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Survival Garden Planning

This is a discussion on Survival Garden Planning within the Gardening forums, part of the Survival Food Procurement category; Have you given much thought about what you’d like to grow in your survival garden? I’ve been thinking about this and here’s my initial list: ...

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Thread: Survival Garden Planning

  1. #1
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    Survival Garden Planning

    Have you given much thought about what you’d like to grow in your survival garden? I’ve been thinking about this and here’s my initial list:

    Dry beans*
    Green beans
    Winter squash*
    Pumpkin*
    Corn*
    Potatoes*
    Sweet potatoes*
    Garlic*
    Onions*
    Tomatoes*
    Carrots*
    Parsnips
    Bell peppers*
    Hot Peppers*
    Cabbage
    Cantaloupe
    Watermelon
    Kale*
    Spinach*
    Sweet peas
    Snap peas
    Beets
    Lettuce
    Broccoli
    Sugar beets*
    Pickling cucumbers
    Thinking of adding tobacco for use in trade
    *Essential

    I don’t have room for all of this in my current garden space and if you stop to consider HOW MUCH MORE of everything you’d need to grow if the supermarket weren’t available, it gets pretty overwhelming.

    What I’m looking for ranked in order of priority:

    High calorie
    Storable
    Nutrient dense
    Taste
    Comfort

    I currently follow a low carb diet for health reasons, but that would quickly be out the window in a survival situation. I share this because there are certain things I’m not now growing (potatoes and sweet potatoes, for example) because I don’t eat them. BUT I need to be growing them every year anyway so that I can maintain a seed crop in case of emergency.

    So this is my collection of random thoughts about my survival garden. Please share your list of essential foods and why you’ve chosen them.
    Slippy likes this.

  2. #2
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    Here's what we've done:

    Green beans
    Winter squash*
    Potatoes
    Garlic
    Onions*
    Tomatoes
    Carrots
    Parsnips
    Bell peppers
    Cabbage
    Sweet peas
    Snap peas
    Lettuce
    Broccoli
    Pickling cucumbers
    We've also done:
    Eggplant
    Summer squash
    Tyme
    Basil
    Dill
    Parsley
    Other herbs; I'm drawing a blank

    Oh, don't forget sprout seeds. these can be done at the window sill year 'round.
    Let us use the time as best we may.

  3. #3
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    This was an old list I had worked out a couple of years ago. I see that I had sugar beets marked as essential. In reality, I don't think we could grow enough for any practical purpose and the same with corn. We have a half acre field at the bottom of the property, but it would take a lot of work to be able to grow anything in it. I'd be better off with bees, I think.

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulag1955 View Post
    This was an old list I had worked out a couple of years ago. I see that I had sugar beets marked as essential. In reality, I don't think we could grow enough for any practical purpose and the same with corn. We have a half acre field at the bottom of the property, but it would take a lot of work to be able to grow anything in it. I'd be better off with bees, I think.
    Don't give up so easily. If your soil isn't up to par, start now to build it. Look into permaculture for building soil. Basically just keep adding organic matter & as it decomposes, it creates nutrient rich soil.

    I've grown pretty much everything on your list (some are not planted in the same year due to cross pollination & saving seed) and a few perennial herbs & berries and even some grains in a garden space of approximately 25x60. One way to save space is to grow vining crops vertically.

    Also....you list sweet peas & snap peas....I used to grow separate varieties as well until I figured out to only grow snap peas with edible pods that would work for flat podded for stir fries, snaps when the pod is puffed out and shelling when filled with peas, thereby only growing a lot of one variety for multiple purposes.
    AND any bean grown, can be used for snap green beans when young and dry soup beans when mature. I love growing beans & are the easiest & most prolific for me to grow. I do Blue Lake (white) and Cherokee Trail of Tears (black) on poles, plus Butterscotch, Pintos, Reds along the perimeter fence since they are taller than bush beans but not as tall as poles. All of these varieties are great as young snap green beans, then as the season progresses I let them mature & dry on the vine for both future seed & for soup or baking.

    I can grow about 70% of our food, depending on the crop and how well it produces. And if it's enough to put up for winter. Seems like every year a few crops don't do much of anything, some produce an acceptable amount and some go like gangbusters....and every year it changes.
    Slippy, Marica and MountainGirl like this.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAnotherNut View Post
    Don't give up so easily. If your soil isn't up to par, start now to build it. Look into permaculture for building soil. Basically just keep adding organic matter & as it decomposes, it creates nutrient rich soil.
    I know how to build soil, but my husband is still working and doesn't have the time available to do the muscle work. I can't count on it being ready.

  7. #6
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    What type of area (size) or square footage have you allocated to the garden?
    paulag1955 likes this.
    "Erosion of our rights just takes a few good men doing nothing"
    Who is John Galt?

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piratesailor View Post
    What type of area (size) or square footage have you allocated to the garden?
    The current garden is quite small and since my husband is just there part time (mostly just for his vacation), and expanding it by myself is not realistic. In an emergency, we have room to expand. Access to material to improve the soil is pretty limited.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulag1955 View Post
    I know how to build soil, but my husband is still working and doesn't have the time available to do the muscle work. I can't count on it being ready.


    Have you considered straw bale gardening? Just plant in the bales & water....not much muscle needed. Then at the end of the growing season, pull your plants and drop them in place, then spread the bales out over a larger area but still 6 or 8 inches thick. Plant some fruit trees to provide food and leaves to add to it. Then next year, you'll have a larger area to grow in & it's ready to plant.

    It's not just building the soil, but gardening with less work, no or very little shoveling required.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustAnotherNut View Post
    Have you considered straw bale gardening? Just plant in the bales & water....not much muscle needed. Then at the end of the growing season, pull your plants and drop them in place, then spread the bales out over a larger area but still 6 or 8 inches thick. Plant some fruit trees to provide food and leaves to add to it. Then next year, you'll have a larger area to grow in & it's ready to plant.

    It's not just building the soil, but gardening with less work, no or very little shoveling required.
    I have considered it in the past and will probably actually try it this year. It doesn't really seem like an option for larger scale gardening, though. And right now, I'm limited as to how many bales will fit inside my fence (lots of deer).

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulag1955 View Post
    I have considered it in the past and will probably actually try it this year. It doesn't really seem like an option for larger scale gardening, though. And right now, I'm limited as to how many bales will fit inside my fence (lots of deer).
    Just how big of an area do you have now? And how big do you want it to be? And how many are you feeding?

    As I said before, my garden is only about 25x60 and has fed 4 of us (not all of our needs for a year, but definitely put a dent in it). Even if you only have about 1/2 that, you could just spread out the straw to around 8+ inches thick (maybe 5 or 6 bales?) and plant within that. At the end of the season, lay all your dead plants over the top and/or around the outside of the straw to increase the size and include any other type of organic matter......kitchen scraps, peels, coffee grounds, egg shells, grass clippings, leaves & pine or fir needles, wood ashes, etc......to keep the weeds down, put down a layer or two of cardboard first, then the other stuff on top of that.

    Though if you have many to feed and a small area to grow in......maybe only plant a lot of a few crops instead of a few plants of a lot of crops...make sense? Pick from your list the foods you eat the most, then plant only those. Enough to eat fresh, and preserve for winter (canning, dehydrating, pickling, etc) and in the mean time, increase the size of the garden by adding more straw layers...after moving the fence lines further out. Then next year, plant a few more varieties.

 

 
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