Panic Gardening: For the Beginner Gardener Afraid Their Family May Go Hungry

Okay, it sounds a bit grim, but in this economy…

Let’s say that no one in your household has a job. The pantry is getting emptier by the day and you have never gardened. What do you do? How do you make sure the kids don’t go to bed hungry?

It’s scary. I know. I’ve been there. If you are experiencing this right now, you have my deepest sympathies.

First, get a tissue and wipe away your tears. Then, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and take some action.

The Great Depression survivors learned to grow as much as they could. You can, too.

What I am about to share is an emergency garden. Low start-up, low maintenance, high yield, well rounded nutrition. You won’t be winning any culinary awards from your harvest, yet the family will survive relatively healthily.

Hopefully, you can scrape together about $20.

The Basic Easy-to-Grow Prolific Crops:

Potatoes the average “seed and feed” will sell you 10 pounds of seed potatoes for about $5. A lousy crop will yield about 10 pounds for every pound planted. A really healthy harvest can yield 20 pounds per pound planted. More on planting these coming soon.

Soybeans — from 1 pound of seed that costs about $2.70 per pound, you will harvest phenomenal amounts of protein! I got mine here: Peaceful Valley. Harvest early for little sweet, nutty bursts of protein. Freeze what you don’t eat fresh or let them dry in the garden for next year’s seed or dry storage. Click here for container gardeners Garden planting advice coming soon.

Swiss Chard — Loaded with iron, b vitamins, and potassium, it can be substituted anywhere you use spinach. Because it can handle more summer heat, it can be harvest longer for more high nutrition food in the long run. Eat fresh or stuff your freezer full of it. Easily started from seed. It your trying to grow a years worth, grow a 2 ounce packet of seeds( around $2 ,) planted 4 to 6 inches apart. Click here for more on Swiss Chard

Tomatoes– For climbing varieties that require staking, New Girl and Pink Beauty are considered easy choices with excellent flavor. For bush varieties that do not require staking or pruning, give Celebrity a try. Share you used coffee grounds with your tomatoes to help keep them happy. Also, since tomatoes are acidic, they are easily canned by water bath method. All you need is canning jars, lids, bands and a stock pot to preserve your harvest. They are a real confidence builder when it comes to learning how to can. Easy peasy.

For tomato growing tips check Neighborly Advice Vol 2

You can do this.

Throughout these articles are many little money saving ways to get started. As harvest come in, we will learn some basic preserving. Hang in there. Check the many articles in the beginner gardening category to the right for more information.

Roll up your sleeves and dig in!

(With a worried brow, Neighbor Nancy sharpens her knife to cut more seed potatoes to cure in the sunshine for a few days before planting.)


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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] Panic Gardening […]

  2. Tomorrow will be my version of planting them and there is another way in this week’s “Neighborly Advice Vol 4”
    Hopefully tomorrows post will include some of the little simple methods, if I can dig out all my links and research.
    Thanks for the support.

  3. welcome back neighbor nancy! i love this article. even though we are not in dire straights here right yet (thank God literally). Anyway, it is good to plan ahead & I think I’m going to try to plant potatoes this year – i’ve heard that it is easy to plant them in buckets or trashcans or wheelbarrows even. and then they are easier to harvest? I’ve never planted potatoes before. I think I’m going to give it a whirl… maybe i’ll go get some seed potatoes today. big hug

  4. Hello!

    I am a new reader and just wanted to say hello. I am enjoying your site very much and it has been helpful to me. Thanks for writing!

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