Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Freely Given, Freely Received

We spent $73 on seeds for our garden this year.  It was a lot more money than I would have thought we would spend.  However, we do seem to be getting our money's worth.  We have made 5 quarts of pickles, 4 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 9 quarts of green beans, and 7 quarts of tomatoes, and frozen 3 quart bags of corn.

That doesn't even count the vegetables eaten fresh or used in recipes directly from the garden.  For sure we have used 4 dozen ears of corn, 2 dozen green peppers, a quart of green beans, 2 dozen onions, 10 heads of garlic, 5 pounds of tomatoes, 2 dozen zucchini, and 2 dozen cucumbers.  I would say I am light on every one of those estimates.

In addition, we have bartered or sold vegetables, receiving $22 of value in return.  If I add up the cost at Kroger of the above amounts, the cost would be  $175.00.

That means that for our time and effort, we have profited $114.00.  Non monetary benefits include eating produce that has a greater quality taste, free of pesticides and chemicals, and learning more about the food we are putting in our body.  Plus, we are a little more in shape from the exercise of tilling and preparing the garden, pulling weeds, and picking vegetables.

But all who know me well, know that I can't leave well enough alone.  Just imagine if I could find a way to get the $73 worth of starter seeds at no cost to me.  Why my profit margins would sky rocket!  Let's see, how could I possibly manage this task?

Oh yeah, these are plants.  They freely give me their seeds at the end of their production!  So with a little research, (learning something new keeps the brain sharp right) and a little bit of effort, I am planning on saving my seeds to start my garden next year.

First up, asparagus.  Pictured to the left is the drying process for the seeds I discovered the other day.  I am particularly excited about this venture for a couple reasons.  One, most things I read say we mostly have non seed bearing asparagus being grown, so I feel lucky to have found one plant in our patch that was seed bearing.  Second, this patch was originally planted by Fred & Marian Worrell, my wife's grandparents.  They planted it around 1975 and we are still eating from it.  By propagating seeds from this patch, I believe that their great-great-great-great grandchildren will be eating asparagus as a result of their efforts.
Now this is a long term project.  I dried the seeds for planting in early 2013.  We will have to see how well it grows, and if it does well, we won't be able to harvest until spring 2015.  Progress reports shall be forthcoming as we continue to become more self sufficient here on the east half of the southwest quarter 

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