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Don't be dumb
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are you going to plant? How will you preserve it without electricity?

I'm wondering because I'm looking into getting a years supply of food stocked up then finding ways to survive indefinitely off the grid if need be. Started a garden this year and have around 100 quart jars ready for canning in the fall. I know I'm going to need more but how many more for a family of 4 adults?

Just kind of overwhelmed on how to best set aside seeds and other items in order to live after the first year's food runs out. Especially up here in the northern Midwest where winters are brutal.
 

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You can never have too many jars. :eek: Keep going!

My survival garden = all the things we already eat. And anything I can barter for that I can't grow. At the moment that's potatoes, peas, beans, carrots, tomatoes, brussell sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, peppers, squash, watermelon,zucchini, cukes

plus the herbs and fruits that are perennial and the wild edibles we make use of.
 

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I would think Potatoes would be your number one crop, I love watermelon but I'm not sure you should take the time and space for something with little food value. a root cellar would be ideal for storing food, I have seen plans on building one in your basement. a greenhouse would be very helpful, but a cold frame or row covers could extend your season and how much you could grow. a greenhouse is at the top of my wish list.
 

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Knowledge is Power
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177 Posts
In addition to potatoes, try squash, beans, and corn. They can be dried in the sun easily and stored for later use. Our native ancestors did this all the time. You are on the right path with canning too. This year I plan to dry many, many beans and some squash too.
 

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Say WHAT?!? I make watermelon jelly and this year I pickled the rinds just to see if I like it and found I DO! (Surprise!)


http://www.dietaryfiberfood.com/nutrition-watermelon.php

Watermelon is rich in carotenoids. Some of the carotenoids in watermelon include lycopene, phytofluene, phytoene, beta-carotene, lutein, and neurosporene. Lycopene makes up the majority of the carotenoids in watermelon. The carotenoid content varies depending on the variety of the watermelon. Depending on the variety, carotenoid content in red fleshed watermelon varies from 37 – 121 mg/kg fresh weight, where as lycopene varies from 35 – 112 mg/kg fresh weight.

Carotenoids have antioxidant activity, free-radical scavenging property. Several researches have reported an association between dietary lycopene consumption and lower incidence in diseases such as prostate and oral cancers. Lycopene may also help reduce risks of cardiovascular disease.

Watermelon seeds are excellent sources of protein (both essential and non-essential amino acids) and oil. Watermelon seed is about 35% protein, 50% oil, and 5% dietary fiber. Watermelon seed is also rich in micro- and macro-nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, phosphorous, zinc etc.

Besides, the red flesh, in the Arab world, salted and roasted watermelon seeds are also consumed as a snack.
Nutritional facts of watermelon, raw

Table: List of nutrients in watermelon, raw and their content. Nutrient values and weights are for edible portion of watermelon.

Nutrients
Units

Nutrient content per 100 grams
Water
g

91.45
Energy
kcal

30
Energy
kj

127
Protein
g

0.61
Total lipid (fat)
g

0.15
Ash
g

0.25
Carbohydrate, by difference
g

7.55
Fiber, total dietary
g

0.4
Sugars, total
g

6.20
Sucrose
g

1.21
Glucose (dextrose)
g

1.58
Fructose
g

3.36
Lactose
g

0.00
Maltose
g

0.06
Galactose
g

0.00
Starch
g

0.00
Minerals
Calcium, Ca
mg

7
Iron, Fe
mg

0.24
Magnesium, Mg
mg

10
Phosphorus, P
mg

11
Potassium, K
mg

112
Sodium, Na
mg

1
Zinc, Zn
mg

0.10
Copper, Cu
mg

0.042
Manganese, Mn
mg

0.038
Fluoride, F
mcg

1.5
Selenium, Se
mcg

0.4
Vitamins
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
mg

8.1
Thiamin
mg

0.033
Riboflavin
mg

0.021
Niacin
mg

0.178
Pantothenic acid
mg

0.221
Vitamin B-6
mg

0.045
Folate, total
mcg

3
Folic acid
mcg

0
Folate, food
mcg

3
Folate, DFE
mcg_DFE

3
Choline, total
mg

4.1
Betaine
mg

0.3
Vitamin B-12
mcg

0.00
Vitamin B-12, added
mcg

0.00
Vitamin A, IU
IU

569
Vitamin A, RAE
mcg_RAE

28
Retinol
mcg

0
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
mg

0.05
Vitamin E, added
mg

0.00
Tocopherol, beta
mg

0.00
Tocopherol, gamma
mg

0.00
Tocopherol, delta
mg

0.00
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
mcg

0.1
Lipids
Fatty acids, total saturated
g

0.016
4:0
g

0.000
6:0
g

0.000
8:0
g

0.000
10:0
g

0.001
12:0
g

0.001
14:0
g

0.000
16:0
g

0.008
18:0
g

0.006
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated
g

0.037
16:1 undifferentiated
g

0.000
18:1 undifferentiated
g

0.037
20:1
g

0.000
22:1 undifferentiated
g

0.000
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated
g

0.050
18:2 undifferentiated
g

0.050
18:3 undifferentiated
g

0.000
18:4
g

0.000
20:4 undifferentiated
g

0.000
20:5 n-3
g

0.000
22:5 n-3
g

0.000
22:6 n-3
g

0.000
Cholesterol
mg

0
Phytosterols
mg

2
Amino acids
Tryptophan
g

0.007
Threonine
g

0.027
Isoleucine
g

0.019
Leucine
g

0.018
Lysine
g

0.062
Methionine
g

0.006
Cystine
g

0.002
Phenylalanine
g

0.015
Tyrosine
g

0.012
Valine
g

0.016
Arginine
g

0.059
Histidine
g

0.006
Alanine
g

0.017
Aspartic acid
g

0.039
Glutamic acid
g

0.063
Glycine
g

0.010
Proline
g

0.024
Serine
g

0.016
Other
Alcohol, ethyl
g

0.0
Caffeine
mg

0
Theobromine
mg

0
Carotene, beta
mcg

303
Carotene, alpha
mcg

0
Cryptoxanthin, beta
mcg

78
Lycopene
mcg

4532
Lutein + zeaxanthin
mcg

8
Watermelon nutritional facts source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 19 (2006)

Watermelon related:
Nutritional facts on watermelon seed
Nutritional value and health benefits of watermelon
Eating watermelon increases arginine level

Antioxidant and fruits related articles:
Goji berry antixoxidant activity and health benefits
Blueberry antioxidant and health benefits
Pomegranate juice: antioxidant source
Apple fruit, juice (cider) and health benefits on cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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23,959 Posts
You need to get your gardens started, and into production early.

It takes a few years to work out the entire process and get your production levels up enough to feed you.

Early Colonialists arriving in North America usually starved the first 3 years. Many died even though they had brought with them garden tools and seed.

Whenever you plan to need food from your garden, start gardening 5 years before that date.
 

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315 Posts
Here are a few ideas of things to grow that store well just as they are...no processing needed. And they are easy to save and replant:
Potatos
Jeruselum Artichoke
Dry Beans
Dry Peas
Winter squash
shallots (propogate by division)
garlic (propogate by division)
onions (save seed)
Kale- (can harvest all winter, just kick snow off)
grains like oats, teff, amaranth, millet, wheat

Then there are all the things that only take drying like most herbs.

And when you get into canning, it opens up the door for most things, like tomatoes, fruits, cucumbers, etc.

I have a wood cook stove to can without power, but I really like knowing that I can grow enough to survive that can store just in a root cellar/cool place.
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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23,959 Posts
We have tried to focus on perennials. Plant once and harvest for 20 years.

I planted an apple orchard.

Then the following year I planted a nut / fruit / herb orchard:
Black Walnut;
Cape Rosier Basket Willow;
Pecan;
Ginkgo biloba;
Cherry;
Witch Hazel
Chestnut
pear;
Plum;
Fig;
Mulberry;
Hazelnut / Filbert;
apricot;
Almond;
Elderberry;

Then:
Ayurvedic Ginseng;
asparagus;
Blueberry:
Cranberry:
Fig;
Goji ;
gooseberry;
grapes;
Horse radish;
Lavendar;
Lemon;
mint;
raspberry;
strawberry;
tea shrubs [Camellia sinensis];

Of course we also do the standard veggie mix. But we want to focus more effort on the stuff that you only plant once.
 

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We have tried to focus on perennials. Plant once and harvest for 20 years.

I planted an apple orchard.

Then the following year I planted a nut / fruit / herb orchard:
Black Walnut;
I have noticed our Black Walnuts are dropping all their nuts already this year. Haven't even formed yet... Do you have any experience with this?
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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68,575 Posts
Electricity is not needed to preserve garden produce. You can air dry it, sun dry it, or make a solar dehydrator to dry it in. And of course you can home can it.

As for what to plant, that's going to depend a lot on your region, growing season, etc.

But the time to start gardening is now. It's not as easy as just sticking seeds in the dirt and expecting food. New gardens take a while to figure out. Developing the soil takes time. Figuring which plants and varieties do well in your region takes several seasons. Learning to avoid or overcome issues with pests and diseases takes experience too. And learning to save viable seeds takes practice.
 

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That's "Ma'am" to you
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2,854 Posts
Not only learn to garden before you need it, but learn to garden in the place where you will need it. I've gardened my entire life. My parents were WWII generation and had the Victory Garden mindset their whole lives (well, my mom is down to just growing a few tomatoes and her rhubarb but she's 88). I always had a garden and could grow just about anything with no problem. Then we moved down here. The first season I confidently planted my garden as usual and got skunked. Absolutely nada. Then I talked to a lot of old timers here and realized all my timings were off. I was planting much too late. Where I was in northern IL the rule was tomatoes went outside on Memorial Day. Here it's Derby Day - almost a month earlier.

It's been a humbling experience, to be sure.
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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23,959 Posts
Not only learn to garden before you need it, but learn to garden in the place where you will need it. I've gardened my entire life. My parents were WWII generation and had the Victory Garden mindset their whole lives (well, my mom is down to just growing a few tomatoes and her rhubarb but she's 88). I always had a garden and could grow just about anything with no problem. Then we moved down here. The first season I confidently planted my garden as usual and got skunked. Absolutely nada. Then I talked to a lot of old timers here and realized all my timings were off. I was planting much too late. Where I was in northern IL the rule was tomatoes went outside on Memorial Day. Here it's Derby Day - almost a month earlier.

It's been a humbling experience, to be sure.
Good point.

Even when you go through the 'Master Gardener' programs offered by most State University Extension offices, it only applies in that state. A 30-year Master Gardener who moves to a new area, pretty much starts from scratch when gardening in a different area.

:)
 

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Don't be dumb
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7,232 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you for the information. Started a garden this year but accidently killed it with a too early application of Preen :/ . Still have carrots, peppers, and tomatoes to can though. Going to pick some wild blackberries as well and try some blackberry jam recipes as well and maybe try to make some pemmican.
 
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