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The winter garden provides crops that store well.

Coronavirus and Self-Reliance

It’s crazy times out there, gardenerds. The Coronavirus pandemic puts everything into perspective: health, community, and food are suddenly the most important commodities.

I know this sounds weird, but I feel like Gardenerd is fulfilling its mission now that Coronavirus is here. For more than a decade we’ve been sharing How-To knowledge for everything that would be handy to know right now. Gardening, chicken keeping, bee keeping, bread making, cooking from the garden, zero waste, community engagement (like Timebanking), alternative energy (biogas for cooking, solar food drying)–these are all skills that make life easier during a global pandemic.

Harvest basket
The winter garden provides crops that store well.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bragging, nor am I judging anyone who doesn’t have these skills. I’m just excited to reach a larger audience of motivated, eager learners. So let’s get going.

Here are a few posts to help you dive deeper into self-reliance as we weather the coming storm together:

Wordless Wednesday winter lettuces

Step By Step Gardening Tips

You don’t need to view all of these at once, just check back as you reach the next step in the process if you need more help. Each post walks you through the process.

Spring Garden Planning – this video gives you the low-down on what to plant this spring.

Building Raised Beds – Find recommended materials, building instructions, and pretty much everything else you need to know to get growing in Gardening for Geeks

Amending Soils Before Planting – our quick video gives you the scoop on how to do bed prep.

Starting from SeedWatch our Seed-Starting 2 Ways video for how to get started

How to Thin Seedlings – this video explains “thinning” — what it is and why you benefit from doing it.

Transplanting seedlings into the garden – if you start seeds in seed trays, you’ll want transplant them up to larger pots for a few more weeks before planting them out in the garden. This video shows you how.

From here you can search Gardenerd for “growing xxxx” or “harvesting xxxx” to find details on how to grow specific crops. Our search engine is your access point to more than a decade of informative blog posts, videos, podcasts, and more.

Sylvia, Anabelle and Wilma make themselves at home.

Other Homesteading Stuff

Chicken Keeping – Fresh eggs on the regular. I’m just sayin’. Listen to our fun podcast with Ceebs Bailey for the low-down on having your own hens (AKA egg factories).

Beekeeping – Honey is an awesome sweetener, plus bees pollinate your garden. Higher yields are SWEET! (see what I did there?) We recommend the folks at for expert instruction and local training in Los Angeles.

Solar Food Drying – Preserve your harvest (or bulk buy) with the power of the sun. Read about it here.

Pressure Canning – or the more basic water bath canning (a good starting point). These are great ways to prep for emergencies, preserve bulk foods, and enjoy your harvest year round.

pressure canning finished beans
Our beans sealed perfectly and are now shelf stable.

Choose one thing to learn more about and keep at it even if you fail the first time. I, for one, have learned that gardening is all about failure. We fail, we learn, we become better gardeners. Then we thrive in a crisis.

If you need more help with self-reliance along the way, post a comment to tell us what you need to know. We’ll shape our future content to support your journey into self-reliance.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Isabelle Mcdonald

    Stumbled across this and would love to subscribe but not sure how to do this on your website.

    1. Christy

      Hi Isabelle, In the upper right hand corner of the website there is a green box with the fields “First Name” and “Email”. Simply enter your name and email address in those boxes and you’ll be signed up. Thanks for joining the Gardenerd Community.

  2. Abraham Johnson

    I am really scared about my chickens. I am rearing them in my small garden with a little case. Will it be a problem?

    1. Christy

      I’m not sure I understand your question Abraham, but chickens should be safe if you give them protection from predators, and give them at least 4 square feet per hen of run space.

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