Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Tag: snap beans

Farm update beans figs and potatoes

Rate This Article

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.

(more…)

Drying green beans

Rate This Article

My first attempt at drying green beans. My wife and I planted 2 rows of beans, 1 row Roma II snap beans and 1 row contender snap beans. On Sunday June 1st I picked exactly 5 pounds of beans. I know it was 5 pounds because I used a scale.

My wife has been putting a bunch of the beans in the freezer, and we are going to can a bunch of them. To go along with the canning and frozen beans, I want to dry some using an old method of using a string.

Using sewing string for quilts I did one string of Roma II and one string of Contender bush bean.

(more…)

2011 garden plans

Rate This Article

snap beans survivalist gardenIt looks like the drought of 2010 killed off some of my young peach trees, so those will have to be replaced. Currently I have 1 nice sized plum tree, and 3 or 4 peach trees. At least 2 of the peach trees will have to be replaced. Instead of replanting both peach trees, I’am probably going to plant 1 more plum tree. That will give my 2 plum trees and maybe 4 peach trees.

One of the peach trees that I planted last year looks good, so its going to be pruned to make room for more branch development.

2 of the pear trees need to be pruned – the limbs are a little long and almost hang to the ground when loaded with pears.

All of the trees need to be fertilized.

As for the home garden – I think I’am going to plant some cucumbers, tomatoes, peas,,, and I really want to plant some okra this year. Okra is a warm weather crop. Here in east Texas, Okra can no be planted until around May.

We will probably plant a community garden this year,,,, but just where the garden will be planted I do not know. Where we planted the garden last year, the guy who lives next to the garden let his dogs run through it.

Here is a video from 2010 about planting a community garden.

(more…)

Peas and Snap Beans

Rate This Article

snap beans

Picking snap beans

Peas and Snap Beans – since peas and beans are so much alike, lets just group them together. In fact, there are debates saying that peas and beans are the same thing. I personally divide peas and beans into 2 groups – one you eat whole (snap beans) and one you shell to get the bean/pea out of the inside and eat it instead of eating the husk.

Peas and beans return nitrogen into the soil, so that makes them good for crop rotation. Before you plant a high nitrogen requirement crop, such as corn, plant some beans or peas at the same time, or the season before the you plant the corn.

One of the problems with peas and beans – wildlife love it. Deer and rabbits will eat the bean / pea plants down to nothing but a stub sticking out of the ground. To protect the bean and pea plants, plant some squash or zucchini with them. The pea / bean plants will provide the squash plants with nitrogen, and the squash plants will help protect the pea plants from deer. The squash and zucchini plants have little “hairs” on the stalks that the deer do not like.

Peas and beans are a good long term storage food crop. The old timers used to run a needle and thread through the pod, and hang it up to dry. Thus the name “string beans”. When it comes time to eat the beans, pull them off the string and boil until ready to eat.

Care must be taken when picking the beans and peas. If you pull too hard, part of the plant may break off. Sometimes I like to use scissors to cut the pea / bean pod off, so that the rest of the plant is not damaged.

Snap Beans are a high producing plant, the more you pick it, the more it produces. While you might get just a couple of pickings from purple hull or silver skin crowder peas.

My pea and bean stockpile contains maybe 4 or 5 different types of seeds – mainly purple hull pink eyes and about 3 different types of snap beans.

There are 2 different types of bean plants – runners and bush.

Bush beans – and we are not talking about the canned “Bush baked beans” either. These are bean plants that form a bush and do not form a vine.

Runners also called climbing beans – do just as their name implies, the vine climbs stuff. A lot of times people will plant their beans and corn together. The beans will supply the corn with nitrogen and the corn will give the bean vines something to climb on. Other people may plant their bean vines close to a fence so that the vines have something to climb on.

Personally, I like bush beans. Even though you have to dig through the bush to find the beans, it seems like you can plant more bush beans then you can runners in the same amount of space.

Fertilizer – when adding commercial fertilizer to peas and beans, try not to add add a lot of nitrogen. Use a well balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 or 13-13-13. In most cases beans and peas do not need a lot of nitrogen, adding high nitrogen content fertilizer like 21-0-0 or 16-6-12 is a no, no. The exception might be if the soil is nitrogen deficient; but the only way to know that is if you have a soil test done.

Seeds for a survival garden

Rate This Article

zucchini survival gardenLets talk about stockpiling seeds and the value of having the ability to plant a survival garden.  Stockpiling food – dried rice, beans, canned goods – is fine and dandy, but that is a none renewable resource.  When you eat that can of beans, are you going to plant the can, and maybe it will sprout a canned bean plant, for you to pick more cans off of?  I don’t think do.

Stockpiling food provides a family with a limited food source.

Having a garden can provide an unlimited source of food.

2,000+ years ago, did the Romans and Egyptians have canned foods and mylar bags?  Nope, they raised what they wanted to eat.  What about the Greeks and the Chinese, did they have mylar bags full of rice and beans?  Nope, they raised what they ate.

There is nothing wrong with stockpiling food.  It appears to me that a lot of survivalist put more focus on stockpiling a limited food source, then on learning how to develop an unlimited food source.

Types of seeds to stockpile:

Corn – maybe one of the most versatile crops grown today.  The kernels can be ground to make a type of flour, or they can be dried for long term storage.  Corn can be ground or fed whole to all kinds of livestock – cows, chickens, pigs,,,,,,.

One of the problems with corn, wildlife love to eat as much as humans to.  Deer will eat the young sprouts, and raccoons will bend the stalks over to get to the ears.  Corn also has its fair share of pest, like the Corn Earworm, grasshopper, Armyworm and the Wireworm.

Corn requires a lot of nitrogen fertilizer and water to grow properly.  Some types of corn may require as much as 20 – 35 inches of rain fall during the growing season.

When buying corn seed, be aware that there are a lot of hybrid corn types on the market.  So adjust your seed buying to match the types of corn best suited for your area.  A lot of survivalist get on this “you must buy open pollinated / heirloom seeds.”  Being able to save the seeds does have its advantages, but having corn that will grow in you area is more important.  When it comes to drought, disease or pest, certain types of hybrid corn will grow better then heirloom.  The best thing to do is to make a trip to the local feed and fertilizer store and talk to them about what are the best types of corn for your area.

My personal corn stockpile contains about 2 – 3 pounds of different types of corn seed.  The seeds are bundled in 1/2 pound bags, and each bag contains a certain type of seed.  I have stockpiled both hybrid and heirloom seeds.

(more…)

Harvesting snap beans

Rate This Article

The snap beans are really starting to come in.  If we could get some rain, they would be producing a lot more, but you just have to make due with what you have. In all, we probably picked 4 – 5 gallons of snap beans.

I’am going to string some of these beans up for them to dry in the shed, while some of them will be blanched and put in the freezer. The old timers use to run a string through the beans, then hang the string up where they would stay dry. If all of the beans had to jarred, that would be a lot of jars and it would cost a lot of money. But if done properly, the jarred beans can stay good for years.

Anyway, here is a garden update filmed on May 24, 2010. If you want to post a comment about this video, you may do so in the forum thread about my 2010 survivalist summer garden.

Rotating your seed stockpile

Rate This Article

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.

Planting a community garden

Rate This Article

In these tough economic times, its important for people to come together. ne way that families can work together to safe money, is to plant a community garden.

In this example, 3 families, it breaks down to 11 people, 6 adults and 5 children are working together to plant a garden. This garden will be shared equally between everyone involved.

The land we are planting on belongs to my step son and step daughter. Its some family land their grandfather left them after he passed away a few years ago. I’am guessing the plot we are using in the video is about 1/4 acre. There is another plot we are going to plant water melons on. And a smaller spot we are going to plant okra on.

(more…)

Planting potatoes, peas and corn

Rate This Article

Potatoes, peas and corn – plant them in that order.

Commercial grade fertilizer has 3 numbers, such as 13-13-13. Those three numbers stand for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (also called Pot Ash).

nitrogen – large leaves, tall growth – greens, spinach, corn, okra
phosphorus – root growth – potatoes, turnips
potassium / pot ash – pod production – peas, beans, corn, okra, squash

Potatoes – use fertilizers with a high middle number, such as 10-20-10 fertilizer. The higher phosphorus content helps promote root growth.  The potatoes can be harvested and eaten at anytime.  Just dig around the base of the potato plant and pull out the potatoes when you want some to cook.  Or, wait until the top of the plant dies, then you know the potatoes are full grown and ready to harvest.

(more…)

Stocking up on seeds

Rate This Article

snap beans survivalist gardenAs the local stores get their garden seeds in, its time to take an inventory as to what is need, what is not needed and what needs to be replaced. Seed stocks should include the types of food that the family will eat. And, most important, the types of seeds that will grow in a certain geographical area.

The bags that the seeds are stored in should be marked with the type of seed and the date when the seeds were bought. The date is very important so that the seed stocks can be rotated out every 2 – 3 years.

Examples of different types of seeds and plants:

Potatoes – are usually planted from cuttings from a mature potato. When the “eyes” start to sprout on the potato, take a knife, cut a good section of the potato off (along with the eye). Types of potatoes like red skin or Irish are high producers.

Squash and Zucchini – are both members of the melon family. Are disease and pest resistant, high producers, can be eaten raw and are full of nutrients. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as 13-13-13.

If the seeds are to be saved from the Squash and Zucchini plants, keep the two species planted separate and away from each other. Bees can cross pollinate between Squash and Zucchini plants, meaning the harvested seeds have a good chance of being a hybrid. The harvested seeds might produce, but the seeds from those plants might be sterile. If place is limited, and there is a certain chance of cross pollination, do not plant the Squash and Zucchini at the same time. But instead, plant Squash on season, and Zucchini the next season.

Squash and Zucchini leaves have little “hairs” on them. This makes the leaves unpleasant for animals (such as deer) that try to eat them.

(more…)

Page 1 of 11


Kevin Felts © 2017 Frontier Theme