Flowers, fruits, vegetables, and water. Mix in labor with ones hands, sunshine, some compost, and time. With good fortune, and a lot of love a “Garden of Paradise” can appear, even in areas of high elevation, cold climates, little rain, or just too much sun.
So I think we can agree that things look bad for our country right now. I think we all are coming to a point of acceptance in which as hard as it is to admit we know that at this point our children are staring at a bleak outlook. In fact I bet most of us at this point just try to avoid the news, radio, and other sources of information on the former United States of America.
What do we do now? Honestly I have been asked that question about one million times by everyone. It is a question that I do not have the answer to. I wish I did, I wish that I had a “magical” plan to turn this ship around and sail to calmer waters, but I don’t. Today all I want to focus on is helping you see that even when things are bad, getting worse, or at bleakness God has given us the skills, seeds, and supporting needs to bring life giving food into our world.
This is the third year of me working on my horticulture skills. I don’t have an acre of land to plant, a half acre, well not even any land, I rent an apartment, but I am still able to with a small outdoor patio, plant and grow a garden in planter boxes.
I imagine we all live in wildly different climates, soil types, and living arrangements. But I bet if you look hard enough you could plant a similar type garden to mine, or find a local farmers market to maybe lease some land from, or till up a 50 foot square spot within your perfect grass back yard to dedicate to planting.
Somewhere God said we were designed to work with our hands, let me think:
We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 1 Cr 4:12
Imagine if vegetable and herb gardens where planted in 50% of the homes and appartments in America. Imagine if you asked you husband, “Honey what’s for dinner?”, and he said, “I am in the garden right now harvesting it!”
What are the benefits of your own garden? More than I can put in this article, but how about a few:
- Money savings
- Higher quality foods
- Non GMO
- No chemical fertilizers, (if you choose to grow that route).
- Sense of self worth
- Did I mention the food just tastes better?
Let me talk about how I have specifically established a high output patio box garden for every person whom is living in situations where they may need to move in a year, a month, or a day from today. You could also do this for those fortunate enough to be living in your own PAID for home, just in case the time would need to evacuate, or just for convenience, (it is easier to grow your herbs in a multi opening vase).
First is what to grow the plants in, I used planter boxes that were three foot long by 12 inches deep. I also purchased some starter containers, and large clay vases about two foot in diameter by three foot deep. to hold the bigger items. You could also use wine barrels, or other planting boxes as long as you hold to the key strategy, portable, you can not get to big, or heavy to carry at most by a small dolly.
You will need dirt, now where I live a compost pile would most likely bring to many complaints from neighbors whom would not want their “urban living lifestyle” bothered with such odors and bugs. Just purchase enough to be able to fill your boxes, with a few cubic feet left over. A good fertilizer would help, I use Miracle Grow. You also will need a way to water your plants, and based on your climate a way to cover them when necessary, so a Garden hose to your hose bib, and plastic sheeting, with supporting wood or metal pieces.
Now what should you plant and grow? One word, VARIETY! It seems God designed us to not only work with our hands, but to not eat the same foods day after day. This means you should sit down and think about what you and your family enjoys eating, balance that with good nutrition, and take into account what will grow in your climate and fit in you planter boxes.
Let me give you an example, I love corn, (go figure I am from Ohio), so I tried growing Corn a few years ago in my first season. It came up fine, looked like everything would be just fine and then just stopped, prior to getting more than one foot high. As I performed the autopsy on the plants I was shocked to see that roots where impacted on the bottom of the box, in fact it seemed the corn root structure was more than three times the actual plant on the surface. In my case corn will not grow, it just needs more space underground than I can provide, however if you are able to use deeper boxes, or plant into the earth corn is a great crop to grow.
So in my Mediterranean climate of the Bay Area, I now have grown these vegetables very well, tomatoes (several heirloom variates), onions, yellow cucumbers, green peppers, jalapeno’s, and soybeans, For spices and herbs, cilantro, parsley, dill, oregano, mint, basil, chives, and even cat nip. I know you are thinking us in California it must be that other funny green plant, nope just cat nip, you let it dry in the sun, chop it up, and watch the cat go crazy. I also grow my own sugar it is called stevia, and chamomile to make tea with.
I have two DWARF fruit trees a Meyer lemon, and Cara Cara Orange. It is very important to get DWARF fruit trees, or else you will be looking at 25 foot high and wide trees which most likely will not fit on any patio, much less be able to move if needed. I believe fruit is essential to your garden because it provides you much needed vitamin C used to for your immune system to ward off Scurvy and colds.
No Garden would be complete without flowers. Of course they help you garden look good, and can be cut given to your special someone, but perhaps a more important reason is BEES. I think someone smart said:
“If bees where to disappear man kind would be extinguished in four years.” Albert Einstein
Bees will pollenate all of the flowers that will spring up from you plants, now you can do this yourself with time, patience and practice, sometimes fly’s will do it on accident, but bees where designed to do this task very well. Without pollination you will get no fruits or vegetables, just a bunch of green plants, that don’t taste very good on there own. I plant roses, and lilly’s which will come back year after year, as well as pepper in a few annual’s.
So someone whom lives in say Denver, will need to educate themselves on what grows in the climate, and in a reduced growing season, or strategize a way to start off plants inside your house, and then move outside when the weather turns nice. If you live in Boise or colder climates, then perhaps setting up a small movable green house would be a wise investment. Those that live in say Texas or Arizona, water is key, so you need to have back up plans in place of how to keep watering your gardens when that trusted old tap water shuts off, or the government decides that you can only have water once a week, In fact back up water plans area good idea EVERYWHERE.
I know that this is work, but for me it is one of the most rewarding tasks I do, and provides great serenity. When I make my tomato sauce with items from my garden it tastes a thousand percent better than Prego, My homemade salsa rivals that of my spanish cooks that I work with at the restaurant.
In terms of skills to train and develop to handle what life has coming down the pike for all of us, growing your own food is one of the most important. Imagine no power, no Safeway, no Costco, no Wal-mart, how long till you run out of food. Well there will come a point when those left standing will want to re-establish a constant food supply, and those whom can show green thumbs and the knowledge to do so will become VERY important members of the future world.
God Bless, and start planting!
Filed under: East Bay California, Economic Collapse, Featured, National Blog, Training · Tags: america, appartments, faithandsurvival, farmers market, fruits vegetables, garden of paradise, herb gardens, horticulture skills, money, outdoor patio, soil types, survival, water