Garden Update; Checking the Yields

by formerchef on August 16, 2010

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It’s nearing the end of the summer and I’m wondering just how much has my garden produced after all the blood, sweat & tears (and water and money) I’ve poured into it. So far, the results have been pretty good (see below). It’s not done producing yet, though it does appear that some of the plants are nearing their end already.

 Below are my harvest totals as of 8/15/2010. I tried my best to keep track (even made a spreadsheet) but I’m sure I missed some of the pickings so it’s safe to assume the actual harvest is slightly larger.

I’m going to do some research as to actual cost of these items if I were to buy them in a store or at the farmer’s market and in a future post will total and compare with what we spent on building and planting the garden with the yields and what it would have cost to purchase all this organic produce.

Tomatoes* (7 plants, different varieties): 60 lbs
Green Zucchini (1 plant): 29 lbs
Yellow Squash (2 plants): 15 lbs
Globe Eggplant (6 plants): 8.5 lbs
Japanese Eggplant (2 plants): 8.5 lbs
Japanese Cucumber (died): 1.75 lb
Basil(12 plants plus seedlings): 4.25 lbs
Misc Herbs: 1.5 lbs
Other items planted but died; lemon cucumbers, peas, bell peppers, potatoes.
Total: 129 lbs of organic produce

So what did I do with 129 lbs of vegetables? Ate some, gave some away, and preserved some in the way of  freezing marinara sauce (about 2 gallons), ratatouille (about a gallon), pesto (6 cups), and zucchini (5 lbs). I was determined to have as little waste as possible and any waste there was went back into the compost bin.

*The tomato results have been mixed, depending on variety
Celebrity-Good performer, lots of fruit, just now putting out a second set
Champion -“Ok”, not as good as Champion
Yellow Boy-Disappointing, lots of leaves, but then all the fruit was very small and got blossom end rot.
Green Zebra-Small but very tasty tomatoes. Disconcerting color to some, but I like them.
Roma-Very small tomatoes, just a step above a large cherry
Black Russian-Disappointing yield
Brandywine-Amazing. Giant plant with many huge, pinkish tomatoes. Wonderful tasting too.

What do you think? Is the time and expense worth it or would it just be easier to go buy the produce as needed?

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy Kramer August 16, 2010 at 10:10 pm

It would be interesting to see the ROI but then you’d need to include the time spent and what that time is worth. Of course, then you need to measure the joy and satisfaction you get from gardening and eating home grown foods. Minus the stress the varmints cause. Plus the return your readers get from you sharing these stories.

Hope you have a big spreadsheet!

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2 Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen August 17, 2010 at 9:27 am

Sounds pretty good to me! Congratulations!

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3 Robert Muncy August 17, 2010 at 11:25 am

Sounds like a bad run on your tomatos. Better luck next year!

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4 nina August 18, 2010 at 1:44 am

It is always worthwhile. I know it always comes down to $, but the sense of accomplishment is hard to put a price tag to!!

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5 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking August 20, 2010 at 10:28 am

Oh wow, look at that amazing, plump produce you grew! I can’t wait to finally own a home and be able to plant my own garden and grow things like this, but apartment living at the moment is prohibitive! Congrats on your amazing assortment of veggies and herbs, and thanks for sharing with us.

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6 Tripp Hendrix August 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm

I just can’t put a price on having grown my own vegetables. They taste better, and some of them just can’t be found in markets. Armenian Cucumbers, Multi colored carrots, Brandywines and Black Krims. It’s also something I do with my wife and my oldest son.

Thanks for the recipes and the advice on strain vs. peel and seed!

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7 katie August 23, 2010 at 12:32 pm

I wonder myself if it’s worth it – this year I KNOW it wasn’t – between our hail storms and our flooding, my heirlooms didn’t make it TWICE. The only thing that worked were my herbs and peppers and very few cucumbers. For some reason, I’m just now getting okra. Have you tried planting Black Krims? They are my very favorite from last year.

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8 formerchef August 23, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Katie-I’m so sorry to hear that. What a bummer! No, I don’t think I’ve planted Black Krims before.

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9 Isabella Cake August 24, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Yeah, actually, even the hot weather made my tomatoes lose their shine! But the peppers are really doing great despite of the weather! this is definitely one of the best pictures I saw today! Love it!

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10 Tiffany August 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Geez, I don’t know if I would call it worth it. On the other hand, you went all freaking out with your garden. I know I wouldn’t be that adventurous. Maybe start with a strawberry and simple tomato plant since I’ve never seen those be anything short of explosive at producing.

Probably the one veggie I go through the most that would make this worth it is zucchini. I have a hard time keeping them good in the fridge for very long and the frozen ones aren’t very yummy.

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11 rose plated September 1, 2010 at 8:03 am

The time and hard work is worth it! If you buy a seeds it will only cost you $5 for it and it will give you a lifetime of produce rather than to buy in the grocery that will cost you everyday $1. Gardening is really worth it even if you asked the greatest people on earth.

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12 melanie schoenhut September 15, 2010 at 10:16 am

I totally agree on rose! Time is worth it if you really focused on your goal t0o have a bountiful harvest every day or every week if you want too. It depends on different time that you planted the crops. Example you just planted tomato plants yesterday then next week you planted another tomato plant. In that case you will have different harvest time that will give you your everyday need of tomatoes. You also need strategy in your gardening chores.

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