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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
If you just store food, you are only delaying the inevitable. You will survive on miserable rice and beans and then starve to death when your stores run out. A true prepper's food plan takes a more long term, sustainable view that can feed you well forever.

IMO, a comprehensive plan can be divided into 5 parts...

1. Permaculture. A permaculture garden (AKA food forest) is a true long term food source. There is a permaculture forest in Morocco that has been feeding 800 people for over 2,000 years! A good permaculture system mimics nature, is self-fertile, and requires very little work to produce an abundance of foods.

Fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, herbs, and perennial veggies are part of every permaculture system, but these systems should also include plants that attract insects (to aid in pollination,) attract birds (who will fly in and poop nutrients and control harmful insects,) plants that will fix nitrogen from the air, and plants with deep root systems that will pull up nutrients and can be part of your "chop and drop" mulch system.

2. Annual plantings. These are the 'main crop' plants like tomatoes,grains, and beans, and are grown either in a high density method like Square Foot or French intensive systems, or with more traditional garden/farming techniques. I like the high density approach, and also include companion planting and intercropping to add biodiversity and cut the amount of work required.

Instead of storing seeds long term, I use what I call a "Living Seed Bank", growing just enough of each variety to supplement my normal groceries while always saving enough seed that I could expand my gardening efforts 20-50 fold if the need arises. This way I am always assured of having fresh seed.

3. Stored Food. I am building to the point where I will have 2 years food stored. It's rare for a crop to fail entirely, but I do want this reserve in case a drought, brushfire, band of looters, or whatever destroy my main crops. I am concentrating on things I can't grow or can't easily grow; salt, sugar, certain spices and herbs.

4. Critters. In my case, it will be some chickens and maybe a goat or 2. Maybe eventually a piggie or cow I can eat. I don't want to milk anything... that's a form of slavery. (with me as the slave)

Another aspect of the "critters" part of the food plan involves hunting and fishing. Have a pond and some fish. Plant forage crops to attract deer and whatever. Hell, if is has parents, it probably tastes good, yanno?

5. Food Preservation. If you are producing your own food, you have to have a way to store it. Dehydrating, canning, and root cellars are all viable options. You can also smoke some foods or salt them. Freezing might be iffy, depending on what kind of scenario we are facing.

This is obviously the short version of a complex topic. I'm looking forward to hearing your ideas and strategies for long term food sustainability so I can steal them and incorporate them into my own plans. :)
 

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How many of you have planned meals to fix and eat?
Will you eat your favorites and leave the others for when you have nothing else?
Here is what I did long ago - and several times since - I kept track of the meals I fixed (yes I am the cook at my house) over an extended time. First a week, then a month then three months. I found that we ate a lot of different foods but typically prepared the same way. So I sat down with the meats, starches, veggies, and fruits and built several ways to prepare each item. I then mixed that in with our normal pattern and everyone thought we were eating differently. I combined the same meals but prepared them in new ways to provide some spice without removing the favorites of what we ate. I built my food storage plan around the same staples and stored what I needed to make the different preparations. We store what we eat and eat what we store so the stored food gets rotated with fresh at least once a year (one year of stored food will get us through to a harvest or through a crop failure. We grow the foods we like to eat and make sure we have enough to feed us. We are starting to think about our meat too. It is getting harder to get the amount of game to completely furnish our meat supply and if the SHTF it will be harder. I think we will start small and work up to the point where we need help. I refuse to have milkers because you are their slave forever after. I may have to eventually give up my milk - I am almost the only one drinking it and I am 63. Chickens are necessary and easy, then pigs but I will have to build a pen to keep them in, and finally either beef or farm raised venison or Bison. It will mean growing their high protein foods and supplying them with all the nutrients because it may not be possible to graze them away from protection. I would rather not feed the countryside and it would only take a herd of up to ten animals to supply the venison. (three deer size animals per person a year) If they are harvested following the weening of the next generation then the herd will grow as we allow in case of emergency.

12 - 24 chickens would be more than enough to supply us with eggs even in the winter and there again we can build the flock and harvest the ones that get too old to lay. If we don't modify our bacon consumption we will need 12 pigs a year to harvest but I think we can supplement the bacon with sausage and ham and "get by" with five pigs a year. ;)
 
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Maybe hit the big food warehouse distributor and take a semi load at a time. They have them loaded and sitting out front every day, 15 plus all lined up.
 

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1. Permaculture.
(yes I am the cook at my house)
Um, do you two have clones by any chance? Permaculture knowledge and a cook. I'd think I died and went to heaven! :D

For protein, why not grow rabbits? I raise them in tractors and either move the tractors or bring them fresh greens. They literally cost pennies to raise and taste soooo good roasted. Then, I use the carcass the next day for a soup. My picky son tells me, "I love rabbit so much I want to eat it all day long!" I was reading One Second After and thinking to myself that if they'd had a rabbit breeder nearby, their food issues would have been much less.

Also, as to milking animals, you can keep kids on and milk 1x/day by separating kids/calf either at night (best) or in the day (easiest if you're not a morning person) and taking all the milk one time, then letting babies back in to nurse as they please. Then, if you need to go somewhere, you just don't separate and babies will take care of the milking. Grow better nursing too, so what we do with goats is let them nurse until slaughter in the fall.
 

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Indie, I honestly don't know how much milk a goat produces but I do know that a cow will produce 7 times what I will consume. I don't even know if I like goats milk. Either way you have to milk them or mommy may decide that baby is done. If I have to have my milk I may talk to one of my neighbors and see if they are willing to save me a gallon a week for exchange of machining or such.

I have no clones but out of eight brothers there are likely a couple that you could get along with - we all learned how to cook for the family at 10 yo. Some of us have wives that prefer it and others have wives who do the cooking. Five are without wives but one of those lives on the south side of a mountain overlooking the Canadian border from the Washington side. Long, cold winters with short falls and springs and 30 days of growing season. He is five years younger than me but doesn't want to get married. - bad past experiences.
 
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For the dwarf breed goats, you can expect a pint to a quart twice per day. Low production in fall when they need bred. But you are only looking at needing some hay & 4 cups of feed per day for each milk goat. So looking at 7-15 gallons of milk per goat per month. Some only milk once per day & you will get a fairly low milk production doing that. So best to milk twice per day. And give the goat atleast half her daily feed when in the milking parlor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can cook too. Just sayin.

I think rabbits are a good idea. Easy and they breed, well, like rabbits.

Like PaulS, I don't want to get too tied to milking anything. They goats would be for meat.

I don't want to raise pigs or cows, but getting a piglet or calf in the spring, letting it eat my grass, then eating it in the fall sounds like a plan to me.

Arizona Infidel, yer welcome. Here's another. Though not as old, it goes into more detail and will give you an idea of what's possible...

 
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About 15 minutes twice a day to milk a goat. 10 minutes for each additional goat.

Price on goats around here is $50 for a young buck (meat) & $75 for a young doe. $100-125 for a milking doe. $150 for a bred doe. And that is for nubians
 

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Remember that goat or cow to produce milk must be bred once a year. So if considering a milk cow where is the nearest bull to breed her once a year & what is the cost? Same with milk goats needing a buck.
But small animals can be put in a crate & put in the back of a truck or wagon & taken to the buck. That is a huge advantage to having the goats.
 

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30 days of growing season. He is five years younger than me but doesn't want to get married. - bad past experiences.
30 days?! That would be challenging, to say the least. Is that N Central WA?

I can cook too. Just sayin.
;-)

I think rabbits are a good idea. Easy and they breed, well, like rabbits.
I was just reading here about guinea pigs and I think I've finally found an animal I will allow in the house. The kids will love it, til it's time to eat one! That'll counter the low fat in rabbits so between the two I should be able to keep the dogs and us in meat, with a few added goats and deer when we can.

Price on goats around here is $50 for a young buck (meat) & $75 for a young doe. $100-125 for a milking doe. $150 for a bred doe. And that is for nubians
Those are good prices! There are some here that low but many are registered so most you find here are about 2x that price. Nigies are way more. I used to raise them but can't stand selling animals so I'm going with a couple mixed breeds this time around. What do you have?
 

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If you just store food, you are only delaying the inevitable. You will survive on miserable rice and beans and then starve to death when your stores run out. A true prepper's food plan takes a more long term, sustainable view that can feed you well forever.

IMO, a comprehensive plan can be divided into 5 parts...

1. Permaculture. A permaculture garden (AKA food forest) is a true long term food source. There is a permaculture forest in Morocco that has been feeding 800 people for over 2,000 years! A good permaculture system mimics nature, is self-fertile, and requires very little work to produce an abundance of foods.

Fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, herbs, and perennial veggies are part of every permaculture system, but these systems should also include plants that attract insects (to aid in pollination,) attract birds (who will fly in and poop nutrients and control harmful insects,) plants that will fix nitrogen from the air, and plants with deep root systems that will pull up nutrients and can be part of your "chop and drop" mulch system.

2. Annual plantings. These are the 'main crop' plants like tomatoes,grains, and beans, and are grown either in a high density method like Square Foot or French intensive systems, or with more traditional garden/farming techniques. I like the high density approach, and also include companion planting and intercropping to add biodiversity and cut the amount of work required.

Instead of storing seeds long term, I use what I call a "Living Seed Bank", growing just enough of each variety to supplement my normal groceries while always saving enough seed that I could expand my gardening efforts 20-50 fold if the need arises. This way I am always assured of having fresh seed.

3. Stored Food. I am building to the point where I will have 2 years food stored. It's rare for a crop to fail entirely, but I do want this reserve in case a drought, brushfire, band of looters, or whatever destroy my main crops. I am concentrating on things I can't grow or can't easily grow; salt, sugar, certain spices and herbs.

4. Critters. In my case, it will be some chickens and maybe a goat or 2. Maybe eventually a piggie or cow I can eat. I don't want to milk anything... that's a form of slavery. (with me as the slave)

Another aspect of the "critters" part of the food plan involves hunting and fishing. Have a pond and some fish. Plant forage crops to attract deer and whatever. Hell, if is has parents, it probably tastes good, yanno?

5. Food Preservation. If you are producing your own food, you have to have a way to store it. Dehydrating, canning, and root cellars are all viable options. You can also smoke some foods or salt them. Freezing might be iffy, depending on what kind of scenario we are facing.

This is obviously the short version of a complex topic. I'm looking forward to hearing your ideas and strategies for long term food sustainability so I can steal them and incorporate them into my own plans. :)
If we're going to plant for food, we'll be stocking up on pesticides (if we can still get them), and fertilizer. I see a lot of apple trees on my walks, some are loaded with fruits but they're also loaded with worms! Some trees are obviously sick by the looks of their leaves, and hardly any fruits.
I remember decades ago when my husband dabbled in Asian plants like napa and bokchoy - the leaves got eaten up by bugs. My husband treated them with chemicals you buy at gardener's store and they were fine. If I'm going to plant, bokchoy and napa will be among them as the leaves just keep coming out (you can't keep up with them). I also will plant sweet peppers since I could also use the young pepper leaves to add in soups or stew. Too bad we're in a cold climate location - our warm weather is short.

Maybe raise rabbits and grow dandelions? We can share the dandelions with them!

I'm thinking if we can raise a few chickens in the garage - they'll be good for eggs. But then again, how can you feed them if grain is scarce?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't use herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers, and never will. Fruit, nuts, berries, and veggies come from nature and have survived millions of years without these things. There are many natural techniques we can employ to take care of the pests and fertilization needs. I can't cover them all here, but if you are interested in learning a better way, I would suggest you read "The One Straw Revolution" by Masanobu Fukuoka as a good starting point.

Amazon: The One Straw Revolution

If you have the room, chickens will feed themselves, but you might have to give them a few handfuls of grain now and then in the winter. You can grow your own grain or stock up on commercial chicken feed. They will eat almost anything though, including grass.
 

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If you want to reduce the need for chicken feed but not free range them then look into a chicken tractor. You can somewhat easily move it around to fresh grazing areas for them. They eat the grass down plus fertilize the area. Gardening, just grow some extra corn for the chickens. Feed corn is plenty cheap to stock up on though.
 

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Wartime Farm series is worth watching. During WWII Britan emphasized to farmers to grow crops for humans rather then crops for livestock. Crops straight to humans rather then to livestock then butcher the livestock. So sheep & steer were basically 90% slaughtered early on in the war in Britan. Most beef fields were turned to milk cows. Most sheep fields were turned to milk goats. Eggs were also a priority. Milk itself wasn't a priority but butter & cheese was.
Fields normally considered unfit for crops were surveyed & often just needed drain ditches to prevent them from flooding.

My point is that at the start of 1939 80+% of Britan's food was imported. With the German blockades that was a serious issue. By 1940 half of Britan's food was home grown & by 1941 was 70% but they had trouble exceeding that 70% even threw the end of the war.
Those that have the land for it, might consider what they can do to get some productivity from their land.
 

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If you just store food, you are only delaying the inevitable. You will survive on miserable rice and beans and then starve to death when your stores run out. A true prepper's food plan takes a more long term, sustainable view that can feed you well forever.

IMO, a comprehensive plan can be divided into 5 parts...

1. Permaculture. A permaculture garden (AKA food forest) is a true long term food source. There is a permaculture forest in Morocco that has been feeding 800 people for over 2,000 years! A good permaculture system mimics nature, is self-fertile, and requires very little work to produce an abundance of foods.

Fruit and nut trees, berry bushes, herbs, and perennial veggies are part of every permaculture system, but these systems should also include plants that attract insects (to aid in pollination,) attract birds (who will fly in and poop nutrients and control harmful insects,) plants that will fix nitrogen from the air, and plants with deep root systems that will pull up nutrients and can be part of your "chop and drop" mulch system.

2. Annual plantings. These are the 'main crop' plants like tomatoes,grains, and beans, and are grown either in a high density method like Square Foot or French intensive systems, or with more traditional garden/farming techniques. I like the high density approach, and also include companion planting and intercropping to add biodiversity and cut the amount of work required.

Instead of storing seeds long term, I use what I call a "Living Seed Bank", growing just enough of each variety to supplement my normal groceries while always saving enough seed that I could expand my gardening efforts 20-50 fold if the need arises. This way I am always assured of having fresh seed.

3. Stored Food. I am building to the point where I will have 2 years food stored. It's rare for a crop to fail entirely, but I do want this reserve in case a drought, brushfire, band of looters, or whatever destroy my main crops. I am concentrating on things I can't grow or can't easily grow; salt, sugar, certain spices and herbs.

4. Critters. In my case, it will be some chickens and maybe a goat or 2. Maybe eventually a piggie or cow I can eat. I don't want to milk anything... that's a form of slavery. (with me as the slave)

Another aspect of the "critters" part of the food plan involves hunting and fishing. Have a pond and some fish. Plant forage crops to attract deer and whatever. Hell, if is has parents, it probably tastes good, yanno?

5. Food Preservation. If you are producing your own food, you have to have a way to store it. Dehydrating, canning, and root cellars are all viable options. You can also smoke some foods or salt them. Freezing might be iffy, depending on what kind of scenario we are facing.

This is obviously the short version of a complex topic. I'm looking forward to hearing your ideas and strategies for long term food sustainability so I can steal them and incorporate them into my own plans. :)
And if you have the ability to do all that... The government will pay you not to. That seems logical of them. :/

Farm Program Pays $1.3 Billion to People Who Don't Farm
 

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Yes, north central to north east central Washington. Near Pontiac ridge we have 104 acres on the south side of the mountain. I designed and built the A-frame as a temporary place in which we could stay while building a bigger house. When we found that the people wouldn't have anything to do with us unless we participated in their brand of religion I let my brother have the place as his home.
 
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