Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

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konigking
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Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby konigking » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:54 am

I'm surprised that my search for "MIttleider Gardening" yields no results in this topic area. It's the best, most proven way to grow 2-5 times what typical garden yields. And the best part is that it doesn't matter how poor your soil is, especially if you use the prescribed planter boxes filled with sand and sawdust. (Square Foot Gardening is a later knock-off version of Mittleider, but it is organic and lower yielding).

Regardless of how you garden, can you recommend what vegetables to focus on? I know a good answer is "whatever you like to eat so you stay interested in gardening!" That's the advice I would give anyway. However, I want an answer based on the following criteria:

1) high yielding, which means high bulk with each crop and/or can have multiple crops in a year
2) hardy, not overly fickle and disease prone
3) most packed with nutrition, i.e. super food
4) good for canning

Of course, not any single crop will hit each criterion.
KonigKing - redundant, I know

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Silver
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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby Silver » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:32 am

Try:
http://growfood.com/

What is the Mittleider Method?
To help you get a better understanding of what exactly the Mittleider Method is all about, we have taken the introduction of the complete Mittleider Gardening Course book and published it right here for you to peruse. We hope you’ll take a bit of time to learn about the different gardening techniques presented here and learn for yourself how to successfully use the Mittleider Method.
Use the following links to jump to any question on the page:
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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby gclayjr » Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:17 pm

konigking,

I guess it depends upon your situation, and what the emergency is. First, I plan on focusing on that which does not store well. Greens, tomatoes, etc. because I would have plenty of canned goods, dried grains etc. Most storage focuses on basics. Even with canned goods, I would expect that the meals that one could prepare from storage would not be that healthy or exciting. Since in the short run, getting enough calories, and basic nutrition is far more important than how nutritious or delicious meals are, that is the right focus.

Over time, we will need to be able to grow....well who knows. Since we don't know what crisis the future might bring. I do believe that even if some apocalyptic event occurs, that after the initial shock we will work things through. So having basic needs, tools and skills are important, anything more long term than maybe a year, whatever we do, we will be working through stuff that happened AFTER the event, so I think trying have what you might need past a year (particularly consumables like food, fuel or seeds), is wild speculation and any body's guess is as good as another's.

I will give you an example. One of the potential disasters that is feared most is an EMP attack. First of all, nobody really knows exactly what that will do, because the experimental evidence regarding EMP is sporadic and inconsistent. So let's assume that they knock out the grid, and every car with a computer in it.

Certainly, immediately things will be very bad. Our distribution system will completely fail. Most people would have no clue as to how to live without electricity, let alone not finding anything in a supermarket. I'm sure riots and chaos would follow.

But do you suppose that every tractor, lawnmower, or weed-whacker would be put out of commission? over time, I'm sure that people with a bit of ingenuity would be able to figure out how to use these engines for basic transportation or generation of modest amounts of electricity, and basic logistics to include maybe pumping gasoline out of Gas station tanks, or even transporting small amounts of gasoline from refiners. Those of us with diesel engines will be able to run on heating oil, or even vegetable oil.

They say that the transformers and control systems that run the grid would take years to rebuild, even if the factories were running. But don't you think that over time somebody would figure out how to macGuyver something to make at least some of those generators work, even if not as efficiently as before?

I think that too many "preppers" underestimate the ingenuity of man. So I think the church has given us good advice. Focus on what you will need over a short time... 1 year, maybe 2, and then be prepared to work and MacGyver your way back from whatever may come.

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George Clay

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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby BeNotDeceived » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:05 pm

Korean carrots are huge, and regular carrots are freeze resistant. :)
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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby Michelle » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:17 pm

Whatever is heirloom and grows in your zone.

Root veggies will provide more calories. (Potatoes, carrots, onions, that sort of thing) This is what you would survive on (outside of other food storage like grains) Also beans for protein and satiety.

Other bulky foods like a variety of squash, zucchini, pumpkin, melons would be good. Though they take more room to grow. Also, you have to be careful your plants don't cross pollinate in a small space (I got some funky watermelons and squash one year like that)

Fruit trees would provide a much larger amount of food than any variety of seed in a small garden plot, plant an apple tree this year.

Greens and herbs provide nutrition and variety, but not a lot of calories. Still a must,but you may be able to do some inside.

One of my concerns( why I don't use Mittleider) is that it isn't a longer term solution. You have to buy their product, mix it with the other items (Epsom salt and such.) It will only work for the amount you store.

Then you'd have to relearn to garden without it.

If you can, a few chickens or a small aquaponics system can provide you with food, fertilizer,( a bit of alternative energy from the fish)and variety.

I bet you neighbors would trade quite a bit for some eggs or especially fish now and then.

One thing that us often overlooked is fat. Fatty produce: avacados if you have the right climate is worth it's weight in gold. At least that's what a GA who lived through WWII in Germany said. I'll have to find the link.

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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby Michelle » Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:25 pm

How did I forget foraging? Lots of food for free outside your front door: mallow root can be used as a sort of vegetable rennet for cheese, young dandelion greens for salad, purslane to thicken soups, raspberry leaf for nutrition and female health concerns, mullein for respiratory illness.

I'm in Utah and often see trees, like the apple tree up in Provo Canyon, just waiting to be picked. Raspberries by the provo river, but I'm pretty sure they spray poison there, so I'd wait a year or two after they can't anymore to eat them.

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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby konigking » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:44 am

Very good replies. Thank you, everyone. Silver, I got the Mittleider Gardening Course book. They just published a new one with full-color pages. I've used my neighbor's book until now as I've created my prototype garden this year (just 10 ft, rather than the prescribed 30 ft). Next year I'll hit it full on.

MIchelle, good feedback. I appreciate your concern about there being a limit to how much fertilizer you can store. I think though that it wouldn't take much space to store even 10 years worth for a family of 5 (5 years for a family of 10) and fertilizer never goes bad. Then maybe over those 10 years, you can figure something else out (as per the last paragraph in George Clay's post). My fear is that unless you have a prescribed, proven formula, you won't be able to plant a garden at all. MIttlieder controls the variables and diminishes the likelihood of failure. But again, I appreciate what you're saying.

I"ve done a bunch of internet searches on the subject of this thread with little success. However, I did find a decent blog post on the subject yesterday. Seems though that a lot of what the post suggests you will be better of storing, not growing. Here it is:

http://www.prep-blog.com/2013/05/22/the ... al-garden/

CORRECTION: that's an overstatement to suggest storing 10 years of fertilizer for 5 people doesn't take much space. But indeed, you can store much fertilizer in a relatively small space. For more, here's a link that gives specifics on MIttleider gardening for food storage: http://foodforeveryone.org/faq/index.ph ... 5&relid=27
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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby Yahtzee » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:25 pm

I think the most important thing in terms of long term seed viability is being able to save your seeds.
Anyone interested in that should buy the book Seed to Seed by Suzanne Ashworth. Many vegetable varieties are self fertile and won't cross pollinate (many beans, peas, lettuces, some tomato varieties). The ones that can cross pollinate are not too difficult to control, once you get a practice year or two in.
Carrots are great because you can grow them nearly year round, but the seeds are nearly impossible to save long term.
Potatoes are good for calories/sqft.
But definitely start saving your seeds. Your plants will become adapted to your area and be more resistant to temperature and disease.
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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby technomagus » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:27 am

The best seeds to grow are the ones already re-seeding in your garden. Seriously. These are plants that are adapted to your microclimate. They are the survivors. Additionally, you should be working on building up as much stock of perennial plants as you can. These will continue to grow and feed you year after year with no replanting needed. Learn to propagate the ones that produce the best. Remove the ones that are not productive.
In this way, your plot of land will become lush with food plants.

I do have a concern with Mittleieder methods. They reject the idea that you must cultivate and build the soils, instead just use chemical products. What happens when they run out? I would rather learn how to build a living soil.
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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby h_p » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:44 am

technomagus wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:27 am
I do have a concern with Mittleieder methods. They reject the idea that you must cultivate and build the soils, instead just use chemical products. What happens when they run out? I would rather learn how to build a living soil.
Probably the same thing that happens when you run out of natural fertilizers:
Fighting For Feces: The War For Guano

Synthetic fertilizer has probably alleviated a lot more hunger than bat poop has.

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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby 2EstablishZion » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:37 am

I'm not sure of nutritional value, but a few hills of zucchini squash, and you and your neighbors and your neighbors neighbors won;t starve while it is in season.

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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby BTH&T » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:37 pm

I have 4 years worth of Mittleider Fert/supplies and it takes very little room (fits in one of those 27gal blk/yellow totes), also I could easily reduce the frequency on intervals to lengthen that out.
The yields are at least double using this method, and well worth the effort!

I use natural soil and also a bit of the "back to eden" method as well.
Adding sand-sawdust for the root crops because of the loose media needed.

Working on a greenhouse for year round growing.
Avocado's are a great idea, I'll try them. Also want to work on some citrus.
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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby brianj » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:01 pm

One thing I will add is a discussion of heirloom seeds.

Genetic modification has been used for many years now, and I have heard reports from gardeners who harvest seeds that seeds fail after two or three generations. Heirloom seeds are supposed to be from stock that has no genetic modification so this issue will not be as big of a problem in the future.

I have some doubts about heirloom seeds. Unless the heirloom plants are very carefully protected and raised indoors so there is no chance of cross pollination with genetically modified plants nearby, the possibility exists that heirloom seeds already contain some amount of modified DNA. And if you raise plants from heirloom seeds in a major depression or end of the world as we know it scenario, unless you can somehow erect and protect a greenhouse you will have the possibility of cross pollination with genetically modified plants.
That being said, heirloom seeds are the best bet for a survival situation. Be aware there could be issues and have plenty of spare seeds, but look forward in faith.

I would also like to bring up the idea of composting. You can compost food waste products and a lot more than just feces. It's not a fast process but it is a source of fertilizer when you can no longer go to your favorite gardening store.

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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby konigking » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:30 pm

WOW. Good feedback folks. I have my homework cut out for me. I especially like the discussion on heirloom seeds. There's a lot more to it all than I was aware.

I gotta chuckle at this though. In response to the Q, "what happens when you run out of processed fertilizer using the Mittleider method?"...
h_p wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:44 am
Probably the same thing that happens when you run out of natural fertilizers:
Fighting For Feces: The War For Guano

Synthetic fertilizer has probably alleviated a lot more hunger than bat poop has.
Very good answer, I think. I'm in the tank for Mittleider, I guess.
KonigKing - redundant, I know

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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby h_p » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:01 pm

BTH&T wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:37 pm
I have 4 years worth of Mittleider Fert/supplies and it takes very little room (fits in one of those 27gal blk/yellow totes), also I could easily reduce the frequency on intervals to lengthen that out.
The yields are at least double using this method, and well worth the effort!
This is true. According to Mittleider's published information, you can grow about 145 pounds of potatoes in a 1.5' x 30' row, using a total of 5 pounds of Weekly Feed fertilizer, in whatever dirt you've got in your garden, no soil amendments necessary. If you can make the fertilizer for 50 cents/pound (doable if you find a good source), this means you can produce potatoes for about 1.7 cents per pound, plus however much water costs you.

The down side to the method is finding a source of the general-purpose fertilizer, like 16-16-16 NPK. I've heard a lot of gardeners in Utah have a tough time with that for some reason. With all the farming out there, you'd think it'd be plentiful.

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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby brlenox » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:50 pm

BeNotDeceived wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:05 pm
Korean carrots are huge, and regular carrots are freeze resistant. :)
Do you grow these? I can't find mention of them on the net at all except as a salad. Do you know where seed can be purchased?

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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby brlenox » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:52 pm

h_p wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:01 pm
BTH&T wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:37 pm
I have 4 years worth of Mittleider Fert/supplies and it takes very little room (fits in one of those 27gal blk/yellow totes), also I could easily reduce the frequency on intervals to lengthen that out.
The yields are at least double using this method, and well worth the effort!
This is true. According to Mittleider's published information, you can grow about 145 pounds of potatoes in a 1.5' x 30' row, using a total of 5 pounds of Weekly Feed fertilizer, in whatever dirt you've got in your garden, no soil amendments necessary. If you can make the fertilizer for 50 cents/pound (doable if you find a good source), this means you can produce potatoes for about 1.7 cents per pound, plus however much water costs you.

The down side to the method is finding a source of the general-purpose fertilizer, like 16-16-16 NPK. I've heard a lot of gardeners in Utah have a tough time with that for some reason. With all the farming out there, you'd think it'd be plentiful.
Lowes and Home Depot both carry a 16 16 16. I have been doing Mittleider for over 10 years. The science of growing a garden as far as I am concerned.

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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby h_p » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:04 am

brlenox wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:52 pm
Lowes and Home Depot both carry a 16 16 16. I have been doing Mittleider for over 10 years. The science of growing a garden as far as I am concerned.
I've noticed that what the big-box stores carry is pretty dependent on where you live. Here in central Texas, the best you can find there is 13-13-13, which is doable, but just barely, and it's overpriced.

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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby brlenox » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:37 am

h_p wrote:
Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:04 am
brlenox wrote:
Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:52 pm
Lowes and Home Depot both carry a 16 16 16. I have been doing Mittleider for over 10 years. The science of growing a garden as far as I am concerned.
I've noticed that what the big-box stores carry is pretty dependent on where you live. Here in central Texas, the best you can find there is 13-13-13, which is doable, but just barely, and it's overpriced.
Yes, that may well be. However, Mittleider will use a 13 13 13 when naught else is available.

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Re: Best vegetable seeds to have for next Great Depression?

Postby brlenox » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:09 am

konigking wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:54 am
I'm surprised that my search for "MIttleider Gardening" yields no results in this topic area. It's the best, most proven way to grow 2-5 times what typical garden yields. And the best part is that it doesn't matter how poor your soil is, especially if you use the prescribed planter boxes filled with sand and sawdust. (Square Foot Gardening is a later knock-off version of Mittleider, but it is organic and lower yielding).

Regardless of how you garden, can you recommend what vegetables to focus on? I know a good answer is "whatever you like to eat so you stay interested in gardening!" That's the advice I would give anyway. However, I want an answer based on the following criteria:

1) high yielding, which means high bulk with each crop and/or can have multiple crops in a year
2) hardy, not overly fickle and disease prone
3) most packed with nutrition, i.e. super food
4) good for canning

Of course, not any single crop will hit each criterion.
Over the years I have maintained a 700 variety seed library of only heirloom varieties. Each year I would raise a revolving selection of plants to gauge grow ability in a Utah climate and to assess items that had long term storage capacities. All in all most of your summer gardening varieties do fine and specificity is not a big deal. However, I have also managed a winter garden and find that has been the most interesting from a survival standpoint.

For winter growing planting in a cold frame or cloche without heat. Starting in September the following items provided living greens through out the winter into the spring of the following year: Bok Choy, Green Onions, Swiss Chard, Carrots, Mizuna, Mibuna, Escarole, Fava beans (Little tricky), Spinach, Broccoli, cabbage, beets, Kale, all root crops that I can think of, mustard greens, miners lettuce, winter radishes etc etc. Each of these has multiple varieties as well.

As far a storability, a couple of thoughts on items from the summer garden which I found were particularly useful were Australian brown onions with the longest storage ability of any onion and a very good firm flavorful onion. Softneck garlics store better than hardnecks. I focused particularly on squashes.

Seeds from Italy had a Winter Squash Lunga di Napoli which I found possibly my vote for best overall. When young better than Zucchini by far, firmer flesh and slightly nutty flavor. However let them mature and they are reasonably productive, but they can get as large as 50 - 70 pounds of a nice dense sweet orange flesh that will store under proper conditions for 4 - 6 months. There are several squashes that have very good storage potential and can feed large numbers of people in winter conditions. There is even a Mormon Squash which is a variety attributed pioneers. Very durable plant and prolific but with a lot of variability in shape color and size.

Most melons from the indorus group, Valencia, Piel de zapo, Honey Dew, collective Farm Women, Santa Claus and several others in the group will store for up to three months. The secret is planting for ripeness in late September and you might still have one for Christmas.

There are three varieties of Long storage watermelon as well. Typically known as Desert King or Desert Queen varieties, that have a wonderful flavor and a very thick rind that lends to good storage. They are drought tolerant and yellow fleshed.

Finally ther are a few plants I just leave in the ground and seldom harvest. I only harvest a few of my 6 varieties of Garlic leaving the bulk to grow years after year. Purple potatoes, and a few types of reds and one prolific white variety which I cannot remember the names off only get partially harvested and I just leave them year to year.

I have also grown multiple varieties of Sweet potatoes procured from Sandhill Preservation. Properly cured and stored these can always make it through the winter for May planting for slip production to plant in late June as they grow much better planted and grown in the heat of summer. Planted late will provide many more pounds of produce than planting early in the cool of the spring.

Another is the Jerusalem Artichoke or Sun Choke. Kind of invasive, I just grow them as a fall back plant. A member of the sunflower family tree, they are tubers, with delicate flavor, but they just keep on giving. I have read that no plant can produce as much food per acre as can a Jerusalem artichoke. I am always culling them back and give them away to anyone that wants them. In a pinch they can be used like potatoes and are very similar to Jicama in raw texture and flavor.

Never water from above onto leaves, use Mittleider Fertilizer and premix, and you will avoid a majority of the pests and diseases that cause problems. The secret with vining squash and protecting against moth vine borer is to bury the first three nodes in the soil by simply putting a mound of dirt over the leaf joints so that they root at those junctures. Then when the vine Borer hits it may destroy the vine nearest the crown but the subsequent root sets protect against plant loss.

For the Asian Greens that become the bulk of the winter Garden I recommend:

http://www.kitazawaseed.com/all_seeds.html

For unique Italian offerings in squash and melons and such

http://www.growitalian.com/fruit-seeds/

Best source for Sweet Potatoes and other heirlooms

https://www.sandhillpreservation.com/pa ... talog.html

and For everything else there is always Baker Creek Seed Co.


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