Ready for Self-Sufficient Gardening?

digitS'

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Should we be starting a thread about gardening for all our food needs?

The USDA has newer information on food consumption but it's cups per person per day. That doesn't make much sense for gardening. Here is a link on annual food consumption by the pound: Table 13-7. Per capita consumption of major food commodities . It's a 10 page per file but printed data so a quick download.

What can a garden produce? Here is a short pdf file: Small Plot and Intensive Gardening from Purdue University.

I think they may help understand food requirements and the capability of our self-sufficient gardener.

Steve :)
 

Zeedman

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The table of expected yields per row foot of vegetable is useful for planning purposes, especially for the space challenged - bookmarked.

But as a gardener, I have never been a per capita consumer. ;) They don't even have charts for many of the vegetables gardeners take for granted.
 

digitS'

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But, you can extrapolate from the information, @Zeedman ;). Let's see: it might be quite a bit more difficult to extrapolate from an individual need for 2000 calories per day or 730,000 per year.

I won't try to convince you to give up garden vegetables that are now part of your diet ...

It has been said that the Irish family was able to live fairly well on the milk from a cow, pastured on a hillside, and on potatoes. We have only to look back about 150 years to see that this restricted diet didn't turn out so well. I could point out that this restriction wasn't so much of a decision on the part of the Irish.

Steve
 

Pulsegleaner

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Well, part of the problem there was that the Irish were relying on one TYPE of potato, the Lumper.

And to be fair, part of the reason things got that way was because, up until the Late Blight showed up, the potato was actually IMPROVING the food security of the Irish. You just got more calories per acre per amount of labor out of them than you did from wheat or oats or rye or barley or maize*. Cereal grains just took more labor to produce. There was a reason the Upper class referred to potatoes as the "lazy root"

*Maize also had an image problem in Ireland at least the yellow kind did. People thought the resultant cornbread looked too much like brimstone and that it was therefore no good to eat. (Plus Europeans hadn't bothered to learn about niximitization yet so you had the pellagra problem.)
 

flowerbug

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i have never had the goal of growing everything we eat, i'm pretty happy if i can cover about half and that seems to be about what is happening.
 

digitS'

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"It is generally accepted that by the 1840s, Ireland had become the granary of Britain, supplying the grain-hungry British market sufficient to feed two million people annually. Grain was not the only major food export to Britain: the data suggests that at the time of the Famine the population of Britain depended heavily on Ireland for a wide range of foodstuffs, and not just grain. ...
(In Britain) "The fall of Peel’s government in the summer of 1846 brought the Whigs under Lord John Russell to power. The Whigs were even more divided on this matter, although the free-trade lobby within the party was very influential, especially following the 1847 general election. A more controversial aspect of the policy of the Whig government in 1846 was their decision not to continue Peel’s policy of importing Indian corn to Ireland but to leave food importation to market forces, despite the fact that the shortfall in food supply was far higher than in the previous year." History Ireland magazine

digitS'
 

Gardening with Rabbits

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I would love to be able to be self-sufficient. I could never do that in town and my age, but I am sure going to grow as much as I can. I wanted chickens and then I didn't, but now I am again considering turning my shed into a chicken coop. After all that's gone on with the virus and the food, even DS said maybe I was right about chickens. :D
 

digitS'

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In a tropical setting, I might be able to pull it off, at my age. But then again, I might not because I don't understand the growing of plants in the tropics.

I am frustrated in all sorts of ways with my house and yard. And yet, the home environment that I would so enjoy creating would probably be so eccentric as to seriously lower the value of this property, as well as be in violation of building codes ;).

Growing space for fresh vegetables year around would be difficult to achieve and the controlled environment required would not be what most of my neighbors (& family) would think of as "residential" 🙃.

Fresh veggies is just a preference. Canning is outside of my experience beyond some jam-making. Curing, like my fermenting, ran too often off the rails. I have no trouble with freezing.

I have frozen stuff, forever. Even the years when I lived without a freezer. Remember when people rented lockers? I must have been just about the most frequent client, showing up with my jacket, cold or hot weather, and disappearing through that heavy door.

Still, DW really doesn't much care for frozen or canned. I can't say that I blame her. But, still ..! If you are concerned about availability, think production. I mean, even Ford Motor Company may begin making ventilators ...

Steve :)
 

flowerbug

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we like to freeze portions after making a big pot or three of something. right now we are eating some baked beans.

i'm not really a big fan of frozen vegetables, but frozen peas and beans work out ok enough. i can at least tolerate them. strawberry freezer jam is many times better than cooked strawberry jam, but that can be just a matter of tastes and preferences. :) we freeze a lot of baked goods.

i'm a much bigger fan of fresh and crunchy standing right in the garden or steamed for a bit.
 

Beekissed

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I think if it comes to the point where folks have to eat the majority of their intake from a garden, they are going to be WAY less picky about how they preserve the food, the taste and texture of said food, etc. Food for survival is just that....preserved any way possible for the optimum storage time.

I wouldn't count on freezers if my life depended on it and it just one day be that way for a lot of folks. A freezer is dependent upon things staying at a certain level of stability and, if one is down to growing all their foods to survive, I think that level of instability will have been reached.

Very few people put in gardens large enough nowadays to grow sufficient food for a typical household....takes quite a bit of garden to do that, even if intensely managed.
 
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