A Quick Tip On Planting Raised Bed Gardens

Last year we put in two 4×4 raised bed gardens and grew veggies.  They did so well that we didn’t buy any produce from the market from April to September or so.  Toward the end of the season, I put in a third raised bed (my wife wanted to grow spices).  And I bought a fourth bed when I was at the nursery a few weeks ago and got a killer discount.

Sure, you can build your own beds.  The first two I built myself.  But the kits are quick and easy with not hassle to put together, and the price ends up being about the same as buying the lumber and screws from Lowes.

So, what’s the tip?

vegetable gardenLast season I found that wild rabbits were getting into the yard and eating my veggies.  I started covering them with a shade cloth.  The byproduct of covering the veggies with a shade cloth was that they began growing 2-3X faster.  Yeah, we get a lot of sun.  Probably too much, and by using the shade cloth it made it more tolerable for the plants to grow.  I also think that they “respirate” and by having the plants covered it creates a micro-system that stays more humid than the uncovered area (high desert).

But wait… that’s not the tip!

Apparently, if I had built beds that were two feet high, just the height alone will keep most of the critters out.  (I saw a sneaky marmot bravely climb under the shade cloth and get into the garden for a bit of late morning salad).  So, in the future, I’ll get taller beds and put river rocks in the bottom (for drainage) covered by soil.

A Little Something To Improve Your Bug Out Bag

My wife and I just got back from a ten day trip to both Texas and Florida.  Before leaving, I opened my suitcase to pack and found a couple of space bags I had completely forgotten about.

If you’re not familiar with the space bag, it’s basically a giant zip-lock bag with a one-way air release valve on the side of the bag.  What you do is: Put your clothes inside the bag, zip it closed, and then roll the bag forward to squeeze the air out of the bag.  In the process, all of your clothes compress down to approximately 1/3 of their original size.

space bagSo, not only does the space bag save space in your suitcase (or bug out bag) but it also keeps it relatively dry, should your bag happen to get wet.  “Relatively” dry meaning: Mostly dry. Since there is still a valve on the side of the bag where air can escape, I’d imagine that (theoretically) water could somehow get in, although it would be unlikely.  Still, much better than simply folding your clothes and putting it in your bag without any protection, whatsoever.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me before to use a space bag for the clothes in my bug out bag.  Sometimes the obvious hits you when you least expect it.

Further Evidence Of People And Companies Fleeing High Tax Blue States

An older gentleman in my guitar class told us he moved from Illinois to escape the high taxes.  He’d lived there all of his life.  You know the taxes and laws are oppressive when a man who has lived in the State all of his life finally decides to get up and leave.

Then there are these types of stories popping up more and more frequently:

RENO, NV (KRNV & MyNews4.com) –A California company is expanding into Northern Nevada and the move means hundreds of more jobs to the area.

Governor Brian Sandoval will join the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada to announce the expansion of a wireless services company that is estimated to bring at least 400 new jobs to the region over five years.

Read more, here…


CHICAGO — Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave Rick Perry a Chicago-style greeting Monday, challenging the Texas governor to remember the reasons for his visit to Illinois — a jab at Perry’s presidential debate forgetfulness.

“I hope when he comes he remembers all three of his reasons,” Emanuel said. “Because it will be a real test for him.”

Read more, here…


Get situated where you want to be, now folks.  A great divide is coming…

Sign Of The Times: “Rich pour money into art”

From FT.com:

“Christie’s in New York made auction history after it sold $495m of contemporary art on Wednesday, with works by Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat shattering records.

Brett Gorvy, the auctioneer’s chairman, said the evening’s sale was “the highest total in auction history”. ”

Red the full article, here.


Fire Steel Or Cheapie Harbor Freight Magnesium Fire Starter? Which Is Better?

I haven’t done a side by side comparison of the Swedish Fire Steel vs. the cheapie $2 magnesium fire starters you can buy from Harbor Freight.  I intend to.  The Swedish Fire Steel sell for quite a premium over the HF fire starters.  Is it really worth the extra money?

This does look pretty cool though:


“FireSteel.com Firesteels are THE name in FireSteel. These firesteels give big robust sparks that pop and bounce all over.The choice of Survival Experts world wide, FireSteel.com FireSteels are hands down the best!”

Sobert Gummer Is Suspicious Of Discovery Channel’s “Naked Castaway”

I’ve just finished watching the first two episodes of Naked Castaway. I think he’s got his priorities all screwed up. Granted, I’ve only seen the first two episodes of this Discovery Channel gem, but let’s face it: He’s 24 days in and he still hasn’t gotten around to hunting for food because… he WANTS a bigger shelter?? WTF??

Naked Castaway?  How About: Naked Idiot

So, he wastes time making a grass skirt and a thatched hut (mind you, he already has a perfectly acceptable cave he’s using as shelter) while he’s starving to death but the genius can’t think about using some cordage to make some snare traps or try to catch a goat?

Okay, I’d give the guy a pass if he didn’t know anything about survival or if he didn’t have any training.  But he was in the British Army and had some jungle training.  He’d also (allegedly) walked the entire Amazon on foot.  And before he started his 60 days on the Island, the producers showed the Abos teaching him how to use a bow drill and a hand drill to start a fire.  They didn’t teach him to hunt or make traps??  “Okay.”

It still took him 14 days to make a fire.  What the hell was he doing for 14 days??

Let’s Be Honest: This Naked Castaway Just Isn’t Too Bright

Naked CastawaySure, fire is hard to start.  In fact, it’s downright difficult.  In a humid environment it’s a major pain in the ass.  But 14 days?  Come on… let’s get real.  Either the guy is worse at prioritizing his time than the dilbert who works down at my local Kinkos or… something is fishy in Denmark.

He also looks like he’s being fed, if you ask me. At roughly 600 calories a day (if that?) after 24 days he would have looked a lot more skinny and ragged than he did. My guess is that they’re leaving him 1200-1500 calorie MREs… just enough to keep him hungry but not so much that he’ll lose massive muscle and weight (and viewers!) living on the tadpoles and coconuts he’s eating. Around day 15 his teeth looked suspiciously whiter than even in the beginning of the show.

So… is it worth watching?  Yes… Naked Castaway is still worth watching, although it’s not as educational as some of the other shows like Cody Lundin or Les Stroud.

Former SAS And All-Around Bad Ass John “Lofty” Wiseman Tells How It All Began

John “Lofty” Wiseman wrote one of the first survival manuals to really catch an international audience.  As a former British Para and SAS commando, he is a certified bad ass  Watch this video below and tell me if he doesn’t have a certain… air of authenticity about him?

I also found these two videos that look to be from a TV show he did in the early 80’s called, “Duncan Dares”.  Lots of lessons, even if the Brit English is a bit difficult to understand: