Wednesday--It's the new Tuesday
Tweaking the farm's relationship with the Capital Area Food Bank and Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Mustards--the over-achiever

I was just reviewing some of our yield data (pounds harvested per acre planted).  I thought you all might be amused to hear that our highest yielding crop in 2012  was Southern Giant Mustard.  Seriously.  Seems a little cruel to me, since only a couple of you actually like eating it.  Had we planted a full acre of it in August, we would have harvested 44,576 pounds.  Thank goodness we only planted 7 thousanths of an acre.  If we'd actually picked it all, the yield would have been even higher!

The next 9 varieties that gave us the highest pounds per area planted were:

  • Roma tomatoes
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Black beauty eggplant
  • Tatsoi mustard
  • Tendergreen mustard
  • Ruby streaks mustard
  • Valley girl tomatoes
  • Tango lettuce
  • Necoras carrots

Of course this list is a little misleading.  Mustard, lettuce and carrots are planted very close together.  We can't hand-weed all our crops or we'd have to hire an army to help us.  Most other crops are spaced farther apart so we can cultivate them with tractors.  To give you a different perspective, consider yield as pounds per row-foot.  This calculation favors crops that are spaced closely in the row but far apart between rows.  Here's the new top ten:

  1. Chinese cabbage (3.2 pounds per row-foot)
  2. Roma tomato
  3. Valley girl tomato
  4. Black beauty eggplant
  5. Partenon zucchini
  6. Early jalapeno pepper
  7. H-19 little leaf cucumber
  8. Big beef tomato
  9. Garlic scallions (mixed varieties)
  10. Super red 80 cabbage

Better, huh?  You guys actually like most of those.  Maybe your New Season's Resolutions this year should be to learn how to love Chinese cabbage more--that crop grows like crazy!

Here's a link to an Excel spreadsheet of our harvest data: Download Harvest Log 2012.  I actually don't recommend that you look at it.  It's a gigantic document with a lot of boring data, and since I keep it for my own use rather than yours, it won't be easy for you to tell what all the numbers mean.  But some of you might want to get into the nitty gritty of what we do, so go crazy. 

Your farmer,



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