While it’s bitter cold in many parts of the country, it’s a good time to start thinking about spring and your survival garden.
In 2020, during the pandemic, it’s estimated that at least 20 million first-time gardeners picked up the hobby.
One person that is known for his garden is Ron F.
Ron lives in South Central Los Angeles. It’s a neighborhood known for liquor stores, vacant lots, and drive-by shootings. It’s not the typical place you would think of creating a garden.
He started his gardening by planting fruit and vegetables, including pumpkin, kale, and sunflowers. He says he got tired of driving 45 minutes to get fresh produce.
Ron has traveled widely talking about his work and his garden. His backyard is a jungle. It’s big enough for him to live off. The garden is about 70 feet by 40 feet.
He says, “I’ll get out there at 9 am and next thing I know it’s 7 pm… gardening takes your mind off things. Everybody should have a garden to cultivate.”
But Ron’s garden isn’t simply about making him feel good…
It’s about growing food to eat and teaching others how to do the same.
When the pandemic first started, Ron was able to stay home for months. He only left to buy fresh fish.
According to Ron, “I’m eating from the garden every meal, I’ve lost eight or nine pounds. I feel better and I feel stronger.”
He grows a variety of food. A few of his favorites are oranges, papyrus, marigolds, blackberries, and tomatoes.
Ron hopes that in light of the pandemic, governments will encourage people to be self-sustaining.
Not only can gardening help people feed themselves, but it can help maintain mental and physical health.
A garden can be a lifesaver during challenging times, whether it’s a disaster, loss of job, or food shortage, a garden is beneficial.
During World War II, nearly two-thirds of Americans participated in victory gardens.
By 1943, over 20 million families had gardens and produced more than 15 billion pounds of produce.
American households grew 40% of the fresh produce consumed that year, which allowed the U.S. government to focus resources on the war effort.
If you’ve never had a garden, it’s something you should consider starting.
There are a few factors to consider if you are going to have a garden.
First, pick foods that are easy to grow.
Growing survival food is not the time you want to try growing delicate or untested food.
Also, you’ll want to grow nutritionally dense food.
The goal is to provide food and calories during times of difficulty. Growing something with no nutritional value is pointless.
Considering these factors, here are a few foods to add to your garden.
Potatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals. They are easy to grow in most climates.
It takes about 140 days to grow potatoes and they need 4-6 hours of sunlight per day.
You can store them in a cool, dry place after harvesting. Or even pressure can them to make them last longer.
One of the best things about growing carrots is that they can survive underground during the winter.
Simply cover the plants with dirt when it gets cold so they have plenty of protection.
From a nutritional standpoint, carrots have a good amount of antioxidants. Once grown, you can freeze or dehydrate carrots to store them long-term.
Corn contains vitamin C, magnesium, and fiber. It’s a good staple food that grows in the summertime. Corn is high in calories and low maintenance.
Also, corn is easy to put with other foods. You can mix it with other vegetables to provide a good nutritional balance.
You can also add other things to corn such as bell peppers, onions, and jalapeños.
Sage is an herb with antibacterial benefits…
Sage grows well within a wide range of temperatures. You can harvest sage into the fall and it will survive longer compared to other herbs.
It can be used to treat sore throats and even stop bleeding.
From a nutritional view, sage is a good source of vitamin K and vitamin A.
Also, the flavor of sage is very strong, so you can add a tiny amount to your food and get much-needed flavor.
The larger the leaves grow the more intense the flavor will be.
The fact is, a garden is one of the best ways to prepare for a food shortage.
There are many things you can grow and store for the long term…
But these four crops are a good start, and can provide nutrients and flavor to keep you fed when food is hard to find.