peaches- on the counter

2013 Homestead Yields & Cost Analysis

It may take a little extra time and effort to track and record what your homestead is producing, but at the end of the year, it is well worth the work when you see just exactly how much food you could grow on your land.

I always have found it to be very rewarding in past years, but even more so this year!

Ever since we decided that we were going to allow our garden a period of rest and recovery during the 2013 growing season (April 2013-April 2014), I was quite eager to see just exactly if and how the Lord would provide for our needs.

Providentially, it turned out to be a blessing because any investment into the garden or homestead would have been a waste of time and money since He opened up the opportunity for us to move to a larger homestead in August that will allow us to provide for more of our family’s needs in the future.

annual homestead report.001

Since I began keeping records of our homestead yields, I have found it fascinating to watch the varied and sundry ways in which He has provided food for the nourishment of these little bodies He has given us to care for. Whether in the form of zucchini in 2010 or tomatoes in 2011 or berries in 2012, when one crop has failed another has thrived. And with all of these variances taken into consideration, the yield has always been about the same. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 2400 pounds of food from off our (former) 2 ½ acre homestead.

Although I can’t as in former years say, we harvested X amount of food off of X amount of acres, I am thrilled to say that we nearly doubled our harvest in 2013…  during a year of garden rest!!

Between the meat, eggs, milk, established berries, and handful of vegetable plants the previous owners planted before moving, we harvested 4,893 pounds of food between the 2 ½ acres we began the year on and the 7 ½ we finished the year on!

What made the difference?

•We raised pork this year. Due to trying to get on a winter butchering schedule (which saves us substantially in butchering and packaging cost) there was no pork harvested in 2012, but in early 2013 instead.

Our 2 ½ year old steer was butchered in December adding even further to the meat in the freezer.

•When our dairy cow died the day after we moved in, we had to make the decision either to feed the calf expensive milk replacer or invest that money (probably less) into a dairy cow that was already lactating and could provide milk for the calf. Not only did that decision end up paying for itself in the milk replacer savings, but the Jersey we bought gave us an abundance of milk that our Dexter had never been able to come close to! And that in the less than full lactation cycle that we owned her!

•Our new homestead is simply burgeoning with fruit in the form of grapes, blackberries, elderberries, and raspberries and when we moved in we were able to take advantage of that and gather the ripe fruit.

•But before moving we were able to make maple syrup, gather wild honey, a pound of peaches, and a few other odds and ends remnants from the 2012 vegetable garden such as carrots and kale, garlic and strawberries.

Here are the totals of what I recorded during the past year:
(Not included, of course, are the amounts of produce that the children – and husband- snacked on straight off of the plants!)

{2013 Homestead Yields}

Curious about previous year’s yields? See here: 
2010 Homestead Yields 
2011 Homestead Yields & Cost Analysis
2012 Homestead Yields & Cost Analysis

(Click images to enlarge)

{2013 Homestead Cost Analysis}  

Broilers: Decreased by $0.85/lb.
Dairy: Decreased by $3.17/lb.
Garden: Decreased by $0.74/lb.
Layers: Increased by $1.42/dozen

{2013 Homestead Expense Breakdown}

Seeds & Seed Starting- $6.49
Plants: $0
Soil Amendment-$0
Pest Control-$0

Feed (800 lbs.)-$333.43
Bedding- $60.71
Equipment- $187.43 (incubator and fencing)

Chicks (50)-$87.5
Feed (900 lbs.)-$361.00
Pest Control- $0.00

Dairy Cow
Feed (Hay-54 square bales purchased, 321 square bales made (100 sold): $569.01- $300.00= $269.01
Feed (Grain– 1330 lbs.): $423.05
Cow/Milk Replacer- $546.99
Milk Supplies- $27.09 (iodine, filters)
Equipment- $137.16 (½ fencing, fly spray, fly mask, collar)
Medical (Breeding)- $107.00

Beef Cow
Feed- $276.41 (½ hay purchased from 2013 winter)
Equipment- $37.27 (½ fencing)
Butchering: $64.00

(2011– $85.84 & 2012– $848.00)

Feeder Pigs (2)-$150.00
Feed (2417 lbs.)-$732.22
Butchering-$10.00 (tape, salt, brown sugar- we already had bulk plastic wrap & butcher paper)

Get Free Customizable Printable  Homesteading Record Sheets HERE

Do you keep track of your homestead yields? 

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  1. Have you heard of a fodder system for feed. Around here it runs at $0.03 per pound for feed that can replace pig, horse, and cow feed; including dairy grain. Depending on the cost of wholesale grain in your area of course. By my estimations that would have cost you $73 to feed your pigs for the whole year.

    1. We have and my husband in particular is very interested in implementing one in the future. That price makes it all the more attractive!

  2. This is great information. My husband and I are just starting (slowly) our homestead and have plans to track our expenditures, just as you have. Thanks for the guidance and templates. We'll be sure to put them to good use! Thanks and we'll be following along.

  3. I love seeing the breakdown in each of these categories. One question, though (because I find the numbers interesting) – the beef one doesn’t make sense to me. Unless I’m doing the math wrong, the price per pound should be just over a dollar….?

    1. It does look that that, but in the chart the only expenses included are those incurred this year. Below that I mention the ones from the previous 2 years which are factored into the price per pound. And even at that, it’s simply our best guess because with the dairy & beef eating from the same trough that’s all we can do is estimate how much their cut of the hay is.

  4. I’ve never been particularly serious about tracking how much food I am producing and how much it costs. I always thought of my garden more as a hobby, but in the last few years I’ve really started to consider my garden as a food production plot. This year I’m finally getting serious about tracking my inputs and the output. Thank you for the motivation!

    1. I know I will always have a hobby garden as well, but when it comes to serious food production, I want to be sure I’m at least breaking even. I know the saying goes “time is money” but I’m always willing to throw my labor in for free- especially if it’s something I enjoy. (Otherwise I would have stopped blogging YEARS ago! lol! ) Enjoy the satisfaction of knowing just exactly how well you’re doing this year that comes from tracking! May your garden be a bountiful one 🙂

  5. I love seeing your posts on your yields and costs. I am planning on doing that this year for myself, though my price per pound will probably be much greater as I am investing in a good deal of fruit trees and bushes. One question, is the price on your milk per pound or per gallon? One pound of milk is a pint, so I hope the price is per gallon!

    1. Take heart- This is the best year we’ve had so far. If you go back and look, there were some where if we were a business we would have gone under! And you’re right- when you invest in the orchard, it’s HUGE and there is no return for at least 3-5 years. A lot of these things are like that and I think that we’re just now starting to see some of that turn around.

      In the yields the milk is recorded per pound, but when figuring cost it’s per gallon since that is how we would look at the cost of milk when purchasing it.

  6. Curious after having the Dexter and Jersey which do you prefer for taste. I know what they eat is going to effect the milk. I seen that the Jersey of course gives more milk. I assume that is more cream for cheese, yogart ect. Which has better flavor for cheese type products. Thanks

  7. These posts are once I sit around waiting for! I love how detailed and honest you are about your yields. It is amazing how the Lord has provided for you throughout this year. The tiny bit of cress we produce in our window sill is not worth measuring, but the joy and flavour we get from it are beyond measurement. I hope the Lord blesses you with a good growing season.

    Do you have any idea percentage wise how much of your own food you produce?

    1. “But the joy and flavour we get from it are beyond measurement”

      AMEN!! 🙂

      I don’t know for sure. At this point, it’s much lower than I’d like especially in the produce area. We grow 100% of our meat (except I maybe buy fish once or twice a month). For 2 mos. out of the year I buy about 1 – 1 ½ gallons of milk/week for recipes and yogurt. I buy most of our cheese and all of our butter but my goal is to make all my own butter this year. And we do eat quite a bit of oats & wheat here which we don’t have enough land to grow it to meet our needs so I’m not even going to bother when I can use it to grow something else better.

      1. I understand. I have no desire to be 100% self reliant (by the grace of God), but I would like to some day provide all of our meat and veggies and most of our fruits.

        I enjoyed reading the butter pin you shared and have added the blog to my reader. 🙂