Saturday, September 04, 2010

Harvest log update

Brief comments on our harvest log (see May 25th post for my original description of the log):

We've gotten good boosts in our calorie harvests since then due to berries (about one eighth of our calories, heavily weighted towards raspberries) and garlic (another one eighth of our calories). We got a decent crop of nearly 8 pounds of cherries from one of our mature seedling (bird-planted) trees, but that only gave us 2000 calories, enough to feed me for one day. (We did harvest the cherry seeds for another 1000 calories.) We've harvested almost 15 pounds of tomatoes, but it turns out they don't have very many calories--less than 100 per pound. We were forced to harvest our small hazelnut crop early, as the scrub jays had begun to spend time in the small trees each morning. I couldn't quite tell whether they actually took any nuts yet, but I think I noticed slightly fewer nuts each morning. I assume our harvest of green hazelnuts doesn't yield as many calories (less fat, less protein?) as properly ripe nuts would. We've gotten close to 3000 calories from potatoes, with a lot more still in the ground, and I expect we'll easily have 50 pounds of jerusalem artichokes and many pounds more of skirret come fall, which will help fill the root crop gap I mentioned in my first harvest log post. One of our two persimmon trees has perhaps 50 fruits developing on it, which should give us a large yield of relatively calorie-dense food.

More than a third of our calories still come from animal products (eggs, three dead chickens, squirrels and rats) which (as discussed in my first harvest log post) are not fed entirely from our yard, so the calorie accounting gets kind of murky with that.

Our harvest of greens has dropped off, caused by at least three factors: I got tired of eating so many of them; the rains of late spring and all of June kept the leaves wet and heavy but now they're dry and light weight; and I've been throwing myself back into the house project and haven't taken the time to pick salads and cooking greens each day. I now estimate I could reasonably eat a year-round average of 8 ounces of greens per day.

We haven't tried to do a formal accounting of our time like we have with the harvests, but we estimate we spend at most an hour a day between the two of us to maintain and harvest the yard, including chicken and bee care. Not bad--if we could scale that up directly, it would mean about three hours a day to supply all the calories for one person. (This doesn't include time to prep things such as cleaning roots.) I've felt disappointed by just how few calories we're getting at this time, and by our yields of certain things, but I feel very happy with the input:output ratio we've achieved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, very informative!