Where has Urbanangie been?

Urbanangie here. Now I realize that I haven’t posted anything in several years. Let me explain how that happened.

First my health deteriorated to the point where I spent more time in the hospital than i spent at home. I couldn’t figure out why I kept getting so sick. I took the medicine the doctors said I needed, I followed all of the instructions the doctors gave me, and I still got worse. It was quite the mystery. Finally I started investigating the medicines and diagnoses online and was quite surprised to find that the medications I was prescribed were also prescribed for at a minimum of at least three or four illnesses that I didn’t have.

Wow. Can you believe that? I wasn’t taking a medication that would fix me I was taking medication that masked the symptoms. I continued to investigate and became horrified to find that not only did my medication mask my symptom but it actually could cause even worse symptoms.

My solution…I STOPPED taking the medication. I began to investigate herbal and natural treatment solutions for my medical issues. I found that I could treat my symptoms with herbal teas and essential oils. Ok my road to recovery has been rough but at least I feel like I am taking control of my health.

So yes my friends in the prepping community I had fallen for the hype of big pharmacological companies but I am done with that now. I try to control my health with natural and homeopathic practices. Suffice it to say that not only does my doctor not approve my choice but neither does my family. Both my doctor and my family think I have a death wish because I no longer want to pump my body full on dangerous drugs that I really don’t know what they are for, what they are made of , and what they do. I assure you I don’t have a death wish I just want to be free and in control.

So I haven’t been posting while I was investigating and changing how I handle health care issues. I still see my doctor and I do take some prescription medications that I understand and that I am certain do what they are supposed to do but most of my symptoms are treatable with herbal teas and essential oils.

I have been prepping while I was away however my beloved family threw out most of my stored water while I was in the hospital and used a lot of my stored food supplies rather than spend their money on groceries. So I feel as if I had to start over. (Sigh…Life is hard when the people you love don’t understand you…Sigh)

I am not going to say my health is perfect or even good. I will give my health a fair. So I am not going to promise to blog every day. I may not be able to. I will instead promise that I will blog at least three times a week and I hope that someone out will read it. I don’t have illusions that lots of people will be reading what I write I just hope to reach out and help someone someday.

God Bless and Good Luck until next time

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My Return

Sorry about being away for so long to all my followers. I have been seriously ill. I did everything I could to get well using my home remedies and it took a while but I am better now. The only serious medical problem I have left will require surgery and I can’t cure this problem with a home remedy. I dislike having to use modern medicine but I have a realistic view of the world. I understand that a medical problem that requires surgery is not something I can take of here at home. So by being realistic I have been seeing a doctor to care for what I can’t.

So because of my illness I had to put most of my plans on hold.

Now it is almost Thanksgiving so all my plans for the near future revolve around planning the meal I have to cook for the family.

I am going to go for now I have to get started on my dinner. I know it sounds early but I gotta prep the pumpkin for the pies, bread, and other parts.

God bless you all.

My Future Plans

I have been making plans. I have drawn up a goal list. I have several big goals. When I looked at my goal list I realized something. I realized that I am not able to meet some of these goals due to my medical situation. So I revamped my goal list and broke the big goals down into little bite size chunks. So now I have a bigger list but I can actually reach each of these goals. My first little goal is to get my container garden started. To meet this goal I have started buying things at garage sales and thrift shops that I can convert into planters for the plants.

At this point in time I only have three containers but I plan to get many more over the winter. I am also going to order seeds over the winter to prepare for the spring planting. I am starting a compost bucket and hopefully by the time planting season rolls around I will have a nice supply of compost to put on the new plants.

Well that’s about all for now but remember I will continue to hope and pray and work towards my longest goal of complete sustainable off the grid living.

Bless you all.

Where to Store Food

I have posted a couple of times about what to buy for food storage but I realize that those of us living in an urban setting may not have a lot of room for storage. Let me tell you how I solved that problem.

I store food and other preps in the backs of the closets, under the beds, on high selves I don’t want to have to use daily, and other places.

Think outside the box. I did and I found that I could turn my totes full of stored food and gear into tables and I put gear behind the couch.

Really the first thing I did was go through each room and get rid of anything that I had not used in the past year. I say year because I did this in the spring and I wanted to make sure I kept everything I thought I would need.

I have now waited until each season arrives then I got rid of everything I didn’t need for that season.

You would be amazed at how much room you have freed up for storage.

Have fun and stay safe.

God Bless

Real Food Storage on $10 a Week

I am on a fixed income and receive food stamps so food storage is a very hard thing for me to accomplish. I have begun to learn to can and dehydrate food for storage but I am discovering that the equipment needed for those ways are out of my price range. So I am saving up to purchase a dehydrator and a pressure canner. I learned that everything can be canned with a pressure canner but some things can be canned with either a pressure or water canner. So I have decided that the best thing to get is the pressure canner first. After I get a canner and jars, bands, and lids. I will then save up for a dehydrator. I hope to have at least the canner before the next harvest season as I am planning on a container garden next spring and I will need the canner to be able to store all the bounty from my upcoming garden.

This is another list for food storage on a budget. This list is for people who can afford to spend $10 a week. Even if you think you can’t afford $10 a week you can. Just take your lunch to work and you will save enough to be able to buy what is on this list every week.

1- One refill pouch of Real Salt

2- 3-4 cans of full-fat coconut milk

3- 4-6 pounds of dry beans of your choice

4- 4 or so pounds of a high quality sucanat

5- 2-3 bags of steel-cut oats

6- $10 in your family’s preferred cut of chicken to freeze

7- 2 cans of salmon

8- 1-2 pounds of your preferred mild, hard cheese, to wax

9- One container of coconut oil

10- $10 in your family’ preferred cut of beef to freeze

11- 1-3 pounds of butter

12- $10 in your family’s favorite spices

13- White vinegar

14- 1 container of baking powder and 1 food-grade baking soda

15- 2-3 bags of your preferred flour or a whole grain of your choice

16- 2 cans of salmon

17- 1-2 containers of your favorite nut butter

18- 8 pounds of rice

19- 1-2 pounds of your preferred mild, hard cheese, to wax

20- $10 in your family’s preferred cut of chicken to freeze

21- 4 cans of diced tomatoes

22-$10 in your family’ preferred cut of beef to freeze

23- 4 jars of applesauce

24- Cabbage to turn into kraut

25- Apple cider vinegar

26- 10 pounds of sweet potatoes

27- One container of coconut oil

28- 4-6 pounds of dry beans of your choice

29- 1-3 pounds of butter

30- $10 in your family’s preferred cut of chicken to freeze

31- 4 jars of tomato paste

32- 1-2 pounds of your preferred mild, hard cheese, to wax

33- 4 or so pounds of a high quality sucanat

34- 4-5 cans of pumpkin

35- $10 in your family’ preferred cut of beef to freeze

36- 3 pounds onions, 4 pounds carrots to root cellar

37- 8 pounds of white potatoes to root cellar

38- $10 in your family’s favorite spices

39- 1-2 packages of dehydrated vegetables for soup mix

40- 2-3 bags of your preferred flour or a whole grain of your choice

41- 3-4 cans of full-fat coconut milk

42- 4 jars of applesauce

43- 2 cans of salmon

44- 8 pounds of rice

45- 1-2 containers of your favorite nut butter

46- 1-3 pounds of butter

47- One container of coconut oil

48- Raw honey

49- 4-6 pounds of dry beans of your choice

50- $10 in your family’ preferred cut of beef to freeze

51- $10 in your family’s preferred cut of chicken to freeze

52- 1-2 pounds of your preferred mild, hard cheese, to wax

If you have the ability to can or dehydrate the meat it might be better to do so because if the power goes out then all the frozen food may spoil but canned or dried meat won’t spoil if the power fails for a long period of time.

Have a blessed day and let me know if you have any ideas to add or change on this list. I love to incorporate new ideas into my knowledge base.

Where I Have Been

Sorry to my followers. I have been so sick with bronchitis that I have been unable to stay awake long enough to even think about what to post. I am feeling a little better. My plan is to start back on my prepping posts tomorrow. Bear with me.

Have a blessed day.

Food Storage on a Budget

Today I am going to help you get started on your food storage. If you are like me and on food stamps then you probably shop for food once a month like I do. So I have put together a list of what to buy once a month to get you a decent stock pile of food at the end of one year.

I have also included in each month some non food items to purchase and store. If you cannot afford them right away save up and get them when you can. They will make your survival a bit easier.

Water is also included in this list. Remember you do not have to buy water. You can store tap water in clean sterilized bottles in a dark area for 6 months before they need to be rotated. I say get water but remember I don’t mean to buy it unless you want to. My water storage is all done for free with tap water and reused bottles.

Month 1

One case of tomato soup (if you don’t eat tomato soup get one case of a soup you and your family will eat). Remember to always store what eat and eat what you store.

Salt-one pound per person in your family.

Water-2 gallons per person in your family.

Plastic or paper plates, bowls, and utensils.

Month 2

Oats – two pounds per person in your family and 2 more gallons of water per person

Peanut Butter – one pound per person in your family

Sugar – two pounds per person in your family

One case of evaporated milk

Month 3

Three pounds of pasta (any kind)

Four jars of jam or jelly, and 2 more gallons of water per person

Flour – five pounds per person in your family

Two large bottles of vinegar

Month 4

Two large bottles of vegetable oil

One case of applesauce

Three pounds of pasta, and 2 more gallons of water per person

Honey – one and a half pounds per person in your family, and 2 or more gallons of water per person

Month 5

One case of canned olives

One case of chicken noodle soup, and 2 or more gallons of water per person

Four jars of Mayonnaise

Five pounds of rice, and 2 more gallons of water per person

Month 6

Sugar – two pounds per person in your family,

Four boxes of baking soda, and eight cans of tuna

Peanut Butter – one pound per person

Oats – three pounds per person

Month 7

One case of canned tomatoes, and 2 more gallons of water per person

Salt – one pound per person in your family

Two loaves of bread (to store in your freezer)

Four cans of baking powder

Month 8

One large package (or can) of dried fruit

Three pounds of dried beans (any kind), and 2 more gallons of water per person

Two bottles of ketchup and two bottles of mustard

Four pounds of powdered sugar

Oats – three pounds per person in your family

Month 9

One case of canned pineapple

One case of canned corn and 2 more gallons of water per person

Sugar – two pounds per person in your family

Three pounds of Brown Sugar

One case of cream of chicken soup

Month 10

Six boxes of Macaroni and Cheese

One case of canned mandarin oranges

Honey – one and a half pounds per person in your family, and 2 more gallons of water per person

Five pounds of rice

Three pounds of pasta

Month 11

Salt – one pound per person in your family

One case of canned black beans

One case of cream of mushroom soup, and 2 more gallons of water per person

Flour – five pounds per person in your family

Five cans of pasta sauce

Month 12

One gallon of bleach

Two pounds of your favorite powdered drink mix

One case of canned green beans, and 2 more gallons of water per person

One case of canned chili

Now this is a good beginning. Remember to store what you eat and eat what you store. If there is anything on this list that you and your family won’t eat then change it for something you do eat. If you shop paycheck to paycheck this list can be broken down into weekly purchases. I have put 52 separate items so that if you choose you could purchase one a week.

This list is a good beginning. Remember that these supplies will not be enough to get you through a long term disaster. For a  long term situation you need a garden and some sort of protein that will be sustainable. I recommend chickens, rabbits, and fish. I myself am in the process of building an aquaponics system.

I will explain why I think aquaponics is great way for those of us in an urban situation to be able to have some sustainability. I will tell you all about the system I am building in future posts.

Have a Blessed day.

More Thoughts on the Prepper’s Garden

Here are a few random thoughts on the prepper’s garden. These are just a few things I heard while listening to a group talk about how and why to grow food. I have taken what was said and condensed it into a few lists to make the tips easier.

Water Your Garden

  • Is the water pooling on top?
  • Use a 2-second count-if water pools after 2-seconds too much-if water gone before 2-seconds not enough
  • Count varies slightly from soil to soil
  • Containers can dry out easily and need to be water more often

Permaculture 101

  • Everything is integrated
  • Parts help one another
  • Creates no waste
  • Maximize small space
  • Observe and pattern after nature
  • Interact with the natural cycles
  • Fit into nature’s design scheme
  • Ethics in caring for people and earth
  • Least input, most gain
  • Least work, greatest effect
  • Unused surplus and resource
  • Benefit everything involved
  • Unique set of dynamics
  • Highest care closest to the house
  • Chickens, vegetables, and compost
  • Plan your garden with neighbors
  • Indigenous knowledge plus modern reality
  • Robust, dynamic human habitats
  • Combine all elements of your life
  • Productive and functional

Backyard Strategies

  • Ground cover with straw
  • Moderate temperature
  • Keep moisture in
  • Holes in ground cover
  • Rotate parts of garden
  • Buckwheat
  • White clover
  • Yellow dock
  • Grow many plants together

A Perennial Habitat

  • Fruits, nuts, vegetables
  • Very rewarding
  • Annuals require more care
  • Learn the rhythms of harvest

Food Forests

  • Growing food like the forest
  • Create our own growing systems
  • Observing natural relationships
  • Plants support each other

Chaotic Planting

  • Forget the inherent sense of order
  • White clover cover crop
  • Plants control each other
  • Let nature work it out

Natural Farming

  • Personal or village scale
  • Repopulate the countryside
  • Can solve environmental problems
  • Distribution decentralization
  • Reconnect with nature

Do Nothing Farming

  • No weeding
  • No tilling
  • Tilling is damaging to the soil
  • Tilling disrupts living things
  • Tilling makes soil sterile
  • No chemicals

Eating with the Seasons

  • Learn at the farmer’s market
  • Visit local farms
  • Participate and cooperate with local growing clubs
  • Where are the unmet needs? Try to find a niche to fill

Berries

  • Fit into garden landscape
  • Can be grown in containers
  • Raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries are easy for beginners
  • Ripen easily and tolerate some shade
  • Berries are super food
  • Berries pack tons of vital nutrients into a small area
  • Beginners and berries work well together

Raised bed

  • 8 to 10 hours of sun
  • 6 hours of sun minimum
  • What can grow in shade

Other Considerations

  • Close to a water source
  • Drainage is important
  • Humates like mulch or straw
  • Cardboard as a weed barrier
  • Find a good location
  • Competition with other roots
  • How much time do you have
  • Choose your soil thoughtfully

Seeds

  • Heirloom, non-GMO
  • Seed swaps
  • Like-minded people
  • Plant early in the season
  • Make space for creatures
  • Mark your plants
  • Logging and tagging
  • Allow for pollination
  • Multiple plants (they need to pollinate each other)
  • Heirloom vs. Hybrid
  • Heirloom
    • Different definitions
    • Grown from seed
    • 50+ year cycle
    • Rich in diversity
    • More flavorful
    • May be more nutritional
    • Rich genetic heritage
  • Hybrid
    • Genetic diversity
    • Don’t breed true
    • Less robust
    • Die out

Planting

  • Plant what you will eat
  • Wasted space equals wasted food
  • Label with popsicle sticks
  • Plant one knuckle down

Primed for Success

  • Radishes
  • Kale and Swiss Chard
  • Mixed lettuces
  • Shade plants
  • Herbs

Container Planting

  • 5 gallon buckets
  • Large or small pots
  • Food grade containers
  • Drill holes for drainage

Care and Harvest

  • Tend the garden for weeds
  • Weeds take nutrients
  • Pull when you’re ready to eat
  • Refrigerate or preserve

Keep It Fun and Simple

  • Be playful
  • Ask for help
  • Seek support
  • Share experiences

Starting with Tomatoes

  • Easy plant to start a garden
  • Need bright light
  • Gateway vegetable
  • 8 to 10 hours of full sun
  • Shallow plant
  • Start inside or outside
  • Buy tomato plants
  • Water-loving plant
  • Trellising is needed for tomatoes

Using 2-Liter Bottles

  • Cut off the fat end of the bottle
  • Put the skinny end into the soil and keep the fat end up
  • Add compost to bottle
  • Compost organic veggies
  • Put egg shells in bottle
  • Put coffee grounds in bottle
  • Use bottle to insure that water reaches the roots of the plants

Spring Planting

  • Kale
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Wild greens
  • Dandelions
  • Peas
  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Mustard greens
  • Collard greens

Summer Planting

  • Squash family
  • Corn
  • Sunflowers
  • Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Beans-plant every 2 weeks
  • Tomatoes-leaves are edible
  • Pumpkins-leaves and blossoms are edible

Fall and Early Winter Planting

  • Lettuce
  • Kale family
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Alfalfa
  • Sprouts

Three Sister Planting

  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Squash or melon

More on Corn

  • Needs pollinators
  • Bee colony collapse disorder
  • Hand pollinate
  • Stagger planting

Medicinal Plants

  • Turmeric
    • Benefits for 600 conditions
    • Magic bullet spice
    • Helpful for pre-diabetics
    • Possible to grow indoors
  • Garlic
    • Powerful antibiotic properties
    • Antibiotics have become less effective
    • Anti-oxidant and anti-infective compounds in raw garlic
    • Anti-viral and anti-cancer properties have been identified
    • Can reverse arterial plaque build-up
    • Plant in fall
    • Harvest in summer
  • Creeping Charlie
  • Prickly pear

Learn your Herbs

  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Chives

Diversity of Food Sources

  • Plants and animals
  • Annuals and perennials
  • Aquaponics and bioponics
  • Canna Lilies
    • Tubers are edible
    • Perennial polyculture
    • Minimal input

Grow your own Meat

  • Easier than vegetables
  • Set up systems for animals
  • Humane harvest
  • Greater practicality

Gardening and Climate

  • Learn the climate rhythms of your bioregion (where you live)
  • Tap into the accumulated wisdom of others
  • What are the ramifications of climate change
  • Increase the spectrum of plants to compensate for climate change
  • Climate change can affect how and when to plant certain plants
  • Monitor the changes in the climate of your bioregion

The Soil

  • Cover on forest ground
  • Damp soil underneath
  • Soft, living material
  • Man removed protective covering
  • Starting with the Soil
  • Wood chips, 4 inches deep
  • Access to soil for planting
  • Put paper on grass
  • Wood chips and green stuff
  • Layer with living things
  • Wood chips, compost, grass, or rocks
  • Retains moisture under the cover
  • Plain brown paper
  • Easier than you think
  • Lasagna technique (layering)
  • Cover the earth
  • Wood chips (amazing soil food)

Composting

  • Layer, don’t mix
  • Avoid imbalances
  • Nature is old
  • People are new

Food Growing

  • We were created in a garden.
  • Supposed to connect with the earth.
  • Earth and grounding are important to people.
  • People have insulated themselves against the earth.

Reusing Trees

  • Deciduous trees
  • Renewable resource
  • Use leaves to cover garden
  • Trees keep producing
  • Heat house with wood
  • Trees store heat from the sun
  • Burn the wood
  • When the wood burns it gives back the sun’s heat

Good Food Revolution

  • Plant and grow where you are
  • Use the space you have
  • Use the resources you have
  • Small scale to large scale

How Can You Contribute to the Food Revolution?

  • Grow
  • Cook
  • Raise funds
  • Teach kids

When we grow healthy food we

  • Cut petroleum use and transportation costs
  • Sequester carbon
  • Build soil
  • Regain our health
  • Reconnect with nature
  • Benefit from the increased nutritional value of fresh food
  • Become happier in general

Symbiotic Relationship

  • Plants communicate with soil biology
  • Chemicals kill off the biology
  • Biology maintains loamy soil
  • 25% air, 25% water, 45% minerals, and 5% organic matter

Building Your Soil

  • Get some life in your soil
  • Compost (worm, horse, or food)
  • Stir the composted soil
  • It’s about balance

Soil Biology

  • Earthworms and microbiology
  • Avoid petrochemical fertilizers
  • Feed the biology of the soil
  • Work in concert with the soil

Water

  • Quality is important
  • City water has chlorine and fluoride
  • Minimizes biological vibrancy
  • Let water rest overnight
  • Test rainwater

Rules of Thumb

  • Good soil
  • Good water
  • Good light
  • Good drainage
  • Grow what you will eat
  • Grow to the seasons
  • Seeds for your bioregion
  • Good seed quality
    • Save seeds
    • Swap seeds

Plants and the Soil

  • More vibrant immune system
  • Fewer bugs, less disease
  • Bugs feed on weak plants
  • Healthy soil, healthy plants

Tangible Benefits to Gardening

  • Gardens are tailored to your needs and preferences
  • Food supply during times of crisis
  • Keep the money in your community
  • Alleviate food deserts and food insecurity
  • Access to fresher and better produce
  • Greater variety of produce
  • Better availability and less expense
  • The food is safer and fresher

Intangible Benefits to Gardening

  • Pure enjoyment
  • Reconnect with your heritage
  • Reconnect with nature
  • Community participation
  • Involvement with garden

Tater Towers

  • Cut up the potatoes
  • Put them in a 55-gallon drum
  • Cover with compost or straw
  • Cover with more compost every time plants are 6 inches tall
  • Plants become the root system
  • Use a lot of water
  • Done when plants are flowing down the sides from the top
  • When the leaves die back the potatoes are done
  • Dump it out to harvest

G-Bombs

  • Foods recommended for good health
    • Greens
    • Beans
    • Onions
    • Mushrooms
    • Berries
    • Seeds
  • Foods that heal and lead to better health

Helping Honey Bees

  • Be bee friendly
  • Bee-friendly gardening
  • Learn about pollination
  • Eliminate fear
  • No chemicals on blossoms
  • Love your dandelions
  • Bee-friendly veggies and fruits
  • Start with herbs (allow some to flower)

Like I said these are just miscellaneous thoughts and ideas about growing your own food. I know that prepper’s have storage that contains food. This is good but what will you do if it runs out, it is stolen, it is destroyed by natural disaster, or you can no longer access it. With a garden all preppers have a way to feed themselves, their family, and their group. This to me is an essential part of prepping.

I know it’s been a few days since I talked to everyone and I am sorry but I have been really busy trying to organize my food storage. I am still working on it but I will try to do better about getting here to keep you informed.

I think my next blog will be my list of what to buy every month for food storage. If you are like me and get food stamps then you probably are like me and shop only once a month. If that is the case then the list I put up should be helpful.

Till then may God Bless you all.

Mushroom Tips and Tricks

Today I am going to give you some tips and tricks about growing mushrooms. Mushrooms are an often overlooked prep item. Mushrooms are very high in protein and are extremely nutritious. If you grow your own then you are assured of a healthy addition to your food storage and daily diet.

Here are some tips I picked up while attending a webinar on growing mushrooms at home.

Mushrooms and Fungi

  • Lion’s Mane mushroom
  • Grow on logs and wood chips
  • Fruit of an edible landscape
  • Fruit year after year
  • Healthy trees, 6 to 8 inches diameter
  • Cut logs and let sit for a few weeks
  • Inoculate in early spring
  • Drill holes about every 6 inches in the logs
  • Install dowels to seal in moisture
  • Seal with cheese wax or beeswax
  • Water weekly if necessary
  • 8 to 18 months starts to fruit
  • Patience and the right materials
  • Normal fruiting substrate
  • Spawn carriers carry inoculate
  • Understand the nature of the organism
  • Mycelium mat
  • Mulch your garden
  • Sawdust spawn
  • Moist wood chips or straw
  • Spread by picking

Mushroom Truths

  • Breathe oxygen
  • More mobile than most plants
  • Source of protein
  • Mushroom is the fruit

Health Benefits of Mushrooms

  • Unique B vitamins
  • Immune boosting
  • Protein source
  • Source of vitamin D
  • Increase oxygen absorption
  • Lower disease rates

Mainstream Mushrooms

  • Education and exposure
  • Eschew mycophobia
  • Experience health benefits
  • Everything has a place

Companion Planting

  • Oyster and Wine Caps
  • $20 for a 5lb. bag of spawn
  • 90% chance of success
  • 4×4 foot bed
  • Spawn intermixed (layer wood chips and straw, then spawn, then wood chips and straw, and so on and so forth)

Cohabitation

  • Be careful of fresh wood chips
  • Older wood chips for mushrooms
  • Look for mycelium in wood chips
  • Use clean wood chips to inoculate

Reishi Mushrooms

  • Beginner’s mushroom
  • Grow indoors or outdoors
  • Energetic healing
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Tinctures, soups, soup stocks
  • Earthy and bitter so it needs boiling

Shitake Mushrooms

  • Anti-carcinogenic values
  • Good protein source
  • The oak mushroom
  • Cultivate in an oak log

Oyster Mushrooms

  • Warm weather strain
  • Easy to grow
  • Detoxify soils
  • Cycle of life

Mushroom Spores

  • Seeds from under the cap
  • Produced by the billions
  • Spawns need sterile environment
  • Can outpace competitors

Mushrooms in the Garden

  • Fruit indoors 3 to 4 times
  • Transplant to garden
  • Cover/mix with mulch
  • Benefits to the plants

Growing Mushrooms in a Laundry Basket

Materials

  • Oyster Mushroom Spawn
  • Laundry Basket
  • Medium Trash Bag
  • Chopped Straw
  • Large Pot
  • Old ice chest
  • Screen
  • Thermometer
  • Agricultural Lime
  • Agricultural Gypsum
  • Cardboard

Step by Step

  1. Pasteurize Straw
    • Get a large pot and fill with 2 gallons of hot water.
    • Put the pot on the stove, and heat until the water reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • While the water is heating, prepare the straw by filling the laundry basket with straw.  You want to fill the basket a little at a time, and compress the straw as you go.
    • Dump the straw into an old ice chest.
    • Dust the straw with a bit of lime (1/4 cup) and gypsum (1/8 cup).
    • Mix the lime and gypsum in.
    • Once the water is up to temp, dump the water over the straw.
    • Close the ice chest and let the straw soak for 1.5 hours.
  2. Load the Basket
    • After the straw has soaked for at least 1.5 hours, set up a screen so that you can place a thin layer of straw to cool.
    • Lay out a layer of the hot straw on the screen.  The layer should be less than 2 inches thick.
    • Once the straw has cooled to the touch, load a layer into the laundry basket and compress.  The layer should be about 2 inches thick.
    • Place another layer of straw on the screen.
    • Cover the layer of straw in the basket with spawn.  Make sure the spawn stays at least 2 inches away from the edge of the basket.  You want the spawn to be evenly distributed on the straw.
    • Repeat steps 3-5 until the laundry basket is full.
    • Once full, run your hands around the edges of the basket, making all the loose straw fall.
    • Cover the basket with the trash bag.
  3. Spawn Run
    • Place the laundry basket in a warm, dark room.  The room should not exceed 80F, and be at least 70F.
    • Check on the basket after one week.  You should start to see white mycelium growing at some of the holes.  Cover, and check again in another week.
    • Once the mycelium has completely covered the straw, you are ready to start pinning (primordia formation).
  4. Primordia
    • Uncover the basket and place in a cool, well lit room.  You want the room to be 50F-60F, and have high humidity.  If humidity is a problem, place a loose plastic over the basket.
    • Expose the basket to fresh air 3 times a day.  Mist the basket once a day.
    • Time varies on primordia formation, but it can take as much as a week.
    • When primordia form, they will look like tiny little pins.  Once the basket is full of these, it is time for the fruiting stage.
  5. Fruiting
    • Move the basket to a slightly warmer room with more light.  The humidity can be a bit lower here, but a loose plastic draped over the basket works well.
    • Expose the basket to fresh air 3 times a day.  Mist the basket once a day.
    • Watch out for fruit flies, they can destroy your harvest. If flies are detected, move the basket to a better location and make the plastic covering a bit tighter.
    • Pick the fruit when the heads just begin to turn upright.  Be careful, fruit can develop extremely fast, one day they look like pins, and the next day they are ready to harvest.
    • Once you harvest the fruits, mist the basket well, and go through the primordia procedure again.  The basket should be able to fruit 2-3 times.
  6. Cloning
    • Once you harvest your mushrooms, you can make more spawn through cloning on cardboard. Cut all the stems and bases of the harvested fruit into tiny pieces.
    • Cut cardboard into 6″ by 6″ squares.  You’ll want a stack of cardboard at least 8″ high.
    • Soak the cardboard in water for about 15 minutes, or until the layers of cardboard separate easily.
    • Prepare a trash bag by opening it, and setting it flat on the counter.  You will set the cardboard in this bag.
    • Separate a piece of cardboard by pulling the layers apart. You should have one piece with corrugations, and the other piece will be flat.
    • Place the corrugated piece in the bag.  Put several small pieces of mushroom, spaced about 2″ apart, on the cardboard layer.  Cover with the other side of cardboard.
    • Repeat steps 5 and 6 for all of your cardboard, setting each piece on top of the previous layer.
    • Close the bag with a loose knot.  Mark the date and species of mushroom on the bag, and set in a warm, dark room (spawning Room) for 2 weeks.  Check the bag every few days for signs of growth.  The mycelium will be white and fuzzy, and will grow out from the mushrooms pieces and cover the entire stack of cardboard.
    • When the mycelium has covered the entire stack, it is ready to go into a laundry basket.  To use this as spawn, pull out a layer of cardboard, tear into small pieces, and layer on the straw.
    • If the cardboard starts to stink or has green mold, dispose of it.  You want clean spawn going into your laundry baskets.

So if you have ever considered growing mushrooms or even if you haven’t then you can see from these tips and tricks that growing them can be done.

Let me know if this is useful. I have found it to be so.

God Bless until we meet again.

Getting Ready to Garden (Tips for Getting Started)

Okay here are some basic tips and tricks to prepare you to get your garden off the ground (so to speak). It is important to remember that like anything else if you fail to plan you plan to fail. So start by making a plan and a schedule and sticking to it. If you schedule time to work in the garden as if it was an appointment you must keep then of course you will keep it.

Gardening is a great hobby but remember it can also feed you if the crazy JIT (just in time) food supply chain breaks down for any reason (for example…trucker’s strike, fuel prices too high, natural disaster, war, or emp). Anything could happen and having a backyard or container garden could feed you and your loved ones when the rest of the world is going crazy.

Tips for Getting Started

  • Create a simple plan
  • Choose a few crops to master
  • Observe and take notes
  • Start small
  • Be thoughtful about soil
  • 2” compost twice a year-spring and fall
  • Look at other gardens
  • Perennials instead of annuals
  • Intangible benefits
  • Healing process activity
  • Put on the beginner’s mind set
  • Awareness of energy flows-what flows into your home and what flows out
  • Grow what you like
  • What’s already growing
  • Get to know your neighbors
  • Get to know weeds and wild plants
  • Start with sprouts
  • Tray greens and containers
  • Quick herbs and greens
  • Learn about cycles
  • Monthly gardening journal
  • What did and didn’t work
  • How to keep pests out
  • Label your seeds
  • Big plants overpower little plants
  • Plan ahead
  • Sketch it out
  • Know your plants
  • Start with the basics
  • Install a raised bed
  • Fill it with dirt and plant
  • Start with tomatoes
  • Plan
  • Location
  • Soil and seed
  • Tend and harvest
  • Raised 4 x 3 planter
  • Raised 8 x 4 planter
  • Start sharing
  • Diversity of plants
  • Start with Kale (different varieties)
  • Some things grow in your bioregion. Some things don’t.
  • Expect the unexpected

Start small but start. Your garden can’t feed you if you don’t have it.

Till next time God Bless.