Subsistence Farm Gardens


Subsistence Farm Gardens

Source of Digital Item

National Agricultural Library


VEGETABLE GARDENS are an important factor in any subsistence-farming enterprise on account of the large amount of food that can be produced on a small area devoted to vegetables. Fruits, while not of as great food value as vegetables, are essential because they add variety to the diet. Combined with poultry and dairy products, and, under certain conditions, the production of the home supply of meats, the garden and orchard will furnish a large part of the family living. Furthermore, when a family grows its own fruits and vegetables more liberal use of these essential foods will be made than when the supply must all be bought in the market.

Under most conditions one-half acre planted to miscellaneous vegetables, one-half acre in fruits, and one-fourth acre in potatoes or sweetpotatoes will supply the average family with the greater part of this class of food that they will normally consume. Where the entire subsistence homestead operation is limited to an acre at least one-half of the area should be devoted to the garden and small fruits, but whenever the plan includes 3 to 5 acres, l 1/2 to 2 acres can be profitably used for the production of fruits and vegetables. This, however, will include a limited number of trees of the standard tree fruits.

Men who are employed only part time or short hours will have ample time during the spring and summer months to plant and tend a garden. Careful records have shown that under favorable conditions the time spent in the garden yields a return equal to that obtained for a corresponding period of time devoted to regular employment.


Beattie, W.R.
Roberts, J.W.
Harter, L.L.
White, W.H.




Farmers' Bulletin: Number 1746