Mark Valencia

Survival Seed Vault – Do You Have One Ready?

If you are not saving seeds for your food garden and prefer to buy seeds or seedlings as you require then you may need to rethink your growing strategy… In a food crisis the first things to fly off the shelf are the fresh and packaged food goods then after that it's all the seeds

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Chicken Tractor Vs Static Pen in a Suburban Backyard

Chicken tractors and static chicken coops or runs/pens are both good ways to house a backyard flock of hens; but, there are key differences besides the obvious (of one being mobile and the other not) that people should take into account before they make their final decision to buy. The main thing you will want

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Best Tool for Raised Bed Gardening

Yesterday, I received an email asking what tool I recommend for high raised bed gardens and it just so happens there is a special tool I do use all the time for my raised beds gardens and it's called an entrenching tool (or ET). I tend to always misspeak and call it an ET tool,

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Olive – Arbequina (Olea europaea) Harvest Curing in Large Jar

If you are considering growing backyard olives then the Arbequina variety is worth checking out!   Arbequina olive trees are a popular commercial variety of olive because they produce a good olive oil but they are also a common variety sold on the domestic market due to being an early fruiting tree and often produce

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Can I keep Quail & Chickens Together in the Same Pen?

The short answer to "can I keep quail and chickens together" is NO. However, I do understand why people would ponder the thought of keeping quail and chickens together because why have two pens when you could simply have one? Well, there are some very good reasons why people shouldn't house these birds in the

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Self-Sufficiency Tip: Grow More Than You Need

I often get asked, "what are you going to do with all that produce?" Sometimes people enquire because their first thought when seeing a glut of homegrown food is waste but here's how I see an oversupply of produce: Success – Whenever we get a great harvest I see the achievement. Backyard farming isn't always,

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Salmonella Strikes Salads – Why Packaged Lettuce is DANGEROUS

Over the past few days, fresh food retailers and supermarkets across Australia have recalled packaged lettuce and removed these products from their shelves due to a disgraceful outbreak of salmonella poisoning from Victorian company Tripod Farmers. I say disgraceful because has anyone learnt anything from the Nannas frozen berry food poisoning outbreak last year! It

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Best Places to Buy Plants & Seeds Online

Article updated on 9th November 2017 – Added additional retailer to list Most of us realise (and accept) the internet is changing our behaviour in many different ways and buying plants or seeds for the home garden is one them! I personally think the move towards online plants and seeds is a good change for

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More Raised Beds & Rubber Pavers Around the Vegetable Garden

Over the past few months, I've made some big changes to our vegetable garden and I intend to publicise these "improvements" (I should say) in detail in future articles and videos. But as the video at the end of this post shows, over the past few days I have concentrated my efforts on the central

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10 Common Myths About Raised Bed Vegetable Gardens or Planters

Updated on 5th Sept 2017 If you have been reading Self Sufficient Me and watching some of my YouTube videos over the past several years you'll know how passionate I am about raised bed vegetable gardening. There are many advantages raised bed food gardens have over the traditional in-ground garden beds that use the furrow

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How to Build a Dragon Fruit (Pitaya) Trellis

This article (and video) explains how to easily build a strong and practical trellis to grow a Dragon Fruit vine.  Why grow dragon fruit (Pitaya) on a trellis? Dragon fruit plants are a vine. They grow by budding out from a stem segment (usually from the top of the segment) to form another segment approximately

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