Well, it’s certainly not because of the tedious work they entail – the constant watering and weeding. I could really do without those aspects.
But do you know why I LOVE having a garden?
BECAUSE IT IS SO STINKIN’ CHEAP TO GROW LOCAL, FRESH, PESTICIDE FREE FOOD THAT I CAN FEEL GREAT ABOUT FEEDING MY FAMILY.
We all know that buying fresh, local produce can add to the family budget. In fact, sometimes it’s a little too easy to slash the fresh stuff from our shopping list because it costs more than its processed counterparts.
SO – if you have even the smallest scrap of earth on which to plant some seeds, please oh PLEASE consider a garden! And honestly, even if you live in a small apartment and do not have space for an actual garden, I have had luck with hanging alternatives – like the Topsy Turvy for tomato plants.
We grow a vegetable garden every year. The cheapest way to grow your garden is to buy some packs of seeds and start growing your plants indoors during very early Spring months. You then take those seedlings and plant them in your garden sometime after the last frost (usually after Mother’s Day here in the Northeast). Last year we attempted to grow from seeds and it was a miserable failure. Apparently you have to keep cats away from the plants AND you need to remember to water them. Regularly.
Needless to say, we now stick to buying seedlings from local nurseries. They do the “hard” work for us and our only responsibility is to get them home and into the ground safely.
Compared to the money you are going to save on not buying produce throughout the Summer, seedlings are very inexpensive (usually around $1ish/seedling). This past year we saved even more money on our plant purchases by grabbing a Groupon for 50% off a local nursery. $15 was all it cost out of pocket to buy 22 vegetable plants along with 4 berry bushes. SWEET!
So after somewhat diligent watering and admittedly half-assed weeding every few days, the magic of Mother Nature took center stage right in our very own backyard. Real food starting growing in our nifty little garden. How amazing, right?
I’m not going to lie – going out to the garden each morning in the Summer to hunt for ripened produce for FREE has a certain thrill about it.
Making homemade salsa, spaghetti sauce and other concoctions from food that I grew myself like Pa Ingalls is completely rewarding. Also rewarding is knowing exactly what I am feeding my family – and that I am saving so. much. money. at the same time.
Let me hear it – what do you enjoy growing in YOUR garden each year?