One important rule of organic gardening states that you should rotate plant families as much as possible from one season to the next, so that related crops are not planted in the same location more than every three years or so.
To depend on your garden to feed your family, you must plant staple crops, the foods that are essential to human survival. The ideal staple crops for increasing food self-sufficiency should be easy to harvest and store, provide high yields, and be calorie-dense to give you the food energy from carbohydrates that you require each day.
Lufa sponges (Luffa aegyptiaca, synonym L. cylindrica) are commonly found in health-food stores, where they are sold as exfoliators and displayed alongside soaps, shampoos, and other bathing supplies. It’s common to mistake a luffa for a sea sponge, but it’s actually a gourd that you can grow and process in your own backyard.
Growing nuts can be a long-term endeavor, but it’s not always the case. For example, you can plant, nurture, and harvest a crop of peanuts in only a few months. Some, like walnuts, take longer to become productive than others, such as almonds, which can take a few years.
Cover crops are not just for large, commercial farming operations. Even on small farms and home garden plots, this regenerative technique works wonders on the soil.
Before the pandemic, our garden center organized some courses, and since I’m an old-time gardener, I decided to attend, just to see what new things I could learn. One particular session sparked interest among the attendees, the one about microclimates and how these microclimates can influence our gardens.
As a person who loves to be self-sufficient, I’m satisfied when I can provide meals from food I’ve hunted, caught, raised, or harvested. I provide many meals of fish and wild game for my family, and almost all those dishes are accompanied by vegetables I’ve grown in my garden.
Scientists now agree that cartoonist E.C. Segar chose spinach as Popeye’s secret weapon not because it was high in iron—as most of us thought—but because it was high in vitamin A. To be fair, spinach is higher in iron than most vegetables, although plant-based iron is not well absorbed by the body.
Tall raised beds are a perfect solution for gardeners who are physically disadvantaged but can offer real advantages to all gardeners, as they provide real scope for fertility and healthy root development.
In the first part of this article, we talked about how fruit seeds can be successfully sown to grow your own plants. Learning to make do with what’s available is a good habit because not only it teaches you to be frugal, but it also helps you figure out ways to outlast a crisis much easier.
The part of a plant that contains its seeds is technically the fruit. This means that the avocado is a fruit, and so is a peanut or an almond. The seeds you find within fresh fruits are the best you can buy to start your own plants.
One of the most versatile of root crops, carrots (Daucus carota ssp. sativus) are delicious raw or cooked and deliver an impressive list of nutrients, especially beta-carotene, in colorful packages—from the familiar orange to purple, crimson, pink, white, and yellow as well as two-tones such as purple with an orange core.
Garlic is one of the oldest cultivated plants we know of and is believed to have originated in central Asia more than four thousand years ago. Over the centuries, garlic was used as food, medicine, and even as a money substitute. It was even used in various mysticism and enchantment practices throughout the world.