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Nov 25

Hard-Core soil fertility for survivalist

 

This may seem strange to some of you reading this post. It is not in any gardening books I have read, and I have read a lot of them. Years ago, I worked my ground for the organic market and I never had to worry about not having thriving plants. Sure, I was a compost fanatic, but this method is outstanding in the real wold. It may be hard to pull off in a city community garden and I would not probably try it in a container garden.

What I do as for my garden as I fish, hunt and trap threw out the year is to build soil quality, but especially in the fall/winter dormant time of some or all of the garden. I take the fish and animal parts and place them 1.5 to 2 feet under the top of the soil. I have a BT-45 gas operated auger that I drill down into the soil with. I have used this sample principle with post hole diggers and while double digging the raised beds. Since I trap, I have a lot of scraps over the winter. I also have a ton of great natural fertilizer when I run trout lines for catfish on the river. The principal is simple, take organic matter, in this case, flesh, skin and bones from animals and recycle them to make better soil to grow crops.

When I know I will be doing this, I will pick a bed and place in some sticks measured out on a straight line on both sides of the bed. Then I take my auger and drill in holes about a foot apart. Depending on the amount or size of the deposit, I might widen the hole with a tile spade. As I get the scraps, I drop them in the holes. I only want the scraps to fill 1/3 of the hole. Then to finish the job, I will simply kick and scrap the loose dirt back in the hole. The last step in to tamp down the dirt a little.

You are accomplishing several things by doing this method. One, you are keeping the soil nice and soft for the roots. It is almost like double digging in the traditional method. By drilling, The soil will be soft a couple of feet down. This alone will allow plants to grow better. Two, you will have a soil that is rich with food for the plats to pull nutrition from. Three, the bones and other parts of the scraps will add a tremendous amount of minerals to the soil.

I’m sure that to a hard-core environmentalist vegan gardener, this is blasphemy. The composting books say to never add meat or flesh to a compost pile. What most people do not know is that a majority of commercial compost has dead animals from the farm in it. That is what farmers do, because of the kick it gives the compost. Plus meat or flesh would be messy while one is turning the compost pile over at home. I’m sure there are some “green” movement reasons not to do this, but I really don’t care about them. I garden to grow food, not make a statement. I live in the south, and we have dogs on about every porch and so far, I have not had a dog dig down to the scraps yet. It does not even make odor above the ground level. Mother earth is enjoying the meal and she does not take her time about it.

I learned this from a friend’s brother. He lives in MI. He even lives in a tight neighborhood. He did not trap, but he took the muskrat and raccoon carcass from my friend and filed up hole after hole in his garden every late fall. He showed me photos of his garden. I could not believe my eyes. His plants were amazing, big and laden with fruit. His corn was 12 feet tall and his tomatoes looked to be in the 1.5 to 2 pound range. I was impressed to say the least. He learned it from an old farmer, after pestering the old farmer on his personal garden.

One thing a prepper can do is to prep his or her ground that may be needed to extend an existing garden. Mark off the ground that may need to be used and start drilling holes. Even if it is if the yard. Once the grass starts to grow, it will cover the bare dirt and not be noticeable. I must warn you, not only will you start to have some amazing soil but the grass in this area may need more mowing than the rest of the yard.

This is simple, cheap, easy, but more importantly, it works. Now go drill some holes and see for yourself.

1 comment

  1. Beavertrapper

    Another common sense, but brilliant post.

    We’ve all heard the stories from our childhood about the Indians fertilizing their corn with a fish head – yet we run to the store to buy fertilizer for our gardens when real fertilizer is all around us.

    The longer I live and the more I learn; the more I realize that there is no reason to throw anything away. Everything has a purpose and a productive use.

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