Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year's Ending, and Beginning

Here at the end of the year, and the end of a warm December, the garden still has plenty to offer. I've brought in this cauliflower to go with the dip for tonight's celebration. We usually go in for more healthful meals, but we are making that Velveeta Cheese and Rotel Tomato dip to go with a lot of fresh veggies (I have carrots and broccoli, too). Of course, I also bought a bag of chips...

Overall, this year's garden seems to have been successful. We certainly still have plenty of dehydrated tomatoes, even though we've been using them every week, ten or so jars of jam, half a basket of sweet potatoes, squash and green beans in the freezer, and more.

However, some of the squash and a lot of the green beans are actually from a local farm where we go to help out on the weekends. This is the first year of our working there, but we have been getting "paid" in produce. Tonight's carrots, for example, are from my friend's farm. That extra produce has made it harder to judge the relative success of my own garden.

To help keep better track of how much food I am able to bring to the kitchen from the yard, I really am going to weigh most of it (at least, I hope I remember to weigh most of it). Tonight's cauliflower, which won't actually count since this is still 2011, weighs 510 kg, which is 1.12 pounds. Seeing it on the scale made my gardener's heart happy. I will be happier still to see it being eaten!

The scale is going to stay on the kitchen counter as a reminder. Right now, out in the yard, there is a little more broccoli (side shoots), another big cauliflower and one little one, some winter radishes, a few carrots, an assortment of greens, several parsnips, several beets, a few lettuces, and herbs. The onions and garlic that will be harvested in 2012 are already out there, too, but most of what gets harvested in the coming year will be planted in that year.

The scale isn't sensitive enough for lighter harvests, so when we bring in little bits of food, like a few lettuce leaves for sandwiches or a sprig of rosemary for the roasted root veggies (for example), those won't be weighed to add to the year's total, but I think that's not going to make a big difference in what my Mom would call "the grand scheme of things."

I know that a lot of gardeners already have been tracking their total harvests for several years, and I have always admired their persistence in getting the task done. Let's hope I can manage it!


  1. You are blessed to live in a region that can grow food year round. By the time the snow hits I always find myself a little relieved that I can take a break from it. Do you ever feel that way? Great comment on my blog today. I don't worry, I do what I can and trust in providence. I am probably more worry free and less pessimistic than it may appear by my blog. Great to follow you, happy new year. Peace

  2. Well, the low temperatures later this week are going to be in the teens, so anything (other than super-hardy plants like collards and kale) that isn't protected is going to have a tough time. We've usually had a few very cold nights by now, but this December has been unusually warm.

    I appreciate the winter break, too - no planting until late in February, and a lot less weeding! It is nice to start fresh in Spring after the time for rest and thought.

    About your blog - I think of you as more pragmatic than doomer (like me!), so I'm not worried about your attitude. I'm glad, though, that you have resumed regular posting. It's nice to be able to keep up with my long-distance friends!


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