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$64 Dollar Tomato


Confess: how many of us have spent a lot more to grow our own vegetables than it would cost to buy them from a local grower or at the store? Not saying that's wrong: there's so much pleasure - hard to measure - in growing things.

It's just that it's tomato season. A friend reminded me of this story, from a few years ago. The (free) podcast is great but also you can just scroll down to read an excerpt. Enjoy. :-)


http://www.npr.org/templates...

Answer »
chef of the future 2000 added over 1 year ago

Lots of things that are good cost more than mass produced dredge. That's why organic veg and fruit costs more.

Buddhacat
SKK added over 1 year ago

This is an interesting view and does not concur with my experience. My garden is 200 square feet and we did not pay any of the overhead on design, tools, fencing etc. that the NPR author included. Our estimate is that our garden saves us $2000-$3000 per year on food.

Face
allans added over 1 year ago

I think the answer is relative. I loved the book which gave me a new perspective in gardening, but as a long term Gardner, is it really about the all mighty dollar? I think not. And once your elements are in place, it's spending that continues to give,
Becoming
Less expensive with each successive season

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louisez added over 1 year ago

the farmer's lot can be hard -- uncooperative weather, insects, unforseen and uncontrollable variables.... while growing some things isn't always profitable, the definition of profitable can also vary. also, the initial investment when you start a garden can be far greater than that of subsequent years. there's a bit of a learning curve. sourcing seedlings can also be an issue -- assuming you're not growing your own. i grow some, buy some in the early days of our farmer's market (at one or two dollars a pop). i hope this year's events won't deter you from trying again. eating produce you've grown right out of the garden is a wonderful thing. we're just getting our first peas and snap peas -- and eagerly watching green tomatoes on the vine. good luck to you in future years -- and may the tomato du jour, however expensive, be superb/

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susan g added over 1 year ago

Just think of this as an exercise to understand something about the economics of farming. To buy produce comparable to home grown, you have to allow for the farmers' investment in land, tools, seed, 'amendments,' people who do paid work (if it's larger than one farmer or one farm family can manage). Then, to bring it to you, fuel to market or your house, space in a market, scales, bags.... How about insurance (what if you got sick from the farmer's food?), taxes (for employees, for self)?
I'd say, grow your own if you truly enjoy it, and you can eat, preserve, store and give away what you grow. If not, support local farmers.

Smokin_tokyo
BoulderGalinTokyo added over 1 year ago

Well, I bought 3 rhubarb plants @ 10$ each. This is a veggie/fruit not available anywhere at farmers or regular supermarkets. One year later, 2 plants had died so I bought 3 more. Now i have some leaves but very thin and (to be honest, not very juicy). But I long for rhubarb so by the time I can finally eat them, they might cost more than that tomato!

036

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

I absolutely loved that book, it was hilarious and also enlightening - and yeah sometimes we stumble and spend a bit more (I am on my third planting of edamame after figuring out what kills them with the first two) but it's SO gratifying to grow, pick and eat your own produce. If we had room we would have chickens and bees too.

036

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

I absolutely loved that book, it was hilarious and also enlightening - and yeah sometimes we stumble and spend a bit more (I am on my third planting of edamame after figuring out what kills them with the first two) but it's SO gratifying to grow, pick and eat your own produce. If we had room we would have chickens and bees too.

New_years_kitchen_hlc_only

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 1 year ago

Alexander's book, "52 Loaves" is a fun, interesting read, too. ;o)

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