I have been trying to work out a thread where I may actually be helpful, and I think I found it.
I was inspired by the Svalbard Evacuation thread. For those who don't know there is a massive underground seed vault dug into the permafrost at
Reading some of the responses reminded me how far removed we have become from our food.
People are concerned with GMO foods and collapsing economies and possibly a more catastrophic world wide event at some point. We need to be able to
feed ourselves. We are too dependent on any system if we cannot provide simple sustenance for ourselves, Monsanto anyone?
There are countless threads on BOB's and tactical gear and weapons and surprisingly few on how we might continue to survive for ourselves past a
massive calamity. Food can be grown anywhere with a few seeds and a little knowledge. Different regions will have different crops, so do your research
on your local area. Your local agriculture county extension office or equivalent is always a good place to start.
First and foremost when planning a garden, is the actual planning stage.
This can be as simple as a grocery list for the seeds, bags of dirt and pots that you need. It can also be incredibly extensive, I have 2 garden
planning journals, and 3 notebooks that I collect info such as first freeze and spring thaw dates every year. It all started here in my gardens with
raw woodland and a 10 year plan, that has now turned into a small greenhouse, a mini orchard, raised beds and numerous potato stacks and a 20 year
plan. Not to mention the annual gardens and perennial beds. I also have a cold hardy medicinal herb bed, and compost piles and berry patches. Let this
be encouragement to you, if I can pull this off with winter temps to -40 degrees,and a 3 month growing season, then you probably have a better chance
than I do here!
Unless you are north of the Arctic circle, sorry.
Research your seeds!!! There are many wonderful seed saving companies out there now who are dedicated to preserving our original heirloom foodstuffs!
My personal favorite is Victory Seed. I have had nothing but impeccable service from them, they also produce a superior product in general. This is
the perfect time of the year to start thinking about seeds, believe it or not, it gives you time to research, and plan and order. I usually start my
snapdragons and onions in January to give them enough time.I order my seed in the fall to prevent freezing in transit.
* One note on seed storage, the idea behind the seed buckets from some websites are a great idea, but make sure the seed packets DO NOT contain oxygen
absorbers!! The seeds need air to breath, they are dormant until given some love, but they are ALIVE and need air to breathe. Air tight packaging is
ideal, but keep in mind there is some air in the package for them to sustain viability. *
The next big step is figuring out how to start your seedlings. Again, this largely depends on your geographical location. Figure out how much you want
of each crop and plan accordingly, always plant a few extras to buffer ungerminated seed.Make sure you know when your last expected frost date is
too!! I have gotten too excited too soon more than once. It is hard to find space for an overgrown jungle that can't move out for another few weeks.
Plant soon enough to have strong seedlings that are still manageable plants.
Amend, amend, amend!!! First thing in the spring, add compost,manure and other organics to your garden beds/pots. I bet most of you could still do
this now, to give it a chance to break down over the winter even! Feed the soil and it will feed you in return.
Make sure that your plants are kept moist and weeded until the plants are well established in their new homes. Water, feed, prune and harvest at the
most optimal stage for each plant and you will be able to at least supplement what you and your family consume.
Do your research, there are many great books out there. My favorite garden author has to be Jerry Baker. The info is provided in a fun way, kind of
like gardening for dummies, but contain valuable tidbits everywhere. I have 3 of his books on the shelf next to me.There are many more, Jeff Lowenfels
is another great one, he is the garden guru for the Anchorage Daily News who has now co written at least one book.
The ability to feed yourself from the resources provided to us is innate. It provides an enormous amount of security under any circumstances. We are
healthier for it as well, my kids argue about veggies on their plate, like all kids do, but they will eat pounds of broccoli and other produce
straight off the plant all summer long.
Good Luck and enjoy your garden!
edit on 9-12-2012 by woodsmom because: spelling
edit on 9-12-2012 by woodsmom because: spelling and grammar