Monday, August 15, 2016

How Much Does a Garden Grow: July

Oh, my gosh.  Seven months in, and we're still not in the black!  But more on that in a minute.

One thing that's wonderful about July is the variety of veggies that start becoming available.  Of course, there was a really awkward few days when I was harvesting nothing but zucchini and blueberries, which was kind of confusing come dinnertime, but mostly I've been bringing in baskets that look like the one at the right.

Almost the full range of vegetables has become available, except for carrots and beans, for whatever reason this year. Some interesting highlights:

  • So far, I've harvested nearly $24 of greens this year, although most of that was before July. It's time to start the next round now that it is likely to start cooling down a bit.
  • The final blueberry tally stood at 81 ounces, or nearly $31 worth. As someone who just dropped $40 at the farmer's market on fresh fruit, I appreciate every bit of fruit I can get out of my little patch.
  • Zucchini and cucumbers are my big monetary producers as always, with over $31 of zucchini so far and over $25 of cucumbers. This is in spite of the fact that some of my cucumbers seemed to die from the heat wave we had. I'm experimenting with a late crop of cukes in the grow boxes.
  • We've had some early stand-outs in the tomato patch. A beefsteak plant I bought for $5 has so far given me over $15 of tomatoes, and an early San Marzano I also bought for $5 has given me $15 worth of fruit; that makes way for my later San Marzanos that I've grown from seed.
So why are we still in the red? A couple of reasons.  First is that the garden has shrunk by about a third due to the fact that an oak tree's shade now makes part of my patch too shady to grow anything. I have my eye on a pine tree out front that should come down and would make a lovely front yard patch, but that would be next year at the very earliest. I've tried to compensate with containers, but I haven't been able to make up the difference yet.

Also, since I lost the space to the shade, I've had to get rid of some of our less-loved but more profitable crops, like the butternut squash. Those always were worth a lot, but we didn't crave them quite as much as we do some of the summer veggies.

Regardless, even if we're not canning as much as I would like, we are certainly eating veggies like crazy. I'm hoping that the lack of a robust buffer of canned goods doesn't hit our budget too hard this winter.

Cumulative Totals:

Expenditures to Date: (-$204.08)

Total Ounces Harvested: 564.5
Total Pounds Harvested: 35.28125
Total Value of Harvest: $144.20

Total Profit (Loss): -$59.89

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