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How many raised beds does it take to feed a family?

The amount of garden space needed to feed a family depends on a number of factors, including crop selection, productivity, diet and eating habits, of course, the size of your household.

One conservative estimate suggests that is takes about 200 square feet of raised garden beds to provide a season’s worth of fresh produce for a single person. By this estimate, a garden 800-1200 square feet should yield enough fruits and vegetables for a family of four.

Some crops, such as potatoes, tomatoes and squash, require relatively large amounts of growing space and take a long time to mature, but with a successful harvest end up producing more food per square foot. Short season crops like green onions, radishes, lettuce and salad greens are harvested more quickly and take up less space, but in the end don’t produce much weight, despite having high nutritional value.

When planning to supplement your family’s diet with home grown crops, plant the fruits and vegetables your family eats most often and that are expensive to buy in stores. Some produce, such as tomatoes, are usually better tasting grown in a garden than bought from a store. Experiment with a variety of crops both tasty and productive and can, freeze and dry abundant harvests to enjoy year round.