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Cold-Weather Compost Keeping Compost Cooking Through Winter In Any Region

1 Feb

cold-weather compostThe sight of steam rising from a compost pile on a cold winter day is sure to warm the heart of every organic gardener. It’s a sign that when spring comes, you’ll have a batch of fresh compost to use for getting seeds and transplants off to a healthy start in your garden. Frigid weather outside can slow the decomposition process, but you can maintain an essential core of heat, which indicates that crucial microbial activity is occurring inside the pile. “The outside layer of the pile will be ambient temperature,” says Mark Van Horn, a researcher at the University of California-Davis, “but if things are right, the inside of the pile will be hot.” These hints from the experts we spoke to will help keep your compost cooking through winter in any region. 

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Saving your pet with CPR

31 Jan

Seed Balls — a good winter project

30 Jan

The seedball planting technique was developed ...Homemade seed balls are a clever way to sow seeds (single species or a mix) without digging.  It’s inexpensive, easy and you can cover a lot of ground.  They are just scattered onto the soil surface, not buried.  Then they just sit there, ensconced in their mud-and-compost ball until it rains, safe from birds, rodents,  drying out, and they won’t blow away.  They are especially useful in areas with unpredictable rainfall.  If there’s no rain, the seeds just sit there and wait. When enough rain falls to soften the balls (usually 3-5”), the seeds sprout.  The clay and compost work together, as the clay is good at

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How to collect birch sap

29 Jan

This is a description how to collect birch sap from your own birch as a beverage for a family of four.

During the summer, the birch tree stores nourishment for the next period of growth in its roots. The following spring, this nourishment rises as sap through the trunk up to the branches.
The birch tree emits sap only for a short period of time (about four weeks) during spring. That period starts when the snow has melted away and the day-temperature reaches some degrees above freezing point. The rise of the sap stops immediately when the tree comes into leaf.
During sap-rising, a big old birch can give 15-20 liters per day, but this requires a tapping-hole of 5 cm diameter and 10 cm depth. The birch will endure such treatment only once, maybe twice in its lifetime.

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72 Hour Kit is Essential for Any Emergency

28 Jan

Home Remedies For Poison Ivy

27 Jan

Poison ivy is a skin related problem. Common symptoms of poison ivy include skin rashes, redness, itching, blisters and so on. The problem of poison ivy can last for 3 to 4 weeks. Different home remedies can be used to treat the problem of poison ivy. If desired results are not obtained with the use of home remedies, an individual should consult a dermatologist.

Remedies for Poison Ivy

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How to Store Grains for up to 25 years

25 Jan

These are troubling times indeed with economic, climatic, and social upheavals and wild gyrations of every type in every corner of our planet. Although I would not specifically ever rate myself as a “survivalist” I do believe in being prepared for any eventuality: One of the most important factors towards this type of preparation is to ensure that there is an adequate food supply to last out any emergency, whether short- or long-lived.

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Arc Welding with 3 Car Batteries

24 Jan

ORIGINAL POST ON: http://prepforshtf.com/arc-welding-3-car-batteries/#.UQAwkh2YtT0

 3BatteryWelding

Here is a good video I found that shows you how to arc weld with three 12 volt batteries.

This is for an emergency situation, please be very careful if you attempt this!

Batteries can explode attempt at your own risk!

The Ultimate Compost Bin

23 Jan

Successful organic gardeners rely on compost to improve soil’s fertility and moisture management, nourish helpful soil microbes, and inoculate against destructive ones. This three-bin system is a compost factory that efficiently pumps out heaps of finished black gold in just weeks, rather than the months you wait for the hands-off approach to work. Made from rot-resistant cedar, our ultimate compost bin features removable front planks, and a clean look that allows for good air movement. You can build it in just a few hours.

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Hot water for free–from the wood cook stove!

22 Jan

Original post from http://sustainablepreparedness.com
One of the most multi-purpose tools on the homestead is a wood cook stove.  Ours not only cooks the food and keeps the house toasty warm; it also heats our hot water!
Wood cook stove range boiler hot water systemThe two main components, aside from the wood cook stove, are a water coil (#6 & #7 on the pictures below) which is a pipe that runs through the fire box to heat the water, and a range boiler (picture on left) which is a large tank that holds the hot water before and after it circulates through the wood cook stove.

Active vs Passive

There are a couple of variations on the “hot water from your wood stove” scene.  One involves the use of an inline electric circulating pump to force water through the water coil; the other uses the simple principle of heat rising to accomplish the same thing.  It is called a thermosiphon system.  “Active” systems (using an electric pump) have some advantages, but in the opinion of this writer, not enough to offset their negatives for most people.  An active system can produce as much as 50% more hot water than a passive (thermosiphon) system, and since more water movement takes place, there is less chance of water overheating and creating dangerous pressure levels.  But anytime you unnecessarily involve a mechanical or electric device in essential systems, you are asking for trouble.  For instance, if electricity is lost during winter, you would have to potentially shut the wood stove down or dismantle the hot water system to prevent dangerously high temperatures and pressures.  And some inline pumps have a poor reputation for reliability.  Even if you are on a renewable energy system with a very efficient DC inline pump, it still uses electricity throughout the day while the stove is running, and that can add up.  Bottom line?  Whenever possible, keep it simple and go with a thermosiphon system!  And that is what we are going to focus on in this post. Continue reading

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