Passing this along to let you all know that through the Survivalist Boards Forum, 8 people have a chance to win a Berkey Water Filter! You have until February 28th to sign up; names will be drawn for the giveaway on March 1st. Here are the details from the forum, including links so you can try your luck at winning! CONTEST IS OPEN TO US AND CANADIAN ENTRIES!
NOTE: DO NOT REGISTER ON THIS BLOG FOR THIS GIVEAWAY - VISIT THE SURVIVALIST BOARDS FORUM LINK SHOWN BELOW TO ENTER!
~~~~~ Survivalist Boards February Giveaway Contest ~~~~~
When disaster strikes, will you and your family have plenty of safe drinking water? If your one of the lucky 8 winners, that problem might be taken care of (at least for a little while).
Jeff "The Berkey Guy" (the owner of Directive21.com) "LPC Survival Ltd.") is holding a contest where there will be 8 winners
Here are the prizes:
We are giving away 4 Berkey Water Purification Systems to 4 different members, You can pick the system of your choice from this list:*
Go Berkey Kit
Pictures are for examples only.
All systems with come brand new, with 2 black berkey elements.* The Big Berkey w/ 2 Nine inch White ceramic filters is available also as a choice.
We are also giving away 3 Sport Berkey Water Bottles to four different members. If you are one of the 4 chosen, you will receive 3 Sport Berkey's Free!
Some Specs on bottles:
Generic Sport Berkey® Portable Water Purifier bottle is the ideal personal protection traveling companion - featuring the IONIC ADSORPTION MICRO FILTRATION SYSTEM. The theory behind this innovation is simple. The bottle's filter is designed to remove and/or dramatically reduce a vast array of health-threatening contaminants from questionable sources of water, including remote lakes and streams, stagnant ponds and water supplies in foreign countries where regulations may be sub-standard at best.
How to enter the contest:
Members may enter by sending an email requesting entry to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your forum member name. I will email you back that you have been entered.
Members in Canada can sign up, and be eligible to receive the 3 Sport Berkey's only.*
Please let us know you are in Canada when send your email.
People that enter the contest will be put on our monthly newsletter list.* You can unsubscribe at any time.
We will choose the names of the winners randomly on the 1st of March, so that everyone can enter till the end of February.*
Contest will end at midnight on February 28, 2010.
We will email the winners on the 1st of March.
If you've landed on this blog by mistake, please follow this link:
Please update your bookmarks and the links on your sites.
Please update your bookmarks and the links on your sites.
Join our forum at:
Friday, February 19, 2010
Monday, February 15, 2010
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm ready for the dustings of snow and cold weather to head out and for spring to move on in! I'm thinking about our spring garden plans for the year and what I'd like to accomplish - how about you all?
I'm going to repost and article I did from last spring about getting ready for spring gardening, just because it has so many good links in it that might come in handy. Feel free to share what your gardening plans are for the year - you might give the rest of us a good idea or two!
It could take volumes of text to go into great detail about gardening how-to, especially for those of you out there who might be doing your very first garden this year. So, I'm going to provide some links instead for great gardening resources that are already out there for you to use.
Getting the "perfect" garden spot going can take years of working the soil to get it nutrient-rich for your area of the state or country. But there are things you can do even if this is your first attempt at gardening that will make the job easier and still allow you to see some yield from your efforts.
You don't have to own a tiller, a lot of land or tons of gardening implements to get started. We've done traditional garden plots, square foot gardening, raised bed gardening, container gardening and had good yields and bad in all of them. Some of it is beyond our control - like drought, but usually just a little hard work and TLC will yield a nice little bounty for you and/or your family.
Know your climate zone: Tennessee hardiness zones range from 6a to 7b. Knowing your hardiness zone will help you determine which plants will grow in your area during what times of the year. Here's the USDA Hardiness Zone Map for TN - this one is interactive for your location using Google Maps.
Know your frost-free date: The frost-free date for my area of West TN is April 8th-15th. That is the date that it is considered "safe" to plant outdoors without having to fear a frost will come in and kill tender young plants. The past few years, we've had a hard frost / freeze around April 13th - so it pays to know this information. Here's a handy little chart from Victory Seed Company for the First and Last Freeze Dates for TN.
Know what you'll eat: It really doesn't do much good to plant a whole slew of squash or zucchini if no one in your family will eat them. So take some time first to decide what you want to eat and how you want to use it. Are you going to freeze any of your harvest? Are you going to home can any of your harvest? Are you going to dehydrate any of your harvest? Do you want to have enough to eat fresh plus plenty to put away for the winter? Do you want to grow extra to trade for other fruits or veggies you don't have the ability to plant? Do you want to grow extra for extended family members? Spend a little time thinking this through so you can take the next step and determine how much you need to plant based on how much you'd like to yield.
Some links relevant to the above:
If you want to home can, freeze or dehydrate and never have - I recommend this book as a complete guide to get you started. It covers everything you need to know about canning, freezing, dehydrating and includes fabulous recipes. I use this every year and have never had a recipe fail. Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving.
Know how much you need to plant: Once you know what you want to plant and what you want to do with your harvest, you can determine how many seeds / starter plants you'll need to reach your yield. Much will depend on your gardening method. You can get more plants in a smaller area if you use the square foot gardening method; you'll need a lot more room if you are using traditional row gardening, so take all of that into consideration. Here are some handy calculators:
Backwoods Home - you can go to the link, type in "gardening" in the search box and read many articles about gardening basics.
How to Plan a Farm and Garden to Feed a Family
About.com: How Much To Plant
Virginia Cooperative Extension - has a handy chart, but you'll need to use the TN planting dates if you are in TN instead of the ones on that website.
What kind of seeds? Most people trying to become more self-sufficient and grow a substantial garden to supplement or completely provide for their family's food needs will work hard to use only heirloom seeds. Heirloom seeds gathered from this year's harvest can be saved and used to plant next year's harvest. With hybrid seeds (like most you buy from any "local" stores or nurseries) the seeds from your harvest cannot be saved and used for future planting, requiring that you constantly buy new seeds. Yes, heirloom seeds might be a bit more expensive on the front-end, but once you learn the easy art of seed-saving, you'll always have the seeds you need right at hand! Here are some links - do your research and make your own decision on the company you think best deserves your business and is most dependable:
Bountiful Gardens - we've purchased lots of seeds from this site and they've always been dependable.
Marianna's Heirloom Seeds - right here in TN
New Hope Seed Company - another right here in TN
Seeds of Change
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Amishland Heirloom Seeds
Keeping it going: Once you get everything planted, you'll need to take steps to make sure your plants thrive. Watering guidelines, using mulch, natural fertilizer, weeding, bug control, composting and knowing how to start companion and rotational gardening will help you get the most from your vegetable garden for your entire growing season and those to come. More links:
National Plant Board List of Noxious Weeds
Guide to Selecting A Garden Mulch
Environmentally Responsible Gardening Products
Chemical-free pest control and garden fertilizing - Jerry Baker, Master Gardener
Dave's Garden - gardening tips
Neptune Harvest - all natural organic fertilizer
How To Compost
Conserving Water In The Vegetable Garden
Organic Garden Pest Control
Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Garden
Natural Garden Pest Control
Companion Planting - Secrets of Organic Gardening
Carrots Love Tomatoes - companion planting book
Companion Planting - So Happy Together
We'll do some tire gardening again this year as well as some conventional and raised be gardening. We've had a cute little pot bellied pig who has been working hard through the fall and winter to till some of our yard for us - my husband calls her our hog-a-tiller! She's created a few 8 ft x 16 ft spaces for us that will be ready for spring - and when the time comes I'll show you what we do with them!
I'd love to hear your comments or share with me other links that gardeners here in TN might find useful!