*Stealth Gardening*
By: Swabbie
26 July 2003

Recent posts and articles have discussed the various factors that are involved in raising ENOUGH vegetables to provide for a full year's supply of food.

I've seen posts where folks think that a full acre (or more!) would be required to feed a family for 12 months. It's really hard to say how much land would be really required to produce enough food for the family though. In my personal experience (the last 35 years) with country folk, mostly family members, I've found that almost all of them had some form of outside income to provide the requirements for day to day living. I can't say that I've EVER seen a completely self-sufficient farm where SOMETHING wasn't provided for from outside the family farm! None of them were anywhere near close to being self-sufficient!

Some thoughts on this are necessary to come up with a reasonable plan to become self-supporting.

1) like Nikita, we would have to actually attempt to LIVE off what we grow. No running down to the local store to buy tomatoes when the hornworms got into your tomatoe plants!

2) our diets would have to start to revolve around the seasonal growing stages. Essentally you would eat what grows best in your climate at that particular season.

3) we would have to become MUCH MORE knowledgeable about creating "micro-climates" to grow warm season vegetables in less than idea climates/seasons.

4) we would have to become more talented at combating the various pests, from insects to actual four legged types that consider YOUR garden to be the local buffet!

There are several other factors that need to be considered also. There's the remaining "hidden" concern that we would quite possibly have to think about. Obviously several acres planted would be VERY noticeable to the locals and would show up from MILES AWAY via low flying aircraft (gov't spotters looking for "stragglers" perhaps?). There's the "SHTF scenario in NOV" situation that needs to be addressed. Remember, every ounce of vegetable matter that you can include in your diet will stretch your food storage considerably!

Personally I think that a year's worth of food supplies covering a wide range of items is one way to go (the best certainly!). In addition to THAT I would also include another year's supply of the basics; beans, wheat, rice, salt, sugar, etc. This would enable you to keep going for up to 2 years (considerably longer if you can harvest local protien sources and grow a few marginal vegetables).

Since there is such a wealth of information I'm going to include different answers to different situations on seperate threads.

So pull out your thinking caps and answer some basic questions. Remember that each of us are working in different climate areas and have different problems to work around. YOUR idea might just be the answer to someone's problem in the northeast coast! Swabbie

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