The Accidental Farmer has an eye-opening post on how much to plant for one year’s worth of vegetables. The numbers are daunting, but I think they’re accurate. We already grow most of our own tomatoes and peppers, and our numbers are pretty close to these.
We definitely couldn’t do all of this ourselves. For starters, the climate and building codes here in California’s central valley aren’t conducive to root cellars, and we just don’t eat everything on this list. (Rhubarb, lima beans, I’m looking at you!) But the general idea of increasing self-sufficiency appeals to me.
I think if my wife and I try this, it would be limited to a few additional planting beds per season. Partly to save my back, since I’m the one who does the digging. But it’d also give us a chance to learn how to preserve everything, how the plants do in our climate, how much we really eat, etc.