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Survival Garden Continued

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Here are what I call the survival garden crops, and my ways of doing it, everyone who gardens grows some things just because they enjoy the taste. This is great, and we all do it. But in hard-core homesteading such as what my friend Sijohn does, he must consider his basic needs, as well.
He needs to grow enough grain and corn for himself and his livestock. This can be done by hand, in a relatively small plot, provided that his poultry and livestock needs are small. If you need more grain, say for cattle or horses, consider small scale farming with horses. This is a sustainable way of living as horses are easy to work, versatile, and provide manure for the fields. They also require no fuel to run. One team of moderate-sized horses can do as much work as a small tractor and cost little to maintain. As little as an acre of ground can supply modest grain needs for homestead. Include a bit of rye, oats, and barley for variation. (There is a naked-seeded oat that is great for homesteaders, as at home one has a difficult task in hulling oats for oatmeal.) Besides small grains, include your rows of flour corn for corn meal and hominy, being sure to include enough for livestock feeding.
Most folks have to double or even triple the amount of usual garden produce to allow for putting up as much each year as possible. Be sure to allow for lots of tomatoes for tomato sauces, and enough root crops, such as turnips, potatoes and carrots. (You’ll eat a lot more “homegrown” when you can’t run to the store for “quick” meals.) With all survival garden vegetables, a family should buy only open pollinated varieties. This will enable folks to save seeds from year to year, which is not recommended with hybrids. Hybrid seed, while usually fertile, can not be depended upon to reproduce truly. And, contrary to popular belief, most of those old open pollinated varieties are good tasting and hardy.

Small Fruits: Nearly everyone has room to plant a good selection of small fruits. These include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, rhubarb, blueberries, and so forth. Luckily, once a patch of each has been established, one can readily take divisions or replant sprouts to greatly increase their food-producing capabilities. As with the vegetable garden, one should grow as great a variety of small fruits as possible, and enough of each to put up significant jam, preserves, and canned and dried fruit. In hard times, a good loaf of hot whole wheat bread spread thickly with homemade strawberry jam, or a steaming blueberry pie, makes the term “survival” a joke. Sijohn calls it living good. He quickly discovered that small fruits are a wonderful treat that can be easily turned into strawberry shortcake, blueberry pancakes, rhubarb tarts, blackberry cobbler, etc. In hard times, he doesn't eat many candy bars; instead he substitutes healthier fruit snacks and desserts. Even picky eaters greatly enjoy dried fruits and fruit leathers which are easy to make at home.
Hope this helps some of you in the gardening area Sijohn (Medicine Wolf) has taught me alot, comes on here and seems pretty closed mouth to me, that's just how he is but he's a vast knowledge of info for me and tend to like what he has to say about homesteading, I use it here in the suburbs, at least for now.
Note I believe Sijohn got this from a magazine or site he is a member of but it works pretty well.

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Updated 06-11-2008 at 03:27 PM by Beo