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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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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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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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Mint Tin Mini Survival Kit

20 Jan

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When to start seeds-info graphic

17 Jan

How to build grazing frames for your backyard chickens

17 Jan

Allowing your chickens to graze on fresh grass is a good thing — not just for them, but for you as well. The nutrients in green vegetation enhances the quality of their eggs and meat. And since fresh greens can make up about 20-30% of a chicken’s diet, providing them for your chickens can save you on feed costs.

But keeping your chickens supplied with fresh greens can be a challenge. When chickens have plenty of room to roam, they will graze a little off the top, then move on. When forage space is limited, however, as in a small urban or suburban backyard, chickens will continue to graze and scratch in the same spot until the vegetation is torn down to the roots.

An easy solution? Grazing frames! But before we get to that, let’s look at some of the more common ways of greening your chickens in a small space.

Some common solutions for getting fresh greens to your chickens Continue reading

Delicious Lip Balm Recipe

16 Jan

Makes 1 1/2 ounces

  • 4 tsp grated Beeswax
  • 8 tsp Coconut Oil, melted
  • 6 tsp  Apricot Kernel Oil
  • 7 drops Sweet Orange Oil 
  • 7 drops Lemon Essential Oil
    You can choose any essential oil of your choice to suit your mood….enjoy ! I tend to pick citrus blends because they are so uplifting.

In a double boiler combine:Beeswax
Coconut Oil
Apricot Kernel Oil
Gently melt over low heat until everything is liquid and stir to combine.
Remove from the heat and stir in the essential oils.
Carefully pour into lip balm empty lip tubes and allow them to set up firmly for one hour.

Beeswax Yellow Honeywax Pearls (1 lbs)

10 Black 0.15 oz. Lip Balm Empty Containers

Sweet Orange 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil- 10 ml

 Lemon Essential Oil. 10 ml. 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade.

Primitive Water Purification Do It Yourself Project

16 Jan

Once you find water, a major issue remains: is it pure? Is it drinkable? And if not, how to make it drinkable?

In today’s world this is a much more complex issue than it was previously. Just 20 years ago in Canada you could still drink water from the streams, rivers, and lakes in the north — for example, in northern Ontario, including northern Lake Huron and the Bruce Peninsula. However, the spread of Giardia in recent years has greatly increased the risk of drinking water straight from these sources.

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