Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Rick Austin's Secret Garden of Survival & Without Land Chapter 2

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Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com




 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Survival Sprouting, The Changing Earth Podcast Season Two Episode 1

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Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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Monday, March 21, 2016

Survival Foraging: Stinging Nettle

 


Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica)

Stinging Nettle is a plant that you have probably seen before. Maybe you cursed it for giving you a prick while walking in the woods but I bet you never knew how useful this herb (not a weed) is. On the last season of The Changing Earth Podcast this plant became the topic of conversation many times. Cat Ellis mentioned it's arthritis preventing powers when I interviewed her about herbal arthritis remedies. Then again Abe Lloyd mentioned it as a plant that is readily available across most of the United States when I interviewed him about wild foraging in North America. Having been brought up multiple times, I felt it was time to give this plant a second look.

Stinging Nettle's History

Marie Miczak states in her book, Nature's Weeds, Native Medicine,that the native peoples of North America used to use this herb for many things. Stalks soothed skin rashes, women were given nettle tea to build back blood cells after blood loss due to menstruation or child birth, it also helped bolster milk supply, and poultices were applied to curb severe bleeding.

Stinging nettles history is not one based solely in North America, though. Penelope Ody states in her book, The Complete Medicinal Herbal, that Roman nettle (U. Pliulifera) was introduced to Britain because soldiers used to beat themselves with it to stay warm and combat arthritis.

 Identifying The Plant

Stinging nettle is called stinging nettle because it will prick the heck out of you if you try to pick it. You must wear protective clothing when harvesting this plant!

The nettle plant can grow up to seven feet tall in favorable conditions. It has leaves that are spear or lanced shaped and grow opposite of one another on the stalk. The stems are covered with the cursed stinging hairs and you curse as you run into them or try to pick them. The young plants will emerge with a red hue and turn green as they near maturation.

For foraging, drying and storage tips visit: http://gnowfglins.com/2013/10/02/stinging-nettle-part-2-using-nettle-in-everyday-life/ 

Eating Nettle

Nettle is a power packed herb! It can be used as a spinach replacement in meals. Abe Lloyd indicated that once the plant has been blanched the stingers are rendered useless. The nettle is important because it has a protein component which can be highly valued when wild foraging but it is also packed with numerous other vitamins including: vitamin a, b, c, and high amounts of iron.

Their is no limit to the uses of nettle but for some great recipes to get your creative chef juices flowing you can visit: http://momprepares.com/7-ways-to-prepare-and-eat-nettles/

Other Uses

Lesley Bremness mentions in her book, The Complete Book of Herbs, that there are valuable additional uses of nettle beyond it's food and medicinal qualities. She mentions that you can make a nettle beer from the plant. Also that it makes a great greenish-yellow die for wool. Additionally the fibers can be used to make cloth and paper. In addition to these great uses Penelope Ody mentions that a rinse can be made from the roots that can be used as a hair conditioner to prevent dandruff and hair loss.Who knew how versatile and nutritious this plant was?

Medicinally

Penelope Ody indicates in her book that the leaves and stems (or aerial parts) of this plant are especially valued and should be harvested during flowering. An infusion* of these parts stimulate circulation, help curb the effects of arthritis, rheumatism, gout and eczema, and help nursing mothers bolster milk supply. A tincture* can be used for arthritic problems, skin problems, and heavy menstrual bleeding. A compress* can be applied to painful joints whether that is from arthritis, gout, sprains, tendinitis, etc. An ointment* made of nettle can be applied to hemorrhoids and a wash of nettle can be applied to burns, insect bites, and wounds to help with healing. 


*Tincture - Process of steeping the dried or fresh herbs in a 25% mixture of alcohol and water. Can be stored for up to two years.
*Infusion - Preparation similar to making traditional tea where the leaves or flowers are put to steep in boiled water. Should be made fresh for each dose.
*Compress - a cloth soaked in infusion
*Ointment - Melt 500g petroleum jelly or soft paraffin wax in a bowl over a pan of boiling water, stir in 60g of dried herbs and heat for about two hours or until herbs are crispy. Pour this mixture into a jelly bag or cheese cloth fastened snuggly with a string or elastic band to the rim of a jug. With rubber gloves on (mixture will be hot) squeeze it through the jelly bag into the jug. Quickly pour the strained mixture into clean glass storage jars. The mixture must still be hot to pour properly.  


Attention Use At Your Own Risk

I am not medically trained in anyway. I am simply a student. I read and experiment with ancient herbal techniques. I am simply passing on the knowledge I have gained from studding many texts on the subject and I am in no way responsible for anything you do with this information. 

For this article I used these resources the most:
Bremness, Lesley. The Complete Book of Herbs. New York: Viking Studio, 1988. Print.
Miczak, Marie. Nature's Weeds, Native Medicine: Native American Herbal Secrets. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Light Publ., 1999. Print.
Ody, Penelope. The Complete Medicinal Herbal. London: Dorling Kindersley, 1993. Print.

Simillar Articles:

Bee Pollen, The World's Only Super Food
Peppermint: Not Just a Christmas Candy 
Yarrow: A Medicinal Essential 
Burdock: Lots of Vitamins and Medicinally Valuable 
Acorn Tea: Warms the Body and Soul
Sprouts
Curly Doc
Plantain 
Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster


 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

When Survivalist Podcasters Unite, The SHTF gets real! Episode 35, Day After Disaster Chapter 35

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Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Permaculture: Not Your Grandparent's Garden!

Permaculture Is Not Your Grandparent's Gardening System

I grew up gardening with my mom and grandparent's. I remember the tiller coming out in the spring and long rows being meticulously created. Each plant would have it's own unique space as the seeds were sewed as directed by the seed package. Then it was time to water. The water would be applied with an overhead sprinkler system placed withing the garden. The plants would prosper in their carefully maintained rows and there was much to be harvested in the fall. The nutrients in the soil were stolen from the ground each year and would have to be aggressively replenished. This rejuvenation would come in the form of animal manure, adding additional amended soil or applying chemical fertilizers. 

My husband and I have been gardening since we bought our first home back in 2000. We have continued the practice of amending, tilling, planting and harvesting in the same fashion that our families always have. We have had some spectacular years, supplying three households with yearly vegetables and we have had years where the gophers cleaned us out, an invasive ground cover choked us out or our lack of weeding has sealed a small harvest fate. 

Last year was one of those years. An invasive week cover claimed half of our garden and a killer drought made our garden a bug oasis in a desert landscape. I started thinking there must be some kind of solution. Some new way of planting that would shake up our normal gardening pattern and give us better yields. 

I have been listening to a lot of survival podcasts before and since I created my own, The Changing Earth Podcast. One of those podcasts is called The Survival Podcast, hosted by Jack Spirko. Jack's show airs daily so I don't get a chance to listen to everyone but when I do he is often discussing the idea of permaculture. 

Permaculture is the idea that nature does a pretty good job of taking care of itself. Why not learn the principles of your natural environment and enrich them so it is mutually beneficial to the soil, plants, animals and thus humans? It has expanded into a method of thinking that puts humans in harmony with nature. Now this all might sound a little hippy but there are very solid ideas for gardening and even social change once you understand this concept. 

So the journey begins. My family's permaculture journey is just beginning and I want to take you along on the ride so you can learn the principles and techniques as we explore them. Given that the gardening season is almost upon us, I wanted to start with a nuts and bolts application of what I can do to turn my garden into a more hospitable environment this year.

I found this awesome article by Janet over at OneAcreFarm.com. In it Janet discusses the nine principles of permaculture and how we can begin to apply those tenants.

Species Diversity 

Janet points out the fact that when you are walking in nature, rarely do you come across an area where only one type of plant exists. Nature mixes up the plants and thus there are different bugs and animals attracted to the area. It also ensures that one bug can't continually feed through the same type of plants.



Application
Janet explains that this does not mean you have to give up your rectangular beds but that you should try planting rows of different types of plants side by side with flowers in between. I have also heard that many herbs can be beneficial in your vegetable garden so this may be a great thing to shake up the bed. I immediately thought of my tomatoes for this topic. We often get tomato worms so bad that they can destroy all the plants in a couple days if not eradicated. Spreading your tomato plants out though out the garden may be a way to ensure that the worms can't bring down the destruction as fast.

Symbiosis
Janet explains that symbiosis means a special relationship that exists between certain plants and animals that is mutually beneficial or maybe even essential to the plants and animals involved.

Application
To apply this concept Janet encourages readers to learn about companion planting, which I am very interested in. Last year I planted my upper garden with peas and carrots but because I had planted that garden space with cucumbers and tomatoes in previous years, I began to grow renegades that I had not planted there on purpose. I decided to leave them alone and see what would happen because my lower garden wasn't doing so well. Turns out everything exploded in size. I made sure the lower branches of the tomotoe weren't blocking out the carrots and I encouraged the cucumber plant to climb instead of lay on the carrots. I harvested my best tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and peas of the year from that tiny bed instead of the large garden. Seeing how well this mix-up can work I was immediately intrigued. I will keep you posted as I learn about the great parings of plants that can be planted together and the amazing effects you can see because of that relationship.

Balance
Janet explains that nature will maintain a proper balance between plants and animals in a complex food web.

Application
This concept applies more to your yard planting. I don't really want the deer massacring my vegetables but I am going to introduce a small flock of chickens to the garden area. They will have limited access to the garden when the plants are established and in off growing seasons. They will help with bug control and their dropping will add needed nutrients to the soil.

Redundancy
In nature the roles of the plants and animals often overlap so if one of the players goes missing the show still goes on.

Application
Janet's example is you can plant a bunch of greens with your spinach that way if one doesn't do well you have plenty of others to supplement the supply of greens.

Vertical Structure
If you walk in the forest you will notice there are multiple layers of vegetation from the ground level on up. This vertical structure is known as "stacking"

Application
Janet's example focuses more on your yard vegetation. Planting trees and shrubs as well as ground covers and vegetables. For the garden she gives the example of using vertical climbing structures. Much like I encouraged my tomatoes and cucumbers to grow on an upper level and left the lower level available for my carrots.




Plants Grow Where Their Soil Requirements are met Naturally
Janet explains this in a natural setting. Some soils are more hospitable to different plants and thus animals.




Application
To apply this you can sew plants that are naturally suited to your soil or you can change the conditions of the soil to grow what you want. The change is done in a more natural manner than simply amending the soil. Janet describes this as sewing plants that replenish nitrogen or trees to provide shade.

Succession
Janet describes this as a change in species composition over time as plants and animals grow and die. This may seem in opposition to our traditional annual gardens that are planted yearly.

Application
Janet says you can apply this to your garden or yard by planting trees, shrubs, vines, perrenial vegetable plants along with your annual vegetables to provide diversity. You will need to expect a wide array of changes, accept it and learn to work with it. This is an interesting concept and I can see applying it more to the area surrounding the garden plot.

Recycling: Soil Building from Within
Soil is naturally maintained with plant matter and animal refuse. That means removing old plant matter and not including your animals refuse in your compost for the garden would be a big mistake.

Appication
Janet agrees and says to use all organic matter produced on your property to build your compost and assist your soil nutrients. We do this with our chicken poo as well as adding a healthy amount of horse poo as well.

Minimal Tilling
Janet says that tilling results in oxygen exposure which releases nutrients from the soil faster than the plants can use them. In addition it destroys soil structure.

Application
Janet suggest using a lasagna garden or hugelkultur method. I need to do my homework on these topics and I will let you know what I find out but both of these methods involve layering organic matter which keeps weeks down and makes tilling unnecessary.

If you are interested in finding out more read Janet's article at: http://ouroneacrefarm.com/permaculture-principles-for-practical-gardeners-and-farmers/ She also has links to some great resources to find out more.

We'll see how the garden grows this year! Three cheers for permaculture!
 
Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster


 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Should You Stay or Go with Ralph Swasey; Episode 34: Day After Disaster, Chapter 34

Find this podcast article at: 

Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster


 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Post-Disaster Stories Become The Daily News with Dean White; Episode 33: Day After Disaster, Chapter 33

Find this podcast article at:

Sara F. Hathaway
Sara F. Hathaway is the author of the The Changing Earth Series: Day After Disaster and Without Land. She also hosts The Changing Earth Podcast which blends her fictional stories with educational survival tips. Sara grew up in the country where she developed a profound interest in the natural world around her. After graduating with honors from The California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, she launched into a career in business management. In her fictional novels her research and experience with survival techniques and forgotten life-sustaining methods of the generations past come to the forefront in a action packed adventures. She has used her background in business management to pave new roads for fictional authors to follow and she delights in helping other achieve the same success. She currently lives with her husband and two sons in California where she is at work on the sequel to her first two novels. For more information and a free copy of “The Go-Bag Essentials” featuring everything you need to have to leave your home in a disaster visit: www.authorsarafhathaway.com
Purchase Without Land
Purchase Day After Disaster