Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How Much Does a Garden Grow: Butternut Squash

OK, now we're talkin'!

I have told you garden defeat after garden defeat this year, waiting for the day that I could share a success.  And now that so many of the crops are finishing up, I finally have some successes to share!  (Look for cukes and zukes very soon!)
This was my first year growing butternut squash, and I am certainly not disappointed.  I started a half a pack of seeds to come up with three or four plants, or a half a row, that I grew as an experiment.  Not only were they very productive, but we really love them.  I will have to see how quickly we go through the pile that is "down cellar" this winter, but there seems a real possibility that I will grow a whole row of squash next year and cut back on the potatoes and onions (which is another tale of woe waiting for another day).

The four plants gave their predicted 4-5 squash per plant, for a total of 16 squash weighing in at 17 pounds, 10 ounces total.  I would have had the total earlier, but once I thought I had finished my harvest with 14 squash, the plants set fruit again, and yesterday I brought in 3 more squash.  I spent $1.63 on seed for this harvest, since I only planted half a pack of seeds.  I have seed for next year, and I have saved some seed from this crop to see if I can start a microclimate-specific variety.

Had I purchased these in the grocery at the same time I was harvesting the bulk of the crop, I would have paid $0.79 per pound, and I would not have been able to get organic varieties in my normal grocery haunts. Once again, if I want something local and organic, I needed to grow it myself.

17.625 pounds of squash at $0.79 per pound is $13.92 in value.  Minus $1.63 in seed costs, and we have a profit of $12.29.

2011 Tally to Date: 35.31 lbs of crops; $13.34 saved
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