Finny recommends buying a good kitchen scale to see just exactly what you are getting out of your garden vs. the money you put in.

Kitchen scale

Of course this system doesn’t equate time spent tilling, weeding, watering and even praying bees have an orgy in your garden — but hey. It does give you some solid numbers on what you are “producing.”

Kitchen scale

The girl has figured this stuff out to a science. Why not add one more fun kitchen tool to the mix? I’ll give my end of summer numbers when the first frost hits. Otherwise, I’m on the hunt for some Fall seeds before it gets too cold. I’m thinking onions, cabbage, broccoli, beets, carrots and maybe even some rhubarb. I’m definitely learning a ton this year on how gardens work in Colorado — and how they don’t. I’m excited to have a greenhouse to put to use this winter. We’ll see if my winter crops make it to the new scale.

Kitchen scale

In the meantime, there is a dentist office in town with a giant crab apple tree over flowing. I’ve become a wee bit obsessed with harvesting free fruit and putting it to use. I made the French apple cake out of the September/October 2012 Cooks Illustrated this weekend, and topped it with stewed brandied apples.

French Apple Cake

It was fantastic. I can’t wait to make it again. (Although I had a really hard time getting it out of the pan, so it doesn’t look as pretty as it tasted. Don’t you hate it when that happens?) I think I’ll add some of those peach preserves next time.

A win for local eating, and my belly.