Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: food

Planting Pepper Plants With Homemade Organic Fertilizer

Planting pepper plants

Let’s take a few minutes and talk about planting pepper plants and using homemade organic fertilizer. If there is one plant in my spring garden that has a special place, it has to be pepper plants. Because of that, pepper plants need some tinder loving care.

Pepper plants need nitrogen to grow big and tall, then they need potash (potassium) to grow peppers. Those are the first and third numbers on a bag of fertilizer. The middle number is bone meal (phosphorus), which promotes root growth.

Around the farm I have chicken manure, and some potash from the smoker. These were used to mix up some homemade potting soil, which will be used as organic fertilizer.

Aged chicken manure from the brooder house was mixed with potash and some topsoil in a wheelbarrow.

Planting Pepper Plants

Food Will Be The Focus For 2018

Growing potatoes for food

Food production and preservation will be the focus for 2018. Every year I like to pick a topic and focus on that topic. Other ideas and topics will be covered throughout 2018, but the main theme for articles and videos will be food.

Food is a must have for everyone. Without food production, humanity has no future. Maybe we could revert to a hunter-gather society, but those societies do not flourish.

Food is the foundation of every modern society. When societies lose access to food, collapse is close behind. We have numerous examples of this through history. Only with a stable food supply do we have governments, science, technology… etc.

Unglorified Survival Gear Preps

Srockpiling survival gear preps

Go to YouTube and watch some videos on survival gear, and all the stuff that goes bang or is bright and shiny gets all the views. Why is that? Why do videos about chicken feeders, fencing, and other long term survival preps get so little attention?

For the sake of discussion, let’s say there is a collapse of society. This could be from nuclear war, pandemic flu, some kind of new viral plague.. etc. Which would serve you better, livestock and homesteading resources, or some cute cutting tool?

To me, my seed stockpile, chickens, livestock fence… are all just as important as something that goes bang.

Physical Health After Disruption In The System

Kevin Felts on a hiking trip

Couple of days ago I was watching naked and afraid, this guys body pretty much shut down and he had to be medivaced to a hospital. They were only 4 or 5 days into the show? The doctor said the problems with his health were from a lack of vitamins and minerals. The guy said he ate something like 5,000 calories a day. I kind of figured he was going to have problems going from 5,000 calories a day to almost nothing.

The guy on the show came across as a great person. He was friendly and had a wonderful attitude. However, it seemed like his body did not react well to be taken out of a certain setting.

The vast majority of the public are use to eating certain foods. Then that all stops in one day. People are spoiled to getting food right when they want it, and then that all stops. There are all kinds of videos on youtube of people getting in fights because McDonalds was out of a certain food.

Race Against Time

So Called Preppers Are Going To Starve

SHTF Survival Garden

If there is ever a real SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event, a large number of so called preppers are going to starve. Proof to back up that statement? Just look at the popular prepping related videos on youtube, or look at what forum sections get the most traffic.

The most popular types of videos on youtube are gun and tactical gear. It is not gardening, it is not chickens or other livestock, farming, homesteading, or prepsteading. The most popular types of videos are running and gunning videos.

You can not eat bullets, plate carriers, chest rigs, knives, or anything else that fuels the fantasy of a tacti-cool SHTF event.

During outbreaks of the plague in the middle ages, starvation killed a great number of people. Preppers may think they will leave the city and raid rural farms. Once again, history teaches us there is a good chance those people will die on the side of the road just outside the city. People will either starve before they reach rural areas, of they will die of disease.

Reality

Digging potatoes

Grandkids digging potatoes

Nothing brings mankind closer to the earth than digging potatoes. There is a certain joy in working the soil, planting seeds, watching the plants grow, taking care of the plants, then harvesting the fruits of your labor. This is especially true with potatoes.

Digging potatoes like opening a present, you do not know what it is until you open the box. The same is true with potatoes. You do not know what is in the ground until you start digging.

There are other options besides digging potatoes by hand.

Random thoughts on prepping October 2013

This past weekend I did some soul searching and prioritizing for my SHTF survival plans. I asked myself a serious question. The questions was, “which is more important, food, water, or security?”

Like a lot of people who are prepping for a long term TEOTWAWKI situation I have limited resources. I would love to have a few million dollars to dump into land and an underground bunker. But I do not have that kind of financial resources. But I was lucky enough for my family to own some land in a rural area. While not what some people may consider a perfect bug out location, I have decided to set down roots and start a farm.

Calories After TEOTWAWKI

Something to think about, Potatoes produce around 9 million calories per acre.

Corn produces around 7.5 million calories per acre. If we want to store corn in bulk, we can stockpile canned corn or store dried corn in mylar bags. A 14.75 ounce can of cream style sweet corn has 60 calories, a 15.25 ounce can of whole kernel corn has 60 calories – at least that is what the labels say on the cans of corn.

Rice comes in third with an estimated 7.4 million calories per acre. Rice is also a popular item to store in mylar bags. If we wanted to break it down to the details, a cup of rice contains about 216 calories.

Soybean 4th with around 2.8 million calories per acre. However, soybean leads the pack of all four in protein production per acre.

Source: Foods & Nutrition Encyclopedia, Volume 1

State Of The Nation February 2013

While shopping at the local wal-mart here in Jasper Texas, I noticed a couple of things that made me stop and think. One issue was the availability of ammunition, or rather the lack of ammunition. The other issue I am deeply concerned about was the price of a whole fryer chicken.

Ammunition – Everyone and their brother and sister is panic buying all the ammunition they can get their hands on. If civilians can strip the market of all available ammunition, where would this leave the United States if we entered a real war? Iraq and Afghanistan are not “real” wars, they are minor conflicts. The Iraq military is not bombing New York, L.A., Houston or Dallas, tens of thousands of US citizens are not dying every week, its not like in World War II when food and fuel were being rationed,,,.Speckled Sussex, Australorp, Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red

The United States has some minor conflicts going on, but for some reason the store shelves have been empty of ammunition for close to a month and a half?

How would this translate if/when we have a major war with China? The conflict does not have to be with China. Lets replace China with <any major world power>.

Over the past few decades firearm manufacturing has been consolidated to a just a handful of companies. there are a lot of companies out there, but very few of them manufacturer all of their own parts. the situation is much worse with ammunition manufacturing. Part of our national security depends on our ability to produce weapons of war. The question I am asking myself is if the manufacturing base can keep up with demand. Since the Sandy Hook shooting demand has been outstripping supply.

How Can People Justify Wasting Food

Walking through walmart today, saw a pack of ground meat and steak sitting on a shelf. The shelf was in the canned goods section, and not the cold foods section.

I picked up the meat, checked to see if it was still cold, then took the two packs to the freezer section.

Is this what humanity has come to, that we can waste enough meat that would feed a family for a day, maybe 2 days, or even 3 days?

The person that left the packs of meat on the shelf, have they gone hungry a single day in their lives?

The person that left the meat on the shelf, were they on food stamps or welfare?

Did the person give a single thought to the animal that had to die to put the meat on the shelf?

What about the cost of raising the animal? The cost of butchering, packing and shipping the meat, did the person give a single thought to all of that?

If you had seven days notice before SHTF

Lets say the public was given a 1 week notice before the start of a major global conflict. Rarely does that kind of advance knowledge leak out to the public. For the sake of discussion lets say for once the public knows what is going to happen a week ahead of time.

One of the incidents I am referring to is the leak that Israel may attack Iran during Yum Kippor.

I have been hearing various rumors for over 2 decades, so I take them with a grain of salt and keep living life.

The word has leaked out, you do a review of your survival gear stockpile, now what?

What does your water stockpile look like?
What does your ammunition stockpile look like?
What does your fuel stockpile look like?
What about seeds for your long term survival garden, communications, livestock, livestock feed, firearms, propane,,, and other preps.

Firearms

Ruger 10/22 and Marlin model 60 side by side

If you do not have your firearm and ammunition stockpile ready before SHTF, do not count on accumulating supplies after SHTF.

Lets say you had a 1 week notice, what would you buy? Would you buy ammunition, and sacrifice resources to buy food, water, livestock feed, fuel,,,?

Even if you have money to buy ammunition, what makes you think there is going to be anything on the shelves?

Would you rather buy ammunition, food, water, food for the livestock?

My 13 chickens (hens, no roosters) go through a 50 pound bag of laying mash every two weeks. For the price of 200 pounds of laying mash (4 – 50 pound bags), which would last around 2 months, I could buy 100 rounds of Federal 223 Remington.

Would you rather have 2 months of eggs, or would you rather have 100 rounds of 223 Remington?

Excess food supply

Home grown yard eggs

Over the past 2 days I have given away 2 dozen eggs. Some people might be saying “so what”? To give food away means that my wife and I have an excess food supply.

Think about that for a minute. My wife and I bought our first chicks February 25, 2012. In all we ended up with 13 chickens. The chickens started laying when they were around 5 months old. At close to 6 months old we are getting 6 – 7 eggs a day.

Home grown yard eggsWe are dealing with a couple of topics here, the time required to get your food production up and running, and being able to grow more food then you need.

I see a lot of survivalist saying that if SHTF they are going to get some chickens, goats, maybe a couple of cows,,, the usual stuff. I see those types of planes as being unrealistic. You think you are going to be the only person looking for farming supplies and livestock after SHTF / TEOTWAWKI?

Lets say you have a buddy that knows a friend whos second cousin has a few chickens they are willing to trade for 1,000 rounds of 223 Remington. After some bartering the two of you finally agree on 500 rounds of 223 Remington and 500 rounds of 7.62×39 for 2 laying hens.

You get your hens home, now what? Where are you going to keep them at? Do you have an enclosed yard to keep your chickens in, do you have a coop? Or do you plan on keeping the hens in your garage? Hopefully you will be lucky enough to find some hens that are already laying. If not, you are going to have to wait several months for the chicks to grow and start laying.

Its not just livestock, what does your seed stockpile look like? Do you have tools to work the field? Do you have access to a tractor, tiller, hoes, rakes and manpower needed to get a field ready to plant?

After you get your squash, cucumbers, zucchini, turnips, snap beans,,,,etc planted, you are looking at 60 – 90 days before you are going to harvest anything.

Access To Land and Water

water well for SHTF survival

While watching Doomsday Preppers last week, I observed one major difference in the various plans, and that was if the plan included access to land and water.

Its one thing to stockpile 2 – 3 years of canned goods, food in mylar bags, freeze dried food, have a rainwater collection system, small backyard garden.

Its another thing to have access to several acres of land, able to have chickens, a nice sized garden for a variety of fresh veggies, various types of fruit trees, access to fresh running water and access to land to hunt on. Maybe even have access to water to fish in.

Two of the main differences I see between the various long term SHTF survival plans, is access to fresh food and access to fresh water. People may argue there are lots of other differences, but for this article I wanted to talk about two main topics – water and fresh food.

Water

Peanut butter sandwiches

survivalistPersonally, I think peanut butter sandwiches can say a lot about someone. More exact, the way someone fixes their peanut butter sandwich, what ingredients that someone puts on their peanut butter sandwich, what they drink with it, whether or not they read the labels,,,, it all adds up to say a lot about someone.

Just for the fun of it, lets talk about peanut butter sandwiches.

How do you make yours?

Peanut butter on both pieces of bread?
Whole wheat bread?
Jelly, jam, honey, or something else?
Milk with that sandwich?
Natural peanut butter, or with partially hydrogenated oils?
Crunchy or creamy?
1, 2 or 3 pieces of bread?
Banana or extra stuff?
Fold over?
Do you buy peanut butter mixed with the jelly?
Spread with butter knife or spoon?

Personally, this is the way I see some of this:
People that add extra stuff like bananas may like spice in their life.
Buy peanut butter premixed with jelly, might be a little on the lazy side, or like things easy.
Straight peanut butter and jelly may like tradition.
Read the labels may be health conscious

I like mine with creamy natural peanut butter (no partially hydrogenated oils), on both pieces of whole wheat bread, honey instead of jelly, and a tall glass of milk.

Post your comments in this forum thread about peanut butter sandwiches.

Wasting food

There are few things that chap me worse then wasting food. Food is life – we have to have food to live. To waste food is to waste life.

September 19, 2010 my wife and I get up early that Sunday morning and go to wal-mart. As we are walking around the store, we turn down an isle that is mostly canned foods. Sitting on top of a stack of cans is a pizza. What is a pizza doing in a canned good isle? Its supposed to be in the frozen section. Anyway, I pick up the pizza, bring it to one of the meat displays at the end of the isle and set it on a stack of cold lunch meat. The pizza was still cold, so it should not have been spoiled.

Is this what our society has come to? That we can just waste food with little regard to where our next meal is coming from?

Page 1 of 212
Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018