Beating Food Challenges: Growing Veggies, Herbs, and Fruit

Almost anyone anywhere can grow some vegetables, herbs, and fruit.

This is a great place to start on a quest to provide more for yourself and rely less on outside sources of food.

It’s still possible to plant some cold season veggies in many areas–see our fall and winter veggie gardening info sheet for suggestions. Fall is definitely a good time to prepare a garden plot for next year. And winter can be the perfect season to study, learn, and order seeds in preparation for spring planting.

Why is it so important to raise our own food? Aside from shortages and high prices, there are other reasons it’s crucial that we take control over what we eat. We’ve talked about GMO foods before, and at the time of this posting, a must-see movie is available for free viewing. You won’t want to miss Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives.

Now, on to some resources to help with your gardening projects:

Gardening basics

The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour

Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman

All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew

THS Learning to Garden Part 1

THS Learning to Garden Part 2

THS Grow More With Companion Planting

Gardening and Plant Propagation Forum

Sites, soils, amendments

U of Massachusetts Soils Lab

RLT Gardening Where Soil Is Poor 

THS Natural Nutrients for Plants

THS How to Properly Mulch a Garden

Garden seeds

The Difference Between Open Pollinated, Heirloom, and Hybrid Seeds from Seed Savers Exchange

THS Learning How to Grow From Seeds

THS DIY Heat Mat for Seed Starting

THS DIY Grow Rack for Seed Starting

Our favorite seed companies: Baker Creek SeedsSeed Savers ExchangeSeeds of Change

Creating a Personal Seed Bank from Rural Spin

Saving Seeds by Jackie Clay

Vegetable gardening

The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith

The Vegetable Gardener’s Container Bible by Edward C. Smith

THS Learning to Garden: Growing Vegetables

Herb gardening

Homegrown Herbs by Tammi Hartung

THS Learning to Garden: Growing Herbs

Propagating Herbs from Homestead Revival and friends

Fruit gardening

The Fruit Gardener’s Bible by Lewis Hill & Leonard Perry

THS Learning to Garden: Growing Fruit

Cold-season gardening

RLT Fall and Winter Gardening Series

Alternative gardening concepts

THS DIY Hydroponic System

Self Watering Containers from Preparing Your Family


Key to the Rural Living Today Network blog posts listed above:

RLT = Rural Living Today (our main website and blog: encouragement for the urban/suburban to rural transition)


Previous posts in this series

Ten Realistic Ways to Overcome a Food Crisis

More About Beating Food Shortages and High Prices


In the coming weeks, we’ll be talking more specifically about each of our ten topics: growing vegetables, herbs, and fruit; raising meat, eggs, and dairy; local food sources and buying freezer meat; food storage; food preservation; sprouting; foraging; bartering; and learning more and more to help along the way.