It’s a scary thought to think about, but if you’re ever in a survival situation where food is scarce and there are no grocery stores to scavenge from, it can be difficult. It is imperative to know how to scavenge food for survival because without it you’ll eventually starve. This post will provide five of the most effective ways that people have found to scavenge for food when they find themselves in this type of scenario.
If you’re ever in a situation where you’re fighting for survival, knowing how to scavenge food you can eat is a must. If you don’t know how to find food or where to get it, you could end up suffering from starvation, which can ultimately lead to death.
Top 5 Ways to Scavenge for Food in Survival Situations
Instead of dealing with that possibility, check out these top five ways to scavenge food for survival and have the most success with it. You’ll learn how to find plenty of food in areas that you’ve probably never thought of before.
1. Hunting Can Be Valuable
Whether you have hunting experience or not, it’s valuable to know how to do it. Whether you’re willing to try to hunt small game or big game, you’ll end up with enough meat to last for several days, especially when rationed correctly.
Scavenge Food for Survival: Consider Hunting
Hunting a large animal could leave you with enough food to feed your family for several weeks, but you’d need to know how to properly store the meat that you’ve managed to get to keep it fresh. You don’t want to eat spoiled meat because that could cause you to end up with food poisoning and other serious problems.
Use Different Tools
Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of hunting. Even if you don’t like the idea of it, keep in mind that it might be necessary in dire times. So, try to get familiar with using different tools that can help you capture your prey when necessary. You’ll also need to know how to safely take your game apart and separate the meat into sections based on what you can cook with it each day to make meals.
2. Scavenging for Fruits
Be prepared to scavenge for fruits in different spots. You’ll notice that trees are often a hot spot for fruits. While it’s good to have access to these trees’ fruits, you need to know what you can safely eat and what you need to avoid.
Some berries look sweet and delicious, but they’re poisonous and shouldn’t be consumed. You don’t want to make the mistake of eating the wrong thing or giving something harmful to someone in your family.
Scavenge Food for Survival: Search for Fruit Trees
Search for a fruit-bearing tree that has fruits growing from it that you can safely eat. If you can find that kind of tree where you’re at, it’ll become an excellent source of carbs for you and your family. You can continue picking the fruit and safely storing it to keep it fresh until you’re ready to eat it.
3. Don’t Discount Bugs
While it may sound gross, sometimes it’s necessary to eat bugs for survival. It doesn’t mean that you need to eat these insects raw because that’s difficult for most people to do. However, you can collect crickets and grasshoppers, cook them over the campfire to roast them, and then eat them.
Not only will they taste better when you’ve cooked them, but they’ll also provide you with the protein you’ll need to stay energized. The right types of bugs consist of lots of protein that your body needs, especially during difficult times when all you’re trying to do is survive.
Bring Seasoning and Spices
If you have any seasonings or spices with you, it’s possible to make the bugs more appealing by covering them in some of these seasonings. When you’re out in the wilderness, starving, and in desperate need of food, eating the readily available insects no longer seems nearly as gross as it might sound to you right now.
4. Scavenging in an Urban Area
Being in the wilderness is one thing. However, if you’re fighting for survival in an urban area, you’re probably not surrounded by a bunch of trees and plants with fruits and vegetables that you can consume. However, you may have easy access to markets and grocery stores.
You can head over to these places to look for canned foods. It’s best to choose canned foods and other non-perishable items that won’t go bad quickly. You want the food to last a long time because you don’t know when you’ll find another food source during a crisis.
Seek Out Non-perishable Foods and other Proteins
If you’re not sure what to grab, look for canned meats, canned vegetables, and containers of peanut butter. The canned meats, such as chicken and tuna, will come in handy as a protein source for you. The canned vegetables contain vitamins and nutrients.
They’ll also taste great when prepared with the canned meats to give you a bit of variety with each meal. It’s also helpful to have peanut butter because it tastes good, tends to last longer, is a versatile ingredient to use, and is an excellent protein source.
5. Observe the Wildlife Around You
Start observing the wildlife around you each day to get an idea of how they survive in the wilderness. You can keep an eye on how some of the other animals get their food and what they tend to go for when trying to find something to eat. If you see what they’re going for, it can help you decide what you’ll go for in the wild if it comes down to that.
You may start to observe bears in the water grabbing fish to eat. If it’s something you notice, you’ll know that the specific body of water has fish swimming inside it, and that means you can go in there and get your own fish, too. Use the wildlife observations that you make to your advantage to help you find food in all the right places.
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Are you a Dollar Store Prepper? If not, then it is time to get your act together and start building that stockpile! We learned with Covid-19 that the world as we know it can end at any moment, so it is important to be prepared for anything. Whether there’s an emergency, natural disaster or just the momentary shit hitting the proverbial fan- with our Extreme Dollar Store Prepping List you’ll always be ready for what comes next.
The worst thing about the early COVID pandemic was the panic buying. While FEMA says to have at least 3 days of emergency supplies like food and water on hand, it really should be 3 months – or more!
Why Dollar Store Prepping Rocks…
What if I told you that for just ten bucks a week, you could have 520 incredibly value-worthy shelf-stable items in your stockpile.
Now, more than ever, this is an important thing to consider. Have no fear – the best thing about our list is that you are shopping at your local Dollar Tree – so even someone with the tightest budget can pull out success with this list and build up their preps!
Is it really a bargain?
The key thing to remember when stocking up on food is that if it is something that you or your family doesn’t like? Don’t buy it. Why make yourself eat stuff you absolutely hate when things are already stressful? It isn’t a bargain if it isn’t something that you would like to actually eat. It just wastes your time, money, and space to add it to your inventory.
Personally, I find that thinking of what you DO like is a great way to start. Do you like spaghetti with red sauce? Tacos? Fritattas? Pancakes? Make a quick list of 7 to 10 meals that you DO like and that can be your “hit list” of items to stock up on.
I roughly did that with this list – these 21 items are bargain-priced for basic items that help build pasta, rice, or bean meals, and even soups. They are all at a better price than the local grocery stores.
But it gets better…
Dollar Tree Takes Coupons!
Dollar Tree does accept manufacturer coupons. They do not accept competitor store coupons, such as those for Walmart, Target, or Dollar General.
Coupons used at Dollar Tree must always be originals and cannot be photocopied. They must be completely intact and not altered or modified in any way.
Coupons can not be over $1 in value.
Dollar Tree accepts one manufacturer coupon per single item purchased and has a maximum of four of the same manufacturer coupons accepted for each customer per day. For printable coupons from the internet, Dollar Tree will accept up to two printed coupons per customer per day.
When coupons are used on a purchase, Dollar Tree requires that the item purchased does exactly match the product listed in the coupon’s description including the appropriate brand, size, quantity and etc. in order to be accepted by the cashier.
But — some of what I am going to talk about are name-brand items – so you could get them for less than a buck – or possibly FREE – just by adding a coupon to your transaction!
Another thing to consider
You can order online and have items shipped either to your home or your store! Yes, you might have to buy a full case – but most items come in a case of 12. So…that week you spend $12 instead of 10. oops!
On the other hand, you can get as few as 4 items on select items in their “Smaller Quantities” lines!
21 Hot Dollar Store Prepping items
Let’s get started with my list of 21 Amazing Dollar Store Prepper Items to add to your stockpile!
Take your pick – macaroni noodles, spaghetti noodles, even penne pasta has been spotted at my local Dollar Tree. One-pound boxes for a buck – and with name brands like Barilla? You know there are coupons out there!
Compare that to my local grocery store that is sliding down into 12-ounce boxes and, if you are lucky, the sale is 4 boxes for $5. (sigh)
2) Dried beans
This was a hard-to-find item in the early COVID days as there is no easier meal than a quick bean or lentil soup. On our Operation $40K site, I whipped up a list of lentil recipes for everything from sloppy Joes to pasta sauce. (see it here). Bean soups – bean burritos – so many options that you can simply toss in the crockpot and leave cooking all day to whip up a great, and simple meal.
Dried Northern Beans make a killer soup with a can of diced tomatoes and a can of sliced carrots added – just add onion and a little chicken broth!
Seriously, I could go on and on about how well these keep and how many uses you could get.
This is a 2-pound bag. Keep in mind that In the Egyptian pyramids, they found pasta and rice that we could still eat today. It keeps almost indefinitely in a cool storage location.
Fried rice, rice pudding or custard, even as a filler for a casserole – it is a great way to help keep a belly full.
4) Knorr Rice Mixes.
OK – don’t call the health police on me. Knorr is a name brand (coupons!) and it is easy to add that can of chicken or tuna to it to stretch it out to a full meal. When you are comparing this to “disaster prep food” you have about the same portions and are getting it for a lot less than $8-10 a package.
Yes, there is sodium. This is EMERGENCY food – not your average weekly meal.
5) Shelf-stable boxed milk.
Places like Walmart price gouged in 2020 and we saw gallons of milk top $5 – IF you could actually find it. Boxed milk is shelf-stable, comes in quarts, and will do with cereal or cooking. You have choices of whole milk, 1%, 2%, and even Almond milk quarts!
6) Pasta Sauce
Canned is better than glass for longer storage – again, there are name brands like Prego and Hunts. Red sauce or white sauce, make sure you have enough for each box of dried pasta you stock up on.
7) Coconut Oil
If you have never used coconut oil before – this is the time to start. Coconut oil can be used for cooking, baking, as a substitute in lotions and hair products, or even as fuel for your emergency stove!
You can use it for cooking – just use it in place of butter or olive oil.
You can add coconut oil to your coffee, cereal, oatmeal, and other foods for a healthy boost!
It’s an effective moisturizer that you can either buy pre-made or make at home with special recipes:
– Coconut Oil + Honey (or sugar) mixed together
– Coconut Oil + Lemon Juice mixture rubbed on the face before bedtime
Don’t forget about using coconut oil as a hair product while SHTF too! It will help keep your scalp from itching when there are no more products left on shelves…
Coconut oil is also great as fuel for emergency stoves because it has such a high smoke point.
OK, I could go on and on but this isn’t an article about coconut oil. Normally it is pretty darned pricey so I was beyond tickled to find coconut oil at the Dollar Tree!
8) Ramen 5-packs.
Ignore all the rumors about the plastic in the noodles, etc. Yes, there is a lot of sodium. You can stretch this into a soup that feeds an entire family by cooking up 2 packs and adding a few cans of veggies along with a can of cooked chicken breast.
9) Canned veggies.
Name brands y’all! With the metal shortage currently driving up prices – canned goods are rapidly jumping in price at the grocery stores. You can get all of your favorites for a buck!
10) Canned fruit
It is important to have a little balance and fruit adds that nice sweetness we tend to crave after a few days. It can be used as a dessert or topping to dress up oatmeal.
11) Canned soup
Name brands again y’all! Campbell’s and Healthy Choice – perfect for those who like to just heat and eat. I’m a fan of the beef barley! Even cream of mushroom or cream of chicken for those pasta or rice casserole dishes – the Dollar Tree has you covered.
Talk about expensive – your grocery store can charge up to $15 for the SAME-sized container. Get a nice-sized container for your most common spices for just a buck. Try adding a little ginger to that Ramen soup for an Asian flair or even Cinnamon for that rice pudding.
13) Juice boxes.
Name brand, single serving, a variety of flavors. This is good for the kids and also the diabetics – a four-pack for a buck makes a great bargain.
14) 32 oz bottle of Lemon Juice.
You can get a quart of lemon juice for a buck. Add a one-dollar sugar package and you are all set for that refreshing lemonade! All you need is 6 1/2 cups of water, 1 cup lemon juice, and 1 cup sugar in your 2-quart pitcher, and a little ice in your glass to pour it over. It helps that tough time seem a little more normal.
15) Canned pie filling.
Whether it’s apple, cherry, or blueberry pie filling – just one buck. It is good to have on hand for wrapping pancakes around for a fancier breakfast – or even to turn into pudgy pies over your open fire. Musselman’s is a GREAT brand of pie filling and roughly $4 at the grocery store
16) Pancake mix
A box of pancake mix for a dollar? You can’t beat that! And it’s the perfect breakfast on those mornings when you need to hurry back out the door and don’t have time to make them from scratch. I have found the “just add water” version 16.5 oz boxes that literally ANYONE can make without screwing it up.
17) Hungry Jack Hashbrowns.
This dehydrated 3.2-ounce box only needs a little water to come to life. You can play “Waffle House” and add onions, cheese, diced ham, and more to make a meal or use them as a base for a family frittata with some scrambled eggs and a few veggies.
Ketchup, Mustard, even Salsa, and Hot Sauce! You might not think of these things when you are prepping, but they really come in handy. Your food will need FLAVOR.
19) Pancake syrup
Who cares if Aunt Jemima is on your bottle of pancake syrup or not? For a buck you can save two to three bucks that the grocery store charges! Why not pick up a bottle for the camper AND the house at that price?
This is also a great way to sweeten everything from oatmeal to rice custard.
20) Baking mixes.
Muffins, Cookies, Cake, and even brownies. Baking mixes are a must-have for anyone in your family. Did you know you can even make pancakes from muffin mixes? (more about that later…)
21) Chocolate bars
It is important to have mood elevators too. When things look bleak – you need a pick-me-up. They have name-brand chocolatey goodness like Godiva. Make sure you pamper yourself a bit – even in an emergency. It really can help you with your sanity.
I know there are a lot more great things you can find when just walking around your store or when you are combing over their website. These are just the top 21 items that I found that are a total bargain and PERFECT for anyone who is prepping on a budget.
That makes this is a MUST-HAVE list for any prepper, whether they’re new to the game or have been at it for years. When you start shopping from your local Dollar Tree store, you’ll be amazed by all of the deals!
There is a lot of good food out there. Yes, you can take some with you to survive. Keep reading this to learn how to make good tasting survival food!
Are you trying to build a stockpile of survival food? You probably want to make sure you have plenty of food to eat in case of an emergency that would prevent you from getting more food from the grocery store.
How to Make Good Tasting Survival Food
If you’re fully prepared with a pantry full of items that don’t expire quickly, you won’t have to worry about you or your loved ones starving for food at any point. Before you start prepping any food, follow these tips to learn how to make good tasting survival food that your family can eat and enjoy.
1. Choose the Right Ingredients
The first thing you’ll need to do to make good-tasting survival food is to choose the right ingredients to use. Don’t use bland ingredients that aren’t going to give your food a great taste. If the food doesn’t taste good, you’re not going to enjoy it, even if you need to eat it to survive. The least you can do is make food that will taste good to you and your loved ones during difficult times.
So, which ingredients are the right ones to use? With plenty of ingredients to use to make meals, you might not know which ones are best to buy and use. Consider these important things when buying the ingredients for your survival food:
Can you enjoy them at any temperature? Choose ingredients that will taste good at any temperature, whether hot, cold, or room temperature.
Do you have to cook them? It’s better to choose ingredients that you don’t necessarily need to cook. While these ingredients may taste better when cooked, it’s not about preference during difficult times. As long as the ingredients will still taste good, that’s all that matters.
Will the ingredients last long? Always choose ingredients with an extended shelf life. Don’t choose anything that can spoil quickly. If it can spoil too soon, it’s not good to use for survival food because you might need it weeks, months, or even years later.
You can choose the ingredients after asking yourself these critical questions. Choosing long-lasting ingredients that taste good is more important than anything else.
2. Add Some Variety to Your Survival Food
Always add some variety to what you’re going to prepare and store as survival food. Even in an emergency, you won’t want to eat the same thing all the time. It gets boring and bland. Try to mix things up by using various ingredients to prepare different meals that you and your family can consume throughout the day.
Change things up from time to time
If you’re switching it up with multiple ingredients and different meals made using those ingredients, you won’t get tired of what you’re eating. It’s also good to have a variety for your loved ones. Not everyone has the same taste buds. You want to make sure you have a variety to satisfy each person’s preferences in your household.
3. Seasoning Can Make a Big Difference
Unseasoned foods are bland and boring. You’ll get tired of them fast. If you don’t want to eat unseasoned chicken and other meats all the time during an emergency, use seasonings because they can make such a massive difference.
Seasoning food will make it more enjoyable
The seasonings that you decide to use will depend on your preferences. However, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoning salt, lemon pepper, and garlic salt are a few of the seasonings that will give your food more flavor. Look up recipes for different meals that you can prepare, season, and store to eat during emergencies.
4. Store the Survival Food Properly
If you don’t intend to eat everything you’re making at once, you need to know how to store the food you’re preparing correctly. Sealing and storing food correctly is a must. If it doesn’t get done correctly, dust, dirt, and germs can get into the containers full of food and cause them to spoil, making them unusable. You don’t want to waste your time prepping only to realize that you can’t eat anything you made because it’s gone bad.
Know how to store your food properly
Use different methods to store and save your survival food. Canning is just one method that most people use. You can follow the simple canning process to begin preserving different foods, including meats, fruits, and vegetables, that will come in handy in an emergency. Once you’ve sealed those foods in their jars with airtight lids, you can place them on shelves or in the pantry and save them until you’re ready to use them.
5. Utilize Some Store Bought Items
While making food from scratch is always a good idea, you don’t need to make everything from scratch. You can still head over to the store and buy different items that will get put to good use in an emergency. You might want to buy canned goods from the grocery store instead of canning vegetables, fruits, and meats. It’s even better to find these items at discounted rates when the stores offer special deals and discounts.
Stock up on canned goods
So, if you see a sale, it won’t hurt to stock up on those canned goods. You can get the canned goods and put them on shelving units in your basement to save them. Canned goods tend to have such a long shelf life, making them worth every penny spent on them. Of course, you can still complete the canning process for anything that you’d prefer to make from scratch. Buying canned goods is a simple way to make things even easier for you.
Purchase bags of candy
One thing you can buy at the store that not a lot of people think of is bagged candy. Those bags of candy will last a long time, even beyond their expiration date.
Make Survival Food That Tastes Great
If you want to prepare for an emergency by having plenty of survival food available for each person in your household, follow these simple yet practical tips. While you want to have an impressive inventory of food to eat in an emergency, you’re also going to want to make sure that food tastes good.
If it’s practically inedible, it’ll be hard for you and your loved ones to eat the food, even if it’s all you have available. Now that you know what steps you’ll need to take to make good tasting survival food, what do you plan on doing first?
What good-tasting survival food would you add to this list? Learning how to make good food, no matter what, it is a great life skill to have. These tips should help get you on the right path!
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When you’re thinking about what types of crops to grow, check out these top five easy to grow vegetable seeds!
If you’re new to gardening, it’s a good idea to grow some of the easier crops to gain more experience over time. Some crops are naturally easier to grow because they require much less maintenance and effort but typically thrive in all different kinds of conditions.
The Top Five Easy to Grow Vegetable Seeds
If you’d like to become a better gardener in no time, check out these five easy crops to grow. It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of gardening space or not because here are the top five easy to grow vegetable seeds.
1. Green Onions
Green onions are, by far, one of the easiest crops to grow when living in the United States. It’s not uncommon for green onions to sprout out of the ground on their own. You can plant the seeds and have the opportunity to harvest the green onions in as little as 30 days! So, if you’re in a rush to see the fruits of your labor forming, growing green onions is worth it.
Give Them Space!
If you’re going to plant green onions, be sure to sow the seeds about two inches apart from one another to give these crops space to grow. You’ll need to develop a routine watering schedule to ensure that your green onions get the right amount of water.
It’s easy to get the green onions to thrive, but you need to keep the soil moist without soaking it too much. You may see results within weeks of planting the onions. Green onions are known as one of the top five easy crops to grow.
Growing lettuce is a good idea for anyone. Whether you have experience in the garden or not, you can get your lettuce to grow with ease. It’s a forgiving crop that tends to do well in all kinds of weather conditions. It only takes about a month to get lettuce to grow large enough to harvest it and use it.
Once you grow it, you can use it to make salads and wraps. You might even want to add the lettuce to sandwiches with sliced tomato, deli meat, and cheese on bread or rolls.
Ideal Spot in the Garden
Choose the ideal spot for your lettuce. You can place it in an area that gets full sun because lettuce thrives under sunlight. However, it’s not bad if the spot that you choose gets some shade. Unlike some crops, lettuce can still thrive when planted in a semi-shaded area.
Place your lettuce seeds deep within the soil and keep them more than 14 inches apart from one another. You’ll need to give the seeds space to grow and transform into large lettuce heads that you can harvest and eat.
3. Bell Peppers
Add bell peppers to your garden for a simple vegetable that doesn’t require much effort to grow. You can get your bell peppers to grow large enough to harvest within a minimum of two months, making them a fantastic crop to grow.
Harvesting Bell Peppers
Once you can harvest the bell peppers, you can rinse them with water and eat them raw or cook them. Some people like to eat them with cream cheese or ranch dip.
On the other hand, some people like to add them to a pan with butter or oil and saute them before serving them with rice, sausage, beef, or pasta. Knowing that you can do a lot with them is a good enough reason to grow them!
Choose a Sunny Spot!
If you’re going to grow bell peppers, choose a sunny spot in the garden. You’ll get these peppers to grow at a faster pace when they’re receiving plenty of sunlight each day. Be sure to use the right soil with a pH level of as low as 5.8 and as high as 6.5. Besides using the right soil, you should add fertilizer to your soil, use mulch, and make sure your bell pepper plants get about two inches of water per week.
While it’s a bit tricky in the beginning, wheat is a relatively easy-to-grow crop. Once you can get it growing, you’ll get some significant yields, and that means you’ll have plenty of wheat to use for fermentation and making homemade bread. You can mill the wheat into flour before using it in different recipes to prepare muffins, pasta, homemade biscuits, and other delicious baked goods from scratch.
How Many Seeds Can I Add?
If it sounds like a good idea to you, make sure you know how to plant your wheat seeds correctly to get them to grow. You can add up to 30 seeds for each square foot of land you’re using to grow wheat. As your crops begin sprouting, pay close attention to the area.
You’ll need to remove any weeds that could get in the way of the wheat growing to its fullest potential. It’s equally as essential to provide your wheat crops with enough water.
It’s common to find tomatoes growing in gardens of all sizes. You don’t need to have the most extensive garden to successfully get tomatoes to grow. It’s one of several reasons why new gardeners enjoy growing tomatoes so much. When your tomatoes reach their full size, you can harvest them and do so much with them. You can make tomato soup, add tomato slices to sandwiches and salads, and even use them in some of your favorite casserole recipes.
Use the Right Soil
If you’re going to grow tomatoes, use soil with a pH of up to 7.0. Make sure you’re paying attention to possible pests. Tomato hornworms are commonly found in gardens where tomatoes grow, and they can cause major destruction to these plants. You can keep them away by using natural pest control products, including other pests that tend to prey upon the hornworms. Tomatoes are known as one of the top five easy crops to grow.
Top Five Easy to Grow Vegetable Seeds
If you’d like to start gardening and enjoy planting crops that aren’t too difficult to grow and maintain, consider planting these five options. If you have a garden full of wheat, tomatoes, lettuce, bell peppers, and green onions, you’ll have access to fresh ingredients that you can eat and use to prepare different meals.
The best part about growing these crops is that most of them don’t take long to reach their full potential for harvesting. What do you think are the top five easy crops to grow?
While this might seem like a post we should have on our garden site, it really belongs on THIS site as a permaculture garden helps you create a sustainable food source when grocery stores are not an option. It is a long-term emergency food source.
It is necessary to know how to feed yourself – and your family in a SHTF situation. It doesn’t matter if you are planning to can food for storage, or eat as you go, but the concept of a permaculture garden is great to wrap your head around
What Is Permaculture?
We live in an increasingly industrially reliant culture. A culture that relies on fast food, disposable goods, and cheap gasoline. A culture that is fast eating itself up. Enter Permaculture.
Permaculture is another way to look at the world and its resources. We’ll look at just what is meant by permaculture, the history of this conservation movement, and meet some of its originators and the future of Permaculture. You may find that you are already applying some of the basic tenants of this small but growing movement.
Permaculture, as you may have guessed, is a contraction of the words permanent culture. The idea is that we rely more on sustainable agriculture not dependant on fossil fuels.
What does permaculture use?
It will use local resources, smaller more diverse crop planning, non-chemically dependant fertilizing, for example. Permaculture is a movement away from anything big and industrial to the smaller and sustainable farms, encouraging more interdependence with community members.
It all began in the ‘70s by a wildlife biologist and ecologist named Bill Mollison of Australia. He saw the growing monster of the Industrial Revolution and its impact on our culture.
How this kind of culture was bound to eventually cave in due to its monstrous appetite. Rather than reacting in a negative way to this, he instead decided to take a more positive approach.
By studying nature, he came to several conclusions about how nature goes through sustainable cycles without the benefit of man. Bill began to live and then to teach his philosophy.
Another man who has silently built up a following in this movement is Masanobu Fukuoka. He believes that you should disturb the soil to an absolute minimum. Seeds are planted right on the soil’s surface and then lightly covered with straw or other light mulch.
Weeds are trimmed before the flowering stage and allowed to become part of the mulch. This kills unwanted vegetation without poison and gives a favorable soil in which to plant. In time the soil becomes healthy and weeds and pests become less of a concern.
Ruth Stout is another voice in this community. Her ideas about “no-till” gardening have caused many to change their views about weeds and weeding. Similar to Fukuoka, she purported to never need to weed but allowed plants to grow together.
All vegetation, both “good” and “bad,” builds the soil which leads to healthy crops which means fewer pests. Once the soil is built weeding becomes as simple as flicking out the weed. All without chemicals and pesticides.
From its small, quiet revolutionary beginnings, it is apparent that permaculture will have to be embraced to a greater or lesser degree. Pollution due to industrial waste and mass transportation systems are on their way down memory lane. It will cost too much to ship in food from across the country so it makes more and more sense to buy food grown locally or grow it yourself.
Permaculture as a basic philosophy has grown and spread its less intrusive approach to living on and using the earth. While nowadays it seems to be associated with second and third generation “hippies,” even Urbanites practice it by growing a garden for vegetables and tossing the trimmings back on the beds. Yes, permaculture, in all its varied philosophies will impact our lives – for the good.
The Core Concepts of Permaculture Garden Design
Understanding any subject that’s new to us, helps to dig into its key concepts. Understanding permaculture in its basic sense will help people to perhaps see how some of its elements can be applied in their own life.
Specifically, we will deal with, sustainability, minimal disruption of soil conditions, and interdependence with our neighbors. Let’s begin by talking about how permaculture contributes to the sustainability of the earth’s ecosystems.
It isn’t by accident that permanent is part of the term permaculture. Here we have a way to work with the way nature works not in a forced, mechanized way of modern times. When you use hand tools and human labor, you don’t need to depend on fossil fuels.
Naturally built-up soils don’t support disease and pests so you don’t need petroleum-based pesticides and fertilizers. When you don’t remove the unused part of the plant but just lay it back down on the soil to mulch you reduce labor and eliminate the need to amend the soil. Mulching aids water retention and thus reduces the need for water.
The ultimate in sustainability is when the end of year harvest comes, you allow several plants to go to seed. Then you can cut down the dying foliage and seed heads and lay this on the ground with the mulch which will go on to seed for next year’s crops. This like the other core concepts is the hallmark of permaculture – giving back to the land everything but the fruits you consume.
Another core concept of a permaculture garden is the idea of soil conservation and minimally disturbing the soils in which we plant. Permaculturists will use hand tools rather than tillers and tractors, which does several things to harm the soil. Heavier equipment compacts the soil, which makes the ground more difficult to use.
It is a fact that intensive gardening increases crop production 10 fold when soil is not compacted and the soil is left loose and friable. This way we can get 10 times more production out of the same amount of land – which translates to 10 times more food available to feed the population of the world. No more food shortages. It may be hard to believe that we can get more production out of less land by eliminating machinery, but permaculture has proved this time and again.
A final key concept of permaculture is rebuilding the community. Because of our industrialized society, we have become detached from each other not just as a family but also as a community.
This causes us to turn to government and corporations to fill our needs, which causes lower quality food because of the need for mass production, as well as diminishing the local job base, and creating more of a need for outside energy input.
If you buy raw milk from the dairy down the road, beef from your neighbor, and vegetables from the local organic farmer, you not only provide work for them, you also get higher quality food, with less fossil fuel input. This creates a sustainable loop of profitable work, quality products that we actually need, and utilizes local sources.
In an increasingly global economy suffering from constant disruptions in the job market and food chain, this is the future we must work toward for our children and grandchildren. To create a “permanent” culture, we must strive for sustainability, minimal disruption of the soil, and interdependence, and shared resources.
How to Grow a Permaculture Garden
While we may not be able to make large changes, a whole lot of little changes can add up to a revolution. A small way to make a big change is to grow a garden using permaculture techniques.
What makes a garden small permaculture? You can learn about garden preparation tools and techniques, how to plant and tend to a garden that is raised sustainably. It takes far less time to garden in this way than you may think.
The idea behind permaculture gardening is to use only hand tools and minimal human labor. The only tools you’ll need are a shovel, rake, and small trowel. The idea here is to not disturb the soil any more than necessary.
Tilling the soil will introduce too much oxygen, which acts to kill the soil organisms that live on and around plant roots. This allows for weeds, which are less “picky” about the soil in which they grow.
Plot preparation can be as simple as layering a mat of cardboard or thick layers of newsprint where you plan to plant. If the weeds are well established, cut them down before you layer the cardboard.
There’s no concern here about existing vegetation as the thick cardboard mulch will kill the weeds. So, we have eliminated dubious chemicals and poisons from your garden shed.
On top of this, you will layer 6 to 12 inches of straw laid out in rows so you can walk between hills. Here the idea is to keep the rows no wider than you can comfortably reach from both sides. Notice we didn’t till, dig or poison the garden plot. It is so much simpler to use permaculture garden techniques in your garden.
To plant seeds, you can sprinkle them right on the soil’s surface in most cases. Then pull any mulch over this. The mulch acts to help the soil retain moisture so you don’t have to water as often. The mulch gradually breaks down and adds to the soil, as the seeds germinate and grow.
Planting starts like lettuce is easy as pulling back the straw, poking a hole in the cardboard, placing the little plant in, and pushing back the straw. This works even in heavy soils. Allow the greenery of the plant starts to barely come above the mulch, even gently pulling off an older leaf to stimulate growth.
When it comes to weeding, it is a simple matter of snipping the emerging greenery and leaving it to add to the mulch. The idea is to not let the weeds go to the flowering stage where they would quickly go to seed.
At the time of harvest, you take a head of lettuce, for example, and would just cut the head off and leave the roots. The lettuce will continue to produce some leaves till the first frost that you may continue to harvest and use.
Over winter the roots will die and add to the soil. When harvesting beans or tomatoes, you take the fruit; pull the greens and leave to break down with the mulch. No composting this way and no waste.
Learning permaculture is possibly one of the most responsible skills any homeowner and gardener could learn and as you can see it isn’t like learning rocket science. Take a strong back and a rake to the garden next spring.
Increase Your Insight With Permaculture Courses
Anyone desiring to educate themselves in skills in how to “go green” would want to add one more course to their roster: permaculture. Here you will learn the world-altering techniques of how we can change the course of mankind just by a few simple changes in how we work in the landscape.
By taking classes on permaculture you would benefit from lessons learned from nature, the ecosystem, and how we humans act to work with it all. You can avail yourself of books, community college courses, and on-site laboratory type classes. Any way you look at it, you can learn just how you can become part of the solution.
Many books have been written on the subject of permaculture and its variations. “The One-Straw Revolution” by Masanobu Fukuoka, is a “bible” to many students of permaculture. This man, like his peers, quietly went about doing or mimicking what he saw in nature.
Ruth Stout wrote the “No-work Garden Book” an amazing look at how one woman proved how simple and sensible permaculture gardening is. While her neighbor’s plants died of frosts, hers survived due to the insulated type of mulching she practiced in her garden.
From time to time, local colleges offer non-credit courses on topics of interest to the members of the community. Permaculture is fast becoming a popular evening and weekend course offering. Just check your local community college to see if yours has anything along those lines.
Yet another choice for the more “physically inclined” is to participate in a hands-on internship type program sponsored by one of many eco-village type co-ops. Here you are instructed by those knowledgeable in their field and you get to get practical, hands-on experience.
You can choose to stay a week or a month or more as you volunteer on the land. Often you will work side by side with veterans and activists from all over the world. Here, you will be part of whatever process is going on at the time you participate – from plot planning, soil prep, and planting, to ongoing garden maintenance and harvest.
It’s very likely you’ll eat of the produce of your labors and even participate in its preparation. You will be part of a group that has the satisfaction of knowing they’re keeping the seeds of change alive. Take a look on the Internet for permaculture communities and co-ops to see what choices are available to you.
The Benefits of Being a Permaculture Activist
When you know something is a good thing to do, it’s hard not to take an active part in the process and promotion of it. Permaculture, while a very quiet and rather peaceful group of people, has its voice too. Take a look through the following list to get an idea of what benefits there are to participating as a permaculture activist:
Knowing that you are part of important work – something bigger than yourself. Taking care to work with the intelligence of nature and the built-in wisdom of the earth, we can affect positive changes a little at a time.
Knowing you are providing a sustainable future for your children and grandchildren—instead of living in a short-sighted way for today and now, we can be a part of our children’s future by low impact living, gardening, and responsible use of resources.
Being part of a group that stands for less dependence on foreign oil and using domestic oil in a more responsible way—no need for the expensive fossil fuel-guzzling trucks and machinery when you use permaculture garden techniques.
Encourages less pollution due to less dependence on trucks used in the transportation of food as well as equipment that uses fuel.
Being a voice in your community and eventually, your state government can have a ripple effect once people realize it is not just an odd movement by “earth muffins” but a true and sensible way to live.
Allows you to participate in a true revolution that positively affects the community and the world —growing your own food is a satisfying pursuit and gives real power into your hand knowing that you can look out your back window and see your family’s food source right in your own yard.
Actively striving for better quality food—it makes sense that the food you grow on your own land will have better quality nutrition not to mention taste. You have more control over what goes on and in your soil.
Being ready to take a lead in your community when difficult times do come. Your knowledge of permaculture will be at the very core of the survival of whole neighborhoods and surrounding communities.
While permaculture won’t rock the world, it can quietly infuse and give hope to those who have so long lived in a selfish, push-button, disposable world. You can be part of the biggest little movement in modern times. And when the time comes, you and your children will be part of raising human awareness and education of men and women that survive the fall of the Industrial Era.
Prepper Basics for Growing Your Own Garden? Putting aside canned foods for future use is a good idea. But before that food supply runs out, you’ll need another way to take care of your family’s food needs. That’s why many preppers use gardens.
Growing your own food for your family is a great way to stretch the budget, eat wholesome foods and prepare for the future. You don’t have to have acres of land to plant and harvest the foods from a garden.
You can start a garden anywhere you live – even if you happen to live in an apartment. If you live somewhere, space is limited; you can create a garden in containers. But if you have a nice plot of land where you can plant, you need to choose the location wisely because plants have to have sunlight to survive.
Prepper Basics for Growing Your Own Garden
A garden also has to have good soil. Use organic fertilizer to enrich your soil before planting. You can have your soil tested before you start planting if you want to make sure that it’s healthy enough to sustain a garden.
Irrigation and drainage are important. You’ll want to make sure the area where you plant your garden isn’t in an area that holds standing water in heavy rainfall. If the water has difficulty running off, it can drown the plants.
Positioning is everything. Write down the foods you want to plant and how much of it you’ll need. Check out the climate zone for your area. This will help you learn what kinds of gardening foods will grow best in your area.
Will the plants get along with each other?
Make sure the plants you choose can be good neighbors. The types of food you decide to plant need to be placed in conjunction with their compatibility with other plants. Some plants will make it more difficult for other plants to survive, so separate them.
Some preppers plant a garden using seeds, while others use starter plants. If you want to be able to keep replanting your garden from seeds, then you’ll need to buy the heirloom ones since they’ll last for many replants.
What planting style?
You can plant your garden using rows, or you can use the raised bed method. There are pros and cons to each method. By simply using rows, you don’t have to create the raised beds.
But with raised beds, you can easily keep track of what food is in what location, and you won’t have to worry about one food shadowing another food. Raised beds also make it easy to harvest the foods when it’s time for them to be picked, and if something goes wrong in one raised bed, it won’t wipe out the entire garden.
Planning Your Prepper Garden According to Your Region
This is important when considering Prepper Basics for Growing Your Own Garden. Gardening is not the same in every state. If you’ve ever planted food in your garden and had it fail, you may have made the mistake of planting foods that are outside your region. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a map that can help show preppers which foods will grow the best in their region and when they should be planted.
Whether you buy seeds or plants, foods are labeled by their hardiness. Those labels are referring to the specific areas of a state where the plant will thrive. There are eleven regions divided by temperature into zones 1 through 11.
Southern states are divided by whether the area is coastal and tropical and whether they fall under the upper, lower, or middle South zone. A state can be all of one particular region or a mixture of two or three. For example, Florida’s region is entirely coastal and tropical, while South Carolina is a blend of coastal and tropical and lower and middle South.
Some states are located in the Southwestern Deserts region. California is divided into zones by whether it’s northern or southern California, and divided b coastal regions and inland valleys.
The Pacific Northwest is a region, and the Western Mountains and High Plains is another. The remaining regions are the Northern Central Midwest, the Middle Atlantic, and the New England Region.
To locate your region, look on the USDA map for your state, and it will tell you what zone you’re in. The map will also tell you when to plant your garden. When planting a survival garden, you want to plant what will grow well in your region.
Grain and corn can grow well in almost all the regions, as will beans and peas. You can grow staples such as oats and barley, as well as tomatoes. Potatoes and carrots grow easily in most regions.
Cabbage, lettuce, and squash make excellent foods for gardening as well. Broccoli and herbs should be in a survival garden, and you don’t want to forget to grow fruits for making jams and jellies and for use in pies and other desserts. Fruits from the berry family (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries) are easily grown. Don’t forget to plant a section for herbs.
Almost everything you grow in a garden, fruits, and vegetables, can be scanned and safely stored as long as you make sure the food boils for at least 10 minutes. Foods that you can from your garden can keep for years; they’re healthier for you and will hold their fresh taste. Survivalist Seeds Are Vital to Long-Term Nutritional Needs
When there are no longer ways to purchase the foods needed for long term survival, you will have an alternative solution. The best solution is to have seeds that can be harvested from the foods grown and replanted again. These kinds of seeds can continually provide for your family year after year.
Picking the type of seeds you’ll want can be done in one of two ways. You can individually choose the seeds you want, or you can buy them in prepackaged containers. What you’ll want to look for are seeds that are clearly labeled as survival or heirloom seeds.
You want to be specific with this because these are the seeds that are packaged in a way so that their viability is guaranteed. Whichever seed choice you make, be sure that you look for ones that say they’re hermetically stored.
The way they’re packaged will keep them safe no matter when you need to open the container. They also continue to produce food gardens. You want these continually producing seeds because when there is no access to grocery stores and the types of prepackaged foods we get now if you plant seeds once and that’s it, you’ll be in trouble.
You can choose individually according to the types of seeds you get. You can buy vegetables in one group of seeds and fruits in another. You can also purchase what’s called medicinal seeds. These are seeds that will produce plants that are well known to treat specific ailments.
Some people, however, choose to create their own survivalist seed supply rather than buying them. If you decide to do this, you’ll have to follow a few rules. Don’t use wet seeds.
The seeds must be completely dry before you store them. The storage containers you use are vitally important. You have to protect the seeds from the ability to grow fungus, from marauding insects and animals, and heat.
For the best results, you’ll want to store your seeds in glass containers. You’ll want to maintain the right temperature for the seeds, and remember that some seeds can handle a colder storage temperature while others can’t.
Light and humidity will negatively impact a seed’s ability to produce a viable plant. You want to keep the seed’s temperature-controlled below 50 degrees and remember that while some seeds can last in storage for up to six years and still produce a crop, other seeds can’t. You’ll want to do a seed rotation to check and make sure that the seeds are still good before you need them.
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