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Permaculture and growing food for survival

Discussion in 'Survivalism' started by Manu, 17 August 2018.

  1. Have you studied permaculture yet?
    Perhaps the Back to Eden method, which is ordered but similar?

    Growing plants and raising animals, and making things with your bare hands out of what you can find in nature (and the organic seed store, to begin with) is the true way to self-suffiecient living. It requires quite a bit of knowledge and hands-on experimentation with your local environment, as well as a piece of land.

    The process of acquiring funds to buy land is arguably the toughest and least fun part of the journey. But you can spend the same time learning things in theory or small scale while you still live in a city environment, which many of us do or did. You can experiment, even on a balcony.

    I would strongly recommend looking into both permaculture and Back to Eden on places like youtube, but also through books. There are a ton of them to wade through and easy enough to find. First watch videos to get an idea visually, then going onwards to books, to get the details.

    We are in a period of global warming, whether or not it is man-made is another question. In the future, you will need to learn how to grow things using mulch - ground cover - in order to not get hit hard by droughts. Especially if public water no longer works. This is quite likely if it continues to get warmer, even if it is not set in stone. Who knows, maybe I will be wrong and an ice age will hit us brutally. In all likelihood, however, that would take a long time.

    Using wood chips as mulch is a rather intelligent way to feed nutrients to your soil and keep moisture in it. It should be fine pieces and made out of saplings, bush wood or whatever you might call it. You may also use composted hay, grass clippings, leaves or such. But wood chips last longer and are not prone to blowing away. Do not use tree bark. The wood chips take a couple of years to break down into compost, but it is well worth it. Mulch will also transform your soil over time, into deep, loose and rich topsoil. It removes the need to till the earth. Never do that! It kills your land. Together with composting, it is very effective at generating top soil fast, which otherwise takes a lot of time. An inch every hundred years or so. Modern agriculture is eroding away the top soil at an alarming rate, causing entire stretches of once-fertile fields to become a virtual desert where nothing wants to grow. This happens due to the lack of ground cover, which is everywhere in nature but not agriculture, as well as the ever-present monoculture of growing vast stretches of only one thing, often in conjunction with poisons and bad artificial fertilizer with almost no nutrients. The world is becoming a desert and productivity per acre world-wide is always going down due to this. It is just another example of why endless growth in a limited world is impossible. Yet another reason the modern way is bad.

    You could/should also keep chickens or some form of animals in order to get eggs and your own fertilizer. Chickens can be fed almost for free using a maggot dispenser, for most of the year. Meaning a metal bucket with holes in the bottom, where you put intestines, road kill, fish heads or whatever in order to get maggot larvae, which will drop down on the ground through the holes, feeding your chickens. It is good for them, nutritionally. Combine with feeding them (organic) compost and scraps from your kitchen. If you live in a colder climate, you will probably need to buy or grow chicken feed in the winter, but at least it keeps them fed a lot of the time. Letting them free range, within reason, is also great.

    Applying permaculture design to your garden is extremely important. It is important to know your piece of land. Where there is sun, where there is shade, where there is lots of water and where it is dry, what soil is rich or not, where it is acidic and where it is alkaline etc. Different plants require different things. Even such a thing as where you place your chicken coop is important.

    One thing that you should unlearn is the keeping and maintenance of large lawns for no purpose. Grow things in your space. Invite wild things to grow. Learn what plants grow well in symbiosis and help scare away pests from one another. Learn how to get rid of pests using natural pesticides such as garlic or peppermint oil, or vinegar. Learn what apple trees pollinate each other and what kinds of plants and flowers attract bees, such as lavender. Help establish round (never square!) beehives for the sake of having bees around, and not for harvesting their honey. The bees are your little helpers, as a permaculturalist. The goal is to create self-sufficiency through an edible forest, that gives back to nature rather than taking away from or debasing it like modern agrobusiness.

    Me and my wife are out looking for farms to buy almost every weekend nowadays, so we are soon "there", when we can begin to apply what we have learned and practiced in minieture on a larger scale, and gradually become self-sufficient. Establishing one of these food forests will obviously be a bit of an undertaking, but well worth it. Cans, freeze-dried and dry foods will only last you so long in a SHTF scenario. Growing and raising your own food is the only long term solution. If you want to survive the death of the modern world, you will want to learn these things by heart, practice it and hand it down to your children. Preferably far away from the nearest (preferably small) city.

    As for semi-illegal practices, there are things you could - I will not say should - do. Say that you live near public land or land held by some forestry company or the like. Buy bagfuls of non-treated/non-roasted organic hemp seeds and seed very large areas with hemp. The seeds are extremely good survival food and grows like a weed almost everywhere. It is one of those rare foods that contain almost everything you need in order to survive. Fats that are a perfect omega-6 to omega-3 balance, protein and carbohydrates along with plenty of vitamins and minerals. In some countries it is still illegal or very hard to get a license to grow industrial hemp, which is why some have to resort to this. It is just an odd tip. But tons of wild-growing hemp will come in handy for all sorts of things. You can relatively easily make oil for food and even propulsion in diesel engines, cordage, clothes and even plastic out of it, besides eating the seeds. You can also use it to make hempcrete, which is a great building material that does not need electrical air circulation. So don't forget the hemp, seriously. Besides these things, it nourishes soil and increases soil quality. In case it is not legal, seed such large areas that it is not obvious where it came from - you - or practical/easy for the authorities to remove. If it is too large an endeavor, they will not even try. Throw a handful there and a handful there all over the area, or many areas. If the seeds are alive and germinate, you just did really well for the sake of biodiversity and your own survival. No matter what the law says about industrial (or other) hemp. I do not suggest smoking weed here, that makes people stupid. It should only be done for medicinal purposes.

    I would suggest looking first at a guy named Ben Falk on youtube. Some expert may disagree, but what he does obviously works, even in a cold climate.
    Last edited: 17 August 2018