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Guest Post: The Advantages Of Greenhouse Gardening For Survival

Tyler Durden's picture


From Brandon Smith of Alt-Market

The Advantages Of Greenhouse Gardening For Survival

I receive letters often that contain questions on the limits of growing your own food in colder climates like Montana and the rest of the "Redoubt", and sometimes, even broad accusations that regions like this are "incapable" of sustaining food production.  Usually, these claims come from people who have never lived here, never built a sustainable garden, or never put any real thought into how to do so effectively.  There are numerous methods for growing vibrant gardens in less than perfect weather, and growing in colder northern areas with longer winters is absolutely possible, given the gardener has some brains.  In the video series below produced by The Survival Podcast, they showcase a very straightforward no nonsense experiment which proves that with a little ingenuity (and rudimentary greenhouse methods) you can indeed grow vegetables regardless of the temperature or the region in which you live.  Anyone who says otherwise simply doesn't know what he is talking about...




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Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:20 | 2327656 evolutionx
evolutionx's picture

Confirmed: Mujahideen-e-Khalq, Iranian Terrorist Organization Trained On US Soil By US Military

Ynetnews reported in their article, "US operated deep in Iran, trained assassins," that, "the New Yorker reported over the weekend that the US trained members of the Iranian opposition group Mujahideen-e-Khalq. According to previous reports, Israel has been cooperating with the group, which allegedly carried out hits on Iranian nuclear scientists."

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:28 | 2327673 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

I have to assume that the majority of people are absolutely fucking clueless these days, dumbfuck stupid.

Otherwise why the need ANYWHERE for an article on greenhouse gardening.

Gardening is pretty simple, that includes making a Greenhouse or coldframe.

Even using an Aerogarden or building your own Hydroponic system seem to elude the majority.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:48 | 2327729 economics9698
economics9698's picture

Gardening takes a little practice.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:35 | 2327807 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

"Gardening takes a little practice."

And info:

Haney Hoop House (for big plots):
Kerr Center Publications - Hoop House How To (free .PDF plans) -

OSG Hexagon 2x2 stick greenhouse for $300
80 minutes of build video:
RBEglobal - YouTube -

Open Source Greenhouse Documents - Google Docs -

BYU solar funnel cooker. Cheapest and best:

*Great book* if you can't wait for full size veggies (emergency?) :
Microgreens: A Guide To Growing Nutrient-Packed Greens  -

Bulk Microgreen seeds:
High Mowing Seeds - Organic Micro Greens -

Philosophy of soil gardening and way more:
Gardening When It Counts: Growing Food in Hard Times : Steve Solomon -

Keep soil mineral levels high (goes with Steve's book):
The Ideal Soil Book: A Handbook for the New Agriculture: Perfect Soil through Cation Mineral Balance and Soil Fertility secrets of William Albrecht, Carey Reams, Agricola, and Michael Astera -

Container gardening. Huge free .PDF book:
Rooftop gardens Montreal project manual -


Kanchan biosand filter (MIT design quick filter made from a garbage can):
KAF Construction Manual .PDF -

Best DIY permanent install biosand filter website:
Slow sand water filter construction and study and harvesting rainwater -


To archive this info:

*Killer* free Adobe beater PDF Reader - Sumatra PDF -

Mozilla MAF plugin for Firefox (saves webpage with graphics in single file) - maf -

Easy YouTube Video Downloader :: Add-ons for Firefox -


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:37 | 2327887 markmotive
markmotive's picture

Now to find a way to protect those greenhouses from mauraders.

Peak Oil Survival

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:19 | 2328273 T1000
T1000's picture

There's also underground greenhouses that moderate the temperature year-round:

Here's some aquanponic systems you can buy ready to use:

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 16:04 | 2329150 freedogger
freedogger's picture

double post


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 16:03 | 2329151 freedogger
freedogger's picture

Great links.

I live in Calgary, Canada. Temps in the winter get down to -30 Celcius. Last spring I completed an underground passive solar greenhouse. Similiar to Mike Oehler's designs:


I also have a vertical hydroponics system along the back wall with 50 growing spots mostly for lettuce, tomatoes and peppers. It takes up 10 square metres of my side yard and keeps a family of 5 in tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, snap pees and peppers 3/4 of the year. I start my corn, squash and cucumbers early in little pots for planting around my back yard. I have a huge flemish giant rabbit in there as a pet for the kids. He puts out good CO2 as well. The only power input into this is to run the hydroponics pump 5 minutes an hour.

I have pistons that have wax inside that expand when it gets hot and push two vents open. The angles of the glazing lets more intense sun in durring the winter months and deflects it durring the hot summer. The temps were pretty consistent between 10 and 25 degrees Celcius. There were only 5 days last winter where the greenhouse had freezing temps. I could mitigate this with a small space heater that would only run a few times a year. Its nice to start over with all the plants once a year so I don't know if I will bother.

Here's a writeup with some pictures. The hydroponics wasn't installed at that point. Total cost, about 4,000. Could have done it for about 2k if I was smarter and took more time to shop around etc.

So yes, I agree, this can be done even in a very cold climate if you are resourceful enough and have some time on your hands. My only regret - should have made it 3 times bigger. I kept it under 10 square meters to avoid the need for a building permit. I can always build another one the same size right beside it now.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 18:45 | 2329581 KK Tipton
KK Tipton's picture

Thanks, I just threw those top of my head ones out there.

Steve Solomon's book tells you how to make organic fertilizer from scratch.
Source the bulk ingredients now.
He has a few different "formulas" at this time. Search out his current info.

The Rooftop Garden Montreal container garden people also talk about making your own fertilizer.

They both understand that you need to fertilize plants to have properly mineralized ones.
Store bought produce lacks the full range of minerals.
They juice em' to make em' big at all costs. Sells better.

Lots of info out there. Hope this stuff gets mental gears turning.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 21:12 | 2329958 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

Way cool greenhouse! I'm pea green with envy.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:15 | 2327814 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

I think Gully Foyle has been hacked. He has gone from super intelligent (OT or whatever, but superb writing and links) to this gibberish spouting troll over this weekend.

Gully, all well? Are you on meds or something?


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:53 | 2328427 Chump
Chump's picture

It's been going on longer than just this weekend.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 16:31 | 2329247 OpenThePodBayDoorHAL
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

Yes it's a tricky business especially for specialty crops:

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 17:53 | 2329464 FrankDrakman
FrankDrakman's picture

"though I am an old man, I am but a young gardener"


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:03 | 2327762 Race Car Driver
Race Car Driver's picture

I junked ya for being a consistantly ignorant, pompus fuck.

Most folks couldn't grow a dandelion, because supermarkets have supplied all their food for generations. Even more don't even know how to read an ingredient label. None of us know what poisons are in our food that aren't listed (see: Neotame). Outside of a SHTF scenario, the list of reasons for growing one's own food is getting longer and folks who don't know how will need some way of learning.

Food - die without it.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:20 | 2327827 DCFusor
DCFusor's picture

At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that "news" is not something that happens to other people. He might learn how his ancestors lived and that he himself is no different – in the crunch his life depends on his agility, alertness, and personal resourcefulness.
–Robert Heinlein


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:59 | 2327953 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



"Before the young man leaves home, there are certain things he should know and certain skills he should acquire, apart from any state-sponsored activity."

                                                -Jeff Cooper

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:30 | 2327855 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture

Gardening is pretty simple, that includes making a Greenhouse or coldframe.

Even using an Aerogarden or building your own Hydroponic system seem to elude the majority.

Oh really? What are you growing right now?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:05 | 2327970 Whatta
Whatta's picture shit.

We have gardened for years, in TX, and each year is different and offers different challenges. Even very knowledgable experienced gardeners experience crop failures.

Something is ALWAYS out to get your garden goodies...including (short list): bugs, viruses, fungi, walking critters, flying critters, hail,  too much rain, too little rain, too hot, too cold, noxious weeds, grasses,...

If I do not spend at least an hour a day tending the gardens I am getting behind, and something else is gaining an advantage. Of course we attempt to grow much of our veggie consumption ourselves, not just a random meal veggie for occassional consumption.

And greenhouses offer their own problems. We have a greenhouse as well. Temp regulation, humidity regulation, insect control, nutrient control, etc.

The average joe probably would starve if suddenly forced to go it alone in the world.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:29 | 2328069 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture


That's why I asked that guy... and that's why I advocate wild seed that's native if you can. I grow wild cherry tomato seed from texas, South Texas Porter seed for tomatoes (survive extreme heat) and things like malabar spinach/chaya (tree spinach), and magenta spreent to combat the failures of typical crops. If my cucumbers/squash/tomatos/etc don't survive I still have food to eat without them.

You're absolutely right though. I'm in my second year with my new soil and just now will corn, tomatoes and everything else shoot up and what I've done to that soil is by no means "simple" it's been a very complicated, lengthy process to get highly productive, microbial vast soil going. THe main change is I don't water with the city's chlorinated water. I've killed plants by using that water. It will stunt and even in most cases kill your microbial web that delivers the nutrients to the roots of your plants which causes most failures aside from root eating worms and just general pests. After all that's said and done you've got squirrels, dogs, deer, and all kinds of shit that wants your goodies.

I've recently started moving certain things into pots with my best soil to move them to concrete where a lot of the bugs don't get them. After that I throw some diatomaceous earth around the base so the bugs that DO get up to them die within 48 hours... All things that are by no means simple and took years to understand and get right.

Anyone who says gardening is simple hasn't gardened for very long, or at all.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:37 | 2328110 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

In the Mid-Atlantic, we had a horrible 'stink bug' infestation the past couple of years...

They're still around, but I hear the swarm is kind of moving south (towards Georgia/Fla.) as we speak...

Also... Nobody has much mentioned the need for BEES & pollination... Anyone that thinks gardening expertise is hanging a "Topsy Turvy" tomato plant on the back deck is a nimrod...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:57 | 2328442 Chump
Chump's picture

We're still trying to get rid of mf'ing squash bugs that we brought in our second year by (I think) using seedlings.  Dumb dumb dumb, and those fuckers are tenacious.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:57 | 2328663 Whatta
Whatta's picture

when you find a way to get rid of them let me know!

In TX last year they were terrible. I ended up jerking out yellow squash and zuccini prematurely because of them.

We use integrated pest management... still haven't found a cure for squash bugs other than pick and stomp.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:26 | 2328733 Chump
Chump's picture

They actually started eating our tomatoes after destroying our squash and zucchini.  Season was just about over so I just threw up my hands and said fuck it.  We've tried Sevin, some organic soap crap, nothing seems to work.  I think the soap just made them horny.  Everywhere I looked there were squash bugs stuck together.

I think this year I'll spread Sevin, till, and spread again before I lay out some compost.  Otherwise I don't know what to do but "pick and stomp."  And I'm lazy.  For example, I haven't even tilled yet.

Back to the thread, gardening ain't easy.  We've been at it on a small scale for going on 10 years and I feel like a novice every year.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 17:11 | 2329368 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

It is indeed a helluva lot harder then it looks, anyone who thinks its easy has never done much of it.

Wed, 04/11/2012 - 06:17 | 2333906 zhandax
zhandax's picture

it's been a very complicated, lengthy process to get highly productive, microbial vast soil going

Alfalfa meal is your friend.   Two cups in 5 gallons of water and let it ferment in a five gallon bucket of water with the top on in the sun for a week.  Amazing.  And dirt cheap.  Like $6 for a 40 lb bag.  Do this every other week.  The only drawback; It smells like a Guadalajara outhouse during a burrito festival.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 21:19 | 2329985 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

same problem here. i'm going to put some flour in a sifter sprinkle it on them & then spritz with some water this year. Maybe it will cast them in glue. Worth a shot anyway. I once asked a farmer what he used & he said you can't get it w/o a license. Don't want to eat that for sure.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:50 | 2328645 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

They made it...were bad last year.  One reason the choicest stuff is staying behind screens in the tunnels.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:06 | 2328692 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

The South has a longer growing season but people underestimate New England for survivability. I’ve got very few bugs, mountain spring water, fertile soil that grows huge veggies, apples, pears, maples, nut trees, berries, grapes and deer that run into my house. The house is made of local stone and the mountainous terrain makes it stealthy and very easy to defend.  Which is probably one of the most important things you’ll need.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:25 | 2329040 Majere
Majere's picture

I disagree GF.  I take in extras from my garden each year to work, and I hear "I wish I could do this", ""I tried to grow tomatoes, and they just die on me", "How do you do this?", "My onions never get big", and the list goes on with the comments.  Once you do a little research and testing things out based on your soil and climate for example, how would one just "garden".  I also  know people that can't build a blanket fort in their own house, let alone a greenhouse of cold-frame. Hell, I've even offered to help people and I would direct them and provide the tiller and haul in some compost from the dump.  Not one person has ever taken me up on this.  What is also odd to me is there is a college of agriculture two towns away that provides some free weekend classes if your willing to get dirty.

Many people are lost in more than one area of their lives.  Sad.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:20 | 2327658 MountainGreenhouse
MountainGreenhouse's picture

Check out aquaponics too!  uses up to 98% less water than traditional farming.  Grow tilapia and fruits/veges in the same system.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:29 | 2327677 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


I've seen Trout and Bass as well.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:41 | 2327709 ArkansasAngie
ArkansasAngie's picture

Ive got breem in mine little ole cement pond

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:47 | 2327722 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Tilapia are the easiest because they are basically like chickens (they'll eat anything)...

Plus ~ they can survive in a fairly wide variance of water temperature...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:02 | 2327767 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Below 50deg their growth basically stops, they are very sluggish, and you'll get die-offs as you go lower. I'm in a warm climate so they work well but I do heat the tanks using a rocket mass heater with a heat exchanger when it does get cold. Catfish and bass or perch(?) may be better for cold climates.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:07 | 2327784 MountainGreenhouse
MountainGreenhouse's picture

Do you have any details on using the rocket mass heater to heat the water?  I have unlimited wood, and my Pelton wheel is being pushed to its limit as I keep adding more fun stuff :)  I need to start taking more advantage of wood.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:33 | 2327872 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I think has the most info on rmh's. I simply used coiled copper pipe as the exchanger and divert the flow from the grow bed to the diverter when I need to heat the water. Since the output goes into the bed, any radical change in temp is taken up by the hydroton before it's introduced back to the tank so I don't get fish stew.  You can use the coil inside or outside the combustion chamber or in the 'mass'. If used in the 'mass' pile(like cob or sand) you can use black plastic pipe which is much cheaper than copper.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:43 | 2327909 fadgadget
fadgadget's picture

agreed is a great resource to crowdsource solutions, as are paul wheaton's youtube videos, and his other site (

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:14 | 2327806 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

82 is probably the best temp for Tilapia (but I've never allowed it to get any colder than 70... & yes, that's a lot of stress)... Not to mention the fact that the plants themselves that are being fertilized in the system aren't very happy with a wide variation of temperatures...

PS... What you have to understand is that when I said "wide variety" of temps (above)... I was talking, like, 10 degrees... I consider that "wide"...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:59 | 2327756 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I grow tilapia in 300 gallon totes similar to Murray Hallam's DIY design.  There are a number of new 'farms' locally that do it on scales from 300 gallons to pond size. Has it's own set of challenges but it does work. My hoop house or high tunnel is made from bent chainlink toprail and covered with replaced greenhouse plastic from another farm nearby. Costs are in the 100's and my savings are probably 10x that from having produce all year round. I'm going to be converting some grow beds to try citrus and bananas next. Just call me a food terrrist.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:10 | 2327796 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

The 300 gal size is probably the best 'par' scale... I'm still trying to solve the water temperature issue (without having to use a heating source to regulate temperature)...

The best I've done so far is to just keep a tilapia nursery (indoors) using a couple of 75 gallon aquariums... Then, when the weather gets warm, move the fish outside to the pond... It would be kind of nice to live in a place like Florida for this...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:50 | 2327923 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Permies may give you some ideas; solar, composting, etc.  You could use solar pools panels, solar water heater panels, an old sat dish(10') with coils of black pipe(did that). If your pond is not natural but a piece of plastic and it's not insulated, redo it. Add rocks and thermal mass in and around the pond. Use a solar pool cover(just remember to aerate). Etc., etc. Not sure what your climate is but there are ways to solve most problems and shop Craigslist to keep costs down. And yeah, I live in Florida...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:32 | 2328085 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Yeah... That's the whole thing (live in Fla)... Note: That's NOT a criticism (as you sound like you have a good handle on what you're doing)...

It's the 'marginal' cost involved in having to supplement heat (or cooling, or humidity) to get things right... The more variant the climate, the more STRUCTURE you need to account for... I've used solar panels as well, but, as you know, the more to scale up an operation, the more you need... Solar panels that I once used for adding heat to greenhouses & powering grow lights, now have been converted to back-ups to climatize & de-humidify the room where I climate control the food stores (which means it's time to DOUBLE my solar panel structure ~ more cost)...

Shit... Where you're at, I'm guessing that you end up having to worry about predators (i.e. pythons & gators coming in to eat the rabbits who are munching on your lettuce ~ lol)...

Then again... Python & gator meat... Mmmmmmm!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:37 | 2328111 kekekekekekeke
kekekekekekeke's picture is one of the coolest things I've ever seen

Tue, 04/10/2012 - 00:21 | 2330411 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

I've never wanted a pool... until now!

Mon, 08/06/2012 - 09:08 | 2681340 minted
minted's picture

I have this set up on the back of my office too! I also keep succulents inside in glass jars. This? was helpful, it's making me think to pan my soil and start my own herb garden.  I need to grow those lettuce!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:25 | 2327661 Badabing
Badabing's picture

I have a green house that has a pond in it the pond acts as a heat capasitor i heat the water with a coil buried in a mulch pile the bio chem. reaction makes heat. i start my plants two months early and then they go outside.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:32 | 2327679 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

I have an Orange one.

It does not grow much of anything, sadly.....

By the way, a very interesting counter-point to "Let me grow and store as much as I can". is let me see how little I can do with.

Mice that were fed what is considered a near starvation diet by regular standards lived longer and healthier lives than overfed ones.

You canna get lean and mean ridind to MickyD's. Or quaffing too much brew either.

The oft forgotten demand side of the equation. ;-)



Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:39 | 2327700 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

Oh regional Indian

That mouse thing started a whole new diet fad.

Thing is though it just doesn't seem to translate well in the real world, other wise places like India or parts of Africa would have the oldest populations on the planet due to their limited access to food in their daily diets.

Using animals for anything is hard to fully translate to man, good basis maybe but in the end not quite exact matches.

Longevity boils down to good genetics and nothing more.

I don't care how you diet or exercise when you are young, once those little gene timebombs go off you are fucked.

Todays elderly had fairly shitty diets, by modern standards, yet they still soldier on. They had stronger genes because the weak were naturally weeded out. Something we don't practice toady, we keep everyone alive weak or strong sick or healthy. We spoil the pool for future generations.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:54 | 2327743 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Gully, you've gone from posting extremely interesting stuff (and links) to some rather strange, illogical stuff over the last 2-3 days, all well?

Just look at the assertions you are making, full of holes.

Staying Alive and Thriving are two different things.

City life and country life are two COMPLETELY different things.

I've lived/been in the country-side a lot. 

People are really healthy till westernizatiion comes about.



Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:04 | 2327772 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Eugenics went out of style with the Nazis and George Prescott Bush!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:31 | 2327687 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Got a link?

Pond dead center or against the back? And isn't that your compost pile, not mulch.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:27 | 2327845 Badabing
Badabing's picture

Sorry no link, Its my green house back yard farming is a family tradition going back to Europe the pond is in the center.

The evaporating water from the pond keeps the air nice and humid for the dry winter days the sun heats the pond during the day and at night the pond gives off heat and moisture I use to heat the water with a water heater but with the price of fuel and my wife complaining I had to find another heat source.

I’ve always noticed how my mulch pile steams in the winter and the snow never sticks on it so I got coiled copper pipe and put it deep into the mulch pile the water circulates into the pond where I raise fresh water bass that go into a 22,000 gal. converted swimming pool in the spring the young bass that stay in the green house for the winter never go into hibernation and just keep growing.

When the bass in the pool get big enough we wrap them in tin foil add butter and garlic and through them on the barbe.   

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:33 | 2327691 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Good idea!...

There are a lot of good ideas (if one uses materials & the environment to their advantage)... In the foto above, notice how the window panels themselves are buttressed against the brick wall (which holds heat very well)... You can also use standard insulation boards & cheap mylar...

Oddly... My main problems aren't as much with COLD as they are with HOT SUMMERS... I've had a much tougher time keeping the beds 'cool' enough during the summer for certain things to go year round (I've experimented with different diffused light, shade, misting systems & even underground copper tubing to regulate soil temps... I have some standard greenhouses, but recently I replaced all the windows in the house & kept the old windows to build into more greenhouses (which look remarkably similar to the ones in the picture above)...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:58 | 2327954 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Plenty of shade cloth, misters, and things like lettuce go in rafts in the aquaponics tanks. I also have one end of the hoop house in the shade of the woods, a timer controlled fan runs every half hour to pull that coolness into the tunnel and move it around. I tried raised beds here but aside from hugelkultur beds in partial shade, the water loss and soil temps are too much except for peppers or other 'hot' plants.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:41 | 2328047 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Yeah ~ that's the thing that a lot of people don't get...

Oftentimes HEAT is more of a problem than COLD... Lot's of stuff grows in cool temps & if it's not too harsh a climate, it's probably easier to WARM than to cool...

I'd rather live in Montana than in the middle of the desert... There are, however, workarounds... Some desert folks have mastered ways of putting sand layers to serve as an insulation wall within clay pottery... They keep the sand wet with water & the soil in the inner chamber stays cooler than the outside temps... I've tried it in a rudimentary way (mostly by putting smaller clay pots inside larger clay pots ~ & mostly using the idea on big plants on a wooden deck (that generally gets hotter than the air temps)... At the same time, I use "misting systems" & lattice pergolas for diffused shading... (You mentioned 'shade cloth', which is fine & correct, but then you have to account for the big high wind thunderstorm that's going to come along and turn those [now 'sails'] into something that wrecks half your infrastructure)...

Gotta use your noodle...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:15 | 2328252 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

:) My shade cloth is in the tunnels mostly. Any that's outside is only tied tight on one side so the other breaks free when we get our tropical-like storm fronts. It doesn't have the mass to do much but knock over pots. It also doubles as chicken-guard to keep them out of the seeding/germinating areas. Anything like an impending hurricane and it all comes down. I also have the benefit of changing elevation so the tunnels and what not are below the top of the hill. 300+ acres of pasture in front of me makes a great booster for ground level winds but a berm and treeline at the top cuts it back. The woods protect the downhill side. Took me almost two years to find this place. I started Permaculture practices about 5 years ago.  It's not easy doing the work involved but beats turning your brain to sludge watching the glowing box...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:38 | 2329081 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I'll AMEN to all of that...

I'll also look forward to reading your comments on any future thread on this subject... I've only been at this for 4 years now & every day I wake up I feel like a rookie...


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:25 | 2327666 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Great to grow stuff, but make sure you know it makes you a target too.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:32 | 2327686 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

You said it dog. I prefer a little discretion.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:56 | 2327747 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I disagree...

Let's play out your scenario... System collapses & then you have gangs roaming the landscape looking for food & they come across your greenhouse... These people aren't FARMERS (they probably couldn't grow a tomato with perfectly pH balanced soil & all the things to do it... Secondly, you can't grow a tomoto overnight... So they eat & leave)...

If you have a greenhouse & are worried about the above, you have taken the bounty of many harvests & have a pretty strong seed vault (which is hidden)... As well, you have probably canned (& hidden) a lot of food & otherwise dried it... You're still going to make out a lot better than anyone else because you have a skill... It also takes a lot more than just a greenhouse or a plot of soil... 9/10th's of the soil out there you can't grow shit on... It takes years to make it ready...

Probably the WORST that happens is that if a gang comes to invade your property, you now have an ARMY to go along with your food production because you know what you're doing...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:05 | 2327766 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



More of a target?  Maybe.  In the mean time (which may be a very long time, possibly even the rest of my life) my family eats healthy and are very much enjoying making our home more productive and beautiful. 

Enjoy hunkering in the basement and eating Pink Slime.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:06 | 2327779 aerojet
aerojet's picture

Yeah, except mobs don't act rationally--they will kill the one smart guy, eat all the food, and then burn down the house with all the seeds stored somewhere inside of it.  It's the same reason Africa can't get its act together.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:20 | 2327828 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Well let's put it another way...

I have the choice to spend my time "gardening" (where I run the risk of the garden hose rearing up like a python in a Steven King movie & strangling me to death & otherwise wait for the unpredictable day when a mob of zombies is going to attack my greenhouse & kill me after the apocalypse)...


I could go into the city and buy a Starbucks (every day), & risk to have a car accident, get mugged, get hit crossing the street, or have some disgruntled Starbucks employee jack off in my latte...

Ummm... let me think...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 17:20 | 2329386 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

You also have to realize that in small town and rural areas people hang together to a far greater degree then urban enviroments.  Some roving gang isnt likely to encounter lone farmers, more like a small group putting holes in anyone they dont know at hundreds of yards.  The vast majority of urban humanity absoutely sucks with weapon use, the small portion that shoot spend most of their time at 25 yard urban ranges.  Good luck against the guys with .270's and .30-06's that would have a hard time missing something as large as a human at 500 yards.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:22 | 2329023 trembo slice
trembo slice's picture

I prefer two big ass dogs -- an English Mastiff and a German Shepherd -- and a shotgun.  I'm not too worried about a couple of punks robbing me.  If, God forbid, they shoot one of my dogs they'll have a hole blown in them before they see me come outside.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:52 | 2327737 i-dog
i-dog's picture


"makes you a target too"

Yep ... for the grazing beasts down the road when their EBT and SNAP cards are frozen. The .gov is far less of a potential threat than your fellow slaves.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:03 | 2327765 Janice
Janice's picture

Yes, when they come to my house, I will feed them a lovely fall Polk Salad (Salet) with fresh Polk berries and roots, beautiful foxglove stir-fried, seasoned with garlic and onions, and fresh grilled chicken wrapped in elephant ears.  If they make it to the desert round, I may whip  them up something extra special.


PS. Don't try this at home.  Only a trained chef can pull this one off.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:14 | 2327810 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

Poke Salad Janice

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 21:51 | 2330091 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

them gators got u grinnin!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:15 | 2327812 pods
pods's picture

Belladonna marmalade over some ergot laden rye bread?



Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:06 | 2328218 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

...and don't forget the Jimsonweed.

I always get a laugh from the account written in 1705 of what happened to the British soldiers sent to quell Bacon's Rebellion in 1676:

"The James-Town Weed (which resembles the Thorny Apple of Peru, and I take to be the plant so call'd) is supposed to be one of the greatest coolers in the world. This being an early plant, was gather'd very young for a boil'd salad, by some of the soldiers sent thither to quell the rebellion of Bacon (1676); and some of them ate plentifully of it, the effect of which was a very pleasant comedy, for they turned natural fools upon it for several days: one would blow up a feather in the air; another would dart straws at it with much fury; and another, stark naked, was sitting up in a corner like a monkey, grinning and making mows [grimaces] at them; a fourth would fondly kiss and paw his companions, and sneer in their faces with a countenance more antic than any in a Dutch droll.

In this frantic condition they were confined, lest they should, in their folly, destroy themselves — though it was observed that all their actions were full of innocence and good nature. Indeed, they were not very cleanly; for they would have wallowed in their own excrements, if they had not been prevented. A thousand such simple tricks they played, and after eleven days returned themselves again, not remembering anything that had passed."

Plenty of lolz all around.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:23 | 2327837 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Perfect analogy Janice!

I always say that I'm going to laugh my ass off when they come for my food & I ask them if they enjoy 'Russian Roulette'...

I'll ask them to try and figure out which is the food that I tainted with cyanide...

It's like that scene in "Shawshank Redemption"... You know, the one about the 'bite reflex'...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:44 | 2328135 The Butchers Dog
The Butchers Dog's picture

I do love the cleverness of your idea, but I still think it would much better to just feed them lead.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:46 | 2329105 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

"Lead" may be an 'a la carte' item on the menu...

But I figure this... I'm not going to waste a day worrying about whether some thug is going to kill me over a potato... The VERY DAY you realize to grow a 10 pound crop of potatoes, then MASH those potatoes & distill them into moonshine...

You realize that you've just bought yourself a hell of an insurance policy...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:44 | 2328380 viahj
viahj's picture

"they were both poisoned for I had spent years building up an immunity to iocaine"

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:39 | 2328121 kekekekekekeke
kekekekekekeke's picture

lol took me a second but I get it

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:07 | 2327786 aerojet
aerojet's picture

They'll die pretty fast.  Well, most of them.  I figure if you can get through the first three months, you're pretty much going to be all right. 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:36 | 2327878 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

See? That's the point...

You have to play the chess moves a lot farther out than you really think...

Most of the idiots will probably die off rather quickly... The ones who survive, are going to sooner or later realize that the task of surviving means that it's more than just running around looting & killing...

Nobody can predict what will really happen, but I'd tend to believe that people would be end up being fractured into different types... The urban zombies would become sort of a survival of the fittest, whereby the rural types would try & band together... It's all about "low hanging fruit"... The "lowest hanging fruit" is that you stick close to your terrain... There is more risk in leaving than staying put...

The gang members with arsenals are more likely to immediately commandeer an urban food supply depot (& stay put) than they would risking it out in the countryside (for a fucking stalk of broccoli), where a bunch of hicks might have more rifles than they do...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 17:25 | 2329396 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

Bingo. I would feel confident with any group of local rednecks in my area against urban humanoids at odss up to 10:1, maybe more.  Not only do the rednecks have the guns, they spend alot of time using them.  There is gunfire in my neighborhood a few times a week, yet no crime at all and nobody ever gets hurt.

I agree that the rural and small town types will band together and form groups very quickly.  Folks in those areas are already used to looking out for each other.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:40 | 2327901 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

Lack of access to clean water will take the majority in afew weeks.  Dehydration from dysentery.  I agree with you and have sized my ammuinition and other stores based on that timing.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:59 | 2327759 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture

Which is why you need to know who your neighbors are.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:26 | 2327670 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Aquaponics bitchez!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:26 | 2327671 Eugend66
Eugend66's picture

Skills matter ! Well done.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:28 | 2327672 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

It was only a matter of time.... I am now waiting for the ZH articles about using human feces for fertilizer....

All paths lead to collapse.....

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:28 | 2327675 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Is that with or without the composting chemical toilet?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:32 | 2327689 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



Sounds eerily like an Ezekiel reference...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:37 | 2327696 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

You probably realize that you cannot do that (f4f)...

However... urine is sterile & can be used... You basically have to dilute it at about a 10-1 ratio, but the plants like the ammonia & nitrogen... It's not dissimilar to "aquaponics" (where you recycle aquarium waste, usually, tilapia, to feed the plants, which cycles back as oxygenated water for the fish tank after a biofilter)...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:13 | 2328003 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Whoever junked me doesn't know shit... (or PISS as the case may be)... :-)

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:14 | 2328680 Canaduh
Canaduh's picture

Human shit is a valuable source of organic matter and minerals if you are going the sustainable route. It must be properly composted, and only used on perennial crops(fruit trees etc.) or on accumulator plants used to make compost themselves (comfrey etc.). Using it on your regular vegetable patch is asking for trouble.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:51 | 2329126 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Yes... good clarification... (& from the 'bread helmet' avatar)... Now THAT'S ingenuity!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 15:51 | 2329127 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Yes... good clarification... (& from the 'bread helmet' avatar)... Now THAT'S ingenuity!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 21:56 | 2330114 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

I believe it's urine & woodash, isn't it?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:39 | 2327703 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture

No doubt.  Real men lean on the State with fingers crossed..

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:44 | 2327714 bigdumbnugly
bigdumbnugly's picture

don't bogart that butthash, man.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:52 | 2327738 Red Heeler
Red Heeler's picture

"I am now waiting for the ZH articles about using human feces for fertilizer...."

I recommend the excellent book, Holy Shit, by Gene Logsdon.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:05 | 2327776 LynRobison
LynRobison's picture

Two words: Humanure Handbook. See

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:38 | 2327891 Decolat
Decolat's picture

Got that one. My wife refuses to let me practice its doctrine... but any info on composting and recycling may no doubt prove very useful in short order.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:15 | 2328229 Cyrano de Bivouac
Cyrano de Bivouac's picture

I just started a blog called Humanurity. A classic on the use of manures for agriculture would be F.H. King's "Farmers of 40 Centuries".

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:31 | 2327680 fadgadget
fadgadget's picture

more temperate climes do not require permanent strutures like greenhouses.  i use double plastic hoop houses and hot composting techniques with great effect.

i grow all our fresh fruits and veggies 10 months per year on a 40x140 suburban lot.  the kicker is that i'm not a genius, so you can do it to.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:11 | 2328240 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Be aware that after a few years the sheet plastic will begin to break down from UV exposure.

It would be a good idea to stock up now, realizing that eventually you'll need to resort to glass.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 16:16 | 2329146 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

That's a fucking AWESOME tidbit to consider... (+1)

A good deal of my 'spare parts' warehouse (these days), are things like that... ANYTHING PLASTIC (while it's still cheap & before crude oil gets ridiculous)...

- plastic bags

- sheet plastic

- containers

- PVC pipes (& couplings, & valves) for irrigation

- tarps (for protection, or to help collect rainwater)

Whatever you can think of... Stock them on shelves & keep them away from sunlight... Something that I'm kind of fond of are those 'seeper' hoses that leech water locally as opposed to broadcast watering... I've got a bunch of those in stock...


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 21:19 | 2329990 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


A good deal of my 'spare parts' warehouse (these days), are things like that... ANYTHING PLASTIC (while it's still cheap & before crude oil gets ridiculous)...

- plastic bags

- sheet plastic

- containers

- PVC pipes (& couplings, & valves) for irrigation

- tarps (for protection, or to help collect rainwater)

UV is the enemy of plastic. Even UV rated plastic, such as the grey PVC electrical conduit, will weaken and break down eventually. I've used the grey conduit to make hoops over some of my raised beds, and my rain barrels are polyethylene.

Krylon makes a spray paint called Fusion which is made for painting plastics. You don't need a primer; just wipe down the plastic with ammonia to clean it off. That should be enough to protect any plastic (which doesn't need to be transparent) from UV.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:31 | 2327681 scatterbrains
scatterbrains's picture

I've been waiting for someone to come up with a parabolic solar cooker type thing made out of these trampolines peeps give away on Craigslist.. tilt it up to meet the Sun's track. Figure a way to achieve the correct parabolic curves (could slack string naturally form a parabola if weighted at certain points?) Bet that sucker blaze on a sunny day given it's size/diameter.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:40 | 2327707 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

black hoses work generally well to conduct heat & warm the water inside... Also, as I'm sure you know... Many use old tires to plant potatoes in...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:39 | 2327708 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

black hoses work generally well to conduct heat & warm the water inside... Also, as I'm sure you know... Many use old tires to plant potatoes in...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 16:35 | 2329264 MrSteve
MrSteve's picture

Any solar cooker large enough to cook with is also dangerous enough to burn unwary pets and kids and stupid adults. Large fresnel lenses are especially dangerous and give sunburn a whole new dimension of meaning. Survival books get into exact details for what you want to know. 

Hanging a rope or chain to get a parabolic curve won't work. They form a family of curves called catenaries. They aren't focused like a parabola. If you want to experiment, try cardboard, a box cutter,  aluminum foil and tape.

look here:

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:31 | 2327688 the 300000000th...
the 300000000th percent's picture

This is the ultimate hedge against hyperinflation. This would be about all you could do to save your ass. I have listened to Jack for a while now he is a really great stand up guy that is NOT trying to sell you anything. He is a wealth of info from gardening to economics. If you like this video series check out

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:39 | 2327695 BanjoDoug
BanjoDoug's picture

.... an interesting article about gardening in a forum that specializing in financial-economic news.....   is this article out of place, or the new body of information we all need because of pending economic collapse?

BTW, here in Oklahoma we have weathered thru our lettuce and spinich plants during snow and freezing temps - ya just have to know how & when to cover them up, etc.....  it's not rocket science.    Yet for the average Joe-Sixpack you can't just start the garden when the stores are empty....  it takes time to know the soil, what can be planted in a given region, what bugs are present, etc etc etc.    It's not an immediate transition that can be made....  & because of that many will go hungry.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:40 | 2327706 DeadFred
DeadFred's picture

Brandon, if you're interested in talking about a possible novel greenhouse design that that would allow one person to construct an insulated greenhouse similar in size the one shown on the post in a day for a few hundred in material costs make me a contact.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:42 | 2327711 Dapper Dan
Dapper Dan's picture

My green house will have Glass-Clad Polycarbonate window panes,

to protect against stink bugs and vermin of course!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:24 | 2328552 mahalopamala
mahalopamala's picture

excellent dap!


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:55 | 2327723 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



I live in a is called South-East Texas.  Our garden is productive 12 months out of the year. 

Got protein?  Here is the rabbit hutch my wife, kids, and I built.  It faces south and is designed so that the roof provides shade in the summer and sun in the winter.

Here is one of our young California does.

Here is the automatic watering system from Bass Equipment.  You can also see the "poop shoot" under the cages.


Happy Easter!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:59 | 2327760 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I want to see a pic of the rabbit stew...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:00 | 2327761 Red Heeler
Red Heeler's picture

Nicely done, horseman. Here we use a rabbit tractor: a 2'x4'x8' wheeled enclosure with 2"x4" wire bottom. The rabbits graze for sustenance. Free protein. 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:39 | 2327793 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Yeah, we have a rabbit tractor and a chicken tractor, too.  There are pros and cons; mostly, the need to seperate them for breeding (and to prevent breeding) caused me to try the raised cages.  THEY BREED LIKE RABBITS!!!  I think it may provide better ventilation/cooling, too.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:26 | 2328307 Floordawg
Floordawg's picture

Truly inspiring, h_h! Thanks for sharing a piece of your utopia with us!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 17:30 | 2329410 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Absolutely gorgeous set up! I am truly amazed/ envious. Here in east San Diego we are inundated with wild rabbits ( unintentionally hit 2 today on the road on my way to work) and quail. Mr miffed and I always considered them our " emergency " food supply. Generally easy to bring them down w/ the pellet gun. However the dogs get very wormy when they eat them so they would have to be cooked well. Plus wild rabbits have been known to carry F. tulurensis (nasty bacterium microbiologists truely fear getting). Your set up would avoid those problems. My neighbor made a great hasenpfeffer with a few last month, finger licking good!

Miffed :-)

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:51 | 2327732 NervousRex
NervousRex's picture

Jeebus, not the breem!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:53 | 2327742 LongBallsShortBrains
LongBallsShortBrains's picture

If you want to build it right with Greenhouse film, you want to use spring latch to attach.

Like this:

Holds the film on even in 80mph winds.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:58 | 2327757 yabyum
yabyum's picture

I garden because the produce TASTES better. Biting in to your vine ripened tomato is heavan on earth.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:02 | 2327769 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Others prefer the "Fukushima" taint of California tomatoes & the E Coli spinach... Or the FRANKEN fruits & veggies from Monsanto...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:59 | 2327758 smb12321
smb12321's picture

Besides the fresh food, I don't see the need for a greenhouse. If it gets so bad that folks need greem houses to survive then it doesn't matter anyway.  Besides, the secret to survival is finding others with resources.  

Almost anyone can grow enough in the summer (or go to a local market) for a year's supply. Rabbits and chicks are nice but to tell the truth, I prefer the store.  The time required for killing, boiling, plucking, treating, etc could be better spent on other things.  Here (Tennessee) our growing season is at least six months and that means double crops for some items.  Finally, the pics remind me of the ads of insanely happy folks getting to try their Iphone.  A greenhouse is hard work, constantly needs maintenance and has a tendency to attract disease.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:20 | 2327808 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



The time required for killing, boiling, plucking, treating, etc could be better spent on other things.

Watching television?  Driving to the McDonalds?  Running on a treadmill?  Shopping for iGadgets?  Facebook? 

We still have plenty of time to work, play music, read, write, exercise, ride horses, hunt, fish, socialize, study, travel, comment on ZeroHedge, etc. 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:10 | 2327992 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Stop it HH, you'll just confuse him with common sense. "If it gets so bad that folks need greem houses to survive then it doesn't matter anyway."  I mean really, how did people make it without supermarkets?  So glad my Grandfolks didn't buy into his thinking. 

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 12:15 | 2328253 Dapper Dan
Dapper Dan's picture

You may want to add this to your farm HH, could come in handy.

Made in Alvin Texas,

Terry Reed is the owner and operator of LNL Protekt, LLC, based out of Alvin, TX and Woodville, TX. With over 30 years experience in land and livestock protection, we serve land and business owners in and around the Gulf Coast and East Texas areas.

In addition to having grown up in rural America, where he developed and honed the skills he now brings to the land and livestock protection industry, Terry has a background in Engineering/Design of Refineries and Chemical plants, as well as water treatment facilties and other heavy industrial units that have complex process piping systems.

If you’re looking for hand made American production and quality then you’ve come to the right place.

Prior to engaging in the process of alcohol distillation please check applicable federal, state and local laws. Most jurisdictions require special permits for the manufacture of an alcohol product.

Home distillation is a simple process by which you can purify water, distill alcohol, manufacture antiseptics or produce fuel grade ethanol. There are several different types of distillation methods available, depending on your specific needs – basic pot stills, reflux stills and the more advanced fractionating stills.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:32 | 2328574 mahalopamala
mahalopamala's picture

Good old Brazoria County, Texas- we love ya!!!  Some wonderful "old time" folks live here.  They know about community and pool their considerably high IQ's and common sense.  We have a thriving community!!!!

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 20:12 | 2329814 Hi Ho Silver
Hi Ho Silver's picture

This is Ron Paul country. Yee-haw! :0)

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:29 | 2328562 mahalopamala
mahalopamala's picture

if growing your own food and learning about becoming more sustainable is important to you, you should do it.  You are right.  It is hard work.  It is some of the most rewarding work I have ever done. Again, it is all about community- your idea is a good one.  Maybe others in your community can grow crops- maybe you have another skill set and can trade.  Good to think about many options.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 17:32 | 2329416 Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

Excellent, glad to hear it.  If things get bad its good to know theres at least one guy I wont have to shoot as you will be dead long before you make it out to me.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:03 | 2327771 css1971
css1971's picture

A mini greenhouse is called a "cold frame".

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:10 | 2327797 gnomon
gnomon's picture

The number one reason to have a greenhouse:

To shield your gardening soil and produce from radioactive particles blown in from Fukushima, the world's premier (and festering) toxic pollution site.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 19:39 | 2329736 Matt
Matt's picture

I think you'd need a biodome for that. I mean, it has to be air tight, contain all its own water, and recycle all the water for the next several years to avoid contamination, no? I mean, what are good steps to take so that you can actually grow food that is not contaminated, if your air and rain are radioactive?

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:10 | 2327798 WoodMizer
WoodMizer's picture

Props to the TSP,

I have been a fan for half a year now.  If you want info on alternative energy, guns, gardening or livestock check out some of their older material.  They are approaching episode 1,000 and they have already covered most of the topics I have an interest in.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:17 | 2327820 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

you could compost the rubbish Paul Krugman talks every year and heat a small village

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:21 | 2327832 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

Sign of the times when Zerohedge includes content from thesurvivalpodcast.  I've been a subscriber for about a year.  I've spend the last several months putting in a 1200 gallon fish tank and pebble plant beds for aquaponics.  I get my channel catfish tomorrow at Southern States.  I'm doing what I can in the lead-up to SHTF.  I'd really like to have another year to get ready.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:28 | 2327848 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

 "I'd really like to have another year to get ready"


I keep saying that too... & I've been working on this stuff for almost 4 years now...


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 14:09 | 2328723 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

you've got 3 years lads

fireworks really start 2015-2017, economic 'End of Days'

the real problem appears to be not the economy but the US Govts ever faster collapse into tyranny and ego-mania ...will they shoot-up everyone home and abraod before their Empire of bankers debt collapses

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:25 | 2327840 tekhneek
tekhneek's picture

He could just grow a variety of Kale and not cover them... Kale loves cold weather. He could also grow broccoli and cauliflower/celery without a cover the greens are basically like collards... they like it cold too. Radishes/beets also provide greens and like it cold as well...

I would cover those raised beds with black trash bags... that's what I do to my tomatoes and they explode after about a week of being covered because of the heat retention in the soil.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:39 | 2327896 AGuy
AGuy's picture

The issues most people do not consider:

1. It takes a lot of area to grow a years worth of food for just one person. A years work of food required an area more than the size of a football field.

2. Self sustantable food production requires you to grow at least twice the amount of food needed to address crop failures, caused by poor weather (drought, infestations, too much rain, unexpected frost) You need to store a full years of crops in the event of a near complete lost of crops. Even one year can be insufficient since is possible to have back to back failures, for instance a multi-year drought, or a drought one year and too much rain the next.

3. Crop rotation is necessary to avoid burning out the land. Many crops take essential nutrients out of the soil, In the days before chemical fertializes crop rotation was used extensively to provide sustainable harvesting.

4. It takes years of experience to grow food. Don't expect to stock up on a bunch of seeds expecting to grow what you need in the event of a crisis. You will starve.

5. Growing food in a suburban or urban region is poinless. since there will be an overwhelming number of two legged pests that will steal your crop. Hungry people will not respect the law and will steal your food even if they risk death since they have nothing to lose anyway.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:53 | 2327937 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

I disagree with your estimation of the area required to feed one person.  It sounds like pretty low intensive assumptions.  I do agree with your comments about two-legged pests, but suspect they will thin out pretty quickly.  I'm more worried about law enforcement / warlord gangs.  We will all do what we have to do.  I'm hoping I have more tools and options.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 10:53 | 2327938 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

Duplicate post

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:59 | 2328149 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I'd agree with the "football field" analogy under certain conditions...

First of all, he was accounting for EXTRA FOOD (assuming some crop loss)...

Moreover, there are certain technicalities that you have to consider (like crop rotation & soil replenishment)... Some fields may lay dormant, while other areas are used for composting... Other spaces are more stretched for orchards (vs. plant beds)... Also, 'animals' (like goats or pigs, can be useful to pen because they are like having a tractor)...

I'm generalizing here... The difference between 'survival', or 'variety'... I get sick of seeing "square foot gardening" fotos full of smiling folks with one row of celery, two rows of lettuce, & a tomato vine...


It's like that scene in Forrest Gump where Forrest Gump caught a shrimp... "Congrats! a couple of more & you'll have yourself a cocktail"... Not enough calories in strictly vegetables... You'd be better off plotting your land so that you could grow some rice or corn... (Though both require a hell of a lot of water)... What? do expect if you're an urban dweller you're going to get 10,000 or more gallons of water just like that (snaps fingers)...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:01 | 2327959 Decolat
Decolat's picture

Growing food in urban/suburban regions isn't pointless. Every little bit helps, and it gives people education on food and a respect for living things, something that is often lacking in those places. I smile every time I see a tomato plant in a windowsill. 


People have stolen my food from my yard. But so have birds and bugs. It won't stop me from gardening in the city.

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:51 | 2328155 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Until they shut off the water supply... (or, I'm assuming you have a well with a hand pump underneath your apartment building with pipes leading right up to your kitchen sink)...

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:19 | 2328524 yabyum
yabyum's picture

Decolat, Throw in a couple of zucchini plants, I do this to feed the snap zombies (or the neighbors I don't care for). You can use the bigger ones as chocks or clubs.


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 13:37 | 2328595 mahalopamala
mahalopamala's picture

Please check out Urban Harvest- in Houston, TX a mission that was started in the late 1980's to show folks that urban gardens are doable and good.  "It is better to light one small candle than to curse the dark."  the "candle" of urban gardening and homesteading has become a wildfire in america- there are MANY local area associations- this one just happens to be in my neck of the woods- they turned me on to organics and growing in southeast Texas in 2006

Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:01 | 2327964 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture


Mon, 04/09/2012 - 11:19 | 2328027 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Only a matter of time before the ' takes two acres to feed a person...' retard shows up. What's pointless is 'in the box' individuals like yourself re-spewing this garbage when you've probably never tried new methods yourself. Kind of like those researchers that dreamed up that figure.  If there is a God, you will soon be in a box, or a pot, if things go bad. I could care less what your anachronistic assumptions are regarding food, growing methods, and survival. You don't have a plan; good, shut up and die already. One less useless mouth breather using up resources.  You'll make a fine compost I'm sure.

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