The Growing Importance of Creating Your Own Fertilizer

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We’ve all been watching prices climb at the grocery stores, and it’s only getting worse. There are issues at every level of food production and distribution. Certain kinds of mandates have made it more difficult for truckers to do their job. Meat processors had to add a variety of safety protocols and new jobs, such as “social distance monitors,” in their processing plants to slow down Covid outbreaks. The more overhead expenses the processors have, the more the costs of the actual product increase. And in between the megadrought and skyrocketing fertilizer prices, food is simply getting harder to produce. The ongoing fire at the fertilizer plant in North Carolina will not help. 

The Organic Prepper has long encouraged readers to learn as much as they can about producing food. Even apartment dwellers can usually produce something. If you are blessed with a yard, you can probably produce some of your own fertilizer, too, in the form of compost. 

Fertilizer is a gift

When I lived along the Gulf Coast, all I had to do to get high-quality compost was dump lawn and food scraps in a pile. I’d spray the pile with a hose several times a week if the weather was dry. A few times a year, I’d dig into the bottom of the pile and pull out beautiful black, crumbly compost for my garden. 

I can’t do that these days. I live on the High Plains. It’s really dry. We get snow in the springtime, and that’s about it. Fifty years ago, my area would have snow on the ground for much of the winter, but that doesn’t happen anymore. Here, to get compost, you need to water and turn religiously during the summer months. But we don’t have water during the summer months. Between the drought and the increased development in my area draining the reservoirs, my well is in a pretty sorry state by August and September. So far, I’ve had enough for my animals, garden, and household needs, but we really don’t have much extra. 

Water is vital to producing your own fertilizer

For the past couple of years, I have been trying to capture as much water as I can. Having more than one 55-gallon rain barrel is illegal in my area. So I’ll admit I have one 55-gallon rain barrel. Since it’s so dry here, even when it snows, it will often begin to melt the next day. For example, we might have two days of snow and then a week of 50/20 highs and…

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21 Survival Uses for PVC Pipes

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

21 Survival Uses for PVC Pipes

PVC pipe (polyvinyl chloride) is perhaps the most popular plastic piping on the market – and one that is highly utilized by preppers and homesteaders. PVC pipe is relatively cheap when compared to other building materials, it’s easily connected or joined together, and it comes in a vast array of different diameters, from tiny to exceptionally large.

One of the best advantages of PVC pipe is its long shelf-life. Polyvinyl chloride does not decay over time like wood or even rubber when exposed to extreme heat. It also is impervious to both dampness and even high pressure water. The end caps on PVC pipe are joined together with “Ts’ ‘ or elbow pipe made out of the same material by threading them into place or using an inexpensive solvent – or both.

The process of using a solvent to clean and soften the PVC pipe before connecting is often referred to as using a “solvent weld.” The solvent basically “melts” or melds together to make a waterproof and permanent seal – which is highly important if using the PVC to store vital survival gear, especially food and firearms.

PVC pipe comes in copious amounts of both diameters and thicknesses. This versatile type of survival material is graded and referred to by the term “schedule” and followed by a number. Generally, “Schedule 40” PVC pipe is typically used for common household projects and is also highly suitable for all the survival projects on this list. 

Schedule 40 PVC pipe is used for many types of low pressure water flow projects and is designed to be able to handle exposure to up to 140 degree temperatures. This type of PVC pipe is also often used when working with or around corrosive materials and industrial chemicals.

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Here are 21 ways to use PVC pipe for emergency preparedness and survival:

1. Survival Cache

Burying a survival cache on your property, route to work, or even submerging it in your pond is entirely (and inexpensively) possible using PVC pipe. You can build a small cache to hold emergency food rations, bottles of water, first aid items, matches, emergency blankets, flashlights and batteries, etc.

Using a larger diameter of PVC pipe opens up a whole new level of survival gear that can be safely stored inside. A large survival cache built out of PVC pipe could house a rifle, multiple handguns, filled or empty magazines, and boxes of ammunition.

Check out the video below to learn more about building a survival cache out of PVC pipe and what can be stored inside.

2. Blowgun

For less than $5 you can build a blow gun out of PVC pipe. This sturdy and easily portable weapon can be made out…

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VIDEO: Winter Everyday Carry Essentials – Think Salt

Hey, this is Tyler with Survivopedia. 

I want to do a winter EDC video. So, we’re gonna do that today. All right, winter EDC. We are here teaching we’re doing some videography, do a little bit of teaching in the backcountry, high altitude in the winter. So I want to talk a little bit about what I have, why I have that, and do that in the form of never-day carry or what should you bring if you’re in this kind of an environment. 

So first off you got to wear the right kind of clothes.

Well, start from the bottom to the top, I have some La Sportiva boots on. What matters is their waterproof and their bulky. 

Bulk is important because if you tighten your shoelaces down super tight and you can press all those socks, you’re basically taking all the way that all of the insulation value away you might as well just be laying right against cold snow. 

So bulky is important. 

Have wool socks on, wool base layer. Synthetic pants, synthetic shirts, and outer layer  that is wool as well. 

Everyone talks about layers and yes layers are important because you can take them off when you work too hard and you get sweaty, but it’s not about layers. It’s about centimeters or inches. And what I mean by that is this: this thick chunky wool sweater is warmer than seven layered shirts, right? Seven shirts are not going to be as warm as this sweater. So, think about volume that you can breathe through so that the perspiration can leave and it will hold dead air. That’s what causes installation. I’m warm right now. I feel great. It’s pretty darn cold. I know it’s below freezing right now. I don’t have the exact temperature. But I feel good. I feel like I’m in a warm pillow with this thing on, right. 

The other thing you want to watch for is waterproof, at least gaiters if not pants, right? You’re going to kneel down. You’re going to sit and stuff. You need some sort of waterproof layer that will keep you dry. These are Gore-ex Pants. They have a built-in gaiter. Otherwise I would have gaiters on top of this. Gaiters have basically like black socks that keep the snow out of your boots. Nothing’s worse than having good clothes with snow in your boots. You might as well just be dumping ice down there. It’s horrific. 

Okay, so that’s the basis on the clothes. Wear wool, wear good layers. If you’re going to be doing survival situations, Gore-Tex that can be removed with wool. Everything on the inside is just like the best answer. 

Okay, so all survival is fire, water, shelter, food, communications, medical, and the ability to ready replenish all of those things. So, here’s the shelter that I’m wearing. 

The next thing I’ve got right here, is I have two lighters in my vest. My wool vest…

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Delicious Chicken and Dumplings Survival Recipe

Chicken stew with dumplings, is a wonderfully nostalgic dish to make on a chilly evening as it is a classic, the aromas bringing back memories of childhood.

chicken stew and dumplingschicken stew and dumplings

The nutritious all-in-one meal can easily be scaled to accommodate the number of people you are planning on feeding, and can be made in a Dutch oven over a slow fire, or on a stove.

The stock can be store-bought in liquid or powder form, which is very convenient when out camping, or it can be home-made.

If you don’t have a recipe for homemade stock, try this one.

Store-bought stock tends to be quite high in salt and obviously has preservatives so your healthiest stock option is to make your own.

For the stew you can play around with the ingredients substituting various vegetables for the classic combination of carrots, peas and celery, depending on what you have available in your survival garden.

onion, garlic and carrots fryingonion, garlic and carrots frying

Butternut, sweet potatoes, and green beans would work well, while aubergine will bring a rich creaminess to the mix. When I made this dish I used red peppers instead of celery, as that is what I had on hand.

Now for the dumplings – you want them to be light and fluffy, not rock hard balls of dough. My mother taught me that the less you handle the dough the lighter it will be.

close-up of a dumplingclose-up of a dumpling

When making scones, she emphasized a light touch and not over-mixing.

Since this is a survival recipe I found that instead of shaping the dough with an ice cream scoop, or rolling it into balls between floured hands, the simplest and fastest way is to take a dessert spoon of the dough that holds its shape, and gently ease it onto the top of the simmering stew.

Continue until all the dough has been used up, then put on the lid immediately.

I find a glass lid very useful as you can watch the dumplings rise without having to remove the lid to check, as removing the lid can make them go flat.

The quantity of dough for this recipe resulted in 8 decent size dumplings – enough for two per person as this stew is for 4 people.

I used a plain flour for these dumplings with a tablespoon of cornmeal added, and they were very soft, as I had run out of cake flour which one generally uses for a light dumpling.

Don’t try strong bread flours or whole wheat flours as you may get tough dumplings.

chicken stew and dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

Prep Time 15 mins

Cook Time 40 mins

Total Time 55 mins

Servings 4 servings

Calories 486 kcal

Stew Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs chicken boneless thigh or breast cut into pieces of around 1 inch by 1…

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Increase Your EDC Capacity with a MOLLE Pouch

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(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

Winter is here, and one of the things that means is that the presence of winter coats means one can comfortably bump up their EDC. And as we’ve seen from past experiences here at TOP, this is a wise move to consider this time of year as well.

I’ve been wracking my brains for a comfortable, discreet, and easy means to increase an EDC without having to carry a bag on one’s immediate person and without feeling as if your pockets look like MC Hammer’s parachute pants.

I think one of the potential ways to do this is through the use of a general-purpose MOLLE pouch.

What is a general-purpose MOLLE pouch?

A general-purpose MOLLE pouch is simply a little bag that attaches to a plate carrier in which one stores odds and ends. If you don’t need to keep some food, a map, or other gear nearby, one of these pouches serves as a great catch-all to help keep you organized.

The cool thing about these is that they’re a fairly good size to fit a bunch of stuff, but they can squish down pretty flat as well.

Here’s one I picked up from

Food for thought here…

What if you’re looking at carrying an IFAK on your person as you go about the day? You don’t want to have to stuff and empty your pockets every time you come and go from your house, an ankle IFAK has just never felt comfortable to you, and some locations look at carrying a backpack as socially unacceptable (consider a grocery store). Yet you still really like the idea of adding a tourniquet, pressure bandage, QuickClot, medical shears, and whatever else on your person.

Perhaps you just want a means of keeping a mylar blanket, emergency poncho, and some other basic survival supplies on your person every time you go out with minimal fuss.

Regardless of which situation you may find yourself in, I think this method may be of benefit.

A MOLLE coat

One of my coats has MOLLE webbing on the inside of it. A pouch can strap to that perfectly. I experimented with a couple of different kits within the pouch and did find that the skinnier the gear I stuff in there, the better off I am.

When I pack this thing to the brim, there’s too much of a profile with the coat I…

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Today, the birthday of Christian economist Dr. Gary North. (Born, 1942.)

Today, we recognize the birthday of Christian economist Dr. Gary North. (Born, 1942.) North is a prolific writer on Christian Reconstruction and economics.  He recently announced that he is in failing health, and that he has published his final book. Please pray for his restored health.

We also remember February 1st, 2003, when the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas and Louisiana as it reentered Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven crew members.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

Today we present the first entry for Round 99 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. The photovoltaic power specialists at Quantum Harvest LLC  are providing a store-wide 10% off coupon. Depending on the model chosen, this could be worth more than $2000.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any of their one, two, or three-day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three-day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  5. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  6. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
  7. Two sets of The Civil Defense Manual, (in two volumes) — a $193 value — kindly donated by the author, Jack Lawson.

Second Prize:

  1. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, that have a combined retail value of $589,
  2. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from (a $240 value).
  3. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  4. A transferable $150 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun. There is no paperwork required for delivery of pre-1899 guns into most states, making them the last bastion of firearms purchasing privacy!

Third Prize:

  1. Three sets each of made-in-USA regular and wide-mouth reusable canning lids. (This is a total of 300 lids and 600 gaskets.) This prize is courtesy of Harvest Guard (a $270 value)
  2. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  3. A transferable $100 FRN purchase credit from Elk Creek Company, toward the purchase of any pre-1899 antique gun.

More than $725,000 worth of prizes have been awarded since we started running this contest. Round 99 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how-to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.

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25 Kitchen Items That Do Not Need Electricity

When disaster strikes, be it long or short-term, keeping the food coming is going to take high priority for any prepper. Calories are quite literally the fuel that working bodies will require if they are going to keep putting in the work required for survival!

manual kitchen tools drawing

Accordingly, preppers spend an awful lot of time and a not inconsiderable amount of money stockpiling various survival-centric foods for the occasion, should it occur.

However, most of these plans are bug out-centric in nature, meaning that the tacit assumption of evacuation or fleeing into the wilderness, or some other remote refuge is assumed as a certainty, or at least very likely.

But, as it turns out, there are plenty of major events that could result in a long- or indefinite-term survival situation that will require you to bug in at your own home- only you’ll likely be doing it without benefit of electricity.

In such a scenario you will still be preparing food in your own kitchen, most likely, even if you are relying on outdoor cooking solutions.

Therefore you’ll be in good shape and able to prepare meals much in the same way you always have if you have a reliable stash of kitchen items, gadgets and utensils that don’t rely on electricity to function.

Today we are bringing you a list of 25 such items that no prepper should consider bugging in without.

What Items Are Not On This List

Before we get to the list proper, it might be illuminating to discuss what isn’t on the list, and why they are omitted.

First things first, I’m assuming that any functional kitchen will have things like table cutlery, and utensils like tongs, spatulas, ladles and so on and so forth.

If you don’t have those things, frankly, you shouldn’t be relying on a list like this to help you equip any kitchen, much less a post societal collapse kitchen! Consider such items mandatory in any case.

Next, you won’t find any fancy, novelty kitchen gadgets that perform one eccentric or incredibly specific function, even if they just so happen to not rely on electricity. These things are simply a waste of space and a waste of money.

You don’t need a hand carved artisanal herb and seasoning sprig stripper when you can just use your hand or the edge of a spoon on a cutting board to do the same thing.

You likewise don’t need a non-electric cast iron panini press if you just have a couple of plain cast iron skillets.

Everything that you’ll find on this list is basic in the way that most good tools should be, meaning they excel at one function but are capable of handling several other jobs depending on your requirements, or they are tools that do something that no other tool or apparatus can easily do.

All of them will save you time, effort and energy and that is something that any prepper can…

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