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Pros and Cons of Setting up an Indoor Garden

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 Pros and Cons of Setting up an Indoor Garden

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Even though many people have lost the basic skills to grow a garden, just about everyone has experience with houseplants. Fortunately, there are many edible plants that can be grown indoors and away from prying eyes.  Here are some advantages and disadvantages of this type of gardening.

 

Can Grow Food All Year Round

 

Since you can control the temperature and moisture levels, it is possible to grow food all year round indoors.  Just remember that different plants require different temperatures at different stages of growth. For example, lettuce, spinach, and several other “cold weather” vegetables require colder weather to grow properly. By the same token, other plants may require longer hours of sunlight and increased temperatures before they will produce flowers.  Once you know the actual requirements for each plant, you can go ahead and stagger planting times so that you can use just one temperature in the room you set aside for growing your indoor garden.  Alternatively, you can set up smaller heating devices and extra lights near plants that need a higher temperature or lighting to match the stage of growth they happen to be in.

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Easier to Prevent Stealing and Damage

 

One of the greatest advantages of an indoor garden is that it is much easier to prevent theft and damage to your crops.  Even if you live in a high crime rate area, the things that you do to protect your home from being broken into will also be effective in preventing people from getting to the room where your garden is.  That being said, if you are concerned about food shortages and what people may do under those circumstances, it makes sense to upgrade your surveillance systems and ensure that you can defend your garden in time of need.  It may also be of some help to make sure that people cannot look into your windows and see what you are growing.  

 

Aside from having a measure of protection for your garden from other people, you can prevent almost all damage from animals and insects.  Needless to say, rabbits, birds, and many other large animals that cause damage to gardens will not be able to get at your crops.  You can use insect traps and rat traps to eliminate these pests as soon as you see signs of them.  In addition, you can also use compatible crop strategies to eliminate any infestations that may have come with the plants, soil, or other items you are using for the garden.

 

Uses Fewer Resources

 

When compared to outdoor, and even deck gardens, you will find that indoor gardens require far less water, fertilizer, and other resources.  In fact, even a small, well kept compost pile from kitchen scraps will virtually eliminate the need for expensive fertilizers and other plant stimulants. Just remember to start off with good quality soil and make sure that you keep it in good condition for the plants you plan to cultivate. Here are some other things that will help reduce the number of resources you need for an indoor garden:

 

  • Use pH testing to determine if the soil is correctly balanced for the plants you are intending to cultivate. Since you will be setting most plants into pots or tubs, it is actually very easy to make sure you have the proper pH for each plant.
  • Self watering or water recapture planters can cut down on the amount of water used.  Always make sure that the drip catcher under the planter has low exposure to the air.  This will allow the soil in the pot to wick the water back up to the root area instead of having it evaporate and be lost in the air.
  • Capture and use precipitation – rainwater and melted snow carry nitrogen that most plants starve for even in optimal conditions.  Never forget that snow is considered a “poor man’s” fertilizer because decades ago farmer’s used to plow it into their fields to make sure they got as much nitrogen from it as possible.   Aside from providing an essential source of nitrogen, using precipitation to water your indoor garden will also reduce or eliminate exposure to fluoride and other toxins that are commonly found in municipal water supplies. Remember, everything from low level amounts of pharmaceutical drugs such as chemotherapy agents to chemicals used to prevent water borne illness routinely come through municipal water supplies.  If you want to stop taking in all that poison, there is no point to watering your indoor garden with municipal water.  

 

Requires Special Lighting

 

As with any other kind of gardening, you will find that setting up an indoor garden comes with some challenges. One of the most expensive and difficult to overcome is lighting.  While you may take sunlight for granted, the amount of light that actually gets through even a “sunny” window is much less than some plants need.  To add insult to injury, most florescent and LED lights may not offer the right light frequencies for optimal plant growth, flowering, and fruit production.   

 

In order to get your indoor garden to grow properly, you will need to find lights that produce the right light colors, frequency, and light density for the plants you are planning to grow. Even if you have a nice sunny room to work with, it is still best to be prepared with artificial lighting that will meet the growing needs of all your plants.

 

Aside from light intensity and type, you must also watch carefully for the right duration of light for each plant’s stage of growth. For example, one plant may grow perfectly well with 8 hours of light, but may require 10 hours to make blossoms.  This same plant may require a reduction to 9 hours before fruits will begin to ripen.  Failure to take into account light duration can result in a plant’s failure to produce blossoms, or just as bad, the plant may drop it’s fruit and go back to making more leaves.

 

Must be Able to Pollinate Flowers

 

Chances are, if you have an outdoor or deck garden, you have already noticed a significant decline in the bee population.  While you may not need to address lack of pollinators just yet in outdoor gardens, you will need to do so indoors.  Make sure that you know how to deliver pollen to flowers, and also what methods will work best for ensuring non-hybrid plants will not get cross pollinated inadvertently.

 

It is also worth noting that as bee populations decline, more and more people are becoming interested in keeping personal hives.  Without a question, you won’t want to take a chance of having hundreds of bees buzzing around in your home, or even a room of your home. On the other side of the equation, if you have a small shed or some other enclosure, it may be worth your while to turn it into a place where you can raise bees. As long as you have a way to ensure the bees are not loose all the time, you can just bring plants in and out of the shed to pollinate them.    Just make sure that the shed still meets all the lighting needs for each plant.

 

Must Use Space Saving Techniques

 

One of the hardest parts of growing an indoor garden is packing a lot of plants into a very small space. While you can get away with compact or hybrid strains at the beginning, eventually you will need to grow heirloom versions so that you can be confident of your food supply in a time when seeds are no longer available.  In addition, some of the most nutritious plants, such as squash and melons, require a good bit of room for the vines to run.  Here are some things you can try to get as most out of the space you have:

 

  • tomatoes (upside down), and melons can be raised in hanging planters.  Just put their containers up on the wall, and let them grown downward to the ground.  
  • Make peg boards along the floor for training vines – pumpkins and sweet potato vines do not need to get tangled up or stunted when you simply train them along pegs that will bring them into ovals and circles.  Remember not to disturb pumpkin vines once you see tiny pumpkins or the plant will drop them.
  • Use hydroponic gardening for lettuce, spinach, and other leafy vegetables – you can easily pack 4 -5 times the number of plants and get full sized crops using hydroponics on plants that lend themselves well to it.
  • Use terrace designs for root vegetables – simply make a large container about 1 foot tall for plants like radishes and turnips.   Plant them in a row about 5 inches from each wall of the box all the way around.  This will leave an empty center area.   Next, put a smaller box in the center of the larger container that is also a foot tall.  You now have 2 feet worth of soil to grow carrots and other deep root vegetables.   You can keep building upward for different plant types as needed and as space allows.

 

Do you want to reduce your reliance on deadly commercial foods?  Are you committed to making sure  you can provide food and herbal medicines for yourself and your family during and after a crisis? Why not give indoor gardening a try?

**A Scott Hughes Original for Freedom Prepper!

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Writes​​ ​​about​​ ​​freedom ​​and​​ ​​more​​ ​​​​at www.perrinlovett.me​​​​.​​ ​​His weekly National Affairs Column - never a dull read - appears at The Piedmont Chronicles​​​​. THE SUBSTITUTE​​ is his first Novel. He​​ ​​is​​ ​​still none​​ ​​too​​ ​​fond​​ ​​of​​ ​​government​​ ​​meddling.

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Excellent Ideas from an Experienced Survivalist to Homestead in an Apartment

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After watching the 1999 romantic comedy, ‘Blast from the Past,’ I had always wondered about the genius of Dr. Calvin Webber who managed 35 years in an underground shelter. His wife gave birth to an only child Adam, who ventured out into the outside world for the first time in his 35th year. The point is the film convinced its viewers very realistically that it is possible to live isolated for at least 35 years if we make meticulous plans. 

History is overloaded with numerous examples of self-sufficient lifestyles. Many communes had developed their norms to survive and maintain law and order within their secluded lands. There are many anecdotes about people living their lives without interacting with the external world. The “Lena and Ole” compilations are based on Norwegians who chose the upper lands of the Midwest as their foster homes. Here is a one-liner, 

“Ole painted the barn in July and had put on two jackets because the user manual of the paint said- Put on two coats!”

This is an inadvertent simple joke that has no ill intentions. Will Rogers once said, “Everything is funny as long as it’s happening to someone else.” Homesteading is no easy task. At the same time, it is a style that has no substitute once you get used to it. 

The Age of Information

Our generation is blessed with information at our fingertips, I mean, literally. Today a shepherd boy living in a remote African village has more information on his smartphone than was available only to the President of the United States at a certain age. My point is that the film ‘Blast from the past’ could not be conceived today nor would Ole put on two jackets to paint the barn. Homesteading is fine for people who live on “land,” but what about the inhabitants of apartments? 

The Homesteading Lifestyle

What happens in a homestead that is independent of the outside society? The inhabitants have the necessities within the confines of their boundaries for a decent existence. Let us have a look at the methods used by homesteaders to live. First we need to define the term in simple language.

An individual, a family, or a whole society can live within the set geographical limits of a designated area. We are talking about homesteading in an apartment, so let us focus on an individual or a small family. 

Definition of Homesteading in an Apartment

A single-family existing within the household compound of an apartment building to live, work, and earn can be defined as homesteading. 

This layman’s definition will give rise to a lot of questions which we shall be attempting in the content that follows. 

OK, let us now get on with living our dream life homesteading in our apartments.

A Farm Inside the Apartment

I will begin by growing my food and advance on to sophisticated produce along the way. Start small by growing your salad bowl.

i. Get hold of enough grow bags or containers. Search the net for required sizes and DIY ideas.

ii. Prepare the soil by using proper potting mix.

iii. Tomato is a good option- cherry tomato would be my suggestion. 

iv. Other plants for our salad bowl should be lettuce and basil plants. 

v. Take care of the plants with good nursing practices. Place them on the balcony where there is enough sun.

vi. Carrots can be grown inside car battery covers in the interior of the apartment.

vii. You can make organic fertilizer at home. 

You are now the proud owner of an organic farm. 

Tip: Grow lights can substitute for the sun.

Other Items I Can Grow

Once you get the hang of interior farming, we can move on to other crops. 

Strawberries: They can be grown in containers or grow bags, but need a hydroponic watering system. We will discuss that later. 

Herbs: Mints, lavender, and rosemary are good choices. They will come in handy to prepare a good cup of hot tea. They can also be used to make soaps and oils. Herbs will add flavor to many dishes. 

Micro Greens: With some quality seeds you can begin. The first harvest will provide seeds for the next. 

Sprouts: With a jar and some cheesecloth or mess top we can grow our sprouts for a stir fry or sandwich. 

A Hydroponic System

Even if you are growing food using containers and potting soil, a hydroponic system will let you increase the quantity. It avoids a lot of mess as it advocates a system of soilless farming. They come in compact designs or vertical configurations. 

They can be bought or constructed by learning the numerous DIY strategies available online. 

Manufacture Manure at Home

Organic fertilizer can be made at home by the clever utilization of food waste. Get a container with a good lid. Put some gravel and soil at the bottom. Introduce worms for worm composting. Empty all bio-degradable garbage into the container. You will get enough environment-friendly fertilizer for the farm. This method frees you from the chore of taking out the garbage. 

Tip: Do not expose the manure cans to sunlight. It can cook worms. 

Grow Mushrooms

Did you know mushrooms are grown only indoors for industrial farming? Get an edible mushroom kit to begin your first batch in a dark corner of your apartment. 

Meat On The Table

Did you wonder for a moment what crazy idea I was going to put forth? Quails!

They are very silent birds that need only very little space. They give a lot of eggs and quail meat is way above chicken, beef, and pork in its health advantages. Quails being small birds, need only a little feed, and kitchen scraps go well with them. 

Mini Solar Power House

Did you know solar panels don’t require direct sunlight? They need good lighting and it is advised to install the panels at a good spot on the patio or balcony. 

Depending upon the capacity of the panels, you can increase the number of appliances that run on solar power. They can be used for grow lights and also for pumps used in the hydroponic system. 

A Self-Reliant Life

Once we have become self-sufficient in food matters, we can think about cutting out other purchases. This will also involve income creation. Do your homework to get as many DIY ideas as possible. We can begin the process by gaining ideas by:

i. Visiting other homesteaders or communes.

ii. Joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) venture.

iii. Visiting farmer’s markets.

We can enrich our homesteading experience within the confines of an apartment by progressing on to a more autonomous lifestyle by integrating the following activities:

i. Do own baking for bread and other items.

ii. Learn and engage in carpentry.

iii. Do your own electric and plumbing jobs.

iv. Learn to stitch to make your garments (trust me, it is far easier than you believed.)

Before Going Shopping

Whenever the need to buy something comes up, take a few moments to ponder whether it is something you can create using your potential. Not only will you be learning a new skill, but also it may help you earn. Remember, the Wright brothers had never flown an airplane till they became the first humans to become airborne on a machine. 

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Why Does the Black Plague Keep Coming Back?

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Black Plague
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Prepper News Weekly, Friday, April 6, 2018

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Prepper News Weekly, Friday, April 6, 2018

 

A big, busy, crazy week in prepper land! Spring has sprung and it has sprung forth all manner of issues to keep us on our toes. Here’s a review of the bigger stories bearing down on preppers and freedom lovers. Please enjoy (and subscribe!):

 

Video by Perrin Lovett/FPTV/YouTube.

 

Perrin recently learned that something called “airplane mode” stops incoming debt collection calls and hate texts from interrupting our recordings! Will wonders never cease?

 

 

Quality will improve immediately…

 

In the news:

 

The Caravan

 

Mass migration

 

Troops out of Syria, to Rio Grande?

 

More Snow?!

 

YouTube shooting

 

China and tariffs

 

UK/US/Russia

 

Mueller

 

 

And, we’re in full swing at The Masters!

 

Thank you, as always. Don’t forget to check www.freedompreppernews.com every day for all the stories that affect preppers, survivalists, and the rest of the sanity crowd. Well, check it now – rumor has it the news will soon be incorporated into the new, new revised and improved FP.com. Stay tuned.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Perrin​​ ​​Lovett​​​ ​​​writes​​ ​​about​​ ​​freedom,​​ ​​firearms,​​ ​​and​​ ​​cigars​​ ​​(and​​ ​​everything​​ ​​else)​​ ​​at www.perrinlovett.me​​.​​ ​​He​​ ​​is​​ ​​none​​ ​​too​​ ​​fond​​ ​​of​​ ​​government​​ ​​meddling.

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