Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

July 27, 2008

About the big weigh-in 2008 (record system)

This year, inspired by the phenomenal numbers of food production generated by the Dervaes family of Path To Freedom, (who would have ever thought 6000 lbs of food could be produced on 1/10 acre?) A~ and I decided to establish for ourselves a baseline of what we are and could be producing, weight-wise, of food from our little yard. So with that in mind we decided to keep records of every bit of food that we pull from our ground this year. A blogger I admire for their record keeping prowess is Farm Mom and I hoped to be as effective with ours. Although this is our first year keeping records, and they probably aren't as thorough as some, I think they're working out well so I thought I'd go into how we're doing the tracking of production for what I'm calling the "Big Weigh-in" for 2008 before getting into the actual numbers.
What we have for our process is two parts. The messy, dirty notebook above is where we write our day to day information in as it comes out of the yard. We can amend it multiple times a day and leave notes to ourselves if we need to. After we've collected a bit of "data", I transfer the information over to a permanent record book. In this book I have a daily total calculated in oz.'s, a running total in oz's, and a running total of lbs. At the top there's a small note space where I can leave notes to myself about things like the 9lbs of apricots that we harvested that weren't from our garden so they don't go in the actual records. I'm also keeping track of the total numbers of eggs that our chickens lay in this spot.
I think this will be an important tool to us in the future, and actually has proven helpful already in some unexpected ways. For instance, one of my neighbors who had been thinking of starting a garden for himself this year, was so impressed by just the early quantities of lettuces, peas and strawberries that he actually got on it and got his garden started for the summer. It was in this that I found that keeping track and establishing these concrete numbers of production don't just help me to keep track of what we've been able to accomplish. It helps to quantify to others what is possible. Just as I was so impressed by PTF's 6000 lbs of food, so too has my meager 80+ lbs to date, impressed others. It's just an added benefit.
The other main gain from keeping these kinds of records is that we'll be able to look back at the particulars of when different crops came to production and how long they produced and to what degree. I think in the future I'd like to start keeping more information relative to environmental circumstances too, like the daily highs/lows, and precip. totals (what little we get in the summer.) It will be just another asset to help me progress toward greater productivity as well as in my outreach efforts to get others growing for the future!
If your not already, I encourage you to start keeping records for yourself. It's fun to watch and track the numbers as they grow, and who knows, maybe you'll be growing for 10,000 yourself soon.
Updated production numbers to come.


esp said...

Thanks for this post. I am always really interested in other peoples record keeping systems, as I'm always tweaking mine.

Anonymous said...

Hey P! Thanks for that! :) Look like you've got a great system going on. I've never kept track of the garden by weight either, it's interesting isn't it? We'll all have to have an end of season show and tell this year.

han_ysic said...

I have also been inspired by the dervaes to start recording. I'm just over 2kg!! about 5lb:) (mainly from eggs and oranges. Hoping for 50 this year.

P~ said...

esp~ Glad you enjoyed it, I'll have to check into your blog as well and see what you've got going on. I haven't popped over there in forever.

FM~ You totally welcome. I was very inspired by your detailed records. I can only aspire!! *S*

han_ysic~ Way to go! It's fun to watch the count grow isn't it?

Grow on friends!

Kory said...

I recently bought a new scale to replace an old sprung one which was about as good as a guess.

I guess now I need to actually start posting numbers eh?