I’ve always grown roses, planted trees, and helped maintain my wife’s flower and herb gardens. But I’ve never grown food crops in any substantial way. And that’s going to change, because …
I am a prepper.
Part of my preparedness lifestyle is to always be honing and/or developing new survival skills. Skills that add to my self-reliance and eventually to my self-sufficiency.
It’s so satisfying when you can find two or three uses for the same item. It appeals to the waste not, want not in me.
And when those additional uses are also natural … well, that just makes it all the better.
That’s what this short post is about: using everyday items you find in your kitchen to make seven natural preparations for the garden.
I particularly like the Helping Bees item. Talk about social collapse. If the bees go, we’re not too far behind. (You know. No pollinating, no plants. No plants, no …)
Do you have herbs growing … you can use herbs as natural pesticides … You can plant herbs like basil, thyme, dill, sage, and marigolds near your other vegetable plants. Bugs hate these herbs and will steer clear of them and anything you plant near them …
You can use natural dish soap for a homemade pesticide. Just add one tablespoon of dish soap to about two cups of water. Then pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray on your plants. The dish soap isn’t harmful to most of the helpful insects but it will help keep aphids and other harmful insects away …
Ripen Green Tomatoes
If you harvested your tomatoes from your garden for the winter but some are still a little green you can ripen them with apples. Place the tomatoes in a paper bag with some ripe apples then wait a few days …
Keep Away Ants
You can use cayenne pepper to keep the ants out of your garden or house. Sprinkle … around the perimeter of your garden. Ants hate cayenne pepper …
… Bees need water as well as plants. All you have to is fill a bucket with water and cover the top of the water with corks. This will give the bees something to land on so they can drink the water.
Feed The Birds
Peanut butter helps attract birds which helps keep the insect population down. Mix some peanut butter with the bird seed next time you fill up your bird feeder. Peanut butter can be substituted for suet …
Keep Weeds Away
… Cut the newspaper into small pieces … and then cover the bottom of your garden with it. You might want to lay a little wood mulch on top of it so it doesn’t blow away. Make sure you don’t use newspaper with colored ink since the colored ink could be harmful to the soil and plants … regular black ink is fine.
Goodbye To Snails and Slugs
Snails and slugs are another pest that like to eat your plants. Salt can help keep them out of your garden. Sprinkle some salt around the perimeter of your garden. Salt will kill snails or slug if they come into contact with so they will definitely avoid it.
Source: The budding writer, Josh Osuch, is currently working on his Eagle Scout rank with the Boy Scouts, loves the outdoors, has an endless curiosity for science.
Depending on others (markets, etc.) for all of your food is simply not a good idea. Every prepper should have a garden supplying some food. It’s just common sense.
Don’t have a garden yet?
Well, the hardest part of any food garden is just starting. The where to plant, the layout, using raised beds or not, what to grow, how to make it sustainable … Yes, like I said, just starting.
So if you need a jump-start, read the article below. It’s very basic. But it’s a start!
I’ve also listed a few “Additional Resources” to help with your sustainable vegetable garden plans.
At least start the article:
Ground Level or Raised Vegetable Beds
… a higher or raised vegetable bed is easier to reach. This also helps separate your actual crops from the ground, avoiding contamination from the likes of weeds … [it] helps you regulate the individual PH levels for each bed too … they need only be large containers, wide enough to plant crops and deep enough to allow roots to spread happily …
Depending on what you want to grow, you will need the right PH levels. In nature, everything is either acidic or alkaline … For truly sustainable crops, you need to match the crop to the soil … there are various ways to improve the quality of your soil, including composts and mulches, to either add or subtract the relevant acids or alkaline substances.
A good prepper knows to never throw anything away until it loses all value. When it comes to the garden, nearly all organic matter can be used in some fashion. Compost is the easy to make, while mulch can be made through similar means …
… it’s quite easy to support your production with organic, natural boosts … Don’t buy calcium powder in the shops, for instance, when bone meal is readily available elsewhere! … there’s always someone with excess materials (many butchers … have plenty of bones …) so don’t be afraid to ask …
Save and Store Seeds
… it’s worth setting up your own seed bank. The majority of garden plants produce more than one seed – while others such as tomatoes and potatoes can be cultivated without seeds at all – giving you amply opportunities to gain additional seeds … Store some of them in a safe environment …
… the basics are quite simple. Learn what soil your plants need, dedicate an area of your garden to it and use organic means to grow and develop your supply!
Source: The excellent writer Tim Sparke is the CEO at 4pumps and for several years has been an active advocate of organic farming and sustainability. He contributes often to American Preppers Network.
Image: Alexei Hulsov
Instead of just throwing them into a compost pile, there are at least 4 additional uses for crushed egg shells. All for your (survival ) garden.
As with most things, the initial preparation is the key. There’s no need to introduce salmonella into your household, so you may want to do a bit more than just rinsing the shells.
First I do a little pasteurizing, because I figure it’s better to be safe than sorry when working with raw eggs.
I don’t bother about breaking the shells up ahead of time, I just put all my saved eggshell bits on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. No salmonella at our house, thank you very much!
Some websites suggest you can just rinse the eggshells and allow them to thoroughly dry before using them. You decide if that is enough protection for you.
Once the pasteurized eggs have cooled, I use my hands to lightly crush them and then transfer them in my stick blender grinder attachment for further processing.
You could also use a coffee grinder, a blender, a mortar and pestle, or put them in a plastic zipper bag, seal it, and crush the shells with a rolling pin until they are a fine powder.
Chicken eggshells, are made up of 93 to 97 percent calcium carbonate, in addition to calcium, nitrogen and phosphoric acid. These nutrients make eggshells an ideal choice for garden use.
- As an addition to your compost. They provide a rich source of calcium and other essential nutrients that plants need. Drying your shells allows them to crush more completely before you add them to your compost bin.
- For pest control of slugs and snails. Crushed eggshells works much like diatomaceous earth on slugs, snails, cutworms and other soft bodied pests.
- To add calcium to your tomatoes. Caused from a calcium deficiency, blossom end rot can be prevented if extra calcium is available in the soil for the tomato plants to absorb. Just add a handful of crushed eggshells to the bottom of the garden bed or pot when planting.
- As chicken feed supplement to add calcium to their diet.
Source: Another great prep article by Shelle Wells, the original PreparednessMama. Her site has great articles. Check them out.