Staple crops and self sufficiency

Article on easy to grow staple crops.

I already have the amaranth and potatoes. Might try one or tow of the others. Tire planters make good trial containers.


  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,358 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have been wanting to try growing wheat and amaranth. I already have potatoes and corn. I also want to try growing alfalfa for the rabbits. I just have to get creative with arranging for growing space.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,358 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RustBeltCowgirl do you grow amaranth in tire containers?

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Michelle D Actually, I don't grow amaranth in containers here; because it grows wild alongside the ditch. i am figuring that a tire could make a nice sized container to grow it. My tire planters are not the full tire. I "roadside forage" for the intact tread that has rolled off a flat tire. According to Dad, if you drive on a flat tire; sometimes the tread will peel off leaving an intact circle. it will give you a bigger interior area and much less weight.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Michelle D Amaranth will grow well in containers, at least it has for me

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,402 admin

    My daughter is growing buckwheat as a cover crop for a barren slope this year. I am really looking forward to watching this grow and learning how to harvest. Although, it might be a bit tricky getting a long enough season for harvest. It takes 10-11 weeks and depending on when our first frost is, we might not have that long.

  • Michelle D
    Michelle D Posts: 1,358 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm expecting a recieve some scrap farm tires soon. I'm planning to use them for planting. I hadn't decided what to put in them yet. Now I have some really great ideas. Thanks @RustBeltCowgirl and @Monek Marie

    It might be to late to plant by the time I get them this year, but I can start planning for next season.

    @torey you will have to let us know how the buckwheat does. Hopefully your first frost holds off long enough.

  • Tave
    Tave Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Potatoes don't do well where I live, but corn does. I found some cool red dent corn and plan on planting it next spring (November, when the rains start).

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,827 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've found it is easier to grow sources of nutrition than sources of calories in limited space and with limited effort.

    Potatoes are probably the best vegetable source of calories, but the fact that they are prone to diseases, must be rotated to new soil every year, and suffer reduced productivity if you save your own seeds all make them challenging for long-term homesteading.

    But the Irish managed it in the 19th century, so it can be done. (It has risks, as the Irish discovered the hard way.)

  • VermontCathy
    VermontCathy Posts: 1,827 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @torey You can eat the green leaves of buckwheat, too. We grow the sprouts inside under lights all winter as a substitute for fresh lettuce.

    I also use it as a green manure. Seed it in a bed you aren't currently using. It grows pretty fast. When you are ready to plant something else, just turn the buckwheat under with a hoe.

    It also self-seeds readily.