How to Enhance Your Food Storage in Few Easy Steps

This is a guest post by DocJ and entry for our non-fiction writing contest.

Shop2_tnbAs many readers of this forum know, I had become a Vegan for health reasons two years ago.  This article is not to influence anyone to take similar steps.  I have found over the last two years many new skills that enhance my ability to provide for myself, my family, and my neighbors.  Simply writing down a few recipes will not pass on skills following the tenant of “Give a man a fish…..”  The first article I want to write about is my application of what I learned from a trained botanist in Oregon named Carol Depp, author of The Resilient Gardener.  I will include a couple of recipes.  A good many I use are copyrighted so I will give links to several good sources.

Getting calories into the diet means a few changes in gardening or buying practices.  A survival garden is not about growing salad vegetables.  It is about growing staples.  Carol Depp proposes 5 stables to have in the diet: corn, dried beans, winter squash, potatoes, and eggs.  She proposes that we raise these on our own land, leased land, shared land, or whatever arrangement that can be made.  The first food she discusses is why she chooses corn besides the fact she cannot eat wheat or similar grains due to Celiac disease.  Corn is relatively easy to grow and to process for storage.  Grass grains grow easily, but are subject to being destroyed with late rains, etc.  Grass grains also require threshing and winnowing before storage.  Varieties of corn have been developed to grow in different regions of the country.

The corn Carol grows is a flint type suitable for cornmeal and corn flour. Flint corn comes in many colors and varies in taste.  One of the best tasting varieties for me was a blue cornmeal I found at the food coop.  Yes, I bought some seed to try my own blue cornmeal this year.  I have yellow seed corn for flint corn for planting in the garden plus I buy flint corn by the 25 pound bag at our food cooperative for just over one dollar a pound.  I am keeping my bag in the deep freezer to extend shelf life as corn is a high fat grain which will get rancid with age.  This year, we will be building an old-fashioned corn crib for this summer’s crop.

  • I purchased a corn sheller on Amazon as my 73 year old hands will not be able to shell my corn.  Of course, I put a good grain mill up there in priorities with a good water filter in prepping supplies.
  • Remember that cornmeal sold in this country is GMO. If GMO is a concern of yours and you cannot grow your own, buy from a health food cooperative.

Now for the vegetable that is most peoples favorite that can be eaten at any meal in countless ways.  Potatoes are classified as Irish or Sweet.  Northern gardens usually have the Irish potato growing in them while Southern gardens usually have the sweet potatoes or jams growing in them.  More and more people are growing both types in their gardens.  I grow both here in NW Arkansas.   Potatoes are long-storage keepers making a good prepper food.

Potatoes are higher in protein than any grain.  I have found store bought Irish potatoes do not keep as well as home grown ones.  Irish potatoes can be canned or dried very easily.  I prefer drying so I can add to my soups and slow cooker.  The texture is excellent.  Be sure not to over dry to the point the potato begins turning a little brown.  If unable to grow your own Irish potato, buy local and use the dehydrator.  In the fall, potatoes are very cheap.  Now sweet potatoes have become a real favorite once I learned to just steam them and mash.  If the garden is small, sweet potatoes now come in a bush variety.  Store bought sweet potatoes and yams keep beautifully in the house. I have a second bathroom I do not use.  I put some shelves in there and the sweet potatoes and squash keep very well.  Keep storage area dark and cool.

Carol’s next choice of vegetables is winter squash.  Winter squash is filled with nutrients and carotenes.  They can be eaten in many ways and not just mashed.  I will try to remember to include a recipe or link to some recipe ideas in a later post.  Store bought winter squash keeps beautifully right alongside the potatoes.  Winter squash varies on how long it will keep; the harder the shell, the longer the storage.  Acorn and spaghetti squash need to be eaten first, then the butternut types, and finally, the Hubbard types.  The blue Hubbard will keep 6 months or more.  All winter squash can also be frozen for the deep freeze or dried in a dehydrator, but fresh is the best.  Most of these squashes are heirloom-types which means you can keep their seeds for next year’s garden.

Carol’s fourth vegetable choice is dried beans.  There are lots of cookbooks published covering nothing but dried beans.  I have bought them in one and two pound bags at the store, in 25 pound bags at the food cooperative, and I have grown dried beans in my garden.  Some of my favorites are black turtle, chickpeas, small red, any white bean, and a 15 bean soup mixture.  This last year, I bought an half ounce of a special variety of seed for $5.95. Expensive!   I planted it and let it mature for seed.  This year, I will be planting almost a pound of seed.  I will keep half of my crop for meals and half for seed in next year’s garden.   This is a new skill for me.  Now I feel confident about buying small packets of seed and making my own collection.

Another thought on dried beans: To get the most production in the garden, try pole beans and half runner types.  Beans and rice are known to all to be vegetarian food, but beans can be made into a burger, a meatloaf, a bowl full of meatballs, a batch of brownies, a gravy, or a white sauce.  A can of white beans added to a batch of pasta makes for a protein powerhouse.  Italians use the cannellini beans in their pasta dishes. As I cannot have ground meat, I buy TVP which is closely related to tofu.  With a little water and soy sauce to rehydrate, I can have a Manwich sandwich which I love.

Burgers can be simple or fancy.  This is an easy one:

  • 1 can drained black beans mashed with a fork.  Do not make mushy.
  • Add to beans about ½ cup of quick oats
  • 2 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon each of onion and garlic powder

Mix thoroughly.  Make 4 balls and flatten into patties.  Bake at 400 on a none-stick pan for a full 10 minutes.  Carefully flip to second side and bake for another 5 minutes or until surface feels dry to the touch.  The center should remain soft.

My favorite lunch soup:

  •             1 can of black beans
  •             1 can of drained corn
  •             1 cup of salsa of choice

Pulse beans and corn 2-3 times in food processor.  Add salsa.  Heat and eat.  A meal in less than 5 minutes.

My family’s favorite crock pot meal:

Before bed, put a pound of 15 bean soup mix in the crockpot.  Cover with water with about 2-3 inches above the beans.  Cook on low overnight.  First thing in the morning adjust water level and turn heat to high for a couple of hours.  Lower the heat to low about mid-afternoon.  When the beans look about ready to serve, empty about a 15 ounce jar of salsa to the beans.  Serve with cornbread.  I have kept this pot going for 3 days on warm.  Each day the beans are better than the day before. The soup mix has lentils in it which is a super protein source. 

 Bean Dip for tortilla chips

  • 1 can of chickpeas or bean of choice

Put beans in food processor with onion and garlic powder, a healthy squirt of mustard, and lemon juice.  Everything is by personal taste.  Process until creamy and enjoy.  Healthy snack for the kids and cheap.

One of the most important beans to grow for resilient gardening is not mentioned by Carol is the soybean.  Soybeans are so easy to grow and a very high protein food.  They can be turned into soy milk when “regular” milk runs out or out of choice.  The cost is very low.  From soy milk, one can make tofu and with the right seasonings make a good meat substitute.  Soybeans have a shorter shelf life because of the fat content.

Now I keep soybeans in the freezer like the corn, but SHTF, I may lose the freezer.  I will need to deal with it then, but hoping with good storage, I can get a year of shelf life.  Soy milk is nothing but soaked soybeans processed in a food processer with water and then strained through cheese cloth.  If drinking, add some type of sweetener and some vanilla, chocolate, or flavoring of choice.  If cooking a savory dish, leave out the flavorings.  Here are is a couple of links to show how to make both soy milk and almond milk.  The method is the same.

Soybean milk:

Almond milk:

Here is an idea I found in the comments for the almond fiber.

“I put the almond meal over cookies before baking. It’s like adding hidden almonds to your cookies.”

Now for the tofu:

Tofu is soybeans (soymilk) and nigari.  Nigari is a coagulant used with soymilk to separate the whey from the solids.  I found nigari on Amazon for $5.39 for a pound package.  It will take about 1 tablespoon per batch.   Nigari is basically a salt, magnesium chloride and being a salt will store forever.   Tofu has no taste.  It is the most bland food I know.  The secret to tofu is using seasoning; dry or in marinades.  Tofu can be crumbled, cubed, sliced.  It can be baked, deep fried, or stir fry. It can be made into chicken nuggets or into a slice of “chicken” breast.  It can even be made to taste like fish for a fish sandwich.   Here are two links showing the process of making tofu.  The first is using electrical appliances and the second one is using off the grid techniques.

The last food Carol suggests for a resilient gardener is eggs.  She keeps ducks for her eggs, but eggs are eggs.  They are high in protein and one hen may lay 5 to 6 eggs a week.  I love keeping chickens, but I cannot eat the eggs or the chicken if I want to keep my blood work normal.  Staying healthy and off medications is the best prepping one can do.  Neighbors and friends take the eggs love my eggs.  I keep a broody breed because if SHTF and we have no electricity, the hens will do what they were bred to do.  Yes, they have a rooster with them named “George.”  I expect them to keep the flock growing.  Eventually, I hope to sell chicks, pullets, and fryers.  They will make a good trading source in bad times.

I will write another post with more recipes and sources for the beans and the tofu.  I will also address how a vegan can bake without eggs and oils/butter.  I will also share with you a chef who has written 4 cookbooks.  They are all vegan and every recipe could be made with what we have in preps in 30 minutes or less.  She is amazing.

Prizes for this round in our non fiction writing contest include…

  1. First place winner will receive – A $150 gift certificate for Hornady Ammo  courtesy of LuckyGunner, a Wonder Junior Deluxe grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Neads, a one year subscription to the Personal VPN service courtesy of unspyable and 1 Case of Survival Cave Food Chicken with 12 14.5 oz. Cans courtesy of LPC Survival.
  2. Second place winner will receive – $100 off of your next order of Fish Antibiotics courtesy of, a Survival Puck  courtesy of and a Coffee Mug courtesy of Horton Design.
  3. Third place winner will receive – a copy of my book ”31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“ and “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” courtesy of and a copy of “The Survival Medicine Handbook” courtesy of

Be sure to read the rules before entering… This contest will end on March 17 2014


  1. Nebraska Woman says:

    Wow. DocJ, you are wonderful. I have printed this article out to add to my survival book.
    I have to eat carefully as I cannot eat swoy products, so this is a wonderful article.
    I love to stuff my acorn squash with cooked sausage, onions, peppers, and enough flour to keep it together.
    Spaghetti squash I serve with butter and parmesan cheese.
    Cannot wait for your recipes!

  2. I could easily make the transition to being a vegan, if veggies tasted like bacon, or ribs. But seriously, i really love veggies and if animals were taken off the menu, i think i could make it on veggies as long as i could eat an egg or three from my chickens. Great article and recipes.

    • Or they could make chicken taste like broccoli! (Probably still couldn’t eat it.)

    • Thinking of those of the Feathered Persuasion, does anyone have a suggestion for keeping the neighbors’ chickens out of our garden beds? They started sneaking through the hedge about six weeks ago, one at a time, reconnoitering. Now we are up to four hen squads digging fox holes in the mulch.

      I don’t mind it all that much…YET…but my DW’s nose was a little out of joint upon finding mulch all over the driveway so deep you can’t see the cracks in the asphalt.

      Execution is not an option. (The chickens, that is. Well, my DW, too, for that matter. I’m rather fond of her.)

      The chickens are not from our next door neighbor, but from their next door neighbor. They have a wall around their yard, but apparently the Poultry-Americans have figured out how to fly over it.

      If this were TEOTWAWKI I’d be happy to invite them over for dinner, but until then I’d like to discourage uninvited drop ins. Just not lethally.

      • A woven fence is the only way to keep them out. Go at least 5 feet high. So far mine have not attempted to fly over the 4 foot dog wire.

      • You might try doing a google search for Fox urine. It comes in granular form and you can shake it around where you don’t want the chickens. It should scare them off. I use coyote urine to help with skunks where I live. I could get lion urine also but the also use these products as an attractant and I really don’t need any mountain lions coming around.

    • patientmomma says:

      I could probably switch over to all veges very easily, but while I sparingly eat beef and pork, I do eat chicken and fish weekly. However, with the contamination of food around the world, I’m this year I am tripling the size of my garden and beginning to raise chickens for eggs and meat.

    • PGCPrepper says:

      Vegan smegan. Bacon sales at all time high. Thanks for doing your part. Apparently you quit naming your piggies.

  3. Hunker-Down says:

    We have very limited garden space with little sun, so growing corn is out of our capabilities. The DW cant digest the outer shell and has a shorter lower bowel because of it.

    To save garden space we grow Delicata squash wound around wire tomato towers. It keeps in our basement from late September thru February. During that time we bake it and freeze it. We are eating frozen squash we grew in 2012. Because delicata will cross with zucchini, and because we really really like zucchini bread, and because we save seeds to plant from both, we plant delicata (and save seeds) one year and zucchini the next. We are eating 2012 zucchini bread now, and have a stash of 2013 breads made to eat in 2014 (haven’t gotten to that bunch yet) because this year we are planting the delicata. If we had the garden space we would grow hubbard squash.
    Last year we were able to save a couple quarts of zucchini seed. The neighbors think I am a really dumb gardener for growing 30 inch, old, yellow zucchini (and cucumbers), but they don’t know we prep, and don’t know we have seed for barter after TSHTF.

    • You have a wonderful plan going. Delicata is a wonderful squash. Quite honestly, I have never eaten a bad winter squash. I have a small hubbard waiting for me to cook it. Maybe tonight.

  4. Chuck Findlay says:

    If I went Vegan I would have to give up bacon, NOT going to happen!

    In fact I have a lot of bacon canned so I don’t have to worry about running out.

    • Chuck, no need to go vegan unless you really wanted to or had to in order to survive. But know you can make milk from veggie plants; soy, almonds, rice, oats, etc. and can make meatballs, burgers, meatloaf, etc., from soy and/or beans. Do you raise your own hogs? Best way to go with the prices going up due to the virus hitting the hog industry. In the old days, I would have killed for a good pork tenderloin. 🙂

  5. I do not want to slam your lifestyle, but it reminds me of the old joke, what is the root of the word Vegan?
    answer, Lakota for “poor Hunter” 😉

    I for health reasons do not eat grains( am gluten intolerant), so I mostly live on meat,fruits and veggies, but what ever floats your boat, is fine with me. I have to adjust to growing veggies in a high desert climate, which is tough. Down the road we are looking into raising chickens and rabbits. This year I am going to focus on growing herbs, I can use them fresh and preserve as much as possible.

    • LOL Love that joke! Reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw. PETA–People Eating Tasty Animals

  6. I have 10 lbs. of potatoes to begin dehydrating today.
    The posts from Idaho residents has motivated me!!

  7. Sweet potatoes have lasted 10 months, no problem.
    I had them in a cardboard box, single layer, cool closet, no light.

  8. Thumbs up on a great article (although I can’t find the little thumbs up thingy!) Very well written and informative ……….. one of the best I’ve read. We are meat eaters but know the value of a balanced diet.

    Gardening, at least successful gardening, sure depends a lot on where you’re trying to grow the goodies. We learned fairly quickly what would flourish and what wouldn’t over several years of garden development. Just south of the US/Canadian border, in the middle of a forest, at 3200′ elevation, we faced challenges just to get a garden put in and producing. Our growing season tends to be very short so the key for us is a moderately large greenhouse to give us a head start with seedlings. That, and a good diversity in choice of plantings. We cleared out some trees then put in some large beds with 18″ of good soil and automatic watering. Good natural fertilizer and rotating crops helps. We also put in a small flower garden to bring in the pollinators, an herb garden for medicinal plants, a 30 tree orchard with a mix of fruit trees, and a dedicated section for berries and grapes. The orchard is a bit experimental as the trees are plated on a 5′ grid. Over the years we’ve selectively pruned the branches to produce a horizontal espalier of intermixed branches. We weren’t sure if it would work out well but it has. Other than the esthetic value, the closeness of the tree trunks makes it more efficient to water the trees (less water is wasted on non-planted areas between the trees). Believe it or not the grapes and strawberries produce quite a crop. The trees are good producers but we are constantly at war with the squirrels. Of course the entire garden area is surrounded with 6′ field weave fencing to discourage the deer from getting their share. We eat fresh salad greens all season and are still eating winter squash from last years crop!

    Good article DocJ !

  9. I’d be interested in some corn recipes. I make corn bread. Use flour for coating meat. Feed some corn to chickens. But would be interested in more uses for corn.

  10. Jay Jay, you have a plan. Did not know the sweet potatoes would do so well that far north.

    • Great idea, potatoes, carrots, onions, lima beans –then we have soup–I have many ingredients in different mason jars and really need to have all ingredients in one jar for soups.
      I have a brake bleeder for manual sealing, but still a pain when sealing jars for onions, potatoes, tomatoes, limas, carrots, and caggage.

      I get a bushel of sweet potatoes for $15 here.
      I don’t know it that is good or not. Don’t shop at grocery for potatoes.
      I do know sweet p. are great for vitamin A. I have canned in case there are no fresh–bit, I have dehydrated fresh.

  11. Jay Jay, another thought on drying potatoes. I have dried them in slices for casseroles and diced for soups. I can a mixture of cubed potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions for a quick stew.

    • Good article, I prefer to dice potatoes before drying,or slice thinly and cut in strips..mostly because of the space required for slices.. Many more will fit in a jar, and every once in a while my DH will pack them for me..really pack them..with a wooden dowel, this potato powder is quite yummy…the original mashed potato .:>)
      I am on a prescribed high protein diet because of processing issues,and have a poor tolerance for beans,which I love.Poo senario will be rather odourous…you can only stock so many enzymes..various degassing options haven’t really worked so well.
      OUr primary problem is keeping the varmits out of the garden, the coon gather my corn the night before it is ready.and Deer grazing on everything they can get..electric fences have not worked at all,( have a couple of different ideas to use this year..) of course, gathering those excesses of meat on the paw and hoof are definite preps.

  12. Patricia, I will look around. Google “polenta.” Italians use a lot of polenta. My mother used to cook up a batch of cornmeal and put it in a bread pan, cover, and keep overnight in the ice box. (You heard me, ice box. LOLOL). The next day, she fried it in a little butter till browned. We poured a little syrup over it. Very good. Italians also use polenta as a pizza shell. Well try to come up with more uses.

    • Or don’t make it thick and then mold it, but keep loose and creamy and add some wild mushrooms sautéed in evoo. OMG, that is so good.

  13. Suburban Housewife says:

    Hey – what happened to the thumbs up/down buttons? I give this two thumbs up. Like you, DocJ – I became vegan ( I was really strict- but not militant like PETA – about it in the beginning but now I do cheat a bit with an egg once in a while, or piece of cheese. I tend to be Vitamin K deficient and gouda cheese is one of the best sources of K, can’t really get it from veggies at all I’m told) going on 3 years now. Best thing I did for my health too. I buy organic, non-GMO as much as possible – no preservatives or additives. On top of that I have food sensitivities and am not supposed to eat corn, wheat (if it’s soaked I do OK), cherries, blueberries, turmeric, apples, and a bunch of other really tasty foods. Darn! Makes eating at all a challenge. It sure cuts down on the convenience of buying a lot of those tempting looking cans and kits that are sold. It sure does have it’s challenges as far as prepping goes…and for some reason it really threatens and makes carnivores really angry. But for me – what’s the point of prepping with a bunch of food that will just give me a stroke or heart attack? – or at the very least make me feel like crap? Anyway, – thanks for the article – look forward to more of the same and those recipes. On the bright side – if anyone wanted to steal or confiscate my food they probably would be sorely disappointed – “Nothing tasty here folks – move along.” LOL.

    • Suburban Housewife says:

      By the way – for all you bacon lovers here is a “Fakin’ Bacon” recipe for ya. Might want to file it away for some day when you are out of meat but not out of soy beans. It’s not an exact substitute for real bacon – but it’s not bad. Buy a block of tofu and give it a try – I eat it on Bacon Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches. Yum,

    • First, DocJ….great article and info and a thumbs up from here! Lots of food for thought for the preppers with specialized diets, thank you!

      Suburban Housewife, I agree with your comments, having been on the SCDiet for 9 months does present a different outlook which can be challenging for food storage. Last few months have introduced potatoes back into my diet without ill effects, then organic rice, and corn will next. Wheat is definitely on my no no list, and will eventually try oats, but have to test one type of grain at a time for reactions.

      Thank you for the info on gouda cheese as a source for Vitamin K. Edam is another good source. Hard cheeses are wonderful, and I like the fact that they can be frozen. The usual recommended keep time is 6 months, however, I have used cheese that has been in the freezer for well over a year, and expect they will go longer if you freeze them in their original packaging, wrapped securely with plastic wrap.

      Great comments everyone!

    • Love the last statement about being disappointed if food ever stolen. I am with you about the health issues. I was on a lot of very expensive medications. I figure if SHTF, I do not want to need to go looking for them. Diabetes has been in regression for over 18 months. Meds have been cut way back as blood pressure dropped too low and cholesterol dropped to 130. Trying to convince the doctor that the diet is not a temporary thing. The majority of my family have had the same results. We have genetics causing these problems. As I said, I will not try to convince anyone. It is a personal decision. BUT I have found so many skills that blend right into prepping. If I run into a new recipe, I just go to the pantry. The ingredient will be there.

    • JUST a FYI,
      I don’t know if you tolerate or want it, but vitamin K is in vivactiv calcium chews,..When my blood gets too thin , and I pee pink, three will stop the bleeding and kidney pain.

  14. Thanks for the info, well put together.

  15. Good article. But, what do you do if you’re allergic to corn, dairy, soy, wheat and white potatoes ? My sweet potatoes never get any bigger than carrots up near a Great Lake. Most of the flour alternative mixes for baking include corn flour and potato starch. I’m having a hard time filling my GF buckets with things I can eat. I did find some white sweet potato flour and I regularly use almond flour and coconut flour, but they are very expensive.
    I’m looking forward to trying your soup and burger recipes.

    • What about brown rice flour, and rice milk with seasonings?

      • I have brown rice flour and chickpea flour and will have to experiment with some combinations. I just made banana bread with rice flour and xanthum gum. It tastes fine, but is a little bit sandy textured.

    • GrannyEm,
      Try substituting cassava/tapioca starch and arrowroot starch for the normal corn starch and potato starch in your baking mixes. Using them in combination with brown rice, sorghum, buckwheat, or almond flours works well but you might find you’ll have to add a bit of sweet rice flour (depending on what you’re baking) to match the moistness normally provided by the potato starch.

      As for filling your buckets – rice and legumes, powered eggs, sorghum & buckwheat, millet & quinoa, dried vegetables & fruits, powered almond, rice and coconut milks would all be top staples on my list.

      • Thanks for the info. I’ve baked cookies with brown rice flour and they were very brittle and crumbly. I didn’t know what the potato starch was for, but I’ll get some sweet rice flour to replace it. I bought some guar and xanthum gums, because they are in my GF cookbook recipes, but I’m not sure why they are needed. I have quinoa and almond milk in my storage, but I’ve never seen any milk alternatives that were powdered. I’ll look for tapioca and arrowroot starches the next time I get to the Coop.

        • i get arrowroot from bob’s redmill by mail order. they also have gluten free oats which i can tolerate. expensive at the store.

  16. celticreeler says:

    I think this is a very productive discussion to be having. Congratulations to the author for showing the initiative.

    However, I don’t think potatoes are higher in protein than any grain. This just doesn’t make sense, since grains are seeds and potatoes are tubers from the root of the plant. My research (nutrition book, labels of whole foods) say that potatoes have 36 calories per gram of protein, oatmeal (cooked oats, no additions) have 26, and dry whole wheat pasta (one ingredient: durham wheat) has 20. Since protein is protein as far as calorie content, that being 4 calories per gram, there is a lot of other “stuff” containing calories along with those grams of protein, which has to be carbohydrate and/or fat, since those are the other possibilities of food components that bear calories.

    So, potatoes are not the most efficient delivery system of protein; wheat is best of the three. To get your protein from potatoes (and I mean Irish potatoes, since that’s what I looked up), you have to take in a lot of carbohydrate alongside. And I’m not making any claims about the “completeness” of the protein in any of these foods, that is, the ratios of various amino acids.

  17. DocJ,
    Well done article and I agree with you on recommending “The Resilient Gardener”.
    I don’t think I’ll try the 6 pounds of potatoes a day diet but it’s good to know about.

  18. doc j many thanks. many digestive problems in my family. looking forward to your next article.
    so many suggested preps are inedible to us and prices on gluten-free flour are so much higher to wheat. also they are hard to find.
    am going to l0ok for the book you use, too. miss depp may be surprised at the sudden bump in sales!

  19. Growing you own veges where possible is, by many accounts, is far superior in nutrient value to buying produce that has been in cold storage for who knows how long.
    I love the surprise aspect of growing potatoes. What a great yield you can get for very little effort!
    A greengrocer gave me this advice for growing potatoes: “the greener they go, the better they grow”.
    I think it’s true. Maybe the alkaloids in the green skin and flesh helps protect them from disease – not sure.
    A kind of potato “prep” perhaps!
    I now leave my seed potatoes (bought or home grown) somewhere cool in the light (not sun) for some weeks or months before planting
    They go very green.
    When they’re ready, they start sprouting. When they give me this signal, I plant them.
    Steve Solomon is another good author on growing your own produce.
    He started off in California, and has gardened in Oregon, Canada and now lives in Australia in a climate apparently similar to Oregon.
    He is particularly interested in soil health and growing nutrient dense foods.
    I have a few of his books and refer to them frequently. He also has a website.
    Happy food production and better health!

  20. Docj, very informative article, and great comments. I tend to grow (or try to grow) green salady things, but will redouble my efforts with potatoes at your suggestion. Did grow some on my deck a couple of years ago, pretty decent crop for a container. My question to you is this: How do you get your B vitamins? I was vegetarian for many years, but always had dairy and eggs.

  21. Thoroughly research use of soy products if you have thyroid problems. Soy can inhibit thyroid function.

  22. I thought also that soy has a precursor or mimic of estrogen, and so is not good for ingestion by men or by women who have any tendency towards breast cancer. Add to that the absolute need to use only organic soy products due to the GMO factor.

    • the phytoestrogens in soy fill your estrogen receptors thus locking out the harmful forms of estrogen. phytoestrogens are found in basil and other plants, also.
      they are neutral or protective but are NOT harmful.

  23. Excellent article and comments. I really like the idea of 5 basic items to grow. If you can be successful with these 5, you can survive. Adding additional items like fruit trees, herbs, nuts and other veggies will allow more variety, but the 5 will keep you alive. 🙂

    As for the corn, salsa and black beans – I make that without the blender, then serve it cold with tortilla chips. Yummy dip and really healthy!

    When you make almond milk, you can dry the almond pulp reserved from the strainer. It makes great almond flour. I use it on chicken fingers instead of flour.

    Talking about your corn meal in the freezer – my mom bought a huge bag before she died in 2000. I have her freezer and have never thrown out the meal. I have used it without any adverse affects. I need to learn more about growing corn I can turn into meal.

    Thanks for the article!

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