How much am I growing?…3 month update

I wrote this post back in November about how I was going to record all the food I bought and all the food I grew, for a whole year. I want to see what percentage of my food I’m actually providing from the garden.

I’m writing it all in an exercise book and I’ve also put it on a simple spreadsheet which adds up the totals and calculates the percentages.

So far, in the first 3 months, the average is 25%. In other words, of all the food that’s come into the house in that time, 25% of it has come from the garden.

Not too bad, but it’s summer—the best season of the food-growing year, with tomatoes, zucchini, beans, cucumbers & carrots in abundance and fruit (not a lot this year) from the trees. I know I won’t be able to keep that up over the winter. There’ll be peas, leeks,  plenty of greens (silver beet, chinese cabbage & kale), but my broccoli leaves a lot to be desired (I really must do something about keeping the Cabbage White Butterfly off the plants and I must learn to grow better broccoli). Right in the middle of winter there will also be oca & yacon and asparagus in the spring.

So it looks like I’ll finish up with something less than 25% for the year. The only thing that might boost the % is that I may not need to buy much over the winter. The fridge is bursting at the seams with bottles of pickled veggies, pesto, tomato paste, pasta sauce and marmalade. There will be tomatoes in the freezer and jars of dried tomatoes in the cupboard, plus potatoes under the sink and pumpkins, if I’m lucky. I have enough bread flour and wheat to make a year’s supply of bread and enough pasta and rice for at least that time, too.

Oh, and I forgot eggs. A dozen eggs a week will help boost the totals, too (speaking of which, top egg weight this past week was 53 g—going up!).

In no way am I self-sufficient in food and I doubt whether I ever can be, especially where meat protein is concerned, but it’s an interesting exercise anyway.

4 Responses to “How much am I growing?…3 month update”

  1. Scarecrow Says:

    This is a great achievement…I think you may find that your eating habits will change during winter. Its amazing just what can go into a soup or stew that comes from the garden.

    The best way I have found to keep caterpillars off the brassicas is to net them. Vege Net (sold by Green Harvest and others) is good but I have found that fine net curtains (from op shops) are excellent for keeping out the moths and as an added bonus keep out the aphids (and grasshoppers here) as well.
    There is nothing worse than aphids in the middle of your broccoli!!!


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Scarecrow, yes, now I have the Thermomix, I’ll be making lots of soup this winter. As far as nets goes, I bought several metres of mosquito netting a couple of years ago, but as I grow my veggies in wire rings, it’s fiddly getting nets in place satisfactorily. I just need to put up some proper polypipe arches like you have. Your system is great.


  2. Linda Woodrow Says:

    Up here in northern NSW, winter is a better growing season than summer. If I hold off planting broccoli until around April or May, I can plant right through till July, and harvest from late June/early July through October with no cabbage moth attacks. If I try to plant too early or keep growing too late, it just becomes not worth the bother. In winter I also get all the leafy greens, caulis, celery, broad beans, leeks, beets, carrots, parsnips – unless you get heavy frosts you may find you do even better in winter. But still, 25% is nothing to sniff at!


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Hi Linda. I think my problem is that I don’t grow a huge varierty of winter veggies. I don’t seem to have much success with parsnips or celery and don’t grow caulis because they seem to take so long to do anything. I’m trying celeriac this year and must really try parsnips again, because I love them.


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