Originally posted by TenEighty
So you're in a WTSHTF situation, you're settled fairly securely on your bit of earth and it’s now time to get down to the mundane task of growing
something to eat.
First off, if you are evacuating from a city to land you've purchased and want to start over after a catastrophe it's already too late.
You need to prepare for situations like this years in advance so you'll be familiar with what crops can grow in your region and how to preserve them
once harvested. You can't just drop in and expect to survive because even a fast crop of something like green beans take a couple months to produce
If the situation is effecting the environment you may be totally out of luck for one or more growing seasons.
What you would grow is another (very interesting!) topic,.......
This would be very dependent on your location, how many people in your group, what livestock you need to feed. Something as simple as vitamin C could
mean your demise if your only source is tomatoes and peppers from garden. Sure, wild fruit and berries could supplement your diet if they're
available and you know what to look for, but a single crop failure will leave you with a nasty case of scurvy.
What you can plant will be only the seeds you have stockpiled because the local garden center will likely be closed.
What tools/equipment do you need to meet these goals:
1. Prep soil and get the potential crops in the ground
2. Keep them weed-, predator- and disease-free
3. Maintain and physically support them
4. Harvest and process them if necessary
5. Store them for extended consumption
6. Store them for next years seed
1. If you need to clear land of brush or trees, again, you're too late.
A proper producing garden takes up to two years of work to get the soil prepared and working for you on a scale for a family to produce a meaningful
amount of food. Even reasonably soft grassland needs to be cleared of any rocks and sod, and believe me when I say, the native grasses will try to
reclaim any clearing you do. Most of your time will be spent with a hoe trying to keep it from coming back up.
2. Weeding will be your largest chore after the soil is prepared and the planting is done. Without chemical assistance it's a very labor intensive
job, but a very necessary one.
That takes us back to the hoe.
As far as predators go, the animals you kill them and eat them.
Insects are more difficult, but plant by plant they can be killed by hand and having a bag of diatomaceous earth to sprinkle on the plants will save
you a lot of heartache.
Birds are by far the hardest to control unless you have an endless supply of shotgun shells. I had some success protecting a cherry crop with a couple
11 - 12 year old nephews armed with pellet guns and a box of 177 pellets. The boys were quite happy to shoot anything that landed in the trees and
they worked for free other than meals and a roof over their heads.
3. Water, some sort of fertilizer, and plenty of TLC.
4,5,6. Of course you harvest when the particular crop is ready, but you need to familiarize yourself with storing each different type of food.
Some things can be canned and kept for a year or two, some will need to be dried, some stuff keeps for months in a root cellar.
A food dehydrator is a good investment, but you can also build one.
Let’s limit to physical tools
OK, just the basics.
Gardening tools need to be very sturdy and not some $5.00 shovel from WalMart. Buy the best you can afford.
A couple of spades
A couple flat shovels
An ax, hatchet, machete, and scythe
At least two or three hoes (you'll use them a lot)
Tined forks for spuds and root veggies
Pitch forks for hays, grasses and grains
Hard rakes for soil, leaf rakes for softer material
Sharpening equipment for your tools (sharp tools make the job easier)
A good solid wheel barrow (very important)
Water barrels and watering cans
Baskets, buckets, and containers
Twine, string, stakes, and possibly nets
Plenty of blood sweat and tears...............
I know I've forgotten a lot but these are the basics.