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Beans, Beans, Beans!
Beans are the most important single garden crop. Once fully mature, they provide protein. Peas and lentils are part of the same family too. I like both of those, but I'd much rather choose from the milder beans to eat every day. They are all Legumes, which means they can use Nitrogen from the air to make protein. Other vegetables or grains can't do that. Peanuts, clover and alfalfa are in the Legume family too. The plant residue after the final harvest should be cultivated in, to share the Nitrogen... Read more →
Winter Squash and Pumpkins
These are ideal crops to grow because they are so easy to keep in a cool dry place. For back room storage, select sound fruit, free of surface damage. Let it cure in a sunny but dry place, such as a porch or car port. Later, If your house is still too warm, a dry barn or shed is fine until colder weather. Then you can safely bring them inside. During this whole process, protect them from freezing. You should check them about once a week. If you find a... Read more →
Jerusalem Artichokes, Poor Man's Potatoes
The easiest to grow, starchy vegetable is the Jerusalem Artichoke. This vigorous relative of sunflower, tobacco, tomato, and potato is a member of the Nightshade family. It is raised to produce eatable roots. It is started from root cuttings, like potatoes, and forms tubers in the fall. Your first harvest can begin after the tops die back for winter. Dig in spots scattered throughout the bed. The tubers are sort of knobby and skinless, and you will recognize them as being like what you planted. They keep best right... Read more →
Planning Home Food Production
Even with only a relatively small area to work with, much of our food can be grown at home. This is how to start. You should have a very short list of foods you absolutely will not eat, or are allergic to. Remember, freshly harvested foods all taste much better than anything you can buy. Your goal is to be harvesting a reasonably balanced diet as many months out of the year as possible and to store foods for the rest of the year. You want to spread out the... Read more →
Gardening is Not Just for Vegetables
Most people eat far more starchy foods than meats or vegetables. Wheat, Rice, Corn, Potatoes and Beans have been the foundation of many cultures. These are field crops that don't require the attention of vegetables, but will need several times as much space to grow a year's supply. Your local climate will determine which ones you can grow. I'd try to find out what the native peoples and early settlers grew for their own food. The common agricultural crops in your area today are worth noting, but they... Read more →
Corn is King
Be sure to stop by our 'Videos' section by clicking on that word in green lettering on our homepage. There you can see 'Harvesting Flint Indian Corn at Seed for Security' and all the rest of our informative videos. Part 1 - Selecting the type to grow Anywhere field corn can be grown; it is usually the most important crop. Farmers love it for animal feed. Let's take a close look at home production for grain. There are four general types of corn, the vegetable sweet corn, pop corn, flint... Read more →
Conducting Garden Trials
You can only learn what crops will do well in your own garden by experimenting. Try a small area of several varieties and pay close attention to how much work they are to take care of, how well they yield, and how well you like the taste of them. To me, the most important crop is dry baking beans, because they are high in protein. We let the string beans fully mature and dry, after several pickings, and of course there are varieties intended to be grown as dry beans.... Read more →
Choosing Gardening Tools
For working your vegetable garden and field crops you will need good quality tools, designed for each task. I sometimes don't realize how big a difference it makes to have the right tool. It also needs to be of the correct weight and size, to do the job efficiently. If you are not certain which one to choose, bring several, and see which one is easier to work with. Once in the garden, sometimes you will find it's better to work from the other side of the plants, so... Read more →
Asparagus, an Ideal Survival Vegetable
Asparagus is an ideal crop to grow because it is harvested after the spinach I have Wintered over but before Spring sown spinach and lettuce are ready. Instead of eating stored vegetables during this time, you can be eating fresh. It is also grown in a permanent bed, and only needs attention at certain times of the year, so it is ideal to establish at a remote retreat. Starting asparagus from seeds is extremely difficult. It needs weeks of consistent temperature and moisture to germinate and then the tiny... Read more →