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:
- first year: 133 kg
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:
This graph is colour-coded for season – yellow (summer), orange (autumn), brown (winter) and green (spring).
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:
|apples (pink lady)||211|
|duck potato (Sagittaria sagittifolia)||820|
|kangkong (water spinach)||249|
|potato (red rascal)||934|
|potato (russet burbank)||5,925|
So, it can be clearly seen that the 131kg of produce consisted of approximately:
- 53.5 kg of fruit,
- 2.5kg of berries
- 75kg of vegetables/other (potatoes making up 25kg of this)
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.
- Food was eaten from the garden on many occasions (in my absence!) and not weighed on several occasions
- Produce that was dried for seed (beans, peas, cucurbits, etc) was not included
- Herbs were not included
- Seeds, propagated or surplus plants that I gave away, of which there was a very high volume, were not included
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!