Creating your survival garden should be your major priority now. Here’s why…
In 2019, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) reported a shortfall in the harvest of essential crops like soybeans and wheat. In other words, crop production fell short of expectations. You wouldn’t have to worry if this was a one-off issue, but I doubt it is.
Recent research and studies are credibly suggesting that agriculture, crop planting especially, is under threat. This would be majorly due to the activities of our industries. Should this trend of down harvests continue, you may have to feed yourself and your family faster than you think. Well —if it ever comes to that— you’ll be thankful you read this blog.
In this piece, we’ll discuss every essential you need to know about creating your survival garden. We recognize that this is about your survival and therefore want to ensure you’re fully equipped ahead of whatever may happen.
First, What is a Survival Garden?
A survival garden is a garden that grows every meal you’ll need to stay alive and healthy. But there’s a little twist: your survival garden has to be hidden (or rather private and solely accessible by you). I believe you don’t want to have pilferers or wanderers wandering into a yard of good foods during a famine. Of course, we aren’t against sharing, but we sure know how this will turn out.
Most believe we can grow only vegetables in a garden. Sorry, this doesn’t work for a survival garden. Some herbs and flowers are edible and will, therefore, represent an essential part of your diet. Knowing this, you can easily have more nutrients in your garden, notwithstanding its size.
Elements To Know Before Creating Your Survival Garden
These simply refer to the features your survival garden must have to be purposeful. Here are a few things to note in your survival garden:
- Planted crops must be able to reproduce healthy and nourished offspring. You shouldn’t have to buy new seeds, seedlings, or stock in the next year.
- Plants should be able to grow under less or no supervision or care. Go mainly for native plants.
- Every plant must be edible. Redefine your definition of weed. Whereas crops like plantain and purslane are considered outsiders in an ordinary garden, they’d make excellent choices in your survival garden. I’d even suggest that you pick them over spinach if you have to manage space.
- Plants should be easily storable. Avoid crops; you have to spend too much to store.
- Include plants that attract beneficial insects, such as specific bugs and bees. Considering that every crop has to be edible, daisies, marigold, and clover would be excellent options.
- Certain crops should repel harmful insects like particular bugs. Examples of such plants are onion and mint.
Planning Process For Creating Your Survival Garden
A pivotal point to keep in mind is that a good survival garden is more than just bountiful harvests. It must be able to cultivate crops as long as you live. As such, planning is necessary. Here are three considerations to make when planning your survival garden.
Calculate Nutrition and Calorie Needs
If you’re leaving home for an unknown destination, I doubt you’d make it to wherever it is. Ditto goes for your survival garden. Before anything, you have to calculate your nutritional and calorie needs. Remember that an obese person will not have the same dietary needs as someone who comfortably wears skinny jeans.
Every person has his unique calorie needs to be taken daily; else he might burn out faster than he should. We call them “fuel.” The more your activeness, the higher your calorie needs. Needless to say then, men have higher calorie needs than women, just as younger people need more than older folks. Your job is a significant determinant as well. A career that requires you to be active throughout the day means you have to take in a lot of calories.
Besides, you have to pay attention to four vital nutrients, namely proteins, minerals, and fat. Carbohydrates are not vital. Some think they are, but there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. Although they also depend on your age grade, gender, and activity level, each person has his ideal specifications. You should see a dietician if you can’t work it out.
The good thing about figuring this out is that if you don’t grow it you will not eat it. When people start growing their own food they tend to lose weight. Its the same principle as if you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it. If it is not in your kitchen, you can’t eat it. So, grow what is necessary to keep you alive and nutritionally satisfied.
Select Easily Storable, High-calorie and Nutrient-dense Crops
As we’ve said, your survival garden is geared towards keeping you alive, healthy, and satisfied. That’s why we are ensuring every of your feeding needs is met. Also, note that the smaller the space used, the better— that is, 5 – 10 crop types.
To begin, choose a crop with a high level of calories and follow up with another that contains the nine essential proteins. Your only options are soy and quinoa. The third crop should be rich in two or three vitamins. Next should be plants that attract beneficial organisms and those that repel harmful bugs. We’ve looked at examples already; you should do some research to find out more.
Importantly, all these plant choices must be easy to store. Remember that specific plants can only be grown according to season. This means you will have to feed on set-aside crops when out of season.
One of the best examples are tomatoes. My parents plant 6 tomato plants a year. This is plenty as they have a hard time eating all the tomatoes they produce. The extras, and there are a lot of extras, are given to friends, neighbors or canned for the fall. Tomatoes are one of the easiest to “put up” or “jar.” The nice thing about putting up fresh tomatoes is they taste just as fresh when you open one of those deep red jars in December.
Now, if money is the reason you are picking your crop, then after tomatoes, I would pick things like peppers. Bell peppers, jalapeños or some other Chile. Not only are they good and versatile, but you can trade with your friends for whatever crop they are producing.
Handle Seeds Carefully
The first thing here: heirloom seeds come first. This is because they will grow even next year. I don’t need to emphasize further why you should use them.
Take care to see that two or more strains of plants don’t mix. Hybrid crops are useful in only one planting season, which is the edge heirloom seeds have. As such, choose a single strain of plant. Note that pollens may crossbreed if there are other strains close by. Flowers are different, they can cross pollinate and it’s fine.. you might even get a cool new color or interesting flower; however, not seeds when planting for food. Keep these separate and plant separate. Also, make sure you group plants alike together. If you are not familiar with how plants interact with each other, such as root systems, this is the best policy – keeping them separate.
You should set aside heirloom seeds and pollinate them by hands yourself. Other plants can be pollinated through other means, that doesn’t matter.
Genetically modified seeds are useful as well because they have been altered to perform special functions, such as repel dangerous bugs. However, note that GMO seeds are also useful in only one planting season — just like hybrids.
Conclusion on Creating Your Survival Garden
Creating your survival garden involves a lot more than we’ve discussed, but you at least have a clear idea of what it is and how to start. In subsequent blogs, we’ll look at how to naturally cater to your crops, control pests, suggest water solutions, best vegetables to cultivate, and finest methods to camouflage your survival garden. For now, get to planning your survival garden.