Temperatures are rising across the planet. It is feared India could be uninhabitable by 2100. Alaska has set all-time high temperature records. Thousands died in Europe during prolonged heatwaves. Extreme temperatures will stress population centers and if food shortages occur, we may be forced to supply or supplement our food supply with foods we grown on our own. With rapidly changing climates, it helps to understand which foods grow best in hotter climates.
Don’t forget, many trees are edible
When considering edible plants that can survive heat, don’t forget trees. With their deep roots and massive structures, they are especially adept at surviving extreme temperatures – and they grow vertically which allows greater food production in limited space.
Nut producing trees such as pecans and walnuts, are well known, but there are many other edible trees in addition to common nut-bearing varieties. The following are trees that have edible components.
Beech – nuts, young leaves, inner bark
Birch – inner bark
Maple – sap, inner bark, seeds, young leaves
Mulberry – fruit, twigs
Oak – acorns
Poplar – inner bark
Willow – inner bark
Pines – inner bar, sap, young pine needles, cones, seeds, pollen
When growing vegetables for survival, we need to maximize food returns with limited space. Look for plants that grow vertically, such as vine plants. You can also plant clumping varieties vertically by potting and suspending in the air (even upside down if needed).
The following plants grow very well in hot conditions.
Sweet potatoes need very little cultivation once vines start spreading. Grow vertically for maximum production.
Southern peas are very versatile. They can be eaten before the peas mature or eaten raw once matured. They also can be dried for long-term storage.
Yard long beans
Yard long beans are very productive. They can be grown vertically and used to provide protective shade for other crops.
Green beans of the pole variety provide a steady production of food throughout the season.
Okra can be harvested every other day. It grows well, not just in hot conditions, but in dry conditions too.
This is the most productive, dry weather plant you’ll find in the tomato/potato family of plants.
Amaranth is excellent for salads and it propagates quickly. Seeds will drop and quickly begin production more edible Amaranth plants.
A champion among hot-weather, vining leafy plants. Malabar spinach is not as well known in North America or European countries but with rampant global warming in those areas, is quickly gaining favor. It thrives in the heat and since it’s a vine, can be grown vertically. Leaves can be harvested daily and in warmer conditions, is a perennial plant that will return each year.
A staple plant. Corn grows well in heat and requires very little maintenance.