Does a garden actually save you money or are you spending more on growing your own food then you would at a grocery store? Lexi DeRock answers this age old question.
Today I want to talk about growing your own food and whether it’s a worthwhile way to supplement your food budget.
Now, before I tell you about our gardening endeavours I’ll let you know up front that I have a black thumb. There is not a plant alive that I could not kill. I’ve ended cacti, ivy, and several herb gardens so if you are like me and not gifted horticulturally then the answer would most definitely be NO!
My husband, on the other hand, not only enjoys gardening or “farming” as he calls it, but he’s also a plant whisperer! I swear there is nothing he couldn’t get to grow and thrive.
Over the course of the last several months he’s planted and tended an ever growing garden and we now have an abundance of tomatoes, shallots, basil, rosemary, strawberries, chilies, chives, mint, mustard greens, and spinach with beets, pumpkins and bell peppers on the way. We also got lucky and have lovely plums and figs growing over from the neighbor’s yard so this year’s harvest is amazing.
But I want to know if our farming is saving us any money? If you figure in the seeds and soil and water is it really cost effective? The answer is, maybe.
We definitely use things from our garden pretty much every single day and I’ve yet to have to purchase most of what is growing. The start up costs weren’t too bad and my husband got a lot of the seeds from existing plants but I can’t really say it’s saving us much. The good news is, many of these plants will continue to grow and flower each year and bring more of a harvest with less investment as time goes by. So while I can’t say it’s saved us much this year, I think it may save us more and more as time goes by.
It does save money in that it’s a free form of entertainment for my husband who enjoys his time tending his plants, and there is something really wonderful about eating something you’ve grown.
My worry that we’d end up with heaps of fresh herbs and things that would go bad before we used them led me to find ways to preserve them for later in the year.
Two ways of preserving herbs that I have tried are drying herbs out and putting them into jars for winter, or freezing fresh herbs mixed with olive oil in ice cube trays. Once the herb ice cubes are frozen I store them in plastic baggies in the freezer. This means when I cook soups or sauces I can just throw a couple cubes in and have fresh herbs in the winter, which is delightful.
So, the overall verdict thus far is that while it might not be a money saver just yet, it has the potential to be over time. Plus the joy it brings my hubby and the fresh flavours it delivers to our plates is pretty great. So if you’re inclined, a veggie patch might be a nice investment in healthy eating and sustainability. Happy gardening!