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different people have diferent thoguhts or meanings to the term "living off the land".some think it is only eating wild plants ,some a mix of farming and wild goods.what ever you want to call it or actually live or do is up to each individual.but i wanted to show a example of living off the land.because all food comes from the land be it wild or cultivated.the following was a experiment my dad and i did.we tried a varitey of potato called fingerling.we planted a small patch about 20x20.it took about a hour to plant and was weeded once and hilled up and mulched with straw and then left alone.it got dry and the weeds took it over. come fall time we mowed it off and harvested this in about a hour from a "weed patch".there was just a few hours labor in this project.i dont like these potatoes as good as kennebec or red pontiac...but it shows what can be done with little effort.i just thought i would post this because of all the threads about fantasy living off the land.hope this helps someone .


 

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that's a good response:thumb:.

I agree farming is a viable source of food and it should not be dismissed. Thier are some very resilient food crops that can be grown with little effort.

I've been checking out survivalist seeds for a while now. A good robest plant will be esential to long term survival.

It's one thing to live off the land for a week/month, but year after year survival will depend on the land and how you will use it.
 

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thanks maverick.if i get time i may do a post of living off the land at my homestead and all that i do and raise.but for now we wil talk about this one thing.a family tradition in years past was my grandfather,my dad and me grew potatoes together.it was something we done to share time and work with each other.we planted 10/100 ft rows of kennebec potatoes.in the fall we usually harvested around 40 milk crated from this planting.the effort of the 3 of us fed all of the family and a few friends of the family in need.
 

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Agreed. Potatoes are easy to grow and tolerate cool climates quite well. In addition, many types can be stored in a root cellar for months without spoiling. They enable you to produce a lot more calories from a unit of land with much less effort than any other vegetable or grain. Historians estimate that the introduction of the potato into Europe resulted in a population increase of up to 65% due to its excellent caloric and vitamin content. In many ways they are the best survival vegetable. We dedicate about a third of our garden space to growing different varieties of potato.

Of course, it's important not to forget the other lessons of history (the potato famine, for instance) and diversify your crops to include other vegetables in case one fails.
 

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Agreed. Potatoes are easy to grow and tolerate cool climates quite well. In addition, many types can be stored in a root cellar for months without spoiling. They enable you to produce a lot more calories from a unit of land with much less effort than any other vegetable or grain. Historians estimate that the introduction of the potato into Europe resulted in a population increase of up to 65% due to its excellent caloric and vitamin content. In many ways they are the best survival vegetable. We dedicate about a third of our garden space to growing different varieties of potato.

Of course, it's important not to forget the other lessons of history (the potato famine, for instance) and diversify your crops to include other vegetables in case one fails.
Good point, diversification is key to real survival and not just crop growing. This could also be taken in a nutritition angle as well.
 

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Diversity is the key. I agree. I am guilty my self though of being a one trick pony. However I do trade chickens and vegetables for meats and such. As long as you have a diverse and good relationship with other survivalists, you can set up a net work . Trade 20 pounds of vegetables for dried meats.


Hey guys, what IS the best way to store potatoes? Mine usually last shorter then a month. I guess the idea is to keep them dry right? Mine always seem to spoil.
 
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We put some in after watching Kevs video. yellow butter,reds and some bakers. They were still growing up to a couple days ago when the frost came. I will check them in the spring and dig or re-bed as needed. They live in the ground and its a good place to store them.
 

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Thanks so much for the post. You show what happens when someone actually puts in the effort.

I have grown potatoes for close to 30 years now and just three years ago a friend from another survival community showed me how to grow potatoes in plastic garbage can. We now have six garbage cans of potatoes each year and grow more potatoes than I did in the ground. It's nice to learn and see new things. This can be done in the city too, so besides being lazy and negative there is no reason why people can't start growing their own food.

blt
 

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Hey guys, what IS the best way to store potatoes? Mine usually last shorter then a month. I guess the idea is to keep them dry right? Mine always seem to spoil.

Keep them cool but not frozen and like many fruits, storing them buried in sawdust absorbs the extra moisture and keeps them in the dark. Remeber that potatoes are a member of the nightshade family and any green on them contains the same poison that the deadly nightshade does. Green comes from the light, potatoes should be stored in the dark.

It does depend on the kind of potato you're storing as for how long they last. Many store bought potatoes are a kind that are not meant to store well. That way you need to buy more. If you have direct market farmers in your area ask what they store for both eating and seed potatoes. They usually can give you the kind that not only gorw best in your area but can be stored well too.

blt
 

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Agreed. Potatoes are easy to grow and tolerate cool climates quite well. In addition, many types can be stored in a root cellar for months without spoiling. They enable you to produce a lot more calories from a unit of land with much less effort than any other vegetable or grain. Historians estimate that the introduction of the potato into Europe resulted in a population increase of up to 65% due to its excellent caloric and vitamin content. In many ways they are the best survival vegetable. We dedicate about a third of our garden space to growing different varieties of potato.

Of course, it's important not to forget the other lessons of history (the potato famine, for instance) and diversify your crops to include other vegetables in case one fails.

I agree with you on the diversity. It pays to have as many different crops as possible for many different reasons.

However, the potato famine happened because at the time plant diseases were not well know. Potatoes, like peppers and tomatoes are part of the same family and should never be grown next to each other. Also potatoes should never be grown in the same soil twice. Either grow a different plant in that soil for the next 4 or 5 years or grow them in pots (easier and faster to do), dump the soil, bleach the pots, and start with different soil the next year.

The potato famine happened because the potatoes were grown in the same fields year after year. The diseases built up in the soil and destroyed a entire continent's crop because of the timing of the introduction of the potato to the Europeans. If the potatoes are not grown in the same soil every year and people exchange seed potatoes with friends for diversity, potatoes can be grown forever with few problems.

blt
 

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Potato fanatic here

Potatoes are also great food for feeding to livestock through the winter. In different countries people don't eat potatoes but feed them out to their animals. It's just one more reason to try your hand at growing them.

blt
 

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A root cellar is perfect for storing potatoes. A cool room in the basement works also. Or you can make a simple underground cold storage. Bury two 50 gal. drums stacked on top of each other, the drum on the bottom you cut the top out of, the drum on top, you cut the top and bottom out of it. Put the tators in burlap bags and lower down to the bottom. Cover the opening of the top drum and pile leaves, straw, ect on top to prevent freezing. Fix it so water doesn't run in.

I tried to leave potatoes in the ground as late as possible before freeze up, to store them where they grew. But found out pests would eat them up, grubs, gophers, moles. Now I dig them shortly after the plant dies and put them in a root cellar. They keep fine through the winter and I have some to also replant in the spring.
 

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I clarified my 'Living off the land is fantasy' by saying that what I was talking about was going into the woods with a gun and a knife and staying there. No farming, no gardening, no storing. I stick by what I said.
 

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Let's see if I can do this picture thing. Here is wild grains that were harvested three years ago. This is enough WILD grains to support 20 or 25 people during a year. It was an experiment to see if we could do it. Instead of saying it could or couldn't be done we checked it out. It's best to try it yourself before you say it can't be done.
 

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Swamp shuck, How do you grow potatos in garbage cans? Could you write a short something up explaining this please? Maybe a photo could help too. This sounds very interesting.
Thanks
 

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Swamp shuck, How do you grow potatos in garbage cans? Could you write a short something up explaining this please? Maybe a photo could help too. This sounds very interesting.
Thanks
You need at leat a thirty gallon garbage can, the bigger the better. Drill holes in the bottom and along the sides of the bottom. These holes are about the size of a nail, so if you don't have a drill, pound a nail through the bottom and side. Drill a whole lot of them. 30 or 40 on the bottom. You need to have good drainage. I'll put a bit about growing herbs in the garbage can later so wait for that if you are interested.

Now just fill the can about 1/4 to 1/3 filled with dirt that has never grown a potato, tomato, or pepper in it. Put your seed potatoes or slices if seed potato on the soil. For slices of seed potatoes: take a seed potato (any that has not been chemically treated to prevent growth) and cut it so that it has at leat 2 eyes showing. Cover the seed potatoes with enough dirt to cover them about 1/2 an inch.

When the potatoes have grown about 6 inches tall, cover the bottom 1/2 with dirt. You may have a lop sided dirt pile if one potato plant is growing faster than the other one. You should only plant one kind of potato in each garbage can.

Keep this up. Check it weekly and cover each potato plant about halfway up each week. Eventually your potato will grow over the top of the garbge can. Try to mound the dirt as high as you can. Potatoes will only produce potatoes in dirt.

When you can no longer mound the dirt any higher (it's falling off the top), put straw, hay, or large grass clippings over all of the potato plant. Keep doing this until you notice the plant dying back (getting yellow). If you can't get any straw to stay on that's okay, just know that the top potatoes may have to be thrown away if they have green on them.

Then put a tarp next to your garbage cans and tip the can onto the tarp. Harvest the potatoes by seperating them from the soil.

If you want to use that soil for potatoes, tomatoes, or peppers later put it in a place that the sun can get to it and kill off all the diseases in it. Let it set for the three plants listed for at least three years or longer. You can use it for growing lettuce, spinach or other plants that aren't of the nightshade familyduring that three years or you can just let the sun kill off the diseases.

If you want to grow herbs in your garbage can/potato pots, make certain your soil is in good shape. It should either be purchased ferilized soil or else make certain you mixed in a good amount of bird manure the autumn before. Drill 1 and 1/2 inch holes in the side of the garbage can. Then put thyme, chives, or strawberry plants into these holes to grow out the side while you are raising your potatoes. I do thyme myself. If you find something that grow better, let me know. I'm always looking for something new to grow.

When you are done with the garbage can make certain you bleach it so that you can use it again and again. The soil needs the sun and/or cold to purify it but the can itself can be bleached to be used over and over again.

I think this is it. Without trying to look like a know it all, feel free to ask questions if you have any. Besides myself there are other excellent potato growers on this site that can answer your questions.

blt
 
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