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9 Food Projects That Could Make You 100 Percent Self-Sufficient

9 Food Projects That Could Make You 100 Percent Self-Sufficient

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Are you ready to feed your family?  If you want to reduce your dependency on the commercial food supply, you better start now. Establishing crops, building infrastructure, raising animals, and working out the kinks takes time, and you may have a few less successful years before you can really eat off the grid.

Assuming you have a house on cleared land, with at least one usable outbuilding already constructed, you will be able to focus on growing food. With long working days, attention to seasonal change and weather, efficient work practices, and regular routines, two adults can work the land for food within a few years.

Here’s nine foods that can make you 100 percent self-sufficient. Keep in mind that crops like lettuce – which is easy to grow and doesn’t store very long – aren’t on the list.


1. Beans. Reliable and easy to grow, beans are a nutritional staple for the homesteading family. Prepare the soil early, and plan on 2-3 months of growing before harvest.

9 Food Projects That Could Make You 100 Percent Self-Sufficient

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2. Poultry. If starting with chicks, expect 2-3 years of successful rearing, selection, brooding and culling before you will have your flock established. In the meantime, you will collect eggs and eat birds you choose not to keep in the flock. Start with 10-12 chicks, and plan for them to be around 3-4 months old before butchering.

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3. Rabbits. Rabbits are quick producers of meat for your family. It is not unreasonable to expect 20 or more rabbits per year from a single breeding pair. Allow for 1-2 years for your rabbits to become established. Select for breeding performance, health and size, and introduce new genetics regularly.


4. Corn. This is a prolific grain crop needing much nutrition from the soil and up to four months of heat for production. In your first year of growing corn, it is not unusual to have a lot of losses due to weather, pests or soil issues. However, once you have worked out the issues, corn can be an important staple grain. Plan on about two years of learning before cultivating a substantial harvest.

5. Wheat. One of the most common grains in the American diet, wheat is reasonably easy to grow but hard to harvest. Wheat is ready after around two months of hot weather. When planning to start wheat, figure in threshing and grinding time.

Fruits & Vegetables

6. Winter Squash. Grow winter squash to supply your family with important vitamins and to provide you with an easy keeper crop. Winter squash takes up to four months to mature, but you should be able to get a good yield in your first year with appropriate pest management and watering.

7. Apples. Although apples can be extremely useful, you need to plan on 6-10 years with your trees before they will bear fruit. Your patience will pay off, however, and planting apple trees is well worth the wait.

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9 Food Projects That Could Make You 100 Percent Self-Sufficient

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8. Potatoes. Potatoes are easy to start, and you can expect a good yield in your first year of growing them. Short-season varieties will grow in as little as two months, but longer-season varieties can take three months or more.


9. Honey. While not strictly necessary, honey is a fantastic sweetener on the homestead and comes with lots of nutritional benefit. However, bees take a while to get production ramped up. Your first-year harvest will be very small, but in the second year you can harvest up to 30 pounds of surplus honey from one hive (leaving the bees something to eat over the winter).

What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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  1. What about nut trees? In So. Cal, we do ok with walnuts and I planted an almond tree with three different varities grafted to the root at my folks house. Two grafts bore well every year, one only when we remembered to ice its toes. (Some nut and fruit trees like a week or two of freezing temperatures. When we throw ice cubes around the trunk, they bear better after a particularly mild winter.)

  2. just a few things to add…
    corn, tho a great comfort food we’re all used to, is no staple unless you create hominy with it. it hasn’t enough lysine (an amino acid necessary for life, preventing the painful disease pellagra until soaked in lye making hominy. and Table 2. Some Food Sources of Niacin Food Serving Niacin (mg)
    Chicken (light meat) 3 ounces* (cooked without skin) 7.3-11.7
    Tuna (light, canned, packed in water) 3 ounces 8.6-11.3
    Turkey (light meat) 3 ounces (cooked without skin) 10.0
    Salmon (chinook) 3 ounces (cooked) 8.5
    Beef (90% lean) 3 ounces (cooked) 4.4-5.8
    Cereal (unfortified) 1 cup 5-7
    Cereal (fortified) 1 cup 20-27
    Peanuts 1 ounce (dry-roasted) 3.8
    Pasta (enriched) 1 cup (cooked) 1.9-2.4
    Lentils 1 cup (cooked) 2.1
    Lima beans 1 cup (cooked) 0.8-1.8
    Bread (whole-wheat) 1 slice 1.3
    Coffee (brewed) 1 cup 0.5
    *A three-ounce serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards.
    Food sources

    Good sources of niacin include yeast, meat, poultry, red fish (e.g., tuna, salmon), cereals (especially fortified cereals), legumes, and seeds. Milk, green leafy vegetables, coffee, and tea also provide some niacin (10). In plants, especially mature cereal grains like corn and wheat, niacin may be bound to sugar molecules in the form of glycosides, which significantly decrease niacin bioavailability (9).

    In the United States, the average dietary intake of niacin is about 30 mg/day for young adult men and 20 mg/day for young adult women. In a sample of adults over the age of 60, men and women were found to have an average dietary intake of 21 mg/day and 17 mg

    quinoa (pronounced keen-wha, as in what) is a grain which supplies 100% protein. it is a relative of the ‘weed’ red root pigweed you constantly pull up out of your garden! it has tremendous source of vitamins and minerals. another grain is amaranth cousin of quinoa which is another relative of red root pig weed.

    chia seed, a cultivated cousin of the weed lambsquarters, a powerhouse of nutrition for you from GOD. another grain is amaranth cousin of quinoa which is a relative of red root pig weed.

    if you plant the cultivated grains be sure to pull all surrounding wild cousins since they will cross pollinate the larger cultivated ones making the genetics for smaller grains! eat the wild cousins all spring and summer as you grow the grain for winter use and spring planting, no starving time for you and yours!

    and everybody knows the earliest of spring time wild greens…dandelions! check out chickweed that’s loaded with vitamin ‘c’ (a vitamin essential to our health). find these…and other GOD given life-saving free foods before the starving time!

    also these two are gluten free, allowing auto immune diseases like diabetes 1, chrones disease, lupus, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, hashimotos, graves disease, m.s., now just recently added to this list is alzhiemers disease! all this suffering from wheat, rye, and barley!

    many ‘weeds’ are not only edible but far more nutritious than the plants we continuously labor to keep alive in our gardens!

  3. I have been raising apples for about ten years now. Six to ten years is when trees are in full production you can expect a few apples as early as year three. This is one good reason to choose dwarf or semi dwarf trees. Given the long lead time disease resistance should be a high priority when choosing apple trees. Most state universities have an extension service that can guide you to the best varieties for your location. If you find you want other apple varieties you can graft them on to your trees later.

    Also Pandabear mentioned the “starving time”. One crop that was not mentioned is Asparagus. Once established it is a low maintenance crop that can be harvested when nothing else is producing.

  4. If you get hot weather, I’d definitely add sweet potatoes. They have lots of vitamins and minerals. Also, if you’re raising chickens or other animals, don’t forget food for them too. Kale is easy to grow and great for chickens, along with ground corn, insects, millet, and other grains.

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