In a SHTF situation, commerce will most probably be dead within a couple of weeks. It can be an EMP attack, a natural disaster, you name it. If you are really serious about your survival, you want to make sure you can live off the grid. This means sourcing your own food. If you are a beginner at this or you don’t have a lot of available space, you want to make it as efficient as possible. Some foods should be a priority due to their nutritional value and their space requirements.
#1 Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A2, vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, potassium, fiber, vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus. A cup yields around 114 calories. They can be cooked in a variety of ways and they store very well in a cellar. Just don’t wash them before storing them and they could last through the winter. Sweet potatoes are about the most nutrient dense food you can grow, especially since they require very little space.
Corn is packed with carotenoids and other antioxidants that protect your body against free radical attacks. It’s packed with fibers which keep your digestive track healthy and help you stay fuller for longer. Corn can also be dried and ground into flour, which can then be used in cooking other foods.
#3 Dry beans
Some examples of beans include lentils, pintos, navy beans, peas, favas, soybeans and garbanzo beans. Dried beans are packed with a very good combination of nutrients. They have a lot of fiber content and proteins. For instance, one cup of pinto beans yields 206 calories, 2 grams of fat and 12 grams of protein and you can easily grow 3-5 pounds of beans from 100 sq feet of garden. By combining beans and rice you get a perfect combination of carbohydrates and proteins. Dried beans can also store for several years as seeds and up to two if you want to eat them.
#4 Winter squash
All winter squash varieties are packed with vitamins A and C. They also have a high calorie count and are a good source of healthy fibers. You can easily grow 50 to 90 pounds of squash from 100 sq feet of garden space. Consider canning if you want to store it for longer periods of time. Otherwise, put them in the cellar next to your potatoes and check regularly.
#5 Kale and collard greens
Kale and collard greens are packed with healthy nutrients. They have a lot of calcium, vitamins A, C and K, and several very important minerals. The best part is that they are perpetuating crops, meaning that they’ll continue to grow after you pick them. They can sometimes even grow through winter. Another good thing is that they are very easy to can so you can store them for very long periods. However, they don’t have a very high calorie count so you might want to mix them with some other foods.
Cabbage is a very good source of potassium, vitamins B1, B6, C and K. It also contains many important minerals like manganese, folate and copper, as well as dietary fibers. You can cook it in several ways and you can grow a bunch in a relatively small space. You can store it in the cellar over the winter or ferment it into sauerkraut. Sauerkraut is very nutrient dense and a great source for probiotics. If you make it properly it can store for months.
Spinach is packed with vitamins A, C, E, K, B2, B6, iron lutein, magnesium, folate, manganese, betaine, calcium, potassium, zinc, folic acid, copper, protein, selenium, phosphorus, niacin and omega-3 fatty acids. It takes very little space to grow and you can pick it continuously as soon as it starts maturing. Spinach also stores very well if you can it.
Tomatoes are a great source of vitamins A, C, K and lycopene. You can enjoy them raw, cook them in a number of ways or can them for several years. They are also convenient to include in your garden, since they grow up as vertical vines, taking up very little space.
Garlic is a great source of vitamins B6, C, B1, manganese, calcium, phosphorus and selenium. It’s very nutritious and it’s great for your immune system. You can store it indefinitely by canning it and the best part is that you only need about 10 sq feet to get a year’s supply.
You could also consider broccoli, asparagus, onions and Brussels sprouts. They are very good choices, comparable to any of those above. It really depends on what you like to eat and how much space you have for this project. If you don’t have much space, there are still many solutions out there. For instance, you can buy or build your own modular or vertical garden or you could focus on certain specific vegetables.
How big your garden is and what do you like to grow in it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.