Monday, August 31, 2009

The benefits of gardening: Monday harvest tally

The encouraging news of the past week is that two of my tomato varieties, Cosmonaut Volkov and Rose de Berne, have grown with little or no rot or other issues. Some of the fruits are now the size of tennis balls; given the challenges presented by the rainy and unseasonable weather that's no small feat. However, they are still a shade of light green that would be perfectly appropriate if I were growing Granny Smith apples instead.Now to my Cherokee Purples: As you can see from the above photo of Saturday's soggy harvest I had decided not to wait until they reddened some more. I am showing you the more flattering side of these tomatoes. Turn them around or over and you would find soft rot, holes that may have been bored by some unidentified pest, or cracks. Actually, once I cut into one of them I discovered that the damage was not as extensive as I had thought. Hopefully these will stay fresh for another day or two and I can pick a few others to make salsa.

This past Wednesday I harvested the broccoli side shoots that are pictured below. At the farmer's market on Saturday, an organic grower was charging $2.50 for one of those square cardboard containers often used to package cherry tomatoes or berries. I estimate that my yield could fill half of one of those boxes.The pole beans keep coming, more than I had expected. They are still fetching 99 cents a pound, which is about the sum of the two harvests from the past week. As for the price of organically grown tomatoes, I have seen $4.50 a pound and $3 a pound marked down from $5, but I have decided to use the price of $4 reported to me last week by Daphne. Based on the weight of a tomato I purchased on Saturday, I estimate that two of my tomatoes weigh a pound, minus the blighted bits. So, this week's totals are as follows:

Previous benefits total: $100.49
2 pounds of tomatoes (4), at $4/lb.: $8.00
1/2 box of broccoli at $2.50/box: $1.25
1 pound of green beans at $0.99/lb.: $0.99
New benefits total: $110.73

Current costs total: $171.57
New balance: -$60.84

I hope the the Cosmonauts will land by next Monday so I can enjoy them and add them to the tally. Looking ahead, some of my basil, planted late, is now about 6 inches high, and my fall peas appear to have potential.


Dan said...

Your harvests look great, particularly the broccoli! I'd love to be harvesting broccoli right now. Cherokee Purple is my favorite, I am glade that most ripened before the blight arrived. Just made some cherokee purple sauce tonight and put it up in the freezer.

Daphne said...

I'm surprised the Cherokee Purple tomatoes ripened before the Cosmonauts. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around by about a week? Your broccoli is looking very nice. I keep looking at mine and I've still got a bit of time until my first harvest. Last year I planted them too late and only got one tiny head from three plants.

Giulietta the Muse said...

Hi Sally,

I know Deborah Rocha. Have met her at several events. She's got a great voice. Have her CD. Small community gardening world. Those tomatoes look like they could each feed a family of 4. Like the benefits tally. How about a pesticide reduction tally too?

giulietta, inspirational rebel

Sally said...

Giulietta, I would have liked to have heard Deborah Rocha! I looked for a MySpace page but didn't find one. As for a pesticide reduction, my tally would be boring, as I don't use any...

Dan, I'm glad you got enough Cherokee purples to make sauce! Is it darker in color? Taste different?

Daphne, this is my first time growing both varieties and I think I started the seeds at the same time; I don't know what's normal for growing time. Just happy to be getting a few this year.

Giulietta the Muse said...

I was thinking a tally between your organic stuff and the stuff at the supermarkets, so folks could see what they are ingesting in terms of pesticide residue.