Goals and Successes for 2010

I had mentioned in an earlier post that I plan on taking stock of what I harvest and see what the savings amount to. But that isn’t really a goal, just a plan. Spring at our home is here. The weather is warming up, our last average frost date is only a week and a half away and the time change is allowing us to putter around in the yard after a long day at work.

 Garlic, Peas & Lettuce

Already, this early in the year I’ve had some wonderful success. Things that I always found utterly impossible to grow are in the past, well, growing. Our shelling and snap peas are in and growing magnificently. Usually I have issues with the birds getting the seed before they sprout. This year I started them in flats and then transplanted them. I’ve had a much higher success rate. Our parsnips are up and our peppers are growing bigger by the day. I couldn’t be happier. Both can be so difficult to get started and it appears that this year I was finally successful. I planted more lettuce than I should have, and I’m glad I did. A couple of our chickens got out one day and found that the Yugoslavian Red Lettuce bed was particularly fun to scratch in. So there went a few. Then the crows found that the Cimmaron Lettuce was quite tasty, so there went a few more. Oh bird scare tape, how I love thee. Fixed that problem right up. The Forellenschuss Lettuce however has made it through quite nicely with few issues. Our garlic, which I was worried about earlier in the year, has all come up now and is doing marvelous, as is our onions. Lots and lots of onions. We probably eat at least one onion a day so it’s questionable if we planted enough this year.

Artichoke stand

My goals for this year is to harvest 2,500 lbs of produce (next year will be significantly more because our fruit trees will be more productive). The dilemma I come to is how to work out the cost savings. Do I compare our harvest to the prices of locally grown, organic food (which is usually too expensive for us to buy) or do I just compare it to the food we would normally buy? And do I go by pounds or by items? Some produce is sold per item like onions, heads of lettuce and melons while others are by the lb. In all fairness it should be compared to locally grown, organic food and by the pound. However, the savings doesn’t mean much to us since it isn’t the real price we would actually pay. I suppose I could do both, though it will take more time.

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