farming at home

Survival Farming
Inspiration for growing food at home

An agrarian lifestyle will grow on you!
Imagine the feeling of self-reliance you'll get farming in your own
back yard, in a greenhouse, or even in your windowsill or patio. It
will feel good to harvest cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs,
lettuce, sugar snap peas, squash, strawberries, and zucchini, and
more at home.

"Ladies, you don't need to stop shaving your underarms" remind
the authors of
Little House in the Suburbs, Deanna Caswell and
Daisy Siskins, pictured right. In this wonderful guide to backyard
farming, the authors also tell us, "Dirt is good for you," and that
the "Back-to-basics [strategies] bring the family together."  

So grab your garden gloves! The key to survival farming, is
cultivating an interest and gaining a little first-hand knowledge
long before you'd ever need harvest skills to survive. Here's how
to become a home agrarian...

How to Become a Home Agrarian
Set up a mini farm and become a home agrarian. Assuming that
you've already decided that you must learn to grow your own
foods at home, here are the top things to know ...

#1: Pick a good spot for your survival garden.
It almost goes without saying, but you may easily forget a
project that's not just a few steps from your home. The spot you
pick must also get at least six hours of sunlight daily and have
good soil and irrigation. To get started growing at home, start in
and around the home:
  • Plant herbs in a window sill if you must.
  • Pot potatoes in a grow bucket and grab them from a handy
    side pocket.
  • Deck your deck or patio with edible pots. Commit to growing
    something on your deck, patio or porch, Your survival
    depends on it!

Have a homestead with some space? Grow a secret survival
garden. Imagine a food garden that you only have to plant once
in your life-time, that takes up very little space, that will provide
food for you and your family for the next 30 years! The Secret
Garden of Survival shows you how to do just that. Author Rick
Austin, who appeared on Doomsday Preppers, shows how to grow
a secret garden that has five times more food per square foot
than traditional or commercial gardening; and where you never
have to weed, never have to use fertilizers and never have to use
pesticides. Best of all, the way it's hidden, even the deer won't
get to it. More importantly the humans won't find it because it's
all disguised as overgrown underbrush, so nobody knows you
have food growing there! Pictured left, this book will show you
how to do it in one growing season.

#2: Prepare your soil.
There's much to know about the right soil quality and about using
fertilizers. You don't want your soil too thin or too thick. Mulching
is a method of preparing the soil to improve the soil's fertility.
Mulch reduces weed competition and improves moisture. Straw is
a good mulch for vegetable gardens. Composting is a good way
to enrich your soil provided you know what you're doing. Coffee
grounds are generally good unless your soil is too acidic, but all
dairy products are bad. Here's
how to prepare your soil.

#3: Select the right seeds and plants.
Learn what grows best in your region. Consider a theme garden
of foods and grow only the foods that you want to eat and that
make sense growing together. For example, start with tomatoes
and grow a pizza, grow a salad, or grow a salsa garden. Below
you'll find a list of ten easy foods to grow. Start with good seeds,
non-GMO. Learn about succession planting, so you can grow
three or more crops in a season in the same spot!

#4: Get your garden tools.
You could easily spend more money on tools than the crop might
actually yield. The tools you need depend on the kind of garden
you plan on growing. Here's a simple list of
vegetable garden
tools to consider.

#5: Learn about Raised beds and planters.
Keeping a survival garden in raised beds and planters makes for
the happiest of Happy Preppers.

"This Old House" provides step-by-step instructions and costs for
how to build a raised planting bed.

#6: Know insect friends and foes.
Ladybugs eat aphids, mealy bugs, scale, leaf hoppers, and other
destructive pests  They keep on eating until the bad guys are
gone! You can have 1500 ladybugs sent to your home for around
seven dollars, immediate left. Praying mantis are another
beneficial insect, and an optimal solution for people how don't
want to use dangerous chemicals in their garden to control pests.
Jalepenos are not attractive to maggots, so plant your survival
garden with this spicy pepper! Earth Easy provides ideas for
natural garden pest control. Pick a pest and they'll help you find
a natural way to control them.

#7: Get ready for the harvest (get ready to can).
Think about canning and preserving the fruits (and vegetables) of
your labor. If you're already an avid grower, pick up a copy of
How to Store your Garden Produce, The key to self sufficiency, by
Piers Warren, lower left. This is an excellent book for your
Prepper's library What a shame it would be to harvest enough
produce for a family of four and have it over ripen and go to
waste. Ensure you can eat your home-grown goodness all year
round with this worthwhile book.

#8: Go beyond farming fruits and veggies.
Think about adding other survival skills to your repertoire. Think
about chicken coups and beekeeping.

#9: Control your own world. Farm at home.
Ponder this: "He who controls the food controls the world."
It is a powerful quote often attributed to Henry A. Kissinger and
used by many to inspire others to take their future food needs in
their own hands.

Unfortunately, less than 10 percent of Americans are partaking in
the agrarian lifestyle. That means that 90 percent are dependent
on 10 percent for sustenance. Imagine the control they've given
up. We hope this very concept inspires you to start growing
something!

#10: Believe in tomorrow!
Audrey Hepburn said it best:
































#10: Learn Ten Easy Foods to Grow.
So you want to be an urban farmer? Not everyone has the
blessing of a green thumb, but you can take comfort knowing
that there are ten easy foods to grow at home.

Here are ten crops you can-grow at home easily:
  1. Chives. Window sill farmers can rejoice! If you have a
    garden, you can let them loose and they will grow nearly by
    themselves.
  2. Basil. The second easiest herb to grow after chives, you'll
    add a wonderful flavor to your tomato dishes with Basil.
  3. Green beans. An easy to farm food, because green beans
    process nitrogen from the air rather than pulling it from the
    soil, so it's a wonderful way to fertilize your soil.  Just wait
    until the frost clears before you start planting green beans.
    Start with peat pots. The gardening season for peppers is
    around 45-75 days. Pick them young and pick often! When
    you pick, you encourage more blossoms and pods to grow.
  4. Lettuce. Sunset magazine says lettuce is among the easiest
    plants to grow at home. It's easy to grow cress indoors.
    Choose a flat container and some damp kitchen towels and
    you're halfway there. Cress will make a delightful salad.
    Other salad greens to consider are arugula, lettuce, and
    spinach. Why not build a salad table? Martha Stewart shows
    how to grow a salad table as a vegetable garden.
  5. Peppers. You can provide an ornamental touch with brightly
    colored peppers even in containers, but you must choose the
    proper size pot for peppers. Here's everything you need to
    know about home grown peppers.
  6. Potatoes. Potatoes grow in just about any dirt and weather
    condition. It's super easy. Learn how to grow potatoes at
    home.
  7. Sprouts. What could be easier than growing sprouts? In as
    little as five days, you can start and reap a small harvest of
    crunchy salad toppings.
  8. Tomatoes. Easily, tomatoes top the list as the most
    popular food to grow, starting with the cherry tomato. Happy
    Preppers can start in a container garden or grow giant plant.
    The task is to give them plenty of sunlight, fertile soil and a
    stake or trellis as support so they can grow upright and
    strong. Here's the full scoop on growing tomatoes.
  9. Strawberries. While they grow easily and almost by
    themselves, strawberries require a lot of watering. Slugs
    love them, so you'll have to work around that pest. Another
    caveat to consider is that while they are easy to grow, they
    are perennials, so you'll have to replace your growth every
    three years. Check out this amazing Martha Stewart video
    for planting strawberry pots.
  10. Zucchini and summer squash. You can reap a nice harvest
    of zucchini quickly and easily because each vine of zucchini
    can produce more than a dozen fruits. Just remember that
    bigger isn't always better. When it comes to Zucchini, the
    smaller fruit is more tasty.

Ready to grow something more advanced? Try this
complete
guide to growing grains.

Ten Home Farming at Home TO DOs
From container gardening to, here are 10 simple challenges for
Happy Preppers who want to start farming at home:

#1: Get a survival seed vault or save seed!
The Survival Seed Vault, pictured right, includes 20 easy-to-grow
varieties of heirloom seeds that are open-pollinated and ensured
to be 100% Non-GMO (these seeds may be planted and
replanted endlessly). In a survival situation, Happy Preppers will
be the happiest farmers on the planet because they've planned
ahead with seeds and supplies for gardening. So grab seeds now,
while they're still available. Happy Preppers will feel a sense of
security in knowing they have the survival seed vault ready to go
should the need arise. Buy two! Get one vault to get yourself
experienced in gardening, then have the other in reserve for
future needs.

#2: Start a soil bag gardening project.
Newbies can start a small-scale garden straight from planting
mix soil bags! Buy a bag of topsoil, lay it flat, slice a hole from
the bottom for draining, then turn it over and position the bag in
your garden. Next, cut a rectangle shape  from the plastic with
scissors. Now make holes in the soil with your index finger and
pour seeds directly into the holes. Tomatoes do well. Better
Homes and Gardens offers this guide for easy to grow
vegetable
container gardens.

#3: Widen the window for windowsill gardening.
Find room in your windowsill! Grow chives, carrots, cress, lettuce,
mustard, radishes, spinach, tomatoes, easily in your window.  
Here are three herbs every man (or woman) should grow:























#4: Consider setting up a greenhouse.
You'll avoid all those pesky critters from caterpillars to deer, and
you'll keep the frost at bay. Just about any garden can
accommodate the multi-tier mini greenhouse, pictured left.

#5: Raise your standards, and get a raised bed.
Growing a vegetable garden in a raised bed offers the
convenience of less work and more control over pests than if you
planted directly into the ground. With a raised bed garden, you
can control the soil, weeds and you'll grow more food in less
space.


#6: Go underground, get a root cellar.
Root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots and onions are a good
staple. Grow them and when you harvest, get them back
underground into a root cellar!

#7: Learn to sprout.
Get a food Sprouting kit and start enjoying sprouts year round.
There are mung beans, peas, alfalfa and so many more ways to
enjoy a crunchy addition to your diet. The four-tray Kitchen Seed
Sprouter, pictured left, is an easy way to produce fresh, high-
quality organic sprouts in your own kitchen.

    * NOTE: People with a weakened or sensitive immune
    system should avoid eating sprouts, including the elderly,
    children and pregnant women. Visiting foodsafty.gov for
    more information on food safety of sprouts. Sprouted beans
    and seeds are subject to bacteria and there are reasons to
    be concerned for Salmonella, E-coli or Listeria, even on
    home grown produce.

#8: Compost coffee beans, and move from there.
Even if you decide only to compost your organic ground coffee
beans, compost something. Coffee beans provide a rich soil. Your
soil requires carbon and nitrogent

Carbon ingredients:
  • dried grass clippings
  • hay
  • leaves
  • saw dust
  • shredded newspapers
  • straw
  • wood chips and twigs

Nitrogen ingredients
  • alfalfa
  • fresh grass clippings
  • freshly cut hay
  • kitchen scraps
  • seaweed

Rich soil compost ingredients of kitchen scraps include:
  • all vegetable and fruit waste
  • coffee grounds
  • crushed egg shells
  • spices
  • tea bags

Never compost:
  • dairy
  • meats or carcuses
  • pet waste

Have questions about farming at home?

  • Want to know exactly how to modify soil Ph? You'll find
    the answer in Mini-farming,  Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre, by
    Brett L. Markham. You'll get all the information you need for
    buying seeds; maintaining and improving soil; compost and
    crop rotation; using organic methods and so much more. It's
    a holistic approach for how to produce 85 percent of an
    average family’s food on just a quarter acre of land. It also
    covers raising backyard chickens and home canning.

So now you know, farming at home is not so difficult and you
don't have to have an acre of land. There's urban farming,
suburban farming, window sill farming, container gardening,
survival farming. Whatever kind of backyard farming you decide
to undertake, get started today. It's all very well within your
means, even if you live in an apartment.

Books on Farming Foods from Home
Below you will find an extensive selection of books on farming
foods from home. We defer to these experts for landscaping with
fruit; creating chicken gardens; small plot, high yield gardening,
and so much more. Add some of these selections to your
prepping library.

  • Landscaping with fruit. Discover the joy of homegrown
    apples, fresh-picked cherries, and dozens of other fruits with
    this definitive guide to creating a more delicious backyard!
    Lee Reich shows you how to grow temperate-zone fruit at
    home, from site analysis and climate assessment through
    plant selection, pest control, pruning, and harvesting. A
    plant-by-plant guide recommends 39 palate-pleasing species
    that are especially well-suited to the home landscape. Add
    beauty to your outdoor space while bringing organic fruit to
    your table.

  • Seed Saving for the Organic Gardener. For the aspiring
    organic gardener, there's nothing more rewarding than
    growing organic crops from seeds you've harvested yourself.
    This book gives you the information you need to get started
    harvesting and planting your own seeds. The book covers
    the following topics:
  • Why saving seeds is preferable to buying seeds.
  • The key difference between hybrid and open-pollinated
    seeds.
  • Why you need to avoid GMO seeds at all costs.
  • How to control cross-pollination of your plants.
  • Bagging, isolating and boxing your plants.
  • Growing healthy seeds.
  • How to harvest seeds from a number of popular plants
    including artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, carrots,
    flowers, corn, strawberries, cucumbers, melons and
    more.
  • Why you should avoid harvesting tree seeds (there's a
    much better way to grow trees). - What heirloom seeds
    are and why they're important.
  • Special handling of plants you plan on harvesting
    heirloom seeds from.
  • The difference between organic and heirloom seeds.
  • How to start your seeds once planting season rolls
    around.
  • Sowing seeds in your garden.

Happy endings...
Survival farming will grow on you!






















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Preppers know that their long-term survival depends on farming
skills they've acquired long before the unthinkable occurs. Even
Preppers who have limited space take part in this important part
of prepping without being full-blown homesteaders.

Our family survival system is free! Learn how to store food, water, fuel, survival medicines, plus
get tips on off grid life, sanitation, self defense and more at  
happypreppers.com
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