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.
Got plenty of wild hogs and catfish.
It’s the city folk that’s gonna have issues.
They know they'll have to kill you to get your 'stuff.' They'll arrive prepared to do just that.
Food production is always preferable to food storage long term, as you point out.
What I wish to point out is that the vast majority of people in America wouldn’t even know where to BEGIN producing food from 2 acres of land.
I just put two wild hogs in my freezer a few weeks ago.
About 150#’s of meat.
Got another 15 to 20 pigs still roaming around.
Yep. City folks might depend more on suburban livestock. *Arf!* *Meow!*
The largest civil war in modern history took place in China in the 19th century, commonly referred to as the Taiping Rebellion in the English language.
Widespread starvation and competing militia and military units raided civilian foodstores until the point of widespread starvation.
From the view of civilians trying to survive in villages near the frontlines, the entire war was very fluid, raiding was continuous, events spiraled out of control on a moment’s notice.
No one except the military units were properly fed during the entire peak decade of the war. The military units also went through 1/4 ration starvation periods.
I don’t follow prepping websites too often(mostly through FR posts), but rarely do I see people bring up the lessons learned from the Taiping Rebellion, mostly due to the anti-Maoist biases of Americans... however Mao and the inner cadre did learn lessons from the Taiping Rebellion, and those lessons apply to TEOTWAWKI scenarios in the US.
The individualist and communitarian concepts of most preppers are going to quickly fall victim to collectivized zombie militias claiming sovereign right to the monopoly of force, ... at least from my perspective on the East Coast.
When they arrive the dogs will bark, the snipers will take up their positions, and the “long pig” will end up getting fed to the “short” pigs. ;)
Thats exactly right. Im not sure those preparing have really come to ‘peace’ with that reality. If you have ‘stuff’ youll spend your days defending it. Most every day will be life & death. To me that seems a daunting task not to be embarked on lightly. Your best defense is secrecy but at some point itll become common knowledge then you’re really committed. Youll kill or be killed. Id rather not have to go that road.....
Plenty of bullets...
I think I'm good for meat.
That’s what ammo is for. Go out and get some more...
Great post, but where’s mah free birth control pills???
I’ll plant a Cheeseburger and French Fry tree right by my beer lake.
Very interesting - good info.
it’s not just for breakfast anymore...
The next day, a bigger and even hungrier herd arrives wanting your stuff.
Save your ammo - get a crossbow.
I hope you’re referring to hunting game,
and not using force to take what others have.
Hell dude, all you need now is a chipper-shredder and you can dispose of any city dwellers that spill onto your property....no need to store tons of lye and waste fuel on digging graves ;) <./morbid sense of humor (maybe)>
I'm heading to her place after Armageddon hits.
I had a neighbor in Michigan who only had a couple of acres, but he managed to turn that into a very impressive backyard farm. Seemed to largely feed his family from it.
Noticed that Costco is selling buckets of storable food this week. I guess they always have it, but they are featuring it this week, and this year they have a whole bucket of seeds.
My Dad's bigger than your Dad!
Great resource DVD/CD available here.
Might I suggest this:
Where the hell did you get THAT damn fool idea?
LOL, I have an anti-gun, liberal, electric car owning, electric lawnmower owning weenie neighbor. He saw me and a cop buddy of mine get out of my truck one day as he was pulling weeds. We pulled out my M1918 watercooled machinegun and took it inside with tripod, barrels, etc.
Neighbor knew I was "into guns", but never knew I had something THAT big. His comment was the same as yours, "I know where to go when the world ends".......and I looked him straight in the eye and said, "Then you'll be the first man I kill since you are supposed to protect your own family, not me. In addition, I won't be here".
Well, needless to say, my neighbors face looked like I just skinned a baby harp seal in front of him.....and I stopped getting "Holiday Cards" from them.
No loss to me, my catfish farm and chipper shredder are ready in case he shows up to our Bug Out Location, that is if we don't string him up first as a warning to others.
Maybe I'll write a song, "I was prepping when prepping wasn't cool."
The only way that even preppers have a chance beyond their own stores, is to band togther, to be part of a working quick reaction militia. Safety in numbers. No single prepper can survive an attack in numbers without outside help, even if the attackers are using clubs.
It's not just knowledge - it's also equipment. And for people who do know what they're doing - and have basic tools - - they'll lack fuel for machines - fertilizers for plants, etc.
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.