Feed a Family for $45

Feed a Family for $45

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Feed a Family for $45 - Seed Collection

At Anderson's Seed we've always taught that the benefits of gardening far outweigh the costs. Fresh vegetables from your garden just taste better and provide more nutrients. Growing your own vegetables allows you to control their growing conditions, especially if you prefer to garden organically; fertilizers, pesticides, and soil amendments are all under your control, not someone else. That makes them considerably healthier and safe for you. Gardening encourages a lifestyle with plenty of outdoor time and activity that makes you healthier both physically and mentally - less stress, less screen time, less conflict, more exercise, more fresh air. Sounds like a good thing? It is.

Now that food prices have increased dramatically in the last couple of years, it makes even more sense financially to grow a garden than it ever has in the last 30 years. Of course, it still costs to grow a garden in time, effort, and money, but the cost is far less than you might believe, and the produce you'll harvest is considerably more than you might think. Let us show you how a $45 investment in seed and 2500 square feet of garden space can translate into enough food to feed a family of 4 for almost an entire year - more than $2000 worth of veggies, and we are not exaggerating, either! Keep in mind that you can consume your produce straight from the garden, but the excess can always be stored, canned, or frozen for use throughout the entire year.

What is Included?

Cold Crops

Gardeners love cold weather crops for their versatility and ease to grow. Most of these vegetables you can start directly outside as soon as the snow melts and you can work the soil, but to create a longer growing season, start seedlings 4-6 weeks before planting outside. Since these varieties thrive in cooler temperatures, you can plant a second crop in late July or early August for harvest in late September/October, reusing some of the spa e in your garden after other crops have finished producing. See our planting guide for more detailed information on when and how to plant each variety.

  • Green Arrow Peas: 1/2 a pound covers 50' and produces 15-20 pounds
  • Yellow Spanish Onions: 1/8 oz covers 30-40' and yields 70-80 pounds or roughly 120 onions
  • Bloomsdale Spinach: 1/4 oz covers 25' and produces 25 pounds
  • Danish Ballhead Cabbage: 1/64 oz grows 25 heads (50') and yields 70-80 pounds
  • Heat Tolerant Lettuce Mix:  1-16 oz grows 20-30' and yields 20-25 pounds
  • Nantes Carrots: 1/4 oz covers 25-30' and produces 40-50 pounds
  • Detroit Red Beats: 1/2 oz covers 50' and produces 50-60 pounds
  • Bright Lights Chard: 1/8 oz grows 15-20' and produces 25-30 pounds
  • Purple Top Turnip/Kohlrabi: 1/8 oz grows 20-25' and yields 25-30 pounds
  • Norland Potatoes: 5 pounds grows 50-60' and yields 75-90 pounds

These quantities of cold crops will yield nearly 500 pounds of produce for a small investment of $21.25 in seed. Remember that you can double plant many of these crop sfor fall harvest that could boost your production by another 50% for only an additional $12-15 in seed.

Summer Crops

Summer crops (frost sensitive) have shorter life spans but produce the most harvest for your dollar (and some of the most delicious vegetables!). Gardeners traditionally sow warm weather crops directly from seed or use transplants. We start our tomatoes and peppers for transplant approximately 6-8 weeks in advance and squash/melon/cucumbers 2-3 weeks before planting outside. We've had success planting nearly every vegetable directly in the garden from seed, but would still recommend starting peppers and tomatoes inside in march to transplant when the soil and weather warms up the end of May. See our planting guide for more detailed information on when and how to plant each variety.

  • Ambrosia Corn: 1/4 pound grows 100' and yields 150-200 ears (20-30 pounds of kernels)
  • Blue Lake Pole Beans: 1/4 pound grows 40-50' and yields 60-70 pounds
  • Tomato (Big Beef Plus, Roma, and Sweet 100 Cherry): 10 seeds of each variety grows 30 plants and yields 160-200 pounds
  • Pepper (California Wonder (Sweet) and Anaheim Chili (Hot): 25 seeds each grows 50 plants and yields 75-100 pounds
  • Cucumber (Straight 8 Slicing and Pioneer Pickling): 1/16 ounce each, grows 8 hills (25') and yields 75-100 pounds
  • Green Zucchini: 1/16 oz grows 2-3 hills (20') and yields a whopping 60-70 pounds
  • Yellow Crookneck: 1/16 oz grows 2-3 hills (20') and yields 60-70 pounds
  • Banana Squash (Winter): 1/8 oz grows 4 hills (40') and yields 100-125 pounds
  • Butternut Squash (Winter): 1/16oz grows 4 hills (30') and yields 75-100 pounds

These summer crops will produce over 800 pounds of vegetables for a meager $23.50 in seed. Tell us, when was the last time you left the grocery store with 800 pounds of food for under $25? $100? $500? We can't remember the last time that happened.

These suggested vegetables and varieties are just that: suggestions. You can choose from so many different options when it comes to vegetables varieties and types, that you could try something new every year for a decade and still have more choices. These specific seeds we picked represent a wide selection of heirloom and open pollinated vegetables that have a proven track record for flavor and productivity, while keeping the cost at a minimum.

Fertilizer and Pest Control Needs

Although it will cost you a little more, please don't cut corners when it comes to fertilizer and pest control solutions. You might think that your soil is full of nutrients for your plants right now, but all it takes is one season to deplete your garden soil of beneficial nutrients and minerals. Plan on fertilizing at planting time, and a minimum of one more time during the growing season. You can also count on pests coming to taste some of your hard work and damage your harvest at the same time. For a 2500 square foot garden, you can count on spending $50-100 for a balanced slow-release fertilizer, a quick-acting liquid fertilizer, and a general purpose insecticide/fungicide. They are necessities, not luxuries.


The sheer volume of food that you can grow in your garden can be overwhelming if you try to eat it all as it reaches maturity. What you can grow with these seeds amounts to over 1300 pounds of vegetables! That's 25 pounds per week for a year. To truly feed your family all year with your harvest, it must be stored, freeze-dried, bottled or frozen. A cellar or basement with a consistent temperature of 35-45 degrees will provide perfect conditions to keep many vegetables for months. The best storage vegetables are: potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, cabbage, winter squash, and turnips. All the other vegetables can be bottled or frozen depending on your preference to keep for months or years, providing food for long term use. Keep in mind that freeze-drying works on all these vegetables, but some are more worth the time and effort than others. Hint: don't do any of the fresh greens!

The value of what you harvest from your garden is priceless, but this analysis puts in perspective just how much value it brings financially as well as in pure personal satisfaction. Even vegetables you purchase at the roadside stand or Gardener's Market cost significantly more, and don't hold the taste, nutrition and health that your own vegetables have to offer. There has never been a better time to grow your own garden. Save money and eat well!

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