[8/25/17] Survival gardens are difficult to define. In this blog, the focus is on garden foods that offer extra benefit as emergency food or in a survival garden. The benefit might be higher amounts of protein and/or carbs.
The blog carries forward the concepts of year-round gardening as a means of creating a stable food supply and increasing the opportunity to grow food you can store.
Root Vegetables for Every Garden
The benefit of root vegetables is that you can extend your harvest by only picking what you need. Thus, your food supply is available, fresh, and nutritious. To succeed, gardeners need to balance planting time with harvest time so that there is always something in the garden that is ready for harvesting.
- Beets: Both the tops and the beet are edible. The greens are very high in iron, which is a key mineral for strong, healthy red blood cells. Also, one cup of raw beet greens provides 48 percent of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin A, 19 percent Vitamin C, and four percent Calcium. Beet greens are a perfect food for anyone who wants to boost health and lose weight. Cooked beets (roots) in ½ cup servings offer 8 grams of carbs of which seven grams are healthy sugars and a single gram of protein and an additional four percent of your RDA for iron.
- Sweet Potato: These are tropical plants, so they do best during the warmer months of the year. They are a powerhouse food offering 377 percent of your RDA for Vitamin A and a whopping 27 grams of carbs per 1 cup serving (raw.) They also offer two grams of protein. If you are looking for a source for good carbs, then the sweet potato is a winner.
- Potatoes: Regular potatoes tend to like to grow in the cooler seasons and make good additions to your late summer and spring gardens. In milder areas, they will grow during winter. They are a plus because they offer 121 percent of your RDA for Vitamin C and 16 percent of your RDA for Iron. However, they are a superb source of healthy carbs at 68 grams per single large potato, and they offer around seven grams of protein.
- Carrots: Carrots are a staple vegetable for every garden. They grow pretty much year-round wherever the ground does not freeze, and they are packed full of nutrients. A single cup of raw carrots offers 428 percent of your RDA of vitamin A and 13 percent of vitamin C. They are a good source of carbs at 12 grams per one cup serving, and there is a single gram of protein. Carrots are easy to grow, and if you practice successive gardening, you will always have harvestable carrots. Successive gardening is simply the act of planting a row of vegetable seeds but at different intervals.
- Parsnips: Parsnips look like white carrots, but they taste much sweeter. That is because a one cup raw serving offers 7 grams of healthy sugar and a total carb count of 24 grams. They are a good source of vitamin C, and they offer five percent or your RDA for calcium and four percent for iron. Parsnips are not the easiest root vegetables to grow. The seeds are very fussy, but once you get them to germinate, they do well. These are an excellent crop for mid-summer plantings as they need a little cold snap to sweeten. They do fine in fall gardens and make a great winter crop in colder climates.