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7 Reasons Why My Family Gardens

21 Feb
Spring is on the way!

Spring is on the way!

 

For the past couple of weeks I have been pouring over seed catalogs and planting schedules.  I just cannot wait to get started on my garden for this year!  This past week I sent my order into my favorite seed company: Berlin Seeds.  I can’t wait until they arrive!  I thought it might be fun to share some of the many reasons why my family chooses to garden.  Honestly the hubby is really busy during the summer months so the majority of the gardening is done by myself and my son Elijah who is 3.

7 Reasons Why We Garden

  • It is a wonderfully frugal activity that also saves money in the process.  Talk about a useful hobby!
  • Gardening is healthy and a great way to exercise.  I also find it incredibly relaxing.  I went down to the garden this week to procure some soil samples and was reminded of just how peaceful it is.  I can’t wait to get back into the daily routine of gardening.
  • The health benefits of eating fresh produce are wonderful.  Last year we used no pesticides or fertilizers in our garden.  We also eat a much wider variety of vegetables because we garden.  No doubt we eat a lot more salads in the spring and summer since I grow them just outside our kitchen door.  I don’t want the lettuce to go to waste so we eat it.  🙂
  • I am making wonderful memories with my family.  Elijah & I had so much fun going out everyday to the garden.  He helped me every single step of the way.  He was only 2.5 last year but I can honestly say he was a big help!  I think his favorite part was planting, watering, and harvesting.  A great gift to give to your children is the gift of your time & allowing them to spend lots of time outside.
  • The taste.  If you haven’t ever had true fresh garden produce then this won’t make any sense to you.  Even my hubby has grown quite partial to our garden raised produce!
  • Variety.  I am able to grow a number of different varieties of vegetables that are not available at our local grocery store.  Some plants don’t ship well so you will not see those varieties for sale.  Our budget would also not allow us to purchase certain items from the produce section.  A packet of seeds usually costs between $1-2.  There are many vegetables in the grocery that cost more than that!  Burpee Seed Company estimates that for every $50 spent a gardener will yield over $1250 worth of produce.  I wouldn’t be surprised if my yield is even more since I start almost all of my plants from seed.
  • Convenience.  I love, love walking down to the garden with a large basket and picking fresh vegetables to use for dinner.  I don’t have to drive anywhere or fight a toddler to have good behavior.  😉  It’s also really handy when I realize that I need a green pepper for a certain recipe but I don’t have one in the fridge.  I just walk down to the garden and pick one.

The book Dirt Cheap Gardening by Rhonda Hart has an excellent appendix in the back where she lists the cost savings of growing certain vegetables.  Last year was my first year having my own garden (although I did garden growing up).  I primarily chose foods that would save us lots of money to grow ourselves and foods that we really enjoy eating.  For example we grew peppers because they are ridiculously expensive to buy and we love eating them in all sorts of dishes.  One pepper costs well over $1.00.  You could spend $1.00 on pepper seeds and have plenty of peppers to enjoy all summer and plenty leftover to put up for the winter.

Cost Savings of Growing (adapted from Dirt Cheap Gardening)

High Savings: Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Cucumbers  Eggplant, Lettuce (leaf), Green Onions, Peppers, Rhubarb, Summer Squash, & Tomatoes.

Medium Savings: Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Beets, Carrots, Celery, Corn, Kohlrabi, Head Lettuce, Muskmelon, Parsnips, Peas, Radishes, Spinach

Low Savings: Cabbage, Onions, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Winter Squash

Last year we grew cucumbers, leaf lettuce, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, bush beans, sugar snap peas, pumpkins, and winter squash.  We purposefully chose not to grow corn since it takes up lots of room & we don’t eat it that often.  I’m also still a little bitter about freezing tons and tons of it and then loosing our freezer a couple years ago.  😉  We also chose not to grow onions & potatoes since the cost savings are low.  This year I plan on attempting to grow the following in addition to last year’s vegetables: Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Leeks, Carrots, Head Lettuce, Peas, Spinach, & Cabbage.

 

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