People in this great country of ours are storing and even hoarding food in case a disaster strikes, and going to the grocery store is no longer an option. Many folks who stockpile food just load a pantry with rice, beans, and canned items and call it a day. However, that’s not the smartest way, and there’s more to prepping your pantry than just storing rice and beans.
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.
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.
Now that it’s the peak of the summer growing season and you can find watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydew melons at nearly all supermarkets, curb markets, and roadside stands, you can pig out on the juicy delights. And each taste is made a little sweeter by the realization that within a few weeks, there will be no more melons for months and months.
Nowadays, you can find one or more certified farmers markets in nearly every town nationwide. Farmers markets are gaining a lot of popularity across the country, and you should reap the benefits of these local markets if you want to be prepared now and for the future.
Most homesteaders and small farmers are quite self-sufficient. Many raise their own chickens for eggs and meat, plant large gardens to grow their vegetables, and have sheep or goats around to keep the grass down in the pasture and provide delicious, protein-rich meals.
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.
I’ll never forget the moment when all of the stars aligned: good weather, a dead apple tree, a south-facing slope, the day before Mother’s Day—and there it was. Peeking up through the dead leaves below me was the first morel mushroom I’d found on purpose, and I beamed with pride. Since that significant day, I’ve become a hopeless, morel-mushroom-hunting addict.
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.
As chokecherries are found in nearly every state and climate, it’s no wonder that Native Americans (who really lived self-reliance to the max) of most tribes used them extensively. And, like ancient Indians, we also rely on these fruits of the wild orchard.
In a survival situation, insects are far more beneficial to harvest than trying to catch meat. But there is one type of bush tucker slithering around in the undergrowth that you may be a bit more adventurous at tackling, and that’s slugs and snails.