Earlier this month I received an email from Yolanda B in Southeast Indiana:
“I watched you, in the past, weighing your produce and that was inspiring, so this year I’ve weighed all of ours. The garden is nearly done. We’ll have a few more tomatoes, and some overwintering kale, but otherwise, it’s finished. Not counting the loofah gourds (54.8#), we’ve brought in 973.24# this season! I am amazed.”
I wrote her back two weeks later (yes, I am behind on my emails!) to congratulate her on her success and ask if she had any garden pictures I could share. She wrote back to say yes, and wrote:
“As of this morning, the total is 998#. My sister suggested I pick some weeds to make up the 2 extra pounds. Actually, I’m sure I’ve eaten a lot more than 2# while working in the garden. I’m constantly munching out there.”
What a lovely garden she created!
Check out these beans:
And this basket of fresh vegetables:
This Yokohama squash:
About the Yokohama, Yolanda writes, “I planted just one vine and got maybe 10 of them!”
Here is some beautiful okra:
Yolanda writes about the picture below, “Loofah gourds. They go crazy and wander all over the garden!”
Here is a picture of her Bloody Butcher dent corn:
And some beautiful squash:
And the gardener herself, with a load of lovely sweet potatoes:
A thousand pounds of produce in 2020 – that’s good work!
Here’s my video from 2017 showing a weighing-in time lapse – this is the process that inspired Yolanda:
Unlike Yolanda, we had a bunch of pre-existing tropical trees on our land which really helped boost the yields.
Rachel just bought us a new scale this week so it may be time to start weighing produce again. It is time consuming to keep track of everything, and a little difficult when you tend to eat produce while in the garden, but it is quite interesting to see what your actual yields are. Weighing the harvest also gives you goals to beat.
I used to keep pretty good track of our harvests back on our old homestead in North Florida, which, at that time, was mostly yielding annuals:
Unfortunately, we left that place, then I spent about three and a half years renting as an ex-pat, two of which were spent on a property without land. Then I bought land but didn’t live on it all that long.
And now I am renting again.
I don’t quit, though. We’ll have our own homestead again eventually. And we’ve got a big garden already producing. I actually just picked some mustard greens for breakfast.
The best and easiest yields are from tree crops and perennials, especially in the tropics where jackfruit, mango, banana, pineapple and other high-yield fruits push the harvest weights way up. Yet you can do a lot in a backyard garden, too, especially with roots like potatoes and sweet potatoes, or large-fruited annuals like pumpkins and winter squash.
Wherever you are, grow what you can and try to beat your own records. It’s a lot of fun – especially when you have other gardening friends doing the same thing. Thanks, Yolanda, for sharing your 2020 gardening success!