You might look at your garden differently if your very existence depended on it. Of course you would consider balanced nutrition, but you also might look at storage ability and depending on where you live, even growing edibles in disguise.
Here are a few foods to consider if you want to rely more on your garden and less on food companies:
1. Quinoa, a relative of spinach, is grown for its high protein grains. It stores well, can be added to almost any recipe, and you can replant the seeds.
2. Flax is a lovely flowering plant grown for its seed, which is high in fiber and can be used as a substitute for oil and eggs in many recipes. It would blend in well in the landscape and not be seen as a food source by most people.
3. Dry beans most often have a pole growth habit. Their gorgeous flowers also help hide the fact that they are producing a high protein food source. Of course save some to replant.
4. Sweet potatoes look very much like a ground cover. They are related to morning glories and have a lush vine like top growth of beautiful leaves. The tubers themselves store well, can be used to replant, and are highly nutritious. Sweet potatoes are not only a good source of vitamin A, they also have a lot of vitamin C.
5. Unless you are a gardener, you probably wouldn’t recognize a potato growing if you saw one. The russet varieties store the best, and you can replant the following season. What we really like about potatoes besides their ability to store is the versatility of use. May as well keep things interesting.
6. Garlic is said to have some antibiotic properties, can be replanted not long after harvest, and stores well. It takes up very little room yet can make a world of difference in your food.
7. Okay, it would be tough to hide dry corn growing, but if that isn’t an issue we suggest it as a good source for a flour substitute. It stores forever and you can replant the seeds. Just grind for grits, cornmeal, and polenta. If you grow a popping variety, you even have a good snack food.
8. Okra is an easy edible to incorporate into a landscape, just look at the picture above. You can cook it a variety of ways, plus you can dehydrate it to grind and use as a food thickening agent. Be sure to let 1 or 2 pods grow big to save the seeds.
9. Walking onions grow as a perennial scallion type onion with an increased harvest each year. Dry the tops to use throughout the winter months.
10. Hot peppers are a good idea even if you don’t eat them. They can be used to make a pepper spray which works well as a pest deterrent.
11. Tomatoes would also be hard to hide, except that you can actually grow them, as well as other edibles, indoors. Stagger a few plantings of heirloom varieties to have a fresh vitamin C source year round. Lightly brush the flowering plants with your hands or use a tuning fork to help promote pollination.
Hopefully growing your own food never becomes an absolute necessity. Even if you don’t consider yourself a survivalist, it never hurts to be ready, just in case. The worst thing that could happen is you become addicted to growing food.
And that’s a good thing.