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!