When the nearby strip malls and shopping plazas are in flames, rioters tearing one another’s hair out and stomping one another to death in the blood-and-covid19-soaked parking lot, my onions will be just about ready to harvest.
Onions are easy to plant and grow, and depending on your growing zone, now is the time to plant. You want to aim for early spring, when the soil is no longer frozen and can be easily worked. We’re talking a solid six weeks or so before you’re plant your tomatoes and peppers, give or take. Onions require a pretty long growing season, though one nice thing is that you can harvest them pretty much any time you want, either for green onions and/or as scallions, as smaller bulbs mid-season if you need something in a pinch, or if you let them fully mature, as large onion bulbs that will store for the long-term.
That’s one of the advantage of growing onions, especially when society is collapsing and you’re forced to kill your neighbors before they kill you: onions store really well. You can keep your garden-grown onions for up to a year if stored properly!
That’s a year of food and bad breath, absolutely essential when the world’s population is being whittled away by a rampant virus.
Another good apocalypse food is winter squash. It even looks kind of okay when it’s growing well, so you can plant it in your front yard if you want. I have.
Squash types like acorn, butternut, and spaghetti are versatile in the kitchen, grow like gangbusters in the right conditions, and much like onions, you can dry store them in the cupboard for a LONG TIME. Some sources say up to six months for most varieties, but you know what? We’ve done longer. You just need to keep your eye on them after that.
You can even grow squash from the scraps of your store-bought squash! Just scoop out the seeds and plant them. The first year, you should get the same kind of squash you planted, though keep in mind that because so many store varieties are hybrids, if you harvest the seeds again it’s a roll of the dice what you’ll get the second year. (Hybrids are weird and are a topic for another post. Let me indulge you with my tales of the mysterious lemon cucumber!)
Squash seeds store well, too. Bag them up and store them in the fridge, and they’ll be good for several years. I have planted five-year-old squash seeds that still germinated and grew fine, so that means just ONE squash can provide you with seeds that will last you YEARS and result in dozens more squash.
This is important for the inevitable collapse of society as we know it, and larger squash make good ammunition for any homemade catapults or trebuchets you build.
That will be my next article: how to build medieval siege weapons and fortify your home against the Barbarian invaders.
Stay tuned for that, and for advice on how to avoid the Bubonic Plague. I have it on good authority that you don’t want to catch it.
Finally, other veggies that store well include garlic (dry the bulbs, they last a long while), beans (when dried), carrots (you can actually leave these in the ground until you want to use them), and potatoes. If you have a cool, dry cupboard or cellar, all of these will safely keep for weeks or months.
It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I have squash.