Food production needs to be the top long-term priority for anyone wanting to survive a major long-lasting grid-own SHTF event like economic or political collapse, EMP attack, and so forth. Our agricultural infrastructure and just-in-time food distribution system are precariously balanced, and it won't take much to knock it down, especially in a serious nation-wide event. That poses a real problem if you don't have land.
But what if I live in the city? What if I live in an apartment? Or a condo?
All hope is not lost. There are still some things you can do.
1) Consider container gardening indoors, on windowsills, porches, and balconies. A lot can be grown in containers, including all herbs, all lettuce varieties, all greens (spinach, collards, turnip, mustard, Swiss chard, etc.), tomatoes (both regular size and the mini ones), all varieties of peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, and zucchini. In fact almost everything can be grown in containers. The only drawback is that container gardens need more frequent watering that regular gardens, and plant size may be limited by the container.
For some ideas and inspiration, watch these two You Tube videos:
- Container Garden Prep - Soil Planting Square Foot Gardening Patio
- Apartment Food Container Gardening (Getting Started)
- The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible: How to Grow a Bounty of Food in Pots, Tubs, and Other Containers
- Container Gardening: Grow Organic Vegetables and Organic Herbs with Container Gardening
If there is not a community garden in your area, that would make a perfect project for your church or synagogue. The idea of community gardens became popular with the push for "Victory Gardens" during WWI, the Great Depression, and WWII, then fell out of favor until its revival in recent years. You may be interested in my article on the fascinating History of Victory Gardens.
3) If you have even a little bit of land, you can have some gardening success. Here are some resources for Small Plot Gardening:
If you only have a small space in which to garden, you can still grow a lot of food. Check out these articles on this website for tips and ideas: 1) Small Plot Gardening, 2) More Small Plot Gardening, and 3) Lasagna Gardening.
If you are fortunate enough to have a small lot, I recommend the book Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre. You'll be surprised how much you can grow on a small plot of land, even if its less than a quarter acre.
4) Believe it or not, forest gardening techniques might prove useful in urban areas. Two articles I've written might be of some interest:
- Gardening in Hedgerows and Verges - Make the best use of narrow strips of land
- Size Doesn't Matter, At Least In Forest Gardening - You really don't need much land for Forest Gardening
***Coming later this week: Composting and Vermiculture (composting with worms!)
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