[Homestead] Preparation for WTSHTF questions
cayadopi at yahoo.com
Thu Dec 11 13:03:43 EST 2008
I have to start somewhere.... so as I am close to the point where it is time to invest in supplies that will produce wealth (sustainable food supplies), I would love some input from the homesteading perspective. I.E. I'm not expecting to have much currency in the future in order to replace supplies. Therefore, my choices of allocating my funds in this area are critical. Regardless of whether I go on a scavager hunt, obtain at flea market, or drive 100 miles to town and pay full price - I need to know WHAT is important to get, and which are priorities.
I have ordered a couple of used books dedicated to organic gardening in the desert, and they should be here soon. Any input is appreciated, as books aren't necessarily written from the homestead point of view.
PLASTIC COVERED TUNNELS
I've seen pictures over what appears to be cement mesh wire. Bev told me that plastic in the heat has a rather short shelf. It probably also has a short life in high wind. It also costs $ to replace.
Are homesteaders using plastic tunnels?
What alternatives are there?
Any ideas to contruct an economical one so I can have a place to start the liners for srping planting?
Pros/cons. I could stack cement blocks, depending on how much $$$.
For the raised beds, would I be just adding the local soil (of which I have acres) plus manure/compost or what?
In the raised beds are you growing in rows? or in something called a X # of plants per square foot method.
Any suggestions on the most economical?
I'm in very dry conditions, and I know watering will be necessary.
RABBITS & OTHER MUNCHING CRITTERS
How deep to bury the fencing material in the sand?
Is there a way to make the fencing "moveable" for tilling times?
There are a lot of jackrabbits and cottontails here. I haven't seen any antelope in my immediate area, but I have about 20 miles north. I have seen coyote on the property (rarely).
About how many years do they last, and would it be a worthwhile investment to buy extras (i.e. picks, shovels, hoes, machete, etc.) and/or extra handles.
What tools would be a priority.
I'm currently using a gas engined rotor tiller, which I know is not sustainable in worst case scenario, but it was a b-day gift from dad.
Where does one even get an old fashioned plow and harness system these days?
BTW the neighbor keeps a mule in with her 2 cows and sheep and chickens. I asked why, she said the mule protects the other animals from predators (I assume she means the coyote). True? and is anyone using a mule for plowing?
I'm thinking the biggest problem I would find would be obtaining enough water to grow enough alfalfa for larger animals, so that isn't a first choice. But any ideas on how to plow the gardens up without a gas powered engine would be VERY much appreciated.
POTATOES GROWN IN HAY?
Has anyone tried that?
I did find out tire method ok in the desert too, I was worried about heat from black tires cooking the spuds...
I can buy a lot or a little, but what I'm wondering is what is critical, and which items have people found will need replacement.
Oh, my brother does have one of those old grinding stones to sharpen farm tools - a task my grandfather gave me when I was a kid.
Is anyone growing their own as feed for chickens? There is limited vegetation and bugs here, and I know chickens eat grass, bugs, etc.. What else can I feed (grow myself) to feed the chickens. I can grow alfalfa here. Anything else?
One thing I haven't figured out is field corn sweet corn grown to the dried stage? Or it is a different variety altogether. What kind of corn becomes corn meal?
Is anyone growing? Anyone converting it into flour for bread?
And is anyone making their own yeast?
Anyone raising bees? There seem to be plenty around here naturally, but I' thinking in terms of honey for the yeast in bread.
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