Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: beans

Ending the Chicken Manure as Fertilizer Experiment

Tomatoes grown with chicken manure experiment

One gardening experiment for 2018 was to take a field that had not been used for a couple of years, till in chicken manure using a garden tiller, then plant the crops.

How well would the crops grow? Would some types of crops do better than others?

After watching the experiment for close to two months, I think I have my answers. The experiment for this year has drawn to a close and 13-13-13 fertilizer was spread along the garden rows.

However, I feel part of the experiment should be repeated in the spring of 2019. The weather here in Southeast Texas was very wet between March – April, then very dry from April – May.

When the rain stopped in April, it stopped. It was like GOD turned off the water valve. We have not gotten a drop of rain in close to a month.

Starting the Chicken Manure Fertilizer Experiment

2018 Spring Garden Has Been a Bust

Cajun Spicy Bell Peppers

The spring garden for 2018 has fallen flat on its face, and it is my fault. To fully understand what happened we need to back up a few years.

Several years ago I held a New Years bonfire. The bonfire was made from pieces of timber left over from cutting trees from the property. There was a large section of Sweet Gum, pine tree limbs… etc. piled up maybe eight feet tall. After the bonfire was lit, it burned for several days.

Once the New Years bonfire had finally died out, there was a pile of ash almost three feet tall and eight – ten feet across. The pile was so tall a tractor was used to level the pile out. Once the pile was leveled out, a tractor disk was used to mix the ash into the soil.

Fast forward a few years. I figured the ash had time to dissolve into the soil, but I may have been wrong.

What Does Potash Do?

Garden Update: Contender Snap Bean Sprouts and Peppers

Contender snap bean sprouts

Contender snap bean sprouts are breaking through the soil and pepper plants are getting established. Some the peppers have died, and some are not looking too good, which is to be expected.

The pepper plants were planted in a garden spot around 100 yards behind the house. Just a couple of days after planting we got around 8 inches of rain overnight. I suspect a couple of the plants drown during the rain. Some of the pepper plants look nice.

One of the things I love about spring is the garden. Seeing sprouts break through the soil is a wonderful sight. They symbolize rebirth after winter is over.

No signs of the potatoes yet, but that is no big deal. It may take the potatoes a few more days. When the potatoes were cut, I made sure each eye had plenty of meat on them. The potato chunks provides nutrients so the roots and sprouts can get started.

Snap Bean Sprouts

Starting Spring 2017 Garden

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.

This garden will be special, as it uses decade old seeds. I posted a video on youtube about stockpiling seeds and then shared the video on survivalistboards, twitter and reddit. A couple of guys on reddit said made statements that seeds can not be saved.

How Many Seeds Should a Survivalist Stockpile for SHTF

Stockpiling Garden Seeds

While we have discussed stockpiling seeds in depth. Something which may have been overlooked, is how many seeds should someone stockpile?

I have come up with a simple formula and would like to know what yall think.

How many seeds do you normally plant to obtain X amount of harvest? Lets say you plant 1 pound of snap beans or purple hull peas. With that one pound and a certain amount of fertilizer you have an idea of how much of a harvest you will get.

How many people are planning on using your place as a long term bug out location?

To keep the formula simple, take the usual number of seeds you plant and double it. Lets say you plant 2 pounds of contender snap beans. Double that for a total of 4 pounds. Doubling is for the extra people you intended to feed.

How Many Seeds Should Someone Stockpile

The Season of Plenty Beans Figs and Potatoes

Snap beans for a shtf survival garden

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.

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.

Because of the cold wet weather I postponed planting potatoes for a couple of weeks. Instead of planting in mid-February we planted in early March. This meant the potatoes would be ready to dig later. Instead of mid-late May, the potatoes were ready in early-mid June.

Old Style Bean Farming Wisdom From The Past

Snap beans for a shtf survival garden

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.

Bean Varieties and Types

Soup and Chowder Recipes

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.

Designing a long term survival garden

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

Long term survival garden diagramThe goal is to be able to use one of the 25 feet x 100 feet sections for 1 complete year. But to do this my wife and I will need access to material for composting and manure.

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.

BEAN LOAF

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.

Fundamental Survivalist Food for SHTF

Bushel basket for laying box

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.

Reviewing Your SHTF Seed Stockpile

Snap beans for a shtf survival garden

Spring is just a couple of months away. As the warm weather gets closer, some of us are going to be putting seeds in the ground in 6 – 7 weeks.

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.

When stockpiling seeds for a home garden, and especially for a long term SHTF survival situation, its important to have seeds that will provide a balanced diet.

Unless you have access to livestock or land to go hunting on, one of the most important types of seeds that you can stockpile is pinto beans. Pinto beans are a good source of protein. Its such a good source of protein, vegans use pinto beans as a replacement for meat.

Stockpiling Beans and Bullets For Surviving SHTF

Bugging out to the wilderness

Lets say SHTF tomorrow, what would your survival gear stockpile look like? For a lot of survivalist it would be mostly beans and bullets – meaning not very much thought has been put into the plans.

When the SurvivalistBoards youtube channel was opened, I wanted to publish a wide range of videos. The plans were to post videos about everything from gardening to wilderness survival. There are certain topics that do better then others. It seems that fishing videos probably do the worst in view counts, and firearm videos do the best.

But to have a balanced channel and blog, I think one should cover a wide range of topics. It seems that example videos and articles work best. Instead of saying what people should do, I show people what I am doing, and end it with that. Then let the viewer make up their own mind.

How does all of this relate to stockpiling survival gear? When dealing with survivalism, I do not think its enough to just stockpile bullets and beans. A well rounded, long term SHTF survival plan, should cover as much information and resources as possible. It is not enough to buy a case of 7.62×39, store some rice and beans in mylar bags, and then proclaim you have a well rounded survival plan. Ammo, rice and beans are not a well rounded plan.

Storing Food in Mylar Bags for SHTF

Storing food in mylar bags for SHTF survival

My SHTF food preps include mylar bags, #10 cans, MREs and canned goods. In this article and video ware going to discuss making up 20 mylar bags of rice, beans, oatmeal,,,,, and various other items.

Awhile back I made up some homemade superpails of oats, rice and beans. I found the 5 gallon mylar bags difficult to work with and a little difficult to seal. After that experience I decided that the largest bag I was going to mess with was probably going to be around the 2 1/2 gallon size.

For my current project I decided to make up some 1/2 gallon and some 1 gallon mylar bags. Inside of the bags I am going to store oats, rice, beans, instant mashed potatoes,,, and a few other things.

Items To Be Stored In Mylar Bags

  • 2 – great value whole grain old fashioned oats, 42 ounce containers
  • 4 – great value whole grain quick oats, 42 ounce containers
  • 3 – great value elbows enriched macaroni product, 3 pound boxes
  • 1 – hungry jack mashed potatoes, 26.7 ounce box
  • 2 – great value mashed potatoes, 2 pound box
  • 1 – 20 pound bag of rice
  • Several – 1 pound bags of pinto beans
  • 20 – mylar bags with ziplock seal

Three Types of Seeds to Stockpile for SHTF

Radishes

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 types 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, summer squash and zucchini.

Beans and peas are a good example of short term and long term foods. We will get into storing peas and beans later in the article. For snap beans, they can be picked, boiled and eaten right after their harvested.

One of the benefits of beans – they do not require extra nitrogen to be added to the spoil. Throw some manure and pot ash down, and the beans will supply their own nitrogen.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018