“If the Ebola Threat were to Escalate, Isolation would be Key” — Jim Cobb, Author of Countdown to Preparedness

Countdown to Preparedness

Today we are featuring Jim Cobb’s latest book, Countdown to Preparedness:  The Prepper’s 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness.

I had the opportunity to read Countdown to Preparedness and found lots of helpful advice.  It breaks down the idea of preparing for both short term disasters into manageable steps that can be done in 52 weeks.  Of course you can take shortcuts if you are able to or stretch out the time period according to your finances and time constraints.  I appreciate the budget minded approach, as many families are daunted by large expenses.

Jim Cobb’s books have been featured on Apartment Prepper previously and we are pleased to have this encore interview.

1.  Given the fears about the ebola virus, what is your current state of alertness (on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest level) regarding this issue and why?

As it stands right now, I’d say I’m at a 2.5 or so.  Ebola is on my radar,
but I’m not really losing any sleep over the threat just yet.

2.  If the threat of ebola were to escalate, what is the best approach for a city dweller?

Isolation would be key.  If someone in an urban area were able to quickly
and safely get into a less populated area, that would be ideal.  If that’s
not a viable option, be prepared to hunker down and wait it out, which
could take weeks or even months.

3.  Residents and tourists in Hawaii breathed a sigh of relief as the two hurricanes threatening the islands passed without incident.  Many readers are confused about being prepared while flying to a destination, either for business or personal.   What is the best way to be prepared while on vacation or traveling for business?

When possible, I much prefer to drive to my destination, given that I can
obviously carry more gear with me.  Flying is problematic when it comes to
survival equipment.

It might be seen as being “overly prepared” but what I’ve been doing is
shipping a small box to my hotel ahead of my arrival.  Said box contains a
small amount of survival gear — food, water filter, first aid kit, knife,
etc.  Not a ton of stuff, but enough to give me a leg up if I were to need
to evacuate without having access to my regular kits.

Now for the Giveaway:

Please answer the following questions for a chance to win a copy of Countdown to Preparedness:  The Prepper’s 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness.

Are you prepared for emergencies when traveling?  What steps do you take to be prepared?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Friday,  August 22 at 8 pm Central.  *Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.

Check out these deals:

Free shipping from Spark Naturals

 



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Start Now for Fall Onions

 

onion field

Onions are a great crop for your home vegetable garden. You have plenty of choices, and they are very easy to grow directly from seed. Onions are also an excellent candidate to grow in containers, as some varieties such as the bunching types, take up very little space.

It’s now August, and most onion varieties need a minimum of 60 days to mature. That will take you to the end of September, beginning of October. In some areas, that may be past the frost date. That is ok. Throw a cold frame over your onions, some row covers or a garden cloche and you will be able to protect your onions. Some varieties may not even need that.

PLANTING DEPTH
I always describe onion seeds as “miniature pieces of coal.” At least that is what onion seeds look like to me anyway. With that said, they are a decent sized seed, needing only to be planted at about a ½” deep. If you are using containers with a peat based mix, you can go a bit deeper. That type of soil is very loose and friable and will not present any germination issues.

SEED SPACING
When direct sowing your seeds into your garden, which is what you can do right now, the spacing will depend on the variety. If you are planting a bunching variety, 2” to 4” is all you need. If you are going with a variety that will grow a bit larger, such as a red burgundy or yellow Spanish, I recommend 6” to 8”.

GERMINATION
Under optimal conditions, perfect weather, excellent soil, and so on, I have experienced onion seeds germinating in as little as 5 days. That is not the norm though. Ten to fifteen days to germination is more likely and more common. Mix in plenty of compost and hydrate your seeds first to help increase germination rates.

onions_growing_in_containerDAYS TO MATURITY
As noted earlier your onions will need 60 days. That does not mean, if you harvest on day 59, they are inedible, it simply means, to reach full growth, 60 is the average optimal time frame. You may need more time, or you may, with good soil and fertilization, get your onions sooner.

LOCATION
When picking a spot to grow your onions, choose a location that receives full sun. Onions can grow in partially shaded areas; however you are up against the Mother Nature clock here. Full sun will do wonders for growing onions if you have the space available to accommodate.

DRAINAGE
Onions are a root crop, so good drainage is very important. Too much water sitting around the roots can cause your onions to rot. If your soil is too dense i.e. has too much clay etc., mix in some peat to loosen it up, or add in loads of compost. This will help water drain away much better without leaving the soil area too dry.

CARE
As with any of your vegetable plants, keep the weeds away so your onions are not in competition for the soil’s nutrients. Weeds normally win. Be sure to feed weekly with a good fertilizer, or add in compost around the base of your plants. A light daily watering is all you need.

I don’t have to go through all of the culinary uses for onions as they are used in a lot of various recipes. Just know that not only do they add flavor to your favorites dishes, they contain calcium, iron and a good amount of vitamins, A, B1, B2 and C.

About the Author

mypic

Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts.

Monday Musings: 8/4/2014

MondayMusings 08032014This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

Welcome to another Monday Musings, where we share interesting links as well as updates on the blog and preps.

First the blog updates…

Blog makeover!  It’s taken me a while, but I made a few changes.  As you can see the blog looks different.  I changed the header photo, background, as well as added social media buttons to the articles and the side bar.

I also added a new tab “Don’t Miss These Posts” that shows Top Posts and Pages for the past year.

Giveaways

PowerStrips giveaway was won by Colleen who has been notified.

We have some great giveaways going on this week:  Don’t forget to enter the Water Brick giveaway announced earlier today, as well as the giveaway for The Prepper’s Blueprint by Tess Pennington.

Now for the links…

I mentioned this last month:  the new series featuring friend of the blog, Creek Stewart, who runs Willow Haven Outdoor.  The new show is called “Fat Guys in the Woods” and it premieres this Sunday, August 10th at 10:00 p.m. ET on The Weather Channel.  I am looking forward to seeing the show – here’s an early review from EdthatMatters:

Fat Guys in the Woods

Average Price of Electricity Climbs to All-Time Record

Budget Bug Out TentCopyright © GeekPrepper.org Read more at: http://www.geekprepper.org/budget-bug-out-tent/

Budget Bug Out Tent

PREParedness Items to Get in the Back to School Sales

Budget Bug Out TentCopyright © GeekPrepper.org Read more at: http://www.geekprepper.org/budget-bug-out-tent/

Why Being a “Tree Hugger” Builds Self-Reliance

 

Take care and have a great week everyone!

 

Emergency Essential Deals

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

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WaterBrick Giveaway

I got together with a group of my blogging colleagues to share this giveaway that is sponsored by Food For Health. We are giving away an 8-Pack of WaterBricks to one lucky winner. Water is number one on my preparedness list! Enter for a chance to win!

WaterBrick Giveaway
WaterBrick Stackable Water and Food Storage Container: 3.5 Gallons of Liquids or up to 27 Pounds (264 Adult Servings) of dry foods. Made of rugged, high-density polyethylene (HDPE with an easy grip comfort handle.
Better than Other Bulk Storage Drums or Tanks: WaterBricks stack like bulk storage but are individually easy to move for Grab & Go taking your water where you need it. Compare WaterBrick to typical filled 55 gallon drums or tanks that are impossible to move or take with you if you are forced to leave your home during an emergency.
Here are the bloggers involved in this giveaway:
1. Food Storage Moms
2. Are We Crazy Or What?
3. Home Ready Home
4. Survival For Blondes
5. The Rural Economist
6. Mom With A Prep
7. Imperfectly Happy
8. Fabulous Farm Girl
9. The Survival Mom
10. Prepared-Housewives
11. Food Storage and Survival
12. Whole New Mom
13. Prepper Website
14. Madtown Preppers
15. Mama Kautz
16. Apartment Prepper
17. Timber Creek Farm
18. Preparedness Mama
19. The Backyard Pioneer
20. The Busy B Homemaker
21. Trayer Wilderness
22. Common Sense Homesteading
23. Sharing Lifes Abundance
24. Survival At Home
25. Five Little Homesteaders
26.  Backdoor Survival
Learn more about or purchase a WaterBrick here

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is sponsored by Food For Health and the following rules apply: One winner will be chosen and that said winner will have 48 hours ro reply to the email that is sent to them. Please check your SPAM folder. If the winner does not respond within the 48 hours another winner will be chosen. This giveaway is open to anyone who is 18 years of age or older and must reside in the 48 Continental States. We will only ship to the 48 Continental States. This giveaway starts on Monday August 4th at 5:00 am (MDT) and will end on August 10th at 5:00 pm (MDT). Good luck to everyone!

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

What to Do If You’re Worried about Ebola

Ebola articleWe’ve been watching the news about the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa for months now.  As I write this, a lot of people are concerned that the virus is making it’s way to the U.S. as two of the victims, American health workers who have contracted the disease are being brought to a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.  The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) in a recent speech, stated, “…this outbreak is moving faster than our efforts to control it. If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socioeconomic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries.”

I am not a doctor or scientist, just a regular person who is wondering “what if?”  A lot of sites have weighed in on this subject, and the news reports all assure the public that the virus will not spread here.  But there are never any guarantees.  All you can do is be aware of what’s going on, hope and pray that the virus is contained.

What is Ebola?

Ebola is a virus that causes a horrific hemorrhagic fever with up to a 90% death rate.  The incubation period, or the time between a person is infected until they show symptoms is between 2-21 days.  Symptoms start out like the flu, with cough, sore throat, malaise, fever, aches and pains, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.  At advanced stages, victims get severe bruising and rashes, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting, bleeding from eyes, nose, mouth, multiple organ failure leading to death.  No doubt, it’s a nasty, terrible disease.

How do you prevent it?

From what I have read, preventing it means staying away from blood, secretions and other bodily fluids from infected persons who are symptomatic.  Caregivers must be covered from head to toe, with impenetrable materials to avoid accidentally coming into contact with bodily fluids.  According to the Doom and Bloom Ebola update,

“It’s thought that Ebola doesn’t spread until a victim develops symptoms. As the illness progresses, however, bodily fluids from diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding become very contagious. Poor hygiene and lack of proper medical supplies in underdeveloped countries, such as in West Africa impede the progress of medical authorities to tame the outbreak. The best they can do is isolate sick individuals as best they can and follow infectious disease precautions. This is something they are, apparently, not doing so well, because so many medical personnel are getting sick. When the doctors and nurses are dying, you know you have an illness about which to be truly concerned. Imagine if the disease becomes worldwide.”

Is there a cure?

There is no known cure for Ebola; there is no vaccine either.  The only thing that can be done for patients is to keep them comfortable and hydrated, while the patient fights the virus and hopefully gets better on their own.

What can you do to prepare?

We don’t have any control over much of what happens in these developments, all we can do is be aware of what’s happening so we can decide what to do if anything happens.  Just the fact that you’re reading this means you are concerned enough to prepare.  Here are some tips to cope:

  • Don’t panic – This is the last thing you need.  If you are full of fear you will be incapacitated and unable to make proper decisions
  • Have a discussion with your close family members about the situation.  Talk about how you feel and what you would do “just in case”  Things to consider are:  At what point would you miss work or keep kids home from school if there is an outbreak of some kind?  Would you hunker in your home or stay someplace else? 
  • Keep close tabs on the news – be aware of what’s going on.  Learn the facts and stay away from sensationalistic or fear mongering stories.  Here’s a good article 12 Things You Must Know about Ebola by James Hubbard, M.D.
  • Know the laws about quarantine and isolation:  legal authorities will do what is  necessary to stop the spread of disease, including quarantining and isolating possibly infected people if warranted..
  • Learn how to sanitize your home with bleach.  See Cleaning and Sanitizing with Bleach after an Emergency
  • Stock up on bleach, disposable gloves, masks, toilet paper, trash bags, water, food, first aid supplies, to last for a month just in case.
  • Read The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story    I was terrified to read about the first time the Ebola virus reached the U.S. (suburb of Washington, D.C.) back in the 80s.  Though the story was downplayed at the time, it really happened and now it’s about to arrive again.
  • See my recent article, How an Average Person can Prepare for a Pandemic for more tips on how to prepare.

From the news reports, the treatment facility that will be receiving the patients is well-equipped with isolation environments, protective equipment and everything needed to keep the patients stable.  We’re assured that the personnel are experienced in handling infectious diseases and well-trained in all protocols to protect themselves and everyone else.  I pray for the victims and their caregivers and hope there are no mishaps.

I hope these tips are helpful.  By being aware of what’s going on, and taking a few sensible steps, you will sleep a lot better at night.

© Apartment Prepper 2014

 

“Concerned about Deterioration of the Economy” Interview with Tess Pennington, Author of The Prepper’s Blueprint

250x250-PreppersBluePrintI had the opportunity to read The Prepper’s Blueprint written by Tess Pennington and edited by Daisy Luther.  This is a huge book and it give you a wealth of information about preparing for any disaster.  Becoming prepared can be overwhelming but this book will walk you through what you need to know.

The Prepper’s Blueprint, offers a “no nonsense” guide to preparing for either short term or long term emergencies. The book is written in a friendly, non-judgmental tone; you feel like a friend is helping you get motivated. Tess Pennington knows of what she writes. I liked the practical advice and actionable steps that anyone can follow. This book is a keeper.

In addition, I also interviewed the author, Tess Pennington.  Tess has made the big leap that many of us can only imagine:  moving from life in the big city to a small town.   Even though we can’t move just yet, there are many things we can do to live more sustainably while living in the city.  Read on…

1.  There are multiple threats to prepare for – what are you most concerned about?

My largest concern is with the deterioration of the economy. Currently, 1 in 4 Americans have no emergency savings. Emergency savings is hard to do when the country is in such a fragile economic state. Americans are struggling and finding ways to cut corners and learn to make ends the best they can. We are dealing with an epidemic of unemployment, the amount of families on food stamps is staggering, and it is becoming clear that an economic recovery is nowhere in sight.

Many years ago, I was enslaved to debt, we had no savings, I had no preparations and my young children were depending on me to get them through. My husband and I made some abrupt changes. We consumed less and worked at paying off our bills. Rather than taking vacations, we invested in emergency supplies and began growing our own food sources. I wouldn’t say that we are 100% self-reliant, but we are close to being debt free and are closer to our goal. One aspect of preparedness that is not discussed often is the time involved in accumulating supplies, learning the pertinent skills and becoming confident in your abilities. This takes years and those who are new to prepping may become discouraged in the process. The best way to approach prepping is with open eyes and new mindset.

If we can each take steps to eliminate debt, save money, simplify our lifestyle and prepare for the unexpected disasters that life can throw at us, then when those emergencies do happen, we will be prepared and ready to face them head on. We will not be as dependent on the economic cycles.

2.  What was a driving reason to leave the city and relocate to a different location?

Our driving reason was that the life in the city/suburbs didn’t reflect what we wanted anymore. We were ready to get some land and practice a more self-reliant lifestyle. Luckily, my husband and I work from home, so we were able to be picky about where we moved to. Not many people have the opportunity to pick up and move. Where our job is usually reflects where we can and cannot live.

For us, living in Houston, TX came with certain concerns. This is a densely populated area, crime rates seemed to be increasing, and there were concerns of multiple natural disasters and man-made disasters that we didn’t want to subject our family to. When we made the decision to move, we did a lot of research on areas around the country that were not densely populated, were rich in natural resources and didn’t pose as many natural disasters compared to where we were living. One resource that was exceptionally helpful during this research period was http://www.city-data.com/.

3.  What was the most difficult adjustment you (or your family) had to make?

In all, I feel that the adjustment was easy because I had done a lot of research in homesteading and self-reliance living. I knew going into it that there were going to be some challenges and learning curves. I wanted to get my hands dirty and knew that mistakes were all part of the process.

The most difficult thing I have found about the whole process is not be complacent. We get comfortable with things, maybe a little cocky in learning new skills and then you just stop learning, stop reading about new products and perhaps, become less open to new ways of thinking. In my experience, you should always be continuing to learn and train your skills. Find people around you or online that share your interests and learn from them.

4.  What steps can be taken to ease the transition when you move away from convenient and familiar surroundings?

When you make the decision to move away from all that you know, it can be scary at first. You may doubt yourself and your abilities. But, don’t give up! As mentioned above, my husband and I did a lot of research on where we were moving and had a plan of action before we moved. I had my checklist of things to do before I left.

My biggest advice for this question is to trust in your decision and give yourself time to adjust and acclimate to your new surroundings. One of the first things I did when we moved was start getting my garden set up. I am one of those people who have to have a garden growing. It calms me and gives me time to myself. You could also join local grounds (master gardeners, go to the gun range, meet up groups, etc.) to get you meeting the locals.

5.  Many families are unable to move out of the city due to financial and family reasons – what would you recommend in their situation?

Roughly, 80% of the population is urban, so you aren’t alone. There are many things you can do to promote a more sustainable lifestyle while living in the city. Make the best of where you are and refine skills you can use in an urban setting. Some great skills you can easily learn are:

Raise micro-livestock
Garden and produce your own food supply
Forage for local plants and herbs
Learn about Hydroponic/Aquaponic food production
Train your physical body in the event of evacuations
Take an emergency first-aid class or self-defense class
Start a prepper’s pantry and store shelf stable foods
Learn how to preserve your food supply
Go to farmer’s markets and get in contact with local growers and practice bartering
Visit self-reliant or prepper expos and take some prepper classes

Many families have to stay in urban areas but do not let that stop you from your prepping endeavors. There are lots of things you can do and many people who are in the same place as you with the same interests. Hopefully, the above suggestions can help you get started.

Now for the giveaway…

Tess is giving away a copy of The Prepper’s Blueprint to one lucky winner.

To enter, just comment on the question below:

Describe what skills are you trying to acquire to live more sustainably and why?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, August 9th at 8 pm Central.  *Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or other winners will be drawn.

 

© Apartment Prepper 2014

Please click here to vote for me at Top Prepper Websites!

 

Why You Should Keep Tarp in Your Survival Kit

Why You Should Keep Tarp in Your Survival Kit A few weeks ago, we took a day trip to a wilderness area for a picnic.  There was no rain in the forecast that day, and there were no clouds in the sky when we set out.  After an hour’s drive, we arrived and scoped out a spot by some trees.  A couple of hours later, the clouds started coming in.  Pretty soon the sky was dark and you could just feel a slight cool down in the temperature, which signifies rain.  The wind came in and we knew we were about to have a downpour.  We didn’t want to leave just yet, so Mr. Apt Prepper rigged up a tarp into a makeshift shelter.  Paracord came in handy for tie-ups.

It was not a very attractive set-up but it kept us from getting drenched.  The rain lasted for about 45 minutes then the sun came out.

I was glad we had the tarp and paracord to build a makeshift shelter.  I have written about paracord before, but not about tarp.

Mutiple uses for tarp:

  • Barrier under a tent floor to protect you from sharp rocks or critters
  • Blanket to keep warm
  • Picnic blanket
  • Use as a hammock
  • Improvise a stretcher to carry an injured person
  • Use as a surface to field dress game
  • Make a shelter to protect from rain or to get some shade
  • Protect your car’s seats from messes
  • As a wrapping for stuff
  • Assemble into a backpack with paracord straps
  • As a covering for items carried on top of your car or truck
  • For camouflage if it is has the right colors
  • Make a sail
  • Catch rainwater:  dig a hole in the ground, line it with tarp and collect water.  It can also be used to direct the flow of water into a container
  • Protect your floor while doing a paint job
  • Use as a way to signal – if you are lost somewhere, find an area to spread out the tarp so it can be seen from above.
  • Makeshift shower curtain
  • Privacy screen for an outdoor toilet
  • Make an indoor fort for kids to entertain themselves during a power outage
  • Covering for windows

Keep some tarp, along with paracord and some duct tape in your car survival kit.  While you’re at it, might as well keep one at home and in your bug out bag.

 

 

Fire Roasted Vegetables for Food Storage

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg Blend4At last week’s Monday Musings, I mentioned I was catching up on product reviews.  Therefore, in lieu of the scheduled posts, this week is Review Week!

I had the opportunity to test out the new Mountain House Fire Roasted Vegetables.

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg BlendLong time readers know we’ve tested a few Mountain House entrees, and brought them on camping and backpacking trips.

I was a little iffy about how fire roasted vegetables would turn out, as this is one of my favorite foods and some restaurants don’t even cook them properly.  But I gave it shot so here’s the result.

Here is what the vegetables look as you open the packet.  It contains freeze dried fire roasted bell peppers, onions with corn and black beans.

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg Blend2

As usual, I followed the instructions to take out the oxygen absorber then just add 1.5 cups boiling water.

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg Blend3Then mix up the contents to make sure the water has covered the vegetables.  Then seal up the bag and wait.  The directions said leave it alone 7-8 minutes.

I checked it after the 8 minutes were up and the vegetables were ready the the black beans were still a bit tough.  So I left it for another 7 minutes for a total of 15.  By now the black beans were perfect.

Mountain House Fire Roasted Veg Blend5I tasted the vegetables and they were excellent.  They had a sweet, fresh taste and a firm, not mushy consistency.  The pouch contains 2.5 servings.  I had it plain for lunch and it was satisfying.

I think it’s actually better than some of the frozen fire roasted vegetable blends I’ve tried from the supermarket.  They would be great for camping, backpacking and long term food storage.  I highly recommend Mountain House Fire Roasted Vegetables.

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

Grow Great Vegetables in Containers with these 4 Tips

Grow Great Vegetables in Containers with these 4 TipsBy Mike Podlesny

Do not let the lack of space keep you from growing some great tasting fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs at home. Regardless of whether you have a balcony at your apartment or a small backyard in the city, it is possible to reap a bountiful harvest every gardening season.

CHOOSE WISELY

The first thing to consider when growing fruits, vegetables and herbs in containers is choosing varieties that make sense for the amount of space that you have. You might think there is nothing out there that fits your need, but that would be the furthest from the truth. There are plenty of determinant vegetable varieties that will work.

For example, if you love fresh home grown beans like I do, go with some heirloom bush varieties such as royal burgundy or golden wax, as opposed to pole beans that would require trellising and take up a bit more space.

If cucumbers are your favorite, you are in luck, because the determinant heirloom bush crop variety is perfect for your space, and grows very well in small containers. I am growing bush crop cucumbers this year and have nine plants in a three foot by three foot raised garden bed. You can squeeze plenty of these varieties of cucumbers in a small space and still get prolific production.

THE CONTAINERonions_growing_in_container
After you have decided what to grow, you now need something to plant your vegetables, herbs and fruit in. A good container will have a diameter of at least sixteen inches and a depth of no less than twelve inches, although much deeper is always better. If you can afford a bigger container for both price and space, I would highly recommend it.thyme_growing_in_an_herb_box

Because you are growing vegetables, fruits and herbs in containers, there are some things you have to remember.

Use a good potting soil that is loaded with plenty of plant food. The key here is potting soil.  Do not use a garden soil. Garden soil is too dense for a container application. There are a lot of great organic choices available, or you can make your own by combining homemade compost, a little perlite and some coir.

You will need to water your plants more frequently. Your container will dry out quicker, so watering daily will be a part of your routine, and if you are in an area with extreme high temperatures, twice a day is not out of the question. Just keep an eye on them.
Your container should have plenty of drainage. I would highly recommend drilling a few more holes into the bottom of your containers. This allows excess water to drain better. The last thing you want is excess water sitting around the roots of your vegetable plants. That will cause a condition called root rot.

pumpkin_growing_in_a_pot

LOCATION

Your plants should receive at least 8 hours of sun although you can get away with less if you are growing leafy veggies such as kale, lettuce or spinach. The beauty about containers is that you can move them around. So if you are growing a container variety of tomato, which requires a full day’s worth of sun, and the sun hits 4 hours on one side of your balcony, and 4 on the other, simply pick the pot up and follow the sun. It really is not that much work once you get used to it.

You may also want to consider adding artificial light, such as grow lights, if your apartment, condo, house etc., sits on the side that receives more shade than sun. They are very inexpensive, available at any giant home center, and do not cost that much to operate.

bush_cucumbersFEED YOUR PLANTS
Finally, don’t forget to feed your plants. Because your vegetables, fruits and herbs are growing in confined quarters, they are going to use up the nutrients in the soil much faster. If you start with a good potting soil as mentioned earlier, you can easily get away with feeding your plants once per week after the first month.

I would recommend a good fertilizer like fish emulsion or even adding some compost to the top of your container and allowing it to work its way down, which it will eventually do. You can also use that compost to make compost tea, which makes a great elixir for your plants.

Just because you have a small space to work with does not mean you cannot be big on growing your own food. With a few tips and a little work, you will be well on your way to filling up those pantries with plenty of fresh beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and more.

About the Author
Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts.

 

 

Forsaking Home by A. American – Book Review and Giveaway

Forsaking HomeToday we are looking at Forsaking Home, Book 4 of the Survivalist Series by A. American.  As you know, I am a fan of the Survivalist Series, having reviewed the books in the past.  As soon as I heard the fourth book was available for review, I jumped at the chance.

As a quick summary, Forsaking Home delves into what our main character, Morgan Carter has to do for his family’s survival in the aftermath of the failure of the electric grid.  At the same time, the book also covers the actions of Sarge, who plans to take down a refugee camp run by oppressors.

I enjoyed reading this book and was happy to find out what happened after we left off in the third book.  However, I the book felt divided to me, as about 1/3 of the book dealt with Morgan Carter and his family, and 2/3 dealt with Sarge and the planned take down of the camp.  I would have preferred more of the book dedicated to Morgan, as I was more attached to Morgan’s character than Sarge.

As in the previous books, you can pick up some great survival tips as you are reading Forsaking Home.  The story moves along at a satisfying pace, and keeps the reader interested in the unfolding events.

I like the books overall, and hope this is not the final book in the series.

Now for the giveaway…

If you have not started reading the books, this is a great opportunity!  One winner can win all four books in the entire series.

Going Home

Surviving Home

Escaping Home

Forsaking Home

To enter, please leave a comment below regarding:

What outdoor or bushcraft skills are you most interested in learning and why?

The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, July 26th at 8 pm Central.

*Winner will be notified via email.  Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED.