Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Category: Videos

Videos

2018 Spring Garden Has Been a Bust

Cajun Spicy Bell Peppers

The spring garden for 2018 has fallen flat on its face, and it is my fault. To fully understand what happened we need to back up a few years.

Several years ago I held a New Years bonfire. The bonfire was made from pieces of timber left over from cutting trees from the property. There was a large section of Sweet Gum, pine tree limbs… etc. piled up maybe eight feet tall. After the bonfire was lit, it burned for several days.

Once the New Years bonfire had finally died out, there was a pile of ash almost three feet tall and eight – ten feet across. The pile was so tall a tractor was used to level the pile out. Once the pile was leveled out, a tractor disk was used to mix the ash into the soil.

Fast forward a few years. I figured the ash had time to dissolve into the soil, but I may have been wrong.

What Does Potash Do?

Watch Out For Snakes in the Early Spring

Texas Water Snake in bushes

Watch out for snakes in the early spring. April 19, 2018 the dogs and I were walking around the farm when we came upon a snake. I was carrying a rather old camera which takes good pictures and just wanted to get some stock snake pictures.

Rather than finding a CottonMouth Water Moccasin, the dogs and I found a Water Snake. The Water Snake (Genus Nerodia) is non-venomous and poses no real danger to humans. Chances are the worst thing that could possibly happen is for the snake bite to get infected. Which is why we should not handle even non-venomous snakes.

The dogs and I walked through a low area where there is usually standing water. Wherever there is standing water, chances are frogs will be in the area. What eats frogs? Snakes. It is a typical predator-prey situation.

I spotted a snake tail sticking out from under a clump of grass. One of the dogs almost stepped on the snake, and the snake did not move. This told me chances are it was a Water Snake. If a Water Moccasin feels threatened, it will coil up and get ready to strike. This snake did not move when the dog almost stepped on it.

Snake Camouflage

Garden Update: Contender Snap Bean Sprouts and Peppers

Contender snap bean sprouts

Contender snap bean sprouts are breaking through the soil and pepper plants are getting established. Some the peppers have died, and some are not looking too good, which is to be expected.

The pepper plants were planted in a garden spot around 100 yards behind the house. Just a couple of days after planting we got around 8 inches of rain overnight. I suspect a couple of the plants drown during the rain. Some of the pepper plants look nice.

One of the things I love about spring is the garden. Seeing sprouts break through the soil is a wonderful sight. They symbolize rebirth after winter is over.

No signs of the potatoes yet, but that is no big deal. It may take the potatoes a few more days. When the potatoes were cut, I made sure each eye had plenty of meat on them. The potato chunks provides nutrients so the roots and sprouts can get started.

Snap Bean Sprouts

Planting Pepper Plants With Homemade Organic Fertilizer

Planting pepper plants

Let’s take a few minutes and talk about planting pepper plants and using homemade organic fertilizer. If there is one plant in my spring garden that has a special place, it has to be pepper plants. Because of that, pepper plants need some tinder loving care.

Pepper plants need nitrogen to grow big and tall, then they need potash (potassium) to grow peppers. Those are the first and third numbers on a bag of fertilizer. The middle number is bone meal (phosphorus), which promotes root growth.

Around the farm I have chicken manure, and some potash from the smoker. These were used to mix up some homemade potting soil, which will be used as organic fertilizer.

Aged chicken manure from the brooder house was mixed with potash and some topsoil in a wheelbarrow.

Planting Pepper Plants

Using A Pocket Compass While Hiking With The Dogs

Dogs on a hiking trip

Awhile back we talked about a 50 cent pocket compass I ordered off Ebay. Rather than buying the compass from an online store, just go straight to the source and cut out the middle man.

Paracord zipper pulls were added to my packs, and then the compass was attached to the paracord. Is the pocket compass a primary land navigation aid? Of course not. The pocket compass is used in conjunction with other navigation aids.

For example, while on a recent hiking trip with the dogs we stopped next to a nice pool of water to take a break. While the dogs were playing, I looked at the pocket compass to make sure we were headed in the right direction.

I know the area and there was no way we could have become lost. A pipeline passes through the forest just a few hundred yards from where the dogs and I stopped. Then there is a dirt road that bisects the pipeline. No matter which way we headed, we would hit either the road or the pipeline, as long as we traveled in a straight line.

Using a Pocket Compass

What Is a Prepsteader?

Kevin Felts blogger and political commentator

What is a prepsteader? It is someone who combines prepping and homesteading. However, the complete answer is a little more complicated.

To see the whole picture we need to go back to at least the 1970s, or maybe the early 1980s. What we consider prepping today was everyday life during the cold war.

During the Cold War, people lived under the constant threat of nuclear war. Because of that people kept a stockpile of food and other supplies. After all, you never knew when the bombs were going to fall.

When the Berlin Wall came down after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States entered into a short lived period of peace. For the first time since the end of World War II we were at a true peace.

The came along Waco, Ruby Ridge and the Oklahoma City Bombing. When it came out that Timothy Mcveigh was part of a survivalist group, the name survivalist became taboo almost overnight.

Survivalism In The 1990s

Difference Between GMO, Hybrid and Heirloom Seeds

Spring plants at a local outlet store.

What are the differences between genetically modified organisms (GMO) sometimes called GM, hybrid and heirloom seeds? Some people think hybrid and GMO are the same thing – they are not the same.

GMO – Genetically modified organisms. The seed has been modified on the genetic level. For example, a scientist may splice the gene from a fish into a corn seed. In nature that could never happen.

Hybrid – Cross pollination between two related species. For example, cross breed a horse and a donkey and you get a mule. A mule is a hybrid between two closely related species. In the plant kingdom, closely related plants can cross pollinate. If the seeds from a hybrid are saved, the seeds may be sterile. If the seeds do grow, the plant may not be like its parents.

Heirloom – Pollinated by its own species. Saved seeds will bear true to form. The seeds can be saved from this plant, and replanted over and over.

Disappointed In YouTube Video Views

Bushel of potatoes

Guys and gals, what gives in the number of views my YouTube videos are getting? Why do I have 38,878 subscribers (as of March 2018) but my videos only get a few hundred views? Why would someone subscribe to my YouTube channel if they are not going to watch my videos?

I suspect some of the subscribers may have been spam bots, but surely not all of them?

Out of all of the prepping channels on YouTube, mine covers the widest variety of topics, but no firearms. When I joined the google adsense program over a decade ago the writing was on the wall. Google YouTube would not tolerate hunting or gun videos.

Sometime around 2007 or 2008 I posted a video on how to skin a squirrel. The video was flagged as animal cruelty and my account received a warning. From that time forward I never posted another hunting video. Even when people posted request on skinning videos, I avoided the topic.

Survival Gear Bundle Contest Coming Soon

Click notification icon

For those of you who follow my YouTube channel know, I am working on putting together a backpack bundle with various gear to give away through a contest.

Please subscribe to the SurvivalistBoards YouTube Channel.

Also, please click the notification icon so you get notified when I upload a video. This way you stay notified of new videos.

The goal I am looking for:

  • Backpack
  • Knife
  • Compass
  • Fire starter

Total package would cost around $20.

The items will be bundled and given away either on the Survivalist Forum, or here on my blog, SurvivalBoards.

I am currently in the process of doing reviews looking for items to add to the contest.

Contest Items

Watch The Dogs And I Walk Around The Farm

Puppy on a nature walk

Dogs and I went for a walk around the farm and made a video about it. I was looking for oak trees that may have blown over during a recent storm. The roots of oak trees run close to the top of the soil. When the soil becomes saturated, and then we get some high winds, there is a chance an oak tree will uproot an fall over.

Once we find a tree that has blown over, it is just a matter of cutting the tree up and splitting it for firewood. Unfortunately, we did not find any blown over trees this trip.

Pine trees on the other hand, they have a deeo tap root that is supposed to be around half as deep as the tree is tall. Because of the tap root, pine trees rarely blow over. If the winds get high enough, a pine tree is more likely to snap in half than blow over.

Nature Conservation Area

What To Expect From A 31 Cent Compass

cheap compass

After digging through Ebay I was able to find a 31 cent compass. The pictures looked rather neat. The compass was in a plastic housing which had a cord attached to it. To get the price down 31 cent, I ordered 40 of them.

What would these be used for? A backup compass and nothing more. Just something that can be attached outside the pack so someone can get a quick reference.

Why look at a 31 cent compass? Part of my videos for 2018 are doing reviews of low cost survival gear. I wanted to start with compasses, just because. The first video and article was about a 50 cent compass.

As I was pulling the compasses out of the package, some of compasses fell out of the plastic housing.

Some of them do not point north. Most will point north. Out of 40 of them, just a couple did not point north. Some of them, the compass has to be perfectly flat to rotate. Someone may say, “So what, a compass has to be flat to work.” The compass has to be almost perfectly flat to work. It seemed that any kind of imbalance and the compass would not work.

Why Won’t Your Garden Plants Produce?

Bushel of potatoes

You planted a garden, but it did not produce. The plants may have grown nice and large, but they did not produce anything. What could be wrong?

The simple answer is – Plants need certain certain types of fertilizer depending on what they produce. Using the wrong fertilizer may cause the plant to grow large, but may not produce.

What brought this topic up? I posted a video talking about how to pick out seed potatoes. Ethical Preparedness asked a question about growing potatoes..

If the reader does not subscribe to Ethical Preparedness YouTube channel, get over there and subscribe. He makes some excellent videos.

People prepping for a long term collapse, or just a backyard gardener should understand how certain nutrients affect the garden.

Everything written here is from memory.

Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash

Mountain House Breakfast Skillet Review

Mountain House Breakfast Skillet Review

Review of the Mountain House breakfast skillet freeze dried pouch. While working around the farm, and new fence line cleared out, I decided to have a Mountain House breakfast skillet for lunch.

For whatever reason, Mountain House freeze dried pouches have always come across as bland, very bland. There seems to be very little flavor was added at the factory. Maybe this was so people can add the spices they want?

I wish Mountain House would treat the sodium content like they do the flavoring, and leave some out. Why leave something as simple as black pepper out, but have an excessive amount of sodium?

Let’s move onto the review.

Nutrition Information

Stockpiling Mountain House Freeze Dried Pouches

Mountain House freeze dried pouches

A question to the reader, “Are you stockpiling Mountain House freeze dried pouches?” Let’s be honest, there are a number of reasons that can be debated for and against stockpiling Mountain House freeze dried pouches.

One of my main issues with the pouches is the sodium content. When I eat a meal, a few minutes later I can feel the sodium hitting my system. Sometimes the sodium is so bad I feel sick all over.

Some people may say Mountain House freeze dried pouches are too expensive, and they are. There is no denying the freeze dried pouches cost a pretty penny.

Let’s talk about sodium content first. A couple of pouches were picked from my personal stockpile so we could look at the sodium content.

Sodium Content

Cutting Seed Potatoes For Planting

Cutting potatoes before planting

Potato planting time is just around the corner. In the southern part of the united States it is common to plant around February 14th. Or anywhere between the middle of February to the first of March.

When planting potatoes there is a common misconception that the whole potato has to be planted. That simply is not true. It is possible to grow multiple plants from a single potato. this is done by cutting a chunk of the potato along with an “eye.” A potato eye is another name for the sprout. Potatoes will have multiple sprouts coming off of them. Simple cut the sprout along with a chunk of the potato off.

After cutting the eye off the potato, some people dip the cutting in lime or fireplace ashes. Then allow the cutting to dry for a few days before planting. Some people say the lime or ashes help prevent the cutting from rotting.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018