You just finished your summer harvest, but you are coming up a little bit short. Sure, you could handle a simple miscalculation by going to the grocery store. Well, you COULD if you weren’t so off the grid. However, just because summer is over doesn’t mean the growing season is. There are plenty of people throughout history that lived in colder climates and thus needed quick-growing, hearty vegetable in order to survive through the winter. Here are 8 that you can start growing today and harvest before the first frosts.
Wouldn’t it be weird if the massive kale health trend just turned out to be a conspiracy by kale farmers because they can produce several kale harvests in a year? Regardless, kale is a hearty leaf that grows great in cold weather. It can even grow in winter if you keep the snow off.
These tasty little leaves are ready to eat as early as 21 days after planting. Just pick, wash, toss with vinaigrette and parmesan, and you are eating fancier than you would expect for the night.
Russia isn’t known for its summer-y weather. So thus, their most famous vegetable naturally grows well in colder weather. When planted six to eight weeks before your first frost, you will have beets that are hearty and not yet woody in texture. However, if you are really short on time, a beet can be harvested when it is only an inch in diameter, but beet greens can be harvested even sooner if you want a little pep in your salad.
Not all turnips grow quickly, but certain varieties do. In these varieties, they actually end up tasting better than your summer turnips. The heat makes this vegetable a bit bitter, but the cooler weather helps them develop a more mild and sweet flavor. For fast growing turnips, you can harvest them as soon as 35 days when they achieve peak maturity.
You may have noticed that among your summer vegetables, radishes are one of the first to ripen. Some radishes do take longer than others, but many varieties are ready to eat in as little as three weeks. With the right planning, you will have pickled radishes throughout the winter, but be aware that their greens also make a good addition to salads.
Like kale, spinach prefers cooler temperatures, which is why you have to plant it in the shade during summer. Not only can they last in the fall, but you can harvest baby spinach leaves as early as a month after planting them. What’s more is that if you allow the plant to grow after harvesting, you will be able to get multiple batches of spinach leaves.
Like radishes, these are often the first things you harvest in the summer, and you always have way more than you thought you would. When planted in early fall, cucumbers still have plenty of time to bear fruit. Even if the frosts come early, those small cucumbers not yet to maturity will make some good potential pickles if you can make the brine.
No salad is complete without a strong lettuce base. Of course, lettuce also grows quickly too. In just over a month, you will be able to eat young lettuce. If days are still hot, be sure to plant it in the shade. However, putting mulch around your lettuce crop will also shelter it from cold snaps.
Need more then what your garden can provide for your new off the grid life? Are you ready for any disaster, threat or civil unrest. You need to ask yourself if you are prepared for when the inevitable strikes? Do you have enough food stores for your family? Is your water supply safe? Do you have a habitable safe haven when the tides turn? Any Disaster can outfit you with every bit of off the grid material and products you could ever need.
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