The National Gardening Association estimates that a well-maintained vegetable garden yields a $500 average return per year. A study by Burpee Seeds claims that $50 spent on gardening supplies can multiply into $1,250 worth of produce annually”
Our household loves facts & figures especially when it comes to keeping track of our progress here on the urban homestead. I think stats and facts are what people are most interested when it comes to this sort of lifestyle. They want to know the hard facts and sets a base of sorts for others to follow.
We planted our first garden here on the urban homestead over 22 years ago in a corner of the yard that was littered with weeds, car parts and who knows what else. The soil was hard-pan and devoid of any life.
For the last two decades we’ve always grown food here in the city and improving our soil with compost and heavy mulching. In 1989 because of the drought Farmer D smoother the lawn under a layer of newspaper and mulch and started growing food in the frontyard. But it was in early 2000 that we decided to start keeping track of what we harvested and see how much food could really be grown.
The other day when we were calculating our monthly harvest totals I asked “ok, so how does poundage related to dollars?” How much ” food dollars” do we actually grow here on our 1/10 acre garden plot (~4,000 sq ft)? Out of the ~6,000 lbs we have guesstimated that 60% feeds our family, 30% supplies our clients (bringing in ~$25,000) and 10% we feed to our backyard barnyard animals. So the question is: What does the 60% of 6,000 lbs worth in dollars if 1/3 equals $25,000?
Of course we could really crunch the numbers because with approx 400 varieties grown overall there was certainly a range of $ per pound but I wanted a simple answer. Doing a brief calculation that would be at least an additional $50,000 for a grand total of $75,000.00 on 1/10th acre. That figure is based on ORGANIC CA food prices not conventional ones. In addition, even the 10% we feed to the animals cost something if it had to be bought. So it was important to factor in their feed because they contribute eggs (and eventually milk) to our diet. Like I said, please remember these figures are based on a plain mathematical equation.
And, boy was I shocked at the preliminary figure. So, if our quick figures are accurate, our little 1/10 plot grosses ~$75,000 worth of produce a year. Yeah, I know, then “write a book about it” I can just hear you yelling at the computer screens.
Okie dokie, not wanting to swerve to far off track…. but I think it could be someday possible (if the weather cooperates) that one day this 1/10 garden plot could/should eventually produce 10k of fruits, vegetables, herbs and animal food.
How much do you estimate your garden saves you on groceries a year? During this period of economic downturn will you be growing more food, preserving, eat local, cutting back?
Care to share?
Speaking of growing your own.
Don’t forget to sign up for this year’s FREEDOM HARVEST CHALLENGE – a collective growing effort!
1 million pounds of food is not an unreasonable goal. In fact, you want a real challenge? I dare you to double that goal every year, for the next ten years. So, 2 million pounds in 2010, 4M in 2011, 8M in 2012, all the way up to 512 million pounds in 2018. Does that seem unreasonable? Put it this way … that is still less than 2 pounds of food per American for the whole year. If we all–as a country–can’t document 2 pounds of home-grown food per person per year, within ten years … well, that does not seem unreasonable to me. Plus, I know there are non-Americans here contributing, too. Heck, 500 million pounds of food within 10 years, that ought to be a piece of cake.
— FG member rainbird997
Any “poundage” grown by you on your property, patio, window sill or community plot including fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts that goes toward feeding yourself, animals and community.
Honey, dairy, eggs and meat can be tallied also but will not be counted in the 1 million “pound” tally but listed separately as food produce.
Let’s get growing!