Repurposing things for container gardens

May 16, 2021

One thing 2020 hopefully taught a lot of people is having extra food and supplies on hand can really help families during an emergency or disaster.

Also growing your own food can help supplement dietary needs, plus gardening will get you outdoors so you can soak up some vitamin D.

We are fortunate enough to live on some acreage so we have several in-ground gardens, but we also made a few raised / container gardens this year repurposing some things around the property.

Temperatures have been nice and cool this spring so the lettuce we planted in an old truck box is doing great. The box used to hold several kinds of flowers but, after the February snowpocalypse with subzero temps hit Texas, we lost those plants (and many others) and decided to use the truck box as a container garden for vegetables.

The raised garden required more work to build using some leftover metal roofing sheets and steel poles (and lots of free mulch from our local preserve), but the finished product makes it so much easier to work and harvest without having to bend over.

raised garden

The 14’ x 4’ container garden also can be tightened with turnbuckles on top in case the mulch and soil starts to settle and tries to push out the sides. And we can use poles and wire to throw some shade cloth over the sides and/or top during hot summer months, or to help insulate winter crops when temperatures drop, if needed. The goal is to can, freeze and dehydrate foods from the raised and in-ground gardens to complement our stored preps.

Even if you don’t have a yard, you can still grow vegetables and herbs in small tubs or pots on your patio or indoors by a sunny window.

And if space is limited, consider vertical gardening … or learn how to grow microgreens or sprouts.

And if you like flowers, look into edible flowers and realize some varieties also have edible shoots, leaves, and tubers.

But back to repurposing things – check out some cool repurposed garden container ideas here and here, and share pics of your gardens and/or container suggestions in the comments.

Happy gardening ~ j & B

Note: This post contains 1 affiliate link to some products and we may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you.


Want to appear in our preparedness and first aid ebook + on new Prep Products and Services page?

March 11, 2021

Would you like to promote your products and services in our preparedness and first aid PDF ebook?

Fedheath now offers affordable ad options and sizes that can appear in both our 67+ page FREE portion of IT’S A DISASTER! and each full 288-page PDF standard version sold, as well as on our new Preparedness Products and Services page on our site..

Fedhealth has been customizing our book and ebook in bulk since 1999 with well over half a million copies sold / in circulation, plus we give away a free 60+ page PDF portion of our ebook to the public.

We prefer to share products and services associated with preparedness and safety such as:

  • food (LTS items/kits, gardening, appliances, etc.);
  • water (purification, storage, etc.);
  • shelter / gear / tools / kits;
  • first aid (products, kits, training, etc.);
  • pets and livestock (supplies, services, etc.);
  • safety / security (both physical and cyber);
  • cellular, radio and communications tools;
  • home improvement / repair;
  • solar + other off-grid solutions;
  • business continuity and more!

Our cost effective ad rates to appear in our free and standard red ebook are billed quarterly and run…

Full page ad (5.5”w x 8.5”h)       $ 100 U.S. / quarter

Half page ad (5.5”w x 4.2”h)      $  50 / quarter

Third page ad (5.5” x 2”h)          $  30 / quarter

Banner ad (5/pg / 5”w x 1”h)     $  20 / quarter

Prices will be prorated for those who join between quarters, and some sample ads are…

And if you have an affiliate program, let us know which Marketing system you are part of since we can share your banners and links at no charge on our site (whether you advertise in ebook or not!)

Again, all advertisers are also included on our Preparedness Products and Services page with links at no additional charge.

Learn more about our customizable ebook, paperback, rapid test kits and more at www.fedhealth.net or call 520-907-2153 or email info@fedhealth.net to discuss your needs.


Use this time to learn some preparedness, self-reliance and other life skills

April 6, 2020

While most people feel they are “stuck” at home due to the COVID-19 craziness, this is actually our preferred daily lifestyle.

“Social distancing” has been our norm for 20+ years since we’ve worked from home every day with our businesses (Fedhealth and now FSC), and volunteer with the U.S. First Responders Association.

We might go out once a week or so for supplies or to visit Bill’s doctors as needed, and like to piddle around the yard and garden over past few decades.

After we came back to Texas, we got to help Mom with her chickens and gardens, and enjoy having fresh eggs and veggies. Even though the chickens are gone now, we still enjoy fresh eggs from our local feed store.

With Bill’s various health issues (including celiac disease) we don’t go out and eat so we cook everything from scratch. We buy food and supplies in bulk breaking them down into smaller amounts, and rotate things out constantly so stuff doesn’t get outdated.

And since we fulltime in our motorhome we can relate to those of you with limited space, but we try to keep at least a month or 2 of supplies on hand at all times.

Something this pandemic showed everyone is food, toiletries and supplies run short during a crisis so consider using this time off to learn some preparedness and other life skills.

For example…

  • Download a portion of our preparedness and first aid manual and sit down with loved ones to make a family plan, disaster kits for home and vehicles, learn what to do before and during certain types of disasters (e.g. floods, hurricanes, wildfires, etc.), find some business continuity tips and more at Fedhealth.net
  • Take an online introductory course about CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) covering basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations) on fema.gov
  • Check out some Educational and fun preparedness links and resources for families & kids on our blog
  • Learn how to cook using tips from Cooksmarts.com and Sheknows.com and find some recipes on USFRA.org’s Let’s Eat group
  • Find tips about dehydrating foods here and here
  • Grow sprouts (and put sprout kits in disaster kits as a food item) – more at Sproutpeople.org
  • Plant a garden outdoors and indoors using tips from Almanac.com and WindowFarms.org and Lifehacker.com
  • Learn how to can and store foods for short or long term storage from Millers Grain House and Preparednessmama
  • Learn how to sew and maybe start with making DIY cloth face masks – more on CDC.gov
  • Read more about preparedness, gardening, homesteading, tools, gear & more from…
    • PREPARE magazine and blog posts (we’ve contributed articles over the years that appeared in both free digital and paid print issues – join to gain access to their archives and other features at www.preparemag.com )
    • The Survival Mom has great, uplifting blogs, videos, webinars and free resources for moms and families (plus Lisa has a great book called How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios) at http://thesurvivalmom.com
  • Gaze at the night skies and find the Milky Way, specific stars and constellations (esp. if you have a telescope) – NASA.gov and Space.com have some great resources to get started
  • Snoop at beautiful views and critters at our National Parks using NPS’ virtual park finder site

If possible, limit news and focus time and energy on positive things (esp. if you have 2 and/or 4-legged kids!)

Read, color, play board games or cards, play in the yard or take walks, build indoor forts, organize closets and drawers, learn skills, pray or meditate, enjoy nature and this precious time with family as much as possible.

And one final and very important note …

THANK YOU first responders, military, healthcare workers, farmers, truck drivers, grocery, big box store and restaurant workers, delivery people, and everyone else across the public and private sectors who continue to keep our supply lines open and support those in need during this coronapocalypse!

We’ll get through this together and all be stronger for it.

Share your preparedness and homesteading tips, photos and resources in the comments below and stay safe and healthy out there ~ j & B


We’re baaa-aack

June 7, 2016

tx-signSorry we’ve been so M.I.A. lately, but we’re back in the saddle now and wanted to share some updates and pics about our latest adventures.

We have officially left Arizona now and moved our company to Texas where we plan to settle down someday. For the next year or 2 we hope to travel around the country in our motorhome, but haven’t hit the road yet since we’ve had some serious family health issues the past several months. Thankfully both Mom and my brother are doing better and so glad we were able to be here to help them during this time.

Anyway — we are now living in our 36-ft motorhome full time back working on custom book projects, revamping our sites, and helping moderate the U.S. First Responders Association facebook page and website.

Plus we’re helping Mom and bro with their dogs, gardens/yard work, and Mom’s chickens … and spending time with family we haven’t seen much the past 19 years since Bill’s health limited our travel.

Bill has a great green thumb but I’ve never been much into yard work, however now that I’ve been helping with the gardens, I love it and learning LOTS.

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I’m also smitten with Mom’s chickens. She’s got 15 white pullets (young 9-month old chicks) and 8 older hens from 3 other breeds she bought over the years. (If you purchase breeds that lay different color eggs it helps you find out which older ones are still laying ~ esp. when there’s only 1 or 2 older hens left.)

We won’t bore you with chicken stories (for now) but they are entertaining, very vocal and stinky ~ and they bless us with 15 to 20 white, brown and green eggs a day so I don’t mind putting up with their crap. (giggle)

Mom doesn’t raise meat chickens so we haven’t dispatched / butchered any, but once Bill and I settle down on our own personal farm that is on my wish list (along with raising rabbits, bees, a mini cow, etc.)

Here are some photos from east TX…

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tx-garden n greenhouse

In addition to the wonderful veggies and fruit in gardens and greenhouse, Mom and bro have beautiful flowers everywhere so Bill makes pretty arrangements often for our motorhome…

tx-flower collage

Cheers all, stay safe and talk soon! j & B

tx-flowers n wine


Prepare Magazine Book Review/Giveaway (It’s A Disaster!… by Bill and Janet Liebsch)

September 28, 2015

We’re happy to join our friends at PREPARE Magazine in another series of Book Reviews and Giveaways. And we are honored they’ve chosen our book for giveaway #2! Remember … if you found this post after the Giveaway has finished (ends 4-Oct-2015), you can learn more about our book and programs using below links.

preparemag disaster book giveaway liebschHere’s what the Reviewers at PREPARE Magazine have to say about this book:

The Book: It’s a Disaster…and what are YOU gonna do about it? by Bill and Janet Liebsch has been used in First Responder Training across the country since 1999! How much better could your family be prepared than to have on hand the very same book that so many First Responders use?

The book doesn’t read like a novel nor is it difficult to ‘get through.’ In fact, it lends itself to reading in short segments of time based upon your need, area of potential disaster or interest. Even if you are in the midst of a crisis, the way this book is set up – it’s so easy to find what you need in just seconds that it is a far better field guide than most other emergency manuals we’ve reviewed.

From Family Emergencies to Business Preparedness or Natural Disasters to Man-Made Mayhem, the book: It’s a Disaster…and what are YOU gonna do about it? 5th Edition really does cover the widest base of events we’ve ever seen in one single book.

Not only does it cover the events – it gives you the wherewithal to handle living through them right while they are happening. The step-by-step bullet points are easy to spot and follow thus they help you stay on track in the midst of chaos! It covers so many possible events in order to help you feel ready with almost endless contingency plans.

The authors also offer this as a Whole Community approach to Preparedness that includes funding ideas for schools, volunteer or church groups, or community planners. This outreach is unique in that the desire is to get these books in the hands of more grass-roots movements rather than hit a ‘best seller list’. This shows the true heart of the authors – to help communities and people prepare for life’s emergencies. We applaud and stand with them in this effort!

As the authors state on their website, the It’s a Disaster!… book truly “helps families and businesses ‘be aware, be prepared, and have a plan’ for most types of emergencies and disasters (including Terrorism). The 266-page paperback provides quick-reference instructional bullets in 2-color format. It is not written to alarm people, rather it suggests tips on what to think about and do before, during and after specific types of scenarios, as well as how to administer basic first aid.

If you have not had the opportunity to get your hands on this valuable resource guide, we highly recommend that you do. We hope you’ll enter this Giveaway for your opportunity to win it and add it to your bug out bag, emergency bin or back pack!

Click here to enter this book giveaway from PREPARE Magazine … and please visit www.preparemag.com and signup for their free digital magazine and learn how to subscribe to their print magazine.


Prepare Magazine Book Review/Giveaway (The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness by Jim Cobb)

September 13, 2015

Our friends at PREPARE Magazine are running a series of Book Reviews and Giveaways every other week that can help you expand your Preparedness Library. If you’ve found this post after the Giveaway has finished (ends 20-Sep-2015), you can still learn more about Jim’s books using links in Prepare Magazine’s below review.

prepare mag book giveaway cobbThe Prepper’s Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness by Jim Cobb is the quintessential preparedness primer. It is suitable reading for both the novice and seasoned prepper. Almost every topic is covered in this book yet it still it goes into great detail without distracting from the primary focus of laying a strong foundation. Disaster Readiness is a broad topic but author, Jim Cobb knows his topic well and has done a fantastic job of breaking things down into clearly distinct chapters and sections to help the reader grasp the scope of being well prepared.

The chapters offer a wide range, yet build from “Why to prepare” to more specific details such as “Where to go” in a disaster. The Prepper’s Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness will take you on a sequential journey without hype or conspiracy. Unlike day to day life, this book is tightly segmented in its approach so that you are able to locate a particular area on which you need to focus and review to it regularly.

Jim enlightens the reader on areas usually untouched such as how Disaster Readiness affects relationships (Children, Pets and Elderly). This is a book that we highly recommend regardless how long you have been on the preparedness journey.

Click here to enter this book giveaway from PREPARE Magazine … and please take a moment to click over to www.preparemag.com and signup for their free digital magazine and learn how to subscribe to their print magazine.


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