The Organic Prepper: Ten Ways to Sow Revolution in Your Back Yard

Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper talks about the increasing government control of seeds and food, why gardening may become a revolutionary act, and why you must go to battle in Garden Rebels: 10 Ways to Sow Revolution in Your Back Yard.

Perhaps the next Revolutionary War will take place in a vegetable garden.

Instead of bullets, there will be seeds.  Instead of chemical warfare, there will be rainwater, carefully collected from the gutters of the house. Instead of soldiers in body armor and helmets, there will be back yard rebels, with bare feet, cut-off jean shorts, and wide-brimmed hats.  Instead of death, there will be life, sustained by a harvest of home-grown produce.  Children will be witness to these battles, but instead of being traumatized, they will be happy, grimy, and healthy, as they learn about the miracles that take place in a little plot of land or pot of dirt.

Every day, the big industries that run our nation take steps towards food totalitarianism.  They do so flying a standard of “sustainability” but what they are actually trying to sustain is NOT our natural resources, but their control.

One of the most inspiring, beautifully written articles that I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time is by  Julian Rose, a farmer, actor, activist, and writer. He wrote an article called Civil Disobedience or Death by Design and it is a “must-read” for anyone who believes in the importance of natural food sources:

“From now on, unless we cut free of obeisance to the centralised, totalitarian regimes whose takeover of our planet is almost complete, we will have only ourselves to blame. For we are complicit in allowing ourselves to become slaves of the Corporate State and its cyborg enforcement army. That is, if we continue to remain hypnotized by their antics instead of taking our destinies into our own hands and blocking or refusing to comply with their death warrants. This ‘refusal’ is possible. But it will only have the desired effect when, and if, it is contemporaneous with the birthing of the Divine warrior who sleeps in us all. The warrior who sleeps-on, like the besotted Rip Van Winkle in the Catskill mountains.” (source)

And it isn’t just industrialism that’s causing our issues. A supply chain disruption has been apparent in the US since people first cleared the shelves a year ago and while some things came back in stock, supplies are limited to this day.

Sustained into starvation

Does it sound dramatic to state that if things continue on their current path of “sustainability” that we are all going to die?  If you think I’m overstating this, read on.  It isn’t a stretch of the imagination to think that we are going to soon be “sustained” right into starvation via Agenda 21.

  • The European Union is in the process of criminalizing all seeds that are not “registered”.  This means that the centuries-old practice of saving seeds from one year to the next may soon be illegal.
  • Collecting rainwater is illegal in many states, and regulated in other states.  The United Nations, waving their overworked banner of “sustainability” is scheming to take over control of every drop of water on the globe.  In some countries, people who own wells are now being taxed and billed on the water coming from those sources.  Nestle has admitted that they believe all water should be privatized so that everyone has to pay for the life-giving liquid.
  •  Codex Alimentarius (Latin for “food code”) is a global set of standards created by the CA Commission, a body established by a branch or the United Nations back in 1963. As with all globally stated agendas, however, CA’s darker purpose is shielded by the feel-good words.  As the US begins to fall in line with the “standards” laid out by CA, healthful, nutritious food will be something that can only be purchased via some kind of black market of organically produced food.
  • Regulations abound in the 1200 page Food Safety Modernization Act that has put many small farmers out of business, while leaving us reliant on irradiated, chemically treated, genetically-modified “food”.

In the face of this attack on the agrarian way of life, the single, most meaningful act of resistance that any individual can perform is to use the old methods and grow his or her own food. Big banks are betting AGAINST the consumer and investing large sums of money in Big Agri before predicted shortages raise prices even more dramatically.

It’s time to become a producer instead of a consumer.

I often write about producing instead of merely consuming and in no subject is that more important than food. Growing your own food wields many weapons.

  • You are preserving your intelligence by refusing to ingest food doused in chemicals.  The pesticides that are liberally sprayed on food crops have been proven to lop off IQ points.
  • You are nourishing your body by feeding yourself real food.  Real food, unpasteurized, un-irradiated, with all of the nutrients intact, will provide you with a strong immune system and lower your risk of many chronic diseases.  As well, you won’t be eating the toxic additives that affect your body detrimentally.
  • You are not participating in funding Big Food, Big Agri, and Big Pharma when you grow your own food. Every bite of food that is NOT purchased via the grocery store is representative of money that does NOT go into the pockets of these companies who are interested only in their bottom lines. Those industries would be delighted if everyone was completely reliant on them.
  • You are not susceptible to control mechanisms and threats.  If you are able to provide for yourself, you need to give no quarter to those who would hold the specter of hunger over your head.  You don’t have to rely on anyone else to feed your family.

The ultimate act of rebellion is to feed yourself.

Consider every bite of food that you grow for your family to be an act of rebellion.

  1. If you live in the suburbs, plant every square inch of your yard.  Grow things vertically.  Use square foot gardening methods.  Make lovely beds of vegetables in the front yard.  Extend your growing seasons by using greenhouses and cold frames.  This way you can grow more than one crop per year in a limited amount of space.   Use raised bed gardening techniques like lasagna gardening to create rich soil.  If you have problems with your local government or HOA, go to the alternative media and plead your case in front of millions of readers.  We’ve got your back! Here are some tips for stealth gardening.
  2. If you live in the city or in an apartment, look into ways to adapt to your situation.  Grow a container garden on a sunny balcony, and don’t forget hanging baskets.  Grow herbs and lettuce in a bright window.  Set up a hydroponics system in a spare room (but look out for the SWAT team – they like to come after indoor tomato growers!)  Go even further and look into aquaponics. Create a little greenhouse with a grow light for year-round veggies.  Sprout seeds and legumes for a healthy addition to salads. Don’t forget community gardens either – they’re a great way to grow food and meet others with your interests. Here are some other tips for gardening without a yard.
  3. If you live in the country, go crazy.  Don’t just plant a garden – plant fields!  Grow vegetables and grains. Grow herbs, both culinary and medicinal.  Learn to forage if you have forests nearby.  Learn to use old-fashioned methods of composting, cover crops and natural amendments to create a thriving system.
  4. Raise micro-livestock.  The micro-livestock option may not work for everyone, but if you can, provide for some of your protein needs this way.  Raise chickens, small goats, and rabbits, for meat, eggs, and dairy.  If you are not a vegetarian, this is one of the most humane and ethical ways to provide these things for your family.  Be sure to care well for your animals and allow them freedom and natural food sources – this is far better than the horrible, nightmare-inducing lives that they live on factory farms.
  5. Use only heirloom seeds. We get all our seeds here. With heirloom seeds, you can save your seeds.  Learn the art of saving seeds from one season to the next.  Different seeds have different harvesting and storage requirements.
  6. Go organic.  Learn to use natural soil enhancers and non-toxic methods of getting rid of pests.  Plan it so that your garden is inviting to natural pollinators like bees and butterflies.  If you wouldn’t apply poison to your food while cooking it, don’t apply it to your food while growing it.
  7. Be prepared for some backlash.  The day may come when you face some issues from your municipal government.  Be prepared for this by understanding your local laws and doing your best to work within that framework. If you cannot work within the framework, know what your rights are and refuse to be bullied.  Call upon those in the alternative media who will sound the alarm.  Every single garden that comes under siege is worth defending. A Florida family finally won the right to garden in their front yard after years of harassment.
  8. Learn about permaculture.  Instead of buying pretty flowering plants for your yard, landscape with fruit trees (espaliering is a technique that works well in small spaces), berry bushes, and nut trees.  Permaculture can provide long-term food sources for your family.
  9. For the things you can’t grow yourself, buy local.  Especially if space is limited, you may not be able to grow every bite you eat by yourself.  For everything you can, buy local!  Buy shares in a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Visit your farmer’s market.  Shop at roadside stands.  Join a farming co-op.  Support agriculture in your region to help keep local farms in business.  (One note about farmer’s markets:  Some farmers markets allow people to sell produce that originates at the same wholesalers from which the grocery stores buy their produce.  I always try to develop a relationship with the farmers from whom I buy, and I like to know that what I’m buying actually came from their fields and not a warehouse.)
  10. Learn to preserve your food.  Again, go back to the old ways and learn to save your harvest for the winter.  Water bath canningpressure canning, dehydrating, and root cellaring are all low-tech methods of feeding your family year-round. Not only can you preserve your own harvest, but you can buy bushels of produce at the farmer’s market for a reduced price and preserve that too. Learn how to cook and preserve your fresh in-season produce here.  Learn all about food preservation in this 4-books-in-one guide. (My canning book is included.)

There is a food revolution brewing.

People who are educating themselves about Big Food, Big Agri, and the food safety sell-outs at the FDA are disgusted by what is going on. They are refusing to tolerate these attacks on our health and our lifestyles.

Firing a volley in this war doesn’t have to be bloody.  Resistance can begin as easily a planting one seed in a pot. It’s time to go to battle and declare your independence with a spade in one hand and some seeds in the other.

Yanasa Ama Ventures: Is a Global Famine Coming?

Yanasa Ama Ventures is a video company run by a ranching couple, focusing on agricultural, wildlife, and conservation videography. Besides offering such services, they also have a wide variety of ranch tutorial, tips, news and opinion pieces on their Youtube channel. Below they talk about a variety of food problems occurring across the globe, and what they may portend for the future. The novel coronavirus and its effect on global supply chains is pretty well known at this point, but there are a host of other issues as well. If you’re not keeping track, China is dealing with droughts, pestilence, and historic flooding, parts of Africa are dealing with droughts and locust plagues, and Russia has been limiting their exports of grains whether to protect domestic supply or for political power. Yanasa Ama talks about some of these topics in the video, as well as the effects of a solar minimum. You can also find articles like this one from NPR, saying there is no need to worry about food shortages, but it relies on computer models which say that because food supply has increased for many years, it will continue to increase for many years. While that may be true over time (much like holding stocks), it doesn’t account for bad years, or deny that there could be famine in some years.

“Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping’s call for an end to food waste is a sign that the communist country is facing a shortage of grains and pork after months of flooding, insect infestations, the African swine fever (ASF), and the impact of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).” – Taiwan News

“In 2020, locusts have swarmed in large numbers in dozens of countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Somalia, Eritrea, India, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Oman and Saudi Arabia. When swarms affect several countries at once in very large numbers, it is known as a plague.” – BBC

“Southern Africa is suffering through its worst drought in several decades and perhaps a century. Drought and its associated impacts have been causing critical problems for agriculture, vulnerable communities and overall development for many years in South Africa. This year they need to import more than 100,000 tones of cereal to survive famine. “ – Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital

“The coronavirus has revealed how risky it can be to rely on Russia for grain imports. Despite warnings from the WHO and WTO, Russia imposed an export quota on critical grains such as wheat, barley, and maize as the virus swept across the globe…Whether for domestic food security or international hybrid warfare, Russia’s behavior in 2010 and now during the coronavirus foreshadows new dangers in a warming world. ” – National Interest

 

Lovely Greens: Grow a Rapid Response Victory Garden

Tuesday was rain, ice pellets, winds and sun. Wednesday was ice pellets, rain, wind and sun. Welcome, Spring. Despite the less than delightful weather, thoughts turn to gardens. We already had lettuce and pea seeds in the earth. Kale and rhubarb are already doing fairly well, and the berry plants are leafing. In these difficult times, more people are thinking about growing a garden or at least trying to raise some sort of food of their own because of supply chain grocery fears. Lovely Greens has a nice article on Growing a Rapid Response Victory Garden, focused on food that will mature relatively quickly – 30, 60 and 90 days.

You’ve just decided that it’s time to grow a vegetable garden, and not just any garden, a rapid response victory garden. Here’s how to begin and a guide to crops that will mature in 30, 60, and 90 days. Full video at the bottom.

It was just after five am and I was lying in bed, scrolling the news, Facebook, Twitter, everything. I’m not usually awake this early, but we live in different times. Seemingly overnight, our way of life has changed, and a lot of us are feeling anxious for ourselves, our loved ones, and the future. Then I came across a call for help: “…I wish someone would write an article about plants one could sow NOW that could produce food in the next 30, 45, 60 days.”

I could do that, so I’m up now and answering the call. It’s an entirely understandable question since folks are putting two and two together. Even if you have a healthy supply of food now, what will happen this summer? Will there be food shortages? Will my family go hungry? Maybe it’s time to revive the Victory Garden – to plan for the future, just in case.

For the moment, supermarkets are not out of food, but I have seen a couple of worrying signs. A health-food shop that I frequent is out of dried foods “for the foreseeable.” I’ve also seen one person reporting that crops are being abandoned in Kenya, though at the time, the country had only a single confirmed case of Coronavirus. It makes me wonder how less-developed places will cope with the virus, and with food production. Could we see imported food quietly disappear from our supermarket shelves? At least for part of this year?

I’m not an alarmist, but I’m sure I’m voicing a thought that many of us share. That’s why starting a vegetable garden now, even if you have zero experience, is something to consider. Even if a cure or vaccine is developed next week, or next month, having those plants in the ground will benefit your health and your table. Growing your own food is good for your physical health, nutrition, and mental clarity. From a psychological perspective, I believe that it will help you feel more secure. It does for me.

Before we get to what you can grow, I need to announce something else that is worrying. You’re not alone in wanting to grow your own food for the first time –  online seed companies and seed suppliers have been inundated with orders. So much so, that many have closed because they are overwhelmed or sold out of seeds.

If you’re finding it challenging to source seeds online, you should try to get to a physical shop, if you can do so. I’ve not seen any local garden centers sold out of seeds yet, but that may change in the coming weeks. Hardware stores, and sometimes supermarkets will also have a small selection of seeds. You can also ask friends if they have any seeds or plants to share or organize a virtual seed swap. Seeds and plants can be posted or left on door-steps if people are self-isolating…

here are probably hundreds of books sharing how to grow vegetables, and I can’t fit it all into just a couple of paragraphs. Just remember that they are living things and will need light, warmth, nutrients, water, shelter, growing supports, and protection from predators and disease. Fruit and vegetables are just like animals – some grow in the tropics, and others live in temperate regions. You can fake those environments by growing crops in greenhouses or hydroponically. Pretty much all the details of gardening fit into these themes.

You should also familiarize yourself with your gardening zone, and which crops grow best in it. I go over zones and the earliest seeds you can sow every year over here.

Feel free to read my pieces on starting a garden, common gardening mistakes, and watch the videos I shared of how I created my allotment vegetable garden and home raised bed garden on YouTube (please subscribe too)…(continues)

Click here to continue reading at Lovely Greens.

As for getting seeds if you don’t have them… Some online resellers are out of stock because of the volume of people planting gardens for the first time. In some areas, seeds are considered a “non-essential item” that physical stores are not allowed to sell in person. Territorial Seed Company still has seeds in stock, but they are having shipping delays because of high demand. Seeds of Change appears to still have seeds and be taking orders. Burpee appears to have seeds. Wild Garden Seed appears to have stock Filaree Garlic Farm is still open; they’re a small farm specializing in garlic, shallots, asparagus crowns, seed potatoes, and sweet potato slips. Seed Savers Exchange is not taking new orders, but if you join the exchange you may be able to get seeds from other members. And, of course, if you live in an area where seeds are not considered a non-essential item, you may still be able to pick up seeds at a local store.

Off Grid Survival: Cold Frames for Food Gardens

Cold frames have been used for hundred of years to extend food growing into the colder parts of the year. The Romans used cold frames of straw or stone and used sheets of mica for lids. A greenhouse may be heated, but a cold frame typically warms up only with the sun. If you end up in a situation where you need to rely more heavily on the food that you can grow yourself, cold frames allow you to harvest more food into the winter when you would normally have to rely on food you were able to story during the summer and fall.

This article from Off Grid Survival gives you an overview the cold frame and how to make some – Cold, Hard, Survival: Why Cold Frames Are Essential for SHTF Food Gardens.

Toward the end of summer or early fall, it may seem too early to start thinking about winter. And it may be too late to start thinking about a solid harvest. But when it comes to survival, you’ll need to consider the importance of surviving through winter and what you can do now to survive long-term.

Sure, hunting or fishing might get you by if you’re skilled enough. And food stores might help to supplement any fresh kill or frozen meats. But the real challenge is providing yourself and your family with access to fresh food in the dead of winter that can not only get you through winter, but also springboard your garden next summer.

This is where the cold frame comes in.

What is a Cold Frame?

What a cold frame garden container looks like

For the purposes of gardening, a cold frame is a transparent-roofed enclosure that is used to protect plants from cold weather. The transparent top of the enclosures allows sunlight into the box while preventing heat from escaping.

This simple device is a proven method for growing fresh food through winter and priming summer gardens earlier than weather permits. They take less space than a traditional garden, require less maintenance, and have the potential to provide far more food than the empty produce section at a supermarket.

The Benefits of Cold Frame Gardening and Food Growing

Cold frames are essential in every long-term survival skill set. These simple, yet effective exoskeletons help to extend the harvest timeline well beyond the first frost of the year. This means an early or late winter doesn’t impact your food supply as much as it does other people. During times when food is scarce and access is limited, a cold frame can provide fresh produce essential to survival. Valuable spices and herbs aid in adding flavor to otherwise bland foods. They can be dehydrated or serve as barter items. Plus, you and your family can have access to natural fiber, vitamins, and minerals essential to a healthy diet.

A Cold Frame garden built from Brick and Window panes

Cold frames help to promote an early growing period. Regions that have late frosts have to delay planting much longer, which creates a much shorter growing season. But with cold frames, starts can begin much earlier without the need for a giant greenhouse. Transplants from a cold frame have a greater potential to produce than if you were to wait until the last freeze of the year.

Beyond the dangers of early or late frosts, some of the benefits of a cold frame include less stress on plants, protection from wind, less erosion, fewer weeds, and easy access. If properly oriented and built with care, these units can keep plants alive longer, allow sowing sooner, and generate food during the darkest days…

A raised cold frame built with wood and plastic

The frame itself is dirt simple. The concept centers around retaining heat in the soil to allow plants to grow despite snow, frost, or even frozen ground nearby. Frames retain heat by absorbing sunlight in an enclosed space, much like a greenhouse. It can be as basic as a 2-liter bottle over a plant, or as complex as a conservatory. The most effective form for small-scale home gardens is a rectangular box about 2’ wide by 3-4’ long.

To create a cold frame, first locate a piece of un-tinted, single-pane glass such as an old wooden window or aluminum storm window. Anything before the era of vinyl windows will work well. Double-paned windows often contain Argonne gas or tinting that may interfere with natural sunlight, heat gain, or heat loss. If you’re handy in the shop, you may be able to build your frame out of wood and order up the glass to fit from a glass shop in your area. Clear corrugated plastic also serves the same purpose – let light in and keep the cold out.

If you are looking for something that will hold up better than glass, I suggest cheking out Lexan — this stuff can be shot with a .22lr bullet and not break!

The glass, Lexan, or clear plastic goes on top of an exterior framework. The framework consists of a simple, low-profile box that can be made of 2X6 studs or even plywood. Wood is joined and secured at the corners to provide a box that rests directly on the ground. Just remember – the thicker the wood, the better the insulation will be. Alternatives to wood frames might include brick, foam, or insulated metal siding. Regardless of the materials used to create the framework, you’ll want to build it to match the size of the window or glass frame you intend to use. You may be able to add hinges to lift the glass for access or install a repurposed sliding glass window.

You should have a rectangle of wood framework with a glass panel or frame on top that can be lifted or opened for access. Now, orient the glass to where the longest side runs parallel to the equator. You want to capture as much sunlight as possible and if snow or rainwater is an issue, adding a slope to the frame will make snow removal and access much easier. The orientation and a good slope will garner the best results possible.

Once the frame is built, oriented and set in place on the ground, you can remove dirt a few inches down and either direct-sow your plants or provide a layer of compost to help get the seedlings started. By starting in late summer or early fall, you’ll have better luck with a regular harvest in mid-winter. By sowing in late winter or early spring, you’ll have heartier plants to transplant into your survival garden during summer.

If extreme temperatures or limited sunlight prevents the cold frame from heating up, you can add a light, heat tape, a heating mat, or additional insulation around the frame to aid in heat retention. Zones 1 through 5 will likely need more insulation and lighting than zones 6-10. Additional insulation can be obtained through foam, additional wood, or even organic insulation like grass clippings or seedless yard waste.

Unlike a greenhouse, a cold frame allows for a heightened level of discretion. The low-profile design is easy to disguise with shrubs or debris to prevent theft in times of chaos. This means that even in an urban setting, with limited space and relatively high visibility, you could still maintain a solid level of security and still have access to fresh food…

 

Related:

Fine Gardening: Easy to Build Cold Frame

Gardener’s Path: 10 of the Best DIY Greenhouses and Cold Frames for Your Backyard

The Self Sufficient Living: 10 Easy DIY Cold Frame Plans to Extend the Growing Season

Tenth Acre Farm: Protect Cold Weather Crops with a Cold Frame

Excerpt from “Locusts on the Horizon”

“Hunger is not a problem of too many people on the planet, nor is hunger a problem of the planet’s inability to feed everyone that currently lives on it. Hunger is caused by human actions.

“The horrific fact is that from the 19th Century to the present time, most of the worst famines on the planet have been caused not by an apocalypse of nature, or a worldwide shortage of food, but by the hand of man. More often than not these famines were caused by the intentional, deliberate actions of those in positions of power and influence, for either political or economic reasons.

“One of the causes of famines has been the decisions and actions of a powerful elite few who decide that their personal wealth and power are more important than the lives of the ‘little people’.

“For those who think it can’t happen in the USA, because this country is a ‘bread basket’, think again. Many Americans today are descendants of those who fled one of the worst famines in European history. It was a deadly famine which occurred in the midst of plenty while living in a country which was a bread basket.

“Ireland, during a seven year period starting in 1845, in the very heart of the powerful and wealthy British Empire, lost almost a quarter of its entire population either through death or fleeing refugees, due to a famine triggered by a potato blight. A common name for this event was the great Irish Potato Famine. Many Irish call this event, An Gorta Mór, which means, The Great Hunger…

Continue reading “Excerpt from “Locusts on the Horizon””

Venezuelan Parents Giving Up Children They Can’t Feed

Venezuelans have been experiencing food shortages off and on for several years, but the shortages have been especially bad and getting worse over the last couple of years during the current economic crisis there.  Roughly 90% of Venezuelan families cannot afford to feed their families as the inflation rate over the past twelve months reached over 4000%. The inflation rate for the month of January, alone, was 84% which would have prices doubling every 35 days.

According to a recent report:

…the sheer number of children being taken to orphanages and child-custody centers has increased so much that public institutions for vulnerable children are “collapsing,” and private organizations are struggling to take in the others. The number of children being abandoned on the streets is also increasing at alarming rates.

A Venezuelan social worker provided the Post with a heartbreaking quote that captured the desperation of the situation.

“They can’t feed their children,” said Magdelis Salazar in reference to poverty-stricken parents. “They are giving them up not because they don’t love them but because they do.”

…As this reality affects parents who struggle to provide for their children, placing them in the care of a foster organization is becoming an increasingly common decision. One mother told the Post that she hoped she would one day be able to collect her children from the agency she was forced to leave them at.

“You don’t know what it’s like to see your children go hungry,” she said. “You have no idea. I feel like I’m responsible, like I’ve failed them.”

Related:

Household Food Security Preparedness (pdf) – World Health Organization