You can have all the food storage in the world – okay maybe not the world – nonetheless a lot of food in our storage, but when the poo-hits-the-fan, there will come a time when all that food storage is gone.
Whether it is consumed by you, bugs, spoilage, damaged, stolen – whatever – there will be no more running out to the store or ordering on-line to get more.
As with anything and everything in preparedness, the number one rule is (or at least it’s close to the top anyhow) you need back-ups for your back-ups.
Last year I tried my hand at planting seeds in my garden. Not good. None of the seeds took, or at least the majority for some reason didn’t (head hung in shame.)
I had also purchased seedlings from a nursery and they flourished (huge grin.)
So in my infinite wisdom (in my own mind), I decided this year I would again buy more heirloom seeds, and use some I harvested from last year, and grow my own seedlings.
I spent weeks and weeks nurturing the plants in my greenhouse; from seed and soil, watching as each seed stuck their little heads out and yawning; reaching out for the sun (I think it was their heads).
I talked to each as you would a preschooler, encouraging and coaching them along the way.
Then the big day came for them to put on their big boy/girl pants and venture out into the wild blue yonder. I gingerly took each out of their planting crib and hand-planted them, one at a time – all three hundred of them. Yes really.
Later, I stood back ogling at the wonderment of it all. All were happy healthy plants - superior to the seeds I had planted in the ground last year.
I companioned my plants; not wanting to use any pesticides, to assure the bad and good bugs would battle it out, leaving my prize vegetable plants alone. I also planted some here and some there, avoiding rows, as I learned long ago rows are like laying out a buffet for a bug; I make them work for their food.
Each snow and snap pea was laced up on to a fence trellis; already reaching high to the sky like balloons filled with helium. I was soooo proud of their accomplishments. And, they hadn’t even bore any fruit yet!
As I came out to the garden the next day, anxious to see how my little pupils were doing, I was mortified to find a huge majority of my snow and snap peas on the ground, broken off at the base of the stem.
I chalked it ups to maybe I wasn’t as careful as I thought and had somehow snapped the stem when placing them on the trellis.
Not wanting to be defeated, I pull the few “stragglers” I had left in the greenhouse and hauled them out to plant on the fence trellis taking the place of the fallen heroes. They weren’t as magnificent as their fellow peas but they were eager to please.
As I did the day before, I went straight out to the peas to see how they were doing. Agggghhh. They too were lying on the ground next to their fallen brothers.
I soon learned the culprit was the cutworm. Not really a worm, but the larvae of caterpillars that hide in the soil by day and come out in the dark to feed on plants (cowards.)
I also learned that by making a simple barrier you can keep the darn things away from your plants. I cut cardboard paper towel rolls into 2” pieces and put them around the plant stems. You can also wrap foil around the stems to protect them.
I said all this to say, I had healthy plants. If the poo had hit the fan and this happened, I may have lost all my food; the back up for my food storage.
Not only do we need to know how to plant from seeds and harvest what we sow, but we need to learn what “thieves” can wipe out our food source in the dark of the night as well.
My suggestion, as computer access will probably be none existent if the poo hits the fan, get yourself a good reference book for your survival library on garden bugs …er destroyers.
- Survivor Jane
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