I came across a useful plant called Azolla, & figured maybe a thread documenting plants that would be useful for the aftertime would be a good idea.
Azolla is a fern that grows in stagnant or slow-moving water. Like duckweed; except unlike duckweed, it will grow in the shade.This makes it a perfect plant for the aftertime.
Optimal growing temperatures are from 18 to 28 C (64 to 82 F). It can survive temperatures of upto 45 C (113 F) and -5 C (23 F). During winters in the aftertime, a makeshift greenhouse can provide year round production of this plant.
The plant can be cultivated in compost tea. They will also live in water with fish or ducks, recycling their excrements.
-It doubles in size in 4 days.
-It doesnt need soil. It fixes nitrogen like legumes. So excess growth can be mixed in the compost, or directly used as a top dressing in the garden.
-It feeds fish, chicken & cattle, etc. Due to low fibre content, the nutrients are easily abosrbed.
-Improves milk production and health of livestock.
An Example of a grow area
An instance of growing Azolla in vertically stacked trays, to maximize space.
A How-to grow video
(Cow manure can be replaced by worm compost or fish poop)
Examples of Azolla grown with Tilapia.
In both instances, the fish feed on the azolla, & the azolla feed on the decomposing fish poop. The rain aerates the tank sufficiently.
Azolla are good accumulators of heavy metals. But since fish dont accumulate lead, this is a good setup to have in the aftertime. If grown for humans or animals they should be grown out of the aftertime rain, under some netting or plastic coveralls.
Why not grow azolla instead of having our crops barely make it through?
In some parts of the world, growing azolla and tilapia/trout can be a year round production.
Some makeshift fish tanks is all you need. During winter, you can grow a few baby tilapia indoors, and grow them back in spring.
Even without fish, you can grow azolla with worm compost. In a semi-indoor greenhouse, this can be year round high quality food for you and your livestock.
A quick google search will show you places near you that sell them. Any place that sells aquarium plants would be a good start
If you know of other versatile plants for the aftertime, please feel free to add on to this.
Amaranth is an increasingly popular plant that has shown up in seed catalogues.
The seeds combined with traditional grains can provide a complete protein without meat. The leaves are very nutritious and are cooked all over the world like spinach.
Amaranth harvested for grain.
Amaranth harvested for their greens, as a cut & come crop
What if you lose your amaranth seeds in the aftertime, or dont have the luxury of being able to order seeds?
Not a problem. There are wild varieties of amaranth (i.e. pigweed) found in every part of the world. One can collect seeds from them & grow them in garden. They will very likely self-seed, due to their heavy seed production.
Here's an example of seeds harvested from wild amaranth & cooked to make bread.
Amaranth leaves cooked with mushrooms
Here are some guides showing the common types of amaranth found in the wild:
Early sets of leaves are kinda diamond shaped, & upper leaves become more oval. Flower buds emerge from the point where the leaf attaches to the stem.
Seed production might not be as plentiful in deep shade, but it still produces as its a very hardy weed. Amaranth can be a life saver in the aftertime. With knowledge on how to recognize it in the wild (or seeds at hand), one person could help an entire neighborhood. Check local edible weed guides to identify what kinds are found in your area.
Lambsquarters (i.e. Goosefoot; Quinoa family)
- Another ubiquitous weed that has been utilized around the world.
- The leaves were a supposed favorite during the great depression; and are very nutritious. Seeds are high in protein.
In the video, John says that he didnt like the taste of the seeds. This might be because of the saponins.
You must let them sit in water overnight, before using the seeds.
Seeds can be ground into flour or cooked with amaranth seeds.
The leaves may be used any way spinach would be-- pestos, spreads, salads,etc..
For more: Permaculture project
Note: Amaranth germinates in the middle of the growing season, when the temperature gets warm.
Wheras, Lambsquarters germinates earlier in spring. The seeds need to be exposed to the cold for germination to occur. This occurs naturally as the seeds overwinter in the ground.
Adjunct to azolla
Here is a veggie burger made out of azolla, by Erik Sjödin
-Azolla is rinsed & cooked.
-Then its chopped & mixed with breadcrumbs & spices.
-The mixture is then fried to a burger.
(Azolla tastes like lettuce)
Erik also makes azolla pancakes, soups & bread.
Read about it in his pdf.
Why will azolla be so effective?
Azolla houses an algae in it. Together they utilize the entire spectrum of sunlight. Regular plants only utilize a fraction of the sunlight that hits it. Also, azolla is very effective at "eating up" carbon dioxide.
This is why it is one of the fastest growing plants in the world.
algae grows in abundance in places land based plants cannot tolerate. Thus, this resource should be explored, and explored thoroughly, prior to the shift, as a real survival technique. - link
The oceans will appear greenish to many, and for good reason. All the fires will have placed a tremendous amount of carbon dioxide into the air, the stuff of which vegetative grown is made of. With little vegetation on land, the ocean kelp will absorb and utilize this. The oceans will be lush. - link
There has been numerous studies done on how to grow it on the moon and mars (I wonder why..). If the scientists working for the elite have looked into its potential, we should too.
They can be grown in trays or ponds. The trays need only be one inch deep; stacking several in a grow area. Under ideal conditions they double in size under two days.
But what about before the shift; when food shortages & riots are expected in the years before the shift?
With azolla, no one should have to struggle. Do you prefer your vegetable to grow in 2 months or a week?
If its winter, move the trays near a window & you've got protein rich food growing all year long!
All you need is worm compost. If you dont worm compost, you can buy worm castings for cheap.
(My mind is exploding at how simple this solution is....lol)
One does not even need worm compost. Erik has simply been growing them with soil from a garden.
I have been growing Azolla indoors and on my balcony in trays with an approximately 5 cm deep soil layer and about 5 cm of water on top. I use soil that comes from a garden that I know is doing well and is unpolluted. Store-bought top soil generally does not work well as it contains peat which floats to the surface
- They can double in size in a day; and are the fastest growing plant. They will accumulate lead; so duckweed grown in the open rain might be best reserved to feed fish.
For those farmers turning to aquaculture, where plants can be grown in human sewage, and then fed to the fish or livestock, this will prove to be a renewable resource that adds to the food banks. Here again, the key is light, as to turn sewage into food, one needs plants that require at least some light. - Zetatalk
Duckweed grown on recycled sewage.
The duckweed is then used to farm carp. (Tilapia or any herbivorous fish works, too).
Aquaponics with Duckweed
Nancy's newsletter #292 on duckweed.
Newsletter #364- "Survival Tips Refresher"
Those looking to crops will find this is not the way to go, in the immediate aftertime. As we repeatedly mention, fishing is a good source of protein, as are bugs, and plants should be the minimal part of your diet. Humans are used to just the opposite. So this is a mind set adjustment. A bit of salad, something with high Vitamin C, but use this almost as a garnish - Zetatalk
I went out and foraged some dandelions, dock, plantain, clover; as well as Burdock roots (in the middle of fall).
The fish was bought (but we can pretend that I caught it :). Burdock roots need to be boiled to soften up. Then they can be sauteed up if need be.
Garlic Mustard & Fish soup
Garlic Mustard is a weed that can be found in the shade of woodlands, and is very invasive.
The first year leaves are a bit bitter like Kale when cooked. While uncooked leaves taste like garlic. (Second year leaves taste better)
The root tastes like horseradish/wasabi.
(I cheated & sliced some potatoes in as well)
This is ground elder (detailed earlier). This is what it looks like in spring. Its a plant that grows readily under forest cover. So it might be productive in the aftertime low light conditions. Maybe in you area, its not ground elder. Perhaps some other wild edible that grows readily under forest cover.