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 –





Dirt Road Diary; 12 Country Living Lessons

%22I wouldn't give a nickel to have it paved in gold. Everything I Love is at the end of the dirt road.%22

One month post our move and 99% of the time I’m still waiting for someone to wake me up from my dream. However, I don’t want you all to think it’s been without a few learning curves – so here is what ‘4 Weeks of Country Living Has Taught Me’

Dirty Road Diary Style; 12 Country Living Lessons

(in no particular order)

  1. Dirt is the new “cool” – my kids have never been dirtier and, I have never cared less. Hahaha, ok maybe I’ve cared a bit. Truth, country living is dirty – clean boots, coats, and clothes are a thing of the past.

Dirt Road Diary;

2) Music bee’s lungs work just fine – just ask the neighbors if they heard her when she saw her first Gardner snake in the woods.

3) Bugs, bugs, and more bugs!!! My house is infested with ladybugs and I’ve already killed 15 Mosquitos, a few spiders, and several moth thingies (yes, that’s what they are called)

4) Raccoons can climb really high: and, when you move your bird feeder they might just get mad and poop on your balcony.

5) Rainboots are a necessity. Did I mention it’s dirty? Thanks you Jesus for our mudroom!

 Childhood Unplugged; Country Living Lessons

6) Deer are such peaceful animals.

7) Real fireplaces take me back to my childhood. They are just so dreamy and magical.

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8) Chickens are super cool little creatures – and, I might just become the next crazy chicken lady. I love them!




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9) Well water isn’t actually scary at all and surprisingly tastes pretty good. Not to mention it makes your hair super soft (ummm..bonus!)

10) Going to ‘town’ still sounds totally strange to me but, is super fun! 1 grocery store, a few gas stations, a subway, a frozen custard place, a thrift store, and well, of coarse Tractor Supply – what else do you need?

11) And, the number one thing living in the country has taught me in 4 weeks – I hate leaving home!

12) Home is where the heart is –

“I wouldn’t give a nickel to have it paved in gold. Everything I Love is at the end of the dirt road.”

Tot School Fall Style

I haven’t been very good at posting on here lately, but we have been very busy learning and exploring here are a few of the things that we have done in the past couple weeks during our school time together. Mommy has not been very good at downloading all of them on the computer lately. To much to do and so little time. First, we had school “camping style” coloring pictures in our new tent that we got for our 3rd Birthday. Abby thought this was really fun and enjoyed learning about the Alphabet and just coloring pictures inside her secret hang out.


We dyed rice in fall colors and enjoyed playing with our new sensory bucket. Measuring, scooping, and just making a rice mess!! But that’s ok it was not anything the vacuum could not clean up.

Abby really loves Curious George and wanted to look for worms like George this particular morning. Mom had to put on her thinking cap because it was really rainy. So we made worms out of yarn and hid them in our dry milk sensory bucket. Therefore, we dug for worms in the sand and stayed dry all the while.

And for a little file folder fun we matched colors with little raccoon images. The word colors match up to the actual colors themselves. Abby did great at this and we now make a little game out of it.

Finally, one of our other on going projects over here is our indoor garden. We planted seeds from our Chia Pet Herb Garden Abby did the entire thing and this is her little prized possession. Mommy does not have a green thumb, but Abby sure does like to care for the plants in our house. More power to you kiddo!!

Come join us and others teaching our Tots at home!!

Tot School