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RE: Research question

  • Subject: RE: [cg] Research question
  • From: "Jack Hale" <jackh@knoxparks.org>
  • Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 16:53:41 -0400
  • Importance: Normal

This is always the question - how much can you grow.  Here in Connecticut, I
tell people a good gardener will grow about $1 per square foot. Obviously,
on a small space with intensive use and proper choice of crops and good
weather the number is much higher.  Take certain varieties of hemp, for
instance, or raspberries.  On the other hand, I know lots of folks who can
produce a net loss.  There are lots of yield numbers available for various
crops - useful for large spaces dedicated to row crops.  A good community
gardener would do much better growing in beds separated by narrow pathways
and using succession and interplanting.  Of course people would like to know
what productivity looks like for typical use of a community garden plot,
whatever that is.  My bet is that somebody could come up with a pretty good
model using Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening.  That would give you a
garden design and schedule and a little more work would give you rough dates
and amounts of yield.  Maybe that would be enough, but to convert it to
dollars you would have to decide whether supermarkets or farmer's markets
are your price standard.  I've always wanted to hold a contest between FFA,
Master Gardeners, our Ag Experiment Station, and the vegetable specialists
at the ag school to see who could actually produce the most.  Does anybody
want to help set up the rules for that contest?
Jack Hale

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