War GardenRevelation 13:7 And it was given unto him [the beast] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Revelation 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
THE STAY, THE STAFF, AND THE STORE FOR ME
Me and my posterity are not going to be able to buy or sell. We are going to be on the run. The future of the true church is the woods--there is no "pre-tribulation" rapture. I believe the word and that is why I started looking for a life outside of this monolithic, multiple-headed, we've-made-you-dependent-on-us system, led by THE MOTHER, that has devoured the whole world.
Understanding that I will not be able to buy and sell I turned towards food independence. Somehow by God's almighty and miraculous power, he even had somebody tell me about eating weeds and sent me on a Weed Walk. I'm not all the way there in terms of food independence, but I'm gaining ground. We (all people) are just a short stop from securing our own food. People, including our forefathers, have been feeding themselves for millenia. I'm just trying to return to where I came from not too long ago. Some people eat what they grow and grow what they eat and that is it. It can be done and it is not hard.
The way that I read the word, the physical body is divided into
- blood; and,
Since Year 4, I've been looking at what food I need for each one and I've been experimenting with my garden that grew from a little corner outward. I'm still not an expert, not even close. I'm just a little bit more than a beginner, but I am desperate and know that I've got to know how to grow my own food.
Here is what we have been able to grow with some success. These things were grown to meet the needs of the flesh, blood, and bones. The vitamin D comes from spending time outside in the sun (they say 15 minutes a day is good enough) and eating a variety of foods. Young children of vegan (eat plants only, no meat, no meat products (eggs, dairy, etc.)) have died for lack of B12. I am now looking at earthworms--PURGED (let them fast a day in the refrigerator) AND COOKED (our Sun Oven works wonderfully and I'm looking to make my own out of a windshield visor--all it requires is the sun. It can boil water, too.). I read that they are good source of protein and vitamin B12. I don't know how to hunt and earthworms are plentiful. I want to dry and powder them and mix them in with other foods, but If I can't powder them, I chop them up and figure out something. They are listed in the military Survival Manual as a good source of protein. I may not want to eat an earthworm, but 've learned that food does not have to taste good to keep you and your children alive.
- sweet potatoes
- wild edibles (e.g. lamb's quarters, chickweed, purslane, and wild persimmons)
- corn (as a trellis for my beans this year. The worms always get to the ears--we eat what is left. We don't spray our plants, we try to use good cultural practices and will eat less-than-picture-perfect food. We share with the little critters that we don't catch. The food tastes the same.)
- perennials (these are good because they keep coming back every year without having to replant)--rhubarb (I don't eat it much, yet, but it is there), herbs like sage (good for the blood), oregano (antibiotic), parsley (high iron), non-bunching celery, echinacea flowers (immune booster), peppermint (good for nausea--upset stomach eat a few leaves. This plant is invasive, put in a pot or it will take over), etc.
- Put a prickly pear cactus pad in the ground. Just get it from the store, 50/50 soil/sand mix and stick in the bottom, don't water, let it feed on itself for about a month and put down threadlike roots. Prickly pear cactus can produce about 120 pounds of cactus pads, as I recall--slice it in slips and cook it, it taste kind of like green beans. It can supply water requirements.). I put another kind in the ground, too. Both are doing well. I have to learn how to handle them though with the needles.
FEED THE GROUND
We are made out of the dust of the ground. The plants bring up what we need. If your ground is worn out and all the nutritients are used up, then your food plants may die--and even if they don't they won't be as nutritious as they are supposed to be. I do not buy fertilizer. Dung has power. Also available are urine water, teas, leaves, compost in the right amounts at the right time. I am still trying to work this out after deciding not to use farm animal manure--someone was using it and her plants would not grow. They are feeding farm animals GMOs. I also no longer buy dirt at Home Depot, etc. I had purchased ten bags and they smelled like metal and had metal flecks in them. I took them back. A nursery man says he doesn't buy those bags anymore, either.
There are insects and pathogens that live in the soil that can harm your plants. Rotate your crops to keep the bugs piling up on that feast of potatoes that they love. Till up the soil in the fall, throw away yard wastes. You don't need that tomato vine laying in the garden, compost it. If you have a diseased plant, don't compost it for the bugs to stay alive, burn it! Don't keep growing cucumbers in the same area in order to avoid bugs taking over. Till up the soil in the fall. Feed the soil. Compost your kitchen wastes. Anything that was alive can be composted--even a cotton t-shirt or hair, although I do not do this.
I am now feeling the pain of not having an unlimited source of dung. My plants looked terrible, but grew anyway. By necessity, I've learned a lot more about composting so I am working on my piles now. See the next section.
[Aside: Plant beans in your beds every so often, they have a property that puts nitrogen back in the soil. I don't know all the details, but certain plants cleanse the soil. I think marigolds may do this and the beans also and maybe certain grasses. Eventually learn about soil rotation. I did not know half of these things when I started. I thought dirt was dirt and that was it. Just start where you are and put something in the ground. This page is designed to share my best practices and mild successes thus far in a succinct manner.]
Composting is basically about rotting down organic material (material that came from living things). When anything dies, it decomposes. If you take dry stuff like dry leaves and wet stuff like weeds, dung/manure, and grass clippings, layer them, and wet them, they will rot down.
Again--composting is taking layers of dry stuff (dry leaves, paper, etc.--composters call the dry stuff, "carbon") and wet stuff (green weeds, grass clippings, dung, etc.--composters call the wet stuff, "nitrogen") and wetting it down with water, and letting it rot. Use plenty of dry stuff. This is what is going to make great, lasting soil. I recently learned at a composting class that a good ratio is 3 parts dry stuff to 1 part wet stuff. (I've been doing about a 1:1. I tried 2:1 of 3:1 but to me that was too dry to me. I'll just try adding a little more dry stuff than usual.). My technique--
- I make a circular fence out of three foot tall wire fencing (nine feet of this fencing will make about a three foot wide fence)
- take up the sod from a piece of ground in a sunny area
- place the circle on top of it
- work on filling it up--*Dry stuff (leaves...carbon),
*Wet stuff (weeds, kitchen scraps), wet it,
*wet it etc.
* When I have some kitchen scraps to go out, I make a hole in the center of the pile and stick them in and bury it and pour about a cup of diluted urine on it to keep out rats, cats and any other animals. In the class I recently took, the teacher basically only used leaves and coffee grinds in her pile to keep away animals.
*I turn the pile about once a week. It gets hot in the center from the microbes that are eating away at the green stuff (I can see the smoke from it in the early morning when I dig to the center to turn it.). The earthworms come in and do their work too. The teacher correctly said, "If you build it [the compost bin], they will come."
*They say when it is crumbly and smells earthy, it is done. I don't think I've ever waited that long, but I'm working on getting to that point.
George Washington Carver said to spend every spare moment working on your compost bin. Now that my source of animal dung is gone, I am in a race to generate loads of compost. If I set a goal of adding layers everyday, I should have a good amount for next season. Summertime is the time when we have the greens that are necessary to heat the compost pile up. Fall is the time when there are so many leaves. Right now, we still have leaves in the woods, so I can build now and into the fall, if God will. When we go into the woods, as we often do, we get our fair share of ticks. Sometimes we can feel them crawling and get them off and down the toilet. Sometimes, we feel the itch where they have latched onto us and we take them out with tweezers (as close to the head as possible). Swabbing the area with urine takes away the itch.
There are different types of composting but I've experimented with the following--hot (turning the pile periodically), cold (let it sit for a year--the outside looks the same but the inside is composted), trench (bury unfinished compost and plant on top of it), and anaerobic (all my kitchen scraps in an old trash can to rot, with some carbon and occasional urine--although most may not call this composting). Hot composting is the one I am going with and the one described in detail above. In the winter time, I'll go with cold and/or anaerobic. As you do these things, you'll feel your way around and come up with your own techinques. An old cotton shirt can be torn up and turned in to compost, depends on how long you are willing to wait. Anything that was once alive can be composted. George Washington Carver suggested using "swamp muck" to improve soil fertility--water quality is a concern for us today, but if a person has muck on their property, they may want to consider tilling it into their soil.
I'll plan to update this page once I get better understanding.
PRESERVING THE HARVEST
I am trying to feed myself YEAR ROUND, not just in the summer time. That means I need to be planting and preserving throughout the growing season. This is not a lettuce garden for a few salads and some tomatoes for grilled cheeseburgers. This is what I call "rough food." The week of June 6, I decided to feed myself for a week. Whatever I had growing in our yard or I could forage outside. The salt I added to the food was the only thing from inside and I did not always use that. This is not my flesh's preferred method of eating, but that is good because it needs to be controlled. This experiment has been noticing and eating all kinds of things I would not ordinarily pay attention to. Squash leaf dried in the sun oven with sprinkled salt tastes very good. Squash flower is surprisingly tasty. Wild garlic bulblets are really good (and I'm not just saying that), gold yukon potatoes are terrific roasted (my favorite out of the three varieties I tried this week), yucca flowers are surprisingly mild tasting and I plan to put some in an upcoming stew we are planning to make. I had mulberries and, independently, Hannah and I thought that it may have been the best breakfast that we ever had. I've eaten sweet potato leaves, Lamb's Quarters, purslane, a small piece of dock (don't eat more than two inches of it because it has so much vitamin A), mock strawberries, frozen persimmons, dried persimmons, parsley, grape leaf, "desert" onion, shallot, shallot bulblets (TOO hot!), and I don't know what else. Today is Thursday so I don't what I may eat the rest of the week. I can tell you this--when you are eating like this, it is not likely that you will overeat, in fact, I find myself picking every once in a while to get some nutrition. In a survival situation, unless commanded otherwise, it would be good to pick throughout the day for the energy necessary to go on and stay in health. You don't want to get a vitamin deficiency. Your immune system weakens and you get sick and can't get well...
In terms of preserving the harvest, my favorite method is drying because it will last and requires little outside. I have also canned tomatoes and pickles. I have used brine, I have rubbed back in salt, covered it and suspended it in a salt brine concentrated enough to float and egg. I've eaten it fried (in a change of water or two or three) and placed it in with dried beans for a delicious meal. I left some barbeque on the grill and closed the top and it dried beautifully an deliciously. I call the chicken, chicken chips. They were so fantastic, I'd want to make it just to eat it. I kept a dried rib and/or chicken for about a year and ate it...delicious.
I may be forgetting a preservation method, but those interested can look up these methods in the late Carla Emery's "Encyclopedia of Country Living" or Reader's Digest's "Back to Basics." Canning can kill if you don't do it right, so study it before doing it. Learn about the nature of food. None of this is complex. I don't have specialized equipment--just a need to know (Revelation 13:17) and God helping to understand at a most fundamental level. I'm no expert at anything but can get by. I learned a lot about canning from Canning USA videos.
I made an easy-to-make drying rack for my produce. After pulling up garlic, potatoes, etc., they need a "healing" time to dry out for long term storage. I am still cooking with garlic from last July and have pulled up some in June, so it lasted a year. After I pulled it up last year, I let it lay out in the sun and dry for a while (not touching). After bringing it in the house, it probably takes another couple of weeks for it to heal completely. All the cuts and the excess moisture need to dry out. Sweet potatoes need to heal too. Greens and herbs need to dry out. I made a rack this week, maybe that was a reward for endeavoring to complete this task of feeding myself (believe me, I wanted to stop yesterday).
My drying rack is made out of bendable wire fencing that I purchased from Home Depot or Lowe's. You need to see a picture at this point. I'd like to get an illustration up for you, but if you want to know essentially how I did it, here it is.
- The rack is made of 48" (4 feet) wire fencing. I cut off about six feet of it.
- I bended the fencing on three sides to make a three-sided box. The back was 32" and the two sides about 20". It stood on its own. This was my rack.
- I made shelves for it out of extra wire fencing that I had laying around. This extra fencing happened to have one inch plastic chicken fencing attached to it (this keeps small objects from falling through) and attached them to the upright rack with thin wire (used wire cutters to cut it into 6" strips. If you have twist ties, and patience, they should do the job, too).
- I inserted a stick from the woods in the top holes across the side of the rack that was open. This was to stabilize the shelf. I actually tied the shelf to the stick in order to keep it up in the air and stable. I'll probably do that for all the shelves
- I placed recently harvested garlic and potatoes on it because it was raining on them outside. Maybe that's why I made the rack in the first place. They say that necessity is the mother of invention. And with God on our side, he will help us where we are helpless and frustrated.
I placed the drying rack on the hearth and cut the overhead fan on which quickly dried up the excess moisture. I'll leave it there throughout the harvesting season and then put it in the shed which is not a junk room but a multipurpose room that is kept neat. (I have some work to do in the garage, but I plan to get it in order, too, this summer. )
- Guerilla gardening is mobile.
- Get seeds at the market.Potatoes and sweet potatoes are grown from the potatoes. You will probably have to buy your chard seeds. Try Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds or Underwood Gardens.
- Locate your garden near your water source. My main garden used to be far away in a remote corner of the yard. Now it is close. I have a bench on a homemade gravel patio and tall vegetation (corn) to give me some privacy. Don't water your garden too much. Let the rain do it where practicable. I water mainly when first planting or when needed. Plant at the right time so your garden can benefit from the spring rains. Not only is it good to conserve water, but the water may be shut off one day. I want to develop some sort of cistern to catch rainwater.
- Fruit trees--in some country, the farmers spray them with urine water once a year and that is the fertilizer. It may or may not keep back bugs.
- Most fruiting plants need full sun.
- Adequate spacing of chard or romaine lettuce lest mold attack. Keep the leaves picked. This encourages growth. Chard may grow all four seasons if you protect it well enough. If not, three seasons.
- Figure out how to compost.
- Avoid GMOs and grow and forage for as much as you can and keep on growing your knowledge and teach your children and your brethren and your fellow man. Prepare yourself. Learn how to relieve yourself in a bucket and teach your children. Pick up worms, get acquainted with what is around you. Practice going without electricity and cooking over a fire. He that hath an ear, let him hear.
Your yard can look beautiful and it does not have to consist mostly of grass. I've taken a modular approach to expanding my gardens. When I have a mind to expand, I
- make a diagram of the whole yard to see what my goals are.
- determine where I want to make my bed. Make sure there are no pipes to damage,
- take the blunt end of the pick axe and take up a 4x4 area of sod,
- Hannah dumps it in the designated spot, and
- then I use the pick end of the pick axe to break up the clay.
- After that I dump whatever topsoil and compost that goes on top.
- As for the sod, I dip it in water, wet it some more, and place black plastic over it so it can start rotting down. I put some extra sod on top of the plastic bag so that it looks natural.
This section is a work in progress, but I'm trying to make known what we do each month of the year.
- January: composting organic [kitchen] wastes, chiting potatoes (chiting--put them in a window so eyes will grow out)
- February: composting, chiting, planning for the garden, start plants indoors
- March: planting potatoes (cut them up first and let them heal a day. Cut based on where the eye are, maybe into quarters), chard, shallots, slug hunt at night and all month to curtail their populations.
- April: harvesting chard leaves, as needed; harvest shallot scallions (which are delicious)
- May: hotter weather plants once danger of frost is over: tomatoes, corn, beans
- June: plant cucumbers, hot peppers, bell peppers; harvest wild mulberries, milkweed, mullein, prickly pear cactus in bloom, small pears and apples maturing on trees (don't remember when they bloomed).
- July: harvest fall-planted garlic; harvest tomatoes
- August: harvest tomatoes
- September: harvest tomatoes, harvest persimmons
- October: plant garlic; Harvest Time Yard Month (fall cleanup)
- November: harvest tomatoes
- December: plant potatoes when weather will stay below 45 degrees