I go out each morning and check on the garden. The daytime temp is reaching 108-110, so I am heavily watering every other day. For my weaker plants I also fill up a wine bottle on the non-watering days and drive it into the ground next to the plant. This has been working well so far, especially for some of my containers. It looks a little weird, but it works.
While I’m out there I harvest what is fresh and ripe! That’s my favorite part of the morning. In an effort to maximize the benefits of my garden, and because I’m an engineer and we like this sort of thing, I’ve been tracking what I harvest. This morning was a pretty good morning.
.75 pounds of tomatoes (2, including one of the Atkinson tomatoes, our first)
.75 pounds of zucchini (2 fruit, one a little long and twisty)
1.5 pounds of yellow squash (4 fruit)
1.5 pounds of cucumber (most, if not all of these will end up going to the chickens, they just haven’t been producing that much and they have been a little on the misshapen side)
I’ve also been tracking chicken eggs. So far this month we’ve had 78 eggs.
So… what I do is I go to the store at the first of the month and get their prices for all of the different produce. I don’t take the fact that mine are all organic into account… I just look at the normal prices. Of course, some of mine can’t even be purchased in the store because they are heirloom varieties… but I digress.
In any case, I use those prices to calculate how much money we’ve saved by growing our own food. I also keep track of the money that I spend on supplies for the chickens and the garden and then compare the costs.
I have to admit… it’s not a positive number… yet. I’m working on it. But at least it helps me keep track of what is going in and out.