Rural Survival





The big challenge in gardening for us is trying to control gophers. Traps and cats have proved insufficient simply due to the huge number of gophers attracted to the garden over the course of a growing season.

Bogart the cat

The best trap I have used, shown below, is a black plastic tube with a spring loaded garrote type mechanism. It's very effective but not fool proof. There are smart gophers that stuff it full of dirt and tunnel around it and that gopher can wreak significant damage in an overnight eating binge.

Golpher trap
Black Hole Rodent Trap
Black Hole Rodent Trap
Simple, virtually indestructible and effective.

We've come to the conclusion that raised beds with the ends and sides extending below the surface to deter tunneling and tall enough to keep rodents from climbing in is the way to go.

Raised bed gardening
Our neighbor's cement beds.

The roll-up chicken wire and pole covering is to keep their cats out after seeding in the spring and in the fall to keep them out over the winter. Cats sees the beds as deluxe kitty boxes.

My neighbors are going to dedicate some of the beds shown above to growing potatoes. We're convinced growing potatoes as the major staple is the way to go. I believe potatoes produce more per square foot than grain crops, are easier to harvest and store reasonably well in a root cellar.

Local food: success is 100% possible ClubOrlov
Dimitri Orlov a Russian emigre recounts the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 and and how the people faired surprising well under the circumstances and what that teaches us who possibly face a similar event in the near future.

One of the major difference between the two societies is that the
Soviets were used to having less. Making due by helping themselves was a way of life. Successfully growing their own food was the big key. They didn't worry about shortages at the local supermarkets because they never had one to begin with.

"food was being produced in household plots, and its figures were on the order of 90% of all the potatoes in Russia, 80% of all the vegetables, 50% of the meat and milk etc."

"Russian households (inclusive of both urban and rural) collectively grow 92% of country's potatoes on their garden-plots, the size of which is typically 600 square meters [0.15 acres] for urban households, and typically no more than 2500 square meters [0.62 acres] for rural households,"

"3/4 of gardening households were gardening the equivalent of two suburban house lots. (At least based on the typical house lots we have around here, which are 50-60 feet by 100 feet.)"

"Considering that Russia has just 110 days of growing season per year, while most of America has much longer growing season and significantly more sunshine, this is all quite encouraging from the standpoint of what Americans and Canadians could do with their tiny suburban house lots, assuming they all learn to garden quickly enough."



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