Measuring Up: April 2012

As the garden season was wrapping up last fall, there was more than one occasion that I found myself wishing that I had kept some kind of record of how much I had harvested out of the garden.  I felt like I had a pretty good sense of how the garden produced in general, but to really know how all of those bowls of vegetables add up over the course of the five or so months of the growing season was another thing all together, so I made the commitment to keep a record of the garden harvest this year.  The biggest reason was plain and simple curiosity, but I was also interested in getting a better sense of the true value of our garden.

My self-imposed rules are very simple:  all garden harvests will be weighed in the same form you would likely find the same produce in the grocery story or market (inedible greens, dirt, etc. will not be included in the weight totals).

This year's garden harvest kicked off about three weeks ago when the first stalks of rhubarb were ready.  Considering that last April the rhubarb was no where near ready, I've appreciated and savored each and every pound of rhubarb I've processed this month (as I have also appreciated the big tub of asparagus my mom gave me this past week).  And as you can see, the season is off to a great start:
Even though this month is a one-crop report, it has been a pretty eye opening experience.  First of all, I had no idea how quickly rhubarb adds up.  I never would have guessed that I harvested nearly 11lbs of rhubarb in the past few weeks (I would have guessed less).  But the most surprising discovery came when I looked for rhubarb in the grocery store.  Having spent my entire life having access to homegrown rhubarb, I've never even looked for it in the grocery store, so last Friday when I made a quick trip to the grocery store, I made a point to find the rhubarb.  Not only was it short, dry, and in pretty tough shape (lots of nicks and bruises), but it was also $2.99 per pound (and rhubarb is in season right now!).  I think I'll stick to homegrown (and appreciate it all the more!).

This is certainly going to be an interesting process.  Stay tuned for next month's totals: there will be greens, radishes, scallions,and maybe even the first strawberries and peas!