Restarting Your Garden
The goal is to re-establish gardening after the pole shift, when you have settled into a location that might sustain a garden,
whether indoor gardening under artificial light or outdoors with limited sunlight. Try first some plants with a short growing
season, from seed stock you have in abundance. Example: Chinese Cabbage. If you can grow this seed to a mature plant,
itself giving seed, then growing for food can commence. Else, if you plant and cannot harvest seed, you will eventually
waste all the seed. Seed remains viable for years, if kept dry, but the percentage of the seed stock that will germinate drops
over time. You should attempt to secure and build a strong seed stock prior to the pole shift, as the enclosed is only enough
to hopefully restart your garden, in the event you must grab a backpack and run, leaving or losing your stock, and is not
enough to produce food. Grow seed, first, and the seed will then grow food for you.
Some plants, like peppers and beans, require the soil to be warm before they will germinate, else will rot in cold soil.
Some plants, like lettuce, will only go to seed if the weather turns warn. Most plants require pollinators, insects such as
bees, but bees are not necessary if other insects are crawling about the flowers. Some plants like corn are wind pollinated,
so planting in clumps is necessary for pollination. Some plants cross pollinate and should be planted during different
seasons or years. Example: squash and pumpkin and cucumbers. Unless otherwise stated, plants do best in sunlight, watered
regularly, and a soil that has a neutral pH. If weeds are growing, the spot is a good bet for a garden. Unless otherwise
stated, plants are annual, needing to be reseeded yearly.
- Never plant all your seed
- Dedicate a percentage of the harvest to seed
- Gather seed from the best plants
- Dry the seed, store dry and cool if possible
- Tiny white seeds, formed in abundance on the flowers that form on these tall plants. A South American native,
amaranth is not a true grain. The entire plant is edible, and some amaranth types are grown as a green vegetable. The
seeds will fall when ripe, so the strongest harvest is to shake the flower heads daily to collect what drops. Amaranth
contains lysine, an amino acid needed to form a complete vegetable protein.
- Yellow-green when first germinating, with reddish stalks. Not a true grain, the brown three-point seeds forms below
white flowers. Simply gather to store as seed, or grind up to make flour. Water can be used to separate the heavy seeds
from the seed head trash. Pour off all but the seeds at the bottom and then pour through a strainer. If left wet or moist,
the seeds will immediately try to germinate, so dry quickly. Buckwheat is high in lysine, an amino acid needed to form
a complete vegetable protein.
- Corn is wind pollinated, so plant in clumps. Pollen from the tassels blow down onto the silk from each developing
ear. Corn will cross pollinate, so plant sweet and field corn in well separated gardens. Field corn is used for corn
meal. Corn has a long growing season, and likes rich soil. Dry meal or seed corn on the stalk or remove and dry on the
cob, then shuck.
- Wind pollinated. Harvest when the grains are plump and can be dented with a fingernail. Tioga Red wheat has a solid
stalk that resist insect damage to the stalk. Winter Wheat is planted in the fall, going dormant until the spring for an
early crop. The grain must be threshed, or beaten, from the chafe.
Vegetables (Roots, Greens, Fruits, Oils)
- Beans like warm soil and will rot in cool soil. Beans self pollinate and do not cross pollinate. Short growing season,
but lima and soy beans have a longer season. Climbing beans want a pole or trellis or will climb on each other.
Rhizobia bacteria on the bean roots put nitrogen back into the soil. Green or wax beans are cut early for food, but
grow to maturity for seed. Dry beans (Navy, Pinto, Kidney, Black) should be grown until the pods dry on the vine, or
the entire plant cut and hung upside down if starting to rot in the pods due to damp weather. Dry the beans well, then
store for eating or seed.
- Beets can tolerate shade, but not an acid soil. Short growing season, and sugar beet leaves can be eaten as a green. A
biennial, a few large roots should be put into sand or wrapped in paper and stored in a cool dark place until the next
season. When planted they will quickly put up stalks and go to seed. Cut the mature seed stalks and hang upside down
until dry, then pick off the seed pods.
- Chinese Cabbage
- Where most cabbage is biennial, this cabbage has a short growing season and sends up seed pods early. The pods will
burst and release their seed readily, so cut or catch them before they burst. Dry the stalks or pods in a pan and the
seeds will collect in the bottom. Does not form heads, but thickened leaves at the base, early in the season, cut then for
- Daikon Radish
- A Japanese favorite, producing a large long white root. A leggy plant, which produces seed pods in abundance. The
seeds in this packet are annuals, not biennial. Each pod contains several seeds.
- Fiddlehead Fern
- Spring fiddles are edible, and tasted like broccoli. Wants indirect sunlight only, and will not grow in direct sunlight.
Propagates by spores, reputedly difficult to start a new bed from spores, but will spread once a bed starts.
- Flax wants cool temperatures and prefers lots of light. The stalks are soaked and beaten to make flax threads, which
are then spun and women into linen. Seeds are edible and pressed for oil. Seed pods can be harvested when dry on the
plant, and shuck easily.
- Tolerates full shade, and has a short growing season. Prefers a cool season, and will bolt to seed stalks when the
weather gets warm. Lettuce likes nitrogen. Self pollinates. Flowers turn to seed individually, so harvest seed when the
white tuffs open.
- Melons will cross pollinate with each other. Melon seeds need to ferment before they will germinate, as they
otherwise assume they are still in the melon. After scraping out a mature melon, add water and allow to molder for a
couple days, then rinse, dry, and store. Melons are ready to harvest when they separate from the vine easily.
- Likes an acidic soil. Long growing season, with bulbs just at the surface. Harvest when the stalks are starting to fall
off, and dry until ready to eat. A biennial, store onions in a cool dry place until the next season, then plant and seed
stalks with white flower balls will form, filling with black seed. Harvest seed pods when mature but before the pod
splits and spills the seed.
- Prefers partial shade; well-drained but damp soil. Has a short growing season, and can be planted in cool soil.
Rhizobium bacteria on roots put Nitrogen back to the soil. Green peas are picked when the pods are swollen, the peas
shucked. Snow peas eaten for food are picked before the peas mature, as the entire pea pod is eaten. Snow peas grown
for seed should be allowed to mature fully. For seed, leave pea pods on the vine until the dry, but if wet weather is
causing mold, pick and hang the entire plant upside down in a dry place.
- Peppers will not germinate until the soil is warm, and even then take a couple weeks to germinate. They like hot
weather. High in Vitamin C. Where peppers self pollinate, they can be crossed by visiting insects, so grow apart of in
separate seasons. When growing for seed, either leave the pepper on the vine as long as possible, until they shrivel, or
cut and allow to mature. Seed taken from immature peppers will not germinate. Cayenne or hot peppers have
medicinal uses, stimulating circulation. There are documented cases where a heart attack was stopped by a
teaspoonful of Cayenne in warm water, drunk quickly.
- Will cross pollinate with other squash or cucumbers, the seed from this cross producing a weaker and less productive
strain. Plant in different seasons. These are roomy plants with huge vines and leaves, so give them space. Leave on the
vine until mature, then pick before a first frost and store in cool place. The pumpkin of squash to be used for seed
should be allowed on the vine almost to the rotting point so the seeds will be mature. Scrape out and rinse clean, dry,
and store. Seeds not set aside for the next crop can be roasted and eaten.
- A member of the mustard family, Rocket has a very short growing season, producing seed pods and a prolific amount
of seed within weeks. A spicy salad green. The seed pods will burst and release seed when dry, so cut or catch them
before they burst. Dry the stalks or pods in a pan and the seeds will collect in the bottom.
- Tolerates full shade, and has a short growing season. Can plant in cool soil, and will go to seed when the weather
turns warm. Both male and female plants are required for seed production, so plant several at a time. High in iron.
- Sunflower is a tall stalk, the flowers forming at top and drooping over as the seeds mature and become heavy. Birds
love the seeds and will pick a head clean, and seed heads can also get wormy so ensure the seed stock is clean and
- Tomatoes are often started indoors as they have a long growing season. High in Vitamin C and A. Tomatoes self
pollinate and will not cross pollinate. Tomatoes will mature off the vine. Tomatoes laying on the ground may get eaten
by slugs or insects, so tie up the plants to keep them off the ground or pick green if this is a problem. Tomato seeds
need to ferment before they will germinate, as this removes a coating on the seeds that signals that they are still in the
tomato. Scrape the seeds into a bowl, add water, allow a white mold to form, stir, and after a few days gently rinse so
all but the heavy seeds that fall to the bottom can be poured away from the top of the bowl. Squeeze the water out,
place on a flat surface to dry, and crumble between your fingers to separate the seeds, then store.
Herbs (Culinary and Medicinal)
- A warm weather plant, used as a culinary herb.
- Medicinal. Taken for minor digestive problems. Seed oil is fungicidal and antibacterial.
- Dark green leaves, forming daisy-like flowers which mature into black bristly seed pods. A perennial. Used as an
antidote for snakebites and stings, for toothaches, sore throats, colds, cancers, etc. Immune stimulant.
- Lemon Balm
- Perennial medicinal herb. Has a lemon scent. Used for colds, flu, depression, headache, indigestion. Also is a sedative
and an antiviral.
- A bristly plant, producing yellow seeds used for mustard, a condiment.
- High in Vitamin A, this plant also has antibiotic qualities.
- Pyrethrum Daily
- An insect spray can be made from these plants, which acts as a nerve agent. Children and pets are affected also, so
take care. Related to Marigold and Chrysanthemum, often planted around gardens as a living fence to inhibit insect
infestations. A perennial.
- Perennial medicinal herb. For coughs, colds, or to stop bleeding and close wounds.
- Used for flavoring but also a medicianal herb to reduce intestinal gas and colic, stomach cramping and nausea.
- Queen Anns Lace
- Seeds of Queen Anns Lace are reported to have a contraceptive quality, preventing implantation, acting like a
morning after pill. Used since Babylonian times, it contains a substance that has abortive properties. The practice was
for the young ladies to pick a seed head while returning home the next morning and munch on the seeds. Scientific
studies have shown that Queen Anns Lace blocks progesterone synthesis in pregnant laboratory animals, and
progesterone is what prepares the uterus to receive a fertilized egg. The daily dose during modern day studies is one
teaspoon, with the seeds chewed thoroughly before being swallowed. This is a prolific weed, growing along sunny
roadsides, and as a relative of the carrot will cross pollinate with carrots and ruin the stock. Separate carrot beds from
Queen Ann plants by at least a mile, or plant in separate seasons.
- Perennial medicinal herb. Light green leaves with a worm eaten appearance. Makes a bitter tonic, the main ingredient
in absinthe. Expels worms.