Long Term Sustainable Prepping Part 3

Green House

High-end Victorian glass greenhouse

Food Source

Perhaps the most critical preparation for long term sustainable prepping is food. Your food source must be renewable and sustainable. A garden and raising livestock is the obvious answer. Hunting and trapping would not be considered a sustainable food source particularly once everyone begins hunting to survive. The animal population in the surrounding area would soon be depleted unless the crisis reduced human populations by a considerable number.

Have a one-year supply of food stockpiled to allow you time to develop your food sources. Stockpile heirloom seeds now. Heirloom seeds will reproduce an identical plant while hybrid seeds will produce a plant, that plant will have sterile seeds. This means hybrid plants are not a sustainable food supply. To sustain your food source you must have the means to harvest seeds from all your crops to keep the cycle of life going every season. Once you begin producing, you must have the means to preserve your crops by canning, pickling and drying.

Compost all vegetation and spoiled vegetables and fruit for fertilizer and mulch, but do not compost animal or human waste, bones or meat.

Greenhouses can be constructed rather easily for year around growing. To heat the greenhouse you can place black barrels of water (roughly five gallons per square foot of space) in the structure. Radiant heat will warm the water during the day and then the water will disperse that heat at night keeping your greenhouse above freezing. Place the greenhouse where it will receive ample sun in the winter months.

To produce enough vegetables you will need at least a 25 long by 30-foot wide section for row crops. Row gardens are simply tilled up areas where the plants are planted in the traditional rows. This means you would have a 25-foot row of corn, tomatoes and so forth. This would normally feed a family of four for the summer with surplus for preserving. Vine plants such as cucumbers, squash and melon can be planted in smaller rows and allowed to expand their vines along the additional space. Herbs, and smaller yield plants can be planted in pots around the garden or even on the patio.

If you have the space expand your garden, so you can use some of the surplus for bartering

Raised Garden Bed

Raised Garden Bed

If you have poor soil or for those of us living in the suburbs and cannot use the ground, you can build raised garden beds. Use landscaping timbers and build as high as you needed to accommodate the root systems. Landscape timbers are about three inches high so three to four stacked would likely be sufficient. Fill with quality topsoil/growing soil and mix in compost.

Start planting berries such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. It may take a season or longer to begin producing significant amounts so start now. It will require a sizable area to produce enough berries to have fresh ones daily during the growing season and enough to preserve as jams or jellies. Blueberries grow on bushes while black and red raspberries grow canes that must be trimmed every year, and they are thorny. Strawberries grow close to the ground and will spread and develop more plants every season. Blackberries and raspberries can reproduce another plant from cuttings, as well as several varieties of fruit trees.

If enclosing the plants (in a greenhouse) where bees do not have access you will have to pollinate some of the crops yourself. Tomatoes are self-pollinating so they are ideal for greenhouses, patios or even inside the home. To pollinate you can remove the male flowers with the antler like antennas covered with pollen and rub it on the female flower. You can also use a small camel haired brush to transfer the pollen. The female flower will have miniature fruit behind the flower.



Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Food, Long Term Prepping, Sustainable 2 Comments

Long Term Sustainable Prepping Part 1

LongtermsustainablepreppingchickensA three part series on long term sustainable prepping

Part 1

Those that pay attention to world and national events may have come to the realization that it is not a matter of if, but simply a matter of when disaster strikes. The crisis may be localized, national or even worldwide. It can be natural or manmade. The results of the crisis will be the same however, with disrupted power grids, damaged or destroyed infrastructure and governments scrambling to catch up. The aftermath of a crisis is a disaster in and of its self. It is taking longer each time to recover from a disaster because of antiquated power grids, dire financial straits that the country and states are in and government bureaucracy in general. It may be the next crisis or the one after, where recovery may not be an option at all, and people will have to begin rebuilding from the rubble.

Some “preppers” prepare for a specific disaster, such as a biological or chemical attack, super volcano or nuclear war. There are specific things that must be done to survive certain calamities. There are materials, tools and equipment needed. However, those that survive the crisis and are not at “ground zero” will need a long-term survivability plan, the crisis has arrived and now it is time to survive the aftermath. Regardless of the catastrophe, there are certain things that everyone will need to survive long-term, and the essentials are not disaster specific.


Chickens are a logical choice as well as goats for a food source that is relatively easy to feed and maintain. Larger animals such as beef cattle and dairy cows require a tremendous amount of room and feed and unless you have several acres per animal, the cost of upkeep and feed may outweigh any gain. Chickens breed quickly making them an ideal renewable and sustainable source of meat and eggs. Goats can produce milk and are a good source of meat. Milk can be turned into butter and cheese. Depending on the breed of chicken, you can expect about six eggs per week on average from each chicken. Have one chicken per family member just for eggs each week. Assume for a family of four at least two chickens a week for meat. Only butcher as you need it for food otherwise you will have to preserve it.

Produce more eggs for trading with others for supplies

Swine can be raised in small amounts and once butchered you can smoke, salt cure or dry the meat. If you have, a body of water nearby you can encourage ducks and geese to stay around by feeding them and capture as needed for food.

Next week we will cover the second part of essential long term sustainable prepping

Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Long Term Prepping, Sustainable 8 Comments