Gardening is the first place to start if you’d like to be more food-independent on your homestead, and for good reason! There’s nothing quite as satisfying, healthy, and cost-effective as growing your own food. But, sometimes crops fail, or your garden doesn’t produce as much as you want.
It’s always important to have a plan B, especially when it comes to food, as well as supplementary and alternative options for food. If your homestead is for the purpose of being totally self-sustainable or prepared for when SHTF, you’ll need to make sure you have multiple sources of food beyond your garden.
Here are some options for food sources to plan on when your garden fails:
Learn to forage
Know what grows wild on your homestead and in your area, where to find it, and when it grows. Keep careful record of this, either in a notebook or with pictures (physical records are probably best as you never know when electronics won’t be reliable, but there’s a good chance it will correlate with a situation in which you’ll need extra food!). You’d be surprised how many edible foods there are out there, and even before you you’re in need you might greatly benefit from learning what you can forage!
As with so many topics on this blog, we will always recommend learning to can, ferment, and dry your food to preserve it for the long-term. Invest in a root cellar if you can, and when your garden is fruitful, preserve everything you can. Always try to have more food than you need!
Raising animals should really go hand-in-hand with gardening if you want to be food independent on your homestead. It’s also a great way to have an alternate food source if your crops fail, since the same conditions that might cause a small harvest from your garden might not necessarily affect your animals. Plus, they reproduce on their own, no replanting needed! (Although you’ll probably need to learn a bit about birthing livestock if you want to rely on this).
Learn to hunt
Like foraging, it’s very important to know what sources of food are available in your area, and hunting is crucial. Equip yourself with some weapons and learn to hunt now, so you’ll be prepared when you need it as a reliable source of food. Invest in a deep freezer so you can store whatever you get. This is nearly 100% free meat, so it’s an excellent way to stock up.
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