To take my mind off the snow swirling outside the window I spent Monday morning fiddling with the 2010 harvest record spreadsheet. I added a few columns and did some rearranging to make the chart easier on the eyes, and while I was at it I plugged in a few more formulas to extract more information from my data. What I found was that although we grew a heck of a lot more food than last year it cost us a lot more. We purchased amendments (compost, manure, lime) and disposable tests that we did without or got for free in 2009. Though our 2009 harvest was dismal at best, we put almost no money into the garden that year. Our average price per pound of homegrown produce in 2009 was $0.35. In 2010 it was a whopping $1.33.
To put this in perspective, I opened my grocery price tracking chart and averaged the price per pound of all the vegetables and fruits I could find in there. It came to an even $2.00. This makes me feel a little better, but not by much, because the fruits and veggies I buy from the stores on that list tend to be exotics and out of season items. As I mentioned in the post about the grocery price chart, I failed to record the bulk of my produce purchases I made in 2010 at the local produce stand, where things tend to be a heck of a lot cheaper than at the grocery store.
I’m glad that my homegrown stuff costs less than at the grocery store, but I believe there’s room for improvement. Because the pigs are amending the big plot for us over the winter we won’t have to bring anything in for the main vegetable garden next year – but plans are in the works to convert the front yard into an edible landscape with raised beds. I will need to purchase some amount of compost for the raised beds, but since they may not all be installed at once and the ones that are will produce additional food, the effect will be somewhat mitigated.