I’ve gotten the Potato and Sweet Potato Category uploaded and online.
I think it sort of goes without saying that potatoes and sweet potatoes would be a staple crop in the aftermath of a collapse. They are both foods that are easy to grow, grow most places and are capable of sustaining life however bland it may be.
In the recent movie The Martian the hero survives a long unintended stay on Mars on nothing but potatoes.
In Ireland during the mid 1800s a potato blight led to a massive migration of Irish citizens out of Ireland. The culprit in that case being the monoculture of a single variety of potato that when struck by a single disease threatened an entire country with starvation.
And those of you who are of Irish descent can hold off on the lectures about how it was actually the fault of the English landlords and the British Corn Laws. However true that may be it is a historical and socio-political issue.
The issue here is that 1.) a large percentage of the Irish population survived with potatoes as their primary food source and 2.) that the danger of monoculture in agriculture was demonstrated in the worst possible way.
Potatoes can be grown in a wide variety of soils and while they take more work than sweet potatoes they are not one of the more difficult crops to grow.
In the Southern U.S. the sweet potato has been a staple crop for generations. Unfortunately it is pretty much a Southern crop only and does not grow well in the north and colder climates. In many areas they are grown as food for livestock or deer. Though once spurned as a food fit only for the poor today they often spoken of as one of those super foods that will make you immortal, cure or prevent all diseases and make you appear perpetually young, beautiful and sexy just like Kale or whatever the current super food of the day is.
(I wonder how much of that is retailers discovering they can take really, really cheap foods that used to be fed to the cows and pigs and through clever marketing and an appearance on Doctor Oz turn it into the pet rock of the day? All marketers aspire to equal the marketing success of the man who sold people common rocks to the public as “pets” and made millions doing it.)
In a world trying to survive after a collapse potatoes and sweet potatoes are some of the food staples that will feed the survivors and provide the surpluses needed to start rebuilding. No seeds are required. Growing them is fairly easy. The soil and fertilizer requirements are much less stringent than many other crops and they grow in a wide variety of climates.
While the books in the Library on Farming in general are vital for non-farmers, books specifically on Potato and Sweet Potato growing add some needed depth for a couple particular crops that would be of extreme importance to survivors.