March 24, 2014 at 12:25 am #2232
One of the best tips I’ve ever seen for growing your own vegetables in urban environments, especially during hardship situations that endure, is to make them look like weeds. Don’t cultivate (carrots are harder to discern, if they’re growing among various weeds, for example, rather than in long rows); also, grow ones that are underground crops, so non-gardening-savvy people will pass them by, not knowing what they are, and your harvest will be protected. I learned this and many other tips from Grandpappy’s index of hard times, to give credit (can Google it). Of course, if people are down to eating grass (see Selco’s other post), they may not get a chance to mature, but you might get lucky. I also realize that some scenarios have you moving around too much to plant anything, or it’s otherwise too dangerous, so this is obviously for situations of a lesser degree of crisis.
So, this might not work in every situation, especially where there isn’t farmable land, but even a little bit of use for your seeds can sometimes be found in unexpected places. Also, radishes are underground AND have the benefit of being one of the fastest-producing crops, clocking in for my area at 21 days ’til harvest.
Another GREAT one I plan to have a lot of on-hand are mung beans. They need a little water and a week to grow a vitamin-enriched vegetable product without even any light. AMAZING! Not even dirt! Just put 1-2 T. in a jar and soak them for one night; after that, keep the jar tilted on its edge and covered with a cloth, and rinse the beans in the morning and at night. That is all there is to it, and you get a nice crop of thick bean sprouts in just a few days. I could see this being a huge boon. I am not sure how long the dried beans will be good for (that is, when they’d be too old to sprout and your stores would have to be used in other ways).March 24, 2014 at 4:19 am #2260
Good point about keeping your survival garden under cover. There are alot of plants that are eatable but don’t look like garden produce. Might be good to look at those alternatives if you are worried.
Thanks for the tip on mung beans.March 24, 2014 at 3:36 pm #2309
You are welcome! I see I left out that you should drain the mung beans after the first night’s soak, so sorry about that! The subsequent rinses should also just wet them and then be drained off, but it takes very little water (a plus, during hardship situations – and the water can be used for other things, too).March 25, 2014 at 7:46 pm #2995
Phenomenal advice on the mung beans, especially for those of us living in apartments!March 28, 2014 at 3:56 pm #4374
Good call on reminding folks that mung bean water can be used for other things. Save it until you have enough to re-purpose or filter. Maybe even get the little(er) ones to be responsible for doing that. – they need to be involved.March 31, 2014 at 4:10 am #5748
I’ve had some mung beans for several years ( I forgot how many) and they still sprouted so that would be a great storage food. I didn’t do anything to them except store them in a glass jar. By the way since everything is going to plastic I save glass jars of various kinds, especially the ones with a little rubber or vinyl seal under the lid. They can be vacuum sealed by putting them in a canister and using the food vacuum sealer if your sealer has the vacuum hose port. Even for regular storage crackers and dry things last longer and taste fresher. I usually seal in canning jars with the attachments for regular and wide mouth.
EunoMarch 31, 2014 at 4:52 am #5752
My girl , makes soups and summer Borsht with mung beans as one ingredient once in awhile .April 1, 2014 at 5:41 pm #6153
Thanks Anika! Food for thought indeed…
My wife and I grow a lot of kale and nettles (nettle bread).April 4, 2014 at 10:58 pm #6892
I have been growing mung beans they are so easy to grow. I think like all seeds if you keep them in the cool they may last two to five years. But at some point in an SHTF you can grow the mung beans and plant them so you can get more mung beans.
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