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  • 2012 in review

The data have been entered. The numbers have been crunched. The harvest tally spreadsheet wiped a small bead of sweat from its brow.

The results of our 2012 Harvest Tally are in!

Some background:
Each year we keep obsessive weight records of everything we grow. As soon as something is harvested, it gets weighed and recorded. At the end of the year I enter all the records into a spreadsheet and (with much anxious anticipation) add up the total.

Here’s how we’ve done in past years:

2009: 70 pounds
1 raised bed

2010: 112 pounds
3 raised beds

2011: 254 pounds
4 raised beds

Between each of these past years we’ve installed new raised beds, substantially increasing our growing space. A big part of the exponential curve in growth, though – beyond just sheer growing space – is our increase in experience and knowledge of how to grow the plants and maximize our space. I thought we did okay for our space in 2011, but knew there was still a lot of room for increases in efficiency. We didn’t add any raised beds in 2012, so this was our opportunity to increase production solely through increasing efficiency, rather than increasing space.

So! 2012. 4 raised beds.

The total is………

305 pounds!

This makes me very happy – mostly because this is 51 pounds more than 2011 in the exact same space. And even in 2012, we had several crop failures (the melons were almost entirely wiped out, the winter squash didn’t do well, etc.), so I know we can still improve our yield in this existing space.

If you’re interested in the data data data (“I cannot make bricks without clay!”), feel free to mine our fully detailed spreadsheet.

I grouped the production records into plant groups so it’s easier to have an idea of what major types of plants contributed to our total.

  • Alliums: 34 pounds
  • Cucurbit fruits: 3 pounds
  • Cucurbit vegetables: 37 pounds
  • Fruits: 2 pounds
  • Greens: 43 pounds
  • Root vegetables: 56 pounds
  • Tomatoes: 115 pounds
  • “Orphans” (asparagus, beans, corn, okra): 14 pounds

So our biggest yielders: tomatoes, root vegetables and greens. MAN. Considering greens weigh almost nothing, I think that is an accomplishment. I felt like we ate a ton of greens last year, but this is the proof. And that’s exactly why we keep records.

So, how about you? How’d you do in 2012?

3 Responses to “2012 Harvest Tally”

  1. Pattyskypants
    17 January 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    Did you keep track of the time spent preparing, planting, weeding, watering? Your garden looks like it’s built for efficiency as well as productivity, so I am curious.

    Our horribly awkward, totally deficient garden yielded only a couple of paper bags worth of herbs and some geraniums (that are overwintering in the basement foyer, flowering cheerfully).

  2. CoMo Homestead
    20 January 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    I don’t keep track of my hours, although that would be extremely interesting – and probably too time consuming to be feasible!

    I have, though, though back over the time I’ve committed to the garlic, to see how much we would need to sell it for to recoup my time. I didn’t have any formal records, but in that case it was fairly easy to look back and estimate my time.

    If I did that for all of our crops, though, I doubt I’d be happy with what my hourly wage would come out to!

  3. Kate
    26 January 2013 at 11:48 am #

    I’m a new reader, but this is an inspiration to me. We are just starting out with having enough room for a big garden (moved from KC to a few acres outside of Warrensburg).

    We’re moving towards self-sufficiency in baby steps. We had a fall garden and got quite a bit of produce, but we’re looking for more.

    Until planting time, though, I’ll just have to be happy with your garden porn.