• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

What is the most nutritious root crop that you can grow?

 
john muckleroy jr
Posts: 40
Location: nacogdoches,texas
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Still brainstorming the planning of my garden with economic collapse in mind.What are the most nutrition dense crops to grow for survival in the event of a breakdown?
 
Judith Browning
Pie
Posts: 5540
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
260
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would say sweet potatoes...very nutritious...easy to store and propagate...take little water...fairly insect and disease free...they do need deer and rabbit protection and sometimes vole and mice find them...and I guess you can eat the greens but I have not...I use them as mulch or an addition to the compost.
 
Nicole Castle
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Obviously sweet potatoes aren't enough nutritionally, but I agree they are probably #1 for root crops. I have rocky dirt, though, so I mostly get small stunted or outrageously gnarled tubers. I get a lot more calories for space and effort out of butternut squash.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8966
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
129
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree with the Sweet Potatoes suggestion, you can also eat the leaves of Sweet Potato. They can be perennial in warm climates.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
Posts: 1276
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
22
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Texas should be warm,
then go for taro if you have water, the roots are huge,
and cassava is a good crop,
you can also eat the leaves (cooked) and you replant with the stem, so no lost of edible crop for planting.
sunchokes
+ Canna edulis.
onions...
 
Pamela Melcher
Posts: 299
Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Are sweet potato leaves edible raw? Or must they be cooked or else they are bad for us?

They are OK, a little bland, with a hint of spiciness, a little mucilaginous, but PLENTIFUL, even if only as an annual.

Pamela Melcher
 
greg patrick
Posts: 168
Location: SoCal, USDA Zone 10b
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
According to Mat LeLonde, regular potatoes are more nutritious than sweet. That being said, I've never had a crop of either get past six weeks before turning to goo. Why root crops? I say plant a bunch of alfalfa, barley and other cover crops and let he chickens and ducks go on it. Eggs are much healthier. Or do like us and plant what ever big trees thrive in your area and use the trimmings to feed goats. Kale also works great 3/4 of the year.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beets put sweet potatoes to shame as far as nutrition. Huge root systems gathering all kinds of minerals and nutrients.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8966
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
129
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Beets grow extremely well for me here, but I have not been especially good at making them a staple of our diet because my husband dislikes them......
 
Judith Browning
Pie
Posts: 5540
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
260
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love beets, butternut squash and eggs (and probably taro and cassava too) that were all mentioned in the previous posts, but find sweet potatoes the easiest to grow here and perpetuate from year to year. My beet crop is kind of iffy and I have never had good luck in getting seed which sets the next year I understand. My sweet potato harvest is a relatively easy 100 to 300 pounds, beets anywhere from none to 20 pounds. I want both sweet potatoes and beets; and turnips and parsnips...and butternut squash and eggs..........I grew up in corn country but am adapting my tastes and growing skills to a southern garden...

Maybe I am growing the wrong variety of beet. I usually have the best luck with detroit dk red....but they are not "huge root systems"
 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
Posts: 1250
Location: Maine (zone 5)
65
forest garden hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I grew Red Ace and Touchtone Gold beets. I had more pest damage on the red ace so the gold beets did much better this year. I try to keep planting some every few weeks so that we have a good supply of golfball sized roots all summer long. I let the last planting grow out to huge storage beets to last into the winter. I always plant them at one inch spacing and then thin them once the greens are big enough for a salad. I thin a second time for braising once the greens are big enough but before the root tops are touching one another. This way I can maximize my space and minimize weed competition.
 
Pamela Melcher
Posts: 299
Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sweet potato leaves are edible raw!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okZ4jB113C8

A good hot weather green. The vines really put out a lot of leaves fast.

I just stuck Sweet Potatoes half way in the ground in the shade and waited. A critter ate the Garnet Yam (actually all yams that they sell or grow in the US are sweet potatoes - weird, but true) so I tried again, burying the whole thing. Jewel Yams and Garnet Yams and Asian Sweet Potatoes produced leaves fastest for me. The plain old pale Sweet Potato was very slow. I am not going to try that again.

I started them in pots and will transplant. It seemed like the best thing to do since I started this experiment in the heat of August, and doubted that they would be happy rooting in that heat.

I have eaten the leaves raw, and they are definitely OK. A little bland, with a little spicyness. They are a little mucilaginous, but not bad.

I hope this is useful information.

Pamela Melcher
 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
Posts: 1250
Location: Maine (zone 5)
65
forest garden hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've read the Sweet potato is treated with a chemical to inhibit growth. Apparently this is done to prevent folk from growing them out and to keep them lasting longer on the store shelf. Is there a way to avoid this or to remove the chemical?
 
Pamela Melcher
Posts: 299
Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Craig,

Thanks for the warning.

Do they do that with organically grown sweet potatoes?

I hope not.

Thanks for any info that anyone has on this subject.

Pamela Melcher
 
Pamela Melcher
Posts: 299
Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
More on eating raw and cooked Sweet Potato leaves:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/489663-nutritional-value-of-sweet-potato-tops/

This source sounds more credible.

I hope this is useful to some.

Pamela Melcher
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8009
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
268
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Supermarket potatoes (and sweets?) are treated to prevent sprouting in storage.
Thus should NOT be a problem with organic produce (except possibly supermarket "organic")

Know your farmer.

 
Sheena James
Posts: 5
Location: USA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Two of the most nutritious root crops I can grow are carrots and broccoli. At first, I thought I can't be able to grow them properly but yay, I did!
 
Pamela Melcher
Posts: 299
Location: Portland, Oregon Maritime, temperate, zone 7-8.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks, John.

Whew. I have been sprouting organic sweet potatoes.

Health and abundance for All!

Pamela Melcher
 
Judith Browning
Pie
Posts: 5540
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
260
bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Craig Dobbelyu wrote:I've read the Sweet potato is treated with a chemical to inhibit growth. Apparently this is done to prevent folk from growing them out and to keep them lasting longer on the store shelf. Is there a way to avoid this or to remove the chemical?


Craig..I don't know about treated sw. potatoes but once you are able to sprout and grow a variety of sweet potato that you like be sure to save a number of true to type roots for the next years slips. I have had great success for twelve years with the same variety that someone else had been growing for decades...they actually mailed me a box of a few fairly small ones to start with. maybe someone local to you would share a few potatoes or as someone else mentioned buy organic ones for slips.

...and thanks for the beet advice...I've never grown golden ones...I think the main problem is our spring weather is practically nonexsistant lately and I can't get them planted early enough before it gets too hot for them. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't grow well here over the summer but I'm not able to get a fall crop either. I like your method of thinning, I am probably not diligent enough about that.

 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
Posts: 1250
Location: Maine (zone 5)
65
forest garden hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm also finding that beets do OK even in a little shade. I planted them on the shady side of my parsnips and they seemed to beat the heat better than the ones that were just out in the open.
 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
morning glories (ipomeoa species) are related to sweet potatoes and some native american tribes ate the roots of morning glories and included them in their 3 sisters plots, they grow in cooler places than sweet potatoes and the leaves can be used to reduce itch or insect bites and such
and the seeds can help with constipation (3-5 seeds) from what i understand

 
Lucy Lovely
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Turnips are an easy annual to grow. in Texas they like to be grown any time except summer. Delicious and nutritious. They are nothing like storebought. Jerusalem artichokes are great, but tend to be invasive, good starch for diabetics. Can make a wall of plants quick providing shade for other plants that don't like so much heat. They are a sunflower, but the seeds are for the birds. The stalks provide good sticks. If you leave some roots in the ground they spread easily. A large amount of return for very little work. All farm animals seem to like to get into them and dig them up though. Daylilies are an excellent perennial root vegetable . They will naturalize when planted, and they get bigger and bigger each year. One plant will put out many blooms which make a delicious vegetable for one day (hence daylilies), but the dried blooms are good in soups. The unopened buds are similar to green beans in appearance, and are also delicious, all parts of this plant are good raw or cooked, and it is a native. I also eat the roots of lesser ragweed while I'm cleaning up the garden. They run along just under the surface spreading the plant early in the spring. It is thought that some degree of allergy resistance is formed from eating the plant.I have no problems from it. But I don't know about other people. It tastes like water chestnuts, but is a skinny little tuber. Cattails are a wonderful tuber to eat, and they take care of themselves pretty much, and of course every part of this plant is useful, if you have a pond or marsh or ditch that fills with water to grow them in, but they store some toxins, so the water and soil that they grow in must be good already, if not, cattails will improve the quality of water and soil. If you live where there is enough water and not too much cold and probably acidic soil, kudzu makes a good root vegetable, but is considered invasive. This is a nutritious plant used throughout the world with a fascinating history in the US. It is illegal to sell the plant here, but you can go gather it where it does grow, and confine it in your garden. It is a legume and builds the soil, It's leaves are nutritious for livestock, but it is so very invasive.It is the fastest growing plant in the world.It does not produce seed in the US. It has no enemies or pollinators here. It has many many uses.I like parsnips, and you have to love dandelions. Dandelions may be the winner for most nutritious root, and you just have to get it going and leave it alone. It is not native, but it likes it everywhere. Comfrey is a good nutritious herbal root to have on hand and is easy to grow if you can keep all the animals away from it.
 
Lucy Lovely
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Daylily is hemerocallis.And what is life without onions. it's not so much about a single most nutritious crop,as a lot of different plants that appear in different seasons, climates, changing weather patterns. The same things don't do consistently well year after year after year. Each year has it's own ups and downs, and the plants that yield are different accordingly.
 
B.R. Dick
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The beet is the most nutrient dense food on the planet.
 
chrissy bauman
Posts: 131
Location: Sunset Zone 27, Florida
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
sweet potato if youre in the south... its very resistant to bugs, and i have a lot of them here in west florida, and the leaves can be eaten by either you or the rabbits, pigs, goats, cows, horses you are also growing in your garden as a protein and lipid source. marjorie wildcrafts youtube channel talks about hot weather survival crops and one on eating insects.
also dont forget beans...the beans themselves are nutritionally dense and the plant parts can go right to your manure machines, rabbits in my case.
i dont think that grocery store sweet potatoes are frequently treated with chemicals to prevent sprouting, but sometimes they are put under refrigeration, which effectively kills them. way to pass on misinformation silly, what chemicals did you personally actually see sprayed on sweet potatoes for grocery stores?
also, don't know about texas, but it's illegal to propagate or move/distribute kudzu in florida.
 
Allan Babb
Posts: 63
Location: Greater New Orleans, LA, USA
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John Polk wrote:Supermarket potatoes (and sweets?) are treated to prevent sprouting in storage.
Thus should NOT be a problem with organic produce (except possibly supermarket "organic")

Know your farmer.



I've had plenty of non-organic supermarket potatoes sprouting.
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8009
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
268
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've had plenty of non-organic supermarket potatoes sprouting


So have I.

Don't tell the supermarket though. They'll probably 'double-dose' them, or find a more potent chemical.

 
Devon Olsen
Posts: 1066
Location: SE Wyoming -zone 4
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
has anyone got decent yields with store bought potatos that are sprouted?
 
Tim Eastham
Posts: 52
Location: USDA Climate Zone 9, Central Florida
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Turmeric.
 
Josh T-Hansen
Posts: 143
Location: Zone 5 Brimfield, MA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Burdock, dandelion, and groundnut are some of the most nutritious per volume.
 
Nicole Castle
Posts: 151
Location: Madison, AL
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They aren't sprayed so that you can't sprout them, they are sprayed so that they can sell them -- sprouted potatoes generally don't sell.
 
                              
Posts: 18
Location: Upper Midwest
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I only eat a small amount of beets daily because the body can only convert so much pigment. I do not grow broccoli anymore since it is only moderately nutritious and takes up a huge amount of space to produce a small head. Collard and turnip greens are so much more nutritious and efficient. Kale, okra, chicory, dandelion, tendergreens, and nettle are also very good. Sunchokes are hard to digest. While sweet potato is the best; parsnip, salsify, chicory, beet, and carrot, provide great variety. A garden grown for nutrition should also have sunflower, peas, green beans, onion, garlic, squash, asparagus, and radish. Fruit is a whole new subject.
 
Rose Pinder
Posts: 398
Location: Otago, New Zealand
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I second burdock and dandelion. I don't recommend comfrey root though, as comfrey has alkaloids that can cause liver damage, and those alkaloids are highest in the root.


For nutrient density, it's not only the nutrient content of the vegetable in general, but how it is grown, and how it is prepared for eating (eg nutrients from a cooked carrot are more easily assimilated than from a raw one; cook veges in closed pots or dishes and eat/drink the cooking water etc). Weston Price are a good place to start for getting the most out of food.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic