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Article: crisis garden...enough?

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Yes, agreed, Amber Actually.    It IS painful to pay insurance premiums.....at premium prices....and not use it.  :tapfoot:  BUT it's a lot MORE painful to HAVE TO use the car or health or .......Life Insurance.  :o     I just went thru my meds recently too.  It's been a long time and tho many meds can last very long, a few needed to be refreshed.  Like regular aspirin.  I agree.....glad we weren't sick enough to use that much!  


Know what we're out of?  Full strength bleach.  Rarely put it down our septic system with laundry.  Use for a final quick egg rinse.  Can use the weak stuff for that.  I use it in the kitchen to sanitize my constantly-used water bottles, and such.  But we had no bottles of full strength.  3 of weak strength...as in: already opened.  CanNOT rely on that if you must use it to sanitize unsafe water.  Sooooo, next grocery trip, DH will get 3 small bottles of bleach.  Cuz if they aren't opened, they last quite a while.  Not forever cuz plastic is kinda permeable. 


I do get very irritated when preps get too old that I could have used....but didn't get around to or am not organized enough to bring the oldest forward.  Like food.  But.....I have to face that I'm not functioning as well as I was FORMERLY CAPABLE of functioning.  Right now, DH and I are hanging on for dear life.   :runcirclsmiley2:

So if I've got some meds I didn't need to use  :amen:

If I've got ancient canned goods  :sigh:  Oh well. 


MtRider  :shopping: 

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Thanks for the gratitude reminder ladies!  :hug3:


Some of my meds are years past the expired date. I figure the best I can do is double up on them if I need them in an emergency until I can replace them. I'm THINKING they are just losing their potency. I need to make a replacement list. I'm totally lost without lists. 

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yes you can.

One Circle

How to Grow a Complete Diet in Less Than 1000 Square Feet

Dave Duhon & Cindy Gebhard
1984, 200 pp.

Using the techniques described in How To Grow More Vegetables..., this book will help you explore your nutritional needs and then design and produce a complete vegetarian diet in as little as 700 square feet. Loaded with charts, annotated bibliographies, step-by-step instructions, and even cut-out slide rules for the calculations. You’re invited to participate in this bold, new cutting-edge of Biointensive development and research. You will need to read How To Grow More Vegeables... first.


I bought the book (several of theirs as a matter of fact....they were fascinating!

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Interesting thread.   🤔     I guess I've been doing it backwards.  Instead of trying to grow foods I would normally enjoy in sufficient amounts to feed me year to year, I have concentrated on learning to utilize to the max the things that DO grow easily in my area and that are easy to process by hand.  I have been collecting recipes and experimenting since the 90s with an eye to total food self sufficiency. 


Kale is one example - I never tried it until I read that book above - then I found I could grow it in the snow (!) in Wisconsin and that it was tasty!  So I collected recipes for it & incorporated it into me & my husband's  "regular" diet.  Then I looked for a grain that was manageable for one person.  Yup, it was corn.  It can be grown  nearly anywhere, and can be shocked in the field to dry down (and even store for a while) until one gets around to picking it.  Then it can sit in a corn crib (or a ventilated bin inside) until you get around to shelling it (they make neat little hand gadgets to save the hands).  OK, so I hunted out and tried out recipes.  Cornmeal, hominy, parched corn, all make a HUGE number of recipes, and I learned to enjoy them all.  (I figured my husband & I might as well learn to eat them  BEFORE a crisis required it.  No sense getting the trots on top of everything else!)  I learned to grow & dry down beans (another easily hand-processed crop) and again, we learned to eat and love them in many, many ways. My husband liked beans & corn so much that he used to say that if the SHTF we could easily become vegetarians and not miss a beat.  


M and I are practicing with tomatoes & potatoes  now - hunting out those that will grow here with our humidity and tendency for blights, mildews, etc.  So far it looks like short season potatoes (getting them dug before the diseases take hold) but that has the problem of seed-tubers not being disease free if we save them ourselves.  Still working on that issue, trying to find out if there are any low-tech treatments to kill that stuff on seed tubers.  Im searching out and trialing Florida developed tomatoes (they have the heat/humidity, too.)  But beans & corn are keepers, along with kale and our assorted newly discovered "winter garden" greens.  I'm getting M used to them, slowly, because she is not used to eating "strange" foods, has not found a cornmeal recipe she can stand (except for cornbread stuffing, LOL), and other impediments to a pioneer diet.  She reacts with intestinal problems to unprocessed foods, so we are going slow, and have the foods she is used to (white flour, pasta, rice) stored for her until we transition her diet over too.   (Taro sounds interesting.  I wonder if it will grow here?) 


I guess it is all a matter of learning to use what DOES grow where you are. I'm researching fruits that will survive our clay soil, hot temps and high humidity.  So far wild plums look promising.  Elderberries too.  This fall I need to make a visit to the muscadine  (mus-ca-DINE not mus-ca-deen, I have been informed) grape nursery not far from here to get some vines (unless I can wheedle some cuttings my friends' 90-yr old neighbor).  Bunch grapes do not do well in our heat/humidity.  That nursery has other locally adapted fruit trees & shrubs, too. Raspberries & rhubarb don't survive, but pomegranates and figs look promising, and I'd sure like to taste pawpaws, even if they do not keep or can well.    Meanwhile our horticultural experiments continue...if nothing else, its a fascinating hobby.   




Edited by kappydell
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Also talk to Wellspring Gardens.

Some other ideas:

There are two basic kinds of mulberries, red and white. The red ones are blackpurple, the white ones are mostly redpurple, and nearly all of the ones you see are natural hybrids.

There is a disease called popcorn disease, which I have never seen, which is supposed to be killing the production on the hybrids.  I leave you to look up the rest on your own, because the information I am getting is wildly contradictory.  Looks like the long Pakistan mulberry MIGHT be immune.

Scuppernongs are a kind of muscadines, in case someone mentions them.

People are breeding some other grapes that are immune to or at least resistant to Pierce's disease.  This, not the heat, is the real problem for bunch grapes.  

Forget rhubarb.

There's a Mysore raspberry that will grow and produce all the way down to Miami, but unless you are armor plated, it is NOT WORTH IT.  We have blackberries, dewberries, and all kinds of tasty variants to eat instead.  

There have been some recent breakthroughs in tomatoes--this is an exciting time, and the next few years should see availability of Florida-proof tomatoes with actual flavor to them.  Until then, hope springeth eternal.

Eastern Europe has true potato seed with (allegedly) reasonable uniformity.  They are not Florida-proof, at least not Amber-proof, but hope springeth eternal.  I have another flat seeded out now.  Remind me in a couple of months to report on them.

You are in a great pomegranate zone.  Talk to Green Sea Farms.  Salavatski, Wonderful,  Gainey Sweet, Larkin if you can get it, and Christina would be good starters for you, probably.  

There are amateur breeders working on improving the Chickasaw plum; you could listen for people who have Toole's Heirloom,  Guthrie, or Odom particularly.  

Edited by Ambergris
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7 hours ago, kappydell said:

 I guess I've been doing it backwards. 


Obviously you can't be doing it backwards at all.  We're each in a different ecosystem and must find what grows there reliably enough to feed us.  We each have to produce sufficient base calories, as well as cover nutritional variety.  Hopefully flavor variety in order to avoid 'appetite fatigue' from monotony.  The calorie count....it's huge especially if anyone has a "poor absorption of nutrient" or actual "allergic reaction" for something like corn or wheat.  Unfortunately, this former Iowa farm girl doesn't digest corn easily.  Limed, it might work tho.  :shrug:  Can't grow any of it up here tho anyway.


Have we even talked about the addition of quail, rabbit, poultry to augment?  That wasn't in the original article, I don't believe but certainly is an option.  Yet...those critters would also need food....which might complicate more than they offer.  :shrug:


Yes, taro is wonderful....  :unsure:  Well I think it is.  Many folks think poi tastes like wallpaper paste.  Nonetheless, highly nutritious.  Many in HI cut a whole in corner of the plastic bag it comes in, to squirt portions right into the mouth.  Never raw, mind you, for the taro.  It's one of those plants that have the crystalline formations that needs to be cooked.  



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Yeah, I bit into a raw taro once. 


I want ducks to produce eggs, either dogs or geese to protect the ducks, chickens to eat what the ducks won't (and to be eaten--they produce both meat and fat), guinea pigs to produce meat and fat, rabbits to produce meat without fat, quail, pigeons for eggs and squab. Actually, I would love a couple or three real guinea pigs, which go oink and are small swine.  Not as small as kune-kunes, but not as tame and cute either.   I wouldn't want *all* of those kinds of critters, of course, because I couldn't keep up with all of them.  But some combination.  If I kept critters in hard times, especially if I had chickens or enough poopers to make a noticeable smell, I think I would need some goats as an outer ring of distraction--of course, they would also produce milk.  Bear in mind I do not like the sweet, flat taste of goat's milk, but it would add to the calories in cornbread or other food, and and it would be good to add to the critter feed.  


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Kune-Kune......oh, for cute!  I Wikipedia-ed the term.  Hadn't seen them before.  For the purpose of roto-tilling successive gardening plots?  Better size than most pigs if you don't want fences pushed down. 


This is funny:  https://www.khon2.com/news/local-news/guinea-pigs-found-on-kawananakoa-middle-school-campus/


I couldn't find any data on "real guinea pigs....oink/real swine"  ???? 




19 hours ago, Ambergris said:

Bear in mind I do not like the sweet, flat taste of goat's milk,


REally?  Once I got the double/triple degrees of sanitation handled, DH and I tasted absolutely no difference between goat and store cow milk.  Like:  milk is milk.  EXCEPT...my nigies [Nigerian Dwarf] had very rich [lotta butterfat] milk.  I did warn folks who were used to skim, 1, or 2 % .  But if you wanted butter, that would tone down the percent of butterfat.  Would their high percentage be "sweet/flat"?    Or maybe different breeds of goats?  Or was it not fresh milk?  :shrug:  Asking ONLY cuz I'm just curious.  I hadn't heard of a discernable difference beyond that.


MtRider  :pc_coffee:

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Oh, I have seen this breed.  Quite a while ago, I spent many hours looking at breeds of everything in the Livestock Conservancy site.  Yeah, a landrace breed, at least in some climates.  Glad they brought them back.  Not a monster size...and "gentle". 


MtRider  :pc_coffee:



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of COURSE animals!  Grazing has always been a way to convert brushland or land that was not suitable for produce (too hilly, etc) into meat and milk.  Chickens & other poultry eat bugs, weed seeds, (ever hear of weeding geese?) and contribute to the home eco system.  As far as expensive feeds, many years ago I read an anecdote in which a young "modern" farmer told an old-timer, "You know, that pig would grow larger in a much shorter time if you fed him the store bought feed".   The old timer replied..."What's time to a pig?"  

That is kind of my attitude, cultivated over the years.  The idea is to adapt to the natural swing of things, rather than spending much time, effort and CASH to bludgeon nature to suit your schedule and desires.  I guess that is the difference between a homestead mentality and a suburbia attitude (No offense meant, just an observation.).  


I LOVE the idea of guinea hogs.  Using them to 'hog down' (ie eat the leftovers, bugs, seeds, and fertilyze)  the garden plot.  No reason it wouldn't work, and it would  be fun for them.  An old homesteading book I read years ago recommended planting root crops among the other taller ones (corn) then turning them into the fields to "rooter-till" and fertilize in the autumn after the corn or main crop was picked.  Cheap eats for the hogs, and trace minerals from the rooting would certainly enhance their health.   I've always liked the idea of hogs, but the size made them hard to handle by hand, so smaller ones would be wonderful!  Along with Jersey cows (temperamentally calm and suited to tether grazing) and Dexter cattle (mini-steers with thick coats, hardy for cold climates) they would be a homestead/self-reliance asset indeed.


Edited by kappydell
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If you hear a rumor of someone dumping a pet kune kune, snap to.  They are smaller than guinea hogs, closer to a pot-belly, but a lot easier to handle and keep on a leash than a pot-belly.  They are not common on the mainland, or at least not on this side of the continent, but might become a bit of a fad.  

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12 hours ago, kappydell said:

(ever hear of weeding geese?)


CrabGrassAcres had that breed.  It's also rare.  :sigh:  She had planned to try to get some to me.  It was one of the breeds she took from TX to MO when she moved.  I miss her!!! 


Root crops intermingled to entice/feed the rototilling hogs?  :thumbs:  They'd root anyway but they'd sure have a good time with pockets of treasure!  LOL  Wonder if a steady diet of turnips would affect the meat flavor?  We do huge turnips up here w/o going pithy inside.  I gave a small one to a wandering humongo hog once.  I've had coyotes, bears, cougar, bobcat, wolf, deer, elk, lost horses, dumped dogs, ......but that was the first boar ever to wander here.  Mr. Dynamite found his way home .....just up hill from us, actually.  Other than being at neighbors and cousins in childhood, I don't have any real experience with pigs. 


MtRider  :pc_coffee:

Edited by Mt_Rider
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I  was always trying to find someone who butchered their own hogs so I could get some experience with them, but never found any.  Just before I moved south, I found out about a small farm museum that for a fee had hog butchering & sausage making classes....but I think they are no longer in business (DRAT!)  So I'm still looking....and trying to contact them.

I like the idea of a homestead hog - they do not take up all that much room and how expensive can a feeder pig at auction be?  Our other option would be to find a wild boar hunt...


Old South Farm Museum and Agriculture Learning Center

Hog Killing Time
February 03,2018

Come join us at the Old South Farm Museum & Ag Learning Center in Woodland, Georgia for an Old Fashioned Hog Killing School on Saturday, February 03, 2018. The program will begin around 8:30 a.m.

  • 8:30 a.m. Hog Killing, Scalding & Scraping Class
  • 9:30 a.m. Cutting of Meats Class
  • 9:45 a.m. Demonstrations
    • Chitterlings Cleaning - Casings Scraping
    • Sausage Making
    • Lard Making
    • Cooking Skins
  • 10:0 a.m. Demonstrations
    • Processing Heads
    • Making Brunswick Stew
    • Meat Curing
    • Lye Soap
    • Cracklins
    • Smoking Meats (Smoke House Operation)
  • 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:00 p.m. Continue workshops

We have specialist teaching classes at various stations to explain meat processing. Each specialist will repeat demonstrations several times during workshop.

Class Participant - (Observer) Attends classes and receives FREE sausage.

Workshop Participant (Hands On Experience) Attends classes and receive several bulletins on Sausage Making /Meat Curing AND 10-15 pounds of FREE Pork Products. No Meat Will Be SOLD except sausage.
Shady Grove Baptist Church will serve breakfast and lunch at the Museum for a reasonable cost.


Edited by kappydell
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Oh yes, in south Florida!  With just a little care in middle Florida, except in those climate shift hard freezes, when you have to protect it if you want to keep it.  I have a baby in a bucket in the yard, although it's pretty much a pipe dream here.


I went all the way through that thinking you had said jackfruit.  Yipes!  Me with my preconceptions.  I have never heard of breadfruit growing here.

Edited by Ambergris
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I'm somewhat collecting data for my allegedly future home on Maui.  There is obviously a LOT more homegrown agriculture there now than when we were there.  Cuz the sugar cane was everywhere but has since packed up and left, mostly.  That opens up a lot of land for some interesting things. 


MtRider  ....and hey, no "Hawaiian snow" on the laundry when they burn a cane field.  :clothesline: 

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