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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Urban Survival Planning - Reader Question on a Backyard Survival Garden

UrbanSurvivalSkills.comReceived an e-mail from Carol who had the following comments and questions: ”Dear Urban Survival Skills website, We have been looking at your site and others for the past 4 or 5 months after our son in law kind of exposed us to survival preparation. My husband Bill is a Vietnam era crewman on helicopters and no stranger to guns. We both are almost retired completely and are trying to get a bit more prepared in case something does happen like a great depression. We both logically think something bad can happen and may even result in chaos. I bought canning supplies and we have bought several buckets of prepared survival food from Costco and some dehydrated camping meals from the sporting goods store. We are now looking at doing some gardening in our back yard. We live in a suburban area and have a wooden fence around our backyard. We do not have a lot of space to grow vegetables, but certainly want to try just in case we’ll need the food. What suggestions can you give us? Thanks you in advance. Carol. P.S. My husband just loves the map reading how to’s!

UrbanMan’s reply: Great to hear from you Carol. You are doing the right thing trying to be better prepared. Thanks to your son-in-law for that. We have a baseline checklist in the Survival Preparation World,…Food-Water-Shelter and Protection. Got to cover all the basic areas.

All are important. Glad to see you stocking food and desiring to grow some of your own. Hope it won’t come to the point that you have to rely on what you have stored and what you can grow, but “better have it and not need it, then not have it at all.”

A great book is “Square Foot Gardening: by Mel Bartholomew”. It’s all about gardening tips and techniques using containers in your back yard. You don’t have to buy special containers. With your imagination you can figure it out as long as you consider drainage, exposure to the Sun, water and soil requirements, etc. That’s where the book comes in handy.

Currently I have just planted green beans, two different types of squash, cucumbers, beets, egg plant, corn. And will soon plant some carrots, potatoes and tomatoes,…..although I wanted to stay away from the root vegetables because of the soil and depth requirements. I have found that squash is the easiest to grow,…or maybe I’m just having great luck at it. I grow some monster squash and it’s last quite awhile after harvesting.

It would be great if the residents in your neighborhood could all grow vegetables and have some sort of exchange. In fact, knocking on doors in your neighborhood and giving away some vegetables may be a way to get to know people better and perhaps get them started in prepping.

I am growing vegetables in the nooks and crannies of my backyard. Where I had flower beds, I now have vegetable beds. The corn is growing up along side my fence, so it doesn’t take much room at all.

I have purchased several large orders of non-hybrid seeds, but have quite a bit of hybrid seeds and am using those for my pre-collapse survival garden.

I am not a farmer by any means, just am developing some survival skills in this area, but would have to say that growing and producing your own food is a great feeling. Good luck to you Carol and Bill.

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