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.

9 comments:

naturally nina said...

thanks so much for visiting and sharing that great quote. i love it! now i am going to check out your etsy faves... they look amazing! :)

xo nina

Sarah / Bee House Hives said...

Sharing and trading with neighbors and family helps.

My dad owns a feed store, we get all the broken bags of feed. I feel spoiled, but that really helps keep the costs down.

Saving scrap material for projects that come up.. our backyard looks like a yard sale, but I always go there and find the supplies I need.

Good post.. farming and gardening (the simple life) can be expensive when starting out. We got a lot of hand me downs from my parents farm and I will save those for my children too.

BlueBarnFarmer said...

You know, whenever I hear the words 'gardening' and 'economy' mentioned (or 'recession gardens') they seem to be thrown out as if they're ends in themselves. However I enjoyed reading this post--cutting down on food costs by gardening can be an investment, but by using a tool library or ordering bulk seeds with friends what you're really doing is opening up your mind to more than how to grow food with less.

By the way, I'm looking into constructing a coop and I'm wondering who you buy feed from and whether they might like another consumer...

Beegirl said...

Great post!! We did our chicken coop with left over lumber from the house. Coop roof - left over tar paper and tin painted with left over green paint.

I like to buy the end of the year plants at the garden centers too for a $1. They look bad, but always come back great the next year. Propagated boxwood from my mom's clippings. Free stone and a trunk full of $1 plants have done the front yard. Free hostas dug up from a friend filled the back. No grass to mow around the house. I love to dig up things for free.

Jana said...

Currently, I just have a few tomato, pepper, and zuchinni plants in pots. I really want to build some raised garden beds, but we are persnickity enough that we want them to tie in well with the landscaping -- and we just don't have the funds for the materials just now (not to mention that we need to figure out how to water the thing conveniently). I'm crossing my fingers for next year. As for chickens...hmmm, I just don't know. Where does one check to make sure it is legal to have them in your backyard in your city?

paula said...

I really want chickens, but my husband thinks I am nuts, haha! I currently have a flower garden that I love...next year is the food!

Maylie J said...

Having a home garden is really beneficial. You get to have additional resources and you have a place to hangout in when you want to breathe fresh air. Just put up a small place there. Interesting post. liquid limestone perth

Jayden said...

Putting home garden in your place is a good addition to your floor plan. Make sure you look for floor plans online that could suggest to you the best location for your garden and other sheds you might build in your lot.

Max Shah said...

It depends on how you furnish. Consider the tools needed too.