As the saying goes, man cannot live on bread alone — or any one food source, for that matter. You may be able to sustain yourself on stockpiled dry beans and rice for quite a while, but eventually you're likely to develop a nutrient deficiency that will affect your health. Also, it's simply demoralizing to eat an extremely restrictive diet. This is why ideal nutrition guidelines always recommend a variety of meats, eggs, dairy, grains, fruits, and vegetables.


Fresh-grown produce from the farmer's market is delicious and healthy, but it may not always be available.

In a survival situation, you may be confined to your home with limited access to outside resources, but that doesn't mean your diet has to be limited or unhealthy. We're big proponents of home gardening, either in the backyard or using an indoor hydroponic setup. Hydroponic gardening is water-based, and requires no soil or natural sunlight. So, with the right equipment, it's easy to set up a productive garden inside a garage, basement, or shed.

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One especially simple type of hydroponics is known as the Kratky method. Unlike some other types of hydroponics, the Kratky method requires no pumps or electronic aids. If you grow outdoors or in a greenhouse, you won't even need grow lights, so this system can be entirely passive for grid-down situations. It's ideal for leafy greens, like lettuce, spinach, and herbs, though beans and tomatoes can be grown with some adjustments.

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The following infographic from Green and Vibrant shows how to set up a Kratky method hydroponic system, how to maintain it, and which plants to start growing. Click here to download a full-size version of this infographic.

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For more details on the science behind the Kratky method of hydroponics, watch the humorous and informative video from Jeb Gardener below:

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