Category: Family

7 Unusual Uses For The Usual Egg

7 Unusual Uses For The Usual Egg

Chicken eggs are a part of everybody’s diet; well, everybody who understands the importance of a balanced diet that is. Not only are they tasty, easy to handle and prepare, but they’re also extremely versatile in the kitchen: you can eat them raw, boiled, fried and in billions of combinations for billions of recipes. Yes, eggs area edible, we’ve figured that part out already. But just because they’re good for eating, doesn’t mean that they’re not good for anything else. You’d be surprised to discover that the good ol’ egg is not the boring item you’ve known all your life. There are plenty of other good uses for the egg and they have nothing to do with appeasing your hunger. Because of its wonderful properties, the egg (egg white, egg yolk and eggshell) can be used for the following purposes:

1. Make candles out of eggshells

An emptied eggshell will make an excellent support for a candle. Just drill a hole in the upper side of the egg and once this is done, simply start peeling the eggshell little. Pour out the content (the white and the yolk) and stop peeling when you’re left with 2 / 3 of the eggshell. You can pour melted wax gently and start a candle from scratch in the eggshell or you can improvise one. Just add a candle inside and, preferably, surround with melted wax.

2. Temporarily plant seeds in eggshells and egg cartons

Get an egg carton and have it filed with half eggshells. Next, fill up each and every single half shell (or as many as you need) with soil and press the sides inside it. Because the eggshell contains many nutrients, the plants with develop better this way, especially in the incipient phases. Once the seedlings reach 3 – 4 inches, you can take them out of the eggshells and transplant in normal gardening conditions and settings. The remaining eggshells should not go to waste; you should crush them and add them to the compost. Not only will they give a boost of calcium to the soil, but they will also deter slugs and other pests.

3. Increase your calcium intake

The calcium found in the eggshells can also be beneficial to human beings, especially to those who have deficiencies in the matter. You have to get some empty eggshells and bake them at 250° for about 25 minutes. Once the baking is done, take them out and let them cool. Once they’ve cooled, you’ll have to grind them shells into the finest powder you can. This is in fact a DIY food supplement that you can add to your juice or smoothie; if your pet has calcium deficiencies, you can add it to the dog / cat food as well.

4. Make better coffee

Get your hands on some dry eggshells and crush them. You don’t have to crush them into the thinnest powder, so don’t waste time on doing it. Now take the crushed shells and add them to your coffee just before brewing. The calcium-rich shells will greatly improve the overall taste of the coffee, as it will absorb a great deal of its natural bitterness. After you’re done with the coffee, don’t throw the leftovers away. The grounds and the shells can be added to your compost heap and re-used for gardening purposes.

5. Cleanse your skin

Science has proven that egg whites have an amazing effect when it comes to clearing up complexions, tightening skin and destroying acne. If you need some skincare and you don’t have any professional skin products in reach, you can make your very own remedy by combining an egg white with half a tea spoon of lemon juice. Beat the concoction gently, place it on the area you wish to treat and let it sit until it dries. Once is dry, apply a second layer for maximum effect. After the second layer is applied, let it sit for 10 – 15 minutes; once the time is up, wash your face with warm water.

6. Moisturize you skin

If egg whites are great for skin afflictions, egg yolks do wonders for dry skin. They are rich in lecithin, which is very effective against dry skin. You’ll have to make a face mask following this recipe: mix an egg yolk, ad 3 teaspoons of honey; stir gently until you’ve obtained an homogenous paste. Apply the paste on the face, in a thick layer. You have to let it dry and sit for about 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes are up, remove the mask by washing it with warm water.

7. Glue for paper and light cardboard

If you need to glue some paper, cardboard or some other light materials and you don’t happen to have any glue around, a simple egg white will suffice. Just break an egg, separate the egg white from the egg yolk, dip a brush in the egg white andspread it gently on the surfaces you want to glue together. The egg white contains proteins that tend to get very sticky when they dry up. It works excellent for paper or light cardboard at least; not recommended for heavier materials.

Believe it or not, the many uses of eggs do not even stop here, I’m sure there are plenty more tasks that the apparently-average egg can fulfill. Maybe many haven’t even been discovered yet. All in all, it really pays having some eggs around the house. Whether you’re looking to achieve some wacky goal or you’re simply trying to grab a bite to eat, a couple of eggs could be just the thing you need; especially if there’s some bacon involved.

By My Family Survival Plan

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

Keep Breathing: Some Of The Best Gas Masks You Can Afford

We’re all aware of what a gas mask is; at least we have some idea about them. Gas masks (aka. respirators) are heavily used in society. The Police force has them, the Special Forces have them, the firefighters have them, spray painters have them etc. The basic use of a gas mask is to serve as filter for the air you’re breathing in and to stop possible irritants and noxious substances from getting into your respiratory system and affecting you general state your health.

The best gas masks (or respirators) are based on the same principle: the air is pulled into the canister that has a filtering system (on 3 layers: aerosol filter, charcoal filter and dust filter) and then is released towards the interior of the mask; the filtered air is safe to breathe.

The air is sucked into the canister as the wearer breathes. There are also battery operated gas masks, equipped with a fan, that will syphon air inside, but become useless when the batteries die out. There are also some that work just like a scuba breathing system: they don’t have a filtering canister, but a pressurized air canister, that is completely sealed.

A gas mask is a real asset for any serious prepper. It’s an absolute must-have in case of a chemical or biological attack. Works just as well in a combat zone, as it’ll filter out heavy smoke and even dust clouds. There two main types of masks: half masks and full mask. I half mask will cover your mouth and nose only; they’re used in spray painting and are recommended only if you know what contaminant you’re dealing with. In case of an extremely dangerous contaminant or if you simply don’t know what you’re facing, a full gas mask is the way to go. Not only will it cover your respiratory system, but I’ll also protect your eyes and face from dangerous agents, like Anthrax etc.

Israeli Civilian Gas Mask

This gas mask was issued by the Israeli government, is NATO approved and it’s perfect if you consider the quality / price ratio (it costs about $80). Because of the relatively low price and good features, it’s regarded to be as the standard gas mask for civilian protection. It’s best used in an evacuation scenario from a contaminated area. The mask itself is made out of a soft but durable rubber that covers the whole face (full mask); it offers great protection not only for the respiratory system, but also for the entire face. It has extremely efficient filters (NBC filters) that will keep you safe from almost everything, from nuclear and biological agents (like Anthrax) to chemical agents. This particular gas mask comes in both adult and child versions.

M61 Finnish Gas Mask

The MA61 model was developed in Finland and it’s meant to be used as a heavy-duty gas mask. It’s a side-mounted mask, which means the filter is screwed into the side of the mask, rather than in the font. The rubber it’s made from is extremely durable, but rather soft flexible at the same time. Its flexibility means that the mask will incase the face of the wearer perfectly, making it airtight, so that noxious fumes or chemical agents won’t find their way inside. It uses a twin goggle system rather than a single visor. The exhalation system has a plastic valve with an integrated speech diaphragm, for better communication.

ADVANTAGE 1000 CBA-RCA Gas Mask

The 1000 CBA-RCA mask is 100% American and it was developed based on a US Military design that was used by the USAF during the Operation Desert Storm. It has a Hycar face piece which is about 40% lighter than most full gas masks and also a customizable fit. There’s also a standard nose cup to eliminate visor fogging and a mechanical speaking diaphragm. The visor is a one piece that’s extremely tough and offers great field of vision. The canister can be mounted on both the left and the right side and it’s effective against all sorts of biological and chemical agents, like Mustard, Lewisite, GA, GB, GD etc. The head harness is adjustable and stable. There’s also an ID tag attached and it includes a CBA-RCA canister. The whole package comes at about $300.

There are plenty of models that are available on the market, it’s only a matter of personal choice. The price of a certain gas mask does not necessarily reflect its quality, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money for a good product that will filter well and fit great. But you’ll need to educate yourself in the matter a bit so you won’t throw your money out the window. Luckily there’s many manufacturer’s and sellers and price ranges vary from one to the other. So keep hunting for bargains, you’ll most likely find them.

By My Family Survival Plan

Fifteen Uncommon Uses For Toothpaste

Fifteen Uncommon Uses For Toothpaste

Toothpaste comes regularly in paste or gel form, is based mostly on fluoride and it’s used in maintaining the health and aesthetics of teeth by fighting various tooth and gum conditions. But apart from cleaning your teeth, toothpaste can serve a multitude of other household related purposes. Its chemical makeup renders it an all-purpose tool when you might be lacking in many things around the house; but still have toothpaste.

Not only is it cheap and easy to find, but most of us actually keep more than one tube around the house. In what’s to come, we’ll take a look at some uses for toothpaste, non-teeth related purposes that a simple tube of toothpaste can serve.

  1. Remove clothing stains

It works great in removing oily, tough stains from fabrics. Apply toothpaste on the stained area and with a little water, and gently rub the spot. After a minute or so of rubbing, just throw the fabric in the washer. If the stain is old, you’ll most likely need to the toothpaste bit a couple of more times for results to show. It doesn’t work on all fabrics or stains, but it does wonders for ink spots. P.S. don’t use a whitening toothpaste (with bleaching effects) on colored fabrics; a regular toothpaste will do.

  1. Remove carpet stains

It works just as good on carpet fabric as it does on clothing. Just add toothpaste to the affected area and clean the spot with a toothbrush, in a circular motion; much like cleaning your teeth. After scrubbing, rinse and repeat until the spot is gone. The process will get out almost everything and make you carpet brand new. But some stains are resistant to toothpaste, especially if the stain is caused by an acid-based substance. In such a case toothpaste becomes useless.

  1. Remove scuffs

Toothpaste can easily remove leather scuffs. Put some toothpaste on a soft cloth and gently rub the leather surface. After you’re done, rinse the area with a damp cloth. It works on everything that’s made out of leather. The same principle applies to linoleum. 

  1. Whiten piano keys

The ivory white keys can be easily cleaned with a cotton swab that’s been previously dampened in a little water and then in a pinch of toothpaste. Take your time and do it right. It will take some time, but when you’re done, wipe the keys dry and then buff them with a soft, clean cloth and you’ll have brand new piano keys again.

  1. Whiten nails

Whitening peroxide toothpastes will have no problem in polishing and brightening finger and toe nails alike. Whether your nails have been darkened in time due to excessive usage of nail polish or they’re naturally yellowish, there’s still hope. Add toothpaste, brush them carefully with a toothbrush and when you’re all done,  add the finishing touch  and soak them in lemon juice for a couple of minutes.

  1. Shine chrome surfaces

The chromed pieces around the house (especially faucets) will get water stains in time. Because if it’s abrasive nature, toothpaste will act in the same way professional cleaning products for chromed surfaces will. Just add toothpaste to the stains, scrub and rinse with water. You’ll have the chrome pieces shiny and brand new again in no time. 

  1. Remove crayon marks from walls

If your kids have been running amok around the house and you’re stuck with crayon marks all over the walls, don’t panic. There’s hope yet, as long as you have toothpaste (non-gel) around the house. Apart from a toothpaste, you’ll also need a clean rag or a scrub brush. Spread the toothpaste on the wall and scrub it good (preferably in circular motions). The abrasive agents in the toothpaste will remove the colors from the walls eventually.

  1. Remove watermarks from furniture

Even though you might have a ton of coasters around the house, you’re bound to get water marks at some point; they’re unavoidable and just the worst. If you want to clean those right up, simply add some non-gel toothpaste, let it sit for a couple of seconds and rub it off with a soft fabric. Once you’re done scrubbing wipe it off with a dry cloth. Before adding furniture polish make sure the surface is perfectly dry.

  1. Deodorize your hands

Just as toothpaste deodorizes the inside of your mouth, so it can deodorize your hands. If you’ve dealt with anything smelly throughout the day that’s left your hands smelling worse than French cheese, just wash them thoroughly with cold water and toothpaste. The chemicals in the paste will destroy the bacteria that causes the bad smell and will leave your hands smelling great.

  1. Deodorize baby bottles

Toothpaste works just as well in removing the sour milk smell from baby bottles. You’ll need to scrub both the inside and the outside of the baby bottle with a mixture of water and toothpaste. One you’re done scrubbing, rinse with water and then thrown the bottle in the dishwasher and wash regularly. 

  1. Polish silver

Toothpaste can polish everything made out of silver, be it jewelry, silverware picture frames etc. What you’ll need is a regular toothpaste (gel-based aren’t as efficient), a soft, clean cloth or better yet, a toothbrush. Just add some paste on your soft cloth or toothbrush and start scrubbing the silvery surface like there’s no tomorrow. You start to notice the difference in no time, as the tarnish will come off little by little. When you think you’re done, simply rinse and dry off with a dry cloth.

  1. Shine diamonds

If you want to give a precious gemstone that old sparkle back, you just need a regular tube of toothpaste and a soft toothbrush.  Just add a little pate on the toothbrush and start brushing gently until you see the shine returning. When you’re done brushing rinse with water and rub gently with a soft cloth.

  1. Fill holes in the wall

If you’ve have perforated walls which have bothered you for a long time, just know you don’t need Spackle to get the job done. A pinch of toothpaste will work pretty much in the same way when it comes to filling up holes left by nails screws, pins etc. The toothpaste hardens and makes for a great temporary solution. Just beware of how much you’re adding, as too much can make the situation even worse if at some point you decide to deal with the problem properly.

  1. Treat pimples

The adding of toothpaste to an acne affected area is a well-known treatment that has been around for decades. However, adding toothpaste alone won’t solve much, except dehydration of the affected area. For the best result, you should mix toothpaste with crushed aspirin. The toothpaste will dehydrate as usual and the salicylic acids in the aspirin will fight off infection and decrease the inflammation.

  1. Remove cell phone / watch scratches

Your cell phone or watch display will undoubtedly get damaged and scratched with the passing of time, unless of course you have the right protection. If not, tiny marks will start to appear. These are easily removed with toothpaste. Just dip your finger gently in tooth paste and rub the screen. One you’re done rinse with a damp cloth and ultimately dry the surface with a soft cloth.

As you’ve seen by now, having some toothpaste around the house can really pay off. Especially if you find yourself out of certain cleaning products. Cleaning stuff around the house it’s fine, but remember that toothpaste is first of all for cleaning your teeth. Don’t overlook oral hygiene, as teeth health is really important.

3 Of The Most Common And Dangerous Foodborne Diseases

Dangerous Foodborne Diseases

Food! We all do it, we all eat. Not only because we have to in order to survive, but also because we like it. Most cultures are unique when it comes to culinary treats, with at least a couple of dishes to set them easily aside from the rest of the world. Cooking may come in different shapes and sizes, but the raw material is (more or less) the same everywhere. We need organic material as fuel. But the organic material we ingurgitate may sometimes be infected by pathogens that will cause us harm. The food of beverages that contain certain bacteria, viruses, parasites or even chemicals will cause great distress and irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. Most of the gastrointestinal afflictions are acute; they manifest themselves rapidly, with fever diarrhea and vomiting and won’t last more than a few days, even without medical treatment. Others, on the other hand, will manifest themselves way more severely, and will cause a rapid death if left untreated.

Salmonella

This tiny bacterium (Salmonella enterica) is one of the most common and wildly spread foodborne pathogens on the face of the Earth. It lives in the intestinal tracts of animals and it’s transmitted to humans through food that hasn’t been properly washed and that previously came in contact with animal waste. What makes it dangerous and so wildly spread is the fact that it’s practically impossible to detect. Diseased animals manifest no exact symptoms; nor will the food products that get tainted. It’s not resistant to high temperatures, so cooking the food properly will destroy the proteins that make up the bacteria. If not, hell will soon follow. Within 12 to 72 hours from infection, the pathogen will make itself “visible” through acute abdominal pain and cramp, fever and diarrhea. The diarrhea is severe in this case, so drinking plenty of fluids is a must, in order to avoid dehydration. In a strong and healthy individual, the disease shouldn’t last more than 5 – 7 days. Medication is necessary only if the infection has already spread to the intestines; also if the infected person has a compromised immune system or is an elderly citizen, that will have problems fighting the disease on his own. It can sometimes lead to a complication known as Reiter’s syndrome or reactive arthritis, which causes painful joints, painful urination, eye soreness and chronic arthritis. The best way to avoid salmonella infection is it to cook your food carefully, especially meat and eggs.

Salmonella enterica

Trichinosis

Also known as trichinellosis, is a disease that’s easily contracted by humans that consume meat infected with the larvae of the trichinella worm (Trichinella spiralis), be it from domesticated pigs or other wild animals. The larvae are incased in a cyst in animal meat. After ingestion, it gets in a human host, where the digestive acids found in our stomachs dissolve the cyst and release the worm. They mature in a couple of days in the small intestine. They will mate, lay eggs and from these eggs small worm will result that will make their way to muscle tissue (through the arteries), where they’ll incase themselves in cystic form again. In an attempt to fight the invasive creatures, you’ll body will suffer nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, acute stomachaches in the first 2 – 3 days after eating the tainted meat. After the worms have matured and start reproducing (2 – 8 weeks), you’ll also experience fever, chills, coughing, eye-sealing, headaches, itchy skin, joint pain and irregularities of the digestive system (constipation or diarrhea). It’s a disease that should not be left untreated. The best way to avoid getting trichinosis is to cook meat at about 160°F, temperature that will destroy the cysts. You can also freeze you pork for 20 days in order to kill the worms, however this might not work when it comes to game animals.

Trichinella spiralis cysts in muscle mass

E.coli

The Escherichia coli is a large group of bacteria, out of which most are harmless. The one that’s able to cause havoc is called the O157:H7, and is part of the STEC group (the E. coli that produce the Shiga toxin). They’re mostly found in the intestines and stomachs of ruminant animals (cattle) but also in sheep, goats, elk, deer etc. When the animal is eviscerated, the intestines might get cut and spill out on the meat, immediately infecting it. The most common method of spreading the bacteria is through ground meat, but it was also found in milk and other dairy products. Vegetables or fruits that come in contact with infected animal waste will also get tainted. Although it doesn’t manifest itself in any way in the animal hosts, in humans it can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, cramps and even bloody diarrhea. The infection spreads rapidly, so that about a third of the people infected will get hospitalized; about 10% of those that get hospitalized will die. It’s most dangerous when it comes to children ages 5 – 10. They risk of developing hemolytic-uremic syndrome as a result of the E. coli infection, which can lead to kidney failure. You can avoid E. coli infection by regularly washing your hands, washing vegetables and cooking your meat at a temperature of at least 160°F.

The O157:H7 E. coli

To avoid getting dangerous foodborne diseases, hygiene is a must. Always wash your hands, your food and avoid eating from unreliable sources. If you manifest any of the symptoms that I’ve listed above, check with your doctor immediately and don’t leave anything to chance. Most of the incipient symptoms are common in most type of food related infections, so it’s hard to tell on your own whether you’ve contracted something that’s life-threatening or not.

By My Family Survival Plan

The Untold Truths About Vaccines And Why Pharmaceutical Companies Can’t Be Trusted

The Untold Truths About Vaccines

Vaccination has become a real issue lately, not only in the US, but worldwide. The controversy is far from being over, as people seem to be separated into two sides when it comes to vaccination: those who approve of vaccines and those who oppose them. As a parent, choosing a side is a great responsibility, because in this clash, only one side can be ultimately right. And the overall wellbeing of your children will depend on your choice.  The first advocates for vaccination you’ll come across will be your local pediatrician, but don’t let yourself persuaded that easily. He’ll have nothing else in mind than your kid’s health, no doubt about that, but keep in mind that he’s the result of a medical system that has proven to be flawed before. And more so, the vaccination standards and regulations are all directed by the AMA (the American Medical Association). The obvious question is whose best interest does the AMA hold: that of our children, or that of the pharmaceutical corporations (whose only purpose is financial profit)?

Shocking facts about vaccination that you should know

Throughout modern history, there have been several issues with many vaccines on the market. Those who claim otherwise are simply ignorant or ill-intentioned. RotaShield (the Rotavirus vaccine) falls into this category. It was removed from the market in late 1999, when it was demonstrated that there are links between bowel malfunction (obstruction, chaotic bowel twisting) and the vaccine itself. It was a great deal at the time, and the case is real as you clearly see for yourself here. The vaccine that followed (RotaTeq) was supposedly the new and improved version of the RotaShield vaccine. Although it doesn’t appear to be as destructive as its predecessor, it too seems to be causing bowel afflictions; you might find it hard to believe, but RotaTeq is still available on the market. Another famous and controversial case of vaccine malfunction has been recorded in February 2002, when GlaxoSmithKline (a preventive vaccine for Lyme Disease) has been withdrawn from the market. The manufacturer claimed poor sales, but the truth of the matter was that compelling evidence pointed out that the vaccine itself was responsible for worse cases of arthritis than the disease itself. You can read all about the untold truths about vaccines in this full report here.

In 2011, the I.O.M. (the Institute of Medicine), has submitted a report for further proof that certain vaccines can cause undeniable side effects. They’re studies have shown that the Chickenpox Vaccine can afflict children with immunodeficiency (but not only) with hepatitis, meningitis, encephalitis or pneumonia. The Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) Vaccine favors encephalitis, febrile seizures and Arthralgia (Short-term joint pain) in women and children. The HPV vaccine seems to be the cause of anaphylaxis in yeast-sensitive females and as overall side-effects, all vaccines can cause syncopes (fainting) or arm inflammation.

Dangerous chemicals and compounds found in vaccines

When it comes to purchasing processed food or sodas or whatever else intended for human consumption, the first thing you should do is to not focus the price of the product, but on the ingredients section. A vaccine is no different. You should be very aware before administering such a drug to your child. Most vaccines (if not all) that are on the market contain many substances and chemicals that can be extremely harmful to a human being. These potentially harmful components and their terrible side-effects are not given the proper attention and respect, mainly because of the marketing policies that the pharmaceutical moguls impose. Here’s a list of some commonly found chemicals in vaccines:

  • Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic fluid (used primarily in embalming corpses) that can cause respiratory distress, liver damage, reproductive deformation, gastrointestinal problems and various forms of cancer. Another flaw of this chemical is that it can neutralize the virus in the vaccine, which will make the vaccine completely useless
  • Thimerosal is basically mercury. Every vaccine contains about 25 mcg of Thimerosal, and according to the EPA the safe limit for humans is about 5 mcg. It’s very neurotoxic and it’s been linked to autism
  • Aluminum phosphate it’s dangerous because it reacts to mercury and it increases its toxicity. Considering that every vaccine already contains about 25 mcg of mercury, the recommended dosage is exceeded from the go
  • Sodium chloride inhibits growth, prevents normal muscle contraction and affects the circulatory system
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) when injected, it becomes chemical unstable and turns into a neurotoxin; it’s been linked to brain damage in children and CNS (central nervous system) disorders
  • Phenoxyethanol can disrupt the central nervous system and can gravely affect the liver or kidneys
  • Glycerin is known for causing gastrointestinal damage, lung damage, liver and kidney shutdown
  • Bovine cow serum causes chest pain, low blood pressure, lupus, arthritis and can damage connective tissue

These are only some of the most damaging chemicals used in vaccine. The list is much longer, be sure of that.

So before considering vaccination (for yourself or your family), do some research first. Listen to both sides and make up your mind whether the shot is worth it or not. At the end of the day, the damage cause by the “cure” can be far greater than that of the affliction you’re trying to prevent. Stay safe, stay informed and don’t be fooled by advertisements.

Hay Bale Gardening: How To Grow Your Own Veggies Without Fertilizer And Weed-Free

Hay Bale Gardening: How To Grow Your Own Veggies Without Fertilizer And Weed-Free

I’ve been really into gardening lately, trying to find the best techniques and methods for growing fruit or veggies with as little effort or resources as possible. One method that really caught my attention was the straw bale method, a method that is based on planting into straw bales rather than in the ground. You prepare the bales thoroughly and that’s pretty much it. It’s cheap, requires very little care as the method is not pretentious at all and another bonus is that the plants are raised above ground level, which puts them out of the reach of various critters that could take a liking in whatever it is you planted. And not only that, picking the plants will from the straw bales, will be a lot easier than picking them from the ground.  The seemed perfect, but only until I stumbled across the alternative: the HAY bale gardening method, which made the straw bale method seem less appealing all of a sudden.

Hay bale gardening vs. straw bale gardening

For those of you who have very little to do with gardening, there is a major difference between the two. Straw bales are usually comprised from cereal crops stalks (corn, wheat, oat, rye, barley etc.). It’s mostly used for bedding livestock, and apart from carbon, it has no real nutritional value. It’s not inefficient as a surface for growing plants, but it will require regular watering and fertilizers to get the job done. Hay on the other hand, it’s nothing but rich grasses that are mainly a source of rich and
nutritious food for cattle during cold periods (winter time), when the fields are empty. They are filled with nutrients and minerals like nitrogen, potassium, phosphates etc. that vegetables require to grow. It’s exactly this natural cocktail of minerals and nutrients that require no additional fertilizing methods when it comes to hay bale gardening. Hay also holds water more efficiently than straw due to its density and chemical structure. So a hay bale garden requires watering once a day, whereas a straw bale garden will require watering 3 times a day.

Getting started

The first thing you’ll need to start your very own hay bale garden is getting your hands on hay bales. If you have nobody to turn to in your vicinity that could sell or give you the hay bales, you can always go on the internet and find farmers that have hay bales for sale. Once they’re delivered to you, pick a spot to your liking (preferably in your garden) and set them as you see fit. Next you’ll need to prepare the hay bales for the planting process. What’ll you’ll need is some 42-0-0 or even better, some nitrogen. You’ll treat the bales with nitrogen for 5 days; the nitrogen will break down bacteria, fungi and insects into nutritious compost that will serve as “fuel” for your growing plants. If you’re not that keen on spending money on nitrogen or fertilizers, you can just pee on the hay bales for the 5-day period; pee is rich in nitrogen and it’ll get the job done just as efficiently. However, the daily dose of pee a person produces will not be enough for this endeavor, so I suggest you start saving your pee in bottles or containers.

The preparation of the bales will be done over a period of 10 days total before planting. In the uneven days, the bales will be treated with half-a-cup of nitrogen and sprayed with water. During the even days of the 10 day period, the bales will be watered only.

During this process, the temperature inside the hay bales will rise dramatically, most likely to 120°F – 140°F. Although is very unlikely that the bales will simply catch fire, the risk still exists. So water the bales regularly I order to avoid any unwanted incidents. When the “ordeal” is over, the temperature will subside, from how to warm. Once this happens, you can start planting your vegetables. Just add regular seeds, water the hay garden once a day and you’ll be able to pick the fruits of your labor in no time.

Accurate temperature readings using a professional thermometer

Professional tips

  1. The bales should be tightly bound if you want them to hold. Synthetic twine works great and hold the hay bales together just fine during the growing season.
  2. A single bale of hay will hold about two tomato plants, two pumpkin hill, 3 cauliflower plants or 3 broccoli plants; plants cover the same amount of space in the bales as they do in the ground.

  1. Growing tall plants (sunflower, corn etc.) is not advised, as hay bales do not offer such plants the support they need. If you won’t provide these types of plants with a stacking system, they’ll most probably fall over.
  2. You shouldn’t water the bales more than two times a day. There is no danger of drowning the plants, because the water will evaporate quickly; the hay bales will not get drenched like soil would.

This method is very interesting and it seems to give great results even for the rookies. You don’t need much to get started. Just a minimum investment and the will power to get things done. If you’re looking for a cheap and fast alternative to gardening, look no further: hay bale gardening is the way.

By My Family Survival Plan

Top 3 Forms Of Martial Arts To Learn For Your Personal Protection

Top 3 Forms Of Martial Arts To Learn For Your Personal Protection

You can benefit greatly from studying martial arts. And no, it’s not meant for kids only: If you’re serious about it, you can start out as old as you like and still end up being good at it. Martial arts can be more than learning combat moves for self defense: they’re great physical exercise, great self-discipline training, each form has its own philosophy and spiritual practice behind it (which you can study along with the moves) and great fun. But for those of you who are planning on getting their money’s worth, you can ultimately become an expert.

You might find yourself during your lifetime in certain situations from which you could easily escape unharmed if you have the proper training. Learning a fighting style could be very useful as a self-defense method: against attackers, muggers, perpetrators etc. If you’re trained well enough you could easily disarm assailants or even take on more than one at a time. There have been many fighting styles and techniques developed throughout history in various parts of the world. There are also many combinations of fighting styles available (mixed martial arts), for people who want to get the best of ALL worlds. It’s a matter of choice; let’s see what are the most popular at the moment and maybe you’ll find the one that suits you best.

Krav Maga

This it may come as a surprise, but it’s Israel’s very own fighting style. It was developed (mostly) by Imi Lichtenfeld during the 1930s. The style itself is very direct, meant to counter holds and incapacitations of every sort. Because it’s full contact and it gives advantage against almost any type of attack, it’s excellent for street survival, and not only. It’s a mixed style, comprised of elements which are basic to other fighting techniques like Karate, Jiu-Jitsu throws and grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ground fighting, Wing Chun burst of hands and even Greco-Roman wrestling. Its dynamics consist in the fact that it allows the practitioner to a attack and defend at the same time, in a single movement of the body.  In most martial arts styles the tendency is to block and immediately respond with a counter blow. Things are different in Krav Maga, we’re you’re suppose to block and deliver the attack at the same time: you could (for example) block an attack with you right arm and at the same time strike with the other arm or the legs. The strikes delivered and promoted by Krav Maga are vicious, meant to incapacitate and hurt as much as possible. You learn to go for the most exposed body part, like the throat, eyes, groin or the liver. It also teaches a lot of techniques for disarming your opponents, no matter if they bare sticks, knives or guns. The style is very efficient, it develops hand-eye coordination and it takes no longer then 5 months to learn.

Aikido

This is a very distinct fighting style, which has been promoted a great deal in pop culture by Steven Seagal. Don’t let Seagal’s reputation as an actor throw you off: he is probably the leading authority in the field when it comes to Aikido, having studied most of his youth years in Japan, with the greatest masters. He’s a legit 7 degree black belt who not only mastered the style, but also developed it: the kote gaeshi (Seagal’s signature move) or “forearm return” is a prolific move, essential to all survival fighters, no matter the style or technique.

This style uniqueness consists in its approach to direct fighting: Aikido teaches almost no direct blows whatsoever, it mostly teaches you how to counter everything that can be thrown at you. Its philosophy is based on the idea that an attacking opponent always leaves himself vulnerable. What you need to do is exploit that vulnerability and use your enemy’s momentum against him. For example, a straight punch could simply be countered by side-stepping and grabbing the opponents wrist or arm. You can simply pivot and throw him down if you grab the arm, or if the wrist is involved, simply twist it towards the outside. The momentum will help you break the wrist with almost no effort from your part, incapacitating your attacker immediately. This style requires awareness rather than speed or strength. If you keep your cool and your eyes opened, as an Aikido practitioner, you’ll have no trouble breaking the joints and wrists of your attackers.

Muay Thai Kickboxing

The fighting style was originally developed in Thailand, in the 19th century, and it translates to “the art of the 8 limbs”. It’s a contact fighting style, based on a large variety of punches, elbows and kicks. It’s philosophy consists in the fact that someone who is using a tool for fighting is limited by that one tool. A muay thai practitioner, on the other hand, has many such tools (punches, kicks, elbows), therefore has the advantage. It’s not a fancy style, but rather an effective one. It’s based on lighting speed, precision and power, and can exploit even the slightest opening in your adversary’s defense. The best way to counter a weapon attack (as long as you not held at gun point) is to approach the attacker as forward as possible. Simply aim for the jaw, throat or liver and kick it as hard as possible.

With enough technique and training, your legs and punches could easily crack bones and inflict serious pain. Kickboxing requires some serious physical training, as its practitioners do a little something called combat qi. It’s basically subjecting your body parts to repeated hits and damage, until the “hardened” body part no longer hurts as it used to. This practice is mostly used to harden the shin bone; kick boxers hit hard surfaces for 2 hours-a-day, 2 years straight.

There are many other fighting styles available, but these are my personal favorites and possibly the most useful in a combat scenario. But if you have to take one thing away from martial arts, that’s discipline and self control. Do not get carried away and avoid confrontation unless there’s no other way but standing your ground and fighting. But if that time comes, at least you now know where to go in order to overcome your opponents.

5 Of The Most Nutritious Fish You Can Eat

5 Most Nutritious Fish Found In The USA

The most nutritious fish meat is considered very good for your heart, being rich in protein, minerals and vitamins (A, D and E), very important in maintaining good health. It also contains high-chains of omega 3 fats, selenium and it’s rather low in saturated fats (the bad kind of fats).

A scientific studied conducted by professors Dariush Mozaffrian and Eric Rimm showed that eating a portion of 3 ounces of fatty fish (herring, salmon, mackerel etc.) 2 times a week reduces the chances of heart failure by 36%. The omega 3 fats in this case are key in protecting the heart from cardiac rhythm disturbances, maintaining a regular heartbeat. Erratic heartbeats can be very dangerous and potentially fatal if left untreated. They also lower blood pressure, improve the functionality of blood vessels and lower the levels of triglycerides. The studies on fish benefits for the circulatory system are approved by the American Heart Association.

It was also demonstrated (through observational studies) that the same omega 3 fats are extremely important for brain development and activity in infants. Studies confirm that the nervous system and brain in children whose mothers consumed fish during the pregnancy is far superior in development to children whose mothers did not include fish in their diet during the pregnancy and breast-feeding period.

Fortunately, fish is abundant and available to Americans, who should reconsider balancing their diets and making more room for such beneficial and nutritious substances which are found in fish meat. Let’s have a look and see our options.

The farmed Rainbow Trout

(Oncorhynchus mykiss)

The rainbow trout is not only nutritious, but it’s also very delicious, preferred by many when it comes to cheap and affordable sea-food.
It’s not a particularly endangered species, but some varieties are not fit for consumption because they show signs of contamination with PCB chemicals (especially the species native to Lake Michigan and Lake Huron). It’s not pretentious when it comes to cooking. It’s best to leave the scales on while doing so, because this will remove the need of adding extra oil while coating or breading the fish. It’s excellent for simple recipes and goes great with mushroom sauces, spices or just lemon. Baking is best done at 400°F – 500°F, for 5 minutes on each side.

The wild-caught Alaskan Salmon

(Oncorhynchus kisutch and Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)

The wild-caught salmon is considered bettered healthier and better than the farmed kind, sine the farmed ones have double the dosage of unhealthy saturated fats than the wild ones. The omega 3 fats levels are the same. Even marketing giants, such as target have been stacking up lately on wild salmon, selling only salmon certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. This fish is perfect for salads or sandwiches, and it also goes great with white bean soup. There are plenty more recipes out there, each being tastier than the last.

The wild-caught Pacific Sardines

(Sardinops sagax)

It’s astonishing the comeback these tiny fish made after the late 1950, when the nearly went extinct. They don’t have a good reputation when it comes to creative recipes and food assortments, but don’t let that fool you. Just because they’re been eating straight out of the can for the last hundred years, doesn’t mean there’s no potential available. If you feel like experimenting in an “unorthodox” manner, you can make or buy a mouth-watering sardines & white beans salad. If you feel like keeping the traditions alive, there’s always the ever-popular sardine sandwich with either plain or marinated sardines (garlic, tomato sauce, olive oil etc).

The wild-caught Albacore Tuna

(Thunnus alalunga)

This fish has gained a lot of bad reputation lately because of the suspicion of high levels of mercury poison. After scientific testing, tuna caught in Canadian and Western U.S. coasts have in fact proven to have lower amounts of poison in their bodies than anywhere else in the world. This is because these fish are generally younger and were exposed to the poisonous substance for lesser periods of time. The Albacore is not the type of fish that you find at your local everyday fish market or store. It’s hard to come by, but it’s mostly available at online stores, like Heritage Foods USA. The best Albacore I have ever eaten came in ht shape of tuna kebab, easy to prepare and delicious to the maximum. Simply prepare like regular kebabs, using tuna meat (even the loins) instead of chicken.

The farmed Barramundi or Asian seabass

(Lates calcarifer)

It’s a very uncommon fish for most Americans, and with good reason. This white-fleshed fish is native to Australian waters, where aborigines firstly fished them by hand from their natural habitat, freshwater rivers. They are easy to breed and the U.S. farms have become highly specialized in doing so. They utilize land-based tanks in which the fish are being kept mainly on a vegetarian diet. It’s highly recommended to buy American, as the other countries farm these fish in ocean-based nets that are highly pollutant. The Barramundi can be simply cooked with lemon juice for dressing, whether It’s fried, grilled, or baked. But it can also be used for fancier recipes, like Barramundi with Swiss chard and roasted sweet potatoes.

As you can see, there is plenty of fish the sea! There are many unpopular species available throughout the U.S. that work wonders for the ones health, whether they’re bought off the internet or simply fished the old fashioned way.

By My Family Survival Plan

Home Essentials You Need for Survival

Home Essentials You Need for Survival

With so many daily work, family, and personal distractions, it’s no wonder so many of us remain unconcerned and unprepared for a potential disaster to strike. But they do strike often, all around the world, and assuming you and your family will be exempt could endanger your lives.

Even though it takes thought and investment, preparing your home and your family for unexpectedly harsh conditions is well worth the sacrifice. In fact, the peace of mind alone might be worth it. If you don’t know where to get started, Modernize offers up a list of home essentials to build off of as you collect survival supplies.


Flashlights, Lanterns, and Backup Batteries
When anticipating a disaster, the last thing you should rely on is electricity. And there’s nothing more frightening than thinking of trying to keep your family safe in total darkness. Make sure flashlights and lanterns are handy in several rooms of the house, and always keep a good stock of backup batteries and bulbs. Solar flashlights are also a great addition, especially if you’re going to need to be on the move.

Hand Crank Radio
Staying tuned in to what’s going on could mean the difference between life and death. Procure a solar hand crank radio that will keep you updated on the news and weather while you keep your family locked up safe.

How To Survive A Permanent Power Outage


Solar Oven and Freezer
Nobody hopes that the aftermath of a disaster will be long-term. But it’s best to prepare for a longer time without electricity than you would like to imagine. Solar ovens are simple, effective, and can cook food in a variety of ways. Ready-to-go, just-add-water meals are very handy for a short term emergency. But a solar oven and a solar freezer to store your food stock could work in tandem to keep your family eating well in spite of the circumstances.

Coats and Boots
Being prepared for inclement weather is essential. Heavy-duty raincoats, winter coats, hiking boots, and rain boots will help keep them warm in dry in case of flooding or freezing weather. It will also help them travel more easily if traveling becomes necessary.

Water Purifier
Aside from shelter, water is the most immediate and vital need in many emergency situations. If you are not prepared to convert unsafe water into potable water, you’re not truly prepared at all. You need to both have ways to filter and purify it. While you’re thinking of your water needs, it never hurts to set up a rain catchment system that will allow you access to running water—though you will still need to treat rainwater to make it potable.

First Aid Supplies
A well-stocked survival first aid kit will include gloves, surgical shears, antiseptic wipes, bandages, pain relieving medication, antibiotic ointment, cotton-tipped applicators, sterile
gauze pads, a thermometer, tweezers, and several other items.

Make sure to thoroughly research and go beyond the basics for your first aid kit.


Pet Supplies
No one overlooks their kids when they plan for a disaster, but a pet isn’t always foremost on everyone’s mind. Pets need their own survival supplies including food, blankets, bowls, a leash, their own first aid supplies, and anything else you determine your individual pets’ need.

Sanitary Supplies
While weather disasters are more common in America these days, epidemics also pose a danger—as do unclean condition potentially caused by natural disasters. Supplies that would come in handy during a dangerous outbreak include: adhesive sealing masks with eye shields, anti-bacterial and anti-virus lotion, anti-bacterial wipes, bio hazard bags, bio hazard suits and gloves, and a supply of antibacterial soap.


Hygiene Essentials
Comfort and cleanliness isn’t usually the first thing on your mind in a survival situation. But if you prepare ahead, you can be more thorough about what your family needs and wants. Items like soap, toilet tissue, toothbrushes and toothpastes, feminine products, deodorant, and razors will come in handy even after just a day of relying on your survival supplies.

Sleeping Bags
Reflective sleeping bags that are cushy and can withstand harsh weather could mean the difference between a safe and good night’s rest and many sleepless, anxious nights. To protect your family from hypothermia, select sleeping bags that offer heavy insulation, fully waterproof materials, and low temperature ratings.

70 howtos for your preps


Emergency Preparedness Guide
No matter how much you prepare yourself and your family, any type of emergency or disaster is bound to come with surprises. Instead of relying completely on your supplies and knowledge, make sure you have the educational resources anyone in your family would need to know how to deal with in difficult disaster-related circumstances.

Multi-Tool Knife
Weapons are certainly an important aspect of a home survival kit, as are tools. Combine them into one item for optimum efficiency and ease of use. You never know when a screwdriver, pliers, or a mini saw could come in handy.

These are simply the foundational items for a home survival kit. Build off of your family’s anticipated needs and show them how to use the supplies in case of an emergency.  

By Mary Saurer


Mary Sauer is a writer who has been published by Babble, Mom.me, and What to Expect. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two young daughters.


How To Protect Your Family While Camping In The Wild

How To Protect Your Family While Camping In The Wild

Exploring the nature with your family can be a fun activity, but remember to be prepared for any situation. Respecting elementary safety rules while camping in nature is highly important because it can keep your family safe. There are some items that are essential if you want your camping trip to be a success. A typical emergency bag is designed for survival situations or during unexpected and urgent circumstances requiring some supplies, here are some basic essential items that you should take:

  • Flashlight – for lighting the way to the toilet block at night.
  • Lamps – for some light in the tent.
  • Plenty of warm, waterproof clothing – even in the summer.
  • Gas for the stove – buy this when you buy your stove.
  • Matches & batteries – always good to have to have in emergencies!
  • Insect repellent- it keeps pesky mosquitoes and other insects away.
  • First Aid kit – including plenty of plasters, anti-histamine, pain-killers etc.
  • Bottled water – always good to have to hand.

family

We all know that while engaging in outdoor camping fun or frolicking in the wilderness where the individual may suddenly end up at the mercy of nature’s fury, emergencies or disaster situations may occur. Emergency situations vary, but it is people’s preparedness to deal with these situations which will help us survive and this is why you must always be prepared.

That is why it is imperative to follow certain rules while camping in the wild:

  • Remember to set up cooking, eating and supply area at least 100 yards from your sleeping area. Store food and scented items by hanging at least 10 to 15 feet above ground and 4 feet from top and side supports or store highly resistant containers.
  • For increased safety, camp in open areas away from trails, thick brush, berry patches, spawning streams or carcasses and sleep in a tent.
  • When collecting firewood and picking up possessions off the ground, be careful of snakes, scorpions and other insects that are often hard to detect. While on site, do check for insects in your bedding, clothing and footwear before using.
  • Be safe around the BBQ – never light a barbecue in an confined space, don’t leave children unsupervised near a barbecue and make sure the barbecue is fully put out after use.

camping

52 plants you can eat

Tip: taking Pets on Hiking Trails is Not Advised. Pets may attract wild animals and are not allowed on some parks. If dogs are permitted, keep them on a short leash to avoid conflicts with wildlife.

family with dog

All these having been said, we think that your family is the most important aspect of your life and this is why you should always keep them safe and make sure that you have all the tools needed to do so at any time and to follow local regulations while camping.

Related: Extreme Survival – Know Your Edible Meats in the Wild

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