Garden like Your Life Depends on it

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by BenP, Aug 12, 2019.


  1. BenP

    BenP Monkey+ Site Supporter+

    This year we grew a garden and canned some of our produce with some success and a few failures. Who knew ground hogs love cantaloupe? Also, after 26 jars we learned there is an art to canning pickles without them becoming too mushy.

    This year we also let our neighbors grow a garden on our land near where it joins them. This guy (78 years old) has been growing gardens since he was a child and his wife is a canning expert. I plowed and tilled the ground and he took over from there. We learned a ton from them and his garden makes ours look pitiful.

    I was talking to one of our other neighbors who is also in the beginning stages of gardening and he said next year they are going to try to grow a garden and pretend that they will depend on it for survival for the next year/winter. I thought that was a great idea and my wife is on board to try it next year. The old man next door told me that next year will be the year of the locusts (every 17 years?) and gardening will be tougher but we are going to try it regardless.
     
  2. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Those old timers were walking encyclopedias concerning gardens and livestock care and butchering . The women were experts in the kitchen ,stichin' , and canning . And they always had a Farmers Almanac and Readers Digest laying around . All of those old wives tails had at least some truth in them , and they lived by them . Learn what you can from the man , They carry information that is disappearing quickly these days . And share the knowledge learned , we , I , could learn some new stuff , or just revive some long lost memories locked away from my earlier years .
     
  3. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    We canned 33 pints of pears yesterday and 32 pints of pork sausage from hog we killed this past week. Rendering lard in 3 crock pots right now.
     
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  4. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Whatever you can do, now is the time to do it.
     
  5. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter+++

    And post every word that old feller says about gardening and putting food up for the future.. There is gold in those words behind those old dentures..
     
  6. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    All my future gardening is going to be in green houses . it just makes sense.
     
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  7. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Andy, what is the minimum time that canned pork sausage will last?

    My wife is an expert gardener growing up in a 3rd world country does that to a person out of necessity; however, they seldom canned meat mainly because meat costed so much there. She uses what I think is called the 'water bath' method for canning until now as she has finally started to share my concern with the direction of country and wishes to now start canning meats. I have been directed to purchase a high quality pressure cooker to use in this new endeavor; however, I am wondering if canning meat is the most cost effective way to approach this problem as one could purchase #10 cans of freeze-dried Mountain House beef or chicken with a 20-30 life span...I know the taste will not be as good but...

    Actually, I doubt if I have a choice in this matter but in order to try and be informed and you with obvious real experience in this, again, I ask:

    What is the minimum length of time home canned meat lasts? 1, 2, 3 years? Is it different for different meats?

    We have an excellent place to store the canned food and have lots of vegetables and sauces stored (lots of homemade salsa!) , it's dark and stays between 45F-65F...
     
    Motomom34 likes this.
  8. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Minimum time is a year, easy. It rarely lasts longer than that around here, (simply because we eat it) but last year, we didn't raise pigs as we had two big ones from 2017....still had some cuts, but we ran out of bacon and sausage, and were having to buy that from late winter 2019 until now. We normally package our sausage in 1lb rolls and freeze, but they tend to get a slight rancid taste after 18mo or so in the freezer (I don't notice, wife says she does) so that limits our freezer amount to about 25-30lbs....what we will use in a year-18mo. Our bacon, we can already....but it rarely lasts more than a year because we eat it.

    The hog we just did yielded 48lbs of sausage, half of which we froze in rolls, the other half made that 32 pints canned (4 patties to a wide mouth pint). Our plan is to use the frozen first, then the canned, so it will be 2 yrs or more on that. Ask me again in 2 years. :D

    Plan is to not raise pigs in 2020 again, then raise in 2021.

    As for cost effectiveness, if you're buying your meat, then doing canning....I'd think you'd be financially ahead to buy pre-canned stuff. If you do decide to can, get a good canner. We use a BIG All American brand, it will double stack quarts (19-21...jar vary in size), and 25-30 pints (varies with wide/narrow mouth). These are life time canners, not the cheapy built Presto type. We also use an old National brand she inherited from her mother....heavy aluminum casting, but does have a rubber lid seal that needs replacing every so often.

    You should be pressure canning most stuff unless it's high sugar content (fruits/jellies) or high acid (some, not all, tomatoes...salsa is fine, the added vinegar makes it high acid).....only way to avoid botulism. Water bath barely hits 212 internal, whereas pressure will go to 240 or more. Meats in pints need 75min at 10lbs, quarts 90 min.



    Notes:
    1. The lard rendering off 22lbs of belly/leaf fat was 7 quarts.
    2. If you use a pre-packaged sausage spice mix (I use Old Plantation #25), get one with no sage, as I've read it tends to get bitter when canned over a period of time.


    Good. Every 10 degree drop average is supposed to double your storage times. 45-50 is ideal.
     
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  9. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Good info , my boss said !!
    S
     
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  10. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    Question for you Andy. How do you resupply your pigs every other year to meet your needs post SHTF?
    Are you on a bartering plan with neighbors to acquire the pigs when needed, in trade with what you have to trade?

    Having livestock continually, especially mated pairs that can breed off-spring always seemed like a better insurance plan, when things collapse. Unless you have a local reliable source you can get them from when needed.

    Growing up, we traded rabbits for chickens and eggs with our neighbor on the back fence....worked well for us.
     
    oldman11 likes this.
  11. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Build the system NOW for this trade !!
    I do duck & chickens , swine when lets are a hassle ( at least 50% tube , but that feeds also. )
    Bacon is sliced in packets , same as burger / mince but they also have the paddies made from the burger paddies supplier !! Chicken eggs plus !
    2 funny
     
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  12. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    I have always bought feeder piglets from wherever I could find them. No one close raises them anymore, the cost of keeping a boar and sows is too much I suspect for the amount of return off selling piglets. Plus the sows will have two litters/yr. Spring piglets sell quick, because just like me, any one that wants them for meat will want one in the March-June weaning range so they will be ready for slaughter before Christmas....it's simply harder to deal with them in cold weather trying to feed, keep water thawed, etc......plus late fall is traditional 'hog killing' weather due to temperatures, using mother nature for the refrigerator. (One of the reasons I built a walk-in cooler, as not to be dependent on when I slaughter) So that means the fall crop of piglets is often hard to get rid of if you're JUST in the piglet raising business.

    Ideally, one needs to find someone in the hog business.....that sells them at market weight for slaughter, and their feeder piglet sales are just a side business to the primary operation. That business model requires fair sized acreage to raise corn/soybean/etc to make your own feed, which is the only way to profitably raise hogs for market I suspect....you can't buy commercial feed @ $20/100lb and sell a 225-250lb hog competitively. Our area doesn't support large tract farming....100ac here is a 'big' farm...in Iowa, that's a front yard. :D

    I did run up on a young guy this year that is more in the hog business, raising Duroc's, and I got my two feeders from him, and will use him in the future until he figures out he ain't making any money either. Yes, it's not the ideal situation for a SHTF afterlife, for sure....but it's all I can do at this point....I'm not going into the boar/sow keeping business either. My guess is chicken/rabbits would become way more prevalent forms of protein in a post crash world, simply because of the ease of breeding and smaller feed requirements to raise them.
     
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