Survival Garden

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Seacowboys, Feb 20, 2011.


  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I was sitting here contemplating rising food and fuel costs and the depressing probability that I am going to have to lay some of my people off at work soon. The company I work for has been fortunate enough that we haven't had to face a force reduction yet but it is getting closer to that point each day. Costs of living increases is out running profits and it appears that this trend will continue for some time.
    I want to help my people but I don't have any faith in our economy making a recovery. Chip mentioned getting a couple of goats to help keep the back lots grass in check and that set me to thinking. Why don't I put in a company garden? We have the equipment and manpower and land to make it happen and the produce could really help the stretch the family budgets of our employees. We have the area to raise a small amount of poultry and livestock, as well. I am going to spring this on my boss tomorrow morning.
     
  2. oth47

    oth47 Monkey+

    Great idea,as long as everybody who benefits from it works it.
     
  3. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    YOU GO SEACOWBOYS!!!
    It's this type of "thinking" that's gonna forge our future.....we should all look to Cuba for inspiration. If you are anywhere near Chicago.... I would be honored to help you and I'm not one of those "on-the-sidelines-directing" types and.... I have a handful of personal friends who would also be honored and we're all doers.
    --
    I don't know where it is but.... I've got a post somewhere with photos of chicken tractor photos. Chicken tractors might be ideal for your project.
    --
    Something to look to for further inspiration, Hoop Houses & the New Barn Raising | One Straw – Be the Change.
     
  4. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I ran this by the company owners this morning and they love it! We are getting a gardening consultant to come in and appraise the unused sectioons of land here. Unfortunately, most of the soil is dredge spoil from the Bay and not very fertile but we will evaluate it and cost additional soil suppliments. Next step is for the Agriculture Dept.
     
  5. franks71vw

    franks71vw Monkey+++

     
  6. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    I take it you're on the west coast.... that's a little bit too far away for me to grab a spade and hoe and hop in my car for a coupla weekends. It would've been fun though.... I always get a charge from doing with doers!!!
    --
    I have some personal concerns with "gardening consultants" in the midwest. I personally have never had so much as one good experience with them or "garden coaches" for that matter either because.... they tend to be incapable of stepping out of their "marketing" shoes long enough to do the job for which they were hired. The ones I've had experiences with are always on the lookout for "opportunities".... opportunities like....getting in more billable hours for themselves while directly and indirectly promoting the goods and services of those in their "network" to help solidify their future $$$ relationship with us. Garden consultants.... like garden coaches.... are well organized with local and national seminars and training often subsidized by BigHort and BigPesticide that provides them with all the tools for success.... including but not limited to "networking" and.... there's a cost associated with all this networking that's ultimately absorbed by us of course. They're disarmingly business savvy frequently offering an initial "free consultation" and I've found them all quite adept at "needs" based selling.... at least in the midwest they are... might be different out west. One example.... a "consultant" sold an inner city community group on having their soil tested.... for deficiencies you know.... just to be sure their tomatoes and cukes would be "safe" to eat.... which resulted in the property being condemned because of high lead levels present but undetected.... from flaking paint of nearby structures but... "garden consultant" wearing cape to the rescue to save the day by bringing in her licensed contractors to "help" the property owner. Tens of thousands of dollars flew out the door for that self-serving stunt and ALL the residents were forced to find temporary housing. Too bad they never got the chance to garden on the property because the easy fix was originally suggested by a local non-profit in which it had been suggested the group.... build up.... as in raised veggie beds filled with locally available soil mix of rinsed sand....as in compost rich soil mixes at about $20 a cubic yard.
     
  7. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    Where I used to work they did have a place that maintenance would plow up each spring for anyone that wanted - first come to plant themselves a plot section. The project sounded good on paper, but was discontinued. Lack of water on site made it impossible for people to water their stuff, weeds got out of control in unplanted areas. Some people just gave up and abandoned their plots. Only a few actually tried to make it work. Maybe times weren't hard enough back then, mid 80's for people to remain committed to the gardening thing.

    Your plan does sound good on paper, but how would the fruits of it all be divided up? Can you keep wildlife out of it? Raccoons would strip sweetcorn before anyone got any. Deer will also eat many plants as soon as they come up or just before you can harvest it. Worse that that is, getting people motivated to actually tend to weed pulling and caring for the plant, might be a problem. Could be more trouble than it's worth.

    Sorry if I sound pessimistic, not much faith in the survival instinct of many sheeple. You are fortunate indeed, if you work with people who would jump into a project like this and make it work out for the whole group.
     
  8. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    franks71> I haven't been to Cuba but I've got some friends that fled Cuba and what they've described to me was this side of miraculous and.... the Cubans did it all without commercially available chemical laden soil amendments and no synthetic fertilizers starting all their edilbes from seed to avoid contamination from pathogens frequently present in store bought seedlings. The composting that's been outlined to me alone in Cuba knocked me out of my socks. Guatemalans obviously followed suit. I've seen some of the Central and South American gardens. These people achieve successes we only dream of using their bare hands....saved seed and.... their compost.
    --
    Raccoons.... easily deterred using fido fence for all of $50 at Home Depot. A coupla charges and they steer clear and you don't even need to turn the fence on any more. Deer.... a little trickier but definitely doable because of their vision limitations with depth perception. I'm sure others have work arounds.
     
  9. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    If you have anybody keeping horses or sheep nearby, composted horse manure or sheep manure is excellent fertilizer, and they usually will give it away free. Most of the time they will have a tractor to load it into your truck too.
     
  10. BAT1

    BAT1 Cowboys know no fear

    Me and a friend of mine just put in raised gardens and will be constructing a green house around it. I already have broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, snap peas, potatoes, and radishes sprouting up. We have a four foot fence around it to keep the rabbits out, but have to have a structure to keep other critters out. Birds and deer are plentiful out here.
    This why they passed SB510, because they knew food shortages were coming, but did they tell the public, NO! The meat packers and big agra are poised to rake us over the coals for food and water. Don't let them do it. Grow, grow, grow, and resist.
     
  11. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    That reminds me, I have a friend that keeps sheep, time I took my trailer over and had him load me up again. he has what can only be described as a huge sheep poo pile.
     
  12. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    We are just outside Mobile, Alabama with 3+ growing seasons. The State department of Agriculture will send folks out to help with the planning at no charge. For the past two years, we have been raising eggs, beef, fruit, and vegtables between a handful of us and sharing the surplus. Division is pretty easy as we will allow a few paid hours per employee per week to tend the garden and the produce will be divided equally and if anybody bitches, I'll fire them since they have nothing invested to begin with. All will participate and those that don't wish to share the produce can barter their share away or give it a food kitchen. Our workplace will infact by default, become a small community. Far as critters go, we have anti-critter critters here.[drooling]
     
  13. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Sounds like you have accomplished alot in setting up a viable worthwhile gardening program. Your post here has prompted me to do two things immediately and more to come. My brother has cleared land with lots of sun, and water available for watering. I am helping him get an old sears roto-tiller back into service. I have plenty of seed for this years garden, and we are going to share the labor and harvest from that garden. I just ordered my post SHTF seed stash. 54 pounds of open pollinated seed (27 vegetable varieties and 5 herbs), all heirloom, no hybrid crap, at a cost of $449 from Willhite seed out of Texas. They have an online site as well. www.willhiteseed.com I also joined another sight to glean more knowledge. .... www.homegrown.org
    .
    Maybe with a little luck and alot of work I can turn my black thumbs GREEN.
     
  14. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    3+ growing seasons.... I'm jealous. We barely get one around here lately. I love our local State Aggies. They aren't garden consultants per se.... they're agronomy advisers and most are quite knowledgeable in reclamation. You done good!!! Ours have always been pretty down to earth folk to work with and they know the score keeping communities off petroleum dependent products. There's nothing I would consider "predatory" about their hands on approach when helping in the communities where they live and work. I also like the services offered by most.... most.... county extension offices. There's been a big push for sustainability lately and extension offices are coming up to speed on organic practices using locally native species when possible. They began offering Master Naturalist courses when funds became available which I believe was instrumental in the move away from catering to the turf and rose crowd and... they're free like the local state aggies. Extension offices have actually been re-training master gardeners up north attempting to reduce dependencies on BigHort. I give them credit for that... Scotts and Miracle Grow along with Bayer et al to name just a few got us all into a fine fix with their onslaught of silver bullet advertising campaigns. I know you'll be successful and.... I think it's beyond admirable what you're doing for your employees. Few companies would be willing to assume that kind of liability.
     
  15. Elected4Life

    Elected4Life Monkey

    I have a DIY step by step for a garden hoop house that I built, go here to see a photo of it;

    Very important, use UV-Resistant materials. Mine has stood up to wind very well, kept critters out and the shade cloth helps us greatly with our gardening in our Texas heat. This year we had collard greens, Swiss chard, squash, okra, beans, arugula, cucumber and tomatoes via raised beds inside our garden hoop house.

    E4L. Contact melbo for permission to link to external sites. This is the last notice of the three I've posted so far, and will be the last you get. ghrit said it.
     
  16. Elected4Life

    Elected4Life Monkey

    I have a DIY step by step for a garden hoop house that I built, go here to see a photo of it;

    Link deleted, unabashed sales pitch. E4L, contact melbo for permission to post anything resembling sales pitches.
     
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