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Turn Trash Into Treasure: The Easy Way To Make A Compost Pile Or Bin

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 05:37

Composting not only reduces trash in landfills but also improves your backyard at home.  Your garden will produce healthier vegetables and more beautiful flowers with just the addition of a compost pile. Composting doesn’t have to be difficult and although it may seem like a daunting task to get started, this helpful guide should help walk you through any rough patches.

Soil is one of the most important ingredients you need for a productive garden. In order to have a lush garden that grows big, juicy vegetables, you need lots of nutrients in the soil. Over the years, I have read a lot about gardening and came across the Soil Science Society of America and loved their definition of soil. “Soil is not dirt.  It is a complex mix of ingredients: minerals, air, water, and organic matter – countless organisms and the decaying remains of once-living things.  Soil is made of life.  Soil makes life.  And soil is life.” In order for plants to grow to their optimum capacity, they need nine different nutrients present in the soil.  While most of these elements and nutrients are naturally found in soil, sometimes they can become depleted and need to be added to keep the soil healthy. -Ready Gardens

This is where composting comes in. Composting does require a little planning ahead time.  Like planning a garden, you’ll want to take a few things into consideration.  But it will make it all much easier as you begin the process.

*Remember, compost is not a replacement for your soil, but rather acts as a natural fertilizer to nurture your soil and plants, so add it a couple of times a year for best results.

The first thing you will want to plan out is the location of your bin.  Placing the bin adjacent to or actually in your garden will save some time and labor when it’s time to apply your finished product. One cubic yard of compost can weigh up to a ton! Cutting the space between the bin and the garden will save a few steps pushing a heavy wheelbarrow. The shorter trip will also be helpful when you’re adding clippings and spent plants from your garden into the bin. Make sure you put the compost pile on the actual soil.  You’ll want the bugs and earthworms to work their way into the composting material.  If you put the compost pile on a concrete pad, it’ll be much more difficult because the compost will be cut off from the ecosystem.

The location of the compost bin should also be near a source of water as it is a key for decomposition. A dry pile takes a lot longer to break down than one that is wet. Look for a place that you can easily reach with your garden hose. Some folks tuck their compost bin in a far corner of the yard so that it’s out of sight, but then have difficulty keeping it adequately watered. You could also consider collecting rain from the roof in a rain barrel to water your compost! Do this by putting your compost bin right under the rainwater runoff.

Now comes the easy part! Decide whether or not you’d like an open or closed compost bin. A closed bin is a good choice if you’re worried about the way your compost pile will look (or smell)! You can easily make a container, (for directions on how to easily build a compost bin out of wood pallets, click here) or you can buy one locally at a hardware or gardening store. Look for a bin that’s about 3 feet in diameter and not much taller than your waist. If you are going to be starting a compost pile, protect it from animals such as raccoons and your pets by using fencing.

Once you’ve placed your bin in the ideal location, you’ll want to begin collecting scraps to compost! But, first things first.  There are a few things that you should avoid adding to your compost pile. Dairy or animal products (even animal bones) will start to smell and attract pests. The same goes for fats, oils, and pet waste.  Also, if you have a diseased or insect-ridden plant, don’t add it to the pile because it could contaminate your compost making it unusable.

But you can begin by adding equal parts of “brown” waste and “green” waste to your compost bin. “Green” waste includes fruits and vegetables and “brown” waste can be items like wood shavings, dry leaves, or even old newspapers. Maintaining a balance between the two is important is because “brown” materials are rich in carbon, feeding the organisms that break down the scraps and “green” materials supply nitrogen, which is the key for building the cell structure of your new soil. Keep in mind your compost will also need to “breathe”. It will need oxygen and some air flow to break down the waste into usable compost. Air flow will also help prevent the smell often associated with composting. If you’ve struck a good balance, your compost bin will smell more like an earthy soil than anything else.

You could also consider a compost tea to have an even more lush garden than last year!

Maintaining your compost bin should be an easy task too. Simply turn your mixture over every week or two with a shovel or a garden fork in order to “mix it up.” If you’re not seeing progress after a few weeks, add more “green” material and make sure you’re keeping the pile moist. If it’s smelly and wet, add more “brown” material and turn the compost more frequently. Also, break apart any big materials (like branches) to keep the air flowing.

Once the compost looks like soil, it is ready to use! Work it into your garden beds, or sprinkle it on top of your garden!

To make your own compost bin out of wood pallets, click here. H/T [Preparedness Mama]

 

 

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 January 19th, 2019

Yarrow Herb: It’s Health Benefits And How To Use It Medicinally

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 06:17

Yarrow isn’t as well-known as other medicinal herbs such as echinacea or peppermint, but it’s nonetheless a useful tool for a more natural approach to health and wellness. Yarrow’s uses range from aiding in clearing blood clots to menstrual issues. It can also be used cosmetically!

WHAT IS YARROW?

Yarrow, or Achillea millefolium, is also commonly known as milfoil. It is a leading backyard herbal medicinal plant.  This beneficial herb often goes unnoticed as an unsightly lawn weed, however, according to legend, the infamous Achilles used yarrow as a field dressing for his soldiers’ wounds during the Trojan War. The plant is named after him. The parts of the plant above ground are commonly used in herbal medicines.

Yarrow is mostly native to the temperate regions of the world (the Northern Hemisphere) and is commonly found in North America, Asia, and Europe. Yarrow has beautiful little white disk flowers. It has a strong, sweet scent that makes it a great essential oil.

COSMETIC USES:

Shampoo: Yarrow might have properties to help naturally boost hair growth, but the herb is especially useful for treating oily hair and an oily scalp condition. You could try using some yarrow essential oils.

Try adding 4 to 5 drops of the essential oil to your regular herbal shampoo before applying it to your scalp in the shower. It will refresh your hair and scalp, while also encouraging new growth at the same time.

Acne Prevention/Antiseptic:

Yarrow is an antiseptic meaning it protects wounds from infection after being exposed to foreign bacteria, fungi, or viruses. It also aids the body in reduction of topical skin fungal problems, skin rashes, cystic acne, and pimples. If you have any scars from pimples, boils, or acne, yarrow will help cure them. You can try mixing a small amount of alcohol-free yarrow extract with other natural moisturizers for the best results. As an anti-inflammatory, yarrow will help calm redness or swelling in the skin caused by acne, rosacea, or even eczema.

MEDICINAL USES:

Yarrow has numerous medicinal properties due to its high concentrations of terpenes. These compounds evolved as defense mechanisms to deter herbivores and attractant predatory insects that feed on herbivores.

They are also what provides the natural chemical compounds that can heal and protect the human body while providing a stimulating burst of bitter flavors and often pleasant aromas.

Wound Healing/Stopping Bleeding: as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic herb, yarrow will help wounds heal faster without infection. It is a helpful remedy to stop the bleeding of minor wounds, such as scrapes or bug bites. Use a pinch of the dried yarrow herb and apply it directly to the wound.

Aids In Digestion and Detoxification: According to Dr. Mercola‘s website, yarrow’s bitter components and fatty acids encourage proper bile secretion from the gallbladder, which can then improve digestion and keep gallstones from forming. The Cherokee, Gosiute, Iroquois, and Mohegan nations have traditionally used yarrow for digestive support. Bitter and aromatic herbs help digestion by stimulating the production of bile and pancreatic juices.  Try making a yarrow tea from dried herbs to help soothe an upset stomach and aid the body in natural detoxification.

Helps Relieve Camping And Menstrual Pain: Yarrow can also help regulate menstrual periods, particularly controlling heavy flow.  It is antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory which means the herb helps the muscles of the uterus to work more efficiently without spasms and cramping up. Because uterine cramping and inflammation are the cause of the pain associated with menstrual cramps, yarrow helps by relieving inflammation and congestion of the uterus. This can aid in pain reduction, as well as proper circulation to the reproductive organs. When using Yarrow to relieve menstrual cramps, it is best to prepare in advance of the pain, writes Natural Fertility Info. A low dose in the form of a tea, or liquid extract every day leading up to menstruation may be best. The dosage may be increased during menstruation if needed to soothe the pain and discomfort.

Yarrow has numerous uses and can be a beneficial addition to any herbalist or naturalists home but it can be risky to cats. Yarrow can poison a cat, so it is best to keep your furry feline friend from eating copious amounts of this herb. Because the herb is so bitter, it is unlikely your cat will eat enough of the plant to poison itself, however, it is important to take note of this possibility.

*This article is for informational purposes only.  It is not meant to treat, cure, or diagnose any health conditions or illnesses.  If you have questions about beginning an herbal supplement or a health concern, please contact a medical professional.

 

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 18th, 2019

Chump To Champ: How to Train Your Body To Act Instinctively for Self-Defense

Wed, 01/16/2019 - 06:54

It is an unfortunate truth that many place themselves in harm’s way by not paying close enough attention to risks we could face in our immediate surroundings. This could be as simple as crossing the street, walking into a grocery store, or not paying close enough attention while we are driving. Statistics differ, but they all say the same thing – we need to be more proactive in becoming educated about how to defend ourselves.

That said, saying and doing are completely different matters. Our last line of defense is knowing how to defend ourselves and to do this you need to be fit and train your body to react to the circumstances you may find yourself in.

Reestablishing the foundation of self-defense will require that we maintain awareness of threats and keep the tools of defense close by our side, ready to be used when the worst happens. But first, we start with ourselves.

Your best defense is a fit body and sound mind, both trained to fight.

The best way to prepare our body for defensive tactics is to incorporate some combat training in your home gym.

In previous articles, I outlined how productive a heavy-bag (“punching” bag) is for training for hand-to-hand combat. Just as a short recap, you should always go for either sturdy canvas or leather…Everlast is the top of the line brand…they have been for years, and they will continue to be so. A strong chain with a swivel mount is also a must to round out this “ensemble.” Your bag should be at least 45 lbs, with 75 being a good standard. The more power you pack in your punch, the more you may wish to consider bags that are 100 lbs or heavier.

So, you already know the standard punches of a jab followed up by the “haymaker,” or the big hit from whatever hand is dominant. Also to recap, make sure you have a set of hand wraps and a good set of bag gloves at a minimum, if not full-sized boxing gloves of 10 or 12 oz or so. This will ensure the protection of your knuckles, as well as the bones in your hand (the metacarpals), and your wrists. You can’t be too careful…many more injuries result in training than in the actual competition itself.  Train smart and train safely.

That being mentioned, the best way to do this is with combinations. I also strongly advise either purchasing or making a chart to refer to that you can hang close to your bag. There are plenty of anatomically-correct charts with arms at his sides and charts for both the musculature and the nervous system. Each would be equally effective. They will measure about 4’ long by three feet in width, or so, and should come laminated.

Self-Defense By Numbers

Now, here’s the trick: the lamination part is what will get you through. Go to a hardware store or a fabric/crafts store, and pick up some plastic sheets that will either affix with pressure to windows or a smooth surface, such as a refrigerator or baked enamel…that will also work on the laminated poster. What you will do here is cut the plastic into small dime or quarter-sized circles. If you can pick up red or blue plastic, this will be best for the eyes.

Once you have half a dozen of these or more, take about three or four, and number them sequentially with a permanent magic marker. Then you’re almost ready to get to work. You are going to then do some research, and find the best martial arts striking points and pressure points. There are plenty of charts online available for you to print out. These striking points charts will also describe combinations….multiple points to engage in the course of training. Take these combinations and their locations.

Then, mark those locations in order of where you’ll be striking with the circles…by affixing them in order to the chart. In this manner, you will be able to look at the chart and then strike the bag…in order…until it becomes a reflex for you and you have the combination committed to “muscle memory,” that is the ability to execute the task at hand without thinking about it in depth.

Some of you may be wondering about “little” things, such as arms and legs. The way these can be simulated is to take short “stuff” bags, and stuff them with foam or something, then mount them to the bottom of the bag. For the top…an oversized jacket or trenchcoat…the sleeves can be stuffed and then tied off at the cuffs. Then you mount the rest of the jacket/shirt to the back of the bag, for a set of ready-made “arms.” Your only limitation here will be your imagination.

Then you can practice the motions of striking and also of pressure point drills. Be advised: whenever you hit a bag, you should not always hit it at “full tilt,” but rather to practice your hand speed and the coordination of parts you will strike. With the “accouterments” of arms and legs I just mentioned, they are more fragile, but what you’re training is not for full-force execution of the combinations. It is more a “familiarization” until you can go through the mechanics without thinking about them. Power can come later, and when you keep from destroying or damaging your accessories…you’ll still have to take some off of it when you hit them.

This video shows the basic position and defense combinations to start practicing:

So, in this manner, you can also use the chart over and over again for different combinations…and just switch the circles around on the chart to reflect the striking position of the new combinations. Practice makes perfect, and the more you drill them to perfection, the easier it will be to carry out when the time comes. Train hard, train smart, and train to win.  JJ out!

 

Read these articles for more information on self-defense

 

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 January 16th, 2019

5 Easy Ways To Boost Your Immune System Naturally During Cold And Flu Season

Mon, 01/14/2019 - 05:45

Not everyone is on board with the flu shot once winter rolls around. If you are one of those who doesn’t want to get the shot, this guide is for you! It is possible to boost your immune system naturally and give your body the extra edge this cold and flu season without getting the controversial shot.

1. Cut Back On The Booze And Smoking

The first thing to do to get your body ready to fight off all those germs is to cut back on alcoholic drinks. Excessive consumption of alcohol impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections. Consider cutting back or quitting smoking too if you enjoy this indulgence.  Tobacco smoke undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone including in those around you who breathe in the second-hand smoke.  It’s been known to aggravate and increase the likelihood of middle ear infections in kids.

2. Eat More Citrus Fruits, Veggies, Nuts, and Seeds

You can also begin eating healthier.  Even if dieting is not your thing, having a well-balanced and vitamin and mineral rich diet will benefit your body in several ways, including that much needed immune system boost. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, and try to get in healthier fats, such as seeds and nuts. On top of feeling better in general, add citrus fruits specifically.  Fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons have high vitamin C content, and that’s one of the most powerful vitamins to boost when feeling ill.

3. Get Plenty Of Sleep

The next thing you should do is get enough sleep.  Americans, in general, are chronically sleep deprived. But during those months when you need your body in tip-top condition in order to fight off those nasty germs. Your body needs sleep to fight off viruses. According to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.  This is because while you sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation often decreases the production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods in which when you don’t get enough sleep.

4. Get Some Sun!

Sunlight triggers the skin’s production of vitamin D. In the summer, a 10-15 minute exposure (minus sunscreen) is enough. However, above 42 degrees latitude (Boston) from November through February, sunlight is too weak and very few foods contain adequate levels of this essential vitamin. Low vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infection. A 2010 study in kids showed that 1200 IU a day of supplemental vitamin D reduced the risk of influenza A.  This vitamin is essential to managing stress, which too much of can also impact your immune system.

5. Try An Immune-Boosting Bone Broth

According to Ready Nutrition, medical experts point out that broth helps to kick-start your immune system through the slow cooking process. The process of slowly simmering bones for up to a period of 24 hours causes the bones and ligaments to release healing compounds such as collagen, and essential amino acids such as proline, glycine, and glutamine.  These amino acids have the power to transform your health, heal your body, and calm your mind. Further, the minerals in the marrow help build blood cells, which is the healing mechanism in the body. When vegetables are added to the broth you’ll get an even more powerful immune boost! They release dense nutrients, antibiotic, and antiviral properties into the liquid.

For great recipes and how to make the best most effective bone broth, click here.

If you follow even a few of these easy and helpful tips you should be putting yourself on the path to having a strong immune system and giving your body the ability to fight off the common cold or the flu!

 

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 14th, 2019

4 Healthy Reasons Why Echinacea is a Wondrous Medicinal Herb

Thu, 01/10/2019 - 07:00

Echinacea is perhaps most widely used as an herbal remedy to help fight off colds or the flu once ill.  It’s often used in a tea or as a supplement to boost the body’s natural immune system, yet it has even more incredible health benefits even if you aren’t sick with a cold!

Echinacea, also known as the Coneflower, is not only great tasting in teas, it is a pretty easy medicinal herb to grow in your own home and comes packed full of beneficial substances to help the body.  It is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family known as Asteraceae.

Echinacea is one of the most popular garden ornamentals with its showy purple flowers that attract all kinds of butterflies and bees.

In fact, the entire plant from the roots, seeds, and fresh flowers are all medicinal and can be made into a flavorful immune-stimulating tea or tincture. –Ready Nutrition

Echinacea is a beautiful medicinal plant to grow in the garden and hummingbirds love it. Because it is a perennial plant, it lasts for many years so you do not have to worry about replanting each year. It is approximately 1-2 feet (30-60 centimeters) tall when mature. It is slightly spikey and has large purple or pink flowers, depending on the species. The center of the flower has a seed head, a cone, which is also spiky and dark brown to red in color.

4 Reasons Echinacea Is Good For You

Recovery From Colds Or The Flu:

Echinacea has a complex mix of active substances, some of which are said to be antimicrobial making it a great choice while combating a viral infection like a cold or the flu. The herb also contains alkylamides or alkamides, (although these are not in found in the species Echinacea pallida), which have an effect on the immune system, as well as polysaccharides, glycoproteins, and caffeic acid derivatives. Many plants, including echinacea, contain phenols, which are active substances that help control the activity of a range of enzymes and cell receptors in the plant, and protect it from infections and ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage. Phenols also have antioxidant properties, which may be good for human health.

Studies on whether or not echinacea has any effect on the cold have produced conflicting results. Scientists from the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy reviewed over a dozen studies on the effects of echinacea on people’s risk of catching a cold. They concluded that echinacea could reduce a person’s chances of catching a cold by approximately 58 percent, as they detailed in the Lancet. They found that the herbal remedy also reduces the length of time a cold lasts by 1.4 days.

However, other scientists reported in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) (October 2005 issue) that the ginseng herb reduces the frequency of colds, but Echinacea does not.

Acne Prevention:

Because Echinacea is an anti-inflammatory herb, some declare it can be used to help treat or prevent acne. Echinacea extract is capable of phagocytosis, a process of devouring damaged cells, bacteria, and other microorganisms that cause infections. Whether it is taken internally or the herb is applied topically, echinacea just might boost the immune system and resist acne-causing bacteria. Since acne is often caused by infection and inflammation, echinacea may be able to help stop the eruption before it even begins to show. Echinacea’s anti-inflammatory properties can also reduce the appearance of red and painful acne too.

Laxative:

Echinacea can also be used as a gentle laxative by helping to relax your gastrointestinal tract.  The herb can help provide a mild relief from the discomfort of constipation. Drinking an herbal tea is especially effective to help with this fairly common condition. For more chronic conditions of constipation, a cup of tea every day can help loosen up the bowels, whereas 2–3 cups per day can help with sudden bouts. However, be sure not to overuse echinacea. Limit your tea intake to two cups a day maximum and take any supplements only as directed on their labels.

ADHA (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder):

Echinacea angustifolia is the recommended species to help with the specific ailments related to ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD. The herb can be considered one of the natural remedies for ADHD. Both adults and children suffering from ADD/ADHD have a higher-than-normal chance of experiencing emotional disturbances, especially anxiety, depression, and social phobias.  But just the right dosage of echinacea can alleviate some of the distress caused by these disorders. It’s recommended to only take 20 milligrams of the herb at a time and no more. In fact, taking more than 20 milligrams per dose can actually cancel out the echinacea benefits that help relieve anxiety.

The Bad News

Echinacea products are commonly mislabeled; some have been tested and found to have no echinacea in them at all according to a National Institute of Health warning and reported by Medical News Today.  Many of the benefits are also labeled as purely anecdotal, as studies have not been conducted in-depth on some claims.

Echinacea generally doesn’t cause problems for most people, but some people taking the herb have reported some side effects such as an upset stomach or diarrhea.

 

*This article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to treat or diagnose any illness or health problem.  Please seek help from a professional before using any supplement.

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 10th, 2019

This Small Change Increased Bee Populations by 45%

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 20:36

For quite some time, scientists across the world have been warning the public about the decline of bees and other pollinators.

We’ve known for years that bee populations all across North America and Europe are collapsing at an alarming rate.

Our very existence relies on the tiny buzzing creatures, as we explained in Will the Extinction of Bees Really Mean the End of Humanity?

This is a huge threat to our food supply. One-third of all the food we eat comes from plants that are pollinated by insects, and 80% of those crops are pollinated by bees. It also has big implications for our meat supply as well: plants (like alfalfa) that feed animals are pollinated by bees.

The largest international survey of insect pollinators found that just 2 percent of wild bee species now account for 80 percent of global crop pollination.

Put bluntly, if all the bees die, humanity will follow.

There is one place where bee populations are growing and flourishing – Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands.

According to a recent report from NBC News, the diversity of wild bee and honeybee species in the Dutch capital has increased by 45 percent since 2000!

The city of 2.3 million people attributes the success to creating bee-friendly environments like the overgrown, sunburnt patch of shrubs that commuters pass by daily.

The installation of “insect hotels” and a ban on the use of chemical pesticides on public land also appear to have played a role.

Geert Timmermans, an ecologist who works for the city, explained that four years ago, Amsterdam set a goal to convert half of all public green spaces to native plants. He added that residents and local businesses are provided with information on how to avoid using pesticides and the use of alternative treatments:

“Insects are very important because they’re the start of the food chain. When it goes well with the insects, it also goes well with the birds and mammals.

Our strategy is to when we design a park, we use native species but also the species that give a lot of flowering and fruit for (bees).

(Citizens) acknowledge the importance of the natural environment. It’s part of the culture.”

The city also employs what Timmermans calls a “nature-inclusive” ideology in its design plans:

Developers are also encouraged to install green roofs on new buildings, which help control the climate within the structure, reducing reliance on heating and cooling systems, and also create a better habitat for wildlife.

Subsidies are available through the city for residents and owners looking to retrofit existing roofs or exterior walls.

City ecologists are helping residents determine where and what to plant in their neighborhoods to support healthy populations of bees, bats, and birds.

Their project appears to be working: a 2015 survey of pollinators found 21 bee species not previously documented in the city, according to the NBC News report.

Other projects are also helping the pollinator community regain its health.

Deborah Post, who lives in a rural area outside of Amsterdam, founded Honey Highway so she could do her part to save the tiny creatures when the honey bees in her own apiary began dying off:

With a new highway being built in the area in 2015, she pitched to government and developers to allow her to sow wildflowers along the sides of the road that would typically be left with only gravel or grass. The experiment was a success.

Building on the experience, Post expanded Honey Highway, sowing flowers along other major routes and also along dikes and railways.

The flowers she uses are all native to Holland and chosen based on what is most likely to thrive in a given area.

Other regions have implemented “bee highways” as well. A few years ago, Oslo, Norway, created a bee highway with feeding stations. The public and local business owners were asked to plant bee-friendly plants on their property, rooftops, and businesses along a route from east to west through the city.

Threats to bee and pollinator populations include human destruction of habitats, the use of harmful chemicals like glyphosate (found in products like Monsanto’s RoundUp), and antibiotic overuse.

Bees – like humans – have a gut microbiome (an ecosystem of bacteria living in the digestive tract, including those that protect it from harmful bacteria) that is crucial to its survival. A study conducted at the University of Texas in Austin in 2018 found that honey bees exposed to glyphosate lose some of the beneficial bacteria in their guts. This makes the bees more susceptible to infection and death from harmful bacteria.

In 2017, researchers at the same university found that treatment with the common antibiotic tetracycline were “half as likely to survive the week after treatment compared with a group of untreated bees.”

“In large-scale U.S. agriculture, beekeepers typically apply antibiotics to their hives several times a year. The strategy aims to prevent bacterial infections that can lead to a widespread and destructive disease that afflicts bee larvae,” the researchers explain in a press release.

The scientists found that after treatment with tetracycline, bees had dramatically fewer naturally occurring gut microbes (healthy bacteria that can help to block pathogens, break down toxins, promote absorption of nutrients from food and more).

They also found elevated levels of Serratia, a pathogenic bacterium that afflicts humans and other animals, in the bees treated with antibiotics, suggesting that the increased mortality might have been a result of losing the gut microbes that provide a natural defense against the dangerous bacteria.

What YOU can do to help bees

As Tess Pennington explained in the article First Bee Highway Set Up in Oslo, any community can create a bee highway, and individuals can plant bee-friendly gardens on their property.

Consider planting some of these beneficial flowers:

  • Asters (Aster/Callistephus)
  • Sunflowers (Helianthus/Tithonia)
  • Salvia (Salvia/Farinacea-Strata/Splendens)
  • Bee balm (Monarda)
  • Hyssop (Agastache)
  • Mint (Mentha)
  • Cleome / Spider flower (Cleome)
  • Thyme (Thymus)
  • Poppy (Papaver/Eschscholzia)
  • California poppies (Eschscholzia)
  • Bachelor’s buttons (Centaurea)
  • Lavender (Lavandula)

Choosing flowers with long bloom cycles will be less work for you and help bees for months on end. Many of the flowers listed above are drought-tolerant and can be grouped together to reduce watering requirements (for more on Xeriscaping – building a sustainable system that creates regionally appropriate landscaping, conserves water, and reduces your water bill – read Sustainable Gardening: Reduce Watering by 50-75%).

Fruit trees are also wonderful for pollinators and are an abundant source of blossoms.

Build nests for native bees. They are easy to make – instructions can be found here.

Bees should also have a source of water in the garden too. Birdbaths, water fountains, and small ponds are great for bees.

Remember not to use any chemical-based fertilizers on plants as this will harm bees.

Glyphosate isn’t the only thing that can harm bees. Pesticides can as well. In particular, steer clear of systemic pesticides such as neonicotinoids, which are taken up by the vascular systems of plants. This means bees and other pollinators are exposed to the poison long after a product has been applied when they feed on the plant’s nectar and pollen.

Here are some additional things you can do to help bees and other pollinators thrive in your yard:

  • When purchasing plants, ask your garden supplier to ensure that they have not been treated with neonicotinoids or other systemic pesticides.
  • Instead of using pesticides, use a “companion planting” system to discourage pests from making an all-you-can-eat buffet of your garden. For more on sustainable pest management, please see this guide from Xerces Society.
  • Provide flowering plants from April through October (early spring through fall).
  • Fruit trees typically bloom early in the spring, which is a critical time for foraging bumblebee queens. Try to ensure that your new plants have not been treated with neonicotinoids or other systemic pesticides. Avoid invasive non-native plants and remove them if they invade your yard.
  • Plant native wildflowers that bloom throughout the year in containers on your windowsill, porch or deck, or in your garden. Since these flowers attract bumblebees and other pollinators, they will enhance pollination of your fruit and vegetable crops too.
  • Because most queens overwinter in small holes on or just below the ground’s surface, avoid raking, tilling or mowing your yard until April or May. If you do need to mow, do so with the mower blade set at the highest safe level.
  • Many native bumblebees build their nests in undisturbed soil, abandoned rodent burrows, or clumps of grass. Preserve un-mown, brushy areas and do not destroy bumblebee nests when you find them. Reduce soil tilling and mowing where bumblebees might nest.
  • Here’s how to protect bee habitats during the fall and winter months: Put Down Those Pruners: Pollinators Need Your ‘Garden Garbage!’

For more information on companion planting for natural pest control, here’s an in-depth guide: The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control: A Complete Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Garden and Yard the Earth-Friendly Way.

Report the bees you see in your yard or community to Bumble Bee Watch, a citizen-science project sponsored by the Xerces Society and five North American partners.

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 8th, 2019

5 Incredible Ways You Can Use Hemp

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 14:57

By now, you probably have heard the great news: President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law, which legalizes industrial hemp. The new bill defines industrial hemp to include “all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers” of industrial hemp.

This means that hemp will now be treated as an agricultural commodity instead of a “controlled substance” like marijuana (hemp and marijuana are both plants in the cannabis family, but unlike marijuana, hemp does not get people high).

Why is the legalization of industrial hemp great news?

Well, industrial hemp is an incredibly versatile plant. If there is such a thing as a wonder plant, hemp is it.

The list of products that can be made with hemp is in the thousands (possibly tens of thousands!) and includes textiles, clothing, paper, plastic substitutes, fuel (bio-diesel), beauty and skin care products, sheets, bedding, towels, blankets, furniture, rope, canvas, carpet, home-building materials, and even cars.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you can start using hemp today.

5 Incredible Ways You Can Use Hemp 1. CBD oil

As more people seek natural remedies for health problems, interest in cannabidiol (commonly known as “CBD”) is growing.

CBD oil is a fascinating substance that has tremendous therapeutic value.

It is one of over 100 compounds found in cannabis plants (including hemp!) that belong to a class of naturally occurring, biologically active chemical constituents called cannabinoids. CBD is non-intoxicating.

Cannabinoids bind to special receptors in the human body that make up what is known as the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biochemical communication system that all humans (and many animals) have. Endo refers to endogenous, which means originating within the body. Cannabinoid refers to the group of compounds that activate the ECS.

The ECS is responsible for the physical and psychological effects of cannabis.

You could say we are “hard-wired” for cannabis because we have receptors throughout our bodies that respond to cannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids interact with cannabinoid receptors to regulate basic bodily functions, including mood, temperature, digestion, sleep, pain, appetite, and many more.

The list of health concerns and conditions CBD has been shown to benefit include:
  • Chronic pain and inflammation
  • Arthritis (including rheumatoid and psoriatic)
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Neuropathic pain (as seen in conditions like multiple sclerosis)
  • Anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Cancer
  • Serious neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s disease,  multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular protection

*Sources provided below

There are even pet-friendly CBD formulations to help your furry friends.

2. Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds contain essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6) which help support the immune system and healthy cholesterol levels. They have a slightly nutty flavor and a nice crunch, and a serving (3 tbsp) contains 10 grams of protein. Blend them into smoothies, or sprinkle them on top of oatmeal or yogurt for a nice nutrient boost.

Note: Hemp seed oil is NOT the same as CBD oil. Hemp seed oil is nutritious, but it does not contain the cannabinoids like CBD oil.

3. Hemp Protein Powder

A sustainable source of amino acids, Omega-3 fatty acids, protein (15 grams per serving), and fiber (8 grams per serving), hemp protein powder is a nutritious (and delicious) way to add protein to your smoothies and shakes. The protein found in hemp seeds is very digestible, which makes this powder a good option for those with sensitive digestive systems. My personal favorite is Nutiva, and it is available in plain, chocolate, and vanilla flavors.

4, Hemp Oil Skincare Products

Hemp seed oil has been used to treat skin conditions for thousands of years. It contains essential fatty acids (Omegas -3, -6, and -9), which contain anti-inflammatory properties and helps soothe irritated skin. It is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, and can help improve skin’s health and appearance (some people report success in improving conditions like eczema and acne). Hemp seed oil can be found in skin care products like soaps and moisturizers.

5. Hemp Coffee

Believe it or not, you can buy hemp-infused coffee! Hemp seeds contain all 20 amino acids – including the 9 essential amino acids the body cannot make itself – making them an excellent source of protein. Hemp-infused coffee also contains fiber, and of course, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. You can even get reusable eco-friendly coffee filters made from hemp!

Do you use hemp-based products in your home? Please share your ideas and experiences in the comments.

Be well!

 

 

*Sources for CBD Health Benefits:

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 7th, 2019

Simple Ways To Help You Get Enough Leafy Greens During Winter

Fri, 01/04/2019 - 06:24

Getting your daily dose of greens seems difficult for most people on a sunny day in the summer when they have those vegetable readily available. But come winter time, some all but stop eating those nutritious veggies that help keep the body running in tip-top condition. Because of that, we’ve come up with this helpful guide to show you how easy it is to still get your veggies in even when that blizzard rolls through!

Dark leafy greens are one of the items missing out of winter diets and can easily be grown indoors, but are often put on the wayside. That is unfortunate because those veggies are packed full of essential vitamins and nutrients. The United States Dietary Association (USDA) food guide also underscores this necessity.  The food pyramid states that most adults need only 3 cups (servings) of leafy greens per day, but nutrition and health experts say that number is actually 5-9 cups per day, depending on your size. But that number is daunting to so many – even when conditions are ripe to consume that amount of leafy greens.

But the easiest way to make sure you’ve got enough is to simply eat a big salad for either lunch or dinner taking care of your leafy greens for the day.  Of course, feel free to add any other vegetables you may like so the salad is flavored to your taste. After all, you’ll be trying to eat the entire thing in one sitting.  Also, you should consider eating some healthy fat with the salad. You can try drizzling olive oil on it.  You will want to add some healthy fats to your leafy green salad because many of the essential vitamins and minerals in those hearty leafy greens are fat soluble, meaning your body will not break them down for use unless they are in the presence of fat. If you dislike the idea of an oily salad, consider cutting up an avocado and tossing that in! Avocados have enough fat to help your body digest those fat-soluble nutrients!

Another helpful tip is to use your freezer! Leafy greens, such as kale or spinach from your garden (not lettuce, only because it won’t hold up that well in the freezer) can be washed, precut, and put in your freezer for winter use.  I personally do this, and use the frozen greens to make green smoothies that even my kids enjoy – and beg for if you can believe it! (The secret is one frozen banana tossed into the blender with all those greens.)  Spinach, kale, and swiss chard are all great options for not only freezing but green smoothies!  Make sure to toss in your avocado (which will help make the smoothie creamy) or add a bit of olive oil or other natural oil, such as organic peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter!  Remember, you’ll need some of these to add fat so that your body absorbs all of those fat-soluble nutrients. I also have been known to toss in some hemp hearts for a little bit of a protein boost too!  Hemp oil is also a great addition with 9.47 g of protein – you can’t go wrong! This is all personal preference, and instead of following a recipe, my suggestion is to grab your leafy greens and start blending until you’ve come up with a concoction that you love and will actually enjoy consuming. Ginger, stevia, and blueberries could also be added. My friend puts pineapple in her green smoothie! Just use your imagination and ingredients you love, and soon enough, you’ll be getting your daily dose of greens in just one delicious smoothie!

For those who may need to start a little slower, consider measuring out your greens first thing in the morning.  If you need 6 cups, simply prepare it, put it in a container, and have it in your fridge so you know you’ll need to consume it by the end of the day. This way, you can see how much you have left and how much you will need to eat for dinner.  For those who work, this is also an easy and quick way to go about getting enough vegetables in the winter.  Precut your salads for the work week and simply take them with you.

Another helpful tip is to switch to frozen greens in the winter.  Stock your freezer with your own garden greens and veggies, or buy flash frozen veggies from the store. The leafy green section of the grocery store in my neck of the woods is pretty sad during the colder months because of my location. But there is usually a good selection of frozen organic greens that can be used to supplement those I have saved and frozen from the summer garden. I toss them into soups and stews and sometimes just pan fry some frozen spinach with butter, chopped garlic, and some salt. (This is also a treat the kids just love and can’t seem to get enough of!) Plus, you get the added bonus of the immune boost from the garlic, so it’s really a win-win!

If all of this sounds too time-consuming still to prepare salads and make green smoothies, try a green powder. Super Green is power-packed with over 40 different nutrients the body needs all in one small scoop.  Just stir it into pure water or add to a protein shake or protein water and you’ve just taken care of your body’s daily need for dark leafy green vegetables. *This shouldn’t be a long-term solution. The goal should be to actually consume your greens and get the nutrients from food, but this will definitely add that nutritional boost.  It is also a great way for beginners to get on track for a healthy lifestyle!

These are just a few simple and easy ways to help you make sure you give your body the nutrients it needs even during the wintertime.  If you have any helpful tips or tricks you’d like to share with us and with others on how you give your body the proper dose of vegetables even when it’s cold outside, we’d love to hear it! Share a comment with us!

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published January 4th, 2019

10 Practical Reasons You Need Tarps in Your Emergency Preparedness Gear

Wed, 01/02/2019 - 07:36

I’m a big believer in using the daylights out of tarps, or tarpaulin, if you prefer. Very versatile, and they can benefit you in a lot of ways as a homesteader, prepper, survivalist, and in your day-to-day existence of just being prepared. There are a slew of different types, so we’re going to cover not so much the types needed, but the job they’ll be employed for.  In this manner (and as there are plenty of variances from store to store), you’ll be able to find out what one you need by identifying how you will utilize it. Let us begin!

You should try to find tarps with a good UV or Ultraviolet rating. You’ll just have to search it out by product. You can find these even in your friendly neighborhood Wal-mart, although they have a problem with theirs. They usually make them “Jupiter-2/Lost-in-Space” grey with the other side being either brown or blue. These colors are worthless in terms of staying concealed…the “earth tone” principle I have reiterated continuously over the years.

Try to stick with your colors and base them on the season. There are tarps that are white (obviously for winter, or if you’re in secure enough surroundings, summer…for the purpose of reflecting the sunlight), as well as earth-tones, such as dark green, brown, or camouflage patterns. (Editor’s note: You can also get one that is reversible white/brown). You want your tarps to have sturdy grommets…holes through which you can fasten a hook or run a line/rope through. In addition to this (to digress slightly), there is a grommet kit you can pick up at happy Wal-mart for almost nothing. Get it. The reasons: you may have to fix a grommet that has busted out of your tarp, or make a tarp out of some type of plastic. We’ll go more into the second reason later.

10 Emergency Preparedness Uses for Tarps

1. Shelter: a smaller one (such as a 6’ x 8’, or 8’ square, or so) can be used as either a protective overlay for a lean-to, or stretched out with bungee cords, 550 cord, or such for a tent/four-cornered rain fly. Larger tarps, of course, can be constructed into larger tents. Here is where the UV factor comes into play so that you will not be a sunburned “baked potato” under a tarp that can get pretty warm in the summertime.

2. Ground cover: under your tent, to help prevent moisture from coming under the floor. Also, spreading it out (folded or unfolded) under your sleeping bag can help as a moisture barrier, if you don’t have a Gore-Tex cover for the bag or an inflatable pad.

3. Protect the Supplies: I use them all over my property just to protect and cover up woodpiles. They’ll wear out after about 3-5 years, but so what? They aren’t very expensive, and they work to keep my woodpiles dry during the wintertime.  You can use them for other things, such as palleted supplies, augments for existing structures (a “snow-fly” to deflect snow if you have a tent of some sort on your property), and so on.

4. Quick Fixes: The friendly tree in the front yard just became “unfriendly” and smashed a giant hole in your ceiling. Obviously, a tarp is not a long-term solution, but when it’s -10 degrees Fahrenheit outside and snowing? A “stop-gap” is preferable to having a gaping hole where the “Snow Ghost” could enter through your roof. Another “gem” is where Mr. Tree reaches out his stinking branch and delivers a left jab to one of your windows. Chop his branch off…after you close off the window with the tarp…once again, a “quick” fix that you don’t want to leave in place as an “heirloom” for the next two generations.

5. For a temporary cistern: I just did a piece on how PVC pipe can be used to transport water to your camp. Well, if you dig a small depression, you can use tarps and/or plastic sheeting to cover the ground and thereby trap the water for your use later on. Be sure to place some stones on the bottom, and around the edges of your newly-made depression/cistern, to keep the tarp from shifting and thereby prevent water loss.

6. Protect your Gear in the Field: When you’re off on that hike away from your camp, and you’re not carrying your rucksack, you can cover the ruck with a tarp to keep your gear drier.

7. Camouflage a vehicle: Seasonally-dependent, of course, and also to be “blended” with the terrain. You may have to squirrel away a vehicle from view.  The first factor: obviously, a woodland-camouflaged tarp would stick out when the entire ground is covered with several feet of snow. If you have a white tarp for the vehicle, the color may be fine, but you have to blend it in: an 8’ by 4’ white “lump” will not be overlooked in the middle of a flat field. Use common sense and your eyes. If it jumps out at you, it will jump out at another hunter-gatherer hungrily plodding toward your location.

8. To collect rainwater: What better way to replenish those canteens and drinking jugs? Follow that principle: use the water and top off on your water carrying vessels as soon as you can. Bungee cords work the best to make this happen. Stretch out your grommeted tarp, and leave only a slight angle with the tarp. This will ensure it doesn’t pour off too fast. You can lift up on that lower edge and pour away when it starts to rain…it works pretty fast. The only thing that will limit you here will be the number of containers you have to catch it when it comes.

9. As a “quick fix” for a temporary cache: Yes, you may need to squirrel some gear or supplies away in a cache. Reason? Perhaps a medical emergency occurs, and you can’t haul out all of the gear and supplies with you…caching them is the only way to preserve them. You can emplace a hasty cache, and cover the supplies up with the tarp, or wrap them up in it, and then take your loved one or yourself to the doctor. Just make sure you know exactly where you cached the stuff.

10. In a medical emergency: as a temporary shelter, or even a field-expedient litter (if you have enough people) or for a “drag” type of litter…this latter being especially careful not to further injure the person.

Lastly, as I mentioned earlier, by picking up that grommet kit, you will not only be able to make repairs on busted grommets, but you will be able to construct a “field-expedient” tarp of your own. Check out the material you are considering using. There is a ton of plastic sheeting out there. You want to use something that doesn’t have a tremendous amount of “off-gassing,” that exudation of noxious and/or obnoxious fuming…the smell of the plastic. You also want to be able to utilize what you find…so try to find something durable. Construction/contractor trash bags are very sturdy and thick, indeed. This may do in a pinch. Also, that tent that the bear clawed through and got Uncle Ed last year? Or if it was just Mr. Tree dropping one of his branches to give the tent a skylight…relax. Use a razor/utility knife and cut it into a tarp. The floor is good for this, as it’ll be one piece. Set your grommets accordingly, and put it to use.

We’ve outlined some ideas here. Tell us what you have used them for: that’s how the community benefits, from good feedback and input. Quality is important, but as I illustrated with the woodpile tarps I use, nothing lasts forever, and it is best to gauge it remembering that all things wear out with the passage of time.

 

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 January 2nd, 2019

5 New Year’s Resolutions To Get a Jump-Start on the Garden

Tue, 01/01/2019 - 13:09

While we welcome in a new year, I like to take some time to reflect on the past and start dreaming of a better future. And, of course, I implement this into my gardening as well. While I have the best intentions to have a thriving garden, sometimes mistakes are made. These mistakes, although innocently made, caused me to be more mindful of my gardening habits and I’ve grown into a better gardener from them.

A new year is a fresh start. The slate has been wiped clean and you can put your best foot – or green thumb- forward! Before you put in your next garden, it’s important to think about the goals you have for the coming growing season. And, now with the new year, comes new garden resolutions!

Shop For Non-GMO Heirloom Quality Seeds 5 New Year’s Resolutions To Get a Jump-Start on the Garden
  1. I promise to give my organic garden what it needs to prosper. For those interested in creating biodiversity in their future garden, you must start with the soil. Homemade fertilizers can be made using items you would normally toss in the wastebasket. Items like egg shells, banana peels, and used coffee grounds are perfect for making a nutrient-rich, full spectrum fertilizer that will slowly release the nutrients to the soil. Best of all, it’s so easy to make and use 10 readily available materials you would otherwise throw away. Another way to help your garden grow is by adding a compost bin to the garden. This is a great way to make use of brown and green items full of nitrogen and carbon-rich materials.
  2. I pledge to only use non-GMO seeds. It should be emphasized that if a person is purchasing seeds for long-term sustainability, then the seeds purchased should be non-hybrid (non-GMO) and heirloom quality. These types of seeds will produce fertile seeds that can be stored for future harvests. As well, consider only using organic fertilizers to ensure your plants are getting the best nutrients nature can provide.
  3. I’m going to make a garden plan and stick with it. To have a successful garden, you need a plan of action! Each year, I like to start by making a list of plants I want to grow. This helps me map out how much food I plan on growing for my family. Then, I research which plants can be planted in close proximity (i.e., lettuce, bunching onions, spinach) as opposed to those plants that need lots of space (pumpkins and melons) and then check to see which vegetables and fruits are companions to one another. Once I have researched, I start drawing out how my garden will look. This helps me stay on target for the space I allow the plants when I actually start planting my young plants.
  4. I’m going to start my seeds early. Rather than going to the garden center and paying an arm and leg for pre-grown plants, start early and grow your own. Check when your optimum growing time is for where you are located and begin around that time. You can also get a head start by making your own seed starting mix. This will not only save you money but also give your plants the best chance at growing hearty roots. The key to making a healthy seed starting mix is light, well-screened materials to promote root growth. By doing so ensures that the mix doesn’t compact in small seed starting cells/containers. Good moisture retention and drainage are also important considerations to keep in mind. Soils that are too moist can lead to damping off which causes pathogens to grow and kills or weaken seeds or seedlings before or after they germinate. Seeds need perfect growing conditions to grow healthy: water – allows the seed to swell up and the embryo to start growing, oxygen – so that energy can be released for germination, and warmth – germination improves as temperature rises.
  5. I promise to grow my seeds over winter to give them the best chance of growing. Choose your seeds carefully and in the coming months, many of you will begin the early stages of your gardening adventures by starting your seeds. Since the weather outside is still on the dreary side, this is the best time to get a head start on your future garden by starting the seeds indoors. Doing so results in earlier and longer harvests. This economic gardening method doesn’t require special equipment – just some moist soil, comfortable temperatures, and some TLC! Starting longer growing varieties like herbs, broccoli, cauliflower, and onions can greatly benefit from indoor growing methods. This gives the gardener a headstart and helps to control the growing environment.

These resolutions will no doubt inspire you to get into that gardening frame of mind and get growing! Some other garden goals you can add to your New Year’s Garden Resolutions are to take a gardening class in the spring, add some fruit trees to your garden, or encourage beneficial insects and birds to feel welcome by adding bird baths and flowers like coneflowers, roses, lavender.

 

Happy New Year, Friends!

 

 

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 January 1st, 2019

Colorado Declares A Disaster Emergency Over A Lack Of Propane

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 18:33

An emergency declaration was made in Colorado on Christmas Eve.  The state was suffering from a lack of propane. A series of problems led to the emergency declaration, but even minimal prepping could have helped those who were among the allegedly affected.

The propane supplies are now on the rise after the shortage prompted the state’s governor, John Hickenlooper to declare a disaster emergency over the Christmas holiday. Many are crediting the governor for his quick action (signing a piece of paper declaring an emergency is allegedly “helping”) to avert a crisis. While the shortage could have left thousands without heat in Colorado during winter, it seems like if you live in a colder climate, you’d have a backup source of heat anyway.  The governor’s “action” was likely nothing more than simple fear mongering brainwashing the public to believe they cannot survive without the government on their own.

There have even been some reports claiming there never was a shortage, adding even more evidence that the disaster declaration is nothing more than a confusing bit of fear mongering. Officials say the shortage stems from in-state production issues, which have forced propane suppliers to turn to out-of-state resources. But many in the industry don’t know where these so-called officials have gotten their information. As part of his declaration, Hickenlooper relaxed his own restrictions on how many hours drivers can work, allowing more propane to be delivered. But this would have all been useless propaganda and immediately labeled as nothing more than fear mongering had those affected by the disaster declaration been adequately prepared and not subjugated by the fear of a shortage that may never have existed, to begin with.

But, in the event of an actual propane shortage, there are some things you can you and your family can do now to be prepared. According to Martial Law News, it is pretty simple to prepare your home for a fuel shortage.  Should the propane industry face trouble or regulations that make it difficult to supply fuel, or during the event of a societal collapse where fuel is simply unavailable, it’s better to just be prepared in advance.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A PROPANE SHORTAGE/INABILITY TO HEAT YOUR HOME 

  1. Have a backup source of heat.  It seems so obvious, and it can be an expensive endeavor to install a woodburning stove. But if you live in a cold climate and rely only on electric or propane heat, you’ll be pretty uncomfortable if you lose power during a blizzard for several days or there is a legitimate propane shortage. Consider installing a wood burning stove, as it only uses wood and you don’t need propane or electricity to keep warm.
  2.  You could also prepare by keeping a 500-gallon propane tank as your backup fuel, and you can use it when winter comes. You can pair it with a wall-mounted gas heater so you can keep your home nice and warm. This is an efficient way to heat the home, and it won’t deplete the propane in your tank. This method can also help keep the heat on when you’re experiencing temporary power outages. A standard and safe home heating system, a 500-gallon tank and a wall-mounted heater are easy to set up. If you conserve the fuel, a single tank can last for as long as a year.
  3. Consider improving your insulation and upgrading your windows.  Although this is a rather expensive endeavor, if you’ve only got one source of heat, and you cannot install a secondary backup source (such a wood fireplace in an apartment) you can get better window coverings, such as insulated curtains, to help keep what heat is inside from seeping out. You should also make sure everyone in your family has proper winter clothing, such as insulated socks and boots, and mittens. Hats will also keep you comfortable in a power outage, as most heat escapes from our heads.

Layering Clothes Effectively To Stay Warm Outside In Winter

4. Invest in a lot of candles. You can never have enough candles either in your prepping supply or randomly sprinkled around your house as “decoration”! Candles serve two purposes—heat and light. Just fill up the room you plan on staying in with candles and light them all up. Many scented candles should be avoided if any family members are sensitive to fragrances. Non-scented soy wax candles won’t overpower your sense of smell, nor will lighting them give you massive headaches. But, you will still want to make sure there is some ventilation in the room you’ve lit with candles. Use extreme caution when lighting a lot of candles. Do not burn anything inside your home without providing adequate ventilation to the outside. Keep a fire extinguisher right near whatever open flame heat source you are usingCarbon monoxide and fire can be deadly. You will also need to pay special attention to the kids and the pets as with any open flame.

As with any “disaster” or government fear-mongering, self-reliance is the key getting out unscathed.  Rely on yourself and your ingenuity to beat any odds and survive while others are pleading the authorities to take care of them and “do something.” You’ll be all set in many winter situations if you can take the plunge and get a wood burning stove installed as a backup source of heat. If you only do one thing to prepare for a winter without electricity or fuel, that will be something that could not only save your life but make you immediately comfortable while others scramble.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 31st, 2018

Workout Like the Pros: How Pre-Loading Meals Get You the Best Workouts

Mon, 12/31/2018 - 08:26

Ready Nutrition guys and gals, let it never be said that I under-emphasize weight training and physical conditioning. I believe it to be the centerpiece of keeping yourself in good health both physically and mentally. That being said, you need to give yourself an “edge” in your training. Train intelligently and with purpose, and you will garner significant results. Nutrition is the cornerstone of proper training. That being mentioned, we’re going to cover pre-loads in terms of both supplements and “standard” foods that will help you prior to a workout.

Everyone varies, and everybody is different. In the morning, I can’t stand to eat anything just before I lift. The food never sits well in my stomach. My pre-load comes the night before, in the form of high protein and ample carbohydrates. Let’s discuss this. Your body will digest the food slowly from the night before…especially if you eat very late at night, such as 10 pm or later. I like to finish up my meal about 7 pm if possible.

I stack up the high protein, and medium to high carbohydrates, the latter in the form of potatoes or pasta. I prefer the potatoes: they are more readily-absorbable and digestible for your system. The carbs and proteins provide energy and tissue repair, in that order. They “fortify” you by giving you a load of energy to work with after you arise in the morning. This may not sound important, but it is. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it does not detract from the fact that they’re all important.

Before I hit the hay, I like to throw down a protein shake. I’ve written about the benefit of the shakes, but I’ll recap. When you sleep (especially when you eat an early dinner, in the manner that I do), your body’s metabolism slows down. This is good because the uptake of the aminos and nutrients in the shake will pass into your system at a slow and steady pace. They’ll fortify you as you rest.

In the morning, I throw down about 5 grams of Branched-Chain Amino Acids in powder form in some water: easy on my stomach and I can avoid eating anything until post-workout. As mentioned in other articles, these BCAAs  are Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine…crucial for tissue repair and convertible into glycogen…later turning into glucose and being used as fuel by the body.

Afternoon workouts are a little different. Many experts believe that the optimal time to work out is 3 pm in the afternoon. Unfortunately, for many who work, you’ll have to fit the time in when you can. The afternoon workout should be characterized by a pre-load of medium to high protein content and high carbs about two hours out. This gives time to digest and pump some of those substances into the bloodstream for use when you throw it down and move steel.

Pre-loads with protein shakes are good for some people, not so good for others. If you feel that you are sick to your stomach or queasy while you’re working out, you may have to do what I do and take BCAAs prior to the lifting, and then a protein shake post-workout. You want to eat a filling meal beforehand prior to the afternoon meal, but not so full that you feel as if you’re bloated. Eating too much puts a strain on your digestive system, and “shunting” will take longer.

Shunting is what takes place in your peripheral circulatory system. You just placed a slab of beef and a bowl of pasta into your guts. Now, what happens? Well, the blood moves from your periphery (arms, legs, appendages, brain) into your thoracic cavity as your stomach begins the daunting challenge of breaking down Aunt Gertrude’s slab of meatloaf and her fat German dumplings you had over at mom’s for lunch. Your body uses 10% of its derived food energy to digest the food. When this happens, your brain becomes desirous for sleep, and your concentration level vanishes…as your eyelids droop, your mouth hangs open, and you become a poster child for Neanderthal man.

Seriously, it presents other problems, because if you exercise with your concentration minimized, you could hurt yourself. Also, the muscles are not firing from the neurosynaptic junctions…where your nerves innervate the muscles…throwing off power, timing, and effectiveness. Two hours out or more before those afternoon workouts is when you should eat your food. Some proteins are more readily-digestible than others, as well as the form they’re in. Ground beef (the love of my dining life) is more easily processed then a steak, that needs to be cut up and chewed and then digested. It is self-explanatory if you see the two side by side.

The ground beef or shredded chicken breast can be inserted into mashed potatoes. Throw this down, and you’ll digest it within an hour. Follow it up with some pineapple, which contains Bromelain, a substance that helps you digest meat. Nifty: only pineapples have it.  I don’t believe in “power bars,” or any energy bars: although they can be eaten, they’re not as fast as most would believe, and you need to drink about a gallon of water to break them up so that you can derive the benefits.

Stick with pasta and potatoes as your mainstay for carbs, and don’t neglect the banana or even a few prunes for the potassium. These are some ideas to get you started. The pre-load meal or supplements will give you the extra energy and nutrients you need to get through those workouts. It is a continuous “feed,” whether before or after, but make sure you take into consideration just how much food you need to repair tissue and to promote muscle growth: it’s a lot.  Stay in that good fight.  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 December 31st, 2018

Boost Your Brain-Power With These Herbal Foods

Sat, 12/29/2018 - 07:35

Studies show that over the holidays, the average person gains at least 6 to 7 pounds. So, it is (as I’ve characterized it in the past) a relentless assault on your physiques.

Let’s assume it is not the case for you Readers, here. So, we can concentrate on bigger and better things. We will cover some herbs that are healthy for your brain…both for cognition and from a physiological perspective in other ways. If they do not directly enhance the formation of neurons, they enable better circulation and blood pressure and have adaptogenic qualities that will benefit you. Here we go!

As a refresher, an adaptogen is an herbal food/substance that alters the body either by form or function to bring it toward homeostasis. The word “homeostasis” refers to your body being at a normative/normal level of function. The interesting thing about adaptogens is that they can work for two people with dissimilar conditions. A diabetic may suffer from the inability to produce insulin to counteract blood sugar. An adaptogen will help to lower that blood sugar and/or to help produce insulin. Conversely, someone suffering from hypoglycemia processes their sugar at a higher or faster rate…due to metabolism, or increased insulin production. That same adaptogen will work for the hypoglycemic individual, but in the other direction, by keeping that blood sugar at a more stable level…according to the body’s needs.

The human brain is a marvelous apparatus that we are now only beginning to understand in terms of its capabilities and functions. There are some supplements that you can take that will help in terms of brain “improvement” that you may be interested in.

Ashwagandha: We have covered this herb in depth in another article, but studies have shown here that it increases the ability to develop new connections between neurons (those are brain cells). Ashwagandha lowers inflammation and can reduce plaques that form in the blood vessels of the brain. As an adaptogen, the herb is a stress-reducer and can increase your ability to learn things. It is being experimented with as a preventative for Alzheimer’s Disease. Also known as Withania somnifera.

Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea): This is another great adaptogen. This herb has had extensive experience and testing in the former Soviet Union as a mainstay for both the USSR’s Olympic athletes and also with their military. The root is the source of the herbal supplements, and it is extremely beneficial for recovery, as well as for use with stress and anxiety. Rhodiola improves both mental and physical performance.

Ginkgo biloba: Undoubtedly you have either heard of or used this one. It is concluded that ginkgo (as it’s called) will actually heal and repair brain cells, and enable your mental clarity of function as you age. Memory and attention are the primary areas that ginkgo benefits. Used for thousands of years in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), ginkgo biloba has withstood the test of time and science for being another weapon in the fight against cognitive decline that comes with age and/or illness.

Rosemary:  Yes, the spice, that’s right! Rosavins are good for the brain, and its use is not confined just to eating it. By inhaling/smelling the essential oil, it helps with mood and mental clarity in the discipline known as aromatherapy. Rosemary helps with memory retention and learning.

Gotu Kola: Another ancient herb used primarily in the Ayurvedic medicine of India. The herb is a tonic that improves the circulation of the body overall, and it also helps with memory retention. Gotu kola is highly adaptogenic and will restore balance to the body and the brain.

There is abundant literature in your health food concerns, as well as all over the Internet concerning these herbs. There are others as well, but this is good to get you started. The beauty of it all is that they work in other areas that are useful, and do not take much to incorporate into your diet or everyday routine. Always check with your doctor to see if any contraindications exist if you’re using any medicine.

You can find these herbs in any health food store, along with most of your “big-box” stores such as Wal-Mart or Target. They are affordable and highly effective. The brain is one of the most neglected parts of the human body and is taken for granted. Don’t forget about it! And if you find yourself forgetting it? Perhaps these herbs will help you to remember…and then you can take it from there.

 

 

 

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 December 29th, 2018

How To Prevent And Naturally Treat The Dreaded Stomach Flu This Winter

Fri, 12/28/2018 - 06:13

It always seems like this time of year brings the stomach flu along with all of the other viruses floating around in public.  But there are simple things you can do to prevent yourself from getting sick, and there are natural and healthy ways to ensure you feel better faster if you do come down with this nasty bug.

What is the stomach flu?

The stomach flu, also known as gastroenteritis, is an infection of the intestines. The viruses responsible for this illness are often the norovirus and the rotavirus. The symptoms of the stomach flu include nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, a low-grade fever, and abdominal pain.  Usually, these symptoms subside in less than two days or even 24 hours in some cases. The Mayo Clinic suggests contacting a doctor if vomiting has persisted for more than two days, there’s bloody diarrhea, you have vomited blood, or have a fever about 104. All of these can be signs of a more severe infection, one not caused by the norovirus or rotavirus.

Noroviruses: Both children and adults are affected by noroviruses, the most common cause of foodborne illness worldwide. Norovirus infection can sweep through families and communities. It’s especially likely to spread among people in confined spaces. In most cases, you pick up the virus from contaminated food or water, although person-to-person transmission also is possible.

Rotavirus: Worldwide, this is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in children, who are usually infected when they put their fingers or other objects contaminated with the virus into their mouths. The infection is most severe in infants and young children. Adults infected with rotavirus may not have symptoms, but can still spread the illness — of particular concern in institutional settings because infected adults unknowingly can pass the virus to others.

-The Mayo Clinic

Stomach flu spreads easily!

You can be infected by either the norovirus or the rotavirus by sharing utensils with an infected person, drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated food. You could also become infected if you use the towel of a sick person.

What to do if you become sick?

If you are an adult, you’ll want to avoid infecting others and take care to not get anyone else sick. If someone in your home has viral gastroenteritis, disinfect hard surfaces, such as counters, faucets, and doorknobs, with a mixture of 2 cups (0.47 liters) of bleach to 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of water. Wash their bedsheets with bleach if possible. Many websites and medical professionals suggest isolating a sick family member.  Recently, my son got the stomach flu, and because he’s a little boy, we did not isolate him in his room.  We let him sleep on the couch and watch movies all day. Sometimes, depending on which family member is sick, isolation is not possible or conducive to household morale.  We gave him a large bowl in case he needed to vomit and after it was rinsed out, we made sure to thoroughly wash our hands and we kept all other kids away from him. Once he healed up, a quick disinfectant spray on the couch did the trick and no one else got sick. Encourage plenty of rest if you or your little one get sick!

Make sure that you try to stay hydrated.  Often, water won’t even stay down during the stomach flu, but try munching on ice chips to get some hydration. Avoid diuretics such as coffee, black (caffeinated) tea, and alcohol.

Make a ginger peppermint tea.  Both ginger and peppermint are known to calm stomach inflammation and promote digestion by relieving nausea and vomiting.  To make mint tea, simply take a few fresh mint leaves and boil them in some water and strain the infusion.  For an extra boost, grate some fresh ginger root (about 1/2 teaspoon as it’s a strong flavor) and stir it into your boiled mint mixture.  The tea is a natural way to soothe an upset stomach and hopefully put a little water back into the body.

Prevention

Although there is a vaccine for the rotavirus, there is not one for the norovirus (It is still undergoing tests). But simple hygiene can help prevent both of these viruses. Wash your hands before you eat.  If washing is not available, use hand sanitizer liquid or sanitizing wipes and make sure your children do too. Teach good handwashing habits after using the bathroom, especially in public places. It’s best to use warm water and soap and to rub hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds, remembering to wash around cuticles, beneath fingernails and in the creases of the hands. Then rinse thoroughly. You should also:

  • Wash all fruits and vegetables and thoroughly cook seafood before eating.
  • People who begin to feel ill should avoid involvement in food preparations for others.
  • Wipe shopping cart handles before use with sanitizing wipes.
  • Use a dishwasher instead of handwashing.

Hopefully, just minor and simple changes will have you and your family staying healthy all winter long.  And if you do get sick, remember, the stomach flu is short lived and you should be back at it in no time!  If you are ill for longer than two days, seek medical attention.

 

*This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness.  If you have questions or concerns you should speak to a medical or healthcare professional.

 

 

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published December 28th, 2018

The Healing Properties of Mullein – Especially During the Cold and Flu Season

Thu, 12/27/2018 - 13:58

Mullein is a pretty easy herb to come by. It grows in “waste” places; that is to say, in arid, rocky, or sandy soil without many nutrients. It is a pretty common sight all over the United States and is actually considered a nuisance by many, although it was brought to the U.S. from Europe in the 1700s for its medicinal value. Its scientific name is Verbascum thapsus, and it is a biennial, meaning that it takes two years to complete its life-cycle.

It is available in your better health-food stores and herbal shops. The entire plant can be used: leaves, flowers, and roots. The flowers and leaves are the parts that are valuable for colds and flu. It can be taken as an infusion (a tea), or dried (1 ounce). The leaves can also be placed in an infusion/tea at the amount of about an ounce. You can also simmer them for about 10 minutes in milk. These mixtures can be used for a cough.

The leaves can be smoked in an ordinary pipe for tobacco to provide relief from inflamed membranes of the respiratory system and will control a hacking cough, asthma, and coughs that are spasmodic. The teas provide a demulcent action, and this means a coating action that will soothe the mucous membranes in the manner of a cough drop.

The herb can also be used for diarrhea, as it is a protectant and astringent that will help to clean out the bowels and intestinal tissues. If you crush the leaves and make a poultice out of it (that is simply put, a moistened “packet” of the herb) you can use it on rashes, boils, sores, and other skin ailments. Mullein lives for a good while, and you can always spot it by its stem that grows vertically from which the flowers bud. The seeds can last for more than a hundred years, which makes it excellent for your seed-saving endeavors.

The flowers are a bright yellow color and can be dried for teas. Mullein contains about 3% mucilage, and it is this that helps with the soothing, demulcent qualities on the mucous membranes that line the nose, mouth, and throat. Ready Nutrition Readers, lend me your ears! [para. Shakespeare] Well, you keep the ears…but when they act up? Mullein is also good for ear infections. Many will tell you to tincture it and then apply a few drops. My method: leave some flowers and leaves in a bottle of olive oil, for about 2-3 weeks after chopping the vegetative matter up finely.

After the wait, you’ll have ear “oil” that is both medicinal and also soothing…I’ve found olive oil to be one of the best carrier oils that you can use. When you make a tea from it, or a poultice, ladies, this will help with a yeast infection…and will be a bit more soothing than other remedies due to its demulcent action as mentioned earlier.

A Clemson University study reported back in 2002 that Mullein is effective against several kinds of bacteria, to include Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Escherichia coli. In case you didn’t know it, Staph aureus is the bacteria found predominantly in everyone’s nasal passages. Its use is only contraindicated in young children for coughs, but for ear infections or for an astringent, it can be used with them. You can find it in leaf, tincture, pill, or capsule form, but this information is given to you in the hopes that you’ll go out next season and find it to make your supplies with as well.  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 December 27th, 2018

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