What Some Vegetables Can Contribute To The Year’s Food Supply


I derived the following information from a mid-1940’s ‘Victory Garden’ handbook, many of which were published during the time period of WWII by the United States Department of Agriculture for the benefit of Americans, most of whom were short on food and supplies because of the war. Americans were strongly encouraged to grow their own ‘Victory Garden’ to supplement their food supply.

As a nation we have always taken food pretty much for granted. Not the farmers, of course. Food is the stuff life is made of, to a farmer. But the rest of us haven’t always understood that. We have always had the idea in mind that there will always be plenty of food, if we just have the money to buy it. One might say that a nation is no stronger than its food supply.

Here is a recommendation given to Americans during that time regarding what (which and how) vegetables can contribute to one’s annual food supply:

(It might be useful preparedness information)



Make four servings each day.



1. Leafy, Green, and Yellow Vegetables.

Serve one from this group each day. Eat 3½ pounds per week per person (½ pound per day, 182 pounds per year) fresh or its equivalent in canned, dried, stored, or frozen vegetables. Can 25 quarts. Store 45 pounds.

Beans, Snap (50 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (1½-2 lbs. to can 1 qt.)
Beans, Lima (50 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (3-4 qts. in pod)
Beet Greens (25 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (2-3 lbs. to can 1 qt.)
Broccoli (50 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (Freeze)
Chard (100 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (2-3 lbs. to can 1 qt.)
Collards (50 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (Dry, Freeze)
Kale (75 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (Dry, Freeze)
Lettuce (50 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (Fresh)
Spinach (50 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (2-3 lbs. to can 1 qt.)
Turnip Greens (50 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (Dry, Freeze)
Peas (40 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (2 lbs. to can 1 qt.)
Carrots (100 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (2½ lbs. to can 1 qt.)
Squash, Yellow flesh (100 fruits Yield /100 ft. Row) (4 lbs. in shell)


2. Tomatoes, Cabbage.

Serve one of these each day. Eat 2 pounds per week per person (~¼ pound per day, 104 pounds per year). Can 25 quarts tomatoes or juice. Store or kraut 25 pounds of cabbage.

Tomatoes (200 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (3 lbs. to can 1 qt.)
Cabbage (raw) or Kraut (100-175 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (Store or kraut)


3. Other Vegetables.

Serve one from this group each day. Eat 3 pounds per week per person (~½ pound per day, 156 pounds per year). Can or freeze 15 quarts. Store 40 pounds.

Corn (100 ears Yield /100 ft. Row) (10-12 small or 5-6 large to can 1 qt.)
Beets (100 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (2½-3 lbs. to can 1 qt.)
Onions (50-100 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (Store)
Parsnips (100 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (Store)
Turnips (100 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row) (Store)
Chinese Cabbage (80 heads /100 ft. Row) (Store)


4. White Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes.

Serve one of these each day. Eat 3½ pounds per week per person (½ pound per day, 182 pounds per year). Store 140 pounds.

White or Sweet Potatoes (200 lbs. Yield /100 ft. Row)


5. Dried Peas, Beans, Lima Beans, Soybeans.

Serve one from this group three times a week. Eat 6 ounces per person per week (20 pounds per year). Store 14 pounds.


Adapted from Victory Garden Leader’s Handbook, US Department of Agriculture, mid 1940’s

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  1. good sensible advice, even for now. Especially for now. Bet most folks do not come close to eating that much veggies.

  2. yup…just added up the suggested weights of how much veggies to eat each day..pound and quarter. I eat a lot of veggies compared to everyone I know/observe. Not sure I eat that much veggies each day. Gonna add it up, roughly, over next few days and see. Could be part of all the health problems reported in the populations these days…not nearly enough veggies.

  3. Wish my sad little garden could produce that much. Alas, 4 raised beds just isn’t gonna yield that quantity for my crew. lol Guess I gotta go to the grocery store. :)

  4. I have got to say I’m slightly lacking in the veg department. Unless you count wine as a vegetable LOL,
    Great info to start heading the storage to, that’s a LOT!!!! of vegs to get grown and to store, but probably a lot smarter than the current diet the world is on now.
    I noticed some of the greens they only suggest drying, like collards, kale, and turnip greens, anyone know why that is? I have been cooking them with a little water only than bagging them and freezing. But want to start to can them.

    I was born and raised on Crockett’s Victory Garden, one of my wedding gifts from my mom the first time I got married was CVG, I still have it after 1 divorce, 1 cancer loss and 42 years of gardens…. Holy cow, think I should know how to grow a garden now? HAHAHA I would greatly suggest anyone getting started into gardening to get that one.

    Ok, now I’m hungry for a bowl of Turnip Greens LOL

    1. A topical post, for me anyway.

      I just harvested some turnips. About eight. Used two for myself, gave the rest away. The two I kept were softball sized. Kind of like mashed potatoes and spinach. A bit stronger tasting. Have leftovers for tomorrow. The ones that I gave away are smaller. I want to try pelleted carrot seeds in the bed.

      Two things I noticed:
      – Turnips are great at weed control. Like a cover crop.
      – The insects, or maybe slugs, around here prefer to munch on shaded leaves. The two large plants had full sun and very few holes. The shaded leaves had a *lot* of holes.

      I still have another bed of turnips and rutabagas.

  5. I’m reading a book about square foot gardening … a variation of raised bed gardening. Not having actually tried it yet I can’t say just how practical this is but in concept it makes perfect sense. The beauty of this technique is that you utilize 80% less space with less maintenance than what is required for row plantings. This will be our winter/spring project.

    1. @ Roger
      I have gone 100% to Raised-Bed/Container gardening. 4’X8′ beds are perfect, at 2′ off the ground it’s a LOT easier to work and seems to use a lot less water. Timing the crops is the key. I have even built small covers for 4 of them to extend the season.

      1. @NRP, Curious what you use for your raised bed ‘construction’ technique to build it to 24″ height? (e.g. 2x12x8’s stacked?, or a stack of 4×4’s?, bricks? logs? railroad ties? etc..) -thanks-

        1. @Ken
          I use 2’X4′ symons plywood-steel concrete forms laid down on edge for the 2′ height, a pieced of form angle at the corners and (2) 4′ long snap ties at 4′ in the 8′ side. Filed 1/2 with 1″ rock, a layer of weed-guard and top with good composted garden soil. So I have a good 12″ of good soil to plant in, deeper for some of the root crops.

          1. Sweet,,, those forms will last forever,,
            A friend of mine dug down 2′ for the walk ways with a mini ex then stacked 8x8x16″ CMU and solid grouted and bonded it with rebar for the bed retainers,,, was sorta spendy but is nice,,

          1. Thanks for the photos – very nice! Plus, so nice not to have to bend over so much while working the beds…

          1. Tiny,

            That is correct, it’s not such a good idea…they are treated ‘to the extreme’ for longevity.

  6. If you do not grow Purslane for survival, you really must have NO idea. This plant tops any other you can grow and can be eaten raw. Fact is, people will overlook this most valuable plant, if they come to loot your crops! Costs nothing to grow. Wild Purslane from your area will be better than any seeds you can buy. Please look into it.

    “Purslane” contains more omega 3 fatty acids than any other plant source in the solar system, and an extraordinary amount for a plant, some 8.5 mg for every gram of weight. It has vitamin A, B, C and E — six times more E than spinach — beta carotene — seven times more of that than carrots — magnesium, calcium, potassium, folate, lithium — keep you sane — iron and is 2.5% protein. Two pigments, one in the leaves and one in the yellow blossoms, have been proven anti-mutagenic in lab studies, meaning they help keep human cells from mutating, which is how cancer gets started. And you get all that for about 15 calories per 100 gram (three ounce) serving. As a mild diuretic, it might even lower your blood pressure as well.

    1. Thanks for sharing regarding Purslane. Also bear in mind that survival (in the sense of SHTF – food shortages, self-sustenance, etc..) it’s largely about enough caloric intake (as well as nutritional balance as best one can!). Not that anyone would try to survive on Purslane alone, but if they did, and if it’s 15 calories per three ounce serving – one would have to consume 133 servings per day to receive 2000 calories, or 400 ounces. Just saying.

      That said, it is apparently a very nutritious plant to blend in with one’s food consumption!

      Garden Vegetable Calories

  7. Thank-you for this info. I will print it to have on hand. Great to know the lbs per qt. Makes calculating feet of row needed for the 2 of us much easier. Also like the number of servings of each type of veg. for healthy eating. Will try to follow their recommendations this summer. Of course garden is alrady planted but will drag it out this winter when planning for next years garden. Thanks again.

  8. Ken,
    I can not find Eneloop D NiMH low drain batteries. If one of your advertisers has these I will purchase from them. Do you have a recommendation? Thanks for your help.

  9. So heres something im bumping against with regards to my garden these days,
    TOO DAMN MUCH RAIN! We have had cloudy skies and rain more than not lately, makes it real hard to grow anything even here on Maui where we supposedly have year round growing season, sorta frustrating and could potentially be a huge problem if TSHTF,
    Am looking at putting up a couple high tunnels in one of my fields so i can keep a garden growing and be able to start and grow more sensitive stuff, so much rain that lettuce etc just rot, even the carrots and stuff are having trouble.

    1. The weather is fairly critical to a successful garden isn’t it? Those in CA probably wish they could have your rainfall right about now… You’re absolutely correct that too much rain can ruin it too…

    2. We’ve had a warmer than usual season. About ten degrees above average. Normally zone 5B. Looking forward, not really, to a week of over 100 degrees. Hard to keep seeds moist in that much heat. Planning to try pelleted carrot seeds after the heat wave goes through. I just don’t have the patience to do regular carrot seeds anymore. End up sowing them by the ‘pinch’ and thinning like mad. Maybe tossing them in the air would work better.

      Now might be a good time to get next years seeds. They seem to be going on sale. I’m planning to give Johnny’s Selected Seeds a try.

  10. We can green beans, enough for a whole season. We can sweet corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes. We make kraut. It only takes 5 nice heads of cabbage and 15 Tbsp. of kosher salt to make 25 lbs. of sauerkraut. Cabbage can be grown in every season. We can tomato juice and whole tomatoes. Yes, enough to last us into the next season. Beets, carrots, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, can be stored almost to the time to harvest the new crop. It takes planning, diligence, practice, & patience.

  11. I have found that buying veggies from the local farmers market is really a good alternative to growing it yourself. I lived in a sandy area for 20 years and it was very difficult to grow much. It was hard to keep enough water on it and the summer sun would literally burn it up. So we would make a trip to the farmers market and buy bulk veggies to can or freeze. They had their own farm and could grow the veggies lots better than I since they had the money to invest in good irrigation systems, etc. Also their soil wasn’t as sandy as mine since they were farther from the beach than I. It may seem like an expensive way to go but it really isn’t when you take in consideration the cost of seed, fertilizer, etc. We have since moved to the mountains and are looking forward to growing our own.

    1. veggies.. I think you have a good point.

      I try to grow stuff in my garden, but do not have the right conditions to grow much, despite years of garden enhancements, etc . And, it has been pricey. I have gotten to the point, where I would not like to spend more money on it, but, I continue to improve the soil by adding what I can from the yard (I don’t use chemicals so my yard waste is pretty good for it). Still, after yrs of this, I couldn’t grow a wide variety. and some yrs tomatoes will grow/some not. no idea why. So, it has been a steady learning for me to find what will grow, and buy the rest.

      at first I was discouraged at having to purchase, but you are right, I believe. by the time one adds in various costs, I suspect what is purchased at the market is a good price. My only beef with this, is “I don’t have a clue what chemicals they actually use, sigh”.

    2. We also buy from the local farmers market. We no longer have the energy to garden, although we could in a SHTF scenario. I do maintain seed stock for growing if needed or trading if we really can no longer garden. We do containers for a few veggies, but nothing on a grand scale.

    3. I will toss in my hat to that, I just LOVE the Farmers Markets. I augment my own garden with a lot of stuff from the locals. And a lot of stuff I don’t grow or “forget” about and no space. If you get to know them farmers they will usually cut you a deal on bulk also, 1/2 price is GREAT. FYI I think Corn season is the BEST time of the year, period.

  12. We picked enough chamomile growing wild in our garden to fill a 2 quart jar after sun-dried. We also have lots of purslane growing there. And don’t forget about foraging, milkweed, nettles grow in abundance.

    At farmer’s markets get to know the vendors and you might be able to pick up what they don’t bother with. Last week the booth selling garlic scares told me they had tossed 1200 lbs into the compost heap. Another had a sack of radishes with some bruises on them, free. Orchards around here will let you pick up fallen apples which some make cider out of.

    1. Richard, have you ever had this happen/what did you do?

      we had a champion crop of chamomile. Picked it carefully, washed it outside. washed it again inside, twice. Spread it out on cookie sheet to dry, and SHEESH notice tiny little bugs, lots. Tossed the works. (outside). I am not good with bugs, sigh. Do you know of anyway, to make certain one can get rid of any bugs (have you seen this) outside?

      1. I pulled mine up from the root as I was weeding the garden and hung them up to dry in the sun. No bugs. I would question the need to wash them. I’m guessing the washing did something to attract bugs.

  13. There are apparently lots of calories in ice cream. I recently was sitting in the car at a strip mall waiting for my wife when I observed the customers at a ice cream parlor. What would these people do if they couldn’t get their ice cream? One woman (and they were all women) was so gigantic that they had to drive her up to the curb and when she left she had to back into the seat, which took several minutes. I saw them one-by-one come and go with large bowls of ice cream piled up high with chocolate syrup and strawberries and nuts. And it was 5 o’clock in the afternoon, was that their dinner? These people weren’t heavy, they were mammoth. What would they do if all they had were a garden of beets and kohlrabi? If you know someone in this condition, there’s got to be something you can do to intervene, it’s just not good.

    1. @ All
      Wellllll, I’m gona tell ya, it’s not easy sometimes.
      After wife passed away I took to eating as one of my reliefs, among a few other stupid things AND got lazy. I’m 6’2″ and toped out at 289# a year or so ago, NOT GOOD at 61 years of age. I visited my mom in Portland for her 93 birthday and we have a great visit. During that time off work I did a LOT of thinking about where I was heading, and what to do about life and the gray future. It’s amazing how sometime it’s just someone smacked ya in the head with a HUGE rock. Thanks Mom.
      Long story short I’m down almost 35 pounds since January, have changed my diet 100%, do a “mock” hunt with the Lab every other weekend, do a SHTF drill once a month, walk, hike, have a heck of a garden going, can, prep, camp, work 40 hours a week, and I feel GREAT!!!!
      I guess the reason I’m saying all of this is please don’t judge some people just because their FAT or overweight. there may be some reason other than just……. I know personally that sometimes it just takes that person with a HUGE rock to wake ya up. Sometimes some people are just what they are. AND yes sometimes people are just FAT & LAZY, agreeded.
      So to tie this into this article, yes I eat a LOT of vegs now days :-)

      1. Sorry about your wife, good to hear you are dealing with it positively. I congratulate you on your continued health, it isn’t easy.

        As for other conditions you are right to say not to judge because we don’t know the cause. I am going to stick my neck out and say that there is a cause and effect between numerous visits to the ice cream parlor and being seriously overweight.

        To add one more thing: prepping includes mental and emotional exercises. We have to prepare ourselves for loss, learn how to strengthen oneself inwardly. This is not the same as worrying of the inevitability of bad things to come. It is very common in my observation for people who have suffered loss and cannot cope with it in a healthful manner will themselves experience a corresponding loss of physical health. The best time to deal with the worst of times is now.

        1. Paragraph #2
          As for other conditions you are right to say not to judge because we don’t know the cause. I am going to stick my neck out and say that there is a cause and effect between numerous visits to the ice cream parlor and being seriously overweight, not hardly all of which can be attributed to grief relief.

        2. Thank you. Richard T

          I will agree with you on this “The best time to deal with the worst of times is now.” unfortunately as much as one tries to strengthen themselves via “mental and emotional exercises” there is little to prepare yourself from the crash of having ones wife of 28 years die in your arms. Don’t get me wrong, not looking for sympathy by any means. Just trying to make a point, no mater how much one preps there will ALWAYS be something that gets to you. BUT we do as much as we can to prepare for what’s heading our way.

          So DONT forget to eat your vegetables and enjoy every second of life :-)


          PS; Have that scoop of Ice-cream now and then it’s really not so bad after all :-)

          1. I don’t drink either, or very seldom,
            but someone pointed out to me (when I suggested they drink milk instead of pop), that milk as many calories as pop…

            Sometimes you have to make a point of checking these things.

          2. Today I did buy some ice cream, and some beer.

            Enjoying every minute of life is an attitude to achieve. Every moment of life is a gift. To be able to see, to hear smell and touch. To love, to feel things, to have thoughts. to experience what it is to be alive for this small moment in time that we have. To not acknowledge it’s magnificence is to waste it.

            To be enveloped in grief is a dark and lonely confinement. To lose a spouse is to lose part of your life. You are only part of what you were. That other voice is gone, the sounding board of your thoughts is gone, the give and receiving part of you is gone… forever.

            Time heals if only it gives us the means for finding strength and purpose and a new identity. For wholeness where life was ripped out from us. To experience life as a gift, and not as a loss. Minute by minute, breath by breath, we exist as we make up our minds to be.

            Enjoy that ice cream.

      2. NRP. Glad to see ya dropping the weight. From my experience, you eat according to your activities in life. No different than driving your truck. Nice and easy, less fuel. WFO, plan on stopping to fuel up often. I have noticed when shopping at the grocery store, the obese shoppers all have carts full of processed food. Check it out some time. You are what you eat in most cases, not all cases. Attitude and exercise goes a long way.

      3. Thanks all for the words;

        And yes I have looked at other carts in the stores, I do NOT buy any “processed/premade” foods anymore at all, well mostly anyways, although a nice big fattening pre-made Calzone sure would go good at times….. But I don’t. And no don’t try to preach to others how to live their lives, we each have to figure it out ourselves. Not un-similar to prepping, we all have to figure it out on our own what is best for ourselves, but seeking help and asking questions is part of that “figuring” out.

        And as far as that “Ice-cream” goes, I make a HELL of a great homemade Ice-cream made with fresh cream from a neighbor, Honey and fresh picked Fruit. FYI I know for a FACT that if it’s homemade Ice-cream it’s absolutely ZERO fat and absolutely NO calories, Right???? Please say “right” HAHAHAHA

        And to keep on topic, Yes I have tried vegetarian Ice-Cream…. Don’t, it taste like last weeks dish-water.

        Thanks again everyone, Life is good, enjoy.

        1. Absolutely NO fat and calories in homemade ice cream. NONE.


          besides that though, a person does need some, so not to worry, and it absolutely does not have the antifreeze in it that purchased ice cream mostly does, etc.. (they put it in, to keep it softer…gross and nasty)

          if you wanted to be “virtuous” with your homemade ice cream, get one of those ice cream thingys which look sort of like a soccer ball, and you kick it around the yard for couple of hours. that way, you will have really earned your ice cream.

  14. A little off topic but this V Garden stuff from WW2 is in the Laugh or you’ll cry moment at how the Socialist rulers FDR etc, of the 1930s and 40s. Because of government interference in the free market, i.e. telling farmers what and how much they can produce and what they are allowed to charge results in food shortages. While that same government was shipping food to the USSR. Then what the solution? Well brain dead Socialist say this must be fixed by another government program. (imagine head slap here:)

    1. Not off topic at all as I can see, what amazing to me is the number of farms/farmers that are paid “NOT” to grow food.

  15. Reading the posts about buying at the farmers markets made me think. Check and see if you have a restaurant supply depot in your area. In my own experience I’ve found that a lot of what is being sold at the farmers markets is actually coming from these depots and being resold as local produce. In any case, you can have quite a savings by buying at the depots.

  16. I understand that in the old Soviet Union AND the current Soviet Union that about 60% of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed are home grown. City dwellers have dachas where they spend their summers and grow vegetables and fruit. Often they are with range of public transportation (usually trains) and one or more of the family members commutes between the dacha and the city to work on a weekly basis and takes home as much of the harvest on ech trip as they can carry. Relate this to Americans who grow less than 2% of their own food. Of course we don’t have to while our capitalist system floods us with food from all over the world the Russians still put up with a very limited food supply (improved but still not as adequate as our own). The point is it can be done. Do a search of dacha and read about them and view pictures of them. It is suprising how close they come to being like a bug out location.

  17. Regarding raise bed containers; I poured concrete 4×8 containers that are 2 feet high. I find them easy to keep weed free, take less water than open growing, and I have added a roll-up poly cover for each one. The initial cost was more than wood but over time the payback will be realized. So far I have 20 of these and have also designed a chair that attaches to the side to make seeding and weeding more relaxing. Drain holes allow good drainage through a gravel layer at the bottom and drainage at the top in case of severe amounts of rain. After using them for three years i have not found a down side to these planters.

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