Where To Be In An Ice Age Glacial

I ran into a lot of maps and folks showing them in web pages when I searched on “Ice Age Glacial Map”. They show an interesting image of the world as it was, that is likely how our world will become. Remember that the Glacial mode takes 100,000 years to reach maximum extent. It can become very cold inside 20+ years, but forming a mile high glacier is a mass-transport problem and is rate limited by snow rates. So while many of these maps show the “end game”, there’s a LOT of time to get there. About 20 years to get cold (perhaps already in progress…). Then the glacier advances, on average, about 800 feet / year. One short stroll on one Saturday per year keeps you ahead of the glacier (though you might need to do one / month in some years and none in others).

First up, this map showing what the natural plant life was like:

Last Glacial Maximu Vegetation

Last Glacial Maximu Vegetation

Click to embiggen greatly. Note that the type 26 Grey is ice. Switzerland has an issue as there’s an ice cap there too. Then type 15 is Polar & Alpine Desert. Not going to grow a lot of food there. Type 16, that pink / magenta color, the Temperate Desert and type 7 the light tan Tropical Extreme Desert also cover lots of the planet and don’t grow much of use. There are other semi-desert and similar low productivity areas too.

The bottom line is that Russia, Canada, and all of North and Eastern Europe are toast (or ice…) and will need to find a new place to live. Then Afhttps://www.grifonewine.com/rica doesn’t have much where they can actually grow any crops, so that Billion people? Um… China, out back, gets demolished, but the more southern and coastal areas survive – but on what food? South East Asia is OK, while Northern Australia gains a bunch (as long as they can keep the invasion out…). South America loses the Argentine production, Brazil does OK, with a loss of a lot of forest, the Andes gets a giant ice cap so those Nations will have big issues (Many present cities are at altitude to avoid the tropical heat…).

Which leaves us with the USA. We don’t do too badly, in comparison. We lose the Canadian Border States to some extent, but that’s likely thousands to 10s of thousands of years in the future; as it takes a long time for that ice sheet to form. We’ll be able to grow “Canadian like” crops there for a good while. Looking across from West to East most of the land is: 18 dark gray Forrest Steppe, 12 dark red Semi-Arid Temperate Woodland Scrub (not that much of the western desert goes this way), 21 dark blue Sub-Alpine Parkland, 23 olive green Temperate Steppe Grassland, 24 purple Main Taiga, 11 brown Open Boreal Woodland, and in Florida 12 red Semi-arid Temperate Woodland or Scrub. Pretty much all of that is “farmable” in one way or another.

Of note, Taiga is an interesting land vegetation type:


Taiga (/ˈtaɪɡə/; Russian: тайга́, IPA: [tɐjˈɡa]; possibly of Turkic or Mongolic origin), also known as boreal forest or snow forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests consisting mostly of pines, spruces, and larches.

The taiga is the world’s second-largest land biome. In North America, it covers most of inland Canada, Alaska, and parts of the northern continental United States. In Eurasia, it covers most of Sweden, Finland, much of Norway, some of the Scottish Highlands, some lowland/coastal areas of Iceland, much of Russia from Karelia in the west to the Pacific Ocean (including much of Siberia), and areas of northern Kazakhstan, northern Mongolia, and northern Japan (on the island of Hokkaidō). However, the main tree species, the length of the growing season and summer temperatures vary. For example, the taiga of North America mostly consists of spruces; Scandinavian and Finnish taiga consists of a mix of spruce, pines and birch; Russian taiga has spruces, pines and larches depending on the region, while the Eastern Siberian taiga is a vast larch forest.

A different use of the term taiga is often encountered in the English language, with “boreal forest” used in the United States and Canada to refer to only the more southerly part of the biome, while “taiga” is used to describe the more barren areas of the northernmost part of the biome approaching the tree line and the tundra biome. Hoffman (1958) discusses the origin of this differential use in North America and why it is an inappropriate differentiation of the Russian term. Although at high elevations taiga grades into alpine tundra through Krummholz, it is not exclusively an alpine biome; and unlike subalpine forest, much of taiga is lowlands.

So, essentially, much of the Heartland becomes Sweden / Canada / Siberia. Not great, but people do live there. Not going to get 2 or 3 crops a year of corn and soybeans, but… well, Kale IS edible ;-‘)

The map is from: http://wiki.iceagefarmer.com/wiki/Main_Page that has a fascinating story of a very special chicken. As I’m fond of heirloom farm species selected for particular conditions, this interested me:

Sidebar On Chickens

Want a chicken that does well in the cold? Here’s your chicken:

Featured Article
Icelandic Chickens

The Story of Icelandic Chickens

Icelandic chickens originated with the settlement of Iceland in the tenth century by the Norse, who brought their farmstead chickens with them. (In Iceland they are known as Íslenska landnámshænan or “Icelandic chicken of the settlers.”) Over the centuries, selection favored breeders capable of feeding themselves on Icelandic smallholdings, and hens with reliable mothering skills. The result was a landrace of active, naturally healthy fowl adapted to harsh conditions, on the small side (mature cocks weigh 4½ to 5¼ pounds; hens, 3 to 3½ pounds), with good egg production, even in winter. (A landrace is a group of domesticated stock selected for utilitarian traits only—not to conform to specific breed standards, such as for color, pattern, or comb style.)

For a thousand years, the only chickens in Iceland were of this robust landrace. But the 1930s brought importations of strains of Leghorns for more commercial egg and chicken production. Inevitably, those chickens were crossed with the natives—the pure landrace was in danger of being lost. Efforts to conserve the native population began in the 1970s. The success of those efforts was followed by importation of these genetically priceless birds into other countries, including the United States.

Had I a small holding on a mountain somewhere with occasional snow, I’d be getting a small flock of these guys going now.

Back On Maps

It looks to me like that vegetation map is a bit optimistic about Tibet:

Polar view InterGlacial as black, Glacial Maximum as gray

Polar view InterGlacial as black, Glacial Maximum as gray

Also click to embiggen greatly. Note the big gray blob over Tibet / North India. Compare that to a night light map of India and you see a lot of folks live in that cooler areas up the mountains. That’s gonna be a problem…

There’s a fair number of interesting maps at these links:


A different set of maps. In particular there is a set of maps of the UK showing change of ice cover over the years from about 27 ky BP to 27 ky BP. It is likely that the series, run backwards and a bit slower, would show the future of the UK.

Recent Years in the UK end of Glaciation

Recent Years in the UK end of Glaciation

End Game Maximum Glacial Extent over UK

End Game Maximum Glacial Extent over UK


Has some interesting maps like this one showing how screwed Europe will be:

Glacial Maximum Europe

Glacial Maximum Europe

In particular, notice the scattered Ice Caps of Glaciers over the mountain tops, and how much is non-farmable “tundra”. Europe is dead other than the old Neanderthal stomping grounds in Spain / France and the Mediterranean areas with lots of water contact in Italy / Greece. So get that Italian Villa now ;-)

And he has attribution for where he got things so lots of opportunities to “dig here” and find more maps, so for that one:

Source: http://www.metatech.org/07/ice_age_global_warming.html

The Glacial Max Wiki has a different vegetation map in it.

Wiki map of Glacial Maximum Vegetation

Wiki map of Glacial Maximum Vegetation

In Conclusion

So there you go. Pick your place and make your plans. Me? I’m going to Florida… But don’t wait too long, it could start any millennium now… ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Earth Sciences, Emergency Preparation and Risks, Global Cooling, History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

115 Responses to Where To Be In An Ice Age Glacial

  1. Steven Fraser says:

    @EM: I’m thinking the glaciation will go differently next time, as people wIll intervene, using technology to clear snow that starts to accumulate in the higer latItudes. The harbinger will be a lowering of mountain altitude snow persistiance line in summer, which should be measurable, first in the higher latitudes, and then progressing southward and downhill decadally or centennially. When we see summertime skiing extend to year-round, at the higher and more northern resorts, it will be starting.

  2. Richard Hill says:

    Read “Fallen Angels” by the late and sadly missed Jerry Pournelle.

  3. H.R. says:

    Everything gets dry due to the moisture locked up in the glaciers, but with enough energy – let’s just stick with current nuclear technology – we could melt water off the advancing glaciers and irrigate the arid regions that still had enough warmth for crops.

    Regardless, there be a whole lotta crowdin’ goin’ on as everyone gets squished towards the equator.

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    @Richard Hill:

    Thanks for the ref. I’ll look it up.

    @Steven Fraser:

    Yeah, Human intervention will change things some, but not stop it. We already had one snow year where the cleared snow mountain from some city (NYC? Chicago?) had not fully melted by the time it was expected to melt and folks were speculating it would be an issue… (IIRC it finally melted just before snow arrived again, but I don’t recall if salt was involved).

    Cities, especially, will be dark hot islands in the snow. Farmland, for a while, will be warmer due to the dark ploughed soil (green grass is cooler); but once farming is abandoned due to short growing season that ends.

    Then I expect things like train tracks and interstates to be much like present ice breakers in the Arctic. Giving places where the melt and flush can get started earlier and go faster.

    But eventually it will fail to be enough.

    Per the starting up high:

    IMHO we already see that. I think far too little is being said about the known, observed, atmospheric shortening in the low solar UV regime. Already we’re seeing more snow more often on the hills around the bay and at lower altitudes. Much like it was back in the early ’70s. On those maps above, note the number of places even in tropical latitudes with glaciers on the mountains. IMHO a big part of the onset of a Glacial period is going to be from that atmospheric shortening effect. Axial tilt does not explain the Andes ice cap, nor really Tibet.

    Then as the oceans drop, every altitude becomes 400 ft higher. That puts occasional winter snow on the valley floors of California & Silicon Valley…

    A Glacial period starts from the Top Down, not just the North…

    Part of the implication of this is that it is not just the Milankovitch Cycle stuff that matters but when it aligns with a Grand Solar Minimum (or maybe there’s an even longer deeper funk that that…). Then once you start sucking al the water vapor, CO2 & more from the air, it gets even lower mass and shorter…

    I’d like to watch it happen / start… OTOH, I comfort myself with the knowledge that even if it started with the Little Ice Age and this is just a minor fluctuation to warm before the next plunge, it will be a couple of generations before anything is bad enough to be a crisis. Colder snowier winters and wetter springs / falls are things folks can adapt to fairly readily. Just plant the crops grown a few hundred miles north of you today. Biggest problems would be due to the shift of the dry belt. We see that in the droughts and famines recorded in Egypt / Hattia / Babylon, etc. Essentially the Middle East has a big time of troubles for a while.

    But food is no longer a regional limit. It ships globally. So it is all manageable. (That our present crop of political stooges would or could do it right is highly doubtful though…)

  5. E.M.Smith says:


    With “nuclear greenhouses” we can grow crops anywhere. Costs go up some, but not high enough to be limiting. Would people embrace that and do it in time? Who knows. The idiots in charge today won’t even do desalination and nuclear electricity. They “un-limit” growth and that’s just not acceptable to the “Population DOOM!” folks.

  6. H.R. says:

    Nice, E.M. I love these maps and you’ve put a bunch of good ones all in one place.

    I have always been most interested in the glaciations from a young age. I grew up and still live in an area that was scraped flat by the glaciers. The evidence of the glaciation is everywhere you look. Our 4th grade geography had a nice chunk of time devoted to the glaciations since it was of local importance. Couple that with local mastodon and woolly mammoth finds and what kid wouldn’t be intrigued?

    The global warming issue only interests me as far as how much money in my wallet is being targeted by those who have no claim on it. It was obvious to me early on that we’ve never had runaway global warming, despite much higher CO2 levels, so WE’RE ALL GONNA FRY never washed with me. Besides that, given my 4th grade lessons, warmer is better and I am in full support of global warming.

    I am curious as to the true reasons for entering and leaving glaciations. There is much work to be done there but no one is being paid to do it. It’s been up to unpaid citizen scientists to work that out.

    Also, studying the maps of past glaciation can help us prepre for it when it comes, and there is no reason to think it won’t come again.

  7. H.R. says:

    Dang! WordPress sent about 3/5ths of my comment to another dimension. That’s a new one. I had 5 paragraphs and it only posted the first two.

    *Twilight Zone music here*

  8. H.R. says:

    Aargh!!!! There it is.

    (Good. I said some nice things that y’all can take as a high compliment.)

    I am living in Interesting WordPress Times

  9. ossqss says:

    All we need is 7+ billion people to exhale more often and we can fight this whole thing off. C’mon, CO2 can do anything! Just look at the news ;-)

    Heck, it took 20,000 years to melt off the Laurentide ice sheet, but it appears one of my favorite global warming examples of images has been removed! 404rd, disapared


  10. Bill in Oz says:

    Cheifio, none of the maps would enlarge when I clicked on them here in Oz…

    Interesting subject though… Not much glaciation in my part of the world..Just a bit in Tasmania & the Snowy Mountains of NSW…But lot’s of places are drier..Ummmm

  11. H.R. says:

    @Bill – Same here but a right moose click on the image to get the option to ‘view image’ worked for me.

    It’s worth having another go.

  12. Larry Ledwick says:

    We had a related discussion a while back


    The interesting paper I found on glaciation in the mid rockies starts here.


    Looking at plant hardiness maps to infer climate zones. In iceage conditions for the most part the shapes should stay the same but just migrate to a colder hardiness zone.


    About the time we were discussing this I found some good maps but a quick look has not pulled them out of the recent past posts.

  13. Larry Ledwick says:

    Ahhh here it is, the pinedale glaciation in the rockies, map of ice extent in the Rocky Mountains approx 26k years ago.


    It takes a bit of interpolation because you only have geophysical cues to work from but a bit of study of a current shaded terrain map of the region allows you to make sense of it.

    Nice thing about it is the sand dune fields show the prevailing wind during that period, being a north northwest wind, which in this part of the country can be bloody cold. That is the direction of approach when we have an Alberta Clipper cold outbreak plunge down the front of the Rockies in January.


    Images in this pdf can help sort out the shapes.

  14. Steven Fraser says:

    @EM: Sea level decline will require the massive accumulation of the ice sheets, and there will be effects that california will not like at all. For example,the north and south ends of SF bay are 15-17′ deep. Not too far into the glaciation, you will be able to walk from Palo Alto to Freemont without using a bridge. I think all the cities which front the bay will discover dredging, to maintain access to the deeper water. Eventually, all that will be left is the deep channel to the sea, but too shallow to run big shps through. This particular effect will occur most places where shipping ports exist now.

    Top-down… agreed. What I was thinking about was using modular nukes to do selective radiant melting at the glacier faces, where glacier melt is critical for the water supply, and to prevent encroachment of the ice on habitations, as well as flood management by beginning spring melt of snowfields earlier than insolation would have accomplished. I have a vision of a big, nuke toaster oven…

  15. Pingback: Where To Be In An Ice Age Glacial – Climate Collections

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    @Steven Fraser:

    As many nuclear isotopes will make decay heat, your Nuclear Toaster not limited by U, Th, or Pu…

    I had a “shoal draft keel” motor sail boat (27 inches of draft…) on SF Bay. The keel proper was about a foot of that (and about 9 inches wide ;-) so I could go into ‘way shallow’ (about 1.5 feet) of mud bottom and still drag the keel through it. I went places in the bay that made lots of other boaters cringe ;-)

    Once I was stirring up a muddy water trail and looked straight down and could see the bottom and the occasional sea grass poking out of the water…

    See chart here:


    It has zoom controls or, for me, just clicking it changes sizes. (The “just click” vs “right click” vs “click does nothing” tends to vary by OS/Browser combination for images, maybe that map too. Oh, and mouse wheel changes sizes too.). You can zoom in very closely. Legend at the far right.

    Note that the “white stripe” under the G.Gate and down the very center of the bay is the bit more than about 35 feet deep. All of the rest is shallower, and much of it single digit feet. Like 1 to 8. A whole lot of The Bay just dries up at the first quiver of glacial. (The port of Alviso, where in W.W.II Liberty Ships were built and launched is now a reed patch mud flat… so dust and plants can also dry up the shallow spots if you stop dredging).

    THE deepest spot is about 328 feet, middle of the Golden Gate exit. Scoured down by tides long long ago. The rest is so shallow that it will just become the “Guadalupe River” from the San Jose end to the join to the Sacramento River just off of Angel Island… There will be a bit of bay under the Golden Gate and inside a little bit, during the formation of the ice sheet, but at about 100 foot (about 30 meters) of ocean decline, the “bay” becomes a minor inland lake reaching under the Golden Gate. At the full 400 drop, you must go waaaayyy off shore to find ocean. Interestingly enough, after about 100 ft of drop, that bit under the Golden Gate becomes a lake; as outside the G. Gate between about Pt. Bonita and Mile Rocks the bottom is only 132 feet at its DEEPEST and a bit further out there it looks like about 70 feet all the way across.

    Now a lot of that will be soft bottom mud delivered by the various rivers over millennia, but still, you are likely looking at a river cut through soft dirt and a small lake under the Golden Gate (until it fills in with sediments…) as your best outcome. Unstable mud slides and treacherous riverbanks in a mud walled canyon as the worst… And in any case, at about 50 foot of “drop” you have a heavily shoaled entry to the “bay” that’s really an inland lake…

    IMHO there’s a LOT of places around the world with a “50 foot problem” including that land bridge between Asia and Alaska. It opens up about then, while cutting off Pacific water circulation and warming of the arctic. IMHO too, that loss is part of accelerating the Glacial onset, or exiting the glacial rapidly on the warming side / direction. Just as a 50 foot drop “grounds” a lot of ice all around the Arctic, the rising water in a melt un-grounds a lot of it letting it flush out to sea.

    Study of bottom topography is a sorely ignored area in that, I think.


    I especially like the dotted circle and dotted oval at the bottom of the white area marked Anchorage For Explosives and with a surrounding similar shaped “Forbidden Anchorage” area ;-) I suspect a hold over from the W.W. era… maybe ;-)

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    Hmmm…. Looks like if you follow the Main Ship Channel out to sea past 4 Fathom Bank you end in an area that’s about 60 foot deep at the deepest all across. Looks like all of the stuff more toward land becomes an inland lake at about 50 to 60 feet, with the ship channel as the outlet river…

    Never looked that far out before… At about 25 feet of drop, shipping can’t get over that hump. At 50 feet, it’s a river…

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like about a 5 MB downloadable version of the Bay map here:

    (I just downloaded it and opened it in my browser… after a short wait while swap came into use ;-)

    Other regions here:


    I’m sure a lot of them will show some kind of “50 foot problem” ;-) Looking at Seattle ought to be fun…

    Looks like Puget Sound becomes useless at about 30 foot of drop. Out at the inlet area.

    I suspect ocean shipping will be one of the first things to be dramatically whacked in a glacial. Loss of The Panama Canal and the Suez Canal alone will be a horrific impact.

    So at about 1/10 of the way into a Glacial, or no more than 10,000 years of ice accumulation (potentially much less as the history has a lot of “spike events” in it) the global shipping picture becomes broken. So wounded a lot earlier than that. (Ships with 5 or 10 foot of bottom clearance (and some have less than that, only entering or leaving on high tides) become useless.)

  19. Graeme No.3 says:

    But E.M.S. when the water level drop it will be easier for Cuban refugees to come ashore on the beach. They will be able to walk around the end of The Wall.
    Will Trump the 14TH be able to extend the wall fast and far enough?

  20. rhoda klapp says:

    It seems that the last time the ice came down the UK as far as Aylesbury then retreated. That’s OK, Aylesbury is 15 miles north of me. And anyone who has been there has regretted it and retreated. I don’t like Aylesbury.

  21. Larry Ledwick says:

    We already have the nuclear heat system to hold the ice back for a while, all those hot fuel rods sitting in cooling pools to decay enough to be handled and shipped – if water supply or cooling stops they will boil the cooling pool dry in a few weeks. Just take all our spent nuclear fuel and create a nuclear-thermal melting system.

    Heat water in cooling pool
    circulate hot water through a heat exchanger to provided clean hot water (nuclear loop isolation)
    pump that hot water out into pipe network that pours hot water over the front of the advancing glacier.

    collect new thawed ice water for future use as fresh water, pull off enough for makeup water in the ice melting loop.

    Repeat as necessaryfor all important northern cities as you salvage infrastrstructure and do a Stalin WWII industrial relocation 400 miles or so south.

    Chicago and St Louis moves to Memphis Tennessee , Indianapolis moves to nashville,, New Oleans Houston and Galveston, move out onto the new land as the water receeds.

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    @Graeme No3:

    Well, lucky for us, the Gulf Stream runs between Florida and Cuba:

    It’s about 600 feet deep in the shallow parts…900 feet in more of it; so no walking between the two, even at Glacial Maximum ;-)

    While Florida gains a lot of new ground, it looks like Cuba stays a fairly constant island with steep drop off in the waters around it. They gain some, but not much compared to others…

  23. A C Osborn says:

    EM, if it was not for the Globalists I think the world’s Technology by then could actually prevent Glaciation.
    They however wish to depopulate the world and what better way to do it.
    The Technology would involve very large Mirrors to beam sunlight from Space on to the earth’s Northern Hemisphere surface and Oceans, plus Massive solar panels to power Microwave emmissions to also heat the earth in the North. Plus as you say Lot’s of Nukes to generate lots of localised heat. They could also look at removing cloud cover (seeding) as we had during 1970s to 2000 to get more heat in to the Oceans.
    This would obviously take co-operation between all the Northern Hemisphere Nations and a great deal of Cash but it could be done if the will was there.

  24. corsair red says:

    Once again it looks like my part of Florida will stay livable. Good; I’ve never seen a reason to leave before today, either.

  25. Simon Derricutt says:

    Given that using indoor farming Holland is second to the USA as a food exporter, growing enough food in a glaciated Earth won’t be a problem if we have enough cheap power. Looks like we’ll have quite a bit of time to build the buildings required, after all. We already have the technology for safe fission nuclear power, and it seems likely that by the time we really need it that technology will be both reliable and cheap.

    Of course, we could also spread soot over the ice and change the albedo a bit, or put up mirrors in space to direct a bit more solar energy in our direction. I don’t really see any insoluble problems except the standard ones of too many people disregarding science and instead going for the consensus opinion that CO2 controls everything to do with climate.

    Rather than not knowing what snow is, I expect our children will instead have an extended vocabulary for the various types of snow they encounter….

  26. Steven Fraser says:

    @EM: Thanks for the details on the ’50-foot’ problem for SanFran. IMO, the only reason for a problem would be the political unwillingness to engineer a few of the many possible mitigations, selected for low cost and consistent with the regional geologic reality… a few times each thousand years to ‘shake the shit’ out of the area would (IMO) lead to a very long-term planning perspective.

    For example, I think it would not take more than a century to dredge and blast the bay deeper, with sufficient planning to preserve or re-architect the bridges, and keeping in mind that the BART is in a tunnel ~135′ under the bottom of the bay. Maybe time in such a plan to take a different approach.

    As you said, the longer-term problem, if shipping is to continue as an industry, is the connection to the deep ocean. For this, I think the bay needs a Netherlands-style barrier wall built well outside the Golden Gate, and for power to be used to raise the bay level in isolation, and in combination with a deepwater lock system, incrementally expandable over the millennia as sea levels decline slowly.

    There is an upside, too, to the declining sea levels… more shore land is exposed, beaches extend farther out, and cities themselves can extend out over the continental shelves.

    All that said, I think there are a set of simpler solutions, at least for the sea level part of it… Melt Greenland, and whatever part of Antarctica is needful. Monitor the Northwest passage, and prevent it from getting clogged with Ice. Similar with the Hudson Bay. Dredge a canal on the floor of the Bering Strait, so the Pacific currents never get blocked by the land. For an extreme… encourage the new underwater sea mount by Hawaii, displacing the ocean. Hell, that may happen anyway.

  27. Larry Ledwick says:

    The other advantage would be to treat the draining of the bay as an opportunity rather than a problem. As the water recedes, begin actively modifying the bay flow both by dredging in the areas still water logged and by use of earth movers etc for the new dry land. Using earth fill technology to create natural spits on the perimeter of the bay for more shore line etc.

    Move earth dredged out to assist with breakwater construction outside the golden gate.

    One of the things that always puzzled me is during drought conditions governments to not take advantage of the low water to deepen reservoirs or clean out silt build up. If done diligently after a few drought cycles the reservoirs would be much more useful for water storage and drought / flood relief.

  28. Steven Fraser says:

    @A C Osborn: How about this: Fairly large solar power array (or a mirror, as you say (shades of 2 James Bond Movies)) in Geosynch orbit, with visible light or microwaves aimed at Greenland or Antarctica?

  29. E.M.Smith says:

    I see the Global Geoengineering is strong in this group ;-)

    Personally, I’d just let things slowly adapt to the changes and accept them. As it is likely to take 500 to 1000 years to drop that 50 feet, just “let it go” and build dock facilities on the Pacific side. Really Large concrete breakwater and unloading docks / turning basin inside. Let the Bay slowly turn into new land and a recreational lake… (For the first 100 to 200 years I expect just dredging the channel deeper will be enough)

    Do remember that all of San Francisco is only about 110 years old. 1906 quake to 2016… Our cities mutate, collapse, and renew far faster than Glaciation moves.

    By the time we’re a couple of hundred feet down, you are talking 50,000 years. Who knows if we will even have ships then. (Steel ships are a couple of hundred year tech, and large wooden sailing ships less than 1000, small wooden ones about 4000). We might be teleporting by then ;-)

    Besides, a large long bridge (Dumbarton, San Mateo) arching over a bit of newly built city would be a wondrous sight ;-)

  30. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – I hear your “wait and take things as they come” but there will be problems if we don’t at least try to lessen the amount of water locked up in the ongoing glaciation

    Yeah, the land and cities will likely work themselves out, but I think we need to put as much as we can ay water being removed by the glacier.

  31. Pouncer says:

    With “nuclear greenhouses” we can grow crops anywhere. Costs go up some, but not high enough to be limiting. Would people embrace that and do it in time? Who knows? The idiots in charge today won’t even do desalination and nuclear electricity. They “un-limit” growth and that’s just not acceptable to the “Population DOOM!” folks.

    That bears repeating.

    That bears repeating.

  32. Steven Fraser says:

    @EM 7 @H.R.: Perhaps a new line of work will emerge: Ice Harvesters.

    topic change:
    I seem to recall that Yosemite valley was glacially formed. Can you imagine helicoptering in to the top of Half-dome or El Capitan, and viewing an actual glacier in motion there? Ausgezeitnet!

    topic change:I am still thinking that this will all come about in very slow motion, but perhaps with a return to the alarmism style of the ’70s and Malthusian doom. Even something as intense as another bout of LIA-style temps for a couple centuries would be measurable around the world.

    A couple years ago our family cruised from Alaska to Vancouver, with a slow-mo tour of Glacier bay.
    At most northern end, the Madeline and Grand Pacific glaciers come down to the water line. It was not too many hundreds of years ago that what is now the bay was full of glacier ice all the way to the Pacific. Prior to that period, the glacier did not reach the ocean… there was a river connecting it to the sea, and people lived in the flat lands between the glacier and the sea.

    It won’t take very much of a temp change to return to LIA conditions there eventually, though the Grand Pacific glacier looks depleted of its majesty for the time being.

    Now returning from flight of fancy to normal spacetime…

  33. Svend Ferdinandsen says:

    That was a real scare story, not like the usual harmageddon we usually hear. about. Cold is so much worse than heat, but IPCC works hard to revert the wold to the lttle iceage..

  34. Larry Ledwick says:

    @EM 7 @H.R.: Perhaps a new line of work will emerge: Ice Harvesters.

    Well technically that would be the return of an old job. Before the use of mechanical or absorption refrigeration folks would cut ice blocks out of lakes to stock ice boxes.

  35. E.M.Smith says:

    I’m surprised nobody has suggested salt yet…

    With growing desert areas, there’s lots of room to make evaporation pans in hot dry places. Then collect the salt and spread it on the polar caps. I’m thinking that without an Arctic Ice Cap what glaciers do form will have more northward movement to the Arctic Ocean (especially in Canada and Russia) and relieve a lot of pressure on places like southern Canada and the USA / European Russia / Eastern Europe.

    I could see a giant sea water cannon with a salt mixer that (computerized controls) mixes just the optimal amount of salt into the brine for maximum erosion of the ice. Might not work well in farm country, but in places with Arctic Tundra or near a “run off into the ocean” drain it ought to work very well. For the price of some pumps and hauling salt to the pole ice, you get great ice melt rates. I can’t imagine needing more than a small fraction of the Sahara, Sonora and Mojave being needed to manufacture salt…

    IMHO (and not having “done the math”) that will be far more energy efficient than using heat directly. It involves using solar heat / dry air for the salt creation phase, then absorbing environmental heat for the heat of fusion as the salt shifts the melt point. So basically just a pumping operations, then skip loader and trucking, then a ‘pump and blend’ station. I’d expect costs to be very low (for those places where salt in the drain water isn’t an issue…)

  36. Graeme No.3 says:

    The Chinese aren’t believers in AGW. Their interests are in getting lots of money from mugs who believe wind turbines and solar panels will “save the World”.
    Beijing: China is taking its renewable energy push to new heights, with scientists revealing plans to build the first solar power station in space. Chinese scientists first plan to build and launch small to medium-sized solar power stations to be launched into the stratosphere to generate electricity, between 2021 and 2025. The next step will be a Megawatt-level space solar power station, slated for construction in 2030. The plan is to beam the power back as microwaves.
    HEALTH WARNING: the following link is from a national newspaper that went ga-ga over AGW, so much so they went broke and were acquired by a TV station. It has a nice (imaginary) picture.

  37. E.M.Smith says:

    One must ask:

    What happens if a Megawatt of downlink EM power is “accidentally” landed on the Pentagon? Or the White House? Or…

  38. Larry Ledwick says:

    You mean like this?
    What happens if a Megawatt of downlink EM power is “accidentally” landed on the Pentagon? Or the White House? Or…


  39. pg sharrow says:

    Wow! such a wonderful concept, solar collector stations in space beaming power to earth. Seems that I had a book about this in 1978, I distributed 5 copies to members of congress. Not sure if any of them or their staff ever read them. The power density per square meter at the ground receiver is about the same as radar at a hundred yards, not enough to destroy anything but not something you would want to be in for an extended time. pg

  40. H.R. says:

    @p.g. – Maybe no-one in congress read it, but it seems the Chinese picked up a copy.

  41. Steven Fraser says:

    @Larry Ledwick: (Re: Ice Harvesters). I remember vacationing at a lake in Ontario as a kid, and in the early years, filling the ‘Ice Box’ with blocks of lake ice which had been sawed out of the lake, and stacked in a mound of insulating sawdust.

    What I really was thinking was about businesses who relocated glacier or shelf ice from where it formed ( and not wanted) to where it might be needed,

  42. David A says:

    So, “in 2525 if man is still alive”
    it sounds like lots of options and lots of time. Quaint phrases like ” to many cooks in the kitchen” tend to make all plans go cockeyed.

    It does sound like it would be a good time for population reduction, and with cheep energy that may happen very naturally.

  43. Bill in Oz says:

    From Oz to all you freezing cold folk there in North America : “Friends let us pray that the great Green goddess sends all the folks living in North America some of her beautiful old time global warming.”


    mild days persist here in South Australia. Cloudy and about 24-5 centigrade… Real Summer weather ! NOT.

  44. John S Howard Jr says:

    As water becomes locked in ice packs and glaciers (pretty far in the future), a great deal of land will be exposed on the coasts.

  45. E.M.Smith says:

    @John S Howard Jr.:

    Yes. In some places, like Florida, it is dramatic. Florida gets about 2 to 3 times wider… Then the entire area from Papua to Australia makes a bridge, also around New Zealand we get the return of Lemuria. Then Doggerland around the UK (though the current through the Strait of Dover looks like it has cut the channel too deep to fully dry again, maybe. It might silt up again?

    But the big problem is that there is an excess of land “way up north” compared to what is gained nearer the equator. There is also the issue of timing. You get the most land gain at the end of 100,000 years, but the “too cold to grow” can have rapid onset.

    I’m not too worried about the need to move the people. The loss happens over long periods of time compared to human lifespans. As noted, about 800 feet further south / year on average. So if each generation just moves 5 miles south from where they were born, they stay ahead of the glaciers. For comparison, my Mum came from Liverpool. A bit more than 5 miles away. My Dad started in Iowa, about 2000 miles away. His Dad was brought over from Ireland… My Son has moved about 2100 miles away. It would be very easy to deal with the population moves to stay ahead of the ice.

    Staying ahead of the ‘too cold to farm’ line would be harder, but we can ship food for a good long time (or shift from growing a near tropical grass (corn) to cold crops like cabbages, kale, barley, oats… Oats will sprout and grow at just 1 degree over freezing. Basically as long as the soil isn’t ice. Kale (especially Russian Kale) survives under light snow. You may not like the idea of a diet of Russian Kale, Radishes, and Oats, but it is enough to stay alive. ( I happen to like oats, Russian kale, and radishes… even the Black Spanish Winter radish that likes the cold – though it is rather hot / spicy. Turnips are also a cold root, but I’m less fond of them.) Oh, and Fava Beans. I’ve gown them here in winter (light frosts, occasional freeze) and they love it.

    OTOH, most of Siberia and Alaska are not farmed. They are various woodlands. While there is a fair amount of Barley and Oats and such grown in Alaska, you could replace it with gain from further south without much issue. But finding replacement woods might be harder.

  46. Larry Ledwick says:

    You also have the yellow Yukon Gold potato variety to work with as a cold crop.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yukon_Gold_potato (80-90 days)

    Or the Belle de Fontenay: Standard shape, firm, fast development (70 days).
    Belle de Fontenay is an old French salad variety from around 1885.

  47. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry L:

    Thanks for the spuds pointer!

    As potatoes come from the high cold Andes, I ought to have thought to mention them. The Indians there “invented” freeze dried spuds. They would harvest, then leave them laying out on mats and stomp them. Exposed to the freeze and low humidity they would slowly turned into powdered freeze dried spuds ;-)

    I wonder if it would be worth while to put up a “Cold Season Crops” page specifically listing known species and varieties for growing in the way cold… It is likely already done somewhere…


    Looks like it…

    A project of the National Center for Appropriate Technology 1 …
    Specialty Crops for Cold Climates Introduction F armers market customers, restaurants, institutions, and even grocery stores want to buy local foods. In northern latitudes and higher elevations, however, producing food locally for these kinds of markets has its chal-lenges. Profi table market gardening requires uti-
    [Search domain aeromt.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Specialty-crops-for-cold-climates.pdf] aeromt.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Specialty-crops-for-cold-climates.pdf

    The Best Vegetables to Grow in Cold Weather | Garden Guides
    Many crops that grow well in cold weather are low-growing, leafy, green vegetables. These vegetables, which include members of the cabbage and lettuce families, are slow to freeze because of their low-growing habit.
    [Search domain http://www.gardenguides.com/112360-vegetables-grow-cold-weather.html%5D https://www.gardenguides.com/112360-vegetables-grow-cold-weather.html

    Cold Weather Crops – Gilmour
    Though it sounds contradictory, cold hardy vegetables need to be started from seed mid to late summer for fall and winter harvest. The warm weather helps with germination and the longer days allow time for the crop to develop and mature by the time winter arrives.
    [Search domain gilmour.com/cold-weather-crops] https://gilmour.com/cold-weather-crops

    Winter Vegetable Gardening Guide – Sunset Magazine
    (Except in coldest climates, plant them in very early spring so the crop will mature before summer heat settles in, or in late summer for a crop in fall in winter. In warm regions, plant cool season crops from late summer to early fall for harvest in late fall, winter, or early spring.
    [Search domain http://www.sunset.com/garden/garden-basics/cool-season-crops-0%5D https://www.sunset.com/garden/garden-basics/cool-season-crops-0

    Growing Cold Weather Crops – Mother Earth News
    Our other cold weather crops include corn and tomatoes and — in good years — muskmelons. Obviously, you’ll have to adapt to your climate and discover what will grow best in your area.
    [Search domain http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/cold-weather-crops-zmaz83jfzraw%5D https://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/cold-weather-crops-zmaz83jfzraw

  48. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like Gurney’s list time to maturity as 60 – 80 days, sounds like with a small green house this would be a very good early potato crop to work with as the climate cools. Also long dormancy gives good storage.


  49. E.M.Smith says:

    This PDF from the first item (the link didn’t become live in the paste above) looks pretty good. Has things I’d forgotten about. Like just growing “baby vegetables” in very short season areas and that bramble berries are good in the cold…

    Click to access Specialty-crops-for-cold-climates.pdf


    From that paper you will be happy to know that in addition to Barley, Hops are a nice cold season crop. Your beer is safe in the Glacial Onset!

    Other Alternative Crops to Consider
    Hops are a cold-hardy plant with renewed market potential from the popularity of micro-brewing. Hops are very hardy perennial vines that require a trellising system. Currently, most hops are grown on the Pacific Coast, where disease pressure is lower than in the humid eastern U.S.

    So like it cold and not humid. Sounds like an Ice Age Glacial to me :-)

  50. E.M.Smith says:

    That PDF has an interesting weed control strategy. Not sure I’d want to use that much buckwheat and oat / peas seed for weed control instead of dinner, but you never know…

    In perennial fruit plantings, it is difficult to manage weeds once the plants are established, so it is important to start with as clean a bed as possible. Cover crops are a great way to prevent weeds initially, with the added bonus of increasing organic matter in your beds. One strategy is to let some weeds germinate in the spring, then till them in. Follow this with an aggressive summer cover crop, such as sorghum-sudan grass or buckwheat. These are warm-season cover crops, so they need to be planted after your last frost date. The seed germinates best when soil temperatures are high: June to July is ideal. Once the summer cover crop is 3 to 4 feet high (or, with buckwheat, when it is in full bloom), mow (or weed-eat on a smaller scale) and incorporate in late summer/early fall (mid-August). The cover crop can be incorporated with a rototille, or whatever primary tillage implement is available. Follow up with an oat/pea cover crop (in early September) that will winter-kill in most cold climates. This crop residue can be incorporated easily in early spring for spring fruit planting.

  51. Larry Ledwick says:

    Weeds are typically open ground plants that like lots of sunlight, and then out compete and shade out other plants once they start growing. If you can find a fast growing crop that produces shade on the soil it will suppress a lot of weed growth.

    Looks like those Belle de Fontenay variety potatoes are an European crop and may not be available here in the US. Every listing I have found for it has been a UK grower. Not sure if agricultural quarantine rules will allow you to import seed potatoes from the UK.

    I would assume that someone sells rare varieties here in the US but so far have not found it.

    I also would like to find someone who sells real true seeds for potatoes that could be popped in the freezer for long term storage.

  52. E.M.Smith says:


    I’ve not found potato seeds sold anywhere. I have made my own from a purple potato (bought at a local Whole Foods store as organic). They grew well and naturalized in my back yard. Then some of them would produce fruit / seeds. The problem for commercial production is that the fruit is very small (like a cherry pit to small cherry size at most) with few seeds, and you get maybe one fruit per several plants, sometimes…

    Some varieties seem to never make a fruit.

    When I was in Florida for a couple of years last time, I got a call asking if the kid and Son-in-law could “clean up the garden”. I came back to find it entirely gone. Their idea of “clean up” being “remove”. Also lost a 4 or 5 year old Avocado sapling I’d specifically asked be saved. They saved a weed tree instead… couldn’t be bothered to figure out how to identify an Avocado. About now it would be producing first fruit. (From a local tree that naturalized in this climate, where Avocados are supposedly not possible… but I’ve seen a few trees… “Bacon” type works).

    Oh Well.

    The spuds that naturalized eventually started getting little white bugs in the soil around the tubers. Don’t know what they were, or how to get rid of them, but leaving the spuds in the ground for a few years gives them a home. Lesson Learned: In a real Aw Shit, lift your spuds and overwinter the seed potatoes in a clean area; replant in a different square…

    I’d recommend just getting a big plastic tub / pot and a bag of potting soil, put some spuds in it in spring, harvest in fall, and put the selected seed bits in the bottom of a 2nd fridge over the winter. More trouble than seeds in a freezer, but you get a lot of french fries for the effort ;-) Then, if any do make seeds, you have them.

    FWIW I’m fighting the urge to restart my potato bed in tubs… I’m supposed to be getting rid of and prepping for sale, not working a micro-farm ;-)

    It was my experience that the purple ones and a red skinned one did best at the naturalize and seed set. I didn’t try growing the commercial russet type though. Wanted the kind that didn’t require peeling if it came to a time of need. (Lost minerals under the skin is a high ratio in Russets).

    The Yukon Gold I planted did OK too, but it was a “Russian Banana” that really didn’t care what happened. These were a bit of a pain to prepare as they are about the size and shape of a finger (so peeling one is high loss and a PITA, so lots of cleaning to use instead…) They “self seeded” for a couple of years after I stopped planting them ;-) The purple ones would also regrow from the little peanut sized spuds formed where you can’t find them all at harvest time. I don’t know if over the years that would select for smaller sizes…

    Oh, and for growing potatoes from seed: IIRC, you plant the seed like a tomato start, and it makes a small plant with a few small spuds. Those are then used to make the 2nd round that gets big enough to crop. I suspect a simple “plant it and wait 2 years for the second year crop” might also work. Under ideal circumstance you might get a small crop the first round. In a real Aw Shit, I’d rather have a crisper drawer worth of seed potatoes in the garage fridge…

  53. Bill in Oz says:

    Larry most potatoes if allowed will flower and set ‘potato apples’ with true seed in them. Growing two or three varieties of spuds will ensure there is cross pollination and thus potentially new spud varieties in your garden in the future. Spuds also can be bred for their flowers. I’ve seen it done on one farm here in Oz years ago. Bright red and purple flowers as well as white.

  54. E.M.Smith says:

    @Bill in Oz:

    Any idea on how to get more flowers? Maybe my low production of “potato apples” was something to do with my culturing techniques. (i.e. more like the regular ‘make potatoes’ process until I just ignored them for a year or two…)

  55. E.M.Smith says:


    Do Potato Plants Bloom? Potato plants produce flowers during the end of their growing season. These turn into the true fruit of the plant, which resemble small green tomatoes. Potato plant flowering is a normal occurrence, but the flowers usually just dry up and fall off rather than producing fruit. Why potato plants flower can depend upon the temperatures or excessive amounts of fertilizer. Plants that experience cold nighttime temperatures will set fruit. Also, high amounts of fertilizer can encourage the formation of tomato looking things on potato plants.

    Well, there’s my clue. California not having a lot of cold nights, and me deliberately selecting for “Grows with neglect” in “Darwin’s Garden ™” ;-) I was giving them a “less than good” environment for flowering.

    OK, so Larry L is in an ideal place for cold nights. Just needs to make sure they are well fertilized and let them run into late fall. Maybe I could get more fruit set if I planted some late in summer so they extended into Winter here… Trick them into thinking it was a cold short season place, nor a warm long season place with a short mild winter ;-)

  56. E.M.Smith says:

    Iowa State says to pitch them as potatoes don’t “come true” from seed. From my POV that’s a feature. They will have greater variety so will adapt better to whatever comes.


    Tomato-like Fruit on Potato Plants
    by Richard Jauron, Department of Horticulture

    Occasionally gardeners are surprised to find small, round, green, tomato-like fruit on their potato plants. These fruit are not the result of cross-pollination with tomatoes. They are the true fruit of the potato plant. The edible tubers are actually enlarged, underground stems. Normally, most potato flowers dry up and fall off the plants without setting fruit. A few flowers do produce fruit. The variety ‘Yukon Gold’ produces fruit more heavily than most varieties.

    The potato fruit are of no value to the gardener. Potato fruit, as well as the plant itself, contain relatively large amounts of solanine. Solanine is a poisonous alkaloid. The small fruit should not be eaten. Since potatoes don’t come true from seed, no effort should be made to save the seed.

    So you won’t find seedsmen selling potato seeds since they will give a non-commercial mix of varieties on planting…


    has a nice photo of the fruit.

    These are genuine fruit, but not that common. Usually, potato flowers just drop off. When fruit do form, they’re more likely found on certain varieties, like Yukon Gold. This year, there were fruit on just about every Chieftain plant, here and there on the Kennebec, and none that I noticed on the Yukon Gold…

    So plant a few varieties and you have better chances one will like your weather / fertilizer. Looks like you don’t need a lot of fruit to get enough seeds:

    Each fruit contains 300-500 seeds
    that don’t come true: planting them doesn’t result in the same potatoes as the parent plant, there’s lots of genetic variation. Potato breeders plant out thousands of seeds, check out the results, then keep replanting the most desirable potatoes for many years or so to get new commercial varieties—apparently, this is the way new potatoes are bred.

    Then some directions on making your own stable variety:

    Meanwhile, it apparently only takes only two seasons and one generation to breed genetically stable new potatoes, so for the small farm or home garden, as opposed to the big potato breeder, this seems like a viable way to go.
    Harvest seed one season—you can hand-pollinate to cross two varieties—plant out the next and select your favorites. Those tubers should be stable and ready to go, you just have to build up a quantity, which takes another season, unless you need hardly any at all!

    And, the fruit are poisonous, rich in solanine, not for eating (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and tobacco are all members of the “deadly nightshade” family, all prone to having toxic parts). Interesting! Since they suddenly appeared this year on two varieties, I’d guess it was about the weather!

    The seeds are very very small… I’ve just sliced the fruit in half and let it dry then saved the chunk…

    Better would be the traditional tomato method: Put it in water and let it ferment the flesh off, strain out and dry the seeds. That also kills off some pathogens.

  57. Steven Fraser says:

    @EM: Found an interesting comment at the end of an article about the last NA glaciation, at

    ‘Amazingly, the Laurentide ice sheet still exists: You can visit its last remaining chunk, the Barnes Ice Cap, on Baffin Island.’

  58. Larry Ledwick says:

    I looked into it, a bit a while back and the sense of it is that potatoes have been bred from cutting for so long that setting seed is a recessive trait now but if you force seed and can repeat the seed forming step 3 or 4 seasons in a row, you can get a true seed that is genetically true but it takes a while. Obviously in a disaster situation you would be best off with heirloom varieties but it is doable just not convenient.

    I did find one place that sold true potato seeds but do not recall the link but they are available if you look hard enough.

  59. Larry Ledwick says:

    The spuds that naturalized eventually started getting little white bugs in the soil around the tubers. Don’t know what they were, or how to get rid of them, but leaving the spuds in the ground for a few years gives them a home.

    Yes I have heard the solution to that problem is crop rotation, do not grow potatoes in the same plot continuously but rotate then through (if I remember correctly) 3 plots, and let one of the three lie fallow for a season (not positive a little searching would find the proper cycle).

    That is why some folks grow potatoes in large poly tubs with trash bag liners, at the end of the season you dump the trash bag and sterilize the soil for the next season. You can sterilize soil by putting it in a plastic covered hot box during the height of the summer heat to heat the soil to high temp, or by mixing the soil into an active hot compost pile but it needs to be turned thoroughly so all the soil gets exposed to 145 deg + temps or so.

    At the green house, they put the soil in a metal box and piped live steam into the box until the soil was heated sufficiently to kill all the critters, then recycle into growing beds.

  60. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting strategy here, perhaps get some normal seed potatoes of specific early season varieties like Yukon Gold and co-crop them with true seed to select for locally adapted versions of that variety.


  61. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well this is interesting right in front of my nose for years probably.

    Amazon.com sells true potato seeds


  62. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like I need to buy some of those amazon seed packs of true potato seed, real cheap and some of them come from cold adapted locations (Russia, and Ukraine )

    Put them in a small mason jar and toss in the freezer as insurance.

  63. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm I may have to touch base with these folks (only about 60 miles north of where I live) and inquire about ideal storage conditions for 25 year storage of true potato seeds.

    Plant and Animal Genetic Resources Preservation Unit
    USDA, ARS, National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation
    1111 S. Mason St.
    Ft. Collins, CO 80521


    Contact: Dr. Stephanie Greene 970 492-7531

    I have not dug through this list yet but might have some good info worth capturing if you are interested in long term seed storage.

  64. Larry Ledwick says:

    One more resource

    To get a Fisher’s Seeds catalog, send a check or money order for $2 to Fisher’s Seeds, P.O. Box 236, Belgrade, MT 59714 (406-388-6052).

    They do mention potato seeds in the article, will have to see what is in the catalog, they do not appear to have a web page URL .

  65. E.M.Smith says:

    Research Director Bert Schrijver comments: “Breeders and researchers from Bejo have worked for over 15 years to develop the company’s first tetraploid hybrid potato variety that grows from botanical seed. In recent years this variety, Oliver F1, has been tested in cooperation with Dutch growers, while Naktuinbouw evaluated the variety in order to grant breeder’s rights. The process of seed production has been successful and seed is already available”.

    Looks like they got polyploidy (multiple chromosome sets) to happen. This will prevent crossing with varieties of other ploidy levels and usually increases produce size. It might also be why they can make a stable variety. 15 years work? Sounds about right…. Likely has a narrow and specific genome as they will have started with just a few individuals to induce polyploidy (treatment with things like colchicine disrupting the chromosome sorting process in gamete formation)

    As an F1 hybrid, it might well revert to the two parent stocks in F2+ generations.

    Yeah, a couple of those Amazon packets would be interesting…

    Looks like there are some sellers now in the hobiest and niche region markets.

  66. E.M.Smith says:

    Potatoes primarily come in two different genetic arrangements: tetraploid and diploid. Outside the Andes, diploid potatoes are virtually unknown. The potato of commerce is tetraploid, bearing four copies of each chromosome, resulting in a sort of built-in hybrid vigor that typically allows them to grow larger and yield more than diploids. Potatoes are outbreeders and experience inbreeding depression. As a result, they do not grow true from seed. Every potato plant grown from TPS is genetically different. Varieties can only be maintained by replanting the tubers. Therefore, the primary use of true potato seeds is the creation of new varieties.

    So my guess was wrong. Tetraploids are the common commercial type.

  67. Larry Ledwick says:

    Sounds like the potato is by design highly adaptable to adverse conditions. Only the ones that experience ideal conditions set seed, from them you get multiple variations some of which do well in those conditions. Keep picking the best producers and over time you have several lines of plants ideally suited to that environment.

    Just what you would want in a rapidly changing climate situation.

  68. Quail says:

    Public access seed bank with many exotic varieties: http://jlhudsonseeds.net/index.htm

  69. E.M.Smith says:

    One of the things that bothers me most about the concentration of plant breeding in the hands of just a few multinationals (that has already happened) is the loss of local adapted and diverse varieties. The next closest issue is selection of commercial traits is antagonistic to family garden traits. Commercial producers want the crop to all nature at one time on small bushes and be done. So your garden makes twenty pounds of green beans on one day… then nothing. The Homestead is better served by tall trellis beans making a bowl full per day for three month..

    Home growers want seed that can be saved. Multinationals want F1 seed that gives crap F2 seeds or is sterile.

    Commercial industrial farmers want varieties that produce well with computer controlled optimal conditions and massive fertilizer and pesticide use and ideal water; even if they fail completely in suboptimal conditions. A prepper wants varieties that give you enough even when everything is poor and that can accept unexpected conditions. Preferably without any commercial product inputs.

    For that reason grow heirloom varieties, save seeds, and grow many unusual kinds. Avoid the big industrial hybrid seed mills.

    I do have a very few hybrid seed packets in my archive. They are exceptionally short season types, ONLY for the purpose of getting past the first “Aw Shit if I don’t get a garden pronto I don’t eat.” So for example I have a 45 day sweet corn f1 hybrid. Radishes in 20 to 25 days, corn at 45. That works here.. plus some very fast bush green beans (until my climbers get productive)…

    That is why I used an organic odd blue and a similar red potato for my attempt at a land race (or maybe not attempt as they did naturalize).

  70. Larry Ledwick says:

    I have back stock of several different batches of heirloom seeds, purchased from a couple different sources and different years production runs, so if one batch is bad for some reason, it is unlikely that one of the others will have the same problem.

    I don’t have the freezer space for much seed. Although I do have some of the fragile seeds like onions in a watertight plastic box intended for camping (river runners etc.), another batch is in small apartment size fridge held at 40 deg F (fridge won’t go any colder), and another couple #10 cans at room temp storage (so called 25 year canned heirloom seeds)

    If all of it is viable I could probably plant a 2 acre garden or more for a couple years running.

    All I care about, is enough viable seed to grow 2 years of crops, by then I hope I would sort out the process of seed saving (have a couple books on it).

    In a SHTF situation, we have one thing over the 1850’s gardener, we have materials like sheet plastic to build temporary green house and sprouting beds, also lots of light weight plastic plant pots, and things like Miracle Grow. On the deficit side we don’t (most of us) have the accumulated family wisdom of raising food to survive over generations and or hands on serious gardening experience.

    My Mom planted a small garden for several years in the mid 1960’s and I got to do lots of the menial tasks like weeding, and irrigation tending and such, but it was basically a small family victory garden to supplement and reduce the cost of the food bill.

    I know I can grow some of the easy to grow foods like summer squash but have only had average luck with tomatoes and peppers. (last time I grew them I finally figured out that they like heat and planted them along a south facing wall planter and they did pretty well.
    Radishes and carrots Ok but heavy clay soil here should have been more heavily augmented with lighter Loam or vegetable matter.
    Corn ok but not spectacular because we always planted the corn in a couple long rows instead of a compact bunch so it properly pollinates.

    Working in a green house when I was in my 40’s for a few months was a useful learning experience but since then I have never lived in a home where I could have a legitimate garden.

  71. E.M.Smith says:

    Looking at that vegetation map again, and noticing both the land bridge and how most of Asia becomes human hostile, then remember migration to North America came in waves with the earliest about 50 kya then more to 20k ya:

    Might it be that, like “out of Africa” with the wet / dry cycles, might we have a counterpart “Out of Asia” pump into the Americas? First driven from the cold center toward the coast, then along the coastline into that attractive survivor are in the USA? An Ice / drought pump…

    Unlike the notion of folks just wandering over. Were they driven out of Asia as it becomes frozen desert?

    About that same 50 kya point, the Australian Aborigines show up with Asian Denisovan genes. Perhaps another ouf of Asia cold and drought driven migration?

    That Asin cold desert blob does not arrive full blown at once. It slowly spreads south and coastward. Driving people before it. Into the survival zones of warm andwet.

    Similarly, the drought desertification of Africa drives folks into the Neanderthal homeland then genetically swamps them. The two populations blend, and you get white Europeans with their higher Neanderthal genetic component and some of their snow survival skills.

    It does look to me like Asia, Africa and Europe get the worst of it. In North America, it is mostly Canada that bites it. All of Canada could move to Florida and fit. (Many already do each winter…). So where do the central Asian, Europeans, and North Africa / Middle East populations go? They can’t all fit in Italy & Greece….

  72. Larry Ledwick says:

    By the way, my newly installed malwarebytes software is throwing an alert for a possible trojan on the https://tinyfarmblog.com/potato-fruit/ link. Not sure if that is an issue or just over aggressive warnings.

    Looks like it is an ssl issue
    This site can’t provide a secure connection tinyfarmblog.com sent an invalid response.
    Try running Windows Network Diagnostics.

    ( just upgraded my protective layers so will likely see more of these sort of things – just did the install last night.)

  73. Larry Ledwick says:

    On pale moon it gives a better diagnostic error.

    Secure Connection Failed

    An error occurred during a connection to tinyfarmblog.com.

    SSL received a record that exceeded the maximum permissible length.


    The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified.
    Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem.

  74. E.M.Smith says:

    Sounds like the typical over agressive not accepting older ssl certs or self signed ones problem. Common with smaller Mom & Pop sites. They paid a guy 5 years ago to set something up, then the world changes requirenents on them and that takes a while to sink in (and be paid for).

    I think folks have made browsers way to picky about certs too fast.

    For seed saving, the simple rule is that bigger seeds are easiest. Corn, beans, squash. Then smaller seeds. Then the biannuals that take 2 years and overwinter. Then recalcitrant fruits as they must be planted and grown to seedling, not dried. Then exotics like potato seeds from tuber starts.

    Basically, drier and colder keeps seeds longer, but just refrigerated in a jar is good for years. I found radishes easy as a biannual, but breaking up the pods is work. Beets are very easy and parsnips near trivial. Oh, chard is easy too and part of the quick start group. I have a quart of chard seeds from one or two plants. Scatter thickly and eat Baby Chard thinnings in about two weeks…

    My garden experience taught two things about a survival garden:

    1) Getting the soil built up right takes 2 years at least. You can’t just spade in the lawn and get good results first time. 6 inches down it is mineralized hard crap. This takes labor, time and either commercial materials like potting soil or your own compost pile and even more time.

    2) It takes about 2 years to figure out what works in your space. Your bugs, birds and rodents. Varieties that are best. What plants play well together (don’t plant peas with onions). What your planting calendar will be. What sunny wall makes happy tomatoes but kills peas. Do you need long day or short day onions? I have a green onion in my rapid start kit, but it took me a year to learn why I was failing with them. They have very shalliw roots and can’t stand drying out. Worked great in a big square tub in a pan with an inch of water…

    It is a mistake to think a gallon of seeds will feed you from a garden starting from a lawn. A working garden is a 2 year development project.

    Yes, better to have the seeds than not, but at a minimum have a few container plants to learn what works best where. I’ve had enough squash for 2 from one big pot of 8 Ball (Rond du Nice). Another very fast variety, BTW. 45 day IIRC.

    IFF you get a few months warning of the Aw Shit, you can knock together raised beds from foot wide planks over turned soil and pour money a foot of compost in it. Then at the end of each grow, turn that top layer into the next foot of dirt down. It will be ok to start and better the 2nd year.

    It is well worth it to sign up for a community garden plot and work it. You will learn the wisdom of a decade of locals the first year.. sometimes at near no cost.

  75. Larry Ledwick says:

    I have a stack of good miracle grow potting soil in bags in the garage so can get some good large pot plants going easily.

    Yes especially here in the front range near the mountains lots of heavy clay. I think the best way to do a garden here is to rent a good industrial class rototiller, and till the garden plot, then remove that layer of soil and go down into the clay, and set that crap aside it is good for adobe bricks but sucks as gardening soil. Then bring in a few yards of top soil and a yard of peat and build a new deep soil layer.

    I built a bed of that potting soil mixed about 50/50 with top soil when the apartment complex put in small 1 meter square garden plots. Nice for a few flowers but plant one squash plant in the middle of it and in mid summer it will shade out the entire plot.

    What I want to play with (if I ever get a good garden plot) is a raised bed using super soil garden. Contains lots of wood char (poor mans activated charcoal)


  76. Larry Ledwick says:

    Level 3 ( now Century One) built a nice little community garden just down the road a very short walk (about 300 yards from where I live) their raised beds are a little bit bigger about 4×6 but still a bit cramped to handle the larger plants. Would produce a lot of smaller produce like carrots etc and climbing peas. I almost registered one bed last year but it was still a work in progress. I might do it this year as it is not heavily utilized, last year about 1/2 the plots appeared to have been unused.

    It would be a good idea now that they finally put in a small parking area so you don’t have to schlep your garden tools and stuff several hundred feet from the nearest parking place.

    Problem is I don’t eat hardly any vegetables compared to folks like you. I buy a bag of carrots and the start sprouting in the bag and cracking due to drying in the refrigerator before I eat half the bag.

    I wish you could buy 4 ounce bags of baby carrots, I am not making salads for a family of 4 so most produce spoils before I get around to eating it. I get most of my veggies through things like vegetable soup or apple sauce, or V8 juice. My biggest cooking use of carrots is in cold weather beef stew, along with an onion.

  77. E.M.Smith says:

    I had basically “builders soil” (adobe with rocks in it) under my lawn. A lot of lawn clippings and turning and fishing out rocks by hand and 2 years later, I had nice beds.

    For easy learning how to save seeds: Seed To Seed.


    Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners
    by Suzanne Ashworth,
    Kent Whealy (Editor)
    4.18 · Rating details · 1,563 ratings · 42 reviews
    Seed to Seed is a complete seed-saving guide that describes specific techniques for saving the seeds of 160 different vegetables. This book contains detailed information about each vegetable, including its botanical classification, flower structure and means of pollination, required population size, isolation distance, techniques for caging or hand-pollination, and also the proper methods for harvesting, drying, cleaning, and storing the seeds.

    Seed to Seed is widely acknowledged as the best guide available for home gardeners to learn effective ways to produce and store seeds on a small scale. The author has grown seed crops of every vegetable featured in the book, and has thoroughly researched and tested all of the techniques she recommends for the home garden.

    This newly updated and greatly expanded Second Edition includes additional information about how to start each vegetable from seed, which has turned the book into a complete growing guide. Local knowledge about seed starting techniques for each vegetable has been shared by expert gardeners from seven regions of the United States-Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast/Gulf Coast, Midwest, Southwest, Central West Coast, and Northwest.

    For your one squash takes the square problem; plant 8 Ball. I had it in a 2 foot pot (so you can set it on your concrete area somewhere and use the dirt for smaller things, like a few carrots ;-) and it made plenty. They are just the right size for one or two people, too. One of the hybrids in my “quick start” kit at 40 something days. ( I also have a non-hybrid Rond Du Nice that’s just a bit slower).


    Eight Ball Hybrid Squash Seeds
    Early, Delicious, ROUND Zucchini!
    This 1999 AAS winner is great for stuffing!
    Days To Maturity: 40

    Plant Height: 18 in
    Plant Width: 24 in – 2 ft 6 in

    You can grow this award-winning zucchini two ways: as a tender baby veggie or as a full-sized squash. A great shape for stuffing, it is as fun to grow as it is delicious to eat! Eight Ball matures quickly and offers a rich, buttery flavor that may remind you of Italian squash 3 times its size! Have fun with your food — grow Eight Ball this season!

    Perfectly round, this squash can be harvested very young for a gourmet bite. If you let it continue to grow, pick it when the fruits are about 3
    to 4 inches wide; it will get even larger over time, but the flavor and texture is best at 4 inches in diameter or fewer. Sporting a dark green rind flecked with yellow and pure white-to-pale-green flesh, Eight Ball looks lovely in the garden and on the plate.

    Mine were in a pot next to my front door on the landing… Coming home, I’d just grab one on the way in and be ready for butter sauteed squash with whatever else I was having ;-) ‘

    An heirloom that’s about 10 days slower and lighter in color that I also have- Ronde De Nice


    Ronde De Nice Squash

    50 days. This is a delicious French heirloom variety. The flesh of this round, green zucchini is very tender and fine-flavored, making it an ideal squash for stuffing. A popular variety for home gardens and specialty growers. Vigorous, quick-growing plants.

    For seed saving practice, and if you are not needing squash in 40 days, I’d go with this one…

    Also, look up Square Foot Gardening. I think it would match your needs. A small plot is divided into squares of 1 x 1 foot. You plant just a few of something in each square. So you would have a square of carrots, and get just one or two every couple of days… then toward the end, start another square of carrots where, for example, you just finished the bush beans…


    Square foot gardening is the practice of dividing the growing area into small square sections (typically 1 foot on a side, hence the name). The aim is to assist the planning and creating of a small but intensively planted vegetable garden. It results in a simple and orderly gardening system, from which it draws much of its appeal. Mel Bartholomew coined the term “square foot gardening” in his 1981 book of the same name.

    The phrase “square foot gardening” was popularized by Mel Bartholomew in a 1981 Rodale Press book and subsequent PBS television series. Bartholomew a retired engineer, devised a raised 4’x4’square bed(s)with a grid. Each of these 4’ by 4’ square beds were then divided into sixteen one foot squares (the grid). Each square is planted with a different crop species
    based on a formulation of either one, four, nine or sixteen plants per square depending on its overall size. Once a “square foot” is harvested, a different crop can be planted for a continual harvest. To encourage a variety of different crops in succession, and discourage pests, each square would be used for a different kind of plant (crop rotation) within the growing season. The number of plants per square would depend on an individual plant’s size. For example, a single tomato plant takes a full square, as might herbs such as oregano, basil or mint, while lettuce plants would be planted four per square, and up to sixteen per square of plants such as radish or carrots. Tall plants are trellised on the north side of the bed to avoid shading smaller plants and prevent sprawling on the ground.

    For one person who has low rate of consumption, that ought to be about ideal…

  78. E.M.Smith says:

    BTW, some stores do still sell loose carrots so you can buy as few as one…

  79. Steven Fraser says:

    @EM: Did any of the LA Snow on Thursday fall on you?

  80. Steven Fraser says:

    @Larry Ledwick: you mentioned crop rotation. My maternal grandfather, William Russell Fansher,
    ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Russell_Fansher ) homesteaded in central Saskatchewan at the beginning of the 20th C. His choice of a nitrogen-fixing plant for rotation purposes was ‘Arctic Clover’. Natural fertilizer!

  81. Larry Ledwick says:

    Thanks for the tips all – Chief already have the seed to seed book – good info.

    Yes clover and alfalfa etc fix nitrogen, good way to build soil, prepare the bed plant it with a fast growing grass like starter seed and clover, let it grow for a while then turn under, let the plants do part of the work.

    A good compost pile is also a good way to get a head start on soil, just let the compost pile mature in some out of the way place in the yard and when you are ready to do the garden blend the compost pile contents in with other soil amendments.

    I want to experiment with plain old charcoal broken up in small pieces and mixed in with potting soil to see if you can get a head start on a super soil without lots of open burning and bringing down the global warming freaks on your head.
    (would have to be one without the instant starter added, or light it off to get it hot enough to cook out the accelerant then douse before it burns out and blend it in with the soil.)

    For someone who does back yard BBQ often over charcoal, a good use for the ash and left over charcoal at the end of the days cooking.

  82. Bill in Oz says:

    Hey Guys
    You should join Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah Iowa. SSE. I was a member for years and still have lots of the catalogue ( 1inch thick books – A4 pages

    But now Australian quarrantine is so tight I no longer bother .

    They have a web site. nice camp outs as well.

  83. cdquarles says:

    Yep. I do have hands on training in gardening. My sister the same; but neither of our children do. They are mostly city dwellers. Every now and then I get the urge to start gardening again; but my back objects. A T11 compression fracture after a car wreck complicates it. That the back yard is trees complicates it, too.

  84. Larry Ledwick says:

    A short video clip of snow falling in Arizona Desert.

  85. H.R. says:

    Larry & all: Just a reminder that it has to snow like crazy to get snow to build up to a measurable depth in those normally snow-free places like Las Vegas.

    In my neck of the woods, we get snow, but the early snows don’t ‘stick’ because the ground is too warm even if only by a degree or two.

    In Larry’s video, I was impressed by both the rate and the size of the flake clumps. Those suckers were huge!

  86. E.M.Smith says:

    Snow, here, stopped at about 1500 ft. I can see it on the hills, but not on me. Damn cold though… (That’s a California Damn… about 45 F :-)

    Arctic Clover sounds like a seed to have in a glacial onset…

    Per Arizona Snow:

    I drove through it a few weeks ago (months?) and it is very spooky. That I decided it was ok to not pack the chains as I was taking the Desert Route haunted me…

    Which reminds me, I swore I would load chains in the car and not ever take them out… so need to do some Garage Archeology 8-)

    Maybe if we keep getting snow in the Arizona Desert, Los Angeles basin, Washington DC, Silicon Vally hills, occasionally Florida, and everything from Seattle to Pittsburgh frozen and white for a few years the WarmerNuts will figure out they are wrong..

  87. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like a good place to start here for clover.

    I am guessing the white clover he lists as being the one you recall.


    Any of these look familiar?

    Then there is forage specifically intended to attract wild life


  88. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like if you are trying to prepare high quality garden soil plot this would be an ideal place to start, a clover blend intended to be planted then plowed under as green manure.


    I wish I had a 40 acre plot some place to play with this stuff!

  89. Larry Ledwick says:

    A good discussion of the white clover types, this is probably the clover I am familiar with here found often naturally taking over lawns here in Colorado, good cover crop, and self seeds.


    Used with an innoculant you get basically a short cover crop like alfalfa


    In areas where you want taller cover crops alfalfa is nice because it has deep roots which if left for a few years go well below the surface to pull up nutrients and help break up soils.

    For high altitude areas perhaps this

    For lower coastal areas perhaps this

    Food plots and pasture grasses / alfalfa = geo engineering using biological methods.

  90. Larry Ledwick says:

    Want seed sold for Alaska and similar environments?


    There seed lists would be a good place to start to build up a cold climate stash of seeds. I already prefer the Scarlet Nantes carrots.

    Cold climate corn?

    Short season cucumber

    28 day radish

    Cold tolerant head lettuce

  91. E.M.Smith says:

    I’m not really keen on the idea of Green Manure… I’d rather run it through a goat first ;-)

    But the spouse wouldn’t let me get the mini-goats I wanted 8-{ something about “how would you keep them off the furniture?” ;-)

    I did look into it and there are some miniature Nigerian (no snickering!) goat breeds, common in places like the Caribbean with small holding Black households) that make about a quart of milk a day and fit nicely in a good size yard. Common for a family to “have a goat” tethered out in the yard in the poor places. Unless you really want to make cheese, a quart a day is about all you can handle…

    So IF I had an acre or two (about all you really need for food with intensive gardening) I’d be happy to plant a clover cover crop, or alfalfa (but watch out for GMO seeds, yes, it too now); but I’d want a “movable pen” and would move the goats “one big square over” every few days / week while a given square was prepped and planted. They also “clean up” the stuff that would take a long time on compost heap- but only a couple of days in the goat ;-) So, say you harvest all the peas and don’t want to eat the greens (they are edible…) and certainly not the stems: Move the traveling goat fence to around the Peas Square and pretty soon it is ready to spade in the fertilizer and plant again ;-)

    FWIW, that’s not just some crazy theory of mine. I visited a Commercial Organic Farm in Watsonville (ships food boxes of what’s harvesting now to subscribers). He also had a goat shed… and movable fencing… Near zero labor to clear the leftovers and prepare a planting area ;-)

    So I settled for Bunnies instead. The smallest ruminant you can get. Probably better suited to my very very small yard… They loved it when the beans and peas were done ;-) Onions are toxic to most animals (has a chemical that breaks up the red blood cells in dogs) but humans can eat them. I discovered one day that bunnies can too. I’d gotten a bed of onions to grow, at last, and naturalize. One day I forgot and left the fence around it open about one bunny width. Came back to see a very happy bunny mowing down a few tops … It’s funny to watch that long green big (but hollow) stem slowing being sucked into the bunny face 8-0

    FWIW, I have some kind of clover in my front yard. Over the years I’ve dumped a few kinds of seeds on it and said “Darwin, do your thing!”. It can be entirely browned off an curled from low water in drought years – just add water and it’s all back. A mix of that clover, dichondra, some various fescues and rye, a few stray dry land rice plants (at least last year), a bit of zoysia and maybe a hybrid of it with Bermuda, and who knows what all else. Plus some bulb flower things that look like 8 inch grass until they make a flower like a miniature white to cream daffodil. I think they came from bird droppings. When they push up, I mow around them until they flower. Post flower it’s “Off with their heads!” Oh, and there are a few places where an alfalfa I rescued from a sidewalk drain in San Francisco has established permanent roots, and a couple of Salsify plants in the parkway strip: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragopogon_porrifolius They make a giant ball of seeds like a 3 inch dandelion. Kids love them when they have done that ;-) I mow them most of the year and then when flowering time comes, mow around them. It’s an interesting lawn ;-)

  92. Terry Jay says:

    Here ya go…

  93. Larry Ledwick says:

    Sort of relevant to this discussion

    Since the image is a bit hard to read

    Home Defense Garden
    Hi- Vitamin

    1 pkt. New Oak Leaf Lettuce
    1 pkt. New Victor Tomato
    1 pkt. Streamliner Carrot
    1 pkt. Early Winesap Beet
    1 pkt Tender Brittle Wax Beans
    1 pkt Tender Giant Peas
    1 pkt Early Bird Radish

  94. E.M.Smith says:

    “Somewhere” in my archives I have a copy of a Victory Garden food preservation guide. It has directions for doing “boiling water bath” canning for lots of things that are now “pressure canning only”. Things like canning carrots with a couple of hours in a boiling water bath.

    (I really need to go through that archive and organize it better….)

    I don’t intend to ever use it (having 2 pressure canners already…) but it is information that ought not be lost. Yes, there are a few more failures to sterilize and make preserved food that is not 100% safe (like for you folks in Denver where boiling isn’t at 100 C / 212 F). BUT, if ever faced with “find a way or die”, it is nice to have some clue where to start.

    One of my regrets in life was that I went to the Stanford University Book Store about 1980 and on the shelf was a text for a food sciences class. It had a time vs temperature vs pH nomograph for killing off botulism. I wanted it, but it was about $80. I’ve not found it since. BTW, that nomograph is why you can find nicely canned soups and such with meat and vegetables in them; but the “advice” given to home canners is that you can’t do it as you don’t have what it takes. (That being the ability to use a pH meter, add acid as needed, and read a graph…)buttercup flower

    I’ve home-canned such soups and meat just via the expedient of using the long time / high temperature recommended for neutral pH animal products… There’s lots of folks who looked at the “advice” and said “Stuff It!” as their families had been doing things like canning salmon and venison ‘forever’… and you can find those directions. ( I have a couple of books with such directions in them).

    IMHO, that “professional” nomograph ought to be in the appendix of every canning book. Oh Well.

    Victory Gardens were a response to an emergency need to devote farm labor to war fighting; and hauling / processing fuel to tanks and fighters instead. It is still a reasonable response to shortages of commercial food production.

    The choice of seeds in that package is, imho, a bit limited and somewhat off the mark. A bit too much “Saladings and side vegetables” and not enough “Vegans could live on this”, along with “summer garden” orientation; but better than nothing and many easy to grow.

    I’d have some winter friendly things like rutabaga and russian kale in it, along with fava beans. Then add some things for over wintering storage like dry beans. (Cranberry beans, Runner beans). Some “Indian corn” like dent corn wouldn’t hurt either (if folks know how to make it into edibles…). But for “fast to grow” and easy to fix their mix is OK. (Won’t have problems like the dent corn screwing up the neighbor’s sweet corn…) It would have also been the case that the industrial production of dry seed crops (beans, corn, wheat, etc.) probably continued fine and isn’t that labor / fuel intensive compared to things like saladings and fresh side vegetables, so from a war time logistics POV that mix probably gave the most relief to the demand side of resources.

    @Terry Jay:

    Do you have one that says “Remember, March is “Give your husband a goat month”? ;-)

  95. H.R. says:

    If I acquired a goat or two or three, I’d need a llama because of the coyotes.

    We have two farmers nearby raising sheep. One place is about 1 mile down the road and the other is about 1/4 mile up the road. They both have a guard llama.

    The only goat I ever really wanted was a 1966 Goat with a 389 Tri-power and the 3 speed with 3.90 gears. They generally got beat off the line but once they hit 90mph and 3rd gear they were gone!

  96. Larry Ledwick says:

    The only goat I ever really wanted was a 1966 Goat with a 389 Tri-power and the 3 speed with 3.90 gears.

    Yeah but you have to cook them a Looooong time to make them tender ;)

    On the water bath canning, you also have to make the distinction between true canning for long term storage, and super pasteurization where the food product will only keep for a few weeks or months. In some situations super pasteurization is satisfactory as you only want to keep the food long enough to eat it, not intending to keep it on shelf in mason jars for 2 years.

    Quick guide for pressure canning (includes some notes I had not heard before).



    Boiling canned food on opening to ensure any botulism toxin is deactivated.


  97. Steven Fraser says:

    @EM: using https://jfoodprotection.org/doi/pdf/10.4315/0362-028X-41.7.566 as a reference, it looks tha pH <= 4.6 is the dividing line for C.bot growth and toxin prevention. Temp of 80 C or higher will denature (nutralize) the toxins if sustained a while.

  98. E.M.Smith says:


    That’s an interesting paper. I need to re-read it more slowly. On a quick scan I didn’t see addressed the question of time vs pH vs temperature for spore destruction. It mostly talks about regrowth inhibition at pH more acid than 4.6 (which is very nice to know but the same).

    IIRC (uncertain as it was about 40 years ago…) the book / chart I saw had a variable pH and then for the most common canning temperatures, a line showing time to process. So pH on the bottom axis, and a line rising to the right ( bigger more alkaline pH taking longer to process) and then another line for another pressure / temperature. (IIRC there were 3-ish lines… 5, 10, and 15 psi given as temperatures for steam at STP outside the pressure canner – i.e. avoiding altitude / pressure effects).

    Would make it very easy to just take the pH reading and process accordingly.

    Knowing the 4.6 point is nice in that you can add acid to that point, but then you get a lot of sour foods… Fine for things like tomato sauce. Not so fine for Italian Wedding Soup… (and cooking it for an hour at 15 psi works, but things get a bit overcooked). Clearly the Industry does the variable pH thing, as canned commercial soups of that sort are not overcooked, nor are they pH 4, but just modestly more acid than the natural neutral pH.

    Then again, maybe in the subsequent 40 years they’ve decided to change those guidelines… even for commercial canners.

    @Larry L:

    I was taught to always boil canned foods. My spouse complains at me when “I boil the soup” as it is hotter than she likes it…. I tell her I’m doing it to keep her alive. She gives me that pained look… as she never heats canned soup to the boil and no bad thing happens…

    Sidebar on Canned Peaches:

    I worked in a peach cannery for several years in the summer to put myself through school. One year I was assigned the duty of disposing of some failed cans of #10 size (roughly gallon size). We would can “brights” and store them in the warehouse for some months, then label and ship to order. This also gave time to see if any were “bloats”. That is, were they growing bacteria, pressurizing, and bulging ends. Well, a couple of pallets were.

    So me and this other guy were issued rock hammers (square spike on one end…) and we got to spend the day punching holes in the tops of the cans and pitching them in a dumpster. Well, first hole would be a minor geyser… then on the second one on the other side it would usually stop spraying…

    By the end of the day, both of us were soaked head to toe in “peach guts” extruded under pressure though a dime sized hole…

    Great fun as some of them would squirt several feet (and a few times we had competitions… it was outside on a cement area with a large hose-it-off drain anyway).

    To this day I wonder just what all stuff I might have been exposed too… Didn’t see any bad effects though.

    Sometimes I wonder just how many “bloats” happen at canneries but don’t get shipped. How effective is the processing vs the QA check before shipping…

  99. H.R. says:

    I’ve mentioned before that mom was the oldest daughter of a Texas sharecropper and plowed behind a mule. Pap-paw’s veggie and fruit gardens were a wonder to behold and he taught mom well.

    Growing up, we had a 100′ x 100′ garden, a 20′ x 20′ asparagus bed, a 100′ grape run, and a 20′ x 10′ rhubarb patch. The strawberry bed was 20′ x 100′. We had 3 black cherry trees, 2 tart cherry trees, and a small orchard that had 30 trees when we moved in but was overgrown, so we cut it back to 15 of the healthiest apple trees. We had one scrawny pear tree that hung in and was good for 1/2 dozen pears each year.

    My job was farm labor under mom’s direction and varmint control. I learned a good bit. We harvested and canned or stored enough to feed 7 people for a year.

    But here’s my favorite cold veggie, parsnips, which I mentioned to p.g. over on his blog, I believe. Mom had me tear out an old 6′ x 10′ bed of Tiger lilies and plant parsnips in the bed. I asked p.g. if he liked parsnips and he said nobody in the family ate them, but they planted them because they were great for building up poor soil, which may have been mom’s intent.

    Me? I found out that they are my favorite root veggie. About the second year after they were in, it was winter and mom told me to go dig up some parsnips. Huh?!? Are those things still good? “Just go get them.”

    A few were freeze damaged and soft at the top, but I had no trouble finding some solid, firm parsnips to bring back. Mom skinned them with a veggie peeler and sliced them in 1/8″ – 1/4″ inch slices. She heated up a cast iron skillet with butter in it and cooked those slices (single layer, mind you) until they were caramelized and crispy. There’s a fair amount of sugar in parsnips and do they ever come out sweet! Crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. Yum!

    We never did harvest and store parsnips. We just left them in the ground and pulled ’em when we wanted some.

  100. Steven Fraser says:

    @E.M.: article with
    Some details about cooking to get rid of botulism bacteria, spores and the toxin.

  101. Power Grab says:

    The parsnip story reminds me of a thing my ex did. He read somewhere that you could plant turnips as part of a winter forage crop for cattle to browse on. They would eat the green tops first, then pull the turnips out of the ground and eat them after other forage petered out.

  102. Larry Ledwick says:

    I think I found the perfect way to save fragile seeds in the freezer. While waiting for the true potato seeds I ordered to arrive I did a bit of brainstorming and found these little glass vials


    The actual seed contents in a pack of onion seeds etc. Is actually very small, so will put seeds in these little vials, and double seal the caps. (I have found tightly wrapping a screw on cap with black electricians tape provides a very good seal – It will keep an opened bottle of contact cement from drying out for months)

    Then will label the little bottles and drop them in a small mason jar (double encapsulation), which will allow you to pull one vial out of storage without ever breaking the seals on the other items.

    Should be able to put 20 or more of these in a small jelly sized mason jar.

  103. jim2 says:

    LL – You also can get glass sealable ampules from amazon. These are 20 ml, but they have smaller ones. Put in seed, seal with a torch.


  104. Larry Ledwick says:

    Now that is what you call archival storage!
    Thanks I was not aware those were available.

  105. Terry Jay says:

    “@Terry Jay:

    Do you have one that says “Remember, March is “Give your husband a goat month”? ;-)”

    Sorry about that, I can’t make ’em, so I just steal them from those who can. I trust you understand.

  106. Larry Ledwick says:

    I have been engaged in an interesting research project the last day or so on this topic. I decided to look at average temperature charts for some cities I was familiar with, to try to understand a bit more about their microclimate.

    One of the objectives is to figure out if I were to try to relocate for final retirement where would I want to move. The criteria are , stay in the vicinity of Colorado if possible, a sufficiently rural area that homes are much cheaper than in the Denver metro area. (ie buy a lot more home for far less money). In line with our various discussions about climate change gardening, part of this was determined by growing hardiness zones, but when I actually to looking at the charts there are some very interesting local variations in areas that are in very similar growing zones (in theory).

    I live in the north west metro area of the Denver Suburban metroplex about halfway between Boulder and the northern metro suburbs.

    Broomfield and Arvada Colorado are representative the areas I have lived most of my life, so that is the known factor. I briefly lived down in south east Colorado just outside Rocky Ford / La Junta Colorado right after I got out of the Navy. Much hotter summers but interestingly winters are not that much different. The average low temperature in La Junta is actually colder in the winter time then here near Denver and the average winter high temp is actually lower in La Junta. Not exactly what you would expect if you just think about moving south to get warmer.

    You have to move all the way to Amarillio Texas to get average winter low temps 3 degrees warmer than here in the Denver Metro area.

    If you go slightly north a east almost to the Colorado line the winter low temps are still about the same (although the timing shifts by about a month regard which month is coldest., but the high temperatures in north east Colorado at a lower altitude are actually lower than here near Denver.

    Similar changes in summer average high temps only in north east Colorado the weather continues to get hotter into augest where near the front range Augest has already started to cool off. With significantly higher night time temperatures in north east plains in August than you get here near Denver. LIkewise the time for spring warmup appears to come a bit sooner here near Denver than it does out on the north east plains (look at may temperatures).

    On top of all that the north east plains gets much better rainfall in the growing season than we do here on the high plains near the mountains (better for gardening and crops) with more of that rain happening during the hot months of July and August north east plains than near the mountains.

    The microclimate changes are not as simple as just moving south to find warmer weather. Given cold climate shifts tend to dry out, the wetter north east plains (at 3700 ft altitude) near the eastern border vs almost 6000 ft where I live, you get more summer rain, and the higher humidity slightly narrows the daily temperature range (does not warm up as much during the day (more cloudiness or higher humidity specific heat capacity or both). Although the Denver area warms first in the spring its average low temp is lower than north east Colorado (higher chance of spring killing frost).

    The subtle differences in these climate regimes is fascinating as you try to dissect them and decide which one will be better for X crop growth or other feature. The higher humidity out north east also seems to slight increase the record low temperatures in winter. Near Holyoke the lowest winter low temps I can find are about -23 F, I have seen temps near -29 to -30 F here on the west side of the Denver Metro area. So out there the frost line should be just a bit shallower and the soil should warm just a bit faster in the spring all else being equal.

    For survival garden characteristics, higher rain fall, and nice home prices I am looking hard at that extreme north east part of the state as a place to move to still be in the same area as a retirement move some day in the future several years down the road.


    The down side is that far east you begin to get into the fringe of the large tornado capable part of the plains, but despite higher over all precipitation, snow fall there is about 10″ less per year than here in the north west metro area, so more of its precipitation comes as summer rain.

  107. E.M.Smith says:

    Spend the money for the Sunset NATIONAL Gardening book. (I also have the California regional one). While it uses different “zones” than the climate guys, they are biased toward the needs of gardeners, so finer grain along with paying attention to wet / dry / freeze.)

    Their maps of micro-climates are detailed to the point where you can pick the side of a mountain you like better or for the SF Bay Area how far up the hill to get the climate you want…


    I’ve had days and days of fun just looking over different States in it… For $28 it beats a whole lot of other things for Fun/$.

  108. Larry Ledwick says:

    Thanks for the tip Chief, sounds like just what I am looking for, as I narrow down the options.

    At this point just browsing possibilities and building a mental matrix of the factors to consider. Ability to grow a bit of food is obviously one way for a retired person to cut expenses a bit, and have a full pantry.

  109. Pingback: Today I Started My Garden | Musings from the Chiefio

  110. Larry Ledwick says:

    A very interesting idea here to both grow fruit trees without a lot of shaded garden space beneath them but also to create a warmer micro-climate to stretch your plant hardiness zone.


    This style of fruit wall gardening could be coming back. I did not know there was a formal name for it when I used the technique for my tomato plants. It would be ideal for a tomato trellis setup.


  111. Larry Ledwick says:

    Second part of that article on the Chinese use of passive solar green houses


  112. E.M.Smith says:


    Just be sure you carry through on the Espalier… I planned 3 apple trees where they would shade the sunsetting side of the house (as there was a big window in that bedroom and it got HOT… Planted them about at the “drip line” thinking I’d espalier them into a “fruit wall” with just enough room to get behind them.

    Well… “life” happens and I ended up working 5 out of 10 years in Florida and the folks here didn’t want to deal with fruit trees… So now I have a row of apple trees (well, really one is a Japanese Pear-Apple YUM!) that have their trunks just touching the gutter now, with the tops about 1/2 way in hight to the ridgeline above the edge of the roof…

    “Pretty soon” I need to deal with that. Don’t really want to cut them down. Don’t really want them “over the roof”. Don’t really want them destroying the new gutters I’ll be installing….

    So “some decisions required”… all because I was out of the State for about 2 years at a time…

    OTOH, we have some of the fattest most happy squirrels you ever saw…

  113. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yeah plants need a pause button for those situations.

    I am not much interested in long term projects at this point if I did that (assuming I move to a new place sometime soon) I would build a wall and perhaps put peppers, tomatoes and a block of corn up against the wall. Perhaps co-cropping pole beans with the corn.

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