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Prepping For SHTF

Garden Update: Contender Snap Bean Sprouts and Peppers

Contender snap bean sprouts are breaking through the soil and pepper plants are getting established. Some the peppers have died, and some are not looking too good, which is to be expected.

The pepper plants were planted in a garden spot around 100 yards behind the house. Just a couple of days after planting we got around 8 inches of rain overnight. I suspect a couple of the plants drown during the rain. Some of the pepper plants look nice.

Contender snap bean sprouts

Contender snap bean sprouts

One of the things I love about spring is the garden. Seeing sprouts break through the soil is a wonderful sight. They symbolize rebirth after winter is over.

No signs of the potatoes yet, but that is no big deal. It may take the potatoes a few more days. When the potatoes were cut, I made sure each eye had plenty of meat on them. The potato chunks provides nutrients so the roots and sprouts can get started.

Snap Bean Sprouts

Even in the middle ages beans were a food staple. In the book “Life in a Medieval Village” by Joseph and Frances Gies, the authors detail how crops such as beans were grown in the middle ages.

My dad shared with me some memories of his childhood when granny would raise and preserve Contender snap beans.

It does my heart good to see Contender snap bean sprouts poking through the soil.  Contender snap beans are a good heirloom plant, which means the seeds can be saved and used for the following year.

The thing about beans is they can be dried or canned. With some of the snap beans I grow in 2018 I hope to string them up in the shed, dry them, and then cook them later on in the year.


Peppers are not only for seasoning, they also provide various nutrients:

Jalapeno peppers:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Fiber
  • other trace nutrients.

They can be dried, ground into a spice, canned… etc.

We have had so much rain, I am worried about the pepper plants drowning. Some of them are doing well, some not so well.

Back in the late 1980s my father-in-law grew some Cowhorn peppers.  He took some horse manure, tilled it into the ground of a garden area measuring around 10 X 20 feet.  I do not remember if he added fertilizer, but I suspect he did.

When it came time to pick those Cowhorn peppers, he was picking them with a 5 gallon bucket.  We had so many peppers, we did not know what to do with all of them.

I really hope my harvest this year will be anywhere comparable to what he did.

Final Thoughts

The weather has been hit an miss.  Seasonal cold fronts are pushing through, and with them lots of rain.  During just one front we got several inches of rain overnight.  Some of the garden rows were washed away.  Which means I will have to rebuild the mounds when the soil dries up a little bit.

I am hoping to get some hay from the back field, spread it along the plants, then rebuild the rows.  Under the brooding house there is some aged chicken manure I may mix in with the hay.

The goal of this year is to raise a garden with as little commercial fertilizer as possible.

Stay tuned for follow up articles and videos.


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