The flurries have begun and the 2015 garden $$ totals are in…Picked (but not so much planted) Sept 22nd – Nov 18th

The garden is tucked in for the impending winter season.  Will it be soft, gentle, fluffy and peaceful or a raging onslaught of freezing rain, blizzards and hurricane speed winds?  In Nova Scotia one never knows.  I have been holding off on doing the final tally of what we picked, weighed and calculated this season thinking that we would have stopped bringing in a regular harvest long before now.  But blessings be acknowledged, the girls continued to haul in buckets of treasures up until last weekend!  We did have to buy some tender veggies and extra salad greens from the market last week – the first real time since June!!  There are still beets, carrots, kale, chard, leeks, onions and mixed greens tucked under hoop tunnels and snuggled under frost blankets for special treats between now and full freeze up, but I think it is safe to say that the majority of our harvest is now in! We had our first flurry today, winter is unavoidable.

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When we began asking ourselves how much we could be saving in produce, we never expected that the totals would be so high.  We also never anticipated the volume of veggies that we could actually consume as a family of four during 1 season, nor how much we would be able to freeze and jar to extend our feasting. And we certainly didn’t even stop to think about how much fun it would be to weigh, track and tally our bounty – who knew kids could get so excited about book keeping?!

 

In the end it is safe to say that this experience has been far more worthwhile to us than any actual $$ total.  It has taught us to be less wasteful by ensuring we consumed what we picked, less picky because even ugly cucumbers taste great and save us money and to be even more grateful for our ability to “shop” for dinner right in our own backyard.  It is amazing how much more we appreciated our own produce when we compared what the weekly prices were in the market for what the kids simply pulled out of the (non-chemically treated, clean earth, worm filled and flower kissed) dirt. Dirt is amazing!  And seeds, well they are just mind blowing. Really.

 

So without further adieu…..drumroll please…..the totals for Sept 22- Nov 18th of our 2015 season are:

Approx savings compared to local market: $972.75!!!!

Total since May 26th – $2355.45 WOW!!!

Total weight picked this period: 136.09 pounds!!  That is almost as much as I weigh….

Total to date: 341.15 pounds (That is a lot of veggies!!!)

These totals are compared to local produce when possible but not specifically organic produce – we would prefer to eat local than purchase organic food that has had to travel very long distances, using wasteful packaging and not being allowed to ripen to perfect.  We do use organic methods in our own garden, so the estimated savings would likely be much more significant had we compared to local AND organic produce!  Not to mention the savings in jams, jellies, spreads, sauces, salsas, dried and frozen herbs, saved seeds, compost, cut flowers…you get the picture!

 

Dollars and cents may speak to some, time outdoors and exercise to others, quality conversations and relationship building to most…how do we put a price on the value of our family garden?!

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “The flurries have begun and the 2015 garden $$ totals are in…Picked (but not so much planted) Sept 22nd – Nov 18th

  1. When I started teaching Horticulture to kids at my current school-little over three years now, there was a scale in the shed of the garden. Other staff told me the previous garden teacher had weighed all the produced they had brought to the Life Skills teacher or Dining Hall. They made it sound like the teacher was doing it somewhat in order to justify the program. This idea turned me off, because gardening with kids (kids with social/emotional and behavioral challenges in my case) is about so much more than how many pounds of veggies we deliver. However, I can see how kids would love to be book-keepers and would be excited to see a number, a quantity, a named outcome to their hard work. Next season we will begin weighing and tracking, very exciting. Here’s to hoping you get to eek out a few more weeks of harvesting!

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    • Thank you so much for your comments and for reading about our adventures this summer! It sounds like the rewards you could potentially grow extend far beyond just your veggies. I have always had a garden of some size in our yard and my girls have helped in some reluctant way. This season, in starting the blog and allowing them to engage in the planning, planting and tracking, they were actually EXCITED about the garden. It was a complete shift in how they thought about our food, the processes which must happen for it to arrive on our plates. The most beautiful shift I watched, though, was how engaged they become in the simple process of growth and how much they marvelled in the part the played in it. Catching a flower grow from seed to bloom or a carrot from a wee green shoot to something they could eat in pictures and to share that growth with the world was so exciting for them! When they were given an active role in each step (including planting over 100 tomatoes in my basement among many other things…they are all in the blogs), the veggie and flower babies became real to them. The blog allowed them (and me) an outlet to chronicle our simple times together when life a full time family with shift work, time away for work, multiple sports etc etc are always pulling us in multiple directions. The girls were not just book keepers for this project, they were the engineers and directors (even if we ended up planting outside of my plans!), the nurturers, the photographers, the authors and the recipients of feedback from around the world. The $$ was neat to compare and I think it gave them a better appreciation of how costly life actually is, which is a lesson in it’s own right. I have been completely humbled by comments like yours, in the reactions of my kids as they engage in our family’s food supply and the beautiful adventure that i never expected this year. I wish you all the best with your kids and your projects – what seems like bureaucratic justification may turn into rewards you could never expect!!!

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  2. ‘Dirt is amazing! And seeds, well they are just mind blowing. Really.’ Could not have said that better my own self. I’m sad that all my on-line garden blogs have been shuttered for the winter. Like Plumdirt, I enjoyed your garden adventures throughout the year and look forward to what’s in store for 2016. We hope you and your family have a wonderful winter break and Happy New Year! See you on the warm, green side. 😀

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