Thursday, July 17, 2008

Budget Survival - Garden Support Jobs

Large home gardens will become commonplace in the post collapse society. As food prices soar more and more people will convert those manicured lawns into lush vegetable gardens capable of sustaining their families. Regional industry and needed jobs will be developed to support these home horticulturists.

Garden tilling will become a necessary and steady job in the post collapse society. No one has a tiller and hand turning a one acre sod covered lawn using a spade and hoe is backbreaking work. I would recommend purchasing an old tiller and either loaning out the device for trade or tilling for profit.

Canning and dehydrating foods is another lost art poised to make a strong return. Vegetables grown in the summer must be preserved to last the family through the winter. Visit you local Goodwill and pick up as many old pressure cookers as you can find. Purchase a couple of books on canning and start looking for old mason jars at garage sales. The home farmer brings his produce to your home for canning. You take a certain percent of the finished product as payment. Bartering at its best. Try to find some old dehydrators and instruction manuals this is an added service to your customers.

Heirloom seeds are the saviors of the human race. Hybird seeds that most people pick up at the store cannot be grown from season to season, they are sterile by design. Order a large inexpensive supply of non-hybrid seeds which can be grown season after season and sell them after the collapse. Once the crops have matured return to the farmer and offer to retrieve and dry his seeds for next season. You take a percent of the dried seeds as payment.

If you raise livestock the meat and dairy will not be the only products. Manure can be sold for fertilizer. Purchase a small wagon to haul behind your Geo Metro. Get orders in the winter. During planting season and in the fall deliver and spread the new black gold trading for a percent of the crops or profit.

Knowledge is your greatest asset in this environment. If you know the produce and how to grow it you become a valuable member of the community.


Anonymous said...

Good Post, I am have been experimenting with a garden stand on weekends to learn what sells and what doesn't. As always what you expect is not always what happens. Organicly grown doesn't actually seem to matter to anyone but me. The customers seems to want to believe that anything on a truck garden stand is good. Which is ok, but a bit disappointing and bewildering.

Oldman in the boonies

riverwalker said...

I use some of the extra in my garden to trade with friends and neighbors. I also give some to the older folks in my neighborhood who are on a fixed income and having a hard time. I get some additional security from them too. If a stranger comes around when I'm gone my neighbors will be watching!
We have a farmer's market here in town on the weekends but my garden right now is not producing enough to warrant my participation. I'm still working two jobs and extra time is a little hard to come by.


westyoungman said...

BigBear, You probably meant to call out Pressure Canners rather than Pressure Cookers. Pressure Cookers are NOT recommended for canning. Pressure Canners are what you want. You can Google it to find out more but here is one of many sources of this information.

I would also only use updated canning books and well tested recipes for canning since many lessons have been learned about the safety of canning.

Thanks for the post!


Together We Stand said...

Great advice, We are already in the process of doing what you are talking about with the garden prep for others and doing very well and staying busy at it. I personally like the old books as well as the new ones. After tshtf we need to be able to do thing the old way as our geandparents did. I like your idea about canning and putting up for others. I had not thought about that one. said...

You are also going to want to start now - it can take a number of years to get soil conditions to a good level of production.

Being able to can is also key.

Staying Alive said...

Excellent advice. You give me pause to think.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget vermiculture and vermicomposte. You may have poor soil, add vermicomposte and increase the soil dramatically. Check out www.redwormcomposting for starters. It is very inexpensive and the 3rd best way in the world to improve soil. Don't try to wiggle out of this one!

Skip in Kansas City

horseman said...

I am 40 years old, wife, 2 small daughters, interested in a simple, basic understanding of survival. I live north of Atlanta, Ga. I have started growing veggies, herbs, etc. this year - just to learn how. I want to store some things that would allow my family to survive (rice, beans - how much?). I have been thinking about this for years. Time to actually do this.

Do you have a "how to" book that you recommend? Again, looking for basic stuff. I hope I am wasting time with this... but I can't help but feel like something is coming. We are all foolish if we think another great depression, pandemic, or something could never come about. Thanks

BigBear said...


Funny you should mention that. Monday or Tuesday I will post an article on real supply numbers. Specifically how much rice and stuff you will need. Calorie count, yearly amounts and how much is needed for each five gallon bucket. It really is simple and relatively inexpensive.

So check back in a couple of days.

Thanks for reading

Mountain_Tracker said...

Great Topic BigBear! It's nice to know you're blogging again too!

When you have time to stop by, we'll go to the potato farms and get a few potatoes that you can actually grow from the spuds if you're interested. They go for $1.00 for either ten pounds or $1.00 per huge bag, I really forget the exact amount but don't waste your time trying to grow the store bought potatoes because they do something with them through a microwave process of sorts to stop the new growth for on the shelves. Most things are done this way now and will not grow easily. Garlic is another of those things as are many other veggies.

If you find you need any manure, let me know and I'll drop by with a trailer load anytime after July 28, 2008 because I am still rebuilding my supply giving it away all year since the Spring.


Mountain_Tracker said...

Just another quick note, if you can't find the red worms readily available, my compost pile out here is super full of grub worms and they've survived last winter perfectly in my compost pile.

Here's a video on youtube about them...

The Urban Survivalist said...

My brother grew some potatoes from store bought potatoes this year. They're doing pretty good. The only problem is that he doesn't have much space so he's not going to get anywhere near the full potential from them. He lives in an HOA run community so he can't use the tire method. As for garlic, I had a bulb that I bought last year that was really dried out and nasty looking so I went ahead and planted them back in March. About half of them sprouted and are growing just fine.

I'm still not sold on the "hybrid and store bought stuff is bad for growing" theory. It just seems like a lot of people have just heard that it doesn't work and never bothered to try it. My grandpa is a farmer. He came out to visit a couple of weeks ago and he told me that he's grown several hard to find, specialty varieties of hybrids year after year from the seeds that he harvested. According to him they just start to get more and more "normal" after a few generations. I'm going to try letting some of my hybrids go to seed this year and see what I end up with next year.

vdavisson said...

This is a REALLY late comment (the "Long Tail" in effect?) but:

my daughter, who has done a little canning, recommends buying new canning jars. They can get little chips and cracks in them over the years, and one tiny void can mean a bad seal which can mean botulism, spoilage, or other bad stuff. Same with canning lids - new is always much better. Spare about $14 a week for a dozen jars and don't let your husband grab them for nuts and bolts, or Coors.

Your blog is just great, I've recommended it to my survival forum.