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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.
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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, 04:54 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, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by DukeOfDeath View Post
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
The amaranth I grew last year grew so fast that I was harvesting them for greens all season long. They were very good tasting greens too. In fact I actually planted amaranth just for the greens. I wanted to experiment with the seeds too, but my main purpose was as a veggie. I still have a bunch of it in the freezer!
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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 09-30-2010, 05:06 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 never even heard about amaranth until I read that Mike .... incredible.

Spent the last two days reading about it all over the web, ordered some, showed the info to me wife.

We're going to give it a try.

Thanks Mike.
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Old 10-01-2010, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Gallo Pazzesco View Post
I had never even heard about amaranth until I read that Mike .... incredible.

Spent the last two days reading about it all over the web, ordered some, showed the info to me wife.

We're going to give it a try.

Thanks Mike.
Anytime. I grew it for the first time last summer and was really impressed by it. It immediately became my number one survival plant. I hope you have great success with yours too.
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:44 AM
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Heck Mike .... if it will grow where you are then hopefully it will grow where I am no problem. Lots of high heat and sand. We're sure going to give it a try.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:21 PM
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Heck Mike .... if it will grow where you are then hopefully it will grow where I am no problem. Lots of high heat and sand. We're sure going to give it a try.
It's a staple crop for some of the Indians high up in the cold Andes mountains and such. I think it will grow pretty much anywhere. The soil where I grew mine was salty clay. It was the only plant that actually did extremely well. I just don't think it's very picky as long as you find the right variety. I only tried one kind, Vegetable Amaranth. There are probably others that would have done even better.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:59 PM
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....Cannabis good cash crop....
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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 10-06-2010, 06:05 AM
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Most productive is corn. Easiest is potato. Depends on where you live!!!
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:47 AM
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Potato..

Sorry... I prefer to answer a question with just one word.

So, you've been married quite a while have you?
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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.
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:04 PM
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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.
I had put in a couple hundred plants of castor around the perimeter of my land at the last place I lived, specifically for that purpose. It also processes easily into diesel and it's an easy oil to press. The plant itself takes zero maintanance. It grows like a weed. I would probably go with sunflower though, since you do get a food crop out of it also, and it's also easy to press. The downside is that it takes a lot more effort to grow and process.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:24 PM
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I would think this questions best answer would be based on soil/weather conditions. Not all easy-grow plants are so easy to grow in other ecosystems.


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If you must have a plant to make fuel grow hemp. Yea it is currently illegal. but you can get up to 900 gallons of fuel per acre.
This is a awesome choice for many more reasons then a non toxic bio diesel. Its an amazing plant that grows in loamy dry soil conditions w/ near neutral acidity. It produces fruit that contains most of the essential amino acids and fatty acids, omega 3/6/9s, A,B1/2/3/6,C,D,E vitamins, all 3 fats, sodium, calcium, iron, fiber, carbs, and a good amount of highly digestible protein as well as use as an anti-inflammatory, and the nut itself has been commonly used as fishing bait. Its also can be used like soy in many recipes.

Course and fine fibers for a multitude of textile uses. It also has been researched that it is a crop that can cleanse soil and ground water of contaminates of pollution and growths thick enough to snuff out weeds.

It was the staple crop of the WWII effort at home. All farmers were encouraged to grow it for its textile and industrial use and quick turn around and good yield.

If soil permitted id grow this plant.

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Jatropha tree.
Interesting thought. Many different uses that would be beneficial but it also contains hydrogen cyanide and rotenone which in moderate amounts(only food source) would probably not be good for you i would think since its a chemical used in pesticides and poisons.

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Old 09-29-2010, 09:45 PM
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I realize that having only one type of crop is not good.

I was just wondering what everyone would choose if they could only have one type.

For example , what else can you do with amaranth, besides eat the greens and use the seeds.

Or potatoes, besides eat or make vodka, etc.

What has the most uses if you had unlimited soil?
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by SurvivalMike View Post
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.
So how do you get the oil out of Castor beans and hemp?
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Old 09-30-2010, 06:57 AM
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So how do you get the oil out of Castor beans and hemp?
castor beans? carefully as the beans contain ricin wich is rather nasty stuff
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