DIY How to Remedy Hickeys

How to Remedy Hickeys

Hickeys are often termed as kiss marks or love bites. They appear due to excessive sucking or aggressive biting especially on soft parts of the skin – neck, chest area, or arms, causing the capillaries to break and bleed. That is the reason why hickeys appear as a red or purplish patch. Although you can conceal them with make-up, they can be quite embarrassing as healing take long.


Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera contains soothing and anti-inflammatory properties for faster healing of burst capillaries. Scrape out the gel from the Aloe Vera leaf and apply it directly on your bruised skin/hickeys. Application should be done thrice daily for faster healing.

Consumption of Vitamin K-Rich Foods

Broccoli, brown rice, fish oil, spinach and soy beans are rich in vitamin K. Take in lots of vitamin K-rich foods when you have hickeys. As hickeys also is a result of blood clotting, vitamin K is required as this is can effectively prevent blood clotting or coagulation. As pooled blood is reabsorbed, the healing process is hastened.

Cold Compress

Same when bruised, it is always advisable to use cold compress in order to stop the bleeding and constrict ruptured capillaries. Blood clots are therefore broken apart and a result, they are separated apart. Using a cold pack, press it on the hickeys for 15 minutes. If you do not have a cold pack, you can simply wrap ice cubes in a paper towel. Do not press the ice directly on your skin else you will make things worse. You will surely get an ice burn.

Remember those metal spoons for your eye bags? You can also use them here. Have those chilled for 10 minutes and wrap it with a thin cloth then rub it lightly on your kiss mark. Repeat this at least thrice daily.

Banana Peel

Banana peels are also good for hickeys. Be sure to cut them into sizes to fit the hickeys. This would serve as a spot treatment. Cover the area with the insides of the peel for half an hour. Repeat this thrice daily until the kiss marks are gone.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint also improves blood circulation and is an effective treatment for hickeys. Gently apply on the affected area but do not overdo to avoid irritation. Use this remedy only once or twice daily.



Natural Ways To Remove Stains From White Cloths

White clothes are in many of us our first choice, we all love them, but the sad fact is that it can easy get stained.

In most cases, even the best and most expensive stain detergent cannot wash off the stains, and if we keep trying we just end up having chemical-laden clothing whit lost white color.

But there are trick that you can try, and end up again enjoying your favorite pure white, stainless cloth.

We now present you 3 tricks that have great effect in removing stains, and the best part is they are all natural!

Baking Soda

In a plastic tub fill 4 liters of water then add a cup of baking soda. Let it dissolve and then place the clothes inside, and leave them to soak for about 10 to 15 minutes. Whit this you will restore the white color of your clothing and the stains will be gone.

 Lemon and Vinegar

In equal amounts mix vinegar and lemon juice then with this mix you can wash your stained clothes. Rinse the clothes and the stains will be gone. The clothes will have great fresh smell and their original white color.


In a plastic tub filled with water add 6 crushed aspirins, and then add your clothes inside. Leave the clothes to soak for about one hour, and then wash it whit detergent. You will end up whit pure white clothing again.

Try these tricks soon, and you will never be afraid of stains again.

If you want to try more awesome everyday remedies from things found around the home click on the Learn More link below.

5 Best Halloween Decoration Ideas For 2017

If you're looking for some awesome Halloween Decorations to liven up your home take a look at these 5 ideas we found on Etsy.

1.) Halloween Garland or Wreath

Details: This Halloween garland is the one of a kind piece this festive holiday! Created with a purple deco mesh, ruffles and twists in black/orange and purple deco mesh, and ribbons in bats, plaids, polka dots, striped glitter and chevrons, this garland also holds loops of color coordinated tubing really giving this the piece the pop you're looking for. Created with your choice of garland alone or your own wreath with various center options, you can create the ultimate Halloween décor door or mantel to your liking!! 


2.) Halloween Painted Potion Bottles

Details: These are awesome if I do say so myself.
The pictures really do not do them justice. There are three different large bottles
1. Bat Blood
2. Slug Siliva
3. Snake Venom
These really are great!!


3.) Candy Corn Mason Jar 

Painted candy corn mason jars. These jars are so adorable and will add a touch of whimsy to each and EVERY Halloween display. They will also make an adorable Thanksgiving Centerpiece. The jars have been painted with a sealer for added protection against chipping. They can be wiped with a damp cloth, but are not dishwasher safe, and can not be submersed in water. However, they can be filled with water to hold flowers.

4.) Happy Halloween Wreath

Get ready to impress neighbors, friends, and trick or treaters this Halloween. This wreath is guaranteed to make you the envy of the neighborhood. It is full of texture. This wreath measures 24″. It is made on a work wreath using a variety of Deco mesh, coordinating ribbon and deco flex tubing and a Happy Halloween sign in the center.

5.) Halloween Candles – Halloween Decor

Use these faux Halloween candles to light up your spells, make your ouija board glow, and illuminate spooky October nights. 
Set includes 3 faux candles wrapped at the base with twigs, black cheese cloth, and an orange ribbon.

We hope you liked and found some inspiration for making your own Halloween Decorations this season. If not follow the link to Etsy where you can find thousands of Halloween Decorations for sale.

9 Ways How I Clean My Clogged Pores

Clogged Pores

Your skin has pores. You might barely notice it because they are not very visible, but for some, pores can be really large. You must be lucky enough but even with that, you need to check out for clogged pores. When oil, dirt, dead skin, and other undesirable debris gets in the way, your pores get clogged. Inflammation due to excess white blood cells too can cause pores to clog.

Why is necessary to unclog your pores? That is in order to prevent acne and blackheads. Not only are these embarrassing but can cause the overall look on your face. Everyone wants to become flawless and feel beautiful and handsome. So get rid of impurities for a smoother and younger look.

My Clogged Pores Home Remedies

1. Lemon and Brown Sugar Scrub

Lemon and sugar are natural exfoliants. In addition, lemon is a good anti-oxidant for effective unclogging of pores. To prepare, mix lemon to about 2 tablespoons of sugar and a few drops of water, slightly crushing it in the process of mixing to make the crystals finer. Gently scrub it in circular motion on your face especially around the nasal area, where dirt can mostly accumulate. Repeat this process once every week for better results.

2. Raw Honey Scrub

Honey contains anti-bacterial properties and can help open up pores to unclog it and successfully eliminate accumulated dirt and oil. Just apply raw honey directly on your skin and massage it gently. Leave it for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.

3. Honey and Baking Soda Exfoliant Cream

Adding 2 tablespoons of honey to a teaspoon of baking soda can help unclog your pores and exfoliate in the process. This is much recommended for those with blackheads. Apply it directly and massage your skin for 10 minutes before rinsing it off.   

4. Honey and Cinnamon Cream

Cinnamon has skin lightening properties. Mix 2 tablespoons of it to 3 tablespoons of honey for a complete exfoliant and lightening cream. Apply it directly on your skin and leave it there for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Do this once weekly.

5. Honey and Yogurt Mask

Prepare 2 teaspoons of yogurt and the same amount of honey. Add a teaspoon of jojoba oil to it and mix the ingredients thoroughly to create a thick paste. Apply it directly on your face, leaving it for 15 minutes before rinsing it off with water.

6. Almond, Egg and Lemon Scrub

Exfoliate, unclog your pores, and enhance your skin complexion with this easy to prepare facial scrub. Prepare the egg white (fresh). Whip it until smooth and refrigerate for about 10 minutes. Take the egg white out of the refrigerator and add lemon and crushed almonds to it. Apply it directly on the face by gently massaging it in circular motions for 15 minutes then rinse it off with water.  

7. Steaming Your Face

Exposing your face to a pot of steamy water is perhaps the cheapest way to unclog your pores effectively and remove impurities and unwanted particles. Just be extra careful not to burn your face in the process. To do this, prepare a pot of water and set to boil. Once steam starts to come out, remove the pot from the stove and lean over the pan to have the steam on your face. Make sure to cover your head with a towel so that all of the steam will be concentrated on your face. Stay for 15 minutes to allow thorough skin penetration. Dry your skin off with a clean towel afterwards and moisturize your skin. Do this twice weekly.

8. Baking Soda Facial Cleanser

Baking soda not only works as an effective exfoliant but also regulates your skin’s pH to give it a smooth and youthful glow. Exfoliation unclogs pores in the process and eliminates unwanted particles, dead skin cells and other impurities. To prepare, add a teaspoon of water to 2 teaspoons of baking soda, mixing well until a paste is formed. Apply it on your face by gently massaging it in circular motions for 5 minutes then rinse it off with lukewarm water. This should not be used as a daily cleanser though. Use it only once weekly.

9. Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Lemon and Honey Cleanser

If you wish to add some twist in your regular baking soda cleanser, adding a teaspoon of cinnamon, lemon juice, and 5 tablespoons of honey will give it a kick. Thoroughly mix all these and apply it directly on your face, gently massaging it. Use this at most twice a week.

9 Home Puffy Eye Remedies

9 Home Puffy Eye Remedies

Looking yourself at the mirror and seeing those bulging or sagging eye bags can be really frustrating. Puffy eyes or what we common call as eye bags can be normal to some individuals. This is characterized by swelling of the orbits (tissues around the eyes). Thus, in medical terms, it is called as periorbital puffiness.

Several factors are known to cause puffiness of the eyes. Among these are fatigue, lack of sleep or the opposite of it which is of course oversleeping, allergies, diet, and even as a result of crying. While some causes can only result to temporary puffiness, others which include skin disorders, improper functioning tear glands, and some diseases can pose and alarm on you. And in extreme cases, surgery may be necessary.


  1. Cucumber Eye Mask

You surely are familiar with cucumber eye masks. Cucumbers contain enzymes and powerful astringent properties that effectively relieve stressed skin, tighten it and is a good anti-inflammatory. Thus, it can be a great treatment for eye bags including wrinkles and dark circles. To prepare, chill a piece of cucumber on your refrigerator. After 10 minutes or so, take it out and cut into thick slices. Take two and cover your eyes for about 15 minutes or until the coldness is gone. This will give you much time to relax too as you close your peppers for a little while. Do this daily.

  1. Egg Whites plus Witch Hazel

As mentioned, egg whites can tighten your skin and eliminate wrinkles. Witch hazel is likewise effective in skin tightening. This skin tightening properties are essential for eliminating puffiness too. To prepare, beat egg whites and a few drops of witch hazel until stiff. Apply it directly under your eyes. Leave it to dry for 15 minutes before running cold water. Repeat this procedure until puffiness disappears.

  1. Hydrate with Nothing Else but Water

This is perhaps the easiest and the most cost-free remedy. To iterate, drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily not only gives your cells a boost but adds glow to your skin. Toxins are flushed out of the body and puffiness is eliminated as there is rare chances of water retention which can led to swelling of body parts including the under-eye area. Not only that, as you hydrate, be sure to reduce your salt intake too as it can cause the body to retain much water. Shun from soda and other carbonated drinks including caffeine. Much more, alcohol. They give you the opposite instead – dehydration.

  1. Potato Starch Patch

Potatoes are also a great way to get rid of your eye bags. Potatoes contain starch which has anti-inflammatory properties that effectively relieves swelling in the under eye are. Preparation is so easy. Simply peel the skin of a medium-sized potato. Make sure to wash and dry it properly. Shave the potato and wrap it in a clean cotton cloth. Place it on your eyes as you would an eye mask. Leave it for 20 minutes. Repeat this daily until the puffiness is gone. This is effective in treating dark circles too.

  1. Tea Bag Masks

You know the benefits green tea does to your health. While consuming this healthy drink, make use of its bags too. Refrigerate 2 teabags (used or probably soaked in hot water then removed to cool down) and place them on your eyelids for 15 minutes. This will not only relieve your eyes from puffiness and redness but also give your skin the glow it needs.

  1. Cold Metal Spoons

Another inexpensive eye bag remedy is the use of cold spoons. Yes, you read it right. While you may doubt its effectiveness, this has been backed by many who have tried this remedy though; myself included. Take out 6 metal spoons and refrigerate it for 15 minutes. You can place it on the freezer for faster cooling if you want. Now, take two and place it on your eye bags. Hold it until the coldness is gone and grab another two from the refrigerator to replace what you had. This may look funny but the idea behind this is putting a cold pack on your eye bags can relieve your tired eyes and relax the blood vessels. In effect, your skin can tighten up and you would be able to get it of the puffiness.

  1. Teething Rings

Same as your metal spoon remedy, teething rings can also be utilized to provide a cooling effect on your under eye area. Refrigerate teething rings for 10 minutes and place it on your eye bags. Do this daily until you have finally relieved yourself from unwanted puffiness.

  1. Avocado Mask

Avocado takes the stage as an overall skin enhancing remedy. Remove all your blemishes, dark circles, wrinkles, and eye bags by placing cold ripe avocado slices as eye mask.  

  1. Almond and Milk Paste

Milk and ground almonds are great finishers. While you may use other means like metal spoons and teething rings, you need to nourish your eyes and skin too. Aside from that, clearing it out is better achieved with the help of milk.

7 Best Home Facial ACNE Remedies

Home Facial ACNE Remedies

The face is the most visible part of the body that enables us to recognize one person from another. You cannot just cover it if you wish to hide something. It shows your outer beauty, youthfulness, sophistication, as well as emotions. As much as we want to have a flawless look, times may come when come across various facial problems that come along with age (puberty). Proper hygiene and the consumption of healthy foods are therefore necessary.

Compiled in this chapter are common acne facial problems and their respective remedies.


Medically known as Acne Vulgaris, this can appear not only on the facial area but also on the neck, shoulders, chest, and back. It can start as our skin’s sebaceous/oil glands produce greasy secretions. Once the tiny pores get clogged, it can then contribute to having white heads if pores are small and black heads if they are bigger. As a result of that, irritation develops in the form of inflammations known as pimples.  Acne can appear mild as having a few pimples. It is moderate with the presence of inflammatory papules while in its severe form, cysts and nodules are present. This is a common occurrence to those who reach the age of puberty until their 30’s although studies have shown that there are still those who get acne even in their 50’s.


  • Green Tea Miracle Detox

Green tea contains an antioxidant known as Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which can effectively reduce the bacterial growth, inflammation, and the production of sebum, which are the main culprits for acne breakouts. To make your miracle detox, you can steep for 5 minutes 2 teaspoons of loose organic green tea leaves in half cup of boiling water. Strain the leaves and allow the water to cool. Get a cotton swab and gently apply it directly on your face. If you have green tea bags instead, that is just fine. Steep it for 3 minutes, remove the bag and apply it directly on your face.

  • Minty Rub

Mint has menthol which is both useful as a pain killer and anti-inflammatory. While this does not take away your acne, it will ease you from pain and minimize its redness. To prepare, crush a handful of fresh mint leaves and rub it directly on your face. Leave it for 10 minutes and rinse it off with cold water. You will surely feel refreshed.

  • Honey and Avocado Mask

Avocados can give us a lot of health benefits. It can quickly provide a cure to dry peeling skin as it contains antioxidants, healthy fat, moisture, natural oils, and phytochemicals. For that reason, avocado based topical solutions came into being and have grown popular over the years. One of these is honey and avocado mask. To prepare, mash a quarter of an avocado and mix it with a tablespoon of honey. Apply directly into your washed face and leave it for 20 minutes. Wash your face with lukewarm water and pat your face with a clean, dry towel. This is also recommended for those who have very sensitive skin.

  • Honey and Oatmeal Scrub

Oatmeal is effective in removing oil and dead skin cells that can clog your pores and lead to having acne. It can also reduce inflammation. To prepare, just add 2 tablespoons of raw honey to a serving of cooked oats. Allow it to cool and apply it on your face then leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat it dry with a clean towel.

  • Egg White and Avocado Mask

Egg white is known to be effective in removing excessive skin oil that can clog your pores causing blackheads and acne. Avocado, having natural fats, can nourish your skin and is a good remedy for dry skin. If you are wondering why did we come up with such combination knowing that their purposes seem contrasting, well this just makes the mask great for both dry and oily skin.

To prepare, just mash a quarter serving of avocado and 1 egg white and massage it gently on your face. Make sure to cover all areas. Leave it for 15 minutes and rinse it off with lukewarm water. Pat your face dry with a soft, clean towel.

  • Cinnamon-Honey-Nutmeg Mask

This mask is also very easy to prepare. Just mix freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon, and honey (enough amount to form a paste). Allow it to stand for at least an hour before applying. Leave it on your face for 15 minutes then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Dry your face with a clean towel.

  • Baking Soda Exfoliant

An economical way of gently exfoliating your skin is through the use of sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells and unclog your pores. Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in about the same amount of water enough to create a paste. You can also add lemon to it. Apply it directly on your acne and leave it there for 5 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water and patting your face dry with a clean towel.

Find More Acne Treating Remedies Here!

Most Expensive Shipping Container Home

If you're looking to buy a Shipping Container Home that's already been built, then look no further! This eco-friendly and energy efficient home has been carefully engineered from five beautiful shipping containers and has 2,600 sqft of living space. Can you believe that this earth-saving home also contains three unique bedrooms with each having personal baths? This spectacular home was designed by the Industrial Designer, Debbie Glassberg, in collaboration with BNIM. 

This is suppose to be Kansas City MO first container home and if you're willing to shell out $849,000 it can be yours. Outside the home there are raised bed garden planter so you can grow your own green organic fruits and vegetables. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative then you might want to take a look at these Shipping Container Home building plans which will guide you through the whole process of building your own container home from the ground up at a much cheaper price.

Click Here To Learn More!

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Must See Brad Pitt’s Tiny Home

Yes! Even Brad Pitt has an enormous interest in Tiny Houses and here's one he helped build in new Orleans. This is just one of the homes that he helped build through the Make It Right Foundation which he helped start to help build homes for families whose houses were destroyed from Hurricane Katrina. Check out the amazing images of this eco friendly Tiny House that has solar electric, small footprint and more.


Two story tiny house with sloping roof line.

Open space with kitchen sit at counter bar to eat your meals.

Easy entry through side staircase to porch and entrance to home.

The original article can be found here: 


Simple Chicken Coop Plans

If you love raising poultry in your backyard and you plan to put up a small and simple coops in your backyard to house your chicken, you might want to explore making it as your do-it-yourself project. Indeed, building a chicken coop can be easy and simple, and most of the time, it does not need someone who is an expert.

One of the keys to making simple chicken coops into a reality, is to have an easy to follow guide that enables you to build the structure easily by just following the instructions. If you are interested in building simple chicken coops, here is a simple and basic guide in making one.

– Get a chicken coop plan as your guide. Building coops for your chicken has become a very easy task because of building plans that are readily available these days. These building plans contain illustrations and diagrams that allow you to follow instructions easily and accurately. They also contain a guide on what materials and tools to be used and also contain the measurements that you need to follow to make accurate construction.

With a good plan at hand, you can save yourself from the frustration of having to do a trial and error with your materials, which can also be costly. This will also help you work faster as well.

– Secure your materials for the coop. As a do-it-yourself project, it may not be practical to build a very large coop. You can start with a size that you can readily manage with your tools and resources as of the time. Make use of your scrap lumber and other materials that you already have around. You may not need to buy new tools as most of the tools in coop building are commonly found in every home – of course, you have to make sure that your coop design does not need complicated tools as well.

– Schedule your time for the work. You can spend the entire weekends to work on your chicken coop if you want. Of course, by starting early, you will also more likely to finish early, so start now so you can enjoy the benefits of building your own coop plan.

– Start of your construction. Having the building plan and the step-by-step guide and instruction in building your coop can help you in making accurate measurements on your materials. Especially if you are not a carpenter or you have limited experience in projects such as this, instruction books and guides are always one of the best things that you can have before the start of the construction. It may also contain some tips and tricks to make the construction easier and faster as well.

For chicken coop plans that you can use as a guide in building a coop, check out Easy DIY Chicken Coop Plans. Also check out Building A Chicken Coop, a great guide to help you build any kind of chicken coop of your choosing.


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Must Know Facts Living Inside A Shipping Container Home

Remember, when you were younger and loved to build pretend homes and forts? As an adult the Container architecture is growing because there hundreds of thousands of shipping containers in places all over the world. Usually in docking ports and stacks of shipping containers are piled up wasting away to literally nothing. Some very ingenious architects and builders are recycling these containers and designing homes and low income apartments out of them worldwide.

Shipping container homes are very affordable, transportable and stackable and able to survive the worst weather conditions mother nature has for us. They are structurally built to withstand almost anything and in abundant supply almost in every country today.

Containerization is best defined as the use of steel boxes that can be filled with literally any product and loaded onto a truck or train. If you are concerned about these running out, no need to worry because there are infinite containers to go around. Tens of thousands of these hit American shores each and every day of the year, as well as almost every other country.

Lets understand something here. The prices of homes today has sky rocketed to the heavens. As time goes on, more and more people can not afford a typical living environment. Struggling with mortgages and taxes to pay off their house, why not look into a shipping container as a home for yourself?

Not only are they cheaper but they last much longer than an average house today built with the same materials they have been building with.

Anyone who would like more information on Shipping Container Homes, please visit my site below

Shipping Container Home Facts

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DIY 7 Drawer Mission Chest

How To Build Seven Drawer Mission Chest

What you will need:
• Planer thicknesser
• Domino Jointer
• Sander
• Bandsaw
• Tablesaw
• Router table
• Biscuiter
• Block
• Mallet
• Fine-tooth saw
• Plane
• Chisel
• Sash
• Deep-throat clamps
• F- and G-cramps
• 8 x 50mm Domino components
•'0′ and '20' biscuits
• PVA glue
• Cloth
• Protective pads
• Router cutters, including 19mm diameter dovetail
• 1/2in collet router + 30mm guide bush
• 6.4mm groover + arbor and 9.5mm straight bit
• Sub-table surface + high fence facing
• Screws Power woo

This is a substantial and imposing chest of drawers. Unlike a typical Georgian or Victorian chest, which would have drawers graduated
in size, with the smallest at the top and the largest at the bottom, this chest has equal-height drawers apart from the top row. The timber is
American White Oak (Quercus alba). It is finished with a sealer coat and waxed to keep the look as natural as possible.

This project uses a very large amount of timber and there is wastage because
even American oak suffers from splits, shakes and knots. Keep your best boards
for matching colour and grain for the drawer fronts, and fi nd good matching
boards for the top. The back panel, end panels and drawer bottoms are all oakveneered
ply – not authentic but it looks fi ne and saves on cost and preparation
time. Study the plans carefully and make up what is a substantial cutting list.

To see the complete plans head over to to get the complete PDF build file.


How To Start A Worm Farm

Starting up a worm farm is something that many people you would not expect are taking an interest in. There are so many beneficial reasons of doing so that it only makes sense. There are people all around the world who are getting started and who want to take on a worm farming DIY project. If this is something you want to do too, there are only a few steps to take and you will have started your very own worm farm.

First you need to get everything prepared for the worms. For the right supplies this means containers for one thing, as these containers will be what hold the worms. On the side you will need to prepare some bedding which is what the worms will lay on and crawl through. You only need a bit of ripped up newspaper then get it a bit damp.

This along with some garden soil should be placed in the bottom of each container, about one inch thick. Before you go any further you will need to poke a few holes along the bottom and across the top for ventilation and drainage. This provides ventilation and proper drainage for the worm farms. On top of the newspaper and garden soil mixture you want to add in some dried leaves and cardboard.

Next for this worm farming DIY project, after each container has enough bedding, you come up with a schedule for feeding. You just have to throw in a few pieces of garbage here and there and this will be enough to nourish the worms. You have to figure that since they are not out on their own and able to scrounge around for food because you are keeping them captivated, you have to supply that for them. Just make sure the pieces are small enough because if you throw in whole foods they are likely to just sit there and end up rotting.

If you are feeding the worms and watering the soil on a regular basis you will have a striving worm farm. As you can see this DIY project is certainly simple. Some people even take it to the next level and decide to start their own worm farm business. There is a lot of room for grown in this industry, which is one of the main reasons it is so popular today. Click the link below to learn more on how you can start a worm farm to.

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How To Make Your Own Energy With Solar

Home solar power systems are being talked about more and more around the globe. The reason for this swell in DIY-how to make your own energy is straightforward, using renewable energy will save you big bucks and it benefits the environment. When you take those factors into consideration why not embark on a DIY wind and/or home solar power systems project for your household?

We have known about solar power for decades now, but regrettably the expenses related with having a photovoltaic system installed is exceptionally high, (regularly running into the several thousands of dollars) this put the proposal out of reach for regular households. But recently there has been a move from purchasing professionally installed systems to taking into consideration a possible option, which is to build their own home renewable energy.

Distinct from a retail system, a DIY (do-it-yourself) home solar power systems can be made for a very little amount of cash with resources easily accessible at your corner hardware depot. Heck a lot of you will come across most of the resources around your home or buried at the back of the garage.

Once your home is running off the grid with solar power, the cost savings could be as high as 80% off your monthly electric charge. And because photovoltaic energy is green energy, meaning it's environmentally friendly, you'll be doing your bit in decreasing green-house gas emissions.

The crucial thing you need to do is acquire a first-class handbook to act as a blue print for you to follow, that walks you step by step all through the complete process. You can get some brilliant guides on the internet, many delivered by means of manual and/or video and often with email help to make sure your solar project is a triumph.

There's no time like the present, Get started Now on your DIY home renewable energy.

Do you want to save 80% of the money you spend on electricity? If so, then take a look at the DIY solar power home guide. This guide will show you step-by-step how to make cheap solar panels and wind generator.

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Secrets of Growing Lemongrass

Do you love the smell and zesty flavor of lemongrass? Do you like growing your own herbs? Well get this, growing lemongrass is incredible easy. All you need to get started is a jar, water, and few stalks of lemongrass from the supermarket. If you live in a zone 9 region, which is mostly the southwest and parts of Florida, you can grow lemongrass outside to produce impressive plants. Don't worry if you live elsewhere though, it also makes a great indoor plant. Keep reading if you want to learn more about how to grow lemongrass.

When you head off to the grocery store to get some starter lemongrass stalks, keep a few things in mind. Make sure you are getting healthy looking plants. You want them to have some signs of life and avoid ones with a lot of dead material. You're going to have to trim off the dead parts anyway, and you don't want to end up with plants that won't grow. After you get home, trim the tops and dead parts from the plants. Fill the jar with about an inch of water, and place your plants inside. Put the jar near a window where it will get plenty of light. Also, lemongrass needs a lot of water. You should change it every couple of days. In a few weeks the lemongrass will have roots. The lemongrass is ready for soil after at least two inches of roots have developed.

Caring for lemongrass is easy too. Regular potting soil will do just fine, and you can grow them inside in pots. This is great news for apartment dwellers and those of us in colder climates. Lemongrass is a tropical plant, so it will need plenty of sunlight and water. Don't allow the plant to dry out. If you live in a zone 9 area, and you have the space, you can grow your plants outside. When transplanting them to a garden give them plenty of room; around 3 feet is good. Plant them in a sunny area as they won't do well in shade. Lemongrass can reach heights of 6 feet, but you can trim them down if you like. Fertilize your lemongrass monthly. You may consider using a high-nitrogen fertilizer as lemongrass needs lots of nitrogen. Other than this, lemongrass does well on its own requiring little attention. You can sit back, and watch your plants grow.

You should harvest lemongrass shortly before use. Make sure you snap the stalk off close to the root. To keep lemongrass fresh for a few days, store the entire stalk in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. If you plan on storing your lemongrass for a long time, it is better to dry it than freeze it. Lemongrass is a popular addition to many Asian dishes and is also used to make a zesty tea and various spices. Many people grow and use lemongrass for therapeutic purposes. Popular medicinal uses include treating an upset stomach, headaches, and other pain. Lemongrass oil is used externally to treat arthritis, joint aches, acne, and athlete's foot.

Growing lemongrass is easy. All you need is a few starter stalks to get going. Lemongrass does well in both indoor and outdoor gardens. They do well on their own meaning you get a lot of reward for little work. You can use your lemongrass to spice up dishes, make tea, or store for later use. Now that you know how to grow lemongrass, go give it a try.


If you liked this article, you can get started growing lemongrass [] today!

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Simple and Easy Landscaping Ideas

One of the biggest concerns that most family's face when deciding how to design their existing landscape is “where do I start?” If you aren't a creative person or can't afford a professional consultant to design your landscaping plans, what do you do? Most people are looking for a few simple and easy landscaping ideas that they can follow and do the work themselves. I have had several friends and neighbors ask me for my advice and guidance so they can get started with their landscaping plans.

One of the first thoughts is to spend some time evaluating your current piece of property with particular emphasis on what do you want your completed landscaping project to look like. Don't try to copy your neighbors design! For example, they don't have any children and you do. They don't need a play area and you do. Therefore, it is important to know what you are starting with such as the existing layout and the primary features of your current yard. Does your lawn take up most of the property? What type of trees and where are they located on the property? Is the property level and easy to work with or are you faced with gully's and rocky soil? Once you determine the pros and cons of what you starting with, then you can sketch out a rough design and come up with a feasible budget.

Now that you have an understanding of your terrain and landscape your need to whether to include a vegetable garden within the overall landscaping plan. A vegetable garden is not as aesthetic as a flower garden, however, sometimes it is easier to landscape. If you are only planting a flower garden, then you will want to keep the plants and flowers with a certain color scheme such as a combination of vivid yellows and reds. Although selecting plant colors is a personal decision, blending certain colors will give you a more beautiful and coordinated appearance.

Don't overlook the importance of the need for direct sunlight for your plants. Some flowers require direct sunlight whereby other plants need a certain amount of shade. Determine the amount of shade a specific area of the yard receives, and if it is in direct sunlight, how to create shade for flowers and vegetables that grow the best in indirect sunlight. You can do this by planting them in the shadow of certain larger plants, shrubs or trees. One of the easiest ways to create artificial shade is to plant vines on a trellis or fence.

You will now decide on how many and what types of trees to include in you landscape design. A single tree or a small group of trees can be a nice arrangement within the lawn or a pleasing side feature or you may decide to place or keep them in the background. Do not choose an overpowering tree. Select one with a nice shape with an interesting feature about its colorful leaves, distinctive bark, or colorful flowers. You may want to consider the blossoms of the tulip tree, the bright berries of the ash, the bark of the white birch, the leaves of the copper beech or the brilliant foliage of the sugar maple. If you have a low area that stays wet most of the time, the willow or birch are ideal trees for this spot. Do not plant a group of evergreen trees next to the house, this generally gives a dark and gloomy effect to the house.

There are a variety of shrubs that can be used as hedges and are more pleasing in a landscape design than building expensive fences. The following shrubs make very nice and colorful hedges: California privet, Japan barberry, Van Houtte's spirea and the Osage orange. When choosing your trees and shrubs, select those of your local geographical area since they will be better suited for the climate and soil conditions.

Ever Wanted Landscape Designs Like Those You See On HGTV or MTV Cribs?…

Your house or tool shed often needs the help of vines or certain types of flowers to tie it together to create a harmonious landscape. Landscape architects use vines to accomplish this purpose. Plant a perennial vine and it will develop into a permanent part of your landscape design. There are several alternatives that you can choose from such as Virginia creeper, clematis, honeysuckle, wisteria or trumpet vine.

Walkways and pathways are essential for all landscaping designs, since they allow you as well as your guests, to walk through the garden without harming the plants and flowers. A variety of materials are used to create walkways such as gravel, pavers, brick or bark. Depending upon your style of garden, try to design your paths to curve and meander throughout your garden rather than in a straight line. Keep in mind, the path should lead somewhere; for example, starting from your back porch or deck and ending at your tool shed or property line.

When developing your landscaping plan, give some serious thought to the amount of time and effort you want to devote to working in your garden. If you have both a flower garden and a vegetable garden, then the amount of time to maintain and care for your plants will be considerable. You may want to install an irrigation system to eliminate the need to manually water the garden. This will save you time as well as improve the vitality of the plants. Weeding is tedious work and can be back-breaking at times. If you prefer to spend time on the beach or golf course, then you may want to give considerable thought to creating an easy-care landscape design.

Before you start your home landscaping project you will need check with local government officials where any gas lines, electrical lines and water pipes that may be running through your yard. You cannot afford to hit any of these things. It can be dangerous as well as expensive to repair.

Learn more about Landscaping Ideas by visiting the link below

Gordon Smith is a writer who specializes in writing about various aspects of landscaping design. You can check out his latest website at fantastic landscaping ideas, where he provides valuable advice and guidance on specific ideas such as Front yard landscaping ideas, as well other important ideas for flower and vegetable gardens.

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Amazing Landscape Ideas without needing a Professional

A custom landscaping design allows you to make your garden landscape as unique as you want it to be. There are many resources available where you can get creative ideas to incorporate in your custom landscaping design. While landscape design requires careful planning and execution, it can be done not just by professionals but also by people who are willing to learn.

landscape ideas

Even if you have a custom landscaping design in mind, you need to learn about the fundamentals of landscape design to guide your work. There is vast information about landscaping. You can in fact take a bachelor degree course on landscaping in many colleges and universities. But of course, that will take a good four years so for the purposes of creating a custom landscaping design for your yard or garden, you can simply consult various resources on landscaping such as books, magazines, and websites.

If the project becomes too overwhelming, you can always hire a professional to create a custom landscaping design for you. In this case, the benefit of reading up about the basics of landscaping is you can easily communicate to the designer your ideas because you are already familiar with different terms, styles, and themes in landscaping.

When working with a landscape designer or design company, the custom landscaping design is both the creation of the designer and the client. It usually starts with what the client wants to achieve in the garden or yard. It could be as specific as a water garden or a simply an idea such as rustic, classical, minimalist etc.

The designer will work on developing the client's concept into the blueprint of the custom landscaping design. There are several factors that the designer will consider aside from the client's wishes such as more practical concerns including choice of plants, hard landscaping materials, light, climate, use of the area, and other features of the landscape.

Throughout the process of creating the custom landscaping design, the designer is in constant communication with the client. Every plan is presented to the client for review and approval. In-depth discussions between the designer and client as well as revisions are necessary until the client is fully satisfied with the custom landscaping design.

Once the client has approved the design, the designer will present the client with the final design materials needed for construction, which may include complete materials list, a 3D perspective of the design and a 2D color rendering. Some landscape design companies also include a customized handbook to guide the client on how to maintain the plants and feature that will be installed in their landscaped yard.

Milos Pesic is an expert in the field of Landscaping and Gardening and runs a highly popular and comprehensive Landscaping web site. For more articles and resources on landscaping designs, landscape ideas, garden landscaping and much more visit his site at: =>[]

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10 Organic Micro Garden Hacks

Are you interested in creating your own organic vegetable garden? Here are some green gardening tips that will lead you in the right direction:

10 Organic Gardening Tips

1. Test your soil:

If you are looking to have a successful outcome with an organic vegetable garden, you should first test your soil with a do-it-yourself home testing kit before you plant anything. These testing kits can be found at local garden centers and on the Internet at garden speciality stores. The kits use a number scale, 0 to 14, that helps you determine the acidity or alkalinity (also known as pH) levels of your soil. For most vegetables, an ideal number is about 6.5. If the results are too acidic (towards the low end of the scale) or too alkaline (towards the high end of the scale), your plants will not be able reap the benefits of the soil's nutrients. Once you know the results of your soil, you will be able to adjust the soil accordingly by balancing these levels with the nutrients it is lacking.

2. Make plans ahead of time and decide where and how you will grow your garden:

Before you begin digging up your lawn, take a look at your property and decide where you would like to plant a garden. Location is very important, as you will want to pay attention to the position of the sun throughout the day (your plants will need healthy doses of direct sunlight each day), the rockiness of the ground, the drainage quality of the soil, and the location's relation to your main water source.

If you have high quality soil in your yard and you have determined a location, you will want to take advantage of the benefits found in it. Healthy soils have upwards of 650 million microorganisms per one gram of soil. These organisms already present, such as earthworms and other forms of soil life are essential to the life of the soil and will help your garden prosper by providing your plants with valuable nutrients and minerals.

What to do if your soil is not healthy or if you do not have space for a garden at home:

Build a raised bed
By making a raised bed, you will have control over the garden's soil quality. When building your bed, use untreated wood, stones, or brick as a side border and be sure to make the border at least 16 inches high as the depth is important. The plants' roots will need room to stretch and grow.
Consider container gardening
If you are a city dweller, you do not have to miss out on the benefits of growing your own produce. Plant in containers that are large enough to accommodate root growth. Be sure they also have drainage holes. If you are planting organic herbs, pots that are at least 6 inches across are ideal. Another helpful hint is to use plastic pots instead of terra cotta pots. Plastic may not be as aesthetically pleasing, but they will hold moisture longer and will not dry out as quickly as terra cotta pots.
Join a local community garden
Another option is to join a community garden in your area. This is a great way to reap the benefits of growing your own organic food if you do not have land at home. Community gardens are vacant lots or fields that have been turned into mini-farms so that members of the community can plant small gardens of their own. To find out if there are community gardens near you, contact your local parks and recreation department, visit the website, or take a stroll in your neighborhood and see if any gardens exist. If you stumble across one, step inside and ask a member what you need to do to join.

3. Select authentic, high quality organic vegetable seeds to use in your garden:

Organic seeds can be found at local nurseries, garden stores, home centers, online seed stores, seed catalogs, and farm supply stores. Always make sure the seed company is “certified organic” and be sure to stay away from any seeds that are “genetically engineered.” To save money, start growing the seeds indoors and transplant outdoors when ready.


4. Make your own compost:

Compost, also known as “gardeners gold,” is a vital element in organic gardening that improves the soil structure of your garden. Compost provides a great source of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and micro/macronutrients essential for plant growth. It also aids in stabilizing soil moisture and pH which helps keep the soil cooler during the summer months.

Other benefits of organic compost:

Great source of food for wildlife because it attracts insects and fungi that eat decaying matter. These small animals support larger animals like songbirds
Suppresses plant disease
Assists in controlling soil erosion
Acts as a mild herbicide
Reduces need to apply commercial fertilizers
Reduces amount of waste sent to landfills
Reduces gas emissions that would result from transporting kitchen waste to a landfill

How to compost:

Build or buy a compost bin. These can be found at home centers, garden centers, and online.
Place compost material in repeated layers. To give your compost the best result, alternate layers of green matter with brown matter. An example would be alternating kitchen scraps with straw/stalks or dead leaves with grass clippings.
Cover compost heap for optimal results. This will avoid moisture loss and keep in heat.
Keep the pile moist as a wrung-out sponge.
Aerate and turn compost pile over frequently.
When ready, pile will look like fresh fine soil.

Some ideas for good compostables:

Kitchen waste
Aquarium water, plants, and algae
Tea leaves/coffee grounds
Pet rabbit or hamster droppings
Old spices
Lawn clippings (thin layer)

Make leafmould:

Leafmould is a dark brown, rich and crumbly material that is created from naturally decomposed Autumn leaves that have fallen onto the ground. It is an excellent soil conditioner and mulch, a great earthworm meal, and is easy to make.

To make leafmould:

Collect fallen leaves (avoid evergreen leaves) and place in a container to rot Leafmould matures best in high moisture, so the best time to collect leaves is just after rain.
Wait 9 months to a year for the leafmould to mature.

The Shoestring Gardener

100’s Of Wonderfully Frugal, Eco-Friendly and Highly Resourceful Ideas, Techniques and Tricks with Detailed Instructions for Just About Everything Having to Do with Gardening

5. Use water wisely:

Water conservation, harvesting, and recycling are great methods for organic gardening.

Recycle/harvest rain water
Not only is rainwater is a great way to hydrate your plants, but it is also an excellent way to lower your monthly water bills, reduce storm-water runoff, and prevent flooding and erosion. It is generally clean, free of containments and byproducts such as minerals, fluoride and chlorine and has a low pH which plants and soils like. Rainwater can be collected and stored using gutters, downspouts, rain barrels and/or cisterns and can be used whenever needed, even later in the season during dry weather.
Use a soaker hose
A soaker hose is a great and easy way to save time and money in your garden. Water seeps out of soaker hoses and delivers water directly to your plants' roots while keeping the leaves dry, which helps prevent disease. Hand watering is time consuming and tedious, sprinklers can be wasteful due to evaporation and runoff, and drip irrigation is expensive.
Avoid grey water
When recycling water, avoid use of grey water (household waste water that comes from sources such as sinks, washer machines, and showers) on any plants used for consumption. Grey water may contain phosphates, nitrogen, and pathogens that can be harmful to your health.

Watering tips:

Water your garden when the air and soil are cool, typically in the early morning or evening hours. During these times, less water will be lost due to evaporation.
Water deeply but less often. Direct the water at the root systems at the base of the plant. This will encourage plants to grow deeper roots, causing them to need less watering. Shallow watering causes the roots to grow close to the surface, making them more vulnerable to drought.
Remember that plants and soil in containers will dry out much faster than in the ground and require frequent watering.
Avoid watering leaves. Excess water film on a plant makes it more susceptible to disease.
Shallow rooted vegetables such as beans and greens need to be watered more often with lighter applications than deep rooted plants like corn and tomatoes. These vegetables require more water but less often.
Use a milk jug. For a clever trick, take a 1 gallon milk jug and poke very small holes into the bottom. Bury most of the jug next to your plants when you plant your garden. If you leave it uncapped, you can place your water hose nozzle into the opening to fill. With this method, the water slowly drips into the ground and encourages deep plant roots. This self-irrigation system is great for whenever you need to travel and leave the garden unattended.

7. Weed Control:

Weeds can be a serious threat to gardens because they remove valuable moisture, nutrients, sunlight and growing space needed by crops.

Some ways to control weeds:

Select high quality vegetable seeds or transplants By planting high quality seeds, the chances of them containing weed seeds or seedlings is very low.
Rotate your vegetable crops As crops differ in their ability to compete with weeds, rotating crops between hardy competitors and weaker plants can reduce weeds.
Use ground cover The use of ground cover and organic mulches such as hay, straw, glass clippings, and manure in your garden is one of the most effective ways to control weeds. Spread the ground cover 2-3 inches thick as this will block sunlight and prevent weed germination and growth.
Transplant seeds Transplanting seeds instead of sowing them gives plants a healthy head start in defense against weeds.

Methods of removing weeds:

By hand This method is most effective after a recent rain because the soil is loosened.
Thermal A short blast of heat directly onto the weed causes it to wilt and die. This is most effective on driveways and paths and is not always ideal for gardens.
Hoeing This is effective for larger patches of newly cleared ground.

Make sure you have earthworms

Earthworms are essential to a successful garden. Vermicompost, the combination of organic matter and earthworms' castings is a high-octane form of compost that provides the soil with an immediate all-purpose fertilizer loaded with nutrients and nitrogen. By tunneling through the earth, earthworms aerate the soil which improves the soil's access to air and drainage so that water reaches the deep roots of plants more easily. They also encourage beneficial soil bacteria while discouraging disease and predators such as crop destroying insects.

Don't have earthworms in your soil? Here is how to get them:

Discontinue use of any toxins in your garden.
Spread 2-3 inch layers of organic matter on top of the soil each year – this will attract earthworms
Use leafmould – this is a great earthworm meal.
Order earthworm eggs online. Once you receive them, scatter them onto the ground and in about 3 months they will be adults and ready to reproduce.

8. Keep a gardening journal

By keeping track of your garden's progress, you will be more prepared next year to tackle issues that came up this year. You will also have a place where you can jot down experiments, experiences: the good and the bad.

9. Protect against predators and pests:

Make your garden friendly to the native wildlife in your region. This will attract and encourage natural wildlife pest controllers to your garden. Ladybugs, birds, frogs, toads, and bats all help to keep pests such as aphids, insects, and snails in check.

Other beneficial garden predators and the pests they feed on:

Centipedes: feed on slugs and eggs
Preying mantis: feed on all types of insects
Spiders: feed on insects and arthropods
Lizards: feed on insects/pests
Frog/toads: feed on all types
Ladybugs: feed on aphids

To protect against pests:

Plant nectar producing plants Tiny flowers on plants such as sweet alyssum will attract beneficial insects, such as predatory wasps. The alyssum's aroma will also scent your garden all summer. Herbs like parsley, dill, and fennel will attract ladybugs which will also eat intruding insects.
Choose native plant species over imported varieties whenever possible Native species have better “immune systems” and will be able to fight against insects in your area better than an exotic plant will.
Try companion planting Companion planting is growing two or more different types of species of plant together for the benefit of one or both. For example, by pairing a flower with a vegetable plant, many adult insects will visit flowers for pollen and nectar and in return are effective natural controllers of unwanted pests on the vegetable crops.

How does companion planting work?

Companions help each other grow: Tall plants provide shade for shorter plants sensitive to sun.
Companions use garden space efficiently: Vining plants cover the ground, upright plants grow up. Two plants in one patch.
Companions prevent pest problems: Plants like onions repel some pests. Other plants can lure pests away from more desirable plants.
Companions attract beneficial insects: Every successful garden needs plants that attract the predators of pests.

Examples of good companion plants:

Carrots and onions: Pests attracted to carrots' sweet smell can be confused by the pungent smell of onions.
Corn and beans: The beans attract beneficial insects that prey on corn pests such as leafhoppers and leaf beetles. In addition, the bean vines will climb up the corn stalks.
Cucumbers and nasturtiums: Nasturtiums are said to repel cucumber beetles and can create a habitat for insects such as spiders and ground beetles which help defend the garden from destructive pests.
Radishes and spinach: Radishes attract leafminers away from the spinach. The leafminers will damage the radish leaves, but since radishes grown underground, no damage is done to the radishes.
Cabbage and dill: Cabbage can help support the floppy dill plants, while the dill attracts the tiny beneficial wasps that control cabbageworms and other cabbage pests.
Tomatoes and cabbage: Tomatoes are repel diamondback moth larvae (caterpillars that chew large holes in cabbage leaves)
Cauliflower and dwarf zinnias: The nectar from the dwarf zinnias lures ladybugs that help protect cauliflower plants.
Collards and catnip: Planting catnip alongside collards can reduce flea-beetle damage on the collards.

Other ways to deter pests from your organic garden:

Create barriers and deterrents: Try hanging shiny silver objects in your garden. The reflection produced from the sun can confuse insects such as aphids which orient their flight patterns by sunlight.
Rotate your crops each year This will aid in keeping pest and disease problems at bay as well as correct nutritional deficiencies.

10. Last few tips on garden and soil care:

Avoid compacting soil by walking on it excessively This restricts air movement and makes it hard for roots to penetrate.
Do not over dig This will destroy vital soil structure.
Cover Keeping plants covered with things like mulch helps protect soil structure.
Avoid overfeeding and over or under watering Let the plants performance guide you.

I hope you will be able to share the same satisfaction and gratification I experience when I build, create, and tend to my own vegetable garden. Have patience, be willing to get dirty, and be ready to smile and reap the bountiful benefits of an organically grown vegetable and herb garden.


In good health

Jennifer M. Regan, NASM-CPT, C.H.E.K HLC

Jennifer Regan is the founder and owner of Bamboo Core Fitness, a personal training and holistic lifestyle coaching business based in the Boston and Metrowest areas.

Jennifer holds a BS in Exercise Science and Minors in Health and Nutrition from Ithaca College, is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, and a C.H.E.K Holisitc Lifestyle Coach. In addition, she is a Cancer Wellness Specialist and holds certification in AED, CPR, and First Aid.

For more information on health, nutrition, and fitness topics, please visit her web site at:

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How To Make Pemmican Survival Super Food

How To Make Pemmican Survival Super-Food

What is Pemmican? Pemmican is basically an energy bar made out of shredded jerky, dried fruit, and fat. These have been made historically by Native Americans and Homesteaders. Creating pemmican makes an energy source that has more calories and longer shelf life than jerky alone.
Pemmican Slices

Pemmican shelf life is very long, because it has very low moisture and very high fat content. Fat does not grow bacteria. When fat goes bad (or rancid), it goes through a chemical process that occurs with light and air. This chemical change usually smells and does not necessarily harm people like bacteria can. To keep your pemmican smelling and tasting nice, make sure you keep it airtight and away from light. You may consider freezing it as well.

Pemmican has lots of recipes, and is very easy to make. Most people suggest a 1:1:1 ratio of jerky, dried fruit, and animal fat. The fat ratio will keep it protected and decreases the chances of it going rancid.

Once the meat is shredded and the fat is rendered, this recipe also uses a 1:1 ratio. I will reference this recipe and talk about variations below.

Dry the meat

The Lost Ways uses 6 lbs of lean red meat and ⅓ cup of berries. Slice the meat into ¼ of an inch strips or even thinner. Cut and keep any extra fat! Fat on the jerky will diminish its ability to dry appropriately for pemmican. In the video, the meat is dried for 13 hours in the oven. I personally would never do that, because the heat would cook everyone in my house with the jerky! Alton Brown, a Food Network cook, has a great method of drying meat using air filters and a fan that works very well. You can find that method here. Of course, you could always use a food dehydrator or just buy some jerky all ready to go!

During a survival situation, hang your meat over a fire for at least 12 hours. Make sure you meat is brittle after drying. If it is still rubbery and soft, it is not dry enough.

Grind the meat and berries.

You can use a food processor or blender for this step. In a survival situation, shred the jerky and crush the berries into a powder.

Render the fat.

The recipe in the video calls for 2lbs tallow (or fat). You can buy this from a butcher, or slice if off yourself from un-butchered meat. Lard from a store would not be as fresh, but would also work. Do not use butter! The dairy will go bad far quicker than other types.

Next, you’ll heat up the fat to about 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit and stir every 2 minutes. Making this fat too hot will cook out the fatty acids that will work toward preserving the meat. Once the fat boils and is bubbling around the larger chunks of fat, you can reduce the heat (about medium heat) and let it simmer. Simmer for about an hour and strain the chunks out.

Combine the ingredients.

Once you have determined your jerky and fat are at a 1:1 ratio by using a scale, you can add the jerky and berries. Stir well.

Store the Pemmican.

The Lost Ways asks the reader to place the pemmican straight into an airtight bag and store. Other recipes spread the pemmican out onto a baking sheet, let harden, and then slice bars. Either way, you’ll need to keep it airtight to keep it from going rancid. I would suggest Mylar bags and some oxygen absorbents to increase the shelf life. Zip lock works fine for convenience.

Other variations include nuts, honey, syrup, or almond flour. I would try to keep this as simple as possible. However, honey could make your pemmican bar hard as it crystallizes, and nuts go bad quicker.

Pemmican should be able to last for several years when made and stored properly. Store at home or in your Bug Out Bag for a quick getaway. When eating, try to chew slowly to increase the sensation of a larger meal.

Click below to check out the video for a thorough explanation and to see how it’s done!





3 Sweaty Feet Remedies Everyone Should Know

Sweaty Feet

Hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating can be very embarrassing but this can be treated in a number of ways. Sweaty feet can attract fungi and cause bad odor. Make sure you wash your feet regularly, scrub, wear clean cotton socks, and change your socks and shoes daily.


Tomato Juice Scrub

Soak your feet for 30 minutes in half a basin of lukewarm water with 3 cups of tomato juice. Do this daily.

Baking Soda Soak

Soak your feet for 20 minutes in half a basin of lukewarm water with 2 cups of baking soda. Repeat this daily.

Apple Cider Bath

Soak your feet in half a basin of water with half cup of apple cider vinegar for 15 minutes in order to reduce perspiration. Wash your feet with mild soap after and wipe it with a dry, clean towel.

Learn how to replace the toxic products and medications in your home with over 215 healthier, all-natural alternatives.


11 Amazing Cracked Heel Remedies

11 Cracked Heel Remedies

Cracked Heels

A common occurrence especially during summertime, fissures or cracked heels can sometimes be painful for one who has it especially when it has dug deeper into your skin. Aside from that, it can be embarrassing when exposed while wearing flip flops, thongs, and sandals. This condition can affect people from all ages although adults are more prone to experiencing this condition as aging is one contributing factor along with overexposure to dry air, lack of enough moisture, poor foot hygiene, unhealthy diet, diabetes, and hypothyroidism among others.


Milk and Honey Moisturizer + Exfoliator

Milk works best for the skin. If combined with honey, which contains antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, it can be a good exfoliator, moisturizer, and treatment for athlete’s foot and other foot diseases at the same time.

Prepare a basin and mix well

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup of honey

Soak your feet for about 15 minutes. You can also warm the milk if desired for a more comfortable feeling but make sure that you do not heat it much because it will burn and dry your feet. Wash your feet afterwards and pat it dry. Repeat this twice a week.

Glycerin and Rosewater Moisturizer

Glycerin is widely used especially in cosmetic products being an effective moisturizer. When mixed with rosewater, which contains Vitamins A, B3, C, D, and E, along with antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties, it becomes a perfect solution for cracked heels. You can mix together

  • 1 teaspoon of glycerin
  • 1 teaspoon of rosewater

Massage it gently on your feet especially on the affected areas. Leave it overnight with your feet wrapped with clean, cotton socks.

You can also use this as a foot soak. All you need to do is add to half a basin of warm water lemon juice, a teaspoon of salt, rosewater and glycerin. Soak your feet for 20 minutes and pat it dry.    

Rice Flour Exfoliating Scrub

One way to remove dry and dead skin on your feet and smoothing it out is by exfoliating it using your very own rice flour exfoliating scrub. To make the scrub, mix well

Before applying, make sure you have soaked your feet on a basin of warm water for about 20 minutes to soften your skin. Apply the scrub and gently rub on your feet concentrating more on the affected areas. Repeat this for at least twice a week for better results.

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and other Oils (Almond, Olive, Grapeseed, and Sesame) for Massage

Massaging your heels and feet not only soothes your walkers but help in regulating the circulation of blood. Using essentials oils as natural moisturizers can help heal cracked heels. You can use Virgin Coconut Oil alone or mix all these oils and massage unto your feet, concentrating on the most affected areas for about 10 minutes then locking in moisture by wearing clean cotton socks.

Learn how to replace the toxic products and medications in your home with over 215 healthier, all-natural alternatives.

ABC (Avocado-Banana-Coconut) Mask

Avocado has natural fatty acids, essential oils, and fat soluble vitamins that can moisturize the skin and enzymes to help repair damaged tissues. To prepare the mask, mash together

  • 1 banana
  • half an avocado
  • coconut meat (about the same quantity as the banana)

Apply the paste directly on your feet, carefully massaging it. Leave it for 20 minutes then wash it off with lukewarm water and pat it dry.

Epsom Salt Soak

Epsom salt is known for being a natural remedy for numerous conditions especially those that affect the skin. It is easily absorbed by the skin and can soothe your stressed feet, relieve athlete’s foot, and cure fungal infections. Soaking your feet for 10 minutes in a basin with warm water mixed with half a cup of Epsom salt is effective in healing your cracked heels. You can rub your feet with pumice stone and pat it dry with a clean towel. Finish it off by applying petroleum jelly and locking in moisture on your feet by wearing cotton socks overnight. Repeat this for twice a week.

Vinegar Soak

Vinegar, especially apple cider, is good in treating various skin conditions. However, if applied directly on your skin, it can cause dryness. For that reason, it is not recommended that you apply it directly on your skin. Make sure to mix quarter cup of vinegar and about the same amount of olive oil in half a basin of warm water. Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes and gently rub it with a pumice stone. Pat your walkers dry with a clean towel and moisturize.

Paraffin Wax

Aside from giving the skin numerous benefits (dead skin removal and cure for dry skin and cracked feet), paraffin wax can help in relieving painful muscles and joints. Microwave paraffin wax to melt it and add VCO or mustard oil. Allow the mixture to cool and coat your feet overnight then wear clean cotton socks. Do this for daily for 15 days to achieve the best results.

Papaya-Lemon Mask

Lemon is known for its exfoliating properties and effectiveness in getting off of dead skin. Papaya on the other hand has enzymes that smoothens the skin. When combined as a paste, it can be an effective remedy for cracked heels. Mix mashed papaya and lemon juice together and apply the paste directly on your feet. Let it stay for 15 minutes and wash your feet in a basin of warm water mixed with lemon juice. Soak for another 15 minutes. You may use pumice stone to scrub off dead skin and pat it dry with a clean towel. 

Jojoba and Oatmeal Mask

Both having moisturizing properties, joboba oil and oatmeal are great for the skin. Simply mix a teaspoon oatmeal and the desired amount of oil to form a thick paste and apply it directly on your feet leaving it for 20 minutes. Rinse it off with warm water and pat it dry with a clean towel.

DIY Foot Ointment

Applying ointment on your feet overnight can give you a soothing feeling and help in moisturizing your dry walkers. Make sure to lock in moisture by wearing clean cotton socks. To create your very own ointment, you can mix together a quarter cup of coconut oil and the same amount of magnesium flakes as well as shea butter, 2 tablespoons of boiling water, and 3 tablespoons of beeswax.


Choosing the Right Size Copper Fire Pit For Your Backyard Patio

Backyard Fire Pit Options Made From Copper

If you're looking to buy a copper fire pit, you will need to decide what size is right for you. There are many sizes and varieties to choose from, you will need to figure out what is best for your situation. If you have a larger backyard or deck you might want to have a large fire pit. A smaller fire pit would probably be better for someone with a smaller space, such as a balcony at an apartment building. Looking into the options will help you to make the best decision.

A copper firepit can come in a 24 or a 26 inch size. That is small enough so that it won't take up a lot of room. With a small firepit you can still have the coziness of a fire in a limited amount of space. Imagine sitting on the balcony in front of the fire, just the two of you. It could be very romantic. Sitting in front of the fire on a cool evening with all of the stars in the sky shining back at you could be a small slice of paradise. Moments like that create memories that last forever. Smaller firepits are portable, so you can easily take it with you wherever you go.

You can also buy a copper firepit in a much larger size. A 40 inch firepit would be much like a campfire, only safer. The whole family could sit around the fire and spend time together. You could even sing campfire songs. You new firepit will give you the feel of camping deep in the woods without ever having to leave your backyard. It will bring your family closer together. Slightly smaller sizes, such as 35 inch, are also available.

Whatever size you decide upon, you will be able to enjoy your new copper firepit for years to come. Copper is a very long lasting metal so you won't have any problems with it, you won't have to worry about rust or corrosion like with some other metals. Copper is also very beautiful, it will be a welcome addition to your backyard. When your neighbors see how lovely your new fire pit is and how much you are enjoying it, they just might see the benefits of owning one as well.

To purchase some of the best high quality Copper Fire Pits for your backyard space check them out here.

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Nutritional Benefits Of Figs

Nutritional Benefits Of Figs

Figs are well known for their mild laxative effect, so care should be exercised when consuming fig juice. Try a small quantity at first, prepared from two or three fresh figs.

The laxative prepared from the more concentrated, dried figs alone is so mild that it is suitable for children, so the action of the fresh fruit should cause you no alarm. However the term, syrup of figs, is often used to describe “Compound Syrup of Figs”, this stronger laxative has added senna, rhubarb and cascara extract to make it much stronger.

Fig juice is also recognized for its soothing effect on irritated bronchia: passages. This demulcent action is soothing to the inflamed mucous membranes that produce catarrh during a cold. Fresh figs are a poor source of vitamin C, but they are a better source of vitamin B6 than most other fruits. Figs contain 110 mg of vitamin B6 per 100g.

Figs played an important part in the diet of both the ancient Greeks and Romans. The ancient Greeks fed large quantities to their athletes, the Spartans, in the belief that the fruit encouraged strength and swiftness. The Roman's fed fresh figs to their slaves, particularly the agricultural workers, but dried figs were also widely consumed.


Figs May Help Lower High Blood Pressure

Figs are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure. Since many people not only do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, but do consume high amounts of sodium as salt is frequently added to processed foods, they may be deficient in potassium. Low intake of potassium-rich foods, especially when coupled with a high intake of sodium, can lead to hypertension. In the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study, one group ate servings of fruits and vegetables in place of snacks and sweets, and also ate low-fat dairy food. This diet delivered more potassium, magnesium and calcium. Another group ate a “usual” diet low in fruits and vegetables with a fat content like that found in the average American Diet. After eight weeks, the group that ate the enhanced diet lowered their blood pressure by an average of 5.5 points (systolic) over 3.0 points (diastolic).

Figs May be a Sweet Way to Lose Weight

Figs are a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber and fiber-rich foods may have a positive effect on weight management. In one study, women who increased their fiber intake with supplements significantly decreased their energy intake, yet their hunger and satiety scores did not change. Figs, like other high fiber foods, may be helpful in a weight management program.

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DIY Decorations and Event Planning

Decorations and Event Planning

The cost for decorations for any event can add up quickly. A delightful way to decorate that is fun and unique is to make the decorations through the art of upcycling. You are then showing guests who come to that event the value of upcycling and what you can achieve by being more conscious of waste.

Mason Jar Lanterns

hanging mason jar lanters, mason jar lanterns, flower lanterns, farmhouse, farmhouse decor, lantern decor, rustic lanterns, hanging jar

With the use of mason jars, you can create lanterns that give soft lighting and illuminate any event you wish to decorate for. Just place some decorative rocks or gems at the bottom of each Mason jar and then add a tea light candle. You can hang the jars up or display them on the tables. If you have glass paints, all the better because you can add color. In order to add it, add in a couple of drops and swirl the jar around to help the color spread out evenly inside the jar. You can also shake it randomly to help create a nice pattern inside it.

Vintage Vases

5 Blue Bottles 6.5 Inch Tall 4 oz 120ml 6.5 Inches Tall Corks Glass Bottle Collection Vintage Wedding Decor Blue Vases Bud Vases

Old bottles can be turned into vintage vases for decorations. They can hold real or fake flowers. They can hold sand and small seashells for a wonderful beach theme event. These bottles may be clear or they may be made out of colored glass. Don’t worry if they don’t all match in terms of shape, size, or color. It will create an upcycling, creative theme. You can also wrap the bottles in different colored wool to create interesting and colorful bottles. These bottles will look superb if you use vibrant colors. You can then add in real flowers to it which will up its decorative value.

Candle Stands

Image result for candle stand dessert display

If you have old candle stands, they can be used for various things at any type of gathering. They can be used to display cards from guests if you would like them to. They can also be used to display dessert items such as cupcakes. This is a simple way to add some elegance to the display of items that you are offering your guests. Be inventive and find ways that these can be incorporated into the decoration, serving a different purpose to their original outdated purpose. These are attractive elements that can be upcycled easily. But remember try not to scrub the pieces to make it nice and shiny. The idea is for it to look upcycled and not too clean and nice. It should not look like you have bought them and not repurposed anything.

Spiral Swirls

If you have some old pieces of metal around, you can use them to make some colorful spirals and swirls for any event. They work best for outdoor events. Cut the metal carefully into long strips. Use some snipping tools to bend it into spirals and wire to hang them. Be sure not to cut yourself on any sharp edges. Paint them different colors to match your theme. Display them with the colors alternating as you hang them. When the wind blows slightly, it will swirl the spirals, adding even more to their ability to wow your guests.

Remember when working with metal, you need to protect your hands since cut metal can really hurt you if you cut yourself. Remember also that you have a responsibility to your guests. Hang them high enough so that no one touches them and cuts him or herself. Orange Peel Candles A summer time BBQ can be fun, but it can also be a time when there are mosquitoes. Avoid the harsh bug spray and go with orange peel candles. The smell will naturally keep the bugs away. You can use the oranges to create a fruit salad or other items for the guests to enjoy. Cut the oranges in half, and remove the insides so that you can have two candles from each whole orange. Place a tea light candle in the center and put them outside on display. They will give off a very nice fragrance as you enjoy your gathering but more than that, they will keep the bugs at bay. They will also look beautiful. You can cut out a diamond shape on the sides to make it look nice and your party decoration will be taken care of.

Bike Wheel Photo Display

Reclaimed Bicycle Wheel Photo Display with Eight Miniature Clothespins

If you are hosting a birthday, anniversary, or retirement party, photos of the people involved are always a nice touch. If you have some old bike wheels, you may be unsure what you will ever do with them. Here is a great idea that is going to be a huge hit! Take the tire off so that you are only working with the rim. Repair any broken or missing spokes. You may have to borrow parts from one bike wheel to create the designs for the others to be complete. Next, you can take small clips and attach photos to the spokes.

You can do a progression from one point in time to the next with such a display. This is definitely an idea that is going to get plenty of attention from those that attend your event. These can be placed on an outside wall so that guests can take their time and enjoy the photos during the course of the event. When the event is finished, don’t forget to take down the photos so that you can use them for future events, and store the bike wheels because you may need them again.



Blackberries have been growing wild across Europe for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The wild bramble plant is often well-protected with spiky thorns and long trailing stems that trip unsuspecting woodland walkers! Blackberries can still be found in the wild, although should never be collected from the side of a road because of car pollution, or near any non-organic farms as sprays could have drifted over and affected the fruits.

Pick wild blackberries from higher branches to avoid animal contamination and watch those thorns – they are mean. Hybrid varieties of blackberry are designed for growing in a garden or even a large container.  Thorn-less types are available and, although they made need a little extra TLC, they are safer to grow in a garden, especially where there are children playing.

Healthy Reasons

All berries are power packed super foods. Blackberries are high in vitamin C and anti-oxidants and really do help to keep your body healthy. Blackberry leaves, as well as the fruits, have been used medicinally for many years. Blackberry leaf tea is sold commercially as a tonic and pick-me-up – organic fresh leaves from your garden will do even more☺ A small cup of fresh blackberry leaf tea every day will help build the immune system and in turn help prevent colds and flu bugs.


If you’ve ever taken over a neglected garden or piece of land, you will know how dangerous brambles can be. It’s tempting to plough the whole lot up, but if you have the space available it may be worth trying to train a few plants. Arm yourself with protective clothing and heavy duty gloves before you start though. Starting afresh is a lot less stressful.

Blackberry plants can be started from seed but it will be a good few years before you will have a crop of fruits and plants will need looking after during this time. Start your plants from cuttings or the layering method if you already have a healthy plant available. Or invest in a blackberry plant from your local garden supplier. There are many new hybrids on the market. Read through any specialist requirements before you buy.

Preparing the Land

Choose a fairly sunny well-drained spot in the garden. Dig over the ground early in the spring if you can, as soon as it’s workable. Check at this point that the soil is well-drained. Dig in some well-rotted manure or compost if the soil is tired or lacking in nutrients. Remove any perennial weeds, large stones and non-organic debris. Rake over and cover with black plastic or old rugs etc; until your plants are ready to put out. The covering should be removed a week or so before planting to allow the soil time to breathe. Fork over the soil lightly before planting. If the weather is too bad in early Spring, prepare your ground as you need it. Simply dig over when you’re ready to put the plants out. If you are growing in pots or containers, make sure they are well-drained, well positioned and filled with good organic fresh potting compost, or use your own compost if available.


Sowing & Growing

Check on the manufacturer’s sowing and growing recommendations before you start. Regional and variety needs will differ. It’s possible to germinate blackberry seeds, as most plants originally come from a seed – but it’s a long process and could be years before you get a crop of fruit. Buy a hybrid variety especially suited to small gardens or containers from a reputable local supplier. Some varieties are thorn-less but may need a little extra TLC. Hybrid blackberry plants will be less hardy than wild brambles. Or there are other ways to propagate if you have access to a healthy established plant:

  • Layering

As with many woody plants, blackberries can be propagated by layering: Start with a healthy well-established plant with low growing branches. Choose the lowest healthiest branch and stretch out along the ground. Peg to the soil where it naturally touches the ground. Use a V shaped peg (part of a branch or something similar).  Don’t use anything sharp as you may damage the branch.

Water well, and mulch during the winter months if it gets cold in your region. By the following spring the branch should be developing roots where you pegged it. If it’s growing well, cut from the main plant and allow to grow on. If it’s too close, the new plant can be transplanted. Do this carefully to avoid damaging the roots. You may have to wait a little longer than the following spring for the new plant to get going. Be patient and try not to move it too soon.

  • Cuttings

Cuttings should be taken from a healthy plant after it has finished fruiting for the year. Cut lengths of stems and push the cut end into potting compost or well-prepared seed beds. Look after them through the winter. They will need watering if kept indoors, and probably protecting from the cold if outdoors. Always plant more cuttings than you’ll need. They don’t always work! Again, the following spring, the cuttings should have started developing roots. If the plants look healthy and are starting to produce leaf, then they are probably ready to move to their prepared spot in the garden. If not, be patient!

Planting Out

Allow about 18 inches (45cm) of growing space for each ‘cane’ you put out. Double check with manufacturer’s growing recommendations if you are buying plants from your garden supplier. If all the sunny spots are filled in the garden, blackberries will still develop fruits in the shade. However, new hybrid varieties may prefer more sun. Also, if you can find a sunny spot, the plant will produce larger sweeter fruits. Water well after planting and keep weeds away so that your plants get all the nutrients they need from the soil.

  • Containers

Use large containers as blackberry plants need space to grow. Fill well-drained containers with fresh organic compost. They must be well-drained.  Plants take nutrients from the soil, and the plant will benefit from a feed from time to time, and the soil should be renewed when re-potting.

Always remember to water pots and containers. Plants can’t find water when their roots are contained. And the soil often dries out more quickly in containers. This depends on where your plants are kept but generally care should be taken that container plants get enough water.

During the second year of growth, blackberry plants will probably start growing new canes. As fruit develops on the first year of growth, it’s wise to let these grow on as far as possible.

Plants can get unruly, and it’s wise to keep a check on their growth – prune regularly, after fruits have finished for the year and train branches to suit your space. Always double check the growing recommendations that come with hybrid blackberries as they may have specific pruning requirements.


Pick fruits as soon as they are ripe. They should fall into your hand at the slightest touch.  A light hand is needed when collecting soft fruits as they squash very easily.


Blackberries will keep for a day or two if kept in the salad compartment of the fridge. They can be frozen but they will lose some texture and taste during the freezing process. Prepare and lay blackberries out on a tray and freeze quickly. Put into a suitable container, label and freeze. The most common way of storing blackberries is by making jam. There are probably hundreds of different jam recipes with blackberries.



Mini Farming: Ultimate Beginners Guide To Mini Farming

Building A Backyard Farm And Growing Organic Food At Home

One’s ability to be self-sufficient goes hand-in-hand with their potential for resiliency. When you can depend on yourself and your land to produce something as necessary as food, you can become someone who is no longer vulnerable to spikes in produce prices or dependent on trips to the grocery store for fresh ingredients. Building your own backyard mini-farm doesn’t have to be a huge task, either.

This short guide will provide you with the basic guidelines of building your own farm, starting from proper soil preparation, growing your seedlings, plant placement and selection as well as potential integration of farm animals and some tips on using your resources efficiently. At the end, you can find the perfect combination to suit you and your family’s needs that reduces your carbon footprint, reduces food costs, provides fresh, organic, homegrown produce and overall simply makes the most of your space. Why pay someone else to do something that you can easily do yourself? Plus, it can be really fun!

What Is A Mini-Farm?

Have you ever imagined yourself “living off the land”? Being self-sufficient to the point where you no longer are dependent on your local grocer for food? You may think that this is only possible in huge, rural spaces, far away from any sort of civilization. However, it is actually completely possible to grow enough food for self-sustainable living on an acre or less of land! This is otherwise known as a “mini-farm”, “micro-farm”, “small-scale farm” or “urban homestead”. Yes, really! You can have your cake and eat it too! Actually, in this case lets say, “you can have your homegrown, organic quinoa and eat it too!”

There are many reasons why you may be interested in creating your own mini-farm. With climate change on the forefront of many governmental policies and discussions worldwide, reliable food production is a major concern. While most citizens of first world countries are not subjected to the possibility of food scarcity, it can never hurt to become more self-sufficient and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. When you have a “sustainable farm” you essentially consume what is raised, grown and produced on your plot of land. This is different to commercial farming, which is primarily for profit. Furthermore, growing your own food reduces your need to purchase it at the store, therefore lowering overall food costs and saving you money!

The main element of a sustainable farm is its ability to keep working with no or the least amount of imported resources. Utilizing natural resources, reusing and recycling waste is key as well as establishing a balanced cycle is essential to the success of your farm. For example, if you are keeping animals such as chickens, goats or sheep, a good example of the cycle would be feeding the animals with yields from the farm and in turn using the manure to enrich the soil, making it healthier and more productive to grow more plants that will again feed the animals.

Preparing the Soil Building your soil is the first step.

Two essential ingredients for healthy soil are water and air. Many times, new gardeners will simply dig a small hole in the topsoil for the plant. However, one must consider how to the plant will grow, including the direction and depth of the roots and how the plant will draw water and nutrients from the soil. Therefore, it a good rule of thumb that healthy soil will be sufficiently aerated so that air and water can move freely within the soil, but not so uncompacted that the soil falls apart. Properly aerated soil will retain more water, which will require less watering as well as allows roots to easily penetrate to the desired soil depth.

Learn how to greatly improve your garden soil beyond belief with simple, very easy methods.

When selecting your area for planting, make sure the space will get plenty of sunlight and is not too close to other plants that may put your plot at risk to pests. Once you have selected the land are for planting, preparing the soil properly will give you the best chance for success. The size of your planting beds is dependent on your available space, but keep in mind that paths should also be established as walking on the soil will compact it, which will reduce the aeration of the soil. It is recommended to dig at least 12 in (30 cm) below the surface of the soil. For some crops, it can be beneficial to dig as low as 24 in (60 cm) below the surface.

When digging, make sure to remove all weeds, weed roots and stones. As you are digging, take a look at the soil. Does it appear more sandy or clay-like? The answer will be a good indicator of what you would add to the soil to enhance it for plant growth. If the soil is more clay, it may feel more sticky and dense and it can easily be rolled into a ball, with no or limited cracking. Clay soil can be very fertile, but may also be very heavy and slow to drain. To improve clay soil, you may consider using a raised bed to assist with drainage or adding additional bulky organic material such as “horticultural grit”, which can essentially be small pieces of angular, crushed materials such as limestone or granite. This will assist with aeration and infiltration. If the soil is sandier in texture and appearance, this may be easy to dig, but will not hold nutrients and water efficiently.

To improve sandy soil, compost is recommended. This can be easily purchased at a garden center. However, if you want to maintain a more sustainable cycle with your mini-farm you may want to consider establishing your own compost. Composting is the perfect way to reuse your farm’s “waste” in a way that will improve the fertility and condition of your soil, provide nutrients for plants and microorganisms, help to increase water retention and reduce landfill waste. Your compost should be made of a mix of carbon and nitrogen with a good rule to use one-third green materials to two-thirds brown materials. “Green” materials include: table scraps (avoiding any meat, bones or fish scraps), green leaves, weeds, flowers, coffee grounds, tea leaves, etc. “Brown” materials include: dried leaves, hay, pine needles, corn stalks, newspaper, cardboard, and even dryer lint!

Start by loosening the soil up to approximately 12 in (30 cm) below the ground. Add a small layer of twigs or straw first to assist in aeration and drainage. Then, add thin layers of compost material, switching between wet ingredients, such as table scraps, and dry ingredients, such as leaves. Don’t make the layers too thick, as this will slow the decomposition process. Finish with a layer of green manure such as grass clippings, or any other nitrogen source, and then cover the pile so that it will retain proper moisture. Make sure that you either water the pile occasionally or uncover during rainfall.

Placing the pile in the shade can also assist with moisture retention. You may also need to turn the pile every few weeks with a pitchfork or shovel to ensure proper oxygen. The compost should turn from a musty smell to an earthy smell, where the materials become more difficult to recognize and feel rich to touch. Most piles will be ready in four to six months depending on materials used as well as the climatic conditions.

Growing Your Seedlings

Growing your own seedlings versus purchasing the already sprouted plants may seem as though your just adding extra work to the already seemingly large task of building your own mini-farm. However, there are many benefits associated with sowing your own seeds such as lower costs, a larger variety to choose from, potential to grow high quality plants and, of course, the satisfaction of knowing that you have completed the entire cycle of your plant from seed to harvest.

The first step will be to choose the right container. Depending on your plants, the container should be about two to three inches deep (five to eight cm), with plenty of options for drainage. You should plant the seeds about one to two inches (two to five cm) apart. Keep an eye on your seedlings to ensure that roots are not touching the bottom of the container, as this is a signal it is too small and may damage the plant.

Create a protected space such as a small greenhouse for the seedlings to begin the sprouting process. This will also help to keep them free from pests. Once you begin to see some sprouting from your seeds, keep in mind that proper transplanting to your garden area will be vital to the health of the plant. Start by “hardening off” your seedlings by transferring them from the protected temperature to the temperature of the surroundings.

After a few days, the seeds are ready to be transplanted into the garden. It is very easy to find seeds at any garden center, however, to maintain a self-sufficient farm cycle, it is recommended to use open-pollinated (OP) seeds. OP seeds are naturally pollinated, either by insects or wind and allow the farmer to save the seeds on the farm, which will provide for future crops, thus saving resources and lowering costs. OP seeds are not genetically modified and will breed true-to-type plants, which resemble the parent plant and not a hybrid. You can then reuse the OP seeds harvested the year before for the next year’s plants. Do a simple online search to determine where you can find OP seeds near you.

Plant Selection And Placement

Grow Robust Organic Vitamin Rich Vegetables for a Healthier Diet

To maximize your production in a small space, implement an intensive planting design. Intensive planting creates an environment for your plants where roots and plants have an uninterrupted grow space, while at the same time the close proximity of the plants enhances soil and establishes a consistent area of living mulch, ideal for growing conditions. This placement will also reduce weed growth and maximizes the number of plants in the given space so production is increased.

Companion Planting

Companion planting provides benefits for your entire farm by establishing a planting layout of vegetables, fruits and flowers that support each other and deter pests to create a mutually beneficial relationship to bring harmony between the plants, insects and soil. Some common companion choices are: Basil near other garden crops such as tomatoes or lettuce, which can improve the flavor and growth as well as deter pests.

  • Beans near crops such as beets, cabbage, catnip, marigolds, cauliflower, cucumbers, potatoes, corn, savory and strawberries and away from crops such as beets, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, onions and shallots.
  • Beets near crops such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, bush beans, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, chard and kohlrabi away from crops such as field mustard, charlock and pole beans.
  • Corn near crops such as melons, beans, peas, early potatoes, pumpkins squash and soybeans.
  • Garlic near crops such as cabbage, cane fruits, fruit trees, roses and tomatoes and away from crops such as peas and beans.
  • Onions near crops such as beets, cabbage, carrots, chamomile, lettuce and parsnips and away from crops such as peas and beans.
  • Peppers near crops such as basil, carrots, eggplants, onions, parsley and tomatoes and away from crops such as fennel and kohlrabi.
  • Potatoes near crops such as basil, beans, cabbage family, corn, eggplant, flax, hemp, marigolds, peas and squash and away from crops such as apples, birch, cherries, cucumbers, pumpkins, raspberries, sunflowers, tomatoes and walnuts. Also consider that crop rotation will also be necessary to maintain the health of your plants.

When large groups of the same crop are placed in one area for an extended period of time, they become an easy target for pests. Furthermore, when crops of the same family are placed the same location over a long period of time, this depletes the nutrients of the soil, potentially requiring additional artificial fertilizers to maintain soil health. Instead, to maintain a healthy, organic soil, do not plant crops of the same family in the same location within a period of three years. This creates diversity for the plant bed, enhances the soil and minimizes the potential for disease and pests.

Plant Classification

To classify plants in terms of a crop rotation plan, follow this helpful guide:

  • Brassicas (cabbage family) Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, all cabbages, kohlrabi, cauliflower, kale, mizuna, pak choi, arugula, rutabaga, turnip
  • Legumes (bean & pea family) Snap peas, peas, bush, pole, lima, fava, dry beans
  • Solanaceae (potato & tomato family) Eggplant, potato, tomato, peppers
  • Alliums (onion family) Garlic, all onions, shallot, chive, leek
  • Umbeliferae (carrot & root family) Celery, celeriac, cilantro, fennel, carrot, parsnip, parsley, dill
  • Cucurbits (squash & marrow family) Summer/ winter squash, cucumber, melon, pumpkin
  • Chenopodiaceae (beet family) Swiss chard, spinach, beet, 
  • Miscellaneous All fruit, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, basil, lettuce, endive, cress, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, okra, corn salad, chicory

A simple classification of various plant species. Source: When planning your crop rotation, keep in mind some tips such as brassicas (cabbage family) will fix the nitrogen in soil, making it ideal for legumes to benefit from the nutrient rich conditions.

In areas where there is very rich soil, avoid planting root vegetables, as this will cause lush foliage instead of the edible parts of the plant. Keeping in mind the difference between calorie crops, carbon crops and staple crops will also benefit your garden as well as the dietary balance of your yield.

Calorie Crop is a vegetable that will produce a large amount of food energy (calories) in a specific unit of space. Examples of calorie crops include root crops such as potatoes, garlic, parsnips and perennial vegetables. Calorie crops are typically considered the best option for feeding yourself and your family as they provide the most amount of nutrition in the smallest amount of mass. Calorie crops tend to be heavy feeders and may drain your soil’s nutrients quickly.

Carbon Crop, also known as “biomass”, is a food plant that produces a large amount of carbonaceous material to be used in compost. Carbon crops are perfect for promoting sustainable soil fertility, as they will establish a balance for heavy feeders such as calorie crops when used as compost and are recommended to make up approximately 60% of your total planted area. Carbon crops include maize, sorghum, amaranth, quinoa, millet, rye, wheat, barley, rice, oats, and sunflowers. In addition, when you grow carbon crops such as grains, they also provide a beneficial addition to your dietary calories.

Staple Crop, can be considered a mix of carbon and calorie crops. These are crops that you could consider necessary parts of your diet that have the potential to be stored for long-term periods without spoiling. Examples include grains, root crops, and dry beans, including soybeans, which can be used for other purposes such as soymilk or soy flour. A crop could also be considered a staple crop if it can easily grow well in your region, provides high nutrients or calories, is easy to harvest, process and store as well as adds to healthy soil fertility.

What Animals Would Be Suitable For A Mini-Farm?

Depending on the amount of available space, you may also consider adding some farm animals to make you mini-farm complete. Large livestock such as cows or horses should not be considered, as they need a lot of land area to thrive. Animals can assist in maintaining a healthy sustainable balance as they can feed off of grains, as well as provide manure for compost or fertilizer. As well, they can provide other benefits such as goat milk or chicken eggs.

Adding animals to your farm, however, will surely increase your responsibilities on various levels and may be subject to certain regulations. Therefore, it is imperative to do proper research as to which would be best suitable for your purposes.


Rabbits are excellent candidates for small spaces. They can easily be managed in small, wire hutches and tend to be odor free and do not attract flies. They can also provide a high meat return for the amount of feed and labor invested. Rabbits can be very predator prone, however, so it is important to ensure their enclosing is secure to so that they won’t become easy prey for any neighborhood prowlers.


Chickens are also a great option for a mini-farm. They can provide highly efficient meat as well as eggs daily. They can happily feed off of meat scraps, bugs, weeds and table scraps and are relatively low-maintenance. Like rabbits, however, the chicken’s enclosure must be secure as they are also an easy target for predators.


Goats are also a popular option as they are very intelligent and are highly efficient produces of milk. You can easily gain about a gallon of milk each day with three to four pounds of grain and a few pounds of hay. During the lactating period (typically 10 months), however, the dairy goat must be milked twice per day, everyday, which may be more responsibility than you are looking for.


Pigs are one of the most efficient animals to raise in regards to their waste-to-meat ratio. Pigs can eat kitchen scraps, garden greens, grains, roots, eggs or other meat, making them the perfect example of recycling! Pigs also don’t require a great deal of space.

Using Water Efficiently

To build you sustainable farm, maintain the mindset that “everything can be used”. This is especially true for your already present natural resources. We’ve already discussed ways to improve the already present soil, utilizing yields for compost and positioning your vegetables in proper sunlight, but what about the one ingredient that is absolutely essential to any healthy farm: water?

Conserve rain water and grey-water for reuse in your garden. City water bills just keep going up and up!

If you already have a water supply such as a small stream or river on the property, consider how this can be used for your farm instead of relying solely on your well supply. Gray water refers to the water that has already been used in the sinks, bathtubs, shower, dishwater or washing machine. This is no longer fit for human consumption, but would be absolutely fine for your garden. You can choose to manually collect the water from the bathtub or even simpler is to reroute drainage pipes to a small storage tank. With the reuse of gray water, you can recycle up to 50 gallons of gray water per week!

Another great option would be to harvest rainwater. You can easily and inexpensively place a storage barrel at the bottom of the gutter pipe to collect large amounts of rainwater from the roof. For example, a 1,500 square foot (139 square meter) roof in a region that gets at least twenty inches of rain per year, could potentially gather about 18,600 gallons of water annually to be used for gardening.


If you are someone who likes the idea of reducing your carbon footprint, saving money on food, eating fresh, homegrown produce and just overall making the most of your living space, a mini-farm could be the perfect option. The best thing about building your own mini-farm is that there is an infinite amount of combinations of fruits, vegetables, flowers and even animals that you can choose to suit your needs and space availability. There is no simple formula for success; instead, it is a process of trial and error, determining what the best mixture is for you. You can also seek out others in your area that share similar interests for swapping of ideas, produce and maybe even make some new friends. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get your farm going!

If your interested in starting your own Mini Garden, I strongly recommend this very informative book called the Shoestring Gardener. 

The Shoestring Gardener

A Compendium of Hundreds of Eco-Friendly,
Creatively Frugal Gardening How-Tos, Remedies & Tips



What to Consider Before Building a Shipping Container Home

The newest craze in eco-friendly building is shipping container homes. These unique houses use new or used cargo containers as their primary construction material. And since these shipping containers are cheap and plentiful, you can build your very own shipping container house for a surprisingly low cost.

But before you make the choice to construct your very own container home, there are a few things you should consider. Just because container homes are becoming very popular with the green building set doesn't necessarily mean that you should make the plunge yourself. You need to think about your personal needs, your financial situation, and local building codes before you make the investment of building your own container home.

First, you need to realize that a shipping container home is definitely not a traditional house. This may seem obvious, but it's an important factor to consider. Even though homes built out of cargo containers seem really cool now, you may find that the novelty wears off after a few years. Any home is a long-term investment, so you need to be absolutely sure that you are happy with your potential living situation before you invest thousands of dollars into it. Even though container homes are a smart, eco-friendly choice, you may find yourself yearning for the comforts of a traditional home after a while. Also, consider your space needs before you start construction. If you have a big family, or just want a lot of bedrooms, you may need multiple shipping containers to have the house of your dreams. This requires a lot more work and customization than homes that only use one cargo container.

Next, think about the total costs associated with building a cargo container home. Shipping containers by themselves are relatively cheap, but it takes a lot of time and labor to transform it into a cozy home. You will also need to ship the container to your building site, which might be more expensive than you think. Foundation work also needs to be done, which tacks on extra cost. Before you purchase a shipping container for your new home, consult with a knowledgeable building contractor who can accurately calculate your total cost. An even better option is to work with a company that specializes in cargo container architecture. They will have an expert opinion on everything you will need to do, and they might even be able to sell you a container for your home and make all of the modifications you need ahead of time. By dealing with one company, you can be sure of what all of your costs will be, since you will not need to reconcile quotes from different vendors and contractors.

And most importantly, you will need to consult with local authorities to make sure your new container home meets all local building codes. Some communities simply won't allow homes constructed out of shipping containers. If this is the case, you may be out of luck, but it's much better to find out before you invest money or begin construction. Check all applicable state and local building codes before you buy materials or hire contractors. Pay special attention to building codes related to building homes using steel, since this is the most likely restriction you will find on shipping container homes. Also, when you consult your local building office, make sure that you have a specific house plan in mind before you ask for approval. If you just say that you want to build a cargo container home, you might get a quick rejection. However, if you prove that you have a specific, well thought out plan for a home, you are more likely to convince local authorities that your proposed project is up to code.

These considerations should not dissuade you from building a shipping container home. They are cheap, efficient, and environmentally friendly structures that can make a unique home. But, as in all major projects, it's very important to take into account all of the snags that could come your way. By planning ahead, you can make sure that your cargo container home project gets done right.

Hank Steele writes for Shipping Containers Sale [], a website specializing in information about the sale, purchase, and creative uses of shipping containers.

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Garden Shed Plans – A Perfect Plan Lets Your Shed “BUILD ITSELF”

Talking about the perfect garden shed plans one may think that it merely features a gable roof, double doors, and side and rear windows for natural lightning. Well, the reality is, these factors only provide you with the basic understanding of what your shed may include but not the complete detailed description which serves as a staircase towards your building objective.

Most of the beginners and even experienced builders fail to outline a step by step guide before initiating the construction process which ultimately results in wastage of bucks, sweat and a heck lot of time without getting the desired result. Let us dig some miles deeper. Consider a situation in which you are trying to prepare a chocolate cake with ingredients provided but not a single hint of procedure.

What will be the outcome?

In best cases you will end up preparing something that looks like a cake but doesn't taste like one and the worst cases will lead you to mix everything randomly in indefinite proportions and make a chocolate “soup” rather than a cake. Even though you have been provided with the ingredients but still you can't produce a cake without knowing the step by step procedure. In layman's terms, lack of plan leaves you with an undesirable result.

By this time, you may be wondering what a perfect plan may look like or what are the steps one may follow to create a perfect plan? As mentioned in the title of this write up, unique garden shed plans allow your shed to “build itself” that is, its simplicity leaves you with no work to do than just pick up the material and fix it on its respective place just like the block building games you used to play with in your childhood. I am using the word “plans” instead of “plan” because their can be more than one unique design to help your shed look superior than the others. The more number of plans means more options to select from.

Most of the people who use the planned way of construction get limited options to choose. As a result, they are forced to build a shed on which they can regret everyday. This can easily be avoided if you have lots of ways for your garden shed to look.

Perfect garden shed plans have the following characteristics:

1) It must suit your purpose- One can build a shed to satisfy different purposes such as organize house parties, storage or chilling during the weekends. Each case requires a suitable design as you can't plan a party in the storage shed.

2) Each design must have an associated step by step guide – Having the design is not sufficient. Your plan must consist of an associated guide which makes construction a child's play. The guide must be so simple that anyone with zero woodworking experience may also be able to build a perfect shed like an expert.

3) Plan must contain material list for no wastage: A beginner usually purchases a lot of construction materials, some or most of which are wasted after the completion of the task. Think if you could prepare a precise and accurate list of materials provided so that the extra money can be saved and invested in painting or decorating purposes. Well, perfect garden shed plans consists of such kind of a list.

Creating such a plan may consume a lot of your time. In the mean time, surfing the internet to find such plans is of no use as I myself have tried very hard but found nothing but incomplete and blurred designs which generates a lot of confusion.

Now, what if you are provided with a ready made ideal plan? It will reduce your work to fun. Well, it has truly reduced mine. So, for further information regarding the topic and to get the complete garden shed plans list please visit:

To gain a more detailed knowledge about the contents of an ideal shed plan and to get over 12,000 unique plans to build a great shed even with zero woodworking experience, please visit:

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5 Tips for Choosing a DIY Hydroponics Project

Choosing the best DIY hydroponics project for you is an important decision. Here are some things you may want to consider in making your choice.

Your space: Do you have a small space with just enough room for a vertical hydroponic system? There are several types of DIY hydroponic projects you can fit into a very small space. Or do you have plenty of room to spread out and build something more substantial? There are lots of options but if you're a beginner, start small and “get your feet wet” before spending a lot of money, time and energy on your project. You could do a project called “nutrient film technique” which allows nutrients to continually flow over the roots of your plants. Or you might consider a space saving vertical aeroponic system that pumps a spray of nutrient water onto the roots of your plants at regular intervals. Both can be done in a very small space.

Your budget: There are DIY hydroponics projects that can fit just about any budget. Some can be done using primarily equipment you probably already have on hand. However, you will need to spend money on a few things, such as pump, timer, nutrients and ph tester. The easiest and cheapest method is called the “wick system” but generally this should be used for small plants and on a small scale. Delivery of nutrients to the roots is slower than in some of the other hydroponics methods.

Your experience and commitment: Do you want a project you can throw up in just a few hours and then not have to fuss over? Or are you someone who wants to check the nutrients and ph every day and hover over your project. There are projects that will work for you no matter what your style may be. Are you a seasoned Do-it-Yourselfer with experience building other types of projects? DIY hydroponics may require some basic knowledge and experience with plumbing, electricity, carpentry as well as some basic gardening skill. The method known as the “drip irrigation hydroponic system” is probably one of the most complicated but most of the methods have versions that range from less complicated to more complicated.

Your plans for what you'd like to grow: Are you more interested in growing something like lettuce or herbs that will give you a harvest very quickly? Or are you more interested in growing some more complicated crops such as strawberries or tomatoes? Your choice of a DIY hydroponics project will be highly influenced by what you want to grow. The “ebb and flow” system works quite well for things like tomatoes, while strawberries do better with “nutrient film technique” (NFT). Most other plants aren't too fussy about how they are grown.

Your climate: Do you live where it's relatively easy to set up and maintain a hydroponics project either indoors or outdoors? Is it too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter to be successful? Keep this in mind as you choose your project. If you live where there is intense heat in the summer, you may need to consider protection from the sun. If it's very rainy, you may need to consider rain protection by building your project indoors or inside of a hoop house or greenhouse.

Find out more about DIY hydroponics by visiting [] and for suggestions and ideas for home hydroponics projects see []


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Why Most Diets Fail In The Long-Term

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A comprehensive review of diet solutions leads to a number of conclusions. There are many players in this market. It is now is a multi-billion dollar industry world-wide. Millions try this diet and that diet but very few find a permanent solution to their weight problem. Millions are frustrated and downright discouraged in their utter failure to find the body weight of their dreams. It might seem that the last thing the diet world needs is another diet. However a fully qualified dietician Isabel De Los Rios has challenged all these diets by designing a diet that looks at lifestyle rather a specific diet package. Her Diet Solution Program goes right to the heart of why so many diets fail long-term. In this short article we will look at some of these issues and why her program is structured around lifestyle as the key to success.

A Diet Solution Review of Current Failures in the Diet Market

What lessons can be learned? Among the hundreds of packaged diets sold today in our drug stores and supermarkets and the diets promoted in our popular magazines what feature stands out as the most significant failure. The number one unrecognised issue among all these diets lies in fact that the vast majority of dieters who lose weight on any of these diets regain their original weight soon after finishing the diet. Ask any experienced dietician or nutritionist and they will all agree. Let's look at some of the conclusions that any diet solution review will highlight.

There is no Silver Bullet, no Magic Pill or Programme.

Many will find this hard to accept but this is the harsh reality. The company or person who does come up with this magic pill will make millions if not billions!. However as we look at weight-loss it is becoming clear that the chance of this ever becoming a reality is very slight indeed. We are talking about permanent weight loss here, not just losing weight over a few days or weeks.

Weight Returns as Soon as You Stop the Diet.

In our diet solution review it is hard to ignore the experience of millions. It is a Yo-Yo ride. Lose weight, but before you know it, the weight returns. Try another diet, same result. The diet merchants love you because you keep coming back for a try at another diet. Yes these diets work – you will lose weight while you are on them if you follow the program faithfully. You reach your target weight and come off the diet. Before you know it the weight is back on. These diets offer only short-term results. Millions lose out simply because they return to the diet or lifestyle that made them overweight in the first place!

Many Diets are Just a Threat to Your Good Health.

Is the solution to stay on your chosen diet. No. Generally you would risk your health if you were to stay on any of these diets long-term. None of the diets are a long-term solution. As you will see none of these diets have yet addressed the fundamental issue that is causing you to be overweight. At the heart of this diet solution review we need to discover the main cause of obesity in the western world.

Most Can't Exercise Discipline Long-term.

Stay on the diet long-term – most can't do it in the short-term! Living on milk shakes and diet bars is no way to live. We were made to enjoy good food. The discipline of living on these extremely restricted diets is hard. The temptation to cheat is always there. It never goes away. The social pressures either within the home, at work, among friends all provide real pressures to break the diet.

What About the Famous Diets Published in Books and Magazines?

Weather you found the diet in a book, a magazine, or newspaper look hard at the program. Does it provide for full nutrition? Low carb, low-fat, low anything, these diets will often compromise our need for a varied diet that provides full nutrition for a healthy lifestyle. Many of these diets are no better than the packaged diets in our supermarkets and drug stores. Beware of the long-term effects. Beware the boredom. In many cases beware the science. In this diet solution review think back to all the fad diets that have come and gone. Many are now in total disrepute.

Why Most Diets Fail – Long Term.

The fundamental flaw with almost all of these diets lies in our 21s t century lifestyle. Most of us have lost sight of what really is good food. We now buy so much of our food from the supermarket. The major food companies do most of the food preparation for us. It saves us time and it is very convenient. What is even worse is our growing dependence on fast food outlets. All prepared food is loaded with preservatives, flavour enhancers, food colorings, artificial sweeteners, salt, and sugar in huge quantities. Add to this list a host of chemicals that for the most part have only numbers for a name. Most of us have no idea what they are and what we are eating. We have come to trust our food manufacturers. Is this trust misplaced?. We need food, not chemicals.

The reality is our bodies and our livers are overloaded with all these chemicals. Our livers are the organ that deals with fat within the body. It also has the job of removing all these chemicals and other impurities. It has to do this first. If the liver has to remove all these chemicals it cannot function to deal with fat as it should. It fails to burn fat as it would normally do. Our livers then store fat in the body and we put on weight. This is why most diets fail. The major cause of obesity in this 21st century is the food we eat. However convenient these prepared foods may be for us, they are killing us. Never forget that food is medicine for our bodies. We need fresh food, not packaged food full of chemicals. Our diet solution review leads us to only one conclusion – we need a lifestyle change not another diet.

Frank Rogers writes on diet, weight loss and lifestyle. From a very young age Frank was exposed to healthy living, much of which were negative issues like the things that we were not supposed to eat. Looking back over the decades he can laugh at much of what was taught. However Frank has never lost that initial interest in health, but today sees health issues as a positive force rather than a series of negative restrictions on a daily diet.

Having lived in many different parts of the world Frank is not afraid to embrace new and radical ideas if they have a foundation in reality. Two very different programs challenge much of contemporary thinking and he feels they are worth a closer evaluation.

To learn more of the need for lifestyle change visit


and find two very successful fat burning programs. Both of these programs could be life changing for those who are finding it difficult to lose weight.

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Shipping Container Homes – Trendy or Trashy?

Much like in fashion, in interior design trends come and go. However, one trend seems to be sticking around for the long haul: going green. With going green, there are a plethora of options for recycled products to reclaimed woods, newer manufacturing processes that use less fossil fuels and so forth. That being said, one trend has risen in recent years where people are reusing shipping containers and creating entire homes within their walls. So, are shipping container homes trendy or trashy? You decide. If you've got a large house, you could easily conceal a storage container in the back to add on to your home. It's a great way to add on additional needed square footage without compromising the front curb appeal of your home or the interior design of the inside.


What Room? Any Room!

Since you can use a shipping container to add on to your home, it's no surprise that you can use these boxes to create just about any space. This includes adding on to existing kitchen designs, adding a new bathroom, creating additional bedroom designs or perhaps even creating entirely new living room designs for a home.

Concealed Looks

Just because you know it's a shipping container, doesn't mean anyone else has to know. You can actually alter the interior and exterior of the space to suit the look and style of your home. Interior design is flexible and of course, shipping containers are no exception. Just because you're reusing the frame doesn't mean you've got to stick with the look.


Shipping containers are extremely versatile, as mentioned before. However, what wasn't mentioned is this: you can combine a number of shipping containers together to create the desired amount of space. You can also redesign the space by cutting and rearranging the shipping container to create the right shape and style for your home. In other words, it's so versatile, you can create just about anything; and that also includes the interior design and decorating the space.

They Make Great Cabins

Vacation homes can be expensive and remodeling a shipping container might not be an exception to this rule. However, despite the cost of the interior design and remodeling, these containers actually make great vacation homes. You can use them as a cabin “up north,” or even a beach house “down south.”

Click Here To See Some Amazing Shipping Container Plans!

Trailer Trash Unfortunately, as expected, there are also many reasons that these containers can be considered ‘trashy.' For example, shipping containers are made from metal; but so are trailers and no one enjoys being considered “trailer trash.” These homes give a whole new meaning to the word. Plus, no matter how you dress up the interior design or the exterior of the house, some people might always look at it as a trailer.

Turn up the Air, or Wait, Turn up the Heat? Metal conducts heat. A giant metal container won't be too comfortable, especially if you live in warmer climates. Giant metal containers also conduct the cold, so you won't be comfortable in the winter, either, will you? Controlling the temperature inside a large shipping container home can be extremely difficult. In the end, only you can decide if you feel that this kind of home is trendy or trashy. After all, you can gussy up the interior design of a trailer, but that doesn't make it any less trashy, or does it?

Jennifer invites you to learn more about shipping container homes and find more decorating ideas and inspirations from around the world on from our shipping container home Pinterest board.

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Key to Succeeding in Woodworking Projects

Woodworking projects can give you a great sense of fulfillment, it's simply great to accomplish things ourselves! And with the bigger projects you can have a good time with your friends, while being useful at the same time. Woodworking is really fun and it can be a great hobby, but you do need to know what you are doing. You shouldn't start a project without a good plan.

Easy woodworking projects for beginners

When looking for woodwork plans on the internet, you should always keep in mind that there are plans out there which are anything but easy. Different skill levels require different plans, but this distinction is not clear for some project plans.

For beginners it is usually best to do easy woodworking projects, at least until you have grown some experience and feel more comfortable to aim for complex projects. You should always have your project plan ready, to be sure that you have a complete list of materials, an easy to read cutting schema and all the necessary illustrations of pieces and how they should fit during the assembly.

A lot of expert woodworkers still favor the step by step woodworking plans also. Even experienced carpenters will say that without good and easy woodworking plans things can easily go wrong. But they can draw up their own plans, whereas beginners in woodworking should always buy a diy plan. The risk of losing money and valuable time is just too big when going without the right plans.


The right tools for your easy woodworking projects

Also essential in any woodworking project is, of course, to have the right set of tools. This can be a big time-saver when working with wood. If you're missing a screw or if you can't find the right wrench you're losing time and it can put you in a bad mood. Preparation is the key to easy woodworking projects, and trying to save money in this stage of your project will usually come back to you when you start to build.

Going to your nearby diy store for easy woodworking projects is usually not a good idea though. Many commercial plans available on their bookshelves are incomplete, or have poor drawings. Measurements and dimensions need to be very precise and accurate, and if they're not, this can completely mess up your project and greatly discourage easy woodworking for beginners. It's always best to buy a set of clear plans before even thinking of starting your project.

I know how hard it can be to finish a successful woodworking project, but if you really want to succeed you'll need a single plan of approach that works amazingly well.

The method to do this is very simple to pick up and it doesn't take much practice, you can read about here: Easy Woodworking Plans [].

So don't give up on your projects, there's hope! Learn more ways to Easy Woodworking [] by clicking the link.




Woodworking Projects and Plans for Beginners

If you are beginner and very interested in doing a DIY project for home then, woodworking can be interesting. If you do not have the proper information, instruction, and skill, you may land up spending more money and time than you originally intended to spend. As a beginner woodworker, you need have the space, time and the correct tools. Having said, there are a few essential factors that you should keep in mind, before starting with any woodworking project.


1. If you are beginner, you should first need to be very interested in woodworking. Creating something new with your own hands is a special feeling. Do not start a project if you are not interested, as this may land you in a bad place.

2. Think of the main reason of creating this woodworking project. Decide on the uses of the item you are making.

3. Consider your skills and analyze the time you have, before you start with a project.

4. Start projects that you can finish. If you are in the middle of some work, then it is better not to start any project at all.

If you keep these essential points in mind before you begin a woodworking project, it will become very easy for you to achieve success. Woodwork requires planning as much as it requires effort. So how do you get started?

Getting Started With Woodworking Projects and Plans for Beginners

Before starting anything, it is very important to choose the woodworking projects that you want to start with. As a beginner, always select a project that has a very basic build up or a simple construction. Some easy to begin projects include, bird feeder, benches, shelves, etc. As soon as you get hold of the techniques, you can always move to the next level of woodworking projects, like cabinets, sheds and others. Beginning projects should always be less complicated and less frustrating so that you have a better knowledge of working with woods and their tools. Once the project is selected, start selecting your tools.

Beginners Woodworking Tools

Tools are the means through which you will win the battle of woodworking. Many people think that power tools are needs. However, for beginners basic hand tools can be very handy and more than helpful in completing a project. If woodworking is your hobby, then a few tools that you would require are:

1. Workbench – A workbench is required for precise cuts and measurements. The workbench when fixed with vises offer ample space to work. As a primary tool, workbench should be a part of your beginner's woodworking tools.

2. Hammer – Hammer is an essential tool for woodworks. It helps you to drive nails, pins, staples, etc. A small and lightweight hammer will make things much easy for you. When you buy a hammer, always check the balance between the weight and stand. Always select a sturdy, yet lightweight product.

3. Saw – A saw is another tool that you cannot live without while woodworking. This tool helps you to cut woods at different sizes. There are different types of saws available in the market. Choose a size that you can handle.

4. Screwdriver – Screwdrivers are available in different shapes and sizes. Mostly there are Canadian types and standard flat type. Having all of them will help you in advance woodworking. You can also buy power screwdrivers as they make the work much faster.

5. Measuring tape – It is another very important tool that you cannot work without. The measuring tape helps you to measure wood before they can be attached together.

6. Wrench – Some woodworking projects require fixing bolts and fixes. For such projects, you require wrench. However, this is not a tool for beginners, but having it would make work easier for you at a later stage.

7. Drill – Drill helps you make holes in wood. Power drills are more useful but they cost more. Low wattage power drills will make the task much easy.

8. Other small and basic tools – These include pencils, gum, staple gum, level, erase, first aid kit and shop vac.

Costing and Budget for the Project

Get These Amazing Tip and Tricks on Cutting your Wood Project Costs. Limited Offer!

There is no fixed cost on woodworking projects. Based on the type of project you want to complete, pricing can be determined. The simple the project, the less cost it involves. However, at the very beginning buying the tools will be a little hefty. Therefore, it is better to fix a budget first on the tools, then on the project. Buying the basic tools will ensure that you do not need to buy any more material other than the wood ply.

Time and Instructions

Instructions are one of the primary things that every beginner should follow. It is like the woodworking Bible. Instructions guide is a very easy to understand process, what to do and how to do it. It is a systematic guide for completing the project. Time also plays an important role in the building of woodworking projects. Woodworking projects require time and therefore it is necessary for a beginner to have ample amount of time every week.

Tips and Tricks for Beginners

There are no quick tips or tricks that would make the work easy. Nevertheless, the most essential thing that will help you to achieve success is proper planning. With proper planning and a strategy, it is possible to achieve success quickly. If you know the purpose of woodworking, the item you want to build, the tools you require to own and the average time you can give every day; then you are all set to go.


All these tips and instruction will make the woodworking projects and plans for beginners fast to complete. Always make sure that you have all the essential tools, materials, space ready. Keep the instructions of building an item handy. Proper strategy and planning will help you to make a great woodworking project for your home.

Plans for Wood Furniture, is a renowned woodworking expert. Plans for Wood Furniture recommends Plans for Wood Furniture for better knowledge on woodworking plans. According to Plans for Wood Furniture good woodworking plans for beginners can essentially help a newbie in learning techniques.

Cutting Openings in Shipping Container Sides Can Be Done With Common Tools


Most shipping container customization plans will involve adding windows, doorways, vents or even opening up a side wall. Cutting Cor-Ten steel although not as easy as cutting wood can be done with a number of different tools that you may have available in the typical handyman's tool box.  

First and most importantly is to protect yourself while working with cutting tools. No matter what tool you select, the cut steel will have very sharp edges; wear a pair of heavy leather gloves like those designed for welding. The cutting operation involves sparks and metal shavings, wear eye protection! The tools are loud and the steel shipping container will increase the noise, wear good hearing protection! Also wear a heavy long sleeve shirt and long pants. I know that may not always be pleasant however it sure beats hot metal shavings landing on you. Speaking of landing on you, shipping containers are constructed from 12 gauge steel, approximately 1/8″ of an inch thick. A big piece of this stuff like from a door opening will be heavy, be careful when finishing your cut to make sure a heavy piece of metal with razor-sharp jagged edges will not fall toward you and injure you.

To begin, use a sharpie type marker to clearly draw edge of your opening on the container steel. If cutting an opening on shipping container isn't or will not develop into a frequent practice for you then you can use a saws-all or reciprocating saw with a heavy steel cutting blade. Save yourself some frustration here, don't buy cheap blades, they're cheap for a reason, this is heavy-duty work and you want several heavy-duty blades available. Drill a hole on the inside of the line of your marked opening big enough for the saw blade, put your blade in the hole and begin cutting along your line.

You can also use a skill saw with a good meal cutting blade. To start your cut, first set the blade on top of your mark to get lined up. Lift the rear of the skill saw up enough so that the blade leaves the container surface and start the saw blade, slowly ease the saw blade down to your mark until the blade cuts through the steel then follow your line. You'll have to repeat this process when you come to the corners as a skill saw does not turn. Don't panic in the event you wander off of the line a little bit with either of these cutting methods, any error can easily be fixed.

Those who cut this type of steel on a more regular basis should have a torch available, or the ultimate field cutting instrument, a plasma cutter in the tool arsenal. These will be much quicker and simpler than saws and much less fooling around when turning corners. You can rent these tools at most equipment rental locations but practice on some scrap metal before you begin cutting on your container.

While its heavy-duty work, cutting openings in shipping containers isn't hard and can be accomplished with any number of tools, just do it – carefully, and the easiest for you method will come to you.

If you would like more information on how to build a Shipping Container Home correctly, follow the link below to learn more.


Source by J. P. Carrico

Shipping Container Homes – The Real Benefits

There are many benefits to living in a home built from used shipping containers, and more and more people are starting to realize this and take action. If you are already lucky Container Homeenough to have built your own and/or already live in one, you'll know these benefits first hand and will have experienced them for yourself.

Much cheaper than conventional building methods of timber-framed buildings, and brick and mortar buildings, used containers are modular, flexible in design (and can be made to look absolutely beautiful!), durable, eco-friendly, and just an all-round winner when it comes to building your own home.

Over the next few paragraphs I'm going to outline some of the benefits of living in used shipping containers.

Economical to build…

Although the price of containers is currently on the rise (due to various factory closures in China during 2009 and early 2010), you can still pick up a fairly good bargain. As the global recession starts to ebb and global trade routes begin to get busier again, the production of shipping containers will increase also. You'll start to see container prices start to dip again, or at the very least remain stable.

You can currently pick up a used container for around $1,500USD. That's a base price of $1,500USD for 305sq feet of floorspace. Not bad when you compare it to the price of more traditional forms of construction.

So to conclude this point, used container homes are much more economical to build than more conventional building methods.

Eco-Friendly (Green Living)

So how green can shipping container living be?

The answer: They can be as green as you want them to be.

If you want to go down the truly green route, then think of your home more as an ‘eco-pod'. You could produce your own energy by putting a few solar panels on the roof. You can use hydro if you're close to a river or fast-flowing stream.

You can apply a ‘Green/Living Roof' to the top of your containers which will aide in insulation and greatly reduce your heating costs (in the winter) and cooling costs (in the summer).

Durable and Weather-proof

Consider the fact that shipping containers are built to withstand the most unforgiving weather conditions, travelling hundreds of thousands of miles aboard open-top trans-oceanic shipping-container ships… Built to have a minimum working life of 20 years before being decommissioned. After that, these containers, placed in a fixed position and maintained, have an almost infinite lifespan.

Made of pre-fabricated steel and welded together, they are made to be rigid and strong, and very hard-wearing. This makes them hugely practical in areas of high geological activity, such as earthquake zones and hurricane hotspots.

Shipping containers can easily hold out against windspeeds of up to 175mp/h (281km/h) when anchored with pylons…which is easily done. Every building should have suitable foundations whether it be from used shipping containers or a traditional build.


Above I've outlined the three main benefits most home-owners will immediately notice. They are in fact three of the main things many people look at when buying any type of home. It just goes to show the explosion in shipping container homes in the past few years is totally justifiable, and why so, so many people are turning to these containers to build their own dream homes.

Learn more about the Internets best Shipping Container Home Plans here!

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Raising Backyard Chickens

The sound of a rooster crowing at dawn; delicious, farm fresh eggs for breakfast; pest control; these are just a few of the benefits of raising backyard chickens. In a fairly small amount of space and with very few supplies, you can easily start a backyard flock of your own.Raising Backyard Chickens

Chickens are very easy to raise and care for. In fact, if you have the space and foliage for them to free range, they will provide a lot of benefits and be very inexpensive to maintain. Their needs are few. My start in chicken farming was sudden, and I had no time to prepare or purchase supplies. When the chickens were first delivered, I put them in a fenced dog pen. The only “shelter” was a large dog house. I set out a couple of bowls with water in them. The next morning when I went out with flashlight in hand to check on them, I didn't see a single chicken in the pen. I was horrified thinking that some predator had managed to come in during the night and wipe out the entire flock. That was lesson one in how easily chickens will adapt to their circumstances. All 25 of them had crowded into the dog house to keep warm during the night! I was lucky none had suffocated.

So, here is my quick, short list of the “must haves” for your flock.


Your chickens will need some sort of shelter. There are some pretty amazing chicken coop designs available in books and on the internet. This can be as simple or as extravagant as you want. You can purchase a ready made chicken coop, or make one yourself. Basically, the shelter needs to provide them with protection from the elements (rain, snow, sun, heat) and from predators. When I first got my chickens, I was fortunate enough to have a little structure at the edge of the woods on my property. I disassembled it, moved the lumber to the fenced in area, and rebuilt it. It's a simple, three sectioned, wooden shack with a metal roof. I installed some dowels for “roosts”. If you have a problem with predators in your area, you will need to make sure the coop is predator proof so that you can lock your chickens up safely at night. Raccoons are clever, and will scale a fence, or dig under it with no trouble. So, simply having them fenced in isn't good enough. I lost a few hens to raccoons until I managed to secure the coop properly.



Your chickens need a constant supply of fresh water. There are several styles of waterers available commercially. In addition to a couple of galvanized poultry waterers, I also set out metal dog food pans with water in various locations. If you are going to use bowls, make sure you buy heavy duty ones with some weight to them, otherwise your chickens will step in the bowls and you'll be refilling them several times a day.


Chickens will eat just about anything. If you have the space and the plant life, and don't mind having chickens roaming around your property, let them free range. It will cut down on how much you have to feed them, and I firmly believe they will be healthier by foraging for fresh food in your yard. My chickens eat grass, leaves (they especially like poke salad), berries, grass hoppers, crickets, worms, ticks – I've even seen them gobble up baby snakes and field mice. I supplement what they find on their own with kitchen scraps and a good laying feed.

These are the absolute “must haves”. There are other supplies you may want. But, these basics should allow you to get your flock off to a good start.

Looking for a complete set up for backyard chickens? We carry Chicken Egg Incubators, Small Backyard Chicken Coop Plans in many styles, Fertilized Chicken Eggs, Raising Backyard Chicken Books and DVD and Rooster Home & Garden Decor. Visit our store at

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Living on a 4 Season Houseboat – Beautiful Floating Tiny House!

In this video, we meet Bonnie from Wakefield, Québec, Canada who is living on a gorgeous tiny house boat that is full of character and charm. The River Den (or La Tannière) has custom-made asymmetrical windows, a classic ship's wheel, antique fireplace, and hand-built furniture — all of which give the boat a warm and cozy feel that makes you feel at home as soon as you step on board. The boat is docked on the shore of the Gatineau River and Bonnie lives in it as often as she can when she's not renting it out on Airbnb (

The tiny houseboat was designed by Bonnie and her boatbuilding friend, Denis Tremblay, who is known locally as the Wakefield Pirate. Denis and a few of his friends built the boat by hand, including the aluminum frame and the custom windows, the cabinets, and the grill floor in the loft.

The boat is built on 5 pontoons that are designed to provide flotation while still taking on some water to keep the boat weighed down in the water for stability. The pontoons are also designed to freeze in the ice and are made by a local company called Les Quais Navigables (

It's a 4-season house boat that is fully insulated and has an antique wood burning fireplace to provide heat in winter. For power, they installed a deep cycle marine battery that provides 12-Volt power for the lights, bilge pump, and navigation lights. They have a Separett composting toilet from Sweden (, and a sink that pumps water from the river for washing dishes. For refrigeration, Bonnie uses a cooler with ice, but she might invest in some solar panels so that she can power a proper fridge eventually.

The main floor has a kitchen, toilet, dining room and living room, and upstairs there is cozy a sleeping loft with a grill floor that allows heat to rise through the floor, and sun & dust to travel down to the main level. One of the windows in the loft opens up onto a gorgeous rooftop patio with a cedar deck and has space for some solar panels if/when Bonnie decides she needs them.

The boat has a gas motor and can be taken out on the river which is quite impressive considering it's size! To make sure the boat was still road worthy, they built a wedge roof over the loft that can be taken apart if Bonnie wants to transport it to a different location. The boat is currently docked in the quaint little town of Wakefield, Québec where there are cute cafes, restaurants and shops right across the street.

If anyone is interested in renting this house boat, check it out on the Airbnb website here:

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle


Facebook: /exploringalternativesblog
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Music & Song Credits:
All music in this video was composed, performed, and recorded by Mat Dubé of Exploring Alternatives.


20 Vintage Repurposed Sewing Machines

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How To Repurpose Old Baby Food Jars – DIY Home Tutorial – Guidecentral

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About this DIY project:
– Title: Repurpose Old Baby Food Jars
– Maker: Evija –
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– empty baby jars
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– fine paint brush

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DIY Recycled Crafts How to Make Funny MINION Glasses Recycled Bottles Crafts

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Teen Girl Room Tour | Brooklyn and Bailey

Watch for a new video every Wednesday, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter!

Our fans have been asking for a room tour for a LONG time! So, we asked our mom if she would help us film it, and she finally said YES! {This was the first time that my mom was “behind” the camera, rather than in front of it… because our dad was gone! Sorry if it is a little shaky!}

Much of the decorating was done my my mom and Jenny from ShowMeCute about a 1.5 years ago! In fact, here is one of Jenny's very first videos where the room she was decorating was actually our bedroom!

We love to decorate in “antique chic”, a mix of old, repurposed, and new items! Many of the furniture items were found at thrift stores, garage sale, or antique stores! {The only thing new was our mattresses!}

Hope you enjoy, and can maybe get some ideas for your own room! Please leave a comment below letting us know what you liked most!

Have a nice day!

Brooklyn & Bailey

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Garage turned into a TINY HOUSE- “The Rustic Modern” in Portland, OR

Derek “Deek” Diedricksen (author of “Microshelters” and “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks”) tours a tiny house (converted from a garage) in Portland, OR. This airbnb rental house has full stairs to its loft, a great little kitchen, bathroom, and more- as you'll see in this tiny house tour. This particular house is also featured in Deek's “Microshelters” book on small homes, cabins, tree houses, and backyard offices.


WANT TO RENT A NIGHT HERE? Its an airbnb listing- check it out here…