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What You Spend To Garden

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  Fantasma on 4/26/2012, 3:45 pm

I've been keeping a running tally since I started construction of the first bed about two months ago. I'm feeling pretty poor at the moment because of it.

Harvest to date: 9 strawberries
Project cost: $499

Cost per strawberry: $55.44 affraid

It's still fun and I'll be so excited if anything else grows...lol.

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  Kelejan on 4/26/2012, 5:13 pm

@Fantasma wrote:I've been keeping a running tally since I started construction of the first bed about two months ago. I'm feeling pretty poor at the moment because of it.

Harvest to date: 9 strawberries
Project cost: $499

Cost per strawberry: $55.44 affraid

It's still fun and I'll be so excited if anything else grows...lol.

Fantasma, Just produce another 9 strawberries and your cost-per-strawberry will halve. Very Happy

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And the cost of a tasteless Florida tomato is......

Post  tomperrin on 4/26/2012, 7:54 pm

only $1.99 a lb.
Lettuce $0.69 oz
Swiss Chard $2.49 a bunch, whatever that is.
etc.

So I planted about 76 tomato plants this year. Partly because I was curious about different varieties, partly because I want to freeze and can as much as I'm able this year.

So what's the potential value?

The value is that I never have to eat a tasteless Florida tomato again.

Priceless!

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  plantoid on 4/26/2012, 8:12 pm

Tom ,

I don't know if you know this ...You can freeze individual tomatoes on a tray as is without prep . They are like red snooker balls once frozen , they can then be stored in the freezer in vac sealed bags or lidded boxes .

You can only use the thawed tomato in making soups and stews but it saves a heck of a lot of time freezing some of them like this when your harvesting everything and have your hands full 24/7

I never tried to boil them up on their own to make a puree as once thawed they are very watery & soft..

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  SwampCatNana on 4/26/2012, 8:17 pm

[quote="Kelejan"]
@Fantasma wrote:I've been keeping a running tally since I started construction of the first bed about two months ago. I'm feeling pretty poor at the moment because of it.

Harvest to date: 9 strawberries
Project cost: $499

Cost per strawberry: $55.44 affraid

It's still fun and I'll be so excited if anything else grows...lol.

What cost you $499.00? Shocked

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/26/2012, 8:18 pm

@tomperrin wrote:The value is that I never have to eat a tasteless Florida tomato again.

Priceless!

Hey now....tasteless Florida tomatoes do have some value.....

You can use them to bait rat and mouse traps to catch voles.

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  SwampCatNana on 4/26/2012, 8:19 pm

@yolos wrote:I am just starting out with SFG. I have made 2 beds (4' x 4' x 10" high). Each bed and the "soil" costs $ 104.00.

Did you use redwood for your beds? WOW! You can buy a 4x4 bed from Home Depot for $34.97! All you have to do is put it together.

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  yolos on 4/26/2012, 8:28 pm



yolos wrote:I am just starting out with SFG. I have made 2 beds (4' x 4' x 10" high). Each bed and the "soil" costs $ 104.00.
Did you use redwood for your beds? WOW! You can buy a 4x4 bed from Home Depot for $34.97! All you have to do is put it together.



No, the actual bed was relatively cheap. Less than $20.00. The expensive part of SFG is the "soil". Vermiculite at $29.99 per 4 cubic feet, 5 way compost, and peat moss, etc.

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Freezing tomatoes

Post  tomperrin on 4/26/2012, 8:44 pm

@plantoid wrote:Tom ,

I don't know if you know this ...You can freeze individual tomatoes on a tray as is without prep . They are like red snooker balls once frozen , they can then be stored in the freezer in vac sealed bags or lidded boxes .

You can only use the thawed tomato in making soups and stews but it saves a heck of a lot of time freezing some of them like this when your harvesting everything and have your hands full 24/7

I never tried to boil them up on their own to make a puree as once thawed they are very watery & soft..

I did not know this. Thanks! We make a lot of sauce - Actually tomato stock - which when unfrozen becomes spaghetti sauce, chili, pizza sauce, meat sauce, etc. This is actually what got me started on home grown tomatoes. Years ago we had something of a drought, and the tomatoes were wonderfully sweet as a result. (Withhold water when they ripen). So I bought a bushel or so cheap and boiled them down, ran them through the Foley's Food Mill. We froze the liquid into ice cubes as well as larger containers. Last year I had a tomato sandwhich every day for months. Never got sick of them.

Tom

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  Fantasma on 4/26/2012, 8:57 pm

[quote="SwampCatNana"]
@Kelejan wrote:
@Fantasma wrote:I've been keeping a running tally since I started construction of the first bed about two months ago. I'm feeling pretty poor at the moment because of it.

Harvest to date: 9 strawberries
Project cost: $499

Cost per strawberry: $55.44 affraid

It's still fun and I'll be so excited if anything else grows...lol.

What cost you $499.00? Shocked
Well it was almost $200 just for soil since I decided to make the beds 11" deep. That also meant stacked cedar 2x6s at $10 each and I might have splurged on paint to make them prettier. Very Happy On top of all of that, I ended up buying a TON of plants since I was too late to start with seeds for most of the things I wanted to grow. It's weird being in the south because by the time you start hearing about veggie gardens, it's almost too late to plant a single thing. It was over 90 degrees today and I'm seeing people here posting about snow up north!

Fortunately it won't be nearly as expensive next year since I'll already have the beds built and filled.

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  SwampCatNana on 4/26/2012, 9:11 pm

@yolos wrote:


yolos wrote:I am just starting out with SFG. I have made 2 beds (4' x 4' x 10" high). Each bed and the "soil" costs $ 104.00.
Did you use redwood for your beds? WOW! You can buy a 4x4 bed from Home Depot for $34.97! All you have to do is put it together.



No, the actual bed was relatively cheap. Less than $20.00. The expensive part of SFG is the "soil". Vermiculite at $29.99 per 4 cubic feet, 5 way compost, and peat moss, etc.

Wow. Lowe's has some good prices on those.

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  RoOsTeR on 4/26/2012, 9:54 pm

yolos, your price sounds right in line for a complete bed including wood. The cost for all the Mel's Mix ingredients adds up fast doesn't it? If I recall, my first bed cost me right at $94 (?) just for the Mel's Mix.
It's worth every penny though and now that I have my own great compost, my costs to fill beds will be at least half that.

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  rod champion on 4/30/2012, 1:34 pm

A simple inexpensive - productive bed.

This winter I had some logs cut in firewood size. I made a 4' x 8' bed with it. I put real dirt in it. There is a area that the county puts their leaves every year. I got some.. using buckets in my car[ I know - not cool- but is what I had at the time}
I mixed the leaves with the dirt. Then I planted carrotts, and different kinds of lettuce + Kale. After things grew some- I put some 10-10-10 fertilzer by each row and covered with some more composted leaves. My family has eaten a ton of stuff for at least 2 months and it is still going strong.. I have replanted some more lettuce.

Cost nothing.. but has produced very well.

You use what you have.. then when you get $ for Mel's mix do it. But you can eat stuff and cost you barely nothing.

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  staci.bourff on 4/30/2012, 7:36 pm

I'm new to SFG, and the big purchases are going to be next month, but so far I got close to 80 bucks in it if that. Only cost I had was soil mix, and plants/seeds. Because I reused scrap lumber from a piece of privacy fence, doghouse, and cinder blocks my mom gave me since she didn't want them anymore to make my 8 beds with a total of 144 planting sqaures.

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  CindiLou on 4/30/2012, 8:10 pm

"what I spend to Garden"

Hum..just as much as I can get by with!

This year I spent about $180/compost, $100-150/lumber, $80 approx for the soil blockers, $?????? for potatoes, sunchokes, hardware cloth, weed fabric, seeds, and other misc stuff I needed/wanted....

And at least $100-150 on vermiculite and peat moss.

I have expanded or working on expanding the garden by at least 2x the squarefeet.

But I am gardening for me/hubby, daughter/2kids, and another daughter. So needed the space.

That is my story and I am sticking to it!

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  subsonic on 4/30/2012, 9:48 pm

@tomperrin wrote:
@quiltbea wrote:....It's worth every penny and then some so I don't begrudge the costs.

My record keeping lasted a week. I know what I spent for lumber, vermiculite and peat moss because those were the big items. But cost was never the issue. These were the issues: food independence - a brake on the inflationary spiral; taste - I love food that tastes great!; metabolism stabilization - I'm diabetic and overweight. These all remain important to me.

What really sustains the effort, however, are several really important things. The first is that everything is a growth issue. Not just the veggies, but me as well. I love to learn and discover new things. Riding the growth curve is exhilarating. Another aspect is seeing as well as experiencing the results of my efforts. This year and last year I busted my butt to make things happen. Absolutely nothing ended up perfect. Yet, good things happened in the garden. Which is why I take some time almost every day to watch the plants grow.

My criteria for purchases are these: purchase the best quality I can get, at the lowest possible price. Buy local, buy from independents, buy used or recycled, but above all buy quality. I'm in this for the long term, for as many days I have left.

I can't measure the cost of what it took me to drop 20 lbs working in the garden. But that alone has saved me well over $1000 in annual medication costs. When I started this project last year, I was looking to buy a rototiller at around $750. My first reading of the ANSFG book made me throw that idea right out the window.

My personal beef: I think this country is turning into a nation of wussies and parasites. What I love most about SFG is that it motivates people to work hard and fosters a sense of community, all with realizable and tangible results. SFG is more empowering than any grant or handout and more self-esteem inducing than any spoon-fed platitude.

So it was never about the money. I was going to eat food anyway.

Tom

I love this post
nails it a lot
by the way 2 hours in the garden once a week with a shovel turning things in when
you are planting something new from where you just harvested is a great workout
I have friends who pay out the yang yang each month for a gym membership they do not use, I get that workout for free and it pays off in food

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  staci.bourff on 5/3/2012, 9:18 am

I'm trying to quit smoking, and now instead of smoking I go work in the garden. Last night in maybe and hour an a half my compost pile went from being mid calf to being above my knees. there wasn't enough weeds to pull in my garden so I decided to pull weeds. ( well until my husband goes and sees how much I extended my flower bed along side my house) Now I think I need to invest in a compost bin before the nieghbors start complaining about the compost pile.
Anyone got any suggestions on what type of compost bin works the best and quickest to make compost?

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  rod champion on 5/3/2012, 10:10 am

I have a tumbler- works well.

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Compost Smells

Post  tomperrin on 5/3/2012, 10:26 am

@staci.bourff wrote:Now I think I need to invest in a compost bin before the nieghbors start complaining about the compost pile.

Plantoid and I get high off the smell of compost. But really, it only smells earthy and then only if you get your nose up close, even manure based compost piles. The trick is to turn it so that it is always aerobic - full of oxygen. It's when the pile gets matted and packed tightly that you will get the ammonia smell.

Tom

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  camprn on 1/8/2015, 6:20 pm

Bump

____________________________

40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  martha on 1/8/2015, 9:41 pm

My gardening expenses were always high. First, I had to hire someone to help, because I never had enough time. Second, I was always building - more boxes, a shed, a greenhouse…

So every time I added a new bed, there was new vermiculite and peat moss. It was also only the last two years that my homemade compost was ready. 

For those that don't know me, I owned a restaurant so we had compost by the gallons, and I took the dump-it-and-wait approach. Also, because of the restaurant, I never added 1 4X4. What would be the fun in that?

Then there's the question of whether to count all the annuals I bought in 6-packs. I tried to grow flowers from seed, but was seldom as successful with them as I was with vegetables. 

so there's my answer that doesn't include any actual numbers. Answer - a lot! Please don't make me figure out how much!

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what we spend to garden

Post  kauairosina on 1/8/2015, 11:31 pm

I purposefully do not calculate the amount we spend.  We are an Ohana of ten and value home grown, knowing where our food is originating is important to us.

I am the one who handles the grocery account from which the garden supplies come and I encourage all gardeners in our Ohana to buy the best.  We just put in a seed order with three different companies and plan to do more.  

We are learning every day and I figure it is all worth it. As one person put it, "you have to eat anyway'...

We are extremely fortunate to be able to plant and harvest year round.

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  Marc Iverson on 1/9/2015, 1:34 am

That really is fortunate.

And I agree that there's something very important in knowing exactly where your food comes from. You can usually replace food, but you can't replace healthy food nearly as easily, and healthy, clean, insecticide-free food is precious stuff. Even if it's a little expensive, it's your well-being from the inside out, and that can't be replaced either.

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  Kelejan on 1/9/2015, 1:50 am

Last year I promised myself a Soil-blocker. I have kept my promise. bounce

I re-read the threads and it confirmed that I still wanted it.
When I want something that I really cannot afford at the time, I put it in my wish book and look at it again when I have the spare cash. Often times I realize that it would have been an impulse buy if I had bought it and found that it was sitting around not being used. It should be here in a couple of weeks.

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

Post  Judy McConnell on 1/9/2015, 7:37 am

Last year was expensive because I was converting from soil to MM and trying tt beds.
The 4-table tops (commercial) were between $150-235 (pre- and post-sale).
Commercial MM (6 bags) was about $30/bag plus shipping - a start but not good enough, had to be amended.

Garlic and potato onions will not need to be bought again (I hope)

This year's gardens will be less costly - figured if I have to buy the boards (retail) to make more table tops, the cost will be 1/2 of the commercial ones.
My compost is taking shape and all I need to buy is vermiculite and bagged Black Cow-type compost additives.

Cost can be an issue but is minor compared to the joys of getting finger nails "dirty", growing produce, and the peace the "playing in the gardens" give me.

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Re: What You Spend To Garden

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