The weather in early 2017 has been unseasonably warm, so I decided to go ahead and start the spring garden a few weeks early. I usually do not plant until after the Ides of March. With everything blooming out early and daytime highs hitting the low 80s, I decided to start planting in late February. […]
The season of plenty is upon us. On Saturday June 14, 2014 the grandkids, my wife and I dug 4 1/2 bushels of potatoes, beans are doing good, fig trees have figs on them.
Here in southeast Texas we had an unusually cold and wet winter. We got snow 4 times this year. One of the storms blanketed the farm with 3 inches of snow. My dad nor my aunt remembered anything like this past summer.
Around 1964 there was a storm that dumped 2 feet of snow in southeast Texas. My dad remembered having to get the chickens out of the snow and put them in the chicken house for the night.
Nobody I talked to remembers a winter like what we experienced here in Southeast Texas in 2013 – 2014.
My first attempt at drying green beans. My wife and I planted 2 rows of beans, 1 row Roma II snap beans and 1 row contender snap beans. On Sunday June 1st I picked exactly 5 pounds of beans. I know it was 5 pounds because I used a scale.
My wife has been putting a bunch of the beans in the freezer, and we are going to can a bunch of them. To go along with the canning and frozen beans, I want to dry some using an old method of using a string.
Using sewing string for quilts I did one string of Roma II and one string of Contender bush bean.
Beans, Guns and Seeds – the three things that are key to surviving a long term SHTF situation. Water should be a given, there there is no real need in discussing that. If someone needs to be reminded that they need safe drinking water, then natural selection needs to take effect.
Why do I put Beans, Guns and Seeds in that order? Why not have it GSB, or BSG,,, or some other combination?
Beans – your food stockpile
Guns – security
Seeds – renewable and sustainable food sources
A few weeks ago a buddy of mine and I were talking about food during a long term SHTF event. Most survivalist have some kind of food stockpile. But once those food stores run out, what then?
Group 1 – Bug out to the wilderness to live off the land.
Group 2 – Have some kind of homestead setup with a garden, livestock, fruit trees,,, renewable and sustainable food sources.
Chances are group 1 is going to develop dysentery, and either starve to death, or die from some kind of infection.
Group 2 will have shelter, fresh food, safe drinking water, security, private property,,,.
Ask yourself, if society as we know it right now, where would you rather be, camping in the wilderness, or safe at home in your bed.
Some examples of my BGS theory:
Bean-growing in a small way is fully warranted in every garden, but on a large scale it is a different question, being somewhat a matter of soil and location.
Food Value.—The bean is one of the most excellent of human foods. Its botanical kinship is close to the pea, and both are legumes. The leguminous plants, it will be remembered, have the rare ability of obtaining nitrogen through the tubercles on their roots, taking this expensive element partly from the air, and not greatly impoverishing the soil by their growth.
Something of the food value of the bean may be learned by comparing its chemical analysis with that of beef. In 100 pounds of beans there are 23 pounds of protein (nitrogenous matter), while in 100 pounds of beef there are but about 15 to 20 pounds of protein. Peas are almost as rich as beans in protein, which is the tissue-building element of all foods, and, hence, it is easy to realize the fact that both beans and peas are foods of the highest economic value. They are standard foods of the world, entering into the diet of soldiers, laborers and persons needing physical strength.
It is generally safe to grow beans for the retail market of any town or centre of population, but to compete in the open wholesale market demands experience and good equipment on the part of the grower to insure profits.
Stock is the basis of all soups made from meat, and is really the juice of the meat extracted by long and gentle simmering. In making stock for soup always use an agate or porcelain-lined stock pot. Use one quart of cold water to each pound of meat and bone. Use cheap cuts of meat for soup stock. Excellent stock may be made from bones and trimmings of meat and poultry. Wash soup bones and stewing meat quickly in cold water. Never allow a roast or piece of stewing meat to lie for a second in water. Aunt Sarah did not think that wiping meat with a damp cloth was all that was necessary (although many wise and good cooks to the contrary). Place meat and soup bones in a stock pot, pour over the requisite amount of soft, cold water to extract the juice and nutritive quality of the meat; allow it to come to a boil, then stand back on the range, where it will just simmer for 3 or 4 hours. Then add a sliced onion, several sprigs of parsley, small pieces of chopped celery tops, well-scraped roots of celery, and allow to simmer three-quarters of an hour longer. Season well with salt and pepper, 1 level teaspoonful of salt will season 1 quart of soup.
Strain through a fine sieve, stand aside, and when cool remove from lop the solid cake of fat which had formed and use for frying after it has been clarified. It is surprising to know the variety of soups made possible by the addition of a small quantity of vegetables or cereals to stock. A couple tablespoonfuls of rice or barley added to well-seasoned stock and you have rice or barley soup. A small quantity of stewed, sweet corn or noodles, frequently “left-overs,” finely diced or grated carrots, potatoes, celery or onions, and you have a vegetable soup. Strain the half can of tomatoes, a “left-over” from dinner, add a tablespoonful of butter, a seasoning of salt and pepper, chicken to a creamy consistency with a little cornstarch, add to cup of soup stock, serve with croutons of bread or crackers, and you have an appetizing addition to dinner or lunch.
Lets say SHTF tomorrow, you break out your seed stockpile, till up some soil, and then what? You plant your seeds and hopefully grow something.
The first year everything goes ok because you have some commercial fertilizer and get plenty of rainfall. The second year does not go so well because you have depleted your fertilizer stockpile and there is a drought.
At this point yall are probably saying, “I will just do some composting and everything will be fine.”
This is the difference in survivalism as a theory and survivalism as an experience.
Where is that compost going to come from? Do you have livestock so you have access to manure? What kind of livestock do you have? Do you have rabbits, chickens, goats, cow, horse,,, something else? Or were you planning on obtaining livestock after SHTF? Do you have a garden plot planned out, or were you going to bug out to the wilderness and plant your garden there?
Fenced Garden Section
There is a practice called square foot gardening, its where you build a box 2 feet wide, and X number of feet long. Each plant takes up 1 square foot inside the box.
My plan, based on the square foot garden concept is to build a box 3 feet wide and X number of feet long. Each box would be 2-2x14s stacked on top of each other. This would give the box a height of about 26 1/2 inches. During the off season each box would be used as a compost bin.
¾ cup lentils
1 cup rice
1 quart tomatoes
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon bay leaf
¼ teaspoon sage
Soak lentils over night; drain; add one quart fresh water and one teaspoon of salt. Cook slowly until tender. Add other ingredients. Steam or bake for 45 minutes.
2 cups cold cooked beans
1 egg beaten
1 cup breadcrumbs
⅛ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon minced onion
2 tablespoons catsup
¼ teaspoon salt
Shape into loaf. Bake 25 minutes. Serve with tomato sauce.
1 cup left-over baked beans, cooked dried peas, or beans or lentils, or cooked rice, rice.
1 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons chopped pepper
3 tablespoons chopped pickle
1 cup cooked salad dressing
Mix ingredients thoroughly and let stand 30 minutes to blend flavor thoroughly.
Lets say that some kind of long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation happens. Whether its war, food shortages, some kind of new disease,,, something happens to disrupt modern society. What food group would you want to have stockpiled?
Instead of saying what single food would be the most important to stockpile, lets look at it from a “food group” point of view. The fact is, there is no single perfect food. Humans are omnivores, meaning we are designed to eat a wide range of food.
Man can not live on bread alone, nor can we live on meat alone.
Lets look at four factors in selecting our food group
History – how long has mankind used the food group.
Ease of growing – how easy is the plant to grow. We should be looking at long term survival factors.
Production – how much food does the plant produce.
Storage – how easy is the plant to store.
[Related Article – Stocking Seeds]
When survivalist start stockpiling food, we buy #10 cans and usually store food in mylar bags. Lets say we had to focus on certain foods, what would those foods be? Lets look at food that packs a nutritional punch, renewable, easy to grow, easy to harvest and can be stored without modern technology.
How do we decide which foods we should focus on? Lets narrow our selections to how easy the food is to grow, how well it stores, and the nutrition content.
During a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI survival situation, we will being growing and storing our own food. One thing we do not want to do is dedicate a lot of time and effort into food that contains little nutrition.
In this article I hope to focus on renewable foods. Foods that we can grow in a home garden or at a Bug Out Location. During a long term survival situation, people that hope to make it through will need a renewable food source. It is not enough to stockpile food in mylar bags, or stockpile freeze dried food in #10 cans. Sooner or later those mylar bags and those cans will be empty.
Humans have been eating honey for well over 1,000 years. Some estimates put humans eating honey up to 8,000 years ago.
- The bees do the work for you, all you have to do is harvest the honey
- Honey is loaded with trace minerals
- Honey does not spoil or go rancid
- Honey inhibits the growth of bacteria, so it can be used in the treatment of wounds and injuries
One of the drawbacks to honey, the bees will sting the crap out of you if you bother the hive. You think your big and bad until a swarm of bees are done with your ass. When its said, done and over with, you will be in a fetal position crying for your mommy.
If you plan on adding honey to your to your preps, either stockpile the crap out of it, or learn how to safely harvest honey.
Over the next few weeks the local feed and fertilizer stores will start getting their shipments in. As the stores start to get their seeds in, now is a good time to review your seed stockpile.
Last year my wife and I planted 1/4 acre of corn and peas. But due to the drought, nothing came up. This year I plan on planting a garden a little smaller and a little closer to home so I can get a water hose to the plants. This year I need to replace the seeds that we pout out last year.
Some of the seeds in my stockpile:
Beans – snap beans and pinto beans
Lets talk about food production during some kind of long term SHTF situation. Whether its nuclear war, some kind of new disease, climate change,,,,, combination of several things, there might come a point in time when you have to grow your own food. So what kind of seeds should you stockpile for some kind of long term SHTF situation? Lets break it down to 3 categories – short term storage, mid term storage, long term storage.
Short term storage foods – these are the foods that need to be eaten within a few days to a couple of weeks of being harvested. This is going to include most of your leafy greens, radishes, cucumbers, broccoli, spinach.
Mid term storage – these are the foods that can be stored for several months before they have to be eaten. This list includes pecans, certain types of squash, potatoes, onions.
Certain fruits can be and dehydrated and stored long period of time. If you have some wire trays available, place the fruit on the tray, and put the tray into something hot – like a car or truck with the windows slightly cracked. During the summer time, the inside of a truck or car can reach 40 degrees higher then the outside temperature. So if its 80 degrees outside, the inside of a car can reach the 120s. With outside temps in the 90 to lower 100s, temps inside a car or truck can reach around 140 degrees. In other words, the inside of a truck or car can act as a dehydrator for drying stuff like apple slices and plums to make prunes.
Long term storage – these are the foods that can be grown in the summer time, dried and stored through the winter. This includes pecans, wheat, barley, peas, beans and corn.
The snap beans are really starting to come in. If we could get some rain, they would be producing a lot more, but you just have to make due with what you have. In all, we probably picked 4 – 5 gallons of snap beans.