Monday, June 30, 2014

EOFY update and production figures

Well, it is the end of the financial year (here in Australia) and so I sat down this morning and finished all the paperwork for tax that I had been putting off. It was a bit disappointing as I was expecting that I was closer to breaking even over the year than it actually was. At least next year I won't have as much outlay for shadecloth so it should be better. A bit disheartening though.

As far as the farming goes (remembering that my beds are 1 x 4m in size) I have found that the vegetables that make the biggest earnings/profits (bring in over the $100 that I am aiming for by each bed) are carrots, beets (when they grow), yacon, garlic, oca (also in good years) capsicums, tomatoes, celery, rhubarb, amaranth, silverbeet and potatoes. Basically anything that has a double income and plants that can be harvested multiple times.
Really poor income earners are corn, eggplant, melons, pumpkin, kurrajong and onions
On the fence are celtuce, snow peas, scorzonera and some of the other crops.

The best earners are yacon, oca and garlic and I will put a lot more of those in next year.

Garlic: 150 bulbs per bed selling for $2 per bulb. The bed is tied up for only 6 months or so so you can fit in at least one more crop of something else.

Yacon: poor crop of tubers this year with only about 2kg per plant. 20 plants per bed so 40kg at $4 per kg. Then each plant produces around 5 growing sets that I wholesale for $1 per set, so I also get 80 sets to sell (minus the ones I replant) so the bed gives me around $240 for the bed.

Oca: 30 plants per bed giving 1kg tubers per plant. 30kg selling for $4 per kg. They flew off the table at the market just gone. I also sell the smaller tubers wholesale for $1 per handful so they make just under the same as yacon brings.

Potatoes are another decent earner with sales of tubers to eat as well as seed potatoes to wholesale/retail. about 36 plants per bed harvesting twice a year. At least 1kg of tubers per plant, per harvest at $2 per kg.

Growing for seed to sell does bring a decent income from the other vegetables but sales of them fresh is not great.
I am going to keep planting some of the other crops but this coming spring I will be concentrating on the high income ones, I really have to start making a profit or I might as well give it away. Here are some more figures:
Lettuce: would be great if I could sell them, they just don't sell well at markets. 64 plants per bed at $2 each and only in for 3 months so you could grow at least 3 crops per year.

Amaranth: 36 plants per bed harvesting every month and replacing every three months while there is no frosts. I am guessing that the income per bed is 10 bunches per harvest at $2 per bunch.

Rhubarb: 5 plants per bed harvesting 1 bunch per plant every 6 weeks all year round (some old varieties die down in the winter though)

Silverbeet: 36 plants per bed harvesting around 10 bunches every month for around 8 months.

Celery: Similar to silverbeet

Capsicums: 16 plants per bed. Harvesting for 4-5 months. Production depends on the type.

Tomatoes: 8 plants per bed. Each plant should produce 4-7 kg per plant depending on type.

I will be commenting more on yacon tomorrow as I have started pulling up my last bed.

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