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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Time for a Survival Garden

We're getting an early spring in some of the country. Time to get prepared for planting some crops. Even if you are in a holding location and plan to Bug Out to a more secure location either just before or during the collapse, planting a few vegetables to gain the experience, get the fulfillment of growing something useful, are most often not useful,.....and eating the product of your labors is really a cool thing to do, not to mention a key to your survival in a collapse unless you're sitting on a warehouse of food in a secure location.

Many neighborhoods in urban locations are collaborating together to develop roof top gardens on high rises; use former grass or landscaped areas to grow crops; and develop unique methods of gardening such as hydroponic and container gardening, all in order to make the shrinking dollar go further and actually develop a surival skill set - feeding yourself.

Throughout the winter I have been composting organic material so that next month when I start my first vegetable plants I'll have some nutrient rich, clean soil for planting. Using regular hybrid seeds for the local Home Depot, so if I am forced to Bug Out, I won't be leaving behind any of my precious non-hybird seeds nor anything else that can't be replicated with a little time.

By my calendar, sometime in late June, I'll be able to trade some cucumbers and squash to my neighbor who has a chicken coop and regular gets 8 to 10 eggs a week. In fact, I have been trading .22 LR ammunition to him for the eggs lately. At 500 rounds per dozen eggs, he's getting the better part of the deal and I do that to develop a good relationship with him. But who knows what the value of eggs or ammunition will be in the collapse.....probably depends is your highest priority was security/hunting or eating.

Survival Mom from also has the same idea, that it is getting close to planting time. I read a great tip on her site pertaining to soil preparation. The whole article is here, but in short the part that taught me something I did not know was:

6. If your planting season is still a month or more away, solarize your garden area. This is very easy, and I wish I had done this last month. Water your garden area very, very well and cover it with a huge sheet of clear plastic. I’ve seen some gardeners use black plastic, but this site recommends otherwise. Weight the plastic down around the edges to make sure that it doesn’t fly away, even in a good sized gust. Wait for 4-6 weeks. This allows the weeds to sprout, thinking, “Yaaay! We can begin adding hours of backbreaking work to this poor gardener’s week!” However, the joke is on them because once the seeds have sprouted, they will quickly die, either from the heat beneath the black plastic or from being smothered with no air or sunlight. Some seeds won’t sprout at all but will still die from being overheated.

Great tip. Sure beats the hell out of pulling weeds several few days.

Another good resource is the book "The Backyard Homestead".  It is advertised as teaching you how to grow 2,000 pounds of vegetables in as little as a ¼-acre backyard.  And not just a gardening book, this book includes how to raise chickens and bees for honey.   

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