Landscape gardening for food

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Seacowboys, Feb 10, 2007.


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  1. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    A few year ago while on a salvage project in Maysville, Kentucky, I noted that all over town there were rows of day lillies. I grow them myself around the yard because they are delicious. I would walk through town and fill my pockets with the blossoms and saute them in butter to serve with dinner. I have often wondered why, with so many hungry and homeless people around, that more fruit bearing trees, nut bearing trees, and eatable flowers aren"t used in landscaping? Is it just that we are too greedy to allow a free food source to grow for everyone? What ever happened to the Johnny Appleseed philosophy? I have started carrying seeds with me for tomatoes, melons, okra, Corn, whatever I happen to find when I go to the garden center. I scatter these where they may voluntarily grow. Wouldn't it be amazing if watermelons took over like kudzu?
     
  2. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    BTW...Kudzu is a food source too.
    The non-woody parts of the plant are edible. The young leaves can be used for salad or cooked as a leaf vegetable; the flowers battered and fried (like Squash (plant) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:YellowSquash.jpg" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bb/YellowSquash.jpg/220px-YellowSquash.jpg"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/b/bb/YellowSquash.jpg/220px-YellowSquash.jpg flowers); and the starchy tuberous roots can be prepared as any root vegetable.
    The starchy roots are ground into a fine powder and used for varieties of Wagashi and herbal medicines. When added to water and heated, kudzu powder becomes clear and adds stickiness to the food. It is sometimes known as "Japanese arrowroot,", due to the similar culinary effect it produces.<SUP class=noprint>[citation needed]</SUP>
    Its leaves are high in vitamins A and D, as well as calcium and protein. Its roots are rich in starch and its flowers are an excellent honey source.[2]
     
  3. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    In towns and cities, you never know what has been sprayed onto those plants and trees, so it's not safe even if you are aware of all the edible goodies around. And there actually are perfectly edible plants used in landscaping except for the small factoids that 1) hybrids - which typically are developed for growth traits and not nutrition - now rule the landscape AND 2) most people have lost touch with the knowledge vital to discerning between edible and toxic. We as a society have become too complacent and reliant on grocery stores and others deciding what we should eat to be able to feed ourselves.

    Beyond that, there are SO many plants that are considered weeds (dandelion, for example) when they are actually powerhouses of nutrition.....

    ~Falcon
     
  4. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I'm not sure, but I would guess that eating foods that have a bit o contamination from polluted air and water would still trump starving.
     
  5. the dog

    the dog Monkey+++

    why grow roses when you can grow tomatoes......good thread maybe it will get some good ideas out in the open....i dont grow vegtables in the yard...but i do grow clover....and food eats it...wheres the crossbow at...lol
     
  6. sniper-66

    sniper-66 Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    At my old house, I had a herb bed on the south side with Pepermint, Spearmint, Lemon Basil and such. The only issue that I had is that it escaped the bed and got into the yard, so everytime I mowed my yard, instead of smelling like cut grass, it smelled like Glade lemon spray. In the summer, it was nice t have flavored tea.
     
  7. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Just cleared out a bunch of Orchids from the front of yard to make way for beans, peas, tomatos, pineapple, mint, oregano, basil, and one more herb I cant remember... already got oranges, guava and apple trees.... my little girl just discovered the joy of growing things ... and the bonus of being able to eat what you grow.... start them when they are little.... dirt is a good thing.... plants are a good thing... dirt and plants that make things that you can eat are terrific!
     
  8. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I THINK what Falcon dance was talking about on the tainting problem was more along the lines of the herbacides and pesticides so commonly sprayed all over everyones lawns, at least in the cities around here and I would imagine its the same all over.

    I know in the city it was very common for people to have apple, pear, cherry, wallnut and so on trees in their yards.....it was also very common for them to hire people to spray them with chemicals to make sure they would NOT produce any fruit since that cluttered up the lawn, they just wanted the pretty flowers on them then a nice tidy tree.NO!!
     
  9. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    I think most people would be to lazy to get the food [dunno] Sorry I just have no faith in 99.999999% of Americans to be able to lift a finger to help themselves. If it doesn't come prepackaged and microwavable they wouldn't know what to do with it anyway. Almost all people are so disconected from how to take care of themselves that they will just die if the hand outs aren't there. Look at the people at the people in NO's during Katrina. They knew 4-5 days in advance that the hurricane was going to hit. Most of the poorest people did nothing to help themselves. Alot of them were younger adults that I saw on TV there is no reason they could not have walked inland. Walking 20 miles a day (which is not that hard) would have put them 80-100 miles inland. But yet they decided to stay there with their hand out instead, WHY [dunno] Because in America you aren't expected to take care of yourself, as a matter of fact if you do take care of yourself/family you are thought of as being a wierdo. [soap]

    OGM
     
  10. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    Yep, that's what I was talking about, monkeyman. Stupid Americans spend millions (billions?) a year to spray their yards to keep out all the "weeds" when the "weeds" are actually what's best for them and the earth! Then there's the bug sprays to kill off pests which cannot be safely used on anything edible (some are "safe" if you wait 48 hours or so, but how does the bypasser know when it was sprayed?). Add to that the popularity of hybrids which can actually be toxic or at least non-human-friendly unlike their non-hybrid parents, and you have death in bite full.

    Shame, too. As Seacowboys alluded to, what grows in your yard or a park could feed hungry people and well.
     
  11. ChemicalGal

    ChemicalGal Monkey+++

    Seacowboy....great idea, planting/sowing in vacant areas even if got sprayed a through cleaning would help if someone were hungry.
    This year we are planting 25 pecan trees and 25 black walnut trees, wanted to do elderberry bushes but they ran out where I got the trees.
    It will be years before they produce, but when they do, there will be tons of protein for wild animals & humans alike.
    Going to try some different beans for drying and flour this year ... can't wait to see how they do.
    here in MO the forestry dept offers all kinds of trees & bushes for almost nothing 25 pecan trees 7.00 same for black walnuts.

    Heck at those prices you could plant a lot of vacant areas
    cg
     
  12. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    In my lawn, I have two orange trees, a lemon tree, a comquat, a grapefruit, two gala apples, two varieties of pears, two varieties of peaches, two pecans, several cherries, roses (rosehips), a small fish pond, a couple of small garden plots for tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.
    and I am planning a small green-house before next winter. We plant beds of day lillies around the place, they are delicious. I am thinking of putting strawberries in the flower-beds. I have forest on each side of me filled with muscadine grapes and several mature trees around the house and there are always squirrels and birds. It is only 300 yards to the Gulf of Mexico from here and there is an unlimited supply of fish, crabs, shrimps. There is a bayou and estuary just behind the house about a half mile, teaming with nutria, fish, turtles, gator, hogs, deer, bear, rabbits, coons. This is a good place to live. I am planning to purchase and install a 50KW generator this summer, hopefully powered by a sterling engine. It would be damned difficult to go hungry around here, unless you are too lazy to belong in the food-chain.
     
  13. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Keep us updated on this project. I'm fascinated by the potential of the stirling engines, especially since you can run one on any fire... wood, coal, whatever. No doubt it won't be an easy project, but it'll be awesome if you get it running everything.



    Never underestimate the stupidity of the average person. A while back while living in an apartment complex, I had a SHTF discussion with a pair of neighbors. They said they had no idea where they could get food once the grocery store was out. 20 yards directly in front of them was the complex pond with no less than 75-80 mallards quacking at them. They would've probably starved to death while looking at those ducks.... clueless!
     
  14. ricdoug

    ricdoug Monkey+++

    We grow enough fruits and vegetables on our own land to...

    maintain sustenence. There are also plenty of wild birds and rabbits. The Nutria in the Bayous could prove to be a great foodstuff, too. Ric

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  15. the dog

    the dog Monkey+++

    in my extended yard i have a small orchard....i have apple,peach and pear....i hope to expanded that this year in the next few weeks.i found a local nursery that has some great looking trees for $20 and they have several different varities of plums..old and new...that i have never seen and want to try.i also will be growing some crops to get extra food stuffs to store for animals if i start raiseing pigs and chickens this year.
     
  16. ChemicalGal

    ChemicalGal Monkey+++

    Well Ricdoug i got quite an education with your pictures, didn't recognize any of them. But did look them up and now know what they are, but will probably (hopefully as I don't plan to ever be far enough south) never see any of them (other than onions) as they won't grow here.

    But the one that threw me the most, both you & seacowboy mentioned and that was Nutria, I expected a fruit of some sort, boy was I surprised to find out what it really was...LOL kind of resembles our beaver here in MO.

    Thanks for the education, really enjoyed finding out about different plants and animals.
    CG
     
  17. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    CG

    We have Nutria here in Mo. as well. [winkthumb]

    OGM
     
  18. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    [Cliff Claven on]

    Nutria is supposedly very good lean meat (I've never had it), and valued for their fur in some places. Mostly they do a lot of damage though by bank erosion and other damage.

    The females nipples are on her back. Odd, but pretty handy for slow dancing.
     
  19. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    We also have wild blackberries, gooseberries and persimons that grow here on our place as well as a few cat tails and a LOT of them just across the fence in the pasture that is owned by a guy about 4 miles down the road. Then of coarse there are all the coons, opposums and all the rabbits both wild and the domestic ones we free range and pretty sure some mixed ones now running around all over the place and squirles.
     
  20. duanet

    duanet Monkey+++

    One of my "survival" gardens came about by accident. Had a neighbor who was really nice guy, but elderly. He subdivided his land and "sold" 20 acres to his son inlaw who moved up from the big city and promptly posted everything. No hunting, fishing on his half of the lake, no picking berries etc. The law said I had the right to do some of the things, fish etc, but with him and his wife yapping about trespassing on his land, it wasn't worth it. Well a few years back on one wet spring night when I knew they were going into Boston for a couple days, I helped some voulenter plants onto their land. Blackberry vines, jersulum artichokes, cat tails, wild roses, a few bushes I got from fish and game for my "wildlife area", some ay lilies, some asparagas, horseradish, a few of the more invasive herbs and such. Was a lot of fun figureing what I would like for long term survival garden and that would self reseed. Being a nice guy, I didn't plant Japanese Knot weed or anything really miserable. I started in the pond and changed the plants as I went up into the old pasture. Two years later you couldn"t walk through the area and it is full of a lot of hidden edibles. He got all upset about "nature" taking over his field and started to spray it. Being a good coservationist, I called the town on his using chemicals in the wetland and poluting the water and they come out and said that it would be a $5,000 fine if he continued and that it would be an additional $5,000 per day if he ignored the order. Being a good neighbor, I told him that for $50 an hour I would bring my tractor over and brush hog it in the fall. That keeps the trees and pucker brush down and lets the "good" weeds and brush propagate. It helps me towards paying for my tractor, there are several weeks of good survival food there in a pinch and there is a lot more wildlife around the pond. As an added benifit he pays me to check on the area and keep it from going "wild" and no longer threatens to call the cops every time he sees me walking on it. The only downside to it so far is that the bear make it impossible to keep a bird feeder, they love sunflower seeds, and the darn deer ate all of my strawberries and trim my shrubs. I have expanded the project, on other warm spring nights, to a couple other town owned wildlife areas, the flood control areas, and they "protect" my resource by prohibiting hunting etc. Even if I don't need to use it, I much prefer the look of the area to the former sterile "lawn" they had running down to the lake and it cut their use of the area by almost 100% and thus they don"t bother me about my use of "their" pond.
     
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