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Survival Gardening

I would like to recommend, considering that the growing time of year is upon us, a book by Mel Bartholomew titled, “All New Square Foot Gardening”. I got mine on eBay.  In it he lays out exactly how to compost, how to build the structures you need for various square foot methods of gardening and a lot of good advice.

I realize we are being cautioned about NOT gardening in the open due to the current radiation scare however, for those of us who are far removed from the coast line and who have only a limited amount of growing season, we are going to have to do the best we can. Sturdy greenhouses with secondary grow light systems and ample irrigation would be the way to go if you can afford them and if they will stand up to your local weather. Finding an area inside your home or garage where you can set up a square foot garden with a grow light and wherein you can control the soil and the water, also ideal. Where we can’t, we must simply do the best that we can with what we have.

I, for one, do not intend to huddle inside foregoing the sunshine and the much less toxic oxygen of the outside, worrying for fear some possible exposure to the radiation currently emanating from Japan’s reactor crisis will poison me.  We’ve had these crises before (ie Chernobyl, Three Mile Island), been told how bad they were and how much we were in danger and yet, most of us have managed to muddle through. I do believe we will continue to do so now.

Feel free to post your suggestions, comments and photos/graphics regarding gardening. If I get enough interest in herbal gardening and medicinal uses, I will make another page devoted to that segment of Survival Gardening.

 

  1. Carolyn permalink*
    April 3, 2011 6:36 pm

    Have a friend wanting to know about filtering out fluoride from his rural tap water (not allowed to drill a well in his area). What kind of a system works best and doesn’t restrict the water flow? How about expanding your answer to include all those nasties that are in the water now – maybe even radiation?

    Edit

    • Holly V permalink
      April 4, 2011 4:12 pm

      Here’s a little info on flouride in water. I was specifically looking for the size of flouride molecules to see if they were filterable and found this website. With my limited knowledge of chemistry, it makes sense. Does anyone have the knowledge to know if this sounds feasible? I put the address up as well for further investigation.

      Ineffectiveness of Reverse Osmosis units
      Reverse Osmosis [RO] manufacturers’ claim they can remove fluoride. Don’t believe their claim$.

      RO units work on the same principle as our kidneys. Think of a mesh, like the mosquito netting on your screen door. The mesh lets in air, but not mosquitos, because air molecules are smaller than mosquitos.

      An RO unit is thus great for removing “heavy metals” like Pb (Lead), Hg (Mercury) and Cd (Cadmium), as well as Cl- family compounds like PCBs and PCP’s (Poly Chlorinated Phenyls and BiPhenyls) because these are all large molecules relative to the size of H2O. In fact, even Cl (the smallest of these) is relative large (molecular weight of 35 g/M) and so if the RO unit is new and it is well made (ie. with precision tolerances on the RO membrane) it might even filter out some of the Cl. Note the “ifs” and conditions in the last sentence.

      So, an RO unit will not filter out F atoms, as F atoms are too similar in size to H2O molecules.

      Equally Ineffective Distillation units
      Distillation units will also not work because similar sized polar molecules have similar boiling and freezing points.

      Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and FH boils at 203 to 239 degress Fahrenheit. So, when your distillation unit has warmed up the water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water starts to boil off (evaporate), *so* does the Fluoride! It stays right with the water vapor, and gets condensed back into liquid at the end of the process.

      So, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise and don’t trust those that do.

      http://www.just-think-it.com/no-f.htm

      Edit

      • Gary G permalink
        April 6, 2011 3:57 am

        So from all I am reading we are stuck with flouride in our water? I am just now researching the idea of AquaPonics. I would like to raise my own Tilapia, rather than get poor quality fish from farms in China and Vietnam. If I put my fish in tap water, how long does the flouride stay? Getting rid of Chlorine is easier. Or just let it evaporate out over several days. There is a lot of info. Just not always sure which is trustworthy, and which is just selling books. I also want to raise as many of my veggies as practical. That is another area of concern when you buy in the supermarket.

    1. melohawk60 permalink*
      April 6, 2011 1:52 pm

      Gary, check out the link at the end of HollyV’s post, specifically this part:

      “(2) Avoid it

      Note that I did not say “Remove it” because THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE contrary to what countless manufacturers are claiming. The key reasons why not: (1) Fluorine’s extreme reactiveness, causing it to “cling” more tightly to water than anything I am aware of, and (2) the size of the F atom.

      We have already dealt with one aspect of the Fluorine atom’s size — that it makes the atom extremely reactive.

      The second aspect of Fluorine can be revealed by comparing the weight of a “mole” (602,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms) of F to that of a mole of H2O (water). [To confirm the calculation, refer to the Periodic Table of the Elements graphic above.] F weighs 19 grams per mole (g/M), H2O weighs 18 g/M.

      Summoning another well known rule of chemistry, that the size of a molecule/atom is directly related to its molecular weight and we can infer that these two molecules are almost identical in size.

      INEFFECTIVENESS OF REVERSE OSMOSIS UNITS
      Reverse Osmosis [RO] manufacturers’ claim they can remove fluoride. Don’t believe their claim$.

      RO units work on the same principle as our kidneys. Think of a mesh, like the mosquito netting on your screen door. The mesh lets in air, but not mosquitos, because air molecules are smaller than mosquitos.

      An RO unit is thus great for removing “heavy metals” like Pb (Lead), Hg (Mercury) and Cd (Cadmium), as well as Cl- family compounds like PCBs and PCP’s (Poly Chlorinated Phenyls and BiPhenyls) because these are all large molecules relative to the size of H2O. In fact, even Cl (the smallest of these) is relative large (molecular weight of 35 g/M) and so if the RO unit is new and it is well made (ie. with precision tolerances on the RO membrane) it might even filter out some of the Cl. Note the “ifs” and conditions in the last sentence.

      So, an RO unit will not filter out F atoms, as F atoms are too similar in size to H2O molecules.

      EQUALLY INEFFECTIVE DISTILLATION UNITS
      Distillation units will also not work because similar sized polar molecules have similar boiling and freezing points.

      Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and FH boils at 203 to 239 degress Fahrenheit. So, when your distillation unit has warmed up the water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water starts to boil off (evaporate), *so* does the Fluoride! It stays right with the water vapor, and gets condensed back into liquid at the end of the process.

      So, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise and don’t trust those that do. ”

      That said, here is another site which promotes fluoride water filters : http://shop.friendsofwater.com/category.sc;jsessionid=1A387A439CA5AFAF8ADD1FD242016C08.qscstrfrnt03?categoryId=23&gclid=CI63l8yDiKgCFRRigwod8mXrpw

      It’s up to you what you want to believe and how much money you want to spend. As expensive as it looks to maintain some sort of filter mechanism for a tilapia farm/nursery it might be better to drill your own well. If the county won’t let you legally, maybe “discovering one” on your property that could be already grandfathered in might be the way to go ;)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2011 12:35 pm

    Just heard a farmer from Kenya, who was a guest on a local radio station, state that in his country they have to plant 3 seeds to get one to actually sprout. His said it was to insure “viability”. He also said that here in the US we only need to plant one. (Not much longer folks, seeing as how it is now being reported that GMO seeds aren’t germinating). GMOs have long been the imported seeds in Africa. The show host made no effort to ask WHY the guest felt there was a problem with seed viability, or WHY don’t they save seeds. He just let it go by.

    Also in order to have a radio show about farming in Kenya, they are required to have an actual licensed representative on air from the farming community in every area that the the program will be broadcast. (Can you say “big brother”?) I’m sure it is necessary to carefully watch what is said on air and what is really going on in the fields. The guest was very well versed in British English and seemed to have a good understanding of the local Oklahoma area. The radio host said that his guest was here to study how we were handling similar crops and the drought.

    Supposedly we got 1/10 of an inch on Easter Sunday. Not enough to do anything about the crops (very few farmers here waste well water on irrigation) but at least some of the fire danger is over.

  2. April 15, 2011 4:24 pm

    Western Oklahoma is experiencing drought conditions and winds that the locals are saying are as bad as the Dust Bowl of the 1930″s. The only reason the fields aren’t drying up and blowing away is because most all fields are planted with SOMETHING even if it’s only weeds.Wheat is dying and will be plowed under once tilling can be resumed (can’t in this wind). All flour products will become sky high in price as the shortage begins to be felt.

    I recommend learning what wild buckwheat looks like and harvesting it in the fall when it turns to that rust color. A food processor will grind it up into flour and it will store in a closed container in your fridge. Use it just like you would use flour for baking and you will have a hearty, healthful food. I haven’t tried it in gravies. You might want to use the second best thickening agent (I prefer flour) cornstarch for gravy – be aware that almost ALL cornstarch is from GMO engineered corn.

    • April 25, 2011 12:39 pm

      Found out last weekend that simple wheat flour makes an excellent coating for fried chicken and thickens gravy better than white flour. The taste, at least to me, is even better! Just season and use as you would normally. I use olive oil to fry the chicken so the gravy made from the same oil doesn’t coagulate and with the fat rising to the top.

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