Or so I thought.
|Tomato butt cheeks. Because I'm 10 years old and super mature.|
See, you remember that I track the garden haul, right? Where I put everything that comes out of the garden onto my fancy scale and then write down the weights and track them all anal like in my spreadsheet so that I can know all kinds of random garden facts that make me feel like a big man when I'm cruising Whole Foods and can look a tomato in the eye and be like, "Hello tomato, at my house you'd cost me $.21 and taste twice as good so I'm going to pass on you and go fight some Russian woman for the last bag of barley." (Which totally happened, by the way, and I won in the end because the Whole Foods clerk took pity on me and rooted around until he found another bag lurking somewhere in The Back. Nice.)
|The BIG potato haul: 2 lbs 2 oz. WOO. At least they're pretty.|
Know what else is a true story? The fact that this year, it only cost me $.21 a pound to grow our own produce. That's it - less than a shiny hot quarter (do quarters get hot? It's unknowable.) for a pound of local and organic produce. And, that's $.12 less than it cost me, per pound, to grow last year's garden.
Are you dying to see 2009's garden fight 2010's garden? I don't even know why I ask because, obviously...
2009 vs 2010
Gardening costs: $91.34 vs $56.26= -$35.08: 2010 wins!
Total produce value: $1,130.34 vs $1,003.19 = -$127.15: 2009 wins!
Cost per pound to produce: $0.33 vs $0.21= -$0.12: 2010 wins!
Total pounds: 273.98 vs 264.31 = -9.67: 2009 wins!
Total pounds of tomatoes: 208.25 vs 147.4 = - 60.81: 2009 wins!
So, to sum that up in a way that makes some sense for normal people; I spent less putting the garden in this year which YAY, and despite a very cool summer and one less tomato plant, I only produced 9 fewer pounds of produce and reduced my overall cost per pound by $.12. And wouldn't you like to know that it DID NOT cost me $64 to grow a damn tomato. Just saying.
|This was a cucumber plant I gave to our neighbors which grew BACK over to my side of the fence. Cute.|
Also, I learned that regardless of the variety, most any standard tomato plant I put in will give me around 50 pounds of tomatoes and by cutting back to 3 tomato plants this year, I sort of fucked myself in the total poundage category because that's a big deficit to make up. Thankfully, we grew some heavy weird watermelons and came in just 9 pounds shy of last year.
So, yay, the garden actually DID do well and DID NOT have a lackluster year even though it rained until fucking June of all things.
Because, had it been warm and sunny in May, as I'm accustomed to, the other alien creature in my garden might have had a chance to reach maturity before I unceremoniously ripped it from the garden on Saturday.
|And now the aliens are in my house guarding my kitchen window from unwanted visitors.|
|Nigh - night, garden.|
Yep. Sure did. And then I sat on my couch, drank a bottle of wine and screamed at my TV until it screamed back, "THE GIANTS ARE GOING TO THE WORLD SERIES!!!"
I can make the TV do my bidding if I just scream loud enough. I'm sure of it.
Anyway, the garden came out and I am here to report on my findings, give some lucky Adopt a Cropper a prize just for commenting and probably gloat a little.
Let's face it, I'm not modest. And I really like dispelling the myth that growing an organic garden is some sort of expensive heroic impossible effort.
It is not. Even though I like to act all dramatic like it is.
|One garden does not equal one wheelbarrow.|
|Spiny evil fruits have spiny evil vines.|
|Bubba will eat anything.|
|There was a lot more shit out there to harvest than I thought. Which explains the dirty bucket I pulled in at the last minute.|
|I now have a lot of work to do in the kitchen.|
My findings aren't all earth shattering. In fact, probably none of them are, but I was pretty stoked to bring in some final tomatoes and I really like the one with the prominent ass cheeks. I think I'll save him for last.
For prizes, then.
If you remember, I usually give away an Adopt a Crop prize made, appropriately, from the Adopted Crop. Like the pickle chips and arugula pesto and such. Yeah, well, the jelly melons aren't ripe (even the one Bubba ate so willingly was still a little north of ripe) and I'm not sure what I'd make from them anyway that would stand a chance of shipping anywhere in the world, so I'm not holding true to the theme.
You're going to have to come to peace with this on your own.
However, I AM going to give a garden prize to a random commenter and it will be a collection of preserved things from my garden. There will probably be pickles, a jam of some kind and then maybe something strange or unexpected. All I can say for sure is that they'll be edible and will not have any component of African Horned Cucumber Jelly Melon.
You can thank me later on that one.
SO! Leave a comment by 11/15/10 and I'll randomly choose someone to get a random box of preserves from my garden. Random!
Oh, and if you're curious about the flavor of the spiny melon that tried to kill me when I tore it from the garden (for real. I have wounds.), it does in fact taste a bit like banana and citrus. I imagine I'd like it if it were to ripen fully and not try to slit my wrists when I harvested it. Though I may never know because I doubt I'll try growing it again. It was too mean.
But what will I grow next year? Well, I already have some thoughts but nothing concrete because, of course, there's the requisite mulling of seed catalogs during the cold winter months which I must do in earnest so that I can choose some equally ridiculous things for next year's garden as I sit pining away for fresh tomatoes and fantasizing about a warm summer garden while I wear all my biggest and ugliest clothes.
I'm pretty sure this is how all these bizarre heirloom vegetable varieties stay in circulation. I mean, no one's going to the nursery all hot for African Horned Cucumber Jelly Melon starts in April, after all. No, weird shit like that only sounds fun and good when it's cold and crappy outside and when you haven't laid eyes on fresh melons for months. So when you see something like that looks like a medieval weapon but turns out to be a "banana-citrus like" melon - you jump on it like a muther. WOO! I will have this bizarre thing! No, I don't know how it grows and I don't care! Woo!
You know what I mean.
Now that I know this about myself (because I am a prime example of how shit like this happens), I am going to try to train my eyes on the tomato and bean pages so that, in the event of a Weird Alert, all I end up with is a foot long red bean or zebra stripped tomato. Anything, really, as long as it's not covered in spikes. I don't need that in my life.
So, yeah. The garden is done. The fava beans have been planted to overwinter. I've broken down most of the final harvest. The final numbers show that we had a pretty good season produce-wise and I'm looking to give away some preserves.
You know what to do.