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The Garden is Paying Me Back

June 21st, 2014 at 10:31 pm

So I spent $400 on my garden this year. The largest portion of that was in the straw and hay bales I bought for a growing medium. This is the first salad of the season that I had yesterday and today I had another one. I figure that so far I've eaten $2 worth of organic lettuce and greens. In this particular salad I had both red and green lettuces, baby spinach, arugla, frisee, chives, basil, thyme, and a small assortment of baby Asian stir-fry greens.

I have also harvested $1 worth of organic raspberries and strawberries so far. So $3 total to subtract from the $400. That means I have $397 to go to break even. Judging from the way things are going, I will probably have paid back my costs by the end of July, based on organic food costs.

The last year I had a garden (besides fruit) was 2012. I paid back all I spent and harvested enough food beyond that to make it well worth my while. I think this year, if all goes well, I will probably harvest about $1000 worth of produce, so will come out ahead around $600. That is a conservative estimate, because I won't count my tomatoes before they've hatched.

I hope to have enough green beans, pickles, and tomatoes to can for a year's supply, enough raspberries and blueberries to freeze for a year's supply, and enough blackberries for the occasional winter treat. I will also can some of the potatoes we are growing to make easy pour and dump stews in the winter along with my canned carrots and canned meats. I should be able to make enough applesauce for the year this year judging by the fruit on the trees. That will do wonders for my fall, winter, and early spring produce bill.

I also plan to freeze bell peppers and onions for use in stir-fries when the peppers are out of season.

This is shaping up to be a fantastic garden year. I can't remember having a June this lovely or having vegetables this far ahead in all the years I have done a garden.

5 Responses to “The Garden is Paying Me Back”

  1. starfishy Says:

    nice work and the salad looks delish!! Smile

  2. crazyliblady Says:

    Mine has been paying me back, too. I have been having kale smoothies and I had a salad yesterday out of arugula, lettuce, and radishes I grew entirely myself. I can't wait until the tomatoes start ripening. They will be delicious.

  3. crazyliblady Says:

    Can you tell me your process for freezing bell peppers? I tried last year and they wound up looking kind of icky.

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    Crazyliblady--I just slice them into strips and lay them out on a tray and freeze them, then transfer them into baggies afterwards. Peppers don't have to be blanched, so I don't do that. The blanching process can make them look icky, though even this way they aren't particularly pretty. But they taste good in a stir-fry so I don't mind. I think I will try dehydrating some, too. That might give a prettier end product.

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    I don't have much of a garden this year, though I do have tomatoes, lots of onions and maybe some peas. I will, however, begin collecting my half share from the farmer's CSA next week!

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