Ideas How To Do Stealth Gardening

A MSB commentator (NH Michael) recently asked, “Anybody been thinking about how to do Stealth Gardening?”

I thought, what an excellent topic!

A garden, no matter how big or small, usually “looks like a garden”. Any non-gardener would recognize it as a garden. Nice rows. Recognizable garden plants. Maybe it’s all surrounded by a fence. You know what I mean, a garden looks like a garden…

He said “Most non-gardening folks that I know – don’t know what a potato plant looks like, let alone beets. But they can recognize nice tidy rows of the same things growing.”

Non-traditional irregular shaped mixed beds could be less like an Garden to them perhaps?

Anybody got ideas?

How To Hide A Garden

In other words, stealth gardening…

Mix Flowers with Greens. Vines. Root Crops.

“Farmgirl” responded:

Been thinking about it for years, anticipating a time when it might be necessary. I’ve done a little experimenting. Also had to do a little creative planting when I did a short stint in the suburbs.

Mixing flowers with greens makes people think it’s just for pretty. Some flowers are good for eating, some for medicine. Nasturtium, flowers and young leaves, calendula, medicine/salve. I can’t list them all – too long!

Vines are good – malibar spinach (great in heat, very nutritious + omega 3s), runner beans, yup, sunchokes, golden purslane, Aunt Molly’s ground cherry.

Root crops will tolerate more shade than fruiting plants like toms, peppers and cukes. You can hide them in with flowers like marigolds, which are good for deterring some underground pests.

Try growing the potatoes in a big heap of soil, like a mound. They’ll love the deep loose soil, and it’ll just look like you piled up dirt and weeds took it over. Cucumbers like climbing sunflowers – good camo.

Those are just some ideas. ‘Course, you could let some weeds grow for cover, in strategic spots. Top ’em before they go to seed, though. I’ll be sticking plants everywhere this year!

Greens for Shade. Groundcover. Low Clumping. Bushes. Herbs.

Then “Lauren” said,

Greens for shade. Rye, oats, or garlic for vertical interest or clumping grass. Onions. Potatoes, Jerusalem artichoke or sweet potatoes for tubers. Sweet potatoes also work as groundcover and flowers (all parts are edible). They also help the soil if you harvest only enough to restart the following year. There are tomatoes out there with big showy masses of flowers, and beans with bright flowers for the vining aspect.

Beets and rainbow chard or other colored items for low clumping masses. Amaranth, and sorghum for tall grains, quinoa as a decorative low grain. People are used to seeing decorative cabbage, and blooming brassicas can create quite a show.

Don’t forget perennials, berry bushes and small trees depending on your location.

Medicinals and herbals depending on growth habit. Your marigolds, nasturtiums and echinacea are a blooming foundation. Even violets are edible, and they like a little more shade. Stick your valerian or angelica in as a centerpiece. Use thyme or oregano for groundcover. Also mushrooms for a “fairy garden.”

A plant that looks good in the spring isn’t necessarily going to look good in the fall. Have something else ready to go in when that happens.

Ken adds:

I think it’s a pretty neat idea to “disguise” or hide a garden. Edible plants that will grow in your zone and in your environment. Wouldn’t it be clever to do something like that?

Just think about “if” SHTF and there was food hiding in plain site from prying eyes?

So lets hear from you and your ideas about this….


  1. Hard to disguise a garden on your farm in the arid west. Best idea would be to plant it out on some forgotten gov’t controlled land (BLM, Forest Service, state lands), along a creekbed. Onion, carrot, maybe potatoes. Oats will make a decent stand, and grow wild in places. Just got to go off the beaten path. That’s what the pot growers did for years to avoid detection. (now its legal to grow here with a license, so a lot of those “grows” are dissappearing off public lands, i imagine). If you use Google earth, you may find some “forgotten” corners of land in and around your town or location. flood control areas, areas by the sewer plant,landfill, etc where there is a little water and unfarmed ,ground, with no access paths or roads, places where no one normally would venture. It does not take a lot of ground. Patches maybe 4′ x 6′ or less, intermingled with the undergrowth.

    1. I have done these things in my forest surrounding me. I take raspberry seeds and plant them where ever there is part shade– I have transplanted small Juneberry bushes, wild blueberries, gooseberries in ideal places in my forest.

      What gave me a surprise when I was 10, I was exploring the Illinois woods where I grew up and found hedge rows and thorns, very dense but found a small path and cleared my way through it when I saw a semi-open area beyond. It was a secret garden, abandoned in the 1930’s, it had many old apricot, apple and pear trees in this orchard still bearing fruit. So every year my mom and I would go there late summer and carry back as many fruits we could carry. We kept it a secret until a teacher I had told me about her fruit trees as a child near where I lived. She described where it was–and sure enough it was her old family’s farm, her brother was Senator Everett Dirksen.

      1. Love this story. Some of the best fruit you can find is found on heirloom trees in old abandoned farm orchards.i love to seek these out and take cuttings to propagate these old varieties. Look around, they are hiding out there.

        1. Also Old Graveyard roses. Take cuttings and multiply them. They thrive on neglect producing a nice thorny barrier and rose hips full of Vitamin C.

          Scurvy a nasty Preventable Disease soon to be found in America again due to lack of Vitamin C in most stored survival foods.

          Often helping older folks with their yard gets you uncontaminated with Scotts Yard compost materials AND the ability to take cutting from older sturdy berry plants. They get some help and kindness you get a contact and some useful materials. A Win-Win.

        2. I read the Eric Sloan books, wonderful mention of a “Seek no further tree” in early American New England history, he has a great story about it, found deep in the woods for travelers and hungry people to eat. Perfect pie apple, sweet and tart, planted all over.

  2. Part of my farm plan involved growing out my borders between the terraced fields with plants that act as habitat for beneficial insects, it also involved use of heavily planted cover crops in the fields themselves to work up organic matter inthe soil as well as improve the soil while hopefully reducing some of the issues my fields had from the previous farmer monocropping cabbage for decades. Incidentally, most of the varieties i planted were edible, some or all of the plants, there is stuff in there that ranges from daikon and turnips through okra and mustards and wild cabbage into nasturtiums and a few different types of squash like choyote and a kabocha. There are also medicinals in that mix, yarrow, st Johns wort, red clover, and a few others,

    To most folks it looks like a major patch of weeds, but when you get down in there suddenly you are seeing oats and peas and sorgum and amaranth as well as all that other stuff, yep, just weeds. 😳

    all this stuff produces edible greens, many of them very high on the scale for nutritional value, there are also lots of roots in there, the daikon and other radishes plus some most folks have no clue about like yacon,

  3. One of our problems are deer, they love our vegetable plants and the bear just love our fruit trees.If it is not well fenced it disappears quickly. We have 3 separate garden plots to make things look not too large. It is hard to hide a sizable garden area .We need the size to feed ourselves as well some to help a couple of needy widows that live near by.
    Prying eyes are a problem for sure, and people do remember things especially when they get hungry. We have some wooded area on our property and have considered building sturdy wire cages to protect plants if we have to do some camp gardening.
    Fortunately we live rural where there are many home gardens.

  4. Too many deer and rabbits here if its not fenced your wasting your time , people arent the problem lol

  5. I made potato crates from an idea on Old World Gardens Farm. It was an easier way to grow potatoes, plus it allowed me to position the crates where they were out of view. My compost boxes are almost identical looking, so visually you couldn’t discern that one contained a growing food and another a decaying scrap.

    I also did my first larger scale bucket gardening. Advantage for the tomatoes was it allowed me to pick them up and move where needed as the season unfolded. Under cover when a late frost arrived, out of sun altogether when ozone got too high, then inside when hail storms arrived. Getting to lift and lock an item up overnight would become a benefit if folks were on the prowl. And when they’re outside they’re scattered around in wooden planters, also from OWGF’s website versus being together in a row.

    Hay bale gardening will be new to try this year. I don’t think the casual observer will realize vegetables are growing. Natural deterrents like thorny pyracantha would cut off a path to something like corn. A nice “Beware! ☠️ Poisonous!” sign may fool some idiots. But I’ve actually thought about some chain link enclosures and some well placed tripping hazards too.

    1. Be careful re: source for hay, some fields are treated to keep out weeds, and the desired plants still uptake that poison and transfer it to your soil.
      .. Deep South Homestead-Danny has spoken of the issues he has had with grazon tainted compost….even ran thru his farm animals…and then composted…
      I bought some alfalfa cubes, my rabbits would not eat them…

      1. Welcome Back Original Just Sayin’! Missed you. :-)

        Also be careful of the free composts for the same Scotts Yard-Roundup tainted materials. Very hard on Heirloom Plantings. In general if the area grows dandelions you have good soil-compost source there.

  6. I would add that in survival times, the bulk of what is grown needs to be calorie intensive – best return for square footage. Root crops give more in that regard. Dried beans are great, and I’ll be planting some, but the return for area planted is less than potatoes, or turnips.

    The other thing to realize, is the standard American diet relies heavily on grains, both directly and indirectly consumed. Unless one can grow a lot of it, and defend/hide it, wheat isn’t going to feature as much in a survival diet, without already having a big stockpile of it.

    I agree with the spread it out philosophy. Even with a primary garden, one can also plant in smaller plots all over the place, including planters and hanging baskets. The challenge is protecting those plantings from predation of all kinds. Netting or other protective covering might be useful.

    We were able to meet all of our other than animal protein needs from a 1/2 acre garden, using succession planting and putting the bulk of the land to high calorie density crops. I plant in 5′ wide beds, not rows, to maximize planting space. Not very stealth, though. Doing that in a covert, spread out way will be interesting.

    1. Farmgirl thus the idea of 5 or so foot wide beds BUT Irregular in shape as Ma Nature has NO Straight Lines in her and mixed vegetation again Ma Nature is polyculture not monoculture rows of carrots for example..

      The main difference between this and Guerilla Gardening is you don’t plant and abandon it HOPING you find food when you return. Mixed intensive plantings WILL require side dressing with the irrigation water. Look at the Volunteers you find in a Rich Compost Pile, very jungle like but because very rich soil. We will need to make fertilizer tea to irrigate. Chop and drop weeding before seed heads develop.

      Critters a REAL Problem. Might be worthwhile to have a tent out there so a night guard can sleep out there. Contrary to most City Myths Bears at least in NH don’t tackle your tent to EAT you :-) and Deer and rodents don’t like to be near you. Cherokee Children used to protect the 3 sisters gardens back then because Food was Important.

      Calories are important, Beans however are worthwhile for protein and keeping fertility up in the garden beds. Cherokee children got extra points in the Tribe if they scored a critter kill and thus more protein for the family

      1. NH Michael,

        Good points, all. I do mixed plantings; I understand the monoculture model when doing large scale, though even then, rotation is needed and lots of added inputs. With mixed plantings, different plant allies help each other out, whether it’s shelter, pest trapping, pollinator food, or nitrogen fixing. Having animals on the homestead provides good fertilizer, though I also foliar feed if there’s a need.

        I should amend my 1/2 acre statement to say it provided all our veggie food, with a couple exceptions. I didn’t grow wheat; bought sourdough from a local baker. While we grew a variety of dried beans, I put more ground into root crops. We did buy dried beans from our Amish friends.

        Yup. Just set up a rocking chair out in the yard, with ye old shotgun handy and a warm blanket. ;-)

  7. When we lived on the mountain (very remote) I canned enough for a couple years off EACH summer. We still have not finished off 2018 supplies, even after giving MANY to the kids each Christmas time. LOL
    However, out here in the high dessert is a whole different matter. Going to try “hoops” to keep the chill off early spring and late summer. We shall see. barely has enough to enjoy fresh this first summer here. UGH.

  8. To me the point of a stealth garden isn’t to survive off of it–it’s to hide some of your food supplies during the first wave so you have something LEFT when the scavengers have gone through. It’s an adjunct to the main gardens, not intended to fill their role.

    1. I did some of that (guerrilla gardening) a few years ago in a park near my home. Planted a bunch of stuff, most of which didn’t survive the overzealous parks and rec people. I think there’s still some garlic there, under one of the peach trees.

      For now I’ll stick to my own property, although if everything collapses that park has a good source of water and land that won’t be farmed–too steep and dry for good farmland. I think it’d make a great forest garden.

  9. Someone mentioned that a “stealth gardening” method wouldn’t be enough to feed one’s-self. It is most certainly true that it takes a lot of “veg” to provide calories. And as always, just a part of one’s overall plan.

    [ Read: Garden Vegetable Calorie List ]

    My intent on posting this article was to inspire conversation about this type of gardening. Seems interesting. Kind of fun (maybe for some). Plus a kind of backup plan to an extent.

    The intent was not to imply that this is a recommended way to provide food for a family. My goodness… that would be a lot of hidden gardens (grin).

    1. I dunno Ken, over here where stuff never stops growing wild gardens were the norm, the people would only harvest what they needed, never stripping them, so they could grow on to feed more down the line. It is a doable thing but depends on climate, but even in northern areas theres perennials that are food, the natives used them regularly. Same thing too, didnt strip them cause they knew they would produce more that way. Modern man, well they seem to be a special kinda stupid and like to strip everything, most have no clue what they are looking at, all they see are plants

      1. Boiled peanuts, mmmm

        i grew some last year, did pretty good till the pheasants found them,

        interesting that yours volunteered, i could see them becoming a good one to naturalize. I left mine too long and we had a rain and many of the pods had sprouted started to grow, still got about 4# of seed from them, going to start a few trays next month i think

      2. At some point years ago someone planted potatos up here, i would bet in the early 1900s as our place was originally terraced in 1925, used to have a small house/shack some laborers lived in, so we still have these nice smaller size thin skinned spuds that volunteer, ive tried to spread them around cause they are great spuds. Last year i planted Russian fingerlings and another smallish round yellowish type, they did good, still have tons of em in the ground so going to do some digging and plant them in one of my odd fields, hopefully can get those to spread around too.

  10. My wild garden is in plain sight because people don’t know what I grow is food, and for a couple years I survived on it when I couldn’t afford for much food from the store. Ignorance is the best camouflage for a stealth garden.

  11. Hi everyone! Love this topic. I had to ‘stealth’ garden when we lived in a Master-Planned community with TWO Homeowner’s Associations and tons and tons of rules and regulations. We couldn’t have any type of vegetable gardens, and barely any type of flower gardens, although general landscaping was okay WITH approval by the so-called overlords. I got around it by gradually replacing all of my landscaping plants with fruiting bushes. Blackberries, grapes, currents, gooseberries, raspberries, etc. It gave me great practice; supplemented our food stores, and was great! I would just dig up some kind of bush or plant and replace it with something else. No one ever knew – or noticed LOL! I even stuck fake silk flowers in some of my planters of food. One woman stopped me once outside and asked what kind of beautiful flowers I was growing. “Fake! From Hobby Lobby!”

    Then – we moved……Love living the life on the homestead!!!

    1. DJ5280,

      I had that same situation during my short time in the suburbs. Rainbow chard, surrounded by flowers looks pretty. Malibar spinach is very decorative, with the red stems and all. Even some of the leaf lettuces are very decorative. No one knew what elder bushes were. There were a few old-timers that recognized some of it. They just smiled. Love the fake silk flowers!

  12. Good Companions for Potatoes and good camouflage for them is marigolds (hard on Potato Bugs), Horseradish (ditto) Onions and Garlic (Good for late blight and bugs in general) Peas (Colorado potato bugs hate them) and Beans increase production. Would look like a messy irregular lumpy patch of dirt to most city folks.

  13. All good ideas here. I am starting with Jerusalem Artichoke first. I am thinking of adding some type of vine leafy vegetable. Native muscadines grow well in my area and could be hid if not planted on a fence. Garlic, chives, green onions grow well and if not in a row would be over looked by most, plant around edge areas.

    Deer, rabbits, ‘possums, coons, and now black bear are problems to deal with (and add to the pot :) ).

    Something is better than nothing.

    1. Deep South,

      Assuming you live in the “deep south”, if you’re looking for a vine leafy vegetable, you might take a different look at the Kudzu. Young leaves and shoots are edible, as are the flowers….Lord knows, we ain’t running a shortage of the plant in my neck of the woods. Doesn’t take any special cooking regimen like poke.

      1. Dennis,
        Kudzu is also a medicinal in Chinese herbal medicine, used for respiratory track. Saw it in formulations for covid treatment.

      2. Dennis I was afraid the brick and concrete mulch would be a dead give away :) . Seriously though it is so invasive everyone has been killing it anyway they can for years so there is little left locally. It is interesting to note it was introduced by, drum roll please, the USDA to prevent erosion.

      3. Dennis and Deep South, If you have kudzu near you- no need to plant it… just make sure is not in an area that is poisoned….Large kudzu leaves can be dried, cut up to put in blender or food processor to powder.. use 2 tbsp.. to add vitamins and minerals to soups and stews…tastes like string beans.
        Roots on kudzu are extensive… and pull minerals from 15-30 feet deep. The best thing about them is only one seed in 100 are viable.Considered invasive in many states.

    2. Deep South,
      Let those muscadines go in the forest. They will climb up trees like crazy, natural habit. Harvest with a long pole or ladder.on the ground bears and deer will get them. PS – deer that feed off of corn and grapes are darn good eating.

    3. Deep South, you can plant sweetpotatoes…can eat up to 1/3 leaves on plant when small for a salad or larger ones can be cooked with other wild greens.. tastes like sweetpotatoes..will have both above the ground and below the ground edibles… take 125 days to make.. and must be dug before frost.. do not tolerate cold.. they are a good vine, pretty and most non-country people will never know what they are.. Youpon holly can be used to make tea, be fore warned it does take time to get established…

  14. NRP,
    You just have to grow natives. Oats, milo, anasazi beans, pumpkins, coyote melons. Stuff should be able to grow along that Orange river in the weeds. Surprised you haven’t found a way to get some water from an asacia or maybe a shallow well.

    1. – I remember a while back, we had a good laugh at a couple of prison inmates when I worked at a prison unit. They had managed to smuggle a coyote melon in and thought they had a small watermelon. The pant smells like armpit. Or do you know of a way to eat them?
      – Papa S.

    2. Minerjim:
      Found a new way of getting Water to the house….
      Take Ole Blue to the River for a nice walk, when we get home he seems to always “shakes” once in the house, probably 2 gallons still in hie long fur…. OMG every friggen time I swear. Gata LOVE the Dogs in our lives.

      1. NRP,
        When you are not looking for stealth water, is Blue not trained for “the towel”?

        All my pups spent their whole lives coming home from water and getting a full rub-down with a big, beat-up beach towel. They all love the rubs and get so excited when I wave the towel around and ask if they are ready for “the towel”. Even the very furry ones always give a really good shake after the towel – before going in the house. Doesn’t stop it all, but at least most of the water is outside, not in :)

        Gotta love the pups!

      2. NRP & Blue, SCG,
        Dogs are the best. Really missing Ol Jake right now. DW and I have kinda started looking for another lab. Hard when you have had the best dog you could ever have, but now he is gone. (Well, guess we can look for the 2nd best dog we could ever have). Old Jake loved water. I installed a hot/cold hose bibb on the side of the house to wash him down in mud season, and after he would take a dip in the irigation canal. That Dog sometimes got more baths than i did.

  15. DH and I tried potatoes and Jerusalem Artichoke last spring. We found areas on our wooded property that got about 5 – 6 hours of sun and thought it would be very stealth. I checked the area every day for any sprouting with the intent to mound the potatoes when I saw the first leaf starts. About the fifth day all the spots we planted were dug up and empty. One area of Jerusalem Artichokes that we planted in the milkweed and Mullen area wasn’t dug up but the deer had eaten all the stems and leafs and I couldn’t find them. Our wildlife looked very plump and healthy last summer. Thought I might try planting a few potatoes and veggies in with my flowers that are in big pots on my deck this year. Then I remembered a few years ago I tried that with tomatoes and strawberries, the dogs loved them.

    1. NWMITTEN – please be careful with the potatoes around dogs. We lost both our labs due to raw greenskin potatoes. Had dug them from the garden and stored away minus a small ice cream bucket. Within 48 hrs we had to put our female down. Fast forward 1 yr later, same time of year, same thing happened to the male. Looked like he was drunk. Didn’t put two and two together until after we put him down. Not a way any dog should go. Painful. Now all potatoes are behind hogwire fencing and hydrogen peroxide available if ever occurs again. keeping watchful eye with our 1.5 yr old male and soon to be new addition female.

    2. NW, cool I always thought the artichoke would be stealth as it looks like a weed.

  16. Great idea moving open forum chat into an article. Preserves the ideas for the future and new readers.

  17. I am following the tradition of my ancestors and trying to grow the things we like within the confines of my yard. Yes, I grow some for food but there is another aspect of stealth gardening that has not been addressed: The feelings one gets from raising your own fruits, vegetables, livestock etc on your own garden. I started out doing the heavy labor and unpleasant jobs within gardens and farms when I was young. ( digging ditches, moving dirt, spreading herbicides, pesticides and lastly, shooting deer that are eating our crops.)

    It all changes when you have your own garden. I am willing to put up with reduced yields and occasional failures within my yard in order to remain as free of chemicals as possible. We have been rewarded by having honey bees swarm into my yard due to ours being an island of chemical free plants. It requires sweat equity on my part but the few fruits and vegetables I gather and eat are that much more precious to me. I do not mind feeding the wild creatures out there because I know I have in my possession the tools that will remove them from my yard and into my slow cooker. Gardens and working within my garden give me hope and bring me joy.

  18. – People talk about guerilla gardening (agreed, not stealth gardening where you are misdirecting) like it is a new thing. The old voyageurs in the area above Superior used to plant peas on their way out for fur trapping/trading, hoping to be able to find some on their way out with furs for Rendezvous. You still occasionally find patches of wild peas in that area it you ar there at the right time.

    – Papa S. 

    1. Papa S,

      There’s a lot more than the peas. My family thought I was nuts when I was younger at our cabin up north here, always bringing back wild food for the table in the warmer seasons. Not on a voyager route, but Chippewa forest land and grandpa’s acerage. I would gather many types of food on my walks, morels, puffballs, chanterelles, Chokecherry, wild cherries, juneberries, raspberries, goose berries, wild strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, wintergreen berries, staghorn sumac berries, tender birch sprouts, thistle stalks and flowers, cattail stems, cattail flowers (male and female) lambsquarters, pineapple weed, duck potatoes, plantain, sorrel, clover, rose petals, wild grapes and their sour creepers, dandylyon flower heads and young leaves, wild hazelnuts, lambsquarters, and along the way with my fishin pole, sunfish, bass, northern pike, smallmouth, perch, catching a few crayfish, and turtles.

      Can’t say there wasn’t variety. I had a culinary experience……. learned how to survive on them.

  19. – Any amount of food you can grow will help. Best way is to plant root vegetables as most non-gardening folks don’t recognize things like potatoes, beets, turnips and carrots. It might help if you plant your above ground plants with such things as Black Prince tomatoes, an heirloom that doesn’t turn red. It was originally grown in the Russian hinterlands where it would not be obvious at a distance. There are other such varieties of plants you might consider.

    Also, having a handful of traps, like Conibear and leghold, in addition to a couple of live or box traps and being able to use snares would help your group’s protein intake. Add a couple of slingshots and good air guns and a decent supply of pellets ((10,000 will fit in a 1# coffee can) will give smaller kids a worthwhile job and allow them to contribute to the family table.

    – Papa S.

  20. Kula mentioned the mindset of people that strip the land of “every last one” as a special kind of stupid. I have gone out harvesting mushrooms with hippie folks that bring rakes and brush clearing equipment. They assign tasks and watching them in action reminded me of a strip mining operation and made me sad. I only went out with these folks on public land once. There are many that think that way so I choose not to join them or be like them.
    My favorite aspect of growing a garden is the aspect called habitat improvement. My old California garden was just a few square yards of microclimate that expanded and grew over the years we lived there. It started in the shade of a sycamore tree and with shade-cloth coverings, potted plants and a few bird feeders it expanded into a place where birds, butterflies and neighborhood cats would stop and rest in the shade. During 100 degree days in the summer, it would be 20 degrees cooler beneath the shade cloth after you sprayed the plants with water. I harvested some tomatoes and cucumbers out there and had an herb garden for basil and cilantro. The garden did not provide enough calories to support us. It did provide variety and color.

    1. Calirefugee,
      I have seen that mentality (strip mining) with people who fish/crab.
      They want to keep anything/everything they catch. No matter how small.
      Hard for these idiots to realize that fish/crabs have to get to certain size/age before they reproduce. I love it when they argue with Game Wardens and get pissed when they are fined.when SHTF we will have to take over the role of warden to protect our local habitats from these types of clueless irresponsible pillagers…

      1. Bill Jenkins Horse

        We already do this in my AO. But, acording to “Red Dog Master”, we supposedly kill these poachers. Now, these poacher are taught a real life lesson, they are NOT killed.

        Hunting and wild crafting is a part of our long term survival plans, and we will, to the best of our abilities, protect it.

        I now live in an area of mostly Patriots, so we have a community guard system, not perfect, but better than close to large populated cities.

        1. StandMyGround,
          Poaching and the locust mentality will rear their ugly heads the worse times become for people.
          Enforcement will be important. Violence may occur from either side of the equation. Groups should discuss and a have set of rules on how situations will be handled. We have LE in our group and there are officers in the surrounding areas. None are keen on poachers or rustlers now. Don’t expect that attitude to change when times get worse. A problem to be worked out ahead of time…

        2. Idaho Fish and Game has not detected Chronic Wasting Disease in Idaho. CWD is a contagious and always-fatal neurological disease that affects deer, elk, and moose.Montana, Utah and Wyoming have confirmed cases of CWD in animals close to the Idaho border.

          Annual CWD surveillance has occurred in Idaho with help from hunters since 1997, with 18,000+ cervids (mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, and moose) sampled from around the state.

          source; Idaho Fish and Game 2020

        3. Or maybe you witnessed Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), which is in Idaho. EHD and bluetongue have been documented in most areas of Idaho with large outbreaks in white-tailed deer in the Clearwater Region. Animals that die of EHD or bluetongue are not suitable for human consumption.

          source; Idaho Fish and Game 2020

          Either one is really bad

      2. Some white guy invented a wild ricing harvester and the natives were upset about it back in the early 1930’s because it reaped 99% of all the seeds. Wild rice in these lakes need their seeds to propagate so new plants will grow. Native ways hitting the grains to fall in their boats left half the seeds to be missed to flourish into new grass.

        When my grandpa heard wind of it, he came down on this guy like a ton of cement, he banned the machine because it took everything away from the natives and the natural growth of this food source for both natives and habitat alike. He could do this because he was the Fish and Game Commissioner of MN.

      3. – BJ Horse,
        Living in Louisiana, we took the kids crabbing down at Grapevine. Ten lines of masons’ line, ten foot long and baited with frozen chicken gizzards and three nets with a kid apiece. While we had been fooling around for a couple of hours, and my DW was shrimping with a six-foot-diameter cast net, some California tourists stopped and asked if they could take some pictures. We were amused to hear them talking about my Mrs. as a ‘Cajun lady’. As it turned out they had gotten the three-day tourist fishing licenses, and asked what they would need to do what we were doing. There was another dock a short distance away, I showed them how to tie a clove hitch around the gizzard and the other end of the length of line to a nail in the boards of the dock. As it happened, they had their own landing nets, so I gave them half a bag of gizzards and about six ten-foot lengths of line. They came back by as we were setting things in the car to go home at sunset and offered us their catch. 

        1. I opened our 55 quart cooler full to the brim with legal-sized blue crab and asked my four-year old daughter if she thought we had room. “Maybe a couple of the biggest ones, Dad, but I’m afraid they might eat those little ones.”
          I’m sure she shocked them when she picked up a couple of bigger ones and we released the others to “grow up a little bit”. Another cooler had about six pounds of shrimp. We had friends over for a crab boil that weekend.

          – Papa S

  21. Years ago, NH Michael mentioned reconditioning hard, clay soils with ollas. This I did back in my yard in California. I also make an olla beside a tree I plant in order to encourage deep root growth. For a small tree, I dig a hole as deep as i can and place a section of PVC pipe with holes drilled in the sides. The pipe is filled with rocks and the dirt is filled in around the pipe with a bit of the pipe sticking up above ground. This is done within a few feet of the the newly planted tree. A pipe that is 4-5 inches in diameter about 3-4 feet long can hold a decent amount of water even after being filled with rock. Rather than pour water around the base of a tree, the olla will send the water to the roots of the tree with less opportunity for evaporation. I do like to set aside a shallow plate beside the olla in order for. critters to drink out of. ( better than TV ).

    1. Nice to hear your using the Ollas idea Calirefugee! And YES, a watering hole for critters IS Better than TV. I’ve been using a large 3 gallon ollas to be the center of my Butternut Squash mound and they are so much better than I ever got from hand watering-sprinklers. Used gallon vinegar jugs (washed out) to leak irrigate my potato boxes with better results than last year.

      Recently I started using 5 gallon buckets with a 1/4 inch hole near the bottom to irrigate my Fruit Trees and smaller plants getting smaller 1-2 gallon irrigation vinegar bottles (washed out).

      This I started when I was discussing my lack of Apple Tree growth with my local Agway manager who said “They need more water”. Seems my soil doesn’t soak it up fast as a handheld garden hose SO… Also easy to add compost tea to the irrigation.

      AMAZING how much solid growth I got from my older still small trees and my newly planted ones. I even got my first apples thus way.

      As Iron Sharpens Iron Proverbs 27:17

    1. Mrs U
      over here we have a similar one we call poholè ferns
      if you know where they are excellent

  22. its also called “companion gardening”. there are a number of books out there on the subject. I’ve planted marigold plants around zuchinnis, becuz the smell of the marigolds lure the slugs away from the zuchinnis. or plant onions among the raspberry bushes. the smell of onions lure the bugs that eat raspberries away. this kind of gardening makes more sense than planting one row of the same thing.

  23. As an offshoot- plants for brewing drinks/teas
    so in the wild- dandelion or chickory or sumac
    grow your own chamomile or camellia for tea
    if you live in SE the native yaupon for brewing tea like native Americans did

  24. Stealth gardening would be a complete failure at my place. The groundhogs and deer will eat anything and everything that isn’t behind a very tall fence which also extends underground.

  25. hydroponics…inside. a closet a grow light… on a timer…. aquarium/fish circulating pump…for aquaponics.. has worked in war zones… will work in informational war.

  26. You need a million calories per person per year. You’re not going to get that done with a stealth garden. It is too labor intensive per unit delivered and at the risk of animal destruction. Look at what hunters do for “food plots” and it is way larger than a garden.

    If you want to practice integrated forest gardening and/or permaculture that’s one thing. It’s pretty and functional which means less wasted effort.

    I have small plots in my “forest” I planted with a solar fence charger keeping the vermin out. About 6 acres used to be farmed near the creek until the mid-60s and fed the family of 5. It is all overgrown with the oldest trees being ash and dead. The whole property was fenced for cows and pigs. I’m still finding hundreds of pig bones all over. Down the creek is a failed sod farm. Plenty of good black soil (the locals incorrectly call it black marl) from millennia of flooding of a large creek. A 10×20 patch of corn doesn’t do much for food.

    They used about 20 acres fenced for “free range” cows and pigs with ~6 acres mechanically farmed for a family of 7 that became a family of 5 and when it became ma and pa they quit.

    1. Yeah, it’s just labor intensive. I used to have a garden the size of a city lot. It’s down to 30×60 now. Still fully animal proof with an electric fence that kills anything a raccoon or smaller. I can expand it if I want to, I just let the adjacent area go fallow and mow it now. I still have the plots in the woods with solar chargers but they are mostly for the animals. When the winter gets really hard I pull down a section of fence.

      I do the integrated forest gardening thing now. It’s mostly for the wildlife but it looks more natural and is fairly human edible… Plus less labor to maintain.

  27. Gonna try Harvest Guard lids on ground beef. I have watched some videos on their use, only way I’m gonna know,is to jump in and try them. I’ll let Y’all know how it turns out.

    These new lids, well, they suck. The ones with the white gasket are knock offs, don’t bother, they are junk. Use only ones with the red rubber seal. (first hand info). Official Ball lids says, plainly on the box, “Made in USA.”

    Now, I have a question: I needed those jars. Someone came in and bought the whole inventory, pts, quarts, and lids. Should I have just bought them all and not considered the other canners? Usually, I don’t care about they next guy, I buy what I need, if it’s one item or the whole inventory, but, this time I made an exemption, because of the shortages. I may not do that again, because survival of the fittest. Didn’t use to operate this way, but my attitude is/has changed.

    1. Stand,
      Sorry you missed those jars. You were being “curteous”, then got screwed for it. I would be tempted to buy ‘the lot’ next time too. Another thought for you. Wallyworld also sells “other brands” of canning jars. Many are made by Anchor Hocking and will have a little anchor on the bottoms as a manufacture mark. Could be made in US or Mexico, to good standards. We have have found these canning jars to be very good and serviceable. We “can” our Montepulciano grape jelly in these every year by waterbath method, to the tune of about 15 cases each year, with no issues. I think you can order them and have them sent to your store. Also. being that you are in the northern reaches, any chance you could get up into Canada and find some jars there? Maybe not US made or brand but will get you by. Canucks are great canners, so you might find a good supply there. Just a few thoughts from an old miner. Good luck with your canning.

      1. Minerjim

        No Wall-mart here and I’m not going to Oregon for nothing. Canada is a 6 hr trip one way, but the border is closed to all but necessary travel. I’ll keep looking, thank God, I don’t really “need” them right now.

        I’ve tried other knock off jars, with mixed success, the bottom breaks out in the process of pressure caning

    2. SMG, You did what you thought was right. Its not easy to go from being a fair minded person to the opposite when its part of who you are as a person. I have taken advantage of some great opportunities in the past. I bought out pallets of of glass bottles from a honey company that changed over to plastic bottles so their new labels fit better. I made some available to folks who I knew needed bottles.
      When I bought all that food and canned goods this time last year I donated food to a pastor who feeds homeless vets.
      Next time maybe purchase it with the idea to help some others you may know that could use some. Great way to build relationships with folks.
      Just a suggestion…

      1. Bill Jenkins Horse

        I’ve said on MSB before, I will only help those who CAN NOT help themselves. Not those who “will not” help themselves.

        I help a lot through my local non-denominational church, mostly Seniors, some Vets, and some who just need a hand up and NOT a hand out, not just food, but financial help also. But, it’s done anomalously, because of my stature in this community, I don’t need praise, and I don’t need the beggars coming to my door.

  28. I know that I can landscape with edible natives interspersed with my usual favorites and have few be the wiser. What about when it comes time to harvesting from your ‘stealth garden’? How do you go about collecting in suburbia without every neighbor checking you out?

    1. In my experience of 50-plus years in suburbias, neighbors seldom pay any attention when you are rummaging about in your back yard. Most of them aren’t even outside. If you are good friends with a neighbor, though, as I am with the woman who lives next door, you may be able to pool resources.

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