10 Reasons to Garden NOW!

small vegetable garden design, garden, garden ideasSomeone commented on one of my videos the other day that she was “a city girl” who didn’t know what she was doing in the garden… and that she was probably just going to give up.

I urged her to keep going. Now is a terrible time to quit gardening!

With the way the world is going, this is the time to garden like you’ve never gardened before. Here are just a few reasons.

1. GMOs
Do you really want to be part of a big science experiment, eating gene-spliced foods without knowing if they’re safe or not? Me either! Grow your own food with heirloom seeds and step away from the lab.

2. Economics
The economy is rotten and is likely to get worse. Runaway immigration, shaky banks, rising food costs, global unrest… all these have an impact on wages, investments and savings. Fortunately, a garden can save you some serious money.

3. Eating Local
Why count on food coming in from 1,000 miles away? Eating locally is a big deal right now – and you can’t get any more local than your own yard. Put in a garden and cut out the shipping!

4. Fresh is Better
There have been studies showing a significant loss of nutrition in vegetables and fruit that have sat around before consumption. It often takes days for food to reach your plate. Grow your own garden and you can reap the maximum nutritional benefits.

5. Gardening is Healthy
Think about it: you’re working outside in the sunshine and fresh air, interacting with nature and getting your hands into the good earth. That beats sitting indoors in front of the television — plus it won’t turn your brain into oatmeal.

6. Homegrown Food Tastes Better
Seriously: store tomato vs. homegrown tomato. Is there any comparison?

7. Time May Be Short
History is punctuated with periods of prosperity followed by periods of strife, disease, war and famine. We’ve had things good for a long time now and there are clouds on the horizon. Knowing how to grow your own food makes sense against the backdrop of an uncertain future.

8. Avoiding Toxins
The level of pesticides sprayed on our crops is a horrifying thing — and the herbicide levels are also ridiculous. Do you want to eat food — or poison? If you’re eating typical commercially grown crops, you’re getting both. Grow your own food and you’ll know exactly what’s gone into your dinner.

9. Gardening is Great for Families
My children all eat their vegetables and enjoy them. I believe this is in large part because they’ve helped grow them! We’ve spent many weekend afternoons together working outside, pulling sweet potatoes, planting seeds, weeding rows and enjoying each other’s company. Gardening is good family time and it builds real-world knowledge.

10. Gardening Beats Worry
If you’re concerned about the future, get planting. There’s nothing like seeing rows of potatoes, cabbages and beans in the ground to make you feel a little better about tomorrow. If it’s too cold to garden, gather leaves and build compost or go through seed catalogs with your sweetheart. If you’ve never gardened much and you’re counting on your tinned Apocalypse-Brand Seed Bank, you’re on shaky ground. Most folks can’t grow a lettuce without killing it! Learn now and you can quit worrying about the future.

Finally, my publisher just released my latest gardening book and I’m thrilled to see its popularity thus far. If you’re not sure where to start with your gardening plans, this book is for you.

It’s called Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening. Check it out:

david-goodmans-grow-or-die-book-cover

In this book, I cover crop varieties, off-grid irrigation, tilling without gasoline, and a lot more. You’ll dig it. It’s only available in the Kindle version right now but a paperback will be coming soon. At $2.99, it’s really cheap insurance against an uncertain future and will give you all you need to start gardening before your life depends on it.

Bonus: it’s also funny.

Now get out there and start gardening like your life depends on it… because one day it may.

david-the-good-top-10-survival-crops

Rate this article:

 

David The Good (Bioneer Blogger)


Contributor

David the Good is a naturalist, part-time scientist, and hardcore gardener who has grown his own food since 1984. At age five, he sprouted a bean in a paper cup of soil and hasn't stopped growing since. You can find more of David's ongoing experiments in the Grow Network Lab and on his own website at www.thesurvivalgardener.com.


No Comments
  • Ede

    Will you release a physical copy of your book Grow Or Die? When?

    • It’s in the hands of my publisher. They release the Kindle version first, followed by paperback a few months later. I’m guessing early spring.

  • Good site, man.

    We talked on Twitter the other day about deadlift, pot lucks, and composting balloons.

    • Yes – I remember. Thanks for stopping by. I contribute here and also write for my own website The Survival Gardener. Marjory Wildcraft is my homegirl.

  • tz

    That works until winter. We have CSA here which has supplied me, but I’m working on my own garden. We also have free range chicken, eggs, cattle, lambs, I get raw milk – livestock can have the same “science experiment” problems.
    In either case, I’ve found freeze drying works wonderfully to preserve the taste and nutrition (it has a few quirks you need to learn about). Kale and spinach become “chips” which kids seem to like better. I’ve a supply of vegetables for the winter.
    http://harvestright.com
    Expensive, but I’ve not thrown any food away since getting it, so it is paying for itself. It is “on-grid”, or at least a big solar bank, but it is far easier than canning. Slice right, arrange properly on trays, then push a button. And occasionally maintain the vacuum pump.

    • Thanks for the link – I haven’t experimented with freeze-drying anything; however, our little dehydrator has been put to use many, many times. Anything that helps you set aside what you grow sounds good to me.

  • I’ll agree with every point except (2) – you will NOT save money by gardening. I weep every time I go into Wal-Mart and see corn at five ears for a dollar. Replace it with this: you gain an immense amount of satisfaction eating food that you grew yourself. That makes my $5 per ear corn a lot tastier than Wal Marts.

    • Actually, if it was just about satisfaction, I wouldn’t do it.

      Look at the price of organic produce and you’ll get a better feel for your garden’s value. Even then, on many crops (such as sweet potatoes, yams, peppers) I can beat even the cheap commercial produce price in my home garden – even including labor. On some I can’t (beans, potatoes, tomatoes).

      At this point, I even have a non-stop supply of edible greens via a few perennial crops that grow without any work at all in my climate (Mexican tree spinach, longevity spinach and Surinam purslane). That WAY beats the store bought greens. If you experiment, you will find ways to KILL it on saving money.

    • Gordon

      ” I weep every time I go into Wal-Mart and see corn at five ears for a dollar.” Walmart is very, very good at putting products in your home at prices folks couldn’t imagine. A couple of years ago they had thanksgiving dinner–a turkey, potatoes, gravy, stuffing, green beans and a pie–for $20. The company faces some interesting problems, though.

    • Judi

      Also, corn is one of the most genetically modified crops. I don’t eat it unless it is organic.

  • Gordon

    I have to agree with Southern Man. I’ve spent a lot of money on the garden. I’ll be spending more next April to get the new beds set up. Since they’re in the front yard, I’m inclined to make them pretty–using retaining wall block. But I may go with lumber for the first year.

    Yeah, spent a lot. But I’ve got a lot of frozen and canned results. The pickles are a bit disappointing, but the salsa and tomato soup are so, so fine.

    • You can definitely spend a lot of money on gardening – but it’s not really necessary. Here are a few tips:

      Use double-digging to create productive, slightly mounded beds and don’t bother putting borders on them. We just hoe around the edges with a scuffle hoe. Cost of bed: an hour of digging.

      Instead of buying transplants, just plant seeds. Each transplant costs $0.50 at least. A pack of 50 seeds is $1.89 or so. That adds up quickly.

      Also – if something is a pain to grow, ditch it and plant something else. I’ve got yams that grow here without watering or fertilizing after planting. I ignore them for two years as they scramble up the trees, then dig 30lb roots in the fall. In your climate there’s almost certainly something that yields well and won’t cost you much if anything to grow in either time or money.

      • Gordon

        David, your no-borders idea would suit me, but it won’t suit my wife. Part of her job is dealing with folks who garden in unusual ways. Fine and good if it’s under control, but lots of folks start well and then kind of let it go. The neighbors complain and that’s where she comes in.

        So for her to tell me (unasked) that I could grow veggies in the front yard is a big, big deal. She wants it bordered, and it shall be. The frames are a one-time cost I expect to pay off in two years. Now if only she would let me do my 365-day greenhouse research in the front yard….

  • Great article! It is spot on. I also love gardening because I am teaching my kids the importance of growing their own food, where a lot of our food comes from and how they can start building a sustainable lifestyle as they grow older.

  • TOOTBHD

    Many people forget the hardest things in this world are just to begin or start any given thing. The first steps can mean a wonderful experience or failure, it all starts with the first step.

  • I plan on starting a small garden this next year. I live alone and don’t eat much, so the small area that I have available will be ok. Also want to grow plants inside to have year round. Herbs and hopefully lettuces. Thanks for your contribution to my knowledge. Blessings to you and yours!

  • Great points. If you are unable to grow your own food please support your local farmer’s market. We need to bring back thriving localized sources of good food. That will only happen if there is an interest.

  • JJM

    All 10 are great reasons, but the most important reason is to LEARN now while it is easy to survive failures. I grew up tending the family garden then abandoned gardening for a couple decades. It is taking years to relearn that just because some plants did great last year does not mean you will harvest anything from them this year. Learn how to keep your soil alive and productive, companion planting, crop rotation, natural pest control, which plants need the most watering, which are a waste of space vs production, how to save seeds and preserve the bounty. In my Zone 9, it took a long time to realize I could garden year round and eat fresh spring vegys for Easter as well as for Christmas.

  • Karyn

    So Dave, I live in north western PA. How do you garden, ie grow your own food in cold weather often below freezing day by day until the end of April or early May? How do you get started? Especially when you have no money to get started with…ie unemployment and part-time work?

  • gerald o cameron jr

    Organic is a joke. Unless you make all water used in garden by distillery filling 3 tanks inside building. 2 tanks will be used for drip water to plants in greenhouse. 3 th tank all inbound air goes thro to greenhouse, 100% change of air every 4 hours a must.
    A few years back a test was done using 3 farms 500 miles apart for 3 years. These farms sprayed RoundUp on soybeans. The test showed RoundUp Ready weeds an average of 15 miles from each farm. Wonder how many “organic” gardens were in that 15 miles of RoundUp drift ??
    GMO corn does not need bug spray at all, only weed spray. If a bug bit stake any where bug will die. Invited my state Representative and family to my GMO corn diner. He/they had other things to do, diner date was 6 months out in time, LOL. Yes wanted to have fresh corn.
    My 22 — 100 ft row garden does very good each summer. Wife and I canned corn tomato peas beans in pint and quart jars. Have 5 — 5 shelf racks for jars, each shelf holds 2 layers of 36 quart jars, have about 1200 jars now. My mama showed me how to can. She had jars of canned peas about 25 years old and they were very good. Like canning better than any other way because all that is needed is pressure cooker, water, heat; jars and shade tree for shelling under. Yes a little canning salt.

  • gerald o

    Organic is a joke. Unless you make all water used in garden by distillery filling 3 tanks inside building. 2 tanks will be used for drip water to plants in greenhouse. 3 th tank all inbound air goes thro to greenhouse, 100% change of air every 4 hours a must.
    A few years back a test was done using 3 farms 500 miles apart for 3 years. These farms sprayed RoundUp on soybeans. The test showed RoundUp Ready weeds an average of 15 miles from each farm. Wonder how many “organic” gardens were in that 15 miles of RoundUp drift ??
    GMO corn does not need bug spray at all, only weed spray. If a bug bit stake any where bug will die. Invited my state Representative and family to my GMO corn diner. He/they had other things to do, diner date was 6 months out in time, LOL. Yes wanted to have fresh corn.
    My 22 — 100 ft row garden does very good each summer. Wife and I canned corn tomato peas beans in pint and quart jars. Have 5 — 5 shelf racks for jars, each shelf holds 2 layers of 36 quart jars, have about 1200 jars now. My mama showed me how to can. She had jars of canned peas about 25 years old and they were very good. Like canning better than any other way because all that is needed is pressure cooker, water, heat; jars and shade tree for shelling under. Yes a little canning salt.

  • Barbie

    David, what is meant by growing yams for 2 yrs and growing up the tree? I can’t imagine!! I love your articles–keep it up==we need you!! I’m a 70 yr old student here!! My favorite thing I learned from my dad is to plant and harvest potatoes between full moon and new moon–no worry then about rotting seed nor spoiled produce in the drying bin!! I can’t stand a rotting potato!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *