Courtesy of Wally S., Wally's Urban Market Garden, Saskatoon, SK
Seed saving has been in vogue for some time now, and there are lots of good reasons to do it. Here's one that surprised me. In crunching some numbers on garlic production, I figured out that from a $500 investment in seed garlic this year, I can grow this investment by 5 times, each year, so at the end of year 4, I've turned 250 heads into 125,000 heads worth $250k. The point is to replant the harvested garlic each year instead of selling it.
The calculations involve assuming 5 cloves per head. Planting the cloves multiplies your seed stock at a dramatic rate in a few years. Seed stock, especially for crops like garlic, can be initially expensive to buy, so replanting to multiply your stock has real impact on your bottom line.
Those of you with small yards, or maybe even no yard, are asking, "Yes, but how much land do you need to generate $250k?" Nowhere near as much as you might think.
This is where SPIN-Farming's standard units of production come in handy. I figure I need about a half SPIN segment, or 500 sq. ft., for 1,000 cloves. 25,000 cloves requires 12.5 segments, which is around a 1/4 acre. 125,000 cloves will require 50 segments, just over an acre. That's about 2 suburban backyards. So if you don't have the space yourself, you can team up with someone else, using SPIN's multi-locational model.
Seed stock multiplication is something I am going to start paying more attention to, because saving seed may save you a pretty penny, and help you generate lots of 'em, too.
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