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​The Best Foods for Survival Gardening

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Considerations of Survival Gardening

Survival gardening is a method of gardening designed to give your family the best odds for survival in a situation where the normal conveniences of society have failed in some way. The many approaches to survival gardening encompass everything from finding the most secure location for your garden to the best methods of protecting your garden from both animal and human intruders. One of the most important considerations, however, is what types of crops you should grow. You’re looking for survival value. Crops with the highest level of hardiness, nutritional, and practical value for the least amount of your energy resources are ideal.

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Staple Crops

Think of staple crops like you think of staples in your kitchen. These are items you need because they form the basis for many of the meals you prepare. They are typically foods that provide necessary a good nutritional foundation as well. In a survival garden, staple foods will be important to feeding your family. These will be foods that you can grow fairly easy, foods that store for long periods of time under less-than ideal-conditions, and foods that provide high levels of calories and carbohydrates. Some examples of the foods you can grow in this category include potatoes and grain corn are food crops that will give you a high level of carbohydrates and require only minimal space. Sweet potatoes are high in beta carotene and extremely healthy. Each of these is easy to store and ideal for taking you through long, cold winters. Beans are another good staple food that can be grown relatively easy, stored for long periods of time, and provide high levels of protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins.

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Vegetable Additions to Your Diet

Green leafy foods pack a punch when it comes to nutritional value, although many of them don’t survive well in cold months and don’t store well. Since you will want to produce a variety of foods year round in your survival garden, you’ll need to focus on those vegetables and greens that are hardy enough to beat the odds. Your options may be limited, but there are still some workable choices. Kale is particularly resistant to the cold. It does require a warm temperature to grow, but it freezes well and survives winter weather with its character intact. Kale is high in B vitamins as well as beta carotene, making it an ideal addition to your survival garden. Collards and spinach have similar qualities to kale and can be used the same way.

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Carrots are another option. The roots grow when temperatures are above freezing and they can be harvested regardless of size. Planting a crop in the fall will yield food throughout the winter months and the remaining crop will produce again in spring. Brussel sprouts, leeks, and cabbage are other crops that have the ability to withstand hard frost.

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A good source of dietary fiber is essential. You can plant winter wheat in the fall. It won’t produce in the winter, but it will survive the cold and produce well in the spring. This is, along with flint corn, is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Fruit is also a good choice due to vitamins. 

While living under extreme conditions will be challenging, with the proper preparation, you can at least be sure your family will have food for survival.

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