Survival gardening

Our local garden columnist recently recommended a new book by writer, gardener, and scientist Carol Deppe, entitled “The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times”. I have not had a chance to read this book yet (its a bit more than I can afford both money- and time-wise right now), but the review raises some rather interesting points.

The book makes mention of five specific crops needed for health and survival: potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs. These foods are not included in the current “super-food” craze, but there is a reason they are considered staples. You can eat quite well for quite a long time on just these foods.

More importantly, the book discusses how to collect and use seeds, as it won’t be easy to obtain new seeds during a long-term period of economic instability. Most seeds used today are hybrids, and will not likely continue to breed true under uncontrolled garden conditions. Any experienced gardener knows that seeds will only keep reliably for a few years, so new sources of seeds are necessary for long-term sustainability. The book covers other survival contingencies as well, such as what foods store well in the absence of refrigeration.

I plan to get a copy of this book someday, as it sounds like a good source of information and should give one lots to think about. In the mean time, has anyone else out there read this book? Would you be willing to do a guest post book review on it? Contact me in the comments or by email at

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