This week I’ve been drying rosemary again.
The bush outside our door is woefully overgrown, and has actually broken through the side of the pot. It’ll need moving soon, but in case I kill it off (not unlikely…) I’m harvesting as much as I can and drying it.
I’ve already said that one of my focuses this year is gardening. I want to actually grow a substantial part of our food, and that requires that I pay attention: do regular slug patrol, notice when things are drying out, plant things at the right time, and other activities that normal gardeners seem to manage.
Inspired by this post from Rachel (of Wittgenstein’s Watering Can fame) on Robyn’s blog, I’ve decided to keep track of everything I spend on the garden, and the equivalent cost of everything we harvest. Rachel did this with her allotment and reckons she produced the equivalent of over £500 worth of food and drink!
This is mostly out of curiosity. I don’t grow food as a money-saving exercise, although I think when there’s things to eat in the garden it keeps us out of the shops (which stops us just buying extra things we don’t need while we’re in there). I won’t be keeping track of our food budget to see if we spend less (although as I write that I’m wondering why not?).
I’ve created a new page called ‘growing food – what’s the cost?‘ where I’ll log everything I spend, and everything I harvest, with the equivalent cost in the shops. So the only thing I’ve harvested so far is rosemary – I wouldn’t buy it fresh, and I wouldn’t buy it in bulk, I’d be mostly likely to buy those little glass jars from the local supermarket, so that’s my equivalent cost.
Harvesting and storing things makes me want to squirrel away other food too, and this week I’ve been making marmalade – seven golden jars. I admit this was partly because I wanted to experiment with the new slow cooker (which has been named Jeeves, because it makes our dinner for us while we’re out on the town). I used these instructions, and it worked remarkably well, looking much clearer and prettier than my last attempt.