How To Grow Your Own Food
If you are serious about being prepared for any emergency that will hinder your need for feeding yourself and your family, you should be thinking about how to grow your own food to give you some peace of mind in that very important area of your life: The need to eat!
So how can you grow your own food, even if you do not have a ‘green thumb’?
We have talked several times about a food crisis on this site. But stocking up
on pantry goods by visiting the local grocery store isn’t the only thing option you have. You can also prepare your self and your family for any coming disaster.
How to grow your own food via a vegetable garden is one step you should definitely take to beat the coming food crisis.
The benefits to you and your family are not only the savings that can be made by raising produce from seed to great food you can use but the fact that this is a labor of love the whole family may enjoy.
Certainly, there is no better feeling than harvesting fresh produce that hasn’t been treated with sprays and non-organic fertilizers.
It will taste so much better and without any contaminants be much healthier too, also you may be able to enjoy seasonable produce at almost no cost – even though it’s expensive at the farmers’ market.
4 Things to Know Before You Start Growing Your Own Food
Many people would love to have the opportunity to become more self-sufficient by having the knowledge of how to grow their own food but they and maybe you do not know where to start.
I have been gardening for as long as I can remember, however, I am still learning. it is not too unlike an art form where there is always a ‘better mousetrap’, a more efficient way of doing something and getting a better result in the process.
Learn some of the basics, go through some trial and era moments, and you will find yourself growing in pots, a section of your yard, and maybe some hydroponics in your garage.
- Remember that you do not need a degree in horticulture to grow vegetables on your window sill or your garage. Anyone with the willingness to learn can pick up the needed knowledge. There are even fruits and veggies that do well in some shade.
- It is not an overnight situation for success. You don’t plant something and forget about it. Watering, fertilizer, the weeding thing all come into play here. plan your time accordingly. The larger the project, the more time will be required. Get your family involved. The kids will love it.
- Do not get overly ambitious with this new ‘hobby’. Start small especially if you are new to this. start with a few containers and expect some disasters. It is not the end of the world. Just start over and learn from any mistakes.
- Do not cut corners by buying the cheap stuff. However, don’t get too carried away on price either. Organic soil? What the heck is that? Dirt. You want a good potting soil if you are growing in containers and a good garden soil if you are amending the soil in a corner of your yard.
6 Ways To Grow Your Own Food
Foods to Grow for Survival
So you are interested in starting a vegetable garden as one way to prepare yourself and family for any food shortage that may arise after some kind of calamity but you do not know where to start.
There are countless methods out there and some are just plain off the charts when it comes to the ‘keep it simple’ theory.
I have listed six rather simple methods here. And yes, the hydroponic and aquaponic methods are a little more complicated, but not hard due to the fact of all the pre-made kits that are available today. They are just too efficient and interesting for me to ignore.
- Try a square foot garden for an efficient way to grow vegetables in a small area. Make a 4×4 frame with 1×6″ cedar wood. Put nails around the edging every 12 inches and you will have 16 square foot areas for 16 different plants. You can fill that 16 square foot area with some excellent garden soil and peat moss. You will be surprised at how much you may grow in 16 square feet and how easy to maintain it will be.
- Hydroponics is growing vegetation without soil. Using only water which is aerated by a simple air stone and infused with nutrients that you supply, hydroponically grown vegetables grow faster and in greater quantities than your traditional soil grown produce.there is a little bit of a learning curve, but there are really simple, ready to go set-ups that take all the complexities out of the equation. However, remember that these gardens will be in trouble if you were to lose power for an extended time.
- The old fashioned conventional garden inside a planned space in your own yard.Without a doubt the cheapest and easiest way to get going from seed or store-bought seedlings. Soil additives are mostly always a must and feeding your plants organically is not only beneficial to the environment, but also a healthy alternative. Using your own food scraps and waste to make compost is not that difficult.
- Aquaponics is a step up technically from hydroponics in that as the plants are grown in water, they are fertilized by the fish you have living in that water. A little more complicated, but extremely efficient. Fish and vegetables for dinner. Win-Win.
- Verticle and container gardening for those of us with little space or apartment dwellers with just a balcony or patio for gardening space. Using containers such as pots bought from a big box store or some creative homemade containers can produce bushels of food, especially if you train some of these plants to grow vertically up a trellis.
- Protective gardening such as the use of a cold frame and or greenhouse will not only produce plants rather quickly, but they can also extend the growing season in cold weather climates. You can get a head start in late winter and keep growing through early winter.
Can You Grow Food For Survival?
Do you remember when there were no supermarkets to be found on just about any corner of Anytown, USA?
Of course, you don’t.
However, there was a time when society did not have an option of getting into the old horse and buggy, much less the car after clipping some coupons and go running to the market for the weekly supply of food.
There was a time years ago that farming was an essential part of societies plan for survival. Hunting and foraging was not an exact science and because of that, not a very stable food source.
Native culture knew what had to be done. It was farming, the growing of food products that kept their societies alive and healthy to continue to thrive and prosper.
In North America, Indian tribes subsisted much of the year on what they called the three sisters, which were corn, squash, and beans. South American Indians also relied on corn and beans, as well as potatoes.
Today you should understand that there are no limits on what you may grow. With advancements of technology such as hydroponics, aquaponics, and specific lighting for gardening indoors, you may grow well beyond any season limitation and beyond the ‘three sisters’.
Today you could also run down to your local Walmart and buy all sorts of devices with instructions on how to preserve that bounty you just grew on your property.
You can do it! You do not need to go crazy when a disaster comes down the street toward you.
Foods to Grow for Survival
Let us start with some hardy foods. foods to grow when you do not want to take the time to preserve and ones which can be stored by drying or as is during those cold winter months.
- Corn You will want to grow and store grain corn, not the sweet corn that you are used too. It is very easy to grow, then stored, then ground into a simple flour that may be used for bread making and soup thickeners.
- Beans are not only easy to grow, but they are one of the best food sources you can have on hand. A great source of vitamins and protein, they go a long way to providing you with the energy needed to sustain your body. they have a long shelf life and are a versatile food ingredient in the kitchen.
- Potatoes are not only easy to grow but who does not like potatoes? They can be grown in pots, so you do not need a tremendous amount of space to get that done. they could keep you going for a long time when nothing else is available to you. And do not forget about Sweet Potatoes.
- Carrots another root veggie that is not only easy to grow like the potato (think pots) but for some, a lot tastier. They can be grown outside long into the winter providing you cover them with a heavy layer of mulch or straw.
- Squash There are winter squashes available that are very hardy and very easy to store during the cold winter months. Up to six months is OK. Some varieties are pumpkins, butternut, and spaghetti. Think of all the things you may do with them.
- Cabbage From China to the USA cabbage is a staple food crop that is not only easy to grow but is also easy to store and preserve. High in nutrition, it may be fermented or cooked with potatoes to make a soup.
- Kale The butt of many a joke, kale is related to the cabbage and is (because of jokes) is not grown to often even though it should be due to the fact that it is like cabbage easy to grow and store and work into your diet for good nutrition and energy. A cold frame is a perfect place to grow kale during the cold winter months.
- Garlic If you are worried about the zombie apocalypse, I don’t know if garlic will help you, however, I do know that it is a great addition to any preppers arsenal of his or her food preparations. Besides being very nutritious, it is also medicinal as an antibiotic and antiviral. it not only boosts the immune system, but it could also make that kale taste good. How cool is that?
- Herbs Let your imagination run wild, any kind of herb: rosemary, basil, mint, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, oregano, and so on can be grown very easily and stored just as easily by simply drying them in a cool dark place of the house by hanging them upside down. Now your cooking!
- Chickens Buy and raise some chickens Yes chickens. Growing your own food is not just meant to come out of the ground. For an endless protein supply chickens are a novel way to go. It is not as difficult as you may imagine.
The foods listed are easy to grow and store, however they are worthless to you if you do not get the seeds into the soil now.
Not next week. How about before you actually need them. Before any calamity such as a natural disaster and you find the supermarket shelves empty of the food needed to keep yourself and your kids alive.
Learn it. Do it. Grow it. While there is still time to do so and make mistakes while learning.
And if all is right in your neck of the woods this year, think of all the savings you made on food shopping and start enjoying some of that harvest like your ancestors did.
Summary And Tips On Growing Your Own Food
The size and situation of your growing area will be determined by the amount of spare land and or space you have available and how much time you are prepared to commit.
Don’t despair if you only have a few square feet. Even small herbs can save you money and add a little lush appearance to your property and flavor to your food.
The best advice is to look for an area where a raised bed can be created to allow easier access for planting and weeding.
The best garden plans ensure protection from prevailing winds and are south-facing to get maximum sunshine.
When you have a site, then ensure the soil allows for free draining but retains moisture at root level.
Compost will assist with this, and as you can begin collecting it right away. Mulch can be created from food waste and garden or lawn clippings.
Make sure it’s easy to water your garden and consider options such as storing rainwater and grey water from household sources.
Gardens are thirsty, especially during harvest times, so try to avoid the need to carry buckets too far uphill. A long-reaching hose is best.
Before planting, consider what type of vegetable you would most like to grow. What’s the return for your effort?
Planting several zucchini plants at once will give you many more than a family can enjoy and they take up a large area when mature.
Consider growing varieties of vegetable that are not always available in your market and are even a bit exotic. However, keep in mind that you are growing for survival if and when a food crisis should happen. Plant wisely!
Most vegetables can be raised from seed, and heirloom varieties can be sourced from online growers happy to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with a novice gardener
Some vegetables can also be planted in hanging baskets to decorate a patio while providing food.
One thing you may consider if you have little ground of your own is to start a community project in the neighborhood.
Or, involve your children and their classmates so they can learn how to grow your own food principles too. Learning together, not just the techniques of production but the math and science involved will produce results that go far beyond having something for the table! Other survival techniques will be learned too.
Remember also that there are many helpful garden center suppliers and online sites where you can go for additional free advice on what may be best for your local climate.
Sometimes things will go wrong, but don’t give up.
Even the most experienced growers can have a crop disaster brought on by a sudden change in the weather.
At the very least, you will have had some time in the open air and exercise!
Take the time to watch this informative video, which shows you ways to grow potatoes which I talked about on the subject of hardy foods to grow.
Remember that everything I talked about in this post may be grown in containers. You do not need a lot of acreage to have a sustainable ‘food factory’.
Other Ideas On How To Grow Your Own Food:
Why should you consider growing your own food TriCities.com. There are a number of reasons why families choose to buy local supporting their community eating fresher safer food. But generally, people tend not to consider growing their own produce. The average carrot travels more than 1,800 miles