Our garden in 2009 will be a grand .85 acre, including grains, and a small market garden. We started in this spot in 2007 with a 1/4 acre, and as a new gardener myself, I didn't have much of an idea of how much to plant of what. In 2008 we expanded to about 1/3 acre, including some bread wheat. Last year, planning and planting the garden was much eased by the added knowledge I had gained, and recorded, about how much the garden yielded and how much we ate. So this coming season, the garden is bigger than ever, with more variety. Part of me is intimidated, part excited, and part of me is confident that I can do this.
I always start the planning with the pantry. I write out a wish list, of how much I want stored in the pantry. Up here, we eat out of the pantry for at least 8 months of the year. Our diet is based on storage crops and grains. The variety is provided by delicious condiments, fermented vegetables, and herbs and spices. Even eggs, dairy and meat are seasonal in our kitchen.
I am still much improving our winter diet, with more variety and nutrition. So I got out my garden book for 2008 and began my pantry wish list for 2009/10, making adjustments to past harvests, basing my decisions on our tastes, on nutrition, on storage ability, and ease of growing/harvesting.