Planning A Survival Garden

On today’s podcast episode, Harold and Rachel discuss planning a survival garden, from things to consider to what crops are best to grow.

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 233 – January 24, 2024


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Survival gardening is more than just a hobby; it’s a necessity in today’s world. With uncertainties in food supply chains, it’s crucial to have a garden that can sustain your family’s nutritional needs. Whether for health, lifestyle, or as a precautionary measure, survival gardening is about being prepared and self-reliant.

The Purpose of Survival Gardening

Unlike traditional gardening, survival gardening focuses on food security and self-sufficiency. It involves growing crops that are calorie-dense, nutritious, and easy to store, ensuring a reliable food source regardless of external circumstances.

Key Considerations for Survival Gardening

When planning a survival garden, certain factors need to be considered for optimal yield and sustainability.

Location and Environment

Choose a garden location with adequate sunlight, good soil quality, and easy access to water. Consider protection from both pests and potential human threats, perhaps even opting for concealed or disguised gardening to protect your food source.

Balancing Heirlooms and Hybrids

Select a mix of heirloom and hybrid seeds. Heirlooms are great for seed saving, while hybrids can offer disease resistance. This balance ensures both sustainability and a higher success rate in your garden.

The Importance of Perennials

Incorporate perennials into your garden. Plants that regrow every year reduce the need for annual replanting and provide a consistent food source with minimal effort.

Recommended Crops for Survival Gardening

A survival garden should include a variety of crops, each serving a specific purpose in terms of nutrition, storability, and ease of growth.

Staple Crops

  • Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes: High in calories and nutrients, and they store well.
  • Winter Squash: Offers a high yield and long-term storage potential.
  • Corn and Amaranth: Excellent grains for basic carbohydrates and easy processing.

Nutritious Greens

  • Chard, Kale, or Collards: Select a hardy green that grows well in your area, providing essential vitamins and minerals.

Legumes for Protein

  • Beans (Pole and Bush): A great source of protein and versatile for storing.
  • Lentils and Peas: Offer additional protein options and are relatively easy to grow.

Additional Essentials

  • Garlic and Onions: Provide flavor and medicinal properties.
  • Medicinal Herbs: Such as oregano, peppermint, and chamomile, for their health benefits and culinary uses.
  • Sunflowers and Sunchokes: Good for seeds and tubers, offering both food and utility.

Storage and Preservation

Discuss the various methods of preserving your harvest, including canning, dehydrating, and freezing. Emphasize the importance of having a variety of preservation methods to ensure a diverse and long-lasting food supply.

Sustainability and Adaptability

Survival gardening is not just about growing food; it’s about creating a sustainable ecosystem. Encourage practices like composting, rainwater harvesting, and organic pest control to maintain a healthy garden environment.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, survival gardening is an essential skill for modern homesteaders. It’s about being proactive, adaptable, and self-sufficient. Whether you’re an experienced gardener or just starting, the journey towards a sustainable, self-reliant lifestyle is rewarding and empowering.


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  • User Avatar

    Author, blogger, podcaster, homesteading and permaculture enthusiast. I have a passion for sharing what I learn and helping others on their journey. If you're looking for me, you'll usually find me in the garden.

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  • Rachel Jamison

    An aspiring permaculturist and urban homesteader who loves to teach and inspire others to grow where they are planted.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Janis

    Second comment: if you don’t prefer sweet potatoes over white, try the variety O’Henry. White fleshed, and a little less sweet than the orange varieties.

    1. User Avatar
      Harold Thornbro

      Thanks for the recommendation. I will have to check those out!

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