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No Fuss Seeds: 10 Seeds That Love To Be Directly Sowed

5 hours 7 min ago

Is everyone as busy as I am in the garden? I did a lot of prep work in Fall and I still find myself hoping I have enough time to get all of my seeds in. But the soil is starting to warm up and there are seeds that love to be directly sowed.

What I like about directly sowing seeds is it’s a no fuss method to getting your garden started. As long as the soil is warm and moist, seeds can be sown and it will germinate quickly. Mid-spring to early summer (April-June) is the best time for to get your seeds in the ground. The secret to success is to prepare a good seedbed, free of weeds and with a loose soil.

These are 10 of the best seeds that love to be directly sowed.

Golden Bantam Corn
Danvers Carrots
Hales Best Cantaloupe
Green Lincoln Peas
Pickling Cucumbers
Green Beans
Rainbow Swiss Chard
Bunching Onion
Bloomsdale Spinach
Zucchini Summer Squash

You can bet I’m getting these in the ground over the weekend.

 

See you in the garden,

Tess

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 21st, 2018

Your Best Self: How To Find Time To Transform With Workout, Meditation, and Study

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 06:33

Well, the Winter is almost over.  Hopefully, you have continued through the Winter months with your physical training and exercise, along with continuous development through study and preparation.  It is truly an ongoing effort, requiring the allocation of time and the discipline to employ that time (i.e., use it wisely).  If you have not been maintaining a “ready posture” through the Winter, well, now is the time to get back into the groove.  Break down this “restart” with a method I call “WMS,” that translates into Workout, Meditate, and Study.  Let’s jump into it!

Transform Into Your Better Self

Workout: your physical training is imperative to your survival and optimal performance when the “lights go out all over the world,” and also in day to day business at hand.  I have written other articles on the importance of a training calendar to keep track of your time and budget it wisely.  I also stressed that your workouts should not last longer than an hour.  Your workout is for you, tailored by you, whether you’re into aerobics training or strength training.  The exercise is important for the health benefits, and also (when you’ve expended the energy), your body becomes more relaxed.  As we’ve covered exercise in plenty of articles, now let’s jump to the next step.

Meditate: After you’ve taken your supplements and your high-protein shake (no more than 20-30 minutes post workout!), limber up and prepare to meditate.  That’s right!  Meditation will relax your body and mind.  Meditation and working out also has a synergistic effect on the mind. It is proven to develop junctions in the synaptic nerve endings and reinforce connections between nerve centers of your brain.  Deep breathing exercises, while sitting in a comfortable position and listening to instrumental music, as you focus on relaxation and clearing your mind: this is what it’s all about.  You want to use music or tones (such as sounds of nature, as the ocean waves, or the songs of birds) without any words.  The words throw off your concentration upon relaxation…the words stimulate the mind to think of images or situations.  That’s not what you want.  You want to develop Alpha brain waves, and “de-stress” after your workout.  Wind down from the physical and bring your body back to a good state.  The time can be of your choosing…15 minutes to 30 minutes is fine for just starting out.  Now, step 3!

Study: Yes, study!  You pick the subject.  Have a nice cup of tea or coffee with your studies and give it about 15 to 30 minutes of effort.  After a good workout and a thorough meditation, along with a good cup of coffee (it is proven to help with concentration and mental alertness), you can feel refreshed.  It is also a good time to get the creative juices flowing in the brain…and improve yourself before starting out your day with work or whatever is in it.  Learning new things (such as a language) is very good to stimulate development (physically) of the human brain.

The key to the whole endeavor is to be disciplined.  This means you must make a plan and then follow through with that plan in action.  All of these three steps should run you under 2 hours.  It’s hard: juggling the treadmill for the week, the kids, and all of the “trappings” our constantly busy society offers.  Guess what?  You have to make time for yourself.  Do those three things, and you will find that the other things will become easier, and not harder.  Perseverance, persistence, and determination are needed to establish this as a new routine.  Make it a permanent one!  Don’t stop after a few days.  You’re investing in something for the long haul.  You will emerge from your three-part training program ready for a good breakfast, a refreshing shower, and then you can face the world both healthier and clearer.  The key is to face it on your terms and win each day, for yourself and your family.  JJ out!

 

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 19th, 2018

Ashwagandha: This Ancient Herb Has Been Used in Natural Medicine For Over 2,500 Years!

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 05:04

ReadyNutrition Readers, we’re covering a unique herb that has been around for quite a while as a holistic support and herbal supplement.  The herb is Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, or Withania somnifera scientifically.  It has been in use in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 2,500 years.  It is not a commonly-known herb, but the benefits are incredible and worth covering in this report to you.

For those who are not familiar with it, Ayurvedic medicine is the medicine that is traditionally used in the nation of India and has been in practice for more than 5,000 years.  The interesting thing is that we’re exploring the herb for its qualities known to traditional Western medicine, as well as in the context of American Sports Nutrition.

How Ashwagandha Can Improve Health

Ashwagandha can be taken in pill, tincture, or capsule form.  It is an anti-inflammatory that bolsters the immune system, relieves the pain and swelling of inflammation, and it reduces anxiety.  Yes, it is a stress-relieving herb that works on mild to moderate depression, as well as enabling physical recovery from strenuous work or exercise.

The herb is an adaptogen, a term used to describe an herbal substance that has a homeostatic effect on an organism.  What this means is that it works to bring your body into balance if there is an overage or a shortage that results in a person’s condition.  For example, if a person is hyperglycemic (too much blood sugar), an adaptogen will lower that blood sugar and bring the person closer to normal values.  If the individual is hypoglycemic (low blood sugar), the adaptogen will work in the opposite direction and raise the blood sugar closer to normal.

Most scientists do not know why an adaptogen works the way it does.  To Herbalists and other Naturopaths, the reason is not as important as the fact that the results can be documented and monitored, as well as the amounts a person needs to take in order to achieve those results.  The principle of Herbalism is that the whole herb (in whatever form it is consumed) is more effective than any of its individual constituent parts taken alone.  Examples of other adaptogens include ginseng (the most well-known and widely used).

Ashwagandha also works on male infertility, and at dosages of around 2,000 mg per day will help with low testosterone and low libido.  In much the same manner as ginseng, Ashwagandha enhances the human body’s ability to deal with stress.  It also improves reaction time, mental clarity, and performance as it relates to physical exercise and work.  Although there is no general consensus on the exact dosages across the board, following the packaging instructions from the manufacturer will ensure you take what is needed.  Usually, a dosage of approximately 500 mg either 1 to 2 times per day with a meal will suffice.

The good thing about such adaptogens is that they can be used to supplement a workout routine and help to reduce recovery time for a person.  When taken routinely, Ashwagandha is very productive for athletes, people working physically-demanding professions, and for stress…basically everybody!  Check it out in one of your grocery stores or in your health food concerns after clearing it with “Dr. Happy,” your friendly family physician.  It is not expensive, and it delivers a lot of benefits without any side effects or precautions.  JJ out!

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 18th, 2018

Grid Down: How to Get Water From Your Well When There is No Power

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 21:21

One of the problems faced with an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) is that your well will not be pumping water into your home.  For those living in urban areas and are relying on municipal water, your water could also be short-lived and it’s important to have a backup plan.

Well water is a different matter entirely because it is your well and you are responsible for getting the water. There are several solutions to this problem, and we’re going to close the article with a “quick fix” to enable you to get to the water.  First, let’s cover Operational Security (or OPSEC) regarding your well.

Protect and Conceal Your Water

For starters, you’re not going to be the only one who is hungry or thirsty when it strikes.  You need to camouflage, hide, or protect your well.  A structure such as a small shed could come in handy in that regard, as well as providing a little bit of relief from the elements when you need to obtain the water.  Cut a hole in the floor of the shed, and then drop it down on top of the well.  Then it’s a simple matter to insulate the edges of where the ground and the hole meet with blow-in foam or such.

There are plenty of kits out on the market for you to be able to pump your own water out of the well by hand.  Most of them have a special pneumatic part that will enable the suction to occur through PVC pipes that you join up.  There are plenty of companies to offer such.  Another way is to pick up a small generator (especially a quiet one, such as a Honda that features maintaining silence).  Have a good electrician wire you up a connection on your electrical panel, so that you can just plug in the generator and run the pump.

If you pursue this option, ensure that the intake and the exhaust for your generator are sufficient to keep carbon monoxide and exhaust from going into the home.  This is why the good electrician is worth his weight in gold.  It will vary from state to state.  In Montana, you can get away with just about everything, whereas in other states, you need to deal with permits, inspections, and even certifications to accomplish a simple task.

An Affordable Option For Getting Well Water

Here is the last suggestion, the “affordable” one.  Measure the inside diameter of your well, and take a reading to find how deep it runs.  Next, you’ll need to cut a section of heavy PVC pipe and make it so there’s an inch on all sides when you place it into the well.  Drill two holes in the top of it and attach a line to it running across on both sides and then connecting as a triangle to provide support…I prefer aluminum cable-wire on this one if you can get it.  Next, run another stretch of aluminum wire through the center of your pipe-section.

The pipe should be cut to about 2 feet in length.  A rubber ball that does not float is necessary for this one.  The ball needs to completely cover one end of the pipe.  Thread the second cable through the top part of the ball and secure it so that if you pull up on it, the ball will rest.  You want the line to parallel the lifting line that you affixed to the top of the pipe.

You’ll lower the whole apparatus, and when the pipe fills with water, pull up the ball, “seating” it at the bottom, and then lift up the whole apparatus.  The ball will hold the water in at the bottom of the pipe, and then you just drain off the water you pull up.  I’m sure there are plenty of readers out there with good engineering experience, so your comments on improved design will be most welcome.  JJ out!

 

Additional Reading:

These articles are worth the time to read and will catch you up on pertinent information and essential preps.

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 15th, 2018

Ask Tess: How do I protect my animals from radiation?

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 05:35

Tess,

So if I’m all protected with gas masks etc. how do I protect my animals?

A Reader

 

Answer:

Reader,

Thank you for sending your question in. One of our Ready Nutrition writers, Jeremiah Johnson wrote about the very subject you are asking about. In the article, he provides an excellent excerpt from the government regarding livestock and poultry.  The source is PubMed, and here’s the link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3895719:

Farm livestock shows no measurable effects from being exposed to ionizing radiation unless the level is greatly in excess of the natural background radiation. Possible sources of ionizing radiation which might affect livestock or contribute to radioactivity in the food chain to humans are reactor accidents, fuel reprocessing plant accidents and thermonuclear explosions. Most data on ionizing radiation effects on livestock are from whole body gamma doses near the LD 50/60 level. However, grazing livestock would be subjected to added beta exposure from ingested and skin retained radioactive particles. Results of attempts to simulate exposure of the Hereford cattle at Alamogordo, NM show that cattle are more sensitive to ingested fallout radiation than other species. Poultry LD 50/60 for gamma exposure is about twice the level for mammals, and swine appear to have the most efficient repair system being able to withstand the most chronic gamma exposure. The productivity of most livestock surviving an LD 50/60 exposure is temporarily reduced and long-term effects are small. Livestock are good screeners against undesirables in our diet and with the exception of radioisotopes of iodine in milk, very little fission product radioactivity would be expected to be transferred through the food chain in livestock products for humans. Feeding of stored feed or moving livestock to uncontaminated pastures would be the best protective action to follow.

Livestock faces the same challenges that we do

Here is what needs to be done:

  • Suitable shelter needs to be prepared for them with some type of air-filtration system and enclosed with heat
  • All food and water need to be pre-stored for them and protected from the radiation, as well. This is a true challenge because a correct estimate of consumption needs to be prepared.  They need at least one year’s supply of food and water and must remain indoors under protective shelter for at least one month until most of the radiation decays.
  • Decontamination: supplies need to be pre-positioned, and there is also manure/offal to be disposed of regularly…perhaps in a location that is also secured if you’re to turn it into compost.
  • Existing structures need to be modified: Most barns will (depending on the roof type) at the minimum protect from Alpha particles. The windows need to be closed off and sealed, and the challenge will be to provide air that is filtered and circulating in their living quarters.  Henhouses and chicken houses need to be assessed for the ability to keep fallout from reaching the poultry.
  • Minimum subsistence and breeding stock: Your biggest challenge will be to support the minimum amount of a population of livestock to be used for breeding to replenish the herds and flocks. Your hens will still lay eggs that can be used for food, and unexposed/safe cattle for milk (watching out for U-238 and Strontium-90 that can go into milk).  This is a long-term goal of protection for you to undertake for them.
  • Mines, caves, and other possible shelters: You could use these if nothing else, should you not have the type of protection available on your property. Just a suggestion, but the last resort.

“The Earth Still Turns,” meaning: you still have to take into consideration the seasons and all of the related problems with them, such as frozen drinking water and extreme cold with (grid down following EMP or war) no electric heat.

Geiger Counters and Dosimeters: to be used to monitor radiation for them.

If you haven’t already done so, I strongly recommend getting a copy of Cresson Kearney’s “Nuclear War Survival Skills.”  Even though this piece discusses livestock, the principles of a nuclear war and the scientific breakdown of shelter construction and radiation hazards still applies to them.  Most of the country still has some time before winter sets in to obtain extra supplies for the livestock and take extra measures to protect them.  It is better to do something than just sit around behind a keyboard and skeptically inform others of how nothing can be done.  It can be done: you are the ones who can do it if you resolve yourselves to take action.

 

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 15th, 2018

Want All the Green Beans You Can Eat? Get the Best Harvest With These Growing Tips

Sat, 04/14/2018 - 04:52

When I was growing up, I was lucky enough to have a grandfather who grew lots of vegetables (this is where my passion for gardening started). Without fail, every summer he would drop off bags of green beans and we would spend an afternoon breaking off the ends and putting them into a pot. I loved about green beans – the color, the texture, the flavor… Now that I have my own family, I’ve carried on that same garden tradition and green beans are always an addition to the garden.

Green beans are one of the easiest and most popular summer vegetable varieties to grow in your garden. What makes the green bean so easy to grow is because once planted, they require little attention other than a drink of water now and again. One reason that green beans are favorite choices among gardeners is that they have high germination rates of 70 percent and the seeds can remain viable for 3 years. Therefore, they are great for storing long-term garden plans. As well, bush beans, in particular, are a great cover crop for warmer climates.

We prefer growing the Blue Lake Bush variety of green beans because of their many uses. They were originally developed as a canning bean, but quickly became a fresh food favorite and are now commonly served along with salads or steamed as a healthful side dish.

One drawback to planting bush beans is they tend to take up precious space because they do not grow tall like pole beans. But, what they lack in height, they make up for in production. In addition, they require less work planting, staking, weeding, and watering. Another incentive to grow more beans in the garden is they have a symbiotic relationship with soil-dwelling bacteria. How this works is that the bacteria take gaseous nitrogen from the air in the soil and feed this nitrogen to the legumes; in exchange, the plant provides carbohydrates to the bacteria. The gardener can take advantage of this and plant nitrogen-loving plants near the growing beans like corn, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and cabbage. I usually plant a few bush beans around the base of a tomato plant. This provides added nitrogen and helps to shade the delicate roots in the soil. Native Indians also used this companion gardening trick and planted corn and squash near green beans (although they used pole beans to grow up the corn stalks). This is called the “Three Sisters” method and makes great use of garden space.

Growing Tips for a Big Crop of Beans

Like we mentioned, green beans are one of the easiest plants to grow, but there are some tricks to enhance the production process.

Plant them at the right time. Green beans prefer warm weather, so make sure all danger of frost is gone before planting. For the best growing results, when the air temperatures are between 60-70 degrees F, sow seeds directly in the soil where it will receive full sun. Those living in northern climates should plant beans at the beginning of the summer growing season. If your area has longer seasons, you may be able to harvest multiple crops. As a precautionary note, green beans do not take well to transplanting and could get stressed or damaged in the process.

Simply plant the seeds (with their eye facing down) about 3 to 6 inches apart and leave about 1 to 2 feet between rows, depending on the size and shape of the garden bed. Green beans usually germinate in 7 days so keep an eye out for emerging young sprouts!

Succession planting is best. Keep in mind that bush beans produce most of their crop all at once. To take advantage of a long growing season, plant a new crop of green beans every 2 weeks. As a rule of thumb for planting, plan for about 10 to 15 green bean plants for each person in your household each time you plant a new crop.

Mulch ’em. Green beans prefer warm, moist soil. During the growing season make sure that soil is kept moist during flowering and fruiting, as hot and dry conditions can make them drop their flowers or young beans before they’re big enough to harvest. A thick mulch of 1-2 inches under the plants will keep soil moister and cooler in the middle of summer, as well as serving to feed the earthworms and other soil life.

Deep watering is best. Ensure that your green bean plants receive one inch of water a week for good growth. Deep watering at least once a week (when there is no rain) is preferred, especially during the blossom and fruiting stage.

Rotate your crops. Rotating the growing areas keeps the garden healthy and prevents crop-specific pests and diseases from building up and carrying over from one season to the next in the soil. For best measure, beans should not be grown in the same spot more than once every four years.

Troubleshooting Growing Issues with Green Beans

Although green beans are relatively easy to grow, you could run into some problems now and again.

Pests: Bean weevils, Mexican bean beetles, leaf miners, cutworms, and aphids are some of the most common pests that will affect your green beans. Once your green bean has lush foliage, be on the lookout out for damaged leaves, eggs underneath leaves and signs of pests.

Releasing beneficial wasps could be advantageous in preventing pest infestations. For instance, the Pediobus wasps can help mitigate Mexican bean beetles. As well, planting companion flowers and plants such as yarrow, dill, and catnip around your garden can also help control pests. As well, control cutworm damage by making a protective collar around the young plants. Here’s a great video on how to make theseRemoving any damaged leaves from the plant can help it recover. Spraying soapy pepper water on plants with pests is also a great deterrent.

Diseases: Mold, funguses, powdery mildew, root rot, and other diseases can affect growing green beans. The best way to circumvent this is by prevention and have your soil tested to ensure it has the proper balance of nutrients. By doing so, you will know exactly what your soil will need and, in turn, will reduce the diseases and pests that could affect your plants. Soil kits are available at all garden centers. Another preventative measure is a crop rotation every few years.

Excessive Moisture: Moisture or over watering could also be a culprit. Keeping leaves and fruit are off the ground will greatly reduce diseases brought on by this. While bush beans do not require staking, but keeping the leaves and beans from sitting in wet soil will reduce the number of pathogens splashed on the leaves from the ground. Some gardeners lay medium-sized sticks around the bean plants to act as a barrier. Moreover, for added measure, stay away from your bean plants when their leaves are wet. Bacterial diseases become sticky when they are wet, which means they can attach to your hands, clothes, and tools, and you can carry them from plant to plant. If you find diseased plants, remove them from the garden right after you harvest the beans. Disease pathogens can grow amidst the stems and foliage and infect future plantings.

Time to Garden

If you are looking for an easy-to-grow plant for the garden, green beans are an ideal addition. As well, they are a great starter plant to help teach young gardeners about plant care. Make sure you plant plenty of extra plants for enjoyment!

See you in the garden!

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 14th, 2018

SHTF Combat Operations and Fabian Tactics

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 23:00

In one of my previous articles, I referenced several resources for you to use, and I will repeat them here.  The Field Manual for the Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad, FM 7-8 is the manual I used when I was in the service.  (The “modern” version is FM 3-21).  Another reference is SH 21-76, the Army Ranger HandbookThese three little books war a “gold mine” of information that you will need to organize yourselves (family, extended family-friends, and allies) into a cohesive force.  Notice how I did not say “effective,” and that adjective can only be obtained by practice and repetition.  It costs to become an effective fighting force.

The cost is paid through study, time, effort, and the allocation of resources; the cost is paid through practice and repetition.

That being mentioned, why am I writing about this?  Why write about such “military matters” as combat operations?

Because after the SHTF, the Army isn’t going to be sent in to do the “dirty work” for you while you dehydrate organic tomatoes: you’re going to have to do it yourself.

“Citizen-soldier” is a unique concept that perhaps is brought to the forefront of the imagination with the citizen-soldiers of the Revolutionary War…but its roots are much older than our transposed, Northern European form of society, culture, and government.  It has its roots in much older nations, such as the ancient city-states of Greece, and the Republic (then Empire) of Rome.

Citizens were not “encouraged” to serve: they were expected to be soldiers.

Fast-forward to now.  You can do the same: for your family, for your neighborhood, and for your community.  After it hits the fan, you may have to fight any number of enemies: marauding gangs, outlaws, foreign troops, and perhaps even those of your own government gone bad.

7 Tactical Topics You Must Master Before it Hits the Fan

You have a lot of studying to do that is beyond the scope of this article to cover, but we’re going to list some topics for you, and I will cover some of them later.  These topics are not merely subjects.  They are tasks, to learn how to do and execute as an individual and as a group.  Let’s list some:

  1. Traveling formations: File, Wedge, Diamond.
  2. React to near ambush.
  3. React to far ambush (sniper fire)
  4. Setting up an ambush (L, V, and so on)
  5. Fixing and Flanking (with an “A” team/squad as base and the “B” team as flanking element) This calls for a “lift and shift” of fires on an enemy.
  6. Strategic withdrawal/Orderly retreat
  7. Setting up a cigar-shaped perimeter at night, with security

My best advice for you to train your group: LINK UP WITH A VETERAN – AN EXPERIENCED ONE. A veteran will be your best bet for being able to bring all these tasks to bear and train to standards.

A War of Attritions

You also need to follow a doctrine, and that is one of Fabian Tactics.  What are they?  Well, Fabian Tactics are also referred to as “hit and run” tactics, and are usually thought of as “guerilla,” or unconventional warfare tactics.  They can be employed as such, and usually are; however, they are also used by conventional forces when arrayed against a much larger force.

The effects of these “hit and run” tactics are not to achieve an out-and-out victory, but to delay, to harass, and to dissuade a superior force from entering into an area and conducting regular combat operations that eventually lead to taking the ground and pacifying the resistance.

The term originated with the former Consul of Rome, Quintus Fabius Maximus, who utilized such “hit and run” tactics with the Roman legions when they fought the great Carthaginian General, Hannibal.  The measure was used successfully, in which the Romans wearied the men and forces of Hannibal and dragged out the conflict for so long that the battle in Italy was unsustainable.  It forced the Carthaginian withdrawal, and then later the Romans defeated them in North Africa.

Learn from experience.  Learn from those who did it before.  Read and study about the Viet Cong…how a third-world nation held out against the United States Military.  Do you want a good read?  Invest in The Tunnels of Cu-Chi,” for an in-depth view of how the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong were so successful.  Watch films on resistance…by the fighters in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II.  Do you want to know how to do it from the ground up?  Pick up the book and the film, both entitled Defiance,” about the Bielski brothers in Belorussia during WWII…how they formed and trained an effective resistance force.

Start studying these things.  One by James Michener (and not a novel, but a documentary) is entitled The Bridge at Andau,” where you can read about teenage girls that had the guts to blow up Soviet tanks during the Hungarian resistance.  Study, task organize, and train.  Above all, find yourself a vet and learn from them.

And treat the vet as a hero: as the vet should have been treated by the nation.  It may just be that the vet will end up being a hero again…in your service when the “S” hits the fan. 

 

Fight that good fight, fight it well, and fight it smart.  Fight it to win.  JJ out!

 

 

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 12th, 2018

FEMA: “Each Family Needs To Have a Central Rally Point”

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:59

ReadyNutrition Readers, this is going to take some planning on your part, as each person and family’s geographic location and other demographics (number of family members, etc.) are going to determine courses of action.

One of the problems that may be faced is that nobody will be home when the SHTF, and there may be a considerable distance for everyone to travel to reach home when that happens.

One way to lower your risks in traveling is to plan out and create rally points and hide sites.

FEMA also emphasizes the importance of having a family rally point.

“During many emergencies family members may be easily separated, and the confusion or chaos during any disaster often makes it more difficult for families members to find each other. Each family needs to have a central rally point that is reasonably secure and relatively easy for each family member to reach, adjusted for individual means of transportation. Such a rally point starts with a safe location near a family’s home or apartment … a location outside the residence where everyone agrees to meet in the event of fire or other threats. Think about other types of emergencies you might expect, and select the rally point providing the greatest safety during any one expected emergency. Families who have agreed, in advance, to help each other in time of major emergencies, also need to select secure rally points. I’m sure you may have heard all of this advise before, but too many of us forget survival essentials.”

When Comms are Down, Each Family Should Have a Rally Point

A rally point is nothing more than a predetermined location that you and all your family members agree to meet up or link up.  We will also address hasty rally points that can be used when you’re all together.  Hypothetically, let’s say that the Anderson family consists of Working Dad, Working Mom, 15-year-old Johnny and 19-year-old Susie.  Johnny is in high school, and Susie is a student with a part-time job in a drugstore right next to the school.  Here are the distances for all of them from home:

Dad – 10 miles       Mom – 8 miles       Johnny – 10 miles       Susie – 7 miles

Everyone is our hypothetical family is working and studying on the West Side of town, and home is to the East of town, for convenience’s sake.  Let us also say that the SHTF event is an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) attack.  The optimal location would be for the rally point to be established nearest to Susie, as she is the closest to home.  The others could make their way to this rally point…. let’s say it is a large oak tree in the park…where they would link up with one another and then attempt to reach home together.

Family’s Who Have a Hide Site Can Regroup More Efficiently

In addition to this, just in case things become too “hairy” you should establish a hide site.  A hide site is nothing more than a place to rest and regroup (possibly with some supplies that are hidden or cached) before continuing your movement home.

With everyone firmly rooted in the mentality of English property law, this may require you to establish a hide site that may be located on someone else’s property, such as a business or an abandoned/dilapidated structure.  You make the call and be the judge: when the SHTF, you can write a check to the property owner if you feel the need for sleeping in the abandoned barn with only three walls and half a roof.

The point being, if you’re going to use such things to facilitate your travel home, this means you will have to plan on them beforehand and perhaps conduct a rehearsal.  The more you practice, the better you will be.  You can then formulate a plan that will remove the uncertainties out of what all of you do.  What uncertainties can you avoid?  How about these, for starters:

“Oh, my word, where’s Johnny?” or “What about Susie?  My cell phone’s down…I can’t reach her!”

Mr. and Mrs. Anderson and family can take all the guesswork out of worrying for one another by having a premade plan that has been practiced.  A good deal of security and sense of confidence will come just from having a basic plan that each family member knows, and each family member knows that all of the other family members have the plan memorized and are going to carry out their parts.

You can aid each other in these plans with Motorola’s in the vehicles, shielded by a Faraday cage.  Turn on your agreed-upon preplanned family frequency when it’s safe to do so…and make communication when you’re able.  Now, back to a hasty rally point.  When you’re traveling toward the house?  A hasty rally point is a point that is identified by the group leader of your family as a fallback location while in the middle of movement/ traveling.

The hand-and-arm signal for “Rally” in the United States Army is to extend your right hand straight up, palm flattened, and make a circular motion above your head, fingers extended and joined.  Make sure all of your family members see it.  Then point to the exact location you have in mind: a small hollow at the base of a hill, a large boulder next to a creek, or whatever is decided upon.  Make sure each family member sees both the sign for “Rally” and you pointing to exactly where it is.

If trouble arises and everyone has to run, you will meet up at this rally point and then determine if you will proceed as you were going, or what alternate route you’ll take.  Planning is everything in this, and rehearsals will make it as perfect as it can be.  Help one another and take time to consider the best locations you can use, and give yourself a better chance.  Anything that will tip the scale in your favor even a few percentage points is worth your consideration.  Fight that good fight, every day.  JJ out!

 

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 10th, 2018

How Scientists Plan to Feed Billions Without the Help of the Sun

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 06:13

Our most recent article about the most recent minor eruptions at Yellowstone briefly touched on the mitigation process this type of disaster entails and the evacuation efforts that would need to be made for millions before a supervolcano were to erupt. This brings to mind an even greater question of how the world governments would be able to feed and care for citizens without the help of the sun.

Following a massive volcanic eruption, and especially in the case of a supervolcano erupting, the eruption would blast 240 cubic miles of rock, dust and volcanic ash into the sky. This would spread throughout the world and lower global temperatures by up to 28 degrees for years and cause what scientists refer to as volcanic winter. Due to the debris and ash spewing into the atmosphere, the sun will be blocked, and crops would not be able to grow. As a result, this would cause worldwide famine. Additionally, abnormal rainfall will cause major rivers around the world to flood.

This Has Happened to the World Already

In 1816, a similar situation arose when the world experienced a decrease in global temperatures caused by a volcanic eruption and caused major food shortages and famine. The anomaly was predominantly due to a volcanic winter event caused by the massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies. This event was exacerbated by a previous eruption in 1814 of Mayon in the Philippines. Adding to this dire time, the world was already in a centuries-long period of global cooling that began in the 14th century, and the volcanic eruptions in the early 1800’s only added to the agricultural distress in Europe. Failed harvests were widespread and deeply felt.

“Food riots broke out in the United Kingdom and France, and grain warehouses were looted. The violence was worst in landlocked Switzerland, where famine caused the government to declare a national emergency. Huge storms and abnormal rainfall with flooding of Europe’s major rivers (including the Rhine) are attributed to the event, as is the August frost. A major typhus epidemic occurred in Ireland between 1816 and 1819, precipitated by the famine caused by the Year Without a Summer. An estimated 100,000 Irish perished during this period.”

A Blueprint For Surviving Volcanic Winter

To prevent history from repeating itself, scientists have been searching for ways to feed the world without the help of the sun.

“At least two scientists have already sketched out a blueprint. In their 2015 book Feeding Everyone No Matter What, David Denkenberger and Joshua Pearce propose several ways to feed billions of people without the help of the sun.

Denkenberger, an architectural engineer at Tennessee State University in Nashville, started moonlighting as a catastrophe researcher a few years ago after reading that fungi may have thrived after previous mass extinctions. If humans ever face a similar threat, he thought, ‘Why don’t we just eat the mushrooms and not go extinct?’

Indeed, people could grow mushrooms on leaf litter and on the trunks of trees killed by the disaster, Denkenberger says. Even better would be raising methane-digesting bacteria on diets of natural gas, or converting the cellulose in plant biomass to sugar, a process already used to make biofuel. Denkenberger and Pearce—an engineering professor at Michigan Technological University in Houghton—calculate that by retrofitting existing industrial plants, survivors of the catastrophe could produce enough of such alternative foods to feed the world’s population several times over.

Of course, a few other ingredients would have to survive as well: infrastructure, international cooperation, and the rule of law. Whether human society endures or snaps is the unknown on which everything else could hinge, says Seth Baum, executive director of the Global Catastrophic Risk Institute in New York City, a nonprofit think tank whose researchers include Denkenberger.

‘How would we fare? I think the only reasonable answer one can give to the question at this time is that we have absolutely no idea,’ Baum says. To him, social resilience after a catastrophe is just another question for scientists to address, instead of leaving it to dystopian writers and doomsday preppers.

Not that he has anything against survivalists. ‘As much as they might seem silly on television, I’m actually a little happier knowing that there are people out there doing that stuff,’ Baum says. He quickly adds, ‘Hopefully, it’ll never come down to just that.'”

Source: ScienceMag.org

Fortunately, there are scientists and teams of individuals looking out for the human population and finding ways to keep us alive during the worst possible circumstances. But, as Seth Baum remarked in reference to preppers and survivalists, it is a relief knowing there are people out there doing stuff to get ready and are preparing for the worst-case scenario.

 

 

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 9th, 2018

Yellowstone Officials: “Eruption from Supervolcano Imminent”

Fri, 04/06/2018 - 20:20

Underneath the quiet nature preserve of Yellowstone is the most powerful and largest supervolcano on the planet.  The fear of it erupting in our lifetime has put many on high alert, and recently, the Steamboat Geyser of Yellowstone gave another indication that the area is under strain.

MORE than 20 police, fire, and rescue vehicles descended upon the area around Yellowstone supervolcano this week to prepare for what could be a “life or death” emergency. It was reported that a series of potential eruption at the Steamboat Geyser, the worlds tallest and active geyser occurred earlier this week and they are expecting more minor eruptions.  Source

Steamboat Geyser, Yellowstone

Seismologists who have monitored the area have warned for years that the area is under strain and has observed deformation in rocks occurring under Yellowstone for years. This deformation causes a change in pressure and magma underneath the surface.

In fact, last month, the same geyser produced similar activity giving cause for concern. Dr. Wendy Stovall, the deputy scientist in charge at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, a branch of the United States Geological Survey, said, “There is a lot of seismicity, or earthquake activity, and deformation around the geyser basin.” She also said, there is no cause for concern at this time. “Volcanoes all over the world have hydrothermal systems. “Because all the water goes away from the heat coming up. As long as there’s water and the geysers and hot springs and mud pots are still boiling, everything is fine.”

That said, Yellowstone National Park Public Affairs are not wasting any time and have begun preparations and training exercises. They confirmed that there could be a supervolcano eruption imminently and that they were putting themselves through their paces so that they were ready for any eventuality. In fact, the emergency services associated with the National Park are discreetly performing training exercises to minimize local disturbances and to ensure that if (and when) the volcano erupts, they will be able to act decisively.

What Would Happen if the Yellowstone Supervolcano Erupted?
  • An eruption would have 2,500 times the force of Mt. Saint Helens in 1980.
  • Would be larger than any nuclear bomb ever tested.
  • The eruption would blast 240 cubic miles of rock, dust and volcanic ash into the sky. This would spread throughout the world and lower global temperatures by up to 28 degrees for years.
  • 620 cubic miles of lava would flow out of the volcano. This is equivalent to coating the entire United States in 5 inches of lava.
  • Surrounding states would be wiped off the map (Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, and Utah).

Moreover, the amount of ash dispersed from the eruption could be so great that it could literally crush buildings, foul water supplies, clog electronics, ground airplanes, and irritate lungs. If that wasn’t enough to be bothersome, the toxic gases and chemicals would enter our atmosphere and cause toxic rain thus killing more humans, animals, and plants.

An example of what an ash cloud would look like after an eruption from a supervolcano.

Given these facts, it is understandable why so many are trying to prepare for this. Be it preparing for a quick getaway or sheltering in place, there is much to prepare for. Luckily, there is still time to get some reserves in order.

How Much Warning Would We Have?

So, will supervolcanoes give us any type of warning before they erupt? It turns out that supervolcanoes would provide a few warning signs that would give us a fairly definite timeline before they go off, but unfortunately, it’s not a very comforting timeline. According to a recent study, you’d have about a year or less to prepare.

Right before any super eruption though, there is one final stage — the decompression stage — characterized by the release of gas bubbles at the eruption site.

So, the study researchers decided to analyze quartz crystals at the site of one of these massive eruptions that erupted in California about 760,000 years ago, creating the Long Valley Caldera. Quartz crystals cover surface rims of eruption sites, so by analyzing them, the researchers were able to determine the rim growth rates times of the volcano based on the concentration of titanium in the crystals. By measuring the size and growth rates of these rims, they were able to determine the length of time it took for an explosion to happen once the decompression phase had begun.

Their analysis showed that more than 70% of rim growth occurred in less than a year, indicating that the quartz rims grow mostly in just the days or months prior to an eruption.

At first glance, most preppers would find that kind of warning to be a relief. After all, if someone told you that say, a nuclear war was going to happen in a year or that a tsunami was going to wipe out your home in a few months, you would have plenty of time to either get ready or get out of dodge.

But with a supervolcano, you’re dealing with a disaster that people and governments would need more time to prepare for.  That said, having these officials decide on when to sound the alarm will be the biggest struggle. “It’s going to be hard for scientists to convince themselves just because of our only partial understanding of the complexity of the processes that are taking place,” Jacob Lowenstern of the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, the scientist-in-charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory says. Source

 How To Prepare for the Long-Term

How does one prepare for a supervolcano? Survivability in this type of disaster is slim if you live in the surrounding areas. Animals and plant life would die, there would be mass casualties. This is the type of disaster that would change the way we live life on this planet for years. It is essential to understand this before you begin prepping for long-term survival.

Areas to concentrate your efforts on are preparing your vehicle for a last minute evacuation, having supplies to shelter in place for up to a month or longer, having a way to protect yourself from breathing in toxic chemicals,

Based on research on your part, find out if your location will be immediately affected. At this time, you must make a decision whether to bug in or bug out. Because you never know when the supervolcano will erupt, it would be wise to have a bug out bags in multiple locations (the workplace, home, and the vehicle).

If you evacuate:

Depending on where the volcano is positioned, millions of people may need to be evacuated, which even with a year’s heads up could turn into a massive humanitarian disaster. Similar to how officials plan localized evacuations, they will likely zone out the affected area and allow certain zones to leave one at a time. When it is your time to leave, make sure you have a clear plan on where you are headed, included where you stay, etc. Moreover, make sure you keep your vehicle in evacuation-ready.  This includes ensuring the vehicle is well-maintained with a full tank of gas, has the essential bug out supplies, has essential maps and navigational items. Follow the designated evacuation route and expect heavy traffic and delays. It might also be prudent to have a fire extinguisher in the car in the case of magma being near.

Prepare your home by turning off the gas, electricity, and water. As well, disconnect appliances to reduce the likelihood of electrical shock when power is restored.

If you are out of immediate impact and plan to shelter in place:

To supply the home for a supervolcano disaster, you need to plan for the long-term. It’s not only essential to have long-term food reserves, but also how to pack your food properly for the long-term. Due to the toxic rain that would cause mass extinction in the area, you want to concentrate your efforts on storing as much water as possible, as well as, food and supplies to live off of for a long-term emergency. As a starting point, fill sinks and bathtubs with water as an extra supply for washing. This is a great week-by-week preparedness course you can use to get your supplies organized and prepped for the longevity.

You can also expect to be without power and alternative light sources will need to be prepared. To keep toxic dust from entering the home, ensure that any holes in windows are repairs and close off the fireplace and furnace dampers.

Communication will be limited, therefore add new batteries to your radio, contact family members and let them know your plans and backup plans. Remember that communication services may be overwhelmed or damaged during this type of emergency. Have medical supplies prepped and extra prescription medications, if possible.

Another concern you should consider is the toxic air that will be present after the eruption. Two years ago, after the volcano eruption in Indonesia, thousands complained of lung irritation shortly after the eruption. At the time, a local official urged the government to send out medical teams to areas most affected by volcanic ash, as the health awareness of local people is low and they might not consider coughing fits or flulike symptoms to be very serious. He added that ongoing exposure to the ash will destroy the lungs of people inhaling it.  Having a way to protect your airways will greatly improve your health during this disaster. If you do not have access to a gas mask, have extra respiratory masks, handkerchiefs or cloth to cover your nose and mouth.

 After the eruption:

Once the eruption has ceased, stay indoors until the ash has settled. There could be a danger of roof collapse due to excess ash. If this is the case, seek emergency shelter elsewhere. To prevent toxic dust and ash from entering the home, close and seal all windows with duct tape and keep all heating, and air conditioning units and fans turned off. As well, because volcanic ash can clog engines, avoid running your vehicle. Otherwise, you could damage moving parts and stall vehicles. During this time, you should avoid driving in heavy ash fall unless absolutely required. If you need to drive, keep the speed down to 50 km per hour or slower.

If you have proper body protection, begin clearing ash from flat or low-pitched roofs and rain gutters. Protect yourself from ash by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, using googles and a respiratory mask.

 

 

 

(Sign up for our FREE newsletter to get the latest prepping advice, gardening secrets, homesteading tips and more delivered straight to your inbox!)

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 6th, 2018

How To Get Back in Shape After Winter {Plus Workout}

Fri, 04/06/2018 - 06:33

Over the course of all of my time writing for ReadyNutrition, I have continuously emphasized the need for physical fitness training, coupled with a good diet and proper rest.  This is paramount to survival if it hits the fan or you’re faced with an emergency (life or death) situation.  One of the problems I see with people is that they must “emerge” from the Winter…a time when the body’s natural rhythm is in accord with rest and lower activity.  They must also emerge from the holidays…the “barrage” of festive occasions from Thanksgiving all the way through to Easter. This high-calorie diet can create a heavy feeling and cause you to not workout as much as you should.

From a time standpoint of not working out and making bad diet choices, that’s a long time. Potentially, if one does nothing but eat and go back and forth during this time, you’re looking at six months or more of not exercising.  I’m not going into the “why’s” or parameters of that missed time.  We’re just going to tell you how to emerge from it and get back on track if you haven’t been training and maintaining over the winter months.

Let’s Cut to the Chase

Firstly, your muscles will have atrophied and shrunk somewhat over that period of time, and usually, people build up considerable weight in the form of fat.  When you first start out, it’s going to be twofold: at the dinner table, and with slow stretching and light calisthenics.

At the dinner table, you need to limit your intake to what you need.  Avoid the condiments and sauces and the other stuff with high-fructose corn syrup.  You’ll need to get yourself on a regular dietary routine for about a solid week.  All of this is going to be dependent on how much weight you’ve gained, and any other habits you may have picked up in between.  In that first week, you also need to do stretching exercises and light calisthenics.  If you lifted weights and let it slide?  You don’t want to just go out and start lifting immediately.  You need to acclimate your system to a healthy diet and your muscles to being subjected to physical exercise again.

Again, it will vary according to the individual.

Getting Back Into the Game

Remember, folks, you need to gently get your body back into shape. Train don’t strain. Workout a little more each day until you feel capable of taking it to the next level.

Basic Workout Program for the First Week

Day 1: Light stretching in the form of side-straddle-hop (jumping jacks), some push-ups, dips (for triceps, with a bar-grips or with the edge of a chair), and some chin-ups.  You can use bands (elastic or rubber) for stretching exercises as well.

Day 2: A brisk walk will be good for you and then some stretching afterward.  When do you stretch?  Try and rub your muscles with your hands, as well: this “massage” stimulates blood flow and distributes it throughout the muscle, as well as stretching the muscle itself.  Distance for your walk will vary, but it’s not to be a “walkathon.”  You and your body are beginning to become “familiar” with one another.

Day 3: Work your lower body and abs with crunches, wall-squats, more jumping-jacks, and leg lifts…train don’t strain!…and train to your ability level.  The idea is to get back into it, slowly and steadily.  Stairmaster-type exercises and step-aerobics can work well for you.

Day 4: Another walk at the same pace and distance as the one on Day 2…just enough to get the blood moving and stretch out.  Don’t forget to stretch and do the massage as outlined above.

Day 5: Repeat what you did on Day 1 with those same exercises.

Day 6: Repeat Day 3’s lower body and abdominal exercises and then a short walk about half the distance to your other two walking days (Days 2 and 4) to stretch out and finish off.

Day 7: A rest-day from training.

There is your first week of “getting back into the game,” so to speak.  Here are points to follow that are important:

  1. Put the fork down: Yes, put it down!  Do not snack in-between meals, and either eat three normal-sized meals or 4-5 smaller meals with equal time in between.  Concentration is on high protein meals with low fat and medium carbohydrates.  Stick with your pasta, potatoes, and rice.  It’s the sauces and condiments that really pile on the fat, as well as the method of cooking.  Try to broil meats and bake potatoes.
  2. Copious amounts of water: Yes, the key to getting back into shape metabolically is to flush the poisons out and stay away from sugary beverages. Sodas are no good.  Juice is good, but in moderation, unless it’s vegetable juice and without any sugar.
  3. Avoid harmful substances: Alcohol is detrimental to training and packing on muscle. Alcohol also is converted along the way and stored as fat after it gives your liver a thorough (and detrimental) fight.  Smoking (tobacco or anything else) is out.  You wouldn’t inhale a car’s exhaust fumes, so don’t put anything else that’s poisonous and burns you into your lungs.  Drugs (unless prescribed as medication) are a complete no-go to be avoided at all costs.
  4. Soreness and fatigue: You’ll need to capitalize on rest for the first several weeks to a month. Lactic acid will build up in your muscles, and the muscles will become sore and tired.  This usually puts a wall up to people getting back into exercising.  You can overcome it with proper rest (critical), proper nutrition (critical), and with hot showers, baths, and massages (palliative/supportive measures accompanying your normal hygiene).
  5. Interference: The normative, daily activities and rigors of existence…the telephone call from coworkers or bosses; the screeching parakeet, yelling children, and barking dog; the conversation between you and your spouse that “has to happen” just as you’re doing pushups; the surprise visit from “Uncle Nick” who has two 16” pizzas and a six-pack of beer. All of these “impediments” need to be overcome to succeed and require discipline on your part and a certain amount of diplomacy as well.

You can overcome what you’ve put on over the winter months.  It didn’t happen overnight.  It will require patience and discipline.  You have to take care of yourself.  A mountain of supplies and equipment will not help you if you are out of shape.  Now’s your chance to turn things around if they went “south” for the winter.  As Ben Franklin put it, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” but if you have to take that pound to cure it?  Then by all means: enter the fray and fight that good fight to win!  JJ out!

 

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 6th, 2018

5 Common Sports Items You Can Use to Protect Yourself in an Emergency

Wed, 04/04/2018 - 06:05

OK, I’m going to start this off with almost a “disclaimer,” of sorts.  Please do not think that I do not buy gear of top quality; however, I’m skeptical about much of the equipment out there on the market.  Just because something has a brand name attached to it doesn’t mean that it is quality.  Much of the stuff that is “garbage” and is passed off as being “quality” is manufactured on the cheap in China and other countries that are not trying to produce something that will last a long time.

That being mentioned, the article is specifically for people who don’t have $80 to “dump” into Oakley Tactical shooting gloves, or Tactical Military knee pads at $70 to $80 per pair.  And more.  While there are some great places to find quality tactical gear, this article can give you some ideas on how to build up a supply of reserves (or daily, whichever you prefer, with your “good” gear in reserve) for when times are tough.

You can find some good deals for used sporting equipment by simply doing a search on the internet. Ebay, Amazon are some big names that have used sporting equipment, but there are other websites that specialize in used sports gear. So, check it out in your free time. That said, let’s jump into it!

5 Types of Sports Equipment That Can Be Modified Into Protective Gear

Gloves: One of the things the Oakley’s have that attracts a lot of people are those hardened plastic “knuckles” on the outside.  That’s fine.  I personally feel that if you have the glove that covers the knuckle, you don’t need an “artificial” one: if you’re going to strike a blow, you’re not going to hit the individual on top of his helmet.  You’re going to pick a “soft” spot such as his jaw, his temple, his throat, etc.  There are some substitutes.  Weightlifting gloves, and motorcycle-riding gloves.  The tips of the fingers are removed, yet they’re padded on the palms.  Pick up the ones made of thick leather and maybe a Velcro strap to close around the wrist.  This will protect your palms, give your knuckles a shield, and still enable you to use your fingertips where gloves may (and often do) interfere.

Related Article: These Simple Training Techniques Will Prepare You For Emergency Hand-to-Hand Combat

Football and Rugby Shorts: These are great, made of nylon (Spandex-type) or polyester, stitched to take some punishment with padding on the hips and on the thighs usually sewn into the material.  When you’re lying in the prone, this is a great help.  Enables you to cushion those areas.  Helps to minimize bumps and bruises, as well.  Drawback: they don’t have “slots” to allow you to urinate easily.  Either make your own and emplace “button snaps” on them, or you’ll have to pull down on the waistband if you’re a guy.  If you’re a gal, well, it’s not a major concern.

Knee and Elbow Pads: As mentioned before, there is no need to go out and spend all that money on those pads.  There are plenty of rollerblading and skateboarding knee and elbow pads for half those prices that are just as durable, if not more so.  You should shop around to find the best deal and the best quality pieces.  Try to stick to earth tones or black in terms of color.  Used sporting goods all over the place will be able to get you a complete set of both for about $20 in total, and they work.

Wrist Guards: Now, on this one I’m partial…I like the ones that give you support and are made out of leather.  You may have to have these custom-ordered.  Reason for them?  Leather will protect the wrists from being slashed, either by a sharp edge or by a knife.  These, too, can be made for you at a leather-works shop.  Buckled ones are best.  If you’re not going to go with leather, then you can pick these up inexpensively for under $10 at Wal-Mart in the sporting goods section.

Shin Guards: The ones made for soccer players are the best.  Excellent to strap on the outside of your pants over your calves and tuck into your boots.  Protects you going through clear-cut, swamps, and other places that the shins are likely to take a beating.  Not hard to find and not expensive at all.

Not mentioned is the everyday baseball bat. I covered this in a different article on how this can be used in a self-defense manner and add any attention to yourself for having it in the vehicle.

We have covered a few things to give you some ideas.  Many of these pieces that are normally used in sporting events are designed specifically to take a beating, which is what you need for equipment in the first place.  It stands to reason that if you can save a few dollars and still get what you needed in the equipment?  More power to you.  Adapt and be versatile, and you’ll come to find the best deals often don’t just involve an outlay of cash but some scrutiny to see whether something more affordable will foot the bill.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 4th, 2018

9 Mindful Ways to Start Breaking Up With Plastic – For Good!

Mon, 04/02/2018 - 06:54

 

One of the big problems with our prepackaged, modern, consumer spending-based economies is that everything is mass-produced in plastic with little or no regard for the future problems it creates. To date, 14 billion pounds of garbage are dumped into the ocean every year – most of it being plastic.

The book “The Jungle,” by Upton Sinclair basically was the blueprint that propelled the FDA into action against big industry and how detrimental it can be to the individual.  Time, however, is the factor that erodes both conscience and consciousness, in that order.

Each generation faces new challenges from a system designed to follow profit-potential rather than the welfare of the people confined within it.  No exceptions are to be found in the food and beverage industries: most of their products are either unhealthy or outright poisonous due to dyes, preservatives or additives.  No less the containers and packaging they are in.

Recently several articles surfaced that categorized these problems.  Rather than “rehash” the information, in a nutshell, I will summarize it.  BPA’s (Bisphenol A’s) are chemicals used in plastic bottles, containers, and on the interior liners that are found in many food cans.  This chemical has been in use for more than fifty years and is found to be linked to male infertility, low sperm counts, and prostate cancer, as well as, breast cancer in women.

How This Will Affect Your Body

BPA lodges in the body’s fat cells and disrupts endocrine function…this is your body’s hormonal system.  Here are two articles you can read to reference these problems:

Study Reveals Science Behind Soy Boys,” by Kit Daniels of Prison Planet, 2/5/18.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is Found in Plastic Containers, Water Bottles, and in Till Receipts,” by Victoria Allen, the Daily Mail, 2/4/18.


You will see in the articles that the BPA contaminants are far from being limited to just the food and beverage industry.  The problem with the articles is they don’t suggest any kind of solution: they just mention things such as “you should check to find out if a product has BPA’s on the label,” and “don’t handle any cash receipts from the stores!”

Moreover, it was exposed recently that plastic microplastic contaminants were found in 90% of bottled drinking water.

recently released study tested 259 water bottles from 11 brands sold across nine countries, including the United States, and found that 93% of those tested contained microplastic contamination. The research, which was conducted by researchers at the State University of New York at Fredonia and non-profit journalism organization Orb Media, found an average of 10.4 plastic particles per liter of water, which is twice the amount of contamination found in tap water, according to another Orb Media investigation

Source

9 Mindful Ways to Phase Plastics Out of Your Life

Well, we’re going to offer some solutions.  Of course, they won’t be perfect, but you can cut down on your exposure to such things and give yourself a better edge.  Let’s do it:

  1. Use containers for your drinking water that are not made of plastic, like this one. This will be extremely difficult for long-term storage.  I have written extensively about the importance of storing a water supply.  I’m not reversing my stance: life over limb instead of being “Mr. Particular” and agonizing over some things that cannot be changed.  If you can afford giant, stainless-steel or porcelain water storage vessels…go for it.  If you have only the plastic, then run with the ball as best you can.  But tote your water on a daily basis and store water for your daily drinking needs in either glass bottles or stainless-steel bottles.  You can also use wide-mouth 1-quart Mason jars.  The biggest challenge you’ll face is the freezing temperatures of the winter.  Fill your vessels up to about ¾ of the way to allow for some expansion if the vessel freezes.  The steel bottles you can heat over a flame.  The glass bottles, warm them up gradually.
  2. Use corning ware or smooth-baked porcelain in place of plastic food storage containers or cling-on wrap. These food wraps are made from beeswax and are washable and reusable.
  3. Use reusable storage bags instead of plastic food bags for storage. This is a great way to get away from plastics and teach mindfulness to the youngsters. We also found these reusable bread storage bags that could be used when buying bread at the bakery.
  4. Heat up your food in the oven and not in the microwave…this will enable you to use that corning ware you store your food in.
  5. For food freezing or long-term storage: use wax paper and butcher’s block paper…steer clear of aluminum foil…or any container of aluminum, for that matter.
  6. Check out all of your cookware beforehand for the presence of any BPA’s or chemical contaminants…Teflon-coated pans or pots are a No-Go, for example. Cast Iron and Stainless Steel…you can’t go wrong with them.
  7. Utensils and plates: go with metal and porcelain/corning respectively…avoid the plastic coatings and chemicals that are attached to them.
  8. Use your Internet resources and Consumer reporting firms (regarding products) to find out what chemicals are used in your foods, the packaging, and all of the products you purchase…before you purchase them.
  9. Wilderness and outdoor equipment: I use two WWII-era steel one-quart canteens with cork liners…I mentioned I prefer the canteens to the Camelbaks. One of the reasons is the steel canteens can be heated up.  I also use the issue canteen cup (made of steel) for my Morning, Joe, when I’m out in the woods.
Start Healing the Body from Heavy Metals

I recently wrote several articles about chelation therapy, and the herbs used to remove heavy metals from your system.  I highly recommend going back and reading them.  When you pick up your groceries, if you can shop at the coops or the Hutterite or Mennonite farms for your meats and produce, by all means: eliminate the chemicals in this manner.

If you are forced to continue to buy from the grocery stores, I recommend researching how you can clean up or remove chemicals from your food, as the depth is beyond the scope of this basic article.  This piece will get you started with ideas and help you in the first step: to become aware.  The next steps are up to you.  JJ out!

 

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 2nd, 2018

How To Escape Unseen and Cover Your Tracks in Winter

Fri, 03/30/2018 - 05:36

Let’s say the you-know-what hit the fan and you did everything right. You made short and long-term emergency plans, had multiple escape routes and somehow were still tracked down and captured. In a post-SHTF world, all bets are off. The world you would find yourself in is unpredictable at best. So what would you do if you were taken captive? Your only option would be to find a way to escape.

Related article: If You See These 14 Signs It’s Time to Bug Out

Timing is Crucial

So, when is the best time to run from pursuers?  Wintertime can often be unrelenting but could offer you an opportunity in this situation. If you know how to read the signs Mother Nature gives when a storm is about to hit, then you could time your escape perfectly. A snowstorm could be the best time to escape. The middle of a snowstorm will give you good cover and erase any tracks you make at the same time – especially with a good head start. That said, it is important for you to know beforehand and train how to navigate in the snow.

The pain is that the snow levels can be at a depth where you will need snowshoes. This video can show you how to use a knife to make snowshoes out of evergreens and cordage. (Your paracord bracelet would come in handy for this!) Now, with the head start, your snowshoes will leave tracks that will be almost indistinguishable in a few hours.

How To Cover Your Tracks

You can help it along.  Take a fallen branch…2 feet in length or more and drag this behind you over top of your tracks…smooths them out.  By the time the pursuers reach the area you’ve traversed, the falling snow will have done the trick.

Bear in mind this doesn’t beat the dogs, who track by both sight and scent.  We’ve discussed beating them in other articles.  This is for the two-legged “dogs” who pursue you.  Also, part of keeping your trail to a minimum is to look where you step.  With snow, to step on an embankment that may collapse on one side is a no-go.

Rule: Do your best to maintain the overall visual “continuity” of the terrain you’re traveling over.

This applies to any season, and it means to keep everything as natural looking as can be.  You can be aided in a snowstorm flight by high winds that will also help to blow the snow (especially if it’s a “dry” snowfall) across your trail.  If there’s a fallen log, don’t step on it or go over it…go around it if possible.  You want everything to appear au naturale to the pursuers…nothing out of place.  Take special care not break off any branches or step on any fallen timber and cause a fresh break.  Foliage that has snow on it?  If a man-sized patch of green shows through where small evergreen saplings are growing…they’ll know that a human passed through there.

Confuse the Trackers By Doubling Back

Doubling back is a good way to throw them off…if you do it right. You can reverse the snowshoes when you head back, as well…but you must make sure that you brushed over top of your first set of tracks before you double back.  A good tracker will also see more weight is distributed overtop of the toe area.  Lead it to the edge of a cliff and throw them off your trail if you can do it.  Want a good one?  Bring an extra jacket and an empty backpack with you.  Wrap boughs in it and throw it off the cliff, after filling the backpack with snow.

Your “dummy” will be partially covered with snow when they find it and they’ll waste time getting down below to check it out.  Time is what you want to buy yourself.  As many times as you can break off the main trail, throw a “division” and then double back, the better.  It is going to depend on how much time you have, and in how good a physical shape you’re in.

Covering Your Tracks in the Mud

During the warmer months, with the Spring Thaw, the first thing you’re going to have to deal with is the mud…and mud means a problem.  Mud means footprints, and mud that clings to your boots and is dragged with you…an exceptional problem when trying to cover your tracks. Due to the differing terrains, you will encounter this issue – especially in a rocky field with scrub grass.  Suddenly, tracks from “The Golem” are seen making a trail in the grass for about 50 meters.  Bad juju.

When transitioning from a muddy area to a terrain with little or no mud, you must have a way of taking care of this so that you don’t leave the tracks.  The answer: Teva’s.  Yes, the hardened-sole flip-flops that can take a rugged gravel creek bottom with sharp stones.  Pack these Teva’s and a sturdy plastic bag for when you’re changing the terrain.  Take off the muddy boots and throw them in the bag. Switch to the Teva’s for the entire time you cross the new terrain.  Switch back again when you come to more mud and slop to cross.

I’m a firm believer in using the creeks if the bottom is firm, as prints will be left in a muddy bottom.  For this, you’ll want to pick up some neoprene booties as well as some Rocky Gore-Tex socks.  Then you can protect your feet from the temperature of the creek.  Knowing the terrain beforehand is critical.  You can follow outcroppings of rock and submerged rock flats for a long way in a creek if the depth is below the knee without making any trail.  Bust up your travel of a trail and use both sides of the creek intermittently when you must emerge from it when possible.

One of the things you can do is to make yourself a pair of “boots” for the spring months…out of tough nylon or plastic bags.  Tie off four (4) pieces of broken branches to your boots, forming a “tic-tac-toe” arrangement of lines…making sure the ends don’t protrude too far from your boot edges.  Then pile some leaves and brush in your bags.  Step on this “mass” and then tie up the edges of the bag around your feet.  This will help you to keep from making tracks by removing your sole from the equation and giving you more surface area to distribute your weight.

You’ll have to repair or change it off every so often, so have an extra supply of bags you can switch off to.  The field expedient method is to do it with shirts or pieces of cloth taken from an article of clothing or from a sheet of material.  Just remember to tie up the corners, with the “biomass” of leaves and scrub beneath your feet.  Next installment, we’ll cover the dry summer and desert conditions, as well as some specialty information.  JJ out!

 

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 30th, 2018

How Medicinal Mushrooms Can Improve Your Health

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 06:38

For those of you who may be wondering, I can state this article is completely objective.  As far as mushrooms are concerned in the diet?  I hate ‘em.  I hate the very sight of them regarding cooking and as an accouterment to meals.  That being said, I still actively gather them when possible and have plenty of supplements with them.  I value them from a natural medicine perspective and admit to their having nutritional value, although I hate the taste of them.

What’s so great about mushrooms?

Mushrooms contain fiber, protein, and carbohydrates, as well as vitamins and minerals, especially B-vitamins and the mineral selenium.  They are extremely low in fat.  Three ounces of mushrooms (White Mushrooms, readily available in grocery stores) contain about 3 grams of protein.  Unlike other foods that lose the nutrients in the cooking process, mushrooms actually release their nutrients when they are cooked.  They are also good for supplying Vitamin D and have been shown to increase HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins, aka the “good” cholesterol), as well as lower Triglycerides in the bloodstream, thereby making them helpful for the heart and circulatory system.

Health Boosting Medicinal Mushrooms You Need for Natural Medical Supplies

Shiitake Mushroom

There are many beneficial chemicals contained in many mushroom species, such as antioxidants, that fight free radicals, and oxidation (processes of aging and cellular deterioration).  They also contain polysaccharides and phenols, and these help to reduce inflammation and stress.  Lentinan and beta-glucans are chemicals that help with chemotherapy and side-effects associated with it, such as nausea and vomiting.  Beta-glucans themselves are cancer-fighters and are found in such types as Shiitake, a popular mushroom found in grocery stores.  Shiitake mushroom extracts have been found to help combat bacteria and viruses, and the extract, as well as the dried mushroom, can improve the immune system by strengthening it. We found this tincture recipe from Moutain Rose Herbs to guide you through making your own.

Make a Mushroom Double Extraction

Ingredients

  • 80 proof or higher alcohol (I use vodka)
  • organic (and consciously harvested) dried mushrooms such as reishimaitakechaga, or shiitake
  • water (I like to use water I collect from springs)

Instructions

  1. Fill a jar halfway with dried mushrooms.
  2. Fill jar with alcohol, making sure that it completely covers the mushrooms, but leave about a ½ inch space at the top of the jar.
  3. Let it sit for a month. Shake daily.
  4. After a month, strain mushroom-infused alcohol into another jar and set aside.
  5. Next, make a water extract by bringing a half gallon of water to a simmer in a stock pot. Add the mushrooms from the alcohol extract to the simmering water.
  6. Simmer the mushrooms for about 2 hours, until the water has reduced to approximately 8-16 ounces. Make sure to keep an eye on the water level, as you don’t want it to completely evaporate. You may need to add water to the stock pot throughout the process.
  7. Let it cool.
  8. Strain and compost the mushrooms, reserving the mushroom-infused water.
  9. Combine the water extract with the alcohol extract.
    The final product is your mushroom double extract! The alcohol percentage should be somewhere between 25-35%, making it shelf stable.

Source

Maitake Mushroom

Other species such as Maitake are also extremely effective in combatting viruses and bacteria.  The King Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus eryngii) is a species of the Pleurotus family that has anti-pyretic properties, meaning it boosts immunity to fever and sicknesses.  The King Oyster also has been shown in studies to increase testosterone by as much as five times, a factor that could be helpful in men with problems relating to impotence.  The King Oyster is found throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia, and is supposed to be pleasant to the taste and used as a culinary mushroom: on these last two points, I’ll take their word on it!

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is another one, also known as Yamabushitake.  This guy is supposed to also fight inflammation, and also be an aid to boosting cognitive function…protecting from dementia and Alzheimer’s. It is also supposed to increase nerve-growth factor, an important component of brain “maintenance.”

 

Related article: Four Medicinal Mushrooms to Add to Your Natural Pharmacy

There have been several studies relating to “Psychedelic” or “Magic” mushrooms that have yielded dramatic results in treating depression and neurological disorders.  The most important thing with the mushrooms is identification, especially if you gather any types in the wild.  I have the National Audubon Society’s Field Guide to Mushrooms of North America, that has more than 700 photographs…color photographs that I believe are critical to proper identification.  I highly recommend investing in such a manual.

So, to summarize, you don’t have to like mushrooms in order to use them and stock up on tinctures and supplements.  Every time I see one I think of the movie “Attack of the Mushroom People,” and dread their smell and taste…hating the very sight of them.  Yet I respect their powerful and useful medicinal qualities and highly encourage you to research them further and employ them for your own uses.  Fight that good fight, drink coffee, and eat a good pizza…but hold the mushrooms!  JJ out!

 

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 28th, 2018

Prep of the Week: FREE Survival Seeds!

Sun, 03/25/2018 - 18:44

Who has noticed a consistent increase in the cost of food each year? The most recent numbers continue to reflect an upward trend in prices. In this year alone, the United States Department of Agriculture predicts that food prices will increase between 1.0 to 2.0 percent.  While many see this as a normal inflation rate, it’s becoming more difficult for families to carry on their normal way of living.

Global events create volatility for food prices and our dollar is not as strong as it was in recent years (when food prices were lowered). The following list shows how the price of foods reacted to events taking place worldwide. (Source)

Food Freedom Starts in the Backyard

For years, I have placed emphasis on finding ways to be more sustainable. Rather than being a consumer, I started taking steps to become a producer and save money in the long run. I made a personal goal to start growing my own food pantry.

If you are just beginning your food pantry, ideally, you want to store long lasting shelf stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that serve multiple purposes. Having tools on hand to dehydrate and preserve extend the shelf life exponentially. Here are 25 foods to use as a starting point. Many of the foods listed in the previous link can be grown in a garden or on your property. By taking steps to grow your own food, you can naturally begin to restock grains, fruits and vegetables, spices, canned meals, and even plant-based oils for your pantry. 

I found research that supported my claim: A well-maintained food garden yields 1/2 pound of produce per square foot per growing season, according to the National Gardening Association. So a 600-square-foot garden, the American average on which households spend $70 per year, could churn out 300 pounds of fresh produce worth about $600 annually, the association estimates.

Not only did I begin growing food for my pantry but also foods that had the highest price fluctuations, such as beef, eggs, and fresh produce.

  • I started raising chickens for eggs. We raise sex-link chickens that we have found to be prolific layers of extra large brown eggs. As well, they have a very kind and pleasant disposition.
  • I added rabbits for emergency meat sources. We have a few New Zealand/California Meat rabbits that, if in a pinch, we can breed for emergency meat sources. They have not been bred yet and are currently helping me add nutrient-rich manure to the compost piles and garden. But I feel relieved knowing we have them and can use them if needed.
  • I planted some mini-dwarf fruit trees. I chose mini-dwarf fruit trees because they begin producing fruit faster than larger fruit trees. To date, we have 10 different fruit trees around the property and I plan on adding some nut producing trees soon. Most of the fruit from these trees can be dehydrated or made into tasty jams, jellies, and fillings for pies. An added bonus is the blossoms attract needed pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds for the garden and any extra fruit we get can be offered to livestock or to attract wild game animals for food.
  • I started looking for locally sourced beef and raw milk. This has been the biggest challenge for me. I bought a share of a cow for fresh milk and everything was working out great and then the cow ate poisonous weeds and died – no more milk shares and no more delicious raw milk. I also found a local rancher who sold me half a cow he was about to butcher. I was so excited to have a freezer full of tender meat, but the meat was tough and almost gamey. Therefore, the family was not excited about eating beef, so I turned most of it into sausage and they loved it. So, I’m still on the lookout for finding a great deal in this area.
Taking these steps will save me thousands each year on food! Prep of the Week: FREE SEEDS to Help You Increase Your Personal Food Supply

Are you ready to take steps to break free from a dependency-driven system? Here’s your chance!

Our prep of the week is FREE SEEDS from Ready Gardens.

For the rest of the month of March, Ready Gardens is offering over 1,000 of premium organic heirloom survival seeds free (you pay for shipping).

This Survival Seed Starter Pack contains five jumbo seed packets of key nutrient-rich seeds that will provide essential food in an emergency. The best part is once your produce is ready to harvest you can start saving some of the seeds for even larger harvests in the future.

All seeds are pesticide-free and contain absolutely no GMO’s!

Here’s are the seeds you’ll find in your Starter Kit:

(Sorry, no substitutes)

While these seeds will help your family start the journey towards food freedom, we encourage you to consider upgrading to the Vegetable Garden In A Can for year-round gardening. Containing over 5,000 seeds (including the five ‘Survival Seeds’ mentioned above) – enough to feed a family of eight for over one year – this kit can be used for spring, summer, fall and winter gardens and contains 25 different seed varieties.

Now is the time to take steps to produce your own food and beat food inflation. And all of you know that fresh, kissed-by-the-sun produce from the garden tastes better than anything sold at the grocery store.

 

Additional Reading:

An In-Depth Look at 100 Years of Consumer Price Changes

Retail Food Price Outlook

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 25th, 2018

Post-Collapse Survival Bartering: 10 Items That Will Be Worth Their Weight in Gold

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 04:59

 

As a nation, we are faced with a host of different problems from many directions, both domestically and internationally.  The statistical improbability of a disaster occurring (such as war or economic collapse) decreases with the passage of time and the addition of other factors that lead into such.  For a couple of good “primers” on collapse and warfare (overall effects on societies and civilizations), I recommend two by Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs, and Steel,” and Collapse.”

When any kind of society or civilization becomes unraveled, usually the nation’s cash loses its value within days at the most.  We’re going to cover a few general categories of items to keep for barter (meaning “regular” or frequent trade), citing individual examples within each category.  In The Prepper’s Blueprint, the idea of bartering was covered extensively and it isn’t always acquiring tradable goods, but also tradable services.

If a long-term emergency causes and end to our existing monetary system and an end to the exchange of fiat currency that our world currently operates on, people will resort back to bartering for skills and services in order to make transactions.

Living in a bartering environment means one must possess certain goods or skills that others find value in. As Brandon Smith writes on the subject, ‘If you wish to survive after the destruction of the mainstream system that has babied us for so long, you must be able to either make a necessary product, repair a necessary product, or teach a necessary skill.'”

The Prepper’s Blueprint

Do Not Barter The Following Items:

Before I “hit the list,” I’m going to mention what I will not barter or only in an emergency, and why.

  • Ammunition, Firearms, or parts for firearms: The first two can be used against you, and the latter can be employed to fix something that can be used against you. [I will not barter with them ever]. That said, in a previous article, I mentioned the importance of knowing how to repair firearms. This is a barterable skill and one that will be of high importance in a post-collapse scenario.
  • Medicine: I need that for me and mine…and will not barter with it regularly [Only in an emergency…and never any antibiotics].
  • NBC gear and supplies: This takes the form of masks, suits, survey meters (Geiger counters), dosimeters, anti-rad tablets, and so forth [I will not barter with them ever]. To find these items for your preps, click here.
10 of the Best Items for Bartering
  1. Fire Starting Materials: Books of matches, disposable lighters, wicks and flints for Zippo’s. All these guys are worth their weight in gold in the event of a collapse.  Check out some of these fire starting materials for ideas. The great thing about this is they are always needed, simple to trade, and they don’t take up a lot of space to store.
  2. Over-the-Counter (OTC) First-Aid supplies: Small tins of band-aids, aspirin, Tylenol, antacid tablets, gauze bandages, first-aid tape, alcohol prep pads, cough and cold supplies. These are differentiated from “medicine” as I mentioned not to trade, in that they are small, sundry-type articles that are valuable and in short supply when times are tough.  They are also easily affordable and do not take up much storage space. Here are 50 of the most popular medical supplies that preppers put away for emergencies, and some of them can be bought for cheap at the Dollar Store.
  3. Multiple Toiletry Items: Hotel-types of small individual soap bars, shampoo bottles, towelettes, toothpaste, and shave cream. These you can ask a hotel or motel manager to order you an extra case: pay him beforehand and give him some extra.  In this way, they’ll all be in a big cardboard box and individually packaged up and ready to trade.
  4. Batteries: Will always be in short supply when you need them. It will be that way for others as well.  Just be careful to protect them from moisture when you store them and inspect them frequently to make sure there aren’t any leakages. There are certain batteries that are best for off-grid retreats. You can read about them here. Having an excess of these will be a good investment. As well, there are ways to make a battery last (practically) forever and this could be great knowledge to possess when TSHTF.
  5. Sewing supplies: Yes, needles, threads, thimbles, and safety pins. Sewing kits cost almost nothing when you buy one in the discount stores.  Clothing repair will be very important, as good serviceable clothing will be in short supply.
  6. Small tins and cans of meat: This is always usable as your own supply, of course, and can be bartered. 3 to 6-ounce cans of things such as sardines, herring, chicken, tuna fish, and the likes…they are small enough to be able to trade, and they’ll be worth their weight in gold for their portability.
  7. Candles: especially in the form of tea-lights, and small candles (of the types listed as “emergency” candles). They are inexpensive and easy to barter for when there’s no electricity.  Remember to store them vertically, as if you lay them on their side, the wick will gradually “migrate” toward the bottom…and then the candle will be messed up.
  8. Miniatures of alcohol: Alcohol has many, many uses in a long-term emergency and it is excellent for trading, whether someone wants a drink or wants it to tincture something. We’ve already had discussions on this “WCTU-sensitive” subject.  If you’re against alcohol, once again, that is for you to decide.  Others may need the alcohol to deal with the vehemence of the “righteous indignation” of others.  Whatever the case, they will be easy to trade and in a “controlled” fashion.
  9. Tobacco: Once again, to paraphrase “Alice ‘N Chains,” it’s your A couple of cartons of cigarettes are easy enough to store, as well as a box or two of good cigars.  Remember: they have anti-helminthic properties…they’ll fight intestinal worms.  They’ll definitely trade. Read more here.
  10. Sweets and other luxuries: This to include some chocolate, powdered cocoa, honey (I recommend a big box of the individual packets for personal use), packaged jellies and syrups. They’ll trade, and they’ll be more than sought after.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive.  For instance, seeds are not covered in this list but would make a good bartering item too. I gave you what my personal favorites are.  I didn’t include precious metals, small tool sets, and about a thousand items you can mention or list.  I listed the top ten that I would want to use to barter that will be in short supply.  Use your best judgment and set your own standards for yourself, and stock up on what you need for an economic collapse of its own or one that is subsequent to another thing such as a war.  Afterward, you may find that you’ve made some sound investments…and thought ahead.  JJ out!

 

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 23rd, 2018

Prep of the Week: Prepare for the Worst-Case with Top Tier Gear

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 13:16

It’s a cold, hard fact that we live in uncertain times and things don’t seem to be getting any better. For years I have urged you all to get preparations together for short and long-term situations, and all the while we continue sliding down the slippery slope of disaster.

Something Isn’t Right

We need only to look at the evening news to know that something isn’t right. Each night it seems we hear about another mass shooting, the latest riot, information censorship, and threats of impending war. I would be lying to you if I said I felt safe. But I will repeat what I’ve always told you, we must keep going and we must get prepared for whatever corner we turn. And if this is what our current state is, we must prepare accordingly.

Prep of the Week: 10% Off Your Top Tier Gear Order

The folks at Top Tier Gear believe in preparing for the absolute worst-case scenarios and have been stocking items to get preppers ready for nuclear and biological threats, active shooters, and off-grid scenarios.

Ed Thomas, owner of Top Tier Gear said over the last several months, they have seen a drastic increase in tactical body armor sales due to the mass casualties occurring.

“People are realizing that sometimes a gun may not be enough so they want to add force multipliers to their preps to give them an advantage in an emergency. “

Their products are either assembled and manufacured in the great U.S. of A and are the best quality around.

Get 10% your order for the rest of March and use the coupon code: READYNUTRITION

With all the unpredictability going on in public places, these items would come in handy and save lives!

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 20th, 2018

Are You Ready? How To Survive Falling Through Ice

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 15:03

Every year, people die from falling through ice they thought was safe to cross. In near-frozen water, you have exactly 10 minutes to get out of the icy waters before your muscles become too cold to function. As well, your heart rate and blood pressure increases, so the chance of cardiac arrest and sudden death could occur. Know these preventative measures and how to survive if you find yourself in this type of emergency.

For any of you who have ever read Jack London’s “To Build a Fire,” the possibility of breaking through the ice and either drowning or dying from subsequent exposure to the elements does exist.  In most situations that can turn deadly, the way to avoid them is through diligence and proper preparation.  Water crossings in the winter are no different.  Let’s jump into it…figuratively speaking!

Know Before You Go

Firstly, never trust the water to be frozen completely.  If you follow this, you may say, then how can you ever cross the ice?  Well, just take into consideration there are many variables that influence ice thickness of rivers or lakes, and it’s always better to assume that there may be a problem…in this way, it doesn’t catch you unaware.

Take a look at your surroundings before starting to walk on the lake. Is there open water nearby or slush? These are indications of bad ice. Check the ice by cutting or drilling a hole in the ice to check for thickness.

How to Stay Safe

If you’re crossing a river, then you should have a rope that will reach to the other side at your crossing location.  This is for several reasons.  Firs, when crossing, you can use the rope as a lifeline if you wish.  Secondly, the ice may be sturdy enough to cross, but without your gear.  You may need a way to pull that gear behind you as you traverse the ice.  If you wear a 75-lb. pack and you weigh 200 lbs., this could stress the ice if it isn’t frozen completely solid.

Next, you want to cross at exactly the shortest distance possible.  This is common sense, as your wider expanses take more time to freeze.  Another factor is the speed of the river.  Sluggish rivers will freeze at least partially, down to about a depth of 3 feet or more.  This is generally safe to cross over.

If the ice starts to crack, gauge where you are and see whether you can make it the rest of the way, or if you should turn back, and do it quickly.  It helps to have a stout walking stick or pole with you.  If you don’t walk with one, then cut one from a dead limb if possible.  If a break happens, you can spread the pole out and keep from going under.  If the crack looks bad and you may not have time, lay down on the ice spread-eagled.  This will distribute your weight over the ice on a wider area, rather than having all of it at one point.  Use your rope to pull yourself back across.  This is where Yak-tracks or spikes/crepons will help you to use your feet as well.

Tie your rope off on one side.  Walk it all the way across if you can.  If it’s solid, when you reach the other side, tie it off there, and then go back.  With heavy gear, you can then affix it to the rope and drag it behind you to the far side, or go to the far side and pull the gear all the way across (the preferred option).  Snow also must be taken into consideration, as it can obscure what you see.  Always err on the side of caution.

How to Save Yourself When You Fall Through the Ice

If you go through the ice and get wet, you must extricate yourself, and you don’t have a lot of time: adrenaline will work for a minute, and then the cold will set in.  You must have a kit ready to use…firestarter, and emergency fuel to use.  Get that fire going, and start to warm up.  Therefore, it is best to follow the advice of the “Old Timer” in Jack London’s story: travel with a partner…as you both can help one another to cross, and if a mishap occurs.

Know What to Expect
  • The frigid waters will knock the breath out of you.
  • Control your breathing and try not to thrash around.
  • Don’t remove clothing. The air pockets trapped in your clothes could actually help you stay afloat.
  • The easiest way out is the way you came in, so turn in that direction for the fastest exit. This is likely where the strongest ice is.
  • Kick your feet to the edge of the water and begin easing your way out of the ice.
  • If you have a pocket knife or sharp tool, use it as traction to help pull yourself out.
  • Once you are on stronger ice, roll your body or crawl toward safety until you feel your feet are strong enough to walk.

Watch this video on how to mitigate the cold shock response and survive falling through the ice.

Take the proper precautions, and avoid being “Trapped Under Ice,” as Metallica describes the experience in their song.  Crossing frozen lakes and rivers can be a challenge, but it is doable, and it is another skill to practice in your quest for self-sufficiency and sustainment in a rural environment.  JJ out!

 

 

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 19th, 2018

10 Gardening Tips for Growing Market-Worthy Tomatoes

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 06:12

There is nothing like seeing clumps of repining super-sized tomatoes on the vine – That’s the sign of a happy, growing garden. But tomatoes can be problematic and prone to certain issues. Blossom end rot, nutritional deficiencies, blight, and invasive hornworms are just a few of the problems a gardener may have when growing tomatoes. Many of these issues can be corrected early on by giving the tomato the right growing conditions.

10 Gardening Tips for Growing the Juiciest Tomatoes

Some of the most popular types of tomato varieties planted are the beefsteak tomato, Celebrity, Early Girl, and the Cherry Tomatoes. The tomato plant can grow up to 6 feet tall and requires trellising or support. Tomatoes typically take about 85 days to harvest. And to get those big, delicious red orbs to grow, it requires a lot of nutrients.

Choose a fertilizer that has a balanced ratio of the three major elements, such as 10-10-10, or where the middle number (phosphorus) is larger than the first number (nitrogen), such as 2-3-1. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and usually do need fertilizer unless your soil is very rich.

Use some o these gardening tips to ensure your tomato harvest is the best one yet!

1. Choose the right varieties. 

There are many types of tomato varieties to choose from. One that I always recommend is the heirloom varieties. These seeds have been around for generations and were bred for flavor, adaptability and growing performance. As well, many of these seeds are open-pollinated and the seeds can be saved for the next harvest. This ensures you have plenty of tomatoes to eat fresh, preserve or make delicious sauces with.

2. Location, location, location!

Tomatoes love bright locations where they receive 10 hours or more of sunlight. Full morning sun is always the best location, but tomatoes will do well with some afternoon sun too. As well, ensure that you have properly spaced your plants.

3. Plant tomatoes in multiple locations 

When you alternate where you plant your tomatoes, it helps to diminish the risk of soil-borne diseases such as bacterial spot and early blight. One of my favorite gardening resources, Carrots Love Tomatoes: The Secrets to Companion Planting taught me that when you plant companion plants near each other, it also helps to reduce soil-borne diseases, as well as, encourage beneficial bugs to hang around. Here is a list of companion plants for your tomatoes.

  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Beans
  • Borage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Dill
  • Lettuce
  • Melons
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Thyme
4. Plant them deep!

When you plant your tomato seedlings deep, it helps the plant develop a better root system. The extra roots will strengthen the plant so that it can support more fruit and survive hot weather. Gardeners recommend you planting your seedlings up to the first true leaves. If you have heavy soil and cannot dig your hole deeper, you can lay the plant on its side, and cover with dirt (ensure that the hole is at least 5 or 6 inches deep when buried).

 5. Prune your tomatoes

I realize that many feel this step is optional, but it really helps. By pruning off any non-fruiting branches, it directs the tomato plant’s energy into growing more tomatoes. Every three weeks, I will prune my tomato plants in the early morning. Doing this step in the morning will help reduce any plant stress.

 6. Fertilize! 

Tomatoes are heavy feeders and require lots of nutrients to produce all of those lovely tomatoes. Adding a layer of balanced organic fertilizer like 8-8-8 during the transplanting process will help shield plants from stress and encourage root growth. When plants begin to put out fruit, fertilize every two or three weeks with fertilizer and then water it in. As well, consider giving your plants some compost tea. Compost tea takes the beneficial bacteria and fungus present in compost and exponentially increases them through aeration and sugars. These bacteria and fungus are critical to root establishment – and the more bacteria you have in your soil, the better. This all-around plant booster helps foliage, increases root development, feeds the soil – you can’t go wrong! I usually make some compost tea once a month to help my plants.

7. Give them some support

Certain tomato varieties can grow to 6 feet high and will require a trellis, staking or tomato cage. The trellis system keeps ripe fruit off the ground, so it’s less susceptible to disease and is easier to harvest. Any garden center will have tomato cages and trellises. The best time to add stakes is during the time you are transplanting. This cuts down on damaging root systems later on.

 8. Water them correctly

Tomatoes need consistent moisture to produce even growth and ripe, juicy fruits. Therefore, water tomatoes deep! To check to see if tomatoes need watering, insert your index fingers two inches in the soil. If the soil is dry, then you need to water. Water the tomatoes when the soil dries to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Doing so will cut down on tomato blight. As well, do your best to keep leaves dry. In addition, adding one inch of mulching material around the growing tomatoes will help reduce water evaporation from the soil and reduce weeds in the garden.

9. Plant more!

Succession planting in three-week intervals will keep you loaded with tomatoes throughout the growing season. As soon as you plant your seedlings, start a new batch of seeds. I usually plant tomatoes two or three times during the summer months.

10. Harvest as soon as they show their colors

Keep an eye on your growing tomatoes and harvest as soon as they color up fully. Birds and other wildlife love tomatoes as much as we do, so pick them as soon as their color comes. You can also pick your tomatoes a little early and allow it to ripen on your kitchen windowsill.

When you give tomatoes the right environment to grow, they will reward you three fold! These tips will ensure that your tomato crop will be the best crop yet.

Check out our open-pollinated and organically grown tomato seeds!

Happy gardening!

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 17th, 2018

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