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Growing Miniature Fruit Trees and Non-Native Plants

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Growing miniature fruit trees and non-native plants, even tropical fruit trees, IS possible on your homestead, no matter where you live – and should be!

Miniature Fruit Trees and Non-Native Plants

Raising and preserving fruit, non-native, and off-season plants ensures you and your beloveds will have a well-rounded diet without spending a dime to purchase fresh produce from the supermarket during the winter months – or if a long-term disaster strikes. If an apocalyptic event happens, the miniature fruit trees and other non-native crops will make excellent barter items and provide essential nutrients, like vitamin C, the body needs to remain healthy and strong.

Growing dwarf fruit trees and non-native plants, such as rice, coffee, and tobacco are also perfect for urban and suburban preppers and folks who are carving out a small homestead. They can all be grown in pots outdoors during the warm weather months and then covered in plastic to make a mini-hot house, moved either inside the home or into a greenhouse. Closing in a porch makes a great inexpensive winter growing area that is camouflaged from prying eyes during a doomsday disaster.

Growing Miniature Fruit Trees and Non-Native Plants

Growing Miniature Fruit Trees and Non-Native Plants

What is a miniature fruit tree?

It is possible to grow oranges, lemons, tangelos, bananas, dwarf apple trees, and even coffee trees while the snow is heavily falling outside. Miniature fruit trees routinely grow to be about 10 feet tall. Some varieties of dwarf trees only grow to reach about three feet tall, such as dwarf banana trees. Regardless of the ultimate size of the miniature trees, the fruit they produce is normal size!

Genetic engineering is not used to create miniature fruit trees. A rather tried and true old-fashioned technique commonly referred to as grafting is used when creating dwarf trees. A branch of a fruiting tree is grafted into rootstock.

The specific stocks are chosen because of their resistance to disease, drought, how adaptive they are to varying soil types, and because of their general hardiness and size. The miniature trees will only grow as tall as the roots allow, so combining it with a branch from a specific rootstock allows the grower to control the size of the tree.

Miniature fruit trees reach maturity far more quickly than their full-size counterparts. You do not have to wait for up to five years to get a full quality harvest rom a dwarf tree – they bear fruit within one to two years. Nurseries can create custom dwarf trees for customers, even ones which produce more than one type of fruit.

Types of Dwarf Fruit Trees

  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Almond
  • Banana
  • Cherry
  • Coffee
  • Fig
  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Nectarines
  • Orange
  • Olive
  • Peach
  • Pears
  • Tangelos

Non-Native Plants

Growing rice, cotton plants, peanut plants, and tobacco plants in climates where they would not normally thrive can be accomplished in the same manner as growing non-native dwarf fruit trees. You would never see a rice patty flourishing in much of the United States, but it can be done in a container or small plot quite successfully almost anywhere!

Growing rice in multiple containers will provide ample of the long-term storage food favorite for the entire family to enjoy through the winter – and beyond. The containers will need to be taken inside or placed in a greenhouse to grow during the cold weather months. A rice patty can be grown along a marshy area that can be dammed and slightly flooded, especially along a creek line or in a pond overflow area. Depending upon the hardiness zone you live in, there may be enough time between the first and last frost to raise and harvest a crop of rice in an artificially created patty. Zones six through 10 are typically suited for this type of growing.

Tobacco, peanut, and cotton plants can be grown on a small scale in containers either outside during frost-free months as long as they are moved inside or into a greenhouse before the first frost of fall. Peanuts are a shelf-stable crop which are also an excellent source of protein.

How do you grow dwarf trees, off-season, and non-native plants inside?

The Survivalist Gardener Rick Austin wrote an amazingly detailed how-to book focused on building enclosed porch greenhouses for homesteading and survival purposes. Austin has fresh lettuce and many other garden favorites, growing year around in his secret greenhouse.

“Imagine a greenhouse that heats your home in the winter; and heats your water; that grows five times more food per sq. ft. than a hoop house; that provides food for you and your family all year long; where your food grows in three dimensions; where you never have to use fertilizer; where you never have to use pesticide, and where you can grow exotic foods, i.e. citrus or coffee trees in New England; that allows you to start seedlings in the spring; that hides your solar electric system; and that can house your small animals or incubate chickens and ducks,” Austin said when describing the concept and functionality of his Secret Greenhouse of Survival book.

Utilizing a Greenhouse

The greenhouse on the homestead operated by Rick Austin and his wife Jane (better known as Survivor Jane) looks just like a porch on a typical home. Not only does the enclosed porch greenhouse prevent any marauders or starving roaming groups from knowing ample food is nearby, it also serves as an alternative heat source for their home.

During his more than three decades of sustainable homesteading, Austin has constructed a multitude of energy efficient buildings. He incorporated all the knowledge he garnered over the years to reduce the energy consumption of his home substantially by using the sustainable greenhouse to reduce heating and water use for the residence. About 63 percent of a home’s energy consumption comes from heating and water usage. Austin firmly believes you can only make substantial progress towards homestead sustainability if you work to control energy costs first.

The secrete greenhouse utilizes extremely energy efficient glass that has a significant amount of thermal mass built in. Concrete planters and crushed stone floors further enhance the thermal mass and provide heat to the greenhouse during the night – even when there are subzero temperatures are looming outside. Austin’s greenhouse is located in the hills of Appalachia and has never dipped below 45 degrees at night – without a supplemental heat source.

The passive solar heat generated in the greenhouse not only helps dwarf fruit trees and other non-native plants thrive, it also provides a habitat for small livestock and created passive solar heat and hot water or the home. The sustainable greenhouse has successfully been used to raise rabbits and to incubate ducklings – and could be used to chicks as well. Setting up the brooders and cages properly will allow for the generation of handy composting material as well.

Up Next: Repurposed Materials | Transform And Recycle Common Household Items


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Self Sufficiency

NYC Adds Nearly 4,000 People Who Never Tested Positive To Coronavirus Death Tolls

New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll Tuesday, bringing coronavirus-related deaths in the city to around 10,000 people.

The city decided to add 3,700 people to its death tolls, who they “presumed” to have died from the virus, according to a report from The New York Times. The additions increased the death toll in the U.S. by 17%, according to the Times report, and included people who were suffering from symptoms of the virus, such as intense coughing and a fever.

The report stated that Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decided over the weekend to change the way the city is counting deaths.

“In the heat of battle, our primary focus has been on saving lives,” de Blasio press secretary Freddi Goldstein told the Times.“As soon as the issue was raised, the mayor immediately moved to release the data.”

The post New York City added nearly 4,000 people who never tested positive for the coronavirus to its death toll appeared first on Daily Caller

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Self Sufficiency

How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

The thing about homesteading is you get to create your own ingredient right from scratch! Cheese, yogurt, butter and now sauerkraut, a delightfully sour and crunchy ingredient you can use on your meals — or consume by itself — while on a homestead, or while facing this health crisis!

This homemade sauerkraut is a great meal because it has a long shelf life. You can either make plain sauerkraut or mix it with herbs and spices. In this tutorial let us make Lacto-fermented sauerkraut that preserves all the good probiotics in a jar, good for your guts.

So how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar?

RELATED: How To Make Buttermilk On Your Homestead

Delicious Sauerkraut Recipe Every Homesteader Should Know

Why Make Sauerkraut?


Not only does sauerkraut spoil a long time, but it is also a meal in itself, and it is also easy to make! You don’t need to be an expert cook, all you need to do is follow these simple steps.

So let us get started. Here are the steps in making sauerkraut in a mason jar.


  • 1 head of cabbage or 2 1/2 lbs cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

Tools Needed:

  • knife
  • bowl
  • mason jar
  • smaller jar
  • rubber band

Step 1: Wash & Clean the Tools & Ingredients

Wash all the equipment and utensils you need. Wash your hands too.

You don’t want to mix your sauerkraut with bad bacteria, anything that is going to make you sick.

Next, remove the faded leaves from your cabbage. Cut off the roots and the parts that don’t seem fresh.

Step 2: Cut the Cabbage Into Quarters & Slice Into Strips

Cut your cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Then, slice it into strips.

Step 3: Place in a Bowl & Sprinkle With Salt

Put the stripped cabbage into a bowl. Sprinkle the cabbage with 1 tablespoon of salt.

TIP: Use canning salt or sea salt. Iodized salt will make it taste different and may not ferment the cabbage.

RELATED: Homemade Yogurt Recipe

Step 4: Massage the Cabbage

Massage the cabbage for five minutes or more to get the juice out.

TIP: You’ll know it’s ready when you see a bit of juice at the bottom of the bowl and will look similar to coleslaw.

Step 5: Press Cabbage Into the Mason Jar

Add the cabbage to the mason jar gradually. Press it in hard to allow the juice to come out. Do this every time you add about a handful of cabbage.

IMPORTANT: Food should be covered by the liquid to promote fermentation. Add any excess liquid from the bowl to the jar.

Step 6: Press a Smaller Jar Into the Mason Jar

You want to squeeze every ounce of that juice from the cabbage. To do this place the mason jar in a bowl and get a smaller jar.

Fill it with water or marble to make it heavy. Press it into the bigger mason jar. Allow any juices to rise to the surface.

Step 7: Cover the Jars With Cloth & Tie With Rubber Band

Leave the small jar on. To keep your jars clean from annoying insects and irritating debris, cover your jars with a clean cloth. Then, use a rubber band to tie the cloth and the jars together, putting them in place.

Step 8: Set Aside & Check Daily

Set it aside in a cool dry place, away from direct sunlight. Check the water level daily. It should always be above the cabbage.

Step 9: Taste Your Sauerkraut & Keep at Cool Temperatures

Homemade Sauerkraut Cumin Juniper | How To Make Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut In A Mason Jar

After about five days, you can taste your sauerkraut. If the taste is to your liking, tightly cover it with the lid and store in the fridge or cellar.

NOTE: If after five days it’s still not your desired taste, leave it for a few more days. This will allow the fermentation process to continue.

You can now enjoy your sauerkraut in a mason jar. Enjoy its goodness! You can use it as a side dish or mix it with your favorite sandwich.

Things to Remember in Making Sauerkraut

  • Store away from direct sunlight and drafts.
  • Colder weather will make the process longer. Spring is the best time to make them since the warmth helps activate the fermentation.
  • Always make sure that the cabbage is below the water level during the entire fermentation process.
  • If the water level decreases during the fermentation process, you can make a brine and add it.

Let us watch this video from Kristina Seleshanko on how to make delicious Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar!

So there you have it! Making Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in a mason jar is as easy as slicing the cabbage into strips. Remember that as long it remains unopened, your sauerkraut can last for months. Best of all, you can partner this sauerkraut in many recipes.

What do you think of this homemade recipe? Share your best sauerkraut recipe in the comments section below!

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Self Sufficiency


Having plants in the house will bring peace to people. Having a little garden with vegetables is even better! You can grow these vegetables in your backyard garden easily as well!

RELATED: Microgreens Growing Guide

In this article:

  1. Tomato
  2. Eggplant
  3. Beet
  4. Spinach
  5. Pea
  6. Carrot
  7. Radish
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Asparagus

Growing veggies in your garden will give you an opportunity to understand what you eat and value it more. Early spring is when most vegetables are being planted. Keep reading to learn about 9 spring vegetables that anyone can grow in their garden!


Tomato is the most popular garden vegetable in the States! There are different varieties to choose from. Tomatoes need to be planted in early spring because they won’t survive a frost.

Because tomatoes are consumed daily, try adding them to your garden! They’re not difficult to grow either.


Eggplants are known to have low-calorie, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, they are delicious! So why not plant them in your garden?

Eggplants shouldn’t be planted too early because they won’t be able to survive a frost. So you could consult an expert in your area before you plant your eggplants.


Beets are known to be a superfood for its various health benefits. They’re easier to grow in the garden, usually around late March or early April.

If the weather is always cool, beets will keep getting bigger and bigger. Once the weather starts to warm up, you’ll need to harvest them, or they’ll go to waste.


Spinach is a delicious early spring veggie, and it’s also very beneficial for health. And it’s not difficult to grow spinach in your garden!

Spinach needs cold weather to grow. Getting spinach to grow is easy, but keeping it growing will require some extra care.


Peas are usually planted in late April. Peas will die in freezing temperatures, but they also won’t survive the heat either. So make sure you plant your peas in early spring.

Peas are widely used in many different ways, and there are different types of peas. The soil you’ll be planting your peas should be suitable for them, so make sure you ask while buying seeds.


There are different types of carrots, but regardless of their size and color, it’s a fact that carrots are both delicious and rich in vitamins.

They’re root vegetables, so with proper sun and watering, they can be picked up as baby carrots as well.


A radish is an excellent option for beginners because it doesn’t require too much care. Radish is easy to harvest.

Radish grows fast, so it’s better to keep an eye on it after a few weeks. Radish usually is grown pest-free, but there’s always the chance of unwanted guests, so watch out for worms. Radish can be eaten raw or can be added to garnish recipes.


Cauliflower isn’t the easiest vegetable to grow at home, but it is very popular.

Cauliflower grows better in colder weather, so before you plant it, consider the climate of your garden. Cauliflower can be eaten raw or cooked, and it is known to be very beneficial for health.


Freshly picked, tender asparagus is very delicious!

Asparagus plants get more productive with each harvest, and mature asparagus harvest can last for months! Make sure you plant them at the correct time, or else they might go to waste.

All the vegetables listed above are great for your healthy diet, and it’s fun to watch them grow. So don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your own veggies and eat healthy this spring!

So tell us which veggies will you be growing this spring? Tell us in the comments section!




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