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Old 02-24-2010, 04:17 PM   #1
Carol
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Default The Survival Pack: A Vital Part of "Plan B"/Lasagna Gardening

This information is from Solutions From Science where I also purchased seeds and other items for off grid living.
info@solutionsfromscience.com

The Survival Pack: A Vital Part of "Plan B"

When it comes to survival, you can focus so much on "Plan A" that "Plan B" is forgotten. Then disaster strikes and Plan B turns out to be just what you needed! Here's what I mean: You've done a good job of survival planning, and you've stockpiled all you need to sustain you for several months. But what happens when you're cut off from your stockpile through something natural, like fire or flood, or something potentially deadlier, like an organized gang looking for relief of their own?

For the sake of your own safety (and your family's safety) you need to be ready to face dangers both natural and man-made. And beyond your own family, you can also serve to help others going through a similar situation (even those who ridiculed your priority of preparation; this is no time for "I told you so").

There's no one-size-fits-all way to prepare for the unknown. Your response will depend on being ready for a number of scenarios. There's a time when survival means fighting it out - and a time when the only option is escape.

You need an escape plan to help you get to a safer location or even completely out of dodge if needed. And when you go, you need a survival pack to sustain you at least for a week. It can take a while to list and gather the things you need, so I've given you a head start.

1. The Pack to Keep It All In. Any sturdy, durable pack with enough room will do. Make sure it's camouflage, dark green, or another color that will help you remain undetected.

2. Basic Sustenance. First, water. Get a canteen with cup, a water bottle, and of course, a water filter. Then, fire; add a supply of waterproof matches, a magnesium fire starter, and tinder. Then food to last you for at least a week. Think dry, think shelf life - some ideas are oatmeal, energy bars, and freeze-dried foods. Get a light weight mess kit to cook your meals, and a small stove such as the Peak-One backpackers stove.

3. Setting up Camp. First, pack a sleeping bag, a potential life saver in cold weather. The best is a light weight "mummy" style, rated to -20 degrees. Then some form of shelter like a compact tent, again in a color that readily blends with the environment. For injuries and illness, pack a first-aid kit tailored to your individual needs; of course, include a supply of your own personal meds. Complete this part of your preparation by including a source of light (as simple as a small LED flashlight and two sets of batteries) and some basic tools - a folding saw, Swiss Army knife, and a small shovel.

4. Some Ideas for the Long Haul. So far, we've looked at the basics. Here are a few other things too add to your survival pack that may be useful for an emergency that lasts more than a few days.

- A fishing kit and snare wire to multiply your chances of finding food when your supply runs out.

- Small binoculars help you see game, as well as your enemy, before they see you.

- Plastic bags (both big and small) are handy in a variety of ways, including keeping things dry.

- Extra clothing - At least one extra pair of socks and underwear, other items if space permits.

Other useful stuff - brainstorm a little if you have extra room. How about electrical tape, face paint, gloves, and a sharpening stone?

5. Firearms. I've left this for last, because everyone with a heart for survival has their own idea of the best to bring along. Suffice it to say, your personal choice will be shaped by whatever gun you can see yourself carrying in an emergency situation; in other words, something you consider durable, dependable, and powerful enough to turn a worst case scenario into at least a level playing field.

Having a survival pack ready to be grabbed at a moment's notice, and an escape route to follow, makes perfect sense. Don't wait too long to pack the things you'll need if you're cut off from your home and stockpile. And this may not be permanent. If you can put some distance between yourself and the threat, you may be able to launch a retaliatory strike from a more favorable position.

What Should You Plant?

As weird as it sounds, if you intend to plant a garden, it's really not too early to decide now what you're going to grow later this year. Even with all the snow, spring (and planting season) will be here before you know it. However, the best method for deciding what to plant is to begin with evaluating your dietary needs.

A diet that has a low glycemic index is probably the healthiest. It helps you fight insulin resistance, allows you to feel more satisfied without wild food craving swings, decreases your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, and allows you to lose weight in a healthy fashion. Depending on your area and climate, consider the following vegetables:

- Asparagus
- Beans - green and waxed
- Broccoli
- Cabbage
- Cucumbers
- Eggplant (try some of the more exotic varieties for fun!)
- Greens (mustard, turnip, spinach, etc.)
- Okra
- Onions
- Squash (including zucchini)

If you're looking for an alternative squash recipe (other than boiling it to death or deep frying it) consider this one:

2 crookneck yellow squash or zucchini, diced
1/2 yellow or red onion, diced (you can use more if you like onion!)
1 egg, beaten
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Last edited by Carol; 02-24-2010 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Survival Pack: A Vital Part of "Plan B"/Lasagna Gardening

Lasagna Gardening
by Patricia Lanza


Note: wet down each layer as you build the beds.

1. Soak b&w newspapers in water, then overlap sections in a single layer directly on top of premarked sod area. This smothers the weeds/grass underneath.

2. Then put a 4 inch layer of moistened peat moss over that

3. A moist 4 inch layer of organic shredded green material

4. Another 4 inch layer of moistened peat moss

5. A 4 inch layer of moist compost or yard waste

6. Repeat the peat moss/organic matter pattern until your bed is built up to at least 18-24 inches high.

7. Finish with compost on top, then either let it break down for a few months for certain crops or plant seeds and transplants directly into the matrix by pushing aside layers and inserting.

As the layers break down, the earthworms will be eating the sod and breaking up the newspapers, mixing the layers together. The final result is an organic, self-tilled soil that's rich and free of disease and weed seeds. It's so simple.

As a bonus, no need to fertilize because the soil was already is rich in composting organic matter. Best of all, no soil-borne diseases! Truly, this style of gardening is an organic gardener's paradise.

The Best Growing Medium for Seeds

To provide the optimum growing conditions, and to avoid disease and insect problems, seeds should be started in a soilless growing mix, not in garden soil. A good soilless mix is a moist and spongy blend of sphagnum moss, vermiculite and perlite. The finer the texture the better.

What is a "soilless growing medium"?

Sphagnum moss is a dehydrated bog plant that is able to absorb 10 to 20 times its weight in water. It is used to retain water and provide texture. Look for moss that has been "milled" to remove debris and achieve a fine consistency. Sphagnum moss is naturally acidic (pH 3.5), so if you are creating your own soil blend, you should add some limestone to counteract the acidity. Sphagnum moss also has some fungus-inhibiting properties.

Vermiculite is mica rock that has been heated until it expands into what look like tiny multi-paged books. It is used to retain water and provide texture for strong root growth. Vermiculite is pH neutral, sterile and insoluble. It contains some magnesium and potassium, and also has a high cation exchange capacity, which means it is able to absorb fertilizers and release them to plant roots when needed.

Perlite is made from crushed lava that has been heated until the particles "pop" into white, sponge-like kernels. It is used to retain water and provide good aeration. Perlite is sterile and pH neutral. It holds three to four times its weight in water.

You can purchase a ready-mixed blend, or mix your own, using 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 perlite, 1/3 milled sphagnum moss. Remember that soilless mixes contain few, if any, nutrients. You will need to start feeding your seedlings with a weak fertilizer solution several weeks after they germinate, and continue to feed them weekly until you transplant them into the garden. Another option is Organic Seedstaring Mix, which is made up of sphagnum peat moss, perlite, compost, protein meal and trace minerals.

After your seedlings are six to eight weeks old, you can transplant them into larger pots with a coarser growing medium, such as our Transplant Mix. If you wish, you can add up to 20 percent garden soil or sifted compost. A standard blend may contain 1/3 compost, 1/3 perlite or vermiculite, and 1/3 sphagnum moss. This will help ensure that your plants have access to some soil nutrients, and it will also help prepare them for life in the garden.

Planting and Caring for Your Seedlings
http://www.gardeners.com/How-to-Star...efault,pg.html

The growing medium should be thoroughly moistened before it is placed in your seedstarting containers (warm water works best). Fill the flats or containers to within 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the top. You are now ready to sow your seeds. But before you do so, take another look at the seed packet for any special information about pre-chilling, pre-soaking, a preference for light or darkness, or special temperature requirements.

Seeds can either be scattered on the soil surface or placed individually into each growing cell. Resist the temptation to sow too thickly. Most seeds should be covered with a fine layer of soil. Unless the seeds require light to germinate (such as snapdragons), or are too tiny to tolerate being covered (such as petunias), you should cover the seeds to about three times their thickness.

Gently moisten the growing medium (using a mister or with dribbles of water) to ensure good contact between the seeds and the soil. Label each flat, row, or container with a wood or plastic marker so you can identify them later. Save the seed packet for reference.

Temperature: The temperatures for optimum germination listed on seed packets refer to soil temperature, not air temperature. Though some seeds germinate best at a soil temperature of 60 degrees F, and some at 85 degrees, most prefer a temperature of about 78 degrees.

If the soil is too cold, seeds may take much longer to germinate, or they may not germinate at all. To provide additional warmth, you can place the containers on top of a warm refrigerator, television, or keep them in a warm room until the seeds germinate. Just be sure to get your seedlings to a sunny window or under lights within 24 hours of seeing little sprouts emerging through the soil surface.

After germination, most seedlings grow best if the air temperature is below 70 degrees F. If temperatures are too warm (over 75), the seedlings will grow too fast and get weak and leggy. Most seedlings grow fine in air temperatures as low as 50 degrees, as long as soil temperature is maintained at about 65 to 70. For seedlings that germinate best in warm soil temperatures, try using a heat mat .

Light: Most seeds don't require light to germinate, but as soon as they sprout, they need to be placed in a south-facing window or under special lights that are designed for growing plants. Check your seeds daily. Seeds that germinate and start to grow without adequate light will become tall and leggy—a condition that is almost impossible to correct.

Most seedlings require 14 to 16 hours of direct light to manufacture enough food to produce healthy stems and leaves. The characteristic legginess that often occurs when seedlings are grown on a windowsill indicates that the plants are not receiving enough light intensity, or enough hours of light. If your seedlings are in a south-facing window, you can enhance the incoming light by covering a piece of cardboard with aluminum foil and placing it in back of the seedlings. The light will bounce off the foil and back onto the seedlings.
SunLite Fixture
SunLite bulbs are color-balanced to promote healthy growth and abundant blooms.

If you do not have a south-facing window, you will need to use artificial lights. When growing seedlings under lights, you can use a combination of cool and warm fluorescents, or full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs. Familiar incandescent bulbs produce too much heat in relation to the light given off. They also lack the blue-spectrum light that keeps seedlings stocky and dark green.

Seedlings need a high intensity of light. The fluorescent bulbs should be placed very close to the plants—no more than three inches away from the foliage—and should be left on 12 to 14 hours per day. If you are growing your seedlings on a windowsill, you may need to supplement with a few hours of artificial light, especially during the winter months.

Moisture: Germination requires consistent moisture. It is important that the soil be kept moist but not soggy to prevent the seeds from rotting. There are different ways to achieve this. Some gardeners cover their flats with clear plastic until the seeds germinate. Many seedstarting systems have plastic covers to help retain moisture during this critical period.

As soon as your seeds have sprouted, remove any plastic covering to reduce moisture and humidity levels. Check the soil every day to ensure that it is moist, not wet. Too much moisture will retard root growth and lead to disease problems. Letting the soil dry out a bit between waterings helps prevent molds and fungus from growing on the soil surface.

Your seedlings will be much happier if you water them with room-temperature water rather than ice-cold tap water. If your water supply is chlorinated, fill some plastic jugs or your watering can and let the water sit overnight so the chlorine dissipates. Don't use water that has been through a water softener. The sodium may kill your seedlings. Try to make sure that the moisture reaches the bottom of the growing container so your seedlings will stretch their roots out and create a nice, fat rootball. You might want to fill the sink or a waterproof tray with an inch or two of water and set your containers right in the water. Just be sure to remove them from the water when the soil surface feels fully moist to the touch.

Air and Humidity: Most seedlings like a humidity level of 50 to 70 percent. Higher humidity levels and poor air circulation can lead to fungus growth on the soil surface and disease problems. If the air in your house is very dry, you can keep your seedlings happy by setting them on capillary matting, or in a waterproof tray filled with small stones or a humidity grid and a little water. If your plants are in a small room, you may consider running a small fan to keep the air circulating.

Thinning and Potting Up: You may need to transplant your seedlings into larger pots if they start to get crowded and it's still too early to put them outdoors. Don't wait until the plants are a tangle of foliage and roots. The less you rip and tear, the better your plants will survive the move. When handling tiny seedlings, grasp them by their leaves or roots. Avoid holding them by their stems, which are fragile and can be easily crushed or bent.

Stems and roots are easier to separate when the soil is dry rather than wet. You can remove a clump of seedlings and separate them as you go, or use a spoon or your fingers to remove individual plants. Most seedlings should be repotted at the same depth or just a little deeper. The exception is tomato seedlings. When transplanting tomatoes, you should remove all but the top few leaves, and bury the rest of the stem. New roots will form along whatever part of the stem is underground. When your seedlings have been repotted, water well, fertilize and return them to the grow light or sunny windowsill.

Transplanting: Once the weather has warmed up, you can start "hardening off" your seedlings by gradually exposing them to the great outdoors. They have been pampered with warm temperatures, plenty of light and consistent water. The weather outside is not so kind—especially in the spring!

At least one week before you plan to put your plants into the garden, begin reducing the amount of water and fertilizer you give them. Place your plants outdoors for one hour each day on a protected porch or under the shade of a tree. Gradually increase the amount of time they spend outdoors. Be sure to protect them from too much wind and hot sun.

If at all possible, try to transplant your seedlings on an overcast or drizzly day when the wind is relatively calm. A polyethylene row cover or shade fabric can help ease the transition, and will protect your plants from cats, flea beetles and other threats as well. Be sure that you water well, so the roots establish good soil contact.
What to Feed Your Seedlings

Fertilizing: Once your seedlings develop their second set of true leaves, it is time to start feeding them. Young seedlings are very tender and can't tolerate a full dose of fertilizer. Baby them with a half-strength dose until they are three or four weeks old. After that, you should start full-strength fertilizing every week or two. Since your seedlings are growing in a sterile, soilless medium, fertilizing them is absolutely critical. For best results, use an organic fertilizer that contains trace elements to ensure that seedlings get all the major and minor nutrients.

Seaweed/kelp extracts: Kelp's almost magical effect on plants has been well documented. It seems to be especially effective on seedlings, promoting vigor, cold hardiness, and pest and disease resistance. Apply a dilute amount to the soil or foliage several times during seedling development and at transplanting time. Kelp is not considered a fertilizer, because it does not provide any major nutrients. It should always be used in combination with a complete organic fertilizer.

Fish emulsion: An excellent source of trace minerals, as well as micro- and macronutrients. It can be smelly, so be cautious about using it indoors.

Complete fertilizers: These specially formulated blends contain plant nutrients and organic compounds that promote strong root growth and overall vigor. They ensure that your plants get off to a strong start by providing a balanced supply of micro- and macronutrients including the Big Three: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. We recommend Plant Health Care for Seedlings.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:25 PM   #3
Swanny
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Default Re: The Survival Pack: A Vital Part of "Plan B"/Lasagna Gardening

Good idea not to keep all your eggs in one basket.
I intend to burry a few things like food and water filters etc in a few different places when things get bad.
But I'm not telling you where
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Survival Pack: A Vital Part of "Plan B"/Lasagna Gardening

Right now we are prepping our fenced in area (to keep the dog, chickens and ducks out) to start a dirt garden. I've been doing a lot of research and these posts are a reflection of what we are currently working on. Being a noted failure when it comes to dirt gardens it seemed some boning up on the subject was required if we ever hope to live off of our own produce.

This past winter the toads got in and ate many of our plants. It took me awhile to figure out it was toads. Then there are the aphids (we are now using a botanical soap spray for some of the leaf insect destroyers and next is slugs (beer seems to work with them). Use two tablespoons of mild NON DEGREASER (LUX) dish soap to a gallon of water. Degreaser soaps like Joy burns the plants. You can also add peppermint oil to the spray water as well as this also helps.

We now laid out the areas we plan to use the lasagna method with cardboard. Next we will build up the sides with 24 inches of wood (two 2 by 12 inch boards) and then start layering. I have seen some amazing gardens using the lasagna method just on top of sod/grass.

Companion planting is also a plus when getting the garden in. Here is some info on that as well.

Companion Planting

• Asparagus/Tomato, Parsley, Basil
• Beans/Herbs, Vegetables
• Cabbage/Aromatic Herbs, Celery, Beets, Onion Family, Chamomile, Spinach, Chard
• Carrots/Peas, Lettuce, Onion, Sage, Tomato
• Celery/ Nasturtium, Onion, Cabbage, Tomato
• Cucumber/ Beans, Peas, Sunflower, Raddish
• Lettuce/ Carrot, Radish, Strawberry, Cucumber
• Onions/Beets, Carrot, Lettuce, Cabbage
• Parsley/Tomato, Asparagus
• Peas/Carrots, Raddish, Turnip, Cumcumber, Beans
• Potato/Beans, Cabbage, Horseraddish, Marigolds
• Raddish/Peas, Nasturtium, Lettuce, Cucumber
• Spinach/Strawberry, Faba Bean
• Tomato/Onion, Marigold, Asparagus, Carrot, Parsley, Cucumber
• Turnip/Pea

Companion planting improves the micro-organisms in the soil.
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Last edited by Carol; 02-24-2010 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Survival Pack: A Vital Part of "Plan B"/Lasagna Gardening

I agree Swanny. We bought 6 rubberized trash containers to do the same thing.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Survival Pack: A Vital Part of "Plan B"/Lasagna Gardening

Hi, just last night whilst asleep a message came to me, very clear - it said during the time of (impending) hardship the temperature would drop to -100C (!!!)
wonder if that's possible to survive..i think not...maybe my messanger was not quite with it...
i'd like to think.
.

bw l.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Survival Pack: A Vital Part of "Plan B"/Lasagna Gardening

I heard something along that line as well and thought it might have to do with the pole shift when the atmosphere peels back.

Underground root cellar would work and some of those instant heating packs.

Here is info on various water filtration systems.

http://www.911water.com/


I like the portable ones for backpacks and they're inexpensive. $27-34
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Survival Pack: A Vital Part of "Plan B"/Lasagna Gardening

Underground root cellar would work and some of those instant heating packs.

Body warmers are here: http://www.amazon.com/Grabber-Adhesi.../dp/B001G7QEDI
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Survival Pack: A Vital Part of "Plan B"/Lasagna Gardening

Quote:
Originally Posted by lightblue View Post
Hi, just last night whilst asleep a message came to me, very clear - it said during the time of (impending) hardship the temperature would drop to -100C (!!!)
wonder if that's possible to survive..i think not...maybe my messanger was not quite with it...
i'd like to think.
.

bw l.
The coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth is -82.8C at the South Pole. If the temperature ever drops to -100C we won't be planting anything...
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Survival Pack: A Vital Part of "Plan B"/Lasagna Gardening

..is what i meant...there'd be no good stocking seeds or water.. i hope my messanger was rubbish..they are usually good though..
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:31 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Survival Pack: A Vital Part of "Plan B"/Lasagna Gardening

From all the research I've done into water filters this is the best one to have

Lifesaver
It is expensive but it's the safest one out there.



Video here http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/mi...er_filter.html
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