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Preparedness: How To Begin “Square Foot” Gardening

Square foot gardening is a simple method of creating small, orderly, and highly productive kitchen gardens. You may have even seen them before.  With people leaning more and more towards preparedness, their popularity is growing.

It was invented by backyard gardener, retired engineer, and efficiency expert Mel Bartholomew as a better way to grow a vegetable garden, and it became a huge hit when he introduced the idea to the gardening public in 1981 in his book Square Foot Gardening.  The best part about this approach is that you only need a small amount of space to grow an efficient garden – and it can be done indoors.  This is valuable to those who live in cooler climates.

The basic concept is to create a small garden bed (4 feet by 4 feet or 4 feet by 8 feet are common sizes) and divide it into a grid of 1-foot squares, which you manage individually. Seeds or seedlings of each kind of vegetable are planted in one or more squares, at a density based on plant size (e.g., you’d plant about 16 radish seeds per square, but only one tomato plant). Since there are no paths, there is no wasted space, and the soil in the bed stays loose because you never step on it. If you aren’t able to build your own garden bed, there places you can purchase premade beds.

The one huge advantage to making the garden bed yourself is that you can build it to fit where you want it and the amount of food you want to grow.  The one disadvantage is that startup costs can be high even if you make your own beds. The expense of building even a small raised bed and filling it with soilless mix has the potential add up quickly. If you do have good soil to work with, stick with the original method and form in-ground garden beds for much less money.

The following guideline may be of use to you.  These can be found all over the internet with minimal searching.  It’s easy enough to find one that can work for you and the space you’ve got to work with.

Gardening and preparedness have both become more popular in the wake of the government’s overreaction to the coronavirus, which has crippled food supply lines, and impoverished millions already.  Self-sustainable lifestyles were not popular even two months ago, but all that has rapidly changed.  Seeds are not impossible to come by, but we suggest you choose heirloom varieties, so you can save your own seeds and replant them indefinitely.

4 Reasons To Choose Heirloom Seeds For Your Garden

Heirloom seeds will also produce vegetables that will be easier to regrow in water.

Preparedness: How To Regrow Vegetables In Water

Taking small steps toward a more self-sustainable lifestyle and being less dependent on government handouts and the weak food supply chain will give people a leg up when the coming economic collapse truly makes its impact felt.

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Preparedness: How To Regrow Vegetables In Water

Food, at any time, could become a valuable commodity. In addition to learning to grow a garden, you should also know how to garden, save seeds, and “regrow” certain vegetables in water to get the most out of your garden.

A lot of preppers understand this idea, but many still don’t practice it. I admit that I don’t do this as often as I should, but now is good time to start! And getting started is simple. Just don’t throw away your vegetable food scraps, just yet! Those can be used to grow more vegetables, money can be saved, you’ll spend less time at the grocery stores, and won’t need to grow as much in your own garden.

Regrowing your vegetables in water can be done with store-bought vegetables too, and that is a great place to start.

These are the ten vegetables that will easily regrow in water in the comfort of your own home (there are others, but it can be easier to start here):

Bok Choy
Simply cut off leaves at the bottom of the stalks and within a few days, new growth will appear.

Cut the bottom of the head off, & place it in a shallow bowl with a small amount of water. Don’t let the leaves get too big, they’ll taste better when small.

Carrot Greens
When you’ve finished eating the root of the carrot plant, save the tops! Cut them down to just a few inches and watch them produce new green leaves.  Excellent for tossing into salads, make pesto or add to your green juices.

Cut the stalks down to about 2-3 inches tall.  Place the base of the plant and small roots into a shallow bowl with a small amount of water and watch a new small stalk begin to grow from the center.

Cut the stalk down to about 1-2 inches tall, leaving the roots intact. Place in a shallow bowl with water.

Garlic Chives
Place a small garlic bulb that has started to grow a green shoot into a shallow bowl of water. Within a few days, you’ll be enjoying fresh garlic chives.

Green Onions
Cut the green part off of your green onion, and place the white stalk with the roots intact into a bowl of water.  The stalk will regrow the green section that you cut off.

Remove the bottom of the head, leaving it about 1-3 inches long.  Place that into a shallow bowl with water.  It will regrow small lettuce leaves in the center.

Place the bottom section of the stalk, about 2-3 inches long, into a bowl with water. It will re-grow the center portion of the leek.

Lemon Grass
Plant the same as you would a leek. Remove all but 2-3 inches of the stalk, place in about 1/2 inch of water and watch it regrow from the center.

Don’t stop there either! Plant your own garden this year. Choose non-GMO heirloom seeds so you’ll have new seeds from your vegetable harvest every year. Save seeds and you can replant your garden without needing to purchase more seeds.

Once you’ve learned to garden, don’t let a late frost or an animal destroy your means of getting food.  You should also be able to forage for plants that are edible.  There are several books out there to help, the three below are highly rated and great resources for anyone looking for a more self-sustaining lifestyle:

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Episode-2563- Thirty New Plants from Baker Creek to Grow in 2020

Well the dang Baker Creek catalog showed up and I got sucked in.  As I paged though it thinking about all the new grow space I will have in the coming season I started dog-earing pages.  As I did so Continue reading →