Realistic Survival Farming...

page: 1
12

log in

join

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 01:44 AM
link   
So even though I'm a planner, I am also a realist, and know that if S really does HTF, most people's dreams of having a self-sustaining farm of 10 different vegetables is kind of silly. So I have decided to share what I have in my backyard and wanted to see what others might have growing and why.

In my opinion, a vegetable garden is nice as an added variety (basically a luxury), but I couldn't realistically rely on having a year-round harvest, or even a guaranteed harvest. Bugs, mold, early frosts, too many variables for me. I have a pretty green thumb, but without proper irrigation (even a water hose is included in this) a reliable vegetable harvest seems too risky for my liking.

So in my yard, I have a few things I feel I can let grow, and if the water stops running, will still be growing without much help.

First is my little bamboo forest. I'm not sure what all parts of the US bamboo grows, but here in my state, it's a self-sustaining weed. It grows almost uncontrollably and ive never watered it once, but it has so many great uses to take advantage of even without processing. Building material, firewood, using the fibers to make rope, weapons (bows, arrows, spears, blowguns, etc), food. I love bamboo.

And the nutritional value is pretty astonishing for basically a young tree stump. One cup has 2% of your daily carbs, 8% of your fiber, 2.3g of protein, 1% vitamin A, 2% calcium, 3% vitamin C, and 3% iron. Not bad at all IMO. Bamboo nutrition (canned)

I use the canned value because that would be the best way of preserving them for long storage. Bamboo shoots are harvested as soon as they sprout, and must be collected within the first two days of sprouting, the sooner the better. Bamboo sprouts at different times depending the variety, but the kind I have (big timber I think) sprouts early in the year. I love fresh boiled bamboo shoots, but you can can them and add flavoring or just pickle them and they are really good also.

Next in my yard are my two big pecan trees. Now I realize not everyone has a 100 year old pecan tree in their backyard, but its still something to keep in mind if food is scarce in the fall and you live near a wooded area. (Or if you feel like transplanting a few yourself.) My trees have survived more years than some countries, and I'm assuming they will still be here when the water hose turns off.

I'm not sure how many people from outside the states have eaten fresh pecans, but they are awesome. They taste great and they are great for you. Pecan nuts (nuts, fruit, drope, that topic has always confused me...) have some pretty impressive nutritional properties. Pecan information. Not to mention the cancer fighting properties that go along with it.

Next up in my yard are my 3 Redfree apple trees. We planted them a few years ago, and they are going strong. Never have to water them (although I will on occasion when its drought weather), and never have to do any maintenance to the fruit. It's a hearty breed of apple and is resistant to almost everything that is a threat except the animals (and myself).
And every August I have a very sweet treat to start looking forward to.

Last up are my Jerusalem Artichokes. No, I'm not joking, that is their name, and they taste great, lol. This is another weed I have found and am taking advantage of. They grow like potatoes, and kind of resemble a water chestnut, only the size of a small sweet potato. They are a member of the sunflower family, and have pretty flowers throughout the year until I mow 'em down and grab the tubers. I harvest late in the year when it gets close to freezing and before the ground is too hard to dig up. This is a plant that comes back every year with a vengeance and I have to fight back from trying to take over past its section of the yard. I highly doubt it will let me down when the water shuts off, hehe.

IMO if you live where you can grow Jerusalem Artichokes, it is something you should look into. Potatoes have saved many a people from starving, and these things aren't hard to cultivate by any means.

Sunchokes

So these are a few of my SHTF plants that I have come to love in my yard. It might not be as comfortable of a survival as A/C, iPads, and the Internet, but at least my wife and I will be fed, even in the worst case scenario.

And the off-setting harvest seasons make sure we never have more then a few weeks/months in-between crops. The bamboo sprouts early in the year and lasts more than a month, the apples start ripening in early August, the pecans are starting to drop around late September, and then in November I get to start looking forward to the Sunchokes.

Right now my plants are all for fun and variety really, but its nice to know if the day comes, I have a ready food source that requires minimal mantainance. Should be pretty good in a trade scenario also. Not sure how many people in my state are going to have bamboo, apples, and potatoes


So what do you have in your yard? I'm looking to plant another fruit tree this upcoming year, but can't decide what to get
Would be awesome to hear what some of the other members here have growing.

-YALT
edit on 13-12-2012 by YouAreLiedTo because: Fixing links




posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 02:04 AM
link   
Just wondering, how is all of your general health consuming your garden variety?

I actually never knew I could consume bamboo until reading this thread, thank you.

I grow blueberries, strawberries, rotten tomatoes, and moonshine.
I wish!

I really have a hard time with tomatoes here. They seem to start off well, then the flowers start decaying before blooming new tomatoes. Like the plant isn't getting enough energy or something. Frustrating.

I would grow grapes like all of my ancestors did, but I'm concerned about all the anomalies in the water and it's effects on the nutrition and health of the grapes for wine or consumption.

ETA- Your screen name is one of the best I've seen here, witty, yet simple.
edit on 13-12-2012 by JibbyJedi because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 02:07 AM
link   
Very nice post, informative and honest. These are definitely plants I would like to have growing near me. Unfortunately living in an urban area it's kind of hard to maintain any type of garden. We have a 2nd story patio and it bakes every plant we put out there except for rosemary.

I remember having mulled over a garden at our last house that the several varieties of squash came back around the next two years on their own. As did a watermelon plant, but it only produced melon's the size of football.

Thanks for the info.



posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 02:11 AM
link   

Originally posted by JibbyJedi
Just wondering, how is all of your general health consuming your garden variety?

I actually never knew I could consume bamboo until reading this thread, thank you.

I grow blueberries, strawberries, rotten tomatoes, and moonshine.
I wish!


Not sure what you mean by my general health. I do not currently survive solely on the mentioned foods. And even in a no power/ no water scenario, you could still hunt small game for the occasional meat treat. The nuts/bamboo/Sunchokes all have iron/fiber/carbs/protein/etc, so although I'm sure it wouldn't be the greatest survival, you wouldn't starve either.

I never thought about berries, that would be an awesome addition


I'm sorry I can't help you with the tomatoes, my grandfather was the master in that field. Perhaps you need more P and K in the soil for the blooming and fruit cycle.

As for the moonshine, as soon as the liquor stores close, my blow torch is coming out and it's building time. Moonshine is damn near a religion in my parts


Edit: "Very nice post, informative and honest. These are definitely plants I would like to have growing near me. Unfortunately living in an urban area it's kind of hard to maintain any type of garden. We have a 2nd story patio and it bakes every plant we put out there except for rosemary.

I remember having mulled over a garden at our last house that the several varieties of squash came back around the next two years on their own. As did a watermelon plant, but it only produced melon's the size of football."

I just moved back from Chicago a few years ago. I never knew how much I would miss a yard until I lived on the 14th floor


I only have a small yard right now in the middle of a city, but it doesn't take much room to plant some bamboo and a few trees. The Sunchokes will grow just about anywhere in the yard, lol


I really like the berry idea for that reason. Maybe a blackberry vine. The less room it takes the better, hehe.
edit on 13-12-2012 by YouAreLiedTo because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 02:40 AM
link   
Nice set up. An often overlooked easy to grow food is mushrooms.



posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 05:00 AM
link   
reply to post by YouAreLiedTo
 


What I grow:

Pumpkins, because they took over the compost pile and just grow crazy.

Squash and Courgettes because they grow among the pumpkins.

Most tubers (but mainly potatoes) because they are underground and will survive fire, flood and predators.

I tried Jerusalem artichokes but the kids all hated them.

Broccoli because it is easy to grow & cook.

Lentils/beans/peas because they keep well when dried and are easily revived with a little water. Fresh picked baby peas are super sweet & energy packed.

Grains like barley.

Coffee (growing indoors) has been giving us a lot of beans and, while not liking direct sun, seems pretty hardy.

Note, most store bought seeds and seedlings have terminator genes which means they are infertile. It pays to get some "real' veges from old seed stock and to let a certain percentage "go to seed".

Oh, just remembered, we have a "food forest" of of all sorts of fruit trees (mainly citrus) which consists of random species of food & nut trees, over planted and cared for only in the establishment phase. The plants establish their own micro-ecology & all we do is pick stuff when we want it. The whole thing thrives on neglect, but took years to "build".

We also have included some "native" food plants as well.

We keep the grass down in the food forest area by having heaps of chickens. They don't eat the citrus fruits and they also give us eggs & the occasional roast.

Pays to have a few acres too

edit on 13/12/2012 by chr0naut because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 11:08 AM
link   
This is a great idea for a survival farming thread OP - very smart!

I'd like to contribute the idea of growing raspberries. They send shoots underground, tripling the amount of space they take up in about two summers. Since fruit outside of summertime is hard to come by (at least in the northeast corridor), Queen Anne Golden Raspberries grow during the spring and fall frosts. After each frost, they get sweeter. They don't seem to care whether they're watered, look almost dead in the summer heat, and they love seaweed. But hey, don't we all?

I bought them from gardeners.com. They sold five ferocious canes for $20.



posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 11:55 AM
link   
interesting .. in the climate over here and the soil things grow pretty much year round here ... have french beans , bok choi , chilli's , tomato's , corn .... nearby mango , banana , dragonfruit , mangostien , coconut , date palm treees , sago palm trees ... also have several medicinal herbs growing as well ...



posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 12:03 PM
link   
I have fruit trees, blueberries, strawberries,raspberries, currants and cranberries that come back and need no maintenance other than weeding.

Herbs like chamomile, mint, yarrow, St.John's wort, bergamot, pulmonaria, and so many more for medicinals, again they only require weeding.

I won't go into my veggies because, yes, they take up space and effort. However, potatoes can be grown inside of a stack of old tires filled with dirt. The only effort needed for those is stacking tires, dumping in dirt and planting. Come back after they are done and knock over the stack, it is the easiest potato harvesting ever. Asparagus is another great, no work perennial vegetable.

I guess I am lucky in the fact that we have been working toward this goal for years already, and that my forest provides me with what I don't grow.

Never overlook things like dandelions, and plantain either, dandelion is super nutritious but tastes better young.
Plantain is awesome as a medicine, just bruise up a leaf really good and place it on your skin for bug bites or burns.
edit on 13-12-2012 by woodsmom because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 01:20 PM
link   
Your setup sounds sweet. I don't discount the wisdom of what you are saying or the great value of having fruit trees and being able to forage, but murphy's law applies to trees and weeds just as much as to gardens. At one point i had 2 hazelnut trees, 2 apples trees, 3 cherry trees, and 4 blueberry bushes. Disease killed both hazelnut trees and severely sickened one of my apple trees. Last summer none of my cherry or apple trees produced because we had unseasonably warm weather during april which caused pre-mature blooms. A late frost came and prevented them from producing fruit. I also lost one of my blueberry bushes last summer to disease.

We used to have american hazelnuts all over the south but disease killed them all. My grandfather said hazelnuts were so thick that he didn't need to feed his hogs as they got fat on the nuts.



posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 10:20 PM
link   
I just wanted to tell everyone thank you for lending your ideas to the thread.

I will be looking into a few of the discussed plants, and I LoVe the tire idea for the potatoes,

I started the thread because I have a few friends who decided to start saving up food, and then proceeded to buy 3 months of frozen meat as their oh $#!% supply. It made me realize that despite the best efforts and well-meaning of some people, they just can't grasp the idea of, well, natural survival. Even if some people are worried enough to start stocking up, they can't see the possibility of not having electricity, or running water.

Anywho, I'm loving all the ideas. Thanks again everyone! I think I'm going to start the expansion with some berries and mushrooms


Edit because I just saw grownshows post. Everything has the possibility of dying eventually, but I have tried to minimize the possibility. My apple trees are a breed that are naturally resistant to the four most common diseases found in apple trees. The bamboo and Sunchokes are basically weeds with a great purpose, and the pecan trees are a naturally occurring bonus.

I just recently started getting into true survival farming, and I appreciate all the information and opinions!
edit on 13-12-2012 by YouAreLiedTo because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 11:55 PM
link   
I haven't had much time to garden in the last couple years so I decided to see what grows wild locally that I can use. I live in farm country USA so wild options aren't super plentiful but they are there. Of course, who doesn't have dandelions. Also, there are wild plum trees about, small plums, not the best tasting but edible. There are many places wild asparagus grows. I have enough within a half mile of my place I don't have to plant it. In fact, I decided as much as I love it, I won't plant it in a garden and take up space, I will supplement what is already growing if need be. Wild Catnip grows like crazy around here so I have a nice tea source. My property abuts a gravel road with tall grass that is harvested every year without my permission. After bailing, I take 1/2 of the bales along the length of my property and the unknown harvester takes the rest. There has never been a word between us, but it has worked without any problems. Cattails are numerous close to me so that is another food source as well.

For gardening when I have time, what has grown very well for me with little effort is pumpkins and squash - yellow crook neck, zucchini etc. Super nutritious, easy to grow and productive. I also take leftover Halloween pumpkins from town folk that are clean and uncarved waiting for the trash after the holiday and slice them up thin, soak in salt solution and dehydrate. I also process the seeds for a nice treat. These pumpkins are free, I don't have to grow them and they are a good nutritional source. I can get hundreds of pounds for myself and my animals. The pumpkins that are clean but going soft and aren't desirable to me, I save for my rabbits and chickens as a supplement in the winter months. They love them. The pumpkins freeze in the barn or outside where I have stacked them and I bring in as needed to thaw then toss in to the animals.

I have also planted raspberries and strawberries which need very little attendance, apple trees, spring onions and garlic.

I've heard from a variety of sources that kale is a super food, grows almost anywhere and has a fast cycle. I will hopefully try it this next year.



posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 12:57 PM
link   

Originally posted by Gridrebel

For gardening when I have time, what has grown very well for me with little effort is pumpkins and squash - yellow crook neck, zucchini etc. Super nutritious, easy to grow and productive. I also take leftover Halloween pumpkins from town folk that are clean and uncarved waiting for the trash after the holiday and slice them up thin, soak in salt solution and dehydrate. I also process the seeds for a nice treat. These pumpkins are free, I don't have to grow them and they are a good nutritional source. I can get hundreds of pounds for myself and my animals. The pumpkins that are clean but going soft and aren't desirable to me, I save for my rabbits and chickens as a supplement in the winter months. They love them. The pumpkins freeze in the barn or outside where I have stacked them and I bring in as needed to thaw then toss in to the animals.

I've heard from a variety of sources that kale is a super food, grows almost anywhere and has a fast cycle. I will hopefully try it this next year.


I'm a big believer and fan of winter squash and pumpkins. They grow relatively easy and have vitamin C and A in addition to having a long storage time. Butternut squash will easily store at room temperature for 6 months or more. I'm still making squash soup out of the squash i grew last summer.

Kale is indeed awesome and has a maturity date of around 55 days. Some types of kale has decent resistence to cold too.



posted on Jan, 9 2013 @ 04:08 PM
link   
reply to post by YouAreLiedTo
 



The real trick to a garden sustaining you, is to can everything at harvest time. This way, you have a stockpile while the plants are growing. Crop rotation is important, as well.



posted on Jan, 9 2013 @ 04:40 PM
link   
reply to post by Gridrebel
 


I couldn't help responding!
I grew up in farm country, and miss those tart little wild plums. We used to pick gallons of them and my mom would make a plum jam to die for. Now that I am so far north I buy up plums every year when they go on sale for my own jam, it never comes close to the flavor of the wild picked though.



posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 01:59 AM
link   
reply to post by JibbyJedi
 


Tomato flowers dying: Probably blossom end rot, which is easily treated by spraying them with calcium. It could also be (probably not in your case), I know it was going on here in FL a couple years ago last time I bothered with tomatoes: some damn wasp species eating the damn flowers, snipping them right off.

OP: You're on the right path. Edible perennials the true wealth in plants. They're built to last. Annuals are built to hurry up and make some seeds, then die quickly. I stopped growing annuals, except for seed production purposes, couple years ago now. 'Except' peppers, they're actually perennials here and I grow tons of different ones. Have hundreds of different types of perennials now. Of course my climate allows endless things most people in the US cant even consider. But theres a decent list out there for everyones home. "Edible landscaping" & your USDA zone what you need to put into Google God to find yours. Where I live its always grow season, with annuals that is, but its critical that you plant things during the right time of year, or you'll only get fast bolting stalks of seeds (at best in some cases).


I remember having mulled over a garden at our last house that the several varieties of squash came back around the next two years on their own.


I've had Chinese Napa Cabbage growing and reseeding in 2 spots in the grounds for 2 years here, came from the initial lot of jumbo pots I moved over to here that first winter, right when I got here. Cabbages, here in zone 9B/10, arent supposed to grow, or be planted anyways, past Feb/March (if you want actual food). But they always there making new flowers and seeds. In high traffic areas no less, they get trampled all the time and keep on.
edit on 5-4-2013 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2013 @ 12:02 PM
link   
I suggest compiling a history of your area and researching what people used to grow there before tractors. Pioneers, settlers, homesteaders all faced a situation much like we would face if technology and the conveniences were suddenly gone.

How did they do it? What did they grow? How do you make a chicken coop with no chicken wire? How do you turn and cultivate the soil?

My wife and I are in the process of getting rid of our house... and moving in back on 45 acres. We are literally building our house, building log barns for the animals, setting up new gardens, and doing much of it with local and homegrown materials.

For instance, our land grows rocks... so our raised beds are made out of rocks. The logs we cut to our homesite way back in the woods will provide logs and timber... cut into boards with a chain saw... the chicken pen and run will be made from wattle... weaving horizontal saplings around vertical timbers... used much in the colonial period.

We use heirloom seeds and collect our seeds during harvest and dry for next years crop.

We have pigs and hogs for meat, chickens for eggs and meat, and goats for milk and meat... all surplus young animals are sold or traded for income and goods.

We are also planting many berry bushes, grape vines, bluberries, fruit trees... aples and peaches mostly.

For the winter... we grow greens, lettuces, colards, turnips,etc. when summer comes... they bolt and again, you save the seeds.

None of this is rocket science... just lots of good old fashioned hard work and doing it when nature is ready.

That's the other thing... you get in touch with nature and work on her calender and time-table....

We are going solar... wood heat... no outside sources of power or conveniences... and since our house (which is a barn as far as the county is concerned) is paid for... no house payment. In our county, an agriculture building not connected to electric or water needs no inspection or permit.

People have lived for thousands of years without modern means... if they could do it... we can to.

A good place to gain info is Williamsburg, Jamestown Colony settlement, Living history farms... historic recreations,... look at the buildings, fences, the spring house, the out house, smoke house...where are they?...Why?

Spring houses were good for water and refridgeration. Outhouses were down wind from prevailing winds and far away from water sources and wells... smoke houses were convenient to houses and kitchens were often seperate from the house as a precaution to fires and keeping heat from the house during summer.

Survival farming is simply homestead farming... living like gran' daddy.

been there and still doing that



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 01:14 PM
link   
reply to post by AlreadyGone
 


Just keep your grapes away from trees. Make sure they have something else to climb. I have some wild grapes that have damn-near killed the nearby trees by the additional weight (from the grape vines) that the trees must support.



posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 01:56 PM
link   
My defend-in-place plan involves living off of stored foods (including bulk grains) including canned-goods, and only supplementing with garden vegetables. Unless I can grow and protect my garden, in which case it will increase accordingly.

Most urban people don't even recognize food crops other than tomatoes. Seriously. I grew up in a rural area, and garden theft was a real problem for folks who lived in town. But nowdays, city people don't know what a bush bean would look like; and if you can't see the beans hanging down, they assume its a kind of shrubbery.

Seriously, I know someone who has a garden visible from the street. They lose tomatoes, but the thieves don't even realize what carrots are, or beans either.

My tree crops are a couple of apple trees, plus blackberry 'trees' (previous owner trimmed them to look like crepe myrtles!) with no berries down at eye level.

There are also 5 persimmon trees.

Persimmons are America's forgotten fruit. They are horribly sour all year, until the fruits freeze (they are the size of small plums). The freeze converts the acid to a particular sugar, many times sweeter than can sugar. They are a perfect canning fruit. The Osage indians used to make a form of pemmican with them, I have been told. Pioneers prized them above all other trees, but because the fruit cannot be shipped fresh to urban markets, city people don't know what they are. And what they are, is incredible.





new topics

top topics



 
12

log in

join