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Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
3/27/22 10:44 a.m.

We have the community plot because it's surrounded by a six-foot fence. Here at the house, I am watching our olive tree gradually shorten thanks to the voracious deer. I race the raccoons to our bananas, and mostly just pick up the bottlebrush blooms because the squirrels nibble and drop them all. The only vegetables I could grow here are venison and turkey. Though to be fair, they are both delicious.


spitfirebill MegaDork
3/27/22 1:45 p.m.
jgrewe said:

I had a friend calculate that venison actually costs about $90 a pound the way he gets it with a $1 bullet

A good friend of mine from days gone by used to duck hunt a lot.  He once calculated what that first duck cost him (boat, gun, hunting license, duck stamp, decoys, gas, boat registration, etc).  His wife cooked the duck (a mallard) and he said it was terrible.  He still duck hunts and has pretty much become a hermit, but if we got back together today the old duck story would be brought back up.  That's what friends do.  

spitfirebill MegaDork
3/27/22 1:49 p.m.

Several years ago I spent a couple hundred $$ to buy stuff for a garden.  Very little germinated and the deer ate all of the tomatoes.  That was my last garden.  They subsequently clearcut the woods behind my house, and I ignorantly thought, "oh good, the deer will be gone now and I can have a garden".  Nope, they are now worse.  I see their tracks all the time where they are coming back to the garden spot looking for my tomatoes.

BlindPirate Reader
3/27/22 9:39 p.m.
Woody (Forum Supportum) said:

You need to plant some cows and pigs to see the real savings. 

You should see what we spend for "free" eggs.

Steve_Jones Dork
3/27/22 9:44 p.m.

In reply to BlindPirate :

z31maniac MegaDork
3/28/22 9:43 a.m.

Those of you in suburbia that have gardens, how much space does it take up to be worth it? 

We have kind of a small, oddly shaped backyard. Growing veggies is something we always talk about, but we haven't taken the plunge yet. 

RevRico UltimaDork
3/28/22 10:14 a.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

I use 800 square feet and I'm taking that to 1200 this year. With the scaling back of tomatoes, I should have more peppers than I can turn into sauce, stuff, or dry and crush. 

That will also grow me about 15 pies worth of pumpkins, a dozen or so watermelon, a E36 M3 ton of beets and carrots if I can actually get them in the dirt this year, and still leave me with room for whatever plants my friends bring over. My garden is honestly more to eliminate mowing needs than anything. 

If I didn't have that space in good sun, I'd just use 5-10 gallon fabric grow pots for everything, move them around the property as needed. 

It kinda depends on your goals and climate. My goals are basically tomato sauce, hot sauce, and pretty yet edible stuff, and I can only really grow from June to October. With proper planning I could conceivably cut my annual produce bill in half with the space I have to use, to be completely free of the grocery store as a family of 4 I would need about 2 acres, and that would still leave me buying corn and flower, because corn and wheat take up entirely too much space.

Hoondavan HalfDork
3/28/22 10:17 a.m.

Same here.  I've spent a few hundred bucks and two days building flower boxes on the hill in my back yard...and SWMBO has yet to buy soil and plants to fill them.  We've done a garden most years, but our soil is actually sand.  Last year one out of 4 datil pepper plants flourished.  I think we had enough tomatoes for a single plate of caprese...but it was really really good.  

With most my hobbies (bikes, cars, surfboards, guitars) I tend to buy used and limit investment that doesn't add value or significant enjoyment.  My boat & SWMBOs garden are pure folly.  

I expect we'll be running to  the garden cetner to buy more tomatoe plants & soil this some day this week.



ProDarwin MegaDork
3/28/22 10:24 a.m.
z31maniac said:

Those of you in suburbia that have gardens, how much space does it take up to be worth it? 

We have kind of a small, oddly shaped backyard. Growing veggies is something we always talk about, but we haven't taken the plunge yet. 

It takes very little space.

This was my setup last year... like 200sq ft, and not really efficient usage of it.  Tomatoes on the left, peppers on the right.  The buckets are sub-irrigated planters (rico's suggestion).  They grow significantly better in those and use less water vs. the stuff planted directly in the ground.  The 5 gal buckets were a proof of concept, this year they will be executed in feed troughs for a much cleaner look.  I failed at growing tomatoes because of end-rot and poor fertilizing and not enough water reservoir, but the volume produced was significant.  I definitely had far more hot peppers than I could ever use.  If I didn't have hiccups with the tomatoes I'd have produced a years worth of them easily as well.


In summary... if I wasn't planning on moving in the next couple years, I'd make my whole damn yard a garden.  Its much more fun than mowing grass.


3/28/22 10:31 a.m.
Marjorie Suddard said:

That's what we spent at Lowe's today on dirt and veggies for the community garden plot Tim and I are gardening. $140 at our local farmers' market would buy a metric E36 M3-ton of food. We will be lucky to get several servings of veggies. Why do we do this?


Cause it is cheaper than  fish caught fishing? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

3/28/22 12:01 p.m.
z31maniac said:

Those of you in suburbia that have gardens, how much space does it take up to be worth it? 

We have kind of a small, oddly shaped backyard. Growing veggies is something we always talk about, but we haven't taken the plunge yet. 

Ours must not be too big since I used the metal from the Molvo frame rack to build the rectangular border, Maybe 14' by 10'.  We also have some smallwer places for cukes and pots for tomatoes. We in no way feel that this is a money saver and have zero interest in preserving food for the winter. ( except tomatoes). What we really get out of the whole deal is the enjoying of nature going through the seasons. 

I enjoy what we can eat fresh off the plant or on the plate when it is in season. BLT sandwiches are a seasonal celebration in our house. I enjoy sharing surplus with friends (no idea why reapers are so in demand) who are not into gardening. We also get to speculate on what new thing we will try and grow this year,

The other advantage is that it gives you a topic of conversation when you socialize and compare garderns and results.

We also have a few 10 lb rabbits in the yard, wondering what they would taste like in a stew with fresh veggies?

RX Reven'
RX Reven' UltraDork
3/28/22 1:24 p.m.
Marjorie Suddard said:

Why do we do this?


Amateur, what do you think this guy pays per pound for fish cheeky

Sport fishing boats for sale - boats.com

I think of myself as a "gentleman farmer" which is a euphemism for not concerning myself with the cost / benefit ratio, efficiency, etc...instead, I go for esthetics and other unquantifiable measures.

You worked hard for that $140, spend it however you please.

Datsun310Guy MegaDork
3/28/22 9:47 p.m.

This is my lady back in the mid-90's standing in her 80's aged grandmother's garden.  They took gardens and canning seriously.  Her elderly grandmother staked up and tied up every plant.  This is way more than I want to do anymore but it's how she was raised.  Northern Alabama.

hybridmomentspass HalfDork
3/29/22 11:57 a.m.

My fiance is a florist and grows her own flowers and other things to sell at the farmers market too. 

I WISH she only spent 140 bucks ha

She's not started the farmers market season yet (this Saturday is the first one) and she's up around 4500 so far in expenses. This part sucks. 

But - why do we do it? Because it can be super rewarding to see the results of hard work. 


pheller UltimaDork
3/29/22 12:38 p.m.

I think it depends on where. 

Back home in PA, it never made sense to have a vegetable garden because we were surrounded by farms that produced incredible produce at cheap prices. 

In Arizona, however, it's a different story. A lot of produce is trucked in from very far away, and even the local stuff isn't always so local. Cherry/grape tomatoes at the local farmers market can cost $10/lbs, or $6/lbs at Sam's club. 

So we really only grow stuff that's expensive or nice to have around at easy access. Cherry tomatoes, Basil, maybe some jalepenos. Some green onions. Various herbs. 

Last year, we planted $60 worth of cherry tomato plants and probably pull off 30lbs or more of tomatoes. It was worth it. 

RX Reven'
RX Reven' UltraDork
3/29/22 12:45 p.m.

In reply to pheller :

I've never tasted a store bought tomato that wasn't just a sack of water and herbs are stupid expensive. 

Katie Suddard
Katie Suddard Advertising Coordinator
3/29/22 3:34 p.m.

I love a thread where I can show off what I've got started! This is from the start of this month, since then the tomatoes and bell peppers have started blooming like crazy. 

hybridmomentspass HalfDork
4/1/22 3:28 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

Im just revisiting this thread and seeing your post (I replied after the first post)

From what we've talked int eh past, youre not far from my fiance, if you ever need anything let us know. NC State grad for growing plants, we're starting a garden here at my house this year (apparently ha)

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