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Turn your yard into a food production factory

The Dervaes family garden shows just how much can be done with an ordinary city lot. If they can do it, you can do it.

If you don’t have a yard that can be converted into a garden, you can still utilize their ideas to grow your own food in small spaces.

This is a trailer for the longer video, Homegrown Revolution, which you can view on the Edible Landscapes page.

Survival Garden Bookshelf – 2

We are spoiled by having fruits and vegetables in our grocery stores that have been imported from other countries even during the winter. In the case of extreme weather, civil unrest or an economic downturn, having year-round harvests can keep your family well fed, healthy and happy. In past centuries, people had to plant winter veggies to get their families from fall until spring. You’ll pick up some historic notes that could come in handy for yourself.

Here’s what is said on Amazon about this book. . .

Without fresh, all-natural winter gardening in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries people would have starved to death. The good news is that feeding your family fresh food from your own backyard garden all winter long is far easier and less time-consuming than you might imagine. And you won’t find better-tasting food at any price!

These are just a handful of 5-Star reviews. . .

Great book
I love every page. This is a great guide to overcoming the difficulties of winter gardening. I’m really glad that I got it and now I can’t put it down. Read more
Published 2 hours ago by Tanya C. Anderson

Very good book
Will be using this book all winter. It has all kinds of tips for winter gardening, I’m already using several of his ideas for my garden.
Published 1 day ago by Roger Michael

Very good book
I love this book, it has plenty of practical advice and know how. I do feel that I could grow a successful winter garden after having read the book.
Published 14 days ago by onlineshopper

A helpful book
One of the things that I have always loved about this author’s books is how easy they are to understand. I know nothing about gardening. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Steph

Great
This is a nicely written book to really help you over the hump on where to start. I have been looking for a quick start guide with materials listed and this is the place to start. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Keith Galumbeck

BUY THIS BOOK AT AMAZON TODAY!

Your Survival Garden Bookshelf – 1

A surprising number of people ignore the importance of our food supply to be largely under our control. . . or completely out of our control.  We vote for getting food under our control.

To do that, you may have to garden on the patio, in the utility room, in your garage or out in the open in your yard.  If “yard gardens” are your least conspicuous edible landscape, your house will look perfectly normal with food-bearing plants, shrubs and trees.

It’s good to find out what will be the best solutions for your family.  Take a look at this book and discover what you do and don’t know about gardening to feed your family year-round.

Watch for other related books on this site.  Getting knowledgeable now will make it easier when we have disasters or civil unrest.

Grow beets for their health benefits!

Except in certain cultures, beets are often completely absent from the family menus. Beets are used cooked, juiced, or raw in salads. In centuries past, beets were considered a natural medicine.

According to Svetlana Konnikova, author of the book, Mama’s Remedies, (highly recommended and reviewed previously on this site) there are many disorders that beets are known to treat.

The list includes constipation, liver diseases, anemia, hypertension, pain, among others, but most notably to help prevent and treat tumors.

Fortunately, beets can be grown almost any time of year. It’s good to learn about the health benefits of food and herb you can grow yourself as the a means to become more self-sufficient.

Three great magazines for survival gardeners in the city or country

Check these out for information you need now, whether you live in the city or country. These magazines usually have discounts for subscriptions or a free trial issue.

Organic Gardening - www.organicgardening.com

This excellent publication is published by Rodale. Also visit the site’s “Learn and Grow” tab for plenty of how-to information.

Urban Sustainable Living urbansustainableliving.com

This magazine features urban permaculture.

Mother Earth Newswww.motherearthnews.com

This is the “original guide to living wisely.” Lots of terrific information on gardening and much more on sustainable living.

Mama’s Home Remedies – a fascinating book filled with formulas and folkore

Mama’s Home Remedies, by Svetlana Konnikova, MA, AN,   is a book unlike any  other I have found about either gardening or natural health remedies.  Lana comes from a long line of women who used their gardens to produce food and natural remedies.  Some of the recipes date back hundreds of years.

She tells stories about the women in the family who grew and dried herbs, used fruits and vegetables for everything from indigestion to headaches.  What makes this book truly unique are the charming fairy tales and folklore she includes from Moldova, Crimea, Russia and other countries draw you into a world that seems as magical as it is scientific.  You’ll get a glimpse of a rich heritage of generations of rural life in Central and Eastern Europe.

The book includes almost 800 recipes including various teas, infusions, and more.  You’ll learn the health-giving qualities of onions, radishes, turnips, potatoes, herbs, grapes and other fruits and vegetables.  She talks about the important calming and healing role of trees and forests in our lives.

I’m so enchanted (and informed) by the book, it spends most of the time on my bedside table.  I often read and reread passages before going to sleep.  An overriding message of the book is that life was made for living and there are many ways to reduce stress and reconnect with nature.

I highly recommend Mama’s Home Remedies, both for yourself and as a special and unusual gift for others interested in natural home remedies.  It’s available at www.mamashomeremedies.com and www.amazon.com.

Basic Survival Gardens Start with Staples

On this site, we provide a lot of information about many options for starting and maintaining a survival garden.  Today, I want to share one of the most practical videos you will ever watch about survival gardening.

Sure, it’s fun to raise exotic salad greens, heirloom tomatoes and other delicacies, but when things get tough, and I mean really tough, you need to follow the lead of civilizations that focused on the four basic staples that can sustain human life.  You can’t rely on fresh foods that can go bad if the power is off and you don’t have a freezer or refrigerator.

These staples reasonably easy to grow almost everywhere.  Take a few minutes to see what the Living History School recommends.

Hydroponics and aquaponics – indoor and outdoor solutions

It’s the end of July in Texas and the heat just won’t stop.  The sun is relentless.  There’s full sun and then there’s fry-everything-you-planted-to-a-crisp Texas full sun.  Our gardening friends are all scrambling to keep everything alive.  Tomato plants are growing, but it’s simply too hot for fruit to set.

At one of our favorite places to eat (they use locally grown fruits and veggies when they’re available) one of the cooks is also an herbalist.  Her herbs have dried up in the heat.  We talked about options – particularly hydroponics and aquaponics which can be adapted for indoors or outdoors.

I promised her I’d supply links and a few videos.  Even though we’ve talked about this topic before on the site, newcomers may have overlooked the information.

Here are some links to get you started.

Hydroponics:

Stealth Hydroponics
Crop King

Hydro-Stacker Vertical Growing System

Vertigro

Aerofalls
Aerogarden

Aquaponics:

Aquapoonics
Backyard Aquaponics

Here are some videos, starting with a do-it-yourself solution. . .

Planning your fall garden

Here in East Texas, we have had August weather since May.  Everyone who is gardening that I know is babysitting their gardens with care.  We’ve had very little rain except for a few severe storms with high winds, so we’re all checking the water levels of our plants morning and evening.

That said, we still have weeks to go before we get to fall.  Even so, the prospects of cooler weather, which may not occur until late September, if then, has many of us planning our fall gardens now.

Cooler weather means you can plant greens that would wither Read More…

A simple, safe solution for insect control in your orginaic garden

Patti Moreno, the Garden Girl (gardengirltv on YouTube), has a short video on how to control destructive insects in your garden using diatomaceous earth, or DE as it is also called.

Not only is DE a powerful tool for the organic gardener, you can use it indoors to deal with pesky cockroaches and bed bugs.

See how easy it is to apply on this video. . .

Save your vegetables, fruit trees and berries with soaker hoses.

We’re having drought conditions again in Texas. Again. Last time this happened several years ago, I had prepared and seeded about 2,500 square feet in our backyard with a variety of Texas wildflowers from Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg, TX. The project was a total failure.

Here we are again, only this year we’re having to watch our young fruit trees, grape vines, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries and vegetables carefully to make sure they don’t get stressed.  First year plants, trees and bushes need to get their root systems established, which requires consistent watering. To avoid under or over watering, use a low-cost, hand-held water meter.

Soaker hoses, or, as they are commonly called here, “leaky hoses,” can save the day Read More…