Skip to comments.No Matter How Much Food You’ve Got Stored, It Will Eventually Run Out in a Full-Blown Collapse
Posted on 03/01/2012 10:29:42 AM PST by blam
No Matter How Much Food Youve Got Stored, It Will Eventually Run Out in a Full-Blown Collapse
Joe Alton, M.D.,aka Dr. Bones
March 1st, 2012
The following article has been generously contributed by Joe Alton, M.D., aka Dr. Bones, of Doom and Bloom Nation where you can find strategies to stay healthy that include traditional medicine, alternative remedies, and medicinal/survival gardening. For the best in emergency and long-term disaster medical preparedness we encourage you to check out The Doom and Bloom Survival Medicine Handbook and follow Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy on their weekly podcast.
To Survive, How Much Land?
Have you ever wondered how likely it is that youll be able to produce all the calories youll need on that piece of land you have? How much land for livestock? How about those solar panels you were thinking about? How many square feet of panels will provide you with the electricity youll need? There are ways to figure this out, and the answers may surprise you.
Lets start by talking power. In a collapse situation, youll probably be able to rely on the sun and wind and not much else, unless youve built a watermill. The best answer might be installing some solar panels on your roof. This is a commonly available option that many people are considering nowadays. Lets say part of your roof is facing south (the best place for a solar panel) and you get 7 hours or so of sunlight, on average. To get the amount of power that an average home uses in a year, youll need 375 square feet of panels. These things arent cheap, and that much hardware is going to be beyond the average familys financial reach. This means that youll have to make decisions regarding how to ration the power you ARE able to produce. Look around the house, and youll probably see lots of things that are plugged in that you can eliminate if the stuff ever hits the fan. This is part of the planning youll need to do now, so that youll be better prepared for times of trouble.
How about food? If you have a family of four, youll want to provide at least 2000 or so calories per adult, more if youre a big guy, maybe a little less for kids. The formula is simple: At least 30 calories per kilogram of body weight. One kilogram equals 2.2 pounds, so an 80 kilogram adult would weigh 176 pounds. 30 x 80 = 2400 calories/day. Less for kids, of course. All in all, youll need to provide 8000-9000 calories a day to maintain your family of fours weight. So, lets talk about some hard realities. No matter how much food youve got stored, it will eventually run out in a full-blown collapse. For your future success, better get that garden growing. Anyone whos done it will tell you that theres a learning curve, and you sure dont want to plant that first seed in the midst of the Zombie Apocalypse.
Now, lets separate your garden out into three categories: fruits, berries, and vegetables, then wheat, then corn. If you went totally vegetarian, you would need a little less than half an acre per person to provide all of those calories. That means a family of 4 needs almost 2 acres of farmable land!
The majority of this land will go to fruits, berries, and veggies. Youll get the most nutrients in terms of vitamins and minerals from these. To decrease the amount of land youll need, consider companion planting. Some organic farmers will plant sunflowers, and then plant peas that will grow up the long stalks. The same goes with corn, squash, and pole beans. Squash will grow low to the ground, pole beans will take the intermediate area, and corn up high. Make sure you dont put plants in the same family together, such as dill and carrots. They will share the same pests and diseases, which could possibly spread from one crop to the other.
If you stock up on wheatberries and use your handy dandy Wondermill, you can cut the land requirement down a bit. A mix of prepared food storage and gardening will keep you healthy and fed for a longer time. Corn isnt a very land-efficient crop, but you might need it for your livestock. An alternative if you need to trim that acreage down a bit more is to stock up on bushels of corn feed; thats about 55 pounds of feed for about $9-10. This is a good idea, but youll use a lot of it. It takes 10 bushels of corn to get a hog from weaning to slaughter. Btw, corn prices are going higher; they were less than 5 dollars a couple of years ago.
Dont forget, youll need some land for hog wallows, goats, rabbits and chickens. All of these animals can be raised in relatively small amounts of space, and provide important protein. Youll need a good 200 square feet for 3 hogs, more if they have piglets. You can get away with less for each of the other animals.
You might have to forget about cows; they arent land-efficient. If you want milk, think about goats, especially Nubian Goats. This variety can produce 1800 lbs. of milk a year, according to various sources. Thats a lot of milk! How about eggs? The average family of four will eat 1000 eggs or so a year. To reliably get this quantity, youll need about 10-15 birds in your henhouse, depends a lot on the breed and the ingenuity of the local foxes and raccoons.
You could probably squeeze this all in with an acre and a half of land. If you dont have that much property, now you know youll need that much more food storage to make up the difference. This is information I thought was important for me to know, and now you know it too.
There’s a section in the book “guerilla gunsmithing” that tells how to fairly acurately site in a rifle with one shot.
Their reason for this is that you don’t want to attract attention, but saving ammo would be another reason.
For about 4 months, the Zombies will be warring for control of the urban areas. They won’t venture out until the food, alcohol and drugs are gone. They probably won’t go far and there won’t be many of them. The men will kill each other wholesale.
No one mentions picking up taboo skills like explosives and counter intelligence either:
Learn to do your own demo. I won't tell your our plan, but in Lucifer's Hammer the local yokel's blow up a bridge to keep the city folk from reaching them.
Good advice. You can also do like the French Resistance and change signs and set up "fake but accurate" detours around your perimeter. This of course assumes GPS down/internet switch flipped, etc.
99% of people fleeing something would take this detour. If this counter-intel sign (a ruse) is compromised by someone, thats where you can get your QRF to intercept well before they reach your compound.
A sign like this may very well be on the way to our retreat, with a couple of "good ole boys" with trucks blocking the route.
As far as explosives, stay legal...nothing will land you in the fed pen faster than explosives and machineguns.....nothing.
Oh, did I mention that you should be skilled in use of chainsaws also? Learn how to weld/build an Abatis, blow/dig culverts, stretches corduroyed with felled trees, etc:
Good luck...Disclaimer: I really hope this stuff never gets used outside the educational realm.....and in complete accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. Also, every post by me is for morbid senses of humor for education purposes only. Do not attempt! ;)
I was thinking of the 5.56 in a handgun. (Not the mini AR type) That would be wicked. You would only have to carry one round.
What’s my point? Well your idea seems to be lay down and die. NOT AN OPTION for me!
Yes, I know how to do that, but you do that on a fixed target on ‘paper’. That doesn't help much out in the field where the scope is likely to get bumped off.
Iron sights are more reliable.
I can say this, if I was taking care of a child with a swollen belly, I’d be none too choosey about imposing a duty on any adult that had more than they needed to get through the day.
Some pigs are smarter than humans.
It’d be easy if we lived in a vacuum, but we get to know and enjoy our family, friends, and neighbors. It will be a difficult decision to make about these people, yes, even some kin. These decisions can be made pre-emptively now as some way of preparing, but then need to be reaffirmed on the spot when the SHTF. This is where your level of “humanity” enters the equation, and can sink ya. Nothing will be easy.
The other question would be, “Where will you be when SHTF?”. If you are home no problem. What if you are at work or shopping etc and cannot make it back to your fortress.
I can walk home from work but what if we are at the mall and something happens where we cannot travel back to the house then what? I only keep a few survival items in the car.
Learn to flintnap.
Don’t ya think it’d be a bit less risky to...
I believe the S will HTF slowly.
You won’t be living a “normal” life one day and then everything goes to hell the next.
If I had the time....
I’ve heard this guy interviewed on the survival podcast.
He’s been through such a collapse in Argentina and he can tell you what it’s like.
Society will renew itself under these stressful circumstances.
As you say, nothing re-establishes the notion of effective authority better than heads on pikes.
In the fog of Hobbesian war, they provide a guiding light. ;^)
If you're concerned about calories per acre, live stock is an inefficient way to get there. Not promoting vegetarianism here but it is a more efficient way to get protein.
How about a skeleton with an empty bbq sauce bottle beside it and a "make my day" sign? But that quarantine sign is a great idea as long as they believe it.