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Old 09-29-2010, 03:44 PM
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Default Whats the ONE Best Crop to Grow?



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The one best animal thread got me thinking....

What would be the ONE best crop to grow. ( Easiest to grow, disease/pest resistant, most calories, most uses, best storage, easy to harvest/process.)

So far I would have to go with corn.
I have grown it in my backyard in Phoenix and it did quite well.
Didnt seem like it had any disease, or bugs.
Easy to grow and harvest, and you dont need any special tools to process it. ( Well maybe to grind it)

Uses....corn (kernels or on the cob to eat) , corn meal/flour, making ethanol, corn starch, feed for animals, burn cobs or plant for heat, fishing bait, etc.

Storage.....can it, let it dry on the cob, freeze it, etc.

What other crops have a good overall use and what else can corn do?
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:50 PM
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The downside to corn is that the niacin is bound up and not bioavailable unless you treat it with lime to make hominy out of it. That's a very fuel and labor intensive process. I love corn, but it would be a real pain to have as a staple food.

I'm not sure what my one crop would be. From a nutrition point of view, I'm tempted to say amaranth. It's easy to grow, pest resistant and extremely nutritious. Also, one of the few complete proteins of vegetable origin. But it's a hands on crop and would be hard to grow with machinery.

From a fuel point of view, I might lean more towards something that could be eaten or pressed for oil for cooking, lighting and making diesel. To me, diesel is a far more important fuel than gasoline, and one this country should have switched over too decades ago.
Old 09-29-2010, 03:55 PM
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Potato..





Sorry... I prefer to answer a question with just one word.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:00 PM
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Potato, or Beans. Good drought resistant beans like Rattlesnake, or Cherokee Tail of Tears bean. Your really would have to try hard to screw it up.

Corn is one of the least energy efficient plants you can grow. Takes too much water, fertilizer, and wears out your soil. Unless you have perfect rainfall and plenty of natural fertilizer .........no. Too much work not enough food.

If you must have a plant to make fuel grow hemp. Yea it is curently illegal. but you can get up to 900 gallons of fuel per acre.

For a lamp oil fuel grow Castor Bean, same plant oil used to fire lamps in ancient Egypt. Requires no effort to produce beyond throwing some seeds out on the ground, dont even have to burry them.

If you must have corn go with a drought resistant strain like the Anasazi or Hopi Blue corn. The first is sweet eating corn, the second is a good flour corn.
Old 09-29-2010, 04:03 PM
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There is not one crop alone that is the best. You must have a variety of foods to survive long term. While you can focus on one crop as the main crop that right now may provide cash as well as nutrition and that should hold true in a shtf situation.

Most farmers I know have a main cash crop they produce then they have a vegetable garden that maintains the families food supply.

Your location and soil type will determine what you can grow to provide a food source
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:28 PM
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It takes an awful lot of ground to grow enough corn to feed a family for a year and even more water..
I would probably have to say Potatoes they store well you can grow allot in a little space they are not nitrogen dependent like many other crops and they may not be the perfect nutritional crop they will fill you up and keep you alive.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:38 PM
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For intensive farming on a small area, the potato has proven itself viable. However, I would recommend some diversification or the soil will suffer and pests and diseases multiply.

survivalMike's idea for castor beans is excellent BUT make sure you know exactly how to process them or you can land up with Ricin contamination and one lick of the finger and you won't get to use any of that fuel!!
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:47 PM
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Potato or soybean is my guess. All that was said above and of course.... potato whiskey.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:49 PM
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If I had herbavore animals to feed, I'd grow corn. Wood ash is free for me and frees up the niacin.

If not, I'd grow pintos.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:51 PM
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Cool thread. Mutchose gratzyass.

Simple pleasures are the best ... so are getting back to the simple ideas about prepping.

One crop is not enough ... but there was this book a long time ago, Tomatoes love Peppers or something like that?
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
The downside to corn is that the niacin is bound up and not bioavailable unless you treat it with lime to make hominy out of it. That's a very fuel and labor intensive process. I love corn, but it would be a real pain to have as a staple food.

I'm not sure what my one crop would be. From a nutrition point of view, I'm tempted to say amaranth. It's easy to grow, pest resistant and extremely nutritious. Also, one of the few complete proteins of vegetable origin. But it's a hands on crop and would be hard to grow with machinery.

From a fuel point of view, I might lean more towards something that could be eaten or pressed for oil for cooking, lighting and making diesel. To me, diesel is a far more important fuel than gasoline, and one this country should have switched over too decades ago.
Agreeing with MikeK here, if I only had ONE crop that I could plant and survive on it would be Amaranth. Did a test this Spring with a couple dozen seeds and it came up easily with unprepared soil, almost no watering(although we did have a wet Spring) and very little work, at least until it was time to collect the seeds. It's been called a weed and I think it would be easier to grow without machinery than most other crops. Plus the protein would be a huge boost in a world when all the game is hunted out(within weeks probably). Have heard you can grow it right in your yard and it will grow up faster than your lawn and shade it, killing off most of the other weeds and grasses easily.

Apparently you can eat the young shoots and stalks of young plants. You can even eat some of the leaves as it's growing without hurting the plants instead of waiting until harvest time. Then you collect the seeds and grind them into flour or pop them like popcorn on a skillet with some oil. I got well over 100 tiny seeds from each of my plants, and I had the leafy variety(Burgundy Amaranth). The seed variety should provide 200-300 or more seeds I'd imagine. I'm sure you can sprout them as well, although I haven't tried that yet.

Since most of your neighbors will probably be growing non-protein rich vegetables, you will probably get a good trade value from your produce the first year, at least until they follow suit the next growing season with all the seeds that they bought from you!

Duke
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:55 PM
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Mari.....Wait

Corn,beans,potatoes,hell Ill grow some Mary jane inbetween my corn to thats gotta be worth its wait in gold in a stressfull enviroment
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:55 PM
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My first thought was flint corn but I would have to go with amaranth. Millions of hungry zombies could walk right past amaranth thinking it just a weed which could be insurance of an untouched harvest.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:59 PM
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Peas would be my choice. Grow in most any soils they are rich in protien and don't necessarily need fertilizers to produce. Just put them down and wait. Least thats all I do and my freezer is usually full each year.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
The downside to corn is that the niacin is bound up and not bioavailable unless you treat it with lime to make hominy out of it. That's a very fuel and labor intensive process. I love corn, but it would be a real pain to have as a staple food.

I'm not sure what my one crop would be. From a nutrition point of view, I'm tempted to say amaranth. It's easy to grow, pest resistant and extremely nutritious. Also, one of the few complete proteins of vegetable origin. But it's a hands on crop and would be hard to grow with machinery.

From a fuel point of view, I might lean more towards something that could be eaten or pressed for oil for cooking, lighting and making diesel. To me, diesel is a far more important fuel than gasoline, and one this country should have switched over too decades ago.
I had to google amaranth just to find out what it is.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:36 PM
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I think beans would be the best "one crop only" choice.

The plant is relatively small and will go from seedling to full size quick, shortening the wait period before harvest.
Bean plants give back some nutrients to the soil (tilling the plant increases nitrogen levels), helping next year's crop.
The plant can be consumed as sprouts.
The bean can be eaten fresh, or dried then cooked later.
Dried beans have excellent shelf life.
Beans do not require vigourous water intake.
One plant can provide enough seeds for following season.
Beans are healthy, and a good source of protein.

Of course there is that little gas thing...
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:51 PM
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corn is a rotational crop, you have to rotate where you grow it and have something else in its place to restore the dirt. you can't grow corn in the same place over and over. you would get about two years at one season per year.
Old 09-29-2010, 05:57 PM
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Soybeans. If I have plenty of water, maybe rice.
Old 09-29-2010, 05:58 PM
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Jatropha tree.
Old 09-29-2010, 06:01 PM
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Go with the Three Sisters.
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