Monday, January 31, 2011

Net Value For Our 2010 Organic Vegetables is $3,415.18

As I end the year's calculations and record keeping, I am able to share the net value of the organic produce that I grew in my back yard garden. The vast majority of in-season prices were easily obtained from Harris Teeter Supermarket's Organic Section. The other sources of prices were Bennett's Creek Market in Suffolk, Virginia; The Organic Food Depot in Norfolk, Virginia; and Park Food Co-op, an on-line source. The most difficult price to identify was for the banana peppers. The next difficult one was the sugar pumpkins. Both of those prices were identified on the Parks Food Co-op website.

The breakdown categories are as follows:  Item * Quantity  * Unit Price * Unit of Measure * Total Market Value

Beans, Henderson Spring Butter 28.5 $1.99 Pound $56.72
Beans, Pole Green 59.5 $3.69 Pound $219.56
Blueberries, Climax 0.016 $13.28 Pound $0.21
Blueberries, Premier 0.594 $13.28 Pound $7.89
Broccoli 6 $2.49 Pound $14.94
Carrots, Chantenay 0.56 $2.49 Pound $1.39
Chard, Rainbow Swiss 2.3 $3.99 Pound $9.18
Chard, Ruby Red Swiss 24.25 $3.99 Pound $96.76
Chives, Perenneal Herb 0.125 $0.66 1/4 Ounce $0.08
Collards, VATES 265.3 $1.99 Pound $527.95
Corn, Whiteout F1 86 $1.00 Ear $86.00
Cucumbers, Spring Crop, Slicing 397 $1.99 Each $790.03
Eggplant, Black Beauty 32 $1.83 Pound $58.56
Grapes, Reliance Red 0.063 $3.49 Pound $0.22
Herb, Dill, Boquet OG, 0.125 $0.66 1/4 Ounce $0.08
Herb, Sorrel or Schav 64 $0.66 1/4 Ounce $42.45
Herbs, French Tarragon 16.59 $0.66 1/4 Ounce $11.01
Herbs, Rosemary 21.95 $0.66 1/4 Ounce $14.56
Leeks, Large American Flag 7.5 $3.99 Pound $29.93
Onion, Green 0.438 $0.79 Pound $0.35
Peppers, Banana, Sweet, Mild 16.59 $2.73 Pound $45.29
Peppers, Giant Marconi, Green 182 $1.99 Each $362.18
Pumpkins,Organic Small Sugar 3 $0.94 Pound $2.82
Raspberries, Heritage 0.75 $0.67 Ounce $0.50
Squash, Butternut Waltham 3.19 $1.69 Pound $5.39
Squash, Yellow/Green Zephyr 5.2 $2.49 Pound $12.95
Sunflowers, Giant Mammoth, Seeds 1.75 $1.75 Pound $3.06
Tomatoberry 5.48 $1.75 Pound $9.59
Tomatoes, Brandywine 345.5 $2.99 Pound $1,033.05
Tomatoes, Juliett 29.4 $3.99 Pound $117.31
Tomatoes, Matt's Wild Cherry 1.4 $1.75 Pound $2.45
Tomatoes, Parks Whopper 246.4 $2.99 Pound $736.74

The gross value of my 2010 crop $4,299.18

My garden expenditures for 2010 were $884.00

Actual net value of 2010 organic vegetable crop is: $3,415.18

This coming year, I expect an increase in the total weight/value as I plan to employ the Value for Space Rating (VSR) while planning my garden this year.  You can read more about VSR at Mark's address .  Thanks to Mark for sharing that important information with all of us. My record keeping in Microsoft Excel allowed me to determine which crops were most beneficial for me to plant, which is basically what the VSR does when applied. It's really an excellent way to approach gardening. It's not applied to get the most dollar value or most weight from your garden. It's to get the most of the vegetables and fruits that YOU use. THAT provides the best value.

Thanks to all the visitors that stopped by since I began my blog on May 31, 2010 and for all the comments that were shared. Each and every one is appreciated, and served as a great inspiration.
I look forward to a great new gardening year, and to sharing it with all of you.
Have a great vegetable gardening day!
Veggie PAK


  1. WOW! What an amazing accomplishment! I can't wait to see what's in store for 2011!

  2. Well done to you...and apart from the $$$ think of all that great fresh food that went into your body!!!!

  3. Veggie PAK, I am so impressed with your record keeping and calculations, and the fact that you are lovely and disciplined to keep track of everything. And how well have you done!

    Congratulations on such a successful year.

    ps I spoke to my mother today and forgot once again to ask her about the grapes. Not doing to well, am I!

  4. Congratulations! What an accomplishment! I am so impressed and something to aspire to!

  5. Those are some impressive numbers! I gave up on weighing my harvests, I don't have the discipline to do it...

  6. It's amazing how much organic vegetables cost. I think that they are a little more expensive here.

    Although the quality of home grown food and the love of gardening is why most of us do this....the savings is amazing.

    I started to calculate my harvests last year and then didn't finish it. This year will be a different story though....I'm keeping track of my costs and am going to calculate the net value.

    Boy, I bet you wished you could have just put that spreadsheet up instead of re-typing everything!!

  7. $4,299.18 is a pretty incredible amount. I have always wondered what the $ worth of the foods we grow would be so it was very neat to see how yours added up...pretty amazing.

  8. Very nice. With my current garden I have enough space that I ought to be able to grow all my own veggies. So the challenge for me will be to put in the appropriate amount of everything. Not too much and not too little. I'm sure it will be a work in progress for many years that way. For instance did you eat all those cukes? I had 32lbs this summer and it was about right, maybe a bit too much. And no way could I eat that many collards (especially since I'm not a fan). I could never eat that much. Though I'm sure I could find someone to give them to so they wouldn't go to waste. Finding the right balance is really hard. Especially when you can't tell what the weather is going to be like.

  9. Hi Veggie Pak; thanks for the unsolicited but welcome publicity! I think the VSR approach is we way we should all work. No point growing anything you don't like, or that you can buy very cheaply at the same level of quality.
    I'm impressed not only by the financial figures you give, but by the wide variety of your crops.
    And 345 pounds of Brandywine tomatoes - AWESOME!

  10. Holly, I can't wait either! Today is going to get to 71 degrees, then tomorrow back down to a high in the low 40's. What a roller coaster winter!

    Enchanted Moments, you're right! I am especially satisfied when my grandchildren are eating the food I have grown. All the more reason for going organic.

    Ali, Thanks! No rush on the grape info. I know you'll get to it when you have a few minutes.

    meemsnyc, tracking all this isn't difficult if you put the scales in-line, or next to it, with your direction of travel to the kitchen. Then it's not like a separate chore.

    vrtlarica ana, I like having the information on the various yields. It helps me more accurately track what I need to pay attention to in the garden.

    Robin, you are correct in that the quality of the home grown food and the love of gardening is why we do this. I was surprised to see that I spent $884 for garden expenses this year, but when I put that against the value of the vegetables, it was sure worth it. It takes the guesswork out of the process. That's why I like doing it this way.

    Retyping the spreadsheet would have been a daunting task, but I found a work-around. Take the Excel spreadsheet and highlight the information you want to post. Then, open Wordpad or Notepad or whatever your computer calls it, and paste the information there. You will see that the columnar format goes away, but leaves the data as you see in my post. Then, you copy from Notepad and paste into the blog creation screen, and there you have it. Try it! I hope everyone tracks their info this year. It's not a competition, but a measuring stick on each person's garden progress, even for comparing one year to the next. I think it provides very valuable information for your individual garden's success.

    Mr. H, I too, think it's pretty amazing. I knew it would produce important results before I started weighing everything. When I track my produce weights, I always lean towards the underside of the weight indicated so the results can't be considered inflated.

    Daphne, you are absolutely correct in that it is a work in progress for several years to determine the right amount of what to plant. It has been that way for me, but the decisions based on that information are reliable.

    What items I didn't can went to local organizations for feeding the hungry folks and a battered spouse shelter. Growing too much of a certain thing is the kind of information I used to determine what I would be planting this year. Instead of having a 28 foot row of cucumbers, I'm planting a 9 foot row. In prior years, I had two 40 foot rows. It was raining cucumbers! However, I'm using my information and I am increasing my pole beans by two additional 20 foot rows based on these results and our use of the beans.

    The same thing happened with the collards. Well over 100 pounds went to the shelters, and others went to friends. Fine tuning what you need to grow is not an easy process. I believe my recordkeeping provides much needed information to help make the correct decisions towards that end. Finding someone to give the produce to is not my goal. My goal is to grow food for my household. That's why I'm adjusting things again this year.

    I am so thankful that I have a well for watering my garden. That really helps with the weather situation.

    Mark Willis, you're Welcome! I'm looking to add a couple of dwarf apple trees this year to add variety to my bounty. And to think that all this garden area was lawn just a few years ago...

    sarada, Thank You, and I'm glad you stopped by for a visit!

    I thank each one of you for taking time out of your busy day to stop and read my blog and share a comment. I am also thankful to all the others that visit my blog at various times.

    Have a wonderful day!
    Veggie PAK

  11. VP you know who else was an obsessive record keeper. That would be Thomas Jefferson not bad company to be associated with. How would he have dealt with an exel spread sheet. Did you do anything with your leeks? Come visit me at Follow my Garden just getting started. Nice work.

  12. I could never be organised enough to weigh and record my produce, especcially since we eat large amounts of wild food too, which therefore wouldn't have a quantifiable monetary value. Also I care about money far too little to worry about such things, but an interesting excercise nebertheless. You haven't by any chance worked out your hourly wages as well?

  13. Wow! Seriously impressed over here. Very nice that you donate your extras too.

    I used to pay about $600 a season for a CSA subscription. I dropped that and started growing most of my own veggies, spent about $100 on seeds and another $100 or so on misc plants and tools - I figure I only saved a few hundred dollars. I should start weighing.

  14. eco-worm, yeah, that's good company! Which leeks are you referring to? The last harvest went into a potato and leek soup that turned out very tasty. The leeks that I still have growing in the flat are still there... growing. They must be "inside" leeks. Or, maybe since they're upstairs, they're "roof leeks"! Ha! Ha!

    Heiko, I wish I could find "wild food" around here, but it's metropolitan landscape for miles around me. Although, I did harvest crabapples from city property and made crabapple jelly/syrup a couple of years ago. I verified that they weren't sprayed with any pesticide first.

    I really don't worry about the money as such either. I do have to be concerned with the total spent towards the final harvest tally though. I was surprised to see that I spent $884 on my garden this year! So, for budgetary comparison purposes I did it, and will probably do it again just for history's sake. My method of tracking my garden efforts provides all the important items that I need to use during the gardening season. Calculating the dollar value was a simple task of adding a couple more columns on a spreadsheet, and pasting in the formulas.

    This is the first year that I've actually calculated the monetary worth, but that's all that is... monetary worth. Having the fresh vegetables and fruit means more to me than what anyone could put on a price tag. Not to mention teaching my grandchildren how to garden organically! A few years ago, I watched people on various websites calculate their hourly input for their gardens in order to "identify" a dollar value to assign to it. To me, that was a waste of time to figure out. It's speculation anyway. If the results were derived by anything more, you would be losing valuable time that could be spent in your garden. It just isn't worth calculating it to me.

    I feel like my hourly wages are: extended life by fresh air, good exercise, and healthy food for my family.

    JGH, If you have any grass growing in your yard, that space could be used for growing vegetables, even if it's only a couple of plants of each type. I'm looking at planting two dwarf apple trees in my front yard this year. I'm going to plant rainbow chard in the flower beds out front too. Use all the space you can!

    Thanks to each of you for visiting and commenting about my blog.

    Have a wonder vegetable gardening day!
    Veggie PAK