Survival Gardening

Having a survival garden will keep your family fed during hard times.

Survival Gardening Part 1: Are You Really Prepared?

As the economy continues to tank and grocery prices continue to rise, survival gardening is becoming more than just a pastime. For some, it’s quickly becoming a way of life. I don’t blame them. Growing your own food is one of the healthiest and most fulfilling activities that you will ever discover.

On the other hand, if you’re patting yourself on the back, thinking you’ve covered all the bases but you haven’t started a survival garden yet; think again. Once you decide to start gardening it can take 30-60 days or more before your garden is producing food. The time to get started on it is now.

Survival gardening may even end up saving your life someday. Are you really prepared for a catastrophe?

Does Survival Gardening Require Tools?

The Japanese Hori is an excellent hand tool for survival gardening.

Japanese Hori

The bigger the area that you have to garden the more important gardening tools become. However, even an apartment garden out on the balcony in pots and boxes will be easier with a few small hand tools. One of the best garden tools is the Japanese Hori. This wonderful serrated weeding knife will soon prove indispensable to you once you use it. Another excellent Japanese tool is the Japanese weeding sickle. Both tools can also be used in defense should you be attacked while gardening.

For larger gardens a tiller will prove itself indispensable. Plowing up a large area is back breaking work. I wouldn’t rely on it completely though. There is always the chance that a Solar Storm or EMP will knock out power and disrupt manufacturing and distribution. If you don’t have access to gasoline or oil you will have to rely on hand tools or pack animals to help you do the plowing and tilling. Remember that it is never wise to rely too heavily on any type of tool that has an engine or that requires electricity. Always have backups that are simple.  Learn to live by the phrase: “Two is one and one is none”.

What About Fertilizer?

It’s easy enough right now to just hop in your vehicle and run down to the local store for fertilizers, weed killers and insect repellants. But what if something happens that you can’t leave your home? And what if the price of those additives goes sky high due to the laws of supply and demand? Start creating your own compost now so your survival garden can be self-sufficient. Compost is healthier and more natural for your plants anyway.

How About Water?

Without water your survival garden won’t last long but there’s always the possibility that something might happen to the public water supply in your area. How will you handle watering your garden if nothing comes out of the hose? If you live in a rural area, is it possible to dig a well on your property? Do you have rain barrels set? Even if you have a well it is smart to set rain barrels around your home – you never know when a severe drought will dry up the well. Two is one and one is none.

What About Seeds?

If you went to the nearest gardener’s supply store and purchased a flat of tomato plants, pepper plants and cucumber vines then you likely purchased hybrid plants – plants that have been bred for hardiness in a specified climate zone. As long as you care for them properly you’ll have a good harvest.

However, the drawback is these plants have been specifically bred so that they no longer produce viable seeds. Which means you’re going to have to keep buying batches of new plants for your garden every year. That is alright for the merchant making the profit…but you need to find an alternate solution that is sustainable. You need survival seeds that are heirloom quality.

Survival seeds are often enclosed in waterproof containers to help protect them.

A simple but effective survival seed bank.

Start stocking up now on heirloom seeds. Heirlooms, as the name implies, have been passed down from one generation of gardener to the next. These seeds haven’t been altered by big companies and are still viable. The fruits and vegetables you grow from heirloom seeds will produce their own seeds, which you can harvest and use for the next growing season. Heirloom seeds can often be found in survival seed banks that are sold online.

True survival gardening means doing everything necessary to make sure your garden is completely self-sufficient. Are you and your garden really prepared? In part 2 I am going to go into greater detail about Heirloom Gardening.

Featured image courtesy of: Southern Foodways Alliance

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It's time to take ownership of your families survival. You are their best hope.