How to Grow Your Own Food – Weigh In Wednesday

This year my goal is to grow 2,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables. I think I can do it. With 16 raised garden beds, a greenhouse, a raspberry patch and a few more planting beds sprinkled throughout our property, I believe growing 2,000 pounds of food is an attainable goal. Even if I do live right in the middle of high maintenance suburbia, and my neighbors think I’m nuts. ~Mavis


Well I did it.

I pulled up all the cabbage, beets, broccoli, most of the kale, most of the Swiss Chard, and all but 1 of the Brussels Sprout plants.  The greens filled two wheelbarrows full, and after hauling the bathroom scale out to the garage, and standing there with buckets and buckets of produce, the final tally was 42 pounds, 7 ounces of goods.

Holy Crap.  It did it!  I grew 2023+ pounds of food, in just 11 months.

Now what?


Here is what I have harvested so far this year:

Apples 6 lbs {how to make applesauce}

Banana Squash 6lb 2 oz

Basil 1 lb 9 oz {how to make pesto}

Beans 21 lbs 3 {green bean salad, how to can green beans, dilly beans}

Beets 58 lb 20z {how to can beets}

Blueberries 4 lb 9 oz {mixed berry pie recipe}

Bok Choy 9 lb 14 oz

Broccoli 11 lb 10 oz {pasta salad with broccoli, carrots, and sun dried tomatoes}

Broccoli Rabb 1lb 6 oz {chickpeas with broccoli raab and bacon}

Brussels Sprouts 8 oz {Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar}

Cabbage 58 lb 4 oz {how to make sauerkraut}

Carrots 117 lbs 6 oz {carrot cake jam recipe}

Cauliflower 7 lbs 3 oz {cauliflower hummus rocks!}

Chives 1lb 3 oz {chalkboard painted herb pots}

Cucumbers 55 lbs 5 oz {cucumber salad}

Anna Swartz Hubbard Squash 184 lbs 1 ounces {Hubbard Squash Pie}

Butternut Squash41lbs 6 oz {Butternut Squash with Spinach and Pasta}

Golden Hubbard Squash 22 lbs 5 oz {Hubbard Squash Soup}

Sweet Meat Squash 15 lbs 1 oz

Kale 11 lb 9 oz {how to make kale chips}

Lettuce 15 lb 11 oz {bbq chicken salad}

Mint 4 lbs 12 oz {Fresh Pea Salad with Spinach, Feta and Mint}

Onions 41 lbs 11 oz {Kentucky Fried Chicken Cole Slaw}

Oregano 4 lbs 15 oz

Mushrooms 9.25 oz {read more about how I grew mushrooms}

Peas 38 lb 13 oz {fresh peas and bacon recipe}

Pears 8 lbs 15 oz {how to make pear jam}

Peppers 5 lb 8 oz {Homemade Salsa}

Potatoes 129lb 11 oz {potato soup recipe}

Howden Pumpkins 59 lbs 11 oz

Cinderella Pumpkins 45 lbs 4 oz {roasted pumpkin seeds}

French Pumpkin 13 lbs 4 oz

Jarrahdale Pumpkin 39 pounds 7 oz

Spaghetti Squash 36 lb 10 oz

Sugar Pie Pumpkins 3 lb 10 oz {how to make pumpkin puree}

Misc. Pumpkins 352 lbs 11 oz.

Acorn Squash 12 lb 14 oz {stuffed acorn squash}

Radish 16 lb 6 oz {how I bartered radishes for avocados}

Raspberries 2 lb 10 oz {how to make a raspberry buckle}

Spinach 2lb 7 oz {garlic spinach dip recipe}

Sprouts 10 oz {how to grow sprouts}

Strawberries 18 lbs 9 oz {strawberry basil jam}

Swiss Chard 32 lb 2 oz {rainbow Swiss chard recipe}

Tomatoes 186 lb 11oz {roasted corn salad with tomatoes and feta}

Zucchini 257 lb 11 oz {how to make zucchini relish, zucchini salad, zucchini brownies}

Miscellaneous 50lbs 9 oz {This means we let someone come and pick vegetables, or did not get a chance to weigh them individually, and this was the total weight of all the vegetables combined}


Total Food Harvested in 2012: 2023 pounds 13.25 ounces

I have spent a total of $524.20 on seeds, soil, plants and supplies for this year.

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  1. Gail says

    Congratulations! I’m impressed. How much of the 2000 would you say you were able to use for human consumption or put up for your family? That’s not counting what went to the chickens, compost, etc. Maybe half? That would be great!

  2. says

    SOOOO AWESOME!!! I say you spend your remaining $80 on champagne and party it up! Just kidding. Buy some Brie too. 😉

    All kidding aside, what a huge accomplishment. All of us on the interwebs are super proud of you! WOOT!

  3. Debby says

    I love your inventory and especially the links to recipes. I ‘pinned’ this and in the comments, noted the recipes for nearly all you grow. A wealth of info. Thanks!

  4. says

    Mavis, you are an inspiration. My goal is more modest than yours. I was hoping for 200# and am currently at 290. I may hit 300 # by year end. It depends on my winter garden. Next year, I am raising my target to about 350#. I have 6 raised beds in my back yard. I am still not as proficient in maximizing my space as you appear to me. I still have room for improvement. I enjoy your blog.

  5. Julia says

    Wow; I didn’t think you’d make it so early
    How big is your yard and how much of it is dedicated to food production? Your yard looks big.

  6. LaToya says

    “Well I did it.” Come on, where’s all the crazy wa-hoos? Where are all the pictures of you with a party hat and a blowhorn jumping on one of your neighbors’ beds in your hot pink zebra jammies? I’m so letdown by the hoopla.

    But – this is awesome. What a feat. I hope you had fun with it…and it’s completely practical…but gotta be exhausting. And yes – “now what?” is right. What’s 2013 gonna be about?

  7. says

    & with time to spare! Nicely done :). How much space do you have/what size lot are you growing on? I can’t wait to get into a real house with some land. I rent a second floor apartment and while I do wonders w/ my small porch, balcony and 8×8 of sod my landlord let me dig up between buildings – it’s just not quite the same :).

  8. Deborah says

    Fantastic Job! You are a true inspiration to all of us. I have started planning for next years garden, but only have a goal of 500 lbs. What are your plans for next year?

  9. says

    Great job Mavis!!! I’m so proud!

    You also motivated me to grow and preserve more food than I would have if I wouldn’t have found your blog, so thank you so much for that!

  10. Katrina says

    I think all of us who like to follow your blog knew you would do it. It has been a fun year of watching your garden grow and trying some of your delicious recipes. I made several of your jams that will be given out as gifts for Christmas. Thank you! Can’t wait to see what you are going to challenge yourself with in 2013.

  11. says

    MAVIS! You so totally rock! Congrats on hitting your goal AND exceeding it! Your journey in this has been so inspirational. Thank you so much for sharing it (and everything else) along the way. Sit back now and have a cup of tea and put your feet up. You deserve it!

  12. Desi says

    Mavis, I knew you could do it!!!! You are the #1 Girl Scout!


    Now you can sit back, enjoy your cookies with a glass of milk, and have dreams of next years garden. Congrats!!!

  13. says

    Congratulations, that is so awesome! I have been following your blog for a short time, I think since there was an article on this year. I have so enjoyed your posts and look forward to next years goals.

  14. Julie2 says

    Congratulations !!! Really great job. I hope you are gonna be able to relax and enjoy these last few weeks of 2012.
    Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You’re simply an amazing woman.

  15. Peggy says

    Way to go!!! I”m so proud of you and I just began reading your blog in October. You are such an inspiration to all gardeners, beginners and oldie like me. this is so wonderful!!! Peggy

  16. Ann T. says

    Congratulations! I just knew you were going to make it! If our Girl Scout leader can do it, so can we! Thanks for all the smiles, recipes, and garden/chicken love you bring all of us!!!!!

  17. Susan Robinson says

    I am so excited although I knew you could do it!
    I would love it if you could take us through your planning process and show us around your property. I’m thinking you have 20 acres or so! (not really). I have a city lot and I am struggling to figure out how to plan and where to put everything. I think your ideas would help a lot of us.
    Anyway, congrats, scout leader~ now rest!

  18. says

    Awesome! Snap a dilly ding dong you did it! I am so happy for you. I just love reading your blog. I enjoy all the beautiful pictures and your videos are so much fun. I think you should do more of them. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

  19. Sarah says

    You are an inspiration. Congrats to you for meeting your goal and for inspiring all of us. I hope you take some time to celebrate!
    Cheers to reading about your greatness in 2013

  20. says

    Yay!!! Congratulations Mavis. Time to celebrate. What a big accomplishment. I think you deserve to sit back and enjoy the victory. And plant all those bulbs you just got! I’m happy for you and sending you a virtual high-five.

  21. says

    Yee Haw! I am so very impressed! Congratulations, Mavis! The Pilgrims seriously have nothing on you!

    I think that the really impressive part is that you didn’t count eggs from chickens, free gleaned produce, chicken scraps from the store that you saved from the landfill and other things (like free chicken). You have given your readers such wonderful food for thought this year and shown us what can be done with a little space and some time. Bravo!

  22. Niki says

    Congratulations on your achievement! You have inspired me to think about living a little more intentionally by keeping it simple. I love the barter idea, I’m going to throw a friends and family barter party.

  23. Carol says

    Congratulations, Mavis!!!!!! Great job, My Dear Scout Leader!
    Since I began following your blog I am now using my freezer for more than ice cubes and ice packs….that has helped me save money right there…..big thanks for all your inspiration and photos. Hugs from Indiana!

  24. Deana says

    I am so proud of you. I have to admit I was a little nervouse for you towards the end. I am excited for you. Looking forward to hearing about your next goals.

  25. Melody M. Nunez says

    Woo hoo! Congratulations! I kept watching the total pounds harvested number climb – awesome that you met your goal! I have major yard and garden envy, given that I live in an apartment and our house rabbits “own” our little patio during the day, but am glad you’re making great use of your open space. Keep up the great work! :]

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