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A Survivalist Guide to Stockpiling Food For SHTF and TEOTWAWKI

snap beans

There is an interesting thread in the Survivalist Forum about Food Preps. Some of the topics being discussed are stockpiling food such as canned goods, stockpiling dried or vacuum sealed foods, buying MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), canning your own food, stockpiling family sized or #10 cans of food, or something else.

Regardless of how much food you stockpile, its impossible to stockpile enough food for a lifetime.

Here is what my food preps look like:

  • Canned goods bought from local grocery store
  • Dried foods – dried beans, dried rice, and the such stored in mylar bags
  • MREs and Eversafe meals
  • Stockpiling as much seed as possible – beans, peas, corn, squash, okra, radishes,,, only to name a few.
  • Food stored in #10 cans
  • Freeze dried food in pouches with a 30 year life span
  • Fruit trees
  • Chickens
  • Garden
  • Farming tools

Canned goods and dried foods are not a self sustaining food supply – once you eat them, they are gone. You are not going to be able to plant an empty bean can, and expect it to sprout a bean plant; which will grow more canned beans – that is not the way it happens.

Stocking up on canned goods, dried foods, vacuum sealed foods, is a dead end. Regardless of how long your food supply will last – 3 months, 6 months, 8 months, 12 months, its going to come to an end sooner or later.

Stockpiling SHTF Survival Garden Seeds

snap beans potatoes survival garden

Every survivalist should have seeds stockpiled for a survival garden. The first questions is, why would anyone need a “survival garden?” During extended wide spread disasters, food production and shipments might get disrupted. Most grocery stores only have a few days worth of supplies in their warehouse. When the panic buying kicks in, those stocks could be wiped out in a matter of hours.

In the days before a hurricane makes landfall, local grocery stores are cleaned out. There is no reason to think the same thing will not happen if there is an outbreak of some kind of new disease, or some kind of other world wide event.

During outbreaks of the plague in the middle ages, starvation was a serious issue. As farmers were dying off, and the merchants died off, there was nobody to raise the food or ship it to the cities. People who live in an urban environment, and who depend on the grocery store for their food – they especially need to take home gardening very seriously.

Home Grown Onions Are One Of The Easiest Crops To Grow

Home grown onions

Home grown onions are an easy item to grow. Even for those gardeners that have a black thumb and kill everything they touch, onions should still be able to live through the touch of death.

The way onions grow, they have several shoots that come off the main root. These shoots develop sugars, which then go into the bulb and help the bulb grow. When the shoots start to die, that is a sign that the sugars are going into the root ball.

When stored properly, most onion root balls can be stored through the winter. In early spring some types of onions will start developing shoots, which is a sign that they should be planted.

Fruit Tree Considerations For The Survivalist

Fig tree with some chickens

One part of the survivalist preps that is often over looked is the fruit tree. Instead of having to plant a garden every year, just plant a few fruit trees. Take care of the trees, give them some fertilizer, keep the bugs off of them, keep them trimmed and you might just have a food producing machine in your backyard.

Most people have a corner in the backyard where a fruit tree could be planted. If there is not enough room for a full sized tree, look into some miniature fruit trees. Some of miniature types only grow to be 6 – 10 feet tall.

The first thing to do is find out what kind of fruit tree grow well in your area. Some species of trees are better suited for certain climates. Some considerations include water requirements, frost requirements, freeze tolerant,,, the list goes on and on.

Food Supply Chains

Food Supply ChainsPlease Rate This Article During outbreaks of the plague in Europe, there was one major problem that faced the rich and poor alike – and that was the availability of food. The more moving parts a machine has, the more likely it is to break. The supply lines that feed the world are […]

Tips On How to Feed a Family

SHTF Survival Garden

These days people are not only worried about this house note, or their electric bill, they are also worried about something much more basic – and that is food. There is hardly anything that grieves a mothers heart more, then to open a kitchen cabinet, and it be empty.

An economic report from February 2009 said that around 700,000 – 800,000 people lost their jobs in that one month. Less people have jobs, so less bills get paid. But the one thing that must be bought is food. But what if someone told you that you do not have to buy food? That you can grow your own.

Its true. Regardless of what people have been told for the past 30, 40 or 50 years, food does not come from a grocery store – it comes from the ground. At first I did not believe it. I honestly thought that the grocery stores used some kind of magic to make the food appear out of thin air.

We have been enslaved to the grocery store for decades. People have paid others to do their work for them. Its time to break those chains.

Stocking Up On Survival Garden Seeds

snap beans survivalist garden

As the local stores get their garden seeds in, it’s time to take an inventory and start stocking up. A well rounded survivalist seed stockpile should include the types of food that the family will eat. And, most important, the types of seeds that will grow in a certain geographical area.

The bags that the seeds are stored in should be marked with the type of seed and the date when the seeds were bought. The date is very important so that the seed stocks can be rotated out every 2 – 3 years.

Examples of different types of seeds and plants:

Potatoes

Potatoes are usually planted from cuttings from a mature potato. When the “eyes” start to sprout on the potato, take a knife, cut a good section of the potato off (along with the eye).

Types of potatoes like red skin or Irish are high producers.

Squash and Zucchini

Benefits of a Fall Garden

Home grown onions

A fall garden should be a serious consideration for any survivalist. Spring and summer crops are one thing, but late season crops deserve special consideration.

Examples of cool weather and cold weather crops are – Cabbage, turnips, rutabagas, mustard greens and onions. Garlic should be a consideration as well.

Rutabagas: After world war 2, the rutabaga helped stop most of Germany from starving to death. Rutabagas seem to grow pretty good in cold weather. My ex-father in law grew a field of rutabagas in the middle of winter. I remember walking out into this field during the wet and cold middle of winter, and there was this green patch of Rutabaga tops. My first thought was – “wow, how can these things grow in the winter?”

When adding potting soil to your garden, avoid the cheap potting soil sold at places like wal-mart. This stuff has been know to have pieces of plastic and other trash in it. Sometimes you get what you pay for, and when you buy cheap potting soil, you get just that – cheap dirt.

How to Harvest Home Grown Potatoes

Bushel of potatoes

Once the tops of the potato plants start to die it is time to harvest the potatoes, Which is usually about 3 or 4 months after planting. To harvest the potatoes, pull the top of the potato plant up and then dig the dirt up around the plant.

The potatoes will be easy to damage, so dig up with care. Try not to use tools such as shovels as they can damage the potato.

Some people use cloth gardening gloves to help protect their hands from injury (from debris in the dirt) and to prevent getting dirt under their finger nails.

One way to quickly harvest the potatoes is to run a plow down the middle of the row. This will roll the dirt up and bring the potatoes to the surface.

After the potatoes have been Harvested, store them in a cool dry place. Some people will put down a bed of straw, layer of potatoes, layer of straw, layer of potatoes. When they need the potatoes, dig through the straw and dig some out.

Growing Zucchini As Part of a Survivalist Garden

Fresh zucchini from a backyard garden

Zucchini is a small summer squash and a member of the melon / gourd family. It has an outer skin that can harden if left on the plant for too long – kinda like a watermelon or pumpkin. The immature fruit are best when picked at about 6 inches in length. Zucchini can be yellow, green or light green. It can be compared to a cucumber is shape, with the Zucchini being a little slimmer then an average cucumber when ready to harvest.

When getting ready to plant the seeds, soak the seeds between two wet towels about about 3 – 5 days. The seeds that sprout should be planted, the seeds that have not sprouted can be discarded.

While the seeds are soaking, the ground should be worked and prepared for the seeds.

Fertilizer For Zucchini

Zucchini requires a balanced fertilizer such as 13-13-13. Try not to use straight nitrogen such as 21-0-0, as you might get a large plant that produces little food. For prolonged production, add some organic fertilizer to the mix, such as mulch, pot ash, compost or manure.

The Survivalist Garden and Cucumbers

cucumber survivalist garden

While planning a survival garden that will be used during a prolonged disaster, cucumbers might be an important consideration.

During outbreaks of the Bubonic Plague (The Black Death) during the middle 1300’s, starvation might have killed as many people as the disease. As farmers and merchants died off from The Black Death, those that were still alive were left to a slow death of starvation. It was recorded in the journals of the witnesses to The Black Death – the starving masses even turned to cannibalism.

To prevent this type of situation from befalling family members and loved ones, every survivalist should have a stock of seeds for a home garden.

The cucumber belongs to the same plant family as watermelon, zucchini and pumpkin. Sometimes this is called the “Gourd” or “melon” family. This is because the plants can grow a hard outer shell. The benefit of this hard outer shell, most insects can not penetrate it to eat the softer inner flesh. This makes the cucumber somewhat pest resistant, as compared to other garden plants – such as the tomato.

Modern man has grown the cucumber for at least 3,000 years in Western Asia. Estimates are that the cucumber was introduced to parts of Europe by the Romans. The exact year of European introduction in unknown. Written records dating back to the Roman empire exist noting how much the cucumber was eaten in ancient times. As an example, the Roman Emperor Tiberius (November 16, 42 BC – March 16, AD 37) ate cucumbers on an almost daily basis. To ensure that cucumbers were on the dinner plate during the winter months, the plants were grown in carts. The carts were wheeled into the sunlight during the day, and brought inside during the night.

Spinach For a SHTF Survival Garden

Spinach in a survivalist garden

Survivalist, are you looking for an easy crop to grow that is packed with nutrients? Look no further than spinach. Spinach is easy to grow, and easy to harvest.

Chances are seeds will be sold at the local farm supply store by the ounce. This provides the opportunity to stockpile seeds in bulk. Most of the spinach seeds in my stockpile are giant noble.

Several years ago I grew a crop of giant noble spinach in horse manure. Just a couple of pots kept us in a good supply for a couple of months. One of the nice things about stockpiling spinach seeds, they are small and do not take up a lot of room. This means thousands of seeds can be stockpiled in a small amount of space.

Planting Spinach

Spinach has to be replanted every year. This is also known as an annual plant. Even though Spinach may need to be replanted every year, it might survive over winter in temperate regions.

Spinach germinates best if the seeds are soaked in water, or between wet rags for at least 24 hours before planting. Best results for germination may occur if the seeds are soaked for 3 – 5 days, or until the seed starts to sprout.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018