Do You Know How to Grow a Secret Garden?

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By the author of The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices

It’s been three months now since the US was invaded. A cyberattack took down the lights, and then the military-age men who had been inserted into America months to years prior as “refugees” were finally activated. Secret caches of weapons, night vision, ammunition, and more – scattered across the country in storage units – were distributed to the soldiers overnight.

secret garden

These soldiers have been attacking anybody and everything, but a veritable Golden Horde situation has now set in as people both now live in a constant state of panic and hunger.

No electricity means no logistics. Millions have starved already. Within your own community, you’ve witnessed at least four families who were murdered after it was discovered that they’d planted a traditional row garden. They were murdered for their food.

You have to hide from foreign enemies as well as from your own countrymen now. But, you have a bit of information you tucked away some time ago that has been helping to keep you from getting shot.

What do you do in a similar situation?

It’s no secret that food production needs to be something the well-prepared American is versed in – especially this year. We are currently witnessing the world rapidly devolve into outright chaos. Commercial American farms are not going to be able to produce as much food this coming summer as we are used to.

Many signs indicate that a global famine is on the way.

While storing food is most certainly important (and actually “normal” when you look back on human history. Not getting ready for winter is abnormal.), you have to be able to produce more food after your initial stores run dry.

And now, more than ever, it’s important to understand how to do so stealthily (aka, how to grow a secret garden).

A regular garden is most certainly better than nothing, but you should most certainly consider some means of secret food production to boot. A drone with a camera doesn’t take very much effort to launch up into the sky whatsoever, and it honestly wouldn’t be difficult to program one of these with an AI that could recognize garden plots.

As we witness a group of people suddenly decide that they have the right to rob others and force them into slavery because of a “climate emergency,” you would be a fool to think that they won’t attempt to expand this even further.

When the food runs out – when the rationing is enforced – what makes you think these same people won’t decide that they have a “right” to what you have produced?

(In the meantime, you may want to check out our free QUICKSTART GUIDE to emergency evacuations.)

Three things you can do to hide your food production abilities

Right off the bat, I’m going to tell you that you need to read both Secret Garden of Survival and Secret Livestock of Survival by Rick Austin. I’ve yet to find any other resource that goes into this topic to the degree of detail, as does ol’ Ricky Rick. He’s talked about expanding this book series even further, and I’m hoping that if enough people bug him about it, he’ll do so, because his books are great.

1. Grow grapes over your fruit trees.

Vines permitted to go wild make things look like they are wild. Things that are viewed as wild aren’t viewed as having regular human contact. Everybody will notice the well-kept grove of apple trees that are all in a row. But if you have grapevines growing over all of your trees, not only will you increase your food production on the same amount of land, but you’ll make it so that your fruit trees don’t look as if they’re producing food.

Here’s a good video that helps to demonstrate this:

2. Avoid the rows in your secret garden.

The more you can get your plants to look like they grew that way “naturally,” rather than looking as if they were specifically planted by somebody, the more secretive of a garden you’ll have. And you can still grow massive amounts of food this way as well. Here, The King of Secret Gardening will show you how this looks.

3. Start growing mushrooms.

The great thing about mushrooms is that they can be grown just about anywhere (even inside), few people would be able to spot them if you practice even the least bit of discretion growing them outside, and even fewer people would recognize them as a food source.

How many people in Normalcy Bias Land do you think know the difference between a shiitake and “little brown mushrooms?” Very, very few. But if you buy the spawn and raise the mushrooms yourself, you’ll know exactly what it is that you’re looking at out there in your food forest.

The catch is that the world of mushrooms can be rather confusing. This is where an instructor can be beneficial. They can show you the ropes, telling you exactly what to do because they’ve been where you are before. This is why we highly recommend you check out our new course “How to Grow Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms.”

It’s here that you’ll find all the knowledge you need to get started with growing mushrooms on your property right now (after you buy the spawn, anyway). With everything going on in the world around us, with politicians even publicly stating that there are going to be global food shortages this year, it’s best to make these preparations sooner rather than later.

Knowledge of how to secretly produce food is a must.

Even if you have a traditional-style garden set up at the moment, at least take the time now to learn what it takes to camouflage what it is that you’re growing. Gardening already takes a lot of time to master, and after a disaster is not the time to try to figure out what works to keep your secret garden hidden and what does not.

Attempting to discover this knowledge then only leads to frustration, starvation, or problems with very desperate people. This is something you can take actionable steps on now! Learn how to disguise your food!

What are your thoughts on hidden food production, though? Are there other aspects you know about that your fellow Americans need to know about as well? Share your findings and knowledge in the comment section below.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

Do You Know How to Grow a Secret Garden?
Aden Tate

Aden Tate

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  • My granny was master at this. She grew veggies around the house foundation mixed with flowers. She would put small strips of veggies behind rows of landscape bushes out in the front yard. She hated things that had only one purpose,she loved seeing pretty things mixed with things that would fill our bellies in the winter. She said watch the sun patterns every season for a year. Plant between trees in open patches in the forest,plant beside the cattails at swamp edge. Most people don’t look for food if it’s hard work. This from a woman of mixed Indian lineage who was forced out of the schools in Mississippi in the third grade. She was and is the wisest woman I have ever met.

  • There are a ton of edible landscape plants as well! They aren’t as high calorie as the traditional food plants but they can help, especially if you grow them in front of the house, for example. There’s an article on this site about gardening OPSEC that discussed this further.

    Also, be careful with those grape vines. They’ll choke out your tree if you let them grow too wild. Done this, been there.

    • More good tips. I was thinking about southern Kudzu vines which chock out whole countrysides, so yes, I’d say some secret, selective guerilla pruning would be necessary.

      • Kudzu is edible. Too many ways to use to list here. Human and animal feed. Worth a little research. Just be aware the environment it’s growing in as folks often spray it, dump old tires and used oil and such there.

  • Additionally, I teach people to allow their edible weeds to grow, like plantain, lambs quarters, lemon balm, nettles, purslane. These weeds are very invasive (yay!) and highly prolific, yet the majority of westerners don’t know they are also EDIBLE! What looks like an unkempt yard is actually a food forest. Also, if you’re in to the manicured yard look, HOSTAS, which grow very well in shade and filtered shade are edible. But, to gather them without attracting notice, you must selectively harvest. Be wise!

    • My city has regulations governing those “weeds” so clipping them regularly is a must! To which I say: no problem! I’ve never once been asked what I do with them. I have ox-eye daisy, yarrow, sorrel, and dandelion growing in my yard every year, along with burdock and wood violets. What I don’t love, the pollinators do! Yay weeds!

  • Aside from the dramatic, fear porn opening, There may be times when not planting a traditional garden could be beneficial. Or by making a secondary garden. Soldiers are not as likely to come after you for your food, as long as you share with them. They might in such a scenario, guard your garden much like our soldiers guarded the Opium poppy fields in Afghanistan.
    However, given a grid down scenario and a famine, plants and animals might not be the only food source.
    Cannibalism could become a big problem.
    So hiding that garden might be the least of your worries!

    People who are hungry, with little morals or value for human life(many illegal immigrants), and with no skills in raising food or hunting are not going to sit idlily by and starve.
    Other people will be the biggest food resource and the most available one.

    So unless you bug out to a remote location, sharing your food and your gardening skills might be your best defense against becoming someone’s lunch or dinner. A gross idea to most of us, but not unthinkable in some cultures.

    Yes I know no one wants to think about this or accept the possibility of it occurring. But History is filled with references to Cannibalism occurring during times of extreme famine. People who fail to study History and learn from it, are bound to see it repeated. So do not discount this possibility, to lightly.

    Hoarders(and some Preppers) will be hated and targeted by hungry people.
    Those that do not share their stored up supplies, will be found out, sooner or later. Even if you give up your supplies under duress, later on, you will be high on the list of people to be gotten rid of, by the rest of your neighbors.
    So once the rest of the food options are exhausted, you might find yourself on the menu.

    So if you are going to be around a large number of non preppers, you better make yourself indispensable to their continued survival. Like feeding them, teaching them to grow food, tending to the sick and injured or helping them build stuff to pump or purify water, or supply other community needs.
    Trying to hide your skills(or your garden) is more likely to get you killed.

          • Not really, it is a highly likely point – and I should know, I’ve read plenty of books on just this subject and unfortunately since the gate has been swung more than wide but has come completely off its hinges on the border and those illegals as well as all the 100k+ foreigners enjoying taxpayer funds, many of them will have no probs eating the overstuffed Americans! I’m old and sick so if I make it, I won’t taste too good! Good luck to all and I’ll see ya with Jesus!!! God bless…

    • You are calling a gardening article “fear porn” and then you warn people about cannibalism? Ummmm….that’s rather hypocritical, don’t you think? I’m worried more about my neighbors eating my tomatoes than about them eating me.

    • Great. Now I have to hide my stash of nice Chianti and fava beans…

      If I get ate I’m not going to give them a meal and something to wash me down with.

      • ~Jim,
        You know there is certain prepper lexicon, like MZB (Mutant Zombie Biker), Red Pill, Blue Pill, even SHTF or TEOTWAWKI.
        I think you just may have made a new one: “Going Lecter.”
        Some have also called it, LongPork.

    • “So if you are going to be around a large number of non preppers, you better make yourself indispensable to their continued survival.”

      The word “enslavement” comes to mind. No thank you. I won’t die cheaply and I won’t die alone. After that, I’ll stay on this plane just long enough to watch them die of starvation LOL. Bullshit if I’m working as a slave to support others who couldn’t be bothered to help themselves!

      Gotta love ya, Mic. No one nitpicks an argument better than you!

    • You DO hide part of your garden. You do NOT hide your skills. Improvident greedyguts will value you for your skills.
      Americans have not seen much starvation to death since the 1600’s. We are being warned very very clearly that this is probable this year. But it is quite literally unthinkable to most. Even with the mild shortages of 2020, the overwhelming majority will do ABSOLUTELY nothing to prep. Those still alive in 2023 will have learned some gardening and food preservation and will all be preppers, then.
      Be prepared to help your neighbors learn this year as soon as they wake up to the need. Have extra seed and don’t waste it with duplicate plants to thin.
      Study food preservation methods, and be prepare to teach others that as well.

      • I purchased the 4/$1 seeds at Dollar Tree and will be placing a pack in each mailbox in our HOA to encourage neighbor’s to just try to start growing.

        • Just be careful doing that. A local church got in trouble doing that with flyers of tips on skills after a hurricane came through here a few years back. It’s illegal to place anything in mailboxes if you aren’t a US Postal employee.

  • I’m a lazy gardener. I’ve never planted in rows. I appreciate hard working folks that do, though. They’re so organized and pretty.

    I stick to what I can grow and preserve a lot of by fermentation and pickling. Cucumber, squash (Hubbard,butternut,yellow) zucchini, cabbage,asparagus and green beans.

    I have a huge pile of composting hay, yard, sawdust, and cow/sheep manure that I just keep stacking onto. The pile crumples to the bottom over time as the pile matures.

    I plant seeds and started plants on top of, throughout, and around the bottom depending on the plant. It takes me about an hour and a half, then I walk away. I don’t till, weed, cultivate, rake or fertilize. Don’t even water.

    We start picking 4-6 weeks later. And plants produce right up to first freeze. No one has ever complimented me on our garden. It’s just a big pile of manure overgrown with weeds to everyone that drives past. It’s only 100’ from the road.

  • Don’t forget the preservation aspect. Fruits and vegetables are nice in the summer but they are your best defense against malnutrition and scurvy in the winter months. Canning and preservation starts in the spring with the native asparagus species and should progress all summer and fall. If you can harvest it, you should be preserving most of it for later.

    Plant things that are good producers throughout the summer months and mix the plants so everything looks random. Garlic, radishes, onions, and carrots can all be planted randomly with other plants to help hind them. They can also all be canned for preservation. Garlic can simply be dried. Both rice and wheat just look like overgrown grass to the untrained eye and both store well for the long winter months. Ans some fruit trees, like Italian prunes hide their fruit well and can be heavy producers with almost no maintenance.

    The tail of the ant and the grasshopper was a cautionary children’s tail, but adults should be following the same advice.

  • This is really important for apartment dwellers who have no land. There are many byways and trails around they can covert plant. They simply need to make a map and keep a list of what they planted where. It takes time to find out what did well in diff locations and try a diff crop. Bought seeds don’t always do well, but the collected seed for next season do much better being acclimated to the soil and conditions.

    • There’s a fellow and his daughter who do edible plant walking tours in and around nyc for those bad times. So much food all around if we know what we’re looking at.

  • Plant unusual foods. Hostas, Maypop, Day Lily, Malabar Spinach, Dandelion, etc. If it doesn’t look familiar, it will likely be passed by and ignored as decorative and useless. Plus many are perennial, and can also be positioned in irregular areas to appear as wild growths or even weeds.

    • Malabar spinach is great! It grows like a weed, produces a ton of edible leaves and most people don’t even recognize what it is because it can get very tall. It’s super easy to harvest the seeds, and they grow almost anywhere.

  • I’m growing Moringa Trees from seeds. I plan to keep about 10 seedlings in my fenced back yard, and scatter another dozen in the neighborhood in empty lots, maybe give some to my neighbors. Since I’m in Florida, they should grow all year with almost every part being edible. They should be ready to transplant by rainy season.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moringa_oleifera

    I’m also buying the discounted/clearance bird seed mixes to throw in the empty lots around my neighborhood once the rainy season starts. Besides the edible seeds they’ll produce, they will also attract wildlife I can trap or harvest. Also thinking about trying to do the same thing with some amaranth seeds, a good healthy seed that most people won’t recognize, but will re-seed itself over and over.

    That and a field guide on local wild edible plants, fishing in the canal behind the house, fishing in the Gulf, squirrels, iguanas, wild rabbits, wild ducks, etc. should help supplement my food storage.

  • I’m not a gardener… period. But, I have prepared food items to barter with for some eggs, milk, veggies, etc. Would you like some honey to sweeten with?? I have a corner on the market. Just saying, not everyone is suited to gardening, but have other things to trade. We need to live more communally (closer) with others of like mind.

  • Here in NZ the Chokos (Chayote) are just starting (early autumn) and we are eating the young immature fruits just quartered and steamed, skin on. You can also eat the vine tips as a green (as with most curcurbits). Choko is almost a weed and will grow up trees and fences. You plant the whole mature fruit to get a new plant. You could plant it in waste areas and you have a “secret” garden. The mature fruit will keep in a dark place thru the winter. I recommend them as a “survival” food.

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