Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter, brought to you by the famous Urban Survival Playing Cards, which is a deck of playing cards with 52 tips, tricks, and tactics for surviving breakdowns in civil order after a disaster in a populated area. These are things that you’re likely to forget under pressure and having a deck with you could mean the difference thriving in a disaster and barely making it.
This week, in response to my article on raised bed gardening, aquaponics, and hydroponics, we have a first hand example of how a reader is using almost all recycled/scavanged materials to build enclosed raised bed gardens.
Making Raised-Bed Greenhouses from Recycled Materials
By Pat Perry Sullivan
Growing up in the woods, I developed a life-long passion for the smell and feel of earth. I also came to understand our part as caretakers of this part of the Creation. So it makes sense that I would learn as much as possible about nurturing all that mother nature provides. This path has led me to organic gardening, foraging for wild edibles, and to a commitment to educating regular folks about Self-Health and Natural Healing. I also grew up with parents who lived through the first Depression, whose frugality I inherited. Enough on my background and onto the project at hand….building raised-bed, intensively planted, greenhoused gardens for practically no cost:
With the exception of poly-sheeting for the greenhouse covers, Velcro tiebacks, rerod, and hooks and eyes, all the lumber was salvaged from the burnpit at our local dump. Most was Contractor waste.
Typically, the beds are made of 8 x 8 beams that have been stabilized with rerod (rebar stakes). Corner joints are overlapped and secured with rerod, as well. We lined the beds with a plastic liners all the way to the soil surface, and then filled them with composted loam, peat moss, with a small amount of sand thrown into the mix. The soil was then treated with 2 wonderful supplements: Spray and Grow (a fertilizer), and Actinovate (an anti-fungal).
Looking at the accompanying photos, you can see that 2 x 4’s were placed as corner posts and as a frame around the top of those posts. In the center of the gardens, we placed old used wooden patio umbrella frames (also salvaged) which we secured to the outer frame with wire. Plastic greenhouse grade sheeting was placed over the top and secured to the upper frame with strapping. At the base of each side “wall” we rolled the plastic around, and secured it to 8’, 1” x 2” lumber scraps, added hooks and eyes, and voila!…our greenhouses.
While there is minimum cost, there is a good deal of labor involved and the need for access to some tools such as a table saw, chop saw, cordless drill and screwdriver, nails, and screws.
There are several very important reasons why we made the effort to use raised beds and enclose them in a greenhouse:
First, obviously, is the extension of the growing season. (With the use of Agribon as a row cover, we even have plants that successfully overwintered).
The second reason is to protect our food from acid rain, and chemtrail and radiation particulate fallout. We do not need barium, aluminum, mycoplasm, mercury, or radioactive particles to fall on our food supply. (Even if you decide not to take on this project, make sure to wash all produce thoroughly with colloidal silver, lemon juice, oxywater, or an ozonator. Because of Fukushima, I would also recommend trying to buy produce from South America or south of the Equator). The last reason for 3’ high raised beds is the convenience of tending the gardens without a great deal of bending.
[David Morris’ note: Although I haven’t personally seen evidence to convince me that jet contrails are actually chemtrails, I respect several people who do. In any case, I strongly agree with using greenhouses to protect your food from airborne pollutants, which, in my mind, also include pollen from genetically modified plants.]
The gardens are planted intensively. As the first crops mature, more heirloom seeds are planted for a fall and winter crops. I was harvesting until the end of January this last year. Also be sure to do companion planting with herbs and flowers. Besides making the gardens beautiful, this will attract beneficial insects (which eliminates the need for pesticides). So there you have it. Enjoy!
Thank you to Pat for this great article. I hope it’s an inspiration, both to people who don’t think they have enough money to prepare and to people who do have the money but who haven’t taken measurable action. If you want to go the growing-in-soil route, I want to encourage you to look into square foot gardening in raised beds inside of a greenhouse. For more information, check out these books on Amazon.com
What are your thoughts, tips, and best practices that you’re willing to share with the thousands of relatively new gardeners reading this blog who are scrambling to learn how to grow their own food as quickly as possible? Please share your tips by commenting below.
Until next week, God bless, stay safe, and keep making daily forward progress in your preparations.