The Recession Garden: Seeds of Discontent

16 03 2009

A Google News search for the phrase “victory garden” turns up 145 stories over the past month alone. Evidently, America’s intrepid Trend Journalists allege, the economic crisis has hit many families so hard that they are now cultivating their own fruits and veggies, as a way to “cut costs.” How compelling! How heart-warmingly American! I practically just Norman Rockwelled all over myself thinking about it.

lame

Except, of course, that the entire concept of a “recession garden” is totally bogus. In purely economic terms, you could hardly make a worse investment than growing your own food. Even if you are blessed with a reasonably large yard full of rich, fertile soil, the cost of irrigation and basic gardening tools alone vastly outweighs the cost of buying a rutabaga at the supermarket, and that’s to say nothing of the often several-month delay between planting and harvest. Yes, it’s great that you’re expecting a fantastic crop of kale in June, but what are we having for dinner tonight?

Then, of course, there’s the cost of labor. Large-scale farming exists for a reason: It’s more efficient for a few people to devote 100 percent of their time to farming than for everybody to spend a little bit of time on it. That’s why we also don’t make our own soap, sew our own clothes or even change our own oil. It pays to specialize.

And spare me the bourgeois drivel about reconnecting with the earth and the spiritual value of growing your own food. You live on a cul-de-sac, for chrissake, you’re not Alexis de Tocqueville.

Thanks to advances in biotech and economies of scale, food—even fresh food—is cheaper than ever before. If you want to get your hands dirty cultivating your own beets, go right ahead, but save the piety. Any consumer really interested in cutting costs would trade the weekly trip to Whole Foods for one to Wal-Mart, or even 99 Cents Only.

Now THAT would be revolutionary.

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27 responses

16 03 2009
readergirl

great post! i have started a garden at home, but mostly to teach my kids about how much effort it takes to get food on the table!

16 03 2009
Allison

Interesting point of view. I must say that I disagree with your arguments against gardening where you complain about the initial cost of supplies and the fact that in some places you can only grow during certain times of the year. These don’t make subsistence garden unworthy of our time or efforts. It’s no different from choosing to buy a bicycle so that you can avoid the car in the summer. The bike costs money and will require maintenance, and you can only ride in decent weather, but does that mean you shouldn’t enjoy the health benefits, the savings in gasoline and sheer joy of biking? Of course not.

As for supplying all of one’s food needs through subsistence gardening, I haven’t read anything that suggests that people are doing this, and I’ve read quite a few articles and blogs over the past two months. These people are largely supplying themselves with fruits, vegetables and herbs. Doing so provides a substantial savings to the grocery bill- particularly for vegetarians and vegans- but this doesn’t mean they aren’t buying other foods.

As far as the socioeconomic and environmental arguments go, large-scale farming is seen as detrimental to the earth because of our profit-inspired agricultural methods. In addition, agribusiness is known to be unfriendly to its workers, many of whom live in poverty working the fields while corporate farms make profits.

Regarding Whole Foods, I’m not sure where that fits into your argument. People who grow their own foods don’t need to pay for them at Whole Foods- right? Personally, I find Whole Foods to be way too expensive; they are one of the reasons I decided to grow my own fruits and vegetables.

Lastly, many people, myself included, enjoy the reconnection to the earth that gardening provides. Not only is there something calming about tending a garden, but there is satisfaction in producing something useful, and eating heirloom fruits and vegetables that have not been altered genetically to accommodate modern commercial practices.

16 03 2009
G. Xavier Robillard

One thing I do like is the new craze (especially on the west coast) of urban chickens. It’s great – fresh eggs, and they drive the dogs berserk. As long as my close neighbors don’t start to raise roosters, otherwise I’m going to start leaving Fryolaters filled with hot oil nearby.

16 03 2009
mamagoesgreen

Some of your points are certainly true, but flippantly dismissing gardens is illogical. Not all things are more economical to grow, and not all methods are equal either. For example, I do not grow cabbage because I can buy it for 29c at my farmer’s market in season. However, growing my own tomatoes from seed, organically is MUCH cheaper. When you plant wisely, you won’t use much water, and won’t spend money on fertilizer or pesticides. Supporting your local farmer who is devoting most of his/her time to farming is a fantastic idea, but having a backyard garden is not a total loss. Value is not just found in money saved at the grocery store, but also in intrinsic value, such as fresher produce, with more nutrients to boot. Also, I for one am not thrilled about all the GM foods that are produced, and like knowing exactly where my seeds and backyard veggies are coming from. Wal-Mart and your 99c store are ridiculous second options for people who are concerned about their local economy, and the damage being done to this country by these box stores that export all the jobs and import all the food. I won’t have anything to do with it.

16 03 2009
ibegardenning

outrageous. why should people keep wasting resources like fertilizer, water, and soil, gas for lawnmowers on LAWNS.. because you say it’ll 7 months for some kale? you start harvesting leaves off of a kale plant after a couple months and it keeps GIVING for 7 months. if you’re a business farmer then maybe you chop down the whole thing at once after 7 months.. but give me a break. your argument is totally flawed because you didn’t account for the fact that most people grow grass, chop it down, and throw it away. the same time, energy and resources could be put to USE rather than wasted on a lawn, and the PRODUCT can be EATEN rather than THROWN AWAY.. now, i’m no economics genius, but i added up some numbers, and i think gardening for food rather than for trashed lawn clippings wins out.

17 03 2009
Kelli

I guess I have totally missed the purpose of your blog once again. Here I thought you provided a tongue-in-cheek look at pop culture and the like, where actually, you provide the basis to piss people off. Huh. Interesting. (FYI, that’s sarcasm, thought I would point it out for your other readers, they don’t seem to pick up on yours so I thought mine would be lost as well)
Side note, I have considered a small herb garden, mostly because fresh is so much better than dried and I use it in such small amounts that I tend to throw away much of it when I purchase it from the store. Last time I tried, I killed it all- because I am a writer, not a gardener- so I probably wont.

17 03 2009
jimcobber

I grow my own garden just so I don’t have to eat Mexican turds.

17 03 2009
worldharmony

Kelli, there is no need for nastiness. Blogs that include areas for commentary are places for people to exchange opinions. Civility is the best tone.

17 03 2009
Dave

I don’t understand people, I guess. I don’t think that she suggested that planting ANYTHING is retarded, who doesn’t love some fresh oregano? A 99 cent bag of seeds and you have fresh herbs all season (in my case, for years). Tomatoes aren’t much different. Till the soil on a nice afternoon, plant some seeds, and hope for the best.

The idea though, that backyard gardening as anything more than a delightful supplement is a joke. You can enjoy some herbs, maybe some fruit off the tree, and a tomato or two, but anything large scale is silly unless you dive WAY in.

Stop taking a humorous blog seriously. Hell, stop taking life so seriously. Are you going to be on your death bed happy that you gave those ‘damned internet bloggers’ a good what for?

17 03 2009
Allison

Dave, you might be surprised at how easy it is to supply your own vegetables during a growing season. But admittedly, “easy” is a relative term. What I might find joyful and productive, you might find a waste of time and energy. I like what ibegardenning brings up: some people expend money, time and energy to maintain a manicured lawn purely for appearance’s sake but think edible gardening is a waste of time, while gardeners see that lawn as useless and would rather grow food for the home (or to sell to local restaurants or at farmer’s markets). Each to his own!

18 03 2009
Kelli

Dave, you said it better than I could have (apparently, since I was internet-reprimanded!).
So, before the people who actually have access to rakes and hoes come after me, I must say, I have nothing against gardening, just that I know my own limits.

19 03 2009
John

Bullshit article. Thought it might throw some light on things, but it’s just some whiney drivel without any supporting evidence. And you’re lack of imagination is boring and sad enough as it is, just don’t project that on to the rest of us.

First – price – it can totally be FREE. No, it doesn’t cost a shitload, that’s only if you don’t know what you’re doing. My friend’s just built a chicken coop for $20 (“screws are expensive”) out of great wood he got from industrial parks’ dumpsters (that would’ve cost about a grand). He gets his mulch for free from woodcutting companies, free manure from stables, seeds saved from food or exchanged for free. Rainwater catchment system, free too.

Second – SPECIALIZATION. While it is important to have special skills, you’d be a fool to put all your eggs in one basket. An example: in the 70s Nicaraguan farmers were forced by their gov (in turn forced of course by the IMF and other global financial institutions) to switch from polyculture subsistence farming to one crop: sugar. A few years later prices went well-low as the market was flooded, and guess what happened to those farmers? (Source: Gudeman, “Economics as Culture.” Also recommended: “Nine Meals from Anarchy,” New Economics Foundation).

Third – LABOR. You say it’s a waste of time, labor intensive? Look up “food forests” or permaculture – all it takes is a little intelligence and you can set up systems that practically maintain themselves. Plus it’s fun. What would you rather do, watch TV?

Fourth – CAPITALISM and all the problems it entails. You just propose working within the system but that’s bullshit, and an insult to the human spirit. Wanna support worker abuse (beatings, underpayment, and the like)? Industrial agriculture that uses 2000 times more calories of oil than you get of food? Or would you rather work for systems that don’t depend on such violations of life? Would you rather opt into a system of manufactured scarcity, or create a world of mutual aid, sharing, and abundance?

Now, you can keep bitching about how difficult all this is, or you can plant something, anything, anywhere, and just observe. The choice is all yours.

Welcome to the gift economy 😉

19 03 2009
Dave

Bullshit comment:
“First – price – it can totally be FREE. No, it doesn’t cost a shitload, that’s only if you don’t know what you’re doing. My friend’s just built a chicken coop for $20 (”screws are expensive”) out of great wood he got from industrial parks’ dumpsters (that would’ve cost about a grand). He gets his mulch for free from woodcutting companies, free manure from stables, seeds saved from food or exchanged for free. Rainwater catchment system, free too.”

Just because you have a coop, doesn’t mean the cost ends there. I bought an 18 pack of eggs for $1.89 this morning. That’s 190 eggs for the price of just the screws used. Did your friend also get the water feeder, the insulation for the coop, the space heater, the chicks and the feed for free as well?

And we haven’t even begun to factor in labor costs. “What would you rather do, watch TV?” Ha, yes, yes I would. Because yes, there are Americans that sit on their fat butt and watch tv, but some of us have two jobs, and attend law school full time, and don’t have time to track down a free mulch facility in the middle of suburbia. If I have a long stretch of free time, I’m going to read a book on my couch, not figure out how a “Rainwater catchment system” could be free. My time is extremely valuable to me, and growing anything more than my handle of tomato plants and my herb garden to me does not economically offset the cost.

Food forests are neat ideas, but were designed for the tropics, not temperate zones, and it’s a bitch to set one up in a postage stamp sized yard (if you have that much). Those of us that have a backyard of about 1/10th of an acre (specifically my 1/10th of an acre is sitting on desert clay) aren’t exactly well suited to set that up. Especially if “all it takes is a little intelligence” (and not a backhoe, a few thousand cubic feet of topsoil, the seeds, an irrigation system [besides my magic FREE rainwater catchment system that I’m still waiting on])

People, no one is saying NOT to plant anything. Still.

19 03 2009
Luther

What a load of crap, indeed.

Spoken like a true-elitist technocrat. Gardening is more expensive then the grocery store?

Someone hasn’t done their homework. Do you know how much shallots and fresh tomatoes cost?

Here’s how much my garden cost:
Compost = free
Scrap non-treated wood to build raised beds = free
nails/screws: scrap/free
Seeds = received in seed exchanges. Less than $15 on new seeds.
Garden tools = $30-50 (which last a good amount of time)

I “invest” maybe 1-2/hr week gardening. Something I enjoy. Being able to pick fresh herbs and veggies in the summer is convenient. I succession plant so I am consistently harvesting something during prime months. This is convenience. Not to mention the quite frankly, crap quality of the produce available at the local mega mart.

19 03 2009
LaToya

I like your writing style but I have to agree with some of the other commenters on this one. This article was not very good. Why make people feel bad or stupid about growing a garden? Why encourage people to shop at Walmart instead? I have a garden that produces a lot of vegetables that don’t even have room for come harvesting season. I take it all down to the soup kitchen were it feeds hungry people. I still buy what I can’t grow at the farmer’s market, naturally.

19 03 2009
urbzen

I feel like I should clarify a point here. I don’t have a problem with gardening. I love gardening, and if I were fortunate enough to have the space to do it, I would. I think everyone who has the desire and the resources to raise a garden—be it vegetables, flowers or just crabgrass if that’s your thing—should plant away.

What I’m saying in the post, and what I still believe, is that in America in 2009, growing your own food is simply not the most economical way to get by once you account for real estate and time. Tending a garden is a luxury; anyone who thinks otherwise is blind to the reality of the millions of Americans who work full time and yet still live in poverty.

So cultivate your garden. Grow enough beets for every man, woman and child in America for all I care. But understand that it is a luxury.

Cheers, ~stephanie

20 03 2009
8junebugs

Ha! I’ve had this same argument about knitting. No one chooses to knit a sweater because it’s cheaper. I mean, it can be…but most of the time, it ain’t.

Even so, I knit. It’s a hobby. It’s a luxury. It is not meant to clothe my family, although most everyone has gotten socks for Christmas at least once.

The (pending) container garden on my balcony is in the same category. I know from past experience that gardening is a crap shoot…doubly so, if I’m in charge. But I like playing in the dirt, seeing things grow makes me happy, and it’s cheaper than booze. In the long run, it won’t save me any money — if it’s successful, I’ll offload the excess on my friends and save them some money.

Can I join the ranks of elitist technocrats? I think it’s a natural progression from the namby-pamby pseudo-intellectual label I proudly wore in my 20s.

20 03 2009
LaToya

So tending a garden is not the most economical practice and it is a luxury. Right?

Economical: marked by careful, efficient, and prudent use of resources : thrifty 3: operating with little waste or at a saving

Luxury:1. Something expensive or hard to obtain.
2.the quality possessed by something that is excessively expensive
3. Something inessential but conducive to pleasure and comfort.

Now, of course garedning isn’t the MOST economical practice (what is?) but it is economical none the less. Seeds are super cheap, compost is free, labor is free (I spend about 2 hours a week working) I don’t own any real estate, all my plants are actually in pots on the deck of my apartment. (I was given most of the pots by a neighbor, for free.) In late spring, summer and early fall I don’t have to buy tomatoes, strawberries, squash, herbs, kale, zucchini, peppers, etc… I’ll say that again, I DON”T HAVE TO BUY THEM. They are frsh organic and rival anything at Whole Foods.That sounds pretty economical to me, no?
Gardening is not essential, and it does provide me with pleasure but its definately not expensive or hard to obtain.

“Tending a garden is a luxury; anyone who thinks otherwise is blind to the reality of the millions of Americans who work full time and yet still live in poverty.”

Okay, so the kids learning about urban gardening in Baltimore (my students) most of which live below the poverty line, is it a luxury for them? The homeless and otherwise struggling families that occasionally eat the food grown in the gardens, is it not economical and a luxury for them?

Don’t get me wrong, I think I see where you are coming from. It seems like you are bashing the upper middle class gardener who thinks that are doing something to survive the recession. Still, to me it seems counter productive and ill informed to say gardening is a luxury. Those people who live in poverty that you speak of, go talk to some of them, see the low quality food they are forced to feed their families with. Ask my students and their families about how gardening has changed their lives and their communities at large. Go to the Brooklyn Homes Housing project (where most of my students live) and check out their beautiful thriving gardens in the middle of the ghetto, then tell me who is blind.

25 03 2009
Ari

I found this page because of a comment you made on my own blog, http://www.paperclipmarketing.com/other/seo-for-good, where I discussed a new site I put up for my wife about this idea of recession gardening (www.recession-garden.com).

You know what? I appreciate the commentary and definitely will take your thoughts to heart. Gardening supplies are expensive. If you have limited ground space (as we do) it can be very expensive for reduced yield to grow in containers only.

As someone who cares about the quality of the food I eat, I find that home growing provides superior results at a lower price relative to food of equal quality. If you don’t believe me, try buying heirloom tomatoes from Whole Foods and you will see what I mean.

But, if you have lost your job due to this horrible economy, this was by no means intended to belittle your suffering. Obviously, gardening isn’t the answer to feed your family if you can’t afford groceries. But, hopefully this recession can ignite some positive changes in the rest of us, including a return to an older time when growing your own food was worth it for experience, health, quality, and even fun.

25 03 2009
Denise

Ari, I’m glad you pointed out the author’s post to your blog where she states her negative opinion about recession gardening. (Readers claiming that the Urbzen article was tongue-in-cheek obviously are among those of us who couldn’t believe the author could have been serious)! The author is entitled to her opinion, but bashing something without trying it -or at least interviewing those who partipate in it- isn’t something I’d recommend a blogger do.

27 03 2009
Nessa

I will repeat here the comment I left on Ari’s blog with additions:

You do realize the history of victory gardens aka recession gardens? Eleanor Roosevelt started one at the White House in 1943 during WW2. It sparked gardens across the nation. It ended up that in this time of rationing and need, home gardens produced 40% of the nation’s food.

It’s a bit harder these days as it’s more urban….but to suggest that recession gardens are nothing but pretty little hobbies is disingenuous indeed. Even in urban areas, most people can do something. Take a look at Will Allen (former pro basketball star turned farmer) of Growing Power – urban farming in the heart of Milwaukee, and another location in Chicago.

As stated above, lawns really are laughable if you’re going into the “veggie gardens are too expensive” realm. Grass is a huge water hog and requires fertilizers, chemicals and equipment like lawn mowers to be the suburban perfect clipped ultra green. Not to mention the time some people seem to invest in cultivating perfection. And all you really get is a big swath of green in front of your house. If that’s what you honestly want, that’s great. I think too many people are just used to it and think they HAVE to have it. And people don’t have to rip out their lawns in favor of veggie gardens if they can’t. But you have to think about the time and cost people already spend on plants they don’t eat, when they could be getting something in return with edible gardening.

Supplies don’t HAVE to be expensive. I run my local Freecycle, and I’ve been able to get plenty of gardening seeds, plants, tools and equipments. There are seed swaps all over. You can repurpose things you already have in your house. So many options. We’ll be growing upside-down tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets, for one thing.

There’s other big factors at work in growing your own food that make it worth the money. A huge one is taste. All those fruits and veggies in the store have been bred carefully with things like shipping and storage in mind, with flavor an afterthought. At home you can try new flavors and be simply amazed.

There’s also the great part about knowing exactly what went into producing your food. Think about all the stories in the news..Salmonella and Peanut butter, produce with Hepatitis A and other diseases. When you grow your own food, you know exactly what has gone into your food like pesticides and fertilizers, if any, and you can make sure to follow proper sanitizing procedures.

It’s also so much healthier than the cheap crap in the stores, for a similar price when it comes down to it.

You likely won’t be able to feed yourself on just what you yourself produce (thought I know people who are doing just that, that don’t live on farms). However, every little bit helps, especially in these times of need.

Now I will return to coordinating the edible garden land share program I will be starting in my state.

30 03 2009
Mitzi

Actually, some of us do make some of our own clothes, and would change our own oil if we had the tool and physical strength to get the oil filter off. I garden, too. It isn’t about the economics, really- it’s about spending 45 minutes in the cool of the evening weeding and watering after a day trapped in concrete and steel. Escaping the urban zoo to my little Eden (6.4 milliacres), and maybe picking half of dinner while I’m at it. And it isn’t a bourgeois thing- my ancestors were subsistence farmers for generations. We’ve lost the land, but I still have to get my hands dirty in the spring. I grow roots out there, both beets and a connection to my family long past. And hauling the mulch to conserve water improves your bone density. Really! Gardening and weight-lifting are the exercises most correlated with good bones in women.

1 04 2009
risa b

Fortunately for me and mine, I have never listened to this kind of advice. After 33 years of gardening, home poultry raising, and home orcharding on one acre, I’ve calculated that I’m saving hundreds per person in my household on food per year, and we have almost no medical bills. Paid off the car and the mortgage early as a result… by cultivating an interest in the garden instead of in TV, jet-skis, zipping around in an SUV, or staring at mausoleums in foreign countries ,and otherwise trying to impress or outspend others, I found the time to feed the family while working full-time and even also going back to school. It’s neither as difficult nor as expensive as it’s made out to be.

My parents would not have made through the last depression alive without their gardening skill. They made sure that was one of the main things they passed on to me.

risa b

1 04 2009
Gardenerd

I’ve been gardening for 16 years in the city, and I started for two reasons: because I was poor and I because I stopped eating meat. The first issue was addressed in more ways than one. I was able to save money on produce not only by growing it instead of buying it, but by developing the awareness of what is in season at the markets. When you stop buying stuff that is out of season, that saves money right there.

The second issue, not eating meat, basically led me to learn about our unsustainable food system. Those big efficient fields the author talks about might be economical, but when we eat food that has been raised, in my opinion, toxically, we suffer the consequences being at the top of the food chain. Medical bills more than make up for the cost you save at Wall Mart.

For the past year, I have been teaching people how to grow their own food organically. Most of my students are people with little or no land to cultivate. Since I started gardening on patios and balconies, I give them the tips they need to get started (with very little labor, btw). If the author of this piece could see the glee on the faces of these adult students around week 3, any idea that we’re pitching piety instead of good old fashioned garden therapy would be put in its place – the compost heap.

One more note – I’ve been a member of a community garden for 11 years. The garden is great, but it’s the community that makes it so wonderful. In a big city like this, we can so easily pass through the day without ever looking another person in the eye. This so-called recession garden “fad” is only a response to what people need – connection. Again – this isn’t piety – it’s human nature. The waiting list at the garden has always been at least 100 people long. This year it jumped up to 360 people. I don’t think this garden fad will be going away any time soon.

Happy Gardening!

1 04 2009
damix

Sorry, just passing through. I saw your post and I see your point.
Hmm, I got another cheesecake today, the second in three weeks. A nice lady rang my doorbell, a stranger.
You see, she was driving by a couple of weeks back and saw me planting in my front yard veggie/herb garden. She stopped, got out of her car and spoke to me about how beautiful the garden was. She complimented me on bringing a rural pastime to the front yard in a garage-clicker suburb. I gave her a few leaves of spinach, some chard, a few parsley leaves and a whole bok choy. She returned later that day with a cheesecake, seeds, and an oregano plant and stories of her fathers garden, before he took ill. She said my garden made her feel good.
The cost to me? Very little, really, a few cents in seed (well, the spinach seed was from last years plant), and a few minutes time, max. The two tools I use have lasted many years; they’re difficult to price out, but they were expensive. The compost tea I make for fertilizer comes from the garden waste, free.
The benefit to me? I’ve had fresh chard every day for the last seven months. $1.95 seed packet, the plants will last years, I get about two pounds a week, it’s $6.99/lb in the store, fresh spinach for the same period, fresh parsley almost year round (Texas). I spend about 7 minutes a day average, usually with my coffee in hand, on an 18×25′ front yard garden. It’s 10 minutes EACH WAY to the grocery store, I now go once a month instead of once a week. So far this year, I spent about $30 on seed, another $35 on plants. I expect to double that by years end. I use much, much less water than when it was a front lawn. It’s now 1/2 native plants and 1/2 veggie garden.

Non-food benefit? Next week my new friend is bringing her dad by for a look, He’s got a terminal illness, but she’s wants to get him out of the nursing home for a road trip and continue weekly until he passes. He hasn’t wanted to leave the home in a long time, no reason, nothing interests him anymore…except my garden, I’m told.
I produce extra food. I give some to chef friends and dine-out friends. As a result, I rarely pay for meals out. Appreciative friends won’t allow it. I get gourmet chefs dropping by to cook for me (personal chefs get $75K minimum per year).

I agree with you that the concept of recession garden is hokey. I abhor glossy-eyed, earthy crunchy mumbo jumbo about reconnecting with mother earth. I think Whole Foods Market is overrated and vegetarians are often misguided and startlingly unhealthy.

But you’re way off on your cost vs benefit analysis.
If you think a Walmart veggie(or whole foods mkt, for that matter) is a comparison to home grown, you’ve either never gardened successfully or your taste buds are mute. Few grocery veggies come anywhere close to the flavor of something picked five minutes ago. The nutritional value of home grown is higher than the store. You can tell because your body requires less of it, portions are smaller, no need for unhealthy sauces to cover the absence of flavor

I’m guessing you eat to survive, I eat as a daily experience in culinary delight. I see food as a thread in the cultural fabric, you see food as something one can get at Walmart. We just value things differently.

Wow, a lot to type. I’m gonna go eat some cheesecake with blueberry sauce. What did you have for dinner tonight? I had a nice piece of frozen fish $2.00, fresh spinach and fresh chard with a fresh garlic/dill sauce (free) Rice(25 cents) with slivered fresh onions (free), fresh devil vine tips(free) on the side. My gourmet dinner cost about $2.25.
How much was yours?

6 05 2009
one of the gardening igorants

I garden, sew my own clothes, change my own oil (hopefully will not have to own any car at all in the near future), make my own soap, cheese, beer, wine, and now grow some of my own fruit. Heck, I even rear my own kids. I prepare my meals and bake my bread. And still have time for a job. Go figure.

Not only does gardening provide me with inexpensive edibles, it is far less expensive than spending my time going to movies, driving to camp or shop or just about any other thing I would likely be doing with my time. Savings add up in multiple ways. And there is NO comparison in flavor. Fresh picked wins hands down 100% of the time. It’s like getting a Ferrari for the price of a used VW Beetle. Just can not beat the quality. Quality over quantity. And I never have to worry about ecoli or salmonella in my bags of veggies, do you? Nor do I have to worry about someone picking their nose or scratching their butts and then handling my produce, do you?

Perhaps you need to find a way to see the positive things in life instead of looking at the negative. I find it makes life a whole lot more pleasant. And no depression meds needed.

29 05 2009
Steve

You could not be more wrong. Just think what is the most cultivated crop in the United States by acreage? it’s grass. It covers 40 million acres. we mow it, we fertilize it, we irrigate it. and what economic value do we get from it? if anything is a luxury, its a lawn. the way lawns started was in the 1700s when the french aristocracy starting making lawns on farmland to show that they had so much land they could afford to waste it.

now think if you planted a garden instead. you can plant a garden that takes only a little more work than a lawn and will give you significant economic value that gets better every year.

it doesn’t matter if you have balconey, a porch, a 1/10 of an acre… see the link above.

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