Thursday, October 1, 2015

September Garden Experiment

Summer has officially ended and so too has the majority of my crops.  All that is left as of Oct 1 are a handful of Green beans and a couple of winter Squash (they did not do so hot for me this season).  The hops got harvested at the end of September which shows the big bump in the "Other" category.  Otherwise it was a slow month in the garden.  Tomatoes have not died off yet but they are very slow to ripen with the shorter days.

All in all this season has been extremely useful to both plan my garden and have an understanding of the value of the entire garden but also the individual crops.  The biggest piece I learned though is the monetary piece is insignificant compared to the joy of watching your child eat a strawberry off the bush after school or to cook with your own hard earned produce.

The other interesting piece is how skewed the numbers can become.  The larger crops, rhubarb in particular are impossible to use in their totality.  I likely gave away over half of the crop through out the summer.  Similarly Tomatoes come on so quickly all at once that I now have a sash of frozen Sauce in the freezer. Hops too are not as lucrative as they appear since I do not brew enough beer to utilize all of them but they also provide a great screen to our porch.  In short the big winners in my book as far as most productive and useful crops are definitely Garlic, tomatoes, and lettuce.  But I ended up having an extra abundance of all of these!  The key for me having spent so much time tracking crops this summer is diversity, it is just fun to always have something different to harvest!

Am I going to continue this next year?  Likely not.  It has been a lot of work weighing everything, and micromanaging the garden.  However, I learned a lot doing this and I definitely am going to enjoy my garden next season in a different kind of way, through my kids!  I already have plans for a more elaborate pumpkin patch and a green bean T-pee!

As always I am happy to answer anyone's questions and I even plan to get a bit more particular in my spreadsheet and look at calories and some other metrics of evaluation.

You can't find this in the grocery store!

What do you do with All this Rhubarb!

Beer, beer, and more beer!  Other than for making beer Hops smell great, attract lady bugs, and provide a vigorous vine alternative to other traditional vines.

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