We hope you all had a safe, warm, and wonderful New Year's Eve yesterday. With the exception of me tripping, falling, & nearly impaling myself on camping chairs last night, we did too. We took the boys downtown for the Science Museum's Bouncy Ball Drop at noon, quite an interesting event. Here is a link for a quick video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfARXgvTbh4 We also grabbed lunch at Roanoke's famous Texas Tavern, and then visited the Market Building for a treat afterwards. Nice family fun, even if it was rainy and slushy out.
But a really big thing for us this year is the grand Harvest Tallies, along with our 2009 Egg Tally. Keeping tallies has really put things in perspective for us. We realize we could've gone into much greater mathematical tallying, but we didn't. And it is still pretty groovy. Here is a recap from what I posted in November:
Here are the Tallies:
*Tomatoes - 187lbs 12.1oz - prices really varied here, so we picked a mid-way price of $2.82 a pound pound = $529.46
*Bell Peppers - 7lbs 11.4oz - these are priced by quantity, not weight, we had 34, and again prices varied, so we went mid-way @ $2ea. = $68
*"Hungarian Sweet" Banana Peppers - 8lbs 6.4oz - @ $3.29 a pound, non-organic = $27.31
*"Anaheim" Peppers - 11lbs 8oz - @ $2.99 a pound, non-organic = $34.39
*"Charleston Grey" Watermelons - 21lbs 5.6oz (this was only 3 melons, and one was pretty darn small!) - @ $3.99 each (this price is from the Co-Op) = $11.97
*Cherries - 3lbs 8oz - @ $5.99 a pound, non-organic = $22.76
*Beans - 13lbs 8oz - these are a blend of the following: Mitla, Boston Favorite, Charlevioux, Hidatsa, and Roma II - again, a mid-way price of $2.50 a pound = $33.75
*Zucchini - 8lbs 5oz - @ $1.79 a pound, organic from Kroger = $14.86
*Oregano - 3lbs 4oz - ok, this is cool .. a 1/2oz jar of organic oregano from Kroger is $3.99 - at that rate, it's $127.68 a POUND = $434.11 .. AND, we could've harvested TRIPLE that amount, EASILY!!!!!
These are the things we remembered to check price on. So .. you wanna know how much total it would've cost to buy all of this stuff???$1632.75 ... WOW!!!!!!!
Ooh, but let's not forget costs to grow this all. Ok, well we didn't pay for seeds this year because we saved seeds in previous years and took advantage of the Earth Day Seed Swap. We paid $30 for a bale of hay. We paid roughly $49 for some new canning jars. We did buy some plants. So, let's round the total spent up to $80. Ok, well subtract that from the above total. That brings us down to $1552.75. ~ Since I posted this in November we've harvested over 15 lbs more vegetables: mainly potatoes and Jerusalem Artichokes. I can't find the Jerusalem Artichokes around here but here is the tally for the potatoes:
*8lbs of organic potatoes (mixed varieties) - a 3lb. bag of organic russet potatoes @ Kroger can be bought for $2, so let's go with that price. = $5.33.
Now for the 2009 Egg Tally. In 2008 we were happy to have our tally be 72 eggs for the year. This year, our sweet biddies managed to lay 808 MORE eggs, with a grand tally of EIGHT HUNDRED EIGHTY eggs!!!! 880 eggs = 73 dozen eggs. From six little biddies. To buy this at the store would've cost us (@ $3 a dozen) $220. We bought maybe eight bags of feed at roughly $18 a bag, equaling a cost of $144. Let's say we've bought 6 bales of hay for them at $6 a bale = $36. $144 + $36 = $180, so we've still got a good savings of $40 there. I'll add that to the Harvest Tally.
Some more things. From what we've canned so far we've already "saved" well over $100 if not a lot higher than that. So far I've already canned Spaghetti Sauce, Tomato Sauce/Soup, Ketchup, BBQ Relish, and the Strawberry Jam from early Spring (even if we did buy those strawberries from a U-Pick Farm). Not too shabby. This fall we did spend $15 to can lots and lots of apple butter and apple sauce. I'd give us, easily, another $50+ in saving there.
Also, for holidays and general gift giving, we gave away a LOT of homemade/homegrown goodies (and eggs!). I can say at Christmas-time alone, this probably saved us close to $200.
So, let's do some math now, shall we??
*Approximate total 2009 Harvest Tally - 280lbs 4.5 oz
*2009 Egg Tally - 880 eggs
*Approximate Money Saved in 2009 = $1948.08 ~ remember, this is with costs spent taken out, and costs saved via gift giving, not having to visit the doc (because of better health from all this goodness), and etc!
The thing that really amazes me the most though is that we don't have a huge garden. We don't devote our lives just to this. This really has taken nothing "out" of our lives, but it has given SO much. We're already planning next year's plantings. Onion and garlic for spring picking have already been planted. I'm working on a medicinal herb garden in my mind.
But this is still small stuff. Imagine if the majority of families started something small on their own too. One plant is still more than no plants.