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Number one survival skill - Gardening

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posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 09:43 AM
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When you think about it, this is probably the most important skill to have after a SHTF scenario. Sure, you may have large stores of food, and during the first few months, be able to scrounge and loot stores, etc.

But, eventually, you'll need to have a sustainable food source. This one skill pretty much transformed us from hunter/gatherers and formed the basis of civilization as we know it.

So, it will be a pinnacle skill in rebuilding any form of civilization. Having only an amateur level of skill in this myself, I'm trying to add to it, and my family and I have started on a garden project, growing some of the veggies we eat most. Of course, I sold this to them mostly as a way to have tasty veggies at hand, without going to the store or market so much, and just as a fun project (and way to put our horse manure to use).

But, from a prepper standpoint, learning about growing food, canning it, etc. is certainly a great way to not only cut down on the cost of storing food, but increasing the quality, and providing a skill that doesn't depend on modern conveniences.

It's not as simple as putting a seed in dirt and watering it till it grows. There's so much to know...what will grow where, what kind of sun, when to plant it, how to plant it, what to plant it with, etc. Knowing this one skill would make you a vital member of any surviving community.




posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 09:52 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


Absolutely! I knew going to school for horticulture would come in handy some day. I couldn't agree more, and I actually have alot of seeds stored in a cool, dry place. Kids also LOVE to garden, and it's one of the best skills you could possibly teach them.

Great thread..



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 09:53 AM
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Always remember however, the people with the biggest guns will try and take what you have.

Best to have the biggest gun to go along with that garden. And know how to use it.

edit. I would actually have to disagree and suggest that proper gun training would be more important in a true, SHTF scenerio. If we put morals aside, a gun will get you everything others have worked hard for with minimal effort. You can have all the food in the world but if you cannot defend it from the hungry mobs, it wont do you a lick of good.

edit on 29-6-2012 by nightbringr because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 09:54 AM
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I certainly agree. There are also many health benefits to this as well not to mention they taste much better than anything in the stores. I too am learning (which can take some trial and error) but in only a couple of years my gardens and looking pretty good. I am also trying to change my diet to rely more heavily on local foods so it won't be so much of a shock if/when the grocery store shelves are empty.

My gardening tip for this year: Corn meal is an effective natural way to control cutworms/caterpillars



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 09:55 AM
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We've got our tomato garden going as usual. Got Arkansas Travelers. They're smaller but grow in bunches and have a large yield. I also have green beans (Kentucky Wonders). They're actually ready to pick and easy to grow. I got a canning pot for Christmas last year and going to can some tomatoes and green beans. Oh and I actually had cucumbers and 2 tomato plants come back on their own because of the mild winter this year
. And just for good measure, I planted a couple of bell peppers and banana peppers.



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 09:59 AM
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Originally posted by fenceSitter
I certainly agree. There are also many health benefits to this as well not to mention they taste much better than anything in the stores. I too am learning (which can take some trial and error) but in only a couple of years my gardens and looking pretty good. I am also trying to change my diet to rely more heavily on local foods so it won't be so much of a shock if/when the grocery store shelves are empty.

My gardening tip for this year: Corn meal is an effective natural way to control cutworms/caterpillars


Thanks for the corn meal tip. Horn worms can strip an entire 3 ft. Tomato plant overnight. You have to check plants daily for them.



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:00 AM
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Originally posted by Gazrok



But, from a prepper standpoint, learning about growing food, canning it, etc. is certainly a great way to not only cut down on the cost of storing food, but increasing the quality, and providing a skill that doesn't depend on modern conveniences.



true if done organically in a sustainable manner with saved seeds which is far from the truth of most gardens

here is a nice little starter on saving seeds
edit on 6/29/2012 by iforget because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:03 AM
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If any of you guys growing your own food has a dehydrator....you get veggies all year round without them spoiling or going to waste.
Toss them in a bowl of water and get nutritious soup any time of the year.

I sound like an infomercial.

edit on 29-6-2012 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:08 AM
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I also have a couple of blueberry bushes and strawberries. They will come back each year. And we're lucky enough to have wild blackberries too. You have to watch for the stickers/ thorns on the blackberries though, but they're very hardy.



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:12 AM
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I've got some fruit and culinary herbs on the go. I'll have veggies in soon and need to partition off a place away from the little one down the bottom of the garden for medicinal herbs.

edit on 29-6-2012 by Suspiria because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:13 AM
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Yep, definitely adding a dehydrator to the wishlist...


Always remember however, the people with the biggest guns will try and take what you have.

Best to have the biggest gun to go along with that garden. And know how to use it.


No doubt...(or at least, more guns and people using them, with more ammo)...but I'd also hope to use charisma and logic to get any potential marauder to become an asset vs. a casualty, if I could help it. After all, sure, killing us may get him food now, but befriending us could get him food indefinitely. Let him go out and terrorize others or risk looting, etc., come back to us and sell his ill-gotten goods for food.
And while he's out there, we'll secretly hope somebody offs him, or we'll plan a surprise for him if we feel he's too dangerous.

A little immoral? sure...but better than pious and dead...

Hell, one of my buddies could sell ice to an Eskimo, so he'd certainly be on point to work the deal...



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:15 AM
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Good thread and good points all around, Gaz. Growing your own and knowing how to preserve, can, cure, whatever would prove to be quite the significant importance in Any SHTF type scenario. No matter if it's an extended power outage, infrastructure failure or even worse.

We garden and can, freeze, blanch a variety of things every year, always adding something new to the mix. Not just fruits and veges, but soups, sauces, meats, etc as well.

This year's gardening efforts, so far:

right click - open image in new window - to see the full size pic


the main garden


7 cucumbers. 3 heirloom tomatoes. 2 watermelon. summer squash at the end


13 pole green beans + 11 okra plants using seeds kept from last year & some corn


10 rows of various heirloom sweet corn. some early sunglow. some a later sweet corn named argent


honeydew and cantaloupe 4ea.


cilantro on the left and basil, sage, rosemary, oregano and thyme on the right


2 dozen giant sunflowers [approx. 8ft high]
12 plants of 6 different varieties of heirloom tomato plants
down front - in between - are 4 jalapeno, 4 green peppers and 2 habanero plants


brussel sprouts


5 tomatillo plants blooming like mad


30 or so Georgia Sweet onions + 2 volunteer heirloom maters.
There were about 80 onions sets, but those little finger-size 'spring onions' kept calling out to me each time I was watering, weeding or doing something on the grill.
Guess I'll have to plant more next year.



3 yr old red raspberry plants w/ two new ones this year on the upper left.
We're picking berries about every third day or so.


the strawberry patch we put in last year w/ 20 plants taken from a friend's garden. we got about 8-9 quarts this, the first year of producing, and we're already having to expand it to 30X5 ft in order to give them some growing room. Next year should see at least 20+ quarts and likely more.


a new strip i tilled up this year for some extra heirloom volunteer tomatoes.
7 tomato plants, some odd volunteer sunflowers and about a 3X5 patch of turnips on the far end

Despite the above being but merely My labor of love ... toiling in mother earth ... - and that we do can, freeze, cure, store and feed a lot of folks from it over the year - it would in no way be sufficient for any sort of extended self-sustaining type situation.

Even for a group of say 10-12 you would need to expand that exponentially, including the likes of potatoes and other type veges which store well over long periods.

A ground/root cellar would be an absolute Must Have.





edit on 6/29/2012 by 12m8keall2c because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:26 AM
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There are sooo many things you can do to prevent insect and disease problems without using "poisens", good soil is very important.

www.youtube.com...

Also "companion" planting....works great to help keep insects from "munching" all your plants....many types of herbs will do this...and they smell WONDERFUL too ! The trick is to attract "beneficial" insects to your garden, that will eat the "destructive" insects and of course we always want to attract Bees.....




www.youtube.com...



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:30 AM
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reply to post by 12m8keall2c
 


Beautiful Garden....certainly looks like a "labor of Love"......enjoyed your photos very much...



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:34 AM
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reply to post by 12m8keall2c
 


Incredible pics!

That's very similar to my end goal, but we're just in the soil prep phase for it now.
I'm getting some good advice from a co-worker whose family has a nursery business.
He turned me on to some great heirloom seed sites, and other advice.

Once we get it going, will definitely have to post some pics (hopefully like these).

Main things we plan to grow: cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, squash, broccoli, peppers, eggplant, soybeans, lettuce, green beans, carrots (mostly for horses)



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:38 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


I have seeds from nearly everything pictured there - all heirloom. some of the mater seeds have been kept going since the 60s.


I'll gladly send you some of each to get started. the 'world's largest mater typically produces a near 2# fruit & the 'roma' version gets about the size of a beer can. NS



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:43 AM
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Thanks for the corn meal tip. Horn worms can strip an entire 3 ft. Tomato plant overnight. You have to check plants daily for them.

Believe it or not, most tomato plants will grow back from a total cutworm/hornworm stripping. I know this for a fact. I had a tomato plant completely stripped last year. I just cut the stem to about two inches long and kept watering it. After about a week new shoots started to grow and eventually the plant produced tomatoes.



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:48 AM
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Originally posted by Gazrok
That's very similar to my end goal, but we're just in the soil prep phase for it now.


two words, gaz.

mushroom soil

you should be able to get it from any mulch supplier. It's the byproduct of mushroom farming, and it serves a dual purpose role in gardening - mulch & organic fertilizer.

we typically spread about 3-4 inches on top of everything each year. then at the end of the year just till it under, into the soil. every year after your soil just gets better and better with more organic material being tilled into it, breaking down, fertilizing the same all the while

@ about $22 a yard, it's not only affordable, but it's also a great conditioner of sorts.



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:51 AM
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I'd be surprised if most folk around here know the difference between a bonifide veggy top and a deadly plant.
If anyone broke in to steal anything of mine, I could at least console myself in the notion that they'll probably poison themselves to death in the process of chowing down.

Aww heck, I could just make a load of gingerbread and sweets and stick them to my house. Lure or deterrent?

edit on 29-6-2012 by Suspiria because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 10:52 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok
 


Gardening would definately be up there for sure! But you would need to take into consideration that you may need to pack up and move at any given moment.....

I would say that as well as gardening, it would be very wise to know what wild vegetation is edible as well. Leaving your garden would be terrible, but knowing what plants that grow in the wild would be a great band aid in case of having to move out!

For instance: Cat tails, that we all see growing in wetlands have a root that tastes almost like a potato




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