Archive for the ‘cost/benefit analysis’ Category

Harvest Monday: A lone cucumber

October 3, 2011

salsa, tomato sauce, and pickled beets, jalapenos, beans and cukes, fill the pantry; applesauce to come.

I was surprised on Friday to see a lone cucumber hanging from the cucumber vine, but not so surprised that I didn’t pick it.  This week the harvest continues, but at a much slower pace.   In the basket this week were 4.25 lbs. of tomatoes, an 8 oz. cuke, a small 2 oz. red onion, 6 oz. of sweet peppers, 4 oz. zucchini, 8 oz. of chard, and 13.5 oz. of broccoli.  It was a nicely varied harvest, and there is more to come, with kale awaiting some frosty weather, some beets very slowly sizing up, greens getting a nice watering this weekend, and peppers ripening in the hoophouse.

This weeks’ harvest amounted to 6.84 lbs., bringing my yearly total to 381.21 lbs. valued at $1129.96.  My expenses remained the same at $383.06, bringing the total value of my harvests to $746.90.

This is a far cry from the 641 lbs. I grew last year valued at over $1,200, but I feel like in general we grew the right amounts of fresh seasonal produce to meet our fresh eating needs, and for the most part enough produce for canning and freezing.  Where we will notice the difference will be in storage veggies and leeks — my leeks are still pretty small.  I hope to do a bit more analysis of the two seasons in a future post, and this analysis will also help me make the decisions about what we plant for next years’ unattended garden.

This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series on her blog Daphne’s Dandelions, where I am inspired by a terrific community of gardeners and gardens worldwide passionately growing their own food .

Harvest Monday: Back in the black

August 1, 2011

Whoo hoo, this post marks the Henbogle produce department finally showing a profit.  Thanks in no small part to picking over 5.5 lbs. of blueberries and 48 heads of garlic, my garden spreadsheet is in the black at last.  This is a far cry from last year, when I was in the black for my June 28 Harvest Monday post.   Granted, last years’ expenses were a mere $317 compared to my spendy year thus far at $383.  The roll of remesh was spendy at almost $95 dollars, but so far I’m happy with it.

This weeks harvests included a zucchini (6 oz.) and the first two Flying Saucers patty pan squash (4.5 oz.), another 1 .5 lbs. of broccoli side shoots, over 6 lbs. of cucumbers, 7 oz. of herbs, 48 heads of garlic and the aforementioned blueberries.  We also had some lettuce (which I apparently forgot to weigh as it isn’t on the spreadsheet), which became part of a delicious nicoise salad that featured some new potatoes I harvested last week.

We are still eagerly awaiting homegrown tomatoes and green beans, but at least the hard work I’ve put in thus far is paying off.

This weeks total harvested came to 17 lbs. bringing the total weight of harvests this year to 96 lbs. valued at $406.69.  Less my expenses of $383.06, that brings the total value of harvests this year  $23.63.  Hooray, once again, my habit is justified in terms of household economics.

This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series, where gardeners share what they are harvesting and eating from their gardens.  Check it out on her blog, Daphne’s Dandelions.

Harvest Monday: More broccoli deliciousness

June 27, 2011

Broccoli and cauliflower continue to star in this week’s Harvest Monday post, although we are still harvesting gorgeous lettuce and lots of it, plenty to share with friends and Dan’s mom.  We had a nice warm sunny week which ended on Wednesday, folllowed by a rainy stretch where we received over 2 inches of needed rain.  The garden definitely grew, but the temps were cool so not as robustly as I hoped.

In addition to the cool temps, we’ve had more nibbling in the garden.  The peas were hit again, some lettuce, my Swiss chard, and an Orange Suave mild habanero pepper plant was badly chomped, particularly devastating as the poor thing has been shivering in the cold and had just begin to grow.  I’ve made reinforcements to the gate and that seems to have solved the problem.

This morning the sun is out again, so I expect to see things take off.  In the meantime, we’ll be checking out the Farmer’s markets for peas and eating more salads, broccoli and cauliflower, which have liked this weather..

The harvest this past week 2 3/4 lbs of lettuce,  nearly 2 lbs. of broccoli, 3 1/4 lbs of cauliflower, and 1 1/4 lb of purple pac choi.  About 3 oz of herbs also went into salads this past week, bringing the weeks total to 8.65 lbs.  Thus far, the 2011 total stands at 30.98 lbs. valued at $125.04.  I’m still well below my expenses this year at $-258.02 when taking my expenses of $383.06 into consideration.  I’d better pick some more lettuce right quick!

This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series on her blog, Daphne’s Dandelions.  Click on over to see what other gardeners are harvesting this week.

Harvest Monday: Picking up steam

June 13, 2011

We grow 'em big and tender at Henbogle

No photos this week of the harvest as I needed to recharge my camera batteries.  Instead here’s a pic of some of the hen’s supplemental food I’m growing. Mmmmm.

After a cool spring, the garden is picking up steam.  The lettuce and spinach is abundant, and the first of the early brassicas have been harvested and eaten.  Other veggies are really starting to grow.  We had rain over the weekend and plants really increased in size, especially my lettuce in the main garden, which is good as much of this week’s harvest was pulled from the hoophouse to make room for heat loving crops.

The harvest included 3 oz. chive for chive blossom vinegar, 17 oz. of red sails lettuce, 15 oz. spinach, and the first broccoli of the season weighing in at 4 delicious ounces.  Not a big harvest, but a delicious one!  This week’s harvest totaled 2.44 lbs.bringing the 2011 total to 20.73 lbs. valued at $84.24.  But uh oh, I bought some more lettuce seedlings at the Farmer’s Market, as mine haven’t germinated so well in the soil blocks.  That added $7.50 to my expenses, and brings the yearly value of the harvest to $-297.82 when taking my expenses of $383.06 into consideration. Man, things are slow to even out this year!

This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series on her blog, Daphne’s Dandelions.  Click on over to see what other gardeners are harvesting this week.

Harvest Monday: Green bonanza

May 30, 2011

The spinach and lettuce are rolling in just now at Henbogle, with things maturing rapidly in the hoophouse.  This weekend, summer roared in and temperatures soared, up 30 degrees from Thursday, leaving us gasping in the unexpected heat.  I will be pulling spinach all week before it bolts, and salads will be a prime feature at the table.  The new sink is great for washing lots of greens, and don’t they look pretty in there!

I’ve been keeping Dan’s mom well supplied with lettuce (and eggs) this spring.  I think she’s been enjoying it.  She agrees that with me that the Italian butterhead I bought on a whim last year is delicious.

This week’s harvest also included chives and some of the overwintered parsley.  The total harvested:  2.3 lbs. of lettuce, 1 lb 1 oz. of spinach and  2 oz. of herbs.  That brings the weekly total to 3.5 lbs. this week, and the 2011 total to 13.28 lbs. valued at $47.12.  That brings the yearly value of the harvest to $275.

My garden expenses to date are $375.56 this week after purchasing some Neptune’s Harvest fish emulsion and a few packs of seedlings.  This results in a seasonal net of $-328.44.  I’d better get cracking on some high value veggies to balance out my totals!

On Sunday I processed (crushed the leaves into a paper bag) the last of my dried catnip from last year.  I did not include this in the harvest totals — how can you put a value on something that results in a blissed-out kitty?  Ocho’s happiness came from rolling on the stems and leaf remnants on the deck.  Paisley got to enjoy some of the crumbled leaves in the kitchen.

This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series on her blog, Daphne’s Dandelions.  Click on over to see what other gardeners are harvesting this week.

Harvest Monday: Spinach and rhubarb

May 23, 2011

Lettuce, spinach and Pac Choi

Despite a week of dark skies and cold rain, this week saw a big increase in garden harvesting.  Part of the reason is that I’ve been hoarding spinach for a special meal for my friend Ellen, who graduated from college on Sunday.  Ellen and her family joined Dan and I for lunch on Saturday, and I wanted to showcase food from the garden and early spring treats.  More on that later.  What it means today is that we had a big harvest to report.

More spinach

This week we harvested 4.34 lbs from the garden, slightly over 3 times last week’s harvest, consisting of  15 oz of spinach, 35.5 oz. of lettuce, 5 oz. of Pac Choi thinnings, and 14 oz. of rhubarb.  This adds up to 9.08 lbs. at a total value of $28.02.  My garden expenses to date are $322.12 resulting in a seasonal net of $-294.09.  I did go shopping on Sunday and picked up some more seeds, Neptune’s Harvest Fish and Seaweed fertilizer and some additional pepper seedlings, which will be added to expenses next week as Dan has the receipt somewhere and I don’t know the totals.

This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series on her terrific blog, Daphne’s Dandelions.  Click on over to see what other gardeners are harvesting this week, and for great ideas from Daphne’s urban garden.

Harvest Monday: Lettuce

May 16, 2011

Last weeks’ harvest consisted of this gorgeous lettuce, a mix of butterhead and red sails, and all my overwintered carrots.  The carrots were nothing special, but the lettuce was fabulous.  In all, I picked 19 oz. of lettuce and 6 oz. of carrots.  I gave Dan’s mom a big head of red sails and we enjoyed the rest in salads, and there will be more to come this week. Unfortunately I neglected to snap a photo of the carrots, but they were not that pretty, unlike that gorgeous lettuce.

My big lettuce and carrot harvest this week gives me a total of 4.71 lbs this year at a total value of $12.62.  My garden expenses to date are $322.12 after a trip to Johnny’s for more seeds, which leaves me in the red for gardening with a seasonal net of $-309.50.

We’ve got a stretch of cool rainy weather going, which should be great for the lettuce and Asian greens in the garden, so with luck I’ll be able to add a stir fry to my harvest meals in the next week.

This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series on her blog, Daphne’s Dandelions.  Click on by and see what other gardeners are harvesting this week.

Harvest Monday: Leeks and lettuce

May 9, 2011

I’m trying to use up the last of the overwintered leeks from the garden so I can prepare that spot for my peppers and tomatoes, the planned 2011 occupants.  Thus I harvested a 9.3 oz. and made a batch of potato leek soup with the last of my local potatoes.  We also feasted on a delicious salad made from our own overwintered Red Sails lettuce Sunday.  Yum.  This weeks totals:

1.37 lbs of leeks and lettuce harvested this week for a total of 3.28 lbs this year at a total value of $9.44.  My garden expenses to date are $322.12 after a trip to Johnny’s for more seeds, which leaves me in the red for gardening with a seasonal net of $-312.68.

This post is part of Daphne’s Dandelions Harvest Monday series.  Stop by her blog to see if any other gardeners are in the black yet this season.

Harvest Monday, 2011 edition

May 2, 2011

The first harvest for the 2011 gardening season is lettuce from the hoophouse.  This was lettuce planted in the fall which overwintered, a mix of an unknown butterhead type and Red Sails.  The week of 4/17 I harvested 7 oz., and this week I harvested 19 oz.  My garden expenses to date are $301.43 which leaves me in the red for gardening with crop value at just $5.59, and seasonal net of $295.84.  Ouch.  Ah, well, we seem to be running about 2 weeks behind last year, so with luck I will soon catch up.

This harvest is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series on her fabulous blog, Daphne’s Dandelions. Click over to see what other gardeners are harvesting this May.

Harvest Monday: Pumpkin eaters

February 28, 2011

The remaining squash and pumpkin harvest

Four months after harvesting, we still have some pumpkins and winter squash in storage.  Lat week, I cooked 2 New England Pie pumpkins, one of which had a few bad spots on it.  A third, which I did not include in the tally, went to the hens who were very happy to get it.  The pumpkin became a delicious Curried Pumpkin Soup and a batch of squash clover rolls.  I’ll post recipes on Yankee Pantry.

We and the hens are still enjoying garden produced preserved through freezing or canning.  I rarely mention it, but we regularly enjoy string beans, Swiss chard, kale, zucchini, blueberries, etc. from the garden.  Most frequently  I use frozen produce in soup, because we like soup and I tend to make a big batch or two a week, but I also make quiches and enchiladas, burritos, etc. which also make good lunches to take to work.  We also froze some kale, Swiss chard, and zucchini for the hens, who are definitely enjoying their treats this winter.

I’ve already counted the frozen produce, but the 2 pumpkins weighed in at 3.7 lbs., bringing the garden harvest tally up to 628.88 lbs.  The value of my harvests throughout the season stands at $2,087.54, my expenses remained the same at $317.54 for the year, bringing the net value to $1,770.00.

Note the table with the small grow lights set up behind the squash in the photo.  This is for the leeks and onions which I will be sowing today.

This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series, where gardeners gather virtually to share their harvests.  Check it out to see what intrepid gardeners across the globe are eating from their gardens during these cold winter months.