If you could choose just one crop to grow to feed your family in tough times, the potato would be ideal. Potatoes may have a humble reputation, but when it comes to surviving in tough times, they’re superstars. Here are eight reasons why.
Reason #1: They’re easy to grow and require no machinery or processing Potatoes are easy for one person to grow and harvest. Growing a family plot of potatoes requires minimal labor and attention. No heavy machinery needed! Unlike grain crops, potatoes don’t need to be milled, threshed, combined, or undergo any other processing. You just pull them out of the earth, brush off the dirt, and cook.
Reason #2: Potatoes are packed with nutrition Potatoes get a bad rap, but they’re actually an excellent source of important nutrients. A typical potato contains over half the day’s requirement of vitamins C and B6, and almost half of the potassium. They’re also a good source of fiber, folate, niacin, thiamin, magnesium, manganese, and more.
Reason #3: Potatoes are a healthful alternative to grains and beans Many pre-packaged survival foods rely on grains and beans… but for some folks, that can be a problem. Potatoes are more easily digestible than beans, which often require soaking. For people with gluten sensitivities or who don’t do well with grains, potatoes are the perfect alternative.
Reason #4: In a TEOTWAWKI scenario, they provide sorely needed calories In a total meltdown, you will be doing far more manual labor than you do now. You’ll be walking or biking everywhere when gasoline prices skyrocket. You’ll be growing your own food. If power is down for extended periods, you won’t have machines to do laundry, dishes, or cleaning. You’ll be chopping wood for heat. And all that extra effort requires more calories. Home grown potatoes, which require minimal labor, can provide all the extra calories your family needs in a complete off-the-grid lifestyle.
Reason #5: They can be grown even when growing space is limited It doesn’t require much land at all to grow potatoes, but if you live somewhere where there’s virtually no ground to till, you can still grow them. People grow potatoes in window boxes, food-grade buckets, cardboard boxes, tall homemade containers, and more.
Reason #6: Potatoes keep for months Kept at the proper temperature in an old-fashioned root cellar, potatoes will last for months. (Keep them away from onions and garlic, however, or they’ll spoil faster.) And if you’re worried about using them up before they start to go bad, you have another option… see Reason #7.
Reason #7: They’re easy to dehydrate Scrub ’em, slice ’em, and dehydrate them … either in a dehydrator or in your oven. Dehydrated, potatoes take up less space and can be stored in airtight containers for very long periods of time. In fact, they’ll last for ten years in a sealed #10 can.
Reason #8: Potatoes can be prepared in endless ways Boil ’em, mash ’em, cook ’em in a stew … fry them, scallop them, even make potato flour from them for baked goods. Make potato pancakes, potato dumplings, home fries … even potato vodka!
Be self-reliant – plant potatoes in your garden this year.
Billie Nicholson, Editor