Garden Tallies

The results are in!  We grew 1049 pounds of food on our 9000 square foot city lot in Anchorage this year!  Looks like we will be eating well this winter, with our cold storage, freezers, and pantry packed to the rafters.  Even though our Alaska food challenge is over, local food is too good to go back to our old habits.

This year’s total of 1049 pounds was a fair bit less than the 1622 pounds we grew here last year, but comprable to our share of last year’s harvest, which was 1132 pounds.  The remainder of last year’s harvest was shared with our tenants.

We concentrated more on the staples this year instead of our experimental crops, and yields were up for potatoes, cabbage, winter squash, and broccoli.  It was down on things we had major excess of last year like kale, raspberries, and

rhubarb  We had some big disappointments such as tomatoes, basil, onions, green beans, and parsnips. And a few things that never got planted, like turnips and boc choi.

We’ll see how our stores hold up over the winter, but I already have ideas of what I want to grow more (and less) of next year, and how I’m going to do that.  I will dedicate more space to broccoli and less to cabbage.  I will buy onion plants again like last year, which yielded much better than the ones I grew from seed.

We also learned from what we ate last winter, and were able to be more efficient in putting our food by.  We made a huge batch of sauerkraut and didn’t bother with the sauerruben (turnips.)  I freed up a few days work by not freezing nearly as much kale.  I also added a few new products I’m really happy about, like my strawberry preserves, which are great with yogurt or on ice cream with Nova Monda Cacao.

Although I don’t keep track of the time I spend in the garden, I’m pretty sure my new role as mother has helped me streamline my process, as I simply have less time available.  I’m really not sure how I managed to get the garden planted in the first place.  My days of spending 12 hours getting lost in my garden are over for now.  Perhaps that will be encouraging to those of you whose time time is limited as well.  It is also encouraging to know that all the work we’ve put in establishing the beds with loads and loads of organic material has really paid off, and that now we can let nature do the work for us in some ways.  In other ways, it feels like we have loads more work to do to get the garden where we want it.  Get ready Graysen, we need your help!!

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