Just get out and do it.

Welcome to my blog, Garden for Your Life! This site will be mostly about my garden, but you can build one just like it in your back yard too. It can be bigger or smaller, just get out and do it. You can do it for fun. Your can do it for your health. You can do it for fresh food in these troubled times. The point is to get out and do it for whatever reason that you need.

Over time I will cover topics like canning and preserving your harvest, soil and beds, bugs, what to plant and when, and much more.

I've been working on this garden on mine and improving on it for over five years now. I will continue doing that for many more. You can too, just get out and do it.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Some good books for your library

Well your into preparing for emergencies.  It can be from a simple power outage to the End of the World as We Know It.  Like it or not none of us know everything.  Just ask my kids.  The nice thing is there are resources that you can buy to help you.  They are called books!  Here's a few from my library that I've collected over the years.


Sunset Western Garden Book, Texas Gardening The Natural Way, Texas Gardening, and The New Square Foot Gardening.  All have good information on general gardening.  The two Texas ones are specific to my area where I live.  Many times I've looked up a plant available in the big box stores and found out that the plants don't grow well in my area, or only certain varieties do.

General books,

The Wisdom books.  These books are filled with good old country know how.  Just know that they are not region specific.

Next are some of my Favorite old books, Tom Browns field guides.  I've bought these years ago during my survivalist period. (yes there's a difference)

If its a case of bugging out and living off the land you will want to take these books with you.  These are now hard to find but well worth having.  Another old collection to have are the foxfire books.  You can get them used from amazon.  There are 12 volumes. You can get them digitalized and save them to a thumb drive.  These are the books that your great grand parents lived!  They are on my must buy list.  Here's another of good books to have if you just getting out of town,

James Rawles book, "how to survive the end of the world as we know it".  Next is a book I bought when I was in the Coast Guard and dreamed of just sailing away from it all, Sailing the Farm. Lots of info on frugal living abroad, solar water still, solar drying food, making a living off the grid and on the water.  This book is a hard find now.  Last time I saw it on the internet it was 70 bucks!  Still a dream for me, but the wife is a land lubber.  Since I'm kind of attached to her it will remain a dream, and no you can't have my copy.

Lets not forget Magazines!  Mother Earth News has been around for years.  I have copies of their magazines on cd as well as their new editions.  Their guides alone are worth having hard copy of.  I think there are now nine or ten subjects out now.  Time to get new ones and give these to a friend.  You can add to these titles like, Back Woods Home, Grit, and more!  Check your tractor supply store and such.

Can you have enough cook books?  I didn't think so.  These are mine on cooking with my cast iron skillets and dutch ovens.  As I've just started getting into cast iron these are kind of a bible for me.
Well if the grid goes down or gas just gets to high now what?

I got all these books from knowledge publications.  This is pretty much your alt energy source.  My favorite one is Alcohol can be a Gas!  The book was written way back in the 70's and is still good today.  This is the place that I bought my small still from to learn how to make pure alcohol that I can put into my car.  at around a 1.50 to make it will stretch my fuel dollars a ways.

Lets talk of emergencies now,

OK, for the record I'm a paramedic.  That doesn't mean you can't use these books.  We are taking about basic medicine here to save a life until you can get to a hospital.  Some can be used for much more.  I just picked up Survival Medicine Handbook at the Self Reliance Expo.  I'm about halfway through it and it will make in into my must take pile.  You can get, "When there is no Doctor", and "When there is no Dentist" and lastly "When there is no Midwife"  for free on line.  You can get all kinds of military medical, survival, maintenance, and others on line for free as well.

Speaking of your BOB,

Most book stores have these quick guides on all kinds of subjects  They can easily fit into your Bug Out Bag.  Small pocket guides can fit very easily into your pocket.  Wow, truth in advertising.

Last but in no way least, enough said, really!

Peace, Ken

Friday, February 24, 2012

Easy Chili Mac

Time for dinner is getting close.  Lets have Chili Mac tonight!
First get the elbow macaroni on the boil.

Time to get the main ingredients out from the home canned shelf.  Spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce!  The spaghetti sauce is a little thick, that's why I added the tomato sauce.  The Potato rolls from the other day will go great with this!

Next chop up some fresh veggies, carrots and celery.  Add what else that you like.

And into the pot it all goes.  Add salt, pepper, Cholula!, dried garlic, dried onion, and italian spices to taste. A cup of cubed Velveeta Cheese goes good with this too, but I'm out of it tonight.

Stir, heat, and taste!

Yummy!  Dawg lick the bowl approved too!
Chili Mac, its whats for dinner tonight!

Total cook time was about 20 minutes
Enjoy, ken

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

potato bread.

I wanted some potato rolls like grandma used to make.  Lori said she would make them if a found a good recipe, so I when to allrecipes and found one. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/potato-rolls/?extkb=1

Here they are ready to bake

Here they are all baked up and smelling oh so good!

They came out very light and airy.  Perfect size for sandwiches.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Food Test!

After you can your food you must test it, soooo

Here's this weeks test.  Top Sirloin Beef raw packed this week.  Corn from last year.  Potato flakes from Honeyville grain.  And the gravy made from the meat juices.  It was YUMMY!

After the meal what to do with the leftovers?  Make soup!

In went the beef, gravy, and corn.  I added some canned veggies and some garden fresh potato's are on the boil right now.  There will be enough for a couple of days eating!

Bon appetite!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Put those veggies to use!

Well its winter and I'm hungry.  Time to add a few recipes to the blog.  Here's my favorite potato salad using mostly veggies from my garden.  I use a thin skin salad potato as I leave the skin on.  The skin on a russett potato skin is to thick.

Lets start with fresh washed and scrubbed thin skinned potatoes

Slice and cube up to 1/2 to 3/4" pieces.  Put into the pot.

Add water, bring to a boil and add a couple of eggs, or in my case a few quail eggs. 

After five minuets fish out the eggs and put in a bowl of ice water.  Sample a piece of potato and when still firm but easy to bite through remove from heat, drain, and put back into pot.

Now lets cut the veggies.  Grate the carrots.

Chopped onion and celery from the store.  Place in a bowl until the eggs are peeled, chopped and ready.

Put it them in the pot and add the mayo, chopped garlic, mustard, salt and pepper to taste.

 Now time to clean up with plenty of Soap and Water.
Here they are in action!