Hydroponics Part II: How to Set Up a Hydroponics System in 8 Steps

Hydroponic farming is a fantastic way to cultivate plants because it does not require soil. This type of cultivation allows us to manipulate the growing environment in such a way to maximize production and minimize the use of resources. We now have the technology to grow food anytime and anywhere in the world. Despite the advanced technology, you can also learn how to set up a hydroponics system and have a small hydroponics garden even with little space.

But, if you are like me when I first became interested in hydroponics, I was a bit confused on where to start. Of course I consulted several references and read through them but it was also a lot of information. What I want to accomplish in this post is to give you a step-by-step guide on how to set up your first hydroponics garden. There will be other posts to explain lots of things in further detail. However, this guide will give you a good place to start.

1. Decide on what plants you want to grow

First decide on what plants you...

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Self Sufficiency is Impossible-yet Essential

True self sufficiency is impossible-yet it is essential. In many ways self sufficiency is directly connected to sustainability. But again, true self sufficiency is also impossible to attain. So, how do we get around that?

When I was growing up in north Georgia and Tennessee, both of my grandparents had working farms. And I spent a lot of time on those farms when I was younger. We had horses, cattle, pigs, chickens, rabbits, a huge garden, and numerous fruit and nut trees. And for an added treat, we would often forage for berries, especially black berries, and go fishing for trout. I am sure that at some point in time in my childhood I actually ate store bought meat but is was so infrequent that I do not remember.

My point being is that self sufficiency was never anything we actually talked about. It was simply how we lived.

Now fast forward into our present time, when you mention self sufficiency in front of a group of people, I can almost guarantee that 10 different people will...

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What Can You Power With a 100 Watt Solar Panel?

When it comes to living off the grid and being self sufficient, having a strong understanding of your renewable energy options is very important. It is possible to live without electricity.  I did it for over 15 years.  However, having a source of electricity was a game changer for me. I now power two cabins, a chicken barn and a 600 square foot green house all from solar energy. But I started out simple and first discovered just what I could power with a 100 watt solar panel.  

But in order to go big, you must start with the basics. Since some of my most recent projects have involved  a 100 watt solar panel, that is why I’ve chosen this as an example. Then you can build on the basics.  So, let’s first develop an understanding of what you can power with a 100 watt solar panel. 

A 100 watt solar panel is inexpensive, easily available, and best of all it is portable.  It has become a popular choice for RVs, camping, recharging portable...

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How to Get Started with Chickens

Not only are chickens truly fun and amazing animals to raise they also provide a host of benefits to the family. The obvious benefits are fresh eggs and meat. Additionally, they provide manure for fertilizing the garden, loads of entertainment, as well as companionship. Raising you own food source will also restore a close connection to your food supply, the realization of which is often lost in our modern culture. But, if you are new at this, then this post will help you to get started with chickens. 

Having grown up with two working farms in my family, raising and processing our own food was a way of life. In fact, I never really gave it much thought. I figured this was what everyone did. It was not until I was in my teenage years that I realized it was actually more common for people to purchase their meat and other staple items from a supermarket. In fact in our modern culture, people think their meat comes from the supermarket, not the farm.  Consequently, it...

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Learn How to Fish

As with hunting, if you have never been fishing, this whole process may seem like a big mystery. This sport may seem complicated to first-timers but it truly does not have to be that way.  With some basic gear and the information in this guide, you will be out fishing in no time at all.  Just follow these simple steps and you will learn how to fish. 

Different Types of Fishing

There are numerous ways to go fishing. As with hunting, it is a matter of choosing the type of fishing you would like to do and keep things simple in the beginning. Just to emphasize this point, I did a simple search on the different types of fishing and here is what I came up with: 

  • Angling
  • Bank fishing
  • Bottom fishing
  • Casting
  • Drop linning
  • Fly fishing
  • Freshwater versus salt water
  • Hand lining
  • Ice fishing
  • Jigging
  • Long lining
  • Noodling
  • Slabbing
  • Spearfishing
  • Surface casting
  • Trapping
  • Trawling
  • Trolling
  • Trot lining
  • Private charters
  • Commercial fishing
  • Hand gathering
  • Handling
  • Netting

In case you...

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Learn How to Hunt

Hunting can be an amazing resource for you and your family.  It is possible to provide yourself with a lot of lean, healthy meat. It can even be turned into a family institution. Most people I know that are avid hunters, grew up that way as I did.  However, if you have no experience or you did not grow up that way,  you can learn how to hunt with a little time and patience. 
 

Hunting used to be necessary in order to sustain life.  However, in modern times it is truly a choice. Just as raising farm animals and then butchering those animals is not for everyone, the same is true for hunting.  Additionally, many avid hunters learned those skills from their early childhood years. However, the simple fact is that in our present culture many people reach adult years and have never shot an animal for food.

This article is intended to address that very issue. Learning these skills can be intimidating. Consequently, I suggest that you take your time....

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Guide to Home Canning

Processing and preserving your own food has many advantages. Like any other form of food preservation, home canning is perfectly safe if practiced properly. Being careful to follow recommended guidelines and recipes will ensure that your family enjoys healthy, delicious home preserved foods. This method of food preservation is my personal favorite because there is so much you can do. 

Some people have the opinion that modern food preservation methods have largely reduced the need for home canning. They also question why it is even necessary. Furthermore, many people are concerned about the safety of home canning. With all of these concerns in mind, why would you do it when you can simply purchase canned food from the supermarket? 

Continue reading to find out the answer to that question.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1) 15 REASONS TO HOME CAN YOUR FOOD
2) DISADVANTAGES TO HOME CANNING
3) HOW DOES CANNING PRESERVE FOOD
4) CANNING METHODS
5) PREPARATION FOR CANNING
6) BOILING WATER BATH...
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Guide to Dehydrating Food

As you likely know by now, being in control over your food supply is a vital part of self sufficiency.  In an effort to provide my readers with as much information as possible, this Guide to Dehydrating Food is part of a series of posts on various methods of food preservation. There is a lot of information here so I have provided a clickable table of contents.  Enjoy!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1) INTRODUCTION TO DEHYDRATING FOODS
2) ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF DEHYDRATING FOOD
3) PREPARING FOOD FOR DRYING
4) SEVEN METHODS FOR DEHYDRATING FOOD
5) BEST METHOD OF DEHYDRATING FOOD
6) COMPARISON OF COSTS AND ELECTRICAL REQUIREMENTS
7) HOW TO CHOOSE A FOOD DEHYDRATOR
8) WHAT FOODS CAN BE DEHYDRATED
9) FOODS NOT SUITABLE FOR DEHYDRATION
10)KEYS FOR SUCCESSFUL FOOD DEHYDRATION
11) FAQS ABOUT FOOD DEHYDRATION
12) ADDITIONAL REFERENCES FOR DEHYDRATING FOOD
13) ADDITIONAL POSTS OF INTEREST

Introduction to Dehydrating Food

There is evidence that some cultures dried foods as early as...

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Off Grid Appliances: Options for Cooking Off Grid

Living off grid is fun and challenging. If you are so motivated, you can find creative ways to take care of all of your basic necessities.  Of course, one of life’s basic necessities is cooking, food storage, and maintaining a safe and sanitary food supply.  How do you cook off grid? How do you keep fresh food easily available?  Fortunately, there are numerous high efficiency off grid appliances.  Consequently, this makes it easy to prepare meals and have reliable efficient refrigeration. 

In today’s world there are various choices for off grid appliances. This is great because it makes living off the grid that much easier.    

Off grid cook stove 

If you are living off grid, there are numerous options for cooking meals.  The most energy efficient means is using an off grid appliance that requires a solid fuel source. This is especially true if you are producing your own electricity.  

An electric stove draws a huge...

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How to Start Your Food Storage Plan

It just makes sense to have extra groceries around the house. Those extra supplies will be useful in the event of a disaster or any other unexpected events that just seem to be a part of life.  Consequently, it is important have a food storage plan. Besides, it is an easy first step toward self reliance and becomes especially valuable in an emergency situation.

I grew up with two working farms in the family. We always had a large walk-in closet that was well stocked with home canned goods, extra dry goods, and other basic supplies. This was a normal part of being self sufficient.  In my opinion, it is similar to having an insurance policy.

In our modern age most people have either lost the desire or simply do not even see the need to have a food storage plan.  However, such a plan is one of the most basic and easy steps toward self reliance.  Simply consider what happens to millions of people every time there is a...

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