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All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

Posted by digit ID/WA (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 31, 09 at 18:40

That's of highest concern in 2009, right, -- will something or other enhance the bottom line? How will gardening this year do that for you?

It doesn't have to be related in income or savings or expressed in $'s and 's but just don't give me that line that gardening is a losing proposition. Gardening is a gainful activity (. . . it says here, somewhere.
digitS ;o)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

digitS,
I think it enhances the bottom line in many ways. First, I eat lots more veggies. Good for the health. I don't have to buy said veggies, good for the wallet. I get some exercise and don't pay a gym. Good for both health and wallet. I'm going to keep better track of the money part this year, but I really do think it's a savings. It's definitely my hobby of choice these days, and it costs very little. Since I don't have a job right now, that's a good thing too...


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

Hi, Digit! Haven't seen you around much lately. I was just thinking about you today, and hoping things were okay.

Hmmmm .... even though I have receipts for everything I've bought, I really have no intention of actually adding them up. I mainly keep them so I'll know which seeds came from where, in case there is a germination issue. The garden does supply a good percentage of our veggies in the summer months, plus using some for canning pickles, salsa, etc., but gardening is my form of recreation, so I don't care to put a price on it. If I were to keep track of how much DH spent on dirtbikes, parts, gear, track memberships, etc. for him and the boys, it would come to way more than my gardening hobby, so I'm not worried about it. Now if I were a market gardener, like you and David, I would certainly examine those numbers, to see if I was making a profit.

The biggest factor in having a veggie garden for me is that the kids eat way more of the homegrown ones, than they will the storebought stuff, and that is worth whatever the price to me.

Bonnie


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

Dang it Digit, thanks for the encouragement!! I was hoping it was a losing proposition. Shooting for about 20# by sunner! I thought with all the digging and tilling and building I could do it, but you just burst my bubble.

With the garden, we eat way more veggies, since I insist that we grew it, we meed to eat it. I put up 20 quarts of spagetti sauce last weekend from tomatoes that I froze over the summer. If it was extra, it went into the bag. Cherokee Purple really did not do so well, but the Early Girl, Super Sioux and some of the other reds held up to freezing much better than I expected. Anyway, if you do the math, it took my time, but I was not really doing anything else anyway so I am not counting it. Then it took jar lids, which I already had, lemon juice, spices and propane to heat. In all I figured it probably cost me about $5 per batch of 7 jars vs the $4.50 I would have paid per jar! Not too bad.

I want to add fruit trees and a berry patch this year which will cost me now, but hopefully will produce the berries and fruit we spend a lot of money on in the near future. A friend of mine said she just bought cherries for, did I hear her right?, $8 a pound!!! OMG, this is nuts!! A pie cherry tree was added to my list of must haves. I love cherries on and in everything. Apricot, Peach, Cherry, Plums, Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries.

You know I was reading one of the garden catalogs (don't remember who's) and it said for the cost of one pound of fruit, you can buy the tree, bushes, etc to grow your own. If you don't believe that statement, refer to the previous paragraph!!!

And DH cannot complain about my habit either. He spends way more on cigerettes a month then I do on my garden, maybe...

Billie


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

It enhances my bottom line and my back muscles. Good for the arms, too!

We don't grow enough to $ave on buying veggies and we certainly don't grow enough to make any $ by selling, but it sure is fun!

Billie, I saw cherries for $9 lb once!! I think I remember them being Raniers, but really!

My mom did tease us about our 2007 tomatoes. She called them my $1000 tomatoes because she was figuring in water, time and energy.

J


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

Oooooo, we gotta get that hubby off the cigs, Billie . . . now how can we do that?

GlaxoSmithKline & AstraZeneca are both cutting thousands of jobs. How can this be? I thought the whole idea of being an American was to beat heck out of ourselves with either work and drugs or just the drugs. It would be wonderful if that was to become "so last century."

Healthful benefits - yeah! Could we possibly overstate that?? I usually gain and lose 15 pounds from Summer to Winter, and back again. Then I started losing 10 pounds but still gaining 15. Funny how about 4 years of doing that smacked an extra 20 pounds on my BOD!!

Last Summer, I managed to lose the required 15 pounds but I saw on the scales yesterday that 13 of them have come back . . . :-( Whoaaa!)

I WANT A BOX OF VEGGIES!!

Selling produce in the Summer? I was just reading about CSA's. Not quite willing to go that route but here's a Honolulu Weekly story linked below on some CSA start-ups at the Farmers Market in Hawaii Kai, Oahu. Ed Otsuji makes me think that, "Hey, I could do it THAT way!!" (And, if you click on his blog link at the end of the story, you'll see MY stir-fry recipe . . . okay, it isn't exactly like mine. What's black rice vinegar, anyway? digitS :o)

Here is a link that might be useful: Farm to Table


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

Steve, you might kick around the idea of CSA's - several of the small-scale market vendors have 3 or 4 CSA clients, not gobs of them. What actually happens is that after the Wed and Thurs. farmers market, if they have a whole lot of, say, swiss chard and beets left over, off they go to the CSA people - as well as the few potatoes / onions which fill up a box. For an extra $350 a head - doesn't hurt. Sort of a 'partial' CSA - I'll give you a box full of seasonal stuff every week - maybe 3 or 4 items, not 15.

OTOH, we know one farm that went that route for maybe 50 people, and thats a whole lot of time spent doing that.

For me, the best part of this is not only saving money, but eating really well. Right now, I'm snorking on some dried tomato 'tapenade' - a ziplock full of dried beef steak tomatoes moistened with white wine vinegar, hand full of olives, bit of garlic, all whirred up in a food processor and spread on toast.

Peach pie for dinner.

Those 15 extra winter-time lbs. Sigh. This year, I made it all the way through Dec with only 5 additional. and then, January.........


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

Wouldn't let me post yesterday? I don't think I save any money when I buy new seeds to try, fertilizers, tree sprays. It is good exercise and we have much better tasting food for several months of the year plus what is in the cupboard and freezer. But the biggest benefit I think is giving me something to look forward to when it is really cold and nasty outside I can plan for the upcoming year. It would be much harder to get through winter with nothing to look forward to in the Spring! We finished pruning fruit trees today! He does the ladder part and I do the picking up part.I think that is the earliest we have ever finished. Usually it rains, snows, blows when we are about half through and then it gets too late to get a good job done. Of course I was pushing him to get done as I am leaving next week for Durango for 3 weeks to help 2 of my brothers who are having health problems.


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

While visiting a friend in Vermont when I was home this summer, her vegetable delivery arrived. I think she called it a farm share. I don't know if that's the same as a CSA. She said they just get a mix of fruit or berries and veggies every week. Of course, she said there always seemed to be ONE thing she didn't even know what it was (that week it was fennel, I had no idea either until I saw some at a grocery store a couple days later).

I haven't had a cigarette since mid-August and have 10 or 15 pounds extra now. I'm trying to (make that I'm determined to) get rid of at least 5 maybe 10 of those pounds. I even went out and bought a scale (I only know rough numbers b/c I used the scale at my friend's house on the occasions I happened to be there). I've even learned to walk PAST the Ben & Jerry's at the store, I don't want to know if it's on sale... I don't mind a few of the pounds, all I want is for my pants to fit right again. On the nice days, I've been out walking the dogs (they need to lose weight too). I do miss all those veggies from summer though.

Hey Billie, I have half a box of nicotine gum left over if DH was inclined to try it... :-)


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

I am currently garden trialing some low-cost ideas for folks to grow extra veggies in their typical suburban yard. Why? I'm counting on semi-retiring in 10 years and then consulting to homeowners wanting to cut down on their grocery bills/driving to the store by growing a few vegetables at home. Peak Oil and all that. By then, fertilizer and gasoline should be at such a price to make this scenario likely, and I'll have fun showing people fun tricks and I'll make a buck or two while I'm at it. ;o)

Dan


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

greenbean - thanks for the offer, I will ask him again, but so far he has refused to try it. He needs to break those specific cigs: first thing in the morning, right after dinner, etc then he will be making progress. He just cannot seem to get to that point. I quit seven years ago, so I do know how hard it is, but I also know what tricks worked for me. New ideas sure are welcome though. Anything I can get him to try is worth it. The big problem is that he is so stuck in his ways, but he says he wants to quit. I'm confused.

Billie


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

Hi,

I have a money savings for you. I took my leftover lettuce seed, potted it up in leftover 3" pots using free compost and started growing my own indoor winter lettuce in December. It grows slower and stays smaller than if it were outside but we are eating home grown lettuce instead of the $2 a head stuff from the store this winter.

How's that for a cost saver for you? Every little bit helps.

Nancy


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

I gotta try over-wintering spinach, sometime!!

Yeah, smoking ain't cutting it as a cost savings (even if Ben & Jerry's makes more sales ;o). And, I didnt enjoy having my MD tell me that my lungs still show the results of 20 years of smoking.

How 'bout this telling him this, Billie: In the jungle, nothing is predictable, for long.

d'S'


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

I was poking around in the garden today and would you believe I found live spinach under a layer of hay? It even had a few baby leaves! I had planted some in the fall (kind of late though) and I couldn't bear to pull it, so I put some stones around the area so I would know I left something there and plunked some hay on top. I left some carrots under there too but I haven't checked them lately.


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

Greenbean08. when march rolls around, give your spinach plant a shot of nitrogen fertilizer - (eg a slug of household ammonia in a bucket of water and pour it all around) and watch it take off.


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

How about I take this off on an eclectic tangent! Yes, its great that I save some money by growing my own food, but the real Enhanced Bottom Line for me is the joy I get out doing all the dirty, hot, sweaty work! The connection with "the soil!" The peace of being one with Nature! The miracle of putting a tiny seed into soil and seeing it grow into a wonderful plant! The beauty in not only the flowers, but the plants themselves! The escape from the "everyday world!"

As the American Express commercial says: Priceless!

Skybird


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

Would it be dragging it back to the mundane to also note the environment created our gardening. We are greatly modifying the landscape, sometimes to delightful effect.

d'S'


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

Bottom line: gardening is good for the soul. And the stress.

Dan


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

Gardening is good for the stress, Dan?

I may have to agree with that . . . Nothing motivates me like the requirements of living things. Time to till, time to plant, time to water, time to weed, time to harvest . . .

If there was just me in the world - i'd be a vegetable on a slow drip.

S'


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

I have to chime in on the stress reduction. My garden is one of the only things in my life that doesn't ring, bing, shout, demand, grab... When I don't water it, it just dies QUIETLY!!! And it is also one of the few things that I nurture and it gives back freely. My dogs fall into this category but the family doesn't too often! :)

Getting back into the standard straight topic, I also tried spinach under lights in the basement along with the lettuce. The spinach bolted almost immediately. I am thinking it was too hot. Some mild winters I do get spinach to overwinter but it is generally too small to eat. Of course, I never thought about fertilizing it. And since it was green, it was a major deer magnet.

Nancy


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

"A time to plant, a time to reap....."

If you ever become a vegetable on a slow drip, I'll come visit you in the hospital, Digit!

;-)
Skybird

P.S. Digit: "We are greatly modifying the landscape, sometimes to delightful effect." What's so mundane about that!

Here is a link that might be useful: Turn! Turn! Turn!


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

I won't be able to buy new seeds or seed potatoes this year because of financial woes. I have plenty from the last year or two, though, so I will plant. So I'll spend very little, if any, money this year, but I still plan on harvesting zucchini, tomatoes, peapods, and hopefully broccoli, carrots, and lettuce. I'll eat well at a bargain price.

And I still have a freezer full of peaches from last year's harvest. Healthful food, and I don't have to sell blood to buy it. ;-)

Cautionary tale: After 65 years of smoking, it took lung cancer to get my stepfather to finally quit.


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RE: All this Gardening will Enhance the Bottom Line

Oh, the deer do love a fresh, spinach salad in the early spring. I have to cover them up with chicken mesh.

I've always wondered how people 'won't' garden. I mean, even if you live in the worst imaginable setting, like a studio apartment on the 5th floor down town somewhere, surely an African Violet (or 6) in pots under the lights?


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