When I don my preparedness hat, there is a frustrating irony that confronts me. When we were in the suburban home buyer market, one of my country boy prerequisites was that I needed “space”. Gardening and preparedness wasn’t even the motivation. That light bulb moment hadn’t yet occurred. Yet, instinctively I knew I needed a “good sized yard”.
We were blessed to have found a near acre sized lot. Pretty large by metro standards. But about that irony I spoke of….. I have too many big trees. Not just my own, but my neighbors as well. This is significant because I spend a lot of time on the lawn mower in areas that would otherwise be producing food if not for the shade.
As mentioned in this previous article (Garden Lottery), its difficult to grow as much as I would prefer simply due to space restrictions. So this year, additional garden space is on the agenda. It’s not big thanks again to too many trees that I’d rather not cut down. Regardless, it will provide more options and control. It may expand eventually. I have refrained from growing squash the past couple of years because the sprawling vines take up so much real estate. Some put them on trellises, but that seems like a last resort that I don’t need to take. This new area will allow for vine crops. It will also allow for better crop rotation.
When the first garden went in, I wasn’t yet of a “grid down” mindset. A tiller was rented, then my brother and I set about removing the sod. It was an ignorant approach, but it made for great exercise. For this new growing space, I’m going to create it from scratch. It will be an attempt to establish a food lot much like the pioneers might have. The difference is that I will utilize what I have on hand from the industrial world that isn’t a consumable, limited use item. Gasoline is obviously off limits, while plastic fencing and chicken wire is not for example.
These items would still exist if the lights went out. There is no reason not to use them. Furthermore their functions are such that could be created in some other way. Gardeners of the past didn’t always have chicken wire. They had branches, brush and tree limbs. That is what I would resort to if need be. In fact this pile of limbs that I just happened to cut to similar lengths a couple years ago, might make for decent fence posts. Sure, they will rot out eventually, but they will not only function for a time…. they will look cool for awhile!
Do you have a better way? Given the grid down scenario, how would you do it? Tell me in the comments section below.
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