Growing crops in winter successfully!

Blue Kale and Sweetpeas

Last years Blue Kale crops and some Sweet peas

Folks it is still winter on the homestead…well sort of. According to our, (outdated?) calendar, we are still in winter season. Problem is, winter, for us, technically, has been over for weeks. In fact we have already planted some stuff in our garden, not in a green house, and it is successfully growing. Things we have had planted for a few years, that usually comes up around the end of March, officially spring, is already growing and has been for weeks. SO because we are up on all the changes taking place and aware of the changes announced by the USDA in the planting zones (2012) and because we live out in nature daily, actually about 90 percent of my day is spent out in the forest, we have learned to see things differently. I also am an empath, as some of you may know, and intuition is a large part of how I look at the world and every aspect in it, including people.

So I decided to plant some seed. Nothing to crazy, I stuck o cool weather crops. However, when I seen nature waking early and watched as wild mustard grew and became as green as a Crayola crayon, I decided it was time to plant mustard in the garden as well as collards, and some other goodies. Again, all successful. So what does this mean? Well it means you need to come out of your winter blues slumber and get out there and start your garden now! Strawberries and potatoes and onion sets can be seen in our Walmart here, in fact we bought onions and strawberries and planted the onions already. Over 100 sets, in fact. The strawberries we will wait on because we still have to get some black plastic, but we will be planting them soon.

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Avocado tree sprouting and growing in Missouri

At Dogwood Hollow Homestead we grow food not for a hobby, but because we live as self sufficient as possible. So we grow food to eat! So it is to our advantage to get as many crops into the soil as possible at the earliest possible time. As our last few winters have been getting shorter and shorter and spring coming earlier and earlier, as it seems, we decided to start seeds this month, February. Some seed we knew would grow. Others we planted to see what happens. For those of you that understand and know what is going on with the changing of earth’s climates, it is highly recommended to plant seed at earlier, now, as an experiment to see what you might be able to grow earlier.

We started planting some seed the second week of February and almost all we planted has came up and still growing successfully. Only a few did not, but we planted a few old seeds which could be the reason. We have been growing our own organic food for almost 7 years and we plant only heirloom seed. So here is 10 crops we have growing at the homestead:

  • Red Romaine Lettuce
  • Cilantro
  • Turnips/Turnip Greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Collards
  • Green Onions (planted last year)
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic (planted in the fall)
  • German Chamomile (planted last year)
  • Thyme (planted last year)
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Chocolate Mint
  • Cherry Belle Radish
  • Daikon Radish
  • Echinacea (planted last year)

Raised beds filled with humanure

Garden boxes ready to be planted

Now although those are things we planted either last season (for perennial) or recently (successful experiment), there are a few more crops that you are already supposed to be able to plant now, or at least within a few weeks of today’s date. According to the historical and farmers almanac records for Tx. County Missouri, here is a list of some crops that you should be able to plant now successfully. Some crops should be covered with plastic when the night temperatures occasionally drop pretty cold, but for the most part these crops are cool weather anyhow.

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • All Greens
  • Lettuces
  • Snow peas
  • Sweet peas
  • Potatoes
  • Onion bulbs
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Strawberries

 If you are new to gardening and do not know where to turn, hopefully this information can get you started. After looking around the area, I have already noticed Walmart and other stores have their seeds and gardening stuff available. So apparently they know the value of the season change as well! Good luck and keep growing!

Gardening with humanure

From another blog we write

Nature's News

What is humanure?

Humanure (human manure) is human fecal matter and urine recycled for thermophilic composting, which is used for gardens and agricultural uses. Humanure contains rich nutrients that improve plant growth! For this reason, humanure should be recycled anytime possible. Humanure can be a source of disease organisms but if composted right, they can all be eliminated. A composting practice called, “thermophilic” is a way of breaking down biological waste. To kill all the harmful bacteria and viruses, your compost pile must get hot. In order to make your compost pile get hot , you must add weeds, wood chips, sawdust and kitchen scraps to the thermophilic compost stack. By adding all that to your compost box/bin, it can produce enough heat to eliminate human pathogen and compost the matter which is then turned into rich organic fertilizer! The thermophilic compost stack must be large, about 1m3 or larger.

According to 

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Adapting to mother nature

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Each year that we have lived off the grid, in the forest, the country, hand in hand with mother nature, we have watched it change. After years and years of living IN nature, UNDER the canopy of the forest, IN the woods….I have learned to co-exist with her. And you have to. Well, if you have any since of morality, any since of responsibility to your planet and all its inhabitants. Because we are stewards of this land…we do not own this land nor do you nor does any other human being. All this was here before us, and it will be here long after us, no matter what we do. So, this is why we are stewards of earth…and not kings or queens of the land. Once we are done with this life, we will die, our spirit moves on, and mother earth will still be living. But will she be living in survival mode, because humanity has practically destroyed her? I refuse to be apart of the problem. Dogwood Hollow Homestead refuses to be part of that problem. And so…living in harmony with all of nature is what we practice here. That, in itself, is enough so that over many years and much insight meditation, that I have come to know mother pretty darn well.

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So I have become in tuned to nature to a point that I can read her pretty good. Over the past few years I have watched as climate changes have been ramping up. It was 2 years ago today that the USDA announced a complete overhaul of the zones. Planting zones are like a bible off grid. We have to plant at the right time or we may or may not have a successful crop. Never in history has this change ever before been implemented. Now, most people today, like in such a way that the food they consume is no more than a short drive or walk from the local grocery store. But not to long ago everyone was growing the majority of their own food. Off grid, we produce almost all the food we need. In warmer months, we produce even more. Now produce is a catch all word I use but we have multiple methods of securing food, through cultivation, husbandry, cropping, hunting to name a few. So because of this, hardly anyone in society took notice of this important change. However, your farmers knew. And with this change comes changes to farming too.

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What actually is happening is the continents are moving. The earths poles are shifting, north becomes south and south becomes north. Now before you say, well that is hogwash, no such happening. I will challenge you to research and see that this phenomenon not only is real, but has taken place on earth many times in ages past. We have found loads of proof. Well there is mounting evidence that this is happening again, and we are right smack dab in the mist of it. Where we are, the great state of Missouri, we are drifting south. This means hotter summers and not so cold winters. Have we seen proof of this at the homestead? YES, by far. In fact, over the last 2 years I have personally mentally recorded a multitude of radical changes that have to be the result of the poles shifting, the state moving closer to the equator. We have even experimented with planting certain crops that are not supposed to be growing in southern MO. with much success.

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Avocado tree growing in southern Missouri 

So we have an avocado tree on the homestead now and are working on a 2nd one. The one in the picture is in dormant phase currently, as it is January 2017, but it grew to a height of 18 inches the first year. This year it will undoubtedly grow another 18 or so inches. Avocado trees can be grown in a green house in MO. BUT we grew this baby in a pot sitting in the garden all the way up to the first frost in October 2016.  We have seen plants in the forest popping up that is not supposed to grow in this region. As an herbalist I can see a plant and say what it is, with many. So when I see one I know and it is not supposed to be growing here…its pretty noticeable. So last year we had to learn a whole new way of growing food. Because as the poles shift, we drift south, all of a sudden crops that grew good before don’t anymore. Crops that were hard to grow here not grow easier. We are growing things during times when it is supposed to be nearly impossible. Such as tomatoes all the way through October, green beans later and later each year for the last 2 years. Last year we were getting green beans in November! And I am talking 2-3 lbs a time. Kentucky wonder pole beans, in case anyone local wants to know.

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Kentucky wonder pole beans

That is an early picture of our beans, but those are the beans that would not quit! More this past year than the year before and I seen this change starting up 2 years ago. So this next season, we will be planting a lot more of these beans and canning loads for months. I am going to be banking on what I can grow tons of and just do it and preserve it. Who knows what this event is going to do to the food prices everywhere, the big farm crop success all over, the national supply….the WORLD supply! Part of how I live is to live prepared and to always continue to prepare for what ever may come as a challenge to our survival. The pole shift will and IS causing major hardship across the globe when it comes to food IF the people all over that grow your food does not get their heads out of their asses and learn the changes that have to come to their farming that corresponds to the changes in the climates all over. SO….last year I had to do things differently. This year, I can already see changes that need to be made. As it stands right now, my daughter has learned so much that she has practically become like me and decided to try and sprout pepper seeds in January. She did so with much success and her pepper plants are already almost 2 inches tall. With today’s sun, FINALLY, after 9 days of none, those plants probably will be taking off.

GMO stop

We grow all organic food here. We plant only heirloom seeds and we produce and save our seed and we replant that seed each year. We have some seeds that are 100’s of years old. Those seeds have to be planted at different times now. So that requires us having to learn through trial and error, there is no other way to know folks. The civilizations on the planet now have never had to deal with a pole shift and such awesome climate change. So there is no teacher. This is why it is so important to become one with nature. Mother nature will take care of you IF you take care of her. On the homestead, this belief is followed closely. We grow food for our survival, its how we live. We choose NOT to shop, so much, in a grocery store and we are striving for 100% self sufficiency, which means NO stores for us. Every year we have expanded our gardening and food production efforts. This year, there is no difference. Again, we will be expanding on it all around. Each year we learn more and more about what we can use for medicine and food in the forest we dwell in. each year we grow different, more foods and cultivate more and more wild foods. Things such as berries and wild greens, roots etc.

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In 2016 we started harvesting this “new” mushroom, to us. This is “old man of the woods”, an edible mushroom that grows wild on the homestead in a good quantity. We also started harvesting and using wild basil, also called Shiso or Perilla. It to, grows all over the homestead. we want to be able to walk through our fores and the 30 acres that surrounds us in off grid community, and see food all over the place. We also are plating food all over the place. Where ever a possibility food will grow and do good, we plant seed. We are producing a forest garden. But each year changes have to be made, now, to how we have been farming in southern, MO. for years. Changes that mother nature is teaching me about and changes we all must face and learn to accept and adapt. This year, already I am tossing about the idea of planting seed now and just keeping them covered with some plastic. In all actuality, a lot of stuff id growing all over the homestead and it’s kind of alarming. Actually, we should not be able to plant anything currently, the ground is usually solid too. Almost 70 degree here today folks, and this is not the only day.

The old saying, “adapt and over come can be applied here. Because if you do not adapt….you will not overcome. Ask yourself, what major natural disasters, more than what is already being recorded, will happen…and are you ready to survive this? If your answer is no, you have to choices.

#1- Learn, and do so quickly, what you need to know about this. Move off grid and prepare your family to survive because food prices are about to skyrocket and the shortage is going to be scary. OR

#2- Join a community of people that are already doing it and will welcome you. Become part of that group and prepare together to survive what may come.

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What does it mean to live off the grid?

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First I want to say, living off the grid can be different for different people, so to save argument I will start off by saying this is not solely MY “idea” of off grid living, per say, but should be understood to be the most popular, general idea of what living off the grid is all about.

A bit of background, me and my family have been living off the grid, 100%, here in the southern Missouri Ozarks for almost 7 years. We not only have followed a traditional method of off grid living but have even went as far as keeping our living arrangement so basic/simple that we have even lived without renewable energy sources or gravity fed water since we began our off grid journey in 2010.

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We cut, split, haul and stack our own firewood and we do it all with minimal tools. A small garden wagon (when it is in working condition), a decent chain saw, a splitting ax and short handle sledge hammer for those stubborn logs. We heat and cook with wood. We own 5 acres of undeveloped land that is 100% wooden, so we are considered a forest homestead. So what does living off the grid really mean? Does it mean living in the woods, living in a tiny home, small cabin, raising chickens and goats, gardening maybe? Does it mean having solar panels or a wind turbine and harvesting your own energy? How about all of the above and none of the above. Living off the grid, when technically broken down, literally means living disconnected from the technological grids that run our modern world today. And that is it in a nutshell. Now are there many other aspects of living off the grid that come into play when someone decides to disconnect from the grids? Sure there is!

This is because when you disconnect your life from the modern days grids, the power grid, water grid, communications, internet etc., you become self sufficient. You have to learn to do things differently, and usually on your own, that you had help with when your life was more modern. Things such as refrigeration, staying cool in summer and warm in winter, cooking those things need to be rethought and changed. What about a simple task in modern life as using the bathroom? Sure, it becomes a chore once you disconnect from the water grid, and a very important one too.

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Now there are many that will argue with you and say something like, “no, living off the grid means this and that and you have to do this and change to that way and…” the fact is off grid living does mean different things to different people, but there is no argument when you stick to the basics of what it means. Living disconnected to the technological grids. What are the benefits of such a way of life? Well besides the obvious no utility bills, you are free to make all the changes to your way of life you want. So why not grow your own food, raise animals for the by products you use, hunt, fish and trade for more clean meat, wild forage food from your forest and reap the awesome benefits of great health!

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While you are it, learn some survival skills, after all off grid living does usually mean you live outside the populations of the city. You never know when you will need to know how to stitch up a simply wound on your leg, treat a sinus infection, or drink water you have to harvest from a wet weather creek which means knowing how to purify it. Those that live off the grid incorporate all the extras, such as wild foraging for food, just because they have moved into such a position of self reliance that they want more. So, many things could be added to the answer as to what off grid living means, but that does not necessarily mean that is the answer every person off grid has to adhere too. I think there might be one thing that everyone off grid is sure to agree on and that is, off grid living is true freedom and how life was meant to be lived!

Indian summer & Ice storm all in the same week? Believe it.

2017 has just begun and already, at the homestead, here in Missouri we have seen some wild weather patterns that are farrrrrrr from normal folks. We have been warning you and talking about the imminent pole shift and the changes that is coming to the earth and telling you to prepare and get ready to survive, you and your family. And not it is our turn. It does not all come at once, it comes in waves and if you are prepared to survive what comes then you are 1 up on others. So prepare, NOW and get ready because the weather patterns of 2017 are already crazy. Since Jan 1 we have been having weather in the day that seems to resemble an early spring. Then at night it gets cold enough to light the wood stove. Some will say, well that is just what happens from time to time with the weather and this seems pretty normal. NO. There is more to the story folks. The last few days, in fact, it has been near 70 degrees at the homestead, and those few days we have experience winds that were devastating. We have trees and limbs down at the homestead and have been having a hard time fighting the winds picking everything up and tieing it all down. The winds tossed one of our rabbit cage roofs into the air and that roof was held down with 4 large stones! They went flying too. The bunny was not injured 🙂

That was the last few days. Now in the same week, they are warning us of a major ice/winter storm that will be here tonight after midnight! They are saying this is a big one and it seems the homestead could be in the blunt of the path. We are expecting a half inch of ice or more, snow and probably those winds again. The winds have died down today, but it is a lot colder than yesterday. Its like we had an Indian summer and then a few days later it all flipped with a serious winter storm coming. Check out this video.

It was so warm the last few days, that we were actually working in the garden. No planting, of course, but doing things such as mending fences, building raised boxes, hauling manure and wood chips to the garden. Raking leaves and moving them from the garden into the animal pens, when the wind let us. Shoot, t-shirt weather it was, now today, I have on a sweater and a beanie cap. Sure has been a change over night. It was so warm last night and yesterday that we had to allow the wood stove to burn out, the first time since early fall! So I wake up, cold and confused and had to light that stove up. So they have warned us.

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At the homestead, we are prepared for this. In the beginning of the week I felt pressed to cut down a very large dead tree even though before I was not even thinking about using my cheap 18 inch chain saw to do such a job. Now, almost a week later I have a cord of wood ready to go! Our wood pile we have been letting just kind of mosey along because our winter, this time, has been doing the same, just moseying along. Then I get this feeling to cut a lot of wood at once, so I do it. Now I see this warning today! Folks I do not care what anyone says, my spirit guide guides me through life and I have found that as long as I am staying on the straight and narrow, keeping my mind clear and doing what I am supposed to do, my guide protects me. Now some things are true whether you believe in them or not 🙂

So to all of you in the path of this monster, I hope you have headed the warnings and are ready. If not, you have about 6 hrs to grad supplies. When you do this, think about being without power for days. Water pipes may freeze and you may not be able to drive anyplace. You need food, water, meds (if used), candles or lanterns, heat and something to occupy your time. Everyone stay safe and remember, its never too late to prepare!

 

Imminent mass exodus to off grid living

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So those of you that have followed us, or the blog here or that know us personally know that we are in the know about living off grid and homesteading. Many of you know how we live, personally. Some of you have been to the homestead! So take what I am about to tell you to heart. Take it how you want, but to me…..a spiritual man that is in tune with the universe…its a warning. I will say this, something it happening folks and I feel there is something big to look at here. Something we all need to see and most likely head the warning.

Where we live at, at the homestead, it is set in an undeveloped 200 or so acres of land that has been chopped up and sold off to the public at easy prices per 5-10 acre plots. 7 years ago, we came here. We went off grid and our journey started. Now the development was not new, in fact it was all sold except the plot we bought and maybe one or two others. That is out of 19 plots in the development. We watched, for years, folks come and go on the different land plots around the homestead. Always watching the land turn over and over. We remained. Recently, we started noticing a big change. People started showing up to the land plots around us and staying! Then it was just a few, 1 or 2 here and there. Mostly folks come and see the land is not what they want and leave.

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Hardly any of them we got to know. We just knew we would be wasting our time because we knew they would be gone soon. Folks just can not handle off grid life because it is to hard for them. That is the majority folks. Then very recently, since the election started to take shape 2016-2017 presidential election, we seen some come and set up camp and stay on their site. They were off gridders and said they came to get off grid and away from city life. We watched….and they stayed. Now the election and more started coming. Well very recently we saw a couple come from Ohio and Nevada and set up an off grid came on their plot of land and stay! Like 2 at a time. Now that 2017 is here, we are still watching them come and stay, from all over the country. Just 2 weeks ago, a man and woman couple, brother and sister, came and set up a tent in the dead of winter here, built them and are still building an off grid primitive camp and when we met them and asked what they were smoking, I mean….folks its January and 8 degrees tonight! They are in a tent! They told me…“We are tired of people, tired of societal living, tired of the tyranny called the govt. and we have a feeling something bad is about to happen in this country and we want to be able to survive.” Now I quoted that.

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That was a few weeks ago. They are still there. We have got to helping them a lot and we like that fact that they are in the right mind frame to do this. We try to be a beacon of light for those coming to the off grid life, as you all know. Then a few days ago I get this weird email. A man says he found our email from a web search of some GPS coordinates that he thought was his new off grid land coordinates.  Just so happens they led him to our address and when he searched the address discovered Dogwood Hollow Homestead lived at the address. So he emailed me. I thought it strange to skeptically I contacted him back and asked all sorts of questions. It seems he has bought a plot of land near us, yet another one, and is coming to live off grid this month! Coming from the Texas coast, he says. After talking to him online a bit, I learned that he found the plot of land in our development through a dream!

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Now I will quote him as well. “I have no idea what I am doing, we are from the city and we are getting away and away from the coast and we are going to the MO. Ozarks to go off grid on a plot of land, we have never even seen, and I found your contact info ultimately through a dream.” Something is leading my wife and I, he says, to do this and we bought the land on a whim! So I say to the man, do you have any idea how cold it is here right now? Because there in Texas, on the coast, it was currently 70 degrees! He says, yes, I know its REAL winter there. He then goes into telling me that he and his wife have recently been having dreams and feelings that are warning them of impending doom in the country and this is part of the reason they are coming here. He says he is being led by something but does not even believe in spiritual stuff! Well I had to inform him that he was part of a mass exodus that is taking place, right now, of folks leaving the cities to go off grid.

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So here it is in a nutshell, and I only mentioned a few recent happenings. But we have went from just us out there where the homestead is, to quite the happening off grid community of all sorts off people. 19 plots is the development we live in. All lots are now sold, but lot 2, 6-10 and 12 have recently become occupied, and I mean fast, like all of a sudden, with those coming to learn to live off grid. I think lot 2 is a bit different as they are older folks and we have seen them put in a well and security light. But we recently heard they are going back to the city, temporarily. They probably will sell. So now Dogwood Hollow Homestead is surrounded by off gridders. We are networking and getting to know each other which means we are becoming the awesome little off grid community we have been looking for for years! There are some other cool details I could share with you, that some preppers and survivalists and the likes would say, is pretty darn awesome, but I won’t in the interest of some privacy from the prying eyes of those that are trying to kill off grid life and freedom as we know it in the US.

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Bottom line is…we are watching a mass exodus to the Missouri Ozarks from the cities to live off the grid folks and over the last month it has ramped up substantially. These people want to get away so bad, they are coming right now, not waiting until warmer weather and they are coming with nothing, just knowledge. Bold as it may be…this is Missouri and it is December and it is freezing and snowing and with nothing but a tent to protect you and your wits, it’s dangerous. But if they want it that bad and can deal with it, then we know they have a very good chance of being successful in their new journey, and Dogwood Hollow Homestead will be right there to help them, as is ours way, until they give up or make it successfully. So take head folks, prepare for whatever, and if you can, get your family out of the big cities and out to the country where survival has a better chance in the event SHTF soon. Peace and love!