Food for the Apocalypse





Introduction: Food for the Apocalypse

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Finding useful tips for growing vegetables after the impending apocalypse, much as I have tried, seems to be rather difficult. As a big fan of the Walking Dead, I watched Rick and his family cultivating the grounds in a prison ..... and you just KNOW that his crops are going to get destroyed by zombies! Trying to grow corn is probably not a good idea as it will not only get trampled by those flesh eating creatures, but will attract the attention of marauding gangs of vegetable thieves. A far better tactic is to plant a vegetable such as sugar beet which will blend in with the weeds and is itself very much more resistant to trampling.

Actually, this is not something that I have just invented myself, but is well documented during the second world war when communities took to eating fodder crops normally grown for cattle and sheep. Sugar beet was a particular favourite in Poland where the climate is perfect for this crop and it was largely ignored by invading armies. Other possibilities include swede, which is a lot more tasty and probably has a wider range of nutrients.

Although sugar beet is extremely high in readily accessible calories, it is not a 'complete food' and after eating this vegetable on it's own for several months you will probably begin to suffer severe malnutrition (Mangel-wurzel disease), so your diet will need to be supplemented with plenty of rats, mice, cockroaches etc. However, due to the fact that it contains a huge amount of actual sugar, it can be used to create a very useful substance - alcohol - which can itself be used as an antiseptic for those nasty zombie bites, consumed to reduce the stress and strain of post apocalyptic life or traded with other gangs for food or bullets.

Step 1: Sow the Seeds

Ideally, the seeds should be sown in a glasshouse in module type seed trays in the early spring and protected against frost. If no glasshouse or polytunnels is available then the seeds can be sown straight into the ground in a dedicated seed bed and then transplanted later on. If the seeds are sown direct in situ there will be a lot more weeding to do.

Step 2: Transplant

The photo above shows the sugar beet already transplanted and growing nicely with a spacing of about 18" between plants. Sugar beet is not difficult to grow and some well rotted animal manure is useful. Don't be tempted to use human (or zombie) manure as this is a root crop and may pick up nasty bacteria such as cholera etc.

Step 3: Harvest

When harvesting, the roots can entrap a large amount of soil which can be a bit off putting.

Step 4: Cleaning Off the Soil

The best thing to use for cleaning is a cement mixer - chop off the leaves and chuck the roots in with lots of water. The leaves can be cooked and will be a valuable source of vitamins.

Step 5: First Chop

Chop the roots into large chunks and throw them back into the cement mixer for a second wash.

Step 6: Chopping Again

Chop up the roots once more and wash again in fresh water. They should be nice and clean by now.

Step 7: Shredding

The roots could be cooked like they are for a very sweet tasting meal or processed further with a garden shredder for alcohol production.

Step 8: Alcohol Production

The shredded roots are cooked in a large saucepan or stock pot for a couple of hours and the sweet tasting dark brown watery juice is saved for brewing sugar beet beer. We can even add hops!

The beer itself, rather strangely, tastes like rough scrumpy cider or mead or a combination of the both. Not pleasant to my own taste, but some people like it. If it's distilled it ends up smelling like methylated spirits, which is a bit off putting, but still great for zombie bites.

More info for making sugar beet beer is HERE. It can also be used for making vinegar HERE.

More on distillation is HERE.

Step 9: Final

Love your inner zombie - but don't let them trample your vegetables!

Please feel free to add suggestions for improving this technique in the comments section below. This instructable will be updated if I have missed anything.

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    Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening

    I may have missed it but I think you've forgotten the second best thing to do with distilled alcohol. The Molotov cocktail!

    Yes I forgot that possibility - but would it work against zombies?

    I think in the book "The Rise of the Governor", they tried that and ended up with a horde of ever marching burned zombies. But they could work against your average intruders, so there's that!

    Yes, it's pretty brutal though as it wont kill your enemy but inflict a prolonged suffering. Better to trade it for bullets?

    Yes potatoes would be pretty good and a family in Siberia reportedly lived off them for 40 years being completely isolated from society. They are harder to grow, but taste nicer and don't like being trampled so not so good against zombies. They are also harder to disguise and you cant eat the leaves so might get spotted by rival gangs. They can be used to make alcohol but have very little 'free' sugar so need to be sprouted and treated like sprouted barley which is quite a bit more complicated.


    The key to self sufficiency in raising begins with managing to produce a sustainable means of feeding any animal proteins that you might favor without having to leave the compound/farm/bunker. To that end, here follows some ideas and resources to help inspire more of that type of thinking.

    Not affiliated with any of these but the last, as we are Kunekune breeders in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. and members of the American registries as well as the BKKPS in the UK. The others are quick scores from Google, but the Orange Osage site has lots of fascinating information, as well as some very nice looking bows made by the site's author. Zombie preparedness has become an industry unto itself it would appear.

    Of course it's also good for that day when everyone suddenly wakes up to the fact that the central banks have been perpetrating a massive fraud, and the scrip that people have spent their lives chasing doesn't keep you warm, dry or fed, when the bottom finally comes out of the bucket. Be it zombies, economic collapse, pandemic, or solar induced EMP, nothing makes The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) more potentially tolerable, nay enjoyable, than being prepared.

    Grocery stores are for suckers. ;)

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