Preparing Shouldn't Hurt

  • Posted on: 10 November 2021
  • By: David Trammel

This past week, I ran across a post on a popular preparedness FB group I'm on a lot. The question asked got me thinking about some of the preconceptions Society and the general public has about "prepping". Not just society really, but also those of us in the Community as well.

We have a lot of "myths", don't we?

To paraphrase the post, the author was complaining that she just couldn't get warm at home now. They were cold and shivering all the time. They admitted that, like any "good" prepper, they kept their furnace setting low to save energy, but they were miserable. The comments were filled with the expected suggestions, "bundle up", "insulate gaps", "cover windows" to "brew a hot cup of tea and you'll be fine". All typical solutions that get talked about in forums and on social media.

Know what I suggested?

"Turn your heat up..."

(copyright Jerzy Gorecki, Wiki Commons)

Let's Grow Garlic! It's Easy and Tastes Great!

  • Posted on: 3 November 2021
  • By: EricTheHiker

By Eric Durland

When there are ghosts and goblins and fall leaves in the air then it is that time of year again—nope, not time to find a costume or to rake leaves into your garden! It is GARLIC PLANTING SEASON! Garlic is a favorite food and it is super easy to grow, even without much space. Let's get down to it and we can go through the steps of growing garlic.

For anyone who has never grown any food before and/or thinks they have a brown thumb, garlic is a great place to start. It’s super easy. If you don't read any more of the information in this article, all you need is this sentence to get started:

"Buy a bulb of garlic; in October-November, separate the individual cloves, and plant each clove in a sunny non-soggy location about 2-3 inches deep and about 5-6 inches apart. And then, next June will you have big tasty bulbs!"

Now a bit more detailed step by step guide, then followed by even more detailed information.

Fall Leaves and Systems Thinking

  • Posted on: 27 October 2021
  • By: David Trammel

Owning a home with a yard comes with many challenges, one of them of course is the ritual of mowing the grass. Sometimes at the height of the summer, its a weekly ritual that leaves bags and bags of clippings on the curb for the city to pick up on trash day. Hopefully your city composts this waste and doesn't just deposit it in a nearby landfill. Not only does that increase the mega tons of national waste going into the ground but the decaying organic waste produces methane, a powerful green house gas.

Many people have discovered the convenience of mulching their grass clippings instead of bagging them. This can be with special lawn mowers designed with this in mind, serrated blades to mince the clippings, or just mowing several times across the yard. This is a great way to feed your yard. The clippings are a source of nutrients and minerals. As long as you don't wait too long and have a lot of tall grass to mow. Too heavy a layer of clippings can cause problems for your grass.

Here's a good article on it:
"To bag lawn clippings or not to bag, that is the question"

With Autumn comes more work. The leaves turn colors and fall to the ground. Depending on the tree cover you have, this can either be a minor addition to your work or a major headache of racking and bags on the curb. If you are unlucky, rain can delay it until its nearly too much to do on a weekend. Here too, mulching the leaves is often a better option than bagging. Shredding the leaves into fine parts and depositing them back onto the yard is a good way to prepare your lawn for Winter sleep. And helps cut back on the surge of material head to the landfill or the city compost heap. If you do a search, you'll literally find dozens of links that talk about the benefits of doing this.

Here's one: "Mulching Leaves: Why Mowing Leaves is Better Than Raking Them"

I am going to offer a counter to this practice and tell you why for a large part, you want to still rake some of your leaves.

Rescuing A Chicken Coop

  • Posted on: 19 October 2021
  • By: David Trammel

(This week's guest blog post is from Bethany Ellen Smith. She's given me permission to share her recent experiences in "Recycle and Repair")

"I like deals and world improvement, by way of correcting the half-assery of others who have more money than sense. I figure you all would appreciate what’s happened, here, more than most.

I super love the chicken and garden stuff that makes, but I can’t pay for it. They are some really well-designed and solidly built cedar and welded wire things. They will last a lifetime, and make chicken keeping nicer than usual, if they are installed properly on a simple poured foundation, sealed, and well cared for. It’s that last bit that the Riches who CAN pay Roast And Root for their chicken coops ( never do seem to have interest in, after they shell out for that new price tag, and two weeks later their shiny new thing isn’t shiny and new anymore.

The Future - One Person's Opinion

  • Posted on: 14 October 2021
  • By: David Trammel

I was going to post a couple of pieces that I hadn't gotten done because of the recent software problem here this week. As I was doing that, this amazing article was put up on Facebook. It's authored by a well known writer in the prepping community. Most of you would know them but they've taken a step back from the issues in the last few years, and I'm going to post this without mentioning their name in respect for their privacy. It is still a clear look at what we can expect over the next few decades, and worth the read.

One Big Note: While I try very hard to keep politics out of Green Wizardry, politics is in our country to a strong degree. As such, its hard if not impossible to discuss the coming Collapse without running into people who have strong opinions about it on both sides of the issues. The author is not a supporter of Trump or the Republicans. Some of this post is political and I'm going to leave that in. If you disagree with their opinions, that's fine and understandable. I disagree with some of it myself BUT their core points about the way things related to non-political actions is very good, and worth the read.

WE as a country and a society must get back to the point that we can listen to opposing view points that we disagree with, without dismissing their non-political opinions completely too. Please let's not devolve this post into an argument on politics with the comments.

With that warning, enjoy.


A Short History of How It Started and How It is Going

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I wrote an essay where I argued that the most likely thing that will happen is that we will experience collapse not as a single global crisis, like most fiction and film postulates, but as a concatenation of large and small crises that just gradually become too overwhelming for us to respond to, so we stop doing anything other than making the most superficial responses.

When collapse comes for any given person depends a lot on who you are. Lucky people don't notice for a while, because the crises don't hit them too badly or because they have extra resources to devote to personal mitigation, or because they were prepared in some way. Unlucky people get hit hard, and harder and over and over and wait for help and eventually, it doesn't come.

An Alternative To Collective Rural Living

  • Posted on: 29 September 2021
  • By: David Trammel

Recently on one of the prepper Facebook groups I'm a regular on, a member posted of their desire to move from their city home to a rural property and start a farm. Its a popular desire among preppers, I had a similar desire myself as recent as 5 years ago. Having a decent amount of land, where you can grow your own food and raise chickens or even a cow or two, and a home that you can walk out the back door and not be a stone's throw from your neighbor would be great. I've had access to such a property, during my time as a child (grandparents lived in a small town) and later as a 20 something (a friend's parents owned 40 acres in the Ozarks). There is something really magical about being in real woods and grassy fields.

Its a dream that is unfortunately being more and more priced out of the range of anyone but the truly rich. The cost of land fit for farming has skyrocketed. First came second homes by people with money in the country and more recently during the start of the pandemic, rural properties you could be safe from infection (and conveniently work remotely from) all have driven the supply of small family sized plots of land out of reach.

This has lead to a modification of the design into "collective rural living", where a group of families go in together to buy a larger property which is subdivided into small home lots, while a communal set of common buildings are shared by all. This has its advantages. A small farm will require certain equipment, small tractor, construction and maintenance equipment, farm sheds and food storage buildings all of which are expensive and aren't used on a full time basis. Having a slightly larger tractor, which can be shared and used on all of the resident family's home gardens, as well as perhaps a larger communal farm area, spreads the costs and makes it more affordable. Yet, the number of affordable properties of the size needed for this option are just as scarce anymore.

I want to propose an alternative, which is more readily available and I would argue more doable for a small group.

An Experiment With Herbalism

  • Posted on: 15 September 2021
  • By: adwelly

(Guest post from Green Wizard Andy Dwelly)

[This article was written during one of the UK’s lockdowns. You can actually go and get your hair cut now.]

This article is about a personal experiment I've undertaken since Christmas 2020 using a herbal protocol from Stephen Harrod Buhner for male sexual health. Inevitably there are two points that have to be made explicitly at the beginning of something like this. Given the subject, there's going to be a description of male sexuality later on - this may not be to your taste.

Secondly it's a history of what happened to me. I'm not offering medical advice of any kind, and if you were to try taking any of the natural remedies that I'm writing about here you may well find that your results vary from mine and may even cause you harm. It should go without saying that if you do have health problems in this area you should consult a properly qualified medical individual.

I first encountered the writings of Stephen Buhner in February 2020 - really a month or so before the COVID crisis really kicked off in the UK where I live. Somebody mentioned his "Herbal Antivirals" book in the comments at I ordered it quite casually with only half an eye on the disaster unfolding in Northern Italy. However, a few days later I was struck by a sudden almost panicked desire to obtain a selection of the tinctures he recommended for Corona viruses. That's an unusual reaction for me, and because some of the herbs are a bit rare it was quite expensive, something that should have put me off but didn't. Most of them turned up within a week, I stuck them on a shelf and thought no more about it.

About a month later my 15 year old son came home from school with a temperature and a dry continuous cough. I developed the same symptoms within a day although my wife seemed unaffected. We went into quarantine and over the next few days my cough got worse as my son's improved.

Raising Bumble Bees

  • Posted on: 8 September 2021
  • By: David Trammel

Having pollinators in your yard and garden is both a beneficial thing, it helps your veggies and flowers grow seeds, but its also just a lovely thing to watch. Raising honey bees and managing hives though is a huge commitment for most people. Luckily there is an alternative, which is fun and suited for Green Wizards.

(copyright "I, Tony Willis, Wikimedia Commons)

Native bees, can be successfully encouraged to live in your garden with a little care and some resources they can use. Which can go a long way to bringing back needed biodiversity and helping pollinators in general. And unlike domesticated honey bees, it require a lot less time. You just need to learn a bit about their needs, how they live and their life cycle through the year. Bumble bees are especially useful due to their size. They can "buzz pollinate" vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and potatoes, which are not as easily pollinated by smaller insects.

An additional benefit of bumble bees as local pollinators, they don't appear to be affected by the colony collapse syndrome currently harming honey bees.

All in all having a bumble bee hive in your garden is a very useful thing. Let's get started then.

Updating Your Important Papers

  • Posted on: 25 August 2021
  • By: David Trammel

How many times have you needed some important paperwork, say a car title, military discharge papers, high school diploma for a job interview and had to turn the office or home upside down look for it? I have and its a lot too. While we may not like that fact so much of our Life's critical information is stored on bits of fragile paper, the fact it is, and we need to have it organized and available. If the pandemic has taught me one thing, its that.

Time to get yourself organized.

Book Review: "Career Indie Author" by Bill and Teresa Peschel

  • Posted on: 11 August 2021
  • By: David Trammel

"I read it once, then went right back a second time with a yellow marker to highlight the important stuff. You will too."


Storytelling is as old as humans sitting around a cave fire. Maybe even earlier. There's nothing that says you are in for a treat as settling in a comfortable spot near the warmth with a few friends and family while a good storyteller begins their tales. Stories entertain us, teach us lessons and brings us together. Good storytellers are a gift from the Gods themselves, though not everyone can be a "good" storyteller. It takes inspiration, a bit of wit, and an eye for your audience.

Though to be a "successful" storyteller takes one more thing, business sense and the knowledge of how to sell your story. This book, "Career Indie Author" by Bill and Teresa Peschel will teach you that.