Yousif Quadir

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since Jan 18, 2017
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Recent posts by Yousif Quadir

Where can I find a list of perennial zone 9 crops listed by the time of year they can be harvested?

I'd like to minimize my food storage requirements and maximize my fresh produce production. My preference is for high yield per acre varieties and crops that need only be planted once and require little to no ongoing maintenance for years.
3 years ago
I've been "stealing" dirt from a local park for my balcony garden. The park is filled with pine trees which, I've come to learn, indicates very acidic soil. Is there any way to improve my soil pH and quality without formal testing?
3 years ago
From comments so far, it seems total self sufficiency is a myth and/or getting anywhere close to it requires tremendous commitment.  And its only worth the effort if you enjoy gardening anyway.
Keeping the pareto principle in mind, calories are cheap. So I should focus on producing my essential nutrients only.

Vitamins, micronutrients, minerals, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids.

So what zone 9 crops provide the most essential nutrients, in the least space? (Bonus if they are zero-effort perennials or self-propagating.)

So, what would be some plant-once-and-forget, high-yield food crops that would grow in my area (zone 9)?
Stuff that "grows like weeds" and is dense in nutrients, calories, or both?

If you've grown any of the crops listed here so far (including and ) please tell me about your experience with them.
3 years ago
"Totally self-sufficient," ideally in all respects. But I joined this forum for the expertise in food self-sufficiency. The tomato sauce is an excellent example, because those are all things I'm growing. I started growing chili peppers as well this year, because I figure a single pepper can flavor several meals.
After I started those seeds, I read David Goodman's article on Cayenne Peppers, where he says they "grow like weeds." That phrase is music to my ears, and I would have grown them instead if I had read that a month earlier.

Perennials take the long view. That's why they appeal to me. I'm thinking of this gardening project as a form of investment. A well chosen investment provides dividends indefinitely, or at least long enough that you make more than you put in. If I set this garden up right, its free food indefinitely. That's my target.
Can the 90% support species be edible? Sweet potatoes are my mulch maker. Chives, thyme, and Jerusalem artichokes are edible insectary species. Vining beans are my nitrogen fixer. Plant my Jakfruit and mulberry or whatever highest-conceivable-yield climax trees. Feast on the other stuff while I wait for them to join in.

I've been assuming that subtropical florida is a good climate for "no ongoing work" but please correct me if that's not right.

And what area of land is needed for this type of system, per person? Biointensive claims 4000sq/ft per person. Can a food forest of high yield plants approach, match, or exceed that?
3 years ago
You asked, so here's Salient Facts about me:

I live in Florida.
My interest in gardening is primarily to save as much money as possible.
I eat meat, but I could give it up easily.
I am >slightly< concerned about the health effects of soy and gluten. But would overlook it in exchange for food independence.
Sweet potatoes invaded my friend's yard, after she planted them ONCE. This makes me think food independence should be easy.
But, truth be told, I don't eat many sweet potatoes, and it would be a sacrifice to make them my staple.

So, here are the options as I understand them, in decreasing order of preference:

1)Grow a complete, high protein, non-soy, non-gluten, diet on a plot of land the size of a suburban yard.
2)Grow a complete, high protein diet (accepting soy and/or gluten) on land the size of a suburban yard.
3)Grow the most expensive items I eat on a suburban lot, and supplement with bulk purchases of cheap calories/protein/whatever.
4)Buy a farm/homestead in the stereotypical sense...and replace my full time job with full time farming
5)Keep working for a living and spending money on food in plastic-wrapped containers.

Does that help?

What are realistic yields for aquaponic fish or laying chickens? Animals have to get their protein indirectly from nitrogen fixing organisms. Is protein-rich chicken-feed significantly cheaper than store-bought beans?

I guess the formula for big-impact-gardening is something like:

(cost/unit) X (units/year) = annual cost of item

What ever item has the highest number, grow that.  

Maybe I'm making this more complicated than it needs to be. But I would ideally like to be totally self sufficient, and I'm reading conflicting things about how plausible that really is.

Perennials are time efficient, annuals are space efficient. But I want both!

From first principles; all of our food comes from a combination of sunlight, air, water, and dirt. Plants, bacteria, and fungi turn those into molecules our body needs. To get those molecules, we either have to grow them, forage/hunt them, or buy them with money we made doing something unrelated. Those last two seem less efficient to me than the first.
Ok, so the Carbon-farmed inedible parts of wheat and corn take the place of fallen trees in a forest and the logs of wood in hugelkultur. All three serve to feed the fungi, which then release minerals from the surrounding rocks.

So, if my pre-gardening deep soil prep includes a large supply of woody and rocky matter, then you shouldn't need carbon-calorie crops for decades. Correct?

Composting annual crops every year vs. composting slowly-grown trees once or twice in a lifetime is essentially the same thing but with a different frequency.

Remember, my goal is to get the MOST nutrition out of the SMALLEST landscape with the LEAST >ongoing< work and cost.  (I accept that this may mean lots of work at the beginning.)

Priority #1: reduce the grocery bill toward zero. Priority #2: no ongoing labor once the system is in place.
3 years ago
If you want to maximally decrease your grocery bill, what should you grow? High calorie yield plants like potatoes? Or nutrient dense plants like leafy greens?

If you want self sufficiency and a high protein diet, you need half an acre of JUST soybeans to meet your needs.

Since sacks of beans are cheap, maybe it just makes sense to buy them in bulk and just grow your vitamins???