This page talks about the advantages of using green bean seeds for survival in a collapsed economy. It also talks about green beans and their nutrition facts.
Why green beans, you ask, for a survival situation?
I picked green beans since they are the easiest thing to grow. As long as the temperature is 40-90 degrees then green beans will produce.
They grow most anywhere in almost any type of soil. With green beans you are almost always guaranteed a crop. Beans are also self-pollinating. They do not need insects to produce.
So how many green bean seeds do we need per person for a year?
First of all, if there is no electricity, then green beans will have to be eaten as they mature. They do not keep more than two weeks after harvest.
The information below is based on the assumption that there is no electricity, no cold cellar and no canning supplies.
With this in mind, lets see if we can come up with an idea on how many green bean seeds we will need per person.
Green Bean Nutrition Facts:
Serving Size: 4 oz
Per Serving Information:
40 Calories; From Fat 2
% Daily Value *
Total Fat: 0.1g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 7mg 0%
Potassium 373mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 8.1g 3%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Protein 2.1g 4%
Folic Acid (Folate)10.4%
Looking at the chart above we can see that green beans are low in calories but high in nutrients. Calories are what we need in a survival situation.
In a survival situation, a man would need about 3500 calories a day. A non-pregnant woman about 2500. A pregnant or nursing woman about 3500. Many factors play into our caloric needs. I am not a nutritionist so you may want to do further study on this.
For the sake of this page, lets assume that I will need to eat at least 16 ounces of beans each day. This is only about 160 calories but it is a start.
Let's say that a bush bean plant (pole beans and yard long beans will produce more) will produce about 8 (rough estimate) ounces of beans. For one person this would be two plants per 160 calories.
In my growing season, I have 120 days that green bean seeds will grow. Fifty of these days (using the Provider bean) will be for the beans to mature. This leaves me 70 days of fresh eating plus two weeks after my last harvest for a total of 84 days that I can have green beans.
Two plants per day times 84 days is 168 plants. Bush beans will mature and complete their output in two weeks (generally speaking).
So there are six cycles (each two weeks) of green bean harvest in my growing season so I take my 168 plants and divide by 6 to come up with the figure of 28 which is how may plants I need to feed my self fresh green beans in two week intervals.
I plant 40 (not all seeds will germinate) seeds per person, every two weeks during my growing season. For one person I would need 240 seeds for the growing season.
This is just a rough idea. Actual results will depend upon many things. Weather, water supply, fertility of the soil and so on.
In addition to the seeds sown for eating, we need to sow some seeds for reproduction. Let's assume each bush bean plant will produce 20 viable seeds. For each person for each growing season we would need 12 plants for each person, however, I would double this to leave room for error and other issues that may crop up. I would also double this again to try to keep a two year supply on hand.
For one person, per growing season, I would need/keep 300 bush bean seeds.
How much space would I need per person. I would plant one seed every 6 square inches in a bed that is four feet wide. In this manner it would take 60 square feet to grow beans for one person.
As one crop is finished, it is plowed under and the next crop is planted. I will need to practice crop rotation. I would set up my garden so I could practice a three year rotation. One year above ground crop, one year a root crop and one year a cover crop or let it lie dormant.
My figures are not exact but it should be enough to get you thinking about what you need to plan for in a catastrophe.
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