As I said a while ago, my New Year's resolution is to find out if I do indeed save money on my vegetable garden, or if I have the $64 tomato. I think I spend about $300/year and get about the same amount out of my garden. If true, my garden would be a really inexpensive hobby. Even if I do lose some money it would still be a pretty inexpensive hobby. Maybe I save money.
The first thing I have to do is define what my garden is. My garden is the fenced vegetable garden and surrounding perennial beds. It also includes the fruit garden on the other side of the yard. I'm not including the whole yard. I hate the lawn. I'm not including it. It is not my vegetable garden. My foundation plantings aren't included either. Though to be fair, I've basically planted that and have ignored it since. The only addition is a layer of mulch every couple of years. It doesn't get watered. It doesn't get fed (except the mulch). The plants mostly thrive. It really doesn't need me except to weed on occasion.
On the cost side of the equation I have tools. Many of them were hand me downs from my husband's grandmother. Some I bought myself. This year I bought myself a small hand tool that was recommended. I'll find out if I like it or not. My husband gave me a birthday gift this year of a garden fork. I don't spend much. I figure whatever I spend in tools this year, it will probably be about average, so I'm not amortizing the cost of my tools.
However the cost of the garden fence seems a reasonable thing to amortize. It cost about $1200 at the time it was put up. This was 17 years ago and would probably cost a lot more now, but if I spread the cost over 20 years it comes out to be $60 a year. So that is getting added into my costs. In addition I've bought a few things this year to start out. Here is the list:
I'm keeping the records in excel (so I don't have to add) and my list is more detailed to tell me what I really spent it on. The Fedco order is small because I got $100 from my MIL and that is what I spent it on, or to be exact I spent 104.18. I've debated with myself if I should add the gifts in, but decided not to. If I wasn't having this as a hobby, it would get spent on another hobby. But isn't it nice to have a birthday at the beginning of the year, right at seed catalog time?
The incoming into my garden is the poundage of my vegetables times the cost per pound (sorry all those that use the metric system, I like it much better myself, but currently it is in use in the US). The chart below will give the totals. This is also just copied from Excel. I'll keep this and my other one updated, along with a little sidebar tally at least every month, but hopefully once the season starts I'll update it every Monday along with The Veggie Patch Re-imagined. She does a Monday harvest meme, which is great for those of us who eat from our gardens. (And as a side note to her, she ought to look into Mr. Linky when the harvest season starts. I've loved it when participating. Just add my own link to the post. It is really easy to visit all the people who join. The best part is, very little work on your part. We do all the link adding. Of course I've never used it. I'm just assuming it is easy to add :/)
Before I give you the long veggie chart (and you leave due to boredom), I could use some advice. I've found some prices of organic veggies that you can order on the web. I know things are seasonal, and I'll probably change things once they get in season here and I know the real local price, but I'm having some issues.
Flowers are my biggest problem. Flowers are not sold by the pound. They tend to be sold by the bunch or stalk. Oh yes, I am going to give myself credit for the cut flowers from my garden. How in the world am I going to do this? I didn't add them to my sidebar tally since it is based on poundage (though the price will be reflected in the total monetary value). Anyone have any clues? I don't usually buy cut flowers from the store except tulips in spring when I'm dying for things to start growing in the garden.
The herbs, bunching onions, and lettuce ought to be easy once I know how much a bunch weighs. I can do this at the store. I can just imagine what the market will think when I take a pad of paper in hand and start weighing all their herb bunches. I wonder if people will stare or just pretend to ignore me.
Other things are harder. No one sells strawberry spinach or typhon Holland greens. I'll just have to pretend they are some other vegetable when determining the price. I'll probably do this based on use.
Well onto my veggie list. Dang I forgot the oregano and who knows what else. I guess it won't be complete until the end of 2009.
|Alliums, Garlic, German Extra Hardy||0||$6.59|
|Alliums, Garlic, Georgian Crystal||0||$6.59|
|Alliums, Garlic, Unknown Softneck||0||$6.59|
|Alliums, Garlic, Bogatyr||0||$6.59|
|Alliums, Leeks, Lincoln||0||$2.99|
|Beans, Dried, Trail of Tear||0||$3.99|
|Beans, Dried, Vermont Cranberry||0||$3.99|
|Beans, Kentucky Wonder||0||$2.69|
|Carrot, Big Top||0||$2.17|
|Carrot, Atomic Red||0||$2.17|
|Carrot, Sugar Snax||0||$2.17|
|Corn, Bon Appetit||0|
|Cucurbits, Cucumber Diamant||0||$1.99|
|Cucurbits, Costata Romanesco||0||$3.09|
|Cucurbits, Dark Green Zucchini||0||$3.09|
|Cucurbits, Winter Squash||0||$1.99|
|Eggplant, Slim Jim||0||$1.99|
|Eggplant, Lavendar Touch||0||$1.99|
|Greens, Cabbage, Gonzales Mini||0||$1.29|
|Greens, Chard, Bright Lights||0||$2.79|
|Greens, Chard, Rubarb||0||$2.79|
|Greens, Chinese Cabbage, Rubicon||0||$1.59|
|Greens, Lettuce, Red Sails||0|
|Greens, Lettuce, Merveille de Quatre Seasons||0|
|Greens, Lettuce, New Red Fire||0|
|Greens, Mustard Spinach||0|
|Greens, Pac Choi, Fun Jen||0||$1.71|
|Greens, Strawberry Spinach||0|
|Greens, Tyfon-Holland Greens||0|
|Herbs, Basil, Holy||0|
|Herbs, Basil, Lemmon||0|
|Herbs, Lemon Balm||0|
|Herbs, Thyme, English||0|
|Herbs, Thyme, French||0|
|Herbs, Thyme, Golden Lemon||0|
|Peas, Snap, Cascadia||0||$5.59|
|Peas, Snap, Super Sugar Snap||0||$5.59|
|Peas, Snow, Mammoth Melting||0||$5.59|
|Peas, Snow, Snow Bird||0||$5.59|
|Tomato, Sungold F2||0||$3.99|
|Digitalis, Dwarf Red||0|
|Marigold, Ground Control||0|
|Monarda, Panorama Mix||0|
|Nasturtium, Jewel Mix||0|
|Sunflower Music Box||0|
|Tithonia, Fiesta Del Sol||0|
So there you have it. The gardening seaons is barely underway and I'm already $150 in the hole. I get a much better appreciation for how useful CSAs can be for the farmer. You know it will get better, but you still have to dish out all the money at the beginning of the season.