The prepper world seems to be really taking root as of late, and folks that never considered such things are intrigued, interested or just plain convinced that preparing is the only way to go. One of the things that baffles me is the little respect the home garden is getting in this whole phenomenon. Perhaps there are far more folks that have been “prepping” for years without ever really having a term for it. I know that is the category my family falls into, but wouldn’t any family that cans their harvest and stores a few gallons of water (an absolute must if on well water) be an introductory prepper? We have certainly stepped up our efforts in the last couple of years in the areas of personal protection and medical emergencies, but this is more due to the new, much more realistic threats. Weather isn’t the only possible event anymore than can destabilize our way of life as was once, not too long ago, thought.
Much of the world still does not rely on grocery stores to meet the demands of their families and instead rely on the land, and their hands to supply the family’s needs. I work with a lady who is originally from South Africa, and there has been an educational program for many years to teach families to grow enough food in a four foot by eight foot area to feed a family of four. How many Americans today would starve if they suddenly found themselves having to fend for themselves? How far removed from the land have we become as a culture?
Gardening in my opinion is at the very foundation of preparedness. A well planned garden can literally mean the difference between life and death. A few dollars spent today on seeds, and a bit of work to learn how will produce far greater dividends than any stock market transaction.
My garden consists of fruit trees, berry brambles, grape vines, a small corn field, an early and a late garden. Twelve months out of the year my gardens are all planted, with either food crops, or cover crops. A couple of well placed fruit trees, a small garden and if you are adventurous a couple of blackberry bushes will produce an amazing amount of food, far more than the effort involved in starting it.
From strictly a preparedness standpoint I recommend everyone plant a couple of high producing vegetable plants. Try summer squash and tomatoes, you will be amazed at the amount of food a single well cared for squash plant will produce. Try sauté-ing them together for a wonderful summer dish.
We must ask ourselves as we delve into the world of preparedness, “what happens when my 3, 6, or 12 month supply of food runs out?” A few packs of heirloom seeds, replaced each year or two, makes VERY cheap insurance against the unknown.