But that doesn’t mean much to somebody in the midwest, does it?
It should in the sense that it’s important to know your region and plants that are native to your specific area’s growing conditions. These are plants that for the most part have survived and thrived in your area. Even if you are a suburban backyard gardener, understanding the historical data of what is best suited locally can add another layer of potential security in personal food production. In a grid down scenario or even a ‘wow grocery prices are insane’ scenario this can mean the difference between an empty belly and a not-so empty belly.
For instance I grow a native variety of Persimmon that has grown wild in in this area of Florida. I know that it will produce in a variety of Florida weather situations, as will fox grapes, figs and the prickly pear I have in my front yard.
Now this whole conversation can get pretty deep into ‘what is considered native?’ Are Everglades tomatoes that were brought over hundreds of years ago by the Spaniards considered native? Or an adaptive heirloom? Good question. I’m not sure. There are some opinions out there on this. The way I see it, if it has withstood the test of time and it just won’t seem to be terribly phased by weather changes and still has some wild varities thriving it might be worth growing.
Now this is not to say that you shouldn’t keep right on growing your heirloom tomatoes and hybrid varieties that are bred for resistance, I am saying that it is prudent to cover all your bases. Just grow stuff! In ground, in a container, heck try some hydroponic lettuce. Grow hybrid, heirloom, and native. Think of your gardening in layers of protection just as you would the protection of your homestead or the food preps you keep on hand.
The point is to just get out and do it!