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Old 01-15-2010, 03:56 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,466 posts, read 21,558,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starlite9 View Post
Well what they have now, won't be there if stuff hits the fan as far as farming goes.

By the way, corn won't grow in here in the interior Alaska, at best it gets to about waist high. Corn needs darkness to grow, if you put black plastic over it for about eight hours at night, it will grow to full height. Not very practical except for a small garden, but some do it. I wasn't aware of that until about ten years ago when a friend built a black plastic cover over his corn, up til then I just figured it wouldn't grow for some reason here... I was because of too much light.

At night in my in-laws corn field in Ohio, you can hear the corn cracking and moving as it grows on a calm night.
A fellow I've chatted with near Nenana has had success growing corn. He uses a short, quick variety, Yukon Chief I think it was or something like that. I think he used clear plastic on the ground to warm the soil for it. Corn needs warm soil when it's planted. Cold soil will stunt its growth. I'm pretty sure I've seen photos from the early 1900's near Manley with corn growing, but maybe it was wheat and I'm thinking of another photo.

But I think for a main crop, potatoes would be the way to go. Oats can be done and spring wheat could in good years also be grown, as extras.
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:59 PM
 
Location: The Woods
16,466 posts, read 21,558,211 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starlite9 View Post
I can understand your thinking but there is a flaw. A a tank of gas in Alaska will get you from Anchorage to Fairbanks and beyond in most cars/trucks. People in those two cities can span out a long way on a tank of gas on the road systems here in short order.

In the lower 48 States, you may not see someone from NY in CA, but when you figure that most cars have a 400 mile range, and there are millions of those folks in city centers all over the Country, and they will leave the cities in all directions, that will pretty much cover the entire country with a mass of folks that are desperate to feed themselves or families. It will look like Locus on a map...

It will only take a few dozen people trying to steal your crops to put you under. There won't be any real "Destination", it will be more of finding a way out of where they are at. Yes the Highways may be flooded, but there are hundreds of side roads and other exit points from most major cities.

Sadly, look at the Earthquake in Haiti, the masses are getting desperate and the Government there is pretty much useless. Shortly people are going to be starving in mass and even with the limited aid coming in, there will be anarchy in the streets and things are going to get even worse before it gets better. They have about two million people, we have 300 million...
I think you're right. And, FWIW, I know that after 9/11/01, many New Yorkers came over to Vermont because they figured they'd be safer. The very day it happened in fact and the days afterwards. They weren't troublemakers but if things got bad enough I think the troublemakers would be headed this way. One tank of gas could get a person from NYC to the VT border at least.

But on the bright side, everyone is so heavily armed here (except the real radical extremist marxist types), if troublemakers showed up after TSHTF, they wouldn't get very far...
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:06 PM
 
2,723 posts, read 3,772,643 times
Reputation: 2908
Quote:
Originally Posted by starlite9 View Post
Well what they have now, won't be there if stuff hits the fan as far as farming goes.

By the way, corn won't grow in here in the interior Alaska, at best it gets to about waist high. Corn needs darkness to grow, if you put black plastic over it for about eight hours at night, it will grow to full height. Not very practical except for a small garden, but some do it. I wasn't aware of that until about ten years ago when a friend built a black plastic cover over his corn, up til then I just figured it wouldn't grow for some reason here... I was because of too much light.

At night in my in-laws corn field in Ohio, you can hear the corn cracking and moving as it grows on a calm night.
Well, I grew corn for several years in Fairbanks so I know that it DOES grow there. One does not need to cover the plants with plastic. It helps to cover the soil with clear plastic in May to get the soil temperature up (corn likes warm soil), and it is best to use one of the few early-maturing varieties that were developed for Alaska (e.g., Yukon Chief, Polar Vee).

Corn doesn't need dark to develop. It is a C-4 plant, which means that it can fix its carbon in the absence of light, i.e., doesn't need light, but it doesn't need darkness either.

Most Lower 48 corn varieties will not develop mature ears in Alaska due to the shortness of the growing season. Yukon Chief and Polar Vee can produce mature ears (one per stalk) in around 55-60 days. Yukon Chief gets only 3-4 feet in height before setting its ears. Those Lower 48 varieties that want to get to 6-12 feet tall before doing anything would freeze in the August cold snaps.
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Old 01-15-2010, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,381 posts, read 11,980,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teak View Post
Well, I grew corn for several years in Fairbanks so I know that it DOES grow there. One does not need to cover the plants with plastic. It helps to cover the soil with clear plastic in May to get the soil temperature up (corn likes warm soil), and it is best to use one of the few early-maturing varieties that were developed for Alaska (e.g., Yukon Chief, Polar Vee).

Corn doesn't need dark to develop. It is a C-4 plant, which means that it can fix its carbon in the absence of light, i.e., doesn't need light, but it doesn't need darkness either.

Most Lower 48 corn varieties will not develop mature ears in Alaska due to the shortness of the growing season. Yukon Chief and Polar Vee can produce mature ears (one per stalk) in around 55-60 days. Yukon Chief gets only 3-4 feet in height before setting its ears. Those Lower 48 varieties that want to get to 6-12 feet tall before doing anything would freeze in the August cold snaps.
Cool, didn't work for me though and we grow gardens every year. None of our corn got taller than four feet and the ears didn't mature in the 24 hour daylight. All our other plants grow like wildfire and are outstanding.

I never really thought about it, but googled it and came up with this on the first hit. Can be taken as needs warmth at night or needs night.

http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF8/874.html

[SIZE=4]A lot depends on what you want to grow. Some plants, such as tomatoes and corn, require air temperatures well above freezing to grow, and need relatively warm soil as well. Even if the frost-free season is long enough for the life cycle of these plants, they will mature only if there is enough truly warm weather. Corn even requires warm nights to mature properly.[/SIZE]
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:18 PM
 
2,723 posts, read 3,772,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starlite9 View Post
Cool, didn't work for me though and we grow gardens every year. None of our corn got taller than four feet and the ears didn't mature in the 24 hour daylight. All our other plants grow like wildfire and are outstanding.

I never really thought about it, but googled it and came up with this on the first hit. Can be taken as needs warmth at night or needs night.

Growing Seasons in Alaska, Alaska Science Forum

[SIZE=4]A lot depends on what you want to grow. Some plants, such as tomatoes and corn, require air temperatures well above freezing to grow, and need relatively warm soil as well. Even if the frost-free season is long enough for the life cycle of these plants, they will mature only if there is enough truly warm weather. Corn even requires warm nights to mature properly.[/SIZE]
Right, warm nights, but not necessarily dark nights. Most plants take in CO2 during the day and fix that carbon through photosynthesis (which requires light) into sugars. But during times of drought stress, the stomata on the leaves (which allow CO2 in and O2 out) shut to conserve water. Thus, photosynthesis and C-fixation shut down.

C-4 plants, however, can take in CO2 at night, even during times of drought, since the air temps are cooler (and vapor pressure deficit lower), and put that C into an intermediate, which is then converted to sugars during the daytime when light is available for photosynthesis. This allows the stomata to remain closed during the day.

But, having discussed all that, corn is not a very good crop to grow for WTSHTF because it takes a lot of land to produce a good amount, it is a heavy user of N, and as a food it leaves a lot to be desired. People on a corn diet show deficiencies in various nutrients, not the least is lysine and niacin.

Brassicas do very well in Alaska, as everyone knows, and can be preserved through foodstuffs like sauerkraut. Likewise, goats have been kept for thousands of years by northerners for the fact they give milk from cheap food and the milk can be preserved as cheese. When planning a garden for WTSHTF, one looks at the foods that can be preserved as the main choices.

As for your inability to get mature ears, did you cut off suckers from the base of each stalk? I found that if a stalk tried to produce two ears in one growing season, none of them would become mature. Thus, I pruned any new ears developing after the first one showed up. Also, additional branches near the base of the stalk (suckers) take up nutrients but do not have time to produce ears. Those should be cut back as soon as they show. This allows the main stalk to put all of its growth into that single ear.

Last edited by Teak; 01-15-2010 at 08:26 PM..
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:36 AM
 
Location: WY
4,935 posts, read 3,519,302 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starlite9 View Post
Sadly, look at the Earthquake in Haiti, the masses are getting desperate and the Government there is pretty much useless. Shortly people are going to be starving in mass and even with the limited aid coming in, there will be anarchy in the streets and things are going to get even worse before it gets better. They have about two million people, we have 300 million...
We've unfortunately seen this scenario also play out in New Orleans. Most Americans do not have the skills to fend for themselves when social structures and safeguards fall apart. When it all hits the fan and the situation becomes desperate then it turns into an every man for himself scenario.

I would abandon home and vehicles and head for the mountains on foot. Carry large size lighweight pack, layers of lighweight tech clothing, sleeping bag, dry bags, dried foods, water filtration tabs, waterproof hiking boots, decent amount of basic first aid supplies, headlamps and batteries, waterproof lighter, maps, compass, water bladder, guns, ammunition and knives.

If you have friends you know well, who can keep up, and are of the same mind bring them. Otherwise leave them behind. Stay away from civilization unless it is to steal necessary items (if you can find them). Most people initially will try to hold on to their land and personal property, and will fight for it in the face of desperate and/or violent people, not realizing that the rules they have played by for the entire lives have now changed and that property no longer matters - that personal survival is the only thing that matters.

Eventually the initial extreme violence will subside. Many will be dead, many will have abandoned the effort to protect home and hearth and will have headed for the security of difficult to access mountains, and many will have established small groups and/or packs (groups for protection and packs for opportunistic looting).

After the initial violence, life will be extremely difficult but people of like mindedness will find each other and small communities of (again) like minded will do what small communities do - work cooperatively together to survive based on the skills of those within the group.

But life for years will always be a matter of survival - a continual struggle to find food, shelter, clothing, to stay healthy and uninjured, to find ways to maintain arms and ammunition, and to either evade or fight off roving bandits.
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Old 01-17-2010, 08:50 AM
 
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 12,737,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starlite9 View Post
the folks from Anchorage or Fairbanks couldn't survive and would flock to all the outlaying areas and overrun them and the resources. .
I suspect some cynics would say that is the reason that, on the eighth day, god invented rifle scopes.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:07 PM
 
Location: alaska
471 posts, read 1,141,384 times
Reputation: 340
Back in missouri, I used old tires with the sidewalls cut out and stacked two high for planters. The tires would absorb the heat from the sun and release it back at night. Plus it wouldnt cool as fast from the surrounding cold ground. That ought to work up here pretty good.
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Old 01-17-2010, 01:23 PM
 
Location: on top of a mountain
6,992 posts, read 10,409,969 times
Reputation: 3256
Quote:
Originally Posted by mongazid View Post
Back in missouri, I used old tires with the sidewalls cut out and stacked two high for planters. The tires would absorb the heat from the sun and release it back at night. Plus it wouldnt cool as fast from the surrounding cold ground. That ought to work up here pretty good.
hey thanks!! great use of old tires!
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Old 01-17-2010, 02:11 PM
 
Location: alaska
319 posts, read 842,272 times
Reputation: 157
Default ohhh

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
We did have one idjit troll who came around here a couple years ago trying to say he was going to start some kind of moose ranch and ride his moose like you would a horse. I miss the days when we had that sort of troll.
what a great idea!!! thanks so much.
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