Homesteading and Survivalism

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Tag: stockpiling seeds for shtf

Surviving SHTF

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Chickens in the chicken coopFor the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of long term SHTF situation has happened.  Whether it was civil unrest, meteor strike, financial collapse, nuclear war, outbreak of new disease,,, lets talk about what you and your family are going to need to survive.

Just about everyone knows about the food, water and shelter of survival.  But how many people put a lot of thought into the details?  In reality, how your food, water and shelter preps look for a long term SHTF survival situation?

If you want to see society break down, disrupt the supply of water, electricity and food.

Water

Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.  Contaminated drinking water is one of the fastest way to spread disease.  Once dysentery sets in, without modern day antibiotics, its just a matter of time.

To ensure my family has a source of safe drinking water, my wife and I are investing into family sized water filters. Just a few days ago I received a couple of Berkey replacement filters from Safecastle.  Each filter provides an estimated 3,000 gallons of safe drinking water.  Four filters should provide an estimated 12,000 gallons of safe drinking water.  The plans are to buy a couple of ceramic filters to go with the black filters.  I would like to have enough filters to be able to filter an estimated 20,000 gallons of water.

In addition to a Berkey water filter, I also have a SteriPEN Sidewinder.

The Sidewinder uses UV light to kill any pathogens that may slip through the water filter.

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Self-Centered Preppers

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Preparing for the end of the world as we know itFor this article, the term “Self-Centered Preppers” means people who only think of themselves while preparing for TEOTWAWKI.  All they are concerned about is themselves, and “maybe” their close family.  No consideration goes into planning for friends, or anyone outside their immediate family members.

A prime example of Self-Centered Preppers might be people who plan on bugging out to the wilderness.  How is your family going to deal with the sudden isolation?  How are you going to deal with being cut off from friends and family members?  How are your friends and family members going to handle a sudden loose of contact with you and your family?

If humanity were to suffer some kind of long term SHTF situation, my family would turn to people such as my dad, and myself for guidance.  It is my resp0onsiblity to make sure my family has plenty to eat, protected and that they will be provided of.

Self-Centered Prepper does not care about anyone else.  What about your grand kids?  What about your kids that can not afford to stockpile food at this time?  What about your parents, brothers, sisters, close cousins,,,,?

Friendships are an asset

No man is an island, Rome was not built by a single person, if you want to survive a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, you will need friends, team members and family members.

Apply Synergy to your plans – the sum of the whole is greater then the parts combined.

There is nothing that you can do that a small team can not do better.

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Springtime survival gear preps

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teotwawki survival gearSpring is here, that means its time to stock up on seasonal preps.  The local feed and fertilizer stores are getting their seed shipments in, as well as baby chickens, fertilizer,,, and so on.

Some stores carry farm supplies all year long, some places carry them on a seasonal basis.  If at all possible, find a place in your area that carries farm and livestock supplies all year long.  Here in Jasper Texas we have 3 feed and fertilizer stores that carry farm supplies all year long.

Pickle’s
Circle Three Feed
Farmers Feed

Pickle’s carries a wide assortment of seed, pesticide and fertilizer. If you want to buy corn seed, this is the place to go.

Circle Three Feed carries a lot of farm and livestock supplies. If you want to buy chickens, feed, deer corn, this is a good place to go.

Farmers Feed carries a lot of everything. I have bought deer corn, chicks, seeds, 16 gallon drums,,, all kinds of stuff from Farmers Feed.

Even if the stores carry supplies all year long, there are still items that are seasonal, such as seeds and chicks.  If you want chicks and if you want seed, get down to a local feed store and stockup before the seasonal stuff is sold out.

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Access to land and water

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survivalistWhile 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

Water Well For SHTFEverything needs water in some form or fashion.  Humans can live several weeks without food, but only a couple of days without water.  We should all know how important water is, so there is no need into going into all the little details.  Because water is so important, we are going to discuss water before food.

I see a lot of urban preppers doing two things – trying to stockpile water and/or developing rainwater collection systems.  There is nothing wrong with either system.  If you want to stockpile water, that is fine; if you want to build a rainwater collection system, that is great.  The problem is both systems have a chance of running out sooner or later.

Its impossible to stockpile enough water.  You and your family will “have” to have a way to replenish your water supplies.

During times of drought, rainwater may not be reliable.  During the 2011 drought across the southern part of the US, some areas got less then 12 inches of rain for the whole year of 2011.  If your plans were to reply on rainwater, you were out of luck for a whole year.  During the first three months of 2012, those same areas received more rain then the whole year of 2011.

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Reviewing your seed stockpile

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snap beans survivalist gardenSpring is just a couple of months away. As the warm weather gets closer, some of us are going to be putting seeds in the ground in 6 – 7 weeks.

Over the next few weeks the local feed and fertilizer stores will start getting their shipments in. As the stores start to get their seeds in, now is a good time to review your seed stockpile.

Last year my wife and I planted 1/4 acre of corn and peas. But due to the drought, nothing came up. This year I plan on planting a garden a little smaller and a little closer to home so I can get a water hose to the plants. This year I need to replace the seeds that we pout out last year.

Some of the seeds in my stockpile:

Beans – snap beans and pinto beans
Bell pepper
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cantaloupes
Carrots
Corn
Cucumbers
Greens – Radishes, Turnips, Mustard greens, 7 top turnips and Rutabagas
Jalapeno pepper
Okra
Peas – Mississippi purple hull pink eye and BVR. BVR seeds are resistant to a certain virus that can stunt the growth of the plant.
Snap beans – Contender bush bean, Roma II and pinto beans
Spinach
Squash and Zucchini
Watermelons

When stockpiling seeds for a home garden, and especially for a long term SHTF survival situation, its important to have seeds that will provide a balanced diet.

Unless you have access to livestock or land to go hunting on, one of the most important types of seeds that you can stockpile is pinto beans. Pinto beans are a good source of protein. Its such a good source of protein, vegans use pinto beans as a replacement for meat.

Cucumbers are not a good source of nutrients, its more of a filler food then anything else. Plus, cucumbers have a high nitrogen requirement. If you have nitrogen fertilizer on hand, why not use it for something like spinach, instead of cucumbers.

As spring gets closer I hope to post more on stockpiling seeds.

Now for a video about seeds

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.

3 types of seeds to stockpile for shtf

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radishes

Home grown radishes

Lets talk about food production during some kind of long term SHTF situation.  Whether its nuclear war, some kind of new disease, climate change,,,,, combination of several things, there might come a point in time when you have to grow your own food.  So what kind of seeds should you stockpile for some kind of long term SHTF situation?  Lets break it down to 3 categories – short term storage, mid term storage, long term storage.

Short term storage foods – these are the foods that need to be eaten within a few days to a couple of weeks of being harvested.  This is going to include most of your leafy greens, radishes, cucumbers, broccoli, spinach, summer squash and zucchini.

Beans and peas are a good example of short term and long term foods.  We will get into storing peas and beans later in the article.  For snap beans, they can be picked, boiled and eaten right after their harvested.

One of the benefits of beans – they do not require extra nitrogen to be added to the spoil.  Throw some manure and pot ash down, and the beans will supply their own nitrogen.

Leafy greens do not make good warm – hot weather crops, bugs love them.  I have seen bugs wipe out several rows of greens in a matter of 1 or 2 days.

Turnips and radishes are easy to grow, but will need to be eaten within a few days of being harvested.

Cucumbers can stay good for several days, to maybe a week or so after being harvested.  Cucumbers have certain “issues” that may not make them good for a long term post SHTF situation – they like lots of water and they require lots of nitrogen.  So unless you have some kind of organic high nitrogen fertilizer available, and lots of water, cucumbers may not be a good choice.

Okra is a good quality high producing plant, but you have to cook or boil the okra pods before their edible.  One of the problems with okra, their a hot weather plant that likes lots of water.  If you live in a cool region, okra may not be a good plant for you.

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Growing Spinach

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spinach in a survivalist gardenSpinach – maybe one of the best seeds that a survivalist can stockpile, and maybe one of the best plant choices.

Spinach is a relative easy crop to grow, the only “real” fertilizer requirement is nitrogen. So any kind of slow release organic fertilizer will be good – horse, cow, rabbit or chicken manure. I wont hurt to mix in some nitrogen fertilizer when you have it on hand, such as 21-0-0.

Spinach is a high producing plant – you cut the leaves off with a pair of scissors and the plant will produce more leaves.

Spinach can be eaten raw or cooked. This means you do not have to use precious fuel cooking / boiling the spinach before its eaten. However, its always good to cook your food to kill any bacteria that might be growing on the leaves.

Spinach does not take up a lot of room, its not like the plants grow 3 feet wide. This means that a lot of food can be planted in a small amount of space. This makes it a great choice for patio gardeners and other urban dwellers.

Plant the seeds about 1/2 inch deep and about 3 – 4 inches apart. Rows should be spaced 2 feet apart – or as much room as needed to walk between the rows.

Spinach does not need a “lot” of water, average needs are around 12 inches of rainfall during the growing season.

After cutting the leaves, extra fertilizer may need to be spread to ensure further leaf production.

Spinach likes a cool season with day time temps reaching the 70 and night time temps getting into the 40s.  Which makes it ideal for fall or early spring planting.

Post your comments in this forum thread about growing spinach.

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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SHTF Survival Garden Seeds

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Every survivalist should have seeds stockpiled for a survival garden. The first questions is, why would anyone need a “survival garden?” During extended wide spread disasters, food production and shipments might get disrupted. Most grocery stores only have a few days worth of supplies in their warehouse. When the panic buying kicks in, those stocks could be wiped out in a matter of hours.

In the days before a hurricane makes landfall, local grocery stores are cleaned out. There is no reason to think the same thing will not happen if there is an outbreak of some kind of new disease, or some kind of other world wide event.

During outbreaks of the plague in the middle ages, starvation was a serious issue.  As farmers were dying off, and the merchants died off, there was nobody to raise the food or ship it to the cities.  People who live in an urban environment, and who depend on the grocery store for their food – they especially need to take home gardening very seriously.

Lets start with the video.

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