Top 10 Best Crops for Your Victory Garden


Victory gardens are seeing a revival for the first time since WW2. Learn to feed your family in hard times with these 10 best crops for your victory garden. #victorygarden #victorygardening #bestcropsforavictorygarden #survivalgarden #howtogrowavictorygardnVictory gardens gained popularity in both WW1 and WW2 when American and Canadian citizens were encouraged to grow as much of their own food as possible so that commercially grown food could be sent to troops and allies fighting overseas.

Today, victory gardens are once again gaining popularity as the world learns to cope with the new reality of the global coronavirus pandemic, and the impact that may have (and has already had) on our food supply, on the economy and on our waning ability to leave home to get food from the grocery store whenever we feel like it.

More and more people are waking up to the fact that we just can’t count on grocery store shelves always being stocked with whatever we need whenever we need it. 

After decades of being spoiled for choice and having an abundance of food available to us at all times, for the first time in generations, we’re learning how fragile our system really is and how risky it can be to be 100% dependent on this system to provide for us in times of need.

Now, for those of us who already grow gardens, I’d argue we’re already a few steps ahead of the general populace. But still, when we’re faced with the very real possibility of food shortages and supply chain problems in the near future, it can make even the hardiest homesteader rethink their garden plan for the season.

After all, if we’re going to really have to depend on our gardens for sustenance, it makes sense to dedicate the vast majority of our garden space to crops that can truly sustain us all year long.

While it can be fun to experiment with new and different crops in the garden each year, the focus of a victory garden should be on growing as much food and producing as many calories as possible in the space you have, as well as choosing crops that can be easily preserved to eat throughout the winter too.

In this period of uncertainty, we always have to be thinking a few steps (or a few seasons) ahead, so that no matter what the future brings, we’ll be as ready as we can possibly be to ride it out and keep ourselves and our families safe, healthy and well fed.

 

So, what are the best crops to grow in a victory garden??

The first rule of growing food is to grow what your family likes to eat. There’s really no point in dedicating valuable garden space to crops that nobody in your household actually wants to eat. 

Make a list of your favourite vegetables and start there. 

Next, you’ll want to dedicate space to the crops that will give you the most bang for your buck, so to speak. If you’re limited on space, try to avoid crops that take up a lot of space and/or resources for little return.

For example, things like artichokes and Romanesco broccoli take up a lot of space in the garden but do not produce large harvests. These are the top of novelty crops that are better left to try out during “normal” gardening seasons, unless of course you REALLY love eating these foods and have ample space to grow them in.

Instead, focus on vegetables and varieties that produce large harvests, can be grown densely and/or can be vertically grown, in order to get the most amount of food possible for the space you have. 

Also, grow crops that are versatile and can be stored well to ensure good eating right through the winter months.

During the world wars, citizens were encouraged to convert their yards as well as empty spaces and vacant lots around their communities into victory gardens because the focus was really on producing as much food as possible on home soil. This should be the focus of your victory garden too.

 

Top 10 best crops for your victory garden

While you shouldn’t take this list as the definitive guide to victory gardening, the following crops are great candidates for victory gardens because they tend to produce high yields of nutrient and calorie-dense food, require less space (and in some cases less time to harvest) than other common garden crops, preserve well and are versatile staples in most home kitchens.

 

1. Potatoes

Potatoes have been a staple “survival crop” for millennia. They’re calorie-dense, carbohydrate-rich and high in essential nutrients like fibre, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C. They’re also easy to grow and can be grown in the ground, in raised beds, containers, grow bags… even garbage cans.

Potatoes will give you more calories per square foot than just about any other crop. They also store well in cold storage and are extremely versatile and can be turned into everything from hash brown and French fries to mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, gnocchi and potato pies and pancakes. They’re truly a must-have in any victory garden.

 

2. Tomatoes

No garden is complete without tomatoes! Even if you’re not a huge fresh tomato fan, growing a good paste tomato variety means you can make your own tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes and even sun-dried tomatoes at home. Not to mention, with a few added ingredients that can almost all be grown at home, you can make your own salsa, BBQ sauce, ketchup and other condiments too.

Tomatoes can be preserved in a variety of ways from canning to fermenting to freezing to dehydrating. They’re one of the most versatile crops you can grow and are high in both nutrients and flavour, which is super important if you need to rely almost entirely off of what you’re growing at home.

–> Learn how to grow tomatoes from seed.

 

3. Beans

All kinds of beans are good options for a victory garden because they’re high in protein, fibre and vitamins and minerals and are relatively calorie-dense too.

While any type of beans work well in a survival garden, green pole beans and shelling bean varieties like black beans, broad beans (fava beans) and pinto beans are especially good options.

Pole beans are great because they can be grown vertically so you can get a large harvest in very little space. They can also be pressure canned and eaten throughout the winter, and are a versatile vegetable that goes well with everything from roast dinner to stir fry.

Shelling beans are a fantastic candidate for the victory garden because the shelled beans can be dried and stored easily without any special equipment. Shelling beans are the quintessential “rice and beans” style beans that most people think of when they think of high-calorie, high-protein survival foods that can see them through any crisis.

 

4. Corn

While we often think of sweet corn when we talk about corn nowadays, but if you’re focused on growing crops for survival and sustenance, you might want to consider growing field corn varieties like dent corn, flint corn and flour corn.

These types of field corn varieties differ from sweet corn because rather than being eaten fresh on the cob, they are dried and turned into cornmeal and corn flour, which can be made into everything from cornbread to corn tortillas and corn chips. It can also be used to make animal feed.

Corn is a great option for a grain that can be grown at home in a relatively small space, especially compared to other cereal grains like oats, wheat and barley.

 

5. Squash

Both summer and winter squash varieties are good options for any victory garden because they’re high-yielding crops that produce a lot of food for very little effort. But winter squash like pumpkins, acorn squash, butternut squash and spaghetti squash (to name a few) are especially good crops to grow because they’re high in vitamins, they’re prolific growers and they produce a lot of food per fruit (think of how much flesh you get from a single pumpkin). But most of all, winter squash store extremely well for an exceptionally long time with pretty much zero effort.

While it’s possible to can pumpkin and squash or freeze the flesh or pumpkin purée, thick-skinned winter squash will store well in cold storage or even on your pantry shelves for months on end without any special treatment. In fact, we still have spaghetti squash sitting on our shelves right now that was harvested back in September… A full six months ago!

–> Learn how to grow pumpkins (and all winter squash) from seed.

 

6. Carrots

Carrots are another solid staple crop in any home garden. They’re high in antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin A, they’re a pretty easy to grow crop that produces high yields in a fairly small plot of land and they’re cold-tolerant and can survive light frosts in the garden.

Carrots store well in cold storage, especially when they’re buried in sand. Alternatively, they can be left out in the garden in more temperate climates and pulled out of the soil whenever you’re ready to eat them!

–> Learn how to Grow Carrots From Seed

 

7. Cabbage

While cabbage isn’t the most calorically-dense crop, it is a nutritionally-dense crop that actually retains most of its nutrients even when cooked. Plus, it can be fermented and made into sauerkraut or kimchi which only makes it even more nutritious!

Fermented cabbage stores well in the fridge or in cold storage, but cabbage is a great storage crop on its own and can be stored whole in cold storage for several months. It’s also a cold-hardy vegetable that keeps going in the garden well into the winter months.

 

8. Kale

Green leafy vegetables are extremely high in a wide variety of nutrients including vitamins A, C and K, iron, calcium, folate, magnesium, fibre and potassium, to name a few. But some leafy greens like lettuce don’t store well, so you’re better off to choose a hardy alternative like kale.

Kale is a high-yielding plant that provides fresh greens all through the summer and fall and it’s also a very cold-hardy crop that will last in the garden right through the winter in many places. Alternatively, it can be blanched and frozen or dehydrated and turned into homemade kale chips.

 

9. Garlic

Garlic is a must-have in any victory garden. While it’s not a calorie-dense crop, garlic is extremely high in essential nutrients and has medicinal properties such as being antiviral, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial. Not to mention, it’s extremely flavourful and super versatile in the home kitchen.

 

Related: How to Grow, Cure & Store Garlic At Home

 

10. Herbs

While herbs aren’t necessarily a staple crop like beans or potatoes, growing a variety or herbs in your victory garden will provide you with both food and medicine, and will add flavour to all your home-cooked meals.

Rosemary, thyme, chives, oregano and basil are must-haves in any home garden, but there are many more herbs you might want to consider for your victory garden, especially if store-bought herbs and spices become harder to find. Check out these 13 culinary and medicinal herbs for your home garden.

 

Grow your own for victory!

At the end of the day, there are so many more vegetables (and fruits, nuts, herbs, etc.) you might want to consider adding to your victory garden, and I definitely encourage you to not stop at this list! However, if you’re limited on space, these 10 staple crops will definitely help  see you through hard times.

 

Are you ready to grow your most productive garden yet?

Given the demand and the need at this time, I’m reopening my Seed-to-Soil Organic Gardening Course for two days only (March 26th and 27th). So if this is the year you finally commit to learning how to grow your own groceries at home (and honestly, if not this year then when?) then don’t miss your chance to enroll! 

Enroll in the Seed-to-Soil Organic Gardening Course now!

 

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂

 

 

 

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
How to Shop From Your Pantry Like A Pro

How to Shop From Your Pantry Like A Pro

Every year around this time I go into total organization, budgeting, planning and goal-setting mode. After the frenzy of the holidays, I’m more than ready to settle into a routine and get back on track with my spending, simplifying and health goals. I know I’m not...

read more

11 Frugal Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps

11 Frugal Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps

Save money, reduce food waste and and improve everything from your soil to your gut health with this list of 11 frugal ways to use kitchen scraps in your home and garden. *** We’re such a wasteful society, especially here in the west. The mounds of waste we...

read more

***GIVEAWAY TIME!!!***

We’re officially halfway through the pantry challenge and we’re into the “messy middle.” This is the point in the challenge when it can start to feel like a bit of a slog, and even if you’re not doing the pantry challenge, you may still be feeling the slog as we hit the mid-January mark, so to spice things up, I’m offering a pretty massive giveaway...

A chance to win FREE ENROLLMENT into not one, but BOTH of my online courses!

That’s right! If you win, you get full access to my entire Seed to Soil organic gardening course AND my Yes, You CAN! home canning course, so you can (re) fill your pantry with healthy, delicious, homegrown and homemade food!

Plus, you’ll also get a one-year, membership-level subscription to Modern Homesteading Magazine with unlimited access to all current and past issues to help keep you motivated and inspired on your homesteading journey.

——

So, how to enter??

1. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram.

2. Like and save this post.

3. Tag a friend who you think would also like to enter or who would like to take their gardening/homesteading to the next level this year! (Every person you tag = another entry to win!)

4. *5 BONUS ENTRIES: Share this post to your IG Stories for an additional 5 bonus entries!

——

The contest is open to anybody anywhere and will run from now until Midnight PST on Monday night and the winner will be announced this Tuesday at 9am PST.

Let’s make the absolute best of 2021 in our gardens and homes, no matter what else this year brings ❤️
...

Well, it was no small task, but I FINALLY got everything in my pantry inventoried, organized and put away.

I wanted to share my process with you too, so if you’re interested in getting a full tour of our pantry and seeing how I organize things, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and check it out on YouTube!

P.S. I know you’re not supposed to stack canning jars as having multiple heavy rows stacked on top of each other can compromise the seal of the jars on the bottom. I avoid stacking when possible, but due to the style of our pantry I have made the conscious choice to stack one row (max) on top of the bottom and always make sure to stack jars of equal or lesser weight on top. And yes, we do have plans to add more shelves soon. Just a disclaimer since I’m sure I’ll get more comments about it;)

Also, be sure to leave a comment and let me know about any pantry organization hacks you use! I’m always looking to improve our system:)
.
.
.
#homesteadpantrychallenge #homesteadpantry #homesteadkitchen #foodstorage #foodsecurity #pantrychallenge #pantrygoals
...

Finally got around to taking EVERYTHING out of the pantry today and now getting ready to take inventory.

When everything is buried in the pantry, it can be so easy to forget what you have. That’s why I always recommend taking everything out when starting a pantry challenge so you know exactly what you’ve got. I was feeling like we hadn’t preserved enough food this year to get us through the month, but now that I see everything, I’ve got all sorts of creative ideas for how to use up the abundance of food that we have.

I’m also finding things I didn’t know I had, seeing what I have more than enough of and finding gaps in my food storage. This is one of my favourite reasons for doing a pantry challenge: it’s an excuse to pull everything out and actually see what we’ve got so we know what we’re working with.

In order to keep everything organized, I also created printable pantry, fridge and freezer inventory sheets where I can record everything I’ve got (so it doesn’t get lost at the back of our very deep pantry again). If you wanna grab these printables, along with my weekly meal planning sheet, homestead pantry checklist, pantry substitutions chart and 31 Days of Dinner Ideas cheat sheet, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and sign up for the Homestead Pantry Challenge and I’ll send everything to your inbox:)

Alright, back at it. Wish me luck!

Have you started organizing your pantry yet??
.
.
.
#homesteadpantrychallenge #pantrygoals #homesteadersofinstagram #homesteading #homesteadkitchen #foodstorage #foodsecurity
...

🌱 One of the things I get asked the most during the #homesteadpantrychallenge is what we do for fresh veggies. Now, I much prefer to eat seasonally, which means eating the veggies that we preserved over the summer and fall during the winter. But I do start to miss my fresh greens by the time January rolls around.

Sure, I could grow some salad greens over the winter months, but that would require a level of organization that I frankly haven’t reached yet. And quite honestly, I don’t love going out to the garden in the middle of winter due to the torrential rain, swampy mud and frigid temps we get here in the PNW. No no, I’m a little too lazy and disorganized for all that! I’d much rather plant seeds a few days before I want to harvest them and do it all from the comfort of my kitchen during the nasty weather season.

And so, I turn to microgreens to provide me and my fam with fresh greens this time of year. They’re not only packed with nutrients (said to be higher in nutrients than their full grown counterparts!), they can be grown on your countertop and are ready to harvest in just a few days!

Not to mention, they taste delicious and look beautiful! I made this cheesy pasta dish topped with broccoli microgreens for dinner and the microgreens (which are just the seedling version of the full grown plant) tasted just like broccoli. Plus, the purple and green colours take an otherwise kinda boring dish and make it pop💥

I get all of my microgreens from @trueleafmarket, one of the sponsors of this month’s pantry challenge, as well as the current issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

To enter to win your own self-watering microgreens growing kit from True Leaf Market, be sure to join in the Homestead Pantry Challenge on Instagram, and to learn more about microgreens AND score yourself a sweet 10% discount off all True Leaf products, make sure you’re subscribed to Modern Homesteading Magazine (discount code is in the magazine and in the delivery email).

If you’re not yet subscribed, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead and subscribe for free!

What’s your go-to source for fresh greens in the winter??
...

Well, we made it. It’s hard to believe that 2020 is finally behind us, but here we are, at the dawn of a new year; A fresh page and a new chapter.

This past year has been one for the history books for sure, and it most definitely has not all been good. But it hasn’t been all bad either. Us humans have a tendency to focus on the bad. It’s a survival tool that’s hard-wired into our brains to be on the lookout for danger. So we have to make a conscious choice to see the good in bad situations; To find what we can control and cling to it in a sea of things that we cannot control and, therefore, must let go of.

But with a new year comes a symbolic chance to let those things go and to move forward with hope and determination. No matter what’s scrolled on the pages of the past, the future has yet to be written.

As we enter 2021, I encourage you to remember that those things that were out of our control last year are still out of our control this year. They always have been, and always will be. But what is in our control are our thoughts and actions; How we choose to see and react to the world and to each other.

My hope is that we can begin to leave the past behind us and choose to see the world in a new light. In the Universe there is no good and bad. Everything just is. We assign the value.

I also hope that we begin to see each other as fellow travellers on the same journey, and to treat each other with equal respect, no matter our skin colour, gender, political or religious beliefs.
 
Finally I hope that the trend of people taking an interest in modern homesteading and taking action toward living a more sustainable, self-sufficient life continues long after COVID is behind us. As a whole, I think this was one of the best things to come out of this past year; A bright silver lining on a dark cloud.
 
There’s no way to know for sure what 2021 has in store for us, but I know that if we enter into this next chapter with open minds and hearts, along with a willingness to step up and take charge of the things in life that we can control while committing to let go of the rest, well then 2021 will be a good year no matter what.
 
To a new year and a fresh start 🥂
...

It’s the most wonderful time of the year...

Time for the 2021 Homestead Pantry Challenge to begin!!!

Every year in January, I like to challenge myself to eat only what I've managed to store away throughout the year and avoid the grocery store at all costs. And after the year we’ve just had, many of us are doing our best to avoid the grocery store already. Plus, with the financial impacts of lockdowns and the fragility of our global supply chain, saving a few bucks and taking steps to become more self-sufficient are top of mind for a lot of people right now.

Needless to say, a pantry challenge might be just what you need right about now to reign in your spending, put your resourcefulness, kitchen skills and creativity to the test, increase your self-sufficiency and decrease your dependence on the grocery store and on people and systems that are outside of your control.

Kicking things off with a fun pantry challenge can help you to start the new year off on the right foot and gain momentum and motivation that will help get you moving in the right direction and take control over your food supply right off the bat so that you set yourself up for success in 2021, regardless of what unexpected surprises it may bring.

This year's Homestead Pantry Challenge is even bigger and better than before too, with some exciting prizes up for grabs, including a @lodgecastiron skillet, a self-watering micro greens growing kit from @trueleafmarket and an 8-quart Duo Nova Instant Pot!!!

🥫To join in and enter to win, post photos or videos of your pantry, your meal planning, your meals, etc. during the pantry challenge and use the hashtag #homesteadpantrychallenge in the caption. Every post equals one entry:)

🎞 You can also post in your stories using the hashtag #homesteadpantrychallenge and tagging me @thehouseandhomestead for additional entries!

I'm SO pumped about this year's challenge and I really REALLY hope you'll join me!

The challenge officially begins on January 1st and runs until January 31st, but you can sign up via my link in bio @thehouseandhomestead and get all the details before we begin!
...

Merry Christmas friends!

While this year, and subsequently this Christmas has been anything but normal, and while we weren’t able to be with our extended families this year , I hope you’ve been able to find peace and joy this season, and to enjoy slower, more intimate moments at home with your immediate family.

Now that the big day has come and (almost) gone, it’s time to slow down, to rest deeply and recharge for the year to come. Nobody knows what 2021 will bring, but after the year that was 2020, we’ve proven to ourselves just how resilient we can be. And that is one of the greatest gifts of all. (Well, that and this accidentally inappropriate ornament we got to commemorate a year that will forever live in infamy;)

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night ❤️
...

Cranberry sauce is a holiday tradition, but if you’ve ever had store-bought cranberry sauce out of a tin, then you probably know how unappetizing it can be.

From the “glurp” sound that it makes as it slides out of the tin and into the bowl, to the way the jelly stays formed in the shape of the tin even after it’s out, to the bland boringness of the flavour.

No offence to anyone who loves commercially canned cranberry sauce, but even if you love the store-bought stuff, then you’re definitely gonna love homemade cranberry sauce!

I know a lot of people put orange juice or orange zest in their cranberry sauce, and you can totally do that too! But I’m actually not a fan of the orange-cranberry mix, so my recipe calls for a little cinnamon and vanilla, as well as some sugar to give it a sweet spiciness that goes oh so well with Christmas dinner.

But perhaps the best part is that you’re able to can this cranberry sauce too, which means you can make a big batch this year and have enough homemade cranberry sauce on your shelves to last you multiple holiday seasons! Or you could even give some away to loved ones with whom you’re not able to spend Christmas with this year.

Whether you want to can it for later or eat it fresh or just refrigerate it until Christmas, this recipe is a must-try this holiday season.

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead to get my full recipe plus canning instructions:)
.
.
.
#homemade #fromscratch #christmasrecipes #cranberrysauce #delicious
...

Look at that JIGGLE!!!

If you don’t make your own bone broth, this might look really weird (and kinda gross tbh), but this is actually EXACTLY what you wanna see in a homemade bone broth. This jiggly gel means this broth is super high in collagen, which comes from the bones, skin and ligaments of animals (in this case grass-fed beef cattle). It’s also the most abundant protein in the human body, and many studies have show that increasing our collagen intake can help up the collagen in our own bodies.

Collagen has so many health and beauty benefits, including healthy skin (and reduced wrinkles), shiny, healthy hair and strong bones, cartilage, joints and muscles.

I love making my own broth at home because I can pretty much guarantee a good gel and lots of collagen in each batch. Plus I make mine super frugally, with bones and veggie scraps that I save in the freezer.

I’ll be posting my recipe (and canning instructions) soon. Start saving those scraps!
.
.
.
#bonebroth #collagen #nourish #wholefoodnutrition #homesteadkitchen
...

After 9 long months of extreme hand washing and sanitizing, the last thing our skin needs right now is the harshness of winter. But winter is here my friends, and that means it’s time to give your skin a little extra TLC.

I make my own body butter every year around this time, and it’s become my favourite way to moisturize my skin during the winter months. Much like a deep conditioner works on your hair, body butter absorbs deeply into your skin to help moisturize, repair and protect it.

While lotions contain water (aqua), they also requires additional preservatives to keep them from going moldy due to the water content. But this homemade whipped body butter doesn’t have this problem because it’s made of nourishing oils and fats like shea butter, sweet almond oil and coconut oil (plus beneficial essential oils for all-natural fragrance). These oils are not only all-natural and highly beneficial for your skin, they’re also easily absorbed, giving your skin a “deep conditioning” rather than just a surface moisturizing.

But the best part of all is how quick and easy this body butter is to make up in your kitchen, and what a nice gift it makes this time of year too! So you can make a jar for yourself and a few jars for the people you love:)

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/homemade-body-butter/ to get the full recipe and “whip up” a batch today;)
.
.
.
#bodybutter #naturalbeauty #naturalliving #skindeep #homemade #handmade #naturalskincare
...

The holidays are fast approaching, and that means it’s time for my FAVOURITE THINGS!!! 🎉🎁🎄(aka. The modern homesteader’s Christmas wish list;)

I’ve rounded up all of my fave kitchen tools, books and home and body products that I use all the time and could not live without (ok, I could live without them, but I wouldn’t want to!) and I’m sharing them all with you in this week’s YouTube video!

Grab a mug of something warm (or a glass of something chilled) and come on in for a tour of all the goods!

Link in bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to YouTube.com/thehouseandhomestead for all the latest videos:)
...

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Error: API requests are being delayed. New posts will not be retrieved for at least 5 minutes.

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal

Crafted with ♥ by Inscape Designs