27 Medicinal Plants to Have Before the SHTF

In a long term survival situation it’s unlikely that the healthcare system will exist at all so knowing what medicinal plants to have in your garden to help treat your ailments is some great knowledge to have.  Additionally, it’s a good idea to start growing some of these in your garden now while you are still able to locate the seeds because it may be too late when the time comes that you actually NEED them.

The following list of medicinal plants to have was originally posted on odyb.net

27 Most Beneficial Medicinal Plants to Have in your Garden

Playful as kids are, accidents happen. And the accident that befallen me at 7 years old was the feeling of the hot exhaust pipe of a motorcycle kissing the skin of my leg. Grandma was around and saw it. Immediately, she took out a knife and slice the thick lower part of the Aloe Vera plant by the garden and rubbed the exposed end on the burn.

Looking back, I realized that there were some important medicinal plants to have around the house because you never know when you might need them. So here are a list of medicinal plants to have growing around the house that have the highest medicinal value compared to the other million species around the world.

1. Aloe Vera

Medicinal Plants to Have

This is the most important of the medicinal plants to have on hand for wounds.  The Aloe Vera grows only under the sun with well drained dry or moist soil. Although the plant tastes like turd, it’s still edible. The sap from Aloe Vera is extremely useful to speed up the healing and reducing the risk of infections for :

  • wounds
  • cuts
  • burns
  • eczema
  • reducing inflammation

Apart from its external use on the skin, Aloe Vera is also taken internally in the treatment of:

  • ulcerative colitis (drinking aloe vera juice)
  • chronic constipation
  • poor appetite
  • digestive problems

2.  Marsh Mallow

Medicinal Plants to Have

The plant of which marshmallows were once made of. The root is taken internally to treat :

  • inflammations and irritations of the urinary and respiratory mucus membranes
  • counter excess stomach acid
  • peptic ulceration
  • gastritis

Externally, the root is applied to :

  • bruises
  • sprains
  • aching muscles
  • insect bites
  • skin inflammations
  • splinters

The leaves are very edible, unlike the Aloe Vera. They can be added to salads, boiled, or fried. It is known to help out in the area of cystitis and frequent urination.

3.  Great Burdock

Medicinal Plants to Have

It requires moist soil and can grow shadeless. The great burdock is the pretty famous in the area of detoxification in both Chinese and Western herbal medicine. The root is is used to treat ‘toxic overload’ that result in throat infections and skin diseases like :

  • boils
  • rashes
  • burns
  • bruises
  • herpes
  • eczema
  • acne
  • impetigo
  • ringworm
  • bites

The leaves and seeds can be crushed to poultice it to bruises, burns, ulcers and sores.

4.  Pot Marigold

Medicinal Plants to Have

It grows in almost any type of soil condition. It has no problem with nutritionally poor, very acidic or very alkaline soils, just as long as it’s moist. Well known as a remedy for skin problems, the deep-orange flowered pot marigold variety is applied externally to :

Internally it is used to treat fevers and chronic infections.

The tea of the petals tones up circulation and, taken regularly, eases varicose veins.

Applying the crushed stems of the pot marigold to corns and warts will soon have them easily removable.

5.  Gotu Kola

Medicinal Plants to Have

The gotu kola acts on various phases of connective tissue development and stimulates healing of :

  • ulcers
  • skin injuries
  • decreasing capillary fragility
  • stimulation of the lipids and protein necessary for healthy skin

Leaves are thought to maintain youthfulness. Crushed leaves are poulticed to treat open sores. The gotu kola can also be used to :

  • treat leprosy
  • revitalize the brain and nervous system
  • increase attention span and concentration
  • treat venous insufficiency

6.  Camomile

Medicinal Plants to Have

With a sweet, crisp, fruity and herbaceous fragrance, has long been used medicinally as a remedy for problems regarding the digestive system. It has a soothing and calming effect in the area of aromatherapy, used to end stress and aid in sleep. The entire herb is used to treat common aches like toothache, earache, shoulder pain andneuralgia.

7.  Globe Artichoke

Medicinal Plants to Have

A bitter tasting plant that requires a lot of sun, the cardoon has become important as a medicinal herb in recent years following the discovery of cynarin, the biologically active chemical constituent of artichoke. The cardoon leaves, best harvested before flowering, helps to :

  • improve liver and gall bladder function
  • stimulate the secretion of digestive juices
  • lower blood cholesterol levels
  • treat chronic liver and gall bladder diseases
  • jaundice
  • hepatitis
  • asteriosclerosis
  • early stages of late-onset diabetes

8.  Chinese Yam

Medicinal Plants to Have
A type of yam that can be eaten raw, the chinese yam can be easily grown, succeeding in fertile, well drained soil in a sunny position. It is sweet and soothing to the stomach, spleen and has a tonic effect on the lungs and kidneys. It is used internally to treat :
  • tiredness
  • weight loss
  • loss of appetite
  • poor digestion
  • chronic diarrhea
  • asthma
  • dry coughs
  • uncontrollable urination
  • diabetes
  • emotional instability

Externally, it is applied to :

The leaf, on the other hand, is used to treat snakebites and scorpion stings.

9.  Echinacea

Medicinal Plants to Have

One of the world’s most important medicinal herbs, the echinacea has the capacity to raise the body’s resistance to bacterial and viral infections by stimulating the immune system. It also has antibiotic properties that helps relieve allergies. Basically, the roots are beneficial in the treatment of sores, wounds and burns. It was once used by the Native Americans as an application for insect bites, stings and snakebites. The echinacea grows on any well drained soil, as long as it gets sunlight.

10. Siberian Ginseng

Medicinal Plants to Have

The Siberian ginseng has a wide range of health benefits, mostly as a powerful tonic herb that maintains good health. Its medicinal properties are used for :

  • menopausal problems
  • geriatric debility
  • physical and mental stress
  • treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation
  • angina
  • hypercholesterolemia and neurasthenia with headache
  • insomnia
  • poor appetite
  • increasing endurance
  • memory improvement
  • anti-inflammatory purposes
  • immunogenic purposes
  • chemoprotective purposes
  • radiological protection

11.  Great Yellow Gentian

Medicinal Plants to Have

The great yellow gentian root is a bitter herb used to treat digestive disorders and states of exhaustion from chronic diseases. It stimulates the liver, gal bladder and digestive system, strengthening the overall human body. Internally, it is taken to treat:

  • liver complaints
  • indigestion
  • gastric infections
  • aneroxia

12.  Sea Buckthorn

Medicinal Plants to Have

The sea-buckthorn has been used throughout the centuries in China to relieve cough, aid digestion, invigorate blood circulation and alleviate pain. The branches and leaves are used in Mongolia to treat gastrointestinal distress in humans and animals.

The bark and leaves are used for treating diarrhea, gastrointestinal, dermatological disorders and topical compressions for rheumatoid arthritis. Even the flowers are used as skin softeners.

The berries on the other hand are used together with other medications for pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, blood and metabolic disorders. Fresh sea buckthorn berry juice is known to be taken in the event of :

  • colds
  • fever
  • exhaustion
  • stomach ulcers
  • cancer
  • metabolic disorders
  • liver diseases
  • inflammation
  • peptic ulcer
  • gastritis
  • eczema
  • canker sores
  • general ulcerative disorders
  • karatitis
  • trachoma

13.  Tea Tree

Medicinal Plants to Have

Even the aborigines have been using the tea tree leaves for medicinal purposes, like chewing on young leaves to relieve headaches. The paperbark itself is extremely useful to them as it serves to line coolamons when used as cradles, as a bandage, as a sleeping mat, as material for building humpies, as an aluminum foil, as a disposable rain coat and for tamping holes in canoes.

The leaves and twigs, eventaully made into tea tree oil, is anti fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and deserves a place in every household medicine box. Tea tree oil can be used to treat :

14.  Lemon Balm

Medicinal Plants to Have

The reason the plant is called lemon balm is because of the lemon minty scent of the leaves. The flowers, which appear during the summer, are full of nectar. The crushed leaves, when rubbed on the skin, are used as:

  • mosquito repellent
  • herpes
  • sores
  • gout
  • insect bites

Infusion of the leaves with water are known to treat:

  • colds
  • fevers
  • indigestion due to nervous tension
  • digestive upsets in children
  • hyperthyroidism
  • depression
  • mild insomnia
  • headaches

15.  Peppermint

Medicinal Plants to Have

Peppermint is sometimes regarded as ‘the world’s oldest medicine’, with archaeological evidence placing its use at least as far back as ten thousand years ago. Pepeprmint are naturally high in manganese, vitamin A and vitamin C. Crushed leaves rubbed on the skin help soothe and relax the muscles. Infused peppermint leaves are used to:

  • reduce irritable bower syndrome
  • against upset stomachs
  • inhibit bacterial growth
  • treat fevers
  • flatulence
  • spastic colon

16.  Evening Primrose

Medicinal Plants to Have

The young roots can be eaten like a vegetable, or the shoots can be eaten as a salad. Poulticed roots of the evening primrose is applied to piles and bruises. Tea made from the roots have also been used in the treatment of obesity and bowel pains. However, the more valuable parts are the leaves and bark which are made into evening primrose oil, known to treat:

  • multiple sclerosis
  • premenstrual tension
  • hyperactivity
  • eczema
  • acne
  • brittle nails
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • alcohol-related liver damage (alcoholics, this is for you)

17.  Ginseng

Medicinal Plants to Have

Ginseng is one of the most well-known medicinal plants to have.  It is also one of the most highly regarded medicines in the orient, the ginseng is reputable in its ability to promote health, general body vigor and prolong life. The roots are used to:

  • stimulate and relax the nervous system
  • encourage secretion of hormones
  • improve stamina
  • lower blood sugar levels
  • lower cholesterol levels
  • increase resistance to disease
  • treat debility associated with old age
  • treat lack of appetite
  • treat insomnia

18.  Turkey Rhubarb

Medicinal Plants to Have

Known mainly for its positive and balancing effect upon the digestive system as a whole. Even children may use the turkey rhubarb as it is gentle enough. The roots act as an astringent tonic to the digestive system while larger doses are used as laxatives. Other than that, it is also known to treat:

  • chronic constipation
  • diarrhea
  • liver and gall bladder complaints
  • hemorrhoids
  • menstrual problems
  • skin eruptions due to accumulation of toxin

19.  Sage

Medicinal Plants to Have

Salvia, the Latin name for sage, means ‘to heal’. Internally, the sage is used for:

  • indigestion
  • flatulence
  • liver complaints
  • excessive lactation
  • excessive perspiration
  • excessive salivation
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • female sterility
  • menopausal problems

On the other hand, it is used externally for:

  • insect bites
  • skin infections
  • throat infections
  • mouth infections
  • gum infections
  • skin infections
  • vaginal discharge

20.  Wu Wei Zi

Medicinal Plants to Have

Low doses of the fruit are said to stimulate the central nervous system whilst large doses depress it, while regulating the cardiovascular system. The seed is used in the treatment of cancer. Externally, it is used to treat irritating and allergic skin conditions while taken internally to treat:

  • dry coughs
  • asthma
  • night sweats
  • urinary disorders
  • involuntary ejaculation
  • chronic diarrhoea
  • palpitations
  • insomnia
  • poor memory
  • hyperacidity
  • hepatitis
  • diabetes

21.  Milk Thistle

Medicinal Plants to Have

It protects and improves the function of the liver (take note, alcoholics). Taken internally, milk thistle helps to treat:

  • liver and gall bladder diseases
  • jaundice
  • hepatitis (liver inflammation)
  • poisoning
  • high cholesterol levels
  • insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who also have cirrhosis
  • the growth of cancer cells in breast, cervical, and prostate cancers
  • the effects of a hangover

22.  Comfrey

Medicinal Plants to Have

Comfrey contains allantoin, a cell proliferant that speeds up the natural replacement of body cells. It is reputed to have teeth and bone building properties in children. Safer to use externally than internally, comfrey is used to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from:

  • bronchial problems
  • broken bones
  • sprains
  • arthritis
  • gastric and varicose ulcers
  • severe burns
  • acne
  • cuts
  • bruises
  • sprains
  • sores
  • eczema
  • varicose veins

23.  Feverfew

 Medicinal Plants to Have

A tea made from the whole plant is used in the treatment of arthritis, colds, fevers etc. It is said to be sedative and to regulate menses. An infusion is used to bathe swollen feet. Applied externally as a tincture, the plant is used in the treatment of bruises. Chewing 1-4 leaves a day has proven to be effective in the treatment of some migraine headaches.

24.  Fenugreek

Medicinal Plants to Have

Fenugreek seeds are nourishing and taken to:

  • encourage weight gain (take note, anorexics)
  • inhibit cancer of the liver
  • lower blood cholesterol levels
  • treat inflammation and ulcers of the stomach and intestines
  • drain off sweat ducts
  • for body building
  • for late onset diabetes
  • poor digestion
  • insufficient lactation
  • painful menstruation
  • labor pains
  • freshen bad breath
  • restore a dull sense of taste

25.  Slippery Elm

Medicinal Plants to Have

The inner bark of the slippery elm can be ground into nutrient-rich porridge-like soup that serves as an excellent remedy for sore throats. Other than that, it can be used to soothe the digestive tract. The bark of the slippery elm was used as an abortion tool, moistened with water and inserted into the cervix, before it was banned by certain countries like the UK.

26.  Stinging Nettle

Medicinal Plants to Have

Long known as a nutritious addition to the diet and as a herbal remedy, the stinging nettle leaves have been traditionally used to:

  • cleanse the blood
  • treat hay fever
  • arthritis and anemia
  • excessive menstruation
  • hemorrhoids
  • rheumatism
  • skin problems like eczema
  • nettle rash
  • chicken pox
  • bruises
  • burns

27.  Agnus Castus

Medicinal Plants to Have

The last one of the medicinal plants to have in your garden  is the Angus Cactus. It is beneficial to the female hormonal system, the agnus castus seeds and fruits are used to rectify hormonal imbalances caused by an excess of estrogen and an insufficiency of progesterone. It acts upon the pituitary gland, reducing the production of certain hormones and increasing the production of others, shifting the balance in favor of the gestagens, hormones that ‘secure’ pregnancy. Thus it has a wide application of uses in malfunctions of the feminine reproductive system and has been used with great effect in:

  • restoring absent menstruation
  • regulating heavy periods
  • restoring fertility caused by hormonal imbalance
  • relieving premenstrual tension
  • easing the transition of menopause

Shipping Pallet Houses for Bug Out

Survivalists and preppers are always looking for cheap and easy ways to acquire a bug out location.  Something that isn’t going to break the bank but will provide sufficient shelter in a place that hopefully nobody will find them.  I came across an interesting article about a company out of New York that has designed shipping pallet houses.  It’s actually a small house built entirely of discarded shipping pallets.  With some slight modification it could make a very affordable structure to bug out to if the SHTF depending on the climate where you live.  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

The following was originally published on zdnet.com

Shipping Pallet Houses

Shipping Pallet Houses

Every year over 21 million shipping pallets end up in a landfill. Used worldwide to ship goods of all kinds in mass quantities, a Brooklyn-based design firm looked past the intended use of a pallet and saw a versatile, recyclable, sustainable and inexpensive building material that could be used to address another issue: improving housing quality for refugees.

The inspiration behind I-Beam design firm‘s Pallet House Project came from a mind-boggling statistic that 84 percent of the world’s refugees could be housed with a year’s worth of repurposed American pallets.

A pallet is the perfect material to provide a better standard of living — they are readily available in most countries and they can be used first to carry aid to displaced people in the form of clothing, food and medical supplies (to name but a few) and then recycled into shelters.

The average refugee stays in a refugee camp for seven years, and the Pallet House (a 250 square-foot structure composed of 100 reused pallets), is a sturdier alternative to the tent shelters most common in refugee camps. Additionally, it can be easily converted from a temporary or emergency shelter to a permanent residence with the addition of more sturdy construction materials found in the area.

The houses are easy to assemble: once the pallets arrive, it only takes four to five people to nail together the house, and it can be built in less than a week. At first, when more standard construction materials are less available, the structures can be put together with the help of temporary supplies like tarps to keep the inside dry until materials from the surrounding area can make a more solid roof.

As time passes, pallets can be fitted with add-ons like insulation or plywood for the interiors(this can all be done prior to shipping as well), and stucco and plaster or roofing tiles for the exterior, if/when the materials become available. Due to the flexibility of the design, each occupant can build a shelter that fits their specific needs.
Though the Pallet House was originally conceived as a temporary transitional shelter for refugees making their way back to Kosovo, and has since been used to house people uprooted by natural disasters, famines and wars, I-Beam has widened the scope of the Pallet House to include a much bigger population by using the module as a pre-fab solution to affordable housing everywhere.

An estimated one billion people live in substandard housing, and I-Beam believes that the Shipping Pallet Houses could help to provide better conditions for people in need around the world.

The Shipping Pallet Houses have already turned many heads for their innovative take on temporary housing, and they took home the Architecture for Humanity Award in 1999. I-Beam has built Pallet structures in New York, Indiana, and the Architecture Triennial in Milan and have been active recently in Haiti and Pakistan.

Images & video: Samantha Perry/I-Beam Designs

The shipping pallet houses may work in a pinch but they don’t appear to be something more that just a temporary residence.  If you’re thinking of putting together something a little more permanent and structurally sound you might want to consider a shipping container house.  I’ve seen some shipping container houses that look like just that… a shipping container.  But I’ve fond some plans on how to put together an awesome shipping container house for just a fraction of the cost of a normal stick built home.  You can check them out here.

Shipping Pallet Houses

You Can’t Trust the News – Editing Reality

you can't trust the newsWith the availability of this new technology you can’t trust the news unless you experienced the event first hand. At the very least, you will begin to take it with a grain of salt after seeing the video below. “Seeing is believing” has been the unshakable mantra for the past century of highly exploited news and media – but now there is clear reason to question all of that. Not only do TV stations frame and carefully edit what they show viewers, who may or may not have any idea of the context for the event, but they can now warp reality in real time.

How important are the facial expressions and the way the leaders carry themselves on the global stage? And what if the media could skew that and make somebody – say Putin – look ridiculous instead. Could you live “dub” an important speech, or change the chilling face of an accused killer so that the world assumed his guilt (even if he wasn’t)? There are endless possibilities, and we can only hope that ethics and morality survive, and that the media still want to earn the trust of the public. But the stake are high, and there are reasons to suspect that many news events are highly manipulated, scripted and, well, faked. But just how fake… how far would they really go, and can you spot the difference?

You can’t trust the news – New Tech Shows “Reality” Edited in Real Time

you can't trust the news

Talk about wag the dog. I’m not even sure what to write for a description of the video you are about to watch.

So-called “reality” can be edited in real-time.

It’s the matrix.

The project is a joint effort in progress between Stanford, the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. According to the project’s abstract, via Stanford University:

you can't trust the news

Via Stanford University

We present a novel approach for real-time facial reenactment of a monocular target video sequence (e.g., Youtube video). The source sequence is also a monocular video stream, captured live with a commodity webcam. Our goal is to animate the facial expressions of the target video by a source actor and re-render the manipulated output video in a photo-realistic fashion. To this end, we first address the under-constrained problem of facial identity recovery from monocular video by non-rigid model-based bundling. At run time, we track facial expressions of both source and target video using a dense photometric consistency measure. Reenactment is then achieved by fast and efficient deformation transfer between source and target. The mouth interior that best matches the re-targeted expression is retrieved from the target sequence and warped to produce an accurate fit. Finally, we convincingly re-render the synthesized target face on top of the corresponding video stream such that it seamlessly blends with the real-world illumination.We demonstrate our method in a live setup, where Youtube videos are reenacted in real time.

(More info on this project via Stanford’s website here.)

While it may not be “pixel-perfect” YET, Tech Crunch’s response is the same thing on everyone’s mind after watching the original video (which is well on its way to a million views even though it’s only been up for a short time):

Even in the relatively low-res clips we’re shown, there’s an uncanny valley effect of something being not quite right. But hot damn is it impressive (and, well, more than a little spooky) even in this early stage.

Why spooky? Technology like this will serve to make video less inherently believable. The video’s use of politicians as the editing target is pretty self-aware. In that regard, political hoaxes will hit a lot harder when it’s a video instead of a ‘shopped picture being forwarded around.

Yeah, nothing about this is comforting. But also, how long has this technology really been available? We all know that whatever technology the general population is being shown currently exists, the military-industrial complex is likely decades ahead of it.

In the original video’s comments section, scores of people pointed out the dangers of this technology in the Orwellian nightmare we currently find ourselves living in. One person said it should be stopped because of a scary potential for misuse, to which someone else replied,“Potential for misuse? I can’t think of a reason you’d want this technology in the first place besides abusing it.”


If government use of propaganda against US citizens has now been legalized (and it has)…

If video of a world leader giving a speech can be hijacked and edited in real-time, complete with, say, a full soundboard created by government software that can take ten minutes of a person talking and match the speech patterns to make convincing audio of a person saying anything they want him to

And if drills can look as real as the real thing… Can you trust anything you see on “the news”?  The answer is simple:  You can’t trust the news anymore.  They certainly haven’t done anything to earn our trust.

And if seeing and hearing aren’t believing…  you can’t trust the news unless you experience it first hand.  

How virtual has our reality already become before virtual reality even goes global?

This article and video about why you can’t trust the news were produced by Aaron and Melissa Dykes at Truth Stream Media and SHTF Plan

Harvesting Water for Survival – DIY Rain Barrel

The rule of threes for survival state that in any extreme situation you cannot survive for more than: 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food.  Harvesting water for survival is a skill that every prepper should have.

Harvesting Water for Survival

How Much Water Do You Need?

Three days without water isn’t a long time and I think water is something many of us take for granted.  Ready.gov recommends storing “…at least one gallon of water per person for three days. A normally active person needs about three quarters of a gallon of fluid daily, from water and other beverages. However, individual needs vary, depending on age, health, physical condition, activity, diet and climate.

“To determine your water needs, take the following into account:

  • One gallon of water per person per day, for drinking and sanitation.
  • Children, nursing mothers and sick people may need more water.
  • A medical emergency might require additional water.
  • If you live in a warm weather climate more water may be necessary. In very hot temperatures, water needs can double.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person.”

Harvesting Water for Survival is Important

Having some water in storage is a good idea but it’s very important to have a source of water for you and your family so I’ve found a great article that walks you through how to make your own rain barrel for less than $100.  The following is reposted from familyhandyman.com.

This DIY rain barrel costs less than $100 and works just as well as the expensive one you can buy. Get complete how-to instructions and start saving water with the next rainfall.

Harvesting Water for Survival

Install a large valve to quickly fill watering cans and a smaller valve for a garden hose. Secure the valves to the cross brace with J-brackets.

It’s pretty easy to build your own rain barrels from plastic drums or trash cans. Search online for “bottles” or “containers” to find an “open head” plastic 55-gallon drum with a cover (about $60). Or find a used barrel by talking to car wash managers (they buy soap and wax by the barrel). If you can’t find a container you like, buy a large, heavy-duty garbage can (about $35) at a home center. All the other plumbing parts will add up to about $40.

Place the drum near a downspout, drill a hole in the side near the bottom and screw in a drain valve. That’s an OK installation if you plan to run a soaker hose to your garden. But if you want to use a wand or a spray nozzle, you’ll need to elevate the barrel on a stand for more water pressure. Water is heavy (55 gallons weighs 440 lbs.), so use 4×4 treated lumber for the legs and secure everything with construction screws or stainless steel lags. But don’t place the stand on soft ground. You could kill somebody if the rig toppled over. If you have large gardens and want to store more water, double-size the stand and add a second barrel.

Harvesting Water for Survival

Use a 2-in. male threaded electrical (gray PVC) conduit adapter and a 2-in. female threaded conduit adapter to make a watertight hole from which the rainwater can flow.

Cut holes in the bottoms of the barrels with a 2-1/4-in. hole saw. Then screw in a 2-in. male threaded electrical (gray PVC) conduit adapter (electrical adapters aren’t tapered like plumbing adapters, so you can tighten them down all the way). Squirt a thin bead of silicone caulk around the opening and screw on a threaded electrical PVC coupler to cinch the barrel between the two fittings (see Figure A). Next, glue together sections of 2-in. PVC pipe, unions (to make winter disassembly easier), reducers and valves. As long as you’re at it, install an overflow pipe so you can direct the excess where you want it.

Finally, cut a hole in one of the covers and mount a screen to filter out leaves and debris. Then just wait for the next big rain.

Harvesting Water for Survival

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

Cordless drill
Hole saw, 2-1/4 in

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

55-gal. barrel with lid
4×4 treated lumber and construction screws or stainless steel lags, if you build a stand to elevate the rain barrel(s)
2-in. male threaded electrical (gray PVC) conduit adapter
2-in. female threaded electrical (gray PVC) conduit adapter
Silicone caulk
Threaded electrical PVC coupler
Sections of 2-in. PVC pipe
Unions reducers and valves

Note:  Remember that when harvesting water for survival the water collected and stored should still be purified before human consumption to avoid getting sick.  First of all you could use some water preserver that is easily found online.  Boiling the water to kill any bacteria, such as Giardia, that can cause digestive issues is recommended before consumption.  Alternatively, when harvesting water for survival situations it isn’t possible to boil the water so adding 2-4 drops of bleach per 1 quart of water will sufficiently purify the water.

Now is more important than ever

Watch this informative video now to see why now is more important than ever for you to implement a system to start harvesting water for survival for the sake of you and your family and what you can do about it.  It will show you how you can easily build a system to automatically harvest water even in times of drought!

Harvesting Water for Survival

There isn’t worse feeling in the world than knowing that you are unable to provide something as essential as water for your loved ones.

Raised Bed Potato Gardening for Small Spaces

Do you think that just because you don’t have any space that you can’t grow your own food?  Think again.  There are ways to grow your own vegetables without having the luxury of a huge back yard.  Introducing raised bed potato gardening!

The following article which was sourced from 3 different places was posted originally by tipnut. It discusses raised bed potato gardening, a really clever way to grow potatoes vertically, in layers.

Raised Bed Potato GardeningFirst, there’s this article from The Seattle Times: It’s Not Idaho, But You Still Can Grow Potatoes:

The potatoes are planted inside the box, the first row of boards is installed and the dirt or mulch can now be added to cover the seed potatoes. As the plant grows, more boards and dirt will be added.

You plant in one bottom layer, boarding up the sides of each layer and adding dirt as you go higher (you wait until the plants have grown a bit before adding a new layer). While new potatoes are growing in the top layers, remove the boards from the first layer at the bottom to carefully dig out any that are ready for harvesting. Fill the dirt back in and board up the box again. You move up the layers and harvest as they are ready. I imagine the new potatoes in the first couple bottom layers would be somewhat awkward to get at but as you move higher–not so bad.

I traced the information provided in the article to Irish Eyes Garden Seeds, they also advise you can skip the box and try growing them in a barrel or wire cage instead.

In another article on The Seattle Times, which has since been removed, discussed an attempt using this box method of raised bed potato gardening, he added this tip for a better yield:

Greg from Irish-Eyes Garden City Seeds let me know that Yukon Golds, and all early varieties set fruit once and do not do well in towers. You only get potatoes in the bottom 6 inches, which is what I got. Late season alternatives to yukon gold are Yellow Fin and Binjte.

Bonus! For a handy project sheet, Irish Eyes had a nice image file detailing the steps:

Raised Bed Potato Gardening

Imagine growing all those potatoes in a just a few square feet–and how drastically reduced the weeding job will be! So Clever.

Reader Update: Here’s some info sent in by Christine who made a bin using wood pallets:

Last weekend, I was inspired by the Tip Nut potato bin – grow 100 lbs in 4 square feet. As nice as it looked, it seemed to be very complicated, especially unscrewing slats. Being a “just do it” kind of person, I asked my husband to build me one using pallets — which are free. He picked some up, but I realized that they were enormous, so he cut them in half and made side by side compost / potato growing bins.

The Tip Nut plan called for unscrewing the bottom portions to get the grown potatoes out. Rod attached pieces of wood to hold the front pallet in place and to allow you to slide it up like a window. I took books of hay to stuff in the openings of the potato bin so the dirt wouldn’t fall out. We’ll see how it does.

Here’s a photo:

Raised Bed Potato Gardening

Unfortunately we placed it up against our neighbor’s fence. On the other side is their dog, who our Puggle Feeney loves to visit. He is always trying to dig under the fence. With the bins in place over his digging spot, the poor guy jumped into the compost bin and got stuck!

Christine’s Update: After having it in place for a couple of weeks, I discovered that the local cats think it makes a fine litter box, so I’ve added a frame on the top with chicken wire to keep them out, but allow the sunlight and water in. See her page here for lots more info and tips:Food Security 2009.

Raised Bed Potato GardeningUpdate: Reed Screening Towers

Here’s another project using different materials but grown with the same basic idea. These are made with reed screening wrapped around tomato cages (to give them shape) and then secured to the ground with rebar stakes.

To get started, a single layer of seed potatoes are planted, a few inches of compost and rice straw is added and then as the vines grow taller, they are topped off with more rice straw for the tubers to grow in (no more soil is added).

At the end of the season, remove the bamboo screening and watch the potatoes tumble out!

Raised Bed Potato GardeningRaised Bed Potato Gardening

I have also seen this done with a stack of old tires.  The higher the potato plants grow the more tires can be stacked on top.

For more amazing information on some natureal ways to easily grow your own healthy vegetables in very limited spaces (and even indoors!) check out this video.

I’d love to hear about any of your attempts at growing potatoes vertically and see pictures if you have them.  So, drop me a line in the comments section below to let us know about your experience with this method!

Make a Generator from a Lawn Mower Engine

In a survival situation it’s important to know how to use the resources that you have because it’s likely you either won’t be able to find the things that you want or you won’t be able to purchase them.  With that in mind, the following is a tutorial on how to make a generator from a lawn mower engine, which is something you probably have in your back yard already!

Thanks to the guys at theepicenter.com for this tutorial on how to make a generator.

The Parts Needed to Make a Generator From a Lawn Mower

  1. The motor 

Make a generatorThe generator project will require a vertical shaft gas engine from a lawn mower. The typical lawn mower engine will be 3 to 5 horse power and will have a 7/8″ shaft, with a 3/16″ key way and a threaded hole in the bottom of the shaft. Most of these engines have either 3 or 4 bolts holding them down to the existing lawn mower base.

2.  The Alternator

 Make a generatorA GM 10SI or 12SI style automotive alternator.

The alternator will fall into one of three categories:

A) External voltage regulator type.This type of alternator does not have an internal regulator and must have one connected externally to control the alternator field intensity and thus the output voltage and current of the alternator. The disadvantage in using this type of alternator is that connection is a bit more complicated and the regulator is an added component that must be mounted and connected properly. This type of alternator is typically less expensive than the other options shown below, but like the model with an internal regulator, it too requires an external on / off switch or the alternator and regulator pair can discharge batteries when it is not charging and the switch is left on.
B) Single wire connection type with internal regulator.The single wire connection type alternator automatically starts producing output power when the RPM of the input shaft reaches a minimum speed. And, when the RPM drops below a preset speed the output stops. A big advantage is that it does not require a switch to isolate the alternator from the battery source to keep the alternator from draining the battery when not in use. The disadvantage in using this type of alternator is that the alternator will start to charge the batteries as soon as the minimum speed is reached, and will place a load on the engine as soon as the minimum RPM is achieved. In some cases, you might need to throttle through this minimum RPM range to insure that the motor does not bog down at low RPM when the alternator begins to produce power. Another disadvantage is that these alternators are more expensive than other options, but it provides a very simple connection method.
C) Internal regulator type with external control switch.Another option is to use the type we used on our last project. This alternator has an internal voltage regulator but requires an external switch to start or stop power production. The advantage in using this model is that the alternator can be switched off while the motor is still running and power output stops. This aids in connecting and disconnecting batteries or other loads.
One note in the Single wire connection type with internal regulator:

We found that the single wire configuration is not ideal for this application. Because the lawn mower engine mentioned above doesn’t have much throttle adjustment, if a single wire configuration is used with a 2 1/2 inch pulley on the motor the alternator doesn’t kick in without manually moving the throttle butterfly to a higher setting and then releasing. This problem might be eliminated by using a 3″ pulley. However, a single wire configuration can be used on our last project using a horizontal shaft engine. The problem we have right now, is that we don’t have all the answers yet for this configuration. Feel free to experiment, but with the motor we used and the pulley we used, it wasn’t convent in that you had to reach under the carburetor to throttle up manually to start generation.

3.  Electrical Wires

Make a generatorA positive and a negative car battery cable is needed, as well as an alternator connector and associated wires. The alternator wires are not needed if a single wire alternator with built in regulator is used.



4.  An “A” Style Industrial V Belt

Make a generator

This V-Belt transfers power from the pulley (which will be mounted) on the motor to the pulley on the alternator. Various belt lengths can be used if your mounting system provides for several inches of belt length adjustment. Keep in mind that the belt length should be kept to a minimum to reduce belt slap and associated wear.

We have found that the Automotive V-belt used on a standard alternator is not compatible with the industrial “A” size belt that mates with all pulleys you will find for the motor. However, if you use an industrial “A” style V-belt, it will provide an exact fit for the motor and an “OK” fit for the alternator. Replacing the pulley on the alternator to match the pulley on the motor is an option (a more expensive option) but would be the ideal solution.

Since the motor is the source of the toque, and after looking at the wear pattern of both automotive and “A” belts used in this configuration, we feel the “A” belt (which matches the motor pulley) is the better choice, and modifying the alternator by replacing the pulley is not required for most applications.

Remember that an automotive belt will work in a pinch if you can’t find an “A” belt for this project. Just plan to buy the most expensive V belt you can find. Price matters! An inexpensive automotive belt usually doesn’t have any nylon cords in the center, only on the outside of edge of the belt, and since the angle of the belt (mainly the inside area) doesn’t match the “A” size pulley on the motor, excessive wear of the belt can result. Be sure to keep a spare around after you determine the correct size.

5.  Cast Iron Pulley


The motor pulley needs to be high quality cast iron. The mass of a cast iron pulley tends to act as a flywheel, taking the place of the mass of the lawn mower blade. Remember that most lawn mower engines have a very light aluminum fly wheel and use the steel blade as part of the effective fly wheel mass. The added weight of the cast iron pulley (compared to the mass of an aluminum pulley) helps the engine idle smoothly and helps keep belt slap to a minimum.

Full discussion of the pulley can be found below.

6.  The Mounting Bracket

Make a generator

The mounting bracket is the most complicated part of the project. We custom designed and manufactured one out of 1/8″ steel and they are available for purchase at a very cost effective price! With this bracket the project comes together in a snap, and eliminates many hours of frustration.

The great thing about this bracket is that it’s Universal in design and allows use of a wide variety of engine manufacturers and engine models. Our first prototype (shown above) was made with a 3.5 HP Briggs and Stratton engine, but we have since built one with a 3.75 HP Tecumseh, and another version with a 5 HP Tecumseh .

It not only eliminates hours of time figuring out the bolt pattern of your motor, but also eliminates the trial and error guess work in finding a belt length that will work once the motor and alternator are mounted. Additionally, this bracket can be bolted down to a simple base of your own design and the rest of the work is done!

Further discussion of the mounting bracket can be found below.

Putting It All Together

Make a generator from a lawn mower

The first step to make a generator is to remove the motor from the lawn mower base. Typically, there are 3 or 4 bolts holding the motor to the base, but before you remove them, you will need to remove the mower blade and the shaft coupler that holds the blade on the motor shaft. Getting the blade and the coupling off is a bit of a pain. Removing the blade is not nearly as difficult, but still requires a bit of ingenuity to figure out a way to “jam” the blade so it won’t rotate while you remove the bolt which holds it in place on the motor shaft.

We found that we had to use a “pulley puller”, to remove the shaft coupler after the mower blade was removed. A “pulley puller” which can be rented or purchased at most auto parts stores. Removing the coupler is difficult to impossible without use of this tool.

Make a generator from a lawn mowerYou will also find that it’s a bit of a pain to work under the mower to remove the blade, especially if there is still oil in the motor or gas in the tank. We found that some oil leaked when we tipped the motor over and the mower smoked like crazy for a few minutes when we started it. The ideal way to approach motor and blade removal is to elevate the mower on some type of platform and not to tip the motor at all. We ended up using a fork lift to hold the mower up in the air for the blade removal as shown in this photo.

Make a generator

The next hassle will be in finding the required pulley. Our research indicated that nearly all the motors used in vertical shaft lawn mowers have a 7/8″ shaft, and a 3/16″ or 1/4″ key way. However, horizontal shaft motors under about 7 HP use a 3/4″ shaft. The 3/4″ pulleys can be found at most hardware stores, but the 7/8″ pulleys are impossible to find. What we had to do was to set up an account with a company that supplies Heating and Air Conditioning Systems, Motors, Blowers and Components to be able to order the correct pulleys. We will be making the correct pulleys available for purchase to folks who can’t find them locally.

Another catch is that a 3/16″ key way is not standard on cast iron pulleys. What we found was that a 1/4″ key way is the norm because most high horse power AC motors use a 1/4″ size key way. A pulley with a 3/16″ key way is not typically available in a 7/8″ shaft diameter configuration. It is possible to use a pulley with a 1/4″ key way on a motor that has a 3/16″ key way provided that the set screw is on top of the key on the motor shaft and NOT on the shaft itself. If close attention is paid to this detail the pulley will stay in place without vibrating or loosening.

As expected, the biggest problem is figuring out how to bolt everything together. In our first attempts, we tried to figure out an easy way to reuse the lawn mower base, and somehow build something that could be attached simply to the base (so that a belt could be run to the pulley on the alternator). That proved to be an impossible task for various reasons. All the bases we looked at on the most common mowers were constructed a bit differently, so whatever would work on one mower would not fit the base for another brand of mower. In some cases, (especially with side discharge mowers) a pulley could actually be run out the discharge shoot. Some mowers did not have the required clearance, or had extra sheet metal that directed the cut grass in such a way that the metal would need to be cut in order to be able to run the belt out from under the mower.

Make a generatorSo, what we ended up concentrating on was coming up with a universal base that just about any motor could fit on. Yes, there were some complications there, too. Some motors have the head on one side and the tank on the other and some have them set 90 degrees apart. So, our base had to allow for rotating the motor by about 30 degrees, and allow positioning the motor in any of the 90 degree quadrants. That allowed the motor to be in any position with clearance for the alternator and a method for hooking up the belt. We also wanted to allow the alternator position to be adjusted allowing for several belt sizes to be used. The bracket also has an integral belt adjustment slot which allows the alternator position to be adjusted, which also serves to tension the belt.

Now, lets talk a bit about lawn mower engines

Make a generator

The lawn mower we used had a 3.5 Horse power Briggs and Stratton 4 stroke gas engine. That particular model motor has a safety shut off lever on the lawn mower handle which has a cable attached to the motor, and the attached cable must be activated to disengage the motor shut off break and to allow spark to reach the spark plug. What we decided to do was to cut the cable off and deactivate the motor shut off feature. If your motor has this feature, you will need to spend some time looking at the cable and the levers on the motor to figure out a way to deactivate or preserve the feature. In either case the motor will not start unless something is done about the cable and levers.

We found that there was a small hole in one of the lever plates on the side of the engine, and after pulling the cable, a small nail can be inserted into the lever to keep the mechanism from retracting and shutting off the motor. Like I said, it will take a bit of time to figure out how your motor shut off mechanism works (if there is one installed on your motor).

Most of the lawn mower engines you will find have a 7/8″ shaft and a 3/16″ key way cut into the shaft. They also have a threaded hole in the bottom of the shaft.

The Big Issue: Pulley Size and Type


The vertical shaft motor from this lawn mower would not throttle as high as the same horse power motor we used in the horizontal shaft generator project. That motor was from a lawn edger, and could be set to a higher maximum speed. After talking with some lawn mower experts, we were told that the throttle mechanism on the lawn mower has the maximum throttle set to be about 75% of the maximum butter fly valve position of the carburetor. We were told that the lawn mower manufacturers set the throttle mechanism that way so there is extra throttle capability for when the mower hits some heavy or wet grass. The motor could then self throttle to a higher setting if necessary, then throttle back to the pre set throttle setting.

The reason we mention all this is that the pulley size we used on the horizontal shaft motor project would not work on this project. In testing this motor with the throttle set as high as possible without modifying the carburetor, and using a 4 3/4″ pulley on the motor (similar size to the one on our other project), the motor would bog down and die with a 39 Amp load on the alternator. Without modifying the carburetor, we couldn’t keep the thing running when the load was switched in with the large size pulley.

What size pulley works without modifying the carburetor or throttle linkage?

We had excellent results with a 2 1/2″ pulley. It allowed the alternator to output voltage at even half or lower throttle settings at a slightly lower output current. So, with less than full demand, the motor speed could be reduced without killing the motor, and providing fuel savings.

Testing notes:

The largest load we had available during testing drew 39 Amps with the alternator output of 14.4 volts or about 560 Watts. Testing was conducted with an ambient outside temperature of 82 Degrees. We ran the load for 2 hours and the case temperature of the alternator only reached 148 degrees.

Another thing to note: Lawn mower engines have a rather small gas tank. We found that we could only run the generator for about an hour at a time with the standard gas tank without re-filling in use (which is not a good idea). We plan to continue using the standard tank, but other folks out there might want to figure out a way to attach a larger tank, or select a lawnmower with a large tank.

Mounting the Motor and Alternator Made Easy

Make a generator

Bottom View

Shown here is a bottom view of the bracket, motor, alternator and 2×4 base.

Mounting all this stuff is the tricky part of this project. But like last time, we designed and manufactured a bracket to make the task simple!

The bracket is made from 1/8″ steel and has provisions for mounting the motor and alternator, and additional holes for mounting the plate to a base of your own design.

What we did for the base was cut two 2×4’s the length of the bracket, and another 2×4 as a cross brace to be installed under the bracket at the bottom of the long 2×4’s. Imagine the base as being an H. The two long pieces were installed so that the base was 4 inches in height, and the cross brace was installed on the two length wise 2×4’s at the bottom, and on it’s side so that it stood 2″ in height. That provided the necessary clearance for the belt and provided stabilization of the two side pieces. A further improvement would be to install two more short 2×4 at each end of the assembly to completely box in the rotating pulleys (for added safety).

Make a generator

Side View

As in the last project, we elected to mount the alternator in such a manor that it actually runs backwards. This simplifies the hook up and it still works. Many astute readers questioned the alternators rotation direction and what affect would be seen if the alternator fan (which is attached to the alternator input shaft) also runs backwards. Well, the fan still functions, but instead of pulling air through the back and exhausting through the front, the air flow direction is reversed. Also, the fan blades are not as efficient when running backwards so air flow is reduced slightly. But, remember that like in the other project, the alternator is mounted to a steel plate which also serves as a large heat sink. And from the two hour test run at 39 Amp output, the alternator case temperature was only 148 degrees (ambient temperature was 80 degrees). So, I guess what I’m saying is that it really doesn’t matter. These alternators normally spend most of their lives under the hood of cars stuck in traffic jams on hot days, and see temperatures much higher than this.

Now, getting back to the mounting issues: The lawn mower engine has a longer shaft than the alternator, and if the pulley is installed in the ideal location on the motor shaft the two pulleys do not align. So, what we found on our project was that the alternator needs to be mounted flush on top of the bracket but the motor needs to be spaced 1″ above the mounting plate. This is easily carried out by using 1″ longer bolts, and 1″ long spacer tubes. Then the alignment of the pulleys is correct.

Take a look at the photo of the generator in operation charging a bank of three deep cycle marine batteries. A spacer tube is visible at the bottom of the motor, and provides the necessary height adjustment to keep the pulleys aligned. The pulley is also visible beneath the mounting plate. This motor had three mounting bolts, so three extension tubes were needed.

So What Can This Be Used For?

Make a generator

In its simplest form this is a high current DC charging system. With the addition of a DC to AC power converter, it also becomes an AC generator system with battery back up.

This charging system can be used to recharge a battery bank which can be used later to power a DC to AC inverter for your household AC power needs like the 21″ TV as shown. Imagine being able to charge your batteries during the day, and then to be able to silently extract power at night for entertainment, lighting or cooking needs without disturbing your neighbors! This system can also be used in conjunction with other alternative energy system components like solar panels or wind generators as back up power for when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing!

Make a generator

The addition of a DC to AC power converter allows 120 Volt AC devices (like the television above) to be powered either from the lawn mower DC generator or by the batteries the system can charge. These converters are available in sizes from 140 Watts to 3,000 watts from our power related page.

DC to AC power converters are available here at TheEpicenter.com: DC to AC Power Converters

Wiring it Up

Make a generator

The wiring depends on which alternator you choose. All three alternator types are shown.

Do not wire the alternator unless you are sure about what type you are using. If you make a mistake in the selection of the alternator or wiring diagram you run a very high risk of damaging your battery, electronic devices, or worse yet causing personal injury! Consult a parts professional for additional information!

This tip is intended for educational purposes only. No guarantees are expressed or implied as to the accuracy of information presented here! Consult with an automotive wiring expert before attempting to carry out any wiring.

One final note:

If you are going to make a generator using an alternator that requires an external switch, you will need to turn off the switch prior to attempting to start the generator. If the switch is on, the generator will try to output voltage while you are pulling the starting cord on the motor. You will find that it will be nearly impossible to pull the cord! If the switch is off, then there is little to no resistance from the alternator. Once the motor is running, the switch can be set to the on position.


Step-by-Step Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

To be completely self sufficient it’s important to have a year round supply of food… not just a stockpile. One of the best ways to do this is to have a greenhouse where you can regulate the climate to suit whatever you are trying to grow.  Purchasing a greenhouse can be expensive so I’ve found some great step by step plans to build your own greenhouse including all of the tools and materials you’ll need to get the job done! (This walk-through is thanks to Ana White.)

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

Author (Ana White) Notes:
I have been dying to show you my Mother’s Day present.
For years and years and years, I’ve been wanting a greenhouse. Up here in Alaska, the only way you are going to eat cucumbers or tomatoes off the vine is to grow a greenhouse. Or steal from your Mom’s greenhouse.
But every year, every spring, we just have so much going on, the greenhouse never happens.
Next year, we say.
I thought next year would never come.
We were already saying next year this year.
So I tried something different
I said, what about tonight?

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

We started cutting boards at 4PM that night.
By that evening we had completed all of the wall framing.

I was so excited couldn’t stop myself from sharing a pic via instagram and twitter! Jaime from That’s My Letter also sent me a work apron that is just so beautiful I was afraid to use it!

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

That first night, we actually called it an early night!

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

The next morning, we got up and assembled the panels in the driveway.

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

We used roofing tin for the side panels.  It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to install and will last much longer than plywood.  And I just liked the look of it too.  I designed the plan so each side uses uncut 12 foot long panels to save time and minimize scrap waste.

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

The corners are trimmed in simple metal flashing.

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

For the greenhouse panels, we used the ribbing strips, but they aren’t entirely necessary.  We started the ribbing strips so that the corrugated panels would come up just perfect to…..

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

Wrap the top rib of the corrugated roofing!  It was a happy accident for us, but I hope if you build you will consider wrapping the corrugated plastic over the roofing – makes for a good seal!

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

All of the panels are pre-drilled

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

To prevent screws from splitting the plastic panels and wood.

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

We were surprised at how many screws we ended up using!!!  We used metal roofing screws.

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

Up to this point, we have not had to cut any panels!  The sides of this greenhouse plan are made a perfect 12 feet long so you can just buy 12 feet long panels and slap them up!

Of course, the greenhouse is also designed to use the widths of the panels, so no ripping panels down.

But on the gambrel ends, we will need to cut the panels to match the roof line.  We simply held the panels up in place and marked the cuts with a pen.  Then we used a chalkline to make perfect straight lines across ribs and cut with a circular saw as directed by the manufacturer.


Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

Grandpa Tim helped us out with this project.  We are very grateful for all his help and expertise.

The ends panels are screwed up without the ribbing strips.

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

We’ll be adding the flashing up to the outside corners as well.

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

And after years and years of waiting, within a matter of a few days, working on the greenhouse here and there, we had this!!!!

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

We choose the gambrel or barn style roof design because you can get more headroom inside while still having lots of room up top for greenhouse panels.

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

We love it!

And I wanted to get the plans to build your own greenhouse out to you as soon as possible so you can also build it!  Enjoy the plans!

The Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

Shopping List:

Materials for 32″ stud walls –

3 – 2×4 @ 10 feet long – use on back wall
5 – 2×4 @ 12 feet long – use on sides/ridgepole DO NOT CUT)
32 – 2×4 @ 8 feet long
11 – 12 foot long x 26″ wide standard corrugated plastic greenhouse panels
1 – 8 foot long x 26″ wide standard corrugated plastic greenhouse panel (use on door side)
3 – 12 foot long tin panels (use on sides and back)
1 – 8 foot long tin panel (use on front)
Tin screws
28 – 4′ long ribbing strips
L flashing (optional for the corners)
You’ll need either metal gussets for the trusses or to cut plywood ones from 1/2″ plywood. We used scrap plywood from the Momplex need about 1/2 a sheet.

3 inch screws

General Instructions:

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always pre-drill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!


Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

Dimensions are shown above.

Cut List:

Cut list is in plan at each step

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

Step 1:

2 – 2×4 @ 118 3/8”
6 – 2X4 @ 32”

NOTE: I made the studs 32″ long to conserve 2×4 boards. But this meant we had to rip our tin sheets down about 3″ because our overall side wall height ended up being 35″ and the tin was 38″ wide. You can alter the studs to avoid this problem or even make the studs 45″ tall if you choose to use 1/2 sheets of exterior plywood creating 48″ tall walls for a taller greenhouse.

We framed everything up with nails and a nail gun and glue. You can also use 3″ exterior screws.

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

Step 2 Instructions:

4 – 2X4 @ 144”
14 – 2X4 @ 32”

Same is true again of the stud lengths.

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

Step 3 Instructions:

4 – 2X4 @ 32”
4 – 2X4 @ 42 ½”
2 – 2X4 @ 81 ½”
1 – 2X4 @ 33 3/8”

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

Note: If you later the stud length, you will need to then alter the door framing studs to the exact difference.

Step 4 Instructions:

We actually put the tin on the side panels first to save some time and work. The panels are just screwed together as shown here.

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

Step 5 Instructions:


We layed the truss out on the garage floor and everything worked out perfectly. We used scrap 1/2″ plywood to create gussets but you can also buy metal gussets for the joints. Gussets are simply plywood pieces cut to cover joints and then screwed on with glue. We use 3-4 screws per board covered by the gusset per gusset, with normally gussets on each side of the joint.

Since we knew the end trusses would get the panels applied, we opted to only put gussets on the insides.

We attached the front truss to front wall with screws through undersides.

Plans to Build your Own Greenhouse

Step 6 Instructions:

1 – 2X4 @ 117 7/8” (BOTH ENDS CUT AT 22 1/2″ DEGREES, ENDS NOT PARALLEL)
1 – 2X4 @ 55 3/8 (TOP CUT TO DOGEARED POINT, 22 ½ DEGREES)

The back truss is built same as front. See next step for close up of the center cuts …


Step 7 Instructions:

This board was a little tricky to cut – practice first!


Step 8 Instructions:

1 – 2X4 @ 141”

NOTE: If you use gussets – we used 1/2″ plywood – this will affect your ridgepole length.

TIP: I learned this from the Ram. Take your ridgepole BEFORE attaching to trusses and set it on the side wall. Then just mark all of the side wall stud locations on the ridgepole. Do this on both sides of the ridgepole. Then screw the ridgepole up in place. It will be marked now for the common rafters!

The ridgepole actually sits down from the end truss peak about 1/4″. This is shown in the diagram as well.


Step 9 Instructions:


10 2X4 @ 47 1/4” (BOTH ENDS CUT AT 22 ½ DEGREES ENDS NOT
PARALLEL) – shorter rafters go up to meet the ridgepole.  I marked all shorter rafters to avoid confusion.

For the common rafters of this barn style greenhouse, we ended up using plywood gussets to save money. After cutting quite a few, I figured out how to cut gussets the super quick and easy way – got gusset cutting down to less than a minute each.

Going to apologize for the poor video – just wanted to show you quickly how to save some time and didn’t have time to call hair and makeup 🙂  had a greenhouse to build!

We put gussets on both sides of each rafter joint with glue and screws. We made all of the small trusses first on the ground, then it was just a matter of stacking them on the ridgepole and attaching to the studs. We used 8 screws per gusset.

Common rafters are installed flush to top of ridgepole and flush to outside of side walls. We had to “toenail” the screws in – meaning they are screwed in at an angle. We used glue and 3″ screws from both sides.


Step 10 Instructions:

The plan will get you through the framing. At this point, you could use plastic paper, lexan glass panels, you name it to seal the frame in. We used the corrugated plastic panels detailed earlier for installation.

IMPORTANT: If you do not use panels you will need some sort of lateral support to keep the greenhouse from swaying side to side. Try 12 foot long 2x4s.

Preparation Instructions:
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.

Final Thoughts

I hope you find these plans to build your own greenhouse useful!  Let me know in the comments section below how your project turns out!  Good luck!

72 Types Of Americans Considered “Potential Terrorists” In Official Government Documents

There are a wide variety of reasons that people are prepping.  Whether or not it’s the reason you are prepping one of the leading reasons is to be prepared for a government overstepping its bounds.  The following article was originally posted on thetruthwins.com back in August 2013 but it is just as relevant today as it was the day it was written.  There are a lot more Americans considered potential terrorists according to government documents than most of us are aware of.  Do you fit into one of these categories?  Keep reading…


Are you a conservative, a libertarian, a Christian or a gun owner? Are you opposed to abortion, globalism, Communism, illegal immigration, the United Nations or the New World Order? Do you believe in conspiracy theories, do you believe that we are living in the “end times” or do you ever visit alternative news websites (such as this one)? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are a “potential terrorist” according to official U.S. government documents.

Americans Considered Potential TerroristsAt one time, the term “terrorist” was used very narrowly. The government applied that label to people like Osama bin Laden and other Islamic jihadists. But now the Obama administration is removing all references to Islam from terror training materials, and instead the term “terrorist” is being applied to large groups of American citizens. And if you are a “terrorist”, that means that you have no rights and the government can treat you just like it treats the terrorists that are being held at Guantanamo Bay. So if you belong to a group of people that is now being referred to as “potential terrorists”, please don’t take it as a joke. The first step to persecuting any group of people is to demonize them. And right now large groups of peaceful, law-abiding citizens are being ruthlessly demonized.
Below is a list of 72 types of Americans considered “potential terrorists” and “extremists” in official U.S. government documents. To see the original source document for each point, just click on the link. As you can see, this list covers most of the country…

Americans Considered “Potential Terrorists”

1. Those that talk about “individual liberties”

2. Those that advocate for states’ rights

3. Those that want “to make the world a better place”

4. “The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule”

5. Those that are interested in “defeating the Communists”

6. Those that believe “that the interests of one’s own nation areseparate from the interests of other nations or the common interest of all nations”

7. Anyone that holds a “political ideology that considers the state to be unnecessary, harmful,or undesirable”

8. Anyone that possesses an “intolerance toward other religions”

9. Those that “take action to fight against the exploitation of theenvironment and/or animals”

10. “Anti-Gay”

11. “Anti-Immigrant”

12. “Anti-Muslim”

13. “The Patriot Movement”

14. “Opposition to equal rights for gays and lesbians”

15. Members of the Family Research Council

16. Members of the American Family Association

17. Those that believe that Mexico, Canada and the United States “are secretly planning to merge into a European Union-like entity that will be known as the ‘North American Union’”

18. Members of the American Border Patrol/American Patrol

19. Members of the Federation for American Immigration Reform

20. Members of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition

21. Members of the Christian Action Network

22. Anyone that is “opposed to the New World Order”

23. Anyone that is engaged in “conspiracy theorizing”

24. Anyone that is opposed to Agenda 21

25. Anyone that is concerned about FEMA camps

26. Anyone that “fears impending gun control or weapons confiscations”

27. The militia movement

28. The sovereign citizen movement

29. Those that “don’t think they should have to pay taxes”

30. Anyone that “complains about bias”

31. Anyone that “believes in government conspiracies to the point of paranoia”

32. Anyone that “is frustrated with mainstream ideologies”

33. Anyone that “visits extremist websites/blogs”

34. Anyone that “establishes website/blog to display extremist views”

35. Anyone that “attends rallies for extremist causes”

36. Anyone that “exhibits extreme religious intolerance”

37. Anyone that “is personally connected with a grievance”

38. Anyone that “suddenly acquires weapons”

39. Anyone that “organizes protests inspired by extremist ideology”

40. “Militia or unorganized militia”

41. “General right-wing extremist”

42. Citizens that have “bumper stickers” that are patriotic or anti-U.N.

43. Those that refer to an “Army of God”

44. Those that are “fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation)”

45. Those that are “anti-global”

46. Those that are “suspicious of centralized federal authority”

47. Those that are “reverent of individual liberty”

48. Those that “believe in conspiracy theories”

49. Those that have “a belief that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack”

50. Those that possess “a belief in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism”

51. Those that would “impose strict religious tenets or laws on society (fundamentalists)”

52. Those that would “insert religion into the political sphere”

53. Anyone that would “seek to politicize religion”

54. Those that have “supported political movements for autonomy”

55. Anyone that is “anti-abortion”

56. Anyone that is “anti-Catholic”

57. Anyone that is “anti-nuclear”

58. “Rightwing extremists”

59. “Returning veterans”

60. Those concerned about “illegal immigration”

61. Those that “believe in the right to bear arms”

62. Anyone that is engaged in “ammunition stockpiling”

63. Anyone that exhibits “fear of Communist regimes”

64. “Anti-abortion activists”

65. Those that are against illegal immigration

66. Those that talk about “the New World Order” in a “derogatory” manner

67. Those that have a negative view of the United Nations

68. Those that are opposed “to the collection of federal income taxes”

69. Those that supported former presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr

70. Those that display the Gadsden Flag (“Don’t Tread On Me”)

71. Those that believe in “end times” prophecies

72. Evangelical Christians

Americans Considered Potential TerroristsThe groups of people in the list above are considered “problems” that need to be dealt with. In some of the documents referenced above, members of the military are specifically warned not to have anything to do with such groups.

We are moving into a very dangerous time in American history. You can now be considered a “potential terrorist” just because of your religious or political beliefs. Free speech is becoming a thing of the past, and we are rapidly becoming an Orwellian society that is the exact opposite of what our founding fathers intended.

Please pray for the United States of America. We definitely need it.

About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth. His new thriller entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is available on Amazon.com

(This article was republished from the The Truth.)


Are You one of the Americans Considered Potential Terrorists?

It is definitely unnerving to think that the United States government could consider you a terrorist threat just because you hold to your ideals or because you visit web sites like this one.  That’s the world we are living in.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

How to Escape Illegal Restraints – Zip Ties, Handcuffs, Duct Tape, and Rope

Knowing how NOT to be a victim should be toward the top of your list of things to learn to be prepared for a crisis situation.  An intruder into your home has two options.  They either incapacitate you by physically harming or killing you or they restrain you.  Although it’s also important to learn self defense to avoid the first option I want to focus on what you can do should you find yourself in a position where someone has illegally restrained you and look at how to escape illegal restraints.  Now, I’m not not talking about restraints used by law enforcement.  We are strictly focusing on how to escape ILLEGAL restraints.

The following is a great article and video from ITS Tactical.  The video is kind of long, just over 41 minutes.  But it covers some great stuff including not only how to escape from zip ties but also from, legally purchased handcuffs, duct tape, and rope.

break-zip-tie-main“There are quite a few hasty methods of illegal restraint, and zip ties are a method that’s available to any would-be kidnapper.

“A few of the other methods seen are duct tape, rope and phone cord, but with a little education you’ll see that all of these methods can easily be defeated.

“There are two things you’ll need in any escape situation, and without these two things, nothing we’ll show you will work.

“Those two things are time and opportunity. You’ll have to first have the time to be able to put one of these escape methods into action and the opportunity to do so.

“Your captors are most likely not going to have the resources or the patience to keep eyes on you constantly, and when they don’t, it’s time to make your move.

How Zip Ties Work

“The best way to defeat any type of restraint is to first analyze how it works.

“Zip ties consist of a sturdy  Nylon tape that contains small teeth running lengthwise down one side, and a  ratchet with small teeth housed in a small open  case.

“The ratchet is molded to allow downward pressure to be placed upon it as the tape is threaded through the open case, then springing back up to position as the valleys of the tape align with the teeth of the ratchet, locking the zip tie.

“At this point further forward movement will continue to tighten the zip tie, and backwards movement will lock it.

“The particular zip ties we used in all our demonstrations were the most heavy-duty zip ties we could find at Lowes or Home Depot, the Zip Ties shown in the photo with a 175 lb. rating.

“We chose these because realistically if someone was determined to go out and buy zip ties to use to illegally restrain someone, they’d likely hit the local hardware store and find the toughest ones they could.

“To defeat zip ties, you can either completely break the zip ties, shim them, use a friction saw or with a little forward thinking just be able to slip right out of them.

Hand Positions

Hand Positions for How to Escape Illegal Restraints

“Now that we’ve gone over these four methods in detail in the videos, let’s talk briefly on how you’ll be bound, because it’s equally important as the method you choose to escape illegal restraints.

“For an exercise, so that we’re all on the same page, put both of your hands straight out. Now touch your wrists together. This will be called “wrists together, horizontal.” This position is the easiest to escape from by slipping out.

“Next rotate your wrists so your right hand turns clockwise, your left hand turns counterclockwise and your wrists touch. This will be called “wrists together, vertical.” This position is not preferred, but as shown on the breaking videos, can be defeated.

“Now, from the “wrists together, vertical” position, rotate your hands so the backs of them touch together. This will be called “wrists together, inboard.” This is the hardest position out of the four, but can still be defeated by breaking.

“The final way you could be bound is by crossing your hands at the wrists, making an X. This will be called “wrists together, crossed.” This position is a bit harder than the first for slipping out of, but it’s still possible.

Passive Victim

“The first thing you should always do in any restraint situation, is remain passive.

“Let your captor know that there’s no fight in you, that you’re scared and helpless. This will psychologically lead your captor to believe that you have no plans to try to escape, and thus make what we’re about to tell you easier.

“You want to make every effort to present your hands to your captor before they use force to restrain you. Essentially you’re presenting the wrist position of your choosing to them, hoping they’ll use it.”

Tools Used in the Video

The tools that were used in the video can be purchased from their website for $49.99.  But if you are looking to save a buck or two there is a Tactical Anti-Kidnapping watchband kit available on Amazon which includes most of the same tools for just $16.99. The kit contains the means to escape illegal restraints, zip ties, duct tape and rope. It includes a large ranger band to hold your tools covertly on your watchband, a key, a scalpel blade, and Kevlar saw cord. The kit is almost invisible on the watchband and is therefore covertly hidden in place and yet easily accessible if you are restrained.   81PzLm7JAFL._SL1500_

Thanks to ITS Tactical for this great information.  You can find more of their informative videos on their YouTube channel here or on their website here.

Please leave a comment in the comments section below to let me know your thoughts!

Amish Log Cabin Kits for under $20,000

cabin-in-the-woodsEver think of getting off the grid?  Many of us think of finding a little cabin in the woods where we can go to get away from the madness if the SHTF but for some reason or another we don’t pull the trigger.  It could be that buying your cabin in the woods that is off the grid comes with a heftier price tag than you are able to afford, especially with the economy in the condition that it is.  Here is an article from wideopencountry.com about a company out of Kentucky where you can buy a pre-built Amish Log Cabin that could be an option for you.

“Whether your dream cottage is nestled in the rolling hills of a countryside or hidden somewhere off the map in a secluded forest, nothing beats cozying up in a log cabin with friends or family after a long day of hiking, swimming, fishing or working.

Amish Log Cabin

“Now, thanks to a Kentucky-based cabin company and community of Amish builders, constructing your own log cabin may be easier than you think. A DIY kit to build this gorgeous cabin can be purchased for $16,350.

“The log cabin kits contain all the unassembled components that are necessary for the project. These materials often include easy to understand instructions, a foundation plan, wood, screws, caulking, windows, metal roofing, railings, doors, exterior stain and more.

Amish Log Cabin Interrior

“Built out of beautiful and sturdy pine, this rustic model features a centered front porch, two lofts and has lots of windows to let in natural sunlight. The cabin kits leave plenty of room for personalization; home decor, furniture and landscaping are entirely up to the builder.

560_DSCF06981-408x230“Amish log cabin owners who don’t feel like picking up their toolbox can opt to have their homes pre-built. Pre-assembled homes can also be placed on trailers and delivered directly to new buyers. Additional cabin add-ons available for purchase often include solar power, additional storage space, heating installation, extra bathrooms, functional dormers and more.”


If a modular Amish log cabin isn’t really what you had in mind you can always opt to build your own. You could consider building one on your own (or with a little help.)  Below is a resource that includes 15 different cabin and bunkhouse building plans.  Check them out and see if there are any that interest you.