It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Growing food on state land

page: 1

log in


posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 01:06 PM
I'm planning on hiking off onto a fairly large state park near my home and seeing if I can maintain a small plot of vegetables. I have no land to speak of to do this on my own and I'm thinking I may be able to take a dent out of the food bill and get some low-scale farming experience. I imagine that standard pests will be far more abundant off where people do not live as opposed to a suburban backyard.

Anyone have any experience with this? Any suggestions as far as staying hidden, keeping deer at bay, etc....

And because I'm sure more than one person is thinking it, no, I'm not trying to grow pot.

posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 02:34 PM
After wondering if you were trying to grow pot
and after reading the last sentance....

My next thought was about the legality of doing this. Would the ranger or whoever take kindly to planting even a few vegetable in their national park?

I geuss it depends if you plan on almost letting them grow wild in a remote corner, or if you plan to try and keep it more like a vegetable garden and free of weeds etc.

My worry would be, if you cultivate it too much, it would stick out and very quickly be removed. It a few people get off with it then more join them, over time you no longer have a national park. You have a large area of assorted vegetable patches

posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 03:59 PM
I like it!! Sounds like a great way to practice stealth gardening now while the stakes aren't so high. I like it so much, you talked me into it. Fear of discovery would have little consequence now as compared to later when it's your life that's at stake. If we all did it, how much more possible would survival be for all of us?

posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 04:26 PM
Here is my two cents.

First, it is illegal to farm on protected state land, but don't let that stop you. Here is what I do.

I cultivate LOCAL edible plants. Never introduce outside species. It is a bad idea for so many reasons. By planting local species, they will blend in and no one would notice. Do not till a regular garden bed, but spread your plantings across a large area. This way, should one area fail or get eaten, you will have other plants in different areas as back up.

You can find a great deal of information on local edible plants, how to grow them, and where to find them in the wild. Start from there. Increase their numbers by careful cultivation. Spread them around to other local areas. Think small plots for a natural look. Use a variety of species that you can harvest year round. Always leave some for the wildlife, they gotta eat too, and someday you may need to survive by eating wild game. Do not rely on commercial fertilizers, just stick with natural mulch. All you really need is a small hand trowel and a little bit of local plant knowledge.

posted on Feb, 6 2008 @ 06:56 PM
Your best bet is to grow "hidden vegetables" that grow underground to start, such as carrots, radishes, potatos, beets, etc. Not only will people be considerably less likely to find or identify these plants as edible, you have less worry about insects and animals eating your plants too... unless they eat the leaves to the point of killing the plant. After you have success with root vegetables, you can move on to things like asparagus (most people have no idea what mature asparagus looks like and will just think it's another bush), and other less-known plants like rhubarb, even cabbage and lettuce. Avoid things that will stand out and attract attention, like shiny red tomatoes.

Pick a hardy plant that will do well on it's own without human intervention. People will get suspicious if you're walking 50 feet off the path into the wilderness with a watering can every day. The yield and quality of fruit/vegetables won't be nearly as good as if you grew them properly in a garden, but it will get the job done.

And of course, be sure to mark your crop somehow. Preferrably with something natural and pre-existing that is already there, rather than something obvious like tying a bright ribbon to a tree.

As mentioned, there are plenty of edible plants in all areas of the world that are considered weeds and spread across most areas, such as dandilion, wild carrot, clover, etc. Take the effort of identifying wild edible plants, so that you will always be able to find a meal wherever you look. That way you won't have to plant or take care of plants at all. Of course if you intentionally plant a crop of dandilions, nobody will think anything of it, nor try to eat it, but you'll have free salads from spring to fall.

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 07:57 AM
Terapin and Yarcofin,

That's great advice. Until I thought about it I was actually planning on a sort of garden patch but obviously that would draw attention. To cultivate already available edible species is brilliant. Sort of like foraging but increasing the likelihood you'll find something. That's a great idea. Here I am staring at my local edibles books and wondering how to plant a garden with shiny red tomatoes out in the woods. What a "duh" moment for me.

And roots. I didn't even think about roots.

This is great. I have a much better idea of what I can and cannot get away with now and I think my chances of real success have increased 10 fold.

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 08:43 AM
I've always heard and it seems to be generally so that for every domesticated plant, there's a wild counterpart. For instance the mallow plant will yield small edible pods similar to okra and cattails will give you something like small ears of corn. I wish I knew more substitutes. I wonder if in planting domesticated counterparts in close proximity to the plants would cross pollination give you something with a compromise of the hardy plant characteristics of the wild plant with a greater, more tasty yield. I would think it might be easier to maintain and harder to detect.

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 09:05 AM
Well I live in GA and every year near the city trash dump is a clear small area that belong to the state where I see a lonely old man planting all kind of stuff, he has done it for years and nobody bothers him.

The place is were anybody can see it, so I guess it depends how stiff the laws are in your state.

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 12:11 PM

Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
I'm planning on hiking off onto a fairly large state park near my home and seeing if I can maintain a small plot of vegetables.

Implausible, and not recommended. Legality aside, you are quite correct in the assumption that your plot would be ravaged by pests. Assuming your seeds were not immediately dug out by hungry small furry critters, your shoots would be rapidly eaten by other small furry critters. Assuming those survived, your above-ground veg will be eaten by medium furry critters, and small winged critters. Your under-ground veg will be eaten by burrowing critters. You cannot reasonably "grow crops" in the middle of a forest due to the insane amount of hungry, clever critters there are.

Next is the issue of water and sunlight. Food crops require a lot of both, but mostly the latter. Having your plot surrounded by trees will take away too much light to yield a healthy crop, the soil will be too nutrient poor, and the water will be largely used up by the other plants around it. And, of course, you COULD plant out in the open, but then Mr. Ranger is going to find it in about five minutes, since a plowed area is pretty darn visible.

What I instead recommend is this:

See if there's a local community garden already started, and volunteer your time there. Or alternately, there may be land already zoned for a community garden, but not developed into one. And if there's not one, then file a requisition for the city to grant one in your neighborhood, then get active on making it a reality. That way you don't run afoul of the law, and you'll probably yield a better crop due to more sunlight and fewer pests.

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 12:15 PM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

Have you considered finding a food coop where you can pay small fees and
grow food with others?
you could learn a lot of really cool gardening info and tips from others who garden at the local coop also you could find a local or semi local farmer who would not mind you using a half acre of the land he has rotated out this year to try and grow stuff on..

Like your idea though it is a step in the right direction


posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 01:01 PM
reply to post by geocom

There are little community plots and Yale runs a co-op sort of deal and in the Summer and Fall there are "farmers markets" peddling the hippie grown goods but if it's one thing I can't stand more than the government it's self-righteous neo-hippies who think growing a tomato is saving the environment from fictional threats ramming their socialist ideas down my throat. Yes, I gave it a shot. I walked onto the property, some 20 year-old white kids with dreadlocks and Che Guevara shirts said "Hi" and I turned right around and walked away.

The last thing I want is to have to spend more time with them than I currently have to.

This is to be a completely solo venture without having to sign any government documents or exchange words with any uppity 20-something college kid. I'm out for independence not communism.

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 01:19 PM
How about a pit-greenhouse? would be practically invisible until someone fell into it, and could have thorny or contact-irritant (poison-ivy etc) type plants grown around the perimeter to deter deer/humancuriosity ..but as long as they're native to the area you are cultivating

If you dug out a trench 4ft deep by 4ft wide by 6ft long and covered it with a heavy-grade clear-plastic tarp you'd have anough space to grow a variety of native crops.

watering wouldn't be a problem in warmer times as the moisture from the soil would evaporate and condense onto the plastic and be reabsorbed by the earth when it condensed and ran back into the greenhouse.

If the walls were lined with stacked stone/rock then it would act as a heatsink during colder times, releasing the heat slowly and keeping a stable temperature to deter frost-damage and could also be a handy way of trap-baiting for curious small/medium game who fall in

[edit on 7-2-2008 by citizen smith]

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 04:16 PM
Digging a pit garden sounds like a lot of needless work. The earth is well suited to growing edible crops without such a fuss. Contrary to an earlier comment, you can indeed grow crops without having furry critters eat all of it.

Root crops are particularly good. Carrots will go 'wild' in a short time and I bet you all have walked right past them without even knowing it. Tall white flowers looking much like 'queen annes lace.' There is indian cucumber as well which is quite tasty and easy to find. Native americans followed the concept of improving local wild crops by encouraging their growth. I have seen this happening in the Amazon as well. Wherever you go, plant a few more native species, and they will be there for you when you need them. Forget about tomatoes. Try something like fiddleheads, Yumm.

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 05:45 PM

Originally posted by Terapin
...Try something like fiddleheads, Yumm.

From what I can remember from my now-lost Lofty Wiseman's SAS Survival Handbook he mentioned against eating young fern fiddleheads in any quantity as they contain high-doseage amounts of Vitamin D which can cause a toxic reaction

(he also advises not to eat polar-bear liver for the same reason but with vitamin A...wot a geezer!)

posted on Feb, 7 2008 @ 06:12 PM
Fiddleheads are fine to eat. They even sell them in our local Market Basket chain store when they are in season. I never eat too many as doing so would mean that I would be killing off a future food source. They are great in stir fry in place of broccoli!!!

True about Polar bear liver. But then again, that is not a likely meal for me anyway. A bit tough to convince a polar bear to give up it's liver.

posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 10:37 AM

Originally posted by thelibra
Implausible, and not recommended.[] You cannot reasonably "grow crops" in the middle of a forest due to the insane amount of hungry, clever critters there are.

I find your response defeatist.

I have in fact grown crops in the woods and it is a lot easier than you would think.

Rule 1) No crop rows... cover your area (10 acres +) sporadically in little clusters. Draw a map.
Rule 2) Start your seeds elsewhere in a small greenhouse, move them when they are done with their vegetative cycle.
Rule 3) Dig a hole, line with newsprint to retain moisture, fill with woodland compost, peat, perlite, a small amount of lime. and a small amount of high P-K low N; I prefer Jamaican bat guano and Kelp. Use buckets to tote your additives.
Rule 4) Trees fall, find a break in the cover... well off the beaten path. Set it and forget it till harvest. Best if canoe accessible only.
Rule 5) Avoid full sun dependent crops (corn, wheat, beans, etc.)

Onions, Garlic, Potatoes, carrots, radishes, and turnips are all excellent underground choices.

Blueberries, boysenberries, raspberries, etc. are probably already somewhere on the state land... just add some high PK organic fertilizer to the base and come back in the appropriate month. I came home with a bucket full of blueberries last I was on state land.

Morrels, Bollettes, Chantarelles, and chicken mushroom are all very easily recognizable woodland mushrooms. Research techniques to improve your harvest for each type.

I find vacant lots, and abandoned commercial buildings make excellent places to plant your full sun crops.

It is illegal to cut trees down in a state forest. Nobody is going to stop you from planting an apple tree. Be shameless. Put your hands up and play crazy if you encounter trouble.

the deer told me to do it,

Sri Oracle

posted on Feb, 13 2008 @ 08:35 PM
How about using cemetaries as a covert-garden?

I don't mean growing in actual marked graves, rather the unused rough edges around the sites that you find in old village churchyards or larger victorian cemetaries...after all, the soil is going to be in better condition being well fed with nutrients than in most locations where you can't regularly tend your garden

top topics


log in