Posts Tagged ‘Survival Gardening’
A couple of my favorite crops are Swiss chard and multiplier onions. Chard is cut-and-come-again, which means you cut it and it grows back all season long. Multiplier onions divide underground or produce above ground bulblets to give you an ongoing supply.
Jerusalem artichokes are considered a weed by most people, but one thing’s for sure. You’ll always have a source of their tuberous roots to cook up or eat raw in salads.
And I can testify to the ongoing productiveness of chives. I planted some in a 5 gallon bucket over 20 years ago, and I’ve had them in abundance every year since.
There are other crops which you can plant once and have food for years to come. That’s the topic of an article by Jackie Clay-Atkinson in Issue #140, March/April, 2013, of “Backwoods Home Magazine.” She covers…
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Multiplier onions
An excerpt of Jackie’s article follows. Be sure to read the whole article by clicking on the link to it below.
Harvest for years
By Jackie Clay-Atkinson
Year after year we start seeds, till the ground, plant, weed, harvest, then tear it all out at the end of the season. It’s a lot of work, no doubt. But there are some plants you can plant once that will produce a lifetime of food after they are established. Old-timers knew the value of these plants and added them to their new homesteads. Pioneers carefully wrapped and tended baby fruit trees, grapevines, rhubarb, and asparagus roots in their covered wagons. Maybe it’s time to lighten your annual workload by adding some of these hardworking plants to your garden. If you do, you’ll reap the rewards for many years.
Read the whole article here:
Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine.
Find out more about how to plant a low maintenance garden with high yields for survival from Rick Austin in Secret Garden of Survival: How to grow a camouflaged food- forest.
Now picture this. You could plant a survival garden that you…
- Plant once in your life-time
- Takes very little space
- Grows 5 times more food per square foot
- Provides food for the next 30 years
- Never have to weed
- Never have to use fertilizers
- And never have to use pesticide– ever.
- And it’s all disguised to look like overgrown underbrush!
Rick Austin has been doing it for years and has been teaching others to garden that way. In fact, he’s written Secret Garden of Survival-How to grow a camouflaged food-forest to show you and me how to do it, too.
Who is Rick Austin?
To quote from Rick’s info, he “is a long time survival expert, and has been using sustainable living and home building practices for 30 years. He is a permaculture gardening, solar, and off-grid living expert and has been a guest speaker to architectural, agricultural, sustainable building, and survival preparedness conferences. His presentations contain real life examples, photos, and anecdotes.”
I can tell you from our interview that he’s the real deal. He’s been prepping long before prepping became fashionable.
What’s in his book?
- What Do I Know About This?
- Starting with a Clean Slate- barren or existing ground; southern exposure, slope
- Grey Water Systems- as simple as laundry, complex as man made wetland
- Swales, Irrigation, Micro-Climates- exposed rocks collect and give off heat
- Permaculture Guilds- different types, how to plant them, what to plant
- Rain Water Collection- everybody has a roof.
- Vegetable and Herb Garden- key hole garden
- Infrastructure for the Garden- how to create berms, retention ponds,
- Preparing the Ground- micro-organisms, mulch, nitrogen fixers
- Planting Your Food Forest- proper way to plant, tools,
- Observing and Improving- wet, dry, hot, cold, windy,
Natural Pest Control- deer, raccoons, rodents; fire ants, trap plants (mustard)
- Growing Through The Season- what to do beginning, middle, end of season
Bonus–What To Do After The Harvest- preserving- canning, dehydrating
What about Rick’s survival garden
Keep pests away. For example, planting onions around fruit trees keeps mice away in winter. Catnip near tomatoes keeps tomato hornworms away. Attract beneficial insects by growing plants that will attract them.
Plants are grown in concentric circles around fruit and nut trees to achieve the food forest, camouflaged look. Space is saved when you grow vines up the trees. And plants are interplanted. This is both stealth gardening and intensive gardening.
Each tree with its surrounding plants is called a guild. Trees are planted 40 feet apart, but plants growing out around each tree will take up enough space so the guilds touch one another.
Rick has about 20 fruit and nut trees. He grows as many fruits as he can for his region in North Carolina, including numerous kinds of berries. He grows grapes, too.
From their first year of gardening this way, Rick and his wife grew more fruits and vegetables than they could consume. This was all done without fertilizers or pesticides. Even Rick is amazed by how well it all works.
It takes careful planning to make this system work. You must consider the space you have and select carefully for the varieties of plants that do well in your area. Rick says the best way to get started is to get his book and follow the step by step directions. Pictures demonstrate more than many words could explain adequately. It’s his goal to make it simple to understand.
This is truly low maintenance gardening. In fact, Rick doesn’t even worry about weeds. He says the most work comes at harvest time. Fortunately, crops are harvested at different times.
But the key is to work with nature, rather than against it.
How can you find out more?
No matter where you get the book, you may want to get the paperback version so you can take notes to refer to later. And you’ll have a hard copy for the future when we find ourselves in the proverbial off grid situation.
What do you think? Does Rick Austin’s secret garden of survival sound too good to be true? Or is it the way survival gardening was meant to be? Is this something you’ll try? Would you grow this way at a bug out location? I’d love to know your thoughts in a comment below.
Thirty-four readers left comments between February 12th and noon Central Time on February 20th. The random number generator chose 23. The twenty-third person to comment (not counting my own comment) was Mike. I’ve contacted him, and he’ll soon receive his prize.
Congratulations, Mike, and my sincerest thanks to all who entered. It’s been great reading all of your comments.
Tomatoes are ever popular, of course. We have plenty of innovative gardeners in our midst, too. I envy those of you in warmer climates than mine in the middle of Missouri.
I wish I could give everyone a prize. But for now let me give you info about Hometown Seeds and the Emergency Survival Seeds they offer. You get a lot for a good price.
By the way, I don’t make anything from your purchases at Hometown Seeds, but if you let them know you heard about them from DestinySurvival, perhaps they’ll offer another seed package as a contest prize in the future.
The Emergency Survival Seeds
- Over 22,000 non-GMO, premium quality seeds
- 16 Easy To Grow Non-Hybrid Varieties
- Enough seeds to plant 3/4 of an acre
- Non-Hybrid Survival Seeds produce true to variety seeds to replant for future harvests
- Resealable Triple-Layered Mylar: The gold standard in seed packaging
- An in-depth instruction booklet and e-book on sowing and saving seeds–a $19.99 value
- Optimum water content to increase storage life
- Double water tight packaging
- 5 year minimum shelf life–up to 20 plus
- Confidence your family will have food during a crisis
- Lincoln Peas
- Detroit Dark Red Beets
- Provider Bush Bean
- Yolo Wonder Pepper
- Champion Radish
- Lucullus Swiss Chard
- Black Beauty Zucchini
- Waltham Butternut Winter Squash
- Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach
- Imperator Carrots
- Long Green Improved Cucumber
- Rutgers Tomato
- Golden Acre Cabbage
- Romaine Paris Island Cos Lettuce
- Golden Bantam Sweet Corn
- Yellow Sweet Spanish Onion
The literature accompanying your seed package tells you exactly what varieties you get and gives gardening and seed saving tips about each variety. This is information you’ll want to keep with your seed package if possible. I’d recommend putting both the package and printed info in a bag of your choice for storage to keep them together.
Make sure you and your family have the garden seeds you need in times of shortage or crisis. To find out more about the Emergency Survival Seeds package, click on its name anywhere in this post. To go to the Hometown Seeds home page, click on the banner below.
Happy survival gardening!
That’s just what one California family has done. And they’re doing quite well at it. Below is a mini-documentary about how the Dervaes have turned their California home into an urban survival garden.
They took action, one step at a time. The end result is well worth it. They’re selling to high end restaurants and making money at it. And they’re eating wholesome, healthful food themselves.
What they’ve done isn’t an overnight sensation. So if you’re thinking of urban gardening, start small, and don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. And, by the way, don’t we all wish we had Southern California weather?
Find seeds and gardening supplies for your survival garden here.
Are the Cubans paving the way with an example we’ll be forced to follow? Will we be as resourceful?
Take roughly a half hour to watch the two videos below. The first is from a BBC series, and the second is a documentary from Canada. They’ve been available on YouTube for some time now, and their message is still poignant.
Here’s more on Survival Gardening, Cuban Style.
Dave’s a pilot by trade and a prepper, too. SCUBA diving and diving in cabes is part of his varied resume. He’s also been a diving and flight instructor. He’d be glad to put that teaching ability to use helping other preppers along the way. Yesterday’s DestinySurvival Radio gave him the chance to share a few insights we didn’t have time for on his first visit.
We touched on three topics of interest. We started with the hypothetical and worked our way into the practical. And as I began writing this post, it struck me that the things we talked about have kind of an odd theme that ties them together. You’ll see as the “hole” story unfolds.
Prepper in the hole!
But a cave may not be a place most of us would want to go. Dave passed on several pros and cons to think about.
Would you consider a cave as a possible survival shelter?
Prepper in the money hole…
So what if you’re in a similar situation? Or what if you’re flat out unemployed?
Dave says it’s a good idea to have a second set of job skills to fall back on. Could you work a different job? I suggest you might search for jobs in your area on Snagajob.
What about starting your own business from a hobby? Is there something you’re passionate about which could lead to extra income?
Also, live way below your means. Set aside more than 15% of your income into an account you can access in times of trouble.
Fortunately for Dave, he’s a highly motivated single guy and has flexibility many of us with families don’t have. But in a family, more hands make light work, as the old saying goes.
Prepper digging the holes
It takes time. And who knows how much time we have left?
Dave started about 15 years ago and now has 27 4′ x 8′ raised beds in which he grows a variety of crops. Plus, he’s experimenting with two other kinds of survival gardening involving permaculture.
As if that weren’t enough, he raises chickens, too. They’re good for a belly laugh now and then as well as for eggs.
For a fuller understanding of home gardening, Dave heartily recommends Marjorie Wildcraft’s Backyard Food Production DVD.
Hear my whole interview with Cap’n Dave Young when you listen to DestinySurvival Radio for November 1, 2012.
As we concluded our time together, Dave shared sage advice for all preppers. A good prepper doesn’t live in fear, but bravely moves forward, knows about resources and has backup plans A, B and C.
What do you think? Any thoughts on escaping to a hole in the ground? What about getting out of a financial hole? Or what about digging those holes for your survival garden? Leave a comment and share your thoughts with other preppers.