At the beginning of the summer my husband set up a raised organic vegetable patch and we wondered if it would be cost effective. He planted Little Gem, Pak Choi, Mange Tout, Sugar Snaps, Potatoes, Onions, Tomatoes, Corn, Radishes, Carrots and Cucumbers.
Savings: A packet of two organic little gems cost around £1.50. At that price if we had bought one packet a week for 4 months, we would have spent £24
Savings: A packet of non-organic pak choi would cost around £1. I think we had around 4 weeks worth so we saved ourselves around £4.
Tomatoes - We planted a couple of upside down hanging tomato planters (we already had one planter and my husband bought a second one this year) and they are fruiting right now. We have been extremely lax in watering them though and although they are covered in tomatoes, we are only getting a few ripe ones every so often - not really enough for a salad at any point. Next year we need to plant more and actually water them!
We got a little over £56 worth of produce from our patch! Not a great return on our investment purely in financial terms...
On the positive side:
- We still have our raised beds filled with fairly weed free organic compost, as well as lots of seeds that we can use next year, so we won't need to spend much if anything next year on our veg patch.
- We did save on packaging and transportation and helped to reduce our impact on the environment.
- My husband used rainwater from our rain butt to water the plants in between rain showers, so at least we didn't have any 'hidden' water costs and we were in full control of the food we grew from start to finish.
- Our children know where vegetables come from and loved picking the peas and pulling up the carrots.
- It was very satisfying to eat our very fresh homegrown produce!
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