By R. Ann Parris – The Prepper Journal
Whether it’s a survival garden or a small-space hobby plot and pots, the concept of producing “high value” crops periodically comes up. That term can be a little bit of a moving target, with a number of variables factoring in. Our growing season, desire for calories or balancing our stored staples with vitamin-rich foods, the amount of space we have in our plots or pots, the neediness of various plants, and other aspects all come into consideration. In an entirely different vein, we might highly value crops like teff (Williams’ lovegrass), yams, amaranth, and some of the perennials and wild edibles because they look less like a food item to most of the country, regardless of effort or yield-per-acre, or because they’re extremely drought or cold tolerant. However, we define value, we want to get the most for our efforts.
Most Common Factors in “Value”
One of the primary factors in value for survival growers is the calorie density – per plant or per space or per week http://www.gardeningplaces.com/articles/charts/World-Staple-Crops-2009.png. Value is also seen as the total bulk for filling bellies by square foot or week, with calories only a secondary or tertiary concern. There’s also a current-cash-value or equivalent-to-cash-value that might come into play.
Staples like wheat, corn or potatoes all have significant calories per square foot or acre, and in the case of potatoes, per plant. Protein from crops versus livestock – and livestock’s feed needs – also merits consideration, large scale or backyard or condo/apartment dweller. Rabbits are quiet, cheap to feed, and need little space, but if we have the land, the protein and calorie boosts from eating closer to the bottom of the food chain may be more attractive.
Continue reading at The Prepper Journal: Selecting Crops for Survival Gardens
By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog
Depending on the growing time to maturity (time to harvest) for a given vegetable you might consider a two week staggered planting delay instead of starting everything all at once.
Why might this be a good idea?
One of our readers recently said this:
“I learned that planting an entire garden at one time was a disaster when everything matured at the same time as well. We could not eat it fast enough nor could we preserve it all as required.”
Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: Vegetable Garden Staggered Planting Every Two Weeks
By R. Ann Parris – The Prepper Journal
Preparedness and self-sufficiency usually turns to food production at some point. Whether we’re old hats or just getting started, there are some set standards that tend to take place in the veggie garden. Sometimes they’re very well deserved. Sometimes, though, changing things up can make a difference in our ability to produce foods. Small scale or large, when it comes to the veggies, doing things differently can buy us the time and space to get started or expand our harvests.
Doing Things Differently
We may not have time for the conventional annual-veggie garden. The big square or rectangle of bare earth set off from the house takes a fair bit of time and water to maintain, even if there’s best management practices in place that return organic matter and keep the soil healthy.
Changing things up can help us save time, especially.
Where we place our veggies alone makes a huge difference for a lot of people. Growing in a bed system is its own article. So is mapping a home, yard, or larger property with a process called zoning. We can automatically make a few changes, however, to bring our veggies to more convenient locations.
Why is convenience entering the conversation?
Continue reading at The Prepper Journal: Start Gardening Differently
By Kathy Bernier – Off The Grid News
The question came during a car ride to the annual co-op tree sale, when my farm apprentice asked one of our passengers, a seasoned self-described permaculturist, for a definition of what she did.
After a few halting starts describing site-planning and sustainability and organic and natural, she said, “Basically it just means I mulch a lot.”
We all laughed, but the truth is that mulch is a really big deal. So much so that I consider it to be every gardener’s secret weapon. It is simple, often inexpensive or even free, easy to use, and effective — yet many people are not aware of the wonders of mulch.
It may be easier to define mulch than permaculture, but it, too, is a practice which is wildly diverse and highly personalized. It can be made of virtually any material, used in multiple ways for myriad purposes, and infinitely customized.
What is mulch, exactly? An Internet search of the word yields plenty of opportunities to purchase it but not much in the way of actual definition. In two words, mulch is “ground cover.”
Continue reading at Off The Grid News: Everything You’ve Wanted To Know About Mulching (But Didn’t Want To Ask)
There is an old saying that goes, “The best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago.” This holds especially true for trees that someday may save your life in the event of a crisis or disaster.
The next best time to plant a tree, of course, is right now.
But, what should you plant?
Below is a list of trees that are especially important for food and other survival uses, based on the amount of calories they can supply, how well they store, and how long they take to produce.
1. Hazelnut (Corylus species)
Uses: Nuts are one of the most nutrient-dense, long-term storage crops you can grow, and hazelnuts top the list of best nuts to plant. This is because of their exceptional nutritional value as well as their ability to produce quickly, within 4-5 years. Keep the nut shell on and store in a cool, dry place, and it should store for at least 12 months. An edible oil can be extracted from the seed.
Continue reading at Off The Grid News: 5 ‘Survival Insurance’ Trees Every Homesteader Should Plant
By Theresa Crouse – SurvivoPedia
I love potatoes. Boiled, mashed, fried, baked – it doesn’t matter how they’re served, I’ll eat them. They help stretch your food supply and provide energy when you need it the most.
Unless you have a place to grow a traditional garden, you may have discarded the idea of growing them, but you can make a potato pot and grow them wherever you want – and you can even take them with you if you need to bug out.
If you’re shooting for the “potato” that offers the most health benefits, shoot for yams or sweet potatoes. Though the names are often used interchangeably, they are not the same vegetable, nor do they have the same nutrients, though they’re both high in vitamins, particularly vitamin A. Technically, neither one are even potatoes but that’s outside the scope of this article.
Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: How To Make A Potato Pot
By Theresa Crouse – SurvivoPedia
As preppers, we all share the common goal of being able to take care of ourselves and our families in worst-case scenarios.
Having a ready supply of nutritious food is most certainly at the top of that list. And since we don’t all have the acreage (or even the yard) to grow a huge, traditional garden, enter vertical gardening!
Vertical gardening is exactly what the name implies – you’re growing your plants vertically instead of on a flat surface (the ground). This is great because it allows for growing fresh produce even if you don’t have any space other than a wall or a porch. You can even grow a vertical garden inside!
Continue reading at SurvivoPedia: Why Vertical Gardening Works for Preppers