Benefit cost of growing your own

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)
– hoe
– trowel
– secateurs
– loppers
– netting
– cloches
– growbags
– compost
– compost bin
– manure
– topsoil
– bamboo canes
– pots
– ties
– 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!


Repotted okra plant

ยฉ Helen Butt, July 2014


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in Gardening, Good for the environment, Health, In the kitchen, Social and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Benefit cost of growing your own

  1. andy1076 says:

    By planting your own herbs and produce, you also know you are getting the freshness without pesticides that some markets claim not to have ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. lizard100 says:

    It’s well worth it to me. The fringe benefits of joy, fitness and optimism are priceless. And then there’s fruit and veg.

  3. It’s definitely more work, but it’s WoRTH IT! ๐Ÿ™‚ Knowing what’s on your food is priceless!

  4. jane says:

    Totally worth it would never buy broad beans from shop as they need to be eaten when picked and young from yr garden, runner beans so much nicer young and not stringy too…

    • Not sure I have ever bought either of those from a shop – seems weird actually. And since getting my garden I’ve not bought any garlic, parsley, cress, broccoli…

  5. Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
    Awesome post Helen thank you for sharing have a blessed day

  6. Don’t forget about the exercise you get when you garden. That is 10 times better than sitting and driving in a car to a place to buy them. The exercise helps you to live longer so you can eat more of your vegetables which help you to live longer so you can exercise more in the garden….it’s a cycle – lol!

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.