This article has some nice graphs and does a great job breaking down our food stamp president’s out of touch view with the rest of America. Show This To Anyone That Believes That “Things Are Getting Better” In America
I’ve been lax in updating posts and maintaining my site the past couple months, my apologies. With that said the holidays are over, spring is upon us, and I’ve emerged from my cave. I’m ready to get back in the saddle. I urge everyone to check out the following speech delivered by Dr. Benjamin Carson at Obama’s recent prayer breakfast. All I can say is wow what a brave and bold move on Dr. Carson’s part (hopefully the IRS will not go knocking on his door for an audit). We need more intelligent outspoken liberty minded individuals speaking out. The time to stand is now, join together with like minded individuals and let our voices be heard.
Composters are great for making use of organic waste. You have less “trash” and the resultant compost is great for your gardens, in particular raised beds. They usually run between $125 to $350 (depending on brand and added bells n whistles) at most home improvement stores. I made one out of an old steel barrel, some metal bed rails, lumber, and other items I had taking up space in my basement.
Now granted it’s not necessary to paint it up like I did, but if you’re going to bother doing something you may as well do it right.
I cut the bed rails to fit lengthwise inside to use as paddles to agitate the compost upon turning. I secured them with steel rivets.
I used the rollers that came on the bottom of the bed rails for the barrel to rest on and make turning it easier when the barrel was full.
I cut out a door and secured the hinge with rivets then added a seal around the edges where the door closes to prevent compost from spilling out upon turning. The door is held closed with a simple latch that fastens to a hook on one end of a bungee cord. The other end of the bungee cord goes into the barrel above the door and is tied in a knot. To close the door simply fold the door up, pull the bungee down, stick the hook in the latch and voila.
Make sure to drill an adequate amount of holes in the sides of the barrel for aeration. When you are ready to use your compost I simply pull my garden cart alongside the “top” of the barrel, unfasten the lid, and empty the compost into my cart. I tried to keep that in mind when determining the height at which the barrel rest.
There you have it! A simple AND cost effective composter.
Part of being a prepper is learning to be self reliant, something easier said than done in today’s world. I urge everyone to learn about growing food, its not as easy as it looks. I vaguely remember helping my grandmother do some planting and weeding and I remember helping my parents raise a small garden. More recently I have read online articles, blogs, and a few books on the subject over the past year or so. Despite having had a feeling of knowing what I was doing, none of those resources were as useful as actual hands on experience. I’m storing food why do I need to grow a garden you ask? A ton of reasons come to mind: 1) You can only store so much food. If the stuff ever hits the fan in a major way your supplies will only last so long. 2) Fresh produce will prove invaluable for supplementing your existing stores. You will get tired of eating the same things every day, gardening would be a great way to get some variety and make your supplies stretch further. 3) Gardens will help supplement much needed vitamins and minerals. Multivitamins only keep for so long. 4) It’s healthy for you. Not only does home grown food taste better but its better for you. Gardening also helps provide some physical activity. I earned a lot of sweat equity putting in those fence post! 5) You can save some money. The cost of everything is increasing at the grocery store. 6) Growing a garden served as a good family activity. We sweated and learned together and are a closer family for the experience. I could continue on but I think you get the point.
As I mentioned earlier reading about gardening is no substitute for actually doing. We made many mistakes and hopefully learned from them, a grid down situation is not the time to learn those lessons. Now is the time to be practicing because if we make mistakes the grocery stores are still open and we won’t go hungry for our ignorance. We also learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work in OUR area. Keep in mind there is no one size fits all guide to gardening: location, timing, rain fall, temperatures, soil conditions, wild life, etc. all come in play. You don’t have to start with a huge garden, begin with some basics and work up from there. Tomatoes, squash, and zucchini are all fairly easy to grow. We chose to use raised beds at our home and have been very pleased with the results thus far. We have had good yields per bed and weeding has been a breeze.
Our carrots and potatoes have done surprisingly well in barrels too. We also made a “portable” trellis to use with our peas. We grew strawberries in planters on the porch and they did very well till the birds got involved, lesson learned with those. We also planted several berry bushes around our property and hope next year we will be able to begin harvesting those for jams and jellies. We also have a small raised bed on our porch where the wife grows some herbs and lettuce that are readily accessible.
It is not to late in the year to get in on the action either. Many cool weather plants (peas, broccoli, cabbage, and lettuce) can still be grown. You don’t have to have a large area to garden. You can grow some out of small raised bed or even a 5 gallon bucket for that matter. As I stated earlier every little bit you can learn now the better off you will be. Make time and put in some effort, you won’t be disappointed in the experience.