Shelling Pea Harvest: 2010

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weighing peas 2.jpg

Nothing about my gardening tactics is ideal.  I frequently plant later than I'm supposed to (often in an effort not to plant too early which simply results in me losing track of when I'm actually supposed to plant), I have no drip system in (so everything is hand watered, or as is more often the case, I don't water at all), and I never seem to make time for weed control which, since I don't use herbicides to control them, means they grow taller than me.

The reason I'm bringing this up is that whenever I write down what yields I got for something, you can always remember that if I was a better gardener* those yields could be higher.  This should give hope to the less savvy people trying to grow their own food.

I was so sloppy this year that I'm not even certain which varieties of peas I planted.  I will need to dig through nefarious corners of my garden boxes and seed containers to see if I saved them.  I believe I used Alderman and Cascade, but I'll have to double check.  Assuming I'll remember to double check.

Total yield: 9 lbs 9 oz shelling peas

raised bed breakdown:
4x8 bed: 6 lbs 12 oz
1x3 bed: 2 lbs 13 oz

I never watered the peas.  They grew, bloomed, and fruited all during our prolific rainy season.  So that's some good value.  I used two packets of peas which cost me a little more than $5. 

Doing some tricky math (because I've forgotten how to do it the easy way) I calculate that my homegrown peas cost me about .53 cents per pound.

I don't know about where you live, but where I live you don't find fresh shelling peas for that price. 

In case anyone is curious, I didn't add any purchased fertilizer either.  We add straw with slightly aged chicken manure from our own hens.  BONUS.  So no money was spent for fertilization.  No effort besides planting the seeds was made by me.  No watering.  I got 9 lbs 9 oz fresh shelling peas for all that non-effort.  Who can complain about those economics?

What would have improved my yield:  weeding, planting earlier

*I'm actually an excellent gardener when I'm not working full time.  Or when I have the money to install things like drip irrigation.  In a previous life (when I lived in California) I had a much more productive garden and the weeds, though always plentiful, never reached full potential height.  But that was back when I was a housewife and stay at home mother.  That was when I realized that my passion, aside from writing, was urban homesteading.  Ah well, good memories!
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Bravo!! Next year I would like to keep track like you have. It's good to know. And adds to the pleasure since not only is the food so affordable, it's so much tastier, unbruised, etc. Have a great long weekend!

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