Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Do You Really Eat In A Year?

This has been a very confusing question for me-  I am doing a lot of guess work here.  We are trying to eat 90% of our meals at home, both for the health benefits and the tight budget .  I find it hard to feed a family of 5 on our current budget of $800 a month.  This includes everything, dry goods, toilet paper, etc....  With all of our kids in their teens now and two of the three being boys, the money never seems enough.  I am used to having our own eggs, meat, and vegies, but with our moving so late in the year we did not have a chance to grow our own anything.  We are waiting on our 20 hens to start laying eggs still.   I am motivated that in 2013 we will try and be more self sufficient with our food production.  In an effort to figure out how much seed to purchase and how many animals we need to have on hand I developed a list of what I THINK  we will need in 2013-2014.  Figuring that our growing season may not start until May 2013 our full year might be May 2013 to May 2014. 

So here is what I have come up with:

100 chickens- with 1/2 being in parts and 1/2 in whole chickens
2 pigs- seems like we go through one every 6 months
1 cow- should last all year long
1 Lamb per year
15 turkeys- one for every month and a few extra to make into ground turkey

Herbs- Hannah will likely add to this list, but I want to have fresh or frozen herbs this coming year
Mint, Basil, Thyme, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Cilantro, Parsley, Dill, Lavender, Oregeno,  Pyretheam
Sage, Stevia

Fruits- we will not have our own orchards yet- it will take them a few years to come into fruit so we will have to look around for orchards to pick from
Blueberries- 50-100 lbs frozen
Apples- 30+ lbs for applesauce, pies, butter and frozen  to add to dishes later
Peaches- 20+ lbs for jam making, and to freeze for later use
Plums- 15+ lbs for jam making and to freeze or dehydrate for later use.

Mushrooms-  I am hoping that Eric will take on the task of growing mushrooms for our family and maybe extra to take to markets in the summer
Button, oyster and shiitake

Vegies-  I plan on canning, freezing and storing most of the harvest while still eating what is in season
Beets-  50 jars with 10 beets per jar= 500 beets
Beans- 50lbs with 1/2 produced from bush beans and 1/2 produced from pole beans = 100 bean plants
Broccoli-  100 lbs with 2lbs per plant = 50 broccoli plants
Cabbage- eaten seasonally = 5-10 plants
Carrots- 100 lbs = 200-300 carrots
Cauliflower- 40 lbs = 20 cauliflower
Cucumbers- 25 jars of pickles= 10 plants
Eggplant- 20 lbs to freeze and eat at harvest time = 10 plants
Garlic- 100 bulbs a year- we use at least 2 a week
Kale- eaten seasonally = 5-10 plants
Lettuce- eaten seasonally I want to try and always have some planted
Melons- to eat seasonally and freeze for later use = 20 plants
Onions- 100 to 150 lbs = 200 to 300 planted
Peas-  100 lbs a year = 100 plants ??
Peppers- to eat seasonally = 5-10 plants
Potatoes-  200lbs  1/2 in sweet and 1/2 in regular
Pumpkins- 20-30 in several varieties- I bake and freeze most of my pumpkin
Spinach- 50-100 plants to eat seasonally and freeze for the rest
Summer Squash- 20 plants to freeze and eat seasonally
Swish Chard- One of my favorites- to eat seasonally 10 plants
Tomatoes-  This is a big one- We eat a lot of diced tomatoes.  500lbs of tomatoes = 100 plants  We need diced, stewed and sauce tomatoes
Watermelon- to eat seasonally 20-30 plants
Winter Squash-  Most of these hold well over winter in storage
Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti  10-20 plants each

Here is the real question- Can we really grow all of this food ourselves?  Of course there are things missing- I don't want to tackle grains yet, so you don't see corn, wheat, or oats YET.
It would be fun to have honey bees too, but that is in our future and only if one of the kiddos or husband wants to take that on.
I think we have maple trees on the property too, but that too is a few years out.  But a fun thought!!
So much to do before we can even contemplate getting our garden going or trees planted.  We keep pushing forward.
What do you think of our food plan?  Do you have one of your own? 

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