Cool-Season vs. Warm-Season Crops

cool vs warm crops

 

The planning stage is the most important part of the creation of an effective homestead garden. In order to properly plan when to plant various vegetable types, the homestead gardeners has to understand the difference between cool-season crops and warm-season crops.

Cool-season crops are crops that can handle frost. Some cool-season crops may even require a frost or two before they reach their full potential. Others simply grow better when the weather's cool than they do when it's hot. Cool-season crops are further divided into crops that can handle heavy frost vs. crops that can only handle a light frost. Crops that can handle heavy frost can be planted earlier in the year in cold regions than those that can only handle light frost. In some regions, crops that can handle heavy frost can be grown year-round and will continue to produce through the cold winter months.

Warm-season crops are crops that do best when grown in warm weather. That's not to say these crops can be grown in the desert while they're baked by hot sun. They can't. They just prefer a nice sunny day to a day that's freezing cold. Warm-season crops struggle when the weather turns cold and a deep freeze will damage them and may even cause them to die off.

The following tables divides the crops up into the cool-season crops that can and can't handle a deep frost and warm-season crops. It can be used as a reference guide for your homestead garden planning:

Cool-Season (Can Handle Heavy Frost)

Cool-Season (Can Handle Light Frost)

Warm-Season (Not Frost-Tolerant)

Asparagus

Beets

Cantaloupe

Beans

Carrots

Cucumbers

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Eggplant

Brussels Sprouts

Celery

Lima Beans

Cabbage

Chard

Peppers

Collard Greens

Endives

Pumpkins

Garlic

Lettuce

Snap Beans

Horseradish

Mustard

Squash

Kale

Parsnips

Sweet Corn

Kohlrabi

Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Onions

Swiss Chard

Tomatoes

Peas

 

Watermelon

Radishes

 

 

Rhubarb

 

 

Spinach

 

 

Turnips

 

 

 

5 Foods that Will Last Forever When Stored

foods that last forever

 

OK, maybe saying these 5 foods will last forever when stored is a bit of an overstatement, but they'll last a really, really long time before they need to be replaced. This is assuming they're properly stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Store them improperly and their useful life will be drastically shortened. 

Honey

Here's one that's a bit surprising. Honey, even after it's been opened has an indefinite shelf-life. Store it in a cool, dry area of the house and make sure the lid's on tight. The color and the flavor may change and the honey may crystallize after it's been stored a while, but the natural antibiotic properties of honey will prevent it from going bad. When scientists unearthed Ancient Egyptian tombs, they found honey that was thousands of years old that was still edible. How's that for longevity? 

Rice

While we all know brown rice is better for you than white rice in the health department, white rice will last longer in the pantry. When stored in an airtight container, white and wild rice can last nearly 30 years. Brown rice will only last 6 months or so in the pantry or up to a year in the freezer, so rotate your stock of brown rice regularly. 

Read more: 5 Foods that Will Last Forever When Stored

What Is Homesteading? Going Green the Traditional Way

homesteading

 

To put it simply, homesteading is the transition from the wastefulness of modern life to a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It's a throwback to the days of old and those who have embraced homesteading find they're able to save money, conserve energy and are able to largely live off of the items they're able to grow and raise on their homestead. 

The term homesteading dates back to the Homestead Act of 1862, which was put in place by Abraham Lincoln in order to grant free land to early settlers willing to head West. These early settlers were given plots of 160 acres of federal land with the agreement they would improve the land and reside on it for 5 years. These plots of land came to be known as homesteads and the early settlers who claimed them and lived on them had to be almost entirely self-sufficient. 

Read more: What Is Homesteading? Going Green the Traditional Way