You can make an inexpensive compost barrel using one of the screw-top pickle barrels that are readily available on Craigslist. First wash out the barrel, fill it with plant matter, then place a piece of plastic window screen over the opening and screw the ring back on. Set the solid top aside for other uses. […]
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Greenhouse Grows Tomatoes
We posted some pictures of an inexpensive greenhouse we built last fall. This April, we set out our tomato seedlings in 5 gallon pots filled with garden and potting soil. They got a good head start when it was chilly outside, and today are about 5 feet tall! Pretty good for mid-June. There are also […]
Prepper Festivals Galore
On May 7 and 14 we presented our Preparedness Radio Communications at prepper festivals in Virginia. The first was the NPS Expo in Richmond, and the second in New Castle, Virginia. The New Castle festival is pictured below, and our class was standing room only. There were loads of other interesting classes at both events, […]
New Hams Licensed!
Several new Amateur Radio operators have been licensed as a result of our class, AND their diligent study. Congratulations! Hard work pays off. If you are interested in getting a license, let me know. I’ll do classes for 10 or more on two Saturday mornings, with some time in between for proper absorption. It’s easier […]
One Time Pad Coding Tool Now Available
We have created a clever coding tool for encrypting and decrypting one time pad messages. Find it here. It makes secure communications easy. And it requires no power or technology to work! The tool is $8.95 plus tax and shipping. To make your pad of random numbers, see our page here. Happy secure communications!
Preparedness Radio Communications Class
Expanding the reach of our class offerings, I’ll be presenting a class on Preparedness Radio Communications during the NPS Expo, May 7-8, 2016, at the Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Come out and learn something about communications, and learn from other experts on a wide variety of topics from medical to permaculture. Get all the […]
US Cooperative Moving Forward
Lewis Hopkins at US Cooperative held a good meeting in February, and we heard from several local businesses. Specifically, please check out www.FranklinCountyFreshFoods.org (locally grown foods from multiple vendors) www.GoodFoodGoodPeople.net/Farm-Shares (farm produce shares) www.4oaksfarms.com (hydroponic greens — their samples tasted great!) Also, David Hurt (Phone: 540-598-9645) owner of Truman Hill Farm provided samples of his […]
Next Ham Radio Class, April 2016
Our last ham class tested and passed 11 new amateur radio operators! We’ll be starting another class in April, 2016. See our classes page for more information. Start studying now!
Build a Micro Tiller
It always disturbs me tilling the entire garden just to plant a few rows of vegetables. Here we have a settled environment of soil and creature, and I come blowing through with several horsepower and upset all those worms in front of their tiny big screen TV’s. How would you feel? So I have built […]
Easy Downspout Diverter for Your Rain Barrels
I’ve tried several designs for downspout diverters. Not wanting to spend a bunch of money, I built my own. Here’s the one that works the best. This diverter is made with four elbows and costs little. Cut a piece out of the downspout and insert this assembly. For the water connection, I used a 2 […]
Have you seen Franklin County Fresh Foods?
If you are in the Franklin County, Virginia area, check out Franklin County Fresh Foods. This site lists a load of local farms, orchards, nurserys, greenhouses, farmer’s markets, country stores, vineyards and more! Franklin County even has a cannery. Who knew? I thought all they had down there was red clay, pine trees and overpriced […]
Nothing Like Fresh Hams
We had a testing session this afternoon for the students in our ham radio class. In short, everyone passed the test they studied for, and a couple passed the test above that! We have three new General class and eight new Technician class licensees. Congratulations to all who studied so hard and passed the test! […]
Snowpocalypse? Greenhouse Yawns
Here’s a picture of the new greenhouse under a foot of snow. This snow shut down the federal government, the monster truck rally, schools and even the mall (!), but this greenhouse is still open for business! If you can get to the door.
Cauliflower Soup for New Year
Happy new year! This morning I went out to the greenhouse and cut four cauliflower heads off the plants I transplanted in the fall. The plants had not bloomed all summer, but had grown about chest high, and the stalks are over an inch thick. I was not going to let those plants go to […]
Learn Land Navigation
I took a class recently covering land navigation. I had previously read this book on land navigation, but this class was taught by an Army trainer, and it was loaded with even more information, and some interesting field stories. Shared here are a few resources to get you going, so to speak, on land navigation. […]
Ham Radio Licensing Class — January 2016
We’ll be teaching a ham radio class for Technician and General class candidates on January 9, 16, and 31, 2016. This will be located near Bedford, Virginia. If you are interested in studying and taking the ham radio license test, contact us immediately for all the details and links to study resources! The class and […]
Greenhouse Update — Rocket Mass Heater in Action!
I have a friend with some excess bricks, and I used about 50 of those to build a rocket mass heater for my newly constructed greenhouse. See the initial article here. That article has a couple pictures of the completed, but untested rocket mass heater. Here are some pictures of the RMH in action. This […]
Bug Out Bag Class — January 5, 2016
There will be a class on bug out bags on January 5, 2016, at the Fincastle, VA library, 7-9pm. It’s all free! Come out and learn what you need to gather to be ready to go at a moment’s notice in case of an emergency.