Logs & Data

In order to track our progress each year, I try to quantify the harvest as best I can. I keep a written journal of most of the important activities and progress in the garden, and the journal includes a penciled-in log of any harvests that happen during each week of the season. When I have the chance, I copy that handwritten data into a little spreadsheet I made which handles some of the calculations I’m interested in and updates the totals automatically for me. This spreadsheet is designed specifically for small gardens, not farms, and possibly not even for very large gardens. It’s targeted for situations where you harvest small amounts and can keep track of harvested items as single units (for most things) or small bunches (for herbs), rather than as large bulk amounts such as bushels.

The concept behind this spreadsheet is that once you add in some typical values at the start of the season for the weight of a given variety when harvested (like the average weight of one cherry tomato), the spreadsheet does all the rest of the calculations as you add to your counts each week. It does its math based on counts, so that you don’t have to keep weighing each time you harvest, just tally how many single items you harvested that week.

Here is a PDF version of our 2015 harvest spreadsheet:
Harvest Spreadsheet PDF

I’ll post a link to a working .xlsx spreadsheet at the end of this post, which is free for you to use and tweak as you see fit.

Here’s how it works:

2015 Harvest Data Screenshot 2

Column A: (Name and Variety)

B (Ounces per Unit): A unit might be Continue reading Logs & Data

2015 Herbs

Chives, very early spring 2015

The chives were an early favorite this year, as they were the very first edibles to reappear in the early spring. Immediately we put them to work sprucing up our weekend brunches.

Anise Hyssop, Chamomile in background

We added one or two new herbs into the mix this year. Here is Anise Hyssop. It’s used as a digestive tea by some. Did fairly well out there, although we only used it rarely. Behind it is some Chamomile. This did less well, and the flowers used in tea only lasted a few days. Continue reading 2015 Herbs

2014 Herbs

Herbs have a way of becoming overlooked in the garden. Totally necessary, totally delicious, they are the first things people gravitate to due to their familiar form and their evocative scents. But at some point in one’s gardening life, they become relegated to supporting roles, humdrum foils to the Brandos and Streeps that are heirloom Brandywine tomatoes and Japanese eggplant. But you still gotta have ’em, you’re still gonna have to make dinner in June, and anyone starting out in gardening will have at some point in their tenure started with a windowsill full of these tasty gems.

Sage, rosemary, dill, basil

Continue reading 2014 Herbs