Monday, July 18, 2011

How Much Does a Garden Grow? Garlic

It is time for another report on the profit or loss from the harvest of a crop!  Today, we'll take a look at garlic.

Garlic is a great thing, in my mind.  For us, it is one of the few plants that will grow in this very narrow band of rocky soil I am gradually improving.  It also gives me something living to look at well into the winter and then again early in spring, so I feel like I am always gardening.  It also tastes wonderful and keeps forever, and it is so healthy, it is great to have plenty on hand to slide into recipes.

However, last year I royally screwed up.  I over-ordered seed garlic from Burpee, and then, panicked that it wouldn't come in time for planting (it did), I also ordered from Seeds of Change.  So, I had way too much seed garlic, and I planted only a portion of it.

The crop this year was plentiful -- 55 heads of garlic -- but the heads were small, coming in at 1 pound, 10 ounces total.  The Meijer organic equivalent is three beefy heads totalling 3 ounces for $1.99, or 66 cents an ounce.  That means my garlic crop is worth $17.16.

I figure that I planted about that much seed garlic in monetary value, so I'm going to call this one a wash. 

Had my crop yielded larger heads, I would be way into profit by now.  I think that will happen as the soil in that bed improves and gets less rocky.  I also think that, since I don't use nearly 55 heads of garlic in a year (I sold a few heads last year and gave several to my mom, and I still have 2010 garlic we are finishing), we will never be buying seed garlic again.  So, while this is a wash now, it will be a money-saver later.

The Analysis

Fast:  Garlic grows over the winter and matures in mid-summer, which, while not fast, is certainly pretty effortless.

Cheap:  As you can see above, due to my errors and some soil problems, this is not a money-saver yet.  But it will be.

Good:  Fresh garlic from the field is unbelievable.  It does lose some of that fresh flavor as the winter goes on and it sits in storage, but it is still pretty fine.

2011 Tally to Date: 4.81 lbs of crops; $4.69 saved
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  1. Fairy from Organised CastleJuly 19, 2011 at 7:43 AM

    I have only recently discovered your blog but I love the idea of analysing the benefits of what you do.

  2. Thanks, Fairy. I can't wait to see the totals on some of the crops that I know are money-makers. But I sure don't want to wish the season away.