Monday, November 8, 2010

November Garden update

The gardens have been in for slightly over a month now.  All (or nearly) of the hard work of tilling and planting is done and seeds are sprouting.  Hopefully in a month or so we will begin to harvest some of our first produce.  Now that we are well into November, hot 90 degree plus weather is (hopefully!) behind us so watering and seedling monitoring can be minimized.  We did have some problems with predation and a heatwave killing some of our seedlings but now with the cooler weather and the plants established that is (hopefully) behind us.

What we planted: Leeks, green onions, Tohano Odom Multiplier Onions, Snow Peas, Sweet Peas, Carnival Carrots, Dragon Carrots, Easter Egg Radishes, Plum Purple Radishes, Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Ruby-red Swiss Chard, Chichiquelite Greens, Black-seed Simpson Lettuce, Freckles Romaine Lettuce, Australian Yellow-leaf Lettuce, Early Wonder Beets, mixed Romaine Lettuce, and several types of Garlic including Sonoran, Chilean Silver, French Mild, Asian Tempest, Californina Early, and Shilla.  All are heirloom seeds with the exception of the Cabbage and maybe the Green Onions and the Simpson Lettuce. 

Here are the stats for this garden "economics" project for both my home and work garden.
                              Home     College
School garden with sprouting garlic in foreground.
Hours of work:        5.25         4.5
Calories burned:      1334        1143
Food produced:       0 lbs.        0 lbs.
Calories produced:   0               0 
Seed cost:               $35          $35
Soil amendments:    $10          $10
Nu-ban FG:             $16          $16
Total Cost:               $61          $61

Calories burned was estimated using  Hopefully we will catch up on calories once we start producing vegetables but since we are not growing high caloric value crops like potatoes or wheat we may not.  Also not included in this is the cost of equipment since we already had all the tools on hand.  I could estimate that a shovel, hoe, rake, hoses, and hand trowels cost about $60 but we have been using them for many years now.  Cost of seeds is way over estimated because of seed saving and exchanging we have done with other gardeners.  Seeds actually cost us only $35 but we will assume I bought all of my seeds.  The reason my home garden required more time is simply because I have to hand water everything and the school garden has an automatic watering system (also not included in cost).  So in all, I have eliminated start-up costs from this budget and have tried to include only what a typical gardener would have to purchase.  If I were to try a little harder I could eliminate even more of the seed costs by seed saving, making more compost of my own, or finding a cheaper pest control alternative to Nu-Ban FG.  Theoretically I could see costs getting close to $0 with some work. 

I will have another update in December sometime. The majority of the time, money, and effort has already been put in so hopefully in December we will see some produce to pay back these costs.

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