FEEDING A FAMILY FROM THE GARDEN Posted on 28 Apr 21:57 , 9 comments

We're often asked WHAT to plant and HOW MUCH to plant.  It is a common question so we thought we'd do a little "digging" to find the answers.

First, determine what you like to eat.  There's no sense in growing butternut squash (for example) if no one in your family will eat it.  Unless you plan to barter or trade that squash, try planting something different.

Common veggies include Beans Lettuce, Chard, Beets, Radish, Peppers, Tomatoes, Zucchini, Crookneck Squash, Pumpkins and Peppers.

Peas, Onions, HERBS and Eggplant shouldn't be left out.

Next, decide if you want to preserve some of the harvest by canning and/or freezing.  This would mean planting more seeds and harvesting more veggies.  But is also means less dependence on store-bought veggies.

We found a great chart at Well Fed Homestead.  This is a suggestion to feed your family for an entire year
1-4 plants per person

10-12 plants per person

Beans, Bush
10-20 plants per person

Beans, Lima
10-20 plants per person

Beans, Pole
10-20 plants per person

10-20 plants per person

5-10 plants per person

Brussels Sprouts
2-8 plants per person

3-10 plants per person

10-40 plants per person

3-5 plants per person
3-8 plants per person

12-40 plants per person

3-5 plants per person

1 plant per person, plus 2-3 extra per family

1 - 5’ row per person

10-12 plants per person

2-6 plants per person

40-80 plants per person

25-60 plants per person

5-6 plants per person

10-30 plants per person

1 plant per person

2-3 crowns per person

10-20 plants per person

Summer Squash
2-4 plants per person

Winter Squash
2 plants per person

Sweet Potatoes
5 plants per person

2-5 plants per person

From The Prepper Project,
"We may think of pumpkins and squash as nice decorations in fall – but for Indians, and the pioneers that followed them – squash meant survival. Many of the old winter squash varieties are large and can store for six months or longer. If you’ve got the climate and the space for these powerhouses, growing storable squash should be a priority. Likewise, beans are a good source of storable protein. Nab old-school shell beans and try a variety on your land. Though their yield isn’t as good as some survival plants, beans will repair your land by adding nitrogen. Crop them between other species and count the beans as an extra bonus. A particularly good plant to mix with beans and squash is the old stand-by: corn. Sweet corn isn’t what you want for survival – you want old grain varieties like Hickory King, Bloody Butcher, or Hopi Blue. Think scrappy, tough and uncorrupted by genetic modification. Grits, corn meal, polenta corn. Unlike other grains, corn is easy to harvest. Intercrop it with squash and beans in the “Three Sisters” method and you’ll get much more use of your space – plus confuse pests."

We understand that not everyone has a "farm" or vast amounts of land to grow 100% of their food.  Knowledge is power.  If your goal is to become more self-reliant and live more sustainably, now you have a food goal!

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We hope you have enjoyed yet another informative growing article here at Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  If you have additional questions please ask!


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