Is growing your own food an economy?

Greece
November 18, 2015 8:01am CST
The olives are now off the trees and their oil is in our storecupboard. The olive harvest is over and we picked enough olives to keep us in oil for another year. When we worked out how long it took and the money we saved it does seem like it was not the best investment of our time. Usually we grow vegetables but this year my husband was not well enough so we left the allotment to the weeds. The year before we had spent a lot of money improving the soil but the yield was disappointing, it all seemed to come at once and again a lot of work was required to prepare and freeze the vegetables. Being self sufficient seemed quite a romantic idea but time has proved that it is only worth doing for some vegetables, such as tomatoes that have no flavour at all in the shops.
15 people like this
15 responses
@irenen1 (230)
• New Bedford, Massachusetts
18 Nov 15
Nothing beats the flavor of your own freshly harvested produce. Your own compost pile and gathering your own seeds can make your gardening self-sustaining. Too many have lost the knowledge of growing their own food. Putting up your food can be daunting. In retirement, time is no problem. Money is.
7 people like this
@Auntylou (4410)
• Oxford, England
18 Nov 15
This is very true and we are helping the planet with fewer food miles!
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (122596)
• Switzerland
18 Nov 15
I forgot to ask you if you felt the quake. I hope you are safe in your area. I grow some vegetables during spring and summer, tomatoes, courgettes, hot peppers, salads and fresh herbs.
5 people like this
• Greece
18 Nov 15
We didn't feel the quake but my husband has heard on the news that there have been two more. We live a long way from the quake.
2 people like this
@LadyDuck (122596)
• Switzerland
19 Nov 15
@41CombedaleRoad It seems it was on the western side of Greece, the south of Italy felt the quake.
1 person likes this
@destry (2436)
• Kirkwall, Scotland
18 Nov 15
We grow all of our own vegggies and meat, and the saving is amazing - as is the quality ofhte produce
5 people like this
@Auntylou (4410)
• Oxford, England
18 Nov 15
Right on @ Destry, though I am not sure how I would get on with the animal side of things
1 person likes this
• Greece
18 Nov 15
What kind of meat do you grow?
1 person likes this
@Vivenda (609)
• Portsmouth, England
18 Nov 15
We don't grow very much in the way of food because, quite apart from the unreliable climate, our garden is very shady! I'd love to be able to grow my own olives!
3 people like this
• Greece
20 Nov 15
I expect you could grow your own olive trees but I am not sure that the olives would ripen. I noticed that the trees here ripened best on the sunny side.
2 people like this
@Auntylou (4410)
• Oxford, England
21 Nov 15
@41CombedaleRoad I think it is only rarely that olives bear fruit in the UK
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Nov 15
i reckon lots depends 'pon what's available in yer neck'f the woods. those gardens're lots 'f work, labors 'f love. my fav'rite thingy 'bout growin' my own is i know 'xactly what's been in the soil 'n water that tend my plants. i also know that what i've put up is free 'f preservatives, picked 't their pick 'f flavor 'n fer myself, 'tis worth the effort. there's other bonuses's well fer me. jest playin' in the dirt, prunin', weedin' - bein' out in nature 'n gettin' 'xtra exercise 's well :) big hugs!
2 people like this
• Greece
20 Nov 15
Now the season is over I have to admit that it started as fun but it ended as hard work. After three days my back rebelled, so I was left with a willing spirit that had to concede defeat.
2 people like this
• United States
20 Nov 15
@41CombedaleRoad bless yer heart, 'tis hard'n the back if'n ya aint used to such.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (101183)
• Bunbury, Australia
19 Nov 15
I've just done a post on this. It is much more economical to buy our fruit and vegies although we live in an ideal climate for such produce. The local farmers do it much better than we do. We're able to get local produce at reasonable prices. There is no way we'd be in front if we tried to grow our own.
2 people like this
• Greece
20 Nov 15
There is a small problem with local produce here because of a river and land that has been polluted by factories. That makes me a little wary of the market but perhaps more confident of the supermarkets which, one hopes, researches producers before taking their goods.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (101183)
• Bunbury, Australia
20 Nov 15
@41CombedaleRoad Polluted land would be a problem. I'm not sure how much research the bigger supermarkets would do though. They might just buy from big markets which hopefully are controlled by the governing bodies.
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (32211)
• Portland, Connecticut
19 Nov 15
I agree it is a wonderful dream but I end up getting my veggies at a farm stand.
2 people like this
• Greece
20 Nov 15
That will please the farmers because our wonderful dreams could become their nightmares if we all grew our own.
2 people like this
@boiboing (12524)
• Northampton, England
18 Nov 15
I think it's better done as a labour of love.
2 people like this
• Greece
20 Nov 15
With not too much labour I gather?
1 person likes this
@Auntylou (4410)
• Oxford, England
18 Nov 15
The best thing about growing your own food is that you can guarantee it has no nasty pesticides used on it( unless you don't care ) It does take time, but if you have plenty it is a great way to get outside and commune with nature in a productive way
2 people like this
• Greece
20 Nov 15
Pesticides are a problem and I prefer organic but as has already been said it can be expensive.
1 person likes this
@antonbunot (9506)
• Calgary, Alberta
18 Nov 15
O, I used to do gardening in our backyard. I used to plant tomatoes, red peppers, and even tried eggplants. But gardening takes so much of our time and energy. I decided to stop and just buy vegetables in the grocery store where I work part-time. Anyway, I got 10 percent discount,
2 people like this
@mom210 (5795)
• Atlanta, Georgia
18 Nov 15
I love growing my own food, it tastes so much better
2 people like this
@franxav (3741)
21 Nov 15
With seeds, fertilizer, labor and every thing getting costlier it is practically impossible to be self sufficient in our context as well. I am not a farmer but live in a farming region. Farmers grow whatever brings them more profit and buy things of their need. However, I grow some vegetable and green leaves in my kitchen garden. This saves me some money and I get to eat my homegrown vitamins. I use bio-manure(mainly cow dung), which makes the vegetable healthier and tastier.
1 person likes this
@rebelann (32534)
• El Paso, Texas
20 Nov 15
Soil augmentation is so expensive but if you give it time it is well worth it. The trouble with time is that it slips by so quickly.
1 person likes this
@sofssu (14735)
20 Nov 15
You can grow stuff organically, organically food are expensive when we buy them. I agree investment is high and so is labor. But you know what you put into your mouth when you grow your own veggies. Also investment is high only for the initial couple of years.
1 person likes this
@scheng1 (24947)
• Singapore
4 Jan 16
If you want an easier job, probably planting trees is a better option. If you have trees producing nuts, and fruits, there is less yearly labor involved.