By Timothy Gamble
the near empty shelves at American grocery stores just weeks ago? Even
the big-box stores like Wal-mart, with all their money and clout, were
nearly out of food. The stores are still not fully restocked.
biggest long-term threat to our survival is hunger & starvation. It
doesn't matter what event or events lead to disruptions in our food
supply - pandemic, war, economic or political chaos, or whatever. The fact is our modern agricultural and
just-in-time food distribution systems are precariously balanced, and
the most Americans are not prepared
for wide-spread or
long-lasting disruptions. What if the empty shelves don't start filling
up again after only a few weeks? What if they go empty, and stay empty,
for months next time?
The long-term answer really isn't food storage, though that does help in the short-term. Few people will realistically be able to store all the food they, their household, and their extended circle of family & friends, will need for the several years it may take for society to completely rebuild the agricultural system & food distribution infrastructure after a major SHTF event. You MUST be able to provide at least some food for yourself - gardening, horticulture, fruit & nut orchards, chickens for eggs & meat, goats for milk, cheese, butter & meat...
Your most important long-term goal is food production. Yes, even if you live in the city, there are things you can do. Here are some ideas:
Learn small plot gardening techniques. For city folks and suburbanites lucky enough to have a small yard, the good news is that you
don't need a huge garden to grow a lot of food. If
you have even a little bit of land, you can have gardening success. Check out my articles Small Plot Gardening Tips and Lasagna Gardening on this website.
I also recommend the books Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre and The Mini Farming Bible: The Complete Guide to Self-Sufficiency on ¼ Acre, both by Brett Markham. You'll be surprised how much you can grow on a small plot of land, even if its less than a quarter acre!
Do you live in an apartment or condo, and literally have no yard for even a tiny garden? No worries. There are still ways you can produce some of your own food. Consider container gardening indoors, and on windowsills, porches,
and balconies. A lot food can be grown in containers, including all
all lettuce varieties, all greens (spinach, collards, turnip, mustard,
Swiss chard, etc.), tomatoes (both regular size and the mini ones),
carrots, beets, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, and zucchini. In
almost everything can be grown in containers. The only drawbacks are
container gardens need more frequent watering than regular gardens, and
plant size is limited by the size of the containers you are using.
For some ideas and inspiration, watch these two You Tube videos
- Container Garden Prep - Soil Planting Square Foot Gardening Patio
- Apartment Food Container Gardening (Getting Started)
Try Rooftop Gardening. Like its name sounds, rooftop gardening is simply gardening on rooftops, using containers (which can be quite large if the structure can support the weight). Rooftop gardening has become quite popular in recent years. You can find out more by searching "Rooftop Gardening" in your favorite search engine (I like Duck-Duck-Go, which respects your privacy, unlike Google or Bing).
I recently watched, and was quite impressed by, the Back to Eden documentary. Here's the blurb from their website: "Back to Eden Film shares the story of one man’s lifelong journey, walking with God and learning how to get back to the simple, productive organic gardening methods of sustainable provision that were given to man in the garden of Eden. The food growing system that has resulted from Paul Gautschi’s incredible experiences has garnered the interest of visitors from around the world. Never, until now, have Paul’s organic gardening methods been documented and shared like this!" You can watch it on their website.
Another good gardening resource is Sunset Vegetable Gardening Illustrated. Only 128 pages, this 1987 book is not currently in print, but you may be able to find one at a used book store. Heavily illustrated and easy-to-read, it covers all the basics, and then some. Beginners, especially, will find this book very useful. It also covers herbs and berries.
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Twitter: @TimGamble - My main account. Survivalist information, plus heavy on news, politics and economics.
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