When setting up plans for your homestead, it is always nice to know how to get the most bang for your buck. That is, which fruits, vegetables and other food items will give you the highest yield and provide the most nutrients for your family.
Most of us grow our own food in an attempt to be more self-sufficient and rely less on the grocery store. So, with that in mind, what should we be growing to achieve this goal?
In this post, I’m going to give you the top 5 crops I think you should consider when trying to increase your food self sufficiency.
Top 5 Crops for Increasing Food Self Sufficiency
Generally speaking, potatoes will give you the most calories for the least amount of required planting space. They are relatively easy to grow and will generally be ready to harvest in 65-90 days. They store well, so can be eaten over a long period of time.
Being a member of the nightshade family, potatoes need to be rotated every year. They are also susceptible to bugs and disease.
Corn is pretty easy to grow, though it is a heavy feeder and requires a lot of nitrogen to do well. There are many types of corn including: dent, flour and flint. (Additional types of corn include sweet and popcorn.)
Dent corn is the most common kind of field corn and is, unfortunately, almost all genetically modified. If you are aiming for food self-sufficiency, you’ll probably want to grow a flint corn, as it is easy to grind and you can make all sorts of yummy things with it, like breads and pancakes.
You can grow different kinds of legumes during pretty much the whole year – depending on where you live. In cool/cold weather, you can grow peas, fava beans, garbanzo beans and lentils. As it warms up, you can add in bush beans, pole beans and peanuts.
4. Winter Squash
High in fiber and vitamins A and C, winter squash is a great vegetable to grow. it is tasty, can produce huge yields and stores well. Per 100 square feet of growing area, you can usually yield somewhere around 50-91 lbs of squash.
Saving the best for last and not something we would usually consider a “crop,” eggs are one of the world’s healthiest most nutrient dense foods. Think of it this way, an eggs contains all the nutrients it needs to grow a baby chick.
Keeping a flock of chickens in your backyard not only gives you eggs but it can also give you a source of meat. Eggs are packed with protein and contain a bunch of vitamins and minerals. If you’re trying to boost your food self sufficiency, get yourself at least a half a dozen chickens.
So, there you have it, my list of the top 5 crops for increasing food self-sufficiency. What would you add? Do you disagree with my list? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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