Grow your own food

grow your own food

As a survivalist preparing for a potential, long term disaster scenario, you are probably fully aware of the absolute necessity to having enough food to sustain yourself and your family in such an event. To this end, many preppers will store their pantries and basements to the max with non-perishable food. But what if the disaster scenario lasts longer than you expected and now you’re out of food?

This is why it is equally if not more important to create a self-sustaining food source, or food that continually grows on its own. If you think about it, this is really the only surefire way to make sure that you never truly run out of food.

There are two different ways to create a self-sustaining source of food: raising livestock and growing gardens. In this article, we will focus on growing gardens, and specifically on the best types of edible plants and crops that you can grow within the garden.

The benefits of growing your own food also go beyond simply giving you and your family a staple supply of food. A long term disaster or grid down situation is easily going to be the most stressful event that you’ve ever experienced in your life, but gardening and tending to your plants is a way that you can alleviate at least some of this stress.

The best survival foods that you can grow are those that offer you plenty of calories and nutrition, can last for the long term, provide high quantities, and that are easy to grow.

Here is a list with the best survival foods for you to grow, presented in alphabetical order:


barleyBarley is a crop that you can use not only for eating but also for a variety of other uses.  You can use it to feed and sustain your livestock (another important food source), can grind grains into flour, and if done properly, you can even make your brand of survival beer out of it.  In terms of nutrients, barley is high in levels of dietary fiber and manganese.  Overall, it’s definitely one of the most versatile crops that you could plant


There’s a reason why beans are among the most popular crops to grow across the world. They are among the healthiest vegetables that you can eat. Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, fiber, and calcium are just a handful of the nutrients that are loaded to the brink in beans.


broccoliNot everyone is the biggest fan of broccoli, but that being said, it is undeniably one of the most ideal survival crops that you can grow.  Not only is it loaded with Vitamin A and Vitamin K, but it’s also packed with proteins to give you the energy you need to outlast any disaster scenario.


Carrots are easy to grow in cooler months, meaning that you can grow them in the fall or early spring months where some of the other crops on this list would not thrive.  Carrots are also rich in Vitamin A, an essential survival nutrient.


Corn grows on a farmThis list would simply not be complete without corn, and it’s probably one of the foods that you first thought of when you started reading this article. Crops are a superb source of iron, protein, and calcium, but the real benefit to them is that they yield a significantly higher quantity than the other foods on this list, so you’ll get more with less space. The only downside to corn is that they only grow in the summer, so they aren’t a viable option for growing in cooler months.


Like corn, lettuce grows very quickly and it yields a very high quantity. It’s a crop that belongs in any survival garden, and is one of the best sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. The biggest negative to lettuce is that it doesn’t last as long as some of the other crops on this list, so eat it quickly after harvesting it.

Onions and Garlic

fresh garlic fruits with green parsleyIf there ever is a competition for the easiest growing crop, onions should be the winner of that competition if not a close runner up.  What’s more is that onions are also among the most long lasting and non-perishable of all crops, so you can store lots of them for consumption at a later date. Garlic is also easy to grow, and for it’s beneficial nutrients deserves it’s spot on the list.

Pole beans

Pole beans are not only easy to grow, but they also provide over twice the amount of beans that bush beans can provide.  Beyond that, the nutritional value of pole beans is undeniable. They also have a sweet taste to them, which appeals to a wide range of people.


Many preppers skip on growing potatoes because they require more space than other crops do.  But other than that, there’s really no reason not to grow potatoes.  They are one of the few crops that can tolerate practically any kind of climate, can grow in poor soil conditions, yield a high quantity, are rich in essential nutrients and calories, and can last a long time.


The biggest advantage to radish, beyond it being easy to grow and the fact that it’s an excellent source of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and iron, is that it can tolerate a wide range of climates and weather conditions.  This could be a life saver in a long term disaster scenario.


Do you have sunlight and water? If so, then you practically have everything you need to grow tomatoes. Tomatoes truly are among the simplest crops to grow and also preserve quite well, making them one of your most viable choices for survival foods. And who knows, with bread or crackers, sauce from your tomatoes, and cheese from a cow (if you have one), you could potentially make your own survival pizza!


home grown courgettes (zucchini)Zucchini is probably one of the most overlooked survival foods, but it’s also one of your best choices. Popular in gardens, zucchini is rich in vital nutrients and it’s very easy to grow as well, requiring minimal attention on your part.

Dave Steen

Dave Steen

Dave is a 58 year old survivalist; father of three; with over 40 years of survival experience. He started young, learning survival the hard way, in the school of hard knocks. Now, after years of study, he's gray-haired and slightly overweight. That hasn't dimmed his interest in survival though. If anything, Dave has a greater commitment to survival than ever, so that he can protect his family.


    • A zucchini and a courgette are the same thing – zucchini Italian name and courgette French. Both mean baby marrow. Let the fruit on the plant grow big enough and it is termed a marrow. Marrows aren’t as tasty and contain more water so need treating like aubergines to get rid of their excess water.