My family and I have long grown our own healthy, delicious produce. We do so for the health benefits, to know where our foods come from and because we love the feeling of taking care of ourselves (self-reliance). In recent years I have become more aware of another great benefit of growing our own produce–saving money!
Food costs continue to rise dramatically around the world. It is simple economics. More people = more food demand. Less farmers and a finite amount of land = lower supply. Low supply + high demand = higher prices!
OK, that is enough of Economics 101. Here is a step by step way to save money on produce.
First, identify all the fruits, vegetables and herbs favored by your household.
Second, see which ones will grow well in your climate and available growing space. For example, you may love grapefruit, but unless you live in a place with year-round warmth you will not be able to grow them well.
Third, decide if you are going to buy seeds or plants. Either way try to grow from nonGMO, heirloom seeds or buy plants from a grower that does.
Fourth, plan your garden. In my book I write a lot about a need to “plan your garden, then garden your plan. Planning is an essential process, but it does not have to be difficult or too time consuming. In fact, my book was carefully designed to get the reader started in edible gardening without overwhelming them with to much information. Edible gardening can be complicated, but it does not have to be. Get started with a simple approach and add to your knowledge base as time and interest levels allow.
Fifth, track you “profits”. How much money did your edible garden save you? I started doing this in earnest during the 2014 growing season. We tracked golden raspberries, tomatoes and kale production. Those 3 organically grown crops alone more than paid for all our seeds, supplies, time and efforts! This season I plan to keep a closer watch over just how much money we save across the entire harvest from our backyard edible gardens.
Lastly, HAVE FUN!!!!!
I will do my best to post updates on this topic. Please share your experiences with saving money by growing your own produce too!