Hello fellow Americans,
I’m back again to talk about planting a garden of your own to grow food to feed your family. I touched a little on this in chapter one about food storage, read here.
For all those who have been following my articles you know I grew up in the depression era. I remember vividly standing in breadlines with my mother, rationing, and Victory Gardens.
As elaborated upon in chapter one, Inflation is rising and as our leftist government expands, grabs more power, spends trillions, and demonetizes our currency – I fear it is only a matter of time before real financial hardship is felt by many. Since chapter one was published the evidence of this is mounting, read here, here, and here. Food and energy prices will continue to rise and Biden’s tax hikes will only wire in the economic trajectory. Now is the time for all Americans to prepare and hope for the best.
So, we reviewed how to start stocking food supply and now let us turn to how to grow our food. Some of my fondest memories as a child was picking and eating fresh fruit and vegetables. Later, my children would love when we stopped in Florida at a large garden operation and we would gather bushels of broccoli, beets, strawberries, and such in the warm sun. We would end up with baskets to pay for and fun was had by all. Gardening is a life skill and at times a necessity but our children should be exposed and schooled in gardening young and learning this skill should be fun. My children passed along our gardening experiences to my grandchildren who loved to run out into the rows after school and pull up a carrot or break off fresh squash, wash it off and sit right down under the shade of a tree, lemonade in one hand, and healthy snack in the other.
Oh, I can hear you now sighing and groaning – planting a garden is hard work. Snap out of it! Sugar pea snaps at that. Planting and maintaining a garden can be very rewarding and fun for the entire family, It builds character and fosters independence and there is nothing quite like cooking meals with what your hands grew. I have recently dealt with blindness so I truly miss planting large gardens but my memories are overwhelmingly positive and your children’s will be too.
The big picture is to provide for you and your family when times are lean. Having a garden will serve many purposes:
- Preserve your canned food storage as you will eat first from your garden.
- Healthy choices without GMOs and vibrant nutrients add to immunity in pandemic times.
- Additional food storage by canning and pickling abundant harvests.
- Stretch your budget further.
- Independence and security if food supply chains break.
Here is my Depression Era Patriot’s guide to planting your first, low cost, – like we used to do it back in the day- garden:
- Locate the perfect spot in your yard that is level. You want to avoid water rolling down from higher ground washing away your seeds or flooding your plants. Most plants will like a sunny spot too.
- Till the soil in the area chosen. A tiller can be purchased, rented, or borrowed from a neighbor. Or you can hire a local service who will till a small area of land for a reasonable fee. You might require amending of the soil with a combo of peat moss, sand, and compost.
- Mark an outline-Get an inexpensive can of white aerosol paint and paint the corners of the garden so you know where it starts and ends, rectangular shape is traditional. Next measure out about two-and-a-half feet over for each row and a row will be half a foot which provides and a 2-foot foot walking space. At each distance put a dot of paint that you’ll be able to see for a couple of days, and your garden will take shape, one at each end of the rows it helps out a lot and keeps your rows more straight.
- Clear debris– remove any and all clumps of old roots, rocks, and such that the teller or plow might have left behind.
- Make the indentations for planting. The old fashion straight stick works well to run it from the end of the row to the other in the soil, make it as straight as you can. No worries though if it comes out crooked as snake-your plants will still grow.
- Seed and or plant selections. Choose what your family likes to eat and what works best in your region and climate. You can purchase from an online store, hardware store, Farmers Co-Op, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, and such. I mostly prefer seeds but do use a few plants to get started too.
- Potatoes– I always put them in first by digging holes ( pockets) about 5 inches apart down a row and planting the potato then covering well with soil. Potatoes are the only plant you do this type of planting and as they continue to grow the tops need to remain under the soil. This requires you to observe and raise the dirt level over and around each potato plant as they grow. Potatoes are a delicious and nutritious vegetable to grow, you can have a variety of red potatoes, baking potatoes, fingerlings, whatever you like.
- Seeds planted-Read each seed packet directions for the guide on regional issues and how far apart to plant the seeds, how deep, and so forth. Most seeds will go down 1/4 inch while others like squash and bigger seeds will go down into the soil a full inch. Remember to be patient as some plants will take off growing faster than others.
- Variety and selection – Again stick to what your family likes to eat, Ours loves to plant what we like to cook with like squash, turnips, green beans, peppers, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, and such.
- Identify what you plant-I like to take the seed packet itself, which is colorful and displays a picture and name of the plant, then drop a stick into the ground at the end of a row and hang the packet over the stick. Yes, it will fade over time from elements but by them, you should have the crops coming up and can see what it is you are growing.
- Water-On first planting you will want to water all for about 15-20 minutes using a sprinkler or hose with a sprinkler head. Be careful not to overwater or allow a pond -like pooling or your seeds will be washed away. Water is essential but too much can cause root rot and lead to mold. During hot summer months, you will water daily and if it rains and soaks the ground you can skip a day. Watch the local forecast and if rain is expected let nature do the watering on that day.
- Weed removal– where there is growth there will be weeds. You can lay down plastic or mulch to keep that to a minimum but count on weeding out the garden frequently. Also, look out for slugs and pests.
For those more adventurous and willing to invest here is the Farmers Almanac guide to small gardens. This is a detailed plan.
One can garden flat in the ground or in container boxes, even on patio balconies in containers. Here are a few videos to help:
Don’t forget herbs, they are easy to grow, read here. You can also store dried herbs for all year long use:
I hope these articles have been helpful, above I referenced chapter one, and here is chapter two if you missed them.
I know these are trying times for those of us fully awake. Remember for those who are not, the time draws near that they too will start to feel stressed about what is happening to our country so rapidly. We are all going to need to help ourselves and our families first then our communities and fellow Americans. Put the oxygen mask on you so you can help others kind of thing. Think of planting a garden as a part of your oxygen needs.
Keep a lookout for chapter four on the horizon and thanks for reading. I pray it is helpful information for all.
Your friend and patriot,
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Author: Bekah Lyons
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