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Today I am excited to share how and why I keep track of my Homestead Garden Harvests!
Do You Track Your Garden Harvests?
How many of you have thought of tracking your homestead garden harvest? For the last number of years, I have been weighing mine, and logging the results in a spreadsheet.
I was initially inspired to do so by Mavis over at One Hundred Dollars a Month. One year she grew over 2,000 lbs! It is fun to see how much food you can grow, and this is an excellent way to keep track of it.
I use this digital kitchen scale and I weigh items as you would find them in a farmers market. For instance, in a farmers market, when you buy carrots, they have greens on them. So when I weigh my carrots, I weigh them with greens on.
I log in every single thing that I harvest!
Challenge Yourself to Grow More Food!
I like to challenge myself to grow a little bit more food each year. Why? Because someone can always use it! If you can't, first thing you should do is offer it to people who really NEED it! I like to donate to our local food pantry when I have a lot.
I also decided that this year I am going to try and sell a little bit too, so this will be an experiment. I don't live in a place that gets a lot of traffic, so a cute little farmstand at the end of my driveway is sadly not an option.
I am hoping to sell fruits and veggies, as I do when I sell my veggie starts. By utilizing local Facebook groups! Check and see if you have a local homesteading group, if you don't have one, start one! They are an amazing source for networking!
You may have too many tomatoes, but someone else may have lost their entire crop and have something else you need! If you can't sell them, barter for something you need!
It is really fun to see how much food you can grow, so I suggest that you all should start keeping a homestead garden harvest tally!
Keeping Track of Your Harvests
Earlier this spring, I made my spreadsheet available as a download in a Spring Gardening Bundle Giveaway I participated in with a bunch of other homesteading/gardening bloggers. I would love to see all of you who downloaded it, share your harvests with us! I am going to make a post on my Facebook Page each month this year, so please come and share!
My spreadsheet is a simple Excel file, but the trick of it is, Excel does not like to add up ounces and pounds easily. Being that there are 16 oz in a pound instead of 10, it makes the math a bit complicated. My handy dandy hubby made a simple formula within the Excel file to make it work. Please let me know by commenting down below, if there are folks out there who are interested in my Homestead Garden Harvest Tally spreadsheet? If so, I will try to make it available again.
How Much Do You Think You Can Grow?
It is fun to pick a number, and see if you can beat it. I am challenging myself to grow over 1000 lbs of food this year. Last year I grew 828 lbs 13 oz, so this seems like the next logical goal to beat. It may seem like a lot, but if you grow a lot of pumpkins, winter squash, apples, pears, zucchini, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, carrots.....it does add up fast!
Here are some fun facts from my garden harvest talley from last year:
- Carrots: 46 lbs 14 oz
- Onions: 73 lbs 2 oz
- Pears: 27 lbs 10oz
- Peppers (sweet bells): 23 lbs 4 oz
- Potatoes: 64lbs 1 oz
- Pumpkins: 299 lbs 3oz
- Tomatoes: 119 lbs 13 oz
- Winter Squash: 22 lbs 9 oz
- Summer Squash: 47 lbs 11 oz
Preserving the Homestead Garden Harvest
Obviously, if you are like me, and growing close to 1000 lbs of food or more a year, many of you may wonder, WHY?!?!?
Well, like I mentioned above, not only do I give a lot away, and try to sell some, and eat a lot of it fresh, but I like to preserve a large lot of it. Not only by canning, but by freezing, dehydrating, making freeze ahead meals and meals in jars via canning.
Yes, it is a lot of work. But there is something so satisfying about feeding your family with food that you grew yourself. I personally don't want to support those mega corporations that put who knows what in our food. So not only is the food I grew at home, grown in a way that I know about, it is also preserved using methods that I can feel confident about.
Think about that canned soup you by at the grocery store. Do you know how each food product in it was grown? What it was fed? Fertilized with? Sprayed with for weed control, pesticides, herbicides? Do you know what it was preserved with? What additives where added to it?
All of these questions are answered, when you grow your own food and preserve it too. Piece of mind, is why I do it. And total utter satisfaction. It all tastes better too!
Join Me in Tracking Your Homestead Garden Harvest Tally!
So, are you in? I hope so! See just how much food you can grow, and come share it with us! I hope to see you posting soon!
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