Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Bean Numbers are In
The Bean numbers are basically all in and figured out for this year. I believe my old average yield v. numbers came out to 1206 plants to provide one person with a years worth of dried beans figuring it at one cup per day.
Despite the fact that this seemed like an incredible year for beans my numbers came out slightly lower (in yield) overall. The only difference is this year I doubled the amount of plants I put up which may mean the overall yields per plant goes down as the number of total plants goes up. That kinda makes sense in a way as I have less time to tend them all and the plants get spread out over a larger area which means any local benefit of top quality soil won't effect the overall yield as much.
Pole Beans - I planted 100 seeds this year. Most of them came up and the ones that didn't I managed to find some volunteers that I transplanted. I transplanted about 20 of these volunteers and they had a slower start of it so that may account for some of my reduced yield. Overall I came out with 28 cups of dried beans from the Pole Variety. This would equate out to roughly 1304 plants to provide 1 cup of dried beans to one person for an entire year. Rounded up. That's 98 more plants than my earlier figures but using twice the numbers for a control group. This is leading me to believe the actual safe number maybe somewhere in the vicinity of 1500 or more plants although one would assume an up and down yield variance in that many plants.
Blackeyed Peas - This is the first year I have grown these in any significant amount to begin crunching numbers. I started out with a small section but ended up getting a large number of volunteers especially mixed in with my Melons. Since the Melons got hit by Squash bugs so badly I decided to continue on and get some yield numbers off the Cowpeas.
Note: I switch the name Cowpea and Blackeyed Pea back and forth. The original package I bought years ago were listed as an Heirloom Cowpea but I don't think there is any difference in the two, they certainly look the same. They have since continued to come back year after year without my plating them to the point I decided that anything that prolific and easy needs to be grown and used.
Overall I had 30 Cowpea plants growing this year. They yielded out 20 cups of dried peas which equals out to 547 plants total to produce 365 cups of dried peas. This is a relatively small control group however so I wonder if the results will decrease as the control group increases like it seems to be doing with the Pole Beans? The advantages of this type of legume seems to be that it is incredibly hardy and volunteers prolifically, with a higher number in production the honey bees started working the blooms something I have not noticed before this year.
I was happy enough with the Cowpea numbers that I believe I will add this variety to my overall planting scheme in much greater numbers. Since the bees like em that is also a huge plus. Also believe it or not they are not done producing yet as I noticed today I have several more dried pods to go out and pick.
No matter how you look at it though the final numbers come out to a lot of plants per person for a year's worth of food, not to mention the seeds that must be kept on top of those numbers. I am figuring the numbers to provide 1 cup of the dried beans per day as a base. I am well aware you may not need to only rely on beans and there will be other crops and foodstuffs mixed in. I am simply undertaking this experiment to get some hard figures in place.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!