In January, we celebrated an important milestone when our yield tracker reached 10,000 pounds of food. Now, we would like to celebrate another milestone: our internal estimates suggest that our gardens have saved over one million gallons of water over the past three years.
For context, one million gallons of water is how much would be used to take 40,000 showers or run 100,000 loads of dishes. That’s a tremendous quantity of water, which is both something for our members to be proud of, but also a sign of just how much water is used to irrigate most Southern California landscapes.
After I finished working in some of our gardens last week, I went into our office to update our blog. I worked for about a half hour before I realized that a visitor had joined our staff in the office for the afternoon. Although I'm normally pretty brutal about killing cabbage loopers, I decided that this particular caterpillar had a difficult enough journey, so I released him into a yard nearby.
As part of her “Let’s Move” campaign, First Lady Michelle Obama has set a goal of 10,000 new food-related projects nationwide, and the IKAR garden will be counted towards that total. The USDA’s website has a map of the different projects that have been registered throughout the United States. The IKAR garden isn’t on their map yet, but it should be up added soon.
You can read more about USDA’s garden initiative program here.
What’s a Farmscape worth? For cars, you can look up their Kelly Blue Book value; for houses, you can have an assessor visit; even baseball cards have a Beckett value. But there's no third party evaluator for a Farmscape.
With this void in mind, I decided to take a crack at determining a formula based on my conversations with members, survey results, and anecdotes collected from garden managers. Here’s what I came up with:
Value = FV + P + C + L + E + F + S
For each member the weighting of those variables is different but it is usually based on some combination of the following factors: