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  • Tim MacWelch

Secret Garden: How to Grow a Hidden Survival Garden in Plain Sight

Growing your own food isn’t just a great experience. It’s a great back-up for your family’s food security. And one of the best methods of hiding your garden in a suburban or urban backyard is to grow some food that won’t even look like food to the casual passerby.

Selecting secretive root crops and avoiding the traditional garden plot will go a long way toward the unmanned protection of these valuable food resources. Plant your crops in flower beds, containers, and other places throughout your property that look like ornamental plantings, rather than garden beds.

Avoid rows and orderly planting. Make it look random and weedy for the best camouflage. You can even scatter them on property edges so they just blend in with the local weeds and brush. There is an added benefit to this dispersed planting strategy. By avoiding a dense concentration of the same plant type, the unique scent of those plants is also dispersed. This may make the individual plants harder for pests to find, and can act as a natural, pesticide-free tactic for bug control.

Only a savvy gardener will know what these plants look like above ground, and root crops are a relatively high calorie food that can be stored in the ground where it grew. This is a great benefit, if you feel that break-ins, robbery and home looting are likely in your area during an emergency since your food will be safely hidden in the ground. Plant some of each of the following for diversity:

—White potatoes and sweet potatoes—Peanuts (in warm climates with sandy soil)—Turnips and Rutabaga—Parsnips—Carrots and radishes (lower calorie, but good for variety)—Jerusalem artichoke (looks like a tall flower, with edible tubers underground)


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