There are good reasons to garden revolving around food security, ethics and reduced environmental impact which matter a lot to me. Some of these issues come with a rabbit hole worth of depressing information that can suck me in. Discovering more about all the nasty ways corporations are dissecting our worlds to make a profit does not leave me feeling empowered or even motivated. Part of me thinks I should write about these things but in all honesty, they leave me wanting to put my head in the sand and ignore the issues entirely.
So, positive reasons to grow my own food include flavour, variety and quality (for example, I grow the best cabbage I’ve ever eaten). Gardening also gets my family outside and covered in soil. Just spending time being still surrounded by nature and I notice things I wouldn’t normally see (like ladybug sex).
Food production is also a constant human problem that will always need to be solved. It’s an old problem, going back perhaps more than 10,000 years. It’s also a current problem urban dwellers mostly avoid. And, it’s a futuristic problem if we’re going to go off an inhabit new world (this is where my geek-dome comes in).
So on to the numbers: In 2016, I grew 120 kg of food, less than 2015 where I grew 196 kg. The biggest difference was I purposely didn’t grow many squash (I still have squash in my kitchen from 2015). I also got a full time job in April which combined with being a grad student made planting everything I intended to difficult, as a result many things didn’t get planted or harvested (my bad).
All the below, works out to feed a person requiring 2000 calories a day for 50 days – a few days less than the 62 days worth of food from last year. That extra 12 days of food was likely all squash, so no loss really.
Eggs – 149 (just over 12 dozen), these numbers are low because I sent the hens to a farm in the spring (a real farm, honest).
Roots – 6.1 kg (down from 13.54 kg in 2015), I never got around to planting carrots. I do however still have plenty of beets yet to dig up.
Greens – 5.2 kg (down from 10.49 kg in 2015), this year I lumped the kale and collards in with my brassica category.
Oniony things – 9.3 kg (up from 3.75 kg in 2015), there was a bumper crop of onions and shallots.
Sprouts – 1.8 kg (up from 0.99 kg in 2015).
Brasicas – 14.3 kg (up from 0.5 kg in 2015). I had tones of broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
Peas/beans – 4.1 kg (up from 2.6 kg in 2015)
Herbs – 2.6 kg (up from 1 kg in 2015)
Fruit – 11.1 kg (down from 16.6 kg in 2015)
Mushrooms – 0.8 kg (up from 0.5 kg in 2015)
Tomatoes – 33.6 kg (similar to 2015)
Peppers – 2.4 kg (down from 4.8 kg in 2015)
Cucumber – 5.6 kg (up from the pathetic 0.5 kg in 2015)
Dried beans – 12.9 kg (up from 5.75 kg in 2015)
Potatoes – 2.8 kg (down from 33 kg in 2015, but I planted them as an afterthought)
Squash – 2.5 kg (down from the ridiculous 67 kg from 2015)
Amaranth – 2.1 kg (got almost nothing in 2015)
Sunflower seeds – 1.4 kg
Popcorn – 1.2 kg