Skip to comments.Is Recession Preparing a New Breed of Survivalist? [Survival Today - an On going Thread #2]
Posted on 02/09/2009 12:36:11 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny
Yahoo ran an interesting article this morning indicating a rise in the number of survivalist communities cropping up around the country. I have been wondering myself how much of the recent energy crisis is causing people to do things like stockpile food and water, grow their own vegetables, etc. Could it be that there are many people out there stockpiling and their increased buying has caused food prices to increase? Its an interesting theory, but I believe increased food prices have more to do with rising fuel prices as cost-to-market costs have increased and grocers are simply passing those increases along to the consumer. A recent stroll through the camping section of Wal-Mart did give me pause - what kinds of things are prudent to have on hand in the event of a worldwide shortage of food and/or fuel? Survivalist in Training
Ive been interested in survival stories since I was a kid, which is funny considering I grew up in a city. Maybe thats why the idea of living off the land appealed to me. My grandfather and I frequently took camping trips along the Blue Ridge Parkway and around the Smoky Mountains. Looking back, some of the best times we had were when we stayed at campgrounds without electricity hookups, because it forced us to use what we had to get by. My grandfather was well-prepared with a camp stove and lanterns (which ran off propane), and when the sun went to bed we usually did along with it. We played cards for entertainment, and in the absence of televisions, games, etc. we shared many great conversations. Survivalist in the Neighborhood
This is thread #2 about all topics on survival of all types, about being frugal, cooking frugal and making it through the hard times that are coming.
Thread #1 is here:
If every American had your attitude and grit, Granny, we could survive anything.
Explosive Video Reich, Obamas economic advisor no “White Male Construction Workers”
Damn! Race does not belong in this turmoil, only those that want to bate people do this.
Problem is, in the event of a disaster, for every person who is prepared to last a couple weeks, there will be a hundred who are not.
And cold, wet hungry people who are watching their children starve are two things:
dangerous and irrational
It might literally come down to being ready to kill someone who assaults you.
And then cook them up and make them into stew to give to the next person who wants to assault you...
And so on and so on...
Smiling at you, and thinking that all of us will do what is needed to survive that which is coming.
All I can do is attempt to find or share what I know about doing it the hard way.
LOL, I forget that everyone was not born with an outhouse and a bucket to dip water out of the cows water tank at the base of the windmill.
Join in, share your knowledge with us, the thread is not for me to blather on, it for all of you.
Square Foot Gardening
[photos at link]
I recently stumbled upon an interesting gardening method called square foot gardening and decided we would give it a try. Ive always thought the idea of having a vegetable garden would be a lot of fun. Walking out to your garden and picking a fresh tomato for tonights dinner appeals to the self-sufficient nature of most frugal individuals.
I know just enough about gardening to know that I am not very good at it, and that it is a lot of work. My kids have always been fascinated with the idea of growing things, but our soil and our dog make planting anything in the yard impossible. Enter the square foot garden.
What is Square Foot Gardening?
The idea behind square foot gardening is that you can plant fruits, vegetables and flowers in raised beds, above infertile soil and even out of the reach of pets. Seeds are planted in 1X1 square foot plots, and when harvested a new plant is installed in the square. Raised beds can sit directly on the ground, or include a bottom layer and be placed on patios, decks or porches. Because of a bad back, and a dog with a propensity to dig up our new plants, we decided to build a 4×2 foot table-top design.
Materials Needed to Set Up a Square Foot Garden
Material costs are variable, depending on the size of garden you plan to build. I personally opted for a 4 by 2 configuration because it fit the table we were planning to use. Most people typically start with a 4 by 4 design for their first square foot garden. Ill share with you what materials I used, but keep in mind the pricing could be higher or lower depending on your local costs of lumber, soil, etc.
(1) Sheet untreated plywood - $0.00 (leftover scrap from a previous project)
(2) 2×6x8 pieces of untreated lumber - $7.38
Dont get treated lumber because treatments can seep into the soil and contaminate your planting area.
(8) #8 x 3 Wood Screws (or deck screws) - $2.94
Use these longer screws to connect the corners of the 2×6s after cutting to the desired length.
(8) #6 x 1 Wood Screws - $0.98
These were used to anchor the nylon line to create a grid system for the 1×1 planting plots. I also used a few to fasten the sheet of plywood to the 2×6s to create a bottom to my container.
(1) Pack of Twisted Nylon Line - $4.43
I used this and the smaller screws to create a grid system on top of the container, in 1×1 square foot patterns.
(2) 2cu ft. bags of Miracle Grow Garden Soil (for flowers and vegetables) - $13.54
There were more frugal recipes here for soil, such as 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss, and 1/3 vermiculite. However, I could not find the ingredients packaged locally and the individual ingredients bought separately at the larger home improvement stores were more expensive the bags of Miracle Grow.
(10-pack) Strawberry plants - $3.98
(1) Burpee Seed Pack Super Sugar Snap Peas - $1.57
(1) Burpee Seed Pack Tomato, Early & Often Hybrid - $2.47
(1) Burpee Seed Pack Cucumber, Burpless Beauty - $1.88
(1) Burpee Ambrosia Cantaloupe - $1.57*
(1) Burpee Danvers Half-Long Carrots - $1.28*
*These last two were just for fun - I dont expect much yield on these, but I thought it would be fun to try
Find vegetable seeds and seed starters at Park Seed.
Total Start-up Cost: $42.02
Building a Square Foot Gardening Box
Square Foot Garden
It was my daughters idea to use popsicle sticks to mark the type of fruit or veggie planted. We will fill in the remaining squares after we eat another round of popsicles!
Since we decided to go with raised beds on a table top I checked the dimensions of the table and came up with a suitable size for our square foot gardening container. Four feet by two feet would allow for eight square foot plots for planting. First, cut the 8ft. long 2×6s down to size. Next, position the 2×6s on the table in a rectangular pattern, alternating corners to make the inside box dimensions four feet by two feet (I chose not to alternate corners because the table I was working with was only 45 inches wide, so I needed it to be a little narrower). Fasten the sides using the #8 wood screws. If you have trouble with the wood trying to split you may want to first drill pilot holes.
With the sides now fastened it is time to attach a bottom to the container, unless you are planning to put the raised bed directly on the ground. If this is the case, use some cardboard or weed blocking fabric to discourage grass and weeds from coming up through the soil. In my case, the container will be placed on a table top so I needed to attach a bottom to hold the soil in place. Fortunately, I had some untreated plywood I ripped to size. The bottom doesnt have to be thick, so 1/4 , 3/8 or 1/2 plywood would do just fine. Fasten the bottom to the container using the #6×1 wood screws (assuming you didnt use 1 plywood).
Plan for drainage by raising the box up a couple inches. I ripped a couple scraps from the remaining 2×6s and used them to attach four 2 feet for each corner of the box. I also drilled a few 1/8 thick drainage holes in the bottom of the box to allow standing water to flow out the bottom.
Create a grid system on top of the square foot gardening container using nylon line and #6×1 ; screws, spaced a foot apart across the width and length of the container. Drill the screws about half way into the top of the 2×6s, leaving enough room to tie a knot of nylon line around the screw. If the end of the nylon line frays after cutting (as mine did), use a lighter to gently melt the ends to prevent further fraying.
Irrigating a Square Foot Garden
Watering the Garden
Unless you already have a drip line and timer prepared for your garden, youll have to water manually early on to improve seed germination. If the air is particularly dry, or hot, you will need to constantly keep the soil moist until seeds have sprouted and taken root. One economical way to do this is to fill used water bottles and poke a small hole or two in one side of the bottle using a safety pin. Use your finger to dig a 1/2 deep trench the length of the bottle and lay the bottle on its side, pin-prick side down, over the trench. The water will slowly drip into the trench, keeping the soil moist for several hours. Obviously when sprouts begin to appear above the surface you want to be sure not to position a bottle directly on top of the struggling plant. Perform this routine first thing in the morning so soil gradually soaks and then dries throughout the day, and is driest overnight. This reduces the chance of fungus or diseases developing. This is even more important when the plants begin to develop leaves - avoid wetting leaves at all costs as it encourages disease.
Im not sure what to expect from this effort in terms of food yields, but just the process of building the box, filling it with dirt and planting seeds with my kids was worth the $40. If the small garden yields a few fruits and veggies during the spring and summer then all the better. Who knows, if we can cultivate a good crop we may build more boxes next summer and section off an area of the yard so the dog does not eat our produce.
I think over time it will help my kids understand the true value of things. Those strawberries dont just wind up in the produce section of our local grocery stores. As I pointed out to my daughter today someone has to plant the seeds, water the plants, harvest the crops, clean the strawberries, package them, and transport them to a distributor.
If you check the first thread, you will see that there is so much in it that would be lost on a daily or weekly thread.
But I will think about your suggestion, I am glad you came to read and hope you will return and share your knowledge.
In terms of actual survival in the event of a catastrophe or supply line breakdown. I think the best idea is this:
Buy 50 lbs of seed potatoes.
Find as many out of the way - park or backwoods places as you know of and plant one or two there.
98% of the population would not know a potato plant if they tripped over it, and the yield is high enough you will get a pound or two of potatoes at each site.
Damn! Race does not belong in this turmoil, only those that want to bate people do this.<<<
You are correct and it shows even more, the importance of being ready for survival during hard times.
Read thread #1 for more information on how to be prepared.
Problem is, in the event of a disaster, for every person who is prepared to last a couple weeks, there will be a hundred who are not.<<<
You are correct, it will not be a fun time.
All we can do is have as much stored as is reasonable and most important of all, the knowledge needed to survive on very little.
Do join in, we all know something, that might be worth sharing with others.
A keg of Rum and a sharp cutlass. Yo Ho Ho.
Simple storage of items and gardening is not enough.
We will have to be prepared to make the hard decisions to restore social order of some sort.
Given that the situation might get pretty dicey, if you explain it to people and say something like “What about the death penalty for looters”, most will say that that would be a good thing.
Until “the looter” turns out to be somebodies 13 year old nephew.
You know what I mean. The physical discomforts IN THE EVENT OF SYSTEM COLLAPSE are nothing compared to the mental extremes people will be pushed to.
Find as many out of the way - park or backwoods places as you know of and plant one or two there.<<<
Yes, I agree with your idea and would do so even here, if I could still go out of the house.
There is a movement on, people are going far into the forests and planting food seeds, all over the country and in England.
I know that a lot of folks are planting any vacant land they find, some do well and can harvest it, others wind up in trouble, for using land they don’t own.
I hope that every one saves every seed for food they get their hands on, for themselves, for already shortages of some seeds are in the catalogs, for trading stock, to share and trade and to plant in any spot they might grow.
When we drilled our well in the Yuma desert/Wellton, Az, I served watermelon to the well drillers, they spit out the seeds and I had a watermelon patch for 6 months, until Christmas day when we ate the last one.
I planted half an acre of corn, blackeyeds, butter beans, pinto beans and black beans. Also cucumbers and yellow squash. I was able to give a lot of produce away to friends and neighbors. In turn, they gave me apples and pears which I canned.<<<
That is the way it should be in our world now and everywhere.
I thank God for people like you.
Where I live, near Kingman, Arizona, there is no food grown of any type and few gardens, as they do not do well here in the constant wind.
It will not be pretty here, when it all comes to a head.
Kingman is mainly based on the money from tourists on the way to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, survivalism is behind the following link.
Lessons from Argentinas economic collapse
[There’s a hint of what happened there with the part about “Benetton,” further down in the account.]
What most people don’t know is that in many places, there is a sort of universal easement that goes along with the public roads.
Something like 15 feet from the center of the road on both sides.
There are areas near me that they have to come out every year with the clipper thingies and trim the brush growing along the road.
Very good places for taters and carrots!
And I got a bazillion seeds from last year.