Snake beans can handle the heat! Suriname spinach is delicious! Plus, save yourself when civilization collapses!
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Unlike puny humans, snake beans can handle the heat.

Snake Beans Handle The Heat


David the Good, AKA Survival Gardener

At this time of year there are very few vegetables that still look happy in the grand old state of Florida. I've only identified two common annual edibles that plow on through without complaint: okra and Southern peas. I seem to be able to grow both of those no matter how hot it gets. I've planted them in July with success.

Problem: okra is yucky.

Additional problem: Southern peas are too much work to shell.

So I've moved beyond common vegetables and mainly just grow snake beans during the heat of summer. This year I decided to try a new type with purple pods. It's shown itself to be just as tough as its green-podded relations... and the beans are prettier, though I'm not sure the plants are quite as productive.

Snake beans are basically a green bean with serious overachievement issues. Chopping up a handful will easily feed six people a good side dish. You can also pluck them from the plant and crunch them in the garden, though they're a little tough that way.

I love this vegetable. Last week I planted a new round of snake beans and I'm looking forward to eating them all the way into the fall.

For more on this excellent crop for Florida, read this survival plant profile.

The Survival Gardening Secrets Audio Book

At the end of last year, my friend Chet over at The Prepper Project posed me a question: "How would you grow food if the entire grid collapsed?" 

His idea was to create a presentation that would explore gardening from a completely different angle than most gardening books. Together, we imagined a scenario where chemical fertilizer isn't available... where gas for power tillers can't be found... where seeds are precious and no longer available at the corner store.

I thought it was a brilliant idea (and that it might one day save some lives) so I agreed to start researching and developing an audio presentation. Chet also interviewed multiple other experts to get their wisdom on irrigation and seed-saving. After months of work, the 5-CD project was finished. I'm proud of it and it's well-worth the money, whether you buy the physical CDs or the download package.

I hate it when you're offered something, buy it, then feel like you got cheated. This isn't a cheat or marketing fluff (despite the terrifying graphic design on the sales page... remember, The Prepper Project is very focused towards getting through worst-case scenarios and the marketing reflects that). It's a grid-down look at gardening, starting from a bare lawn and progressing onwards to planting, watering, seed-saving, survival crops and organic pest control. 

There's no way I'll get rich from this project, though the money Chet and I collect from our labors is really helpful for keeping Florida Survival Gardening going. ;)

Buy a copy of Survival Gardening Secrets here. Scary marketing - great content!

In Other News

For more pithy little nuggets of info on gardening, you can now follow me on Twitter... I'm DavidTheGood

As I find good info that doesn't merit long-windedness, I post it there.

In the nursery I'm now growing and testing out some exciting new plants, including this beautiful edible vegetable:

That's a photo from Wikipedia, since it's pouring outside and I don't feel like going out in the rain with my camera. The plant is called "Suriname spinach," also known as Talinum fruticosum.

I got the original specimen when I visited H.E.A.R.T. and it's proceeded to reproduce via seeds in various pots around my nursery. The leaves are a mild spinach-like green that are good raw or cooked. I love finding new plants and I'm going to be starting a lot more of these.

We'll see if they survive the winter.

One more thing - I now have Chinese Water Chestnuts for sale in my nursery. This is a delicious little easy-to-grow root crop... pick some up here.

For those of you who asked that I carry Mexican Sunflowers again, I've grown some more and put a link at the top of my page so you can get ahold of these incredible nutrient accumulating/mulch producing/butterfly attracting perennial giants. I mean... look at these things!

Buy some and plant them in your food forest!

Finally, in case you haven't read the blog lately, every Thursday I'm at the 326 Community Market north of Ocala. It's been going excellently and I've had folks come to my plant booth from over an hour away to pick up rare edibles and ask gardening questions. Thank you to all of you who have supported my nursery effort. I greatly appreciate meeting you and hearing about your gardening successes and failures in Florida, as well as connecting you with delicious plants.

Until next time, keep growing!

David the Good
Grow water chestnuts!
Create a garden mosaic!
A kale that takes the heat!
David the Good is a gardening expert and the creator of as well as being the owner of Florida Food Forests, an edible plant nursery. Additionally, David teaches classes and writes for Mother Earth News, Natural Awakenings Magazine and  (though he'd rather be gardening or playing with his kids than writing) He and his family live somewhere in North Florida on an acre of plant-filled jungle known affectionately as Econopocalypse Ranch.
Copyright © 2013 Florida Food Forests, Inc, All rights reserved.