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What Should I Do?

Photo © Molly Watson

Creating Healthy Snacks from Your Garden

Planning and growing your own snack foods
Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 5:41 PM

This post initially appeared on CM.com in November  2010. Given its continued relevance and the current growing season, we're republishing it to give our readers a reminder of what can and should be growing in your gardenTime to get your hands dirty and start growing healthy snack foods.

Last year, after all the essentials were stacked in the cupboards, the freezer full, and the root cellar piled to waist-high with 60% of all the food we needed for a year, I realized I was hungry for a snack. It was a hunger that lasted all last winter. As the winter progressed, I began a shopping list of snacks we could grow in our northern climate, process at harvest, and store away for winter snacking. My new goal in life was to become a professional at squirreling away snack goodies that were healthy, tasty, and nutritious.

By spring, my seed list consisted of turnips, sweet potatoes, sunflowers, popcorn, celery, and carrots, along with dried fruits. Here are the snack recipes that emerged: » Read more

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Barley Fodder Feed Mat

Reflections on Using a DIY Fodder System

Lessons learned from home-grown fodder
Monday, April 8, 2013, 7:30 PM

Growing fodder for animal feed is starting to catch on, and many homesteading families and small farm operations are exploring the possibilities of what this type of feed can do for the health of their animals and cost of feeding them.  If you haven’t yet read the first two articles on growing fodder and building a simple DIY fodder system, you can find them here: http://www.peakprosperity.com/blog/growing-sprouted-fodder/72618 and here: http://www.peakprosperity.com/wsidblog/80359/diy-home-fodder-system.

It has been a few months since I wrote the DIY fodder system article for Peak Prosperity.  It turns out that a lot of people are interested in growing their own fodder, as this article has been extremely popular.  With the combination of all of the valuable feedback (thank you!) and a few more months of experience, we have some additional thoughts to share. » Read more

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Sweet Potato Sprout: threemealsfarm

How to Start Sweet Potato Slips

A simple method for sprouting and growing sweet potato start
Friday, March 29, 2013, 6:40 PM

Snow is beginning to melt.  Temperatures are on the rise.  Now is the time to start sweet potato slips.  There are many ways to start sweet potatoes, but in this tutorial, we will show you a simple way that produces great results and can be done with resources already available in your kitchen.

Start with organic sweet potatoes from the store or from a previous harvest.  If you purchase conventionally grown sweet potatoes, they may have been irradiated to prevent sprouting.  A quick note about products labeled as yams – all products marketed as yams in the United States are technically still sweet potatoes. The “yams” you find in the store are usually a variety of sweet potato known as ‘Jewel’ – a selection with moist, orange flesh and orange-reddish skin.  The other variety, which is marketed as a sweet potato, is usually either ‘Jersey’ or ‘Hannah’.  Both Jersey and Hannah are characterized as having white or creamy, dry flesh, and creamy skin.  If you are fortunate enough to have access to a decent organic food co-op or natural food store, you may find other varieties as well. » Read more

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Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning Checklist

Thinking through the essentials for times of need
Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 7:38 PM

For most people, planning for emergencies is similar to planning for a camping trip or any other outdoor adventure where the normal conveniences of home are not available. The biggest difference is determining whether to plan for being away from home or in your own residence – or perhaps both. The equipment to include in your emergency kit or camping supplies list will be very comparable. Differences and variations will generally depend upon the severity and length of time you anticipate for your emergency scenario. Long term emergencies and outdoor explorations will require, in addition to this list, more extensive planning and provisioning. Your skill level and knowledge set for survival techniques and resourcefulness will also play a big role in determining your needs. » Read more

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Seed Potatoes - Photo: Woodman

Growing Your Own Potatoes

The basics of planting, growing, and storing potatoes
Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 11:19 AM

Why Grow Your Own Potatoes?

We can improve resiliency, health, and quality of life by growing our own vegetables locally. Many of the vegetables commonly grown in backyard gardens, such as lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots ,are great sources of vitamins and minerals but are not as high in energy content as measured by calories. Much of our daily caloric needs come from staple grains (wheat, corn, rice) which are difficult to produce from a backyard garden due to the time, space, and effort required. Fortunately the potato is an energy dense vegetable with many advantages for the part-time gardener, including:    

  • Easy and rewarding to grow
  • Store well with minimal effort
  • Nutritious source of carbohydrates as well as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Simple to prepare
  • Homegrown potatoes taste great! 
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Understanding Ammunition

Understanding bullet types and terminology
Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 12:08 PM

Ammunition can be a very intimidating subject for those who do not know much about firearms. It can also be a very important decision with strong implications for the performance and safety of your firearm. With lots of opinions, misinformation and geek speak floating around on the topic; it can be overwhelming to the point of exasperation. » Read more

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Resiliency with IKEA

Inexpensive preps from a big box home store
Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 5:05 PM

In building resiliency and establishing emergency provisions and preps, finding good values and quality products are an important part of the process.  We evaluate our basic needs and look over resources like the WSID Guide and books like When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the » Read more

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Bean Sprouts -

How to Grow Bean Sprouts the Vietnamese Way

A simple, low-cost method for starting sprouts
Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 1:09 PM

Growing bean sprouts can afford you the benefits of fresh produce in four or five days at any time of the year, in any climate, and requires neither sunlight nor soil.   This technique produces large quantities of ready-to-eat organic produce, utilizing only clean sand and water, a plastic strainer and basin, and your bare hands. » Read more

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Karen Lynn Allen

A Journey of Energy Efficiency and Resilience

One family's energy evolution - How they dropped their utili
Wednesday, February 20, 2013, 1:32 PM

Today we want to bring you the story of a five-member family living in San Francisco that awakened to the energy issues we all face (rising costs and levels of usage) and took incremental steps over the last decade to produce results that can give us all hope for a more efficient and resilient life. » Read more

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four-shelf indoor growing station

DIY Indoor Seed Starting Station

An inexpensive setup for maximum seed starts
Saturday, February 16, 2013, 10:01 PM

Starting seeds indoors is an excellent way to get a jump start on the gardening season so you can save money on the various foods you plant.  Starting seedlings is a highly rewarding and enjoyable endeavor.  We have been using the following growing system for many years now, and year after year it continuously produces reliable and excellent results.  The components for this system are readily available at most hardware stores and can be sized to your specific needs and growing space. 

The three main considerations when starting seeds indoors are: » Read more