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Best / unique vegetables to grow for SHTF scenarios

HardTruth

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#1
Here are a few Id like to mention that are not discussed much.

1. Butternut Squash. Very prolific grower and once mature, can be kept for up to 2 years un-refridgerated without spoiling as long as they are kept in a cool dark place . The biggest pain in the ass with these, is fighting the squash bugs

2. Malabar spinach- this is the only species of leafy vegetable I am aware of, that is a perennial. They are actually more closely related to swisschard then spinach.

3. Asparagus beans - these are stringless green beans that grow from 1-3 feet long and produce a enormous amount of beans.
 

HardTruth

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#3
I plan on looting the homes of snowflakes.
Then all you may get to eat are pieces of a white confederate statue the snowflake tore down and took home , as a token of their their rage against racism and white supremacy that their lying media brainwashed them was taking over the world .

Sounds delicious..a confederate statue sandwich.
 

Area51

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#5
Here are a few Id like to mention that are not discussed much.

1. Butternut Squash. Very prolific grower and once mature, can be kept for up to 2 years un-refridgerated without spoiling as long as they are kept in a cool dark place . The biggest pain in the ass with these, is fighting the squash bugs

2. Malabar spinach- this is the only species of leafy vegetable I am aware of, that is a perennial. They are actually more closely related to swisschard then spinach.

3. Asparagus beans - these are stringless green beans that grow from 1-3 feet long and produce a enormous amount of beans.

Disagree on the squash - - their vines take up a huge amount of garden space relative to what they actually produce.

Best bang for your buck in terms of ease to grow and output/land size is potatoes. And you can always use leftovers in the spring for seed.

Who cares if a squash lasts two years (allegedly, but I call BS on that) in cold storage? You only need to be concerned with things lasting 6 to 8 months in cold storage because you're going to plant a new crop every spring.
 

HardTruth

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#6
Disagree on the squash - - their vines take up a huge amount of garden space relative to what they actually produce.

Best bang for your buck in terms of ease to grow and output/land size is potatoes. And you can always use leftovers in the spring for seed.

Who cares if a squash lasts two years (allegedly, but I call BS on that) in cold storage? You only need to be concerned with things lasting 6 to 8 months in cold storage because you're going to plant a new crop every spring.
I have stored butternut squash { not regular squash} for 18 months in my basement and it keeps fine. Others report 2 years of storage with the same method. Yes, butternut squash has vines and needs spreading room, but you can get a dozen or more on each plant.

Potatoes are fine, but everyone knows about them, butternut squash is not as common or well known and for me, the only negative about them is the squash bugs which will not be a problem in all areas.

Some would argue that potatoes can be a pain in the butt, due to the digging involved in harvesting { yes I know about planting them in straw bales or tires } or the bugs they also can attract.
 

gnome

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#7
I am growing malabar spinach, both the red and the green variety. It tolerates my neglect as well as hot weather (100f+), rabbits and bugs. Can be propagated by seeds and cuttings. I don't know how far north it will grow, but I've seen it in Tokyo in winter....that's a mild temperate maritime climate which gets some frosts. The malabar spinach will propagate easily from cuttings or you can grow from seed. The green is better as a vegetable (goes to seed less easily), the purple is a prettier and the berries are great for purple dye.

My two favorite resilient crops are garlic chives and asian leeks (aka welsh onions, green onions, allium fistulosum). I'm in mediterranean climate, so they are year-round crops for me. Both have some cold tolerance, but I can't tell you exactly how much.

Usually asian leeks are grown as an annual, but I grow them as cut-and-come-again perennials. Eat 'em raw in salads, with eggs, as a garnish, in soups, or the bigger ones as a main vegetable dish. I eat some of these virtually every day.

Garlic chives have a nice garlic flavor, but milder and sweeter. harvest year round in my climate. In colder climates they will die back and pop up again in spring. Nice with eggs, in soups, filling for gyoza or my own invention, garlic chive pesto, made of garlic chives, olive oil salt and that's all. Yum!

With both the garlic chives and the asian leeks, when they flower they will make lots of seeds and you plant the seeds right away, as allium seeds don't tend to store well. After a few seasons you will likely end up with a perpetual supply with very little maintenance and no pest problems.
 

brosil

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#8
A good friend developed a tomato called a Sugar Frog. It's green and ugly as sin. You would never suspect it's one of the sweetest tastiest tomatoes on earth. You could grow them in your front yard and not have them bothered. They're skinny, twisted and snake-like. He's a tomato fanatic and as far as I know, the seeds are only circulated among the other tomato nuts.
 

HardTruth

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#9
A good friend developed a tomato called a Sugar Frog. It's green and ugly as sin. You would never suspect it's one of the sweetest tastiest tomatoes on earth. You could grow them in your front yard and not have them bothered. They're skinny, twisted and snake-like. He's a tomato fanatic and as far as I know, the seeds are only circulated among the other tomato nuts.
Very interesting. I couldn't even find any info about this sugar frog online/ youtube.

Ive tried dozens of heirloom/exotic tomato varieties and my favorite for taste and meatiness are called STUMP OF THE WORLD . I had t buy the seeds online . I got several 2lb tomatos from them this year and they are very sweet and meaty.
 

markt

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#10
The original topic was for a survival situation, not just gardening. The problem with squash, spinach, tomatoes, leeks, and such is their low caloric density. you couldn't keep your kids alive on them. To get 2000 calories a day, you have to eat 5 pounds of potatoes daily. Just barely doable with potatoes, forget it for baked squash, beets, stewed tomatoes, steamed spinach, etc. You'd have to eat more than a human stomach can hold to maintain 2000 calories a day. The Jerusalem artichoke is OK, but for most people causes extreme farting when eaten in in quantity. What IS practical to grow is corn, followed up on the same land with legumes such as beans(especially broad beans) to recharge the nitrogen levels and get extra protein. Potatoes are very low in protein, but crock-potted mulberry leaf (they grow wild everywhere) is extremely high in protein (23% dry weight) and tastes a bit like chewy spinach. Underground tiger nuts (chufa) in a warmish climate gets you the most calories per square foot, but involves the most labor. Ultimately the best plant to have is nut trees, but (except for hazelnuts) they usually take decades to bear. You can grow (perennial) alfalfa to feed rabbits or get goat milk. I once read a scientific paper that claimed that after the ice age, lots of Europe fed itself on wild hazelnut bushes and goat milk. Don't know if that was true, but would seem to work.
 

HardTruth

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#11
The original topic was for a survival situation, not just gardening. The problem with squash, spinach, tomatoes, leeks, and such is their low caloric density. you couldn't keep your kids alive on them. To get 2000 calories a day, you have to eat 5 pounds of potatoes daily. Just barely doable with potatoes, forget it for baked squash, beets, stewed tomatoes, steamed spinach, etc. You'd have to eat more than a human stomach can hold to maintain 2000 calories a day. The Jerusalem artichoke is OK, but for most people causes extreme farting when eaten in in quantity. What IS practical to grow is corn, followed up on the same land with legumes such as beans(especially broad beans) to recharge the nitrogen levels and get extra protein. Potatoes are very low in protein, but crock-potted mulberry leaf (they grow wild everywhere) is extremely high in protein (23% dry weight) and tastes a bit like chewy spinach. Underground tiger nuts (chufa) in a warmish climate gets you the most calories per square foot, but involves the most labor. Ultimately the best plant to have is nut trees, but (except for hazelnuts) they usually take decades to bear. You can grow (perennial) alfalfa to feed rabbits or get goat milk. I once read a scientific paper that claimed that after the ice age, lots of Europe fed itself on wild hazelnut bushes and goat milk. Don't know if that was true, but would seem to work.
Agree about fruit / nut trees. Chestnut trees have decent amount of carbs and are supposedly more of a grain, then a nut.
 

Merlin

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#12
Some would argue that potatoes can be a pain in the butt, due to the digging involved in harvesting { yes I know about planting them in straw bales or tires } or the bugs they also can attract.
I planted and harvested taters when I was in my mid-sixties (before my neighbor's tree ruined my garden.) In fact, I have a couple dozen quarts or so of Yukon Golds that I canned myself in 2009--eight years and they're still ok. I'm no big fan of canned potatoes of any age; but these are fine in tater salad.

For those who have partially shaded gardens, I can report that taters will grow great in less than perfect conditions. They just take longer to mature.

I know nothing at all about growing squash. But I got good production of taters out of fairly small garden space.
 

gnome

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#13
Agree about fruit / nut trees. Chestnut trees have decent amount of carbs and are supposedly more of a grain, then a nut.
Badgersett Farms is on the cutting edge in terms of breeding chestnuts suitable to much of N. American climate.
Get a few trees going and replant the first crop. 3 years from seed to producing tree.
I am looking to place orders this winter and plant out next spring on my sister's land in W. Mass

http://www.badgersett.com/info/chestnuts
 

gnome

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#14
Potatoes are very low in protein, but crock-potted mulberry leaf (they grow wild everywhere) is extremely high in protein (23% dry weight) and tastes a bit like chewy spinach.
I have a massive non-fruiting (male) mulberry in the front yard. I grafted 4 varieties of fruiting mulberry onto it, and the grafts took off like crazy. The Pakistan variety will blow your mind if you're used to the wild mulberries.

The young leaves are perfectly edible raw right off the tree. Otherwise, just sauté the greens or dry and powder them.

Mulberry will grow with only 20 inch annual rainfall. Tough trees. The leaves are preferred forage for many livestock.
If somebody wants mulberry cuttings, PM me.