Challenge update - the final countdown...

01 October, 2012

Just over a year ago, when I got serious about this fruit and veg growing biz, I challenged myself to grow 50% of my fruit and veg for a year.

As of today my challenge is over. From 1st October 2011 to 30th September 2012 I have written down every single bit of fruit or vegetable matter I consumed within my own home. I didn't include fruit or veg consumed outside the home, be that bought food, dinners at other peoples houses or within-garden consumption.

For the month of September I produced 64% of my own fruit and veg.

That brings the final tally for the Great Fruit and Veg (not quite) Self-sufficiency Challenge 2011/12 to (drumroll please...) 65%!

Yes people, that's right! I have succeeded in my challenge, and what is more, I've loved every minute of it. Ok, the documentation did become a bit of a pain at times, but it was so nice to see those weeks where the 'bought' page was empty and the 'grown' page was full.

Overall this year in the garden brought;
Fruit: Strawberries -  12.25kg, Alpine Strawberries - 0.7kg, Nectarines - 5, Raspberries - 5.8kg, Rhubarb - 12 bunches, Grapes - 200g, Watermelon (various) - 9kg, Apples (total of varieties Grand Duke Constantine, Sundowner, Fuji, Australian Beauty, Caville Blanc D'Hiver) - 7kg, Figs - 5kg, Lemons - 2kg
Leafy Greens: Lettuce (mixed) - 23 bags, Spinach/Beetroot leaves - 16 bags, Rocket - 6 bags, Sorrel - 3 bags
Root Crops: Beetroot (mixed) - 6.8kg, Carrots (mixed) -  5.7kg
Cucubits: Cucumbers (mixed) - 1.3kg, Squash - 0.8kg, Zucchini (mixed) - 2.8kg, Spaghetti Squash - 9kg, Pumpkin (mixed) - 8.6kg
Legumes: Snowpeas - 0.3kg, Broadbeans - 3.3kg, French/Climbing beans - 2.7kg, Peas - 4.3kg
Brassicas: Broccoli - 21 heads, Cauliflower - 1 head, Kale - 3.8kg, Purple Sprouting Broccoli - 2.3kg, Gai Lan - 0.4kg, Cabbage (Red Drumhead) - 0.6kg, Radishes - 0.8kg
Alliums: Garlic - 17 bulbs, Onion (mixed) - 2.3kg, Leeks - 8
Solanums: Tomatoes (mixed) - 9.5kg, Eggplant - 1.1kg, Potatoes (mixed) - 8.1kg
Others: Artichokes - 38, Asparagus - 0.4kg, Celery - 3 pitiful excuses for a celery, Corn (mixed) - 18 cobs. Capsicums/Peppers - 400g, Saffron - 36 stamens
Plus misc herbs.

Whew! In some ways I think it sounds like a lot, and in others I think "Is that all? Did I really only grow only 5.7kg of carrots. It seems like more than that."

But either way in hindsight and it all written out like that it looks like a cornucopia of produce.

And there have been unexpected benefits of my thorough documentation. Of invaluable use is being able to look back on those records and see when things started producing. Exactly when was the first Asparagus spear, when did the Blueberries fruit etc.

So now, I'm thinking "Shall I up the anti?" Why the hell not!

I'm thinking I shall aim higher. I'm tossing up between 75 and 80% consumption for 2012/13, and possibly also including outside veg consumption, although I'm not sure how I can do this. Further pondering is required. Of course I reserve the right to come to my senses at any time and end this foolish enterprise. Its always good to have an out.

But in the meantime, thanks garden. I couldn't have done it without you!


  1. That's an amazing quantity of produce. Well done on your %! I am seriously impressed.

    I admire your stamina in weighing things, I am not sure I would have that stamina, but sometimes I would like to know what all my produce totalled.

    1. I think it's just become a habit now. I keep the book by the scales on the kitchen bench, and even this week after I don't need to be writing things down I've still done it anyway. But if I had to get the scales out each time I would have packed it in long before now!

  2. Congratulations - fabulous work. Some of those figures are really impressive - I for one want to eat 12.25kg of strawberries! Or indeed grow 9kg of watermelon. I think I'll attempt a similar exercise next year (I wont get to anywhere near your % if I include fruit (my kids are fruit fiends and my garden is pretty small) but I reckon I could attempt it with veg - will be fun to try anyway.

    1. It was suprisingly easy to eat 12.25kg of strawberries, although I did give some away. I agree, the veg is relatively achievable, but unless you have well established fruit trees (and lots of space for them) fruit is a difficult one!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! But onwards and upwards I say...