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Chronicles of a Noob Garden and Gardener

Discussion in 'About Me & My Garden' started by Ben E Lou, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. Jan 13, 2019 at 1:57 AM
    henless

    henless Deeply Rooted

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    I want one of those mini green houses. I really want a big greenhouse, but a mini one will do fine. For now. I could put it outside the back door.
     
    baymule likes this.
  2. Jan 13, 2019 at 11:23 AM
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    there's nothing wrong with keeping track of expenses.

    some of us prefer to make sure we're not wasting resources or have different goals.

    in my case i like to know that i'm growing enough food to make the expenses worth it. so far we're doing great. that is why last year i felt it was worth getting some more fence to put up.

    i don't keep exact figures for everything, but we're roughly getting 5-7x the return on our investments. if i add in for my time at minimum wages then we break about even.

    luckily i also count in my return how much i enjoy gardening and the exercise and happiness and the many ways it teaches me about many things which makes the whole hobby way beyond a break even.
     
  3. Jan 13, 2019 at 11:45 AM
    Ben E Lou

    Ben E Lou Garden Ornament

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    We are strict budgeting folks here. We're navigating public vs. private school costs, college for two kids, and because we have daughters, two weddings to pay for 20ish years from now. ;) We actually have four distinct line-items in our 2019 household budget that relate to garden/yard:
    • Garden One-Time (non-repeating expenses like the blueberry & blackberry plants, the bricks, the tiller, etc.)
    • Garden Ongoing (expenses that I'd expect every year like seeds, peat pots, fertilizer, etc.)
    • Landscape One-Time (I need a new edger. Technically not one-time, but wouldn't expect another expense for this for a few years.)
    • Landscape Ongoing (lawnmower maintenance, annual flowers for front of house, grass overseeding, fertilizing, and fall aerator rental)
    Last year the garden and landscaping just rolled into the existing "Household Expenses" category, since the garden was unexpected and the landscaping stuff was cheap enough that it was mainly handled through "unexpected" income. (I cater a little BBQ on the side...)
     
  4. Jan 13, 2019 at 2:18 PM
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    We just have one line item that combines veggies, flowers, and lawn. We don't use it as a limit, that is all we are allowed to spend, but more to see where the money is going. We do use that to adjust our spending habits some. My wife has one line item that covers her hobbies, mainly weaving. Since we just moved my start-up expenses have been through the roof but that was factored into moving expenses, at least mentally. I still have some start-up costs, I need to get T-posts and wire for trellises but hopefully my start-up expenses for gardening will soon be over. Then it will be down to recurring expenses.

    I can appreciate the public versus private school issue. Here a decent private elementary school tuition can cost more than a year at the state university. When we needed to move we purposely restricted our search to a specific public school district so we were comfortable with out kids going there so we would not have to pay tuition. Some of the public, parochial, private and charter schools here are good but some are really bad. To me the kids' education is very important. Good luck in that search. When the time comes start early looking for college scholarships and grants. Don't depend too much on the guidance counselor but do most of that yourself. Know what the deadlines are and make sure your kids meet the deadlines to apply. it can be surprising how many grants and scholarships are available and they are not always restricted to the very top students, though that doesn't hurt.
     
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  5. Jan 13, 2019 at 3:31 PM
    catjac1975

    catjac1975 Garden Master

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    That was just a snarky joke.
     
  6. Jan 13, 2019 at 6:22 PM
    seedcorn

    seedcorn Garden Master

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    Some people are not good at sarcasm.

    @Ridgerunner Agree education is extremely important. Whether at public or private (both have advantages/disadvantages), you get what you put into it.
     
  7. Jan 13, 2019 at 6:44 PM
    majorcatfish

    majorcatfish Garden Master

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    when it comes to gardening either veggies or flowers i gave up years ago the cost of growing...it will drive you nuts....
     
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  8. Jan 13, 2019 at 8:45 PM
    bobm

    bobm Garden Addicted

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    I did the true cost of production of veggies in my own backyard several years ago to find out for myself (remember : my wife works for the IRS and we owned a working ranch for profit ) ... the everyday staple crops just do not pencil out even if I do not factor in paying myself even minimum wage for labor like the big professional farmers do , plus their cost of machinery, cost of transformation and marketing. :eek: You might make some money in value added everyday foods, or may not. But that depends on how successful your crops are that year as well as how efficient you are. :ep The high ticket item foods are still cost effective to grow your own, but barely. :) Compare the income from getting a part time job for the time you spend in your garden and the cost you would have to pay for the food that you didn't produce yourself. Performing physical labor in your garden gives you excersise , but what is the price of your chiropractor or Doctor or pain medication, or hospital stay if you should get hurt ? Pride of self sufficiency does have it's own benefits. Enjoy ! :frow
     
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  9. Jan 13, 2019 at 10:56 PM
    seedcorn

    seedcorn Garden Master

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    @bobm Figuring a true cost analysis is tough because of how you value your produce. I garden on the cheap. I view my labor as a huge bonus for the garden. Reasoning below.

    Labor, average 5 hours per week. Better than gym membership @ $40/month.
    Mind strengthening-keeps me mentally active-best medicine against Alzheimer’s-runs in family & seems to strike after retirement.
    Equipment cost-$600 tiller and less than $100 in hand tools-amortize that over 45 years-nothing.
    Seed/plants-less than $50/year. I said I’m cheap.... I don’t count flowers/plants for butterfly garden in memory of my mother.
    Produce value? I give away over $400-$500 every year in tomatoes, peppers, squash, rhubarb, cucumbers, etc. plus what we eat and I can. How much to you credit, I decide on a whim to make something out of garden? Fresh made spaghetti is better than most restaurants. The restaurants that are better cost $80/couple. Again, how do you value that? Plus I know how my vegetables are grown-no recalls.
    Largest profit? I get to come to this board and give people like you crap....

    Gardening is a very profitable work of love. I tell myself that over and over when I’m out there cussing the insects who bite me or my plants...
     
  10. Jan 13, 2019 at 11:39 PM
    catjac1975

    catjac1975 Garden Master

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    There is no way to evaluate the joy that plants a flowers give the gardener and those that enjoy looking at them. Last summer a women stopped while I was gardening up front of my house. She told me she goes out one her way to drive by my house to look at my gardens. Particularly if she has had a bad day. Can't buy that. When veggie gardening you also cannot put a price on picking and then eating your own fresh vegetables. Or pulling some out of the freezer or the can that you put up to enjoy in the dead of winter. Higher vitamin content is in food that is eaten fresh. The benefit of eating organic produce as opposed to those drenched in untold chemicals for me has resulted in strength and good health. It is good for my soul.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 5:04 PM
    henless, canesisters and baymule like this.

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