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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Urban... wait, rural turned urban... prepper guest post!

A HUGE thanks to Dan who steps up to the plate and contributes this post. THANK YOU, DAN! (And I have a couple of Qs for Dan which I'll post in comments. I'd never thought about composting vitamins.)

The Urban Prepper:

Hello my fellow Preppers and Constitutional Americans. So much has been written by those fortunate enough to own rural locales where land is plentiful with wide open spaces but little written about the rest of us. The reality is that most of us live in suburbs where prepping and maximizing our back yards or improvising growing areas is just as vital. We live in Perrysburg, Ohio and have max’d our growing space.

This year we wanted to see if we could indeed support ourselves maximizing a space that is 20X 20 including building Multi level (2 & 3 levels 2 X 6) gardens boxes made from marine plywood and 2 X 6’s. My Nebraska farm roots paid off with our special compilation of soil that includes, cow, horse and for tomatoes chicken & cow manure. In addition to the soil mixture throw the following in during the season, any organic compostable trash, rusty old nails or small metal items that are rusty (no chrome or coated fasteners, a handful per cubic yard of material. Have old vitamins laying around, kids chewable vitamins that are outdated…grind up and throw in the soil. Since Depression One our soils have been robbed of minerals and nutrients so replenishing them not only improves plant health but your intakes of much needed nutrients. Here’s a Tomato tip: The higher the acidity of the soil the less acidic the taste of the tomato…strange but seems to work that way and tomatoes love coffee grounds. Here’s what we grew with great success for a family of (3): Tomatoes-Cherry, Romano and Jet Star, Lettuce, Okra, Sweet Corn Bi-Colour, Pop Corn, Green Beans, Fingerling Potatoes, Sun Flowers, Small Amish Melons, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Parsley and Cilantro.

We found a great traditional seed source for heirloom seeds at SeedSavers of Iowa, http://www.seedsavers.org/. I have a huge appreciation for an organization that preserves the produce of our forefathers. Every effort is made to avoid hybrids for multi seasonal growing.

For canned items I strongly suggest shopping your local Aldi’s for great bargains. Being a farmer I’ve seen the same produce canned for Libby’s and Doles used for private brands, so save money where you can. If you like the wholesome foods of Traders Joe’s you’ll like Aldi’s their both an Aldi’s (German) company.

Get your vitamins and herbals while you can and start stocking ASAP. The major box stores while offering competitive vitamins/herbals are under corporate pressure to eliminate non-pharma products. For example Wally World’s availability is shrinking and prices increasing by 15-18% every 2-3 weeks. I assume the new global Codex is affecting this decision. Don’t volunteer for the Flu Shot…

God Bless us All and keep us protected from the coming storm. The ominous storm clouds are approaching our horizon at unprecedented speed and I fear a Fujita 5 or 6 is coming! Those I trust the most: God & Jesus, my wife and the Marine in the Hole on my left and right!

The Urban Prepper,



Anonymous said...

Hello Dan, it is awesome to see someone from our neck of the woods. I am 20 min from you. A question if you don't mind, is there a group of us preppers in the area that would like to do meet-ups or just get together?

Your suggestions as to how to improve the soil is great. Would never think to add vitamins to the soil.

Marica I'm making the sour dough bread on Sat. for our Sunday dinner; I'll let you know how it came out.-Shelly

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the feedback.

I would welcome a meet-up and wish more people would take prepping as serious as they should. All the economics in our part of OH point towards more troubling times...I just heard Bryan is pushing 19% unemployment. A chance to swap ideas and develop potential future barter partners is a great idea. Besides a meet-up would be a great cahne for a bike ride!


Kymber said...

Dan - excellent post! i am looking forward to more!

Marica - excellent find! bahahaha!

Marica said...

Hey Dan-- I am curious about this acidic soil-tomato relationship. I'd never come across this observation before and would like to know more about it. Very interesting. Tell me more!

@Shelly-- I made the bread a couple of days ago. I must have used at least 1 C more flour than the recipe called for. The dough was super sticky in the mixing bowl. (But it was super humid here, too.)

@Kymber-- Dan found me! And I'm glad he did.

Let me know how the meet up goes. It's an awesome idea!

Anonymous said...


I noticed the Acidity/PH flavour factor with tomatoes when I lived in Ft. Dodge, Iowa in the 90’s. A good friend was involved in the DNR taking H20 samples of the local river (we had beef packing plants at the time and had to monitor run-off) and we noticed natural growing tomatoes and peppers near the sediment edge from the sewage treatment plant. Two points of interest: tomato seeds flow through the human digestive track since they can’t be processed and ultimately flush through the sewage system and when we sampled the wild tomatoes we noticed a smooth, sweet and low acidic flavour. We took a PH test and noticed a higher acidic level in the soil/H20 and have been using that info to this day. We made several attempts to collect the soil for our gardens but a canoe is not a good dredge! I strongly advise using waiters to venture in a sewage treatment sludge field for veggies…it can be quite messy in jeans! We also discovered wild raspberries growing quite vigorously in the same area. It’s quite interesting that everyone wants free produce until they found the source…never bothered me.

Here’s another tip…do you like Grapefruit but not the acidity? …next time sprinkle Salt not Sugar on your slice and it will neutralize the acidity. Strange but it works!

Hope this answers your questions.


Chris W said...

Great post. It goes to show that you don't need a lot of space to produce a lot of food. Our garden has gotten more attention this year since I've been home on a layoff, and it's amazed me what we've been able to produce on one acre and in a 45x65 vegetable garden. I won't list it all here, but there is a full list on my blog on Sept 14th.
I love the idea of a meet...just wish more were up here in my neck of the woods.

Anonymous said...


Are you in Holland area? Maybe we can get Shelly and do a Meet-up? Wish Kymber from Canada coould make it Eh...would love to have a Canuk's opinion.

Just remember Two's company, Three or more's a Meet-up!

Let me know what you think.


Chris W said...

Dan, we're up in Summit county, just outside Akron.

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