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Eating Sustainably  RSS feed

 
peter wheat
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Hi,
    Im finding food a problematic issue on my Permaculture journey.  Does anyone have any top tips on how to build a sustainable and nutritional diet?  I want to eat locally and grow most of my own food, but there are lots of conflicting issues, for example: Most vegan diets use large amounts of grains.  However many grains are not sustainable, requiring annual plowing of the earth, and significant fossel fuel inputs.  So what do you use for staples? 
How do you get your protien, carbs, vitamins and minerals from produce sympathetic to the permaculture ethos, thoughout the year?  Food forests are a great idea, but what do you do for food while you are waiting for them to mature?

Thanks in advance.  Kind regards,  Pete.
 
bunkie weir
Posts: 110
Location: eastern washington
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as far as grains go, one can grow a lot of grain in a very small space. there was an article written in Organic Gardening in Dec. 1988 called 'Staff of Life' by Thom Leonard. in it he talks about growing grains in one's own garden. i have not been able to find it on the internet, but have a copy of it on paper.

he says "One hundred square feet of wheat planted on reasonably good garden soil should yield a harvest of at least 5 pounds of dry grain. John Jeavons ("How to grow more vegetables" reports wheat yields of 17 pounds per 100-square-foot bed and projects yields of 30 pounds per 4-by25-foot bed under ideal conditions.
Those 17 pounds of wheat will give you flour for 29 pounds of bread.  5 pounds of wheat will give you 8  pounds of bread. A 5-5-foot patch, intensively managed could give you the same 5 pounds that you might harvest from four times as much space."


imagine how one could stretch that poundage of bread by also growing oats, amaranth, rye, barley, etc...

 
peter wheat
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Thanks for the reply Bunkie.  I tried growing a small amount of hard wheat and rye last year in my garden, but processing the stuff takes an age by hand.  I've been thinking about trying some hulless oats this year, and I've also got a small amount of quinoa seed, which I hope to try.  I'd be interested in others experiences of home grown grains.
 
bunkie weir
Posts: 110
Location: eastern washington
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peter, i totally identify with the cleaning of the wheat being a hassle. i've been doing it by hand so far.

a few of us were discussing growing perennial wheats and ryes and i posted about ways to clean it on this thread...maybe you can find some info here...

http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/1316_0/permaculture/sepp-holzers-perennial-grain

i also will be growing hulless oats this year with hulless barley, quinoa aand amaranth. love to experiment!

oh, and welcome to the forum peter!
 
                
Posts: 44
Location: West Coast of Canada
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Hi, Peter.  I am new to the whole permaculture thing, so I don't know how a true permie would answer that question.  However, I think I see some assumptions in the question that you might want to question.

People grew grains long before anyone thought of using fossil fuels, so they don't require those fuels.  As for plowing, I don't know, but I do know that some commercial grain farmers are starting to use zero-tillage techniques, so it seems likely that plowing is not required either.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Jeavons & company have a fairly well-thought-out garden plan. I would do a lot less double-digging than they recommend, and a lot more cutting & mulching vs. uprooting and composting, but I think their numbers on how many plants of what sort, per person, might be a good jumping-off point.

Ecology Action diet/planting guidelines

Edit: I guess they don't let us link directly to a particular page on that site. I meant to link to this:

• 60-65% of the area — “Carbon-and-Calorie Crops” — High-Carbon-producing and
    significant-calorie-producing (weight-efficient [see below]) crops

Grains: Wheat, Cereal Rye, Oats, Barley, Triticale, Corn, Sorghum, Amaranth, Quinoa, etc.
Fava Beans (grown to maturity for dry bean and dry biomass production)
Sunflowers (sunflower seeds very high in fat; maximum to avoid copper toxicity = 0.62 lb / day)
Filberts
Raisins



• 30% of the area — “High-Calorie Root Crops” — Area- and weight-efficient crops for    calories


Crops for this category need to be both area- and weight-efficient. As defined for this worksheet, a crop is considered to be “area-efficient” if the annual area needed for total calories is 16 beds (1600 sq    ft) or less, assuming GROW BIOINTENSIVE intermediate yields; it is considered to be “weight-
efficient” if the daily weight of food to be eaten for total calories is 9 pounds or less.1



Potatoes (12.2/6.7) Maximum to avoid potassium toxicity = 2.5 lb /day
Jerusalem Artichoke (12.3 / 7.0)**
Garlic (10.8 / 3.6)**

Leeks (6.6 / 8.7)
Parsnips (10.8 / 7.1)

Sweet Potatoes (11.2 / 5.0)
Salsify (11.8 / 6.5)


AREA in 100-sq-ft beds / WEIGHT in lb: e.g., it takes 12.2 beds of potatoes to produce the 2,400 calories per day needed by an average person—who would have to eat 6.7 lb of potatoes per day.
** Jerusalem artichoke and some varieties of hard-neck garlic may produce significant amounts of dry biomass.

The crops below are weight-efficient, but require more area to grow and produce relatively little biomass. Therefore, they should be included in the 10% “Vegetable Crops” category.

Peanuts (34.1 / 0.9) Very high in fat
Soybeans (58.0 / 3.

Beans (except Fava Beans) (56.8 / 4.7) Burdock (17.8 / 7.3) (assuming Carrot yield)
Cassava (20.1 / 3.3) May produce modest amount of carbon


The following crops can be area-efficient if yields are high enough, but the daily weight of food exceeds the guidelines, so they should be included in the 10% “Vegetable Crops” category.

Onions, Regular (12.7 / 14.0)  |  Turnips + Tops (8.8 / 19.4)
(assuming 2 crops are possible OR yield is two times intermediate)
Rutabaga (13.4 / 14.7)


NOTE: For diet diversity, you may choose crops that are less weight-efficient (e.g. regular onions, 14.0 lb per day); in which case, you need to have a significant amount of food from crops that are more weight-efficient (e.g. filberts (0.8 lb per day) and/or increase your design area.

ROOT CROPS THAT ARE NOT GOOD CHOICES FOR THIS CATEGORY:
Carrots (30.0 / 12.3)    Beets / Mangels (roots only) (40.8 / 12.3)    Radishes (48.1 / 26.4)

• 5-10% of the area — “Vegetable Crops”

            Low-calorie-producing, low-carbon-producing miscellaneous vegetables
                      for vitamins and minerals


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[size=8pt]1 In the book One Circle by Duhon, an “area-efficient” crop can provide total calories with 700 sq ft or less (550 sq ft for a woman, 850 sq ft for a man), and a “weight-efficient” crop can provide total calories in 6 pounds or less for a man or 5.5 pounds or less for a woman.

60/30/10 Clar. Revised 2/15/06, based on updated nutrition information in the 7th ed. of How to Grow More Vegetables.
© 2006, 2005, 2003, 2001, 1999, 1997  Ecology Action, 5798 Ridgewood Road, Willits CA 95490-9730.[/size]


This is my first year growing wheat, leeks or fava beans, and they all seem easy to do without tillage. As I see it, the major problem in no-till is getting the young plant above the mulch before the weeds get there, and these three are really good in that regard.

The leeks I have are growing from the root portion of some I bought and ate. I didn't leave much attached, but as the link I gave mentions, they store a lot of energy! They have more height than most seedlings from the get-go, and are able to put out leaves within a reasonable time if their tops are left in the sun.

Fava beans, also, contain a ridiculous number of calories per seed. Seedlings get really big, really fast. The grocery store only sold the larger variety in bulk, but there's a middle-East marketplace that sells a smaller variety down the street from me, and I'll invest the $3 in a one-kilo bag now that I know how useful they are.

Lots has been written about no-till wheat. Marc Bonfils writes:

Wheat is one of the most vigorous plants that exist. Its index of competivity outdoing that of the grasses and crucifer above all if it is sown early. It has therefore no worse enemy than itself. Its association with spreading clover makes for an optimum occupation of the soil. It leaves no opportunity for other species to be a nuisance, which does not preclude a discrete, even useful or aesthetic, presence such as cornflowers.


My experiences would tend to agree with his, although I haven't grown any in association with clover yet. My climate seems better for black medick than clover, and I'm also experimenting with tuberous perennial legumes like runner beans starting now. I think threshing with a plastic toy baseball bat, and finding ways to eat it with minimal processing (sprouted bread, lacto-fermented hot cereal), it wouldn't be too arduous to use. I'll try it this year, and see.
 
                                      
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Location: Amsterdam, the netherlands
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Hey peter,

In the earth care manual (and other books) nuts are suggested as a sustainable alternative staple food to grains.

Walnuts especially can outharvest cereals per acre. So i dont know if you have the space a walnut tree would be a great investment (on the ling term toug).

If dried right, they can keep for a long time through the year.

There is an organic farm that grows about everything a 25 km bikeride from here, from vegg, to small and big fruits to nuts and stuff, thier wallnuts are great.
but i dont think it is possible for me to get all my staple food in the shape of nuts all year round from local trees, there arent enough (yet!)

patrick whitefield always stresses the importance of gradually replacing cereals with nuts. according to him, bread, burgers, pastas etc can all be made with nuts.

 
                              
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Yes, nuts are a good replacement for flour.  I passed up two bushels of acorns thinking that they were of no use to me, later only to find out I could make a fine grain with it.

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Acorn-Flour

http://www.connielapallo.com/AcornFlour.htm
 
                        
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Interesting thread.  Interesting questions.  I have been a vegetarian for more than 30 years now -- increasing tending to the vegan part of the spectrum.

First of all, I would say, vegetarians probably eat a greater proportion of beans, seeds and nuts and not really a whole lot of grain.

I would say  getting some nut trees up on your property is one of the first things to do in eating sustainably.  English walnuts have more nutrients than black walnuts -- and they don't make quite as much of a mess.  I live in the South and I had 100 year old pecans on my property when I bought the place.  You also need to get in fruit trees.  Im planting pears this year.  Apples do not do well in my area.

I also intend to grow some pumpkins for seed and for eating this year in the summer garden -- especially the kabocha Japanese pumpkins for making dehydrated chips along with sweet potatoes for chips.

As for grains, a lot of them are good cover crops for improving soil:  millet is good for getting rid of weeds,  buckwheat attracts bees and here you can turn in two crops in the summer.  You can just whack them down and over winter -- you don't have to till in.  The buckwheat stems are hollow so they do rot pretty quickly without turning them under. If you do turn them under you can follow the buckwheat with winter  rye.

I am ordering my soybeans now from Amazon but they should be quite easy to grow:  the black ones and the white ones.  Amazon has a soymilk maker so you can make your own tofu with the beans.  I hope to try some home made black soybean tofu this year.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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well my breakfast included eggs for protein, and my lunch included sunflower kernals and I often eat a lot of peanut butter, I love beans but they are not a complete protein but I eat a LOT of beans, nuts and seeds. I am NOT a vegatarian by any means..but i do find that vegetables do make up a huge amount of my diet (oh and fruits).

You might pick up a copy of a book called "Edible wild plants, a North American Field Guide"ISB N 0 8069 7488 5

that and my organic gardening book "How to grow vegetables and fruits by the Organic Method" and also "the Kitchen Garden" are my GO TO books for local eating.

here is a list of foods and plants that i am either growing or that nature is producing around me that i get my food from:
acorns, actinidia, anise hyssop, halls hardy almond, amaranth,apples, apricot, arugula, asian greens, asparagus, barberry,basil, beans of all kinds, bearberry (kinnikinick) beechnut, blackberry, they y you can eat birch i haven't yet, blueberry, bilberry, wintergreen, huckleberries, borage, broccoli,brussel sprouts, bugelweed,bull thistle, bullrush, burdock, bunchberry,
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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continued (computer glitches) salad burnet, cabbage,collards, canteloupe, caraway, carrots,cattail, cauliflower,chard, cherries(sour, sweet, wild),chestnuts when they mature,chickweed, chicory,chives, cleavers, collards, corn,corn salad, cucumber,cranberries, cress,currant, dandelion, daylilly, dill, dock, elderberries,endive, escarole, eggplant occasionally don't really care for it, florence fennel, fern fiddleheads, garland crysanthemum, garlic, grapes, hawthorne, hazelnuts when they mature, hickory nuts when they mature, hollyhock flowers, japanese knotweed shoots, jerusalem artichokes, kale, kohlrabi, lambsquarters, leeks, lemon verbena, lettuces of all kinds, mallow, marjoram, milkweed, mint, morel mushrooms (soon), mountain ash, mulberry, mustard, nannyberry, nasturtium, spinach, onion, oregano, orphine, parsley, parsnips, paw paw when they mature, peas 3 kinds, peach, pear, hardy pecan when they mature, peppergrass, pickeral weed, pigweed, redroot (lots of others in my book if i can find them), peppers, plantain, plum, potato, pumpkin incl seeds, purslane, radish, raspberries (gold, black, red), rhubarb, rose hips and petals, rutabaga, sage, service berry, shepherds purse, sorrel, squash including seeds, pumpkin including seeds, summer squash, strawberries, maple syrup, sumac, summer savory, sunflowers, tarragon, tomato, turnip, watermelon, marigold petals, violets, walnut, butternut and black walnut when they mature, wheat this year i hope, wild rice, wintergreen
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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as i said i have computer glitches, when the post gets over a few lines long it screws up for some reason...so i'll continue

we also have wild animals that we can kill and eat in our yard, rabbits, doves, pheasant and quail, as well as squirrels and deer, but we really prefer NOT to hunt them..we also try to support a few of the local farmers and amish in our area purchasing their organic foods, mostly we only buy protein foods from them..i haven't grown my own wheat but hope to be able to get a plot ready this spring, otherwise i may have to wait another year..and hope eventually to also produce oats and rye..rye is very hardy  here in our area.

we can gather Rye from the wild as the DNR has it planted for the deer in huge fields just a short distance from our house..

most of the wild edibles I have tried..some i like, some i do not..some are just emergency rations but are available on our own property. some we have to walk to pick...and our nut orchards are babies so we aren't getting any nuts from MOST of them yet...however there are stands of nut trees nearby...on public property.

i was taught to gather wild foods when i was a child, my grandfather was a trapper and my folks helped him gather foods when we were children..so we were in the woods before we could walk, gathering berries, nuts and greens..and my favorite morel mushrooms which will be coming on soon..i can't wait.

i'm sure if you get a good field guide, for your area, you will find that there is so much more to eat around you than you ever guessed
 
Mike Turner
Posts: 329
Location: Upstate SC
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I find Seminole squash-pumpkin is a good addition to a sutainable agriculture.  It is pest resistant, easy to grow, easy to store, and produces good tasting, highly nutritional food.  Seminole is a wild ancester of the butternut squash and was a staple food of the Seminole indians.  Unlike the more domesticated squash cultivars that only set a handful of fruit, it has an open ended growth habit and in the frost free parts of Florida, it can grow on for years, cover acres of land, and produce many hundreds of fruit.  Here in upstate SC, a single plant will cover a 100 by 100 foot patch of ground and produce about 70 fruit in my growing season.  I only need to dig and fertilize a small bed where I plant the seed and then let it go rambling off across the weeds and pasture, putting down roots as it goes.  The squash fruit weight about 3 lbs and are still perfectly good after a year and half in storage.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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basjoos wrote:Unlike the more domesticated squash cultivars that only set a handful of fruit, it has an open ended growth habit and in the frost free parts of Florida, it can grow on for years, cover acres of land, and produce many hundreds of fruit.


Those sound extremely practical. How do they handle a soft frost? Do you think deep mulch & some preparatory pruning would keep them alive through a few surface frosts each winter?

A year and a half of storage life is great, and I bet the seeds are edible after that for far longer, if they're dried well after it's cut open.
 
ronie dee
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Location: NW MO
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Where do i get some seeds for Seminole Squash? SOunds like an indeterminate plant.. I guess that it will produce fruit in one season and then be replanted next season?  That plant could be planted in a prepared spot off in the grassy area and not take up garden space.

I heard that the Seminole Indians were the only tribe that never surrendered or made a treaty with the United States.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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i might be interested in the seminole squash too, however, they would freeze here...but if they are open pollinated the seeds could probably be planted year to year ..do you know how long they take to produce..our summers are danged short
 
Pat Maas
Posts: 194
Location: McIntosh, NM
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Hi Peter_wheat
    It is a challenge to eat sustainably until you get your forest garden or edible landscape in production mode. Nuts, grains, fruits and vegetables have all been mentioned. There are others though including tree leaves, and mushrooms.
  I'm not a vegetarian as do milk my goats and other milking stock and do use eggs.
  You may want to look at several of the forums including the one on perennial grains Bunkie Weir was speaking about.
    Most of my annual planting is no till. I've been sheet mulching for years now and the soil is getting better every year.  Can't tell you how much labor that saves! )
 
Aljaz Plankl
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peter_wheat wrote:
Hi,
    Im finding food a problematic issue on my Permaculture journey.  Does anyone have any top tips on how to build a sustainable and nutritional diet?  I want to eat locally and grow most of my own food, but there are lots of conflicting issues, for example: Most vegan diets use large amounts of grains.  However many grains are not sustainable, requiring annual plowing of the earth, and significant fossel fuel inputs.  So what do you use for staples? 
How do you get your protien, carbs, vitamins and minerals from produce sympathetic to the permaculture ethos, thoughout the year?  Food forests are a great idea, but what do you do for food while you are waiting for them to mature?

Thanks in advance.  Kind regards,  Pete.



You can grow grains on a really small place (square foot) and use grains as they are. Don't eat to much dried grains. You can soak grains and eat sprouts, drink sprouting water, make rejuvelac. Search for raw food, maybe it will change your perspective a bit.
 
Mike Turner
Posts: 329
Location: Upstate SC
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Baker Creek and Southern Exposure sell Seminole squash/pumpkin seed (Southern exposure says 95 days to harvest).  It is no more frost tolerant than any other Cucubita moshatos cultivar.  Here, I plant the seed in early May and harvest all of the fruit before first frost in late Oct.  The green immature fruit I treat like summer squash and eat first, leaving the mature tan colored fruit until last.  It will cross with any other C. moshatos cultivar you grow, so if you want to keep it pure Seminole in upcoming seasons you will either have to hand pollenate a few fruit and collect next year's seed from them or not grow any other moshatos cultivars in your garden.  I plant all of mine in beds along the periphery of my garden and let them grow out into the surrounding sheep pastures so it takes up very little garden space.  The sheep don't bother them.  Bumblebees love the flowers and often spend the night in them.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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i'll have to check and see if i can google those sites online thanks.

i'm getting more and more into growing multipurpose plants..and i like squash for the facts that you can eat them either immature or mature as well as roast the seeds for protein foods and you can batter fry the male flowers or the flowers that form late in the season that won't have time to produce a squash..

I have also found that a lot of the beautiful flowers that people grow in their flower gardens supply so many nutrients when eaten..and most people never go out and try them..originally most of our ornamentals were grown for food, medicine or tea in the first place..but they have LOST the knowledge of eating them..i have huge ornamental gardens here..but nearly everything i grow is useful in some other way, such as food, medicine or tea..just a matter of knowledge...that is why i so encourage good books and study..daylilies provide a lot of food, even hollyhocks, the flower buds are edible as well as the flowers themselves..violets, the flowers and leaves are wonderful for salads, so read read read..you'll be amazed at what you already have that you don't realize you can eat, and it tastes good too..we always look for the lambsquarters in the spring in the previously gardened areas..as it tastes so good as a potherb !!
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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we grew the Seminole pumpkins and Georgia Candy Roaster squash from Southern Exposure this past year and had very good luck with them.

Georgia Candy:  While the disease resistance to powdery mildew was not much better than say an average butternut variety, the texture and flavor of this squash have made it our new favorite.  Each plant produced three-five 10-15 lb fruits that ripened over a period of ~95-120 days.  The skin is very thin, but tough enough for good storage so far (3 months and counting for the earliest).  The flesh is thick (fairly small seed cavity), very smooth with no strings whatsoever.  It has a nice sweet flavor of it's own and makes a very good steamed, roasted or sauted veggie dish (also a good soup base and cans well).  Haven't tried eating any of the seeds yet, but our rabbits eat them up quickly when they are dried and used to boost protein content of the feed.

Seminole pumpkins:  Excellent disease resistance!  When the Georgia candy and zuchini plants were finally giving up to disease, these were barely touched.  Planted in early May, the plants were still setting and finishing pumpkins in early Nov.  Nice fruits ranging in size from 3-8 lbs.  Tough skin, medium thickness flesh with a good size seed cavity.  Typical pumpkin flavor.  Each plant produced 10-20 fruits.

If anyone would like a few seeds for either of these, please PM me and I can let you know where to send a SASE.  we didn't take any precautions to keep the different squash from crossing, so we'll see what we get.
 
Chelle Lewis
Posts: 424
Location: Hartbeespoort, South Africa
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wombat wrote:
I am ordering my soybeans now from Amazon but they should be quite easy to grow:  the black ones and the white ones.  Amazon has a soymilk maker so you can make your own tofu with the beans.  I hope to try some home made black soybean tofu this year.
I keep reading conflicting info on soybeans. The negative is that it is said to store high levels of alumiium which causes Alzeheimers. Also very high in estrogens. I am using soy powder at the moment for milk substitute and have been considering that this might not be so wise.

One thing worth mentioning that hasn't been mentioned is the tremendous nutritional benefits of teas... using plants that you would not want to eat but dried and steeped for anti-oxidants and nutrients. Worth investigating for those so inclined.

And Moringa of course.....    This tree has been my starting point on the same quest.... eating sustainably.

Chelle
 
Mike Turner
Posts: 329
Location: Upstate SC
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Georgia Candy is Curcubita maxima, so if that is the only other winter squash/pumpkin cultivar you grew in your garden, your Seminole should have pure seed unless a nearby neighbor was growing another moshatos cultivar.
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
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we also tried the trombocino squash this past year.  worked great as a zuchini, but we didn't get any mature seeds from it.  i believe it is also a moschata species.  what an interesting cross that would be...
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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wombat wrote:I am ordering my soybeans now from Amazon but they should be quite easy to grow:  the black ones and the white ones.  Amazon has a soymilk maker so you can make your own tofu with the beans.  I hope to try some home made black soybean tofu this year.


I've seen those advertised. The ones they sell in Oakland's Koreatown are much cheaper, and look a little sturdier if anything; it may be worth looking around the right sort of brick-and-mortar kitchenwares store near you.
 
Matt Ferrall
Posts: 555
Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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In his book,Gardening when it Counts,Steve Solomon says that for a home production model,Root crops far outdo grains when it comes to calories to work ratio.He is partial to the PNW and now new zealand however.I believe grains really only pan out when done large scale,hence the civilization connection.
 
bunkie weir
Posts: 110
Location: eastern washington
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Mt.goat wrote:.......I believe grains really only pan out when done large scale,hence the civilization connection.


as far as having enough space to grow grains, there was an article by Thom Leonard in Organic Gardening in December 1988. i have not been able to find the article online, but hubby had made a copy of it for me years ago. it was called "Staff of Life".

in it he talks about growing grain in your garden.

Quote:
...."One hundred square feet of wheat planted on reasonably good garden soil should yield a harvest of at least 5 pounds of dry grain......

With a little extra care and attention, that same space can yield even more. John Leavons (How to grow more vegetables) reports wheat yields of 17 pounds per hundred-square-foor bed and projects yields of 30 pounds per 4-by-25-foot bed under ideaal conditions........

Those 17 pounds of wheat will give you flour for 29 pounds of bread. Even a modest harvest of 5 pounds will provide 8 pounds of bread....A 5-x-5 food patch, intensively managed, could give you the saame 5 pounds that you might harvest from as much space...."
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
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Location: Oakland, CA
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bunkie weir wrote:
as far as having enough space to grow grains...


Jeavons grows grains mostly for the straw.



Look at the link I provided. He seems to like stiffneck garlic and fava beans because they offer lots of bulk for the compost pile, and have uses beyond what small grains can offer; sunchokes, similarly, seem to be a suggested way of multi-tasking on compost production.

Jeavons is clear that the calorie crops are potatoes & leeks, not wheat & barley. His numbers seem trustworthy. Not that the grain itself should go to waste, or anything.
 
Emil Spoerri
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Veganism, the cold north, are not a practical mix as far as i can tell.

With a few goats or pigs or cows or really any critter, who needs crops? When i lived in Indiana, though my goats had their way with my garden most of the time (still had plenty of okra, tomatoes and sweet potatoes) most of all i had to eat for half a year was goats milk, turtle, venison, pears, rasberries, blackberries, cicadas, ground nuts, grasshoppers, hickory nuts, black walnuts, persimmons and paw paws.
Nearly a gallon of raw goats milk every day is what really rounded off the diet. Most of my green stuff was from sweet potato leaves and dandilions.

Potatoes and milk was the irish diet for a long time.
 
                    
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Hmm ... no mention by the OP of location, but avocado and olive are great staples in certain climates. They are loaded with energy dense, good fats that do not increase the risk of heart disease or the other chronic inflammatory diseases that plague 'modern' civilizations ... Greek men who follow the Mediterranean diet have 1/8th the heart disease.  Along with nuts, avocado and olive can be a big part of the 'Eco-Atkins' low-carb diet that benefits some people.

If one is not low carb, bananas are great for warmer areas ... I think they are 3rd or 4th in worldwide importance for calories. Although grown as a biennial, it is close enough to permaculture as far as I am concerned - each plant typically sends up a few pups before it fruits, and these replace the plant that is done when it fruits.

I agree with asmileisthenewak47 that veganism becomes progressively more difficult as one moves away from the equator.  Maybe with freezers and refrigerators or the old style root cellars and a greenhouse one can survive ... but storing food on the hoof is highly practical where winters are long and brutal.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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I agree (and have said many times) that the farther north you go, the harder it would be to have a vegan diet that was all locally grown.  I don't know that refrigerators and freezers would help matters very much, either, because basically the problem is that the growing season is too short for most of the high-protein, high-fat plant foods that are usually staples of a vegan diet.  Consider the Eskimo peoples, whose diet was primarily meat and fat, although they did, and do, use what plant foods are available.  In their climate it is possible to raise domestic livestock such as reindeer, but not fat/protein foods such as nuts, grains, or most legumes (peas and possibly fava beans may be exceptions -- I know that peas will grow in central Alaska, but am not sure they would have enough time to dry for winter storage).

Kathleen
 
Brenda Groth
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well we do only have a 90 day growing season between hard frosts here..but as you can see by the lists i posted above..we do manage to grow or forage a LOT of vegetation..and yes we do have freezers..we have a side by side on our frig, an up right and a small chest freezer, and i do can and dry and cold store things here..you have to in upper part of the lower penninsula of Michigan.
I also admit i have a greenhouse and coldframes..to extend our growing season as much as possible..and will be moving our greenhouse this month to a warmer soil location (over our pex from our wood furnace)..to even add more heat to it..
we do manage to grow enough here to where you can have canned, frozen or dried fruits and vegetables all winter..i haven't gotten into growing grains yet though..so i have to buy my grains or flour and we do by  most of our meat/dairy as we don't have those here domesticated.

but we don't use a lot of meat and I guess if we felt we needed to there is enough walking around wild that we could have it fresh every day
 
Neal McSpadden
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I realize my approach is not what would be called typical, but I have dramatically changed my lifestyle in the past few years in this regard with fantastic results.  I don't eat grains at all, nor do I grow them (intentionally! ).

All the tips on other plants that people have mentioned are great.  Nuts are great, but should be soaked before eating.  The leafy greens; colorful, non-starchy root vegetables; brassicas; herbs; spices; berries; fruits; etc are all great to eat as they add many trace nutrients that you need.  The best food in the world though is your own humanely-raised, organic meat, whether that be the actual animal or an animal product (like eggs!).

Just MHO, of course.
 
Matt Ferrall
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personaly I find wild animals to be healthier and more sustainable than domestic ones.Its cool you can get eggs without grains tamo42.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Kathleen Sanderson wrote:the farther north you go, the harder it would be to have a vegan diet that was all locally grown.


That seems to be a part of why white skin is so rare, oddly enough.

People on the equator get enough sunshine that vitamin D isn't a problem regardless of skin color, and people at the poles generally eat enough meat that they don't need to make their own vitamin D. Only in the recent geological history, and only in Northern Europe, was it possible to get enough vegan calories in high lattitudes.

In-depth article
 
Neal McSpadden
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Mt.goat wrote:
personaly I find wild animals to be healthier and more sustainable than domestic ones.Its cool you can get eggs without grains tamo42.


Fair enough, wild is better.  And I have no problem with my herbivorous meat eating grains
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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tamo42 wrote:I have no problem with my herbivorous meat eating grains


Interesting.

I think there have been more generations of my ancestors eating grains, than of cattle. I'm a lot more comfortable eating sourdough bread, than beef that has had subacute acidosis.
 
Matt Ferrall
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So let me get this straight tamo42:you intentionaly dont grow grains but your for eating animal products that eat grains ?Where do those grains come from?
 
Neal McSpadden
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I wasn't specifically talking about cattle.  Let's put it this way:  I'm against feeding any organism anything that it is not evolutionarily equipped to digest.

I think this means feeding humans grains and other grasses is a bad idea (along with a whole slew of other poisonous things).

In cattle this means feeding them pretty much only grasses and may include some grains as seed heads on the grasses late in the year.

For goats this means browse vegetation on trees and shrubs.

In chickens this means feeding them whatever they would have natural access to and willingness to eat in understory forest type systems - insects, plants, etc (ditto for pigs).

etc
 
Chelle Lewis
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Came upon this Peter...... Can I Grow a Complete Diet?

And this...... Start-up Guide for an Organic Self Reliance Garden

Chelle
 
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