Starting a Garden

Why start a garden?  What does that do to help you survive?  You can’t really survive on a tiny little backyard garden…can you?

YES!  6000 pounds of fruits and vegetables on 1/10 of an acre of land:

Dervaes family information:
Website – http://www.urbanhomestead.org
Youtube channel – http://www.youtube.com/user/dervaes

This family is on the BLEEDING edge of self-sufficiency and not everyone will get results like this.  They live in southern California – where the growing season is nearly perpetual.  You will not get results even close to this in your first few years-  this takes a long consistent effort.  If you start now (yes right now) you’ll start to gain experience that will help you produce tons of food.

Location isn’t that important!

Apartments, small backyards, huge farms, urban area’s – are all valid food producing area’s.  You can grow a ton (tomatoes, strawberry’s, onions, etc.) in buckets or pots.  A few years ago I started an in-ground garden.  I just dug up the grass and planted anything I could.  Midway into summer, the garden was over taken by weeds and grass and I had no interest in keeping up with them.  Raised beds will allow me to create my own soil (that does not contain weeds or grass) from peat, manure, and compost. I’m using a method loosely translated to the square foot gardening method.  As with gardening and cooking – it’s never an exact science.  🙂

Square foot gardening (http://www.squarefootgardening.com/)

I’m modeling my bed after this great article on building raised beds from scratch. (http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeandgarden/2009/02/build-your-own-raised-flowervegetable-bed/)

Here is a quick summary of how to get started (check back for posts on each point):
1 Find a mentor – someone who grows and knows alot about growing.  Ask them 1 million questions.
2 Decide what you want to grow – make sure you either will eat or give away whatever you grow and research them (heirloom, variety, etc.)
3 Build your garden – pots, beds, buckets, ground – whatever.
4 Start seeds indoors – plenty of starter kits out there to start with, give them a good start!
5 Plant seedlings outside – take care of them in the ground, and they’ll reward you.

Suggestions:
-Try some perennials, usually they don’t take a green thumb to grow year after year.  Things like strawberry, asparagus, blueberry, etc.
-Plant a small fruit bearing tree.  They usually don’t produce fruit for awhile, but you can get started for the future.

Disclaimer!  I am not a master gardener.  I do pretty well with growing things, but its probably dumb luck.  I do not know everything about gardening, but I like to learn and recognize the value in providing food for yourself.

The Survival Podcast on iTunes has a bunch of very good articles on starting a vegetable garden.  The forums from that show are also a great resource.  Just get going and plant something!

Advertisements