It is about that time when your plants will start blooming. So it is about that time to get the garden going. This is one of my favorite times of year seeing all the new sprouts and then actually enjoying the fruits of my labor. Growing a garden is a very important thing to do as a prepper. I never would have thought that I would enjoy gardening as I am not even big vegetable eater and I thought it was just for old ladies, but have really learned how to enjoy and use them in many different ways.
So with that being said what are the reasons for starting a garden. Here are a few of my reasons.
1. Self sufficiency
One of the main things as a prepper to aspire to is being self sufficient. While many of us don’t have enough room to be totally self sufficient when it comes to food the more you can do the better. Even small raised garden beds or plants in half wine barrel planters can give you a decent amount of food.
2. Skill building
One of the things I always stress is building up your skills as your mind and skills will be your greatest asset in a collapse scenario. Even though it seems so easy to put a seed in the ground and grow food it isn’t always that easy. Doing it year after year will give you new ideas, allow you to understand the amount of space needed per plant, amount of water, when to plant, understanding critters and plant diseases in your area. Knowing these things will make it much easier to actually plant and grow food if there were a collapse.
Depending on your area you may need a raised bed garden, greenhouse or some other special soil that you may have to buy and may not be able to get unless you have a compost pile or bin. You may also need a water harvesting system to water your plants depending on where you live. Getting the materials ready and having a garden that you know will work is very important. Having to build the infrastructure to grow your food is not where you want to put your time and effort. While you may have to scale up your garden, it is going to be much easier if you have done it before.
What I mean by this is that having the garden you will know exactly what you can and can’t grow. You will be more ready to cook meals that taste decent if you already use all the types of vegetables and fruits you grow. If I just decide to essentially plant all the seeds that came in my survival seed tin I may not actually(especially the first year) get some of the main veggies I like so I will have to make due with what I do get. I personally was never a huge fan of zucchini or summer squash, but now that we have grown it and gotten a ton of it we have gotten very good at finding things that taste good but use all the veggies and fruits we grow. Even if we can’t eat everything it will go to the chickens to make us eggs or to the compost bin to make good soil.
Ya you can buy stuff at the store to can, but why not just grow an extra amount of veggies and fruits to learn how to can. Learning how to can is very important for preppers as it would be much tougher to preserve food if you don’t have a root cellar and electricity to run your fridge. We seemed to have many more tomatoes than we could eat last year and now that we have more gardening time under our belt we hope to have a better producing garden so we will need to can more. This could save you some money in learning canning as you don’t have to buy the veggies and fruits.
6. Healthy and Variety of Food:
While I am not a big health nut as I eat fast food semi often growing your garden is the only way you can know how it was grown and what you are getting. I am personally not big on the “organic” foods or tags as I think it is a waste to pay more money and really not know what goes into the food anyway. The only way you can know is to do it yourself. Just like meat the only way I know it is organic and wild fed is really if I go shoot the elk or animal myself. Now to variety, in the grocery store you only find maybe 2 -3 melon types where if you plant your own there are hundreds. It is amazing to see all the different varieties of fruits and vegetables that actually exist and being able to try all the different types of fruits and veggies as they can be very different.
7. Fun and Fulfilling
This is more an opinion than anything. I never really thought I would like gardening much, but it really is fulfilling to see those first sprouts come up out of the ground then to actually see the plant grow and then be able to harvest and eat the fruit or vegetable. Going outside everyday is a surprise to see what else has started growing. Being able to know that you can produce at least some of your own food really makes you feel like you have accomplished something. While it is not a huge amount of exercise it is nice to get outside and be able to do something productive.
What other reasons can you think of for gardening?
I will shortly be doing some more articles on gardening including some tips to get your garden going and some information on composting(which I actually feel is one of most frustrating and challenging parts of composting).