On today’s podcast Monica and I discuss some considerations for growing food without getting complicated or spending a lot of time working on the property.
Set good goals – most people either don’t set goals at all or they say say, “I want to live off the land.” That’s a dream or a vision without a plan.
Grow things you use in everyday cooking – it does no good to grow crops you won’t end up using. The analogy here is the preparedness minded person who stores wheat berries, rice and beans but doesn’t know how to cook with them. It’s also ok to expand your palate as long as you actually use the crops. For example, there are many benefits to eating kale. If your family doesn’t currently eat it, try it out (buy some from the store) and see if they like it.
Grow for your site and season – you can work around our site and the season to some degree but keep the bulk of your crops within the “boundaries.” Grow cool weather crops like lettuce, spinach and kale should be grown in cool weather and warm weather crops like tomatoes and peppers in summer.
Grow crops that are shelf stable – crops like squash, potatoes and beets store, if done properly, very well. This is a key point if your goal is to subsist, to any degree, year round.
Plan for food preservation – if you grow a ton of tomatoes and plan on preserving them think it through. Drying? Canning? How many jars will you need? What size?
Meat, milk and eggs – for most people, this needs to be a part of the equation. This is entirely possible, even on small properties. Having a small flock of chickens or ducks for laying eggs is very easy and can provide a substantial amount of calories toward a subsistence goal. Raising some of your own meat is not hard and very rewarding!