Why Choose Perennials For Survival?| episode 159

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Why Choose Perennials For Survival?
Why Choose Perennials For Survival?

Why Choose Perennials For Survival?| episode 159

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This week Mike and I talk all about Why Choose Perennials For Survival?

Perennials are an extension to your prepper pantry.  One that keeps on giving.

In case you didn’t know a Perennial is a plant that returns year after year. Unlike annual crops that die at the end of the season. 

Unlike annuals that usually produce in summer, perenniuals have a staggered harvest. 

Perennials aren’t even as picky as annuals. They can be planted in places you could not grow tomatoes and cucumbers. 

 

  • Whats The Difference Between Perennials and Annuals?
  • If perennials are so great why bother with Annuals?
  • Advantages Of A perennial garden
  • See Whats working In your area
  • Learn Permaculture
  • Fedges (Food Hedges) along fences and boundaries
  • Food Forests are a preppers dream
  • Learn about local wild perennials.
  • Edible Perennial list
  • Resources

 

 

 

 

 

Resources

Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, A Gardener’s Guide to Over 100 Delicious and Edibles

Permaethos

Gaia’s Garden

Perennial Vegetables List

 

 

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The post Why Choose Perennials For Survival?| episode 159 appeared first on Survival Punk.

4 Keys To Create A Gorgeous, Easy To Maintain, Low Cost Landscape!

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In spite of what many think, it really is possible to create a stunning, easy to maintain, low cost landscape. In fact, with a little planning, labor and DIY gusto, you can create nearly anything you can imagine. And for

The post 4 Keys To Create A Gorgeous, Easy To Maintain, Low Cost Landscape! appeared first on Old World Garden Farms.

9 Edible Perennials You Can Plant Once & Enjoy Forever

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9 Edible Perennials You Can Plant Once & Enjoy Forever

Image source: Pixabay.com

Who doesn’t love fresh produce straight out of the garden? Crisp, green snap peas, juicy tomatoes, crunchy zucchini and cool refreshing cucumbers are worth our gardening efforts.

But wouldn’t it be great to reap the rewards of a harvest year after year with just one planting effort? You can, with edible perennials. Edible perennials can decrease your annual workload while you still get to harvest some delicious crops.

Here are nine edible perennials to consider adding to your garden.

1. Asparagus. Plant once and enjoy fresh asparagus for years with minimal work. Asparagus can take three years to become established and ready to harvest, but they can produce for as many as 20 years before needing to be replaced. Once you plant the initial bed(s) of asparagus, all you need to do is mulch annually, and enjoy fresh asparagus year after year.

2. Rhubarb. This perennial is frequently used in jams and desserts, but it also can be used in savory dishes. The leaves and roots are poisonous, so use only the stems. Rhubarb should be divided every 3 to 4 years during the spring or fall when the plants are dormant.

Looking For Non-GMO Herb Seeds? Get Them From A Company You Can Trust!

3. Jerusalem artichoke. These are a species of sunflower with a tuberous root similar to a potato when cooked, or a water chestnut when eaten raw. They store sugars as inulin rather than starch, so they could be beneficial to those with diabetes or those trying to cut down on sugars and starches. When harvesting, just leave the smallest tubers, and you will have another crop the following year. Cutting the flowers and enjoying them as cut flowers later in the season will prevent them from spreading seeds, and the plant will put its energy into producing bigger roots.

4. Chives. Like many herbs, chives can be grown as a perennial. If you live in cold climates, then you can bring your chives indoors during the winter months. Just transplant them into a pot and put them in a warm place with plenty of light. Clean the dirt off the roots so you are not bringing in any bugs or diseases, and then plant the chives in a good potting soil mix. Use the flowers and stems to add flavor to lots of foods, including chive vinegar and chive butter.

5. Walking onion (Egyptian walking onion). This plant forms bulbs at the top of its stems, which then fall over onto the ground as they get bigger and heavier, and if the conditions are right, will grow a new plant from the bulb. You can eat the top bulbs, the green stems of the onion, and the underground bulb. Just make sure to leave some to grow for the following year.

9 Edible Perennials You Can Plant Once & Enjoy Forever

Lovage. Image source: Pixabay.com

6. Lovage. Similar to celery, lovage can be used in soups and salads, and every part of the plant is edible. Lovage is easier to grow than celery and can grow up to six-feet tall with proper growing conditions, so give it plenty of space. Lovage should be divided every few years just like rhubarb.

7. French sorrel. The broad green leaves of the French sorrel plant are tangy and sour, so you want to use this one in combination with other ingredients. Just like any other herb, use it sparingly as you get a feeling for how much you need to use.

8. Chinese artichoke (crosne). This is a member of the mint family and spreads through rhizomes underground. Just like mint, it can be invasive, so consider giving crosne its own space rather than mixing with other plants. The tubers are small but plentiful, and like the Jerusalem artichoke, flowering reduces the yield of tubers

9. Chrysanthemums. All chrysanthemums are edible, but the taste can vary widely. Garland chrysanthemum, or Chrysanthemum coronarium, is the most popular for eating because of its mild flavor. People use the leaves and the flowers of this plant to enhance salads and stir fries.

What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:

 

 

7 Edible Perennials You Should Grow For ‘Survival Insurance’

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7 Edible Perennials You Should Grow For ‘Survival Insurance’

Good King Henry. Image source: Wikimedia

Imagine being able to store fresh food and medicines in the ground indefinitely for emergency purposes, not only maintaining their nutrients, potency and freshness, but actually increasing their quantities and quality from year to year with little or no work.

This is exactly what you can do by growing perennial plants that are edible and/or medicinal. Here are some of the best ones for nutrition and ease of maintenance. Consider it your “survival insurance.”

1. Perennial brassicas (Brassica species)Perennial brassicas like kale, broccoli and collards are super-nutritious and packed with health-promoting compounds. On top of this, their deeper root systems make them more drought-tolerant and possibly more nutritious, considering they have more potential to suck up nutrients. Brassica species, also known as the cruciferous family, require full sun and a rich soil fairly high in nitrogen. Some species to look out for include Tree Collards, Sea Kale, Pentland Brig, and Perennial Five Star Broccoli.

2. Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus)This perennial green was once grown as a popular addition to salads, and is nutritious and easy to grow. It requires moist soil, preferring part shade, but tolerating full sun, and grows in most soil types.

3. Chinese toon (Toona sinensis)Although Chinese toons are technically trees, they are also an excellent salad green right away, since their leaves are edible and have a unique onion flavor, so they can be counted as a perennial green.

Just 30 Grams Of This Survival Superfood Provides More Nutrition Than An Entire Meal!

Their seeds also can be sprouted, as is done in China, for a high nutrition sprout similar to alfalfa or bean sprouts. The leaves are high in vitamin A and protein, and they require full sun and fertile, well-drained soil.

7 Edible Perennials You Should Grow For ‘Survival Insurance’

Jerusalem artichokes

4. Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus) — Also called sunchokes, Jerusalem artichokes are a prolific and aggressively spreading root/tuber crop related to sunflowers. They require full sun and plenty of space, ideally separate from the rest of your garden since they can take over. Best grown in loose, deep soil for better root production. The best varieties have smooth tubers that are easier to wash. As with beans, it is best to start off eating a small amount until your system adapts to eating them.

5. Moringa (Moringa oleifera) — Moringa is a tropical tree that can only be grown in areas without frost as a perennial. However, in other areas this highly nutritious and medicinal tree also can be grown as an annual or as an indoor or greenhouse specimen. Its leaves are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, having been used for decades by aid agencies in major plantings around famine-stricken areas to supply a wide spectrum of nutrients. Its seeds are highly medicinal, as well, and can be used to help purify water by killing microorganisms and viruses. Some say you can get seeds in one year if you start them indoors several months before the last frost and then plant them out in full sun with plenty of good organic fertilizer for the growing season.

6. Chinese yam (Dioscorea polystachya/Dioscorea divaricate/Dioscorea opposita) — This edible and medicinal vine produces a large root — up to three feet long — that has been eaten in Asia for centuries for its health-promoting properties. It is a good low-maintenance calorie crop, but great care should be taken anywhere warmer than zone 5, as the plant may become invasive. It requires full sun and a trellis to grow on, and will produce aerial tubers (small berry-like balls) that can be planted to produce new plants, or cooked and eaten.

7. Nettles (Laportaea and Utrica species) – Nettles are high in iron and protein, among other things, and also have medicinal value. Their leaves and seeds are both highly nutritious, although they must be steamed to neutralize the sting prior to eating. The younger more tender leaves are best. Wood Nettle (Laportaea canadensis) can grow in part to full shade while Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) prefers full sun to part shade, and they do best in rich, moisture retentive soil. Plant these somewhere out of the way (or in the way if you’re protecting something) to avoid the sting. Use gloves to harvest.

Final Thoughts

The best thing about perennials is that as long as you keep them well-mulched and build organic matter-rich soil, they’ll pretty much take care of themselves, giving you a low-maintenance way to continually increase your food supplies.

What perennials would you add to our list? What is your favorite edible perennial? Share your thoughts in the section below:

24 Ways to Prepare for Your Spring Garden in the Dead of Winter

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prepare-spring-garden-in-winterIt can be hard to think about gardening when it’s below freezing, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Cold weather is the perfect time for planning!

If you are thinking (like I might have perhaps thought in the past) that you can just grab a few packs of seeds from the local hardware store or super store in April or so, put them in the ground, and you’ll see something come up in a few months, well, you’re mostly wrong. You definitely can grow food during the cooler months! It’s not rocket science, but it does require some thought and planning.

Fall Preparation

Before it freezes (or at least quickly after the first frost):

1. Remove and discard diseased parts of plants. But not into the compost! (If you put them into the compost, the weeds could sprout up wherever you use the compost later.

2. Mulch over any plants that might be susceptible to the cold (about 8″ deep), including over-wintering vegetables such as carrots, so they are still alive in the spring.

3. Make sure all beds are composted or mulched. A compost pail with a charcoal filter will allow you to start your compost stash inside the house while controlling odors until you can empty it outdoors.

4. Clean up, maintain, and properly store garden tools and equipment. Note any that need replaced. If you need a new set of good quality hand tools like the ones in this kit, add it to your Christmas list!

5. If any garden tools need significant repairs, take them in to be fixed.

6. Start a wish-list of gifts you would like. The holidays are approaching!

Planning for next spring

7. Order seed catalogs. There are multiple good companies, so go ahead and order a few. You may be surprised by what you find, and really good catalogs will have your mouth watering and you itching to start digging in the dirt. A couple of my own favorites are Seeds of Change and Baker Creek.

Remember: if you want to save the seeds from the plants to grow new plants in the future, you almost certainly will want heirloom varieties.

8. Decide if you want to use cold frames or another technique to extend your growing season. Plan and build accordingly, if you want to go for it.

9. Start diagramming/planning what you want where. Once you have a very general plan – vegetable garden, herb garden, annuals, perennials, bushes, and trees planned out – it’s time to start getting more specific. A journal specifically designed for gardeners will give you room to plan your garden, journal your efforts, and then make notes about what worked and what didn’t.

10. Check the viability and test germination of any seeds you have on hand.

11. When planning, start with the plants that take the longest to mature and will be there for the longest – the trees. Next come bushes, then perennials including any perennial herbs, annuals including vegetables, and finally any potted plants.

The last would be plants that can’t survive in your area that you really want. In my case, I have some potted chamomile and an aloe plant that I bring in during the winter. Other people have lemon trees, but it could be almost anything.

12. Ask these questions for trees, bushes, perennials, and annuals:

  • Do you want to plant any new ones?
  • What kind?
  • How will planting these affect other plants you’ll put nearby? If you put in a tree that gets very wide, so you probably won’t want to plant bushes or anything long-lasting near it, but annual flowers could do great and provide a nice pop of color!
  • Are there any other plants that cannot coexist with it?
  • What plants do really well with it?
  • Where do you want them on your lot? You may realize that you want a vegetable garden near the driveway, but you need some bushes between it and your teenage driver.

13. Start picking out what you want! I think this is the most fun. I can totally lose myself in seed catalogs.

Guidance on Picking Plants

14. Decide what you are looking for, and why. I like unusual varieties of common plants, like yellow carrots or banana melons. You might prefer more traditional orange carrots. This article with advice from a master gardener may help you make these decisions.

15. Do you want to involve your kids? My youngest loves picking out plants. It makes him crazy-happy to pick out, plant, nurture, and (sometimes) eat plants. There are areas in the garden with nothing planned so he can put whatever makes him happy. And yes, sometimes he decides on a spot I know or that makes me a bit crazy, but it still goes there unless I have a really good reason not to – like it’s right exactly where the mower will kill it.

16. Don’t forget to check which grow zone you live in. Your county or state extension service might have more detailed information available, or ask at a local nursery, to get the best information.

17. If you plant an herb garden, be sure to check which weeds are considered weeds or pests in your area. I planted lemon balm, which can go crazy, but I made sure to plant it where the driveway, a brick walk, and the house formed three sides, containing it a bit. (It’s apparently a member of the mint family, and they all grow like crazy pretty easily.) Yarrow is also considered a weed, but not invasive like lemon balm. So, to me, as a not-so-active-gardener, that just means yarrow will be harder for my chronic neglect to kill.

18. Think about what you actually use and eat. I planted about 8 oregano plants a few years ago and they grew great – but I rarely use oregano in my cooking. I love the smell of lavender and it’s a slight bug repellant, so I have planted a bunch of that around the house. I am interested in herbal remedies, so I planted yarrow, several kinds of mint and chamomile. The last two are potted. One, so it doesn’t spread and take over everything, the other because it can’t survive a winter outside in our climate.

19. Use kitchen leftovers to start new plants. Since you’ve already eaten them, you know these are veggies you’ll like. Growing pineapples this way is easy, too.

Steps to Take Mid-Winter

20. Consider the weather – is it an unusually cold or snowy winter? Is it mild? If it is mild, then you probably don’t need to do anything extra to your plants, but if it is a really cold or snowy year, you might want to protect your plants better. Last year, I lost almost all of the strawberry plants that I had nurtured from a few starts over the previous four years! A layer of mulch over top of them would have kept the cold out and the plants alive, even though they didn’t need it in previous warmer winters.

21. Take advantage of the increased visibility from all the plants dying or being dormant and take a good look at your grounds. Are there areas of erosion? If so, you have a project for spring and can start researching and planning how to best fix it.

22. Can you see roots damaging walls, foundations, pathways, or anything else? Don’t forget to check the area near the septic field and the well. In the spring, have a professional take care of any problematic roots. Research a good tree service and ask for referrals from friends and neighbors.

23. Where does the snow and ice melt first and where does it last? That gives you an idea of what spots naturally receive more sunlight or less sunlight. Of course, the micro-climate(s) in your yard will be a little different when the trees have leaves and as the angles of the sun change, but this will give you a starting point.

24. It’s finally time to start planting, even with the ground frozen rock-hard. Start your hardy (early season) plants indoors. In four to six weeks, you can put them in the ground and start the next group of plants inside. A Grow Zone map can  help you determine what to plant and when, as the weather begins to warm up.

Hopefully these tips will help you and your family get excited for your garden for next summer and you’ll have a great growing season!

Enjoy the process and the produce!

This article was updated on November 17, 2016.

Homestead Cash: 23 Perennials & Biennials You Can Raise For Profit

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Homestead Cash: 23 Perennials & Biennials You Can Raise For Profit

Goji berry. Image source: aoma.edu

Homesteaders are always on the lookout for ways to be sustainable – and if possible, make some money. One great way to do this is to sell perennials and biennials.

Selling plants is one step up from just saving your own. In today’s world, we should feel a duty to help continue the succession of heirloom plants for our future generations.

First off, let’s look at the basics.

Perennials are plants that will regrow year after year and last for long periods of time – perhaps decades. Biennials are plants that take two years to complete their life cycle. You can plant them one year and collect seeds on the second year.

The Internet is my weapon of choice for selling or bartering plants. Recently, I discovered that goji berry plants are a hot item. If you have ever grown them, then you know they spread quickly. They also root and are pulled easily. I wait until the customer comes to my house, and I pull the bare root starts for them. Each start is $5, and I want them to be successful so I give extras for returning customers.

I also keep a wide selection of berry bushes and create new plants from cuttings—air layering or just covering branches with mulch to root. Most common is probably the strawberry plants. Each plant sends out shoots to grow new plants. You can either use small pots to start these shoots or let them root in the ground and pot them in the fall.

Looking For Non-GMO Seeds? Look No Further!

Seeds from rare plants can bring in some additional income. Biennials take a second season to give seeds, and most people are not patient enough to wait. When your neighbors see what you offer, they will be more than happy to buy.

Here are some favorite perennials:

1. Garlic (usually grown as an annual)

2. Globe artichokes

3. Gogi berries

4. Kale (usually grown as an annual)

Homestead Cash: 23 Perennials & Biennials You Can Raise For Profit

Radicchio. Image source: Pixabay.com

5. Radicchio (usually grown as an annual)

6. Raspberries, blueberries, straberries and other berry bushes

7. Rhubarb

Here are some favorite biennials:

8. Beets

9. Brussel sprouts

10. Cabbage

11. Carrots

12. Cauliflower

13. Celery

14. Chard

15. Kale

16. Kohlrabi

17. Leek

18. Onion

19. Parsley

20. Parsnip

21. Rutabaga

22. Salsify

23. Turnip

With so many ways to propagate and perpetuate your seeds, you just have to find interest in what you offer. It doesn’t matter that you have a small plot of land or large one. Really, the only thing to do is to look up how to propagate the plants you have and follow the directions. By next spring, you will be able to put up a sign or list on local websites what you have. Facebook is usually a great option for educating friends on plants.

Homesteaders can benefit immensely from selling perennials and biennials – and their neighbors can, too!

What plants would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:

Every Year, Gardeners Make This Stupid Mistake — But You Don’t Have To. Read More Here.

The Vegetables You Gotta Grow If Society Collapses

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The Vegetables You Gotta Grow If Society Collapses

Image source: Pixabay.com

We live in troubled economic times. A raging debt, stagnant wages, severe unemployment and underemployment, and an unsteady housing market are all signs that the economy could collapse.

Many off-gridders and homesteaders are preparing and stockpiling for an unknown future, but one often-overlooked area is examining what grows in the garden. If society collapses, it may be necessary to change what we plant.

When considering the right vegetables to grow when planning for an economic or societal collapse, there are many factors to consider.

Long-Term Storage

An economic or societal collapse may disrupt the electric grid, or at the very least make power unaffordable. With the exception of those living completely off the grid with no need for fuel, many homesteads will have to turn to traditional storage methods for preserving vegetables. Therefore, vegetables that can be stored long-term in a cellar or cold room should be part of the garden. Even in the hotter climates in the United States, cellars can be dug underground.

Need Non-GMO Seeds? Get The Best Deals Here!

Good choices for long-term storage are potatoes, onions, carrots and similar root vegetables, as well as dry beans, dry corn and winter squash.

Appropriate to Your Climate

Americans love to grow a wonderful array of vegetables that are not native to their particular climates. For example, tomatoes are the favorite vegetable to grow, even though they are perennials native to the tropics. We start them in early spring and grow them as annuals. We also do this with peppers and eggplant.

The Vegetables You Gotta Grow If Society Collapses

Image source: Pixabay.com

However, if no electricity is available, grow lights are out of the question, and many households in the north may not have enough sunlight or heat to start the plants.

So for those Americans in cold climates with short summers, opt for vegetables that thrive in those conditions. Potatoes, Cole crops, root vegetables and peas are good choices. Those in the south with long growing seasons have more choices.

Spring and Fall Crops

In most areas of the country, vegetables can be grown to maturity in the spring, summer and fall. Without refrigeration, a variety of fresh vegetables throughout as much of the year as possible is desirable. So in a typical American garden, you can get lettuce and peas in the spring, summer vegetables in the summer, and Cole crops in the fall.

Perennial Vegetables

Starting a garden is hard work — especially getting the soil right. With perennials, you can do all the hard prep work one time and then let the perennials like asparagus and artichokes reward you, year after year.

Barter

With economic or societal collapse, Americans would likely turn to the old way of buying and selling items — bartering. So look around you and your community and see if there are vegetables you could grow to barter. For example, if your neighbors raise rabbits and feed them pellets from the feed store, they would likely be happy to trade for fresh food when the economy forces feed stores to close. Or perhaps your neighbors have a few pigs, and would appreciate root vegetables to supplement their feed.

Many neighbors likely will be desperate for fresh food when the grocery stores close and the power goes out. Long-term vegetables, discussed above, would be a good idea because you could trade them through the fall and winter.

Fruits and Nuts

Many homesteaders focus on annual vegetables because they mature quickly within a few months. However, if you have the space, soil, sunlight and water, consider longer-term investments like fruit vines, fruit trees and nut trees. Once established, these can provide a bounty of fresh fruits during the summer and fall, as well as preserves throughout the year.

Conclusion

Whatever vegetables you decide to grow, learn how to do it now. It will take a few years of practice to find reliable cultivars for your area, and learn the skills of seed saving and long-term storage.

What advice would you add? What vegetables would you recommend growing? Share your tips in the section below:

Every Year, Gardeners Make This Dumb Mistake — But You Don’t Have To. Read More Here.