Guerrilla Gardening – Hiding your food production
I would like to introduce the concept of guerrilla gardening to you. I’m unsure if this is an original concept, but nonetheless, I am here to share knowledge. Guerrilla gardening is a concept of distributing and hiding your garden patches. Rather than having one single large garden, guerrilla gardening is about have many small garden patches. The goal of guerrilla gardening is not relying on a single point of failure. A great deal of survival topics is simply about not having single points of failure. When you have redundancies, you have abundance. When you have just one of something, and that something is no longer available, then you are put into a disaster situation.
Your typical garden is a contiguous plot of land. Usually your garden is a short walk from your home. You can pull-out your wheelbarrow and tools to work in your garden in just a few minutes. Guerrilla gardens are not close to your home and usually a healthy walk away from your home. Instead of having one large plot for your garden, a guerrilla gardening is conducted by having series of small garden plots in all directions away from you home. The best locations for a guerrilla garden plot is a spot that is well hidden, not on a normal walking trail, and with good lighting but surrounded by brush and trees. A guerrilla garden is going to be a small 5 foot by 5 foot plot located one-quarter or one-half miles into the forest. Often a guerrilla garden plot will be within 30 feet of a stream or river to insure that the plot of land receives enough moisture and yet is well-drained. You do not want to put the guerrilla garden plot on land that will be easily flooded by a stream or river, when a heavy rain occurs. With a guerrilla garden plot, you might be able to make use of isolated land that is never visited on a regular basis by people. Some common spots to conduct guerrilla gardening are utility rights of way, forest preserves, green zones between home developments, and abandoned land. You can find isolate, unused plots of land in many large cities and throughout suburbs. As I always do, stay within the confines of the law. Be careful about trespassing.
You are not expecting a high yield with a guerrilla garden plot. Expect to achieve perhaps 10% to 25% yield. This is okay. The low yield is expected due to irregular weeding, animals, and on the rare occasion, a person happens upon your guerrilla garden plot. You make up for the low yield by having a lot more guerrilla plots than you need. If your regular garden takes up 25 feet by 25 feet in size (which is 625 square feed), then you might utilize twenty-five 5 feet by 5 feet plots for guerrilla gardening (which is also 625 square feet). I’d recommend that you retain your existing garden plot and also plant some extra guerrilla garden plots.
Guerrilla garden plots are food insurance. In the event of a disaster or economic collapse, I am expecting that gardens will be raided on a regular basis. Hungry, starving people will be creeping out in the dark hours of the night (2:00 AM to 5:00 AM) to steal from neighbor’s gardens. A productive, health garden will be a tremendous target. A large garden will identify your home as occupied and a desirable target for bigger crimes. During the next Great Depression and economic collapse, you would be well served by having 20, 30, or even more hidden small garden plots in remote, isolated areas. In my previous posting, I emphasized that root vegetables should be a priority in your gardening efforts. Root vegetables are perfect for guerrilla gardening. This is because root vegetables need very little weeding and have a low profile. Unlike beans and other vine vegetables which might need to have stakes, root vegetables look like weeds from a distance. A bunch of bean poles will attract attention. Ground vine vegetables are also good candidates for guerrilla garden. Pumpkins, squash, and cucumbers look like weeds from a distance.
The hardest part of guerrilla gardening is finding the hidden plots. You need to go on lots of hiking trips around your location to search for unused, difficult to access plots of land. To maintain operational security (OPSEC), you will want your neighbors accustomed to seeing you going out for a hiking with a backpack. But in your backpack will be a collapsible shovel, garden seeds, and a map. You will definitely want to map out the locations, since when you have 20 or 30 guerrilla gardens, it is easy to lose track. Also, you want your family and survival party to have a guide to finding the hidden garden patches, in case you are out of the picture in the future.
One of the benefits of a guerrilla garden is the low amount of work it takes. Aside from the effort to plant the seeds, you may only need to visit the guerrilla garden plots just a few times during the growing season. When you do visit the plots, the only weeding you want to do is removing just the weeds that are directly inhibiting the grows of the vegetables. Otherwise, you want to encourage weeds to surround and block the view into the guerrilla garden.
Towards the end of the growing season, you take your regular hiking with your backpack, visit the plots, pull out of the ground what is ready for harvest, stuff the harvest into a plastic bag which is stuffed back into your backpack. You return from your regular hike with food, and your neighbors and observers are none the wiser.
You want to be careful to avoid locations already being used for illegal activities. Stay away from any areas that are used for moonshining or used to grow mariana. These locations will be targeted for law enforcement and can easily be booby-trapped. Stay away from locations that are carrying utility lines and pipelines. Stay away from former industrial sites, which may have toxic chemicals or heavy metals in the soil. Stay away from mining locations and quarries. Stay away from plots of land which are not already natively growing weeds and wild plants. You want plots which look healthy and already support plant growth. The guerrilla garden plot should already be successful into growing local native weeds. You plots of land which are difficult to see from a distance. If you can see the plot of land from beyond 50 feet, make that plot a low priority.
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- Have a sizable backpack to carry your tools and bring back the harvest results.
- Have a machete to cut through the brush. You will need to make a narrow path to the guerrilla plot. Make the path as narrow as you can tolerate.
- Have a collapsible shovel and other hand tools. Your hard work is to turn over and break up the soil. Having the right tools transforms a 4 hour job into a 1 hour job. One of the best tools would be a small hand ax. Use the hand ax to chop up and break up the soil. The use the collapsible shovel to turn over the soil.
- Have a detailed map of the area around your home and/or bug-out retreat. A subdivision map or a detailed county road map might suffice.
- Buy lots and lots of garden seeds. Having lots of garden seeds is a high priority for survival preppers. Accumulate both GMO and non-GMO seeds. GMO seeds are often drought resistant and higher producing. Non-GMO seeds are sustainable, since you can collect the seeds for planting next year. In my inventory is nearly 500,000 seeds of various grains, vegetables, fruits, and sprouting seeds. Add and rotate garden seeds every year. Around Thanksgiving is the perfect time to buy garden seeds, since the growing season is over and few are yet thinking about the planting season until early next year. Visit local hardware and garden stores to find seeds on sale. I find lots of survival seeds at excellent prices on ebay. Search for “survival seeds” on ebay to find lots of good options. Buy seeds from a variety of different sources, and not just one distributor. You want garden seeds from a variety of producers, since one producer might have a had a bad batch. And don’t just buy one type of seed for each type of vegetable. There are dozens of different varieties of tomatoes, so include 6 or more varieties of tomato in your seed storage. It is important to know which vegetables and fruits grow best in your climate and local soil. Talk to your local garden store to find out which plants grows best in your region.
- Start a regular habit of going for a walk with your backpack on. If anyone asks, it is your regular exercise habit. Or you have a bird-watching hobby.
- Have a means to defend yourself. I would be carrying at least my sidearm. Perhaps a shotgun without a butt stock, which would be hidden in backpack backpack. You need to defend yourself any 2-legged and 4-legged animals. In my neighborhood, you can hear the coyotes howling at night. As I always recommend, run away from trouble if you can. As the first hint of trouble, retreat immediately. If a guerrilla garden plot has been disturbed by man or beast, cross it off your map and find different plot.
- Have a long-range walkie-talkie which can connect back to your homestead, so that you can keep in constant communication with your family and survival group members. Have code words to express if you are in trouble or if help is needed. “Give the dog some food” might mean, “Sound the alarm, trouble is coming.”
- Have extra boots stored for the extra walking you will be doing. As part of your survival cache, I recommend that each adult have two spare sets of insulated hiking boots set aside. When the economic collapse occurs, it will be a long time before shoe stores are open again.
- Consider pairing your guerrilla garden with small animal traps. Along with your regular guerrilla garden hikes, bringing home a rabbit or squirrel for the soup pot is a nice way to add to your survival food.
RELATED : 10 Reasons You Need A Garden
Always have redundancies in your survival plans. Guerrilla gardens is an effective way to provide redundancy into your food production efforts.(source)
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