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Emergency Preparedness – Food

Emergency Preparedness - Food

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When it comes down to emergency preparedness, are you prepared to have fresh food when there may not be any available on the store shelves?  What will you do to feed your family when you can’t just go out and buy what you need.  Notice in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rslyh7C6gs entitled “Coronavirus could cause global food shortages by April as export curbs worsen supply chain problems” and many like it that we could soon be facing massive food shortages due to this pandemic.  Are you prepared?

Emergency Preparedness – Food

I hope that you are now asking yourself what you should be doing NOW.  First of all, there are very fast-growing crops that you could be getting growing NOW in your own house using whatever method that you would like.  An excellent video on fast-growing crops is this one.

Be Prepared – Grow Your Own Emergency Food NOW

Aerogarden Seed starting systemMany of you have read my previous articles but I will be giving you the highlights of them now in order to give you a fast-growing, indoor hydroponic method that can produce fresh greens for your family starting in 30 days.

First of all, you will need an Aerogarden unit.  A full explanation of how these work can be found in my article Aeroponic Grow Systems using the Aerogarden.

You will need an AeroGarden Seed Starting System for a Harvest unit.  This can be found by clicking on the picture or HERE.

Harvest Elite 360

Aeroponics - Aerogarden HarvestYou can find a Harvest unit HERE.  They are on sale on Amazon as at this writing.

These are all-in-one kits that come complete with full-spectrum LED lights that can be raised or lowered, a planting platform with easily insertable plugs and a growing chamber beneath to which you simply add your water and nutrients (also provided).

Most come with seeds but what is critical here is that you can buy just the plugs separately as well and grow whatever makes sense for your family. They come with timers both for spraying the roots at regular intervals and also for the lights. You can set the lights for multiple settings including 24 hours, 18/6, 12/12 and more depending on the type of crop you are growing and what cycle (vegetative or flowering) it is in.

What you need to do is buy one of the specialty platforms for the Harvest units that will allow you to start 50 plants at once – making these units excellent propagation or cloning units. Once the seeds or clones are thriving, they can then be transplanted into larger, commercial hydroponic/aeroponic units

Trick #2 – Transplanting into a Foody 12 Hydroponic Tower

Emergency Preparedness - FoodThe full “skinny” on this unit can be found in my article on Ebb and Flow systems that features this unit.

Essentially this 44 plant vertical hydroponic system works the same as how a toilet flushes, thereby giving it the “ebb and flow”. Water is pumped from the bottom basin up to the top pod. Each Pod is connected to the pod below it by some basic PVC pipes. When the water fills up the first pod and reaches a certain level it starts to flow through the PVC pipe down to the pod below creating a suction that essentially sucks the water out of the top pod down into the pod below it.

It’s the same principle as to how a toilet flushes. When you flush the toilet all it does is put more water into the bowl until it fills up enough to create a siphon that pulls the water out of the bowl and flushes it down the pipes. The cool thing about this is that the roots of the plants get soaked in water for a minute or so then once the flushing process happens, it sends the water down to the next pod. The roots are then exposed to air until it fills up again. The process keeps repeating itself. You can hear the water but it’s like the sound of a small waterfall.

LED Grow Light BarsThis can be purchased HERE or by clicking on the picture.

Often the light from a window will not provide enough light for growing plants and especially when you are concerned about accelerated growth and growth during the fall/winter/spring when you will not be getting as much light from the sun.  In this case, it would be well worth the time and very minimal expenditure to install LED lights around the unit.  It will take a bit of DIY to construct a frame to hang them on so that they are covering the sides and top of the units.  Click HERE to check them out.

Put it all Together and What Have You Got?

So, you start your seeds (a mix of fast-growing and slower-growing) in the AeroGarden with the specially fitted seed starter lid on it which will start 50 seeds.  Once the seeds have sprouted and are on their way, you transplant them into the Foody 12 Hydroponic Tower which will use 44 of them.  The others you can just switch the top on the AeroGarden and continue growing.  You will have food ready within about 30 days as hydroponics is MUCH faster than growing in soil.  However, you don’t want to just grow salad greens.

With 44 sites available on the Foody Tower, you want to grow some fast-growing crops and some slower crops.  The world is your oyster except that you cannot grow root crops in this unit.  I would do a combination of salad greens, swiss chard, kales, bush beans, bok choy, tomatoes, and any other kind of top growing vegetable that you can think of with the exception of climbing vegetables like cucumbers.

As you start to consume vegetables out of the pods, keep seedlings going in the Aerogarden unit to replace that which you consume.  This way, you will never run out of seedlings to put back into the Foody unit.  This self-perpetuating cycle never has to end and will provide you with food 24/7/365.

Conclusion – Emergency Preparedness – Food

With all of this hydroponically based, your plants will grow MUCH faster than their soil-based friends out in your garden.  Using this system, you will NEVER run out of fresh green food during an emergency again!  Think ahead and be prepared.


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Darlene Thompson

After having lived in Canada's most northerly territory of Nunavut where outdoor gardening is nigh impossible, I started down my adventure of indoor gardening. I hope you find the various methods as exciting as I do!

22 Comments

  1. Wow.

    I’d never considered fast growing indoor grow systems before and hadn’t really come across them. I was doing some research for emergency food preparation and came across this wonderful article. Let’s face it at this time in the world, we are all looking into survival techniques in some way or other. Isolation and lockdown has made many of us rethink our priorities.

    I’ve always wanted an outdoor area for growing vegetables, but the kids and grandkids ability to play has always taken priority.  I’d considered greenhouses as an option but the limited choices of what you could grow and the amount of effort required has tended to put me off.

    Now you have got me seriously looking into indoor grow systems, and I love the fact that you could have fresh food within a very short time , rather than waiting for a whole season. I’ll be taking a good luck around all your site and be waiting with baited breath for more of your ideas.  Thank You for introducing me to this wonderful concept.

    • I’m so glad you liked this article!  I’ve been pondering this for a week – how could people get plants up and of edible size within a month?  This is it.  The scary part is that we don’t know how long we will be in lockdown due to COVID-19

  2. Amazing article. I’ve thought before about the benefits of growing food at home but I always assumed this could be done only if you have huge gardens or balconies. Yet after reading this article, I have had to rethink all my previous assumptions. This recent pandemic has shown that there can be times during which simply going out can be very dangerous. People who can grow food in their homes definitely have a great advantage right now. 

    • You are SO right.  I had never thought of things quite this way before.   The Aerogarden only takes up a foot or so on a shelf and the Foody Tower takes up a space that is 2ft x 2ft so it doesn’t matter how little space you have, you CAN do it!

  3. I really love the nice work that you have done on this very awesome article and i know it would help us all…i do my normal gardening to grow some basic vegetables and fruits for my own consumption,i have been doing it for some years now and it has been good for me.

    Few months ago i heard about this full spectrum led light stuff for growing plants and since then i have been finding hard to understand but after reading trick 1&2 i now have a better understanding and i would try it out.

    • Yes, if you read the post on the Foody Tower, I suggest there to get full spectrum LEDs.  There are quite a few other posts that go into detail about LED lights.  Full spectrum just means that it gives off as close as it can the same light as the sun.

  4. There has never been a better time for someone to get into growing their own food. Not all of us have a big yard with ideal climate conditions for growing food, so it’s nice to learn about some options that would work in most indoor environments. The systems with vertical towers seem like a great way to capitalize on small spaces and have them produce something of value!

    • I just love my Tower garden and it only takes up 2ft x 2ft of floor space. It can really make a big difference to a family!

  5. What an excellent post!  I really like the idea of growing indoors in some sort of hydroponic system.  My son has something similar to the tall tower, but it’s all enclosed inside a clear, see-through container…I don’t think it’s glass, but it sure works.  He raises basil that he sells to a list of folks.

    Here in Alaska, your method of growing would work very well, because of our climate.  Will it be warm enough this year for a good garden or not?  If you are growing inside, you can regulate temperature.  If I can swing it, might pick up one of your smaller units for my use.  Looks like a great idea.

    • Oh, I would love to see a picture of the unit you son has.  Did he build it himself?  

      Yes, these units would be a God-send in Alaska with your extremely short growing period. I can only imagine how much fresh veggies cost in the store in the winter!

  6. Hi, Thank you so very much for educating me on what to do at this time. This is the best time to grow my own food and vegetables and even learn new things Personally I love anything Veggies and the fact that they can survive any environment and I can have them anytime I want makes it supper. Thanks.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the article!  There really is no better time than now to get things going.  Who knows how long we will be in lockdown.

  7. Upon reading your article I am very interested in learning to grow my foods indoors. As you rightfully said with this coronavirus has affected the way we do things. This is a good idea. Can any food be grown indoors or is it specific plants that can? Thank you for this informative article.

    • you are definitely right as in that there is no better time than now to get started. The system I suggested can grow all above ground vegetables. It just is not appropriate for root vegetables. 

  8. This crisis has made me look at the food differently. I definitely prepared with the dried and can food. I even pickled some food myself but now I realize that the stores are depleting of fresh vegetable and also they are so expansive. So, I decided that I am just gonna grow it myself. Thanks for your list of the indoor systems and the recommendation of all the veggies that I can grow within a month. I like the idea of a Foody 12 Hydroponic Tower. Going to have to check it out and try to build it. For now I just have to go with Harvest Elite 360, thanks for the review. 

    • I know these systems will work very well for you as I have them and have more veggies than I can keep up with.  They are great for a family. The AeroGarden can grow all kinds of things on its own but is just limited in space. There are larger models, though. 

      All the best,

  9. Thank you for sharing such a much-needed article. I, too, added on my blog that being able to grow your food at this time is an added benefit and should be taken seriously. What happens when we cannot go to the grocery store? Are we going to starve? No, you have to bring it all back to the land.

    • Absolutely!  People have gotten complacent thinking that there will always be food in the stores. I think this pandemic has made people think twice about that assumption. Thank you so much for your comments!

  10. Being able to sustain yourself is so important because this is where survival comes into the picture. I believe that everyone should have some experience with growing some plants that will benefit both them and their families in the long run. To grow ones food crop is so amazing and the good part is that you don’t even need yard space. It is all a matter of getting the know-how like you are sharing in your post. Thanks so much for providing this detailed information.

    • Thank you so much!  I’m glad that you enjoyed the article. I do hope you grow your own vegetables and aren’t stuck with the empty shells or the price gouging that is happening in the stores right now. All the best!

  11. Wow. I was searching for pots to be used in hydro-phonics and fortunately I stumbled upon this review of yours of Aero Garden Harvest Elite 360. A friend as already mentioned about this months ago but it takes a detailed review like yours to fully understand how this thing is made possible. So, thank you for that and I’m going to try this one here in the Philippines. I also checked if the vendors of this in Amazon is delivering to my country and fortunately they do. Thumbs up for this wonderful innovation.

    By the way, I’d like to ask. Can I use this to grow vines like grapes?

    • I’m so glad that you enjoyed my article. No the aero garden is too small to grow large plants like grapes or other vining plants like cucumbers. They are excellent at growing green, leafy vegetables. I hope you enjoy growing as much as I do!

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