Subsurface PVC Watering System

  • Posted on: 14 April 2022
  • By: David Trammel

I am not a big fan of drip irrigation.

It's hyped on just about every garden channel or website as "THE" perfect solution to getting water to your plants but for me, it seems expensive and does the job wrong. Putting water on the surface invites weeds and is wasteful, as wet soil evaporates the moisture you want into your plants. Wet moist soil on the surface is not what you want because it can breed mold, insects, and a variety of plant illnesses. And then, watering the top few inches of the soil only doesn't encourage the deep roots your plant really needs to survive hot weather or windy conditions.

A better idea would be to get the water down several inches before it touches the soil and roots. And to soak it well. Then, provide a period where the upper soil dries, forcing the roots to burrow downward seeking the left water. In this post, we will look at a way to do that. A way that is easy to make and the parts are cheap to buy.

Let's get started.

Inflection Points In The Long Descent

  • Posted on: 6 April 2022
  • By: David Trammel

Recently there has been a lot of worry in the prepper community, and society in general that things are about to turn radically worse (aka SHTF). The two-year global pandemic, now followed by the war in Ukraine, has upended the way we view the World and the way things normally happen. Periods of normality followed by a crisis, then another period of calm are normal but periods of larger crisis are predicted by John Michael Greer as something which happens with increasing frequency in a collapsing society. Greer likens it to a staircase, leading downward. Each crisis is a sudden drop, which is followed by a period of recovery.

This model of economic activity is something we here at Green Wizards believe will be the shape of things to come for us. Actually that it's been happening like this for some time now. At least since the 1970s when "The Limits of Growth" said, we had reached Peak Oil.

Are we though, at the start of a small downward drop, or is this "The Big One"? Before we make any assumptions, let's look at the basics of "Inflection Points" and Collapses.

Thoughts On "Slack"

  • Posted on: 30 March 2022
  • By: David Trammel

I was planning a second update on the basement build, but given Greer's hilarious Ecosophia post this week, "Slack! An Irreverent Proposal" I thought I would repost one of the Green Wizard's main blog posts, "Why Should I?" which talks about this subject as well. The original and its comments can be found HERE.


(She looks a little worried, doesn't she?)

"Why should I?"

Its a question I get a lot when I discuss Green Wizardry with people, especially those who are not readers of John Michael Greer's blogs.

"Why should I learn the things you teach at Green Wizards?"

The idea that Society as we know it has an end date and that people should prepare for an eventual decline of resources and technology isn't on many people's radar. That the way we do things now isn't working and in many cases is actually making things worse. That people should learn to be more sustainable in their day to day lives and especially learn now how to grow some of their own food, NOW when they have some extra breathing room to make mistakes and learn from their experiences before it becomes really important not to make mistakes. That people need to learn now how to do with less and get more from what they do have, for when it does get tight, then they can survive and even prosper when other don't.

Sometimes though, the people you are talking to have an inkling that something isn't right with Society. Then they grasp it.

"Ok! Excited Now! Zombie Apocalypse without Zombies going to happen soon..."

Growing Plants from Seed: What are Your Options?

  • Posted on: 23 March 2022
  • By: pygmycory

There are many reasons to grow plants from seed. The primary ones are lower prices, a wider choice of varieties than buying transplants, and more resilience to supply disruptions. It is also useful if you are growing a fall garden, if you want to save your own seed, or if you want to get ambitious and try breeding your own varieties.

Photo by pygmycory Tomato Seedling

I have been growing plants from seed every year since 2011. I also grew up around and involved with various family members’ gardening habits. I know some of you have been growing plants from seed longer than I have been alive, and will know stuff I don’t, or have things you want to add. Please add your knowledge and experience in the comments: they are valued!

The main ways to start seeds are direct sowing, starting seeds indoors in pots or trays, or chitting them and then transferring them outdoors. No matter what method you choose, don’t forget to water, make sure the seedlings have plenty of light and make sure you feed them.

Update On The Basement

  • Posted on: 15 March 2022
  • By: David Trammel

(We're back on a weekly posting schedule. I've been helping move an elder family member to another state, which is the reason for my lack of blog posts. The laptop I took with me decided to be a bitch about my files. I had to wait until I got home to access them.)

Time to update everyone on my progress in the basement. It's really coming along. Just to familiarize everyone, this is the first phase floor plan.

Avian Flu Outbreak - Information

  • Posted on: 24 February 2022
  • By: David Trammel

If you do not know, there is currently an outbreak of Avian Flu happening in several countries, including the United States. Infections in New York, Michigan, Delaware, Maine, North Carolina, Florida and Kentucky have been reported. It is safe to assume the entire East Coast and Midwest is at risk.

Particularly troubling, the strain is the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) variant which can more easily be transmitted in birds. Currently the risk to humans or pets is low.

CDC Current Avian Flu Summary
USDA Summary of Current Reported Infections

Mending and Upcycling Wool Socks

  • Posted on: 9 February 2022
  • By: pygmycory

(Admin: I don't know about you, but socks are one of the things I spend money on for quality because I work (or did work for thirty years) in manufacturing on concrete floors. Tired and hurting feet will make your day go bad every time. Unfortunately they get holes in them and to my embarrassment, I often just toss them, when I should be repairing them. Green Wizard pygmycory has a quite novel solution for the problem and sent me this tutorial to post. Enjoy.)

(Photo by pygmycory)

Mending and Upcycling Wool Socks
by pygmycory

Wool socks are lovely, especially handknit ones in pretty colors. However, they don’t last forever, take a while to make, and are expensive to buy. So, what do you do when your favorite pair of socks develops a hole in the toe, or goes thin at the heel? Or when you’ve mended them so many times they no longer resemble socks?

Fortunately, you can mend wool socks easily and quickly by darning, and when they can be darned no more, you can often make them into other things.

How Much Do You Need? - Pantry Management

  • Posted on: 2 February 2022
  • By: Mary in Maryland

(This week we have a guest blog from Green Wizard Mary of Maryland.)

I’ve thought a lot about a common question people who get into preparing have about food, “How much do I need?”.

My answer to that question has two parts. The first is buying in bulk. The second is inventory management.

I’ll discuss bulk buying first. I am also a person who hates to shop and loves having the answer to “what’s for dinner?” in the basement. Or the freezer. Or the garden. I’m not setting myself up an expert telling you how to do things, but I’d hate to have all my mistakes wasted.

Can Religion And Science Co-Exist In The Long Descent?

  • Posted on: 26 January 2022
  • By: David Trammel

Can Faith in the Unknowing, co-exist with the Scientific Method?

I ask this because I just rewatched one of my favorite movies recently. The 2007 indi classic "The Man From Earth" is without a doubt one of the best movies to me, which has been ever made. Time to revisit the 14 thousand year old man.

If marooned on the proverbial island, and offered limited entertainment, this movie would join the most amazing 1990 three person cerebral treat "Mindwalk" and what I consider one of the two best Robin William's films "Bicentennial Man". (I slightly favor it over the other top two film of his, that is the 1998 heart tugger "What Dreams May Come"). I would probably add the three part Sci-Fi Channel mini-series "Dune", then me, the seagulls and the beach crabs would be set.

(As long as we had unlimited beer, lol.)

Funny. that I did not connect the obvious, all of three of these films and the mini-series in some way deal with the intersection of spirituality and science.

The What, How And When Of Eating Better

  • Posted on: 20 January 2022
  • By: David Trammel

(G.steph.rocket CC BY-SA (

One of my New Year's resolutions was to treat myself better. More sleep, some exercise, cut down on the beer and especially start eating better. Most Americans don't. You just have to take a visit to the grocery store sometimes to see how obesity is an epidemic in this country. And the reason is in those grocery carts, piled high with processed foods and sugar laden snacks.

If it was just to have better health and longer life, eating better would be wise but in the future we face, that of economic contraction, energy insecurity and resource depletion, those of us in the 99%, those of us who are not rich enough to ignore problems as civilization slowly collapses, then we have to face the prospect that food is going to get harder and harder to get. Climate change is going to put pressures on those who grow food, especially Big Agriculture. The moderate weather and rain fall are already being disrupted. Periods of drought followed by excessive rain and flooding will mean less food grown and what does get grown will be less nutritious.

Science may help, there are already some genetically modified plant strains being developed which will grow better in higher CO2 levels we can expect by the end of the century. We can't count on science to come up with a magic bullet though, so we each must take steps ourselves, to manage our diet and grow some of our own food.

Lets look at three things we can do.