Interested in Survival Gardening? Contribute to an ATS Research Project

page: 1
11
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:10 PM
link   
I posted a research project in the Research Group that members of the Survival Forum may have an interest in.

***But First - Important Notes So I Don't Get Into Trouble!!***

If you don't have Scholar Status, you can't post in the Research Group. Instead, post your comments here in this thread or U2U me if you're interested in participating in the project. For more info about the awesome Research Group check out this very helpful information and learn how to gain Scholar Status.

Overview of the Project

My project idea focuses on food production and preservation, and in a larger context the ability to self-provide nutrition and nourishment for oneself and one's family. I think so much of this knowledge has been lost in these days of pre-packaged and processed food, and even the knowledge that has been retained can be confusing and contradictory. Opinions and advice abound. Old wives tales continue to surface. Scientific studies are available for perusal but how do they hold up in practice? This project will attempt to answer some of these questions.

In addition, gardening in general is often treated by people as a hobby: we know we can always run to the supermarket to grab what we need. We are not producing food for NECESSARY consumption. If you viewed your garden (and other food sources) as your ONLY source of nourishment you would realize you have to actually eat what you grow - and only that! So how much salad can a person reasonably eat in a week? If you end up with a bumper crop of cukes how many jars of relish can you use in five years? Can your family be happy living off stewed tomatoes and green beans all winter? We are spoiled by endless variety. Growing your own is a whole different story.

Draft project goal (subject to refinement through project team input)

The overarching goal of this project is to understand how self-sufficient the average person can realistically be with self food production. The more data that supports answering this question the better. But I do not suggest that this one research project will be able to answer the question fully.

Research participation opportunities

Many people talk about "living off the land" but how does one do that in practice rather than theory? What nutrition does a human body need and what foods provide it? How much of each food source should you grow for how many people? What do you put by and what is the best way to do that safely while retaining both nutritional value and quality? What are the risks to be aware of (pests, vermin, animals, weather)? What are the costs in terms of money, labor, space? And how do you prepare these foods in the right combination to make satisfying meals?

These are just a few of the factors to consider for those who are interested in getting away from supermarket and fast food living. And I acknowledge that this is no small feat to explore - the number of factors that contribute to success or failure is overwhelming.

Another important point about this project is that it requires empirical testing - actually applying the research to a gardening effort. I am already doing this (gardening) and so would have this covered if others aren't willing or able to do so. But a second and even third gardener would be ideal.

Project timeline

I think it's obvious that this is not a "once and done" effort. The very nature of trying to achieve this end goal would require multiple years of effort and research. Therefore the definition of "done" for an initial project would need to be very clearly defined. I propose chunking out this project into focused, reasonable bites determined by member interest in the necessary research areas. Any and all of the topical areas are worth pursuing. I would be invested in developing a practical plan with focused goals for both the research and the empirical reporting, with reasonable reporting timeframes depending on the subject area. I believe even one member and myself could produce a satisfying project.

This project would not be marked as complete until the end of my (as project leader) growing season. A final project summary would not be posted until October 2013. Empirical researchers would need to be on that growing cycle. Other research contributors could complete their portion earlier, but would not enjoy the "fruits of their labor" until the project was closed in October.

Thanks for listening and again if you have any interest in participating please U2U me for more details.

otherpotato




posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:45 PM
link   
Interesting.I was exposed to the farming way of life in my teen years.The seasons,when to grow certain crops,how to rotate the crops,storage and such.

Later on I learned how to forage for certain foods were ever I lived.Just out of curiosity,that is.

I haven't had a garden in years,but I still recall some things.There is this book I got a year or so ago about how to live a self-sustained lifestyle I have been meaning to read,might just go check it out now.

Peace,
K



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:58 PM
link   
I don't have scholar status, I guess, so I'll post here.

In my own search for an easy wa to grow lots of stuff, I ran across the Mittleider Method. It's also known as the "poor mans hydroponics". You don't even need soil, you can use sawdust and sand if you want. I personally use the dirt bed method they describe.

it is dependent on a custom fertilizer mix you mix up yourself. The good part is it's cheap. Since the fertilizer is just minerals, you can buy years in advance and store it just like you would any survival food, but without the Mylar bags and O2 absorbers. The manual even tells how much to plant of what and how much your yield will be.

The guy who invented this taught it for 30 years to people in third world countries so they could feed themselves. I have switched to this method, and it really works. What's great is that that there's no "green thumb" needed. Just follow the simple instructions.

Here's the website

growfood.com...



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 09:13 PM
link   
reply to post by kdog1982
 


I didn't consider foraging as part of this project - that's a great angle to explore.

If you were interested in sharing what you know as part of the project send me a U2U. You wouldn't have to participate beyond this topic, and would have until October to meet your project post minimum given the subject area. I'm not sure the exact number of posts required yet but we could work that out together.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 09:14 PM
link   
Thus far I will be growing Oregano, dill, mints, basil, marjoran, rosemary, chives, thyme, sage, tomatoes, raspberries, summer squash, hot peppers, swiss chards, romaines, spinages and multiple others yet to be named. I've constructed two 100'x 20' hoop houses, with plans for 3 more, all of which is grown on just about 1 acre of land.

I've learned plenty over the years and have much more to learn... Feel free to U2U me with any questions.

I'll be checking the thread periodically as well. Looking forward to whatever may come of this.

S&F's



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 09:16 PM
link   
reply to post by davjan4
 


Poor Man's Hydroponics sounds like an interesting avenue to explore. I have always been a dirt-sun-water kind of person, but hydroponics is certainly a viable method of food production - and something I, and I suspect many others, know nothing about.

If you were interested in participating in the project there are several routes to consider - either posting research results about the method, or conducting empirical research where you try the hydroponic growing and document your results over time. U2U me if you want to explore this further. Could be a good way to contribute.

Thanks for the post either way!



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 09:56 PM
link   
reply to post by otherpotato
 


Hi All,

I started doing serious hobby research in personal food production since around 1988. I started using thin film refresh hydroponics both outdoors and in a basement in Wisconsin. Currently I have a home made 12x24 greenhouse that produces year round in Virginia, and a 80' x 4' raised bed that I am just now moving the greenhouse plants onto, 12 grape vines, a berry bed (kiwi, raspberry, blueberry and blackberry) and 50 fruit trees planted in my front yard. (Peaches, nectarines, american and asian pears, persimmons, apricots, plums, apples, cherries pomegranates and more.) I can tell you that personal food production is VERY DIFFICULT. At least once a week I think about how amazing it is that the original settlers here survived at all.

The biggest problem I have faced is everything that wants to eat my plants and produce.

8' weld wire fence is keeping out the deer, racoons, possums and that dang ground hog. Half buried 1/4" hardware cloth keeps out the mice, bird netting helps protect the cherries and grapes. When the fruit is about to ripen we hang very fine netting to keep away the wasps, stink bugs, Japanese beetles and squirrels. But I still have to thin the squirrel population at least once a month with a 22 cal nitro piston air-gun.

Even then, my greenhouse was hopelessly over-run with aphids and thrips four weeks ago, and I haven't gotten a tomato or pepper worth eating since. I've made mistakes in the past of using every know pesticide including some really expensive high tech stuff. In the last month, I have put down 100+ gallons of Milky Spore and Bacillus Thuringensis, set over 80,000 ladybugs into my four breeding beds, and released around 4000 baby praying mantis. I also release ladybugs, praying mantis and green lacewing "lions" in the greenhouse. Only the lacewings are helping much. Today, I just ordered 5000 more lacewing eggs and a couple thousand parasitic aphid micro-wasps. I want to get the aphid and thrip population under control before I move things out of the greenhouse. Last week I put out 300M beneficial parasitic nematodes of three different species that I bought from buglogical.com. (An experiment in progress) All out bug-warfare here. Oh, and did I mention the toads and frogs in the greenhouse to control the crickets and slugs?

I am slowly getting better at this, but even after five years of modifying the ecology here and developing some pretty good techniques, I still am not growing anywhere near enough to feed my wife and I. I probably could if I resorted to heavy fertilizer use and coated everything in a concoction of bifurithen, mitcide, and fungucide. But that doesn't seem very sustainable in a SHTF scenerio, and I would be afraid to eat the stuff.

I am putting off my first few chickens until next year. Just too much to do already without having to figure out all of them problems now.

Anyway, I don't feel like writing a novel, but if you have any questions, I would not mind being a resource for you. I do have a good feel for how many of what size pots of what and what kind of media and bio-controls are needed to even begin to think about feeding yourself. And how much power is needed for what kind of materials to keep a greenhouse producing through the winter in Virginia. There are good reasons I don't do hydroponic any more too.

I also am interested in everyone else's experience and ideas. Maybe with some help, I can get good at this someday.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 10:20 PM
link   
reply to post by retirednature
 


Hi Retired,
What is your hoop house design? Has it survived snow?
I built an experimental 40' long 34' wide one out of 1-5/8 chain link fence top rail and 12mil polyethylene, and it collapsed like a polish hand-grenade during Snowmageddon a few years back. One arch survived and sits as a reminder of how much work that was to make.
I am just finished preparing a pad for a new 24'x36' greenhouse, but have been thinking to go with polyethylene and bubblewrap on a 2x4 frame with 2x6 rafters and a 6/12 pitch.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 10:30 PM
link   
reply to post by Oleman
 


I've lucked out and had just about no issues with insects, or disease. One thing that I did do was remove every wild raspberry plant in site, which was about 4000 linear feet around where my small field is. Before I did this, there were signs of different possible diseases showing up, but as soon as I did this, they all but disappeared. Oh yeah lol, that's not even close to the whole story. Check out the following:

en.wikipedia.org...

For example, I have chives, garlic, spearmint, rosemary, thyme and multiple others growing, all of which help protect the rest of the garden from some of the insects people usually have problems with.

Also, at the base of raspberry plants, try and clear away all the vegetative growth for the first foot. This depends on what particular species though, for some don't grow that large. I suggest this, because it will help with stagnant airflow. Also, try and keep the blueberry plants separated, for they differ in necessity of nutrient applications. If you have your plants in rows, and not too think, this should be a problem. This advice is more so for those that just have giant patches.

I'm thinking of purchasing hail netting, which provides 10% shade as well. I'm hoping the shade will help with the temperatures during the hottest stretches of the season. Temperature has everything to do with fruiting. From all my research, my options are either 30% shade cloth, which isn't all that cheap, or this... I'm thinking 30% is overkill for what I'm trying to achieve here.

I've watched many videos and heard from others, all suggesting that some form of shade cloth on raspberries significantly increases yield.

I live in northern wisonsin... do you have any suggestions for fruiting trees? I'm thinking about picking up at a minimum of 100, with aims of selling the fruit at market. I'm leaning towards apples for I've researched a decent amount, what are your thoughts?
edit on 2-5-2013 by retirednature because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 10:51 PM
link   

Originally posted by Oleman
reply to post by retirednature
 


Hi Retired,
What is your hoop house design? Has it survived snow?
I built an experimental 40' long 34' wide one out of 1-5/8 chain link fence top rail and 12mil polyethylene, and it collapsed like a polish hand-grenade during Snowmageddon a few years back. One arch survived and sits as a reminder of how much work that was to make.
I am just finished preparing a pad for a new 24'x36' greenhouse, but have been thinking to go with polyethylene and bubblewrap on a 2x4 frame with 2x6 rafters and a 6/12 pitch.


100' x 20', with 30' arch, no A-frame, with posts every 20 feet supporting a spin in the middle. I used 3/4'' cpvc. I buried each end about 2 feet, keep the depth consistent on even ground for a more sound structure. I build a base structure out of 2x4s and 4x4s, with a standard frame and door on the ends. I'm still messing around with ventilation, but I haven't had any real issues for it seems to move air on its own fairly well with both ends open.

I use a 6' mil greenhouse poly, but for the later months, once it begins to get cooler, I add a layer of 6' mil clear plastic to help keep everything warm. After so long though, I can only go so far into the season anyways, so I remove the plastic all together and store it. I'm trying to get 7- 10 years out of my plastic, but you have to be gentle and treat it right. I've decided not to risk it I guess, it's not for everybody.

The spine I mentioned is made out of 6'' round posts, fashioned from taking down pine trees while expanding on parts of the property. The spine itself is again cpvc, two 10' poles between each supporting post.

The ribs are spaced every 5 ft.
I use masons line or sting to tie down the plastic in between each rib.
I sometimes lift up one side and use simple clamps to hold up the plastic on the ribs every other rib to do so.

12 Mil is too much IMO. Everything I've ever seen suggests 6 as well.

One thing to keep in mind, is that the location of my hoop houses isn't subject to winds for they are surrounded by dense woods. So, my design might not work in more wind prone areas. I'd go with an A-Frame if you're worried about snow.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 10:51 PM
link   
reply to post by otherpotato
 


If you don't have Scholar Status, you can't post in the Research Group.





Stupid ass "Status" system...imagine the amount of quality contributions some of these threads would receive if Elitism wasn't promoted or prevalent...?


And No, setting a 'standard' to achieve these status badges does not guarantee better posts - if anything it alienates the majority.


OP:

Good stuff...Research is an attained attribute, so consider me in if you need layman assistance.




posted on May, 2 2013 @ 11:16 PM
link   
Gardening is NOT an exact science and varies from area to area. It takes a person that is familiar to the area to understand what works there and what doesn't. This thread should allow info from all sources and all should understand that they should only take advice from the posts in their area and I would recommend that all posters state their area. For example: posts from a gardener in Alaska would not work for someone in Texas or the UK as the vegetable's planting time would vary, need I say more?

STM
edit on 5/3/2013 by seentoomuch because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 3 2013 @ 12:10 AM
link   

Originally posted by facelift
reply to post by otherpotato
 


If you don't have Scholar Status, you can't post in the Research Group.





Stupid ass "Status" system...imagine the amount of quality contributions some of these threads would receive if Elitism wasn't promoted or prevalent...?


And No, setting a 'standard' to achieve these status badges does not guarantee better posts - if anything it alienates the majority.


OP:

Good stuff...Research is an attained attribute, so consider me in if you need layman assistance.



No no, hold up. I understand why they do this. You have to keep the thread dedicated only to those posts involved in the research - other people can't post until the research is completed. Otherwise how do you keep track of what's the research and what's just people randomly posting their opinions?

Anyone can get scholar status - you just have to have a research project or be participating in one. It's not elitist at all. Keeping a research project together isn't easy and a failed research project sucks. People have to make a commitment. Nobody likes a quitter.

And thank you for liking my thread. I heart my garden.



posted on May, 3 2013 @ 12:13 AM
link   

Originally posted by seentoomuch
reply to post by facelift
 
I agree!

Gardening is NOT an exact science and varies from area to area. It takes a person that is familiar to the area to understand what works there and what doesn't. This thread should allow info from all sources and all should understand that they should only take advice from the posts in their area and I would recommend that all posters state their area. For example: posts from a gardener in Alaska would not work for someone in Texas or the UK as the vegetable's planting time would vary, need I say more?

STM
edit on 5/2/2013 by seentoomuch because: (no reason given)


Yes - the question I always ask people is "what zone are you in?" That is what's relevant for me but states could be too. We could all indicate our "zone" when posting? It would provide the proper context for the information.

I would be very curious to see what other people's gardening routines are like. I wonder if there are tricks to be learned from seeing how the other half lives?



posted on May, 3 2013 @ 12:15 AM
link   
reply to post by retirednature
 


This is amazing stuff. I wouldn't even know where to begin.



posted on May, 3 2013 @ 12:24 AM
link   

Originally posted by otherpotato
I would be very curious to see what other people's gardening routines are like. I wonder if there are tricks to be learned from seeing how the other half lives?


Consider me on board, thanks for the great thread, I'll be monitoring this one and posting in the other. Remind me to tell you the one about duct tape and pill bugs, lol.

STM
edit on 5/3/2013 by seentoomuch because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 3 2013 @ 01:09 AM
link   
I thought I'd share my latest epiphany. lol

I've been thinking about ways to introduce melons into my 'garden', but don't have the room, although I have plenty of seeds of different varieties.

I'm installing a fence, already purchasing posts... getting a discount as well at the local co-op. I'm already making an upgraded version of a trellis system for other vegetables. So why not purchase more posts, less than $10 a piece, and the mesh for the trellis at about $20/100'. This way, I can vertically grow my melons, taking up little room. With a row of 100', I'm expecting a lot of melons. The melons will have to be supported, so I will be visiting a fabric supply company and finding an appropriate fabric to help cradle them as they get too heavy for the plant to support.

The best part of all, is that this vertical growing technique will provide me with an 8' wall of vegetative growth that runs along my lettuces providing shade. Hopefully helping cool them and take some of the sun off them during the long hours during the summer.

Does anybody have experience using shade cloth? Possibly different uses for them regarding time of year, using them only for certain hours of the day?

Anybody have any experiences with growing melons or any vegetables vertically?



posted on May, 3 2013 @ 01:53 AM
link   
reply to post by retirednature
 


Hi Nature,

I did cucumbers and watermelons on a deck in Arlington VA for several a few years back. The dirt was in boxes off the deck rail. I did two pieces of weldwire: one vertical and one horizontal. The vertical was not needed (except the peas loved it), and I had to re-enforce the horizontal. The second year I used the green coated stuff. It made a difference.

Last year, all my tomatoes and cucumbers were in 3 gallon pots on top of landscape timbers on top of four high concrete 8x8x16 blocks. I had a six foot tall 4" weldwire behind the setup. that worked well. But, I had to put coated bamboo stakes in each pot, and that was the major structure the vines formed on. Was out today setting up the same thing for this year. But I am trying to figure out how to suspend the weldwire horizontal over the pots. On the other hand, the melons really need the horizontal fence to lay on. And they need to be high enough the critters cant get at the melons. I am hoping to have those problems this year. Last year the slugs and crickets ate all of my melon plants before they had a chance.

I need to sleep, but wanted to reply about the 12mil: I have so many pieces of falling tree branches, even the 12 mil is covered with packing tape to repair hundreds of holes. After three years, the polyethylene is still flexible. On the other hand, the clear PVC from JoAnnes Fabric only lasted two years on another frame. It was so brittle that acorns falling on it made large holes in it. You are right, 12mil is so thick it blocks too much light. I wish I could get away with 3 mil. Then I could use the greenhouse over the summer.

You are referencing shade cloth, I am happy to get any light through the oak tree canopy... : )

For insulation, check out 5/8" bubble wrap. I lined the inside of the greenhouse with it, taped it, and I was able to keep my 12x24 above 40'F with a 600W heater when it got down to 5'F. It was a huge improvement over having small 0.5 mil tunnels inside the 12mil house.

I feel for you, living in Wisc. That is a serious short growing season. When I lived in Madison, I remember a few < -21'F days. That is hard to keep the house warm during. And deep snow on Thanksgiving. What part of the state are you in, if you don't mind me asking.

As to trees in WI, sorry, I can't help you beyond what you already know. I am just thrilled that now in zone 6 I can grow nectarines. I didn't do any fruit trees while I lived up there.

OleMan



posted on May, 3 2013 @ 02:09 AM
link   

Originally posted by otherpotato
reply to post by kdog1982
 


I didn't consider foraging as part of this project - that's a great angle to explore.

If you were interested in sharing what you know as part of the project send me a U2U. You wouldn't have to participate beyond this topic, and would have until October to meet your project post minimum given the subject area. I'm not sure the exact number of posts required yet but we could work that out together.


It was just an interesting thought and a good idea to share knowledge,didn't realize the work,or the rules involved.Think I will pass due to the complications of it all.I come here to share info and for entertainment.Not to work.I have a life.

Good luck with it!

Peace,
K



posted on May, 3 2013 @ 07:51 AM
link   
reply to post by otherpotato
 


I have been kicking the idea around to start a tilapia aquaponics system. With the cold weather, there is currently snow on the ground, I am going to build a green house that could support both plant, and fish year round.





new topics
top topics
 
11
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

join