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Old 10-31-2014, 10:05 PM
 
Location: CA.
185 posts, read 183,475 times
Reputation: 92

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So true.
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Old 10-31-2014, 10:07 PM
 
Location: CA.
185 posts, read 183,475 times
Reputation: 92
Pitt chick,
Me too! Gardening is a process in learning and outwitting the bugs, critters and weather. Nothing is better than the rewards from our hard work!
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Old 10-31-2014, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
31,275 posts, read 57,507,744 times
Reputation: 52176
Quote:
Originally Posted by bentobox34 View Post
Anyone on here actually getting enough food from their garden to make a visible, net positive dent in your food budget?
I would think the answer to this is painfully obvious ... It's stuff you don't have to buy, right?

For every 50 cent tomato vine I plant, I get three or four dozen tomatoes that I don't have to purchase from a farm market or grocery store, or purchase canned from the grocery store in the off season. With large, homegrown tomatoes often selling for 50 cents to a dollar apiece ... You do the math. Multiply that by the 12-18 tomato plants I grow each year, along with hot and sweet peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, herbs, eggplant and broccoli.

Of course, you add in the annual expense of fertilizer, which isn't much - I don't spend more than $10 a year on garden fertilizer for the vegetables, preferring instead to use compost and other natural (and free) enhancements. Water is an occasional expense in a dry year. Considering that my tools, tomato cages, stakes etc. are all more than 20-30 years old, and that those items are used for numerous other chores in the yard, the expense there is negligible.

I also can; the initial investment was minimal because I received a lot of used equipment from family and friends, or purchased used equipment. Canning a quart of whole tomatoes is much cheaper than purchasing one; also, I'm in control of the ingredients and the fertilizers used on the produce.

Last edited by Ohiogirl81; 10-31-2014 at 11:04 PM..
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Old 11-01-2014, 02:19 AM
 
Location: CA.
185 posts, read 183,475 times
Reputation: 92
Ohiogirl,

When UR have the energy that's great. U sound like a great gardener! Now I'm down sizing arthritis has put a halt on my green thumb.

Many blessings from UR garden and green thumb. Hope next year and many years to come will be always bountiful.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
6,943 posts, read 7,696,720 times
Reputation: 17866
It can be very profitable if you have a year-round system.

I admit start-up costs can be high. But once you get the system running, it can pay for itself. The system involves food preservation as well as growing, so that you extend the produce to year-round, instead of just summer. We do this with canning (have for years), freezing (ditto) and next year, a root cellar. We start our own seeds indoors, and have 2 hoophouses. We have already planted greens and baby carrots for this winter in the hoophouses.

When you factor in the cost of items like tomato sauce ($3+ per jar) and fresh greens and fruits for the year, it sure does pay! This year I bought sacks of potatoes and onions from our local farmer's market. Next year, I hope to grow our own. I'll also be adding some more fruit trees every year.

And the taste of your own freshly grown? Priceless!
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Old 11-01-2014, 09:05 AM
 
3,520 posts, read 4,381,664 times
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It makes sense that the up front costs can be high, but I would think that after a while, it would help your food budget.

When I went to France to visit family, every single household that I saw, had a garden. Lunch and dinner always included a variety of food from that garden. The only things that were purchased were meats, breads, desserts, and wine. My family cans too. There is great soil there. No one had raised beds. And the vegetable gardens were every bit as lovely as flower gardens.

I want to garden to help my food budget and to be more self sufficient. If I can't save money too, I'll be very disappointed. I guess it matters how much of your diet is fresh vegetables.
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:31 AM
 
Location: I am right here.
4,865 posts, read 3,742,054 times
Reputation: 15282
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
I would think the answer to this is painfully obvious ... It's stuff you don't have to buy, right?

For every 50 cent tomato vine I plant, I get three or four dozen tomatoes that I don't have to purchase from a farm market or grocery store, or purchase canned from the grocery store in the off season. With large, homegrown tomatoes often selling for 50 cents to a dollar apiece ... You do the math. Multiply that by the 12-18 tomato plants I grow each year, along with hot and sweet peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, herbs, eggplant and broccoli.

Of course, you add in the annual expense of fertilizer, which isn't much - I don't spend more than $10 a year on garden fertilizer for the vegetables, preferring instead to use compost and other natural (and free) enhancements. Water is an occasional expense in a dry year. Considering that my tools, tomato cages, stakes etc. are all more than 20-30 years old, and that those items are used for numerous other chores in the yard, the expense there is negligible.

I also can; the initial investment was minimal because I received a lot of used equipment from family and friends, or purchased used equipment. Canning a quart of whole tomatoes is much cheaper than purchasing one; also, I'm in control of the ingredients and the fertilizers used on the produce.
I canned when my kids were younger and I cooked a lot. Now that they are mostly gone, I only can jams and jellies they can take to college with them. A few pickles. I have a small canning system I can keep in my kitchen cupboards.

My biggest issue was I had stored the majority of my canning supplies (jars, big canners, jar racks) in a storage garage, and mice got in there a few winters ago and made themselves a very cozy home. I discovered wee little mouse poops in the canners, on the jars, etc. They had shredded the paper I had layered between the jars and made little cozy homes. I just could not ever see myself washing those jars and eating anything out of those jars, knowing full well mice had peed and pood on those. So I recycled dozens of glass jars. So they are no more.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:08 AM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,474 posts, read 13,454,562 times
Reputation: 6404
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
My friends and neighbors who garden don't do so to save money. Every single one of them would say that store-bought is cheaper.
Ditto Growing food is expensive.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
5,502 posts, read 6,454,390 times
Reputation: 9444
The first year I tried growing my own (in a different area) I spent little and had an abundance of veggies.

After moving to where I am now (with much more land) I spent a considerable amount of money trying to get a garden to grow. For three years I amended poor soil (mostly clay, used a pick-axe to wrest a garden plot by hand from the overgrown field), fertilized, planted, fought bugs and blight...and lost those battles. I gave up for a year. Last year I spent less, planted seeds, applied a bit of fertilizer and some organic sprays...and got a nice crop of onions that lasted well into the winter, and a bumper crop of corn- more than we could eat, so we sold some of it.

This year, we spent almost nothing, except for some seedlings. Then, we did almost nothing- no fertilizer, no spraying, weeds ran rampant so that it was hard to tell what was 'food' and what wasn't, and just where the 'food' was hiding. We got a boatload of tomatoes, far more plants than we planted (volunteers from last year). We got leeks, scallions and eggplant (the leeks even survived several frosts, which surprised me). We even got a nice crop of sugarpie pumpkins, which we *didn't* plant, and no pumpkins had been planted there for several years. So, all in all, this year's garden was quite cost-effective.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:19 PM
 
3,339 posts, read 7,211,883 times
Reputation: 4222
Growing edibles doesn't really save us enough to notice, but there is a convenience factor. For some reason, bell peppers cost a small fortune in KC, and for pasta sauces, chili and a few other things, I always have garden-grown peppers in the freezer. Convenience is important. The same goes for basil and parsley, which aren't always on the shopping list. I have enough basil and parsey frozen to last until mid-summer next year.

And as for japapenos -- I have enough to make chili paste to last us into 2016. Wow, adding homemade compost to the container peppers really paid off in huge yields this year!

I do have a friend, though, who relies heavily on her garden to cut her food budget. She grows a big variety of the things she enjoys the most. OMG, the eggplants she harvested this year! She loves them, apparently. She also does a lot of canning, so over this winter and into early summer, she will be making a lot of free meatless meals and eating a ton of canned apples and pears.
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