Prepping: Greens and Moon, Shifts

We start off with the ultra short course on survival gardening today because it could become an important issue one day.

If You Don’t Have a Green Thumb, read on:

Lots of people tell us they don’t have one.  We usually beg to differ.  There is a simple checklist that can keep you out of trouble.  Ready?

  1. Plants need the right temperatures.

This is all over the web.  If the temps are too cold, the plants wont grow.  But, if it is too hot, the same thing holds true.

Short story to illustrate:

Got the deep water hydroponics going and I noticed that the tomatoes weren’t taking off like they should.  Set up a temp and humidity meter to see what was going on.

OMG: 115F  Hot enough to end growing.

Opened all the vents on the top of the greenhouse, set in a fan and down came the temps:

I reset the 115 off the record high/low function by just removing the battery for a few seconds…

Keep your plants under 100F if you can – in a greenhouse in East Texas, that’s not easy, but can be done.  Small fans and open doors and vent hatches.

Wind is light to moderate amounts is good for plants and will make them grow faster, although with slightly more water use.

2. The second “secret” is getting the pH (acid/alkaline balance) right.

Show and tell:

Here are a few of the basic tools of the trade for adjusting hydroponic and soil pH.

In hydroponics, you put half a clear vial of nutrient solution in and toss in 3-4 drops of the indicator (small bottle, middle).  If the pH is too low, then you add some pH UP (big bottle, right).  Or, if the pH is too high, in goes some pH Down (*not shown).  Once you get used to the manual way, calibrate a $12 pH meter and go for it that way.

To test soil, put a little dirt in the small tube and add water.  Shake the bejeez out of it.  Let it sit overnight to settle.  Add the drops and note the color.  Or, you can use pH test strips on the ground after some rainfall…

3.  Plant often, but SMALL

Our dirt garden this year is not really big, there being just two of us.  Still, the squash and the “dirt tomatoes” are going great guns…

Dirt toms left, squash middle, yard-long beans right.

We’re holding something of a contest between the hydroponics and the dirt toms.  Right now, the dirt toms are in the lead, but the hydroponic toms are catching up as the heat has come down.

Plant often and in small batches is the point.  I will put in new starter seed in the greenhouse to “hatch out” at least half a dozen more times over the course of summer and into fall..

Say the SHTF and you run out and plant 200 cauliflower and 100 heads of lettuce.  Who are you going to feed when it all comes up at once?

Better:  Plant continuously for a continuous-yield garden.

4. Fertilizer is Good, But…

The soil works fine.  The major adjustments are to bump up the pH and to use the smallest bit of alkaline in watering solution in order to keep the pH working.

Sure, you can fertilize like mad.  But there is high risk in fertilizing if you don’t have practice.

Back when our neighbors were doing goats (and we ran 30+ head too) coming up with goat poo was real easy but it’s not very good.  The BEST was rabbit poo which came off the floor of their rabbit barns and it was tilled into our garden, good to go.

Other sources, like, oh, chicken poo, are too hot.  You need to mix it in with compost and we don’t like too much of that back-breaking work stuff… Do your Famine Avoidance Garden when you can still get things from Amazon before Ebola goes wild and we all have to stay indoors and eat canned goods…

5. Water the Smart Way

There are two ways to water a garden:  Get a 2-gallon plastic watering can (4-5 year life cycle) and fill it from your garden faucet.  OR…

  • Get a fancy water-safe hose
  • Hose retractor/winder
  • Then because you will haul the hose over the front half of your garden breaking plant stems, then you buy a bunch of…
  • Hose stakes which you will be putting in for each row.

I penciled it up once:  $7-bucks for a plastic watering can from Amazon OR about $35-50 worth of “special” hose, retractor, ground stakes and nozzles…

Seriously, in a TSHTF situation do you really thing there will be pressurized water forever?  Say what, bubba?

6.  Stealth-ize Your Garden

So few people come up our street (maybe one car a week or two that doesn’t “belong”) that we don’t bother.  BUT if you are thinking survival garden think about a small swimming pool.  Yeah, more cost, higher insurance, but if TSHTF, its about the only place you will be able to get 30,000 gallons of usable water.  And the 2-gallon watering can, leaving 5,000 gallons in the pool for whatever, with 2-gallons on 25-feet will either a) water a large garden all year pretty easily.  Or, if you insist on row gardening, Or 59-miles of row crop one time.

7.  Forage for Free Food

Care to guess what this is?  Came up on  its own on the fence between the garden and the greenhouse:

We are hoping (since it flowered nicely) that it will set a fair bit of fruit because it’s a prickly pear cactus.  The recipe for prickly pear cactus jelly  (here)  calls for 3-cups of the pear’s juice and we are a might skeptical about whether it will produce enough.  Care for a tablespoonful?

OK, some things to think about if the production of food were to hit the rocks worldwide.  Would you survive?  (If yes, will there be a lot of incoming fire in your direction?)

Chronicle Project Notes

Although the Chronicle Project continues, they aren’t making a lot of noise (or keeping the website up) right now.

BUT they are still working the ongoing translation of ancients texts to figure out what Self-Defining-Hebrew has to “correct” in the modern (often tainted translation) Bible.

Along the way, one of the key learnings is that humans are designed (planted species, right?) to work in a regular rhythm with the moon which bought forth a most curious email from Chir Tyreman this week:

“Hey G, need your help.

A lot of people who follow scriptural lunar Sabbath and not the instituted Fri-Sat Sabbath use “Phases of the moon” from the Google Store.  They use this to know when the  7% new moon is up to start the month.  Last night  (earlier this week – g) when I was looking at the moon, I noticed that it was way more lit then it should be as we are holding Sabbath Thurs night to Friday night this month.  Sabbaths can be foretold as they come two days after the moon is half, full, last half etc. The app said the moon last night was 50% lit.  it was not, it was 61% lit.  That means Sabbath should be on Wed-Thurs night, not what we are doing this month of Thurs-Friday. That means people who use the app are a day out and this becomes a real problem as the year advances, which I won’t get into.

This site is accurate:

Now the question becomes; how does an app that has worked for 8 years suddenly not work.  Just plain weird.

I know people who follow your site also follow our work, so I thought you could do a little bit on this as I have no way of letting anyone know the problem.

Thanks if you can help.

Sure!  Damn fine question why it would quit working, although the more conspiratorial “first thought” runs to the idea of demonic energies not wanting too many humans aligned with the ‘good guys..”  But a Strange on.

And a Personal Woo Woo

The strange dream to work with for me came Thursday morning.

I was in one of my “dream realms” and I was getting leave one position and go into another one in July.  Same line or work, and all, but just the same, it was pretty damn interesting because there was a definite “Everyone will be doing something different by the end of next month…” vibe to it.

Not sure what it means, but off to the greenhouse to rescue the waterboarded and sweat-lodged tomatoes now…

Come on back Monday and bring all your friends…

12 thoughts on “Prepping: Greens and Moon, Shifts”

  1. I am not very scientific, but I have been using the moon signs for most of my gardening time,40yrs. or so. I use the Llewellyns Moon Sign Book and find it to be quite helpful. One subject they address in there is the precession of the equinoxes which is related to the wobble of the earth and in the bigger picture a 26,000 yr. cycle. I’m not sure if this could be related to Chris’s question, but I also read and didn’t bother to cross reference that the 9.0 earthquake in Japan and a 9.0 earthquake in Peru several yrs. later shifted the planet. I also read online that (and never bothered to cross reference) that the sun came up above the horizon in Greenland at a different time.(associated with the long nights in winter) I just assumed in my non-scientific thinking that it had something to do with those powerful earthquakes. I also have not read anything about that since. I do like the scientific research that you do George and am also interested in Chris’s work although I haven’t followed the Chronicle Project that closely. I do understand it takes all brain types to figure things out (I work mostly with my right brain) so you’all keep up the good work, it helps me to think in other ways.

  2. The recipe you reference for prickly jelly does not include the most basic of instruction. The fruit has spines or needles on it some of them are of a very tiny and most annoying size. First thing you do after picking with gloves on is put them on open fire and singe all the spines off. Then you can handle the fruit without gloves and without getting stuck. Also, if growing green chilies, you toast them on the bbq first and bubble the skin to make them easy to peel. Lots of fire involved when you cook in New Mexico.

  3. “Wonkiness” is word of the coming week. The “heavy” seems to approach and is being felt by those sensitive to that kinda thing.

    Why even the electric blue clouds(noctiucent) are early and setting records around the world, as if feeling pressure pushing down from something/somebody..

    eta aquulids are arriving in the skis overhead this week – do they harbor a S.M.B.(super massive bolide) or just a massive one?

    Why ? cause it looks like they hooked up with leading edge/wave of the incoming “heavy”, or not.

    Word to the wise – see a really bright flash..Duck and Cover – the blast wave IS coming.

    FED quantitative tightening (QT) seems to have popped the Bond bubble – oh my!
    Economy is rolling over, FED has 200 basis pts in ammo left – ?
    Wars and rumors of war –
    Crop failures and Damage to food supply –
    Solar Minimum –
    Ebola –

    Sure seems like we are being set up for..something..oh thats right, it must be Harvest time..

  4. Here where I live, four yards of a topsoil peat mix goes for $202.74, delivered. It doesn’t take more than an hour to move a yard by shovel (snow shovel = faster) and wheelbarrow. I know, I have the stuff everywhere (60×120 lot).

    When the collapse comes, all I have to do is transplant the yard shrubs, and turn over the lawn to reveal the building blocks of a lush farm.

    The neighbors will be planting in clay.

  5. we’re currently putting up a 36 x 31 hoop house to combat the “atmospheric rain” events. water well will be in the corner using a “link below” to keep the house and hose pressures up, wattage down, and with 73 degree water temp., filling a 1550 gallon tank to keep things warm in the winter. kinda hard to keep this under the radar : I

    those u.v.’s are messing with my noggin…

  6. Regarding the Chronicle project: Perhaps the Google Play app is badly written(not the first time) and progressed the human calendar without accounting for leap years. The first time it might not be obvious, though the second time it would. That could account for the eight years. Just a thought.

    Will I survive SHTF? Perhaps – at least until the canned food is gone. Will I be prepared for wildfires? Most definitely. With some nasty burns too close for comfort, I’ve already done far more than recommended as far as clear space and fireproof roofing and siding, along with having available water and 12v pumps. An incident happened nearby though: A tree growing quickly from all the rains touched a high voltage power line (top wire) and blew off a piece in flames. It landed on week old mowed grass and immediately started a small fire. A neighbor put it out with a shovel since there was no wind at the time. When walking, notice power lines and proximity of the top wires to trees, then lean on your power company to clear them asap. Many power companies will get lazy about this aspect of maintenance.

  7. “Other sources, like, oh, chicken poo, are too hot. You need to mix it in with compost and we don’t like too much of that back-breaking work stuff”

    Ever read anything by Kurt Saxon?

    His system used his chicken’s poo to catch and grow flies. He used the flies as the fertilizer.

    Don’t recall, but might be Bill Salatin [who] uses a similar system — rotates coops between fields, but catches flies inside the coop.

    No composting necessary, Ma Nature does the work!

  8. I’m guessing “Phases of the moon” is run off of a spreadsheet table generated from integer arithmetic, instead of the actual moon-phase calculation. Does Chris know how long it’s been waxing inaccurate?

  9. George

    I had a hard time trying to get some sleep so I cruised the net and ran across this remarkable video: .

    Every prepper should have his own power generation system if possible. You need power to pump water for your garden and other tasks. Why not make your own?

    The hydrogen gas production system shown could easily power a small engine. That engine could turn a heavy duty 24 volt marine generator. There would be enough current produced to keep the hydrogen production going and feed your solar power battery bank. With a little tinkering you could capture the exhaust of the engine and let it distill out into a reusable feed stock for the gas generator.

    This mostly closed system would only need some make up water added to keep it going full time. The gas generator shown in the video was priced at $4,000. If your handy with tools your could bring that price down a lot. Lots of vid’s on youtube that show how to do it.

    And no this is not free energy. This is cheap energy if you do it right.

    With this type of system you could do solar in the day time and hydrogen gas power at night. Twenty four hour power production is possible and the ability to keep your hydroponic / aquaponic system going full time.

    With that i’ll close by saying “Power to the People” !

  10. Thanks for the tidbits from the Chronicle Project. I yearn to read their translations. I too have noticed problems with some moon phase sights. Even my weather app. Thought I was really screwing up as we observe the lunar Sabbath.

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