Every time I visit our garden, I take a few photos. Sometimes they are of tiny changes that catch my eye: newly sprouted seeds, berries that have started to ripen. Sometimes they are of our weekly harvests, capturing the bounty that comes from the six raised beds in our urban backyard. The photos are like a diary that records the development of the garden over the course of a year – from the first tentative growth of early spring to the explosion of summer to the winding down of the winter solstice.
This year, in addition to a photo record, I kept a log of my harvests in a simple spreadsheet. Okay, so… I wasn’t as systematic about it as I should have been. But I did get some amazing data when I looked things over on New Year’s Day. Here are some highlights of what we grew in 2015:
- At least 24 pints of tomatoes
- Over 20 zucchinis
- 43 bunches of kale
- 68 cucumbers
- The equivalent of over 60 grocery store-sized packs of salad greens
- Plenty of beets, carrots, herbs, potatoes and berries.
When you think about the fact that a small bunch of organic kale costs about $3 at the grocery store, and I spent only $3 on seeds – that’s a savings of $126 on kale alone.
In reality, I think that the numbers above are a low estimate. There were weeks when I didn’t get around to logging our harvests. My 2016 garden resolution? To keep a more accurate record next year, and do dollar calculations on each crop, so that I can learn the actual value of what we grow.