Gardening for sanity and survival : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Two hundred years ago gardening was seen as much more than a very necessary source of food, flavoring, and medicine. Gardening was one of the prime sources and sites of recreation, in a time of no tv, radio, headsets or stereos, and limited access to books and stories. As you are prepping, imagine living with NO NOISE except for natural sounds, no media input at all. I believe there are some people who would feel crazy without their soundtracks and vicarious video lives.

But to get back to gardening, much of the exploration of our planet was done by plant hunters, seeking new and unusual specimens for gardens, for medicine, for food. Gardens were so important that whole expeditions of sailing ships were funded just to find new plants! People need diversity in taste and color and texture and smell.

This brings up several thoughts; first, investing in diversity in your garden will give you great barter opportunities. Secondly, a wide range of plants will give change and color in the natural year, and provide a good source of refreshment and relaxation. For anything but sheer survival, people need some amenities. (In Holland during WW II, people also ate their tulip bulbs and survived on them.) You may want to learn some of the older arts of distilling medicines, keeping ants out of the house, fleas off the dogs, etc.

A good range of seed packets and a bed of dividable perennials can hold a huge amount of knowledge and experience. A package of seeds is a book in itself.

-- seraphima (, March 12, 2001


Interesting thread, Seraphima. Just another thought to add here. I once worked for a history professer, we hadn't seen one another for some months, and he commented on my 'tan' asking If I'd been 'enjoying the sun'. Hardly! Was my reply, I've been working in the yard/garden, trying to get my darn *%# soil to produce something, it's hard work but a labor of love. He chuckled and said: "100+ years ago 'sun touched skin' was a sign of the working class, today, it is the symbol of relaxation and wealth" Right!

-- Kathy (, March 12, 2001.

A bit of irony is that farming is actually one of the major catalysts of civilization. Prior to intentional propagation of food crops , man was a nomadic forager. Learning to raise crops made it possible for man to establish the communites that urban areas with their dependancy on technology and supplied foodstuffs evolved from and in those cities now, hardly anyone thinks twice about migrating to ensure survival (modern nomadic/forager).

-- Jay Blair in N. AL (, March 12, 2001.

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