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Best Food to Grow for Survival – The Ideal Way to Prepare for Disaster

Being able to survive any disaster scenario generally entails having a sufficient amount of food stored in your pantry. If you already started your preparation for survival, you may now have stocks of nonperishable food inside your pantry. Well, that is actually good enough to sustain your family’s need even for a month. Especially if you’ve read our guide on how to stock food for a month.

But, what if the disaster lasts longer compared to what is expected? In that case, it is crucial to grow your own food sustainably. Because of that, it’s important f or you know and to have the best food to grow for survival.

Having that kind of food that continuously grows by themselves is really ideal to get a self-sustaining food source. Foods like that will assure you that you and your family will never run out of something to eat. As we know, food is a basic need of humans to survive.

Below is the list of food that you can ideally grow into your survival garden. See which are the best foods that will help you in surviving emergency cases and, at the same time, may be able to relieve some of your stress.

List of the Best Food to Grow for Survival

Well, the truth is there will always come a time that we need to deal with an emergency situation. Typhoon, famine, and other types of emergency cases necessitate us to store or to have foods available on hand during such times. Luckily, you have the option to grow different foods in your garden. Doing so will be of big help in feeding you and your family in case of emergency.

However, before splashing out those seeds in your backyard, you need to establish a concrete plan that involves consideration of some important factors. For instance, you should have an idea of what is the best food to grow for survival inside your garden.

Additionally, you also need to know the number that you need to grow so that it is sufficient enough to feed all of your family members. The space that you generally need to grow those plants should also be taken into account.

Basically, it is important to compute the caloric needs of each family member on a daily basis. Just to be on the safe side, it is always better to go for about 2,500 to 3,000 calories for each member. Aside from that, since this is a survival mode, grow only those foods that each member of the family will eat. Well, the best food to grow for survival is something that you and your family will enjoy during your everyday eating.

So, to help you in filtering the right plant for your survival garden, here is the list of the best food to grow for survival:


Barley is one of the best food to grow for survival

Barley is generally good for consumption. Moreover, it is also very useful for other purposes making it the best food to grow for survival. You can give it as food for the livestock or you may try making flour out of it by milling. Aside from that, barley can also be used in making a homemade survival beer.

When it comes to versatility, barley is one of the crops that reside on top of the list. Moreover, in terms of nutritional profile, this produce brags for its bountiful amount of dietary fiber and manganese.

However, keep in mind that generally, barley can’t be directly consumed. You have to turn it into flour first by milling it. If you don’t have the tools to turn it into flour or to ferment it into a beer, barley might not be the best staple crop for your survival.


Packed with the most essential vegetable protein, beans are very easy to grow and is very fulfilling nutritionally. Beans tends to be one of the best food to grow for survival as it is available either in bush type or vine form. Generally, beans are annual plants that have a wide range of different varieties.

Beans have the main function of restoring the nitrogen that has been taken out of the soil by other plants. That’s actually the main reason why beans are an excellent rotational crop. Based on their level of maturity, beans are also available for harvesting in various stages.

For green beans, the standard harvesting time tends to be between 50 – 60 days. You may also opt to wait for at least 70 – 120 days to have totally mature dry beans. This type of beans is already excellent for cooking or re-planting.

Generally, you will aim for around 5 – 10 plants or more per single family member. This number of plant beans can already get you throughout the season. Keep in mind that every single bean plant will give you as much as 100 – 120 dry beans weighing 35 – 42 grams each. However, keep in mind that those numbers can easily be eaten. So, consider planting more beans plant.

For food stocking purposes, beans that are dried and vacuum sealed can be stored for a long time. If you do it all correctly, beans can stay fresh for years on end and it will still retain it’s nutritional profile. Because of that, beans are one of the best survival foods you can grow yourself.


Many people are not fond of eating broccoli but it is among those foods that are ideal to grow for survival. Basically, planting and growing broccoli will give you a complete pack of food containing vitamins A and K together with protein. It is also a great energy booster that will allow you to survive and thrive even if you cant buy foods from the grocery store.

However, keep in mind that broccoli is not that easy to grow. You need a very fertile soil that’s well drained and not too acidic. This plant also needs around 6 hours of constant sun exposure to grow well. If it gets less sun, it will produce thin and leggy broccoli which is subpar both in taste and nutrition.

If you live in an area with great quality soil, a reliable source of water, and sufficient sunlight, you can add broccoli into your survival seeds bucket list.


Another great food to grow for survival is the healthy and great-tasting carrots. Like beans, it is also an annual plant that contains an abundant amount of essential nutrients and antioxidants. That nutritional profile provides the need of your family for survival.

Carrots also involve a simple growing process, you simply plant them in the soil and water them regularly. Carrots are also pretty small so they can fit inside most urban gardens. However, having a well-drained soil is very crucial here so that the carrots may grow perfectly in your garden.

Harvesting is also pretty simple, you’ll just have to get them out of the ground and into your storage bins. Harvest time is around 50 – 60 days for baby carrots. However, the mature ones are good for harvesting during their 75 days.

In case you harvest more carrots than you need, simply leave those in the ground. They won’t go bad and might get a sweeter taste over winter, this is called overwintering a carrot. However you need to harvest them before spring because then they’ll flower and become inedible.


Who would forget corn when someone is speaking about survival food? This is one of the staple foods for people all over the world. Corn cobs contains high levels of calcium, iron, and protein, all of them beneficial for our health and energy.

Moreover, corn generally yields a higher quantity of produce compared to any other produce. Because of that, you can harvest a lot of corn in a small area.

You can use corn to create a wide variety of food that’s filling, nutritious, and also tasty. Corn bread, corn flour, grilled corn, and pop corns are just a few example of foods that can be made out of corn.

However, corn is only able to grow in areas with good soil drainage, decent fertility, and also full sun exposure. Besides, if you live in cool areas this crop is not a good option as it only grows well during summer time or in areas with a lot of heat. When choosing corn, it’s better if you check the climatic suitability of your area first before committing to planting corn.

In general, corn is mostly consumed quickly (around 3-4 days tops) after harvesting as it can’t last for a long time unless turned into corn-flour. If you plan on storing corn on the cob for a long time, you should immediately freeze it and store it in your freezer. This prevents the corn from turning rancid and to prevent accumulation of sticky starch.


Lettuce is one of the best food to grow for survival

Do you know why lettuce is the best food to good for survival? Well, this garden produce is very abundant in its vitamin contents which generally range from vitamin A, B6, C, and K.

The growing process of lettuce is enormously fast and it gives off high quantity of produce per square foot. You can basically subsist on lettuce if you have another source of protein such as beans.

Lettuce is best grown in spring or fall, when the temperature is not too hot. However, lettuce needs access to around 6-8 hours of direct sunlight to thrive. Because of that, if you live in a cloudy area, lettuce might not be the best survival food to grow yourself.

One of the characteristics of lettuce that you should keep an eye on is that it is easy to deteriorate. That basically means that it doesn’t stay fresh for a long period of time. Because of that, it is ideal to consume it up right away after harvesting.

If you really want to store lettuce for a long time, you can try to freeze it. However, this will cause the lettuce to lose it’s crispiness so it won’t really be suitable as a salad anymore.


Moringa tree or also known as the drumstick tree is another great food to grow for survival. Having the scientific name of Moringa oleiferai, this plant is very useful and versatile. That’s the primary reason why most survivalist grows this plant in their garden. Another reason would be that this tree is very robust, it’s drought resistant and will survive dry spells like it’s nothing.

The moringa tree can able to survive in almost any weather condition and may grow up to a maximum height of about 10 – 15 feet in a single year. Maintaining the moringa tree at a manageable height is highly recommended. Once you cut this tree down, it will immediately grow back so you don’t have to worry about over-trimming.

Planting a moringa tree is not a waste because all of its parts are highly edible. These generally include the leaves, pods, and seeds. Moringa leaves and drumsticks are highly edible and contain an immense amount of vitamin and minerals. You can eat it directly or by grinding them into powdery dust and combining it with other foods as an additive.

Moringa flowers and seeds can also be eaten but to a lesser degree compared to the leaves and drumsticks. Moringa seed oil can be used as an alternative to vegetable oil be it for cooking or for salad dressings.

It’s roots and bark also have medicinal properties, and is usually used to cure ulcers and to treat inflammation. However, you need to keep in mind to only consume a small quantity because consuming too much can be dangerous for your health. This is due to the chemical and alkaloid content that is present inside the moringa root and bark.

In general the moringa tree offers a wide range of products ranging from oil to liquid fuel, and from wood to paper. Most importantly, the moringa tree also provides a wonderful method of water purification. A broad range of medicinal uses also come with this plant which tends to be very useful during survival cases.

All in all, a moringa tree is one of the best trees to grow in your back yard for survival preparedness purposes.


Onions are one of the best food to grow for survival

One of the easiest crop to grow, onions are generally non-perishable and are enormously long-lasting. Because of that, onions are among the best food to grow for survival. You can actually store them in big quantities and use them on later dates.

As a guideline, onions when not peeled, can be stored at room temperature for over a year in a cool and dry place that has no direct sunlight. Usually people will store onions inside a garage or a basement storage facility. However, if you’ve already peeled the onion, it will probably stay fresh for about a week before going bad.

Growing and harvesting onions is pretty easy, simply put the it on the ground and then water as usual. However, keep in mind that onions have weak roots so you have to keep a steady supply of water. You’ll also need a well drained soil so that it doesn’t get waterlogged.

Onions have a wide range of health benefits because of its immense antioxidant and vitamin content. Onions can also boost digestive health and control blood sugar level. Besides, it can also be applied topically as an antibacterial ointment due to it’s antibacterial properties.

All in all, onions are a great plant for you to grow in your survival garden. Besides having a multitude of health benefits, onions can also be used as a food flavor enhancer.


Easy-to-grow, prolific, and highly versatile, our list of the best food to grow for survival would never be complete without the inclusion of potatoes. The main function of this vegetable is to add up in the calorie count of each meal since they have a high calorie count and are very filling. This type of tasty tuber is really convenient to eat as it is available in various sizes, flavors, and colors.

Moreover, being a cold-loving plant, potatoes are required to be planted few weeks before the end of the frost period. Growing or plating options are available directly on the ground or even in a large container. The good thing about this food is that it is not demandable for your attention and care. It may continue producing its bountiful harvest even if you just leave them behind.

In case you plant the potato under an ideal condition, you may usually harvest about 10 – 12 potato tubes. So, in order to feed each person in the family, it is ideal to grow around 10 tubers per person.

Potatoes can also be stored for a long-long time, as long as you keep it in a cool and dry place. In general, a well stored potato can stay fresh for up to six months. This is great because it can provide you with a guaranteed supply of food for half the year.

Overall, potatoes are one of the best foods for survival due to it’s longevity, calorie count, and easiness to grow. This would be a great addition to your survival garden so you can survive anything.


Squash is one of the best food to grow for survival

Squash is also an annual producer that also has a prolific taste and nutrition profile. You may also enjoy eating this food as there is a wide variety to choose from.

Squash mostly consists of water and a small percentage of carbohydrates and protein. It has a decent amount of vitamin C and B6 too so if you’re deficient in those vitamins, squash can come to the rescue.

Planting squash is very easy, you simply put the seeds in a relatively deep soil and then water it regularly. You should also space out the squash seeds to avoid getting it all tangled up during harvesting.

After 40 days from the start of the planting process, you will generally have a summer squash that is already available for eating right away!

Scallopini, zucchini, and yellow crooknecks are the most common varieties under the summer squash. On the other hand, winter squash also has a wide range of varieties. It generally covers the acorn squash, buttercup squash, spaghetti squash, and the pumpkins under the roof of winter squash.

Well, regardless of your choice of which type you will grow for survival, you will still end up growing a portion of food that is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and calories. Generally, you will harvest around 5 – 25 pounds of this fruit in the whole year.

Keep in mind that squash needs a well drained soil that has high amounts of organic matter to grow perfectly. When growing squash, make sure that the soil and climate is correct for the type of squash you’re growing.


Sweet potato is an annual plant that grows well in a warm-weather environment. This is one of the best foods to grow for survival due to it’s rich fiber, mineral, and vitamin content. Like the potato, sweet potato also has a lot of calories so it will be a pretty filling food to satiate your hunger.

Planting and growing sweet potato is very easy, you just need to put it into a relatively deep, well drained, and fertile soil and it’ll grow pretty fast. On average, sweet potato needs only 90 to 170 days to fully mature from a seed to a fully edible sweet potato. You can even grow sweet potato from another sweet potato. Handling this palatable tuber with proper care, each piece can give you about 10 – 20 pieces of sweet potatoes.

However, you need to keep in mind that sweet potato is very vulnerable to frost. Don’t even try to grow sweet potato during winter time. They simply won’t survive the cold and the frost on the soil.

For storage, sweet potatoes aren’t as hardy as regular potatoes. They’ll only survive for about 2-3 weeks in room temperature and about 3 months tops if you store them inside a refrigerator. If you want to store them for longer, consider freezing the sweet potato and then reheating it when you want to consume it.

All in all, if you live in a relatively hot area with no frost, growing sweet potato is a great idea due to it’s ease of growing, productivity, and nutrient content.


Tomatoes are obviously one of the best foods to grow in your survival garden. This veritable crop is very easy to grow with just enough amounts of water and sunlight. Keep in mind that you need a rich and fertile soil in a sunny area to grow tomatoes well.

This tasty fruit mostly contains water and a fair bit of vitamin C. Because of that most people consume tomato not for its health or nutrient benefits but rather for it’s taste and freshness. Tomatoes can be combined with almost every other type of food and dish to elevate that dish and increase it’s nutritional profile. So, this crop should not be excluded from your list.

Helpful Techniques in Planting the Best Food to Grow in Survival

Food is the number one most important thing in order to survive life’s everyday challenges. With that, most preppers are considering having a survival garden where they can plant the best food to grow for survival. Generally, a survival garden is important due to the following reasons:

  • Offers fresh produce which gives off essential nutrients that are usually missing on stored foods
  • Creates great taste to stored foods by adding fresh veggies, fruits, and herbs to have some variations
  • Garden produce is an excellent addition in stretching out the supply of stored food
  • Planting and growing the best food for survival in your garden offers exercise and helps you receive sunshine thus reducing stress.

Unfortunately, not everyone is capable of setting up his own survival garden. There are scenarios in which the creation of a survival garden may be difficult. Unemployment, depression and recession, flooding, frost, and pests are some of the cases that may hinder someone to have a successful survival garden.

Keep in mind that survival garden is actually a different task from your gardening hobby. Survival gardens generally focus on producing all the food that you need to maintain the health of the family and keep them fed up during emergency cases. Here are some of the important things that you must have to consider when you plant the best food to grow for survival inside your garden.

Time Constraint

In putting up a survival garden, keep in mind that you must have to offer the maximum result for the minimum amount of input. Generally, in order for you to have a food system that offers products very well with just minimal input you need to have a good plan on the design of your garden and your cultivation plan.

Water Restriction

Actually, your location may hinder you to have access to a reliable source of water for irrigation. Without access to a dependable water source, it would be hard for you to maintain your plant’s irrigation, especially during a disaster. That’s why it is important to plan in growing plants that require low water requirements such as the moringa tree we mentioned above.

Limited Resources

There may be instances where fertilizers and pesticides may not be available. Or, you do not have enough time and budget to purchase the gardening tool essentials. In regards to this, it is highly advisable to establish a concrete plan of acquiring everything that you need before actually planting the seeds and starting your survival garden.

Having a well thought out plan of developing the garden will enable you to squeeze the best bang for your buck, according to the resources that you have on hand.

Growing Season

We need to eat every single day, but producing a crop that will help us survive every day by producing edible food highly depends where we live and the growing cycle of said plants. Know how to stretch out the period of the plant’s growing season and the best ways to preserve the harvest.

If possible, plant seeds that have overlapping growth periods or is able to be stored for a long time. This ensures that you’ll always have food ready in storage every day of the month.

Plant’s Protection

Critters are always present around to devastate your bountiful garden produce. Sometimes, those products are at high risk due to pests and weeds. With that scenario, be prepared to stock up on pesticides or even better, use natural predators and complementary plants to prevent pests and weeds.

During disaster scenarios you might also need to protect your plants from hostile humans. When this happens, you better be prepared to either hide your plants by covering them up, stand your ground with your gun, or simply share your produce if you’re overproducing.

Final Words

Actually, there is a long list of fruits and veggies that you can plant and grow into your survival garden. But, by growing the above-mentioned garden produce, you will be able to keep your whole family fed and healthy all year long. You’ll be able to provide a well-nourished meal to every family member even if food scarcity strikes.

What crops are you growing today in your survival garden? If there is none yet, now is the best time to do so. Keep in mind that emergency situations may happen any time, they’re unpredictable. So, the ideal time to prepare for survival should be now!

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