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How Much Food To Grow & Preserve For A Family Of 4

Planning is a vital part of growing enough food to feed your family. Preparing for the unexpected like food shortages, rising prices, and supply chain issues will ensure that even in the worst of times, you have what you need to thrive. While a lot of gardeners prefer to eat their crops fresh, preserving either a portion or the entire harvest for long term storage is what we recommend to feel secure in knowing that food insecurity won’t be an issue.

A Few Things To Consider When Planning On What To Grow In Your Garden

Diversity of the plant
How many different uses can you get out of one crop? For example, corn can not only be eaten on or off the cob, but can be ground into cornmeal, used as animal feed, or sold at market for extra income.

How much space do you have to grow?
While there is a lot of information out there that tells you how much space you need in your garden to feed a person, there are many variables involved like the space requirements for plants, how much each family consumes, just to name a few. This is where planning comes into play. Choose the crops you want to grow, determine the space requirements and the yield for those crops and make sure that you get enough harvest to feed the number of people in your family using the charts, calculators, and planners below.

How many people do you plan to feed?
Obviously taking into account the people in your household, you also need to factor in those outside of your family. Are you planning on using these crops in a recipe during a dinner party? Do you plan on giving away some of your preserved food away as gifts to neighbors? If so, you may need to plan on planting some extra crops to account for those factors.

Do you have anything left over from last year’s harvest?
Having a bountiful garden is surely a great feeling but not having the space to store the crops you’ve grown is the quickest path to food waste. As a good rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to keep records of everything that you have in the freezer and pantry so that you can have a better idea of what you should be planting. 

How Much To Plant For Your Family

Because of all the variables that go along with planning your garden, the chart below is simply a recommendation on how much to plant per person on average. Each family consumes different amounts of food, climates, soil, temperatures, etc., change from garden to garden so be sure to adjust these amounts based on your family’s needs. For a more in-depth breakdown, download the Free Printable Garden Planner!

Plant Pounds Per Person Harvest Needed (lbs) Plants Needed
Artichoke 3 12 6
Asparagus 2 8 18
Basil 0.5 2 5
Crawling Lima Beans/Butter Beans 3 12 144
Climbing Lima Beans/Butter Beans 3 12 18
Bush Beans 15 60 0 150
Pole Beans 15 60 80
Soy Beans 15 60 0 144
Beets 3.5 14 60
Bok Choy 3 12 15
Broccoli 8 32 22
Brussels Sprouts 6 24 22
Cabbage 15 60 27
Carrots 10 40 48
Cauliflower 9 36 24
Celery 4 16 41
Cilantro 0.25 1 3
Collards 2 8 8
Corn 25 100 5 94
Cucumbers 8 32 14
Dill 0.25 1 2
Eggplant 4 16 10
Fennel 1 4 5
Garlic 1 4 32
Kale 1 4 4
Kohlrabi 1.5 6 16
Leek 1 4 27
Lettuce 6 24 42
Melons 6 24 7
Mustard 1 4 16
Okra 1 4 3
Onions 8 32 96
Parsley 0.25 1 6
Parsnip 3 12 36
Peas 3 12 90
Peppers 3 12 15
Potatoes 25 100 0 100
Pumpkins 10 40 12
Radish 2 8 60
Rhubarb 4 16 48
Rutabaga 1.5 6 10
Spinach 3 12 30
Summer Squash 10 40 14
Winter Squash 6 24 9
Strawberry 13 52 23
Sweet Potatoes 3 12 11
Swiss Chard 3 12 18
Tomatoes 24 96 39
Cherry Tomatoes 17 68 35
Turnips 5 20 54
Watermelons 12 48 5
Plant Pounds Per Person Harvest Needed (lbs) Plants Needed
Artichoke 3 12 6
Asparagus 2 8 18
Basil 0.5 2 5
Crawling Lima Beans/Butter Beans 3 12 144
Climbing Lima Beans/Butter Beans 3 12 18
Bush Beans 15 60 0 150
Pole Beans 15 60 80
Soy Beans 15 60 0 144
Beets 3.5 14 60
Bok Choy 3 12 15
Broccoli 8 32 22
Brussels Sprouts 6 24 22
Cabbage 15 60 27
Carrots 10 40 48
Cauliflower 9 36 24
Celery 4 16 41
Cilantro 0.25 1 3
Collards 2 8 8
Corn 25 100 5 94
Cucumbers 8 32 14
Dill 0.25 1 2
Eggplant 4 16 10
Fennel 1 4 5
Garlic 1 4 32
Kale 1 4 4
Kohlrabi 1.5 6 16
Leek 1 4 27
Lettuce 6 24 42
Melons 6 24 7
Mustard 1 4 16
Okra 1 4 3
Onions 8 32 96
Parsley 0.25 1 6
Parsnip 3 12 36
Peas 3 12 90
Peppers 3 12 15
Potatoes 25 100 0 100
Pumpkins 10 40 12
Radish 2 8 60
Rhubarb 4 16 48
Rutabaga 1.5 6 10
Spinach 3 12 30
Summer Squash 10 40 14
Winter Squash 6 24 9
Strawberry 13 52 23
Sweet Potatoes 3 12 11
Swiss Chard 3 12 18
Tomatoes 24 96 39
Cherry Tomatoes 17 68 35
Turnips 5 20 54
Watermelons 12 48 5

Everything You Need For A Great Garden!

Greg & Sheila's Sample Spring Garden Plan

Crop # Of Rows Row Length Primary Method Preserving Plan
Corn 7 40 Freeze 52 quart bags. Extra for soup.
Tomatoes 2 30 Can 25 quarts juice. 25 quarts stewed. 10 quarts Italian stewed.
20 pints salsa. Freeze extra for soup.
Beans 1 30 Can 50 quarts
Summer Squash 1 15 Can 15 quarts. 20 pints.
Winter Squash 7 20 Can 15 quarts.
Cucumbers 2 20 Pickle 20 quarts sweet. 10 pints bread and butter. 10 pints dill.
Potatoes 2 30 Can 15 quarts
Okra 1 30 Fresh Pickle 5 pints. Freeze extra for soup.
Onions 1 70 Dry Store
Garlic 1 15 Dry Store
Peppers 1 15 Can 20 pints salsa. 15 pints pepper jelly. 15 pints pepper sauce.
Freeze extra for soup.
Crop # Of Rows Row Length Primary Method Preserving Plan
Corn 7 40 Freeze 52 quart bags. Extra for soup.
Tomatoes 2 30 Can 25 quarts juice. 25 quarts stewed. 10 quarts Italian stewed.
20 pints salsa. Freeze extra for soup.
Beans 1 30 Can 50 quarts
Summer Squash 1 15 Can 15 quarts. 20 pints.
Winter Squash 7 20 Can 15 quarts.
Cucumbers 2 20 Pickle 20 quarts sweet. 10 pints bread and butter. 10 pints dill.
Potatoes 2 30 Can 15 quarts
Okra 1 30 Fresh Pickle 5 pints. Freeze extra for soup.
Onions 1 70 Dry Store
Garlic 1 15 Dry Store
Peppers 1 15 Can 20 pints salsa. 15 pints pepper jelly. 15 pints pepper sauce.
Freeze extra for soup.

Download Your FREE Printable Garden Planner!

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