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cost benefit of growing your own - comments sought...


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carissa
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:41 pm    Post subject: cost benefit of growing your own - comments sought... Reply with quote

Hi,
I'm a journalist writing a piece for the Independent on the cost benefit of growing your own fruit and veg. Appreciate gardening is also an enjoyable hobby but this is for the personal finance section so will need to focus on figures ie cost of seeds versus plants, yield from plants, price comparisons with shops etc.
Really appreciate any advice, comments etc. particularly from anyone who has ever calculated what they might be saving.
Also any useful advice for people who might be thinking of starting out.
Kind regards, Carissa
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cooler
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Help you do your job?? Will you help me by coming over and digging my veg garden?
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janelee
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not a good first post tbh carissa. cooler have you a spare fork I'll give you a hand. Razz
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Sb
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:24 pm    Post subject: Re: cost benefit of growing your own - comments sought... Reply with quote

carissa wrote:

any useful advice for people who might be thinking of starting out.


gpi wrote a real good piece on starting off a vegetable garden here http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1161 carissa.
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carissa
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies if post was inappropriate or caused offense. I write on a lots of different topics, quoting experts who are usually happy to share their knowledge with the general public.
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Michael196
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont think there is a cost benefit, thats not why gardeners do it. I set up 2 small potatoe patchs this year, 8 foot by 8 foot.

The soil was surplus from planting a hedge, and was moved by hand into position, about 2 days work, i bought sprayers ( hozelock ) for 80 euro for blight control, seed was about 12 euro, water timers ( 50 euro) hoses, 30 euros, electricity to pump the water, drip hoses, dithane for blight control, spraying 1 hour every two weeks, and the maincrop yield was about 5 stone ( golden wonders) and maybe 10 stone of new potatoes.

so costs dont come into it, because u need 50-60 acre for profit.

its a hobby, a cost i certainly dont do it to save money .

we loved the food we got this year and the satisfaction of knowing that I can do it.
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Prudence
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And it tastes so much better too.

Sue
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Organicgrowingpains
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We started growing our own veg for the taste and because we were becoming more aware of the miles our food travelled, not to mention the chemicals used to help it travel all those miles! We harvest and eat veg in season not months later. We got our first crop of onions this year, I was told I would find they had a stronger taste than the ones I had been used to buying. I enquired why and was told the onions we buy could be up to 2 years old! Buying seeds is expensive when you see how many seeds are in one packet (who wants 50 cabbage plants)?! but seed or plant swapping with allotment friends or neighbours would cut down on expense. On our allotment we pass on anything that is not being used ,even a glut of any veg is shared. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:31 pm    Post subject: financials of growing your own Reply with quote

Carissa,
Did you notice a cold breeze in this forum? If so, it's because you left a door open and the October wind is chasing you. I was going to be helpful til I checked your profile and found it empty. You think as a journalist you can come in here without even wiping your feet and expect us to give you tomorrow's dinner. Doesn't work that way, love. You don't have to prove gardening credentials to orbit our planet, but there are certain decencies.

I also am a journalist, but this is the first time I've outed on this forum and then only to show you there are scribes in here. Indeed there are other scribes much more worthy than me but they probably want to keep the heads down. They know who they are. Now if you were to fill up your profile and show us where you are coming from, literally and figuratively, I for one would be glad to help you.

There are NO financial advantages to gardening and feeding yourself by your own hand. The subscribers above will have given you that anyway. Gardeners face a financial downside over and above the hard grudge, the patience to wait, the disappointment of crops lost to drought and disease. That disadvantage is our exposure to being robbed of our hard labour by others who believe that their next dinner currently resides in our gardens and allotments. In the present economical climate, I can expect more of that in 2009. Well, here in blighty anyway. Not sure about Roscommon.

The time it would take to feed a family of four with just it's fruit and vegetable requirements is about 365 hours per annum. Forget the cost of seed, etc.. Farming (and market gardening) has always been and will remain labour intensive. Seven hours a week is not much when you have little or when you've been made redundent and there is no job to back you. My charge out rate in another field (pun intended) is £40 an hour. To feed my own family of four then the gardening content would cost £12000 pa.

What's that in euros?

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BlackBird
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 2:57 pm    Post subject: Re: financials of growing your own Reply with quote

walltoall wrote:


I also am a journalist, but this is the first time I've outed on this forum and then only to show you there are scribes in here.


Well you little scut. Razz you're one of them as well. Laughing .

walltoall wrote:
That disadvantage is our exposure to being robbed of our hard labour by others who believe that their next dinner currently resides in our gardens and allotments. In the present economical climate, I can expect more of that in 2009. Well, here in blighty anyway. Not sure about Roscommon.


Hands up, I took part in a little apple scrumping when I was younger, I'll admit. Or did you mean businesses cashing in on allotments growing in the future walltoall

walltoall wrote:
To feed my own family of four then the gardening content would cost £12000 pa.

What's that in euros?


Currently 15,435.24 EUR Wink

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Import
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK here is my 2c worth:

When practicing a hobby - whether it be wood carving or gardening, it is going to cost you money. The produce from the garden is a little bonus for your efforts.

Growing an intense crop one can make money from your garden. i.e. if you were to plant garlic in great numbers a patch of 20m x20m would yeal sufficient garlic to supply a small supermarket.

But who wants to grow garlic only, remember it is a hobby.

My pear tree yielded about 2 apple boxes full of pears that has been individually wrapped up in newspaper and stored for use over the next couple of weeks. Hell I would be saving about €3.00 per week!

For me it is not about saving but about accomplishment!
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 1:55 pm    Post subject: scrumping, boxing the fox, robbin orchards and all that Reply with quote

Yo Blackbird,
Scrumping is acceptable shrinkage. Have a look at this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/gqt/ til you see the trouble English gardeners are going to, to protect their gardens from real thieves. D'y'know, I haven't heard the word "scut" for ages. In Fingall a 'scut' is a wren. Down around Dungarvan a scut is a very small (and usually annoying) boy. In west Clare I've heard it describe a particularly annoying person. Anyway, I'm much complimented to be thus described. I've been called much worse.

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Last edited by walltoall on Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Prudence
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walltoall - at least you weren't acting the maggot Laughing

Sue
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:34 pm    Post subject: Acting the maggot Reply with quote

Well timed, Sue!
I was outside lamenting the fact that a wee sapling I've been nurturing is being flayed alive by sawfly caterpillers as you were penning the note. The little bostoons have stripped a load of leaves right back to the bones. I came in to boil up a saucepan of water, remove them one by one with a tweezers and drop them in the pot. I wonder would they make good soup if times got really tough?

Or would that be REALLY actin' the maggot?
Shaun

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Organicgrowingpains
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi wallitall. the sawfly decimated our 2 gooseberry bushes in a few days.I dont know if anything is fast enough to get them before they get every leaf on the bush! Let us know if the hot water works? Just another pest to contend with in the garden!
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