Here's the list in order of largest harvest through to the smallest (in kilos):
*Only just started its harvest season - we will get a lot more!
So, back to that list... Not surprisingly, the Cucurbits (pumpkin, spaghetti squash and zucchini) were all high yielders. But, despite their reputation for big yields, the pumpkin didn't score the highest. We actually found that relatively few pumpkin flowers were pollinated (not sure why, maybe our plants just had a timing issue between male and female flowers) so there was a lot of plant to relatively few pumpkins. (That said, I don't think as a family we need any more than 40 kg of pumpkins to eat over the next few months - that is an awful lot of pumpkin!)
Instead, spaghetti squash emerged as a clear leader - what a prolific plant it is! We literally have them everywhere! I'll post separately about them, with some recipes; suffice it to say here that they are a really good 'bang for your buck' crop because they can serve very well as the starch in a meal - they're substantial and filling. And yes, they can substitute for spaghetti. They are very mild, not overly sweet like pumpkin can be, so they go with many other foods, making them a very versatile choice.
The other standout crop for us were the tomatillos. These are a close relative of tomatoes, used a lot in Mexican cuisine, in salsas and Chile Verde. We got over 14 kg from just over 2 square metres of growing space, so that's a very high yielding plant! What a shame we didn't get as many tomatoes - although that had a lot to do with a family of destructive rats who moved in and proved very difficult to eradicate. They also ate most of the apples and all of the corn, but that's a story for another day...
So, what to take from all of this - if you put your mind to it, you can grow an awful lot of food in a relatively small space. And that's even contending with rats. The other key take away is that some plants do perform better than others. I will post separately on our favourite high yielding plants for Canberra and region... but you can already guess that spaghetti squash and tomatillo are going to be on the list can't you!