The Ultimate Survival Garden
Let’s face it, food prices are going only going up and they’re going up quickly. According to U.S. Inflation Calculator, the average price of food in the U.S. is up nearly 4% from this same time in 2020 and prices in 2020 were up nearly 4% from 2019. We don’t expect this upward trend to change but we do expect it to worsen. Look for food prices to shoot up dramatically in coming weeks and months for a few reasons.
One of these reasons is the Coronavirus National Emergency. Government ordered lockdowns forced agricultural production to be dramatically reduced by cutting staffing levels on farms and processing plants and, with the forced closure of restaurants and bars, excess food supplies heading to those establishments had to be dumped. Many crops that were produced in order to be delivered to the hospitality industry could not be repurposed and sent to grocery stores. This led to millions of acres of crops being plowed under or left to rot in the fields and massive losses for farmers. Many crops also went unplanted last year which led to shortages.
This combination of lockdowns and the destruction of crops led to widespread shortages which will continue for the foreseeable future, particularly as we see new health threats (such as mutating viruses and vaccine injuries) emerge as a result of the massive covid vaccination campaign. Newer and more powerful strains of a once very weak virus will emerge and wreak havoc on our country, endangering food production and delivery once again.
On top of this, poor fiscal, energy, economic and foreign policy by the Biden administration is guaranteed to make the situation worse as new regulations make food production and delivery more expensive, shortages more widespread, and conflict with other nations more likely as global confidence in our country begins to wane and capital flows away from the U.S. to other locations around the globe – like China.
In order to insulate oneself it is important to plant a garden to produce as much food on your property as possible. Here are some key foods and herbs you can grow to help insulate yourself from food price inflation. These crops are easy to grow, produce abundant amounts of food and store well if you use proper preservation and canning methods. Here’s a list that includes foods that grow as roots, on vines, as leafy greens or as trees covering the full spectrum of health and nutrition benefits.
- Sweet Potatoes are extremely high in vitamins A, C, potassium and manganese and can grow well in poor soil. They don’t require much water and prefer well drained soil. Plant them 12 to 18 inches apart with 3 feet between each row in full sun to partial shade. Each sweet potato provides around 86 calories.
- Potatoes, like sweet potatoes, are also easy to grow in fairly poor soil but prefer soil that is acidic. They need water about once per week and when harvested they can provide you with abundant levels of potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Potatoes provide you with about 87 calories each.
- Cayenne Pepper, like all peppers, are fairly drought resistant and besides having intense flavor can be used for medicinal purposes. They relieve migraine pain, prevent blood clots, fight colds and the flu and are loaded with vitamin A. Additionally, this pepper kills fungus and can be used to treat candida. It can also be used topically to treat wounds by preventing infections. Be careful not to overwater these plants and plant them in pH neutral soil.
- Tomatoes are a favorite because of their versatility of use in cooing and most families that grown veggies grow these easy to preserve plants. These plants like rich soil and a good amount of water, however. If your water supply is in doubt these may not be the best plants to raise but their high levels of vitamin C, potassium, beta carotene, lycopene and Folate make them attractive.
- Cantaloupe is an excellent fruit to grow and besides providing you with potent vitamins and minerals it is a hydrating fruit that is almost 90% water. They, like tomatoes, enjoy rich soil and lots of sun and they ripen rather quickly. Plant them in a row of mounds 18 to 24 inches apart.
- Swiss Chard, like potatoes, prefer slightly acidic soil and enjoy good amounts of water though they can do well in some dry climates. Chard is packed full of minerals like calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, iron and potassium making it a nutritional powerhouse. It is also high in vitamins A, C, E and K.
- Spinach is great for brain, heart and eye health and is very effective at battling oxidative stress in your body. This is a plant that enjoys a neutral soil pH and fairly moist soil so you’ll have to pay attention to watering. This plant is a robust one that can be sown in the fall as well so they’re ready to grow once spring rolls around.
- Cabbage is a favorite plant for many because of its versatility and high nutritional value. It can be used in salads, stews and for making sauerkraut which lasts a very long time if stored properly. They can even tolerate some frost and therefore cabbage is one of the best things you can plant in your survival garden. They also prefer a neutral soil pH and do best in cooler weather so you won’t want to plant them in the heat of summer. Even if you’re not making sauerkraut, cabbage can be stored for months if the temperature is kept between 33 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Onions enjoy rich well drained soil that is pH neutral. Onions are extremely high in antioxidants and also help control blood sugar. Because they also have strong antibacterial properties they can be used to make tinctures and tonics for medicinal use against viruses, bacteria and fungi. Onions also have use as anti-cancer treatments.
- Garlic is extremely easy to grow as long as you keep the soil moist and fairly neutral to slightly acidic in pH. It needs watering about once per week, however and can do well without large amounts of water. Garlic can grow through the cold winter months and has potent medicinal uses. It is used the world over to fight colds, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and it even helps to detoxify the body of heavy metals. It’s also known to be effective in treating dementia.
- Peaches are great because of their high levels of insoluble fiber which aids in digestion as well as enhances the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Peaches are great for those with intestinal issues and the peach flower extract can be used to make an herbal tea. These fruits are also high in vitamins and minerals and can be turned into preserves as well. Peach trees need acidic soil and full sun but don’t need a ton of babysitting except for proper pruning.
- Apples are another great fruit that can be made into preserves and, like peaches, promote good gut bacteria and digestive health due to the pectin they contain. Apple trees can in fact be grown from seed though it’s best to get a tree that has already been started since they can take three years before they start producing fruit. Apple trees also require pruning to enable a higher and healthier fruit yield so you’ll have to stay on top of removing dead or diseased wood from the tree as it grows.
There you have it. Twelve foods you can grow in your garden not only to provide you with an independent source of healthy foods but also foods that can also store well when your garden isn’t producing during certain cold months of the year. All of these foods have great health or medicinal properties and will ensure your body has what it needs to function properly at a cellular level.
Now, for the ultimate survival garden, grow the foods listed above alongside your medicinal garden and you’ll have great health as well as buffer between you and food price inflation during harsh economic times.