Saturday, June 9, 2018

Practice Garden

You know fresh grown food will be healthy but in today's modern life style, you don't have time for a Garden 

Most home owners spend many hours (or $) each year on yard care.  Mowing grass, trimming hedges, watering flowers, hedges, potted plants, and when they are done, they have nothing of true value to show for it. Okay, it looks nice, but it will improve your chances of survival by 0%.

Suppose you could have some small level of preparation with minimal cost and effort?  Not a low budget garden but just a few potted plants that grow food instead of flowers or ivy.  Instead of hedge bushes, what about blue berries, fig trees, or asparagus? Perhaps grape vines growing on your fence.  Minimal extra cost or effort, if any, but the fruit of your labor is now delicious.  Having a timer to automatically drip irrigate them will make the process even easier.

Seeds are one of the lowest cost investments you can make, are excellent for Barter, and a good addition to any Prepper Plan. But you need to know how to use them as growing plants from seed can be challenging without experience.

 In doing this, there are a few key objectives you want to accomplish.
  1. Grow fresh healthy food at a fraction of the cost
  2. Gain valuable experience 
  3. Learn what varieties of foods grow well for you in your area
  4. Save Heirloom Seeds each year to maintain your seed stock to meet future needs
1) In gardening, you will find that fresh grown foods taste much better than most store bought varieties.  This is because your crops were not picked green, weeks/months earlier nor coated with chemicals & pesticides. 

2) The gardening experience is a connection with Mother Nature that brings a peace of mind while developing a valuable skill.

3) Gardening is easy, but you would not want your life to depend on your ability to learn it overnight.  Knowing what crops will grow from seed in your area without pesticides and commercial fertilizers will provide a level of survival security that nothing else will.

4) Save seeds from your heirloom garden to plant again the next year.  This way you develop your own personalized sustainable store of seeds.  

For $5 and a package of seeds, you are in business.

Your seeds should organically grow foods in your area that you like to eat. My recommended foods that grow well without pesticides include:  Okra, Squash, Tomatoes, Asparagus, Figs, Pomegranates,  Bantam or field corn, Turnips, pinto beans, green beans, purple hull, black eye peas and sorghum, oats and wheat for bread or animal feed.  

These seeds should be dried for a few days at room temperature and then stored in freezer bags in the refrigerator for 1 year of storage.  Figs trees are grown by cutting a small branch off of an existing tree and planting it in moist soil until roots sprout and take hold.

OK, here is how you get started.  
  1. Buy one or two packages of heirloom seeds. I would start with corn and pinto beans or peas, but you pick your favorite.  Under $2 per package, seeds are one of the lowest cost Prepper purchases you can make, and will be excellent for Barter in a SHTF situation. 
    Plant a few of them and save the rest in a freezer bag in the freezer for long term storage.  After several years, I take them out and plant them in fields, the woods, or throw them in the creek to wash down and hopefully grow; sort of a hidden garden you might say. This may greatly improve your Wilderness Survival chances some day. Freezing or drying and preserving foods is good practice too.
  2. Harvest your food and save the best looking seeds for planting next year.
  3. Plant your home grown seeds and repeat the process each year.

You can plant them in the flower beds of your Apartment or Condo, although it is good to share the benefits with your neighbors.  Above we have tomatoes & peppers; okra, onions and tomatoes below.  Dead hedge bushes have been replaced with figs.

If second, third, etc. generation seeds don't grow for you, get another variety of heirloom seeds and start over.  Hybrid seeds will usually not grow second generation crops well.  Also don't grow two variety of plants as they will cross pollinate and make a third variety of potentially unreliable seeds. 

Goal:  Save your own home grown seeds, fresh each year, of foods you like to eat. 

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