Self-Reliance: Gardening

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Gardening is the second most popular hobby in the United States. Home gardens can be found on acres of land, or in small 4×4 square foot garden boxes. Many people are discovering the joy and benefits of learning to plant, grow, and harvest their own foods.

Gardening and Food Storage

Gardening goes hand-in-hand with food preservation (canning, dehydrating, or freezing). If you can grow your own foods to preserve them you can save a lot of money and your preserved foods will be a lot cheaper than store-bought foods. Many people who are interested in food storage have quite substantial home gardens to supplement their basic long term storage.

Gardening is something that could be a critical skill in a long-term emergency situation (food shortage, transportation system shut-down, etc.). Everyone should keep some emergency seeds on hand at a minimum. We highly recommend at least dabbling in gardening so you can get the feel for your area’s seasons, your soil conditions, etc.

Benefits of Gardening

  • Gardening is a fun hobby and actually provides a little exercise
  • Grow your own healthy, organic fruits and vegetables
  • Save money during months of harvest
  • Have enough produce to preserve bulk quantities to add to your food storage
  • Fun activity to involve the whole family in (kids LOVE to harvest!)

More Information on Gardening


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  • Deborah Jennings

    I just bought a book on Square foot gardening. It is awesome! We have done this before and you will be really surprised at what you can produce from a square foot! We had a modified square foot garden, and I canned 97 pints of green beans. We gave beans away, we ate beans, and I even froze some. (NOTE: Frozen beans are pretty mushy.)

  • CF

    Resources for heirloom seeds at affordable prices as well as the best air tight and water safe containers to store them in, in an organized fashion would be really helpful! <3 🙂 (Pretty Please?)

  • This is
    cool! And so interested! Are u have more posts like this? Please tell me,

  •  Gardening is really fun. It also feels good when we spend weekends with our friends in our garden. Maintaining garden is more important and I prefer organic pest for it.I found here lot of tips for gardening.

  •  Gardening is really fun. It also feels good when we spend weekends with our friends in our garden. Maintaining garden is more important and I prefer organic pest for it.I found here lot of tips for gardening.

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  • Xcntry

    I wish there was somebody in my area that would be willing to ‘hold my hand’ this first year…we don’t have a tiller but have a great garden spot…not sure what to plant and when here in Southeast Idaho…

    • ski bum

      If you can’t find a local to teach you, just google your state and garden and you’ll usually find a wealth of gardening information from you state’s university system (look for the website with .edu). I’ve gardened in a few different states and always found these helpful. And while tillers are awesome (we managed to borrow one in one place we lived), we’ve mostly just turned the dirt with a shovel and “chopped” it up as best we could since we don’t have one. Throw in some fertilizer or compost, plant some seeds or plants, and see what works for your area. I’ve only been gardening for a few years and find it kind of fun to see what works and what doesn’t (green beans are usually a pretty easy one to start with). Good luck!

      • wingedshadowwolf

        You could rent a tiller. I live in Alaska and both of the local rental places had them for $60/day. If you are trying the square foot method you’d only need the tiller when you first start your garden.

  • Sune

    If you greenhouse garden and don’t want to use pesticides, you can use a bug light to catch flying insects and place a small kids pool inside with frogs. They will eat plenty of insects and you will see them fatten up with time.

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