Those who have thought of long term emergency situations have thought long and hard on ways to secure their land, food and possessions. There is no doubt they have also thought of how to grow food, yet keep it hidden at the same time. Having a garden in an inconspicuous location will not only ensure OPSEC (operational security), but may also discourage others from seeing and wanting what someone else is growing. The bottom line to having a survival garden is to ensure the health and prosperity of your group or family.
Achieving a Secret Survival Garden
Concealing Your Plants – Many have thought of the idea to conceal the garden with a sturdy barrier or fence using materials such as cement blocks (6 ft. or taller), and then adding a locked gate that strangers cannot access easily or kick in. The gate would be functional, yet protective at the the same time. Adding additional security to this type of garden can be added by placing broken glass or nails on top of the walls. The broken glass will not be easily seen and create a protective layer to the top of the garden.
Planting bushes or plants with thorns (bush or vining) on the outside of the wall would minimize invasions with their intimidating presence. Some varieties are zone specific so do some research to find out which security plants grow in your area. However, any type of thorning plant will ensure that an outsider to the garden will not be able to access the inside of the garden.
The author of the Survivalist Blog gives some insight on how to get your home and your garden to “blend in” so that attention is not drawn to it. Here are some of the tips that were mentioned:
“Concealing your plants can be achieved by covering the plants in some way, such as using the Three Sisters method or allowing tall weeds to grow around the garden. Additionally, not drawing attention to gardens with pathways is another suggestion of keeping the garden out of sight. The idea is to make your garden blend into it’s surroundings as much as possible. This can be achieved by not leaving trash around, and covering any exposed soil with leaves, mulch, or whatever was covering the garden before you started working.”
Grow Indoors – If one is concerned with growing outdoors, growing indoors can be achieved by either growing plants near a sunny window or by creating an inconspicuous green house or “grow room”. Grow rooms are a great way to hide what is on the inside of the building/room. This method is best if windows are covered in plastic or there are no windows to begin with for people to look in. The author of the Survivalist Blog provides some advice for building this type of room set up:
“Grow rooms can be made by “taking the roof off of an old shed, barn, garage or storage building and replacing it with corrugated fiberglass sheets used to build greenhouses. You can get the fiberglass sheets at any good hardware store. The walls and floor of the building should be painted white or covered with aluminum foil to reflect sun-light back onto the plants…Grow rooms should also have vents covered with screen cut into the walls to let air circulate. The vents should be cut up high next to the roof to keep anyone from looking in. Four 6×12 inch vents, will provide plenty of air circulation for a modest size room of 15×30.”
Items to Have For an Indoor Survival Garden
Having an indoor greenhouse is a great way to hide the plants so those passing by do not notice it. However, depending on where the grow room is in the home, additional items may be needed to get plants to grow to their optimum growing capacity. Mimicking mother nature is not an easy task. For plants to grow, they need adequate sunlight, nutrients, a breeze and good amounts of water.
For example, if a person were to grow plants in their basement or a windlowless room to completely conceal their harvest, they may need items such as:
- Self watering planters or planters of different sizes
- Soil or growing mediums for hydroponic growing
- Fans or Ventilation Fans
- Lights if there is not sufficient sunlight in the room
- Additional shelving or tables
- irrigation system or hoses
- Trellises or support cages
- Hydroponic gardening system
- Books or sources on how to grow plants indoors or the hydroponic method
This small investment will pay itself back the first harvest. Food can be harvested year round and stored for later use. Additionally, having fresh foods in a survival situation will sustain the body with a constant supply of fresh vitamins and nutrients, as well as purifies the home with rich oxygen to reduce lung related illnesses and allergies.