Mathew Trotter wrote:And I'm not sure how the nutrient profiles differ, and most of them won't be in any database, but the greens of amaranth, squash, oca, sweet potato, scorzonera, and probably a few of the others are edible in addition to the main harvest. I've mentioned foraging a lot, but in reality you could get most or all of your greens from these same crops. And if a little bit of greenery is all it takes to round out the diet, they're already self-contained.
Thanks a lot, Jan. Nutrition that wasn't my goal when I put this together, but it's really cool to see that it ended up so balanced and nutrient dense wholly by accident. I would have never guessed.
I used turnip greens because I knew they're particularly high in vitamin E and calcium and little bit of them would take care of the three nutrients in one go. You'd probably have to eat more volume and variety of other greens to get the same nutrients, but yeah, I suspect you'd be good to go.
Here's something for everyone worried about nutrition or protein or whatever.
On cronometer I plugged in Matthew's daily average intake of each crop from his original spreadsheet. I know you wouldn't be eating everything every day normally, but it gives an idea of the overall diet. Achira, oca, and tarwi weren't in the database, so I just left them out and ended up with a little under 2000 calories per day. I chose black beans as they were first in the list, but different beans do have slightly different nutrient profiles. I tried it out with a couple other kinds and didn't see any major changes overall, so left it as is.
So first off, 70g of protein! Yowza! That's plenty for pretty much anyone, and all essential amino acids accounted for.
As far as vitamins and minerals go, that all looks pretty good, too. We're a little short on calcium, vitamin E, and vitamin K We'll ignore the B12, since you'll be heading out of the garden for that anyway. While North American guidelines recommend 1000g of calcium daily, UK guidelines are 700g for adults. So we're actually probably fine for calcium, but let's shoot for the higher number anyway.
I added 120g of turnip greens to the list. I usually eat about 200g of greens with a meal, so 120g is a pretty palatable amount, I think. And that alone was enough to top up those three we were short on.
I didn't screenshot it, but the omega 3 to 6 ratio is about 1:10. I aim for 1:4 at least, so I'd want to do something about that for myself. I could grow flax or chia and, where I live, I could forage plantain and evening primrose seeds for omega 3s.
All in all, I'd say Matthew's diet looks pretty healthy!
Angelika Maier wrote:If you want to live from your garden I would count things differently. Its about starch protein and fat. Starch is potatoes protein is already more difficult and fat only doable if you slaughter or milk.
I understand your point, but still think Matthew's calorie method works.
Unless you're eating an extremely limited diet, it's almost impossible to not get enough protein. On a fairly limited diet, it might be necessary to eat a couple specific foods to top up an amino acid or two. Those foods would be in the flavour/nutrition category that can basically be whatever else you can forage or happen to get in the ground that year. To put things into perspective, a kilo of potatoes provides 16g of protein. My daily protein requirement is about 45g.
Fat actually isn't as hard to get as people think either. I lived for about ten years as a raw vegan, getting the vast majority of my calories from fruit. Just eating fruit and veg, about 5% of my calories were from fat. Eating a handful of nuts and seeds or an avocado a day was enough to bring that up to 10-15% of calories. The sun and squash seeds in the garden could go a long way. Matthew mentioned feeding crops to livestock, so I think he's got it covered either way🙂
My understanding of the spreadsheet is it's more about Matthew ensuring basic survival off his land than anything else. I think it would be super handy.
Mathew Trotter wrote: I'm not sure how the inulin factors into that number, but I would be inclined to assume that those are actual digestible calories in a raw state.
I've heard that calories are calculated by looking at the grams or protein, carbs, and fat in a food and assuming 4 or 9 calories per gram, depending on macronutrient. If that's correct, digestibility wouldn't be factored in. I got that from an article talking about how cooked food tends to be higher in calories than the same food raw. You won't see that when you look up calorie counts, though. And that's because they use the grams of each macronutrient like I mentioned above, instead of actually getting out a bomb calorimeter.
I'd forgotten about the long cooking times converting the starch, though. That probably makes a big difference.
We dont have an electrical system that allows for something like a crockpot, so for me it's my thermoses.
We cook outside on propane and I'm really stingy with fuel and don't like to cook anything that takes more than a few minutes. I'm also really busy and might skip cooking to save time. Standing outside in the rain and snow isn't great either, so we'll often skip cooking to avoid that.
Now that I've discovered I can bring something like soup or beans to a boil and dump it in a Thermos to finish cooking, I'm way more likely to cook. It's so easy to make yoghurt in a Thermos, so I always have that on hand now. Instead of eating dinner leftovers for lunch at work, I often whip up something quick in the morning, stick it in a Thermos, and by lunchtime it's cooked.
We're saving money on propane (although the amount we spent before was already almost unbelievably low for most people), saving money on food, eating more variety. It's actually been a huge improvement for us.
Oh, and someone can correct me if I'm way off, but I don't think sunchokes are a very good source of calories. They're mostly inulin, which we can't digest, so all those calories are going right through us.
I spent a while figuring out what percentage of our calories from which crops this year, too. I didn't figure out yields since we're not at the point of being able to grow everything yet anyway. Your spreadsheet would be super handy for that.
I agree with you on focusing on calorie crops, not vitamin/mineral/flavour crops. I included parsnips, beets, and carrots as calorie crops, however. I only looked at one source, but I saw parsnips providing 700+ calories/kilo, and carrots and beets in the 400 cal/k range. That makes parsnips way better than potatoes and beets and carrots pretty close to squash for calories.
No experience, but I've heard it can often be from low blood sugar. So eating frequent meals, possibly through the night, can help. Apparently cortisol also messes with blood sugar, so stress can be a contributor.
All the different baking dishes reminds me of my grandma's Schlemmertopf. It's an oblong, unglazed clay vessel.
You're supposed to soak it in water before using it to keep the food inside moist while cooking. I don't know how long my grandma had hers before she died and my dad took it over, but it's now so seasoned it no longer absorbs water. Almost black.
Roast dinners at my grandma's when I was a kid were always made in this, and that's what my dad uses it for. My mum will sometimes bake no knead bread in it.
I know they were sold in North America, but no one I knew had ever seen one. I saw one in a thrift store one time, but it looked newer than my grandma's.
Around here it's husk fly. The maggots go into the soil to pupate, so if you put tarps down just before the nuts fall and make sure you don't leave any lying around you can keep the population down for next year.
The maggots make it harder to get the husk off, since it's black and slimy rather than green and solid, but that's it.
You don't want to leave the nuts in the slimey husks too long either. The tannins from the husk can leach through the shell and make your nuts more bitter.
Eric, I'd much prefer to get the spawn put down in the fall cause spring is absolutely nuts for me between work and garden. If I'm putting spawn into fresh woodchips, can't water them initially, and then it doesn't rain or snow for three weeks, isn't that bad? And if it's too cold for the spawn to get established at all before spring anyway, is there really any point?
While it can get quite cold in the winter here, it doesn't always. I wouldn't say our winters are arid. This is a La Niña year so it will likely be colder than average with lots of snow. As long as we have good snow cover, things like peas can overwinter here, so I think mushroom spawn would be okay. I'm mostly worried about it drying out right after I put it down if I do it in November. You can see we get plenty of precipitation, but sometimes it all comes in one weekend or something stupid.
I haven't had success with mushrooms yet, but hoping winecaps will cope with my neglect.
I've got two options for starting my mushroom bed.
First option is to get fresh woodchips in the next month or so and innoculate them right away. The spawn will sit under snow most of the winter and hopefully start doing its thing next year.
Second option is to get the wood chips in the next month or so, have them sit over winter, and innoculate them in the spring.
My preference is the second option because the wood chips will be nice and hydrated from snow and rain by the time I get the spawn into them. If I innoculate in the fall, I can't put much water on the bed and will be relying on unpredictable rainfall. It's possible the spawn would dry out.
Will my second option result in growing every mushroom other than winecaps? I know winecaps are more aggressive, so I'm hoping it'll be okay. What do you guys think?
I've become quite enamored with thermos cooking. I use mine for cooking beans, soup, and porridge. For everything other than porridge, you just get all the ingredients into a pot and boil for ten minutes or so. Then you dump them in the thermos and it's ready later in the day.
I have a 710mL thermos for soup and a smaller one, maybe 400ish mL, for porridge. The smaller one is rated for 12 hour heat retention, and it works great for quick cooking things. I've cooked chickpeas in it a few times, but you need to boil the chickpeas a little longer initially for it to work. It's a little finicky, where as my bigger, 24 hour thermos is foolproof.
Thermos porridge is amazing. Before bed I put whatever grain I want into the little thermos and fill it up with boiling water. In the morning I have hot, perfectly creamy porridge. Tiny grains like amaranth, teff, kaniwa need to be mixed with bigger ones or they cook into a solid lump. I cook 100g of dry grain at a time and found 15g of that can be one of the tiny ones I mentioned.
If you got the timing figured out, you could probably cook rice so it came out firm and fluffy rather than porridgey. I've not tried it yet as I already do mine very successfully in a pot that I take off the burner and wrap up in towels to finish cooking.
Around 7 or 8pm my body starts shutting down for the night and by the time I go to bed I'm usually freezing. I can't stand wearing pyjamas when I sleep. Socks are borderline. A duvet or super thick mattress topper under the bottom sheet helps a lot in keeping things warmer. Fuzzy sheets so they don't feel so cold when you first get in are good.
If the room is quite cold, but under the blankets is warm, I find I sometimes have trouble regulating my body temperature. In those instances, a toque with ear flaps fixes the problem.
Hot water bottles are great. I didn't know there were metal ones! I'd recommend going with one of those if you decide to try it. The last hot water bottle I bought smelled so strongly of rubber that I had to hang it in a drafty porch for a couple YEARS before I didn't get a raging headache from the fumes.
I agree that another living body is the best bed warmer. Luckily, my husband's body does the exact opposite of mine - by bedtime, he's burning off all his extra energy from the day and is way too hot. I get to put my cold toes on him to cool him down. So maybe you guys just need another partner - must be a hot sleeper
The powerhungry website has a few sandwich bread recipes. I think they're all grain free, so maybe not what you had in mind, though. I haven't actually tried any of her sandwich breads, but I've had good results from other recipes on her site and the sandwich breads have good comments from other people. She often uses chickpea flour in them. I don't have an oven, so my "bread" is pancakes and crepes, usually made with chickpea flour. From how it behaves in pancakes, I could see it doing really well in bread.
1 and 1/2 cups (180 g) chickpea flour, sifted if lumpy
1 and 1/4 cups (140 g) blanched almond flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
(optional/variable) 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 and 3/4 cups (425 mL) water
Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Spray or grease a 9×5-inch (22.5×12.5 cm) loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, chickpea flour, baking powder, and (optional) salt.
Add the water, whisking until completley combined. Immediately pour into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown and risen and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with only moist crumbs attached.
Transfer pan to a cooling rack and cool bread in pan for 20 minutes. Run a butter knife around edge of pan to loosen; remove bread and cool completely before slicing.
1 and 1/2 cups (300 g) uncooked brown lentils
water to cover lentils
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil (or oil of choice)
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup (60 g) tapioca starch
1 tablespoon psyllium husk
2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Rinse the lentils to remove any debris and then place in a large bowl. Fill the bowl with enough water to cover the lentils by at least 1 inch (2.5 cm). Soak for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain the lentils and transfer to a blender.
Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Line a 9×5-inch (22.5 x 12.5 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper (leaving an overhang). Grease or spray exposed interior sides of pan.
Add the 1/2 cup water, oil and salt to the blender with the lentils. Process, stopping several times to scrape sides and bottom of blender, until completley smooth.
Scoop the lentil mixture into a large bowl. Stir in the tapioca starch, psyllium husk and baking powder until completely blended. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top. Give the loaf pan a bang on countertop to release any large bubbles. Re-smooth the top, if needed.
Bake in the preheated oven for 48 to 53 minutes until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped.
Remove bread from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and eat as desired!
One of the things I love about her site is that when people ask about substitutions in the comments below the recipe, she's got all kind of helpful tips. Most bloggers just answer with the standard, "Sorry, I haven't tried that, but let us know how it goes."
Hemp seeds have a hard hull, so aren't great for fresh eating. You can make nut milk without hulling them, though. I don't know anything about the oil. I imagine you might have a problem with kids ripping up the plants to smoke.
Flaxseed oil goes rancid almost immediately and is no good for cooking. The seed is edible right off the plant, though.
I don't know anything about working with or wearing the fibre, but I bet r ranson would!
Before setting aside garden space, maybe see if there are any fiber plants that grow wild where you are. I've got spreading dogbane everywhere I look, which supposedly is very like hemp.
My galeux d'eysines have very thick tendrils that twine amazingly quickly and tightly onto whatever they encounter. It's actually a problem because I want them to stay on the ground and root at the nodes for drought resistance. The ends of the vines grow up, not out, mush more than other squash I've grown. Eventually they weigh themselves down or find something to climb. The squash can get really big, so they'd need support, though.
My husband knows if he eats garlic or onions I'm sleeping on the far edge of the bed for the next week. It doesn't happen often😄
For the first 25ish years of my life, I got almost no bug bites. One evening, changing my tires in the mud without the right jack and getting very grouchy, I started getting bitten. Mosquitoes were swarming me. This led to loud cursing. My husband came out to help but I was too grouchy, so he stood and watched, presumably trying to exude sympathy. He didn't get bitten at all. Ever since then, I've been his best bug repellent. All he has to do when the mosquitoes or black flies are out is keep close to me and I'll get all the bites.
I had made no change in diet or anything else I can think of. My husband is super sensitive to my pheromones and he didn't notice a change. Not sure what the bugs are going on, but I think it's more complicated than diet.
S Bengi wrote:They more or less come true from seed, so you can create your own landrace if you save seeds for a few years. But while they are not going to win the county fair, they are still slightly better than store bought (a 7/10 vs a 6/10). Which to me is good enough, and then they will back cross with whatever seedlings show up from your compost.
I have plenty of great tasting tomatoes to cross them with.
S Benji, I love your lists! I do successfully grow quite a few of the ones on your list.
Thanks for the recommendation of the specific tomato variety. If you've grown heatwave ii, do you have an opinion in its flavour? I read on one site a few people didn't think much of it. I like that it has such a short days to maturity, something I assumed heat tolerant tomatoes generally wouldn't have.
Melissa Sullivan wrote:I may have missed when you usually get rain, but your climate sounds a bit similar to mine. I was also plagued with hot days and cold nights all summer, which few plants do well in.
I second the turnip recommendation, and would also add beets, onions, and potatoes to your list. The onions may eventually bolt if they don't get enough water. If you have enough water to grow tomato plants, then these should work. I've also had success with wheat, which just thrived in oppressive heat and just a few rain events.
I also *highly* recommend shade cloth for leafy greens if you're in an area that gets a lot of sun. I use 30% shade cloth (i'm at a high elevation too, so the sun is extra intense) and helps immensely, especially when the plants are young.
March and April have tended to be pretty dry the last few years. May is often wet. The first half of June is almost always wet, and the second half can go either way. July and August are dry and hot. September starts getting variable. This year it's hot and dry so far, except for the one frost.
Our summer nights tend to be warm, actually. So at least I don't have to contend with your cold night problem!
I've found tomatoes need way less water than most people give them. I grow them in sandy soil with very little organic matter. As long as I keep the roots cool with mulch, a couple months of drought is okay for every variety I've grown. I'm sure they'd do better with more water, but they'll survive and produce.
I grow walking onions and chives just fine. If I can ever find any in Canada, I'd like to try out potato onions. We eat very few onions, so I like the idea of small, long storing onions for our occasional use.
I'll try out beets along with turnips next year. For some reason, I have a feeling beets won't like it at my place, but we'll see.
You're right, wheat would be great! I don't eat it, but my husband does. It's one of the grains I'm trying out this fall. I couldn't find winter barley or oats, which I do eat, but I'll get some for next fall when it's back in stock. I've tried spring planted barley and oats a few times now and germination is just not good enough.
I really hate the idea of faffing around with shade cloth, but it may come to that. I've had good results planting snow peas into the tangle of straw stalks left after harvesting grain in the summer. I may try to use the shade of other plants more.
Mike Barkley wrote:
Buckwheat might work for you too. Doesn't tolerate much cold but it grows very fast. About six weeks from planting until harvest.
I tried buckwheat this year and it turns out it doesn't like drought. It grew pretty well, flowered, formed seeds. Most of the seedpods are empty, though. Thats what often happens to my beans. Just needs more water than I gets here :(
For me, soup peas are quick and reliable. You can often get two crops in in a year. I plant mine in the fall so they come up early in the spring. If your winters aren't too cold and/or you have good snow cover peas will overwinter.
Huh. I always assumed okra was super long season. I just looked it up and found I was very wrong. I've never eaten it or heard of anyone around here growing it, but now I'm curious. I may try it out.
I think I may have some black eyed peas kicking around in my seed hoard now that you mention it. Won't hurt to try.
Turnips are a good suggestion. I don't think I like them much, but it's been a while so I should try them out again.
I try to eat low oxalate greens because I don't absorb iron well, so I've avoided Swiss chard up until now. It's also a good suggestion, though. It's got a big root, so would probably withstand drought better than most greens. We have a short season, but it's not super cold over the winter and we get good snow cover, so swiss chard would probably overwinter most years.
If you're just looking to go to a composting toilet, you remove the toilet and cap off the drain. Then just install whatever kind of composting toilet where the old toilet was. Some of them need special venting, so you'd have to figure that out.
The weather station just north of us in our north-south valley shows 154 frost free days. The weather station just south of us shows 169. Judging by the few years we've been here, I'd say we can count on about 85 frost free days. Our elevation isn't even all that different. It's driving me nuts.
We get little to no spring. It goes from too cold for anything to grow to 30°+ so fast.
We often get an early frost or two (garden was unexpectedly wiped out by frost last night) and then get another month or more of nice weather (forecast for the next week is for 30°+ with overnight lows of 8-10°.
That's not limiting enough for me, so I also rely only on rainfall to water my plants. Most years we get two months without or nearly without rain, sometimes more.
So far, the only crops I know 100% will work out are rye and field peas. Both crops can be planted in the fall to either overwinter or come up as soon as possible in the spring, and both will dry down during the summer drought. Oh, and radishes - but only the seed pods develop. Those plant themselves.
Winter squash is something I've been working on, so I'll say it's 90% reliable under my restrictions. This surprise frost may have ruined them for storage this year :(
Potatoes may be reliable, but this is only my second year here growing them. Last year was pretty good.
This fall I'm going to try out some other fall planted grains, cause rye really isn't my favourite. I've found early spring rainfall here is too unpredictable for spring planted grain.
I'm trying out some tepary beans next year. I've found beans hard to grow because they don't germinate well in cold soil. If I leave the mulch off to warm up the soil early the soil dries out, meaning the plants grow but they don't produce seeds. Keep the mulch on and plant later in the season and that shortens the season even more. Sometimes the young plants just fry in the sun, too.
I've been trying to get tomatoes I can direct seed. This year I got a few to ripen starting in the last week of August. I had a nice big bowlful I was planning on harvesting after work today, but I suspect they're now mush.
Part of my problem is that I've been using seed from when I lived in a less hostile climate. Those varieties just aren't suited to my new location, and improving them through seed selection is hard going. I'm now buying varieties with words like arctic and Manitoba in the name.
TL;DR Long story short, what are some varieties that will germinate in cold soil, withstand heat and drought, and produce in a very short season. Bonus points for calorie crops and leafy greens.
I don't need recommendations for tree crops at this time. The gophers and I are negotiating on that.
Thank you for sharing! I’m curious with those conditions, how large of an area did you plant and what was your yield like?
It was an odd-shaped bed, so I'm not sure of the exact area. Maybe 40 square feet or a little less. After threshing, I ended up with a little over a kilo of grain. I threw out A LOT of grain with the chaff because it wasn't threshing easily. Also the millet was a little long for my season so a lot of it didn't mature before frost.
A 32 sq ft bed of rye in slightly better soil usually yields 2.5-3k for me.