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RE: Research question (avg yield)

  • Subject: RE: [cg] Research question (avg yield)
  • From: Pat_Elazar@cwb.ca
  • Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 12:54:54 -0500
  • Sensitivity:

If I may add- the size of the garden bed is less important since an average
omnibus yield would be expressed in Lb/square feet. Therefore, more square
feet of garden would equal more Lb's but not a larger average. The ZONE is
much more crucial because in Houston you get 3 or 4 crops a year & in Fargo
you're lucky to get one!

CityFarmer  http://www.cityfarmer.org/barrsUAvanc.html#3.2  has the following discussion about halfway through the article:
"Conventional horticultural and field methods produce, on average, 15,700lbs of vegetables/acre. Therefore to produce
adequate vegetables for a community of 5000 people for a year (based on consumption of 320 lbs/person/year) would
require 102 acres of land.

Jeavons (researching in California) has shown that a complete nutritionally balanced diet can be produced using an area
as small as 2,800 sq. ft. (270sq metres). Therefore complete, adequate nutrition for a community of 5000 people would
require 300 acres. The year's supply of vegetables and fruit for one person (320 pounds) can be produced on an area as
small as 100 sq. ft. (9.5 sq. metres). A community of 5000 people using Jeavon's method would therefore require 10.5 acres.
This, however, assumes a high level of gardening skill and the figures are for Californian climates so we need too revise
these figures upwards. These high yields are achieved using Jeavon's deep bed cultivation method which allows plants
to be grown much closer together than conventional spacings. He recommends cultivating the soil to a depth of 24 inches
using the double dig method so that the roots of plants are able to penetrate much deeper into the soil where they can find
increased nutrients and water for rapid growth.

Further: To evaluate the Philadelphia Urban Gardening Project, researchers at Pennsylvania State University surveyed
144 urban gardeners to assess the benefits gained from urban gardening. They found that "the mean economic value of
the 151 assessed garden plots was $160 with a range of $2 to $1134. This is similar to the median yield value category of
$101 to $250 for community vegetable production reported by the National Gardening Association survey of community
gardens....49.7% of the Philadelphia urban garden plots yielded produce worth > $100, 29.2% had a yield worth between
$101 and $250, 15.1% yielded between $251 and $500, and 6% yielded produce worth >$500."  end of quote

Connie queried:
[I would be interested in finding the magic formula also.  I get stumped
because no two gardens are alike in either size or produce planted.  So if
you have a formula, could you specify those factors?  For example, if a
garden bed is 4 X 8 ft, 4 X 15 or if corn is grown vs lettuce.]

In response to Amie asking:
> Hi ACGA folks,
> I have two questions.  Does anyone have the formula to calculate how may
> pounds of veggies are grown in any given community garden in a growing
> season

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

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