May was a very good month.
We’d been limping along, harvesting eggs and greens, just waiting for the food-procuring season to start in earnest. And now, it has. Here’s our May caloric harvest:
90 lbs. striped bass filets @ 400 calories per pound: 36,000
8 lbs. bluefish filets @ 550 per pound: 4400
1 lb. mackerel: 900
15 lbs. collards and kale @ 200 calories per pound: 3000
18 dozen eggs @ 800: 14,400
2 c. chopped clams: 400
2 pounds arugula: 200
10 large leeks: 500
50 or so radishes and many bunches of herbs: about 100
Unless I’ve added wrong, that’s 59,900.
We’re aiming to get 20% of total calories first-hand, a goal we set because the old challenge – one first-hand food each day – wasn’t challenging enough. A little parsley on our pasta, and we were covered. I was looking for a more substantial goal, and 20% was a doubling of last year’s total of about 10% — which was a seat-of-the-pants calculation but was certainly in the right ballpark.
This month, we came in at 40%. (60K being 40% of the 150K calories we eat in a month.)
The goals we set here always seem to have a what-the-hell-let’s-give-it-a-go quality to them. While we’d like very much to meet them, they’re completely arbitrary and there’s no penalty for failure. But I will own up to a real sense of satisfaction in having put down enough striped bass to keep us eating it all year (although we gave a lot away, too), and getting our first batch of smoked bluefish in the freezer. The hoophouse is giving generously, and the chickens are doing their part.
Sure, it’s just a game, but that’s a lot of food.