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#210625 - 10/30/10 10:51 PM Growing My Urban Survival Garden
The_Urbivalist Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/26/10
Posts: 6
Loc: Southern California
Hey Guys,

I'm just getting going in the whole gardening world, but I'm having a lot of fun with it.

Now I'm brainstorming a true "survival" garden, and I'm wondering--if I had to limit my garden to 4-5 varieties of produce, what would be the most crucial crops for me to grow?

In other words, which crops would give me the "most bang for my buck" in a survival situation? Taking into consideration different vitamins, most calories, storability (canning, drying), multiple uses, etc.

Any ideas from the pros out there?
_________________________
dcarpenter@urbansurvivaltools.com
www.the-urban-survivalist.com

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#210626 - 10/30/10 11:18 PM Re: Growing My Urban Survival Garden [Re: The_Urbivalist]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1473
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Whatever you grow, add sprouts to the list. Good luck.

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#210631 - 10/31/10 12:44 AM Re: Growing My Urban Survival Garden [Re: LED]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Mustard Greens,Tomatoes,Potatoes,Beans,Corn-All are Easy to grow,& Each Have Multiple Uses,Essential Vitamins,Minerals,Protein,Carbs,Fiber I would Hate to, have to Survive on these only,But I think It would be Doable!

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#210633 - 10/31/10 12:57 AM Re: Growing My Urban Survival Garden [Re: The_Urbivalist]
sotto Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/04/03
Posts: 450
Zucchini. One zucchini plant will feed an entire galaxy. At least that's the way it seems to me. Everyone who has a zucchini plant at work brings in truckloads of zucchini they can't use.

Zucchini bread is very very good toasted with butter. Nothing like the vegetable, thank Gods.

I would add to that a tomato plant. Then you could make gazpacho. I don't know what that is, but it's supposed to be good cold in a bowl with salt and pepper and crusty garlic toast.

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#210643 - 10/31/10 04:10 AM Re: Growing My Urban Survival Garden [Re: The_Urbivalist]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3555
Loc: Spring, Texas
Canna lilies. They have the highest percentage of starch of any known tuber, they grow and spread rapidly, they will grow in wet/dry/sunny/shady areas, they are not bothered by pests, they are pretty and most people won't recognize them as food sources. They don't need to be fertilized, weeded, or sprayed with pesticide.

You cook them the same way you would cook potatoes (boiled, roasted, baked, french fries...but for some reason they don't make crispy hashbrowns). In So. California they grow all year long. You can leave the tubers in the ground until you want them or keep them in a root cellar, you can also dry them or turn them into flour.

I believe 90% of one's survival garden should be devoted to calories. It easy to get the vitamins and minerals one needs, either through stored vitamin tablets or any number of wild edibles, but calories are very hard to come by. They are also the most critical thing you'll need in a long-term survival situation. Pretty much any other type of plant is just flavoring in my opinion.

Also get a copy of either Gaia's Garden 2nd Ed. (my favorite gardening book EVER) or Square Foot Gardening. Both books are really good but have very different takes on how to grow a lot of food in a little space.

I recommend you also look into edible landscaping. There are many trees, shrubs, bushes, and flowers that are wonderful and flavorful sources of food. EdibleLandscaping.com is a great place to start learning how to replace your current landscaping plants with edibles.

-Blast
_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

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#210645 - 10/31/10 04:19 AM Re: Growing My Urban Survival Garden [Re: The_Urbivalist]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
The Amer-indians traditionally grew corn, squash and beans together. People who have looked more deeply into it have noted that it is a very efficient use of a limited space. The beans climb the corn and squash uses the space in between rows. The combination seems to be more resistant to insects. The combination is also nutritionally complete.

They had several thousand years to get it right. Considering that they science and experimentation was an unknown concept, and they had no way of precisely measuring small improvements it is quite remarkable the progress they made.

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#210646 - 10/31/10 04:43 AM Re: Growing My Urban Survival Garden [Re: Blast]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Canna Lillies,Man! I have grown up around those plants,Have dug up Countless,1000's!& All this time,Up until Now,I didn't have a clue,they could be Edible!Thank You,Sir Blast!

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#210651 - 10/31/10 06:34 AM Re: Growing My Urban Survival Garden [Re: Richlacal]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1473
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
+1. Excellent info Blast, thanks.

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#210656 - 10/31/10 02:39 PM Re: Growing My Urban Survival Garden [Re: Art_in_FL]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3555
Loc: Spring, Texas
Quote:
The Amer-indians traditionally grew corn, squash and beans together. People who have looked more deeply into it have noted that it is a very efficient use of a limited space.


I'd be very curious to see reports on the use of Three Sisters Planting in small areas. Everything I've read says you need at least a 30'x30' plot to make it work. Less than that and you don't get enough pollination of the corn. I've actually tried it on a 5'x5' plot twice with very poor results both times. The corn on the upwind side of this plot didn't produce at all, but the farther downwind they were the more kernels the ears produced. Turns out there is a minimum plant density needed to get complete pollination. I was really disappointed in the results as I love the concept of this planting technique. My experience is that it doesn't work in suburbia unless maybe you devote most of your yard to it.

The other plant I recommend is hyacinth beans. These things are amazingly fast growing, can handle fairly extreme conditions, and produce huge amounts of hard bean seeds. However, these beans must be boiled for quite a while to get ride of toxins.

-Blast
_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

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#210662 - 10/31/10 03:32 PM Re: Growing My Urban Survival Garden [Re: The_Urbivalist]
sotto Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/04/03
Posts: 450
In Iowa, we used to plant green beans. They attracted tons of rabbits which ate the plants and bean pods. We spent a lot of time and trouble trying to keep the rabbits out of the green beans, until we realized we could eat the rabbits. This was much more satisfying than eating the green beans.

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