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.
My old tag line is back in vogue!
Exactly. I'm already part of a neighborhood group.
Natgeo’s “doomsday preppers” is run by a bunch of jerks with no principles who intend to discredit “preppers” to the maximum extent possible.
What a brilliant observation!
All that meticulous planning and equipment acquisition and never a thought on what to run it off of...
I'm encouraged because the neighbors call each other to remind each to watch.
How long would that pig meat last without electric power to your freezer for - say - 8 months?
And the other pigs running around - maybe 100 pounds each - how long would they feed a family without a freezer? Each pig would last less than three days unless you have the means and know-how to dry preserve meat. Then again every other family in the area will be after the same pigs - so curing them might not be an issue.
We have had various friends tell us.....come the revolution we know where to go. My response is always....don’t bother.
They all get a puzzled look on their face.
No mention of anything for heat? Those solar panels won’t make enough elec for heating in northern states. Two acres won’t produce enough wood for heating, it will take 5-10 acres just for that.
Can I borrow this? Funny as hell.
People just starting out or those that may be old hands at prepping you may find my Preparedness Manual helpfull. You can download it at:
NOTE! THIS IS A FREE DOWNLOAD. I DO NOT MAKE ONE CENT OFF MY PREPAREDNESS MANUAL!
For those of you who havent started already its time to prepare almost past time maybe. You needed to be stocking up on food guns, ammo, basic household supplies like soap, papergoods, cleaning supplies, good sturdy clothes including extra socks, underwear and extra shoes and boots, a extra couple changes of oil and filters for your car, tools, things you buy everyday start buying two and put one up.
As the LDS say When the emergency is upon us the time for preparedness has past.
Or as the bible says: A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.
NIV Proverbs 22:3
Lastly this for the doubters and the scoffers.
There is no greater disaster than to underestimate danger.
Underestimation can be fatal.
Good post. I agree with the experience requirement. If you are not set up and doing it when the SHTF you are screwed. Minimum of 3 years well hidden food per person to allow for mistakes, weather, theft, disease, etc to food production. In a full grid down figure on a survival rate of less that 20% but maybe 5% in metropolitan areas and those will be the cannibals. When there is no food everyone starves, everyone. No Red Cross, no FEMA, no Army to the rescue. Set up your farm with defensive traps. Each attacking group will fall for it since there is no learning curve. All in the attack group must be killed. Pre dig trenches in out of the way places for quick burial.
Or, put up a sign for free food and give out flowers as they rape murder and torture your wife, daughter and grand daughters. Your choice.
There may be some truth to that; however, I bet they underestimated the viewship. I record and watch the playback. And I even think some of them are a bit out there, but there is some useful information that can be gleaned for use by us “normal” preppers. :-)
excellent point, but also mention the complete lack of SKILLS and TRADES that will be needed. For instance my wife is an accountant and myself a fixed income broker....skills USESLESS to TEOTWAWKI (well accounting is good for quartermastering, etc)....so my wife picked up the following trades:
Her: Tailoring, knitting, spinning, weaving, tanning, wine making, gardening, herbalism.
Me: Gunsmithing, small engine repair, ham radio (just got my amateur extra last week), beekeeping (great for trade and security of buildings on your property), homebrewing, gardening, reloading, etc.
In addition, my wife and I have joined a emergency radio group and local boy scout troop to 1) volunteer and 2) learn new things.
......she still can't get me to go to a craft/quilt show....and I have to force her to a gun show ;(
One more thing: If you haven't found a church to join: Do that ASAP! I think having faith, skills, friends, and a prepper mindset will put everyone at a distinct advantage in the coming hard times.
Good luck out there!
Free Range Humans, tastes like chicken.
If the SHTF don't plan on those pigs or any other game being alive but a few weeks. Squirrels, rodents, domestic animal, birds, and snakes will be the next thing on the menu. A good 22LR and years worth of ammo is a good investment now. Also learn what the the Indians ate and used for medicine in the area you lived. Skunk Cabbage, Cattails, etc.
You can can meat (see corned beef)
Check out “One Minute After”, it’s a book about surviving after an EMP attack. Basically most of the population will die in the first couple of months anyway.
All the ones that need medication, the elderly, physically handicapped, etc. Anyone not reasonably fit will not make it.
What are you going to do about all them walkers?
Someone has pointed out something that I over looked.
That's a good input...do it now while there is fuel for the back hoe.