5 Tips for Producing an Abundance of Herbs in Your Garden

Growing herbs in your garden is one thing. But growing an abundance of anything takes a bit of practice. While there is no easy way to go about this, we have some tips for producing an abundance of herbs in your garden. 

Choose the Right Herbs

The first step in creating a garden that is able to produce an abundance of herbs is to choose the right ones. Unfortunately, it is not possible to just grow anything and everything we like. Gardening requires a little more planning than just sticking some seeds in the ground and hoping they will grow. 

Some herbs are easier to grow than others. While other herbs only grow in certain environments. A few herbs that are ideal for beginners include Basil, Mint, and Parsley. These three herbs can take being harvested often and are great for growing in containers. 

Other popular herbs to grow are: 

It is best to start with just a few herbs at a time. If you take on too many plants at once, you may become overwhelmed, and your plants will be the ones to suffer. Always start small, you can increase your selection of herbs slowly as you get more comfortable with your plants. 

Skip the Seed, Use Seedlings

Once you have chosen the herbs you wish to start with, the next step is to start growing them! It is best to get yourself some seedlings rather than to try starting seeds. Unless you are an experienced gardener, it is much easier to use plants that have already been started. 

Using seedlings is not only easier, but it will save you a couple of weeks too. It will also increase your chances of a successful harvest. The best places to source seedlings from are your local nursery or a plant nursery online. Although, the latter may not always sell seedlings. You could also try a farmer’s market! 

When you have your seedlings, you will need to transplant them out of their seedling trays. You can either transplant your seedlings into another pot or container, or you can plant them directly into the ground. To transplant your seedlings, gently remove them from their seed trays and place them in small holes either in the ground or a larger pot. Press down the soil gently to secure them and then water your newly transplanted herbs. 

Check the Herbs Care Requirements

A good gardening practice is to know your plant’s individual needs. It is best to do some research on your desired herbs before you purchase or plant them, so you know what they need. This is especially true as different herbs and plants require different sun exposure, soil types and pH levels, and even different watering amounts and frequencies. 

For each new herb you plant, make sure you know what its ideal sun exposure should be. You should also ensure your herb is planted in the correct soil type. Where their soil is concerned, check the herb’s ideal soil pH level, and ensure you test your soil before your plant the herb. 

You should…

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NPR: How to protect your privacy when using mental health care apps

John Davisson, director of litigation and senior counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said that although steps to protect your privacy mainly depend on the specific app, users can opt out of personalized ads on Google and turn off cross-app tracking.

“That prevents the data that you input to one application from being correlated or collated with data uploaded to another application,” Davisson told NPR.

Read the full story here.

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Time: Lawmakers Scramble to Reform Digital Privacy After Roe Reversal

Right now, though, states can only do so much, says Alan Butler, executive director and president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. Because the U.S. lacks a comprehensive set of federal digital privacy laws, women in states banning abortion are especially vulnerable. 

“The states that are more likely to restrict abortion rights,” he says, “are also the states that don’t have strong privacy laws.”

Read the full story here.

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How to Make Seed Balls for Guerilla Gardening

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

How to Make Seed Balls for Guerilla Gardening

Guerilla gardening is the act of taking something ugly or unused and making it beautiful or useful, with plants. It is a rebellious creation of smile-worthy planting.

Imagine a popular park with a tree recently cut down. What once was a beautiful tree is now a stump that has hollowed out in the center from rot. A guerilla gardener will see that hole as an opportunity to recreate beauty and plant the stump like a flowerpot.

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Flowers Growing in Tree Stump

There’s a river that runs through my town. Right in the center of the river is a small island with an abandoned truck. Every summer, a guerilla gardener fills the bed of the truck with flowers.

I was able to meet him, and he told me that it bothered him to see that pollution. As an act of protest, he liked the idea of making it something pretty to behold.

Another example of guerilla gardening is using a plot of unused space to plant vegetables for a community to use. It can be as an act of protest in abandoned spaces, or a productive way to cultivate life and sharing.

This began as a way to combat food deserts. A food desert is a town that has low access to quality or affordable food, and an edible guerilla garden is a productive rebellion against that social injustice.

Guerilla gardening can be satisfying when you’re able to sit and plant greenhouse-grown flowers or plants, but that’s not always possible depending on where the spot is located, due to time or accessibility.

Want to prep but not sure where to begin?
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Another alternative to be a successful guerilla gardener is by making seed balls to drop in convenient places when you need to plant more discretely, or to avoid trespassing. The idea is that the ball of dirt, compost, and seeds will gradually break down with rain, then germinate, and finally grow.

Another perk of guerilla gardening with seed balls is that it allows you some spontaneity in your planting. Nature is spontaneous, so you may be surprised by where you find an opportunity if you are prepared.

Abandoned Vehicle Covered in Flowers

There are a few ethical principles to consider before you decide to become a guerilla gardener:

  • Not all seeds are created equal for this project. It is essential to be considerate of the ecosystem that you’re dropping seeds in. Do not plant anything invasive that will negatively impact the ecosystem. Use plants that are native to where you live. The goal is for your rebellion to complement, not contradict. This tool will help you navigate some native species in North America by typing in your…

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EPIC Urges Senate Commerce Committee to Markup American Data Privacy and Protection Act

Today, the Senate Commerce Committee is holding a markup of two bills related to the privacy of children and teens, S. 1628, the Children and Teens’ Online Privacy Protection Act and S. 3663, the Kids Online Safety Act. EPIC joined over 100 advocacy organizations in supporting the legislation, but also sent a letter to Chair Maria Cantwell and Ranking Member Roger Wicker urging the Committee to schedule the American Data Privacy and Protection Act for a markup. “All Americans, young and old, deserve privacy. Privacy is a fundamental right, and it is long past time for Congress to act to protect the privacy rights of all Americans,” EPIC told the Committee. “While we commend this Committee’s work on children’s privacy, the best way to protect the privacy rights of children, teens, and adults would be to consider the American Data Privacy and Protection Act (“ADPPA”) as amended and reported favorably out of the House Energy & Commerce Committee last week.”

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This Is How You Can Live Without Refrigeration

Editor’s note: This article first appeared on Self-Sufficient Projects.

Can you imagine living without a fridge?

Humans have lived like that for millennials. The difference is that they had a few tricks up their sleeves that helped them survive.

Even today, people still live without refrigeration – some because of unfortunate circumstances, and others want to lower energy costs or cut dependence on the grid.

Whatever the reason, here’s how you can live without refrigeration.

Seasonal Eating

A first step on the journey to living without refrigeration is eating local, seasonal food.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying it from the market or growing it yourself. The more local and seasonal, the better.

• During spring, there’s usually a surplus of eggs, which is great because many foods will be gone or petering out. This is also a great time to enjoy maize, barley, rice, and other spring crops.

This Is How You Can Live Without Refrigeration• During summer, vegetables and fresh greens abound, allowing you to eat an almost meat-free diet.

There are also many wild edibles to pick and choose from in summer.

You can find and identify them effortlessly and safely in most forests.

The Ultimate Survival Food You Can Only Harvest This Summer

• During fall, excess animals are slaughtered, which provides the protein you and your family need to get through the cold winter months.

• Winter is the best season for storing any food as you can harness the cold temperatures to keep your food fresh.

Of course, this varies from location to location, but each area has a different natural rhythm of seasonal foods.

Food Preservation

After adopting a seasonal diet, you need to learn the traditional tricks your forefathers used to preserve their bounty.

Drying is a preservation method that uses the wind and sun to reduce water activity in your food.

• Freezing without a fridge involves freezing water in the cold snow and placing it in a cooler along with your foodstuffs.

• Smoking flavors, cooks, and preserves food by exposing it to smoke from burning wood.

• Salting/Curing removes moisture from foods like meat.

This Is How You Can Live Without Refrigeration• Pickling involves preserving food in brine or marinating it in vinegar.

• Sugar in syrup or crystallized form can preserve fruits.

• Bottling and canning involve sealing cooked food in sterilized cans and bottles.

Click Here To Learn How To Can Hamburger Meat For Long Term Preservation

• Lye prevents bacterial growth by turning food alkaline.

• Jellying is a preservation method whereby you cook food in a substance that solidifies to form a gel.

• Potting involves placing meat in a pot and sealing it with fat.

• Jugging involves preserving meat by stewing it in wine, brine, or animal blood.

• Burial in the ground involves burying your food underground where there is no…

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Hawaii Preppers – What You Need to Know

hawaii natural disastershawaii natural disasters

Hawaii preppers face many of the same threats as anyone else in America: civil collapse, EMP, natural disasters, etc. However, Hawaiians have unique challenges than preppers in other states. What makes sense for a prepper in Alaska may not make sense for a prepper in California. This applies to Hawaii as well.

This article will focus on Colorado from a prepper’s perspective. What specific challenges does the state face from a historical perspective? What are the threats given the state’s geography? Where should Coloradans prioritize their preps?

NOTE: Do you live in Hawaii? You know your state, so let us know in the comments section how this article can be improved. What did we miss? What did we get right?

Hawaii Overview – Prepper’s Perspective

There isn’t an American alive that hasn’t dreamed of spending a week on a Hawaiian beach. It is no secret, Hawaii is a vacation paradise. Far away from the mainland, Hawaii sits 1,600 miles offshore in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. With 750 miles of coastline, it ranks 4th in the US, after Alaska, Florida, and California.

Hawaii is typically overrun with tourists and can seem crowded. However, it is the 40th most populous state. This highlights a very clear divide between the islanders and the mainlanders. If you stray too far off the beaten path while you are there, you will quickly see the difference.

Nicknamed the “Aloha State,” “Pineapple State,” and the “Rainbow State,” it would seem that even the Hawaiians debate the identity of their state. This is due to the uniqueness of each island in the Hawaiian chain. “The Big Island,” Hawaii is known for its Kona coffee. Similarly, the subordinate islands also vie for recognition of their own contributions to the Hawaiian culture and economy.

Though Hawaii is well known for tourism and is heavily reliant on the funds it brings in, the government has always sought to build a more robust and mature economy. In years past, Hawaii was a massive producer of sugar cane and pineapple. However, in recent years both have experienced a decline.  As a result, the state has poured many efforts into science and technology. Today it focuses its efforts on oceanographic and horticultural research, plant-based development of pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals. 


Despite its well-defined image of a beach paradise, Hawaii is actually home to 4 distinct climate groups. A resident or visitor can find themselves enjoying tropical, arid, temperate, and polar all in a single day. At sea level temperatures range from 84-88 degrees F in the summer, to 79-83 degrees F in the winter. Annual precipitation ranges from 7.4 inches to 404.4 inches. 

Food and Water 

Despite the rampant precipitation, 90% of Hawaii’s water supply is from groundwater. Because of the geological composition of the islands, freshwater sits like a bubble atop the seawater. As the rain falls, it finds its way through the rocks…

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EPIC’s Jeramie Scott to Testify to Congress on CBP’s Use of Facial Recognition Technology

Jeramie Scott, EPIC Senior Counsel and Director of EPIC’s Project on Surveillance Oversight, will testify this afternoon at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing on CBP’s use of facial recognition technology.

“CBP has implemented one of the largest deployments of facial recognition technology in the country through its Biometric Entry-Exit program,” Scott submitted in his written testimony, despite studies showing the technology is “flawed” and imbued with racial bias. The “use of facial recognition identification” in the Biometric Entry-Exit program “puts the U.S. on a path towards a ubiquitous and universal form of identification” that eliminates a person’s ability to choose “when to identify themselves or not.” CBP has also “failed . . . to provide a reasonable justification for the expansion” of the program, and the agency lacks the legal authorization to collect biometric data from U.S. citizens. Scott recommended that CBP end its use of facial recognition technology, and, at a minimum, for Congress to implement restrictions on CBP’s use of the technology to mitigate risks to privacy and civil liberties.  

EPIC has long advocated against government use of facial recognition technology. Most recently, EPIC submitted comments to CBP criticizing its proposal to collect photos from undocumented individuals and store those photos in a records system that uses facial recognition technology.   

Watch the hearing at 2PM ET here.

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How to Build the Ultimate SHTF Library

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Estimated reading time: 16 minutes

How to Build the Ultimate SHTF Library

The human race is remarkably resilient. Throughout history we’ve survived wars, natural catastrophes, and yes, even pandemics. But that survival wasn’t without casualties based on location, circumstances or just bad luck.

But for many of the survivors there was another factor. The knowledge and awareness of how to make the right decision at the right time to not only survive events as they happened, but survive the aftermath sometimes lasting for years, decades and even a lifetime.

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The knowledge, skills, and abilities that many survivors possess sometimes comes from experience, at other times upbringing, and mostly the determination to learn self-sufficiency, practice sustainability, and master basic survival skills.

And that learning is captured in many books dedicated to a range of subjects that can not only educate a determined survivor, but serve as a knowledge bank for the future.

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A Worst Case Scenario

Imagine a time when everything goes wrong. Natural disasters and regional conflicts aggravate further civil unrest driven by numerous factors from economic failures to societal collapse.

The grid is down. The Internet is hacked and corrupted, affecting everything from commerce to cell phones and most every other form of communication. Retail stores are shuttered, local emergency services are overwhelmed, medical facilities are filled to capacity, and there’s no end in sight. It’s a worst case scenario that can not only happen but has already happened in the past.

It’s the Dark Ages Part II, and if you need information about anything, your only sources are going to be your memory—and books.

The Value of Your Knowledge Bank

You can have food storage that will last for years, medical supplies to equip a hospital, and more firearms than a platoon of marines, but it won’t mean a thing if you don’t know how to find and filter water, preserve food, repair an engine, or use all those medical supplies.

Some of those things may already be in your wheelhouse, but it’s a good bet there are plenty of things even the best of us don’t know. Books can give you a fighting chance when everything is a challenge.

Digital Books or Hard Copies?

Digital books are cheaper and you can store a library on something as small as a jump drive or a Kindle Reader. The only caution is that electronics are fragile. There are books that can tell you all about how to fix electronic devices. But they’re no help if the book about fixing electronic devices is on the device you need to fix.

Portability is another good argument for digital copies of books. At a time when bugging out may become a regular activity it’s a lot easier…

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What Should You Do After An Unexpected Chicken Death?

A few weeks ago, Bella—a local relatively new to chicken keeping—messaged me, hoping for some guidance. One of her quartet of backyard hens became lethargic the previous day and died within hours. Bella was extremely worried that her remaining girls would suffer the same fate. What should she do?

When a chicken suddenly dies, especially a young one like Bella’s year-old hen, it’s perfectly normal for alarm bells to go off in your head. Are your other chickens at risk? Is there something you could have done for your chicken to prevent her death? What happened?

First things first: don’t panic. Take a deep breath, then review these seven potential causes of your chicken’s demise.

Sudden Illness

Sadly, there are diseases such as Pullorum, Fowl Typhoid and Avian Influenza that can quickly lead to death for an infected chicken. Fortunately, the United States launched the National Poultry Improvement Plan in 1935 to survey and control these deadly diseases. Outbreaks are extremely rare.

Nevertheless, it never hurts to carefully examine your bird for symptoms such as mucus build-up or discharge in the nasal openings and mouth, oozing or crusted-over skin lesions, and swollen or enlarged abdomen. Make sure you wear disposable gloves while handling your bird.

If you notice any of these, carefully bag the carcass and contact your state’s veterinary diagnostic laboratory for instructions.

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Heat Stress

Chickens do not perspire. They pant to release heat and cool themselves down.

In extreme heat conditions, they’ll hold their wings out to allow for better air circulation near their bodies. When they are unable to cool down, they become subject to heat stress. They will grow lethargic, their combs and wattles will become pale, and they may go limp or unconscious.

Should a chicken exhibit these symptoms, she is in danger of death from heat stress.

Treat any affected birds by gently submerging their bodies in a tub of cool (not cold) water. Be sure to keep their heads out of the water. Once they revive, keep them in a cool, well-ventilated shady place until they regain their previous level of activity.

To prevent heat stress, provide your birds with well-ventilated, shady places to which they can retreat from the heat. Provide plenty of fresh, cool water in their fonts. And offer treats such as chilled grapes or frozen watermelon to keep them hydrated.

Toxic Plants

Chickens are naturally inquisitive and, if your birds free range or roam your yard, they are apt to poke their beaks into anything that captures their attention. Unfortunately not everything that grows in a garden is safe for your flock.

In fact, several commonly cultivated plants are highly toxic to chickens. These include azaleas, most flower bulbs, rhubarb, holly, oaks and yews.

Yews are one of the most common ornamental shrubs in the U.S. But the toxins contained in its leaves, berries and roots are extremely toxic to a chicken and can quickly…

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