Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Tag: urban survivalist

Fruit trees and the urban survivalist

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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.

While planting the peach trees, I used miracle grow organic potting soil and some miracle grow plant food. The plant food said it was 10-10-10 with a little extra sulfur mixed in.

I thought about throwing some nuts, bolts or nails in the hole before the tree is set in. That way the tree has a source of trace minerals will will take a long time to break down. This was not done during the 2007, 2008 0r 2009 planting season, but I might do it this year. There are some 3/4 inch round bar rods at the camp. I though about cutting some pieces off of those bars – say about 2 – 3 inches long – and putting the bar under the tree. It might take those bars decades to break down all the way where there is nothing left

In 2008 I spread some 13-13-13 fertilizer around a peach tree in the spring. We were “supposed” to get some rain to help was the fertilizer in. We did not get the rain and the tree died. I think I put too much fertilizer around the tree. So in the spring of 2010, I’am going easy with the fertilizer.

Post your comments in this forum thread about fruit trees.

Urban Survival Patio Gardening – Episode 1

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This is the first video in a series on Urban Survival Patio Gardening. The plans are to take a plastic tub and turn it into a small garden. The tubs were used to store canned goods and dried products under beds and out of sight of friends and family members.

Once the food is taken out of the tubs, they are just sitting there not doing anything. So lets take them fill em full of dirt, add some fertilizer, seeds and lets see what happens.

Urban Survival Disaster Preparedness Plans

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Putting together a disaster preparedness plan can be a daunting task. To begin, let us start with some basic questions. What kind of disaster should be planned for? What kind of disaster gear should be included in the kit? How many people will the plans have to support? How long will the disaster last?

Location is very important. This is one of the first questions anyone developing a disaster plan should take into consideration.

Everyone that lives within 200 miles of the Southeastern coast of the USA or the Gulf of Mexico coast should plan for hurricanes and/or strong thunder storms.

Anyone that lives in the northern regions should plan on cold weather with lots of snow and ice.

Mountain / arid regions should plan for wild fires in the summer and snow along with ice in the winter.

Tornadoes should be considered, regardless of location.

Earthquake prone regions should plan for just that, earthquakes.

By those examples, each disaster plan and urban survival kit will be a little different. However, each kit should contain some of the same basic items.

Food & Water – most organizations tell people to have at least 3 days or 72 hours worth of food and water on hand. This is an unrealistic number. After a disaster, such as a hurricane, most relief organizations plan on having services in place within 72 hours. What if the family has 3 days worth of food and water, and the relief services are NOT in place during that time frame?

For the sake of discussion, lets say the Jones family has 14 days worth of food and water on hand. The Smith family has 3 days – just like the government advices. On the 5th day after some kind of disaster strikes, the Smith family is asking the Jones Family if they have any food they can spare.

Whatever the government says you need, double or triple that number.

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Fruit tree considerations for the urban survivalist

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One part of the survivalist preps that is often over looked is the fruit tree. Instead of having to plant a garden every year, just plant a few fruit trees. Take care of the trees, give them some fertilizer, keep the bugs off of them, keep them trimmed and you might just have a food producing machine in your backyard.

Most people have a corner in the backyard where a fruit tree could be planted.  If there is not enough room for a full sized tree, look into some miniature fruit trees.  Some of miniature types only grow to be 6 – 10 feet tall.

The first thing to do is find out what kind of fruit tree grow well in your area. Some species of trees are better suited for certain climates. Some considerations include water requirements, frost requirements, freeze tolerant,,, the list goes on and on.

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Solar powered sidewalk lights instead of candles

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Most people do not realize that they have a renewable light source right at their feet. And that is those solar powered lights along the walkway. If you do not have any solar powered sidewalk lights, take a look at a local hardware store, or big box mart – such as wal-mart, lowes and k-mart. They are usually in the garden section.

When shopping for a solar powered light, do not get the cheapest ones on the shelf. But then again, dont go overboard on the price either. There are usually 2 different colored lights – clear and amber. Do not get the amber colored lens, they do not put out as much light as the ones with the clear lens. Be sure to get the lights that use an LED and not a regular bulb.

The way those lights work, during the day the solar cell recharges 2 AA batteries. As the sun starts to go down, a light sensor tells the unit when to turn on. Depending on how much sun light the solar cell got, that defines how much light the unit can provide. The more sun light the cell is exposed to during the day, the longer the burn time at night.

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Stocking up on seeds

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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.

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