Category Archives: Farming agriculture

New Dutch oven

Hey guys

Just got my new Dutch oven … can’t wait to break it in , it weighs about 3 kgs and hold about 1,8L of liquid , perfect for a small family of 4 ,

its much lighter than my older potjie, but its also way smaller in volume. Its  nice to have both but this one is much more … mobile .

Its got a great handle that stands on its own, and has a spring around so that it doesn’t burn your hand. but lacks the three feet and the round bottom of a traditional potjie pot.

It has a lid that can hold coals , and be flipped over and used as a pan, as it is slightly domed.

all in I’m very happy with the purchase .

it was about $30 US  including delivery.

Anyway here is a pic

The most important crop you can grow

If I were to ask you what the most important crop you can grow is. what would your answer be?

Some might say maze, but maze doesn’t produce much and is quite difficult to grow  in small spaces, if you have a few hectares of land maze isn’t a bad option. It is portable and requires very little preparation to eat, and is very dense,and who can forget the smell of fresh salted popcorn? they need good soil and need a full season to grow properly.
Continue reading The most important crop you can grow

Nuclear War and Pandemic Survival tips

First off

get a Gieger counter NOW …. you can get cheap ones that will do well enough that plug into the audio jack of a cell phone  .. and cost under $35.

Decide whether you will  bug in and convert a basement room into a bunker, or setup a bug out fall out shelter far from your home either way Continue reading Nuclear War and Pandemic Survival tips

Sorghum Millet- grains for guerrilla gardening

Sorghum Millet- grains for guerrilla gardening

Hi Everyone

As some of you know, I often advocate responsible guerrilla gardening,

guerrilla gardening is planting on land that isn’t really yours – crops that someone can eat, that are not obvious to all, that are edible …

my favorite for jhb is pearl millet — or sorghum – they are really cheap – R20 a bag for 200g from these guys

Straight from Wiki

Sorghum bicolor,native to Africa with many cultivated forms now, is an important crop worldwide, used for food (as grain and in sorghum syrup or “sorghum molasses”), fodder, the production of alcoholic beverages, and biofuels. Most varieties are drought- and heat-tolerant, and are especially important in arid regions, where the grain is one of the staples for poor and rural people. These varieties form important components of pastures in many tropical regions. Sorghum bicolor is an important food crop in Africa, Central America, and South Asia and is the “fifth most important cereal crop grown in the world”.

Sorghum grows really well here and can provide grains for bread and other things, and is not immediately recognizable to most of the population as food , so its a good back-up crop.

Plant the crop on open land and let it grow, and reseed itself . Obviously don’t choose invasive crops and be responsible.



Rat packs and other stuff

Now that brings back memories — dont eat the cheesie’s they give you gypo guts (jippo guts)

quoted from the site link

“Not a whole lot of information available on the current SANDF (South African National Defense Force) ration pack, but here’s what I found out.
Continue reading Rat packs and other stuff

Musings on staple foods

A friend recommended this link to me – this might be a necessary item to buy if you intend on growing grains, (I for one am looking at pearl millet – Link to seeds )… might be nice to make Corn bread or porridge with fresh ground corn or whatever grain.

I do need to mention though that this is why the Irish and English cultures were revolutionized by the discovery and importing of potatoes – they don’t need to be milled and made into bread and they produce more per hectare then grain, ( they don’t keep as long as grains do though) the best being red sweet potatoes if you live in South Africa – they grow like weeds – propagate themselves , and you can make a sweet syrup from them to sweeten anything by boiling down the water after cooking them and squeezing out the juice.

pumpkins also make great flour if dried and ground -( or so i hear ) and the yields are good.

Perma-culture VS Aqua-phonics

Perma-culture VS Aqua-phonics
To feed my family is important to me and i have research many ways to do this.

I was looking at installing an aquaphonics system, as these can be hidden in plane site, and was considering a flotation method may be the easiest and least expensive (float the plants on the surface in styrene) but then the pond has to be really big and the plants have to have really small root systems.

After I did some research i discovered Perma-Culture and maybe its a good ideas to do permi-culture instead of aqua-phonics — they yield is lower but its way lower profile, requires less to setup and is lower tech so the natural balance is maintained, you also don’t have to worry about pumps, tanks etc.
the trade off is the lack of fish protein that would be a nice addition to the table.

Well i bought the book from this site and am working through it – maybe perma-culture is the way to go?
will let you all know how it goes.

Survival garden Recipe idea’s

Potatoes are very productive and produce the best crop for the smallest plot of land, one reason they are so good is that they don’t need much additional processing to make them edible, just wash them and cook and eat , compared to grains that need to be ground and made into bread you can see how potatoes save you time — although, one problem is monotony and storage – potatoes don’t keep all that well, so preserving them is important, I propose making dried gnocchi and using them as pasta.
Continue reading Survival garden Recipe idea’s

The 3 sisters – corn , beans and squash

Simple gardening with the 3 sisters can provide all you need in nutrition to feed you family.

The three crops benefit from each other. The maize provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other plants utilize, and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, helping prevent establishment of weeds.

Maize lacks the amino acids lysine and tryptophan, which your body needs to make proteins and niacin, beans contain both and therefore maize and beans together provide a balanced diet.

links to info

The greatest step in human evolution was and is agriculture

When we formulate plans for survival we often forget that the corner-stone of every civilization is agriculture.
De-evolving into a hunter-gather state is not sustainable, as food stocks within an area soon wither with large populations doing hunting and our ancestors acknowledged this and so developed farming to allow the food to “come to them”, allowing themselves time to do other things like develop technology and arts, learn and develop written and other military skills.
We should all learn from this, hunting takes way more time and effort than farming, and the yields in farming often create a surplus for trade, this allows division of labour and allows specialization making you better at what you do…
Continue reading The greatest step in human evolution was and is agriculture

Plant a Hedge to provide a light barrier when fences are not availible

Hedging is surprisingly simple and our ancestors understood the advantages of a natural barrier –

Hedging, if done correctly, can provide fruit, a thick barrier of thorn ridden, and foothold free cover, that weapons can be fired through,
difficult to climb as it is something thats outside yields but inside is solid. they can also contain hidden razor wire fences.
Continue reading Plant a Hedge to provide a light barrier when fences are not availible

Tilapia farming in africa

link to buying fingerling’s for Tilapia in Gauteng

Get your fingerling’s and start now farming Tilapia – best parts are they grow fast and are not restricted in urban area’s, so long as you can get a pond going you can have live stock .. even if its just a bath tub size fish farm and some lettuce making up an aquaphonics system.

Today i went to the local pick and pay – they were selling frozen tilapia , very interesting me thinks, first time i have seen it commercially available ready to eat, so i got some, lets see how good they are,

some more info go here

(update) the fish was ok … Pretty tasteless … But pleasant …. Price doubled over night … It was 35 a kg next time we went it was 65 … Way too much …

Hole in the ground bio gas generator

Works best on hot climates

Bio gas is usually methane that comes from rotting biological carbon based matter

An effective and simple bio gas generator can be made by getting a barrel and cutting the bottom open – (or if the barrel has no lid just turn it upside down)

if using this method there is no need to feed the digester or have a sludge outlet .. cause its setup to use batches.

but this pretty much sums it up

Plumb in some gas fittings with a tap to control the flow so that you can close them for the period needed to start the procedure

Dig a trench (the reason for the trench is to do more then one barrel at a time in the same area to provide enough gas and you can space them apart in time so that you always have some usable gas ) in the ground as big as you need to fit the barrel inside without touching the walls – and almost as deep as the barrel is high (don’t want the plumbing clogged with the slop) – the ditch or trench can be dug to include a number of barrels in a row, line the trench with clay , or plastic sheeting and fill with pig/chicken manure or any other material and water in a sloppy mixture about the consistency of loose oats porridge (experimentation gives results of what works and what doesn’t)

place the barrels open side down into the mixture with the taps open so as to form a seal with the slop,
and close the taps ( the weight of the barrel provides even pressure)

Continue reading Hole in the ground bio gas generator