Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 42 total)
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  • #14420
    Jay
    Jay
    Survivalist
    member3

    Awesome thanks! I checked the link to the keyhole garden article. Very interesting concept. Do you know Hugelkultur?

    I planned to do something with Hugelkultur as we have a couple of months without rainfall here but now I might give keyhole gardening a shot too. :)

    Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")

    #14454
    Profile photo of Novus Ordo
    Novus Ordo
    Hunter
    rprepper

    Man, this is awesome!  Thanks for all the feedback and input everyone!

    Jay, great site – thanks for that.  I don’t have $1500 to drop on anything but the mortgage right now anyway!

    Ghost Prime – I’ll keep that in mind.  I also read that peppers from seed were much harder, but I did get two of them to germinate from seed this year that I kept from some red bells.  I dried them for a few days on paper towels.  I finally just went and bought the already growing ones when they went on sale as the seed ones are less than an inch now.  We’ll see if they produce.

    Tweva – Okay, now I think the community gardening expert has arrived!  LMAO!  Yeah, I had to go read that post over three times!  That’s not a bad thing at all – we’ll all learn via firehose if we have to!  Thanks so much for taking the time to write all that out.  I don’t know about everyone else, but I’d be interested in a dedicated gardening forum under Preparedness or maybe by itself where the experts like you could put “how to” stuff for all of us novices to follow.  Food for thought if you’re up to it.  I did start with looseleaf – Oakleaf is one of them, along with a bibb and Parris Island Cos.  Some of them are about 4-5 inches high and my wife wants to make them into salad – are they ready yet or will they get bigger?  Oh, and I planted 5 different peppers all in a row separated by about a foot each – did I mess it up and contribute to cross pollinating?  They are just now going to flower…I have room to move them if I need to.

    Go ahead and answer Jay first – I’m interested in that also for when I have a few acres.

    Alright – thanks again to all!  K

    Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
    - Thomas Paine

    #14458
    Frozenthunderbolt
    Frozenthunderbolt
    Survivalist
    member4

    Talking acreage, a potentially useful book to read/have is “5 acres and independence” by M.G. Kains.
    Some of the older editions have good references to horse drawn gear, it’s use and usefulness.

    How much land can two people work by hand? It depends on the kind of land and the kind of work.
    For instance, working as a team two people could, with practice, reap (with a cradle-scythe) and bind up to an acre of wheat, or two of oats in a day.
    To double plow, harrow and seed an acre (using a single furrow horse-drawn plow) might take a day or might take two. To do it by hand with hoes or mattocks would take a lot longer.
    On the third hand(!) if you had a crop like rice, and could broadcast over clover and then flood the paddy (no till method as in ‘One straw revolution’) then you might reasonably expect to work a lot more land.
    EDIT: amended to add that this chap takes 6 weeks to cut and bring in 6.4 tonnes of hay from his 5 acres using (usually) 2 people and a scythe

    [ May I preface this by saying that VERY FEW people are truly self-sufficient from their land, making and producing Every-thing that they need there. More often perishable items that are hard to transport and store (like fruit and leafy vegetables) are grown on site, and some form of transportable specialty (or more than one) is engaged in.
    This might be, for example, raising a swine heard on oak mast and turning it into <span class=”st”>Charcuterie </span>, growing bulk grain, growing root crops or onions or field beans, It might mean having an apple orchard and press and selling/trading hard or soft cider, or a milk herd and making cheese – you get the picture I’m sure!]
    You can essentially approach the issue two ways (as I see it; YMMV);
    1. Decide what kind of work you want to do to make your money, then find the right amount of the right land to suit. This approach is dependent on you knowing precisely what you can do, or want to do, but offers the advantage of tailoring your land choice to your skills and needs.
    OR
    2. Get the land you can afford (or look at that which you have) and see which activity/s suits it best and work as much of it in those activities as you reasonably can.
    In this approach work for your land to make it work for you. If you have steep hills don’t try and grow grain on them; plant fruit trees or nut trees and collect them as they roll down hill to you! If you have flat aluvial land consider grain or dairy, but if it’s colder perhaps oats or rye might be the better choices for you.

    In any case, if you find you have more land than you can utilise (by hand, or with horses) in your chosen activity, then my suggestion would be to plant it in mixed coppice (including some nuts and some standards) and leave it be; this will then be an asset that will provide game, firewood, timber, poles for fencing, charcoal and any of the other ‘greenwood crafts’ that you care to name.
    It can be used by you and yours, or rights to it’s bounty auctioned/traded off to others for minimal management.

    I hope this is food for thought :-)
    Best wishes,
    FT

    #14461
    Profile photo of Novus Ordo
    Novus Ordo
    Hunter
    rprepper

    FT – thanks brother, great info and good points!  Liked the idea of planting unused land with something that would still produce without much work.

    Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
    - Thomas Paine

    #14471
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Tweva,

    Thank you for your contributions to this thread, you have such a wealth of practiced knowledge to share.

    #14473
    Profile photo of patjoe
    patjoe
    Survivalist
    member2

    I completed Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Certificate Course last year. You only need a certificate if you intend to teach permaculture. If you just want a home version for your own family, without the certificate, then you can get FREE permaculture training here:

    Prof. Will Hooker, North Carolina State University (iTunes download) http://610kirby-permaculture.org/610kirby-permaculture.org/Welcome.html

    Larry Korn, Open Permaculture School http://www.openpermaculture.com/

    Jack Spirko, The Survival Podcast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgRwtMGcNe4

    Just be warned that the first two schools do not use the traditional $114 textbook, Bill Mollison’s Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual, which covers world-wide conditions: http://www.tagari.com/store/12. Instead, the first two schools use Toby Hemenway’s Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, Second Edition http://www.amazon.ca/Gaias-Garden-Guide-Home-Scale-Permaculture/dp/1603580298/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1400669218&sr=8-1&keywords=gaia%27s+garden, which is specific to cold temperate climates in North America. If you live anywhere else in the world, Mollison’s book is better for your needs. (There are free pirate versions of both on-line by torrent.)

    What I found most difficult about implementing what I learned is the heavy metal contamination of soil where I live, especially lead. I had to replace the topsoil, which was very expensive. If you live in an urban area, you will, too. I had to sequester the pollutants with plants like sunflowers, mushrooms, and water hyacinth, and then dispose of them safely. I took $2,000 worth of damage from my teenage drug dealer neighbours, who don’t like the way permaculture looks. Permaculture may not be acceptable where you live. You will need a partner in crime. Otherwise, it’s backbreaking work.

    #14476
    Profile photo of tweva
    tweva
    Survivalist
    rreallife

    Novus
    =====
    Oh geez….your peppers. I don’t eat peppers but years ago planted 4 kinds, for the first time, for friends. And, I would take the excess (along with other veg/fruits) to our store and set it out for free (and a donation can for a local no kill animal shelter if people were inclined). They were in separate rows. Result? LOTS of surprised people – not always in a good way! Haha. Big, fat green bell peppers (some with reddish patches) that were HOT AS HELL! (Crossed with Jalapenos). Yellow peppers that looked like part yellow/part bell but were sweet/hot. Here’s another thing to learn/think about for SHTF gardening. If you are using heirloom seed, you MUST pay attention to what and when you plant/cross pollination if you intend to save seeds for the next year and think you are going to then be growing the same plant as you did the year before.

    Yes Novus, you can be pretty darn sure your peppers are going to cross pollinate and the result will not be what you think. Here – read and print out if you like seedsavers cross pollination chart. But heck – you might develop some new variety you really like.

    And, thanks….smile…but I am NO expert….I learn every day, every year in my gardens. Experienced – oh hell yes got the gnarly hands to prove that…but there are many, many people who know tons more than myself! S’what makes gardening and farming so interesting.

    1974
    ====
    Thanks you for the compliment. For whatever it is worth, I am happy to share my opinions and experience if it might benefit someone…but what works for me here, on my little place, where I live may not always work for someone else.

    Jay
    ====
    I will reply about my opinion about how much land 2 could work later. Didn’t have time last night. But time is short today…..meantime…I think people interested in producing food for themselves might be enlightened by this little piece by one of my favorite writers, Nathan Lewis…factoids on how many acres is really needed to sustain a family. Love his writing.

    PS anyone – one of his main areas of interest is what should/might replace our current monetary system when it collapses (he has no doubt it will) – very easy/interesting – you can download his recent book ‘Gold: The Monetary Polaris’ for free here.

    #14478
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Tweva,
    The things you know can help anyone that will not stop after it is planted. To many beginner gardeners think they are done once the seeds are planted and stop working. People just need to realize each piece of land and and small section of garden can be unique. Like the wet spot in a corn field that wont grow corn, but would produce rice. Or the area in the yard that collects dew when no place else does. New gardeners don’t think of shade, like all four sides of a building have different micro climates, etc etc.

    #14479
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    Just a side note on what Frozen posted.
    “To double plow, harrow and seed an acre (using a single furrow horse-drawn plow) might take a day or might take two. To do it by hand with hoes or mattocks would take a lot longer”

    If you are using a draft animal in previously improved soil. (it has been plowed or turned over before) you turn over about a 14″ furrow of soil as fast as the animal can walk. If you are doing this by hand a 6-8 inch row maybe 40′-75′ in an hour (depending on your fitness & soil type).

    From my own personal experience I would recommend using a shovel (sharp spade) for turning soil and save the use of hoes and mattocks for lighter work like breaking clods & cultivating. When using a shovel you use your weight to drive the tool into the ground. Conserve your movement and don’t move the soil far, just turn it over. Swinging a mattock requires gross body movements requiring a lot of energy.

    If you are preparing a garden in very hard ground using a mattock might be your best option, woe is me.

    #14480
    Profile photo of patjoe
    patjoe
    Survivalist
    member2
    #14524
    Profile photo of Novus Ordo
    Novus Ordo
    Hunter
    rprepper

    And MORE information!  ;)

    Patjoe – excellent info, thanks.  I’ll gladly take anything for free!  Appreciate all the added links and explanations.  I’ve listened to Marjory Wildcraft before.  My lot is rural zoned so I hope there’s no large amounts of chemicals.

    Tweva – wow, just finished an emergency transplant into pots and separated into each corner of the yard.  Only a couple flowers had emerged on one plant so hopefully we caught them in time and they’re not too shocked by the move.  Thanks for that chart and the whole link – I saved it for future use and will for sure be checking it often as I want to try and save seeds also.  I had no idea that all those other plants had cross pollination issues too!  Good thing that the rest of them are the same types – it was just the peppers that I wanted a selection.  Thanks again!

     

    Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
    - Thomas Paine

    #14529
    Profile photo of She-Wolf
    She-Wolf
    Survivalist
    member1

    Gaia’s Garden is an excellent, reader friendly way to become introduced to permaculture ideas. It was my first book and continues to be my favorite.

    Permaculture is based on a great deal of perennial plants vs annual plants. By not harvesting the plants, only parts of the plants, placing a much smaller burden on soil. It also includes a wide range of support planting allowing the different plants to provide various nutrients to the soil.

    The other nice thing about permaculture gardens is they often do not look like traditional gardens. They also require much less work each year to maintain, with each year getting easier. It also introduces a wide range of plants that are edible, but not common. This provides for a more varied diet and makes the garden less of a target. In fact many permaculture set ups look much like a bunch plants growing everywhere.

    I was introduced to this by a woman named Christie Faith. She has a garden, aquaponics, chickens, ducks and a bee hive in a rather small back yard in downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her website it http://www.righttothrive.org if you are interested in her blog.

     

     

    #14538
    Profile photo of Novus Ordo
    Novus Ordo
    Hunter
    rprepper

    She-Wolf, awesome – thanks for the post.  You pointed out exactly why I started this topic.  I thought that if we had enough time to establish a permaculture type of setup we would have a somewhat sustainable food source with minimal work and also one that would be more secure than the typical blocked acreage that is visible for miles away.  As you said, the permaculture “food forest” can be made to blend in with the surroundings and not resemble a place where someone would automatically gravitate looking for food.  To me, this makes it more valuable than some other methods.

    Regardless, I appreciate all input as they all have some valid techniques.

    Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
    - Thomas Paine

    #14539
    Profile photo of Kiwi25
    Kiwi25
    Survivalist
    member3

    Just a note to Ghost Prime (and maybe others) about saving seed from sweet bell peppers.  I actually did this years ago.   You cannot grow seed from a green pepper.  A green pepper is actually an immature RED pepper.  The seed is not mature till it turns red.. ( many weeks later than it is edible green).

    Ask me how I know….. :-)…..

    #14540
    Frozenthunderbolt
    Frozenthunderbolt
    Survivalist
    member4

    Good points 1974, another neat tool for pre-broken ground (not first time plowing) is something called a ‘broad fork’. It looks like a double wide garden fork with more, shorter teeth, and is very efficient at using leverage and bodyweight/gravity to prepare ground for truck, roots or grain.

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