We feed 4 from a set of raised beds totalling 375 square feet, plus a 12'x8' greenhouse and fruit beds (roughly 200 sqft). We are self sufficient except for maincrop/old potatoes which we don't bother with. It's hard work though!
Wow diggingforvictory, I am in awe of your achievement! I have to admit I am a fair weather gardener only, so only grow veggies for the summer and autumn, but we have a huge garden which could, theoretically, feed us all, so every now and then I fantasise about how it could be done.
How much time do you spend cultivating? and what do you do about produce that cannot be grown in this country? do you simply not eat it or do you buy some exotic things?
catinthehat, I am growing leeks for the first time this year. I have loads, but all really close together at the moment as they have not yet been thinned (because I have no room to thin them). On the packet, it says thin to 9inches apart... 9inches? really? That seems ever so far apart given that leeks are only about an inch or two in diameter. Can you let me know how far apart you plant yours?
I chuck the seeds in a trough in JAn, and forget about them I end up with a lot of grass like sprouts, maybe 70-100 ish? I reckon to get these in a section about the size of a single bed mattress, possibly a few inches less all round I don't do rows, just start in the centre & work my way round in a spiral, reckon maybe 6 in apart in all directions. just enough to weed between without disturbing the plant I end up with nice medium leeks which are a decent size for cooking, rather than the tree trunks which the old allotment boys bestow on their grateful wives (!) I plant close as I have no space to waste, my hands are small enough to weed, and I like sensible leeks rather than competition whoppers, so I think I am in agreement with you, closer is sensible
Dumbledoresgirl would it be helpful to try to become self-sufficient in certain things then expand out from there? We are now self-sufficient for strawberries (and jam), new potatoes, courgettes, broad beans, french beans, runner beans. I have a greenhouse and a 5 pole plot.
Some of it I think is an attitude of mind. We eat the things we are self-sufficient in in season and I preserve in some form the glut.
GnomeDePlume, that is a good idea and something I am trying to achieve in a way, eg we had a constant supply of runner beans and courgettes for 4 months last year, and then were able to carry on eating them occasionally all the way through to spring courtesy of the produce I froze.
5 pole - mine is 30 feet by 45 feet (in old money).
I have had my plot for a couple of years now (I'm in my third season). Having tried to grow anything and everything in my first couple of years I'm now looking at the things which are actually worth the bother. For me that means soft fruit, beans, new potatoes, onions, garlic. For some reason I cant grow peas.