Thursday, May 17, 2018

Grow and Raise Your Own Food Now So You Can Learn From Loss and Failure Now Rather Than Later


Growing your own food is not easy. Raising your own food is not easy. Many people think they can just put some seeds in the ground and they will have food. Many more people are easily intimidated by raising animals for meat. However, they think they could do it if they had to when a SHTF happens.

The fact is that the truth is very, very different.

I have been gardening for many years. For a lot of those years, I was a lazy gardener. I didn't want to do the work of improving my soil, providing critter control, or even weed the garden. My garden couldn't have sustained us for more than a few meals, much less preserve any of it.

It wasn't until I got into a preparedness, self-reliant state of mind that I started to take gardening more seriously. I started weeding it more religiously. I planted perennials that would provide food year after year. I started raising layer hens and put their used bedding and fertilizer on my garden. Talk about a huge improvement to my soil!

When we had critters eating my plants, we put up a fence. We moved plants around for a better layout in the garden. We learned about companion planting. Gardening was a lot more work than I planned on it being, but I enjoyed the fruits of our labor. Some things I was scared to try ended up working for the garden.

My garden started growing like crazy! Now I can eat, preserve what we don't eat, and still have enough to give away to friends and family. Do we still know everything about gardening? Oh no. Every year I learn something new. Some plants fail. Seeds don't come up (zucchini last year). Mistakes are made. Surprises happen.

I didn't pick broccoli at the right time last year and it bolted (and tasted awful!). We thought a plant that had come up was a summer squash, but it ended up being a weird pumpkin hybrid dropped by birds. That same plant took over my garden just like the pumpkins did the year before. My peas did not fill out the pods very well. The fall planting of the peas did not go well either - they were bitter tasting. I had my first decent crop of bell peppers last year after trying for years to get more than two peppers from six plants!

Gardening and raising livestock are skills. You need to learn how to do these things in order to learn these skills. Like learning any other skill, there is always a learning curve. You will think you know it all, but find out you have a lot more to learn. You can't expect to read all about gardening and raising livestock and be able to do it when you are desperate for food.

You have to learn to deal with loss. The very first batch of chicks I had, I lost nine chicks in the first three days because they needed a heat lamp. Since I had them inside the house, I thought I had the room warm enough. That wasn't good enough. After I replaced them, I kept a heat lamp on them for five weeks.

We had fifteen laying hens and lost them all to a mink getting in the chicken coop. In a different time, we would have been devastated to lose a vital protein source. We were sad to lose good eggs and the small income from selling them. We were devastated to lose chickens to a senseless killing because minks like to kill for the fun of it. We had lost a couple of hens to hawks before, but nothing like this.

Did we learn something new? Yes we did. While I knew minks existed, I had no idea the damage they could cause. I didn't know what they looked like or how small they were. We are now changing the fencing in the outdoor area of the coop to prevent this from happening again. We are now waiting for fifteen chicks to grow up and start laying. Since this is a new breed of laying hens for us, we are learning about them.

So gardening and raising chickens (and other livestock) is not as easy as it sounds. If this is part of your plan for preparedness, you need to practice these skills now. I have been practicing these skills for years and am still learning new things. Most gardeners will tell you that their gardens are not the same from year to year. Chickens are susceptible to predators and human mistakes. One year is not the same as another. Every batch of chicks I get is different from the last one. I am always learning something new.

If you are planning on your garden to provide all your food needs, you need to be gardening now and making that garden big enough to provide for all your food needs. You will learn by trial and error how much you need to plant, how big your garden needs to be, and what you need to plant for this garden to provide your food for a year or longer. Most people do not have enough area to plant this much so you also need to learn how to garden using trellises and poles. Again, this is something that should not be learned when you are in an emergency situation. It needs to be learned now.

If you are planning on raising chickens, ducks, pigs, goats, and more, you need to learn now. Raising livestock is never easy. You have to deal with loss and injuries. You have to deal with butchering your own livestock. You have to learn how to raise animals from babies to adults. If this is part of your prepping plans, you need to be working on this now. If you live in town, see if you can have these animals in town. Otherwise, befriend a local farmer and ask if you can have some livestock at their place. If you live on an acreage, get started! These are skills to be learned now, not later.

As with any other skill, the time to learn them is now, not when a crisis hits. With gardening and raising livestock, you could be facing starvation before you have any food if you didn't know how to raise it before. Having a stockpile of seeds is great, but learn how to grow those seeds now, not later. Learn how to raise your own food now, not later.

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Monday, May 14, 2018

Simple 72 Hour Kits: A Step-By-Step System for Busy Families Book Review


Simple 72 Hour Kits: A Step-By-Step System for Busy Families by Misty Marsh is a great book about building your 72 hour kit in a way that will be comprehensive and easy to do. Many people find putting together a kit like this intimidating (including me!), but she lays it out in such a way that will not overwhelm you. I like how she breaks down building your kit in simple weekly bites and lets you custom tailor it for your family. 

Misty gives great tips and ideas on how to build your kit for your family and specifically your kids. I know some of you do not have kids, but a lot of information for 72 hour kits are geared towards adults. She lets you know how they deal with young kids and how much she thinks they can carry in a backpack. Kids as young as six are capable of carrying a pack with clothes, shoes, food, and a few other necessities.

I also like how she lays out this kit for three full days. Your 72 hour kit should last you three days when you can either return home, buy more supplies, or find a shelter. She doesn't address weapons or ammo, just the necessary items for surviving three days if you need to evacuate for any reason. 

She is very honest and real about her kits. She admits to not being able to afford everything for their kits at once. She makes the 72 hour kit affordable with giving ideas for cheaper options as well as more expensive items. By breaking down this kit over 26 weeks, most people can afford to put together a 72 hour kit and do it with items they already own too.

I would highly recommend this book. Admittedly, we do not have 72 hour kits because we do not plan on having to leave home. However, I have rethought that idea. We do not know the reasons that we may have to leave so having these on hand would be better than not having them. 

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Do You Really Want To Tell People That You Are A Prepper?


We all know there is a lot of different kinds of preppers and in varying levels of preparedness. When it comes to OPSEC (operational security), I find there are three groups of preppers. There is nothing wrong with these three groups although, among preppers, there is some disagreements about how deep your OPSEC should go. However, you will find yourself falling into one of these three following groups.

The first group is all about OPSEC - they want no one to know they are a prepper and will certainly not talk about their preps in any way, shape, or form. No way, no how. Nuh-uh. More than likely, they will die and people will find their supplies in an underground bunker under their house. Top security and only on a "as need to know" basis for anyone in their lives except maybe their immediate family. Their immediate family is not allowed to talk about their preps either.

The second group likes to talk about prepping, but they don't talk about what they have or don't have. They love a good prepper discussion, but they like to talk in generals. They will steer the conversation away from specifics about their plans and supplies. They are very concerned about their OPSEC if you try to push them or want to see their stockpile. Other than that, they are pretty chill about talking prepping.

The third group lets their prepping flag fly. They will talk about prepping, show you everything they have, talk about their plans and future purchases. They will talk about it on television if they feel like it. They feel they have nothing to hide and want to encourage others to prep. They could talk prepping all day long, in specifics, and with great detail.

Of course these are generalizations about the three groups, but fairly accurate. Most preppers fall into one of these groups or may identify with being in between groups depending on the subject. Some preppers will talk about guns all day and show you what they have all while keeping very quiet about their food stockpiles. Vice versa, they may want to show you their food supplies and whatnot, but keep their security on the downlow.

While I think it is good for us preppers to educate people who want to prep and people who should be prepping, there is always a question in my mind about this. Do I really want to tell people I am a prepper? The answer would be yes and no.

Since I write this blog, you would assume that I want the whole world to know I am a prepper. However, that has not always been the case and, in some situations, I still don't want people to know I am a prepper. I dread thinking about who may come to my home in a SHTF. I am sometimes embarrassed by what I purchase for my stockpiles knowing well I don't want to be without it either. I am a little afraid of being mocked about not having enough or not having the right stuff.

I fall firmly into the second group. I may talk about what I buy from time to time, but I don't really want people to know exactly what I have. To me, that is my OPSEC. I could talk about prepping and self-reliance all day long. I love learning from others and telling others what I have learned. I love talking about what if situations. I love learning new skills and learning from other people. However, I just don't want to talk about what I have because I am not comfortable with it.

Your Operational Security is everything. You have to be comfortable with your level of security. Sometimes, it will be in your best interest to tell and show everyone you are a prepper. If you live in a neighborhood, you want to get your neighbors on board with prepping. The more people you have prepping and the closer you become as neighbors, the better your security will be in the case of a SHTF. You all can watch each other's back, provide for those that lost, and generally take care of each other while taking care of yourself. You can set up your own neighborhood watch and patrols. You can seal off the perimeter if you need to and set up your own prepping community.

However, you may live in a high crime area or the inner city. You may have moved away from family and friends. You may not know who you can trust or only have a handful of people to trust. In these situations, you may want to keep your prepping to yourself in the interest of OPSEC. People can't rob or loot you if they don't know what you have. You may need to hide your preps and keep your purchases on the downlow. You may need to look unassuming and quiet while being friendly. I would still establish a network with those you trust completely, but understand you will be prepping on your own.

Talking about prepping to others and telling them you are a prepper is a leap of faith. You don't want to be mocked so have a quick defense and answer as to why you are a prepper. You want to clear up any misconceptions about prepping because you want others to be prepping. The only two ways I know to motivate people to prep is by talking to them or letting them go through a crisis all on their own. Most people will have an eye opening experience that will make them think about prepping and want to start. However, I think as preppers we have a responsibility to plant the prepping seed and help others to become preppers too.

Whether or not you want to tell people you are a prepper is your business. You have the right to decide how much you want to tell people you prep or not. However, as preppers, I think we have a duty to educate new preppers and encourage people to prep. You can do this by teaching new skills or encourage people to follow FEMA's guidelines for emergency preparedness. The choice to divulge your prepping is your decision, but we should do all we can in the prepping community to encourage prepping.

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sewing & Mending Kit Essentials For Preppers (And Everyone Else!)


One of those basic skills everyone should know how to do is to sew and mend their own clothes. It is still a skill I am learning, but one that I feel strongly about improving when I can. We have saved a lot of shirts by sewing the seams back up so my kids could wear them again. I have sown more buttons on than I care to think about. 

However, those small little kits sold in the stores are good in a pinch, they will not cut for most sewing and mending. You need better kits than that! 


Since I still have the basic sewing kit that my mother put together when I got married, I thought I would ask her what should be in a sewing and mending kit! She has been sewing her own clothes, sewing items for other people, altering clothes, and mending clothes most of her life. She has altered prom dresses, made doll and Barbie clothes, and still does some of my hemming! She has got experience! 


I asked her what she would have in a sewing kit and a mending kit and what she couldn't live without. To her, these kits would probably be one and the same. You will notice some crossover between the two kits. I asked her what she would have if she had to be off-grid also. As you can see, she would use a lot of hand sewing and mending. There is nothing on this list that couldn't be done by hand. 


A basic sewing kit (with her recommendations) should include:
  • Needles – asst. lengths and needle eyes
  • Thread – asst. colors [or can do just the basic color hues]
  • Straight Pins – I like big headed long or quilters pins, but sometimes the smaller shorter ones are necessary
  • A pin box(es) or pin cushion or magnetic tray [easy to make – glue magnets to the bottom of a pretty saucer]
  • Safety pins – asst. sizes
  • Tape Measure – I prefer cloth, but plastic works – do not use metal
  • Small ruler – 6 inches’ long
  • Scissors – Pinking Shears; Material cutting – long blade; material cutting -standard; snips
  • Rotary Blade cutter and mats of various sizes
  • Seam Ripper – with a sturdy handle
  • Thimbles – to fit at least two fingers
  • Beeswax – to coat difficult thread
  • Material marking pencils or pens that wash out

A basic mending kit (with her recommendations) should include:
  • Needles – asst. lengths and needle eyes
  • Upholstery Needles – can get them by the packs that have long and curved needles
  • Thread – asst. colors [or can do just the basic color hues]
  • Heavy Duty Thread – Black and/or Brown
  • Straight Pins – I like big headed long or quilters pins, but sometimes the smaller shorter ones are necessary
  • A pin box(es) or pin cushion or magnetic tray [easy to make – glue magnets to the bottom of a pretty saucer]
  • Safety pins – asst. sizes
  • Small ruler – 6 inches’ long
  • Scissors – Material cutting - standard; snips
  • Seam Ripper – sturdy handle
  • Thimbles – to fit at least two fingers
  • Beeswax – to coat thread
  • Material marking pencils or pens that wash out
  • Patches – asst. sizes and material [can also use iron patches or tape
  • Buttons – asst. sizes and colors
  • Snaps – asst. sizes
  • Hook & Eyes – asst. sizes
  • Zippers – Jean size, Jacket size, skirt size
  • Repair parts for zippers

While sewing by hand is a great skill, most people would still like to have a sewing machine. Learning to use a sewing machine is a great skill to learn. I asked her about sewing machines in an off-grid or no power situation. If you are interested in a off-grid sewing machine, you need to find a treadle powered sewing machine (using foot powered pedal). Lehman's carries one that is a treadle powered modern sewing machine. (not an affiliate link) Most modern electric sewing machines cannot be converted to treadle power. Older sewing machines may be able to be converted to treadle power, but you will need to check on that. 


If you have these sewing and mending kits already, I would check them over for anything you might have missed or have used up. If you do not have anything for these kits, I would start at the top of these lists, find a good container to hold the items, and start buying! 


Thanks for reading,

Erica (with a lot of help from my mom!)




Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Could We Handle Food Rationing Now?


In WWI (somewhat) and WWII definitely, food rationing was one of the few ways that governments in the United States and Britain could keep the soldiers fed as well as its citizens. Everyone was expected to do their share and stay within the guidelines of food rationing. In addition to the food rationing, citizens were heavily encouraged to "do their part" in their duty to their country by growing food and making every bit count.

Citizens were encouraged to make do. They were encouraged to start their own Victory garden and supplement their own rations. They were encouraged to forage and eat food they weren't accustomed to thinking as food. Food waste was a sin and they were encouraged to stretch their rations as far as possible.

In Britain, food rationing started in 1939 and lasted well past the war. They were under food rationing until 1954 while Britain recovered from the war. Food rationing started in 1942 and ended in the United States in August 1945 except for sugar which lasted until 1947. Soviet Union was under food rationing from 1941 - 1947. Fruits and vegetables were not rationed, but could be restricted for lack of supply unless you grew your own. For the most part, governments found out that their citizens were healthier under the food rationing system than before and after WWII.

Could we handle food rationing now if and when it should happen again? That is hard to say. Many people would have a very difficult time under the food rationing system. Processed food is much more prevalent now than it was during the 1940s. People are not as creative with food as they could be. Cooking from scratch is becoming a lost art. People are also not nearly as patriotic as they were during the first two world wars.

People are used to having food when they want it and how they want it. People in general are much more impatient now. Imagine being told you can only have so much food and you have to make a choice about what food you can have. Plus, people were encouraged to eat less meat during the war and choose cheaper cuts of meat to eat. Meat is a hefty part of a lot of diets now. People would have to make some severe changes to their diet that probably would not go over well.

Obesity is also a problem in the United States and Britain now.  People are used to eating a lot of food, making not so good food choices, consuming a lot of sugar, and not moving enough to deal with the excess food. Food rationing would be a tough adjustment for those people who suffer from obesity. If you struggle with your weight, now would a good time to start making changes before they are forced upon you.

Processed food is much more accessible now than 70 plus years ago. We also have a lot of manmade ingredients that were not even available back then. Processed food and these ingredients have brought about the advent of cheaper and easier to eat food. This definitely cheapens the cost of food, but depending on why we are being rationed we may not have access to the ingredients.You might also see more processed food being rationed because the ability to make it might be restricted.

Creative cooking and cooking from scratch is almost a lost art. While many people during those two wars were well-acquainted with cooking from scratch, now many people rely on processed foods or premade meals from the grocery store. Eating out is also at an all-time high as parents find it easier to go through the drive through or stop at a sandwich shop to feed the family. Food rationing would be a shock to those that would have to learn how to meal plan, read recipes, and cook creatively for possibly the first time in their lives.

We have many, many more people in our population now than we did then. We have more mouths to feed and more people in the inner cities who do not have access to cooking, growing, or forging food. While poverty existed in the 1930s and 1940s, we have still have a widespread and bigger problem with poverty today. Many people struggle to eat every day and rely on soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and the kindness of people just to get fed. What would happen to those people and those places when food rationing happens? Would the government provide for those places and for the people who need them? Would churches and charities still be able to support them? There is no clear cut answer on this problem.

SNAP benefits would certainly be reduced to reflect rationing as money would not be as available for this program. We would need to divert money to our country's defense and military. While individual states control what SNAP benefits could be spent on, the benefit amount would certainly be reduced. With the advent of food rationing, I could also see the government controlling how they could be spent. Only certain foods would be covered and nothing that would seem like a "luxury" grocery item.

People are also not nearly as patriotic now as they were during those wars. The contempt for our government now is at an all-time high. Take away or reduce someone's SNAP benefits and you could have a riot on your hands. Tell people they need to do their "duty" for whatever situation brings on food rationing and reduce their consumption of food, not have certain products available, or be restricted on what they can buy - I cannot even imagine what would happen. We have lost our loyalty and ability to stand as Americans against the world and do what is necessary to come out on top. The reaction could be violent and intense.

But mostly, we have lost our ability to be self-reliant. I love seeing homesteading, prepping, and self-sufficiency on the rise because more people are interested in stockpiling food, growing and foraging for food, raising livestock, canning and preserving their own food. Those are the things that will help you survive food rationing. Doing what you can to supplement food rationing and stretching food as far as it can go will only serve you well. Managing food waste will be critical. Being self-reliant will be the only way to survive food rationing.

So, could we handle food rationing now? I think we can, but it will be a huge adjustment and will probably have some riots happen as some groups of people do not handle well being told what to do even if the cause is great. However, we all have adjustments we need to make, skills we need to learn and maintain, and preparations to make. We need to be ready just in case because the event that brings on food rationing here will not only affect us as a country, but globally as well.

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Related links:
Nine Ways to Beat The Food Rationing System When It Happens Again
Ten Lessons Learned About Food From The Depression and Wartime



Sunday, April 15, 2018

What Place Does Extreme Frugality Have In Your Life? How Can You Live In Extreme Frugality?


One of the ideas that have been on my mind has been extreme frugality. I am currently in saving money mode (which is normal) while trying to amp up my frugality game. I am back to using paper coupons, digital coupons, Ibotta, SavingStar, and much more. I'm paying a lot more attention to sale flyers and really deciding if I need any of that which, by the way, is in direct conflict with the stockpiler in me!

However, along with being frugal, I want to have a bigger impact on my savings and my spending game. To save more money and spend less money, you have to make more meaningful decisions about where your money goes and how your money is being spent. In short, you have to become more extreme in your frugal living game.

Frugal living has several aspects. One of the biggest aspects in frugal living and practicing extreme frugality is daily living. You have to examine every decision you make every day. Because being frugal is not just saving money on just big purchases, but being consciously aware of the money being spent on small daily purchases and how you are using the items you already have or purchased.

For whatever reason you decide to practice extreme frugality, you need to know and understand your reasons. Those reasons will be your motivation. The reasons can be many, but not limited to:


  • To rein in your spending
  • To pay down debt
  • To purchase a car or home
  • To save money for college
  • To save money for retirement
  • To save money for emergencies
  • To make a conscious effort to not spend money
  • To make frugality apart of your life

Whatever reason(s) you decide to practice extreme frugality, you need to know why you are doing it. Write down those reasons and place them everywhere you need to see them (office, computer, wallet, kitchen, etc.).

Now, that you know your reason for being extreme in your frugality, you need to find ways to tighten your spending. Some ideas to tighten up your frugal game could be:


  • Asking yourself to wait 3-7 days before purchasing anything besides necessities
  • Asking yourself if you have something already on hand before purchasing anything
  • Making a conscious decision to purchase used if at all possible
  • Eliminating food waste and examining if food scraps have another use
  • Using reusable items before purchasing single use items like water bottles and drinks
  • Only purchasing clothes when something needs to be replaced and can't be repaired
  • Using wash cloths and rags for paper towels, napkins, facial tissues, and more
  • Eliminating electrical use when possible and using solar or hand power instead
  • Walking or biking instead of driving the car
  • Making your own cleaners and beauty products
  • No more eating out and tightening the grocery budget
  • And so much more...

Every decision you make in a day should be examined for frugal reasons. There are always ways to save more money.

There may not be things you are willing to do to save more money. That is okay, but ask yourself why you are not willing to go that far to save money or not spend money. If saving/not spending money will hurt yourself or harm your family, then you shouldn't be doing it. There is a fine line in extreme frugality and withholding a critical necessity or service to not spend money is crossing the line.

Extreme frugality may bring on extreme cheapness. In some cases, being cheap is not a bad thing. People may view you are cheap just because you are not willing to buy something, go to a "party" for the sole purchase of buying something, or will not go out bar hopping. That is not being cheap, that is being frugal. Being cheap is only spending what you have to without thought to others or yourself and potential causing harm. Being cheap is also spending the least amount of money possible even though what you are purchasing is pure crap and you will be buying a new one when that item breaks easily. Being cheap is also taking advantage of situation to get something free or get the upper hand over someone just so you don't have to spend anything. I could go on about being cheap and sometimes it is a good thing, but not usually.

You want to be fair in your extreme frugality. You are doing this for yourself and your family. Being cheap is not always being fair to yourself or others. However, in your frugality, look for the free things you can get. Being extremely frugal does not mean your life is over with or that you can not have any fun. Take advantage of these free things:


  • Look for free things you can do or take home. 
  • Take advantage of your library for books and movies. 
  • Look for events around the area that do not cost you anything but maybe gas money. 
  • Look for things that people are giving away for free. 
  • Be a curb shopper, dumpster diver, free garage sale box looker. 
  • Be creative with what you have and what you find.
  • Have staycations often and keep them as frugal as possible.
  • Learn new skills with items you already have.
  • Don't say no when someone wants to treat you or your family.

You can still live a full life even though you have your nose to the extremely frugal grindstone. You can still have fun. You can still be involved in things you love, but just be conscious of what it is asking of you financially. Some groups and things are fun, but if you are constantly bleeding money to be in while trying to actively save money, something is wrong. You may have to let those things go for a time while you are being extremely frugal.

While being extremely frugal is very good thing, you still have some things to keep in mind. Being an extreme frugalister can make your mind think some funny things. Like you shouldn't throw anything away or give anything away. Like you should be a hoarder. That couldn't be farther from the truth! Yes, by all means, keep what you can use or think of a use for. However, if you have things you cannot use at all, you should give them away, sell them, donate them, or responsibly recycle them. Please don't be an episode of one of those shows! If you have stuff not serving you, do something with it. Your home shouldn't be a fire hazard because of the stuff you own.

Lastly, you have to be intentional in your extreme frugal game. You have be content with what you already have. If you are use to shopping a lot, you need to figure out why and stop. You have to be happy with what you have and not use shopping as stress relief. You have to be content with what you have and not be envious of what the neighbors have. You do not need to have the latest, greatest things. That is not being content. You need to be content with the ten year old car and a house without a pool.  You need to be happy with wearing out your clothes without buying this season's newest fashions. You need to be okay with bringing your own lunch and not going out to lunch every day or every week. You have to be content with what you have and your decisions to save money so you can achieve your goals. Otherwise, being extremely frugal will not be an easy process for you.

Extreme frugality is not for everyone, but everyone can do it. You can try it for a short amount of time or the rest of your life. You never know when you will need to be extremely frugal so being extremely frugal now will only serve you later. I would encourage you to give it a try and make it work for you!

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Other articles on frugality:
Are You Frugal? 
50 Ways You Are Not Being Frugal
Is It A Need Or A Want? What Should You Spend Your Money On?


Monday, April 9, 2018

Improving Soil with Chicken Litter


(In March, I wrote an article for the Rootsy Network where I am a guest contributor. I love what they are doing over there! If you are into homesteading, self-reliance, and do-it-yourself, you must check them out!)


Most homesteaders struggle to find ways to dispose of all the waste that livestock can produce. One of the easiest ways to dispose of the waste is to add it to the garden. Gardening is fun, but gardening is a lot less fun when you are fighting your soil to grow a decent crop. Most gardens need soil amendments. Used bedding from your chickens and other livestock is a great way to amend your soil.
Where I live, we have heavy black clay soil. It doesn’t till well, hold a lot of moisture in the spring and early summer dries out during the summer into a hard brick and can be impossible to weed unless it is wet. On top of that, this soil doesn’t seem to grow good produce because root crops are fighting for space in the soil and plants struggle to establish good roots. The garden needs a good dose of fertilizer every year. I also find this kind of soil needs some acidity to balance the alkaline although the alkaline doesn’t seem to affect the growth of most plants.
Thanks for reading,
Erica


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