Monday, March 2, 2009

Food That I Can Grow

In my quest to become self sufficient and sustainable, I've been making a list of the foods that I can grow to eat. My goal, within the next two years is to be producing around 70-80% of my own food. Right now, I don't have much growing space, just a small backyard. However, we have bought some acreage, our share is a little over 30 acres. In the next couple of years, my husband and I will be moving there. It is there that we are building a cob house, it is there where we will be living off of the grid, and it is there that I will be trying to grow as much of the food that we eat that I can. To begin this process, I have made a list of all the different foods that I can think of that will grow in our climate that I think I can grow. I haven't estimated how much of each I will need yet, but that is the next step. The fruit and nut trees will be accumulated over the next couple of years, some will be bought others will be swapped for and grafted from starts. A lot of the vegetables, I am currently growing. Right now, I do not have the room to grow the grains, so they are a future project. Another goal is to learn how to forage for food that all ready grows on our land, there are a lot of greens and other food, I think we can get directly from the land. This is something I have not learned very much about yet. If you see a food that I have missed, will you please, let me know in the comment section, so I can add it to my list. Thanks


Plum, Apricots, Peaches, Pears, Apples, grapes, raspberries, gooseberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries, persimmon, paw paw, cherries - sweet and sour, kiwi, fig (in greenhouse), dates (in gh), citrus (in gh), melons, watermelon, ground cherries


rice, barley, oats, wheat, quinea, amaranth, buckwheat, flax, sesame (?), corn\


peanuts, filberts, pecans, walnuts, hickory, chestnuts (i think i'm missing some obvious ones)


garlic, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, greens, spinach, lettuce, carrot, asparagus, artichoke, radish pods, kohlrabi, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas - snap, shelling, snow, beans - green and dried (we eat lots of dried beans), lentils, tomatoes, peppers - hot and sweet, eggplant, squash - winter and summer, pumpkins, celery, soybeans, tomatillos, corn mache, cress, cabbage,


mushrooms - learn to grow and hunt for morels, eggs (chickens), milk and cheese

I haven't made a list of herbs yet. I still need to do this.


  1. Yay! Thanks for the list... I am attempting to compile the same type of list, and checking on how much room is actually needed to add in some grains. We will be having a hive of bees as well, since honey is the perfect food, and can be substituted for sugar. We are getting away from using any sugar. Also, it gives the opportunity to make your own soap and candles (beeswax) How exciting!

  2. are you going to grow dwarf fruit trees or full variety?

  3. sinclair- i'm glad you mentioned the bees, that is part of our plan too. forgot until after i wrote the post.

    i think we will probably grow a semi dwarf variety and standard varieties. the semi dwarf seems a good compromise and then we'll have the standard variety for the long term. We are going to set a lot of our trees up in a forest garden setting, trees with lots of other edible perennials. So, the smaller trees will allow more light to come in. Then we'll have a small orchard further out with standard size trees. I think most of the nut varieties only come in standard. We are also getting some of them from our local forest department, which sells yearlings for 25 trees for $8. and they are standard size.

  4. I'm so envious!!! We will be stuck with small yards for years to come until my hubby retires. That's why this year I'm trying our container gardening :D

  5. Oats are wonderful because they help bread and baked goods last longer. I can have the same recipe last two to three days longer before going stale. But I've read that they can be tricky to mill. So if you have to mill them by hand you may not want to grow alot.

    Oh and don't forget a lot of weeds like dandylions are edible. Instead of digging them out you can pick them and throw them into salads.

    Seed catalogs are a lot of fun to peruse and if you want different varities, there are seed sharing groups online you can join.

  6. great ideas everyone. betty, i haven't grown oats yet. but i'm going to try a hulless or "naked" oat since they don't have a hull to see if those will be easier.

  7. Great list! What about rhubarb? It's easy to grow and sooooo good. :)

  8. rhubarb - great suggestion and perennial

  9. What a wonderful thought. 70-80% is a very impressive goal, I applaud you.

    My husband and I have recently acquired an extra 200 sq.ft at our community garden (which makes 300 sq.ft total) and are looking forward to planting a grand variety of fresh veggies and herbs thhis spring.

    Please keep us posted on your progress.