Ever Wondered How Much Food You Need to Grow?

When I started trying to grow the majority of our food, I didn’t know how to find a chart that would let me know just how much food I needed to grow.

It was hard to figure out how many rows of green beans or peas I needed to plant in order to get a year’s supply. In the end, I gave it my best guess and started to plant.



At the end of that season, I added up all the jars or packages I had preserved. Over that winter I kept track of how many jars I had left.

By doing that, I was able to figure out (fairly closely) how many pounds of veggies I needed to harvest the following year. From there I could try to figure out how many plants or rows I would need.



That method did work, but I wish I had had this handy little chart at the time to make it much easier for me.

Maybe you can use this to figure out your family’s needs for a year? Even if we can only plant enough to eat fresh throughout the season, it is always worth it to plant a garden.  Your garden may be big or small, set in a field or on your back patio in containers. Whatever size your garden is, I hope you can get some use from this chart.



Are you planting a garden this year? How small or how big? Leave a comment and let us know!



  1. avatar Kari says:

    Hi Annie,
    Yes our garden is growing although my cabbage never looks as happy as yours does. You are a great gardener. Our garden is about 50′ x 100′, give or take a few feet! We manage to get a great variety in the garden and will plant another rotation by late August. We also have several fruit trees both inside and outside the garden, harvest wild berries and cultivated berries, grow our meat, and raise hens for eggs. We manage to put up about 1/2 to 2/3 of the food we eat. We also barter or purchase some of our food for preserving that is grown by neighbors and friends. Right now the cucumbers are just about ripe for pickling. I read this evening in an Amish book that the master gardener would plant radishes between her corn rows because the radishes would be harvested before the corn got too tall and she was able to get a large quantity of food in a small area by using this method.

    • avatar Annie says:

      Hi Kari, I think it’s great that you are able to grow so much of your own food.I haven’t heard about companion planting radishes and corn, but I have heard of the 3 sisters. You plant your corn and surround it with runner beans which will climb up the corn stalks. Plant squash in amongst it all and it will travel all over your ground. I think it’s a great idea.

      One day, we will have to get together on one our down south trips. I would love to see your place.

  2. avatar Amanda says:

    I planted my first garden this year, but I’m not sure if I’ll get anything from it. I’ve eaten 4 fresh raspberries so far and that’s it. I’m sure they would be doing better if they were in the ground a month sooner, but with moving and finding a new job, the garden was on the back burner. Plus the site had to be cleared and soil added. I should take a picture and post it on the forum sometime. It also probably doesn’t help that I don’t water it as often as I should.

    Annie, have you ever thought about doing a post on motivation? Like, how you make yourself to go weed, water, or plant in the garden when it’s hot outside and you’re tired, when you could just buy the darn 33 cent cucumber at the store. Is it something that comes with time or am I just that lazy?? Anyway, I think that would be an interesting post topic, at least for a newbie like me.

    • avatar Annie says:

      Dang, I lost my comment so here goes again….

      Getting a garden started is hard work and it does take time to get everything growing. I try to get in the garden every day, even if I only have 10 minutes I can put in. A little time spent weeding every single day will eventually get the job done.

      That 33 cent cucumber has almost certainly been sprayed with chemicals. We try hard to not eat anything that has been sprayed. That is why we grow so much of our own food.