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Thread: Is Vegetable Gardening Worth It?

  1. #1
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    Is Vegetable Gardening Worth It?

    My garden is producing little this year. I expect I will have spent more on seeds, plants and supplies than I get back, and to make it productive I would have to spend even more on topsoil, compost, etc. Some of this is because food prices are low right now. How about you?

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    I suspect it often doesn't even break-even economically, however the quality of the produce should be better, better tasting tomatoes etc..? And maybe that is healthier as well. So mostly there is a non dollars and cents part.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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    I figure a veggie garden is a long haul to get return on the dollar. Years of getting the ground tilled, manure added, plants, tubers, seeds, water. Not to add the rototiller and fencing. Oh wait that was my garden! 5 years ago I think I did the go all or nothing for a veggie garden. I had always grown assorted small veggie plants mixed in my flowers. I monitored the suns movement for a season. Then I started the process of preparing the soil. The Tiller was something I had always wanted so I bought one. Ordered and bought so much.

    First year ever it flooded there!!! my hard work and money floated. It has never flooded there since either.

    Dad had a garden plot for 40 years on his property, it had repaid him over and over.

    SO again long time but then I think the return is there.

  4. #4
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Our main reason for growing buckets of produce is because DH is genetically programmed to do it.He is almost OCD about it.

    Even the simplest cost analysis woild show us deep in the red. Hell, we bought two houses on one parcel for $42,000 just to get ownership of one vacant lot for gardening and to have a water source for the lot next door that I rent from the city.


    that is is lot of cucumbers to eat to make up for that money outflow.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    I suspect it often doesn't even break-even economically, however the quality of the produce should be better, better tasting tomatoes etc..? And maybe that is healthier as well. So mostly there is a non dollars and cents part.
    The non dollars and cents part is the built in exercise and zen training of gardening.

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    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Even the simplest cost analysis woild show us deep in the red. Hell, we bought two houses on one parcel for $42,000 just to get ownership of one vacant lot for gardening...
    I have a friend who did that. On Telegraph Hill in San Francisco. His neighbors couldn't believe a mansion wasn't getting built there, when they saw him every day growing his veggies.

    I think it would have been cheaper for him to buy a Whole Foods store.

  7. #7
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    The non dollars and cents part is the built in exercise and zen training of gardening.
    Absolutely. Every time DH complains that we're not going to net anything, and in fact our tomatoes are going to be VERY expensive at the end of the day, I tell him to think of gardening as a hobby. Treating it it like a way to relax and be zen--to use your apt word, IL--and also as a fun way to experiment takes your mind off the ROI.. like that old MasterCard commercial: One pound of tomatoes: $3.99. Eating a tomato salad in a restaurant: $8.00. Growing your own tomatoes: Priceless.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    Gardening for me is cheap therapy. In the summer we work to eat almost exclusively what we grow. That said, this year is the worst year I have ever had and we would be starving............

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    I think I can get the therapy from working with my ornamental perennials for free. I may change my mind by next spring though.

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    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    IL: I really like your DH although I've never even met him

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