Many gardeners are striving to reach a point where they are free from running to the grocery stores. They want food freedom and are actively taking steps to embrace this sustainable lifestyle. But how much food does it take to feed a family for a year?

That’s a big question with a big answer! On average, Americans consumed 48.3 pounds per person of potatoes, 28.3 pounds of tomatoes, and 7.7 pounds of onions per person in 2015. With these being the top vegetables consumed, you may want to consider adding them to your garden. Of course, in a long-term emergency, that number would greatly increase solely because of the additional physical activity. That said, plant enough plants to have for food,  and to have left over for canning and preserving for the winters.

Plan for a well-rounded harvest with foods that can account for carbohydrates, vitamins, and nutrients.

According to a gardening guide, these are the number of plants to plant per person for an ample food supply.

An additional question to consider is how much grain would a family need to grow for a year. The answer to that question is dependent on the size of the family and their lifestyle. The truth is that if a family of four wanted to grow enough wheat for a year, they would need 1,000 square feet—or roughly the size of an average backyard. This space would allow a family to grow a bushel of wheat which is equivalent to 60 pounds of grain and can bake 90 loaves of bread. Keep in mind that if you have livestock you could grow more to give them for food sources too.

Clearly, growing your own food sources will take up a lot of outdoor space, but it is possible. Utilizing patio space and verticle walls could also add more growing room for the vegetable garden. With the soaring food prices these days, this may become a viable option for families who are looking for ways to expand their budgets.