Monday, January 3, 2011

Increase, Improve, Measure

Those are my three goals for this year's garden. And, oddly enough, while "measure" is one of the goals, I don't know that I'll have a really great way of measuring my success at the three goals...


I hope to increase no only the amount of stuff we grow, through extending the season/adding spring and fall crops. I also hope to increase the square feet of garden we plant. One idea is to pull out part of the lawn we put in. Another would be to chop down a tree or two in order to open up more sunlight hours on the patio for potted plants. I'm rooting for the "tear out the lawn" idea myself. We'll never be able to plant squashes/pumpkins/etc. unless we drastically increase the space we have, or reduce the amount of stuff we're trying to grow in that space. I'd rather add more space than give up pumpkins or reduce the other things we're growing. I also hope that we end up getting another fruit tree of some sort up and running. We planted a blueberry bush late last season and it got a few little white blooms on it. We're hoping that's a sign of things to come this year. The artichoke plant (in a pot) was moved and nearly died this year after giving us three or four chokes the year before. I'm really hoping it can get back into the swing of things and start producing again in 2011.


For this one, I hope that we can improve the yield and quality of the crops we do grow. I want to get five or more fully ripe pomegranates, for example. I want to get more potatoes. Et cetera. But not just the food itself. There are many things we could be doing in support of the garden. We should improve the compost system we're using. Improve the irrigation, fertilization. Improve the way we handle pests. We did a lot of things on a "Just in time" scale, where we could have done better if we were better prepared. Less reaction and more pro-action.


We haven't done much in the way of record keeping. We did eventually start to keep a tally of the eggs we receive from our three hens, but we don't track anything else from the garden. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. We could be tracking the amount of lemons and limes we get. When we get them. The amount of vegetables. We can and should also track things like when and what kind and how much fertilizer we add (if any). What kinds of seeds gave what kinds of results. We have never bothered to track costs of things like chicken feed, hay, seeds, etc. We both LOVE data so this is something that I'm hoping we dive into with gusto.

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