This year my parents and I recorded our harvests using a Google spreadsheet that we could collaborate on. Whenever we harvested something, we recorded it. This isn’t something I’ve bothered much with before but it was revealing.
For one thing, the spreadsheet showed some of the most prolific harvests are those that we didn’t even have to plant. We harvested around 3kg of blackberries with very little effort, for example.
As an experiment, we also worked out what it would have cost to buy the equivalent of our harvests in a supermarket. If we’d bought all the veg we harvested – from apples to tomatoes – plus the eggs from my parents’ chickens from Waitrose organic range, it would have cost over £2,500.
Of course, there are cheaper ways to buy organic veg (like box schemes, which we subscribe to). And not much of our veg would have met the supermarkets quality standards (although who cares about a wonky parsnip). But at the same time, our produce was as fresh as you can get.
So overall, keeping track of how much we harvested and of its approximate value has been an interesting exercise. It’s highlighted what worked (soft fruit) and what didn’t (carrots – germination was terrible). And it’s given us motivation to try and do better next year.
Talking of motivation, I’m going to take a winter break from blogging. A lack of time and energy means I’m finding it harder to post at the moment and I hope some time off will refresh my enthusiasm.