What Should I Do?

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What Should I Do?

Shutterstock / Kunal Mehta

Developing Situational Awareness

Playing the "keep in memory" (KIMs) game
Monday, March 10, 2014, 11:15 AM

One of the most important aspects of surviving emergencies is your ability to be aware of your surroundings. This is ubiquitously referred to as “Situational Awareness” and is often just referred to as “SA”. Situational awareness is a peculiarity amongst those who prepare – it is both a skill and experience. It has to be developed, like any skill, but the more often you find yourself in dicey scenarios, the more likely you are to pick up on subtleties that are out of place, or inconsistent with the surrounding environment. » Read more

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Zones of Permaculture

Permaculture Zones

Dividing a site into different functional areas.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014, 6:19 PM

A major design concept of permaculture is zones. When you are accessing a permaculture site, dividing the property into zones can help you to position certain plants, animals, aquaculture, pasture, orchards, forest, and housing to result in the most positive connections between zones. This process leads to more stacking of functions, and a greater efficiency of the site.

There are (6) zones, starting at zone 0, and ending at zone 5. » Read more

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Herb Spiral : Phil Williams

Patterns of Design in Permaculture

Mimicking nature for better results
Friday, February 28, 2014, 6:05 PM

Permaculture design works to copy many patterns and shapes that occur in nature. This tends to enhance energy flow or slow it down, depending on the needs of the inhabitants. This also adds diversity of life and edge. Below are some of the common patterns in permaculture design and how they can be used. » Read more

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Hugelkultur Sun Traps / Phil Williams

Introduction to Permaculture

Designing sustainable environments and systems
Monday, February 24, 2014, 1:20 PM

Permaculture is literally permanent culture. It started out literally as permanent agriculture, but it is now being applied to other areas besides agriculture. Bill Mollison wrote,

"Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way."

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Shutterstock / Jiri Hera

10 Uses for Salt You May Have Never Thought About

Reasons to keep a good supply on hand
Friday, February 21, 2014, 12:06 PM

Salt is one of the most amazing substances in nature. It can be used for many purposes including food preservation, cleaning, cooking, and much more!

Part of being prepared is knowing how to use the supplies that you have – and that includes salt!  Below, I have listed 10 things that you probably didn’t know that you could do with salt and hopefully these will inspire you to stock up on salt and incorporate its many uses into your daily life for simple / non-toxic solutions. » Read more

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Slug: Phil Williams

Control Methods for Slugs

7 ways to keep pesky slugs from your garden
Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 5:06 PM

I absolutely loathe slugs. They are a huge pest in my strawberry patch, and a minor pest in my annual garden. I mulch my garden with either shredded hardwood or straw, and I definitely have more slug problems from mulching. Having said that, the benefits of mulching far outweigh the slugs. I have tried quite a few natural and home remedies that can work wonders at keeping your slug problems to a minimum.  Join me in exploring the numerous options we have at our disposal. » Read more

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daseaford / Shutterstock

How to Control Mites and Lice on Chickens

Managing your flock for optimum health
Monday, January 27, 2014, 3:31 PM

Chickens love to take dust baths. This helps to keep their feathers clean and in good shape, but more importantly it helps to keep them free of mites and lice. Mites and lice can be serious pests of your flock. If chickens are left untreated in an outbreak, the results can be a general weakening, lower egg production, loss of appetite, lethargy, and possibly death. Your chickens should be active all day. If they are not moving much, there may be something wrong. » Read more

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Lori Martin / Shutterstock

Planting Asparagus

How to get your first aparagus patch in place
Friday, January 17, 2014, 2:58 PM

Asparagus is one of my favorite garden plants. It is the first vegetable to harvest in the spring, it’s perennial, and it tastes great. What more could you ask for?

Most people establish an asparagus patch with bare-root asparagus plants. It is best to plant in early spring as soon as the soil is warm enough to work. I would not harvest any asparagus spears the first season. Just let it grow, and cut it back in the late fall when the ferns go brown. You should be able to harvest the following spring. The herbs caraway and basil make nice companions. I will be seeding in caraway amongst the patch in mid-April and basil after the fear of frost has past. (Video at the bottom of the article) » Read more

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zimmytws/Shutterstock

The Money Side of the College Experience

The growing financial monster must be fed
Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 6:02 PM

Going to college in the USA has never been cheap, but those who haven’t been in the market recently don’t realize how crazy it’s become. » Read more

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Photo: Phil Williams

How to Plant Bare Root Fruit Trees

Getting ready for bare root tree planting season
Friday, January 10, 2014, 12:21 PM

What is a bare root tree?

A bare root tree is just like it sounds. It comes with the tree, roots, and no soil. This is extremely beneficial to online shippers, as it makes the trees extremely light to ship. I received three trees from Adams County Nursery that weighed less than ten pounds all together. I would not buy bare root trees from a big box store, as it is hard to know how they have been cared for. It is best to buy direct from the grower if possible. I have had good luck with the trees from Adams County Nursery. » Read more