What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

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Clkeiper
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#21

Post: # 14676Unread post Clkeiper
Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:59 pm

celery was just mentioned but it is a great water sop. do you have a wet spot? pop a celery plant or two at the edge of the wet spot and it will love you and produce an abundance of stalks. I plant a plant at every water tee or leak in my drip system.
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Nan6b
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#22

Post: # 14681Unread post Nan6b
Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:13 pm

I made our wet spot into a bog. Maybe I should try celery there...
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Blackbear
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#23

Post: # 14687Unread post Blackbear
Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:55 pm

As this discussion is going on …

I will add Lovage as it is a nice celery flavor leafy that is friendly with most other veggies.

My favorite snow peas are sugar lace 2 (OP) semi leafless/ leafless tendrils only . :)

Beets : I liked Chioggi , Golden beets (non bleeding nice to bake even ), bulls blood ,
and good old Detroit etc.

some of you might like Rattail radish (air radish pod) very nice pods in fresh salads ... 8-)
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So many Tomatoes...……..so little Time !

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habitat-gardener
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#24

Post: # 14693Unread post habitat-gardener
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:56 pm

Clkeiper wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 12:59 pm
celery was just mentioned but it is a great water sop. do you have a wet spot? pop a celery plant or two at the edge of the wet spot and it will love you and produce an abundance of stalks. I plant a plant at every water tee or leak in my drip system.
I grew a red-stem celery some years ago, and it still comes up -- in my containers, since I've moved about 3 times since then! I don't try to blanch it, so it is a soup vegetable rather than a mild raw snacking vegetable. It's also pretty. I was planning to plant some of them at the ends of rows in the community garden, but a cluster around the hose bib would be nice, too.

I'd also like to add more flowers to the community garden plot, to attract more pollinators, and for general cheeriness.
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Growing Coastal
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#25

Post: # 14695Unread post Growing Coastal
Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:01 pm

Celery blossoms attract bees etc and the seeds are useful for cooking.
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Bower
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#26

Post: # 14784Unread post Bower
Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:09 pm

In the perennial or overwinter scene, parsnips are sweetest when you dig them in the spring.. It's a crop to eat when you're just planting, and is it ever welcome as a fresh food when winter is just done. Seasoned with lovage, it is the treat of spring. (We don't use lovage much year round as it gets stronger later in the season. But the young shoots from my one, ginormous plant have gone to my friend's CSA many a year. Yep, one plant and you're good for a lifetime or longer). I grew Voyager arugula and it has survived one winter already, and made quite a generous plant not to mention reseeding a few of itself. So I'm looking forward to a wee pinch of that when the snow goes. Green onions of course are easy to go perennial. Egyptian onions/walking onions are the best for early spring. Hardy Evergreen overwinters but bolts immediately in spring, making nice early flowers but you have to wait for them to finish (or finish em!) before you get any much to eat. Leeks too, perennial. Leeks will grow in the dark freezing cold. I have tested them against other alliums they are unique in that ability to grow when nothing else even bothers to try.
I was thinking to try and go perennial with the celery by growing celeriac instead. I ordered some seeds but still waiting. Root parsley as well. Just thinking it would be good to make a patch of things that 'might' survive overwinter and be root crops too, with tasty tops you can nibble on. Hope to have a container in the greenhouse, some sugar beet, root parsley and celeriac. They'll definitely make it there.
We have had swiss chard overwinter at my mom's place, although a bad winter may take them out. Some cool kale as well that made tons of "mockkoli" sprouts in the spring, om nom nom.
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Bronx
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#27

Post: # 14895Unread post Bronx
Tue Mar 24, 2020 8:34 pm

I too cut up and freeze sweet peppers. Have enough to last until the next year's are ready. I also grow extra corn and green beans and freeze them. I par boil the corn first, then freeze, then take them out of the freezer and vacuum seal them, 2 ears per bag. Another favorite that I grow is sweet potatoes. I have a big bagful of purple sweet potatoes that will last me for a few months.

Last year as an experiment I froze cherry tomatoes without doing any prep and am using them now. After defrosting they are mushy and have a bit of a funny taste so they're not the best to use in a salad (I do anyway), but using them for cooking is fine. I put them in omlets and really can't tell the difference between fresh and frozen when they're cooked.

I also grow garlic and snow peas over Winter. Am picking enough peas every week right now to last a while. Eat them throughout the week and then pick and cook a fresh batch every Sunday.

I have an orange tree too. The fruit starts ripening around Thanksgiving and lasts throughout Spring. I hate to sound like I'm bragging, but I defy you to find a store bought orange that tastes anywhere near as good as one freshly picked from your own tree. I have 2 baby almond trees (got 10 whole almonds from them last year!) and planted bare root blackberries this year. Hopefully will get some fruit from them in a year or 2.

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Blackbear
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#28

Post: # 14902Unread post Blackbear
Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:44 am

I will add Meyer lemon
kept in a 5-7 gallon .. :D
amazing as it seems it will survive down to -10 C ….but don't push it .
be kind and bring it inside around here between Nov.1 - March 1. :geek:
everyone should have at least 2 . :lol:
So many Tomatoes...……..so little Time !

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Rajun Gardener
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#29

Post: # 14957Unread post Rajun Gardener
Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:47 pm

image.png
image.png (1.55 MiB) Viewed 239 times
Zone: 9A
Climate: Hot and Humid
Avg annual rainfall: 60.48"

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Paulf
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#30

Post: # 14960Unread post Paulf
Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:33 pm

No matter what you CAN grow, it does no good unless you eat it. Our vegetable garden is pretty sparse in varieties mostly because of the lack of liking to eat lots of vegetables. I keep looking for the beef and pork plants. We used to grow lots of vegetables but they mostly went into the compost pile. We do not can but we freeze things we like. I would have to change habits to become more self-sufficient.

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Labradors
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#31

Post: # 14963Unread post Labradors
Wed Mar 25, 2020 2:48 pm

That's true Paul. We do have to eat them, or there is no point in growing them!

I happen to adore eggplant, so it's not difficult for me to make lasagna with eggplant instead of noodles. Ratatouille is amazing (a mixture of veggies) with grated mozzarella on top. I always add veggies to spaghetti sauces and stews. I'm sure there are better cooks than me on here who can come up with some amazing ideas to use many of the wonderful veggies that we grow.

Linda

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Cole_Robbie
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#32

Post: # 14969Unread post Cole_Robbie
Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:04 pm

My farmers market is planning to stay open as a drive through. And I just heard a former national security council member on the radio who said his number one concern about the virus was disruption in our food supply. So I went to the farm store and bought 150 pounds of seed potatoes. I am just about to order probably 30 to 40 pounds of seed for beans and peas, also winter squash, carrots, spinach and greens, slicer cukes, and some basil and dill because they always seem to be in high demand. My hemp field from last year has tripled in size and will go to over 90% food production instead of hemp.

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Nan6b
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#33

Post: # 14983Unread post Nan6b
Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:56 pm

That poster shows tomatoes interplanted with head lettuce (18"), early cabbage (18"), & early onions (18"). I can only fit one tomato plant in 18" of space. Let's assume there are tomato plants every 18". That's 4 tomato plants, maybe six. Is that enough for a family of five?

And no peas...
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Rajun Gardener
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#34

Post: # 14987Unread post Rajun Gardener
Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:44 pm

There's 3 rows of tomatoes and I'm sure there's more instructions of when to plant what so it's staggered. I'm surprised there's no peas but to be honest peas are such a low production crop for small spaces it would be a waste of space. They forgot potatoes too.
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Zone: 9A
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Blackbear
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#35

Post: # 14989Unread post Blackbear
Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:03 pm

Rajun Gardener wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:47 pm
image.png
I always like this inspiring poster of ….early ideals of organization .

Notice it has collards ?.....I also like purple giant mustard ...and orach

I like the ideas of perennials and varieties with strong volunteer (reseed and replace areas).
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So many Tomatoes...……..so little Time !

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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#36

Post: # 15104Unread post Nan6b
Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:49 pm

After reading this thread I've been inspired to try celery and lovage.
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maxjohnson
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#37

Post: # 15530Unread post maxjohnson
Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:54 am

Some consideration for easy to grow crops. Though most of these are geared toward warmer climate. If I have space, I would grow more fruit and nut trees. You want to have some perennials, not just annuals.

Amaranth
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Dandelion
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Egyptian Spinach. Loves heat and produces more if you prune.
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Gai Choi
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Parsley
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Katuk. This plant makes good natural fence. It's very easy to root from cuttings. In a rare case, some people needed lung transplant because they consumed excess amount of the leaves juice. But don't let this put you off. This is widely consumed daily by Southeast Asians with the leaves cooked. If you juiced and drank an excess amount of parsley leaves you'll probably die too, just use common sense.
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Malabar Spinach. Must grow.
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Papaya. Must grow if you're in warm climate, but get dwarf variety otherwise they become 20ft tall over time.
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Plantain/banana. Must grow in warm climate
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Sunchoke/Jerusalem artichoke
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Last edited by maxjohnson on Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#38

Post: # 15531Unread post maxjohnson
Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:01 pm

Sweet potatoes. The leaves are edible, this is the main benefit of growing this plant. Also consider growing yams.
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Taro.
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Tokyo Bekana mustard. Easy to grow, tender, not spicy.
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Walking onion. Once you have it, you'll always have it.
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Water Spinach. Heat loving and grows well in containers without drainage holes. Note that this plant is considered an invasive species and is prohibited in some states, so check first if you are allowed to grow it. Go here and click on Legal status. Pretty much all the vietnamese supermarket sells it, and you can root the cuttings.
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#39

Post: # 15553Unread post GoDawgs
Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:11 pm

I agree about figuring out what grows best in one's particular area and concentrating on those. Of course, everybody has to have a few "toys" to play with too! And another thing that comes into play is the ability to store it.

I grow about 30 kinds of stuff (peppers, tomatoes, etc count as one category each). I'm looking at this list a little differently, through "grid down" eyes where growability, longevity, nutrition and seed saving are paramount.

Asparagus - The plot here is old and in decline but we've been putting in more the past two years. Fresh eating only.

Beans, both bush and pole - They can up great but with the heat and bugs here it's hard to save the seed as the bean beetles get 'em.

Cabbage - Long storing and very versatile for fresh eating, krauting and kimchi. Two planting seasons here.

Carrots - They store well, can well and a good source of vitamins. Two planting seasons here. Seed collection of this biennial could be problematic. Going to try that this year by leaving a few in the ground until next year.

Collards and kale - Super hardy, super good for you and here I can grow them year round.

Garlic - Gotta have it! One good crop will last the whole year with extra for planting more.

Herbs - basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, dill, rosemary, sage

Scallions - I have no way to store regular onions and temp swings make them bolt early. Scallions I grow year round while piddling around with regular onions. Easy seed collection.

Field Peas - They love the heat and have few insect problems. I can eat them fresh and unlike green beans, the bugs don't bother the seed so I can let them dry on the vine and store long term. They're a staple here and take the place of other dried beans that don't do well.

Peppers and Tomatoes - Of course!

Summer squash - Maybe... fresh eating only. Too many borers.

Sweet potatoes- Unlike Irish potatoes, I can store sweets in a closet for ages. If I had to choose between the two, the sweets win out. I currently grow Irish potatoes but end up canning them before they get too old. Great for instant stew. But then, there would be no seed potatoes left for next year.

Turnips - Easy to grow for fresh eating and long term storage. Two growing seasons here.

Things I'd drop in an emergency if I had to:
Broccoli - Not necessary if I have collards and kale.
Corn - Needs too much water, fertilizer and space.
Cauliflower - Very iffy crop here due to temp swings.
Cucumbers - I could make do without pickles if I had to and devote that space to something else.
Onions - See scallion note above.
Okra - Not enough volume for the space it takes up but it's really hardy in the heat so I could be convinced to keep it.
Winter squash - Last year was my last effort. Too many vine borers, too much space taken, no cellar to store them in.
Watermelon - water and space hog.
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kath
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Re: What we need to grow to be more self-sufficient

#40

Post: # 15560Unread post kath
Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:28 pm

@GoDawgs Very helpful list! Because of borers, I only grow butternut squash and last year was able to easily trellis it on cattle panel. It keeps well under a bed in a cool room, in a closet, etc.
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