Starting Farm School

by danberube on November 6, 2013

November is here and we are now having regular frosts, but I still have stuff growing. My kale, cabbages and Brussels sprouts are doing well and I expect to be harvesting them over the next month. I also finished up my fall planting of garlic this morning and plan to doing my final pre-winter prep over the next few weeks. Now is the best time to add to the soil and build fertility for next year.

The majority of my attention, however, has been focused on developing my business plan through the New Entry Farm Business Training Course which started on October 23. It is an interesting mix of students, some want to do vegetable farming like me, one person is interested in milk goats, another in forest mushroom farming, and some want to raise chickens. What we have been focusing on the past few weeks is evaluating markets (where you will sell your food) and enterprise (what you will raise) selection. A big part of my homework of the past few weeks has been pouring over my records from this past year and seeing what grew well, when did I harvest it, and how much land did it take to grow. This information is key to piecing together the massive project of developing a viable business plan. Once my business plan completed I will post it here, but in the meantime I will share the data collect that will help me decide what to grow in 2014.

This first list is what I grew this season, ranked by pounds. The second list is what were the most efficient crops to grow in terms of pounds produced per square foot. As I plan what this plant next season, this information is very important as it gives me a baseline of how much space I need to allocate, and what crops may have over or under-performed.

Rank    Product                 Pounds     PPSF

1               Cucuzzi                            102.875     1.49
2               Eggplant                          89.125       2.85
3               Watermelon                    83.15        1.15
4               Butternut Squash         50.375    1.03
5               Crookneak Squash        41.5          6.92
6                Bush Bean                       36.175     0.48
7               Spaghetti Squash         36.125      0.51
8                Tomato, Early Girl     28.1 25     1.75
9                Green Zucchini            27.125      1.9
10              Pole Bean                      17.75         1.61
11               Golden Zucchini         17               2.07
12               Corn                                 15              0.39
13               Tomato, Sweet 100   14.24         1.41
14               Kale                                  7.35           0.8
15               Jalapeno                        5.75           2.88
16               Snowbird Peas             5.25             0.2
17               Carrots                            5                0.28
18                German Radish             4               0.46
19                Anaheim Pepper        3.875       0.48
20               Watermelon Radish  2.625       0.17
21                Bell Pepper                    1.375      0.34
22                Elephant Garlic              1.25        0.16
23                Italian Garlic                  0.75        0.04
24                Leeks                                  0.75       0.06

Ranked by Pounds per square foot
Rank      Product                  Pounds        PPSF

1                Crookneck Squash        41.5                 6.92
2                Jalapeno                           5.75                2.88
3                Eggplant                           89.125            2.85
4                Golden Zucchini            17                    2.07
5                Green Zucchini              27.125            1.9
6                Tomato, Early Girl       28.125             1.75
7                Pole Bean                        17.75                1.61
8                 Cucuzzi                            102.875           1.49
9                 Tomato, Sweet 100     14.24                1.41
10               Watermelon                   83.15                1.15
11                Butternut Squash         50.375           1.03
12                Kale                                    7.35                  0.8
13                Spaghetti Squash          36.125           0.51
14                Bush Bean                        36.175          0.48
15                Anaheim Pepper           3.875            0.48
16                German Radish              4                     0.46
17                Corn                                  15                   0.39
18                 Bell Pepper                     1.375            0.34
19                 Carrots                             5                     0.28
20                Snowbird Peas               5.25              0.2
21                 Watermelon Radish    2.625            0.17
22                 Elephant Garlic            1.25               0.16
23                 Leeks                                0.75              0.06
24                 Italian Garlic                0.75               0.04

Harvested Since October 10th – 64.15 Pounds
Turnips
Zucchini
Crookneck Squash
Raspberries
Bush Beans
Eggplant
Bell Pepper
Jalapeno
Anaheim Peppers
Cucuzzi
German Giant Radish
Bok Choi
Leeks
Onion
Carrots

Total Season Harvest – 612 Pounds

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Nate November 7, 2013 at 4:41 am

Nice work Berube! Interesting stuff. I’ve been moving to a permaculture aproach that utilized water control and conservation, creating microclimates and other design elaments. If you are using organic methods there’s a good chance you are already using some permaculture principles. My former chef took a design course and has shared a lot of his info with me. It’s gaining in popularity and I am trying to tell as many people that would benefit from implementing a permaculture aproach. Check this guy out he has a series of videos. He’s kind of a goofball but does a good intro to the concepts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgRwtMGcNe4
Good luck, let me know it you have questions. Take care and keep your hands dirty!
Nate

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