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    Entries in ROI (2)


    6 lbs of roma tomatoes in a day!

    Just harvested 6 pounds of roma tomatoes. I guess we have to can them today before we leave on our vacation.

    We had just canned a batch of roma tomatoes last week.  Given the fact that both my wife and I were busy the last 2 weeks with work and lacked any canning skills we decided to do a quick and dirty trial canning of some roma tomatoes.

    We didn’t have the canning kit but did have some mason jar and new set of lids. So we par boiled the tomatoes, peeled the skin, washed the bottles in boiling water, and added a table soon of lime juice to the bottle and added the tomatoes in. Instead of doing the regular canning, we vacuum sealed it using a FoodSaver with a mason jar sealer. We sealed 3 jars in all. Kept 2 in the refrigerator and 1 outside as a test sample to see if this kind of canning works. It’s been a week and the jar outside looks good so far.


    The economics of it all

    I do know it is a hobby. But it is always good to check the return on investment. For one, it is satisfying to know that the hobby is a productive one. Two, it always comes as a good proof point when questioned by skeptics who think what you do is not gardening in any sense of the word.

    The calculations below are for the tote SIPs. The cost was about $22.40 [18 gallon Tote ($4), 2’ PVC (40c, 10’ for $2 cut into 5 pieces), EPS Foam ($2), Organic Potting Mix 2 cu ft ($ 16)]. I built 8 such boxes at a total cost of $179.20 ($22.40 x 8). I also have 3-bucket planters recycled from last year, which I have not included in this calculation. The potting mix can be recycled for up to 5 seasons and the buckets/totes, may last 2-3 seasons as they are not UV resistant plastic.

    Below is the table of harvest so far and the dollar amount based on prices listed at Wegmans for the organic produce (when available):

    Eggplant:                          9.26 lbs            $ 27.68

    Cucumbers:                      7.38 lbs            $ 10.00

    Cherry Tomatoes:              4.50 lbs            $ 15.70

    Zucchini:                         10.30 lbs            $ 20.60

    Green Peppers:                  3.15 lbs            $ 15.71

    Swiss Chards:                    2.64 lbs            $   7.36

    Total                                                        $ 97.05

    We started harvesting in the last week of June and in less than a month the results are here for everyone to see. There is cabbage, basil, pole beans, roma tomatoes all waiting to be harvested. So by the end of July I hope to break even.