thanrose
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

I'm thinking key to subsistence agriculture would be diversity: for hybrid vigor, disease resistance, productivity when conditions are right for only some crops, pollinators, and likely other benefits.

There was some interesting research a while back with relatively isolated communities and their customary diets, and how that affected some aspects of appearance and of health of the population. Groups that really existed with subsistence and nomadic hunter gatherer had good facial symmetry, strong bones, clear skin, some apparent disease resistance. Isolated groups that relied on subsistence farming but had developed an appetite for more highly processed Western diet and shunned some of their more traditional food stuff: these people showed stranger physiognomy, skin afflictions and allergies, more distorted growth patterns of teeth and bones, etc.This was noted worldwide. I recall some were in Scotland and some were in the Aussie Outback, but there were many other groups, too.

Groups like the Saami and probably Andaman islanders may have limited diets, but they traditionally find a balance of nutrition whether they primarily eat caribou or coconuts. That may mean eating bark or grubs or entrails.

So if you selectively seed five different types of beans in the woods and wilds, maybe two will make it through several years with reseeding (at a guess) and selectively plant several different native grapes, of which only some will have fruit or leaves you find palatable, and have fallen logs and growing trees that support saprophytic fungi of your choice, then you have a start toward independent subsistence.

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jal_ut
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

Corn, beans Squash and potatoes, what I call the "Big Four". These are the plants that give you the calories we need. Yes, calories, fuel for the furnace! The other garden plants are nice for color and taste. Red beets are a good choice to plant as the whole plant is edible, leaves and roots. Onions, radish, turnip, lettuce, cabbage, beans, all good choices.
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jeff84
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

jal_ut wrote:Corn, beans Squash and potatoes, what I call the "Big Four". These are the plants that give you the calories we need. Yes, calories, fuel for the furnace! The other garden plants are nice for color and taste. Red beets are a good choice to plant as the whole plant is edible, leaves and roots. Onions, radish, turnip, lettuce, cabbage, beans, all good choices.
carrots too.

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jal_ut
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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digitS'
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

Lost at Sea for 5 months:

Seems like the experience of 2 women with their dogs provide some insight on being prepared with food supplies. They left Hawaii for Tahiti this spring, but their engine failed May 30 during bad weather. "They continued on, hoping to reach land by sail.

"Lost and off course, they said they began issuing daily distress calls two months into their journey. But they were not close enough to other ships or land to be heard.

"A Taiwanese fishing boat finally discovered them Tuesday, 900 miles southeast of Japan and thousands of miles from Tahiti. The crew contacted the U.S. Coast Guard at Guam.

"Help arrived Wednesday morning in the form of the USS Ashland ..." they survived because "they had water purifiers and more than a year's worth of food — primarily oatmeal, pasta and rice."

I have grown oats and wheat as field crops but also in the garden. Flour corn also has been grown a few years, all, really, for ornamental purposes. I did use the corn for cornbread on a couple of occasions. And, enjoy rubbing the chaff off a small handful of wheat and having it as a chewy outdoor snack :wink: .

At one time, I entertained the idea of using some ground for growing feed for laying hens. I grew up on a farm, worked on farms for awhile, and still have access to more ground than needed for a large garden. I don't have the farm equipment these days and have no real desire to get back into farming. To make a little $ on a small flock of laying hens seemed feasible but the garden as a sole source of feed would require about a half acre increase in size. The gardens were already about 1/3 acre. I had no desire to cultivate all that ground with a rototiller and a spading fork! Delete the rototiller and I'm out there with a hoe ... Add a sharp stick for getting seed in the ground ... There I'd be - a subsistence farmer.

Steve, with lots of rice and pasta on the shelves ... potatoes in the basement ... and a full freezer in the garage :wink:
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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jal_ut
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

Wheat is a big storage item here. I have a plywood bin out in the garage where sacks of wheat are stored. You can crack wheat and boil it for cereal. Grind it into flour and make bread. I bake bread once a week and always grind wheat for the flour. Have fun!
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

The lost at sea story leaves me with more questions than answers.... What did the dogs eat? Surely not "oatmeal, pasta and rice." I have two dogs, both definitely smaller than the one pictured. I know what one month of their food looks like, it is a whole lot. Did the women eat their oatmeal, pasta and rice raw? If not, how did they have power to cook it? What kind of water purifier processed enough water for them to drink, cook with, and presumably wash a little? How was it powered? That is a very low protein diet also lacking in a number of vitamins. If the diet includes no vitamin C at all, the average onset of symptoms of scurvy is about four weeks. The woman pictured does not look particularly starved or malnourished or dirty....
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thanrose
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

There are many more deaths at sea from people similarly stranded than there are survivors. But, given that they had a year's supply of food, I'd imagine a lot was freeze dried. I'd expect they carried a good deal of TVP which even dogs would eat. Some cast adrift sailors have lived longer than expected because of fortuitous fishing or seasonal rains, and others have used a skimming filter to collect plankton at the right time. You can dry fish and even the plankton scum on the boat decks to make a sort of jerky. The plankton's nutritional makeup would vary with what's coming to the surface at that time.

The one dog looked sort of boxer. If that's what he is, he is rather thin. Not emaciated though, and neither were the women. I would wonder about using the dogs to help fish. Some humans can catch the scent of schooling fish and I'm sure the dogs would. I would think you could grow sea vegetables and some shell fish in net bags trailing from the boat. You could put them in the hold when you are making good speed, but drop them over the side when becalmed.

I don't know what kind of water desalinizer they used. Since the motor conked out, they would still have fuel to power a still. Passive solar alone wouldn't likely provide enough water for four living beings.

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digitS'
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

Well, this took a turn I hadn't expected

:wink: .

I used to do some bay and lagoon fishing in saltwater. Clamming at low tide ... my brother lived on the coast for a few years after he was discharged from the navy. He worked on a crab boat. We migrated inland again after a few years :).

Steve
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

rainbowgardener wrote:The lost at sea story leaves me with more questions than answers.... What did the dogs eat? Surely not "oatmeal, pasta and rice." I have two dogs, both definitely smaller than the one pictured. I know what one month of their food looks like, it is a whole lot. Did the women eat their oatmeal, pasta and rice raw? If not, how did they have power to cook it? What kind of water purifier processed enough water for them to drink, cook with, and presumably wash a little? How was it powered? That is a very low protein diet also lacking in a number of vitamins. If the diet includes no vitamin C at all, the average onset of symptoms of scurvy is about four weeks. The woman pictured does not look particularly starved or malnourished or dirty....
I'm with you on this Rainbowgardener. This story just doesn't add up and personally, I can't see how they were out there with animals and facing all the supposed hardships they say they faced and came away faring so well.

thanrose
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

Just surfing, and came across this on pinterest: https://www.piwakawakavalley.com/perenn ... w-zealand/ The lady is in New Zealand and this is her blog from April of 2017. The lists are of what she considers perennial vegetables useful for permaculture. Some of course are not going to apply to all of us, and some we may find hard to locate.
Cardoon
Chicory
Chinese Artichoke
Crosnes
Dame’s Rocket
Daylily
Elephant Garlic
Egyptian Walking Onions
Fennel
Globe Artichoke
Good King Henry
Jerusalem Artichoke
Kailaan (Chinese Broccoli/Chinese Kale)
This is just a partial list, and she has another list below that one of herbs that are perennial for her. I'm big on binomial nomenclature and I'd have to search for most of these even to find common names I'd recognize. On this short clip the only one that befuddles me is Good King Henry, but I can see how that would make it hard to know if it grows in USDA Zone 6, or is invasive in the subtropics, etc.

Anyhow, it's more ideas for potential recurrent vegetable crops.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

Interesting. Some I am not familiar with. Some I am familiar with, but never thought of as vegetables -- e.g. daylily, chicory.

Jerusalem artichoke is a + and -. On the plus side it is very easy to grow, requires no particular care, and is hardy and prolific.
On the minus side, it spreads very aggressively. I had some at my Cincinnati home. At the end of the season, I would dig ALL of it up by the roots. The tiny tuber pieces that accidentally break off in that process were plenty to replenish it for the following year. And the tuber has to be carefully prepared or it will cause a lot of gastric distress (which is why its nickname is "fartichoke.")
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applestar
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

I’ve seen Good King Henry mentioned in permaculture context as perennial veg. I tried growing it (seeds from https://www.bountifulgardens.org/), but it didn’t survive the winter here so not for my garden after all. Bummer because I really wanted to see them grow like trees — I think they grow to 6 feet or something.

Brassicas in general are not really easy to grow in my area anyway. Too many cabbage whites throughout the growing season, and then the cabbage aphids during the cooler weeks and harlequin bugs and cabbage moths during the hot months.

...oh interesting — I always visit the link I post to make sure the relevant info is still there, and they are no longer selling Good King Henry seeds — they have something called Perennial Tree Collards which are described as “cannot be grown from seeds but only from cuttings” — this might explain I haven’t been successful trying to get the rest of the old seeds to germinate.
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jal_ut
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Our church leaders have been advising us for years to have a years supply of food in storage. There have been a couple of times that this advice has kept my family from going hungry. I have a large family of 13 children. All grown with their own families now. There were times when the economy went to pot and there were no jobs, no income. I like to add: also grow a garden and when you plant trees, make it something that will produce food to eat. You may preserve some of the harvest by drying, pickling or home canning.
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jal_ut
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Re: Best "Prepper" Vegetables to grow?

apocalyptic........... hmmmmm as I understand it the apocalypse is: the complete final destruction of the world.

That would include the whole planet and all things on it. The end of life on the planet if you will. No use in us worrying about it.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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