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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How Much Does a Garden Grow: Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are tricky to measure.  I typically don't account for any of the fresh herbs I use, even though those would really drive up the total of my garden.  This year, I was able to add fresh oregano, basil, thai basil, sage, dill, thyme, and mint to my dishes, all by walking out into my garden.

On the other hand, I do try to account for the herbs I dry or otherwise would have to buy in dried form.  That netted me nearly $30 in herb savings, namely:

Dill:  At the beginning of the year, I harvested 12 oz. of volunteer dill, and I harvested a few more batches of "purposeful" dill for the rest of the year.  This gave me about two spice jars of dried dill put away, which would have cost $3.39 each at the store if I had bought the organic spice.

Thyme:  Likewise, I have a full jar of dried thyme that would have cost $3.39 at the store.  I have the possibility of harvesting and drying more, because the plant is fairly cold hardy.

Basil:  Basil was fairly tricky, because I used a ton fresh, and I froze a lot in oil.  Sometimes, I count this by the price of prepared pesto, but this year I used the price for fresh greens, because my store didn't have those little clamshells of "fresh" herbs.  I had 12 oz. of fresh basil that I I froze.

Lavender:  My 3 oz. of lavender buds will keep the house smelling nice this year and keep me from buying potpourri.

Feverfew:  Even though I eat my feverfew fresh, I priced a $7.89 bottle of 180 capsules that would be my option if I weren't growing it myself.

My other mystery is how to count my St. John's Wort.  I grew a ton of it and hurried to make the extract, and I really benefited from taking it, mood-wise.  Unfortunately, it didn't play ball with the rest of my system, causing some female side effects.  In retrospect, this makes sense as women sometimes take St. John's Wort as a hormone replacement herb during menopause; I'm not at that point, so those warnings didn't seem to apply to me.  But certainly my system was confused, and I had to discontinue.  Right now, there is no price in this tally for St. John's Wort.  

So here we stand.  Going into the month of October, we stand at a $260.44 profit for the year, with October still to account for.

2012 Tally to Date
155.404 lbs. total harvested
$29.58 value of harvest of herbs
$457.09 value of harvest for 2012
$196.65 expenditures for 2012
$260.44 profit to date
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