So now that I know to plant and herd, what kinds of things should I grow?
Variety. Variety is the key to survival. Remember the Potato Blight that wiped out one third of Ireland’s population? That’s because they only grew one fricking crop: potatoes. Don’t repeat history – instead, learn from it.
Plant many types of fruits, vegetables, and herbs so that when one fails (because I guarantee they will, due to many naturally occurring and accidental problems that I will address later) you are not strapped for food in the middle of what should be the harvest season. Herding and tending animals goes pretty much the same way. When possible, give yourself plenty of options so you’re not over-stressing one species because of your reliance on a byproduct or their meat. You must keep your herd healthy, and you must be able to replant. Prioritize these things, because if you don’t, you’ll be worse off than a polar bear in the middle of the Sahara Desert, but much, much skinnier.
As far as what kinds of plants to grow, remember this: most types of fruit and vegetable seeds sold in the supermarket or other mass provider have been genetically engineered to be sterile. That means they cannot seed out for a second growth, and if you try to plant the seeds from the harvest, they will not grow. Period. So what do you have to do to get a renewable garden? Find a farmer and acquire seeds from them, or find other naturally produced crop seed sellers like community co-op grocery stores. And though stocking up in advance is usually a good idea for many other things, I wouldn’t recommend it when it comes to seeds, unless you plan on restocking them every few years when your seeds lose their vitality. Shoot for carrots, beets, kale, onions, potatoes, brussels sprouts, barley, wheat, rice (if you can), and other grains; strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, apples, plums, and other fruits and vegetables depending on your region and climate. You can’t grow oranges or lemons here in Minnesota, for example. Why? Well, they don’t call it Minne-SNOW-ta for no reason. Don’t wait until the z-poc hits to find out what kinds of produce you can grow in your area – do your research now so you are prepared in advance. And for the last time, NO CORN! Unless you are feeding it to your livestock. Then, by all means, plant away. Keep in mind though, that corn is one of the worst crops to grow in terms of soil viability. It sucks everything out of the dirt, and does nothing for the soil when you till it back in. Not to mention (as I have stated before), we humans get no nutrition out of corn, so it’s completely useless for survival, except as livestock feed.
Next week: Vines, Brambles, and Other Natural Zombie Detterents