The 24 Highest Calorie Vegetables for Your Survival Garden

Rich M.
By Rich M. September 30, 2019 07:52

The 24 Highest Calorie Vegetables for Your Survival Garden

Whoever came up with the idea of gardening, way back in the caveman days, surely did a favor to those of us who live a life of disasters preparedness. While the idea of having a stockpile of food and other supplies is perfect for short to medium-term survival situations, the true long-term survival situations, those which we refer to as TEOTWAWKI events, will surely require us growing our own food.

Have you really thought of what that will mean? Most of us plan on relying on gardening in that situation. While I have no problem with the idea of gardening, I have to ask if the gardening we have in mind is going to be enough. Will it provide us with everything we need?

There has been a trend for years in the nutrition industry to push us more and more towards vegetarianism. The idea of living off of nothing but vegetables probably appeals to people like this, but that doesn’t necessarily make it right. While vegetables may be great for providing us with a variety of necessary micronutrients, they aren’t known for providing a lot of calories. That’s why people on diets tend to eat a lot of salads and other green leafy vegetables.

Yet, if our survival diets are going to be limited to what we can grow, we’re going to need to get those calories somehow. Micronutrients are great, but they don’t provide the calories for our bodies to burn. That comes from carbohydrates and most of the carbohydrates we eat come from grains.

There’s a problem with that though. Few of us are thinking of growing much in the way of grains, just vegetables. Grains take a lot of room to grow, more than most of us are planning on using for our gardens. But without those grains, where are we going to get enough calories for our bodies to consume, allowing us to do the work of survival?

Fortunately, there are some vegetables which do provide a fairly high amount of calories. They’re not going to energize you as a chocolate cake might, but they will provide you with enough energy to keep going. So, it’s important to make sure that your survival garden has a goodly amount of these energy sources as well.

Related: How to Keep Grains Edible and Fresh for Over 40 Years With Nitrogen

Fruits

The 24 Highest Calorie Vegetables for Your Survival Garden

Fruits are usually higher in calorie than vegetables. That’s because pretty much all fruits produce fructose, a type of sugar. They are also good for some sorts of vitamins. In addition, fruits are known as a good source of fiber, which is necessary for the gastrointestinal system.

Fruits can also be preserved, whether it be by canning or by drying, making it possible to harvest your fruit and have it last all year long. When you don’t have cookies and junk food to eat, that fruit is going to provide the “sweets” your family craves, all because of that fructose.

  • Prunes (dried plums) provide 209 calories per half-cup;
  • Raisins (dried grapes) provide 247 calories per half-cup;
  • Avocado (yes, it really is a fruit) has 192 calories per half-cup in pulp form;
  • Tamarind has 144 calories per half cup of pulp;
  • Apples vary by type, but can contain as much as 118 calories per half-cup.

Roots

The 24 Highest Calorie Vegetables for Your Survival Garden

If we limit ourselves to just actual vegetables, we find that most of the big calorie holders are root vegetables. This should be obvious to us, considering the number of potatoes we eat. Potatoes are the side-dish of choice, served in all of our fast-food joints.

Of course, potatoes aren’t all that popular amongst the health-food crowd, perhaps because they aren’t packed full of other nutrients. But then, we’re talking about getting enough calories here, not about getting enough vitamins and anti-oxidants.

  • Those potatoes have about 250 calories per cup as mashed potatoes or French fries;
  • Whole potatoes, with the skin, hold about 212 calories per cup;
  • Sweet potato (mashed) carry 249 calories per cup;
  • Taro root has 187 calories per cup;
  • Parsnips, which are a lot like a white carrot, have 100 calories per cup;
  • Carrots aren’t as good, but still have 52 calories per cup;
  • Turnips come in pretty low at just 36 calories per cup;

Beans

Beans are already a favorite survival food to stockpile, because they are a good non-meat source of protein. Well, they’re more than that, as beans are a great source of calories as well. As with grains, you’d probably need to devote a large part of your gardening to beans, in order to have enough; but at least they’ll provide you with lots of calories.

Another nice thing about beans is that they are relatively easy to grow and there are lots of varieties of them. They can be used fresh or dried, which serves very well to preserve them. Dried beans, like grains, have been found in many ancient tombs, left there as food for the spirit as it passes through the underworld. Better that we eat them in this world.

  • Pinto beans have the most energy, at 341 calories per cup;
  • Black beans come in right after that, at 340 calories per cup;
  • Chickpeas, which are common in Middle Eastern food, provide 286 calories per cup;
  • Soybeans have 254 calories per cup;
  • Lentils have 230 calories per cup;
  • Lima beans contain 209 calories per cup;
  • Peas give you 144 calories per cup;

Related: 10 Survival Crops You Can Grow Without Irrigation

And Other Things

Of course, there are many other things which fall into the general category of vegetables, which aren’t root crops or beans. By and large, these don’t provide as many calories; but some will surprise you. You just have to realize that you need to combine these with other vegetables and not just depend on them alone for all your calorie needs.

Corn is one of the best. Depending on who you talk to, corn is either a grain or a vegetable. Either way, the whole kernels of corn will provide 185 calories per cup. Corn is relatively easy to grow too. It is pollinated by the wind, so never try growing corn in just a row. Rather, plant an area, so that the wind can drive the pollen from one plant to another.

Squashes are pretty good as well; although not as high calorie as root vegetables.

  • Zucchini, which grow like crazy once you get them going, provide 113 calories in a cup. For survival, it’s best to let them grow much larger than what you get in the grocery store;
  • Butternut squash gives you 63 calories per cup;
  • Acorn squash has 56 calories per cup;
  • Pumpkin will provide 30 calories per cup. Good thing they are large;
  • Eggplant comes in pretty low at only 20 calories per cup;

One nice thing about these squashes, like the root vegetables, is that they store amazingly well, if kept in a cool place, like a root cellar. So, unlike some other sorts of vegetables, you won’t have to can them, merely have a root cellar to keep them in.

You may also like:

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Rich M.
By Rich M. September 30, 2019 07:52
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40 Comments

  1. Steve September 30, 12:38

    Your video with the two nails next to a plant is not working

    Reply to this comment
  2. dp September 30, 12:57

    Good article Rich…

    definitely, some food for thought. 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  3. Wannabe September 30, 13:47

    I can tell you who came up with gardening. The same one who created plants. His name is God. Genesis 1:15 says,” The Lord God took the man(Adam) and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” And I will say the oldest profession known to man is not prostitution it is farming.

    27
    1
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  4. Miss Kitty September 30, 17:53

    White potatoes actually have a lot of vitamis. According to the Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, 3 1/2 oz of regular baked potato (1/2 of an average potato) has 109 calories, 25g carbs, 27mg of magnesium, 13mg of vitamin C, and a whopping 418 mg of potassium. A banana only has 396 mg of potassium.
    If you have access to cows or goats you can survive on potatoes and dairy if need be.

    However, as was discovered during the Irish Potato Famine, it’s best to diversify in case of a blight or other crop failures.

    Reply to this comment
  5. left coast chuck September 30, 18:40

    I’m not a nutritionist. Have never portrayed one on TV. In reading the book, “Paddy’s Lament” which was about the potato blight in the 19th century in Ireland. That blight caused such a drop in population, Ireland did not recover the population it had before the potato blight until the latter part of the 20th century.

    The population drop was due to emigration from Ireland and the starvation suffered by the tenant farmers.

    Back to the potato. The author stated that the reason the blight was so devastating was because the potato was the primary food source for the tenant farmer. It had no export value as it was grown in almost all the countries in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

    According to the author, the Irish tenant farmer lived on potatoes, mustard greens and the occasional egg from his chickens. All other grains and meat sources were exported from Ireland. In the nineteenth century, Ireland was a major exporter of farm products in the world.

    It was that author’s opinion that the diet had just enough trace elements in it to prevent the nutritional diseases that have plagued poor people through the centuries.

    In that book the author set forth the quantity of potatoes the average adult male consumed in a day and while I don’t remember the quantity, it was impressive at the time I read it.

    He didn’t have to worry about getting fat. In the mid 19th century most farm work was still done by horse drawn devices or by hand. The Irish tenant farmer didn’t have the money to work his land with a horse, so he tilled his fields by hand, keeping him lean.

    Reply to this comment
    • Prepper In Training September 30, 21:26

      LCC.. you failed to mention anything about radio.. I can imagine you harking back to yesteryear, reliving your days on the radio, or maybe in front of it dreaming about being a radio star. Come on.. admit that you were the nutritionist referenced on some old Cream of Wheat commercial.. P:

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck September 30, 23:26

        No, I was never a radio announcer, however, like every boy I knew of my age, I was an avid listener to the adventure serials that were on in the afternoon just before dinner hour: Sky King, Sgt Preston of the Yukon and His Wonder Dog (senior moment); Bobby Benson and the B—B Boys, The Green Hornet and his Sidekick Kato.

        In the evening, of course, it was The Shadow; Mr. Keene, Tracer of Missing Persons; The Lone Ranger and his Faithful Indian Companion, Tonto; I am sure there were others, but right now I can’t recall them.

        Reply to this comment
        • Idaho Del October 1, 05:23

          I may be a bit older than you but I can well remember Sgt Preston and his wonder dog KING. Hope that helps.

          Reply to this comment
          • the October 1, 20:52

            Idaho Del,

            I may be a bit older than you but I can well remember Sgt Preston and his wonder dog KING.

            I remember them also; but, we occasionally watch those old TV shows now. If you get FETV (Family Entertainment TV) [Dish channel 82] Preston & King are on every morning @ 0400 & 0430, followed by that other wonder dog: Lassie.

            Reply to this comment
          • left coast chuck October 1, 20:54

            Idaho Del: Thanks for the prompt. I had an idea that his wonder dog was King, but it was too dim a recollection to add it as the title of the show.

            Did you listen to any of the other shows?

            I would be surprised if you are older than I. I’m like Uncle Billy. Uncle Billy was celebrating his 100th birthday and was being interviewed by a young reporter from the local paper.

            “Uncle Billy, I understand you don’t have an enemy in the world” said the reporter.

            “‘ ‘Ats right. Sonny.”

            “Uncle Billy, what do you owe that too?”

            “Heh heh heh, That’s easy, Sonny. I outlived all ’em sumsabitches.”

            I’m not quite at 100 yet.

            Reply to this comment
  6. IvyMike September 30, 23:27

    I’ve been vegetable gardening most of my life. Wish I could say I’m good at it. Sometimes everything goes great and I’m spreading a beautiful bounty of organic vegetables around to my friends. A lot of times, let’s just say it’s aggravating and everybody is going without.. Definition of gardener: one who doesn’t mind sweating, pulls a lot of weeds and is p’d off most of the time. What’s easy to grow? If I can grow it, it’s pretty danged easy. Potato and sweet potato. Okra, squash, and black eyed peas. Peppers. I grow dill and fennel in my butterfly gardens, and those are easy. Corn is surprisingly easy, and have no doubt that corn is a grain, corn is a grass and the seeds of grass are grain.
    I haven’t sent my DNA to 23 and Me but I’m pretty sure I’m 100% Irish cause I love taters, beer, and (like Jonathan Swift) red headed women.

    Reply to this comment
  7. left coast chuck September 30, 23:37

    I have mentioned this before about corn and think it is important enough to include with this article: “After the discovery and exploration of the Americas, corn was grown by settlers and all around the world. The natives who had originally grown it would treat it with lime, but the taste was unpleasant to the Europeans and they omitted this part of the preparation. As corn was increasingly farmed, the disease pellagra began to spread. Symptoms included diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and finally death. Many people believed that corn was in some way toxic, but could not explain the lack of pellagra among native New Worlders. After thousands of deaths, it was discovered that corn, although high in carbohydrates, lacked vitamin B3 (niacin). Farmers would sometimes eat little other than corn and succumb to the deficiency. The Native Americans had actually been using lime as a way of adding vitamin B3. Today it is well known that by eating a variety of foods vitamin B3 is freely obtained and pellagra is easily treated.”

    Like scurvy and beri beri, pellagra is a nasty disease. It can lead to death.

    With our varied diet these days, one must actually work hard at it to develop the vitamin deficiencies that create those three conditions.

    Indeed, pellagra was once endemic in the poorer states of the U.S. South, such as Mississippi and Alabama, where its cyclical appearance in the spring after meat-heavy winter diets led to it being known as “spring sickness” (particularly when it appeared among more vulnerable children)

    I should add, meat-heavy and corn-heavy. Corn meal, corn mush, corn dodgers, corn pone — I can’t think of all the ways that tenant farmers in the south prepared and ate corn products.

    I read about an ill-fated arctic expedition where all but one of the members of the expedition died. During the winter they couldn’t get out of the cabin to hunt and although there were animals on the island where they were marooned, they were ill-equipped to spend the winter on an arctic island and were unable to hunt and as a result developed scurvy and died. Apparently fresh meat contains enough vitamin C to prevent scurvy. Dried meat and preserved meat does not. It has to be fresh meat.

    Scurvy is another nasty condition and you are miserable until you die.

    Reply to this comment
    • dp October 1, 01:48

      Corn is hard to digest in it’s natural form. While it stores well as raw kernels it should be ground and used as meal or flour in order to get the nutrients out of it.

      The reason is that most people do not chew their food long or well enough, and if corn is not broken down by chewing properly it passes right through the digestive system. Plus it is not a great food source to begin with.

      Some foods which many people do not consider are things like dandelions, cat tails, bamboo, poke, and others that can be basically planted in unused areas and allowed to grow unattended. I may be wrong, but I recall reading once that dandelions were actually imported as a food crop originally, but fell out of favor, and are now just considered a weed.

      These edible weeds could actually be planted among your “regular crops”, and would reduce the amount of work spent weeding the garden.

      Reply to this comment
    • Mic Roland October 1, 20:35

      Native Americans soaked their dry corn kernels in wood-ash water. That was the “lye”. Doing so not only softened the tough outer shell of the kernel, but it chemically altered the nutrients such that the B vitamin became absorbable by the human digestive system. Without such treatment, the B vitamins stayed insoluble, hence the deficiency.

      Such wood-ash treatment is also part of making the corn-meal dough for tortillas. Southerners know such treated kernels as hominy.

      Corn sufficed the Native Americans rather well. Non-NativeAmericans liked to skip the lye step, to their detriment.

      Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper October 2, 03:01

        Mic Roland,

        Native Americans soaked their dry corn kernels in wood-ash water. That was the “lye”. Doing so not only softened the tough outer shell of the kernel, but it chemically altered the nutrients such that the B vitamin became absorbable by the human digestive system. Without such treatment, the B vitamins stayed insoluble, hence the deficiency.

        Growing up in the Appalachian range of western Pennsylvania we both made this and purchased it. Hominy was often a side dish for lunch or dinner instead of corn or peas. The process for making this is called nixtamalization

        Southerners know such treated kernels as hominy.

        So do some northerners as explained above. What southerners did was dry the hominy and grind it into ”Grits” that often replaced potatoes (like hash browns) for breakfast or lunch.

        Corn sufficed the Native Americans rather well. Non-NativeAmericans liked to skip the lye step, to their detriment.

        It was only to their detriment if they were trying to live on corn alone.
        The B vitamins are available in meats, especially the liver, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and dark, vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kai-lan also known as Chinese broccoli or Chinese kale. It may also be found in Barley and lentils.

        Reply to this comment
  8. Stumpy October 1, 00:24

    From my understanding Quinoa is the only complete food that there is. According to what I have heard you can live your entire life on it. Ah, maybe also something else every now and then for a change of pace.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck October 1, 02:12

      I don’t know if it is totally complete, but I read some place that it was the raison d’etre for the Inca empire. It was the mainstay of their diet. It was the reason they were able to subdue the tribes around them.

      However, I don’t know how hard it is to grow. The climate in Peru ranges from steaming Amazonian jungles to sere high altitude plateaus and I guess every kind of clime in between.

      Reply to this comment
      • red October 1, 19:50

        Quinoa liked cool weather. https://www.offthegridnews.com/survival-gardening-2/tips-for-growing-your-own-quinoa/ Rain on maturing seed heads can cause it to sprout on the plant. It should do OK anywhere its cousin, the beet does. Best one to grow is the red seeded, because it has a coating of saponine, which kill insects and deter animals from eating it. It takes 2-3 washings to remove.

        Good points on corn! I didn’t know that, but we use far more corn flour (treated with lye to remove the hull) than cornmeal. Corn flour can be stored over long periods than other flours. the lye deters insects like millers, and the germ is gone, so it can’t go rancid. niio

        Reply to this comment
  9. MsKYPrepper October 1, 01:08

    I would add nuts. Peanuts, sunflowers and chestnuts grow about everywhere. Chestnuts are perennial. Nuts are a source of calories, store well AND add needed fat.

    Reply to this comment
  10. The Ohio Prepper October 1, 02:05

    While I have no problem with the idea of gardening, I have to ask if the gardening we have in mind is going to be enough. Will it provide us with everything we need?

    You may be thinking of a typical urban / suburban garden

    On a rural homestead that has a large diverse garden, you may also see chickens, goats or cows, and perhaps some rabbits.
    Also hunting of small game or the occasional large game animal helps to put both calories & protein on the table.

    There has been a trend for years in the nutrition industry to push us more and more towards vegetarianism. The idea of living off of nothing but vegetables probably appeals to people like this, but that doesn’t necessarily make it right. While vegetables may be great for providing us with a variety of necessary micronutrients, they aren’t known for providing a lot of calories.

    Perhaps that trend is pushed in the large cities or by the media; but, I can tell you that here in the rural regions we recognize that the word ”Vegetarian? is an old native American word, that loosely translates to ”Lousy hunter”
    While some fast food restaurants are playing around with various veggie burgers, I suspect the likes of Wendy’s and McDonalds will not be giving up their meat entrees, nor will ”Burger King” be changing its name to ?Veggie Burger Queen.” any time soon.
    If we look at the fossil & anthropological records, we see early modern human populations start to explode when we start seeing cutting tools and piles of animal bones, indicating that early man made great leaps once those additional calories and proteins were available
    They were not called ”Hunter Gatherers” because they only hunted for plants.

    Yet, if our survival diets are going to be limited to what we can grow, we’re going to need to get those calories somehow. Micronutrients are great, but they don’t provide the calories for our bodies to burn. That comes from carbohydrates and most of the carbohydrates we eat come from grains.

    That’s where we need other sources like honey or tree syrups made from various tree saps, with maple being the most well known.
    Also, for calories we should not rule out fats, since whether animal or vegetable they are a dense source of calories, 225% more than carbohydrates per gram (9 vs. 4)

    There’s a problem with that though. Few of us are thinking of growing much in the way of grains, just vegetables. Grains take a lot of room to grow, more than most of us are planning on using for our gardens. But without those grains, where are we going to get enough calories for our bodies to consume, allowing us to do the work of survival?

    Actually we grow corn and buckwheat here, and even dent corn can be milled into meal for making human foods.
    Wheat can also be easily grown by simple casting; but, one needs to have the tools and know the techniques for harvesting, and threshing.
    You also have to know how to prepare the grain by either grinding into flour or sprouting, for another nutritious food source.

    Fruits can also be preserved, whether it be by canning or by drying, making it possible to harvest your fruit and have it last all year long. When you don’t have cookies and junk food to eat, that fruit is going to provide the “sweets” your family craves, all because of that fructose.

    Fruits can be preserved in many ways; but, don’t rule out your “Junk Food”, since cakes, pies, and cookies are still rather easy to make, and can help fight food fatigue, that a mostly garden based diet could cause.

    If we limit ourselves to just actual vegetables, we find that most of the big calorie holders are root vegetables. This should be obvious to us, considering the number of potatoes we eat.

    We’ve never had great success with potatoes; but, we’ve never put in a lot of effort and focus, that a post SHTF lifestyle would bring. I know others who have great success so with some work it’s achievable.

    Sweet potato (mashed) carry 249 calories per cup

    And even more with better taste when you add brown sugar, maple syrup/sugar, or honey.

    Parsnips, which are a lot like a white carrot, have 100 calories per cup

    These can be boiled, mashed and cooked like potatoes, and while not as good as potatoes, are not too bad with some added items like onions.

    Carrots aren’t as good, but still have 52 calories per cup

    Actually, chopped and added to shredded cabbage with some sugar and vinegar dressing, these can make a tasty, somewhat healthy side dish. The Beta Carotene in the carrot that gives it the orange color is converted to vitamin A by the body

    Turnips come in pretty low at just 36 calories per cup

    And IMHO not my favorite, so don’t waste garden space on these.

    Beans
    All of the following are pretty good to the taste and easy to grow; but, personally I think soybeans have to be processed too much to be of use and they can mess with hormone balance. The calories are per cup; but, it was unclear of that cup was cooked or dry.
    • Pinto beans have the most energy, at 341 calories
    • Black beans come in right after that, at 340 calories
    • Chickpeas, which are common in Middle Eastern food per cup;
    • Soybeans have 254 calories
    • Lentils have 230 calories
    • Lima beans contain 209 calories
    • Peas give you 144 calories

    Corn is one of the best. Depending on who you talk to, corn is either a grain or a vegetable. Either way, the whole kernels of corn will provide 185 calories per cup. Corn is relatively easy to grow too. It is pollinated by the wind, so never try growing corn in just a row. Rather, plant an area, so that the wind can drive the pollen from one plant to another.

    Corn seed is a vegetable, a grain, and a fruit.
    • It’s a vegetable because it is harvested for eating
    • Sweet corn at the milk stage may be considered a fruit.
    • Corn seed is a grain because it is a dry seed of a species of grass.

    Squashes are pretty good as well; although not as high calorie as root vegetables.

    Squash are one of those versatile vegetables that may be eaten raw, baked, or used as an ingredient in casseroles and breads.
    Zucchini bread is one of my favorites, and a good way to use up that almost invasive plant.
    One year we had a hail storm hit the garden and shred a lot of the plants. We had to replant some; but, I think each little bit of zucchini sprouted into another plant. That was a bumper crop year for zucchini.

    Zucchini, which grow like crazy once you get them going, provide 113 calories in a cup. For survival, it’s best to let them grow much larger than what you get in the grocery store

    Who purchases zucchini in the store?
    The list below is a good one; but, misses one of my favorites,
    • Butternut squash gives you 63 calories per cup;
    • Acorn squash has 56 calories per cup;
    • Pumpkin will provide 30 calories per cup. Good thing they are large;
    • Eggplant comes in pretty low at only 20 calories per cup;

    Spaghetti squash contains only 31 calories per cup; but, when baked and shredded with a fork, it makes a great pasta substitute you treat like a plate of spaghetti. Cover it with oil & parmesan or Romano cheese or a red or white sauce and you cannot tell the difference.

    One nice thing about these squashes, like the root vegetables, is that they store amazingly well, if kept in a cool place, like a root cellar. So, unlike some other sorts of vegetables, you won’t have to can them, merely have a root cellar to keep them in.

    We have a root cellar and as long as you can have a below ground basement of any kind, anyone can have one.

    One final thought. I never saw one of the best, easy to grow, and tasty fruits mentioned. Tomatoes have about 32 calories per cup, chopped; but, they are a versatile berry that can be used as a base for many other foods.

    Reply to this comment
    • Miss Kitty October 10, 13:31

      Ohio Prepper
      Turnip and beets can be grown as supplemental animal fodder. When I was forced to read Hardy’s “Tess of the D’Urbevilles” in highschool, the main thing I remember from the book was a fifteen page description of a turnip (mangelwurzel!) field. Seeing them in a seed catalogue recently, I was struck by the massive size that they can grow into, but if grains don’t grow well in a particular area, root crops for fodder may be an option.

      Reply to this comment
      • red October 11, 02:35

        Mangels are good, but they have to be stored like turnips and potatoes where they won’t freeze. Pigs will gnaw them to size, but they’re supposed to be chopped fine for most other animals. Cattle tend to take a bite and swallow. They’re a cross between a turnip and cabbage. I’ll go with turnips, which I can plant as a winter crop. We used to let the corn get knee high, then plant beans in the rows (two-row planter and a well-fed horse 🙂 If the season were warm enough, peanuts along with the beans. Turnips went in right after that and were harrowed in. Winter squash went around the edges of the corn field. After corn harvest, then peanuts and turnips. When we stored and sold all we could, hogs to root out grubs and turnips, then cattle with them to eat the tops. After that, plant rye (cereal) and with that fava beans.In midwinter, mammoth clover because this would be the new hay field, and the old one used as pasture, then back to cropping. Old-timers were geniuses. niio

        Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper October 11, 18:16

        Miss Kitty,

        Turnip and beets can be grown as supplemental animal fodder.

        I love beets; but, have always thought of turnips as animal feed.
        That being said, perhaps we could toss some seed in the ground and see what happens. When grated or mashed & cooked, they could make a good supplemental feed for our chickens that are the only livestock we currently have, not counting the little horse that cannot eat much but hay.

        Reply to this comment
        • red October 12, 04:18

          When you cook turnips, how can you stomach the smell? I’ll eat them raw, the Japanese type, which is sweeter, but cooked? 🙂 Raw, a little soy sauce on them makes them tasty. niio

          Reply to this comment
  11. red October 1, 19:40

    Your eggplant might be only 20 C per but ours gets deep fried. Eggplant parm, or Asian dishes, Indian dishes, make it high in fat. Corn!

    We stock up on corn flour (ground grits) and corn starch. 2-3 parts flour, one part starch, mix, make dough and then use for noodles. It’s gluten free, and in today’s world, diabetes is a disaster none of us need. Gluten free helps hold it at bay.

    No spuds, they don’t thrive here, but sweet potatoes do. Where sheltered in the garden from freezes, the tops will die back, but they need to be dug asap when it warms up or they sprout. Leaves are cooked and eaten, as well.

    Peanuts will survive from one year to the next if heavily mulched here. A new variety being touted for grazers is the perennial peanut, from S. America. The nuts are small, but good, and I think it’s hardy to Zone 6. niio

    Reply to this comment
  12. IvyMike October 2, 00:35

    I am a serious meat eater having lived a low carb life for 35 years, but if things fall apart I know I’m not going to live by hunting and gathering but by gardening. Farming the 3 Sisters supported large and complex civilizations as well as small tribes throughout the Americas for thousands of years. Corn, beans, and squash have been proven as the way to go. Although I can imagine an interesting hog based economy developing in Texas after SHTF because the feral hog population here is 2-3 million. Maybe I won’t have to give up bacon?
    More radio memories, please!

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck October 5, 03:59

      I wasn’t big on Fibber McGee and Molly, but I sure liked Jack Benny and, of course, Bob Hope. Saw him at Christmas time on Okinawa. His writers sure knew how to get the local dope and make many of his jokes really topically local. A great comedian. He could tell off color jokes with just a look or a smirk. I never heard him use vulgar language even telling jokes to hundreds of military men. He was a master of double entendre.

      Of all the comedians I have seen in my lifetime, he ranks number one. First because he was a first rate comedian and secondly because of his devotion to GIs everywhere overseas. There were many times he appeared in hot areas where he was advised not to go but went anyway.

      Arthur Godfrey was hot in the daytime. I was very ill with rheumatic fever when I was young and spent several months in bed. Arthur Godfrey brought a little joy to a bed-ridden seven year old.

      I was into classical music even at a young age and enjoyed the Longenes (I’m sure that’s not how it is spelled.) Hour which featured classical music, I think on Sunday evening.

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  13. Handy Farmer October 8, 12:48

    Potato is at the top of the list for survival foods.
    It is entirely possible to, not only to survive on, but to improve from poor diet, by eating spuds alone.

    https://www.today.com/health/60-days-nothing-spuds-leaves-advocate-21-lbs-lighter-2D80555614

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  14. Scott October 9, 01:04

    Self-sufficiency after TSHTF is very challenging, and unnecessary. Before things fall apart, stock up. What you’ll need is CALORIES. Which is difficult and expense if you do it one can at a time. You can afford to store enough calories, if you know what you’re doing.

    You can figure 25-30 years storage life for hard red wheat, stored at 60 degrees in a 55 gallon drum, using 1 pound of dry ice to drive out the oxygen (wait 24hrs for the dry ice to “melt” before sealing the drum). 400 pounds of wheat per drum equals 400 man-days of calories, and costs you about $100. Fill 3-4 barrels. It’s Cheap insurance. (I bought mine in 60# bushel bags as seed, from a farm supply company. VERY clean.)

    Add a barrel of Winter Rye for variety. Add a barrel of hulled whole oats. Then a couple barrels of WHITE rice, and 2-3 barrels of pinto beans (cheap at Restaurant Depot). (You need the beans to balance what’s missing from the grains. The beans may be harder to re-hydrate after 10-12 years unless you use a pressure cooker, but then you just grind up the dried beans, and bake them in your bread.)

    For around $1000, you can be prepared to feed your family for close to a decade, if you also garden, keep chickens, and have fruit trees and bushes. Honey is way too expensive to store on a dollar/calorie basis, but consider bee keeping.

    A drum takes up LESS than 2’X2’. And they stack nicely, at 33” tall. In a 2’X10′ strip along a basement wall, you can have 10 barrels with 4000 pounds of food. Hang a peg board in front of it, and you’ve got very useful space. Room on top too. If you can’t spare that much space in your basement, to protect the lives of your family, think Venezuela .

    Grains store forever without oxygen, in a cool setting (50-60 degrees). But don’t spend on O2 absorbers. Easier and cheaper to use CO2 from dry Ice. Put 1 pound on top of a 55 gallon drum of wheat, let it sublimate (“melt”) for 24 hours with the lid ajar, it will drive out the lighter O2 as it sinks, and then you seal it up. I’ve done the “match test’, and as the match dips below the inside edge of the drum, it goes right out. Call a local dairy supply company for dry ice.

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    • The Ohio Prepper October 9, 20:10

      Scott,

      Self-sufficiency after TSHTF is very challenging, and unnecessary. Before things fall apart, stock up.

      Self sufficiency may well be necessary; but, not from the perspective of having enough food. Keeping your shelter in a comfortable range of temperatures and having enough potable water and water for sanitation could be a harder challenge than the food.
      The best thing of course is to make it a lifestyle as we have done for 40+ years.

      What you’ll need is CALORIES. Which is difficult and expense if you do it one can at a time. You can afford to store enough calories, if you know what you’re doing.
      You can figure 25-30 years storage life for hard red wheat, stored at 60 degrees in a 55 gallon drum, using 1 pound of dry ice to drive out the oxygen (wait 24hrs for the dry ice to “melt” before sealing the drum). 400 pounds of wheat per drum equals 400 man-days of calories, and costs you about $100. Fill 3-4 barrels. It’s Cheap insurance. (I bought mine in 60# bushel bags as seed, from a farm supply company. VERY clean.)

      It of course depends on the size of the can. While I’ve seen barrels for water (we have a few) the 5-gallon bucket using O2 absorbers are rather easy to pack grains; but, like the barrels, if something goes wrong you lose a lot of food in one shot.
      I have some 5-gallon buckets with wheat, purchased in 25 lb bags from the local LDS storehouse, sealed with O2 absorbers or the ”Hot Hands” that are the same thing in a larger package,

      Some years ago I had an LDS friend convinced me to start purchasing #10 cans of grains and other dry goods, and when you count the cost of buckets or barrels and the O2 absorbers or dry ice they end up being a good value. With 6 cans to a case, we have cases stacked many places all with that 25+ year shelf life, plus you don’t have to break the seal on a large container and either have to reseal it or use it all up.

      Add a barrel of Winter Rye for variety. Add a barrel of hulled whole oats. Then a couple barrels of WHITE rice, and 2-3 barrels of pinto beans (cheap at Restaurant Depot). (You need the beans to balance what’s missing from the grains. The beans may be harder to re-hydrate after 10-12 years unless you use a pressure cooker, but then you just grind up the dried beans, and bake them in your bread.)

      We have everything except the Rye, which is a good idea, plus several pressure cookers / canners and several grain mills, both electric & manual.
      A decent mill is something everyone should have for making flour or meal.
      Additionally, you can sprout most grains for a more nutritious item.

      For around $1000, you can be prepared to feed your family for close to a decade, if you also garden, keep chickens, and have fruit trees and bushes. Honey is way too expensive to store on a dollar/calorie basis, but consider bee keeping.

      We do garden and have a small flock of chickens; but, be prepared to feed them, and for times when they molt and you get no eggs.
      While we currently do not keep bees, we have gallons of honey on hand from when we did keep them, and it pretty much lasts forever.
      Another high calorie sweetener is maple syrup, best when you tap sugar maples; but, boiling down the sap from any maple, box elder, or birch will produce a nice syrup or sugar, with the main difference being the conversion yield. Good sugar maples yield 40:1 or 40 gallons of sap to a gallon of syrup; but, even 50:1 or 80:1 can still provide calories and sweeteners for the cost of time and firewood to run the evaporator.

      If you can’t spare that much space in your basement, to protect the lives of your family, think Venezuela.

      Venezuela doesn’t concern me; but, one can easily think the Carter years or the great depression.
      In our case we have 4 bedrooms, and all the kids grown and gone, so plenty of space for storing cases, and cans, and buckets.
      I know some who stack a few cases in the living room between chairs, cover with a cloths, set on a lamp, and no one even notices anything, with 18 cans of food hiding in plain sight.

      Grains store forever without oxygen, in a cool setting (50-60 degrees). But don’t spend on O2 absorbers. Easier and cheaper to use CO2 from dry Ice. Put 1 pound on top of a 55 gallon drum of wheat, let it sublimate (“melt”) for 24 hours with the lid ajar, it will drive out the lighter O2 as it sinks, and then you seal it up. I’ve done the “match test’, and as the match dips below the inside edge of the drum, it goes right out. Call a local dairy supply company for dry ice.

      Dry ice for us is at least a 30 mile trip and then getting it home before it sublimates and disappears, so we use O2 absorbers I can order online, or the Hot Hands purchased at nearly any local store, long lasting until activated, and really inexpensive during hunting season when everyone has them.

      Any technique to remove the oxygen, including nitrogen pack from a tank, will keep those grains ready to east for a long time.

      For us grains are a mainstay in our long term storage.

      Reply to this comment
    • red October 9, 21:37

      This is good, thank you. For those of us with gluten intolerance, it wouldn’t need to be changed much, but for the grains, no wheat, barley, or rye. Oats, maize, amaranth. Rice, definitely. We ferment a lot for Asian noodles, a sourdough.

      If there are children, I would add powdered milk; buckets of lard which should be airtight when bought, and so on. No hybrid or GMO if it can be avoided because post-Troubles, these grains can be planted. For that matter, they do well as sprouts, which doubles+ their energy value. Beans, always. Right now, those in the Southwest can buy NM pintos at a good price/5- lbs sack. Pintos make good sprouts. If you can, safflower, which would be planted (soil temp 40 F) in early spring and develops thorns (related to thistles), but gives a large oily seed. It needs hot, dry weather to finish making seed or can grow mold. All grain should be stored in a cool location to slow or prevent the oils in them from degrading with age. The idea of dry ice is great, as most of the trouble is oxidization and insects. Small bags of grain and beans can be stored is you put bay leaves in them. I do this with seeds saved from the garden.

      Like you, I like barrels for bees. The problem is, you have to get by the brood area to the honey. Top-bar hives for bees is one of the easiest for beginners and lot of professional apiarist like them, as well. A long wooden box, with a roof, nothing more. The queen will keep her brood near the entrance. And, if the bees know you, as opposed to a stranger, they make good watchdogs all season. Good advice, thank you. niio

      Reply to this comment
      • The Ohio Prepper October 10, 07:28

        red,

        Top-bar hives for bees is one of the easiest for beginners and lot of professional apiarist like them, as well. A long wooden box, with a roof, nothing more. The queen will keep her brood near the entrance. And, if the bees know you, as opposed to a stranger, they make good watchdogs all season.

        I’ve kept bees mostly in Langstroth hives; but, did experiment with the top bar style, and the only thing I didn’t like about them was the fact that you can only really safely harvest honey once per year in the spring, since it’s hard to determine how much is available, so you must let them overwinter with all of it. You also end up cutting out large sections of comb and crushing it to extract the honey. The wax can then be melted or set out for the bees to clean up; but, all in all it’s more work for the bees when compared with simply refilling and recapping the comb in a frame.
        Also, when a hive gets overcrowded and needs to be split to prevent swarming, it’s a bit harder to do the split with the top bar, since the whole comb is in a few large chunks, and it’s not easy to just relocate some frames with workers, food, or brood.
        As for being good watchdogs, it really depends on the hive. I’ve been around bee yards including my own, all with essentially the same setup and while most hives are docile around them if you don’t open them or poke around, some just seem to be overly cautious and often considered angry or mean
        In any case, when most people encounter a bee yard or even a docile swarm hanging somewhere while looking for new quarters, they generally give those critters wide berth, so their mere presence might offer a bit of protection from most people not comfortable around them.
        When I first started keeping bees, the wife would not go near the be yard; but, eventually I would see her standing out next to the hives and just watching, since their day to day activities can be fascinating.

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        • red October 11, 01:49

          I’ve never been stung. I’m not bragging, that’s just how it goes. Bees like me. wasps and hornets, the same.

          What was the key? Beginners. Langstom is fine for you, a pro. What about a beginner? Langsrom aren’t easy for a beginner to handle. Top-bar is.And, it costs only a few dollars, not hundreds.

          With a top-bar, you’re not destroying the bees’ world each time you open the hive. Open one side, look, and close. You don’t deal with killer bees on a daily basis. In most Southern states people do. Top-bar means less aggression and bees relate to that. You’re not invading, but looking. I like a barrel. When I kept bees, I raided wild hives, and used a barrel. It had two tops on it, one for the queen, the other to open to raid. Plenty of honey and no BS paying through the nose for a hive.

          This is consistent with tropical and sub-tropical beekeeping. I have family that simply put double walls in their homes. Bees colonize the walls, and panels on the outside were loose, and the honey could be taken several times a year.

          There are a thousand means to keep bees. A lot of people in tropical areas prefer trigona bees, which have no stinger. The bees colonize large hanging pots with an opening on the bottom to drain out honey. Trigona use a honey pot, and comb is only for brood.

          With top-bar, you get a lot less honey, but nothing to trigger attacks, or allow in brood moths and so on. When you take that Langstom apart, what happens? You’re letting in a lot of problems. This is why top-bar is gaining fast in popularity around the world and Langstrom losing popularity. You get less honey, but the hive is more likely to survive the invasion.

          Give it a few more years and you’ll have to deal with Africanized bees. Then top-bar makes a lot more sense. Peace.

          Reply to this comment
          • The Ohio Prepper October 11, 18:15

            Red,

            I’ve never been stung. I’m not bragging, that’s just how it goes. Bees like me. wasps and hornets, the same.

            Unfortunately I have been stung by bees a few times; but, the occasional sting is no big deal and you just shake it off. Bees are of course those fuzzy vegetarian creatures that make us honey, and only sting in self defense.
            Hornets, Yellow jackets, wasps. And the other evil progeny of flying ants OTOH are quite painful, and I exterminate them in mass when I find them invading my domain, with the exception of the more docile mud dauber. They are the omnivores that will eat anything including dead and decaying creatures.
            If you look at the chemical composition of the venom, there are actually biological reasons for the additional pain.

            What was the key? Beginners. Langstom is fine for you, a pro. What about a beginner? Langsrom aren’t easy for a beginner to handle. Top-bar is.And, it costs only a few dollars, not hundreds.

            While I’ve worked with and around bees for decades, that doesn’t make me a pro, just someone who is comfortable around bees.
            I started with some other apiarists, including one who used top bar and finding the queen and her brood amongst all that chaos was very confusing. As for the higher price, if you’re willing to work with other apiarists and do some of your own work / assembly, a single hive can be assembled around here for well under $100.00. There is an Amish beekeeper that sells nucs for around $70.00 and manufactures and sells the hive components out of pine. Here are some of his current prices for the pieces (some assembly required):
            Deep Super: $8.75
            Medium super: $6.60
            Shallow super: $6.00
            Screened Bottom board: $13.00
            Top Board $8.00
            10-frame top cover: $11.00
            10-frame frame pieces $6.60
            For some, the top bar may be a good choice, just not for me or any of my neighbors, one of whom just harvested another 15 gallons and replaced the empty frames to be refilled.

            With a top-bar, you’re not destroying the bees’ world each time you open the hive. Open one side, look, and close.

            We can open our hives without destroying their world also, only pulling a frame on occasion after installing a queen or checking brood, and when done at night, often without smoke, they barely notice it.
            OTOH, we can harvest a frame of honey, decap, extract and replace, where on a top bar, you have to tear away a chunk of the comb that is not replaced. That seriously impacts their world.

            You don’t deal with killer bees on a daily basis. In most Southern states people do. Top-bar means less aggression and bees relate to that. You’re not invading, but looking. I like a barrel. When I kept bees, I raided wild hives, and used a barrel. It had two tops on it, one for the queen, the other to open to raid. Plenty of honey and no BS paying through the nose for a hive.

            We have no worries about the Africanized strains here, so other than what I’ve read, I know little about the problem. Your barrel may be a good way to check; but, how do you check for infestations like Varroa mites, if they get deep in the hive.
            The whole point is that there are several ways to skin this cat, and we each should be happy with the ones we have chosen, are comfortable with, and can afford. Also for beginners, often established apiarists will setup hive on their property and work with them to learn the trade, eventually sharing the honey and profits to setup their own hives. Often we forget that starting slowly and bootstrapping is a traditional way of doing something like this, without leveraging a ton of cash As a teen, I apprenticed and worked with a cousin, paid with a bit of honey; but, mostly to learn the skills and most importantly to be comfortable around thousands of stinging insects, often only inches from your body. Once you realize that they don’t even care you are there, you have learned perhaps the first, best, lesson for beekeeping.

            This is consistent with tropical and sub-tropical beekeeping. I have family that simply put double walls in their homes. Bees colonize the walls, and panels on the outside were loose, and the honey could be taken several times a year.

            We have on occasion seen that happening, where the recon bees for a swarm find a hole in a barn or shed and the swarm like the new digs and move in. I had someone call me and I convinced them to just let them alone, and the following spring they got some raw comb honey out of the deal. I’ve heard of others who covered or filled the hole, and the bees bored another hole into the bedroom. Unfortunately they had the colony exterminated.

            Trigona use a honey pot, and comb is only for brood.

            A honey dispenser with no stings. That would be great.

            With top-bar, you get a lot less honey, but nothing to trigger attacks, or allow in brood moths and so on. When you take that Langstom apart, what happens? You’re letting in a lot of problems. This is why top-bar is gaining fast in popularity around the world and Langstrom losing popularity. You get less honey, but the hive is more likely to survive the invasion.

            All of the hives I know of in my area are doing fine; but, that may be in part because of proper hive management.

            Give it a few more years and you’ll have to deal with Africanized bees. Then top-bar makes a lot more sense.

            While I know Africanized strains are in some Sothern states, we are highly unlikely to have any survive up here, since our winters are most often brutal with days of subzero temperatures. We have to winterize our hives just to keep the hardier Italian and Russian strains viable through the winter. That mostly means insulation and leaving enough honey to feed the colony over the winter while they hunker down.

            Reply to this comment
            • red October 12, 04:14

              Do you have Italians or Germans? I found Germans a little more aggressive than Italians, but nothing beats a Spanish that’s been africanized. Yes, if you work them as much as I think, then you’ll get a few stings. I can’t. I love them, but if I were stung, it’s good-bye Red. I had yellow jackets all over me a few times, swarming me, but never stung me. They dropped venom on me. I was using a tractor to help a brother pull logs out of a wood tract, over by Jacksonville, OH. I didn’t get stung, but man, my blood pressure went skyhigh. I took off the tee shirt and threw it and they followed that. Like most bees, they do not like the color red.

              I had a cousin who couldn’t walk by a hive without being chased. Sign of an evil personality, I’m told 🙂

              I can see you killing hornets, yes. They eat a lot of bugs, but have been known to decimate hives in the tropics. We have a spider wasp big enough to take on birds. It better be, it specializes in tarantulas. Our wasps are golden, and I ‘rescued’ a few nests people were going to kill. They go out in the brush. Paper wasp nests around here and points south can be a meter in length, but most as a lot smaller, of course.

              To me, you’re a pro and I mean that with respect. But, I’d still rather use a top-bar than a Langstrom. Bees just do better, healthier, in a top-bar, and there’s no expense. Scrap lumber and a little dab of lemon grass oil to make them feel at home. For a beginner, that’s nothing, an hour to make one, and then find a wild hive. Bees have habits, and they do not like disturbances. No, when you pull supers, you just removed a floor of the house. Top-bar, you cut away the comb, and not play god. This is still the best way to handle africanized. Much less traumatic.

              Africanized are moving north mating with local queens. The aggressive gene stays with the new brood. Agronomists thought the bees couldn’t handle under 10 F, but then found them up in the Andes with other honey bees. They’ve been found in western Tennessee, and are expanding from there. https://www.propacificbee.com/infographic/AHB/infographic.php No matter. Handling them is nearly the same as any other. But, a lot of bee keepers near towns are going to go under. One bee sting and the shriekers are always looking to blame anyone they can.

              Mites? No. Africanized are major on clean. I’ve yet to hear of mites or wax moths on bees or the comb. They’re also more aggressive at filling comb, producing as much as 50% more honey and pollen. And propolis… 🙂 But that hath its uses. They tend to hatch and develop a lot sooner than Europeans, which puts the kibosh to most mites. Queens on mating flights will go a lot higher than Euros, as well, and only another African can catch her. African drones are aggressive, chasing off Euro drones.

              The Ministerio de Agricola in Mexico is trying to breed a gentler bee. Cross breeding did nothing. It was lost after the first generation. The old adage is, if the cattle are too aggressive, eat the worse bulls and next generation will be calmer, then calmer. To test a wild hive, they take a sick, attach red and black rags, and then dress in a moon suit, the heavy duty bee suits. At the hive, wack it a few times. It the bees give it more than a half-dozen stings, or refuse to stop singing, the hive is destroyed and replaced. Africanized, but gentler. In the Rockies, they don’t bother. Too many grizzlies, black bears, stray dogs, coyotes and wolves.

              Tigona will defend themselves. No stinger, but they’ll bite and tear off a piece of flesh if annoyed. But, they’re so gentle around bee people, you can see dozens of the jars hanging from roofs and ramada beams over patios. Kids playing under the jars, and dogs barking. Not a lot bothers them. The gravy looks thin, but it’s probably the best I ever had. Children can work them, and down there, women own them as a house bee. Even in the cities you’ll find them.

              We put ours in the barn south side, locked int an old enclosed stallion stall. niio

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