Your yard could be making you money [UPDATED]

If you haven’t already noticed, world food prices have reached crisis levels in part on one of the tightest cereal grain supplies in modern times. Unfortunately, this trend only stands to continue on the heels of a terrible wheat harvest in China after Russia’s catastrophic drought last year.

What does this have to do with your yard? Simply that you could be growing cereal grains there instead of grass.

Consider that, unless you have grazing animals, grass is a worthless crop that costs you money in the form of mowing, landscaping, and fertilization (although why people fertilize grass they then cut so short it almost dies is beyond me).

On the other hand, a 10 foot by 10 foot plot of wheat can yield enough grain to keep a family of four in bread for a year and with wheat selling at $7.40 a bushel, it is easy to see how someone can turn at least a small profit on a small plot of ground. Depending on the size of the plot, the sowing method used, and the type of seed used, a 20 by 60 plot could yield anywhere from 1.3 to 2 bushels of wheat, and a 10 by 10 plot can yield up to 20 pounds of grain.

Now, I know that, especially if you live in a city, tearing up your yard to plant wheat can be problematic, but it’s not impossible, and wheat isn’t even the only crop you could plant. The point is that you could be making money off your yard, especially right now, and it wouldn’t take much on your part to do it.


UPDATED: Corrected my bad math and failure to pay attention to detail. See the discussion below. Thanks to Matt for catching my mistake.

3 thoughts on “Your yard could be making you money [UPDATED]

  1. Sorry Denny, but I have to question your math. In the US with irrigation, we produce at best 100 bushels per acre. There are ~43000 sq ft in an acre, so in your 100 sq foot plot, you should expect only 0.2 bushels.

  2. Thank you for the fact checking, Matt. I will have to go back and check my sources to make sure I am not misquoting them or mixing facts. Now that you mention that, I’m wondering if I looked at the quarter or eighth acre numbers for a 2 bushel yield.

  3. Matt, I went back to my references, and you are right: most small-scale grain raising writers say that one can expect yields between 50 and 80 bushels per acre depending on the type of seed and planting method used. I missed that the discussion from one source had changed from a 10 by 10 plot to a 20 foot by 60 food plot that was row planted and hand cultivated, which yielded around two bushels. I don’t know the variety of seed used.

    Based on the math, then, one can expect between .0011 and .0018 bushels per square foot planted, or between .11 and .18 bushels for a 10 by 10 plot.

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