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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Plant these 7 survival crops to prepare for ultimate self-reliance

If you have the space, growing your own food is one of the best ways to survive a SHTF scenario. A reasonably good-sized backyard garden can provide enough food to substantially supplement your daily diet and help you maintain your self-sufficiency, whether you are dealing with a long-term emergency situation or not.

Starting a garden now, before you actually need it for survival in the event societal collapse occurs or the power grid goes down, is obviously preferable.

Focus on nutrition, yields per square foot

A good rule of thumb is to maximize yields and grow the most efficient types of vegetables, something that's always helpful, but especially useful when limited with space. This means focusing on crops that have high nutritional value as well as the highest yields per square foot.

While not necessarily a list of foods that will grow everywhere or which everyone will enjoy eating, it's a good place to start.

This list is ideal when starting to plant your own survival garden. If you're wondering which crops to grow, it shouldn't be too difficult to find out which varieties will work with your soil conditions and climate; simply asking a seasoned local gardener or doing a little online research can help.

Top 7 essential survival crops

Here are Thoreau's picks for high-yield garden crops that are relatively easy to grow and which also provide good nutritional value.

1. Hulless pumpkins

This pumpkin variety, which grows in the summer through the fall, is the easiest to grow and produces high yields of seeds and flesh. In fact, about 100-200 pounds of flesh and up to five pounds of seeds per 100 square feet are produced from this pumpkin.

Its seeds are great sources of fat and protein while its flesh is high in carbohydrates and beta-carotene.

2. Dry beans

Legumes are typically a staple when it comes to many recipes and in SHTF scenarios, they are very beneficial; bean seeds can last for many years if stored correctly.

Plus, beans produce about 3-5 pounds per 100 square feet, ensuring that you'll have a great deal of healthy calories close at hand. With an estimated 1,500-plus calories per pound, beans are the way to go to help sustain your energy in disaster situations.

3. Peanuts

Best suited for southern states, peanuts require hotter weather and plenty of water. They are, however, one of the best crops in terms of yield and nutritional value.

They yield up to six pounds per 100 square feet.

They're high in fat and also rich in protein, another good combination to help maintain energy in the event survival mode becomes necessary.

4. Quinoa and Amaranth

These grains are both easy to grow and require no hulling after harvesting. Even better, both are healthier than wheat and are considered to be a complete protein with the full array of amino acids.

Amaranth grows well in hot, arid climates while quinoa fares better in cooler, wetter regions. A good crop will produce around five pounds per 100 square feet.

5. Potato and sweet potato

Although low in protein, both potatoes and sweet potatoes are high in carbohydrates and are easy to grow, producing up to 50 pounds per 100 square feet.

6. Collards and kale

These members of the cabbage family are not only hearty (they can be harvested even through the winter in many areas), but they are extremely high in calcium. Stocking up on these foods is a good idea, considering most adults have been found to have low calcium levels.

7. Sunflower seeds

High in protein and good fat, sunflowers like a hot climate and are quite easy to grow. You can expect yields of up to two pounds of hulled seed per hundred square feet.

Keep in mind that these are just a few of the survival crops worth growing and that some may not be suitable for your climate (or taste).

As mentioned earlier in this article, always be sure to ask a gardening expert in your area if you're unsure about planting methods, and don't hesitate to engage in a little online research.

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