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Wanting to get some growing your own food advice and share some thoughts.

prolific garden plants
purple hull peas
zuccini
most straight neck yellow squash
cucumber
tomato
cantelope
watermelon
garlic
Jalapeno
Cayenne pepper
bannana pepper

I figure these as the most easy to grow garden plants in my experience and the ones with the highest yields. Likely to have a lot of demands on my time right after the SHTF. Getting a lot of food for a little effort and not dipping as heavily into stored food seems like a good idea.

Also that's the time when there's more likely to be wandering hungry people wanting to trade for food. Giving up excess perishable food could help avoid confrontations and score some goods.

Hey, and i'm looking for ideas of more plants in all these categories. I'm positive I'm missing tons of great ideas.


prolific garden plants but a lot of hard work

potato

"pole" green bean - not as much work if you have the poles already cut and ready

You can live on potatoes if you have to but they're a major pain to dig up if you're doing it with a shovel rather than a plow. Also I've found it a little tricky to figure out exactly when to harvest them. You want to leave them in the ground as long as possible to maximize their size. But they'll rot in the ground if you leave them too long. And for the first harvest you might be busy shooing off unwanted people, standing guard duty half the night, building shelter, etc. to spend 16 hours a day for a week harvesting potatoes.


fruit tree

pecan
plum
apple
pawpaw
peach
pear

In my limited experience pecan and pear trees are easy and prolific. My experience with peaches are that they require insecticide or they come close to being more trouble than they're worth. Bees seem to love plum trees. If you are planning on keeping beehives, maybe plums are a good idea?

No experience at all with other fruit trees.

I imagine whatever mix of fruit trees you use that you'll want to make sure all your perishable fruit varieties don't all ripen at the same time.

Ideas?



fruit bushes

cherokee blackberry - a good defensive barrier that will grow in depth if you let it. Fruit is about the size of your thumb and is the best food on earth. For any section you are actively cultivating rather than using as a barrier, you need to cut out the old vines that bore fruit earlier in the years and leave the new growth in order to maximize yield. We used to gather old vines in piles for wild rabbit to use as shelter so you could find them easily when hunting in the winter. After the SHTF, it'd let you know the areas to set snares.

blueberry - thought about using this rather than shrubbery around the house.

fig - yeah, I know its supposed to be tree-like but the ones I've seen are more stunted bushes

Stevia (aka Sweet Leaf - Honey Leaf) its leaves are a natural zero calorie sweetener. Its legal for commercial use almost everywhere but the US where sugar and corn producers have successfully lobbied to block its use.

peppermint

greenhouse: yes or no?

If you're in a fairly moderate climate, some pipe and poles ought to let you build a greenhouse which would extend your growing season and control weeds and animals messing with your crop.

Anyone thinking about going this route want to share your thoughts?
 

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Hermit
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Don't under estimate the potato. I see it as a survival food. Next spring I will be planting at least 50 lbs, which will yield around 500 pounds of food. Sure there is work to it, but once the potato's are dug, I put them in the root cellar, I'm done..no canning, freezing or dehydrating. They keep for months, and most times will keep till next spring to use again as seed. Once the plant dies, they are ready for digging. You can dig with your hands and pull a few potato's before the plant dies to check on the growth and to have 'new potato's'

Watermelons and cantaloupe...those take a lot of space to grow and don't store very long.

Pole beans, the way I grow these is drive 4-5 steel fence posts in the ground, stretch out any kind of woven wire ( I use 5 foot high welded wire), attach to the posts to make a fence. Then plant the beans along the fence. Once the fence is built, leave it there for a few years and plant beans again.

Apple trees, get a good storing apple. You can store these for months in a root cellar also, but not with your potato's.

Hope this helps.
Luke
 

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I haven't tried regular potatoes yet, but last year I planted sweet potatoes and didn't even have to reseed. It's everything I can do to keep them from taking over the whole garden.
 

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Renegade Vegan
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I haven't tried regular potatoes yet, but last year I planted sweet potatoes and didn't even have to reseed. It's everything I can do to keep them from taking over the whole garden.
Don't forget you can eat the green part too.:D:

http://deltafarmpress.com/mag/farming_sweet_potato_tops/
Sweet potato tops new crop option?
Apr 16, 2004 12:00 PM, By Carol Sanders

Its nutritional content is comparable to spinach. It can be harvested several times a year. You can eat these greens as well as its highly nutritious root. Arkansas soil and climate are conducive to growing it.

What is the “new” kind of greens? Sweet potato tops or leaves. They are readily served as a cooked vegetable in many parts of the world and are rich in vitamin B, iron, calcium, zinc and protein.

Walter Tucker, an 80-year-old World War II Bataan survivor who received his Purple Heart 59 years later, recalled that prisoners were not fed much and survived on fish heads, rice and sweet potato tops.
 

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Wanting to get some growing your own food advice and share some thoughts.

prolific garden plants
purple hull peas
zuccini
most straight neck yellow squash
cucumber
tomato
prolific garden plants but a lot of hard work

potato

"pole" green bean - not as much work if you have the poles already cut and ready



Potatoes can be grown easily in loose soil-- fill up an old tire, put in your seed-taters and watch em grow! Add a tire and pour on more dirt every month(?) or so. When you're ready to harvest, pull off the tires and your potatoes will tumble right out. No digging required! :D

As for the pole beans, get four tall strong sticks (We get $1 bamboo staves at our local garden center), lash them together teepee style. The kids love playing in the teepee and it's easy for everyone to harvest.

We're prone to squash bugs here, so zucchini is a problem. I was told: don't plant your zucchini until after the 4th of July. It still has PLENTY of time to grow, but the squash bugs have set up residence by then somewhere else.

If you have abandoned houses in your neighborhood, consider planting a few crops in their yard. Same with a patch in the woods. Make your land work for you. I want to cry everytime I see too-well-manicured lawns. People could be making their land WORK for them with little effort on their own part! Get some fruit and nut trees in there! Blueberry bushes!

A NOTE ON SEEDS: Please make the effort to find heirloom varieties. You're probably already aware that seed companies have genetically altered seeds to keep them from being saved year-to-year. heirlooms were INTENDED to be passed on! Don't spend your precious cash on things that'll only produce for a year!

Lecture over! :D Good luck to us all.

Go with G-d.
 

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Don't forget you can eat the green part too.:D:
Please don't confuse this advice with the green tops of potatoes - they are quite poisonous.

I plant pole beans on my sunflowers and/or corn.
Pumpkins, if you've got the space for melons and squash. Seeds, plus plenty of puree to can for later - nutritious, and pies are a nice treat out of season imo.
I love okra, it's prolific and cans well.
Bell peppers can and dehydrate well, and are a nice seasoning in so many dishes and pickling recipes.
Small cherry and pear type tomatoes are prolific and good for fresh in-season eating when you have limited space and want to grow primarily varieties for paste or stewing types.
Grapes are well worth the effort imo. I plant them on supports (arbor, basically) opposite hops.
In the right zones: citrus of all types for juicing. Avocado trees are very high food value - big on calories from good mono fats.

I'm going to can using only Stevia for sweetener next year to give it a thorough trial-run. Honey, like bananas, really has no substitute as a "perfect" food, but replacing 100% of our [family's] refined sugar with Stevia would be awesome. I'm also curious as to whether it could supplement sugars in fermentation. Plan to research and give that some practical assessment as well.

I keep a separate raised-bed kitchen garden for cutting greens and lettuce year-round. Smaller carrots could interplant here as well.

You can screw a couple of brackets (the type for electrical conduit) on opposite sides of the raised-bed boards ( 2x6 or?) then place 3/4 - 1" pvc poles into the brackets and bend in an arch over the bed. Cover with 6mil or better plastic to extend the season.
 

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Wanting to get some growing your own food advice and share some thoughts.


greenhouse: yes or no?

If you're in a fairly moderate climate, some pipe and poles ought to let you build a greenhouse which would extend your growing season and control weeds and animals messing with your crop.

Anyone thinking about going this route want to share your thoughts?
Quick thought on a greenhouse!!
There are plastic covers sold at hardware/home improvement stores to cover your cellar window wells-- keeps snow/rain from draining down in there. I put plants down in there and use those plastic covers and it really works like a greenhouse!! We have lush greenery down in our outside window wells all winter long!

I suppose you could even rig two of those plastic shells up facing one another. then you could have things planted under the little "dome" part. I think they'd have to have some shelter, though, from the ground freezing. Which means we couldn't do that in the center of the yard, in the garden... Hmmmm-- maybe against the house??

Not a bad idea to try to get your hands on predator pee (fox? wolf?) to sprinkle around to ward off deer and other crop-eaters...

What else?
 

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We grew potatoes this year and they were the easiest plants to grow. The time to dig them up is when the first frost hits and the tops start dying off; so around our parts is about mid to late-September.
 

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I'm going to try the Stevia also next spring. I have had a veggie garden for many years since one of my son's had food allergies but I have never had a herb garden. It'll be interesting to see how that develops. As far as tires and 'taters. Hmm. I've heard of people doing this but I wonder about chemicals leaching from the tires. I would appreciate advice about growing food products with tires. I got my seeds in the fridge this week and ordered about double what I would normally use. I re-checked and all that I ordered with the exception of a pepper is heirloom or organic. I have grown my veggies from plants except for tomatoes, cucumbers,okra and melons. I'm a little nervous about starting plants from seeds but figure not only will it be cheaper but I might as well learn now before it is the only way I can afford a garden. Plants were outrageously expensive this past summer. What are you're thoughts on innoculators for beans and peas. I ordered some but wonder if the cost is worth it. I do not have enough innoculator for all my beans and peas and will order more if it's advised. I'm going to be searching for sales on jars and lids as I never have enough of these. I put tomatoes in the freezer for the 1st time this year - always canned them before. I enjoyed it. Trouble might be if the electric goes out and I find myself with thawing tomatoes. If all goes well and the garden produces as I hope it will I'll be able to put a big dent in our grocery bill next summer as the garden plot will about triple in size. So, here's my last question. In anticipation of next spring and the plot expanding, should I till now and start nourishing the plot with compost or should I just leave it alone and increase the plot once spring gets here? Thanks.
 

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AKA The Dragon
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Have planted veges, herbs for medicinal and food, plenty of fruit trees including pecans, but severe water restrictions have hampered anything on a large scale.
We have rain water tanks, but keeping it in reserve as much as possible in case mains water fails or runs fry.
Also using grey water on the fruit trees.
Planted vine potatoes a few years ago and still doing well. Have normal potatoes planted too.
 

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Shuriken snowflake
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I think climate is the key. You really need to know what is best for your climate zone.

Like here... potatoes really IS the survival food. People were even payed in potatoes and herring in the past. This country would not be around if it wasn't for potatoes and yellow turnip. In a semi cold place like this, root veggies grow better than anything else. And starchy food really fills you up.

I also like fruit treats and bushes, because they require minimal attention. For here apple, pear, cherry and prune are good choices. Rubarbs die during winter but come back next spring.

For the really sunny spot, peas and beans.

I will assume that things that grow well here maybe isn't fit for warmer climates. Don't know about potatoes, leek and onion and stuff like that. My Floridan friend had never even seen a leek...
 

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Might I suggest some Amaranth or Quinoa. They are excellent grains, hardy, and grow plentiful.
 

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Plant tobaco. When nobody can get their cigarettes they will trade a LOT for some. Especially if they really are hooked on them. Look at some people they buy cigarettes booze and let the government do the rest for them. Yeah they will trade a lot for some tobacco. It will be a valuable crop.
 

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Like Speedofl said, find what will grow in your climate zone, and what season to plant. Most Ag Extension agencies have that information, as well as local gardeners.
My Fall garden is doing well, so far I have planted cabbage, green beans, cauliflower, kale, turnips, brussel sprouts. I will be planting some 1015Y onion sets again this November, they did very well last winter.
I have double the size of my garden since last year. It's not that much more work once established.
 

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Plant tobaco. When nobody can get their cigarettes they will trade a LOT for some. Especially if they really are hooked on them. Look at some people they buy cigarettes booze and let the government do the rest for them. Yeah they will trade a lot for some tobacco. It will be a valuable crop.
Tobacco is a beautiful plant worth growing for that reason alone imo. However, if you're considering growing it for useable smoke or chew not only it's propagation and field production, but also proper curing is an artform.

It's labor-intensive, and requires specialized skill. The plants are poisonous, and mellow when properly cured (yet remain poisonous). Variety choice is important as most strains are developed for a particular use, i.e: pipe smoke, chew, etc. Heirloom and native varieties T. rustica, for example, are generally going to produce a much harsher smoke than folks are used-to in the common commercial cigarettes. Without proper curing the strength of the poisonous constituents can kill (arguably this is true of properly cured smoke as well). More concisely: an acute poisoning is highly possible.

I would only consider this a valueable trade commodity if I had much experience in growing and curing for a finished product. Certainly, if you're looking to crops for trade potential, tobacco is worth consideration, but remember you'd also be trading a highly addictive substance, and that adds a whole new set of concerns imo.
 
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