This article came from a question asked of me: What would the top 3 vegetables be in your garden during the apocalypse?
Valid question…although the first time I have been asked that. And it is not an easy question to answer if you are looking for advice from me.
Why’s that? Because you might live in Alaska or Florida or the deserts of New Mexico…and, on top of that, I am no gardening expert.
I’ve lived in and learned to garden in the mid-west, the south-east, and the desert south-west; I am learning to garden in a really nice area of Arizona. Each area was/is different in terms of soil, weather, rain, humidity, sun intensity, etc. Each of those factors control how you garden. So I will answer it differently than you might have expected. I will give you my top vegetables, in priority order, but leave it up to you to decide which is best in your area based on your growing conditions and your health needs.
- Beans – great source for protein, amino acids, folate, antioxidant, and fiber.
- Potatoes – calories/fat/protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Niacin, Folate, and fiber. Probably a genetic thing as well for me.
- Squash – vitamins A/C/B, potassium, magnesium, manganese, antioxidant, and fiber. Banana squash has been used to control blood glucose in diabetic patients and greatly assists hypoglycemics. Yellow squash is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds.
- Beats – Manganese, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Sodium, Vitamins C/B, folate, and fiber. May reduce blood pressure and blood sugar. May improve athletic ability. Really awesome when pickled.
- Cabbage – vitamins K/C/B6, folate, protein, calcium, potassium, antioxidant, and fiber. Helps regulate blood sugar and metabolized cholesterol. Anti-inflammatory that may reduce chronic inflammation.
- Tomatoes – calcium and vitamin A/B/C/E/K, and fiber. Beta-carotene, coumaric acid, and chlorogenic acid, and antioxidants. May be a protective food for people with type 2 diabetes.
- Peas – contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Vitimins A/B/C/E, iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, catechin, epicatechin, coumestrol, and fiber. Rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals. May help as an anti-inflammatory, fight diabetes, control blood sugar, as well as preventing anemia. May assist the body’s immune system, and helps prevent scurvy.
- Peppers – vitamin A/B/C/E/K, potassium, folate, antioxidants, fiber, carbs
- Garlic – vitamins B/C, manganese, selenium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and fiber. Commonly associated with protection against or helps cure colds, infections, and flu; as well as reducing blood pressure, and reducing total and LDL cholesterol. May improve athletic ability. At high doses, the sulfur compounds in garlic have been shown to protect against organ damage from heavy metal toxicity. Garlic is an antibiotic herb and is marketed as a natural antibiotic supplement. And I have heard the term “poor man’s antibiotic” more than once when talking about the benefits of garlic.
- Carrots – contains beta carotene, fiber, vitamins B/K, potassium, sugar, carbs, and antioxidants. Also, Beta carotene, Alpha-carotene, Lutein, Lycopene, Polyacetylenes, and Anthocyanins.
Note: Antioxidants help fight the negative effects of stress.
For me…I would try to grow each of the “10” as much as possible. Each one of these garden beauties plays a part in overall health. And this is especially true while dealing with the stress during the apocalypse, TEOTWAWKI, SHFT, or grid-down.
Don’t neglect the idea/concept of having a fall or winter garden…and you can start your plants indoors to get a jump-start on your summer garden. Especially important if you have a short growing season.
Don’t forget to plant heirloom seeds whenever possible…and then seed save! Planting seeds from hybrid plants may result in some very strange plants with or without producing anything edible.
Yes, I know some of these are actually “fruit”…deal with it…I am talking about finding it in a garden which makes it a vegetable to me 😉
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Great tips. You provided the best information which helps us a lot. Thanks for sharing the wonderful information.
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I actually really enjoyed writing that article…and I am not sure why. I do know that being able to raise your own food will be very important…and soon.
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When you list beans do you mean green beans or the legume beans? I’ve grown green beans but not the other.
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Green beans are fine, pinto are fine, kidney beans and black beans are really good too. Lentils are good, so are chickpeas. Again, depends on your climate, soil, expertise, etc. And also depends on how you can store them if that is one of your goals. Pole, or a specific kind that can grow vertically, green bean are better than bush varieties…more food per square foot of ground space.
Don’t forget sweet potatoes! So easy to grow, in the summer – just make slips from organic sweet potatoes you buy in the store, such a GREAT store of food, vitamins, antioxidants, , and easier on lots of folks’ blood sugar than white potatoes. You can also eat the greens! We especially like to grow the purple sweet potatoes; they are extra high in anthocyanins.
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Yup! Sweet potatoes are good as well. I have never grown them and they are not a particular favorite of mine, other than in pie, so they didn’t make my list. But you are spot on about their nutritional value!