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Old 03-09-2013, 07:28 PM   #11
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We grow three pretty good size gardens between three families. More than enough for all of us. We just grow what works best in any of the three plots. And can, dry, freeze like maniacs. WE need to do more taters this year though. I've run short and I'm sad.

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Old 03-09-2013, 07:56 PM   #12
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We grow three pretty good size gardens between three families. More than enough for all of us. We just grow what works best in any of the three plots. And can, dry, freeze like maniacs. WE need to do more taters this year though. I've run short and I'm sad.
Thinkers and do-ers , that's what it takes........! Passive unless provoked..!
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:11 PM   #13
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First, this is interesting, but, unless you are counting calories this is much of a distraction. Edible accessories. A medium-sized Red Bell Pepper has about 30 calories. You men are probably gonna want 2,500 calories per day if you don't exert yourselves too much. Put it in context!

http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/10-best-seed-companies-selected-by-readers.html

And...
Good point and good link! Seed saver exchange listed #1 in your link is my favorite source of seeds, besides local. Local heirloom seeds are the best because they will have become suited to your climate and soil conditions, but they can be tough to find unless you just happen to know some country folks that have done this their whole life. They will have seeds that have been passed down for generations, hence the term "heirloom". But there aren't many of those folks left and that is another reason I like seed saver exchange.

As that way of life disappears so are a lot of the different varieties that have been passed down. I think the most extreme example would be apples, which I've just started learning about. There used to be over 16,000 types of apples. Today their only around 3,000 left. People are actually collecting different types of apple trees to try and save what are left. In the super market you see maybe 6 types? The same thing is happening with all of our fruits and vegetables just not on that scale.

Seed saver exchange is great because they have rare varieties, and many different types of various plants. One of the great things about gardening is that you can try a lot of different types of a particular vegetable. You aren't limited to just what the store sells, which often aren't the best to begin with. Stores sell items that ship well and grow fast (most economical), and not necessarily what tastes the best.

A lot of the different types of different fruits and veggies also have different uses. Arkansas black apples used to be very popular. I had never heard of them until just recently when I got interested in apples. They produce an apple that is supposedly hard as a brick and tastes bad (never tried one), but that's only if you eat it when it is picked in the fall. They are supposedly quite good if you store them until after Christmas. They were so popular not because they were the best tasting apple, but because they were the best tasting in the dead of winter which was a real treat at one time.

A little side note, having a large diversity of different fruits and veggies is a good thing from a prepping standpoint. Most of what we buy in the grocery store comes from just a few varieties. That's not good. Can anyone say "Irish potato famine"?

That was also a great point about calories. I haven't done the math yet, but the best bang for the buck with calories is probably going to be corn. Wheat or other oats might be further north, but in my climate I'm guessing corn? Corn is what everyone here used to grow the most of and has been a staple of our diet in the south for a long time (grits and cornmeal items like hush-puppies and corn bread). Soaked corn cobs used to be pretty popular as well but the Sear Roebuck catalog quickly replaced them as the most popular item in the outhouse.

From an economic and time standpoint, corn and wheat are hard to justify growing yourself. They take up a lot of space and you need a mill for flour and corn meal. Flour and meal are two of the cheapest items you can buy in a grocery store. But for prepping you really need to be able to grow and mill both.

Also for prepping, I've read that the Indians used to refer to corn, pumpkin, and beans as the three sisters. They would plant all three together. First the corn, and then let the bean run up the corn stalk, and finally the large leafs of the pumpkin (or squash) would shade the ground and keep it from drying out. The beans also put nitrogen in the soil which corn uses a lot of. That was supposedly a staple for many tribes.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:58 PM   #14
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Hock DOES have a good point- If you are planning to get seriously into doing your own food- you need to have a basic understanding of nutrition.

While I DO love my peppers, onions, squash and tomatoes- they do not carry the heavy end of the load for CALORIES. They ARE going to carry the vitamin and mineral end of things- BUT- you are going to need protein and carbohydrates. A LOT of carbohydrates, and a little protein.

Protein CAN be animal (milk, meat, cheese and eggs) Legumes are also really high (I grow peanuts and beans) But what stokes the furnace is mainly carbs. Try living on a pure diet of venison or fish- and if you are not an Eskimo (different metabolism) you are going to starve to death.

Carbs generally equal grains- rice, wheat, barley, rye, oats. A gardener may not have room, knowlege or equipment to grow, harvest and process grains. But there are two sources you CAN handle- corn and taters. Corn- grown to maturity, dried- will store well. Souce for corn meal. Potatoes- can grow a LOT of long storage carbs, MOST animals leave the plants alone- and a million Irishman can't be wrong!

The main course might be a steak- but it is the cornbread and biscuits that will get you through the day.

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Old 03-09-2013, 11:12 PM   #15
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High Mowing - organic seeds.

www.highmowingseeds.com , a place to start.

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Old 03-10-2013, 05:53 PM   #16
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How do you guys control the pests? Every year I seem to get into a war of attrition with the birds and insects... Nothing seems to scare the birds off, Ive tried all kinds of things, but here in the desert it seems food and water trumps all their other survival instincts.. (I wish I could just sit in my garden and blast them all with my shotgun!! )

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Old 03-10-2013, 06:06 PM   #17
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Thinkers and do-ers , that's what it takes........! Passive unless provoked..!
SHORT ON TATERS....we used to plant one thousand pounds of seed potato's..... we had them in every bodys corn crib that had room.... Never got rich on the diggings..... but we had taters year round..... Brings back bad memorys, having to go thru a barn full of rotting taters in the fall, and find whats left to plant in the fall......fall taters don't make like those in the spring......Ain't nothing beats fresh taters and green beans, with salt pork......
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:28 PM   #18
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How do you guys control the pests? Every year I seem to get into a war of attrition with the birds and insects... Nothing seems to scare the birds off, Ive tried all kinds of things, but here in the desert it seems food and water trumps all their other survival instincts.. (I wish I could just sit in my garden and blast them all with my shotgun!! )
The birds and four legged types ,"deer" and such , Pie-Tins blowing the winds.
Bugs , I'm asking my neighbor about that with pen in hand , they seem to have the answers!
Back at you..!
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:31 PM   #19
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How do you guys control the pests? Every year I seem to get into a war of attrition with the birds and insects... Nothing seems to scare the birds off, Ive tried all kinds of things, but here in the desert it seems food and water trumps all their other survival instincts.. (I wish I could just sit in my garden and blast them all with my shotgun!! )
##^$%$!!! I had a bunch of lettuces sprouting for the past week, and this mourning their almost all gone!! GRRR!
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:35 PM   #20
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The birds and four legged types ,"deer" and such , Pie-Tins blowing the winds.
Bugs , I'm asking my neighbor about that with pen in hand , they seem to have the answers!
Back at you..!
My fence keeps out the ground critters...

Ive tried to hang shinny noisy objects, but it works for like two days, and the birds catch on... (Like I said, I think food and water in the desert is worth the risk of getting "eaten")

My barn cats patrol my garden but they cant catch them all!
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