Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How much can growing your own food REALLY save you?

So here is an excellent article from the Wall Street Journal on the economics of growing your own food:

"Michelle Obama has put a vegetable garden on the grounds of the White House. Sales of seeds and plants are soaring. And pro-garden groups are churning out studies that show huge paybacks on investing in a home garden. The nonprofit National Gardening Association just produced a study -- sponsored by ScottsMiracle-Gro Co. -- that found the average family with a vegetable garden spends just $70 a year on it and grows an estimated $600 worth of vegetables. George Ball, chairman and CEO of seed giant Burpee, can rattle off the savings for dozens of homegrown crops. Green beans will generate $75 worth of crops for each $1 you spend on seeds, Mr. Ball calculates. Even the lowly potato will generate $5 of spuds for each $1 you invest in seeds.

Does it all sound too good to be true? Depending on your situation, it may be. Neither Mr. Ball nor the National Garden Association study focus on how much you may have to sink into your garden before you can grow anything. TO READ FULL ARTICLE GO TO: http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB123983924976823051-lMyQjAxMDI5MzE5NjgxMzY5Wj.html"

NOTE: Garden start-up costs CAN BE SIGNIFICANT, but you can use local resources to keep those costs down. I recommend using the Lasagna Gardening Method of building soil, which is essentially sheet composting. This way you don't have to buy soil, but can build it with local materials. Remember Craig's List and Freecycle are excellent resources for finding free garden 'stuff'.