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Re: mathematical formulas and food production

  • Subject: Re: [cg] mathematical formulas and food production
  • From: "Jim Call" jimcall@casagarden.com
  • Date: Fri, 24 Oct 2003 21:53:43 -0500

To All:
Our CG doesn't keep a lot of stats about our garden other than our yearly
harvest totals (continually updated).

This week, we harvested our first batch of turnips.  What so special about
this harvest is the variety we planted.  We
sowed about 10 rows.  This occupied an area about 15' by 70' which is small
compared to our .4 acre garden.

Tokyo Cross Turnip seeds are very expensive.  I purchased 1 oz for 10 bucks.
Whoa!  This was enough for the 10 rows.  They
can be harvested in 35 days. They are easily harvested by young gardeners
because you just pluck them out of the
ground.   Very harvest friendly (if there is such a term).

For that 10 dollar investment, we harvested 670 lbs.  This week, Publix
Supermarket had turnips priced at $2.89  per lbs. in these
plastic bags.  (Boy, do they love their produce!) so that equates our
harvest to be worth $1936.30 (excluding tax)!

The beauty of these turnips is that you can harvest them when the roots are
6" in size and they will have a very mild taste, plus
the leaves are still good.  What a deal!

Thats the good news, the bad news is "I wish we had planted more of this
variety".  Oh well, there is next year.

Here is a picture of some of our harvest....   http://www.casagarden.com/

Here is a website that carries these seeds...
http://www.evergreenseeds.com/evergreenseeds/turtokcros.html

Not exactly a complicated formula, but these totals are noteworthy.

Jim




----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Sharon Gordon" <gordonse@one.net>
To: "Sandy Pernitz" <Sandy.Pernitz@Seattle.Gov>;
<community_garden@mallorn.com>
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2003 2:58 PM
Subject: RE: [cg] mathematical formulas and food production


>
> We have a demonstration garden at a local co-op here in Seattle, and need
> some fun stats to put on our signage.  The garden is a demo garden to
> encourage shoppers and neighbors to grow and give produce from their
> gardens. The garden is 40 sq. feet.  Need a factoid like:
>
> 1) you can grow XXX pounds in a small garden space like this one or
>
> 2) this garden could provide  XXX salads to families in need next year  or
>
> 3) This garden could feed.......
>
> ******
> Several years ago I designed a 4x6 foot garden using biointensive for a
> group doing houses for Florida's Habitat for Humanity group.  With three
> plantings (2 sets of cool weather crops and one summer crop), I think it
> would produce 183 pounds of food (and a few flowers per) year on average.
> That's in 24 square feet or 183/24 = 7.625 pounds per square foot.
>
> Assuming when you say 40 sq feet that your garden is 4x10 feet or 5x8 feet
> (or similar) and not 40 X 40 feet(if it's 40x40 let me know and I can
> recalculate)...
>
> 1)If you grew at that same rate in your 40 square foot garden that would
be
> 40 square feet X 7.625 pounds per square foot
> = 305 pounds of food
>
> 2)one cup of raw vegetables = one serving
> If the salad is 1/2 cup of shredded lettuce and 1/2 cup of mixed salad
> vegetables, it would weigh about 3-4 ounces or ~1/4 pound.
> So you could get four salads per pound (accounting for compostable parts).
> You could serve 1220 salads from this size garden
>
> 3)If you'd like to do some local precise calculations based on what you
are
> planting, the info in How to Grow More Vegetables (etc) Than you ever
> thought possible on less land than you can imagine, 6th ed by John Jeavons
> and One Circle: How to Grow a Complete Diet in Less than 1000 square feet
by
> David Duhon (see http://www.bountifulgardens.org for books) will be
helpful.
> But just to pick a complete diet for one person on the smallest piece of
> land (with an 8 month growing season) you can grow a nutritionally
complete
> diet for an average size healthy woman in 550 square feet.  With 40 square
> feet you could grow enough food for 40/550 of a year or 7.3% of a year.
> 7.3% of a year is
> .073 x 365 days = enough food for 27 days for one person
> This would not necessarily be the same food you would be growing if you
were
> maximizing your yields in scenarios 1 and 2.  This is because sometimes
food
> that provides a lot of nutrients doesn't provide a lot of calories or
> produce weight or provide for ongoing soil fertility.  In a complete diet
> planting there are trade offs resulting in varying yields and nutrients
per
> square foot.
>
> 4) Some other things you could probably calculate and put on the sign that
> you could likely get from some place like the UN-food section or the
> Christian Children's Fund and/or combined with Jeavons book info is
> a) number of children who could be saved from blindness in a year by the
> maximum yield of carrots from that space
> b) number of apples you could get from a full grown tree in that space
> c) number of large pizzas you could make from growing only tomatoes on the
> plot and turning them into sauce
>
> Sharon
> gordonse@one.net
>
>
>
> ______________________________________________________
> 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
>
> To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:
https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden
>



______________________________________________________
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