How Much to Plant for a Year's Supply of Food

When I set the goal to eat only the veggies from my garden for a whole year, I had one big problem. I had no idea how many plants we needed to grow for a years worth of food!

HOmegrown Black Turtle Beans

HOmegrown Black Turtle Beans

Since I grow for six people in a 3500 square foot garden with some space allocated for fruits, my amounts needed to be precise. At the time, I didn’t know of any resources for finding out that information so I started with my best guess, based on what we had grown in years past. The first year, we made it nine months with exclusively homegrown garden produce and we eat a lot of vegetables.

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The second year, I got how much to plant more dialed in because now I had the experience! To seriously grow all the vegetables you eat for a whole year isn’t easy. But it is totally worth it! You can do it if you believe you can!

Below you will find my numbers of how much to grow per person, for each vegetable. For my family, I take the amount in the chart and times it by six because we have six total and my boys eat as much as I do. That is not an exaggeration. If you are counting children that eat very little you could plant half as much per person.

Obviously, the amounts will vary from person to person, family to family. If you see a vegetable on my list that your family doesn’t eat, I would increase your amounts for another vegetable. This chart gives you a great starting place to work from.

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Spring, summer, and fall usually aren’t too bad to keep enough vegetables. When winter comes and produce stops growing (even under protected low tunnels) it can be quite a challenge. At the beginning of this post, you can see a picture of all the canning I did. But what you don’t see its the boxes of potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots stored in the garden under mulch, dried beans, freezer vegetables, fresh kale and spinach in the garden, fermented vegetables, and dehydrated vegetables.

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It’s important to have a wide variety of foods and preservation methods to pull from. Even though home canned food what you see pictured often, I wouldn’t rely on canned vegetables alone. That would get old really fast and nutritionally isn’t the best. I think having a variety of vegetables from different preservation methods helps you to keep eating from the pantry and your garden produce for longer.

Coming up next week I have a really good post for you on tips for how to maximize your garden space so you can plant the recommended amounts above, even in a small area!

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