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Cultivating Survival: Best Foods to Grow During a Food Shortage

Empty Safeway store shelves show shortage of food

The Stark Reality of Food Shortages

There’s an old saying that society is just three meals away from anarchy. It’s a sobering reminder of the fragile threads that hold our modern world together. With increasing global challenges, from climate change to political instability, the specter of food shortages isn’t just a dystopian fantasy; it’s a potential life-or-death reality. For a survivalist, these situations underscore the importance of self-reliance. In the face of such uncertainties, growing your food can be the difference between vulnerability and resilience, between despair and hope. Let’s explore how a true survivalist can ensure sustenance by cultivating the right foods during a shortage


A calorie-dense tuber that’s rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Potatoes are hardy and can be grown in a variety of soils, making them a top choice. Additionally, they can be stored for months in a cool, dark place.


A powerhouse of protein, beans are vital for muscle maintenance and energy. They enrich the soil with nitrogen, promoting a healthy environment for other plants. Beans are also easily dried and stored for prolonged periods.

Kale and Spinach

Both these leafy greens are packed with nutrients and grow in cooler temperatures. They’re also fast growers, ensuring you get a quick harvest when time is of the essence.


Rich in vitamins and dietary fiber, carrots are another long-storing vegetable. They thrive in deep, loose soil and can be harvested even under a light frost.

Zucchini and Squash

Both offer a high yield and are relatively easy to grow. They provide essential nutrients and can be preserved through methods like drying or pickling.


Tomatoes are versatile and packed with vital vitamins. Opt for smaller varieties like cherry tomatoes for quicker harvests. They can be eaten fresh, canned, or turned into sauces.


These are nutrient-rich and can be dried, canned, or frozen. Peppers are also relatively drought-resistant, making them a valuable crop in water-scarce situations.

Grains like Quinoa and Amaranth

Not only are they rich in protein, but they’re also gluten-free and can be stored for long periods. They require minimal care once established.

Gardening Tips for Food Shortages

  • Companion Planting: Some plants, when grown together, benefit each other by deterring pests or enhancing growth. For example, planting marigolds with tomatoes can help deter nematodes.
  • Harvest Rainwater: In times of scarcity, every drop counts. Set up systems to capture and store rainwater for your garden.
  • Soil Health: Regularly add organic compost to ensure your soil remains nutrient-rich. Healthy soil is the foundation of a successful garden.
  • Natural Pesticides: Opt for natural methods, such as neem oil or diatomaceous earth, to protect your crops from pests.

Food shortages paint a grim picture, but they also highlight the indomitable human spirit. The act of planting a seed during such times is both a symbol of hope and a pragmatic step towards self-reliance.

By selecting the right crops and using effective cultivation techniques, a survivalist can navigate the stormy waters of food scarcity. In the rhythm of planting, tending, and harvesting, we find not just sustenance, but also a deeper connection to the land and the primal rhythms of life.

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Tags: , , , , Last modified: August 28, 2023