What Should I Do?

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What Should I Do?

Use of Light: Part II

The gradient and multiple holding positions
Tuesday, September 17, 2013, 6:26 PM

Welcome to Part II of our series on the use of light. In Part I, we discussed the intensity of light, its impact on the human eye, several types of lights, and the characteristics of flashlights. In this session, we will discuss how light acts to inhibit or enhance our senses.

As you may know, even in low light, your eyes will adjust, giving you a rudimentary idea of your surroundings. In a world that is increasingly urban and increasingly well lit, we have a concept that is relatively new to the human experience an environmental light gradient. This gradient is what creates visual disruptions, as we discussed in Part I, by forcing the eye to transfer rhodopsin in the rods of the eyes (which detect the intensity of light in low light conditions) into subordinate molecules, opsin and retinol, in the cones of the eyes, which allows us to perceive color, detail, and depth.

With that in mind, let’s look at some principles in use of light and their effect on humans. » Read more

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Sustainable Baby Care

Options for beginning families and their support communities
Monday, September 9, 2013, 8:04 PM

Where there are humans, there will be babies.  We are evolutionarily driven to reproduce ourselves; it’s human nature.  Although there is good reason to be concerned about worldwide population growth, it’s also a fact that babies will continue to be conceived and born.  Perhaps you are a young parent or parent-to-be.  Perhaps you are not yet a parent but may be someday.  Perhaps you’re an auntie or uncle or neighbor to a baby whose parents would appreciate resilience-minded mentoring.  Read on.

What do babies need?  What do new parents need?  If you get your information from the mainstream media, as many of us in the Western world have, you may discard that information now.  There is a huge industry predicated on the story that babies need all sorts of gadgets, devices, and mass-marketed items to survive and thrive. » Read more

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Sun Oven Solar Cooker

Off-Grid Food Prep

A first try at solar cooking
Saturday, August 31, 2013, 11:55 AM

Today, I want to switch gears from my usual fare and discuss something a little different. Each month, I want to try and accomplish a routine task completely “Off-Grid.” This month, special thanks to a decent little garden, I wanted to do an article on a project that includes as close to exclusively as possible things that I’m growing myself.

Because there are so many more qualified and experienced speakers on this subject, I rarely veer into the realm, although it’s one I enjoy very much: Cooking. » Read more

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Stacked Firewood

Preparing Your Firewood Supply

Choosing, acquiring, preparing, and storing firewood
Thursday, August 22, 2013, 6:15 PM

How to Choose Firewood

In most areas, there are a few preferred species, based on several factors: cost, availability, burn qualities, etc. The species that best meet each of these criteria will vary considerably in different areas of the country.

Generally, the densest (heaviest) dry wood will provide the most heat for any given amount of storage and firebox space. If convenient, the best way to shop for wood would be to figure out the cost per pound. This can be approximated by referring to charts showing the weights of various wood species. Another approach that will yield pretty much the same results is to compare various species' BTU ratings and use it to determine the cost per BTU. Note that this is not necessarily the same as cost per cord. Wet wood will need to be seasoned (cut, split, and stacked) for a year or two before you use it. » Read more

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8 Reasons to Stockpile Diatomaceous Earth

Uses abound for food-grade DE
Friday, August 16, 2013, 9:16 PM

We all want to live healthy and happy lives. Being healthy helps build our resilience and prepares us for difficult challenges ahead. One could say that being healthy is a whole challenge in itself. But there is a simple step we can all take to move in a more healthy direction. That step is to adopt the use of diatomaceous earth into our daily lives.

As many organic gardeners know, diatomaceous earth is one of the go-to solutions for controlling pests in the garden and it is a simple solution for keeping food clean, healthy, and pest free. We are going to discuss a number of other lesser known applications for diatomaceous earth (DE) that can be used indoors and out, which will make your environment cleaner, less toxic, and a healthier place to pursue the happiness that we all seek. » Read more

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Handful of mealworms

Raising Mealworms for Chicken Food

Wiggling High-Protein Poultry Nutrition
Friday, August 9, 2013, 2:50 PM

Today we are going to discuss creating a self-replicating food supply for your backyard flock.  Yes, we are talking about becoming worm farmers – mealworms, to be exact (not to be confused with our previous discussion about setting up vermiculture composting systems with red worms). 

Mealworms are the larval stage of the darkling beetle, and they make a great treat and food source for your backyard poultry.  With very little time and cost, you can have a simple setup in place that allows you to raise a batch of mealworms that will continuously reproduce and give you an excess supply to harvest and feed to your poultry. » Read more

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Use of Light: Part I

Understanding emergencies and flashlight best practices
Monday, July 29, 2013, 8:27 PM

As humans, we’re extremely visual creatures, and our reliance on our eyesight is one of the defining characteristics of the human experience. We define beauty, horror, entertainment, and boredom largely by visual stimulus. We are appealed to and motivated by our visual input, and perhaps most importantly, we base how we move almost entirely by sight, whether on legs, wheels, water, or in the air. » Read more

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Raising Kids for a Resilient Future – Part III

Part 3 of 3: Preparing youth for a resilient adulthood
Monday, July 22, 2013, 8:09 PM

The next 20 years are going to be completely unlike the last 20 years.

~ Chris Martenson

For those of us with children, what does this statement mean? How do we prepare our children for a future that is unlike any we ourselves have ever known? How do we create a world worth inheriting when we are so acutely aware that the abundance our generation has taken for granted will no longer be a given in our children’s future? These questions can frustrate and even paralyze us as parents, grandparents, teachers, and mentors. Where do we start?

If you haven’t yet read Part I and Part II of this series, please take a few minutes to read them now. » Read more

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Approaching Fire or Extreme Fire Alert

Understanding the dangers of imminent fire risk
Thursday, July 18, 2013, 9:20 PM

[NOTE: This article is adapted from When Disaster Strikes: A Comprehensive Guide for Emergency Planning and Crisis Survival]

After living in the States off and on for several years, in 2008 Andrew and Mary Hall moved back to their home in Buxton, Australia so they could  be closer to their aging parents. It was a modest, three-bedroom, two-bath house with exterior walls of “mud brick” (adobe) that helped keep the home’s interior cool during the hot Australian summers. With large eaves, a metal roof, and adobe-style mud brick walls, many would consider their home to be reasonably fire-resistant, but its construction proved no match for the forces of nature that turned the neighboring towns of Buxton and Marysville into deadly infernos on Australia’s tragic “Black Saturday” on February 7, 2009. » Read more

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How to Install Raised Garden Beds

A 1-manpower project
Monday, July 15, 2013, 9:32 PM

If you've been intending to become a gardener but aren't quite sure yet how to get started, this how-to guide is for you.

It chronicles the steps that I successfully followed to put in my own garden this year, all while working hard on the PeakProsperity.com site and traveling frequently with Chris. From start to finish, it was a one-manpower project.

Hopefully this guide will give you the direction, inspiration, and confidence that you, too, can do this. » Read more