Butternut squash, only $29.95/lb!

carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)August 16, 2010

I just made up that price. It's possible that my homegrown squash cost more, but I really don't want to know. The tomatoes, however, are worth a high price. Much better than the farm stands' tomatoes because I let mine totally ripen on the vine. Basil, kale, mesclun lettuce, zucchini, nasturtiums for salads, all are worth the labor and expense. All are organic and really fresh. Do you agree that it's worth the extra cost, to grow your own?

What vegs. have you grown this summer, and what do you calculate the cost is?


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I have gotten 1 jalapeno off of 4 plants. Without another blossom in sight. So I figure that jalapeno cost me $11.80 - not including labor!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 6:46PM
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Around about now I'm starting to wonder if I've spent too much time in the garden and not enough time playing but DH told me I really do like it and he certainly likes the zucchini chocolate chip cookies I make and wouldn't make if I didn't have access to so much zucchini. I have a collection of folders now containing recipes from the internet because when something has been abundant, I've wanted different ways to cook it. We definitely have a more varied, interesting menu.

Some of the vegetables aren't even available at supermarkets. I'm growing choy sum which I can only get at an Asian market an hour's drive away. Our favorite winter squash is Confection, maybe someone at a farmers market sells it. Love the taste, love its lengthy storage. The tomatoes are just starting to ripen and each plant is a different variety. The heirloom peppers aren't doing as well as last year but, again, the varieties aren't available at the store.

I don't want to think about how much this has cost. But, our DIL who lives in our old house and didn't want any of my perennials decided to start a tiny vegetable garden this year and she started canning some terrific zucchini relish. She has ideas for a bigger garden next year. Our little granddaughters love going out to the garden. The 4yo is a fussy eater but last year discovered she loved the peas inside of sugar snap peas that had gotten a little big. The 6yo said orange cherry tomatoes are her favorite but is willing to settle for red until the others come in. I need to plant some blueberry bushes but I picked 10 pints at the PYO place and the girls were delighted to take some home with them. I love seeing them enjoy Good food.

I feel a sense of accomplishment when I look at the garden and see it looking pretty good. The birds love sitting on the pea fences. Priceless.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 9:22AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Defrost, you make a great point. I think if you are trying to garden, you do spend money on lots of things. Shrubs, fertilizer, mulch, seeds. I want perennials, a place for annuals, a shrub border and trees in the yard and vegetables is just another aspect of the garden. I can't see that I spend any more money on growing vegetables than any other part of the yard, plus I get the added benefit of maybe being able to eat some of it. As a matter of fact, it has to be less money than other types of gardening.

If you have children, grandchildren, than you are giving them a great experience, healthy food and a good example.

I don't have the sun to have the vegetable garden I would love to have. I do the best I can with what I have and we usually have success with something every year. This year, it's peppers, cherry tomatoes and basil. I think I bought a few plants and I started some seeds. Have a bottle of fish emulsion, buy some cover crop seed and mulch with leaves, so my costs are pretty low at this point.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 10:55AM
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asarum(z6 Boston)

I have grown onions, broccoli, 4 types of cukes, string beans and Chinese noodle beans, potatoes and a variety of tomatoes, summer squash, various greens, summer squash and it is possible I too will have a small winter squash. Cost unknown.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 12:19PM
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sedum37(Z5 MA)

I am growing 8 tomato plants this year as I've done in most years. This year we are having a very good harvest! I attribute it to the fact that I changed the soil mix to contain Worm Castings. So to calculate my costs $17 bag for the castings, seeds were free since reused last years. Fertilizer, soil mix hard to calculate since I use it for many things and buy these in bulk.

Herbs are one of the best buys. I grow Rosemary (kept inside in winter), sage, chives, oregano (overwinter in their pots), buy 2 basil plants and a thyme plant (~$3.50 each), lemongrass (~11), dill (reseeds). I use the herbs from May to October and some years longer. So if you want the most bang for your buck grow herbs. They are easy in pots for me. So compared to buying for $3 at the grocery store they are a bargain.

Has anyone read that book $64 Tomato book? (See link below)

Here is a link that might be useful: $64 Tomato book

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 1:29PM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

I had forgotten that terrific book, the $ 64 Tomato! Think I'll go to the library and get it and re-read it.

In my own cookbook library (all of 2 shelves) I have a great resource book: "Too Many Tomatoes". Full of what to do with those zucchini etc., many ways to cook them. They don't quite get to recommending putting them in the compost heap, though. Almost.

Pixie Lou, my sympathy for your expensive jalapeno. Too bad we can't grow 20-dollar bills, eh? Or, with this economy, maybe I should get a seed packet for growing 50's.



    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 4:53PM
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sunshineboy(Z5 MA)

The 64 dollar tomato was what I thought about when i read this thread.

I spend about 40 dollars a year on some starter plants and seeds and have a 25x30 foot garden that gives us salads, beans, broccoli, several squash varieties, peas, onions, garlic, herbs, sweet potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, corn, Swiss chard, potatoes, etc.

I also have other sections of the yard for asparagus beds, pumpkins, and gourds. The asparagus plants I spent $25 on about 4 or 5 years ago and I must get a bunch or two a day for 2 months of the year. The pumpkins and gourds are grown by busting old ones and covering with composted manure.

I use composted chicken manure from my chickens for free fertilizer. And it does a wonder for the garden.

I did have to spend $50 to fence the chickens out of the veggie garden.

I think we definitely save money each summer in food costs. I harvest pounds of veggies each day is time of year. But, like defrost said, for me the true benefit is watching my kids plant, harvest, cook, and eat something healthy and not processed. My 3 1/2 year old eats broccoli and peas in the yard. And both my kids help me bake and eat zucchini bread and a variety of quiches.

I live for the veggie garden in the summer.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 6:25PM
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Ha! I remember the year I convinced my husband to put a water spigot out by the tomato garden.... I was tired of dragging hoses and getting bitten at night by the mosquitos. We got about 20 tomatos that year and I figure they were about $300 each! hahaha Then the next year, I moved the tomato garden to the other side of the yard (more sun) and there sits the spigot..... unused. (sigh) I feel your pain, but think of the new gardening fooles we will have created by watching what we do!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 8:25PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

sunshineboy, do you ever post photos of your garden? I would love to see it. It sounds great! The garden really does have a pull, even in the winter. Spring can never come fast enough. Do you have a large property? How much asparagus do you have to have to cut some every day for 2 months? I just put a small asparagus patch in with seedlings rather than the usual roots and next year will be year 3. I haven't harvested from it yet. I already decided it might be too small.

debra, that spigot needs a new garden right next to it. [g]

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 7:09AM
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LOL, I did love the $64 Tomato. He spent a lot of money on a landscape designer for his garden, if I remember correctly. I thought that was a bit odd, but I guess he could afford it since his wife was a doctor. (Note to self: next time, marry a doctor, not a social worker, so you can have a more well designed garden.)

I used to have a big veggie garden, but after a few years I got tired of coming home from work and seeing all the cukes, beans, peas, lettuce demanding to be picked before they got too old and tough to be good. I decided that flowers wouldn't do that. Flowers just sit there, being beautiful, even if they're at their prime and could benefit from deadheading.

So, I spend a fortune on local produce at the farmers market every week, which is cash I would not be able to justify spending on flowers. I guess it all works out.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 2:00PM
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