I don't usually do resolutions for the new year. For me trying to succeed in a goal can happen at anytime and the new year is not special. But for the first time in decades, I'm making a New Year's resolution and since it is on this blog, you just know it is going to be related to my garden.
I've actually been thinking about this since last July, but it was too late then. The new year is a perfect time to start it. I want to see how much I spend on my garden and how much I harvest. Last summer there was talk about the $64 tomato. Surely I don't spend that much. Surely I make more in the produce I harvest than I spend on my garden. Or do I?
I do feel like I'm cheating however. Previous years I've bought seedlings at the garden center. This year I'm not - well maybe a couple of tomato plants or random things to fill in if my seedlings die, but mostly I'm working from seed. Also last year I made a ton of compost, so this year I need to buy no bags. My style will remind me more of my early labor intensive days gardening as opposed to my more recent years when I've been
To keep track of this I will have to start now. I've already put my first order into Pinetree. Or tried to. I have two credit cards to my name. I use one and pay it off each month. The other is my backup card, the one I can use if the first one is canceled. Well indeed the first one had fraudulent charges on it. Chase called up Saturday morning. Our number had been taken on Friday. There were several charges that weren't ours. They are exceedingly good about picking up on fraud, however they also call us all the time thinking there is fraud where there is none. I've taken to calling them when I travel so they don't cancel it on me. Well they said they would FedEx a new one to us on Monday and we would get it on Tuesday. Monday I blithly put in an order to Pinetree with my other card. Then when we went out to eat that night, it was rejected. Oh no. I figured they though there was fraud since I was actually using it and I don't usually. I called them. They had canceled it in September. They didn't even tell us or give us any warning at all. Geez. Pinetree called wanting a real credit card, but I had none to give them. I finally got back to them today with my new card in hand. And though it was put in before the new year, it really belongs to next year's total. So $35.85 in seed, $13.95 for the oriental gardening tool that one of the blogs raved about (I forgot who, or I'd link) and $6.95 for shipping. The total: $56.75.
I am wondering how to count how much I harvest. I'll do it by weight, but how much is a pound of lettuce worth? Should I go to Whole Foods, Wilson's Farm or the Farmer's Market to find my price? My produce is organic, but hardly certified (my seed and bought seedlings usually aren't organic). Do I use the higher organic price or the lowest price I find? Do I average prices or just take the median? Do I count the food I give away or just the food I eat myself? And the most telling question: am I going to still be in this house to harvest my veggies or will I move this spring? It wouldn't be quite an appropriate count if I have to move.