How to Grow Your Own Food – 2013 Garden Tally

mavis garden blog

This year I’m on a mission to grow 4,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in my suburban backyard. In 2012 I was able to grow 2,028 pounds, and in 2013 I’m going double or nothing. I have absolutely no idea if I’ll be able to achieve my goal. But, as with any adventure, half the fun is getting there.   ~Mavis

mavis butterfield

February is turning out to be the official month of grunt work. Which is fine really, because at least the weather is on my side. I know some of you out there still have snow or below freezing temps. So I’m not complaining, I just wish I could start planting vegetables outside right now.

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:


Beets – 14 ounces

The chickens found these for me a few weeks ago.


Carrots – 3 ounces

Carrots! In February? I was walking past the raised garden beds yesterday and noticed wee bit of orange popping through the soil. I’m not sure why I hadn’t seen it before, but sweet diggety dog, 2 carrots. I’ll take ’em!

egg count 2013

Egg Count – 101 {2.8 per day average}

We are still waiting for all the chicks we brought home last fall to start laying. I am especially curious about Hilda, Matilda and Peanut. They are all Easter Eggers and we are hoping they’ll lay blue and green eggs for us.

mesclun lettuceLettuce – 4 ounces

We harvested our first harvest of lettuce yesterday! I started the lettuce in early January and there was enough mesclun salad mix for us all to have a small salad with dinner last night. I trimmed the lettuce down to the nubs so hopefully we’ll get another crop in about 2 more weeks. I’ll keep you posted!

cool kitchen scale

Potatoes – 2 pounds 9 ounces

We found these beauties in the garden a few weeks ago and made potato soup!

bean sprouts

Sprouts – 8 ounces –

I’ve got more growing in the kitchen right now! Sprouts are great in stir fry and sandwiches.

cut wheatgrass

Wheatgrass – 5 ounces

Total Food Harvested in 2013: 4 pounds 11 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 101

Have YOU drawn out your garden plans yet? Are you trying anything new this year? If so, what?


Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre covers everything you need to know to get started: buying and saving seeds, starting seedlings, establishing raised beds, soil fertility practices, composting, dealing with pest and disease problems, crop rotation, farm planning, and much more. I have this book and it’s great!

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  1. Rogdice_Inc says

    Good morning, I visit your blog daily after the kiddoes are off to school, I am just wondering do you have a set budget for your gardening season, does it affect your grocery budget for the month? I’m planning to give gardening another try this season,( I didnt have much success last time, although this time around we are in Ohio, before we were stationed at Ft Campbell which has heavy clay type dirt, I will have to start small and see how it goes.

    • Mavis says

      When all is said and done, my goal is to come in around $.50 a pound for garden produce. We only keep a small fraction of what we grow and donate the majority of it to local charities. So no, although I will keep a tally of how much is spent on my efforts to grow 4,000 pounds of produce, I do not include it in my weekly budget because we donate most of it.

  2. Heather S. says

    Hey there. I have a friend who has 4 chickens. She said that she gets 3-4 eggs every day. I told her that you were getting a little less than 3 average and she said that maybe it was because they were eating too much fresh food and not enough chicken feed. She said that she noticed that before with hers, and a friend had the same problem. They both switched back to more chicken feed and got more eggs. I don’t know if it was coincidence or not, but thought I’d mention it for you :) Love your blog!

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