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 veges 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 –