With the cost of food on the rise and talk of food shortages coming our way many families are looking are looking to start a WW2 or Depression style Victory Garden. Starting your own victory garden is a great way to help protect your family’s food supply. These simple tips will help you start your own victory garden and make it thrive.
Starting a victory garden is your chance to become more self-sufficient and help provide for your family. Growing food in your green is a great way to lower food costs for a whole food diet or to even sell and even to make a bit of extra money.
Building your garden beds
You have two options for starting your garden beds for your victory garden. You can opt to dig out garden beds or to install raised garden beds.
Raised garden beds are the most popular option. The start-up for raised garden beds can be costly making it prohibitive for many families looking to start a victory garden. This can be the best option if you live in an area with poor soil conditions or you need garden beds that allow you to grow without getting down to ground level. You can order beds or build your own with lumber from the local hardware store.
Inground garden beds are a great option for a frugal victory garden. You do not need to spend money on garden beds, wood, garden fabric, or soil to start your garden. This does take more work to get started but a little exercise can be a great way to enjoy your time in the garden and you will be proud of the hard work.
Choosing plants for your victory garden can be a bit confusing. There are a lot of options and not enough space to grow everything. When it comes to choosing what to grow you should consider what is available in stores or your local farmers market and what has a higher value for the space it takes up.
Grow food you eat often. Having a garden full of your favorite foods is a great way to save money on feeding your family and to reduce shopping trips for things you use often. You more you eat a food the more you can benefit from growing it.
Food that costs a lot at the store. Growing food you love that you often pass up due to cost is a great way to make the most of your garden space. It can be a waste to grow something that won’t produce a lot for the space it takes up when you can buy it for cheap locally.
Food that grows year after year. If you are not an avid gardener and want food that can grow its self for the most part perennials are the way to go. Some common options are fruit buses, strawberries, asparagus, and mushrooms. These hardy perennial options only need to be planted once and with water and the occasional fertilizer they can thrive providing you with food for years to come.
Helping your plants thrive
Animals for your victory garden
If you have the space you can keep animals that are a major benefit to your garden. Some small animals are legal in many cities or can even be considered pets while providing your garden with fertilizer or even pest control. The two most common pets for the garden are Rabbits and Chickens.
Rabbits make a great pet for gardeners, Rabbits are legal in most areas as a pet. Many homesteaders raise them for food as well. A rabbit’s waste is a great fertilizer for your garden to help improve your garden soil. Rabbit poop is safe to go directly into the garden without composting and will help your garden grow. You can feed your rabbit most vegetable scraps from trimming food you grew in your garden.
Chickens make a great backyard livestock even for people with a relatively small back yard. Chickens make great pest management tool. Chickens will happily roam your garden clearing away hornworms and grasshoppers. They are best supervised when in the garden to prevent them from eating your produce. Chickens also provide great additions to your compost and fertilize your garden while they run through it. Though the best advantage of having chickens is perhaps the eggs that can feed your family while shells break down and add calcium to your garden.
Preserving your harvest
Once your garden is thriving you will hopefully be producing more than you can eat before it goes bad. This means you need to make an effort to preserve your garden harvest. How you preserve your harvest really depends on how much space you have and the supplies you can find for preserving.
Freezing is the best way to preserve the quality of your preserved food but this can be a major limitation for storage space. When opting to freeze your food use a vacuum sealer to lower the amount of space your food takes up while protecting your food from freezer burn.
After freezing, canning is the next best way to preserve the quality of food for the long term. We like to make our own jams, jellies, and tomato sauces for canning because these products can be canned using the water bath method which is incredibly easy for people like me that need something that takes less focus. If you have spare time learning to pressure can is a great way to preserve your harvest.
Dehydrating is a great option for anyone with severely limited space. Dehydrated food takes up only a small chunk of space compared to frozen and canned. If you have limited space a dehydrator can be a great investment. Then you can vacuum seal or use jars with oxygen absorbers, for your food for long term storage.
If you have access to a freeze dryer you can take up less space while having better quality food than a dehydrator. Freeze-drying provides a great texture and can reduce additives needed to preserve flavor in foods. A freeze dryer is a great investment for groups to help reduce the cost.