A question that many people ask as they begin to grow their own produce and raise their own food sources is “How much food will I need for my family?” For many, the goal of growing their own food is to have enough to last them throughout the year. This question does not have an exact answer because it will depend largely on your family’s eating habits and preferences.
It is helpful to make a list of your family’s meal plan on an average week. This will aid you in determining what kinds of produce your family consumes most often, and about how much of it you will need in an entire year. As you are calculating, it is also helpful to come up with some ways you can incorporate more produce into your meal plans. (For instance, instead of buying rice, you could try making cauliflower “rice” for stir fries.) You will also want to have a plan beforehand of how you and your family will preserve your summer haul. Will you can most of your surplus, or will you try freezing it? Is your family more likely to consume tomatoes if they have been made into tomato soup or spaghetti sauce, or will it be sufficient to preserve them diced or whole?
Once you have answered these questions, you will be able to estimate how much your family will need to eat in a year.
This list from New Life on a Homestead is also very helpful.
How much do you plant each summer to provide for your family for the next year? We would love to hear any suggestions you have in the comments below!
A special thanks to New Life on a Homestead for this helpful and insightful article!