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.
I made some stuff with Amaranth & Quinoa yesterday. Thought I'd post them here (in hopes of selling Amaranth & Quinoa to you guys)
This link - http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-amaranth-64211 - shows you how to prepare Amaranth grain
1. as a breakfast cereal,
when popping amaranth, you cant put a lot on the stove, else it just gets burnt. On medium-low heat you'll keep emptying the pan every 10-15 seconds. Add it on top of your breakfast cereal & it becomes twice as filling. I have some set aside. Everytime i walk by it i just scoop some & eat it.
You can also mix it with other grains, & use it as a soup thickener (useful for poleshift). Like i said, it is very gelatinous.
Amaranth grain here refers to the kind that produces white seeds. A lot of amaranth species (including the wild weedy ones) have black seeds. But the ones cultivated for grain are white (that includes whatever your heirloom seed provider has).
Later in the summer, I'll be able to get my hands on the black seeds & try them out
Here's one kind of leaf Amaranth. (these ones produce the black seeds). I sauteed them up (including the stems) with some onions. The leaves turn dark green & everything else in the pan turns red.
With the Quinoa, I cooked it. And then mixed it with some chicken, eggs, peppers, garlic & onions. Threw some cheese on the top. Also made some mashed potatoes mixed w/ some pesto sauce using herbs from the garden-nothing fancy.
(How to cook quinoa - http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-quinoa-cooking-lessons-from-th...)
The quinoa with mashed potato was amazing. (Gotta be honest, quinoa tastes far superior to amaranth. Heirloom seed providers provide them both. Quinoa is suited for cooler climates. But its weedy cousin, lambsquarters, can be grown in warmer climates for its nutrients. I'd like to try some lambsquarters seeds once the seeds set this year.
13 Essential Plants for Human Survival
The book features chapters on 13 edible, medicinal, and useful plants, found worldwide, that are widely considered “weeds.” The author considers them to be “essential plants for human survival,” not from a survivalist perspective, but because they are abundant, free to harvest, and readily available to people around the world.
The 13 plants:
- wild mustard,