GUEST ARTICLE, article 2 of 2 today
EMERGENCY EMERGENCY James Dakin
Lost In Space reference folks, but you are truly Lost In Space with your junk land. Junk land is great, but it is junk land for a reason. Lack of water or poor soil are a common factor. Junk land is great, I bought a few acres of junk land with a house and shed on it. A fenced in enclosure for a couple horses became one of my garden areas. The second year i created two more garden areas so I could rotate the garden areas. Each year one garden would be in a cover crop. Last year I had three cover crops in the one garden for the growing season. Each year one of the garden areas will be rotated into cover crops.
Once you have purchased your junk land your first action should be to create two or three areas for gardens. Since your junk land will be a distance from where you live you will need to visit it more than a few times each growing season. Depending on the garden size you will need to rent a tiller or maybe a small garden tractor with a tiller. Use one or two of the garden areas for cover crops so you can work on getting your junk land improved for when you will need to grow your own food for survival. The remaining garden area I would plant the following crops: corn for grinding, potatoes, carrots, and winter squash. The nice thing about these four is harvesting allows for a wide harvest window.
Wheat. I followed advice from one of the internet posters to buy wheat for the apocalypse so I have my buckets of wheat. I purchased four different varieties of grinding corn and planted them together and then this spring I planted the resulting corn I picked the prior year so in essence i could have my own variety for my locale. This will provide me a crop I can raise for a food staple. I shudder at the idea of eating wheat three times a day. When I was in Vietnam I had the luxury of eating C rations 3 times a day for more than two months straight. Not a enjoyable experience. Hence I purchased millet to go along with my wheat in storage and the corn I raised. This coming garden season I will attempt to grow my own wheat and millet. I just surmise that millet might be the easiest crop of the two to grow and utilize with my shorter growing season.
Do not buy and ignore your junk land. If you don't want a garden there at least work on getting it improved. Cover crops, cover crops and shrubs and trees. That was really the first thing I accomplished. Apple, pear, plums along with Seaberries, aronia, raspberry, juneberries, and strawberries. One last tree I failed to mention was nut trees; butternut, hickory and hickory pecan trees.
Hopefully I can be a winner in the upcoming battle, be it economic or a climate disaster for surely a big change is coming down the pike folks. Take of and prepare.
You guys are so lucky to be able to buy "junk" land.ReplyDelete
Are you familiar with the concept of Food Forests? I didn't know it but the two biggest names in Permaculture are actually Dingotarians (Australians).
I watched one doco about Permaculture and this guy had set up a food forest for a couple. It worked so well this couple "worked" 2-3 hours a day harvesting food and spent the rest of the day just hanging out, watching video's (the couple were disabled if I remember right). That's what I want. A food forest not the disability. But the only thing I've had any real luck growing is a lemon tree and that's produced 4 lemons so far.
Casitlla House Author David the Goode has a book "Compost everything" that may be worth your time looking at.
Thanks for sharing your contribution :-)
I have most of David the Good's books. He used to live in Florida, now I think he is in Costa Rica. He posts on You Tube.Delete
His books have a subtropical viewpoint in many ways. But there is much info to glean and he is enthusiastic about growing things.
James has Amazon linked to his Tobacco book before (one I have not read)
Good post. When you say that you got a few acres of junk land with a house and a shed on it, I’m assuming that you picked it up for a really good price. Good for you! Here in the west where I live, it’s hard to find deals like this.ReplyDelete
If I’m understanding you correctly, when you mention cover crops, I’m thinking that you mean that you are rotating your garden areas, and in between crops, you’re planting a green manure such as clover or buckwheat?
The nut trees are an important survival crop. Nuts are high in healthy fats, which is an important part of a good diet.
I have used varied crops. The best one was Sun Hemp. Lots of organic matter and it also creates an abundance of him nitrogen. I had planted late and less first, after the sun hemp i planted tillage radishes. The following spring I planted my potatoes, grinding corn, dry beans, and carrots. If one works at it you can really work wonders. I lay biodegradable plastic or newspapers down between the rows and then cover with lawn clippings.Delete
I would like to start planting fruit and nut trees. My 10 acres is so thick I don't know where to start. I hate to cut down full size oaks to plant seedlings. I plan on burning firewood when I move there in the future. But it seems silly to clear a area without a plan. I keep thinking about not having water to water seedlings. I need to set up rain catchment first. Realistically I live to far from my land to be there enough to do the things I need to do. Work all week and I'm to woreout to do much when I'm there. If I'm not working I don't have money to make any progress. I've had the land a year and have installed a culverts and a gate and cleared a short drive with a camping spot. The amount of work I have to do is almost overwhelming for a old guy by himself. Wish I was 30 years younger. Sorry rant over.ReplyDelete
Learning to recognize, how to use and when to gather NATURAL food supplies is essential information, whereever you are. Preparing a garden is fine for arable lands which receive decent rainfall. Junkland rarely falls in that category - it is land that nobody values very highly. Many home gardens even with daily attention are plagued by insects and birds.ReplyDelete
Give it up - no. But be very realistic, the approach will have to include all sources of things around you. Study and learn, if nothing else you can save $$$ by gathering materials for your meals.
Thanks for the article. Good idea dividing your land for rotation and keeping cover crops going.ReplyDelete
I grew Sun Hemp as a cover crop for first time this past year. A legume indigenous to India. The hemp portion of name is due to its fiberius main stalk used for rope making.
My stands are 10 feet tall, leafy with yellow flowers just going to seed pods. A drawback is it supposedly wont mature seed except way south in US. I'm pretty far as south as it gets so we'll see.
Being a legume it fixes nitrogen into the soil. And its big benefit if you have root knot nematode infested soil, is the plant exudes substances that kill or discourage nematodes. Its also anti-nemotocidal when cut/plowed into the soil.
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange was my source and a great catalog reference for heirloom, non-hybrid seeds.
James, pay no attention to above gardening blather, For you I'm searching for Camel caravan info or Buffalo herd following gear to post about.
Thanks, my eyes were glazing over.Delete