Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spent this last weekend tripling the size of my existing garden. Still not to the size it needs to be, but everything is done in baby steps. The seeds have sprouted, the ground is nearly prepped, just waiting on the weather.

This year we are seeing a lot of new heirloom crops. Roman broccolli, Italian zucchini, black tomatoes, and several varieties of melons and squash. One crop I'm curious to try in our relatively dry soil is Kiwano, a melon native to Africa that should grow decently in this zone.

I'll get pics up in the next day or so, once the weather clears up.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Deciding to Live the Lifestyle

One of the first steps anyone who wants to survive needs to learn is that you can't live the same way you did beforehand. Your reliance on processed foods never seems to be so apparent as when you try and live without them. The single hardest thing for me to give up was the Jack in the Box 2/99 cent tacos.

Depending on the space available, you may not have to alter too much in your eating habits. Since our experiment is only on 0.12 acres, we needed to modify our diet quite a bit to make this work. Thankfully we've gotten into the habit of eating more vegetables and trying to do without a lot of the "luxury" foods. I don't think we've eaten peanut butter in 6 months, which is a pretty amazing feat with 3 young kids. We've gone without buying bread in several months, making a loaf at home should we find ourselves wanting bread. We still need to cut back on our cheese consumption, as our little plot of land does not give us room or zoning for dairy animals. That proves to be a bit tougher than the peanut butter.

By all means, you do not need to become a vegetarian, or start shopping at the organic sections of the grocery store. You just need to re-evaluate what you are willing to do to survive and thrive off the commercial food grid. It's a slow process at this time in history, so take your time, weed out some of the junk and learn to eat a few new things. Buying a vegetarian cookbook is a good way to introduce new homegrowable produce to your family. Try something different from the local farmer's market or butcher shop. Find out what you can eat when the normal foods in your life may not be available, and introduce it slowly into your lifestyle. This way when you are pushed into that more basic lifestyle, you will not experience the shock of a hoarder. Practice makes permanent, so develop your good habits now.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Beyond the Survivalist

Ever since the Y2K scare, there's been a growing faction in our country. The Survivalist grew out of a view of sudden economic collapse, and started to develop a lifestyle that didn't rely so strongly on the economy. Unfortunately, the movement has gone from self reliance to hoarding food and water with no long term plans.

The portion of survivalists that will actually make it when things get tough aren't the ones with the most food storage or ammo, but the ones that can renew their food supplies and maintain a healthy balance of storage and new sources. Don't get me wrong, having food and water stored is vital for those first few weeks or months, but without a long term plan in action, a hoarder will die shortly after the larder is empty.

We want to encourage you to remove yourself as much as possible from the food supply chain, to become recession/depression/end of the world as we know it proof. There's too many people that have no long term plans for their family's well being, and too many people that rely on a shaky dollar.

This is something that you can do for yourself. All of our experiments and experiences will take place on a 0.18 acre lot with about 0.12 acres in usable space. Others have done this successfully, so will we, but we'd like to save you any trial and error process that we will experience as we go down this route.