20+ Must-Have Seeds For The Upcoming Crisis

Brandi M.
By Brandi M. March 5, 2021 08:22

20+ Must-Have Seeds For The Upcoming Crisis

From droughts to floods, there’s no way of predicting when a crisis may attack our lives. For this reason, preppers seek a variety of different ways they can prepare themselves for sudden crises.

From stockpiling food to ensuring proper sanitation, survivalists ensure they are always ready to combat challenging times.

Here we discuss in-depth one incredible way preppers can survive upcoming crises:

What’s A Survival Garden And Why Do I Need One?

One fantastic way to combat the crisis is by investing in a survival garden. These gardens allow you to produce your own supply of nutritious fruits and vegetables.

Investing energy and resources in a survival garden provides survivalists with an extra layer of protection in disastrous times.

How To Create The Perfect Garden?

The core foundation of each survival garden is curating a high-quality seed. To ensure the perfect environment for your seeds, you need to design your garden appropriately. For this reason, make sure your vegetable garden exists in a spot that receives the most sunlight.

Moreover, make sure there’s enough space between your beds to ensure you can tread over without causing any harm.

The Main Ingredient Of Survival Garden

20 Must Have Seeds For The Upcoming CrisisAfter designing your garden comes choosing the right seeds. In reality, they are the garden’s backbone, and therefore, you should have a good collection of seeds.

They should be long-lasting and easy to store to yield premium-quality plantations.

Next, we will discuss the qualities of seeds that make them the right choice for survival gardens.

Related: How to Plant a Perennial Food Garden – Fruits & Veggies That Will Keep Coming Back Year After Year

Qualities Of Survival Seeds

Over the long era of crop domestication, experts have learned a plethora of new seed traits. The quality of seed defines its performance and growth rate.

Here, we discuss the top qualities of survival seeds:

  • These are extracted from the most delicious fruits and vegetables. Thus these offer high-quality yields
  • The diverse collection of seeds that grow on survival gardens makes planting seeds a more manageable task in your growing area. Plus, these require minimum care and space, which makes them an attractive choice.
  • The plethora of options allows you to choose seasonal as well as all-year-round seeds.
  • These healthy seeds offer growers complete nutrition
  • Pick seeds that match your food safety concerns like organic, non-GMO, and so on. That way, you ensure a healthy yield.
  • The genetic characteristics of your seeds may make a difference as well. Consider picking heirloom over hybrids to enjoy proven and healthy seeds.
  • Regular seeds deteriorate during harvest. However, survival seeds have a low-rate of deterioration in conditioning and harvesting season if stored properly.

How Are Survival Seeds Different From Regular Ones?

Survival seeds are organic seeds and are typically non-GMO and non-hybrid, making them a comparatively more popular option. Other than that, survival seeds boast a better shelf life.

You can quickly store it in a plastic bag or metal tin that closes tightly. Always store it in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Best Seeds For Survival Gardens

Here we take an in-depth look into the best seeds for a survival garden:


A winter harvest – this crop provides gardeners with a considerable amount of produce. Planting a seed every two weeks offers you enough supply to last the whole year.

Moreover, sowing a substantial amount of cabbage in winter ensures enough crops to last up to six months. You may even enjoy turning it into sauerkraut.

Related: How To Make Sauerkraut – The Most Effective Probiotic


OnionOnions are a vital ingredient in the kitchen, often grown from onion sets. However, you can grow these from seeds in four months during the growing season.

In contrast, you may cultivate the seedlings indoors and transplant them in summer for a healthy yield.

Plus, you can harvest spring onions and onion leaves with carrots when the time’s right!

Wild Lettuce

Grown in almost any kind of soil, wild lettuce boasts pain-relieving and sedative effects. The incredible plant reduces pain by acting directly on your central nervous system.

In fact, its sap is so useful that it can numb the most severe of pains. The perfect alternative to commercial painkillers, wild lettuce is a must-have product.


20 Must Have Seeds For The Upcoming CrisisRadish may be at the bottom of most people’s favorite vegetable list but secures its place on the top for being the fastest growing vegetable.

With a fantastic sowing-to-harvest of 20 to 30 days, the root vegetable allows users to harvest the vegetable before the month is even over.

Avid gardeners can enjoy a continuous harvest of radish simply if they continue sowing the seeds each day until the growing season comes to an end.


A vegetable popular in everyone’s house, the tomato is something homeowners can’t resist growing in their garden, primarily when available in a plethora of different types from current, beefsteak, and whatnot.

Moreover, if your garden lacks adequate space, you can stake tomatoes to ensure they grow vertically. Best of all, you can convert excess crops into a sauce.


20 Must Have Seeds For The Upcoming CrisisFeaturing an incredible aroma, these seeds yield delicious dark green leaves.

Typically, you use peppermints sparingly in tea infusions.

Peppermint boasts fantastic medicinal properties to treat nerves, bile, liver, and stomach problems.

Once you sow these, you’ll have to wait 5 to 6 months before you can enjoy eating them.

Related: Make Your Own Peppermint Oil – The Best Insect Repellent


Typically grown during the cool-weather, carrots offer a continuous nutritious and delicious yield.

Not to mention, you can grow these under the snow and in USDA zones 4-10. These take about two to three months to grow appropriately.


20 Must Have Seeds For The Upcoming CrisisWith the best of both worlds, potatoes are a calorie-dense crop having high proteins, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. Each potato plant offers between 4 to 5 small potatoes.

During the harvesting period, consider keeping the best ones and green ones for seed stocking.

Avoid eating green ones since they are poisonous.


Meadowsweet is a tall perennial boasting a distinctive smell and even better taste.

In Medieval times, people would crush the plant and use it as a pain reliever.

These are best grown from June to August in wet soil and are known to break a fever and encourage sweating during flu.


20 Must Have Seeds For The Upcoming CrisisCorn is one cereal crop best grown during warm weather.

Each stalk stands tall and lean to provide you with two or more ears of corn.

The trio of corn, bean, and squash- otherwise known as the three sisters- is an incredible plantation plan for you.


One of the most nutritious plantations, wheat, is high in carbs, fibers, proteins, and vitamin B. Plus, without a little bit of effort, you can convert these into flour.

Related: Turning Flour into Hardtack Biscuits With Over 100 Year Shelf Life


Calendula can survive in almost any weather, which makes it a popular survival garden seed.


Moreover, these are easy to grow and offer pretty, bright flowers alongside the seed.

The plant boasts pain-relieving properties that help prevent muscle spasms, reduce fever. They are also extremely useful in treating sore throat and stomach ulcers.


Spinach offers survival gardeners with iron and vitamin-rich crop.

Moreover, you can use it in almost any dish! Enjoy feasting on delicious leaves through the summer season by planting spinach in early spring.


20 Must Have Seeds For The Upcoming CrisisKale requires at least two months before it’s ready for harvesting.

But the benefit of sowing Kale is that you can grow it in almost any kind of soil to receive a nutritious end product.

Plant these versatile seeds from spring to fall to enjoy munching on kale chips later on.


You may grow yarrow in spring or autumn to yield a nutritious and delicious end product.

Moreover, yarrow develops pretty fast, which makes it a popular choice among survivalist gardeners. One benefit of this lovely herb is that it’s an excellent way to heal wounds.

Related: 10 Most Powerful Medicinal Plants Used by Cherokees


A super easy crop to grow, winter squash offers an incredible variety rich in starch calories and vitamins.

They also offer you excellent dietary fibers and store better than other crops. In fact, sealing them in water-tight containers allows you to store them for an indefinite period.


20 Must Have Seeds For The Upcoming CrisisFamous for assisting early settlers survive in a completely new place, pumpkins are perfect for sweet and savory dishes.

These are full of vital vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and fatty acids. Pumpkin offers a substantial yield and takes between three to four months to grow.


Grown by digging deep trenches and planting the crown into them, asparagus takes a couple of years before you can harvest them.

However, asparagus is a perennial vegetable, which means that it will come back each year.


Fill your garden up with sweet and hot peppers to change bland dishes into spicy, mouth-watering ones.

20 Must Have Seeds For The Upcoming Crisis

Related: How To Make Pepper Spray

Available in an array of rainbow colors, survival gardeners can choose whichever speaks to them.

Moreover, these are grown in warm weather and take an average of two to three months to grow.


Popular for offering an excellent yield even during frost, survivalist gardeners may grow vegetables in a row several inches apart. Beetroots will pop out of the soil two months later to indicate that they are ready for harvest.


20 Must Have Seeds For The Upcoming CrisisBeans may be of two types, i.e., bush beans and pole beans. Pole beans offer a better yield. However, you’ll need to stake them.

Moreover, it would help if you planted beans early in summer to get your hands on a continuous yield of nutritious vegetables.

Not to mention, these are rich in vitamin A, C, and K, calcium, and fiber.

Related: Get An Unlimited Supply Of Beans Growing This Tree

How To Store Survival Seeds

Survivalists should place their survival seeds in either a plastic or tin can and ensure the seal is tight and appropriate. After that, you should place it in a dark and dry place with a relaxed ambiance and low temperature.

Moreover, survival gardeners should utilize moisture-proof containers while ensuring you don’t expose the seeds to sunlight. Gardeners should also consider carefully rotating seeds to ensure you plant the oldest ones first.

Lastly, survivalists should save seeds that grow well in their climates.

Factors To Consider When Using Survival Seeds

Survivalist’s mission is to seek and store a plethora of survival seeds that meet their food preference.

Here are several factors you should consider before purchasing survival seeds:

  • Make sure your seed collection is diverse and broad. Moreover, make sure you select survival seeds that are easy to grow.
  • When designing your garden, be sure to place water lines and sources in the right places.
  • Ensure your garden is easy to expand and large enough to allow you to rotate crops throughout the region.

All in all, growing a survival garden is an excellent idea for preppers. From the ease to the plethora of available options, there’s no way you can go wrong with a survival garden.

Enjoy a constant supply of nutritious and healthy vegetables by planting all the right seeds in your garden.

You may also like:

10 Survival Crops You Can Grow Without Irrigation

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How Much Land Do You Need to Be Self-Sufficient?

5 Survival Foods Your Grandmother Used To Make

DIY Home Remedy For Bronchitis

Brandi M.
By Brandi M. March 5, 2021 08:22
Write a comment


  1. STRONGEAGLE March 5, 15:40

    Hello…was wondering why The Lost Ways is not sold also on a PDF file to load onto a thumb drive instead of carrying a large book if one should need to bug out in a dangerous situation since I live in a city.
    It sure would be nice to have that option.

    Thank you and have a wonderful day.

    Reply to this comment
    • KDC March 5, 18:51

      Anyone notice canning lids are almost nonexistent? We can grow the produce, but can’t preserve it. Vast price gouging going on. Last year, they prevented you from buying seeds, here. I’ve got all mine but the canning lids are a BIG issue. I’m saving my old lids, boiling them, and putting a layer of flex rubber on them. That should work for awhile, I hope.

      Reply to this comment
      • Brian S March 5, 19:37

        I lucked out and found some the other day at Ace Hardware. I picked up 4 boxes. They are indeed a hard to find and were last year too. Fortunately I already had several set back last year. They need to up the production. Everything is in short supply from seeds to black powder. That speaks volumes about how people are thinking now

        Reply to this comment
      • DevilDogMarine March 5, 20:12

        Amazon has plenty. 150 for $27.

        Reply to this comment
        • Grandmat March 8, 02:45

          I have been carefully saving my used canning lids for years. Last year I used some from 1983, and they sealed. Pickle jars, salsa jars have a seal that if twisted off carefully will reseal also. I was told this by a very old neighbor that they did that during the depression.

          Reply to this comment
          • red March 10, 02:02

            Grandmat: The old women when I was a kid did that. Use twice and it was usually OK. 3rd time iffy. 3rd time, they would use rubber rings and that works. Rubber rings if cared for will last several cannings. With bail jars, I use the tab rings. Once they develop cracks, they’re gone. niio

            Reply to this comment
      • Rhonda March 5, 20:14

        Get a supply of Tattler lids and rubber rings, reuseablecanninglids.com. Also available places like Lehman’s but cheaper direct from Tattlers.

        Reply to this comment
      • JES March 5, 20:22

        About canning lids, canning jars: GO TO THE LOCAL AMISH STORES! THEY STILL HAD THEM LAST I LOOKED and there was no price gouging when I was looking for them. In fact, I would check the Amish Stores for anything for living without electricity, for work gloves, oil lamps, bulk foods, replacement wood handles for tools, etc., etc. These guys are quite often VERY SMART and generous/helpful!! Recently, I bought one of their very large stainless steel “tea kettles” that are so large, as I think they generally use them to heat water for their mini-bathtubs! Anyway, I bought one so I could be sure to have something that could handle the heat of a propane or wood fire, in an emergency. Worth every penny!

        Reply to this comment
      • CelebrianA March 5, 22:01

        Have you tried looking for them at amazon.com…I just looked and found several different options for them at amazon.com.

        Reply to this comment
      • Jim March 6, 19:34

        I got really lucky about 5 years ago when the local Kroger was remodeling and they had a huge box of lids for $1.00 a box so I bought 50 boxes of small and 30 boxes of the large ones. I’m pretty well set for life.

        Reply to this comment
      • Gramma Jo March 6, 21:20

        I got all I needed from Amazon. I believe eBay had some too. Also, if you pop them off the jar carefully without bending them, they can be used numerous times.

        Reply to this comment
      • red March 8, 03:04

        KDC: We stock up on canning lids in mid-summer (zone 9, summer growing season ends for most things in May), when they’re at their lowest price. In fact, a sister in Penna grabbed a case of them for us at 1.29 a dozen, where here they were selling for 4 bucks a dozen. have you tried the Tattler rings? They’re supposed to be good for 20+ cannings. I came across a box of them and got them cheap, and traded her for those lids 🙂 She loves them, but Tattler rings wouldn’t fit our bail jars. the wide rings for bail jars can be used 3 times if care is used removing the dome lid. niio

        Reply to this comment
    • CelebrianA March 5, 21:59

      Did you choose to purchase physical copy only and not digital and physical copies? When I bought this, I chose to get both digital and physical copies.

      Reply to this comment
    • GDTRFB March 7, 16:42

      I purchased a hard copy from the The Lost Ways website.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Green thumb March 5, 16:24

    Thank you so much that was very helpful

    Reply to this comment
  3. George March 5, 17:48

    These people refuse to communicate with you.

    Reply to this comment
  4. crazysquirrel March 5, 18:24

    Surprised they didn’t mention Yams (in North America they are called sweet potatoes).
    Packed with calories and vitamins.

    Now the wife wants me to plant Hershey Bars….
    Go figure?

    Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty March 6, 21:30

      Crazy squirrel:
      Actually, yams and sweet potatoes are different plants. Everyone uses the terms interchangeably, but yams only grow in tropical climates. Sweet potatoes can be grown in most of the US if your growing season is long enough, and can be grown successfully in containers. Lots of videos on youtube about it, and the leaves are edible as well. An excellent survival food.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Ervin March 5, 18:39

    In a major crisis your electronic devices may not work. Hardcopy will always be there, survival library.

    Just my thoughts.

    Reply to this comment
  6. left coast chuck March 5, 18:56

    More blathering by Brandi. While she sort of backed into it, I didn’t seen the typical adjective associated with survival seeds: “HEIRLOOM”. To give her credit, she did talk about non-GMO and survival seeds. Heirloom has a specific meaning in the prepper world and is prepper speak for seeds that will continue to reproduce and reproduce.

    Hybrid seeds and GMO seeds, perhaps not so much. They are specifically modified so that the luckless farmer who selected monster crop yield in trade for serfdom to the seed company must necessarily purchase them yearly from the Monsanto or Burpee or one of the other large seed producers in the country or the world. My suspicion is that Monsanto is the largest commercial hybrid sed producer in the world, although I must admit that I have not conducted research into the rankings of hybrid seed companies.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Rick March 5, 19:17

    You forgot the most important one. CANNABIS!

    Reply to this comment
    • Pappy March 5, 22:53

      Believe it or not, here in Oregon, pot has no cash value. But it does have it’s own value. Pot is what we gift to friends. Everybody and their brother grows, so I don’t bother. I have bought herb twice in the last 5 years, simply for the convenience because I forgot to bring a joint or 2 with me.

      Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 6, 02:28

      Before the doo-gooders (that is not a typo) took over, hemp ( marijuana) was a major cash crop in the U.S.

      It was used in rope making, an important industry in the days of wooden ships and iron men. It was used in making bags and other products to store and carry items.

      It was used medicinally.

      It was used in making the 19th century version of Carhartt clothes. I believe Levi jeans were first made of hemp. If that is the million dollar question, call somebody else.

      While the marijuana plant that is used for industrial purposes is slightly different from the marijuana plant that is used for recreational purposes, It is my belief that there is enough fiber in the recreational m.j. to be a somewhat satisfactory substitute for the industrial grade m.j. Again, if that is the million dollar question, don’t call me.

      And, of course, if there is an EOTW event, hopefully the doo-gooders (that is not a typo) will be the first to go extinct and we can once again get back to normal life where everybody minds their own business and isn’t busy telling everyone else how to live their lives.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Brian S March 5, 19:30

    I figured I would have a few to add to this but this is pretty much spot on. Not that there isnt other things to add but this is a good start

    Reply to this comment
  9. Brian S March 5, 19:33

    Pretty much spot on. Sure there are things to add if so desired but this will get you going pretty well. Dont forget to use heirloom or ‘open pollinated” seeds so you can save them and grow the same thing next year

    Reply to this comment
  10. Jim March 5, 21:55

    Where can you get Vintage seeds?

    Reply to this comment
    • red March 8, 21:50

      Jim: no sabe. I checked and anything called vintage seeds is ancient packs of seeds, collectables. Sustainable seeds is a good site, in Chico, CA https://sustainableseedco.com/. They carry a lot of heirloom seeds, as well as newer varieties of open pollinated. Victory seeds, much the same https://www.victoryseeds.com/ Baker’s Creek rare seeds, also good. Always follow Clergy Lady. She’s been around the SHTF block more than once.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Clergylady March 6, 02:16

    I grow a large variety of heirloom ve ggies. Must reproduce true. No GMO. I have fsr more than i need but ill be sharing with family who will be growing smaller gardens and in contaibers. Seedlings will be started very soon. Already have one metal shelf up. Need another. Some of what i plant are wild and a portion is medicinal.

    Reply to this comment
    • Judge Holden March 6, 18:16

      I garden for fun and know I would have to double (or more) my garden size to make a significant contribution to my food supply. Pretty sure everybody here would benefit from you telling more about your gardens, how much labor to plant, how much time preserving, and plants you’ve found to be useful. Thanks, I always like reading your posts here.

      Reply to this comment
  12. Miss Kitty March 6, 03:44

    The only quibble I have with the article is the inclusion of wheat. True, it’s a nutritional powerhouse that most of us eat in some form every day, but how many of us have the space or the equipment to grow in quantity? While that’s true of most grains, corn is more manageable for the home grower.
    I would also suggest other “alternative” grains to consider growing – teff, sorghum, barley, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa. Many of these also have edible greens. By growing a variety, you can hope to avoid losing your entire grain crop to disease or pests that may only attack a specific crop. Again, this takes space, equipment and know-how but by diversifying you have a better chance of harvesting something at the end of the season.

    Reply to this comment
    • Ginny - in West AU March 6, 05:36

      I would take wheat to include a cereal grain suited to your area and/or diet.
      Wheat really isn’t that hard to grow (it is just a grass) and it does take up space but say an acre grown intensively is calorie dense and will feed you for some time. I can’t grow corn here as it is water hungry but cereal grains grow here as a winter rain fed crop. That applies to all cereal growing in my part of the world. On the other hand pseudograins are often day length sensitive so only grow over summer. I would probably give barley a miss as it is a lot harder to thresh and modern varieties are very prone to fungal diseases which will no doubt disappoint the beer drinkers around me. Naked oats would be ok since it requires less threshing and I love porridge.
      In most cases it will be the old adage of grow what you eat. Personally I’d give kale a miss but that’s just me. 😁

      Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty March 6, 21:24

        Agreed – kale would likely be a hard pass for me. There are comparable greens that I like a lot better.🙂
        As far as grains in general, if you are able to grow and harvest the quantity you need, they’re great. But for the majority of people who don’t have a clue as to how to do it, there are easier plants to grow for nutrition that should be given priority. Don’t forget, if you have any extras, they can be used to barter for other foods and goods.
        Another option might be to form a collective farm for labor and skill intensive crops with a couple of neighbors, trading your labor for being taught how to grow, harvest and properly dry/cure the crop. Also the use of equipment that can be expensive, as well as a share of the harvest. Obviously, it would have to be people who are trustworthy and would hold up their end of the bargain.
        A problem with large acreage crops of any sort is that they are also highly visible to any marauders – this has been an issue since the beginning of time. Security against humans who would steal your crops is just as important as protection from animals or insects. That’s another reason why diversification is important.
        Permaculture is something else to look into if you already haven’t. Hiding your food supply in a food forest will help protect it, as well as utilizing wild plants. Often “weeds” will survive diseases, droughts and varmints when cultivated crops are killed off.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck March 7, 03:11

          I recently read that kale was originally grown as fodder for livestock, not human food. Once again proving that there are too many folk wanting to tell other folk how to live their lives. If I never again have to taste kale, I can die well satisfied that I have lead a full life nutritionally speaking.

          OTOH, I am of the opinion that given its wrinkly surface, kale might prove a reasonable substitute for toilet paper in an EOTW situation. Which in my opinion, just after feeding kale to livestock would be an extremely important use of the leafy stuff.

          Boiled possum and kale soup. How hungry would I have to be???? I hope I am never that hungry. If I am and you are a neighbor of whom I am not too fond, you had better watch out. You just might replace the possum in the soup.

          Reply to this comment
          • Miss Kitty March 11, 05:07

            About the only way I like kale is in Portuguese kale soup. It’s very popular around here, brought here by the Portuguese fishermen who came to work on the fishing boats in New Bedford and Provincetown. It’s made with chicken stock, lots of onions and garlic, lots of linguica (or chorizo if you like spicy sausage!), chicken meat, tomato, beans…yum!😋 You can substitute any robust leafy green – I’ve made it with spinach, cabbage and swiss chard. Parboil the spinach to get rid of the oxalic acid, drain and rinse and add to the soup to finish cooking. Fresh or frozen is better than canned in this case. Cabbage – the longer it cooks, the better it is. Same with kale. Swiss chard doesn’t need to cook as long, maybe put it in for the last half hour.
            I’ve never eaten possum…I feel queasy at the thought of eating anything that looks so much like a giant toothy rat, but it’s supposed to be excellent and taste a lot like pork, slow roasted. Since they’re scavengers, I would rather pass on them unless I was really desperate. In a shtf situation, all scavengers would be better to avoid, because they’ll be eating God knows what (or who) and plenty of it. With the inevitable rise in disease as hygiene collapses, eating scavengers is taking too big of a chance for me.

            Reply to this comment
        • Ginny - in West AU March 7, 05:15

          Miss Kitty,
          Everything you say is so true.
          I love the idea of a food forest, just can’t get much to grow around gum trees. 🙂
          I do a bit of stealth gardening, elephant/Russian garlic can do really well just about anywhere if I plant them deep enough along with some sweet potato vines. I’m also establishing useful weeds like dandelion, plantain and nettles. These are all introduced weeds here so I’m supposed to control them but I’m finding the stock eat any that escape into the field.
          I invested in a scythe last year mostly for cutting grass around my fruit trees and it was super easy to use although it would take a lot of practice to scythe any acreage of grain. As for growing grain even a small amount will vary the diet but if that be wheat, corn, buckwheat or amaranth, or not at all, it will depend on what will grow and peoples’ comfort level in growing it.
          I grow small amounts of flax for fibre and some cotton trees as well because I like to spin. I don’t find my cotton plants use more water than the rest of the garden but grown commercially it requires vast amounts of water and chemicals. Diversity is the key as you say.

          Reply to this comment
          • Miss Kitty March 7, 22:32

            Interesting that you should mention cotton…I was just thinking about where we would get textiles in the event of a total societal collapse.
            I know cottonseeds can be used for oil, and everyone knows about flaxseed as a “health food”, so those are two dual purpose crops.
            What we need to do is learn a bit more about harvesting the fibers and ginning, spinning, rutching, weaving and other processes. There are some books available for the hobbyist that might be worth looking into. At least cotton fiber can be used raw as stuffing material once it’s dried out. Wool would be useful too, and there are multi purpose sheep breeds that produce wool, milk and meat. In ancient Israel and the Levant in general there were sheep especially bred for the thick layer of fat around the tail, which was prized for its many uses. Some sheep legendarily had to have special carts attached to them to support the weight of the fat tail – 20-40 lbs! That’s probably hyperbole, but it points out the many uses for sheep if you have the room and the desire to make the investment.

            Reply to this comment
            • Ginny - in West AU March 8, 05:47

              If you’re looking for textile plants nettles and hemp produce good bast fibres and are easy to grow and process without a steep learning curve. Nettles are probably the easiest but have a smaller percentage of fibre to plant matter ratio.

              Cotton is an easy plant to grow although in most of the US it is probably an annual where as here it lasts for years although probably not producing as much as the first year. I grow them as shrubs around the vegie garden and the birds collect the bolls I don’t harvest. There are varieties that the Native Americans grow that have a long, silky lint making it easier to spin – Egyptian Fine and Pima Long are some commercial ones, Hopi and Acala are others but there are probably lots more. I can’t get them here but it might be worth chasing up if it will grow in your area. Cotton also comes in browns and greens as well as white.Older varieties will not be GMO.
              I also have alpacas and some SheepmasterXDorper sheep which shed their fleece but as my neighbours have merinos by the thousands I don’t think I’d be short of wool either.

              Lots of other options for textiles and cordage: Dogs that have a double coat, rabbit fur, human hair, dogbane, milkweed, flax, barks, agave, yucca … obviously some are more suited to cordage than textiles but just about any animal with a coat has some uses for it’s fur or if nothing else, it’s leather.
              I’ve read your dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum) is one of the toughest bast fibres around for cordage but I’ve never tried it.
              Do a quick search on youtube on a particular plant for cordage and you’ll get lots of hits on how to process it. You can never have too much string/card/rope or thread.

              Reply to this comment
              • Miss Kitty March 8, 14:40

                My friend Heather actually has used cat hair to knit something…I think this was a while ago and I haven’t seen the actual product, but she said it was like angora fur. Very soft, fluffy and itchy. I’d have to be really hard up to consider it.
                I doubt if cotton would grow where I live, but as you point out there are numerous sources for cordage and thread. Also there is always the option of recycling. Synthetic fabrics last forever and can be used for a number of things even if they have runs in them or other damage. I think I’ll likely have to leave the textile industry to those better situated for it than I.

                Reply to this comment
                • red March 8, 22:15

                  Miz Kitty: Cotton takes about 100 days of warm weather. Pima prefers cold nights as it matures. Folks plant it when the monsoons hit, about mid-July, then harvest 3 months later. You have something better than cotton, linseed.

                  Cat fur! that’s why the longhair breeds of rabbit, cats and dogs were bred. Wool buyers would do a visual exam of each bale to make certain only sheep or goat was in it. I heard of bleached buffalo wool used to adulterate wool, as well. Like the old times taught us, there are tricks to every trade. Some are just more polite than others 🙂 niio

                  Reply to this comment
                  • Ginny - in West AU March 9, 01:05

                    These days your buffalo wool would be worth so much more to a spinner than an equivalent amount of sheep wool. Same with camel and some of the other exotic wools. How times change.

                    Thanks for the info on cotton. Because mine tend to grow for years with only a small amount of dieback over winter I forget how long it is from seed to harvest. I would really like to get my hands on some of the Extra Long Staple cotton but so far none to be found locally. I do have a nice brown growing as well as the white but the green didn’t grow at all last year.

                    Reply to this comment
                    • left coast chuck March 10, 01:08

                      There is a company here in the States selling mittens and socks knitted from bison hair. They are reputed to be quite warm.

                      After we harvested a bison in New Mexico my brother had the hide made into a blanket. He said they never used it as it was too heavy and way too warm for a heated home in SoCal. .He opined that it would do nicely if one were dwelling in a home without central heat in the northern states of the midwest but thought there was a limited market in SoCal for bison robes.

                    • red March 10, 05:34

                      Ginny: I’d like to get some churro, when we have the pasture for them. Their wool has the same shimmer as silk. I like buff wool. the problem is how to avoid being used as a horn warmer. People with buffs will put them in a corral with brush gates. They have to pass thru the gates to get to water, then back to hay. That has to be better than the good old days when Indian women would mine for the wool in mud holes, then spend days more cleaning it.

                      wild cotton is yellow-brown. There’s old Flood stories (yep, we have them, too) about cotton. It was called Rainbow, then, because it came in all the colors of the rainbow. Then the waters killed the world, but women managed to grab some seeds, white, green, brown, and saved cotton for the future.

                      checked, but couldn’t find long-staple in Australia. It has to be there, somewhere. niio

                • Ginny - in West AU March 9, 00:55

                  Yes, recycling will certainly be the in thing. Never tried cat but there really is an abundance of possibilities out there. The agave and yucca I’ve tried make great cordage but I haven’t been able to process it well enough for textile use. Maybe I’m just too soft and delicate, I really don’t like itchy clothes.

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                  • red March 10, 05:23

                    Ginny: Agave and yucca are beaten green to release the fibers. Mexico developed a press for agave before they went socialist and all science stopped. If interested, look up a short by Zane Grey called the Yaqui how a Yaqui taken as a slave in the 1920s got his revenge for the slaughter.

                    The cordage is usually only used as warp for clothes. Outer clothes, like cloaks, are all one or the other. Plump from agaves is added to whitewash or plaster to poison rodents gnawing into granaries. Cooked, it can be fed to animals, but raw it causes the brain to swell until death occurs, AKA goat-head disease. Raw yucca root peelings are the same. Roasted heart of agave is sweeter than sugar. From both, flower stalks are cooked (when young) and eaten like asparagus. Fruit of agave, roasted, is very sweet. Yucca the fruit is boiled and cleaned, then stuff. Usually deep fried, of course. 🙂 niio

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                    • Ginny - in West AU March 10, 09:42

                      Wow the horns on those churro are quite spectacular. I had to look them up since I’d never heard of them. They sound like a nice tough breed. Mining for wool in the mud does not sound like a fun pastime.

                      These crossbreds I have are purely for meat lambs but they have the easy care of cows, basically feed, water, castrate as needed; no shearing or tailing. And mostly twins. I only have a small flock of 5 ewes so maybe 8+ lambs in the next couple months. We’ll have to wait and see what survives through winter for lamb chops in spring and summer.

                      I like your story of the cotton. As I said my green came to nothing and the brown has a very short staple but is very soft and fluffy. Much is said about ginning but I have seen a lady spin her cotton straight off the seed. She made it look really simple. I hand pick the seeds out but intend to try her method.

                      With the yucca I just scrape it green and I haven’t tried the agave yet. Thanks for the info on the pulp; I did wonder whether it could be fed to stock so good to know.

                • left coast chuck March 10, 01:04

                  With regard to knitting cat hair, I gave this book to my daughter as a joke inasmuch as she is a dedicated cat person. I cannot vouch for its contents as I did not read it. I believe she told me she actually made one of the projects. Your mileage may vary as they say. I got it on Amazon, where else?

                  Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat Paperback – October 11, 2011
                  by Kaori Tsutaya (Author), Amy Hirschman (Translator)

                  On a more practical note, fine felt for hats is made from rabbit hair. I believe mercury was used in the felting process with unfortunate consequences for the folks who did the felting. That’s where the term “mad as hatter” came from. I would recommend avoiding any on-line processes that recommend the use of mercury in the felting process.

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                  • Ginny - in West AU March 10, 09:47

                    No, I’m not a cat person so no cats here except the odd feral that takes up residence in the hay shed. I had read about it and seen some yarn made from it but I think it would just make me sneeze as all long haired cats do. LOL

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                    • Miss Kitty March 11, 14:50

                      Oh, definitely! I’m allergic but that doesn’t stop me from having one as a pet. It does give me paws/pause as far as wearing cat fur clothing…angora wool makes me itch and my eyes water, so cat wool I’m sure will be a no go, but in shtf, maybe some frustrated knitter will want to trade! 😸

    • left coast chuck March 7, 03:04

      Miss Kitty: Regarding corn as the main grain in one’s diet, I have copied this from the website farmandforage.com and it is an excerpt from “How and Why to Nixtamalize Corn”

      “The indigenous people showed the settlers how to prepare the corn before turning it into a dough by first soaking it in lime water (North American Indians used wood ash water) – then rinsing the corn before grinding it into corn mash. This process came to be known as Nixtamalization. However, for the Europeans the process of Nixtamalization seemed unnecessary. After all what good did it do? Nixtamalization was probably just another superstition of those uncivilized people. Or was it? 
      What happened next is one of those untold tragedies in history. Corn became a sample diet for many people in parts of Europe, Africa, India, and China, but without first undergoing the process of nixtamalization. The result was the development, on-mass, of a life threatening disease called pellagra, caused by a chronic lack of niacin (vitamin B) in the diet. A deficiency of the amino acid lysine in the body can lead to a deficiency of niacin, thus leading to pellagra causing extreme suffering and even death. This is the risk one takes when eating a corn-based diet that has not been nixtamixed.”

      If you can say nixtamalization fast five times you go to the head of the elocution class.
      While I am not absolutely certain, I believe the name of the process comes from an Indian tribe in either Northern Mexico or the Southwestern region of the U.S. Red, can you help us out here?

      In the post War of Northern Aggression period in the South, up until WWII, pellagra was called the Spring Disease because after a winter of eating non-mixtamalized corn folks, especially young folks, exhibited signs of pellagra or else had full blown pellagra. That is a serious nutritionally caused condition that can lead to reduced mental acuity in developing young people and actually lead to death.

      Perhaps someone who has a degree in nutrition can write an exposition for this list abut the shortcomings corn has as a main staple in one’s diet. I would rather see an article based on actual study rather than some half-baked opinions by someone with no expertise in the subject.

      Lacking that, I would direct your attention to the references I listed at the head of this post. I think it is important information that every prepper should have in his storehouse of knowledge. Print the article out and put it in your prepper manual.

      Reply to this comment
      • Judge Holden March 7, 21:35

        America’s 1st great economic engine was the corn-hog-whiskey economy which developed after the revolution and lasted until the Civil War. Corn was easy to grow but that also limited its value as a money crop. One solution was to feed the corn to hogs and sell the hogs. The other was to turn corn into whiskey, the Colonials had been used to drinking Rum supplied by the British growing cane in the Caribbean, but as they became more sophisticated in distilling corn, whiskey became the most important American drink, in some places even serving as water or replacing cash. Preppers think of survival and getting by but it’s important to know that even simple agriculture can support a sophisticated economy.
        Good Southern boys always soak their corn in lye water and turn it into hominy, which has plenty of available niacin.

        Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty March 7, 22:13

        Excellent point about the risks of pellagra and other vitamin deficiency diseases. That would be an excellent topic for a future, well researched article (Claude – hint, hint😜).

        Reply to this comment
      • Ginny - in West AU March 8, 05:49

        I’m having trouble getting the web page to open. Is that just me?

        Reply to this comment
      • red March 8, 22:29

        LCC: Aztec word for the process of soaking and cleaning maize. But, the Aztec did not get to Mexico till about 1200 AD, and the process was known for about 3,500 years.

        Africa’s problem is simple, they followed what the colonists were doing and abandoned a lot of their local grains for maize. Maize produces more grain, plus is good for livestock after the ears are taken. Most of Africa’s grains are sorghum, and will have trace amounts of cyanide in the leaves and stalks till pretty well bleached out. You can fatten cattle on dead corn stalks, tho. But, in a drought, teff and sorghum will shine, and Africa is either droughted out or flooding.

        Today, varieties of maize are being chosen for high lysine. and, any southerner should know the basics of Nixtamalization. It how grits are made. Euros had plenty of options and good weather for farming. Corn is still more a curiosity than necessity.

        And!!! It was dems attacking Ft. Sumter that caused the war. Even family in the deep south admit to that, now. Dems vs the Repubs was a show of arrogance, and a lie. Lincoln had no standing to make a war and as a lawyer, he knew that. niio

        Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty March 11, 15:06

        Yes, treating corn with lye or lime is necessary, and I thought it was common knowledge. Thank you for pointing out that many people do not have this bit of information at their fingertips or need reminding of this fact.

        With any information from any source, people should do their own research as to proper processing of foods, but all too often do not want to go to the effort.

        Pellagra and other vitamin deficiency diseases brought about by an inadequate diet is an excellent subject for an article here at AAP. Many people have heard of scurvy from pirate stories, but may not know that it’s a disease and not a cuss word. (As in “Arrgh…ye scurvy wretch!”)

        There are people suffering now from vitamin deficiency diseases, so imagine what a post shtf world will look like! You can’t really stockpile vitamins for long term use, either, as they degrade over time.

        Reply to this comment
        • red March 11, 17:52

          Arr, Miz Kitty, might ye ken the way to Dame Kennedy’s Sup and Tup? ‘Tis on Nob Hill, I’m told.

          How’s the skrod, this spring? 🙂 Ours comes with a nasty stinger on the end of the tail. Bugs is bugs, I’m told. But I’d rather pay 20 for lobster than a hundred for a small plate of overcooked scorpion tails.

          WHO and others are stating zinc is depleted in over-farmed areas, including much of the US. It’s there, but deep in the subsoil. When you get to farming, remember, a cocktail of cabbage family sends roots down 8 feet to scarf it up. Fall planted under those fields of beans, field pumpkins, and maize will set a good crop. Quick graze it a few times, then let it go thru winter.

          Here, it’s summer maize, sweet potatoes, and cowpeas. Chia and a few other things love the heat. Late September, winter radishes, beets, and turnips.

          Looks like no trip to the Sierras now, thanks to harris and her stooge, biden. I need a dog and want a mountain (coated) Xolo. Best advice from fam and friends on both sides the border, do not even try. Armed drug soldiers are avoiding Indian Country but heavy in sou Kali and parts of Texas. Even dem politicians are screaming at harris and her stooge to stop it.

          Reply to this comment
          • Miss Kitty March 12, 01:10

            Scrod and lobster…ha! Can’t afford either one, scrod being the tender and mild young fresh codfish fillets $8-12 per pound and lobster going in season for $10 and up per pound, including the shell. Just the lobster meat is $15 and up…you pay for the convenience of not having to take the thing apart. The last time I ate lobster was about ten years ago.
            When we came to the Cape, we thought we would be eating seafood all the time, silly us. Well, we do if you count canned tuna.

            Reply to this comment
            • red March 13, 04:57

              Miz Kitty: I need to be hungry for fish before I can eat it. While I don’t like the price, I can see their point. Clamming and lobstering is near as deadly as livestock farming. A cousin in Maine ‘inherited’ a few lobster pots when he remarried, sharing with her kids. She cooks steak, he eats lobster 🙂 niio

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    • Ginny - in West AU March 20, 02:04

      Since you posted this I have done some research on traditional cereal alternatives and your suggestions are great alternatives, especially for marginal lands or small holdings.

      I’ve ordered some different seeds to trial in our area but it won’t be easy since our rainfall is nearly all over winter while most of the millets, teff, quinoa and amaranth are summer growing so it will remain to be seen if there will be enough moisture residue for these to produce over next summer. (I was unable to find some of that rice Red suggested)
      My plan is to inter-plant several varieties and sow twice, once in May (autumn) which is our traditional seeding of cereals and the break of the season, and again in October (haycutting, spring) after the last frosts. Some may be less sensitive to daylength so I might get some sort of harvest from the earlier planting while the later seeding falls in with the more standard planting for these crops from what I’ve read. It will be an interesting experiment either way since normally our last rains for the year are straight after hay making or during it which is not convenient. If I have enough seed I might even do several rows of each grain for comparison in yield for area planted but I will have to expand my garden space to fit it all in. To me a rainfed crop over an irrigated one is quite important as the rate of evaporation over summer is so high and some years there is enough rain for the crops but little runoff into the dams like last year which left us without good garden water all summer. I have grown amaranth, pearl millet and foxtail in my garden over the years but they all received some watering over summer with the rest of the garden so going completely dryland and rainfed will be interesting to see the results.
      Another day of 37°C today, not too bad after the 40°++ of January and February. I love autumn!

      This is an oldish but interesting YT video from India which shows them growing a variety of millets. It may be a little biased but the info is sound from comparable readings I’ve done.
      A variety of different grains is going to be essential for a balanced diet, and also to stave off food boredom which is something I’ve never suffered from.


      Thank you for your suggestion. Food security is important for everyone and we need to think outside the boxes we are trained for.

      Reply to this comment
      • red March 20, 10:51

        ginny: Teff and safflower love heat. Safflower is planted in the frost and harvested in the drought. Teff needs heat. Most desert grains like these will not do well with too much rain. Tepary beans, the same.
        Can you get Indian rice grass thru the local aggie government rep? Australia seems to like all things American and made our USDA look like idiots by doing that. I seem to recall they used to pay farmers to experiment with new things. It’s harvested, then grazed once. Plantings here usually last 20 years. niio

        Reply to this comment
        • Ginny - in West AU March 21, 02:48

          Teff is grown here so the seed was easy to get, but I’ve been unable to source your Indian ricegrass. Is the botanical name for it Oryzopsis hymenoides? I just found that on Wikipedia. I may not plant the teff and millets until early spring. Postage is ridiculously slow at present anyway so it won’t be here anytime soon.

          If you’re lucky you can get a grant to trial stuff here but the money usually goes to the businesses or companies that write the best proposals and outcome strategies rather than on the results. It’s all in the wording. It is not unusual for those businesses to put in application after application every year and fund a good proportion of what they do on their farms at the tax payers’ expense.
          I’d prefer to stay under the radar.

          Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty March 21, 03:03

        Glad my suggestions took root…ba-da-bum, shhh! 😂 Seriously, I really think some of these might work well for you. You’re lucky to have the room to try several different varieties. Don’t forget, amaranth has edible greens as well, so if you need to thin the rows put the runty ones in a salad. Teff is a type of edible grass, so it should grow well any time grass does well in your area.
        Good luck!

        Reply to this comment
  13. Stu March 7, 01:29

    Grow what your family will eat

    Reply to this comment
  14. Stu March 7, 01:30

    What upcoming crisis? Been one upcoming for ten years

    Reply to this comment
    • red March 10, 01:58

      Stu: for more decades than I have. Conservative states went from growing even in the Great Depression to lib dead zones under FDR and never changed. Dems love to feel our pain, as long as it doesn’t touch them.

      Reply to this comment
  15. Ginny - in West AU March 7, 05:47

    Alas I think kale may be too waxy for TP although it might break down quickly and it is fast growing. Maybe a pot or three near the outhouse as backup … 😉

    Reply to this comment
    • Judge Holden March 7, 19:16

      It’s an old adage that the best poke weed grows behind the outhouse, good place to keep the kale, too.

      Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 7, 22:49

      Ginny – I had to endure kale as a child, long before it was fashionable among the — ahh, well, I will skip the opprobrious terms — and thus developed an intense dislike of it ever since. Sp my memory of it in the raw state is somewhat vague. We always had it boiled, never raw. Salad in the late 40s and 50s was rare in our house unless it was lettuce in sandwiches. Most of our vegetables were boiled very very thoroughly.

      Reply to this comment
      • Ginny - in West AU March 8, 04:15

        LCC – Sounds like my childhood but in my case it was brussel sprouts and cabbage boiled for half an hour.
        Still barely tolerate the sprouts and prefer cabbage sauteed with butter and barely cooked, or raw in ‘slaw.

        Ahh, the good old days. Still we survived and thrived. Never went really hungry and always had a warm bed and a dry roof over our heads. They were the important things. And I wasn’t born until the 50’s LOL

        Reply to this comment
  16. Pappy March 8, 00:31

    I would question the inclusion of wheat as well. That takes a lot of room to grow enough to make a difference. But I wonder if there are wild grasses that could be used the same way?

    Reply to this comment
    • red March 10, 02:21

      Pappy: Wheat is a strong negative. America has a number of diseases that cause serious trouble, like rusts. Hessian wheat fly. Too much water or not enough will cause problems. Everything eats it. From the moment a grass grain is planted right thru storage, it has to be guarded from bugs, birds, deer, rodents. The only reason it took over is due to FDR paying ranchers to raise it. It’s considered the number one cause of diabetes and other health issues.

      Where do you love? Each area has local wild grains for a hidden garden. Each area has a wild rice, including the desert.

      Southeast, Texas wild rice. Northeast, regular. West, desert/drylands, Indian rice grass. Each area should have a panic grass and types of maize.

      Higher elevations, quinoa–red seeded needs to be washed well, but also deters birds and animals.

      Like the Irish discovered, potatoes prevent crop destruction by thugs, but plant several long-storage varieties to keep from suffering loss of the entire crop. Canna lily is considered the best source of starch, but north of Zone 8 has to be stored in a frost-free place.

      We have a lot of mesquite in the garden for shade and nitrogen. A plus, planted along the fence, thorns deter people from coming in. Lay a sheet under it when the pods begin to drop and harvest daily. We freeze them because of bruchid beetles. niio

      Reply to this comment
  17. red March 8, 02:57

    A good evening, Brandi! You neglected to mention wild tobacco/wivian (Nicotiana Rustica), which is a mainstay for American Indian herbalists. In Arizona, the non-domesticated type is mostly found in washes and near or in shade, but it can grow in full summer sun and tolerate light frosts and some freezes. Most types grown on reservations are a domesticated variety. Very antibacterial, anti-viral, and very strong in nicotine.

    The perfect garden is a hidden perennial or self-sewing garden. This is zone 9 A, Arizona. Wild tomatoes like Texas Wild and Punta Banda will self-sow, provided ants and birds do not steal the seeds. In the right areas, potatoes and sweet potatoes will come back year after year.

    Garlic, onions, amaranth, lambs quarters and so on. Leaves on sweet potatoes are good eating. If it flowers, let them alone! They’re toxic. Kudzu is another green with an eatable tuber few will see as food. Allow onions and garlic to self-sow. Let the best go till next summer. Asian onions (green onions) are tough and here die back in summer, only to sprout with the rains and divide as much as fifty times summer. Garlic ‘seed’ will sprout and then die back. After that, the bulbs can be transplanted in other places.

    Indian Rice grass is a perennial native wild rice that hates much water. It likes deep, dry, sandy soils, something few commercial crops can endure. One sowing should yield up to 350 lbs grain a year for 20 years. Add some local, native clover to a ‘wild’ garden and it’s got all the fertility it needs.

    We have wolf berries and salt brush in the ‘garden’ along with native clover. There are palms that can grow as far north as Zone 5 and will make fruit. Some chilis, like Chimayo are a great source of fruit almost yearlong. They do best in cooler temps and do not mind a little frost. As long as the ground doesn’t freeze, they should come back in late spring. Chia, Mexican, is daylight sensitive. It does better farther south, but most years will make a crop here. Mountain chia/Tarahumara, has smaller seeds but isn’t daylight sensitive.

    If you can’t grow mesquite, try honey locust. A hedge of either one has enough thorns to deter most human raiders. There are varieties of prickly pear cactus in each of the lower 48 states. Thorns, fruit, and young pads are all there for you. Most states well into Canada can grow a variety of yucca. Fiber from the leaves for clothes and cordage, the fruit is picked young and used as a vegetable (cleaned and stuff, boiled, then fried or roasted. The root is call Indian potato. The top is replanted to grow a new plant.

    Trees are vital. We have pinyon pines and some others that produce eatable seeds, but Italian stone pines will grow all over the lower 48, and Siberian will grow in Canada and Alaska.

    Here, cabbage is a specialty crop, but collards are survivor in all states. Winter radishes like daikon, China Rose, and black radishes give a root in winter into spring, and seed pods and stems in late spring.

    Peas are a great grain as well as a veggie. They’ll self-sow if allowed to and make a late summer crop.

    Wheat, barley, and rye are toxic to many people. Gluten is shown more and more to be the culprit in a lot of medical problems. Even more, it’s highly vulnerable to depredation by birds, animals, and humans. When ripe, it burns at a hint of fire. Miles of it have been lost to a single spark. It rusts out, is plagued by other diseases and insects.

    Each of the lower 48 states will have their own ‘native’ corn. Look for that and raise it. Calèndula will selfsow, and is the best herbal for wounds. Spinach cooked has a toxin that prevents a lot of good things. Raw, it’s OK. Amaranth is far better. Raise squash OR pumpkin. Most winter squash is sweet than pumpkin and stores better. We’ve had winter squash stored off the kitchen for 6 plus months and it was still good. In fact, they get sweet the longer they’re stored. If you can find seeds, raise 7 year melon/pie melon. Leaves, seeds, and the squash are very good eating. Sun chokes should be stored in-ground. The longer they’re there, the sweeter they get. Buy 3-year-old asparagus roots and harvest it the next year. A thick layer of cold (low nitrogen) manure over it after it dies back will make the shoots thicker and better. niio

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  18. red March 8, 22:09

    Ginny: Hey, good to hear from you.

    I’ll have to see about the dogbane, but it didn’t come up this spring! It depends on winter rains, must have at least an inch. Same with phacelia and others. yucca leaves have some spectacularly strong, thin fibers. Agaves same, and get 6 feet long. No nettles, drat it. Very tasty greens in the spring.

    Cotton is native here, but an annual. Down where it doesn’t frost there are varieties that can grow from year to year, but our Pima usually dies off once the squares open. BTW, the young squares are used like okra; same family.

    I could list the native pests that enjoy cotton, but it would take too many hours 🙂 Funny, but the pests were not a problem till cotton went commercial in a big way. Traditional growers still plant a few hills here and there in the gardens and rarely have trouble. Best things to plant near it is clover and blackeyed peas. Both provide a trap for pests by luring them into it, and the nectar draws predators. wild carrots smell strong enough to overcome the smell of cotton, as do other things predator insects like. The only complaint I hear from family in the southeast is all the cottonmouth snakes in the clover. And then, well, they only take small bites… But very telling ones! But they clear out rodents, as well, and keep rabbits out of the clover 🙂 niio

    Reply to this comment
    • Ginny - in West AU March 9, 01:32

      Hi Red,

      Thanks for that info. At least I don’t have to contend with too many cotton pests in the few plants I grow or the snakes that keep them company 🙂

      I’ve been doing some research on barks for cordage and while I haven’t found much on our local tree uses there is a heap of info on what we would classify as exotics a.k.a. trees from the US and Europe.
      Basswood/Linden and willow I’m looking at planting this winter for future use. I already have some agave and yucca well established, maybe not the best fibre varieties but what I could get locally. I may never live long enough to see them used but hey, we plant trees for the next generation don’t we.

      I’ve been picking cotton over the last few weeks although the rains last week didn’t help what’s left. They are still flowering but whether they come to anything before winter will remain to be seen. I already have a few bags of brown and white so I’m not worried and I still have a merino fleece and some alpaca in my stash so I’m not short of things to do. I’ve spent a fair bit of time researching the Arizona Openwork (Tonto) Shirt and the replicas that were made from locally grown native cotton which has opened up the whole Sprang research as well. It’s like going down a rabbit hole LOL

      Reply to this comment
      • Miss Kitty March 9, 06:04

        One of the best ways to find out about your native plants is to research the Aboriginal peoples of your region. There is a wealth of information if you dig into anthropology and archaeology texts specific to your area. Your local college may have texts available to borrow, or a professor who can offer some ideas.
        I have a copy of a book entitled Native American Ethnobotany by Daniel E. Moerman. It was obscenely expensive even though a discount retailer ($60.00 fifteen years ago) and is a dry reference book, but has a lot of really valuable information. If you live near a city, old text books may be available from time to time in used bookstores.

        Reply to this comment
        • red March 10, 05:39

          Miz Kitty and Ginny: Native American Ethnobotany by Daniel E. Moerman $14.95 USD, ebook. Everyone else wants 51-60 dollars for a used hard copy.

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          • Miss Kitty March 11, 04:46

            Yep, mine is the hardcover and at least three inches thick. It was new, but I don’t regret the money I spent. It is essentially an encyclopedia, so actual processing isn’t addressed, but it gives multiple plants for various uses, plus the tribes where they were gathered. You would have to know where the plants can be found, but any good field guide can be used for that, plus identification and sometimes processing for food, etc.
            There’s also an abbreviated version out, so check before you buy to see if it’s the right thing for you.
            Peterson field guides are excellent, too and have good photos or line drawings of the plants.
            I like having a hard copy of some of my reference materials… much better than electronic for long term use, as electronics wear out eventually. A properly cared for book will last decades, if not centuries.🙂 But you know me, always advocating for the low tech solution!😁

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            • red March 11, 08:00

              Miz Kitty: I’m going to buy a book binder (POD) some day. They’re getting cheaper and all these articles and so on, on the computer can get printed into paperback. The library is still growing. At one time, over 2,000 books, then down to bare bones. One thing I like to get is reprints from a century back and more. How Farm Machinery Works, 1906. Tools that make tools. Foxfire’s series. Cowboy Skills from the 19th century, books by ethnobotanists who worked directly with sacred persons down this way. Slattery’s Southwest Foraging. Thrift Books is a good place, as well as that one from Connecticut, Hamilton Books. Thrift, is not in stock, will look for a used copy of what you want. niio

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              • Miss Kitty March 11, 14:34

                I LOVE Thriftbooks and Hamilton’s! They’re the best sources for books I’ve found, and I’m always checking the thrift stores for oddball goodies. One of my recent acquisitions is a cookbook entitled “The Natural World Cookbook – Complete Gourmet Meals from Wild Edibles”. by Joe Freitus. It’s not a complete compendium of wild foods, but the author doesn’t claim that…he focuses on things that are abundant and widespread. Not just plants either – there are plenty of game and fish recipes. It was published in 1980 by Stonewall Press. I don’t think I’ll be trying Armadillopfeffer anytime soon, but it’s nice to know that I have a recipe for it if I need one.

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                • red March 11, 17:34

                  Miz Kitty: did you get your copies of the Lost Ways series? They take me back.

                  Have you tried skunk? Not bad, and no smell, but neither have I had it again–a cousin who had a trapline had it one year. Furs paid the taxes and the bills, but not enough for food.

                  Not to fear. while it’s not likely you’ll ever see an armadillo up near the North Pole, razorback hogs were seen crossing the ice from New York into Canada, and each year there’s more.

                  We’re picking black Schifferstadt radishes. A winter radish, they can be left in the ground. One bite, wait till the sinuses stop burning, then eat more 🙂 the seed stalks are good! the seed pods will be better.

                  I’ll be happy when spring warms up like it should, but will miss the chilis and tomatoes. niio

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      • red March 10, 05:51

        Ginny: Have you ever made a rabbit blanket? Cured rabbit skins are cut into cordage (start around the middle and work your way out 🙂 the strings of skin and fur are soaked, then twisted into furry cords, then woven using that cordage we spoke of. Very warm, but almost airy enough for summer use.

        Research! I like doing research. But then, I can sit down and be occupied for hours doing five thousand piece picture puzzles or piecing together tiles for pictures, field stone into a dry wall. niio

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        • Ginny - in West AU March 11, 00:36

          No, but it sounds like a lovely blanket.
          Ditto with the research.

          Installing a new poly tank today for stock water, a second 32k litre. The rains last week filled 3 dams so we now have plenty of nice fresh water. The next tank is a 200k litre tank/liner for rain water so I’m saving my pennies for that. Hopefully that will be the last I have to buy for a while.

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  19. red March 21, 19:03

    Ginny: radar, yep.Government researches have a bad habit. Better to do the wrong thing than nothing. There’s no kickback scams trying to work with small businesses.

    Yes, it’s an Oryzopsis. If I can, how would I send some to you? I’m checking for international shippers.
    How does it compare to Australian woolybutt grass? niio

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