Part Three: Finding Balance With Your Survival Garden
We both know that fresh fruits and vegetables are among the best natural fuels. The way I see it, your emergency garden could someday be your main food source. Careful planning today will give your family a nutritional advantage in a crisis, so fill your emergency kit with the heirloom seeds that will yield the best nutritional balance.
1. Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Spinach and Kale
These four vegetables are the leaders in vitamin A, an essential nutrient for healthy vision and a strong immune system. It is also essential for cell growth, bone metabolism and reproductive health. Cantaloupe and leafy greens are also top sources for vitamin A.
2. Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and Strawberries
Serving for serving, all of the above provide your family with more vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron and produce collagen, a protein that supports skin and bone health. Even your brain needs this essential vitamin to stay healthy and effective. Other good sources of vitamin C in your garden include green beans, leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, peas, cabbage, zucchini, cantaloupe, raspberries and watermelon.
3. Collards, Asparagus, Dried Beans, Potatoes
B vitamins relieve stress, boost your mood and reduce your risk of developing heart disease. All of these functions are especially critical when you are dealing with a crisis. Additional plants that yield big B benefits include chili peppers, beets, corn and broccoli.
4. Lima Beans, Swiss Chard, Kidney Beans, Beet Greens
Red meat is a good source of iron, but greens and dry beans provide plenty of this essential nutrient too. You need iron for healthy blood. Iron fuels your metabolism, helping it convert calories into energy. Include legumes and leafy greens in your emergency garden plan so your family has a renewable source of iron.
Of course, you also need minerals like calcium and potassium in your diet. The great thing about fresh fruit and vegetables is that they provide the minerals you need to stay strong. They are also the best sources of dietary fiber.
Now that you know what to grow for a balance of nutrients, you are ready to draw up a diagram for your emergency survival garden. I’ll walk you through it in my next blog. With seeds and plan at hand, you’ll be prepared to weather whatever crisis comes your way!
Pooling resources is an important part of getting prepared. We’d love to hear your ideas about garden planning. Please post your comments below!