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The cost of growing.

purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,245
Does anyone else calculate the cost / profit of growing your own?

Last year was my first proper harvest from my new garden so my overheads were quite high with set up costs. This year as the basics were in I have been keeping tabs on how much I spend on plants/manure/soil/feed even new pots or tubs. To off set these costs I am using the cost of buying organic/farm shop bought veg. 

Up till now I seem to have covered about 2/3 of the cost, and the tomatoes are only just coming in. So this year it looks good. I don't expect some things will last much longer, like the French beans and courgettes,  but the cucumbers are still going strong and the sweetcorn are yet to ripen. The spring onions are over and the carrots, baby round ones, have grown but were only an experiment so didn't expect much of them. It is rewarding to think that we have been eating healthier home grown food this year and have enough to keep us going in the freezer too from a small patch outside and a greenhouse.
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  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278
    I'm not sure I could be asked @purplerallim but it is a noble venture  :)  I live on my own so grow my own because I enjoy it and I can use as much as I want when I want (thank goodness for the freezer) or preserve for the future.

    I am happier knowing the provenance of my food and more at ease living in the seasons. A few years ago I wasn't able to grow my own and I was devastated at having to 'waste' vegetables because I couldn't find loose items or small packs. There are only so many veg soup dinners I can manage.

    I would count the cost of not growing - if I could be asked  ;)
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,671
    I'm sure the masses of tomatoes, for example, I get from one single seed more than offset the cost of the seed/ compost. The time I spend? costs me nothing but I suppose I could be at work earning money, but I know where I'd rather be and what I'd rather be doing. 
    That's beyond money.
    Devon.
  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,245
    I agree @Hostafan1 I love the fact that since our move I have the time/space to grow what I have always wanted to. Yes not working is a financial drop but with my health issues hearing and physical was not sure how much longer I would have been able to continue anyway, so ensuring the cost was important to me too. Time spent in the garden to me is gold.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,671
    The flip side is, I always queried why folk paid me to grow spuds for them ,back in the day. 
    Devon.
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  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,678
    No, I never count the cost, I would faint from shock, probably! For me, the cost and hard work are worth it for the pleasure it brings - connecting with the land, the joy of growing things, munching peas and baby broad beans straight from the pod, the freshness and superior taste of all sorts picked and cooked immediately.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,623
    We're just setting up this new veggie garden so definitely not counting the cost of the polytunnel, wood for raised beds, weed suppressing fabric for the paths, cheap MPC for improving the soil till our compost heaps get going, seed compost, seeds, modular trays, coldframes........ and then there are the water butts and the mains water used.

    On the other hand, I know what we're eating is fresh, untouched by chemicals and hasn't harmed any wildlife in its production apart from squished snails.   Tasty and satisfying to grow and eat.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • SkandiSkandi Northern DenmarkPosts: 1,454
    I most certainly save/make money as I also sell some. This year we will only just break even, but we bought two (cheap) pollytunnels at £160 each. plus a large piece of butterfly netting that cost £100 the tunnels will I think last two years and will be paid back this year. and the netting should do 5-10
    I think people over think and over fiddle with vegetables, they most certainly over fertilise them.

    Costs for me, seeds £50 for seeds, £30 for potatoes.
    Compost at £5 a trailer £15 (also homemade compost free)
    Seed compost £15
    Potting compost (taken from grow bags at £1 each) £6
    Water hard to tell as mixed in with house water but probably around £30
    String £4

    Multi year costs
    Pots £10 (50 small pots for potting on tomatoes, should last many years)
    2 8m by 3m tunnels £320
    1 10m by 14m butterfly net £100

    I also already had hoes (dutch and draw) rakes, spades, forks, hand trowel, wheelbarrow and a second hand grillo rotovator. (G52)

    I do not use any pesticide or herbicide or fertiliser other than compost. So far we've had 190kg of vegetables and that is a poor yeild the potatoes in the field almost totaly failed due to the drought, no lettuces managed past early june, and the later cabbages got eaten. We still have all the winter squashes, sweetcorn, onions baking potatoes, carrots, parsnips etc etc to come so I expect the total to be up over 300kg.
    I work it out as costing £327 for the year, so a little over £1 a kg, To give an idea what that buys here, potatoes start in late may at £12 a kg and drop to £2 by now. a 125g packet of sugarsnap peas cost nearly £2. Part of the reason for that is that there is VAT on food at 25% (Denmark, whatever Scotland says they do NOT want a nordic system)


  • purplerallimpurplerallim LincolnshirePosts: 4,245
    I'm sure we eat healthier now much more fresh veg. If I was getting it from a supermarket I'm positive I wouldn't get as much as it's so easy to just wander to the end of the garden and get something for a meal. Today's harvest is on point raspberries for cereal , cucumber for my sandwich , and beans for dinner .😀
    And the cherry tomatoes most of which didn't make it inside 😊
  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 2,184
    I think it depends on what you growing, some fruit and veg can be expensive like grapes - blueberries - strawberries and various others . Some like carrots are not to dear and with the erratic germination ( erratic for me ) I probably spend more on seeds than what it would cost to buy a bag of carrots.

    I have a grape vine with about 25 bunchs of grapes which would save me a lot but most will go in the compost heap cause one I have glut and can't store them and two they have pips so I can't pig out on them like I would with a seedless variety. 

    Tomatoes I would save a lot and the taste is in another league compared to supermarket ones, I get asked a lot for tomatoes people snatch your hand off for them. Lettuce is another one, bought lettuce doesn't store to long but a pick and eat lettuce is there for weeks. 
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