn. In order to treat a second degree burn, cover it with a dry, nonstick cloth such as gauze. Secure the gauze with tape, and replace the dressing with a clean one every day.
4 Wash the burn every day. It is important to keep a second degree burn clean as it heals to aid with treatment. Wash the burn and reapply antibiotic cream every day.
5 Look for infection. To treat a second degree burn, you must make sure that the area does not become infected. Look for signs such increased pain, redness, swelling or pus. Also avoid breaking blisters to avoid infection.
6 Take a pain reliever. Second degree burns are painful, and taking a pain reliever will help treat the symptoms of a second degree burn.
7 Get medical help. If the burn covers a large area, treat the burn using the steps above. Seek medical help to treat the burn.

Tips and Warnings

The Mayo Clinic advises that you seek medical attention if your second-degree burn is larger than 3 inches in diameter or if it's located on your hands, face, feet, buttocks, groin or on a major joint.
Never put ice on a burn, warns the Mayo Clinic, since it can cause your body to become too cold and can further damage the burned skin.
The organization says not to apply burn ointments or butter to a second-degree burn since a salve can cause infection. Also do not break open blisters, since that will make them more susceptible to infection.

And a side note, the President claims Osama Bin Laden is dead. Bin Laden may now be treated as a martyr or demigod to Islamics who wish us harm. Retaliation may hurt depending on how organized they are. The main objective that many Americans were after has been achieved, the leader of Al Qaeda is down for the count. I wonder why they buried him at sea so quick after the kill. Smells fishy but maybe its what we need. Stay prepared people. Never know what lies ahead.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Natural Minor Burn Remedies

Minor burns, although scary and painful, can be treated with natural home remedies. As long as the burn is a surface burn only, there are several alternative solutions that can prevent infection, soothe pains, stop scarring and help in healing.

Here are a few remedies…. 

Aloe Vera
One of the most common natural burn remedies is probably Aloe. Many of us still use it today and it does work rather well.
The Aloe Vera plant contains at least six antiseptic agents: lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamic acid, phenol, and sulfur. All of these substances are recognized antiseptics, explaining why Aloe vera has the ability to eliminate many internal and external infections. Lupeol, salicylic acid, along with ingredient magnesium are all highly effective analgesics, which explains why Aloe vera is an effective pain killer.
Aloe vera also contains at least three anti-inflammatory fatty acids (cholesterol, campesterol and B-sitosterol), explaining why Aloe vera is an effective treatment for burns, cuts, scrapes and abrasions, as well as for rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic fever and ulcers of all kinds, both internal and external. The presence of these fatty acids may explain why some experts feel Aloe is highly effective for many inflammatory conditions of the digestive system and other internal organs, including the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, kidney and pancreas. The presence of these fatty acids, especially B-sitosterol could explain how Aloe juice is a treatment effective for allergic reactions and acid indigestion, and why it helps, in association with a low fat diet, to lower harmful cholesterol levels. 

For a minor (first degree) burn whole milk was used, either by soaking the burned area in a bowl of milk for 15 minutes or so or applying a cloth soaked in milk to the affected area. If you use this method for minor burns you may repeat every few hours to relieve pain. Be sure to wash out the cloth after use, as it will smell bad. Milk does not hold the healing power as aloe vera does it just works to soothe the burns and alleviate pain. 

Honey will sanitize minor burns by drawing out fluids. Place a few drops of honey directly on the burn, then place a bandage over the infected area. A gauze bandage works well, and should be changed several times daily. With each bandage change, a few drops of honey should be reapplied. 

Apple Cider Vinegar 
Use undiluted apple cider vinegar. Apply to the surface of the burned area and it will take away soreness. Applying it on the sunburn will take away the sting almost instantly and prevent the skin from peeling as well. 

Egg Whites 
Egg whites were often used to treat burns. Remove the yellow and use only the whites. Apply to the burned area like a salve or you can put egg whites in a bowl and soak the burned area. This treatment will not only ease the pain, but it will also help speed the healing and reduce the severity of scarring. While the egg white is still wet you will feel no pain from the burn. As soon as it dries up the pain comes back so reapplication is necessary. This can be used on sunburns as well. 

Slice of Tomato 
Just cut the tomato into wedges use one slice and rub over the burned area. The acid from the tomato takes the pain away and the burn will not blister.

NOTE: If the burn is not localized to one small area, you may want to soak in the tub instead. First, clean the tub with hydrogen peroxide or a small amount of bleach - and be sure to rinse the tub thoroughly. For this bath you will need tons of tea bags. Brew the tea with boiling water until it is very strong, and you can cool this down with half cold water. You should not get in until the water is no longer warm, and be sure to get out when the tea water gets too cold. You will need to either lie down in the tub or have the tub filled high enough to cover all the burned areas.
Never put butter on a burn! You may have heard that butter is a good healer for burns, but nothing could be further from the truth! Butter delays the healing time of a burn and in cases of severe burns, may cause infection.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fire On The Homestead

Happy Easter to all. We're just sitting at the house today getting mentally prepared for the week ahead and enjoying the time off. This post is an important one I thought needed to be put out for people.

I've noticed very few websites, books, or magazines mention the fire hazards associated with living on the homestead including your survival retreat. Fire is an ever present danger, especially in dry desert areas like Texas. Very few people would want to make Texas their go to place when calamity strikes but not everyone can or wants to run to the mountains to live.
No matter where you live fire is a possibility. It can destroy your home, barn, crops, shelters, and kill you and/or animals. There are medical dangers as well but first lets look at the homestead issues. A medical post about fire dangers will be presented at a later time.
To start, dead refuse in the field from this years harvest is a good thing. It keeps the soil from blowing away, keeps the water from washing it away, and helps the soil to hold moisture so microorganisms can work on the organic material and improve it for the coming year. But you have to consider the danger of that field catching fire. A spark from your chimney, spark from your outdoor fire, an enemy, maybe even lightening can send that field up in flames. Those flames may then jump to the forest and torch the area taking your home with it.
What would you do if a fire starts in your home? Do you have an effective, or at least a plan in place, to combat the fire? I hope so. Building a metal structure as your home is good. It should last a long time and it will provide a good defense against small arms if such an event occurs. The problem with a metal home is the heat that will build up during the summer or during a fire. The support and skin may be metal but there will be plenty of burnable material in and around that home to cook you to death. In a severe crisis you may not have the water pressure to run a hose or sprinkler system to control the fire. You'll have to escape and watch, waiting it out until you can return.
Lets do it this way for easier reading and reference;

Structure (Interior Source)
This type of fire can be cause by lightening, an enemy, a wildfire, or your chimney. Even when things hit the fan you need to make sure you clean your chimney. Keep it clean so you don't lose what your trying to protect.
Having a water tower to provide water pressure would help a lot here but you'd have to consider the possibility of an enemy destroying it as well. As preppers we can't prepare for everything but we try. Another aid would be a large body of water close by such as a large pond, lake, stream, or river. This method requires many hands to carry buckets of water and a steady and quick pace to prevent extensive damage.
Unless your using a solar system you won't have to worry about wiring catching fire so your main concern will be chimney fires. Have your place set up in advanced with flashing around the chimney and regular maintenance to reduce your chance of fire. Be careful using heating and lighting sources such as candles and kerosene lamps. These cause many indoor fires. Remember smoke is the enemy because it can suffocate you. Watch dogs are good, alarming you if something is out of the ordinary.

Structure (Exterior Source) and Field
The fire starters are the same as above. The best defense here is a good offense. This means keeping an eye on dead brush. Maintain a perimeter between all structures, fields, and forest areas. Ten to twenty feet makes a good fire line between the forest and your structures and fields. The fire line will reduce the chance that the fire will jump to other fuel sources. Another good reason to have the fire line is it will open your field of view, allowing you to see intruders from a greater distance.

In a TEOTWAWKI situation there will not be metal “a plenty” so you will have to fall back on wood as your primary building material. Thats just fine because thick logs make great homes and won't burn as easy as the thin pieces of wood used in todays construction. You should plan now for how you want your landscape to look and the material you would like to build your buildings with. It makes it easier to have the setup now and be used to it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mulch and Compost

Applying the mulch to the top of the raised bed has helped tremendously. Water retention is much better now and we have seen more sprouts because of this. I feel like there should be better growth in the bed but I'm sure that has something to do with amendments and patience. I haven't been able to get the compost to add to it but our little compost pile is growing. I toss weeds in there when i pull them and scraps from the kitchen. I also add vacuum cleaner dirt and lint when I get it. Just trying to build it as quick as I can because I know that we need a lot to prep this soil so it will grow an abundance.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Homemade Water Filtration

The homemade system I'm talking about is one that is spoken about on many survivalist sites. The caveat is pollution and nuclear fallout. Homemade filtration systems use various containers to stack charcoal, sand, and gravel to clean the water as much as possible. A thin cloth is used on the bottom with a small exit hole. The cloth holds in the charcoal which then has a sand layer poured on. Gravel is added on top of the sand. After putting the filter system together, you will need to run water through it until the water is clear. This is to clean the system and clean off the charcoal you used. After it runs clear, place a container under it and start collecting water.

This system filters out larger then smaller items as it percolates downward using gravity. The system is great and renewable in most areas. I like to use an equal amount of charcoal to sand to filter out as many chemicals as I can. Not all chemicals will be removed but the majority will be. After filtration the remaining water must be boiled. Boiling is used to kill organisms that are dangerous to the human body. A one minute or more sustained boil is required to kill these organisms. This includes protozao, bacteria, and viruses.

The advantage I find using this system is it is much cheaper than buying the commercial filtration systems. If staying put then this will work well for most people. If you believe your area may not contain safe sand after an event then you can purchase washed asbestos free and silica free sand from a store. These are checked for hazardous particles that may cause cancer and are used for sand boxes for children. Don't use all purpose sand from the store due to its contents.

The bad thing about this type of filtration is it needs to be changed out weekly or biweekly depending on the water source. The gravel and sand can be rinsed and cleaned then spread out on a surface in a thin layer to allow UV light to thoroughly dry and kill pathogens. Allow it to sit in a safe area for several days in direct sunlight. Another option is to heat the sand and gravel over a fire. Place small portions at a time on a designated pan or piece of metal and let it sit over the fire while you do other things. Make sure to dry if for a day first to prevent the gravel from overheating and exploding. Not always a problem just depends on which type you use. With this setup you can have enough materials to switch out each week without needing fresh sand or gravel. They serve mostly to simply remove large particles and trap a small amount of pathogens. The charcoal will need to be replaced each time with fresh charcoal. This means you will need to burn safe wood, i.e. not contaminated, to replenish your charcoal. If its a grid down situation this shouldn't be a problem unless your in the city with no way to gather firewood.

This system is good for bug out situations as long as you have the ability and time to stop and filter fresh water every day or two. This depends on how much you will carry. I like this system also because of the reduced weight load and lack of gear needed to carry. I can either carry a container to put the filter material in or carry extra cloth to make a drip layer system where each cloth is attached to poles, holds the filtration material, then drips to the next level.
[IMG][/IMG] Picture from "When Technology Fails."
You should carry your cloth with you at all times and can wash it using lye soap made at the fire. With this setup you can travel and gather fresh water without too much concern. Just remember to boil the filter water for one minute or more.

Commercial filtration systems are fine but require you to carry the equipment to use them. Make sure you follow care instructions and understand their limitations. The can be used to filter water without too much setup but most of them require a pre-filter to extend the life of the system. They can be quite expensive for ones that remove viruses without boiling. Commercial water filters are more of a convenience than anything allowing you to keep moving stopping for short periods for "quick" refills. They are good short term but bad long term pieces of equipment.

If your thinking about an end of days scenario then I prefer low tech but if your thinking a few months of hard time then the cheap commercial filter combined with boiling will work. Remember some type of pre-filter like a bandana will extend your filters life in murky water with large grains. For me I would rather spend 10-20 dollars on a proven system than spend 300 on a commercial filtration system that will sit in the closet until I think its time to use it or be left behind if I must leave my bug in location.

Almost forgot, another thing you could do is buy the filters and then build your own unit using food grade buckets, bottles, or cans. You'll need safe gaskets to install the filters. These can be disassembled if need be and using smaller containers they can be made portable. There are many sites that give information on how to do this but since I've not made one using a high quality filter I'll let someone else teach you.

Study hard but don't let it consume you.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dry Ground

Storms have raged through the U.S. the last few days but here in central Texas we only got a few sprinkles. Not enough to quench the thirst of this dry land. I decided today that watering every two days isn't enough without a change. The raised bed is just too dry. The cardboard on the bottom isn't holding enough moisture for the bed. So today we tossed some cedar mulch on the bed to help retain moisture but more will be needed. The other problem is many of the plants have not popped up yet which could be due to lack of water. Our row of beans are up except for the ones destroyed by our company, dogs.

The tire taters are doing good. I added more dirt and manure today but found that when I added water, it found a pocket that didn't have dirt in it. The water opened a hole on one side of the tire. I didn't have any dirt to fill it in so I used the remainder of the cedar mulch to keep it dark and prevent the taters from seeing the sun. Much more dirt is needed. We're looking to start another bed but I still need a yard and a half of dirt for that and a few other things.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Damage To The Food Supply

I'm sorry plants in the garden
Broken but not forgotten
Smashed and not repairable
Eaten and not recoverable

This weekend we are watching the dogs of a coworker and from that little attempt at a rhyme, we lost some today. One of the dogs thought it would be a good idea to trudge through the raised bed. The dirt isn't compacted any and many of the plants are not big enough to survive dogs. Looks like some beans, bell pepper, cucumber, and mater plants were destroyed. Luckily its early enough we should be able to get a harvest if we replant quickly.

Because of school work and these dogs I didn't get out to pick up any dirt today to start another raised bed. Looks like that will be put off a little while longer but that's not good since the tater plants need more dirt to cover where they have grown. If I wait to long I may not get to fill the tires anymore. Its a waiting game. This is a busy week for us here. My wife has had to work long hours and an extra day a week. Of course the place where we were gonna get dirt is closed on Sundays so maybe soon.

Another issue, the plants are getting big enough for rabbits to be a concern. I'll have to figure out what I'm gonna do to keep them wascally wabbits away from my food.

Well that's it for now unless I think of another thought. In the words of a late great, Good Day!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Compost Bin

Day late in posting this. The wife and I decided to take a night for us and have a date. Just the movie and food thing. Nothing fancy.
Anyhow, yesterday morning I got it into my head that we should go ahead and build the compost bin. I've talked about it for a year or two but haven't bought one nor built one, til now. Before this I had just thrown scraps into the yard and weeds I'd pulled by hand into a corner of the back yard. Same place I now have this compost bin.

It was made simply out of wood pallets. We tore some apart but that took to long and many were in bad shape so we just broke off one side and I nailed them together like this. The side facing you is not nailed but resting against the rest. I'll decided how to keeping it standing later but I don't want it permanently fixed. I'll probably just tie it off with loops just to hold it up in the wind. It doesn't need to be strong just last for a couple years. We don't plan to live here past that if we can sell the house but with the market in the dumps we may have hold on to this place for five or ten more years. Yikes. A small suburban house is not the best way to raise food or protect yourself in a survival situation. Too many people and too many of those people that are trouble in descent times. Take a guess how they'll be if things were to really get bad.

 Here we have a squash coming up to look out at the world. Oh you should see how much it has grown. Today we watered it which got some of the dirt off and made it settle around the plant. Really hoping for a good harvest, small but good.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Just Another Update

So far things look pretty good. I had to add more dirt to the tire taters today, the cantaloupe have surprised me by sprouting many more seeds than I thought were viable, lettuce in a hanging basket has started, and the raised beds are starting to show life. Grass in the yard is still dead with mostly just the weeds showing life but oh well water goes to what I want to eat not what looks good. Texas is always a thirsty state with each piece fighting over water rights and now trying to get water pumped in from other states. Oh what fun.

Now we need to count the days and get an estimate of when things should be ready to start harvesting. Another seven or eight weeks we may see flowers if all goes well then the taters will be about ready to come out. The other items may be able to harvest in May. What needs to be pulled will while others will continue to produce until the end of summer. As room comes available I think we'll take a chance and replant to see if we can get another harvest. Maybe we'll get some more for winter. Whooo Hooo.
Tire Taters Growing quick. Thats real good.

Cardboard added to help stop some of the grass and weeds from choking it out. Mostly clay here.

There's two things growing here more in other spots. Maybe that one on left isn't grass.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Raised Bed Update and other

Just watered the raised bed and boy was it dry. I thought for sure it would retain moisture better than it does. Guess I'll have to go ahead with my plan and lay newspaper down to keep the water where its needed. I'll try and get that going this week. I put it off hoping I wouldn't have to, at least until the plants popped up, but it looks as though I should lay it down now. Otherwise we may not have any plants at all. We're trying different ways of gardening this year so hopefully something will work for us.

I was considering get a chick or two and building a chicken tractor but due to conflicts with neighbors, its probably best I don't. Would really have liked to restart the learning process with some layers. We've had issues with the neighbor kid shooting things with his BB gun but in this neighborhood nobody knows anything unless it directly affects them. Seems to be better just to try and get out when we can and not waste money on a moving target for the delinquent.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Early this morning when it was still dark out, we had a descent rain. Just enough to soak the raised bed without drowning everything. It did point out a problem that I hope will not be an issue here. Since the raised bed is a mix between top soil and cow manure it holds water very well. Once the plants are growing it won't be a problem but for now it looked like a mud pit.

I will definitely need to consider this because a heavy rain could wash out the dirt or drown the plants. I may have to re-think the cardboard bottom or consider a small drainage ditch. For now I'm just gonna let it go and see how it does. Its still an experiment for us to see if this is a better option.

This past Sunday I planted spearmint. Spearmint has been my white whale since we moved into this house and started gardening several years ago. Every year I try to grow it from seed and every year I fail for some reason or other. I can usually get it to about three inches or so before it dies off for some reason. Today I got in and the container had been tipped over, by the wind I assume. Three other pots sitting around it, one hanging up, and various containers sitting around and only the container I had spearmint in tipped and dumped its contents on the ground. What crappy luck. Since I didn't plant all the seeds I put more soil in the same pot and placed a few seeds in. This time I'll see how they start indoors then transfer it outside.

Worm bed still looks good. Found more very tiny baby worms wriggling around inside the bin. Keeping my fingers crossed that we can eventually start another bin using the ones from this one but they are slow at reproducing. Take a peek. First glance you see the larger worm but a close look reveals tiny brown worms too. Its to hard to make out in this pic but their is also baby white worms moving around. I couldn't seem to get a good pic of them though.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Raised Bed Gardening

This year to combat the clay ground and dry weather, we decided to build a raised bed. I have here pictures of how we did it and I'll let you know what I planted. Firstly I bought 4 cedar fence planks and braces to connect them. Here is the beginning.

To keep the weeds out we put down cardboard. The cardboard will also keep the dirt in the contained area and not allow the nutrients to seep away into the ground. The top right corner has a tater that I protected with a cardboard shroud to allow it to grow larger. Once it gets eight inches tall I'll add six inches of dirt.
 And here is the final product after planting but before watering. We used a mix of cow manure and top soil. Hopefully things will pan out and my house hold will get a good crop. We planted lettuce, cucumber, mater, spinach, string beans, bell peppers, and squash. Due to the weather here in Texas I've set a watering schedule of every two days to make sure the plants have enough water. Previous gardens have failed relying on rainfall. This sure isn't like the east coast where I'm used to letting the Earth provide for the plants. We will monitor the soil to see if the watering schedule can be amended to every three or maybe four days.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tater Update

I have pictures here to show how the taters are doing so far this year. The first picture is the first one I planted in a tire. My first attempt at tire taters. It looks rough but that's is due to the temperature and lack of water in the mound. It was bone dry so I added water. Its late in the day so the sun won't fry the leaves.

This second picture is the second tire tater.

Here is the tater I planted in the ground to compare the growth to above ground tire planting. See how it is similar in size to the second tire planting. Its just a little smaller.

 Here is the tater in the ground I didn't think made it. Its small but its trying to survive. Just last week I was planning on placing an above ground bed here to plant other items. Now I'm gonna have to put up a barrier to keep the dirt from over taking it until its bigger. The above ground bed will be placed here anyhow. Plan on doing that tomorrow.

To my surprise a cantaloupe plant is fighting to live too. Its wilted some however so I'll have to keep an eye on it to see if it survives. I have some cantaloupe seed from last year I dried and placed in a clean cool whip container. I didn't know it but moisture got inside and molded the seeds where some cantaloupe residue remained. Lesson learned for me. Completely clean seed. I didn't think we would get to use them anyhow due to financial conditions but we decided to try a garden anyhow this year.

Garlic plant in the ground isn't looking to good either but I have hope for it. I have two in pots that look better with one looking like it may do well.

Even though it rained some here this past week, I'm maintaining a watering schedule because the rain doesn't soak into the ground well. Its mostly clay and since it doesn't hold moisture well I decided to go ahead and build a raised bed this year.

More to come as things get done.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Animals for Survival Retreat

There are many factors to consider when considering if raising animals for a survival situation would be worth it and which ones to raise. (This information will also be useful for homesteading.) One has to think about OPSEC, feed, nutrition, and availability. Following I will give my opinion and information I've acquired about animals in a survival situation.

When deciding on which animals you want to raise, think about OPSEC. Bigger animals will be noticed more easily due to size and space needed to feed them. In a grid down situation it would be best to feed most animals with pasture land to reduce energy needed to grow and harvest feed crops for them. Research is needed for the animal you are considering so that you can provide the nutritional needs for each one. Some animals can eat most anything without issue but others need certain types of food to sustain them properly so they are more resistant to sickness.

During the first month or so of a grid down situation, people will rely on stores and packaged food to survive but once this runs out they will resort to theft and hunting. People will search farms for any type of food. Within the first six months there will be few domesticated animals left. Farm animals and pets will be converted to food and those with weapons will hunt for all wild game they find. Instinct and fear will kick in preventing rational thinking from occurring. Those that resort to hunting will kill anything and everything to prevent others from killing it. The game will not have a chance to reproduce due to the high numbers of hunters and will move to areas where there are less people or the game will become extinct.

An additional consideration for God fearing individuals is whether or not the animal is clean according to the Bible. Leviticus Chapter 11 and Deuteronomy Chapter 14 give information as to which animals are sanctioned by the Bible. The following is from the King James version of the Holy Bible. Please don't read this and get offended. If you are one that does not believe then skip to further down for additional information.
  • Lev 11:1 And the Lord spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them,
  • Lev 11:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth.
  • Lev 11:3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.
  • Lev 11:4 Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
  • Lev 11:5 And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
  • Lev 11:6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
  • Lev 11:7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.
  • Lev 11:8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.
  • Lev 11:9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
  • Lev 11:10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
  • Lev 11:11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
  • Lev 11:12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.
  • Lev 11:13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,
  • Lev 11:14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind;
  • Lev 11:15 Every raven after his kind;
  • Lev 11:16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,
  • Lev 11:17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl,
  • Lev 11:18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle,
  • Lev 11:19 And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.
  • Lev 11:20 All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you.
  • Lev 11:21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth;
  • Lev 11:22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind.
  • Lev 11:23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you.
  • Lev 11:24 And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even.
  • Lev 11:25 And whosoever beareth ought of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.
  • Lev 11:26 The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean.
  • Lev 11:27 And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even.
  • Lev 11:28 And he that beareth the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you.
  • Lev 11:29 These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind,
  • Lev 11:30 And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole.
  • Lev 11:31 These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even.
  • Lev 11:32 And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed.
  • Lev 11:33 And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it.
  • Lev 11:34 Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water cometh shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean.
  • Lev 11:35 And every thing whereupon any part of their carcase falleth shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean, and shall be unclean unto you.
  • Lev 11:36 Nevertheless a fountain or pit, wherein there is plenty of water, shall be clean: but that which toucheth their carcase shall be unclean.*n36.1
  • Lev 11:37 And if any part of their carcase fall upon any sowing seed which is to be sown, it shall be clean.
  • Lev 11:38 But if any water be put upon the seed, and any part of their carcase fall thereon, it shall be unclean unto you.
  • Lev 11:39 And if any beast, of which ye may eat, die; he that toucheth the carcase thereof shall be unclean until the even.
  • Lev 11:40 And he that eateth of the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: he also that beareth the carcase of it shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even.
  • Lev 11:41 And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten.
  • Lev 11:42 Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination.*n42.1
  • Lev 11:43 Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby.*n43.1
  • Lev 11:44 For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
  • Lev 11:45 For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
  • Lev 11:46 This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth:
  • Lev 11:47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.
  • Deut 14:3 Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing.
  • Deut 14:4 These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat,
  • Deut 14:5 The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois.*n5.1
  • Deut 14:6 And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat.
  • Deut 14:7 Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you.
  • Deut 14:8 And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase.
  • Deut 14:9 These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat:
  • Deut 14:10 And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you.
  • Deut 14:11 Of all clean birds ye shall eat.
  • Deut 14:12 But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray,
  • Deut 14:13 And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind,
  • Deut 14:14 And every raven after his kind,
  • Deut 14:15 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind,
  • Deut 14:16 The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan,
  • Deut 14:17 And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant,
  • Deut 14:18 And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat.
  • Deut 14:19 And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten.
  • Deut 14:20 But of all clean fowls ye may eat.
  • Deut 14:21 Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.

This list restricts the available animals down quite a bit. Rabbits and pigs are not allowed according to the Bible but they are great farm animals due to feed and reproduction statistics. Rabbits can be raised on many green leafy vegetables in a confined area and reproduce like crazy. The fur is also very useful to make clothing for cold weather.

Pigs are easy to raise since they eat almost anything. They will eat dead animals, rotten food, any left over you don't want. The pig itself can be used to make many different types of food since they fatten up well. Every part of the pig is used for some type of food whether its hog head cheese or pig feet.

From what I see the best all around animal would be chickens. Noise would be an issue because roosters are needed to for reproduction so that you can have chicken for years and years. They eat a variety of plants and insects and can be fed grain and left overs from your harvests. They will supply eggs and protein without having a huge need for supplemental foods. They will forage for most of it if allowed to.

Goats are another option but being that they are larger they require more area to forage and fencing needs to be stronger because they like to find ways to escape. They eat a huge variety of greens including ones that other herbivores won't. Goats provide protein, milk, and hides that can be turned into clothes. Their bones can be used as tools if needed. Since gas won't be available in a long term survival situation, goats can be fenced off in the yard to “mow” it for you. You just have to take them out before they get that second bite. Don't let them destroy the grass just trim it.

Just remember to practice crop rotation and follow the natural order of things. I mention crop rotation here because when you must garden to survive in a long term situation. Crop rotation reduces disease and pest your crops must deal with. Animals are a big part of gardening. Their manure will fertilize the soil so that crops grow strong and help them resist pest and disease because of the variety of minerals and nutrients in it.

I have found that the land should be dividing into maybe three areas; pasture with a pond (man-made or natural), farmland, and wood land. The pasture land should stay pasture so that the grass grows continuous and thick without issue. It will be used to feed your animals during late spring, summer, and fall. Some of the plants in it can be alfalfa which is a perennial. Alfalfa will grow back each year and is good for times of drought with a deep tap root.

Growing animals together takes experience. Learn to do it now. Consider animals that have multiple functions and keep track of each animal. Donkey's are stubborn but are a little better to have than horses. Horses eat more and require more effort to break in when new ones are needed. Donkey's are beasts of labor and used to haul things. They can be used to pull plows and stumps out of the ground. Horses are able to do the same things and can also carry people easily. Ultimately this is a personal choice for you. If you can, work with these animals on someone else's farm before you shell out money for them.

Final thoughts. Think about each animal you may want and do research. Keep a journal to keep track of each animal and feed. Know how many animals you can raise sustainably on your property and which ones are getting sick. It is better to start now and learn how to raise and reproduce them. In a survival situation and low budget farm, it is better to know how to reproduce them. Good luck to all and study hard but don't go crazy doing it. The worlds not over yet.

If you have anything to add or change just email me or leave a comment.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Small Garden of Little

So the garden has been started with taters and garlic. Not much really but I found that the only way to have a good garden here is with a raised bed. Problem is I don't have the cash to build a raised bed right now. Need to try and quickly find scrap wood that will at least give me one season to test it out. Without further ado;

Whole tater just as a test. Most of it had sprouted and decided to just plant the whole thing this time and see what happened. Can't see it due to sunlight reflection.
Tater at 5 inches in tire. Three more inches to go.

 Garlic with cardboard weed blocker. Its like a hand reaching for the sky.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Continued Nuclear Fear

The news from Japan sounds like what many in the survivalist community are trying to plan for. Natural disaster combined with man made hazards. The earthquake shook the land which caused tsunamis in the area and practically destroyed the nuclear facilities there. The Japanese don't seem to be worried but they sure are risking alot trying to stop what could happen. They've decided to send men in to re-enact Chernobal. Men are trying to keep the nuclear rods wet and repair as much damage as they can to keep a meltdown from happening.

We can not prepare for everything but those outside the radius of initial blast and heaviest radiation concentration may survive with an underground bunker, food, and water stores. Most of us are not able to build an underground bunker so we need to make do. Such as thick plastic sheeting and duct tape. Find a place in your dwelling with as few openings as possible. Load all the water and food you can in there along with a way to hold waste and control the odor. Remember that for this to work you have to use the plastic sheeting to cover all openings in the room so oxygen will be limited. Use in emergency situation only. If time permits shut off electricity, water, and gas to the dwelling before entering into the emergency room. This will prevent the circulation of radioactive material in the home and reduce fires. One of the main reasons people get radiation poisoning is the radiactive dust they breath after the explosion.

Use precaution and prepare. Its the safest way to survive another day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nuclear Fallout

The nuclear fallout from a possible Japanese Nuclear facility explosion has many people scared. Here in Texas, people are buying up all the potassium iodide because of possible meltdowns in Japan. Japan is over 5000 miles away from the coast of California. Any radiation that gets into the atmosphere will be dissipated to very low levels by the time it reaches the U.S. Some will get here just because the prevailing winds will push things around in the upper atmosphere but I don't see any worry yet.
Potasium Iodide is used when thyroid radioiodine particles are expected. The iodide floods the thyroid to prevent radiation from penetrating and causing cancer and sickness. Its very effective but not meant to be taken on a regular basis. Prolonged use can lead to organ damage (MSDS). Its meant as a short term survival tool and could cause more harm than good for people to take it if they think radiation poisoning is an issue from Japan. Potassium Iodide will not protect against other cancer causing radioactive particles. The best know method to prevent from getting radiation poisoning of any kind is time, distance, and shielding. The more distance and shielding the less exposure you receive. Time dissipates the radioactive molecules as they decay.

MSDS-Potassium Iodide.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just Another Reason

The recent events in Japan have sparked more interest in the idea of survivalism. Although earthquakes are not as frequent or sever here in the States, they are a possibility. We all should have have some food reserves on hand along with knowledge of the area so that when disaster strikes we can be ready. The east coast has huricanes to deal with and the west coast has earthquakes and tsunamis. However for the most part, many of the tsunamis have not been too bad. Most of the damage in California was a result of people who left their boats at the dock instead of taking them out to sea.
Tsunamis out at sea away from the continental shelf are nothing but another wave for a boat on the surface. The real power is underwater where the force "rolls" along the bottom rising with the slope of land. Tsunami power and destruction happens when the water lifts up following the land until it runs out of ocean area and hammers what is normally dry land.
The reality check here is that no one can be prepared for any and all situations but at least we can prepare for the most common possible ones. If you live within a 100mile distance from a nuclear facility you should prepare for worst case scenario that could happen with the facility. Japan has had some scares with low levels of radiation and partial meltdowns. Those people living near nuclear facilities should consider escape routes if time permits and facility integrity is compromised.
If you live near a large body of water such as an ocean then hurricanes and tsunamis are a concern. Think about geologic activity, California has to deal with that. The USGS has information you can look at to determine if earthquakes are happening in your area. Some have low intensity so they may not be felt by the humans living in the area in which they occur.
The knowledge to gain from current news events is simple. We all must understand our limitations, improve our weak areas, and smartly store water and food for times when they will be hard to aquire. Most events will be short term that we live through, maybe lasting only a few months at the most. Any longer than that means the area or house you were living in was destroyed along with your thousands of dollars of gear and food. Don't go crazy trying to store tons of goods. If the time comes, you may have to ration what you have but at least you'll have some food to eat when many others are starving and dieing. Remember the rule, its good to give but you will be compromised and your stores taken when civility are replaced with hunger and greed.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Garden Prep

Here in south Texas its time to prepare and plant. Most of the cold weather is gone and the ground didn't get cold enough to prevent plants from growing. I've got weeds in my yard that grew all winter even. Blasted things made it to where I had to mow during the winter. Now that spring is here, unofficially, its time to break out the shovel, turn over the soil, and drop some seeds. This year I've decided to reduce my ambitions and make an attempt at growing just a few items. Previous years have resulted in good plant growth but poor harvests where little to nothing was picked due to drought or rodent infestation. A few years ago the rats were so bad they would move in and eat everything out of the garden including chewing on the stems of plants. The rats were up to 7 in long not including tail. Nasty things that were very problematic. This year there has been an increase in wild cats in the neighborhood so rats shouldn't be a problem. Gonna just take it easy and see how things go. The soil has been checked and its good but almost totally clay. Not the kind of ground I'm used to. For three years I've tried to grow a garden here with no success. This season its gonna be different.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


This post deals with traffic in and around cities. Currently I reside near a city and it is not a good place to be. Those that live in or near cities know how traffic can be. Crowded streets and aggressive driving are the norm. Many people I know that grew up in cities don't mind the traffic. To them aggressive driving is the only kind of driving. The problem is that this type of driving causes many people to break the law and cause wrecks. I say wrecks and not accidents because individuals that drive in this manner know that it is not safe and could cause problems.
    I am not a fan of drivers that pull out in front of you when your doing 60 mph and decide you can slow down in time for them. It ticks me off to no end because the cops here in Texas don't care. They'll either not show up and let the drivers have at it or blame to driver that rear ended the idiot that pulled out. Another irritation is the drivers that are on the cell phone or text while driving. Not only do they vary their speed while driving from 45 mph to 70 mph, they also break constantly and swerve into the lane thats occupied by others.
    I enjoy open roads with few drivers because I don't have to worry about those other idiots. If I see a few drivers I can wave and hope to get a wave back. Its just much more relaxing to drive without the need to constantly watch the driver that has the cell phone out or the wobbles. A relaxing drive with fewer drivers is also a good way to start the day when heading to work. The mind is relaxed and, in my case, I feel happy and ready to start the day. Alas, the country is shrinking. More and more people are being born which is good but causes the planet to suffer due to the increased strain of providing necessities and space for living. Most cities I've been to cannot handle the number of drivers on the road and to me public transportation is riddled with too many compounded problems. Thats another topic in itself however. On the brighter side of public transportation, the more people that take it the more room on the road for me.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


It seems big brother is trying to take another little slice of pie. The article "Renewed Push to Give Obama an Internet "Kill Switch"" from CBS news says that the bill was originally put forth the middle of 2010 but has had some changes made. As if the government wasn't big enough, it now wants to install a "switch" to control the flow of information on the internet and they included a provision that would prevent judicial review for its use. A representative of the people needs to be able to review all actions of government. I am NOT anti-government but I am against unchecked government. I understand a need for military servers and certain financial servers to have a means of disconnecting from the net if cyber threats are bad enough. Computer hacking is an issue right now. Many financial institutions are being hacked and personal information stolen. All people should be alarmed. Its well documented that China likes to steal from America. Speaking of China, they have features in place to control access flow in their country. Are we seeing something similar being implemented here? We really need to improve computer security here not transfer more control to the hungry.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

State of Union Address - My Take

Watching the state of union of address felt like I was watching a movie. After every sentence people would clap and about a third to half of the 80 applause sessions including standing up. I'm not big on such activities for everything that is spoken. The State of the Union Address was supposed to inspire America and encourage us to feel positive about the future of this country. Not make me wonder how much it cost to hire the guy with the sign that said clap or standing ovation. There were many yes men in the crowd who cooed after every word but many faces could be seen that appeared to just stay with the crowd so as not to be singled out. They stood, clapped, and sat down without losing the frown or stone face they held before standing.
It was interesting that Texas has passed measures to let go of many teachers and is talking about shutting down schools, yet the speech included a sentence requesting more individuals become teachers to improve the quality of the youth in this country. Teachers are needed but it will take more than someone lecturing, parenting is needed as well. I've noticed parents don't raise youngins like they used to be raised. Punishment is now such things as, "Don't do that, I love you!" I know first hand cause I've seen this one used, didn't work.
Also in the speech was comments about keeping more educated immigrants in the country. Hmmm, if we wouldn't give them free education then we could save money there. Why keep immigrants in the country when citizens can't get jobs here. I know, I know. People argue that they do the jobs Americans don't want or their people too. Yea yea. If the jobs are there then someone will take them. Its not gonna be like we will have head hunters at the border yelling, "toilet cleaner position open." Immigration reform is needed but its a dead horse that rots with time and there is no way to make it work again. There are just too many involved and no one willing to take the necessary steps to fix the issue.
I agree with things that were said but I don't have the warm and fuzzy inside about our future. Talk says that jobs are recovering and the economy has rebounded some. However, what many don't say is that the number of jobs created compared to the number jobs lost is very small. Many people are working multiple jobs or still in danger of losing what they have because of reduced wages. Politicians talk talk talk cause its what they do. We have high hopes for new ones that "we elect" but it seems its business as usual with new faces. Most of the time from what I've seen, politicians do whats best for their pocket which may include reelection. I back the president because he is the icon of the nation. We all have to support him because if he fails we fail. I want him to succeed as president but on the terms of the people not his terms.
Hearing government talk of reorganizing the government causes my forehead to sweat and nervous switch to develop. I'll definitely have to keep my ears to the grindstone on this one to keep myself from being caught off guard. Will the changes include tax reform with reduction in national debt? Extreme high debt means tax increases. We all know its coming. We hate it but its the truth. Gov will never stop spending on things that are not needed. We need government to work for the people not against us to increase their power. No one person can do it all, not even the president.

What was your take on it?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lack of Info

So far this blog doesn't have much in the way of useful information. Hopefully that will change in upcoming posts. For now, it will suffice that I've been sick with a cold this weekend and have not been able to get information together for a descent post. May continue on with low quality post for a short bit till I get the hang of blogging and get my ducks in a row.
Being sick this weekend also put me behind on school work that is due each day this week. Not good. Tried to catch up today then my computer felt the need to crash. Whoop-de-doo.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


The necessity of college in today's society has been greatly exaggerated in my opinion. I have had jobs that require college degrees but had none. The training was the same and I did well at the job. I can see where certain fields have a need to go to school first such as medical or engineering. Both of those require knowledge that would take too long to learn on the job and be dangerous to boot since most jobs in those categories deal with human lives, directly or indirectly.
I learned today that the land I want to farm is going to be worked by another farmer. The land needs lime according to him and he would like to start immediately. He was given the go ahead so now I wonder what other changes and amendments will be needed to get the land self sustainable and void of all the chemical pesticides and fertilizers that are used on it by sharecroppers. Looking forward to the days when I can work the land the way I see fit and not rely on others to take care of it whilst I'm away. Must finish college and sell the house I have, soon.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Initial Post

New Year brings new ideas and possibilities. I've decided to give blogging a shot. Many different things will be posted here including survival info, life, and farm related posts. 

Like many in America today, I'm outta work and trying to make it. Coupons are helpful but I have not found they are wonderful. This year, yet again, I plan to try and grow a little garden in the Texas sun to see if this year will prove better than previous ones. The ground here consists mostly of clay and scrap that the home builder tried to hide by burying it in the dirt while building. When I get that project going I'll post pics and such to let you follow me in my blunders.