Thursday, August 25, 2011

How Much Does a Garden Grow: Spring Carrots

Yes, I know it is August, not spring.  But today I have a tally to share with you on the crop of spring carrots.

Ohio, or at least our little part of it, is murder on root crops.  (See:  potatoes)  When the first settlers arrived here and dug the soil, they could not have been thinking of growing potatoes, onions, carrots, and the like.  Maybe they were thinking of throwing some pots, because we have the most clay-y soil known to man.  But it is difficult to get a good root crop to grow in all of this solid soil, in spite of our efforts to improve the soil with compost and mulch.

Nonetheless, this spring when we put up the pop up green house, I planted peas and carrots, the two traditional spring crops.  When the peas were finished, I planted cucumbers on the front of the trellis, leaving the carrots to continue growing in the "wasted" space beneath the trellis.  I tell you, these things are great for maximizing garden space!
Once the greenhouse was down, we had our traditional rabbit problem, with the little critters munching off the tops and lying in the cool shadows.  But I still harvested a crop of carrots that I was happy with.  In a space approximately two feet by three feet, I grew 3 pounds of carrots.  I used seed from my collection that I picked up at some discount years ago, so no real seed cost there. 

A comparable amount of carrots at the grocery, not organic, was $2.99, so I'll use that as my profit.  Note once again that if I wanted organic carrots, I would have had trouble finding them during my normal grocery run.  (Not that they aren't out there; they just weren't available when I shopped the past couple of weeks and needed to get a seasonal price.)  So far this year, growing a garden has been about having what we want when we want it, and that is an important aspect of sustainability and self-sufficient living.

2011 Tally to Date: 17.69 lbs of crops; $1.05 saved

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