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Emergency Preparation Gardening

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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  camprn on 5/15/2014, 9:42 am

OK, so back to gardening.

I plan on trying winter squash again this year. The past 2 years I have not grown squash because I just got sick of SVB damage.
Also planning more green beans for freezing and canning. I missed not having parsnips last fall, so I'm trying those and more of a few other root veggies that can keep in sand in the cellar for a few months. I have over 100 of each garlic and shallots.

I can put a good deal of food by with my 300 square feet, barring failure from weather. I buy my flour and rice in bulk because I cannot grow that. I cannot grow wheat either though I have not bought a loaf of bread in years because I make bread at home. I have a well stocked pantry, I only go to the grocery store about 3 times a month for milk and the occasional desired fresh fruit and veggies, and a few other household essentials. I  do go to the coffee roasters once week.   reading Very Happy 


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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  plantoid on 5/15/2014, 10:24 am

@mollyhespra wrote:How about dried corn cobs, Plantoid? 

When I lived in Paraguay for a year as a teenager and was visiting relatives who lived "off the grid" by necessity (having no running water or electricity available), I asked my mother what all the dried corn cobs scattered all around the outhouse were for.  She told me not to touch them and to use the toilet paper we'd brought with us because that is what the locals used to wipe their anus after defecating.


Very eyewatering corny  Laughing  .. SHUCKS ..... indeed good one .

I therefore suggest that if the climate allows , you grow plenty of maize of all sizes  ...... then you have a tripple use product !
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  camprn on 5/15/2014, 10:38 am

This thread is kind of revolting the way it keeps coming back to non food issues.

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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  plantoid on 5/15/2014, 10:40 am

We could live for about three months from stored food without needing to restock anything so long as the electricity stayed on .
We  might have to hide the dog till he's near the bottom of his food barrel and go for dog & nettle soups  or BBQ'd hound but those delicious aromas would tell others I have food ..could be dangerous .


 Then it would be down to the wire survival for me and mine I'm afraid .
I'd have to work out some sensible protection from the hordes who were starving / thirsty on day five .

 Very Happy What's smoke & salt cured human store like ?  Laughing





 Eggs ..now there is a product that goes well with a compost heap & to all intents & purposes they would be hidden from view .
 Due to the internal temps you can store and cook eggs in a good hot compost heap for several months apparently . The Chinese have what they call 100 year old eggs as food .. they are done in the muck heap .


 I've also got about ten heat sealed vac packs of delicious home made beef jerky , initially almost 6 pounds of beef shoulder and four large home made pork salami sausages hanging up in the garden curing /drying out inside a protective ventilated cover.
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  lyndeeloo on 5/15/2014, 11:42 am

I think, as dedicated gardeners, we are a breed that tend to think ahead, plan for the future, hope for the best and plan for the worst.

We put a seed in the ground, carefully nurture and protect it, and then wait for something to happen. Gardening supplies very little instant gratification. We are in it for the long haul. We don't plant just one seed, we generally have a backup. Throughout this endeavor we provide healthy food for ourselves, our families and often friends and neighbors. Part of the process for many of us is preserving the surplus if we are lucky enough to have some.

I'm looking forward to following this topic and hoping it will supply an informative and interesting exchange of ideas about how our gardens and the skills we learn keeping them growing can translate into preparing for the future. Whether that future holds an emergency, a catastrophic event or just learning how to grow old gracefully through gardening,  I'd like to be better prepared. 

I enjoy this forum so much, not only for the gardening education I receive, but also for the lighthearted and humorous way people exchange information and share their personal "emergencies and catastrophes." Gardening can be hard work and its nice to have a place to share a laugh, as well as the blood,  sweat and tears with like minded people. 

Having experienced an eight day power outage in the city a few winters ago, I have discovered that the definitions of catastrophic and emergency turn out to be very personalized and individual and related to how well you are prepared for the situation. We were prepared, and for us it was merely an inconvenience with some small challenges. I watched families struggle and literally move from their homes to out of town hotels or homes of family and friends who where not affected. Some spent several days in shelters. The neighbors who stayed, we banded together and shared resources. 

I was brought up in a very rural area and being prepared was a fact of life. During the power outage, the hardware store I worked at remained open on a generator, and while working I encountered many people who were not at all prepared for the situation. Many came running in for a flashlight. I was shocked, I couldn't image not owning a flashlight. It was really an eye opening experience for me. I hope it never happens again, but l am determined to be more prepared than ever if it should.

I apologize for the length and rambling nature of this post and hope it hasn't wandered too far off topic in my efforts to share my thoughts on the subject. 
And I'm running out this afternoon to stock up on toilet paper because I can't deal with thinking about the alternatives.  affraid


Last edited by camprn on 5/15/2014, 11:48 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : corrected formating)
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  camprn on 5/15/2014, 12:00 pm

@lyndeeloo wrote:I think, as dedicated gardeners, we are a breed that tend to think ahead, plan for the future, hope for the best and plan for the worst.

We put a seed in the ground, carefully nurture and protect it, and then wait for something to happen. Gardening supplies very little instant gratification. We are in it for the long haul. We don't plant just one seed, we generally have a backup. Throughout this endeavor we provide healthy food for ourselves, our families and often friends and neighbors. Part of the process for many of us is preserving the surplus if we are lucky enough to have some.
Yes indeed .

@lyndeeloo wrote:or just learning how to grow old gracefully through gardening,  I'd like to be better prepared. 
Yes! Me too. Such a nice thought. Smile 

@lyndeeloo wrote:I enjoy this forum so much, not only for the gardening education I receive, but also for the lighthearted and humorous way people exchange information and share their personal "emergencies and catastrophes." Gardening can be hard work and its nice to have a place to share a laugh, as well as the blood,  sweat and tears with like minded people. 

@lyndeeloo wrote: I have discovered that the definitions of catastrophic and emergency turn out to be very personalized and individual and related to how well you are prepared for the situation.
Truth!!!

@lyndeeloo wrote:I was brought up in a very rural area and being prepared was a fact of life. During the power outage, the hardware store I worked at remained open on a generator, and while working I encountered many people who were not at all prepared for the situation. Many came running in for a flashlight. I was shocked, I couldn't image not owning a flashlight. It was really an eye opening experience for me. I hope it never happens again, but l am determined to be more prepared than ever if it should.
I have had similar observations. I need a new propane tank for my generator but  I have small things like flashlight, battery operated radio, oil lamps, candles, a gas stove and shelves of canned goods.

@lyndeeloo wrote:I apologize for the length and rambling nature of this post and hope it hasn't wandered too far off topic in my efforts to share my thoughts on the subject. 
And I'm running out this afternoon to stock up on toilet paper because I can't deal with thinking about the alternatives.  affraid
Thanks for taking the time to write a thoughtful note. Very Happy

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One Second After

Post  rabbithutch on 5/15/2014, 12:20 pm

There is book, One Second After, by William R. Forstchen, that everyone should read.  I've read it and reread it several times and learn something new each time. 

There are 4 main things to take away from the book (it's fiction, but not impossible to imagine), not in order of primacy but in order of importance:
1)  effective civic organization after a general catastrophe is essential including your local elected officials and those who must be asked or conscripted to serve the community's needs for the good of all;
2)  safe water supply is essential to survival;
3)  food sources and foraging are skills that must be nurtured and taught to all generations;
4)  armed defense might be necessary but is best done by an effective civic organization, not by individuals against all comers.

There is much I do not know about surviving catastrophe, but I do believe that one cannot survive alone and retain much sanity or quality of life.  It's possible; but because man is born to live and then to die, my ethic tells me that if my time to die comes after a catastrophe, my death should be to help the group survive.  At my age, the best I could do would be to share what knowledge I have then to sacrifice my life in the most appropriate manner.

This is gloomy and not strictly about gardening; but if every household in your neighborhood practiced SFG, imagine how much better off we would be in the event of a general catastrophe. 

That we are into gardening and talking about survival planning brings home the dependence that the last 2 or 3 generations have come to place on the general economy, particularly the growing of foodstuffs by large organizations and depending on distribution over very broad geographic areas.  This was not the case until after WWII.  Most food prior to that time and well into the 50s was produced much closer to home.  There were exceptions - such as livestock - but subsistence level meat production could be done much closer to population centers if done to meet critical needs and not done to satisfy what the purse of the consumer can afford.  This is an interesting philosophical topic to consider, and I intend no political inference in any of these ruminations.


Last edited by rabbithutch on 5/15/2014, 12:41 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  boffer on 5/15/2014, 12:22 pm

Survival food lists (food that can be grown) are too generalized to be of value when determining what one should grow.

For instance, winter squash is often mentioned as a good keeper.   But look how many forum members have quit growing them out of frustration from fighting  pests.  I grow lots of squash, but if my weather is poorer than average, I won't get much of a harvest to carry me through winter.

Trying to eat garden veggies year round became my objective last year.  I rated my harvests, and posted this chart:



It seems to me that gardening for emergencies and gardening for year round veggies have a lot in common.  It goes back to dstack's original question that never really got answered: what can he count on to grow in his region?

These questions would be best answered in the regional forums by those with a few years of experience.  What can you count on to grow?  What will grow if the conditions are right?
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  camprn on 5/15/2014, 12:35 pm

@boffer wrote:Survival food lists (food that can be grown) are too generalized to be of value when determining what one should grow.

For instance, winter squash is often mentioned as a good keeper.   But look how many forum members have quit growing them out of frustration from fighting  pests.  I grow lots of squash, but if my weather is poorer than average, I won't get much of a harvest to carry me through winter.

Trying to eat garden veggies year round became my objective last year.  I rated my harvests, and posted this chart:



It seems to me that gardening for emergencies and gardening for year round veggies have a lot in common.  It goes back to dstack's original question that never really got answered: what can he count on to grow in his region?

These questions would be best answered in the regional forums by those with a few years of experience.  What can you count on to grow?  What will grow if the conditions are right?
+1 +1 +1

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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  Marc Iverson on 5/15/2014, 5:04 pm

@lyndeeloo wrote:
I was brought up in a very rural area and being prepared was a fact of life. During the power outage, the hardware store I worked at remained open on a generator, and while working I encountered many people who were not at all prepared for the situation. Many came running in for a flashlight. I was shocked, I couldn't image not owning a flashlight. It was really an eye opening experience for me. I hope it never happens again, but l am determined to be more prepared than ever if it should.

I used to manage a hotel. Imagine 300 guests and all their kids asking you, pretty much all at once, for flashlights, batteries and extra batteries for all of them, and fistfuls of candles each. We had to scour the whole town, which everybody else was already scouring too, and meanwhile try to keep the guests from panicking. Holy cow.

And ... I don't know if you've noticed this, but ... have you ever seen people? They panic! It doesn't take much to make them do it, either. Maybe they like to panic, like drama, I don't know. But panic and histrionics don't appear to lie too far from the surface of the average person.
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  rabbithutch on 5/15/2014, 6:03 pm

I used to travel on business pretty extensively.  I experienced power outages and even a fire in a hotel once.  Part of my 'road kit' included flashlight, batteries, and masks and a small stash of energy bars.  I spent 3 nights in a motel without power during a Texas ice storm.  The coin machines were emptied quickly and none of the C-stores nor even WalMart opened during the time the roads were iced up.  My energy bars got me through.
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  donnainzone5 on 5/15/2014, 7:53 pm

The sheeple.
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  camprn on 5/15/2014, 7:57 pm

This is a gentle reminder that this is a gardening thread......

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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/15/2014, 9:25 pm

+1, Camp.

I think we're all pretty much agreed that we should be prepared.  And there have been some good points made about that.

So - what's important to YOU to grow in your garden for storing for emergencies or this winter?

This year we're concentrating on okra, tomatoes, melons.  Everything else is icing on the cake, as it were.  

Next year will probably be more peas, beans, & grains.


Boffer - could you show us more of your chart?  Looks very interesting...
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  boffer on 5/15/2014, 10:53 pm

Some of us in 4 season climates spend more months eating stored food than we do fresh food.  My off-season objective last year was to eat 2 veggies daily, 10 different veggies available per week, for 2 people for 30 weeks.

In 7 years, I haven't had any harvest destroying pests or diseases.  My biggest nemesis is weather, so that's where I concentrate my efforts to create a dependable crop each year.  

This chart is approximately what I did last year.  It would make a good starting place for someone in my region, but it's certainly not foolproof ie. growing carrots is easy for me, but others in my climate have trouble with them.

Chart:
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  rabbithutch on 5/16/2014, 1:45 pm

Great list, boffer!

I think I'll investigate how much of that I might be able to grow here in Texas.  Beans and eggplant are the only things that will make it through our heat, from what I'm told by local farmer's market folks.  My planning will be for a Fall garden, a Winter garden and a Spring garden and taking whatever I can get in the Summer.
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  CapeCoddess on 5/16/2014, 8:57 pm

wow, I can't even imagine living somewhere without garden pests or diseases! It must be heaven!

Having gone without power for up to 3 days during the last 3 winters, I've come to understand the need to be prepared. Due to an obsessive frugal streak I've always bought sales in bulk so I was ready each time (except for the cold) and my supplies would probably last for weeks, maybe even months..

I really like the idea of being prepared with herbs for their medicinal purposes. Also, researching edible  weeds and such is a great idea.

I found this this morning on my facebook and I grow it in one of my perennial gardens already. I like the idea of using it for bandages but also noticed it can be used for toilet paper! SOFT TP!
http://theprepperproject.com/grow-antibacterial-bandages/
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  boffer on 5/16/2014, 9:38 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:wow, I can't even imagine living somewhere without garden pests or diseases! It must be heaven!...

Just so we don't start any rumors, I said '...harvest destroying pests or diseases.'

We don't have tomato hornworms or SVBs. I get annoying aphids, flea beetles, leaf miners, cabbage worms, and slugs, but I rarely lose any veggies to them.

PM is the worst disease I've gotten, and it's been scarce the last couple years. I think Rose and Nonna got late blight on their tomatoes last year, but it missed me.

The down side is that in an average year, I don't get enough GDDs to grow red tomatoes without supplemental heat ie. a greenhouse.

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acronyms -

Post  kauairosina on 5/16/2014, 10:18 pm

what are pms and what is gdd?
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  boffer on 5/16/2014, 10:20 pm

Powdery Mildew

Growing Degree Days
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Emergency preparation gardening

Post  GloriaG on 5/17/2014, 1:38 am

Rabbithutch, don't give up on summer that easily. 

The people who are growing for farmers markets have large fields that they can't "baby."  We, on the other hand have small boxes we can keep sheltered, watered, and cared for year round.  At minimum we can grow:  Okra, beans, melons, squash, sweet potatoes, eggplants, malabar spinach, NZ spinach and with a little shade peppers and tomatoes until mid-late summer when it's time to re-plant.  I've even had celery and greens like swiss chard grow all summer in the shade.

Of course the down side to having such a long growing season is that we're exactly opposite Boffer's climate.  We average about 229 days of sun and we don't have a lot of freezing winter weather.  That means, we have EVERY BUG known to man, and they all LOVE the SFG menu.

So for emergency preparedness gardening, my arsenal includes lots of shade cloth and bug screens for over my hoops.  Next year I plan to add rain barrels at every corner of the house.

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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  rabbithutch on 5/17/2014, 3:11 am

Thanks for the encouragement, GloriaG!

This is my first year of SFG and I got a much later start than I wanted.  In fact, I still have to do the mixing and loading of most of my beds (2-4x4s and a 4x10).  I have tried to grow tomatoes here in central TX without any success at all.  I think I was always starting too late and not getting the sun/shade thing right. My goal now is to get the beds ready and experiment during the Summer heat but to focus most of my attention on planning and executing a Fall garden.

I lived in SugarLand for a couple of years in the late '90s.  I had 3-4x12 beds there and had good success with okra, fennel, all kinds of herbs, tomatoes, etc.  I lived in a brand new house in a brand new neighborhood very near the Brazos.  I bought soil for the beds from a landscaper's supply business.  It was a very good mix but lacked vermiculite for water retention.  Of course, water was plentiful in Fort Bend County then.  Not so in Bell County these days.   So far, my kitchen door herb bed is doing very well.  I've not had to water because we got a 2" rain this week.  Before I was watering every 3 or 4 days, very thoroughly.
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Emergency preparation gardening

Post  GloriaG on 5/17/2014, 9:00 am

Rabbithutch,

I think you'll be surprised at how well things do in a SFG. 

We have the ability to stretch the season a little with the covers and shade.  You'll be surprised how much it helps.  I put tomatoes in around the end of February unless we're having a really cold spell.  I'm just putting my squash and melons in this weekend.

Good gardening
Gloria

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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  sanderson on 6/9/2016, 11:54 am

From Facebook:  http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/garden-planning/staple-crops-zm0z13jjzsto.aspx

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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

Post  Mellen on 6/10/2016, 6:45 am

I was looking at photos of a co-worker's new house and was admiring the landscape...lots of trees.  She said that most of them would become firewood because she and her husband believe trees should do more than "look pretty & provide shade".  It really stopped me in my tracks and got me to thinking.  Looking around my yard I realized it was all kinda pretty but wouldn't feed me a thing.  That's when my research started.  Here is one of my favorites:  http://www.thesurvivalgardener.com/.  The man knows his stuff & has a sense of humor too.  He's really into food forests.  

In addition to growing perennial food (Moringa, tree collard/kale, nuts, fruit), plant heirloom varieties of everything & learn to save seed.  I haven't learned to save seed yet (I'm a REALLY newby gardener!), but I did go to Patriot Seeds and have purchased 1 each of their survival seed vault, medicinal, culinary, and tea vaults, packed for 5 years of storage.  They are in a box in my closet.  Every seed I purchase (flower or food) is heirloom.  I'm concentrating on supplementing the food gardening with flowers that attract beneficial insects.  (I dream of replacing the separating lines in my SFG boxes with rows of Alyssum, Marigolds & Johnny Jump Ups!) Medicinal plants and herbs are also a priority.  I did, however, keep my mother's Peony!

My goal is to have almost everything in my garden having a job other than just looking pretty. Before I pull anything out to replace it I research it to see if it already does something I don't know about!  

Again I am new at this.  I dream big but don't know if I can realize the dream.  I'm working on it.
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Re: Emergency Preparation Gardening

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