Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How can I compare?

Often people say, when they see my garden, that I must be saving money on groceries. It would seem so because of what we can pick daily...but in truth it is not.

We are yet to cover our set up costs, seeds, compost and water costs in savings from not buying fresh veggies, and we still have to buy some items that we cannot grow ourselves.

Yesterday I had to pop into our local Fruit 'n Veg store to get greens for the chickens. I haven't been to this store for at least 3 months. While I was getting leaves from the bins I glanced up at the price boards.

5 bunches of carrots for R10

3 bunches of spinach for R10

3 bunches of beetroot for R10

At this price - how can I compare the hundreds of rands it has taken to set up my garden?

How can I compare because on the same day this was my harvest:

Simply put, I cannot compare cost for cost value....but this is something that Fruit 'n Veg can't give me:

~The satisfaction of picking my own food
~Completely pesticide free vegetables
~The peace that comes from digging in the soil
~The pleasure I get from looking at our garden
~The crispness of freshly dug out potatoes
~The sweetness of sun warmed strawberries
~The wait and anticipation of a harvest
~The skill we are teaching our children

I may never grow enough carrots to juice every day, or enough beet to cook 4 bunches at a time, but what we do have brings much joy and pleasure to us all when a meal is served with our lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, sweet corn and potatoes.


African Bliss said...

I geuss there is also the time and money one save by not having to go to there grocery store for these items. Also gardening is such a wonderfull form of gym, again money saved. Best wishes for the year ahead.

Anonymous said...

It is also wonderful to realize the hand of God upon the garden - producing food has divine help! Unlike piling the stuff into a shopping basket? That needs prayer! :) I'm always much more grateful for what we pick than what we buy!

Jill said...

I hear your frustration, and know you would not want to bypass your beautiful gardening process because it was cheaper to purchase the food. Your family experiences you are developing in the garden are priceless, as you well know. You are giving your children the understanding that they can produce (at least some) food on their own - a valuable lesson they will keep forever. Perhaps this year you will find additional ways to boost your harvest for next year.

Wendy said...

Thanks for the encouragement, all of you, I really appreciate it.

Just today I was speaking to a friend in the veggie industry and he said that nowhere can he get cucumbers grown outside of a hothouse.....

But in my garden I have them a-plenty! That felt really good!

Aussiemade said...

Wendy Beautiful writtings.
I keep saying to myself one day my garden will provide most of our vegie and fruit needs, along with eggs. It is not cheap, but as you write so eloquently it is a spiritual walk, creative, relaxing a gym and evocative. I watched a blue tongue lizard soaking up the sun in my vegie garden this morning with his tummy full of my strawberries I do not doubt.lol

I spent $30 on 1 bunch of spinach, one bunch of bok choy, some nectarines, peaches and apricots just on one kilo all up. 1 egg plant (aubergine), cucumber and some red capsicums! It was so expensive