Thursday, March 1, 2012

February 2012 harvest

February has been a very successful and rewarding month for vegetables hitting an exciting 56% grown vs purchased. I had my sister over for dinner last week and she asked “how much of this meal is made from your own produce?”. It felt great to respond with “everything except the onion”.

This time the percentage grown vs purchased is a much more accurate one as I not only managed to record what came from the garden but also what was from the shop. Recording what was purchased turned out to be allot easier than I first thought it would be. The lovely lady at the organic store does all the weighing and records it on a little docket, leaving me to just slip them in an envelope ready to be summed at the end of the month. The only time more effort is required is on the rare occasion when we buy from the market.

  Grown  Purchased
Potato  2550g  -  100%
Capsicum  800g  700g  53%
Zucchini  3360g  -  100%
Beans  490g  230g   68%
Broccoli  480g  220g  69%
Cucumber  6760g  -  100%
Tomato  5270g  -  100%
Corn  320g  -  100%
Pumpkin  10700g  -  100%
Eggplant  550g  -  100%
Squash  3400g  -  100%
Parsley  12h  -  100%
Basil  19h  -  100%
Mint  6h  -  100%
Carrot  -  410g  0%
Onion  -  1430g  0%
Lettuce  -  290g  0%
Garlic  -  120g  0%
Coriander  -  4h  0%
Avocado  -  700g  0%
Sweet Potato  -  920g  0%
Beetroot  -  250g  0%
Celery  -  300g  0%

Total  35kg  6kg  85%
Average  56%

From a purely weight point of view we hit a massive 85%. However I don’t think that is a fair comparison as simply growing a garden filled with pumpkins is not being self sufficient. So to make it fair I took the average of all the individual percentages to reach a figure of 56%. One that I am still very pleased with.

Sadly most of the summer garden is coming to an end particularly those prolific produces - cucumbers and tomatoes. That crisp crunch of a freshly picked cucumber I will truly miss. The capsicums however have taken ages to ripen and are only now turning red. I assume that is due to the mild summer we have had. Would you believe I use to think green and red capsicums were two different varieties. Oh the things you learn when you start growing your own.

Luckily we have a late planted bed that will hopefully keep producing well into autumn while we get the winter ones established. It is currently providing some great eggplants and even has cherry toms just starting to ripen. There is an abundance of silverbeet that I would love to know what to do with. Anyone got a quick and easy silverbeet recipe?

How was your February harvest?


  1. You are doing well having silver beet this time of year. It is really loved by grasshoppers in summer, so you must have some well-fed grasshopper eaters! One of my favourite veg. It produces and produces. Goes really well with feta cheese. I strip it from the stems, blanch, and blend with feta for a dip or spread or side dish or pie filling or pancake filling or canelloni, or....Spinach and Feta Pakora is another favourite.

    1. A bit of credit has got to go to you Linda for a design that promotes and supports the helpful little critters. I really like the dip idea. I usually prepare a dip based lunch every weekend so that will work in well. Thanks.

  2. I make quiche with mine, it is the only way I will eat it lol. Here's a few more ideas:,-You-Can-Get-Kids-to-Eat-it&id=157395

    1. Those are some good sites, thanks. It never occurred to me to use the stalks in stir-fry.

  3. I like to cook silverbeet by first softening a garlic clove in a saucepan, then put in roughly chopped silverbeet and a bit of pepper. Cook with the lid on for just a couple of minutes until it wilts (don't let it burn on the bottom of the pan) and then serve with a squeeze of lemon juice or dash of white wine vinegar. Really quick and tasty. Obviously serve it as the side dish to something else!!

    Well done on getting to 56%!

    1. That is a nice quick dish, and does sound tasty, thanks.

  4. Jason, I can't quite see how you reached that figure of 85% grown. I'm doing the same thing, recording amount harvested and amount purchased. I divide harvested by purchased and multiply by 100 to get % grown.

    You harvested 35kg and bought only 6kg. Your % should be well over 100%, in fact it's 35/6 x 100 = 583%!

    And you can't just average percentages--weight has to be taken into account as well.

    Can you explain how you work it out

    1. Sure... it is the same as how much pie has been eaten vs left. The amount eaten can never be greater 100%. What you do is take amount grown and divide it by the total amount of food (grown + purchased). The formula is:

      grown% = (grown / (grown + purchased)) x 100

      My idea behind averaging the percentages rather than the weights is to remove the bias that the heavy vegetables impose. Otherwise things like lettuce would have no impact.

    2. Of course! You are right. I've been doing it all wrong. Oh dear! Back to the calculator.

  5. I forgot to add--you appear to be only counting fruit and veggies, not other stuff. I record the weight of all food purchased, including even milk (3000g for 3 litres). My aim is to see how much of my entire food intake is being provided from the garden.

    1. My current goal is to be 80% fruit and veg self-sufficient. And at the moment just focussing on the veg. But that is awesome that you are striving higher.

    2. Well, yes, but thanks. I'll re-calculate everything and I'll do it twice--once just focussing on fruit & veg and again focussing on total food.

      Gee, so glad I read your post. Should keep up with your site more frequently.


If you don't know which option to select... Name/URL is a recommended option. And you only need to provide a name.