Saturday, September 12, 2009

Early/Late Benefits of Gardening update

Another rainy Saturday in Boston. The potluck barbecue that the Minton Stable Garden and Stonybrook Neighborhood Association were planning to hold today has been postponed until tomorrow. The JP World's Fair, which was supposed to happen rain or shine, ended up being canceled. So here I am at home hosting a playdate indoors, seems like a good time to get caught up on the blog. Since Monday's post will probably cover the barbecue, I'll break from tradition and tally my harvest today, so this post in one way is early. However, since I had no update last Monday of money saved this post is late.

My harvest seems to be winding down. The cooler temperatures of fall are already here, yet my vegetables still need summer to progress. As a result, many of my pole beans seem to be stuck in an infant state, tomatoes are ripening more slowly, and broccoli side-shoot production is down from last week. My fall snap peas are around 8 inches high and already flowering (actually, that may be due to the warmer temperatures of late August/early September). Temps should be returning to the 70s starting tomorrow, so I haven't lost hope.Earlier this past week one of the neighbors had spotted and reported a garden thief who was helping herself to whatever produce she could grab. When I visited the garden the next day, I couldn't find any tomatoes in my plot ripe enough to harvest, but I doubt the thief was attracted to my plot as there are many redder and more reachable fruits in other plots. On Friday, I found one of these tomatoes in the above photo (excuse the silliness) on the ground, and the other had some rot on the other side. Because the plants had been healthy for most of the summer, I had ruled out late blight, but now I'm starting to notice that the rotted sections on the fruit that look more and more like this fungus. Since I haven't had this problem in other years and the epidemic is so widespread, I now suspect that tomatoes have fallen victim to it as well.

As for tallying the value of last week's and this week's harvest, I took a blighted tomato out of the equation, and the amount of broccoli and cherry tomatoes is negligible. The price of organically-grown tomatoes has come down a little, but green beans remain constant at 99 cents a pound, though in one place they were $1.59.

Previous benefits total: $110.73
1 pound (estimated) of green beans at $0.99/lb.: $0.99
4 pounds (estimated) of tomatoes at $3/lb.: $12.00
New benefits total: $123.72

Current costs total: $171.57
New balance: -$47.85

With less harvesting to do, I have more time to deadhead, as you see below. Fewer flowers hanging over the path, and a little space for the zinnias, which are finally blooming.

No comments: