Food for the Apocalypse





Introduction: Food for the Apocalypse

About: Ugly pirate roaming the seas in search of Treasure.

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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    42 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening


    1 year ago

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

    3 replies

    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.


    1 year ago

    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. ;)

    june new 028.jpgserveimage.jpgserveimage3.jpgserveimage2.jpg
    1 reply

    1 year ago

    Keep a couple of Kunekune pigs (friendliest, easiest keeping, greatest
    grazing and tasting pig out there) and let them self harvest the beets.
    Maybe plant some lopes, watermelon and pumpkins with them That way your
    somewhat limited food source is converted into tasty, tasty bacon, and
    your pigs feed themselves for a good portion of the year. You can lock
    the pigs in the cellar at the night for safe keeping - they're
    generally cleaner than most people, but a barn or hut works too.
    Kunekunes also stay small and marble like Kobe beef, so you won't find a
    more succulent pig

    Other than rats and roaches, spirulina
    algae is also a tremendous super food for the post apocalypse. All of
    the essential amino acids and protein you could want. Just be sure to
    start with a pure strain (Univ. of Texas or Texas Tech I believe has a
    repository) and it can actually be fed by growing it in waste water used
    to scrub combustion gases. It is the only algae that will survive at
    the high pH that it requires (over 8 something I believe) so as long as
    the pH doesn't drop you are assured of having a pure sample. Important
    because some of the blue/green algae that grows at the lower pH is
    toxic. Spirulina can be eaten fresh and slimy, or dried and mixed with
    other bulkier foods for a more complete nutritional profile.

    rabbits are tough to beat for space efficient animal protein that can
    be safeguarded from zombies while still replacing itself at a high rate
    even in captivity - plus they're pretty portable if ya have to run. If
    you're going to stay and fight, try growing a composite "fedge-row" of
    copiced bush willow on the inner perimeter, woven into a kind of
    espalier lattice of edible forage for pigs and bunnies. Then add an
    outer perimeter of copiced and laid down Orange Osage hedge beyond that.
    The willow is 14-15% protein and great roughage for the bunnies, and
    for the pigs (just gotta watch the calcium) and the limbs are great for
    all kinds of survival/homesteading projects - plus it's natural aspirin.
    Orange Osage hedge is said to grow "horse-high, bull-strong and
    pig-tight". Its thorns will likely further shred any interloping zombies
    and its fruit, the "hedge apple", actually looks like a brain - so it
    may also work as a distraction to the invading hoard. Orange Osage also
    makes a fantastic firewood, great rot proof fence posts, tool handles
    and war clubs, and bows made from its limbs are said to be as good or
    better than those of the English Yew.

    So aside from
    providing zombie protection and distraction, animal fodder and medicine,
    your "Fedge" could also supply you with great fuel for the fire to
    roast your pig or spit your rabbit while you sit back and pick off
    distracted zombies with your osage bow and willow arrows. Add a few
    mulberry to the hedge (also good firewood and fodder) 'cuz bees love the
    blossoms of all three, so you'll have some tasty mulberry mead to wash
    it all down with. Maybe save the beet hooch to fuel the Mad Max-mobile
    with the algae eating exhaust scrubber (to make you harder to track).
    Call it sustainable zombie survival symbiosis. Just 'cuz we're fighting
    zombies in the post apocalypse to stay alive doesn't mean we can't enjoy
    a good nosh and a flagon 'round the fire. ;)

    1 reply

    In an apocalypse there will be no government. In an emergency the government will not shut down distribution of anything. If anything they will speed up distribution of whatever.

    They haven't in the past, re Katrina, about as emergency as it gets.

    The government has no plans about what to do about an apocalypse, other than try to keep some semblance of government in place. There is no conspiracy. All in the head of a few wrong headed people.

    Not that some in the government would not like to build a conspiracy, but there is no way to keep it quiet government wide. And it would have to change every 4 or 8 years. That is one of the beauties of halving a Federal election every 2 years.

    Just not possible.

    3 replies

    This is very true ..... But conspiracy theories are such fun ....... Have you heard of the one that hypothesises that god is a group of inter-galactic alien livestock farmers who put us on planet earth so that they could come back some years later to harvest us?

    I dunno....brains aren't too bad. It depends on what kind of wine you pair it with.

    Just curious. How is artificial intelligence an apocalypse?

    No the stores won't be out of food in three days. You just read part of my comment. There will be no one to eat the food.

    I differentiated between an emergency (storms, etc) and a real apocalypse.

    No use to prepare for all those things you mentioned if no water.

    3 replies

    You must remember the guy with the dark glasses in terminator? He was supposed to be an ai. A real ai apocalypse would be nothing like anything that hollywood could create and is almost beyond the limits of human imagination. So imagine the almost unimaginable!

    OK, so the ai genetically creates a virus which wipes out 99.999% of the human population. One of the lucky survivors is a waitress in Las vegas. There's enough food in the shops to keep her going for ten years. There's also bottled water and eventually she decides to leave town and go somewhere else that's not in the middle of a desert.

    I think an ill conceived deployment for Apple/Android updates would be the end of civilization as we know it.

    I expect that to happen after about 30 minute of not texting to be the trigger point. So it will be quick.