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.
LOL. And you pinged “headsonpikes”. CLASSIC!!!! LOVE IT!
If I run out then the vast majoity of the epople are dead. OK, that leaves plenty of reources to muster to continue living. Having land now isn’t important.
“Its the city folk thats gonna have issues.”
We got squirrels and pigeons... after they run out we might have to start eating Democrats... ick!
I think dying from a bullet trying to get something to eat is less painful than sitting down and just starving to death.
My prepper buddies are going to laugh their ass off when I tell them what we have forgotten to do.
Dig the burial trenches for the zombies ahead of time.
No one has ever mentioned that, LOL.
You’re right - meat can be canned - - with knowledge and equipment. Sometimes I’m concern people see this type of survival as easier than it’s going to be. I should have more faith.
I used to read a blog written by a pig farmer over in Scotland. Whenever he sold a pig to a new customer, he'd go over how to take care of them and try to make sure the new buyer was really ready. Too often, according to him, he'd get to the part about choosing an abattoir, and the blood would run out of the new buyer's face, and they'd stammer something about “Can't you get pork without killing the pigs?”
I have to be careful talking about livestock in front of my sis-in-law. She can't handle any reminders that her food was once alive, not even the bones in the fried chicken.
(In her defense, she was abused by both her dad and her first husband, so a few psychological hang-ups are to be expected. In ordinary times, this is merely annoying. I don't know what she's going to do if things get rough.)
My bro told me about the FN 5.7. Nice weapon but flipping expensive. I’m sticking with a common round. 9 mike mike for handgun and 5.56/223 for long gun. I stock up on 22 ammo even though I don’t own one. Can always trade.
I want some more hardware but wife thinks I’m overdoing it.
I generally make a point of pinging him whenever I run across a reference to “heads on pikes”.
Especially if I’m the one making the reference. ;-)
The garden will be fully planted by next week and I picked up some more vegetable seeds today even though they were a want rather than a need. I try to save seeds for the following year. The tomato seeds saved from last year are sprouted and should be able to be set out. No, my little plot isn’t large enough to be sustainable but it’s better than nothing. As the article said it’s too late to start after the big crash and burn.
I have made it a point to make almost all my weapons .22 for that reason. I have 5 rifles and a pistol that all shoot .22 LR. I have plenty of ammo.
My problem and it is a big one is I live in a city and getting out will be difficult. I fully realize that it will make my chances less but I have family that cannot be easily moved and I cannot just leave them.
A Quarantine sign assumes literacy on the part of those you’re trying to dissuade.
That’s not a sure thing.
Especially given that those most in need of disuasion probably spent their lives to this point actively avoiding literacy.
Lotsa BBQ sauce and seasonings might solve that.
Scopes are great and very accurate, but they do get bumped off and have to be re-sighted in often. Not something you will want to do with a limited supply of ammo.
I have never been able to use a scope well, so all mine are iron sights. I do however have plenty of ammo.
In my neighborhood there are plenty of squirrels, rabbits, deer, raccoons, possum, morning doves, dogs and cats available for meat.
Yes. I would eat a dog or cat if it came to that.
I have enough space to raise any crop I wish and the means to defend what I grow. Add to that the mindset to defend it as well.
If there is a will, there is a way. I will make sure my family survives.
Whats youre point? BTW you missed at least one more.
I’m sticking to common calibers,
mostly 22lr, 12 guage, etc.
There are cheaper alternatives on their way to market now.
I understand they are also producing a carbine on the same receiver.
It’s strange what neighbors have given me this year - sewing supplies, canning jars, a new tool chest full of new tools (!) and garden stuff. Another neighbor asked if I’d please buy his extra lot (uh, duhhhh, yeah) and might be looking at a couple more. I just say thank you and shake my head.
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.
My food won’t run out, It mostly runs “by” instead, so I have a neverending fresh supply. I can grow and can the rest of my fresh produce. I live on Lake of the Woods as well, so we get the best Walleye fishing in the World, the year around.
“Ill plant a Cheeseburger and French Fry tree right by my beer lake.”
Big Rock Candy Mountain - Burl Ives:
“Warning: Live Snakes on Premises”
FerFal’s posts here:
As good or possible better are Selco’s Post a Bosinain survivor. Much of which is in this thread:
A Survival Q & A: Living Through SHTF In The Middle Of A War Zone
Also there is a section in my Preparedness Manual on Selco’s expereinces.
>>We got squirrels and pigeons... after they run out we might have to start eating Democrats... ick!<<
Well, guess I’ll see ya in heaven.
I wish I could have seen that! I hoped it gave him food for thought in the immediate picture, ie, he needs to have a gun and learn to use it for his and his own families’ sake. The bigger picture-when conservatives say they believe in personal responsibility, they not only talk the talk, they walk the walk.
But as he’s a liberal, I doubt he’ll have much problem weaving that veil of smoke around his brain again.
Treatment for superficial wounds..granulated sugar and betadine...wrap and change daily.
99% of SHTF events such as economic collapse, natural disaster, war and martial law should allow you enough lead time to get home and a few more days to shore up. Off hand, the only scenerio that wouldn't would be a nuke or EMP. Second, after water, of survival items in your car should be a good local map that shows the little roadways. Don't rely on a working GPS. It doesn't hurt to plan out different routes and check them out now.