Skip to comments.Energy and Food Independence (off the grid)Preparation Tips on Shoe-String Budgets
Posted on 10/08/2012 1:56:11 PM PDT by hope_dies_last
Any tips or helpful resources to prepare for the coming food shortage and societal collapse? I am the father of two and I owe it to my wife and kids to make any necessary preparations, while I still can, for adequate survival in an economic meltdown or food crisis. I am on a very limited budget, but need any useful advice I can get out there to prepare with very limited resources. I am sure there are others on this platform, beside me and my family, that would stand to benefit from such advice.
Recently, it has become more and more apparent to me that urban dwellers may need to learn more about maintaining a survival or crisis garden. In order to maximize space and time for rapid growth and maturation of crops, one must become more adeptly acquainted with adequate soil preparation and maximization. Some of these methods are not widely used in commercial agriculture, which rely heavily on pesticides, fertilizers and heavy watering to compensate due to the nutrient starved and unconditioned soil.
There are several methods that require a multi-disciplinary, all-encompassing organic and soil preparation approach, to make the best use of limited time and space. The working smarter not harder approach, along with adopting a very green, composting and recyclable methods, one can make tremendous strides to maximize the use of the soil and increase yield, to sustain a small family during a food crisis.
We are at the brink of many different scenarios affecting supply chain and food distribution, including natural disasters, grid collapse, financial meltdown of our economy, etc. This is no longer far-fetched, wide-eyed alarmist theory, but a very real prospect that any one or combination of these ills, of our post-modern society, could very well threaten food availability and stability of city dwelling populations.
On average, all of our food is hauled in from an average of 1,200 miles away. Store shelves have been seen to empty, literally within hours, of the awareness of an impending emergency situation in any given major city. There are many preparations one can make to prepare for these situation and create a basic independence from the system for a temporary or extended period of time, depending on the location and the type of preparations made.
I am aware that these scenarios are real, and it is not a matter of if, but when they will happen. However, I work day in and day out and all of our resources and income is used up covering our basic expenses, like housing, food, transportation and other expenses, etc.
I know it will get much worse before it gets better and the saddest part is that although I am acutely aware of the situation, I am limited to act decisively due to our economic position at this time.
I believe acquiring the necessary know-how, tools, and essentials from very moderate means, would go a long, long way to help educate myself and those around me. I look forward to and I am open to your positive feedback and helpful advice to help move forward in this direction.
As they say, Hope dies last. To me there is still hope for the little guy who has the insight to plan and prepare.
When the mess comes you can be sure the authorities will be around to those with gardens to share the booty
Naw, they got their own.
They'll be doing what Stalin did and burning the fields to the ground.
Not only did we save about 20% of our grocery store bill over the long run, we always had a comfortable buffer in case of severe weather interruptions.
Add skill sets. Learn from old books. Google books has lots of late 1800s early 1900s books that are free to download.
And the ones that there are, are lazy bastiges.
Here’s a good place to start...
Not sure if you referenced an article written by a professional horticulturalist or if those are your conclusions.
Perhaps if you describe your property: i.e. do you have a fenced yard which can be converted to a vegetable garden? Do your zoning laws allow chickens for eggs & meat? Would you know how to kill and pluck a chicken? Do you own a chest deep freezer? A generator? A water well and septic tank? Are you able to sell your house and move to a small farm where you could raise cattle for meat and milk, pigs and sheep? Do you know anyone who could run the farm while you continue to work? How old are your children? Don’t get hung up on organic compost. Cows & pigs do that. Also you would need land for grazing and growing hay for feed. Keep horses for transportation (cheaper than gas) and bicycles for emergencies.
Farming is not for the weak kneed.
For soil - we have found the polyculture farming - chickens+compost are the best way to keep good soil.
You can also use biomass aerators like (rinsed) coconut fiber.
And know your minerals.
invest in lead...
your neighbor has food.
and don’t talk about it. keep it secret.
#1 Get a drum you can store clean water in and add a small amount of bleach to it every few months to keep it from getting nasty. Get one of those pitchers with a carbon filter to pour it into when you are ready to use it.
#2 Bulk bags of rice are cheap and it keeps for a long time.
#3 Also have other grains on hand along with yeast and baking powder.
#4 Store sugar, baking soda and salt in a water tight containers.
#5 Have some type of cooking device and plenty of fuel such as propane, white gas, or kerosene.
#6 Store pepper, spices, tea, coffee, koolaid and other substances that make your food more palatable in water tight containers.
#7 Keep canned meats, fish, soup, vegetables and fruits.
#9 Dehydrated foods are good, but tend to be expensive.
#11 All foods must be protected from rodents, insects and other pests.
#12 Make sure that you have some first aid supplies such as hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointments, clean dressings, and pain relievers on hand.
#13 Make sure you have some means to protect yourself and your family.
Most of these items are relatively inexpensive. You don't need to spend a lot of money on expensive “survival” stuff. You should be using these supplies on a regular basis and replenishing to keep them relatively fresh.
Gardening and other long term survival skills are good to keep up on, but seasonal. If you live in a place where you can keep some animals that is great, but remember that they could be vulnerable to other desperate people.
From what you wrote, if those are your words, you know how to grow food, so do that.
Buy extra grocery store food when you can to build up food supply.
There is plenty of info. on the web to guide you through storing food and supplies. Buy what you can on an ongoing basis.
And don’t forget cooking oil, peanut butter, dried milk, dried eggs, cocoa powder and bulk chocolate. Potato flakes are your cheapest dehydrated food and can be added to any broth to make it much more filling.
“invest in lead... your neighbor has food.”
hopedieslast - Only do the above if you want to die.
“Hope” — I strongly urge you to abandon your very first premise: that in the event of an economic/ societal collapse that you will be able to survive in an American ‘urban’ or near-urban location. THAT is a fatal vision.
My/our opinion follows. An opinion based on reading a lot of current and historical material.
The synopsis is easy: MOVE OUT of the city, NOW!
As a husband and father of three, I / we decided long ago that we fundamentally lack the means to successfully defend in place. We live about 30 miles from Atlanta’s city center. Too close to even think of staying. We read and studied numerous texts - some more lucid than others — but in the end there are only two choices in the face of possible dystopian futures:
(1) MOVE OUT of urban areas *now* and resettle away from cities AND the arteries that interconnect them.
(2) construct, prepare and test-drive a realistic bugout plan.
IF a collapse happens, traditional and rational commerce in the city will end within day-one of general realization. At that point, the time to prepare is long gone.
(0) bugout needs to happen within 2-4 hours, and prudence requires you be armed prior even to that bugout, and probably have a ‘get home’ bag with you just to get home to initiate your bugout. Have contingency plans for your family to GO without you if you travel.
(1) travel out of the city within the first 4-24 hours will require use of alternate routes. Condition Red readiness/posture ALL the way. Split your materials between vehicles if you have more than one. That way if one is lost, you haven’t lost all of some things. ALWAYS have enough vehicle fuel on hand to make it to your bug out.
(2) travel out of the city between 24 - 48 hours will be dangerous and high risk
(3) travel out of the city after 48 hours will be a death sentence for you and a horror for your wife & daughter unless you are part of an organized convoy. And that convoy will make you trade liberty and wealth for security.
(4) no city can feed itself - you have already realized that. Neither can a city protect itself. The thin blue line is R E A L L Y thin in a collapse. There aren’t enough ethical Authorities in the USA to maintain order and anything resembling peace.
NET: get out. but if not, be ready to bugout, and have a garden now anyways. Squarefoot Gardening is my favorite. (Amazon.com sells it. Easy to do, really, just a bit pricey to get started.)
read- One Second After (Forsten) to get a rational and substantive view of what happens to modern society after a collapse. Don’t get caught up in the EMP arguments, just follow the societal piece. Place your family in that story.
read- the Enemies Foreign and Domestic trilogy by Matt Bracken (our Travis McGee).
Buy charcoal and/or briquets for cooking.
Ten large garbage cans capable of each holding 100 lbs. of charcoal/briquets can easily last a year. The ‘cans’ should be heavy-duty plastic with tight fitting lids.
I try to buy a couple or three bags of charcoal everytime I go the store. It is inexpensive. The cans, brand new, are not.
One more thing — develop technical/ mechanical skills that will be valuable for barter in a 19th century economy with 15th century politics (feudal). You and your family can survive if you and your wife, and kids can barter skills and labour for food/clothing/ shelter/ security.
And get out of the city. Now.
Correction: condition orange readiness/defensive posture.
Ask Kartographer to add you to his Prepper ping list.
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