Unusual Plants for The Survival Garden and Yard

pic of gardening tools

by AZ Rookie Prepper

I thought I would offer some suggestions for those who enjoy and use gardening as part of their preps. I don’t have a huge garden; as a matter of fact, it is fairly small in terms of square feet.

I did produce a tremendous amount of food out of that space last year as I concentrated on growing plants that produced a lot of food for the space involved. Here are my thoughts on plants that give best production for the space.

Roma Tomatoes – I chose Roma’s due to their versatility and taste and lack of waste. Roma’s have a lot of flesh per tomato, much less open space inside the tomato fruit. I eat them raw, with a good amount of taste per bite. I cook with them, making a great dish called Pasta Capri (ask me for the recipe).

They can be canned, with so much flesh they don’t need as many to fill a canning jar. They are excellent as canned salsa or spaghetti sauce. The plants don’t get too big here in Arizona, but do produce quite a bit of fruit, thus saving me water.

I produced about 20 pints and 8 quarts of canned tomatoes, salsa and spaghetti sauce last year from just three Roma plants, not to mention eating some for dinner right off the vine.

Cherry Tomatoes – I planted two sweet cherry tomato plants last year and was very pleased with my production. Most mornings when I would do my watering, I picked a handful of cherry tomatoes to take with me for lunch. This lasted for several weeks (at least 5-6 weeks, don’t remember exactly). I grew these two plants in containers on my patio.

Asian Long Beans (Asparagus Beans) – These are not common in the U.S., but I feel should be in every garden of every prepper. This is a climbing type bean that produces a huge quantity of bean pods per plant. The bean pods are thinner than your standard green bean, but get about 12-14 inches long (rumor has it that they get bitter and nasty tasting if you let them get much longer than that).

When you pick them at about pencil size diameter, they have a slight nutty flavor mixed with a mild green bean. I had four plants and canned over 20 pints of beans, in addition to eating them fresh and giving a lot away. Seeds can be ordered from Kitazawa Seed company.

Jalapeno Peppers – I found a variety that isn’t too spicy, but does have a tang to it. These plants are a must if you want to make salsa from your tomatoes and add a bit of zip to anything else you chose to add them to.

Here in the southwest, peppers are easy to grow and love the sunshine and heat. I was giving these away as I just could not keep up with the production from just four plants. I used them in my salsa and also pickled/canned four pints.

Bell Peppers – Can’t live without these great plants. Unfortunately, for some reason my bell peppers did not produce so well last year. I did have some good meals using my fresh picked ones that did grow, but my four plants only produced about 10 or so peppers.

Perilla – Also called the beefsteak plant, it is another plant from Asia, a member of the mint family. This one self seeds and apparently is considered a pest in some areas. Has a strong flavor and is used throughout Asia in a variety of dishes. I pickle the leaves with sesame oil and lots of pepper powder for a side dish (salad). Grows easily but needs lots of water. Caution !!! Do not let cows or horses eat this as it has some level of toxicity to them.

Russian Mammoth Sunflowers – Last year, I grew three of these, and the giant flower heads each produced enough seeds to fill a small peanut butter jar. After the flowers die out, cut off the heads, let them dry for a couple of days, peel out the seeds and soak them in saltwater overnight, then dry the seeds in an oven set on 200 degrees for 2-3 hours. Who doesn’t like sunflower seeds?

Prickly Pear Cactus – Easy to grow, just cut off one of the pads, let the cut area dry for a couple of days, then bury the pad slightly more than halfway with the cut at the bottom. These will grow, sometimes quite large “bushes” that can be a defensive barrier against unwanted intruders.

Additionally, the pear (or tuna as its sometimes called) is eaten like a fruit and the pads (nopal in Spanish) can be diced and used like bell pepper, battered and fried or mixed into salsa or chili. The obvious holds very true, be very careful when handling both the fruit and the pads, both have spines and glochids (little hairy spines that hurt like the dickens).

When cleaning either the pads or fruit, wear thick gloves and very carefully scrape away the spines and glochids. The pads in particular are kind of slimy,like okra, so if you don’t like boiled okra….you probably wont like prickly pear nopals.

Jujube trees – These fruit producing trees grow quickly, and produce a ton of fruit within a couple of years of planting. I live in a very dry region and I NEVER have to water these trees, yet each one (roughly 15 feet tall) produce 6-7 gallon containers worth of fruit.

They will tolerate heat and cold, only blossoming after the last frost here (late April) and the birds and bugs don’t seem to bother them much. The fruit is about the size of a fresh date, eaten fresh they have the texture of a crisp apple with a slight nutty and sweet flavor.

I made pickled preserves from them, but it’s a lot of work due to the fairly small size of the fruit. The fruit can also be dried and used to make a tea that is high in vitamin C or reconstituted in Asian soups, they really accent the flavor of chicken.

I hope I’ve given you some ideas to augment your gardening preps, I would be interested to hear what other unusual or different plants the readers of M.D.’s great survival blog grow for high volume production.

If you have other ideas, please share with us in the comments below…

Comments

  1. I grow a wide variety of plants because… I do. One must have prep is Spearmint. I make a decoction and use it on my skin every day to clean without drying out and attend all those little scratches I get in the woods. I also use it as a bathroom and kitchen cleaner. All the mints are great. For greens, I most eat wild plants, but I grow radishes all winter for microgreens, I harvest at about 4 inches.
    I grow herbs but harvest wild plants for teas and herbs too. My favorite bulk producer is bolita beans, they grow here in New Mexico without supplemental water. Potatoes and asparagus are the easiest of plants.

  2. How can I contact Kitazawa Seed Co.? Phone, address, or e-mail?

  3. Learning the many techniques of mini gardening is where it’s at. I have completely given up big gardening. My yard is small, but we have learned to grow incredible amounts of food in it. I no longer travel to the place that I used to garden a 1/4 acre garden, and the back yard boxes require less than half the work and time I used to put into the larger garden. Grow up, not out!

  4. mom of three says:

    Love the article, just trying to see what work’s in each region is a job it’s self. Because I live in the Pacific Northwest, we can grow plant’s that love rain, cooling weather, with a few warm to hot days mixed in. I may take out more grass in my back yard, just to make wider grow bed’s to put food plant’s in the ground. I find that container gardening, is a hit and miss for me. I’m still getting big strawberries, in clusters only because I put them in a strawberry box, but potatoes, need to be in the ground to get a yield off of them the last two year’s I’ve gotten enough for a couple of meals.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      I used to live near Fort Lewis, WA and had a hard time growing anything there.

    • Babycatcher says:

      The ideal width for a raised bed of any length is 36 inches, cuz you can get to the middle easily without hurting your back.

      • I made five 24inch tall beds this year. They are wonderful. Made them with 8×16 concrete blocks at 40 inches width, perfect and so easy to use. I am getting older, these will be great. I made them hugelkultur style. I have lower stone beds too, but these are great.

  5. Danny Wilson says:

    The Old Farmer’s Almanac is a great resource to learn what grows in your area and when to plant. You can set up a reminder that will send you a planting calendar for the items to plant at different times during the season. http://www.almanac.com

    • I like the paper version, it still comes with a hole in the corner for hanging on a nail. Got many past years editions in a box I keep with the outhouse building supplies.

  6. j.r. guerra in south tx. says:

    Don’t forget the medicinals as well. Aloe Vera can be easily grown in containers and is worth planting. Not winter hardy which is why containers that can be taken inside from cold is recommended.

    Been said before and will be said again. Now is the time to research what natural foods IN YOUR AREA grow and how and when to prepare them for use.

    • Hi j.r., We have a lot of aloe as well, and it spreads like a weed. If one keeps thinning them (removing the little ones which pop up next to the parent) the parent will get FAR bigger than it would if crowded. And, of course, the small ones can be planted elsewhere.

      They send up nice flower stalks several feet tall which small birds love to land on to eat the seeds, so they are are great for attracting birds as well. Some of ours have light orange flowers, some light yellow.

      Our next door neighbor claims his wife eats aloe vera, but the only time I tried I found it was quite bitter. She may lack the gene for tasting bitterness though. I have no idea what the nutritional value might be, but it is good on sunburns and small cuts.

      • Aloe Vera juice is supposed to be soothing for tummy issues. My daughter bought a bottle of it for when she has had a particularly bad exposure to gluten. She can be ill for days if she does. The aloe helps her tummy recover a little faster.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      You are correct, medicinals certainly have their place in a garden, we grow mints, aloe vera, lavender, lemongrass, and plan on growing more as we do our research. It is a good idea to find out what grows in your area, absolutely !!!! Thank you for your addition.

  7. mountaingypsy says:

    MD Terrific list of plants and info, I had not seen before!! The prickly pear cactus ‘tunas’ when ripe and purple/pink make great jelly! Time consuming as the stickers have to be burned off, then boiled down, pealed etc. The jelly is somewhat like honey in consistency, light pink and has a mild wild berry flavor. Many western gift stores have it. I made it two times for fun as the stickers present an issue from picking to cooking! I am moving soon farther south in CO where they grow, as well as Yucca/soap weed, for soap!

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Yep, prickly pear tunas are a pain to work with but do make for some good eating !!!

      • hi all, I live in AZ and do prickly pear every year. jelly, syrup, bbq sauce, marmalade and wine. over the years I developed a way to avoid the glochids. I take a 5 gal bucket about half full of water, twist off the fruit with long bbq tongs while being mindful of the wind direction,( the little hair like stickers will blow like dust when disturbed) and drop the fruit into the water. the water catches the small spines. when I process them, I coarse chop them in a blender and boil in a large pot with a small amount of water to release the juice. Then run through a screen sieve to remove the pulp and seeds. Then I run the juice through at least three layers of cheese cloth to remove fine sediment and glochids. this speeds up the process considerably as running it through cheese cloth with the pulp takes forever for the juice to drip through. try some jelly it’s delicious. 3 1/2 cups juice, 3 tsp lemon juice, 1 box sure jell hard boil for 3 minutes, add 6 cups sugar, hard boil for 3 more min or until gell , pour into hot sterilized jars, hot water bath for 10 minutes. for a wonderfull twist add some lime zest and sub lime juice for the lemon juice, prickly pear lime marmalade.

    • Use a small box of sand and leather gloves to rub the hair like spines off the tunas. Makes it a lot easier to deal with them and the tunas make a good pancake syrup as well as jelly.

      Mesquite bean pods make a decent jelly as well.

  8. mountaingypsy says:

    MD Zucchini is so prolific as we know, that it makes many food items, from bread, pickles, relish, casseroles, in salad, just boiled and buttered……If they get too big they can still be used in recipes, just seed them. I had some once, that I did not have the time to harvest and they grew to about 18″like a small watermelon! Speaking of, watermelon rind pickles were a favorite in my family with pinto beans. So the rinds were not wasted,and a pickle mix spice was used. I am SO looking forward to a garden when I move, as here, the season is short, and reading all the wolf gardeners, make me jealous and hungry!!!!

  9. Prickly pear also is also used in a snake bits, see marjory wildcraft,is an herbalist.she was bitten by a copper head,an survived buy using the prickly pear.very intersting ,food an medicinal plant.

  10. Dolores Hayney says:

    When I lived in NJ, the Garden State, I always grew Beefstake tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini and cucumbers. Frying peppers also do very well. I don’t have a place to grow food here in Florida but grow herbs on my balcony and on my window sills: basil, rosemary, chives, & oregano & Cuban oregano which has very big leaves. I also have an aloe vera plant that is doing very well. I am in the process of finding some Italian Flat leaf parsley seeds to grow that also. I can’t grow veggies on my balcony because it is screen in and you need some bees to pollinate. I tried self pollination but that didn’t work. So gave up on veggies.

    • Dolores,
      You do not need bees to pollinate everything. Green beans pollinate themselves by growing. Tomatoes and peppers just need a gentle breeze (or you can gently shake them every few days.) Peas and carrots also don’t need bees.

      If you want to grow something like squash, or maybe even have a lemon tree in a pot, get a small paint brush and pollinate them yourself. (I see where you said you tried once, but really with a small paint brush, it isn’t hard.)

      You should try pollinating your plants again. It only takes a few seconds! I wrote a post on my blog on how to do it, so if you would like some further instructions, I will post the link here.

  11. I agree with the Roma tomato for all uses. I did not get tomatoes planted this year, but Roma will be my choice forever when I do plant. I do like the tiny grape tomatoes!

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Cherry tomatoes are so good to eat raw. I really enjoy them but love my Roma’s too.

      • I ditto the love of growing Roma tomatoes! They don’t even mind 98 degree heat with 98% humidity! They just keep producing.

        • My healthiest Roma this year is a volunteer in my front yard. The ones I planted in my garden aren’t doing that well. I love planting Romas, but I won’t get them where I did this year and I will be amending the soil a lot this winter.

  12. Jim Knight II says:

    Thank you for the information. I grow, or have grown, almost everything on that list. I love growing Roma tomatoes and Jalapeño peppers. I had never heard of Perilla tho. That sound interesting so I will have to give that a shot. Thank you again for the great info.

  13. A side note on Prickly Pear Cactus. The roots are very wood like and Termites just love it. So much so that it acts as a termite magnet. Be careful where you plant it.

    • I planted prickly pear around my fence years ago thinking it would get as tall as the fence. It didn’t because of the termites. They eat off the roots until the plant falls over and spreads out laterally instead of getting taller. This actually increases the plant quite well. But now there is an 8 foot wide bed of cactus instead of the 3 feet I had counted on. This works just fine for me because I have more than enough space and it lures the termites out of my wood fence.

  14. Here in SW FL I grow, as landscape plants, Cranberry Hibiscus, Katuk and Moringa. Neighbors don’t know I eat the landscape plants and I like that. Leaves from all are used fresh or cooked. Once established they grow and grow and grow. Cranberry Hibiscus has beautiful pink flowers that in turn produce a multitude of seeds so they reseed easily. As they get leggy and unattractive, I usually let a plant go about 12-15 months then replace. All the little seedlings get eaten as “gourmet microgreens, or reds”. I have also found that sweet yellow banana peppers grow better than bell peppers for me – again eaten fresh or cooked. I do grow the asparagus beans which produce very well as long as the rabbits don’t get to them first. And 2 types of sunflowers that have multiple flowers give me the seed to grow another type of microgreen – sunflower sprouts. I want the first leaves on them so I grow them in soil.
    Since we can grow pretty much year round, I don’t can, freeze, pickle, dehydrate anything.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Moringa is a great plant. In the Philippines it is called Malungay and in Japan it is considered a superfood. The filipinos use it as a tonic or vitamin enhancer. Mild tasting and can be added to soup or salad or stir fry. Great plant !!!

  15. BlueJeanedLady says:

    If space is limited in a traditional row garden yet you have a mostly full-sun space that could use a bit of ‘landscaping’ Horseradish is another option with perennial growth opportunities, i.e.; a very low cost edible & medicinal use root plant with attractive foliage! If you only take/use a portion of the root(s), divide and replant the remaining root(s) each harvest season, and keep the roots well mulched as it over-winters, the root(s) will multiple and the plant leaves will return the next spring. I’ve also read (have not tried) that it can be grown in deep containers, too. None-the-less, it can become invasive so don’t fail to harvest (dig / divide) every year if not initially planted in containers.

    It’s my understanding that horseradish grows best in USA growing zones 4-9. I’m near the borderline 6/7 zone and my plants grew well, in partial shade – mostly sunny, without much maintenance on my part at all. The only thing that finally killed my (non container grown horseradish – only mulched, not dug up, each winter) plants was a couple of lovable, goofy, giant dogs that used the large leafed plants like dogs are known to use fire hydrants (if ya’ know what I mean) two summers in a row! Next attempted planting is going outside of the pets’ fence line! 🙂

    Note: I have read that the roots & leaves can be deadly toxic to horses, cattle, sheep & goats to mention a few possible livestock residents, so don’t ‘landscape’ their personal spaces with this plant – And – There’s some debate as to whether they are semi-toxic (not necessarily deadly) to dogs & cats. However, I did not know about the potential dog / cat issues the first time I planted such yet neither my dogs nor my cats were even interested in nibbling the leaves and never dug the dirt above or around them. So, all was well for all, on that front.

    Thanks for the article, AZrealityprepper! Good ‘food’ for thought for next year’s gardening adventures. Keep taking care & happy preps!

    • BlueJeanedLady says:

      Correction on my part. I live near the 5/6 borderline of plant growing zones, not the 6/7 zones. Hummm??? Wonder if that has anything to do with some past gardening failures? Ha, ha, ha! 🙂

    • I live in zone 2b in Canada and horseradish grows very well here, including in the ditches and pastures.

    • azrealityprepper says:

      Thank you BlueJeanLady. I enjoy gardening even if I wasn’t prepping. We also use roses as “protection”, planting them in abundance around our windows. We probably have 50 or so rose bushes. Good perimeter protection too. There are quite a few plants that can be toxic to animals, so if you have those types of critters around, it is good to know what to watch out for.

  16. BlueJeanedLady says:

    Correction on my part. I live near the 5/6 borderline of plant growing zones, not the 6/7 zones. Hummm??? Wonder if that has anything to do with some past gardening failures? Ha, ha, ha! 🙂

  17. TN Mountain Mama says:

    Another great plant for prepper gardening is Jerusalem Artichoke. It is neither from Israel, nor related to artichokes in any way. It is a type of perennial sunflower with edible tuberous roots. The tubers multiply each year, with no extra work planting (just leave some in the ground when you harvest the others), and they are prepared like potatoes or eaten raw in smaller quantities (they taste a little like water chestnuts– crunchy and a little sweet). They just look like a hedge of 6′-8′ tall sunflowers to curious passersby, but they have many uses. The hairy stalks grow together thickly and act as a deer deterrent when planted as a hedge. The roots are good for food for humans and livestock (pigs will till your field for you if they smell them underground). Rabbits will eat the stalks, and the flowers bloom in late summer/early fall when my bees are short on pollen supplies. The tubers have a low glycemic index and many health benefits:
    http://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/jerusalem-artichokes.php

    • We call those ‘Sunchokes’. They used to be farmed around here quite extensively. So much so, that they escaped domestication and started growing wild all over the place. You can see them all along every road and stream. I don’t bother growing them because I can go out and dig up a bucketful anytime.

  18. PlantLady says:

    One of the best reasons to grow “unusual” plants for your area is that foraging thieves in the coming Darker Ages will likely not recognize many as food sources. Here in the upper Midwest, we have shitake mushroom logs back through the woods in the damp spots (make a map -they are hard to find even if you put them there yourself!). Want to get some other varieties going next spring. We already have natural morels and beefsteaks growing everywhere, right up to the house.
    Also have honeyberry and goji berries started and have to get some seaberry, quince, shipova mountain ash, hardy almonds, paw paw, cornelian cherry, red and yellow plums (have purple), kiwi and more cranberry. Lots of fruits already here – around 50 fruit trees (apple, edible crabapple, sweet cherry, tart cherry, pear, plums, serviceberry), uncountable numbers of red, yellow and black raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, hops, strawberries…but those are pretty well-recognized by many. Fruits are not only good for eating, but are great for drinking as juice/cider or fermenting into hard cider, wine and vinegars for personal use or very high value barter goods. If you have hops and malting barley you can also make beer. Tobacco will be another high value barter crop which masquerades as an ornamental. Don’t forget your herbs and most especially garlic! Garlic is a high value food, seasoning, medicine and anti-viral/antibacterial. Just finished harvesting 300 heads – I feel wealthy!!!
    Make sure all your food crops aren’t in one obvious garden or orchard space…plant many here and there through your property, then if the “bad guys” find some, they may look no further. And the more food crops of various types you grow, the better chance you have to harvest at least something!
    And in the meantime, it gives you unusual crops you can sell at a local farmers market without any (or much) competition.
    The smartest thing I ever did was to decide to grow as much food as possible, to practice for the coming Darker Ages and have enough ground ready when they get here…and sell the excess at our local farmers market. We are in a very rural hunting/fishing/tourist/farming area – our county only has 14,000 people, and the nearest city (30,000 people) is 48 miles away. After just 2.5 years, I can pay the property taxes on 24 acres and invest in more fruit and nut trees, berry plants and seeds… plus fencing and other garden tools and infrastructure with the proceeds. You really can’t go wrong…and you will be sitting pretty when the Darker Ages get here in full force. Imagine the peace of mind when you KNOW you can feed your family if need be!
    PlantLady

    • I gave spent the past nine years putting in an orchard, adding a few every year. I have 40+ fruit trees and bushes and put in 58 saskatoons this year along with more plums and honey berries. Saskatoons are also know as June berries or service berries. I have not thought of planting fruit trees in more hidden places, mine are in rows, out in the open and easy to spot. Veggies yes, but not trees for some reason.

      • Northern Gal

        we were all trained to plant in straight rows. The biggest reason for straight rows is the rise of mechanized agriculture. It is damaging to the soil. I have never planted in straight rows, never plowed, an plant in groups that support each other. My gardens look like English cottage gardens, but I have vegetables tucked in with fruits, flowers, herbs. 30 years without market economy pesticides or market economy pesticides and every year my soil improves and my plants are healthier.
        At 7500 feet in New Mexico, starting in barren sand (barren because UV rays kill soil microbes), my soil is improving, but still has a way to go. It looks like soil and grows tons of native plants. I barely had 1 plant in 6 square feet initially. This on about 16 inches of rain. In most places, 1 to 3 years. I don’t compost openly mostly, I bury the material, because the sun is hard on the microbes.
        Planting mixed beds not only creates opsec, it improves soil and water retention, but reduces weeding. Straight rows screams food gardening.

      • PlantLady says:

        NorthernGal: Well, a tree is a whole lot bigger and harder to hide than tomato plant (hehe). And if you have 40 or so, a real challenge unless you have a decent chunk of land. My “new” semi-dwarf orchard is 80′ x 160′, planted on a standard 16′ grid with 8′ aisles between the rows. I am disguising it by planting bulbs, perennials, shrubs, berries and vines all through the area – which creates a vibrant community of plants that all work together to help one another. Even before mechanized orcharding, folks grew their fruit trees on a grid pattern, to fit in as many as possible on the smallest amount of land. And to improve pollination by providing pollinators with a large amount of food and shelter in one area, allowing a large community of them to build over time.
        Wow, here Juneberries grow like dandelions – they are naturally everywhere something else isn’t already growing. In the early spring they are a glorious sight! Back in my forest they look like clouds caught in the lower tree canopy.
        That brings up a very important, even critical topic – LOCATION. Reading Rebeccas reply about trying to grow at elevation in New Mexico…I am SO GLAD I am growing where I am – in a temperate northern area where vast varieties of food grows wild in great abundance. Excellent soils, plenty of rainfall, more fresh water than anywhere else on earth. Just on our 23 acres we have maples and birch for syrup, morel and beefsteak mushrooms, fiddleheads, strawberries, Juneberries, wild black cherries, red, black and purple raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, gooseberries, wintergreen…plus naturalized asparagus, apple and plum trees. I usually give away over a dozen baby plum trees each year, and could give away more if anyone wanted them. And now that I have the big garden growing good, dealing with an abundance of “volunteer” crop plants. This year I found enough volunteer garlic in the past 3 years’ beds and in the sheet composting area that I gave a neighbor enough transplants to plant three 100′ rows! Found enough baby beet seedlings to plant my first batch of beets this year. And don’t think I will ever have to plant tomatillos again – planted them two years ago and they come up everywhere now! I just move some to where I want them.
        Last year I had hundreds of volunteer tomato plants and supplied ten families with all the plants they wanted, plus sold a lot potted up at the farmers market…and still ended up composting bushels.
        So, when it comes to trying to grow enough food to feed a family, do you want to try it where food grows willingly and abundantly…or where getting anything to grow is a real challenge? I think most people’s ideas of where they want to live in the “now” is going to have to change if they hope to survive, let alone thrive, in the coming Darker Ages.
        PlantLady

        • Plant Lady,
          I hear ya, definitely a garden of Eden, and water is life. I do have 5 acres of pinyons producing pine nuts. Interspersed are hundreds on prickly pear, with edible pads and fruits. Dozens of Banana Yucca with their super sweet dates. Elderberry are doing well, as are juneberries, apples and pears. I have landrace beans and cprn that require no supplemental water. Nor do my asparagus or bunching onions. I have naturalized parsnips, and never water pitayoes, sunflowers, or sunchokes. I have dozens of local medicinal herbs also. Wolf berries are tasty and golden currants, It is a matter of working with what you have and noticing that every area has edible plamts. Not getting tied into raising a lot of things that require irrigation. I have a local cousin of lamb’s quarters naturalized now. Delicious. Barley, quinoa, amaranth are growing wild. I say we can live anywhere and eat with little effort. I love my pitager, but I eat from the mountain. At $20/pound, pinyons are a cash crop if I choose. I have rabbits and mule deer, bear. Game birds like dove and now quail.
          I do enjoy seeing what will grow, but I have more than enough to eat here, with no work but harvesting.

  19. Ditto. I have a potager next to my house, obvious. I have 5 acres of opsec food forest. Notice that most people will not recognize fruit trees dispersed in a food forest. Endless edible greens. I love my pretty potager filled with herbs and veg. I feel safer with my food forest.

  20. great yr for okra in nh!! never thought it would do good here but its doing awesome!!

  21. Food for thought.

    First time I grew black tomatoes no one would take any as they all thought they were rotten…lol.
    Another different veggie is the achocha cucumber. I like the Fat Baby’s myself. They look like little spiky balls, make pretty good pickles, are good right off the vine and spikes are soft. Sometimes appearance is all and could save a crop from theft. Of course the thieves might be so angry they vandalize the garden out of spite. “You pays your money and takes your chances”

    • PlantLady says:

      I grow the unusual cherry/salad tomatoes for market. When I take the Indigo Rose, a saladette type that looks like someone spray-painted it with shiny black lacquer, folks are always trying to buy them as plums! Have even had folks insist that I am wrong, because of course they are plums – tomatoes do not look like that. As if I can’t tell the difference between a tomato plant and plum tree (hehe). I also grow Black Pearl, sort of burgundy/brown/black and Black Cherry, sort of purple/black (both cherry types) and Black Krim slicers…but only the Indigo line have that shiny black lacquer colouring.
      PlantLady

      • azrealityprepper says:

        PlantLady, we really enjoy the black cherry tomatoes, they are so sweet and grow well here in Arizona. Do have to water them but otherwise they grow well.

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