Friday, August 2, 2013

July 2013 Summary

The down side to recording your results is that you can't hide behind ignorance when things aren't going so well. Recording your results regardless of the goal and task reveals the cold hard facts. And in this case how poorly our vegetable self-sufficiency has gone for the month of July. But that cold hard slap in the face from the below figures is just what I needed - a wakeup call to take notice and take action.

What has become very clear is that things grow slowly over winter and as a result I have come up with a couple of solutions that I hope will help to overcome this: First is to start planting earlier. This will involve changing the schedule of the chook tractor rotation, something I will talk about in more detail in an up and coming post. Second is to plant more densely, and harvest young plants. With plants like spinach and kale I really have no excuse - we should have never needed to buy some. They both grow great over winter, it was purely an error in planting too few.

             Grown (g)  Purchased (g)  Grown %
Avocado                   750             0%
Beetroot                  1,075           0%
Broccoli         775      2,005           28%
Bok Choy         530                      100%
Brussel Sprout            745             0%
Capsicum                  2,125           0%
Carrot                    2,030           0%
Celery                    500             0%
Cucumber                  1,125           0%
Coriander        85                       100%
Cauliflower               1,800           0%
Cabbage                   750             0%
Garlic                    135             0%
Ginger                    65              0%
Kale             745      600             55%
Lettuce          1,430                    100%
Leek                      1,000           0%
Onion                     3,820           0%
Parsley                   300             0%
Pea                       150             0%
Potato           75       1,480           5%
Pumpkin                   1,985           0%
Rocket           295                      100%
Radish                    300             0%
Spring Onion              300             0%
Sweet Potato              1,245           0%
Spinach          175      410             30%
Sprouts          150                      100%
Tomato                    410             0%
Zucchini                  460             0%

Total            4,260    25,565          14%
Average                                   21%

Time             12 person hours

Money            $ 145.00 (excludes water)

What strategies do you have for dealing with the winter low?


  1. If you are after more variety, I have just bought some Lamb's Lettuce (Mache / Corn Salad) which I am excited about growing in our colder climate (ACT region). Might be a good one for other cold region folks - it's frost tolerant and a really great salad green.

    As always, I enjoy your posts!

    1. Just googled it... looks like a cross between a miniature bok choy and baby spinach. With it's dark green leaves I can see how it would be well suited to cold climate. Thanks for sharing.

  2. We rely a lot on root crops like sweet potatoes and jerusalem artichokes. It's hard to grow leafy greens in the dead of winter in zone 7a North Carolina. They will grow, but just barely...time to start on our greenhouse.

    1. When ever I hear from people such as your self it does make our South Australian winter feel very mild. We rarely even get frost in the garden.

      Never grown sweet potato must give them a go.

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