We’ve come to that time of the year when all the hard work of record-keeping pays off and we can see what our 2 1/2 acres actually yielded. It’s no longer about insects, rain, and predators making us feel as though 2011 wasn’t everything that we hoped it would be.
But seeing the real figures is quite revealing to show us just exactly how the Lord blessed our work and provided for our family last year!
I did not expect to come anywhere close to the 2,378 pounds of food produced in 2010, especially considering the above mentioned factors combined with the fact that in 2010 we butchered a bull for an extra couple hundred pounds addition to the totals.
But in the end, we actually surpassed our 2010 yields by 105 pounds!!! That’s a total of 2,484 pounds of food grown on just a couple acres! And I see so much room for improvement. But more on that in a minute.
Here’s how everything stacked up-
Where I see the most need for improvement is in the area of expenses. 2011 was the first year that I spent a lot of time chasing down and recording receipts and I am so glad I did. I would have never dreamed that we were spending so much money especially on the cattle, laying hens, and in the garden.
When I go grocery shopping, my target price for produce is no more than $1/pound… so when I learned that our produce cost was over double that it dropped my jaw! While some might consider $6.87/ gallon for raw milk (the last time I purchased organic milk from the grocery store which was years ago, it had topped $7/gallon) a happy price, I don’t after accounting for the labor investment in caring for Maybelle and processing her milk into various dairy products. And $2.70/dozen eggs isn’t a happy price either especially when you factor in that we don’t purchase feed during the summer months!!
As you can imagine these figures have drastically shaped the way that we are planning to invest in our homestead in 2012 and reducing the cost is a big factor in shaping our goals.
One thing is for certain, I have come to truly see the value in record-keeping for efficient and economical homestead management and the practice begun in 2011 will most assuredly be one that I continue for years to come!