Sunday, December 2, 2007
The economics of organic
I just spent the last two hours harvesting and preparing to freeze our fall crop of broccoli - all nine heads of it. The Garden Gods appear to be smiting us as our yield was a whopping 40 ounces of freezable produce. By my best guess - 4 bucks worth. Perhaps double that if I were to purchase it from the EarnestFoodUnitarianWholeReal FoodMarketPlace, as this was organic stuff. If I recall, I spent about 89 cents per plant and I can't remember if I set out 12, 15 or even 18 plants. We've spent several months watering and tending to the garden, only to have the unseasonably warm Texas fall cause the heads to be small and start to flower prematurely. Don't even get me started on the cauliflower, which hasn't even begun to head yet. The leaves are as big as a volkswagen, but nothing edible is even on the horizon. The kale is a lost cause, the turnip greens got big and bitter too quickly and the swiss chard appears to be staging a walkout. The brussel sprouts look straggly, with not a sprout in sight. Again, all of this at 89 cents a plant. The only real success we are seeing is in our romaine lettuce which is beautifully and dutifully giving us a lovely salad every night. And all of that from an 89 cent packet of seeds.