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For the small householder, I wonder what the best crop would be? Obviously it will depend on the location and climate, but in general does it make more sense to grow lettuce (as my SO says), or beans (traditional crop), or fruit, or something else? How do you evaluate your situation to decide that, anyway?

The seed catalogs have started coming and I need to do some planning right about now anyway...

by asdf on Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 at 11:23:14 PM EST
There are varieties suited for nearly every environment; high protein content; easily stored in one form or another; good soil amendment; easily grown.

Lettuce and herbs on your windowsill or in your planter(s). Tomatoes in planters. After that, you might want to visit some of the past ET diaries on the subject. I did a series of 3 or 4 about three years ago.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Sat Mar 3rd, 2012 at 02:29:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yours and other gardening diaries are under the heading Local in the Agriculture series.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 11:34:27 AM EST
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Beans. Green beans. Please note that this is an emotional response.

I love this movement. Flowers are lovely, but so are vegetables and fruits and I wish I could see as many fruits and vegetables growing on German balconies and terraces as flowers.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 06:21:41 AM EST
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If you have a decent area to plant, and plan to consume it rather then sell I think storage is an important issue. So that would be beans. Though this might be a reflection of the short growing season here in Sweden.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 10:23:28 AM EST
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The main limiting factors are space and time - time meaning the length of the growing season in your climate. See what other people manage to do where you live, and use that to place the bounds on what you can do (without cover).

You should be able to get some variety even in a fairly small area. There's no sense really in just growing one thing. Lettuce and other salads can be grown between other plants - and anyway you don't want too many at one time because half of them will bolt before you can eat them.

In terms of stuff that will keep for the winter, we keep in a simple dry, no-freeze storage space, potatoes, onions, squash and beans (the white haricot kind, but have also done red beans or the Italian kind called borlotti). Green beans are fine in storage jars.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Mar 4th, 2012 at 11:32:37 AM EST
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Kale is one of the most nutritional foods out there, according to what I've read.  It is cold tolerant and can be started early in the season and, with some protection, well into the Fall.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Fri Mar 9th, 2012 at 08:00:24 PM EST
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