Q&A with Kareen – Top 10 Crops to Feed a Family

In this week’s ‘Q&A with Kareen’, I address Julie’s question about my top 10 favorite crops to grow to feed a family. In particular, Julie was interested in crops that were either high in calories and/or macro and micronutrients, as well as easy to grow, prepare, store, and preserve. 

You’ll notice that I don’t mention some of your typical crops like corn. Corn didn’t make my top 10 because even though it has a lot of calories, it’s trickier to grow with our shorter growing season and takes up a lot of space. For that reason, I also don’t mention things like dried beans or chickpeas. 

Here are my top recommendations:

  • Winter Squash – Acorn or Delicata
  • Potatoes – Kennebec, Yukon Gold, Red Gold
  • Garlic – Hardneck varieties
  • Orach – Green and Red
  • Kale – Red Russian
  •  Swiss Chard – Rainbow
  • Red Cabbage – Omero or Primero
  • Beets – Detroit Red
  • Carrots – Nantes
  • Peas – Sugar Snap

I’ll admit that I didn’t do the math on these crops in terms of caloric intake and meeting all of our nutrient needs so please do a little more research before you try to feed a family on these crops alone :-). However, I do think these crops will give you a good variety. So if you don’t already grow them, I’d recommend adding some of them to your garden this season. I also put in an extra plug for some perennial crops so check out my video to find out what I recommend!