Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: prepsteading

Farming Gardening and Hunting After SHTF

Barred Rock chicken

Let’s say some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation happens tomorrow, what would your long term farming, gardening and hunting plans be?

Do you plan on hunting for most of your food from livestock, gardening, hunting or a combination of food sources?

Long term survival plans after SHTF

One of the common theories in the various survivalist communities is that a family will grab their bug out bags, head to the hills where they will live off the land.

In theory this may sound fine and dandy.

In reality, chances are the family is going to starve to death.

If various humanoids have gone extinct over the past 100,000 years, what makes a family think they can survive with very few primitive survival skills?

The long term survivability of humans is directly related to much much food we can produce, and not how much food we can hunt or gather. There is a physical limitation to how many miles a person can walk in a day. There is a physical limitation to how much weight a person can carry.

Homestead as a Bug Out Location

Australorp, Rhode Island Red and Barred Rock

Homestead VS Bug Out Location, which on is better and why? Instead of trying to discuss the merits of each, why not combine the two?

Instead of trying to maintain a home in an urban area, and a remote camp, why not build a homestead and make it your Bug Out Location? This way your time and money are not divided between two separate places.

For a lot of people, living in a rural area is not an option. Their job is in the city, and that is where they need to live. There are a number of people that live in rural areas, or in small towns. Lets talk about the people who are thinking about relocating to a rural area away from town.

For this article lets focus on 5 things – food, water, shelter, security, and some other small topics that we can group together.

Food

What Kind of Disaster Are You Prepping For

Shooting AK-47 with ERGO Grip SUREGRIP

There is an interesting thread in the forum that got me to thinking; that thread is what are you truly prepping for? What kind of disaster are you preparing for? Are you prepping for an outbreak of a new disease, long term civil unrest, nuclear war,,, or something else?

My personal opinion, as long as you and your family are prepping, at least you are going in the right direction. The difference is the degree of readiness.

I can not tell you what to prep for. All I can do is tell you how my family and I are prepping.

My long term survival plans include food production, safe drinking water and property protection.

Food Production

During the Black Death of 1348 – 1350 starvation probably killed as many people as the bubonic plague. Modern society is based on farms and modern transportation. Where would our grocery stores be without trucks, fuel and highways?

Chicken Project Two Month Update

Raising chickens for shtf / teotwawki

The first set of dear little chickens turned two months old on April 25th, and what a trip it has been. Part of my long term SHTF survival plans include getting chickens and building a chicken coop. the goal was to have a secure chicken coop and egg production up and running by the middle of 2012. So far things have been running according to plan.

Over the past two months there have been several changes to the plans.

The first plan was to only have 4 or 5 chickens, but those plans quickly changed. My wife and I bought 5 chicks, of those five, two died.

One week after buying the first set of chicks, my wife and I bought 6 more.

About 3 or 4 days after buying the 6 chicks, we bought 4 more.

This left us with a total of 13 chicks. 13 is about 2 – 3 times what my wife and I had originally planed on having. During the initial planning phases dimensions of the chicken coop had been calculated so that each chicken had plenty of room. Now that we had 13 chicks instead of just 3, things had to change. The first thing that had to change was the square footage per bird.

The first coop was a simple 4 foot by 6 foot box – with 3 feet of hardware cloth, and 1 foot of laying boxes.

The second coop is 8 feet long and 6 feet wide. This equals out to around 3.23 square feet per chicken in the coop and another 3.23 square feet under the coop.

Squash and zucchini for your long term survival garden

Cooking squash zucchini and boudin

During 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.

Eaten Raw

One of the advantages of the squash family, most of them can be eaten raw. This saves you have having to fire up the stove, boil water, worry about the smoke from your fire.

In a time when the cost of fuel is at a premium, not having to build a fire to cook with, or use propane to cook with is going to save you a lot of time and energy in the long run.

Hunter Gatherer or Farmer Survivalist

SHTF Long Term Survival

What kind of long term survival plans do you have? Do you plan on bugging out to the wilderness and living a hunter gatherer lifestyle, or do you plan on living the lifestyle of a farmer gardener?

Hunter Gatherer

Our ancestors lived a hunter gatherer lifestyle for hundreds of thousands of years. For some people hunting, gathering roots, gathering berries and fishing the rivers might seem like an attractive lifestyle. I wonder if those types of people are influenced by their genes? Do the survival that plan on bugging out to the wilderness carry more the genetic code for the hunter gatherer lifestyle?

The problem with the hunter gatherer lifestyle, those types of people only plan a few days or weeks ahead of time. Tribes followed the herds along their yearly migration routes. There was little planning – follow the herd, kill something, gather roots, gather berries, catch some fish, follow the herd,,, repeat, as they were required to gather food almost daily. People learned that if they dried meat and fish, or salted the meat and fish it lasted longer. During the Lewis and Clark expedition, the explorers noted that the North American Indians dried their fish to store it during the winter. But man can not live on dried fish alone.

Farming and Gardening

It’s estimated that maybe 7,000 years ago people started adopting the farming and gardening lifestyle over the hunter gatherer lifestyle.

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.

Buying Seeds for a Survival Garden

Radishes

When its time to stockpile seeds for my survivalist garden, I usually get my heirloom seeds locally. There are 2 feed and fertilizer stores here in town that sell seeds – all kinds of seeds. Instead of getting seeds in packets, the stores get their seeds in burlap bags, and then sell the seed by the ounce. I like to go to the stores, talk to the people there, see find out what are the best types of plants to grow in my area, and go from there.

The local stores usually know what will be in short supply before spring gets here. They will put their orders in several months ahead of time, and the distributor will tell them what may not be in stock. This information is then distributed to the local gardener faster then you can get it through the nation news.

Most of the time, the people working in the feed store are pretty knowledgeable about the different types of seeds they have in stock, whats heirloom / open pollinated and whats hybrid. All you have to do is ask. One of the local stores usually has 5 or 6 types of corn in stock – field corn, sweet corn, G90,,,,,. So might pick up 1/4 – 1/2 pound of corn one year, then the next year pick up a different type of corn.

Also, while your at the store, be sure to ask about the local pest, and what people do about them.

Fruit Trees and the Urban Survivalist

Peaches

Fruit trees are the friend of the urban survivalist. Unlike a garden, you do not have to replant the fruit tree every year, during the spring your neighbors will be jealous of the beautiful blooms, dwarf fruit trees can be planted just about anywhere, and some types of fruit trees are high producers. Meaning, that with just 1 or 2 trees, your family should be able to put up plenty of preserves.

Some types of dwarfs may not get 8 feet tall and might be something good to plant in the corners of your fence. If you have a fence in your backyard, what do you have planted in the corners right now anyway? Planting the fruit tree across the back fence might provide it with more sun light, as compared to planting it between the houses.

Over the past few years I have made it a point to plant some fruit trees. Some of the types I have planted include peach, plum, apple, and a fig tree.

When picking the different types of trees that you want to plant, take into consideration when the fruit is ready to be picked. I like to plant different types of trees so that the fruit ripens at different times. One might ripen in July, another might ripen in August, and another might ripen in September. This gives me time to preserve the fruit. Even if I do not preserve the fruit, having the fruit ripen at different times spreads out my food supply.

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.

Stocking Firewood at the Bug Out Location

Cut and split firewood

For thousands of years mankind has used firewood for cooking and warmth. Even today thousands of people still rely on wood for their everyday cooking needs. When prepping for a SHTF event firewood could be a reliable and long term cooking solution.

Firewood is an important asset – but its only an asset if the person can utilize it. In this case a storm blew down an oak tree. Instead of the tree going to waste, it was cut up for firewood.

During a long term SHTF survival situation, after the propane runs out, after the liquid fuel runs out for the camp stoves, its either going to be cooking with solar ovens, or cooking with wood, or not cooking at all.

After hurricanes Ike and Rita made landfall, I cooked for my family for between 2 – 3 weeks with firewood. For breakfast we would used a coleman stove to cook with, and for dinner we used my barbeque pit on a trailer.

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.

Kevin Felts © 2008 - 2018