Whenever someone takes produce from the Ancona garden, we estimate how many servings they harvest and record it in a log. We use the USDA definitions of servings. One egg is a serving. A cup of fresh kale is a serving. A half-cup of strawberries is a serving.

This system is less perfect than simply recording the produce by weight, which is what most urban farms do.

But it’s far better suited to the lives of our families. Most parents can’t easily picture two pounds of broccoli. But they know exactly what the equivalent, 10 servings, looks like on the plate and would be thrilled if their child ate two servings.

There also many tougher questions that we can’t answer without harvest data, questions like:

  • Is our harvest growing with each successive year?
  • What crops produce best on our campus?
  • What vegetables are most popular with students?
  • What’s the financial contribution of the garden?
  • What should we grow next year?
  • Are we have a meaningful impact on families’ diets?