# [Market-farming] Yield Estimates

Matt Cheselka mcheselka at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 12 10:38:36 EST 2005

```Howdy everyone,

I'm trying to figure out as accurately (and conservatively) as I can per plant per week yields.  For instance, I think I can harvest at least 10 tomatoes per plant per week.  Here's my list:

Peas: 10 pods
Spinach: 6 leaves
Mustard: 6 leaves
Arugula: 6 leaves
Chard: 6 leaves
Vitamin Green: 6 leaves
Collards: 6 leaves
Tatsoi: 6 leaves
Tomato: 10 fruits
Beans: 10 pods
Summer Squash: 5 fruits
Okra: 5 pods
Peppers: 5 fruits
Cucumbers: 5 fruits
Melons: 5 fruits
Winter Squash: 5 fruits

My question to you is: are these reasonable estimates?  Too low?  Too high?

This ties into helping me calculate how much to grow starting next spring and how much growing area I'll need prepared.  And this, of course, allows me to determine how many CSA customers I can manage.  So for instance if I decide that I'm going to put 30 pea pods into each CSA box, then I'll need 3 pea plants for each box.  Each pea plant needs about 0.11 sf to grow, so 3 pea plants need 0.33 sf.  If I then decide that I'll need to supply 20 CSA boxes, I know that I'll need to be growing 60 pea plants that take up 6.6 sf of growing area.  It gets a little more complicated than this becuase I'm also having to plant in succession, but this is the general idea.  It turns out that my effective growing area (which includes taking into account succession planting) for peas is about 1.07 sf per CSA box.  So for 20 boxes per week I'll need 21.4 sf of growing area.

If anyone wants to see my calculations in detail, please visit my website (www.cosmiclettuce.com) where I'll lay it all out.  I'd actually like to hear from those more experienced in such things if what I'm calculating seems to be close to reality.

I've also decided that plants that produce over an extended period of time (I call them "many timers"), like those listed above, can do this for at least four weeks.  So for example once a tomato plant begins to produce ripe fruit, I can count on at least four more weeks of fruit production from that plant.  Same for all those plants listed above.  Does this sound reasonable?  I actually think, in fact, that as long as the plant doesn't get sick or infested, that four weeks is an underestimate, but I'd like to know if you think that four weeks is a good minimum number of weeks to expect.

Thanks for the info,

Matt Cheselka
Cosmic Lettuce
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