Gardening

Supply chain collapse! Anyone else hearing the current prevailing news? There are many conspiracy theories in our world. I believe this one carries some weight.

So, what should we do?

Brother Jeremiah directed God’s people to prepare in this way: Build houses. Get married. Have babies. Plant gardens. Eat the food. Pray for the city (see Jeremiah 29). Bottom line: Do not panic. Prepare!

That said, I would encourage you to stock up on some staples, such as dried beans, canned food and jarred food (like pickles and sauerkraut). Load up on taters, sweet taters, canned meats. Keep it simple and only stock up on what you will normally eat.

Additionally, start preparing for next year. I do believe there are tough times ahead. No worries! Take counsel from the Lord Jesus: “‘Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on’” (Matthew 6:25 ESV).

I already have ordered and stored my seeds for next spring. Someone recently asked me what plants should I be prepared to grow? Here is a list of my top 20.

1. Beans

Simply put, beans are an essential staple crop. You get a lot of nutritionally-dense material in a small package. They can be grown in both bush or pole forms, so you can grow them in multiple ways. The seeds are protein-dense, and the edible-pod varieties are great.

2. Corn

While sweet corn is delicious, you might grow dent corn (field or flour corn) when survival gardening. Once your corn is ready for harvest, you can dry it, nixtamalize it to increase its nutrient density and grind it into corn flour. Kept dry, corn flour will store well in an airtight container.

Corn is a perfect living trellis for your bean plants. Plant your corn first. Once you have a few inches of cornstalk growing, plant beans around the corn. As your pole beans grow, they’ll clamber up your corn stalks.

3. Squash

Both winter and summer squash are great. Summer squash grows fast and provides quick food. Winter squash takes longer to develop, but stores for much longer. Grow them together and you will have squash year-round. And, these grow well around your corn and beans, making what’s referred to as a “three sisters” vegetable garden. Squash acts as a natural sprawling ground cover.

4. Cabbage

While not particularly dense in calories, cabbage is packed with nutrients. A rich source of vitamins B6 and C, it’s also full of fiber. Whether cooked or used raw in salads and slaws, sauerkraut or kimchi, cabbage is a great choice.

5. Potatoes

Potato growing is fairly easy in any setting. Plant your potatoes in five-gallon buckets or grow bags. When the tops yellow and die down, you’ll find a container that’s jam-packed with delicious roots that are ready to harvest.

6. Kale

You can grow kale year-round. It is good in the summer, but it’s also very cold-tolerant. A good frost makes the kale tastier. It is considered a superfood.

7. Sweet potatoes

These tubers are sweet, delicious, calorie-dense and nutritious. And the greens are edible! (Who knew?) They do take longer to mature than other crops, but they’re worth the effort in the long term.

8. Lentils

The nondescript lentil is seriously underrated, and it genuinely shouldn’t be. Lentils are protein powerhouses, serving as a great base for soups and stews.

9. Onions

Onions add flavor everything and give a burst of added nutrition. You can use the young onion greens in any dish, or you can wait for the full onions to form. Just be sure not to harvest all the greens while the bulb is developing.

10. Tomatoes

A popular fruit, tomatoes are good straight off the vine. These are heavy producers, easy to grow and ripen and taste great both fresh or preserved. Sun-dry them or freeze them or can them.

11. Spinach

Great nutritional density. Store spinach by freezing it or dehydrating it and crushing it into a powder.

12. Peas

Shell them and dry them for storage. They are high in protein, although not as much as beans or lentils.

13. Beets

Vitamin-packed and a source for sugars. The greens are also edible, providing you a secondary food source that other root vegetables lack.

14. Carrots

Fantastic addition, with a sweet and crunchy flavor, packed with antioxidants and good minerals and nutrients for eye health, and some claim they’re the best choice for health in general.

15. Berries

Raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, cranberries or even lingonberries. Sweet and delicious.

16. Garlic

Hardneck or softneck? Garlic is an essential flavoring, a common homemade pest repellent for gardening and a kitchen staple. It will store well once dried.

17. Peppers

Sweet or heat, and good to eat.

18. Cucumbers

Pickles. Nuff said.

19. Melons

Delicious summer treat, and the watermelon rinds make a good pickle!

20. Herbs

Finally, it wouldn’t be a good garden if you didn’t have a selection of herbs and spices to brighten up your food. The song says “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme,” but don’t forget to include mint, chives, oregano, basil and any others I haven’t listed.

Taking steps to prepare your homestead for whatever may come is worth the peace of mind, and can give warm, gardening thoughts on cold, winter nights.