04 August 2009
the economy of the home garden
I just read this post over at Garden Rant and couldn't have agreed more... I posted this in the comments as well, but I just wanted to share with all of you how I made this first year of gardening and chickens affordable:
"I agree that the first year can be a bit of an investment for chickens or gardens, but it a lot of it is up to the individual and the time they have and the creativity they use.
I could have bought the $2000 coop, but instead, chose to build one myself with reused building materials totaling about $75. I too use tons of scraps to feed my chickens and have found that a 50lb bag of food will last me 3-4 months at $10 a bag (from a local feed grower). I got my $2 bale of straw from a local farmer instead of paying $10 at the garden nursery.
The same thing goes for my garden. I used reclaimed lumbar to make raised beds. Scored my shovel, rake and hoe at garage sales for about $3 each. Spent $18 on a load of topsoil that i amended with free manure from a coworkers barn. I went in with a bunch of friends to order seed from High Mowing because the bigger quantities you order the cheaper they are. we just divided them up in envelopes. I also happened to score a flat of "frost bitten" starts from one of the local nurseries for free that have turned out to be just fine and a bunch of tomatoes from an overzealous coworker who had too many.
The economy comes with simplicity and creativity."
It seems funny to quote myself, but as I was writing the comment, I realized that I hadn't shared all of this here, but should. I don't have any problem with people spending big bucks on their garden or chickens, I just know that you don't have to. For me growing my own food was about the adventure of it and the economy too. Why do you garden or raise chickens? Have you taken steps to keep the costs down? I would love to hear from you.