Take a look at your seed and gardening catalogs. We love pouring over them, but not just because we love to look at the lovely pictures, and envision harvesting the food and setting our table. We know there's a very real chance that the only food we can afford in the nearby (unfortunately) future, that is healthy and non-contaminated, is what we grow.
So it's time to start asking ourselves (and yourselves) questions:
- How much room do you have to plant? Step outside, and look around. Potted tomatoes and peppers might do well along the driveway. That empty spot on the front "lawn" might love an apple or filbert tree. What about windowsills that get 4-8 hours of sunlight in the Summer? Or a corner of your living room where you can place a grow-light? Can you share some space in a neighbor's yard or in a community garden? Look at all of your possibilities.
- Are you willing to learn - not just about what to plant, but how to increase a harvest, keep out pests, prevent diseases, PLUS preserving your harvest by canning, dehydating, freezing, and so forth.
- Do you have the money? Sure, you MIGHT be able to do a bare-bones garden for almost no money, but can you feed your family on possibilities?
- Think about the food groups: starch/grain, vegetables, fruits, calcium, proteins, and fats. Can you provide a good variety in each? Make a list. Figure out how many different plants you can grow to provide enough healthy variety to your diet so you don't get bored with just what you've grown/produced.
- What you can't grow, can you provide in bulk? (Wheat, Rice, Salt, Olive Oil, etc)
- What about non-edibles, like cotton, bayberry bushes for candle wax, etc.... have you considered them?
Get the family together and talk about this. No, it's not too late to start planning. No matter where in the world you live, you can start a garden at any time. Even inside! So check back here often for solid information, but get going on your backyard grocery!
(Note: we live in the Northern Hemisphere, in Colorado in the United States, so most of our information will be geared to Summer (June, July, August). Refigure it for your location, if necessary.)