Professor Preponomics

Welcome to Professor Preponomics

Welcome to the Professor Preponomics Website. We hope you enjoy the articles, information, important news and resources developed for you here at Professor Preponomics, and that you will visit often. Here you’ll learn about how and why you need to live a prepared life, and we hope you’ll join in the journey. Understanding that each of us comes to preparedness from diverse backgrounds, with varying levels of experience, and with a unique set of resources, you’ll find that we try to develop something for everyone – and that we do our level best to encourage ongoing development and forward progress in every good endeavor!

Gardening

Staying Cool in the Summer Heat — Class Notes

Class Notes

Staying Cool in the Summer Heat

As we work through the coming week, let’s build on the most recent Weekend Homework, continue our conversation, and our preparedness planning, with a focus on the importance of low tech solutions as key components of our critical infrastructure.

We love the sun and the playful activities of summer! We love it all even more so when we can seek the reprieve of shelter and shade. Staying cool in the summer heat is something we can learn to do using simple ideas, and relatively low levels of technology. These ideas are important not only for human comfort and safety, but also for greenhouse gardens and food preservation too.

We’ll all fare much better when the grid goes down if we’ve invested ourselves in skill building beforehand. Read. Add books to personal libraries. Watch tutorial videos. Create notebooks with important information, ideas, and instruction.

Here are just a few of many ideas to stir the imagination, and inspire your solution-focused thinking!

Zeer Pot
Staying Cool in the Summer Heat
Zeer pot example – Image credit: Adam from ModernBushman.com

Although the Zeer Pot may not produce modern levels of refrigeration, it does provide a cooling benefit. In any environment requiring low tech solutions, this one is worth considering. It’s excellent as well for teaching and learning about heat transfer and cooling processes. Create your own Zeer Pot as part of a summer project for the family, or find a way to work it into a home school curriculum. The article below is an excellent overview.

Posted at Rebuilding Civilization: “Busting myths about the Zeer pot”

Evaporative Cooling and Geothermal Strategies

Shade cloth can be tremendously helpful in cooling a greenhouse on hot days. Shade cloth is available in varying densities, and is a passive solution. It’s affordable, and easy to use (seasonally or year ’round). In fact, you might find that your plants fare better with a little bit of shade. In the hottest days of summer, people fare better too!

As a supplement to the shade cloth, consider misters for their evaporative cooling effects. These are remarkably effective, and relatively low tech. In a grid-down scenario, supplemental power from a solar powered water pump will be needed to create water pressure in a system like this one. But don’t despair. This is doable! Solar panels may also generate enough electricity to run modest fans for the benefit of air flow.

In addition to these ideas, consider a low tech geothermal system designed to draw cooler air from piping placed below ground. This strategy is best considered as part of your preliminary design planning. If an in-ground, or partially in-ground greenhouse is an option, this may be another worthwhile consideration with geothermal benefits.

Posted at Urban Farmer Curtis Stone: “How and Why We Use SHADE CLOTH” by Curtis Stone

Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifers work differently than air conditioning units. By drying the air, they make a warmer environment much comfortable. They an also help reduce the demands placed on today’s HVAC units. In and of themselves, dehumidifiers draw far less power. This level of supplemental tech will require the energy support of a solar system during should the grid go down, but should be much more sustainable over a long period of time.

Posted at The Zone Hole: “How To Use A Dehumidifer To Cool A Room”

Root Cellars

Root cellars are an excellent consideration for the food storage of any homesteader. These were popular among the generations of our grandparents and great grandparents. Root cellars are often found, even today, in many rural parts of the country. Consider adding a dehumidifier with solar support as an added benefit as needed.

Posted at Tractor Supply: “How To Build A Root Cellar On Your Land” By Scott Bish

Earth Ships

Earth Ships use passive geothermal systems to draw cool air through tubes buried in earth. Warmer air from within the homes naturally rises, and is allowed to escape through vents or window portals. The movement of the warmer air up-and-out pulls cooler air from the buried tubes, and into the living space. Built beneath earthen berms, there are lots of fabulously creative designs and ideas for Earth Ship living.

Posted at OGB: “Earthship Thermal Wrap and Cooling Tubes”

Yakhchals
Yakhchāl | © Wikimedia Commons

Ice in the desert! This is the brilliant innovation of ancient people.

Posted at The Culture Trip: “This Ancient Technique to Make Ice in the Desert is Mind Boggling”

“Making ice in the desert? The irony is in the sentence itself, as most people can only fathom making ice by using their freezers, in a practical and modern manner. However, people had figured out how to make ice in the desert over a millennia ago. This practice requires an ingenious structure called a yakhchāl, and was used as far back as 400 BC.”

For more great ideas, check out our post on Water Storage!

If you wish to discuss or comment on this article, or any other Professor Preponomics article or post, we invite you to visit the Professor Preponomics GAB Page. There, you can converse with other Professor Preponomics readers and comment freely (subject to GAB’s terms of service). The GAB link to discuss this article can be found here. We encourage thoughtful discourse as we are working to help everyone learn how to survive the dangerous and uncertain times ahead.

Remain steady. Be safe. Stay well, everyone!

Summer Skill Building — Weekend Homework

The weekend is here! Hoping you have great plans in the works, and want to share with you a little bit of “Preponomics Homework” to inspire your thoughts, and encourage the ongoing development of your preparedness plans. For our Weekend Homework, let’s consider the importance of informed awareness and its impact on preparedness. First the background, and the question follows…

Summer Skill Building

Background: The official start to summer is just around the corner now. This is an outstanding time to invest in summer skill building activities. These can be fun, interesting, and engaging for individuals, family households, local communities, and communities of people formed around a common interest. If you haven’t considered this seriously, now is the time. Choose a practical skill or project with preparedness and self-sufficiency in mind. It may be an unfinished project, or something entirely new. We can learn a lot about everything from prioritization to planning in the development stage – and this is an added bonus to skill building and project completion!

Here are a few ideas to start the creative juices flowing…

Summer Skill Building
PORTABLE PARABOLIC SUN OVEN –
SOLAR COOKING APPLIANCE
  • Learn to can, dehydrate and/or freeze dry foods from the garden for shelf-stable storage. Have some fun with pickles, relishes, and flavorful chutneys.
  • Steep your favorite sun tea, and hand churn an ice cream treat.
  • Make gardening a year ‘round endeavor. Plan and build raised beds or a greenhouse for your fall and winter crops (see this video about creating a hinged hoop house for your planting beds to garden year-round). Also visit our GARDENING category for more ideas.
  • Practice cooking a delicious meal with a solar oven, or learn to use a meat smoker.
  • Enjoy nature hikes. Practice land and water safety protocols, learn to identify native plants, and go fishing. Remember to file your flight plans.
  • Study options for basic shelters, and practice setting these up. Tents and tipis (teepees) are a great place to start.
  • Set up a weather station, learn to recognize cloud forms, weather patterns, and storm signals. Put together a storm safety plan for yourself and your family.
  • Visit area parks and historic sites, and learn about how people lived in times past. Be inspired by what you learn, and think about how the practices of the past might be especially useful in a contemporary survival situation.
  • Catch up on your summer reading, scout the best video tutorials, and gather with family and friends for an evening and a thoughtfully chosen movie.

The Question: How can I make the most of the warm summer months by combining fun, summer skill building, lots of learning, and practical preparedness and self-sufficiency projects?

HINT: Survival is one of those pass-fail kinds of courses. A passing answer shall not include “there is nothing else I can do”. There’s a lot you can do. Let’s get started.

Remain steady. Stay well. Be safe everyone!

For discussion, check out our GAB.COM and our BRIGHTEON.SOCIAL pages.

Creating a Home Library — Class Notes

Class Notes
Creating a Home Library — Class Notes

As we work through the coming week, let’s build on the most recent Weekend Homework, continue our conversation, and our preparedness planning, with a focus on the importance of low tech solutions as key components of our critical infrastructure.

The world has become dangerously dependent on information delivered by electronic means. What we want or need to know has been available, at our finger tips, and almost instantly, for more than a generation. In fact, we tend to access information on an “as needed” basis, and are no longer the human stores of knowledge we once were. We consume information much like we consume other goods in the modern world with delivery “just in time”.

In the absence of our electrical grid, most people would find themselves quickly, and quite by surprise, in dire straights.

Many difficulties associated with lack of information are preventable with a solid commitment to, and an action plan for, the building of skills, and the development of decentralized repositories of supplemental information. Books are a great way to begin, and offer low tech access to information, instruction, and ideas.

Dedicated to promoting self-sufficiency and survival, we hope you’ll browse, enjoy, and shop for the print resources you’ll want to add to your own shelves, and shop from our Biblio Affiliate. Here are some great categories to search: Homesteading and Country Living. Survival skills and survival psychology. Ham radio. Gardening. Outdoor recreation. Alternative energy. Food preservation. Personal defense. Home school education. Check out all of these and more.

Let’s get started.

A Thoughtful Quote to Share…

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx

Edible Flowers – 10 Fun and Fabulous Books for Your Personal Library Collection

By Annie St. Francis – Reprinted with permission from The Repository Project
Edible flowers include citrus blossom, clover, daisies, dandelions, hibiscus and honeysuckle. Enjoy lilacs, mums, nasturtiums, pansies, and roses. Dream on culinary ideas for calendula, borage, sunflowers, sage, zucchini blossoms, and violets. You’ll be tickled by these delicious additions to soups, salads, teas, jams, and candied deserts. Scroll down through the titles here to a delightful recipe!

Edible Flowers: Desserts & Drinks

Edible Flowers: Deserts & Drinks

By Cathy Wilkinson Barash
Barash provides general gardening advice including detailed background and culture information for each of the 67 flowers featured in her book, and showcases 280 recipes using edible flowers from herbs, ornamentals, and vegetables. Highlights include recipes from 12 top chefs in the US and Canada. Photos.


The Edible Flower Garden: From Garden to Kitchen – Choosing, Growing, and Cooking Edible Flowers

The Edible Flower Garden: From Garden to Kitchen – Choosing, Growing, and Cooking Edible Flowers

By Kathy Brown


The Edible Flower Garden

The Edible Flower Garden

By Rosalind Creasy
A comprehensive guide to selecting and growing flowers that can be used for cookery, both as garnishes and as ingredients. Over 90 color illustrations.


Best Roses, Herbs, and Edible Flowers

Best Roses, Herbs, and Edible Flowers

By Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Roses represent love and beauty. Their colors and fragrance create the standard by which many other flowers are measured. Cultivated around the world for perfume, roses have a sweet and unforgettable scent. However, many would-be rose gardeners believe that roses require constant care and lavish doses of sprays and chemicals. Roses do require attention, but their glorious flowers make all your efforts worthwhile, and the roses in this book were chosen because they are tried-and-true, proven performers.


Edible Flowers: How, Why, and When We Eat Flowers

Edible Flowers: How, Why, and When We Eat Flowers

By Monica Nelson and Adrianna Glaviano
This stunning guide to edible flowers–conceived by Monica Nelson, the founding creative and photo director of the influential journal Wilder Quarterly, and Adrianna Glaviano, a noted food and lifestyle photographer–is packed with information and features lush original photography.

Organizing more than 100 flowers alphabetically by their common name, the book offers in each entry handy reference notes including the flower’s Latin name, its general flavor profile, its origins, and which parts of the plant are edible, all accompanied by a vibrant photographic portrait. Punctuated by simple recipes and short, essayistic moments written by a diverse roster of celebrated chefs, artists, and writers recalling the use of edible flowers in their creative and gastronomic histories, Edible Flowers is both a practical primer and a delightful read.


Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion with Recipes

Edible Flowers: A Kitchen Companion with Recipes

By Kitty Morse and Amy Stirnkorb
With more than three dozen recipes, this cookbook provides readers with recipes that incorporate edible blossoms into each meal. Each imaginative dish is pleasing to the palate as well as eye catching on the plate. The recipes include polenta stacks with sage garlic butter, chilled lilied melon and mango soup, dianthus butter, herb cheese, and chive blossom tart.


Eat Your Roses: …Pansies, Lavender and 49 Other Delicious Edible Flowers

Eat Your Roses: …Pansies, Lavender and 49 Other Delicious Edible Flowers

By Denise Schreiber
This light-hearted, full-color illustrated gift book balances edible flower history and lore with proper handling and preparation techniques, and 50+ recipes (from appetizers and drinks to main dishes and desserts). “Eat Your Roses “shows us how to look beyond the veggie patch for great food ideas, and check out our flowerbeds. Hardcover with concealed wire binding. Full-color photos throughout.


Botanical Baking: Contemporary Baking and Cake Decorating with Edible Flowers and Herbs

Botanical Baking: Contemporary Baking and Cake Decorating with Edible Flowers and Herbs

By Juliet Sear
Learn how to perfect the prettiest trend in cake decorating – using edible flowers and herbs to decorate your cakes and bakes – with this impossibly beautiful guide from celebrity baker Juliet Sear. Learn what flowers are edible and great for flavour, how to use, preserve, store and apply them including pressing, drying and crystallising flowers and petals. Then follow Juliet step-by-step as she creates around 20 beautiful botanical cakes that showcase edible flowers and herbs, including more top trends such as a confetti cake, a wreath cake, a gin and tonic cake, floral chocolate bark, a naked cake, a jelly cake, a letter cake and more.


Edible Flowers, Herbs and Spices

Edible Flowers, Herbs and Spices

By Andrew Vecsey
This short “coffee table” picture book in English, German and French presents Edible Flowers with pictures and facts. The interesting, basic and informative facts are short, simply written, easy to understand, entertaining and thought provoking. This book is ideal for teaching, learning and awakening interest for further study. It is also ideal for using as a language teaching aid to learn specialized vocabulary in the various languages.


437 Edible Wild Plants of the Rocky Mountain West – Berries, Roots, Nuts, Greens, Flowers, and Seeds

437 Edible Wild Plants of the Rocky Mountain West – Berries, Roots, Nuts, Greens, Flowers, and Seeds

By Caleb Warnock
From self-sufficiency expert Caleb Warnock comes the ultimate guidebook to living off the land. Packed with over 1,450 photographs of 437 edible wild berries, roots, nuts, greens, and flowers, this essential field guide will provide you with invaluable information on plant identification, flavor, seasonality, history, common synonyms, eating and preparation instructions, and more It’s the most exhaustive reference book of its kind. Includes Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.


Candied violets are sophisticated and elegant additions to cakes, custards, ice cream, and cakes. You’ll find them surprisingly easy to make! Here’s a LINK to Leda Meredith’s Candied Violets at The Spruce Eats. Enjoy!

You might also have fun freezing your edible flowers into ice cubes for colorful additions to a spring or summer spritzer. Try wrapping your edible blooms in rice paper as part of your favorite spring rolls. Flavor your favorite ice cream or gelato. Or toss the petals onto the tops of your favorite cupcakes or homemade donuts. The possibilities are wonderful!

Safety Tip! Be sure to avoid using flowers that have been treated with pesticides or other chemicals. If you’re foraging for wild flowers, be very careful about accurate identification. When purchasing these from your grocery store, be sure they’re coming from the produce section, and are intended for human consumption. …and as with anything new to the diet, proceed cautiously if there is any concern about food allergies.

You might also check out our post on Growing Your Own Salad Greens!

Grow Your Own Salad Greens – and 9 Books with Recipes to Top Your Salad Plates with Sensational Salad Dressings

By Annie St. Francis – Reprinted with permission from The Repository Project
Grow your own salad greens, and have some fun with creative ideas as you plan your gardens. Salads aren’t just for iceberg lettuce, after all! Be adventurous, and try new and flavorful combinations of salad greens and herbs. Add color and texture to your salad, and amazing tastes. Dream on Lola Rosa or Red Oak Leaf lettuces. A sampling of Frisee is always delightful. Red-veined Sorrel adds a beautiful leaf to the salad plate. There are so many possibilities! Bibb and Butter Crunch. Endives. Escaroles. Radicchio and Romaine. Dandelion. Add the snap of finely chopped cabbage and home grown sprouts. Your palette will enjoy as well distinctive mint or one of the many basils. Toss in some of your favorite microgreens. Edible flowers, anyone? You might even want to make your very own salad dressings to top these salad plates!

Sensational Salad Dressings

Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes: A Salad Dressings Cookbook with 127 Healthy and Creative Salad Dressings and Vinaigrette Recipes

Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes: A Salad Dressings Cookbook with 127 Healthy and Creative Salad Dressings and Vinaigrette Recipes

By Allison Barnes
Take Your Salad Making Game To A New Level Why buy unhealthy salad dressings from a store when it’s so easy to make yours at home? The 127 salad dressing recipes in this book are tasty, have an amazing mix of flavors and are full of healthy goodness. This compilation of recipes will open you up to an almost endless combination of flavors to add that magic touch to your meals. With this book, you can make every type of dressing that you want. Whether it’s creamy, tangy, spicy or nutty, there is a recipe to meet your needs. Your salad making game will be taken to a whole new level. These versatile recipes are not just for salads, they can be used for dips, basting sauces as well as marinades. Your meals will receive new life and vibrancy. Making salad dressings at home will save you a lot of money and you can experiment with all manners of variety. Homemade dressings also enable you to control the ingredients. You can avoid the excess sugar, excess salt, artificial coloring and artificial flavors that make store-bought dressings so unhealthy. These nourishing recipes are incredibly easy to make and can be whipped up in just a few minutes with everyday pantry ingredients.

Salads and Salad Dressing Recipes Simplified: Delicious Salads from All Around the World – Quick and Easy Recipes

Salads and Salad Dressing Recipes Simplified: Delicious Salads from All Around the World – Quick and Easy Recipes

By Ashley Cree
Salads And Salad Dressing Recipes Simplified: Delicious Salads From All Around The World. Quick And Easy Recipes. As our lives become more busy and faster paced, we eat more and more fast food and junk food. All of us need a daily dose of vegetables, especially the green leafy stuff. But most people find salads boring and lacking in flavor. It is even harder to try and convince kids to eat more salads. But salads do not have to be boring. On the contrary. Let me show you some simple recipes for salads and salad dressings that your entire family will love. Throw in some chicken or tuna with a special sauce or dressing and you have yourself a complete meal. And it’s healthy too. Start making more salads and let me show you how to make a number of high quality salads and salad dressings. These are quick and easy recipes from all around the world. 

Healthy Salad Dressing Cookbook with Vinaigrette

Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes: Healthy Salad Dressing Cookbook with Vinaigrette

By Angela Cyril
Do you agree with me that Salad dressings are the greatest secret weapon of every tasty salad? You can also agree with me that making your own salad dressing is healthy and easier than packaged ones? Adding Dressing to a salad helps to refine the texture and taste of the meal, with primary ingredients like yogurt, oils, dairy products, vinegar etc. This book will show you how you can make healthy salad dressings at home with few recipes that are budget friendly, most of the ingredients can be found in your every day pantry. These dressing recipes can also be used as sauces and marinades for meat or fish.You will find super healthy recipes that will help spice up your salad and give you an unforgettable experience. Your will discover how to give new life and vibrancy to your salad, with homemade salad dressing recipes that are refreshing, rich and creamy.

Salad Dressing Recipes: Top 50 Most Delicious Homemade Salad Dressings

Salad Dressing Recipes: Top 50 Most Delicious Homemade Salad Dressings

By Julie Hatfield
What’s a salad without a dressing? Everyone enjoys a salad with a delicious dressing that can match its flavors. Sometimes, we use the same dressing over and over again, until it’s becomes boring. Why ruin a good salad with an overused salad dressing? This book contains a wide variety of scrumptious salad dressing recipes that are budget friendly and easy to make. Why buy salad dressings when you can make your own quickly and easily? If you like salads, then you will love these recipes. Whether you’re making a dressing to put in a garden-fresh salad, on a sandwich, or even as a sauce or marinade for chicken, steak or fish, these recipes will add incredible and unique flavors to all of these.

Salad Dressing Recipes: The World’s Best Organic Gluten Free Salad Dressing Cookbook Recipes

Salad Dressing Recipes: The World’s Best Organic Gluten Free Salad Dressing Cookbook Recipes

By Alicia Hern
Please leave us an Amazon review for this book and let us know your thoughts or what your favorite recipe was Why buy salad dressing when you can make your own organic gluten free dressing at home. If you love salads and enjoy organic, gluten free meals, then you will love this book. These incredible, fun, easy and unique flavors, are mouth watering and best of all, they are certified organic and gluten free. From sweet and simple vinaigrettes, Italian caesar dressing, to fancy shmancy organic white whine pear dressing, this organic gluten free recipe cookbook, has it all.

Vinaigrettes and Other Dressings: 60 Sensational Recipes to Liven Up Greens, Grains, Slaws, and Every Kind of Salad

Vinaigrettes and Other Dressings: 60 Sensational Recipes to Liven Up Greens, Grains, Slaws, and Every Kind of Salad

By Michele Jordan
With this gorgeous and inventive book full of fresh, bright dressings and vibrant vinaigrettes, you can make salads the stars of your meals, rather than just afterthoughts. You can even make salads that are complete one-plate meals, easy to prepare and full of flavor. Mollie Katzen, author of the Moosewood cookbooks, calls lifelong Californian Michele Anna Jordan “the quintessential expert on California cuisine”–and nowhere on earth are salads more celebrated than in California. Michele has been perfecting her salad-making craft over several decades as a chef, caterer, food columnist, and cookbook author. In Vinaigrettes and Other Dressings, she shares her wisdom about the most important element in any salad: its dressing. About half of the recipes in this book are variations on the classic vinegar-and-olive-oil vinaigrette. But Michele takes the vinaigrette formula in surprising and delicious directions, sometimes by using flavored vinegars (either store-bought or flavored by the home cook), sometimes by using dark vs. light or mild vs. strong olive oils, sometimes by switching out the olive oil for another oil, and always by adding flavoring elements like berries, citrus, honey, bacon, nuts, mustard and even wines and sherries.

The Best 50 Salad Dressings

The Best 50 Salad Dressings

By Stacey Printz
Choose from a plethora of recipes for dressings, and salads with which to toss them. Find a range of choices, from creamy and indulgent to tangy and fat-free.

Over 70 Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes: Healthy, Most Delicious and Super Easy Salad and Vinaigrette Recipes

Over 70 Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes: Healthy, Most Delicious and Super Easy Salad and Vinaigrette Recipes

By Norah Mark
With a bowl, a whisk and a few ingredients in this cookbook, you can whip up in a jiffy great dressing with the full flavor of home-made salad dressings to enjoy your meals all the time. home-made salad dressings are healthier, richer and tastier because you can control the ingredients and even the costs. in this cookbook, there are many irresistible options to choose from. you can then say goodbye to bottled dressings.

Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes: Easy Whip, Healthy, Dynamic and Delicious Salad Dressings with Vinaigrette

Homemade Salad Dressing Recipes: Easy Whip, Healthy, Dynamic and Delicious Salad Dressings with Vinaigrette

By Linda Watson
Why make your own salad dressing? It’s so easy to make your own tasty and delicious dressing at home without being packed with nothing but suspicious ingredients, hidden sodium, and preservatives. No doubt, some of the salad dressing we buy at the grocery stores are so unhealthy; they often contain some ingredients that our diet may not tolerate. This book will teach you how to make salad dressing just the way you like it. Since you will be in control of the ingredients you wish to use, you can easily substitute an ingredient you don’t like for the ones that suits your taste-bud or diet lifestyle. Each recipe in this book has an amazing mix of flavors and full of healthy goodness, mostly labeled as ‘low carb, gluten free or vegan. The recipes are so versatile, they can be used for more than just salad dressing, they can be used for marinades, dips or basting sauces as well. Your salad will be given new life and vibrancy. With 90 homemade salad dressing recipes that are refreshing, rich and creamy dressings, vinaigrettes, fruit-based dressings, Greek salad dressing etc. Making your own salad dressing will help you save money, and add a lot of flavors to your salads, your salad will no longer be ordinary, but will be full of life, appealing and give you a taste to always remember. Welcome to the pleasure of healthy eating once again.

You might also want to learn more about everything from gardens and greenhouses to cooking, baking and home creameries! We invite you to browse and shop the books below. Your purchases help to support the work of The Repository Project.

Gardens, Greenhouses, and Hydroponics

Gardening is a healthy, wholesome activity for people of all ages, and the rewards are simply wonderful. There is something really neat about a meal that comes in part or in total from what we can grow for ourselves at home.
The books included in the selection here cover a variety of important topics. Learn to grow your own fresh fruits and vegetables in open air gardens and raised beds. Explore vertical growing to increase your yield per square foot of growing space. Produce and renew your own seed from year to year. Develop ideas for your greenhouse design and strategies for greenhouse growing. Explore the science and systems of hydroponics. Grow and harvest your own culinary mushrooms. Discover the healthful deliciousness of microgreens, and “sprout” in your very own kitchen. Learn to solve for challenges, and to advance new ideas you can share with other home gardeners. Experience the joy of producing your own homegrown food. Dream on the idea of starting your own farm.

Cooking, Baking, Home Creameries, Food Preservation and Root Cellaring

The smell of freshly baked artisan bread. Fresh cheese. Garden grown herbs and cooking with culinary mushrooms. Making delicious meals from the garden harvest of an invincible summer. Joy at the sight and smell of an oven-baked fruit pie. The celebration of laughter, and an ice cream cone enjoyed on a rocking chair front porch. There is nothing quite like the delicious, nutritious meals we make in our home kitchens – and the memories we create when we share these with family, friends, and neighbors.

Country Living, Homesteads, and Rural Lifestyles

In and among these books, we hope you’ll discover the joys of country living, homesteading, the rural lifestyle, DIY projects, and home care and keeping. All this and more is yours to unfold as you read about and dream on the possibilities, and realize those that are best suited to your personal life journey. Discover the slower pace of rural living. Enjoy the clarity of quiet focus. Celebrate the restful reward of sound slumber after the work of each day. Savor the sensation of a gentle breeze. Take in the beauty of the changing autumn leaves. Take comfort in warm blankets during the cold of winter’s first snowfall. Delight in the songs of birds in the spring. Connect with what’s most important in life – family, friends, neighbors, and your community.

See our article on Spring Gardening HERE!

Spring Gardening and a Few of Our Favorite Gardeners

Spring Gardening

spring gardening

Spring is here, and fresh new starts are springing up in gardens – big and small – everywhere. You’ll find below a sampling of some of our favorite gardeners, their sites, and educational videos. We hope you enjoy their tutorials as much as we do, that you learn lots, that you’ll help to support their ongoing work, and that your gardens produce nutritious and delicious fruits and vegetables throughout the growing season.

Each of these gardeners brings informative and insightful content to interested learners. Learn to grow in-ground, in raised beds, vertically, hydroponically, and in greenhouse environments. Have fun with sprouts and microgreens. Discover new plant varieties, experiment with companion planting, and troubleshoot challenges in your quest to become an ever better gardener. Grow everything from salad greens to potatoes, and so much more.

Gardening is a wholesome hobby with great rewards – fitness and fun and a food supply. It encourages physical activity, and there is a whole lot of joy in the success of the harvest. Gardens also help to build a safety net with access to affordable food grown from seed. Given the price pressures of inflation, and the risk of interruptions to supply chains, successful home gardens yield delicious edibles, and peace of mind too.

Let’s get started!

Curtis Stone at The Urban Farmer

Curtis Stone’s Educational Videos


Luke Marion at The MI Gardener

Luke Marion’s Educational Videos


James Prigioni at The Gardening Channel


Mark Valencia at Self Sufficient Me

Mark Valencia’s Educational Videos


Mike Adams at Natural News

Mike Adams’ Video Channel


You might also enjoy browsing featured books at The Repository Project

Gardens, Greenhouses, Vertical Growing and Hydroponics

6 Tips and Tricks to Producing Your Own Gardener’s Gold – The Art and Science of Composting

Here are 6 Tips and Tricks to Producing Your Own Gardener’s Gold. You’ll discover that composting is both an art and a science, and there’s a lot to learn. The more you know, the better your odds for great results in the garden. We are wishing everyone success in their growing endeavors, and are always delighted by stories of home grown fresh produce – delicious, nutritious, and lots of it!

Spring Garden Starts – 8 Tips to Help You Succeed as a Beginning Gardener

It’s spring and time to sprout those spring garden starts! The risk of frost will soon pass for most of America, and you’ll want to make the most of this year’s growing season. Experienced gardeners are already busy tending to this year’s gardens. If you’re new to home gardening, we have tips to share that will help you get started early.

6 Tips and Tricks to Producing Your Own Gardener’s Gold – The Art and Science of Composting

composting

By Annie St. Francis – Reprinted with permission from The Repository Project
Here are 6 Tips and Tricks to Producing Your Own Gardener’s Gold. You’ll discover that composting is both an art and a science, and there’s a lot to learn. The more you know, the better your odds for great results in the garden. We are wishing everyone success in their growing endeavors, and are always delighted by stories of home grown fresh produce – delicious, nutritious, and lots of it!

1) Choose a location for compost processing near a water source like a hose bib, and be sure your hose and nozzle will comfortably reach your compost pile. You’ll want enough space to turn your compost, moving it back and forth between a couple of stacks. This work is important. By turning the compost, you’re encouraging healthy microbial growth, and aerating it at the same time.

2) Include both “browns” (which convert to humus) and “greens” (which convert quickly to nitrogen) in roughly a 3:1 ratio. Great examples of “browns” include leaf litter, pine needles, and straw, while “greens” might include fruit and vegetable peelings, cores, and other scraps. Fresh grass clippings are great for compost, but do exercise caution where pesticides and herbicides are used. Avoid these. Do not poison the organisms that will work to create your compost, the plants that will grown in your compost, or yourself through contact – by touch or ingestion. Organic compost is your best option, every time!

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Raising Chickens – Happy Hens for the Backyard or Barnyard

Raising Chickens
Chickens at the local watering hole

Raising chickens for the backyard or barnyard is a fun and important part of prepared living. If you’re thinking seriously about becoming a prepper, achieving as much food supply self-sufficiency as possible is surely high on the list of your priorities. Access to nutritious food is fundamental to building a solid foundation for life, and the ability to produce it supports tremendous peace of mind. Delicious, nutritious farm-fresh eggs are one important way to accomplish all of these goals.

Living a prepared lifestyle for many years now, we have learned a lot about raising chickens, the joys (and challenges) of free-ranging birds, and budget benefits of having your own fresh eggs every morning. We would like to share some of this knowledge with you. The circumstances of each reader may vary, and adjustments to ideas and options may be important too for anyone who might like to raise and keep their own chickens. As with almost everything about prepared life, there is no “one size” that fits all! Prepared life is as unique among preppers as people are, one to the next!

Let’s get started.

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Spring Garden Starts – 8 Tips to Help You Succeed as a Beginning Gardener

By Annie St. Francis

It’s spring and time to sprout those spring garden starts! The risk of frost will soon pass for most of America, and you’ll want to make the most of this year’s growing season. Experienced gardeners are already busy tending to this year’s gardens. If you’re new to home gardening, we have tips to share that will help you get started early.

Here are 8 tips to help you succeed as a beginning gardener!

1) Start your plants indoors. Choose an area that gets a lot of natural light, especially in the morning, and one that stays warm too. If you’re placing your starter trays near a window, consider night time low temperatures, and any drafts that might impair seed germination or endanger fledgling plants. Seed germination is most successful in warm soil.

2) Choose varieties likely to do well in your growing zone, and the conditions you can provide your plants whether you’ll be gardening in the open air, in raised beds, using vertical systems, or inside a greenhouse.

3) If you’re keeping spring garden starts in a windowless room, like a bathroom or basement area, there are now several options for comparatively affordable LED grow lights. LED technology uses much less electricity than light bulbs of the past, and LED lights are much less fragile than the fluorescent tubes of old.

When shopping for LED grow lights, be sure to check the system you’re considering for size, recommendations for placement in relation to your plants, and to ensure even distribution of lighting. In shopping for lights, you’ll discover that there are lots of options!

4) Watch the moisture level of your growing medium. Germinating seeds and plant starts shouldn’t be found swimming in water-saturated soil, nor should these be allowed to dry out. This is a critical time in the development of your garden plants. Watch over them closely.

5) Use a quality seed starting mix. A proper mix has good drainage properties, and some nutrient support. For experienced growers, or adventurous beginners, you can also make your own starter mix. A recipe you might consider is LINKED HERE.

6) Choose the size of your starter pots thoughtfully. As an example, onions can very easily be started in growing trays with 1” planting cells. The beauty of this is that most 10” x 20” trays hold 72 cells. Three or four of these create tremendous produce potential. Squash, on the other hand, are best started in larger 3” or 4” pots. The larger pots will support your plant starts for a longer period of time, and will require fewer moves. Whenever possible, and especially among beginning gardeners, make it your goal to transplant just once from the starting pot to the open air garden outdoors.

7) Make plans to transplant your starts from pots or planters to their garden homes as soon as possible after the last chance of frost. But! Be careful and be ready for a surprise cold snap. Watch the weather. If it looks like temperatures near freezing are on the way, take steps to protect your plants. How much protection? This will depend on the conditions you’re expecting, and the cold hardiness of your varieties.

One strategy used in our family garden is to cover our plants with empty pots or buckets (large enough to protect all the leaves), and then to place a tarp over those buckets. Weights around tarp will help hold it in place, and prevent wind from lifting and moving it. Remember that wind often accompanies cold fronts!

8) When it’s time to deliver your starts to their outdoor garden homes, be sure you’re placing each plant in good quality soil which should be nutritious, and moist but balanced for proper drainage. Many plants will tolerate a range of conditions, but some are especially fussy. Invest yourself in learning about your plant’s preferences for nutrient balance, soil pH, and drainage. In doing so, you’ll enjoy the celebration of lots of success, and be much more prepared to problem-solve for any challenges you might face along the way!

Gardening is a fun and healthy activity enjoyed by people of all ages, in all parts of the country, and across all growing zones. If you would like to learn more, and build your library in the process, we have some fabulous gardening, greenhouse and hydroponics books available. Whether you’re beginning with a few plants in the window sill, or preparing for a larger outdoor garden endeavor, we at The Repository Project are wishing you a wonderful experience and every success!