Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Tag: seeds

How many seeds should you stockpile

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When it comes to stockpiling seeds we have discussed the topic in depth. Something that has been overlooked is how many seeds should you 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? Or, are you planning to going to a rural farm? In other words are you bugging in or bugging out?

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.

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If you had seven days notice before SHTF

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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?

Then there is the waiting period and permits that some sates have setup. Even if you wanted to buy a firearm, would you have enough time to go through the waiting period, background check, and permit application period?

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Projects for 2012

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snap beans survivalist garden

Some random thoughts about projects I want to work on during 2012.

Build a portable chicken coop
Plant a summer garden
Look into building a rabbit pen
Stockpile more seeds

The chicken coop I am looking at building is going to be 4 feet wide, 4 feet tall and 10 feet long. The unit is is going to have a coop on top of the pen, with maybe 4 – 6 boxes for laying hens. No roosters, all the chickens will be for will be eggs. Plucking chickens is a pain, it would be a lot easier and productive to harvest the eggs, and that is what my wife and I am planning on doing.

The plans call for the coop to be 4 feet square, and 2 – 3 feet tall with a sloping roof. This means I should be able to get 4 – 7 boxes for the hens in the coop. The plan is to have four boxes down one wall, and up to 3 down the next wall. If we can get just a few eggs a week, that is all we need. My wife and I mostly eat eggs on saturday or sunday, and when my wife uses eggs for baking. Its not like we eat eggs everyday. Hopefully we can collect the eggs during the week, then use the eggs during the weekend.

With the price of food going like it is, my wife an I decided it time we took measures to produce some of our own food. A couple of years ago my wife and I had a garden that we shared with 2 other families. this year, we want to plant a small garden just for ourselves.

I have wanted rabbits for a long time. They are cute, and their manure makes good fertilizer. The last batch of rabbits I had was way back in 1999 – 2000. I built the rabbit pen about 8 feet long and about 24 inches wide. In that size pen I had 3 or 4 divided pens.

Last year my wife and I planted a garden at the camp. Due to the drought nothing came up, so all of the seeds we put down went to waste. This year I need to replace the seeds that were planted in 2011. One type of seeds I need to stock up on are snap bean seeds. Snap beans are easy to grow and high producing plants.

A couple of weeks ago I talked to the owners of a local feed and fertilizer store about expected seed shortages for 2012. The owners told me it was too early to know what seeds were going to be short this year. A couple of years ago there was a shortage of pickling cucumbers, a year or two before then was a zucchini seed shortage. Its always good to have a few extra packs of seeds for when shortages occur.

This year I am planning on stocking up on corn, peas, spinach and beans. When I was talking to the owners of the local feed and fertilizer store, they told me they should start getting their seeds in in February. Sometimes I will go to the feed store and just buy seeds, and sometimes I have plans to buy certain things.

Before I buy anything this year, I first need to take inventory and go from there.

Long term survival food preps

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comfort food post disasterWhen someone says “survival food preps” or “stockpiling survival food“, what do you think of?  Do you think of tons of dried rice and beans stored in mylar bags?  How about a basement full of #10 cans, does that come to mind?  Or is it a combination of several things?

When I was thinking of writing an article about survival food preps, the first thing that popped into my head was – MREs, canned goods and garden seeds.  But where does perishable goods fit into that narrow picture?  For the first week or so people are going to be eating stuff out of their freezer.  For the sake of discussion, lets move past that first week post SHTF.  Something bad has happened, the food in the grocery stores has dried up, people have gone through their immediate perishable food items,,,, now what?

A book about the Roman military I just finished reading contained a quote from an ancient historian – “nothing caused as much stress within the troops as the lack of supplies.”  Just like it says, when the supplies started to run low, the stress level went up.  2,000 years later, and nothing has changed.

When people worry about paying their house note, stress goes up.

When people worry about not having the money to pay the rent, stress goes up.

When people worry about having food to eat, stress is “really” going to go up.

People are visual animals – we like to see stuff.  There has been test that showed that just the sight of food can relieve stress.  When I open an empty cabinet, my stress level instantly goes up.  Thats why I think it would be a good idea to have food out where people can see it post SHTF.  Maybe not food that can spoil, but leave some cans of chili on the cabinet, leave a few MREs out, leave a bag of rice out,,,, stuff that bugs can not get into, but gives the members of your party something to look at.

Types of survival food preps:

MREs / Pre-Packaged Meals

Examples can include the Just in Case Meals from Prepared.pro, the good ole military Meal Ready to Eat, Eversafe Meals, Sure-Pak MREs, Mainstay meals and everything in between.

One thing that I really like about the pre-packaged meals, they can be handed out members of the group, and eaten when their ready.  Communal cooking and eating is good, but not everyone is ready to eat at the same time.  Having their own meals allows people to snack or eat their meals when their ready – on top of the communal meals.

A case of MREs contains 12 packaged meals.  Because each package contains so much food it in, each MRE might contain 1.25 – 2 servings.  Depending on the activity level of the person, they might eat more or less of the MRE.  But for the sake of discussion lets say that the average person only eats 75% of everything in the MRE – leaving the desert, beans, cracker, snack bread or peanut butter for later.  This means that a case of MREs might feed 1 person for 5 – 7 days.

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Rotating your seed stockpile

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One of the questions that is asked a lot on the forums, is how long will seeds stay good? One example to the answer of that question is the Doomsday Seed Vault. This seed vault is designed to keep seeds frozen for centuries.  Some types of seeds will stay good for decades.  While other types of seeds can stay good for hundreds of years – if kept frozen.

Even though seeds can stay viable for a long time if frozen, I still take the time to rotate out my seed stock.

A lot of the seeds in my stocks are cucumbers, peas, snap beans, corn, squash, radishes, and zucchini – especially squash and zucchini.   That is because they are easy to grow and  somewhat disease resistant. Snap beans, cucumbers and zucchini can by high producing plants.

In the spring of 2008 my wife and I planted a couple of rows of snap beans.  These rows were maybe 10 – 15 feet long. We got around a 5 gallon bucket out of just short row. Keep in mind that the 10 foot row produced food for over a month and had to be picked every couple of days.

On my trips to the local feed and fertilizer store I will buy anywhere from 1/2 a pound to a full pound of pea and bean seeds. Right now I probably have about 6 pounds of beans and pea seeds. Some of these seeds are 3 – 4 years old.

Here are some suggestions on rotating out your seed stocks:

1.  Plant the seeds at the deer lease to feed the wildlife. When a doe gives birth to a fawn, this is a bad time of year. The spring and summer foliage has not yet fully bloomed, so sometimes there is a shortage of food. During this time I usually have several deer feeders going throwing corn once a day. This usually goes on through at least May or June.

2.  Start a community garden with your friends and relatives.  Take the seeds out of your stocks, use them to plant the community garden, and then re-buy fresh seed.

3.  Give them away.  Know someone plating a garden, share your old seeds with them.

4.  Move the seeds to the bug out location.  If your place has a freezer, store the seeds in the freezer so that you will have a secondary stockpile.

Comments can be posted in this forum thread about rotating your seed stockpile.

Long term survival plans

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Do you have a long term survival plan? We are not talking 3 days, or 3 weeks, or 3 months,,, how about 3 years? If there was a total break down of society, what would you do?

My plans are like a flow chart, with a bunch of “ifs” on it. If power, no power, if long term, if short term, if food runs out before life returns back to normal, when will the local community have support from the outside world, is the disaster local, nation wide or world wide. In all there are 4 major plans – A, B, C, & D.

Food plan A – First Tier:

The first level in your survival food preps are the frozen foods in your freezer and the foods that you have to keep cold.  In the event of a power outage, these are the foods that should be cooked and eaten first.

The main course for the first week or so will be meat and anything else in the freezers. The time line for this depends on the generator. If the power goes out, gas = food. For every day we can keep the food in the freezer frozen, or cold, that is an extra day we get to eat out of it. One of my investments has been a 100 quart 5 day cooler. Storing some frozen good in these high quality ice chest could extend their freshness by 5 – days This is the deep freezer. It is full of deer meat, sausage, hamburger and ribs. Each package of ribs has 3 slabs in it. The white packages are full of deer mixed with beef hamburger. Notice the tub in the top right hand corner, we will discuss that in a little bit.

If the power goes out, and the food is spoiling before we can eat it – the plan is to have a massive bar-b-q and invite all our neighbors over. The smoker is used to make whatever into jerky. I like to think I have a way to cook without power. At this family reunion, I cooked enough for 100+ people at one time.

Food Plan B – Second Tier:

These are your storage foods – MREs, canned goods, dried beans and rice,,,, stuff like that.

Right now I have about 7 – 9 cases of MRE’s. Each person in the group should get a single case. This case is to be used for snacks and treats by that person. If we have more then 7 or 9 people, then the MRE’s will be divided up equally. The family unit is going to have to have group meals. No one should be allowed to cook their own meals or eat their meals on their own schedule. We eat at breakfast, dinner and supper. The MRE’s will fill in between those meals. Such as snacks or when the “munchies” set in.

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