Two Letters Re: Potatoes as a Survival Garden Crop

Morning, Jim!
Just a quick addition for your readers to your recent note about potatoes gaining in popularity: most of their useful nutritional value is in their skin and outermost fractions of inches. I believe this is true of most root vegetables. Peeling these vegetables just renders them as a wad of starch or carbohydrate – much less useful for your body than the good Lord intended them to be. All they really need (especially if grown in a home garden where you know what went into the soil) is a quick rinse and a light scrub.

Ideally your order of produce procurement would be as follows:
– home garden or friends’ gardens
– public market/farmer market
– grocery store (produce sits for days before it gets displayed!)
– big box store with produce department (yuck)
So, no, peeled, frozen, fried and salted french fries do not really count as your healthy serving of “vegetable.” And if you really have some ingrained loathing of potato skins and must peel them, at least put the peels in a compost bin! – Carl H.


I enjoyed your novel [“Patriots”] immensely. The tenets of your philosophy of survivalism are well thought out and codified.

I believe we are missing the boat when we don’t consider the better alternative of planting and/or storing potatoes as a survival basic food source, rather than wheat, or other grains. Potatoes grow easily virtually anywhere, produce abundantly, the plants are unobtrusive, and are not foraged by deer, among other things. After TEOTWAWKI, it would be a lot easier to plant and subsist on them rather than large gardens.- Jim F. in Oregon