Category Archives: Off Grid Living

Start Your Medicinal Garden Today – 7 Reasons

Growing medicinal plants are a great way to ensure garden sustainability and more notably, have access to natural medicine when you need it most. When I introduced more herbs in my garden, I noticed it had a profound impact on the vegetables and fruits I was growing. It also encouraged beneficial insects and birds to visit my garden and this helped cut down on plants being eaten.

Because of this observation, I changed my focus from solely growing to eat and, instead, worked to create a welcoming growing environment. Not only were my plants healthier, but I had access to natural herbs to use for making extracts and poultices. The following are reasons I feel gardeners should adopt adding medicinal herbs to the garden.

7 Reasons Why You Should Have a Medicinal Garden

1.) have fresh cut herbs to use for natural medicine, you have access to the freshest forms of their healing properties. For example, what if you cut your hand and did not have a bandage.

Did you know that the sage leaf can be wrapped around a wound and used as a natural band-aid? Or, if the bleeding from that cut was so bad that it wouldn’t stop. Did you know that a few shakes of some cayenne pepper can help control the bleed? Or, if you have a severe bruise, make a poultice. It’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to use herbal medicine.

2.) Calm your senses with medicinal teas. (Click to read more)

Source: 7 Reasons Why You Should Have a Medicinal Garden | Ready Nutrition

Read more at the link. Pictured above is Ephedra which is quite common here. Known as “Mormon Tea,” it’s said to be a wonderful decongestant. It must be simmered for at least 20 minutes prior to drinking. It’s quite stimulating, and should be avoided by those with heart conditions.

Pandemic Causes Seed Shortage

Americans are panic hoarding plant seeds as the coronavirus outbreak confines millions to their homes, crashes the economy, and disrupts food supply chains. This has resulted in people questioning their food security.

A Google search of “buy seeds” has rocketed to an all-time high across the US in March to early April, the same time as supermarket shelves went bare.

Seed companies who spoke with CBS News said they have stopped taking new orders after unprecedented demand. George Ball, chairman of Pennsylvania-based Burpee Seeds, said the recent increase in new orders is “just unbelievable.” The company will start accepting orders again on Wednesday after it stopped taking new ones for several days to catch up on the backlog.

Americans in quarantine are becoming increasingly concerned about their food security. What has shocked many is that food on supermarket shelves that existed one day, could be completely wiped out in minutes via panic hoarding. Some people are now trying to restore the comfort of food security by planting “Pandemic Gardens.”

“If I had to put my thumb on it, I would say people are worried about their food security right now,” said Emily Rose Haga, the executive director of the Seed Savers Exchange, an Iowa-based nonprofit devoted to heirloom seeds.

Source: It’s Not Just Toilet Paper, Seed Shortages Spread As Locked-Down Americans Turn To Growing Their Own Food  | Zero Hedge

Using All Those Dry Beans that You Stockpiled

Tip: When building up your disaster food stockpile, think about how you will use the foods in meals. Otherwise, you could end up with a lot of foods you don’t like. Or you might end up with disproportionate amounts of food, like 30lbs of pasta but not sauce to go on it.

In my book Disaster Preparedness for Women, I show exactly how to plan a food stockpile so you can make healthy, balanced meals. The book also covers all the preparedness essentials so you are ready for anything. Get the book here.

Here are 11 tasty ways to use dried beans Try these delicious dried bean recipes.

1. Red Bean Pasta Sauce

Source: 11 Delicious Ways to Use Those Dry Beans You Stockpiled

Click on the link for 10 more useful recipes. You did realize that you’d have to eat all those didn’t you?

Grow Your Victory Garden Today

The fight against coronavirus has been likened to a war—some have even referred to it as “World War C”—and it looks like wartime Victory Gardens are making a comeback. Today, the goals are different but the interest in growing a little (or a lot) of your own food is still the same! Let’s talk about planting a Victory Garden in 2020!

During WWI, the National War Garden Commission promoted home gardening and food preservation. They inspired students—calling them “soldiers of the soil”—to help plant Liberty Gardens. When it started to look like the US and its allies would win the war, the name of the gardens was changed to Victory Gardens.

TYPICAL VICTORY GARDEN CROPS

Vegetables were the largest crop followed by fruits and herb gardens. About one-third of the vegetables grown during World War II came from Victory Gardens!

The Victory Garden was made of easy-to-grow crops, including fresh vegetables in season as well as root crops and hardier crops that could be stored during the winter. Here’s a sampling.

    • Spring gardens: Carrots, lettuce, kale, onion, peas, radishes.
    • Summer gardens: Basil, beans (pole, bush, and lima), corn and popcorn, cucumbers, eggplants, muskmelon, okra, peppers, pumpkin, both winter and summer squash, tomatoes, watermelon.
    • Fall and winter gardens: Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, kohlrabi, parsley, parsnips, radish, spinach, Swiss chard, turnips.

Source: Plant a Victory Garden During Coronavirus Quarantine Old Farmer’s Almanac

15 Tricks for Gardening With Limited Supplies

If you are itching to get your hands dirty but have few gardening supplies on hand and hesitate to head to the store, take a look around the house and yard.

You may find many items that can be re-purposed into just what you need. Here are some cheap tips and tricks for house-bound gardeners!

Source: 15 Tricks for Gardening With Limited Supplies | Old Farmer’s Almanac

Some great ideas for the home gardener. Enjoy…

News – April 8, 2020

It’s been a busy time here at the ranch. Not surprisingly, everyone who has been on the fence about buying land feels more motivated. I have clients who would love to come to their property and get away from the madness of the city, but they are locked down in Socal, and can’t leave. I believe that we’ll have a big uptick once the lockdown is lifted.

Some days, I feel a little depressed about it all. The anxiety of not knowing the future is disconcerting, and I feel a bit of unease in every waking moment.

Thankfully, I have our garden. Though it probably wouldn’t be enough to keep us from being a bit leaner later on, it’s relaxing, and I always leave the phone up at the house so as to have a brief moment of calm in the flurry. Having 40 acres means I don’t have to sit in the house, and that helps I think.

I’m also thankful of my career as a land broker. I have helped many people to move to this beautiful area. The solar off grid life is not the easiest, but there are many rewards that make the lack of convenience worth it.

Real estate sales are not easy. I’m reminded of the old adage that we in real estate just work half days, you know, 12 hours a day. It’s true!

For the buyers today, my job is just to know what’s best out there for the money. Stagecoach Trails being over 130,000 acres offers a variety of terrains and locations. Zeroing in on what the needs of the buyer are long term seems to be the most important thing.

Educating buyers on costs to do a well, septic, solar etc. may have prevented some financial mishaps (and cost a few sales.) Truth is that it really does cost more than you realize to get it all set up. If I can keep folks grounded in reality as to what it takes to live off grid, I feel it’s best for all of us in the long run.

For sellers the key is pricing. What one wants is not always what the market will bear. We’d all have loved to sold any stock investments in February, ah but it’s too late.

We have an abundance of inventory, but for the first time since the market started dropping in earnest in 2009, we are seeing some slight appreciation upward. There are fewer and fewer “bargains.” Buyers take note!

To all of you reading, please leave a comment or two. Thanks for stopping by! -Ben

 

8 Simple Ways To Live Off Grid On Less Watts – Off The Grid News

Here’s a few good tips to reduce your power usage. Solar power works fine, but often one has to adjust to the whims of nature, and on the cloudy days use less power.

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Here are just a few of the changes that we made to our off-grid lives that helped us use less watts:

  1. We never took a shower before the sun was up.
  2.  Also, we never took a shower when the sun was down.
  3. Made sure we only did laundry between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and only one load per day.
  4. We went to bed early and got up early (this proved to be most productive).
  5. Always used battery-operated lanterns and book lights for evening reading.
  6. Made sure we unplugged everything — the coffee pot, the toaster, etc. – when not in use.
  7. We rarely used the microwave.
  8. Never left the TV on, and we used it sparingly.

Source: 8 Simple Ways To Live Off Grid On Less Watts – Off The Grid News

Summer Squash: The Gardening Staple You Can Grow In 40 Days

For a lot of people, the thought of summer squash brings to mind just a few varieties. The entire list probably consists of little yellow crooknecks and zucchini, with no more than one or two choices of each.

There is a bonanza of summer squash taste available to home gardeners. If you like squash even a tiny bit, you will want to grow your own. Fresh summer squash in your backyard provides daily fresh young produce throughout the season, the ability to eliminate food miles, and the opportunity to try dozens of unique varieties that are not available at stores or even farmer’s markets.

Source: Summer Squash: The Gardening Staple You Can Grow In 40 Days –

Nutritious Food Plants You Can Harvest Quickly

Here’s a great list of quick vegetables that everyone should see.

We’ve grown them all!

We only need a few weeks to produce some nutritious vegetables and enjoy them for a great lunch or dinner.

Imagine having fresh spinach harvested four to six weeks after planting. Even better, a vegetable garden in your backyard will complement that verdant, green lawn and add some color and texture to your landscape.

There are many wholesome veggies you can grow, relatively quickly, a few steps away from your kitchen. Here are five vegetables to get you started.

Source: Nutritious Food Plants You Can Harvest Quickly – The Prepper Journal

Homemade Bug Spray: Natural & Effective Repellent Recipes

Here are four all-natural homemade bug sprays that can kick those pesky insects to the curb.

If you don’t like the idea of spraying too many chemicals on yourself or your children, these recipes take seconds to mix up and really work for every day sprays.

KNOW THY ENEMY

As soon as we step outside, bugs have a way of finding us. Some use the CO2 we exhale to locate us, others go by scent, body heat, vibrations, or even the colors we wear.

For example, deerflies are attracted to CO2, warmth, motion, and dark colors. One way to make yourself less attractive to insects is to avoid using fragrant soaps, lotions, perfume, hairspray, or aftershave. Instead, use scents that block their receptors, making you harder to find.

Mosquitoes hate citronella, lemon eucalyptus, cinnamon, geranium, and catnip.

Ants and flies dislike mint, basil, and bay.

Tiny gnats (such as No-See-Ums) are repelled by citronella, lemongrass, and rose geranium.

Ticks and lice avoid lemon eucalyptus and geranium.

Source: Homemade Bug Spray: Natural & Effective Repellent Recipes | The Old Farmer’s Almanac