Having a renewable source of water, food, and other materials is one of the only ways to successfully survive a large-scale disaster. And I hate to tell you that the store down the street or that website you order from is not a renewable source of supplies.
Let me present you with a question I have asked other upcoming preppers in the past.
“Where do you get “X” product, that you need?” Fill in the blank with whatever product you like but I will use meat as an example Across the board, the answer is almost always, “I buy it from the grocery store.”
The follow-up question is, “Where would you get your meat if all the grocery stores in the regions were gone?” Again, the answer is almost always, “I do not know.”
Some people might find an issue with this question and think it is a bit farfetched, and I might be inclined to agree if it pertained to items that people wanted, like a T.V. But not knowing where to get basic needs if they are not sitting on a shelf in front of you is a pretty big problem.
When there is a shift in how the world operates, possibly due to a disaster, one of the few solutions to making it through is to have a survival farm.
Now a survival farm is not just for “the end of days,” but it is a great way for removing the shackles of dependency and it can also be an incredibly rewarding way of living.
What is a Survival Farm?
A survival farm is going to look and operate a bit differently than farms you may be familiar with today. Modern farms are usually extremely large and may only produce one or two things in mass quantity to sell. For example, a farm that plants hundreds of acres of corn or raises thousands of chickens.
Unless you have big ideas and equally as deep pockets, a survival farm is not going to resemble that. It’s going to be smaller and be able to produce several things so that a person can live sustainably off the fruits of their labors.
It is unlikely that a single farm will be able to produce everything that might be needed but the basics, like shelter, water, and food should certainly be covered.
Below is a guide, think of it as a getting started guide, of things to consider and ideas for putting together your survival farm.
10 Need To Knows About Survival Farming
There are a lot of things to consider and that go into having a successful piece of property that you may not know, which in part is why you are reading this guide and that is a good first step.
But this guide is more of an overview. For example, later in the guide, I will touch on raising animals, however, I will not go into great detail about what every animal requires. Pick and choose what you need from this guide and continue your research as it pertains to you.
Research and Learn as Much as Possible Beforehand
Setting up a survival farm is not something you want to rush into if it can be avoided, especially if it is a lifestyle you are not accustomed to.
Gather as many books as you can, get online, and talk to as many people as possible that are living the way you want to.
Find out as much as you can beforehand so that you are better prepared and know what to expect.
Pick the Right Location for You
Picking a location is going to be one of the first steps in creating a survival farm. Not all properties are going to be ideal and sometimes we have to make do with what is available.
However, the two main components the property should have are the ability to grow or raise food and have access to a water source. Without these two components, you and the farm will not make it very long.
Another consideration when looking for a property is to try and stay out of danger zones created by mother nature. Setting up a survival farm is going to take a lot of time, effort, and money.
All of that can go away within hours if the property is situated in a region that experiences frequent tornados, hurricanes, flooding, etc.
It will not be possible to reduce all the risks and no one can see into the future, but it is a good idea to keep this in mind when choosing a property to live on.
Some people may not like to think about this aspect, but security issues will need to be addressed if you want to keep yourself and the property safe.
Having a security plan is common sense in the best of times but when the world gets turned upside down, a security plan will be paramount.
Security doesn’t just mean spending a lot of money on tons of cameras and building a ten-foot concrete wall around the property. Normal security measures like this do help but may not be completely feasible.
One aspect of security that often gets ignored is to look at the property itself and observe what can be used. For example, see if the property has certain plant life that would drive most people away, like poison ivy, briar patches, and other vegetation that has annoying and harmful characteristics.
Instead of removing or killing these plants, replant them around the perimeter of the property. Having vegetation like this will act as a natural barb wire fence.
Look for other natural barriers that could make it difficult for vehicles and people to get onto the property, such as large rocks, boulders, waterways, ditches, gorges, high spots, and low spots.
All of these can be used to your advantage to limit the number of ways people could enter the property.
A few more quick ideas for keeping people off the property include:
- Allow vegetation to grow up around the property to help hide roadways and line of sight of the home
- When walking around the perimeter of the property, take different ways to reduce creating a beaten down path
- Install blackout shades on all windows to eliminate light being seen at night
- Don’t leave outdoor lights on at night and route their ON/OFF switches into the home
- If you live along a waterway, create barriers along the shore to reduce entry points
Lastly, you will need a way of defending yourself. I know this can be a touchy subject for some when it comes to certain tools and firearms. But I can guarantee you that most other people will not take issue with using them when times are tough.
Being able to generate your own power is going to be rather important as well unless you plan on living a two-hundred-year-old lifestyle.
You will want a plan for producing as much of your power as possible to limit dependency and future problems with the power grid.
There are several options for generating power, which is another thing to keep in mind when scouting for properties because the region and what is on the land can dictate the effectiveness and which options you can choose.
A few ways to create power include solar energy, wind turbines, hydroelectric, thermoelectric, and geothermal.
When possible, it’s not always a great idea to put all of your eggs into one basket and to diversify. It may be best to have a combination of the above methods rather than relying on a single method.
Have Manual Backups
Should you not decide to invest alternative energy, or even if you do, it is wise to have as many manual backups as possible.
The power grid could go down or a problem may arise with your power source not generating. What would you do then?
There are a lot of manual backups to have but here is a list to help get you started thinking about what items you may need:
- Coffee maker-get a percolator
- Washing machine-get a powerless washing unit
- Stove/oven-get outdoor cookware and use a firepit or camp stove
- Lights-get solar lights, lanterns, and flashlights
- Electric power tools-have hand tools for all power tools, such as a hand saw to replace a power saw
Bottom line, if it uses power and it is a critical item to you, plan on having a manual backup.
Utilize Available Space
The smaller a property is, the more important it is going to be to use the space as efficiently as possible. Believe it or not, you don’t need a huge spread of land for it to be a successful producer.
This may seem unrealistic, but I encourage you to look at some smaller-scale farms and homesteads. I bet you would be surprised, maybe even shocked at how much can be grown or raised in such a small area when space is utilized to its fullest potential.
When it comes to growing food, take a look at alternative growing methods like square foot gardening. Instead of having a lot of land to plant horizontally, growing upwards will work in smaller areas.
Maybe you don’t have the land for raising cows or pigs but that doesn’t mean you can’t raise your own meat. Think of rabbits, chickens, turkeys, goats, ducks, geese, and quail.
Smaller animals like those mentioned above may not require as many resources as larger animals, particularly land. But by having a variety of smaller animals, you can still raise meat on less land.
To give you an idea of how much land you need to raise animals, below is a list of common animals and their land requirements.
The below figures are just to give you a rough baseline to start with and are not necessarily absolutes. I would also like to stress that these figures are minimal and that the more space you can provide to the animal, the healthier it will be. Also, many animals do not do well when they are by themselves which is why you do not often see one cow being raised.
- One to two acres per cow
- Rabbits will need up to five square feet of space per rabbit
- One to two acres per horse
- Half an acre per goat
- One acre per sheep
- 6-8 square feet for pigs indoors, 20-50 square feet for outdoor
(The above figures were obtained from FreshEggsDaily.blog)
Learn Food Preservation
Living on a farm like this will require learning and using food preservation methods.
If your plot is set up correctly, it will be producing a good deal of food, especially fresh produce. Anyone who has grown a successful garden can tell you that there is no way of eating everything that is grown before it goes bad.
To avoid any food going to waste, it will need to be preserved. To make food last as long as possible educate yourself on various preservation methods like canning, smoking, dehydration, and salting.
Water is critical to our survival and we can only go days without it before running into serious issues, not to mention the crops and animals on the property that need water as well.
For many people reading this, clean water is so accessible that we rarely even have to think about it. On a survival farm, this will not only have to be thought about but planned for.
The idea of a property like this relying on a municipal water supply is impractical not only due to the property’s potential location, but when a disaster happens that water supply can easily become contaminated or non-functional.
There are several options though. The first and most likely option is to research the water table in the region you are looking at and have a water well drilled.
Another option is to find out if the property has a source of running water, such as a spring, creek, or river. This can be tricky as the source may be unreliable and should be thoroughly investigated and tested.
A rainwater collection system is a great way of getting “free” water that is usually very clean. Relying only on rainwater as a primary source for hydrating you, your crops, and your animals can be a gamble because you are at the mercy of the rain clouds or lack thereof.
Lastly, here are a few more things to consider about your property’s water situation.
If the home is located at a lower elevation than the water source, you can reduce the need for power and pumps by using a gravity feed system.
The water source on the property may not always be reliable. Problems can arise with the source itself or the equipment that transports the water. Therefore, having clean water storage close to the home is important.
Look into building a simple cistern or buying a few water barrels. The more water you can put into storage the better, but even an amount as small as one hundred gallons could get you through a tough spot.
Hydroponics and Aquaponics
These two growing and raising methods are other great choices for utilizing the space that you have.
Hydroponics is a system that uses a liquid medium to grow plants rather than growing them in soil. Plants growing outdoors have to compete with weeds and neighboring plants for nutrients, sunlight, as well as contending with bad weather.
Watering is another issue for outdoors crops because a lot of water is actually wasted through runoff and evaporation when traditional methods are used. This means much more water must be used to get it to the roots.
Most of this is not an issue because with hydroponics because the plant roots remain in contact with a nutrient-rich liquid and the system can be used indoors.
Aquaponics is similar to hydroponics but it includes the addition of fish. In aquaponics, there is a relationship between the fish and the plants benefiting one another. Aquaponics can be a great option for someone who enjoys fish but does not have a large pond or other applicable water source on the property.
There are two downsides to these systems. First, there will be an investment in their setup and continuous maintenance. Secondly, there is a bit of a learning curve to setting them up and maintaining them, but do not worry because it is not a steep one.
Create a Survival Library
When the internet goes down the only information you will have access to is what’s in your head and anything you have down on paper.
Given the fact you may not be able to leave the property, having information on anything and everything will be extremely valuable.
As long as you have a backup power supply, a computer or electronic reader with downloaded content is amazingly compact. Devices like these can easily hold tens of thousands of books and other useful documents.
However, do not rely only on these devices for your library because a lot can go wrong with technology, leaving your content unavailable.
Print off as many hard copies as possible and create a binder. Also, gather physical books and manuals. Here are a few topic ideas of what you should have:
- Survival guides
- Preserving food
- Making clothes
- First aid and medical books
- Plant, tree, animal identification guides for your region
- Foraging wild edibles
- Machine maintenance
- Trade workbooks
Also, don’t forget to add a few personal and fun items for you and others in the group, such as your favorite novels, a bible, and a few board games.
Read our guide about setting up survival libraries.
There is a lot to think about and to do when creating a plan for your very own survival farm. From deciding what region to live in, what you want the property to look like, how much land you need, to generating your own source of power, and on and on the list goes.
However, if you start learning now and keep track of everything that you will need and how to do it when the time comes to start implementing the plans, it will be so much easier.
Lastly, I wanted to remind you that creating a survival farm is not something that happens overnight, it takes time. For some people, it takes years of hard work and learning through trial and error what works and what does not. It’s great to have big plans and goals but start small and take it one step at a time.
Thanks for reading and I hope this guide answered some questions or presented you with some ideas that you had not thought about before.
If you have any questions or thoughts on this subject, sound off in the comment section below and let us know.