More Food Doom

More food doom news, sent in by Dennis:

Wheat Hits Record As Global Demand Depletes Supply

World Food Supply Is Shrinking

If that doesn’t wake you the up, then this might:

Monsanto wants to own the DNA of the food you eat, making the seeds you buy sterile. They have taken steps in court and law to give them ownership through the twisted ideas of privatization

So here’s what I want everyone to do. Go plant some food. Don’t buy anything from my company. Go plant as much as you can so you can feed yourself when the shortages or ridiculous food prices hit your supermarket shelf and you find yourself having to do without. Learn how to plant, harvest and store your food from season to season and set aside enough for those times when things just go wrong as they often do.

You need about 1,058,500 calories (per adult) for a moderately active lifestyle, more if you think farming is going to be harder then this, less if you think you can just coast through the collapse. To be safe, you should plan to harvest at least 1,606,000 calories per adult. This means you really need to grow at least 20% more then this to account for production and crop losses (a conservative figure). Don’t forget to save 5% for seeds, and don’t forget the open-pollinated varieties, or you won’t have any viable seeds next year.

If you think you’re going to have to feed someone else, or would like to, add these figures into your calculations and increase your planned production.

Your also going to need quite a few other things too, such as land, water, soil, sunshine and fertilizer / compost and some tools. There are many good sources available on the Internet to find out more. Don’t forget your storage needs, root crops will either be canned (buy a large pressure cooker and Mason jars) and stored in a root cellar. There are a few good books I can recommend if you’ve never done this.

For those of you living in the cities without land (what Deek calls ‘landless peasants’), you might consider finding some abandoned land or lots you can “share crop”. A good guard dog or night watchman might be necessary.

Start looking down the road on the water situation too. I’m confounded on how the water is going to get to the garden if the lights go out. Buckets work, but it might be a long haul from the creek or reservoir, if you’ve got one (if you don’t, move). Rain barrels are still legal in some states, although some really stupid legislation has been proposed to outlaw these. Use them while you still can.

Get started now. It takes years of experience to actually grow enough food to even meet a portion of your actual needs, so don’t delay, time is short.

Here are some resources that will help you:

Savings Seeds
Saving Seeds For The Long Term
Long Term Seed Storage
Seed Storage and Longevity

The issue of seed storage is complex, and completely depends on the species, each species has unique optimum pre-storage and storage conditions. With regard to freezing seeds for longevity – this depends on species and the moisture content. In general, the lower the moisture content the less cellular disruption, but each species has an ideal moisture content for germination/viability. In general I wouldn’t ‘plan’ on going there – even if a ‘freezer’ can be assured on remaining on constantly. Once thawed – or partially – forget about it. There is NO simple/easy one size fits all solution.

Species Compendium Database

Seed Storage Behavior: A Compendium – gives 8 categories (generalized) of seed storage requirements a searchable database.

Here’s a page pull for tomato although as someone pointed out, tomatoes won’t be a great survival food.

MORE RESOURCES

Plants For A Future (excellent resource)
International Seed Saving Institute
Virtual Seeds
Save Our Seed
Seed Saving Tips
Seed Saving and Seed Savers Resources
Mother Earth News: Saving Seeds

(special thanks to Lonewolf for this information. Send him a donation through PayPal (mcmurtry@3riversdbs.net), he’s too polite to ask for it and I guarantee, he can use it. A lot of information found on this blog has been sourced or contributed here by Lonewolf.)

admin

admin at survivalacres dot com

17 thoughts on “More Food Doom

  • December 18, 2007 at 7:29 pm
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    You forgot to mention lids for those mason jars you’re canning with. Billions of lids. They can’t be re-used, and you might want 2 jars of canned food per person per day. 700 lids a year per person, for eternity.

  • December 18, 2007 at 7:30 pm
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    I posted this before (perhaps a glimmer of hope), a nutritionally analyzed minimal garden required for … I think the author had impovershed people in mind. Based on the fact I paid $12 for the book and they now sell for $65 on Amazon – woah!, you’re on to something. So I would be glad to send my copy to Admin to deem this scheme practical (PM me at my email). It requires nut trees and some nasty green leafy veggies (Amaranth etc).

    Front

    Back cover

    TOC1

    TOC2

    Caveate: I have not done it. Heck, my wife is still eating frozen battered fish sticks while I’m vegetarian!

  • December 18, 2007 at 7:45 pm
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    I didn’t forget (truly), there are alternatives to lids. I remember using wax and probably jars, but you’re asking the wrong guy if that turns into a question. But you’ve got a good (disturbing) point, ouch!

    aft – I’m not qualified to assess the material. You’d be better off finding someone who’s followed the recommendations and discovered whether or not it’s doable and adequate.

    I do note the Amazon review calling this a “closed system”. This is a mistake, there is no such thing in agriculture. You cannot take out nutrients without replacing them (not for very long).

    Other then that, one review doesn’t make much of a recommendation, so you’ll need to find someone who knows or even better, has actually done it.

  • December 18, 2007 at 9:03 pm
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    admin – I would advise everyone to plant a garden, as you suggest, AND buy food from your company (or somewhere). A very recent topic clearly pointed out that we won’t be able to feed ourselves reliably by growing our own. Maybe more emphasis should be placed on growing more “feral” foods, such as Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), amaranth, multiplier onions, etc., as well as the self-pollinating “tame” foods.

  • December 18, 2007 at 10:29 pm
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    Regarding those canning lids, I recall years ago seeing my mom can with both types–the one-use ones mentioned here, and another type. It used a heavy metal looking lid (zinc?) and inside the lid was a milk-glass looking surface. (It was “white glass” on the inside.)
    To the best of my recollection, to can food, you fill the jar normally, then place a rubber ring (reusable) on the edge of the jar’s mouth, then screw this ?zinc? lid on. The reusable rubber ring went through many uses and it was red.
    I bought a bunch of these red rubber rings at a yard sale once but do not know if they are still good and do have a few of the lids–I think they may have been also called porcelain lids. I may try canning with one of these jars this summer and report on it. I can sacrifice one jar of tomatoes for an experiment.
    Another point about nut trees, especially chestnut for those areas where they will grow. I believe nuts can substitute for grains/seeds in the diet of someone eating vegetarian, i.e., that grain and legume could also mean nut and legume. The benefit of nuts is that tree roots reach deep into the earth bringing up a different mix of minerals that shallow rooted wheat, rye, barley, etc., will provide. Plus many nuts have fat and protein, although chestnuts are more carbohydrates.
    And, yes, feral foods are great. Besides those mentioned by oldsarge, don’t forget “ground nut”, Apios Americanus. It tastes similar to potato, but has 5-7 times the protein and range in sizes from marble to baseball. The tiny ones are the youngest, and if left in the ground more than that first year or so, they can get very large. They like sun, and moisture, but not soggy mud. The only drawback I can think of is they are best eaten right after cooked, as their texture changes when they get cold. They are one of the best higher protein feral root crops I know.

  • December 19, 2007 at 4:40 am
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    Friends, this is a stretch, but I’ve learned about this man just recently and am going to give it a go. His name is Hira Ratan Malek, his website is http://www.hrm.com and he has studied the ancient practice of sun gazing. Please study the whole process before trying it. He says that as long as the UV is below 2 you benefit from the energy of the sun. He claims that you begin slowly and just stare at the sun at sunrise or sunset for 5, then 10 then 15 seconds per day until you have reached 45 minutes. He says that the brain is a super computer and that your eyes are extensions of your brain. Your cells are photovoltaic and that after 3 months, your eyesight is improved. Then you achieve mental and emotional balance. Then physical health. Finally, if you chose, you can actually eat sunlight and will not need food. He claims he hasn’t eaten in years and claims that there are thousands of other people all over the world doing likewise. He has submitted his body for study and has confirmation, according to him, of his claims. He says this is how the saints and monks of old could go for years without eating. I am up to 40 seconds. There are websites that tell you what the UV emissions are every day in your zip code. We keep hearing that the new paradigm will be very different. Imagine if this is true. And I love it that we are learning of this at Winter Solstice. A perfect time to start out gently and see how it goes. He says that after you reach 45 minutes you are “enlightened” and you don’t have to do it any more because you are permanently “on” and you activate new software in your brain.

    Now, I’m not quitting my day job and I have canned, frozen, and dried foods stored, but I offer this in total innocence and wonder. What if? Be well, Buddies, Carol

  • December 19, 2007 at 4:52 am
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    Yup, I have both long-term supplies and an ever-expanding garden.

    Lets also not forget preserving. “Preserving the Harvest” is a good book that details all kinds of preserving, from drying to root cellering to canning, but some of the canning recipes are off the mark…for those, keep to “BAll’s Blue Book”, which often comes free when you buy a bath canner.

    Store up plenty of vinegar and canning salt with your supplies; pickled items keep you from needing a pressure canner. You’ll also want to keep plenty of the lids on hand and in a dry place (thankfully, there are only around two sizes of lids for a dozen different sizes of jars).

    And don’t re-use industry jars. They may not be strong enough to go years of canning processes.

  • December 19, 2007 at 7:39 am
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    cb
    Uh huh

    and if you make a figure-8 (sideways) on the ground with your urine stream every day then you will live forever

  • December 19, 2007 at 1:21 pm
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    Hey cb, don’t burn out your eyes. The JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) has tested a number of those people who claim to subsist on sunlight, air, or prana, and they’ve all failed. (They were almost all caught sneaking out late at night to grab some food, although one woman didn’t sneak out to get food but ended up nearly starving to death.)

    But hey, if this Malek guy is the real deal, why don’t you suggest that he take the JREF challenge? If he can really do it, he gets a million bucks.

    I’ve studied a fair bit of Eastern philosophy and mysticism, and even by their standards this is pretty out there…

  • December 19, 2007 at 3:48 pm
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    These wacko ideas about “sun gazing” or “breatharianism” (the notion that you can eat air) really make me want to give up on the species.

    The ease with which they find willing believers is simply astonishing…and is one reason why I’m pessimistic about finding compatible peers to try an intentional community – too many will be infected with these truly bizarre notions…

    …believe in mystical notions if you like, but it’s a luxury that we just won’t have once the electricity stops flowing.

  • December 19, 2007 at 5:39 pm
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    Thanks for this post. I’ve been waiting for “get out there and grow something, damn it for some time.

    I don’t know where you can get reuseable rings for canning jars, but the regular lids have a gum seal. I’d like to figure out how to melt down some gum and refurbish the lids. And of course where to get a fifty pound block of gum hahaha… I pick up a pack of lids just about every time I go to the store. Must have a thousand of them stockpiled. And the can be soaked in boiling water for a few minutes and smooshed back into a smooth surface and reused several times. I’ve reused some for green beans the last three years and they look like they can be used again. Green beans are one of the toughest things to can.

  • December 19, 2007 at 7:49 pm
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    Wont it be dangerous to grow food during and after collapse except for remote locations?

    What about people who live in cold climates? Will a greenhouse extend the growing season more than 2 months?

  • December 19, 2007 at 8:00 pm
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    You should read the Future Prep series and Collapse Survival articles for this top. The collapse time frames is divided into pre-collapse, collapse, post-collapse periods, each with a different response.

    Growing food during the collapse isn’t thought to be a great idea, but not everyone believes this.

    You can extend your growing season much further, depending on your location and available solar energy.

  • December 19, 2007 at 8:23 pm
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    Growing food during a collapse-type situation would be a dead giveaway as to your whereabouts or nearly so, especially if you plant in neat rows and make it obvious there’s a garden plot.
    Scattering plants around at random, and allowing weeds to grow as well wouldn’t give you as large a harvest, but a non-grower wouldn’t be likely to even recognize a few potatoes or whatever, intermingled with the common weed such as Lamb’s Quarter, a highly nutritious dark green leafy spinach substitute. And no need to plant lettuce or other greens when wild greens grow just about everywhere.

    As for greenhouse growing, Countryside magazine often has articles of this very topic and recently there was one about a Colorado greenhouse (attached to a house) and in that greenhouse they are growing papaya among other things.

  • December 20, 2007 at 12:09 am
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    “Will a greenhouse extend the growing season more than 2 months?”

    Unheated? NO…2 months is it. Unless you do a coldframe in a greenhouse and grow certain things like mache’, spinich, lettuce, carrots; a few others…or set up a hot house with compost producing a little heat

    Remember the angle of the earth….days get pretty short, so even if you have global warming, most crop plants don’t do very well with the shorter days and steep angle of the suns rays.

    So the main benefit of a greenhouse is 1 month on each end of the growing season…then in addition, you can grow some other decent, but limited crops with more complex arrangements.

  • December 21, 2007 at 9:03 am
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    There is a guy not far from here who built an underground greenhouse to capture the winter sun. He claims to harvest tomatoes in December.

    Since I live in exactly the same region, this is amazing. I stop harvesting tomatoes in September. In fact, without a greenhouse, nothing grows in the garden past mid-September (so far, even my earth boxes stopped producing).

    Black painted heat sinks (water barrels) and a cold collecting pit underneath his greenhouse was his method. The idea was for cold air to sink below the plants. He covered this with boards for his walkway.

    He is the guy that wrote the “50$ Underground House”, forget his name now, but he claims to have done this.

    I watching the winter sun, today is the shortest day of the year. It will be dark here by a little after 4:00, pretty darned early. A greenhouse angled toward the sun would certainly help, but I’ve never done it (but plan to).

  • December 21, 2007 at 10:40 am
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    Yeah…

    There ARE a lot of things you can do to produce more in a greenhouse in winter. I was toying with the idea of mirrors or similar to help direct sunlight, even.

    ‘Course…the more you try to do with a greenhouse up north, the more you depend on oil, etc.

    Tomatoes in December would not be tooooo much of a stretch…but what type? Patio tomatoes? I think you are better off finding a nice window in your house for growing, or install a good, small attached greenhouse…IF you want to grow such things.

    Elliot Coleman does a lot of growing therough winter…4-season Harvest describes how to do it and what you can grow.

    What I have seen grown is great diet supplementing greens, and a few other things…definately not to be totally dismissed, but nothing close to feeding yourself. So…I suggest this only on a small scale, and don’t scrimp…get a good greenhouse, or better, attach a very good one to your home.

    Well…Elliot is still trying things out, so it’s possible the usefulness of greenhouses will be actually higher than they seem from my research.

    I wouldn’t make this project a high priority unless you have a lot of money and time throw at it.

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