There are a bunch of books titled or subtitled “Survival Gardening” or generally about gardening to survive in difficult times, and they all focus, slightly differently on the idea of garden to get through a crisis. [ed note: Read all the way through to find out which one is Sharon’s favorite! – Moriarty]

A salad with half the ingredients coming from our garden (Image: T. Larkum)

A salad with half the ingredients coming from our garden (Image: T. Larkum)

Most of them focus on what calorie intensive and nutritionally dense crops you can grow, how much land you need, and work from the underlying premise that you might need to depend on these for all your food. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’d like to argue for a wider view of survival than most of them promulgate (some do offer a wider view.)

I own several of them, and I rely on the work of the people who have thought this stuff through, but what is missing from most of them is asking “What KIND of survival garden am I going to need?” That may seem like a silly question, but as we’ve seen already, you can have lots of different kinds of disasters in your life, with different issues, and no garden does everything equally well.

For example, during Covid lockdown, most people had food – food was widely available and deliverable. But in many places, particularly countries with the strictest lockdowns, fresh produce may not have been as available to supplement easier to transport and distribute foods.

Read more: Ko-fi

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