Winter Gardening Series: Jump-Starting The Garden Season

Penn State Extension Master Gardeners are offering a Winter Gardening Series of how-to topics for area gardeners on four consecutive Thursday evenings in February and March at the Berks County Agricultural Center in Bern Township.  All classes will be held in the Berks County Ag Center Auditorium from 7-9 p.m.

“There’s no better cure for cabin fever than planning for spring gardening,” says Beth Finlay, Coordinator for the Master Gardener Program in Berks County.  “The Winter Gardening Series is a chance to jump-start the garden season, hone skills, learn new techniques, and lay plans for your healthiest, most enjoyable gardens ever.”

On February 8, Master Gardeners Karen George and Martey Costellowill present A Gardener’s Calendar for Winter and Spring, a monthly outline to plan, prepare, and maintain your garden. This class is a guide to what to do and when to do it for your vegetables, annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, and lawns to have a prolific gardening season.  A session covering summer and fall months will be presented in our April Spring Gardening Series.

On February 15, Water-wise Gardening and Stewardship in Home Gardens will tackle water use and conservation, and smart approaches to protecting both plants and the environment.  Penn State Master Watershed Stewards will team with Master Gardeners to discuss rain gardens, rain barrels, plant groupings, and proven watering techniques.

The class on February 22 will be a Focus on Vegetables: tips and techniques for growing vegetables in home gardens, landscapes, and containers. Master Gardener Pat Magala will start the session with a general discussion of seed selection, seed starting, and vegetable families.  Then participants will spend time at in-depth learning stations on raised beds and vertical gardening; tomatoes and peppers, container growing, vegetables in the landscape; and seed starting and transplanting.

On March 1, Rethinking Your Landscape will help participants take a critical look at their home plantings to decide what can be removed, replaced, or rejuvenated. Landscape plantings have a life cycle, and some plants simply outgrow their appeal.  If a yard or garden is in need of a facelift, Master Gardeners can offer remedies for overgrown, outdated and aging plantings.

Participants may choose individual classes or may register for the whole series. Class sizes are limited to permit hands-on learning and time for discussion.

Registration is required, with a class fee of $10 per person per class.  Register online:  or by phone, 1-877-345-0691.

The Pennsylvania State University encourages qualified persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us at 610-378-1327 in advance of your participation or visit.



Who are the doomsday Preppers? US community prepares for ‘end of the world’ by stockpiling food

What will you do when you realise that the world is coming to an end, be it due to natural causes or man-made? While most of us are busy living our lives and facing day-to-day challenges, there are those are who are certain that “doomsday” will arrive sooner or later and have been preparing themselves quietly for it.

As part of a BBC One show, Harry Potter actress Miriam Margolyes met people also known as the “Preppers” based in the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, US. The ongoing unrest in the world, climate change and above all, the growing fear of terrorism, have all convinced the community that the end of the world is near and they have started stockpiling food, arms and ammunition.

“When I heard George Bush senior give a speech and use the words New World Order I got up out of my chair and said ‘Oh, my God’. From that moment on I became a Prepper and always had a backpack in my bag prepared for who knows what. I don’t know,” Heidi, a sales representative, told Miriam about her preparedness which she began in 1987.

“I have buckets of things buried in places for emergencies. I have MRE – meals ready to eat – which come from the military,” she added while explaining she has buried dry fruits and other ready-to-eat foods in different secret places that will prevent her and her family from starving to death.

She also flaunts her preparedness to get safe food and drinking water during an apocalypse. “This is a head net for bugs which doubles as a net for catching little fish. If something can only be used for one thing then it is taking up space. The most important thing is a water filter as I remember in Katrina there was plenty of water but it was not drinkable,” she said.

She said like her many others prefer to stay prepared and one of the most popular survival tools among the Preppers is a knife, which according to her, is ideal for “protection or hunting”. “They are for bush-crafting and we feel like any knife you take out you should be able to use to cut down a tree and skin a rabbit. You carry a knife on your belt. We sell the kind of sling that David used to kill Goliath,” she told Miriam.

The second episode of the docu-series Miriam’s Big American Adventure will air on Wednesday, 10 January on BBC One.


Source :


IRMA Doomsday Hurricane SHTF gobag experiment

Hurricane Irma path LIVE UPDATES: Irma bears down on Caribbean … › News › Weather 1 hour ago – HURRICANE IRMA is bearing down on a string of Caribbean islands amid fears that it could barrel towards the USA next. … Bringing you the latest Hurricane Irma path updates, storm track, weather models, the latest forecasts, tracking maps and videos as the storm heads towards the … Hurricane Irma: Puerto Rico declares state of emergency ahead of … 1 hour ago – Puerto Rico’s governor declared a state of emergency on Monday ahead of powerful Hurricane Irma. … Government workers on the islands of the eastern Caribbean are clearing drains and pruning trees as authorities urge residents to prepare for Hurricane Irma, a Category 3 storm likely … Hurricane Irma to track toward US; Residents of East and Gulf coasts …… 24 mins ago – As Major Hurricane Irma churns across the northern Caribbean and towards the United States, residents along the Gulf and East coasts of the U.S. need to be on alert. Irma will blast the northern Caribbean with flooding rain, damaging winds and rough surf this week, bringing life … Hurricane Irma strengthens as it heads toward Leeward Islands – CNN 26 mins ago – Hurricane Irma strengthens as it heads toward Leeward Islands. By Susannah Cullinane, Holly Yan and Joe Sutton, CNN. Updated 1:41 PM ET, Mon September … Hurricane Irma a Growing Concern For the United States; Potential ……/irma-m… 7 hours ago – Here is what you need to know about Irma’s threat this week. Hurricane Irma a Growing Threat for the United States; Hurricane ……/hurricane-irm…… 1 hour ago – Here is what you need to know about Irma’s threat this week. The National Hurricane Center Is A Trusted Source As Worrisome ……/the-nation…… 7 hours ago – Hurricane Irma is an increasingly dangerous threat to the Caribbean region and the contiguous United States. The National Hurricane Center is a trusted source … Hurricane Irma Public Advisory – National Hurricane Center – National … 4 hours ago – 000 WTNT31 KNHC 041447 TCPAT1 BULLETIN Hurricane Irma Advisory Number 21 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL112017 1100 AM AST Mon .

Keep Your Family Safe by Making Places Safe

How can you dramatically increase your personal safety and lower risks to your family, by following basic principles to avoid unsafe situations and avert violent confrontations from impacting you? Whether shopping at the mall, eating out, driving in traffic, staying at a hotel, or walking in a city, how can you make sure you maximize your chances of staying safe?

Security expert Chris McGoey, veteran security consultant for 47 years and founder of, returns to Reluctant Preppers to spell out the critical steps, situational awareness, and forward planning habits that will really move the needle in the positive direction for your survival and real safety!





Prepping: The Paradigm Has Shifted!

The prepper dynamic paradigm has shifted. When I first embraced prepping as a lifestyle I was convinced that I’d be standing with oath keepers, patriots and conservatives to fend off the tyranny of an oppressive left-wing socialist government, but that all changed on November 8th. Now I see myself shoulder to shoulder with those same oath keepers, patriots and conservatives together with the federal government to fend off the assault and potential overthrow by the lefty socialist, communists who are bent on the take over of the Trump administration.

Congress Considering Reforms to Safe Drinking Water Act


The National Groundwater Association recently reported on testimony heard by the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. The testimony involved possible reforms to the Safe Drinking Water Act. While many players were allowed the opportunity to present their perspective on the issue, all agreed that an increased budget of the state revolving funds is highly needed.

Rural communities, who often rely on groundwater for their drinking water, specifically outlined the difficulties in obtaining funding, getting technical assistance and treatment contamination. Usually it is more cost effective for rural communities to use groundwater than to have city water lines ran out to their community. However, the cost of drilling a well can be significant. Testing and maintaining the quality of the water is the responsibility of the individual using the well. Further, if there is a loss of electricity, there is also a loss of pressurized water. An essential component to each well, then, is a Bison Hand Pump.

The Bison Pump is hand operated and can be installed alongside or in-line with an electric submersible pump. That way, if the power goes out, you can easily switch to hand power. The Bison Pump can be used to pump water uphill or pressurize a tank. For rural communities with unreliable electricity, the Bison Hand Pump is a must-have!

For these reasons and others, the National Groundwater Association is focused on the drinking water requirements of rural communities. Bison Pumps especially supported this by attending the 2017 Groundwater Fly-In hosted by the NGWA in March. Arkansas Senator and groundwater advocate Sen. John Boozman re-affirmed his support of the NGWA and the Safe Drinking Water Act. We especially grateful for his continued support and influence.



To watch a video of the hearing, click here:

Drinking Water System Improvement Act and Related Issues of Funding, Management, and Compliance Assistance under the Safe Drinking Water Act
Drinking Water System Improvement Act and Related Issues of Funding, Management, and Compliance Assistance under the Safe Drinking Water Act

Bison Hand Water Pumps Client Query

We received a Query from a client :

I believe your down pipes are glued together. If so, how do you pull the pump? Do you have to cut them apart as they are pulled up?
The ID of my casing is 6.375 inches. Will I be able to pull the submersible with hand pump in place?

Our sales Team Replied:

Good Morning,

Thank you for your continued interest in Bison Hand Water Pump. Our pipe/rods are screwed together, not glued. We have installation videos on YouTube that you might find helpful.

You will need to remove the hand pump whenever you need to pull the submersible pump.

Any questions, please feel free to contact me at 1-800-339-2601 .

bison water filtration
bison water filtration

Static Water Level

Hand pumps, unlike electric pumps draw from the top of the water not the bottom of the well. Static water level is defined as the distance between the ground and the top of the water in your well. To determine your static water level, drop a weighted nylon string into the well casing until you hear it or see it splash the surface of the water. Mark the string where it lays on the top of the well casing. Pull the string out and measure with a tape measure from your mark to the weight on the other end of the string.
Standard Installation

Standard Installation

When the static water level is GREATER than 25′ feet, then you must use a deep well hand pump; as these pumps lift water (not suction like a shallow well pump). Deep well hand pumps can access great depths, but the further down you install the cylinder, the more water you are lifting. This means it will be harder to pump.