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High calorie plants?

Posted by lowaffect 10 (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 8, 10 at 17:51

What can I grow in coastal southern CA that will provide me the most sustenance? I have a pretty small yard, and half of it is in the shade of a pretty high south facing wood fence. I hope there's some kind of yam I can plant soon.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: High calorie plants?

I did a google search on caliries in vegetables and found many links.
Did you see the thread in the Vegetable forum about growing sweet potatoes in containers?

RE: High calorie plants?

How about peanuts?

RE: High calorie plants?

"sustenance"? "yam"? You might have to define what you mean by these.

If you're looking for vegetables and fruits that you can grow that provide the highest density of nutrition, here's a list of the top 25 "world's most nutritious foods" (taken from various sources; excludes non-plants; in order of highest and down):

Swiss Chard
Bok Choy
Endive, Escarole
Lettuce, Romaine (and salad greens in general)
Collard Greens
Kale/Mustard Greens
Persimmon, Japanese
Brussels Sprouts
Beans, Green
Squash, Summer (Zucchini)
Peppers, Bell
Peas (Fresh English, Garden)
Guava, Strawberry or Mexican

As for most yield, here's a list of top producing vegetables in order of their yield, most to less, with amounts per 15 linear feet of vegetable, in pounds:

1. Squash, summer 52
2. Squash, winter 45
3. Tomato 42
4. Beets 41
5. Carrot 41
6. Cucumber, slicing 41
7. Potato, white 36
8. Onion, bulb 34
9. Potato, sweet 30
10. Cucumber, pickling 27
11. Turnip 27
12. Cabbage 22.5
13. Mustard greens 22.5
14. Muskmelon 15 (fruits) = about 22 pounds
15. Pepper, bell 20
16. Spinach 20

When it comes to what grows in the shade, keep in mind that the less sun a vegetable gets, the less nutritious it will be. With that said, root and leaf vegetables will tolerate shade better than others.

And finally, we don't grow "yams" in America. What everyone calls a yam is actually a type of sweet potato. If you want to grow sweet potatoes, you have to order rooted "slips" from specialists who can ship into California. Google.

Good luuck,

RE: High calorie plants?

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 9, 10 at 0:43

Potatoes. This is how the Irish survived, at least until the blight hit. Beans (Pinto and the like, not green) and Peanuts are going to be up there, and they are easy to grow Sunflower seeds. Nut trees. A few chickens, provided you can protect them from predators.

RE: High calorie plants?

And of course, avocado trees. Too bad they take so much space!

RE: High calorie plants?

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 9, 10 at 23:50

Another I thought of was olives, excellent source for valuable oil if you are willing to do some work to process them.

RE: High calorie plants?

  • Posted by dicot Los Angeles (My Page) on
    Wed, Feb 10, 10 at 1:14

Honestly? Some won't like this answer, but get prop 215/SB 420 certified and legally grow 10 cannabis sativa plants and sell it to a medical marijuana dispensary. You absolutely cannot get more sustenance than that from your garden, as the crop is worth thousands of dollars.

Otherwise, I'd say squash and potatoes and beets in the full sun, leafy greens in the shaded areas.

RE: High calorie plants?

  • Posted by hoovb z9 Southern CA (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 15, 10 at 12:43

but get prop 215/SB 420 certified and legally grow 10 cannabis sativa plants

Sadly, our economy is such a mess, this may become the only way a lot of people can survive. :(

RE: High calorie plants?

hoovb and dicot, you are right. Seems that is how most people in Mendocino county are surviving ...

RE: High calorie plants?

I was hoping lowaffect would return to offer more guidance as to exactly what he/she wants.

Calories? To bulk up for weight training?

Sustenance? Budget limitations?

I hope the cannabis comments -- albeit clever -- haven't scared him/her away.


RE: High calorie plants?

  • Posted by dicot Los Angeles (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 16, 10 at 1:06

I'm seriously not trying to offend anyone or recommend anything illegal nor derail a thread, I just know times are hard for quite a few of us and I have now met 3 landscapers who have turned to this as their business declined and have been certified to legally grow. It's not something I do, but I'd rather point out a legal-but-frowned-upon alternative than have someone starve while trying to grow yams in LA.

/end weed discussion

RE: High calorie plants?

Amaranth and lambs quarters for seed and leaves. I have a tiny back yard and harvest 5 lbs of grain every year. Red amaranth is great. Seeds equal to the protein in an egg and very useful in bread, tortilla, pizza dough etc.

RE: High calorie plants?

I have heard that Jerusalem Artichokes make the most calories per square foot out of most plants. I know one guy that got 40 pounds from 3 plants. And you can harvest the tubers and then use leftovers to plant next year.

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