Imagine a market place in your back yard for fresh homegrown fish, herbs, fruits and vegetables. Best part of this is that you grew it and know what’s in it. No pesticides or unwanted hormones and additives. Plus the market is open 24/7.
My Hawaii Experience
Living on an island and having everything shipped into it makes for the worst case disaster when mother nature or human nature turns bad. From total communications failure to coastal ports devastation, Hawaii would suffer the worst of all the states in the shortest amount of time. A large population on island Oahu would mean all meaningful supplies would be consumed in two weeks. If nothing else the multi-cultural mix of the islands make-up may prolong the inhumanity a month. After no resupply of goods and fuel, then the insanity begins. But when it comes down to family needs, your best friend may become your competitor for what you may have.
Water is not far away, but clean water can still be a problem. I have water filters for the times when questionable sources are the only available supply. Drought in Hawaii, you betcha. Clean water source can at time be hard to find. Water storage is a must, but to be prepared to find renewable resources will be very challenging. Would be great to have a miniature desalinization plant in a box for these times. The only alternatives will be the tried and proven, moisture capture, filters and sterilization tablets.
Climate is predictable. Constant 80 degrees, plus or minus 10 degrees throughout the year and depending on your island location.
Aquaponics, Barrelponics, etc. by any other name is an easy low cost way to supplement your survival box of tools.
Simply put, fish excrements gets pumped out to the grow beds to fertilize the plants. The plants convert the waste to nutrients and the water is returned to the fish tank cleaned of the toxins.
The Aquaponics ebb and flow or constant flow systems (NFT) provide more nutrients and water to the plants than if the plants were in the ground. But then again, you have to have a “usable” water supply. Rain barrel collection probably the only alternative.
Ground pest are minimized.
Normal maintenance if you had an aquarium and an in-ground garden. Feed the fish and watch for abnormal conditions to the fish and the water (pH, ammonia,etc.). Keep the grow beds clean (no weeds in this system), remove algae build-up, pest removal and elimination with non-lethal methods (vinegar/water solution) minimally sprayed under leaves.
My Systems 1:
1 – 110 gallon tank for fish ( 20 Tilapias – Blue and Red)
4 – Grow beds 2’x3’x8” on plastic tables and PVC piping
1 – 150 gal/hr water pump
1 – Fluval 60 air pump single with 4 way gang-valve
My System 2: (under construction – 70% complete)
2 – 55 gallon barrels for fish, on concrete molded stands
4 – halved barrels for grow beds, wood stand and PVC piping
1 – Stellar 60 dual outlet
I covered the fish tank to reduce sunlight to energize algae growth.
Know your fish and plantings, expand your knowledge on fish and plant life cycles, nutrients and pest.
Disadvantages are growth time and clean water availability. Also when it gets time to cull the fish, don’t names them. You can get so familiar with the fishes that killing them to eat can be hard to do. Reproduction is the real issue, do you have the know-how to create generations.
But great a hobby turn necessity, and a good stress release when tending the fish and garden. Makes you appreciate all the farmers out there making a living.
I have planted tomatoes (roma and beef), egg plant, green onions, basil, taro, Stevia (Sweet Herb), zucchini, lettuce, bok-choy, and oregano.
Fish food – Silver Cup pellets, green leaves from the garden, duckweed
So start now, grow in stages for continuous supply.
Organize a group to share knowledge and food. Like minds breed success.
Knowledge can go a very long way. So boot up your computer and start your searching through all the great web sites that offer information on everything Survival.
Books are great, but I prefer scanning all the things of interest specific to what I need to know and cut out as much wording as possible. Start now and don’t stop looking up things of interest on a continuing basis. Print all interesting pages for later referral. Once the Internet is gone and the grid goes down, it’s too late. Your specific library of knowledge will serve you right until the world gets back to order.
Other must additions to your survival box of tools:
Heating sources are definitely a must. Strike and chemical fires starters, like matches and lighter have a finite life, so I like lenses and a hand or bow drill.
Parabolic metal pots and mirrors. This is a great idea, buy mosaic mirror tiles (or if you are not superstitious, break a mirror) and glue the pieces to a Wok pot. You can focus the suns rays to heat pots of anything.
Add live protein sources to your backyard of ducks, chickens and rabbits. Work on this one. You got to deal with the neighbors, predators and city ordinates for this one to work.
Add Rain barrels to your water supply (don’t forget filters and screens). Run-off from the roof sounds good, beware contamination hazards from bird poop and just stuff landing on it.
Jack of All Trades should be you mantra from now on. Be a general knowledge sponge on all things. If you know of or come upon someone that is a specialist, stop to watch what they do. You never will know when a situation will arise and you’ll recall how you can apply what you saw.
Alcohol is a great item to have for sterilizing, medicating and trading. Stock up and don’t drink it.
Buy a generator to meet your needs and store gas in containers (rotate them).
I have a motorcycle. You may want to have a small one, 175cc. Getting around quickly and in all terrains will save time and help carrying items long distances. Unless you can get animal of burden. But as the gas supplies dwindles, there may be items from the bike that you can use.
Stock up on canned goods and rotate there use. Remember when the electrical grid goes out and then your generator, you’ll have to eat everything in the freezer and refrigerator first. Cook as much as you can to prolong the ability to eat them.
Get a good book on natural ways to deal with medical emergencies. Local plants and common man-made products can substitute for the usual meds. Unfortunately, if you have a need for prescription drugs, then stock up knowing there is a shelf-life. I’m sorry if you are dependent on them for you life.
Solar panels that you own or others may have on their roofs, can benefit your needs for renewable energy. Read and learn how to utilize this option.
Abandoned cars and trucks have unlimited uses. From gas, batteries, glass, bendable metals and tires. Be inventive and anything can be used.
Add a Worm bin to compost all you vegetable waste. The worm liquid and casing are great fertilizers. I guess if it gets really lean, you could eat them, but the fish would appreciate them more.
Get a weapon. It’ll serve you well. Home and personal defense and hunting. Gun(s), knives bow and arrows. Gun – at least a handgun (I like a revolver), shotgun and rifle. I prefer reloading and some bought ammo. But any tool or household implement has a dual purpose.
Get to know your neighborhood. Walk around during the day and the night. Get to know where the watch dogs live, which homes have fences and security. Look for fruit trees. Wave to all the people you meet, a familiar face is more excepting than a stranger when you need help or advise. Become a scavenger and walk around your neighborhood. Look for sites that you might use to replenish usable resources (water, food, energy). It may be sad and depressing to watch your neighbors and friends died, but the opportunity for you to live on on their leftovers can not be overly emphasized. Realize that your compassion will have a limit. Discuss this with you love ones.
Get a loyal friend, guard and a weapon, get and dog. Worth its weight in food and your servicing. When you can stock up extra bags of kibble, do it and rotate them as you use them. Secure you home. Realize that this is your castle, work towards making it so.
My wife and friends thinks I’m nuts. But better safe than sorry. If the worst happens, I’m ready. If it doesn’t happen, then we have a great supplement to the grocery list.
Bottom line, be creative and use your common sense, sounds a lot like Survival 101.