Moon Cycles And Gardening: The Facts You Didn’t Know

Planting by the cycles of the moon is a practice that goes back practically to the beginning of agriculture. We’ve all heard about it but many people just write the practice off as old wives’ lore.

We decided to do some research to see if there really is something to the whole “moon cycles and gardening” thing. Turns out, there is scientific evidence that it works.

A quick internet search will tell you when you’re supposed to plant different plants but very few actually tell you WHY you should plant them during a certain moon phase. Once you understand the science behind it, gardening by the moon cycles makes a ton of sense.

We’re going to tell you some things that you probably didn’t know about moon cycles and gardening.

The Moon Affects Water in the Soil and Plants

We all know that the moon controls the ocean tides, and we’ve all heard the expression, “it must be a full moon” when things get crazy, but there’s a lot more that the moon can do.

It makes sense that if it can pull the ocean tides, then it can also pull lesser bodies of water. This includes water in the soil and in the stems and leaves of plants. This is why planting by moon phases is so effective.

There Are 3 Types of Lunar Gardening

Throughout time, three distinct methods of lunar gardening have emerged. Though most people use the cycles of the moon, also known as the Synodic method, there are two others; the Biodynamic method and the Sidereal method.

{adinserter usf}The Synodic method is the easiest to use for most people because it simply dictates that you plant certain plants during certain phases of the moon. This is the method that we’re going to discuss in more depth in a minute.

The Biodynamic method uses the location of the constellations in the sky to determine when and what to plant. It was developed in 1924 by Rudolf Steiner and is a bit complicated but supposedly a bit more accurate. You have to know the constellations and where they are in relation to the moon, Venus and Saturn. Feel free to research this more – there’s a great Wikipedia article on it.

The Sidereal method of lunar planting uses the moon’s orbit around the Earth to determine when and what to plant. The orbit is divided into 12 equal 30-degree sections and one cycle takes 27.3 days to complete. This one is a bit confusing because the moon may not actually be in the section that the moon is currently in.

Personally, we prefer the Synodic method because it’s simply easier and we’ve always had good results using it. If it’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it.

The Moon Plays a Role in Harvesting Too

Regardless of which method of lunar planting you use, you should harvest by it, too. This is the best way to determine that your produce will be juicy and delicious, and will keep longer. That’s because you want to harvest when the crop has exactly the right moisture levels.

Pruning and transplanting are typically done during the same period that you harvest.

Slow or Increase Grass Growth by When You Cut

Yup, you read that right. According to the theory, and to scientific tests, you can control the growth rate of your grass so that you can mow less or get your grass a bit longer and more luxurious. Logically, this makes sense when you consider that you’re trimming a living plant filled with water at certain times. Still, it’s a pretty cool trick.

Save Your Back by Turning Your Soil during the Right Moon Phase

Do you want to turn heavy, wet soil or would you prefer to turn it when it’s drier and a bit lighter? The latter, of course. Since the moon controls moisture levels, you want to turn your soil when there is the least amount of water in it. Not to give anything away, but that would be during the last quarter of the moon when it’s waning, or decreasing.

The Synodic Method of Lunar Planting Explained

Remember that the Synodic method just uses the four phases, aka quarters, of the moon. The first phase, or quarter, starts at the new moon. The second phase begins halfway between the new moon and the full moon. The third phase starts at the full moon and goes halfway to the new moon. The fourth phase starts halfway between the full and new moons and ends at the new moon.

That’s great, but when should you plant, harvest, prune and mow the grass? We’ll talk about that now.

Moon Phase 1

During this phase, the moon’s gravity is pulling water up. The tides will be high during the first phase of the moon. The extra water combined with the increasing moonlight is great for balanced root and leaf growth. This is when you want to plant annual crops such as cabbage, cauliflower, grains, spinach and lettuce that grow above ground and produce seed outside of the fruit. Cucumbers are an anomaly here because they like this phase, too.

Moon Phase 2

In this quarter, the moonlight is stronger but the gravitational pull is less. This creates strong leaf growth and is usually a good time for planting. The two best days are the ones immediately before the full moon.

Plants that do best when planted during the second quarter of the moon are annuals that produce fruit above ground with internal seeds. These include peas, melons, squash, tomatoes and beans. If you want your grass to grow faster, mow it during this moon phase.

Moon Phase 3

In the moon’s third quarter, the one that immediately follows the full moon, the gravitational pull is high but the amount of moonlight is diminishing. This means that there is plenty of water in the soil but the decreasing light puts energy in the roots.

During this quarter, you should plant your root crops such as carrots, beets, potatoes and onions. If you’re planting biennials, perennials or bulbs, or transplanting your seedlings, this is a good time to do it because of good root growth. You can prune during this phase, too.

Moon Phase 4

During the fourth quarter of the moon, the gravitational pull is decreasing and so is the moonlight. This is considered a resting period by most farmers. It’s the best time to harvest, transplant and prune. Moon phase four is also when you should mow your lawn if you want to slow down the grass growth so that you don’t have to mow so often.

As you can see, there is actual science behind the old farmer’s practice of using lunar planting cycles. We hope that we’ve enlightened you a bit about the process. If you have any experience with moon cycles and gardening, we’d love to hear your stories in the comments section below!


Source :




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How To Generate Energy In The Desert


When people think of deserts, they picture extremely dry terrains with intolerable heat in the day that is quickly changed to extremely cold temperatures at night.

Despite this harsh environment, some energy generating methods may work better than others. Actually, electricity can be generated in these areas regardless of whether there is a crisis or not.

Bear in mind, however, that along with any given crisis situation, you will also have to account for characteristics of the land and its inhabitants.

Be Aware About the Risks!

Large scale solar power is a key to energy independence here in the United States, and desert areas seem to be the best place for solar panels and equipment. But those with an interest in off gridding and survival also get led the wrong way.

There are many problems you might go into when trying to generate power in the desert:

High Temperatures Increase Risk of Fire

Motors, gears, engines, and other machines all generate heat as one surface moves against another one, in locations where temperatures are already high, which means they will catch fire much faster. Solar panels in the desert lead to endless numbers of massive fires that kill off habitats and spell immense levels of danger to anyone living near them.

Military bases located near the panels have also complained about how excess heat from large scale solar interferes with planes landing and taking off. At the personal, survivor level, a solar cooker may work really well, but you will also have to keep the temperature from going too high.

Small scale, home based solar panels are also known to come with an increased fire risk, which means more water may be required than you will be able to obtain in a desert setting.

Not Enough Water

To generate electricity using heat from solar installations will take large amounts of water. In fact, it is estimated that large scale solar installations use almost as much water as refining crude and fracking. Cattle, horses, and all kinds of wild animals die because there is not enough water in the desert for both the use of solar power and sustaining living organisms.

Poisonous snakes are plentiful in desert. No matter whether you use a wind turbine, solar panels, or other devices, rest assured that rattlers and other poisonous snakes will be drawn to your home and power generating facilities. Never forget that many snakes can also burrow underground and pose other hazards as you try to build or maintain both large and small scale power generating equipment.

Sand and Sandstorms May Ruin Equipment

Sand is a highly abrasive and can easily damage wind turbine blades and just about anything else. In addition, sand particles can easily clog up motors and just about anything else that works best when free of dust and debris. All kinds of equipment (including battery systems and generators) need special protection to work properly in a desert environment.

High Variance in Temperatures

High variance in temperatures will make it difficult to use body power generation systems. No matter whether it is too hot to move around during the day hours or too cold at night, even a lightweight system will prove virtually useless in a desert setting.

The Hidden Advantages

As with any other terrain and situation, there are things that can make the desert a kind of place where you may feel that challenges are outweighed by the problems you will encounter. Here are some of them:

  • Contrary to popular belief, desert areas do not get more sun than other areas. The terrain and temperatures are so inhospitable, the human population is very low. If you can manage to live comfortably there, you won’t be as concerned about defending your power generating equipment from thieves.
  • In most scenarios, your first instincts include trying to harness solar or wind power, and unlike other areas, you’ll have very few tall objects to compete with. Even though the amount of sun and wind reaching the desert is the same as everywhere else, you will actually have a much easier time accessing it.
  • Passive heating and cooling systems can be turned into power generators with less effort. Since temperatures vary extensively in a 24 hour period, you can use the transition points for a number of applications that would not work as well in other settings.
  • Overall, you’ll need to generate less energy than in other settings. Cooking can easily be accomplished without using electricity or conventional fuels, and you may not need conventional fuel, electricity to heat for cooling the buildings. Outside of medical, communication devices, and refrigeration for foods, there will be very little need for large amounts of electricity in a desert setting, which means that smaller scale DIY based electricity generating systems may work perfectly in this setting.
  • Minimal corrosion and rust. When you have motors and other metallic objects, one of your greatest problems will be the development of rust and other forms of corrosion. In a desert setting, motors and other objects of metal will rarely, if ever rust out. Just remember that flying bits of sand can still damage equipment, and that you’ll still have maintain your system from being ruined.

5 Small Scale Power Systems

Solar panels and wind turbines are primitive at best, cost a lot of money, and may not withstand the test of time let alone be capable of producing electricity after a major crisis. On the other hand, newer devices with fewer moving parts and degradable materials may well work in desert.

While some of these technologies may not yet be available to consumers, keep them in mind and see what becomes available as time goes by.

Thermocoupling or Heat Junction Systems

Basically, these systems generate electricity when heat moves from a warmer substance to a cooler one. In this case, as the energy moves from one substance to another, it also generates an electrical charge. For example, you can take copper and iron wires and generate electricity when heat transfers from one metal to the other.

Steam Generators

Since deserts offer higher temperatures, generating steam can be done on small scale levels and be successful. You can use something as simple as a modified solar oven to heat up water, or use more complex systems based on large scale technologies. Your next step will be to use the steam blasts to turn a turbine, which will have magnets attached to it.

As the turbine spins, the magnets will also spin and cause electricity to flow in a nearby coil. Just remember that water is limited in the desert, so you will have to make sure that you can conserve and reuse what you have in the system as much as possible.

Air Based Generators

Simply heating up air will not work the same way as converting from water to steam. Even though heating up air causes it to expand, the force generated is not as much as you can get with steam because vaporized water is still denser than air.

To take advantage of air pressure, it is much easier to simply take air at lower temperatures, compress it, and then release it through a nozzle. If you are interested in using a pneumatic type of system, combine gravity operated motors to compress the air, and then release it onto a lightweight turbine.


This is a fairly new technology that relies on nano particles and strands to create ultrathin pieces of matter.

For example, zinc dioxide, can be shaped into very thin hairs that will behave differently than large quantities of the same material. Zinc Oxide at the nano level will push electrons along a nano wire instead of releasing heat when the wires are placed in a silicon aerogel.

While this research is very much in its infancy, there are many other materials, including low viscosity liquids that might be made into sandwich layers that might function like zinc oxide and silicon. Unfortunately, we actually know very little about all of the materials that are available in a desert environment as well as how they may be used in a similar fashion.

Rubber Band Heat Engine

One of the most fascinating things in a desert terrain is just how much of a temperature difference there is between areas exposed to the sun and those in the shade. With a minimal amount of effort, you can use that temperature difference to drive a rubber band heat engine.

You can generate a bit of extra heat using a solar cooker, or keeping some other heat retainer near the end of the wheel where the rubber band is supposed to contract. As with other power generation methods, you will always seek to convert this spinning energy into electricity using magnets and coils.

Video first seen on Dan Bruton.

Large Scale Systems You Can Build

Solar Power

Unless you have a fairly large group of people that require electricity, large scale solar systems would cost more than they are worth in a desert setting. For example, if you choose to try and build or maintain solar panels, the glare from them will easily capture attention for miles around.

This can spell disaster in the post crisis world, as well in the pre-crisis world where there is a constant push to prevent people from living off the grid.

Wind Power

Aside from wind turbines that require towers, there are some new turbines that can sit close to the ground. You could learn more about wind turbines that produce power when a pole is shaken. No matter whether sand or wind hits the pole, it will still generate electricity from the motion.

Hydroelectric Power

If you live in an area where you can get water from the ocean or another large body of water, it may be possible to generate power by transporting that water through underground pipes that house turbines at certain intervals.

This particular system is already being used in Israel, and even at low flow levels, produces about half the power of a hydroelectric dam. Just search for the Leviathan Hydroelectric project and give some thought to how it might work in a desert region closer to home.

If you are planning on building a bug out location in desert terrain, this may be even more incentive to establish yourself near a body of water.

Some desert regions have as much, if not more water flowing beneath the surface than you would find in other areas. Before purchasing land or deciding on any given area, be sure to study the water tables so that you know how deep you would have to drill for water.

If you happen to find a place with plenty of water, it may just be possible to create a pipe system that will generate more power with less problems than you would encounter with wind or solar generation methods.

Alternatives to Electricity

While generating electricity may be more of a challenge than expected in a desert environment, there are still many alternatives that will not work as well in other regions. For example, passive heating and cooling systems in a desert setting work well because of the rapid change in temperature between shade and full sun as well as between day and night.

Here are some other things you can use in a desert that may work better here than in other climates:

Solar Cooking and Cooling Devices

In most areas, your ability to use solar cookers during the day and solar coolers at night will depend on clear skies. Since it rarely rains in the desert, there are also very few cloudy days to worry about. As such, you can build both smaller and larger scale solar cookers to meet your food preparation needs.

You can also achieve good temperature reduction at night by simply aiming the solar collector at a clear area of sky.

Water Purification

In most settings, you will always be looking for enough fuel to purify water. On the other hand, in a desert setting, full sunlight can easily kill off any bacteria in the water in a minimal amount of time. If you need to distill the water in order to remove heavy metals or other chemical contaminants, you will also have plenty of heat available for this task.

Evaporative Refrigeration

The ability of Zeer pots to cool off materials in the inner chamber depends on how much water can be moved from the inner area to the outer one. Since desert air is very hot and dry, you will actually achieve a greater cooling effect than you would in cooler, moister climates.

You can also expand on this design to take advantage of other materials that wick water easily in order to build larger refrigerator units.

Solar Lenses

When you need to concentrate heat for cooking, purifying water, or some other task, you may not be willing to wait an hour or more for the appropriate temperature to be reached. There are many lenses on the market that are designed to harness sunlight to produce several hundred degrees of heat in a matter of minutes.

Just be sure to operate these lenses in areas where they will not create fires. Even a low-grade magnifying glass can start fires in much cooler temperatures.

Food Storage Alternatives

The heat of a desert setting is more than enough to cause many different kinds of foods to spoil. On the other hand, there is nothing quite like hot, dry desert air for drying foods. No matter whether you grow fruits and vegetables indoors or hunt the for meat, all of these foods can be easily preserved by simply laying them out to dry.

Individuals that use electric food driers and other gadgets are sure to be surprised at how much better the foods taste, as well as how much easier the process is.

Obtaining Water

You will more than likely need an electric water pump if you have a well in the desert. Since these wells may go down several hundred to several thousands feet, a hand pump may not be a viable option. You could also have a pond or other nearby source of surface level water to draw water from with a ram pump or Archimedes Screw.

Or you could have a system that can draw water from the air, but it’s not likely to draw enough to meet your needs.

Under the circumstances, keep in mind a few things when obtaining water without using electricity:

  • making sure that any and all water is used and reused as much as possible, including taking waste water and dumping it into a sand pit during the early morning hours. Next place plastic over the pit with a rock in the center of the plastic. You can capture clean water in a pot or bucket as the moisture evaporates and hits the plastic instead of escaping into the air.
  • Setting up rain barrels and cisterns that can be used to capture any rain that does happen to fall. You can also set up large tarps so that you cover as much area as possible. Rains in the desert tend to be very intense, and they will also depart as quickly as they arrive. As such, you will need to capture the water quickly, and then store it in a location where it will not evaporate before you have a chance to use it. You will still need to purify the water before you use it in order to make sure it is as clean as possible.

Generating power in a desert setting will come with many challenges. If you find yourself in the desert and know that you must survive there for some time, there is no reason for your life and well-being to be threatened by lack of electricity.

You can take advantage of many alternatives to using power that may be impractical or far less feasible in other settings.

What Is A Liberty Generator?

The Liberty Generator is an efficient biogas generator that produces power using biogas, that is used for cooking, lighting & heating homes and buildings, power for running farm equipment, and even for transportation purposes.

Check Out The Best & Most Affordable Biogas Generator Plans!

Now imagine, what if you could cut your electricity bill a lot? So much so that it actually makes a difference in your personal economy. Because let’s face it, a lot of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck. That means every dollar saved makes a huge difference. That’s more money in your pocket. Everyone would agree that would be awesome, right?

So for those of you who are looking to have a biogas generator to generate your own power, what if you could build a biogas generator for less than a hundred dollars? In fact, much less than you think? Because many times, we assume that it would be expensive to build a biogas generator for our own home use.

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.

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Perennial vegetables—crops that you plant just once and harvest year after year—are relatively rare in North American gardens.

With the exception of asparagus, rhubarb and artichokes, most gardeners are probably unaware of the tasty, extremely low-maintenance bounty that can be harvested when many annual crops aren’t available.

A Brief History of Perennial Crops

According to Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier, most North American gardening and farming traditions come from Europe, where there are very few perennial crops except fruits and nuts.

Cold and temperate Eurasian agriculture centered around livestock, annual grains and legumes, and early European settlers to North America simply brought their seeds and their cultivation methods with them, including draft animals for plowing up the soil every year.

However, in more temperate and tropical areas of the world, including much of North America, perennial root, starch and fruit crops were actively bred, selected and cultivated. These perennial crops were favored perhaps because they require less work to grow, and lacking large domesticated draft animals, only hand tools were available for farming.

Whatever the origin of our neglect of these amazing plants, we shouldn’t ignore these useful and productive foods any longer. Perennial vegetables should be much more widely available, especially because, compared to annual crops, they tend to be more nutritious, easier to grow, more ecologically beneficial, and less dependent on water and other inputs.

Benefits of Perennial Vegetables

SaveSmall Footprint FamilyWith the exception of asparagus, rhubarb and artichokes, most gardeners are unaware of the tasty, nutritious bounty that perennial vegetables can offer. Try these 20 perennial veggies for a bounty of food year after year!1332Small Footprint FamilyOrganic Gardening & Homesteading

Perennial Vegetables are Low Maintenance

Imagine growing vegetables that require just about the same amount of care as perennial flowers and shrubs—no annual tilling and planting. They thrive and produce abundant and nutritious crops throughout the season. Once established in the proper site and climate, perennial vegetables planted can be virtually indestructible despite neglect. Established perennials are often more resistant to pests, diseases, drought and weeds, too.

In fact, some perennials are so good at taking care of themselves that they require frequent harvesting to prevent them from becoming weeds themselves! The ease of cultivation and high yield is arguably the best reason for growing them.

Perennial Vegetables Extend the Harvest

Perennial vegetables often have different seasons of availability from annuals, which provides more food throughout the year. While you are transplanting tiny annual seedlings into your vegetable garden or waiting out the mid-summer heat, many perennials are already growing strong or ready to harvest.

Perennial Vegetables Can Perform Multiple Garden Functions

Many perennial vegetables are also beautiful, ornamental plants that can enhance your landscape. Others can function as hedges, groundcovers or erosion control for slopes. Other perennial veggies provide fertilizer to themselves and their neighboring plants by fixing nitrogen in the soil. Some can provide habitat for beneficial insects and pollinators, while others can climb trellises and provide shade for other crops.

Perennial Vegetables Help Build Soil

Perennial crops are simply amazing for the soil. Because they don’t need to be tilled, perennials help foster a healthy and intact soil food web, including providing habitat for a huge number of animals, fungi and other important soil life.

When well mulched, perennials improve the soil’s structure, organic matter, porosity and water-holding capacity.

Perennial vegetable gardens build soil the way nature intended by allowing the plants to naturally add more and more organic matter to the soil through the slow and stead decomposition of their leaves and roots. As they mature, they also help build topsoil and sequester atmospheric carbon.

Word of the day: Prepare! And do it the old fashion way, like our fore-fathers did it and succeed long before us, because what lies ahead of us will require all the help we can get. Watch this video and learn the 3 skills that ensured our ancestors survival in hard times of famine and war.

Drawbacks of Perennial Vegetables

  • Some perennial vegetables are slow to establish and may take several years to grow before they begin to yield well. (Asparagus is a good example of this.)
  • Like many annuals, some perennial greens become bitter once they flower, therefore they are only available very early in the season.
  • Some perennials have strong flavors which many Americans are unaccustomed to.
  • Some perennials are so low-maintenance that they can quickly become weeds and overtake your garden, or escape and naturalize in your neighborhood. (Daylilies are a good example of this.)
  • Perennials vegetables need to be careful placed into a permanent place in your garden, and will have to be maintained separately from your annual crops.
  • Perennials have special pest and disease challenges because you can’t use crop rotation to minimize problems. Once some perennials catch a disease, they often have it forever, and need to be replaced.

Perennials Grown As Annuals

Some perennial crops are grown as annuals because they are easier to care for that way. For example, potatoes are technically perennials, but we grow them as annuals because pests and disease pressure in North America requires us to rotate potatoes often.

On the other hand, some plants we grow as annuals do quite well as perennials, like kale.

Cultivating Perennial Vegetables

One way to incorporate perennial veggies into your garden is to expand the edges of an already established garden. Simple extend an existing garden bed by 3 or 4 feet and plant a border of perennials there.

Or, if you already grow a perennial ornamental border or foundation shrubs, consider integrating some perennial vegetables, such as sea kale or sorrel. Many have attractive leaves or flowers to enhance the landscape.

You can also take advantage of currently unused areas of your landscape, matching the conditions to the appropriate perennial. There are some perennials, like wild leeks, that will grow in shady, wet or cool conditions where you couldn’t ordinarily grow food!

If you’re already growing perennial vegetables and want to take your garden or homestead to the next level, consider Permaculture gardening.

By imitating nature’s ecosystems, this approach promotes greater partnerships between plants, soil, insects and wildlife. In Permaculture designs, edible vegetables, herbs, fruiting shrubs and vines grow as an understory to taller fruit and nut trees. This technique is sometimes called “layering” or building a “guild.”

Layers or Guilds need to be built over a couple of years. In the first year, plant fruit trees as the outposts around your property. That same year and over the next several years, use sheet mulching to prepare planting areas beneath the trees for the understory plants. Sheet mulch a 2- to 3-foot-radius around each fruit tree the first year and gradually increase the mulched area as the trees grow.

After the first year, you can begin planting the mulched area with perennial vegetables, fruiting shrubs and vines. (For more on this method, see Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture.)

20 Perennial Vegetables for North American Gardens

perennial-vegetables-bookThere are many perennials crops that are known and loved by gardeners everywhere, including these ten common ones:

  1. raspberries, blueberries and other berry bushes
  2. asparagus
  3. rhubarb
  4. kale (usually grown as an annual)
  5. garlic (usually grown as an annual)
  6. radicchio (usually grown as an annual)
  7. horseradish
  8. globe artichokes
  9. lovage
  10. watercress

But there are actually hundreds of perennial fruits and vegetables that will grow in temperate and warm climates like are found in North America!

Perennial Vegetables by Eric Toensmeier is the undisputed bible on this subject. With 241 full-color pages covering over 100 perennial crops that you can grow at home, you will be amazed and inspired to try something new in your garden every Spring!

For each plant, this gorgeous softcover reference includes range maps, color photos, climate and historical information, complete instructions for how to raise, tend and harvest, and even recipes and cooking ideas.

Perennial vegetables make the perfect complement to annuals in the garden, and this book will show you lots of ways to incorporate them into both your landscape and pantry.

Here are ten delicious, easy-to-grow perennial vegetables you may not know about yet. I’ve selected these from among dozens of perennial vegetables carefully described in Perennial Vegetables for taste, ease of cultivation and cooking, and broadest climate range.

Some of the following perennials grow wild in many parts of North America, but because they are over-harvested or they grow in fragile landscapes, it is usually better and more reliable to cultivate your own patch at home. That way you can also plant special cultivars of these wild edibles, carefully selected for taste and adapted for garden conditions. (See nursery list in Resources, below.)

No gardener or homesteader serious about growing their own food should be without some of these perennials in their landscape!

11. Bunching or Egyptian Onions

Egyptian Walking Onions
Egyptian Walking Onions

Some types of onions, such as the fall-planted bunching and Egyptian onions, continue to produce new onions even when some are harvested. The Egyptian onion (Allium cepavar. viviparum) produces small bulbils at the top of its stalk in late summer. You can use these tiny onions as they are, or plant them in the fall to grow more Egyptian onions. Zones 4-8.

12. Daylilies

As any gardener will tell you, daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) thrive on neglect. So much so, they have naturalized across the United States. While they are primarily grown as ornamentals in North America, they are grown as a vegetable in Asia, harvested for their daily profusion of flower buds, which are used like green beans. The flowers themselves are served in salads or battered and fried. Zones 2-10.

13. Good King Henry

Good King Henry

Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus) is a traditional European vegetable known for its tasty shoots, leaves and flower buds. This spinach relative grows in full sun or partial shade and moist, well-drained soil. Harvest the tender shoots in spring. Hardy to Zone 3.

14. Groundnut

Native to eastern North America, groundnut (Apios Americana) is a nitrogen-fixing, 6-foot vine that bears high-protein tubers that taste like nutty-flavored potatoes. Grow groundnut vines near a shrub (as support) in a moist site that receives full sun or partial shade. Harvest in fall. Hardy to Zone 3.

15. Jerusalem Artichoke


In the same family as sunflowers, Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus, also called sunchokes) are grown for their underground tubers. You can eat them raw or cooked like potatoes. Their charming yellow flowers attract beneficial insects to the garden.

Jerusalem artichokes are vigorous plants that spread by underground rhizomes and may become difficult to eradicate. Some gardeners consider them invasive. Zones 4-9.

16. Ostrich Fern

Many gardeners grow Ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) for their ornamental value, not realizing that they can be grown for their delicious, early Spring fiddleheads, which are a coveted delicacy in fine dining restaurants nationwide. (Fiddleheads pictured at the top.) They love cool, shady spots and are very hardy from Zones 2-8.

17. Ramps or Wild Leeks

Ramps are an onion relative (Allium tricoccum) that grows wild in deciduous forests east of the Mississippi, emerging every Spring. They are a local delicacy that many people forage from the wild. How much easier to simply grow your own? Leaves and bulbs are both edible. Grow in a shady border in moist loam, or naturalize beneath trees. Hardy to Zone 4.

18. Scarlet Runner Beans

Scarlet Runner Beans
Scarlet Runner Beans

Scarlet runner beans (Phaseolus coccineus)are usually grown as ornamentals in most people’s gardens, but they are quite edible and nutritious, both as green beans and, later, as dried beans. The flowers, young leaves and tubers are also edible when cooked.

Some Scarlet Runner beans plants have been known to live 20 or more years, practically taking over a garden! Hardy to Zone 4.

19. Sea Kale

Sea Kale (Crambe maritime) is sometimes grown as an ornamental for its gray-blue leaves and white flowers on 3-foot-tall plants. The shoots, young leaves and flowers are edible, too. Hardy to Zone 4.

20. Sorrel

French Sorrel

Sorrel is a perennial herb with tart, lemon-flavored leaves used for soups, stews, salads, and sauces. The two main sorrels grown are common sorrel, Rumex acetosa, and French sorrel, Rumex scutatus. They are relatives of rhubarb, and the leaves contain small amounts of oxalic acid that’s not harmful when consumed in small quantities, (unless you are sensitive to oxalates).

Sorrel tastes best in early spring; it becomes bitter as the weather warms. It’s a delicacy that is hard to find in markets because it wilts shortly after harvest. Garden sorrel is hardy to Zone 5; French sorrel is hardy to Zone 6.


Perennial seeds and plants can be hard to find, depending on where you live. Here are some resources to get you started.

What perennial vegetables do you grow? Let us know in the comments!


What happens if we lose power indefinitely — foods that require freezing or refrigeration for long term storage are going to go bad? Emergency food storage in advance will be the only way to feed yourself and your family.


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How To Make Hens Lay More Eggs In The Summer

Unless you live in the far Northern United States (and sometimes even then), summer can be absolutely sweltering.

When temperatures soar to the high eighties or above, nobody really wants to do anything that doesn’t involve a pool or river, a grill, and a cold drink. So it’s no surprise your chickens may not lay as many eggs, either.

Let’s take a minute to think about what summer means. Family time, fun-in-the-sun time, picnics, and grilling. That means deviled eggs, macaroni and potato salads, cupcakes, ice cream, and custard pies.

Well, you’re gonna need eggs, so maybe we should talk about what it’s going to take to keep your feathery ladies laying.

Chickens have a tough time when it gets hot for a couple of reasons. Obviously, they’re wearing a feather-tick coat all year round. Also, they have a higher body temperature than we do, about 103 degrees, so they’re more heat-sensitive than we are, and thus more prone to heat stroke. If you notice your hens becoming lethargic, or even worse, panting, they’re overheated and you need to take care of that quickly.

Unfortunately, chickens don’t come with instruction manuals, and there’s a learning curve, Fortunately, there are many ways that you can help your hens stay happy – and happy hens make yummy eggs.


Just like us, chickens need plenty of water in the summer – it takes ten ounces of water to make one egg. Par for the course, they’re a little pickier about it than we are. They don’t care for warm water and they won’t come out of the shade to get it. Change out their water in the morning and the evening, and even at noon if you can and make sure that it’s in the shade and readily accessible to your girls.

And just a tip – add a tablespoon or two of unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to their water. It has much of the same benefits for them as it does for us, and it also helps them retain calcium, which will make the eggshells stronger.

Bonus tip – have a couple back-up waterers and fill them halfway with water, then freeze it. When you’re ready to use it, fill it up with water, and you’re good to go – poof – ice water for the ladies.

Provide Shade for Your Chickens

Your girls will likely want to get out of the coop but they won’t want to hang out in the sun for long.

Provide plenty of shady areas by using tarps or even the picnic tents. They’ll appreciate it.

Oh, and if you have a barn and your girls are loose, don’t be surprised to find them in there – it’s cool and there’s likely both grain and a place to take a dirt bath!

It’s hen summer heaven!


Add a Fan to Keep Chickens Cool

Your coop is kind of tough – it’s critical that it’s warm and cozy in the winter, but it needs to be cool in the summer. Open up the vents and set up a fan so that it’s blowing through and keeping a breeze going.

This will also help keep the coop ventilated and smelling a little less chicken-y. Even if your coop is cleaned well on a regular basis, it doesn’t take long for the ammonia to smell in the heat.

Hose Down the Coop

Running cold hose water over the roof of the coop will help cool it down. You can use a mister, too.

Remember that chickens aren’t fans of being wet. Shade such as trees is a good thing to keep in mind when you build your coop because it will help keep your coop cool in the summer and will shield it a bit from the weather in the summer.

Dirt Bath

Chickens love to roll around in the dirt – it’s actually how they bathe. It keeps their skin and feathers clean and helps prevent parasites. Diatomaceous earth and sand make a great combination, so put it in the shade so that they can cool down while bathing.

Feed Your Hens Correctly

Just as with any other time of year, if you want your hens to lay, you have to adapt to meet their feeding needs in the summer.

Since they have a harder time maintaining their body temperatures that we do, we need to give them a little help by eliminating corn from their scratch. They need it in the summer because the extra energy helps keep them warm, but skip it in the summer.

Also, make sure that they have plenty of oyster shells or crushed egg shells and grit in addition to good quality layer feed. Make it as easy for them as you can. You don’t have to spend a fortune, but you do want to make sure they have what they need.

One tip – if your hens get fat, they may quit laying, so keep an eye out for that too.

Decrease Stress in Your Hens

We all know that hens can be a bit scattered and that they like things a certain way.

Summer is hot and it’s a time when the kids, along with the neighbor kids, are outside playing, we may be doing more outside such as mowing the grass, barbequing, or just enjoying summer, and then of course it’s hot. All of this amounts to a ton of stress for your hens.

And what happens when hens get stressed? That’s right – they take it out on us by withholding our deviled eggs. Therefore, we need to make sure that we remove as many stressors as possible. Make sure their water is cool, try to keep the noise down in the yard, or at least keep them fenced off from it and give them a place to go (probably the coop) to relax.

Refreshing Treats and Scratch

Summer is a time for delicious salads, juicy melons, and barbeques. Don’t leave the girls out! Throw them the leftovers – there’s very little that humans eat that chickens can’t. For some reason, people are often surprised that we throw the steak and burger scraps to them, but they do love meat, and will often choose it first.

And then there are the fruits and veggies – cucumbers and watermelon are two good ones, but leave them whole to keep the water in longer. Oh, and you can always freeze the scratch, too. Clean out your freezer. That frozen bag of green beans that’s been in there forever? They’ll love it!

Choose the Right Breed

There are several breeds of chicken that are particularly suited to hot weather, and to cold for that matter, so do the research on your area when you decide to raise chickens.

It’s natural for a chicken to lay in the spring and summer because that’s when they’re naturally reproducing, so until you get to late summer, Mother Nature is working in your favor. Still, summer does present numerous unique challenges for hens that aren’t just free-range laying in the wild. That’s why it’s so important to take the steps necessary to the ladies happy!

Raising chickens is one simple way to provide the best, nutritious foods that will not only keep you healthy, but make your body strong and virtually bullet-proof against diseases or the toxic food that’s being shoved down our throats. Take the chance to grow your own food instead of spending hundreds of dollars at the grocery store!


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Saving our forefathers ways starts with people like you and me actually relearning these skills and putting them to use to live better lives through good times and bad. Our answers on these lost skills comes straight from the source, from old forgotten classic books written by past generations, and from first hand witness accounts from the past few hundred years. Aside from a precious few who have gone out of their way to learn basic survival skills, most of us today would be utterly hopeless if we were plopped in the middle of a forest or jungle and suddenly forced to fend for ourselves using only the resources around us. To our ancient ancestors, we’d appear as helpless as babies. In short, our forefathers lived more simply than most people today are willing to live and that is why they survived with no grocery store, no cheap oil, no cars, no electricity, and no running water. Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available. It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones. Watch the video HERE

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Sleep Deprivation in a Survival Situation

Sleep deprivation simply put is a condition where you do not receive enough sleep. Many of you may naturally believe you never get enough sleep, but sleep deprivation in the extreme can mean the difference between surviving and not in some situations. Poor sleeping habits are not the same as being totally deprived of sleep however.

Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation

  • Hallucinations,
  • Confusion
  • Loss of memory
  • Hand tremors
  • Headaches
  • Increases in blood pressure
  • Elevated stress hormone levels
  • Extreme irritability

The complete absence of sleep over an extended period is impossible for humans. People will fall asleep while driving, working with dangerous machinery and at other times where attentiveness is paramount to your survival.

Your body will simply cause you to fall asleep unless there is a medical condition that prevents you from sleeping. You will essentially “pass out” once you have been deprived of sleep for an extended period.

Lack of sleep will affect the brain and cognitive functions making it impossible to make rational decisions if you can make any at all.

Depriving a person of sleep has been used as an interrogation method and is considered torture by many. Typically, a person is kept awake for days by playing loud music, with random and constant interruptions, harsh lighting and forcing a person to stand, sit or kneel in positions not conducive to sleeping.

Sleep Deprivation While Lost or Stranded

The darkness is made for sleeping and you as a human have an internal clock that tells you when it is time to sleep based on the position of the sun. It does not matter whether the sun is visible or not, you could be in a sealed room and your body still tracks the cycle.

Along with the darkness come dangers, colder temperatures and possibly worst of all, fear of the unknown. This causes some not to be able to sleep, especially if you find yourself lost or stranded in the wilderness. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors took to the trees and caves when it became dark as a way of protecting themselves from predators that call the night their own.

This is one-reason humans feel an overwhelming desire for shelter at night and even with shelter, many find they cannot sleep because of real or perceived dangers. Our mind tells us danger lurks in the dark and even though well sheltered, the fear keeps people awake.

If you are not sleeping at night in a survival situation this means you will be sleeping during the day when you should be performing life sustaining tasks like hunting, shelter building or maintenance and collecting safe water, none of these tasks can be performed at night safely or effectively.

Some medical experts claim that a lack of sleep (between 17 and 22 hours) can have the same effect on the body as having an alcohol level of .05 to .08 percent. This adds new meaning to the term “drunken stupor” (BMJ).

Lack of sleep means you may be making bad decisions that can have life altering consequences. You can develop hypothermia or become dehydrated and not be aware of it because of your lack of mental acuity. Not knowing something is wrong or dangerous means you are not taking actions to correct the situation.

You are likely to become incapable of putting things into the proper perspective and you will lack the ability to take appropriate actions that will save your life.

Using an axe or knife or working around water or near cliffs or drop offs can cause you serious harm if you are fighting sleep.

Sleep Is an Important Survival Skill

If you cannot master sleep, you may not survive. The reasons why you cannot sleep are complex but as stated earlier it may have much to do with fear of what is there in the darkness, or simply very uncomfortable sleeping conditions. The reasons for lack of sleep when it is dark out can be reduced if not eliminated with a little common sense and some sensible preparations before setting out on your outdoor adventure.

The need for shelter is not only instinctive it is vital, and thus the location is important to help reduce the fear of predators and those dangerous and not so dangerous creatures that crawl along the ground. Humans simply cannot rest peacefully when they imagine things may begin crawling all over them. Some things that crawl can be dangerous, so it is important to address these issues before sleeping.

Elevated sleeping platforms can reduce the fear and the reality of crawling insects or reptiles invading your sleeping space. It will not eliminate them but knowing you are somewhat shielded has a great psychological effect. Make your shelter predator proof by using stout saplings or thorn bushes or thistles.

Predators want the easy meals and humans have never been an easy or even a desirable meal for most predators. People are killed by predators but rarely because the animal wanted to dine. Mostly people are in the way of the predator, have invaded their hunting grounds or the animal fears a person is a threat to their offspring. Make it difficult for the predators and they may very well look elsewhere.

Fire is a savior not only for practical reasons but for psychological ones as well. Knowing fire will repel insects and predators alike will go along ways toward a better night’s sleep than you normally would expect.

Adequate shelter is why being prepared for any situation is important. You must have good shelter material with you and the tools to build one from materials in your environment.

Stay hydrated and nourished for a better night’s sleep as well. Food is not always available even if you think the woods is teeming with game, so it is important that your survival pack have at least a 72-hour supply. If you think you have three days worth, you can ration it to last up to six or seven days, never ration your water though.

Sleep deprivation can be fatal in a survival situation so it is important you are aware of the effects. You need to be prepared by having the knowledge and skill sets along with the supplies and materials needed to ensure you can get a good night’s sleep in any environment.

As some of you may already know in today’s world a good night sleep can be anything but natural and you may actually have to work at it to achieve the much-needed sleep.


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Other Survival Solutions(This are the most reliable survival books that you can find)