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IPFS News Link • Agriculture

Planning Your Garden? Read This First.

• Organic Prepper - Amy Allen

So you've noticed current events in terms of shortages at the grocery store and the many problems plaguing our centralized food system, from fires to food recalls to massive bird culls. You've decided to take matters into your own hands as much as possible, most notably growing at least some of your own food, and now you're looking at planning your garden.

Good for you! A good food system has many layers, including a full pantry, local sourcing, and growing as much of your own as possible. There are many ways to provide for yourself, from hydroponics to urban foraging to container gardening and renting a plot from your local community gardens. So how do we make a plan to best utilize our resources and grow as much as we can? Read on!

The first thing required for proper garden planning is a food list.

This list should consist of the food you eat that can be grown in your grow zone. If you don't know your USDA grow zone, plug the term into your favorite search engine along with your zip code. Knowing this is essential, because it tells you how long your growing season is.

Many plants, such as tomatoes, die at the first touch of frost, whereas potatoes and other frost-tolerant plants can take it down to a hard freeze. Once you know your grow zone, make a food list by listing everything on your plate that can be grown in your zone. Be very specific! If you're eating salad, write down everything it's made of. Grow what you eat and eat what you grow.

(Make sure to check out our free QUICKSTART Guide to building your own 3-layer food storage plan so that you have a better prepared larder.)