If you are a frequent reader then you know I love gardening. My interest in preparedness motivated me 8 years ago to start my first garden.
That first garden did well. At about half the size of my current one and not really having a clue what I was doing – I was swimming in cucumbers and summer squash with little problem. My soil back then was mostly red clay initially so I had a truckload of dirt brought in.
Ever since – each and every year I have made my garden just a little bigger, and worked to mix in some good amendments with the natural soil. So far – things have gone pretty well.
Now – not every year has been good. A few years ago, the Southeast had a severe drought. That year watering was severely restricted in my area. Although I absolutely broke the rules and watered every so often around 3:00am – it just wasn’t enough. The weeds took over as the crops failed to mature well.
In my area, irrigation is critical, as natural rain is not enough much of the time to get the best success.
My neighbor has had a small garden the past few years and never waters. He still gets some veggies, but nothing compared to what I get. Watering in a SHTF situation is something I am working on.
I currently have one rain barrel that can fill in just a few minutes during a good downpour. I need more. Today I just brought home another barrel from work along with a valve system. I am hoping this weekend to set it up – possibly at my shed capturing rainwater off its roof. My plan is to have at least 6 rain barrels by summers end.
Last year I started saving foods from the garden. I made several jars of pickles from cucumbers. Also vacuum packed zucchini and crookneck squash and feasted all winter long (I froze A LOT!). I will be doing more of the same this year – experimenting and learning along the way.
This year I have put in a new raised bed for strawberries right next to my in-ground garden. At about 8 feet long by 3.5 feet wide – things are going well so far. I have been pinching off most of the flowers and berries to try to get the roots established this year for a better crop next year.
One concern I have regarding survival gardening is seeds. Someday it might not be so easy to buy seeds – enter seed storage. There are ways to store your own seeds – which I may mess around with. I am planning on getting one of the Emergency Seed Banks from The Berkey Guy. These things are well organized and put together.
Take care all –