Garden productivity… :) Makes me pleased. And a few other things.

Wee little garden update:

This morning, I harvested $6.58 worth of fresh, organic produce.  Here’s how I figured it:

  • One head of lettuce (Simpson Black Seeded — one of the BEST choices I made for my garden this spring).  Seven oz, after being torn and washed.  Five ounce containers of organic lettuce are typically $3.99.  At that rate, my lettuce is worth $4.49.
  • Two ounces broccoli — actually my largest head of broccoli so far, only about 5″ across… Turns out that broccoli typically doesn’t produce well at first try…  Still, I’m not giving up.  I may try a different variety next time, though.  And plant it later, as the best of my broccoli has been harvested this month, when it’s warmer.  Anyway.  I can typically get organic broccoli at the store for $1.49/lb, so my two ounces equals $0.19 worth.
  • Turnips — 3.5 oz.  Actually, they’re not turnips.  They’re the roots of Tyfon greens, which is a cross between a turnip and a kind of Chinese cabbage.  Tyfon was a good choice when they were young and it was cooler, and we ate a ton of it, usually garlic braised and mixed with red chard.  But as the weather has warmed, the Tyfon has been an absolute aphid MAGNET.  Gross.  So, I pulled the remainder of them out this morning, and a few of them had biggish, turnip-looking roots.  Thus, 3.5 oz of “turnips”, at $2.99/lb = $0.65 worth.
  • Six ounces carrots.  We have a spot at the end of the garden where my daughter Fiala dumped an entire packet of carrot seeds.  Even with regular thinning, it has turned into a carrot forest.  I did a little research, because these carrot tops were developing powdery mildew.  It turns out that powdery mildew — which is fairly harmless on carrots, though it can spread to other plants and stunt growth — flourishes in dry days, in shady conditions, and in crowded plants which inhibits circulation.  The “carrot forest” is, unfortunately, largely shaded by a tree.  It’s dry here.  And, they’re crowded.  Thus, I’ve had to pull out lots of baby carrots, which really aren’t akin to grocery store “baby carrots”.  When they’re not full-grown, they’re rather bitter.  But, they’re still edible.  So, 6 oz carrots at $0.99/lb = $0.38 worth.
  • I also harvested eight cherry tomatoes — 4 yellow and 4 red.  Organic tomatoes are really expensive — typically $3.99/lb.  So, my 3.5 oz of cherry tomatoes is worth at least $0.87.

If my math is right, that is $6.58.  And that’s just from today!  I’m daily harvesting produce.  AND, there’s still a bunch of red chard I need to harvest before it bolts, which I will do later today.  Organic red chard is typically $1.99/bunch this time of year, and I have enough for a good 4, 5, 6 store-sized bunches.  Maybe more.  And there are some lovely green onions that can be harvested.  Even though my garden is small — about 7′ x 20′ — it has been extremely productive, once I got it going…  Definitely more productive this spring than last;  I’ve learned a lot in quite a short period of time.


Lovely nasturtium, with lettuce and not-yet-red bell pepper growing in the background. And, for those in the desert, Palo Verde "leaves" make the perfect straw for mulch.

Audrey, who turned six this month, in an outfit she picked out on her own. Darling girl.

Fiala, in one of her newest favorite activities. She is about 75% healed of her Candida Albicans system-wide yeast infection, BLESS GOD!!

The many faces of FiFi. She saw a bug, her one phobia.

About two minutes post-bug. She's laughing at me grossing out over her picking her nose. She's quite pleased with mom being disgusted.

Precious girl on the tree-trapeze. There is such a tender spot in my heart for her. We have had *SUCH* a difficult three years+, and it gives me indescribable joy and relief that we may be coming out of it. Truly, all glory and thanks to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ who redeems and heals.

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on April 20, 2012, in Arizona, Budget, Christian Living, Desert Gardening, Family, Groceries, Health, Life in the Desert, Organic Gardening, The Kids, Weather. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Don’t pull up your broccoli yet… Once you cut off the main head, broccoli will produce lots and lots of little side shoots!

    • YES! I’ve been doing that. Even though the heads of broccoli have been small, there have been enough side shoots that when I gather everything together, we have had enough for a number of meals and for LOTS of snacking while puttering in the garden. 🙂

  2. Awww… Fiala is a cutie! Ilona started climbing trees this winter, she is quite the monkey. And she also couldn’t care less when I get grossed out when she picks her nose (and eats it, haha…).

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