Are You Really Prepared?

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by UncleJoe, Aug 24, 2009.

  1. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Most of us here garden to varying degrees. My garden has been getting larger every year for the last 3 years. This year I am up to about 5000sq ft. I mentioned in my intro thread, that this would be the year we were going to attempt to grow enough of our own food to make it through the winter.
    Last year my shelves in the cellar were filled to capacity, so I built another set early in the spring to double my storage space. I bought all heirloom seeds so I could start saving my own and not be dependent on the seed companies any more, and I got my pressure canner for those low acid veggies. Now it's time to start the growing season and filling those nice new shelves.
    REALITY CHECK!!!
    This has been the wettest year in about 12 years. :help: ALL of my cool weather crops rotted in the ground before they could germinate. 2 8' rows of broccoli - 3 plants. 2 rows of brussel sprouts - 0 plants. 2 rows of carrots - about 20 plants. 40 pea seeds - 2 plants that produced about a dozen pods. Potatoes - 35 plants which succumbed to late blight. 20# of spuds from the 35 plants. Beets and lettuce did a little better. I got 16 pints of pickled beets. Oh well, I can do that stuff again in the fall. I'll move on to warm weather growing, except warm weather never really got here until about 2 weeks ago. I haven't picked enough tomatoes yet to make a full batch (7qts) of sauce. Last year at the end of Aug. I had 20 qts done by now. Lots of cherry tomatoes though. Green beans? I have about 30 beans in the fridge which will give me a pint - maybe. Lima beans - no flowers yet. Cukes - 4 pints and the leaves turned yellow and the vines withered; although I just noticed some new leaves on them so we'll see what happens. Corn is doing well. I picked the first 30 ears today. Watermelon and cantaloupe are coming along as well.

    The point I'm trying to make here is , in my arrogance, I assumed that this year would be just like last with a bountiful harvest and a well stocked larder, but nature had other ideas. Even with last years leftovers, if we had to go through winter with what we grew this year, it would be a lean winter as far as produce goes. It's been a real eye opener.
    We aren't nearly as prepared as I would have hoped we were.
     
  2. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    Our garden didn't do all that well either. Our tomatoes weren't all that great. We only had a couple plants, but they really didn't do well. Our green beans are doing ok, the pumpkins are doing fine, and a few other things are doing so so, not great. We are just learning to garden. We did much better this year than last and hope for an even better crop next year. Our lettuce and banana peppers are incredible. Have to give some of both away because we can't eat them fast enough.

    All you can do is prepare, UncleJoe. You can't predict. Your post does bring up a whole lot of good points. What if we HAD to depend on our gardens-a lot of us would be hard pressed. Much food for thought.
     

  3. LittleFire

    LittleFire Well-Known Member

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    My tomato plants are not doing well either. Too much rain. My yellow wax beans did fairly well, but now I see they are starting to turn yellow. The zucchinis so far so good, I have had a few, but they just started. My cucumber vines are doing the same as you, the leaves are turning yellow. I have had only about a pint as well. Mother Nature did not co-operate much this year sadly.
     
  4. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

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    Exactly my point Jason.
    We would like to be ahead of the curve, as I think all of us would, in the event of a calamity be it natural or man made. On a personal level, this rates as a natural disaster because as you said, if this was our only food source we would be eating eggs and goat meat until next years harvest. We do have plenty of commercially packaged and canned storage foods since we've been at this for nearly 3 years now, but that stuff runs out if things came to a point where there is no way to replace it.
    It's just a serious blow to the ego that just when you think you're arriving at a comfortable level of preparedness you have it slip away because of a bad growing season. :(
     
  5. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    I hear you. Believe me. We're pretty ignorant in the garden and this year we tried to use this ground cover cloth stuff instead of just regular mulch and it really sucked. Now you have to trip over weeds AND rotten cover cloth. Our neighbor has us chop him some of our pasture grass with the forage harvester every year for mulch for him and we will be using the same ourselves next year. No matter how much you learn, though, it all comes back to mother nature and whether or not she'll let your garden grow.

    And for those who don't know, a forage harvester is basically a big chipper/shredder you pull behind a tractor that finely chops grass or corn to be stored in a silo for animal feed.
     
  6. Homer_Simpson

    Homer_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    Everyone I talk to is having issues with tomato's this year, not sure what is up with this. Other things seem to be doing OK
     
  7. rainygardener

    rainygardener Member

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    This was the worst gardening I've had, I don't understand it and the weather was good. Many things did'nt germinate and things that grew were small and sparce.
    Did the Costco stock up instead,what a drag. I guess, stock up on stock up money, in case the garden poops out on you.
    I planted a ton of berries this summer, hopefully I'll make jam next year.
    I am going to teach my sister how to use a pressure cooker. I've really been encouraging friends to learn how after I took classes at the extention office. :flower: