Last updated on October 15th, 2010
Legumes are plants which produce pods which split open naturally along a seam, revealing a row of seeds. Legumes (beans) produce their own nitrogen, and in fact they return nitrogen back into the soil when they die off.
Beans are a great crop rotation plant to help maintain soil quality by replacing nitrogen back into the soil where the nitrogen has been depleted by other crops.
Beans are rich in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and are low in fat. Beans are a very good food for the human diet and can be a healthy substitute for meat which has more fat and cholesterol.
This year I have planted pole beans, a legume, wherever I had planted tomatoes last year. The plants continue to produce new beans throughout the entire growing season.
In my opinion, beans, of which there are many varieties, are one of the best survival foods to grow in a survival garden.
Beans are easy to grow and I suggest that anyone who is experimenting with growing their own garden be sure and learn to grow, harvest, and store beans. Most dry beans can be stored for years or even decades, helping to make them one of the best survival foods to keep in your preps.
I like the pole beans because they don’t take much square footage when you have a small garden. Instead, they grow tall and produce all the way up the vine, leaving space on the ground for other plants. I have used several trellis to assist their upward growth. I have seen pole beans growing up makeshift strings attached between a ground support and a higher support. I have also seen simple tee-pee structures built of small wood poles which nicely support the upward growth of the pole bean plants. I suspect that you could also plant them along side trees and they would follow the tree trunk upwards.
The bottom line is to strongly consider adding beans to your survival garden plans, due to their ability to add protein (and fiber and minerals) to your diet instead of meat, and their ability to restore nitrogen to the soil. I like meat just as much as the next person, but in TEOTWAWKI scenario, meat will be scarce and you will need some amount of protein in your diet.
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