There is absolutely an increasing interest in the prepper lifestyle and planning a survival garden all around the world. The survival garden is absolutely a compliment to this new way of thinking. It is unfortunate that it has taken so long for survival gardening and the prepper lifestyle to get the kind of respect that it deserves since it can be extremely valuable both now and should the world continue to slide in a downward spiral.
The reality is that there are many pockets of people that could be considered preppers if planting a survival garden but it was not called being a prepper or a survival garden it was just an outgrowth of living responsibly, in case there was ever a problem no matter what the type. As a child my family did many of the same things that preppers preach today as a matter of course but we did not have a survival garden plan. We just had a garden every year and we would “put some up” for the winter.
That lifestyle was likely an outgrowth of the early pioneer’s in America and as a result of my grandparents having lived through the depression and then passing the skills they learned in lean times to my parents. As a result of this mindset created during the depression, it was standard practice to prepare at every opportunity with our own version of a survival garden.
It is somewhat ironic that my generation and those that follow are dealing with some of the same issues around lack of work, inflationary fears and even worldwide unrest that one and the two generations before thought they had overcome. It just shows you what bad choices can bring about and underscores the fact that you never know what is next.
Coddled into a the belief that weather was about the only thing that could threaten to change our lifestyle dramatically, most people now know that there are far more issues that could work to destabilize the way we live. Those in the western world and Americans in particular have come to rely on the supermarket to supply an abundant supply of food at low cost, yet a lot of the rest of the world population knows intimately what it means to work the land to grow what they need.
Some of the poorest countries of the world have been making inroads toward teaching some of their population how to be self- sufficient on very small plots of land. Learning easy gardening methods are key to making yourself and your family supplied with food for whatever may come along. It can give you confidence that you never knew was possible if you know you have the skill to grow all you need and more.
We Americans have mostly lost the art of self-sufficiency but it is not too late to learn. This confidence can ‘grow’ directly from learning how to plan a garden for the maximum yield for most of the year. Besides the confidence it gives it can literally be the difference between survival or not.
Because you are learning how to provide for your family with nothing but a few seeds, a plot of land and little else, you are learning an infinitely valuable skill that will serve you forever. A well planned survival garden, coupled with a few fruit trees and maybe a compost bin, will literally leverage into food survival should you need it. Growing vegetables is the easiest part of this process and will yield the most for your work.
If you are like me, you could not even have imagined planting a garden even five years ago but what we have watched happen in the world has brought us to the point where survival gardening is not only a vital skill but one that we actually may want to master. I put in my first garden last year and by some standards it might have been a failure but in just one year I have learned so much and this year will be stellar in comparison. Can you imagine how good it could be if I stick with it? The great part is, even if you have never planted a garden or even a seed you are only one year behind and with careful planning you can have a winning garden your first season.
Start Planning A Survival Garden
Everyone is going to have a different mix of what is just right for their survival garden. Some of it has to do with what space you have available and what climate you live in. Otherwise, it matters a lot what you like to eat. Why grow onions if you won’t eat them or why not grow tomatoes if you love them? So start with that, grow what you will eat.
Make yourself a list of the normal things you consume in a month and figure out what from that list you can grow in the space you have and the climate in which you live. If there is a foot of snow on the ground you can still grow veggies if you have a place with sunlight inside so you will want to get creative.
If you are limited on space I advise you to focus on the most bang for the space available. After all a survival garden is about surviving. For instance, I have grown wheat grass year round in my utility room where I get lots of light and wheatgrass is rich in all kind so nutrients so if you are not getting enough in some other area different kinds of super foods can help make up the difference. This article is not about super foods but maybe in a future post. The point is, focus on nutrition and get the most you can.
Veggies For Your Survival Garden
Some veggies are easier than others to grow so you might want to focus on those if you are unsure of yourself or in some other way limited. Easy to grow veggies include these:
You will probably find other plants that will be good for you but these are some good ones to start with. Obviously this is only a start and there is much more to planning a survival garden but unless you start you will never have one.
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One question I often hear is, “how many seeds do I need”? And the answer is “it depends”. It depends on factors like the number of family and friends you are feeding, if you want fresh food or to stock it away. Another factor that is critical in setting up a heirloom seed bank for your survival garden is where you live / what climate you will be growing the survival garden in. Different seeds and plants grow better in different climates. In most cases you can do some research where you get the seeds and figure out what exactly what you will need. Hummm, that sounds like a good topic for a future post… but I digress. So make sure you get the right kinds of seeds.
There are a couple of draw backs to heirloom seeds. They are sometimes not as resistant to pests and adverse climate conditions as are hybrids and because of that they will take more time to take care of but in the long run having seeds that you know will produce year after year are extremely valuable.
Watch for more on planning a survival garden planning in the future.