Whilst at the park today talking to a friend, we tried to weigh up the economic cost of growing your own compared to buying from a shop and if there was any benefit cost. Clearly, this is complicated as it depends on many factors, some of which are hardly measurable.
I’ve not worked how much I’ve spent on my garden, but I have bought the following:
– spade (x2)
– compost bin
– bamboo canes
– organic slug repellent
– organic fertiliser
– seeds, bulbs and tubers
– bushes and trees.
I have also spent money on petrol to get me to and from the places I’ve bought them from. Then there is the tap water for seedlings (to reduce the risk of damping off from stored rainwater).
But have I got my money back from what I’ve grown? Without doing any calculations I would say probably yes. Much of the outlay to get growing and continue doing so is spread over a number of years. For example, the spades should last a lifetime (and my daughter’s was as much a present to make her feel included). And the seeds themselves are nothing in comparison with what they have produced.
As for the amount of time, having gained immense pleasure and satisfaction from the venture, this isn’t really chargeable, even if I could put a price on it.
Notwithstanding, if gardening was a pure chore, it is possible that simply going to the shop for the fruit and veg would have been less of a draw on my purse. But would it?
Of course, there would still be the petrol to get there. Okay, I am going anyway, but I would need to travel more and more widely if I couldn’t get fresh herbs from the garden, to cite just one example. Besides, just talking about herbs, a year’s supply of fresh would be upwards of a hundred pounds, considering they don’t keep once picked and I use quite a variety.
Wow! Now, I’m beginning to see that aside from being generally happier for being able to getting out into my personal green space and producing, the herbs alone pay for the cost of producing the fruit and veg. Doesn’t that make you feel good?
Especially when the okra plant seems to have almost doubled in size since I put it in a bigger pot yesterday!
© Helen Butt, July 2014