Posted by on April 15, 2016 10:00 am
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Categories: Food Production

If you’ve been prepping for awhile, you likely have a pretty good stockpile of food. But how long will that last you? Even if you have enough for a year, what happens after that? I know that even if the SHTF, the likely hood of needing food for longer than a year is unlikely, but what if? You need to think long term, really long term. Think about raising your own food.

Growing a garden isn’t the only way of growing food, you could always go the aquaponics route, or maybe building a simple greenhouse for some indoor gardening.

f you have a south-facing window, or better yet, a sun-room, indoor gardening can be the solution. Where window space is limited, you’ll have to decide which crops to grow, and which you can do without. Personally, I’m a tomato nut, and I love the heirloom varieties. I’m fortunate to have a sun-room, where I can grow full-size plants. If you’re not so fortunate, and love tomatoes, don’t despair. Dwarf tomato plants might be the answer. Red Robin is one such dwarf plant. It can be grown in a small container, and is about 14 inches tall when fully-grown. Each plant produces clusters of cherry-size tomatoes (about 1 inch in diameter). For a tall window, consider a PVC tubing frame and wood planks for shelves. The goal is to place as many plants as possible in direct contact with the sun when window space is limited. Plants placed farther from the window will not get adequate sunlight. You can supplement artificial light for sunlight, but I’m assuming a grid-down situation where alternative electricity is limited or non-existent.

If you’re able to provide artificial light, light in the warm spectrum (3000k), encourages flowering, while light in the cool spectrum (4100k), is best for vegetative growth. If you don’t want to mix bulbs of various k-ratings, then 5000k bulbs would be a good choice. A bulb with a k-rating of 5000 is considered one that simulates natural sunlight. Do not use incandescent bulbs, as their k-rating is in the neighborhood of 1200. Most of their energy is used to create heat. A fluorescent tube may be the best choice, since it can cover several plants at the same time. Place the light source as close to the top of the plant as possible. It’s helpful to be able to move the light source, or the plants, up or down to facilitate all stages of plant growth. Providing adequate light to tall plants can be a real challenge. Some growers deal with that problem by creating a “wall of light”, but then we’re getting into an electrical consumption issue. Perhaps the best solution in a grid-down situation is dwarf plants, where many can be placed next to a window, or where one fluorescent tube will cover a row of plants. The use of mirrors or aluminum foil to reflect natural or artificial light is also beneficial.

Source: The Prepper Journal