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What’s Stopping You from Growing Your Own Food?

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Now, more than ever, the news is full of health scares and epidemics caused in no small part by the quantity-over-quality approach to food production, and it’s happening all over the world. China might be the foremost violator of health standards, but our country is just as at fault, feeding our citizens with food that is inherently unhealthy for us.

Many of us have already been beating the drums against eating factory-farmed and genetically tweaked foods, but the majority would rather cover their ears and keep consuming the more accessible, bigger, allegedly more flavorful stuff that lines our grocery shelves.

The result? Obesity, diseases, and infirmities of all sorts manifesting in us. Worse, our children just as badly affected. Why do we do this to ourselves? (Read More....)

Garlicky Creations You'll Love to Eat

3Roast Parsnip and Garlic Soup by MichellePetersJones on Flickr

When you’re looking to spice up dinner creations, garlic is a staple that can be used to make many intriguing new dishes. From appetizers to desserts, a little garlic can go a long way in making your meal flavor-rich and tasty. Recipe selections offer a range of fresh ingredients and all highlight that kitchen workhorse, fresh garlic.

Garlic-infused recipes fall into five main categories:

Appetizers

-Cold Shrimp with Garlicky Vinaigrette: Cook one pound of shrimp in boiling water for two minutes until just pink. Remove the shells and set aside to cool. Whisk (Read More....)

How To Keep Strawberries Fresh Longer

To keep the strawberries fresh longer in the refrigerator, use 1 Part White Vinegar to 10 Parts Water.

Soak the strawberries, leaves and all in the vinegar/water mixture for a few minutes. Then drain the strawberries in a colander until they are completely dry.

Then place strawberries in an uncovered bowl in the refrigerator. The vinegar/water mixture kills any mold spores on the strawberries and keeps them fresh longer. The vinegar does not affect the taste. This also works for all kinds of berries: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and apples. (Read More....)

How to Make Your Own Organic Compost

You need fertilizer to help your plants and your flowers grow. However, most store-bought brands are loaded with harmful chemicals that will eventually find their way into the food you are growing. You can easily get the fertilizer you need to help your plants grow without the toxic side effects by making your own organic compost.

Making your own organic compost is not difficult. You can make it with things that are already in your house and your yard, and it is much better for your plants than any variety you could buy in the store. Here’s how you can make your own organic compost:

Buy or Build a Compost Bin

First, you need a place to create your compost. You can buy bins from the hardware store, or you can build one yourself from some scrap lumber. Your bin needs to have solid sides (no chicken wire or pallets) and a cover. While you can just throw your compost materials into an open heap and eventually get compost, the process will take much longer and will be vulnerable to pests if you don’t choose an enclosed bin.

The bottom of your bin should be completely open and resting directly on soil. You need to place your bin in a sunny location that is not in the path of runoff.

Add Your Materials

Compost requires two things: “Green” materials (Read More....)

Organic Foods You Can Grow on Your Windowsill

When you think about growing your own food, you typically picture a large garden or plot of land. However there are many foods that you can grow in small spaces with little light or even dirt required. Here are some ideas for foods you can grow organically at home on your windowsill:

1.    Wheat grass – Wheat grass is a traditional supplement found in many health drinks. But not only is it good for you but it is super easy to grow your own. All you need is a container (even a yogurt cup will do) a bit of dirt and some seeds. Wheat grass grows quickly and you harvest it by snipping off the tops as it grows. Easy and so yummy.

2.    Sprouts – Things like bean sprouts or alfalfa sprouts can easily be grown in your home. They even have specially made containers to grow sprouts in. For a simple solution line a shallow dish with a damp paper napkin and spread out the seeds. Keep the sheet damp and watch as your sprouts come to life! Harvest and replant over and over again to supplement your meals.

3.    Green onion – Green onion is another easy to grow food. After you purchase organic green onion from the store, use the green tops in your cooking but save the roots and white parts. Set these root down in a vase or clear cup full of water and let the sun shine in. After only a few (Read More....)

Impact of Drought

Little doubt exists about the many negative consequences of drought in the agricultural industry. However, the additional impacts of drought in other large industries and experienced throughout the world are less apparent. This is due to an economic chain of events that ripple through industries, and even governments in the form of less income or higher associated costs.

Production

Drought has a large impact on the quality and viability of grain crops. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, global crop yields around the world fell short of preliminary expectations for 2012. Moreover, the United States was expected to produce 35.8 percent of the World’s corn in 2012, but by August that percentage had fallen to near 32.2 percent. That decline came despite additional shortfalls in corn production across the globe.

Inflation

Global crop yields affected by drought had also caused food prices to rise 10 percent in July 2012 per The World Bank. Another substantial impact of drought is the price of non-perishable consumer goods. For example, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported over 75 percent of total U.S. corn crops had become poor (Read More....)