The worst has happened. The thing you have been prepping for has finally become a reality, and it’s up to you to move your family to a secure location. This isn’t like the natural disasters that you have weathered before. There is no reason to believe that there is help coming, and there is no returning to normalcy. What you need is a safe, secure, sustainable homestead for you and your family. While your survival skills may be good, surviving long term is going to require a little more planning. In an emergency, you will most likely be relying on subsistence farming to get by. That means most of what you produce is used by you. Depending on where you live, it may be a little difficult to set up a thriving farm that can produce what you need year-round. However, difficult is still doable.
The first thing you need to do is get a good idea of what types of crops you can produce. Some crops can be grown with the help of greenhouses, hoop houses, and growing sheds. These can be used to extend your growing season or produce new crops year-round. You may also need farm sheds to hold equipment and store your harvest, depending on what you intend to grow. The best thing is that these structures are fairly easy to make and can also be purchased if you choose to go with a prefabricated model. You can design them to allow maximum sun exposure, storage space, and ventilation. Sturdy sheds and storage units will be a must for storing equipment, harvested crops, and even livestock.
You’ll also need to carefully consider your water sources; sources, as in more than one. Some people rely on groundwater or a local body of water for irrigation. This means you’ll want to look into local zoning laws to see if you can install a well on your chosen bugout property. Adding a rainwater collection tank and making use of sustainable irrigation techniques are good strategies as well to ensure that you and your crops have access to clean water.
Learn to Farm
Take your time and do the research on sustainable farming practices. There are plenty of techniques for growing crops that are less labor-intensive than commercial farming practices and work with the natural order. Many of them require little or no machinery, which means that you can greatly reduce your fuel storage. Also, make sure that you know how to repair and maintain all of your equipment and structures. You may be there for a while and things break down. You may need to modify your plan and build new beds, sheds, or other structures. Rotating crops, such as growing beans in otherwise spent land, can also extend the farming life of your soil.
While the majority of your diet will need to come from harvestable plants, more protein-packed sources such as animal products. Keeping chickens and other birds for their eggs, for example, will give you essential nutrients while your farming endeavors are just starting out and your bugout storage is getting low. While slaughter animals also provide an important food source, theirs is less sustainable over a long period of time, as they can only provide food once after being slaughtered.
If you’re new to the idea of homesteading, there are a lot of resources that can help you plan out your bugout farm. While you research, consider compiling what you learn into printed copies that you can refer back to after the apocalyptic event. That way, you won’t have to traverse the homesteading lifestyle on memory alone.
About the Author:
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.