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bigpaul

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now, I keep on reading on various forums about farms and farming . I believe that term is misleading especially from a British point of view. I believe post SHTF we will be referring to what the Brits call "smallholdings" at the very most, as without fuel for farm machinery and fertilisers and chemicals we will be looking at "subsistence farming" and everything will be done with hand tools, so we are talking more like "allotments" or large vegetable gardens at most an acre or two, maybe a maximum of 5 acres if we can scrape up an animal or two(see John Seymour's "the complete guide to self sufficiency"), its also about how much land one can manage and how much land one can secure from outside scavengers and raiders.
 

Brent S

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now, I keep on reading on various forums about farms and farming . I believe that term is misleading especially from a British point of view. I believe post SHTF we will be referring to what the Brits call "smallholdings" at the very most, as without fuel for farm machinery and fertilisers and chemicals we will be looking at "subsistence farming" and everything will be done with hand tools, so we are talking more like "allotments" or large vegetable gardens at most an acre or two, maybe a maximum of 5 acres if we can scrape up an animal or two(see John Seymour's "the complete guide to self sufficiency"), its also about how much land one can manage and how much land one can secure from outside scavengers and raiders.
I agree, without fuel smaller is better. With a group you may be able to be more ambitious, but big machinery has made farming what it is today. I am on two and a half acres here. I have about 70 fruit trees, 70 blueberries, almost that many grape vines, a 18x21' greenhouse, and a garden that's about 40x20'. I honestly can't keep up with much more by myself. Just keeping things watered during dry spells is a job, and we won't even talk about weeding, spraying(which I do minimally) and harvesting. I really enjoy seeing things grow and learning about better techniques to get them to produce, but it really is time and labor consuming.
I am getting help with the security issue. Tomorrow I'm picking up a shelter dog. It's a collie mix, about a year old male, and is the first of two dogs I want for outside security. If/when shtf happens, having a group of people will be the only way to survive, from both the work load sharing and security aspect.
 

Ginger

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Why I have seriously started studying permaculture and anything that is no till and fossil fuel free "farming". There is a lot of planning and work to get it established...but it is amazing at the end result.
 

bigpaul

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yes, "no dig" gardening is definitely the way to go, and small plots with paths in between, with a large group someone can manage a larger area but British groups tend to be just family, in our case its just the two of us.
 

Brent S

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Why I have seriously started studying permaculture and anything that is no till and fossil fuel free "farming". There is a lot of planning and work to get it established...but it is amazing at the end result.
I saw a setup called Japanese something or other where they dug a hole about a foot deep, wrapped a 4' roll of wire around it, then filled it with compost. Once the compost has settled (next season), they planted about six tomatoes around the perimeter. There is some digging, but not needing fertilizer is a big plus. I like the idea of learning as many different ways to farm as you can, then use a little of each as suited to you and your place. I had read about no till, but with all the dammed red clay in my yard I've had to loosen it up to get decent results. I also use that as a good time to mix in a lot of compost. One thing I was happy about, I found an electric tiller/composter on amazon for 75bucks. It has a lot more umph than I was expecting. I actually got it for the greenhouse so I wouldn't asphyxiate myself with exhaust fumes, but it was strong enough to use in the fall tilling of the garden.
 

Brent S

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yes, we are on solid ball clay here, so our garden is all raised beds, some containers and I grow potatoes in old car tyres.
Have you tried any pallets yet? A friend set up most of his garden in them, between less weeding and it being sort of a raised bed I may try it next year.
 

Brent S

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no we bought a load of cheap 13' planks from a local sawmill 4 miles up the road, garden is on a slight incline so raised beds are on a "terrace" kind of set up.
My main garden is on a slope as well, but i haven't terraced it yet. I'd really like to get some of those retaining wall blocks and make a few low walls as it steps down. I guess i can add that to my list of 45 other future projects! It sure would be nice to be rich!
 

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Have you tried any pallets yet? A friend set up most of his garden in them, between less weeding and it being sort of a raised bed I may try it next year.
I LOVE pallets! My first one we cut down to make it short...this newest one is full sides and I cannot wait to get it filled with dirt! With my rabbit poop/pee and kitchen waste I almost have enough dirt to fill it
My main garden is on a slope as well, but i haven't terraced it yet. I'd really like to get some of those retaining wall blocks and make a few low walls as it steps down. I guess i can add that to my list of 45 other future projects! It sure would be nice to be rich!
Unlimited energy helps!
 

Gazrok

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I have about 70 fruit trees, 70 blueberries, almost that many grape vines, a 18x21' greenhouse, and a garden that's about 40x20'
Wow, that's a lot for one person to handle.

Our plan is a garden that is about 40x20' as well (with two paths between rows, for salad veggies), and about a dozen fruit trees around the property (apple, orange, avocado, pear, banana), a few grape vines, and lots of blueberry and blackberry bushes. Also, a small medicinal/herb garden, with some additional medicinals (mostly aloe and roses) around the sides of the house (the spikes and thorns make any window entry a painful ordeal).

The roses and aloe already grow (as do lots of blackberries), and an orange tree has been there for years, but we're adding the other trees and bushes next season. The garden, we're putting in during the Feb planting season (making the added fencing in Jan).

We'll probably wait until Mar for the medicinal/herb garden, as there will also be a koi pond in the middle of it. (this whole area is kind of a Gnome garden by the entryway of the home). I'll likely go ahead and put in the pond bed this winter though, just won't add any fish yet (will wait till after the cold).

We're big fans of function but also beauty, so trying to keep it classy. (well, as classy as you can be with a Gnome garden). :D
 

Brent S

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Wow, that's a lot for one person to handle.

Our plan is a garden that is about 40x20' as well (with two paths between rows, for salad veggies), and about a dozen fruit trees around the property (apple, orange, avocado, pear, banana), a few grape vines, and lots of blueberry and blackberry bushes. Also, a small medicinal/herb garden, with some additional medicinals (mostly aloe and roses) around the sides of the house (the spikes and thorns make any window entry a painful ordeal).

The roses and aloe already grow (as do lots of blackberries), and an orange tree has been there for years, but we're adding the other trees and bushes next season. The garden, we're putting in during the Feb planting season (making the added fencing in Jan).

We'll probably wait until Mar for the medicinal/herb garden, as there will also be a koi pond in the middle of it. (this whole area is kind of a Gnome garden by the entryway of the home). I'll likely go ahead and put in the pond bed this winter though, just won't add any fish yet (will wait till after the cold).

We're big fans of function but also beauty, so trying to keep it classy. (well, as classy as you can be with a Gnome garden). :D
The one thing I've learned about gardening/producing is there's one variable you can't predict. That's Mother Nature. If you think 10 fruit trees will be enough, plant at least double that. In good years you may produce enough to sell or share, but in the off years at least you should get something to feed your family. I would dearly love to have some help with all this stuff, as I think the weeds are winning the war! I have been keeping my head above water, but not much else! Honestly, I enjoy it though. I want to work on some thorns before long. I've mowed over the wild blackberries for ages, but there tough and keep popping back up. I'll try transplanting a few in the winter. What kind of plants are you thinking for medicinal use? I have a good aloe plant, but that's about it.
I brought home my first of two shelter dogs today. I set him up a good spot in the root cellar for the night. I think I felt worse than he did for not letting him in the house! I'll keep him contained for the first couple days, and this weekend I'll let him run while I'm out there so he can get used to the property.
 

Gazrok

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We'll definitely be canning too. I do plan to add more fruit trees with time, but I want to start smaller, before I end up buried in rotten fruit.

What kind of plants are you thinking for medicinal use?
Aloe (cuts, burns), Basil (lack of appetite, cuts, flatulence), Chamomile (indigestion, colic, anxiety, skin irritations), Echinacea (cold/flu relief), Feverfew (headaches, arthritis pain), Johnny Jump-Up (anti-inflammatory), Lavender (eases pain, antiseptic), Lemon Balm (lots of curative uses), Marigolds (diverse uses also), Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage (mouth and throat uses), Thyme (antiseptic), St. Johns Wort (depression), Poppies (opiates), Sunflowers, Roses (anti-bacterial), Garlic, Catnip.

Many of these are also pretty flowers in their own right, and you'll see many that are also used in cooking.
 

Danil54grl

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The great thing about gardening is that you can either can or dehydrate your overages to use during the winter months and also if you have an 'off' season for a certain crop, you can harvest what you can, but hopefully you have enough in storage to get you through till the next growing season. I am currently working on this one myself. Last year my bell peppers did awesome and still have bags of the stuff in storage thankfully. This year, I just didn't get to many. That's just how it goes some years.
 

Brent S

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The great thing about gardening is that you can either can or dehydrate your overages to use during the winter months and also if you have an 'off' season for a certain crop, you can harvest what you can, but hopefully you have enough in storage to get you through till the next growing season. I am currently working on this one myself. Last year my bell peppers did awesome and still have bags of the stuff in storage thankfully. This year, I just didn't get to many. That's just how it goes some years.
How do you store your bell Peppers? So far all I've tried is to flash freeze pieces and vacuum bag them. Great for cooking, but too mushy for salads.
 

Brent S

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We'll definitely be canning too. I do plan to add more fruit trees with time, but I want to start smaller, before I end up buried in rotten fruit.



Aloe (cuts, burns), Basil (lack of appetite, cuts, flatulence), Chamomile (indigestion, colic, anxiety, skin irritations), Echinacea (cold/flu relief), Feverfew (headaches, arthritis pain), Johnny Jump-Up (anti-inflammatory), Lavender (eases pain, antiseptic), Lemon Balm (lots of curative uses), Marigolds (diverse uses also), Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage (mouth and throat uses), Thyme (antiseptic), St. Johns Wort (depression), Poppies (opiates), Sunflowers, Roses (anti-bacterial), Garlic, Catnip.

Many of these are also pretty flowers in their own right, and you'll see many that are also used in cooking.
I guess in the spring I'll start some sort of herb garden!
 

Danil54grl

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For bell peppers, I cut in half & take out seeds, lay on cookie sheets and freeze, store in ziplocks. I also dehydrate, can, and pickle but haven't found anything that stores them 'crisp' . When canning you can add in food grade calcium chloride (pickle crisp) and that will help, but still on the soft side. I read about storing them in salt and place that in your root cellar (I just don't have one to try it out). Supposed to keep crisp. I can give you the instructions if you want to try it once you get yours done.
 

Brent S

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For bell peppers, I cut in half & take out seeds, lay on cookie sheets and freeze, store in ziplocks. I also dehydrate, can, and pickle but haven't found anything that stores them 'crisp' . When canning you can add in food grade calcium chloride (pickle crisp) and that will help, but still on the soft side. I read about storing them in salt and place that in your root cellar (I just don't have one to try it out). Supposed to keep crisp. I can give you the instructions if you want to try it once you get yours done.
I may try it out one day. I don't add salt to anything anymore with BP issues, but may try some for preservation. So far I've been breaking mine up in smaller pieces to be able to get the air out better when bagging. I flash freeze them first then just break them into chunks. I may leave some in halves for stuffed peppers, good idea. I've got some to pick sometime today.
 

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I have the permaculture going without intending to . Its not in the neat circle patterns but more here and there I have lots of pecan trees , wild and domestic black berries , apple and now pear trees , garden , and on the outskirts lots of wild edibles . I am going to start a garden that comes back every year like asparagus and spices . Then I have the chickens , hunting , fishing . I am looking into another type of live stock that would be easy to care for since I have 3 large fenced in lots that are empty like meat goate or a small type of pigs like some of the Asian types smaller and maby easier to keep put up .
 

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