Yes, I am a geek, and I spreadsheet everything. I am aware of my geekness. This past gardening season, I weighed things as they came in the kitchen from my garden. I also weighed things as I picked from others’ gardens. I eyeballed prices at the market where comparable produce may be found. I ended up with an approximation of the monetary value of what I grow and pick. Roughly $2200 last year. Pretty good value. This, of course does not include any time spent – I get that. It also does not account for the uber-food-geek joy of having the ultimate of freshness in my control. Market produce, in relative terms, is ancient compared to eating straight from the garden. If you want fresh, gardening’s the only way to go. If you’re a cheap ass like me, gardenings the only way to go. Will I track my produce like this again? Yes, cause I’m a geek. It’s what I do.
Cheryl – comparing supermarket prices to farmer's market prices would be an exposé unto itself!
Ferdzy – I'm actually pretty good about seeds, this year it'll be under the $100 mark. But that's only because of exertion of self discipline…I'm drooling over catalogs myself.
If you are drooling over seeds I had better bring a favourite purveyor of mine to your attention. Richters.com I have had extensive experience both in person (well worth a field trip if you ever go to TO) and by mailorder. Judge for yourself they are the REAL deal. Happy gardening
I used to do this, too – years ago, when I had a real garden plot. And that was for several years. A lot of work, and a lot of joy – and what a huge savings… as well as an investment in good health. I do miss not having a plot, but will not travel to one when I am teaching full time. My busiest time of the year is when the garden needs me, and that will not work right now. I love that you do this. I actually find now, with my fertilizers, seeds, grow-op apparatus, soil care (compost and mulch) with the other garden supplies (tomato set, etc.) that my little plot costs more money than what buying it in a store would cost. But, you cannot buy in a store the quality I grow.
H – I’ve ordered from Richters. My fav find from them is the purslane I grow. Yum.
Valerie – I need to write more about my gardening, as it’s…unconventional. I don’t so much have a plot, as much as I’m in the awkward-in-between-phase of converting the vast majority of our small city lot into edible food production of some kind. I’ve found I can keep my costs down to the cost of seed – and even that I’m starting to minimize as I’ve starting seed-saving. I’ve likely said it before: if you value fresh, in theory and in practice nothing beats garden produce.