The 2014 Harvest

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This year’s flowers have already begun

I started keeping track of my harvest in May 2014 – so my tally misses last year’s over wintered and early veggies. I have no idea what would be a good harvest for the amount of space I have so I’ll consider 2014 as my baseline year and see how much more I can grow this year. Here is what we produced in the garden in 2014:

Eggs – 427 (~35 dozen) from 5 hens, three of which are pushing chicken old age.

Greens – 14,485 g. I’ve lumped all the leafy greens together from lettuce, chicory, wintercress, to kale to simplify things.

Radishes – 2,475 g

Sprouts and herbs – 1,430 g. I harvested plenty of herbs in too small amounts for my scale to measure, plus I wouldn’t accuse my scale of accuracy, so this number is likely low.

Peas – 380 g. I had huge success with peas last year, most of which where eaten by my daughter while out in the yard. She may have screwed up my tally, but I can fault a toddler who eats green things.

Green onion – 1,125 g. The seed package said they were multiplier onions, then they went ahead and set bulbs, so I ate the bulbs. I don’t think I’ll bother with green onions in the future since I have plenty of chives.

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An Egyptian onion waiting to be planted. When it stops raining I’ll put it in my perennial bed.

Potatoes – 18,675 g. It was my best potato year yet and we ate them all by October.

Root Veg – 9,965 g. This includes carrots, beets, turnips and parsnips. Not included in this tally are my stored carrots and beets – I have still have a small cooler full of them. Plus most of my parsnips are still in the ground waiting to be dug up and converted into something tasty.

Berries – 2,000 g. I grow strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. All of the strawberries and raspberries were eaten in the garden and the blueberries didn’t produce, so this tally is just the blackberries.

Green Beans – 2,275 g. Unless I get around to converting them to pickles, I don’t like green beans this much.

Tomatoes – 26,300 g. I froze all my excess tomatoes and still have plenty in the freezer.

Hot peppers – 975 g. I only had three plants and they did awesome producing peppers that were actually hot.

Celery – 820 g. I started six plants as an experiment and they are defiantly worth growing again. I didn’t get a huge amount, but what grew tasted really celery-y and even after several cold snaps, there is still celery to harvest.

Cucumbers – 11,085 g. Most of these were lemon cucumbers which are tasty to eat fresh but don’t pickle well. I’ll be trying different varieties next year as I love pickles.

Garlic – 975 g. Finished off the garlic in October and planted five times as much in November.

Apples – 1,375 g. This was the first year my gala apple tree produced fruit. They were tasty! A second apple tree is planned for the spring.

Squash – 575 g. My home squash harvest was terrible, however, I did outsource some of squash production which isn’t included in the tally.

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plenty of leeks to eat!

Leeks – 625 g. I’ve only just started harvesting these, plenty more are still in the garden. I’ll grow twice as many next year as leeks seem to do better for me than onions do.

I think my produce tastes better than what I can buy, but is it financially worth it? I get asked all the time if I’m saving money by gardening, so I thought I would do a quick analysis based on the numbers above and the produce prices listed on the grocery store’s website that I normally go to. My super rough calculations put the produce above worth around $1100. The most valuable crops were my greens (based on the plastic tubs of washed greens I used to buy), eggs and tomatoes. All my veggies were started from seeds but I didn’t keep track of what I spent on them last year, so I’ll guess $200, add that to the roughly $150 of chicken feed and it appears I’m coming out ahead*

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Here is the garden at the beginning of 2015.

*I realize I’m excluding the cost of land, property taxes, value of my labour, tools, water and more.

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