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There seems to be a division in this community - which in this situation is good.

Buying prepackaged foods is not a top priority in my house. If I had to guess, my "stocks" are split between seeds / gardening stuff and packaged foods.

One of the more common "prepardness" mindsets is to buy heavy and stack deep. Which is fine and dandy. My wife and I are buying food stocks as we are able to. These food stocks consist of noodles, beans, rice, canned goods, canned meats, canned veggies - your usual stuff.

On the other side of the coin, I bought about 3 ounces of Okra seed and about 2 ounces of squash seed yesterday. This 5 ounces of seed cost me a whole 1 dollar. This past weekend I scored a truck load of composted horse manure. Of that truck load, I saved a 35 gallon trash can for reserves / later usage.

My opinion - not enough focus is put on breaking the dependence on a grocery store and the high prices there of.

The high prices of food does bother me and yes I am concerned. That is why I am stocking seeds and fertilizer, not just canned goods. Canned goods will run out, seeds can be recycled, replanted and regrown. Try planting an empty can of chili and see what happens. Will a chili bush grow, sprouting cans of chili - I doubt it.

What amazes me - as I drive around town I see only a few houses with gardens. But everyone is complaining about the high price of food? The two do not go together. If the time has come to complain, the time has come to take action.

Lets say the price of food doubles over the next year or two years, how will your family deal with that?

As the price of food goes up, the size of my garden grows. If the price of food doubles, the size of my garden will double or triple.

Buying up food stocks right now is NOT a long term solution. To buy up 6 months worth of food is to put a 6 month band aid over a long term problem.

Food stocks should be divided between home production and buying from a store. To be 100% supported by a garden is impossible for a lot of people. But who says that garden can not supply 10%, 15%, 25% of your vegetable needs?
 

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I am whatever I say I am
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Right now I am stocking up on prepackaged food and drinking water. For the life of me, I can't see any gardening effort paying off in suburbia, where my house is surrounded by four others and my garden will be routinely raided. If things get really bad, I will consider gardening, but this is not a priority.
 

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Well since I am the poster child for stack em high... stack em deep I feel I must respond to this thread. I couldn't agree more on the need to have a garden and our first one is already planted with a large variety of vegetables.

I have already purchased a MASSIVE quantity of heirloom seeds and several books on how to become an expert at harvesting the seeds from vegetables to extend this cycle indefinitely. I do however have a serious disagreement with the philosophy of NOT stockpiling canned goods.

There are a multitude of scenarios where growing a garden will not possible for at least one or two seasons or more for a multitude of reasons. I will NOT even try to begin to cover them because this post would look like an epic sized novel. As I have stated before not everyone has the desire or experience to go out hunting all the time to TRY to provide fresh meat.

I do know this is a needed trait to have because even a 10 year or more supply of canned meat will run out eventually. You could have a small warehouse full of the freeze dried stuff that last 30 years but that’s another story. To try and draw a line in the sand and say one is better than the other is foolish. I truly believe everyone needs to do BOTH... garden and have massive food stores.

The cold hard reality is after TSHTF there will be MILLIONS of people needing fresh meat. Can you imagine the hunting environment with millions of armed novice hunters out there looking for game to shoot. In this scenario not only will the game dry up fast... BUT many TWO legged game will be shot by accident or on purpose.

Venturing out to hunt will be an EXTREMELY dangerous task at best. In a few years millions will probably die of starvation and things will start getting back to what would resemble a more normal quantity of hunters. I would not want to even think of having to venture out before that time. I wouldn't want to leave my family unprotected in my absence till the desperate masses thin out anyway.

Can you imagine going out on a hunting trip only to come back and find your family slaughtered because you were not there to protect them. This is where the need for being in a large group of like minded individuals will be of the highest priority. If things happen fast... many of us will NOT have the luxury of being in a group like situation or have only a few people where even the loss of ONE skilled marksman could mean the difference between life and death in a hostile situation.

I firmly believe and will continue to believe that a more BALANCED approach is the best route to take if at all possible. My advice for everyone is to do BOTH on the grandest scale you can possibly afford. Since most of us can't grow meat in our back yards... canned MEAT better be an extremely high priority. Well that's my .02 cents worth on this matter... (DH... puts on her firesuit) now let the flaming begin... DH.
 

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I have been a hobbiest gardener most of my adult life. Most of that time it was for the shire pleasure of growing different things. It was never cost effective(timewise) to plant things like squash, onions, cabbage, potatoes etc, that were so cheap in the stores it was not worth the time to plant them. But in the last couple of years I have seen even those low cost veggies steadily increase in price. My hobbiest garden is now supplying a good part of my vegetable needs. Last year I doubled the garden plot size, and may add a row or two this fall.
I'm just now starting to harvest 1015Y onions as I need them, I still have a few cabbages from the fall planting, greenbeans are about to bloom, carrots, potatoes, okra, eggplant, tomatoes, and even squash are up and growing.
I may not be able to grow all the different types of veggies I want,....but I feel I can grow enough to suppliment other food reserves nicely.
The time to start learning how to garden is NOW,....like the ammo shortage, it's prolly not gonna get better.
 

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I think the situation depends on where you live. If you live in NYC compared to Wewoka Oklahoma for instance. THere will be hunting and fishing in the country and not so much in the city unless you like rats, bugs and birds maybe. But I think fishing is better than hunting just for the fact that fishing supplied big populations like Asia for a long time. And then you have to take weather I would definitely stock more food in the north than the south just because of the shortened growing season. But as far as I go I try to do both. If we had to we would be eating fish, radishes, and onions mostly just because of the success I've had in growing them along with food stock.. Hopefully I'll have more success this year gardening.
 

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Earthwalker.
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Im stocking up and i've started a vegi garden,I think your right in that folks rely on the grocery store.
 

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I like to grow as much as possible for my use. I hate going to the store for any vegetables, but everyonce in a while I need something fresh in the winter time for a recipe, I don't have much choice. I even tried my hand at growing celery last summer because I don't want to buy it. It turned out OK. I just used up the last of it a few weeks ago.
 

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We're planting and raising animals but also stocking up on stuff we can't grow.
We also have a bartering system going with a guy here in town who raises cows.
He likes rabbit meat but doesn't want to get into raising them so we either trade
him straight across for his cows meat for our rabbits or he cuts us a good deal.
Like a couple weeks ago we bought 30lbs of meat for $12 from him.
There is another guy who is big on hunting but doesn't like to deal with
butchering so we take the deer he hunts and give him a share of the meat.
 

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question for dirtyharriett - please share the titles of the books for harvesting seeds from vegetables - any other tips you could share will be appreciated.
 

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28 Days Later
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why not do both?

this spring my whole porch is becoming a tomato garden, going to get dozens of Food grade buckets to plant them in.

know of any other vegetables that make good bucket plants kev?

I want to do potatoes but dont know if i want to go through all the hassle of digging them up.
 

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It surprises me too when I see people with the land to plant a garden, but they choose to not put forth the effort to grow some of their own food. Even people living in apartments can have a small garden on a balcony or in a window sill. It may not be much, but it can at least save you a few dollars a week. Last year I was renting a small cottage to live in. I didn't really want to spend the effort to plant a garden on land where I wouldn't be staying long, but I still managed to have a small garden on my back porch. My wife and I cook every meal from scratch, and as such, we go through a lot of vegetables. It didn't take much effort to fill several large flower pots with tomatoes, green peppers, etc. When we needed fresh vegetables, we literally reached out the window and grabbed what we needed! I'm sure it saved us at least $30 a month. It's not much, but it adds up over time.

Now that I have moved to a more permanent location with 2 acres of land in the country, I will be adding a good sized garden soon after I finish the bulk of the renovations of my home.

Propper long term planning should involve both store bought foods and home grown foods. We can't always predict if our gardens will be successful every year, and if not, at least the store bought foods can last us through the winters. Even if hunting and fishing are on the agenda for food supplement, it is no guarntee we'll be coming home with a fresh kill every day. Not to mention if others have the same idea, local game could become all but extinct.
 

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proper long term planning should involve both store bought foods and home grown foods. We can't always predict if our gardens will be successful every year, and if not, at least the store bought foods can last us through the winters. Even if hunting and fishing are on the agenda for food supplement, it is no guarantee we'll be coming home with a fresh kill every day. Not to mention if others have the same idea, local game could become all but extinct.
couldn't have said it any better.
 

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well I can't have a garden were I live so the next best thing for me is my Mom and sis get a hand from me when needed and I can stock a few thing in case I hve to move on out to the country with one of them.
 

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I grew a few things in containers last year, primarily cuase I am such a tightwad I cant stand paying what the stores charged for tomatoes and Bellpeppers last year. It was a pretty worthwhile adventure despite the limited space.

But Kev is right, and given the substaintial rises in food cost this year we are doing some containers again, but we have also put in a small raised bed and will be making the most of it you can be sure! In fact this years landscaping seen a considerable make over with various veggies being inconspecously worked in so that not only does it look nice but its functional as well.
 

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I don't have a yard to start a garden. If the real estate market recovers here, perhaps that may change.
 

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Im doing a garden this year too. I was thinking about it and it isnt going to save me much as opposed to buying at the store initailly.

Also, i figured that im going to be buying all summer because the harvest isnt going to be until the end of summer. Im starting my own seed which will put me behind a few weeks for growth and we have a short growing season in Michigan. I cant plant much outside till the third week of May.

I hope that i can become more profecient over time and eventually it will pay off.
 

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I live in Las Vegas Nevada. Me and my gf live on a one bedroom apt. We cant grow nothing here. I stock up in can goods. Fruits, vegetables and soups. I buy a bag of rice per month. All my coverts are full with food. I buy extra stuff also. Soap, shampoo, laundry detergent etc. I got 12 mre's. We are planning to move back to the pacific northwest (we are originally from Wa. and Idaho) to adopt a more self reliant life.
 

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I have gardened for years and last year was one heck of a banner year! I canned all the time-and I love it. I canned everything I could get a hold of and did a good amount of drying food too. I visit a veggie market in the summer every day and they put out their older stuff for clearance. Most of it is still in great shape. Perfect for canning. I bough garbage bags full of califlower, broccoli, peppers...you name it. I still cannot get over the deals I made...the ladies got used to me, so they set aside special things for me. I would buy bags of veggies for one or two dollars. I hope to score again too!

So, I coupon, buy when things are BOGO, grow my own food, get terrific bargains at the market... can and dry food. I am able to do all this, it would be a waste not to.
 

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We're planting and raising animals but also stocking up on stuff we can't grow.
We also have a bartering system going with a guy here in town who raises cows.
He likes rabbit meat but doesn't want to get into raising them so we either trade
him straight across for his cows meat for our rabbits or he cuts us a good deal.
Like a couple weeks ago we bought 30lbs of meat for $12 from him.
There is another guy who is big on hunting but doesn't like to deal with
butchering so we take the deer he hunts and give him a share of the meat.
My aunt does this too. She works with a guy that goes deer hunting, but only wants the heads to mount. For $50 per deer the guy processes and packages the deer for my aunt, but she doesn't even like deer meat! So, my mom and I get all of it and I barter it with my husband's grandfather for whatever he can get cheap at Sam's Club.:D:
 

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When hubby and I bought this house in 2001 our main focus was getting it completely refurbished. We've done all of the work ourselves only contracting the projects that we didn't have the expertise to do ourselves.

My goal was to start a garden when I had the time to devote to it. We reached that point about 2 years ago. It was pretty much for hobby, but I planted tomatoes, sweet potatoes, lots of herbs, squash and cucumbers. I can say for a fact if we'd had to depend upon the garden to feed us we would have starved to death. Last year I decided to devote a little more effort to it and built raised beds and added to the vegetable varieties. It did a little better, but if we had to depend on it ....well, once again, I wouldn't be here writing to you.

We've made some great strides for having an urban plot. You'd be surprised how much you can squeeze in a small area. We have chickens.....finally laying and getting about 2 to 3 eggs a day. Yay! And We're working on putting in some more raised beds and some blackberry bushes.

The point is that despite what I had planned and hoped, my garden didn't produce like I pictured that it would. It made me face facts that as much as I'd like to, I can't depend on that garden alone. But I'm not giving up.

I'm ordering seeds for the next couple of years and I'm going to continue to stock up on canned foods and try my hand at canning my own.

I'll probably always have to do both.
 
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