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I have been experimenting for years to find the best plants to produce the most edible mass per square ft. of space above and below soil surface. Anyone with practical experience would understand that any plant grown hydroponically or in soil indoors or greenhouse needs to be a plant that has a bulk yield in fruit, seed, or totally edible vegetative material that far outweighs the mass of the plant to produce the edible parts. Wheat then would never be feasible because of the amount needed to be grown to be of use.

Offered by Woodie.

We need to maximize edible growth per unit growing area for a given minimum growing time period. This might lead us to fast growing plants that are totally edible, roots and all. If they also did not take up much space (land area) as compared to the mass they produce we would have a winner. This is assuming light is a constant during our comparison. Edible weeds become a consideration. No hybrid problem and plenty of availability of seeds.

Offered by Mike.

Just musing here, but it seems that the beet plant is a good candidate. It grows well in all soil types. It is completely edible (leaves as greens, and obviously the root too). It doesn't require a great deal of depth of soil (6 to 8 inches). It will get along okay in shady areas. And so on. But think about the culinary boredom that would arise from a diet of beets alone! Also, I don't think you could get all the nutrients required for life from one plant. Even supplementing a protein source such as earthworms would give rise to loss of appetite due to culinary boredom. We do need to find efficient plants, but we also need to consider growing less efficient plants on occasion for diversity in diet.

Offered by Roger.