Thoughts on Survival Gardening

Gardening to live, or at least to not go hungry, or “Survival gardening”, is something few people in the modern western world would ever contemplate.

After all, why should we? The shops have always been there for us. Whenever we need food, we just go and buy some, and I guess we’ll always have money to do so, right? I mean, things like hyperinflation and/or economic collapse could never actually happen to us, especially here in the western world, that sort of thing only happens in, poor countries, banana republics with corrupt governments, doesn’t it?
Besides, we have people in place to prevent that sort of thing from happening, and if it does all go wrong, our caring governments will be there to look after us all, and feed us all- I mean, that’s what we pay them for! Right?


So, is the concept of survival gardening worthy of our attention, or it is just a waste of our time contemplating and learning such skills that we might never need?

A world in turmoil?
As each day passes, the world in general seems to be getting madder and heading further into a tailspin. We’re already in the grips of economic recession and many are suffering the consequences of austerity measures. Every day we hear whispers of news that make us raise an eyebrow and wonder about the security of our financial futures. .

The tsunami devastation in Japan in March 2011 gave us a clear reminder of the power of Mother Nature and how natural disasters can and do occur at any time. Obviously a survival garden won’t fair well if it’s hit by a tsunami, but in the wider scope, these naturally occuring events can and will cause disruption globally to all manor of supplies, including our rather delecate food supply chain.


If you are living in the US, COSTCO have now started advertising survivalist and preparedness supplies in the form of #10 cans of freeze dried foods, food storage and rotation systems, among many other items.
Until recently, items like this were only available in highly specialized stores. Now there is significantly increased demand for such items as more as more people contemplate hard times ahead and start to prepare accordingly by investing in items they feel will bolster up their security and safety.


Of course it’s not just man made events that could bring about a need for survival gardening skills. There are many different potential scenarios and reasons to be prepared including one that NASA has warned of; Solar storms and CME’s from the sun. Scientists are saying that such threats could potentially disable or destroy the electronic infrastructure of the planet, plunging modern civilization back 100 years in technology.
It is a very real threat and has taken place before. The last time it happened was in 1859 and it became known as the Carrington Event. At the time, the telegraph was our most sophisticated technology. During the event, telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed, some in spectacular style, with telegraph pylons giving off sparks and in some cases giving telegraph operators electric shocks. Studies have shown that a solar storm of this magnitude occurring today would likely cause widespread problems for modern civilization. There is an estimated 12% chance of a similar event occurring between 2012 and 2022. [see here]