Thursday, February 10, 2011

February garden update

Phoenix College garden beginning of February 2011.  Things are growing extremely well at this point.  Note however, the yellow pea plants trellised on the left side of the garden.  Normally these plants are green but recent freezing temperatures killed a lot of the plants off.

The past month has been pretty interesting in the garden.  The weather has been very dry with only 0.1 inch of rainfall, we harvested quite a bit of food, and we have had five nights with freezing temperatures.  The lack of rain and especially the freezing nights have really set back a lot of the produce in the garden.  Freezing temperatures slowed down the sweet pea production a lot and killed all of the pepper plants.  Everything else seems unaffected though by the cool temperatures.  This winter has been exceptionally cold with a total of eight nights of freezing temperatures, this hasn't happened in the last seven years that I have been gardening in Phoenix.  Normally we have anywhere from zero to two nights of freezing temperatures each winter.  In-fact, the previous two years had no freezing temperatures at all!  Looking at the weather forcast though it appears to be warming up but it still looks to be dry.  Hopefully we will get a strong March rainfall to break this dry spell.

Here is what we produced this month:
College garden
Shell peas: 26 oz.
Radishes: 11 oz.
Lettuce: 8oz.
Swiss Chard: 19 oz.
Cilantro: 7 oz.
Broccoli: 10 oz.
Carrots: 79 oz.
Turnips: 24 oz.
Onions: 2 oz.
Hours of work: 2.25
Total calories burned: 689
Total calories produced: 1733
Costs: $0
Produce: $28.56

Home garden
Shell peas:  32 oz.
Radishes:  17 oz.
Swiss Chard:  17 oz.
Broccoli:  33 oz.
Carrots:  52 oz.
Onions:  9 oz.
Hours of work: 2.25
Total calories burned: 689
Total calories produced: 1656
Costs: $0
Produce: $28.22
Season totals:
$ Totals: -$48.45+28.56=-19.89
Total hours worked: 9.25
Calorie totals:-1493-689+1733=-449

$ Totals: -$40.38+28.22=-12.16
Hours worked: 11.75
Calorie totals:-2087-689+1656=-1120

So we are still in the hole both dollar and calorie wise.  Tracking all of these things has been quite a learning experience, which hopefully will increase my garden productivity in the future.  Productive foods for these gardens seem to be carrots, onions, peas, cilantro, chard, radishes, and lettuce.  These vegetables produce a lot in a very small space and relatively quickly.  Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are extremely space intensive and have produced next to nothing.  Unfortunately, over half of the gardens are planted in these three unproductive vegetables.  I will have to change my gardening plans accordingly for next fall.  Calorie wise, again we are not planting a lot of calorie dense foods.  Carrots and turnips help a lot with the calorie balance though.

I will post another update in March.  Hopefully we break even at least dollar wise by that time but we'll see...

No comments:

Post a Comment