Gardening as a Survival Skill

( – The term “prepping” got a bad reputation when the general public thought it was all about building bunkers to hide in if the apocalypse were to strike. However, that’s at the far end of the spectrum, and only for those with a great deal of money to spare.

What It’s Really About

In reality, it’s exactly what one would find in the dictionary under the word “prepared” which is “properly expectant, organized, or equipped; ready.” It doesn’t have to mean the end of humanity or the zombie apocalypse, only things that happen every day in the world like:

  • Hurricanes
  • Earthquakes
  • Tornadoes
  • Blackouts

Everybody should have an emergency kit or “go bag” that contains some essential items they gathered ahead of time. Flashlights, batteries, first-aid kits, and an emergency radio for official information are among the minimum that one should have.

It’s possible for things to stretch out longer than just a day or two and that’s when a bit more than the minimum will come in handy. After an earthquake, structures can become dangerous to stay in and a tent can become a literal lifesaver; and food can quickly spoil and become scarce in an emergency and that’s why knowing how to grow things is vital.

Food Procurement

It’s best to get a book or other resource that spells out what plants will thrive in different regions of the country before disaster strikes. A physical book is best because there’s no telling how badly power and Internet access might be interrupted and an e-book would be of no use.

After learning what you can grow in an area, the next step is searching online or going to a local gardening store to find the right seeds. You also want to learn the best way to keep them fresh in the long term. Having hand tools — accessing gasoline for power tools may not be feasible — like shovels and hoes prior to needing them is also a good idea because one never knows if stores will be open.

Medicinal Purposes

The fancy word for a person who blends herbs and flowers for healing or the store they sell them in is an apothecary. While there are many places today that sell them, they might be inaccessible in these kinds of situations.

The idea for many of today’s expensive pharmaceuticals came from biological materials. For example, penicillin was the first antibiotic developed and it came from mold. Some of the most powerful painkillers are derived from the poppyseed plant.

As with the general prepping idea, there are many good books and guides that describe which plants are helpful and which are dangerous for cultivating or forging. When dealing with herbs, only a small area is needed to grow an adequate collection.

Commercially-made systems allow a person to accomplish this indoors in varying sizes, ranging from tabletop to room-size greenhouses. The idea of emergency preparedness is no longer just for the tinfoil hat brigade.

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