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Fastest harvest Permaculture Crop Northern Europe?  RSS feed

 
                  
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Hi all, just got a long-term lease on almost an acre of mountain in Sweden, not far from Stockholm.
This is July, late, but I want to plant something now, and need help on finding fastest crop plants, need some food grown by myself this year!
Planted some quick potatoes and jerusalem artichokes and beets in raised beds.
Earth is very poor and thin, but found some old composted leaves.
Mixed forest, not all pine, some oaks.
No money to test earth, will have to learn by mistake, this is why it is so important for me to plant this year, the faster I make mistakes the sooner I will learn.
Please advise

What can I plant now, July, in the Northern Hemisphere / Sweden to have crops in 60 days or less, Ideally 40?

Trying to get a mixture of seeds going to follow in sepp holzer steps next year....
 
Brenda Groth
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greens, spinach, turnips, kale, radishes, beans, peas, herbs, summer squash, cucumbers possibly..look on the seed packets for early or extra early. you should be able to start your Fall garden now..you might still find blueberries and raspberries in the stores for next years crop and get in some fall fruit trees.
 
paul wheaton
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lettuce and radish. 

Fukuoka likes daikon radishes for building the soil.

You might plant some buckwheat just to improve the soil. 

Start making lists of what you are going to plant this fall. 

When is the average first frost date?
 
                  
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Thank you for your replies Brenda and Paul! Bought some turnip seeds as well, and what a great idea with buckwheat and radishes, Paul, need  those!

need to find cheaper fruit trees, 2 year seedlings selling for 40 us dollars and cant find anyone local yet....
no wild apples in the vicinity either, and we did have some old gardens around....
Blueberries grow on my mountain as it is, it is everywhere here.

sweden - spoke to locals, all say no rules for first frost, but mid-september at night,  could be october, could be november, could be december, with end of october on average at day, but who knows with the weather these days.
 
Brenda Groth
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Your temps sound a lot like Michigan..but we don't have the mountains here..we do however have frosts in June and then again sometimes all summer..we can have them..it was 39 in Michigan overnight last night and this is Mid July.

we generally can get frosts again in September..but definate possibilities in october. With mountains you can have the frost drain away from your beds..

I would erect some sort of hot house or cold greenhouse at least i think..that will extend your seasons..Fall might be a good time to buy your fruit trees..try shopping online for them...let your fingers do the walking..and then if they are local go pick them up so you can see them.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I don't know much about this, but would it be worthwhile to start apples from seed, and then graft onto (some of) the saplings that make it?

Especially if you have neighbors who prune apple trees, this would save some money.  And it would probably give root stock that is better-suited to the soil, both through selection and through early acclimation.

The Botany of Desire has convinced me that some fruit should be grown from seed, even if almost all of it is only good for cider, to give room for new apple varieties to emerge.  I don't fully trust Pollan on technical details, but he says the genetic diversity of seeds, even in industrialized apples, is quite good.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I knew there was a snappier answer about the fastest crop, but couldn't put my finger on it until I saw this blog post:

http://homeofthefuture.blogspot.com/2009/05/more-unintended-benefits-of-thinningu.html

The fastest crop you will get will be by thinning very dense crops; bobpixel seems to recommend sowing very densely indeed. 
 
                  
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I appreciate all the support!
Good news- turns out one of my neighbors, a demolition man, routinely destroys/levels homes with gardens.
He will bring me fruit trees, and I will see which can be planted by sepp holzer shock style rip my leafs off therapy.
The other neighbor mantains a golf course and has promised me all the mulch and compost I might need.
Yes, it has pesticides, but there might also be some simple straw.
Will have to see.
The garlic and potatoes I planted this friday have roots and shoots coming out like crazy.
I started collecting all the local beneficial plants I can find, clover, rosehip, daffodil and lots more, spreading them out over my lot as well.
Need to get some mustard, right now I just have the garlic to scare the bugs away.
The slugs here are so giant that the wild birds dont even bother, and I have a neighbor fox so getting ducks will require a HUGE pond.
Saw one lonely hedgehog and far from our property, felt a giant temptation to transplant him to my mountain, as he was trotting in the sterile suburbs, but of course decided against it, as the beast has as much right to free choice as me.
I do need hedgehogs!
Chickens next year for the chicken tractor benefits.
Oh, to get a yak or a pig.... Not this year.

I plant many seeds together and will transplant them as time allows.
Good to know that radishes are the fastest, trying to read up on the many tuber and root local variety plants that kept sweden fed in the hungry years.
Nod the Swede or Rutabaga, there are more...

Do you think I should experiment with the 3 sisters?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Sisters_(agriculture)
I know it is too late but I must test my soil by trial.
 
Leah Sattler
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corn likes it really warm and might take a bit more time than you have. unless you can find some short season varieties you probably won't get a harvest. but you could get a good feel for how well it likes it there.
 
Brenda Groth
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I'm with Leah on the corn..kinda late..but find out what your first frost of the fall date is..and then count back..and see what maturation dates you can come up with for a fall crop..here i'm putting in greens of all kinds, peas, cabbages, turnips, coles etc for fall garden crops..and i have my tropicals in my greenhouse so they'll last till about Christmas.

Also there are some things that you might be able to sow in the fall for a SPRING garden..some herbs will grow that way..and lots of perennial plants..so if you dont get in that fall garden..then consider anything that might be sowable in the fall..i've even read that peas can be sown in the snow and they'll come up in the spring..but i haven't tried that one.

i know corn salad and alot of greens will react well to a fall sowing for a spring garden...

also if you cut your broccoli and cabbage and stuff and leave a stem..you might get new growth from those..in the fall or spring.
 
Leah Sattler
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with just a little bit of protection you could probably grow some cool hardy greens.
 
                  
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The biggest problem I see is that I am essentially building a Northern Climate Rocky Terrain Mountain Forest Garden.
it's granite all around.
So yes, some apple and plum trees, some radishes to break the soil, inkluding daikon
Importing straw and mulch for quicker first year food crop results.
But outside of turnips potatoes and cabbages, looks like nothing else will provide me with a food crop in the first year.
And before fall, I am lucky to get radishes.
Potatoes will certainly not be ready till September.
Guess there is no magick bullet.

Its still good old potatoes carrots beets and cabbages to feed offf a small infertile plot of land.
A forest garden, you say? But where do I get 20 years....
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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This won't produce many calories, but my suggestion was to plant ridiculously densely and to eat sprouts, then very small plants, then slightly larger plants, maintaining the beds at a planting density appropriate for the age of the plants.  That way, the beets and mustard and so forth are all producing food from the first germination.  Calories aren't the most expensive part of a food bill anyhow.

I hear corn sprouts are quite tasty, by the way, so I imagine there are many other plants whose greens are not considered just because mature plants are tough.

Since you're importing straw and such, perhaps a couple of laying hens fed partly on container-raised worms?  They'll love the slugs, too.  I've heard industrial meat breeds develop very quickly and can give enormous eggs, and industrial feeding operations might be willing to let go of ones they consider "old" fairly cheaply.

I just read that fog and frost tend to follow the same contours, which might inform where you first plant.

Lastly, that demolition man sounds like an amazing resource!  I bet tomatoes would love a bed built on a foundation of broken up lath and plaster.  Old windows over raised beds will buy you a lot of growing time, if the beds are sized to match the windows.  Scrap plumbing and fixtures have a lot of uses as well.
 
                  
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I dont quite agree with the "founding fathers" and the belief that "the problem is the solution".
Some people plant potatoes in car tires, but tires give off heavy metals... I would much prefer wood, thats what my raised beds are made of, untreated wood.
let it rot, I have more, and wood at the bottom of the "high culture" beds.

Demolitioned materials often have heavy metals and toxic wastes in them.
Old buildings in Sweden do have lead paint.

A wonderful spot on the edge of the land-mountain had a garage burn down 5 years ago, long before I got the lease, and I am very hesitant to plant anything there. Sure, the Lupines are many feet high, but I am not sure if I should remove them from the property and replant over 5 years, to get some of the toxins out...

There is a forest nearby. And a fox. I saw fox shit.
I saw the fox 10 minutes away from my house. Big bushy tail, healthy and fast.
There are no other chicken owners around.
You know what that means.  The moment I get chickens is the moment the fox gets them.
I lived on a farm and a fox stole 20 chickens and dozens of ducks over 2 years.
They hunted him, they poisoned him, they set traps, they had wonderful dogs that killed many a porcupine, stray feral cat, woodchuck and all the other farm nusiances.
They could not outwit the fox.
And I dont want to kill or trap him.

And before someone suggests a coop and a chicken tractor fence contraption, trust me, you have not been around a real fox.

What I have is a white oak guild.
Without the poison Ivy and with Hazelnuts that dont give fruit.
Apples, sunflowers, beets, potatoes.
But I have little time every day and need fast and furious crops.
Too bad I am not fukuoka and dont want bitter oranges and radishes as a staple of my diet...
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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No chickens, then, and nothing with any lead paint...point taken. 

Are there acorns enough to gather?  I hear white oak is the tastiest variety.  They must be leached, but I hear they make good bread:

http://www.jackmtn.com/acornbread.html .

I bet you can get away with more than half acorn, too, if your adjunct flour is higher in protien: chickpea/garbanzo, for example.

Keeping bees would also give you something within a year, if your site is suitable.  I hear the top bar method isn't very laborious.

I suppose aquaculture would take more time than you have.  Freshwater shellfish might be worth considering, unless the fox would take them.

Best of luck!
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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polyparadigm wrote:
I don't know much about this, but would it be worthwhile to start apples from seed, and then graft onto (some of) the saplings that make it?


We had a long chat about this.  Maybe you have something more to add?

http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/998_0/permaculture/growing-apples-from-seeds-vs-cloning


 
                    
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polyparadigm wrote:
This won't produce many calories, but my suggestion was to plant ridiculously densely and to eat sprouts, then very small plants, then slightly larger plants, maintaining the beds at a planting density appropriate for the age of the plants. 


I'm trying that now with amaranth - the seed is small and inexpensive - $3 or so for a pound, with hundreds of thousands of seed. It comes up incredibly well, and can be thinned and thinned and thinned for greens.  If a few plants are left to produce seed, that will produce enough to reseed that area plus more.
 
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