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15 Comments

  1. L.R., although I have been gardening for years and just started saving my own seed in the past 10 years, I continue to read everything I can find on gardening and I also continue to experiment. I may never get to master gardener status, but I don’t care. I just want to feed my family. Keep up the fight so to speak. 🙂

    1. Like you, Jody, I continue to experiment and sometimes fail. Ever grateful that my failure do not result in someone going hungry. This is the time to figure it out, folks, when the stakes are low.

      I was once introduced as an “expert gardener” and made haste to correct that by telling everyone I am an “experienced gardener”. Experience born of many mistakes and also many successes. I learn from both.

      Carry on

  2. My wife still plants flowers. I plant nothing I can’t eat. I just picked up two fig trees. I’m very excited to plant them. They are zone 5/7, the little description says you will get 150 lbs. of figs per tree. The Plus is they are a beautiful tree.

  3. We planted a handful of heirloom “Bloody Red Dent Corn” we purchased from Baker Seed as an experiment and even after storms and very hungry raccoons, we harvested a 5 gallon bucket. That was only about a third of our crop after losses. The experiment was to see how much bulk food can be grown in a small garden (ours was about 80×40) with future reproduction in mind. Guess I’m trying to figure out how to feed all those visitors that may show up some day… Oh, as an aside, we purchased a reproduction manual cast iron corn huller and it worked great and the grandkids thought it was fun to operate. Tom Sawyer… 🙂 Genesis 47:15 Money is used to buy food.

  4. Great article, as gardening can teach people about the Providence of Nature (God). A person can labor in a garden and end up with a bounty, or end up just eating dirt, because of circumstances (weather or whatever) beyond their control. ~ A lesson in Humility.

    From the article: “I also saved a ton of money purchasing seeds from our local Co-op left over from the end of last year’s growing season. Properly stored, I’ve found they germinate at very respectable ~rates and I have always had good luck planting them.” [SurvivalBlog has advertisers selling ‘storage seeds’ for any future need.]

    ……… I took a Botany course in college. Seed germination was part of the ‘test’ for the course. Using old seeds, we had to have them germinate. The college supplied old seeds to germinate; even the old bean seeds would have a success rate of 50% ~ for seeds 25 to 30 years old. (Maybe, the future growing plant would NOT be as strong and productive, as with fresh seeds.)
    The teacher knew the ~expected success rates.
    ………. Commercial farmers need fresh seeds with very productive crops just about every year to stay in business. The taxes, regulations, and bills are all burdensome now days, for all the commercial farmers.

    As a note: I’m a soil tiller; NOT a gardener. With my ‘strong’ back, I can manipulate a shovel, a grubbing hoe if available, the iron rake, which are all used to prepare the garden soil. A lot of gals really enjoy the gardening part; quite a few men enjoy gardening too.
    [As a man, I just prefer being a soil tiller. … But, I do know the basics of having a ‘green thumb’ ~ as opposed to the ‘black thumb of death’ when gardening.]
    At the end of the year, a garden needs to be cleared and cleaned up, with the soil turned too. = A good job, for the strong back willing to manipulate a shovel and the iron-rake. [For big gardens, a tractor is a Blessing from God.]

    I had some neighbors, they said, the family had a big garden during the Great Depression. The front yard was planted in potatoes, which was NOT as susceptible to strangers helping themselves, to the ripe fruit and/or vegetables. The other crops were planted in the back yard.

    1. My comment about the college Botany course seeds is NOT a reflection on the storage seeds advertised on SurvivalBlog. The Botany seeds were stored in big glass jars; two or three gallons with a glass lid. The commercially sold storage seeds might be a good idea to have, for future usage.
      [Botany was a science course. The glass jars were of the type used by Doctor Frankenstein to store brains for future transplants ~ in the movies at least. … The glass jars were just put away in a science laboratory closet, with a bunch of other science gizmos.]

  5. Thanks for doing this series.

    I’ve posted here before about city gardening. The strip between fence and driveway gave us 30 feet by 2 feet of luscious berries. The 2 foot by 30 foot strip next to our garage gave us 3 months of perennial strawberries, and so on.

    Food security is rarely mentioned in all the cool gardening stuff, but it’s serious business.

    Must build soils. Yes, must build good soils. Rich gardening soils. Buy good, clean, weed free certified materials. Turn them under to make the top 6 inches most productive.

    If you spent 600 bucks on one gun, you darn well better spend 600 bucks on producing your own food. As so on, pro-rata.

    Our beautiful 5 acres with little pond attracts cool visitors like ducks and geese. The ducks ravaged our clover and the Canadian geese are actually pillaging our emerging garden crops.

    I am still working on the fencing and bird netting, so it’s proof of needed better project prioritization and sequencing. And a stronger rock throwing arm.

    Best wishes, everyone.

  6. Yep long term all stored food runs out. You need to be able to grow your own.

    We just moved into our ranch finally last year, and this will be our first year really getting plants in.

    Our first focus is getting about 50 fruit and nut trees in. We are doing about half and half fruit and nuts. I’m hoping the nuts will provide plenty of protein and healthy fats. I’m not entirely sure if some will work out though. We are southwest oregon. So I don’t know if almonds and pistachio’s will work or not. But I’ve got hazelnut, chestnut, and walnut as backups.

    After that the garden and chickens will go in. plus more berries. as much as possible I’m trying to focus on perennials.

    1. Be sure to plant your walnut trees as far away from your vegetable garden as possible.

      Walnut trees provide grace, shade and delicious nuts in a home garden, but they make poor neighbors for some other kinds of plantings, especially vegetables. All walnut trees contain allopathic chemicals, juglones, that inhibit the growth of many popular summer vegetables anywhere close to the tree. Of all walnut varieties, black walnut trees contain the highest percentage of juglones. With some planning, it is still possible to grow some summer vegetables in the vicinity of a walnut tree.

  7. Thanks for doing this series.

    I’ve posted here before about city gardening. The strip between fence and driveway gave us 30 feet by 2 feet of luscious berries. The 2 foot by 30 foot strip next to our garage gave us 3 months of perennial strawberries, and so on. You all should have something growing now, even if just a big container with one or two meals in it.

    Food security is rarely mentioned in all the cool gardening stuff, but it’s serious business.

    Must build soils. Yes, must build good soils. Rich gardening soils. Buy good, clean, weed free certified materials. Turn them under to make the top 6 inches most productive.

    If you spent 600 bucks on one gun, you darn well better spend 600 bucks on producing your own food. As so on, pro-rata.

    Our beautiful 5 acres with little pond attracts cool visitors like ducks and geese. The ducks ravaged our clover and the Canadian geese are actually pillaging our emerging garden crops.

    I am still working on the fencing and bird netting, so it’s proof of needed better project prioritization and sequencing. And a stronger rock throwing arm.

    Thats my suggested Food security tips.

    Best wishes, everyone.

  8. I just gave up on organic practices for blueberries and raspberries. My manure and woodchips is good for a lot of food but not those two. A little ammonium sulfate has really made a world of difference on those two. Now I need to figure out what my minimum amount to get the pH and the greenness I’m looking for.

  9. Garden fails… ‘Been there, done that! I once asked the advice of an organic farmer as to why my tomatoes weren’t doing as well as his. A short discussion later, I went home and set the drip irrigation to water longer than I had been. I walked away thinking “mission accomplished,” never thinking to turn the timer back to “AUTO.” I had to leave town for a few days, during which time the temperature hit 117*. So much for the garden that year…

  10. Apologies for double post.

    I’m still hyperventilating with excitement over my new 2 Stage trigger on the AR10.

    2A Affective Disorder.

  11. I absolutely agree. Talk to the neighbors with the healthy gardens. We’ve moved twice to new regions of the country with completely different growing conditions. I struggled both times until I was able to find a mentor that could teach me the tricks for our particular part of the world.

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