In their book The Australian Fruit & Vegetable Garden, Clive Blazey and Jane Varkulevicius use a 12-metre by 9-metre plot to demonstrate the production potential of an urban backyard food garden, which is based on the average 640m2 block. But backyard space is becoming smaller with more recent prolific subdivision models. And that space is now a premium as it competes with other socialising needs. Not everyone can afford 108m2 for food production, which according to the authors is capable of producing 254 kilos of fruit and vegetables per annum.
Angelo Eliades of Deep Green Permaculture who has bee keeping an annual record of his harvest for the last four years, consistently averages 175kg per year of fruit and vegetable, which is about 14kg per month. And his food growing area is roughly 64m2. His result is comparable to my own data. I am into my third year of annual harvest record keeping. The previous two years average 197kg per year with a monthly average of 16kg of fruit and vegetable. My plot is roughly 60m2.
Size does not matter all that much when it comes to growing your own backyard food. My research reveals no direct correlation between plot size and yield.
|Plot size (sq.m.)||12-week yield in kg.|
|Total: 1096||Total: 388.72|
But more and more of us are opting for high-rise apartment living. What and how much can you grow from a balcony? Broadcaster Indira Naidoo documents her experience of growing food on her 13th storey 20m2 balcony in Sydney in her book The Edible Balcony. Even in that compact space she manages to cultivate more than 40 varieties of herbs and vegetables with an impressive annual yield of 72kg.
It goes to show that you can grown some of your own food regardless of space.