Editor’s Note: One of the key tenets of living a sustainable lifestyle is the ability to produce one’s own food. Traditionally, accomplishing such a goal required would-be farmers or ranchers to first find land, come up with a ton of start-up money, and then move the entire family out to rural America. But what if there were a way that you could produce enough food for yourself, while also feeding up to 200 families without the typical start up requirements for farming? In the following interview with Adam Taggert of Peak Prosperity and The Market Gardener author Jean-Martin Fortier, you can learn just how to do it yourself. Moreover, not only will you be well on your way towards self reliance, but you can turn it into a profitable business while you’re at it. Jean-Martin Fornier did and he did it using just 1.5 acres – an incredible feat considering most farms requires acres upon acres of land to be successful. Don’t miss this one – it could well change your life (and if enough individuals and families start their own micro-farms, it could even change how our entire society works from top to bottom).
As we awaken to the realities in store for us in a future defined by declining net energy, concerns about food security, adequate nutrition, community resilience, and reliable income commonly arise.
Small-scale farming usually quickly surfaces as a pursuit that could help address all of these. Yet most dismiss the idea of becoming farmers themselves; mainly because of lack of prior experience, coupled with lack of capital. It simply feels too risky.
The refrain we most frequently hear is: I think I’d love doing it, but I don’t know how I’d make a living.
Enter Jean-Martin Fortier and his wife, Maude-Hélène. They are a thirtysomething couple who have been farming successfully for the past decade. In fact, they’ve been micro-farming: their entire growing operations happen on just an acre and half of land.
And with this small plot, they feed over 200 families. And do so profitably.
The Fortiers are pioneers of the type of new models we’re in such need of for the coming future. Fortunately, they realize this, and are being as transparent about their operations as they can — in order to educate, encourage and inspire people to join the emerging new generation of small-scale farmers.
They have published a book, The Market Gardener, which is nothing short of an operating manual for their entire business. In it, they reveal exactly what they grow, how they grow it, what tools and farming practices they use, who their customers are, what they charge them, and how much profit they take home at the end of the day.
A quick summary of the numbers from their 1.5 acre operation:
- 2013 revenue: $140,000
- Customer sales breakdown:
- CSA operations (140 members): 60%
- Farmer’s markets (2): 30%
- Restaurants/grocery stores: 10%
- Staff: 2 paid employees + the Fortiers
- 2013 Expenses: $75,000
- 2013 Profit: $65,000 (~45% profit margin)
Their initial start up costs were in the $40,000 range. Not peanuts; but fairly low by most new business standards.
Did I mention they’re doing this in Quebec? (translation: colder, and shorter natural growing season vs most of North America)
Learning to do more with less, and doing it sustainably, will be a key operating principle for future prosperity. Here’s a model that shows it’s possible to do both, and have good quality of life, to boot.
We need more of these.
(Hat tip to PP.com reader Bill12 who brought the Fortiers onto our radar)
Click the play button below to listen to my interview with Jean-Martin Fortier (34m:16s):
You can also view this video at Youtube.
Full transcript available at Peak Prosperity.
Get the book: The Market Gardener
Thank you GOD for being born in Iowa!
Micro farms can produce a lot.
The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan is written as a guide to food self-sufficiency.
Pots…many fruits and vegetable can be grown in pots. I got Top Hat blueberries that have been thriving in my pots for close to 8 years now. Even my dogs like to “sneak” a blueberry when they come in season…yum!
I love articles like this, these are very positive solutions to BEFORE SHTF. After SHTF people MUST consider the fact that the water faucet is NOT going to come on. This means that anyone with a garden must plan for this and find a reliable water source IF they expect that garden to provide them with food. You cannot depend on the weather, and in areas that are summer dry no garden will thrive without water.
Gardens also will need to be fed and pest control is paramount. All of these need to be stockpiled BEFORE SHTF. Growing crops without the modern conveniences is an art lost. People that use natural fertilizers and pest control now will fare far better after SHTF. Also frost protection is something to consider right now. Most of the U.S. has less than 250 days of growing days, and many parts under 180 days. Depending on a garden to feed your family after SHTF is something that needs a lot of planning NOW. Again, the issue of water is so imprtant and needs to be addressed right now before the world collapses. Safe water that is not contaminated. Many people live inside a concrete walled over areas that have no natural streams, springs, etc. All something to consider IF anyone plans to rely on a garden for food AFTER SHTF.
Looks like you nailed the Chile earthquake…
Not only that, here’s more… Seems the wildlife in Yellowstone are fleeing for their lives. http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/593833-yellowstone-volcano-eruption-in-2014-some-believe-animals-are-fleeing-park-see-it-as-an-alert/
Look up hugleculture for your water needs with your food producing gardens, also pest control is a scam, if you plant naturally and randomly instead of rows of the same crop all together (which basically is a bufet for pests) you won’t have bug problems, when you use insecticide you are killing the benificial insects too. Look up permaculture or Forrest gardening. I’m producing several hundred pounds of food on my 1/16 acre lot and have never used fertilizer or any sort of herbicide or pesticide.
These are the Zionist Talmude evil Khazar’s right?
Is this Revelation prophecy happening?
Interesting times indeed
Tobacco’s an insecticide, right? Grow your own insecticide.
except for tobacco worms, which love the plant.
Yes but tobacco will make tomatoes toxic
Dingleberries by the pound…
i just commented this the day when we were watching the Walking Dead (which we do for educational purposes, of course)
WHO in a SHTF scenario, has the foresight to grab the fertilizer and miracle gro while the stores are being looted?
luckily, hardware stores are one of my favorite places to hang out.
I grew up on a 40 acre farm. We worked our butts of and barely made a living. We were in a constant war with mother nature. Bugs, birds, deer, rain too much, rain too little. Some years we did great. Others lost our butts and ate canned rabbit all winter.
Come SHTF there wont be any pesticides or water or fertilizers. Lack of fertilizers alone means only one good crop every three years, one marginal every three years and one fallow.
Farms require a lot of water. and acre will require more water than your typical water well can produce.
Aquaponics. Uses much, much less water. No bugs. No fertilizer. Just gotta keep stocked with fish food.
Only if you make a silly choice about where you farm.
60″ per annum here.
My bosses milk 450 cows and only irrigated 60% of theri water storage. Our best paddocks are dryland.
Location, location, location.
Good point. And this is why everyone in the prepping community should be educating themselves on how to set up rain collection systems. Rain barrels. When I first looked into this topic, I was amazed by the information that I found about how many gallons of water can be collected off the roof of an average 2200 square foot house. If you have other structures on your property, such as barns, workshops, stand alone garages or storage sheds – equipping each with its own rain collection system can help you collect a substantial amount of rain water that can be stored in tanks and used to help water your gardens. It also can be used for an emergency drinking water supply, after its been properly filtered through a ceramic filtration system.
BTW: My last water bill – which covers 2 months was $157 dollars. I’ve got the super-duper, pressure assisted, water saving toilets and I am very conscientious about how much city water I use. I have well that I use for watering my yard, garden, and for washing my vehicles or for power-washing my house – and still, I am getting raped for $157 every two months for city water.
They keep telling us that water bills are only going to get higher and higher, and at the same time we are being told this – the greasy sonsabitches in D.C. are lusting to grant amnesty to 35 or 40 million illegal criminal aliens and then give them the ability to import 50 to 100 or 150 million more of their mestizo relatives from Mexico, Central and South America? Take a look at the drought conditions that are killing California and take a look at the mestizo invasion of that turd dump of a failed state – and you’ll see what the maggots up in D.C. have planned for the entire United States.
Unless we stop it. And, more and more, I am convinced that voting and the ballot box is not going to be the box that we need to use to solve this treason.
BI – you got 2 red thumbs for that??? (Actually, that would be about the IQ of those who gave ’em to you!!)
A couple of deer or a wild pig herd will wipe out all your efforts in a night. Tall chain link fences will prevent that. An electric wire may also help. People who have not gardened for real have no idea of the amount of work it takes also smarts. Another shooting at Ft. Hood today. Ain’t that sweet. Wonder who the perp was. He has been killed no word on if it was another ROP ambassador.
Vermicompost (composting with worms)is the best way to make your own organic fertilizer. …and Burt knows something about worms…
Take it to the next level!
Google for: composting human waste
Great comment BI. Great article too. I am leaving my beautiful ocean front home in Oregon and moving to North Idaho (the family farm is there). Yep, moving from intermediate prepper to expert level.
Wise words “Be informed.”
I just got the book. Seems good so far. I like the fact that the author has caught on to the soil no till method.
FULLY CONSTITUTED STATES
8 States have constituted the Administration of the Common Law Jury in all counties.
New York 2-27-14
Rhode Island 3-15-14
New Jersey 3-22-14
New Hampshire 3-29-14
Keep up with the effort in YOUR STATE here:
I like the comments on that one…
As Be informed alluded to,
In warm climates water consumption almost doubles when pots and planters are used instead of doing in-ground cultivation.
I wonder how big his local farmer’s market or sales contacts are. Living out in a rural area like me, I wonder how far I would have to go to market my produce, if I were inclined to do this.
Theres no real business info given here. Id like to know if this place is registered as a farm for tax purposes. Id also like to know if they have received govt farm aid and/or grants. What are the losses and/or depreciations and what about the cost of the land and/or house on this property/farm?
I know farmers here and also a few twinkle eyed CSA types. The farmers stick to it but the younger CSA homegrown types quit after one or two years. Its all about bad management. Theres a big retail side to the CSA that involves removing the employees from the labor force while the customers are on the property. Customers want to be entertained or get free tours and it all takes time. Cant be in a field or doing books when the CSA members want to be your friend.
Id also be afraid of future govt restrictions. The govt has clamping down on everything but big biz, big ag, and big pharma. Look whats happened to organic farms and the threats of e coli or raw milk. If it aint gmo the govt dont want you eating it.
My take is to grow all you can for yourself and family but stay away from start up biz right now. Too many undefined commie practices going on to invest in something the govt has a say so in.
Im a grower and im downsizing because of the commy crap,
It hurts now but when the bottom falls out i figure i will have an advantage since ill already be used to being broke!
check out spin farming.. it is a micro farming business plan that can generate a reasonable income.
Been at this for many years and while I encourage folks all the time to try to grow some food I suggest most folks dont get any ideas about becoming”food retailers”…not saying it cant be done and in fact if you live in a populated area you have more of a chance of making something work than the average farmer out in the country has…like Kula I have cut back to doing for myself and my family and any excess gets fed to the critters…no one wants to pay for anything anymore and expects you to give them the produce…theyll argue with you over a nickel…sad when folks would rather pay an importer than their fellows but thats where we are today….back to cutting brush and building “bob wiar” fences…. 😉
They are trying to take our guns, our water, our land, our wood stoves, our food and our seed while taxing our air and sunlight. Figuring out what to do before they succeed seems like a daunting task, but there’s a pretty simple way to start.
“Nothing personal here. Nothing to see. Move along. Class enemies are completely expendable – mere pests to be exterminated in a kinder, gentler, incremental, Fabian way if the sheeple cooperate. A more painless, humane gas if you please. This way to the relocation camps…. What’s next? Better to have ambushed them in the stairwell Solzhenitsyn-style?…. Don’t play their game…. Take the name, rank and serial number of every commissar that ventures into your area of operation. That’s right. Make lists. You know the drill…Flip the tables on them. They have their lists, we have our lists.” –New Ordnance “Friend Frogs and Commissars”
With careful land/water use feeding a family from a small plot like this in good times isn’t all that difficult. Where you will run into problems is when TSHTF – small plots like these on the outskirts of major (or even smaller for that matter) population centres would be a nightmare to operate and defend. The unprepared will descend on your food source like a plague of locusts!
THE plan (which is my plan) should be to have enough to survive on while staying out of sight until things settle down – which will either be a massive die off or order being restored (in short, have a siege mentality). Then and only then will I come out of the “bunker” and start to use my stabilised gas, diesel, machinery and heirloom seeds stash to start food production.
Look at your LA riots a few decades ago and learn from that – the people who hunkered down in their homes for the days and week or so when things got out of control got by quite well. It was the ones who were out in cars or on the street who were at risk! That was a short term scenario I know, and for a long term SHTF event the rules will be different – there wont be any rules!!
I know Braveheart get criticised a bit here sometimes but he has the right idea – when it all goes FUBAR he’ll be inside his house with Bertha in “shock and awe” mode and that has to be the best option, barring the ability to bug out to a retreat of course.
God was born in Iowa? Wow, my preacher was WAY off.
No, he wasn’t. You know what I meant or you are one unhappy camper.
Actually, my reply made me laugh even to myself.
But Iowa, I’m glad you’re happy where you live. Good for you. I’m just being a pain in the ass wise-cracker.
Skin is thin in Iowa. 🙂
That monoculture, pesticide-soaked desert? yeah, right. Maybe you should listen again…
I doubt it will take long before farm raided for some kind of FDA style bullshit,you know would happen here in the US.A good story though and remember,you can small scale for yourself and family/friends with much less.The little vertical pvc hydro system that could fit in a very small area could feed your family,will repost the video that also leads to one with plans if anybody interested.Today is the germination of my tobacco seeds,all works out about a 12-13 week process from germination to hanging upside down.As I move around quite a bitam going to when in area be a laborer in neighbors garden and get a little of the bounty and they will while gone water my little guys if need be,happy growing season all,tis about time!
I was just thinking the same thing. Boy its to bad that TPTB would do this to someone trying to feed people and to make ends meet. $65,000.00 Is good money but I bet they don’t live HIGH ON THE HOG!
For now I just wish this Damn cold weather would break so I can get some dirt under my finger nails.
I pray all here have a bumper crop this year!
Sarge,hope you have at least a little soil under nails,my neighbors already have all their littler dudes growing indoors in pots waiting for the transplant weather to kick in and out they go!Is cool have worked a deal with em to work garden and get a bit and also when they are gone keep an eye out and they will do the same for my plants,get germinating!
Little dudettes are in basement sprouting 🙂
since you said “hog”, you can make an 8×7 greenhouse with 2 hog panels, a few 2×4’s, some 6ml greenhouse plastic, and 2 pieces of hard greenhouse plastic (wavy kind), metal roofing screws with the rubberized washer, for about $250 – less if you scrounge up the wood, door, etc.. put an A-frame on the back wall (don’t forget a little vent on the top), and dutch door the on the front squared wall. 2x4x8 on top for a brace, fold each hog panel into a hoop. should stand about 6ft high. I can get better measurements, but that should be close enough for now.
add a table or two made with 2×4 and galvanized wire (about 11.00 a roll new) and you are nails deep in dirt 🙂 oh, don’t use pt wood; too soft and your screws will popout.
Don’t worry spring is almost here for all of use. I have been very busy getting in the garden the last few weeks. Our last freeze is around april 18th they say but I hit the local house building jobs sites and rounded up enough scrape wood to build 8 small hot houses the whole thing cost me 25.00 in plastic. I also got my rain harvest system finished even though we don’t get much rain. This is my first yr using all seeds harvested from last yrs crops and so far 90% have germinated.I also got some more berry plands started and they are kicking ass.Hope life is treating you and the rest of the SHTF family well and will try to comment more after spring planting is done.
producers are now being CRIMINALLY CHARGED for food bourne illnesses.
the farmers who grew/shipped the cantaloupse that caused i don’t know how many deaths/hospitalizations from -listeria or salmonella-i think? they were criminally charged because they shipped their produce anyway, even though the bleaching equipment t hey use to pre-treat the fruit wasn’t working.
it’s not THEIR fault that most people can’t eat food without it being sterilized first. that’s a first world problem.
This is shutting down produce/small scale livestock farmer s all over the us. the food safety andmoderniation act of 2010. with armed SWAT teams of FDA, USDA agents to “enforce” the regs.
This gestapo shit is exactly what I was referring to in my above comment. Cant trust the govt enough to start a biz nowdays. You want to grow produce to sell, get out of using US dollars and do trades. Swap your produce w/ someone else for rabbit meat or some homegrown beef or a cord of wood. There are things we use and consume and it dont necessarily need to be $$$$$.
I agree 100%. You gotta get below the radar. A barter system isn’t enough. You need to have division of labor based on people’s natural talents. In the experience of my own small family seed business we had one person who wasn’t even a farmer buy pounds of seed. He gave seed to his farmer neighbors and friends for free with one catch. They had to bring him back a share of the crop at the end of the summer. He now has buckets of heirloom corn sitting around his shop.
“If you don’t have a place to grow your own healthy food, support those who do. Go in for shares. Help them every way you can. Growing all your own food now may not be economically viable, but secure sources of food are your lifeline in the future.” –New Ordnance “The Secret Weapon”
Chief your singing my song. What a good example.
The govt brainwashed people into thinking that paper they print is the only thing worth trading. Now that theyve been printing so much its worthless, theyve proved just how worthless that fiat money really is.
You know what the worst part of that Lysteria outbreak is,
They were a food safe certified farm, then they passed the food safety modernization act to “protect consumers”
That law will kill ALL the small growers unless they are ok with taking on more paperwork, more inspections, more bullshit!
The FDA finally came out with the $ for the exemption, they were saying 250k
It is 28k
How can you make it on 28k?
Im finding out because i have no intention of getting certified. Ill grow till they stop me.
Instead of communist collectivization of agriculture we have corporate collectivization.
1. How did collectivization work out under Stalin and Mugabe?
2. “Dig for Victory” was a mantra that got us small Island Brits thru the worst of food rationing in WW2. Reckon it’s a lesson from the past worth following as it sure beats 1.
Everyone grew what they could. Even a few fresh herbs from a window box made bland staples that bit more palatable when life is grim.
This isn’t about money, consumerism or getting rich anymore, it’s simply about survival and trying to thru shtf and out the other side in one peace. This is the KEY message I’ve taken from Selco and real life refugees I’ve met along the way.
@ Warchild…post link/video of the pvc hydro system you are talking about, please. thankfully put a garden in already (in SC) & have onions, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, herbs, tomato’s & potatoes coming along beautifully.
Off topic link on drudge. Malaysian plane believed to be shot down to prevent another 9/11. Inside sources.
link is gone now. It was a news service based out of Spain.
One would think the alphabet soup agencies would be all over this in the news, trying to take credit and justify their existence—for ONCE they could actually say they prevented one terror attack (maybe).
THAT in itself makes me suspicious.
Thank you Mac! We need more articles like this.
The very reason I came to this site in the first place…
The fun we have with other topics is ok… at times.
The business of survival should be in the forefront… and on everyone mind all the time!
Now your talking…
More info please..not podcasts..
Perhaps a video of the layout etc..
pass on the videos though,, reading is better, easier to come back to, and re read info also.
The toughest thing about the CSA is to get the C (comunity) to join in,,, I tried and tried and tried, and it isnt practical with just 5 or 6 families, mostly because of the variety you need to grow, so you end up working your ass off running around trying to keep a whole array of crops growing and then they decide not to do it because you had a few bad weeks or the lettuce wasnt perfect,,
I think it will take a collapse to make people wake up and realize that real produce isnt perfect,
I believe you are correct Kula.
Ya a collapse will do it but then all the people will show up and wonder where all the food is and why you/I didnt have it ready for them on their whim….
Thanks for publishing this, Mac!! A real service!
Posse and anyone else,though not video of micro farm this video shows the vertical hydro setup and sets stage for a lot of other videos with same principles:ht tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2hntVY1eQE ,copy and delete space between https,I just add space to avoid moderation hell.On a side note would be nice if long term folks in forum could just put up links that air immediately so a conversation can keep rolling quickly.
@WC…excellent idea. Moderation can cause confusion. I hope Jay Jay got my apology from the other day.
My doctor of 76 years of age is an organic farmer…said he practices medicine so he can afford to farm..has just 3 acres here on Cape Cod(Brewster) and utilizes almost exclusive trellis and espalier type methods for optimum growing.
I spent 45 minutes in his office watching his garden pictures after my visit of which he charged only 15 to my insurance..
We set up a meet time and gave me the 5cent tour of his farm last fall…
Anyways, he showed me his “chocolate” tomatoes…unbelievable taste high in anti oxidants..so I naturally ordered some of those seeds this week from Johnny’s seeds from Maine…
Told me he was an Army medic stationed in Switzerland where the growing season was very short..what fascinated him how they grew all types of crops year round..
The Swiss would use 4 feet of raw manure in a concrete or wood raised garden bed,top it off with a foot of compost and soil, then cover it with a cold frame type assembly and planted the seeds..the heat from the decomposing manure created enough heat and moisture to sustain the lettuces and all root veges throughout the winter season..what a concept..!!
Figure I ‘d go to the state house here and then to D.C. to accumulate enough manure to accommodate my needs..
Guess I’ll need an 18 wheeler to haul it all..
Nice tip Possee. But what is the “cold frame assembly”? 🙂
Link to an article of the Paris market gardens of the 17th century as this is where your doctor’s ideas originated. Hopefully it’ll help give you some tips if you wanna start your own in Northern Climes.
The sprog has tested the concept as one of his many science projects and it deffo does work, but obviously for a child’s project he did it on a VERY small scale using just 6 jars.
Everyone should have a garden even a few tomato and pepper plants can make a difference in a budget There are a million ways to garden remember mother earth magazine ? None of this is new its just that we’ve become so dependent on store bought shit people have forgotten we can plant seeds grow a plant and eat it!
They were having a sale on seeds a few weeks ago — 3 pkgs for $1. Not GMO, but I am just practicing, wanted to see what I could do for not a lot of money.
I have jalapeno peppers planted in a pot and, as of today, 9 little plants coming up to be transplanted later. I also bought lettuce, beans, radishes, summer squash, and sunflower. I haven’t started those yet.
For the past two years I have been buying bell pepper plants and tomato plants at the hardware store. Last year I also planted radish, green onion, thyme and parsley. Only the radishes and thyme came up. The squirrels ate most of my tomatoes. I read that planting jalapeno peppers would keep the squirrels away.
I am going to go to Northern Gardens to see what I can find that doesn’t need to be planted every year. Maybe rhubarb, blackberry bushes. Anyone have any ideas for Wyoming climate? Too late to start planting fruit trees. I am 70.
Try Jerusalem Artichokes. Make sure to have an area designated for them only. Once established, they grow like weeds….
I planted jalapeno peppers last year and 2 peppers came up which I thought that the squirrels wouldn’t touch, but they picked them and then threw them around in the garden.
To make a long story short try using Chicken manure around the garden and the squirrels won’t approach. They don’t like the smell of the manure.
I found this out when I went to buy tulip and other bulbs at the local plant nursery.
I planted the bulbs and applied the manure and there were no bulbs dug up. However the manure apparently has a high salt composition, so watch out and not over apply.
BTW, the bleeding squirrels even ate my cactus plant that I had for years. I just moved to this area and did not expect them to hurt their mouths on the cactus, but they did. They wrecked them. Then one of them picked an apple and threw it at me. Little bastards.
Plant the fruit tree anyway, what if you live to be 90 or 95. You will enjoy the fruit of your labours
HUGELKULTUR…Look it up. Been saying it for years. Awesome stuff and decent exercise.
Living the dream! If you want to try this be ready to really work!
Hey Hillbilly, we expanded our garden to just under 5k sq ft this year. Still relatively new at it but been doin it long enough to realize it is a shitload of work. That does not deter us though. Our garden was only 1600 sq ft last year so we are going full force.
We are in northeastern Oklahoma. Would be nice to learn from others in the area. I check out the Oklahoma Gardening Forum on Garden Web sometimes.
If you are interested in exchanging info you can email me at pureoutlawpatriot @gmail.com
Good to see another Okie here 🙂
things that make you go
Something very strange happened to GLONASS overnight. Between 0130 and 0800 most satellites went “illegal”/”failure” http://glonass-iac.ru/en/GLONASS/dayMonitoringNew.html …
Probably caught sight of the airliner. You know the one they’re looking for but don’t want to find? So they shut it down and fired up an old Three Stooges classic.
@Mac: I’m just gonna go ahead and say thanks for a relevant article that provides food for thought… quite literally.
I knew the good stuff was coming sooner or later. 🙂
It’s nice if you’re already doing it. Once the dollar collapses you won’t be able to sell your produce. That could happen at almost any time now. You could also expect your farm to be raided by starving people after it hits the fan. Unless the collapse takes place after the harvest.
I’ve said several times that I think any major financial collapse will be planned so that it happens in the dead of winter. This is to prevent civil unrest, which typically reaches it’s peak at the height of summer.
If the supply trucks stopped running in November, the average Westerner would be in for a world of hurt.
They let it fall apart in deep winter, and by spring most of the population will either be too ill, or too dead to cause much trouble – allowing the ptb to perform an easy mop up job and to get any “critical skills personnel” on those FEMA buses without protest.
This is why our new house has a wood stove as well as the normal gas central heating common to the UK, and why I was asking the other day about how much we’d need to see us thru winter. No way am I risking going into winter 2014 without enough food and fuel to see us thru till spring (in the UK rain takes care of water requirements).
Leave some crops in the ground to overwinter such as oriental greens, turnips, leeks etc. If your house is robbed – there will be some sustenance left in the frozen ground. By the same token, indulge in a little guerrilla gardening(permaculture techniques are best for this) to create living food caches where you can. If the worst happens you won’t begrudge the squirrels a share of your bounty too much.
For no dig crops try asparagus, raspberries, currant bushes. For containers try horseradish, mint etc. This article gives some good tips for no-dig self seeding crops
(Just take the info needed and ignore the politics!)
Fascinating article. Here’s some math:
He claims $140K gross, with 70% of that coming from about 200 families. Therefore, (140,000 x 0.7) / 200 = about $500/ per family per growing season.
He had to sell 200 rural families his vegetable plan for $500 each. For me, that’s a showstopper. I’m sure that everybody else on this site is a better salesman than I am.
Outta curiosity, I did this simple calc: $140K / (1.5a x 43560 sf) = about $2.14 per square foot gross income. I’m assuming that his 1.5a is the planted area, and that pathways, etc. take up additional acreage, all of which sounds feasible on his 10a site.
There is a transcript available, which is better than listening to the podcast, since you can scan over the many minutes of congratulatory remarks which add little understanding.
In the transcript, the author reveals very little of how he does it. It would be helpful to see a layout of his farm and all. Obviously, he wants to sell his book, which is fine by me. It would be nice to be able to page thru the book at Barnes and Noble or something before buying, however.
A better source than this guy is Elliot Coleman,
He has a bunch of books out
New Organic Grower
Are two i have read and that i know from experience are spot on.
He emphasizes the sustainable side of farming as well, i would bet this canuk ijust a knockoff of Elliots practice,
Long term, you could grow for yourself and a few families on 1.5 acres, but in order to not spend an arm and a leg on fertilizer inputs you need more, you cant grow year on year in a small space or any space without growing soil building crops and compost alone wont cut it, not to mention the literal tons of compost you would need to truly keep your soil healthy and active, you need cover crops, when you grow a cover crop you get no veggie production. So then what?
Cant grow cover crops in winter, and frozen soil isnt resting,,,
Make your own plant food with a wormery to help with productivity on a small plot!
http://apps.rhs.org.uk/advicesearch/Profile.aspx?pid=726 Kids love these as a project!
Reuse the poop from the chicken/rabbit coops and add chopped stinging nettles & comfrey to your compost bin.
I always have a bucket with a tight lid containing water and chopped up nettle and comfrey I’ve allowed to rot down for a cheap and cheerful plant food for my veggies. The tight lid is needed cos it stinks!
Blood fish and bone can come from kitchen scraps buried deep just as easily as from a box.
Also on the topic of kids projects – breed your own nemotode worms for slug control, or invest in some of the carnivorous plants that eat slugs and snails to aid pest control.
These carnivorous plants are NOT cheap here in the UK so my sprog asks for vouchers from this catalogue at Christmas http://www.jerseyplantsdirect.com/carnivorous-plants
I’ve included the link to the catalogue we use, just so US bods can see the latin names to ask for from their suppliers. The snail and slug eating plants are native to Scotland to give you an idea of the climate range they will thrive in. The insect eating plants are mostly tropical in origin so need to be kept warm indoors in winter
I don’t dissuade him from asking for more each year, as I figure they are more use than a computer game or other gift a non-prepping relative might give him – sue me!
What’s a sprog?
Check out the U-Tube video of the house in So.Cal where the entire back yard has been turned into a high intensity garden, they sell to restaurants and make good money at it. Of course being in a frost free area of So.cal helps but most crops can be grown here all year. Amazing what they are able to produce on a third of an acre.
One of your best articles.
We will all need to know how to grow some type of food when TSHTF.
Our group right now are living at their own homes but our group will start gardens this year (I hope! Damn cold weather!) Each family will have their regular garden, but will pick one crop to grow more of to Can or Dehydrate, and this will be set aside for the group. We have what I call a Good Problem. We have been doing this for about 5 years now and when we make our big move to our bug out spot. We will have more units carrying food than anything else.
Mac. I want to thank you again for this article. You see I’m more into the firearms side of the group than the food. (We have other people for that) But it was a reminder. Again THANKS!!!
AIM SMALL MISS SMALL
Flt. 370 carrying WMD? Someones intel agency was going to try something big. It didn’t work and over 200 people are now missing or dead. Which intel agency? Richard Quest, a CNN reporter, just happened to be in Malaysia a few weeks before the incident with Flt. 370. He was in the cockpit of a Malaysian Airlines flight with the very co-pilot who would eventually be on board Flt. 370. Now that’s a coincidence. A guy from London, who works in NYC, just happens to be with the missing co-pilot a few weeks before hand. US or Israeli intel? I don’t know. Mr. Quest is Jewish.
That makes you think!!!
It takes a 1/4 acre to feed one person a non-animal products diet. He is not “feeding 200 families”, he is giving them a tiny bag of veggies to supplement their diet. I worked for a year on a CSA and handed out the little bags of produce.
This is interesting, I live in central brazil. 365 day planting season and plenty of water. This is extremely doable here. Very likely the local government would help rather than hinder.
This year I’m putting in some more blueberries and fruit trees. Gonna restart my old asparagus bed, start a strawberry patch, add some more blackberry canes, plant some Yukon Golds ‘long side of the red Pontiacs. Double down on the “greens” come fall, and relocate my herb patch. The list is long.
Anyone that likes greens should try swiss chard. Grows into hot weather unlike spinach which will bolt. I canned some last year to see if I liked it more than spinach and I did! Always consult the BALL BLUE BOOK for proper times of canning. Greens require a long canning time. Don’t have enough greens for a full load? Then can some meat or beans to make a full load. Use the longest canning time of the foods to be canned.
Dammit. I ran the tiller yesterday. Tilled the asparagus patch because I forgot about it. Had grown them from seed, too.
Immense joy comes with growing our own, from vegetables and fruits and nuts to cannabis. The food we grow, we know what goes into the growing process, so therefore the wholesomeness of our effort. Same with cannabis, one of the most nutritionally beneficial plants on Earth, plus the medicinal properties are through the roof. Excuse me while I tend my garden.
Damn, I’m in the wrong line of work! Let’s get gardening.
@ Be Informed…I responded to you on the last thread.
Would appreciate your thoughts on my wandering mind?
Thanks and God Bless,
I think there’s a slight exaggeration in the number of people being fed. 200 people to 1.5 acres would mean that I could feed myself with less than a 20×20 square.
The website linked above has a link to an article about the man’s five favorite tools. I do like the electric greens clipper he uses. There is a video of it at www (dot) youtube (dot) com/watch?v=OPIfw5_WoLUY.
For one family, I think square-foot gardening along with a small greenhouse would be the best way to grow as much as possible in a small space. That’s what I am doing. My Roma tomatoes have sprouted using wet paper towels. They will be potted tomorrow and put in the ground when they get bigger. I started some other seeds yesterday.
A 20×20 garden if done right should be able top provide a family of 4 with all the tomatoes, peppers, squash, radishes, lettuce, onions and beets they need during the growing season. Some things like corn are not worth growing unless you have a lot of room. With tomatoes at four bucks a pound in the store for the nasty tasting ones home grown are a bargain.
I love my tomatoes too. Still, it strains credulity to think that one can feed oneself year round from a 20’x20′ garden.
I’m active on nasaspaceflight.com and ISRU is a big topic there, particularly regarding the current fantasy of colonizing Mars, where the Sun is quite a bit less intense than here.
ISRU: In Situ Resource Utilization.
Mostly they talk about making propellant, but it’s also acknowledged that growing a garden is a form of ISRU, and is absolutely required if you plan on staying up there forever. A number of “rocket scientists” are fond of dragging out the 20×20 statistic, along with specialty web sites which demonstrate the generally hi-tech intensive aquaponic approach. Look for a hefty capital expenditure, high maintenance costs, and a personal expenditure of a couple of hours a day on average taking care of it in all of its aspects.
Just sayin’ that it’s theoretically possible is not the same thing at all as actually doing it.
My garden is 50’x70′ and could readily feed a family of four for the summer, along with chard and kale over the winter, if ya don’t mind a pretty bland diet.
I’ve tried planting cheeseburgers, ham and swiss on rye sandwiches (lettuce and tomatoes are the easy part), potato chips, Coke (not that kind of coke), milk and eggs, candy, and several other dietary nice-to-haves, with absolutely no success.
Thanks, this is what I’m looking for here. I do love all the comments and characters here, but I NEED useful info.
Also, Thank you to BI, JayJay, Warchild, Kula, RiverRat, NorthernReb, Unreconstructed, and ALL others for their useful input. I really do enjoy learning from you folks, more than you know.
How long are dehydrated onions good for? I dehydrated 10 lbs a couple of weekends ago an that have me two vac sealed quart jars.
I just used some dehydrated onions that I kept in a jar with a air drier Dated 2007. Taste great on the steak along with mushrooms I dehydrated 2011. Little butter salt and shot of garlic powder 2 Tps. of water slow simmer covered pan.
thanks. good to know. I plan on dehydrating everything we over produce this year that doesn’t get canned.
The spring sun cracked the sky these past couple days and melted the last of the snow and ice so me and the dog headed out for some scoutin’, repairin’, and general cleanup.
I stuck to the sticks and bark he drug up from the woodpile to the house and scoped the downed spouting out for fixin.
Frank headed for the pasture and woods to dig up the moles and field mice. He loves to pile drive his shoulder into any cowpie or dead rodent he can smell out.
The joy he gets with his hind legs pumping the sky brings a smile to my face and a stink to my nose.
Sure am glad spring has finally arrived in the NE.
NE as in Nebraska? Or North East?
That sounds really good. Snowing in Big Sky, again.
Oh well, it can’t last forever. Can it?
Venezuela Enforces Fingerprint Registry to Buy Groceries: What to do Before Rationing Starts in The U.S.
Ok, seriously I’m buying this book.
I need enough to feed three people, not 200. Does it scale linearly like that? I don’t have a ton of room and I’ve been ignoring it because I thought it was impossible due to space constraints.
Making a business out of it? Nah. Not with your good friends in the .gov coming along and clubbing everything they see.
Great subject for SHTF. I read that because of the drought in California there isn’t going to be a lot of West Coast lettuce or tomatoes this year. Rubbermaid containers with gravel in the bottom and chicken wire hats to keep the squirrels off is how we do it. If we only grow cherry tomatoes, lettuce and herbs it helps. Look into sprouting if you get winters like ours in the PNW where it’s grey for 6 months. Can’t feed the whole family but it will supplement the beans and rice we have put by.
Even if you think you can’t grow anything, try it. My rule is only the strong survive. I have 2 hours a week to devote to this, so no fussy plants. We had a series of 12 and 14 degree days this winter, and my thyme and oregano survived in a container on the uncovered patio. At one point they were coated in ice. The only help they got was a black garbage bag over the container. They looked pretty ratty but leafed out again as soon as the temperatures hit 40 degrees. It’s a nice green spot on the porch now. Those are keepers.
Don’t let lack of space or money stop you. If you talk to the people at the garden centers they will sometimes tip you off to ripped fertilizer bags real cheap or free. You can compost your lawn clippings and some kitchen scraps on a tiny scale to help the container plants along. If you hang around a nursery often and buy a couple tools as you need them, I’ve found the employees enjoy helping someone out who’s actually gardening, rather than buying annual/disposable ornamentals to stick around the house. Things like cracked trellis that’s fixable with 2 nails can end up set outside for you rather than in the Dumpster.
Improvise, put in some sweat equity, and receive a reward for your hard work that you can be proud of, sometimes even enough to share (y’all need some zucchini?) You get to feel sunshine and smell dirt, and if SHTF you’ll know what grows in your specific area without pampering.
You can grow great potatoes and sweet potatoes in those tubs if you mix a real sandy soil mix and are careful with the water.
Here in Western Washington at 800′ elevation I kept leaf lettuce alive in styrofoam boxes covered with glass. I grew these from seeds but the ones I bought already started in the fall and planted in a wooden cold frame with glass that didn’t fit perfectly died. Ones I had planted from seed survived there also.
Sweet onion starts survived in the cold frame and parsley that self-seeded grew in the styrofoam.
Corn salad self-seeded over the winter in the cold frame and is producing in abundance. This is a very good cold weather green.
I’m a big fan of bagging lawn clippings and covering the ground between tomatoes, say, about 6″ deep. Lasts all summer and not a weed will break thru. I methodically cover around the plants with each lawn mowing.
Plus if you fertilize your lawn (I do), all that fertilizer ends up being in the grass clippings too.
So, one problem with calling yourself ‘self sufficient’ on 1.5 acres, is usually, they are not. If you are intensely working 1.5 acres, then usually that requires a lot of organic material, manure, etc., and if your don’t have a lot more than 1.5 acres to provide that additional input, you’re not really being self sufficient.
HUGELKULTUR was mentioned and it requires a massive amount of trees/organic material that will not be from your 1.5 acre plot.
I would suggest at least 3:1 in support to production land…. i.e., a field where you can grow your own straw/mulch, trees, grey water leech fields where you grow intermediary mulches/fertilizers for your productive areas, scrub trees for branch/leaf mulch production, and extra production area you can leave fallow (or let chickens/chicken tractors/pigs reprocess for you). If you only have 1.5 acres, with no support or external inputs, your productivity on the 1.5 acres will quickly diminish regardless of how carefully you compost.
We have a chicken/egg ranch near here that will give you all the composted chicken manure you want for free. Sure that there are other places like that just about everywhere. Nothing to prevent raking up leaves and bagging them or other organics around town. Compost organics in garbage cans and when it is ready use them for tomato planters. While the tomato plants are getting up to size a crop of beets, radishes or lettuce can be grown in the container. Make sure to drill holes in the sides of the containers for air ventilation the bottom for water drainage and also shade the west facing sides of the containers from the afternoon sun. Place them fairly close to the East facing side of a fence is an easy way to do that.
Big fan of composting with leaves too. Gotta leaf vac for the tractor, and lay it on thick. By the time spring comes, there’s not much left. Also, the tree companies around here are glad to drop off a huge pile of chips for you to use.
Here they auction it off by the truckload and you gotta sign a release and some other forms before you can even bid…dont like commercial chicken crap anyhow so I dont bother with it…
rely on yourself and you will surely die. rely on God manifest in the flesh as Jesus alone. farm sure, store food sure, store med supplies sure but remember these things are fleeting and we will surely fail at some point. God never fails. rely on God manifest in the flesh as Jesus.
I bought heirloom seeds a couple of years ago. I have been experimenting with seeds and growing year round in SoCal. I have been able to figure out how to deal with bugs and other pests without pesticides. Although it is not perfect, I am learning what to do and would be in good position to expand this out if I had to.
so $140,000 on 1.5 acres with 200 customers? I hope in his book he tells the ‘start-ups’ where to hide the hemp….
It is doable. That is $700 spent per family. It must be very, very well managed and high intensity. Congrats to his CSA if the info is accurate….
50$ a week for 16 weeks is 800$
800x 50. = 40,000
Supplying 50 families a week is a lot of work, and a lot of veggies
They must be growing micro greens or salad mix in a greenhouse, that is the only way to do 140k a year because im sure those folks are not payin 50 per week.
The csa must be about 40/week
For 18 weeks? Not sure on the growing season but 4.5 months after 40-60 day start is cutting it close up at those latitudes. Am curious what his csa boxes contain,,,
Horse manure that has been sitting in a pile and rotting for several months, preferably for a year, to mellow out. Otherwise, it is too “hot” meaning it is too strong to apply directly to a garden. Also, take a five gallon bucket and fill with water, then put a dozen horse droppings in the bucket and let it sit in sunshine for a day — it makes great liquid fertilizer for garden plants like tomatoes and eliminates the weed seed problem inherent with using horse and cow manure.
Chicken manure is strong and also needs to sit in a pile and rot for a while before it’s ready to be put on a garden.
Cow manure same thing — let it sit and rot.
Check organic gardening references for authoritative info on these fertilizer sources.
No need to buy manufactured fertilizer, which is more expensive than getting manure from a local owner of these types of livestock. Sometimes, you might even find a horse owner who is happy to give away their horse manure, and will let you come and shovel it directly into the back of your pickup truck. Demonstrate that you are responsible and careful, and respectful of his property, and know which end of a shovel to pick up, and you could be set for all the free fertilizer you need.
We use our old horse manure, mix with dirt, and add some inexpensive alfalfa pellets. Plants love it. But we let the rain soak the mixture good before planting. About 2 weeks to a month prior so not too hot.
Cover with old hay as mulch.
This past year I did an experiment and put a layer of alfalfa pellets, dry, around my tomatoes plants (they were bigger, about a foot tall) one layer just enough to cover the dirt, then watered, they expanded, and ended up being a really good mulch and did not burn the tomatoe plants (but the plants were bigger) and I didn’t spread the pellets right up to the stems, left them about an inch away around the stems.
Good fertilizer, and good mulch combo, but sure does stink the first couple of days as it expands and starts decomposing, and as it decomposes, that’s when you get that nice layer of mulch and fertilizer in one.
Then, I added old hay on top of that in a few of my container plants (experiment) they all did very well and produced well.
ive had great result with eggshell(finely ground) and Epsom salt, mix 10 to 1 by dry volume (respectively) for after plants start to bud then add this mixture as a supplement. also known as bone meal. blood meal types get the green parts of the plants growing from infancy.
10 ounces eggshell and 1 ounce Epsom salt 3 gallons of water is a good mix, sorry so incoherent just use sparingly from a water can on the soil. : )
Rabbit manure is the best because the rabbits destroy any seeds while eating. You use horse that is not properly composted and you will have the weeds from hell. Purslane a common weed is very good eating. Looks like a low growing miniature jade plant.
In Italian it is called Porcelana or Porcelain in English and it has a yellow flower and tastes slightly sour.
This Purslane is good in salads. Did not know that it was called purslane but I recognized the jade plant description and then realized that Purslane sounded very much like porcelana. Thanks
If you have no prepared soil, or no suitable soil,
Try buying bags , arrange where you want, and slit partly open.
Put seed or plants directly in soil.
Plastic holds water, if you leave bags.
Rake leaves around to add mulch.
Also, eggshells make nice seed starters and give you something to use them for. Adds a little calcium too.
Got onion sets up and sweet potatoes showing green here in NW Georgia.
Spring is sure a welcome sight.
Grow food folks.
I am also sowing seed all around many areas.
White potatoes are mighty easy to drop here and there.
I am spreading sunflower seeds all over.
May everyone have a good season.
You are correct about the egg shells I also put old tea bags in my garden. It seems to help keep away root eating type pest.
S.T.S.F.P. N.R. N.S. N.REB
Ain’t never tried teabags NR.
Always added to the compost heap.
Just before letting the chickens pick it.
I’m a compost lover.
Found out a long time ago to make plenty.
One thing I do in the fall is bag leaves.
One large black bag packed with leaves
1 cup slack lime.
Throw them along fhe foundation in the fall.
Open in spring and till right in.
Rotted nice and adds plenty of organic nutrients.
Can’t wait to try tea bags.
Gawd almighty, I sure have plenty…
Have a great season…
Your chickens need their own shells for stronger eggs & more production. Extra eggs give to your chickens, your layers anyway they need them.
careful birds aren’t stupid they may develop a taste for them, then you may have to cull and use new layer hens
You can fine grind your egg shells in a coffee grinder and then add some vinegar. It creates calcium that your plants can utilize right away. No waiting for decomposing.
I PLANT A 50FT. BY 50FT. GARDEN EVERY YEAR, BUT I PUT A LOT OF SPACE BETWEEN MY PLANTS.
WE CAN PUT UP ENOUGH CORN, GREEN AND YELLOW BEANS, SQUASH, TOMATOES,COLLAR GREEN, CHILLI AND GREEN PEPPERS, ONIONS, CABAGE, TO LAST US, ME AND MY WIFE ALL YEAR AND WE GIVE ABOUT ONE HALF OF IT AWAY TO OUR SONS AND OTHER FOLKS IN THE HOOD.
THE LETTUS, SPINISH, PEAS, RADISHS, ASPAGUS, DON’T LAST LONG ENOUGH IN MY HOUSE TO GET PUT UP FOR LATER USE IN THE WINTER.
A LITTLE MONEY SAVING HINT: I HAVE BEEN BUYING MY SEEDS WHEN THEY GO ON SALE FOR LIKE HALF PRICE LATE IN THE YEAR. I MAKE THE DATE ON THEM AND SEAL THEM UP IN A SEAL-A-MEAL BAG FOR YOU NEXT YEAR. NO AIR NO SPOILAGE.
SO FAR IT HAS WORKED VERY WELL EVERYTHING COMES UP AND PRODUCES NICELY.
I ALSO COLLECT RAIN WATER TO USE ON MY PLANTS. I COLLECT IT IN NINE 55 GALLON BARRELS AND I HAVE ONE 250 GALLON TANK.
MOST OF THE WATER COMES OFF MY WOOD SHED THAT HAS A FIBER GLASS SHEETED ROOF. YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT ALL THOSE HEAVY METAL YOU GET OF A TAR PAPER SHINGLED ROOF.
I USE THE 250 TANK FROM MY HOUSE TO FLUSH THE TOILET AND TO WASH CLOTHES IN, THEN WE RINSE THE CLOTHES IN CITY WATER. SURE CUT DOWN ON THE WATER BILL.
IN MY AREA THIS CAN ONLY BE DO IN THE SPRING, SUMMER AND FALL. CENTRAL ILLINOIS GET TO COLD IN THE WINTER TO DO THIS. BUT I HAVE A PLAN FOR THE WINTER THAT WORKS VERY WELL.
SEEDS, WATER, A LITTLE CHICKEN POOP, STRAW. BINGO FRESH VEGGIES FROM THE GARDEN!:-) YUMMY
SPRING WERE THE HECK ARE YOU WE’RE WAITING!!!!!!!
S.T.S.F.P. N.R.N.S. N.REB
Your caps is stuck on…
Ya I hand to get the hammer out. I’l fix it oneway or the other!;-)
S.T.S.F.P. N.R .NS. N.REB
LOL— been there, done that.
ANOTHER SHOOTING AT FT. HOOD
IT SOUNDS LIKE CAUSULTIES??
TIME FOR PARYERS.
Saw a young woman stop her white jeep, get out and pick my wife’s flowers. She jumped back into her jeep and took off when the dog started barking. It all happened in just a few seconds. SHTF will be really crazy.
“Entitlement” knows no end.
Excellent anecdote about the flower picking. You never know when a crime of opportunity will come about.
I have been buying veggie seeds from the Dollar Tree 4 packs for $1. There was a wide selection but now it is about all gone.
If they’re not Heirloom seeds you can’t take the seeds from your harvest & use them for next year’s garden. You want open pollinated Heirloom seeds. http://www.mypatriotsupply.com
We grow about 80% of our own food. And its isn’t easy. Its very labor intensive and takes Know How. My advice is to start small and keep adding. only grow and raise plants & animals that thrive in your local & you like to eat. If you want to grow 100% of your food I think a greenhouse will be needed.
Dollar collapse….which it has…long slow demise.
Bee die off.
America de industrialized.
The most dangerous organization is the UN.
A communist organization.
I’m just going to enjoy watching the boomers die off.
I’m all ready to buy up their toys.
I claim Bullsh!t. I am a grower. I have alot more land and other stuff than this guy. I do admit… location location location. Where I am at we have some certified organic people with 5 acres that are eakin’ out a living but are not getting close to what this guy makes. We live in the boonies. You could do it if you lived close to a large city that wants organic stuff but the land will cost you. Otherwise…. get a second job off the farm to pay the bills.
This was a good interview, but two comments:
1. one commentator was absolutely correct, deer and wild pig will wipe you out overnight. so will a woodchuck, i found out.
2. however, those who cling to the chemical model and think they need pesticides and commercial fert are all wrong. that’s not where the problem lies.
3. this guy seems sincere and i think his info is right on, but what total BS that this info was unavailable before his book. What he’s talking about is in John Jeavons book How to Grow More Vegetables and has been available for 25+ years. Pisses me off that he gives no credit to John.
I have been growing with a series of raised beds on my over-sized city lot with a ton of success. I am part of a gardening group and also have some extra plots at a community garden in the neighborhood (this is another thing to look into if you want to try your hand at gardening but either don’t have the land or the desire to till up an area in your yard). I have also found the community garden to be a wealth of knowledge. People grow all types of produce and are happy to offer advice and help whenever needed. You can also see first-hand what works and what does not. One thing I have been learning about recently is the value of re-mineralization when it comes to growing. While our community garden does not allow any type of chemical fertilizers or pesticides (which is great in my opinion), many gardeners utilize a variety of natural nutrient inputs (castings, compost teas, etc.). I have learned that nutrients and minerals are actually quite different – and plants need both. The minerals I am referring to are essentially natural rock dusts. I started utilizing rock dusts like Andesite Mineral Complex, Azomite and Glacial Rock Dust in my raised beds and garden plots after I was introduced to them by some fellow growers and the results were incredible. I am not referring to pH balancing minerals like lime either which are different. One of the most important factors is that of nutrient density. The fact of the matter is, an apple is not an apple is not an apple when it comes to growing. There are pesticide laden conventional apples, commercially grown organic apples and apples grown organically in re-mineralized soils (think hobby farms and backyards) and the differences are undeniable. Just like humans, plants need a very wide variety of trace elements to achieve their maximum potential – and provide you with maximized nutrient density in the process. As I have a limited amount of space, it is of the utmost importance that I grow the most nutrient-dense food as possible. Additional benefits are better production, better pest resistance, etc, etc., etc. Don’t take my word for it either – feel free to do your own research. I felt compelled to reply to this article as it focused on maximizing production in small growing areas. While that is very important, maximizing the value (in nutritional terms) of what you are growing is equally as important. I would encourage everyone to grow something – be it in a container, small raised bed or large garden. One more point to note is that the learning curve is much steeper than most think. Good soil isn’t developed overnight – mother nature just doesn’t work that way. If you wait to start growing until things begin to hit the fan, you will be way too late. It is one thing to grow a garden when you can run to the grocery store if things don’t work out. It is completely other thing to grow a garden when you need every item out of it to survive.
remember the 3 sisters add potatoes and you can live off of that multivitamins wouldn’t hurt either if shtf
Just yesterday I attended the Small animal & goat auction at Koskonog MO. Lots of folks there grow & raise their own produce & animals for meat eggs & milk. For many their income is so low its a necessity to produce a large portion of what they eat. Its early in the season and none where selling garden produce yet but there will be some soon. I bought a bred 6 year old registered Nubian milk goat for $150!
You got a good deal Old Guy. We are selling our Nubian kids for $175. Yes we do grow most of what we eat. My wife and I are city folk. We left the city 5 years ago. I am currently 1000 miles away from the farm working on contract work to meet the bills of the farm. Our land is poor, being in NE OK. We are rebuilding the soil and making a market but it still takes capital. We refer to the farm as our vampire baby that drinks green blood ($). Altough.. I wouldn’t trade any of it. The farm is where my wife and I belong. We sell produce, milk, eggs, meat, fleece, soap, yarns, and animals. And yet I am still out contracting. A small farm will not sustain itself (generally speaking). You have to have a secondary income. You would blanch if you knew how much green blood the vampire baby has taken. For those considering buying some farmland and trying this path. Before buying… get soil samples and have tests run. It can save you ten of thousands of dollars in a mistake. Been there, done that, have the bills to prove it. BOTC (This is pronounced bought see. It means Bring On The Collapse.) Best wishes to all. In closing… I Timothy 5:8