Tuesday, August 7, 2012
How Much Does a Garden Grow: July
Zucchini: With a harvest coming in at 31.75 pounds and the price still hovering at $2.99 a pound for organic zucchini, this was my food staple for the month. I shredded and froze a whole bunch, and I put zucchini in everything we ate. Almost literally. I mean, check the July blog posts, and that isn't even the half of it.
Potatoes: The Yukon Gold potatoes, which I planted from store-bought organics, gave me just 4.3125 pounds, while the first harvest of the blue potatoes was just 13 ounces. I still have a half a row of blue to account for in August, and a container that I think will beat them all, but for right now, I'm going to say that I think potatoes are a luxury crop that really gives me an excuse to garden in March but otherwise does very little else. Even the specialty potatoes in the store come in at $1.40 a pound, although I will admit that organic blue potatoes have been impossible to find.
Tomatoes: Most people I've talked to throughout the Midwest feel their tomatoes are about two weeks behind, and I sort of do too. We harvested 3.875 pounds of tomatoes in July, enough for a lot of salads, but no canning until just recently. Store prices for organic tomatoes are $2.99/pound.
Carrots: 3.1875 pounds here, with prices for organics still at $2.99 a pound (recognize a theme in our grocery stores?). Most of this came from finally finishing out the small bed that I started last year, so most of these were really last year's carrots. I promptly reseeded the bed, because who knows how long this next crop will take?
Cukes: 3.25 pound harvested in July, and they are yummy. The low yield thus far is my fault. For years, I have grown Burpee Pickler and Straight Eights, but this year I got fancy with some heirlooms and grew another kind of pickling cuke. They are yummy, but they are tiny. I have a small secondary row of the more traditional varieties warming up, so maybe August will give me some canning cukes.
Onions: 1.875 pounds, mostly pulled an onion at a time for dinner.
Beans: 3.5 ounces. This is NOT my fault. The critters really leveled the beans during the drought, even though we put out water for them and put up screens, so the beans have taken a while to recover. Again, I have a secondary crop coming up and plan to put in a tertiary crop where I just took out the potatoes.
But, but! We're still not profitable! Man, this is taking some time, and I really want to show that gardening will help beat the economic woes. But we still aren't there.
"Don't forget the foregone psychiatry bills!" Mr. FC&G said in his yearly joke. Yes, that's true. Plus, I need to figure out how I'm going to account to you for culinary herbs harvested and some medicinal herbs, like Feverfew and St. John's Wort, that would be pretty expensive if purchased.
Still, one of my unfortunate take-aways is that gardening requires upfront investment that doesn't pay back for a fairly long time, and if we are going to use it as a society to help those that are the most impoverished (as I still think we should), we are going to have to support community gardening, rooftop gardening, and other types of communal local gardening that may have to have the upfront costs paid by an outside organization, like a charity or other philanthropic organization. Luckily, I see more and more of these springing up.
2012 Tally to Date
58.65625 lbs. total harvested
$131.84 value of harvest for July
$166.14 value of harvest for 2012
$185.39 expenditures for 2012
-$19.25 loss to date
Posted by Jennifer Lorenzetti at 9:10 AM