Keep Our Service Free-Donate

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Year Round Garden with a $300 Greenhouse, Ecoscraps as Soil Conditioner, Drought Busters

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

Winston Churchill once said that "socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."


Build a $300 underground greenhouse for year-round gardening

Growers in colder climates often utilize various approaches to extend the growing season or to give their crops a boost, whether it's coldframes, hoop houses or greenhouses.

Greenhouses are usually glazed structures, but are typically expensive to construct and heat throughout the winter. A much more affordable and effective alternative to glass greenhouses is the walipini (an Aymara Indian word for a "place of warmth"), also known as an underground or pit greenhouse. First developed over 20 years ago for the cold mountainous regions of South America, this method allows growers to maintain a productive garden year-round, even in the coldest of climates.

Here's a video tour of a walipini that even incorporates a bit of interior space for goats [find the video and the manual at the link below]:

It's a pretty intriguing set-up that combines the principles of passive solar heating with earth-sheltered building.  From American sustainable agriculture non-profit Benson Institute comes this enlightening manual on how a walipini works, and how to build it:





Washing Greens

Working in a grocery store, I learned to wash the greens in warm water before putting them out under the cool spray and refrigeration. My manager explained that it helps open the pores, so the lettuce soaks up moisture and helps the greens to become crisper. I do this at home now, too. After their hot/cold bath, I put them in my fridge.



EcoScraps Turns Old Food into High Quality Soil Conditioner

By: Bianca Bartz - References:

Don't waste your food: we heard it as children, and most of us adopted the idea as adults that wasting food is bad -- yet studies show that in the US alone, 30 million tons of food are thrown out annually, contributing to the production of the dangerous greenhouse gas, methane. Beyond preventative solutions of simply eating everything, downsizing portions or buying less, EcoScraps aims to compost the waste into 100% organic soil conditioner. Specifically they target high-volume food waste sources like grocery stores and food banks and turn them into organic fertilizer.

"Through our proprietary process we are able to reduce landfill waste and methane emissions," the EcoScraps site says. "This soil conditioner has the same nutrient values as chemical based soil amendments while being organic. Our products are composed of ingredients selected and
combined in scientifically determined proportions to produce ideal nutrient and organic content to the soil."

This not only gets rid of household waste, but allows those with green thumbs to grow their own plants and produce in an ethical, environmentally-friendly way. EcoScraps, based in Salt Lake City, was co-founded by Dan Blake, Craig Martineau and Brandon Sargent, who all dropped out of university to build the social business.

"Founded in 2010, the company collects roughly 20 tons of food waste a day from more than 70 grocers, produce wholesalers, and Costco stores across Utah and Arizona,"
Inc. Magazine explained in May. "Then, it composts the waste into potting soil, which retails for up to $8.50 a bag in nurseries and garden stores throughout the western United States."

To ensure the soil stays as clean as possible, EcoScraps only uses waste from fruits and vegetables, making it animal- (and feces-) free, and they promise their soil is "so organic you can eat it." They plan to expand the business to other states, including both compost collection and soil sales.

Contact Information

Make mixes ahead of time. You can see some of my recipes here. They save time because you don’t have to assemble the ingredients every time, and you won’t have to deal with all the artificial ingredients.

Additional useful resources…


Freeze leftover coffee. It will keep chilled coffee drinks cold and not dilute them.



Find more DIY and Homemade ideas here:



Yours in freedom,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’



Got a News Tip or Resource to Share With the Poor Man?


Our Mission: To protect and promote your freedom, civil rights, financial well being and overall self reliance in these turbulent times.   Get more tips and freebies faster at:


A Shallow Planet Production

1 comment:

escapeartist said...

You always find and share some mighty interesting resources - thanks!