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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I've searched for this topic but I can't quite find what I'm looking for. The hubs and I are hoping to find a piece of land, build a house, and prep for whatever comes our way. We're really still in the planning process and I'm thinking about trees or plants we should invest in to put on our property that may come in handy for food or medicinal purposes. So far, this is what I'm thinking...

A willow tree (but which variety?) for its pain relieving properties

A lemon tree (which I already have...it's in a pot and I bring it indoors in the winter) for its flavor, vitamin c, and to use the oil for its germ killing ability

A few apple trees (probably Granny Smith...I've heard they store the longest, but not sure) for food; fresh and canning

Aloe Vera for it's many medicinal uses

I know there are a million more trees, plants, and bushes I could invest in but I really don't know which would be best for my family. I know many trees take several years to mature but still...What are your opinions? We live in zone 7.....any help is appreciated!
 

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Dumpster Diver
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Hazelberts are a cross of Filbert nut trees and Hazelnut trees,, and can be pruned to a low thick hedge that is not tall enough to shade out your other plants,, works well as a perimeter hedge too,,

Nuts are important in that they are high in protein and fats/oils.. which other home grown vegetation is not high in.. but nuts take longer to come to produce than dwarf fruit trees , blueberry bushes,, etc so you need to invest time and money in them first if you want them productive if an early unanticipated SHTF occurs

My fruit trees usually start producing in 2 to 3 years, when bought as 4 or 5 footers at $20-$30 each

you might want to plant early producers like berry bushes, around your trees and such that will take years longer to produce, so you start getting stuff right away, hey th S might HTF tomorrow for all we know.. then when the slower to yield , fruit and nuts.. start producing,, you can cut the the shrub types back

check out perennials and self seeders too, Amaranth,, Quinona, Jerusalem Artichokes, Asparagras (which takes a few years to be productive )
 

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Wannabe Mountain Hermit
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Plum trees, mulberry trees, grapes, muscadines, elderberry, crabapples, etc.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I hadn't thought about the nut trees for protein! We've not found any property that's just right, but I plan on planting some of these trees and bushes before anything else....before we even get the stinking house built since they will take so long to produce. The hazelberts sound very interesting....where would i get one?
 

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Pencil 5, AUTOCAD 0
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Rhubarb, St. Johns Wort, Sumac, catnip, chives, peppermint,and sage. White
Willow is what Aspirin was made from, and the shoots make a great toothbrush
if you are stuck... plant the willows away from the homestead, though.. they
love water and their roots will cause all sorts of drainage problems.
 

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Dumpster Diver
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I hadn't thought about the nut trees for protein! We've not found any property that's just right, but I plan on planting some of these trees and bushes before anything else....before we even get the stinking house built since they will take so long to produce. The hazelberts sound very interesting....where would i get one?
quite a few nurseries sell them , will ship them,, just google the word

btw, I like to order my plants and seeds from sources in my same climate zone , as close to home as possible,, I figure they are better acclimated thru all the generations the nursery has been raising them


some things you do not need to buy many of as you can easily propagate more yourself,, notably grape vines,,, others,, like blueberries are a lot of work and attention to propagate from cuttings and it is much less trouble and more successful to buy small plants
 

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Dumpster Diver
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My list could be a mile long, but I'll just add blueberries, figs and grapes. :thumb:
I do blueberries and grapes,, LOVE blueberries
grapes are so versatile,, and if have too many, or they are not perfect,, we all know raisins are great backpacking /survival food

I also dry apples,, forget the needle and string,, get a roll of stainless steel wire for a buck or two,, and just pierce it thru the slices,, no needle needed ,, and you can just wrapp the ends of the wire around 2 poles in the sun and drape a length of cheese cloth over the string of apples to keep the flys etc off

but never thought about figs !! Thank you very much
 

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Here is a list extracted from a dream list for a piece of property I would like to have. Some of the selection will be area dependent. As soon as you get some plants established, I would begin to add beehives to the area. I would go for at least one hardiness zone tougher than what you are in.

Some plant options for growing on a homestead or prepper estate. These are what I would like to have in the area I want to homestead, so some of the selection will be area dependent for others. I would get plants that are at least one growing zone hardier than the one where they will be planted.

In many, if not most, cases, it is better to have two or more species or cultivars of some plants, especially trees and bushes, to ensure maximum chance of effective pollination, and two of each, to ensure good production. And for some items, such as apples, varieties with different harvest times can provide a much longer harvesting season. As soon as you get some plants established, I would begin to add beehives to the area.

These are just my favorites and do not include many other options that are out there, that apply to other areas, needs, and tastes.

Barrier fencing with thorny blackberry brambles, rosa Ragusa roses, close spaced honey locust trees
Ash tree coppicing woodlot(s) (Can provide ~1 cord per acre per year if well managed)
Juniper Evergreen patch (for yeast from the berries & Christmas trees)(buy a live tree each Christmas & plant)
Fruit tree orchard (apple [at least four cultivars/species], [at least two each of the following:] apricots, peach, pear, plum, kiwi, black cherry, American persimmon, figs, dates)
Nut tree orchard (black walnut, pecan, hazelnut, almond, cashews, chestnut, pistachios)
Other tree orchard (olive [oil and olives], avocado, wax myrtle [candles], sugar maple [maple syrup], white oak [acrons, lumber], white willow [medicinal, charcoal, weaving, wattle fencing])
Yellowhorn tree orchard (biodiesel production)
Berry & ground fruit patches/towers (strawberry, blackberry, blueberries, rosa Ragusa roses (rose hips), watermelon, musk melons)
Perennial patch(es) (asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes)
Vineyard (Morden #9703, Fredonia, Valliant, & Kay Gray)
Spice, herb, & medicinal plant garden
Semi tropical plants garden (in appropriate areas)( lemon, lime, orange, red grapefruit, banana, coconut)
Semi tropical greenhouse for miniature lemon, lime, orange, banana, ginger trees (in temperate climate)
Small scale/Specialty agricultural crops (all open pollinated)(open field or greenhouse)
(Bananas, Coconut, Cocoa, Coffee, Tea, Tobacco, Culinary herbs/spices/seasonings/flavorings/etc., Pharmaceutical source plants,)

Vegetable garden (Beans [great northern, pinto, small red kidney], beets, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, sweet corn, cucumbers, spinach, leeks, lentils, head lettuce, Romaine lettuce, sweet onion, garlic, green onions, black eyed peas, sweet peas, Irish potatoes, red potatoes, sweet potatoes/yams, pumpkin, radishes, summer squash, winter squash, string beans, tomatoes, turnips, peanuts)

Grain garden (wheat, rice, corn, oats, sorghum, sunflower, barley, millet, rye, buckwheat, popcorn, Spelt, Quinoa, Kamut)

Estate specialty crops (Sugar beet – sugar, Sugar cane - sugar, Canola – cooking oil, Flax - cloth, Cotton – cloth & oil, Hemp – grain, fiber, paper, & straw, Hops - brewing, Poppies - flowers,)

Estate stock feed crops (Corn, Oats, Barley, Sorghum, Rye, Millet, Sunflower, Corn silage, Alfalfa hay (irrigated), Fescue hay (irrigated), Timothy hay (irrigated), Red Clover hay (managed), Alfalfa hay, Fescue hay, Timothy hay, Red Clover hay, Grass hay, Pasture (irrigated), Pasture (dry))

Farm commercial crops (Wheat – Durum (for grain & straw), Wheat – Hard Red Winter (for grain & straw), Wheat – Hard White (for grain & straw), Wheat – Soft White (for grain & straw), Rye – grain & alcohol, Great Northern Beans, Pinto Beans, Small red beans, rice, corn – feed grain & silage, Oats – grain & straw, barley, fodder beets, hay, cotton, watermelon, musk melons, Popcorn, Potatoes)

Commercial forest crops (Ash trees (firewood & lumber), Black walnut trees (nuts & lumber), Pecan trees (nuts & lumber), Fruit trees (for fruit & specialty lumber), Hickory trees (nuts, firewood, & lumber), Oak trees (firewood, acorns & lumber), Yellow pine trees (SYP) (Construction lumber), Pine trees (Construction lumber, kindling firewood), Juniper trees (Christmas trees, kindling firewood), Other Nut trees (for nuts), ginger, ginseng)

Just my opinion.
 

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Dumpster Diver
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true Linda,, but I also feel more assured with not only varieties that grow here, but individual plants that have hardened off within my nearby area and climate,, during there 2 or 3 years of life at the nursery , rather than say... order a specie that will grow here, but from a more southerly clime nursery
 

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Another shrub/tree you can look for in the wild-I don't think it is sold in nurseries is the Devils Walking Stick. Nasty thing, full of thorns, but it is supposed to contain a natural type of Novicane. Your Conservation Commission might sell books of trees and shrubs native to your area. Check em out. They will always help. Good luck.
 

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Read up on pollination for fruit trees. Many times several varieties that bloom at the same time need to be close to each other for maximum pollination. Some trees will say they will pollinate themselves, but having another variety will usually increase the crop size. Also, learning how to prune fruit trees can mean a huge crop or a tiny crop. If you let your fruit trees get too big often times the fruit will not be as large as it would on a tree that has been properly pruned. My grandma used to graft several apple varieties into one tree. She did that with plums, apples, apricots, etc. She swore her yields were always huge because the cross pollinators were right there.

Many nurseries or county extension offices will have fruit tree classes and demos.
 

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MIL grew up 1 state over from you.

During the Great Depression, the crops that her family relied on most were corn, milk from the cow, pork, and a 1 acre vegetable garden.

Corn not only fed the livestock, after they ran it through her uncles grinder, the corn made cornbread. Milk from the cow fed the family as well as the pigs, and the pigs cleaned up any vegetables or whatever that the family could not eat.

If you do not have enough land to graze a cow, think about a pair of goats.
 
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