Rising food prices and shortages make a garden the perfect solution.

During the 1800s, before America transitioned from an agricultural to an industrial society, many Americans grew their own food. Even those people who earned significantly less money than others had few worries when it came to food for themselves and their families because all they had to do was walk out to their garden or farmland to gather their next few meals.

Today, nearly one out of five Americans (19.33 percent) receives food stamps for a total of 47.1 million people, according to a Fox News report. The Christian Science Monitor recently reported that 420,863 new people joined the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in just one month for a 2.86 percent increase over the previous month. A report from the Congressional Budget Office stated that the SNAP usage was expected to continue to increase through 2014.

With the total number of Americans now on food stamps being higher than the combined populations of 24 states and the District of Columbia, it’s clear that making a decision to acquire heirloom seeds and grow your own food is a solid idea. Growing your own non-genetically modified food in your garden is the only guarantee of an ongoing, healthy food source and the only thing that will enable you and your family to achieve food independence during a time of rising food prices and global shortages.

Of course, you should always remember to…

• Time your harvests based on the individual plant’s method of seed dispersal.

• Clean the resultant seeds and spread them out to dry.

• Store those seeds in packets, glass jars or other containers.

• Label the packets and containers by variety and date.

• Store them in a cool or cold, dark and dry place.

Those activities will maximize your food growing experience and keep your family fed and healthy. And, you shouldn’t ever have to buy seeds for those particular plants again.

If you’ve acquired seeds recently, which ones are you planning to plant in the near future? If you’ve been gardening for a while, do you have any “tricks of the trade” that you’d like to share with other readers? We’d love to hear from you about this.

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