In alphabetical order, not order of importance, here are our top 20 picks for survival food crops:
- Amaranth – high in carbs, a complete protein, high yielding, easy to harvest (no hulling).
- Beans – good source of protein, easy to grow, continuous crop over several weeks, easy to dry and store.
- Beets – green and roots are edible, good source of vitamins and minerals, tolerates cool weather, productive.
- Buckwheat – high in carbs, a complete protein, easy to grow, easy to harvest (no hulling).
- Carrots – productive, easy to grow and harvest, good source of beta-carotene, complete protein.
- Chickpeas – high in protein, good hot weather crop, easy to grow, harvest, dry and store.
- Chufa – most productive source of dietary fat, some protein and carbs, a top crop for total calories produced per square meter, tolerates heavy rains and standing water.
- Corn (maize) – easy to grow and harvest, good source of carbs and decent source of protein, can be dried and stored.
- Fonio – quickest grain to grow (6 weeks from planting to harvest), no hulling needed (grind whole grain into flour).
- Lentils – good protein source, can be sprouted to improve amino acid profile, easy to grow and store.
- Onions – very productive root crop, easy to harvest and cook, keeps well in storage.
- Peanut – easy to grow from raw peanuts in the shell, be sure to dry thoroughly before storage, a top garden source of dietary fat.
- Peas – good protein source, easy to grow, harvest extends over several weeks, dry for long-term storage.
- Potato – top crop for carbs produced per square meter of land, decent source of protein, stores well.
- Pumpkin – choose a hulless variety for easy harvest of seeds, flesh is nutritious and sweet, seeds are high in protein and fat.
- Quinoa ** – high in carbs, a complete protein, high yielding, easy to harvest (no hulling).
** Rinse quinoa in running water to remove saponin coating. Cook in excess of water, strain with fine mesh strainer, and rinse again.
- Rutabagas – productive root crop that keeps well in storage, hardy crop that tolerates cool weather.
- Soybeans – excellent source of protein, good source of essential fatty acids (omega-6 and omega-3 dietary fat), easy to grow and harvest, can be dried for long term storage.
- Sweet potatoes – good source of carbs, some protein, and beta-carotene, a sweet crop that is easy to grow, leaves are edible.
- Tomato – very productive crop, harvest when green to maximize production of this vegetable (for survival).
Preppers should store seeds and gardening supplies. If we only store food, eventually that food runs out. The ability to grow some food, even if only in a backyard garden, will become important once our fragile food production and distribution system is shaken by some disaster or collapses in on itself.