Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Month: February 2010

The squash as a survivalist food source

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The squash is one of the better choices for any garden. Its pest resistant, easy to grow, and the harvested squash can be cooked in a variety of ways. It can be fried, baked, grilled, or just eaten raw.

There are several reasons why squash should be favored by survivalist – can be eaten raw, it’s high in nutrients, can be cooked, and some types of squash can be stored for several months. The squash is in the melon family and can develop a hard outer skin. The squash should be harvested when it is in an immature stage. If the squash is left on the plant too long, the skin and the seeds will harden, making it undesirable to eat. Squash plants can grow to be about 3 feet tall and 3 – 4 feet across.

The squash is not what you might called a “high production plant”, but it does produce more then once. In this picture we can see several small “squash” starting to grow on the vine. The squash plant produces a vine, but not a long one. This “vine” may grow to be just a few feet long. The center vine of the squash plant in the picture may be about 18 inches long.


Planting a community garden

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In these tough economic times, its important for people to come together. ne way that families can work together to safe money, is to plant a community garden.

In this example, 3 families, it breaks down to 11 people, 6 adults and 5 children are working together to plant a garden. This garden will be shared equally between everyone involved.

The land we are planting on belongs to my step son and step daughter. Its some family land their grandfather left them after he passed away a few years ago. I’am guessing the plot we are using in the video is about 1/4 acre. There is another plot we are going to plant water melons on. And a smaller spot we are going to plant okra on.


Planting potatoes, peas and corn

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Potatoes, peas and corn – plant them in that order.

Commercial grade fertilizer has 3 numbers, such as 13-13-13. Those three numbers stand for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (also called Pot Ash).

nitrogen – large leaves, tall growth – greens, spinach, corn, okra
phosphorus – root growth – potatoes, turnips
potassium / pot ash – pod production – peas, beans, corn, okra, squash

Potatoes – use fertilizers with a high middle number, such as 10-20-10 fertilizer. The higher phosphorus content helps promote root growth.  The potatoes can be harvested and eaten at anytime.  Just dig around the base of the potato plant and pull out the potatoes when you want some to cook.  Or, wait until the top of the plant dies, then you know the potatoes are full grown and ready to harvest.


Kerosene lantern considerations

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A few things to consider:

Type and quality of the kerosene – clear, colored, scented
Size of reservoir on the lantern
Trimming the wick before use
Keep the lantern away from children

Personally, I buy kerosene in bulk. I’ll go down to a local store and buy 15 gallons at a time. The kerosene is stored in some 16 gallon drums that I bought just for kerosene, gasoline and water – different drums for different storage needs. The drums are kept in a storage building that is separated from my house. To get the fuel out of the drum, I use a squeeze hand pump – I got mine from Lowes for about $2. From the drum, the fuel is put into a couple of lamp oil fuel containers I got from wal-mart. Its easier to handle a bottle, then it is to handle 15 gallons.

I look for lanterns that have a large reservoir. The larger the reservoir, the longer they can burn between refills. Look for something that holds enough fuel that you can go at least 8 hours without a refill.

Be sure to trim your wick before using the lantern. I like to trim my wicks in the shape of an arch. In other words, I cut the corners off the top of the wick before I use it. That way the flame is easier to adjust and puts out less smoke. If the wick is not trimmed, its going to be difficult to adjust the flame.

Keep in mind that lanterns are a fire hazard. Be sure to keep them away from where people can not bump into them, and where from the reach of children.

When I use lanterns, they are put in the bathrooms, where the mirror can reflect the light, and at least 6 inches away from the edge of the counter top.

When dealing with fire, always keep safety in mind.

No bug out bag for me thank you

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From what I see, most of the people that talk about “bug out bags” have never faced a “real” disaster. But lets not group everyone together – I’am sure some of them have.

Personally, I do not subscribe to the “Bug Out Bag” train of thought. I have had to bug out / evacuate in the face of too many hurricanes, and like to think I know the difference between reality and myth.

Keep in mind, I keep my camping backpack ready to go. It usually has 2 – 3 days worth of food in it, and most of my camping stuff in it.

If anyone has ever evacuated in the face of a real disaster, then you know what its like. You just dont load up a “bag” – you load up the whole truck. I take my computer, my guns, family pictures that can never be replaced, clothes, pets, back up drives for the computer, important papers, titles, insurance papers,,,,,,,,,,. By the time I’am done, the extended part of my cab is full. Then off to the shelter my wife and I go.

Why did I leave my house? Because we had massive hurricanes heading towards us at the time. My house has 2 large – 100 feet tall oak trees right next to it. Inside the house is not where you want to be if one of those trees decides to uproot in 100+ mile per hour winds.

If you live next to a chemical plant or next to a nuclear power plant, then yes, you might want to keep a bug out bag handy. But even then, authorities will probably tell you to shelter in place. Depending on what was leaking from the chemical plant, the direction of the wind and how fast the traffic was moving, hundreds or even thousands of people could die in their cars trying to leave.

What was interesting to see, was when Houston, Texas evacuated for Hurricane Rita. People were sitting in their cars for hours, and only moving a couple of miles. People were running out of gas on the side of the road, sleeping in their cars, running up credit cards to stay in a hotel,,,,,. When my parents left Bridge City, Texas in the face of Rita, what normally took them 1.25 hours to drive, took 9 hours. But at least they had somewhere to go.

My opinion, survivalist are divided into 2 groups – those that have a realistic point of view and plan. And those that have an unrealistic point of view and plan.

Realistic point of view and plan – built on real life experiences, military training

Unrealistic point of view and plan – watched too many movies and tv shows

Post your comments in this forum thread about Bug Out Bags.

Taking the new boat out

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A couple of weeks ago my dad bought himself a new boat, so he gave me his old one.  Its a WeldBilt aluminum boat, 15 feet long, 42 inches across and is driven by a 30 horsepower Evinrude outboard motor.

The river this video was filmed in, is called the Angelina River. It goes from Lake Sam Rayburn Dam to Steinhagen Reservoir (also called Dam B) in East Texas. Years ago my buddies and I used to go camping in the marshes and bayous of Southeast Texas. I’am hoping to start going camping on the rivers and bayous again.

Related Post:

Looking for a camping spot on the river
Another trip to the Angelina River
Camping on the Angelina River

Berkey Water Filter Contest

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When disaster strikes, will you and your family have plenty of safe drinking water? If your one of the lucky 8 winners, that problem might be taken care of (at least for a little while).

Jeff  “The Berkey Guy” (from “LPC Survival Ltd.”) is holding a contest where there will be 8 winners

Here are the prizes:

We are giving away 4 Berkey Water Purification Systems to 4 different forum members, You can pick the system of your choice from this list:*

Go Berkey Kit
Berkey Light
Travel Berkey
Big Berkey
Royal Berkey
Imperial Berkey
Crown Berkey

All systems with come brand new, with 2 black berkey elements.* The Big Berkey w/ 2 Nine inch White ceramic filters is available also as a choice.

We are also giving away 3 Sport Berkey Water Bottles to four different members. If you are one of the 4 chosen, you will receive 3 Sport Berkey’s Free!

How to enter the contest:

Visit this forum thread on the Berkey Water Filter Contest and find out how to get signed up.

Example of a Royal Berkey Water Filter

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