Alternate Protein Source

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Part of any preparedness plan and homestead should be multiple protein sources. (That old saying “Two is one and one is none.” is a good premise to follow in your preparedness goods/wares.)

You should always have an alternate source as a backup plan. What’s your protein source? Are you raising cattle for beef or milk? Dairy goats? Pigs? Chickens for their eggs? Growing beans and peas? It’s always a good idea to have more than one renewable source, especially when it comes to feeding your family.

One excellent protein source that’s easy to keep is fish. Do you have a pond on your property? Many states, Oklahoma included, have a “Farm Pond Fish Stocking Program“. Oklahoma’s Dept of Wildlife Conservation helps landowners stock qualified ponds with largemouth bass, channel catfish and bluegill.

I grew up in a hunting and fishing family. There were ponds on the grandparents property and the creek and ponds behind our own place. My best catch was the grandfather catfish in the pond…. caught with a hook on a string. NO POLE…. 🙂 (Course that was a fluke as I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.)

How many of those little perch have you caught and thrown back? In times of trouble, perch can make good eating.

No pond? Do you live near a stream, river or lake? If so, practice your fishing skills now so that ‘if’ the need should ever arise you’ll be prepared. Like anything, the more often you do something the better you’ll be at it.

Fishing equipment can be found often quite cheaply at yard sales, thrift stores and the like. You can also MAKE YOUR OWN! There’s a reason the old homesteader keeps a small stand of bamboo on their property. One reason is fishing. Yup, you can make a cane pole!

young bamboo
young bamboo

Some homesteaders are moving beyond hydroponics (The growing of food in a nutrient base without soil.) to aquaponics. Aquaponis is a symbiotic method of growing food in a nutrient rich solution provided by recirculating the water in which fish (mostly tilapia) are grown.

tilapia
tilapia

Such systems can be set up relative cheaply (by an avid do-it-yourselfer or you can spend thousands setting up a system. They are certainly hands-on systems though and must be monitored on a timely basis.

Fish are also easy to clean with the leavings used for planting crops. Since you only harvest a couple of fish at a time you have less overall waste, and a greater chance of increasing your protein reserves by growing more quickly. Tilapia BREED FAST and it’s possible to have more fish than one family can eat!