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Gardening Season Isn’t Over: Fall Gardening Tips

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The harvest is over but the work for the year isn’t. The best gardeners know that fall is the perfect time to get your garden ready for next year’s crop. It’s not only prudent, it also gives you a great opportunity to spend some time outside enjoying the fall air and getting some relief from the heat and humidity of winter. 

Here are some ways to get your garden ready this fall for next year’s crop. 

Clear Dead Leaves

Your lawn is likely going to be covered in the beautiful problem of dead leaves. That’s not good for your grass and thus not good for your garden, so as much as you might not like the idea of doing yard work after a hot summer of mowing your lawn, you’re going to need to get all those leaves raked up and bagged for the dump or the incinerator. 

Clean Out The Beds

Cleaning out your beds regularly is especially important for people who are growing vegetables in their gardens. Pests love to feast on the debris leftover from last year’s harvest, so you need to dig down and get absolutely everything you can out that’s not soil. That will save you a lot of work next year when it comes to pest control. 

Pull Those Weeds

Due to the decline in temperatures, fall is the perfect time to pull the weeds. Weeds aren’t just an eyesore, they’re choking the nitrogen out of your soil meaning that your plants, be they edible or otherwise, aren’t growing as lushly as they ought to be. So take advantage of the cooler weather and dig those weeds out.

Save Those Seeds!

If you’re a seed saver now is the time to dig out the annuals and have your “second harvest” of seeds. Dry them, label them and put them in a safe place for next year. This is the whole fun about growing annuals – buy once, grow forever!

Throw Down Some Compost

You might think you don’t need to take care of your soil during the colder months, but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, this is when your soil is in the most dire need of nutrients. The sun is gone and so are most of the critters that keep it healthy. So a thick layer of compost, about 2-3 inches, is going to help maintain the health of your soil during the cold season. Don’t bother tilling – mother nature will do that for you. 

Get Organized

Few things about gardening are most frustrating than having absolutely no idea where all your gear is. So clean everything up and spend an afternoon in the shed making sure there’s a place for everything and everything is in its place. 

Plant Your Winter Crops and Cover Crops

Especially if you have a greenhouse, it’s essential to be growing all year round. Other crops will grow better if you have cover – including during seasons when other stuff wouldn’t normally grow. Cover crops and winter crops get you thinking about your garden as a year-long project, not just something for the warmer months. That’s important, especially if you’re growing as a supplementary or primary food source. 

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The NSA’s Power Grab: A Threat to American Liberty

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In a chilling turn of events, the United States National Security Agency (NSA) stands poised to seize control of the internet, ushering in a new era of unprecedented surveillance. According to whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA’s insatiable appetite for power is set to reach new heights with the expansion of its surveillance powers, sending shockwaves through the fabric of American democracy.

At the heart of this authoritarian power grab lies a bill that seeks to reform and extend Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), effectively granting the NSA carte blanche to pry into the lives of everyday Americans. Under the guise of national security, the bill would empower the NSA to compel virtually every company and individual providing internet-related services to aid in its surveillance efforts.

This ominous development threatens to cast a wide net of surveillance, ensnaring businesses large and small, from barber shops to hardware stores, in the NSA’s dragnet. Even individuals providing essential services like plumbing or IT support could be conscripted as “surrogate spies,” forced to betray the trust of their customers in the name of government surveillance.

Adding insult to injury, the bill imposes draconian gag orders, silencing those coerced into compliance with the threat of hefty penalties. In a nation founded on principles of liberty and freedom, such egregious violations of privacy strike at the very core of American values.

Despite bipartisan opposition, the bill sailed through the U.S. House of Representatives, underscoring the alarming disregard for civil liberties among lawmakers. While some amendments were made in a feeble attempt to assuage concerns, they did little to curb the sweeping powers granted to the NSA.

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden minced no words in condemning the bill as “terrifying,” vowing to thwart its passage in the Senate. His sentiments were echoed by Republican Congressperson Anna Paulina Luna, who decried Section 702 as an “irresponsible extension” of government surveillance powers.

As the fate of American liberty hangs in the balance, concerned citizens must rise to the occasion, ready to defend their rights against encroaching tyranny. The battle for privacy and freedom is far from over, but with unwavering resolve, Americans can push back against the tide of authoritarianism and reclaim their rightful place as guardians of democracy.

Are you worried about this latest power grab from the federal government? Why or why not? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Family Survival Games: Fun Ways to Teach Preparedness Skills

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Preparing for emergencies and teaching preparedness skills to your family doesn’t have to be dull or intimidating. In fact, it can be turned into an enjoyable and educational experience through the use of family survival games. These games not only make learning about preparedness fun but also help reinforce important skills that could prove invaluable during emergencies. 

Emergency Preparedness Scavenger Hunt

Turn emergency preparedness into an adventure with an emergency preparedness scavenger hunt. Create a list of items related to emergency kits, survival gear, and household safety measures. Divide your family into teams and set them loose to find the items on the list. Make it competitive by setting a time limit and awarding prizes for the first team to complete the hunt.

Disaster Simulation Role-Playing

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Create scenarios based on different types of emergencies such as earthquakes, floods, or power outages. Assign roles to each family member, such as a rescuer, medic, or communicator. Act out the scenario and encourage family members to problem-solve and work together to overcome challenges. This hands-on approach helps build teamwork and decision-making skills in a fun and interactive way.

DIY Survival Skills Challenge

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Test your family’s survival skills with a DIY survival skills challenge. Set up stations with various tasks such as building a shelter, starting a fire without matches, purifying water, or tying useful knots. Provide materials and instructions for each task and challenge family members to complete them within a certain time frame. Not only is this game educational, but it also fosters creativity and resourcefulness.

Emergency Kit Packing Race

Turn packing emergency kits into a race by challenging family members to pack their kits quickly and efficiently. Provide a checklist of essential items such as food, water, first-aid supplies, flashlights, and batteries. Set a timer and see who can pack their kit the fastest while ensuring they have all the necessary items. This game not only reinforces the importance of having an emergency kit but also teaches organization and time management skills.

Outdoor Survival Orienteering

Combine outdoor adventure with survival skills by organizing an orienteering activity. Set up checkpoints in a local park or nature reserve and provide maps and compasses to navigate between them. Along the way, include challenges such as identifying edible plants, signaling for help, or building a makeshift shelter. This game promotes outdoor exploration while teaching valuable navigation and wilderness survival skills.

Family survival games offer a fun and engaging way to teach preparedness skills while spending quality time together. Whether it’s an emergency preparedness scavenger hunt, disaster simulation role-playing, DIY survival skills challenge, emergency kit packing race, or outdoor survival orienteering, these games provide valuable lessons in teamwork, problem-solving, and resourcefulness. By incorporating these games into your family activities, you can ensure that everyone is well-equipped and prepared to handle emergencies with confidence and resilience.

Do you play games with your kids to prepare them for emergencies? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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Surviving Financial Crises as a Family: Budgeting and Preparedness Strategies

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In today’s uncertain economic climate, it’s essential for families to be prepared for financial downturns. Whether it’s a recession, job loss, or unexpected expenses, having a solid plan in place can help ease the burden and ensure your family’s stability during tough times. In this article, we’ll explore some budgeting and preparedness strategies to help your family navigate through financial crises.

Understanding Your Financial Situation

Before diving into budgeting and preparedness strategies, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your family’s financial situation. Start by taking stock of your income, expenses, savings, and debt. This will give you a realistic picture of where you stand and help identify areas for improvement.

Creating a Survival Budget

One of the first steps in preparing for a financial crisis is to create a survival budget. This budget should prioritize essential expenses such as housing, food, utilities, and transportation. Cut out non-essential expenses and look for ways to reduce costs where possible. Consider alternatives such as cooking at home instead of dining out or cancelling subscription services.

Building an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund acts as a financial safety net during tough times. Aim to save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in an easily accessible account. Start by setting aside a small amount from each paycheck until you reach your goal. Having an emergency fund can provide peace of mind and help cover unexpected expenses without relying on credit cards or loans.

Diversifying Income Streams

Relying solely on one source of income can leave your family vulnerable during a financial crisis. Explore opportunities to diversify your income streams, such as freelance work, part-time jobs, or passive income sources like rental properties or investments. Having multiple streams of income can help cushion the blow of job loss or reduced hours.

Prioritizing Debt Repayment

High-interest debt can quickly drain your finances during a financial crisis. Prioritize debt repayment by focusing on high-interest debts first while making minimum payments on others. Consider negotiating with creditors for lower interest rates or payment plans if you’re struggling to keep up. Once you’ve paid off high-interest debts, allocate the extra funds towards building your emergency fund or investing for the future.

Preparing for the Unexpected

In addition to financial preparedness, it’s essential to plan for unexpected emergencies such as natural disasters or medical emergencies. Make sure your family has adequate insurance coverage for health, home, and auto. Create a family emergency plan that outlines what to do in case of an emergency, including evacuation routes and meeting points. Stock up on essential supplies such as food, water, and first-aid kits to sustain your family during emergencies.

Seeking Professional Help

If you’re struggling to make ends meet or facing overwhelming debt, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Financial advisors, credit counselors, and debt relief agencies can provide guidance and assistance tailored to your family’s needs. They can help you develop a realistic financial plan, negotiate with creditors, and explore options for debt relief or bankruptcy if necessary.

Surviving financial crises as a family requires careful planning, budgeting, and preparedness. By understanding your financial situation, creating a survival budget, building an emergency fund, diversifying income streams, prioritizing debt repayment, preparing for the unexpected, and seeking professional help when needed, you can weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side. With these strategies in place, your family can navigate through uncertain times with confidence and resilience.

Does your family plan for financial collapse? How? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

 

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