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Best crops for survival gardening

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not that this is a short term idea, but I've found citrus (esp lemons) go nuts producing once the tree has been given a few years to establish.

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I also try it....

You worry about proteins, but there are a lot in an easy way in beans.

I also planted moringa and pigeon peas.

I would care about fat!! Do you have olive trees........ ?

Well, grow sunflower, giant type, and grow your vine beans on it.

Right about missing water, so I look for what can stand draught. But everything depends on the area where you live.

But really, fat can hardly be found in nature, so think about a source, well, more than one... we absolutely need 10%, and because fat is thought unhealthy, it is forgotten, though it is very important (for the brain, for A E D vitamins...).

Then I look for an easy grain, just try to unhusk some!

I cannot grow buckwheat here, too warm, but I would... love it sprouted. A must.

Then I have corn, easy to eat, but millet, quinoa and sorgho are I think a better solution.

And I look for the right roots, not only potatoes...

Good luck!

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from my experiences in PNG I would say two of the best plants for this are sweet potatoes and chokos.

You can eat both the leaves and roots of both plants (yes it's true) and of course the choko fruits are edible and actually quite delicious when grilled over a fire.

I think sweet potatoes are considered the most nutritious single food there is and chokos greens are pretty damn awesome too.

Oh and don't forget guinea pigs for meat they only eat grass.

Hell, why not just move to South America.

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For the long-term garden, some nitrogen fixing plants (e.g. beans) are very useful, as you can use them to help increase the area and depth of arable soil without too much effort.

I will also be investigating and breeding prickly pear (to have no glochids [burbank's spineless is a clone that's used to feed Lizards], because those things are the devil) as it's a wonderful plant for arid areas. It tastes nice, grows quickly and easily from cuttings, doesn't need much water, is nutritious, and can be used to quickly clarify muddy water (I think you just stir in some sap and the mud and larger particles get quickly caught and sink to the bottom). I think it's an illegal weed or something in most parts of Australia, which is a shame. But I think it could be used as the cornerstone of a new alternative free crops movement.

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If you want a bullet proof winter green can't go past Kale. Good nutrition for minimal work.

Some varieties better for human food, others are fantastic for animal fodder .

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Is the perennial tree kale that the Americans rave about here??

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I have seen seed up on oz ebay a month or so back shortly, if it was what you are speaking of?

In the description they were making sure it was identified as a kale and not the true walking stick cabbage.

EDIT - http://www.ebay.com....=item3cc8851e7b

This MAY be it? Actually on closer inspection its NOT its another biennial just a tall kale

Edited by waterboy

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Surprised to see no one has mentioned Miners Lettuce - Claytonia perfoliata

Stuff grows as a weed in the backyard, takes off in the shady damp places and all over in winter.

Looks cool too.

Claytonia_perfoliata_2003-05-19.jpg

Brassicas would be good too.

Nasturium

Potato and other Solanaceae edibles.

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choko's

*edit- oops, already mentioned.

alright then, Kangkong (Ipomoea aquatica)

Edited by LokStok
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i have been wondering about breaking down plant mater to get surcrose from it what would be the best plant

to grow and get the higest sugars for fermenting

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Sugar beets perhaps? They have deep roots so they dont need to be watered after the first month or two. The greens have loads of oxalate but you could feed them to chickens or cavy or something. Their almost straight sugar, I grew them once thinking I could cook up the roots for a sweet treat, it was like eating a bowl of white sugar.

And (given proper spacing) theyre Big.

...I thought of it too, if the economy collapses alcohol would be almost as good of currency as ammo.

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This is the beasty here WB

http://treecollards.blogspot.com.au/

Now its just a matter of locating a cut.

For my money, ya just cant beet yams (dioscorea) in the subtropics & the tropics, they out perform every other root crop hands down.

lots of things worth a try Bigred, get creative. I'll be having a crack at an african recipe for sorghum syrup beer latter in the season.

Edited by shortly
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What about saltbush Atriplex hortensis for those who don’t suffer prolonged boggy conditions in the garden

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i love salt bush its great for cattle they dont have to eat it of the ground witch leads to contams it also gives the meat a better flavor

me personaly think its a very versitile plant it is so drought tolerant its not funny and thanks for the post about the sugar beats

i reckon in a dooms day scenario fermenting alcohol is a win win and the byproducts are very useful co2 nutrient waste etc

cheers big red

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Old Nasturtium leaves smell so bad. :/

I just picked 3 to feed to the rabbits, and now I can't smell anything else.

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mosobambooplantation.jpg

Bamboo. The creator of civilisations, provider of housing, firewood, charcoal and food.

Plant some in the forests today and provide for the next generation!

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+1 i love bamboo i think it would be a must have in our post apocalyptic society

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Salviahispanica-florentinecodex2.jpg

Salvia hispanica

In a one-ounce (28 g) sample, dried chia seeds contain 9% of the Daily Value for protein (4g), 13% fat (9g) (57% of which is ALA) and 42% dietary fiber (11g), based on a daily intake of 2000 calories.[8] The seeds also contain the essential minerals phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium and sodium[8] in amounts comparable to other edible seeds, such as flax[9] or sesame.[10]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_hispanica

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Good thread.

I would recommend doing as much research into edible weeds as you can, especially from the perspective of protein.

Chickweed, stinging nettle, lambsquarters, can't go wrong.

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I for one would love to hear from those who actually ARE self-sufficient, or nearly so.

Most hunter/gatherers or subsistence farmers garner most calories from carbs (tubers/berries) and meat.

On the other hand most modern food gardeners are focussed on greens and other veg which, whilst great for micronutrients, deliver few calories.

I would love to know how it pans out in practice. Right now I would love nothing more than to drop out of wage slavery and become self-sufficient. Family needs dictate otherwise but I am still curious to feed my daydreams with accurate information.

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We aren't self-sufficient, infact increasingly less so since we can no longer rely on the fish mollusks and crustaceans that at the time were a large part of our diet :( of course the bay is healthy, its normal to see sharks with lesions & dead turtles washed up on the beaches :BANGHEAD2:

I do focus a lot of my gardening efforts on starchy root crops & low maintenance preferably perennial fruit crops to get the maximum calories from the space & effort. As you would know what you grow will depend entirely on where you are so my yams & plantains while great for us wont get a look in on your patch.

If its escaping wage slavery is your main aim then selfsufficiency is not all you need to look at.

If your expenses are anything like ours more than half of the bills will be rates, land taxes & levies (ours are about 3/4) that have to be paid one way or another. Look at lots of options & find the ones that suit your circumstances, but file the others away for future use because the only consistency in life is change.

Everyone's solution will be different, and best that they are.

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Just as a note, Queensland Blue squash is not a good survival crop. Total failure in dry sunny conditions :unsure:

And this year it was the only winter squash I trialed since I assumed aussie plants could tolerate sunshine, glad the economy hasnt collapsed yet this year! :lol:

Any recommendations for cultivar winter squashes that need little (or no) water and survive 45°C in full sun?

"Dark Green" Zucchini tolerated drier soil in full sun well but reversibly stalled its fruit set when the temps reached 35°C and the vines arent growing very long. But it still grows edible leaves at 40°

Edited by Auxin

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Just as a note, Queensland Blue squash is not a good survival crop. Total failure in dry sunny conditions :unsure:

And this year it was the only winter squash I trialed since I assumed aussie plants could tolerate sunshine, glad the economy hasnt collapsed yet this year! :lol:

Any recommendations for cultivar winter squashes that need little (or no) water and survive 45°C in full sun?

"Dark Green" Zucchini tolerated drier soil in full sun well but reversibly stalled its fruit set when the temps reached 35°C and the vines arent growing very long. But it still grows edible leaves at 40°

I always plan to have my squash finished and harvested by about mid December, so that would be about mid June in the Northern hemisphere. Down here the powdrey mildew sets in towards the end of December so mine are all done before then and before the extreme heat hits (january-february)

They are a really thirsty crop that really needs a lot of water, but they can handle it over 40 c, 45 is extreme for most food crops and you'd need some sort of shade to grow in those furnace like conditions.

Edited by SallyD

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Actually that's a great point; climate makes a huge difference as to what's appropriate. I lived in the Blue Mountains for a short while, the soil was shocking and the growing season short - I had multiple crop failures. Things like cherry tomatoes that crop all year round in the north produced so little, even when started early under cover! You would need to grow heaps of root crops like beet and potatoes and leafy greens like spinach, things I don't really like to eat a lot of. I would like to learn more about grains, I think rice might be a good crop for floodplains, just scattered around they would probably, over time, become endemic and well adjusted to the local area. Local grasses would produce lots of edible grains if one was prepared to harvest and process.

Realistically, if one was forced in to this situation in a hurry, it would take some months before you could start producing your own food so a cache of dried beans, rice etc. might have to lived on for a while, together with any knowledge you have of local bushfoods. Chia would be quick to grow and provide good protein source, but seed is a bit of a pain to harvest so plenty of plants would need to be scattered about, possibly in a cleared area. Corn (maize), beans, (I don't think squash is high in nutrients?).

Longer term a lemon tree would be great for VitC lemons a single lemon tree can produce enough for an entire family when mature, they're amazing. Jute (that Hibiscus that shortly posted before the crash) Hemp and Bamboo, for building and fibre, Marijuana as a painkiller,

Chickweed = Stellaria sp.?

Lamb's Quarters = Chenopodium album = Fat Hen? - seeds might be better (related to Quinoa) but the leaves contain oxalic acid so not good in large quantities

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That was Hibiscus cannabinus Kenaf or actual Corchorus olitorius Jute WW?

The latter is a reasonably tasty & very versatile plant for the kitchen, i cant comment on the former yet since the seed hasn't materialized as yet.

For me the solution is variety, buy growing smallish numbers of a LOT of different plants i hedge my bets on climate, pests & diseases, over zealous legislators etc etc.

I wont discriminate against plants if they aren't native or they aren't pretty (not that there is such a thing as an ugly plant, just ones that don't conform to society's idea of tidy) If it is edible, medicinal or generally useful I will grow find it a home, it doesn't matter if its a grass, a tree, a vine or an annual they all deserve some lovin.

And i think the concept that if something doesn't produce huge volumes of produce it isn't worthwhile needs to be rethought, myself included.

I small handful of leaves on it own isnt much of a meal for a family but combine small handfuls of several seeds, leaves, berries & roots & suddenly it is a pretty decent meal & nice & varied; ofttimes its good to have just a small pinch of something to add to the pot. For example i dont grow enough rice to use as in the traditional ways so we use the bit that i do just to add to soups or like a freaka.

Just my 0.02 cents worth

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