Rutabagas for Survival

Consider rutabagas for your fall survival garden. They’re not the prettiest vegetable, but they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals.

Rutabagas are a cross between cabbage and turnips. They’ve been around a long time, keeping people alive in time of need. They go by the name swede in Northern Europe, where they’re more commonly grown.

Rutabagas need well drained soil and should be watered regularly each week, or they’ll get tough and woody. It takes 90-100 days to grow them, and they prefer cooler conditions. In the North they can be planted in late winter. Elsewhere, think ahead to plant them so they’ll be mature before hard freezes set in.

Watch the two videos below for expert tips on preparing rutabagas. Within 15 minutes, you and your family will want to try this overlooked survival food.




Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

2 thoughts on “Rutabagas for Survival”

  1. I have a friend who immigrated from the Ukraine in the 50’s. His family lived through the Holodomor. He said his father and grandfather saw the signs of Stalin’s plan to kill Ukrainians and they prepared for it. Their family grew most of their own food on a small farm (under 2 acres) and they would typically use a method called a clamp to “bury” the beets, rutabagas and turnips they grew to survive the cold winters. But the clamp was a large mound in the yard that everyone knew about. So in addition to putting a lot of root vegetables into one large clamp they buried a couple dozen much smaller caches of root vegetables all over their large garden in a random fashion so that they wouldn’t be found. Then when the Russian Army came to take all their food they only found the obvious supply in the large clamp next to the house. His father would sneak out of the house in the dark of night to dig out a few vegetables and they would bake them in the ashes of their heating fire and consume them quickly in case someone were to come by. They survived on beets, rutabags, turnips and a couple of other roots I didn’t recognize by their name.

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