By now, just about everyone is aware of California’s drought and the impact it is having on America’s food production and the prices folks pay for their fresh and frozen vegetables. With this as the backdrop, it’s time to look at the economics of vegetable gardening.
Dollars and sense – the economics of vegetable gardening
First, let’s consider the economics of what you and the majority of your neighbors do to procure their vegetables… they saunter off to the local grocery store and buy what they need. By the time you get to the check-out line, at least three entities – often more – have had a chance to add their costs of doing business and their profit margins to the fruits and vegetables you have selected. This includes the farmer who grew it, the shipping companies that moved it along the way until it ended up in your grocery basket, a middle-man vegetable broker who packages and sometimes private labels for different chains, and finally, your grocery store. It adds up to pricey foods, and the drought has only added to the pricing misery we all experience. In sum, your food dollar is shrinking as is the quality of the vegetables they offer.
The backyard gardening formula for success
However, you need not be a hapless victim of the wild swings of Mother Nature or the profit needs of farmers and grocery stores. Think about starting your own backyard vegetable garden and taking control of both the costs of feeding yourself and your family, and controlling the quality and variety of the vegetables you consume. By starting your own peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, cabbage, broccoli, etc., from seed, you can save a ton of money over the long run. Often times, mail order companies will charge $4 for a single tomato or pepper seedling. Meanwhile, you can purchase 30 seeds for about the same amount of money and grow your own. In addition, if you grow your own seedlings, you have a lot more varieties to choose from.
The longer you backyard garden, grow your own edibles, and plant the seeds you cultivate yourself, the cost of food will shrink with each passing season.
Put your backyard gardening plan together today
So, what do you need to get started? A commitment, a plan, a great backyard greenhouse (to protect against weather, animals, and bugs), seeds, soil, pots, fertilizer, a water source, and of course, a backyard. You can do this. What’s more, your wallet and your taste buds will thank you for many years to come. The amazing economics of vegetable gardening are yours to discover!