It really appears to me that so many preppers rely on store-bought things in order to get their gardens to grow and produce food.
They buy garden soil, they buy pesticides, they buy fertilizers, etc.
But after SHTF: we will NOT be able to buy all of that stuff. We have to be able to grow our food using heirloom seeds (more on that later), how to save the seeds so we can replant the next year, and how to make our own nutrient-rich dirt.
Now many of us live in areas where we have DIRT… and not soil.
The short of it is: is that we need good nutrient-rich soil for our vegetables to grow in; and the dirt that’s in our back yards are good for growing grass… and not much else.
Now a GREAT way to get your own nutrient-rich dirt is to compost. Simply put: gather your grass-clippings and the leaves that fall from your tree and compost them. And then use what you compost to enrich the soil where you’ll be growing your food after the grid goes down.
And to see a video where I make composting very easy, then click here:
And you can also compost more than just your yard-waste: you can compost the ends to your vegetables that you chop for dinner, and eggshells, and coffee grinds, etc.
What you DON’T want to compost is the feces from any animal that eats meat; nor cooked food (that’ll attract scavengers).
So now since you’ve got good soil to grow your vegetables in, let’s talk about what kind of food you’ll want to grow.
Now this will be very dependent on the area that you live, but I like to stick to vegetables that actually have some calories and substance to them; and I like to grow some fruit too.
So I really like to focus on potatoes and sweet potatoes and winter squash and tomatoes as far as vegetables go.
I like how potatoes and sweet potatoes have a lot of calories to them; and also store well for most of the winter (without refrigeration) after you harvest them. I think these two crops will be very important after SHTF because of the amount of calories they provide.
I also like winter squash because they also have some ‘meat’ to them; and they will also store in your house without refrigeration for most of the winter. Along with potatoes, this is another vegetable that will fill your belly and not require refrigeration to be stored over the winter in your house.
And I like to grow tomatoes because they are so good at adding flavor to foods. You can cook them in stews or make your own pasta sauce with it (this will pair nicely with the pasta you can buy from the LDS Family Home Storage).
And with fruit, I like to grow raspberries and grapes and strawberries because they can be eaten raw and they can also be easily made into jams.
*Note: I recently purchased some rural land that will be a bug-out location, and on this land I will soon be planting an orchard so I can grow much more than the handful of fruits I grow now.
And of course, I also grow several different types of herbs. These herbs will add flavor and extra nutrients to the vegetables that I harvest and cook. For example: they’ll allow me to turn the tomatoes into pasta sauce, also be cooked into stews for the extra flavor, etc.
Now you’ll want to find out what you can you grow in your area to decide what would be best for you to grow. For instance, I cannot grow orange trees or olive trees in my area. But you’ll definitely want to find out what will grow in your area and then choose what will give you the most calories and the most nutrition.
Also please know that the vegetables and fruits that I listed above are what works best for ME. Everybody will have different tastes and preferences; so I am not trying to suggest that you only grow what I listed above.
So now since you’ve decided what you’ll want to grow for after SHTF, now let’s talk about the seeds. Many preppers don’t know the difference between hybrid seeds and heirloom seeds, so they’ll go and buy all hybrid seeds (which is not good).
To make it simple: hybrid seeds will give you one good harvest, but you generally can’t save the seeds from them to plant a new garden with the following year. This means that a person has to go to the store every year to buy new seeds to plant their garden with. But if the stores go empty after SHTF, then a person won’t be able to buy those seeds (and therefore not be able to plant a new garden).
But heirloom seeds are different. With heirloom vegetables you can save the seeds from those vegetables and then plant those seeds the following year for a whole new garden. And then the following year save those seeds for the next year’s garden (and so-on, and so-on, etc.).
And to see some videos where I show how to save the seeds from several different heirloom vegetables, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ut_E8J2Huo&list=PLa2nLSRBPkgwivQQGuSpIWFRZoUHDahft&index=21&t=0s
And if you want to check out some heirloom seeds that have done pretty well for me, check these out: https://www.amazon.com/shop/ethicalpreparedness?listId=1SI13LB1GKDW4
But one of the big things to remember about gardening is: is that gardening will many times have a little bit of a ‘learning curve’ to it.
While gardening is not super hard, you will make mistakes and suffer crops failures.
I honestly see a lot of preppers who have bought cans of ‘survival seeds’ that they just throw into their stockpiles… and they never practice gardening. And I think a lot of preppers who do this will have a rude awakening after SHTF because they’ve not had practice with amending their soil, or what grows best in their area, or what gives them the most calories, etc.
I really think that preppers who just buy seeds and don’t practice gardening: I think they will starve to death after SHTF.