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Monday, November 17, 2014

The food issue



Lately I've been using the oven of the woodstove as food dehydrator. That works surprisingly well. The stove's going all day and night. Just by leaving the oven door open a couple of inches keeps the temperature in a good range.

Right now I'm dehydrating sunchokes -Jerusalem artichokes if you prefer the old name. Sunchokes have some advantages for a survival food. They are easy to grow. Mine seem to thrive on poor soil and neglect. The problem is that once out of the ground they don't last very long. Dehydration is one way to preserve them.

Our garden is very small and didn't do all that well this year. We got some tomatoes, beans, herbs, assorted greens, radishes and few other things I can't remember right now. I built a lettuce table which did well early, but then some disease got into it. All the soil's been dumped out of it and we'll start fresh next spring. Our nut trees did almost nothing this year, and the squirrels got the few nuts that were produced. It's not a lot of food. Local people with green houses did a lot better than anyone else.

Our preps weakest point is food production. We've got water, power, security and food storage pretty much squared away. There are plenty of wild foods we can harvest so that helps. Living on a lake there are fish to catch and crawfish to trap. Hunting is an option.

Next year we may finally put in a small greenhouse. That's one of the things we've been putting off for way too long. There's always been something else more pressing. Next year it's a priority. The weather's been uneven enough to make outdoor gardening too chancy.

Of course, there's those sunchokes. Nothing seems to bother them.

-Sixbears

8 comments:

  1. A fun fact on sunchokes ,the roman legion always planted beds of them where they had garrisons. Some are still producing today.Obscure sites not found in records have been found because of these beds.

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    1. I did not know that. I like it. Just goes to show the sunchokes can take care of themselves.

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  2. I used to raise them. My wife and I liked them. Maybe I should start gardening again.

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    1. That's the beauty of sunchokes -it can hardly be called gardening. Just make sure you really want them because they'll just keep coming back every year, even if you try and eat them all.

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  3. The deer wiped mine out, even though they were fairly well fenced out (but not well enough, obviously).

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  4. Sometimes we raise veggies, sometimes we raise venison.

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  5. A local friend has converted his petrol car to ethanol. He has a secret still (down the back, shhhhhh, stills are illegal here!) that he feeds with an ample supply of Jerusalem artichokes to make home grown vehicle fuel.
    Never heard 'em called sunchokes before. They are nearly unkillable, even for brown thumb gardeners.

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    1. Never heard of fermenting them. That sounds interesting. Wonder if there's a such a thing as sunchoke wine?

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