This time of year, a small notebook gains a place of prominence in my kitchen.
The year I married, I chose a ruled journal for our garden and preserving record keeping. Each year since then, I've drawn an outline of our garden and noted what we planted where. I also listed each kind of vegetable and fruit and how much we preserved.
It has been an invaluable record to look back and see what we've planted so that we can rotate plants in our garden. My memory just can't remember where I planted the tomatoes two years ago.
For preserving, I count up how much I have left at the end of the year (if any) and figure out my target number for this year.
In those first years, I did well at recording the varieties planted, the dates of harvest, and the weather conditions that year.
In the past years, I have not done as well at recording the details, but even limited information is helpful.
I usually keep a paper tacked to my fridge through out the summer. I can make quick notes on the paper without getting out the notebook.
For example, I picked strawberries for several weeks. We didn't have a plentiful crop this year but whenever I had an extra quart or two, I would put them in the freezer and mark the amount on the paper on the fridge. At the end of the season, I was surprised at the amount I had amassed, a little at a time. I then recorded this number in the notebook.
This garden notebook has been simple enough to work for me. I'd love to hear what works for you.