How Much Should You Plant In Your Garden for a Years Worth of Food for Your Family

How Much Should You Plant In Your Garden for a Years Worth of Food for Your Family-2Every year I go through the same thing and ask myself the same question: “how much should I plant in our garden to supply my family with enough food for the winter?” Are you trying to figure out how much you will need too? Well, I’ve gathered up some of my favorite resources and I’m hoping to break it all down for you. So, you can take the guess work out of your garden planning and spend more time actually gardening.

If you are new to My Happy Homestead you can ‘meet our family here“. We have not always live in the country; in fact, most of our lives we have  lived in the city. So, growing all of our own food was not really an option in the past: although, we certainly did the best we could with what resources we had available and, I would highly encourage you to do the same.

We had strawberry gardens, a raspberry garden, a small scale garden, and picked local seasonally ripe food from area farms whenever possible. We ordered a cow, a pig, and shopped at local famers markets on a regular basis. You can check out how I shop for our family of 6 once a month here.

All that said, our ancestors did not have the luxury of having a grocery store on every corner they depended solely on growing a garden, having a farm, saving seeds, and preserving their harvest for survival. A garden was not a tiny, pretty little space in a perfectly manicured back yard – the garden was the entire yard. There wasn’t weekend dance classes, sporting events,  and weekly parties to attend. And, there certainly wasn’t countless vacations to be had. Life was the farm and the farm meant survival.

Since I only shop once a month for our family of six I am keenly aware of how much food we consume. I pretty much have it down to a science {now, that goes with out saying as the kids have gotten older I have had to make some adjustments}. But, I know we need 5-6 six packs of yogurt, 5 cans of each kind of bean {kidney, black, pinto, etc}, 1 Costco size sour cream, 3-4 gallons of milk, 2 lbs of ground meat for every meal, 8 packs of waffles, 3 bags/boxes of cereal, and on, and on.




How Much Should You Plant In Your Garden for a Years Worth of Food for Your Family

So, just how much ‘How Much Should You Plant In Your Garden for a Years Worth of Food for Your Family’ {disclaimer some of these we still have not grown but, this is based on my personal experience and research}




Asparagus 1-4 plants per person

Bush Beans 10- 15 plants per person

Pole Beans 10-15 plants per person

Beets 10-15 plants per person

Broccoli – 8 plants per person

Brussel Sprouts – 4 plants per person

Cabbage – 5 plants per person

Carrots 20-30 plants per person (100 seed pack would/should feed a family of 6)

Cauliflower – 5 plants per person

Celery – 4-8 plants per person

Corn – 20-40 plants per person

Cucumber – 5 plants per person

Egg plant – 1 plants per person (plus an additional 2-3 per family)

Kale – 1 5′ row

Lettuce – 10 -12 plants {obviously you can no preserve this over the winter months but, you can stagger your growing to harvest most of the year)

Onions – 30 plants per person

Peas – 30 plants per person

Peppers – 8 plants per person

Potatoes – 20-25 plants per person

Pumpkins – 1 plant per person {1-2 additional for the family}

Rhubarb – 2 crowns per family

Spinach – 10 -20 plants per person

Summer squash – 3 plants per person {there’s nothing like shredded zucchini already prepared for quick breads)

Winter Squash – 2 plants per person

Sweet Potatoes – 5 plants per person

Tomatoes – 5-8 plants per person




Another way to figure out how much your family would need to grow for the winter is think of how much your family consumes and research the approximate yield on a given plant. For example; if it was estimated that a 10 ft. row of bush beans would yield 3-5 lbs. yield then, I know I would need approx. 100+ ft. row to sustain my family over the winter as we consume approximately 5-6 lbs. of green beans per month. Of coarse this could not be broken down into an exact science since weather, natural disaster, and pests can all affect yield.

What I can tell you is this – plant what you like to eat and plant what you will use. If you are short on space plant what you can with what room you have available.

Do you have room behind your garage? That’s where our berry garden used to be. Try planting food where you would plant flowers – replace the dying tree in the corner of the yard with a fruit tree instead of an ornamental piece. And, start learning about harvesting your seeds – there is nothing more rewarding than knowing you grew something from a tiny seed and you were able to save the seeds for next years harvest thus, repeating the cycle of life.

Hungry for more gardening goodness check out these –





How to Harvest Broccoli Seeds For Next Years Homestead Garden

 

How to save broccoli seeds and do a seed germination test

Have you ever wondered how to save and harvest broccoli seeds? Before having a garden myself I never gave much thought as to where broccoli seeds came from. However, in an effort to be more self reliant I also knew learning how to save seeds was essential.

Upon planting your garden designate a few broccoli plants to be ‘seed plants’ thus choosing not to eat the beautiful broccoli heads which emerge. In order for a broccoli plant to go to seed you let it go past its ideal harvesting time. Your bolted plant will begin to mature and turn from green to yellow. Once the flowers bloom they will then become ‘pods’ – the newly formed pods will contain the seeds.

Once all the flowers have become pods – clip and hang the broccoli stem in a cool, dry place for a minimum of two weeks. Once dry carefully remove the dried pods from the plant. Separate the chaff from the broccoli seeds. Store in a seed envelope – seeds may be stored properly for up to 5 years

Where I buy my seeds;

Seed Saver Exchange

High Mowing Seeds

My Favorite Homestead Gardening Books;

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{and, one for the kids}

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How to Grow a Berry Garden and 5 Benefits of Berries

How to Grow a Berry Garden, Strawberries, Blackberries, Rasperries,

How to Grow Your Own Berry Garden

After years of growing flower gardens in our tiny suburban backyard we eventually decided to covert them into berry gardens. As our family has grown over the years so has my desire to provide organic homegrown food for our family of six. 

Not really knowing what we were doing at first and fumbling through along the way after 7+ years I think, we finally have things down pat. 

Yielding nearly 4-5 freezer gallon size ziplock bags full every summer- I think we have successfully converted our once flower oasis into a mini piece of heaven that provides nutritious food for our family all year long and still looks beautiful. 

From homemade jams to berry crisps the sweet aroma of homegrown fruit is never far away at our homestead. 

Sharing some of my thoughts, experiences, and suggestions today to help get you get started- for the full story keep reading HERE 


Today I am guest posting over at The Little Backyard Farm so be sure to stop by and say “hi”-while you are there also be sure to check out Monika’s beautiful garden tour.