Archive for March, 2011

Questions And Answers On Survival Gardening Plans

Paul asks…

What do you think of my zombie survival plan?

new london, texas (3 hours away)
population under 1000
big, easily defendable school building with 9 school busses (can use for raiding the nearby town of tyler)
it is remote, yet close enough to a major city to raid it if need be
close enough to bodies of clean water to make it easy
football field can be dug up and re-done with garden soil for a food source, i imagine nobody is going to raid the home depot for that when **** hits the fan
the church, right next door, has thick walls and a strong door, easy to use for a medical office, being easy to defend, and yet away from the main building of the school so that if somebody is infected and turns it can be contained
extra melee weapons in abundance for when ammo starts to run low (baseball field house)
food stored in abundance (via the school cafiteria, it’s all re heated from pallets of boxed food, better than starving)
i recomend using a small, nimble, off-road capable vehicle to get there (gator, atv, etc.), avoiding all major highways, only take back roads and such. Highways will be jammed by millions of would be escapee’s, which means they could also be filled with those who turned while in their vehicle, meaning a stealthy threat
blackouts are more common in country towns, meaning alot of generaters in the private homes around, if they can be modified for bicycles or something and enough survivors are present then it will have alot of electricity. if not, fuel can be siphoned from the stranded vehicles mentioned earlier
another survivor with the same plan to form some sort of community ain’t bad either
bring two guns, one rifle and one side-arm, with about 6 full re-loads for the side arm, and 18 for the rifle. if you had a 9mm carbine and hangun, even better, bring as many reloads as you can carry. also, bolt cutters, a crowbar, extra clothes, food and water, and whatever else you think you may need

my plan is comprehensive, safe in the long run, and plausable, i will definately be using it

Home Gardener answers:

Make sure you have a large group with you if this is your plan. As much canned food as humanly possible should be brought with you before as well. A large group means better defense against other human raiders, every nook and cranny of that school should be boarded except for one or two excape routes. Would you mind if i come live with you when the **** Hits the fan

Mark asks…

Senior Citizens, have you thought out any plans if “things” really do change?

Occasionally, my adult children will come over for dinner and have intriguing conversation around me. Of course, 2012 came up this past weekend. I have never paid attention to the new hype 2012 calender theory. But, what if? I’ve listen to several generations call out for “The End Of The World”, and time passed and here I am. Now that I’m older and my ideas have changed on several subjects, I realize “The End” probably won’t be quick, which leaves me with the thought of survival if something did happen. Example, total loss of electricity indefinitely. I’ve been asking myself do I have enough skills to attempt to survive, including defending myself? I know being a country person I will have the opportunity and some knowledge and skills to live primitive, but will I want to?

Would you try to become totally self sufficient? Gather water, food, wood, defend yourself against anyone who tries to take from you or violate you?

I have been around gardens, I know how to gather berries, catch fish (yes, I can take it off the hook!), prepare wild animals my husband hunts. I can build a fire, sew by hand. I’ve killed small rodents and I didn’t feel bad about it. I don’t think I’d last long, but maybe longer than many. I think if I was thrown into that situation I could defend myself.

Do you have opportunity or desire to try to survive? How would you attempt to do it, live off the land or migrate towards others for help? I would love to hear your ideas. Thanks!
I’m not talking about 2012, I’m referring to the possibility of “Life as we know it” changing. Please realize THAT can happen. It would take something as simple as a loss of power for an indefinate amount of time.
WOW, you guys, I’m not stressing about it, and what wrong with using the brain for a little “What If”? It’s been rather fun thinking about an alternative lifestyle, reverting back to the bare roots.

Home Gardener answers:

Not sure where to start to try and answer this question.
Many ways to think about this subject for me.
On one hand,I take the old native American saying of ” It’s good good day to die” as an anthem and believe in a higher power.
Then again, I am a fighter and use whatever skills I have to live another day.
It is very hard to actually say what you would or could do until you are faced with danger.
I think of my MIL as an example for survival skills.
She was a young 22 year old mother of a 2 year old whos husband was away at war and not to be heard from while she was in a large city with only her mother and one older brother around during WW11.All of her other family member were fighting and not around to help out in any way.
She hide in the celler for most of the war with her baby and her “old” mother or brother went out when the bombs weren’t falling to look for food scraps.( she hide beacuse her city, Budapest had so many strange men coming and going from Germans, Russians and yes, even us Americans, very danergous for a young women to be seen by lonely single men)
Mostly they survived on “flour soup”, a poor mix of oil and flour with water added and they were glad to have that much.
While hidding in the celler, she witnessed neighbors dying and babies starving to death but she made sure somehow her only child was nursed even when blood was the only thing coming out of her breasts.
I think you must be young and have something to live for which keeps you alive.
Old people usually make their peace and check out.

Kylee asks…

Thinking about moving to a small farm (15-25 acres) in South Alabama. Any suggestions?

I’m looking for in-depth guidance on what to grow or raise for profit / survival. I’m planning a 1/2-3/4 acre garden with various vegetables that will sustain the family. I will be keeping my job so something that can be run with minimal effort is attractive. Horses, Cows, specialty livestock? Orchards?

Also, any suggestions on books. I will have my wife’s family close (4th gen farmers) for support but as a city boy, I’d like to keep up with the conversation and be somewhat self-sufficient.


Home Gardener answers:

You should grow bamboo. It brings a hefty price and is easy to grow. There are some people in my area doing this and making a living on an acreage about your size. You could also start a pumpkin patch with hay rides and stuff, but that’s quite a bit of work. I wouldn’t bother with large live stock, you’ll end up having to buy hay and your property won’t support enough to make much money at it. Research bamboo and where to sell it in your area.

Mandy asks…

Here’s my post-apocalyptic plan–what do you think & what’s yours?

-Increase my running/endurance ability (gotta run from those cannibals and zombies!)
-Increase strength (I’m sure I’ll be carrying supplies, and you never know when you’ll need to be able to carry someone or move something)
-Increase biking ability (biking might be my ticket out of where I’m at when the shit hits the fan or my sorce of transportation after)
-Increase swimming endurance (ya never know, plus any physical endurance is good!)
-Decrease food consumption (obviously not to post-apocalyptic levels, but I overeat terribly now, so I need to decrease to a regular amount and then we’ll go from there)
-Learn basic first aid/CPR/etc
-Read up on my area’s plants and other natural recources
-Plan escape route just in case my house isn’t a good safe haven
-Plan on where I’d go and how I’d get there
-Read survival guides
-Learn how to start fires
-Plant fruit trees and gardens (just in case it’s an apocolypse in which I can stay in my home and pick those fruits and veggies to eat to save my non perishable food items even if it’s for a few days or weeks)
-Make sure to live in a home with a wood burning stove—If it’s something that causes ash in the air, that means it’s going to be cold as hell, and this makes keeping warm a bit more managable because you have a fire contained in your stove.
-Also make sure to live in an area with woods and trees (spend the summers chopping wood for the horrible winter
-Learn basic “boy scout” skills.
-Learn how to use and shoot a gun
-Learn how to defend yourself with a knife
-Learn hand to hand combat (people aren’t friendly.)
-Rock climbing endurance (great for physical fitness, but also you never know what you’re going to have to climb

-20 crate things of bottled water (if I happen to be living with other people, this number goes up) *Switch out after 5+ years. Chemicals will leak, but most likely boiling shall fix this
-A large plethora of canned goods and non perishable foods
-First aid kit
-Basic tool items
-Basic sewing supplies
-Other basic needs such as those doctor masks (to not breathe in dead body smell, chemicals, etc), rope, and any other things
-Knife, gun, crow bar, other stuff
-Vitamins out of the wazoooo (you can survive a long time with just water and vitamins)
-Anti-biotics (a lot of them, the last thing you want to do is die from a sickness after surviving the apocalypse!
-Pain meds

*None of this stuff I have, I’m 16. This stuff is what I plan to do while I am an adult living on my own or with a family (assuming zombies don’t take over before hand ^^)
**Also, the reason I’m doing this, is because it’s a hobby of mine, reading and thinking about the opst apocalypse
***I also mention zombies a bunch of times in here, I’m semi-kidding in this. I think that sun phenomenons, things crashing to earth, nuclear war, or virus pandemic/epidemics are much more likely….I just like to have fun with the zombie theme!
Nope Tommy, I don’t.

If you even managed to read the thing, you’d know that.
I completely agree with the whole vitamin thing. I said something I didn’t mean to. I meant to word in a way of “you’re less in the shit if you’re giving your body some minerals than if you’re not” and if that’s not true, then well, those vitamins will sure help along with the food. Sorry haha =)

Next, I laugh at the whole concern of being obsessed with it. I do spend a lot of time thinking about it. MY BAD. I DIDN’T KNOW I WASN’T ALLOWED TO HAVE MY OWN HOBBIES! It’s a weird hobby, but whatever. I’m definatly not the only one, I know a ton of people who enjoy contemplating this.

Next, how do you know I havn’t talked to my parents about my depression. Well. I have. Yeah, thanks for that. /sarcasm.

Home Gardener answers:

It is never a bad idea to learn how to become more self-sufficient, but try not to obsess about future catastophes to the point where you don’t enjoy your life. No one knows how much time they have on this earth whether the end comes from natural causes, an accident or some catastophic event, so make sure you enjoy each day.

I would also suggest learning how to dehydrate food, can food, build a solar oven, a solar shower, solar battery charger and put together a kit of basic hand tools and and know to use them. Also consider buying a water filter.

Lynn asks…

what do you think of my story so far?

i am 14 years old and just recently started writing this
for something to do in my spare time,
just want to know what you think? honestly :]

I remember the first day I stepped foot in this school, everything had changed so much, in the smallest amount of time. My friends, my family, and particularly me. I wondered what my parents would think when they seen that shiny stud in my left ear, or my jeans which were now torn in several places. My mum was going to America for a business trip, and thought it would be best if my brother and I went to live at my Aunt’s in Manchester for the next four months. We lived in Kensington, and it was almost a four hour drive to their place, Not that I was looking forward to it. I had to go to school there and as far as I’d heard, it wasn’t going to be pleasant. Albion High School was tagged as one of the roughest schools in Manchester, and every time I thought about it my stomach churned. I’d seen the kids at these kinds of schools, I’d seen them on the news for throwing bricks at houses across the street or lighting up fire crackers and ditching them in class windows. It wasn’t fitting in that worried me, I’d never fitted in before, it was staying alive long enough to try. I had four months here and first impressions were definitely going to last at this place.
“I don’t get why I have to go to this school, out of all the schools in Manchester, you send me to the one where I have the least chance of survival.”I argued. “That’s the plan” sniggered my brother Dene. I shot him a warning glance and changed the radio station. I sang along to a Sex Pistols song that was playing, and mum looked at me from the corner of her eye. “Since when do you listen to this music?””Since your sending me to a school full of Yobs. This is what they all listen to.”She didn’t say anything else until we were there. We pulled up the driveway of my Aunt’s old flat, I’d only been here once before, when I was five years old. I was seventeen now and not one thing had changed about the faded red brick or the cracked gutter on the roof. The garden was dead. The couch sitting on the front porch was probably not even safe to sit on, and the fifty three year old lady that looked one hundred standing next to it, was my Aunt Kath, smiling and waving. I could see her neglected finger nails from inside the car. She was wearing a purple dressing gown and slippers. In one hand she held a mug, and the other cigarette, waving in between every puff. “Katherine!” Mum tried to sound delighted, my aunt’s smile looked just as fake. “Hello Maria” she smiled, and rested the mug on the window sill, making her way to the car to help with the luggage. “Ah, kids, haven’t seen ya’s in a while. Both yer rooms are down the hall, at the very end. Go on now, go unpack.” I smiled and grabbed my trunk. The flat smelt strongly of cigarette’s and whiskey, and every step I took, the floorboards creaked. We slowly walked down the hall, peaking in every open room, which was just the same as the last, cluttered and messy. When we got to the end, I looked at Dene, “I’ll take right”he shrugged and opened the door. Not surprised that it was also untidy, he set his trunk down on the springy bed and turned to me. “Guess I’ll take left then.”My room was the same, but it had a double bed and blue walls. I opened my trunk and took out my clothes. There was a little white drawer in the corner of the room big enough for half my clothes, the rest I just left in my trunk, they were probably better off in there anyway. I went back outside and could see that mum was trying to edge back in her car. “Just stay for a drink, haven’t seen yer in years!” “I’m sorry, I just have too much to do back home. My flight leaves tonight.” “Well, oright’ then, I guess I’ll see yeh in four months””Thanks again Katherine, Dene, Rye! I’m leaving”She sat back in the car, closed the door, and wound down the window. Dene ran straight past me and kissed her goodbye. I went over, hugged her, and banged the bonnet of the car twice. “Have a good trip!” I yelled as she pulled out the driveway and drove off. “C’mon, lets go fix yeh some supper, it’s been a long drive I bet!”Dene spent the rest of the night playing scrabble and drinking tea with Aunt Kath, while I sat in my room deciding what I would wear to school the next day. I went to a private school, and never had to pick out clothes to wear before, we had a uniform. I decided to wear my navy parker, jeans, black gloves and boots. The next morning, I woke up an hour before school to get ready. After getting dressed, I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth. My hair was naturally flat, and I’d never felt the need to do anything with it, but today I had to. I looked around for a comb or something but no such luck. I grabbed the bar of soap from the basin and wet it slightly. Looking at the slimy bar of soap in my hand I rubbed my hands together and put the bar back on the sink. I rubbed the soap through my hair u

Home Gardener answers:

Its interesting.i would love to read the whole story :)

Wayne asks…

Is my business letter/essay good? 10 points!!!!!?

November 28, 2008

Esther Lee
18685 Santa Irene St.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Julio Saenz
Orange County Register
Editor and Publisher, Excelsior
625 N. Grand Ave.
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Dear Julio Saenz:
My name is Esther Lee, and I am a herpetologist at the famous reptile zoo in California. I am writing you to discuss how I felt about the portrayal of the cobras in the story Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. I believe that the portrayal of the cobras in this story was controversial. I found through research that cobras are natural predators, so they were only eating eggs, chicks, frogs, lizards and also birds for survival purposes. In the part where Nag eats one of Darzee’s babies, it was only nature. It is the same way other animals, like lions and bears kill their prey for their food, in order to survive. “You eat eggs, why should’nt I eat birds? Which Nag said when Rikki-Tikki was about to fight him. What Nag said was true. However, I think it was also unfair; Nag and Nagaina had planned to kill the family and then after that, rule the garden. The mongoose was in the same situation, they are genetically predisposed to fight and kill venomous snakes, similar to the King Cobra in the story. Indian mongooses, like Rikki-Tikki are famous for fighting and killing snakes. I think that that’s just like in their blood; it’s like just what they do. So I would have to say that in this story Rikki-Tikki-Tavi should have been considered a hero, because he was acting out of instinct, and saving his family. Well this is what I think about the description and portrayal of the cobras in the story.

Esther Lee

~I am supposed to write a letter to the editor of my local newspaper.
and what i think about the portrayal of the snakes in the story Rikki-tikki-tavi.

any coreections i should make?

stop bribing your ass

Home Gardener answers:

Overall this is a very good letter! I would suggest that you break it up into 3 or 4 shorter paragraphs.

Best wishes and good luck.

Helena asks…

What if we are just playing God?

In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth perfect, the way they intended it to be. Adam and Eve were in harmony, naked, living in unison with nature. Then the serpent entered the garden of paradise and tempted them to disobey Gods advice to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. At the point that the fruit entered her mouth her eyes were opened to evil. Shortly after this Adam and Eve realized they were naked and they saw evil in their nakedness, even though there was no evil in it.

“Evil is defined in Thomistic metaphysics as the absence of a “good” which could and should be present; it is a lack of something that should be present. The evil of gluttony, for example, is marked by the results of obesity. The goodness that is missing in the glutton is self discipline and temperance. The results of evil are usually experienced as evil over the long term but may be experienced as short term “goods”. – Encyclopedia II

Then they had children and they transgressed more. Now our lives are full of sin. We are no longer peaceful creatures. Now we live in a state of hyper-tension. We are consumed with action and rarely use mindfulness. We stress and struggle to attain longer life spans in vain to Gods ultimate plan. We force out the homeless out of our lands even though God gave the earth to all people. We have claimed the land as our own even though God owns the land, not us. We use the land for our own good to get ahead of the wolf pack, and that is exactly what we have become: wolves. We squander the land for survival, even though God has ultimate decision over our fate. We spend more time sinning by forcing out Gods children from the land which is rightfully theirs and ignoring their fundamental needs. We force them to live by our life style. We force them to accept our system which includes street systems, private parks, business, etc, which have no place for the people who wish to live off of Gods fundamental archetype. Fundamentally we have concluded that Gods world is imperfect and we strive to correct it. And this has all started before the moment we found that our nakedness was wrong. It started when we chose to know good and evil like God.

We spend our lives consumed in physical and mental stress to squeeze out a couple more years out of our lives and to help save those whose fate is ultimately in Gods hands in the first place, therefore discounting it to a vain attempt to change the inevitable. We make those who choose not to participate in our crazy world feel guilty, even though if anything they are more in line with Gods plan because they don’t work against it or imply that God’s world is imperfect and needs fixing. Therefore the homeless are more in line with God than the ones who work to find miracle cures. And yet we judge the homeless as filthy and ‘useless’. And on top of that we attempt to bring in the homeless to our will, which is in ill-faith of God.

We all prepare religions and insist that we know the truth, as if we are in direct communication with God, and expect others to fall in line with our demands. Not only is this using Gods name in vain but it is playing God. Because of this nations go to war and we all take the world into our own hands. Instead of being humble and realizing only God is God and that none of us can speak for God we take God into our own hands. Instead of living with the basic creation God created, simply, we have all made our own creations within the natural creation, and expect others to fall in line with our plan. What happened to Gods plan? Love? Marriage? Union with nature? Gentleness? Faith? And no, fear of death therefore supporting the medical industry is not faith. You are either faithful or you aren’t. Or you are floating in limbo between the two and can’t decide, which is basically also a lack of faith. So why are we playing God?
Yes, but Justin you are focusing on certain third world countries. Not all “third world” countries live like that. Yes the ones you are referring to are hanging in limbo and their condition is worse. But there are also places that are better than our civilization and those are the places which I am referring to. There are some groups that live peacefully and in harmony with nature, and their only threat is the very civilization I am referring to in the first place. Some examples are the Buddhist communities in the Himalayas and Tibet.

Plus if you study religion and spirituality this would all be pretty clear. The problem is most people do not study religion or spirituality because they are consumed in hedonism. They have already made their choice without studying other directions.

On top of that capitalism, cars, streets, materialism, have nothing to do with crime and instability within civilizations.

Home Gardener answers:

What you describe in your statement is the evolution of human desires and egoism which has reached its peak by our generation.
The problem is not that we are playing God.
The problem is we are not playing God.
We are at the state we are supposed to be, the lowest point from the ideal one, it is sort of our starting point towards the desired goal.
The desired goal, our purpose in life is to climb from the lowest of levels to the highest where we are similar in qualities to the Creator, using your words where “we play God”.
The qualities we need to aspire for are unconditional love and giving, qualities we cannot even imagine at present.
So how can we escape from the chains of our selfish ego, that grips us so hard at the moment?
We need to elevate ourselves over our own self interest and start connecting to others, taking the desires and needs of the others before our own.
It is almost impossible, that is why we need a specific practical method that can help us.
Fortunately this method is waiting for us, it is free and open for everyone interested, and we do not need to be special, talented, or highly educated, all we need is a desire for change.
I hope it helps with your question, all the best.

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Planting certain vegetables, flowers, and herbs together helps them each grow stronger and healthier!

Questions And Answers On Landscape Designer Jobs

Graham asks…

Is it worth it to hire a landscape designer/consultant?

We built a home on an acreage and will be landscaping this spring/summer. We plan to do the grading/planting ourselves and have some ideas, but the sheer size, shape and topography of the lot itself is scaring the heck out of me!

The idea is to landscape with native plants (zone 3) and trees, and I’m willing to do the research to decide what to plant, but I’m afraid that the choices we make won’t work together cohesively. Since we have a (very) limited budget the whole landscaping job will take a few years to complete and I’m worried what we put in this spring won’t work in a few years from now…

Do you have any experience with hiring a landscape consultant/designer and was it worth it??


Home Gardener answers:

If I had had the money when I was younger I may have considered hiring a pro..
Now with 50 years of gardening and landscaping experience, I am the pro.
If you’re comfortable doing research, I’d say do it yourself.
Look around your area for landscapes you admire and when you find one you like stop, knock on the door and ask questions.
Proud landscape owners love to share


David asks…

Could I become a landscape designer with a major in Agriculture Business and minor in Horticulture?

I have wanted to be a landscape designer for a long time. I had to go to the most affordable school in my state though. This school does not offer Landscape design or anything like that. I asked the school if I would be able to become a landscape designer with major: Agri Business / minor: Horticulture. I do have a work study job with the schools master gardener who also designs the landscapes on campus. I am getting a lot of experience working with her that I can add to what I already know about landscaping. I have also been drawing landscape designs for fun since I was in high school and gardening since I was real little. I have a lot of experience with plants and I know a lot about plants. This is the only school that I can got to so I hope this major and minor will help me. Thanks to all who take the time to read this and answer. I also want to own my own nursery.

Home Gardener answers:

Well, anyone can be a landscape designer. You may know landcaping and plants, but you actually have to know how to draw and design…those are different classes. One can generally take those on the side without having to go through a whole other degree. I would suggest, since you already know so much about plants, is to take some landscape graphics courses and design on the side.

Chris asks…

questions for Landscape Design or related career fields..?

I am going for my bachelors in horticulture in the spring and am wondering about the agriculture career field..
I search careers for a landscape designer and dont find too much, how are the jobs?
Is it easy to step up in the career, i.e. landscape architect, business ownership.?

Home Gardener answers:

As a designer, you can start your own business pretty easily, with few startup costs and should be able to make a comfortable living.

The next step would be to become a landscape architect, but I’m not sure what the earning would be at this present time.

Elizabeth asks…

Consulting? jobs in landscaping?

I already work full time as a landscape and irrigation designer and drafter. I am trying to come up with a way to do work on the side (non-competing) using my knowledge and skills, that doesn’t involve tons of physical labor, and that doesn’t keep me on the computer all weekend, as during the week.

Home Gardener answers:

I know someone with a job just like you’re talking about. Meet with people, take samples, measurement, go home, draw up a design, then turn around and give it to the customer so they can do the labor on their time and in their budget. Pretty simple.

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