Gardening was once everyone’s means of providing for their families. That was before the era of the large supermarkets we have today. There is always produce available, it may have made itself half way around the world to land on that shelf for us, but it is there none the less.
As prices continue to rise and the uncertainty of the economy continues, many are returning back to their roots by trying to raise some of their food by once again gardening. Depending on where you live you may be able to grow for only a few months or year round, but no matter where you live you can grow something.
Setting up a garden can take planning and time to get it started but the benefits usually far out way the costs associated. I have never tracked the amount of produce I have raised from my garden but a friend of mine figured out that from one 4×6 raised bed utilizing succession and companion gardening, she was able to grow $700.00 worth of organic produce in one season! Can you imagine?
I have read from more than one source, if you have one 4×4 bed for each member of your family you could eat a salad a day for the entire summer. Now depending on what you choose to grow and how the space is utilized will determine your exact yield. But what if you could grow enough produce to supply 1/4 or 1/2 of your families needs, how much could you save? Do you spend $30.00 a week on produce? What if you could halve that to $15.00 a week. Over the course of 20 weeks you could save $300.00! That would more than pay for putting in any raised bed garden.
Even if you live in the city or in an apartment, do you have a window seal you can grow lettuce and herbs in? Or what about a patio with a few containers for tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and herbs? You don’t have to start big, just start small. Lettuce and spinach are one of the easiest things to grow; try it in a container and stagger your plantings, just a few seeds every couple of days. Then you can continue to have a fresh supply of salad greens and spinach! (Even indoors in a window or out on a balcony).
You can find so much satisfaction from growing your own food, but the bottom line is that you really can save so much money by gardening! With the cost of an initial bed(s) aside, just the seeds will be a drop in the bucket compared to the savings and rich rewards that come from gardening! If you don’t already, why not make it a goal to try with one plant, something that your family really enjoys eating. For me gardening is contagious, once you start to see the results you will want to grow more!
If you missed out, here are the other articles in this series: