Potatoes in the Survival Garden–From the Ground Up

“Looks like a pile of leaves and grass to me.” Duane bent intently over the pile on the ground in my yard.

“Good,” I said. “Survival Sam would be pleased. Would you believe it’s a potato garden?”

“In there?” Duane looked puzzled.

“Yep. It’s an experiment. At the bottom is a fairly flat, hard plastic tray that was meant to be used for feeding baby pigs. It’s about two feet wide, four feet long, and about an inch or so deep. I put a layer of dead leaves on it, then I put eight potatoes down, then I covered them thickly with the leaves and grass you see there now.”

“And this is supposed to grow potatoes?” Duane asked.

“I hope so,” I said. “I got the idea from Survival Sam. He said I could have simply put the potatoes on the ground and covered them, but I thought I’d put them on this tray so I could slide it to a different place in the yard if need be.”

“I thought potatoes had to be planted deep in the dirt.”

“They just need to take root and the vines grow upward. I’ll add on more compost material as they grow.”

“Sam says this is for survival gardening?” Duane pushed his sunglasses higher on his nose and moved to look at the potato patch from another angle.

“Yeah. Sam got the idea from a book called Gardening Without Work, by Ruth Stout. She grew all kinds of vegetables with a thick layer of year-round mulch. She didn’t have to do any weeding or use pesticides and harsh chemicals.”

“That’s almost too simple,” Duane said.

“Ruth Stout wrote back in the 1970’s, and you’d think such simple methods would have caught on by now,” I said.

“Yeah,” Duane said, “but maybe somebody’s got an agenda to keep it under wraps.”

“You mean chemical and fertilizer companies?”

“Yeah,” Duane said thoughtfully. “Well, I’ve got to go, but I’ll tell Diane about this. Good luck on the potatoes.” He started walking toward his car. I followed.

“Thanks for the encouragement,” I said.

“Hey, you should see if you could sell that Ruth Stout book on your blog,” Duane said turning back to face me.

“Good idea. I could make it so that all anybody would have to do is click on the title, Gardening Without Work on my blog and get ready to order their own copy of the book. That way they could discover how easy it is to garden without work in their own survival garden.”


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.