Spring is finally here, and many of us gardening enthusiasts can’t wait for the last frost to be out of the way so we can set out some vegetable plants and seed. But what good is a garden if people steal all your vegetables during times of economic downturn?

While some experts keep espousing that the economy is growing, others predict 2014 will see hyperinflation, stock drops and another crash like 2008. I’m no economist, but my parents and grandparents did turn me into a gardener. Since I can’t eat dollar bills or silver coins, I’m going to grow some food that won’t even look like food to the casual passerby. And even if the current financial system keeps limping along like a three-legged dog, I can still eat the delicious and healthy vegetables and share them with my family.
Make A Plan**
Your plan should include the “what to grow” and “where to grow it” parts of the gardening equation. Sure, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs taste great, but they are all low in calories and are obvious to anyone wandering by. Consider root crops, because only a savvy gardener will know what the plants look like aboveground, and root crops are a relatively high-calorie food that can be stored in the ground where it grew. This is a great benefit, if you feel that break-ins, robbery, and home looting are likely in your area during an emergency. Plant some of each of the following:
– White potatoes and sweet potatoes
– Peanuts (in warm climates with sandy soil)
– Turnips and rutabaga
– Parsnips
– Carrots and radishes (lower in calories, but good for variety)

Plant your crops in flower beds, containers, and other places throughout your property that look like ornamental planting areas and not garden beds. Avoid rows and orderly planting. Make it look random and weedy for the best camouflage. You can even scatter the seeds and plants on property edges so they just blend in with the local weeds and brush. Wait until the last frost is gone to put out your sweet potato slips and peanuts. The other stuff is hardier, and can be planted now in lower latitudes, or in a few weeks in more northerly climes. Plant in places with at least eight hours of uninterrupted sunlight each day, water the veggies regularly if rain is scarce, and monitor them for pests.

Do you have a survival garden somewhere? Or a regular garden at home? Tell us what you’re growing and why in the comments.