Saturday, January 8, 2011

2010 Harvest Data

I finally managed to record all the raw data from last year's harvest in a spreadsheet. As usual, I am amazed at the quantity of food we can produce. Our vegetable garden consists of five raised beds made of pressure treated 2 x 12s. Three beds are15 square feet each, two are 16 square feet each, and the other is 32 square feet. We also have a permanent bed along one side of the house that is about 48 square feet total. This latter bed mostly held annual herbs and members of the onion family in 2010.

Here's what we harvested:

Beans, snap-23 pounds, most of which we froze
Cucumber-24 pounds
Leeks-36 mature plants, 1-1/4 inch in diameter, about 6 pounds total
Peas, snap-4 pounds, plus a smaller fall crop that was not recorded
Potatoes-17 pounds
Tomatoes-22 pounds, and this was a poor year for tomatoes
Squash, summer-4 pounds

Total Harvest: over 100 pounds of homegrown food!

In addition to these vegetables, we also harvested spinach, scallions, lettuce, mizuna, parsley, chervil, cilantro, dill, basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary and chives in abundance, though I did not keep records on these crops. I plan to improve my record-keeping for the 2011 season.

Growing Underway for 2011
For us the gardening season begins in January. We have sown leeks, broccoli and lettuce indoors for transplanting in February or March. The broccoli and lettuce are already up and growing with fluorescent lamps supplementing the sunlight they receive from a south-facing window in the garage.

Ginger plants are growing alongside orchids in the master bath, where the warm, humid conditions and a large, bright window facilitate cultivating tropical plants. Currently in 12-inch pots, the ginger will move to a garden bed after Memorial Day, when the weather outside will be warm enough. I plan to experiment with other tropical food plants, and will post the results. If you want to try ginger yourself, it couldn't be easier. I just pick a healthy-looking rhizome from the grocery, break it into chunks with about 3 "toes" each, and pot it up. The photo above shows a 12-inch pot with two pieces of ginger root, ready to be covered with additional potting mix. Below is the same pot after 62 days of growth.


Erik D said...

Have you ever tried producing passion fruit from passion flower vines? I've successfully nurtured store-bought vines through a summer, but we can't get any fruit to set up here in the northwest. I would think you'd have better luck down there. I might try a vine or two inside the greenhouse this year.

John Tullock said...

I have never experimented with the tropical passionflowers. However, I have grown the native variety, Passiflora incarnata, which produces an edible fruit. It appears that, although my single plant produced a few fruits, two are required for pollination and fruit production to reach full potential. Because this species grows to enormous size in a single season and requires a large trellis, having two was out. Now, we grow it as an ornamental, and pick any fruits we are lucky enough to get. Our plant, BTW, came originally from seed I collected on my grandfather's farm in the 70s.