I finally finished shelling the last of the beans last week. They had been hanging in bunches from the rafters of the smithy shed since the a few days before we got Red and White (this year’s porky freezer pets). With that done, I was finally able to punch the last of the numbers into my harvest records spreadsheet and run my formulas. (This project owes a lot to OpenOffice!)
The summary . . .
In pounds: Our total output of edibles this year was 87.88 pounds. That’s down 41.66 from 2010, unless you subtract our 82 pound bumper crop of pumpkins (which, admittedly, went mostly to waste or to the pigs). If you pretend away the pumpkins, we are actually up 40.41 pounds on last year’s total.
In dollars: Our average price per pound of veggies was up $0.25 per pound, and the average price per pound of storebought veggies was down $0.30. (This may actually just be a reflection of my concerted effort to record produce stand purchases this year, which I neglected to do last year. Prices at our produce stand are much lower than fruit and veg prices at even the big discount store where I do the preponderance of our food shopping.) Last year’s price per pound of homegrown was $1.33 and this year’s was $1.58. Last year’s price per pound of storebought was $2.00 and this year’s was $1.70. But hey, we’re still producing food for less than we’d pay at the store, so we win! All in all we grew an estimated $139.09 worth of vegetables.
In words: Every year we learn a little more about food gardening – stuff that either isn’t in the how-to books (such as the fact that ‘Alderman’ pole peas are far tastier than ‘Champion of England’ pole peas) or that we had overlooked because we hadn’t had trouble with them yet (such as our lovely attack of the blight). This year we finally managed to crank out some potatoes (28.63 lbs) for the first time in three years, but we didn’t get a single tomato (sad face!*). Blah blah blah . . . anyway, what’s important is that our enthusiasm for growing our own food hasn’t waned. I plan to put more raised beds in the front yard next year and we have discussed adding some perennial crops, such as asparagus and Jerusalem artichokes. As we did last year with the garlic we will count the parsnips and leeks planted this year on next year’s harvest records because they will be harvested in the spring.
* Totally stole this phrase from Adam. Can’t stop using it.