Homesteading and Survivalism

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Tag: garden for shtf

What To Plant In The Spring 2013 Garden

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Spring time is just around the corner.  One more month until the potatoes go in the ground, and another two months until everything else is planted.

If you were to plant a SHTF survival garden, something that would produce a wide variety of food and nutrients, what would you plant?  We have already mentioned potatoes, so they should be a given.

Here are some of the crops I am considering planting this year.

Potatoes – already mentioned.

Snap beans

Spinach

Okra

Squash

Zucchini

Pinto beans

I want plant crops that not only provides a lot of nutrients, but food my wife and I can preserve and store.

Corn – corn is often named by survivalist as a main food crop.  Corn has a lot of uses, such as food for livestock, it can be dried, canned and made into cornbread.  But, corn also requires a lot of water and fertilizer.  Then there is the predation from raccoons, deed and other pest.

If you want to look at effort to output ratio, okra would probably be a better option then corn.

Corn is still iffy as to whether or not I am going to grow it.  I would like to grow some corn, its just not high on my list.

The main food producers I am looking at growing this spring and summer are squash, zucchini, snap beans, peas and okra.  I look for those crops to produce the most food from my garden.  But then again, time will tell if that estimate holds true.

Potatoes – if at all possible, I would love to grow enough potatoes to feed my wife and I for a whole year.

Without some kind of standard to go by, its going to be almost impossible to estimate how many potatoes we need to plant.

Estimating crop yield – something I need to work on is estimating some kind of crop yield.  Its going to be difficult to estimate crop yield when there are so many factors, such as water and fertilizer.

If I was going to try and estimate how much we needed to plant in order to survive a long term SHTF situation, it would be like shooting in the dark.

In 2011 my wife and I planted several rows of corn, potatoes and beans.  Due to the drought that year the garden was a total loss.

Not only do we need to grow enough for 1 year, we probably need to grow enough for 2 years.  Just in case there is a drought and a total crop failure like what we experienced in 2011 we would have something to fall back on.

This year I am going to try and keep record of how much we plant, and how much our yield is.  This would give us some kind of baseline record for later on.

The forest for the trees

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survivalistOn the morning of Saturday, February 18, 2012, while eating breakfast I checked my facebook feed.  On my feed was a youtube video a subscribed friend posted on his profile.  The video in question was from Foxnews and was about the US Senate working to approve military action against Iran.

I took the video and reposted it to the Survivalist Boards Facebook page.

The youtube video had been posted by a person and not a news source.  To backup the video from the authority site I did a couple of google searches for the title of the video.  The only thing I found was from 2007.

The first thing that came to mind was that someone took a video from 2007 and reposted it to youtube as if it were a new video.

I went back to the Survivalist Boards Facebook page, deleted the post with the video with the intentions of reposting it when more information was available from an authority news service.  One of the people taht comments often made a post that after the video of cooking squash, and then removing the youtube video, he was going to bow out.

I was setback that someone would make a comment that my video about cooking squash was not related to survival.  During the video I talked about why squash and zucchini should be part of your long term survival garden.

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Squash and zucchini for your long term survival garden

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Cooking squash zucchini and boudinDuring a long term SHTF survival situation, its going to be important for people to grow their own food. One type of seed that survivalist should stockpile are seeds for squash and zucchini.

Ok, why you grow squash and zucchini? They are easy to grow, bug resistant, packed full of nutrients, can be jarred for long term storage, some types can be stored for a couple of months of kept in a cool dry place, summer squash and zucchini can be eaten raw.

Its estimated that various types of squash have been cultivated by mankind for 8,000 – 10,000 years. Think about that for a minute, squash has been with mankind for thousands of years, why change now? Follow in the foot steps of those that came before you. Use available resources to achieve a desired goal. Our desired goal is to survive a long term teotwawki situation.

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Weak points in survival plans

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DS-Arms SA58 FN/FAL next to a river in southeast TexasA couple of weeks ago a buddy of mine and his wife dropped by my house for a little while.  As most conversations do, we turned towards the topic of survivalism, and trying to find weak points in a survival plan.

Lets say there is some kind of long term SHTF survival situation, a new disease breaks out, long term civil unrest, climate change;  besides insurance (no insult intended towards my buddy), I think the weak points for just about everyone will be are medical needs, safe drinking water, communications and food production.

Medicine – Lets take my wife for example, she developed high blood pressure, and has been on high blood pressure maintenance medicine for almost 20 years.  Running out of medicine could have a negative impact on her long term health.  Then there are the people on heart medicine, anti-depressants,,,,,, just a whole slough of meds.

Safe drinking water – life as we know it can not exist without safe drinking water, and that is all there is to it.  Water borne infections can kill off communities with little or no advance warning.  One of the number one killers in the world today is unsafe drinking water.

For someone to have a long term survival plan, they are going to have to have a way to access safe drinking water.  Whether its through an underground well, water filters, boiling, slow sand filter,,,,, people are going to have to make sure their water is safe to drink.

Food production / food procurement – the majority of people do not have access to farm land to grow crops, or even a place to hunt.  As the starving hordes leave the city, they will most probably be like locust looking for something to eat.

Long term survival plans need to include a way to gather food – farming, gardening, hunting, trapping or even fishing.  Living in a city of a million people, and having the attitude that your going to go to the nearest national forest and kill a deer or hog is not going to cut it.  There are going to be untold numbers of people with the same exact plan as you.

To grow crops your going to need a place that is secure, private, secluded, and meets the weather conditions needed to grow food.

Some of the crops I would focus on are:

Radishes
Snap beans
Peas
Turnip greens
Squash
Peppers
Cabbage
Cucumbers
Potatoes

Communications – being able to communicate with friends and family members and how their current situation is going.  Do family members and friends need assistance, that would be one of my big concerns.  My sons live about 30 – 45 miles from my house.  Getting a message to them without a phone would be a real problem.

Long term survival plans – some of my long term survival plans include planting fruit trees at a remote farm, planting a quick growing type of oak tree in the back of a field that is overlooked by a deer stand, stockpiling garden seeds, storing my seeds at the camp at at my home, having a Berkey Water Filter at the bug out location, having a 55 gallon drum so water can be transported from a nearby stream to the fields for irrigation, storing rice, beans, oats,,, and other foods in mylar bags.

If the SHTF tomorrow, one of my biggest concerns would be communications, and getting in touch with my family.  After getting in touch with my family, its getting my garden going.

Now for a video about buying canned goods.

Stockpiling food for SHTF

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There is an interesting thread in the Survivalist Forum about Food Preps. Some of the topics being discussed are stockpiling 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 7 year life span

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.

This is where stockpiling open pollinated seeds comes in. This can give you an unlimited supply of food, if you take care of the plants and seeds. But first, you have to learn how to grow the plants and harvest the seeds.

Go back and take a look at mankind 2,000 years ago. The Romans did not have a china-mart to buy rice or canned beans from. They had farmers that raised their own food.

If a wide spread disaster happens, the only long term food prep option is to have your own seeds to plant your own garden.

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