Vegetable Garden Harvest Update

25 Sep


Fall has arrived, so I think it’s fitting to do an update on my wonderful vegetable garden experiment and the harvest this year. The garden was an experiment in simplicity. I wanted to plant and maintain in a Thoreau style – letting nature fend for itself. With the occasional watering and a couple times weeding, I would say this was achieved with incredible results.

tomatoesI went away when my daughter was here in August and we had a bit of a dry spell. My room mates did not water the garden and yet the quantity of yield did not diminish, though the plant quality did. The Beefsteak tomatoes turned yellow, but this could have been because of the soil. I will plant tomatoes in a different area next year. The fruit still did well.

Here’s what I planted at the beginning of the season:

  1. 8 Beefsteak Tomato Plants
  2. 4 Plum Tomato Plants
  3. 4 Zucchini Plants (actually 7 but one was a cluster)
  4. About 16 Swiss Chard
  5. 8 Leaf Lettuce
  6. 4 Beets
  7. 1 Fennel
  8. Dill, Cilantro, Basil and Mint
  9. Chives, Onions and other lettuce
  10. 4 Marigolds

Here’s the fruit harvest. I lost count of the tomato plants but made 4 batches of sauce and ate many fresh fruit from July to the present. I’m still eating. The total estimate is well over 350 tomatoes.

MonsterZuchinniThe zucchini was great early on and I even got a few monster ZUCH when we went away but later in the season the raccoons and animals seemed to get them. I probably picked about 50 of them with most of them before mid-August. The lettuce grew twice for me and some of the swiss chard got me 4 pickings. Needless to say I had a variety of meals with them.

The herbs did fine, though when I went away the basil seeded, so I did not get it for as long as I thought. The chives are still thriving in various places over the garden. The beets and fennel have not been harvested yet but I’m expecting a couple of nice meals from them.

The grand total was about $30-40 worth of plants. Some of the lettuce was seeds. Next year I may try more seeds. I would estimate that it would have cost me over $500 to buy all the vegetables and sauces that I made, so it was worth it. Very fruitful and actually lots of fun. The cut off will provide a nice quality for the compost next year.

I encourage all of you to try a garden. If you have an apartment, try a little potted tray with a few herbs and a small tomato plant. The results are worth it and the harvest was delicious. I will be eating my sauce well into the winter and was able to share fresh vegetables with many family and friends. The simple power of a garden helps create a natural green way of living that I’m quite content with.

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