Clicking on any of the pictures will open them at full size in the browser window, which means you will have to use the 'back' button to return to the main pages, whereas clicking to the left or right of any picture will open them in a new window, if you fancy a closer look at any of the piccies we've posted! We've included a Google Earth satelite picture of our plots and this years planting plan at the bottom of the page, next to each other. If you choose the Earth view on the satelite image you can rotate the image until it is lined up with the planting plan, then use the arrows in the plan to scroll from Plot 2 to Plot 1.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

So, what we got growing this year?

Previously I've kept a Balance Sheet on the blog, and I'm hoping to do the same again this year, but as we've only harvested a few things so far this year (the first few pods of peas, a few raddish, some rhubarb, a few 'volunteer' spuds and some fartichokes) I thought I'd start out with a list of what we are growing, then list the costs for the year first!

Vegetable Balance Sheet 2010

So, currently growing we have.........

Parsley, Marjoram, Chamonile, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbenna, Coriander, Basil, Rosemary, Mint, Chives, Sage, Thyme, Lavender and Peppermint.
6 crowns rhubarb, 85 Raspberry Canes (in fedge) , 2 pear trees, 3 eating apple trees, 3 cooking apple trees, 1 cherry tree, 1 grapevine (trained up the front of the shed, we've plans to build an arbour type extension to support it a bit better, hopefully this year), 300 strawberry plants, 200 in the plot, 100 in planters!
Garlic 3 varieties (Looking fab!) 150 plants
140 Sturon from set, 140 Red Barron from set (overwintered), 120 White onions from set , 60 spring onions (so far) Total 400 maincrop onions!
Musselburgh, 60 seedlings growing away nicely to be planted once the first early spuds are out!
30 first earlies , 30 second earlies, 30 early main and 30 late maincrops! Total 120 tubers!
Sweet Potatoes, 3 tubs full, 9 plantlets in total!
21 brussel sprouts (4 varieties), 36 broccolli (5 varieties) 20 caulies / romanesco broccolli, 80 cabbages (6 varieties, golden acre primo, red drumhead and greyhouse)
Beans n Legumes
Broad Beans 60 plants (3 varieties)
Runner Beans 48 growing, 2 varieties!
Borlotti beans, 26 planted!
French Beans 50 plants of 5 varieties!
French Climbing Beans 24 growing!
2 x 10' rows Klevedon (approx 120), 1 x 10' row Twinkle (approx 40), 1 x 6' row Mange Tout (approx 30)!
Courgettes 13 plants (4 varieties)
Cucumbers Marketmore x2
Jerusalem Artichokes, 1 bed full!
2 x 10' rows Swedes (2 variety, approx 40), 2 x 10' rows Turnips (2 variety, approx 60), 3 10' rows parsnips (3 variety, approx 60), 10 x 10' rows carrots (5 variety, approx 200)
150 plantlets of 3 varieties in total
Squashes / Pumpkins
41 plants from 8 varieties
20 plants (overwintered) Lathom self blanching (for seed to make celery salt) + 60 seedlings planted on the plot!
25 beetroot seedlings, 12 lettuce salad bowl, 20 lettuce little gem, 8 lettuce iceberg.
Radish, 4 varieties, interplanted with parsnips + 2 x 8' rows!
38 in the 3 greenhouses, 18 in the polytunnel, 36 outdoor toms in the back yard, 12 varieties!
8 on the plot in greenhouses, 8 planted up into pots in the back yard greenhouse
7 plants of 7 varieties in total!
5 plants, 3 varieties!

Total Veg Plot Costs 2010
Rent + Subs for 2 full plots £100
Seeds £20
Seed Spuds £20
Onion Sets £6
Growbags £15
Chicken Manure Pellets £8
Plastic 'wannabe' Polytunnel £61
Bamboo Canes £8

Total Costs £ 238

Total Veg Plot Harvests 2010

Rhubarb £ 25
Fartichokes £ 4
Volunteer Spuds £5

Total Veg Plot Harvests £ 34

So the veg plot has currently left us £ 204 out of pocket as I write, but with none of the harvests yet in, we should easily break even and possibly surpass our £2000 profit that we've had from each of the past few years!

Beekeeping Balance Sheet

Between the 4 of us (Pat and Colin - our fellow beekeepers on Moss View - and ourselves) we've once again spent a fair amount of money on the bees again this year, setting up our second apiary cost over £200 in materials, buying another 5 hives (and frames and foundation) and then making stands for them and building the 4 nucleus boxes (to home the divisions from the existing hives) has cost again close to another £1000, bringing the total spend to well over £3000 in the past 2 years, but with 6 hives and 2 nucleii now on the plot we are poised to start reclaiming some of the outlay soon, though it could well take us another 18 months or so before we break even!

Last years total honey harvest was of 4 frames of capped honey, yielding abut 8lb of honey which we shared between ourselves (and gave to family and friends). This year we will be helping other beekeepers by selling on the divisions we get (above the 6 hives that we wish to keep for ourselves), which will probably be sold (once we are sure there are viable laying queens present in each nuc), then if we have a reasonable year we could get between 20lb and 80lb of honey per hive, so its possible that we'll harvest between 120lb and 500lb of honey this year, which will be sold to help pay for the bees and thier upkeep!

We will also be using some of the money from the sales of honey to donate to a separate projects fund for the allotment association, in the hopes we can use this money to give something back to the allotments for allowing us to have the bees on there!

So, our Beekeeping Balance Sheet is certainly deeply in the red at the moment, but as we took up beekeeping as a hobby (to help protect the honeybee that is facing problems in the uk and to increase our range of organic activities on the plots), then thats fine by us all! We arent beekeeping for profit, its a hobby not a business after all!

Hope your cropping plans are going well, that your plants are planted and happy, and your harvests are bumper ones!

We're off for the next 2 days, and will be on the plot for them both, so more updates and piccies to follow soon!


HappyPlotter said...

Wow, how do you manage to store all the produce once it harvests? I'm just starting to get into the swing of things (new plotter) and am wondering what I am to do with my 12 cabbages, cauli's, 60 turnip! and 35 tomato plants amongst a few other bits n pieces I am growing this year for the first time, just a very small fraction of what you've got growing there.

Suzanne said...

Hi HappyPlotter,

Its always good to have a surplus, planting too much means that if you have a crop failure then you will still get a reasonable harvest, plus of course you can supply some to friends and family.

Beyond that, then there are many ways we store our produce, toms are processed into passatta and frozen or canned, we make ketchup with any surplus once thats completed (enough to last 12 months), we dry a lot of things, freeze others, pickle and preserve more and clamp yet more.

In an ideal world we'd like to be totally self sufficient, growing and storing enough to last us til the following harvest, and in some crops we do manage this, but until we can get ourselves a smallholding, the reality is that we do well, lessening our impact on the environment and reducing our food miles, but we do have to buy some food during the winter months!