Friday, June 15, 2012

Home Vegetable Gardening: The “High Production” Gateway to Self-Sustainability

When you hear the word “high production” the first thought that may come to mind is some type of assembly line work, but what I am referring to is something far more important, especially if you are trying to achieve, or at least get closer to, self-sustainability.

I once heard a quote, from which I honestly have no idea who the original author of said quote is, “If one can not feed oneself without help from outside sources, then one won’t survive for very long.” It got me thinking. Is it true? How many things in our lives are we dependent upon from outside sources? Food, energy, water and other basic needs? About the only thing we are not charged for, or told we have to buy from someone else these days is the air we breathe. I better not say that too loud though.

But it is very true. Many of us rely upon many of our basic needs from outside sources out of our control. If you are not one of them, kudos to you and please share with us how you did it! Home vegetable gardening is a start along that path to self sustainability.

Maintaining a home vegetable garden gives you the chance to learn how you can rely on your own ability and talents, no matter how big or small the garden may be, to supply some of the food your family needs.

Over time as you perfect your skills of home vegetable gardening, you start expanding into other areas. For me, it has been a many year progression from simply growing tomatoes, to today, growing everything from tomatoes to grapes, raspberries, dozens of other veggies, fruits and herbs and so much more. This year I added an apple and almond tree (among other things) to my repertoire in the hopes that they provide fresh fruit and nuts for many years.

This brings me back to my original point and that is high production. Like some of you, my space is limited. I have only a finite amount of land in which to grow on. So what I have been able to do, by learning over the years is to maximize the space that I have with various techniques to ensure that I am getting the most out of that space.

The first of which is planting high producing veggies. In other words, plants that will yield larger volume per plant. Examples would be, cherry or grape tomatoes, zucchini, blackberry and raspberry bushes and so on. This is not to say that you shouldn’t include smaller producing crops such as carrots, beets or turnips. But you can grow them in deep containers, such as pots or window boxes, in areas where the previously mentioned varieties would not fair so well.

A second example would be to use vertical gardening methods. The use of a trellis for many varieties will go a long way. Pole beans, sugar snap peas, indeterminate vining cucumbers are just a few that you can choose from. They satisfy both the use of growing vertically as well as producing large quantities. Double score!

Finally, be sure to include high producing perennials such as asparagus,everbearing raspberries, blueberries, or fruit and nut bearing trees to name a few. You can buy a self pollinating apple tree for as little as $20, and although you may have to wait a couple of years before production, once it gets going, you will have apples for decades!

Of course if you are new to home vegetable gardening, you would not thrust yourself into doing everything in your first year. Start small and keep your garden simple. Expand on it every season, and it won’t be long before you are supplying not only enough fruits and veggies for your family with loads of fresh tasting goodies, but your neighbors as well.

My next conquest is raising chickens. I am told that you need two per each family member in the household to produce ample amounts of eggs. We shall see. self-sustainability here I come!

About the Author
Mike Podlesny is the author of Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person: A Guide to Vegetable Gardening for the rest of us, the moderator for the largest vegetable gardening page on Facebook and creator of the monthly Seeds Club.

Watch the video below to learn more about Mike`s Seeds of the Month Club:

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