“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.” ― Abraham Lincoln
Part One: How is a Survival Garden Different?
My favorite garden is the year almost everything went wild. The harvest was amazing – an abundance of greens, cucumbers, zucchini, squash, pumpkins and watermelon. We even managed to attract a fat toad who made the strawberry patch his temporary home.
Clearing the land, drawing up plans and planting seeds is an act of self-reliance. No other experience is quite as validating as picking and eating the food you grew yourself.
This is especially true during a crisis. It’s incredibly empowering to have tools to feed your family even when the grocery store shelves are bare. In the next few blog posts, I’ll discuss how to prepare, plan and care for your emergency garden, so when the time comes to deploy your heirloom seeds, you’ll be locked and loaded.
How Is a Survival Garden Different?
(Look for more details on the following topics in upcoming blogs)
You may think that all gardening is pretty much the same. You select the seeds, map out the beds, do the grunt work, and then sit back and enjoy the harvest. That’s true except in the case of survival gardening. You need a whole different mindset when it comes to:
1. Choosing seeds:
Hobby gardeners love to experiment with unfamiliar varieties, but in a survival garden, every square foot of growing space counts. You have to choose those fruit and vegetable seeds you can rely on to thrive in your climate and yield abundant harvests. Your family’s survival is at stake.
2. Balancing nutrients:
Normally, gardeners tend to select their favorite fruits and vegetables to grow. They know they can fill in the gaps with grocery store produce. As a survival gardener, you must assume that other produce will be unavailable, so nutrition plays a key role in deciding what to grow.
3. Planning the garden layout:
For many backyard gardeners, drawing up a garden is part of the fun. They might pencil in a bench, a koi pond or brightly hued flowerpots. In contrast, when you map out your survival garden, your prime directive is growing as much food as possible in the space you have. Efficiency, not aesthetics, is your focus.
Hobby gardeners can afford to be relaxed about harvesting. They may opt to cut a few lettuce leaves and grape tomatoes for a quick meal, neglecting to pick that monster zucchini that has already reached epic proportions. As a survival gardener, you must pick methodically to widen your harvesting window and make the most of every precious seed.
Many hobby gardeners hang up their gloves and trowels once the first frost of autumn arrives. In contrast, you will still be busy, harvesting and saving seeds for next year’s garden.
Post your own questions below, and we will try to answer them as the Survival Gardening series progresses!