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Urban Food Forest Garden Yields, One Year In

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Here are the annual figures for the garden yields for the period of Oct 2008 – Oct 2009, the garden’s first year.

The annual production for this garden was:

The total garden bed area is 686 sq. feet (64 sq. metres).

The average monthly amount of produce was just over 10 kg.

Here are some statistics which break this down further:

Garden yield figures for 2008

This graph is colour-coded for season – yellow (summer), orange (autumn), brown (winter) and green (spring).

MonthYield (g)
Jan22,203
Feb10,860
Mar11,018
Apr3,748
May15,566
Jun11,251
Jul14,341
Aug4,128
Sep11,155
Oct11,252
Nov6,149
Dec9,556
Monthly Average10,936

Now that we’ve seen what happened through each month of the year, it is important to see what was actually produced.

Below is a breakdown of the annual harvest by category:

FruitYield (g)
apples (pink lady)211
apricots7,360
babaco7,557
figs407
grapes (sultana)3,306
mandarin23,500
mandarin (small)5,320
nectarine594
orange (navelina)573
orange (valencia)515
peaches189
pepino1,578
pomegranate2,526
 53,636
BerriesYield (g)
raspberry800
raspberry (large)178
strawberry1,414
blackcurrants4
blueberry20
mulberry168
 2,584
Vegetables Yield (g)
asparagus422
beetroot1,397
bitter melon214
broad beans12,173
carrot3,760
celery5,598
chilli271
chives15
climbing beans3,426
cucumber998
duck potato (Sagittaria sagittifolia)820
garlic56
globe artichokes1,372
kangkong (water spinach)249
lemongrass122
lettuce2,719
parsley925
peas80
potato (desiree)6,805
potato (kestrel)1,388
potato (kipfler)9,865
potato (red rascal)934
potato (russet burbank)5,925
radish946
silverbeet65
snow pea949
spinach99
spinach (perpetual)247
sweet corn539
tomato9,864
zucchini2,809
 75,052

So, it can be clearly seen that the 131kg of produce consisted of approximately:

The important point which I have previously stressed is that all production was not necessarily accounted for here, so these figures are a bit on the conservative side, and I have chosen to err on the side of underestimating yield.

It can be seen from the 50 odd kilograms of fruit produced, that generally only small amounts were produced from a small variety of trees.

The only mature trees are the mandarine and pomegranate, and the latter was having a low yield year. The mature apricot tree was on its way out due to neglect before I got to it, and had to be cut down and mulched mid season. I replaced it with a very young tree. There are now 25 fruit trees in the garden, it is in reality a backyard permaculture orchard. Of these trees, most are still maturing and have a few years to go, and there are about 13 trees that are yet to bear their first fruit. Once they mature, we’ll se more of the true potential of the garden.

The  main point is that all the plants went into the ground from pots 12 months ago, and are still settling in and growing to size.

What is obvious from this whole exercise is that gardens do take time to establish, orchards even longer, and the process of experimenting to determine what works best where is ongoing, and it takes some time to figure it all out.

Additionally, I’m replacing as many annual edible plants with perennials, so it’s all still work in progress.

I’ll continue developing and refining this garden within the limited space of an urban backyard that I have to work with. My aim is to see how much a I can ultimately produce from an urban permaculture garden sustainably, while benefiting the plant and animal life, as well as the community.

So, where to from here? Well, hopefully to an even bigger and better year in the garden!

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