Tuesday, May 3, 2016

April Harvest Totals



April was a good month in the forest garden. Since the begining of the month, something from the garden has been on the plate every day and practically every meal at home. We've purchased almost no vegetables, except for a few pounds of potatoes, with most of our produce coming from the garden. Of course, we're still addicted to oranges and bananas, drenched in oil and shipped from far-off lands, but our first fruit yields will start coming in soon. In a few years time, we'll hopefully be producing enough storage fruit to keep us through to June. 


Our total time spent doing gardening work was about 20 hours, and our yield was a minimum value of $1,200, earning us an hourly rate of over $50/hour for our work, and really, really cheap "prices" on amazing organic produce. And these are often "bargain basement" idealized prices, sometimes 1/10th of market rate for similar items, such as on the sunchokes, roses, and potted plants. At actual local market prices, that rate would probably be way higher, close to $100/hour, but since I haven't actually got a market for those products, I've used much lower numbers. 

(Dense edible ground covers of self-sown annuals and perennials is up and ready before most people have put in their gardens. Imagine if we had a market for all the food you see in this picture!) 

Money for your time - this is where forest gardening really shines, compared to conventional gardening, where my time would probably be worth $3/hour and produce is extremely expensive, with actual prices for garden produce being comparable to the famous $30/tomato one journalist who tracked his garden inputs grew. It's just nearly impossible to grow food for less than market rate using conventional gardening, making normal gardening an expensive hobby.    



April yields:

16 lbs spring root veggie blend, jerusalem artichokes, evening primrose root, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, crosnes, daylily tubers. 
6 Mixed Greens Salads
7 packages spring green onions
1 packages chives
5 bulbs spring garlic, with greens
6 lbs of spring greens 
5 boxes arugula
1 box Mache
2 small fennel bulbs
1 lovage stalk
2 dozen large asparagus spears
20+ kale broccolis 
2 dozen+ fresh winecap mushrooms

1 Bouquet Daffodils



Approx Minimum value: $200

plants:
20 blackberry
10 elderberry
3 rosa rugosa rubra and Frau 
10 anise hyssop
10 monarda
10 Oregano
10 yarrow
2 chives
10 mint
5 chocolate mint
7 turkish rocket
7 brown-eyed susan
4 bellfowers
2 dozen sunchokes 

Aprox minimum value: $1,000 April 26th. 

Total Minimum Product Value: $1,200




Maintenance work total 14 hrs 
2 mows, lawn-mower maintenance, potting and transplanting plants, bed preparation and spot mulching. Minor weeding. Bed edging. 

New infrastructure set-up work. 
16 hours. 


3 comments:

  1. I want to plant some daylilies this year- do you know if all types are edible, or if it's just Hemerocallis fulva?

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the question! There's a whole continuum of thought on the topic, depending on how adventurous you're feeling. On one end, Plants For A Future lists the whole hemerocallis genus as edible and choice, and I do not doubt that Ken Fern had direct experience in eating all of them. I myself have tried quite a few without incident, though I found Hemerocallis fulva to be a stand out, especially the flowers and roots. http://www.pfaf.org/user/cmspage.aspx?pageid=63 On the more cautious end, Green Deane says that the whole genus, with the exception of the roadside orange-colored herocallis fulva need be treated with care and assumed poisonous. His reasoning is that there are poisonous species in the family, and that we do not know what breeders used to produce hybrid variations, and that poison-producing genes could have ended up in species previously used for food. http://www.eattheweeds.com/daylily-just-cloning-around-2/

      The same spectrum of opinions surrounds other lily plants, too, such as asiatic lilies, tiger lilies, and the easter lily, etc. with PFAF listing them all as choice edibles with "no known hazards" and others expressing caution following Green Deane's logic. I've eaten small amounts of both and again, I'm still kickin'.

      But, of course, use your own judgement and caution, and don't take my experience as a recommendation. Different people react differently to food.

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    2. While I'm at it, PFAF has a great "family" search that I've made extensive use of in selecting edible plants. Here is the search for hemerocallidaceae, showing a large number of very highly rated edible plants: http://www.pfaf.org/user/search_name.aspx?family=Hemerocallidaceae
      And the larger lilie family, showing a few highly rated speciments among mostly lower-rated edibles: http://www.pfaf.org/user/search_name.aspx?family=Liliaceae

      Again, Green Deane seems to urge caution on all of these, but I've found PFAF to generally be a very reliable resource.

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