The COVID-19 pandemic was a significant wake-up call to a lot of people. Anyone who was complacent in their emergency planning or simply “knew” the stores would always have what they needed have been shaken up in a big way. Perhaps that describes you, or maybe you simply want help preparing for future supply disruptions on the horizon. Either way, we can take our cue from something our grandparents worked on 80 years ago: victory gardens.
Victory gardens were fruit, vegetable, and herb gardens planted at home during World Wars I and II. They were used by residents all over the world including in the United States, UK, Canada, Australia, and even Germany. They were designed to supplement rations and boost morale. Whenever the supply chain is disrupted, having your own victory garden can help you keep fresh food on the table and give you concrete ways to control supplies. Here are the tips you need.
Why Grow a Victory Garden?
Being self-sufficient isn’t just for homesteaders. Anyone can benefit from having a variety of fresh vegetables and herbs in their yard. Not only do you reduce your carbon footprint by reducing how much you rely on commercially-produced food, but you also get the advantages of truly fresh vegetables! As soon as food is harvested, it begins to lose moisture and nutrients. By the time it’s transported from a farm to the grocery store in your area, it has lost considerable health value. However, when you grow your own food, you can eat it fresh from the garden, which means you get all the flavor and nutrition available!
When you grow food yourself, you can control exactly how it’s treated from start to finish. Everything from the type of fertilizer you use to whether you grow organically is in your hands. You don’t have to guess how a farmer chose to operate, and you can skip the harmful chemicals in most grocery-store produce.
A variety of studies have shown the link between the availability of fresh food and the overall health of a community. When you garden and encourage those around you to do so as well, you’re helping prevent food deserts and promoting better mental and physical health for everyone involved. A garden at your home allows you to take care of yourself even when supply chains are interrupted. Even better, many plants produce an abundance of crops, which will enable you to share and care for others as well.
Cultivating Your Garden
The first step is deciding where you want to plant. If you have a yard, be sure you make a note of any Homeowners Association rules before you plan and dig your garden. Don’t have land? No problem – you can grow a variety of vegetables and herbs in pots. Even a condominium with a small deck or sunny window has what you need for a garden.
You’ll want to create good soil, which will vary depending on what you hope to grow. Be sure you research what vegetables grow best in your region and what kind of preparation you need to do on the ground so they’ll thrive. You’ll also need to research planting schedules. In some areas of the country, you need to plant after the last frost, while in others you’ll want to plant early to avoid the scorching heat of the summer.
Finally, think about irrigation. Watering a garden can require a lot of resources, and you want to be eco-friendly about how you do it. Flumes can be used to water your garden plot, or you can choose drip irrigation or other water-conservation methods. There are many ways to conserve water while growing a healthy vegetable garden. Find out what works best in your area and save money while making a positive impact on the environment.
Design Storage for Your Crops and Gardening Supplies
The final step to creating your victory garden is to design storage solutions for your supplies and harvested crops. Outdoor lockers or garden sheds are a great way to store your gardening tools while keeping them organized and accessible. You probably don’t want to store harvested crops outside, however.
Instead, consider creating a root cellar or investing in canning and freezing supplies. With a little bit of effort, you can preserve your harvest and have fresh, nutritious food to eat all year long. This is especially helpful when your plants do well and produce a bumper crop!
These Gardening Tips Can Help You Survive Disaster
You don’t have to be a master gardener to have a successful victory garden – although it doesn’t hurt to get tips from someone who is! With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can have a beautiful garden that provides you with colorful, nutritious food at a fraction of the cost of the grocery store.
COVID-19 hasn’t passed yet, and who knows what other global events are waiting in the future. If you plant a garden now, you’ll be better prepared to provide for yourself and your family no matter what happens. Best of all, you can control exactly what you grow and the methods you use. There’s nothing better than fresh vegetables straight from your own garden!
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