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19 December 2006 @ 04:01 pm
Food security  
I think one of the best things anyone can do to prepare for extended future disasters like is to plant perennial food crops in their yards and on vacant land. Nut trees are especially good, including chestnuts, hickories, oaks, and for more southern areas, pecans and almonds, as these can provide protein in a fairly easy to store form. Chestnuts especially grow quickly and bear early (7 to 10 years), although the nuts don't keep as well and are largely carbs. People can get most of their yearly calories from them though, as they can be dried and ground into flour (which doesn't have gluten), so plant chestnuts! The best yields and largest nuts are from Chinese chestnuts or hybrids, the sweetest taste from American chestnuts, but they (American) are currently still extremely vulnerable to blight, which doesn't much bother the Chinese. Maybe plant one of each, as chestnuts need another tree for pollination anyway, and then there will be a local source for others who want to start their own trees. I intend to post more on this community on other food plants if I get a good response or questions on this post, so if you want to know more from someone who has spent WAY too much time learning about this stuff, ask away...:)
trilobitekid: trilobite4strilobitekid on December 21st, 2006 03:47 am (UTC)
Consider Jerusalem artichokes
Hello, I'd agree with much of your sentiment, but nut trees take a long time to grow. I planted a dozen chestnut trees 3 years ago and now only about 4-5 are alive, just a few inches taller than when they were planted. My personal favorite easy to grow plant is the jerusalem artichoke. This is a ten foot tall American sunflower, with blossoms about 2-3 times the size of those of black-eyed Susans'. It produces lots and lots of edible roots.
Corrieblue_chicory on December 22nd, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
Yes they do take a relatively long time to establish, but I consider them as a gift to my children and grandchildren and a gift to myself in my old age, like all the things we have recieved from the past. Odd that your chestnuts aren't doing well, the ones I planted are shooting up like weeds. Where are you located at, and can you think of anything that might be affecting their growth? A friend had a 20 foot chestnut that wasn't bearing because it had no pollination, and the 2 year old plant I planted next to the mature one started flowering at 5 years and enabled the older tree to bear a couple 5 gallon buckets of nuts (without outer hulls) this last fall.
trilobitekid: trilobite3strilobitekid on December 23rd, 2006 01:04 am (UTC)
zone 7
I think it is the soil. We have a really sticky, rocky, heavy red clay soil which stunts a lot of plants. Oaks, pines, cedars, blackberries, persimmons and hickory nuts do much better than chestnuts and fruit trees. The only place which really has good soil is the garden and that's because I've been ploughing in hay, roughage and manure for a few years.
ewtikins on December 23rd, 2006 11:50 am (UTC)
I'd agree that planting suitable perennials is important. I also think it's fairly important to learn which edible plants grow in your area, and how to identify them.
pubwvj on December 26th, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
Having hardy livestock that can convert pasture to high value food is another important thing and those same animals create valuable manures for the garden.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Years!

-Walter & Family
Sugar Mountain Farm
in Vermont