Biodome Revolution Survival Foods
So, you’d like to grow food as an emergency survival plan. You’ve built your easy Biodome Greenhouse to extend the growing season and protect your soil from possible contamination from acid rain, chem-trails or nuclear fallout. Now you are wondering what to grow to feed yourself and your family, especially if there are also disruptions in power supply so you can’t store food in the freezer.
For maximum energy and nutrition in a small space, try starting with potatoes, dry beans, squash and garlic. These crops are relatively easy to grow, easy to store without electricity, and work well in rotation with each other.
There’s a good reason why the Irish potato famine in the mid 1800’s was so devastating. Potatoes were Ireland’s staple survival crop because they are easy to grow, easy to store without refrigeration, energy dense and nutritious. Potatoes love deep mulch. Many gardeners find rogue potato plants growing in their compost from discarded bits of potato. Potatoes are best grown in container beds, barrels or stackable units such as old car tires. Start your potatoes in loosened fertile soil and then build up the soil with mulch, compost or soil as the plants grow. The plants will sprout potatoes along their stems throughout the whole depth of the container as you fill it up. Save some of the best potatoes for seed for the next year. As long as the temperature in your Biodome stays above freezing, potatoes and most other root vegetables can be left in the soil until needed, or dig them up and store them in a cool, dark place.
Dry beans are a super source of protein and are extremely easy to grow and store. Just let the pods mature, dry them, shell out the beans and keep them in a dry, dark place. Remember to keep enough seed to plant the next year’s crop! Not only that, beans will also enhance the soil with their accompanying nitrogen-fixing bacteria, so they are important plants to use in rotation with your other crops.
Winter squash provides a vertical element in your Eden Biodome greenhouse. In the temperate climates, train the vines up the north wall of the Biodome so they receive lots of heat from the South without shading other plants. Squash make a large plant, but the mature fruit (squash) can be stored in a warm, dry place (your house) for many months and the dead vines will provide biomass to build compost. When you eat the squash, simply remove the mature seeds, dry them and save them to plant the next crop. Remember to grow only a single variety of open-pollinated squash if you want to save seed.
For flavor and a multitude of medicinal benefits, garlic is the final essential crop to grow. Each clove of garlic planted will return a large bulb with multiple cloves. Even a small area can produce enough garlic to last throughout the year. Let the garlic cure in a warm dry place and store it cool and dry. If you grow Rocambole type “hard-neck” garlic, the young blossom shoots (called scapes) provide fresh garlic flavoring in the early summer, just when your stored bulbs are running out or shriveling up.
Along with these four must-have crops, select your favorite nutritious and delicious plants to intermix with them. Kale and chard are hardy and nutrient dense “green leafy” crops. Let one plant flower and harvest the seed for enough seed for a few years. Other easy to grow choices for filling in your Biodome greenhouse garden: arugula, beets, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, onions, parsnips, peas, peppers, radishes, spinach, tomatoes and turnips. And remember to include some flavorful perennial herbs to enhance your potato, bean, squash soup.
The time to start growing is now! Experiment with different plants while you have the luxury of a supermarket back-up. After a few seasons, you’ll find what grows best in your site, what stores best and what you most enjoy eating. Because, after all, survival food should be delicious too!