I know I've been the wierd one among us, growing our backyard veggies and frontyard fruits for sme time now. And I know you've been concerned about rising gas prices, the quality of foods in the stores, and whether it's genetically modified or the "real thing."
And you're concerned too, because it's tough to get started - especially when you're on a budget.
We've been there. And let me tell you, it gets easier.
Sure, gardening can be expensive - building raised beds, building up bad dirt, overbuying expensive seeds (because we need three kinds of beans!) But if you look at it as an investment: in your health, your families, your environment, it doesn't seem quite as expensive.
And the investment doesn't have to be that much.
When we first dive in, it gets so tempting to make sure we buy the organic or heirloom seeds. And in some catalogs, you will pay the price. So take a few extra minutes to price shop. Heirloom carrots can range from less than $2 a packet (far better than at a garden shop around here) to more than $4, depending on the variety. So shopping around pays. Remember too, it's just like any low-priced item, they are cheap, but it totals up. Consider splitting seeds and shipping costs with another gardening buddy.
The dirt? We bought organic dirt at Lowe's for the same price as regular, but you'll want to buy compost as well if you don't have that resource available to you. The best advice I ever got was from a worm composter who suggested putting the compost in the whole with the seed as you plant, rather than spread it across your garden. That helped stretch our resources considerably. And if you can, start composting yourself -- even if it's as low-brow as tossing your leftover produce on an open spot in the garden at the end of the season. Not the best view, but every bit helps.
The great news about gardening is that it's a multi-year process -- one that reduces costs over time. Try saving easy seeds such as beans or squash this summer for next year's planting. Or, be lazy, and let the plant overgrow and re-seed itself!
The great thing about gardening is that it takes as little or as much time and monetary investment as you're willing to give. Pace yourself, and you'll have a summer feast to enjoy.
Wishing you a fruitful summer,
Robbie @ Going Green Mama
I'll be on a blogging break the next three weeks, as we go through a major project at work. See you in mid-March!