• Blog

    The Next Crisis: Food

    There's a reason we've been urging folks to plant a garden
    by Chris Martenson

    Friday, April 17, 2020, 10:09 PM

“Oh crap! Bermuda grass? In my garden space? The kind with underground runners that’s nearly impossible to eliminate except by digging up every single root and rhizome?”

For reasons I cannot fully explain I became absolutely inspired to “find a place” starting last September.

Today, my partner Evie and I are settling in to our new home. We closed on it on January 28th and it took a solid month to move things over from our former residence.

First things first, we set about correcting a decade’s worth of deferred maintenance. The furnace relay switch was quite dodgy, the gravel on the driveway was way past due for replenishment, the gutters leaked, and the apple trees were in desperate need of pruning.

Now that it’s April, I find myself every day — after my research and writing is done of course — out in the old garden space, digging new beds and turning over every square inch of the soil. Not because I want to, but because some misguided former owner thought planting Bermuda grass in the garden was a good idea.

This is the sort of grass that spreads to new horizons with meaty underground rhizomes that can spread ridiculously far from the parent plant. Arggh!

Oh, and the new chicken house, predator-proofed with hardware cloth on every possible entry point, had to be set up, too.

The list of needed improvements seem to stretch as far as the eye can see. An insurmountable pile of tasks that will be required to raise it to our high standards of creating a place of lasting beauty and abundance.

Right now? It’s a barely-dented tapestry of a thousand projects. You might be unimpressed if you took stock of all that we haven’t tackled yet.

But in a year? Or two? You’ll be mighty impressed.

And if you ask me then the how this place got to be so beautiful, I’ll tell you our secret.

Persistence

By simply doing the next thing, by doing something constructive every day, by being thoughtful and forward thinking, everything eventually gets done somehow.

Simple persistence is the secret. Well, it’s my secret. I tend to just keep chugging along rather than trying to get massive things done in huge bursts.

Turning over twenty-five shovels of dirt every day is vastly easier than setting aside a half a Saturday to turn over 175 shovels full.

Here we all are in a pandemic, that is going to require lots and lots of persistence. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Things will never be ‘the same’ again. In some respects, good riddance. In other cases, we can mourn what we lost. Both are valid.

One battle we must all wage is staying on point, focused on the many new things that need doing, without growing weary of the tasks, wishing for a return to the past.

My job, my commitment to you and to my subscribers, is to stay focused on the bigger world, digging through the science and the news to bring you actionable information weeks if not months before the media and other cultural gatekeeper have caught on to it.

For whatever reason, I am built for that task and I have an enormous capacity for it, and a persistence to match. Just as I can assure you every single blade and rhizome of the Bermuda grass in our garden space will be gone at some point in the future, I’ll keep reading and scouring the news that might help you navigate this brand new, and very tricky period of time.

A Coming Food Crisis?

I’ve been telling people to “plant a garden” in my daily videos.  There’s a specific sound reason for this.

You may have heard about the lack of workers to plant and harvest veggies, and we’ve read about the shuttering of meat packing plants.

But are you also aware of the ominous rumblings of an increasing number of nations making preparations for the possible loss of food imports?  National ‘food hoarding’ is popping up on my radar screen.

This is why I released a warning to PeakProsperity.com’s premium subscribers last night, in my report The Next Brewing Crisis.

As I look around my new property and its good bones for food production, I’m stunned that we managed to make it here in the nick of time, driven and guided by some force I can’t quite explain.

I encourage you to use the time we have now to similarly work on increasing your own food supply resilience. Plant a garden. Join a CSA. Deepen your pantry. Even relocate if you must.

Sometimes, I find information that is best kept behind a paywall, and out of wider public view. Sometimes it’s not quite ready for prime time but might still be useful. Sometimes it’s an incendiary subject that our detractors would be only too happy to take out of context and use against us. Sometimes it might spawn a conversation also best left out of the reach of internet trolls and other unhelpful eyes.

This is such a time. Read The Next Brewing Crisis if you haven’t already

~ Chris Martenson

Related content
» More

119 Comments

  • Fri, Apr 17, 2020 - 10:23pm

    #1
    nordicjack

    nordicjack

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Feb 03 2020

    Posts: 736

    3

    Bermuda grass

    Yeah that is that invasive kind of stuff that you cant even pull out.   However, i'd take that in a heart beat for a piece of land that I could grow something on.  I have a small lot, that has way too much shade and too sloped but that is easier to correct.  Lighting I cannot.  Also, wildlife would be a challenge as well.   I am all indoor with hydroponics and lights. Someone would think I am dealing Pot.. if they saw all the hydroponic equipment I have purchased in the last couple mos.   I still don't have enough - or enough space.  Its time to build a greenhouse.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Apr 17, 2020 - 10:41pm

    #2
    raineyleigh

    raineyleigh

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 31 2020

    Posts: 4

    3

    The Next Crisis

    That was wonderful to read Chris. Also inspiring! We have been in our own home for 3 years now and are only just deciding to redo a long lost vege patch that nature took over. We have Kikuyu grass (in Australia) which sounds similar to Bermuda grass. Thank you for talking about persistance. Sometimes I stand at the mess of a garden and it just overwhelms me. But I certainly can do a corner, and then another corner and just do it bit by bit, day by day. Thanks for all you do. My husband, who is too smart for his own good usually, admires your approach to everything you do. Best wishes to Evie and your new home. Thanks again.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Apr 17, 2020 - 10:42pm

    raineyleigh

    raineyleigh

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 31 2020

    Posts: 4

    0

    raineyleigh said:

    Hi from Aussie nordicjack ... there are many things you can still plant in shade including herbs. Good luck with everything and stay well.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Fri, Apr 17, 2020 - 11:03pm

    #4
    bow_to_no_man

    bow_to_no_man

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 25 2020

    Posts: 2

    14

    Chickens, cardboard and woodchips

    My wife is quite the edible forest and permaculturist. I am in awe of what she does. People are now touring our farm and the local college extension Master gardener program brings students to our place. She thinks turning or tilling is not the best approach. From what I understand, she would have had the chickens eat the grass while they fertilize it, then place cardboard over the area and put wood chips on top. She builds amazing soil that rich and organic. Abundance is a result. Research what Geoff Lowton has done in Jordan - Palestine and Australia; Daniel Halsey Integrated Food Forest and Paul Gaulchy Back To Eden/the original film. All the best.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 1:17am

    #5
    NathanLJ

    NathanLJ

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 14 2020

    Posts: 1

    3

    Bermuda grass is truly the Devil's grass

    I empathize with your plight, Chris.  I battled Bermuda grass 30 yrs ago on a property I had in NC.  For your sake, I hope it's limited enough that you can totally eradicate it (with a huge amount of work, no doubt).  Otherwise it will haunt you forever.  And as to getting rid of it by deep mulch and the like?  Ha!  It will laugh at you as it builds its rhizomes under all that and comes out stronger than ever.  It is truly hell to deal with.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 4:47am

    #6
    Stephanie Romero

    Stephanie Romero

    Status: Member

    Joined: Dec 12 2019

    Posts: 10

    3

    Stephanie Romero said:

    This post was needed. We have our homestead in Vermont and we are about to tackle our garden that is overgrown with weeds today. It all feels so overwhelming. And the chickens arrive on Tuesday. I simultaneously feel like we have come so far on one hand and on the other there is still so much we don't know. And there are days when it's too much and I do nothing. But yes doing at least a little everyday should help us focus without getting overwhelmed.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 4:54am

    New England Jane

    New England Jane

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 21 2020

    Posts: 1

    2

    New England Jane said:

    @nordicjack Hi there!  We have a lot of shade in our yard as well, but I just watched a great video by this guy out in San Diego about getting food out of shady garden.  He lives on a small city lot with some shade himself.  He had some great ideas.  Also had a great micro greens video as well.  His channel is Epic Gardening on You Tube.  Take care and good luck!

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 5:12am

    #8
    RadixFunxNutrition

    RadixFunxNutrition

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 12 2020

    Posts: 5

    13

    SOLUTION: Bermuda Grass and other rhizomes

    After farming organically, teaching/professionally consulting on Permaculture for over 20 yrs., in my experience, the simplest, MOST effective (and very low tech) means of removing rhizomes like Bermuda grass is use of a silage tarp. Place it over the area you want to eradicate the stuff from (my issue has always been creeping Charlie —ground ivy). Depending on the season you place the tarp, in the absence of light, the rhizomes will burn themselves out trying to grow in the dark —sometimes in just a matter of weeks.

    Good luck!

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 5:24am

    #9
    karen is a farmer

    karen is a farmer

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 24 2020

    Posts: 27

    10

    Persistence is the key!

    My story is similar to yours Chris as I too felt “compelled” and a little obsessed with buying a farm with a 1000 endless projects!! But 15 Years later I am still here, I am still digging, I am still growing and it’s a stunningly beautiful place I’ve created, one shovel at a time! There have been times I’ve wanted to sell I felt so overwhelmed and there are times like today there’s no way in hell I would ever sell no matter what the price was! What a beautiful journey you’ve embraced!! And I look forward to your evolving story!

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 5:55am

    #10
    Onward

    Onward

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 18 2020

    Posts: 4

    7

    spices from other countries

    It's always a good idea to have your spice cabinet stocked full of the things you like to use.  Do you have a good supply of black pepper, cinnamon, etc.?  The prices might go up or the products might become less available as workers are unable to harvest or trade becomes more difficult.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 6:04am

    #11
    Steve61

    Steve61

    Status: Member

    Joined: Oct 20 2018

    Posts: 9

    8

    Consider haskaps!!!

    loved the post on food security. We have a rural property just north of Kingston , Ontario and started developing the property from a permaculture perspective over ten years ago. One very successful crop we planted is haskap, a very hardy super berry that has a higher orac value than blueberries. The unknown advantages include fro your perspective Chris is that deer are not interested in them and they are almost maintenance free. They also begin to produce berries in their second year. I encourage you to look into them as it sounds like your property would be perfect for them.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 6:12am

    #12

    Olduvai.ca

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jan 08 2014

    Posts: 14

    9

    Supply Chain Fragility and Chasing the Infinite Growth Chalice

    I have been attempting to highlight the susceptibility of my home province, Ontario, to food supply chain interruptions and lack of 'control' for a number of years. We so long ago overshot the natural carrying capacity of our region that we now rely almost exclusively on food imports (about 90%) to feed our population. What food is grown on our limited and quickly disappearing arable lands (thanks to chasing the infinite growth chalice and paving over farmlands for more and more suburban housing) is primarily for industrial production of corn and soybean for animal feed and the ethanol industry, that, of course, depletes the soil of very important fertility.

    Early on in this crisis our provincial premier assured the populace that our grocery stores would remain well stocked and that our food supply chains were strong and assured--of course, I put little to no stock in such promises being primarily for political narrative creation rather than a reflection of reality. I have already witnessed relatively significant stock shortfalls in every grocery store I have frequented over the past month (and even some before this pandemic).

    I have a few neighbours that have taken it upon themselves to begin their first forays into food gardening and have sought some advice since I've been on this path for almost a decade, but the vast majority of people have perhaps been in denial and done little to nothing in this regard. They've bought a few more groceries than usual and put most faith/hope into life returning to 'normal'.

    The political 'leaders' I have discussed our food security needs and associated concerns with over the years have mostly been deflective (pointing the finger and responsibility at 'higher' authorities) and continue with their primary concerns of economic and population growth—probably one of the primary reasons I have lost complete faith in the sociopolitical system to rectify the issues. I'm hopeful, but not holding my breath, that a paradigm shift of a productive type (especially of food production) will occur with the Covid-19 pandemic and we will recognise that complex systems, especially long-distance supply chains (particularly with regard to food), are prone to disruptive fragilities that are often outside of our worldview/schema/perspective/paradigm and arrive as Black Swan events. We are always better to be prepared for an unknowable future and hope for the best than to put hope before preparation as so many do.

    Good luck to everyone in this time of upheaval. And thank you Peak Prosperity for keeping us informed and focused on those things that are important to our families.

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 7:26am

    #13

    Matt Holbert

    Status: Member

    Joined: Oct 03 2008

    Posts: 104

    4

    Don't rototill rhizome grasses...

    It makes them thrive. When we moved onto a new property in 2016, we could not wait to take out the weeds and grasses that were in the backyard and go 100% fruit and vegetable garden. I quickly rototilled the 5000 s.f. or so. (We attempted to rake out all the rhizomes but obviously missed a few) The quack grass (couch grass) came back with a vengeance this year -- and its entwined with things like raspberries and asparagus. So much so that I'm now thinking that I should have gotten rid of it with a non-organic solution at the start. Other invasive plants -- such as bugloss and thistle -- have been fairly easy to control. We have spent days this spring digging out the quack grass.

    Last spring I attended a Backyard Conservation program at the local conservation district. The instructor on invasive plants indicated that one should use glyphosate -- maybe twice -- on quack grass before rototilling. Each chopped up piece of rhizome quickly grows into an entirely new rhizome system. He was right.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 7:29am

    #14
    vshelford

    vshelford

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Jul 13 2014

    Posts: 165

    3

    Persistence it is, for gardens, and when you need HELP

    Great to hear about how the gardens are going,  Chris and all.

    Chris, we were inspired as you were, 32 years ago.  Persistence never loses its value,  but at least you eventually beat back the Bermuda grass.  Just think what a great start all that digging will give your new plantings.   I know that isn't the permaculture way,  but if you want a garden this year, I doubt there's any way around it.  At least for the first garden.  You can try killing it off with tarps or whatever in an area designated for a future growing area.  If you succeed,  please let us all know!  That stuff has staying power.

    Nordicjack, it'll be interesting to hear how your hydroponics project develops.   It's not something we hear so much about here,  but it will be an important part of future growing,  I suspect.

    I'm having to find homes for some flowers which will have to give way to veg this year.  Can't just plant them anywhere,  or they're as good as dead from the deer.   Most of my neighbors are in the same boat.   So I'll try intermingling any i can't give away,  in the veg rows and see what happens.

    Gardens are the happiest places in the world - even a basement "grow-op" - just growing things is fantastically good for the spirit.  So really looking forward to hearing how everyone is doing over this pivotal year.

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 8:55am

    #15
    BeeFarmer

    BeeFarmer

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 14 2020

    Posts: 16

    1

    Inexpensive compost and weed barriers

    We buy inexpensive trailer loads of horse manure with sawdust shavings.  Some of it sits to compost and some goes right on the pathways next to the raised bed gardens, raspberries and blueberries.  This helps to suppress the weeds.  We also add fresh cow manure/hay, grass clippings, and straw.  Whatever we have available at the time.  This produces great soil that then will get scooped into the raised beds.  It’s a win/win for us.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 9:02am

    #16
    Stephanie Wang

    Stephanie Wang

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jan 15 2020

    Posts: 2

    3

    Movie for Inspiration: The Biggest Little Farm

    Hi Chris, Adam and community, if you have not yet watched this film, it is a gem, entertaining, and informative and filled with humanity : The Biggest Little Farm. It's a documentary that is shot beautifully about a couple that leaves the city to start a farm. Available on youtube, hulu, amazon prime and other outlets.  It is going to inspire anyone to go out and grow things.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 9:49am

    #17
    Onward

    Onward

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 18 2020

    Posts: 4

    2

    The Biggest Little Farm

    Thanks Stephanie for telling us about the film, The Biggest Little Farm.  I found the preview here and am eager to watch it tonight.

    My husband and I are way beyond the age where we could consider farming, but thanks to Chris and Adam, we began seriously upgrading our ability to do suburban gardening.  We're doing quite a bit with 3.5, 5 and 30 gallon container gardening for the first time because that's more manageable for us.  Have also converted more areas for tomatoes and beans, and currently are doing a lot of indoor window containers for lettuce and starter plants (zone 6).

    Before my computer crashed a few years ago, I was a member here and followed lots of the posts.  Then I lost my password and didn't pick up on participating in discussions until recently.  Thanks to Chris, we were able to begin preparing for the pandemic back in January 2020.  We watch his Youtube videos daily.   What a gift of knowledge he shares with all of us -- very much appreciated!

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 10:59am

    #18
    Mike Anderson

    Mike Anderson

    Status: Member

    Joined: Nov 25 2019

    Posts: 9

    4

    My resilient neighborhood

    Fifteen years ago I bought my rural parcel of land to become more resilient, and I’ve come a long way toward that goal. The consideration that made me decide for this neighborhood over another is that out of a dozen neighbors, ten of them are enthusiastic about local food production. Of the two who aren’t, one of them will soon be moving to the city to be closer to health care facilities and will be replaced by a professional hide tanner. If one of them dies or moves away, they are replaced by others who also have enthusiasm for the land. Almost all of us have gardens for vegetables and berries, about half have mature fruit trees, three have chickens, three often have livestock for milk or meat, several have kept bees, some regularly go fishing for food, and one poaches deer. Several of them (I won’t include myself) have prickly personalities, so I don’t expect to be able to trade with all of them. They’re out here to get away from people and their rules. But if there were a hard quarantine of just our neighborhood with the surrounding forest, we’d probably be just fine for several months until some critical irrigation parts failed or the power went out to our freezers.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 11:20am

    #19
    richo27

    richo27

    Status: Member

    Joined: Dec 22 2012

    Posts: 6

    1

    Creeping grass

    For creeping grass in an in-the-ground garden, run a 2X6 buried vertically all around the perimeter of your garden with its top at ground level.  This will prevent most grass from creeping in around the edges.  Overlap the ends of the individual boards a few inches, put a bead of silicon-seal between, and put a few 3 in. deck screws in the joint.  Also, put silicon seal over any knots or cracks.  They work much better than the plastic edging.  Best is treated lumber, but if you do not like that, use rot resistant lumber like cedar or redwood. 

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 11:23am

    #20
    richo27

    richo27

    Status: Member

    Joined: Dec 22 2012

    Posts: 6

    4

    Shade gardening.

    The best thing I have found for very shady spots is raspberries.  I have been growing raspberries in deep shade of over 50 years, and they actually seem to prefer it.  Peas will also tolerate it somewhat.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 12:08pm

    #21
    VeganDB12

    VeganDB12

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Jul 18 2008

    Posts: 235

    0

    sprouting/apartment dwellers

    I know the risks of sprouting but have had pretty good luck with it so far, I am attentive to them and use very clean equipment. Given that I have an awful lot of beans here I may try out sprouting various beans to make lower carb versions of bean dishes and try making tortillas out of them as well. My planters can hold flowers (essential spiritually maybe not for food) and fresh herbs.  Outdoor gardening won't be possible without hired help and a new home, money for which recently went out the window this month to cover business overhead.   Fortunately my stores will get me through the rest of the year and will allow time to plan relocation if needed.  Options will be fewer, the flight out of New York this spring has already happened.  In general though, relocation seems like the best plan since this may go on for a very long time.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 12:30pm

    #22
    Vernon Hamilton

    Vernon Hamilton

    Status: Member

    Joined: Sep 12 2016

    Posts: 4

    3

    Vernon Hamilton said:

    Your comment about tenacity, persistance, patience etc, is exactly right. simply keep at it. You demonstrate that quality in all your work.

    I guess I am about 25 years ahead of you on this road, we got our place - in dire condition, much as you are now engaged with - and today, exactly as you predict, you would not believe what it looked like back then.  Getting old is the only real impediment  to this program i've encountered.

    oh - and that includes de-grass rooting all the garden beds thoroughly at the start of every single year - mitigating but never eliminating it.

    reflective plastic mulch helps alot, though of course we rue the use of disposable plastic.

    one last thing - Helen and Scott Nearing were our guiding lights decades ago, and still worth a read.

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 12:51pm

    #23
    green_achers

    green_achers

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jan 03 2009

    Posts: 51

    3

    Sheet mulch

    Sheet mulch really works. I use cardboard (several layers of the biggest sheets you can find-think refrigerator boxes), with leaves, straw, compost, or whatever other organic matter you can find piled on top. Just leave it for a while. Plant potatoes on top of the cardboard for a crop the first year, or cut little holes in it and plant tomatoes.

    Well, that, and those chickens. Build yourself a movable pen and use them as a roving weed-killing horde.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 12:55pm

    #24
    Torii

    Torii

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 03 2020

    Posts: 35

    4

    Do the Next Thing

    I’m interested to know two things:

    First, is anyone keeping rabbits? I understand their pellets can go directly onto the garden without seasoning or composting. As swift converters of crap food into available quality protein, rabbits seem like a smart choice.

    Also, what books and resources have guided you experienced homesteaders? I found Charles Dowding’s no-dig video series on YT and took many notes. I often enjoy the research and inspiration more than the execution, so I need to post Chris’ reminder where I see it each day: Do the Next Thing!

    Our early spring greens and herbs produce amazing cut-and-come-again salads, and we will harvest tender Swiss chard for frittatas and gratins this weekend. So satisfying!

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 1:07pm

    #25
    Penguin Will

    Penguin Will

    Status: Member

    Joined: Aug 20 2019

    Posts: 60

    4

    Penguin Will said:

    It looks like we have quite a few folks who have been on the gardening path for quite a while. It is nice to hear, and daunting at the same time. My wife and I truly enjoy growing the garden together.

    I believe that it is a really good thing for practically everyone to grow some of the things they eat. I believe that will all my heart..... but I think for this to be truly be of use a couple of things have to be overcome. One of them is related to our mindsets. And I'm a victim of it myself.

    Why are you growing a garden? If it is to help to feed yourself and your family that is a whole different game than growing for the pleasure of seeing things grow and reward your hard work. I lost touch with my hillbilly roots and have been growing a garden of "nice to haves" while the calories have been lacking. Do I need 35 tomato plants each year?

    This is OK as long as you are growing things that can cheaply be turned into nutritious meals. It allows you to makes some really great meals cheaply. And in all likelihood I'll never live to see the day that dried beans, pasta, and rice become unavailable for long periods. So maybe growing what you need to turn those staples into a nutritious and good tasting menu is the right game-plan after all? I don't believe many people are in a position to grow even half of their caloric intake.

    I'm probably just confusing everyone but I have given these things a good bit of thought over the last couple months. And I'm adding a row of potatoes and cutting out one row of sugar snap peas. I pruned some of the better legacy trees that came on the place. Hopefully we have a good season for fruit. I'm taking steps but man they seem like they are so tiny compared to what real food independence would take!

    Will

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 1:09pm

    #26

    David Huang

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Jan 20 2010

    Posts: 84

    5

    Jerusalem artichokes

    Glad to hear you are getting your new garden going Chris.  I'm sure it will be wonderful.  Today I'm outside working on building a new hugelkulture bed, and clearing a bunch of dead, rotting, potential forest fire fuel out of a wooded section of my property at the same time.

    I wanted to mention a plant that can be an abundant source of food even with utter neglect after it is planted.  That is Jerusalem artichokes, sometimes also called sunchokes.  It's basically something you can plant once and keep harvesting  year after year, best kept in their own section since it would actually be hard to not get them back each year.  They form an underground tuber late in the fall which is what is harvested.  One never seems to get all the tubers which is why they keep coming back.

    Many lucky people can eat them raw with no issues.  In that form they are more like water chestnuts.  They are also often called fartichokes because for others of us there is a starch, inulin, in them our guts have difficulty breaking down which can result in some of the most painful bloating and monumentally explosive gas!  Yes, I'm one of these unlucky people.  However, I seem to have discovered the trick to preparing them so even I can eat them, opening up this easy, hugely abundant food crop to me.  First I don't harvest them until early spring, around now in my region near the Great Lakes.  This lets more of the inulin naturally break down over the winter.  However, the real key seems to be then cooking them in a pressure cooker like an Instapot for a significant amount of time (I've been doing an hour) until they basically break down to mush.  Now I need to develop dishes to use this in, but I'm so pleased to have found a way I can eat these without exploding because they are an easy abundant calorie source I can grow at home.  It's something others might want to consider.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 1:18pm

    #27

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 1047

    2

    Thank you David

    Really good tips on the Sun-chokes.  I am experimenting to see if they will grow in Alaska.  So glad to have the info on - - side effects. Lol

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 2:34pm

    #28
    TWalker5

    TWalker5

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 13 2020

    Posts: 42

    3

    Inspiration

    Count me in with all of you working your gardens. We moved to a semi-rural location about 9 years ago and with great enthusiasm started a raised bed garden, fruit trees, and layers. But we lost steam over time as jobs, aging parents, and complacency got in the way.

    Thanks to the pandemic and Chris’s consistent prompting, we are back on the train!  Baby chicks are under the heat lamp, fruit trees are pruned and we’ve planted carrots, radishes and broccoli so far.  However, we have a ton of work left to do.  Of our six 4x8 beds only two are currently usable.  But we’ll get there. I loved the line in the article about turning 25 shovels per day instead of trying to do 175 on Saturday. The latter has been my m.o. which undoubtedly contributed to getting away from gardening for a while. From here on, I’m on the 25 shovels a day plan!

    T.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 2:39pm

    David Huang

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Jan 20 2010

    Posts: 84

    2

    More easy abundant food plants to grow

    You are welcome AKGranny.  I hope the sun-chokes do grow for you in Alaska.  I've never heard one way or the other about that.  I know they are native to Michigan where I am, but don't know if their potential range extends that far north.  Note, wild Jerusalem artichokes have very small tubers.   For food the cultivated types are much preferred.

    While out shoveling a bit more dirt onto my new hugelkulture bed I realized I have an older blog post that might be of interest to some regarding other easy to grow, heavy food producing crops most people don't know or think about.  These being daylilies and common milkweed.  They produce edible parts over a long period of the growing season, if they grow in your region.  ( I don't know if they grow in Alaska.)  Anyway, if anyone is interested here is a link to that blog post titled "Excellent Perennial Vegetables You Can't Buy in Stores".  In it I also cover some of the dishes I've made with them.  Like the sun-chokes beyond the initial planting, and I didn't even plant the milkweed, I can completely ignore these and just harvest tons of food each year.  They compete just fine with my weeds and seem to get enough water from natural rains.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 2:47pm

    #30
    Peter Coleman

    Peter Coleman

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jul 26 2015

    Posts: 1

    5

    Suppressing Weeds

    Chris,

    I can think of three means to deal with the Bermuda grass.  One has been mentioned: silage tarp (or landscaping fabric which is woven plastic that lets water in.  I use it over and over for years to prepare areas for seeding cover crops or row crops.  Just be sure the soil is moist before laying the plastic.  You will need to weigh it down with sand bags, rocks, whatever to keep it from blowing away.)  Second, you can use clear plastic known as "solarizing" where the high heat from the mini greenhouse effect kills not just the growing weeds but also weed seeds.   Apply compost after this to bring the soil back to life.  Third, you can use the "stale bed" method, which involves tilling on a regular basis while the soil is dry and the sun hot.  I have used this to eliminate Quack Grass.  You keep the soil loose and bring the rhizomes to the surface with the tiller, where they dry out.  Again, apply compost after this process, which is hard on soil microbes.

    I am a big fan of cover crops:  oats in the spring or fall, buckwheat in the summer, and winter rye in the fall.  Once you move to cover crops, begin minimum tillage:  shallow disk harrow or power harrow.  Two years of cover crops before row crops work best.  The second year incorporate the legumes.  I like oats and Crimson Clove together sowed in late August to early September (I am in Maine).  Both will winter kill most years and be easy to incorporate ahead of row crops using minimum tillage.  Remember that crop rotation is vital.  Separate you garden areas according to plant families and move them around, returning to the same area only after at least four years.

    Hope this helps.  I have been homesteading in Maine for 47 years.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 2:56pm

    Oliveoilguy

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 826

    3

    Treated lumber

    Richo27....Are you concerned about the toxins in treated lumber? If I remember right some treatments use arsenic and some use borate. I prefer lining beds with cinderblocks that are pretty much forever and non-toxic.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 3:13pm

    #32
    Sparky1

    Sparky1

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Jul 21 2016

    Posts: 753

    7

    OT Hot Tip: "Phantom of the Opera" staged production streaming free this weekend only

    Stream 'The Phantom of the Opera' by Andrew Lloyd Webber for free this weekend only

    "Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera," staged at London's Royal Albert Hall in 2011, is now available to stream free  [here] on YouTube for this weekend only. So grab some snacks, dim the lighting, and get ready to bring Broadway into your living room."

    "The free musical is available on Webber's "The Shows Must Go On" YouTube channel. Viewers are invited to donate to The Actors Fund, which is raising money for Covid-19 Emergency Relief."

    "During these unprecedented times, charitable organizations continue to make heroic efforts to help those affected byCOVID-19," the video begins."

    "The Actors Fund provides emergency financial aid to help cover essential medication costs and basic living expenses to those affected."

    "The organization, which supports performers and behind-the-scenes workers in performing arts and entertainment, has so far raised over $250,000."

    "The musical, starring Ramin Karimloo, Sierra Boggess and Hadley Fraser, will be available on YouTube everywhere until Sunday at 2 p.m. EST. "

    "Universal have come up with the idea of a whole series now called 'The Shows Must Go On,' which is about musicals going from stage to screen and they're going to show one of mine every Friday for the next few weeks," Webber said in his official video announcement of the series."

    "The free musicals began on April 3 with Webber's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat" and "Jesus Christ Superstar" on April 10. The channel also features behind-the-scenes footage and scenes from other musical performances."

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/18/us/phantom-of-the-opera-andrew-lloyd-webber-trnd/index.html

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 4:02pm

    #33
    Vernon Hamilton

    Vernon Hamilton

    Status: Member

    Joined: Sep 12 2016

    Posts: 4

    2

    Vernon Hamilton said:

    running soaker hose under the sheet mulch saves alot of water.

    water is plentiful in New England, but the electricity to pump it is somewhat dear.

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 4:47pm

    Rajkumarijay

    Rajkumarijay

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 08 2020

    Posts: 50

    1

    Haskaps

    Steve61, Thanks for the recommendation. We were planning to clear an area in our yard and plant blueberry bushes this Spring. Living in Northern NH, and on the side of a small mountain, I knew we needed to plant hardy bushes. Learning about the haskap, (never heard of this before), I decided to order some plants from Saskatchewan. The fact that deer don’t like them is a major plus as well. If we are really lucky the rabbits, groundhogs, birds and other wild creatures here will also avoid the . Thank you for a great recommendation. Do you know where I can buy a green thumb? 🙂

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 4:48pm

    #35
    MQ

    MQ

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Oct 13 2011

    Posts: 123

    5

    Yup, what she said...

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 4:48pm

    #36
    sampson1971

    sampson1971

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 19 2020

    Posts: 1

    6

    Warning from Farmers in Canada about food security

    Warning from Farmers in Canada about food security...

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 5:35pm

    #37
    Farm Truck

    Farm Truck

    Status: Member

    Joined: Apr 12 2020

    Posts: 1

    7

    Farm Truck said:

    Gardens are great, but get to know your local farmers and ranchers.  We're raising grass fed Black Angus steers and pasture pigs out here on the high plains of northern Colorado.  Feel free to follow us on fb, https://www.facebook.com/Rusty-Truck-Ranch-110088190556089/?view_public_for=110088190556089.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 6:03pm

    #38
    richo27

    richo27

    Status: Member

    Joined: Dec 22 2012

    Posts: 6

    0

    Cinderblocks

    I would never use cinderblocks.  There is no way you can absolutely seal the space between one cinderblock and another.  If there is even a microscopic space, creeping grass roots will find it. If you have made this work over time in an area with creeping rizominous grass roots, then please let us know your secrets. 

    I would never worry about modern treated lumber.  The arsenic was phased out some years ago and modern treated lumber uses a copper compound as a preservative, and most articles you can google will come down on the side of it being OK to use.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 6:33pm

    #39

    Oliveoilguy

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 826

    3

    More on Treated Lumber

    From Gardens Alive:

    ”The copper is still there, but the other C, chromium (a worrisome metal) and the big A, arsenic are gone; replaced by {quote} "Quaternary ammonium compounds," which an hour or so of research informs me is a form of ammonium chloride (as in ammonia and chlorine). I'm not wild about either of those elements, especially chlorine, which helped kill millions when used as a component of trench gas in World War I. And although this compound seems to be close to ubiquitous in household products, there appears to no data on its potential carcinogenicity, tera to genicity or mutagencity (translation: Potential to cause cancer, birth defects and mutations).

    It's probably a big improvement over arsenic treated wood, whose health effects were clearly dire. But it's highly corrosive to certain metals, leading me to worry about its effects on soil life.”

    Image result for quaternary ammonium

    www.sciencedirect.com
    Quats (quaternary ammonium compounds) are potent disinfectant chemicals commonly found in disinfectant wipes, sprays and other household cleaners that are designed to kill germs. It is often the stuff that allows a product to claim to be antibacterial, as they are certified by the EPA as pesticides.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 6:35pm

    #40
    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: May 17 2017

    Posts: 794

    7

    Bermuda grass lol

    Well I guess we won't be seeing you around these parts for awhile if you are going to war with Bermuda. lol

    I have a friend who is a commercial grower and he had Bermuda. He sold the farm and bought another one. Of course he was in production and did not have the time to deal with it.

    One thing I have done is go to the lumber yards and get as many lumber wrappers as I can haul. These are the tarps that bundles of lumber are wrapped with for shipping. The lumber yards are happy to get rid of them. I have been dumpster diving for them for decades. They have lots of uses around the "farm". They are great for covering firewood,tarping down loads on a trailer but I use them for getting rid of weeds and of course Bermuda. They usually are white on one side and black on the other. I put is black side up and weight it down with mulch. (i used to use cardboard but I have a big area and getting that much cardboard and weighting it down is a pain.) The Bermuda rhizomes tend to stay pretty close to the surface under the wrappers which makes them pretty easy to pull up. 30% vinegar, dish soap and epsom salt spray works real well.  Vinegar is my go to for weed control. I can't believe anyone here would use glyphosate. I would rather have weeds than a screwed up gut biome.

    I have a wonderful stand of bamboo. I know most people hate it but as Albert Bates says the best way to control it is eat it.  It is free you don't have to water it , fertilize it prune it or weed it. Just harvest it and cook it. It also gives you lots of poles to do millions of things with.

    One thing I highly recommend for anyone anywhere is Shitakes. They are not just food but an excellent medicine. They are easy to grow even in an apartment. You can dry them for use at a later date. They keep really well.

    Bermuda lol

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 6:46pm

    #41
    Janie-em

    Janie-em

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 05 2020

    Posts: 43

    9

    How do you eat an elephant?

    One bite at a time.

    "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

    I thought of you all today when I went back outside to work on the garden. It IS a grind, particularly with people in my family who don't think there will be food shortages, and see no particular reason to grow our own food, or prepare with a deep pantry. I am mocked as an alarmist and a hoarder, as I work every day to get the pantry done and the garden in.

    It's interesting though, as soon as I go outside, in the warm spring sunshine and start to work, almost everything else falls away. Of much more interest is a persistent (that word again) robin who follows me as I dig up the soil, to eat the fat grubs just underneath the surface. He had a good meal today! I'm grateful for the earth and robins and elephants/grubs.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sat, Apr 18, 2020 - 6:52pm

    karenchantal

    karenchantal

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Feb 06 2020

    Posts: 93

    4

    awesome!

    Plant that garden!  Everybody said I was alarmist, and who is da bitch giving out cloth face masks now?  I'm dat bitch, lol.

    And if you don't need your pantry now, you have your stuff for the next storm/quake/alien invasion.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 4:40am

    #43

    LesPhelps

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 639

    6

    Next Crisis

    The next crisis will also include increased homelessness and people without money, or financial resources.  I expect increased violence, burglary and theft.

    People are going to be desperate and angry.

    I can feed myself, somewhat, but not my neighbor and his kids.  That won’t work so well.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 6:21am

    Oliveoilguy

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 826

    3

    Food Crisis Vegetable Tithing

    Spot on Les!

    We are trying to make our charitable giving happen in the form of food. I have delivered some boxes of greens....spinach...lettuce ...and beet greens to local families who are in need and the response is heart warming. “Tithing” in the church context never made sense....giving some arbitrary percentage to a huge organization. But it the context of my garden harvest it is a Goal.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 6:26am

    #45
    Vernon Hamilton

    Vernon Hamilton

    Status: Member

    Joined: Sep 12 2016

    Posts: 4

    1

    Sei Angstlos

    that violence and burglary will burn out quickly. but the homeless wandering will definately increase by a few orders of magnetude. that will bring many people who formerly preached and practiced paleo-diets, into actual paleo living conditions.

    there after, be prepared to feed anyone who knocks, the most likely such will be women with children, and put them to work doing some of that grass pulling and watering.

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 7:42am

    #46

    berensma

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 10 2011

    Posts: 17

    1

    Look into silage cloth!

    https://farmersfriendllc.com/products/weed-management/silage-tarp

     

    It’s our first year working with this, it was recommended by a friend, we have a ton of Bermuda grass as well. I’ve been very impressed, and it is reusable. And not expensive.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 8:12am

    #47
    yogmonster

    yogmonster

    Status: Member

    Joined: Apr 01 2013

    Posts: 48

    3

    SRSrocco report

     

    Beef, and livestock feed shortages talked about around the 3:30 minute mark

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 8:25am

    Dan D. Foe

    Dan D. Foe

    Status: Member

    Joined: Aug 20 2012

    Posts: 18

    3

    A word of encouragement . . .

    Stephanie, I just read James Howard Kunstler's latest book, "Living in the Long Emergency".  Chapter 7 is a profile of Kempton Randolf who works a homestead in rural Vermont.  He remarks on the soil, depicted by the author as, " . . . loamy glacial till, a gift of the retreating glaciers.":  Kempton, [on the soil]:  "It's actually pretty good, he said.  "It's very well drained.  There's been so much work done here over hundreds of years, over generations, and one thing that people don't realize:  if you have a field in Vermont around here, and it doesn't have any rocks in it, it's because somebody spent so much time taking all the rocks out.  There's such an incredible investment from generations that are gone.  I have fields that were cultivated that are rock free and that's because somebody went through and picked out all the goddamn rocks over a long period of time.  That's a huge thing, and that's something that people don't think about, especially when we just let some fields grow back into forest and all that effort and the value that that cleared land had -- you're turning it back over to wood and letting it slip away.  We have investments from all those generations that we just totally abandoned.  So, I have some fields that are fairly clean." are

    When I read your post, I keyed off the word "homestead" so I'm wondering if, in fact, you may have some fields that are 'fairly clean' of stones.  Does your property have a stone pile?  If it does that might be a hint as to where your efforts might be rewarded.

    I know whereof you speak.  In the 1960's my father had a patch of land in Southern Quebec, about 25 miles North of Derby Line, VT.  Our family didn't go to the cottage in the Summertime.  We worked the garden, growing Strawberries, Raspberries and even a few grapes, but also picking lots and lots of stones.  Of stones, they are the ground's most reliable and precious harvest.  Each one is different from its peers. Absolutely unique, one of a kind, and they can only be harvested once!  Persevere!  Don't give up!  There's victory in every barrowfull!

     

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 8:29am

    #49
    Rosanna W.

    Rosanna W.

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 21 2020

    Posts: 1

    6

    Rosanna W. said:

    Thanks to Chris and Adam, I was much more prepared than others around me.  I was able to get face masksnd other PPE and stack up my freezer with meat and pantry with canned and dried goods,.   Before,  I only grew succulents in mymgarden, but now I have thrown all my  efforts into growing food.

    For newbies like me,  I recommend Hollis and Nancy's Homestead on Youtube for easy to understand and  clever organic gardening advice (like throwing in a fish head in the hole before planting or sprinkling cinnamon on top os soil before planting seedlings) and their delicious Korean  recipes for vegetables.  Hollis is also very funny.   Also Robbie and Gary's channel has been helpful for an ingenious composting method done inside vegetable planting containers.  Roots and Refuge, Rusted Garden, Calikim, MIgarden, Growing Your Greens, and Epic Garden are also Youtube channels that give great practical advice.

    I have only about 250 square feet of growing space in my small Bay Area backyard, but have made do with self-watering  containers City Pickers), nursery  pots, plastic storage tubs, and food grade pails, two newly built 4x8 feet planters and one newly built 20x2 feet planter as well as two 6x8 feet greenhouses I got used from Craigslist and a new one from Harbor Freight.

    I do this gardening because I love to eat fresh fruit and vegetables, so I want to make sure I have them to supplement our emergency pantry. I am also pre-diabetic, so I have been trying to cut back on candy and processed snacks.  Right now, I am on Spring Break and have been trying to teach fourth grade via distance learning.  This has given me time to plant my garden and for my 80 year old mother's patio containers.   My mom has been self-isolating in an apartment for three months now.  Gardening cheers her up and supplies her with fresh "cut as you grow" food.  I have been doing this gardening at a frantic pace, knowing how little time we have to prepare for shortages.  I also plan on supplying fresh produce to people in need like my friend who has terminal cancer and food banks.

    My efforts to garden, however,  have been met with fierce resistance from my husband and son who both think I am over-reacting.  To get gardening  supplies,  I have been standing in long lines at Home Depot or get up at the crack of dawn to go there to beat the lines.  I have hauled over 60 huge bags of soil, manure, and peat moss by myself.  I have bought seeds from Amazon, Walmart, and the Lucky grocery store, but some orders have a long delivery date or were cancelled due to shortages.

    In my greenhouse, I started seedlings for spinach, Napa cabbage, orange peppers, baby bok choy, Chinese broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, beets and radishes.  In the greenhouse, I am also regrowing from kitchen scraps the following: shallots, celery, beet and carrot greens, ginger, garlic, potatoes, sweet potatoes,  onions, scallions, baby bok choy, taro roots, and  Romaine and leafy  lettuce. This is a quick and cheap way to get plants. I am trying to sprout soy beans and mung beans, but learned that it is best to get soybeans made for sprouting.  I just planted raspberry and goji bushes.  I also have the following growing in containers: a  Meyer and regular lemon tree, two guava trees, cherry and Roma tomatoes,  Japanese cucumbers, strawberries, red and orange peppers, sugar and sweet peas, bush and pole beans, and kale.  I have had a kumkuat tree growing in the ground for a year now.  I plan to grow the following in my planter beds along my wall against a trellis:  Korean and Kajari melons (both are small melons), butternut squash, regular cucumbers, and Malabar spinach.  In my 4x8 beds, I plan on sowing melon radish and carrot seeds, and transplanting my regular spinach, Napa cabbage, and Chinese broccoli starts.  I also grow the following herbs in containers outside: parsley, oregano, basil, mint, lemon balm, thyme, lavender, rosemary as well as scallion, ginger, and garlic.

    So far, there has been success.  All this has given me great joy in nurturing the plants, eating fresh food (now I disdain the veggies I buy at the grocery store because they wilt so quickly and taste bland.  There is nothing so sweet as lemon blossoms or the rich earth.  Feeling soil between your fingers is soothing as kneading bread. I love cooking with fresh ingredients and knowing I am providing my family with immunity-boosting food. I stir fry most of the vegetables and plan colors of the rainbow menus.

    Only problem are the racccoons who have been eating my beets and lettuce I grow in containers at night.  It is heartbreaking to see the plants strewn about or stolen. Any suggestions?

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 8:45am

    Cj Sloane

    Cj Sloane

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 19 2020

    Posts: 33

    2

    Cj Sloane said:

    I keep rabbits. Only moderately successful but it's a great way to store protein on the "hoof" and I can feed them most weeds and tree cuttings. Yes, the manure can go right around plants without composting.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 8:55am

    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 306

    2

    wild cotton tail bunny

    YOu cant keep domstic rabbits in my neighborhood due to mixamatosis.  But, my garden is being overrun with wild cottontails, worst year ever. SO, I decided to try and kill them.

    So far, it has been easy to catch them with a live trap.  Right now I have 2 live, in seperate cages, waiting to do a group processing day.  The first one was dispatched a few days ago as a test, easier to butcher than chicken.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 9:04am

    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 306

    0

    CJ, what method are you using do dispatch the bunnies ?

    Still looking for peoples ideas on this to refine the best way

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 10:41am

    Cj Sloane

    Cj Sloane

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 19 2020

    Posts: 33

    1

    Cj Sloane said:

    I bought the hopper popper which works great. Followed this and it was easy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC-bLMQXpns&t=1s

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 11:56am

    George Anthony

    George Anthony

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 09 2020

    Posts: 4

    1

    Plant A Garden-Apartment Version

    Chris, et-al,

    How about some tips on how to "plant a garden" if you live in an apartment? I recently relocated cross country and am in the property search but live in a hi rise rise for now. I plan on 5 gallon bucket plants but could use additional  advice that's out there-Thanks!

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 12:19pm

    #55

    dtrammel

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: May 03 2011

    Posts: 804

    3

    Apartment Gardens and Other Things

    George, and others, try this thread. It has some suggestions for smaller size and container gardens.

    https://www.peakprosperity.com/how-to-install-raised-garden-beds/

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 12:34pm

    Linda T

    Linda T

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jun 09 2014

    Posts: 132

    3

    Re: raccoons

    Rosanna,

    I have a 20' by 20' community garden plot, and for 2-3 years I used to have a lot of problems with the raccoons too. One day I was there and had an ah-ha moment. I had a large roll of chicken hardware wire I had picked up for free, someone had put it at the curb... So, I enclosed my plot with it, cutting sections for each of the four sides which stay put. Then, I cut 2-3' pieces for "gates" I could open to go through when I was there working on it. Two sides have 2 gates, and the other 2 sides have one gate. Since then, I have had no issues, although I have seen small holes in the ground surrounding my plot, and each year fewer and fewer of the holes.

    Now my issue is the frickin' gophers. They love the carrots and all of the earthworms too. I constantly find their tunnels. Last year I was planning on digging vertical trenches and putting in chicken wiring with small holes to block the destructive creatures. But, last June I got injured at work, had whiplash and a concussion to deal with, so that got put on the back burner. This year, I wanted to plant carrots, but the time and effort to do the trenches seemed overwhelming, so I decided to just do it in the raised bed for my roots (beets and carrots). I apologized to the earthworms as I dug down with the shovel... I discovered clay one shovel down, so after laying down the cloth, I added some wood chips for worm food, then put back the soil, and then planted the carrots. I have hope now I won't loose all my carrots this year...

    Linda

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 12:39pm

    Linda T

    Linda T

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jun 09 2014

    Posts: 132

    2

    Re: apartment version

    George,

    Does your town or city have community gardens? Is there any homes (or businesses? or schools?) nearby that you could possibly trade space for veggies? Any abandoned lots that you could approach the city about getting a community garden started? Do you have a deck for some container gardening while you conduct your search?

    Linda

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 2:06pm

    Adam Taggart

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: May 25 2009

    Posts: 5977

    8

    Apartment/urban gardening solutions

    George -

    In addition to the resources others have suggested, I'll also mention the following:

    1) Wall Planters

    Use your vertical space as your garden, not the ground. Great for limited space areas.

    If you have a balcony or patio off your apartment, put these on the walls. If not, screw it to your window sill and hang it outside.

    My sister-in-law gets an amazing amount of calories out of hers.

    Here's what they look like:

    hanging wall garden

    They come in all shapes and sizes and can be quite affordable. This one is 36"x27" with 12 pockets and costs $24.

    2) Grow microgreens

    You can grow a wide variety of nutrient-rich microgreens indoors in your apartment (arugula, chard, cress, kale, beets - to name just a few). Here's a good introductory article.

    3) Participate in urban/suburban farming

    I recorded an interview with Michael Abelman, the founder of the non-profit Center For Urban Agriculture, and author of the book Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier — which focuses on his efforts to transform acres of vacant and contaminated land in one of North America's worst urban slums and grow artisan-quality fruits and vegetables.

    His efforts now produce 25 tons of food annually. It's a remarkable movement I wish more people were aware of and replicated in their own urban/suburban neighborhoods.

    You can listen to the podcast here.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 2:08pm

    Pipyman

    Status: Member

    Joined: Apr 24 2011

    Posts: 113

    7

    I’ll chime in..

    Best way I found for bunnies was a self cocking 80lb draw weight pistol crossbow. Sit them down in Front of their favourite food and wait for them to settle. Then, point blank right at the back of the head; do not try other areas of the head! It is humane and instant. You can even use the bolt over and over. Just touch the eyeball to check there is no blink reflex before processing.

     

    Sorry to those of the vegan persuasion; maybe too much detail...!

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 2:25pm

    #60
    westcoastjan

    westcoastjan

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Jun 04 2012

    Posts: 464

    4

    Terrible news at Cargill meat packing plant just south of Calgary Alberta

    Previously, there were only 38 known cases associated with the Cargill outbreak. On Friday, Hinshaw said there are now 358 cases identified in households connected to Cargill — a figure that represents 15 per cent of all cases in Alberta, and more than the entire province of Saskatchewan.

    Cargill's High River plant, along with the JBS plant in Brooks and the Harmony Beef plant in Balzac — both of which also have confirmed cases of COVID-19 — represent approximately three-quarters of beef suppliers in Canada.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/cargill-alberta-covid-19-deena-hinshaw-1.5537377

    This is not good at all... the Filipino community also makes up a large portion of the Health Care Aides (HCA) in hospitals, assisted living and long term care facilities in AB. Coupled with a reported outbreak in one of the worker camps (with the workers often being on scheduled rotations where they go home within AB, BC and Saskatchewan between shifts) that serve the tar sands up near Fort MacMurray in the north end of AB, I think there is tremendous potential for more serious outbreaks. Fingers crossed I am wrong...

    Jan

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 2:59pm

    #61

    dtrammel

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: May 03 2011

    Posts: 804

    6

    Don't Forget Indoor Options Too.

    Another option is to set up an indoor garden.

    You don't need to go a gonzo as I did a few years back. You can set up a Home Depot shelf with a couple of 2" grow lamps on the top two shelves, then use the bottom shelf and the top for sprouts or microgreens.

    https://www.homedepot.com/c/ah/create-a-diy-indoor-grow-light-system/9ba683603be9fa5395fab9018f00d25

    I've used the metal shelf in the tutorial for storage and they are sturdy and the shelves can be adjusted for height. You could get started this week with some prestarted plants from the nursery for probably a few hundred dollars. Lights are the most expensive thing, be sure you get actual T5 grow bulbs not just white florescent.

    Looking back on things, I'd go with 2 gallon self watering buckets rather than 5 gallon for weight. And I also went a bit large with the lights, LOL. You can see how I made my containers in this thread:

    https://www.peakprosperity.com/forum-topic/self-watering-garden-containers/

    You can produce quite a bit in a minimal foot print. And keep them safe from vermin of the 2 and 4 leg kind. And if you stagger your planting, you can grow year round. Things like spring greens (lettuce, spinach, etc) which will go to seed and tastes bad (called bolting) do better without the Spring time heat.

    Here's what I've got indoors this year. Started them about a month back and they will soon be ready to start contributing to my weekly menus.

    In a week or so, I'll put all eight containers under one lamp with a bit more top room, and begin clipping leaves for salads.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 3:08pm

    #62

    dtrammel

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: May 03 2011

    Posts: 804

    6

    Add Some Purslane

    One easy and highly nutritious plant is Purslane (sometimes called Rock Moss). You can find it at nurseries and garden stores in their hanging basket section.

    First off, pollinators love it. You'll have bees on it all day.

    Second its a "succulent", which means it stores water in its stems and leaves making it hard to kill in the Summer heat. Its a weed, in that it will grow anywhere it can get a root down.

    More importantly its got tons of vitamins and minerals.

    https://www.drugs.com/npp/purslane.html

    It has a tart, mustardy taste to me, and very crisp and wet when eaten in a salad. I throw a bunch into any stir fry I do.

    The ornamental from stores is a bit less nutritious, better to get the seeds from a seed company and start your own, but in a pinch even the common one is good.

    And it doesn't look like a food either, a big plus if you are worried about theft.

    ADDED: Don't get it confused with Portulaca, which is often called Rock Moss as well. Portulaca has spiky pointed leaves and Purslane has round oval leaves.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 6:06pm

    #63
    Steve

    Steve

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Jun 27 2009

    Posts: 183

    10

    My Victory Garden

    I never had a garden of my own.  But, my father was raised on a farm and moved to more urban settings at 19.  He had a real green thumb, though.  Based on Chris' persistent recommendations to "plant a garden,"  I rented a space in the local community garden.  It's 20' X 40'.  I have thoroughly enjoyed reclaiming a defunct garden plot and planting vegetables.

    I can remember following behind my father, as early as I could walk, as he plowed his garden with a mule.  Working in my garden puts me in touch with my father (he has been deceased for years).  We are in communion, he and I, as I work the garden.  It's a welcome and comforting time.  I can hear him telling me, "get that weed out,"  or "put 3 seeds in that hole."  I find myself turning over dirt as if I was watching his hands at work.  I'm 64 years young, now and never realized how much I knew about gardening.  There is lots to learn though!

    This is are photos of my 1st day, March 29.

    Cultivating the garden

    Here is a photo of putting in the compost:

    Compost ready to till into the garden.

    I have cultivated, composted and fertilized the land.  Then planted tomatoes, zucchini squash, yellow squash, okra, cucumbers, eggplants, potatoes, parsley, radishes, cantaloupe melons, lima beans, green beans, yellow bell peppers, green bell peppers and banana peppers.  We're doing ok, I think!

    And here are photos of my garden yesterday, 4/18/20, just 19 days later:

    Garden, looking west.

    Garden, looking east

    Cucumbers, cantaloupe, radishes.

    Peppers, Beans

    Tomatoes

    Eggplants, Zucchini, Yellow Squash

    Okra sprouts

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 6:24pm

    robie robinson

    robie robinson

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Aug 25 2009

    Posts: 1064

    1

    Cool Boss

    ....as a consummate gardener, I am impressed with the black loam in a zone 8b or warmer garden. I grew up in tobacco and peanut country with the Carters. Been a while since I saw such soil. Eastern Carolinas. South central Georgia. Gulf coast. Okra already. Awesome.

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 6:29pm

    Steve

    Steve

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Jun 27 2009

    Posts: 183

    0

    That would be zone 9A

    Hey Robie, since I'm on the coast in south Georgia, we are in zone 9A.  My wife might tell you most of that black loam is in our living room these days. lol.  The okra is actually up.  I planted that clemson spinless okra.  But, I'm thinking next year to plant some jambalaya okra, instead.  https://hosstools.com/product/jambalaya-okra/

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 6:30pm

    #66
    AAAAANDRE

    AAAAANDRE

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jan 28 2020

    Posts: 1

    1

    Two Wordds... "Hula Hoe"!

    These used to be advertised on TV. Now known as "Wood Handle Action Hoe".

    You shuffle it back and forth (I mostly pull it) just under the surface and it cuts off the weeds at the roots. Some will come back, but just keep after them. In a few weeks the ground will be barren. Yes, I have had success on bermuda grass with it. 😉 I do like bermuda for a lawn, can't kill it and needs little mowing.

    Earwigs are my current problem, voracious chewers. Seeds come up, overnight just stumps remain. A container of stale beer attracts them, they crawl in and drown, just too many and I hate wasting beer!

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 6:32pm

    #67
    George Anthony

    George Anthony

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 09 2020

    Posts: 4

    2

    It can be done in the City!

    http://urbanhomestead.org/about/

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 6:38pm

    George Anthony

    George Anthony

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 09 2020

    Posts: 4

    2

    George Anthony said:

    Thanks Adam!-I have a balcony and like the idea of going vertical.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 6:38pm

    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 306

    0

    reply re: animal feed

    I only listened to until the part that talked about animal feed.  ANd, I do disagree with his conclusion because even though there wont be the distiller grain, the byproduct, there will still be the corn, and in the short term due to the loss of the ethanol market, they will need to sell that corn, so in the short term this will be available for the dairy industry. The question will be wether that effects price, I think they will have to lower the price to sell it or store it --  dont know which way that will go.  If they can store it, they may keep the price the same, which will lead to increased costs for the feed, or they may need to sell if off cheap, leaving the costs the same.  But either way, long term, the question will be will the plant as much this year ? We could end up with feed isssues later if they plant less this year.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 6:39pm

    George Anthony

    George Anthony

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 09 2020

    Posts: 4

    2

    George Anthony said:

    Hi Linda, I think we have a community garden a few blocks away. I'm going to check it out for sure.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 6:52pm

    #71
    drbrucedale

    drbrucedale

    Status: Member

    Joined: Sep 06 2009

    Posts: 126

    10

    Home Gardening: Some Important (and Sobering) Numbers

    A moderately active adult male (eg, a guy tending a big garden) will need roughly 2800 calories and perhaps 60 grams (2 ounces) of protein each day. A similarly active female will need somewhat less, perhaps 2300 calories per day.  In honor of Chris and Evie, and many of the rest of us, the following calculations will assume a male/female partnership.

    You can get an idea of your own calorie needs using this calculator:

    https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/tools-calculators/daily-caloric-needs-estimate-calculator/

    A rule of thumb is that people also need roughly 60 grams (2 ounces) of protein per day. A large egg contains about 6 grams of protein…so 10 eggs per day to meet that requirement, or 5 eggs if you want to get the other half of your protein from some other source(s).

    A flock of about 20 chickens with the necessary rooster, and adequate feed and clean water, should produce at least 10 eggs per day, enough for 1-2 people.  You also must either store feed, or provide enough range for the chickens (and protection from predators depending on where you live).

    https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-protein-per-day

    So, if we are gardening/raising small animals to provide a significant fraction of our calorie and protein needs, what crops should we consider?  Different crops are more appropriate for different climates and soils.  Here is one suggested list:

    https://www.tactical.com/7-high-calorie-crops-survival-garden/

    The grain crops and the beans take a fair amount of work to harvest, preserve, store and prepare for eating, so you would need to have/develop the necessary equipment and skills if you are relying on those crops. Potatoes are easier to store and prepare, so this example will assume potatoes as the primary calorie crop.

    How much land would it take to grow enough potatoes to feed a male/female partnership?

    This is where the numbers get a bit sobering.  One pound of fresh weight of potatoes (with skins) contains about 350 calories and 13 grams of protein. (Sweet potatoes have a similar calorie content, but much lower protein content, about 2 grams per pound fresh weight.)

    https://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/usda/potatoes-(skin-without-salt-boiled)?portionid=48896&portionamount=1.000

    Our male/female partnership needs roughly 5000 calories per day (2800 + 2300). We will estimate 500 days worth of potatoes to make it from this year’s planting to next year’s harvest, leaving enough potatoes for next year’s seed and some storage losses. The calculation is 5000 calories per day x 500 days divided by 350 calories per pound equals roughly 7200 pounds of fresh weight potatoes needed every year.

    The 60 gram per day protein requirement would easily be met by this much potato intake, but it would probably be best (and less boring) to make sure the amino acid balance was adequate by eating fewer potatoes and also eating high quality egg protein (or some other high quality protein).

    So, if we only plan to get half of our calories from potatoes, and the rest from somewhere else, then we might “only” need about 3600 pounds of potatoes for our couple per year.

    How much land would be required? This site gives some useful data.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=potato+yield+per+acre&rlz=1C1GCEU_enUS821US823&oq=potato+yield&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l7.8583j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    If we are fortunate, perhaps we could get about 10 tons (20,000 pounds) of potatoes per acre the first year, and better yields the subsequent years. Maybe… Very few of us are expert gardeners, and it takes time to learn (as I know from hard experience).

    An acre is 44,000 square feet, so to get 3600 pounds of potatoes we would need 3600 pounds divided by 20,000 pounds x 44,000 square feet equals roughly 8,000 square feet of garden/farm.  That is roughly 90 x 90 feet. To give room for cultivation, paths, fencing, etc. allow 100 x 100 square feet or about 33 yards by 33 yards.

    Most of us don’t have a 30 yard by 30 yard lawn available to dig up for potatoes.

    I hope dtrammel can give some expected potato yields from hanging buckets for comparison, but my point is that it takes quite a bit of land to raise enough food to provide most of our calorie and protein requirements.  

    So yes, by all means, please plant that garden as Chris advises. Raise as much food as you can in whatever space you have available. It will be good for you mentally and physically. But the bottom line is that most of us cannot reasonably hope to ever raise enough food to completely feed ourselves.

    So get a deep, deep pantry, as Chris also advises. Go heavy on the calories: rice, dried corn, dried potatoes, pasta, whole oats, wheat, but also get enough high quality protein: dried eggs, beans, dried milk and so on.

    My wife and I are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following the church’s teachings, we have stored a year’s supply of food basics for ourselves and our five kids (now married and gone) for over 45 years.

    We have also gardened in Indiana, Colorado, Texas and now Michigan. Gardening is hard, hard work and it takes a lot of practice to do it well.  We are both pushing 70 so we pay a friend’s children to garden for us on their family farm, where space is not an issue.  We get a lot of wonderful fresh food, some extra “grandkids” that we love and who love us, and they get valuable gardening experience and income. Talk about a “win-win-win”. 🙂 (We are also building that community capital that Chris often talks about.)

    As I have posted previously, you can get help with learning to store the food basics here:

    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/food-storage/longer-term-food-supply?lang=eng&_r=1

    You can also purchase quantity staple foods, canned for long-term storage, at storehouses operated by the church. Google “home storage center and bishops' storehouse” to find the storehouse nearest you. You do not need to be a church member to use the storehouse. You will be welcome.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 7:45pm

    herewego

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Aug 11 2010

    Posts: 145

    5

    What about winter squash for food security?

    Hi Dr. Bruce Dale,

    Thanks for the great info on quantities and nutrition for food gardeners.  I've been gardening for some years now and my tiny plot (abt. 60x60 ft.) grows more fresh and preserved produce than I can eat by far, but of course I'm still buying oils, nuts, flours, dairy, protein and coffee.  I wonder how big this garden will seem if the store shelves get bare....

    You didn't mention winter squash, which are easy to grow and easier to store without a root cellar than potatoes.  With a quick search it becomes apparent that potatoes have higher protein, more calories, less of most vitamins and a slightly less yield per acre than squash.

    http://botapedia.com/comparing-the-nutrient-values-of-4-winter-squashes-acorn-butternut-hubbard-and-spaghetti/

    https://nevegetable.org/cultural-practices/table-15-approximate-yields

    Winter squash are beautiful, vigorous plants that I love growing and that attract pollinators, but that's a side issue in this discussion.

    With your extremely deep pantry experience, I'd like to hear if you have any thoughts on squash as a storage food.

    Cheers

    Susan

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 7:52pm

    LesPhelps

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Apr 30 2009

    Posts: 639

    6

    Protein

    The myth about protein is a stubborn one.  I don’t expect anyone to get past this myth, without studying the more modern nutritional science, so I’ll simply suggest you may want to do just that.

    Essentially, all vegetables have more than adequate protein.  On a healthy vegan diet, if you are not calorie deficient, it’s virtually impossible to be protein deficient.  Protein deficiency is  rare in Western Civilization (less than 3%).

    Fiber deficiency is the big shortfall.  97% of the people in the US are fiber deficient, getting less than half the recommended daily allowance.  Most vegetarians and vegans get the RDA for fiber.

    Again, check it out for yourself.  We essentially need around 6% of our calories from protein.  Healthy plant based people typically shoot for 10% to be safe, but, frankly, it takes no effort to do that.  At the low end, veggies have around 6% protein.  Also, plant protein does not encourage cancer growth, unlike other proteins.  That’s another thing you will have to research for yourself before you are likely to believe it.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 8:01pm

    Oliveoilguy

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 826

    2

    Butternut Squash

    Susan...you mentioned squash. We are still eating Butternut grown last season. The taste is not as good as when it is fresh but still edible. I harvested 150 lbs off of 12 vines last year and I’m going for 50 vines this year. Last year I grew a hybrid which is probably why the yield was so good, but this year I’m growing Waltham which is open pollinated.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 8:15pm

    #75

    dtrammel

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: May 03 2011

    Posts: 804

    9

    The Learning Curve

    Several people have mentioned how for the majority of us, our small plot of suburban land isn't going to grow enough for us to live on. And that's true.

    A point that many people forget is that growing food is a long school, one you don't master in one, two or even ten years. Someone who has grown food for any length of time knows that they never know it all. Plants are always surprising you.

    Still you can become knowledgeable enough in a short period but you have to get started when you can afford to make mistakes. You can't just expect to show up at your bug out location, with a ammo can of heirloom seeds, and come the Fall have a plentiful harvest.

    Starting small, with a bunch of containers or a side yard garden of a hundred square feet, allows you the chance to learn something about plants, when if your entire tomato crop wilts and dies, doesn't mean you starve.

    Sometimes I think my real job is to see how many mistakes I can make AND still grow something.

    We won't all be hungry refugees this Fall. We will almost certainly see less options and higher prices, while having less money and fewer resources.

    The job is to learn now when you don't need it, not later when you do.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 8:45pm

    #76
    Becky Gray

    Becky Gray

    Status: Member

    Joined: Apr 15 2017

    Posts: 4

    7

    There are easier and more productive ways to garden

    I've been gardening for about 60 years.  The best introduction to really productive, low effort gardening was written by Ruth Stout.  If you can find a copy of her book, it's excellent.  Lots of videos online of people trying her methods.  It's called No Work Gardening.  You should plant what you like to eat, and learn how to can. You can't put it all in the fridge. It also makes sense to grow things that produce a lot of mass. Most peas don't, most beans do.  Plant beans.  Cabbage, winter squash, potatoes, zucchini, turnips, tomatoes, Swiss chard and kale are all pretty easy to grow and will feed you all winter if you learn to use a home canner. The extra tough leaves and spoiled veggies will feed your chickens.  Most importantly, BE FRIENDLY TO YOUR NEIGHBORS!  The ones who garden will know what grows in your area and will usually be glad to help. My favorite blog is https://crazygreenthumbs.com/, which is written by my daughter, (shameless plug).  She has great info for beginning gardeners. She's in a subdivision, yet grows most of her family's food. You can do this, really! And it doesn't have to be a full time job.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 8:47pm

    Linda T

    Linda T

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jun 09 2014

    Posts: 132

    1

    Re: community garden

    George,

    Good luck! Hopefully they don't have a long waiting list... If you can get one, you can start a garden sooner rather than later, so you can give yourself more time while you search. (In addition, to any indoor/vertical gardening you may choose to do.)

    Linda

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 9:47pm

    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 306

    5

    You only need under 1400 sq ft per person

    Ecology action, grow biointensive, has done research into a complete diet. They have a booklet, the complete 21 bed biointensive mini-farm plan.  A bed for them is 100 sq ft, so that is 2100 sq ft, BUT 1/3 of that is for crops to sell to make money to pay for property taxes, utilities, etc...  another 1/3 if for Compost crops to keep up soil fertility, leaving 1/3, 700 sq ft for main diet. Compost crops also provide some food, so lets say 1400 sq ft per person to grow food.  Growing in a biointensive way takes less room than the charts of "row feet" and such.  Mechanized farming takes alot more room than gardening.

    I pulled the booklet out, they also say it will take a number of years to build up to this level of yield and soil health to get that yield.  Growing food takes practice, start now.

    I have been trying out and practicing this type of intensive growing for years. I think it is possible, my main problem has always been timing my crops to keep it going, succession planting.  I know I should be able to have 2 crops of short season potatoes a year, in theory, but I cant seem to ever get the second crop in the ground in time.... maybe this year.  And I keep forgetting to grow winter wheat.

    The crops mentioned in the booklet for major part of calories are : wheat, rye, amaranth, millet, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, dry beans and peanuts.  Sunflower seeds also grown, they and the peanuts have fat which is important to include in ones diet.  Crops and rotations would vary for other climates of course.

    The beginning book on this method is "How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Thought Possible...." by John Jeavons

     

    Another perspective of good calorie crop is Carol Deepe, the Resilient gardener, and she focuses on winter squash, potatoes and corn.  She raises ducks for duck eggs for a fat source. But she has plenty of room so there is not the focus on maximizing yield on a small area that John Jeavons/Ecology action has.

    Besides sucession planting, dealing with pests has always been a second problem. I have decided to take this more seriously this year, starting a few weeks ago, which is why I am working hard, a 3 prong approach on bunnies ( encourage natural predation, improve fencing, kill some) .  I also have bird issues, and I am thinking of how to fool them, I will need to spend more time just present in the garden, and do more with scare reflective tape, late transplanting, and use of row covers until plants are big enough.

    My garden has 14 48 sq ft beds, so around 700 sq ft.  And, an amazing amount of food comes out of it ! I do grow an awful lot of my food even with all of my imperfections and pest problems.  For example, I will be getting at least 150 pounds of potatoes this season from what I have planted, more than 100 pounds of winter squash, sweet potatoes, dry corn, ALOT of tomatoes, enough storage onions for 2 a week all year,  garlic.  The birds pulled up and ate all the garbenzo bean starts.  Then there is fresh fruit, dried fruit, frozen fruits, jams, wine.

     

    Potato yields. Yields go up as the soil improves over the years, but  usual is 1 pound, great yield is even more.  So 100 sq ft is around 100-400 pounds of potatoes.  In the booklet, 21 bed mini farm, they did a trial of just 33 sq ft and got 133 pounds of potatoes ! That is planted 9 inches deep on 9 inch centers.  I would recomend starting a little further apart in a new garden, maybe one plant for each sq foot.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 9:55pm

    Linda T

    Linda T

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jun 09 2014

    Posts: 132

    3

    Re: learning curve

    dtrammel,

    I agree, it's a continual learning process. Learning about feeding the soil, attracting and saving pollinators (if not you, then someone close by), dealing with "pests" of all sorts and any plant diseases (using crop rotation to confuse pests and companion planting can help somewhat with that), seed saving, food storage and preservation, propagation and pruning, and learning about a plant's needs. In addition, how changing weather patterns are impacting what we can grow.

    One common thing I notice when I talk to people is that they haven't researched what a plant needs, especially blueberries. How much sun, how much water and how to water it, what kind of soil, if it prefers more acidic soils or more alkaline, and the depth of root zones. Another reason to rotate crops is to plant light feeders so they follow heavy feeders (tomatoes and squash for example), at the same time having plants with shallow roots follow plants with deep roots, and including peas and beans and other nitrogen feeders in the rotations too.

    I'm also including some links abot companion planting:

    https://www.thespruce.com/companion-plants-for-potatoes-2540039

    "Principles of Companion Planting:

    Companion planting can be defined as the practice of planting different species of plants close together based on their ability to enhance one another in some way. Plants can be defined as good companions for a number of different reasons, and the gardener may want to emphasize one reason over others when laying out a garden. Common reasons why plants might be regarded as good companions include:

      • Non-competing growth habits: Plants may have different but complementary growth habits that do not compete with one another. Pairing tall upright plants with ground-hugging vines, for example, can offer efficiency in the use of garden space. Or pairing deep-rooted vegetable with shallow-rooted vegetables may offer similar efficiency.
      • Similar growth needs: Plants may have similar needs for fertilizing, water, or sunlight, which makes it easier to take care of them. Pairing together plants with high water needs, for example, can make it easier to water all of them at the same time.
      • Pest deterrent: Some plants may be known to repel certain insect pests that feast on a particular plant. Marigolds, for example, are good companions for many plants for this reason. Other plants actually draw in beneficial insects that serve as predators for harmful insects.
      • Soil balance: Plants use different nutrients in the soil, preventing depletion of the soil and reducing the need for fertilizing.
      • Nutrient-rich: Some plants may actually improve the nutritional value of the soil. Legumes, for example, are good companions for many plants because they "fix" nitrogen and make it available for many other plants.
    • Flavor enhancer: Some plants may enhance the flavor of other edible plants when they are grown close together. "

    Companion Planting Strawberries

    https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/potato/potato-plant-companions.htm

    https://www.permaculturenews.org/2011/12/02/companion-planting-information-and-chart/

    "What is Companion Planting? A gardening method which makes use of the synergistic properties found in nature: cooperation between plants to achieve optimum health and viability."

    That website has a pretty good reference chart too. Others with charts:

    https://www.almanac.com/content/companion-planting-chart-vegetables

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion_plants

    https://gardenerthumb.com/companion-planting-chart/

    In addition to having several websites bookmarked on my computer, I also have several books about companion planting. About 10 years ago, I went through each of the books creating lists from each one which I then integrated together into one list. As an art project, I created my own personalized chart of the veggies I usually plant using colored pencils and a large piece of paper which I then framed.

    Linda

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 10:14pm

    Linda T

    Linda T

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jun 09 2014

    Posts: 132

    1

    Re: birds

    mntnhousepermi,

    Have you tried putting row cover over the seeds to protect them from the birds until they're big enough? I remember reading about that in a few books of mine, but don't remember which one(s) unfortunately.

    I have both of the books you mentioned, I especially like the Ecology Action book. The last couple of years I've also been experimenting with watering the veggies a bit less, (I've always done deep watering) along the lines of dry farming techniques. And, save some seeds so I can start on breeding in some resiliency.

    I have "Gardening with Less Water: low-tech, low-cost techniques" by David Bainbridge, "Dry-Farming" by John A. Widtsoe, "Water-Wise Vegetables" by Steve Solomon, and "Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land: lessons fom desert farmers on adapting to Climate Uncertainty" by Gary Paul Nabhan. Tomorrow I should be able to get the last of my veggies planted. Then in a couple of weeks or so I'll see if I can get some clay pots and trays to partially submerge into the soil (one of the low-tech methods mentioned).

    So, next year I'll use more seeds of my own and see if I have any issues with the birds...

    Linda

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 10:17pm

    herewego

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Aug 11 2010

    Posts: 145

    1

    Waltham

    Hi Oliveoilguy -

    Funny I just potted up half a dozen Walthams into their newspaper pots to get through to the warm weather.  I never grew them before.  Do you like them?  I won't be able to seed save this year because I'm growing several varieties from the Moschata species but if it's good, maybe next year.  These babies grew from seed to 6" in one week!  So fun.

    Susan

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 11:27pm

    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 306

    1

    row cover

    Yes, I use floating row cover ( remay) but the crows do watch me and will sometimes rip thru it, depends what is underneath !  I usually need to cover the corn until it is 2 or 3 inches tall, so every day, you pull up the row cover, water, put it back, weigh down the edges.  With multiple pieces.

     

    The new trick of ripping thru the row cover is how I lost all the garbanzo beans this year

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Sun, Apr 19, 2020 - 11:49pm

    #83
    nordicjack

    nordicjack

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Feb 03 2020

    Posts: 736

    0

    Cannibalism

    I think it will come to pass.   Best to not over-eat anyway to avoid becoming a target.   I'd avoid eating anyone that was or may be infected.  look for the young..  they are most likely to be healthy.   ( hey I am not making this stuff up, it was in the prophecies. )

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 12:16am

    Linda T

    Linda T

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jun 09 2014

    Posts: 132

    2

    Re: row cover

    Wow, that sounds like a real drag and major surce of frustration. I don't know if this wouldwork or not to foil the birds. When I read "The Winter Harvest Handbook" by  Eliot Coleman several years ago, he used a two part system for the salad greens, etc. I'll remember this to the best of my ability... He had the hoophouses set up, low, not the high tunnels, and he also used at ground level a strong wire that was curved and looked like a mini, very mini hoophouse which supported the row cover, so the salad greens could grow 5-6" tall. Maybe some kind of setup like that? So it would make it harder,  hopefully enough to discourage the birds and prevent them from ripping through the row cover. Oh, maybe some kind of chicken fencing instead so they can't rip the cover, then jump down to the soil?

    Linda

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 12:27am

    jbuck

    jbuck

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 17 2010

    Posts: 20

    1

    Purslane

    I've heard it is cultivated in Europe for salads, but honestly, it would never occur to me to plant purslane.  I grows everywhere here.  It's easy enough to control as long as you don't let the flowers set seed.  (ours are yellow)  Each flower makes a bazillion tiny seeds and they go everywhere.

    I like the taste.  As mentioned, it's high in vitamins and other nutrients.  I don't thing omega-3s were mentioned.  I believe they are the best land-based plant source of omega-3 but it's too late to want to verify that.

    I bring this up because it's super easy to forage which is, of course, a different thread from gardening, but one related to the concerns here.  Even urban environments have a surprising amount of edible plants most people call weeds - though all kinds of crap gets sprayed around so I only eat out of my own yard (same as gardening, except lazier) or places I know and trust the management practices.  (OK, my wife and I garden too)

    FWIW - another plant that grows around here called spurge looks sort of like purslane.  Spurge is not a succulent so I don't find them at all difficult to differentiate.  Still, people apparently make the mistake often enough that there's a saying to remind us that, "Spurge will make you purge".  So don't eat that one.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 6:06am

    #86
    km64

    km64

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 03 2020

    Posts: 88

    6

    Lessons learned dealing with COVID19 at home

    an article well worth reading...

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/19/what-i-learned-from-nursing-my-husband-through-covid-19/

    If you or your loved one has just had a diagnosis of COVID-19, your chances of surviving the illness will depend on your ability to gather your resources, make a plan, and adapt.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 7:18am

    #87

    sand_puppy

    Status: Platinum Member

    Joined: Apr 13 2011

    Posts: 2439

    4

    Wonderful Story of an Older Couple Who Supported Each Other Through COVID Infx

    What I Learned From Nursing My Husband Through COVID-19

    Very well written.  A sweet elderly couple from Michigan each of which got sick.  They stuck together, cared for each other, prayed together and asked for help.  The wife was an organized person and she describes some well thoughtout systems on how to do things.

    Thanks for that post.

    -------

    There is a reddit thread "COVID19 Positive" where people who have the infection talk of their experiences.  This is a really rough experience for many.   Many are sick for 4-6-8 weeks and are short of breath and tired all of the time.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 7:18am

    Ision

    Ision

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 07 2020

    Posts: 125

    5

    Purslane & Spurge

    Purslane is the most nutritious plant known to science.  It is also the easiest plant to find, and grow.  It is self seeding, and will grow anywhere, including the cracks in a sidewalk, or around a bus stop sign.  Purslane has more vitamins and minerals and omega 3, than any other edible plant on Earth.

    There is no better plant for survival....which takes less talent, or effort, to grow.

    Remember, the bad guys are edible, too.

    Spurge is often mistaken for Purslane by the novice.  But, it is easy to distinguish with this simple fact:  Purslane has clear fluids when it broken.  Spurge has a milky white fluid when broken and its tiny leaves are not PLUMP and thick, like Purslane.

    The bad people will not know the weed patches around your property and in the surrounding properties are edible, let alone are comprised of the healthiest plant on Earth to eat.  ALL of the plant is edible...all the time.

    Want some?  Just wander about your neighborhood until you discover a healthy plant growing out of a driveway crack...and harvest it.  You will have just found the most perfectly adapted Purslane plant to your living environment and weather.  Take the plant back to where you wish it to grow...and shake the thing over the soil, or pot, you want it to live in.  Then jump back.

    You can take extra care of it, if you wish...  But, you will probably need to hack it back to keep it from taking over everything.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 7:54am

    #89
    MQ

    MQ

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Oct 13 2011

    Posts: 123

    2

    Eat the weeds--Green Deane

    Fabulous site--informative, entertaining, well written. He's in Florida, but many of the 'weeds' he talks about are widespread. His archive is an encyclopedia... I've followed him for years. I hope all y'all check him out.

    http://www.eattheweeds.com/

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 8:38am

    #90
    Grandma2016

    Grandma2016

    Status: Member

    Joined: Mar 21 2020

    Posts: 1

    2

    Watching Our First Garden Grow!

    Thank you for your encouragement to plant a garden, Chris! My husband and I both travel a lot so we have never grown a garden. As we are approaching retirement (and currently NOT traveling!), we've talked about growing a garden as a hobby "someday." Well, this is that "someday" and we are having so much fun converting our suburban back yard into garden beds and containers filled with seeds and seedlings, with the promise of fresh veggies in the coming days! We can't wait to not only enjoy them, but share them with others! Our favorite discovery of the week is using an old plastic kids pool as a garden bed! Drill a bunch of holes, fill and plant! Taking quarantine seriously leaves us "using what we have" which makes it all the more fun! Thanks again!

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 9:14am

    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 306

    2

    re: birds/hoop houses

    Yes, better infrastructure like mini hoop houses would do it.  I know this but have not had the ability to do it.  Mostly money, but then effort as I most often am not feeling well.  I picked up some free wire fencing yesterday, so beside putting across the bunny super highway, I may be able to bend a bit over tender bed areas.   I put wire from the bottom of a raised bed we ripped up ( an old broken one, I had help a couple times in the garden the past 2 weeks) right over the strawberries, as they are low and that will allow them to recover.

    Most of my beds are the same size,  so other people should think about this, some benefits to a standard bed size are being able to have standard size helpers, like mini hoop covers, that will work on all beds;  and being able to rotate crops thru the years and keep the same plan of how many plants, how they are laid out, and you just rotate where that plan is done.

    My beds are all 12 feet long by 4 feet wide.  So while this is 48 sq ft I just nominally think of it like 50 sq ft, as alot of planning and yield data is based on 100 sq ft beds, so then it is easy to think of my beds as half-beds.  My raised beds are 12 inches deep, with hardware cloth secured on the bottom to keep out gophers.  Some of my older beds used hot-dipped gopher wire, and I can attest to this not rusting for years, either type of wire.  Why I have moved to the galvanized hardware cloth is that it is easier to not rip or catch on it with a shovel.  I of course am careful and aware that I cant go a full shovel down, and I remind my help, but I feel after years of working with it that a shovel tip can catch in the gopher wire sized holes while it will just graze over the hardware cloth.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 9:20am

    #92
    Penguin Will

    Penguin Will

    Status: Member

    Joined: Aug 20 2019

    Posts: 60

    4

    Penguin Will said:

    drbrucedale: An excellent post. And one that illustrates the futility of trying to feed yourself on a postage stamp sized plot. And it also illustrates why our ancestors had livestock and an orchard if at all possible. Efficiency as a function of calories per unit area of land may not be as high, but as a function of human work input it is much higher with livestock and an orchard. And THAT 2nd function is what determined historically if you made it or not.

    But you fight a war with the army you have not the one you'd like to have. :p

    Will

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 10:30am

    drbrucedale

    drbrucedale

    Status: Member

    Joined: Sep 06 2009

    Posts: 126

    5

    Squash as storage food

    Hi Susan:

    I have stored squash over the winter in a dark, cool, dry spot...places like you would use to store potatoes. My favorite squashes for longer-term storage are winter squashes such as the Hubbard and acorn varieties.

    I have never tried storing squash longer than one winter, but my guess is they wouldn't store longer than a few months. Anything that is moist will eventually decay (rot), and squashes, to a greater or lesser degree, are all moist. The summer squashes last a few weeks, if you are lucky, the winter squashes a few months.

    That is actually the biggest secret of long term food storage. Get high quality staples (rice, beans, wheat, etc.) that are dry and clean and store them in the darkest, coolest spot you can find. If you can, use oxygen packets to remove oxygen. (The link I provided in my post tells you about oxygen removal packets).

    When our kids were small and we were really poor (graduate school for 6 years tends to make you poor) we stored our food inside in our various apartments. Our end tables for the sofa were two large 32 gallon plastic drums that we had filled with hard red winter wheat...about 300 pounds of wheat per barrel.

    I cut plywood in a circle, stained it to look nice (sort of), put the circle on top of the barrel to hold a lamp and my wife sewed "skirts" that we tacked onto the plywood circles to make the barrels look attractive. For many years, our kids and my wife and I slept on matresses that were supported by plywood sheets that in turn rested on 5 gallon buckets filled with food staples. Each of us slept well on his or her own food storage.

    So I know that we can store enough food even in small apartments to provide a lot of resiliency for ups and downs.

    A couple of years ago I opened up the wheat barrels to see how the wheat was doing. It looked fine...no mold or any obvious damage. We made a couple of loaves of bread from it. The bread tasted fine.

    I think dry food kept cool and dry, especially whole grains and legumes, will last a human lifetime. This morning I had oatmeal (whole rolled oats) made from oats I stored in 1985...no joke. It smelled and tasted fine.

    Vitamins may degrade a bit over time, but the protein and the calories will be there. You can get the necessary vitamins in lots of ways, but having enough calories to keep you moving is more challenging.  So, focus on calories (and some protein) that you like to eat and build from there in your deep pantry.

    Hope this helps.

    Bruce

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 10:56am

    #94
    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 306

    6

    squash storage

    I have butternut squash last until June consistently.

    Acorn squash does not store long, maybe a couple months, I just grow butternut squash now for storage squash.

    Another thing to do is, towards the end of storage length for storage crops is you process them.  So you would then take your butternut squash and cook it and freeze it to continue making soups. or can it.  Same with yellow onions, if your storage area gets too warm too soon, make sure some are processed before you lose them.  SO, dehydrate alot of chopped onions either at harvest time or later in early spring when you want that heat from the dehydrator in the house.  A friend of mine slices and sautes and carmalizes her onions first, then cans them or freezes them, this way it is easy for her to have a ready made source of flavor.  You can also dehydrate winter squash, I have done so, dried it like it was fruit leather, this stores very well.  Potatoes as well can be frozen before they totally go.  Any product of frozen potatoes you can by at the grocery store you can freeze at home.  So, in spring, freeze some grated, diced or french fry slices.  Look up correct freezing instructions.

    But, at my place, I still have potatoes, squash and onions although the potatoes are looking wrinkly and a few onions have sprouted.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 11:22am

    #95

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 1047

    5

    Covid-19 = hysteria, fear mongering, power grab, wealth transfer! Di you dare consider a viewpoint that’s different from yours?

    Per David Stockman

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 12:19pm

    #96
    chloecasey

    chloecasey

    Status: Member

    Joined: Dec 25 2008

    Posts: 26

    1

    Winter Squash

    Our favorite winter squash is Delicata. While it won't last as long as acorn or butternut we find the flavor and texture far more appealing.  When it gets toward the end of its storage life, we process it and freeze it.  It has a "hardy" mouth feel, more like a sweet potato that a squash.  We find the best way to eat it is to cut it into small cubes and cook it on the stove with a little oil (olive or avocado) and some salt and pepper. You want to cook it long enough it gets soft and don't use a lid so that it can "grill" in the pan (stirring occasionally) rather than steam.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 12:20pm

    #97
    Kat43

    Kat43

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 10 2020

    Posts: 48

    2

    Stealth gardening

    Some food crops you can intersperse in a flower garden without it being obvious they are food if you are concerned about theft.  Especially greens/herbs and root vegetables.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 12:35pm

    #98

    AKGrannyWGrit

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Feb 06 2011

    Posts: 1047

    0

    6 1/2 Trillion Dollars on virus so far - 60 Minutes Australia - Lawsuits against CCP

    Save some popcorn for this fight.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 5:27pm

    nordicjack

    nordicjack

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Feb 03 2020

    Posts: 736

    4

    Suing China

    I think its the most crazy action I have ever heard.   WHY?  Is china very secrete , yes.  are all countries yes.  BUT,  They bear no responsibility to the world.  Your country bears the burden of health and wellfare.. not another country.   Is it the business of our country to identify foreign threats?  Of course.. Was this one seen a mile away?? well 13k miles away to be exact?    HECK YES.....   China released tons tons , tons of information early on - and their behaviors showed there was a huge problem.. But the world joked and laughed all the way down wallstreet.    WELL , I say FU world.. if you think china owes you for this mess....

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 5:44pm

    nordicjack

    nordicjack

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Feb 03 2020

    Posts: 736

    6

    david stockman is a moron

    If you listen to this idiot you have issues.   So , his one size fits all - NOT.. plan.   speaks of exclusion of people under 30.  So what is he saying open the country up to children?  let them spread it like wildfire to the rest.. because their baby adolescent bodies and immune systems are almost not vulnerable.    First, we have no idea what this does those healthy people after they acquire and survive the illness.  Then the rest of the country becomes disposable?    Sounds like something out that star trek episode with only kids living on the planet.. like our current moron kids.     Anyway.. besides this he cannot do simple math.     He takes about the over-all mortality rate of the illness the deaths/per 1M of population..   And he said its something like not even 1 in a 100k.    Well, actually while mulling over the numbers today , I realized that death rate in NYC is closing on very close to 1/1000  ..  that is the death rate total population not per infected..    so,  its certainly not 1:100,000.   That is taking the outbreak area - - being all these deaths are occuring inside an area of population between the 8.5M of NYC and the surrounding total population of about 23M/     So, I have no clue what the heck he is speaking about.. And we are still losing 1k per day in patients with another 10k critical - and I am sure they have dropped many deaths that were no diagnosed.. He further talks about they are seemingly dying and no matter what - being listed as a covid death..  Well if they died of a heart attack and had no covid symptoms , Id get that.. but if they are sick " hence the definition of being ill with an infection"//    and they die.. from severe symptoms consistent with this.. its not another cause.    Never the less, I dont listen to people who spew this trash..

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 6:04pm

    MrPug

    MrPug

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 25 2020

    Posts: 1

    0

    BERMUDA GRASS

    Thanks for that great idea about placing a tarp over the grass you need to remove.  I tilled my soil two years ago and been trying to grow a partial sunny/sunny grass on the newly tilled soil.  I bought a commercial off the self grass combo, but I get are weeds.  I will try covering with a tarp.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 6:23pm

    Sparky1

    Sparky1

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Jul 21 2016

    Posts: 753

    1

    BEWARE | SEVERE Changes in the WEATHER are coming. (video)

    Yanasa Ama Ventures

    BEWARE | SEVERE Changes in the WEATHER are coming.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 7:11pm

    Mots

    Mots

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Jun 18 2012

    Posts: 268

    1

    squash storage

    mountainhouse man
    Thanks for explaining the storage differences among the squashes....
    I will open and cook a butternut from last September today. Still solid.

    Can you provide any advice on freezing potatoes.  I have tried freezing prepared (boiled) potatoes and raw potatoes but no luck. Maybe I need to make parboiled fries first?
    Potatoes are a prime subject for resilience but dont store well for many months.  This is an important topic.

    thanks

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 10:08pm

    Linda T

    Linda T

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jun 09 2014

    Posts: 132

    1

    Re: bermuda grass, and chickens

    MrPug,

    I keep forgetting to suggest this…

    The last place I lived in Santa Barbara, CA before moving away had a lot of issues with Bermuda grass and other “weeds” while we were creating an Edible Food Forest. (“Weeds” are pioneer species, which usually have medicinal properties and some parts can be used for either fiber, dyes, foraging, etc.  Basically, they’re earth’s healers since they tend to show up when soil has been either disturbed or dilapidated.) We dug out a LOT of rhizomes and kept composting them in various ways, fed a lot of them to the chickens (they would gobble them up), and eventually they stopped showing up… Except, for a long thin strip between the fence and the house on the west side of the property. I kept reading about ryegrass inhibiting “weeds” from growing. I finally decided to give it a shot and found some annual ryegrass seeds at the feed store.

    Once the rye grass was about 5-6” tall, no more problems!!! Then, I would come along and trim sections of the grass by hand to give to the chickens (14 of them) as part of their daily goodies… They soon learned what that bucket was for!! Goodies such as grubs, grass clippings, funky tomatoes or leftovers were on the way, and they would get very excited, and noisy as a result. (I miss "talking" chickenspeak with them, and they have such entertaining and different personalities.) I would also give them whole pumpkins (which lasted about 20 minutes between 14 of them) since the seeds help them with parasites, in addition to planting mugwort on 2 corners of the chicken coop so they could have some when they wanted it. To help keep their diet diverse and to help provide protein for their eggs, I would also get live crickets from the feed store weekly or every other week (the store was a few blocks away and they would buy the extra eggs or I could have store credit).

    One day my non-hunter indoor cat was making some really weird noises which I had never heard before, so I went to investigate. She had found a live lizard at least 6” long inside the house. Her eyes were huge, and I realized she had been calling me for help. What am I going to do with this?? Ah… I took it to the chickens and they had me laughing hysterically, so much so my stomach hurt for about 45 minutes, while they played “lizard fumble” with it.

    Linda

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Mon, Apr 20, 2020 - 10:57pm

    mntnhousepermi

    mntnhousepermi

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Feb 19 2016

    Posts: 306

    2

    potatoes

    For me potatoes already are a long storage crop and I dont need to preserve them. You do need to knock the eyes off of them to store better late in teh season if they want to start sprouting.

    I like Carol Deepes ( author of The Resilient Gardener, which I highly recommend) Idea on potatoes, she has an essay about them here https://caroldeppe.com/The%2020%20Potato%20a%20Day%20Diet.html  She grows all her own food, and at the time of this essay had a garden/farm partner, so the amount grown and stored were for 2 people " ...I began my Nearly All Potato Winter right after Nate finished harvesting, and we stood in our attached garage gloating over an entire wall of shelves of bags of potatoes—about 1200 pounds, of 18 varieties."   Yes, that is 1200 pounds of potatoes, hand grown and stored in paper bags in a garage somehwere in Oregon, I think outside of Eugene.

    In mid-March, close to the end of my Nearly All Potato Winter, Nate and I parceled out the remaining potatoes and then stood gazing a bit mournfully at the near-empty shelves in the garage. It was time to turn to the cornbread corn, polenta corn, and beans. These were superb gourmet varieties. But it was sad to see the last of the potatoes. “I’m not the slightest bit tired of eating potatoes,” I observed.

    She says that there are so many varieties of potatoes, and so many ways to eat them.  No other preserving of them, just eat them all within the 5 or 6 months that they will store. It is very inspiring to read about the wonderful ways to use the different variety of potatoes in her eassy she ends it thus

    Happiness is 1600 pounds of potatoes tucked away in the garage, with another half dozen new varieties.

    But, I know what you mean, I do not like to freeze cooked potatoes ( maybe mashed potatoes, but not chunks, they get watery, even trying to freeze a leftover soup with potatoes in it is passable, but not ideal)

    I do not freeze potatoes, I dont freeze much, realy.  I dehydrate alot.   But, Others do freeze them and you can buy them frozen.  You need to blanch most vegetables before freezing.  Warning, I have not done this, but this looks like the right idea https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-freeze-your-own-french-fries-235216

    I think I preserved potatoes once by making gnochi and then frezzing that.  And those potatoes were realy shrunk and looked to be on their last legs and made good gnochi, they were just harder to peel being so old.

     

     

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Apr 21, 2020 - 2:20am

    Chad Petzer

    Chad Petzer

    Status: Member

    Joined: Apr 21 2020

    Posts: 2

    9

    A different kind of food crisis brewing

    Hey Chris, I’ve been following your videos since “why is Wuhan building hospitals in a week??”

    And honestly your videos have have been amazing. I’d like to share this as a South African perspective on what you’ve been calling the coming food crisis.

     

    right now, according to stats of 2015 (so these are probably worse now because #corruption)

     

    To feed a single person a nutritionally complete basket of food for the month costs around R527 for a small child  ($1 = R18+-)

    The government grant for a child is R420, clearly not enough to  feed a child correctly.

     

    55% of the population live under the upper bound poverty line, with 25% living below the lower bound poverty line or more distastefully referred to as extreme poverty.

     

    at the moment we’re around 20 odd days into a National Shutdown of everything except essentials (grocery stores and pharmacies)

     

    currently we're seeing supply chain trucks for supermarkets being intercepted, robbed and looted. We’re also seeing food aid trucks, being intercepted and robbed and looted. The media is reporting this as a crime from the people but I’d like to give the international people a more well rounded view of what is to come from RSA and that is a total shit storm.

    Right now it’s only small scale, our social unrest is going to follow the case, case, case, cluster- cluster- BOOM stage too, when that happens you should our country making headlines

    Why? Well government officials as we speak, have been arrested for “allegedly” (which we all know means is absolutely true) SELLING FOOD AID PARCELS to the poor,

    the parcels, meant for distribution for free, to the poorest of people, were being sold by some shady corrupt official.

     

    And then the media, asks “why are communities looting supply trucks??”

    Well i think its simple really, if a community living below the poverty line gets told they need to buy food aid, you can expect social unrest to follow, how does someone who lives on a weekly wage, who hasn’t been paid in 20 plus days, pay for something that should have been free?

     

    the craziest part of all of this is, a lot of our countries population come from villages, in beautiful mountains.

    A simplistic person would call village life beautiful, tend your gardens, walk 5km for water and take care of the ins and outs of your daily life in a rural village. The problem is “the rat race” and modernization of cities with people living in suburbs and driving fancy cars allures a lot of farm folk, as it does all over the world,

    these people in turn, leave their villages In pursuit of a university education and “making it” in the city and also, uplifting their family which are still in the rural areas,

     

    now these people get to the city and end up living in slums, working dead end jobs and suffering in the name of hope for their family back home.

     

    Its a sickening cycle of increasing country wide poverty endorsed by a government of corruption that thrives off of poverty.

     

    compounding this whole issue is massive corruption, like I mean monumental government and private sector corruption,

    e.g. the previous president of our country Jacob Zuma held the position with more than 700 corruption charges hanging over his head,

     

    state owned enterprises are all in disarray and a quick google search of South African Airways,  Eskom and South African Broad Casting Services, as well as the “Gupta saga” who exemplify how money and contacts will let you pillage an African country and retreat to the UAE without any criminal implications.

    These are all perfect reasons as to why South Africa is about to experience a serious collapse ,  not just economically, but socially too.

     

    The real reason our country is in an absolute crisis is 100% corruption based, international firms are all involved and complacent in this, we are the perfect example of how a government can completely destroy a nation,

     

    my hope is that the millions of people in poverty abandon the slums and return to villages, focus on their families, their lives and growing food, sharing in what Africans call “Ubuntu” the mind boggling thing is, food is grown by these people for themselves and by themselves in the villages.

     

    Ubuntu means, I exist because you exist - at its most fundamental core meaning, and my wish from coronavirus is, we all see Ubuntu within ourselves more clearly

    We’re only in poverty when we all want to live the 1st world life, the western world life really. According to western standards, Africa is in poverty because we don’t earn a certain amount of money per month.

    but what is that money worth when average American businesses make $3 debt for every $1 they earn?

    Why are African countries trying soooo hard to replicate a failing system? I mean the whole western concept of civilization is literally falling a part in front of us,

    financial systems are collapsing

    housing markets are collapsing

    These things are what made the western world so “civilized”  now we see them falling apart, so was the west really ever out of poverty or were they just living a fallacy while exploiting the rest of the world? The west, isn’t just directed toward USA but more so Switzerland and France, and England, the real colonizers of the world, who are currently living on stolen wealth.

    This I hope, will be the 4th turning.

    What I am seeing unfold in South Africa is truly diabolical, and I shudder to think what’s really happening on the ground in Zimbabwe, our brothers north.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Apr 21, 2020 - 3:58am

    VTGothic

    VTGothic

    Status: Bronze Member

    Joined: Jan 05 2020

    Posts: 267

    1

    Wow, Chad!

    Thanks for that on-the-ground report. I was born in SA to American parents back in the 1950s. We moved to the States in the early '60s. I still have friends there - children of parents who were friends of my parents when we were all kids, and friends of theirs who have become my acquaintances via social media. I keep one eye on your news.

    It's heart-wrenching to think about all the human suffering taking place in the midst of such long-standing corruption; and to think that for a brief moment at the downfall of apartheid it looked like something good might emerge.

    It's more depressing to look at developments here and recognize they're baby's first steps in the same direction.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Apr 21, 2020 - 4:49am

    Oliveoilguy

    Status: Gold Member

    Joined: Jun 29 2012

    Posts: 826

    4

    Herewego on Squash and other veggies

    Over the years I have grown stuff that is easy. My theory is that if it doesn’t want to thrive in my climate....then I should find something that does. I’m in South Central Texas, so what works here probably doesn’t apply to all areas. But I have had great success with Asparagus (basically a weed that that comes back year after year).

    Butternut....Irish Potatoes .....sweet potatoes ....and Onions are my storage crops. They are kept in a root cellar. Storing anything in Texas heat is not easy.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Apr 21, 2020 - 6:30am

    shekinahl

    shekinahl

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 14 2019

    Posts: 9

    3

    good for this week only free online videos self-reliance

    may already be posted...https://online.motherearthnewsfair.com/p/mother-earth-news-fair-online-skills-for-self-reliance/?oc_slh=ff79adb325951307268b08858f81df1f1c1989630d4044bc629b1b2df6825cab&utm_source=wcemail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MEN%20E_04.20.20%20MEN%20Fair%20Online&utm_term=MEN_PromotionsAll%20Subscribers&_wcsid=4882ACB2A40CB2B7988BAE162335CA7D271A18AF70FBAFC2

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Apr 21, 2020 - 7:03am

    Penguin Will

    Penguin Will

    Status: Member

    Joined: Aug 20 2019

    Posts: 60

    1

    Penguin Will said:

    Oliveoilguy: That is sound advice. Nothing like knowing what works locally and staying between the white lines. No use trying to mimic something you read or see on the net if it is for an entirely different environment.

    I always wanted an orchard. From when I was a kid. In watching how the legacy trees produce on my little farm, I have learned a few things about my local climate: blossom period is 90% of success. Peach and cherry trees dot the fields and borders and make it past the April frosts maybe one in four years. For apples, the early bloomers make it about the same amount. The middle bloomers (Golden Delicious) make it about half the time.

    So I chose only late bloomers for the new orchard (and planted grape vines that are for a cool climate). They are just now in the early stage of blossoming and will probably make it through tonight's freeze. The gorgeous cherry trees out my window that are covered in blossoms are probably toast...

    3000' elevation can put a hurt on things. You have to bend with the local wind.

    Will

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Apr 21, 2020 - 9:26am

    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: May 17 2017

    Posts: 794

    3

    Sell your tiller

    Now is the time. Lots of newfolks are entering the home garden community. This is wonderful news. Seeds, fertilizer, manure, etc are flying off the shelves. Gardening equipment is being snapped up. Clearly it is a sellers market.

    Now is the perfect time to sell to sell that gas guzzling, carbon spewing, climate changing waste of energy. Yep that front tine, rear tine, mid tine piece of crap.

    I had the 2 happiest days of my life (sailors will be able to relate). The day I bought my tiller and the day I sold it. That was over 40 years ago. I call it independence day.

    One of the worst things you can do to a garden is till. God knew what he was doing when he laid down all that soil. There is a structure and a complex ecosystem in what we tend to take for granted and call "dirt".

    The following link can help you get started on your path to recovery from the tiller addiction.

    https://learn.eartheasy.com/articles/no-till-gardening/

    Then there is a revolutionary book from the 1940's

    https://www.amazon.com/Plowmans-Folly-Edward-H-Faulkner/dp/0806111690

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Apr 21, 2020 - 9:45am

    Mohammed Mast

    Mohammed Mast

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: May 17 2017

    Posts: 794

    1

    India techie turned Farmer (inspirational)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO-eYYJogL4

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Apr 21, 2020 - 4:14pm

    westcoastjan

    westcoastjan

    Status: Silver Member

    Joined: Jun 04 2012

    Posts: 464

    2

    Further to my comment #43...

    New updates re Alberta and BC processing plant virus outbreaks:

    The beef plant just south of Calgary - a major Canadian supplier - is temporarily suspending operations and is now being investigated and potentially sued for wrongful death related to the virus:

    https://calgaryherald.com/business/labour-group-call-for-ohs-and-criminal-investigations-into-cargill-beef-plant-covid-death/wcm/c132f267-fd99-48db-a3c5-f27f6c2e1fb5/

    Chicken processing plant in Fraser Valley just east of Vancouver BC now has an outbreak with 28 staff infected

    One new COVID-19 death in B.C., as outbreak reported at poultry plant

    At least 5 new virus cases in BC interior as a result of transitory tar sand workers returning home from shifts - I suspect there will be MANY more.

    And lastly (bold my emphasis):

    The other labour issue facing the industry is a farm worker shortage. Some 60,000 temporary foreign workers come to Canada annually to work on farms and in plants but border closures mean fewer are expected this year.
    They are also required to quarantine for two weeks upon arrival, and this week, the federal government announced $1,500 per worker to help employers cover salary payments or revamp living quarters to ensure workers can abide by distancing protocols.
    Checks on those measures will be carried out by local, provincial and federal authorities, Bibeau said.
    Workers' rights group Justicia for Migrant Workers has raised concerns the onus is actually being placed on workers — not their employers — to comply.
    They cite a video being produced by the Ontario Provincial Police telling workers in Spanish what their obligations are, and say there are already efforts by communities to "name and shame" migrant labourers.
    "We find it disconcerting that local community members are so concerned about migrant workers' social distancing while in public, yet do not share the same concerns regarding the lack of protections and accommodations provided by the employer to ensure that migrant farm workers are able to socially distance in their workplace and home," they said in a statement Wednesday.

    https://www.farms.com/news/bibeau-says-canada-has-enough-food-but-covid-19-will-still-bring-challenges-155561.aspx

    And it keeps on rolling... 🙁

    Jan

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Apr 21, 2020 - 8:49pm

    Cj Sloane

    Cj Sloane

    Status: Member

    Joined: Feb 19 2020

    Posts: 33

    0

    Cj Sloane said:

    I've harvested 18.5 lbs so far this year of sun chokes. First time spring harvesting!

    Try cubing them and parboiling for 20 minutes. Slowly cook some bacon and caramelize some onions and add the sun chokes. Great side dish.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Tue, Apr 21, 2020 - 10:07pm

    Jim Montgomery

    Jim Montgomery

    Status: Member

    Joined: Jan 26 2019

    Posts: 1

    8

    Jim Montgomery said:

    Although I've been a member for a while now, this is my first post.  I am passionate about growing food, so this topic has inspired me to post.   I am so glad I found this group of thoughtful, critical-thinking, and sharing folks.   My deepest gratitude to Chris, Adam and everyone else who comprise the Peak Prosperity community.  I'm very interested in how to  live a more resilient, meaningful and compassionate life in a time where we face so many crises; ecological, social, political, financial, etc.  I see great opportunity for positive change and it starts with each of us.  Here is a video on some of the things we are doing at our house to be that change, including growing our own food...

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Apr 22, 2020 - 8:28am

    Sundancer

    Sundancer

    Status: Member

    Joined: Nov 06 2012

    Posts: 8

    3

    Free Video Gardening Course Available for Everyone

    Most gardeners have very small garden sites. We simply don't have the capability (in terms of space, time, or physical ability) to produce all the food that we need, but we are still very interested in finding ways to produce as much fresh nutritious food as possible in our limited space.

    I have recently created a 45-minute online video course: 10 Secrets for Growing More Vegetables in a Small Space.  My sister and I have harvested 900 pounds of vegetables all year-round from less than 400 sq ft of garden beds, and I share the basics of all the methods we used in this course.

    I used to help train Master Gardeners about vegetable gardening.  I've decided to provide this course FREE to everyone, in order to help as many people as possible to harvest more fresh food during this pandemic and beyond.

    Please share this course with everyone you think may benefit from it. Best wishes, everyone!

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Apr 22, 2020 - 9:33am

    Dan D. Foe

    Dan D. Foe

    Status: Member

    Joined: Aug 20 2012

    Posts: 18

    2

    Everything is connected.

    I live in South Central B.C. hard-against the U.S. border.  Yesterday a jet fighter swooped low over the border and pulled a quick U-turn at about 2,000 feet.  The last time I saw a jet fighter, (probably a RCAF F-16), it was on 9/11.  It was doing figure 8's above the Fraser River Delta, which as you know is near Vancouver, B.C.  I spent a lot of time that day watching commercial overseas aircraft coming in low and slow over our house, lining up to land in Vancouver after U.S. airspace had been closed.

    The reason I mention this is because everything is connected.  My connecting these two jet-fighter sightings -- the one yesterday and the one 19 years' ago -- has to do with the fact that I was outside at the time, working in the largest garden I have ever attempted: no mean feat for a somewhat deconditioned 60-something. But:  I, (and I minimize the "I" part), I should say We, (my 20-something son has been helping out A LOT), have accomplished more this year than ever before.

    Fighter aircraft have a lot to offer, but unfortunately, the ability to destroy the SARS-2 virus is not something they can do. However, good food, attentively grown, fresh, and simply prepared CAN be part of an effective response to the pandemic, so:  all the best to you and all of us as we do what we can, wherever we are, with what we have.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Apr 22, 2020 - 9:45am

    Dan D. Foe

    Dan D. Foe

    Status: Member

    Joined: Aug 20 2012

    Posts: 18

    1

    Try canning potatoes in jars

    It's possible to can potatoes in jars using a pressure canner.  I highly recommend it.  Bonus:  potatoes canned in jars have already been scrubbed, peeled and diced, which makes them an 'instant' option when time is running short, or when you are making a stew.

    Login or Register to post comments

  • Wed, Apr 22, 2020 - 9:53am

    Dan D. Foe

    Dan D. Foe

    Status: Member

    Joined: Aug 20 2012

    Posts: 18

    2

    Thanks for the tip.

    Thanks for the tip about covering the corn.  I've been on the garden tilling and making preparations for over a week now, and despite the fact there are not as many crows here as there were in suburbia, (where I used to live), there is one crow in particular who is watching me, looking for seeds to pillage.  Hm.  Should I fix it a Drain-O and peanut butter sandwich?

     

    Login or Register to post comments