Archive of Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading Archives | Page 8 of 8 | Truth is Treason

Mexico’s Big Freeze – 80-100% of Crops Damaged, Expect Shortages and Higher Prices

Posted on Feb 10, 2011 in Featured Articles, Health, Food News, & Big Pharma, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading – Kevin Hayden

I received an email from a reader regarding Mexico’s freeze damage over the last few weeks.  In summary, large-scale producers of foods, such as Sysco, have sent out emails to major vendors explaining that there might be shortages of row crop foods due to freezing temperatures that hit Mexico.  It goes on to say that Florida is normally the ‘Plan B’ as they grow many of the same varieties, but they’ve been hit hard by freezes in December and suffered slight to moderate damage to their forecasted citrus harvest. [¹]

It also details that expected shortages could be counted on 30-60 days from now and that Mexican farmers are still unsure of their next step with nearly total loss in many crops – do they try and quickly replant, hoping for a late March-April yield?  Or disc the fields and wait?  Other information coming in states that many of these crops have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled in price.  For example, a carton of tomatoes went from $6.95 all the way up to $22.95 in one week. ...

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4 Methods for Off the Grid Food Production and Self-Sufficiency

Posted on Feb 10, 2011 in Emergency Preparedness & Survival, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Source: Activist Post

For many of us, producing all of our own food is just a fantasy. It invokes visions of vast acres of fertile land, long work days and expensive machinery.  However, none of these are necessary to achieve self-sufficient food production.

There are many gardening techniques that can produce an abundance of food for you and your family without requiring a lot of space, money or equipment. What each of these methods will require is your time, but not the dawn-to-dusk work hours associated with farming.

Rather, you will need time to study and practice these methods and other food preparation skills such as learning to mill your own wheat or corn flour to make breads, tortillas, pastas from scratch, or learning to can, pickle, or preserve food in all its forms.

Your diet should also be considered when planning for the best self-sufficient food production method.  Do you need meat and dairy products?  How much grains do you require? Yes, in order fully produce all of your food off-the-grid, you may have to make changes to your current diet if your resources are limited.  ...

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7 Essential Italian Herbs for your Garden and Personal Health

Posted on Feb 03, 2011 in DIY Projects, Health, Food News, & Big Pharma, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Kevin Hayden –

Source: Cordite Country

The rich delight of fine Italian cuisine is enjoyed everywhere in the world. The colorful array of flavors that excite the pallet can be largely attributed to the refined blend of herbs that has been grown by this wonderful nation for centuries in herb gardens.

Many people prepare Italian cuisine at home for their families and some even grow the plants and herbs needed in their own garden to keep a fresh and flavorful supply. If you wish to start supplying your family with fresh, healthy foods, this is a list of the seven most-used herbs to assure a complete authentic Italian herb garden.

1. Garlic is probably the most used herb to be grown in the garden and is the basic ingredient in many Italian dishes. One thing is certain, a garden that doesn’t grow garlic cannot be considered an Italian garden. This herb can be planted and will thrive requiring very little attention. Once harvested, they can be frozen or pickled and stored in the refrigerator for later use.

How to Grow Garlic at Home

Garlic is grown from the individual cloves....

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When to Plant Your Crops and Garden

Posted on Dec 28, 2010 in DIY Projects, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Source: Cordite Country

It’s important to plant your garden seeds at the right time, and the key is knowing when your area will see its last spring frost. Some garden plants taste even better after a little frost, but you’ll sure be sorry if you put your warm season crops in the ground too soon.

Some crops thrive in cool weather, while others only grow well when it’s warmer. So how do you know when to plant what? The key factor that should guide your decisions is your average last spring frost date.

Most cool season crops, like cabbage, broccoli, lettuce and many others, can tolerate a light frost and will grow best when sown a couple weeks before your last spring frost.

Some, like peas and spinach, are so cold-hardy they can even be planted “as soon as the ground can be worked,” as many seed packets say. But warm season crops like squash, cucumber, and basil will be killed by frost if your seeds come up too soon. Ditto for warm season transplants such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants — if you don’t wait until danger of frost has passed before you set them out, a late frost will kill them....

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Urban Gardening: You Can Grow Food, No Matter Where You Live

Posted on Nov 30, 2010 in DIY Projects, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Kevin Hayden –

Source: EarthFirst

Gardening is regaining popularity as a pastime for all types of people across the world, with gardens popping up in the most unexpected places. While the traditional image of a garden may not exactly fit into the reality of most urban environments, the fact is you can grow your own food whether you live on a rural farm or in a tiny Manhattan apartment. Urban gardening is all about using space wisely to regain a closer connection with your food and beautify your home or neighborhood.

There are a handful of different types of urban gardens, and the ones we’re going to focus on here are indoor gardening, container gardening, community gardening and guerilla gardening.  Perhaps you’ve got a tiny townhouse yard, a balcony, a south-facing window – or perhaps you live in a basement apartment that won’t support anything but mold. You can still grow enough of your own food to save a considerable amount of money and enjoy the freshest, healthiest produce possible.

Container Gardening – Growing Food on a Small Scale

Container gardening allows urban residents with small yards, patios or balconies to grow practically any plants in practically any container that will hold soil....

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Urban Gardening: Indoor and Balcony Gardening Tips

Posted on Nov 19, 2010 in DIY Projects, Emergency Preparedness & Survival, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Source: Off the Grid News

It’s quite feasible to grow your own food even if you live in an urban space and have no outdoor room to garden.  If you have just a bit of space on a balcony, patio or rooftop, you can grow even more.  Here’s an overview of how to grow food for yourself and your family if you’re living without a large yard and transportation to move large quantities of plants and supplies to your house.

Urban Survival Gardening: Challenges

Gardening inside presents unique challenges.  Techniques that are simple outside require a bit of ingenuity inside.  For people living in urban areas without transportation, getting all of the necessary supplies for gardening is also a challenge.

Issues for Urban Gardeners

  • Supplies:  where to find, how to have them shipped
  • Space: small apartments aren’t conducive to traditional fruit-tree growing techniques
  • Light: light levels are drastically reduced on the inside
  • Crops: which will produce in shadier conditions
  • Pollination: certain fruit crops require pollination (generally done by insects) in order to produce

There are ways to get around all of these issues. ...

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How to: Build a Goat House Using Old Pallets Thumbnail

How to: Build a Goat House Using Old Pallets

Posted on Oct 15, 2010 in DIY Projects, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Source: Starving the Monkeys


For those of you who have read Starving the Monkeys, you know that as we near a collapse of civilization, people will start using (and using up) materials and finished goods in unexpected and novel ways. The lowly material-handling pallet falls into this category. Reading through the homestead and preparedness literature, one often finds references to the use of pallets to construct useful things. For monkey starvers in particular, building things out of pallets is a great way to deny forage to suit-monkeys who demand their slice of our consumption pie.

We, like many others, enjoy using pallets for building material for several reasons. First, pallets are cheap. Each week, we get a half-dozen of them free from our local hardware store, saving the owner the cost of disposal. In urban areas, you might have to pay a couple of bucks each, but that is still cheap at the price. Next, pallets come in a variety of sizes and styles, and offer a lot of different materials for various construction projects. Third, the pallet scraps left over from such projects make great kindling, particularly since you wind up with a lot of splintered oak when using them....

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How to: Make a Simple Hay Baler Thumbnail

How to: Make a Simple Hay Baler

Posted on Jul 26, 2010 in DIY Projects, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Source: Cordite Country

DIY Simple Hay Baler

During the winter months, Steve and his wife Tandy feed between 120 and 150 bales of hay to a herd of pretty high-quality dairy goats on their northern Indiana farm. This couple’s major source of income is derived from selling these goats. Once their initial investment in breeding stock was recouped, they hardly incurred any further expenses except for minor veterinary bills. By themselves they produce all of the hay their animals require, but the way their property is laid out makes it pretty well impossible to use any standard sort of tractor-drawn mowers, balers, or other equipment. Yet, wanting to become entirely self-sufficient in this area, they improvised and came up with their own system for mowing and baling.

First, for the mowing, they searched around for nearly an entire summer until they located a front-mounting, sickle-bar attachment for the older, two-wheeled Gravely tractor that they use for nearly every purpose on their small acreage. Any other brand of walk-behind, sickle-bar mower would work just as nicely. Steve and Tandy like the idea of owning a single machine they can use for nearly all of their equipment needs by simply switching attachments....

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How to: Detox Your Soil

Posted on May 19, 2010 in DIY Projects, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Source: Cordite Country

Natural Detox for Soil

If you are dealing with soil that has had weed killers and other pesticides, herbicides or chemicals used on it, you may be surprised to find out that the BEST plant to grow on that soil to cleanse it is dandelion.
Other plants that work very well to detoxify contaminated soil are:
• Brake fern
• Willow trees
• Sunflowers
• Poplar trees
• Indian mustard

Of course, I wouldn’t recommend using any parts of these plants as they will have absorbed the pesticides and chemicals!


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How to: Build Your Own Root Cellar… with Pallets.

Posted on Apr 19, 2010 in DIY Projects, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Source: Cordite Country

High on the list of survival items is of course, food and water. To find a ways to help us safely store our food all we need to do is look back to the American Indian and early Pioneers, who overcame the very problems we face today: how to store our food with lack of refrigeration.

The urgency these days is more focused on the amount required due to circumstances other than natural disaster. Since we live as we do (under the computer processed bottom line), happily on the trail of increased profits, the inventory of “ready-to-eat/ready to sell” food in the pipeline has been reduced to the barest minimum possible.

As a result, grocery stores no longer have a stockpile of goods in the “back room.” We notice that every few days the supermarket is stacked up and down the aisles with boxes of goods waiting to be stocked directly onto the shelves. Given this information, the fact that we must all face is that throughout the whole country there is less than a few days food supply readily available....

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How To: Make a Rain Water Barrel Thumbnail

How To: Make a Rain Water Barrel

Posted on Dec 14, 2009 in DIY Projects, Emergency Preparedness & Survival, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Source: HomeGrown Evolution

Make a Rain Barrel

Hayden’s Note:

Keep in mind, this is only ONE way to make a rain water barrel.  Your imagination is the limit and there are many more designs on the internet.  At the end of the article, I’ve added two examples of a “pre-flush diverter” so that the leaves and dirt from your rooftop will not go into the barrel.  Using only a simple screen will allow dirt, sediment and possibly chemicals into your water, so a diverter is a cheap, effective way to keep your water relatively clean! 

There’s a lot of advice floating around the internets about how to make a rain barrel. Most barrel pundits suggest drilling a hole in the bottom of a barrel and installing a faucet, a kind of connection called a “bulkhead fitting”. Unfortunately such improvised fittings have a tendency to leak. My favorite way to make a rain barrel is to take a 55 gallon drum, use the preexisting fittings on the top and turn it upside down, a process explained nicely here (complete with a list of parts), by B....

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Urban Gardening – Cordite Country

Posted on Nov 11, 2009 in DIY Projects, Urban Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Urban Gardening

Source: Cordite Country
City gardens and country gardens are different—not only in the amount of space each can fill, but in the types and quantities of foods that can be produced. Where the country garden can lounge over a half acre, the city garden must often fit in tight spaces. The country garden can accommodate low-producing plants that require relatively large plots of land, like corn, but the city garden must achieve the highest productivity from the smallest parcel.


Gardening, like everything else we hope will succeed, begins with a plan.

Pencil and paper (or a computer keyboard) are your initial gardening tools. The best time to do this is right now!

First, take a sheet of paper and divide it into four columns. In the first column on the left, make a list of the fresh foods and herbs you enjoy eating—go wild with this step, just write down everything you generally buy: Lettuce, sage, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, kohlrabi, basil, green beans, radishes, and so on.

Next, in the second column, write in how many pounds of the food you eat in a typical week.


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