Gardening During Troubled Times: How to Start a Victory Garden

ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to touch on a subject that bears keeping in mind: the Victory gardens kept by citizens of the United States during World War II.  The reason this subject is good to mention is because now that spring has arrived, you should know about shortages and pitfalls people faced before.  As it is aptly written, there is nothing new under the sun; therefore, the same dilemmas faced by people before will be faced again.  A survival garden may be just the thing your family needs, as it will passively produce food for your future.

Victory-Garden-2Wartime brings real shortages in virtually every area of the economy, especially in the area of foodstuffs.  Rationing becomes the norm rather than the exception, and it is difficult for people to scrape out a bare subsistence.  During WWII, the Victory garden was recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in a pamphlet published in 1943.  The gardens were recommended to have the following vegetables planted:

Spinach, Chard or Kale for greens; Cabbage; Lettuce; Tomatoes; Soy Beans; Snap Beans; Lima Beans; Peas; Asparagus; Carrots; Beets; Turnips; Parsnips; Onions; Strawberries; Raspberries; Radishes; Peppers; Onions; Pole Beans.

That’s quite a list, but it is not comprehensive and many preppers suggest these 25 seeds to start their survival gardens for added nutrition.  The point to be made is that if you are able to grow food, then do it during the warm months.  Potatoes can be grown inside of old tires, and there are plenty of books and resources out there that will tell you how to perform micro gardening.  This is a type of gardening that allows you to maximize the minimal space and arable land that you may have.

The main thing is planning and knowing where to start.  On this site Miss Tess Pennington offers many different resources to pursue concerning gardening and cultivation.  You must find out the available square footage that is on your property and utilize it to the maximum potential to grow.  Make use of every possible growing space and do not neglect window boxes and plants that can be grown on the windowsill.  Do not neglect a deck if you live in a high-rise or an apartment building.  Be creative.  Try to plan for what you believe you will need.

Even if you do not have the acreage to be able to sustain you and your entire family, at the bare minimum you can supplement your food supply.  Let’s not forget that food in the immediacy is not the only consideration.  You want to save your seeds.  Seed-saving will be very important in the times to come, as you want to be assured of crops for future growing seasons.  The Survival Seed Vaults are good investments, especially if you have to pick up and run to another location or want to secure it in a cache.  Along those lines, consider adding the easiest seeds to grow in any of your caches, that way you can have a reliable food source when you need it the most. It’s kind of hard to take everything that is growing with you, and to have these seeds that you can take off with will help assuage the loss of your crops if you must flee.

Your survival garden should also include whatever you can pick up with wild crafting.  Remember that article I wrote last year on the book, “Eat the Weeds,” that details common wild plants and herbs that are edible?  Man forages as well as produces.  Never limit yourself to one activity.  Remember, when you find dandelions or shepherd’s purse…you can transplant them (here are some other edible weeds to consider)!  Bring them back to your survival garden and maintain them!  The only limits on your survival garden are the limits you place on it.

Other excellent resources for you are your county extension office and your local community college.  These institutions are replete with free information, tips, literature, and sometimes even free supplies for things such as gardening, horticulture, and composting.  Take advantage of these resources, as your tax dollars are paying for them.  Make inroads with the people who work there and they can point you toward a plethora of information and materials that you can use for your home.

To summarize, now is the time to get your garden in gear.  Whether you have 20 acres up in the mountains or just a small balcony in a high rise, you can make the most out of your space and resources with the proper planning and desire to grow some foods.  Plan your work and work your plan.  We look forward to hearing any ideas or suggestions you may have for your fellow readers and us.  Have a great day, and happy gardening!



Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 16th, 2016
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