Staple Crops — grains and beans, seeds and nutmeats — comprise the majority of caloric intake for most humans. Vegetables and fruits make up only 10-15% of a typical diet. Truly independent and “sustainable” living for any community is impossible if it is still relying on globalized, petroleum-based agribusiness for its Staple Crops. Yet the challenges to raising one’s own are not minor. One needs enough land to grow a decent amount, enough labor to process it, and enough space to store it. Our own experiments over the years have been bottlenecked at the processing stage, for which both small-scale machinery and person-hours are generally unavailable. See our “Staple Crops report, 2008 & 2009 seasons” for copious details.

Nonetheless, we believe that attempts to gain Staple-independence are worth it, and we offer these seeds for your own efforts. A seed packet might seem like a small amount to start with, but you can expect to increase your seed by 5 to 100x each season, depending on the crop. For example, we went from a packet of quinoa seed (a few grams) to 36 lbs. in just three seasons. Feel free to contact us with questions (after you read the report).

Matching Results: Staple Crops

Amaranth, Crimson

Amaranth, Crimson$2.99 Sold Out

(Amaranthus sp.) Annual in the Amaranthaceae Family. “Amaranth” is of Greek origin and means “unfading flower”. This variety has maroon foliage, red inflorescences, and tiny black seeds. 4-5 ft. tall. Ornamentally striking. Leaves are harvested for salads or as a “summer spinach”. The seeds are eaten as a grain. Cultivation & harvesting suggestions: Warm-weather plant. Sow seeds […]

Barley – seed packet

Barley – seed packet$2.99

(Hordeum vulgare) The classic grain crop prized for its hearty deliciousness in soups. This is a “six-row” variety, higher in nutritional content than the “two-row” varieties.  Easy to grow. Planting suggestions: Sow seeds in Autumn to overwinter, or in early Spring. Too-late planting will result in shorter plants and a smaller yield. Thin plants to […]

Barley, Tibetan Purple – seed packet

Barley, Tibetan Purple – seed packet$3.49

(Hordeum vulgare) Annual in the Grass Family, native to Asia & Africa. Beautiful purple seeds. A lower-gluten grain. Grows 3-4′ tall. Prominent awns on the lavender spikelets give it a high ornamental value. Tibet was an ancient center of Barley domestication. Easy to grow, harvest and process. We originally acquired this unique variety from Uprising […]

Buckwheat – seed packet

Buckwheat – seed packet$2.99

(Fagopyrum esculentum) Warm-weather annual in the Polygonaceae Family. Cover-crop and gluten-free grain. Suppresses weeds by sprouting and rapidly filling in and by exuding allelopathic chemicals from its roots that discourage the growth of neighboring plants. Young leaves can be tossed in a salad. Attracts bees and other pollinators. Cultivation & harvesting suggestions: Sow seeds when […]

Flax, Brown – seed packet

Flax, Brown – seed packet$2.99

(Linum usitatissimum) Annual in the Flax Family, native to Asia. Winnowy plants with slender leaves, to 3′ high, with lovely blue flowers. Perhaps the oldest cultivated crop. Nutritive seeds high in Omega3 fatty-acids. Stalks used to make linen. Easy to grow and process for seeds. Drought-tolerant. Planting suggestions: Thrives on poor soils, including heavy clays. […]

Lentils, Black Beluga – seed packet

Lentils, Black Beluga – seed packet$2.99

(Lens culinaris) – An heirloom variety of black lentil that gets its name from its resemblance to beluga caviar.  Small in size and keeps color well when cooked. Higher in protein content than black turtle beans. Planting suggestions:  Sow in Spring. A cool season legume crop that finishes in the summer heat. Harvest when pods […]

Lentils, French Green – seed packet

Lentils, French Green – seed packet$2.99

(Lens culinaris) – Annual in the Legume Family. A well-known heirloom variety with striking green and black marbling. Planting suggestions:  Sow in Spring. A cool season legume crop that finishes in the summer heat. Harvest when pods are rattling but before they crack open! Plants may still have some flowers on them with finished pods […]

Lentils, Plain Green – seed packet

Lentils, Plain Green – seed packet$2.99

(Lens culinaris) – Standard, large-sized green lentils. Planting suggestions:  Sow in Spring. A cool season legume crop that finishes in the summer heat. Harvest when pods are rattling but before they crack open! Plants may still have some flowers on them with finished pods ready. Small pods contain 2 lentils each with 1 to 2 […]

Millet, Hell’s Canyon – seed packet

Millet, Hell’s Canyon – seed packet$2.99

(Setaria italica) Annual in the Grass Family. Native to Africa, this is a variety of “finger” millet. Reddish-green plants with variegated foliage, to four feet high. Quite ornamental. Seed is reddish-tan. Cultivation & harvesting suggestions: Direct-seed in the garden when all danger of frost has passed. Thin to 6″ apart in rows 1 foot apart. […]

Millet, Proso – seed packet

Millet, Proso – seed packet$2.99

(Panicum miliaceum) Annual in the Grass Family. To four feet high with lovely nodding heads of seeds. Cultivated forms first appeared in Asia and China about 7000 years ago. A gluten-free grain grown mostly for birdseed in the United States. Cultivation & harvesting suggestions: Direct-seed in the garden when all danger of frost has passed. […]

Oats – seed packet

Oats – seed packet$2.99 Sold Out

(Avena sativa) – We originally acquired Oat seeds in 2005 from some oat straw bales we were using in a Portland garden.  We didn’t know what kind of grass was sprouting from the spread-out bales until an herbalist friend visited, and was thrilled to identify the grass as oats.  She asked to harvest them at […]

Popcorn, Dakota Black – seed packet

Popcorn, Dakota Black – seed packet$3.49 Sold Out

(Zea mays) This is an heirloom popcorn that is actually very dark purple.  We grew out this variety for seed in 2011 because we were farming in a frost-pocket and needed something short-season.  In our experience, popcorn matures sooner than other dry corns, and that was the case with this one.  We also got a […]

Quinoa, Bailey’s – seed packet

Quinoa, Bailey’s – seed packet$2.99 Sold Out

(Chenopodium quinoa) Annual in the Goosefoot Family, native to South America. This ancient grain is high in protein and cooks up light and fluffy in half the time of rice. Spanish conquistadors tried to wipe out quinoa as part of their genocidal policies against the Incas, for whom it was a staple crop. After surviving […]

Quinoa, Ceremonial Gold

Quinoa, Ceremonial Gold$3.49

(Chenopodium quinoa) Annual in the Goosefoot Family, native to South America. This ancient grain is high in protein and cooks up light and fluffy in half the time of rice. Spanish conquistadors tried to wipe out quinoa as part of their genocidal policies against the Incas, for whom it was a staple crop. After surviving […]

Quinoa, Redhead – seed packet

Quinoa, Redhead – seed packet$2.99

(Chenopodium quinoa) Annual in the Goosefoot Family, native to South America. This ancient grain is high in protein and cooks up light and fluffy in half the time of rice. Spanish conquistadors tried to wipe out Quinoa as part of their genocidal policies against the Incas, for whom it was a staple crop. After surviving […]

Sunflower, Giant – seed packet

Sunflower, Giant – seed packet$3.49 Sold Out

(Helianthus anuum) Annual in the Aster Family, native to the Great Plains of N. America. Generally 5-6 ft. tall, but can get up to 10-12 ft. (or more). Seeds are edible. Leaves are smokeable; have in fact been used as a tobacco additive/adulterant. Cultivation & harvesting suggestions: Sow in Spring, as soil is warming up. The […]