Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Survival Growing (if SHTF)

Okay, so most folks reading this blog keep a selection of seeds to grow each year, or if not then keep some in case of an emergency that might result in having to grow some of your own food (financial collapse, zombies, etc).
But I was reading something the other day and it made me think about what if I didn't have my collection of seeds to grow from? What then? What if something happened to your supply or you had to leave them behind and at your new location you had to grow food to feed your family?

It's amazing when you start looking though there is plenty of things you could grab to grow in the right (or wrong) situation. 
I started looking in the kitchen and within a couple of minutes found these.
Tomatoes, popcorn, fennel seeds, onion, garlic, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, mustard seeds
Now the seeds are fairly self explanatory, the tomatoes (it could be peppers, or any fruit with a seed in) could be taken and the seeds extracted to be planted. 
The onion could be planted in the ground and the green leaves harvested, or with the hope that it might go to seed and provide you with the material to grow the year afters crop. The same would be true of any root crop you found, if you got them in the ground then by the end of the next year you'd have more than enough seed to grow all the carrots you could possibly want. 
The popcorn could be grown and used just as a normal grain then used for flour.

But it doesn't have to stop there. Out in the shed I've got wheat for my chickens, oats for the sheep and sunflowers for the birds. These could all be grown easily. The wheat could even be eaten as wheat grass or ground to make flour and the rest grown for another crop.  

The other thing would be to look in peoples gardens and see what gone to seed, or what young plants are growing (depending on what time of year it is) but you need to have a good gardening knowledge to be able to do this well. 

Where else do you think you could look for good sources of growing material? 

What would we find around your kitchen and garden?

34 comments:

  1. There is another in my kitchen red skin peanuts, if you have any peanuts with there outer skin still on not the shell they can be grown on to, along with dried peas, beans etc.

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    1. Never grown peanuts before, do they grow well over here? I have dried chickpeas int he shed and I think they'd do well, I try growing chickpeas every year but just end up feeding the mice with them!

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  2. Plus chilli, barley, millet, amaranth, lentil at a push. As in films, providing you are brave enough, other people's sheds, kitchens etc. Mind you, watch out for zombies:)

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    1. I know it's a bit tongue in cheek but it's good fun to think of what we could grow without our normal supply of seeds! I like the idea of growing lentils good source of protein I'm imagine.

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  3. I would recommend these guys for Flower Delivery Los Angeles without reservation. Got a bouquet here for my mom on Mother's Day. It was beautiful. Everyone was like, "wow, where did you get that?" It was pricey but worth it.

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    1. The only thing that you'd feed anyone is a big tin of SPAM!

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  4. Right now in the house I have a large bag of assorted bird seeds, dried peas and beans, fresh tomatoes, chillies and peppers I could extract seeds from, herbs I could take cuttings from, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, nigella seeds and probably more. This is very eye-opening!

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    1. Sounds like you'd have plenty to grow. I thought it was just a different way of looking in your kitchen and seeing what you could use. Never know if we every have to change our mindset.

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  5. I remember reading a post by Kymber and Jam about how they scouted out the land and some islands off of their land. I know here that it would be slim picking for us as I am surrounded by country folk that would spot things quicker than I. There are plenty of cardoons of which we can eat the stems. I am not sure I would have enough stores to wait for things to grow here. I have plenty of sprouting seeds that we could sift through I suppose. But I think our food would last only 6 months. I have enough rice, honey, powdered milk (for Mr and barter), instant coffee and sugar, for a lot longer than 6 months... If things got bad, I would have to break open our wheat berries and corn, I have a hand crank mill. I would miss spices the most.

    lol you could also eat your mice?!?!?!!!! lol or if you are any good at trapping, rabbits. There are loads here, there must be hundreds there and you would never make a dent in them

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    1. Not so sure about the mice, I'd be worried about disease but they should be organic so should be fine. i can trap animals although I don't think it would be long until numbers took a nose dive.
      cordons I imagine would make hard eating, but there's plenty of stuff like that that could be boiled ina stew or soup for goodness it it turned out to be too tough.
      I like that you have some wheat berries in storage. I should do the same really. How do you store them?

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    2. My friends are Mormons, they bought them for us through their SIL who bought it from the church in Utah somewhere. The cans are sealed and apparently will last up to 25 years. They also got me corn. Their church has a cannery place. I dont really understand how it works. I gave them money and when it arrived from the SIL they gave me my share. we paid 2 lots of shipping. Apparently it has all changed now, as I am sure they said before you could borrow canners or go there. Now everything is already prepackaged. you just order it or buy it as you would from Tesco. We have had ours a few years. They are shelf stable. Hence we are looking for an animal trailer to transport it all to our next house. My friends all say, what is the point in them storing stuff in their tiny new build houses. When they call all come to my house. lol

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  6. I giggled when I read the suggestion of mice because I immediately had a picture of those barbaqued bits on a stick at the Chinese restaurant pop into my head.
    Lots of great suggestions, I would add the tops from my carrots, turnips and celery. Hmmm seeds from apples. Birdseed mix,poppy seeds, mustard seeds,beans. I guess i have more than i though of. Also, i know it's not veg but I could plug in the incubator to make more chickens and ducks for meat

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    1. Not if you had no electric! But I like your thinking. Chickens for meat are not my animal of choice for this type fo event though as they compete with us for food (eat the same things). Rabbits would be better for meat, but chickens would be great for eggs which I thik would sell for a premium.

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    2. Hehe seeds from apples..only a ten year wait until your first bite! The anticipation might kill you before the zombies did. I would add avocado seeds but I think that is an even longer time lag!!

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  7. I am sorry, but as a fan of 'The Walking Dead', should there be a zombie apocalypse, I am doing myself in. I have yet to see a series/film made about how everyone joined together and helped one another out after an ELE ( extinction level event). Sorry to be a kill joy.

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    1. "I'm doing myself in." That made me laugh! No chance for me, I'd be there till the end (or eaten in the first episode.
      I agree with you about nothing showing about helping each other but then that doesn't sell TV! I'd like to think that groups would be formed very quickly.

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    2. Unfortunately they do, 'The Cannibals' and 'The Food'. LOL

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  8. Thought provoking post Kev. I wonder how we would survive if we had no electricity. Suppose people in the UK could share their different seed collections by post or meeting up.

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    1. I guess that seeds would get round, and I think people would soon learn how to grow them. The first year would be difficult, it's not just the growing but the cooking as well.

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    2. Is it really bad that I think I would secretly love it if the lights went out!? Rising with the sun and going to bed with a candle, less travel and more time at home with family, living more closely with the land... probably naïve of me but it sounds like bliss!!

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  9. I keep all kinds of seeds out in the barn, in vacuum sealed cans. They are the "heritage" type. Alas, I don't know jack about farming, and this past summer was my first attempt in ten years to raise vegetables. I spent about $200.00, and got around ten good tomatoes in return. None of the squash, peppers, watermelon or other things we planted came up at all.

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    1. Hey but that $200 was well spent on learning, which is the most important thing when it comes to gardening. I tend to plant nothing in the ground and start it all in pots. Otherwise the mice eat the lot around here or something else has it! I tend to only sow roots crops direct (beetroot, carrots, parsnips).

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  10. What scares me is an article I recently read (whether it is scare-mongering or not, I don't know) which said the agri/pharma comnpanies are now purposefully producing seeds that will grow a plant but that the plant will not reproduce well enough to form seeds for future sowing! This means, we would have to buy their seeds each year to produce food. The way the world is going, it wouldn't surprise me at all.

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    1. How depressing is that! Has inspired me to be more self sufficient in saving seeds.

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    2. I think this is key. It's not so much that they grow them to be sterile it's more that they use crosses to make high yielding F1 varitites that you can't save from. Open pollinated is the way to go! Check out the Real seed company for great plants that you can save the seeds from!

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  11. Potatoes, rice (would that work here? Probably wet enough!), sunflower seeds and peanuts (for birds), onions and garlic, butternut squash, pumpkins, tomatoes and peppers and cucumber (but what if F1 hybrids, no good then), nigella, mustard seed, quinoa, various dried beans, mustard seed, dried chills (from Dawn, so those should grow). Plus the cats still bring in the occasional fat rabbit . . . Oh, and we have over a hundredweight of apples . . .

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    1. Some F1's offspring will grow alright, they say that with tomatoes you can't even tell the difference with some of them. A cat hunting team isn't something I've ever thought of!

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  12. Wow, really makes you think doesn't it...I think the problem might be surviving in the period it takes these things to grow? Makes me think about moving away from F1 seeds in the future. All I came up with in my fridge was a potato and carrots - wonder if you could grow the carrot tops through to flower and produce seeds?

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    1. I did the same a few years ago. Open pollinated is for me now and I try to save more of my own each year. It was interesting this year to grow parsnip for seed and see the plants growing taller than me. also learnign how to forage well would help you see through that gap between running out and growing more. There's always food around if you know where to look!

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  13. I love this post. I have said so many times about the zombies, I mean natural disasters etc...I would like to think we would survive longer than many. I actually have my seeds in the house at the moment as I've been doing an inventory. Maybe I'll do a 'grab bag' that includes seeds too. I love the thought of being prepared for anything. People think I am crazy if I mention it but they usually follow it up with "we'd be round yours in a flash Tracy - you guys have the meat and veg" to which I think they can bugger off LOL.

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    1. ""we'd be round yours in a flash Tracy - you guys have the meat and veg" to which I think they can bugger off LOL." - This made me laugh and I say the same to our friends. They can turn up but they'll be sent away again very shortly afterwards and not in a nice way. My family comes first!
      No grab bags here but I like to think I could find some seeds pretty quickly if I had to!

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    2. Also what would be in your grab bag of seeds? i think that might make a great post!

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    3. Me too! One for the not so distant future I think.

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