Well, it's my last post of Vegan MoFo and I accomplished my goal of writing 5 days a week for the month. Hooray! I was surprised at how much easier it is to write 5 days a week vs. 7 (my goal in past years). It wasn't too hard to manage.
I thought I'd wrap up Vegan MoFo with a wrap up of my garden for the year. Really, I still have a bit of collards and kale out there that I'm harvesting as needed. But the garden's basically done for the year and I have my final tallies for the harvest!
The big winner for 2010? Cucumbers! I harvested 73 pounds of them! Next up is tomatoes at 67 pounds and green beans at 28 pounds. Total yield is 202.7 pounds! That's a lot of food...
I'm pretty disappointed in my tomato harvest- it was about half of last year's yield because of the weird weather this year. I had my hopes high with that early spring, but then the cold came early, too. Luckily I was able to get a few cases from the farmers' market for my canning purposes.
The overall harvest was only 9 pounds more than last year's, despite more intense planting.
My canning totals are down from last year, mostly because I was more planful about what I really needed and would use during the year. I ended up with 134 pints of salsa, pickles, jam, peppers, green beans, tomatoes, soup, onions, okra, etc. (not all in pint jars- some is actually in quarts and 1/2 pints, of course).
Why keep all these records? If you have to ask, then you don't know me very well. I like records for the sake of records. But, seriously, I like to think that if I wanted to I could compare the price of my seeds and manure to the value of the veggies and fruit that I harvest and find out how much money I saved. And I love trying to increase my garden yields and remember exactly how many jars of salsa it takes to last us through a year (the answer? I don't know! I've never made enough!). For example, I found out last year that I don't really need 13 quarts of cucumber pickles. So I made slightly less this year (it was tough to make less, though, because of the bumper crop of cukes!).
Another reason I love these records? Years ago my friend Morgen shared an old canning cookbook with me that her mom used [Shout out to Sandy!]. In it her mother had recorded the quantities of canned goods she produced- I was in awe! She had canned so much and kept such careful notes. And it was so cool for Morgen (also an avid canner) to get to see her mother's notes and carry on her tradition. I'm keeping notes now in hopes that some day my stepsons might have gardens of their own and crave the pickles that their mean ol' stepmother made. We'll see...