What do you plant?
I just got my 3 boxes of seeds and other goodies from Fedco this week. Anyone who knows Fedco knows this is enough to feed an army properly harvested. This is my largest order ever, and I have focused on heirloom seeds this order.
I am just curious what others are planting. What works best for you and your families? Do you have an orchard as well as a garden? How about nut trees? Berries? Cereals or wheat? Anyone grow hops to make beer?
More than anything I am trying to fill any gaps I am not aware of in my harvest, so I’m looking for input!
Thanks in advance,
Asparagus is good, though it can be found in the wild. Takes some effort to get started and two years before a good harvest, but it needs little care, and comes back every year. It is one of the (if not the) first edible plant of the spring. Learn to like it.
[quote=SteveS]Learn to like it. [/quote]
Man, I wish I could choke it down!
Great thread. Sharon Astyk just published an article on her blog about her top 25 choices for planting. You can read it here:
Hers is a good site in general for food and self sufficiency as well as issues related to Peak Oil as seen from the individual perspective. Enjoy!
I’m no expert on the subject, but I just ran across some info that might be helpful. The Biointensive folks at http://www.bountifulgardens.org have established some guidelines they have used for small farm sustainability. From their booklet #31:
Generally, a mini-farm will be sustainable if:
for the area growing food for the diet:
60-65% is in high carbon producing AND significant calorie producing crops,
e.g. summer and winter grains;
30% is in high calorie producing root crops,
e.g. sweet potatoes, potatoes, garlic; and
2.5 – 10% is in low calorie producing, low carbon producing,
e.g. miscellaneous vegetables for most vitamins and minerals
for the compost area:
67% in mature crops (high carbon producing)
33% in immature crops (nitrogen producing crops)
the income area is limited to 7.5% or less of the mini-farm area
I hope this offers a framework of thought for designing and planning your plantings- Tim
Thanks for the replies. great info.
I’ve recently planted a grafted avocado tree for a few reasons…
1. They’re high in natural fat (your body won’t burn through those calories as quickly)
2. Birds, bugs, and worms usually can’t get through their tough skin (unless they’re over-ripe).
3. They prefer good water run-off, which means that they like to grow on hillsides or in slightly sandier soil conditions, where other fruit trees don’t do well.
4. It’s mushy and can be spread on anything as a substitute for mayonaisse.
1. They have to be grown in a non-freezing climate (I’m in socal, so that’s no problem here).
2. The fruit takes about a year on the tree to ripen. So while you see the fruit on the tree, it’s not ready to eat for some time. This is why it’s so high in fat.
3. Fruit producing trees have to be grafted unless you want to wait 7 years for a non-grafted mature tree to (maybe) bear fruit.
I’d like to get walnuts or almonds next.
We mostly do fruits, berries and herbs as of late.
The fruit trees offer a variety of "treats" and we have pear, plum, and several types of apples.
I recently pruned back a fig that’s been allowed to grow way beyond reasonability, so hopefully we’ll start getting more ripening fruit. The last few years, they’ve not come to fruition.
In addition, we have raspberries and blackberries (who in the PNW doesn’t? ;)) and are looking at getting blueberries this spring.
Wild asparagus found its way onto the homestead and that’s always a pleasant treat.
For Herbs and such we’ve got ginko, mint, sage, bay and a few other wilds.
Once I get back "home", I’ll be starting in on the garden (to include rainwater collection) and chicken coop!
PS – I too would love to get almonds… going to have to look into that!
I’m jealous of your climate. No way I could grow avacado here. One of the bummers about what’s coming, you better like the food that grows in your climate. Things like avacado and seafood are going to be a thing of the past for me. On the ther hand, I have groves of pecan, walnut, and many other nut trees. Those types of hardwoods grow like weeds here, and the squirrels are big as small dogs!
Always good to hear from you. I’m already done with the first book you directed me to and I’m looking forward to the 2nd coming today.
If we still have UPS by the time the almonds and other nuts are ready this year, I’ll send you a box. I always have more than I can eat, and end up giving them away.