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Old 04-05-2024, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Centre Wellington, ON
5,897 posts, read 6,102,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stablegenius View Post
Yeah that's the feeling I'm getting...



Interesting. Yeah I don't have a lot of room for strawberries, unless I wanted to move them to the front yard. I've thought about it. I'm just not sure it's worth the time investment for three plants. Maybe it could pay off after a few years. IDK. I like getting the strawberries, but I'm at a point where I either build a new planter with a cover or I give up and toss them.
It definitely can be profitable. Well, at least if you only count the cost of materials and not the cost your personal time (ie you view it as a hobby rather than a job/chore).

Regarding strawberries, with just a couple plants, yeah, you won't get much. But strawberries can multiply pretty quickly. At first, the number of plants increases more slowly, from 1 to 3, to 5, to 10... but then after a few years you're going from 50 to 100 to 200... Exponential growth and all that good stuff.

So maybe at some point, it does become worth it to protect the plants from rats.

Definitely with other vegetables, I think it would be profitable. In my climate, that would include tomatoes. If you pick the right varieties, you can get dozens of lbs per plant, and 6-10 plants per bed (about 4x8ft beds). Last year, my top performing variety gave me 80 lbs of ripe fruit and 25 lbs of green tomatoes (most of which turned red on the counter) from just 3 plants. That's worth what, $250-300? You can buy three plants for $4-10, a bag of composted manure for $10, three tomato cages maybe $20 (and can reuse in future years), and that's pretty much it cost wise.

The thing is, to keep the hobby exciting, you often want to try new things, which means new costs, which means it's a little less profitable than just sticking with the tried and true. This year I spent a fair bit on new fruit trees/vines/bushes (about $500), $80 on new seed varieties, $200 on more grow lights, $200 on various other supplies, and will probably spend $100+ on materials for building new raised beds and trellises/arbors.

But I also expect to make about $1000 from selling passionflower vines, and hope to make even more next year from selling pawpaw seedlings, fig trees and more passionflower vines. And should grow about $3000 of produce this season. Once the fruit trees/vines/bushes start producing full steam in a few years, my garden's production value should go up quite a bit more. A single fruit tree can produce hundreds of dollars worth of fruit per year.
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Old 04-05-2024, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Centre Wellington, ON
5,897 posts, read 6,102,230 times
Reputation: 3168
Quote:
Originally Posted by heavymind View Post
Yes indeed, this is the truth. "Labor of love" is the term here.

I started a small farm and ran it for four years. It was not a financial success as a business, but one of the best times of my life. And if I needed produce for a meal, I'd just go out and pick it. You can't beat that, but you will pay for it. It's worth it...life isn't all about money, so if you love your fresh strawberries then do what you have to do.

Threerun, I enjoy all your pictures and am not too far from your location, so the terrain and fortifications look similar to what I have. Where I am, all gardens must be surrounded by an 8 foot fence because of deer. If you can't fence it, don't grow it.
Yeah, it depends how you count it. If you're trying to make a living off the farm, then you have to consider the labour cost/cost of living, cost of the land etc. But I suspect you were still generating more revenue than the cost of materials/supplies.

If you're gardening in your backyard, then the cost of the property is already paid for, so if you're not counting your time spent as a "cost" (because you enjoy it as a hobby), then it's just the cost of materials, and you should be able to get yields higher than the cost of materials. But you definitely can spend a lot of time, the efficiencies of scale really don't apply when it comes to learning to grow dozens of different fruits and vegetables in a little backyard.
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Old 04-05-2024, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
19,758 posts, read 22,666,896 times
Reputation: 24915
There is a reason the old heirloom tomato ‘Mortgage Lifter’ got its name. A lot of old timers back in WV would grow them and sell them to payoff mortgage loans back in the D-A-Y.

We don’t sell anything. We grow and can or store what we need and a lot goes to Helena Food Share for the less fortunate.

Except strawberries, we eat all of them
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Old 04-08-2024, 12:05 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
32,647 posts, read 48,040,180 times
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It all hinges upon whether or not you enjoy gardening. If you don't find it relaxing and interesting, then buy your fruits and vegetables. They are cheap to buy, considering all that goes into their production.

Or perhaps you would find it worthwhile, not as a hobby, but as a way to get the very best food. I can buy strawberries and they range from OK to flavorless. But I grow strawberries, grow the best variety for my area and I pick them when they are fully ripe, sweet and flavorful. You can not buy berries like that because once they are ripe, they can only be kept for a day or two.

I grow my own and I eat fully ripe tomatoes, fresh picked corn, varieties of vegetables that they can't grow and sell in stores because hey won't ship or store for months. I eat ripe fruit off of my trees. Yes, it takes hours of work, and I have a bunch of money in fences and planters, and quite a few thousand in a greenhouse. I enjoy gardening. I love high quality fruits and vegetables, so it is very much worth it to me.

Perhaps those who have never tasted fully ripe fruit and vegetables can't understand why the work is worth it because they don't know how the result is so differnt from purchased
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Old 04-08-2024, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Centre Wellington, ON
5,897 posts, read 6,102,230 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
It all hinges upon whether or not you enjoy gardening. If you don't find it relaxing and interesting, then buy your fruits and vegetables. They are cheap to buy, considering all that goes into their production.

Or perhaps you would find it worthwhile, not as a hobby, but as a way to get the very best food. I can buy strawberries and they range from OK to flavorless. But I grow strawberries, grow the best variety for my area and I pick them when they are fully ripe, sweet and flavorful. You can not buy berries like that because once they are ripe, they can only be kept for a day or two.

I grow my own and I eat fully ripe tomatoes, fresh picked corn, varieties of vegetables that they can't grow and sell in stores because hey won't ship or store for months. I eat ripe fruit off of my trees. Yes, it takes hours of work, and I have a bunch of money in fences and planters, and quite a few thousand in a greenhouse. I enjoy gardening. I love high quality fruits and vegetables, so it is very much worth it to me.

Perhaps those who have never tasted fully ripe fruit and vegetables can't understand why the work is worth it because they don't know how the result is so differnt from purchased
If you go hardcore into growing your own fruits and vegetables, then yeah, you can put a substantial amount of time into growing them, and processing them. But you don't need to grow all your own onions, potatoes, lettuce, carrots, squash, etc. You don't have to grow them from seed. You don't have to grow fruits that are exotic to your climate and that require you to go through all sorts of hoops to give you good yields (like I'm doing with figs or passionfruit).

San Diego is a rather different climate and environment from mine, so I'm not intimately familiar with what grows best there, but in a nice Mediterranean climate like that, I'm sure there will be some good stuff (figs? citrus? avocadoes? maybe something a little more exotic like passionfruit, loquats, etc).

In my climate, raspberries are very low effort (just an end of season pruning), and very tasty. Chives and various perennial onions (ex Egyptian Walking Onions) are no work whatsoever, and same goes for herbs like thyme, sage, oregano. I think tomatoes are worth it too in my climate, you can skip seed starting and buy some reliable hybrid determinate varieties from the garden center, that way you don't have to worry about diseases or pruning, all you need is a large tomato cage for each plant. Little to no watering too, since my climate doesn't have hot summers and is generally pretty drought free. Our soil is pretty rich too, so you don't really need to worry about improving it or fertilizing. We'll see how my berry bushes and fruit trees will do, but I used to have red currants at my childhood home and they were no work whatsoever either. Squash (ex butternut) is pretty trouble free too, just need a mostly sunny spot and to stick some seeds in the ground in mid-late May.
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Old 04-08-2024, 04:31 PM
 
Location: Anchorage
2,043 posts, read 1,661,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
I don't think it ever actually pays to have a garden... the payoff is in the fun of it.

That's one aspect of it. The others would be freshness and that you know what happened to your food from beginning to end. I will sparingly use pesticides/herbicides on ornamentals but never on something I intend to eat.
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Old 04-09-2024, 04:57 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
83,518 posts, read 75,307,397 times
Reputation: 16619
I definitely miss my home grown strawberries but I realized it's not worth it for us. We eat a lot of them and we weren't getting enough yields to make it worth growing them. You need a decent amount of space for it to be worth it
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Old 04-15-2024, 08:36 PM
 
6,150 posts, read 4,516,808 times
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I didn't expect the two plants I got last year to overwinter, and I certainly didn't expect the one to put out shoots and re-root in 12 new places. Every plant is now thick with buds and I have to fence them before something gets them - and while I'm not sure what gets them, something gets every melon and berry I try to grow.


So my question is how to stop them from spreading beyond where I want them.
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Old 04-16-2024, 05:12 AM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
45,380 posts, read 60,575,206 times
Reputation: 60996
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYC refugee View Post
I didn't expect the two plants I got last year to overwinter, and I certainly didn't expect the one to put out shoots and re-root in 12 new places. Every plant is now thick with buds and I have to fence them before something gets them - and while I'm not sure what gets them, something gets every melon and berry I try to grow.


So my question is how to stop them from spreading beyond where I want them.
Redirect them. Pull them.
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Old 04-18-2024, 10:20 AM
 
6,150 posts, read 4,516,808 times
Reputation: 13773
https://www.yahoo.com/news/imported-...100025915.html


Pesticides: the best reason I can think of to grow your own.
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