ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
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I did some calculations today. I weighed all our meals today to figure out how much we typically eat in a day. I had heard all kinds of numbers floating around the internet, like 5 pounds per person per day. Nope. We each eat around a half pound per meal. Breakfast here was less, but if you add in a snack later on, its about the same thing. So each person eats a pound and a half of food per day. Not worrying about calories or balanced diet. Just simply a pound and a half. Times three people. 4.5 lbs per day. 365 days per year is about 1650 pounds. Last year our garden yield was 100 pounds, about 1/16th of our food. Hoping to do better this year! We have a ways to go yet. It's our third year of "no till" polyculture. Fifth year is supposed to be the charm.

Rhubarb did well this year as did mulberries and black raspberries. We finally had enough strawberries to actually weigh. There will be more potatoes this year, onions, parsnips, tomatoes, and various squash. No eggplants, but lots of skirret. A lot of the sweet potato slips died. Two or three remain. Enough for stock to start slips for next year but not for food. There is also more Swiss Chard. With luck, I hope to start a winter garden in fall. Lots of greens and carrots. Radishes too. More peas.

The onion bed

There are one or two beans all over the garden. I think there is enough for seed but maybe not for food. Scarlet runner beans, being the exception. They should be a perennial. We have 6 plants on a trellis. Corn is mariginal as are melons. Don't have high hopes. The cukes are blooming at 6" high. Very weird. Radishes exist randomly in many beds. I tried to use them as protection for other crops. I am putting carrot seed in as I harvest plants. We finally discovered what buckwheat plants look like. We've had them for years from our parrot seed mix. Never knew. It's a good cover crop after a bed is through. Easy to mulch. The rabbits ate everything in the cabbage family, cauliflower, some chard and bok choi.

Hanging basket- Rainbow beets and madder are doing well. Started the tail end of store-bought celery growing in a pot outside. Got a couple of meals off it already. Wish I had more. The others didn't take. I have a citrus tree growing in my pot of dahlias. That's gotta get moved. The pot is too shallow. Zucchini in a pot was a crop failure. I got one nettle to grow out of a whole seed packet. That's also in a hanging basket. I put all the extra tomato plants in planters, where ever there was a space. That will be good if we have early frosts because the pots can get moved indoors. They are still little.

Black Raspberry Syrup

Preservation- We have already dried raspberry leaves for winter tea and oregano. Parsley has bee frozen into cubes. Catnip has been cut once so far and dried. I still need to harvest yarrow leaves for winter colds. Some books suggest grinding up comfrey with water and a little flour to make a paste to freeze for sprains. I need to try this. Easy medicine. I will have to look over the lemon balm too. I made orange wine this year from organic oranges at a co-op sale. Also orange marmalade from some Valencia oranges picked at a friend's house in CA. Honeysuckle mead, and turnip wine from the food pantry turnips. And while cool this week, black raspberry jelly. I dried sweet woodruff to make May wine for next year.

Sweet Woodruff

There is an area in the garden that looks like a heat ray killed everything in that section. Dead marigolds, potatoes and beans. Not sure what happened but it is the sunniest part of the yard. It hit the ends of two garden beds. I would never have guessed. I was thinking of a greenhouse there. Maybe one with optional shade cloth for summer. Hmm. Plan for next year. Also talked to one of the farmers at the market. He suggested shopping for meat rabbits at the county fair, buying from 4H kids but asking a lot of questions about age and breeding. Sounds good to me. I will do a separate update on the herb spiral.

So we wait now to see what the total yield is, weighing everything we harvest. We have less than a twelfth of an acre of land. Trying to maximize production.
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ursulas_alcove: 19th century engraving of a woman using a drop spindle (Default)
ursulas_alcove

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