Friday, July 6, 2012

Tracking the Harvest: June

My yard isn't exactly in full sun. Most of it gets about an hour and a half in the morning, then it's in shade until a little past noon. The side yard doesn't get back into the sun until after 1 p.m. As a result, I don't really expect to bring in spectacular harvests.

In spite of the shade, though, the June harvest from the yard was surprisingly large. The weights below are kilograms:


June
Bush beans, green
4.05
Zucchini
9.6
Peppers
2.5
Cucumbers
4.1
Tomatoes, green
3.25
Blueberries
10.05
Berries, misc.
0.7
Onions, bulbing
2.8
Tomatoes, ripe
0.4


June total 37.45 kg = 82 lb and 9 oz
Running total: Jan. through June =160 pounds, 4 ounces

That seems pretty amazing to me.  However, to put this into perspective,  John Jeavons, in the book How to Grow More Vegetables: And Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine, has put together a table that includes potential crop yields for comparison.

According to the table, average U.S. yields of bush green beans are 12.9+ pounds per 100
sq. ft. (based on U.S. Dept. of Agriculture statistics). That number represents conventional
agriculture production. Using Jeavons' biointensive methods, the yields should be 30/72/108 pounds per 100 sq. ft., for beginning gardeners, good gardeners, and excellent gardeners with good soil and climate, respectively.


My 20 square foot patch of bush green beans that just finished production was in the
shadiest part of the veggie garden, and the harvest total from that patch was 5.45 kg,
which converts to 12 pounds 0.2 oz. This scales up to about 60 pounds per 100 sq. ft,
which is not quite as high a yield as a "good" gardener should achieve. However,
considering the shade, the pest pressure, and the weirdness of the weather, I don't think I
can complain about the bean harvest.






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